Thursday, March 15, 2012

Marylyn's Five Home Birthed Babies in the 70s and 80s.

   I really felt like writing a little introduction to this A Blast From Our Birthy Past post. Marylyn I met probably about 4 or so years ago. We worked together for quite some time and she was around when I had my first and was preparing for my second child. She was an influence on me to pursue homebirth as she would always tell me stories of her births and it seemed so natural and normal to her that it began to be my thinking as well. I knew I had to ask her to share her stories with everyone and to hear why she chose to give birth outside of a hospital. Very awesome lady, I am glad to have met her and wish her the very best in life.

   God has blessed me abundantly especially in my pregnancies, labor and birth of my five children.  I didn't realize it at the time but He was watching over me and my babies from conception to birth and beyond.

     My first son was born in November of 1971.  I was living on the coast of Oregon at the time.  The weather was very blustery the evening I went into labor.  I had obtained the services of a male midwife. He had served as a medic in Viet Nam and said he had helped deliver babies there and my boyfriend was able to barter for his services.   He lived about 50 miles inland from us so it took him several hours to get to me because of the storm and having to navigate a dark winding road with downed trees and landslides.  My friend who had had a home birth earlier that year was there for me to coach me and encourage me through the about 12 hour labor.  The midwife arrived when I was in the final stage of labor.  He was intending to film the birth but he didn't have time to set up the camera. There were also another 6 or 7 people present for the birth.  I was in the traditional position, lying on my back on the bed.  I had a bad tear while delivering the baby's head which I learned how to avoid in subsequent births.  My son was over 9 pounds at birth.  I had four more homebirths all without a midwife.  My second baby, a girl, was born in 1975 in Tucson, Arizona.  Labor was about 8 hours, I decided to give birth in a more upright position on my knees supported by my husband.  My oldest son saw the birth and I also had a  woman friend in attendance.  Third child a girl also, was born in 1978 in Tucson again. Labor was shorter about 6 hours. Gave birth on my knees again.  There was some complications this time; the babie's arm presented first.  My friend tucked the arm back inside and then the head presented with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck.  My friend slipped the cord over her head and the birth continued with no other problems. Number four birth was in 1981, a son, born in Northern California.  Again on my knees and with my same friend in attendance along with my husband. Labor was around 6-8 hours.  My last labor was about 9 hours.  My daughter was born in Lake Alfred, Florida, 1987, in our converted school bus.  Same position on my knees being supported by my husband and friend in attendance.

     I made the decision to have homebirths after hearing a birth story from my friend.  Then I started to do some research on homebirths and was convinced that it was the way to go.   I wanted my baby to have the best start in life without being drugged, tugged at and handled by several other people before me.  I wanted to be the one to bond with my child the very first moments he came into the world.  I had gone to the doctor when I first realized I was pregnant for the first time.  His attitude and arrogance convinced me that I didn't want to have anything to do with hospitals or doctors who have a schedule to keep and want to determine the time and place my child would be born for their convenience. 

    I can say the one thing in my life that I will never regret is birthing my children at home where I felt comfortable and in control.  I don't regret not taking any pain killers.  I learned to control my pain with breathing, to push when my body was ready, and to stop pushing and allow my body instinctively do the work.  I loved being the first one to hold and immediately nurse my child and unexpressable feeling of joy making any pain I had experience so worth it. Not cutting the umbilical cord too soon so that the baby could get the every drop of nourishment from it.  Not washing the baby off with harsh soaps, but gently rubbing the birthing oils and fluids into his skin. I am so glad I was awake and aware of every moment of the birthing experience.  It is what woman are made for, it is a gift and a privilege that God has given us to have a part in His creation.

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