Serge Constantine, a few hours after he was born. Called by his middle name or “Costa” for short.
My son was born at 6:10 PM on Sunday evening. I had been in labor for just around 8 hours, and had only been on the 1-2 ml/hr Pitocin drip for the first 5 hours. Beyond that (and the attendant continuous fetal monitoring), the only intervention that was used was the vacuum extractor.
Constantine was placed on my chest immediately, snuggled up under my hospital gown skin-to-skin with a warm blanket placed over us, and he stopped crying almost instantly. He was very awake and alert. They waited for the cord to stop pulsing, then clamped it and asked my husband if he would like to cut it. My husband is rather squeamish about blood, so he kind of surprised me when he said yes and did the cutting. He came around to the side of my bed to look down on the two of us, and I noticed that he had tears in his eyes. As for Costa, I thought he looked like a little cherub, so chubby and with golden blonde hair. (The blonde hair really, really surprised me. My husband and all of his siblings have dark brown or black hair, and my natural hair color is medium golden brown. But all of my siblings were blonde as babies, so Costa seems to have gotten those genes or something.)
Updated and revised my birth plan to reflect our plans for my GBS+ diagnosis, plus the possibility of being delivered by a back-up doctor:
- “Full-term” (37+ weeks) yesterday. Yay! (The word “full-term” is in quotation marks because “term” is really more of a spectrum, and many babies are not really ready at 37 weeks. But from here on out, I can now say that my child was born full-term and not as a preemie.)
- Tested positive for GBS. Boo.
- My hot doctor says he’s perfectly fine with me having a Hep-Lock installed and only being tied to the IV cart when the anti-GBS antibiotics are being administered. Yay!
- Hot doctor is going out of town for his sister’s wedding from September 13th – 22nd. My due date is September 20th. So there’s a very real chance that he is going to miss my delivery. Boo.
- Hot doctor is lining up two possible back-up doctors for me and he swears that they are natural-childbirth-friendly and will be fully advised on my birth plan. One of them I have seen a few times this pregnancy (the other hot doctor) and one of them I have never met before. Yay?
I had a fantastic, wonderful baby shower one week ago. There were a few disappointments, but overall it was lovely. The members of my church really went all-out for me and I’m overwhelmed by their love and kindness.
I’m done buying most of the essentials for baby. I’ll just be ordering my crib/changer combo this week. Still need to finish my cloth diapers; going to shoot for finishing just the newborn ones, and work on the other ones while on maternity leave.
This was my first draft of my birth plan, but my doula thinks I should do something more serious.
Posting for your enjoyment (I hope).
The Most Awesomest Birth Plan Ever That Will Never Be Used (PDF)
I know this is looking way ahead, but how insane is it that I totally want one of these for the next time I deliver?
I hate hospital gowns with a passion, but I don’t believe homebirth is as safe as hospital birth, so as I see it, the best I can do is to wear a gown in the hospital that doesn’t make me feel like I’m in the hospital.
These are the things I am working towards changing:
- I am going to hire a doula. I am sure about this. If my current doctor tries to tell me I can’t have one, then he won’t be my prenatal care doctor.
- There’s only so much I can do to increase DH’s willingness and ability to play a strong supporting role in my birth. I’ll probably ask him to attend a childbirth education class with me and read a book, maybe The Birth Partner (2007) by Penny Simkin (provided I read it first and like it). I don’t plan to push him too much though. He tends to get squeamish about blood and I’ll consider it a victory if he stays in the delivery room for the entire birth.
- I still lack family in the area, but I will probably lean more heavily on the support of the women at my church. My pastor happens to be a woman. I may ask her to visit me and give me a blessing when I go into labor. I will probably invite my mother-in-law and stepmother to come out and help with the baby if they have any desire to do that, as well as my sister.
- I don’t live in Utah anymore and I’m not immersed in a culture that tries to limit women’s roles and pin it on their ability to give birth, so this shouldn’t be a factor. I feel free to reclaim the birthing experience and make it a positive one.
- My doctor is a family practitioner and a resident, so he’s close to my age. I like him a lot and I think we have a good relationship. He’s willing to take my questions and concerns more seriously than my last doctor did, so I am hopeful that he will be supportive of my labor and delivery plan.
- I intend to aim for a natural childbirth experience in the hospital. One of the things that I didn’t like about my last delivery was the sensation of being removed from my own birthing experience. I had magnesium for high blood pressure, Pitocin to induce labor, my water broken to induce labor, an epidural to manage the pain brought on by the Pitocin (though I was pretty certain I wanted one in advance), and an episiotomy + forceps delivery because my daughter’s heartrate was nose-diving with every push and the doctor wanted to get her out ASAP. This means I had all kinds of wires, tubes, and monitors attached to me (IV, fetal heart monitor, catheter, epidural, etc.) and couldn’t leave my bed. This time I’d like to try and stay off the interventions cascade altogether and manage my pain on my own—not because I think NCB is better or safer, but because I would personally like to play an active role in my next child’s birth.
That is where I am. As I said above, I am scheduled to have my Mirena removed later this month, and we will probably begin TTC in January 2013.