Christy birth doula, Hypnobabies instructor, small business owner & most importantly MOMMY.
Ok, so it's taken me forever to get here and give a little background.
How DH and I met:
The weather had gotten super nice here and my group of friends and I were itching to get outside instead of playing our weekly poker game, so I organized a weekly kickball game in one of the parks here. One of the guys in my group of friends was in the Coast Guard and he brought along two other Coasties to play. One of them was DH. I thought he was cute, but I was very happy being single at the time and never thought about a relationship.
We ended up hanging out a lot with my group of friends and I'm not even sure how it happened, but we were very soon dating exclusively. We met in April, his dog moved in with me in July and then he moved in with me in December!
We decided in May 2006 that we would get married and were married in August 2006. Here are some photos:
How our family started..
We found out on Monday before we got married on Saturday that we were pregnant. We were shocked. Not because we didn't know what caused pg, but that we were actually pg! It took a day to get over the initial shock and then we were super excited. About 2 weeks after we found out, I started spotting and was totally surprised, but didn't think anything would be wrong. When we had the u/s and the tech asked us about us being sure about the date, we said yes...we had only DTD once in the cycle before so there was no way we were wrong. The baby's heart beat was low and was behind about 2 weeks. We went home and were in shock and didn't know what to do. We went back the following week and there was no heartbeat. We were crushed. We had no idea about miscarriage and didn't know how to cope.
We waited for about 6 months and decided to try again. We got pregnant again first try but started spotting at 5 weeks. Went in for an u/s. No heartbeat. It was awful. We asked to have testing done and was referred to another dr. He did all of the hormone levels testing and other than my prolactin which was slightly high, everything was fine. I was on BCP's for a while to retest my prolactin and once we tested, I got off the pill and we got pregnant the 2nd cycle.
At our 6 week u/s, there was a baby in my uterus with a heartbeat as the dr said! He tested my levels and my progesterone dropped and I was put on supplements for that and estrogen. At 10 weeks, I went to my regular OB and heard the heartbeat for the first time. Amazing!
I didn't start thinking of natural birth until a friend sent me "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth". I researched and found out we have the only free-standing birth center in Georgia. So DH and I went and checked it out and switched to them at 20 weeks. BEST DECISION EVER.
Here are some of my maternity photos with DS:
DS's birth story: super long! From my blog:
I was due Sunday, June 8th, 2008. It came….and went. My feet and ankles were so swollen, my hip hurt so badly, I could barely walk and definitely couldn’t drive myself anywhere. I can’t believe I never peed on myself during the night because it took me so long to get out of bed each time!
I only went “overdue” 2 days. Labor began Tuesday, June 10th at 3:30 p.m. The day began like usual. I finally hoisted myself out of the mountain of pillows (I think we counted 11 at one point) and got up since lying down wasn’t comfortable at all.
My friend called and said she was coming by to take me to breakfast – yay, the outside world! I seriously didn’t go many places at the end of my pregnancy just because I hurt when I moved! My husband came back from the gym just in time to jump in the car with us and we went to J. Christopher’s downtown.
When we got back to the house, my friend gave me a little bag with some DVD’s to watch along with some brownies. At this point in my pregnancy I was actually able to eat (kind of strange considering I was huge and I’m sure my stomach had been squished to it’s smallest point!) So of course I scarfed down two brownies immediately. This was probably around 11 a.m.
I had a little bathroom visit soon after breakfast and now looking back my body was definitely preparing for labor! But I was convinced that my baby was happy where he was and had no intentions of showing up anytime soon!
My husband and I went to a friend’s house to get in the pool for some relief from my heavy belly. Right when we walked in her front door (3:30 p.m.) and started talking to her, my first contraction came. I instantly knew it was real. It wasn’t painful…just a mild version of the horrible menstrual cramps I used to have. The Braxton-Hicks I’d been having for months were definitely more uncomfortable. I didn’t say anything though because I don’t want anyone to freak out as our society has taught us to do.
We then get in the pool... I know what most of you are thinking. “WHAT? Why aren’t you headed to the hospital immediately?” That’s another blog for another day! I’d prepared myself to know labor is a normal, natural thing that is usually not an emergency.
There were only a few people there – my husband, friend, her daughter and my friend’s parents. I tell my husband quietly that I was having contractions and I needed his watch to time them. They were about 10 minutes apart for an hour. The water was amazing. I’m not sure if it was the water or if my contractions were just that mild. They never hurt. There was definitely a lot of pressure, but not painful at all. We stay at my friend’s house for about an hour and a half. Then I felt the need to empty my bladder, but I didn’t want to do it there. Somehow I just had a feeling that I needed to get home!
I got home and immediately headed to the bathroom and had a lot of mucus plug/bloody show happening. Very exciting and scary! I hop in the shower – contractions are about 8 minutes apart. Get out, tell Wes I’m going to lie down – because that’s what I read – lie down and if they continue, it’s active (although I knew it was at this point!)
I got on the couch and WHOA….something happened and my back started to feel as though it were breaking! I guess he turned somehow. It was instantly painful and there was no break between contractions. (Um, hello? Why didn’t I get those minutes in between peaks?) ☺
So we flew into high gear. I leaned over my exercise ball on the bed to take pressure off my back but it didn’t help at all. My husband was trying to time contractions – they were very sporadic. Sometimes 2 minutes apart – sometimes 7. Lasting different times. Although because the pain never stopped, I’m not sure how accurate we were in timing them. I still have the piece of paper from where my husband tried to keep up with my contractions and me!
I then called the birth center and told the midwife on duty that I was definitely in labor, feeling pain and having contractions. She said to continue on my hands and knees and wait until there was a more definite pattern. Oh, and she made sure to demand that I eat. Wes made a leftover hamburger for me and I could only eat half. I then totally regretted not eating as soon as I felt that first contraction earlier in the day!
Not 30 minutes went by and I called the midwife back and told her I couldn’t take it any longer. So she said she’d meet me at the center (in Rincon at that time – 40 minute drive). I had to hold onto my husband’s shoulders to get out of the house and into the truck. He called our parents and my cousin who was supposed to come take pictures. It was about 8:30 or so at this point, so very short from the time my first contraction started. Sitting down was not pleasant to my back, however, the ride didn’t seem long, surprisingly.
We get there and I hobble in and start crying when my next contraction hit. The midwife said she had to check me and I was so upset at the thought of lying on that tiny table and getting strapped to the monitor and being checked.
Our midwife checks me and says, “Oh, we’re definitely having a baby tonight, you’re 7 centimeters dilated!” This was just after 9 p.m. I believe. So not quite 6 hours past first contraction. Thank goodness! I could hear my husband breathe a huge sigh of relief! We were both afraid that I was only at 2 cm or something lower than 7!
He gets our bag from the truck and I go down to the wonderfully large queen sized bed and strip off my shirt – I never understood why women always seem to get naked during natural births, but I get it now! I had to lie down on my side; it’s the only thing that helped my back somewhat.
I got a shot of nubaine, although now, looking back, I so wish I would have tried something first – water, shower, etc. It took the edge off and although it was still very painful, allowed my back to take a break between the contractions.
I think I was there for about an hour when our midwife suggested the tub. She checked me first and I was 9 centimeters, so she wanted to break my water since I was so close and wanted to check for meconium (couldn’t deliver in tub if there was any present).
Into the tub I went and I still remember how wonderful that felt. Instant pain relief! So helpful! I was full dilated in no time and began to feel the slight urge to push. I started pushing when I felt like it, but didn’t feel quite right. Jill checked and still had lip of cervix, so that’s why it didn’t feel right.
I started pushing again soon, but the tub wasn’t feeling great to push because of my back labor. So I got back in bed. I tried to push, but again, not quite right. Jill told me to just relax and rest and try to nap.
I rested for about an hour! It was so wonderful, I’m sure if I were with an OB in a hospital, they would have forced me to push immediately when I was fully dilated and I would have ended up with a horrible tear or worse!
I began feeling this incredible urge to push and it felt better this time! It was a welcome relief! I could feel a weird pressure in the front of my pelvis while pushing though. It took me several pushes to finally get it right. The best thing our midwife told me was to try to push him up to the ceiling. When I tried it that way, I felt him move so much with each push!!! Very motivating!
I was so exhausted though – due to my lack of food that day (really wish I would have chowed down immediately when I went into labor!) so between each push I would fall back down on the bed. My husband and cousin had to hold each leg back during a push and the midwife knotted a sheet on two ends and she and I each pulled during my contraction. It was so helpful because I was thoroughly exhausted!
After 42 minutes of pushing, my son was born at 2:00 a.m. on June 11. We realized why I had the front pressure/pain during pushing and why I had back labor. He wasn’t quite posterior, but just cocked slightly. His poor little cone head was waay off to the side and back! I held him for an hour! Then the proud father finally received a chance to hold him ☺ We all got back in bed and slept for several hours together. We were so comfy, that we didn’t leave until 5:00 that afternoon! I wanted to go home and definitely felt fine, but I was just sleeping so wonderfully there!
Best experience ever!