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Ask the Deaf Doula III

What were births like?

I had three completely different births for each of my children and they each came out perfectly.

First Baby

I became pregnant with my first daughter at 19-years-old and gave birth to her at 20-years-old at a birth center in Charleston, South Carolina. I lived over an hour and a half away from the closest birth center out in the country. My due date was October 3rd. And I was so scared I would be alone delivering this baby with only my husband and his family in another state. I was having round ligament pains, walking around as much as possible, and just trying to get her out. We drove (1.5-hour drive to Charleston). At one point, I remember my contractions slowed down, and we stopped on the way, and I did a little more walking around at a storage unit. We arrived at the birthing center around 11 pm, and the midwives turned away because my contractions were not close enough together. We drove to a local hotel, and by the time we walked inside and sat down, my contractions sped up, and I was in active labor. We drove back to the birth center, and the midwives checked me and found my cervix dilated to a six at that point. I labored in the birth tub, on the bed, on a birthing ball, and all over the room. I caught my Bambina Athena at 6 am on her due date, October 3rd, 2010, through water birth. As blue as can be… It scared the living out of the midwives and me, but she made it out okay.

Second Baby

The night before my wedding to my 2nd husband, I found out I was pregnant with my first son at 24 years old. I gave birth to my son at 25-years-old with a midwife in a hospital in Cleburne, Texas. This hospital was about a 30-minute drive south of my home to the hospital. I went into labor late in the evening and delivered my son early in the morning. This birth was not nearly as exciting as the first, but like always, it’s never ‘fun.’ I labored in the shower most of the time, and because of the strict rules at the hospital, I was not allowed to labor in the birth tub only to deliver in the tub. I was not aware of that before delivering there, of course.

When it was time to push him out, they wanted me to sit in a wheelchair and wait for a nurse to cart me down to the other room. I was not waiting, so I ran down the hallway barefoot to the birth tub room kneeled in contraction. I didn’t think I was going to make it. My midwife told me that if I wanted to give birth in the tub, I would have to climb over the tub and do it. I lifted my leg over, squatted down, and caught him because he came right out in the water in one push. He was a blue baby, just like my first, and because he was a good five weeks early, there were a few other complications as well. He was care-flighted to cook children’s hospital in Fort Worth, and I checked myself out within the hour and walked out of the hospital with all of my things to meet my baby at Cook Children’s hospital. The exciting part of this birth was not the labor, but the intense weeks after the birth, as I was scared that he would not be okay. He had a soup bowl chest that fluttered like a bird. He was on a breathing machine from day one.

I lived attached to the hospital-grade breast pump machine to produce something to feed him. By the time we left the hospital four weeks later, we were back in there two weeks later after he contracted an RSV-type illness. He was on breathing treatments and had to have stayed in the ICU for another two weeks. Little Mauricio (MAURI) was born on January 15, 2015, through water birth. He is my Hard-of-Hearing tough kiddo. To this day, he is still my little fighter. 

Third Baby

I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter on new year’s eve of 2019. I was 28-years-old. My 2nd husband and I were separated. I delivered her at 29-years-old unassisted at home on my bedI labored in my tub, on my birth ball, in my bedroom. My children are in their rooms. I was already three days past my due date, and I had already been having contractions for days. I had gone to work that day and walked around campus and felt heavy contractions. I drove myself home from work, and someone followed me home to make sure I made it there okay. I knew I was having her that day and had that mother’s intuition. I ended up driving myself to the hospital (a good 45 minutes away to be checked). The midwives said my cervix had not dilated enough and that I was probably not going into labor today (false labor). My labor came on strong, and I continued to move into active labor. Someone called the ambulance just in time as the placenta would not expel on its own. Paramedics drove my baby and me to the hospital to monitor the placenta birth and check the baby. This birth was the calmest and by far the best labor out of all three children. My daughter came out perfectly. She is healthy and had no problems after birth. The only challenge we had was getting her birth certificate because we did not have a midwife or doctor on her birth certificate. Otherwise, it was the easiest one of the three. The third Little Aniela (ANI) was born late at night on August 23, 2019, and she is still a night owl! Oh, and I learned that to have a baby on your bed means you either need to do much preparation or you will be replacing your mattress– which is what had to happen! *smiles*

No question is off limits! Ask away! I love sharing with you guys. -Salerno

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