Carries Coming By Catherine Darbyshire Print
Birth Stories - First Baby Birth Stories
Wednesday, 18 February 2009 10:25
I got married at age 18, after graduating from high school early and attending a semester of college. About 8 months later I became pregnant. Before I knew I was pregnant I had taken medication for intestinal parasites. This may have harmed the baby. At about 10 weeks I started to spot lightly on a weekend. When I called the OB practice, I had started with I was told to meet the Dr. at the ER. He wasnt very compassionate about what was going on. Just treated me like a dumb teenager who shouldnt be pregnant anyway. He said that he would have to check my cervix to see if it was open or closed and after a very rough & painful exam with a swab I began bleeding bright red blood. This was pre-ultrasound days and after a couple of hours he said that it was impossible for me to continue the pregnancy and that he wanted me to have a D&C. I was left heartbroken and upset with the handling I had and also left with many questions.

In spite of plans to finish college etc. after 1 cycle I became pregnant again. We had moved back to S.Florida, had no health insurance and my husband was working a temporary job. I began to see a kind resident at a clinic who remarked to me one time that it would be "good for me to see a midwife" but he didnt know of any in that area.His brother was a Dr. in N.California and there was a lot more Midwifery being practiced there than most places. At about 10 wks I again began spotting and had a very gentle exam by the resident who told me that my cervix was a little irritated but that was all and he thought things would be fine. That night I began bleeding big drops of bright red blood. I assumed that I was miscarrying again but was determined to just tuck in and go through the process, just my baby & me ,in dignity. Well,amazingly by next morning the bleeding had stopped and after a couple of days of spotting, things were fine.

I had done lots of babysitting in high school for a group of young moms who had young babies or were pregnant. None of them had very positive birth experiences.It seemed to be something to endure and get through. I remembered, the semester I went to college, a group of people who had come from "The Farm"(as in the book Spiritual Midwifery) and talked about, among other things, their midwifery set-up. I was so impressed that women/couples had such positive birth experiences and that their statistics were excellent - better than hospital births for good outcomes. So,we made the decision to go to the Farm and have our baby there. We arrived in January of 1978. I was treated with so much TLC and excellent medical care by the midwives and Dr.s there. I wasn't just a 19 yr old kid who didnt know what she was getting into. I grew more confident, each passing week that I had made the right decision and that I was in good hands.

On March 14th, 1978 we took a long walk. I had been having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions for weeks and noticed that the walking seemed to be really bringing them on more than usual. After returning from the walk, at about 3:30PM I had my first real, very mild,contraction. I was on the phone right away and at about 5PM a midwifery apprentice arrived with all of the birth equipment. She pronounced me to be 3 cm dilated. We were very excited, but confident and relaxed in comfortable surroundings. Someone sent over dinner at one point but I was too excited to eat. At around 8PM a midwife came over and I had an enema. What felt like a piece of cake soon turned into very intense contractions as I also dealt with Intestinal cramping from the enema. A couple of hours later they suggested breaking my water, which again intensified everything. I probably have those 2 things to thank for moving things along so quickly, but I might have appreciated a slower pace! I can remember at times feeling just swept along by the whole process.

I remember getting all of the symptoms of transition - nausea, feeling hot & clammy at the same time and feeling out of it. I started to moan and turn my head from side to side with my eyes closed and the midwife told me to open my eyes and look at her. I was able to regain my focus right away and at 11PM I was ready to push. I pushed for 39 minutes and at 11:39 PM our 7 Lb. Carrie was born. I did tear quite a bit when her shoulders didn't rotate and shot out together, and ended up with a bottom full of stitches but she was so worth it!

The Placenta came out without any trouble and an assistant held wrapped up Carrie next to me while I got all those stitches. She was so peaceful after that beautiful entry into the world and she began sucking her thumb and went to sleep. She is truly a gift from God and has grown into a remarkable young woman. I will always be grateful for the kindness and expert medical care that the people at the Farm provided....