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Friday
Nov202009

"So, like, how does that work?": Explaining Out-of-Bed Birth

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A friend of mine was asking me about my birth experience at the birth center. She wasn’t really clear on how an out-of-bed birth works because it’s really not something that’s reinforced… anywhere. Popular literature for pregnant women provides plenty of sketches of different positions in which they can labor, but what happens when a woman is ready to push a baby out? The typical midwife goes to the woman and throws down a few Chux pads. The typical doctor tells the woman to get back up on the bed and assume the position if she happened to have left the bed in the first place.

I told her I labored on a physio ball for a few hours, then got in the tub, where I went from sitting during contractions to lying down between contractions, then felt like squatting and as the baby was crowning, my midwife asked my husband to help me stand up. I put one leg on the edge of the tub and felt the baby spin out. It was freaking glorious feeling. I wouldn’t trade those twenty or thirty ridonkulous transition contractions for anything in the world if it meant that I would have had been unable to feel that.

[And yes, I would have traded the feeling for any necessary intervention needed to save my life or my baby’s. Can we just assume that’s a given at this point and move on? I have.]

She listened and paused. I raised one bent leg as I was talking as a demo (because a reenactment of putting one leg up on a tub is necessary to avoid confusion, I guess).

 

She asked, “Like the guy on the Captain Morgan bottle?”

 

I laughed and exclaimed, “Exactly!”

 

My laughter was really hiding my embarrassment that I was also wearing that hat and nothing else.

 

Have a great weekend, everyone.

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Reader Comments (26)

ROFL! HAHA! Thanks for sharing, that is hilarious. I am still giggling at the word "ridonkulous", I really need to find a way to fit that into my vocabulary today. lol!

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoxanne

Haha! Captain Morgan is useful in demonstrating so many things. Love that guy.

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJupiter

Awesome post!

I am an EMT and when I was doing my training, I ended up chatting about my birth experiences with one of the physicians who was overseeing my clinical training. Strangely, of all the questions he could have asked me, he was most curious to know what position I had birthed in. When I told him (NOT lithotomy) he said, "Really?!" After that he seemed shocked that it really WAS possible and shook his head for a while. Even after my pep talk, he assured me that there was "no way in the world" he would feel comfortable enough catching his own children, despite the fact that he has been the primary attendant at probably a good 100 births.

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAugusta

Augusta, I know! It's so weird. Or the idea that raising the back of the bed is the same as "letting a woman" labor upright.

I stayed in bed for almost the entirety of my first birth but used a squat bar for hours. At the last minute, they broke the bed down and threw me into lithotomy position with one nurse on a stool poised for possible suprapubic pressure and obstetricians hands inside me for no reason related to my or the baby's health and wellbeing and EVERYTHING to do with enhancing their sense of control.

It's gross.

November 20, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill

I had my second one on my bathroom floor basically standing up (kind of in the catcher position). I was ready to catch own baby because he came so fast no one seemed to understand he was coming out. My husband was still in another room setting up the birth tub, the midwife wasn't there (walked in when the baby's head was 1/2 out) and my sister was just standing there asking if I was sure I didn't want to walk to my bed. LOL. Fortunately the midwife did run in at the last second and caught the baby (with my husband running in behind her very surprised that the baby was shooting out of me).

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermomomommmy

That is freakin' awesome! Or, as my daughter says (the opposite of redonkulous is..) recoolious! Ridiculously Cool and Delicious!

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNicole D

I also had my baby in the Captain Morgan pose! One foot up on the toliet seat, to be exact.....and the next time I saw a Captain Morgan commercial I just about died laughing!!!

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Hilarious! When I was learning all the possibilities of positions to give birth in my Bradley Method class, we gave that position the title 'The Captain Morgan'! We also added an arm up with the finger as a mustache to the position. Good times!

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

You gave birth in a Captain Morgan hat? What do you mean, then? Anyway, that's a great birth story. Captain Morgan! Love it!

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

My second daughter was born while I was standing up and my third baby (first son) was born while I was on all fours. People look at me like I am crazy when I tell them!!! But I assure them, I wasn't trying to be crazy, it felt right and natural in the moment and really that is what giving birth is all about.

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
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