As I mentioned, my birth experience wasn’t what I planned. I had hoped for a calm waterbirth at our birthing center. Instead, Jemma was born under glaring lights in a stark white hospital room. Of course, what’s most important is we were both safe throughout our 3 days of labor. But still, I mourn a bit of my lost experience.
It’s taken me almost 4 months to process through everything. Mostly because I’ve been 100% focused on what came out of my birth experience – a lovely little girl! To wrap things up, I wanted to recap some details which didn’t quite fit into my birth story.
What I’m thankful for …
- My midwives knew exactly what to do and when. They took the decision to transport out of our hands which essential to our success and safety. There was never a concern about Jemma. No scares or worries about the affects of such a long labor.
- The prayers and support of our friends and family. Our birth plan was different and they were ok with our decision.
- Once we left the hospital we were able to go back to Andaluz for a day of postpartum care. Had I not been recovering from a down-there tear it would have been just like a fancy resort vacation – sitz baths, lactation assistance, a postpartum mama massage, homemade breakfast delivered to our room, ordering in from our favorite restaurant for lunch and dinner and our very own postpartum doula for all of our new parent questions. I can’t rave enough about this experience, it truly sets apart a birthing center when compared to a hospital stay.
|Sleeping peacefully back at Andaluz|
|Loving the relaxing resort life :)|
What I left out from the story …
- Yes, I pooped while pushing. Tragic reality, but when I was in the moment I could have cared less.
- Upon arrival at the hospital we had some insurance issues. Everything worked out it the end, but there was no one at the hospital who could confirm that we were in-network and our insurance company only has representatives available Monday-Friday. Yep, that was stressful.
- I had a wicked tear which took a while to stitch up. I had always heard that once you held your baby you didn’t pay attention to the down there clean up. Well, I couldn’t help but pay attention. It hurt like hell and I recall asking the resident if she remembered to numb it. She had, but gosh it hurt like the dickens to be put back together.
What I wish was different …
- At the hospital I had to give up some of my birth preferences. There was no pool to labor or push in and I was required to stay in bed with a blood pressure cuff and fetal monitor.
- Right before Jemma was born there was an argument between the doctor and I about cutting the umbilical cord. It was awful to try and reason with him between contractions. You see, I did not want it cut right away. There are proven benefits to allowing the cord to stop pulsing before being cut – about 30 minutes. The doctor had other ideas and was positive that 1 minute was the longest we could go. He won at roughly 2 minutes. After she was born I immediately reached for her, but they wouldn’t pass her to me until the cord was cut. Some crazy business about not letting the baby be higher than the placenta.
- After Jemma was born we hoped to return to Andaluz right away. Unfortunately, the hospital had other plans. They encouraged us to stay for 48 hours and at one point, said if we left any earlier it would be recorded as “against medical advice” which could lead to our insurance not covering our stay. Come to find out this was a scare tactic from one of our nurses who felt it was her right to make medical decisions on our behalf. In the end we compromised and stayed for 24 hours.
I think that just about sums up Jemma’s 40 hour entrance into our lives! Her birth was exactly how God planned it and I wouldn’t dream of changing a thing. He knew best and I am content knowing everything occurred for a reason. Each night as I tuck her into bed beside me I breath a sigh of relief – she is healthy, she is loved and she is mine. My little girl who I worked so hard to bring into this world. My little girl who blesses me beyond measure with her sweet smiles and vibrant cries. My little girl who is practically perfect in every way.
Jemma, I love you to the moon and back … your birth was the first of many exciting journeys we will take together. Here’s to many more!
Love forever and always,
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