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Monday, May 16, 2011

Hugh's Birth Story - Part One

Just after Hugh was born I tried to write out his birth story, but it was just too hard to do. Now that it has been a year, I've decided it's time whether I'm ready or not. Everything went so differently than how I hoped or envisioned. After having such a traumatic experience with the twins' birth (and death), we worked so hard to try to ensure that Hugh's birth would be a different experience.

I suppose the early beginnings of Hugh's birth story actually started a couple of years ago. After hearing both my sisters talk about the hypnobirthing classes they had taken to help them have natural births, I liked the idea of having a natural birth experience without any unnecessary interventions. Plus, there was something even inviting about allowing my body to labor purposefully while being fully aware of every movement, every contraction, every feeling of bringing this new life into the world.

So, in February, when I was six months pregnant, I found out that a friend of mine who lives here had just started teaching Bradley natural birth classes (which, after attending, we highly recommend). We knew that if we wanted to have a natural birth we needed to learn about it - how to communicate with each other, how to cope with the laboring, and have the necessary tools and knowledge to respond to the different stages of labor. We signed up for the classes and started to feel excited and convinced that it was the right path for us. We learned so much about proper nutrition, relaxation, and how to avoid unnecessary interventions, just to name a few.

My entire pregnancy was shadowed by haunting memories of how we were treated and how things were handled with the twins' birth. As I tried to sort through some of those feelings, I paused one day to envision exactly what I wanted from Hugh's birth. I knew there were certain things I really wanted and certain other things that I really didn't want. After a lot of consideration, long talks with my OBGYN and her CNM, counseling with Marc, and some urgent prayers, we made some drastic changes to our birth plan... when I was about 33 weeks along.

At first I was a little (or maybe a lot) nervous about making big changes so far into my pregnancy. One night, in fact, I was so stressed about making such big changes so far along that I broke down in tears. After pleading for heaven's approval, I came away with a very clear reassurance that our little boy's life would be preserved, regardless of the details of our desired birth plan. All would be okay with our new direction. We met with a Certified Professional Midwife who was a lot more supportive of our desire to have a natural birth and after learning about her extensive experience (25+ years and attending over 1200 births), we immediately felt confident in her care.

Besides deciding on a natural birth, we also went with the choice to have a home birth. The more research we did of all our different options, and after weighing the pros and cons of each option, I really wanted the simplicity and beauty of a home birth.

Part of our comfort with that decision was the reassurance we felt from Claudette, our midwife, that she wouldn't hesitate to transport us to the hospital if it became necessary. Plus, the fact that we lived within a half mile of the hospital made us feel more comfortable with any possible "what ifs" that might come up.

So, we planned. We prepared. We bought a birth kit. We washed the towels and receiving blankets. We stocked our cupboards. We rented a birthing tub. We got our home ready to be turned into its own little birthing center, for one special little arrival.

1 comment:

candice said...

I don't think I knew you had a home birth! Wow! We had Eden at a birthing center and Tommy with midwives as well (though not at the birthing center, it had closed down, unfortunately). Even though I HATE labor (my babies get stuck, not fun) , I really wouldn't have it any other way than completely medication free. Not only am I scared of the needle (and after affects) BUT I really do feel that I need all of me fully functioning (as well as baby) to truly enjoy and live through birthing and labor.

Can't wait to hear the rest of your story! Glad little man Hugh is feeling better with diminishing bruises. I'm like you when it comes to kids and sickness/falls/bumps etc just breaks my heart in two.