Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Reflecting on Adam's Birth

I just had my 6 week check up with the midwives several days ago.  When I was visiting with Elizabeth, one of the midwives, I told her about my amazing experience after Adam was born.  I wasn't sure if the new policies since Peter was born were due to giving birth with the midwives or if Salem Hospital's birthing center had implemented the changes.  She said it was a little bit of both.  Now that the midwives are at the birthing center they have begun to influence some change as well as the Salem Hospital taking some initiative.

Looking back, I realize, I have some thoughts to share.  Especially for new Moms to hear. 

When Lachlan was born, he had the umbilical cord around his neck and was having a rough start.  He was whisked away quickly and checked by the NICU team.  He ended up being just fine and came back to me pretty quickly.  However, he was all swaddled up with his hat on.

When Peter was born, he was placed right on my chest.  We had some great skin to skin time, but I would say about 30 minutes in I was beginning to feel some pressure to pass him on to the nursing team for his shot, eye goop, weighing and measuring.  They weren't asking, they were just standing there waiting.  I felt like I was holding them up, like I needed to let them do their thing so they could move on.

I remember thinking, if I just pass him off now, then I can have him back for good.  So I reluctantly passed him off and let them do their thing.  But the moment I did, I felt regret, and continued to feel that way, still do to this day.  When I got him back, he was swaddled up with his hat on.  

Now here I am on my third delivery.  Adam was born and again put right on my chest.  There he stayed for quite some time.  I remember looking around the room several times and I saw the nurse team there but they were standing way off in the corner and didn't act like they were in a rush about anything.  At one point I looked over and they were gone.  Adam and I enjoyed at least a full hour of time, skin to skin, admiring each other.  Finally, my curiosity at his weight and size got the better of me and the nurse team was back.

They took him to get weighed, not to a cold plastic scale, but the warmer, which now has scale built into it.  They then asked me if I wanted him back swaddled or naked.  Naked of course.  They did put a little diaper on him, which I didn't mind.  We had yet again, more skin to skin time.

They still needed to give him his shot and do the eye goop thing.  But this time they asked me if I wanted to hold him while this happened.  I said yes of course.  I held him in my arms as he got all the nasty but necessary stuff done to him and he was able to nurse for comfort.

The funny thing is, I didn't realize I wanted this time with my babies after birth, until I had it.  I didn't realize it was that big of a deal.  After all, we have them the rest of their lives.  But it is a big deal.  It felt so good not to be rushed and for that hour+ of skin to skin time to be encouraged by the birthing center team.

So if you are giving birth at the Salem Hospital Birthing Center I encourage you to take full advantage.  If you are giving birth somewhere else, I recommend writing it into your birthing plan or just requesting it when you get there and sticking to it.  You won't regret it, I promise.  

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