Welcome to your birth lodge! Looking forward to getting to know you better and following your birth!
Welcome to your birth lodge! Looking forward to getting to know you better and following your birth!
Welcome to your lodge!
Welcome to your lodge!
I really can't believe I'm already 36 weeks (well, 37 -- and "full term" -- tomorrow!). In some ways this pregnancy has really flown :) It's my third and will, hopefully, be my third natural child birth. But, more on that later.
I'm really thankful to have you women to share this time with. Since the birth of our daughter, we've moved states and I find the culture in our new city to be rather anti-natural birth. Y'all are a great group of supportive women and I look forward to sharing these next few weeks with you!
I'm Katherine and my hubs is Michael. We'll have been married 8 years in just a couple weeks. We met in high school, but were not high school sweethearts :) In fact, I thought he was kind of a punk & show-off initially. (Which wasn't true...but his friends were). We were part of the same small youth group at church, but didn't start hanging out until after we'd both graduated high school.
We had a really on and off again relationship for several years before we were married in 2003. Michael was still a student when we got married and we lived in Indiana, where we both grew up, until summer of 2005 when we moved to Dallas for grad school for him (he spent four long years getting a ThM -- master's of theology -- and I'm really proud of him for all the hard work he put into it!). I worked for a non-profit for most of the 4.5 years we lived there. Since our daughter was born, I've been a stay-at-home mom.
I'll write about my previous two pregnancies this weekend!
I've been trying to add some photos, but have forgotten how! If anyone wants to give me a quick tutorial, I'll put up a few :)
welcome to your lodge! looking forward to following your journey! pic can be added from photobucket (or another photo hosting site) and someone said they can also be added straight from facebook but i don't know how to do that...
<sigh> I've been having trouble with photos -- mostly from my computer. I'll keep working on it and see if I can manage to get some up :)
So, we decided shortly after we moved to Dallas to start trying to get pregnant. I started seeing an ob/gyn and she basically told me, based on the length of my cycles, we needed to DTD every other day from days 10-24. Needless to say, I knew nothing about how to determine if I was ovulating. And, we were pretty unsuccessful. We "tried" for a lot of months (some months were rather half-hearted...) and I finally found the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility which taught me a lot about my body. A few months later, in Jan. 2007 after a year of trying, we found out I was pregnant!
My pregnancy with Judah was really easy. I was queasy for about six weeks, but that was about it. I'd started researching natural child birth while trying to get pregnant and was very interested in not having an epi. I'm not sure what all influenced my early decision, but I figured if my mom and thousands of women before me had done it, so could I. I'm pretty stubborn/tenacious, and I pretty quickly latched on to the idea. I talked some with my OB, and she wasn't incredibly supportive. That, based on the lack of attention I got from her led me to start researching midwives.
There were several birth centers/midwives in the city and I found one pretty near us that looked interesting. However, very dear friends of our has recently had a baby and she'd contracted GBS meningitis as she was born. They almost lost her and so the idea of NOT being in a hospital was a BIG deal to both Michael and me. We toured the birth center, asked LOTS of questions and finally decided it was a good place for us. I transferred care around 16 weeks.
Everything else was fairly uneventful, with the exception of being diagnosed with polyhydramnios in early third trimester. At 28 weeks I started measuring big and was at 41 cm by 32 weeks. Yikes!! The MW wanted to make sure everything was okay with me and baby, and that I wasn't having twins, so I had several high tech u/s with a MFM. Everything was okay and then at 34 weeks, everything was back to normal. Weird, to say the least :) But we were thankful.
I was very active, worked full-time and felt great all the through the rest of pregnancy. My due date came and went and I had an appointment at 40w6d. I had started feeling a few light contractions, which was new to me, in the morning before my appointment. The MW offered to do a sweep and I declined since things seemed to be progressing.
After the appointment, we ran a few errands, went home and I took a nap in the afternoon. When I woke up around 4pm, things were definitely picking up. We started timing contractions and by 6 or 7pm, we called the midwife. She offered to meet us at the BC an hour later and so we packed up everything and met her around 8pm.
I LOVED laboring at the BC -- a beautiful, old Victorian home. I was 4cm when we arrived and since things continued to pick up, I got in the tub about an hour later. Heaven! I felt really well cared for by Michael, our MW and her birth assistant. I allowed the MW to break my water around 11pm and she thought we'd have a baby by midnight. However, I had a cervical lip that refused to move. That was probably the most painful part of labor for me! Finally, I was fully dilated, hopped up on the bed and Judah was born about 15 minutes later, a little before 1am -- 41weeks exactly. He was 8lbs6oz and had a rather large head! His birth was a truly amazing, empowering experience.
I only have one photo of his birth already uploaded to PB...
After Judah was born, it took longer than Michael expected for us to be ready to another baby. We started trying again when he was about a year (I know, I know...not that long! :)) and by Christmas we found out I was pregnant again -- only three months this time :)
My pregnancy with Sophie was really similar, initially, to my first -- though I was a little queasier. We used the same MWs/BC and it was fun to be back, talking about babies and pregnancy. We decided not to find out gender, and since I always measured spot-on with her, we never had an u/s. It was my lowest tech pregnancy so far :) Which is nice considering her birth was pretty crazy...
I had my 39w5d appointment at the end of Aug, 2009. I declined an internal exam, which our midwife later said she was surprised she hadn't pressed me on it. It might have been helpful information later in the day :) My sister, who was planning to be at the birth -- partially because she'd been at Judah's and partially to help with Judah -- came over for dinner with her fiance. I'd started having regular contractions while they were at our place, but didn't mention it to anyone. After they left, I told Michael it might be the night.
We watched a movie and after I fell asleep quickly after realizing the contractions had spaced out to 20 minutes apart. I was bummed because I thought labor was fizzling. I figured I?d wake up in the morning, like normal, and we?d go on about our life. In fact, Michael had planned a ?fun day? for our family. Despite being disappointed about labor dying down, I was looking forward to spending the next afternoon with my ?men.?
I woke up suddenly at 2:33am. I might have been having a contraction, but what I realized was that I had to go to the bathroom. as I left the bathroom, I had a really strong contraction that had me leaning on the sink and breathing deeply. I woke up Michael to help me keep track of the time. I had another contraction 10 minutes later that was equally as strong. And then, they started coming five minutes apart, lasting 30-40 seconds.
We timed contractions for an hour ? I tried to lie down, but spent most of that time on my birth ball. After an hour at 4am, we called our midwife Cherie. We chatted for awhile, she listened to me through a couple contractions. Since she wasn?t the midwife to deliver Judah, she asked about how long I?d pushed with him. Because I?d had the lip of cervix, which I'd pushed through, I ended up pushing about 1.5 hours, which is what I told her. However, once that lip was gone, I pushed about three times, which is the information she wanted.
If I had known to tell her that, the story might not have been as exciting.
At that point, my contractions were very painful, but I only felt them low in my abdomen. Cherie wanted us to call back when the contractions were higher and longer ? she told me that would probably be an hour or two. She also recommended I take a bath.
The bath wasn't as comfortable as I'd hoped it'd be and so, I didn?t stay in long. I kept wondering, sometimes out loud, why we didn?t choose to go to the hospital so I could have an epidural. I also wanted to be at the birth center instead of at home ? labor felt much more intense than I remembered and I wanted the support of our birth team.
Around 4:30 or 4:45, I started to feel really panicky during contractions -- which was definitely transition, I just didn't realize it. I also told Michael I thought i might throw up. I had to hold his hand or touch him during each contraction so that I stayed ?grounded? and focused through the pain. still, I was only feeling contractions low and they were varying between 45 and 60 seconds, but not consistent.
We called Cherie at 5am. She asked if I was ready, and said I was. She told me she was dressed and would meet us at the center. We had farther to drive than she did, so I never thought to call her when things picked up. I also should have told her initially I was feeling a lot of pressure in my bottom and that I was feeling panicky. However, for some reason, those things didn?t cross my mind. I just wanted to get to the center.
Michael finished gathering a few things while I rocked on the ball. At some point about five or ten minutes after I talked to Cherie, right as he was getting up Judah, things changed for me ? I needed to push. I looked at him abruptly and said, we need to leave NOW.
The drive to the birth center, which is 15 minutes, was excruciating; I felt every bump and every pothole. With every contraction, I tried to breathe deeply and to not push, but they were awful. Like many women say, it really felt like a freight train moving through my body and I could do little to stop it, especially while seated in the passenger?s seat! While driving, Michael called both sets of parents and my sisters ? including Suzanne who was meeting us at the center. The whole ride, I was encouraging him to run red lights, which he did, and get there as fast as he could.
Right before we got to the center, I had a contraction that required me to push. At that point, my water also broke. Fortunately, it didn?t gush yet. As Michael stopped the car, I jumped out and almost ran up the stairs to the porch. I was surprised to find the house dark and the door locked. I couldn?t figure out why Cherie hadn?t turned on the lights, which is now kinda funny to me.
I kept telling Michael, this baby is coming, this baby is coming. I think he knew things were serious when we got in the car, but it obviously wasn?t until then that either of us thought we might have an unassisted birth. I was scared to be just the two of us, but knew I couldn?t NOT push. I pulled my pants to my knees and knelt and leaned on a bench on the porch. Michael considered calling 911 because we were only three blocks from a major hospital, but called Cherie instead (the time stamp on his cell phone was 5:38am; we'd been on the porch only a minute or two). She was four blocks away and sped toward us. At that point,I asked michael to help me take my pants all the way off. I felt the baby?s head and knew I couldn?t stop her from being born. All I kept saying, over and over, was this baby is coming.
All of a sudden, Cherie was on the porch with us. She told us that when she got to the porch, the baby?s head was almost out; she could almost feel the ears. She and Michael helped me to sit back and with one more half push, Sophie was born. Cherie later told us that Sophie had her cord around her neck fairly tightly. We estimated her time of birth to be 5:40am, based on the time Mchael called Cherie.
Because of our location, Cherie ran inside to grab supplies while Michael and I tried to get Sophie to cry (she did finally whimper). We immediately cut the cord so we could be moved. Cherie gave the baby to Michael and helped me inside without making a mess. This was the point where Michael was most scared ? he was left with the baby, whose face was bruised from being born so quickly and with her cord around her neck, and Cherie was tending to me. We later talked to her about it and she said she wasn?t at all concerned for the baby because she had made noise and breathed. her main concern at that point was getting all of us inside so she could see and assess Sophie from there.
Despite all the chaos, we were both okay. We ended up heading home six hours later.
A couple photos of Sophie's birth...
Wow! Amazing birth stories so far. Look forward to following the rest of your journey with this upcoming birth.
Love your stories! I remember Sophie's birth!
Where will you be birthing this time? It will be interesting to see just how quickly this birth might go for you!
Mara, we'll be in a hospital this time. We moved when Sophie was about seven months old and our new city doesn't have a birth center at all -- closest is 4 hours away! -- and really isn't that natural-birth friendly, IMO. I found a midwife I really like and she delivers at a very NCB hospital (kinda weird for our area, but I'll take it!). I have the option of a water birth and, in general, the standard procedures at the hospital are things we would have wanted in our birth plan. The other major hospital in town has a very high c-section rate and is completely opposite in other regards, so I'm thankful for this option!
The interesting (to me) thing is that I actually might end up being attended by my MW's partnering OB. And, I'm okay with that :) When I had my first appointment in May, there was my MW, her partner MW and the "high-risk-emergency-c-section" OB in the practice. A few weeks ago, the other MW left, so now the OB and MW share being on-call for all patients. I've seen him my last few appointments and have really grown to like him. He won't "hold my hand" through labor like the MW would, but he will be great if that's who is on call. He is perhaps even more NCB than the MW...and she's pretty laid back! :) He's even toured the BC where I had our first two. Kinda cool!
This pregnancy has been slightly higher tech than Sophie's. We had an early u/s (basically the NT scan, but I declined the blood draw part) and an anatomy scan at 21 weeks. Still was queasy for several weeks at the beginning and I've measured big (though no mention of polyhydramnios this time) for awhile. At my appointment last week, my OB said he thinks baby is about 7.25 lbs -- hopefully less than 9lbs at birth, even if he's born at 40 weeks. At one point, I thought he might be bigger, so I can handle that.
After I got pregnant again and started telling my new friends the story of Sophie's birth, I started to realize how traumatic it was for me in many ways -- how alone I felt, especially. I know most NCBers want to labor at home as long as possible, but not making it to the hospital is really scary to me. I've talked about it with our MW and OB and they've assured me that I don't have to stay home if I don't want to. We'll probably do a cervical check at 39 weeks (and maybe 38 weeks, though neither routinely does them), just so I know where I'm starting when I do go into labor.
To make it a little more crazy, I got my GBS results back and I'm positive. I'm not looking forward to the IV/hep lock, but I'll manage. Unless this baby really decides to take his time, I imagine we won't make it to the hospital for two doses of antibiotic, though, so we'll likely have to stay the full 48 hours for him to be "observed." But, based on our friends' situation I mentioned earlier, we would probably ask for that anyway.
This is getting long....but, today I woke up feeling really crampy/contractiony. Nothing time-able since I got up, but its the first time I've really felt anything (besides the random BH). So, something's happening! Wish I knew whether it would be later today, later this week or still a couple weeks away! :) That would definitely make the waiting easier!