Reagan's birth story: October 2, 2002
This was my first baby, and as I'm not one that deals with pain very well (even though I have tattoos lol) I knew I wanted an epidural, but I struggled because I also wanted to do it on my own, as women have done for thousands of years! He ended up a "natural" baby... even though I regret it now because of how much pain I went through...
On the evening of October 1, I was 39 weeks, 1 day, and I was doing my "kick counts." Starting at 24 weeks my OB has me keep a daily record of the baby's kicking habits. I have to lay down on my side and once he kicks, I have to start the time. Baby has to kick ten times from the first kick in that hour. If they don't, I have to get up, move around, and try again. If I don't get ten kicks within an hour after the second try, I'm to get up and go straight to the hospital. I like it because it can detect if the baby is under any type of stress (like the cord being wrapped around the neck) or anything else. It's also an excellent timer for labor, as baby stops moving as much when labor begins. I only got 14 kicks within the two hours. I informed DH (thankfully he was at home) and off we went to the hospital to make sure everything was OK.
We arrived at around 9PM, and they hooked me up to a fetal monitor to observe me and baby. I was dialated 2CM, but had been for about two weeks, and wasn't having any contractions or anything. The nurse came back to check me after an hour, and I was dialted to 3CM. They still weren't sure if I was in real labor, so they had me get up and walk up and down the halls to see if that would help move things along and help me to dialate more. That's when I started having horrible back pains, and it literally hurt to walk up and down the halls. After an hour I was exhausted, and my back was killing me. She checked me again and I was at a 3 1/2 CM, so they finally admitted me.
Over the next twelve hours, I was in the worst pain of my life. I felt like someone was stabbing me in the back over and over. I had no idea what back labor was, though, as this was my first baby... and even though I had read about four baby books, I can't say that I ever read anything about that, so I just thought this is what labor feels like? Needless to say I was screaming through every contraction. They broke my water around 5AM, and that's when things were really under way. You'll have to forgive me, as it's been almost nine years, so all of the little details I can't remember anymore. I just remember that when I got to 10CM and it was time to push, I just wanted to die. I was screaming the typical Hollywood line, "Get him out, get him out!" After pushing for about 45 minutes, needing an episiotomy, and tearing internally in two places, out my beautiful baby boy came at 9:48AM!
Recovery was horrible because of having to be cut and tearing on the inside. It hurt to sit down for weeks, and I couldn't even have a bowel movement without screaming and crying for weeks as well. At first I wasn't sure if I even wanted anymore children because there was no way in hell that I was going through that again. Luckily as time went on I changed my mind, but swore to myself that I was going the "drug route" with every baby from now on! Thankfully I never had back labor with the other two babies, but it didn't matter... I hung on as long as I could stand the pain, then called for the epi... and they were like a dream! I actually enjoyed my labors, pushing, and was able to focus on what I was doing instead of the excrutiating pain.
I'm planning on another epi with baby #4!
Krystal & Donovan - 12/2/06
Reagan - 10/2/02
Maximus - 3/10/05
Liberty - 12/11/08
My angel in Heaven 1/7/13
Isaac’s Birth Story -- Sucessful VBAC
Isaac Durand ????
born Wednesday July 8th 2009 at 5:48pm
weighing 6lbs 9oz
20 inches long
We should start on Tuesday July 7th. I had a doctor’s appointment. I was 2cm dilated and 50% effaced. Dr. R stripped my membranes again (the only action he'd take to help get my labor started, no pitocin later either). This was the second time after a missed week due to a nasty cold complete with antibiotics. So the day passed peacefully. That evening I walked to a friend's house to watch a movie and hang out with a few other women. I got home about 10:30 and went to bed. I slept okay but awakened around 6am and decided to just stay up and have my morning walk. 1.5 miles later and a couple of twinges I finished up. I got DS1 awake and DH dressed him while I got lunch and breakfast ready. I had another twinge or two but didn’t think much of it. While we were buckling DS1 in I had another one and mentioned to DH that I thought it was a contraction. He said that he’d keep his cell on him.
So I went in and got a shower and then had a bagel and made a smoothie. I settled into work. Humm that hurt. Ahh it was nothing I’m thinking. So I work for awhile and the pains are getting more consistent. Humm so I call Mom at about 8:30 and go “I think I’m in labor, but I’m not sure”. Called Charity our doula too so that she’d know what was going on. I had to leave a message though.
Pains are becoming more regular so I go and take another shower thinking if they were contractions they’d keep going if not they’d stop. They keep up. So at 9am I’m calling Mom back saying I’m in labor while trying not to panic and breathe hard into the phone as I have another one. I send quick IMs to my boss letting him know that I’m in labor and ignore everything else. I called DH and broke down saying “I’m in labor, come now I can’t do this by myself”.
Contractions are coming pretty regular now and they hurt. A lot and are high in my middle back. I’m laboring the best I can but I hurt. DH finally gets home and I have him pressing on my back and rubbing it. I’m laboring everywhere upstairs and even in the tub for awhile. That helps but I still need DH to rub my back. This is really awkward for him. DH leaves Charity several messages and finally gets ahold of her. She arrives not too long after that. DH also calls our friend to get DS1 from school. So logistics are taken care of, I can relax on those thoughts then.
Contractions are a minute and half apart, gee this sounds familiar, just like with DS1’s labor. At least we know what to expect this time. I’m doing my best breathing and trying to relax but it hurts sooo bad. I’m getting tired and just really want it to end. I remember asking DH and Charity to just shoot me now. I can’t do it anymore. They both said they didn’t want to be responsible for my death and they weren’t going to oblige. So I take another shower that helps for awhile. But I’m in pain and just can’t do it anymore. I finally tell DH that I really want to go to the hospital. And I’m sorry but I just can’t do it anymore; that was probably around 2:30.
This was a hard moment I think for DH. He knew what I really wanted to do a natural childbirth and he was doing his best to keep me on track for that goal but I knew that I’d done my best and needed help. So Charity and DH got me into a pj top and some shorts and 3 very painful contractions later we make it to the van. DH laid the back seat down and Charity put a few pillows and a sheet down and I knelt between the seats and labored the entire way to the hospital. I’m having major bloody show at this point and the contractions are clamping my stomach (which I later found out is involuntary pushing). We get to the hospital and DH goes in and gets the lady at the desk to bring out the wheelchair. She sees the blood and hears my moaning and starts panicking slightly. She was pushing so fast that Charity had to run to keep up with her. So up the elevator we go. To the nurses desk where they take one look at me and place me in the closest room they have. Which happened to be right behind the nurses desk. The nurse pulls back the sheet and asks if I’m crowning. I’m like no. I manage to get on the bed and they help me get my shorts off and the nurse does a cervical check while I’m not contracting because I couldn’t stand to have her touch me during one, so I was 5cm dilated and 90% effaced.
Wow…things were happening so fast. They put me on oxygen. The baby wasn’t handling the stress well, probably because of all the excitement of getting to the hospital and into a room. So they ask me two questions. 1) Are you married? And 2) Can he (being DH) answer medical questions for you? Yes to both was my reply. After that I answered the battery of questions as best I could. DH said the poor nurse was taking notes on a napkin! I guess my vocalizations kinda got me past point A and right to point C.
The nurses were great they didn’t try to push any pain medications on me at all but I did request a shot to take the edge off. It took a little while to get the medications. By this time I’d been fitted with an IV and the blood pressure cuff. They’ve got me started on a saline drip. Guess I didn’t drink enough during labor at home. LOL! I think I probably only drank about 6oz of water since 9am and now its 3pm. So now I’m eating ice chips, which is all I really want.
So I’m settled for a moment. Charity runs out and gets some food. I’m doing okay. DH still is rubbing my back but I’m breathing through the pain and pressure. All of the sudden I hear/feel a pop and a severe pain. I realized that my water broke. Oh my goodness it broke all on its own! OUCH! Oh my and the pain just intensified so DH still had to rub my back. Charity came back and is like what happened I leave you for a second and things get moving even faster. I’ve got an internal check done and I’m 7-8cm. I’m in such pain my back is killing me. So I relent and get an epidural. It takes a while for the anesthesiologist to come in. I was sad that I choose to get the epi but I just couldn’t handle the pain anymore. I know I was close but I just couldn’t relax anymore. I asked if I could just get the lowest dose. I wanted to be able to feel and push when it came time but just take the edge off in the meantime. The guy came and I sat up with my foot caught under me. I couldn’t move. He started his work and was struggling. Finally they made me move and put my feet on a chair. The assistant wrapped her arms around me and I remember laying my head on her arm and telling her she made a good pillow. Silly what pain will make you say and do.
They got me settled laying back then and I sent DH to go get food. He’d only eaten a banana and a pack of crackers all day. So with Charity there and me trying to be more comfy I thought I could be without him for a few. So he leaves. I remember looking at Charity and tell her sorry for caving and getting the epidural. She’s like why are you apologizing you’ve done a great job. The nurses were proud of me too saying that I was doing really well too. I felt better about my choice then. The pain was gone eventually from my back but I was still feeling all the contractions and having to breathe through them. I pushed the button again and after 10 minutes no improvement really, but the back pain was gone. I could totally handle that. Dr. R came in and did an internal saying that I had a bit of internal swelling and that I was totally effaced and 8 cm. progress. Charity asked about the swelling and whether it would go away and the baby could move past it. Dr R said that baby would be able to continue down the cervix. Dr. R mentioned that he pointed the way to the cafeteria to DH. So that was cool that DH knew that the Doc was there. I’m sure that he gave him some comfort.
So during the contractions now it feels like my tummy is pushing down on its own. I ask Charity what she thinks that is that my body is starting to push interesting sensation and painful but powerful.
So the anesthesiologist assistant came in and tried a different medication to help with the hot spot. Amazingly it didn’t really help. DH returns. I decide to roll onto my left side hoping that might help with the hot spot. I’m there about 10 minutes when the nurse and Dr. R come running in. They get me to put the oxygen back in and have me roll onto my back. Dr. R does an internal and says okay we’re going to do a practice push. WHAT!! Already?!?! Its only been a little while. I figured I had hours to go. Next thing I know the nurse has me holding my legs behind my knees and DH is beside me and they’re telling me to push toward my bottom. It feels like I need to poop. I know this is the baby’s head so I focus on trying to push like I was constipated. After a 10 count Doc says “Good Job I see the head” and let’s get the bed ready. Are you serious?
So the bed is broken down and I’m ready to push again. The nurse was like go ahead if you’re ready. I do push and listen to what they’re telling me. I’m making a guttural noise and no one is yelling at me to not make noise or anything. It was all in my power. It was wonderful and painful and empowering. I guess it was after my second big push that I see the Doc lift up a pair of scissors and I remember saying that I don’t want to be cut. He said that they need to get the baby out faster, baby wasn’t handling the contractions well. Okay. So he snips and I scream. I felt all of that. The shock on Doc R’s face was not nice to see either. He was like I’m soooo sorry he thought I was numb from the epi. But I wasn’t at all. I was able to move my legs. I do think that it was an advantage because I could push more effectively. Dr R did give me a shot then to numb the area to complete whatever it was he was doing.
I remember looking up at DH who was standing there next to me and ask him if he was ok. I realized that he was watching his baby immerge which surprised me because he’d said all along he didn’t want to see. He’s like its amazing. While I was pushing I couldn’t tell you what DH was doing other than he was there near me I was too focused on my goal.
I remember another push or two and I could see the baby’s head. Another push and baby was out and they were putting him on my stomach. Yup another boy my first view was of him peeing all over the place and of a head full of dark hair. He looked so tiny. I got to touch his head and give a kiss. I remember looking up at DH and Charity and saying “I did it, I did it! I just gave birth”. DH kissed me. He had tears in his eyes as did Charity. DH got to cut the cord and then they had to take him to go suction him. He came so fast that his lungs didn’t get completely squished clean. I had wanted to hold him for another minute. But DH went with him. Charity stayed with me while they worked on getting the placenta out. Nobody told me that that part would hurt too. Ouch. Talk about a feeling of relief though when it came out. Charity said that it looked good and healthy.
Finally DH brought our little boy over so I could see him. Charity took lots of pictures and we talked to our new son. We had to ask him what his name was. He was wide eyed but wasn’t telling us what his name was. Dr. R was giving his opinion on names while he was sewing me up which was kinda funny. So we finally settled on a name.
So to make this long story come to a conclusion.
Isaac Durand ???? was born Wednesday July 8th 2009 at 5:48pm weighing 6lbs 9oz and 20 inches long.
He was perfectly healthy with Apgars of 8/9.
Dr R and the nurses were super excited and impressed with my pushing and how well I handled labor. Doc said that if we decided to have another baby the risks would be lower to attempt another VBAC because I’d already had one successful trial of labor.
Friday going home day I take a walk around the maternity floor and run into Mariam one of the nurses that was there during my labor. She asked how I was feeling and then said that I showed laboring women how it should be done and how proud she was of me. That really made my day.
After feeling like a failure as a woman after the birth of DS1 feeling empowered and mighty as a woman after this birth is a total different outlook and warmth. I’m still amazed and find the whole experience surreal and like a movie.
DH since 2002
Ethan - October 2006
Isaac - July 2009
Bean’s Story (aka Eve Katherine Renee’s Birth Story) = 2nd VBAC
August 2 (36 weeks 1 day) – Wonderful GBS test (praying its negative), checked for dilation and I’m 1cm, but the cervix is high, thick and closed. I’m measuring 37 weeks along. HB is 155 (2 weeks prior it was 145), maybe the fluctuation is a direct reaction to Mommy’s anxiety of the GBS test??? Or is it a girl playing tricks on us?
August 9 (37 weeks 1 day) – GBS test NEGATIVE (whoot whoot). Mommy didn’t gain any weight this week. HB is 145. The measurement of Mommy’s tummy is 40 weeks. I was checked for dilation and I’m 1cm, but the cervix is still high, thick but a bit softer than last week. Skipped the sweep this week cause Mommy’s trying to procrastinate for Grammy to arrive.
August 17 (38 weeks 2 days) – Mommy gained 1 pound this week (probably too many milkshakes). HB 144, tummy measured 39 weeks. Mommy was checked for dilation and still 1 cm, high and thick but maybe a bit softer than last week. Doc decided not to do a sweep because it would be too painful with lack of dilation. But I’m still head down just not engaged or dropped. Mommy walks about a mile in the evening and uses 2 EPO caplets for the first time.
August 18 (38 weeks 3 days) – Mommy wakes up for the morning (after a night of having to pee every 2 hours) to find that she can breathe a bit better and notices that there is space between her belly and her boobs. Guess I dropped last night. No other signs of progression though. As the day progresses Mommy had some mucus plug loss but nothing significant. There are a few contractions, but really they’re more like Braxton Hicks but a bit more intense. Daddy and Mommy go out to dinner alone and Mommy has a few more Braxton Hicks while at dinner and a few more while shopping for puffy paints for Big Brother t-shirts. They get home and Mommy is tired at goes to bed at 9pm. She wakes at 11 with Daddy coming to bed and goes pee and wakes again at 12am.
August 19 (38 weeks 4 days) – So this story will continue from Mommy’s perspective.
So the night was interesting. Ever hour or two I was awoken to need to go poop. LOL….guess I was cleaning out. I figured it was the “hot” banana pepper appetizer I’d eaten the night before. Then around 3 when I decided to go to the couch so I could lay more upright that these feelings were coming around once an hour…..I got up and had a granola bar and a glass of water and texted Mom to say that things were starting to progress. At 4 I realized that things were happening once every 30 minutes. But I was able to relax and breathe through them. DH got up when the alarm went off at 6. He’s like how are you, what’s going on. I’m like I think I’m having contractions. He’s like ok. So he gets showered and ready for the day. I was surprised to see him in work clothes. He comes in and I’m like oh….your dressed for the office. And he looks surprised at me like he didn’t realize that I was serious about the contractions and then I had one in front of him. And he’s like okay how frequent. I’m like once every 20-30 minutes. So we made a game plan, he’d get the boys up and dressed and take them to “school aka day care” and then go into work let them know that he’s going to be out and come right home. Sounds good to me, I’m handling things ok. The boys are both clingy; I think they know something is up. And we tell DS1 that his baby sister or brother was going to be born that day. DS1’s excited but wants to stick with Mommy. Poor guy he just didn’t quite get it. So DH feeds the boys and gets them off and is back around 8:15am. Meanwhile I’ve taken a shower to relax and feel clean. It had been a sweaty night.
He changes and starts cleaning. LOL….yes he cleaned my shower and the tub, then vacuumed the floor and cleaned the cat box. Meanwhile I can’t sit anymore. Its 8:30am now and I’m definitely into active labor. DH called Mom around 8 and let her know so she can start the journey. I’m disappointed, I know then that they aren’t going to make it; it’s a 9 hour drive on the best of days. So I’m swaying and rocking my hips side to side an am able to just relax through the contractions. I’m really actually impressed with myself. DH’s like is it ok that I’m cleaning I’m like yes just don’t stray far. I didn’t need his touch just his presence.
Around 9:15 (give or take) I decide to take a nice hot bath in my clean tub. I let DH know and he helps me in and gets a towel to go behind my neck and head. I sat for probably 15 minutes in utter bliss. It’s the first time I’m actually able to relax and get off my feet for the last hour or so. Then things change and the contractions start coming closer together. I’m using all the vowel sounds I can think of to “sing” through them. Ok I felt like it was singing or toning but I’m sure it sounded more like screaming. DH calls the doula, Amy to come over. And he can’t get through. So he’s like dialing all the numbers to get ahold of someone to get her. She’s to come to the house because I went from not needing help to needing help NOW in like minutes. So I’m “singing” and DH goes back down to finish up the cat box really quick. LOL…..all the sudden he hears the tub draining and my tones have changed. And comes flying back up the stairs. What happened??? Yeah at 10am my water broke with a POP and rushing liquid that I could see escapes my body, it was dark and I was worried it was meconium. I made the tub drain cause I knew I shouldn’t be in the water when my bag of waters had broken. The contractions are one on top of the other now. I’m still in the tub on my knees leaned over the edge with my head buried in DH’s shoulder. I’m toning but also going “I don’t like this”, “this really really really really hurts”, a few choice words here and there. DH’s freaking out that Amy isn’t there yet. I was feeling the same way, well not freaking just really wanting her support but couldn’t articulate that either. The liquid I noticed in the tub was just blood and snot stuff…more mucus plug or my amniotic fluid, not sure which it just wasn’t meconium and that fear went away. And then well I noticed that I was feeling kinda pushy. I don’t know how I knew just did. DH said that I’d “sing” and then like lower my body like I was pushing and he’s like ok when I said I think we need to go to the hospital. And another round of phone calls to let Amy know that she needed to go to the hospital instead….and NOW.
DH manages to get me out of the tub and I stand in the middle of the bathroom gripping a door frame while he helps me step into underwear with a huge pad leftover from DS2’s birth. We get my pj top back on and we start moving. Which is an act in itself because the contractions aren’t stopping.
I’m now in the back of the minivan with some blankets on the floor, kneeling and gripping the side of the seat and the wall. DH heads out. I’m toning or screaming. DH’s trying to concentrate on the road and me and he’s doing it all very quickly. And of course we manage to get behind every slow poke imaginable. And I’m noticing that I’m screaming my vowels through the first part of the contraction and pushing during the second half. I’m trying not to but it’s just happening. I can’t think of what I’m supposed to do to keep from pushing.
We finally arrive at the hospital. Very cool they now have valet parking. DH pulls up and is like my wife is in labor and he and the lady at the valet desk run in and tell the desk and grab a wheelchair. The come to the back of the van to get me. I’m doing my best to get out but from a kneeled position and not being able to sit on my bottom it hurt like heck. I get in the chair but am like only touch my tailbone to the seat and using my legs to hold me up. DH throws a towel over my knees (modesty hahahahah). And I’m like get the suitcase it’s got the camera. He grabs it the valet lady says GO I’ll get the door. And off he’s pushing. And I’m trying hard not to sing too loud as we go by the desk I call to the ladies there “Dr. R. is my doctor”. They’re like we’ll take care of it.
Up the SLOOOOWWWWW elevator we go. The nurse meets us at the top and helps us get through the locked doors. The first room we come to is the triage room and they wheel me in there and ask me to get up. Hahahah I laughed at them but managed to move in a few. Next thing I know they’ve got my underwear off and are checking me which is incredibly painful and they’re like “she’s complete”. WHAT!!!! I notice at this time its 10:55am.
The nurses ask DH if I was planning on going natural, DH’s answer is there isn’t much choice is there, the nurse laughs and says no but it does give me her state of mind. At this point my body is shaking and pushing on its own and I’m just going with it. DH remembers to say that our friend (i.e. doula) Amy B is arriving and to let her in. She arrives shortly after he says this and we’re asked again if she can come in. probably because my legs are splayed and not much is hidden. LOL! They also are saying about this time that Dr. R. is 10 minutes out. I’m really like whatever I’m just going with my body. I’m also keeping my eyes closed. Probably I did this about the time they asked for my arm to stab me with an IV and something in my hand. I’ve no idea what it was.
I’ve really retreated inside. The only voices I’m really listening to are those of DH and Amy. I do remember being asked to slide down to the end of the bed and not really being able to and saying “owie owie owie owie” a lot (can you tell I’ve got little kids at home already). My feet find a place to rest down and not in the air this time and I’m told if I want to push to grab behind my legs and push. I really can’t tell you if I did the grabbing really or if others just helped me do it but I do remember pushing and feeling like I was being stretched to death. My poor lady parts hurt. I did a few pushes like this and Amy kept telling me to relax my shoulders and breathe. I know someone was doing the 10 count but I really wasn’t listening.
Then I remember DH saying the head was almost out and look to see my baby (i.e. open your eyes). Oh my goodness I could see this gooey head with the vernix on it and it looked so small and smushed together it was amazing. I push again (back with the eyes closed). And I’m told to stop…why the head’s out right….well they gave me a shot and proceeded to cut me. And then I had to push again for the shoulders and then for the hips and then the baby kicked me on the way out. DH said that the shoulders came out vertical instead of horizontal….no wonder for the cut.
I’m crying and have my eyes open and ask DH “what is it?” (I’m told I actually shouted it). And his face was priceless. It was one of wonderment, awe, and tears of joy and he’s like “it’s a girl”! OMG our girl, really OUR GIRL!!!! I asked seriously. And have the baby on my tummy I’m rubbing her face and looking at her and looking up at DH to see if it’s really happening. I couldn’t believe it.
I held onto her for awhile and DH got to cut the cord. Eventually they asked to take her away to be weighed and measured so I could work on delivering the placenta. I’m like if you have to. The nurses laughed and said they’d bring her right back.
So now the 2nd painful part starts. Dr. R. is massaging my insides and looking for internal tears and starting to work to get the placenta to deliver. OUCH. I’ve got a death grip on Amy’s hand and DH’s with our tiny one. So there are a few pictures of me staring at my baby girl with that “owie face” going on.
I do get to see the placenta. This is very cool by the way. Dr. R. explains it all to me. Fascinating that it’s where my baby lived for 9 months.
So after he’s done and I’m all stitched up I get to hold my baby and kiss her and just cry over our little girl. I’m shaking from hormones and excitement. It’s really amazing.
So for her stats:
Born 11:09am (remember that I arrived at 10:55am)
Weight: 6 lbs 15 oz
Apgars: 9 out of 9
She’s absolutely perfect and nameless for hours after her birth. We totally believed that she’d be another boy, why not we already had 2 it was the law of odds. We had a list of 27 names. So after 4 or 5 hours we narrowed it down to 4 names and then before Grammy and Grandpa Miller arrived we’d picked her name. It was one that we realized that as we looked at her our tongues just pulled upon first. So it was just meant to be.
So we’re very proud to announce: Eve Katherine-Renee L.
Eve - because we liked it and it was feminine and strong
Katherine - after my Great-Grandma Kate (Katherine) a wonderful….strong enduring woman that I hope Eve takes after
Renee - to honor a beautiful soul of DH’s sister that blessed this earth in her own way for 28 years
Eve is doing well. Nurses great and is a mild mannered baby...so far
DH since 2002
Ethan - October 2006
Isaac - July 2009
Alexander James' Birth Story:
After over a week of prodromal labor with contractions starting and stopping, I would say early labor officially started on the 10th. I woke up feeling off around 4:30 a.m. and I couldn't go back to sleep, I was also having major chills. Contractions started around 8 a.m. and were regular but weren't too terribly uncomfortable. I had an appointment at 12 p.m. that day and when I got there, they were super busy! There were some children in the lobby area just being kids, I have three of my own so noise is nothing new to me, but they were really aggitating me. The contractions were starting to get a bit uncomfy and I was so-very emotional that I went into the classroom (where they teach birthing classes) and cried a little. My midwives both noticed that I seemed off and came to check on me-- they are too sweet! The difference in OB and MWifery care is amazing! One of my MWs said it isn't a job for them but a lifestyle. They are so intuned to their mamas and they really are "mother hens" (as one of them refers to herself)-- you know that they genuinely care about you no matter how many times they've done this. I just felt like poop. I was eight days overdue, I'd had diarhea and felt nauseated for a few days now, and I was just DONE. I was ready for this to be over! I was called back from my appointment and they discovered my BP was pretty high. She figured it was from labor starting so we didn't think much of it. My cervix was still high but soft and squishy and she felt for sure I'd be back that night to have my baby (she also thought I was open but couldn't tell for sure b/c I was still too high)..... but Alex had other plans, lol. I was pretty sure given his position that this was going to be a looong early labor so my MW sent me home with a natural induction kit that included Caulophyllum and Cimicifuga for the first day, cotton root for the second day, and if both of those failed, castor oil for the third day-- I did not want to get to the third day! So, I started my natural induction that day and for awhile, the C and C was working quite well but after my shower, the contractions totally died off. They picked back up the next morning (the 11th) and continued through the day but I knew they weren't even remotely turning into active labor, they were actually weaker than they had been the day before. I was exhausted at this point and I was stressed. I knew I'd have to transfer care if he wasn't here by 42 weeks, I was starting to doubt I could go into labor on my own (having had one augmented pit. birth and another induced, I didn't know when I would have gone into labor or how things would have played out if my labors had been natural). To top all that off, my BP was steadily rising and my family was really freaking out as they know nothing about a natural birth and were convinced something was wrong-- they were doing an excellent job of convincing me of the same at that time. Needless to say, I called my MW again and told her of my worries. She decided to have me come in that day to be checked and see what position the baby was in and possibly do a membrane sweep but it would have to be later that night as they were currently about to birth a baby, she reassured me that all was ok over the phone though. That sounded wonderful to me! Here's where things start getting exciting... at 9 p.m. I went in and my BP was high, she did agree it was time to get things moving as naturally as possible b/c even though I wasn't spilling protein, they were not comfortable with my BP being as high as it was anymore (I was never told how high it got at this point and I didn't ask, I knew I was stressing enough as it was but it was high enough that they had to call their physician and get an approval to have me deliver at the center). They checked my cervix and I was at 4 cm, so I had definately been in early labor, and almost totally effaced. They did a membrane sweep and got two good sweeps around. Baby was in a good position, his head just needed to come down a little more. I went home in much better spirits! All those contractions were definately doing something and I knew he would be here soon! I was able to go right to sleep that night. I think I was asleep by 10:15 p.m. I slept well but it was restless, crazy that I could have a good, restless night's sleep but that's how it was. Around four, in a half-asleep daze, I realized I was contracting pretty good and that they were pretty regular and close together. Around 5 a.m. I was jolted awake by a good contraction and then another, my forebag of waters broke with the second and I hopped out of bed and grabbed myself to make sure, lol. I went to the bathroom and my underware were wet and had a bit of diluted pink blood mixed into them as well. I knew by the second bloody show (I should mention that I had my first show on the 10th) that active labor was starting. About five minutes after the contraction that got me out of bed, another good contraction. I decided to take some time to time them but realized quickly that things were going very fast. I got on the phone with my MW and she said she had to shower and then she would be there but for me to stay out the shower b/c it could make things go faster. I called my doula who said she also had to shower but while I was on the phone with her, I had a contraction and she said she was coming now and that I needed to go ahead and call my MW back and tell her I needed to come now. At this point, my contractions were at every 4 mins. By the time I got DH up and we were in the car leaving, they were at every 3 mins. Let me tell you, being in full-blown active labor in a moving vehicle is NO joy ride! I'm sure I looked quite the piece going down the interstate with a huge belly all but screaming and gripping the handle bar and center console with a death grip. We walked into the birthing center with contractions every 2 mins. apart. One of my MWs was setting the birthing tub up for me. By this time I was moaning and groaning and just on the edge of losing it from the pain. My husband was amazing! The only thing I could do to get through the contractions was lean on him while swaying and hum through them. I was doing pretty good staying in control at this point and I think my down-fall was getting into the tub. I got in and for about one minute, it felt better but things drastically picked up. My MIL came in soon after I got into the tub and by the time my doula got there, I was bawling. She tried her hardest to help me stay in control and I'd do ok as the contraction started but when it peaked, I'd cry out and feel nauseated. The baby's head was just so far down, I was feeling sooo much pressure that I couldn't get comfortable. I finally found a position in the tub that I was comfortable with-- on my knees with my bottom off the bottom of the tub, and leaning over the edge but unfortunately, it wasn't going to work b/c the water wasn't deep enough to keep the baby under water during birth. So, I decided to get out between contractions, which didn't allow much time to get out b/c the contractions were on top of each other at this point. For the life of me, I dunno how I got out that tub b/c it hurt to move. I felt my hips just spreading and a shift in the tub was hard to do let alone put my leg over it and get out and walk. But I did it. Gravity took over then and I said the baby was coming now, he was coming now, and I needed to push. I started spouting off things I needed without doing any of them for long-- I needed to stand. I needed to sqaut. I squatted at the bed for about four contractions but got too tired so I decided I needed to lay down, AFTER deciding I couldn't do this and I needed to be taken to a hospital (I was quickly told I was doing this and there was no going back now). They told me there was no time to move to the bed but it was too late, I was crawling onto the bed while screaming that he was coming and I needed the bed, that I was too tired to push him out squatting. This whole time, my back is killing me and I just wanted relief, even if it meant dying-- I was not being very rational during this time. I remember just intense pressure and screaming that he was coming and my MW looking down and saying, "You're right, his head is crowning, he's coming, push this baby out!" I couldn't push. My body was doing it for me anyway but I had to give some good pushes to get him out faster (again, I needed relief) so I pushed and screamed through it and I had his head out in two, maybe three pushes-- my main bag of waters spewed everywhere with the delivery of his head (it also had meconium in it). The relief I got after I delivered his head was wondeful, lol! I remember saying, "Oh that feels better. Thank God I'm not having twins!" When they told me I was going to have to push again to get his shoulders out, I thought, oh no! But it was easier to get them out then it was his head, I had them out in two pushes. He still didn't come though. I was told to push again and he'd be here, so I did and out into the world came my little Alexander! All 9 lbs. 6 oz. and 22"s of him! I thanked God over and over again for helping me get my baby here safely and I just held him close and started to nurse him. All the pain I was in not a minute before was forgotten. He took his time chosing his birthday but when he decided to come, he came fast and furiously-- it was only two hours from the time my forebag broke and active labor had started until he was born at 7:31 a.m.
Last edited by WonderWomanExtrodinare; 09-01-2011 at 04:10 PM.
-Becca, mom to Jacob (5-3-2003) Zach (6-20-2006) Zoey Jane (2-6-200 Alex (8-11-2011) and Baby #5 due Jan. 2014!!
Born January 18th, 2012
12:35 am, at home in the water
5pounds 2oz, 19 ? inches long
At my appointment on January 13th I decided to have my midwife check dilation and effacement as I was having her look at something anyway, rather than her checking she had her student midwife check. I was 2cm dilated and 80% effaced and baby’s head was at 0 station. After the check I knew I probably wouldn’t be much longer before I was holding baby. The only thing I really wanted to wait for was my yeast infection to clear up and my group B strep test results to come back. All weekend I was having bloody show and each day it would get a little bit more red rather than just pink. Sunday night I had a round of contractions that got my attention they were coming about every 8 minutes and were about 50 seconds long. That went on for about 7 hours with an hour and a half break somewhere in the middle. They stopped at around 3 in the morning and I got some rest. Monday afternoon one of my midwives was down in the area and asked if I wanted her to do another check. I decided to go ahead and have her check. She discovered that I was now 3 cm dilated and could be manually stretched to a 4 if encouraged to but I was still 80% effaced. That night I had another round of contractions that I thought for sure was labor starting but it never turned into a pattern and then died off. I was exhausted. Tuesday I talked to my midwife and she instructed me to take a warm bath and a bendaryl to try and sleep. If it wasn’t active labor it would stop. I did just that and my contractions never went away but they just wouldn’t get into a good pattern. That evening she called me up asking how things were going and to ask if I wanted her to come down and check me and see if they could finish sending my body into labor. I said yes to that, honestly thinking there wouldn’t be anything she could do to help things along and I would just be waiting it out longer. She showed up at around 8:30 that night with one of the other midwives and all of her equipment. When I saw them bring that stuff in I started to think that maybe I would be holding my baby in a few hours. She then proceeded to check me and I was 3+ and still 80% effaced. She then proceeded to manually dilate me to a 4+. After we had to decide if they were going to break my water or do an herbal oil message and pressure points and then send me out on a walk, see if we could get labor going that way, and if needed break my water. Or just continue to wait it out. We opted for the oil message and walk. The message was wonderful and smelt so good. The midwives told previous birth stories while doing the message and we just laughed. My contractions picked up again during the message and we found I would have 1 big contraction every 10 minutes with 2 smaller ones in-between. After the message hubby and I bundled up and went out walking around the neighborhood. This was around 9:30p.m. While on the walk we were lucky to make it a full block before I had to stop and sway my hips through the peaks of the contractions. We were out in the cold for a little over 30 minutes and I could tell the contractions were intensifying. When we got back to the house Shem changed his dusty clothes (he was working in his wood shop trying to finish a towel rode) and then the midwives checked me again. I was now 5cm dilated and we went ahead and broke the bag of water, this was around 10:30p.m. Within 15 minutes my labor kicked into full gear. I have no idea how close my contractions were or how long they were lasting but I knew I needed to moan through them as it helped relieve the intensity of how they felt. My mom and our friend showed up at some point as I was down stairs in the front room on my knees, rocking on my birth ball. Lol. They both showed up while I was in a contraction or going into a contraction. At some point one of the midwives put pressure on my hips since they were really bothering, and that was heaven sent! When the pool was ready I went up to the bathroom and got ready to get and my body started clearing my bowels so I knew I was getting close. (I don’t know times after they broke my water. I lost all track of time and didn’t care to know either) When I got in the pool it was so wonderful! I only had a couple contractions in the pool before I got the pushing sensation. So listening to my body I started to give light pushes, and the best part is the midwives encouraged me to follow what my body was telling me to do. After several pushes sitting we discovered I had a posterior lip that I could push baby over but he kept slipping back up. Then they discovered an anterior lip that my midwife held back for me to push Lukus past. Through this whole labor and pushing phase the midwives never once told me when or how to push. It was great! I started out pushing, sitting in the pool and then baby’s HR dropped to the 90’s and my midwives had me roll over onto on my hands and knees. His HR came right back up. I knew that was a better position anyway because the pushing sensation got a lot more intense. While pushing I said several times, “I am so tired.” “I can’t do this” and everyone just kept reassuring me that I was doing great. Then the crowning came and I got really vocal. I never really screamed but I moaned very loud. I still never felt the ring of fire but there was so much pressure and it was SO intense, of course the whole labor was intense, and all I wanted to do was get him out of me and that is what my body was telling me to do anyway. Once his head was out the rest of him slid right out of me as I was trying to turn around and sit down and I heard my midwife tell the other one that was taking the notes that he came out posterior. No wonder he was so hard to push out and my body was having a hard time going into labor, and why I felt so much pressure in my hips! He came out looking at the world and it took him a minute to take his first breath, he just casually looked around and took things in. Which was so different then either one of his brothers. His apgar at 1 minute was 8 and at 5 minutes was 10. It was so cool just letting my body detach and deliver the placenta on it’s own as well. Such a different and better experience. Once I got out I was checked over while they looked at Lukus and I had one second degree tear and a couple other small single stitch tears. Took me a little bit to get Lukus to latch on because his mouth is so small. I started out having to use a nipple shield. But so far everything is going great and I had an awesome birth experience! I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Total labor time was just over 2 hours long, from start to holding baby. Turns out it was a good thing we had the midwives finish encouraging my body into labor because the placenta was calcifying.
DS1-7/18/08, DS2-2/23/10, DS3 1/18/12
Birth story of Asa?el
Oct 14th, 2011/ 16 Tishray 5771
6lbs 12oz/3kg 19.5?/50cm
My labor had drawn out over the course of the past month, with the rushes building in intensity each time, but then inevitably petering out at some point. I got to the point of going out for long walks, pushing my 2 year old son around Katzrin in the stroller, etc? in the hopes of encouraging my body to keep the contractions coming.
Thursday was the first day of Sukkot, and I went to shul having strong rushes. Joked with some of the women about how the baby was just going to fall out at some point. I schlepped the up-hill road home, stopping for many of the rushes. When we got home, things calmed down a bit, but didn?t stop completely. I spent the late afternoon at a neighbor?s house chatting while the kids played and wondered if this could really be it.
After Havdalah, we got the kids to bed and the rushes were still coming on. I decided to take a shower and give it another hour. At around 9pm I called Chava. We decided that the best thing to do was for the team to be on alert, but to allow me my space for as long as possible. My rushes continued to come, whether I was standing, sitting, or lying down, but they weren?t finding a pattern and they weren?t consistently strong either. I was feeling concerned that I might be getting ?stage fright.? Meaning that knowing that there were people waiting to hear how my labor was progressing was having a negative effect on the labor. So I called my friend Miriam, who has a full supply of homeopathic remedies, and asked her to bring me some gelsemium. She is also a talented photographer, and I had asked her if she would be willing to photograph my birth. So when she came, I think it was close to midnight, she brought several birth-related remedies, her camera, and another friend, Natasha who was going to be on childcare duty (which was light work at the time, since they were all asleep!).
I took the remedy and labored for a while. Yoram was amazing. Every time a rush would come on, he would be right there swaying and moaning with me, putting pressure in my lower back, or massaging my shoulders. At around 1am I called Chava back and she was on the phone through a contraction. Her reaction, ?Ok, I think it?s time for us to head over!?
I don?t really remember much of the rest of the timeline, at some point Chava arrived, and then Naomi arrived. Miriam and Natasha were still hanging out and things were going ok. Then Yitzchak woke up. Then Odeliya woke up. They hung out for a bit, we ate fruit, Miriam got some lovely pictures! But then Naomi and Chava noticed that my rushes were spacing out. When the rushes came, they were no less intense, although they weren?t getting stronger, and they definitely were doing the opposite of getting closer together. So the Midwives suggested that Miriam and Natasha go home for a while, and that they take the two children with them. Netanel stayed asleep, but Natasha said to call her if he woke up and she would come collect him. At some point towards morning, he did wake up and Natasha was true to her word. Chava and Naomi made themselves scarce and tried as best as possible to create a private space for me and baby to do our thing.
I started to realize that there was something my body was resisting. I was too alert, too present. In the past, as birth became imminent, my mind would get out of the way and let my body take over. And that?s when labor would get increasingly more intense and I would lose myself to the process and allow the power of Birth to consume me. But I wasn?t going there, and I started to suspect some post-trauma. In my last birth, it was at the point where I did allow my mind to disconnect that everything started going haywire, and I put my trust into a midwife who had decided before she turned up that she was going to find a way to deny me a homebirth. So when she said, ?the head is too high? and ?I?m feeling swelling around the baby?s head? and ?I think we need to call an ambulance? I was unable to respond with what I was thinking because my thoughts and my voice were no longer connected. I wanted to say, ?but I?m ready to push.? Or ?that doesn?t make any sense.? Or just, ?no, I?m not going!? but I couldn?t anymore. I had allowed myself to go to a place of trust and believing that my care provider was going to actually care for me, and instead she betrayed me and abandoned me.
So here I was 2+ years later and even though I knew without any doubt that I had two amazing and trustworthy midwives attending me, and even though I knew that this time was completely different and that I was safe and my space was safe and me and my baby were safe; even though I knew that the only circumstance in which we would transfer to the hospital was if there was true danger to me and my baby (and not the midwife?s bank account), my body wasn?t ready to fully believe that.
I processed a lot of this on my own, much of it after the fact, and some of it with Yoram, and with Chava. We processed some other things also, and did some tapping, and I did some crying. I felt that it helped. My body, however, had its own agenda and that was protection. After 12 hours of hard labor, I was 4cm dilated and my little guy?s head was not engaged. When Chava checked me, she felt that something was off with his position, because she knew from palpating that the baby was head down, but she said that what she was feeling felt more like a knee! That oddity was explained when we finally saw his little knobby head! That got us thinking of different laboring positions to try to encourage the baby to get into a better position and engage.
Sometime in the late morning, Chava realized that this baby was going to be born sometime on Friday night, so she decided to go home and get her home and family organized so that they could function without her for the weekend, since once Shabbat came in, she wouldn?t be permitted to go home. Before she left, she, Naomi, Yoram and I discussed our options with this labor that didn?t want to kick into gear. One option of course, was to do nothing and leave it alone. Option 2 was to start what I?m going to call a ?natural augmentation regimen? of herbs, homeopathics, and nipple stimulation. I was feeling very strongly at this point that my body needed to be convinced that it was safe for me to have my baby right where we were with the wonderful attendants that we had. So I opted for #2.
Chava left with instructions to be called as soon as the labor picked up. Naomi said she wanted me to try to rest for an hour and then we would start. I lay on the couch and allowed myself to savor the 20 minutes between contractions instead of stressing that they were so far apart.
An hour later, Naomi brought out the breast pump and we started 15 minutes of pumping on each side with a 15 minute break in between. She gave me a dose of labor herbs and several minutes later, a homeopathic. I don?t know how quickly it kicked in, but ooooh man did that work! Very soon after that, we were at 10 minutes apart lasting a minute each and knocking the wind out of me each time. I moaned and sang and groaned and swayed. Mostly I would get on hands and knees and Yoram and/or Naomi was right there with me pushing into my sacrum or massaging my shoulders or both. I started to not remember much between rushes and that was a really good sign that I was forcing my body to take over.
I was desperate to get into the pool, but I knew my newly invigorated labor was still so tenuous so I resisted. Then I started feeling pushy. I said I was going to go into the shower. Naomi said not to let it get too hot and to call her if I felt I was pushing. Yoram stayed nearby and popped in and out of the shower to check on me. The rushes started coming on strong, and on top of each other and I squatted down and knew that if I stayed there I was going to push out a baby. But the sensation was overwhelming and way too strong. I was suddenly terrified and called Yoram to help me get out of the shower. Naomi asked if she could check me since I was feeling so pushy. I agreed. She informed me that nothing had changed internally. She was completely unconcerned by this, and although I was a bit shocked, I took my cue from her and remained calm. She just said it meant I had more work to do before the end.
Something about that made me realize this was all in my head. There was a cloud of fear around me and it was having an effect on the whole process. I needed to surrender, to completely let go. Words popped into my head like hospital and pitocin. Images of fluorescent lights and faceless white-coated people bustling around me came unbidden to my mind?s eye.
I went back to my nest on the couch and carried on with the pumping, and with every rush as the pressure mounted, I pushed into it. I opened up. ?Baby,? I said, ?this is it, we?re doing this right now!? I pushed into each peak, roared into it, opened up to it, burned into the all-consuming power that was flowing through my body. I let it hurt and burn, but something was still stopping me.
I was kneeling on the floor over my birth ball, and my knees and ankles were hurting. My hips were hurting. These peripheral pains were distracting me. I needed to get in the pool. It was only 2 hours after Naomi had checked me and I knew she would be concerned about the water slowing things down, but I knew I?d passed the threshold, there was only one way to go from here.
Yoram made sure the water was nice and warm and I got in to the pool. The world around me slipped away. I was aware that Miriam had called and that Yoram told her she should come over with her camera. I was aware that it would be Shabbat very soon and I was aware that Chava was on her way back. But that awareness slipped away into the recesses of my consciousness. I was consumed by the Divine energy of Birth in all her fury and vivid beauty and intensity. I felt my baby barreling down through my pelvis and in that contraction my water broke. Breathlessly, I said, ?Yoram the baby?s coming and I need a break!? The contraction didn?t stop, pushing wasn?t a process, it was a thing that was happening to me within the span of a few minutes. There was fear in those seconds, and I dispersed. But Yoram and Naomi gathered me in, they re-centered me and I let go. I felt him coming down and the intensity was overwhelming and I roared and thought my pelvis was going to explode! And then he was there, in my arms, slippery and slimy and beautifully pinkish-purple. I knew he was a boy without checking, he was so present with me and I gathered him onto my chest and heaved with joy and relief!
He opened his beautiful dark eyes and fixed me in a stare that was unbreakable. I was smitten.
He was doing this gurgling thing, and Naomi said calmly, ?it would be good if you kissed him and give him some air,? so I did, and then he let out a reassuring, heart-rending wail! What a beautiful sound! He calmed right down though as I massaged him and we covered him with towels, and Miriam snapped away.
My beautiful little guy had come barreling out with no molding, all 13 inches of his head circumference, so I was pretty sure all those muscles that had done that work weren?t going to be much use in pushing out the placenta. So I got out of the pool onto chux pads layered on the couch. Then Chava walked in. She was in shock that she had missed the birth! She and Naomi helped settle me and helped me get out the placenta, and Miriam went out to the Sukkah to light candles for herself and for me.
Naomi encouraged me to allow the baby to just rest on my belly and not to force him to the breast, and I knew what that was about, because I had seen the video of the self-latching babies in my doula course. And he did it! He wormed his way, head bobbing, up my chest and latched himself right on to my left breast! It was amazing!
And even more amazing was the fact that I had no tearing at all ? not even a skid! I am so grateful for that! The joints of my pelvis are still a little sore, three months later! So I?m glad that I didn?t also have to recover from tearing.
After a little while I showered and got settled in my bed and Natasha brought the kids back, and Naomi left and we started to welcome our new little light into the world.
I was blessed to have Chava be there as a post-partum doula for the first 25 hours after birth! I don?t know how we would have been able to get through Shabbat without her.
At some point while Naomi and Chava were checking the baby and weighing him and so forth, I had leaned over to Yoram and said, ?I am having a thought about this baby?s name.? ?Yeah? I also have something in mind,? he answered. We agreed that as soon as we had some time alone we?d discuss it. Later that night, I was sitting on my bed nursing our new baby, and Yoram was sitting in his bed, and it was quiet. ?So what was the name you were thinking of?? I asked. Yoram said, ?I?m thinking Asa?el.?
So was I. The last time we had mentioned that name was when we were making a name list during my first pregnancy, so it seemed very clear that when we both independently came back to it at that moment, that Asa?el was our baby?s undisputed name. (It means ?God?s work?)
It has taken me almost 3 months to put this story down in words. There was a lot of processing that I?ve gone through in that time. Here are some of my thoughts:
One of the things I had prayed for specifically and consistently throughout this pregnancy was that the birth should be a healing experience for me. I feel that Hashem granted me that in every way. Asa?el?s birth was very clearly a tikkun (lit. "fix") for the traumatic birth experience that I had with Yitzchak. Down to the minutest details.
We moved into this house at around 33 weeks, which is where I was at when we moved to Katzrin in May of 09. I had a team of 2 fabulous midwives who fully and completely trust birth, women, and themselves. About 2 weeks before I gave birth, I had a true ?false alarm.? Meaning that I truly thought I was going to give birth, Chava, Naomi and my friend Tziona who was to be my doula, came out. After a full night of on and off labor, my contractions petered out. But no one was annoyed or upset. I think my body did that to subconsciously test that this would be different from the last time. And then during my actual labor, which lasted a whopping 20 hours, 16 of which saw no ?progression? and nobody was thinking of a transfer. All the indications were that me and the baby were doing well, so there was nothing to worry about. The decision to take action was entirely mine. Chava, who I had considered my midwife more than Naomi, actually left in the middle of labor and missed the birth! I had the experience of her leaving, but knowing fully that I wasn?t being abandoned. Firstly because Naomi was there the entire time and she was amazing. And secondly because it was clear that Chava was loving me and the baby, and that her leaving was to facilitate her being able to be completely present with me when she returned. And then she was with me for that critical post-birth time, which was actually when the midwife had left me at the mercy of the hospital with Yitzchak. Also, something I?m seeing just now in the re-telling is that in the ambulance when Yitzchak was born, he was limp and blue and that midwife actually did tell me to give him a breath, which I did and he pinked up. This time, Asa?el was alert and fine, but hadn?t been too eager to really take in that first gulp of air, and Naomi also told me to breath into his mouth.
I feel a strong significance to all these details and I feel so whole and healthy, where there had previously been a deep chasm. I am so grateful for this birth, for Asa?el, for my midwives, for Yoram. I feel so deeply blessed.
~Ayelet & Yoram
NJ, USA to Israel 12/29/08
Rambling on at http://milkandhoneymomma.blogspot.com
facebook and twitterID: ayeletschwell
I haven't posted here much this pregnancy, but have drawn a lot of support and inspiration from reading the posts. I had a hospital NCB that went very well--still on cloud 9 from the experience!
Madeline's Birth Story
At 5:00 am on April 7, our entire family woke with a jolt when the fire alarm started going off! The kids were freaked-out and wide-awake, so DH decided to replace all the smoke detectors at 7:00 am. I was restless and wanted to do some walking, but didn't want to leave the house in case he fell climbing ladders. I was 3 cm dialated (had been for weeks) and was at 80% effaced at my last appointment, but after several bouts of regular contractions, I was still hanging in there, at 40 weeks and 4 days.
DH was finally done around 8:30 am, so I did two laps around the neighborhood park. I was feeling chipper, very energentic, and discovered that "gutter walking" rocked her head against my cervix. As the morning progressed, I noticed that I was having some painful contractions, but they didn't have a pattern. Around 10:30, I had a few contractions that sent me upstairs away from the kids. DH asked if I was okay. I decided that if I was still having contractions by 11:30 or 12:00, I would call my parents to get the kids.
I wasn't timing the contractions, but I felt that this might be "real" labor. To keep it going, I did some more "gutter walking," up and down the street. I am sure the neighbors thought I was crazy! The contractions continued, but still didn't have a pattern. I would have two little ones close together, and then nothing for 7 minutes, and then a big one, etc. At one point, I said to DH that it might be best to labor at home as long as possible, and then the kids started screaming shrilly, "Mine!" "Mine!" "Mine!" I laughed, because the hospital had to be more relaxing than home. I started to have a couple of twinges of pressure on my cervix, so I left a message for my mom about 11:45. They came over around 12:30. I was very scattered, and wished I had organized things better in advance. Oops!
By 1 pm, we were on the road to the hospital. I timed contractions on the way there, and realized they were still not even 6 minutes apart, so I told DH to say they were 5 minutes apart if anyone asked. We started in the ER, where the paperwork took about 30 minutes. Then we headed up to OB triage for monitoring. I could tell that the nurse thought I would not be admitted because she kept saying things like "And even if you're not really in labor, you could just walk for 30 minutes, or you could just go home...whatever you want." She kept emphasizing personal choice, which I thought was nice, but I was pretty sure this was it!
Probably because my contractions were irregular, the nurse left me on the monitor for longer than 20 minutes. By this point I was having to breathe through them. When the nurse grudgingly checked my cervix, still suggesting I might like to labor at home, her face was surprised. I was 5 cm dilated! Woot!!! So at 2:30, I was admitted and headed off to a L&D room. I introduced myself to the L&D nurse (Terri) and said that I planned a natural childbirth, and just wanted to walk as much as possible. She was really nice. So DH and I walked a lap around the unit. The walk wasn't long, but I had at least 2 contractions on the way. We did another lap, and the contractions were coming faster, so I felt like I wanted to be by myself in the labor room. I leaned over the windowsill and swayed. I kept buzzing my lips and singing low tones because I discovered with Liv that keeping your face relaxed helps the rest of you relax.
At some point, Kate the midwife joined us. She was the one midwife in the practice I hadn't met yet. She saw I was a Music Therapist and we chatted briefly about that between contractions. I thought I would labor for a while, and then get into the tub when it seemed like things were well established. Kate asked if I liked back rubs, and I said sure, so she applied counter-pressure to my back. That was really helpful. DH took over, and started applying back pressure. I don't think I was having "back labor," but the pressure helped to direct Madeline's descent. I noticed I was breaking a sweat during contractions, and hoped I was in transition.
At about 3:30, Terri, the nurse, asked if she could do some monitoring. This was the part I dreaded, because I did not want to get into bed (as I had with Olivia). She offered to do the monitoring while I stood, so I leaned on the side of the bed. I was *very* happy about that! I got pretty tense and DH kept applying counter pressure and reminded me to buzz my lips. Kate reminded me to keep swaying, so I could stay loose. The swaying was nice and soothing.
Probably around 3:40, Kate asked me if I wanted to be checked. She said that if I was at 7 cm, I might as well get in the tub, but if I was at 9, there might not be time. That sounded like a good idea to me, so I got into the bed. Kate checked my cervix and she said I was 9.5 with a bulging bag of waters. She said that if she broke my water, I would probably dilate the rest of the way and be ready to push. I agreed. She broke my water on the next contraction, and I started feeling pushy. DH wanted to catch the baby, so I told him he better stop stroking my sweaty forehead and go wash his hands.
On the next contraction I pushed gently, and her head came out with a gush. Kate said I could push again whenever I was ready. I said, "Give me a minute," and pushed her body out. DH caught her, and they put her on my belly right away. She was blue for a minute, but turned pink quickly. She was born at 3:50, and her Apgars were 8 and 9. Since I pushed more gently, I didn't have any tearing--just an abrasion. I wasn't even very swollen--in fact, I felt wonderful!
I wanted to let her self-latch, but she was having some trouble getting her mouth wide enough, and I could see she was getting frustrated. So I helped her latch and she got the hang of nursing pretty quickly. I nursed her almost non-stop for the first several hours, and her biliruben was low and blood sugar was high.
It was a really great birth. Both Kate and Terri let me move at my own pace, and DH was wonderful. He later said the amniotic fluid reminded him of the movie Alien (thanks, hon!). A couple of differences between this and my other births--I did not have my water broken until the end, which seemed to make the contractions less intense. Also because I went quickly from dilating to pushing, I think she was descending during that first push. DH said she came out quickly, but it felt like it took a lot of effort. I was quiet most of the time, but I got pretty vocal during that push! I also felt like I had more control over the pushing.
After, Kate gave me a really nice compliment. She said I was a beautiful birther, and we should consider videotaping future births so that people would know how it can be. I thought that was really nice coming from a midwife!
If you made it this far, thanks for reading! Her stats were 9#2, and 22" long, and she was born at 3:50 pm. I was shocked that she was so big! Who knew I could birth a 9+ lb baby without tearing?
Wow. I never got back here to write my birth story. I am so sorry. I am sure a lot of you have forgotten as I have. I will finally do it now. Don't know if it matters anymore but I want to finish my birth process in my lodge and have it for record keeping.
Jaedas birth story
I will try to remember that day as best as I can 2 1/2 years later. We went into the hospital around 7am on Wednesday morning September 30, 2009. Filled out the paperwork and put on a gown, got situated, etc. My midwife came in around 9am and broke my water, then we got the pitocin going around 10:30-11. They had the pit on the highest dose they could give me and I was handling the contractions fine for the first couple hours. My mother arrived around 10am and was there with us the whole day. So it was me, my mom, and DH. I laboured on a birth ball, in a rocker, and in the bed.
Around 3pm, they checked me and I was progressed to a 6ish I believe...so the last few hours is when things moved quickly. Things started to get bad around 3:30-4pm. I was handling it, but it was tough. My midwife had them put a needle in me that stayed in my arm but the cord thing could be removed from the needle, so I could get up and walk around if I had to. So when I was hooked to that, I had the pit going in me, but when they unhooked it, it wasn't going in me. I thought that was nice that I had the option to get up and move around. I tried several different positions near the last hour. It was getting pretty unbearable for me. They kept readjusting the hospital bed so I could try different positions. My midwife wanted me to labour on my knees bent over, so I did that for a bit but that was hard.
I got to 9 1/2 cm for the last little bit and I was just desperate to start pushing. I was hoping I was complete but every time she checked me there was still a little bit of cervix left there. She really didn't want me to push with that there. She eventually asked me if I wanted her to help stretch me and get rid of that last little bit. I said yes, and man when she did it...wow! That hurt so bad!!! But it helped me get complete and I was able to start pushing. It only took me 7 minutes to push her out. And she was born at 6:22 pm. What a beautiful little girl she was and still is!
We recorded the whole thing and I love watching it and reminiscing. Overall, it was a great labour and delivery of our third child. No complications, did it all completely natural. So except for the intervention of the induction I did it all on my own. After, I always think, what was I thinking? But I always do it natural the next time around.
So other than being induced, the whole thing was great. She was able to latch on very quickly and nurse and be with me. They took her back to the nursery 1 1/2-2 hours after she was born, and had her back by 9ish. Enough time for DH to say goodbye to her and make sure we were both okay for the night before he went home to try and get some sleep before starting his job the very next day. I was alone in the hospital for the next two days except for when I had visitors and DH came back the next morning before work and brought me flowers, and came back that night, and then took us home on Friday. The kids came to see her on Thursday also and they fell in love instantly. All those pics I posted of them first meeting her are so precious and I love to look at them.
It was funny, I let the nursery take her the first night so I could get some sleep and asked them to please page me and wake me up if they needed to bring her up to nurse, and after only 2 hours they woke me up and the nurse said she was hungry. She brought her to me and she said she tried to soothe Jaeda but couldn't get her to sleep or be content. She just wanted to be with me. As soon as they handed her to me she was happy. So she became a mamas girl from the first night. And pretty much slept with me the whole time we we are the hospital.
She is such a precious little girl now. So smart and fun! She didn't start walking until about 14 months, but then started talking only 1 month later. She talks so well for her age and was speaking in sentences at 18 months. We can't imagine our lives without her. So happy to have her in our family.
Anyway, I am sorry that this has taken so ridiculously long to post. I can't believe I never posted it. I am having baby #4 in August and that is what brought me back to the boards. I love being back and seeing you all! I wish I had been here more often in between but having 3 kids has been so busy, but so rewarding. I am glad to be back. And I promise I will do a better job at finishing my birth story this time around. Thanks for taking the time to read this if you did.
So happy to be able to share a short and simple birth story this time!
April 11, 2012 1:28am
9lbs 9oz, 20 1/2 inches
Early on and off contractions started happening the week before the birth. Friday 4/6 had a reg. appt. and decided to get checked since I'd been having pressure waves and found that I was at a 3. Came down with the flu that day and had more early labor type stuff going on throughout the weekend. Started loosing my mucus plug Monday and Tuesday with more rounds on contractions for a few hours that would fade. My mom droved from San Diego Tuesday 4/10 and arrived at our house in Northern Ca by 5:30pm. First day that I didn't have a fever from the flu! Once she arrived pressure waves started coming more regular and I hypno-slept through some of them while the family ate dinner.
By 7pm Tuesday night I told Wally that things were really getting more intense and I felt like he should get the kids down and that we would need to go soon just to get checked out. Didn't 100% feel like we'd be staying at the hospital/birth center but we should get going. He was ready to go by 8:30 and I was dreading the hour drive. After getting gas we were on our way. In the car I heard/felt 2 pops and really tried not to move. A while later the pressure waves started slowly pushing out my water which had broken just like I though. Yay for treated leather seats in the van! Long hour car ride but I was so happy to get there cause things were getting more intense.
9:45pm and they got me into a room right away and the first thing I said was bath. I needed that water so bad. First I had to get part of a strip done and answer questions. Intense. Got checked and was only a 4. FOUR???? How could it be. I had so much longer to go and I'll be honest it was dissapointing to find out. About 30 minutes of that stuff and then into the tub to finish my inital strip and get the hep-lock done. Three tries on the hep-lock and it was a was cause they couldn't find any veins. Flu had me a little extra dried up. Also monitoring was hard in the tub as I was hands and knees and the little units just wouldn't stay put. They wanted me on my bottom but that was a no way. Outta the tub to finish the stip on land, get the hep-lock by a pro, and then a promise to get back in tub. On the bed things got INTENSE. No comfortable position. Hypno-stuff just not helping me be calm. Finally someone got a vein to get lock in. I agreed to 1 bag fluid since I could tell hydration was an issue. Finished strip and waited for someone to come unhook me so I could crawl back in the tub.
Top of my thighs kept really really hurting during pressure waves and my body was taking over. The awesome doctor(thought she was a nurse for a long time) asked to check me cause she felt like I was progressing. Guess that bag of fluid got things going fast cause I was complete and it was about 12 midnight, only 1.5 hours since I'd been checked as a 4. She asked if I wanted to push and I said "no" cause it was all to fast and too much to take in. Operation accidental tub delivery was ruined since I wasn't going to be allowed to get back in the tub now. Had a 15 minute very painful pitty party and then decided pushing would be much more effective than being a sitting duck. Plus I started vomiting a ton and that got pushing going on its own. Was totally ineffective at pushing at first cause I was so tired. Awesome older nurse brought in some fun birth tools to try and the one I liked best was the squat bar with a sheet tied to the middle. It was like water skiing and I could really feel baby move down fast. Couple of pushes on that bar and the head was out. Took a minute and then the rest of his body was out. OB was so calm with me even though a few nurses started getting heating and yelling/forcing me to push. Baby came out and was put right on my chest and never left my skin until I had him weighed 2 or so hours later. Cord got to pulse, placenta came out fast (this time it wasn't pain free), and I only had a small tear on my old tear that required 4 little stitches. Got the chills again right after birth and then did the whole fever sweat thing (probably my flu) but was good again in like an hour.
I'll admitt that a quick fast birth is like the most intense thing EVER! It was really hard to focus and keep a grip of reality and use my hypnosis. I was loud for sure and not in control a lot of the time like my birth with Odin. It was harder to mentally process what was going on and not just loose it. Everything was totally worth it though and I'm so pleased with how things went!
Some face pics. See the dark hair like DS1 and more of it than Odin currently has! LOL...
~Joy~ DS1-8/5/05, DS2-10/18/10 (VBAC#1), DS3- 4/11/12 (VBAC#2!)
Ctx @ 10:30am (crampy, lower back)
Phoned midwife @ 11:30 (heads up, non-urgent)
Phoned midwife @ 12:30 (come now)
Midwife arrived @ 1:00
Baby arrived @ 1:42pm
Our daughter was born at home at 1:42pm on Sunday, August 19, 2012, after approximately four hours of labour.
On Sunday morning, five days overdue, I wasn't feeling very hopeful. I'd had only the mildest of preparatory contractions in the past week, no signs to point to the beginning of labour.
It was after 9:00. Everyone had been up for a while, but Sunday is my morning to sleep in. My husband gets Saturday; that's the way it's been for a long time now. I wasn't really sleeping - my loose pregnancy joints made that difficult - but I was lounging in bed anyway, enjoying the quiet and the lack of pressing responsibilities.
The contractions began as I lay there in that place between fully awake and fully asleep. They were different than the contractions I'd been having on previous days. They were low down, crampy, and wrapped around my lower back. They weren't intense or even regular, but by 10:30 I was starting to think a back rub would feel nice. I texted my husband out in the other room, but he didn't have his phone with him and so I received no response. After laying there for another fifteen minutes, I got up to find him.
He came into the bedroom with me and we talked for a few minutes. I told him these contractions were different and I planned to phone the midwife after having a shower. I said I'd just give her a heads up; they were mild and infrequent enough that I didn't expect anything to happen anytime soon.
In the bathroom, I discovered bloody show and took that as confirmation that things were indeed beginning. I poked my head out of the bathroom to let my husband know and then got in the shower. I had only one notable contraction while in there, and it too was easily bearable.
At 11:30, I phoned my midwife to give her a heads up that I was in the beginning stages of labour. I let her know I'd give her a call back when things began to pick up. My husband and I quickly prepared the bedroom for our planned homebirth, putting extra sheets and waterproof covers on the bed and clearing a few things away.
I spent the next hour idly wandering around the house. My mother-in-law was there to watch the kids, and my father-in-law had also flown in for a weekend visit. I could feel everyone watching me. I made myself some toast with peanut butter, took my daily iron and other supplements, and tried to make lighthearted non-labour-related conversation. Eventually I retreated to the bedroom for some privacy. I drifted around the room, clearing away bits of clutter and making sure everything felt ready.
By 12:30, the contractions were getting much more intense. I sensed an urgency to call the midwife even though I didn't really expect anything would happen until much later in the day. Deciding it was safer to call than to have another unplanned unassisted birth, I went ahead and paged her. Another contraction hit as she promptly returned my call, so I motioned to my husband to answer the phone while I dealt with what was now definite pain. As the contraction ended, I took the phone and told her she should come. Now.
It was a cool, overcast morning, so I went to sit outside and await her arrival. My husband continued to hover nearby. I was quite inwardly-drawn by this point but found his presence comforting.
At 1:00, the midwife arrived. She moved her supplies into our bedroom and began setting up. I was having a more difficult time managing the pain by this point, unable to find a comfortable position. I worried about how I'd make it through the next hours if I was already having such a hard time.
The midwife asked if I was okay with an internal exam and I readily consented, wanting to know how close I was. I expected I would be about 5 or 6cm dilated. "You're 8cm already," she told me, "but I'm sure you already knew that." I didn't tell her I'd had no idea I was that far along, but it was a relief to hear.
The boys continued to wander in and out, giving me little hugs and kisses and excited smiles before heading back out to play with their Oma and Opa. The boy still wanted to see the birth itself, while the toddler's decision changed moment by moment. I was glad their grandparents were there to care for them.
By 1:30, I was moaning and whimpering through the pain. The contractions were so different from my other two labours - which, interestingly enough, were also very different from each other. My first labour's contractions were very much like waves. My second labour had a few contractions that felt like little pinches behind my bellybutton, followed by the three full-body-slam contractions that broke my water and delivered my baby with no real warning. These third labour's contractions were very low down, very crampy, and nothing at all like waves or pinches. Funny how three labours could each have such unique contractions.
Then came the contraction that brought with it some pressure and a slight urge to push, along with a great deal of moaning and whimpering. The boys were both in the room at the time. Their dad reminded them that I was making a lot of noise because it was hard work to help the baby come, and it hurt quite a bit too, but I was okay. They both accepted the explanation without any upset, having heard it ahead of time as well.
I knew that my water would break with the next contraction. I had an intense desire to be in the bathroom instead of the bedroom, so I told my husband and midwife and immediately headed there before the next contraction came. They followed me in and closed the door behind them. I hadn't planned to give birth in the bathroom because of the size and poor layout, but when the time came, that's just where I wanted to be.
The next few minutes were almost exactly like my previous delivery, only this time my midwife was there, my husband was with me instead of on the phone with the paramedics, and my mother-in-law was in another room instead of catching a baby she hadn't even planned to see delivered. I sat on the toilet and the next contraction came. The midwife said the baby was right there and suggested I move to the floor. I refused until the water broke, and then, as with last time, I moved to the floor on my knees and let my body do all the work. I was glad to be leaning on my husband this time instead of clutching the edge of the bathtub.
I felt an overwhelming sense of relief that this was it, the baby was coming, and it would all be over far sooner than I had expected. Two contractions later, our baby was born. It was 1:42pm, less than an hour after the midwife had arrived.
The birth itself was, oddly enough, the easiest part of the entire labour. I had only held on tightly to my husband as the contractions pushed the baby out; again, as with last time, I didn't push at all myself. I asked my husband later whether or not I had hollered through the delivery (as I most definitely did with my other two) and was surprised to hear that I hadn't made a sound this time. Just hung on and gratefully let it happen.
After collecting myself for a moment, I realized the midwife was telling me she would pass the baby up to me; I shifted position and took the baby from her, holding the baby against my chest. The baby had been screaming but immediately quieted and snuggled against me.
The boys came in soon after. They were both excited to see their baby sister or brother, but the boy was a bit disappointed he'd missed the birth. I was disappointed for him as well; it had all just happened so quickly.
The boys wanted to know whether they had a brother or sister. None of us had checked the gender yet, so I pulled the baby away from me to look. It was a girl!
I sat there a while longer, waiting for the placenta. Eventually I chose to cut the cord and give her to my husband so I could get into a better position. The midwife clamped the cord and my husband cut it, then took her out to show everyone while the midwife stayed with me. The placenta came (in good time, but it felt very much like a "finally" to me). I was able to get a close look at the placenta this time, which was a first, actually, despite it being my third birth.
The midwife asked if I'd like a shower and I gratefully nodded, remembering how I'd asked for one last time and been refused by the paramedics. I rinsed off and headed to my nice clean bed, where they brought me the baby. She promptly and easily began to nurse.
Eventually the midwife checked us over. I hadn't torn and everything else was fine as well, but the afterpains were nearly as bad as the contractions themselves had been. I was given Tylenol, Advil, and arnica pellets. Everything looked fine with the baby too. She was 8lbs 8oz, 51cm long, with a head circumference of 34cm.
She and I made ourselves at home in our bedroom for the rest of the day. Her daddy kept us company and her big brothers wandered in and out to look at her. The boy was thrilled, while the toddler was a bit more cautious. He soon came around, though, and began inspecting her ears, eyes, hands, and toes. I made my phone calls to share the news with family.
Later that evening, I left the bedroom and let my in-laws have some time with their new granddaughter. I sat outside for some cool fresh air and some quiet. My husband soon joined me. I tried to wrap my mind around the idea of having a girl. Even though I'd been prepared for and excited about either gender, there was still part of me that just assumed it would be a boy. But here she was, a girl!
The kids began getting ready for bed. Since the baby was still content after a full day of nursing, I went into the boys' room with them to put them to sleep, our usual bedtime routine. The boy kept telling me how excited and happy he was about his little sister being born. The toddler kept reaching up to touch my cheek and tell me he loved me. It was a lovely quiet time with just the three of us until the toddler fell asleep; just what each of us needed.
More than 24 hours later, we finally settled on a name for our little girl: Lily. We are all completely in love and so happy she's here.
Cynthia (The Hippie Housewife) & Isaac
Jacob (April 07)
Luke (December 09)
Lily (August 12)