Monday, June 24, 2013

The Odessey Continues... Alvin's Birth Story

  (To catch up on Previously, In The Life Of Mary you can read "The Story Of My Life, Part 1" etc)

I was a single mother for the next 18 months.  My husband went to school full time and worked part-time.  He spent the summer in New York on a scholarship.  I was still dealing with undiagnosed depression.  Because of my distrust of medicine I was wary of mentioning it to anyone.  I was afraid the doctor would whip out a prescription for Paxil or something and I would wind up worse than ever.  I didn’t want to go through life drugged.  I just tried my best to hang on and hope things would be better once Rob graduated.  Maybe getting pregnant again would help…  My sixth pregnancy began with healthy morning sickness.  I was relieved.  My experience has been the more sick I feel, the better.  When my nausea suddenly disappeared at 7 weeks, I was frantic.  I knew the doctor’s office probably wouldn’t see me before my scheduled 12 week visit.  All the doctors I have known have been very nice and professional.  But it’s frustrating.  No one seems to take my miscarriages seriously.  Everyone tells me the same thing.  “It happens.  Next time will probably be fine.”  I was not about to wait and wonder if my baby was dead or dying until I spontaneously aborted in a couple of weeks.  So, I called my friendly neighborhood crisis pregnancy center.  They have ultrasounds and they have time.  I was so relieved to hear the washing machine motor of my baby’s heart.  And, I was a week further than I thought!  Always good news.  Robert graduated OU’s Price College  when I was 4 months.  He accepted a job with American  Airlines and we moved to Tulsa.  Dr W. became my 6th OB.  This was also my 6th move and our 6th year of marriage.  Dr W. was a lot like Dr M.  Nice, but busy.  Very standard, nothing new or out of the box.  This pregnancy was uneventful.  Although I did experience worsening varicose veins and some pelvic separation.   At this time I had several friends who had experienced homebirths and had favorable reports.  I admired and envied them a bit.  I could see how much easier it would be to have the natural birth I wanted in a home setting.  I also knew there was a good midwife in the Tulsa area.  But I was too scared.  After all, I had wimped out twice now.  There was no reason to believe I would make a good homebirther.  In fact, I was pretty much planning on an epidural this time around.  About two weeks before I was due,  Dr W.'s nurse asked me if I had preregistered for my epidural.  No.  Was I supposed to?  I raced off to get that done, worried that I might go into labor in the car. (I was over 4 cm dilated at 38 weeks)  I signed all the papers and handed over my insurance card.  Then, the woman demanded $150.  Of all the nerve!  I had not expected this.  The lady reassured me they accepted Discover and if I didn’t use the epidural I could get a refund.  I stalked out, grimly determined to earn my money back…

I figured my best chance to escape the epidural trap was to not be induced.  For ANY reason!  So, I steadily dilated.  Two days before  my due date, I was nearly a six.  I was afraid if I sneezed he might come flying out.  And finally, some contractions!  But were they real?  Were they regular?  I thought I was having them every two minutes, but they weren’t very strong.  We went ahead and went to the hospital on my due date.  As soon as  I got there they evened out to one every 15 minutes.  But in an hour I was a 7, so they had to keep me overnight.  At this point I was still hoping to go into real labor on my own.  We walked.  We danced.  The next day my water was artificially ruptured.  Still, only one contraction every 15 minutes.  My cervix has a mind of it’s own!  I gave in to a little Pitocin and we were off!  The Bradley method served me very well.  I was able to relax and breathe deeply.  I could hear the nurse comment on how it looked like I was asleep.  Around 8 or 9 cm things were getting intense and my mom was asking me if I wanted the epidural.  I remember saying “No, I’m too far for that”  and thinking to myself “Way to go! Instead of begging for the epidural you refused it.  You are going to make it this time.”  And I did.  I wasn’t so sure if that was a good thing or not as the nurses were massaging my fundus and the Dr stitched me up.  But my husband was impressed.  And convinced that natural was the only way to go.  Within an hour I was pretty proud of myself and glad I had done it.  But at first, I wasn’t so sure.  We welcomed our little bowling ball, Alvin, into the world.  All 9lbs 5 oz of him!