Finally, our little Diane is accepting to have a nap by herself from time to time... :-) So here it is, my first article since our baby girl has arrived.
As you must know, I had prepared a home birth with a birthing pool that was ready in the middle of my living room. My Himalayan Salt Lamps were ready, my Essential Oils too (especially Frankincense oil), my birth preferences (or birth plan) were printed and everything seemed just in tune and ready for the event.
My waters broke just before I started having contractions. The “contractions” process started slowly but surely. But I was feeling well and confident to be honest. 2 days before giving birth I had a weight lifting session and a 2 hours long walk to the farmers’ market so yes, my pregnancy started and finished amazingly well :-)
The midwives and doulas came by at home when the contractions started getting really strong and long and almost with no pause in-between. Honestly at that point I lost track with time. Apparently I have spent hours with “final stage” contractions, but I didn’t even realize it. Was it painful? Yes. But I felt secure and I thought we were almost at the end, so I just went for it, hoping patiently the baby would appear soon. I must say that the feeling of the warm water when I got into the pool was very soothing. It just felt good. I am so grateful though that I had an amazing support from my husband and my doula. My husband's presence just allowed me to focus on myself and accept the challenging labour process, feeling protected all at the same time. And my doula reassured me that everything was under control and that I didn't have to think of anything else besides...birthing :-) It was difficult but I don’t know how to explain. Even if from the outside it seemed very distressful, inside I felt quite serene…. The power of the mind and soul I guess.
But reality is this: the progression was just too slow. Baby was too high up and my cervix was dilating very slowly. So we had to take a decision: go to the hospital to accelerate the labour. Baby was overdue, and with the intensity of the contractions, and the fact that my waters had broken already, there was a certain risk for complications (I am not going through the details here, but it is mainly infections risk due to the baby ingesting her own meconium, which is her first stool in the amniotic fluid, and the distress in which she was due to the powerful long contractions…).
So yes, that was it. We had to go to the hospital. As I had prepared myself to this possibility, it was ok. My hospital bag was ready… Now all I wanted was a nice delivery for my baby.
So we got there, and they accelerated the labour. I had to have an epidural reluctantly, and just had to surrender to it... Then from there on, everything was really easy for me. I could barely feel the contractions anymore, and as they asked me to finally start pushing, I felt empowered: I knew I was strong. And not feeling the pain anymore, I thought to myself: this is easy now. The doctor who was there wanted to get the baby out as soon as possible. She told me, at 3.30am, that she wanted to use the forceps in order to finish it all. I asked for a few last "pushes" before using them as I felt I could do it by myself…. I finally pushed one more time and they could see the baby’s head. So no forceps needed. That was my own personal triumph :-) And one more push after, baby Diane was here with us, with big open eyes and tons of hair .... :-))
I wanted to share that with you because I think it is important for the people to know that being a holistic lifestyle advocate doesn’t mean that I am against conventional doctors or hospitals. In an ideal world, both sides of health would be able to work together, acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of each other. We were lucky though because in this hospital, the service was really nice with us, accepting our "alternative" type of choices…
My doula took the placenta as planned, and yes people, I did eat it. My husband cooked an amazing meal, fried it in coconut oil with some garlic and other herbs, I am not sure how but I swear, it was delicious!! I am sure it helped me a lot, as I regained energy quite quickly after those long days of labour. And my milk supply went up right on time. Can I be sure that this is all thanks to the placenta? No. But from how I felt after I ate it, I know it helped my body a lot, especially regarding the iron and other essential minerals I needed after labour and pregnancy in general. As you know, I truly believe in nature. All animals eat their placenta after giving birth. There must be a reason for it :-) Experience shows that it helped many women, but there are no clinical proofs yet. Well I am happy I didn’t wait to test it!
When we came back home, I must say that the whole family quickly adapted to each other.
But this will be another post: about co-sleeping (or bed-sharing), the importance to choose a clean chemical-free environment for your baby (the clothes, sheets, nappies, should all be organic and certified GOTS as your baby's skin absorbs all toxins that we put on it, you almost need no cream besides maybe coconut oil or avocado oil very sporadically ....), the importance of breastfeeding and the importance to take care of ourselves as new moms.
This will be part 2 of my story about Baby arriving home :-)
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