Mom Of The Month, November 2014-Alissa Irwin

Our family recently gave birth in April to our 3rd baby at Brookhaven.  We had such a wonderful experience!  Our oldest was born 6 years ago at RMH with local midwives.  Eleven days past my due date, I was induced with pitocin and had a long day of monitoring and interventions including an epidural.  Thankfully I was still able to have a vaginal birth but it was an experience that I knew I didn’t want to repeat.  I did not react well to the epidural and then was put on more meds and just felt drugged out for the first week of Jake’s life.  Next time we knew we need a change.

Three years later when I was pregnant with out daughter, Maggie, I went to the same midwives and planned to deliver at RMH but I knew going in that I wanted a natural birth.  I took classes from my doula and began to have confidence in my body instead of relying on the nurses and staff to tell me what to do.  Maggie was born quickly on her due date (5 hour labor from first contraction to delivery) without the use of drugs and as minimal monitoring as we could get.  What was overwhelming to us though is all the “things” the staff want to do to your baby.  They wanted to take them to the nursery all the time.  It was a constant fight for her to remain in our care.  All of us were healthy but we had to stay for a certain number of days/hours when we just wanted to go home.

When I got pregnant last summer with our sweet Caroline, my husband and I knew that we wanted to give birth somewhere other than a hospital.  So we started looking at our options which were Brookhaven or a homebirth.  We were unsure of having a homebirth so after meeting with Misty and the staff, we quickly decided on Brookhaven for our care.  We loved the relaxed atmosphere and the confidence that is placed on a woman’s ability to give birth naturally.

Caroline was born on April 1st (11 days past her EDD) at 4:22 am.  I had contractions starting 5 days prior to that that would just end up fizzling out.  I woke up at 2:00 on April 1st to an intense contraction and knew it was the real thing.  I assumed that she would come quick but we’d have 4 or 5 hours to get there.  I woke my husband up at 2:30 and told him to start getting ready.  At this point I’m straightening my hair and putting on some makeup in between contractions, not believing that this is moving as fast as it was.  My husband starts encouraging me to get finished and come downstairs (he was more aware that things were moving quickly).

We left our house about 3:20 and Mike told me later he though we were having this baby in the car!  I was in the zone and wasn’t thinking it was moving along that quickly.  I thought we still had hours of labor to go.  I kept yelling “that tub better be full of water when we get there!”  I heard him call Maya and tell her that I was ready for the tub and we’d be there in 5 minutes.  I had one bearing down contraction in the car a couple minutes away and willed myself to wait until we arrived at the birth center!

We arrived at Brookhaven at 3:45 and the tub was almost full.  As soon as there was enough water in, I climbed in because it was time to push!  I was on my hands and knees and letting my body do its thing.  While I was pushing, I instinctively kept reaching down to see if I could feel her head.  This gave me a lot of encouragement.  In my other births, I relied on other people to tell me how I was progressing, this time I knew when she was crowning, etc.  After twenty minutes of pushing, I reached down and pulled her up to my chest which was amazing!  I had no idea how fast it actually all had gone.  We arrived at 3:45, in the tub around 4 and she was born at 4:22 am!!!  Just 2 hours and 22 minutes after I woke up to contractions!

I LOVED my water birth!  The whole atmosphere was calm and encouraging.  A perfect environment to bring a baby into the world!  We loved being able to go home just 6 hours after she was born!  Next time though we might just have that home birth and let the team travel to us! 😉


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