"Since I was a little girl I have been afraid of childbirth. Hearing about " THE MOST PAINFUL EXPERIENCE A PERSON CAN ENDURE" really did not sit well with me. I cringed when women told their birth stories . I wondered if I would ever make it through birth? As I grew up my friends began having babies. They tried to reassure me saying... "Just take an epidural. It's terrific." or "Oh, don't worry, I was so drugged-up that I actually felt high." These comments did not comfort me. I am not a complete health freak but the idea of numbing myself through the birth of my children did not seem to be a true expression of my feminity.
I really didn't understand, as I began prepared childbirth classes with Shoshanna, why she seemed to take the subject of "PAIN" so "lightly". I listened politely as she explained all the facts - the "what-ifs" and even the "gory details". I began to see that she was painting a very realistic picture of what birth is and what birth could be. The difference between her "stories" and the stories that had caused me to cringe is that Shoshanna looked at birth as a POSITIVE experience as opposed to an experience that nature forced upon women who wanted to bring children into the world. Helped by these classes, I began to look forward to my passage into motherhood. I was still unsure of exactly what to expect. I learned to believe in the inborn abilitiies that G-d gave all childbearing woman including me. I learned how to trust my instincts and my pregnant body to the point that I could enter the delivery room without feeling dependent on the hospital or its staff. I trusted the G-d given strength implanted in me.
The final day of "whalehood" arrived. The
birth of Ora Moriah was an incredible and unforgettable experience that changed
me forever. My water broke at home. I spent the next ten hours working with
my body and my mind to help birth my baby. Because my husband and birth assistant
had come to childbirth class with me we were able to work together ASSERTIVELY
to keep the hospital staff out of our way. I "tuned in" to each
contraction and I was "in tune" with the labor itself. There were
times in my labor when the midwives and doctors discouraged me. They "pooh-poohed"
my capabilities. They encouraged me to take drugs to speed up the labor and
to use medication to ease "THE PAIN". Even during the final pushes
they wanted to cut me! I held my ground and impressed them all! I walked out
of the hospital, holding a beautiful little redhead in my arms, with a refreshed
confidence in myself and G-d" Rivka W. Jerusalem.
As my due date was coming near, Shoshanna Goldbaum was constantly in touch with me, making sure I was doing well. The day after my due date, I had spoken with Shoshanna in the morning, everything seemed to have been well. Shoshanna asked me to give her a call before going to sleep that night unless I would need to speak with her sooner. Well, sooner did come, as labor began that evening as we sat down to supper. I was in touch with Shoshanna throughout the night, giving her no time to get some sleep. Shoshanna happily helped me through as much as possible over the phone until 7 am, when she and my Doctor decided we should meet at his office. After arriving at Dr. P ’s office, and not being able to hear a good fetal heart beat, we were sent to Marpat Geula for another fetal monitoring. All while there, Shoshanna was helping me through contractions, trying to get the monitor positioned properly to hear better, but to no avail. The heartbeats were extremely low after contractions. Dr. P was immediately phoned, and suggested that we go to the hospital, hopping that their monitor was a better one. Shoshanna, my husband, and I sped off to the hospital. Once there, Shoshanna and I ran around the hospital trying to find a fetal monitor. As the hospital staff wasn’t able to help us at all in finding one, Shoshanna had to run from department to department trying to locate the right monitor. After much running around, we settled into a labor room, I was strapped down into a fetal monitor. The nurse did not allow me to be in any other position, no matter how much Shoshanna and I tried to nicely ask them to reposition me.
After not being able to hear a good monitoring, they finally transferred me to a delivery room when one became available. In the delivery room, the various different nurses that came in tried all sorts of ways to get a good reading. Finally with the help of Shoshanna we were able to see something, so Shoshanna politely asked them to allow me to remain in another position other than laying flat on my back, as I was in such discomfort. The nurses wouldn’t hear of such a thing. After some more time, Dr. P arrived, and saw the monitor, and immediately suggested that we try to move things along. He called Dr. L, the anesthesiologist, to prepare me for a C-Section with an epidural. Shortly after the epidural I opened another cm. Dr. P then suggested we do a Pitocin drip, to try to get me to open the last cm, hoping that I wouldn’t need a C-Section. Thank G-d with the help of the Pitocin, I was completely 10 cm. Dr. P then asked me to push. Being that I had my epidural, it was quite hard to push, as I couldn’t feel anything. With the help of Shoshanna holding my legs still, all while breathing with me and letting me know when to push, Dr. P used the vacuum that he so rarely uses to get my baby out. At 3:45 pm, on October 10, 2005 our beautiful daughter was born grasping the umbilical cord, which now explains the reason for the low heartbeat reading after each contraction.
If not for the help of Shoshanna Goldbaum, I would not have been able to get through my labor and delivery. Shoshanna’s patience is what encouraged me to keep going and remain strong. Once we knew that there was a problem, and we had to get our baby out as safely and as quickly as possible, Shoshanna Goldbaum knew exactly what to do and when regardless of what the hospital staff thought was right to do. Chana B. Jerusalem