4/26/2005

questions & answers

Since Melody was born I've made a new group of friends. We met through various ways and all have babies. We all stay at home. We all have sought information and knowledge about unmedicated childbirth. As we hang out we compare birth stories. Half of us had our babies at home; the other half in hospitals. All of us attempted to do it without medication. All of us were changed because of our experience. We get together on Friday mornings. We schedule these times to be from 10 to noon, but usually we end up going out to lunch together and hanging out until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. We talk about our birth stories a lot and ask questions like:

Would you do it again?
Who was at your birth?
What would you do differently?
What surprised you about your birth?
What was the first thing you felt / thought after your baby was born?

I will answer these questions about Melody's birth.

• Would I do it again? I do not know. Making the decision to have an unmedicated birth was a long process. Deciding to have a homebirth was an even longer process. It required lots of time, thinking, talking, and praying. Chad and I will have to go through a similar process again the next time we are pregnant. Lord willing.

• Who was at my birth? My husband, Chad. My midwife. And my childbirth instructor / doula.

• What would I do differently? This is probably the hardest question for me to answer. I am still unsure of the entire answer. One of the negative things about my birth is that I was "performing" for my instructor / doula. I was trying to do everything the "right" way so that she would think highly of me. I wanted to be her star student. I was not aware of these things until recently. Because of this realization I would probably opt for my instructor / doula to not be present. I might have my mom there the next time.

• What surprised me about my birth? The pain. I don't think there is any way to prepare oneself for the intense pain of childbirth. I watched many videos, read books, talked to other moms. I exercised and ate 80 to 100 grams of protein everyday. I felt so prepared. I thought my preparation would pave the way for an "easy" labor. This wasn't the case. The contractions were the most intense thing I've ever come close to experiencing. It is amazing how powerful they are. I couldn't believe it. I'm still dumbfounded by the power and instensity of those contractions. Another thing that surprised me was my lack of emotion when Melody was put on my chest immediately after being born.

• What was the first thing I felt / thought after my baby was born? Relief. Relief. RELIEF. The only thing I felt was relief. I had no joy and no tears. My body shook as I held her in my sweaty arms. She looked up at me with alert eyes. She had a scared look on her face. Soon I smiled and exclaimed over her, but the only immediate response was relief.

11 comments:

cjoy said...

I can appreciate what you are saying. Personally, I 'love' natural childbirth. But it was never 'easy'...either time! With Bryan, it was a LONG time pushing but I managed it well. And, in the midst of the wonder, I recall a good dose of relief when he was laid on my chest.

With Charlotte, I am beginning to feel the effects of her traumatic delivery. (I'm not saying I 'love' childbirth at all these days, and that bothers me a little.) It took a while before she was handed to me, and then for only a mere minute or two prior to being taken for observation. Honestly, I didn't even realize that she was not handed to me directly for several minutes. I was busy feeling some relief of my own that it was all over. I was also in a bit of a daze from what occurred--it was scary and hard. It was some time later than I began to realize I really was missing holding my new baby girl...badly.

Remember, you followed a peace He gave you with having a natural birth and even having her at home...I remember talking to you about it. And He went before you. He even knows your heart right now. You are in good Hands, sweetie!

Shelley said...

Thanks for sharing this, Bek. I''m wondering what happened that made you decide to talk about it? You hinted in a different post that you weren't sure you COULD talk about it. I'm curious about the process you went through (and are still going through) in thinking about what you experienced.

bekah said...

Shelley - I've been talking about my experience a lot with my friends and family. Each conversation I have brings new insights and understanding. I am still working it all out. I'm not ready to post the whole story, but someday I hope to. One reason I'm hesitant is because of the male readers. I don't want to gross them out with the gory details, but that's the way it is. I'll have to try to be sensitive but real when the time comes for me to share the entire experience.

Rose said...

You did well! Thanks for sharing. I know I could never do childbirth without medication. When I had my daughter the transitional contractions were UNBELIEVABLE even with medication. Having a child is the truest form of sacrifice a woman will ever make, in my opinion (and it is not just because of the pain of childbirth that I think that).

Sarah said...

Hopefully you will have lots more children. It's nice to have a spare in case one turns mean :) I wish I would have had two more because they are so much fun as adults. Remember, drugs are good. Love ya, email me, I've got Mac questions! I only have your Dayspring address...

Kassi said...

My second child was a natural childbirth, though admittedly...I almost copped out. I did not feel any trauma from that experience, in fact it was really wonderful, and sort of a crowning point of strength for motherhood. I felt like say "whoo hoo! I did it!" My first and third children were not unmedicated. If I have another baby, I may opt out of having medication, but I am not sure.

Anonymous said...

Hi bekah,
I'm becky's (pith, marrow, coffee spoons) sister. I think I met you at aerobics once..and I think we went to church together for a little while....ANYWAY, I had a home birth too!!! I did'nt know you did. I'm always shocked and happily surprised when I hear of others having babies at home. There is a bigger community here than I thought. I'm interested to know who your midwife was. Mine was, and is, Janessa Craig. I'm having another one at home in June. It was HARD and HELLISH..but at the same time...I just really liked being at home to go thru it.
Bla bla. Nice to know there are others out there that can relate.
Sara

bekah said...

Hi Sara,
I totally know who you are. Thanks for commenting! I liked birthing at home too. My midwife is Jennifer Creel from Fayetteville. She is awesome. Even though it was so hard, I think I'll do homebirth again someday, Lord willing. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and birth!
Bekah

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Anonymous said...

My husband & I want to get pregnant soon & I'm doing all the research I can. We really want to have a home-birth & go as natural as possible. It helped a LOT to hear your insight on how you felt like you were performing for your doula!! That sounds so much like something I would do! I'll be keeping that in mind as we go about making decisions. Thanks :-)