As I get closer and closer to the end of my pregnancy, I thought now would be the right time to finally write about Frankie and Adelaide’s birth stories. To date they were the most amazing, wild, crazy, and blissful experiences of our family life. It is so amazing how in an instant you can’t imagine life without this brand new person, half you and half the one you love. With each child love just grows more and more.
So today I’ll start with Frankie.
It’s funny how with your first pregnancy and labor you’re kind of like a teenager. What I mean by that is you think you know everything and how it’s all going to go but you really don’t have a clue!
|Frankie’s Nursery! 2010!|
That was me to a certain extent, a total guinea pig when it came to motherhood. All of my births so far have been natural, and I know that is a blessing and something you can’t always plan. Plenty of women expect to have a normal labor but life happens and in the end you have to do what’s best for mama and baby.
So what I thought was best for me with Frankie, after lots of research and many classes was a natural birth…at a birthing center.
It’s interesting to see how people react when I tell them that’s where I gave birth to my first..for some reason the response is usually along the lines of the following:
“OH! Interesting! So like, no medication?” or:
“Why? What’s the point?” or:
“Hmm how was that?”
It’s pretty funny, you’d think I was telling them I gave birth in a cave. Which is understandable, birthing centers aren’t exactly conventional!
But someone I knew had delivered at a birth center with nothing but amazing things to say about the experience, and the more I educated myself on the whole birthing process the more both Steve and I thought that a birth center would be the right choice for us and our baby. At that time at least…
For us, the biggest perks were:
1. Being stuck birthing on my back while laboring wasn’t ideal for me. Birth centers give you freedom to walk around or use a birthing ball without being stuck to the bed or a catheter.
2. Hospitals can sometimes be c-section happy. Statistically this method is way over used!
3. Birth centers are more affordable. At that point in our lives, we were loan dependent and in law school. So yeah, cheaper was better!
4. Some hospitals take the baby away to make sure all is well, while the birth center does all the checkups in the same room as mama…that was super important to me – and still is to this day!
So we ended up choosing a birth center in Naples, Florida where we lived at the time. A beautiful little place 5 minutes from our apartment.
|Our Birthing Center in Florida|
October 18th came along and so did my contractions. I sadly (so…so sadly) took the advice of my midwife and swallowed a ton of castor oil. It worked. Allll too well. I’ll spare you the horrible details of what happens when you actually drink castor oil, that’s what google is for…but at least it got my labor going!
I began around 1am and labored at home until 4am. This consisted of Steve timing me while reading a Matt Christopher book while I sat on my big blue Pilates ball. We called the midwife and drove over to our little birth center.
This is where it actually does get a little crazy, and why I did a natural birth in a hospital with Adelaide the next time around!
Unfortunately, my midwife seemed, well…occupied. Like she was missing a big social event or something and kept leaving the room and looking at her phone. I was surprised at how my being there kind of bothered her, and that she wasn’t prepared to handle the immense amount of pain I was actually in. In fact, I labored for another 3 hours when my midwife actually had the nerve to whisper to my husband that she wasn’t even sure if this was actual labor.
Whoa, slow down lady!
Another thing I wasn’t so crazy about was that she would leave my husband and I for an hour at a time, which meant they weren’t consistently checking the babies heartbeat. Obviously I was a little bit occupied and didn’t realize it at the time but in hindsight it really bothered me.
After hanging onto a pilates ball for over an hour I begged Steve to have her come back in the room and check on me. And sure enough it was time to push!
20 minutes later the pain totally disappeared and my heart grew 3 sizes bigger as I held my Frankie for the first time. He was absolutely perfect. A beautiful (big!) baby boy at 8 pounds 12 ounces, not chubby but long and strong, Labor lasted a total of 8 hours start to finish!
Our world was forever changed. I held him and Steve and I were just in awe at this amazing tiny person God gave us who was suddenly ours. The next few hours were pure bliss, studying him, loving every little noise he made and making eye contact for the first time. It was the best!
We were home in our cozy bed just 10 hours later! Overall an amazing experience but I knew from the start that the next time around I would plan it a little differently. Still natural, but a bit more on the safe side!
With our next birth we got the best of both worlds, with a midwife (who was also a nurse) in a hospital! Working on that story next, and hopefully before baby girl joins us!