Let me preface this with I strongly believe in everyones right to choose how they want to give birth. You should do what you think is best for you and your baby. Whether you want an epidural, non-medicated, repeat c-section, home birth, etc. its totally up to you! Same thing for breastfeeding, formula feeding, using a bottle, and/or a binky. I don’t want someone to tell me how to have my baby, and I would never do that to someone else. Raise a respectful, happy kid and you’re doing it right in my book. The debates between moms on this stuff is ridiculous!
Anywho! I planned to do this post before I had little man but that clearly failed; so it is now a 2 for one. I decided long ago that I wanted to try and have him without the use of any medication. I did my research and decided this was likely the best option for me. I read books, did research (not on google, blogs, and peoples opinions; in medical journals, from the CDC and ACOG), and ultimately we decided to take a class. We opted for a Bradley class and it was fabulous. The combination of these things allowed me to make good educated decisions about what our birth plan would be. Hubs supported this 100%. He did some good whining about classes but after we had Anthony he said it was totally worth and it really prepared him for what would happen.
Our ultimate goal was obviously a healthy baby and mom. I wanted to be in a hospital for all the “just in cases'”. In the event something was wrong I wanted to have doctors right there; with that being said I wanted to stay home as long as possible. I knew I would be more relaxed at home in my own environment. I could get in and out of the tub if I wanted, go for a walk, eat, drink, bounce on my birthing ball, and do what I wanted. We devised a plan and wrote it out for when we got to the hospital. At my 36 week appointment the doctor I saw approved it and said all looked good. His exact words were “this looks good…I hope I am on call. Non-medicated births are fun and badass”. While I love all the docs at my practice I was secretly hoping he was on call that day (and he was!).
Here is my birth plan as it was written out (thankfully lots of these things were standard operating procedure at my hospital):
Our primary goal is a healthy mother and healthy baby.
We strongly believe in labor and delivery as a natural process. To ensure the health and safety of mother and baby we desire a non-medicated, safe, and natural labor and delivery experience.
Labor & Delivery
- Assuming no complication, we prefer to labor without the assistance of labor stimulants or pain medication. If pain medication or stimulants are desire they will be requested, please do not offer them.
- Please allow membranes to rupture naturally (no stripping of membranes during vaginal exam, or artificial rupture before or after labor begins). If medical team feels either are necessary please discuss options and medical indications beforehand.
- Please no IV fluids during labor unless necessary for treatment of an abnormality. We plan to stay hydrated through oral fluids.
- Although we understand some time on the electronic fetal monitor is unavoidable, please limit its use as much as possible in order to facilitate freedom of movement during labor. To ensure adequate monitoring of the baby, we would prefer intermittent auscultation per ACOG guidelines.
- Please limit vaginal exams to admittance, during the pushing stage, and for specific medical indications only.
- We would like access to shower during labor, and ask for freedom to labor (1st and 2nd stage) in whatever positions provide comfort and encourage progress.
- During delivery, assuming no overriding complications, please do not perform a routine episiotomy. We prefer the risk of a tear to this surgical procedure.
- Unless baby or mother is in crisis we wish for him to be delivered directly onto the mothers abdomen. Once the cord has stopped pulsing and been cut, we wish for the baby to be handed to father, at which time standard necessary infant exam may be done (APGAR and vitals check). Once the baby starts exhibiting breastfeeding cues we wish for the baby to breastfeed.
- Please delay cord-clamping and cutting the cord until the cord has stopped pulsating and/or the placenta is delivered. When it is time to cut the cord we would like for Nick to cut it.
- We wish to delay standard newborn procedures for at least one hour (weighing, measuring, bath, eye ointment, vit K, newborn exam, etc.) for the purpose of bonding.
- Assuming there is no immediate threat to mother or baby’s health, we ask that the baby please delay any immunizations or routine tests required by law until after this bonding period.
- Since we will be exclusively breastfeeding please do not give baby any bottles, rubber nipples, sugar water, etc. Please check with us before providing a pacifier.
We were excited about the plan and felt really good about it. Per the Bradley class the plan was to leave for the hospital at “3-2-1 GO!” Talk about easy for a crossfitter to remember huh? That stands for contractions 3 minutes apart, for 2 hours, and 1 minute long…then you go to the hospital.
So how did it actually go down you ask? My birth story as I recall it (some which was filled in by the hubs). Be warned I use words like “discharge” and things below so stop reading if you are gonna be all “eeewww she said discharge!”
On April 22, I woke up at 3am cramping and thought maybe this was it but same thing happened last week and after working out everything stopped. I went back to sleep around 4:30 then got up like normal. Told DH I thought maybe I was in labor but was going to go workout and coach my normal 9am class. I went to the gym and worked out with my normal people, still cramping which were apparently contractions 12-15 minutes apart. On the way home I stopped for gas and then decided to start cooking myself breakfast around 10:30.
I had just put bacon on the stove and thought maybe I peed some on myself or that it was discharge (happens when you are 9 months pregnant). So, I changed out of my spandex and threw on mesh shorts. 3 minutes later I was like “ummmm I think my water broke” because I had a cramp then a trickle of fluid that ran down to my ankle. I went and changed for the 3rd time in 10 minutes and was calm as could be. At 10:44 there was no question my water had broke as there was a huge gush and soaked through a pad, underwear, and my sweat pants.
I wanted to stay at home as long as possible and figured we had lots of time. By the time I had finished breakfast my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart but only 30-45 seconds long. Our plan was to leave when they were 3 minutes apart and at least a minute long consistently for about 2 hours.
I decided I would shave my legs and take a bath at around 1130am. I made it through shaving my legs and decided to get in the shower and wash my hair and such instead of just hanging out in the tub, as sitting was not comfortable. We called the doctors office since I had an appointment at 1:30 (which is why the hubs was home from work). They said if my water broke I could go to labor and delivery but if I could still talk through contractions we could wait a bit longer.
I was very happy to be laboring on my hands and knees. At some point the dog was outside and heard me moan and proceeded to scream and cry till hubs let her in. She proceeded to lay next to me as calm as could be until we left.
Around 1pm DH loaded the car and we decided we probably needed to leave. Little to say that was a bit too late. We got to hospital at 1:39 (official check in time), and there was no question I was in full transition in the car. At some point I told DH I thought I was going to throw up, we quickly learned my new SUV takes corners well at a pretty good speed. They sent me to triage to make sure water had broken. Keep in mind I was on my hands and knees at admissions and it was clear I was in labor. There was another woman likely in early labor hanging out in a wheel chair and as I was on my hands and knees she looked terrified (oops).
They checked me and I was 7cm and they sent me immediately down to labor and delivery; they made me stay in the bed and I was not happy about it. My doc was in surgery. I told DH I wanted the drugs at that point because I was having constant contractions, and they clearly hurt! Thankfully he was like give it 15 minutes and if you still want them you have to be the one to ask the doctor.
The doc got there the first words out of my mouth were “Dr. XYZ this sucks!! Give me the epidural”. He laughed and was like “ummm no and that’s not what you wanted and you know it”. He wanted to check me and before he cold get gloves on I was insisting the baby was coming NOW!”
Doc was like let me check and we will see. He was like “yup he is right there”. The nurses hardly had time to drop the table, get new gloves on my doc, and get everything ready. Baby was out 10 min later. I think I pushed like 12 times and that was over 4 contractions. At some point towards the end I was like screw waiting for a contraction and I asked if I could just push him out before the contraction. The doc was like you do what you want. I pushed that final time and he was here.
We were going to delay cord clamping but baby pooped on the way out so we couldn’t. DH cut the cord and Anthony was screaming. 7lb 9oz and 21” long. He is perfect. I made hubs go count his fingers because he would never show them. Then hubs brought him to me. I was admitted at 1:39 and had him at 2:24 so things moved very fast! Lesson learned I labor fast so go a bit earlier! I am thrilled to have gone med-free and only had a slight tear and only 4 stitches.
I’ve had an amazing recovery and feel great. I am very fortunate to have had a non-complicated pregnancy, delivery, and recovery. I really attest most of that to staying in good shape, not over eating, and being logical and making good decisions when pregnant. We were discharged 26 hours after I was admitted and we were thrilled to go home.
Now for some serious cuteness in the last week.
Please tell me again how the dog is going to try to eat him. They are BFFs already.
He is breast feeding like a champ! We have chosen to exclusively breast feed before introducing a bottle between 3 and 4 weeks. That way hubs can feed him too. I am not WODing until the 11th and it will be easy and light until I am officially cleared by the doctor on the 18th. We are back to eating super strict paleo as of yesterday (exactly to my plan of home and situated for 10 days then back at it). I know I’ve lost a lot of muscle and have some pounds to shed but in time. I am focusing on diet for now and then hitting the gym hard again once I am cleared. I am also pretty sure my boobs weigh 10 pounds currently. I am up about 11 pounds from pre-pregnancy but again theres lots of muscle to put back on; and its not about the scale. Heres a picture from 2 days before I delivered and 2 days after for comparison.
More posts soon on getting back in the swing of things, food, goals, and much more! What are your goals? Tell me about some short term ones, long term ones. They don’t have to be huge they just have to be something to strive for.