Birth Story of Alexander Stephen Reid, March 31 2012, Vancouver BC.
They say birth changes you and it really does! Here is the birth story of my beautiful son Alexander.
I have been having cramps and backaches for the past 3 weeks, which is amazing my body is getting so ready. My nipples have changed into nurturing breasts. Liquid has started to trickle out. I was losing my mucus plug slowly a few days prior to going into my birthing time.
Each night I fall asleep I wonder if the greatest gift I will ever know will arrive. On March 31st I woke up after an 11-hour sleep. Which was very unique as I never sleep that long. That should have been a sign that this was the special day! I felt great all day and went for a reflexology massage on my feet hoping this may help to bring birthing on. My due date (guess date) was March 27th. At 10pm pressure waves began. At first I wasn’t sure what it was then they weren’t stopping. They began rather quickly at 5-6 minutes. I had a bath and they did not slow down so we knew then we were in our birthing time. We called our Doula, Bir Kaur & my Mom. They came over at midnight. I was moving along and pressure waves seemed to be speeding up. At 3am our Midwife Tracy came over.
I was handling each pressure wave so beautifully. I felt so in tuned with my body. I danced lots. One song I played over and over was Angelique Kidjo, Sweet Lullaby. I felt such a connection to the African music. For relaxing music I listened to Snatam Kaur. I was dancing naked on my balcony and loving it! Andrew and I then got into the pool at 3am. The water was amazing; so relaxing. At 6am I went outside and did some lunges and climbed some stairs. The pressure waves were very strong but it felt good to move around. Never once did I feel pain, as birth to me was never to be painful. I see it as a dance of transformation. Each pressure wave brings my baby closer. So we dance and move to meet each other. Andrew and I danced and kissed. Those were some of the juiciest kisses we have ever had! I really owned the entire process, I felt I was transforming with each pressure wave.
At 8am my midwife checked me and I was still at 5cm dilated. The pressures waves were slowing down and she was concerned that Alexander was not turning. He was still in a posterior position. She suggested that we go to the hospital to get help in turning him. So off we went. I was on all fours in the back of the car. I kept my eyes closed, as I did not want to lose how I felt being at home. Going from home to hospital I still owned where I was.
3 hours after arriving at the hospital there was no change so they gave me Pitocin. Pitocin is a liquid medication that is a synthetic form of the naturally occurring hormone, oxytocin. This was to help speed up my birthing and help turn Alexander. This meant I then needed an IV, and continuous monitoring for heart rates. Pitocin brings on incredibly intense pressure waves. It was the worst part of labour. With Pitocin I had no rest period between pressure waves. In this moment I felt I was losing myself. I took some gas (nitro) to take the edge off. I remember the gas and the sound it made, I felt I was morphing into the gas. I was so out of it. They encouraged me to take the epidural. I kept fighting against it. I wanted a natural childbirth! My midwife said I really needed it so that my body could rest. I had a lot of work ahead of me and I needed the rest. I said yes. Those contractions were out of this world, not natural at all… The epidural I got was amazing. I felt in control again. I could still move around on hands and knees and in a squat position. I refused to be lying down as a birthing position; I would use gravity and my body movements to help baby along.
Next stage; the doctor comes in and says she doesn’t think she can turn this baby and implies it may be a C-section. She then said she would come back in 2 hours. I cried… how do I come from a home water birth, to this? Everything changed right there. Being a challenge-driven person, I thought, “I will show her!”
I had 2 hours to turn my baby. Andrew and I did a mediation to turn him. Thoughts are connected to physiology… so we told my body parts to make it happen! So did my Mom and I. We sang and chanted. We sang Ra Ma Da Sa by Snatam Kaur over and over. This song puts me in a hypnotic state.
2 hours later, the doctor comes back and Alexander had turned and I was 8 1/2 cm dilated. Amazing!!! Baby had turned with no medical intervention! Good baby!! I finally got to 10cm and it was Alexander’s show time! He was working so hard. I remember my Midwife Liz saying he’s really enjoying the entire process. His heart rate never once changed. (It’s common for baby’s heart rate to drop with an epidural and lead to complications). Apparently I have strong pelvic floor (thanks yoga!) as he had to work hard to get through it. He then got stuck in my pelvis. I have a boney pelvis I was told.
With the first doctor now off shift, the next doctor comes in. He had such a great presence. I immediately knew he would help me. He says we have two options, C-section or trying forceps. We go with forceps. They then increased my epidural so I could not feel what they were doing. Alexander was just nudged around the stuck area of my pelvis. I pushed him out, for the last bit all I could hear was my beloved Andrew encouraging me to push. I am sad that I could not feel him coming out but we had a great outcome.
28 hours after pressure waves started, Alexander was born at 2:54am on March 31, 2012.
The moment I saw him there are truly no words to describe how I felt. Love beyond anything I ever thought possible; limitless love. I am so honoured to be a mother and I thank my dear son for already teaching me so much. He is a warrior just like his mother. We worked so well as a team. We are one. I see myself in such a different way now. I knew I was an incredibly strong woman but now I know I can do anything! Never give up or give in. We can always go further. You just have to find that deep inner strength and hold on.
Congratulations Karina & Andrew! It was such a pleasure having you two in class and I’m so happy to hear that you had such an empowering birth experience, despite it being very different from what you had originally envisioned. I’m inspired by your courage and strength!
For more information about Hypnobabies or to find a class near you please visit www.Hypnobabies.com
For classes with me in Vancouver (Downtown & Main St.) please visit: www.cultivateyourhealth.com