I have heard from multiple sources that not drinking enough water in late pregnancy can cause the uterus to become irritable and contract. I even experienced this myself when I had the flu while pregnant with my last child. The hospital needed to give me IV fluids AND a shot to stop the contractions as I was about 36 weeks pregnant.
However, I hadn’t really heard much about the importance of water in the first trimester of pregnancy. Maybe I was just naive or too busy with all that I was doing. When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I would feel faint and get dizzy. My friend recommended that I take my blood pressure. My blood pressure monitor would say that my blood pressure was high. I contacted my doctor’s office and this warranted a couple of extra pre-natal appointments. This was scary stuff as I was less than 18 weeks pregnant. My doctor had ordered a test where I wore a heart monitor for 24 hours to record my heart rate and blood pressure for the entire time. I worried that I would develop pre-eclampsia or worse. Well, my doctor looked at the results from the monitor…I was dehydrated and my blood pressure monitor needed to be re-calibrated! Whew!!! Something that I could fix. The solution was simple: DRINK MORE FLUIDS, ESPECIALLY WATER! I was also encouraged to decrease the amount of iced tea I was drinking as caffeine is a diuretic. As such, it helped my body to flush out water. Your body needs the water as your blood volume is increasing, your body is making or assisting in making amniotic fluid, and you need it to flush out the wastes from your body. Within days I felt immensely better. What a scary 2 weeks for me though, not knowing what was making me ill. Always check with your doctor when unusual stuff is going on.
I was prescribed some ambien to help me sleep. It was a very low dose to just take the edge off so that I could sleep. I took it at 11:00 pm. About 12:45am, I woke up for yet another bathroom break. I don’t think that I went back to sleep. I realized that I was having some “good” contractions and decided to wake my husband up. I think it was about 1:30am when I woke him. We called the doula (Tracey) at about 2am. I had another bathroom break and realized that I was grunting and straining to push. Hmmm. Yep, decided to go to the hospital. Norris asked the doula to meet us at the hospital. I remember thinking that the hospital was just about 5? or was it 3? contractions away. I remember counting the contractions and realizing that I was right about the number of contractions as the last one hit as we pulled into the parking spot. We got to the hospital somewhere between 2:30 and 3:00 am. When I was checked, I was 8cm!!! That was monumental for me as in my previous birth experience, I had stalled at 5cm. Tracey met us there. She put counterpressure on my back and it felt wonderful. Trilogy went to the hospital with us as we couldn’t reach our sitter. Trilogy was 3 at the time. I remember the lights being dim and people respecting my space by talking with hushed voices.
My dr wanted to run fluids, at first I was hesitant, but quickly realized that I wasn’t wanting to take in fluids so the IV would probably be best. I already had a hep-lock in place. The next intervention that I allowed was for them to break my water. Originally, I didn’t want this. However, I was 9+ and so wanting to push. At about 4:00 am I was told that I was complete and to push when I was ready. Whew!! I pushed when my body told me to. I was so in sync with it. There was no external counting. Most of the pushing time, I was hugging the head of the bed (the bed was in a sitting position) and squatting down. It was an amazing experience. At 5:07am, Kiralynn was born!!! I had pushed for about an hour. I was so excited to be able to have the VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean) that I had dreamed of!!!
Trilogy watched his sister being born while in the loving arms of his father. It is amazing to me that her birth took less than 5 hours. Such a difference from my first birth experience!
It is a beautiful day here as I reflect on the births that I have been blessed to be a part of. I eagerly anticipate the births that I will be at in the future. I am still in need of qualifying births for my certification. Sometimes that concerns me, but not usually. The joy I am able to share with a family as they welcome their new little person into their family is indescribable!!
I am enthusiastic as I look to the future! Families to partner with… births of babies… new people to meet!
I am starting this blog as a way to let others know what I am doing and to answer questions about being a doula. I have had a variety of experiences with birth both personally and with friends. I have learned that I am a good researcher and am able to take the information that I learn and share it in a way that is meaningful to other people. After having a c-section with my son, I spent three years studying birth in order to avoid having to have another one. I learned about doulas and the help that they offer. With my next pregnancy, I hired a doula. She helped me to manage my pain. She was a constant support as she applied pressure to my lower back. My daughter was successfully born vaginally. I was SO empowered!!!!
Through my journey, I have been able to guide several friends through the labor process. I found that others were grateful for my help and that they had positive experiences with their births. I have even been blessed with helping one of them with more than one labor. I love seeing my friends empowered and able to see how strong they are as they give birth.