Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Birth Experience

I given birth naturally (without drugs) twice now - to both Alan and Zachary. Both experiences were very different and yet similar in some ways. Both labors were relatively short and labor pains were definitely not unmanageable. The only really difficult part was transition and that doesn't last very long. I would like to share with you a little bit about Zachary's birth.
This is a picture a friend took of our family the day that I went in to labor. My labor was induced because I was already dilated 6cm and my Doctor wasn't sure that I would make it into the hospital in time if I waited to go naturally. I wish we had just waited but things did work out well anyway and it was nice to do all the hospital registration stuff and get comfy in our room without actually being in labor. We were so excited!
We took the above picture while waiting to register. And the one below just after my doctor broke my water. I bought the nightgown I'm wearing expecially for labor - it says, "I need a vacation." It just made me smile and I felt more me than I do in hospital gowns. My labor went quickly. We spent some time walking the hallways and sitting on a birthing ball and then I spent some time in the shower.
When I finally lay down in the bed, things got really intense. This is a picture of me as I was entering transition. My hair is wet because I had just gotten out of the shower. It kept me cool.
Jeremiah was a wonderful support throughout the whole thing. It felt so good, comforting and strengthening to hold his hand. I put my other hand around my belly to keep me connected with my baby. My doula provided counterpressure to my lower back. The contractions were intense but there was a little brake between them.
And before long it was time to push and out came our baby. I did cry this time as I gazed on him for the first time and whispered, "My baby, you're here. Shhh. It's okey. Welcome to the world little one!" I love giving birth because I love all the emotions of it - it's intensely exciting, energizing, it engulfs your whole being - body, soul and spirit is completely engaged. There is so much purpose to it and so much anticipation. It is painful at times but learning to work through the pain, listening to my body and helping my baby be born - it's empowering.
Zachary was born with a lot more varnix on his skin and a lot more hair on his whole body than Alan. He was so cute though!!

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