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Birthing Center Births


  
It was about 2:30am and I kept feeling like I had to go to the bathroom. At about 3am I finally figured out I must be in labor so I called my parents and they took me to the hospital. At the hospital they put me in a room (birthing room just came out). I was in a lot of pain and kept feeling like something was wrong. The nurses kept telling me everything was normal and because it was my first I was just getting panicky. Finally at 12:30pm I was dilated enough to push and the doctor came in. He told me to push and I did, he then told me to stop. I see him take a sharp object and stab at something (turned out to be my water bag.) he then said the baby was breech and asked if some students came in. At this point I didn’t care and was angry that when I told the nurses they needed to take the baby they refused (a mother always knows when something is wrong, first child or fifth.). It was a good thing that the students came in because there was this one nurse that calmed me down enough to keep pushing. Finally with a Doctor that knew what he was doing, I had my daughter naturally even though she was breech. She is now a wonderful beautiful 17 year old young lady.

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Kathrynne's Birth Story
It all started on Wednesday morning with a routine appointment at the birthing center. (We opted to use a local free-standing birthing center for our prenatal care and birth. This birthing center is a three-story Victorian home. It is overseen by a female doctor, but the main care providers are Certified Nurse midwives and nurses.) I was 41 weeks and 5 days overdue at the time, so after the ordinary check up, they hooked me up to the monitor for a non-stress test. All went well there and baby appeared to doing well. Because I was almost two weeks overdue, they decided to send me to another doctor`s office for a sonogram and a biophysical profile of the baby (which is basically a series of tests which the baby must pass to prove that there is no imminent danger in waiting a few days to deliver) to determine if everything was okay.

The sonogram went well and the baby did well on all of the tests but one. We could not seem to get the baby to show any signs of respiratory movement. After trying for over an hour to get these, the sonographer sent us to get something to eat/drink in hopes that that might wake the baby up. We came back after a little while and tried again. Still not hardly any respiratory movements.

Our midwife said for us to go home and if natural labor did not start by 8:00 a.m. the next morning (Thursday), I was to start taking castor oil. If that didn`t induce labor, I would be induced Friday morning.

I had trouble sleeping Wednesday night and didn`t end up falling asleep until around 2:30 a.m. I awoke at 5:00 a.m. with mild contractions. These were much stronger than anything I had had before and coming at regular intervals (maybe 10 minutes apart). I was pretty confident that this was the "real thing." I decided to wait on taking the castor oil and called the midwife a little after 8:00 a.m. and she told me to wait a few hours and see if they kept progressing. At this point, the contractions were quite endurable, but hard enough to definitely get my attention. J Jesse, my wonderful husband, decided to stay home from school and work and "wait it out" with me. Around 10:00 a.m., they started to subside and then altogether quit.

By 12:00 p.m., I was rather discouraged as I was not having any contractions any more and was just plain tired. (Since I`d only gotten 2˝ hours of sleep the night before). I called the midwife and asked what I should do. She suggested I go ahead and take the castor oil and try to lie down and get a little sleep.

I survived downing the castor oil (mixing it with chocolate pudding and not looking at it or thinking about it while I ate it!) and within almost 15 minutes, the contractions began again! So much for sleeping! But, I was happy to be "doing something" again.

Throughout the afternoon and early evening, the contractions continued to get stronger and I opted to lie in the bath tub for a while to relax. This worked wonders, but when I got out, I was ready to get back in because the contractions were much stronger when I wasn`t in the water.

Around 7:30 p.m., the contractions began to get quite intense and Jesse just pretty much stayed by my side and held my hand through them. My family and some friends had made up some cards with Scriptures on them for me to use during labor and these were so helpful. I found that by focusing on two words from a verse and breathing, the contractions were not easy, but were manageable. I had to just take one at a time and try not to think about anything beyond that contraction. Jesse was so good to coach me through them. He would encourage me the whole way through and when they would start to subside, he would say "only 30 more seconds," "20 more seconds," "10 more seconds" "5,4,3,2,1" "There, you`re done, good job!" In between contractions, I would just focus on relaxing and mentally preparing myself for the next contraction.

By 8:30 p.m., I was beginning to feel we needed to call the midwife and let her know what was going on. I got out of the tub and sat on my birth ball. When a contraction came I would rock on the ball, breathe deeply, and squeeze Jesse`s hands (poor guy, I`m sure his hands must have been sore the next day!). This seemed to be the most comfortable position for me besides the tub. I just kept reminding myself that this was for our baby and it was all worth it.

Jesse called the midwife around 9:30 p.m. and after talking through things with her and letting her know what was going on, they decided we should go to the birthing center. Jesse got everything ready to go while I laid on the couch and tried to relax. At this point, I was so tired that I was falling asleep between each contraction (remember, I had only slept for 2˝ hours the night before). It almost seemed as if the contractions were getting easier and I began to wonder if I had made the right call in saying I thought I was ready to go to the birthing center.

When we arrived at the birthing center, I felt embarrassed that we were there as I thought it was probably going to be hours before I had the baby. I even apologized to our midwife as soon as we got there because I felt I was taking her time and effort and I probably wasn`t really in that hard of labor.

The midwife, Norla, checked me and I was at 4 plus cm and my cervix was paper thin. She said I was definitely in active labor and was there to stay! I could tell she was expecting I was going to be there for quite some time, though.

Almost immediately, I got in the Jacuzzi. It was amazing how good the warm water felt! In between contractions, I was able to almost completely relax and Jesse and I were even talking about other things totally unrelated to the birth. Norla went into the other room to fill out some paperwork and when she came back in about 15 minutes or so later, the contractions had greatly intensified. I had only had a few contractions in that time period, but the pressure and intensity had greatly increased. I felt as if the baby was going to explode out of me.

When Norla came back in and watched me go through one contraction, she immediately realized by the way I was acting that I must have progressed quite a bit (she told us this later). She said she wanted to check me again and when she did, she looked at me and said, "You`re almost done!" I could hardly believe my ears. I asked how far I was dilated and I about flipped when she said "9 almost 10 centimeters." Wow! Was I ever glad we had decided to go to the birthing center when we did. And no wonder I was feeling so much pressure! I was so happy to almost be finished.

Pushing the baby out was the "surprise" for me. I had been fairly well prepared for the labor, but I guess I had not prepared myself for pushing. I soon realized I was going to have to be doing most of the work here. My body had gotten the baby down and ready to come out, but I was going to have to get the baby out. I was a little scared when I realized how much effort I was going to have to extend. I felt tense and nervous about it all. So, for about 15 minutes, I didn`t really push very much and just mentally worked through it all. I had to pray a lot and God just gave me peace. I realized that the baby had to come out and there was only one way - by me pushing! J I had come this far, there was no turning back!

Once I had worked through this, it took me another 15 or so minutes to figure out how to push properly. Once I got "into the groove," it was not that difficult. It was only hard for me because I was quite exhausted and did not seem to have much energy left.

The nurse arrived about this time and she was a huge help and support. Everyone was such an encouragement and they kept coaching me and encouraging me that I could do this. Norla said she saw the head and within a few more contractions, my water broke (we opted to let it break naturally). After a few more contractions, the baby was crowning. The nurse held up a mirror and showed me the baby`s head. That was a great encouragement to me because I knew I was so close to meeting our precious baby. I gave it my all in the next few pushes and she was out! What an incredible feeling to see them hold up our baby for the first time! Almost instinctively, I looked to see what the gender was. I had to look at least three times to be sure she was actually a GIRL! I couldn`t believe my eyes! I looked up at Jesse and said, "It`s a girl!" He gave a shocked expression and had to look for himself to believe it.

What a thrilling moment! Kathrynne Elizabeth, our precious baby girl, had arrived at 1:14 a.m., January 28th, 2005, weighing 7 pounds 13 oz.!

I am so grateful to the Lord for a beautiful birth. It was truly an amazing and positive experience. Jesse was a wonderful coach and I was blessed to have such gracious and caring attendants. God was so gracious and we praise Him for His loving favor in giving us the precious gift of Kathrynne Elizabeth Paine. We are truly thrilled and humbled to be her parents and we pray that we can raise her in the ways of the Lord. That she would, as her name means, be a pure vessel, consecrated to God and fit for the Master`s use.

Crystal Paine is a 24-year-old homeschool graduate from Topeka, Kansas. She is the blessed wife of Jesse and joyful mother of Kathrynne. Visit her site, Biblical Womanhood, for books, articles, encouragement, and inspiration!

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Hannah's Birth Story
When I became pregnant, I knew I wanted to have this child as naturally as possible. Prior to my birth experience, only one other person in my family had ever tried a natural birth and unfortunately, that birth ended in a caesarian. However, I still wanted to see how my body would handle birth without intervention. As a yoga and Pilates instructor, I felt very prepared physically for this birth.

As my due date grew closer, my patience grew less. It seemed that everyone was either calling or asking if we had had our baby yet. I knew that our baby would be born when it was ready, but a large part of me just wanted the baby here NOW. I finally convinced my husband (Michael) to try intercourse to induce labor. Well, it worked. I heard a pop. At first, I was not sure what it was but as I proceeded to the bathroom water started to leak out. Since this was my first pregnancy, I was not sure what was happening. After awhile in the bathroom Michael asked if everything was ok—I responded by telling him I think my water broke. The television portrays a women’s water breaking in one huge gush—that was not true for me at all. It was more like little trickles that occurred every once in awhile.

As the reality sunk it, I called my midwife. This was about 10pm. At this point, I was not having any contractions; she said to notify her when contractions started. About a half hour later, I was having 30-second contractions about 5 minutes apart. This was when we got a little nervous, mostly because we lived an hour away from the birth center. Our plan was to go to my brother’s house (who lived a mile from the birth center) when active labor started. Again, we called my midwife; she did not see an immediate need to head to my brother’s but told us to do what felt comfortable. At 11pm, we left for his house. We arrived there an hour later, he was trying to sleep but his girlfriend was anxiously waiting for us. I am so glad we left when we did because having contractions in the car is not much fun.

Once at my brother’s house my contractions started to change. They grew stronger and longer. I did not want to wake my brother`s roommates or scare my brother’s girlfriend half to death so when a contraction started I went into the hallway. During each contraction, my back just hurt, so Michael would gently rub my back. After another hour, my contractions were close to 1 minute in length and about 2 minutes apart. Michael called my midwife and we decided to meet at the birth center in a half hour. At his point my brother had awaken---or did I wake him (not sure).

Right before I was suppose to leave for the birth center, I threw up all over his bed and my clothes. I then had to borrow clothes from his girlfriend (note to self: next time bring extra clothes and have a bucket near by). As we left, I felt bad for throwing up and thought I had ruined any chance that my brother’s girlfriend would want to have children.

When we reached the birth center, my midwife checked my cervix and dilatation. To both my husband’s surprise and mine, she said I was fully dilated and my cervix was gone. What! I was hoping she said I was at least 6 centimeters. I decided it would be nice to get in a warm tub to ease my back pain. The tub was a little bit of heaven. As the baby dropped, my pain increased, especially in my back so during each contraction someone continued to rub my back. During this time, I was pretty much in a daze. I remember little things like soft music playing, my midwife calmly waiting in the chair next to me, Michael calling our family to tell them to starting driving to the birth center, and Michael reporting that a deer was eating the flowers out in the flower garden. This was so odd because the birth center is in the middle of town. At one point, I remember seeing a small fishing net that you use in a fish tank and I said, “Are you going fishing?” I had no idea what it was for---well I soon found out. It was to clean out the water in the tub—yes, stuff does come out when you push. Did I care, not really—by this point, I was too focused on pushing this baby out than to worry about anything else.

During the “dropping” phase I became very impatient—it felt like it was taking forever and plus it hurt. At different points during this phase, Michael would walk in and out of the room—I thought it must be hard for him to see me like this. After about 1 ˝ hours a head started to appear, along with some blood. As I continued to push, the head continued to stay out but the rest did not come. After a couple of minutes, my midwife said in a very direct voice, “We need to get mom out of the tub NOW!” Yikes. Prior to this, she was so calm and relaxed so I knew she was not kidding but I could not imagine getting out of the tub now. Well, both of my midwives grabbed my arms and helped me out. I then knelt on all fours. She then wanted me to step one leg forward into a lung---I even commented to her “Are you kidding?” Again, they helped me move my leg up. As soon as I did that, the baby just slide out. They quickly wrapped the baby up. Immediately I asked is it a boy or girl—they did not even look. Therefore, I unwrapped this little bundle with blood and other fluids all over it to discover that we had a girl. Hannah Johanna Christina Mroz was born at 3:55am. Then they gave me a stool to squat on and handed me our new baby. Michael got the honor of cutting the cord. Almost instantly, Hannah latched on. About 25 minutes later, I delivered the placenta—what a breeze. I then moved into the bed to relax and bond with my new baby girl and Michael.

For the next hour, they monitored Hannah and me. My family also arrived to see this new addition to our family. Before leaving the birth center Hannah was weighed, measured, and her feet were stamped. I need to go to the bathroom, which was difficult because it stung. My midwife also checked my perineum and discovered that I had torn a little. She then numbed my perineum and sewed it back up.

Right before we were leaving, they asked if I wanted to see the placenta. As they brought it out my family and husband gathered around. We were all very amazed by the role this organ plays in birth—truly a miracle.

At about 8am, Mike, Hannah, my mom, and I left for our house. My family could not believe I was going home so soon and even tried to talk me into staying longer. Less than 12 hours later Mike and I were back home with our new baby girl---what a neat experience!

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C’s birth story
I was working as the Health Unit Coordinator in the local Intensive Care Unit during my first pregnancy. I worked nights, usually from 2p.m-2a.m. on Tuesdays, and 6p.m. – 2a.m. Sundays and Wednesdays. I was scheduled to work through my 40th week, as I hoped to maximize postpartum time off. On Sunday, April 7 (39 weeks, 2 days), I went to work as scheduled, and spent the slow evening feeling oddly crampy. I thought this was in response to the intimacy we had experienced in the hours before I left for work…I had insisted to my husband D that I was ready to have the baby, so we’d better try to get it out! The cramping persisted through my shift, but did not intensify. I got home and slept fine. On Monday, I experienced some Braxton-Hicks contractions which were coming at rather regular 10-minute intervals, occasionally demanding a little attention, but usually just noticed as an intense tightening. When D got home from work we decided to go out for what could be our last dinner with the two of us – I remember shifting about in my seat at regular intervals, but again didn’t think too much of it. I slept normally all night, but when I woke on Tuesday morning, I felt a little strange. I called into work, saying I just didn’t feel very good, and that I wouldn’t be making it in that afternoon. I also made sure to tell them to NOT remove me from the next day, as I was sure I’d be back (silly, silly me). At 3:00 in the afternoon, I was sitting at the computer when I was slammed with a true, intense contraction. It took me completely by surprise, but when it was over, I just continued what I was doing. D was due home at 3:45, so I figured there was no need to call. I continued to have contractions for the next few hours – I would hang onto D or hop into the tub...I remember during a contraction telling D that it was the most painful thing I’d ever felt. Sometime around 5:00, I called my parents and left a message on the machine. For months afterwards, my mom had the message on the tape so I heard it later: “okay, Mom. Now it really, really hurts. Call.” At this point, I expected to be laboring through the night, and my parents were going to come up on the early flight in the morning. Mom called back at 6:15, and I talked for a while; I had the longest gap between contractions during this conversation – so she agreed that I had a long time to go. At some point during the evening, our friend J called from the East Coast. I also spoke with her for a while between contractions. Around 8:00, we thought we should probably let the midwife know that I was having contractions, so she’d be prepared for a middle-of-the-night call when labor really kicked into gear. When she called back, I spoke with her for a few minutes, and she was thinking that I should call again in a while and give an update. Just after we decided on that course of action, I was hit with another contraction, and shoved the phone at D. I think the midwife changed her mind pretty quickly at this point, and told us to come to the birth center just to check on me. We arranged to meet there at 8:30. D put all of our bags, pillows, blankets, tennis ball socks, etc. into the trunk (where they remained!) and we left for the center. I had one contraction in the car – the birth center was all of five minutes away – and it was by far the longest, most painful one I had during labor. I can’t imagine ever driving any farther than that while in labor…(and in hindsight, now that baby #2 was born at home, I can’t imagine ever driving anywhere!). At the birth center, Y greeted us, and did a quick dilation check…fully expecting to hear three or four, I was ecstatic when she said “seven or eight”! D immediately called my parents to tell them to catch the next plane that evening, and I hopped into the Jacuzzi.

I labored for the next hour and a half in the tub, with D doing counter-pressure, as my contractions were concentrated in my lower back. I repeatedly got up to the toilet, thinking I really had to go…but was so far gone into my own world that I don’t actually remember time passing. I know there was classical music playing, and the midwife and her assistant A were preparing for the birth. I also remember Y really leaving us alone, and occasionally checking on me and using the underwater Doppler. By 10:00, I was out of the tub, completely dilated and dying to have the baby. I agreed to an amniotomy at that point, as I was promised it would get me pushing sooner. I sat in a semi-reclined position in the bed for part of one contraction…too many movie images in my head I think…and immediately jumped (as well as a full-term, laboring woman can jump) back out of bed and headed to the birth stool. I did not like pushing. D kept cool washcloths on my forehead while Y and A tried to use hot compresses for my perineum. After some guidance, I was able to focus and direct my grunts, moans and pushes down, and soon D switched placed with A so as to get into position to help catch the baby. At some point I was told to feel the baby’s head, but I thought I was just feeling some of my flesh…it was so soft and nubby, not at all rounded like I thought I should feel. Around this same time, I vaguely remember hearing something along the lines of “now just wait a minute, wait…” but I didn’t connect that it was directed at me. With one final great push, I birthed our baby…no slow crowning, no gradual birth. With a shriek of pain emerging from my lips, Baby C came flying into Y and D’s hands and was immediately raised into my arms. I looked down and saw the umbilical cord and some very swollen genitalia…and said with question, “it’s a…girl?” The midwife looked too, and humorously agreed. I awkwardly moved over to the bed with the baby in my arms and birthed the placenta five minutes later. I did receive a shot of pitocin to help control my copious blood loss, and also had a second degree perineal tear and bilateral periurethral tears…which explained the shriek at the moment of birth! Baby C was wide awake and alert for almost the entire four hours until we left for home. My parents were greeted at the birth center door by D holding their first grandchild about 20 minutes after she was born. She nursed like a champ, and continued to do so for the next 26 months…even through my next pregnancy and for six months along with her home-born baby sister.
 
 

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