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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Birth Standing


Writting a specific birth story is challenging because of all of the births I have seen in the past three months, they blend together. I was going to write about my last catch but I am not so great at narrative. I thought it better to write some of the more intense moments instead, kinda like looking through a photo album of snapshots of the past 3 months here.

I could even catagorize them according to interesting little details no?

Moms standing and squatting during pushing...

1. A mama came in pushing, we brought helped her to the "peach room", barely had time to put a chux down, before her baby came out hollering. Her huband stood behind her and held her elbows as she squatted with each back to back contraction and pushed. None the less, he had a backache afterward.

2. Sylvia...one of the strongest woman I have ever seen. A 3rd time birthing machine, she followed her instincts so amazingly. She birthed standing until the head began to come, then moved gracefully to the birth stool where to rest of that 9 1/2lb baby came sliding out. We were a little worried as the heart tones slipped below 90bpm as the head was compressed (very normal but it always seems to bring a bit of worry into the room). Baby came out a litte gunky but beautifully pink.

3. The first time I assisted was with a momma standing. The baby's head came sllllllowly out without restitution and then had some sticky shoulders. A slow 2 minutes ticked by before we moved her to the bed into McRoberts, that seemed to work to birth the rest of the body. The baby was great and the parents were estatic. The whole labor and birth we had been speaking in Spanish. As the momma received her little girl, she looked at all of us and said "OH THANK YOU, I am so happy"

A little side note:

I have seen a lot of sticky shoulders, for awhile I was equating it with bed dystocia, or "mammas birthing on their backs" dystocia. I don't know now though...I have seen hands and knees dystocia too. I also used to think that dystocias were caused by directed pushing too, but that theory hasn't panned out either. Most of these babies were under 8 lbs too.

I wonder sometimes if the dystocia is about fear, or disturbing the birth space as well. I imagine that Michel Odent would agree...

At any rate, the sticky shoulders have always easily resolved...so maybe that would not define a true dystocia? I am still working it out in my head and may never draw any scientific conculsions. Birth never seems to follow the paridigm of science, there are too many variables to adequately give theories about labor patterns and complication patterns that apply regularly: ie, dystocias are more likely to occur with babies over soo and such weight. It just doesn't seem to happen that way....

I was talking about birth stories was I not? It is so easy to get off topic...part of my writing is processing all of these experiences and information. To be continued.

3 comments:

jjcups said...

I enjoyed reading your little short stories of other births. I'm looking forward to part 2. :)

lesa said...

you know, I spend a lot of time in creative writing classes here at school reading women's stories that just flow out of them so natural and crystal clear ... and then i am surprised to find them shy and making disclaimers for their work. sometimes when we write honestly about things so visceral we forget that our experiences become art just by passing through us and into words.

long story short: you are very good at narrative! i can't believe i will be there so soon.

Navelgazing Midwife said...

You'll find over and over the "rules" of midwifery broken, Sunshine. But, you will find some things that do come. Babies that are 11 pounds will most likely shoulder dystocias (you won't know that until afterwards, of course), women that eat like crap will have cords that are either hugely fat or incredibly thin and frail, women will tell you one thing and do another. It's just the way it goes.

You will find your own "rules" and you will buy them as sure as if they were in a study done by a reputable organization. You are in a place of open-ness and embrace-ing now, but seeing something often enough tends to ingrain a belief in anyone and the "rule" is born.

It is the same in hospitals just as it is for us. Red-heads bleed more. Directed pushing causes more tears than allowing the body to push gently. An episiotomy is easier to repair than a tear. Pick your rule - we all create and keep alive the reality we believe in wholeheartedly. It takes acts of God/dess to change some beliefs (as we all know!).

Keep looking and thinking, but know that there are real rules that are fluid - they ebb and flow - they are not solid. A shoulder dystocia for one baby of 11 pounds would be a baby sliding out easily for another because of positioning, gravidity, evolution, etc. Who knows what brings what.

We can only be ready for all. That is what we are hired for, right? We are hired for our potential.

Much love, Sunshine... wish I could read more often... babies and pictures... time, time... but I enjoy so much when I do read.

(dilation, hon... sorry, have to be the spelling police)