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
1. Lack of belief in the process of normal natural labor and birth
2. Having someone in the room during labor who makes the laboring mother uncomfortable
3. Having an audience at home or in the hospital during labor
4. Being spoken to unkindly by any care providers-nurses, midwives, doctors in the hospital
5. Having a care provider who has little experience or knowledge about the natural process of labor
and birth but who has knowledge about the pathology of labor and birth.
6. Having unresolved issues in the relationship with the father of the baby.
7. Previous sexual abuse
8. Previous loss of baby
9. Previous bad labor and birth experience
10. Having a controlling personality/unable to let go/unwilling to take suggestions from birth team
11. Having a people pleasing attitude and not communicating true wishes to birth team
12. Unsure about becoming a mother-feelings of inadequacy
13. New role with spouse-will I still be sexy, attractive, etc.
14. Focused and worried about mother’s, sister’s, or friend’s bad labor and birth experience.
15. Belief that a surgical birth would just be easier.
16. Second or third (or more) baby-Knows how much work is ahead and hesitant to let go and make it happen
17. Career woman may be resentful that baby is going to hamper career goals
18. Poor nutrition during pregnancy-not taking it seriously enough
19. Baby’s position-mal-presentation, posterior
20. Cervix has not effaced or moved from posterior to anterior position before labor begins
21. Exhaustion-not sleeping or resting in early labor
22. Not eating and drinking in labor
23. Going to the hospital in early labor and not going back home if she’s not 5 CM dilated
24. Going to the hospital soon after water breaks
25. Fear of hospital
26. Cervical scar tissue
27. Being stuck in bed
28. Having bright lights on
29. Strangers walking in and out of the room
30. Nurse shift change can unsettle a mother who has grown to trust her nurse
By Liza Janda AAHCC, E-RYT, RPYT
a. Have been proven safe for babies during labor and birth
b. Are necessary because the pain of labor and birth is unbearable
c. Can cause drops in blood pressure, fetal distress and fever in the mother
d. Can cause difficulty suckling and sleepiness in the newborn which interfere with breastfeeding
e. Can be quite effective in relieving labor pain
f. Increase risk of Cesarean
g. All of the above
h. C & d
2. Induction of Labor
a. Is necessary 60% of the time
b. Fails 50-60% of the time, ending in an unplanned Cesarean
c. Is necessary when you go past your due date
d. Is necessary when your baby is too big
e. Is necessary only when medically indicated
f. Can cause babies to be born late-term premature
g. Should always be done if your water breaks before labor starts.
h. Can cause admission of babies to the neonatal ICU (intensive care unit)
i. Can cause the need for epidurals and narcotics for pain relief.
j. None of the above
k. All of the above
l. Only b, e, f, h, i
3. Most women avoid caffeine, medications, alcohol during pregnancy. What they don’t know is that hospitals use opiates for pain relief. Opiates:
a. Are derivatives of cocaine
b. Cross the placenta
c. Cause central nervous system depression in babies
d. Can cause altered neurological behavior
e. Cause nausea, dizziness, and itching in the mother
f. Start working in less than five minutes
g. Have been proven safe for baby and mother
h. All of the above
i. None of the above
j. A through f only
4. The number one worry for most pregnant women is:
a. Pain during labor
b. Getting to the hospital on time
c. Getting to the hospital too early
d. A and b
e. A and c
f. None f the above
5. Good nutrition during pregnancy affects:
a. Your baby’s health, today only
b. Your baby’s development from nerves to muscles to bone to brain
c. Ha been shown to reduce incidence of preterm labor and bed rest
d. A only
e. A and B
f. B and c
6. Choosing your caregiver
a. Can affect your risk of having procedures such as cesarean surgery or episiotomy
b. Can affect your baby’s health
c. Is not important. They are all the same
d. All of the Above
e. A and b only
7. When a treatment or intervention is suggested, you should always ask
a. What is the problem? Why is it a problem? How serious is it?
b. Describe the treatment: How is it done? What are the risks/benefits?
c. What are the alternatives? What are the risks/benefits to the alternatives?
d. What if we wait and do nothing?
e. Can we have time alone to talk about it?
f. All of the above
How many answers did you get correct?
0-3 You definitely need to take a childbirth class
3-6 Better ,but…You still need more education and relaxation practice.
7 Pretty good! But you still need to practice relaxation, and learn all you can about the emotional sign posts of labor. Get ready. It’s like training for a marathon. It’s never too late to start! Go to www.birthclassonline.com and download your free healthy birth booklet to get started on your way to the safest and healthiest birth possible for you and your baby!
Step one-write down your fears about labor and birth:
I want _____________________________, but I’m afraid_________________________.
Step Two-just ideas, use creativity. Your job at this moment is creating a strategy to face the fear(s) about labor and birth in order to create a different outcome. You are only planning at this point,
Don’t execute your plan.
Don’t worry about it.
Just outline it.
I can do the following things to help prevent my fears about labor and birth from manifesting:
Step Three-Small steps to overcoming fears about labor and birth.
You only have to take that first step.
Finished that one?
Okay, now take the second step.
One at a time.
Don’t manifest your fears about labor and birth by focusing on them. Keep your heart, mind, and eyes on the intention for your birth. As you take each step, be conscious of your fear(s), but glue your attention to the steps, one at a time, in order to reach your goal. One at a time.
One at a time. One at a time. One at a time.
So many pregnant moms have a big fear of pooping while pushing out their baby. This is such a common fear, and it is so easily avoided if it's that big of a deal.
Really, you won't even notice if you're pooping while pushing, you will be so focused on the job at hand-birthing your baby. But in case you want to avoid the pooping while pushing, when you're in second stage labor, order a twin pack of Fleet enemas and as soon as labor begins, give yourself an enema. If your labor has to be induced for a medical reason, give yourself an enema before you go to the hospital.
It isn't the most pleasant experience and it could possible stimulate your labor a bit. But I guess you have to decide which experience is more unpleasant, having an enema in the privacy of your home, in the very beginning of or before labor, or pooping while pushing at the end of labor with no privacy.
The choice is yours! Stock up now:
Successful VBAC's can happen in 85% of women who had a previous Cesarean. I'd like to encourage women and couples to get as much education and re-education as they possibly can about childbirth and VBACs in general. There are some great resources for the support and information you will need for this momentous and joyous day to come. With the right support and effort you can do it. You won't get what you wish for, but you will often get what you work for!
Recommended books and DVD's for VBAC:
Here is Rachel and Nick's story:
Hi Liza, we had our baby! Last Saturday morning, two days before the due date. It was incredible!
I woke up at 2:45 in the morning feeling a very long contraction. When it ended I felt like my water may have broken. I took some notes on taco and began wandering around the house figuring out my contractions. They were all about one minute long and one to three minutes apart, mostly two minutes apart. They were manageable on my own so I let Nick sleep.
I kept watching for the emotional signposts because it was really important to me to stay home until the very end of first stage. After two hours I woke up Nick and asked him to help me. I called Dr. Cap and he just told me to go to the hospital when I felt it was time.
I started to think that I wanted to leave for the hospital before my daughter woke up so we called my parents and asked them to come help us get ready. I still did not feel like I was in transition or even late first stage. The most fabulous thing we discovered was when my back started to hurt, Nick tried the hip squeeze. Miraculously, doing the hip squeeze relieved both my back pain and cut the contraction pain in half. I don't know why, but it was an incredible trick. So he had to squeeze my hips for each contraction and then I'd let him leave for 30 seconds to go pack the car, then he has to come back to squeeze my hips again!
We hopped in the car just before seven. I had four or five contractions on the drive to scripps enc., but still felt pretty in control. I had a few contractions on the lobby floor while we checked into the hospital, but I quickly got a room and the nurse checked me. You are complete! she exclaimed, Don't push! Wow, those were the sweetest words I've ever heard!
Dr. Cap showed up shortly and told me to start pushing. It was a lot of work but not too bad and only lasted 45 minutes. I was on my back, tilted further back than I wanted, but Cap said that was best. As the baby came out, I reached down to take her. They told me to give one more push and she came out and I lifted her onto my chest! I just held her there for a while, and finally a nurse asked if it was a boy or girl. I never even thought to look or ask. Nick took a peek and found it was a girl! Total labor, start to finish: 5 1/2 hours.
Dr. Cap was a fantastic coach. He was so calm and gave me lots of guidance and encouragement. But I couldn't have done it without the encouragement that Nick was also giving me, telling me over and over how much progress I was making. That was the most helpful part, to know that I was actually getting closer each time.
Baby nursed right away! They never washed her and hardly took her from me at all. We did vit K but no eye drops.
So my birth plan was followed to the letter. The only thing that happened was I had to have the Pitocin IV after the placenta, due to excessive bleeding.
Looking back on it I couldn't really identify having gone through transition, I never felt like I couldn't handle it, but now I realize I was pretty irritable near the end as we rushed to get to the hospital, so maybe that was it!
We are at home now doing exclusive skin to skin, in bed all day, and it is beautiful. We named our baby girl Laurel Jane.
Thank you for all the support, education, and wise words as I prepared for that wonderful day.
Tags: baby, back pain, birth, Books for VBAC, Bradley Method, Cesarean section, Childbirth videos, Dr Capetenakis, DVD's for VBAC, labor and birth, Liza Janda, relaxation in labor, unmedicated, VBAC
Posted in Labor and Birth Advice, Natural Birth Stories, Uncategorized, VBAC |
See more articles by Liza Janda
1. You’re doing so well.” You can’t praise or encourage a pregnant woman in labor enough.
2. “You’re amazing!” Pour on the praise and keep it coming.
3. “Imagine what is happening inside your body. Visualize your cervix opening with each contraction.” Imagining the changes that are
4. “Think about the baby. Each contraction is like a hug of love from you for your baby.” Each contraction in labor and birth really is a surge of the love hormone known as oxytocin. This is the same hormone we all produce when we fall in love, when we have an orgasm, and breastfeed our babies.
5. “All this hard work is stimulating your baby’s breathing, and circulation, and preparing the baby for life outside your womb.” Studies show that hormones the laboring mother produces that help her deal with the pain of her contractions, cause her baby’s adrenals to produce high levels of catecholamines or stress hormones that help baby adapt to all the changes coming his way.
6. “Trust yourself. That incredible strength is YOU. You’re doing it! “ Turn her fear around and encourage the laboring mother to accept that great power is coming from her.
7. “You’re doing everything right. We’re here for you.” Standing right next to her, supporting her both physically and emotionally will carry her a long way through all that hard work of labor.
8. “We know how hard you’re working. I’m so proud of you.” Showing compassion and empathy can help. Just acknowledging that yes, it is hard work, but “You can do it and you are doing it.”
9. “Breathe in and breathe out. That’s right deep slow breaths!” Deep slow abdominal breathing helps to stimulate the relaxation response in labor.
10. “Let’s hear you make some noise. Keep it low and deep. Take a deep breath in through your nose and just moan all the breath out.” The vibrations the laboring mother makes when she moans affects the pituitary gland which then stimulates the relaxation response every pregnant woman needs to tap into in labor.
11. “Take a deep breath and just LET GO with your exhale… One contraction at a time… Stay focused on this one contraction and see how relaxed you can get.” For everyone helping the laboring woman it’s helpful to stay focused on the moment. Don’t think about the contractions to come and the ones that have passed. The body knows just what to do and the laboring mother’s job is to let go and get out of the way.
Remember that the woman in labor must have complete trust in her body’s ability to bring her baby into the world safely. She must find assurance and confidence from those around her. Just like you will tell her, “You Can Do It!” and so can she with your help and faith in her.
These were comments I gathered by sending out a survey. These comments answered the question, "What is the most important thing an expectant mother needs to know about labor and birth?" Here are the answers:
1. That birth is something you do WITH your child –and that making informed, thoughtful, open choices about the way she wants to experience birth with her child is the first step in building a relationship of respect, trust, and communication.
2. Don’t worry when everything doesn’t go as planned.
3. Having a support to advocate for your wishes/birth plan is necessary! Also- your body is amazing & can get you through so much
4. That things don't always go as planned so keep an open mind.
5. How to be empowered by birth and not afraid.
6. Be informed. Practice yoga. Ask for help. See a lactation consultant if breastfeeding.
7. Home birth is a safe option.
8. Cannot be controlled. Give in to the experience. Have support!
9. It is a natural process that you are equipped to do. It is important to understand all the options and possible turns your birth can take and make sure you are in a safe (emotionally and physically – medical support available) and supportive environment for your choices.
10. It hurts! But that the contractions hurt the baby too (note from Liza: contractions don't hurt the baby at all. They actually stimulate the immune system, the circulation, prepare the lungs for breathing, turn baby and help baby descend into the correct position for birth. Labor is actually good for your baby.If you want to know more about this see:http://www.sarahbuckley.com/pain-in-labour-your-hormones-are-your-helpers/ ) and you're both in it together and it's helping to get them out of there. And not to lie in bed! Use gravity.
11. Your choices.
12. Be informed. If delivering at a hospital, get a doula!!
13. Even if you don't want to C-section strongly sometimes happen so be prepare any worse situation so you don't panic. Also get support as possible as you can.
14. Medicated birth is harmful to you and your baby and should be avoided by all means possible. True emergencies take place is 3% (or less) of births and midwives are trained to handle them safely or get you the help you need to keep you and your baby safe.
15. Having a birth plan and trying her best to stay with it, allowing flexibility for the best and safest outcome for Mom and baby!
16. It is going to hurt, but it is only temporary! It is a marathon. Think about how amazing the finish line is!
17. Do not get talked into anything but ask lots of questions before consenting to things
18. To keep an open mind, sometimes birth plans do not go accordingly and to listen to the doctor's
19. Know your choices!
20. Relax, get out of the way and let your body do what it was made to do.
21. That her body was built to do it and to trust what her body tells her.
22. Be informed about ALL labor and birth options available. Understand the different procedure options, medications, and know your rights as a mother AND patient.
23. Natural birth was the most incredible experience, and my midwife, nurse, and most importantly my husband made it that way. Having a detailed birth plan that my midwife supported and defended the day we were birthing was critical to making sure that our birth went the way we had hoped it would.
24. Labor and delivery is doable and very empowering.
25. Breathing is very important. So your nerves can stay calm and the contraction won't be so intense. The more you tense up on a contraction, the more of each contraction will be as painful.
26. Your body was made to do it, you CAN do it!
27. Prepare for your labor as much as you can (with classes, information, working out), but be flexible because it will not go according to your plan
28. Expect the unexpected, no matter how well you prepare or how you imagine your birth experience will be your body and the baby has it's own plan.
29. Real facts and happenings about/in labor and birth.
30. It's not a medical procedure. Your body is made to do it.
31. Say what you want/need regardless of whom it upsets. Stay focused and remember to keep breathing.
32. Have a good support system and be prepared for anything. You don’t always get what you want.
33. Your body knows what it is doing. Don't stress out about it…let things progress naturally!
34. TO be prepared for the unexpected and to be open to what needs to be done for the safety of the baby.
35. To be well informed off all possibilities and options
36. That the mother makes the decisions, not the nurses, and that staying calm and relaxed is the key to a better experience. Have a great support person with you.
37. It doesn't always go the way you plan it to.
38. I think it is just important to be informed about the process and options available. The more you know, the less room there is to be fearful.
39. Your care provider is the number one factor in determining your birth outcome. Choose wisely and change if you don't feel supported in your decisions.
Get educated. Good luck! Happy Birthing!
Get educated. Good luck! Happy Birthing!
Tags: body, breathing, child, communication, expectant mother's advice, home birth, hurts, informed, labor and birth, medical procedure, natural, normal, pain, relax, respect, support in labor, trust, unexpected, use gravity, yoga, your choice
Posted in Labor and Birth Advice, VBAC |
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 |
Lily's story started on new years day (Sunday) when I lost my mucus plug…I then noticed my first contraction early Tuesday morning around 4:30 am but nothing intense. I took it easy on Tuesday and noticed that the contractions were more intense but still totally manageable on Wednesday when I ran errands most of the day (chiropractor, lunch with a girlfriend, hair appointment, dinner with Brian)…Wednesday night their intensity continued to increase as I frequently woke up throughout the night and moved to an all fours position or got up to walk around to breathe through them…this continued into the morning as I attempted to fold the baby clothes I had washed for hours without accomplishing much – I continued to change positions and breathe through the contractions wondering how intense they would get. At this point (around noon or so on Thursday) I decided to take a bath and listen to one of the meditation CDs from yoga class. This definitely helped me to stay in the right mindset and relax. I was in the tub for about an hour and it definitely took the edge off. Once I got out, things kicked in quickly and I had Brian call the midwife. She wanted to talk to me and I quickly realized that I was no longer able to talk when a contraction hit…My contractions were definitely about 4 mins apart at this point and I was starting to feel the urge to push…She told us to come in and we made our way to TriCity in the 2 o'clock hour…By the time I was checked in, changed and was checked by my midwife, Mimi, it was close to 3:00. She told me that the baby's head was right there and that I could push when I was ready…Once I wrapped my head around the fact that it was go time, Mimi, Brian, and the nurse coached me through pushing and Lily was born at 3:58 pm naturally in a calm environment. The lights in the room were dimmed for me and all of my requests for her birth were totally supported by the midwife and nurse. There were other hospital staff in the periphery standing by during the delivery as Lily was over a month early, but they did not disrupt the serenity of the environment. I was pleasantly surprised by such a positive experience as I had been reluctant to birth in the hospital setting. I had been hoping to have the baby at Best Start Birth Center – but this was not an option once Lily decided to come early (you have to be at least 37 weeks to give birth there and I was 35 and 1/2).
Lily was totally alert and was on my chest immediately after she was born. She weighed 6 pounds, 1 ounce and was 19 inches long…10 weeks later she is doing awesome and getting so big!!!
I don't think I could have had such a such a calm, peaceful birth without your prenatal yoga and Bradley classes! Turning inward, listening to my body and using my breath to manage contractions definitely helped me be able to have the birth I was so hoping for
Carrie's Advice for you:
1 What was the most challenging part of your labor or birth?
I would have to say pushing or knowing how to push – that is when I felt like I really needed coaching and support/encouragement the most…having my midwife, Mimi, to guide me through what to do at that point and Brian next to me for support was key. That was the only point when I questioned whether or not I would be able to do it. I also believe that the techniques Mimi used during delivery was the reason I did not tear.
2. What was the most helpful thing either you did or someone else did for you? Taking a bath and listening to that Anugama CD helped me to relax and create the space to prepare myself mentally for birth. I also believe it was helpful to not have someone checking to see how dilated I was so I never got caught up in the mindset that labor was not progressing – it truly moved at it's own rate.
3. What advice would you give another pregnant mom?
Take the time to relax and create the space for labor to unfold as it will however that looks for you. Also, as much as I love my family, I also knew that I did not want them around during my labor and delivery. When the time came, it was just Brian, Mimi (midwife) and a nurse with me and it was a very peaceful, calm experience (in a hospital)!
4. Would you do anything differently?
I probably would have experimented with a squatting or all fours position to push as I feel like it would have been a more natural position to give birth. By the time I got situated, I found myself in a side-lying position and was not inclined to try another position once I started to push. However this position did work out well in the end, so I'm not sure I would have changed that
Tags: baby, Best Start Birth Center, birth, birth ball, birth center, Bradley Method, doula, hospital, labor and birth, midwife, natural birth, pregnancy, prenatal yoga, relaxation in labor, squatting for birth, unmedicated, www.yogajanda.com
Posted in Labor and Birth Advice, Natural Birth Stories |
I woke up at 6am on the 21st and felt pretty awake and starting have contractions. Take in mind I’ve been having contractions since I was 4 months pregnant. I for sure thought that I wouldn’t know when I actually went into labor because I had SO many contractions that I thought I would blow them off as more Braxton Hicks contractions. But I heard over and over again that I would just “know” and my contractions would be “different”. By 7am I “knew” I was in labor and indeed the contractions were “different”. These contractions left me speechless during the peaks, but not in complete pain. Morgan was getting ready for school and I told her that I was in labor and she could stay home from school. Her biggest concern was that I would wait too long to call her and she wouldn’t make it to the birth on time. (Her school is literally across the street and takes her 7 minutes to get across campus to home) But I figured it would be great to have her there for the whole process. After all, part of the purpose of going natural was to show the girls that we as women can do it! I had Morgan text everyone around 7:30am letting them know I was in the beginning stages of labor. Garrett was still sleeping and although I really wanted to wake him, I knew it was more important that he be fully rested for the big day. I called my midwife and let her know I was starting and she advised me to try and lay back down for a nap and to conserve my energy. Well, I tried that. These contractions were enough to wake me up and get me off the couch- to my knees and leaning over the seat of the couch. Oh yeah, don’t forget to breathe. The midwife let me know what her schedule was for the day but assured me she would cancel it all whenever I gave the word. I told her I was fine to be on my own for a while and that I would call her later when things got going. I heard Garrett get into the shower around 9:30am and I went upstairs to fill him in. “Well, I’m in labor” “Great!” he says, “We’re gonna have a baby today!” I half heartedly grinned with a fear in my bones. Garrett got busy setting up the pool, lying plastic down, moving furniture around and general set up. I hit all fours about every 5 minutes and took each contraction one at a time. We took a little walk to the end of our cul-de-sac and walked into the wooded area and back. We would stop for each contraction and hug and sway and then continue walking. The sun was out, the breeze was nice. It was beautiful. Garrett’s mom came over and hung out waiting for her first grandchild to show up. She was very excited. The midwife called as I was in the middle of a contraction- so I put her on hold. By then the contractions were 4 minutes apart and more aggressive. Enough for me to moan through the intensity. She asked me if I wanted her to come and I told her I was still fine for now and I would call her in a bit. About 20 minutes later, around 12noon, I asked Garrett to fill up the pool with warm water. He asked if I wanted him to call the midwife and again I told him I was fine. Then I had him call my mom and ask her to pick up Carlie from school and head over to the house. I got in the pool which helped to relax me quite a bit and again the contraction got a little more intense, now putting the pressure into my low back. I would lean over the side of the pool, grip the towel and moan through the contraction all the while chanting in my head, “Surrender, breathe, opening up, letting go” I asked Garrett to call the midwife, but he had already gone behind my back and called. He said they were already on their way. Between contractions I was talking and laughing with everyone. Mom and Carlie came sometime around this time. I continued to labor in the pool for another hour or so, it’s hard to recall as time was irrelevant as I was laboring. The midwife and her assitant came sometime around 2:45 and started setting up all of their gear. When I say gear, I mean 4 large packs full of medical equipment. Vickii, my midwife and her assistant Derenee assumed I wasn’t as far along as I was because of my demeanor. Vickii suggested Garrett give everyone chores to keep them from staring at me creating a slower labor. Mom and Morgan took off to go get a pizza and Garrett’s mom, Mary, and Carlie headed to Mary’s house to let the dog out. My back pain continued to increase. Vickii suggested I get out of the pool and take a trip up in down the stairs; she assured me it would get things moving. I was reluctant to say the least. I didn’t want to get out of the warm water. Garrett helped me out of the pool and to the bottom of the stairs. The stairs looked a mile high! I made my way up the stairs having 3 contractions on the way up. Each one getting more and more intense. I stopped, squatted, grabbed the railing and tried to get my legs open as far as possible. The pain my low back was getting stronger. We walked in to our bedroom and I came to rest at the foot of our bed. There is a wood frame around the bottom of our bed that allowed me to hold on, yet rest my face on the mattress while in a squatting position. Garrett asked me if I wanted to journey back down the stairs and I said I was going to stay put right where I was. The midwives set up some drop cloths and chucks pads under me just in case. The midwives left the room and gave Garrett and me some privacy and time to be together. This was an amazing time for him and I to be in this process just the two of us. Garrett continued to coach me and reassure me that I was doing great and stay with it. The contractions were almost unbearable and I could feel changes happening in my hips and pelvis. This is where is got tough. Each contraction felt like someone pulling my hips apart, yet I felt I couldn’t open them wide enough. It had reached an intense point. My inner dialogue at this point was very interesting. There was a duality. One part of me is analyzing each moment and has a complete understanding of what is going on, while the other half of me is screaming and freaking out!!!! To consciously witness both inner dialogues was a very surreal process to me. I continued to try and get comfortable but there was nothing I could do to escape the ever increasing pressure. The next contraction I turned to Garrett and said, “I don’t think I can do this” This is when they, the experts, say “transition” is happening. Garrett said, “Yeah you can, he’s almost here”. Then the next contraction I said to Garrett, “I changed my mind, I don’t want to do this.” About 10 senconds later my water broke. Right then I got the feeling that I had to take the hugest poop of my life and needed to get it out. The feeling to bear down was strong. In my mind I was thinking, “I have to shit and I don’t care.” The pressure was a strange feeling. It felt like it was in my rectum, yet different. I squatted and pushed and Kai’s head crowned. Garrett cried out, “I can see his head, baby!” Garrett called Vickii into the room and she told me to slow down. The feeling now was what they call “the ring of fire” which is exactly what it sounds like. It is when your vaginal lips start to stretch when the baby crowns. Kind of like an Indian burn on your arm. It burns, yet it feels so good to finally push. I wanted to keep pushing just to get him out but I took a deep breath, sat back. Vickii told me to slow down my pushing and take my time so I wouldn’t tear. I sat back on my right leg while I kept my left foot planted on the floor so I could elevate my rear off the ground. I reached down and could feel the top of the baby’s head protruding out. Right about then Mom and Morgan came back from the store and Vickii called them upstairs. Mom grabbed the camera and started filming. Morgan grabbed the still camera and snapped some shots. I kept pushing and his head was just about out. It felt like everything stopped. No matter how hard I pushed, nothing was happening. Vickii had me lean forward onto all fours and continue pushing. Still nothing. Kai was stuck at the shoulders. I didn’t know this until after the birth. Vickii had to reach up inside me and turn him to let him come out. I let out a scream and continued to push. Vickii yelled, “Keep pushing he’s almost out!” With all the vigor and energy I had left inside of me I let out a roar. Literally. And he was out. I sat back in awe of what I had just accomplished. Kai was breathing, but not taking in deep breaths. The midwives worked on Kai to get him stimulated to take the first deep breath. But he wasn’t. They gave him CPR to help him expand his lungs. Then he finally let out his first beautiful cry. I looked up to see tears streaming down moms and Morgan’s face. The fear was still written all over Garrett’s face. Morgan cut the umbilical cord. Mary and Carlie never made it back in time but Morgan assured me that she was glad Carlie had not witnessed everything. She said it was almost overwhelming for her to watch. Kai is doing great now and growing like a weed. As of yesterday (5/5/09) he was 10lbs 11oz. I have to say this was the most intimate experience I have ever had with a man and the most empowering thing I’ve ever done as a woman. This has given Garrett and I bond that I will cherish forever. It was simply amazing! If you are thinking about having children in the future and want more information about home birth/natural birth, I highly recommend the documentary by Ricki Lake- The Business of Being Born and also Orgasmic Birth. They both helped me to overcome some of the fears of going naturally. Toree Nies
Tags: baby, Back pain in pregnancy, birth, birth center, birth coach, Bradley Method, breathing, C-section, delivery, full term pregnancy, home birth, labor, labor and birth, Liza Janda, midwife, natural birth, poses for pregnancy, positive birth stories, positive birth story, prenatal yoga, water birth, www.yogajanda.com
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