Saturday, June 21, 2014

A yurt birth history that didn't finish as expected!

Sorry if I this post is not related to travel or funny. I am writing mostly for myself and my friends around the world to explain them how the birth was. Also, if someone is interested in reading about natural birth, home birth, yurt birth, posterior presentation baby or just a different way of birth that no need to be necessary hospital or surgically from the beginning, keep reading.

This post wasn't easy to write for me. It took me weeks and a good bunch of tissues...

As you might know already, I found love last Summer and I decided to change my world for a while and experiment the maternity. I had a very pleasant pregnancy without pain or sicknesses. I even managed to backpack in Morocco for two weeks while 2 months pregnant. Easy peasy.

Pandita was the size of a grape (7 weeks) when we traveled to Morocco. Amazing, isn't it?

The birth wasn’t anything as we expected. Lief (my partner) set up a beautiful Kyrgyz style yurt inside a hidden garden that the family had in their land with a massive hot tub for us to use as a birth pool, a single bed, a massage couch, a bean bag, a potty toilet, a chimney and a table and bench that my love built (he is a carpenter).  And of course, lots of fruits, chocolate, juices and treaties for me.

Last days before Pandita arrival. Setting up the yurt.

Hot tub for the water birth

Bean bag and a table full of treaties.

The environment was lovely and we spent weeks building and decorating to make our place unique and special, same as our baby.

On the night of April 29th (two days after the due date), I had The Show and started to get pain in my bottom belly. However, I wasn’t sure that I was having contractions or not (basically because I never had a contraction before) and they were quite weak in my opinion, I expected the contractions to hurt much more.

Reading and resting between contractions.

During 3 days, these pains keep coming and going. Lief learnt about massages and pressure points during labour and he was releasing my pain. On the 2nd of May 4pm, contractions started to be more often and we called the midwife to the yurt for the first time. She came and after the first examination, she said I was 4 cm dilated, so they consider it already active labour.  We slept at the yurt at night, but I was very cold for me and with the size of the belly any position was comfortable to sleep anyway.

My 28th birthday cake by Sweet Destiny.

The 4th of May, day of my birthday, we spent in the yurt as well. Midwives keep coming and going. Contractions come separate, every 5 minutes, then half an hour, then I got no one for an hour… That night we decided to go home and sleep there.  The only way I could sleep was standing up leaning over the kitchen counter. The pain was unbearable until it arrives to one point were I could feel no pain no more. I got used to it. I called the triage hospital to get a midwife sent home at 6am. I woke up my partner and went for a hot bath. We got transfer to the yurt and in the afternoon another team of midwife came.  I wasn’t quick enough to deliver on my birthday day, so the labour carried on. But they never looked as painful to me as I though (or maybe I was too strong and ready?)

My birthday passed without too much celebration and most everyone forgot as everyone was busy with the birth. We spent the night at the yurt, at 3am I was 5cm and I went to the hot tub to see if that will speed up the birth. But I fall terrible asleep as I hadn’t sleep more than one hour since my Show feel off. I learn that floating on water was the only was I could sleep! They let me sleep for an hour and then they woke me up until to get my pulse and the baby’s heartbeat. My contractions slowed down and we just sat down and wait.

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Around 10am on the day 5th, I was suggested by the midwives to break the membranes. I didn’t want to, as I wanted to have as most natural birth as I could. Until that moment, I hadn’t had any painkiller or other sort of pain relief a part from aromatherapy and my Liefy’s massages. Every time any contraction came (around 45’’to 1’30’’ of pain), Lief was pressing both thumbs and they pain was much bearable.

And the baby dropped, but just to get stucked! We tried for 2 more hours in the hot tub. I was able to feel the baby’s head and I knew a hairy head was on the way! I dilated 9 and half cm, but the pain in my pelvis was too much. At this point, I had to try the Entonox, some kind of laughing gas to release the pain, the weakest form of pain relief available for home deliveries.

I needed to go for a wee but I couldn’t, any position (laying, seating, standing up, leaning forward ) was extremely painful. The midwives already alerted the hospital. They explained me that it wasn’t much remaining to do in the yurt: if I wanted to have any chance of natural delivery, we have to rush to the hospital. Otherwise, I might be risking my life and my baby’s.

Everything ready for the birth...We just need the baby!

The road to Gloucester hospital by was so bumpy, that I though I will loose my hips. Twenty eternal minutes until we got there. We were allocated in a high tech birth unit. The pain was horrible, but the midwife took ages reading through all my maternity notes while I was on pain. We tried to delivery naturally for about 3 hours. The midwife and my partner were able to see the hairy head as well, but it wasn’t going through, no matter how hard I tried to push. I lose conscience twice, went into some kind of dream and suddenly wake up to realise I was on the birth unit fighting to bring this baby to the world. As much harder I tried to push, nothing happen, I was exhausted, thirsty as hell and falling asleep…

Then suddenly, the baby heartbeat dropped dramatically. The midwife called the rest of medical team, my partner was given surgery clothes and in a matter of seconds we were in the operation theatre. What it happen now it’s a succession of questions, drugs, more questions, an epidural that never wanted to have, doctors deciding if going for forceps….that’s will seriously damage the baby, no more chance, c-section only…

Then I felt miserable: my baby will be surgically removed from my body as it would be a virus or a cancer. He will not be allowed to have a human birth and I will not enjoy the birth…everything I was mentally prepared the last nine months was a failure, all my meditation, breathing techniques, acupressure, ecstasy birth…nothing worked…my baby will be extracted…they say it’s the last chance to save baby’s life…What to say against that?

A screen covered the rest of my body and my partner and me remain in the other side, wondering what’s going on…There is no pain anymore due to the epidural, just the feeling of “what’s going on?” what are these stranger doing to my body? Are they really saving my baby or just practising some new technique in the latest guinea pig?

I remember like Simba of the Lion King, they raise the baby and shout: It’s a boy!! Yes! Pandita is a beautiful baby boy!! So clean and perfect!! I use to think that all babies are ugly when they are born. But Pandita conserved all his features, had fully opened eyes  and was very clean. After doing all the check-up to the baby, they gave it to my partner and he passed it on to me while the doctors finished sealing my physical scar (the mental will never heal, I am afraid).

7.25pm the baby was born…The so uncommon Gloucester Abbey bells rang in that moment and a electricity shortcut left our property without electricity for 2 days. The birth of the baby was definitely full of energy…

Feeding my cutie pie first time.

I run away from the hospital in 2 days. Later on, I learned that my baby was head down for the latest week but that’s not everything you need: the baby was in posterior presentation (occipital posterior) which in non-medical terms means: back to back with me (that explain the back pain during pregnancy). One of the biggest cause of death by birth of the mother and the foetus a hundred years ago (or still nowadays in developing countries)or before they invented the epidural and caesarean sections. You can read more in here. As much as I wanted a natural birth, it would had been medically impossible and I even had to thank the hospital, doctors and C-sections for saving our lives!

Isn't it the cutest baby ever??
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