A family affair: having her loved ones around her comforted this mother during labor – Birth Stories

A family affair: having her loved ones around her comforted this mother during labor – Birth Stories – related article: Jennifer Scheidt, 30, Wisconsin

My husband, Jeff, and I were overjoyed when we found out that I was pregnant in November 2001. That Christmas Eve, we shared the news with our families.

I envisioned the delivery countless times in my head throughout my pregnancy. I wanted it to be a beautiful experience, one in which I had the support and coaching I needed, so Jeff and I formed a birth plan. I wanted to try different techniques, such as listening to music, having a lower back massage and applying cold cloths to different parts of my body, to help me combat the pain before deciding if I wanted to receive medication.

I knew I wanted my mother to be present at the delivery, along with my husband. I had not asked my father to be present because I thought he might be uncomfortable or feel like he was in the way, but as it turned out, he wanted to be there. When he asked to come, I realized it would be wonderful to have him there.

As I got closer to my due date, it was determined that my labor would be induced; my doctor did not want me to go past my due date because of the increased risk associated with the baby ingesting meconium. Also, Jeff and I had built a special relationship with our doctor, and he wanted to be the one to deliver our baby, rather than another doctor in his practice.

We checked into the hospital at 5 a.m. the day I was to be induced. My father took pictures to chronicle the event, and my mother shot some footage with our camcorder. Jeff kept a journal of the events.

At 6 a.m., I was given an IV containing Pitocin, and at 8:45 a.m., my doctor broke my water and started a fetal monitor. My contractions started around 9:20 a.m.

While I was in labor, each of my family members found something to do that was helpful to me. Jeff stayed by my side and played my favorite CD, the soundtrack to the movie Meet Joe Black. My mother lightly massaged my legs during contractions. She spoke in comforting tones and soothed me. My father moistened washcloths and placed them on my shins and the top of my feet.

When it came time to push, my husband counted down the seconds remaining for each push. My mother held a washcloth to my forehead and helped me keep my chin to my chest during contractions to make the pushes more effective. My father remained a supportive presence in a curtained-off area. I never needed pain medication.

Each family member comforted me in a unique way, and the combination of efforts helped me do what I needed to do. With the help of his father and his grandparents, Matthew James Scheidt was born July 29, 2002, at 4:39 p.m.

My parents shared in the most beautiful experience of my life, and I would not have wanted it any other way.


Jennifer’s tips for a personalized delivery:

1. Create a birth plan and discuss with your partner how you envision your Labor, but be flexible if things don’t go exactly the way you want them to.

2. Carefully consider who you would like to be present during your delivery. Think about who you would feel most comfortable with in this situation.

3. Discuss in advance how involved everyone plans to be. Allow each person to find his or her own comfort Level.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Weider Publications

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group