For some reason this past week my mind has started to explore and think about this little one's birth. My last birth was certainly a wonderful journey, and one that I think was a necessary part of my experience, but also one that I would rather not repeat if I don't have to. My son Kris's birth happened at a very nice hospital in North Austin. I delivered with an amazing midwife/obgyn team, who I trusted completely. It was that trust that I think got me through what was a rather difficult labor...
My water broke on Saturday evening, and by Sunday morning I still had no contractions. My midwife suggested that we start inducing that morning, because I would likely have more energy at that point than after a day of waiting around. By law, a hospital has to start induction within 24 hours of a woman's waters releasing. In an effort to simulate natural birth as much as possible, we decided to start a very low dose of pitocin that morning. Unfortunately, by about 2-3 AM on Monday morning I was still only about 5 cm dilated. It was getting to the point where an epidural or even C-section might be on the table. From what I can remember at about 4 AM the contractions were really intense and Kris's heart rate dropped. At that point they stopped the pitocin for a short time, and let me get some rest. They started the pitocin up again and finally by about 4 am I was 7 cm dilated, and by 5:30 am I was fully dilated. Somehow I was able to push my beautiful Kristopher out by about 6:00 am on Monday morning. I am extremely blessed that pitocin was the only medical intervention I needed during the birth, but certainly felt constrained, constant fetal monitoring, non-stop IV's, pitocin, and very little food if any. Walking to the bathroom and hospital bed were about the only movement options I had. In looking back I think I can honestly say that was my journey with Kris, but also that I would love to at least set an intention for a more natural experience this time around. One that allows my body to go through the journey without an induction.
Given my ease of pushing last time, and my health last time, so far during this pregnancy I am a good candidate for a home or birth center experience instead of the hospital. So this time my husband and I are planning to use a birth center located directly across the street from a great teaching hospital in San Antonio. I will admit that I did and still have a few personal fears about avoiding the hospital model because of my ingrained thoughts growing up, but the more I learn the more confident I feel in this decision for our family. I was able to listen to a great interview with Dr. Aviva Romm, and read her blog about choosing a birth location, and feel that at least so far this is a great choice for me. I think and know for myself that being able to relax and surrender completely is crucial in my birth journey, and unfortunately, something I didn't feel I was able to experience in my last birth.
If you are on the fence about where to birth, I highly recommend checking her out, and becoming empowered to make the right decision for your family. Stay tuned to my next blog for more about birthing options, and some great insights from a recent set of workshops I was able to listen to.
With Love, Kerry