On February 21st, I'm at 40+4. I'm home alone with my two girls Émilie 3 years old and Chloé 17 months old. Daddy Simon's at work. The day before, I had an appointment with one of my midwives, Maggie, and she gave me a good stretch and sweep and told me I would not pass the weekend. The morning of the 21st I sent an email to my doula, Nelia, to make sure she was available and close if things started (I guess I had a strong feeling). Around 2 pm, I get a really strong contraction, the strongest so far with this pregnancy. I even had tears in my eyes. Of course, my 17 month old decided that in the peak of the contraction, was the best time to have a Mommy-take-me-in-your-arms-right-now-or-i'll-cry-and-scream-for-an-hour..... fit. Then I got another contraction, and another. Ok i'm starting the timer... 3 minutes, 6 minutes, 3 minutes, 2 minutes.. hmmm could it be?
I sent another email to Nelia, told her what was happening, and she called me right away. She thought I was in labor. She asked me if I wanted her to come now, I would get a break with the girls while daddy would be on his way. Ok in about 30 minutes she will be there, I tell Dad on msn come home , I think this is it!
When Nelia arrived, the girls were so excited! Chloé asked to be picked up and stayed in her arms for a long while and Émilie gave her a tour of the house (cutie). We worked through early labor managing the girls, they knew something was happening, Chloé especially wanted lots of extra care.
When Dad arrived, he took over as promised (he was going to be our man servant and caretaker hehe).We went upstairs for some quiet time. I called my midwife and she came in the early evening, as well as the birth photographer.
When my midwife Jaquie checked me, I was at 3 cm (1 more than the day before). So I continued contracting, I felt alot of pressure on the cervix as well. Émilie was so excited with all the people in the house that she wanted to come and join us. Dad also brought up a platter of fruit, chocolate and doughnuts , as well as water bottles (I had already set up a tea and coffee station in the room). The girls came in and out of the room with innocent curiosity (to use Nelia's words).
At one point though I had to ask that Émilie leave because she was too hyper and it was bothering me a bit, I was not concentrating on my contractions as much, I got distracted.
So it went on, we talked in between contractions, it was very pleasant, we laughed at what I was wearing (white underwear, bright pink tank top and brown bootie slippers). Two hours have passed, Jaquie gives me another check up to see how things are progressing. Nothing changed, still at 3 cm and still thick. So she left to try and get some rest (it was around 8 pm) because it seemed that a couple of other babies were preparing their grand entrance that night as well. The photographer left to get some rest as well.
I was bummed a bit, I did not want things to stop.
So It was just me and Nelia then. We had a relaxing and peaceful time together. I put on some music, a Robert Plant and Alyson Krauss album (Raising Sand) we listened to it 4-5 times I think and baby was moving like a maniac every time the song, "Gone Gone Gone" came on and every time I got a contraction. I also went on Facebook to chat with some friends. I had told them that baby was probably on his way and they were so excited. They loved a belly picture I posted them on the spot HAHA.
At around 10 PM things started to really slow down. Contraction spaced to about every 20 minutes.
My body was tired, and letting me know. After Nelia let me sleep for a little while, she told me that things had slowed, and that we could let them progress in this way or we could try to get back.
So we decided to flip over after each contraction because every time I changed positions, the contractions would come again. That worked and got things closer, but still not at the frequency and intensity needed. She suggested the breast pump and I agreed. I plugged it on the right breast for about 5 minutes and BAM I flung myself on my right side, taking a really strong contraction that took us both by surprise! I took 2 more back-to-back right there. So we called Jaquie again (around 11 pm). The contractions were 6 minutes apart. She returned in the wee hours of the morning. Since no one knew how fast things would progress (this being my third baby) all the midwives were called, as well as the photographer Leeanne.
Jaquie checked me and I was at 5 cm and about 40% effaced. ONLY THAT?! Câlisse! (in other words ..fuck), At least I was in active labour now!
The other midwife, Kathleen and her student Meredith arrived then, as well as Leanne.
Kathleen left soon after arriving to go check another mother in early labour not far from my house.
So I started moving through labour. I was very active in my body, went in the tub, sat on the ball, used the birth stool, drank water etc. The best position was squating on my knees (kinda like a frog) but my knees got tired fast, so I had to keep moving around. I went back to the tub and had another check up, I was at 6 cm and 70% effaced, Why is it taking so long? My body is playing tricks on me GRRR!
We discussed breaking my waters, but she wanted to wait for Kathleen to come back and that I get to 7 cm.
I got out of the tub then took a few contractions on the bathroom floor, and a few on the floor in my bedroom (still squating). I remember at this point looking in the room (between two really painful contractions) everybody was sipping tea and chatting, while supporting me. It was such a pleasant birth!
The contractions were really painful now, I mean REALY painful. I was crying and loosing control a bit. Nelia and Jaquie were both helping me throught this part, I needed to come back or I would have lost it! I was tired and loosing mental strenght.
Kathleen came back then. I was now sitting on the ball and letting a few FUCK's out here and there! And the the TABARNACK's came. Oh they all found it funny to ear me swear in french HAHA. I wanted to go in the bed at that point and take some contractions on my side. I knew it could slow the contractions, but I didn't care. I needed a break! Jaquie told me she would examinate me between two contractions. I was now at 7 cm so she decides to break my waters (it was 7:06 am). BAM strong contractions (3 I think)! I was screaming my heart out, hitting the pillow and towards the end of the last contractio. "OH I'm pushing, gosh I'm pushing, I feel the baby coming, I feel it really well too!!''
Jaquie checked me and I was at 10 cm and fully effaced, but there was a lip of the cervix that wouldn't move. She told me ''You are going to have to push on your hands and knees we need this lip to move.''
So here we go, I'm on my knees in my bed, holding Nelia's hands so hard (I even broke the skin a bit with my nails, so sorry Nelia =S).
First contraction, crowning.
Second contraction, head born.
Third contraction, shoulder's passed and baby's born!
It's 7:18 am
I pick him up, I'm holding him tight. I'm in love again, of course! They are moving me in the bed to get me confortable and take the bloody sheets off the bed, but I'm locked with him, nothing else matters!
He wants the breast. I feel it, so I help him a bit and he latches on (he stayed on for a good hour I think).
It took 12 minutes from breaking my waters to baby being born!! =O
Placenta came out fast and easy and I cut the cord myself!
I was checked to see if I needed stiches (only 3 small ones) and I giggled the whole time (whaaaat?, I'm thicklish!) Everybody thought that was funny haha!
When we were presentable, Simon and the girls came up. Émilie had been asking to come see the baby since 6:30 am! She jump in bed and was amazed by her brother. She wanted to kiss him and hold him. Chloé was more quiet, at first she was more concerned with all the people in the room, but when she saw him, her face lit up and she was very curious. Simon looked proud and happy, his third child, his first boy!
We calmed down and examined baby, he weighed 9.7 pounds and was 53.5 cm (21.1 inches).
After that we slept well. I looked at him for a while with a smile on my face and then slept, he was already fast asleep at the breast. =)
What an adventure!
I had an appointment with my midwife on Friday (39w2d) and baby was super low. It was getting difficult to walk around between the SPD and having such a low baby. We went over my birth plans which essentially came down to " don't touch me unless you need to or I ask for help" I laughed and told my midwife that I would see her Sunday (my last 3 babies before Evie were born on a Sunday). I left and double checked my appointment for the next week and told the receptionist I likely wouldn't be there for it. i just really felt like baby was going to come very soon.
Saturday I didn't even have so much as a Braxton Hicks and I was not thrilled. i was starting to wonder if my intuition had been off. My 8 year old son had a major behavior and as a result broke his brothers metal toddler bed. We decided to go shopping at an IKEA for a bed set I wanted for the boys to replace it. I had no idea that IKEA was like the Labyrinth and you couldn't get in and out quickly. The littles had a blast and we found what we needed. It took us hours to find the exit and then the lines were INSANE so we opted to leave without what we came for because at that point my hips hurt so bad I wanted to cry. I lost the remainder of my plug while walking around IKEA. We stopped at a panera on the way home and I had half a sandwich but didn't really feel that hungry.
Suddenly I began to have a panic attack and I realized baby would be coming sooner rather than later. I felt that way before each of my babies births. We went home collected the older children and went to church. I met up with people I hadn't seen in a while and they were all asking when I was due. When I told them Wednesday but I felt baby was coming tonight everyone was excited. I felt especially anxious this time and asked our deacon and priest for extra prayers.
We got home and fed the kids and I just wasn't hungry. I kept going back and forth to the bathroom. I also felt like I had a hand poking me really low and as a result also needed to pee every 10 minutes. Around 11, I started to feel some real contractions and really got nervous. I just felt like something wasn't right and there was some sort of impending doom. I tried a half glass of wine and all it did was give me heartburn. I started to feel hungry but everything I tried to eat made me gag. I was so mad that I didn't nap earlier because now I was tired and too keyed up to sleep.
I put on my birth music (full of eminem and fort major as well as some great praise and worship music) I sat on my ball and tried to be calm. I wasn't in any pain yet and the contractions weren't even time-able yet. I just wanted to nap and it was making me so mad that I couldn't. Around 1 am we called the midwife to let her know that yes I was in labor and would head over when I felt ready to. At about 1:30, my legs started trembling and I started gagging after every contraction. The hospital was 25 minutes away and it was snowing so we called the midwife and let her know I was heading in.
I got in the car and prayed a rosary with my husband and that brought some relief of the fear and feeling something just wasn't right. I didn't have one single contraction in the car at all on the ride there. As soon as I got out of the car however I had one on top of the other across the parking lot into the ER. It was now just after 2 am.
I got up to L&D on my own without a wheelchair but had contractions every 10 feet. It felt good to be moving and to have something to focus on outside the fear. I got hooked up to the monitors and had my stress test (hospital policy) it felt nice to hear squish on the monitor and see baby was doing fine. it calmed my fears some thankfully. i was still gagging and puking after every contraction at this point. My midwife checked me and said I was 4 stretchy to 6 so we were in business.there would be no other checks for the rest of labor! I got in the tub and it felt lovely for about 30 seconds.
I started to feel trapped in the water and wanted to get out it was now 3 am and my contractions were every 7 minutes or so, some worse than others. I was still feeling the need to pee every 5 minutes so I sat on the toilet and had a wonderful strong contraction. We listened to baby for a second and everything sounded great. I tried the ball but baby was so low it hurt. I could feel squish filling my hips at that point. I got something to help with my nausea since I couldn't stop gagging and it was making me crazy. I needed to stay hydrated if I wanted to avoid an IV. I decided to go for a walk and got about 5 feet from my room when I had to pee again. I tried a few more times to go for a walk but had to pee constantly. I felt like I had something prodding my bladder constantly.
I figured out that raising the bed and leaning over it felt awesome.The contractions weren't super painful except for the very peak of it. sometimes I pictured god hugging me, sometimes I pictured random sexcapades DH and I had embarked on. So i did that for the next few contractions it was now 345.I asked them to lower the bed so I could sit on it one contraction later I had to pee again and went over to the toilet. DH informed me that I had a bunch of bloody show on the pad on the bed. I figured I had about another hour or so to go. As I sat on the toilet I suddenly felt my body push and felt Squish slide down and I found myself growling. The midwife came in and checked just to make sure baby wasn't going to be born in the toilet.
There was baby crowned and ready to go. it was now 3:55 AM.
She asked if I could get up and I told her I couldn't move. Her and my Hubby picked me up and moved me to the bed where I asked to be. I could not move on my own and they helped me position myself so that I could push when I was ready. The pressure was intense but not painful I felt full and slit in two along my pelvis. then my water broke as my body pushed on it's own again.. I remember saying "oh that took care of some of the pressure" then in the same moment baby came out with her hand by her face and she kicked at the same time. She flew out of me as the midwife tumbled her out of the cord that had corkscrewed around her body.
I looked and realized what I saw and asked " DID I JUST SEE BABY VAGINA?" (hows that for tact?!?)
Baby was placed on my chest and latched right on. I squealed with absolute delight over baby. She was latched on cord intact for about 15 minutes. Then I cut the cord (first time in 6 babies) and about 10 minutes later the placenta came.
Everyone was happy and then the temperature in the room changed and my midwife was telling the nurse to start an IV right away. I started shaking violently. I couldn't talk and I could barely breath. My midwife looked me in the eye and explained I was bleeding really badly. She told me quickly what was happening and assured me we were fine. I got a shot of pitocin in my leg. another shot of something else in my leg (methagin I think).I received cytotec as well, plus some other meds that they had to put in my bum. an IV in both arms and hands and 4 bags of fluids with pitocin while they got blood. I had an oxygen mask placed and I kept asking if I should give baby to DH but they assured me the best place for her was on me. Dh and my nurse helped keep baby latched on. at one point DH asked "what was that" and was told it was a clot bigger than my placenta itself! I started to feel a little faint and told him if anything happened to me to not leave the baby's side. I told the nurse she had pretty teeth .They called in the OB and prepped the OR. 90 minutes later everything was stable without them having to truss my uterus like a turkey. the OB was awesome and very caring, even came to check on my later and bring me info about what options were if the bleeding continued. My midwife at one point stood there rubbing my hands.
Despite all of it, I felt very cared for. and my birth was freaking amazing. i refuse to allow the drama to color that in any way.So I'm on bed rest for 2 weeks to ensure no issues. I am so in love with this little girl but struggling with being a mother to 6 children and 2 girls. Tandem nursing and supply issues from blood loss are not making it any easier.
November 2009: It begins with a 21st century version of Love At First Sight. Online chatting leads to hours-long telephone conversations leads to a 500kms round roadtrip leads to an all-encompassing connection, all within 6 days.
A week or so later we have a night in the city together, we talk and spa and listen to music and the Universe tells us that this is Love, capital-L Love.
The next day we wrap ourselves into each other as we watch “The Time Traveler’s Wife” at the cinema. As we leave in separate cars, I weep. The storm rolls in. It feels wrong to be going in opposite directions today.
January 2010: Regular weekend visits each way and daily hours-long phone calls have been great, but just not enough. I cry each time we part, I cry each time we hang up the phone. When we’re apart I haven’t ever felt lonely like this, and when we’re together I haven’t ever felt complete like this.
February 2010: We plan a whole weekend together, to see Mumford and Sons at the Laneway Festival. He books a room, we make dinner plans with friends, we organise babysitters and time off work. Mumford’s are amazing, and the Universe tells us that Love will not betray you, dismay or enslave you – it will set you FREE. And in secret, with the Universe’s blessing, our love-child chooses us and starts his journey.
First week of March 2010: him – “So …. how many days late are you?” me – “LA LA LA LA HANDS OVER EARS I CAN’T HEAR YOU LA LA LA LA LA LA”
Later in March 2010: me, with tears flowing : “I don’t know what to do”…. him, with incredible love: “Have a baby with me”.
July 2010: Chaos ensues as two households become one, two different families meld into a whole new dynamic. But there’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be… it’s easy…
July 29th 2010: Dropped from the free publicly-funded homebirth program. Anxious but not shocked. The Universe is pushing me towards a homebirth – if I wasn’t sure before that I needed one, I am sure now. Birthing in a hospital is not an option. There’s nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time, it’s easy!
August 2010: Midwife booked, the serene and inspirational Lisa. Doula booked, the wise and gentle Miradija. We have a homebirth plan in progress.
October 2010: Preparations are in full swing… the Way ahead is Blessed by beautiful friends, the birth pool is delivered and inflated, the urn is borrowed, the surprise Playstation is secretly bought for the children, the nappies are bought, the clothes are washed, the cot, change table, slings and pushers are ready. The birth space is readied by beautiful friends, bringing new energy in our home. And there is movement at the station, gentle and irregular movement. It’s not early labour, it’s just labour. It’s not stop-start or a failure to progress, it’s just labour. Labour is just a series of contractions that eventually push our baby out of my womb. This is the beginning of that labour. There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done. It’s easy!!
November 3rd 2010: Rocky Horror night on Glee. We watch it at Mike’s mum’s house, after a magnificent feast of Roast Lamb and Vegetables, followed by decadent chocolate ice-creams. On the way home, holding hands with my love and silently connecting, and with children sleeping in the backseat, the tightenings become more regular, more pronounced. Every 5 minutes for an hour – excitement building… A text message is sent to Lisa, LOLing that I’m not even sure if this is it, I’ll try to get some sleep, I’ll ring her when they wake me up. I awake the next morning still in one piece. Oh well. Maybe tonight?
November 4th 2010, 2 PM: Curtis and I go have coffee with Aunty Chrissy. Over the hour or so that we’re there, regular and stronger tightenings get me feeling like I should be at home. I get home and tell Mike, we re-inflate the birth pool and start filling it. I put music on, I put my Blessingway necklace on, and begin walking and dancing through the contractions. We boil the urn and pour that in… Mike decides that the urn/pots of water idea won’t work, he needs to go out and buy a water heater…………… so off he goes, and I continue to dance.
November 4th 2010, 5 PM: I text Lisa and Miradija, LOLing that I could be wrong again, maybe I’m jinxing myself, it’s still manageable at the moment and I think maybe I’m subconsciously waiting for the children to go to bed, I’ll text them with updates. I continue to dance.
November 4th 2010, 6 PM: I text Mike, where are you can you come home please. He comes home, without a water heater, LOL! He boils water on the stove and in the urn. He sets up the Playstation. The blonde girl and boy are transfixed by it and forget I’m in the next room dancing. The dark-haired girl seems to know that her life is about to change, she’s about to be a sister. She knowingly holds my hand, and dances with me.
November 4th 2010, 8 PM: Miradija texts me, I reply “yes come now”. I text Lisa “they’re on top of each other come now please”. Miradija arrives and I’m weepy. I feel like I need to pee but can’t, and Miradija suggests a shower might help, so as she begins baking the groaning cake, Mike helps me into a hot shower. It helps a little but not much – I am just sick of standing, I am getting tired and need to recharge. I get out of the shower and make my way to the living room. I strip off and get into the pool……… bliss.
November 4th 2010, 8:45 PM: Lisa arrives. It suddenly becomes quite real to me. I follow my body’s instinctive movements, I breathe, I groan. The cake bakes, the children wander around, the candles are lit, the music is loud. Jeff Buckley.
I am kneeling. I rest, almost asleep, between contractions, floating and trusting and enveloped in love. I go onto my back. I need supportive hands through each contraction. The little children are watching Barnyard in our bedroom. The music takes me away. Fleetwood Mac.
Mike holds me, kisses me, whispers to me, comforts me, follows me. Lisa’s hand on my head. Follow the pain, she says. Go with it. Relax your face. I don’t want to do this. I don’t think I can do this. Come on baby, get out, get out! Relax, breathe, go with it. I go back onto my knees. The pain leads me, and I chase it now. The music soothes me. The Beatles.
November 4th 2010, 10 something PM: Each contraction makes me roar and chase the pain harder now. I feel like I have hours to go. I roar and my body pushes.
November 4th 2010, 10:20 PM: My body pushes. I feel the pressure, I feel the head, my body pushes, the head is out. Lisa says she’ll push the baby towards me under the water and I should pick it up. The Beatles sing “I feel fine”. My body pushes, Lisa guides it towards my hands, I pick up my baby. He’s here, oh my god he’s here. I did do it! I did do it!!
It’s a boy. The cord is around his neck 4 times, tightly, too tight for Lisa to remove. We spin him a few times to unravel his life-rope. He adjusts to being earthside, his father and sisters watching. The water is very bloody, and within minutes I feel more contractions and my body wants to push out his placenta. One big push and it escapes, but membranes remain. Lisa suggests I get out of the pool, carefully, how do I feel, is the blood loss affecting me? I feel fine. I feel amazing! I sit on the couch, Lisa helps with membrane removal, and we gaze at this baby. He feeds. I eat warm cake. We look at the cord, it’s finished its job and awaits our next move. We have a hand-made cord tie, sent by beautiful Honey. Lisa ties off the cord and Mike cuts it. More baby-gazing, more feeding. Daddy snuggles. I shower and we all get into our bed. Lisa and Dija leave about 1:30 AM.
We gaze. We fall in love with him, and deeper in love with each other. We never once regret him. Months ago, we thought this was bad timing, but we were wrong, so wrong. He is here, the first act in this love story.
My birth story all started on October 28th 2006 when I saw that pretty double blue line. I was ecstatic I didn't know what to say, do or think. I just cried from enjoyment, I couldn't have been happier. But now what? First of all we didn't have maternity insurance second of all this was a little bit of a surprise.
My sister is the one that introduced me to the whole hypnobirthing thing. I started doing my own research and was liking what I was reading. The more I read the more I wanted to do it.So I signed up for the class.
When the classes finally came around and it was getting closer to my birthing time, I started to get nervous. But once I went to the first class something came over me and I was calm and I knew that I would be able do this and everything was going to be ok. Going to the classes was pretty much the highlight of my week. I learned so much in the class. This was my first baby, I didn't really know what to expect, and I had no idea what my body was going through. I learned a lot not only about my body but how to relax in general.
When the classes came to an end I had 6 weeks till my estimated due date, so I thought. I will be honest with you, I didn't do my homework as often as what was advised, I thought I had time. When I was 35 weeks I went in to my regular weekly cheek up and requested that they checked me because I was having a lot of pressure. They did and I was already at 4 centimeters and 80 percent effaced. All I could think was WOW! This baby is going to come sooner than I thought.
That weekend I went in to the Hospital with pressure waves every 3-5 minutes apart and they were very strong. I got there about midnight and they sent me home at 6 o'clock in the morning after giving me a shot to stop my pressure waves. I was still at a 4 and they couldn't induce me because It was so early. It was kinda funny because my sister-in-law was supposed to get induced earlier that day, but got turned away because the hospital was so busy with emergency c-sections. We all joked that the babies were waiting for each other to
come down on the same day.
That following Tuesday June 5th started like any other Tuesday. Lindsay my sister-in-law had my niece at 3 o'clock in the morning and everyone joked that Keagan was going to come later that day. My Mom and my sister Talya came down to my house to help me clean since I couldn't, and Keagan's room was no wear close to being finished. We finished everything and they left around 5:30 P.M. About a half an hour later I had just gone the bathroom and was finishing some laundry. I bent over to pick up the basket, and I thought to my self, either I wasn't done going to the bathroom and I peed my pants or my water just broke. So I called my mom and asked her, "what does it feel like when your water breaks?" Since hers never broke at home, always at the hospital she told me to call my sister. I called her and asked her the same thing. She didn't know either. But she told me to lay down and see if more amniotic fluid comes out when I roll over, because the head can act like a plug and stop it from coming. It did. It was like a flood, I soaked 4 towels. We called the hospital and my midwife to let them know I was on my way.
My husband was getting everything ready while I laid on the couch and listened to my Cd's to relax myself and get ready for the birth of my baby. After I was ready to go, I got in the car and just did my breathing and got my self deeper and deeper into relaxation. We got to the hospital about 7:30 P.M. along with my Mom, Dad and my sister Talya.
We finally got into the delivery room at about 8 o'clock. I turned off all the lights and listened to my deepening CD, while I was rocking on my birthing ball. My sister was pushing on some pressure points, to try to get my pressure waves stronger. I was in no pain and totally relaxed feeling good.
My midwife came to check me at about 10 P.M. and I was still at 4 centimeters with no progression. I was getting a little antsy and she suggested pitocin. I took it, not really knowing how it would feel. At about 10:45 P.M. is when it kicked in. My pressure waves got stronger real quick, it was not gradual at all. I wasn't mentally ready for that kind of sensation yet, I hadn't prepared my self. I got scared and jumped out of my relaxed peaceful state. Because I had taken the pitocin it took me a good hour before I felt relaxed again and like I could do it. I was having pressure waves lasting up to 90 seconds and only 20 seconds apart. I didn't really have much time in between the pressure waves to relax myself, like I was. I knew that I could do this and I knew that my body was made for this. It helped a lot to have my sister there, because she had been threw this three times before, to remind me to relax and to breath and think about my beautiful baby. My husband and my sister kept telling me positive things when they saw that I was struggling a little bit, it helped. Knowing that I had people there supporting me and reminding me to relax and to breathe helped a lot.
It was 11:45 P.M. when I started pushing. I was laying on my back the usual way that doctors do deliveries. Threw the whole pregnancy I was terrified that I would have to get an episiotomy. I did, The needed to get my baby out as fast as they could, because Keagan's heart rate had dipped quit a bit. When his head came out he was completely purple. I was terrified. They found that the cord was wrapped around his chest twice. Keagan was born at 11:59 P.M. Weighing 7lbs. 4 oz. He made it by a minute to share a birthday with his cousin. They quickly gave him to the pediatrician that was on call. I didn't even get to hold him first and I was so sad, but I wanted the best for my baby. After the was out my midwife was having trouble getting the placenta to detach, it just wouldn't come. When she told me this my husband put his hand on my forehead and said, "relax." and I was thinking "release, release." As soon as we did that out it came. I strongly believe that was why.
After he was born they took him to do tests since he was a preemie and completely blue, they had to make sure everything was alright. The next day they ran an x-ray and found out that he had pneumonia. My heart broke. He had to stay in the hospital for 5 extra days, I was lucky enough that I got to be with him everyday and hold him everyday that he was there.
After giving birth I was expecting to bleed for a few weeks. I didn't, I bled for only three days, and my stitches were healed by my one week post appointment. I know was because I had him all natural with no drugs in my system. It was perfect. I couldn't have asked for a better birthing time, even though he was sick, I loved every minute of delivering him. HypnoBabies helped me relax and be comfortable for my birth as well as other things out side of being pregnant. I strongly believe in this and can't wait to do it again with my next child. I recommend it to everyone. Your body was made to have babies, so why not enjoy it?
Around noon I started timing my pressure waves, they weren't strong at all, but since I was 5cm with a bulging bag yesterday at my appointment I thought it would be safe to say I was in labour. They were coming 7-10 mins apart; an hour later they were 4-7 mins apart, so I thought it should be time to go to the hospital.
We got everything in the car and got to the hospital around 3pm. They checked me and I was a good 6 cm so they admitted me and I was in my room a little before 4 pm. My sister (doula) and my mom and dad arrived at 4:30 pm. Still my pressure waves weren't anything to even mention. As soon as everyone got there we decided it was time to break my water, that was done at 4:48 pm. Right when she was done, I got up to go to the bathroom and I could feel a pressure wave coming. It was a little more intense, but still not bad. I decided to get on my birthing ball and as soon as I sat down the first strong pressure wave started to come. I had 2 more like that and felt the need to push.
I told my midwife I needed to push so I got up to get on the bed and another pressure wave started to come, I wasn't even fully on the bed when she checked me, I was 8 cm. I could feel her head come down with the midwife's fingers and as soon as she pulled them out I yelled "SHE IS CROWNING" No one believed me, but my body was taking over I had no control over it. So I said, "No really she is coming!!!". I spread my legs and her head was out, I didn't even push, and the rest of her body followed.
From the time my water broke till the time I had her was only 25 minutes with 5 pressure waves. I had a second degree tare from her coming so fast. My midwife didn't even have both gloves on. No one was ready for how fast she came. I did it all natural with out any drugs or IV; it was amazing.
Here is the video of her birth.
Birth support? Isn’t that what my care provider is for? Well yes, however in some instances they are there to make sure nothing bad happens and recognize when a labor is not going right. Additional birth support can be helpful; they can remind you of things you wanted and make sure that you understand what is going in. What is the name of this support person? A Doula.
A doula is someone you can hire for the birth and/or postpartum care. They can help your partner or family support you as you are laboring. A doula is someone you hire to be there for the entire labor (a midwife might be called during your labor to another mother who maybe closer to birthing baby than you) and will not leave your side. She can be a great interpreter for you and your care provider especially in a case of transferring to a hospital for any reason, since some midwives do not have hospital privileges.
For postpartum care, she can help you with simple breast feeding issues, do household chores, hold the baby while you and your partner get some much needed rest, and make sure you are not having any postpartum complications or mood disorders, like postpatrum depression
or childbirth PTSD
to name a couple.
If you are not sure a doula is someone you want to have at or after your birth, a great book for your partner or family to read is The Birth Partner
by Penny Simpkin. It has a great easy layout for understanding what is happening during your labor physiologically, emotionally, and mentally. There are instructions on counter pressure, massage, and breathing techniques to help you handle your contractions.
So you have decided on your care provider, Congratulations!
Now you arrange your prenatal appointments. Up to 28 weeks you will probably see your provider once a month. Then at 28 to 34 weeks you will more than likely see your provider every two weeks. At the 34 week visit you will start seeing your provider every week until you give birth. Your provider will also schedule you in if you are having problems or if you need the extra support.
If your care provider doesn’t have an office then you can expect to have your appointments at your home. This allows for several things, you to be comfortable, typically more time to discuss any questions or issues and your care provider will be comfortable knowing where your home is when it is time for baby to come earthside.
Go back to: Step #3: What If My Partner/Family Disagree With Home Birth?
Go ahead to: Step #5: Tests and Ultrasounds
Go to: Birthing Methods Main Menu
Finding a provider can be hard. You can ask friends, family, google or other search engines, and social media. You need to find someone who is not afraid of homebirth. Who will support you and comfort you the way you need. If there is any gut feeling of tension or insecurity with that person, discuss it with them and if that does not resolve, find another provider. Keep in mind that some countries/regions have very strict guidelines on what is considered a low risk pregnancy, and under certain conditions this assessment may make it difficult or impossible for you to remain in their care. Your care provider will be able to tell you if you are considered a low risk pregnancy.
Once you have done your research through friends, family and online, make a list of all your prospective providers. Don’t forget to look at Family Practioners, Naturopathic Doctors, Certified Professional Midwives, Direct Entry Midwives, OB/GYN’s, and Certified Nurse Midwives (not all of these options are available in all areas).
Your best bet is to call and see if they will do a free meet and greet appointment. Most should although if you are going through a family practitioner or OB/GYN you may have to pay for the office visit (although many are covered and you will only have to pay your co-payment.). Make a list of questions to ask your prospective providers. Some midwives do take insurance and some don’t, and many will offer different payment plans. Believe it or not, some will let you pay in installments or even let you trade services with them for payment in finances are an issue. Choosing your care provider is a personal decision that you really should weigh carefully against your personal feelings and those of your partners. You want to feel comfortable with the provider and feel like they are working for you through the enitre pregnancy, birth and after care.
Questions to ask:
- Transports/Transfer rate (how often a laboring woman is transferred to the hospital)
- Reasons for transport
- Episiotomy rate (a surgical cut into the perineum to help avoid tearing)
- Cesarean Section Rate within transports
- Are Doula’s allowed/welcomed
- Waterbirth ability
- Postions for delivering
- Pain Relief Options
- Medications/Oxygen for hemorrage or resuscitation efforts
- Co-Care with an Obstetrician
- Back-up care
- Twin or other multiples, Breech, VBAC options
- Breastfeeding support
- What will risk me out of a homebirth?
- How do you handle transfer of care if risked out?
Here is a comprehensive list of questions to ask your care provider.
At this point, you can decide to go with a care provider or whether a Unassisted Birth is right for you. Once again this is a very personal choice, that will take much consideration and thought.
Go back to: Step #1: Is Home Birth Right for You?
Go ahead to: Step #3: What If My Partner/Family Disagree With Home Birth?
Go to: Birthing Methods Main Menu
If you have made the decision to have a midwife-assisted or unassisted home birth, there are a few things you will want to consider.
If a midwife-assisted birth is what you've chosen, you will want to research the midwives in your area and possibly talk with other women who had a positive experience with them. The regulation of midwives varies in the U.S. Some insurance policies may cover midwives, and some families choose to incur the cost.
In Canada, midwifery is regulated in many of the provinces and costs covered by the province's health insurance coverage.
Once you've chosen your midwives, discuss any questions or concerns you may have. Developing a good rapport with your midwife will help you feel at ease during labour and postpartum.
Your midwife office may have a lending library of resources for you to read while pregnant. Keeping current and informed will help you make the best decisions and give you suggestions you may want to implement into your birth plan. Here is a helpful list of things to consider when planning your birth:
Gathering your support is one key step in developing your birth plan. You may want your birth to be a very intimate affair with only your partner present, or you may choose to add others. Only you can make this decision and it is important that your wishes are respected.
Visualize exactly how you want your birth to go. Find the right music, scents, or comfort items that will help set the stage for the birth you want. Trust that you are capable and let go of negative feelings or misconceptions. Imagine the way you want to greet your baby, and make it happen.
Stress can be harmful to you and your growing baby. Whatever your emotional state may be, chemicals are sent through the placenta to your baby which can affect the baby's development.
Learning how to lower your stress through relaxation, meditation, and overall health, will give you and your baby the best possible outcomes.
Gathering your birth supplies a few weeks before your baby arrives will help you feel prepared and also give you something to do during the home-stretch.
In some cases, your midwife may provide you with a homebirth kit, or you may wish to purchase your own.
With a water birth, you may buy or rent a birth pool and liner from your midwife, or online.
Here are some great instructions on how to make the birth bed.
Make or buy as much food as you can before the birth. Choose quick, healthy meals that you can grab easily and require very little effort. Postpartum is no time to think about fat free meals or meal replacements. You need calories, and you will be HUNGRY! It is important to nourish yourself so you can take care of your child.
You may also want to treat yourself to a house-cleaner just before baby arrives. It will be one less thing you have to do, so you won't feel the need to scrub the toilet during labour.
Establish Breastfeeding Before It Starts
Get into contact with your local La Leche League chapter. Talk to a leader and let them know that you may need help in the next few weeks. Getting to know them prior to birth and attending meetings while pregnant, will ease the transition after birth.
Enjoy the last few weeks!
Make a list of the things you want to accomplish before baby comes, and start crossing them off. It may be a date night with your husband, a spa day, or just some luxuriously long naps. It will give you something to look forward to, and something to look back on once baby arrives.
Early Halloween morning, I realized that I was leaking amniotic fluid. I spoke with my midwife, Sara, around lunchtime. Although I felt no contractions, she recommended that I come in to be sure it was fluid that afternoon. We arrived at the hospital late in the afternoon on the 31st. I felt strongly about receiving prophylactic antibiotics for Group B strep. This was mostly because I was born six weeks prematurely with an infection that kept me in the NICU for two weeks. My mother has always been very honest with me about how frightening it was to give birth and not know if that baby would come home. This profoundly affected my own decision making process. Had I more thoroughly researched the risks and benefits and been more proactive, Isabelle’s birth story would be quite different.
I saw Sara that evening, and she agreed that to watch and wait was the best plan. She left orders for the attending doctors that I be allowed to eat anything I wanted, that I could leave the hospital (not the base, though we should have gone home and slept) between bags of antibiotics, and not to do any vaginal exams. That night, as unmistakable contractions tugged steadily, we were excited that labor was progressing. My husband and I walked the grounds of the naval base. It was surreal to walk the hiking trails and golf course in darkness, knowing that I was on the cusp of biggest change of my life. Around 6:00 the next morning, I was 80% effaced and 1 cm dilated. I was angry and disappointed, and cried as the nurse started Pitocin. Sara felt that induction was the best course of action given my GBS status and prolonged ROM. Frank and I both wish that we had refused this and continued to allow things to progress on their own.
Once my doula arrived, I relaxed and began to work with my body. Thus began the constant tension between the calm confidence that I felt in my ability to give birth and the hospital “on the clock” feeling. I walked, rocked, moaned, and swayed through the contractions. I remember leaning into Frank’s chest and dancing as the contractions got stronger and closer. It also felt great when he and Stacey, my doula, rubbed my back and feet. Contractions went from nothing to tough stuff within an hour—thanks, Pitocin. Yuck! They were at least 90 seconds and about 3 minutes apart. I hate to think what Isabelle was feeling without the protective bag of waters around her.
By 11:30 I was hiccupping, restless, shaking, and wanted to be alone in the dark bathroom. Sara said she would be back around noon, but didn’t get there until much later. At 2:30, I was completely effaced and 3 cm. I absolutely believe that my body was in transition, regardless of being so little dilated. After two nights of not sleeping and laboring hard all day, I was exhausted. I felt like the only chance I had for a vaginal delivery was to rest and let my body open. That exam was the most upsetting part of the whole process. No one had told me so plainly how much more painful Pitocin makes things for most women. To experience contractions like what I expected in transition before even 5 cm dilation was disappointing to say the least. I realized later that I was waiting for Sara—she was the person I trusted to take care of me. Her not coming back on time was very upsetting.
Fentanyl and Nubain were horrible. We hoped the first would take the edge off and allow me to rest, but it made me feel out of control without lessening the intensity of contractions. The second was no better. I was sleeping between contractions, and then waking up at the peaks. It was humiliating to be completely out of control and too stoned to get out of an uncomfortable hospital bed and move around. All of the powerful sensations of birth were still there, I just couldn’t move around and mentally prepare for them.
At 4:30, I received an epidural. It was a small and non-narcotic dose. It took the head of anesthesia three attempts before the catheter was in the correct spot and numbing both sides of my body. I was disappointed but relieved to escape effects of the narcotics. My midwife said she would probably see us again in the wee hours of the morning. I was asleep almost before she left the room, and woke up three hours later feeling lots of pressure. It took 2 hours for the anesthesiologist to arrive after I decided that I wanted the epidural as she was in with a cesarean. She asked if I was a runner after briefly feeling my spine. Apparently, my spine is compressed from years of running. Special. After it was placed, I begged Sara to get me something to eat. When I woke up, I rolled over to find a tray of crackers, jello, and chicken soup. I ate a few crackers and wolfed down peach jello before calling the nurse. Frank was passed out in the chair and wouldn’t wake up.
What a relief it was to know the baby was coming and to be able to actively participate in her birth. By the time my midwife arrived, I was changing positions and moving as though I never received an epidural. All that felt right was squatting, so I slid to the end of the bed and squatted unassisted. Then with the squat bar, I finally started to really make progress. It was a positive outlet for all of the earlier anger and frustration as I lifted myself completely off of the bed, pushing my feet against it and pulling the top towards me. Isabelle was born at 8:53 on November 1st with her right fist pressed to her cheek. She was very, very alert and nursed within her first 20 minutes of life. The middle-aged attending doc was a family practice guy and didn’t seem to know his ass from his elbows about labor. He had me flat on my back and in the stirrups before I knew what was going on. He told me not to push if I wanted Sara there to “deliver” my baby. My doula was over his shoulder mouthing, “Push as hard as you need to.” I told him that I needed to get up and squat, because it would take me all night to get her out in that position. He said that he hadn’t been taught how to deliver a baby in that position.
Since then I've analyzed every bit of what happened, questioned every choice we made. Thank God I got up, or I am not sure I would have been able to move her down with that nuchal arm. I am so grateful to my midwife for treating me with respect and kindness. My birth team was amazing in their patience and support. I am still unsatisfied with some choices that I made, but it is a blessing that they were my own.
This experience helped me to see how unnecessary interventions are in normal birth. They turn birth into an excruciating ordeal. I realize that there is an enormous difference between unmedicated birth and natural birth—I may have labored with no medicine for a long time, but what I felt was far from natural. So many people said, “As long as the baby is healthy,” but I matter, too. There was nothing wrong or dysfunctional about labor because it was long. My baby was more at risk of being negatively affected by the interventions (the first being getting to the hospital too early) we chose than a long labor. GBS is a concern, but I did not know at the time that a dose of antibiotics within even 30 minutes (ideally within 4 hours) of birth will do. Military hospitals are typically able to provide more evidence-based care than a civilian, particularly private, hospital may. I saw this present in the standard of care that I received both in labor and postpartum. Had I been in a civilian hospital, I probably would have had a cesarean no later than lunchtime that day for “failure to progress,” or in my case failure to wait.
It took me a few months to begin sorting through the disappointment and figure out how I felt about things. I decided that I would do my best to give our 2nd child a more peaceful, less hectic and medicated, start. A big part of that was avoiding the GBS/antibiotics debate and better understanding prelabor ROM.
Long before we were even thinking about adding another baby, I started reading and researching online. I knew before Will was on the way that I wanted to have the baby at home. The hospitals around Memphis are not friendly to natural birth, and that’s putting it mildly. So, pregnant again, I figured out how to get Tricare to cover the homebirth and began seeing the midwives of Trillium Womancare. They were amazing. I had information and guidance on prenatal testing, which we chose to avoid except for basic bloodwork and the mid-pregnancy anatomy scan.
Throughout my pregnancy with Will, I was well-cared for and well-supported. They liked the homeopathic protocol for avoiding GBS colonization that I had saved from our Bradley instructor. I started the regimen at 36 weeks. At 38 weeks, I did the swab myself at an office visit, and it came back negative.
So, with not a single vaginal exam in pregnancy or labor, Will was born. His birth is what truly helped me make peace with the experience of having Isabelle. Her birth wasn’t a bad one, but it was not at all what I wanted. I experienced far, far less pain with him than with Isabelle. Part of that was because the pump was primed, so to speak, but also because of my comfort level and the calm atmosphere we created in our birth “nest.” The urge to push with Will came on slowly, over a few contractions. It felt like trying not to throw up, just from the opposite end. Instead of someone telling me not to push for whatever reason, my midwives calmly suggested that I get back in the pool for the next contraction. They could tell just from the sounds I made and my body language that he was coming soon. It took a few contractions for my head to catch up with where my body was. In that time, I told them that I didn’t feel ready to push. All they did was smile and tell me to trust my body and the sensation.