Jihad's Birth Story By Charisse Print
Birth Stories - Birth Center Birth Stories
Monday, 09 February 2009 09:20

This pregnancy was a planned surprise. Planned because I had began drinking herbal teas to help facilitate ovulation and tone my uterus. Surprise because we were planning to begin trying in August so that my EDC would be in May after classes, and I became pregnant in July. At any rate my husband and I were ecstatic.

My first sign of my little one began while I was training to become a Birth Doula. I had some dizzy spells and I was constantly going to the bathroom I chucked it up to all the birth stuff we were doing and that I'm a hypochondriac :). I took a home pregnancy test the Saturday after the training and it was positive.

I called my midwives first thing Monday and set up an appointment. They are a group of four who operate out of a hospital in Brooklyn, NY. I had three prenatal appointments with them but decided that I didn't want to have my baby at a hospital. I was worried about interventions and what would happen to my baby afterwards. I wanted to have a natural birth this time, with my son I had pitocin and an epidural. So I decided to have my baby at a new birthing center in Brooklyn. I felt much more comfortable and at ease.

When we told our four year old son Jalani that mommy had a baby in her tummy he was a little confused. He pulled my shirt up and then looked at me as if to say I don't see any baby so I told him the baby had to grow. And that it did and the bigger my stomach got the more excited Jalani became. He maintained that his baby was a brother and argued with anyone who referred to the baby as a girl or she. DH and I decided that we didn't want to know the sex of the baby this time. However when I had my 18th week sonogram I asked the technician to write it on a piece of paper and to place it in an envelope. I took it home and the temptation was so strong but we decided to wait so we burned it.

My pregnancy was going well and I just knew that I was going to have this baby early because I could just feel it all in my hips. The week before my EDC I asked to be checked and I was only 1-2 centimeters. My blood pressure was a little high so the midwives told me to come in on Monday April 17th which was my EDC.

I went home and took some castor oil to try and get things going . Something told me that I needed to have this baby and soon. Nothing happened except that I was on the throne for hours  Monday came and my BP was still high so they scheduled a NST for me on Thursday just to check things out. When I went home I tried some nipple stimulation and DH's favorite sex to try and start labor but alas nothing. We continued these methods along with some blue and black cohosh but still nothing. On Wednesday I decided to try castor oil again.

At around 3am I began to get some mild irregular contractions. So I started to prepare for my impending birth. I got out my CD of musical water falls and inflated my birth ball. And then I got in the bed and went to sleep. At around 6am I was awakened by a ctx. I put on my CD and sat on my birth ball and laid my head on the bed. The ctxs were coming every 3-5 minutes and I was uncomfortable so I got out my rice sock and heated it up, I put on my stomach and this worked wonders I fell asleep again. I only woke up when my sock became too cold. I would run, nuk it and all was well. This worked until around 9am I got up and took a shower this too was wonderful. The ctxs weren't that bad and I was coping just fine. While in the shower I did a self vaginal exam. I guesstimated about 3cms and felt my water bag bulging. I got out of the shower woke my DH, called my two doulas/friends; and my mommy so that she could come and take care of Jalani.

I alternated between the shower, birth ball/rice sock and walking for awhile. The ctx were still really manageable I ate, talked on the telephone and fixed breakfast for Jalani who was very excited. I called the midwives at 11am and told my mommy that she should come over now. My mom couldn't believe how well I was dealing with the ctx but at this point they were a little stronger than menstrual cramps and I didn't want to talk anymore. I called my doulas and told them to meet me at the birthing center. It was a beautiful spring day the sun was out and it was very warm. I began to put on my slippers when I realized my toenails could do for a fresh coat of polish so my mommy painted them :). After my toes dried my ctxs began to change and they began to wrap around to my back. After a few more of these ctxs I decided that we should go to the birthing center before I became too uncomfortable to sit in a car for the 20 minute drive. My DH grabbed my bag, the video camera and my birth ball and off we went. What a sight we must have been him lugging all of this stuff and me waddling.

When we arrived at the birthing center Beth one of my doulas ran out to help us with all of the "baggage". My midwives were at the door to greet me. I went to my favorite room and began to set up for my birth. I took out my bathing gear for the tub, lit my scented candles, took out my oils, filled up my water cup and dimmed the lights. My other doula Robin arrived while I was doing all of this and laughed at me because I was busy getting the room ready.

We arrived at around 1:30pm and the ctx seemed to be much worse. We labored for awhile before the midwives came in and checked me I was 3-4 cms. Janet one of the midwives checked my BP and told me that it was still a little high and that she wanted me to lay on my left side for awhile and to get into the tub later to see if this would bring it down. I didn't like laying on my side and found my ctx to be five times worse. My doulas and DH weren't too happy about this either. I was begging my body to work with me and to let my BP go down because I knew that they would want to transfer me. Robin and Beth tried their best massaging my back and feet and helping me breathe but this wasn't working for me. I wanted Janet to break my water but she wouldn't, I felt this would speed things along and was really mad that she wouldn't do it. Later they told me why they couldn't do it and I was happy that they didn't. We decided that I would get in the tub. We ordered lunch while Robin ran the water for me. I got into the tub with only candlelight and Robin sat on the toilet to keep me company. I stayed in there for about thirty minutes and got out to eat lunch.

I labored for a little while before Janet checked my BP again, it hadn't come down and she felt that we should transfer. I was very upset because I felt completely fine and had no other symptoms and I couldn't understand why I couldn't just stay there. In my heart I knew that I was going to have my baby at the birthing center and I couldn't understand why they didn't know this also. I was also upset because I didn't have an alternate Birth Plan for a hospital birth. Being a Doula myself I always tell my clients to have a plan A&B and here I was without one. I asked Janet to check me one more time before we left, I was stalling for time Janet checked me and I was only 4cms. Fran my other midwife came in and began to rub my arm and leg trying to console me. She didn't know it but I had no intentions of leaving without a fight. I remember saying to myself that they would have to drag me out of there. I had a few ctxs during all of this and I had to go to the bathroom really bad. As I got up I felt a rush and water ran down my leg it was about 2:45pm. I announced that my water just broke and ran to the bathroom. I don't think that Janet believed me because I could hear her and Fran debating on whether or not it really broke. My ctxs changed drastically and they were hurting really bad and I felt as if I had to make a BM. Robin was in the bathroom with me and I was telling her I had to make a BM and that it hurt so bad. She said "I know, breathe, don't push" and called for help. Janet wanted to check me but I wouldn't let her. I didn't want anyone to touch me I was in a different place now and I just wanted to be left alone. When I got back to the bed Janet checked me again and I was 6cms I had jumped 2cms in a matter of minutes. I progressed so much that the midwives decided to see if I would deliver soon. As I had said before the ctxs changed and they were almost unbearable. Robin and Beth helped as much as they could working my back, legs and helping me breathe while my DH held my hand. I began to get vocal and I was bellowing WOOOOO, WOOOOO with every ctx. Things get a little blurry from here on, I felt as though I was going crazy. I began to tell them that I couldn't do this, my husband whispered "yes you can you want this birth and you can do this" I told him I wasn't strong enough he said "not only are you strong enough your mean enough too". A little while after this I started to doze off, good old endorphins to the rescue!! I don't know when they checked my BP again but they said that it was too high and that they were going to call the ambulette. At this point I was happy! I told them to get my stuff ready because I wanted some Stadol! Robin said "no you don't , next you'll tell me you want some Demoral". I told her some crack and cocaine too just as long as the pain stopped! I heard someone say they'll be here in 20-25 minutes. Just then I asked for my shoes and sat up and I actually felt my baby move down. I suddenly felt an overwhelming urge to push I made this primal sounding grunt and screamed "it's coming out" again Janet looked at me like I was crazy because I couldn't be ready. I know she thought I was BSing and trying to get out of a transfer. But, at this point I really wanted some medication and having that baby naturally and at the birth center was the farthest thing from my mind. My husband ran to get the camcorder and camera while the midwives set up for a birth. I got on my side Beth held my right leg back with one hand and fanned me with the other. Robin held my hand and whispered "push girl push" and "breathe for the baby". I pushed maybe three times when they told me the head was crowning they didn't have to tell me I felt the infamous ring of fire! Whoa Mama! A few more pushes and my baby was born. They put the baby on my chest and my DH bent down and announced IT"S A BOY. We had another son. He didn't cry, but I could feel him breathing on my chest and knew that he was fine.

The ambulette arrived a short while later but we were already done so they sent them away. I put him to my breast and he latched on quick and strong. Usually I would have gone home that same day but they decided to keep me overnight for observation. So DH and I ate, called a few people and then settled into the same bed and went to sleep. The Birthing Center experience was truly awesome. I felt totally safe and secure, I had my support team and two great midwives who helped me have a terrific birth experience. Anyone who truly wants a natural birth and trusts in themselves and their bodies to do the job should definitely give birth at a birthing center.

Jihad Che 6lbs. 8.5ozs, 21 3/4ins born at 5:34pm on April 20, 2000

Check out Jalani's Birth Story