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
Below is another natural birth story with some valuable opportunities to point out lots of things Michelle did right that helped her achieve the natural birth that she wanted.
I want to thank you so much for the great Prenatal Yoga class that you offer at Babies In Bloom. I took your Wednesday and Saturday classes to help with my varicose veins in my left leg, and consequently, I also found out how much I enjoyed yoga and all of its benefits. I had pressure and pain in my leg due to my pregnancy related varicose veins, until I discovered your prenatal yoga class.
I felt improvement after the first class that I took and the pain went away after the second week of classes. There was one week that I had to miss two consecutive classes and I could feel the pain and pressure in my leg come back due to being on my feet all day at work and missing those classes. It was really amazing how the stretches and breathing practices helped my circulation.
Your prenatal yoga classes definitely helped me with the actual natural birth of my daughter, as well. I used your breathing techniques to ease and get through my contractions, your helpful natural birthing advice gave me knowledge and confidence to reach my final goal of a natural birth. And your pregnancy-catered yoga positions gave me the strength in my legs to squat during the actual birth. We had an amazing birthing experience with the help of you, Dr. Nick Capetanakis and the Scripps Memorial Encinitas staff!
Liza- Prenatal Yoga allows expectant mothers to relax and explore their emotional selves. By getting in touch with our emotional selves in preparation for labor and birth, we can learn how to view pregnancy and birth in a less factual or rational way. It opens the door to the idea or concept of trusting their bodies to not only grow their babies but also to birth their babies. Give my free 25 minute yoga class a try. The physical benefits are a nice bonus too.
Here is a short version of my birth story… I woke up at 2:30am with menstrual-like cramps and the contractions progressed from there. We labored at home as long as possible and we checked into the hospital at 8am.
Liza-Dr. Sarah Buckley says a laboring woman needs three things to progress in labor. She needs to be in a private place, like home, where she feels safe, and she is unobserved, yet supported. As you’ll read in the next sentence, Michelle was able to relax at home and let her body open up so she could birth her baby girl.
Dr. Cap was already there and checked my dilation right away. I was 9cm and he broke my water while checking. The nurses grabbed a squat bar for the table and I had our baby girl exactly eleven minutes after checking into the facility!! I barely had to push, since gravity and the natural contractions guided her out. Dr. Cap was amazing and coached me through that final pushing stage. He helped me to slow down and massaged me with mineral oil so that I would not tear like I did during my first labor. I only had one tiny minor tear that healed within a couple of days. Dr. Cap was patient and let my husband, Jeff, catch our daughter and hand her to me right away.
Liza-What a thrill and honor for a father to be able to “catch” his own child, and be the first person to hold her…He did not have Jeff cut the umbilical cord until my placenta was out and the nurses let me hold and bond with our daughter for a couple of hours until they finally took her vitals in our labor room. It was amazing!
Here is a picture of Anna Mary Raiatea Logandro (I mentioned to you that we were going to give our daughter a Tahitian middle name…we gave her “Raiatea” because of its significance to us. Jeff and I went to Raiatea on our Honeymoon and my friend, Riya (“Raia”), introduced us on a blind date.). Anna was born on April 26th at 8:11am. She weighed 8lbs 2oz and was 18-1/2″ long.
1.I’m already in my third trimester of pregnancy, Is it too late to start doing prenatal yoga?
No it’s not too late to start! Actually studies have been done that show that women who practiced yoga three times a week in their last 10 weeks of pregnancy had shorter labors and experienced less labor pain.
Kneel on the floor. Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then separate your knees about as wide as your hips. Exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs. Broaden your sacrum across the back of your pelvis and narrow your hip points toward the navel, so that they nestle down onto the inner thighs. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of the pelvis while you lift the base of your skull away from the back of your neck. Lay your hands on the floor alongside your torso, palms up, and release the fronts of your shoulders toward the floor. Feel how the weight of the front shoulders pulls the shoulder blades wide across your back.
3. I have some pretty bad heartburn, so forward folds and downward dog are probably out of the question. Are there any solutions?
A lot of my students suffer from heartburn. And there are quite a few solutions to this problem. A couple of students have tried these:
· Chew on Papaya Tablets before and sometimes during class
· Take Digestive Enzymes before each meal and before yoga class
· Stir 1 tsp of baking soda into 6 oz. of water and drink quickly
· Raw almonds eaten throughout the day helps to reduce stomach acid
· Fresh pineapple or papaya help digestion
· Chew gum
· During yoga use the wall for Downward dog so that your head and shoulders never are lower than your belly
· Place your hands on a block in any forward fold so you also keep your head an shoulders above your belly and get the hamstring stretch you’re looking for. TopBrandVitamins Offers Free Shipping on Orders Over $49. Products are herbal and do not contain prescription ingredients. Recommended digestive enzyme brands are "Source Naturals" or "Dr.'s Best"
4. I am overweight and haven’t exercised much during my pregnancy. Can I still practice prenatal yoga?
You might want to try a Prenatal Yoga Video. There are a couple of great ones at www.yogadownload.com:
. You can try my 25 minute free video to start with and see how you do and how you feel. My on-site classes are fairly active and we do focus on exercises and poses to help with back pain. So if you’re out of shape and overweight, a video is a great way to start. After the baby you can give the Mommy & Me Yoga classes a try! They are really fun.
OUCH! You got through the first trimester nausea and you were finally feeling better, but now, oh the pain! That pain comes from the sciatic nerve getting compressed by inflammation in the body, or the weight of the baby in the uterus. Whatever the cause, the result is some pretty severe discomfort for a pregnant mama.
Here Are 10 Tips To Help You Get More Comfortable in Pregnancy
1. Add turmeric to your diet: You can boil it with dairy milk or coconut milk. Get some turmeric root, cut off a half inch piece, and heat it up with about a cup of milk until it turns yellowish. Let it cool a bit before you drink it. You can sweeten it to taste using some raw honey or good maple syrup.
2. Ginger is another root that helps reduce inflammation around the sciatic nerve. You can slice off thin pieces from a root and eat it. It can be a bit spicy but very yummy. Or you can get ginger supplements at any health food store. Ginger helps with nausea in pregnancy too.
3. Adding Omega 3 fatty acids to your diet is important for brain development in your baby, and lowers inflammation in your pregnant body. My favorite is “Carlson’s Lightly Lemon.” No burping up fish taste later!
4. Try taking baths in Epsom salts. Use about 2-3 LBS. of the Epsom salts. A standard size box from the store is 4LBS. so you need a lot. Make sure you’ve got a nice big glass of cool water close by. And make the tub nice and warm. Be extra careful not to overheat. If your heart rate rises or your skin is very pink, it may be too hot. You just don’t want your core temperature to get too hot without being able to cool yourself.
5. Alternate the warm water baths with 10 minutes of ice right on the sciatic nerve area.
6. Drinking water with 2 TBS. of fresh lemon juice can help make your body more alkaline and reduce inflammation in general. It helps flush the kidneys too.
7. Hypericum is a homeopathic remedy, great for shooting pains, irritation from spinal areas, and injuries to nerves. Take a 30c 2 pellets up to 3 times a day for 3 days when sciatic pain flares. Don’t take it for long periods of time though.
8. Acupuncture can relieve symptoms and pain of sciatica in pregnancy in most women.
9. Prenatal yoga practiced regularly can help stall the onset or alleviate the severity of sciatica and low back pain in pregnancy. Online, Yoga Download has some great video classes you can do at home.
10. Drink water with 1-2 TBS of unfiltered apple cider vinegar sweetened with raw honey up to three times a day. Cleanse your body, reduce inflammation, and improve your immune system.
Hang in there pregnant mama! You’ll be feeling better soon and will be able to enjoy the rest of your pregnancy.
For your free “Healthy Birth Booklet-6 Steps to a Safer Birth” filled with six simple steps that support and guide your decisions before and during labor to have a safer and healthier birth—for both you and your baby, visit the link below.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader should contact a licensed medical professional regarding their own condition.
Liza Janda, AAHCC, E-RPPYT, E-RYT 200
Although you'll find yoga studios in San Marcos who say they have prenatal yoga, you won't find it on their schedules. But you will find Prenatal Yoga with Yoga Janda right off the 78 at Babies In Bloom, 1988 Hacienda Drive next to David's Bridal.
We are easy to get to-only 12 minutes from downtown San Marcos, 11 minutes from downtown Oceanside, and have convenient times. Babies In Bloom is easy to get to from San Marcos, Oceanside, Escondido, and Carlsbad. We are right off the 78 between Plaza and Emerald.
If you can't make it to class, you can still practice at home with these recommended classes from Yoga Download:
Tags: back pain, Back pain in pregnancy, birthing, pain in labor, pregnancy, pregnant, prenatal yoga, Rancho Bernardo, relaxation in labor, San Marcos, Vista, www.yogajanda.com, yoga
Posted in Backache in Pregnancy, Yoga and Pregnancy |
Have you been looking for Prenatal Yoga in Carlsbad? Different studios say they have it but it's not on their schedule. You won't find any prenatal yoga classes in Carlsbad, but you will find us only 6 miles from downtown Carlsbad. Our prenatal yoga classes are centrally located, right off the 78 at Babies In Bloom. Check our schedule now! Or PRACTICE AT HOME OR ANYWHERE:
"Each class was for me a time to become more intimately acquainted with my son. It forced me to slow down for that hour and really think about my relationship with him. I visualized giving birth,holding him and spending the rest of my life with him. It made me feel better about myself as a mother-to-be."Maria T, Carlsbad, CA
One study proved that practicing yoga can help expectant mothers’ experience a healthier pregnancy: “Occurrence of complications of pregnancy (pregnancy-induced hypertension, intrauterine growth retardation, pre-term delivery) shows lower trends in yoga group.”1
Why suffer, when you can actually enjoy your pregnancy? Nancy B. from Poway, CA says, “I have loved your class and look forward to it every week. You have been such a joy for me and have really helped me enjoy…no love, this pregnancy.THANK YOU!" Erin N. from Escondido said, “Prenatal yoga made me feel physically and emotionally strong. I felt such a strong bond with my baby during and after every class."
Or on the Classes and Events Page at www.pph.org
Or on the Classes and Events Page at www.pph.org
1.Research on Benefits of Yoga in Pregnancy
Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (sVYASA), Bangalore 560019.
PMID: 16008324 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Jun;11(3):459-64.
Tags: Babies In Bloom, back ache in pregnancy, CA, CA San Marcos, Ca Vista, Carlsbad, expectant mothers, healthy baby, healthy pregnancy, labor, laboring mother, lamaze, low back pain, pain, Pomerado Hospital, Poway, pregnancy, pregnant, prenatal yoga, prenatal yoga classes, relaxation in labor, sciatica in pregnancy, strengthening back and belly, stretching back, www.yogajanda.com, Yoga Janda
Posted in Backache in Pregnancy, Yoga and Pregnancy |
The human body generates its own heat and maintaining a normal body temperature is very important to the normal processes and metabolic processes that our body performs to keep us healthy.
The hot humid environment of Bikram yoga or hot yoga can present a significant risk to any exerciser and the risks rise even higher for pregnant women. Even if you are used to practicing in the heated room when you are not pregnant, it is very important that your body is able to cool itself and regulate a normal body temperature. The heat of a hot yoga room doesn’t allow one’s body to regulate temperature.
There are significant health concerns for the expectant mother and her growing baby:
2. An inability to cool the body
3. Elevation of the core body temperature-hyperthermia, causing fetal stress
4. Decreased blood volume caused by dehydration-less blood supply can cause less oxygen to the uterus and to the baby
5. Enhanced flexibility from the heat and the hormone Relaxin increase chances of injury from over-stretching
6. Contra-indicated poses like lying on the belly or supine-lying on the back
7. Overheating has been shown to cause neural tube defects.
Practicing yoga during pregnancy has been proven to be beneficial to both mom and baby, so make sure you practice in a safe and cool environment. Find a class and a teacher who specializes in prenatal yoga and has training in prenatal yoga. Try Yoga Alliance to find a Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher. You can also practice at home. But before you start any new exercise program be sure to check with your health care provider and get the OK to practice.
Prenatal Yoga in San Diego:
Are you from Vista, Carlsbad, San Marcos, Oceanside? Prenatal Yoga classes twice a week at Babies In Bloom 1988 Hacienda Drive, Vista, CA 92081
Live in Escondido, Poway, Rancho Bernardo? Prenatal Yoga at Pomerado Hospital 15611 Pomerado Road, Poway, CA 92064
This article is not meant to be a prescription for your particular condition. You should consult with your care provider first.
Tags: baby, Back pain in pregnancy, Bikram yoga, Bikram yoga pregnant, Carlsbad, contra-indicated, dangerous, exercise during pregnancy, fetus, guidelines, heat, hormones, hot yoga and pregnancy, hot yoga safe, miscarriage, Oceanside, prenatal yoga, preterm labor, San Marcos, Vista, Yoga Alliance
Posted in Yoga and Pregnancy |
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 |
My True Loves
My husband, Demian, and I met 10 years ago and he quickly became the love of my life. When we found out we were pregnant, I knew our love would only grow for our little one. Many mothers told me to get prepared to meet true love upon meeting your child, a sentiment that brought me close to tears while pregnant as I dreamed of our little girl. I didn’t realize then that our birth journey would not only introduce our daughter into our lives but intensify the true love I felt for my husband.
I knew that I wanted to give natural child birth a long time ago and also knew I couldn’t do it alone. After taking prenatal yoga classes with Liza and reading about the Bradley method, her Bradley class seemed perfect! Demian and I would gain information on natural childbirth and become our own advocates while not feeling pressure or blame if it didn’t go that way. Also, Demian really wanted to be “my person”, the one who would help me through the birth of our child.
From prenatal yoga, I was able to better center myself during pregnancy. Liza’s classes helped me wipe away the worry that I found to accompany the medical model’s view of pregnancy. Weekly classes helped me focus on taking care of myself, listening to my inner voice and calmed me throughout the week. I was very ready to start the Bradley classes as we approached 32 weeks of pregnancy and they were great. At times we struggled to keep up with the reading J and I worried about being ready, while Demian reassured me that “we’ve got this”. Looking back, man did they prepare us.
On the eve of my 38th week of pregnancy (with two Bradley classes left to go), I started having contractions at 12:30 am. I rested and watched the clock and for the first hour I had one every ten minutes. I let Demian sleep (I’m glad they specifically told us to do this in class otherwise I would have woken him up!) and I went to walk the house and get something to eat/drink to see if they would continue. The second hour the contractions were one every six minutes. As my labor progressed, I felt a sense of calm and that my body knew what to do and our little girl did too. At 3:00 am I could no longer time the contractions myself. I woke Demian up, he quickly sat up and said, “What do I do?” to which I responded, “Take a minute, breath and wake up,” and then he was ready! He started to time my contractions, they were about 5 minutes apart. I was still very talkative, upgrading my Pandora (highly recommend Spa Radio without commercials), reading about different relaxation positions we could try, etc. Demian ran back and forth between pushing on my hips and timing my contractions to packing the bag, printing the birth plan, making the bed (a great idea for when we came home), etc. At around 5:30 am my contractions were between 4 and 5 minutes apart so I decided I wanted to take a shower before we left for the hospital. I never really hit the serious emotional marker we were waiting for and we really didn’t want to be turned away at the hospital. The shower is where it really picked up. I was able to stand for one contraction and then immediately went to my hands and knees and my low moans turned into guttural screams. Realizing it was time to go, Demian threw everything in the car amidst my proclamations of not wanting to leave and we could just have the baby at home (oops – probably should have left by now). I had a brief moment of clarity in which I said, “We REALLY need to go!” To which Demian responded, “I know babe, let’s go.” Working between contractions (which were now about 2-3 minutes apart), he got me out of the shower, dressed and leaning over the front passenger seat – no way was I sitting upright.
We drove from Oceanside to Sharp Mary Birch, felt like a long ride but Demian kept talking me through one contraction at a time and reassuring me along the way. We arrived to the hospital around 7:30 am and left the car in the emergency round about (it would stay there until our friend moved it two hours later). The nurse in triage examined me and said, “You are at 10 centimeters, wait let me check again, yes 10 centimeters,” and I asked, “ Can I push?!” and she said, “No, no, let us get you a room.” It was at that moment when they started to wheel us up to labor and delivery that I recognized my intense connection to Demian. It was the first time I felt like I couldn’t touch him easily enough so of course I yelled for him to be at my side (a little squished in the elevator) and he took my hand the whole way. It was then that I knew I couldn’t be without this man, in this moment, in this place. Having always been in control and independent, I knew it would be difficult to not feel in control during labor. But what I found was that I could now wholeheartedly trust Demian to take care of me and advocate for the three of us – he knew what to do and was doing it even before I recognized it.
Our labor and delivery nurse was awesome, we told her we wanted an unmedicated birth and she supported us 100% (of course we left everything in the car so the birth plan was not with us J). My water hadn’t broken and when the OB wanted to break it to help things progress, I said no. I just knew I didn’t need to progress any faster and didn’t want any intervention. The nurse reassured me that this was a good decision as even though the pushing would take longer (as it was creating a balloon type effect), it would help me tear less as the baby eased down and out. As each contraction came on, I was cheek to cheek with my arms around the shoulders of Demian on one side and the nurse on the other. After about 2 hours and a good 10 sets of pushes (I had about 6 minutes in between to rest and occasionally drift off to sleep), Rowen, our little girl, was born at 10:16 am. She was placed immediately on my chest. As I reveled in her beauty, I was overcome with love as I looked from her to Demian.
I was so proud of us, we did it and we were on the same page the whole time, I never felt a sliver of doubt or fear or anxiety. I can honestly say that the “pain” I felt was not as bad as I thought it would be and I attribute this to our learning how to relax and having both Demian and I in tune with what I needed during each contraction. The other thing I was impressed by was the different sensations I felt throughout labor, the beginning contractions were different than those in transition which were completely different from the urges and power I felt during second stage.
But most of all, I was grateful for the birthing preparation we had gone through in Liza’s classes. We were so well prepared that we both knew what to do when the contractions started. It helped us be on the same page and as Dr. Bradley said, only intensified the relationship I have with Demian. I can’t imagine not looking into Demian’s eyes after Rowen was born and feeling the gratitude, love and appreciation of the man I married. It is a beautiful thing to be able to rely on your husband so entirely that he becomes the one and only in the wondrous moments of having the child you share together. I can’t think of a better way to start the journey of parenthood, falling even deeper in love with your partner and starting a new beautiful shared love of your child. Labor and Birth Advice from Mom & Dad:
Tags: advice for labor, advocates, amniotomy, anxiety, baby, Back pain in pregnancy, beautiful, beauty, birth center, birth coach, Bradley classes, confidence, Cynthia Gabriel, doctor, fear, first stage, Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, inner voice, labor and delivery nurse, Liza Janda, medical model, mothers, natural birth, natural hospital birth, pain, Posh Push, pregnancy, prenatal yoga, proud, sensations, sleep, stay home in labor, transition, true love, trust, Unbound Birth, Yoga Janda
Posted in Labor and Birth Advice, Natural Birth Stories |
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
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