Friday, January 13, 2012

Preggy Time: Third Trimester, Labour and Delivery...and Now :)



I didn't have time to finish my third trimester blog before the baby came so I thought I'd write about everything up to now all in one entry :)  Mostly because at this point, the 3rd trimester is just a distant memory since time with the baby has thankfully been a blissful experience for me....and....the labour part...or mostly the pain of it...trumped any of the peaceful memories of the 3rd trimester! :P

The third trimester was smooth sailing for me except that the baby grew and grew and became heavier and heavier to carry around.  I also should have just lived in the bathroom as all the pressure on my bladder made me visit the little girl's room every 45min-1hr!  Our little girl was breech until the 35th week and then she remarkably turned!  We went to Miami for one last quick getaway and I did a lot of swimming which, I swear, did the trick.  I also had Makoto give me frequent acupuncture treatments to help turn the baby and I spent as much time as I could walking on my hands and knees up and down our living room.

Labour and Delivery -  We had a quick and completely natural birth.  But.....Oh.  My.  Gawwwwwwwwd.  Ok....I don't want to scare any of my patients or my friends that are soon to give birth...and please keep in mind that every birth experience is different...but HOLY SCHMOLY was it ever painful!  People keep asking me to describe it...and the closest way I can describe it...which is still a very distant comparison....is going in for a root canal without proper anesthesia!  The entire process was a fast one for us.....8hrs from start to finish.  I...of course, being the first time mom and naturopath that I am, decided that I would try for a natural labour.  This meant that I was not prepped for an epidural....so of course, half way into it, when the contractions really started kicking in (oh...and I was that *lucky* girl that quickly progressed from contractions 20min apart to 1min apart within an hour...and...to top it off...they came in PAIRS) I begged my nurse (who was aweeeeeeeeeeeeesome!!) for an epidural.  Buuuuut....apparently the hospital was TOO BUSY and there were no anesthesiologists available to give me an epidural!!!  I seriously wanted Makoto to find a blunt object and knock me out with it!!  It's amazing how the availability of the anesthesiologists can dictate how many natural births may take place!

So basically....I was lying on the bathroom floor in the delivery room like a crazy wild woman....in so much pain that I could barely move.  Makoto was super supportive but there is honestly so much your partner can do for you at this stage.  He tried everything to make me feel better....held me in the different position that we practiced that was *suppose* to help decrease the pain, massage my lower back, telling me loving words, bringing me nanaimo bars (which usually makes me so incredibly happy)....but really, I just had to close my eyes and focus through the pain.  When I seriously thought I was going to pass out, our nurse (who was VERY pro natural birth) asked me to get in the bath tub.  She had placed an exercise ball in there and wanted me to sit on it.  I re-iterate....I COULD NOT MOVE.....but her and Makoto somehow convinced me to get in the tub and sit on the exercise ball.  She then placed a stream of warm water on my lower back and had me lightly bounce on the ball.....whatever the mechanism is, it totally worked!  The pain went from super @#$%(@ craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy ouchie to just craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy ouchie...enough to get me through another hour of contractions...and enough to get me to fully dilated!! 

I have heard that the pushing stage is suppose to "feel refreshing"....uhhhhhh.....this was not my experience.  Pushing is like having to have a crazy workout when all you want to do is pass out from exhaustion.  My team of medical doctors (there were 3 interns in the room with us that doubled as our cheering squad :):):))  and nurse kept telling me to "push through my bum and not my legs"...what the heck does that mean?!?!?  Oh...did I mention that they make you hold your own legs up while pushing!!!  Your knees literally need to be at your ears.  Ladies who are about to give birth...seriously practice this at home before going in!!  At one point, they asked if I wanted a mirror to see the top of the baby's head....in my delirium, I said "sure".  That lasted about 2sec......you think that you would be motivated by seeing your babies head but instead, all I saw was craziness down there....and I certainly didn't want to keep watching unrecognizable things happening to my body!!!! :P

After about 45min of pushing, our sweet little angel came into this world....it was early afternoon and the sun was streaming into the room.....I'll never forget that moment for as long as I live :)

At this point, you still have to deliver the placenta and this is when you get stitched from any tearing but because the baby was now peacefully laying on my chest, I don't even remember if that part was painful or not.  Since there were no complications during the delivery, they actually let Makoto have the last pull of the baby and place her on my chest!!  That was VERY AWESOME :) 

Here are some things we learned:
1.  Makoto and I laughed as we unpacked our hospital bag when we came home....we packed a head massager, massage lotion, all my hypnobirthing materials, a wide selection of music, reading material, snacks, essential oils, natural bubble bath........we didn't even have a chance to touch this stuff.  What we did use and were so incredibly thankful that we did pack was a HEATING PAD.  Makoto would place this over my back, chest, tummy....whatever I needed during the delivery and it really helped to soothe me in between contractions.  We also gave our nurses the natural diapers and diaper balm that we packed so that they could use them right from birth.

2.  Even if you want to try for a natural birth, be open to asking your medical team to prep you for an epidural...juuuuuuuuuuuust in case you change your mind. 

3.  Don't be too attached to your birth plan.  I had been practicing hypnobirthing techniques all throughout my pregnancy....ummm....I listened to my hypnobirthing track on my IPod for about 15sec....it did not work for me.  What did work was listening to relaxing music for the early stages of my contractions.  We also wanted to try for a squatting birth to help decrease perineal tears....but in the end, I was on my back.  Be open to trying all different types of techniques.....you don't know what will work for you and what does work may change hourly so keep switching it up!

4.  Our nurse pulled out a bottle of olive oil and gave me a perineum massage in between contractions while in the pushing stage to help stretch things out and decrease tearing.  Apparently all nurses are trained to do this and most hospitals have olive oil in the delivery rooms just for this purpose!!

5.  No matter how crazy the pain is, you do honestly forget about it once the baby arrives :)  Ok.....it may take a week or two to forget about it but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat to meet my little baby.

I can't believe how fast the time has gone by.  Baby Aria is doing great!  She is a good little feeder and sleeper...thank heavens!  I highly recommend spending the first month hibernating (I seriously lived in pajamas for a month) so that you can bond with your baby and take your time learning how to breastfeed, survive the night waking and teaching yourself how to function on interrupted sleep.  It's amazing how tired I am in the middle of the night yet I still get excited to wake up and see her and can't believe how much time Makoto and I can spend just watching her sleep :) 

I highly recommend motherhood
 :)
Aileen Lim-Trotter
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