I wrote Babykin’s homebirth story right after she was born (8 months ago), and now I’ve decided it’s time to tell you about my first daughter’s birth.
This story really needs to start with the two years it took us to get pregnant with our first baby. We were living down in Dallas, Texas when we decided to start “trying”. Like most naive young couples, we believed that within a few months we would have some good news to share, so we made the mistake of telling some of our friends that we hoped to be pregnant, soon. Nearly every week, at least one of them would ask, “Any news yet?” Eventually they asked less often, but it was very frustrating and depressing to be constantly reminded that we “still” weren’t pregnant.
Almost two years later, we moved from Texas to New Hampshire, with a long stop in Ohio to visit family. Once we were in New Hampshire, the promised job was postponed for three months. We spent a lot of time together at the bookstore while my hubby learned everything he could about his new career field. I read about health (we had both suffered from mono a few years before and I wanted to improve our health, which we’re still working on) and we decided to do a dietary “detox”. We followed some book that I can’t even remember the name of and began by only eating fruit for several days, then adding in other foods, every few days. No processed food was allowed and when grains were added back in the end, only gluten-free ones were included. We followed this plan for almost a month. At the end of that detox, I was pregnant! I am fully convinced that cutting out processed foods and eating only “real” food is what made the difference! I didn’t understand it at the time, but the same thing happened with my second baby, after over two years of being unable to get pregnant. We cut out all processed food and just over a month later, I was pregnant again! 🙂
We found out I was pregnant on a Saturday and my hubby’s job finally started on the following Monday. Come to find out, health coverage had a three-month waiting period, so I couldn’t see a doctor. I was incapacitated with morning sickness and my hubby was gone for 12 to 14 hours a day to a job he ended-up hating. We lived in a hundred-year-old, smelly apartment, our friends were in Texas and our family was in Ohio. We loved the culture, the food, the landscape, the climate… we loved New Hampshire, but it just wasn’t working out like we’d hoped. We really wanted to be near my family, now that we were finally having a baby. So, we packed up and moved to Ohio when I was 16 weeks pregnant. I had been so sick that my hip bones stuck out and you could see my ribs. I was still in my regular clothes and I was feeling miserable. I was pretty sure that this was going to be an only child, since I couldn’t imagine going through the morning sickness again. 😉
It took a few months with the job market being very difficult in this area, but my hubby found a good job and by the time I was seven months pregnant, I finally had my first doctor’s appointment! The woman assured us that she was fine with the natural birth center, but then she tried to pressure us into doing every pregnancy-related test ever created, “just to make sure everything is okay”. She wasn’t crazy about my desire to have a water birth (which is very commonly done in this birth center) and at the second appointment she ignored us except for getting angry that we wanted to decline most of the tests. She was the only female doctor on our insurance that had privileges at the birth center…. so we made an appointment with a male doctor.
That was something I NEVER thought I would do! I’m naturally very modest and it really upset me to think of having a man deliver my baby (unless we’re talking about my husband). This practice actually had two men! The older doctor was getting ready to retire (I think he’s actually still practicing- he just can’t seem to say “no” to delivering another baby!), so he had taken on a younger partner to take over when he left. The older doctor was like a kind old grandfatherly figure. The younger one kind of creeped me out. He hardly said anything and just sat there with this funny expression. I prayed that the older doctor would be on call when the baby came. 😉 They were both extremely supportive of natural birth except in situations where the mother or baby’s life was in real danger. They had both delivered many babies in the natural birth center and had even done water births. They did ask me to do the “standard” urine and blood tests, including the glucose test. I wasn’t happy about it, but it was a lot better than what the other doctor wanted me to do, so I went along with it.
Everything looked great and they approved my request for the natural birth center. At 39 weeks they “stripped the membranes” and told me to be ready for the baby to come, soon. I had been dilated to 3 1/2 centimeters for weeks and they thought the baby must be about to show up early. Ha! At 41 weeks, they ordered an ultrasound to “check on the baby”. I know now not to ever do that again, but more on ultrasounds in another post. I was assured that my baby was no more than eight pounds. I was also reminded that if I went past the 42 week mark, I wouldn’t be allowed in the natural birth center and would be put in the regular maternity ward. Nothing like some good stress and pressure to make a mama nervous, huh? So, we tried everything to get that baby to come…
Read the rest of Pumpkin’s birth story here!