I had always always wanted another child after H, and we did try but had no success. After a few miscarriages, I gave up and we never really talked about it because Phil said he did not want anymore anyway. My heart yearned for another baby so much that I lived vicariously through friend's babies. LOL When my friend Beth had Malachi I was so excited! I got to be there for his birth. He was so precious to me! But, inside I was dying because I really wanted another one.
In late 2005, Phil and I hit an ultimate hormonal phase of doing you know what almost everyday. I am not sure why, but a few weeks later I started having pains in my sides, excessive tiredness, headaches, and cramping. Since I am irregular with my cycle, I didn't think anything of it! My Hubby suspected that I was pregnant but didn't want me to get my hopes up like I had so many times before.
About mid January, I decided to take a home test with Phil's urging. It came back positive! It was very faint, but it did show SOMETHING...He was very apprehensive to accept the home test because I had taken MANY over the yrs and they were wrong.
I made an appointment at the Crisis Pregnancy Center, to get a test done. I remember how nervous I was. It had been 9 yrs since I had a baby. How did I even know if I would be a good Mom to a newborn again?
Their test was positive too! I then applied for medical assistance. I started thinking of my options for prenatal care and my birth. I had always wanted a homebirth but I knew that my Husband did not agree with it. I had never really heard much about unassisted birth, but it did fascinate me. I decided I wanted to find a Midwife and have a hospital water birth.
During my pregnancy here are SOME but not all of the books I read:
The Birth Book: Everything You Need To Know About Having A Safe and Satisfying Birth by William Sears MD
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
The complete Book if Pregnancy and Chilbirth by Sheila Kitzinger
Gentle birth Choices by Barbara Harper
Birthing From Within by Michael Odent
Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League
The Breastfeeding Book by Martha Sears
Eat Well, Lose Weight While Breastfeeding by Eileen Behan
Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering by Sarah J Buckley
Big Beautiful and Pregnant by Cornelia Van Der Zeil MD and Jaqueline Tourville
Childbirth Without Fear by Grantly Dick-Read
Now as I stated before, these are only a FEW of them. ANYWAY, back to the story...
So, when I realized I wanted a Midwife, I was excited to find that there was a Midwives available to me even though I was on government medical. I made an appointment to meet with her. She had an office only a few miles from where we lived. I learned that there was a birthing center in Phoenix, and found out what specific health plans they accept, and chose one accordingly.
Walking into her office lobby that first time and signing in, I was so nervous! The first thing she asked me was "Why I felt I wanted a Midwife for my birth" and to which I answered, because I wanted a natural birth with none of the interventions during my birth that an OB/GYN would normally do or push. She told me that their offices at the birth center indeed had an OB/GYN on staff, but that if I preferred not to be seen by him, i could request one of the other people for my appointments if she was not available. I liked that idea. She asked me about why I wanted a water birth. I told her that I felt it would be more relaxing, and that I loved water and wanted my baby to come into the world almost the same as where he/she grew for 9 months.
Her next question really surprised me. She wanted to know if I would be breastfeeding. I said most definitely YES! Now her next question blew me even more away. She asked if I had given any thought to whether I would circumcise or not if the baby was a boy! I didn't know what to say to be honest. I was kind of shocked. I said, well my son was circ'ed when he was 19 months during Orchiopexy surgery, and that I had regretted the decision due to his pain and swelling and bleeding. She said, "ok well let me know if you have any questions about that." and there was no other questions about it or discussion. I honestly to this day do not know if she is or isn't for it.
During all of my pregnancies I NEVER threw up at all, but had "morning sickness" all hrs of the day and night through most of the pregnancy. This I would say was TORTURE to me. With V I craved ranch dressing on EVERYTHING, with H I craved chicken constantly, but with Peanut I craved cheese danishes, protein bars, and protein shakes. Whoah super weird
My ultrasound was scheduled for March 28th 2006! Phil did not attend the ultrasound but V, H, my friend Beth, and my "nephew" Malachi. (Who was about 10 months old at the time.) When I got there I had already drank 44 ounces of water, but the Tech guy said it was not as full as he would have liked my bladder to be. I had emptied it a little but not much. He also tried to tell me I wasn't as far along as I thought and I knew he was wrong because I knew when we had conceived! (it turned out later that I was right and he and the Midwife were wrong!)
Seeing her little feet all up in the "air" and waving her little hand, that was so sweet. I didn't know the dangers of ultrasounds back them but I do now.
Anyways, the kids were enrolled at Eagleridge Enrichment Program at the time, but did work with me during their off days from the program. In my 5th month, we had to move back to Phoenix, so we had to pull them out of Eagleridge because the travel time would have been crazy. (We still had a car (barely) at this point, but it was having a lot of problems.)
Within 1 week of moving back to Phoenix, our car went "KAPUT" on us and we gimped it to the dealership. We had ZERO money to get it fixed. The dealership guy said he would "take care of everything." And gave us a ride home in a company vehicle. We honestly thought he mean the would have it fixed for us, BUT nope. 6 days later we received a paper of "voluntary repossession."
That RAT of a salesman had repossessed the car unbeknownst to us! What an @#*&%^!!!
From then on we were without transportation...thank God we had friends with a Van! Anywho, I enrolled the kids in Arizona Virtual Academy. The teachers came to our home and did some testing, evaluating, and placement. At first, things were going fine. The school provided a brand new computer, ,materials, books, software, etc. But after awhile the kids were struggling to keep up with the required amount of work, and the curriculum was very advanced. So, the school allowe dthem to stay on, but not without warnings and lectures constantly directed at me that my kids "weren't keeping up."
My first visit to the midwifery offices in Phoenix weren't that great. (except for finding a copy of Compleat Mother!) The wanted to weigh me ever single time, talked to me about not eating too much, poked and prod at me, and I rarely got to see my CHOSEN Midwife. (Donna Tash CNM) It was very irritating! Then, in my 8th month, they lost my birth plan that I had given them on file, one of the Midwives on staff was very snobby to me, and told me that I could not continue there unless I submitted another one. WTH??? I told her that I had given Donna one in the beginning and she said to me, "AGAIN Mrs. Smalley, I REPEAT, you CANNOT continue our services without a birth plan." I just stood there watching her body language and thinking, is this how they are going to treat me? I felt disappointed because I didn't have a back up copy. It had been lost on my computer when it crashed. So, I had to make one over again and submit it to them.
Nearing my 36th week, they did another ultrasound, and everything looked fine. I guess I should mention that I am "high risk" according to the medical professionals. I get Gestational Diabetes with every pregnancy, and I am also A-. No RH factor...so I have always had to get that stupid Rhogam shot. Anyway, the 2nd ultrasound was a pain to even get to that day. Phil and I and the kids with Beth and Malachi all rode the bus to the Midwifery offices in the dead middle of Arizona summer. We were so hot and exhausted by the time we got there! The Tech would not allow anyone with me, and even tried to tell my Husband he could not come! I was like, "He is my husband, he has a right to be there, especially if something was wrong!" So in the end, she let him see the ultrasound. The reason they were doing another Ultrasound was because my baby was "not in the right position for birth, and she isn't measuring the right size" I was told. It was difficult for the nurse practitioner who had seen me a few days prior to tell exactly what position Peanut was in, because I have an anteroflex uterus and she was very far into my back. In fact, when i would walk, I felt like a had a straight 2x4 nailed to my back at that point in the pregnancy. I think Peanut was pinching some nerves. With both my girls, I had sciatica acted up so bad that I had a lot of problems walking anyway.
At my appointment, (week 37) I was asked to come into he financial office and speak to the woman who handles billing. She informed me that I would need to come up with $780 in order to have my water birth at the birthing center. WHAT??? Apparently my insurance had switched it's policies and stopped covering the birthing center! I was so pissed. I asked her if I could change my health plan to one that would cover it but the next enrollment date was October! That would have been way too late So, I was aced out of my very much wanted water birth because I had been told that the hospital I would h ave her at (the only hospital that the Midwives were contracted to) did not allow .birthing mothers to get into a tub during labor. Ridiculous right?
The next few weeks went by so slow I felt I was aging at a rate of 1 yr older per minute it seemed like. A tthat time, the "Numa Numa song" was popular and all over youtube and the internet. I remember swaying and jumping and bouncing all around to that dumb song, hoping labor would start because I couldn't stand being pregnant anymore! The other popular song was "Here it Goes Agin" by some weird group called "OK! GO!"
In my 40th week, the kids and I had gone to Target on the bus and we were going to take a cab home with our groceries. Well, when i went to pull money out of the atm, I had left our bank card in the machine and didn't realize it until I had been shopping for a few hrs. We were taking our sweet time just to get out of the house that day.
I called Phil on my cell phone and told him what had happened, and I was balling my eyes out! (those pregnancy hormones sure do make me wacky!)
Phil was so sweet, and calmly told me to just go to customer service and ask if anyone had returned it. I was doubtful, but when I did, YAY! Some honest person had. So, that made me feel 100% better!
Okay, now-are you ready for my birth story, because I have arrived at that part of this post!?
Monday the 18th of September I had been having a lot of contractions but I was not dialating and they seemed irregular just intense though. I had taught Beth how to do pelvic exams during her own pregnancy, soshe had learned to do them on me. I taught her to gently not forcibly slide her finger around in there and she had felt Peanut's head and thought it was so cool! Now, I am not one for having my fingers up some other woman's "cookie" but, I had read up on how to do it when she was pregnant with Malachi, so I got to touch him pretty much before anyone else did because I felt his head! That made me feel so special, so when she did it for me, she felt all excited and was squealing, "I felt her head, I felt her head!" LOL it was quite humorous and sweet.
Anyway, I remained that way for 3 more days. Constant discomfort but not pain. It really was irritating! Thursday evening, the 21st, Phil and the kids and I had walked down to the corner and had some Carl's Jr. for dinner. I had been having more intense "rushes" while we were eating, and I knew my body was ready. I called my "coach" (My adopted Mom Catherine) @ about 8:30 pm. She said she would get ready and be there as soon as she could. She had to pack for a few days stay at my house because she was going to watch the kids while Phil and I stayed the night with the baby in the hospital after birth. Well, when we got home from dinner, I felt the contractions even more, so I let my instincts take over, and I just started cleaning and moving furniture. HEAVY furniture! Heavy book shelves in particular lol.
Mom arrived about 11:300 pm that night. We all went to bed and I tried my best to sleep. Around 3 or 4 am, we decided to wake Phil because my contractions were really close together. Upon arriving at the hospital, the Midwife I had mentioned I didn't like because of her snootiness was on call and came to check on me. She was like, "You aren't in active labor yet, what is it you would like us to do for you if you want a natural birth, do you want us to induce you?" I didn't know what to say, because I thought I had been in active labor and that is why I came so I told her that no I did not want to be induced. She asked if I wanted to go labor at home until I was ready to give birth and then transfer myself to the hospital. I agreed and she released me. The main reason I was mad at her reaction was because she was assuming I came to the hospital because I didn't know what I was doing! She had even mentioned that I must not know after 3 kids what active labor was.
Anyway, we arrived back home, and my son V who was 11 almost 12 at the time was complaining of painful urination and said he has some blood in his urine. He didn't want to tell me because he knew I was close to birth. Mom and I decided to immediately take him to Phoenix Children's Hospital to have him looked at. During this whole time I was working through my "rushes" or contractions. The staff at the hospital were concerned I would give birth in their hospital , LOL and they were not equipped for that. I assured them that I was fine and was not going to have my baby there, ha ha. Anyway, so they gave V a prescription and took care of his needs and we went home. The rest of the day we just relaxed and slept as much as possible. Mom is not for homebirth, so she kept urging me to go to the hospital. I didn't want to because like Marla the snooty Midwife said, I wanted to labor at home. LOL! I kept in tune with my body and was not in any pain, just some discomfort.
At about 8 pm I started to feel Peanut transitioning and sliding into position and then I KNEW it was time to go to the hospital. So, we all piled in. During my huffing and puffing, Mom had made a wrong turn and got lost. Once she was back on the right track, I was starting to REALLY ge concerned that this baby was going to come while in the car! I mean I could LITERALLY feel her ready. I remember Mom saying something like, "Hold on Bubbs, we are almost there.
When we got there, she drove up tot the Emergency entrance of Phoenix Baptist Hospital and dropped us off . I wanted to WALK into the E Room but they wouldn't let so she could park the car and come in after us with the kids and Andy. (My "brother", who is down syndrome) Anyway, so we got inside and upon checking in and admitting us, we sat there for over half an hour. Phil kept trying to tell them I was ready to give birth but nobody listened! FINALLY, they called me back. By then, Mom and the kids had come in and we were all now sitting in this small hallway waiting area. I just kept breathing through my rushes, and then all of the sudden, my water broke all over me and all over the chair I had been sitting in, and all over the floor! (My pants were ruined!) I forgot to mention that earlier that morning when I had seen Marla the snotty Midwife, she had checked me and said my bag of waters was still intact but bulging. (I have had a very thick strong bag of waters with all my pregnancies, but it was more thick with V and Peanut than with H.)
So Anyway, the nurse had been taking her sweet time and had told us we would be put in a laboy and delivery room as soon as one was available. SERIOUSLY??? My body was telling me to push! When Phil told her , "Ummm, My wife's water just broke lady! If you don't want her having this baby right here, I suggest you bet us a room!" When she came to see it "for herself" instead of taking our word for it, she said, "Oh, SH**!" and hurried to call my Midwife and get me into a room. It was approximately 9:01 pm!
They "prepped" me for birth, or at least tried to but I was ignoring all of them and just allowing my body to do what it was meant to. They wanted to put the monitors on me and I refused. I remember shaking my head no, and telling them I was pushing. The nurse that had not taken us seriously before my water broke told me to "wait for Donna hun, wait for Donna" and I IGNORED HER!
Another nurse came in and thank God she was so sweet. I told her "I am pushing, I can feel the baby is coming!" She responded so kindly and said, "Go for it sweetie, Donna will be here in a few moments, she is getting ready now." I must admit that at this point I was VERY uncomfortable. I kept leaning forward and lifting my Bum because it felt better than laying flat on my back! Donna arrived (my Midwife) and she got down there to have a look see. I started to cry because "the ring of fire" had begun! She even said, "Okay let's have this baby! Sh eis coming out now! (Also I have to add that at some point in the 20 minutes between my water breaking and Peanut's birth, I had asked for some pain control lol. YES I admit it, I almost caved!!!)
I think there was maybe 3 BIG pushes, and Peanut was out! It was 9:21 pm on 9-22-06. LOL
V had missed the actual birth because he had been in the bathroom (my poor boy!) in pain trying to pee! He came out a few seconds after her birth. Everyone was congratulating me. I was feeling such a high sense of accomplishment. The room was quiet. Donna immediately placed Pea nut on my chest while she helped the placenta to birth. She made a joke about how I hadn't needed her for the birth because I did it myself, and that she was only there to retrieve the sac. LOL
I did not tear, and never have. I am lucky. My babies all have small heads! Ha Ha! Anywho, for the first 30 or more minutes, the left us alone. They did not try to cut her cord right away. When it was done pulsating, Donna had Phil cut it. Mom had cut H's cord in 1996, and Phil had cut V's cord in 1995. After the cord was cut, they all just LEFT. it was all of us in this quiet room. I put Peanut to the breast. She latched on so easily! Nobody in the medical field took her away, or interfered. I rubbed the stuff that was all over her into her skin. It was so peaceful and sweet, that first hour.
Eventually, after about an hour, the nurse (nice one) came in and said it was time for her bath. OH BOY Peanut did not like that! H the doting sister stayed right by her side and held her hand. Peanut cried the whole time! Daddy and Brother and Sister oogled and awwww'd over Peanut, while I went in the bathroom and cleaned myself up a bit. Someone came to change my bedding.
After her bath, Peanut nursed some more. Grandma, Uncle Andy and kids and Daddy had held her, and now it was MY TURN to hold her again, and bask in the sweet knewness of my baby, that I had NATURALLY and totally by myself! I made a note to myself that if we ever had another baby, I KNEW I would have a homebirth. I knew I could do it! Pardon me while I BRAG, but I was SO PROUD of me!!! LOL
Anyway, Mom kissed me and baby goodbye, and so did the kids, and they left for my house. When Peanut was 3 hrs old, they transferred me to an "overflow room" because they could not find me a post partum spot. Around 1 am we were all settled in, and we fell asleep. Daddy on his cot, and me with Peanut in a bed. I had to sign this form saying they were not responsible if something happened while sleeping with my baby. One of the nurses had come in prior to this and mentioned that "It is hospital policy that the baby remain in a basinette unless feeding for their safety and to protect the hospital legally" I told her that I would sign whatever I had to, because I WAS NOT going to leave my baby in that "thing". LOL I of course got my way! :)
Peanut had her first poo when she was awake and I was sleeping and Daddy had been tending to her. (By the way...as I sit here and type this, and walk down memory lane, I am crying. What precious moments those first few hours were, and how oh os close I felt to my Husband like I never had before, because with our other 2, he did not want to stay at the hospital with me, and I had felt so hurt about it. When I had V, I was alone. When I had H, at least I had Mom Catherine there.)
I woke because I heard Peanut whimpering, and there was Daddy changing a POOPIE! Her first one! I snapped a picture, LOL.
Around 11 am, Donna came to check on us and everything was fine. I took her picture while she was holding Peanut. I had not realized how tiny Donna was until I got the picture developed! So anyway, she asked if we wanted to go home. I was like, "YES!" so we were released about 1 pm and Mom left the kids and Andy home at our house and came to pick us up. Donna had prescribed some medication for my "soreness' (I think it was prescription Tylenol but I can't remember.) So after bringing Peanut home, and introducing her to our Dog (he loved the baby so much he wanted to lick her, but we didn't let him do it on her face, only her toes!) Mom and I left the baby with Phil to go get my prescription, and Phil and kids walked across the street to McD's for a bite to eat.
The next few days were a bit of a blur for me. I just nursed and slept and nursed and slept. Daddy took care of diaper changes when he could, and the kids stayed quiet for me. I was up on the 3rd day and ready to conquer the world! LOL We had the Fletcher's come over, and Fushia and Ronnie as well. Mom had gone home that first day we came home, because she had some things she had to do. All our friends took turns holding her, and after they left things quieted down again.
On Friday, the day peanut turned 1 week old, the kids and I decided to go to Target and do some shopping. I will never forget it. WHY? Because there was some guy on the bus shouting profanities because he had been asked to give up his seat for a mom. (me) There were so many women and children (ourselves included) on that bus. The driver of the bus (who knew us well) asked him to kindly STOP cursing. He refused. I was so mad I got in his face! I said, "Sir, I just had a baby, and I got lots of hormones going on right now! YOU DON'T WANNA MESS WITH ME! Now, you can either get off this bus, or I WILL MAKE YOU!" He proceeded to continue...The bus driver STOPPED, yes STOPPED the bus, and said, "There is no need for threats now." (to me) and then to the guy, "SIR, remove yourself from MY BUS please or I will call the police." The guy got off, LOL.
Well, I think I am DONE finally, YAY!!! I hope you all enjoy my birth story. Sorry it is so long...Please subscribe and comment, and THANK YOU for reading! -Me :)