Monday, January 2, 2012

It’s my turn :)

 

I’m 32 weeks along as of today.  And with it being the New Year, I can now say that I am officially “due” next month! That seems so strange, but I really could still be pregnant into March, so I’m trying not to get hung up on the dates.

Since I’m planning a homebirth, and have only ever given birth before in hospitals, I’ve been reading TONS of birth stories- mostly about homebirths. I’ve been trying to look out for things that sound like what normally happen in my labors, and compare them to the memories of my first two births, to kind of try and visualize how this birth will go. As I think back to the births of my first two sons, I realized that I never really wrote them down. I didn’t start blogging until my oldest was about 7 months old, and then when the second was born, I really didn’t feel like going into too much detail on the blog about it, because I still felt a little “misunderstood” about my natural childbirth, and I guess I just wanted to keep the memory to myself and hold it a little bit sacred, but now I’m realizing, after reading all these amazing stories, that even though mine were pretty typical and uneventful, they were still very special and amazing, and I don’t want to forget any more about them than I already have.   So please, bear with me, as I attempt to recall the sequence of events with my first two births.  I also am pretty hormonal right now, and feeling sentimental, but I’ll try and stick to the facts, and my memories of how I felt at the time, and not how I feel now about it…

Thanks,

Alaina

P.S. THEY ARE LONG!

Baby Milo

Milo, all wrapped up the morning after being born.

IMG_7099

Me, between 2-5 cm dilated in labor with Oliver

104

A new family of 4!

The Birth Story of Milo, Born September 4, 2007 Born in the Hospital, almost drug free, until the end of labor…

 

I’m going to start at the beginning of this story, and it might be a bit longer than the story of his brother!

My Husband and I were married on June 30th, 2006. I was excited to start our family right away, and it took a couple months to get DH on board, he was enjoying newlywed life very much without the pressure of being a Dad. But I grew up as an Aunt at a pretty young age, and loved seeing the joy and love in my siblings’ families as they welcomed their little babies into the world, and I very much wanted that for us.

Finally, 4 months after our wedding day, my husband said we could “try” for a baby in February. But I convinced him we might as well start trying right away, because I had been on birth control and it might take a while… Little did I know I would be very fertile!  I believe that I had one month where I got my period and was very disappointed and sad, but  the next month, I didn’t get it, and took an early test on December 20th, 2006 and found a positive result! We were both so happy!

Being an active duty Army family, I went straight into the Army hospital and was so excited for my first  appointment. I didn’t even think anything of it that I had to sit in the waiting room for long periods of time only to see a Nurse Practitioner every time. I was able to get an ultrasound at about 8 weeks, just in time to have a picture of our tiny peanut to laminate and send with DH as he headed out for a 9 week course called Ranger School.  My husband was able to look at the picture of his little unborn baby and think of us during some of his darkest hours (including when I didn’t write to him for a couple of weeks due to me being sick and traveling and not having his correct address!)

Anyway, in April, when my husband graduated Ranger School, we went to a 3D ultrasound office the next Monday to find out the gender of our little bundle and found out it was a Boy! We were so excited.  DH knew right away that he wanted to name him Milo. So we did.

Fast forward a couple months later, and we moved across the country from Georgia to Washington State. I was around 30 weeks pregnant by the time I got into the system and went to my first prenatal appointment. The OB clinic at that Army hospital was much bigger than the one in Georgia, and they had an entire practice of Midwives. I thought that sounded cool to try, since my Mom had been pretty organic and natural starting when I was a teenager, and one of my sisters had told me enough of her her great experiences with her births that she had with midwives in attendance. So I met with them, and I vividly remember the first meeting with – Nurse H. (I still remember her name, but I won’t put it on here). I was all smiles, and so excited, as I waited in the room. She came in and took one look at me and asked me where my water was (I was supposed to be drinking a lot of water as a pregnant woman, and I usually carried my water bottle with me everywhere, but that day, by the time I found a parking space and waddled inside the huge building, I realized I left it in the car). I told her that, and she scolded me for forgetting it. I started to feel stupid.  She then asked me why I wanted the midwives instead of the OB’s to attend my birth. I was taken aback, and muttered something about wanting a natural childbirth. So  she asked me what I have done to prepare myself for such a birth. I must have looked like a deer in headlights, because I was struggling to understand what in the world I could possibly do to prepare myself for something like that! I thought you just had the baby!

She then explained to me that I had until my next appointment to do some research and find a method of pain management through a birthing class of some sort, and if I didn’t get serious, they wouldn’t attend my birth, because they had a lot of moms on the wait list, and not enough midwives.

I left in tears. I went home and got on the internet. I was overwhelmed at first, but did some reading about things, and said some prayers. A few minutes later, I stumbled upon Hypnobirthing.com, and instantly felt a weight lifted off my shoulders and got so excited reading the birth stories! I found two private instructors in the area we lived, and I felt drawn to one of them more than the other. So I gave her an email, and we had a meeting set up for that Sunday night!  My husband was on board after our first meeting, upon learning about all the interventions and risks that come from them, if I didn’t end up preparing for a natural, drug free birth.

So, luckily, at my next midwife appointment, Nurse H. went much easier on me, and was very pleased with my choice to learn and practice HypnoBirthing! I finished our last class a week or so before my due date, and was a little worried about not having very much time to practice it, and my husband was gone a lot training, so we didn’t really get to  work on the partner relaxation techniques, so I really focused on the breathing and visualization so that I could bring myself into a state of relaxation all by myself. I still wanted my husband to be involved and do what he could, but he truly just wasn’t home very much to be able to learn it. I also invited my hypnobirthing instructor, Karen to attend our birth. She agreed to come.

Flash Forward to September 3rd. I was officially past my due date (Aug. 30), and had been told at my last appointment that if I hadn’t had the baby by Friday of that week, I’d have to come in to be induced by some sort of balloon placed inside my cervix to dilate it! I left that appointment hysterically crying, vowing that I just wouldn’t go into the hospital and they couldn’t make me!

On September 3rd, Monday, my in- laws had been in town for a week already, awaiting the arrival  of their first Grandchild together (my husband has older half siblings that have children, but this would be Nana and Papa’s first grandchild of their four children together, if that makes sense?")

That day, we all took an hour drive up the freeway to  eat at my Father in Law’s favorite restaurant out there, Claim Jumpers. I had a big old piece of chicken with mashed potatoes and lots of other yummy food!  Then we went to the Seattle Ikea. We did a lot of walking around the store, and I joked about having the baby on one of  their beds in a showroom!

My mother in law and I took a potty break together, and I was so excited to see that I had started to have a “show!” I freaked out a little bit and told her there was some blood, and she told me that stuff was starting to happen!

So, we wrapped up the shopping and headed back to our apartment. My in-laws went to their hotel to give us some privacy {they were very thoughtful about everything} and as soon as I laid down on the couch, I started having regular contractions, or “surges”.  I don’t remember how far apart they were, but I remember wanting to stay home for as long as possible to avoid unnecessary interventions at the hospital. I think it was around 7 pm when we got home, and by 10 pm, I was starting to not be able to stay on top of the surges, and felt like we should head over to the hospital. I think by that point, I had taken a bath to see if it was true labor, and it was, because the bath upped the intensity a lot!  On our way to the car, I had to stop every contraction and lean on something or get down on my knees.

On our way to the hospital, about a 10 minute drive, it started thundering and lightning.  This made me so happy, because even with all the rain that we get out there, it hardly ever really storms, and I love a good storm. So I took it as a good omen, and I had no idea how true that would turn out to be later on!

Since it was after 10 pm, we had to enter the hospital through the ER.  I waddled to the desk with my husband, and there was one person in line in front of us. My husband, used to bossing his platoon around, wanted to take charge right away of how slow they were working! So he kind of butted in front and asked for them to call up to L&D to send someone down to get us, since that was the procedure. They called up there, worried that I was going to drop this baby in the middle of the ER, but apparently, everyone up there was too busy, so we’d have to wait a few minutes. This was unacceptable to my DH, who demanded they just let us come up on our own, but they wouldn’t allow that, because what if I gave birth in the elevator?! So finally after many calls upstairs and down, they said they were sending someone down, and to meet them at the elevator. So the ER guy leads us to the elevators and leaves. The door opens, and a smiling woman is inside, and gestures to go up. We hop in, the doors close, and she doesn’t push a button. She was waiting for us, but we didn’t know what button to push, and when we ask her, we realize she doesn’t speak English, and points to her badge, and it turns out she is a janitor! So I guess we must have known it was on the 3rd floor, because we make it there, but the ER guy took us to the wrong corridor, so we were at the wrong end of the floor, and it was dark, and I was starting to have major trouble walking through the contractions. My husband was SO Mad, and he called Labor and Delivery from his cell phone and they talked us through with the directions through the maze of hallways to the proper entrance. When we got to the desk,  the reception nurse told us to sit down (there were no chairs) and wait. 

At this point, as first time parents, we didn’t know what the heck was going on or how far into labor I was, and my husband was getting pretty fed up by all these people not doing their jobs very effectively!  He tried to ask the guy what was going on, and the guy shushed him, and my husband actually said some expletives to the man and that got his attention! I had never heard DH talk to anyone that way, and I thought it was pretty funny and cute that he was trying to be so defensive of me! We finally were allowed to sign in, and assigned a tiny little curtained off room in their triage to assess how far in labor I was. We waited in there for quite a while, all while I kept getting more and more uncomfortable, laying on this little tiny exam table waiting for someone to come and measure how far dilated I was.  Also, the woman one curtain over was screaming her head off, and another woman was vomiting repeatedly! I kept plugging my ears, because it was making me tense up, and I didn’t like knowing that they were having that much problems controlling themselves, when I was easily breathing through my surges, did that mean they would send me home because I was only 1 cm???

Finally, someone checked me, and I was at 4cm, so they sent me to my birthing room. I had asked ahead of time if I could labor in the ONE TUB they had for the whole floor, which was on a first come first serve basis. Thankfully, it was available, and my first midwife that had made me cry, Nurse H., but who I had learned to love, was on call that night. She stayed by my side through every contraction, my in- laws arrived and were waiting in the waiting area, and my Hypno birthing instructor was there in the room, too. Her presence calmed me, just knowing she was there, and she really didn’t do much, except remind me to breathe, and remind me what I wanted. She wasn’t my doula, so she would never tell me what to do, or touch me. She was very much moral support, but I was so happy she was there.

I don’t think I was in that tub for very long when I must have been going through transition, and I had the thought of, “OH! This is what everyone is talking about when they talk about labor being painful!” I started freaking out, and thrashing around like a drowned cat!! I could not get comfortable or stay on top of my breathing, because I was starting to get scared that I couldn’t handle it for much longer. I remember that during the contraction, instead of breathing, I would beg and cry for an epidural, but as soon as it was over, I would feel no pain at all, and would start smiling! Finally after a few minutes of this nonsense, my midwife told me that if I asked her three times when I was NOT having a contraction, she would give me an epidural. But if I only begged for it during the throws of a contraction, she absolutely would not! That made a lot of sense, and even though I kept it up, I knew deep down that I really didn’t want one.

Finally, I don’t remember if she checked me or if they could just tell it was getting close to pushing, I got out of the tub and waddled back down the hall to my room. I had left my bra on while in the tub, because I’m a pretty modest person, but when I got out of the tub, I was shivering, so I took it off and wrapped up in a towel, then changed into a hospital gown in my room. Only, they barely got the hospital gown on, and didn’t have time to tie it before I was needing to find a comfortable position. I remember I thought I would try sitting on the birth ball, and it took one second of sitting on it before I jumped right off because it just didn’t feel good! So I got on the bed, and they raised it so I was sitting up right, mostly, and checked me. They told me I was fully dilated, and if they broke my waters, the baby would be here in “5 minutes.” How do you say no to that!?!?! It was way too tempting, and I looked at Karen and asked her if that was OK, even though in our classes, it was technically an intervention that usually snowballs into other interventions. And it turned out to be true. But I agreed that I wanted this over with, so no sooner had they artificially ruptured my membranes when Milo’s heart rate dropped. I wish I had the notes, because I don’t know to what level it dropped, but I guess it was enough for them to freak out, and next thing I know, I was flipped over on all fours and was forced to breathe into an oxygen mask. I remember actually feeling really calm at this point, and was actually a little bit out of my body, watching what was happening, but not being able to communicate or say anything.

Since they hadn’t had time to tie my gown, and I was on all fours, it had completely fallen off, and my bum was up in everyone’s face. I remember I looked up and about 10 people were in the room suddenly, and my Midwife said something about having no choice but to turn me over to the OB on the floor because of his heart rate dropping. Looking back, I believe it was only dropping during the surges, but then picking back up. I didn’t have time to ask one single question, and my husband was really freaked out at this point, seeing me breathing oxygen, and all the fuss over the baby. He didn’t ask anything, let alone know what to ask.

Next thing I know, I’m being wheeled out of the room on my hospital bed, and I overhear someone say something about a C- Section. I remember screaming at the top of my lungs, “ NO!!! NO! I can do this! I can do this!!”  I just knew that nothing was wrong! My in- laws heard me screaming from the waiting room, and were very concerned. At this time, it was around 1 am, probably.

They got my bed wheeled into the OR, and I think I was just in there with a nurse while everyone else was scrubbing up and putting on their gowns and gloves. I know from my husband’s point of what happened what transpired next. I was pretty much closing my eyes and just trying to breathe and relax, and I remember not feeling like I was even in pain anymore, I think his head was actually so low that it was numbing a lot of sensations, or else I was in shock! But while my husband was waiting to scrub up after the OB and nurses, the storm outside, which, unbeknownst to us, had turned into a quite large lightning storm, and had struck somewhere and caused a massive blackout! The lights went out in the hospital for a couple of minutes! But the OR had it’s own generator, so I never saw the lights go out. My husband recalls being so afraid for me, in the dark, not knowing how me or the baby was doing across the wall in the OR, while he helplessly hit his fists against the wall.

Finally, the lights came back on, and when everyone was in the room with me, they found that Milo’s heart rate had picked back up nicely, but because of the scare, they insisted that I get an epidural and would only give me a certain amount of time to “push him out,” or it was a C-Section for me.

Getting the epidural was the worst part! I was fully dilated, ready to push, and they wanted me to curl into a ball and lay perfectly still! Somehow, it worked, and I remember being really mad that I had labored the entire time drug free, only to get an epidural at the very end! That made me so mad… After the epidural, I couldn’t even feel when I was having a contraction, so I didn’t know when to push.  So I had to feel my belly to know when I was having a one. Every time I would feel that tightening, I would push with everything  I had, flat on my back on the operating table! If not for the epidural, I’m sure it would have been very uncomfortable.  Apparently, my pushes weren’t effective enough for the OB, so she informed me that she needed to use forceps to get him out before he went into distress again. I was pretty out of it at that point, and truly felt like I was having an out of body experience. Also, the reality of the surgery was very real, and I just wanted him out so that I didn’t have to get a C- Section.

So a few minutes later, at 1:37 am, Milo was born. All I saw was a bluish looking foot as they whisked him across the room to be checked out.  I told my husband to go with him, and I was asking him what he looked like. DH told me he had long eyelashes and lots of hair! I couldn’t believe it! I really wanted to hold him, but I was just so relieved that he was born, and the threat of surgery was gone, and he started crying and he was absolutely perfect, 8 lbs, 4 oz.

The rest is kind of a blur, but I guess they stitched me up, since I tore a bit from the forceps, but I didn’t feel anything, again, from the epidural, at which that point, I was glad to not have to feel the afterpains. I have no memory of the placenta being born, or how we even got back to our delivery suite, where I finally got to hold my baby about 30 minutes later. I thought he looked a lot like his Grandpa, who had been in the waiting room all through this, and they came in to meet him. I wanted to nurse him, so they said their goodbyes, and I remember some male nurse trying to show me how to nurse my baby, and I was so uncomfortable and starting to sweat a lot, and just wanted him to get his hands off of my nipples! It was so awkward!

We were moved to the recovery wing, where I was put in the far corner of a very large room, equipped for 6 moms to be in at once- with one bathroom. Thankfully,  I didn’t have to share. I remember a baby down the hall crying non- stop, like a crack baby, is what I kept thinking, and it was not very restful.  My husband and I were so exhausted from the whole ordeal, even though it actually happened pretty fast, especially for a first birth. We were admitted around 10:30 pm, and he was born at 1:37 am.

The next day, they took the baby off to be circumcised,  something I hadn’t even thought about at all before hand, and I kind of shrugged when they asked me if he would be, like, “I don’t really know, should he be?”  and I don’t really remember anyone telling me any of the risks, but I really felt at peace with the Pediatrician who was on the floor that day, and it turned out she was of the same faith as me, and knew one of my best friends from growing up. So my husband went with Milo to be circ’d. When they got back, all Milo wanted to do was sleep and sleep and sleep. He wouldn’t wake up to feed, and they were very concerned about this. I remember that I had one very kind nurse who knew that I didn’t want to give him a bottle, so she showed me how to hold the baby and get his mouth open while he was sleeping, and use my hand to express colostrum out into his little mouth. She told me how many drops I needed to give him during every 2 hours, and as long as he was making wet diapers, it was OK if he kept sleeping- it was a coping mechanism from the Circumcision. When I found that out, I felt really bad, because before that, he had been pretty alert and a good nurser.

But then, the nurses changed shifts, and I had a really annoying nurse who decided that 3 am is a great time to go over paper work with me and make me sign lots of stuff that I could hardly keep my eyes open to hear what she was saying, but she wouldn’t go away. She looked at my breastfeeding log I was supposed to be keeping of how often the baby was feeding and peeing and pooping, and I guess I hadn’t written anything for several hours since we had been SLEEPING and she flipped out! She brought in the world’s biggest double breast pump which was more like a vacuum, and hooked it up to me while I was pretty much comatose, I was so tired!  I remember she left, and I unhooked it, and just started hand expressing the colostrum into Milo’s mouth again, because that pump thing hurt SO BAD!!!

The next day, we were allowed to go home, and I was so happy to have my little baby at home, and he still was pretty sleepy for a couple of days. I did get pretty worried the first night we were home, he wouldn’t wake up to eat, and I was a wreck. My husband had a friend from church come over and give him a blessing, and after he finally woke up to eat, he never had any more problems nursing. My milk came in on like day 4, and he was much more awake once that happened!

I don’t remember being angry or upset about the way his birth went once we were home, I recovered very quickly, wanting to take walks and be outside to enjoy those sunny days after his birth, since they were rare. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with #2 a year later, that I started analyzing Milo’s birth, and how even though I was very pleased to have been able to labor in the tub and not be pressured to have drugs or stay in bed up until his heart rate dropped, I realized that had I not consented to them breaking my water, that he probably wouldn’t have had any problems. Or, if they had explained things to me, and given me choices, I think we could have avoided the OR completely.  I found out that it is common for the heart rate to fluctuate after the water breaks during a contraction, but as long as the baby is handling the stress, they are OK. But it was a teaching hospital, and they were very quick to intervene at the slightest disruption or  deviation from a “perfect labor.”  So I decided that with the second pregnancy, things would change….

The Birth Story of Oliver, Drug Free, in the Hospital

On my first son’s first birthday, I got a call from my doctor about the results of a test I had taken to see if I had a yeast infection. I did, in fact have a yeast infection, and I was pregnant! I remember thinking that it was such a perfect day! We got to celebrate our adorable little guy’s first year of life, and celebrate the new life that was growing inside me.

I knew right away that I didn’t want to have this baby at the same hospital as our first. I did some research, and really wanted to go to this wonderful looking birth center close by, but didn’t want to pay the $3,000 for a midwife that we would have to hire, when I could use the Army Medical insurance at any hospital and have a “free” baby.
Thankfully, I found a practice of midwives who “delivered” at a  hospital about 20 minutes away that had about 4 birthing rooms equipped for water births, with big, deep tubs right by the windows, and the rest of the rooms all had great sized jetted tubs that you could labor in, but not give birth in. So either way, I’d get to be in the water for at least most of it. We took the tour, and loved it! I also loved the midwife practice that I went to for all of my prenatal appointments. They were very laid back, and supportive of my birth plans.

I had a wonderful pregnancy, taking 2 mile walks every morning down a trail behind our house that led to a beautiful walking path around a pond, and I had to walk up hill to get back home. so I got plenty of exercise. I loved cooking  healthy food, but would have to send the hubby out for the occasional Junior Bacon Cheeseburger from Wendy’s. Smile 

I think my due date was April 30th or somewhere at the end of April, and at an appointment a few days before my due date, I was excited to find out if anything was happening, so she checked me and told me I was already 4cm! I had been having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions the entire pregnancy, as with my first, so I thought that they must be doing something! I also had been very diligent at practicing my Hypnobirthing relaxation techniques, listening to the cd every night on the iPod before bed, and felt a lot more prepared to handle labor and birth, and also having gone through it before, I knew more what I needed to do in order to cope with the “pressures” – not pain.

Well,  I was at my due date, and nothing was happening. My sister lived 2 hours away, and  I really was nervous about where my 20 month old was going to go while we were in the hospital. Her husband was traveling from business right by our house back to their home, so he stopped and picked up Milo and took him back to their house. Milo missed us at night, and I missed him terribly, but during the day, he had the time of his life playing with his 3 cousins and exploring their house (we had spent lots of time visiting there while my husband and my sister’s husband were both gone working, so I knew Milo would feel comfortable there. And I was so relieved, even though I missed him, because I really didn’t want to have to drop him off at a friend’s house in the middle of the night- since I just had a feeling it would be another night labor).

The due date came and went, and on May 1st, my husband and I decided to get out of the house and do lots of walking, and just enjoy our alone time together before the baby came. So we drove up to Seattle, and spent the day wandering through Pike Street Market, listening to the street musicians, everything. It was a beautiful day out, and there were plenty of hills for me to climb! I had no idea the city was so hilly! We ate lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, and then later, had the most delicious Lemon Crepe I’ve ever had from a little crepe cart on the street.

On the way home, we stopped at the store to get the ingredients to make spicy eggplant parmesan, that was a famous recipe for sending women into labor. We also bought a bottle of castor oil, and then we put into practice what I learned in hypnobirthing- Hugs before Drugs! So with all three of those natural induction methods, we had quite an interesting night!

We video taped me drinking the castor oil mixed with Orange Juice. I didn’t think it was as horrible as everyone said. I only put one Teaspoon or Tablespoon, I can’t remember.  I then laid on the couch and my husband went to try and get some sleep. I was too excited, and was thinking about taking another dose at around 11, an hour after I taken the first dose, and nothing was happening- when all the sudden, I had to bolt for the bathroom! That castor oil was doing something! It cleaned me out, and then I went and got on the computer, and I think I wrote something on my blog or Facebook about how it might be happening soon. Shortly after that, I went to bed, but the contractions soon started, and I couldn’t sleep.

At around 2am, they were very regular, but not painful. But I was worried that since I was already dilated to 4 cm, that we shouldn’t wait too long at home, plus, I was expecting a shorter labor since it was my second. I also had the crazy idea that since I had been so faithful at my hypnobirthing techniques that I was probably just so relaxed that I didn’t feel any pain, but I was probably dilated to a 7 or 8 already, and just didn’t know it! ( I was so na├»ve!)

We got to the hospital around 3:30 am, and had to register- I thought I already pre- registered, but they couldn’t find my records. So sitting at the desk filling out the paper work was kind of awkward during contractions! They were very nice, and kept joking that we had better get the paperwork done so I didn’t have the baby in the office.

So upstairs we went, to this beautiful, new, nice labor and delivery floor. Then we found out that all the rooms were full, and it might be a couple of hours before one opened up!  So we had to sit, waiting in the waiting room, and we just kept laughing at how we can never have good luck when arriving to the hospital. The contractions still were very manageable, and as long as my husband rubbed my back and I did my breathing, I was fine. I still thought in my mind that I was pretty far into labor and I would have the baby as soon as I got a room.

Well, I was wrong- way wrong! I finally got a room, and was checked by a sweet nurse who informed me I was barely 2cm! I was shocked! I really didn’t want to go home, I wanted this baby born! So after monitoring my contractions, they said that  I could stay for an hour,  since my contractions were regular, but if I didn’t progress I would be sent home. I asked if I could get in the tub, and they said I could do whatever I wanted! So I hopped in the tub, turned off all the lights, turned on my hypnobirthing, and just zoned out. I even took some power naps in between contractions, and I just felt very peaceful. I could tell that the contractions changed from just a general tightness across my uterus, to a more squeezing from my low hips and back all the way around, so I knew things were definitely progressing. When the nurse came back to check me, I was 5cm! Wahoo! Went from 2-5 in one hour, so they were impressed. At 7 am, the shift changed, and a new nurse, Kimberly came and introduced herself. She was supportive of my birth plan, but the midwife from my group I had been seeing wasn’t there that day, and I would just get whoever was on call. And she basically didn’t show up until baby was being born. So she asked me what she could do, and I politely asked her to leave us alone as much as possible! She laughed and said she would be happy to let me labor in peace. She told me she had to check on me once an hour, and she would quietly come in, and check baby’s heart beat, and ask me how I was feeling. She was the best!

I think it was around 8:30 am that she came in and wanted me to get out of the tub to monitor me for 20 minutes straight, since they hadn’t done that in several hours. I was kind of uncomfortable in the tub, anyway, so I got out, and laying on my left side felt really good. But as soon as I got settled in the bed, I started going through transition, and things started revving up! I was able to get through it, as long as I kept my eyes closed and didn’t talk at all before a contraction hit. I had to be ahead of my breaths, or I would totally lose it during. So my husband held my hand, gave me sips of water in between and told me how great I was doing. I tried to stay relaxed, and when they were really bad, I remember curling my toes so bad against the bottom of the bed, I scraped off all of my toenail polish!

I think she checked me and I was around 7.5 cm, but I knew the baby was close. The nurse left, and not very long later, I called her back in and told her to get the midwife, because the baby was coming. She looked but didn’t see the head yet and tried to tell me it would still be a while, but my husband told her he could tell from how my breathing had changed…I hadn’t even realized I was doing it, but I changed my breathing from the breath that you do during a contraction, to the birth breathing you do to nudge the baby down. I planned on not pushing, but breathing the baby down gently.

She agreed to page the midwife. About 10 minutes later, I thought my husband was going to have to catch the baby, but the midwife walked in, put on her gloves, told me the baby was right there, and if she broke my water, he’d be here in a second. I had a very strong flashback to the first birth, since when they broke my water when I was pushing is when all hell broke loose. But I felt so much pressure this time that I don’t remember feeling before, and I truly felt that it really would happen like she said. So I agreed, and she did notice that his heart rate dipped slightly, but then it picked right back up again, and he came flying out! She barely caught him, it was more like he just landed on the bed! He was immediately handed to me, and I got to hold him for the next 30 minutes! Our little tiny Oliver was here- 6lbs 14 oz at around 9:30 am on May 2! We got to wait a little while to cut the cord this time, and I tried to nurse him while we delivered the placenta, and I can’t really remember if I held him while it came out or not, but it came out very soon after he was born. They weighed him and wrapped him up, and I got to order breakfast. While I waited on breakfast, I had to get some stitches, since Oliver shot out so fast, I tore a little. She wouldn’t tell me how many stitches, and getting them hurt worse than giving birth! I felt every one, and I don’t think she did a great job with them, because it actually took me a long time to recover from them, and I had a skinny baby!

But we were eventually moved to a different room, and got to snuggle the sweet baby all day. My sister came that afternoon with Milo, and he got to meet his new brother. He was a little confused, and it was hard to contain him when all he wanted to do was touch all the cords and buttons on all the machines. My husband took him home with my sister and her son who came with them, and helped her get him settled for the night, while they slept at our house. Then my husband came back to the hospital around 10pm and was able to sleep in a little cot in our room. Oliver was a good baby, he would sleep for a while, then want to nurse for a while. I felt more than able to take care of him all night, and at one point, he just slept with me, and we had a peaceful first night together.

We went home the next morning. We stopped at a Target to get a little present for Milo from his baby brother. I waited in the car with the baby while DH went inside to pick something out. He grabbed a Tonka truck, one of those soft ones that are bigger for little hands. When we walked in the front door, we set the baby car seat on the floor with the baby in it, and Milo came running over, saying, “Baby! Baby!” and he bent down to kiss him ever so sweetly on his head, and then before any of us saw it coming, he wacked his new little brother on the head! It was so shocking that he would do that, so needless to say, after making sure Oliver was ok- he barely cried over it- we made sure to not leave them alone with out one of us in the room at all times! And that’s how it all began with my two sweet but silly little boys! With a kiss and a smack- and they still have that kind of relationship to this day.  They are best friends, and cry when they are apart, but have  such a knack at tackling one another and hurting each other. But mostly, they really do just love each other.

I’m so grateful that Oliver’s  birth went so smoothly. It showed me that I really did have the ability to birth my own baby, even though someone else showed up at the last minute to catch him, and even then, didn’t do a very good job.

When Oliver was about 18 months old, I started taking some classes to become a Certified Massage Doula (I was already a massage Therapist). Through that training, I was able to attend two births, each at the local Army Hospital that we now are stationed at in North Carolina.  At the time, I had no immediate plans of getting pregnant, but I knew after witnessing the care there, that I would never have a future baby there. I started researching what other options are in this area, and basically the only other choice was to hire your own midwife for a home birth.  After finding that out, I started researching that whole concept a lot, something I had never even thought about- and found myself loving the idea. Just like when I read “Hypno Birthing, The Mongan Method”, and Childbirth with out Fear, something clicked when looking into Home Births. It just made sense!

So, not surprisingly, when I found out that #3 was on it’s way when Oliver was just over 2, I called the local midwife in town and made an appointment. I totally love her, and can’t wait for our new arrival to get here in 8 or so short weeks! I hope to have the baby in the birthing tub. The only thing that worries me is that for some freak reason, I’ll have the baby early, and my husband will miss it! He’ll be out of town for the two weeks before I’m due! He’ll get home about 6 days before my due date. But to cover for that, I know my midwife and I can handle it. And my Mother in Law will be here to help with the boys.

So all in all, I’m just so excited to not have to leave my house, to not have to ship my kids off, to get to snuggle up with our sweet new BOY (yes, boy #3) in our cozy bed as a family and just BE together! It sounds so wonderful, and I pray that I have another easy, comfortable birth.

I don’t want to make it sound like giving birth was a walk in the park for me, but after learning how to stay relaxed and breathe properly, I truly loved giving birth. We all have the potential inside of us to birth our children naturally- but you have to work for it and prepare yourself. When I only had 5 weeks before my first son was born, I still was so proud of myself for not having medication, (until I had one intervention at 10 cm and got an epidural forced on me)even though I was having a hard time during transition. But after going through it and then being able to know what it feels like and what works for me and doesn’t work for me during labor, the second time was much easier, and besides the stitches, I don’t recall ever crying out from pain or thinking in my head that I needed pain relief. And I’m not trying to sound like I’m so tough or different than anybody else. But I conditioned my mind and body to be able to let my body take over and do the work it needed to do without interfering by being afraid and tensing up, causing more complications.

If I can do it, anyone can do it! But I highly recommend taking a birthing class to give you some coping tools to use during labor, or you WILL feel like it is pain, unless you train yourself to view it as your body bringing your baby to you. I have heard of people who don’t take classes and still are able to achieve a natural, un medicated birth, and good for them! But for the majority of women, who are instilled with fear from the beginning, and don’t question all of the unnecessary interventions, and go ahead and schedule that induction because they are 2 days past due with out even finding out their options, I think most women need to take a natural birthing class.

I’m almost off my soap box- ALMOST- even if, after reading this, and looking inward, you still aren’t interested in natural birth- that is fine- it is YOUR BODY, Your CHOICE- but still don’t throw it all out the window. I know more women than I can count on one hand, that planned for an epidural and it DIDN’T Work! They  were un prepared to handle the intensity of contractions, and look back on their experience with bitterness of having to endure so much pain- or they look back and make comments like, “It freaking hurt! So what, why do all these “Natural” mom’s make such a big deal over it? I did it and didn’t get a cookie!” When if they would have AT LEAST taken a look into natural coping methods, they could have been much more relaxed, and been in less pain. You never know how your birth is going to end up, and just like my first took an unexpected turn by me having to get an epidural and forceps delivery- I was at least prepared for that- I listened to it every night on my CD- “I will be prepared to meet whatever turn my birthing takes.” So I just want to encourage all mothers out there to just be prepared. If your epidural doesn’t work- your baby is still coming out of you, and wouldn’t it be nice to know how to handle those contractions with out fear or pain? If your epidural works, and you get to sit pretty without mascara running down your face, more power to you!

But I know it truly does work, and I fully expect to be able to ride the waves of the contractions at home this time, and look forward to each and every one- knowing it is one more surge closer to my sweet little baby in my arms! That may sound very cutesy, but I really do feel that way!

Friday, December 2, 2011

T Minus 13 Weeks…

 

new baby on board

 

It seems mind boggling to me that in a mere 13 weeks (give or take one or two weeks) I will be having another baby.  Lately, my two year old has seemed younger and younger, but I’m sure that once he’s a big brother, he’ll seem so grown up! They just grow up too fast, that’s for sure.

I’m feeling really good right now, I just found a  Chiropractor that helped me with easing some aches and pains associated with pregnancy. I highly recommend Chiropractic care during pregnancy. I’m hoping that it will help with the labor part! But being able to walk without limping isn’t bad, either!

I’m also loving my midwife and the choice to homebirth.  During my last appointment, it was almost baffling when she was asking me if I wanted to take the Gestational Diabetes Test. The one where you drink that nasty stuff… I was shocked, because she asked me like it was MY CHOICE! I’m not used to having any choices during pregnancy, I’ve always just done what my assigned Doctor or Midwife told me to do, like show up at a certain time to take these tests.

She also sent me home with “home work” to read over and either refuse or sign my consent for various tests and things for the baby after he is born- like the eye ointment, the Vitamin K shot, and the heel prick. I have some research to do before I make my choice, and I’ve also been researching Circumcision.

Here is a wonderful article that totally covers any thoughts I’ve ever had about it (which I never thought about it until after my  second had his procedure done while I was in the room, and I’ve regretted it ever since).

The Circumcision Decision

I don’t want to get to deep into it, but let’s just say that this baby boy might be a little different looking than his big brothers… And I think he’ll be just fine.

So, any thoughts on any of those topics that I mentioned I have a CHOICE over? This is exactly what I wanted – to have choices—and now, I just have to Decide :)

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas, and Happy Holiday Season… I’m looking forward to my Husband having lots of time off to relax at home- or to just be home so I can relax a little! I know after the holidays are over, the rest of the pregnancy is going to just fly by, and I have so much to do, still to prepare for this little one. Especially since he’ll be arriving in our home, and I’m a procrastinator, I need to get everything ready!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pregnancy update and some ponderings…

 

I’m now almost 22 weeks along in pregnancy #3… My, how this one is different!  I’m having more aches and pains and am more tired than with any other pregnancies so far at this point!

But, my two little ones keep me busy, and I’m grateful the time is passing by quickly.

I’ve been pondering a lot about how I will be able to continue working after this baby comes.  I don’t have to work, and for that, I am so thankful! I love staying home with my kids, especially when they are so young… I know there are a lot of Moms out there that work out of necessity and I have so much respect for all they do. It can’t be easy.

But with our Military lifestyle, i.e., moving from state to state, not being in one place very long, it makes licensing and building clientele a little challenging! And with this pregnancy being the way it has been, there is no way that I have been able to pull myself together enough to try and work. So I’m trying to figure it all out.

The reason I would love to keep working, is because I really feel passionate about helping women educate themselves in their choices during pregnancy and childbirth, and my goal to become a hypnobirthing instructor would really allow me to help women achieve a natural birth with the tools to accomplish it in a more pain free, fear free way.  So that is on my mind for the future and I can’t wait to get more involved in that!

But for now, I’m so excited to be planning our first homebirth! I have been reading lots and lots about it, and especially reading lots of successful home birth stories.  I guess once I get into the third trimester it will really hit me that it is really happening, but I am more excited for the actual process of labor and delivery this time around than ever before!  I think it will be a really great bonding experience for our family, especially to be able to have big brothers around so soon after the new baby arrives, I just can’t wait for that moment- having all my boys together…Did I mention we are having our third BOY?!?!

I had mixed emotions at first. I really thought it was going to be a girl, and I still would love to have a daughter someday…But I am so happy and excited for this sweet baby boy to join us. He will fit right in!

Well, I have been learning lots and hope to carve some time out in the near future to share some useful links to some great articles and new information that I’ve been learning. I will do that soon!

Until then, I’ll be making my chiropractor appointments for this really intense sciatic pain, and massage for the other pains! I’m taking it easy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wow! Where has the time gone?

I am amazed to see how long it’s been since I updated. I apologize. I’m sure everyone’s lives are just as busy (if not more than mine), but sadly, my blogging has been on the back burner for a while!

To update on my Doula adventures, I’ve been blessed to attend/witness my first two births… Each were completely amazing but completely different in their own ways, and I learned so much.  But mostly, I learned that I have a lot to learn!

After attending the second birth, we moved into a different house, and I swear that moving across town is worse than moving across the country! At least, that’s what I remember thinking at the time… I also kept thinking about how that move was the most tiring move we’ve ever done! And we’ve moved 6 times in 5 years (2 times we moved twice in the same town), so that is saying something!  

A few days after we moved this time, though, I found out why I was so tired!242

If I had known before we were supposed to move, I probably would have canceled the move!  Because now, we are back to looking for a new place to be settled into before baby #3 arrives! We are due towards the end of February, and we couldn’t be more excited! We think it’s a girl :)

Having experienced attending my first two births as a Doula, I came to the decision that I would be choosing to welcome our third one into the world in a way I have never done before…A home birth! I can’t wait to start blogging again, and share more about what I’m learning and finding out about this wonderful option that is available to us as birthing mothers!  It’s not for everyone, but I know it is for me this time around.  I am actually looking forward to birth! That seems crazy!

Stay tuned for more information regarding home birth, and other pregnancy related goodies and more!  Since it will be on my mind constantly for the next 6 months, I know I’ll be talking about it a lot.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Call now!

I’m excited to announce that I will be available to take appointments starting next week! Starting on the 26th, I’ll be working out of The Marie David Salon and Spa. I mentioned them last week, and couldn’t be more thrilled. Not only is Laura (the owner, experienced hair stylist/nail tech) totally accepting of what I’m interested in doing- prenatal massage, massage doula- she is very excited about it, and going above and beyond my expectations to accommodate me!

I’ve only ever worked out of a salon/spa set up, and I absolutely love it! Not only is there more potential for clients, it’s fun to work in that setting! 

I have my business cards coming, and I just have a few more things to get so that I’ll be ready to start working!

So friends and expectant mothers in Fayetteville,  come and get your first massage from me! I promise, you’ll love it, feel better, and wish you had gotten one sooner!

As an update, my first Doula client is ready to have her baby any day now. I know she’ll do great. I’m so excited to get to help her stay mellow!

Stay tuned for some more exciting posts!