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
Thursday June 14, 2012, came and went. However, it was not a typical Thursday. I woke up as usual at 8:30 a.m. to get ready for my cycle class at the gym. At 8:33 a.m. I felt a slight gush of water as I walked around. I didn’t think much of it so I continued to get ready for the gym. Time continued to pass and I didn’t think anything of it since I was not due until June 27th. Even though I was 38 weeks pregnant and considered full term, I told myself it was too early to go into labor or let alone for my water to break. I asked a close friend who had just given birth to her third child a week earlier what she thought it might be. She indicated that it could be my mucous plug. However, I continued to feel gushes of water as time went on. I decided to wake my husband and let him know what was happening. He advised me to call the midwife and not go to the gym (yes I was still trying to get to my cycle class).
Once I spoke with the midwife who indicated that it was not an emergency and it sounded like my water broke she instructed me to make my way to the labor and delivery unit to test the liquid that was gushing out. Since it was not an emergency my husband and I decided to take our time getting to labor and delivery. We cooked breakfast and then I showered to make sure I was nice and relaxed. We grabbed our birth kit and our over night bag and headed to labor and delivery. At that point I was a little nervous because I was not feeling any contractions and I knew that I had 18 hours before I was at risk of getting an infection and I did not want to get induced. During our drive to the hospital, my husband and I had agreed that if everything was ok, we would drive back home to labor as much as we could with our Doula.
Four o’clock finally arrived and we went to check in at the birthing center. We were given one of the big rooms that had a king size four post bed and a tub to labor in. It was 5p.m. when my mother and sisters arrived at the birthing center. At that point my contractions were getting a little stronger, longer, and closer together but they were still manageable and I was still able to have conversations. Around 7p.m. things started to pick up and my contractions were a lot stronger, longer, and closer together, I was in active labor. I tried several positions which included side lying, rocking on the birth ball, walking, and leaning over while holding on to one of the post on the bed (this position really worked for me). As active labor continued things were getting really intense. My contractions were very strong and were right on top of each other. I didn’t have any breaks in between them. At that point I felt like I could no longer do it and my husband reminded me that by saying that I was in transition and I was close to meeting our daughter. Finally I was able to get into to the tub and continue my labor. I had no idea how I was going to get into the tub from the bed because the contractions were killing me. Once I got into the tub it was a huge relief. Laboring in the tub was very relaxing and the contractions felt more manageable. While in the tub I began to feel a huge sensation to push. The midwife was able to confirm that I was dilated enough to push. Once I changed my breathing and was able to establish a good pattern of birthing and curling the pushing sensation became easier to handle. The hospital’s policy did not allow for a water birth so I could only labor in the tub until the baby began to crown (I could remember wanting to curse at the nurse for not letting me deliver in the water). After pushing for sometime the baby began to crown and I somehow managed to get up and walk back to the bed to resume my pushing. I pushed for approximately 45 minutes. On June 15, 2012, at 2:09 a.m. our beautiful Charlotte Aleah Maldonado was born, weighing 6lbs 11oz and 18 inches long.
The joy of watching my husband catch her and then cut the cord was amazing. My daughter was placed on my stomach and crawled her way up to my chest and I embraced her warm little body. The third stage of labor did not go as I planned. Because I had a slight tear and I would not stop bleeding the midwife was forced to give me pitocin or risk hemorrhaging. Delivering the placenta was not a pretty sight at all and I was surprised by its size. After all was said and done both my daughter and I were alive and healthy.
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Tags: baby, birth videos, birthing, Bradley Method, childbirth, contractions, crown, hospital birth, labor, natural, natural birth, nurse, pregnancy, pushing, relaxation in labor, spontaneous rupture of membranes, water birth
Posted in Labor and Birth Advice, Natural Birth Stories |
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 |
The problems with either conceiving a child, or with carrying out the pregnancy to its eventual fruitful end, fall under the definition of infertility. Infertility is the incapability of an individual to become pregnant, in case of females, or the incapability to induce pregnancy, in case of the males. The inability of an individual to carry out a pregnancy to its full term is also dubbed infertility. How does one recognize infertility? What are the signs of infertility?
Signs of infertility are not always evident. Most people go through life without knowing there is a problem with their reproductive systems, attributing failed pregnancies to providence. In fact, miscarriages are the most common indicator of infertility. Signs of infertility in women:
In women, the signs of infertility are more readily recognized as compared to men. Endometriosis causes the lining of the uterus to grow outside the uterus.
Bacterial infections may begin around the uterus and spread to other reproductive organs, resulting in infertility. Fibroids in the uterus are indicative of infertility. Tumors in the cervix often cause stenosis, or narrowing of the cervix, which is a common indicator of infertility.
Ovulating before the tenth day and after the twentieth day of one's monthly cycle, pre-menstrual spotting, menopausal symptoms, etc. are indicative of luteal phase defect, and thus in turn are signs too.
Irregular menstrual cycles are the most common indication in females that they might have some problems with fertility. However, an irregular menstrual cycle is not conclusive in itself, but it is definitely one of the signs of infertility.
Issues regarding body weight are often indicators of being infertile. For a woman, being too thin, or anorexic, will definitely hinder pregnancy, since the body does not have the proper nutritional requirements, or the required strength.
Alternatively, obesity can also be a sign. Obesity is accompanied by hormonal imbalance, which affects the reproductive system and pregnancy. Signs of Infertility in Men:
Like females, in males too, either obesity, or anorexia, is an indication that he is infertile. Apart from these, anatomical defects may also be signs of infertility. Undescended testicles, or damage to scrotum and the gonads, are possible indicators too. Wearing tight undergarments, or exposing the testicles to heat, may render the person unable to produce the required number of sperms, or unable to produce sperms altogether, resulting in infertility.
Determining the signs of infertility:
There are many medical procedures for detecting the signs that help to determine whether an individual is infertile or not. Doctors usually prescribe one or more of the following medical tests:
. Hysterosalpingography. A dye injected into the vagina is monitored to check for blockage in the fallopian tubes or uterus.
. Laparoscopy. If disease and other physical problems are present in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or in the uterus, infertility is suggested. This may be detected through laparoscopy.
Infertility is a problem which can be solved if it is addressed in the holistic way, which is, using a multifaceted method of healing. Getting regular health checkups, taking supplements to combat existing problem, exercising and stress reduction techniques are only part of the holistic solution to infertility. The holistic approach is not only a surefire way to increase your chances of conception it also guarantees a safe and healthy pregnancy.
Tags: acupuncture fertility techniques, anorexia, endometriosis, holisitc, hormonal imbalance, infertility, menstrual cycles, miscarriage, natural, obesity, ovulation, PCOS, pregnant, uterus
Posted in Infertility |
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 |
This article is about how to create and set an intention for the birth of your child. Most people don’t even think about this. The majority of American women are fearful of labor, feel the need to be spared expected suffering, assume the doctor knows best, and assume that medication in labor is safe with little or no risks. “ I’ll just do whatever the doctor says. The doctor will know exactly what is best for me and my baby.” Or they may be told, “ Get the epidural as soon as possible. There is no need to be a martyr.”
Each mother and each baby and each birth is different. But the potential for a powerful, transformative, normal, and natural experience is there in each and every birth. “Giving birth as nature intended is not “biting the bullet and letting it happen.”” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1595040/
Preparing for the birth of your child takes time, commitment, and education. I’ve been teaching the Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth for 16 years. The one thing you can count on in childbirth is the unexpected, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the loftiest goals paired with the ability to be flexible. Read on for steps to set your intention for your birth and create the best “Birth Day” ever.
1. Get clear about the birth you want and write it down. Examples:
· “I want to give birth to a baby who has no drugs in his/her system”
· “I will stay home so that when I arrive at my birth place, I will be completely dilated.”
· “I will be patient with labor and know it can take a long time.”
· “I plan to have a natural birth but I will be flexible since a healthy baby is the ultimate goal.”
· “I plan to stay home as long as I possibly can”
· “I will go into labor at 9 Am and give birth at 4 PM”
· Write down YOUR OWN INTENTION:
2. Share your intention with someone who will support you, but also hold you accountable.
Write it down
· Share it with your doula
· Share it with your coach and anyone else who will be at the birth
· Share it with the medical staff when you arrive at your birth place. Give them a copy of your birth plan and ask,” Can you help me have a natural birth?”
· Write a birth plan. Have your doctor sign it. Have a copy at the doctor’s office, at the birth place, and with you when you arrive at your birth place.
· Say it out loud and talk about it and discuss it with your birth support
3. Do something today to demonstrate your commitment to your intention.
· Ask yourselves if your caregiver and birthplace truly support the outcome you want.
· If you ‘re not sure go to: Questions to Ask Your Care Provider. If you don’t get the answers you want, find another care provider and/or birth place.
· If medication is the usual way of dealing with pain in labor, tour alternatives:
Do a Google search for birth centers, nurse midwives, licensed midwives, doulas, natural birth
· Visualize your birth
· Meditate on it
· Pray about it
· Write your birth story ahead of time and re-read it every day. Include every detail.
4. Acknowledge that you did what you said you would and then, take the next step.
· Write your fears down
· Look at each fear-one at a time, and brainstorm how to get past it.
· Take one small step at a time
“By setting an intention; you make it clear to yourself and others, just what you plan to do. Set an intention to redefine what it means to be serious about your dreams.” Marcia Weider
Tags: baby, back pain, Back pain in pregnancy, beautiful, birth, birth ball, birth center, birth coach, birth place, birth plan, Bradley birth, Bradley Method, breathing, C-section, care provider, delivery, doctor, doula, doula during birth, drugs in birth, epidural, fear of labor, full term pregnancy, home birth, hospital, intention, labor pain, midwife, natural, physician, positive birth story, pregnancy, relaxation in labor
Posted in Labor and Birth Advice, Yoga and Pregnancy |
www.sara.embracinglabor.com Nicole and Chris Fortunato hired me as their birth doula several months before their Feb. 9th due date. It was clear from the start that this was a couple who was willing to do what it takes to give their baby the best start possible. Nicole taking breaks from her busy work schedule to take birth classes and educate herself about childbirth, Chris standing by, ready to do whatever Nicole needed to have a successful unmedicated birth. At our prenatal visit we talked about birth plans and relaxation techniques. Nicole stated that her main reason for hiring me was to have someone to help her relax, something she would prove to be great at doing on her own when labor would begin.
Friday Jan. 27th I received a text from chris letting me know that Nicole had began to experience some contractions. He told me that they were still manageable and he would notify my when they became stronger and closer together. At around 11:30pm Jan 27th I received a phone call that Nicole's contractions were getting much stronger and about 3-4 min. apart. Chris told me that Nicole was getting anxious and thinking about going to the hospital. I reminded them that they wanted to stay home as long as possible and told them that I was on my way.
I arrived at the Fortunato home at around 12:30am Jan 28th and was told Nicole was upstairs. When I entered the bedroom Nicole was bent forward over the bed breathing through a contraction. Between contractions she told me she was experience a lot of back pain an was very tired from being up on her feet all night. We spent the next couple of hours walking the halls between contractions. Nicole took several showers and reported that it helped with the pain. As each wave of contractions came Nicole fell into natural rhythmic breathing and opened her palms upward. She later told me she was remembering what she learned in yoga and telling herself 'open palms, receiving grace'. As the morning carried on Nicole reported being more and more tired. She tried laying down and resting for a while and experienced some pretty intense contractions while laying down. She got up to walk around again around 7 am. Shortly after her contractions seemed to decrease in intensity and in length. Nicole used this time to rest in the chair for a while.
When contractions didn’t resume their previous strength and succession we decided to go for a walk outside. Nicole experienced some contractions during the walk but still not like she had overnight. We went inside and Nicole rested on the chair and was able to eat some light snacks and some water. Around 11am when contractions still hadn’t resumed Nicole decided to try acupuncture to help move things along. Chris made an appointment at 'Oceanside Acupuncture Clinic' where they were nice enough to come in on the weekend to help Nicole out. They used points meant to help soften the cervix and it seemed to help Nicole reach a place of calm. After we went for a long walk on the beach at buccaneer park where Nicole continued to experience some contractions about 10min. Apart lasting about 30 sec. When we returned home we talked about why Nicole's labor may have slowed. I explained that while what she was experiencing last night was real labor, her body seemed to be taking a break and would probably pick back up again when it was ready. I suggested that Nicole rest while she could because she most likely would have a lot of work to do that night. We all took the time to rest for several hours. Nicole was able to sleep from about 3pm until around 11pm that night. At 11pm her contractions started up again quick and strong.
At 12am Jan. 29th Nicole reported being ready to go to the hospital and it was clear that this time she was ready. She was no longer talking through or between her contractions and was using all of her energy and focus to breath through each wave. At this point Nicole reported being very cold and shivering. We loaded up the care and headed over to Scripps Hospital Encinitas. When we arrived at the hospital Nicole was so tired and shaky that she took a wheelchair from outside of the hospital into the birth pavilion.
When we arrived at the Hospital we were put in Labor and Delivery room 2. Nicole was given a cervical exam and was already dilated to 6cm! She was then hooked up to external fetal monitors and given an IV and antibiotics for her postie strep B. culture. The nurses reported that Nicole was very dehydrated. Nicole was told she would need to stay on the monitors for 20 min. After 20 min. the nurses reported that they were not able to get a good read on the baby and that Nicole would need stay on the monitor. They also took her temperature and discovered that she had a temperature. They later confirmed that she had a urine infection. The baby’s heart read a little flat and so Nicole was required to stay on the external monitor and IV throughout her labor. Nicole’s Dr., Dr. Zaid was not on call that night she as attended to by Dr. Truong.
During labor Nicole experienced a lot of back pain. Chris did a great job of doing hip compressions while Nicole was laying in bed and seated on the ball. Nicole did a great job moving despite the limitations of the monitors and switched from side to side, sat on the side of the bed and sat on the birth ball. At 4 am Nicole was checked and had progressed to 7cm. We worked through breathing and used tennis balls to help relieve some back pain. At this point nicole was getting very tired and had to be reminded often that she was doing a great job and the baby was coming soon! As contractions grew stronger and closer together Nicole continued to practice her breathing techniques and did a great job of staying focused and centered throughout transition. Her nurse would later comment that watching her deal with her labor had made her consider having her next child unmedicated.
At Approx. 8am Nicole was checked and was still at 8 cm. Dr. Truong suggested that Nicole was not progressing at a fast enough rate and was in need of petocin. Nicole and Chris asked for some time to think about it. Shortly after her cervical check Nicole got up to use the bathroom. She then reported the urge to push! Nicole then moved back to bed and reported that these contractions were different. Nicole was checked and told she was aloud to push at 9:25am. Nicole got into a hands a knees position on the bed and pushed for a while. She did great at continuing her breathing. It was clear that pushing was very intense for Nicole but she handled it wonderfully. She then moved to a squatting position with the squat bar and this seemed to really move things along. It was only 3 or 4 pushes on the bar and the baby’s head appeared. Because Nicole began to tear the nurses ask that she lean back on the bed and breath through the pushing urge to allow her perineum time to stretch. At this point the urge was so strong that I needed to help guide Nicole’s breathing. Chris did a great job of encouraging Nicole along and announced with Joy that the baby was coming and he could see the head. Because of how quickly Nicole went from 8cm to crowning her Dr. was not able to be there in time for the delivery. Dr. Miller was called in. Dr. miller didn’t even have time to change her clothes and threw on a surgical gown over he street clothes and told Nicole she was allowed to push. Within 2 pushes the baby was born at 9:59am at 18.5 inches weighing 6 pounds 10 oz. The dr. placed the baby onto Nicole and and Chris and Nicole admired their new baby boy. Once the placenta was delivered and the cord stopped pulsing Chris was able to cute the chord.
Nicole tore slightly during the pushing and by this time Dr. Truong had arrived. Dr. Truong saw some clots she was concerned about and went in for a uterine sweep. She found some pieces of the placenta left and had to go back in 4 more times. Nicole was very brave and refused morphine even when offered several times because she didn’t want anything to interfere with here awareness as she bonded with her new baby. Once this was over the baby was placed on Nicole’s chest and before long breastfeeding was established.
I was so blessed to be a part of this beautiful birth. Nicole handled her contractions with amazing calm and focus. Chris was so supportive and was always ready with words of encouragement and even the occasional joke. Gianni Angelo Fortunato made a beautiful unmedicated entrance into the world and it was clear right from the start that he is very loved.
Tags: Back pain in pregnancy, birth, birth ball, Bradley Method, breathing, doula, dr treuong, dr. said, full term pregnancy, hospital, labor, Liza Janda, natural, natural birth, pain in labor, positive birth stories, prenatal yoga, relaxation in labor, unmedicated, www.yogajanda.com
Posted in Labor and Birth Advice, Natural Birth Stories |
A MUST-SEE BEFORE YOU GIVE BIRTH. Order Now!
The story of my third pregnancy is very unique, so let me start at the beginning. Four months after my son, Kaleb was born I started ovulating again. Same thing happened after the birth of my daughter. My husband, Mike and I decided to try natural family planning; although we were pretty sure we were done having children. One day, I realized that I was a couple days late in menstruating. I mentioned this to Mike. That night he did not sleep well because he kept wondering if I might be pregnant. (It is very unusual for me to be late; my cycle tends to run like clockwork.) The very next day, he purchased a pregnancy test. Prior to taking it, I really didn’t think I was pregnant. So next came the test…yep I was pregnant. Shock #1. It took me several days to let it all sink in. And it took me even longer to accept God’s plan for my life. I remember calling my friend Brooke just sobbing and then I felt guilty for sobbing.
See, I’m a person who needs to have control. Both my daughter, Hannah and my son, Kaleb were planned down to the day and it only took one try for us to conceive. I knew what worked best in my schedule and with my plans but now God had totally messed with everything. After several months, I was finally able to accept the new responsibility that God has placed in my life.
I also struggled with the aspect of being pregnant again so soon. After four months, I finally felt like I was getting back to normal. I was back to my original weight. I was getting back into my yoga practice. I was looking forward to a little more freedom and a little more sleep. I was also not mentally prepared to be pregnant again or to give birth again—it was still all too fresh in my mind from my son. Not that my experience with my son was bad but I just wanted to be “normal” for a little bit.
We did not tell our families for quite awhile because we were adjusting to the idea of a third child so soon ourselves. Our son would be only 14 months old when this baby would arrive. We finally told our family through a picture. Hannah drew a picture of our family and then she drew an extra person. I labeled them all and then put ??? next to the 5th person. Our family was totally shocked. Shock #2. When we started telling people they were shocked as well. Shock #3. I had several people say, “Aren’t you still breastfeeding?” And I would answer, “Yes, but you can still get pregnant.” I was amazed at how many people still think you can’t get pregnant if you are nursing. I nursed my daughter until she was about 14 months old. However, with my son I barely made it to 6 months. Nursing and being pregnant was draining my entire body, I physically could no longer do it. Another thing out of my control—not my plan.
My first 2 labors were really fast. One was 6 hours (Hannah’s birth story) and the second was 5 hours (Kaleb’s birth story). I had both of these births at Morning Star Birth Center in Menomonie, WI. I loved the care there, I loved my birth experiences; however, I really wanted to try a homebirth this time. Unfortunately, I lived outside Morning Star’s radius for homebirths. So that led me to search for a new midwife that would do a homebirth. This is when I came across Women Care from Winona, MN. Mike and I met with LeAnn and Brenda and decided this would be a perfect fit.
My entire pregnancy was very similar to my other ones. I didn’t experience any morning sickness, I was gaining the same amount of weight, and I didn’t have weird cravings. At my first prenatal, we noticed I was a little bit bigger than my projected number of weeks pregnant. However, I had only cycled twice prior to conceiving so we weren’t sure if I was on a 28, 29, 30, 31,or 32 day cycle. Therefore, my due date was always a little questionable. We finally settled on February 18th, 2011. LeAnn did discuss having an ultrasound done so we could more accurately nail down my due date. However, we have never had an ultrasound done with our children and didn’t feel the need to really nail down the due date. We felt that the baby would come when it would come. And, we felt that no matter what abnormality an ultrasound showed us that we would still love and care for this child the same way, so why get one done. Now this is an area of control I don’t struggle with. I didn’t need to know that everything was 100% ok and I didn’t need to know what the sex of the baby was either.
About week 36, I mentioned that I felt a lot bigger. My maternity clothes were no longer fitting so I was wearing Mike’s shirts. My fundal height was only 1 to 2 cm different than with my other kids. However, my circumference was a lot different. At 37 weeks, I measured my waist at 42 inches. I was 39 inches with my other two kids the day I went into labor (and with both of them I went 2 days overdue). Everyone just kept telling me that a person is bigger with their third pregnancy.
On the mornings of February 1st and 2nd, I started to have some irregular contractions. I only had sporadic contractions for a couple of hours in the morning on these days and then they would go away after lunch. I thought I was experiencing early labor, which I never experienced with my 1st two pregnancies. My girlfriend, Stephanie had experienced early labor for weeks with her third child. I emailed her and told her what I was experiencing. She said she would start praying for me now because early labor was very frustrating and exhausting for her.
On the morning of February 3rd, I had to teach a Fit City class (an exercise class for people 55 an older), I just prayed that I didn’t have contractions like the previous mornings. And interestingly enough, I did not. That evening, I had just gotten home from running some errands in town and was playing games with my daughter and husband when I had a couple of contractions—very similar to the ones I had the previous mornings. This was about 6:15pm. At 6:30pm, we were down stairs watching Wheel of Fortune and the contractions were coming on a regular basis but they weren’t very long. Mike asked if I was ok and I said yes. At 6:55pm, we decided to call LeAnn and let her know that I was having contractions. We decide to start timing the contractions and LeAnn said she would get back to us in a little while. The timing of the contractions was all over the board. Some contractions would only last 30 seconds and then the next would be over a minute and then they would be back down to 30 seconds. They were only a couple of minutes apart though.
Now, I need to set the stage for what is also happening during all of this. Both of our children were up and Kaleb was getting a little testy because he was tired. Our pellet stove had just gone out and Mike needed to clean it before he could start it again. Now this might not seem like a big deal but our bedroom is downstairs and often very cold. The pellet stove is essential to heating up our room and our bedroom is the room I planned to birth in. We also needed to start getting things ready for the homebirth if I really was in labor, which meant changing sheets and getting out our supplies.
At about 7:15pm Kaleb wanted me to cuddle him but I didn’t even want him around me. Mike decided to take him upstairs to bed. Normally he goes to bed at 8pm. Hannah kept asking me if I was ok and we just said “Momma might be having a baby tonight.” A few minutes after this Mike started stripping the bed, and I walked into our bedroom to help. I had few contractions while lying in bed; they seemed to be getting more intense but not necessarily longer than before. At 7:25pm, I told Mike to call LeAnn because she needed to be here. Immediately after this, I was standing up near our bed and had a huge contraction. During this contraction it almost felt like I needed to push (I think I did push a little) and my water broke. I was still wearing all my clothes and was afraid I was going to get the rug under our bed wet so I started to move off the rug. I told Mike I had to go to the bathroom, which is just a couple feet away from our bed. ( I didn’t mention to him that I felt like I had to push—because that just seems a little crazy.) I was just about to go to the restroom when I had another contraction. This time I stood up and said “Mike the baby is coming.” I reached down and felt the head and gently glided the baby out. Mike immediately grabbed a towel and the baby started to cry. He also got some blankets wrapped around me as I sat on the toilet. Because of the coolness of the bathroom he had to get our space heater and he cranked it up. Shock #4—I just delivered my baby all by myself.
Mike immediately got on the phone with LeAnn to find out what we should do. Now, we did have a sheet titled “What if your midwives don’t make it” but do you think either of us thought to look at the sheet—of course not. LeAnn said to keep the baby warm, skin to skin and just wait until someone got there. However, the baby’s umbilical cord was rather short and I couldn’t bring her up to my torso, so just blankets had to do. After a couple of minutes I said Mike, “I wonder what time the baby was born at.” (Thankfully to cell phone logs we were able to go back through the phone calls exchanged and find out the time of the baby’s birth—7:31pm. ) I sat on the toilet for what seemed like forever. Mike called LeAnn again to ask about the placenta. He wanted to know what he was suppose to do if I delivered it. She told him to catch it. During this call, I started to have a contraction and I stood up so Mike could get the placenta. However, when Mike felt it something didn’t seem right. And then came Shock #5—the biggest of them all. Mike was still on the phone (but by this time he had set it on the floor), “It is another baby.” So Mike delivered baby number 2. I sat back down on the toilet holding not one but now two babies who were wrapped in towels. Mike and I were just stunned. We had NO idea we were having twins. As I waited, I just had to call someone because NO one was going to believe this story. I called my mom. I basically said something like this, “Mom, I don’t have a lot of time. I went into labor. Our midwives didn’t make it so I delivered the baby. And then Mike delivered the second baby. We had twins. (She started crying.) I am not joking. I’m totally serious. Please call Mikes’ parents for us. We are all fine, we are just waiting for the midwives. We will call again soon.” Shock #6!!! A couple minutes later Mike started getting some texts from his dad.
Hannah was around during all of this. We can’t remember exactly what she was doing but she was around. We did ask her to get some towels for us, which she did. I also remember that when I was holding them she wanted to touch the babies but was afraid. We just assured her that she could touch them, which she did. At this point, I wasn’t even sure if they were boys or girls but Mike said they were both girls. Thank goodness one of them was a girl because Hannah wanted a sister so bad!
For about 10 minutes I just sat on the toilet with the babies. I couldn’t move anywhere until the placenta was out. This is when someone came into our house. We figured it was LeAnn but the strange thing was–the person was taking their sweet time. Mike finally went upstairs and noticed it was Erica,
the birth assistant. Mike finally said, “She is on the toilet downstairs” as she handed him her coffee. As Erica came into my view she stopped in her tracks. Shock # 7—she had no idea that I had delivered the baby myself and she didn’t know that I had delivered two babies. Our midwife had not been able to tell her prior to her arrival. Erica came into the bathroom and chatted with us awhile and made sure we were all ok, which we were. At about 8pm, I birthed the placenta and Erica caught it in a bowl. That is when we moved to the bed. We made sure that the girls didn’t get mixed up. Next, LeAnn showed up and was able to cut the umbilical cords. Upon cutting them, we discussed how we were going to tell them apart. Marker on the foot was discussed but then Erica mentioned painting one of their toenails, which is what we did. The girl with the painted toe ended up being Elsa Lynn Mroz, born at 7:31pm weighing 5 pounds, 10.5 ounces and was 18 3⁄4 inches long. The girl without the painted toe was….we weren’t sure, we didn’t have a second girl’s name. The only other name I liked was Ellianna, so we decided to go with that. Then they asked how we would spell it, I got a piece of paper and wrote out 4 different spellings and then Mike and I chose one. Next was the middle name, we had nothing. I told Mike it needed to be short and he said Ruth. Perfect, Ruth is my grandmother’s first name. So the girl without her toe painted was Ellianna Ruth born at 7:41pm weighing 5 pounds 13.5 ounces and was 19 inches long.
At one point during the exam of the babies, Hannah came downstairs with a grapefruit and said “I brought a grapefruit for the babies to eat.” It was so cute. She went to bed at about 9:15pm because she was getting a little too crazy and was a bit overtired.
I can’t remember when, but our second midwife showed up sometime. She came all the way from Iowa and was pulled over twice on that way to my house. She got off both times—they actually believed her story.
Ok, what story wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Facebook. At 8:20pm Mike posted the following on Facebook: “Here’s one for ya, Christina and I just delivered twins. All by ourselves in our bathroom downstairs. Two healthy girls, momma is great. She got the first one out and I got the second. UNREAL. What an experience. Thank You God for your help! Contractions at 6, twins at 7:30. More to come when things calm down.” Shock #8—telling other people our crazy story. He told me about the post and then said you will have to read the responses because they are pretty crazy. Some people thought we were joking and some people believed us. (I later learned some people called my parents to see if it was true and my best friend called her husband because she thought we might be joking but the husband totally believed we were telling the truth.)
Around 11pm, I had an herbal bath with both of the girls. My midwifery team commented that there was no clean up—which was very rare. But they did clean my bathroom and put a load of towels in the washer for us. At 11:45pm, our midwifery team all said good night and departed our house. Mike and I were now proud parents of not one but two baby girls.
My friend Megan left me a voicemail that said, “I think Jesus is smiling a little bit.” And she mentioned that it might have been a blessing that I didn’t know I was having twins. She was right on both accounts.
Yes, Jesus was smiling because he really is in control—not me. And yes, had I know I was having twins I probably would have thrown myself a huge pity party.
As I finish this really LONG story you probably have some questions.
How did we not know we were having twins? We never got an ultrasound to start. Second, we never noticed Ellianna. Elsa was the one the midwives always felt and the heartbeat we always heard. She was basically hiding Ellianna. Also, we discovered based on how they were born that both of the babies hands and feet faced my spine. Now it made total sense why I never felt little feet or hands like I did with my first two pregnancies. The only thing that was unusual was my waist circumference. I also had this weird lump right under my ribcage that we could never quite figure out but the midwives thought it was a knee. It was really the back of Ellianna’s head. (Both of my midwives had never misdiagnosed twins before.) I do remember looking at Elsa when she was first born and thinking she was tiny—Mike even said the same thing. No wonder I didn’t feel the “ring of fire”, like I had with my other two births. Also, I remember glancing at my belly once and thinking…boy it is still pretty rounded, I thought it would be more flat and squishy.
Were you scared? Not at all. I have never been afraid of birth. I’ve always known it is something I can do. The only time Mike and I were a little concerned was when Ellianna was first born she didn’t cry right away, but she did after about 30 seconds.
There really is not a way to end a story like this but to say…God is totally in control of my life—I totally got the message God! And, this is one heck of a story!
By Christina Mroz February 2011
Prepare for the Safest, Healthiest Birth for you Baby. Read Ina May's Guide To Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
Tags: baby, back pain in labor, Back pain in pregnancy, birth, birth ball, birth center, birth coach, Bradley coach, Bradley Method, breathing, Breathing in labor, childbirth, doula, emergency childbirth, first stage, full term pregnancy, home birth, hospital, hospital birth, Ina May Gaskin, labor, Liza Janda, midwife, natural, natural birth, newborn baby, pain in labor, positive birth stories, relaxation in labor, unmedicated, water birth
Posted in Labor and Birth Advice, Natural Birth Stories |
My contractions started on Sunday night after a long day with the family @ Sea World. Even though Garrett pushed me around in a wheelchair all day, I was still exhausted when we got home and started having contractions around midnight that were every 5-7 minutes apart. I woke up on Monday morning and the contractions had pretty much died down, maybe one an hour off and on throughout the day. This continued on until Wednesday afternoon when I had my prenatal appt. @ Dr. Cap's office. He checked me and I was 3 cm dialated and contracting about 4-6 times an hour. We discussed how I could start labor at any time but it may takes days or even weeks. We decided that he would just "stretch" my cervix a little bit and see if it helped moved things along. I was OK with this idea because it had been a long week already and I was VERY ready to get the whole thing going. Dr. Cap assured me that if the baby wasn't ready to come out, then the "stretching" wouldn't do anything, but if she was…. then we might have a baby soon By 9:00 that night, my contractions were getting stronger and more regular. I was able to download a contraction app. on my sister's I-phone (highly recommended!!!) and could soon tell that things were progressing along and that I was in the first stages of early labor. I was able to relax through them and began packing my bags and preparing the house for the baby's arrival. I tried to lay down and sleep from about 11-2 AM and was able to get some rest in between the tightening in my uterus. At around 2 AM I woke Garrett up and told him that I was definetely in labor and that we should probably get out all of our worksheets and handouts from class (which I had organized in a binder and put in the suitcase for the hospital). I was surprised at how well I was able to relax through each contraction and how minimal the pain was compared to what I thought it was gong to be. My doula and i texted back and forth all night and she offered to come over to help me but I was totally fine and told her I would call her when we felt it was time to go to the hospital. Now this is when it got a little tricky….. we kept going back and forth about when we should leave the house!!! The most helpful thing to us in making our decision was the hand out you gave us early on in the class that described the physical and emotional signs of true labor. Even though my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart, I was still talking, laughing, and was even able to braid my hair! We decided that we could probably hang out at home at least until I couldn't talk through the contractions so I hopped in the bathtub. I was probably in the tub for about an hour and Garrett was massaging my back when my water broke. Immediately after that, things definitely started to pick up and I could feel myself getting more serious and unable to form complete sentences! the contractions were getting stronger but I was still definitely able to handle them and relax through them by leaning over the counter and kind of squatting my legs (not sure if that's an official Bradley position but it worked for me!). We headed for the hospital around 6:00 AM and the car ride was NOT FUN! I ended up sitting backwards on the seat holding onto the headrest with a pillow under my rear end for support. You were right when you said that there is no way to be comfortable in the car! Every bump intensifies labor but my race car driver husband was able to get us there in no time and I made it through. By the time I got to the hospital, my doula was waiting out front for us to help us get our things and get checked into labor & delivery. She took one look at me and knew that we didn't have much time! I had 4 contractions on the way into the hospital and was cussing like a sailor in the hallways probably scaring all of the other patients. I have to say that the last hour was really the only part the threw me for a loop. The contractions were bearable but everything seemed to get much more intense in that last hour. I got into the delivery room and the nurse hooked me up to a few monitors while I sat on top of the bed on all fours. She checked me and I was already @ 9.5 cm! I have to admit, I still begged the nurse for an epidural My doula reminded me that I was in transition and that it is very common to doubt yourself at this point in the labor. I really didn't believe her but didn't get much of a chance to argue because it was time to push! The only problem with pushing was that my doctor wasn't there yet! I totally forgot to mention that in all of the time I was at home, I was in constant communication with my doula. I even let her know when we were in the car on our way to the hospital. We were about 10 minutes from the hospital when I realized that we forgot to call Dr. Cap. and let him know that we were on our way! Luckily for us, he lives less than 2 miles from Scripps Encinitas and came in just as I started to push. This was probably the scariest part of the whole labor for me because it was something my body was doing on it's own that I really seemed to have no control over. The only way I can describe it is that it is the most REAL LIFE feeling in the world! The intensity of the whole thing scared me and each time I had a contraction, I remember thinking how there was no way that I could do this! I guess I kept saying it out loud, because my doula kept reminding me that I was already doing it! My husband was amazing through the whole process and was such a great support. He held my hands, rubbed my back, and just kept telling me that I was doing a wonderful job and that the baby would be here soon. Garrett held my hands while I pushed little Brooklyn out into this world and it was the most amazing feeling in the world to hold my beautiful baby girl!!!! Thank you Liza for helping me change my whole birth experience 180 degrees!!! I will always be greatful for finding you and for the wonderful information you provided to help us make the right decision for our family
NEW YORK (AP) — One mother chose home birth because it was cheaper than going to a hospital. Another gave birth at home because she has multiple sclerosis and feared unnecessary medical intervention. And some choose home births after cesarean sections with their first babies. Whatever their motivation, all are among a striking trend: Home births increased 20 percent from 2004 to 2008, accounting for 28,357 of 4.2 million U.S. births, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released in May. White women led the drive, with 1 in 98 having babies at home in 2008, compared to 1 in 357 black women and 1 in 500 Hispanic women. Sherry Hopkins, a Las Vegas midwife, said the women whose home births she's attended include a pediatrician, an emergency room doctor and nurses. "We're definitely seeing well-educated and well-informed people who want to give birth at home," she said. Robbie Davis-Floyd, a medical anthropologist at the University of Texas at Austin and researcher on global trends in childbirth, obstetrics and midwifery, said "at first, in the 1970s, it was largely a hippie, countercultural thing to give birth outside of the hospital. Over the years, as the formerly 'lay' midwives have become far more sophisticated, so has their clientele." The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which certifies OB-GYNs, warns that home births can be unsafe, especially if the mother has high-risk conditions, if a birth attendant is inadequately trained and if there's no nearby hospital in case of emergency. Some doctors also question whether a "feminist machoism" is at play in wanting to give birth at home. But home birthers say they want to be free of drugs, fetal monitors, IVs and pressure to hurry their labor at the behest of doctors and hospitals. They prefer to labor in tubs of water or on hands and knees, walk around their living rooms or take comfort in their own beds, surrounded by loved ones as they listen to music or hypnosis recordings with the support of midwives and doulas. Some even go without midwives and rely on husbands or other non-professionals for support. Julie Jacobs, 38, of Baltimore, who has multiple sclerosis, said she "chose midwives and hypnosis because I wanted to surround myself with people who would support me as a birthing mother, rather than view me as an MS patient who would be a liability in need of interventions at every turn." Her first two children were born in a freestanding birth center operated by midwives. After the center closed, her third child was born at home in 2007. "If I had been in a hospital I probably would have had C-sections for all three," she said. "With the first, I would have been terrified to try a home birth. After the second one I was like, hey, I can't necessarily walk in a straight line, but I can do this." Some home birthers cite concerns over cesarean sections. The U.S. rate of C-sections in hospitals hovers around 32 percent, soaring up to 60 percent in some areas. In some cases, there's a "too posh to push" mentality of scheduled inductions for convenience sake (Victoria Beckham had three). Gina Crosley-Corcoran, a Chicago blogger and pre-law student, had a C-section with her first baby and chronicled nightmarish pressure from nurses and doctors to abandon a vaginal birth with her second. She followed up with a third child born at home in April. "I do think there's a backlash against what's happening in hospitals," she said. "Women are finding that the hospital experience wasn't a good one." In Portland, Ore., acupuncturist Becca Seitz gave birth to both her children at home, the first time in 2007 because she and her husband were without insurance. "It was never on my radar, until we couldn't afford otherwise," she said. "I'm granola, but not that granola. It cost us $3,300, as opposed to over $10,000 in a hospital." Her midwife was prepared with the drug Pitocin, oxygen and other medical equipment. "They were both born over the toilet," she said. "It was a nice position. It's a way that we're used to pushing." Dr. Joel Evans, the rare board-certified OB-GYN who supports home birth, said the medical establishment has become "resistant to change, resistant to dialogue, resistant to flexibility." "Women are now looking for alternatives where they can be treated as individuals, as opposed to being forced to comply with protocols, which however well meaning, have the impact of both medicalizing childbirth and increasing stress and anxiety around delivery," said Evans, founder and director of the Center for Women's Health in Stamford, Conn., and an assistant clinical professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. By some accounts, in 1900, 95 percent of U.S. births took place at home. That slipped to half by 1938 and less than 1 percent by 1955. Today, most midwife-attended births take place in hospitals in the U.S., and many midwives are licensed nurses. But there are also close to 1,700 midwives who practice outside of hospitals, said Davis-Floyd. In 27 states, so-called "lay" midwives who lack nurses' training but are licensed and certified as professional midwives can attend births legally. Some women chose home births after learning about it from TV shows or documentaries. The show-all "House of Babies" on Discovery Health Channel from 2005 to 2009 was filmed at a Miami birth center run by a midwife. Actress Ricki Lake screened her movie, "The Business of Being Born," around the United States in 2007 after giving birth at home to her second child. The film also showed Lake's filmmaking partner, Abby Epstein, documenting her own frantic taxi ride to a New York hospital after abandoning her home birth because the baby presented feet first, with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. Michael Robertson, 27, of Poulsbo, Wash., knew nothing about home birth before watching the TLC series. "I just really had my mind set on a water birth, like on the show," she said. "It looked so cool, so relaxing." She had two babies at home, but opted for a planned hospital delivery for her third child due to complications. She's glad she had the choice. "If you don't know your options, you don't know what's out there to begin with," she said. "I don't think an OB will say to you, 'Hey, did you know there was this thing called home birth.'" Most studies of home birth have been criticized as too small to accurately assess safety or distinguish between planned and unplanned deliveries, according to researchers Kenneth C. Johnson and Betty-Anne Daviss. In 2005, they published a study in the British Medical Journal based on nearly 5,500 home births involving certified professional midwives in the United States and Canada. The study, considered one of the largest for home births, showed 88 percent had positive outcomes, while 12 percent of the women were transferred to hospitals, including 9 percent for preventive reasons and 3 percent for emergencies. The study showed an infant mortality rate of 2 out of every 1,000 births, about the same as in hospitals at the time, Davis-Floyd said. "Women who are truly educated in evidence-based maternity care understand the safety and the multiple benefits of home birth," she said. Leanne Italie can be reached at http://twitter.com/litalie
Tags: Business of Being Born, drug-free, home birth, intervention, LC, medical, midwife, natural, Ricki Lake, risks of medication, safety of homebirth
Posted in Labor and Birth Advice, Natural Birth Stories, VBAC |
Here's our story… My water broke on Friday night at 10:45pm (just as I was falling asleep!). I didn't have any contractions except the Braxton-Hicks which I'd been having for several months. I called my doula, Jacqueline, who is also my best friend. She lives near Ventura and arrived at our house before 3am. I tried to go back to sleep but I was too excited. Curt was able to sleep some that night. I did not call my obgyn as nothing was happening yet (my water was clear and the flow slowed significantly) and I didn't want to go to the hospital too early…or have them scare me into going to the hospital! By early morning I still didn't have any contractions. We went to breakfast around 9 and I started to feel a few very mild contractions. We made it through the meal and came back home. My contractions slowly started to get stronger and by 11am I was in active labor. We timed my contractions with an app on Curt's iPhone. Having Curt and Jacqueline there as my support was a big help mentally. Physically I didn't require them to do much…very liitle massage and I used a heated neck pillow on my back for a short time. I started with a lot of deep breathing (bee breathing from yoga) and as time progressed it turned into low vocalizations with each contraction. I changed positions frequently and didn't really find one that was more comfortable than the other. By 2-ish we decided to go to the hospital as they were between 4 and 5 mins apart, over a minute long, for over an hour. We were checked in by 3pm and I was 7 cm dilated. I was already 100% effaced and started at 2cm dilated (found that out at the obgyn the previous day). An hour later I was 10cm and ready to start pushing. At 6:12pm our baby girl, Jaden Price Beyer was born…with one hand up by her head as she came out! Jaden was placed on my chest and I think I attempted to breastfeed but she was not hungry. By that time I was very tired from lack of sleep and pushing. And I was hungry! I didn't have any medication during the birth but they did give me pitocin to expel the placenta (which was not such a pleasant experience). As a side note, Scripps policy is to draw blood from the baby if s/he is delivered over 18 hours after the water breaks. I delivered 19 hours later and would have "modified" the time my water broke had I known this because they tried to draw blood from both of her arms unsuccessfully, then from her hand (where she still has a bruise) and also from her heel. It was torture to hear her cry so much! 24 hrs later she showed no signs of infection, but they kept us in the hospital a second night just to be sure. After a bout with jaundice (requiring round the clock phototherapy at home) and an aggressive feeding schedule to overcome a greater than 10% weight loss (and expel the bilirubin) we are starting to settle in a little bit more! Thank you, Liza, for giving us so much information about the birth process. I feel this helped me stay calm and push aside any anxiety I may otherwise have had! Tiana & Curt