This will be the third birth story that I am sharing this month as a gift for my little sister who is about to become a mother. (Here’s the first and second) This is the story of the birth of my sister, dictated from a phone chat with my mom over a ‘shared’ bottle of wine. As this happened 26 years ago, you can see how to most important details are remembered. You will carry your birth experience with you for the rest of your life!
Birth Story #3: Bev and Ashley
In March of 1986, my mother gave birth naturally to her second child, my little sister. She was full term and the doctor was planning on bringing my mom into the hospital to induce her a few days after her due date. So to avoid induction, my mom (on the 5th) went to the mall to walk and walk and walk and walk to start labor naturally. My mom was SO tired from walking that they ordered a pizza for dinner and as my mom lay on the couch, (at 6 pm) she felt a strong contraction and decided not to eat because pizza is awful to throw back up (as sometimes happens during birth).
So then when she went to the bathroom and had a bloody show. When they called and spoke to the doctor they told her to come in to be checked, and then she just stayed at the hospital because it was slow and there was plenty of room for her. Once there, the contractions slowed down, so she walked and walked and walked again all night in the hospital hallways. They contractions would speed up when she walked and slowed down when she rested. The hospital was very, very quiet and peaceful and there was just one nice nurse helping them.
Towards the end of the night mom was getting exhausted from all the walking so they decided to give her some Pitocin at 4 AM. Immediately labor sped up to 3 minutes apart! (from 7 minutes apart) For less than an hour she had super strong contractions that she had to get used to fast as she didn’t have the gradual time to get used to the intensity as you would without Pitocin. She thinks that if they let her go without it she would have been fine and it just would have taken a little longer.
So then shortly after Dr. Brown checked up on her and told the nurse to get the stirrups ready as it was soon time to push. As my mom lay on the bed in pain waiting, the nurse couldn’t find the damn stirrups fast enough!!! So my mom was just waiting uncomfortably, legs dangling off of the bed, and getting really, really irritated. Finally, (after what sounded like an eternity) that nurse found them!!!
Once the stirrups were set up it went so fast that within an hour Ashley was here!!! My Mom never had an ultrasound (as was common in the 80’s for normal healthy births) so it was such a surprise. My mom got to hold her right away for a bit before the nurse took her to be cleaned up and weighed. She weighed in at 6 pounds 7 ounces and was born around 7 AM on March 6th.
One of the things my Mom mentioned the most is the contrast between her first birth (me) and my sisters birth. The first time around she had so many nurses and family yelling instructions at her that the second time, in a quiet and calm environment, she was a pro on her own. It was really peaceful and quiet and definitely the preferable way to go. With me, it was just SO CRAZY, with the yelling and the bright lights and everything! (I am amazed that my mom could actually give birth in that environment!)
My mom found breath control to be really, really helpful for her labor. She says that she does not think she could have given birth without it. She specifically mentions Lamaze a lot thought there are other methods as well. Being aware of your breathing in labor can actually be extremely helpful on many levels; it occupies your mind, keeps good oxygen flow in your body and keeps you calm.
The way my mom talks about birth is very inspiring for me. Natural birth to her seems to just be the way you do it, not a big deal, just something you do in life. She is such a tough lady and very strong and courageous.