Bodies, Birth, & Baby Rosa

It’s been quiet around here, hasn’t it? After my due date (January 24th) came and went and there was still no sign of Baby’s appearance, I turned inward. Not wanting to evict my child before she was ready to journey in to this world, I had to summon quite a lot of patience. For anyone who has been pregnant– especially post dates–you know that this kind of patience is very hard to come by. Alas, I wanted my baby to choose her birthday and come when she was good and ready.

I didn’t know that would be ten days later. I admit that I was starting to lose my good humor there in the last few days of pregnancy. I was eager to meet my baby, eager to not be pregnant any more, and eager to stop going to the bathroom every 15 minutes. I was also a bit anxious to know if the heavy probiotic and whole food diet– including zero refined grains or sugar– I had done for the previous few weeks would be sufficient for knocking out the Group B Strep infection I tested positive for at 37 weeks. And as much of a proponent of natural childbirth as I am, I was looking forward to being on the other side of the birthing experience.

I was not, however, fully prepared for the intensity of the experience that my body was about to undergo. It had been warming up with eight days of prodromal labor contractions. That, combined with my second sons 4.5 hour labor, should have clued me in that I was in for another fast and furious labor and birthing experience. It was as if my body had been training for the birthing olympics, and when it was time to perform my uterus wanted to expel the baby as quickly as possible. This is all fine and well and good, except babies don’t like to be treated as cannonballs– it’s far too stressful. The stress is compounded when the baby has been in a posterior position and tries to rotate during birth, thereby corkscrewing the umbilical cord around her neck. The baby’s heartrate dropped significantly.

My capable and caring midwife April Bullock instructed me to gather my strength and birth my baby. In an intense four minutes, I was able to birth my daughter despite my body’s unwillingness to cooperate and continue uterine contractions. After Rosa Anne Rooff arrived safely, we rubbed and cuddled her as she pinked up and transitioned into our world. It was 8.17pm on February 3, 2011. Rosa weighed in at 8lbs 13oz and was 20.75 inches long.

Unfortunately, my body continued to be uncooperative. My uterus still refused to contract, and I was bleeding heavily while still retaining the placenta. I required several injections (pitocin and methergine) to try to stimulate my body to do what it was supposed to do. Finally, the placenta delivered. My uterus required significant massage to be convinced it wanted to start shrinking back to its normal size. In the end, though, I’d lost more blood than normal.

There was swift action to start rebuilding my blood stores. Drinking molasses, prune juice, and the iron & herbal supplement Floradix aren’t the tastiest options, but I needed some iron right away. I’ve continued on an iron-rich diet in the two weeks since Rosa’s birth, still cognizant that my body is far weaker than it was after my first two children were born. I’ve also been an excellent patient, staying in bed entirely for the first week post-partum, and only now starting to take the boys to/from school. It’s very odd for me to be so low energy, but I am respecting my body’s cues. Snuggling Baby Rosa, nursing her, and resting are really my priorities right now.

Thanks for all of your kind thoughts, emails, food, and messages. I appreciate them very much. Rosa and I will be out and about soon enough.

Good health and great happines to all of us!

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