Oakley's Birth Story - Part 1

| 5/21/2012 11:27:07 AM

 Early LaborThis week I wanted to share with my readers the birth story of Baby Oakley and the birthing story from my dear friend Suzanne. Her story is an important one. Sometimes things don't go as planned, but her story goes to show that an empowering birth is about trust, love, support, and the power of choice given to a birthing mother no matter what the birthing environment may be. 

My son’s birth counts among the most difficult things I’ve ever done in my life. And also, my proudest. I worked impossibly hard for 31 long hours to birth him, though to be fair, the whole ordeal truly took 41 weeks.

The first thing I did when I woke up on that Thursday morning was call my chiropractor’s office. Though I’d been going regularly to correct O’Baby’s frequent acrobatics (one day vertex, the next breech, then posterior vertex, then transverse for a while, and so on and so forth), I hadn’t seen her in a couple of weeks because money was tight and her sessions weren’t entirely covered by our insurance. I spoke to the receptionist and begged her to squeeze me in for an adjustment. I explained that I was now overcooking my baby since I was approaching the 41 week mark and could I pretty please be seen a.s.a.p.? Thankfully, I got in only a few hours later and was pulled, tugged, and Webster’d into a much happier place and so, I’d hoped, was my baby.

I took Bee (the online moniker we'll use for my nineteen-month-old daughter) out to lunch at the local co-op market. I ordered a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich for her and a cup of spicy coconut soup for me in the hopes that some spicy food would finish off what the Webster adjustment might have started. It was a beautiful, sunny March afternoon, so she and I ate lunch outside for what would become our last mother-daughter date when it was just the two of us.

Labor “began” (I use that term loosely based on the three weeks of prodromal labor that preceded the real deal) that same day around dinnertime. My contractions felt exactly the same as they’d felt for the past three weeks and followed the same pattern, too. So I ignored them. I cooked, served, and ate dinner as normal, then watched an Elmo’s World DVD with Bee while we cuddled and nursed before her bedtime, which was at 7:30. The contractions continued, and I still ignored them, believing it to be the start of yet another evening of false labor that would go nowhere.

My husband, Mr. T, put Bee to bed and I started filling up the tub, remembering that my midwives had told me at my last appointment that if it was indeed false labor, a warm bath would stop my contractions. I wanted to see if I could keep them going rather than stop them, so I added some geranium essential oil that I’d bought at the co-op when we were there for lunch. (Geranium is rumored to be helpful in urging a stop-and-start labor pattern along.)

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