Positive information is good for the soul. Our society these days focus on tragedy and destruction. It’s intriguing, yet discouraging to our minds. It brings us down and inside gives us a sense of misery, when we may not actually be or live miserably.
I hear more and more pregnancy and labors viewed and described so terribly. It seriously breaks my heart to hear that the most exciting days of our lives can be so terrible and disturbing. If you have had an unpleasant pregnancy or birth, I hurt with you, seriously! I hope through my positive pep talks, they have given you a sense of encouragement and excitement to have a better experience the next time. I truly believe it is highly possible for you to have a completely different experience, if you choose to make some small (not too much life altering) changes.
Today, I want to share with you some POSITIVE outcomes of both hospital and home birth experiences. These are not all perfect births from beginning to end, but in the end both mom and baby were healthy and safe. There are about a hundred different birth outcomes I could share, but these three have given me their permission and excitement to share with you their experiences with both hospital and home births: My mom, my sister and my sister-in-law.
As I stated earlier, my mom has had 7 births total. Four in the hospital and three at home. My mom was very fortunate with all of her births. Super quick labors! With her first child, she labored at home as long as she could to eliminate as much intervention as possible. She arrived at the hospital and was 10 CENTIMETERS! Talk about cutting it close… Her first son was born 45 minutes after arriving at hospital, ONLY because they made her wait for the doctor. A beautiful red headed son, weighing “7 something” as my mom quoted ha! After 7 kids and 37 years later, I’m not sure I would remember either.
Her second child, she hoped to have the same outcome, so she labored at home as much as possible again. She arrived at the hospital and was also fully dilated and ready to push. 36 years ago an automatic episiotomy was required to eliminate tearing (which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if you think about it). That was the only thing she had to recover from. However, she had a beautiful baby girl weighing 6’13.
Dustin, her third child, was born with Trisomy 18(as stated in first blog). Her water broke 5 weeks early which forced her to go to the hospital. With no progression in dilation and no labor pains, they hooked him up to the heart monitor and said he was in trouble and needed to do an emergency cesarean. Once he was born, they realized he had Trisomy 18 and waited until my mom came to from the anesthesia and brought Dustin to her and my dad before they transferred him to a hospital 1 hour away from her. My mom had to recover in the hospital she delivered in for 5 days before she got released. She didn’t get to see her baby for 5 DAYS! Her parents went to see Dustin everyday to take pictures and would bring them to my mom to show her. My dad took care of the 2 older kids. When Mom finally got to go see him, the doctors sat down with my parents to tell them about his condition. They said he wouldn’t live long, but they could do nothing and let him suffer or keep him comfortable for as long as they could. They chose comfortable, of course. My mom went to see him every day and would sing and talk to him. She wasn’t allowed to stay overnight with him so she recorded her voice so he could hear her voice when she was away. He stayed in the NICU for 2 months before he passed. The doctors and nurses were so nice and very good to them during that hard time, but my parents and my 2 older siblings have nothing but sweet memories for the time they got to have him. He was born 5 weeks early and weighed 2’13. (Now I know why my mom is the strongest woman I know)
Her fourth child was delivered by a scheduled cesarean. My mom didn’t know to ask questions at the time. They just told her once a C-section, always a C-section. Her 3rd son was delivered safely and weighed 8 pounds.
When she got pregnant with me, she had met a midwife who informed her that she can have a natural birth after a cesarean. She had me at home and everything went very smoothly with no complications. I was a big one weighing 9’6. Sorry Mom. However, even with my size her labor was quick, easy and no tearing!
(I don’t have baby pictures to share of all my siblings, but I have an adorable one of me!)
Her 6th child was also a quick birth. However, during delivery when her head was born, the umbilical cord was wrapped so tightly around her neck that the midwife said to continue to deliver and they would unwrap the cord after complete delivery. Everything turned out just fine and no complications arose after birth. Healthy little girl at 8 pounds!
Her 7th and final child was a little more complicated. He was a longer, harder labor. Blake got stuck behind my moms pelvic bone for awhile. Her midwife suggested to change positions to her hands and knees, and just with that simple movement, out he came! Whereas, if she were in a hospital and that situation arose and she was confined to laying on her back, nothing would have changed and it very well could have ended in a 3rd C-section. Instead, she had an easier recovery and he was healthy and weighed 9 pounds.
I have to say with 7 births from the same woman, she got her share of situations that shows us that not all of your births will be the same, but they also don’t have to be traumatic. Even with Dustin. Trisomy 18 is like Trisomy 21 (down-syndrome). It’s not anything that she could have done or did do that caused the 18th chromosome to split. Its just a highly rare occasion for it to happen during conception.
We can all agree that my mom is a rock star, because wow. She didn’t necessarily plan for 7 kids, but I’m so thankful that even after the death of a child, she didn’t give up. Also, without the knowledge of another way, she would have not had us last three, because cesareans took the fun out of her pregnancies and multiple cesareans increase the risk of more complications. Not everyone today has the desire to have a bunch of children, but do you want to be able to make that decision or someone make it for you, because of the events that took place in previous deliveries?
One woman; 7 birth stories; is enough to soak in for one day. My sister has 4 kids, and my sister-in-law has 5(and counting…….maybe) so this post would be as long as the wall of China. But their births get pretty exciting so stay tuned for more positive birth stories, tomorrow! Mine will be on Tuesday! The wait is over!!
During my pregnancy, reading women’s positive birth stories helped me focus on all the GOOD that can happen and not the bad.