Posts tagged ‘Home Birth’

Lidia and Melody

After calculating that I had a good 60 hours of work to do before leaving for maternity leave in 2 weeks, I wrapped things up at work and met my husband at Anna’s Couples Yoga for Labor workshop. It was Friday so I was tired from a busy work week. But on top of being tired, I was also feeling a strange tightness in my lower back and abdomen, which Anna also noticed while adjusting me during one of the poses. The workshop was very informative, and after doing all of the poses I went home feeling much more relaxed.

The next day, on Saturday, we had our first meeting with our newly hired doula, Lissett, who had also been our hypnobirthing instructor. During her visit I mentioned that I had been feeling some tension in my lower abdomen and that I was having some difficulty emptying my bladder completely which led her to suggest that perhaps the baby had dropped. It was 3 ½ weeks prior to the due date so I quickly discarded this possibility since this seemed like something that should happen closer to the due date. After Lissett left a couple of friends arrived from out of town to spend the weekend with us. We had a pleasant evening and tucked in for the night.

Sunday morning I woke up surprisingly rested but starting to feel like I had menstrual cramps. This was strange but I got up and got ready to go to a place nearby for breakfast. I still hadn’t mentioned the “cramps” to my husband but at the restaurant, as we talked, I felt the pain intensify. We left the restaurant and once home I told my husband, Jason, that I wasn’t feeling well and that I would call the midwife to see if she could help me understand what was going on. The plan for the day was for Jason and his friends to go shopping for the day while I stayed home to do some work. So, still hoping that I would have a normal day, I told Jason to go shopping and I would call him if necessary. As he left our room and walked down to the living room I started realizing that the “cramp” wasn’t necessarily intensifying, it was coming and going. Immediately after this realization I suddenly felt overwhelmed so I called him back to the room to let him know of the change of plans: He needed to call the midwife and the doula to let them know some major was happening.

At this point I was still in denial about what was happening. I was not ready to accept that I was in labor because I still had a lot of work to do both at my job but also at home. We had made the decision to have the baby at home but we weren’t quite ready with all of the supplies needed for a home birth. But it wasn’t long until I had to accept that this was it. After Jason reached the midwife and the doula, the conclusion was that I was in labor and, at that point, an active one.

A couple of hours later, Lissett arrived and relieved Jason of his post so he could start to gather the supplies and make a few phone calls. One of the phone calls was to the couple that was staying with us for the weekend to let them know that I was in labor and to ask them to bring a few remaining supplies. After another couple of hours the midwife, Loren, arrived with the news that she had checked the result of the group B-strep exam I took earlier that week and that I tested positive for the infection, which meant that I had to be injected with the antibiotics before the birth. This proved to be very difficult because at that point I was already having the urge to push but I had to be still for what felt like an eternity until the entire bag of the IV solution was administered. The antibiotic was also supposed to be in my body for 2 hours before the baby was born which ended up not happening. Once the antibiotic was administered, I got into one of the poses I had just learned at the yoga workshop and I stuck with it through the rest of the labor.

At 17:03 after a little over an hour of pushing (and a fair share of screaming), Mel was born. She was a healthy 6 lbs 14 ounces at birth and as soon as I had her in my hands all the memories of pain were replaced instead by an extreme feeling of joy. What a day! When I woke up that Sunday, I could not have in my wildest dreams guessed that later that same that same day she would be in my arms. It was a crazy and wonderful day which we also got to share with our friends who arrived back from a day of shopping just a couple of minutes before they heard Melody’s first cries. Our baby girl scored 9 points in the Apgar system and is doing great. I am thankful to all that helped us in this process including Anna, Lissett, and Loren.

May 20, 2012 at 5:03 am Leave a comment

Rachel and Evan

Some background, my first was an attempted homebirth, but ended up with a hospital transfer because she was asynclitic and posterior and I just couldn’t get her out. She was a c-section, 8lbs, 14oz, after around 50 hours of labor. Next baby was a successful homebirth. He had shoulder dystocia, and was born completely unresponsive and required resuscitation. He perked up after a minute or so, and then was completely fine, no hospital transfer needed. He was 10lbs 2oz.

Here’s Evan’s Birth Story:
A little before midnight Tuesday night I started having “interesting” contractions, but I wasn’t getting too excited since every night for the last 2 weeks I’d have a handful and then they’d go away. But these were stronger and took a little more focus so it did make me wonder. I decided to start timing them. 14 minutes.. 4 minutes.. 2.5 minutes?! SERIOUSLY?! I called my midwife at 1 am to tell her what was going on, and she said to call back with an update in half an hour. We called back at 1:30 to let her know that these contractions are *not kidding*, this definitely feels more like active labor than early labor. I skipped over early labor altogether (or maybe early labor was every night for the last 2 weeks, on the layaway plan). I called my doula and my mom and told them it was time to come over!

One thing that was cool is on some contractions, I swear I could feel my cervix opening. By the time my doula arrived, probably within a half hour, I was already hitting transition. I spent some time draped over the birth ball and my doula did some counterpressure in my back. The midwife and her team (assistant and apprentice) arrived just a few minutes later and started boiling some water for the tub. We only got a few inches in before the hot water ran out. I could tell I was in transition because I stayed “checked out” even between contractions. I looked up at one point and said, “hey, I think this is transition already..” and they were like, “yeah, I’d say so!” I started pushing a teeny bit at the end of contractions. Not so much with an urge, but because it felt good so I went with it. They got the pool filled and warm so I moved in there. The combination of the water and having my doula and husband switch off pressing on my low back felt really good, and I pushed a bit but the urge wasn’t super strong yet.

My midwife offered to check me, and I was curious if I had a bit of a lip or something holding me back, so I accepted. I didn’t even need to get out of the water. As suspected, there was a thin rim of cervix holding his head back – she described it like a rubber band.

After a bit I wasn’t feeling like I was very effective in the water and decided to get into bed for a while. The rim was so stubborn! My midwife kept holding it back so I could push the head past it, but then it would just slide right over. So frustrating. The water bag was bulging in front of the head. We decided to break it since I make crazy strong bags anyway, and figured that would help the head drop down a little more. That definitely helped, and of course, made the pushing urge that much stronger. I kept switching around locations and positions for pushing, toilet, back in the water, kneeling leaning on the birth ball, and then settled onto my back in bed. I was getting pretty mad while pushing, since it felt like I was making no progress!

After a while, I could see the head in the mirror and just kept thinking to myself, okay…almost done, almost done! But what really surprised me was just a contraction or two later the head was fully crowning, and just a few more contractions got the head all the way out. Last time, I spent a good half hour trying to get the baby’s head from crowning to out, and this one just popped right out. I was kind of on edge at that point, wondering if the shoulders would be stuck again. But then I heard, “okay, shoulders restituting..” and I was thinking, oh, cool! Since that meant no dystocia. But then she starts really messing around down there while telling me to push really hard, and I heard the..assistant? apprentice? of the two asking if she needed to do suprapubic (a maneuver for resolving shoulder dystocia) and I thought, oh crap, here we go again! But then the shoulders came out and the baby was brought right to my chest. Eyes open, alert, making noises right away and crying a few seconds later.

After a minute I took a peek and found out we had a boy! I found out he had an arm up and behind his head so his elbow was sticking out funny. My midwife had to reach in and sweep it to the front and out and then he came out no problem. He nursed within 20 minutes, and we waited for the placenta before cutting the cord. After some more snuggles we did the newborn exam. 11 lbs even, 23 inches long, 15 inch head! And I have to mention, since most assume otherwise given his size, no tearing! He was born at 5:48am so start to finish, labor was only about 6 hours.

November 16, 2011 at 4:48 am Leave a comment

Katy and Finleigh

And as is tradition in this family, she arrived with quite the fanfare.

I kept joking with my midwives that I wouldn’t even recognize labor until my water broke, since that’s how things started with Ryan. They thought I’d be OK. Heck, I was really only joking. I TEACH this stuff…c’mon. Contractions 5 minutes apart, lasting a minute or more, for more than an hour, hard enough that you have to breathe through them. Well, I had those contractions, but they didn’t really hurt, and I didn’t have to breathe through them unless I was sitting down. That probably should have been clue number one.

Let’s back up a bit though…

Saturday (3/20) I decided that I was pretty much done being pregnant, and I was just about ready to do ANYTHING to get this kid out. I mean anything. I bought castor oil. But I didn’t take it. I ended up just chilling on Saturday, going to the park, napping, going to a birthday party for Ryan’s friend, falling asleep early.

Sunday (3/21) Operation Get Baby Out in full effect. We had no plans, as we’d kind of expected to have a baby by this point. So, off I went to walk, without the Peanut. She walks too slow, and I wanted a bit of time to myself. I headed to Redmond Town Center…I had a 30% off coupon for the Gap, and they had the one and only pair of jeans RE likes on sale. Got those for her, walked a LOT more, did some stairs, then got bored. Felt some cramps while I was walking, but certainly nothing that would stop me. So, I headed to Ben Franklin, and wandered around there for a while. Stopped at a drug store to buy an enema (told you, about ready to try anything), then headed to Trader Joes. Still crampy, but not bad at all. Grocery shopped, and got everything we’d need for the week. By this point, I was tired, so I headed home. Michael and RE were still out (they’d gone to run some errands too), so I decided to get Ryan’s spring clothes all washed and ready to go. Then I facebooked (what else would I do?). Michael and Ryan got home, and we made one heck of a dinner (steak with beet and kale risotto – amazing).

After dinner, I couldn’t sit still, and my back was really sore, but of course, I chalked it up to having been out all day. So, I folded the laundry, swept the floors, vacuumed, straightened the baby’s stuff, cleaned the kitchen, then went off to do that one other thing that gets labor going…you know the one. Well, that might just have been the kicker. Contractions were a pretty consistent 5 minutes apart after that, but they still didn’t really hurt (aside from that darn sore back). I sat on the ball while we watched TV and just kind of chilled out. Around 11, we thought maybe we should call the midwives just to give them a heads up that labor would probably be happening at some point that night. We called at about 11:30 and my MW suggested I try to get some sleep. I was in bed by midnight.

At 1 am, I woke up to a strong contraction (argh, that sounds like one of the things I read my labor classes…so rote). I laid there through it, because this had happened before and they’d faded away. But this one was long and strong. And the next one came pretty close…I think about 3 minutes apart. I tried getting on all fours, but it was horrible, and I was alone, in the dark, stuck in an awful position. I could barely move, but knew I had to get Michael. I hollered, but he sleeps like a brick and didn’t hear me. I had to find my way out to the living room…I did, but barely. I made it to the dining room table and bent over it. I told him he had to call the MWs…we made that call at 1:37am.

I made my way back to the bedroom, since leaning over was the only comfortable position I could stand, and I’d rather lean on the bed. Michael bustled around getting the bed made up with the table cloth under it. Meanwhile I’m contracting every minute or so, lasting longer than a minute (time was pretty irrelevant at this point). My thoughts were a jumble of “ohgodthishurtsican’tbelievei’minlaborhowmuchlongerwillthislastthishurtssobadholyshit”. I really had no idea how long this would all last. At some point, I realized I was pushing a bit…crap. The midwives weren’t there yet. I yelled to Michael (no idea where he was, probably right by my side, but I really couldn’t see anything) that I was pushing. He threw the second plastic cloth under where I was standing, which was a smart idea, as the next little push broke my water. Honestly, one of the thoughts I had at this point was something to the effect of “oh my god, I’m doing this, we’re doing this, all by ourselves, and it’s totally normal and this is birth and how it’s really meant to happen, and I’m pushing with the urge, and no one’s telling me what to do or how to do it and this is birth”. The next push, which felt like only seconds later, really broke my water. And I mean full on huge gush of water…followed almost immediately by a little head. A head? What?! Where were the MWs?? Yeah, not there yet. Michael supported the head, and I yelled, “oh my god, is that a head? I think that’s a head!” Michael replied that yep, it’s a head, and was I ready to push out the rest of our baby? Nope, let me breathe for a second. I felt the next contraction, and with it, an amazing urge to push. I guess Michael helped guide the baby’s shoulders out, one at a time, turning her a bit and helping her join this world. She squeaked, then cried, then really let it wail. I kept telling her to cry for mama. He handed her to me, but the cord was a little short, so we were in kind of a strange position. He had to help me up to the bed, as I started shaking from adrenaline almost immediately. Not sure how we got up there, but we did, and I flopped over, ecstatic, amazed, awed, and completely blown away. We didn’t even really bother to check the sex, we were so overwhelmed with what we’d just done, together, alone. We were still alone. We checked – a girl! I’d known from the get-go…the moment the stick turned pink we were having another girl, but of course, I wasn’t positive until she was in my arms.

Finleigh Esther was born at 2:04am on March 22, 2010. At home. Caught by her daddy. While RE slept (yes, slept through mommy yelling and screaming and moaning). And the midwives and friends drove.

Patty arrived first…Michael greeted her at the door, and told her that the baby was here. She was disbelieving. And then, apparently, a little panicked. But upon arriving in the room, realized all was OK. It was great to have her here…she got me a pillow, found some blankets for me, and just kind of held my head until the midwives arrived.

Lindsay got here the same time as the midwives…she was also in shock that the baby was already here. Well, so were the midwives, really! Lindsay started taking pictures almost immediately, since that was her job. I’m bummed there were no pics of the birth itself, but it was such an awesome experience I wouldn’t trade it.

The midwives were a little concerned, of course, wanting to make sure the placenta came out…it was now about 20 minutes after birth and the placenta really showed no signs of wanting to separate. We gave it a few more minutes…then they had to do some manipulating to get it out, but it came out, cleanly, and without any excess bleeding, so we were all set. They checked me out, and were I think a little surprised to find that all was totally fine.

By this time, Finleigh was nursing, so we let her nurse, and chatted about what had happened, and laughed and talked until she was done and ready to be examined. We woke up Ryan at some point in here. She was super excited to meet her sister, and since she missed the whole placenta/umbilical cord thing, she was really into watching her get weighed and measured. She weighed in at 7 pounds, 8 ounces, and 20 inches long. A full pound and an inch and a half bigger than Ryan was. They hung around for a little while longer, and around 4 am, everyone left. Patty helped get Ryan back to sleep, and Finleigh and I settled in for the rest of the morning to sleep.

Around 7:30, we woke up to Ryan [read her birth story] wanting to make sure her little sister was really here. I’m sure she thought it might have been a dream. I know I was wondering the same thing myself…

At this point, I know it’s cliche, but I can’t imagine our household without Finleigh. She’s a part of us, and an amazing part. She’s certainly brought Michael and I closer together…who knew when I started dating him in high school that someday he’d be catching my babies!?

Welcome to the world Finleigh Esther. We love you.

March 22, 2010 at 3:36 am Leave a comment

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