Birthing Abram: The Details

This is a multi-part post…in this section, I’m writing about some of the details about Abram’s birth. A little bit of introduction in Birthing Abram. In a subsequent post, Spiritual or Embodied I write some reflection on birthing. If birth stories make you queasy, you might want to skip this post, and go on to the reflections…

I’ve given birth twice now. Zora came by way of cesarean section after roughly 15 hours of labor with an epidural. I spent most of labor and pushing flat on my back to control my blood pressure, which was low due to the epidural. Not the best position for labor. After 2 hours of pushing (with the epidural backed off a bit, she wouldn’t turn from her face-up position and just couldn’t clear her way through. Thus the C-section.

Abram’s birth was probably most extraordinary in that he’s the rare baby who showed up on his actual due date. Nice timing! Abram came by way of a VBAC (vaginal birth after caserean). Like Zora, it was about 15 hours of labor, and like Zora, he was facing the wrong way. I had what’s called “back labor”. Back labor is pretty hideous…you feel all your contractions bashing up against your tailbone and lower back. I felt this a bit with Zora when the epidural was eased up for pushing. But this time, we went with no epidural and no drugs, hoping that the ability for me to move around and change positions and not have to deal with low blood pressure would mean that we could get this baby out without surgery. (If you want really nitty gritty details, you can visit my friend Martha’s birth instructor website…she wrote an account of what happened. Then, if you’re pregnant, you can sign up for one of her classes because she’s that wonderful!)

And we did it. I say “we” because I would never have managed this without Erik especially; without the women who attended me (my mother and my friend Martha); without the great nursing staff we had; and without my doctor (if anyone needs a recommendation for a great OB/GYN, let me know!). The medical staff did what they had to keep Abram safe (scalp monitor and oxygen for me while I was pushing), Abram turned his head the right way, and we all pulled through.

I have no qualms about how Zora was delivered. My pregnancy with her had some complications, and I think my doctor helped us make good choices. Plus, clearly, she’s here and she’s healthy and I’m fine, too.

I know that by some measures, Abram’s birth was much more interventionist and less “natural” than some would advocate for; however I think it is also a good example of striking a balance between “natural” and medical technology.

But I am incredibly proud of myself and of “us” for how Abram’s birth played out. It was hard, hard work. If you’ll permit me the bragging rights, I delivered a big (9 lbs. 6 oz.) baby without pain medication, with a VBAC to boot, all of which made me feel like the bad-a** of the labor and delivery ward for the day.

2 Responses to “Birthing Abram: The Details”

  1. Kirstin Says:

    You should be proud! When I found out how big Abram was, bad-a** is exactly how I thought of you, drugs or no.

  2. Mamie Says:

    Darn right your a bad a**! Way to go! I had back labor with Nora too, and it is hideous. You rock Mama. Go on with your bad self.