Thursday, August 26, 2010

Every Woman Has the Birth She Needs

See these shoes? These Nikes with their bright orange swoosh?  They started walking the halls of Exempla Lutheran Hospital at 8:10AM on Tuesday morning.  They walked from the car to the Labor & Delivery Floor, then they walked up and down the halls of said hospital, rode on the hospital elevator to the top floor and walked down all the flights of stairs to the bottom and did that again and again. These Nike's rock almost as much as their owner.

See this girl, this is my girl. And Mr. Idaho's girl. I have first dibs though. Neener neener.   Meet the owner of the Nike's with the bright orange swoosh.  This is before the nurse ruptured her membranes to bring on labor for a baby that was 10 days overdue.
She even did her hair and makeup--because, as she put it, "I knew Mom would be taking pictures for her blog."  I haveta admit, I did the same thing, only I forgot to be in any pictures. I looked fabli-ous, though, really. 
When the Admitting Nurse asked Dani, on a pain scale of 1-10, when would you like to receive pain medication, Dani replied, "ten".
After her membranes had been ruptured for 2 hours, the Midwife said they would have to start talking about pitocin. Dani said "No thanks. I just need more time."  So she walked, and she squatted, and she sat on the birth ball, and she walked some more. And then she took a warm bath that helped kick her into labor.

She is 7 cm dilated and still on her feet.  But things were getting more intense, so we put her back into the jacuzzi...where she stayed until she was 9 cm dilated. Then she had to get out. And THAT was miserable.  She was comfortable, and coping wonderfully, but this hospital doesn't do water births, so she had to get out. We got her onto the bed, where she kneeled on the edge to help the baby come down easier than on her back. Which, btw, she hated being on her back.  By midnight, she was exhausted.  We all were.
Now this is where my Mother heart is raw and tender. My prayers were constantly for her to have strength to finish this on her own terms. At one point, she said, "I can't do this. I can't do this."  The baby was taking a long time coming down, even after she was fully dilated. Dani continued her breathing rhythm, with Mr. Idaho applying counter-pressure on her hips, and Diana and me at her side, breathing with her, all of us in chorus, praising her efforts and strength.
"You can do this! you ARE doing this! you're amazing Dani!
We're right here. We're so proud of you. Almost done, almost done."
Rubbing her shoulders and arms, applying cool compresses on her neck, and warm compresses on her perineum for her comfort.
All of our actions/thoughts were for her comfort and support.
When she had been pushing about 30-45 minutes, she was in an upright position, leaning back on the bed--she was so tired, and again said,
"I can't do this."
Diana and I were at her feet, rubbing her legs constantly, and I said, "Dani, listen to me, I want you to say: "I CAN DO THIS. Now, say it with me, I can do this. I can do this"--she joined me, and that became her mantra thru several more waves of contractions as she brought the baby down.  Even with tears, she continued,"I can do this, I can do this..." and we all in chorus echoed her words back to her, "You can do this, You can do this!"
Mr. Idaho's eyes were teary, as he became one with his wife. He praised her, loved on her, held her, and was at her side and in her ear whispering every good and kind thing in his heart. When she cried, he cried. Her anguish was his. Her relief was his relief.  She leaned on him and he welcomed every bit of it. The bond that was forged in those hours will carry them thru many other trials, I do believe. He continually expressed his love for her and reassured her that she was 'doing great' and in the process of giving her strength, I do believe he increased his own.
I was in awe of my daughter, clearly, this was a large baby, and we knew that going into labor---we suspected between 8-9 pounds.  Which is alot for Dani's 5'5" frame. We gave her honey stix for energy and the midwife gave her oxygen for renewed energy--which totally helped!
When the baby's head finally crowned, Diana, who had been a quiet supporter, spoke up, "Dani, I can see the baby's head-- you're almost done!"
Dani said, "They've been saying that for hours!"
Diana, knowing her sister so well, said, "They lied. I'm not lying. You're almost done!"
And with just a few more strong, focused pushes,
Garrett Theodore Bradley came into this world.
Ten Pounds, 8 ounces.
Twenty-one and a quarter inches long!

 See this girl. She's not a girl anymore. She is an Amazing, Strong Mother.
There's a Midwife Mantra that says, "Every woman has the birth she needs."
I love witnessing women give birth--it is such an empowering experience...
 it was humbling and emotional and I am left in complete awe of my daughter's strength and determination.   Dani needed to have this baby on her own terms, and she did indeed have the birth she needed.  I have never been to a birth where the baby weighed over 10 and half pounds!  I don't even know anyone who has...Dani earns the Prize. A gold star. She wins!
What a grand day!  
The baby, the Golden Child, is the picture of Perfection--a clone of his beaming father and the pillar of pride for his beautiful Mother.  Of course, I have plans on loving the dickens outta him for all of eternity!
I'm still processing this birth, so I may have left off other details and may come back and add more as I feel, and some of this may be jittery and disconnected.  But here it is.  My real life in my House.

post dated add-ons:  From the time the midwife ruptured membranes 'til the onset of real labor: 6 hours.  From the time of onset of labor 'til the birth 9 1/2 hours.