Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mom's Birth Stories: Fourth of Eleven

The following is my Mom's fourth birth story. For a little background, check out my first post about this series, Mom's Birth Stories, her First Birth Story and Second Birth Story, and Third Birth Story.

Her story is broken into 4 sections: Pregnancy, Labour and Delivery, Breastfeeding and Reflections. I have also provided some of my comments and reflections at the end.

We were using a natural family planning method called Sympto-Thermal to determine fertility times of my cycle. (Unlike previous pregnancies, she was not breastfeeding prior to conception). The thermometer broke before I conceived and I just didn't get another one right away, not intentionally. I was happy to know that I'd become pregnant shortly after because I was longing for an infant again. It's such a special time in a women's life that it's hard to accept never experiencing that again until your sure that's what you want and what is best for your family.

Labour and Delivery
Baby #4 was due on November 16th, but wasn’t born until November 23, 1977.

My plan was no drugs and no epidural (read her Third Birth Story for her reasoning) and this was the first time men were allowed into the delivery room so I was really hoping my husband would be by my side. Well, he was afraid he couldn’t handle me in pain and not be able to help so I was very disappointed but understood to a point his decision not to.

This time I not only had abdominal pain but I also had severe back pain. I don’t know if this was caused from the previous epidural given at my last delivery or from an injury when I slipped on the stairs while carrying an armload of laundry while very pregnant.

I had a Doctor’s appointment earlier that day and my Doctor asked if there was anything he could do for me. I said yes I just wanted to have this baby so he did a "stretch and sweep". He said this may or may not start things rolling. The five of us (three children) were on our way to Smith Falls for some farm supplies when my labour began and became regular and strong so we got off the 401 and brought the children to relatives (3 different sets of relatives as to not overwhelm them with 3 children) and then went to the hospital.

Again the doctor broke the membranes once I was dilated enough. My labour length was 8 & 1/2 hrs. He was born at 12:27 AM. Baby #4, a boy, weighed 8 lbs 5.5 ounces. The hospital stay was still 5 days long.

Breastfeeding began the same day and on demand. Baby #4 was breastfed for 11 months at which time he was weaned because of nipple soreness from the next pregnancy.

She had a different family doctor who did not recommend weaning at 6 months like the previous one did with her 3 previous children.

Mom's Reflections
The best part was our health and great recovery. The worst part was the painful labour and delivery. I was pleased with myself for going o'natural and felt more confident as a person and especially as a Mother.

Mom also reflected on the fact that they dropped off each of the three children to different relatives before heading to the hospital. They didn't have anyone near by that could take on three children for the five days in hospital so it was their decision to split them up almongst their relatives.  They discovered after, while talking to the children, that they would much rather have been together so they never chose this method again. 

My Reflections
Go Mom! This was her first all-natural birth and I'm so happy for her that she achieved her desired birth plan this time. And, with her largest baby! (out of all eleven). I want to yell, "Ah, come on, suck it up, Dad!" about him not joining her in the delivery room, but things will get better here. It is also awesome that breastfeeding was continued until  11 months at which it was her own personal decision to wean. All in all, I love this story and the fact she is starting to take more control in her decisions and experiences.

Keeping tabs:

Baby #1 - Boy - October 5, 1972
Baby #2 - Girl - February 24, 1974
Baby #3 - Boy - June 10, 1975
Baby #4 - Boy - November 23, 1977


  1. figures he'd be late ;)

    these are so amazing, Alicia! Thank you so much for sharing them!! I hope you get some extra exposure from the award post - your site is awesome! :)

  2. I seriously cannot believe how your mom found the energy to have more kids. I sometimes wish I had had more - but I know I wouldn't have had the pep for it. Imagine going through a pregnancy with three toddlers around - my last one, when I had two toddlers, featured LOTS of DVDs and naps on the couch. What's her secret? Do you mind if I ask how old she was at this time?

    In any case, I'm so glad to hear that this birth experience was a positive one!

  3. Thanks Lindsay, I can't wait to have them all done to package up as a gift for her.

    Me too Lynn. I am drained with one child! At the time of baby #4's birth my Mom had just turned 28 that week! I am 28 now and pregnant with my second. I. can't. even. imagine. Wow.