Thursday, February 28, 2008

Our new baby, installment #28

Much like labor itself, this story may seem to have no end, and to some, it may even be painful. For that, I apologize. But if I could play the role of midwife to my readers, I would say: "Almost there! Don't give up! You've stuck it out this far!"

You would think that I would have many details to share, and that, being a writer by profession, I would have carefully chronicled, perhaps even videoed our planned home VBAC. But I didn't. I didn't want to. I lived every moment of it for myself. So while there were things that I do remember clearly -- the thoughts in my head that played over and over like a skipped record as I was in the birth tub, my lack of self-consciousness, my inability to tell time, my need for silence and the presence of those I knew I could count on -- there are some things about this story I just cannot recall.

I have no idea what my poor husband was doing. I know he was in the room but I did not see him once. My eyes were closed tight. When they were open, I was not seeing. I remember that in that moment, I was dissecting the pain, trying to understand it and get my arms around it. But today, I honestly cannot remember the pain. I cannot explain it. I cannot compare it to anything. Not because it was worse, but because I don't know what it was. I cannot say if I moved from my kneeling position. Ever.

However, I knew the end was near when my hips reflexively thrust forward, uncontrollably. I had read about this. Michel Odent, the French obstetrician credited with "inventing" water birth, calls this, well, something like the reflexive hip thrust! It is nature's way of opening the pelvis to expel the baby. I don't know how many times that thrust happened to me, but sure enough, I felt the head move down quickly. I absorbed the meaning of "ring of fire" and began a high-pitched chant of OW OW OW OW...

The head was out. My midwife reached in. She felt the cord wrapped around the baby's neck. But kept that information to herself.

16 comments:

emjaybee said...

You know, I don't know what's going to happen, but I have been told by many midwives that "cord around the neck" is seldom a crisis situation; the baby doesn't breathe till it's out, so it can't be "strangled" by it's own cord in the womb. The cord can tangle/be too short/have a knot that causes it to break before the baby's head is out, and that is the emergency. I have even had a midwife say that for some babies, the cord around the neck prevented the cord from presenting first, which is extremely dangerous.

But of course, I don't know where *your* story will go....

randiedoula said...

Good greif! The head is out! I am soooooo excited!

Tabitha said...

Yay, the head!

It's going to be an exciting weekend on this blog :). Please don't keep us in suspense too long, Tina!

mommymichael said...

I'm sure I looked like I was having sex with air during Willem's birth. Thrusting my hips, swiveling them around, gyrating my baby out. I labored mostly on all fours on the hard wood floor. I would feel a contraction coming and get to all fours in the bed, but it was too soft and I longed for the support of the hardwood floor.

mom said...

Dear God. The cord was wrapped around his neck? I'm going to get another lecture from gramma today!

Natalie said...

I have also heard the same regarding the cord, emjaybee.
I am excited to hear the rest of the story!
I have a question- maybe you have already addressed this, but I don't remember seeing it-
Did you know whether or not the placenta was anterior?

Natalie said...

Forgot to add, emjaybee, I loved that you added a potential reason for the cord being around the neck, and that it seems that it could actually be a safety mechanism- makes sense to me!

Natalie said...

oh yeah- and was he posterior?

Aubrey said...

This is so funny! I am the same way! I cannot remember for the life of me what the pain was like. My family tells me things I did and I cannot remember doing any of them! They have pictures of me in like 5 different outfits, plus being completely naked, I can't remember ever taking my clothes off, let alone changing into different ones! I thought I was the only one who suffered "labor memory loss" I guess not!

mamaofquiteafew said...

How very exciting! Hopefully the cord-around-the-neck situation (which occurs in 1/3 of all births) is nothing to worry about.

mom said...

I'm going to miss you guys when this is all over! You're all so supportive of eachother.

Tina Cassidy said...

Just to respond to the group of posts -- baby was not posterior (though the first born was)...and the midwife never said anything about the position of the placenta. And as for "having sex with the air"....what an image. I love it!

Tina Cassidy said...

Just to respond to the group of posts -- baby was not posterior (though the first born was)...and the midwife never said anything about the position of the placenta. And as for "having sex with the air"....what an image. I love it!

Tina Cassidy said...

Sorry for the twitchy trigger finger.

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