I change things up today. I am not going to discuss the typical manly wilderness survival or the extreme modern survival as I usually do. But Survival Medicine is important and we just completed a procedure within that field, so I felt it fitting to tell the basics of that story and discuss our natural childbirth. I tell you about our Husband Coached Birth using the Bradley Method and a WaterBirth. Not my usual post! This particular event is why I took a week off of blogging, which I warned everyone about.
First, some back-story. Genevia has had a c-section for our first-born. We cannot say if it was completely necessary, or not. We were young and just listened to the “professionals.” We had no idea how hospitals worked or why c-sections were typically done.
(All Photos were Shot by Heart Beat Photography, Mid-wife services by Precious Life Midwifery. All parties are sworn to a certain amount of privacy, since I do have a SURVIVAL BLOG!)
Our second child was a repeat c-sections because we had a doctor that was rumored to be VBAC (vag birth after cesarean) friendly. We took classes in the Bradley Method, but it was also fairly in-depth in the lamaze method. Both are based in calming techniques and the knowledge of the different stages of birth. My wife went almost a week over the “due-date” and the other doctors in the practice pressured ours to do something illegal. She said that if we didn’t submit to a cesarean, she would no longer be our doctor! We were knowledgeable about natural childbirth, but didn’t have a lot of data on the success of other VBACs, so the thought of not having a doctor at the last-minute was really scary.
They made the procedure as nice as possible, but the doctor that PROMISED that she would be there during the birth was (less than a week after the “due date”) on VACATION. So another doctor in the practice did the cesarean.
At this time, we pretty much stopped believing doctors. As we learned more, we realized that many OBs were lacking in a lot of school teaching on natural birth, and spent a ton of time learning how to cut women open. The problem with this, and this is where it ties into survival, is that a c-section brings a very large chance of infection. In survival situations, infection can KILL.
So the doctors are surgeons. We entrust a natural process to people who are taught how to cut us open. There is a time that this procedure is necessary, but it is way too overused today. We had learned that it is done more often on Fridays before the end of day and on days before the OBs go on vacation. Hmmm, making a connection here?
C-sections make more money, and are much quicker for a surgeon to do. This is our major problem. They lack knowledge in natural methods, have lots of knowledge in cutting people open, and (like everyone else) have ambition to make tons of money.
So, at this point, she has had two cesareans, and now comes our third. We have much more knowledge about the way things are done. I understand that she is now considered “high-risk” which means that the success rate is around 97-98% instead of 99%. ALMOST negligible. I opted for a midwife. We have someone who can be around during everything just to monitor us while we do most everything ourselves.
The midwife, Kate, was very good. She was as hands-on or hands-off as we wanted. Only a few times did she ever check on the heartbeat of the child, just to ensure everything is progressing fine. She only did this because we asked her to be hands-off.
The birth of our third went for about 25 hours of extremely light labor, 3-4 hours of good labor, and an hour of pushing after the transition stage of birth. I caught the baby with assistance from the midwife. The birth started in water, but the last hour or so was in our bed (with waterproof cover and sheets).
Our fourth child, that just happened Sunday, 9/22/13, was another natural birth. At this point, we were fairly seasoned, but we had a little scare. The day before, Gen (firstname.lastname@example.org) was in labor, but after a nap, it stopped. She was at around 3 cm dilated after those.
That night, Gen started having contractions through the night. she explained that they weren’t normal for her. They were sharp pains and it seemed to be directed at the scar. So that morning, against our true wishes, we met the midwife at the hospital (after dropping children off at church and praying about everything). We had the doctor that had worked with our midwife a lot.
He advised that he would not do a birth, that if in his hands he would go for another cesarean. But he also explained to us that is was OUR CHOICE and that we could leave. He did a few tests for us that made us feel better about the health of momma and baby. She was at 5-6 cm when we got to the hospital. She went into normal (not as sharp as the night before) contractions at the hospital during the tests.
By the end of it all, she had reached 8 cm dilated, and we were feeling comfortable with how everything was progressing, so we opted to leave the hospital and head home. Instead of racing to the hospital because a pregnant woman in labor, we were running away from a hospital because a woman was in labor.
We had a trash bag and towel on the seat in the event of her water breaking, which it did as soon as she got out of the vehicle at home. We ended up this time, her being probably 9 cm by the time she got into the birthing pool. There wasn’t much time for her to decide to get out, like she did the last time. She was finally going to have a waterbirth.
She was in there for an hour or so when transition actually hit. At transition, this is the point when they start doubting their ability to do this. It is fully natural and eventually they will work through it. The whole time I kept doing hip compressions and sacrum pressure to ease any tension or pain.
Before we knew it, the hormones told her it was time to push, which she did, and a baby boy floated up into her hands. She got to catch her own baby, technically.
With this last one, we were a week late… again. It seems to be perfectly natural for Gen to have a baby one week late. Any normal physician would tell you this isn’t normal for people, but I, and many others that actually took the time to learn things, disagree.
The waterbirth is done in water that is as close to 98.6 degrees as possible. It is important to keep it above 96. It can shock the baby if you don’t. The birth in water makes the transition much easier for a baby during birth. Ours was so calm it actually took a minute for him to cry, and we could see him breathing the whole time.
It is a fairly clean environment, and chance of infection is much lower than a cesarean.
Midwives today are like the birthing professionals of the past, and know more about natural birth than most doctors do, nowadays. Ours costed us 3k before insurance, and a hospital cesarean will cost around 15k before insurance.
If you are lucky, you will find a certified Nurse Midwife that is fed up with “the system” and the hospital way of doing things. She will be all about natural birth, and will only use a hospital if absolutely necessary. She must not hold a grudge with western medicine, because hospitals DO have their place. You DON’T want a midwife associated with a particular hospital.
Doing things in the home is much more calm and relaxing, all the while, you learn lots of things about sterilizing your home at least to the degree needed for birth.
As I write tips for your adventures and hear about cool gear, I will let you know all about it!