|Dani and Gage
Overdue Pregnancy, Vaginal Delivery in a Free Standing Birthing Center, Used a Birthing Ball
Gage is my third child. My first, Briana Nicole, was born February 11, 1992, in a hospital in Chicago. She was born after 26 hours of labor. Anisa Rae was born June 3, 1995 in the same hospital, but in the alternative birthing center after 16 hours of labor. We used the shower, a labor bar, nipple stimulation to speed up labor, walking, and a lot of encouragement. I still was not completely satisfied, but in Chicago, there are no free standing birthing centers, and the idea of a home birth scared me.
When I got pregnant with my third child while living here in Dallas, I knew it would be the best birth yet. Practice makes perfect! I researched and found a free standing birthing center only 25 minutes from me. Midwives run it. I knew it was for me after I took the tour. My pregnancy was difficult, but wonderful. After being two weeks late with both of my girls, I was pretty sure I was in for a threepeat.
And I was right. Finally, after 13 days of herbs, nipple stimulation, sex (well I didn't mind the sex so much) and walking, something happened. It was the day before I was scheduled for a sonogram. At around 9:30am, I started getting contractions that were more painful than usual, and they seemed to be coming 7-10 minutes apart. I called my midwife and told her that this was probably it, but I didn't think we'd see a baby until that night. After taking my kids to the park and having some lunch, my contractions were about five minutes apart lasting about a minute. This was only four hours after my labor had begun. I knew it was time to go.
So, we were on our way . . . until we hit a traffic jam about halfway there. At this point, my contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes and lasting about a minute. I was afraid that I would be delivering the baby on the side of the road. I focused on the clouds and listened to the radio, all the while breathing slowly. Fortunately, the traffic cleared up, and we made it there.
When we got there, I was dilated to almost 5 cm. My mom and brother (who is 13, by the way) arrived shortly thereafter and my brother began videotaping. My midwife checked the baby's heart rate and it was fine. She then moved me to the birthing ball after several contractions on the bed. The ball was amazing. I felt more relaxed and able to focus on my blossoming cervix. The counterpressure on my pelvic area was wonderful, and my husband rubbed my back like a pro. Within 10-15 minutes, I had dilated to 9 1/2 and my midwife broke my water. She said I could push if I wanted to . . . and boy was I ready! My biggest concern, considering I had already had two episiotomies with my girls, was that I would tear. Luckily, my midwives were excellent and helped me take it easy so that I wouldn't tear . . . and I didn't. It only took about 10 minutes to push the baby out. My husband caught the baby, and they put him on my belly. It wasn't until he was out that we knew he was a boy since we had not had an ultrasound. He was 9 lbs. 2 oz., 21 inches long.
After he was cleaned and nursed, my husband gave him his first bath while I rested. After five hours of resting and eating, we went home. All of my births were perfect and were learning experiences, and each bore the most special gifts of my life.