Positive Birth Stories
Women can overcome the fear surrounding labor and birth by hearing or reading Positive Birth Stories. I have asked a number of my Bradley Method® and Prenatal Yoga students to write their experiences down to share with other couples. Most of these stories on my blog http://prenatalyoga.wordpress.com are stories of natural birth. A couple of them are not, but these mothers were able to turn their baby's birth into an empowering experience and bring their babies into the world in the best, safest, and gentlest way possible.
"Women need to hear positive birth stories. Sadly, women who have positive, transformative, challenging but amazing births usually don't tell their stories. They may think it's not normal, or may not want to make other women feel inferior. Women need to share their birth stories, both positive and difficult, and when they're difficult, we should examine why and what could have changed. These stories have the power to transform how society looks at birth, to dispel the myths and relieve the fear." Debra Pascali-Bonaro
What exactly is a Lamaze class? When Fernand Lamaze created his method of childbirth, the focus was on natural, normal labor and birth without medication and interventions. The idea was to use controlled breathing and breathing patterns to distract the laboring mother from the contractions, and to use breathing methods as a way to lessen pain. Today when someone talks about Lamaze, they are often referring to the class I the hospital they think everyone takes.
What most people call “Lamaze” classes these days do not necessarily match the original intent. Depending on whom you take the class from, or where you take it, you may find, in some hospitals, that you learn more about how to be a good patient. Some instructors may be limited by what their hospital allows them to teach. And you will spend more time learning about the interventions and medications, than you will about the normal natural processes of labor and birth. Though you can find a good class anywhere if you follow some simple guidelines when looking for the right class for you and your birth partner(s).
The best childbirth classes will:
· Consist of a minimum of 5 classes
· Each class will be at least 2 hours long
· Have between 3-10 couples enrolled
You should learn about:
· Emotional and physiological stages of labor
· Non-medicated pain coping techniques/comfort measures
· Risks and benefits of all of the medications & interventions
· How to be your own advocate
· Informed consent
· Breastfeeding beginning at birth
· Post-partum care
· Birth plans
· Unexpected situations
· Cesarean surgery
“Many people spend more time researching the stroller than they do trying to understand the physicality and the emotional-loadedness of getting a baby out of their bodies.” A good childbirth class might actually change your mind about some of the things you didn’t consider.” Erica Lyon birth educator…
There are many types of classes out there that can help prepare you for this amazing birth experience. If you get educated, you can increase your chances of having a healthier labor and birth with less complications for both mother and baby. If you take an active role in the decisions and know what questions to ask, then you will have less, or no regrets later. Above all, you will be ensuring that your baby comes into the world in the safest, healthiest way possible.
So what choices do you have?
Your currently affiliated Bradley® instructor wants you and your baby to have the best, safest, and most rewarding birth experience possible. For that reason, we endorse and teach the following:
· Natural childbirth
· Active participation by the coach
· Excellent nutrition
· Avoidance of drugs
· Early training
· Natural breathing combined with relaxation techniques
· Tuning into and working with your body
· Immediate and continuous contact with your new baby
· Breastfeeding beginning at birth
· Positive communications
· Informed parents sharing in the making of responsible decisions
· Parents prepared for unexpected situations (such as emergency childbirth or cesarean section)
Lamaze, www.lamaze.org :
Lamaze: Helping You Decide What’s Best for Both
• Lamaze supports evidence-based pregnancy and birth practices that are supported by research and experienced childbirth educators.
• Lamaze guides you as you navigate all of your options, and their benefits and drawbacks.
• Lamaze seeks to empower you as you explore how your body was designed for birth, and encourages you to work with your body’s natural abilities.
• Lamaze provides strategies for natural pain management during labor, reducing unnecessary medical interventions. – Lamaze ensures that you feel continuously supported during labor and birth.
• Lamaze stresses the importance of natural pain management strategies through labor and birth, helping you choose methods that are safe and healthy.
• Lamaze encourages bonding between you and your baby, with the importance of skin-to-skin contact and time to get to know your new baby after birth.
Birthing From Within, www.birthingfromwithin.com :
In your Birthing From Within classes, you will learn how to:
• Experience birth as a rite of passage
• Eat a sound diet (pregnancy and breastfeeding)
• Open your body-mind before and during labor with self-hypnosis and visualizations
• Build confidence in yourself and your partner
• Ask questions and make decisions in labor
• Protect your birth space
• Tame your "Birth Tigers"TM
• Push your baby out
• Welcome your baby
• Recover and plan postpartum
• Care for and feed your newborn
• Give birth from within during a Cesarean, while using pain medication, or with medical support.
Hypnobirthing, www.hypnobirthing.com :
“Through a very simple program of self-hypnosis and education, healthy, low-risk women, as well as women who need medical assistance because of special circumstances, learn to dismiss fear-based stories, misinformation, and birthing myths; and they are helped to see birth as normal. They learn to trust that their bodies know how to bring their babies into the world in the calm and gentle way that Nature intended.”
Hypnobabies, www.hypnobabies.com :
“In Hypnobabies, our objectives are to help our pregnant couples bond with their baby in utero, teach you how to stay healthy and low-risk and be an excellent consumer, trust in your body, mind and baby, as well as become self-reliant and confident about birthing your own way; unmedicated, safely and in comfort. We overcome negative belief systems and programming, get you in touch with your own beautiful pregnant body, support you through your own excellent birth experience and give you skills that you will use for the rest of your life. Birth Partners are brought into the preparation process and have their own hypnotic relaxation cues, as well as a special role to play as they await the birth of the precious newborn with our Hypno-mom. Since we use real medical hypnosis techniques, addressing the mind, body, and spirit of both Mother and Baby, our success and satisfaction rates are wonderful and very gratifying!”
Take the time to learn about this amazing process and bring your baby into the world in the gentlest, safest, healthiest way possible. Check out your options. If you don’t ask what your options are, you don’t have any!
Liza Janda AAHCC, E-RYT, RPYT
Certified Bradley Instructor, Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher, Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher Yoga Alliance
Tags: baby, birth classes, brithing, Cesarean, Cesarean section, childbirth classes, Hypnobabies, Hypnobirthing, labor, labor partner, lamaze, medication in labor, natural
Posted in Labor and Birth Advice |
The human body generates its own heat and maintaining a normal body temperature is very important to the normal processes and metabolic processes that our body performs to keep us healthy.
The hot humid environment of Bikram yoga or hot yoga can present a significant risk to any exerciser and the risks rise even higher for pregnant women. Even if you are used to practicing in the heated room when you are not pregnant, it is very important that your body is able to cool itself and regulate a normal body temperature. The heat of a hot yoga room doesn’t allow one’s body to regulate temperature.
There are significant health concerns for the expectant mother and her growing baby:
2. An inability to cool the body
3. Elevation of the core body temperature-hyperthermia, causing fetal stress
4. Decreased blood volume caused by dehydration-less blood supply can cause less oxygen to the uterus and to the baby
5. Enhanced flexibility from the heat and the hormone Relaxin increase chances of injury from over-stretching
6. Contra-indicated poses like lying on the belly or supine-lying on the back
7. Overheating has been shown to cause neural tube defects.
Practicing yoga during pregnancy has been proven to be beneficial to both mom and baby, so make sure you practice in a safe and cool environment. Find a class and a teacher who specializes in prenatal yoga and has training in prenatal yoga. Try Yoga Alliance to find a Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher. You can also practice at home. But before you start any new exercise program be sure to check with your health care provider and get the OK to practice.
Prenatal Yoga in San Diego:
Are you from Vista, Carlsbad, San Marcos, Oceanside? Prenatal Yoga classes twice a week at Babies In Bloom 1988 Hacienda Drive, Vista, CA 92081
Live in Escondido, Poway, Rancho Bernardo? Prenatal Yoga at Pomerado Hospital 15611 Pomerado Road, Poway, CA 92064
This article is not meant to be a prescription for your particular condition. You should consult with your care provider first.
Tags: baby, Back pain in pregnancy, Bikram yoga, Bikram yoga pregnant, Carlsbad, contra-indicated, dangerous, exercise during pregnancy, fetus, guidelines, heat, hormones, hot yoga and pregnancy, hot yoga safe, miscarriage, Oceanside, prenatal yoga, preterm labor, San Marcos, Vista, Yoga Alliance
Posted in Yoga and Pregnancy |
Here is the courageous story of one of my couples who were determined to get the best, safest birth for their baby. With education and support, they did it. You can too!
Birth Story of Rose Ellice Woods
Heather: Just hours away from my first Motherʼs Day, and a few days shy of her 9 month anniversary, Iʼd like to finally tell the story of my daughterʼs birth.
" Our baby was “due” August 19th. On the 15th around 1700, I began writing a birth story that in my head was perfect. Everything I wrote down was perfect, the way I envisioned it all going needed to come out. I had been feeling really low and stressing about what would happen. We discovered that the baby was breech at my 38 week check up, which came as quite a shock because up to that point baby was vertex. We tried everything possible to get baby to turn back around, from an ECV (version) the Friday two weeks before her due date, to moxibustion, summersaults and headstands in the pool, headstands off the bed and stairs, rebozo prescribed by our wonderful Doula, the Webster technique at the Chiropractorʼs office, to prenatal massage with the hope of increasing the blood flow to the uterus to give baby more room. Nothing worked! Our Doctor at the Naval Hospital told me that although he was very experienced with breech vaginal deliveries and he was the only staff member there that was, I was not a candidate for such an attempt. It was my first childbirth, and therefore my pelvis was “untested,” so there was an allegedly big risk that I wouldnʼt be able to push the head out. He insisted that a Cesarean was the only way to go, as anything else was “outside the standard of care.”
" After going thru the Bradley Classes with Liza, we felt our dreams of having a natural childbirth dissipating. I sent Liza an email that afternoon explaining our predicament and begging for advice and links to research. She came through for us immediately with a slew of suggestions and encouragement. Getting back to the good doctor, he failed to speak with us after the unsuccessful version attempt, but we did go in the following Monday morning for the growth scan that had been scheduled for 38 weeks because of the gestational diabetes. I called that afternoon to the OB clinic to see when our next appointment was, and was told the 18th! Our Doctor was on leave for two weeks and we were scheduled to see a midwife a day before the due date. I knew this was wrong, obviously the baby being breech had to change the plan, but apparently the word hadnʼt been passed. After some ribbing from my Mom, who was yelling at me all the way from Chicago, I knew Iʼd have to make a scene. It was now or never.
" We had researched a ton since we got the news of our breech surprise and after much thought, prayer, and discussion, had decided on having our natural breech birth. The only question was how. I entertained thoughts of driving up to LA to try and see Dr. Stuart Fischbein, whose many articles and evidenced-based research on breech births gave me the confidence I needed to speak intelligently with any Doctor who would listen… Then I thought how wonderful it would be to go to the Farm and ask Ina May to deliver our baby! Being in the military definitely eliminated some of these more extreme fantasies, and we knew we were stuck with the Naval Hospital, which until this point hadnʼt seemed so bad. I called the OB back Monday afternoon, and demanded to speak with my midwife, Ms. Moran. I explained what had happened, and about why I didnʼt have another appointment that week, and told her I needed a chit to get me off work completely as I was now 38 plus weeks and things were so complicated. She told me to come in the next day and pick up my chit, no problem getting that, which I was grateful for. We went back to her office and sat down and laid out how I felt, which was that I needed to be seen to make sure baby was doing well, and not put on a back burner. She set me up with an appointment for Wednesday morning with a Doctor we didnʼt know but one she said was very good. I was glad we were making a little progress, but still wondering how this could work out.
" As we drove to my Company Office to drop off my chit, I got a phone call from the clinic. It was Ms. Moran, and she did not have good news. She said that she had just spoken with our first Doctor, the one who was supposed to be on leave. He had scheduled us for Cesarean that Friday morning, the 12th! The shit hit the fan. Greg was driving, thank God, and I had to fight not to lose my mind on the phone. She was quick to say that she hadnʼt known anything about this either, and we could talk about it with our new Doctor the next morning. I made it clear there was no way in hell we would be there that Friday for that major operation. I was livid. I would be 39 weeks Friday, but we had decided even in the event we were unable to go for a natural birth, we would at least wait for labor to start spontaneously, that way we knew baby would be ready. I was furious that that smug Doctor could just throw us on a schedule for a major (and life changing) operation without so much as talking about it with us. We went in the next morning.
" I paced the floor and snapped at the Corpsman taking my vitals. My blood pressure was high and Greg kept trying to get me to calm down. I wore my 1/5 Marines T-shirt like a flak jacket, geared up for the fight. I couldnʼt swallow the anger that had built up any longer. Someone was about to get an earful. Then we met Dr. Kelly Elmore. She was young, and the minute she walked in she asked how we were doing. Big mistake. I told her exactly what was on my mind, I let her have it with both barrels, while Greg sat dutifully not trying to soften the blow. I was sick of not being heard, sick of having major decisions decided for me based on a standard of care and what was considered normal. We wanted more than that. After I got everything off my chest, I felt a weight lifted. Dr. Elmore looked me in the eye the whole time and listened to what I had to say, and she responded so gracefully, that we would go to her office after she checked on baby and we would sit down and talk. I knew she meant it. I immediately lightened up, I felt my demeanor change. Something about her was comforting in a non-condescending way. Babyʼs vitals were strong and I was 2 cm dilated, not in labor by any stretch but starting to open slowly. We followed her back to her office and got to have our talk. I explained how we had been researching and desperately wanted a natural child-birthing experience, we felt that was the safest and healthiest way to go. I told her our other Doctor had told us he was the only one there on staff that had any experience and was comfortable delivering the breech births, but we needed someone to give us a chance. We also asked about the results of the growth scan, since we never did hear anything from it. She then informed us that there were in fact two Doctors on staff with breech experience, and she was the second one! She explained her criteria, which matched Dr. Fischbeinʼs almost exactly, and as long as we could agree to that she believed that it was her duty to let us go for it! The growth scan had baby between 5 and 7 pounds, and I had lots of fluid so there were no worries there. She explained that she was a Christian lady, and she put a lot of faith in God to lead her with her work, and she suggested we pray about it and she would too. She was a miracle to us, the answer to our prayers. It was such a rush hearing her tell us this, she put the wind back in our sails.
" There was just one problem. Sheʼd only be around from that day until the next Thursday. Then she was going on leave. So basically we got this awesome news that our dreams might be saved, and then a minute later were told I would have to go into spontaneous labor, and progress with no back tracking or slowing, within a seven day window! It wasnʼt perfect, but it was a hell of a lot better than having a Cesarean two days later. We left there feeling elated, we had hope. We continued all the exercises we had been doing to get baby to flip, but we were ready for her to come the way he/ she wanted.
" We came in Friday morning for a non-stress test, to make sure the placenta was still in good condition and see that baby was not stressed at all, Dr. Elmore wanted to do that twice a week until baby came, but as time was short we scheduled one for that Friday and another for the following Tuesday, both days she could make sure to be there. I really appreciated her willingness to be there for us, instead of letting whoever was on the labor deck that day take over. She made the effort to give us some continuity of care which made a huge difference. Everything went well with the NST, baby and womb looked great and we went home to hit the pool.
" Over the weekend we went to the chiropractor again and did round two for the Webster Technique. We kept up with the moxibustion and walking, I made sure to keep tracking my blood sugar levels closely because of the Gestational Diabetes, and just spent time at home trying to relax. I had been reading Ina Mayʼs Guide to Childbirth, a gift from Doula Rosie, and that helped me a lot as well. I was trying not to focus on when baby would come, but the more I tried the more I focused. I was feeling very anxious. Doubt began to creep into my mind. I felt alone, even though my husband was there with me. Ultimately it was I who had to answer the consequences of our decision.
" That brings us back to Monday, when I felt my worst. I couldnʼt get out of the rut I was in mentally, and I got so sick of my negativity that I finally finished a Bradley assignment we had been given weeks earlier. I wrote out the best birth story I could think up. I went step by step, detailing how I felt and what we did each step of the way. Ultimately I wrote that I went into labor that night, we walked and did our nightly routine, and I had the baby the next morning! After I finished writing, I laid down and tried to take a nap, I felt really tired. It was around 1800, and I noticed that my back was aching, so much that it was becoming impossible to get comfortable and snooze. I remembered I needed to call Rosie and remind her about the NST we had scheduled for 0800 the next day. I got on the phone with her and she asked about the strain in my voice. I told her my lower back was hurting but that it wasnʼt that serious. She seemed to think it might be something, and told me to try and sleep and just go about the evening normally. Eat something and sleep. She insisted that I call her back in a couple hours to let her know how I felt. She felt pretty sure it was more than a backache. I just kept brushing it off and trying to nap, then around 2000 we had dinner. " Greg made rice, beef, and veggies. I ate about half but wasnʼt hungry after that. Then we took our nightly walk. I felt like walking would loosen up my back, it was feeling so tight. I still thought it was just odd pain, nothing big. Normally we just did two or three half mile circles around the whole apt complex, but that night I felt adventurous.
My Gunny was in the habit of telling me to “find a hill” and how good that was for pregnancy, so I figured it was a good time to test a nice big hill just across the street from our usual path. We dubbed it “Riveraʼs Ridge” in honor of my Gunny, and Greg joked that I better not go into labor or Iʼd have to tell him he was right. We walked downhill first, and I was feeling great. After the walk back up the hill, which took about 30 mins total, we crossed the street and I had to stop and lean into Greg because there was such pressure all of a sudden in my lower back. I asked him to press on it and he did, we stayed that way there on the corner for a couple minutes I think. We were just a couple blocks away from home and we made it back without having to stop again, but I finally was starting to think maybe there was something different going on.
" After we finished our walk we set up the outside balcony with our usual assortment of things. We lit the tiki torches, brought out the rocker for me to sit in along with the heating pad for my back, had the candles lit as well, our glasses of white wine, and Beethoven playing inside. It was a really cozy set up, and the temperature outside was perfect thanks to the coast a mile and a half away. We were on day 9 of 10 with the moxi, and I thought we better try to do it. Greg kept trying to get me to use the contraction timer to time my back pain, just to see if there was any kind of pattern. We had learned about back labor in our Bradley class. I grudgingly agreed to play around with the timer, and figured out to my surprise it seemed as though I was having contractions, as the pain kept coming and going. They were coming between 6 and 10 minutes apart, and lasting for 50-70 seconds! By this time it was around 2300 and I thought it best to text Rosie instead of calling, I wanted to let her know about the contractions but not wake her just yet, I knew there would be time before it got serious. Rosie didnʼt text back, and I was glad we hadnʼt waked her.
" At midnight after we brought everything back inside, we laid down to try and get some sleep. I had Gregʼs phone and paid a bit more attention to timing the contractions, although I still had doubts in my mind about if this was really it. For the next hour they came from 6 to 8 minutes apart and lasted 50-80 seconds, and I told Greg to get some sleep. He did just that and around 0100, I put the phone down and closed my eyes, intending to get some sleep myself. Iʼd heard of women sleeping right through labor and thought I might get lucky. I laid there for over an hour trying to force myself to relax and sleep, when I finally gave it up.
" At 0230 I went into the front room and began googling what to pack for the trip to the hospital. We never did pack our bags! I started timing again, and by this time they were 3 to 5 minutes apart, lasting from 40-60 seconds, and I accepted the fact that this was really happening. I got excited and nervous together, and had all this energy. The contractions were manageable, and I worked around them packing up our bags and getting everything weʼd need together. Sometimes Iʼd kneel on the carpet with my butt way up and sway through the wave, but then I figured out that leaning over the kitchen counter with my legs spread wide swaying worked best. I had Tom Petty playing as loud as the computer would play it, which was loud enough to wake Greg up. He saw me swaying and knew exactly what was up. He got excited and wondered how the hell I had packed our bags. He wanted to call Rosie, so around 0300 he gave her a ring. She said sheʼd be over within the hour, and I got in the shower. The great thing about that apt building was unlimited hot water. And it felt great on my back. I brought the computer in and put it on the sink so I could sing along with Tom.
" In our Bradley class we learned to relax and just breathe through the contractions, but I felt like being up and singing along with Tom at the top of my lungs. Rosie arrived right after 0400, and wanted to know what she could do to help. Greg didnʼt really know what to do, I was in the shower with Tom the whole time! Rosie loved it, she sang a little with me too and said I was doing great. Around 0500 I filled up the tub and laid down on my side. It felt much better under the water and I wished I had more room. I was still laughing and having a good time with it all, and Rosie and Greg were so helpful. I told them I wanted to go to the beach and walk along the water, we lived just 5 minutes away. They thought that was a real good idea so at 0630 I hauled myself out of the tub and got dressed.
" The amazing part is that it was the morning of the 16th, and Dr. Elmore was on the labor deck that one day, every other day that week they would have had to call her in…it was perfect timing. I wanted to labor at home as long as possible and I wanted baby to wait until at least 0700 when Dr. Elmoreʼs shift started. At 0700 we got to the beach and it was all ours. We walked right along the water next to the Oceanside Pier and it was such a perfect moment in time. It was overcast as always in the early morning on the coast, and Rosie walked with Greg and I and snapped a few precious pictures. The contractions were coming now 2 to 4 minutes apart and lasting 50-70 seconds. Each time they came I just leaned forward into Gregʼs chest and he pressed on my back. It felt surreal. I felt so blessed to be able to have the ocean right there at our feet, I had to soak them of course but Greg thought the water was too cold so he stayed farther back." After half an hour there we had to decide where weʼd go next. I didnʼt want to go back to the apt, we had everything loaded up and it seemed like a waste. I wasnʼt sure I wanted to go to the hospital either though, so we decided to meet up at Lake Oneil, just two minutes from the Navy Hospital. I wondered aloud if maybe I would skip the “serious signpost” we learned about, because though the pain was intense, I was still joking and smiling and thinking of things not directly related to the task at hand. Then in the car, it was just Greg and I, Rosie was driving separately, they started to come 2 to 3 minutes apart and lasted 50-70 seconds. It was so uncomfortable in that car I finally got serious, there was nothing else I could think of but each one coming. I told Greg to just go to the hospital. He let Rosie know the change of plan and I began moaning with each one. It seemed to take forever getting to the Hospital, but really was only 20 minutes at most. We parked and I wanted to wait outside for Rosie. I had to pee really bad so I went in to pee and came right back out. We were nervous Rosie would have problems at the gate but she told the MP her duties and charmed her way through. I was walking back and forth in front of the hospital and when Rosie got there I still wasnʼt ready to go inside. I got really nervous all of a sudden but I didnʼt want to tell either of them, just wanted to get my head together. I walked off a little ways and wanted to cry. I felt like a baby, but I knew once we went inside that was it. The weight of it all hit me and I did cry, thinking about how Iʼd be a mom when we left. It was a very sobering moment. I was glad it was gray outside. After a couple minutes I told them I was ready. They asked if I wanted a wheel chair, hell no!
" At 0800 we checked in on the labor deck. They sent Greg to the third floor for my record and Rosie and I went into the triage room to get checked out. I was so thankful for Rosie, sheʼs the sweetest woman we could have found to share this experience. As soon as we walked into the triage room I started having a monster contraction. I leaned over the sink and felt warm water going down my leg. It looked like pee and I didnʼt know what to think. Rosie went to get the nurse after she told me my water must have broke. There was brown stuff in the liquid and I got really nervous. The nurse came right in and said we were going to the labor room, no time for triage. I asked her if I could wear my own gown and got changed.
" A midwife came in and started getting my vitals, she told me they need to prep me for the OR. I sat right up and informed her that I wasnʼt going to the OR. She fired back asking if the baby was still breech. Yes, now go get Dr. Elmore and tell her we are here! I was mama bear and this lady better get on with it if she knew what was good for her. About five minutes later she came back in, said that Dr. Elmore was really happy we were there and that I was going to do great! She did a complete 180 and it felt really good to hear her say that. I knew how important it was to have positive vibes going out from reading Ina Mayʼs book, and thatʼs just what we had. Pretty soon there were different nurses and midwives coming in and telling us that they were rooting for us, we were going to do great and stuff like that. Everything was coming together so perfectly I could hardly believe it.
" At 0900 Dr. Elmore came in with a huge smile on her face. We all knew this was divine intervention. She checked me and I was 3 cm dilated. I felt kind of terrible because Iʼd been laboring for quite some time and hadnʼt made much progress. I just buckled down and knew it was going to be rough work from there, and Rosie and Greg were amazing. For the next two hours it got really intense, there was no break in between the contractions, they were on top of each other. Greg and Rosie took turns pushing on my back with all their might and I went from side lying, to walking around a bit to getting in the shower. The shower was super weak but at least the water was hot and it felt really good being in there, while Greg stood just outside so I could lean on him and let the water hit my back. I was hooked up to the EFM every 15 minutes so I was free to move around and try different positions, that helped immensely. The only other attachment I had was a hep lock just in case, but I didnʼt want them hooking up the IV as I was fine drinking on my own. We brought granola bars and snacks with us and by this point I was feeling drained, I ate a fiber one bar just to keep up my strength but it was hard getting it down. At 1100 Dr. Elmore came back and check me again, I was 5 cm open but feeling the urge the push. I was so sure Iʼd be almost fully open so hearing her say 5 was crushing.
" At that point I started to wonder whether I would have enough power to push the baby out when the time came. It was such a marathon. There were sounds coming from somewhere way deep within and it all felt so primal. I was grunting and growling and low moaning, while my power team kept the steady pressure on my back. It was really a team effort. I was fighting the urge to push, itʼs dangerous to push when youʼre not fully open because the cervix can actually tear, which will lead to Cesarean, and because a breech babyʼs head is the last and biggest part to come and if youʼre not all the way open it could get ugly. Rosie taught me how to “keep the feather in the air” and it was one of the hardest things Iʼve ever done. My whole body was bearing down, this incredible force just taking over and I had to fight with every ounce of strength and discipline I had in my body to counteract that force. By 1300 I was at 7 cm, and again, couldnʼt believe it still wasnʼt time to push! This was getting insane. Rosie told me not to think about it, she could tell we were right there. She promised it wouldnʼt be long and I prayed to God she was right. I figured I could only go on so long, but I knew I would see this through or literally die trying. I can be a bit dramatic at times. I wanted to go back to the shower. Babyʼs heartbeat had been great the whole time, and even though I leaked water and meconium the whole time after we left the triage room, the DR wasnʼt worried because it was normal with breeches. Theyʼre little butts get squeezed with every contraction and mine was no different.
" Another great example of what an Angel we found in Rosie, she followed me around making sure to clean up so I wouldnʼt get disgusted. I made it to the shower and all of a sudden I couldnʼt fight it any longer. My body was pushing and grunting and I tried with all my might to stop it but it was like I was on auto pilot. I told Greg and Rosie this baby was coming, to get the Dr. now! My biggest fear was that Iʼd run out of strength halfway through getting baby out and the little head would be trapped. I knew from my reading that it was important to get the head out pretty fast once the cord had passed through, it gets compressed in the birth canal and restricts the oxygen to baby so it all needs to happen relatively quick. Somehow none of that was important now, nothing else existed outside of my own body. I got back to the bed and didnʼt have time to put my gown back on. I was on my knees facing the head of the bed and Rosie sat it all the way upright and had me lean on it with my elbows.
" The anesthesiologist showed up, he was supposed to prep me for an epidural just in case we had to have an emergency Cesarean, I was also supposed to give birth in the OR as a precaution. Greg leaned in and told me that the Anesthesiologist was there and I growled at him what for! Then there was this incredible force that just totally consumed me, and everybody sort of disappeared.
" The noises got more and more raw. The midwife checked me and a minute later she was whispering the sweetest words into my ear… “You are fully dilated, you can push now.” I never heard anything so welcome. Greg was there at my side, encouraging me all the way, and Rosie too. I started pushing and they told me to stop!
Wait for the DR! I thought, you have got to be shitting me! I felt this insane pressure and burning, this weight bearing down. Then she was there, but still they said wait! The babyʼs butt was crowning! She has to get her gloves on! I wanted to scream how fucking long does it take to put gloves on?! Iʼm proud to say I was able to hold that back to a low roar and then finally I got the green light. The midwife or Rosie, itʼs a blur now, told me I could reach down and feel my baby.
" For a second everything slowed down, and I reached down with such trepidation, afraid of what Iʼd find. Then I felt that tiny butt! My mind whirled, all I could say or think was Oh my God, Oh my God. It felt holy in a way, it was surreal. The second passed and I was pushing again, pushing with everything I had left to give. I heard when her legs and arms were out, and then from voices all around me I was told to push! Greg said, “If youʼre ever going to push you have to push now!” The DR, the midwife, Rosie, everyone was telling me to push, get that head out! For a moment there was doubt, there was fear greater than anything Iʼd ever felt, I had nothing left. In that moment I didnʼt have to pray, my heart was an open book bleeding out to God… I closed my eyes and concentrated every effort, every thought on this one thing, and I knew we were being prayed for in that instant, and I let go without even feeling any more… Just willing this baby out of me. And then it was done. The pressure and the burning were gone. There was this huge release, and then nothing.
" I was facing the head of the bed, and I had birthed the baby on my knees so I didnʼt see when it was finally over, I was suddenly staring at the wall. There was no noise then, it was silent, and I was scared again. Why wasnʼt my baby crying? I looked behind me and there was Greg, staring at me in disbelief. I yelled at him to see the baby, he snapped out of his trance quickly. Then Rosie told Greg to announce the sex of the baby to mom! He looked from our tiny baby to me, I still couldnʼt see because there was a 5 man team of DRs and nurses just for the baby blocking my view. He tried to say something but tears just filled his eyes. Then he mouthed, “I was right.” We had a little girl! She was okay, just needed a little help getting started. They handed her to me wrapped in a blanket with a little hat on, she was alert and wide eyed. I was stunned at her beauty, she was so tiny and perfect. I counted ten tiny fingers and toes, they were blue but getting pinker. I couldnʼt believe it was over. I couldnʼt believe we had a daughter.
" What an incredible honor, what a powerful trip it was seeing her into this world. I am forever grateful for the people we were surrounded by, for sweet Rosie, and my awesome husband. For our angel Dr. Elmore and the whole staff that morning. To God for bestowing this precious treasure upon me, Iʼll never understand why sheʼs been given to me. But Iʼll fight every day for the rest of my life to keep her safe, to take care of her, to be there. My precious baby girl was born on August 16th, 2011 at 1521 at the Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. She was 6 pounds 7 ounces and 18.5ʼʻ long. We named her a week later, Rose Ellice Woods.
Tags: 2cm dilated, Active Birth, acupuncture, baby, Birth Emergency Skills Training, Bradley Method Classes, breech, Breech Birth by Benna Waites, Cesarean for a breech, Chiropractor, Christian, contractionsDr. Elmore, doula, Dr. Stuart Fischbein, electronic fetal monitor, Elizabeth Davis, external version, Gestational Diabetes, Heart and Hands, Janet Balaskas, Los Angeles Obstetrician, moxibustion, Naval hospital, Non-stress test, NST, pregnant, primipara, Rebozo Due date, Rosie Peterson, turn a breech, vertex, Webster technique
Posted in Natural Birth Stories |
Does a backache always have to come with a pregnancy? Happily, the answer is NO! But you’ll have to do a little bit of work to avoid or alleviate that age-old pregnancy complaint. Back ache is the most common complaint I hear from my pregnant students. There are some essential exercises that you can do every day that will really make a difference in how you feel.
The second thing you can do is lots and lots of pelvic rocking. Start on all fours with knees under hips and hands under shoulders. Tilt your tail bone up, then tuck your tail bone under, so the only part of the back moving is the low back and the pelvis. This is different from cat/cow where the upper back moves. This isolates the lower back and belly. When you get in your third trimester, it feels even better as it takes pressure off the pubis and the pelvic floor and improves circulation. Doing 100-150 each day is best. Now, I know that sounds like a lot but it will only take a few minutes out of your day. Your back will feel so much better. This exercise stretches and strengthens the belly and the back and has also been touted as helping your baby get into the right position for birth.
Follow these with Cat/Cow poses. Inhale and arch your back. Exhale and round your back. You can also twist around to look back over your shoulder as many times as it feels good to do it.
Wide legged forward folds feel great but if you find it uncomfortable as your belly and baby get larger, then rest your arms on a chair bringing your torso parallel to the floor.Let your belly alternately relax with each inhale and gently contract with each exhale.
If you are comfortable in the full forward fold, then go for it. It feels very relaxing and helps to stretch the back of the body. Just remember to keep a tiny bend in the knees. The more you bend the knees, the more you release the lower back.
Good Luck and Happy Birthing!
Tags: baby, back exercises, back pain, Back pain in pregnancy, backache in pregnancy, exercise ball, exercises, healthy pregnancy, in pregnancy, labor and birth, opposite arm and leg balances, pelvic rocking, pregnancy posture, pregnant students, relieve back pain, sciatica, squat, squats, therapy ball, tips for pregnancy pain, twist in pregnancy, wide-legged forward fold, yoga
Posted in Backache in Pregnancy |