July 23, 2014

Birth story

Hello all! Let me begin by Introducing myself. My name is Christina Gasaway. I am a mother of two, one girl and one boy. Zoey is nine-years-old and Toby is eighteen months old. I am a full-time student/Stay-at-home-mom. That last part seems a bit contradictory to me since I am gone a lot. I wanted to share my birthing stories to others; to show that with the “bad” there can also be good!
    When I was 15 I became pregnant with my daughter. It was a problem free pregnancy with the only issue being low iron. That was an easy fix. I simply added some extra iron pills into my daily routine. I gained 21 lbs, after losing 12 lbs up until I was 5 months. I wasn’t sick all the time or starving myself. I was eating healthy and in good amounts. Because of this, the doctors said this was nothing to worry about and normal. My due date was June 5th and I delivered a 6lb 15 oz, 21.5” long baby girl on June 8th.
    I was 16 when I delivered my beautiful little girl. Being young I was unaware to all the information there was available about birth and child nutrition. I had taken quite a few child development classes prior to my pregnancy because it interest me. In comparison to the information available, those classes are miniscule. When I realized my water had broken, think kick to bladder trickle vs. popping large balloon of water gushing, we made our journey up to the hospital. I was in a small room by myself while they checked. The room was roughly 8 feet by 8 feet. Tiny! I am sitting there all alone crazy thoughts racing through my head. I had no support with me. I wasn’t contracting very much nor was I feeling them, but it’s a tough situation no matter what. After what seemed like forever, they moved me to my room for the rest of my stay. I had a LDP room. Once in my room I was hooked up to the monitors and laying in bed....the whole time. I was only dilated a few centimeters upon arrival (roughly 1:30 pm); around 7:30 pm they classified me as “failure to progress” and since my water had broken they administered pitocin. At 16 I was still optimistic in giving birth sans pain meds.
Unfortunately, when they administered the “liquid devil”, aka pitocin, my tune changed. I asked for demoral. I have never been a fan of the idea of epidurals. From the time my water broke until she was delivered it was a total of 13 hours.
    Fast forward almost 7 years later...Mother’s day weekend 2012. After three years of hoping, I found out I was pregnant. After trying for quite some time, it’s hard to process... just ask my five pregnancy tests. ;) This also was a great pregnancy. I am glad I am so fortunate to have no problems with them. I also lost weight with my son, and then...Boom! I have noticed a pattern with this. As long as I have healthy babies I am accepting of this.
    I became pregnant with my son when I was 23. With so much time between I was able to mature and become more knowledgeable in childbirth process, approaches, and pain management.  My daughter was born with a retracting chest and needing oxygen. This caused me to pursue a pain med free birth initially. However, after doing my research I feel it may not have been the pain meds that had affected her, but I still preferred the idea of no pain meds administered. As my pregnancy progressed I became more and more interested in natural approaches, no membrane sweeps or pitocin administered.
    My final prenatal appointment was on my due date. It was 5 p.m. and my doctor had checked me and said I was “definitely a 4.5-5cm”. My blood pressure was raised to a level she was uncomfortable with and suggested I head to the hospital to have my water broken. I took my sweet time... the 15 minute drive took us over an hour and a half. Oops? :) I got to my room and decided I would wander around in my room, do some squats, etc. before the doctor came to check again. When the doctor finally came it was nearly 8pm. My blood pressure was at a level that she was ok with at this point and I had progressed to a 6-7cm. I was in no pain and only had two contractions. Honestly, the only reason I knew why is because the monitor. She left it up to me whether to have my water broken or progress on my own. I had a slight fear of a dry birth, so I allowed them to do so. My water was broken at 8:30pm and contractions began increasing in intensity shortly after. About 9:45 pm they became quite uncomfortable. I still was maintaining no pain meds, even after being asked by the nurses twice already.  At 10:30 I began pushing and at 11:05pm my son was delivered. He was a “sunny side up” baby, meaning he was facing towards my pelvic bone versus facing my rear. With babies in this position, delivery could take longer and bleeding could be increased. I experienced both. The pushing with my daughter only took 5 minutes. My son didn’t nurse right after birth so I was administered a small amount of pitocin to help my uterus contract and control the bleeding.
    You know, something I didn’t know going in... after pains suck! After having my son I learned about after pains. I don’t remember them with my daughter at all; nor did I have hard, sore breasts or leaking.  The more children you have the worse the after pains, so I am told. I still used no pain meds, even though the after pains were worse than my labor contractions. It seemed like labor continued for a few extra days! Ow!
    A piece of advice for nursing moms, don’t be afraid to ask questions! There no silly, gross, or personal questions when it comes to providing the best nutrition for your child/children. Talk to someone close, someone you haven’t talked to in ages, or even a stranger! Also, take advantage of those days at the beginning when you are full and sore. I made that mistake; I was going to school fulltime and was pumping all the time to make sure I had enough milk, when I could have made a stock pile at the very beginning.
Alright! I think I have shared enough now. I hope you find my story helpful or just enjoyed the read. Happy birthing!

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