Posts tagged ‘delivery’

Krista and Hanna

My husband and I welcomed our baby girl, Hanna Linnéa on 8-9-11, one day ahead of her due date. We had a regular check-up with our OB that morning and I had been experiencing mild contractions, about 15-20 minutes apart since 5AM. At our appointment, we had our OB ¨sweep the membranes’ as I was 2 cm dilated. We then checked the baby’s fluids and found she was running low, at 5 cm, so decided to go in for an induction and checked into labor and delivery within the half hour. Well, it didn’t take much to get us going as I quickly moved to 4 cm after the sweep and was in full labor by 10:30AM, having contractions 3 minutes apart.

We felt pretty strong about having a natural birth, so I was glad to avoid pitocin to speed up labor. The contractions were strong, but manageable early on so my husband had time to run back home to pick up our hospital bags. At around 12:30, we were measuring at 5cm, so they broke our waters to keep things going. Shortly after, the intensity picked up pretty quickly and it was time to get more mobile.

I took a quick bath, but decided that wasn’t delivering a lot of comfort so I moved onto squats and lunges. For the next 4 hours, I alternated between plie squats at the bed and single leg lunges at the window seat. I took small breaks on the bed, but found the pain much stronger when I was lying down. I think the combination of squats and lunge definitely helped speed up the opening and I was really thankful that I had practiced these regularly throughout my pregnancy. My husband and I didn’t rely on alternate breathing techniques, it was more comforting to just keep taking deep breaths and break each contraction into sets of either 15 squats or 15 lunges.

I wanted to keep the labor natural, but admit there were several times throughout those final 4 hours that I questioned whether my body was going to take much more. The adrenaline rush and fatigue made my muscles tremor and I was less and less able to relax in the 30-45 seconds between contractions. My husband was a huge source of comfort throughout though, massaging me and providing a lot of encouragement. I also reflected back on the birth stories I heard in this class for motivation to keep to our natural plan, and I’m extremely thankful for that.

Finally, after 4 hours of strong labor we reached 10 cm. and it was time to start pushing. I actually found this phase of labor to be least painful, and was able to get good rests between the contractions as the body relaxed a bit more. I squatted through the first 30 minutes of pushing, but then became too tired to keep the position once the baby’s head started to emerge. It took another 45 minutes to finish delivery but all pain was forgotten the moment Hanna entered our world.

I’m really glad that I took the time to practice yoga throughout my pregnancy and felt that this experience definitely helped me have the smooth, natural delivery that was important to my husband and I. I look forward to continuing my practice in baby yoga next month and would definitely return to this class for future pregnancies.

August 9, 2011 at 2:15 am Leave a comment

May and Nicholas

My last yoga class was at 37 weeks because right around 38 weeks I started to get really uncomfortable. My back was continually hurting and it was painful to walk, sit, or move even (I ended up stopping work at 39 weeks). The midwife said this was due to the baby being very low (zero station) and facing forward. She told me to regularly do all the moves we do in yoga – child’s pose, pelvic tilt, hip circles, etc. – to try to get him to turn and hopefully he would then engage contractions. After about a week of this I was getting more uncomfortable, not less, and started accept the fact that I would be pregnant forever – but luckily I had been told at a few appointments that he would probably be a small baby. I was also getting a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions and felt like I was always looking at the clock and trying to see if there were regular. With Nate coming so quickly (2 hours) I wanted to make sure I made it to the hospital with plenty of time.

About 12:45 am Monday, I woke up with a contraction, which wasn’t uncommon since I seemed to get them each time I moved. I got up and did a bit of stretching and then had another one (4 minutes apart). By the third or fourth one I decided this was for real, woke my husband and called the midwife. My mom was staying the night so we were able to leave quickly for the hospital. In the car I noticed the contractions were slowing down (I only had two in the 7 minute drive there), but becoming more intense. I had two more really strong contractions at the hospital while walking to my room. The nurse gave me a gown to change into and a cup.

I went into the bathroom, took some of my clothes off, and had a contraction that told me the baby was coming any minute. I called for help, they moved me on the bed where my water broke and then they checked my cervix — I was ready to deliver. The midwife showed up just then and I told them I needed to push, to which they said just do what my body needs to do.

I did my best to slowly breathe down the baby, while also closing my eyes and saying how much it hurt (not my most poised moment, but at least this time I felt in control somewhat). I was continually reassured by the midwife and nurses that he was coming and it would be over quickly, which it luckily was. At 1:50am, just thirteen minutes after arriving at the hospital, and 1 hour after starting contractions, I naturally delivered my “small” baby – a 10 pound, 23 inch baby boy, Nicholas.

The birth was harder on Nicholas than it was on me. He didn’t have a chance to get the amniotic fluid out of his lungs and he was having a hard time regulating his breathing – his chest was contracting and he was showing signs of cardiac distress. He could also not be woken up nor would he eat. Because of his size they wanted to check glucose levels after each feeding, and after 16 hours of labored breathing and not eating he was moved to the NICU for closer monitoring (his size made him quite the novelty up there). We stayed there for two nights and on Wednesday took home a healthy baby who is making up for two days of not eating.

Thanks for all the support in class. I know that it helped!

March 28, 2011 at 1:50 am Leave a comment

Amber and Milo

On March 15th, I had decided to officially start my maternity leave (baby or no baby) so that I could fully relax and prepare for the birth. For the first time in my life, I went to the movies by myself and really enjoyed it, managing to see two films in the theater before I went into labor. What a treat!

For several days leading up to the birth, I had been feeling contractions on and off. They’d start to get fairly regular and would slowly grow in intesity, only to disappear over the course of a few hours. I started to worry about the looming repeat c-section that would need to be performed if I didn’t go into labor on my own by the 23rd. On the evening of March 14th, I started having steady contractions starting around 6 pm. I had them all evening and felt them all night as I slept. I started to get excited that this was it! Unfortunately, I woke up on the 15th feeling nothing at all. They had disappeared overnight. That morning, we had an appointment with our OB for an ultrasound and an NST to monitor the amount of amniotic fluid and the baby’s movements. Everything looked fine, but still no contractions. When the doctor checked me, I was still just a centimeter dilated (where I had been for several weeks) and she asked if I’d like her to try sweeping the membranes. I had remembered the midwives trying that toward the end of my last pregnancy to help move things along, so agreed, figuring it certainly couldn’t hurt. Our appointment was over by 10:30 am; by 12:30 pm, my contractions had started again. They were faint, but definitely there (and slightly uncomfortable) every ten minutes or so.

The contractions continued throughout lunch. Afterward, I had plans to go to the movies at 2:45 pm, so I headed downtown, feeling contractions the whole way there. I bought myself a buttered popcorn and a drink and headed into the nearly empty theater. As the movie was starting, the contractions grew stronger and I started timing them. Six to seven minutes apart for the duration of the film and growing stronger and slightly closer together. They definitely got my attention, catching me off guard with their intesity a few times. I started to wonder if this could be it as I left the theater to go pick up Rowan from daycare.

I arrived at daycare close to 6 pm and while the contractions were still there, they weren’t as noticable as they had been. Rowan had skipped her nap that afternoon and threw a series of temper tantrums on the way home. My contractions stopped. Completely. I didn’t feel a thing as I made us dinner and got her ready for bed. Zip. Nada. Nothing at all. Rick was out moving equipment into his new print shop, so when Rowan was finally fed and settled down, we spent some nice time together painting her toenails before bed.

It was 7:40 pm when I put her to bed and the contractions started again like clockwork by 8:15 pm. I texted Rick to let him know what was happening, but assured him that I was fine and this may just be a repeat of what had happened the night before. I poured myself a glass of lemonade (a staple beverage of my pregancy) and settled into the couch with my book…the same way that I had spent so many sleepless nights over the last few months. By 9 pm, I couldn’t concentrate on reading. The contractions were just too strong and getting even closer together. I texted Rick again and told him to come home ASAP – I still didn’t know if this was it, but needed some help with the pain. The instensity began to frighten me, so I tried to calm down, remembering different labor positions and activities for early labor. I tried distracting myself with music and facebook. Then I rolled the birthing ball out into the office; the bouncing was great. By 9:30 pm, the contractions were between 3 and 4 minutes apart. Jess (a friend) called to see how I was doing after seeing my last facebook update. She stayed on the phone with me, keeping me calm and distracted while breathing through contractions until around 10:15 pm, when Rick got home, flustered and upset that he hadn’t been able to be there sooner. At that point, the contractions had been coming every 3-4 minutes, lasting a minute for about an hour, so he called the doctor’s office, who advised us to head to the hospital!

Fortunately, Rowan’s bag was packed and ready to go, so we woke her up to let her know that the baby was coming and that she would be going to spend the night at her grandparent’s house. I really didn’t want her to see me in pain, so I labored through a few contractions on my own while Rick got on her coat and got her in the car. While they were on their way to the car, I had a huge contraction in Rowan’s room, but felt so comfortable alone in the dark as I leaned over her bed, smelling her blankets and everything that was hers. Heading downstairs to the car, I had another contraction on the stairs that stopped me in my tracks. I finally made it to the car and we drove around the corner to drop off Rowan. Pamela and Stan were outside waiting for her and as they approached I had another contraction bent over the passenger seat. I kissed Rowan goodbye and we were headed to the hospital. I don’t really remember much of the ride, but remember hating being stuck in the car with limited movement as each contraction came and went.

We arrived at the hospital around 11 or 11:30 – at this point, I really wasn’t keeping track of time. We walked into the ER…another contraction…I remember walking past a bunch of people in the waiting room doing my “monkey walk” as Rick later called it, legs wide apart, taking big deliberate steps, breathing heavily yet slowly. Finally we reached triage at Labor & Delivery. They ushered us into a small examination room, where I was hooked up to fetal monitors and asked to wait for a doctor who would come in to check my cervix. Again, I was irritated by the innability to move freely; those were the hardest contractions to endure. The contractions were coming on hard and strong and it was impossible being in that small room. I handed over my birth plan – the one that said that I was hoping for a natural birth and only wanted pain medication in the event of a long and/or complicated labor – and declared that I was willing to part with that plan and that I’d like an epidural immediately, thank you very much! The doctor finally arrived and I was devastated when I was told that I was only dilated 2 cm. The pain and the progress of the labor just didn’t seem to compute. They told me to walk around the halls for an hour and then come back to get checked again. I remember passing other laboring women in the halls and thinking that they didn’t seem to be in enough pain. They’d calmly stop and breathe, holding hands with their partners. I, meanwhile, was on my hands and knees on the floor with each contraction, grunting and growling through each breath. Eventually, I discovered a blubbering noise to make with my lips, which loosened my mouth and seemed to let the rest of my body relax to an extent. Still, I experienced hard labor in the hallway. It was frightening, reminding me of the point during my last labor, near transition, where I really started to panic.

After 30 minutes in the halls, which felt like an eternity, they called me back into triage to be checked again. I was just at 3 cm, but they agreed to move me to a birthing suite and called for the anesthesiologist. Once in the suite, I was hooked to monitors once again while we waited – a whopping hour and a half – for the anesthesiologist to arrive and administer the epidural. I was stuck in bed, unable to move very much during my contractions, which made them so much more difficult. I was miserable and all of our plans to use the bath tub, the birthing ball and labor positions went out the window with my limited movement. Eventually, the anesthesiologist arrived and I felt immediate relief once the epidural was in place. It was incredible, and yet I immediately felt as though I had failed myself and my baby by “caving” for pain relief so soon. Fortunately, I didn’t spend too long feeling that way and was able to relax and try to sleep for the duration of my labor, though without any sensation from the waist down.

I drifted in and out of sleep, though never slept very deeply, for the next 8 hours. Rick slept on the cushioned benches beside the bed and I would occassionally chat with the nurse who was monitoring my contractions and the baby’s heartbeat. They were worried at times that he wasn’t responding to the contractions and that his heart rate was decelerating with each contraction, but he would always bounce back. Still, it worried me enough to keep me awake and begin coming to terms with the idea of a repeat c-section. I just wanted a healthy baby.

As luck would have it, my OB was on call the following morning. When she came into my room around 8 am to check me, Rick was out moving the car, and she told me that as soon as he got back, it would be time to push. I was fully dilated and at a plus 2 station! Here it was, the moment that I had been hoping and waiting for, and I was suddenly frightened. How would I push without any sensation below my waist? How would it work if I couldn’t squat and had to deliver lying on my back? I had so many worries since this wasn’t at all what I had pictured. Rick arrived back at the room at about 8:20 am and I was pushing by 8:30. It was such a strange sensation – or lack thereof. I just felt like I was holding my breath…really, really hard. But with the first push, the expression on the faces around me told me that it was working. After the third push, I could reach down and feel the baby’s head emerging and after a total of 6 pushes and 20 minutes, my baby boy was being hoisted onto my chest and into my arms!!

Not at all the birth experience that I had pictured or prepared for, but I couldn’t be happier with the outcome: a successful and relatively painless VBAC that helped conquer my birthing fears. As I held Milo in my arms after the birth, there was part of me that was amazed with how easily it had all worked out and what my body was capable of doing – under any circumstances – that I wanted to do it all over again!

March 16, 2011 at 8:50 am Leave a comment

Eve and Aria

I passed my due date (March 4) with a sense of incredulity and frustration, and then made peace with the fact that the baby was going to wait for my mother to arrive on Monday the 7th (she was supposed to be there a few days after the birth. Look how well I planned!)

Monday arrived, and with it a huge snowstorm in Vermont that prevented my mother’s departure till the next day (and even that wasn’t a forgone conclusion till the last minute!) So, more waiting. During this time, I was experiencing lots of achiness in my low back and increasingly frequent Braxton-Hicks contractions during this time, but nothing that felt like labor had actually commenced. I was also stressed about my mother digging out from the storm and actually making it to the airport, so I had a feeling that labor wouldn’t really get underway till all of that was over.

My mother arrived late on Tuesday night, the 8th, and we all stumbled into bed around 2 am. Wednesday arrived, and with it a desire to stalk up on some last-minute food items. She and I also decided to enjoy the weather and the fact that she was around to help me wrangle the dogs and take a nice long walk with them. One of our dogs ran off in the middle of the walk and got stuck in someone’s backyard, so we had an even more eventful time than anticipated, and did more running than I had intended…

After such an exhausting walk, I needed to rest my back at home, so my mom did some impromptu massage on my neck and low back/hips while I rested in child’s pose on my bed. It was divine. That night, I finally remembered to watch the Babies documentary (4 babies from around the world over the 1st year of their lives). It was adorable and sweet and fascinating, and left me in the mood for birth.

I tried to get into bed early-ish – maybe 10:30 – and slept pretty soundly till 3:30 am on Thursday morning, the 10th. I then had some rather crampy contractions (which I still thought were B-H) wake me up and I had to use the bathroom. At this point I did the first thing that indicated I was indeed in labor – Dave told me that when I got up I threw the covers off the whole bed, uncovering him as well as me. I’m usually very careful not to uncover him. I didn’t bother with the light but thought that maybe I noticed some bloody show when I wiped. I ignored it and climbed back into bed.

I slept fitfully until 5:30, when I had to get up to use the bathroom again. As I went, I realized that I was having a bloody show in addition to loose stools and pee, meaning I was definitely in labor. I went back to bed, hoping to sleep a bit more, but immediately began laboring more intensely and had more bloody show in the bed (which I thought was my water breaking – it was dark!). Given the sudden change in feeling, I woke Dave up just before 6, and then got my mom up as well.

At this point, we started tracking contractions. They weren’t at regular intervals, but after a few that were 5-7 min. apart, they started consistently being much closer together (2-4 min.), so I had a feeling things were getting more serious (the fact that they were kinda irregular still made me take them less seriously, though).

We called the Doula (Rebecca) and asked her to come over, and paged the midwife on call. My mom started breakfast and Dave jumped in the shower. I started to pace a bit through the contractions. I spoke to midwife Sharon at 6:40. Since I could still talk through contractions (as I could the whole way, actually), and they hadn’t been regular for that long, she said, “I’ll tell Janice, who goes on call at 7, and you should call us again later.” It felt dismissive, but also calm. She also asked if I had felt the baby moving. I panicked a bit at this point when I realized that I hadn’t felt her move in a while, but also realized that maybe I hadn’t been paying attention to that. About 10 minutes later, after heading back to the bathroom and my bed, I felt her kick and yelled out “I felt her kick!” with great relief. It was the last time I noticed it, though!

In any case, I was able to eat some eggs & toast and fill up on water (the first thing that both Rebecca and Sharon told me to do was drink fluids!) I began to need to pace in circles around the house or sit on the toilet through each contraction (I didn’t know I had that much to empty out…). I was also beginning to use a rhythmic Lion’s Breath – tongue out and mouth wide – to help me through each contraction. I kept wanting to get into bed because I was cold in between contractions, but they were so close together that it required too much effort to keep getting up.

Rebecca arrived around 7:30 am. I was pacing through a contraction by the front door as she arrived, and opened it with some huffs and a grin. She immediately suggested that I get in the bath, so she and my mom ran one while I continued to pace and Dave quickly got our labor bag fully packed with last-minute items.

When I stepped into the bath I couldn’t imagine folding or bending down, so we quickly transitioned to the idea of a shower. I marched in place in the shower to the same pacing rhythm I’d been using before, hands braced on the back wall. I still had the presence of mind then to point out that we had to open up the drain again, or we’d have “the great labor flood of March 2011.” Then I suddenly felt nauseous, poked my head out of the shower and threw up in the toilet. I also noticed a bunch of blood. I told Rebecca, who said, “good, that’s dilation right there.”

At this point the water started getting cold (we now know that our hot water heater is less powerful than we’d thought!), so I had to get out. This may have been a really good thing. My mom and Rebecca helped me get dressed and I started to labor for a few contractions on my bed on forearms and knees, with the dogs hanging out around me. Then this got too intense and I started to pace again. I found myself flicking my fingers and shaking my hands, but also smiling through the contractions—I could just tell that this was happening in all its glory and if I celebrated that, it would be easier. It was actually kind of exciting! My mom helped by breathing and moaning with me – helping set a tone for me. I started to moan differently at this point – vocalizing like Liz demonstrated when talking about transition – which cued Dave that it was time to go.

He called the midwives again. They were apparently very skeptical that I was that far along, and told us to come into their offices in the professional building by the hospital. He told me it was time to go, and I took a moment, then had a contraction that I realized would be hellish in the car, and said, “If this gets any worse, I don’t want to do it in the car.” So, we headed out at about 8:45 am. We were all a little frustrated that they missed all the cues, apparently figured Dave to be a nervous first-time dad, and dismissed the idea that I could be as far along as I was.

I kneeled on the front seat facing backwards, with my mom behind me, and Dave drove. Rebecca followed in her car. I weathered each contraction by rocking back and forth, grasping at the air and seat, and pulling on my hair. It sucked. Dave kept a hand on my hip to make him feel better about the fact that I wasn’t using a seatbelt (to that I had said, “there is no way in hell.”), to which I said, “like that’s gonna help in an accident.” Luckily the drive over there is only 15 minutes, tops, so this torture didn’t last long.

Dave dropped my mom and I at the hospital entrance, and we raced up to the office (I couldn’t believe we had to go there first!) In the waiting room, I continued to pace through contractions, at this point needing to grab at my pelvic bone and moan through each contraction. There was a newly-pregnant couple in the waiting room, and I remember thinking, “Oh my god. I can’t believe they have to witness me in this state at this point in her pregnancy.” The minute the staff saw me (it was now 9 am), they raced me into the triage room and had me get up on the table. Once Janice was able to examine me, she asked, “do you feel any pressure?” I breathlessly responded, “oh my God. So much.” To which she said, “good, because you’re 10 centimeters.”

Wow. OK! We basically ran downstairs to the maternity ward at Evergreen, where they were waiting with walki-talkies and an open door. (first I signed the world’s messiest signature on my admission form.) In the room, I immediately stripped (I did put on a gown for a bit), and leaned over the bed to labor. The nurse and midwife started hooking me up to a monitor to get a 20-minute strip. I was pissed, but they were insistent. I didn’t want anything on my body at this point! I found the position OK, though, and soon said, “I really want to push.” No one responded – at this point it was clear that it was time to do so! Eventually someone hooked me up to the wireless monitor, but I was too far gone to really notice, and finally after 15 minutes, they gave up on trying to get a full strip and I just climbed up on the bed on my hands and forearms (the back of the bed was raised slightly) to labor.

With each contraction, I would rock back towards my heels and bear down strongly. I was kind of screaming/roaring through the contractions, and during one my water broke. Between contractions Rebecca started to lay warm hands on my shoulders and slowly stroke down. It felt awesome. I quickly felt tired, though, and turned to lay on my left side. My mother held up my right leg and Janice took a hot washcloth to my bottom between contractions, which also felt awesome. I found myself reaching up towards the top of the bed while I pushed, almost trying to pull in some strength and energy from the room to push the baby out.

They set up a huge mirror at the end of the bed. Janice and Bennett, the nurse, continued to try to pick up the baby’s heartbeat with the monitor. When I asked if she was moving down, Janice said, “yeah, can you tell that I have to move the monitor with each contraction?” Eventually she asked me if I could feel the baby moving down, and when I said yes, she told me to put my fingers into my vagina to see if I could feel her head. I could! I got a burst of adrenaline and energy and got a huge grin on my face. Oh my God. It made the intense pressure more bearable. I found myself reaching down to put my hand over my vagina, and could feel the pleasure that some women describe as “orgasmic,” but that abated as the stretching got more intense.

A few more contractions later, someone said, “there’s the head! Wow, look at that hair!” At this point I started feeling a lot of stretching and burning, which progressively got more and more painful. It was the only point during labor when I felt like it might be too much. This is when I let a few choice words fly. I feel like I kept making eye contact with David during this time, but he was stationed to my back, so I’m not sure what I’m remembering (I also turned onto my back right at the end – no one remembers quite when at this point – so that might be when I turned to Dave). In any case, the baby’s head came out after some horrible burning feelings, and then Janice said, “you can birth the rest of her with just one more push,” and I did.

It was amazing and I was flabbergasted and in love. She came out silent but alert, and there was silence till she let out a cry (and didn’t stop for about 30 minutes!), and then everyone exclaimed together. I cuddled her for a while, and then Dave and kicked my mom & Rebecca out while we talked about her name and Dave gave her a bath (and promptly fell entirely in love).

In the end, my labor lasted 7 hours, and I pushed for about 40 minutes. Aria Stella Edery was born at 10:20 am on Thursday, the 10th of March. Her name means lioness in Hebrew – a fitting tribute to the roar with which she made an appearance. I was blessed to have an easy AND fast labor that never overwhelmed me – I just kept remembering that I could do this, that my body knew what it was doing, and that if I let it happen, it would happen.

Aria was healthy initially, but the irony of the fast birth was that she came out so fast that some of the fluid didn’t get squeezed out of her lungs, and she started breathing fast and labored, and had trouble latching during day one because of the breathing. Eventually, on Friday morning, she was admitted to the NICU for observation and then put on an IV and monitors for about 30 hours. She improved quickly and it was a relatively uneventful NICU stay, which was really another blessing, but we all could have done without the extra day in the hospital!

March 10, 2011 at 10:30 am Leave a comment

Annie and Bailey

“No matter how your labor and delivery go, that day will be carved in your heart as the incredible day that you meet your child for the first time. It will be your birth and it will be special.”

I remember our doula, Jennifer, saying this to me during the labor of our first child as I was contemplating receiving an epidural for what at the time felt like insurmountably difficult contractions. This put my mind at ease and I decided to “wait a few more out” until eventually she turned, it was time to push, and out came Tori – warm as can be and ready to nuzzle into our arms and hearts forever.

This crossed my mind again last week, as my water broke and a surge of adrenalin left me shaking and completely terrified of the unavoidable process that stood between myself, my husband Ed, and the grand entrance of our second baby girl.

It comforted me again, because it was completely true. Natural childbirth was our Plan A. If we needed to move on to Plan B (medical pain management) or Plan C (interventions due to unforeseen complications) it would still and always be the day that we met our beautiful daughter and began our journey as a family of four.

After my water broke, we both scurried around the house making final preparations, contacting the midwives, our doula Jennifer, and Ed’s sister Ashley who would be watching Tori during our hospital stay. Tori is 16-months old and still nurses about twice a day. She woke up as I tried to sneak a few diapers from her room to tide me over on the way to the hospital. Going into “mom mode” was the best thing for settling my nerves. We had a very peaceful and cuddly nursing session and I choked up looking down at her long and lean frame stretching around my round belly and her sweet curls that fall in every direction. I knew in that moment that my sweet baby girl was growing up and would be a big sister the following day. It was a “tears of joy and sadness” moment that comes with all great changes in life – when you realize that you are so excited for where you are headed and that not moving forward isn’t an option.

We arrived at Evergreen Hospital around 11 pm and got settled into our birthing suite. The midwife on call, Shana, and the nurse were welcoming and we got all of the paperwork taken care of quickly. Since my water had broken, we decided not to do a cervical check, as it wouldn’t change a single thing in our course of action. We walked the halls for a bit, and then decided to take a rest. I won’t forget the image of my hubby, my belly and I curled up in that small hospital bed – if anything we were going to crowd the baby out of her comfortable home in the womb.

My contractions slowed a bit after laying down, giving me nice ten minute breaks between each, although the strength and duration of each contraction continued to grow. Eventually my position/breathing technique was no longer effective in getting me through on my own, and I was up and ready to try something new. Again we walked the halls, pausing for each contraction doing nice big hip circles while holding the railing and listening to Ed lead me in guided breathing. Even though we weren’t always in sync (his lungs are bigger than mine!) it was so nice to hear his voice and I felt very loved that he would get right in there with me, which he did every step of the way. Jennifer would touch my shoulders when they started creeping up and help me “breathe the baby down” as the contractions ended – once again I had my amazing team in place and we were going to do this!

When we tired of the walking, we returned to the birthing suite and I labored for a long while in a wooden rocking chair padded with pillows for my back and bottom. Ed sat across from me and held my legs as he gently rocked the chair and continued to breathe with me through contractions. One funny thing about labor is the time in between contractions. It is just casual conversation and life as usual and discussion about movies, children, and wise cracks ensued. I told Ed that two was a nice round number. He mentioned that 4 and 6 were as well. Nice try, buddy! Jennifer continued to coach me through body relaxation and reinforce how well I was doing after each contraction. Her presence as a place to go when a contraction got ahead of me or fear set in was invaluable. She could offer new positions, sounds, and breathing techniques for us to try – which passes the hours while the baby makes her great journey downward and into position. With Jennifer coaching me in one ear, Shana focusing on pressure points to press during contractions, and Ed in front of me, I felt very well taken care of and capable of what laid ahead.

The first time Shana did a cervical check I was dilated to 4.5 which was encouraging because in theory dilating from 0-4 takes the longest amount of time in labor. I knew the next “half” would be more intense and much harder, but I also had a sense of excitement that we were making great progress and nearing the actual arrival of our baby girl. The next few hours were spent in “labor land” where I just used the different sounds that came naturally to me to endure contractions. Ed followed my lead with making all the “yayayaya” and “mamamama” sounds and having his big voice present made mine just feel like background noise which I loved. I began to feel the urge to push around 6 a.m. so I tried to get myself positioned on hands and knees with the support of a bean bag on top of the bed. This wasn’t a good position for me so I tried laying on my side for what felt like transition and preparation for pushing.

When our second midwife, Sharon, arrived around 7 to relieve Shana, I was side-lying and enduring long and strong contractions while the pressure on my perineum continued to grow. She did a cervical check and let me know that while I was dilated to a 9, there was a bit of swelling beginning and we needed to get moving. Now Sharon delivered our first baby and I knew that she ran a tight ship. I knew that I could trust her implicitly and she would see to it that mom and baby would soon be united. So, goodbye side-lying and hello standing, let’s get this baby moving! It’s not easy to change positions at this point but again, I did what I was told and knew that this team had been through a bit more of these than I had. Transition came on strong and hard at that point and boy did I want to give up. I said several times, “I can’t do this” and I meant it, it simply felt too hard. I was exhausted having thrown up several times in response to the adrenalin pumping through me. I was administered an IV of saline and salt water has never felt so good.

At that point I knew that baby had done her work and now it was my turn. Like it or not, I needed to get in position, get strong, and prepare to push. I loved the strong and deep “Maaaaaa” sound for this stage because sentimentally, it said to me: “You are the mom. Your baby trusts you to know what to do and guide her through this. She can trust you. You can trust your body. This will be over soon.”

I listened closely to my coaches and communicated to them when contractions had begun and were ending. I accepted their guidance on when to push, when to hold, when to catch a breath, and when to push harder. The baby had the cord loosely around her neck which Sharon detected and corrected immediately. She had shoulder dysplasia, meaning she was a bit lodged at the shoulder level, and Sharon let me know that contraction or not, it was time for this baby to be born. I could tell that tension had heightened in the room, but like any good leader, Sharon took control of the situation and simply moved us through it. I pushed as effectively as I could and with Sharon’s help both at the perineum and externally on my belly, I felt the unmistakable “whoosh” of childbirth and knew we had done it. Our beautiful baby Bailey, warm, tiny and perfect, came onto mama’s belly for the first of a lifetime of snuggles with her parents.

I return to where I started, in saying that no matter how you birth your baby, it is the irreplaceable day that you and your partner come together and deliver on what you created together just less than a year before. That said, we have been blessed with two incredible births and two incredible little girls and I am so grateful for each person who had hand in their arrivals. I wish you all the best of luck and leave you with this: ““You are the mom. Your baby trusts you to know what to do and guide him or her through this. Your baby can trust you. You can trust your body. And yes, this will be over soon!”

March 9, 2011 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Teresa and Adam

While falling asleep late on the night of February 5th I felt a strong Braxton Hicks contraction. Since I had many of these throughout my pregnancy, and sometimes along with menstrual-like cramping, it didn’t alarm me. However the cramping this time felt a little stronger than usual. I decided not to think about it too much and to try to get some sleep.

I was able to get several hours of sleep and sometime between 3 and 4 am I felt another light contraction. Around this time I also experienced stomach cramping and loose bowel movements, which I remembered were common symptoms in early labor. Over the next couple of hours the contractions, along with the stomach cramps, became more frequent and intense and it was hard to tell at times which was which. This made me question if I had truly started labor so I decided to wait to call my midwife.

Around 6 am, however, it became clear to me that I was indeed in labor and when my husband and I started to time the contractions, as suggested by our midwife, they were coming every 2 to 3 minutes apart. By this point the pain was so intense, the only thing I could do was get on my hands and knees and rock my hips back and forth. I wanted to scream with each contraction but tried hard to moan loudly instead allowing the sound to come from the back of my throat.

The next 2 hours were chaotic as my husband and I ran around the house gathering last minute items and arranging for our 2 year old to be picked up by a sister-in-law. All the while I was crawling around the house on my hands and knees with each contraction. I also tried to take a shower to help relieve some pain but the contractions were coming on too fast and too strong.

I was able to do 2 down dogs on the shower wall before rushing out because I had the overwhelming sense that it was time to leave for the hospital as soon as possible. It wasn’t until after the shower that I remembered to try the TENS unit and kept it on until we got to the hospital. I can’t say whether it relieved any pain or helped by serving as a distraction from the contractions. It probably would have been more effective had I tried it earlier in my labor.

We arrived at the hospital at 8:30 am and I was relieved to discover that I was already 8 cm dilated and that the feeling I had of being out of control was transition. For the next 30 to 40 minutes my husband held me in a standing position from behind (the way we learned in our Couples Yoga for Labor class) and we swayed back and forth with each contraction. I asked the midwife to check me again when I started to feel like pushing with the contractions and she found I was just about at 10 cm but had a small lip of cervix in the way. On the next contraction she pushed it aside and I was fully dilated.

When I started to push I got on my hands and knees because I wanted to give birth in a upright position, but the pain in my back was so intense with each push that the only comfortable position was on my side in the bed. After pushing for a while, my midwife broke my water in the hopes of speeding up the process, but it did little to move things along and I ended up pushing hard for an hour and a half. Everyone kept assuring me that they could see his head and that he had lots of dark hair but my husband told me later that it felt like an eternity since they could see his head in the same position with little progress.

I knew the end was close when I started to feel the “ring of fire” but felt like the stretching lasted for an unusually long time. It almost felt like the baby was stuck! The long, hard pushing as well as the intense pressure on my back all made sense when Adam’s head popped out facing up. In retrospect I’m glad that no one realized he was OP because I’m sure I would have felt discouraged and therefore less confident—ignorance is bliss!

Adam Dominic was born on Sunday morning February 6th at 10:46 am. He was 8 lb 9 oz. (a big boy!) and 21 inches long. When I held him in my arms for the first time, I was overwhelmed with feelings of love and in awe of one of life’s great miracles. I also felt strong, powerful, and proud.

February 6, 2011 at 10:46 am Leave a comment

Tami and Lorenzo

I was due on the 26th of December, and after two convincing mornings of practice labor on the 22nd and 23rd, I was convinced that my baby would arrive within a couple of days of my due date. The 26th came and went with no signs of baby. I finally reached the point of extreme discomfort during this time: I was too big to sit, lay or stand for long periods of time. I started maternity leave from work and did a lot of nothing during the day. I’d go for walks, read, knit, and work on puzzles. After a week, I was bored out of my mind.

Finally, 10 days after my due date, on Thursday, January 6th, I woke in the morning, went pee, and noticed there was extra fluid. My waters had ruptured and the fluid was heavy with meconium. I had an appointment that morning with the midwives already, but I called them at 8:00 AM to tell them I thought there was meconium in my fluid. They asked me to come in as soon as I could to be checked. I told my husband, Art, that I wasn’t going to be coming home that day, I would be admitted. We both showered, packed our bags (yes, we’re last minute like that), and called my mom and our doula to let them know what was happening and to be on call.

At 9:00 AM we arrived at the hospital, and a quick inspection from our midwife confirmed that I was leaking and it was heavy with meconium. She walked us down to maternity and I was admitted. Because my labor still had not started, they started me on pitocin. I labored for four hours: sitting, standing, walking the halls. I overheard my nurse call our midwife and say, “she’s walking the halls and doesn’t look like she’s in labor at all.” Our midwife arrived, told me I was dilated to two centimeters, and suggested that she try to break my other water bag (I didn’t know there were two), to see if that would speed up my labor. I agreed. After a few uncomfortable minutes, she broke it and I leaked some more.

My labor became more intense within ten minutes or so. Pitocin is weird: I would have a really jagged contraction, then what felt like a second contraction right after. It was during this time that the nurse decided that my natural labor had kicked in and cut the pitocin. After about twenty minutes or so the contractions, while intense, lost their jagged edge. At this point I lost track of time. I know I labored for many hours while moving around the room, and that my favorite place to be was on the toilet. As my labor advanced I remember moving from the bed to the bathroom and laboring in the shower, leaning on my husband for support, and on the toilet, rocking back in forth. I was accomplishing what I wanted: I was laboring naturally without medication.

It was on the toilet that I had the realization that I should probably be checked, thinking I might be getting close. It was now about 12:30 AM on January 7th. Our midwife came in, checked me and told me that I could start pushing. I had totally missed transition; it never felt different to me. I started pushing while standing, squatting, on my hands and knees, and finally with a squatting bar on the bed. Our midwife was in and out for the first hour or so, monitoring me. It was intense. After an hour and a half, she was in my room with the nurse, my doula, my mom and my husband. She started coaching me to lower my tone while moaning during a contraction, and where to push during a contraction. She coached me to push four times (most people only push three times) during each contraction. My husband, mom and doula propped me up during each contraction so I could bear down more.

After three hours of pushing, with no medication at all, I was exhausted and asking for it to be over. I could tell that something wasn’t right: I could feel the baby’s head come down then move back up when I pushed. It still hadn’t crowned. Our midwife suggested that they start the pitocin again to see if it would help, and she also thought it would be a good idea to call the OB on call. The pitocin was started, albeit briefly, and it was excruciating to push with it after laboring without it. The OB showed up soon after the pitocin was started, at about 4:00 AM, took a look and said, “Nope, this ain’t happening.” My baby wasn’t even low enough to use the forceps or vacuum.

At this point, we decided that it was time for me to have a c-section. I agreed readily, and as they prepped me quickly to move me, I was still pushing with each contraction. The truly fortunate thing is through all of this my baby did not show any signs of stress.

The surgical team was great. They were quick, efficient, and the anesthesiologist was wonderful. Our midwife, my mom and doula accompanied me to surgery, and Art waited outside (he gets queasy with blood, as do I). At 4:44 AM they announced “it’s a boy!” and I cried. They took him to the warming table as his color was not great, and our midwife took lots of pictures for me. Unfortunately I didn’t really get to see him for long, he was sent to the NICU, and my husband accompanied him. He was 7 pounds, 5 ounces, and 22 inches long. My husband came back to my room and we decided on a name for our baby: Lorenzo Russell. He came back from NICU after an hour so I could nurse him.

Things get blurry for me at this point (probably because of the meds). I remember them saying that the placenta smelled bad. My OB came by later to tell me that the placenta potentially had an infection so she cleaned me out really well, but that I needed to go on antibiotics just in case. I started antibiotics on the Saturday the 7th, and I lasted on the first antibiotic for two doses before I couldn’t take it anymore, I was reacting to it. They put me on a second antibiotic when I left the hospital on the Sunday the 8th. I lasted on it for three days, until Wednesday, before my reaction to it was so bad that I was completely dehydrated. On Thursday I saw my OB and started the third antibiotic. By Saturday night (eight days post partum), I had hives in my throat to the extent that my throat was closing (anaphylactic reaction). I started taking Benadryl; fortunately it worked. I started the fourth antibiotic on Monday, and continued taking it until the following Monday
(three weeks post partum).

I have to say that laboring un-medicated for twenty hours, while not easy, was doable. The reactions to the medications that I took post partum were the toughest part of my birth story. But it was so worth it, I wouldn’t trade Lorenzo for anything!

January 7, 2011 at 1:18 am Leave a comment

Elizabeth and Crosby

We welcomed our little boy to the family bright and early Thursday, January 6 and we are smitten! Born at 4:14 a.m., Crosby weighed in at 8 lbs. 14 oz. and is 20 inches long. Not exactly a small baby (especially for my 5 ft. frame), but fortunately the labor and delivery went smooth (far more so than my labor with Clara who weighed 8 lbs. 1 oz.).

Driving across the bridge after my appointment on Tuesday, I started having consistent and strong contractions but I was able to get some rest that night. I woke up Wednesday not feeling well. Contractions picked up by 9 and I labored at home all day, with Clara right
by my side and this was not easy. Let’s just say, laboring w/ a toddler is NOT FUN. I had Sean come home mid-day because I was feeling awful and didn’t know how I could continue taking care of Clara in pain.

Finally, at 5 Sean convinced me that we needed to go to the hospital, and I’m glad we did because the drive there was miserable and yes, it was rush hour and we had to drop Clara off at our friend’s house. We checked into triage at Swedish around 6:30 and I was dilated at a 6. By the time I got into my birthing suite, I was 7 centimeters and more than ready for an epidural.

Unfortunately, it took them awhile (5 attempts total) to get an IV in so this slowed things up. And then, it took two tries to get my epidural in correctly. I was not a happy camper given I was having contractions every 2 minutes through this all. My blood pressure dropped considerably after the epidural so they put me on some drugs which made my heart rate sky rocket so I had a case of the shakes for a few hours but otherwise felt relaxed and pain free. I even watched some of The Bachelor on Hulu and some of Sleepless in Seattle, while Sean took a quick cat nap. Aside from me developing a temperature, baby and I were in good shape (with Clara, both her heart rate and mine fluctuated the entire labor so it was really stressful), so Sean and I were both able to relax and enjoy the anticipation and excitement leading up to the birth of our child. This gave us some time to solidify our top names for each gender, given we didn’t find out during the pregnancy.

I started pushing sometime right around 4 and can honestly say that despite the hard work involved with pushing, the experience was amazing (far more so than that with Clara). I felt like I was in much more control given I felt a lot more (pressure) this time around and therefore much more productive with each push. There was a short time when Sean, the doctor and nurses could see the baby’s head and lots of hair, and relayed this to me. Given we didn’t know the baby’s gender, this simply inspired me to give it my absolute all and before I knew it, our sweet baby entered the world. And boy were we shocked to see “boy parts”, as Sean and I sort of assumed we were having another girl. Tears were streaming down both of our cheeks as we quickly realized we now had one of each! Crosby was brought to my chest immediately and started nursing within minutes. And it’s been two weeks. Time flies when you’re in love.

A few things I found helpful or enjoyed, so you might want to share with the mamas in Prenatal Yoga:

* Coconut water (both Sean and I enjoyed during L&D)
* Hard candies (I got some from PCC and loved sucking on them,
and so did Sean and my nurses)
* Water (I drank throughout labor at the hospital this time)

Prenatal offered me an “escape” from the business of life and being a mom of a toddler during pregnancy to focus on myself (attitude, spirit and body) and my baby growing inside of me. I could count on a few hours of peace and relaxation at yoga. Physically, it provided me with greater strength and I always left feeling better than when I walked into class. During labor, I felt strong and powerful despite being exhausted and in pain at times. While I labored at home, I did a lot of cat cow and frog pose along with some of the breathing techniques Anna taught us. And two weeks after giving birth, I am amazed at how good I feel. The recovery has been speedy and uneventful, and I attribute that to prenatal yoga and a smooth labor and delivery.

January 6, 2011 at 8:12 am Leave a comment

Nancy and Gavin

Gavin was born January 4th, 2011, 9lbs 10oz and 21 1/4 in long.

I was induced at 39 weeks due to my family situation, stress level and mother’s availability to stay and help this week. The Dr. did say that stress hormones can shut down the labor process, so the few times my body was acting like I was in labor, it probably was the beginning. She was shocked I hadn’t delivered by the 4th anyway. However, with the size and super fast delivery, it was almost safest for me to be in the presence of someone who could deliver Gavin.

Tuesday I arrived at Evergreen at 5 am where I was starting the process at 5 cm dialated, 100% effaced and 0 station (which didn’t matter as much because there was so much excess amniotic fluid the Dr could push Gavins head and he’d float up and down). After being checked in and settled, the pitocin was started around 6:30 am, the Dr broke my water at 8 am, I cruised the hall once, got in the tub where I did most of my laboring (which was fantastic! My husband poured warm water over my abdomen during contractions and it really helped) and Gavin was born naturally via vaginal birth at 9:50 am. Very busy morning we had!

My husband is enjoying telling everyone the story of me asking the nurse if she was holding the head in and her saying, “No” all the while she was really holding the head in until the Dr. could get gowned. He thinks it’s hilarious, I on the other hand not so much…….. The contractions really did their job and I could feel my body doing all the work. My body was literally kicking Gavin out and I had no say in the matter. With the final contractions I had, after I’d gotten in bed I turned on my side with my top leg in the open clamshell position remembering it opened the space for the baby to come through, and did it ever! I was afraid to roll on my back until I could push because the contractions literally started from the top of my abdomen and pushed the baby down, I could feel his head coming. They told me to take short exhalations to help slow the contraction and pushing, I did my best but yeah right! When the Dr. was ready, I rolled on my back and four pushes later Gavin was in my arms. I felt controlled, collected and empowered. I had done it, I had a natural birth using natural elements such as water and my own breath and strength. No screamng this time! It wasn’t until I heard the, “Oh my God, he’s almost 10 lbs” that I lost it and started crying.

Because Gavin was so big, he ended up getting a severe bruise (causing extra breakdown of red blood cells under skin/bili that needed to be flushed out through peeing and pooping) on his face which the Dr’s think contributed to his jaundice and that his intake wasn’t enough to flush the excess bili so we went home on Wednesday afternoon on phototherapy, but it wasn’t enough and so Gavin was admitted to Evergreen Hospital for intense phototherapy which is going well. He got an IV fluid bolus and remains under the lights. I get to nurse him and hold him for 30 minutes every 3 hours, which isn’t much but I’ll take all I can get!

I hope you are doing well. Tell everyone Hi for me and I’ll be missing prenatal yoga!

January 4, 2011 at 4:04 am Leave a comment

Laine and Ross

My birth story really begins Wednesday December 8 when I began feeling even more fatigued than usual. I cancelled my afternoon patients and stayed home that Thursday when I happened to have my 37 week midwife visit. We discussed a reduction of my work hours from full time as it seemed the way I was feeling was unlikely to improve until after delivery; in other words, nothing was wrong, just late third trimester pregnancy. I returned to work Friday am but noticed light bleeding that morning for the first time during my pregnancy. The midwives said it wasn’t alarming but to let them know if I wanted to be seen. When it worsened after walking the dogs that afternoon, my husband left work to take me in to be seen. A visual speculum exam showed that I was maybe 1 cm dilated and maybe not at all, and the midwife at the appointment wasn’t concerned but offered a nonstress test to c heck on the baby if we wanted that reassurance. Towards the end of the 40 minute test, the on-call midwife came in to review the strip and declared I was in early labor based on the pattern of contractions she saw. I wasn’t feeling any of them yet. My husband pointed out I was on call for my practice that weekend, to which the midwife responded, “No she’s not.” We arranged coverage with one of my partners and went to meet our doula for the first time (we like to do things last minute). Our midwife had left us saying she thought the baby would come that night or the next day and advising we hire the doula NOW. Fortunately after meeting we all agreed it was a great fit, and we scheduled to meet again the next afternoon for our prenatal visit since I was no longer working that weekend. Earlier in the week when we talked the first time, we were going to meet Sunday, but she felt this was pushing time a bit too much since that was 2 weeks prior to my due date. It was a wise bit of advice. She also gave us a referral to a prenatal specialty photographer since we had left that to the last minute also. Serendipitously, the photographer originally was going to do a studio session with us Sunday but found her schedule worked best to have us in Saturday evening at 8 pm.

That night (early Saturday) I woke around 2 am feeling contractions for the first time. Unfortunately they were in my back, and I didn’t wake my husband as there wasn’t any regularity, but they were painful enough that my hypnobirthing relaxation techniques weren’t very helpful. They were rising to a peak intensity and then easing off, which the doula Rebecca later said alerted her that they were likely not practice or Braxton Hicks contractions. However, they slowed and subsided the next morning, and I joined you all for yoga that day since I was relieved from clinic duty.

At Anna’s advice I slept a few hours that afternoon; she said often the nightly contractions can curtail sleep for several days prior to delivery. We met again with Rebecca and her doula trainee, Myla (pronounced like Lila), that afternoon to go over the birth plan and receive our intro packet to her services (which I still haven’t read). Afterwards we headed to my photo shoot. During it I began having mild back contractions again and recall not being able to reposition right away for her a few times due to the discomfort. They weren’t yet as noticeable as the night prior, though. After the photos we had just an hour before Target closed, and I felt compelled to exchange our baby bath as it was missing a part, and I had been feeling stressed about not having a functional bath. While at Target for about 40 minutes I had 4-5 contractions that did cause me to stop walking a few times. Driving home I was looking forward to getting out my yoga mat and trying some of the poses from the labor class. Within 10 minutes of arriving home, although I had made it onto my yoga mat, I was having such severe back contractions that no relaxation techniques or poses were helping at all right when they started. My husband started doing intense hip squeeze that left him sweating, but it was the only thing that allowed me to endure. The pain was brief, about 30 seconds, but occurring already every 3-5 minutes. Soon after this started (time began to lose meaning for me around this point), Brian called the doula. She listened to my vocalizing through one contraction and decided she and Myla should come on over.

They arrived about 90 minutes after the contractions started and soon relieved Brian from hip squeeze duty as he was worn out – it was only effective if done very intensely. Myla got a technique down that worked and proceeded to save my plans for natural labor by doing the squeezing every contraction. Some time just before the doulas came I began vomiting, and unfortunately this continued throughout the whole labor, too, usually peaking with the peak of the contractions. Twice I was already vomiting when a contraction started, and I remember those being the worst moments of the night. Not long after they arrived, Rebecca recommended we call the midwives and start looking to move towards the hospital.

At this point I was still thinking this might be really early labor or false labor, and we didn’t want to check in to the hospital until in advanced labor. I was not in the condition to discuss these things in depth at that time, though, and trusted Rebecca’s judgment. My husband had to talk the midwife into believing how close and severe the contractions had become, but eventually she agreed we should be seen at the hospital.

The car ride was interesting – Brian had to remove the carseat so I could sit in the back with Myla for her to continue the hip squeezes. I also had to travel with bucket and continued to vomit frequently. Fortunately we only live about 10 minutes from Evergreen. When we arrived I actually had to kneel on the floor through 2 contractions before we even made it to the triage bed. Without checking my dilation they moved me back to a room determining from a few minutes of the monitor that I would need admitted.

When midwife Lisa did check, I was at 8 cm, and this was around 2:15 am. Labor continued as above for about an hour. I didn’t make it into the bath although we intended to try this to relieve some of the intensity. At midwife Sharon’s suggestion (I also had 2 midwives as Lisa was in the final days of supervised care as a new midwife), Rebecca helped me move into a kneeling position with my arms supported on the back of the bed, which was moved upright.

Within minutes of this my water broke with an audible pop. I then began feeling intense rectal pressure, which the nurses, doulas, and midwives all said was a good sign. Sharon advised I listen closely to them at this point to not push but pant as they looked toward birthing the head. I think up until that point I still wasn’t convinced I was really going to have a baby that night. Lisa checked again and said I was at plus 2 station (if plus is just past the pelvic opening – can’t remember which is plus or minus) and fully effaced and dilated.

Unexpectedly, with the next contraction I felt unable not to push, and with the deep vocalization that had helped throughout labor, I bore down and birthed my son Ross Hall completely during that contraction. He had a long, curly umbilical cord, and after Brian announced that it was Ross (we hadn’t known the sex), the midwives passed him through my legs to my arms and helped me sit since I had knelt during birthing. Of course he was perfect. I also had started to think the pain would never stop whether I delivered the baby or not, but thankfully it ended immediately. I also was actually hungry that morning without any nausea for the first time in about 8 months.

My total labor was about 6 hours but very intense the entire time. I felt like I didn’t use any of my hypnobirthing or yoga very effectively as I just did what I had to for survival, but the doulas, midwives, and Brian were effusively complimentary of my coping. I’ve started to feel a little more pride that we accomplished our goal of natural birthing. I wish you all the best with your births!

December 12, 2010 at 4:01 am Leave a comment

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