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Muminusa's Birth Story

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 escape more!!!

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~!!)

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