Google+ Authentic Parenting: The Birth Of The Little Monster

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Birth Of The Little Monster

It was probably the most beautiful month of June I have ever experienced in Belgium. The sun was shining and I was actually wearing sun dresses as I wobbled from shop to shop.
We had planned the induction (standard procedure for gestational diabetes in that hospital - if I had only known...) on thursday, but my OB had called me that he would be in a meeting on Thursday afternoon and he didn't want to miss my birth, so we rescheduled to Friday.
This meant I had to go in on Thursday evening, around ten. My husband had arrived a couple of days prior to this.

We went to the hospital on time (OK, way ahead of time), after having a good meal, since I wouldn't be able to eat for a long long time. Before this, i had hardly had any contractions and I was dilated only very slightly. The Little Monster was not ready to come. So I got a balloon device inserted between the membranes and the uterine wall - which hurt like hell, I think it hurt more than the actual giving birth. I was hooked to a fetal monitor and immediately got some rather violent contractions. They would monitor me for about half an hour and then I could get some sleep (yeah right).

My husband was sent home after the monitoring and I was told to come in the next morning when the balloon thing would fall out on its own, which would happen at approximately 3 cm. So that night, I went through the motions, having serious contractions. I wanted to give my husband a chance to sleep to, so I stuck it out until morning, although I had sensed that the balloon had come out rather early on.
By 6.30 I had enough and though it would be late enough to call my husband - who, like me, didn't close an eye the entire night. By that time he was already up and getting ready to take the 45 minute drive to the hospital. I took my time getting ready, washed my face and did my hair, trying to ignore the contractions.

When my husband arrived, we went straight to L&D, chatting all the while. I was already at 5 cm, very promising (and apparently rather unusual, as they had only inserted the balloon close to midnight - yes they had us wait there all that time). I was strapped onto the monitor. I got a laxative and was told to lay there for a awhile before going to the bathroom.
We were told to wait around for the OB to come and perform AROM. We would be followed by a very sweet midwife - I think she was called Nargis or Narcis - and an older intern midwife (I think she was a nurse turned midwife and I never caught her name). While we waited, my husband tried to perform all kinds of entertainment to shy away his feelings of uselessness, his attempt however did not impress yours truly. So he went on wallowing in his uselessness a little more.

My membranes were ruptured and we went on laboring. My poor baby had an internal fetal monitor installed (the OB had to stab her three times for that and she had the wound for over two months) I would be checked after about half an hour after this. The midwife in training asked if she could stay with us and helped me breathe through the contractions. I went on the bed, on the ball, tried to walk (bad idea with the drip and the rather strong contractions).
Was checked again, with no progress, so I was put on oxytocin.
Since the midwife-to-be sensed I wasn't finding a position to handle the contractions, she suggested I get in the tub. What a great idea. I could finally relax a bit. We were chatting about Cameroon (where we lived at the time) and I took deep breaths through the contractions. I could feel my baby move down.
Nargis came in and told me that if I sensed a continuous pressure on my perineum, it was time to get out of the bath. By that time it was only during contractions.
I feel as if I have been in that bath just a little while, but my husband says it was about an hour. I was getting rather irritated at the huz chatting with the nurse to be during my contractions, and then all of a sudden I felt the pressure stay after a contraction.
Nargis came to check me and I was at 8, so time to get out that sweet tub.

I only walked two or three meters when I felt this huge pressure on my perineum, like someone dropped a bowling ball on it and I Just. Had. To push! I think I screamed. I was kind of baffled. I asked for help, but everyone was gone and I couldn't locate my husband and I said I had to push. I was told not to and directed to the torture table, and put into stranded beetle position.
Next thing I know there are all these people, I counted three midwives and two OB's. Telling me to push, not to push, to shut up, to breathe, to be quiet.

I remember turning to my husband somewhere amongst all this because he was holding my hand and he was trembling. I asked him if he was doing OK. He put my hand on my leg and stood aside a little more. My OB, the one that had followed me through my pregnancy, was standing on my other side, cheering me on, all the while saying this was amazing, this was great for a unipara, this was going good, this might just be a new record, etc.
the female OB - the one that had ruptured my membranes - asked me if I wanted to look with a mirror, as my little one was crowning. I answered that I could feel enough as it is.
And so in not 15 minutes my child was born at 10.30 on the 6th of June, 2008.

The OB held her up and (as my husband tells me) unwrapped the cord around her neck. Nargis dried her of a little and gave her to me, while opening her legs and saying "see what it is?" (We hadn't know).
I took her and felt like crying and laughing and was wondering if that eye was stick shut or she was just droopy? I looked at her and waited for my husband to say something.
After a long while he asked me what it was. I was puzzled: "Why a girl, no?" He made me doubt. He looked, and yes, she was.

During this time, I had the afterbirth and got some stitches, but it mattered little. I was on top of the world. I had birthed this amazing little girl and I would do it again and again and again, as soon as possible.

I asked if I shouldn't be nursing her. Nargis said that was a good idea and helped undo the hospital gown I had put on somewhere in this story (I remember having a fight with that, because they had already inserted the IV before I undressed). My little girl was too tired and droopy to nurse so she just attempted and dozed off.
After a while, my husband went with her to be measured and weighed and I was washed. And I got cold. They brought me to my room and my husband went with my little girl to observation.

Then of course there was this whole blood loss issue and me depressing over not having any visitors. But maybe that's a story for another day.



  1. What strong woman you are, my dear! I'm sending you a hug made of love.

  2. I agree with Barbara. Thank you for sharing your birth story!

  3. stranded beetle... what a great term for it!

  4. All the sentiments are there!
    How wonderful to hold that little one in your arms the first time! But what a way and place to be born! It's kinda sad!


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