Eli was born at The Birth
centre at Olathe Hospital, Kansas, USA. My BP had been steadily rising
from 35 weeks and I had already agreed with OB to induce birth at 39
weeks due to my tendency to have large babies and American Drs fears of
litigation!!!! Anyway we were trying to sell our house and
prepare for our move back to the Uk so no wonder my BP went up!!!
On the Weds eve I was admitted to the Centre- there aren't really
midwives in the US, there are Labour and Delivery nurses and your OB
does the actual delivery. At about 10pm I was given a
prostaglandin pessary - bit like a teabag on a string!!! Spent the next
couple of hours wandering round the corridor, watching Bill Maher on TV
(and trying not to wet my self laughing!) I had my own room with ensuite
bathroom with loo, basin, Power shower and Jacuzzi tub! Nice fluffy
towels, fluffy robe and towelling slippers!!!
Anyway I digress..... pessary started working and I was having
contractions very frequently but they were weak and not dilating my
cervix. I kept needing to pee as well! They monitored me for a while but
as everything was fine took that off and suggested I get some sleep (er....yeah
right!!!). By 3am the contraction were every minute- not painful but
uncomfy and I was still only 1-2cm! So they removed the teabag pessary
and I got a bit of shut eye! By 5.30 I was having proper contractions
and in active labour- woohoo!! My lovely OB (Think George Clooney
but blond!!) arrived at 7am and broke my waters- to the comment- "Whoa
its Noah's flood- anyone got an Ark?"!!! Giggling just made the fluid
Anyway by this time I was definitely uncomfy but I was not going to have
an epidural-hate the idea-would rather have pain!!! No gas and air in US
hospitals so concentrated on my Lamaze breathing!! Got in the Jacuzzi
for a while which was great! My L&N nurse poured hot water over my back
and dh fed me water and juice!! After a while I wanted to get out and
was really feeling my contractions so after a quick internal- (6 cm!!).
I was given IV Staidol- possibly the best drug on the planet!!! Lovely
floaty feeling and could drift off between contraction- an hour later
and 7cms. The L&N nurse left and about 20 mins later I said to DH I need
to poop! Then realised er...no don't want to poop want to PUSH!!
L&N checked and and yes, in 20 mins had gone from 7- 10cm and fully
effaced!!!! Ok suddenly lots of activity- my OB was in clinic so he was
paged, the pictures on the wall was slid to one side and out popped the
Oxygen and suction and the baby trolley (where they take the baby to
check it over- can' think of proper name!!) was wheeled in!
I REALLY wanted to push but the L&N said no, please pant and looked a
bit panicked so I panted like mad while waiting for the OB to arrive!
He arrived and we had those weird few minutes where you are just waiting
for the next contraction! They were about 4 people in the room with dh
and me- my L&N nurse, my OB and a couple of other nurses- all were
lovely, quiet and unobtrusive- they asked how I wanted to be to push- so
I sat semi upright-(fab electric bed) and one had cool flannel and ice
chips and was a real cheerleader but in a really lovely way!
Anyway started pushing- first couple of pushes were crap but then I
found my groove! Like Grace, Eli was lying posterior (back to my back!)
so my OB turned him as I pushed- didn't really hurt and made for an
easier delivery!! A few pushes later and his head was out- in the USA
they leave the head out for a bit while they suction- dh said it as
weird could just see this head sticking out!!!!! Next push delivered the
rest and my lovely little boy was delivered on to my tummy and my OB
said he was gorgeous and healthy and Eli let out a loud, indignant
scream!!! The nurses then took him to do his Apgars and wipe him down
and a few minutes later he was snuggled up with me while the placenta
was delivered! I didn't tear so didn't need stitches! My OB gave Eli a
cuddle-"my first British baby"!! and then left us to it!
After about an hour, the nurses came and helped me into the shower where
they washed me and my hair, helped get dry-I had really shaky legs!!
Everything was provided- nightie, pants pads, diapers etc etc!
When I came out the shower the delivery bed was gone and a lovely king
size double was in its place all made up with a ton of pillows! Dh Eli
and I are snuggled down and then they brought a nice 3 course lunch for
both of us and after that dh went and collected the girls from school
early to meet their brother!!!
It was a great birthing experience and the US system is not as over
medicalised as I expected. The post partum care was excellent (and the
food was damn good too~!!)