Baby girl is here! (Almost four weeks ago…)

I have moved! I am now blogging at The Energizer Mommy. Please come join me there!

She’s here! Baby girl was born May 30, 2012 at 8:28 AM. She was 42w0d gestation at that point, so she really waited until the last minute! She’s beautiful and healthy and perfect. She weight 8lb 3oz at birth and was 19.25 inches.

I’m sorry I’ve been a bad blogger as of late. Getting used to a newborn is tiring! I’ve also been processing my birth story, which I will share later. In many ways I don’t feel like I did a good job with baby girl’s birth, and that’s been hard. I had killer back labor which totally kicked my butt. But I did manage to have the out of hospital birth I wanted, and I’ve been focusing on reasons I am so grateful for that. It may not have been completely ideal, but it was so much better than the alternative. Some ways in which baby girl’s birth and first weeks would have been different if we had been in a hospital:

  • I would have almost certainly been induced medically 1-2 weeks before I ended up giving birth. Most OBs don’t want you to go past 41 weeks, and if you count from my last period instead of my conception date, as many doctors want to, I may well have been pushed to induce at 40 weeks actual gestation (since going by my period that would have been 41 weeks). This means
    • I would have had to stay in bed. Being in bed was the most excruciating thing I could do in labor.
    • I would have had to be continuously monitored. Baby girl HATES those monitors and squirms every time you put one on her, which was very uncomfortable during labor
  • I would likely have ended up with a c-section. The morning I went into labor I was not dilated AT. ALL. A week or two prior my cervix and body would have been in no way ready for labor. There’s a good chance the induction would not have “taken”. And since induction roughly doubles your chance of c-section anyway, and the national average c-section rate is 1/3 women anyway, I’m thinking my c-section odds were pretty dang high.
  • I may also have had to fight a c-section for “big baby.” At my biophysical profile at 41.5 weeks the ultrasound estimated baby girl as being 9-10 pounds. They settled on 9lb9oz. Clearly that was off (by a pound and a half). But I’m short and that’s big and in the OB model it may have been determined she wouldn’t fit.
  • I would have gotten an epidural. There is no way I wouldn’t have. My back labor was HARD. If I had had an epidural available and right there I would have taken it. No doubt. And then I would have wondered how it affected everything else.
  • Baby girl would be on formula. Baby girl lost about 13% of her body weight in the days after birth. The hospital cutoff is 10%, at that point they put the baby on formula, end of story. My midwives decided to give my milk a chance to come in because baby girl’s color was good, she was extremely active and healthy by all measures except the scale. She nursed like crazy for days, and when my milk came in it came in full force. I’m not sure if it would have done that if she hadn’t been wanting to nurse so much because she was getting formula. I’m not sure I would have kept up with breastfeeding if I was in the formula routine.
  • My placenta would have been manually extracted. Even my midwife was about to manually extract my placenta when she saw something that made her have me try to push it out one more time and, thank god, it came. It really needed to come out and didn’t want to. No way a doctor would have waited the 45 minutes my midwife did. (If you don’t know what manual extraction is…be grateful.)
  • The moments after baby girl’s birth would have been full of stress and anxiety. I bled a lot after her birth. A LOT. I got loopy. But my midwife took care of it extremely competently while still staying calm and in control so I didn’t realize how serious things were until after and I got to enjoy those first minutes.
  • I may not have gotten to hold my baby until she was a burrito. There was meconium in her water so there would have been a whole extra team of people panicking and likely whisking her away for unnecessary deep suctioning before I could even see her once she was born.
  • I may well have had vacuum or forceps delivery if I’d gotten that far. I pushed for an hour and a half to get baby girl out, and I was exhausted. She was doing fantastic through the whole thing, but it was a slow process.  Someone who isn’t used to a tired mom whose been working the whole time and doesn’t have the patience and trust to let the process happen may well have declared me too tired to get her out on my own. This would have led to much harder healing from an episiotomy, since I barely had a tear at all.

My birth was hard. I remember thinking I didn’t know if I’d go natural again. But when I compare it to the alternative, for me, I think out of hospital was the right decision.


Filed under Baby Girl, Uncategorized

6 responses to “Baby girl is here! (Almost four weeks ago…)

  1. Hubby

    FOR the record – she did an amazing job with a labor that would have been fast-and-hard (0 cm to 8 cm in under 7 hours) on its own. Then, there was debilitating (really, truly debilitating) back labor. It was really bad. For the record, for the period of time when we were able to neutralize the back labor (movable shower head for the win!), she handled the rest really, really well.

    To summarize: she did an amazing job. Everybody who was there (midwife, doula, midwife’s assistant and me) said so. She was simply fantastic. :-)

  2. Congrats!!!! She is beautiful. I am glad your story went the way you wanted, overall, even if it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns of easy breezyness.

    You are one tough momma!

  3. She’s beautiful! Great job, Mama!

  4. Hi Eileen,

    Massive congratulations on baby girl’s birth! I remember reading (over a year ago?) how badly you wanted to have her and now she is here!

    Be so very proud of yourself honey. Labor is hard work and considering her size you did a fantastic job in making it through the natural way.

    She is healthy, she has everything a newborn should have, and she is beautiful. She will not know of her birth. What she will know is the moments you and hubby create for her from here onwards.

    Sometimes it will suck. It’s true and it’s okay. But the bulk of times it will be absolutely the most amazing thing you have ever done. Take it moment by moment. Tally only the good times. The rest is a memory.

    Love to you all.
    Brea x x x

  5. Kerr

    Hey Eileen… I ended up here randomly ‘coz I saw your birth story link from fb. I’d be happy to talk with you more about hospital births, because a lot of your assumptions are wrong. (1) When just on pitocin, I was walking up and down hallways, squatting, getting massages, etc. You aren’t tied to the bed, mobile IV carts are awesome. (2) I don’t know any hospitals that force formula on the baby for poor weight gain. I think this is a midwife/pediatrician issue. Women’s milk comes in at different rates, so unless it’s an issue that persists, you wouldn’t have to worry about it. The only time formula is used in the hospitals is for preemies or in cases where the mothers don’t want to breastfeed at all. (3) Fiona was handed to me moments after delivery (after her mouth and nose were suctioned). She was naked, bloody and a mess. They don’t burrito up babies anymore until after they’ve had a chance to smell and be with Momma. (4) The vacuum saved me from a c-section and was only used because she got stuck behind my abdominal wall ‘coz they were so strong. (5) I was always in control. I had the right to ask for a new nurse if I didn’t get along/like the one I had. I never was forced to do anything I didn’t want to do. The docs and nurses always talked to me beforehand, and I did sufficient research to understand what they were talking about.

    I think a lot of stuff has changed with the way hospital births take place, especially in well developed/highly rated hospitals like the one I was in. Let’s talk more about it.


    • Hi, Kerry! Is there a link from my Facebook to my blog? There shouldn’t be…I can’t find it. Hmm. :-/

      In response to your comments, I know not everything is a for-sure. I’m just going based off of what some of the people I know who work in many hospitals have told me, the experiences of others I know who have given birth, and what I was told myself when I toured the two hospitals I would have been transferring to.

      As for pitocin, that’s a good point, I may well have not been locked into bed the whole time. At least one of the hospitals would want me there for monitoring, but I think it wouldn’t have been a force, just a small battle. The formula cutoff I was told was true for one of the hospitals that my midwives work with a lot, if the weight drops below a 10% loss (which is a lot, to be fair) that hospital automatically puts baby on formula. My milk came in fairly quickly, baby girl just had a lot of fat and lost it quickly! If she hadn’t lost it until I was discharged then obviously it’s a ped issue, but if she had lost it in-hospital (which I would have been, she lost it fast) then at at least one hospital she would have been put on formula. That is awesome Fi was put right with you :-) I think that is more common now, you’re right, with a normal birth. However, because there was meconium in her water I think it is pretty standard she is taken away to be evaluated instead of put right with mom, because meconium aspiration is so dangerous and they go a bit overboard preventing it and evaluating her. They might have brought her back unwrapped, but she would very likely have been vigorously toweled off as part of the checking her to make sure she was breathing OK. Meconium deviates it from being a “normal birth”. As for the vacuum, I think it is fantastic that we have them. FANTASTIC. For cases like yours, it is great! I’m just afraid that it might have been pushed on me when it wasn’t needed because my pushing was so slow. Not for sure. Just a possibility. It is really good you had such a good experience and were in control. Really. I don’t doubt that it happens. I may well have been, too. But I found it nice I didn’t have to be because the default was what I wanted. The default in a hospital is different from what I would have wanted, and I would have had to push against the norm, even if they were completely respectful of my wishes to deviate. It was nice to not even have to ask. I did like knowing every single person at my birth who had any authority, it took away a lot of the uncertainty for me, which is a lot of the anxiety for me. Not knowing who my nurse would have been I, personally, would have found stressful with my issues. Not knowing who my doctor would have been, or if I would have met him/her, even more so. And I know people who have birthed around here who didn’t feel in control. It totally depends on your doctor and nurses. If I had transferred, I wouldn’t have known my doctor, it would be whoever was on call. If I had stayed with my OBGYN, I would almost certainly have not known my doctor, because there are so many at the practice and you get whichever one of the 10 or so who is on call. That makes it harder for me.

      I certainly don’t think hospitals are evil places everyone should avoid. I just think it was the wrong place for ME to be. And despite the way I felt right after my birth, I suspect I would have felt that way no matter what. What was hard for me was how I reacted, not anything that happened. Given that, there are many other things that were more likely to happen with a hospital that didn’t and weren’t likely to happen with my midwives, and I am glad I avoided having to even think about them.

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