Monday, April 27, 2015

Why Do We Need To Have Conversations About Childbirth?

From the Archives

This is a really great question, that I have been thinking about for quite sometime. As a labor and delivery nurse I saw women come in frequently that thought they knew exactly what was going to happen. They would labor for a while, get their epidural (or not if they thought natural might be better), relax and then push a baby out in an hour or less. They might have taken a class if they felt like it, but thought what they saw on TV or read on the internet was good enough to get them through. It was during this time that I wondered why women did not better educate themselves about all of childbirth, including medications and complications.

Then I began having kids and even as an L&D nurse I began talking to those who had gone before me, especially with un-medicated labor to find out what their experiences were like. Though I knew this intellectually from working in the industry, I began to see every body had different experiences and different ways of coping in labor. People also made different decisions for various reasons. As I prepared for my first birth I took advice from here and there to have my plan. This helped me to realize we needed to have these conversations to educate ourselves.

Fast forward to my fourth pregnancy and God began to really impress upon me that He wanted unity among women in the church despite our differences in childbirth. It is a very touchy subject for many, but this should not be the case among God's people. We need to be able to give advice graciously and receive it well. We need to be able to ask questions without fear and judgement. From my background God grew in me a desire to bring together both the medical and the natural in an effort to help women be as educated as possible about birth and leave the rest in His hands.

So to summarize we need to have these conversations to:

  1. Educate ourselves on childbirth
  2. Learn from those who have gone before us
  3. Learn to trust in God who is over our births
  4. Be unified in loving and encouraging one another in the faith
There are many more reasons I could get into, but to me these are the ones to start with. I hope this will encourage you to go out and talk to others about their experiences as well as share yours. We need each other, ladies. God created us for community.

If you live in the Louisville area and would like to get in on community, join us for the upcoming Childbirth Conversation Class!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Jamey's Birth

From the Archives

When I became pregnant with my first child I had been working in labor and delivery for about 2 years and had a clear idea of what I did and did not want for my birth. I did not want an epidural (I have a real fear of needles). I did not want to be induced or have my water broken. And I definitely did not want a c-section. I wanted a completely natural picturesque labor. I was definitely an idealist.

At 40 1/2 weeks we discussed induction. My husband is a NICU nurse and was clear he was not comfortable with me going past 41 weeks. I wanted to wait a little longer, but my midwife was on call the day I turned 41 weeks and was fine inducing me on a Sunday since she would be there, so Jim and I agreed this was best. I was nervous but thankful I was already 3 cm dilated to start with. 

Sunday morning I arrived at the hospital a little early and got some breakfast before checking in. I was so blessed to get to choose my nurses since I worked on the unit and had Shannon, a wonderful Christian woman who was supportive of my going natural. The pitocin was started at 9 am and I watched TV and chilled as I waited for it to kick me into full labor. Around 11:45 am my water broke on its own, which was a huge blessing! They did discover meconium and attempted to put in an internal monitor, but were unable to because the baby's head was too engaged. At this point labor became very intense. I had already been quoting Psalm 23 here and there, but at this point all that got me through the contractions was focusing on God being my help and Jim applying strong pressure to my lower back. (He got quite a work out too.) 

I am not sure what the time was, but I started feeling the urge to push, but was sadly informed I was only 6 cm; way too far to think about pushing. I talked with Jim briefly, but decided since the NICU team would already be present to take Fentanyl to help take the edge off. It did it's job! It's a short acting drug and by the time it wore off it was time to push! 

It was great to get to push! It took a little while as the baby was big. There were a lot of people there, I guess they thought the baby might get stuck, and working there they had a very watchful eye on me. I was definitely struggling a bit and was tired. Then one of my doctor's asked me if I was sure about not getting an epidural. He thought he might need to use forceps and did not want to hurt me. Forceps was, apparently, all I needed to hear to get me motivated. After that the baby was out in 2 or 3 pushes!

I was so relieved! I looked at Jim and asked, "what is the baby?" (We did not find out the gender.)

Jim's smile was so wide, "It's a boy!" I couldn't believe I had a son. It was amazing and wonderful!

The NICU team took him immediately to assess whether the meconium was in his airway. He was with the for a few minutes and got the "all clear". It was incredible to hold my first child, my son, in my arms. I was so thankful for how well it had gone. God was so good to me in my labor and delivery.

I did have, barely, a 2nd degree tear from him being so big. Thankfully the stitching went quickly and I was able to hold him again soon after. Jim was beaming as he looked at our son, who we named after him, James Marshall. I had no other complications and my healing went well. I was able to walk and move around soon after giving birth. It was great.

As soon as it was done I wanted to do it again! I'm one of those nuts who loves giving birth. God has truly blessed me. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Childbirth Conversation Class

Come join us for the first Childbirth Conversation Class of 2015! 

Who: If you are expecting a baby, have had a baby or thinking about having a baby this time is for YOU!

When: May 16, 2015 from 9 am-12 pm

What: Childbirth Conversations is a class for women designed to teach and open dialogue about pregnancy and childbirth from medical and non-medical perspectives as well as sharing experiences. General topics will include spiritual aspects of childbirth, choosing a provider, where to birth, labor process, pain management options, C-sections, what to expect after birth and breastfeeding. Bring your questions and join the conversation.

Where: We will be meeting at my home. (Please email me at EmmieBeth13@gmail.com for my address.)

Light refreshments will be served. I hope to have you join us for the conversation.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Getting Back in the Game

As you have noticed, the blog has been quiet for several months. After my last birth, things got very hectic around here and I needed to back off for awhile. In fact, until recently, it was even hard for me to talk about birth. God has been doing a work in my family and me, and it was His hiatus. Now He seems to be saying it's time to start this ministry up again. Why? I cannot say for sure. Perhaps because I'm expecting my 6th baby. Perhaps because I have many friends who are having babies. Maybe both or any other number of reasons. Whatever the reason or reasons, God is clearly telling me it is time.

So what does that mean? I'm going to be easing back into this. My hope is to do 2 posts a week. I will likely be repeating some old posts, but I would also like your help in writing new ones.

What are things you would like to know about in relation to childbirth?
What types of stories would you like to read?
Do you have a birth story to share?
Have you read anything helpful or something that was not useful that you would like to write about?

Please check out my About Page for my general overview and purpose of this blog. Also, feel free to ask any questions. I will do my best to give as much information as possible, but as I said I am easing back into this and may not be able to get the research you are seeking as quickly as you may need, so I ask for your patience as I restart this endeavor.

Thank you for coming over. I am excited to see what questions people have or who might want to write a post to share.

Welcome back to the conversation!