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
Successful VBAC's can happen in 85% of women who had a previous Cesarean. I'd like to encourage women and couples to get as much education and re-education as they possibly can about childbirth and VBACs in general. There are some great resources for the support and information you will need for this momentous and joyous day to come. With the right support and effort you can do it. You won't get what you wish for, but you will often get what you work for!
Recommended books and DVD's for VBAC:
Here is Rachel and Nick's story:
Hi Liza, we had our baby! Last Saturday morning, two days before the due date. It was incredible!
I woke up at 2:45 in the morning feeling a very long contraction. When it ended I felt like my water may have broken. I took some notes on taco and began wandering around the house figuring out my contractions. They were all about one minute long and one to three minutes apart, mostly two minutes apart. They were manageable on my own so I let Nick sleep.
I kept watching for the emotional signposts because it was really important to me to stay home until the very end of first stage. After two hours I woke up Nick and asked him to help me. I called Dr. Cap and he just told me to go to the hospital when I felt it was time.
I started to think that I wanted to leave for the hospital before my daughter woke up so we called my parents and asked them to come help us get ready. I still did not feel like I was in transition or even late first stage. The most fabulous thing we discovered was when my back started to hurt, Nick tried the hip squeeze. Miraculously, doing the hip squeeze relieved both my back pain and cut the contraction pain in half. I don't know why, but it was an incredible trick. So he had to squeeze my hips for each contraction and then I'd let him leave for 30 seconds to go pack the car, then he has to come back to squeeze my hips again!
We hopped in the car just before seven. I had four or five contractions on the drive to scripps enc., but still felt pretty in control. I had a few contractions on the lobby floor while we checked into the hospital, but I quickly got a room and the nurse checked me. You are complete! she exclaimed, Don't push! Wow, those were the sweetest words I've ever heard!
Dr. Cap showed up shortly and told me to start pushing. It was a lot of work but not too bad and only lasted 45 minutes. I was on my back, tilted further back than I wanted, but Cap said that was best. As the baby came out, I reached down to take her. They told me to give one more push and she came out and I lifted her onto my chest! I just held her there for a while, and finally a nurse asked if it was a boy or girl. I never even thought to look or ask. Nick took a peek and found it was a girl! Total labor, start to finish: 5 1/2 hours.
Dr. Cap was a fantastic coach. He was so calm and gave me lots of guidance and encouragement. But I couldn't have done it without the encouragement that Nick was also giving me, telling me over and over how much progress I was making. That was the most helpful part, to know that I was actually getting closer each time.
Baby nursed right away! They never washed her and hardly took her from me at all. We did vit K but no eye drops.
So my birth plan was followed to the letter. The only thing that happened was I had to have the Pitocin IV after the placenta, due to excessive bleeding.
Looking back on it I couldn't really identify having gone through transition, I never felt like I couldn't handle it, but now I realize I was pretty irritable near the end as we rushed to get to the hospital, so maybe that was it!
We are at home now doing exclusive skin to skin, in bed all day, and it is beautiful. We named our baby girl Laurel Jane.
Thank you for all the support, education, and wise words as I prepared for that wonderful day.
Tags: baby, back pain, birth, Books for VBAC, Bradley Method, Cesarean section, Childbirth videos, Dr Capetenakis, DVD's for VBAC, labor and birth, Liza Janda, relaxation in labor, unmedicated, VBAC
Posted in Labor and Birth Advice, Natural Birth Stories, Uncategorized, VBAC |
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 |
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.
ADVICE FROM GINA:
Click here for your: 18 Remedy Homeopathic Childbirth Kit
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 |
"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 |
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 |
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 |
I started mild contractions on Wednesday. On Thursday the contractions were stronger and I had bloody show. We went to bed early that night and I woke up Friday morning, around 3:00 am to much stronger contractions and could no longer sleep. I putted around that morning, we dropped our son off at a friends house and headed down to UCSD in Hilcrest, mainly because we were unsure of how traffic would be. We stopped at the mall to walk around. When my contractions were 4 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute long, for about an hour, we called the hospital to let them know we'd be coming in. As soon as we got into the car, my contractions slowed to 8 minutes apart. So when we got to the hospital, we decided to wait before going in and walked around until they picked up again. We were ushered into triage and the midwife came in–she seemed pretty skeptical about my readiness–I was talking freely and just got quiet when I had a contraction. But I was 4 centimeters dilated and fully effaced. They told me to walk around the hospital for 2 hours before coming back to be admitted.
After walking around for an hour, my demeanor completely changed. I couldn't really walk through a contraction anymore and could not help myself from making a guttural moaning/groaning noise while hanging off of Ryan and swaying. After doing this for an hour, we headed up to the labor and delivery floor. I burst into tears–I'm not sure why–it wasn't because of the pain, but perhaps the whole emotional-ness intensity of it all.
In triage they discovered I was 8 centimeters dilated and progressing quickly (the walking made a major difference, I think). They sent me to my delivery room at 3:15 pm and at 4:44 pm Ingrid was out in the world.
They wanted the continuous fetal monitor on me the whole time, so I stayed on the bed, but I kind of made my "nest" there and didn't want to leave the bed anyway. I found being on all fours to be the only position I could tolerate, but I kept arching my back the wrong way (opposite of a C)–for some reason it was hard for me to round it out. We finally brought the birthing ball up on the bed and I was able to round my body out on the ball–which was a HUGE help and I birthed the baby that way.
I thought pushing was by far the hardest part. Transition was intense and I was certainly making animal noises and half crying through that time, but pushing was the time when I thought I was going to give up. There were a few times where I just didn't push through a contraction because I needed to gather myself together and take everything. But finally I resolved to do it and pushed Ingrid out. Pushing lasted for, at most, 30 minutes. I had no tears, no stitches, no episiotomy. They brought Ingrid to me right away, allowed the cord to finish pulsing before clamping and cutting, and I nursed right away.
All the nurses were impressed with the birth; which was nice. We're thrilled to have our little girl in the world. She was born 6 lbs 9 oz, and 18.5 inches. Her APGAR scores were really high and we were discharged from the hospital less than 24 hours later.
Tags: baby, back pain, Back pain in pregnancy, birth, birth ball, birth center, Bradley Method, breathing, C-section, Cesarean section, first stage, full term pregnancy, hospital, in labor, midwife, natural birth, natural childbirth, pain in labor, pushing, relaxation in labor, second stage, UCSD, UCSD birth center, unmedicated, VBAC, yoga
Posted in VBAC |
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 |
November 6, 2008 Dear Benjamin Christopher, On the morning of your birth, God was opening heaven for your arrival. On the car ride to the hospital at 6:15am, we witnessed a thunder and lightening storm. Lightening bolts with definable cracks of electricity were seen along the eastern hills that divide San Marcos from the inland areas of north San Diego County. There were thunderclouds high above that were illuminated with the first rays of morning sun. In the distance we could see that one of the clouds had broken open and warm filtered rain and light were pouring down to the earth marking the direction of our destination to where we would first meet you. As we proceeded to Escondido the sky grew darker and in Rancho Bernardo we drove through our first rain of the season. The drops from the sky fell hard and with determined purpose. The night before your birth we had a home visit from our doula, Trisha Olow. She was there to give your mommy a relaxing foot massage and work on some pressure points to naturally facilitate the onset of my labor. Based on my description of some mild cramping I’d been experiencing on and off since earlier that morning, Trisha told us she thought you were already on your way, even though your official due date was still five days away. I had also had several bowl movements and noticed a slight pink tint to my discharge that day, which were both uncharacteristic occurrences from the previous 39 weeks. Because of these signs, Trisha said she didn’t want to stimulate the pressure points too hard because she wanted you to make your decent in your own time. That night I went to bed at 10:30pm and instantly started to feel light cramping again. Your daddy, Chris, was sleeping in the guest room to give me space to move about, but by 2:00am I woke him because the cramps had turned into stronger contractions and I needed his comfort and assistance in timing them. I took a warm soothing bath and labored with you in the water for a time, envisioning what it would be like to labor in the bathtub once I arrived at the hospital. By 5:00am we called Trisha to seek her advice. My contractions were coming very close together but there was little consistency to the duration of each one. While on the phone with her, I had to stop talking as I felt the onset of each contraction. Then Daddy called Dr. Eastman and she told us to head to the hospital. In preparation I sat on the exercise ball in the loft for a long time staring at a cookbook on the bookshelf entitled, “30 Minute Italian.” The first two words on the spine were printed in red and the combination of the color and the suggestion of just getting through the next 30 minutes had me very focused. I remember letting myself relax in that state of mind, unhurried, for fear that I’d arrive at the hospital and get sent back home for lack of dilation. I knew I’d rather labor as long as I could at home before sitting in the car or feeling confined to a sterile unfamiliar room. As it was, it took me over an hour to move my body and last-minute necessities downstairs and out to the car. On the way out I stopped at the bathroom and threw up (clear and watery), which gave me immediate relief. Meanwhile Daddy secured the house and called Grandpa Al to ask him to pick up Jasmine and Vivien later that morning. When we arrived at Pomerado hospital in Poway at 7:05am, my cervix was already 6-7 centimeters dilated, and 80% effaced. The knowledge of this wonderful progress inspired me to keep laboring without any pain medication. Trisha arrived then too and worked to help situate and make me comfortable. I remember noticing that the room we were assigned to didn’t have a bathtub. I asked my nurse about it explaining that I had hoped to take a bath. The staff quickly shuffled me to the room next door. From that window I could see red tiled roofs in the distance. Not surprisingly, during the entire ride to the hospital I focused on the red taillights of the cars in front of us. The color red was still mesmerizing, soothing and a good distraction from the pain I was feeling. The red roofs were a welcome focal point and reminded me of being home earlier that morning. Within a few minutes I saw that the storm clouds had lifted, revealing the misty morning sun, and just to the edge of my peripheral vision I saw a rainbow! Rainbows have always given me a sense of well-being and a close connection with God. On this important day, He sent one to the earth as a sign to me that you were on your way, that you would be very special, and that we would all be okay because He was with us. For the next couple of hours I labored in our room. I wanted to take a bath, and as Trisha began filling the tub, the jets malfunctioned and made a distracting and loud noise. The nurses were running around trying to fix it and said they might need to get a maintenance man to come turn them off. I was dreading the idea of having a man other than your dad in the room at that point. The next thing I remember was Daddy crouching on the floor with a wrench and screwdriver taking the panel door off the bathtub and manually overriding the jet switch! He is really a handy guy, even through the stress of his wife’s labor! As you grow up I hope that you too will learn about the way things work. (Your daddy will be the best teacher!) So I took my bath and Daddy and Trisha poured warm water down my back for a long time, which helped with the low back pain I was feeling. I was very thirsty and drank water between each contraction. I remember feeling alternately hot then cold in the tub, but when I felt I’d had enough, I got out and continued through the hardest part of my contractions between a standing and squatting position on the floor. At the peek of each contraction I leaned forward on Daddy’s legs and squeezed him hard. By then I’m sure his back was hurting, but just by standing strong he helped me through the transition phase. Trisha noted that my yoga classes paid off, as she’d never seen anyone successfully labor in a squatting position before. However, I don’t think I was handling myself too gracefully because I remember screaming out in pain and begging for pain medication. However, Trisha kept reminding me that I was “about to have this baby, and there was no longer time for medication.” A few weeks before the delivery, Daddy and I came up with a secret code phrase, “Sand Dune,” which we agreed would be a sign to him that I had truly reached my limits, no matter what anyone else suggested. However, during this challenging time of birthing, the words never once even entered my mind, I think because I was so focused on the job set before me. By 10:30am I was put in bed while the nurses converted it to the labor platform. Dr. Eastman and the nursing staff were present, and finally they said it was time to push! After about 30 minutes the doctor said my cervix had swollen and that I needed to stop pushing to allow more time for it to fully dilate. Looking back now, I recall liking the pushing stage of labor because I was actively assisting you to move down the birth canal. I felt that I had some control and I knew you were almost here! You first came into this world at 11:58 am on September 29, 2008. When they put you on my chest I breathed a sigh of relief, for I had just overcome a few major fears in my life. The best part was the reward at the end-sweet little you, whom I was not expecting to be so beautiful, and you immediately captured my heart. It was the conclusion of a very important journey for me (pregnancy), and the beginning of our new life with you. From that moment on I knew things would be different, but I was ready to face the challenges and the times of joy with you in my arms. You will always be the love of your mommy and daddy’s lives, and we will protect and care for you as long as we live (and hopefully beyond). Thank you for blessing us with your arrival. Love always, Your mom, Alexis
Tags: baby, Back pain in pregnancy, beautiful, birth, birth ball, birth center, birth coach, Bradley birth, Bradley Method, breathing, delivery, doula, full term pregnancy, hospital, labor, Liza Janda, midwife, natural birth, natural childbirth, pain in labor, poses for pregnancy, positive birth stories, positive birth story, prenatal yoga, relaxation in labor, www.yogajanda.com, Yoga Janda
Posted in Natural Birth Stories |