Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lilian's Birth Story - Part II

Shortly after being placed on my chest, Lilian proved that her plumbing was just fine by peeing on me. Twice. And then after the umbilical cord had been cut, she had nursed, and the placenta was delivered, Eric picked her up to take her across the room to the scale. And she proved the other side works too as she pooped good ol' sticky meconium poo on her dear Papai. (Beating her older sister's poop-on-dad standard by a good week!)

At 7 pounds 3 ounces and just over 19 inches long, Lilian scored 8 and 9 on her APGAR. (She was a little purple at first but quickly got pink while laying on my chest.) We opted out of the goopy eye ointment seeing as how that is sort of a ridiculous protocol when the mother doesn’t have syphilis or any other STDs. We had them give her a vitamin K shot but decided to wait on the Hep B vaccine until her 2-week doctor’s appointment. She checked out totally healthy except for having low blood sugar right at birth (most likely due to MY low blood sugar from not eating anything! I was pretty pale and a little shaky after the birth until I gulped down a few cups of juice.) After she nursed a second time, her blood sugar stabilized and stayed up where they wanted it.

After a little discussion post-birth, Eric and I decided to name our little girl Lilian Scarlett. There is no major significance to the name. We both just really liked Lilian (plus it is pronounceable in English, Portuguese, and Spanish) and I’ve always like the name Scarlett from Gone With the Wind. (My girls might not be born in the South, but that doesn’t mean I can’t raise them to be good Southern Belles!)

It was an incredible pregnancy, labor, and delivery! Less than 5 hours from waking up in labor to having a baby in my arms! I was able to achieve a very deep level of relaxation with the hypnobirthing and stayed relatively comfortable throughout the entire process. I never pushed at all – I just let my body do its thing (which is something that hypnobirthing really stresses.)

I've always had only good things to say about Gabriela's birth in Brasil. And I said multiple times throughout this pregnancy that I would go back to Hospital Santa Fe in Belo Horizonte and deliver with Dr. Joao again if I could. But, Lilian's birth was just as fantastic and met/exceeded all my expectations! (With the exception of testing positive for Group B Strep and having an IV for antibiotics - but it was taken out after only about 30 minutes, so it wasn't too bad. And actually it was probably pointless since it wasn't in long enough before the birth for baby to receive any antibiotics anyway.)

I couldn't be happier with the Hypnobirthing (Mongan Method) and am more a believer now than ever in its effectiveness for some women. It takes some commitment to preparation (although this time around, I only practiced relaxing/fell asleep with the scripts for 25 minutes each night for the last month before the birth), but, once I was able to train myself to completely relax and let go, I experienced a very easy birth with relatively little discomfort. It's amazing what happens when you don't have tension in your body during labor and birth! And when I say I never pushed, I literally never had to bear down, never strained, nothing. I laid back with my eyes gently closed and focused on deep breathing and relaxing every muscle in my body. The contractions of my uterus did all the work. The baby just sort of fell out. Except for the fact that it almost happened on the toilet, it was quite anti-climatic, actually. Well, I mean, I did have a baby at the end of it, so I guess I shouldn't say "anti-climatic", but they wouldn't use my birth on a TV show or anything: not enough drama!

With Gabriela, I did push a couple times as the pediatrician in the delivery room was getting nervous about how long she had been hanging out low in the birth canal and was probably a little concerned about how long she was going to have to wait around for baby to be born. So, my OB and doula suggested I push a little. It got her out, but the straining caused a tear that required several stitches. The stitches and swelling caused me a lot of discomfort for a couple weeks after delivery. This time around, I had a teeny tiny tear, but it didn't require a single stitch. I never had any pain or soreness, just a little swelling for the first 24 hours or so. With the exception of some after-pains during nursing, and a little soreness in my back and obliques (probably from picking up Gabriela too much too soon after delivery), I've had a very quick recovery after having Lilian.

We very seriously considered a home birth so that I could have a water birth, which isn't possible at any of the hospitals around here. After talking at length with my midwife about my desire for an intervention-free birth and her confirming that my wishes could be accommodated at our local hospital, we went that route. We were pleasantly surprised at how supportive my nurses were and really had a good experience (minus being woken up multiple times during the night to check my vitals,waking up the baby check her vitals, etc. - I was really ready to get home so we could all get a decent night's sleep!) Besides making sure I had everything I needed, a couple of the nurses were always concerned about Eric too: bringing him snacks or drinks, making sure he had enough blankets/pillows for his little cot, etc. In fact, Eric decided that they could keep us in the hospital an entire week if they were going to wait on him too! :)

Basically, I just can't get over what a great experience we had with Lilian's birth. Eric has commended me on letting him have a full night of sleep before going into labor and for having Lilian born in time to still watch some football that afternoon/evening. (As compared to last time when the hard labor started about 10 pm and then we were up all night until Gabriela was born at 7:30 the next morning!) It has been recommended by several people that he get some training on delivering babies himself if we have more kids though. The first labor was a total of 23 hours. The second 4 1/2 hours. At this rate, the next kid could be born in just 20 minutes! ;)


Amanda said...

So, I know this is ridiculous but I still didn't write your number down and need to chat with ya. Can you give me a call sometime soon?

Lillian is precious and it's so neat to read about your birthing experiences since I didn't have the chance to even think about having any of those options!!!

cherie Griffin said...

Eye ointment thing was interesting to me. Gabe's eyes were shut and swollen for days because "they put too much stuff in them," according to my doctor when I asked about it.

Jane said...

I love that you shared your birth story as I am also very interested in birth/pregnancy. Do you have any books from your doula training that you would recommend?

Laural Out Loud said...

You are so good at telling your birth stories. This was so fun to read!