Wow, having an infant in the house, not to mention a four year old doesn’t leave much time for blogging. Clare is now 11 months old. So finally, here’s the rest of her birth story.
We arrived at Kaiser a little after 4:00 PM. They checked us through triage in about 10 minutes. The OB said that Amy was already dilated 8 centimeters and this baby would be born soon. The nurses wanted to strap a monitor on Amy right away but she said no. So they persuaded her to wear it just long enough to get an initial “strip”. When Amy felt like the monitor had been on long enough, she said it was uncomfortable and started to take it off. The nurse took it from her and Amy never let them put it back on. They had to continually ask her if they could take a manual reading and then they would scribble the results on the original paper strip that was taken at the beginning.
The lights in the labor/delivery room were dimmed and the nurses there were very helpful and always seemed to know what the other was doing. While Amy labored and pushed, they mostly helped her change into different positions. At this point I felt pretty useless. Then I found that I could be counted on to give Amy water when she wanted it.
And so it was for quite a while that Amy either wanted to change positions, or the nurses would suggest a position change. One of the last changes was that they removed the whole end of the bed and put up a bar that Amy could hang on to while either partially seated or bracing against the remaining part of the bed.
The last change was going to involve (at least partially) reassembling the bed. While the two nurses were starting to work on the bed, Amy was kneeling on the floor with some pads or towels under her. At that point I was in front of Amy and could see the silhouette of the round top of Clare’s head. Right about then Amy just felt like pushing, so she pushed Clare out right there on the floor. I remember giving out a tear filled yelp. Clare was moving immediately and she pinked up real fast.
Amy told me to take off my shirt so I could hold Clare skin to skin right away. The midwife picked up Clare and suctioned her a tiny bit, blotted a bit of the excess moisture and handed her to me in a towel. I was holding her less than a minute after she was born. It was a wonderful moment.
We were pleased that the only other person in the room during the birth, beside the nurses, was the midwife. The OB was out of the room at the time of birth. Amy did tear a little, and as the midwife was cleaning her up and preparing her for the OB to stitch her up, she wanted to give Amy pitocin to guard against hemorrhage. Amy said no thanks, but if she was really worried about it, to give her a piece of the placenta to chew on. The midwife got kind of a frustrated look on her face and didn’t say anything because she could tell Amy had done her homework. We had gotten there too late for Amy to have any pain medication, which she wanted to avoid anyway. But after other medications were offered and refused along with this one, they presented Amy with a big page of procedures and medications that she had refused with a big line drawn diagonally through it and asked her to sign it. This truly was the drug free natural childbirth we wanted. The only thing we didn’t do was stay at home for it.
After I went home and got Courtney from day care, I called Amy to see how she and Clare were doing. She told me then that they figured out what the pain was that made her want to come in. During her laboring at home and then later at the hospital, Amy had never gone to the bathroom to pee; but she drank a lot of water, so her bladder was full and that was causing a lot of pain. So even with a full bladder and no pain medication, she was able to push Clare out.
Amy told me within a few days of Clare’s birth that giving birth to her the proper and natural way almost immediately completely erased the pain and horror of having had the unnecessary cesarean.