Friday, September 16, 2011

A Birth Story

The months leading up to Corban’s birth were wrought with emotion. Lots of emotion. Lots and lots of them. And the thought of labor itself often made millions of butterflies take my breath away as they took flight inside of me. But around Aug 1st, I decided to confront my fears about it and try to prepare. I read Childbirth Without Fear and Ina May’sGuide to Childbirth. I wholeheartedly recommend both because they helped me get some perspective, but neither prepared me fully for labor and birth as it was to be for me.

Contractions started Saturday night after dinner with friends at our house. After a few episodes of contractions 10 min apart, I wasn’t convinced it was the real thing…and wouldn’t be for hours and hours. But sometime in the wee hours of Sunday, August 21, Mark called his parents and asked them to come stay with our kids. Contractions were 8-10 min apart when I was laying down, but every 3 minutes when I was up moving around. So the great conundrum of the world was, do I stay laying (lying?) down and try to get some rest or do I move around and try to get things progressing? Ultimately I tried both. I lay down for 3 hours, but never slept because those pesky contractions kept a comin’ like clockwork. A call to the midwife, Pixie, when daylight finally broke confirmed nothing…I may be in labor, I may not. What did I want to do? 

Hmmmm…..I knew what I didn’t want to do and that was have another night of no sleep. I was so exhausted I was on the verge of tears. Pixie said come on up to the hospital, we’ll check where things are, and make some decisions at that point.

I’m a VBAC gal, so some of the rules of delivery in a hospital are different. And my reasons for wanting a hospital birth after having a home birth that I loved are two-fold: risk reduction and pain reduction. Emphasis on the pain reduction.

Back up 7 months….at my first appointment with Pixie I told her, “I’m not out to prove anything to anybody. I’ve had a home birth (16 hrs), a C-Section with twins due to elbow presentation, and a VBAC (13 hrs) with a spinal block that was overall a pretty lousy experience. I like natural labor. I’m a big fan and pretty vocal advocate of it, but I remember vividly the pain of laboring with Lydia and remember the actual thought that if they could somehow bottle this specific pain and pour it upon a person, it would be the most effective form of torture.”  At this particular time and space of my life…I wasn’t up for the challenge of torture. So I told Pixie, I want to start natural, give it a good try, but when I’m done, I’m done

Along about 9:00 AM I sent a text message to my sisters-in-law while in between contractions on the way to the hospital. “I think I’m gonna have a baby today.” Apparently, I never got back with them or gave any updates and it would be 24 hrs later before they heard anything else. Not my best sister-in-law moment. 

In the predawn hours I had also sent a text message to Gretchen in Texas and Kendra in Indiana. Gretchen, in all her best-friendedness, had planned to be at this birth. She had arranged a trip with Vicki to leave their husbands and 8 kids to come to Illinois the week before I was due to be labor support and clean my house and cook for me. In an interesting twist of Providence, I was going into labor when they were scheduled to be with me! But they weren’t. Gretchen’s hyperemesis with her own current pregnancy canceled the trip a few weeks earlier. I was so bummed they couldn’t be there, but it also made me smile to think the timing would have been perfect. Gretchen is a fantastic planner!
Meanwhile, my friend, Kendra, was getting her 6 kids ready for church Sunday morning when she got my text. And in a bizarre, yet amazing turn of events, she thought she didn’t have any big plans for the day and would be preoccupied with thinking about me in labor. So she decided to “head my direction” is how she said it to me. She lives 7 hours away. Her mom lives half way between us. Her plan was to make it to her mom’s house and then give me a call and see how things were going. The worst thing, which wouldn’t be bad at all, was that I’d have a baby long before she could drive from Fort Wayne, IN to Moline, IL.

To be continued....

Since labor took 27 hours, I thought I'd space out the birth story to 27 hours as well. :)


Laura Joy said...

Ok, Jody! Just not nice to leave a girl hangin' like that!!!! Can't wait to hear the rest!
Loved chatting with you yesterday and hope we can do it again soon when I don't have to leave so quickly. God has blessed you with a beautiful family and most recently with that "layed back, easy going" new baby boy! Love you!

Angie P. said...

Jody, You are my hero! I SO want a VBAC with my current pregnancy! I had 2 prior c-sections, but I have been an advocate for natural childbirth all along. You rock, girl! I can't wait to read the rest of you birth story! Happy Babymoon!

Anonymous said...

I love the picture of Corban, of course, but the next picture of your eyes and your new baby express an infinity of joy. I just love how you express life. a.ann

Jake said...

He looks just like a Robinson. Super cute! So sad I had to miss it but so glad for the reason I had to miss. Not the being sick part but the baby part. You compare labor to torture??? The picture of you and Mark in labor doesn't look exactly like's a glamor shot. You look beautiful. I expect the real deal in part 2. A shot of you in TRUE labor. Congratulations on Corban, a true gift from God.

Love you all.


Anonymous said...

oops, couldn't get signed out of Jake's account.

Ginger said...

Oh Jody, you have really had hard labors! I applaud you for even trying natural labor, given your history.
Congrats on baby Corban!! What a blessing!

Vicki said...

Jody I am so sad we were not there:( But oh so happy Kendra was there for you!!! Your gorgeous....and Corban is so Precious :)