Birth Story #9

So, I am super excited about the birth story this week. I asked my friends that had children if they wanted to put their stories on here, and they all agreed completely. I was thrilled!!

This one is my sister in law, Rachelle. Her son was born in January of 2008 and I love him to death.

The other day we were talking about choosing the birth you want, and I think this is one of the great examples of that. She didn’t have anyone telling her what to do, and she was able to make decisions based on what she wanted. It is one of the happiest ones I’ve read so far that takes place in a hospital ha ha.

I had never heard the full story before, so it was a first for me too! Hope you enjoy and thanks Rachelle for sharing it.

Teagan’s Birth

When I found out I was pregnant, I was thrilled. I knew right away that I wanted Dr. Hansen to be the person to deliver my baby. He is the doctor my mom had that delivered all her kids (including me) and he is a wonderful person and doctor. He is a big advocater of vaginal delivery and has a very low c-section rate. My mom did have to have a c-section with my younger sister due to severe complications but that’s another story. He later assisted my mother in a successful VBAC which is always good. I knew him and trusted him and felt great with my decision.

My pregnancy had a rocky start. At about 10 weeks, I thought I had miscarried. I bled worse than I ever had during any period and I just cried. I went to the doctor the next morning and after talking to the doctor, he said he was fairly confident that I had lost the baby, but there was a slight chance that I hadn’t so he ordered an ultrasound. I had the ultrasound and of coarse they weren’t able to find any heartbeat. The baby was too small. They had to do an intravaginal ultrasound. It was uncomfortable and very emotional for me. I laid there while they probed around trying to find a heartbeat. They finally found one and I cried I was so happy. They checked for placenta previa (later in my pregnancy when it was easier to determine) and to see if maybe I had lost a twin, but there were no signs of either. They told me it was due to excessive physical strain (which was certainly the case) and the doctor put me on bedrest.

After a few weeks of bedrest the bleeding stopped and my pregnancy continued without any complication. I actually enjoyed my time being pregnant. My husband spoiled me rotten (still does) and it was a very special time to bond with him while we planned for our baby’s arrival. As I got further along in my pregnancy, we found out the gender and we were going to have a boy! We were both too excited to wait until birth to find out the gender. I was glad I had the time to plan and buy clothes and things. It was a lot of fun preparing for the baby. I became obsessed with literature on pregnancy, delivery, and preparing for the baby. I read everything I could get my hands on. I learned a lot and was able to make an informed decision on how I wanted my baby delivered. I felt it was important to feel comfortable during my delivery and after much deliberation, I decided that I would feel most comfortable at the hospital.

I was growing right along schedule and measuring just right until about 36 weeks. Then my baby was growing quite a bit faster and larger. Dr. Hansen told me that the baby was going to be fairly big and he suggested scheduling an induction. He said my vaginal opening was smaller than average and my baby would be bigger than average so to avoid excessive tearing, he wanted to induce my labor if I didn’t go into labor before my due date.

My due date came and I went into the hospital at 6:00 a.m. and was having contractions by 7:00 a.m. I had never had any braxton hicks contractions or anything so it was a totally new experience. I had planned on having an epidural but I didn’t want it to slow my labor down so I was going to hold out as long as I felt I needed to be able to keep my labor at a decent pace. The nurse came in several times and asked if I wanted the epidural yet and I said that I didn’t. She wasn’t pushy or anything, she was actually a great nurse. She made me feel very comfortable and my husband was able to be there with me all day which was great. The nurse finally came back in and told me that I had progressed far enough and that my contractions were as intense as they were going to get and that I was almost ready to start pushing and said if I wanted the epidural at all that now was the time to get it. I thought about it for a while and figured that if the contractions were as bad as they would get, then I would be fine to go without. Then something kept nagging at me about not getting it. I was doing pretty well handling the pain on my own, but this feeling that I should get the epidural wouldn’t go away. I decided to get the epidural and soon found out why.

About an hour after I got my epidural, the nurse said I was almost ready to start pushing and she went to call the doctor. He was right in the middle of a delivery at a different hospital and couldn’t get there for about an hour. The nurse asked if I wanted to have another doctor deliver my son or asked if I wanted to wait. I was SO glad I had gotten the epidural! I decided to wait since I knew my doctor and trusted him so much, I didn’t want someone else to deliver my son. Because of the epidural, I felt no pain or pressure and I was able to relax until the doctor was able to arrive. It took longer than expected because of a huge snow storm but I was in no rush and my baby was doing great. Dr. Hansen arrived and I started pushing. I immediately started to tear and the doctor advised an episiotomy and then asked if I wanted one. Since I trusted him, (and didn’t want to tear clear to my rectum) I decided to do it. My delivery couldn’t have gone better. Everything went beautifully. He came out screaming and I got to hold him while my husband cut the cord. It was so special to finally get to meet him face to face. He was perfect and healthy and we couldn’t be happier. I was so glad I made the choices I did and that Dr. Hansen was able to deliver my baby. Despite the fact that many women frown upon epidurals, inductions, and episiotomies, I felt the decisions I made contributed to a wonderful birth experience.

Many women in America today don’t realize they have a choice in their birth experience. They are either told horror stories that alter their perceptions or aren’t told enough to help them make an informed decision. Giving birth to YOUR baby should be the way YOU want. I carefully chose my health care provider, researched my options and chose the hospital. I was given the choice all through my labor and delivery about what I wanted. I think that is one of the main reasons my labor and delivery went so smoothly. I wasn’t nervous, I was prepared. I knew what was ahead and there were no surprises. Giving birth is a very personal experience. It is different for every person. There isn’t a clear right or wrong choice. It’s important to know your options and do what’s best for you. Whether that’s home births, hospital births, or a birthing center with a midwife or doula, it’s YOUR choice. Do what’s best for you.

There is tragic part to this story. My doctor that I loved so much and trusted completely passed away unexpectedly when my son was only 2 months old. I was devastated. He was in his late 50’s so he was older, but certainly not close to death. He was always really healthy and all of the sudden had a massive heart attack and died almost instantly. My heart goes out to his family and the other women out there mourning the loss of this great doctor. Now I am struggling to find someone to replace him. I have decided to start over on my research to find the kind of health care provider I can trust as much as him. I doubt I will be able to find another doctor with a cesarean rate as low as his was, so I may go with a midwife. I am also considering a doula. I know someone who would make a great doula and she just might be ready to help when I get pregnant again. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. 🙂


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