Expecting our Little Brother in November!

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Birth Revelations!

So, Jamesy and I visited our cousin Emily and little cousin Ava, who is already 7 1/2 months old!

My cousin had never seen my birth video, so we watched it. I've seen it sooo many times before, but never before have I noticed . . .

an arm? Not a hand. An arm. Wow. That is really a whole arm!

Emily and I saw it together, our simultaneous gasp summing up the previous paragraph . . .

My baby crowned not only a head. He crowned an entire arm and shoulder, too. Like, when he was crowning his elbow was coming out with his head, and when the head was out the whole arm was out.

All of a sudden, all of the following things make sense.

-Why I was having shooting pains down one leg for the last month of pregnancy.

-Why the crowning/pushing stage took a relatively long time compared to the overall course of the labor. From the beginning of labor until full dilation was about 2 hours. And then from full dilation until crowing was another hour and a half. His head/arm/shoulder were out a full three contractions before I was able to push him the rest of the way out.

-Why the crowning/pushing stage were so painful for me. Now, I did have an easy birth, and the pain of crowning and pushing was actually about what I had expected it would be. But . . . now seeing what was actually happening in my vagina when I birthed this baby, it kinda makes me wonder if the next one will be a totally crazy pain-free birth or something. I can't imagine how much easier it would be to push out only a head. A head is already shaped to fit through the opening provided for the baby. An arm/shoulder/head is not smooth and round.

-Why I had a 5th degree tear.

-Potentially why james took a long time to breathe/clear his lungs. That birth presentation/posture would have put extra/incorrect/not enough pressure on his body. The vagina is meant to clamp down on the chest of the baby to expel fluids after the head is born, but maybe his presentation prevented this clamping from happening correctly. They say the first breath is the hardest to take so having extra fluid to clear or feeling an extra weight must have made it harder.

Now, someone could read this list and say these things happen to babies born in a textbook position all the time. Or maybe wonder why it even matters to me.

I like to understand. And I know myself well. Things happen for a reason. I like to understand the reasons behind things. When I saw that arm, it was like I put in the final piece of my birth experience puzzle and can see the entire picture clearly now.

I guess time will only tell. If I have another baby, in a textbook position, I would guess my labor will be closer to 3 hours than 5, and that I will not tear at all except minorly (or along the old tear), and that crowning/pushing will be a comparative breeze and my post-partum recovery will be practically non-existent. But like I said, time will tell!

Along with this realization also came some crazy birth power. Now I really feel like I could handle anything. 11 lbs baby, natural vaginal breech birth--whatever! I am woman I roar out baby.

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