December 22, 2011

Elie’s Birth–The Conclusion

We have a secret in our culture, and it’s not that birth is painful. It’s that women are strong.
~Laura Stavoe Harm

Following the news that I was nearly 10cm dilated, Amy, Josh and I all enjoyed a HUGE sigh of relief followed by a flurry of excitement.  We had done it!  In just 3 hours!  I didn’t hesitate to ask to have my midwife break my water in order to deliver quickly.  (Although now I wonder how amazing it would have been to try to deliver en caul!) The first contraction I had to endure laying in the bed was excruciating.  I lost all ability to cope in this passive position and felt as if I was being absolutely run over by a train with each subsequent contraction.  Unfortunately, I was so overwhelmed that I also felt like I couldn’t move out of the bed.  Every movement hurt and every contraction tore me apart.

My midwife, Merilynn came a few moments later and broke my water.  She let me know that I could push whenever I felt like it and stepped back.  (Both physically to do some preparations and symbolically to allow me to deliver how I wanted).  With the next contraction I was so overwhelmed with intensity that I knew I needed to push to be finished.  I pushed once and the baby moved down so much that we all realized that this was going to happen NOW!  (Poor Amy!  This all happened so quickly, 9cm, water broken, pushing, that we only have a couple of photos of labor!)  Merilynn quickly put on a glove, suggested I lay on my side (how I wanted to deliver) and with the next contraction she caught our beautiful daughter!

(Eliana Adah 7lbs 15oz 20 in born at 536am 9/9/11)


Answering a few questions:

–Why did you choose to deliver in the hospital if you didn’t want any intervention?

As a labor and delivery nurse I have two conflicting viewpoints.  One, that labor and delivery are normal processes that don’t need to be “treated” or medicalized.  And two, that when labor and delivery take a turn for the worse, you need medical intervention fast!  I have seen both countless times.  A vast majority of low or no-intervention deliveries are beautiful and perfect, needing little to no assistance.  But on the rare occasion that something unforeseen complicates a delivery, there is no time for delay.  I chose the care of midwives during this pregnancy because I knew they would support my desire for an intervention-less, unmedicated labor and delivery.  (I did not have an IV, the nurse occasionally dopplered the baby’s heart rate and therefore I was not connected to a monitor during labor, I was able to move about freely and make choices about when I wanted to be checked, etc).  The group of midwives I saw delivered in a hospital setting that offered these options similar to a birthing center (I’m also a big fan of!).  For me it was the perfect match.  Choosing the right care provider and birth setting are among the most important considerations during pregnancy.  I’ve found that the most beautiful births I’ve been a part of are a setting THE MOTHER feels safe and comfortable in.  For many this is a hospital or birthing center, for others it is the home.

“Having a highly trained obstetrical surgeon attend a normal birth is analogous to having a pediatric surgeon babysit a healthy 2-year-old.” ~ M. Wagner

–What other baby names did you have in mind?

Eliona, Eliani, Isla, Harper, Noel(middle name)

–What does Eliana go by?

Elie, Ells, Elie-Bop, Ellsworth, Elie-Belly, Ells Bells



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