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Geburtsbericht von Jenny E., Gomaringen

Hier ein Geburtsbericht von einer Frau die ich in der Schwangerschaft und nach der Geburt betreut habe. Vielen Dank Jenny, dass ich das hier veröffentlichen darf.

Und ich hoffe, das hilft Dir liebe Leserin einen realistischen Eindruck von einer echten Geburt zu bekommen.

Nachdem die Geburt von Jennys erstem Kind etwa 30 Stunden dauerte und sehr anstrengend war, hat sie sich sehr intensiv auf ihre zweite Geburt – die sie hier beschreibt – vorbereitet. Und nach ihrer Ansicht war dies genau das Richtige. Und da kann ich ihr nur Recht geben.

Gerade Frauen die ihr erstes Kind bekommen vernachlässigen das oft sträflich, weil sie denken, dass das schon alles klappen wird. Dabei ist die erste Geburt immer am Anspruchsvollsten, weil man eben keine Ahnung hat. Keine Ahnung.

Also falls Du Dein erstes Kind bekommst, dann nimm die Geburtsvorbereitung ernst, so wie fast alle Frauen die ihr zweites Kind bekommen. Selbst die Frauen die eine einfache erste Geburt hatten, sind beim zweitenmal gerne bereit alles Möglichkeiten auszuschöpfen. Mehr Infos dazu findes Du, wenn Du diese Website durchstöberst.

Doch nun zum Geburtsbericht von Jenny:

Dedicated to my beloved Freya because I missed the opportunity to record Kaiden’s own beautiful water birth, to my midwife, Heike, whom I may give lifelong praise for guiding me on my journey to think independently and for challenging me to evaluate the process of giving birth even when I disagreed with her, and to Sarah whose first birth I hope is a natural, beautiful and healing one.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
written approximately 10:00 am in the hospital

My contractions, which had started about 1:30am on Tuesday and were coming about one every 10-15 minutes.  I called Opa Jeremy at 7:30am to tell him and Oma Betty that they could slowly make their way to our place.  Würzburg is 200km away.  It would take about 2 and half hours to drive.  They arrived after lunch.  Later that evening at around 6-7pm, I recorded three contractions every 10 minutes for one solid hour.  That was when I knew it was time to call a taxi.

During this time, Kaiden lovingly hugged my back.  (What a trooper!)  I told him his touch was amazing and so relaxing to me and Peaches.  Dom firmly rubbed my bottom pelvic bones (“Äpfelschütteln” the Germans call it) when I got down on my hands and knees (vier Fußlerstand).  This was the chosen position all night up until I climbed into the birth pool (more later on that).

Dom serenade Peaches, the nickname Kaiden choose with Oma Barbie’s help while in Maryland this summer, to the James Bond songs “From Russia with Love,” “Goldfinger” and “Thunderball” while firmly rubbing my bottom.  This time I proudly maintained a loose jaw by loudly humming along to Dom’s melody (a very KEY POINT to maximal relaxation that Heike taught me), which I hadn’t managed with Kaiden.  I never once clenched my jaw closed except at the very end.  After the contraction passed, Kaiden would tell me, “Call me when the next contractions are coming” as he ran off to the kitchen to grab another bite of supper with Opa Jeremy and Oma Betty.  Not far between, I’d shout out, “Contractions!” and running he came.

Dom phoned for a taxi, which arrived about a quarter to eight that night.  I gave Kaiden a big hug good-bye, told him to be very good for Oma and Opa, and to do as they asked of him.  He promised he would.  I told him he could come and visit me and Peaches at the hospital when Daddy would come to pick us up.  I had secretly stashed a Batman and Catwoman Lego set in my suitcase as a gift from Peaches to Kaiden.  The taxi driver remembered me from our trip to Berlin 2011.  He couldn’t believe it was now time to take us to the Frauenklinik for delivery.  He sped like he driving the Indy 500.  Sitting in the back seat, the contractions were most uncomfortable.  I told Dom he could instruct the taxi driver to drive more slowly and that we still have time.  However, in a newly set record time, we arrived to the Tübingen Frauenklinik at 8pm.

After choosing to walk up the stairs and into the main hall of the delivery ward, we were greeted by Pia, who would become our main midwife and the midwife assistant, a 3rd year student, for Peaches‘ delivery.  Pia asked if I’d been having contractions (a funny question for me, but later learned some women go to the hospital to be induced even when – good grief — they are only a day or two overdue) and how long I’d been having contractions.  She asked what kind of birth I wanted to have.  She smiled when I told her a natural water birth.  Good she asked because I forgot my own typed-out birth plan as this is the norm in the UK.  She took my Mutterpass, the booklet recording the progress of your pregnancy, and asked about the details of Kaiden’s 3-day water birth at Ninewells.

We moved straight into the delivery room.  Ironically, it was one of the ones Kaiden and I looked at on the Visitors‘ Day.  Pia determined that I was 3cm dialated and for 30 minutes hooked me up to “the machine that goes ping” (a Monty Python reference).  I hated having the cumbersome belt around my belly.  When I asked her about it, she admitted that it sometimes gave erroneous recordings.  I got the sense that she was only doing it for the sake of hospital protocol as she added with a weak smile that it’s obvious when you’re having contractions.  She mentioned that she’d hook the belt up at the end for 10 minutes, but she never did.  Pia was an experienced midwife.  A blessing to be sure.

In the meantime, I continued contracting on all fours in the delivery room with loads more Äpfelschütteln and Bond serenading courtesy of Dom.  The student midwife sat down on the bed and said it was “a pleasure” to watch the two of us in action.  We had it all under control.  It must have read like a textbook chapter in a midwifery book of healthy, natural births.  Pia and the student midwife began to make their preparations.  They came in and out of the room.  Towels and sheets were laid.  The birth pool was filled.  Then they left Dom and I alone for a short while, only leaving us with instructions to pull the red cord above the birth pool if my water breaks or I feel the need to push down.

While on our own, my contractions, which had been lower front uterine ones (similar to strong period pain), moved to my lower back.  They were on both sides now.  I slipped into the warm water to ease the pain.  When the back contractions subsided to the front again, I climbed out of the water.  When the intensity returned to the back, I submerged myself back into the water.  And there I stayed.  After a few more strong contractions, my first urges to push down came.  Dom pulled the red cord.  Immediately Pia and the student midwife entered.  I shouted, “I have to push down!”

Pia examined my cervix from behind and determined that in the next several contractions she’d have to stretch back my cervix with her fingers by 2cm on all sides so that Peaches‘ head would be right over the opening to pass through.  During that time, I was told not push.  The cotton cloth was hooked up at at the ceiling and let down so I could grab onto it for a steady hold.  The student midwife instructed me to blow air out like a horse or hiss in short, one-second increments like a snake.  One unsuccessful time with the horse blowing, I resorted to snake hisses.  To bring more focus and support, Dom cupped his hands over mine while I held onto the thick cloth and hissed with me.  I kept shouting, “It hurts!  It hurts!”  Pia said she knows and apologized profusely.  It was the process of manually opening the cervix to fit over Peaches‘ head that prolonged my contractions.  Wanting to push the whole time when I was not to made my pain management particularly challenging.  At this point, I really thought I could puke.  Definitely the worst moment ever.

By now, many different student midwives were drifting in to watch a natural birth.  When I wrote up my birth plan, I thought the audience would bother me and had requested their absence.  But when in the throes of labor, my only thought is to have a focused, successful birth.  “Fuck it.  The more the merrier,” I thought.

Thank god for all the yoga instructors I ever had and courses I ever took.  I thought of my second instructor, Andrea, at that moment because of her use of a focal point during yoga exercises .  I used my training to fixate on a single point on the floor where the shadow, light, and linoleum trim converged.  It was directly behind Dominik.  He only stepped in front of my view once but quickly moved back to my right when I told him he was blocking my focal point.  I transformed into the Countess of Contractions.  I bore into that focal point like my vision was superhero laser beam. No evil pain would defeat this Super Mom.  (My gratitude to Kaiden for his unbridled enthusiasm to role play all kinds of superheros.)

With the membranes widened and in place, Pia said I could push down on the next contraction.  I screamed out during two of the contractions, but then Pia told me to stop screaming and use that energy to push down. I did just as she said.

Thank goodness, too, for the student midwife, whose name I wish I could remember, for placing her hand under my belly.  She removed it once.  I told her bring her warm hand back.  I heard Pia telling her from behind me to put her hand back under my belly.  She did and left it there until the end. It was just the right sort of stabilizing “human touch” that I needed like Kaiden’s magic hugs during contractions.  No pressure was applied.  Just touch.  And besides, Pia had more than enough other student midwives at her disposal.

Pia’s hand was there the whole time to guide Peaches out even when her head slipped up a few times. I remember hearing some words about my water breaking.  Leaning forward towards Dom, I compressed my body on the next contraction.  One minute later at 10:48pm Freya came out.  Ha, a new record for me at 21.5 hours!

Pia caught her, then passed her to me from underneath.  I submerged myself in the water, a towel was thrown over me. Freya cried the most beautiful cry ever, which I hadn’t experienced with Kaiden because he was still in his cowl, although Dom said he tried to.

Photos were taken by Dom and the midwives.  Three midwives assisted me out of the birth pool while I held onto Freya.  I was brought over to the bed.  About 10 minutes later, I had more contractions (albeit far easier) and told Pia is was time for the placenta to come out.  This time I took pictures as I got a good look at this wonderous organ that passed a half a liter of blood a minute so that my baby would be nourished and grow.  Pia educated one of the student midwives that the placenta was intact while pointing out its wholeness and textured consistency.  She asked me if I wished to keep it, but I declined.  Besides, the freezer was full at home.  We made sure to stock up beforehand.  Where on earth was I going to put it?  I was satisfied with take-home pictures.

After many rounds of congratulations “was für eine tolle Geburt.”  I thanked them, too, for the their superb guidance, especially in the final pushing down phase.  (This part was a blank for me as I had meant to ask Heike how best to “breath the baby out” but we ran out of meeting time.)  In the end, all were instrumental to a successful water birth . . . no medication, no tearing.  Only some scratching was there.  Apparently, from the nighttime crew that came to in to watch the birth, the daytime crew was over the moon by our successful delivery.  The nighttime midwives asked me all kinds of questions, like why I waited so long to come.  “Three centimeters is a long wait?”  I thought.  One explained we had an “Ausnahmegeburt” (an exceptional birth) from the 75% epidural rate at the hospital.  She went on to explain, in her experience, that women nowadays don’t trust their bodies to birth.

Before departing, the midwives asked us if we would like something to eat.  Dom and I were served hot tea and dinner.  I ate only a slice of cheese and bread but drank three cups of hot tea.  I wasn’t particularly hungry after the birth.  I was, however, VERY wide awake and didn’t feel tired one bit.  This was so very different from Kaiden’s birth.  I was just delirious and exhausted after nearly 3 days (71.5 hours).

It was so lovely that Dominik could stay with Freya and I a little longer this time.  Kaiden was in bed at home with Oma Betty and Opa Jeremy to safely watch over him.  After being stitched up from Kaiden’s birth, Dom had to drive back home to avoid the morning rush hour traffic in his overly exhausted state.  Now it was about midnight and all was eerily still and quiet.

Freya drank from my right breast three times and from my left twice.  And the good girl pooped out a heap of meconium all during our stay at the hospital.  I’m glad I remembered to pack the Vaseline for her bottom.  Made getting the sticky stuff off much easier.  All in all, Kaiden’s birth was a good one and Freya’s was even better.

While not the only two advantages and disadvantages, these were mine.  Three advantages to the hospital setting: (1) There were birth pools in every delivery room unlike in Ninewells so it was a high guarantee I would have access to water.  (2) The doctor’s examined Freya there at the hospital for her first U1, or Untersuchung 1, within 24 hours of her birth.  If I’d delivered at home, I would have to walk over to the doctor’s office in town to have her U1 the next day. [*] (3) No transfer would be required if, in the very small likelihood, something went wrong.

Two drawbacks to the hospital setting:  (1) I resented the male doctor who checked up on me afterwards.  He congratulated me on having an “easy” birth.  I corrected him that there was nothing easy about my birth.  Ninety-nine percent of it was my hard, mental preparation.  There are women who have easy births.  But I was not one of them.  (2) He told me I would benefit by staying longer than 20 hours in the hospital.  I was actually fit to go home after twelve.  I thought, “This man is a idiot.  There are women who go home after four hours.  When I finally could wind down from the adrenaline rush to nod off, HE woke me up twice to announce he would be doing some sort of exam that could have waited for later.  Plus, I have a truck load of other Polish and Pakistani family members pouring in and out of my shared room.  Sorry.  I am QUITE ready to go home now.”

* Hier liegt ein Missverständnis vor. Die U1 Untersuchung wird bei einer Hausgeburt oder einer Geburt im Geburtshaus selbstverständlich von der Hebamme durchgeführt.

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