Mothering Forum banner

Birth Stories *ONLY*

5989 Views 19 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  KariM
August Mommas ~ Please share your birth stories here!

*Please share your congrats with the new mom on the congrats thread*
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
My water broke at 7 pm on Sunday and after a couple hours I decided to go in. I wasn't contracting and I felt like she was transverse (she was).

We showed up and within a couple hours we were in the operating room. The whole spinal thing was horrifying. He kept putting the needle in and it would cause electric shocks to run down my legs and he kept saying "Whoops, wrong nerve, let's try again." And after 7 tries of that, I was NOT cool with him digging around my spine. So I *demanded* general anesthesia, and I'm SO thankful I did. Just not
worth it to risk permanent spinal trauma, kwim?

Keith had to be outside the room, but he held her really quickly afterwards and then we got her in our room 3 hours later.

She was born at 11:26 p.m. Sunday night. My blood pressure was fine the whole time

Cloth diapering at the hospital was great. The nurses all loved the diapers and were fascinated with them. And they held in her explosive poops wonderfully I have TONS of pics to upload.

She's a doll and Libby is delighted. She loves to find the baby's eyes, nose, ears, mouth, etc..

We'll upload more pics after I get a nap and some food!! and click on Katie is here for more
See less See more
On July 27th as I was putting my son to sleep I could hear loud thunder outside. A storm was just hitting. After he was asleep I went to the computer to mess around. I was reading the latest birth story on the UC thread, and the storm was picking up outside, when suddenly, GUSH! I couldn't believe it. After soaking several more pairs of underwear, even through pads, and soaking through 2 prefold folded in half that I was sitting on, I decided my water must be broken
I called my parents and my doula, and then waited...

We did some cleaning. I did the dishes, ect. Some contractions, but nothing really seeming to happen. After a while I layed down and slept for an hour or so. When I woke up and realized that I was still not in labor I got worried (It was around 2 am and my water broke around 8:30 pm). I spent the rest of the night try to get labor going by walking up and down the street, bouncing on a ball, ect. Walking would bring contractions, but they would stop when I stopped walking.

After I hit 12 hours post I knew there was a problem. I was so worried to end up on pitocin, but decided I needed to see the doctor, at least to find out if anything was happening. So my DH, DS, doula, and I all went to the doctors with bags packed. I found out I had only had a change of about 1/2 cm, but found out why. My tear was a high tear that was not causing me to go into labor, but since it was still leaking it was an infection risk. So we went to the hospital and walked trying to get things going.

By 1:30pm I was still not in labor. My OB of course wanted to do pitocin, but I refused and instead the rest of my membranes were ruptured. This did the trick and finally got labor started. My doula and kept walking and things started going fast. We went back to the room. I tried the birth ball but it wasn't doing it for me. Then I got in the shower and that was wonderful. As it got more intense I squatted, and later got on hands and knees through the contractions as my doula sprayed the water on where it hurt the most (in the front of my pelvis). Then I labored on the toilet for the rest of the time.

3 and 1/2 hours after the rest of my waters were broken I suddenly realized I was pushing. As soon as I pushed I felt her head come sliding down very quickly. I yelled that she was coming and ran out of the bathroom for the bed. The nurse had my doula push the emergency staff call button and a bunch of nurses rushed in. Sara was born very quickly in two contractions which took 5 or 6 minutes. The nurse caught her since the doctor didn't have time to make it. In fact they didn't have time to do anything. The end of the bed was never taken off. They were trying to put chux under us and put on gloves as Sara was coming out.

It really was a wonderful labor. My nurse was absolutely wonderful and encouraging. My doula was an absolute gift. My husband was so happy and proud of me, and is so in love with his new daughter. My son did wonderful through it all.

I had a lot blood loss so was given some pitocin in an IV afterwards to help clamp down my uterus. I feel wonderful now, though. No pain at all. I did have a 1st degree tear, but she came so quickly it could have been worse. She nursed right away like a champ. She is such a great nurser, in fact, that my milk started coming in 24 hours after her birth. She is a wonderful sleeper
I am so in love with her.

I am just so thankful with how things turned out. If I didn't have the knowledge I do, and the support of my doula and husband, I know I could have had a much different birth story and could be feeling much worse right now. Instead I feel wonderful, strong, and loving every moment with my brand new baby girl.

BTW, I mentioned the storm b/c the hospital was full of women whose water broke during the storm. They said it was a barometric pressure change thing. So ladies, watch those weather reports
See less See more
Sunday, July 25th I woke up feeling that I might be in labor. Early labor, but still labor. I had lots of back cramping, I felt nauseous, and just had an overall feeling that things were getting started. As the day went on my contractions never progressed. Over and over , Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the same thing… I had so many contractions that were not progressing but I felt lousy. When I went to the midwife on Wednesday I was still at 3cm which I had been at the week before but Gabriella had moved lower. I was beginning to wonder if I would know when it was really time to go.
Thursday, I spent the day with my mom. I was still having lot's of very hard contractions. They would come sometimes every 5 min. for over an hour and then maybe only have 4 contractions the next hour or so. I was frustrated. So my mom and I went and got a pedicure. I thought it might help relax me. We were going to go and do some walking but I just felt so tired so we went back to her house. Around 5:00pm I noticed my contractions were coming between 7 and 10 min. apart and lasting 45seconds to a minute long. I didn't get excited because I had been going through it for five days now. My husband came to pick up me and my sweet daughter Breaunna around 8:00 and I told him I didn't feel like cooking dinner and I wanted to go to one of my favorite restaurants 'Texas Roadhouse'. We went and I was really getting uncomfortable. I tried not to constantly watch the clock because as much as I hoped that "This was really It" I just didn't want to get my hopes up and be disappointed again. My contractions were between 3 and 5 min. apart at this point and I think our hostess was really scared. She kept coming back to our table to check on me and make sure I was all right. I called my best friend and doula, Lynsey Stone from the restaurant and told her what was happening. I told her I was going to finish dinner and then go home and try the shower and some sleep to see if things would stop. The shower made the contractions less intense but they certainly didn't go away. Lying in bed on my left side helped take some pressure off my back. The contractions did slow down a bit but didn't go away. They were back to about 7 to 10 min apart and maybe a min. long. I woke up with each one and just breathed out loud. Then I closed my eyes and would sleep until the next one came. My husband left for work around 4:00 am and I told him how I was feeling but that I wanted him to go. I woke back up around 7:00am Friday July 30th, to go to the restroom. The contractions started coming much quicker about every 3 min. I called my mom and told her what was going on. I think I moaned through each one, yet still I didn't allow myself to believe that our daughter would be born. I told my mom I wanted to go see my chiropractor when her office opened at nine so I told her to take her time getting ready. I went ahead and called my husband and doula just incase. Then I turned on a TV to try to gently allow my daughter to start waking up and I proceeded to finish packing my bag for the hospital. Around 8:00am I could no longer walk or stand during the contractions and I found myself having to squat or sit down. So I called my midwife and she told me to come strait to labor and delivery and not to wait and go to the chiropractor. My mom arrived at my house around 8:15 and we waited for my husband to get there. We left for the hospital around 8:45. I know my mom drove 90mph at some point. She even asked me several times if I was feeling the urge to push. I wasn't but I know I was making a lot of noise through each contraction. When we arrived at the hospital around 9:00 am someone met us at the door and tried to get me a wheel chair but I wanted to walk. I had to stop several times and hold on to a railing and just breathe and moan but I made it. The nurses took me strait to a room and I let them get the quick monitoring strip on the babies heart beat. My midwife came in and checked me and said I was 5cm. And 95% effaced and baby was at 0 station. YEAH!! I had made progress. I walked in the room and constantly had to pee, and my mom applied pressure to my back. I bounced on the ball but nothing was bringing much relief. At 11:00am I was 6cm, completely effaced and still at 0 station. I laid on my left side for about 20min. then decided to get in the shower/tub. My sweet 2 year old daughter Breaunna saw me get in the tub and she started taking off her clothes. She got in the tub with me and as I moaned she laughed hysterically. It brought me such joy to have her with me during my labor. At 12:27 I was out of the tub and sitting forward in the bed holding on to a squat bar. My midwife was with me almost the whole time. Apparently everyone in the room thought I was in transition at that point. I think I told my dad to shut up once after he cracked some joke. I told the nurse that I sort of needed to push. Susan checked me and said I was at a 7cm and my bag of water was bulging and causing me to feel that urge. She was so encouraging. The baby was well engaged at a +2 station so I told Susan to break the bag and hopefully it would bring the baby forward more. That was at 12:50. After that my contractions were weird I would have 2 or 3 long hard contractions extremely close together then have a 5 min. lull to catch my breath and just rest. I grunted and moaned a lot and at one point my midwife said she saw me curl my toes and she said it would be soon. I ended up lying back on my left side around 2:00 and had the most unbelievable urge to push. No one, counted or screamed at me, they told me how wonderful I was doing. At 2:05 I delivered my daughter Gabriella Analiese. They placed her on my belly and I just remember feeling so relieved. I had done it, and without drugs or major interventions. She let out one cry but did need a little help so they took her for a few min. but brought her back quickly and she nursed so well. She weighed a whopping 9 pounds and 7 ounces. 20 ½ inches long. I couldn't believe it. And I didn't tear or anything. God was watching over us and truly blessed us with such a wonderful experience. I got pretty much everything I wanted and I am so pleased with my new precious daughter.
See less See more
Mild contractions started late on Saturday night, after a trip across the Canadian border to a family reunion! They were mild but strong enough to wake me up about every 20 minutes for most of the night.
During the day of August 1st the contractions lessened greatly so I could do my grocery shopping and stock up on my last home birth supplies.
However, at about 5:30 they started up again, every 15 minutes. This lasted all night long. Every 15 minutes contractions getting slightly stronger. Unfortunately they were also accompanied by some very strong back pain/labor as Ian was ROP instead of LOA.
Contractions continued at this level until my dh, a chiropractor also, got home for lunch and adjusted me. (about 1:40 pm) This made all the difference! Ian switched positions and we got the show rolling! My doula showed up at 3:30pm and just in time as my contractions were getting much closer and much stronger. She helped me so much by just rubbing my back and helping me to breath and relax. I don't know what I would have done without her.
By the time my midwife showed up (about 3 hours later) I was in transition! She checked me for the first time and informed me that I was 9 cm dilated! What a relief! We were almost done.

I hopped into my birthing tub and it felt sooooo good. I loved being in the water. I completed my last cm of dilation and started pushing around 8 pm. The pushing was much harder than I thought it would be. And I was getting tired. But, my dh, midwife and doula were so good they kept me going. I could feel Ian moving down into my birth canal and it felt like he would pop out anytime. It felt so close, yet so far away. My bag of waters still hadn't broken and was bulging out in front of Ian's head. Dh had the honors of breaking the bag for me when it became obvious that the pushing alone wasn't going to do it. I was so proud of my husband!
He kept me cool with cold washclothes, told me how proud he was of me and kept saying "you can do it, you are almost there!" Not to mention he didn't complain a bit as I squeezed his hands and arms so tight I though I would break them.
After the waters were broken, things moved a little faster. I pushed for a total of about 1 1/2 hours and baby Ian was born in the birth tub at 9:30 pm Monday, August 2, 2004. Dh cut the cord after it finished pulsating and we got some good breastfeeding going in the first 30 minutes or so.

We are all doing well and adjusting to a new baby in our lives. Ian is nursing like a champ and my nipples are really sore! But it is all for a very good reason.
I had no tears and am recovering great. Ian is perfect, our home birth went perfect and I still can't believe WE DID IT!!!

Ian Robert
7 Lbs 0 OZ
19 1/2 inches
Born at home on Monday, August 2, 2004 at 9:30 pm

See less See more
The birth of Nora Marie-

On Saturday, July 31, I had been having about 3-4 contractions an hour for most of the day. In the evening, they picked up to about every five minutes, and then stopped. I was pretty tired, so I went to bed at 10:30 with ds. I slept, although I know I was still cramping alot. I got up at about 3:00 a.m. due to the crampiness. I went to the bathroom and had lost a lot of mucous. I went and looked out our sliding glass door at the full moon. It was so pretty and lighting up everything.

I started timing my contractions and they were about 3-4 minutes apart. They weren't too intense, but were low and crampy and spread around to my back. I could still talk through them fairly easily. I woke up Russ at 3:30, and at 4:00 we decided to call our midwife to give her a heads up since she had about a 1 1/2 hour drive. She told us to call her back in an hour or two and let her know how it was going.

We called her again at about 5:30 a.m. The contractions were getting more intense and were about 2 minutes apart. She said she was waiting for them to start hurting, and that was her cue to get on the road.

I walked around outside, and watched the sunrise. It was so peaceful to hear the birds singing outside. The contractions were getting steadily more intense. I threw up once at about 6:00 a.m. Gavin woke up at about 7:00 a.m., and was excited about the baby coming. I had to tell him it would take many belly squeezes before Nora would be born. Russ called our friend, Tammy, to come pick Gavin up until I was closer to delivering. When she came to pick him up, I was starting to get a little discouraged. The contractions were hurting more, and for some reason I just needed to cry. She stayed with me until the midwives arrived at 8:00.

Once the midwives arrived, she departed with Gavin. I really wanted to get in the pool, so they checked me and I was 6 c.m. They told me I was doing great and to get in. Once I got in the pool things really picked up more. Up to this point I was breathing slowly through the contractions. Soon after I got in the pool I was starting to moan deeply. Russ called my other friend, Heather, who was planning on being at the birth, and told her that her presence was requested. She arrived at about 9:00 when things were in full swing.

Russ and Heather were there for me. I just held their hands while I was in the pool while I vocalized during the contractions. I also visualized and chanted "open" during the contractions. Once in awhile I would say, "come on Nora, come on baby." The mw's kept their distance, they were in the next room, knitting. Once in awhile they would come out to check the baby's heartbeat. It was so nice in between contractions, I would be able to talk and laugh a little, until the next one came. After awhile my legs were really crampy and I said I felt like I needed to poop. The mw suggested that I could get out and try some contractions on the toilet. It felt good to get out for awhile, and when I did that it got a lot more intense. Russ stayed in the bathroom with me, and we started kissing a little. It felt so nice! I started to grunt during the contractions, and they knew I was getting close. I started to stand during contractions and rest on the birth ball in between. I held on to Russ' neck and just let loose. I made the most intense primal noises I have ever heard. I joked about hoping the neighbors weren't out working in their yard. I never imagined that I would be so loud! But there was really no way I couldn't be. It was just what I needed to do. At about 10:30 my water broke during a big contraction that I had leaning over on the birth ball. I got back into the water soon after that.

Pushing was such hard work, and I felt so much pressure on my rectum. I reached down to feel and they asked me if I could feel the baby's head. I said no, I am feeling my hemmoroids and they were awful. I felt like my butt hole was turning inside out! They kept reassuring me and telling me I was going fast, the baby would be here soon, but I didn't believe them. I was worried that I would be in labor forever and wanted it done. I told them that I changed my mind, and they laughed and said that it was too late now!

Finally, I could feel the head coming. I shouted "I can feel the head!" They began to scramble around while I found my position. The mw's told dh to call and have ds come asap. He arrived during a contraction. Three women descended on him to let him know I was working hard and to not be scared. Ds replied, "I am not scared!" and came and took a position by the pool. I got on my hands and knees in the pool, with my butt right at the water level. I leaned my head on dh and just pushed with all I could. I wanted her out sooo bad! I could feel some stinging and they said she was crowning. One of the mw's came right up next to my head and told me to "pant Melissa pant!" So I tried and tried to fight the urge to just shoot her out of me. I relaxed my muscles, and she was born about five minutes after the first sight of her head. The mw caught her underwater and pushed her up between my knees. She said, "Melissa catch your baby!" I looked down and saw her floating in the water below me. I couldn't believe it. I scooped her up and sat down. I was so relieved and happy. I did it!!!

She gasped for air and had a great healthy cry. We all gathered around her, and were so in awe. After awhile they had me get out of the pool to deliver the placenta. I sat on a birth stool and it came pretty easily. I didn't feel any more contractions after Nora was born. After the placenta was delivered, Gavin cut the cord. He was so proud, he said, "I did it mom! I cut Nora's umbilical cord! But it didn't hurt her at all!" Gavin was so awesome. He saw the whole birth, and watched the placenta being delivered also. When I asked him later if he was ever scared, he replied, "No, it was so neat!"

They helped me get into bed and it felt soooo good. Ahh! It is over, I have a beautiful healthy baby, 8lbs, 6 oz. She is 21 inches long and had a 14 1/2 inch head. I had one small surface tear and two skid marks. The hemorroids aren't too bad, they were just bad during the pushing, but have mostly gone back where they are supposed to be.

It was a great birth, I never had any worries about it being a VBAC. My mw's were great, they just allowed my body to birth the way that it needed to. They didn't bother me by checking me all the time and telling me when to push. I just was. What was amazing is how instinctual I felt. I was so in the moment and really not having very many conscious thoughts in the end. I am so amazed and in awe of women's bodies. It was the most empowering experience I have ever had. I feel so strong and overjoyed for having this experience. Being surrounded by loving friends during the birth and after gave the event such a glow. All through my pregnancy I tried not to get my hopes up too high for having the birth of my dreams, but that is exactly what I had! It truly is such an awesome experience.

Here are some pictures of the birth and of our baby!
See less See more
I've been having prodromal labor off and on for several weeks, and was now 41 weeks 3 days along. My midwife wasn't worried... everything tested and measured just fine, baby was happy, just still cooking. My sister had come the day before my due date, July 26, to help out, but had to leave on Friday, August 6 to go back to NY. We both thought the baby would be here for sure by then!

Everything was ready for my fourth homebirth: the fishy pool, all our birth supplies, plenty of snowy white cloth diapers recycled from my homeschooling community, a beautiful painting and goddess necklace from a blessingway my friends threw for me, relaxing music cued up on the stereo, many hours of Hypnobabies practice... all we needed was the baby to decide it was time to arrive.

I'd been having several days of early morning contractions that seemed promising but would peter out by midmorning. But on August 6, they didn't die out completely. I woke up at 4 a.m. and curled up in the new glider rocker in the little sunroom off my bedroom, closing up the drapes between the rooms that my sister had made for me out of an old purple velvet comforter, so my husband Bill could keep sleeping (one of the many home improvement projects she tackled during her visit, since the baby wasn't here yet!).

I pulled down an old favorite to pass the time, P.G. Wodehouse's "Thank You, Jeeves," and rocked through the harder contractions as the sun came up. They were anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes apart, but quite bearable.

From about 6 to 7 a.m., I went downstairs and soaked in my outdoor hot tub. I was glad we'd taken the time to hang up a screen made from the tie-dyed table runners from our wedding last year... there were lots of people up and about early that morning (our tub is otherwise visible in daylight to about five neighbors!). It was very peaceful and calm. While tubbing had stopped the contractions before, this time they only slowed down a bit.

By the time I got back up to my bedroom, they were clocking in at 7 minutes apart, staying pretty regular. Maybe, maybe, maybe today was gonna be the day! But it had stopped so many times before, I wasn't going to get too excited... yet.

They did slow down again, about 9 a.m., and I decided to try for a nap (4 a.m. is pretty early to be getting up at my house!). I was actually able to snooze for about an hour and a half, with squeezy but light contractions every 15 minutes or so. However, at 10:30 a.m., I had one very hard and painful contraction that was clearly not meant to be dealt with lying down! Unlike the earlier squeezes, this one was focused very low and up front, and pinched hard. It took all my concentration not to tense up and fight it.

The next few hours were mixed with irregular contractions and getting everyone off to the airport OK. I wasn't going to drive, but my 14-year-old daughter was going to stay with me while my husband took care of things. We were on our own for a couple of hours... she was mostly chatting with her friends online and on the phone, but she checked in with me every half hour or so, while I moved from my bedroom to the hot tub and back again.

I listened to the Hypnobabies cds, which helped beautifully during the lighter contractions but didn't even touch those pinchy ones! They started to increase in frequency, from about every fifth contraction to every third or more. Some I could stand on the birth ball, but others I had to lean on the end of my sturdy bed and rock my hips to get through. Staying still was just NOT an option with these!

Bill got back around 2 p.m. and stayed with me in the bedroom while I worked through another hour of labor. By now I was sure I was doing the real thing, but I had no idea how far along I was... I tossed away my glasses, watch and the cd headphones, and had no idea of time or length of contractions. At 3:30, Bill asked if he should call the midwives. I wasn't sure... I didn't want to have them drive here (an hour's trip) if they were just going to say, "Oh, you're 2 cm, just keep doing what you're doing and we'll be back in a few hours."

On the other hand... those pinchy ones were getting more and more frequent, and the idea of someone around to help me get through them was sounding good. The main midwife couldn't come until 5:30, she said, but she'd send out the apprentice by 4:30. Just an hour away... I could do another hour of this by myself. Sure....

Somehow I noticed I was starting to bear down during those really pinchy ones... just breathing down into the pinch seemed to relieve it somewhat. I sure didn't want to be pushing on an incomplete cervix, though, and cause myself worlds of pain down the road, so I said let's go back to the tub, thinking the water might ease things up so the midwives could get here. Then we could move indoors (where I'd planned on birthing in the fishy pool). My water hadn't broken yet, so I wasn't concerned about hanging out in the tub longer.

You'd think, after attending 30+ births myself, I would recognize a woman about to have a baby! I got back in the tub about 4:30, and pushing felt even better in the warm water. By 5 the apprentice got here, and my water had broken. I thought it was a little funny that she didn't start setting up for the birth... I thought I sounded like someone getting ready to have a baby. A little after that I started feeling rectal pressure and put my left hand up my yoni to see if I could feel anything.... OH MY GOSH! I felt my baby's head! It was still way up high and back, but by gumbo, it was really there!

My daughter, husband and the apprentice just stood by the tub, sometimes saying encouraging things but in general being quiet and letting me do my work. I was feeling the head with my left hand the whole time (my right hand apparently had a death grip on Bill's hand, and didn't let go the whole time). I could tell the baby was going to be born soon, but nobody else seemed too worried about it, so I wasn't either.

The midwife drove up at 5:20. She came back, took one look, kicked off her shoes and jumped into the tub with me. Finally! It seemed somebody thought the same thing I did! Sure enough, her hand supported my lower perineum while my left one covered the top part of my yoni, and we both felt my baby's head start moving forward. She moved one loop of a double nuchal cord after asking me to hold off pushing for a second... this was really hard, because that last contraction must have lasted 15 minutes... it just waxed and waned in intensity, but it was there the whole time and never backed off completely.

Then she said go ahead and push again, and I felt the whole body corkscrew inside of me. I knew this had happened for my other births, but I don't remember it feeling like that! Very slow and controlled, I felt the shoulders come down and stop on the perineum. She said, give me another push now if you can. I took a deep breath and, with that tremendous never-ending contraction, eased out the bottom shoulder. Once that released, my baby just came swimming right out of me! (at 5:25 p.m.)

She caught the baby (which was good because the water was pretty murky by that point, plus I didn't have my glasses!) and gave it to me. I held it close and was amazed... finally thought to check the sex, and it was a boy! I'd guessed right! He was purple and silver and luminous, not much hair, not making much noise, a little floppy... then he cried out one good "waaa" and I knew he was fine.

During all this, the apprentice finally started getting the birth supplies out, with my daughter's help. Someone passed me a towel to wrap the baby, and the little purple hat I'd knitted for him (it was HUGE!). The tub was 96 degrees, though, and he needed to be warmer, so my husband and the midwife took him indoors while the apprentice helped me out of the tub.

While I was gasping at the sensation of all my organs falling back into place, my elderly neighbor called over the tie-dye screen: "Katje? Was it a boy or a girl?" I laughed and said "Boy!" We had been worried about freaking out our neighbors, but they were as excited as we were! She brought over roses from her garden later that evening.

Both of our neighbors were doing yardwork the whole time I was pushing... so Bill said we should name the baby Moe (mow, geddit?).

While still in the tub, the midwife had guessed he was 9 lb. 10 oz... and she guessed perfectly! His head was 14 and 3/8 inches, and he was 21 inches long... my biggest baby yet! He nursed perfectly right when I put him to the breast and hasn't looked back... (now I'm engorged but he's very patient and just keeps trying to latch until he gets it).

Bill called for some take-out Thai food (I wanted to eat something with garlic in it! My heartburn had been plaguing me for months), and my older kids went to the John Kerry rally we had tickets for. Bill and I had a quiet evening getting to know this little guy, and cleaning up a bit.

He's a very laid-back baby... loves to look around and gently wave his arms like an undersea conductor. We've been hibernating for the last few days, with glorious weather that has let us keep the windows open all day (usually it's far too hot and humid here for that). Bill cleaned the poor tub (that's true love for you!) and it's sparkling clean again, ready for me to get back in once my bleeding stops.

It took us two days to find his name, but we've got it now: Lincoln Joshua Paul Sabin Gilliland. He's got blond hair and a tiny little pointed chin, and big chubby cheeks. His eyes are bright and curious, and his stocky body is beautiful. He was 10 days "late" by my calendar, but he still had vernix in his elbow creases and armpits... though he did have a tiny bit of calcification on his (huge and healthy) placenta.

I feel great. This was by far my fastest labor, and it was very nearly an unassisted one! I never dreamed I'd have a labor like this, and I feel blessed beyond measure.

Katje, happily babymooning with my little Lincoln in Kansas City, MO

Mom and baby
Dad and baby
See less See more
The Birth of Duncan Lochiel Cameron

Thursday evening, August 5, 2004, I sat down to eat dinner. I'd been having frequent contractions every night for a week or two, but nothing too uncomfortable so that evening's contractions just fit right into the pattern. The prior two days I'd been battling a stomach virus filled with diarrhea and vomiting, but at last my body was signaling I could eat again, so we ate. I had a nice steak, and some veggies. I made it about halfway through the meal before suddenly I knew everything was coming right back up. And, it did. I was puzzled, as I'd really felt certain that I was better, but what could I do?

We watched TV, and I contracted along peacefully, starting to think to myself "this is getting regular here, and with that vomiting up dinner, could this be labor?" but of course refuted it, since I was only 38 weeks 4 days (one day more pregnant than I ever became with Bonnie and a personal goal of mine) and besides that, this wasn't painful or uncomfortable, and labor should hurt, right? So, Rob goes to bed, and I continue plugging along. Finally, I decide to take a bath and have a hard cider to see if the contractions go away. Nope, they don't. So, I decide that I better get some sleep while I can and nap for about an hour and a half until 3:30 in the morning I'm suddenly awake for a large contraction. I get up out of bed and begin to prowl the house. I send a few emails, post to my favorite message board, and begin to wonder "should I be timing these?" I time a few, and they're 3-5 minutes apart. Wow!

I only timed for a short time before I felt this overpowering need to get my husband awake, call my doula and get my daughter's caregiver on her way over her. I filled a tub and labored for a while in the tub while Daddy paced and packed our bags. What was I thinking? 38 weeks with no hospital bag packed! LOL. Before I got in the tub, Daddy timed the contractions for a good half hour and we discovered that they were 2-3 minutes apart. Didn't see how long they lasted, but it was enough to convince Daddy (and myself!) that my instincts were correct and this show was rolling. Once I was in the tub, there was no clock so he gave up on the timing, and we just experienced labor together. It was very nice time. I called our mothers and told them it was baby day, while I was still able to talk, and then shortly after felt the need to call our midwives and ask when I was supposed to call them or head to the hospital. At that point, I was beginning to think that was the time to go, but I was still talking through contractions, and that seemed like I wasn't waiting enough. Suzee mostly agreed, but said I could come whenever I felt the urge. She was remarkably laid back, probably because I was managing so well. I said I'd go ahead and wait until the office opened at 8:30 (which was one option she offered me) and get checked there. That was about 5:00 am. By 5:15, I knew it was time to go, so I called my friend who watched Bonnie, Jill, and said, "HURRY! COME NOW! EAT HERE! SHOWER HERE!" and then waited for her arrival.

Our doula, Maggie, arrived shortly after that, and helped Rob get our stuff together. While I was sitting in the tub, I started thinking my water was broken. I couldn't be certain, as I'd been losing my mucous plug and was slippery slimy, but sometimes during a contraction, I'd feel a smallish gush of fluid. I thought I could be urinating, but just wasn't sure. As soon as Jill arrived, I pulled on a short nightgown and short bathroom (no undies); we ran for the car and commenced the 20 minute drive to the hospital. Let me tell you, that was the longest 20 minutes of my life. I was in the passenger seat, facing the back of the car with the seat partially reclined, hugging the seat and gritting through contractions while my husband drove with one hand and provided counter pressure on my back with the other. I had excruciating back labor, and his arm just bearing down on my back made all the difference. It's a wonder we arrived at the hospital alive, but we did. He dropped me at the entrance while he found a parking space, and Maggie parked her van. I sat there for a few minutes, then had a contraction, dropped to my knees on the tile floor with my ass surely waving up the sky for all the world to see, and moaned through the contraction. I was aware, but very amused, by everyone who watched. Labor is such a powerful, significant, amazing thing to be in and I honestly relished this show of exhibitionism.

Rob arrived back at the entrance with Maggie running behind him and we started running for the birthing floor, which of course is on the complete other end of the hospital and on a separate bank of elevators. So, we'd run about 10 yards, I'd dropped to the ground, moan, pant, scream for counter pressure and people would stop and stare "do you need help?" LOL. Yeah, right, as if you could help me now! Then, up we'd go, and I'd jog another 10 yards, and the whole scene would repeat. So completely undignified, so unnatural, but incredibly hilarious. I had several hospital staff members offer to get me a wheel chair and I'd say, "sure, but you have to be quick, because I'm going to continue running in that direction whenever I can, so get it, and catch up with me", but nobody ever did.

We finally got to the elevators, and while going up to the second floor, I had a huge gush of amniotic fluid, slightly bloody but clear otherwise, and kind of chuckled at the other passengers on the elevator "that's my water breaking". ha! A couple of women wished me luck, a few people seemed perturbed, even grossed out, but I was proud as could be. It happened on its own, and it was MINE! We jumped off the elevator at the right floor and ran down to triage. Maggie sat herself on my birth ball right outside the door while I went in and announced my presence. There were silent women already ahead of me, quietly laboring along (and I'm thinking to myself, you don't belong here!) while I ROARED through labor. I'm telling them "get me to a room, for God's sake, this is the real thing, there's nothing stopping me now!" and it was about 6:30 am. They checked me and I was 5 centimeters - my exact goal for hospital arrival. I did it! That was everything I wanted to do, right then and there. Start labor on my own, decide when to go, tell my husband, tell my family, have my water break on my own, dilate to 5 centimeters on my own. All right there. I burst into tears and was so damned proud of myself I can't even tell you. I'm crying right now as I'm typing it!

So, they admitted me, my OB decided that she would attend me rather than the midwives and I got checked in. I actually like the OB better than the midwives so this was fine with me. She was glowing and proud, and knew that I could do it. By 9:00, I asked to be checked again, and she gently discouraged me, but I said no! I want to be checked. 7 cm. I was progressing along perfectly and knew it. At 10:00, "check me again please." "Really?" "YES! Check me!" 9 cm and stretchy, but baby was still at -2. No problem, labor along in peace. She left us alone for most of my labor only coming when I called for her.

The only people in our room were Rob, Maggie and myself. Nobody intruded, we did have a nurse check us occasionally, but she was so in favor of unmedicated birth (having had three herself) she only offered us some music (some beautiful Indian tribal music with pipes and organs, just gorgeous!) and disappeared. The hospital was humming with babies being born, I think it was the busiest day of the year, so it worked in our favor. I was doing so well, they pretty much ignored me.

My doula reminded me at some point early on, when I was moaning and making a lot of painful cries that I had HypnoBirthed my way through labor with Bonnie, and maybe that would help me now. I thought about it and agreed, yes, it would, although I hadn't practiced. So, the next contraction, I relaxed my entire body, and it was like riding a bicycle - it all came back. Suddenly labor was much less overwhelming, and I started sleeping through the spaces in between contractions. I was having amazingly animated conversations with them in my head though. We were scheduled to have our World Breastfeeding Week celebration the next day, and I was in charge of a lot of stuff, so I was telling Maggie (in my head) all the people she needed to call for me (she's one of my co-leaders). And, I would relate other amusing tales, all laughing and cheerful, but apparently I was actually snoring! Delirium?

This is where it starts to change. I stalled at 9 cm for a very long time. I don't know how long it was, but it was long enough that I started to get really tired. REALLY tired. I would get in the shower for pain relief, but the darned shower was so small and crampy that nobody could offer me counter pressure. So, when they wanted to monitor me, I would get out without complaint, because it wasn't helping as much as I wanted it to.

The monitored me off and on (unlike the continuous monitoring they'd insisted on in advance), I was allowed to move and follow my body, and I did. My blood pressure was high, but effort was made to shield me from that for a while, because that was something I was very worried about. They weren't really hiding it from me, but rather distracting me, encouraging me to focus on other things. After a fairly long time of nothing happening, waiting to feel like pushing, Dr. Wah came back to the room. She checked me again, no progress, but maybe the baby was a little lower, could I try to push and see what happens? I pushed, and she felt the baby descend and then pull back again. So, she told me that my pushing was perfect, I didn't need a coach, and maybe if I felt like pushing, to just let it happen. And, if I didn't feel the urge, it might be helpful to push anyway, and see if I could get the baby down on my own. She was very straight with me, and said, "I'm kind of bound here. I need you to progress, since you're VBAC'ing, and I truly believe you can do this without pitocin or anything. If you can get the baby down on your own, that's our goal." No mention of time limits, just a "let's make this happen" pep talk.

This is where I should have stopped listening. I pushed for the next few hours with no effect. It hurt like hell to push, and I was mad that I was pushing. Not mad that I was being told to push, but pushing made me angry if that makes sense. It didn't feel right. I talked to the baby "come on baby, move down, let's get this going. Mommy wants to meet you!"

Dr. Wah came back and checked me again after a couple of hours, sat back and said, "let's talk about this". My cervix was starting to swell, and now I was 7cm dilated and not very stretchy. Baby was still very high. I'd been "stalled" for 4 hours or more (not sure how long it had been) but baby was tolerating everything very well, so she'd been letting me do what I needed to do. Here's her dilemma, I'd had PIH blood work taken earlier in the week and my liver function was elevated, my uric acid level was 7.5 (which was higher than when I'd been induced with Bonnie) and despite the fact that I'd called and asked "am I pre-eclamptic?" and been reassured that I was "fine and we'll talk about the results at the next appt" I really wasn't doing so hot. She was stretching the rules with me because I was so motivated and she really believed in me. This is true, and I know it in my soul. She knew how badly I wanted to labor on my own, and she was right there rejoicing with me when I was. You should see how happy she was for me; it was almost a mirror of my own happiness, truly. But, now we were at a juncture and we needed to decide what to do. I right away, before she could say anything said, "I want an epidural". This was the one thing I wish I'd done with Bonnie, and felt like it might be a good choice in this situation. She asked me why, and I said, "It might lower my BP, give me a chance to rest, and allow my cervix to complete dilating again, maybe help the baby lower some". Rob seemed concerned, my doula seemed to agree, and Dr. Wah said it sounded like good reasoning to her.

I then had to wait for the anesthesiologist to be called, and after getting some fluids, he got me set up. It did seem to be helping, so I felt like it was a good choice. Everything slowed down, but I felt energized again. I tried to not push, although it was becoming involuntary at that point, and just let me body relax and recharge. A friend had printed up some labor related prayers for me, and we spent some time in prayer together, listening to uplifting music, and tearfully connecting with the baby. "Come on baby, we can do this together."

After a few hours, Dr. Wah came back, checked me again, and told me the rest of the story. She was off call at 5:00 pm. She was actually supposed to be on vacation that day but stayed for me, because she wanted to be there with me, and because of my pre-eclampsia status. The next OB on duty was not so VBAC friendly, and would likely just encourage me to have the cesarean right away. It was now 4:30. I could continue to labor and see what happens, or we could talk surgery. Completely my choice. Her feeling was that there was some reason the baby wasn't dropping, and we couldn't know why until after it was over, either surgically or vaginally. She felt it was probably related to the baby's head being very large, and maybe a malposition making it even harder to descend, but couldn't be certain it was whatever that term is when Mom's pelvis is too small to birth her babies. She thought the baby was still too high to consider using forceps or a vacuum (which I didn't want anyway). She was concerned that maybe my body was not progressing because of the baby's size and the fact that much more pressure might be more than my uterus could handle. She told me that I was not failing, no matter what I decided. That my body did exactly what it was supposed to do, exactly the way it was supposed to, but that final step just wasn't there yet. These were all things I was feeling myself, so it wasn't like she was trying to sell me on anything, they were just neutral observations.

I asked for a few minutes to think about it, and talk things over. She agreed and left us alone for 15 minutes or so. I talked to Rob, talked to Maggie, and did some soul searching. Maggie felt that I could still pull this off, but the problem is the environment here with regard to VBAC's. If I continued with the next OB, I'd probably end up having the cesarean within a couple of hours, unless I felt certain that something would change, which I was no longer feeling. Rob was concerned about me feeling as though I'd failed, but at that point, it no longer felt possible to fail. I'd achieved everything I set out to do, except the actual emerging from the vagina. I felt very involved, very active in this baby's birth, and felt extremely empowered by all that I'd done and learned since my last birth. But, I had some questions before we proceeded, and some very specific requirements that Dr. Wah agreed to in our talk before she left us alone. I was afraid that another doctor would not honor those wishes as well as I knew she would, so we decided on surgery.

When Dr. Wah returned, we told her our choice, and things got rolling. It was very important to me that I see the baby emerge from my body, so they brought in a mirror, and lowered the drape. They took a lot of time placing it so that I could see where the head would be, and none of the innards of myself (which was my request). They were gentle and respectful of my presence and birth experience and involved me, as I should be. I made sure to tell the entire room "do not announce the sex of the baby, as my husband wants to do that" and repeated myself several times.

They had a hard time getting the baby out at first, and I couldn't see what was going on, fortunately, but I heard them talking to the baby, saying "come over here, your mommy wants to meet you" and things like that. When they finally had his head, they asked if I could see the baby starting to come out, I looked but someone was in the way. They paused and made sure I had a clear view (bless them!) and then I saw this beautiful head peeping up through my belly. One more time I reminded everyone "don't announce the sex!" and they pulled him out. Simultaneous to my remark and as his little testicles cleared my body, without even pausing from reminding everyone else to let my husband make the announcement I shouted out "IT'S A BOY!" to which I immediately (and with enormous embarrassment) apologized to Rob profusely. But, it was the most amazing thing of my life! I couldn't have stopped myself if I tried. He forgave me and announced his name. Duncan Lochiel Cameron. Bets were placed on his size, and wonder expressed at the hugeness of his head. He had been engaged but was stuck. Slight cone head, but still a beautiful round head. They showed me the placenta, inside and out, while Rob cut the cord and they took photos of that for him.

Rob went with Duncan to the nursery and my doula joined me in the operating room. We went to recovery together and talked about my experience. The only way it could have been better is if I had vaginally delivered him. That is the only thing different. His birth through surgery was treated exactly as though it was a vaginal birth, and I'm just in awe that it was so wonderful.

I was feeling pretty numb, and overwhelmed with exhaustion while we waited for Duncan's return. Mysteriously, my arms and hands were hard to control. The anesthesiologist told me I should be having that problem, or I'd be having difficulty breathing as well, but every time I went to scratch my eyebrow, I'd hit my nose instead. Thank goodness Maggie was there with me, because when I was reunited with Duncan, she helped him latch on. My fingers felt so thick and clumsy, I couldn't do it myself.

I know a few things that could have been different, and I see them. But, this is the path I chose. There was a midwife in California that I'd considered hiring, Barb. If I'd had the courage to have her here with me, I'm sure I could have done it. But, I did not. And, that was part of my gamble. I know that I could have done it, and for me, that's enough right now. Maybe later, I'll have regrets, but I don't think so. I took this birth very seriously, studying it, owning it, researching it fully. And, I decided to stay in the medical system. The choices they made are ones that I'm familiar with, and knew were part of the choice to stay in that system, so I can't fault them for that. My own fears were what kept me there, and I take full responsibility for that.

But, let me tell you, he is one beautiful baby boy! And, so serene. He has these wonderfully alert eyes, and just takes everything in. He's nursing beautifully and we are just a happy family now. My three year old is ecstatic to be a big sister and loves her little brother with all her heart. Me, it's strange nursing a new baby again. I have to get to know him. I love him dearly, but it's so different this time around. I look at him and am so fully aware that he is a whole new person and all his own. It's such a different feeling than I had with my daughter. With her, I just knew that I had created this baby and she would be exactly what I wanted. This time, I know better. He will be exactly what HE wants, and only time will start to reveal that to me. I'm really looking forward to it!

For those who may wonder, his name has a story as well. Duncan is a good Scottish name, chosen simply because we like it. Duncan was also the name of the King of Scotland in Shakespeare's Macbeth. And, Lochiel is the sect of the Cameron Clan that we belong to. It's actually a title that is reserved for the head of the Cameron Clan, so it's a very powerful name to give him.
See less See more
Hello Lily Marie!

Well, let's see where to begin? Let's just say that having Lily was nothing like I ever expected it would completely different from the delivery of our first. Apples to oranges, I suppose.

The day before our due date, this is how things stood: I woke up with no appetite at all, very unusual and a pretty good indicator to me that we were going to have our baby. My beloved OB was going on a sudden vacation the day after our due date, I'd been having pretty steady cx's for a week that never seemed to get anywhere, the babe was dropped way low and I was diallated to 2cm, and the OB was in favor of inducing with cytotec. DD was so large at birth, chances are very good that I was looking at an induction anyway if things didn't get rolling really soon. So, the day before the suggested induction, I did some research about castor oil and cytotec and a lot of soul searching with DH about induction in general. We talked and talked and talked. And then we went to see my OB for my scheduled checkup and talked and talked some more.

Meanwhile, after much deliberation, I took castor oil with a glass of chocolate milk a few hours before my appt. Figured I'd see what happened. Basically, not a whole heck of a lot. I definitely got the trotts, tho. Got to the OB appt. keeping my sphincter tightly clenched all the way
, and both toilets at the office were down and out. Didn't know this before I had tried out both of them. Oh, the misfortune of being the maintenance guy that day!

Cytotec is very's not approved for use in labor and delivery and there is a definite link between it and uterine rupture in a number of much publicized cases. My OB has used it very successfully for 7 years and gave us a long and lengthy discsussion of her own experience with it as well as the history of medicine in OB. Generally, my OB believes that like with any other cheap drug, it's been way too easy for physicians to abuse cytotec, not respect it, and use it much too casually. She left the decision in our own hands and we decided to go ahead with it under the condition that if labor did not progress after 2 or 3 doses, we'd go back home.

DH and I went to a grocery store to pick up provisions to get us thru a night at the hospital. We bought a set of board games and an Austin Power's movie and headed up to the hospital. This was the closest thing to a date that we've had in a long time. It was the end of one of the most gorgeous summer days that I can remember; the drive to the hospital takes you thru open, rolling Northern Indiana country-side. Gorgeous and peaceful. We discussed naming the unborn child "Summer."

Checked into the hospital, met the OB nurse (Judy) and liked her immensely. I ruefully explained that I had to drink a lot of extra fluids on account of the castor oil. She inserted a very small dose of cytotec vaginally at 7:30 pm and got me set up for an IV should I need one (ouchy, never had one of those before.) Monitored me after an hour and we were having cx's every 3 minutes, each a minute long, like clock work. I barely was aware of them, tho, b/c they were exactly like what I'd been having for a week already. DH and I ate fig newtons, I drank tons of labor aide I'd made to bring with me, and we played backgammon. At 10pm, we'd diallated to 3 cm. I slept for the hour between 3 and 4 cm. Nurse Judy called my OB around 11pm and they decided since I was progressing, there was no need for another cytotec dose. After that, we pretty much progressed at a steady pace. Cx's never lost their regularity (with DD, they were like that for 30 hours without stalling..........guess you could set a watch by me..) Labor progressed wonderfully well.........spent the middle of it doing the pregnant lady waltz with the lights out, looking out the window and feeling quite peaceful while poor DH tried to rest up.

Anyway, long about dawn, things really picked up. Every half hour or so, Nurse Judy would check the babe's position and recommend a labor position........we'd try it out, have a good cx, and the kiddo always followed through as Judy had predicted. Judy called my OB at 6am to come's a 20-minute drive........and then it all happened quite quickly, much more so than anyone had predicted. I was pretty worn out and opted for a shot of nubane, something I never ever would have thought I'd consider. I'm pretty cut-and-dry, so the experience of still feeling pain but not caring as much about it was quite novel to me. I was still thinking about the strangeness of the nubane when I suddenly got the urge to push. And voila! Lily was born about 5 minutes later. No perineal damage, either, b/c my hubby and Nurse Judy did such an excellent job of coaching me through those last few pushes. I kid you not, I actually felt I had a level of control over the speed and force of how this babe came out. It was extraordinary. The OB rushed into the room right as DH was cutting the cord! The expression on her face was something else.........pure disappointment. She got pulled over on the way to the delivery for speeding and missed out entirely. Go figure.

Got to see my placenta, too, which was cool. With our first, I was so done-in and overwhelmed by the delivery that I forgot all about the placenta.

And then my uterus just wouldn't clamp down as it should, despite all of Lily's immediate nursing and several sessions of very uncomfortable uterine/fundal massage. Good grief. Went to stand up a few hours afer delivery, puked, passed out, and passed a huge amount of blood. Ended up with an IV of pitocin, 2 bags of saline to get re-hydrated, more rounds of cytotec to get things corked, and an extra day at the hospital to get back on my feet.
At the time of passing out, when I came to and saw the mess, all I could think was "Man, if I was at home, this would really be a disaster to clean up." I was pretty worn out, woozy, and tripping on love for the new baby, so it was difficult to take the situation seriously.

Lily came out perfect as can be. 8lbs 7 oz, 19", storkbites on her nose and eyelids, and very, very pink. Quite a healthy and vigourous 7 hours of old, she gave me a good squalling fit because she had snoozed away at the boob and the nipple had popped out of her mouth. I continue to be impressed by her charisma. Is it possible for someone so new to have charisma?

Anyway, that's our story. All hail Nurse Judy, dedicated husbands, fast-driving OB's, hard-tiled floors, the strength of newborns and mama's milk.

See less See more
Ian's Birth:

I had an appt wed the 4th. just a normal 37wk appt to begin with, but since i'd been leaking fluid here and there for 10days(just little trickles every few days), my dr wanted to do an afi (ultrasound to check fluid) to make sure all was still ok. on the afi, it was looking like my fluid was pretty low so i consented to him stripping my membranes. i was a tight 3cms and baby was at -1 or so station when i left...i contracted all night, but nothing regular or timeable, just enough to make me uncomfortable and cranky. the next morning (august 5th), dr L. called to check on me. i told him there was nothing timeable, but i was having definite contrax's that caused me to have to concentrate sometimes...because of having a problem w/ low fluid in my last pregnancy (oligohydramnios) - we decided it was best to go ahead and get things rolling further. I nervously called dh home from work and mil home to watch the older two kiddos (Jake's 4.5 and shelby's almost 21 mos), then I got a shower and bathed the kids and finished packing my bags. We got to the hospital at noon and got checked in and on the monitors and had a heploc placed. After a short trace of the baby, they let me up to wander until Dr. L arrived at 2pm. He tried several times to break the bag of waters, but couldn't seem to do it - it was like there was no fluid left. He got the nurses to bring in an ultrasound machine and he found that there was little fluid left, definitely best to get this show on the road (made me glad I hadn't decided to wait to go into labor on my own)...he tried again to break my water and finally got it...contractions picked up almost immediately. I worked thru them as best I could from 2:45 when he broke my water, until near 6:30(ish)pm when i started getting hysterical from all the back pain and never-ending contractions i was last birth had been pitocin induced and was nothing compared to this! I screamed so loud I was scaring myself, I can't imagine what my 20year old, newly pregnant sister-in-law thought while she was in the room! When I had the nurse check me at 6:30(ish), I was a large 6cm's, but I was give out, so I caved and got the epi...The anesthesiologist took about a half hour to arrive. She got the epidural a little too far in (went into my spinal fluid) and it started causing little zingy feelings all over my body and then it went straight to my head - a spinal headache is near torture, but it on top on contractions is terrible! She got it under control (more meds? I'm fuzzy here!) and I had relief from both the contrax's and headache, but then my blood pressure dropped lower than usual so she had to counteract that w/ meds too! Sigh...Anyways, after getting the epidural, some friends arrived to visit and wait with us, but I was so out of it that I barely remember them being there. I was so physically exhausted that I rested for at least a half hour with my eyes shut, until I started feeling unbearable pressure and called for the nurse to check me again. I was complete in less than an hour from getting the epidural, guess I just needed to relax! They called for Dr. L to come and hurry, because I had started screaming from the pressure again, but baby wasn't coming down too fast so he made it on time. Dr L is a good ole boy from Texas and I remember him saying something about putting something on to keep his boots clean - minutes before my husband Clint had commented that he'd say something to that nature when he arrived, so we all just started laughing. Dr L immediately started perineal massage and gently stretching my tissues so I wouldn't tear when I pushed, but my pushing didn't seem to be helping anything. Dr L commented, while trying to check baby's position, that he couldn't figure out what was presenting. The nurse kept saying the baby was bald and we all were curious then since my last one had a headful of hair at birth. The nurse asked what he was feeling for and he jokingly replied "A butt!"...oh, talk about making me want to pass out! That would be just my luck, though we knew the baby had been heads down for weeks...Since my pushing, even in different positions was ineffective, Dr. L asked about using a vaccuum while I pushed. That made a huge difference in progress and soon we could see why I was having such a hard time pushing him out - he'd turned to posterior (sunnyside up!)! His head had bruising on it from smashing into my pelvic bones each time I pushed, but he was fine otherwise...Surprisingly I didn't tear or anything - this is my second birth attended by Dr L (and 2nd to be vaccuumed) and I think he must be a miracle worker to keep me from tearing! Birthweight 7lbs 5oz, 19" long, Apgars of 8 and 9...So far his eyes look to be a dark blue and his hair is strawberry blonde.
Although we'd planned for this birth to be completely natural (med-free), I am proud of how it ended. I have the utmost respect for moms that can deliver a posterior baby med-free, but it was beyond my scope of manageable pain. God has blessed me with a third, healthy child...this above all else is what matters.
See less See more
I'm back!! nak.

As many of you know, I was due 8/1. I had been having some high blood pressure issues and some protein in my urine over the past month. As of last Friday I was only a very stretchy 2cm and about 80% effaced. My dr thought it would be best to give me some prostaglandin gel Monday night in hopes that it would be give me a jump start. I called the hospital Monday night and they told me it was a busy night there so it would be better if I waited till Tuesday morning. I was relieved since my 2.5 year old had been acting very clingy.

We got to the hospital at 6am on Tuesday morning. They started pitocin at about 7:30am. I had been having my own contractions and they were coming about every 5 min. but weren't strong enough to get me going. And I was only 3 cm and still 80% effaced. At about 10:30am my dr came in to break my water. I was still 3cm. Contractions started getting really strong after that and felt like they were one on top of the other. The nurse checked me at 11am and I was 4cm. Soon after that I started getting a lot of pressure so the nurse checked me again. I was good 5cm. I keep telling her about more pressure and I could feel the amniotic fluid gushing out as he came down. By 11:30am I was 8cm. My dr was called and she got there around 11:45. She checked me and I was complete. I pushed for 2 contractions and at 11:53am on 8/10/04 Alexander William was born.

He was 8lbs, 21 in. long, and his head circ. was 14. He is over 2inches longer than my girls were so it's cute to see him fill out his outfits.

My milk is starting to come in now so he has a nice full belly and is sleeping great! He's not a big nurser at night and prefers to snuggle on someone's chest.

Here are some pics.

See less See more
After about 16 hours of what I thought was false labor- felt only like very early labor or braxton hicks- had a midwife who is also a friend come over and check me and I was at 7-8 cm. I was able to talk through my contractions and even laugh through them. So, I was thinking I was not in labor but somehow stopping myself from going into labor because of stress.

Anyhow, after she checked me we just sat around talking and when my two oldest got home from school he was born about two hours after that at 4:00 on Thursday the 12th.

Birth only got intense at the end for the last half hour from about 9 cm to birth time. If I could choose a fast birth that was intense or this really long one that was so easy- I would choose the long one any day. My last birth was 5 hours so this was really unexpected to have an almost 24 hour labor.

Gabriel Ramiro was born in the caul- completely- he came out with the bag still around his entire body. The midwife helped me break it open while he was still under water in the birth pool and then I brought him up. He weighed 7 lbs. 14 oz. and was 21 inches long. 2 pounds smaller than my last baby! Looks just like his daddy.

The day before the birth I packed away all of the baby girls clothes. (we hadn't found out the sex of the baby but I had a dream a few days before that showed me his face and name.) It was strange as I was sitting in the closet packing the clothes, I had a braxton hicks that wrapped around my back for the first time. I swear I heard a voice say- "pay attention now. things are about to get very interesting" It is so strange how I was so full of doubt and yet how calm the contractions stayed- so spaced apart and with so little change in intensity. I was so full of doubt in fact that I abandoned my UC plans after having two successful UC births. However, it seems this is how it was meant to be. It was as good as my UC births in every way because the midwife, Rachel, is so very hands off and I got to call all the shots.

We had to evacuate 2 hours after the birth because of the hurricane. The police were coming by making everyone leave. When we returned home yesterday his bag was still floating in the birth pool. It was the thickest I have ever seen. It had the thickness of latex gloves. I also noticed that I have never seen a beautiful cord and placenta and yet his was- The colors were really beautiful and seemed so perfect.

No tears at all while birthing and aside from being tired from being up so long- I felt so great after. I will post pictures when I can.
See less See more
Wow, he's finally here! Raiden Jason Janelle was born Saturday August 14, 2004 at 2:04 PM. His apgars were 8 and 9, he weighed 8 lbs. 1 oz. and was 20.5 in. long with a 14 in. head circumference.

Saturday morning started out like any other, except for the fact that I had gotten a GREAT night's sleep. Kymera had asked to nurse, so I was lying on my Mom's good sofa (which is also where I was sleeping the past few weeks because it was SO much more comfortable than the guest bed) nursing Kymera when I felt two popping/kicking sensations down low. I immediately felt like I needed to go to the bathroom, so I told Kymera she had to stop nursing for a bit. Well, when I stood up, I felt this HUGE GUSH of fluid come out, as I was dashing for the bathroom. Needless to say my pants were soaked because my water had broken!

It was only 8:30 AM, when I yelled for Jason to get up while I was sitting on the toilet, so he ran around getting everything together and finally brought me a cloth diaper so I could start walking out to the car. My Mom brought Kymera out to the car for a hug & kiss goodbye, then off we sped to the hospital. We arrived and were in a room by 9:00 AM, but I still wasn't having any contractions, which made the whole monitoring process a lot less uncomfortable than last time. We sat around and watched TV for a few hours, then my Mom brought Kymera over to see us at a little after 11:00 AM and I was finally allowed to walk around to see if we could get things started, but I had to carry a monitoring gadget because they wanted to constantly monitor Raiden since there was meconium in the amniotic fluid when my water broke. I finally started having contractions at 11:30 AM and my Mom took Kymera to the park to play shortly after (because running and screaming in the hallway are not exactly a good thing for a 3 year old to be doing in the Labor & Delivery ward) that as they hooked up my antibiotics.

I labored in bed while I was getting my antibiotic treatment and had them check me after they unhooked me from the IV. At that point I was 5 cm dilated and 90%-95% effaced. I was already having trouble breathing through the contractions and actually considered getting an epidural, but decided to wait a little longer. I had them fill the tub for me as I labored on the toilet, then had them check me again before I got into the tub. I was at 7 cm 95+% effaced, and the contractions were coming fast and furious. I labored on my hands and knees in the tub for a few contractions, I had been moaning through the contractions since I was getting the antibiotic, and I just kept moaning louder. I got out of the tub and did a couple more contractions on the toilet when I started feeling the urge to push. They wanted to put an internal monitor on Raiden any way, so they checked me again and I was at 8+ cm. I went through a few more contractions (at some point I was laughing at myself because I thought I sounded like a moose, Jason says I howled like a wolf at some point too, LOL) and informed everyone that he was coming! They got me into position and the OB rushed into the room. Four pushes later Raiden was placed on my chest.

I only had a minor tear, and I'm feeling great!

You can see pictures at
See less See more
Friday night, I was 38w4d and perfectly happy to go at *any* moment. I was carrying large, the baby had decended into my pelvis and I was uncomfortable as all get out. So, we went out for Indian food, figuring if I was on the verge of going into labor, well, that just might kick me over the edge. One way or another, darn it, I wanted korma. I also picked up a new bottle of Evening Primrose Oil, figuring if I paid $14 for it, Murphy's Law would kick me into labor before I could even open it. I don't know if it was the Indian food or Murphy's Law, but something did the trick!

My water broke at about 2:30 am on Saturday. I was a little relieved. But because I was GBS+, if my water broke without my already being in labor, I was under a tight time frame to start labor - twelve hours. With Talia, my water broke early and we induced labor with castor oil 36 hours later. So, I called the midwife and let her know what was going on and asked if I should take castor oil right away. She said yes, and I still had a bottle from last time (two and a half years ago,) so I set Craig to digging some ice cream out of the freezer so I could make up my milkshake. By the time I had that ready, I'd had two respectable contractions, so I decided to wait a little while to see if they went anywhere. Unfortunately, they petered out within an hour, so I drank my milkshake around 4:30. I laid down in bed to rest as best I could before things got exciting.

What I expected to happen was, 2-4 hours after taking the castor oil, it would kick in with all the fun associated with that... 2-4 hours after that, hopefully contractions would start. Well, apparantly my castor oil was postdate, or I'm a bit more resistant to it now, or something. I never had the diarrhea. At 6:30 I woke up and had a fairly regular bowel movement, felt a little rumbly but nothing nasty. And fifteen minutes later, I started having some good contractions. Yay, the show was on the road!

I kept in touch with the midwife, Gazelle, over the next few hours. I felt I was really early along and that I'd have hours before I had to head to the Birth Center. My contractions were close together (2-4 minutes,) but they weren't very long and while clearly effective labor, they weren't incredibly strong. That was how labor with Talia started, and I labored for like 12 hours before I got past 3 cm dialated and had gotten to the Birth Center way early with her, so this time around I was trying not to jump the gun. So, I figured I'd have hours before I had
to head to the Birth Center. But, Gazelle felt that labor would
progress more quickly this time since it was my second birth, and was getting nervous. So we headed out for the Birth Center at 10 am, arrived about 11. At that point I'd been laboring for 4 hours, 15 minutes.

Gazelle felt I was progressing well. I labored in the shower, walking and in the rocking chair for another couple hours. Gazelle said she really had trouble gauging how far I was without a vaginal exam, because I was so relaxed and joking with her. But, she didn't want to do many vaginals because of the GBS. So, she told me to let her know when *I* thought I was ready to get in the Jacuzzi. Well, I would have been happy in there from the get-go But, when I said I thought I might be ready at 1:15, she finally did a vag and I was four centimeters and 80%
effaced. She was happy with that and said I could get in anytime if I felt I needed it immediately, but she'd prefer if I waited another 30 minutes. So, I waited until 1:45, then very gratefully got in the tub.

Through all of this, my only major problem was vomiting, which I went through with Talia also - I couldn't keep anything, even liquids, down. Gazelle began to fear I was becoming dehydrated. But by the time she became concerned and asked me to give a urine sample to check for ketones, unbeknownst to us my labor was almost over...

In the water, my contractions slowed down in frequency right away, but became longer and harder. It wasn't long before I was sure I was solidly in active labor, and was thinking to myself "I don't remember the contractions being this tough during active labor last time. These are really rough. If this is active labor, how bad is transition going to be?" But, they were coming with a reasonable amount of space between them and I was able to relax between each. When Gazelle came in and asked how my contractions were, I said "They SUCK." We all had a good
laugh and she went back out to the sofa. Craig and I had the cd player in the bathroom with us, and I was singing along a bit between contractions (Joel Raphael doing Woody Guthrie songs. Cool stuff, though I made Craig skip past a few of the more depressing songs) All the while, I'm thinking to myself, man, transition is going to be awful. Then, all of a sudden, I started feeling the urge to push. HUH??

Well, I went through two contractions with the pushing urge, thinking, this *can't* be second stage labor yet - I haven't had transition! I mean, those contractions were tough, but *that* wasn't transition, was it?? That was *nothing* like I remembered transition from last time. I had Craig call for Gazelle. She paused and telephoned the nurse, Irene, to let her know that she might need to come in soon. She joined us in the bathroom and did another vag, and said "Yep, you're fully dialated. You can push for a few more contractions there in the tub while I call Irene to tell her to come in now." That was at 3:15. By the time she got back about one minute later, I could feel the baby descending. Standing was really not an option, and she and Craig had to strong-arm me out of the Jacuzzi. Once I was on my feet and trying to get my legs up over the ledge of the tub, there wasn't enough room for them both to keep ahold of me. I had previously looked around the room for stable things to hold onto, and knew there were none - the shower curtain rod was a tension rod, the bathtowel rack was weak. The only handicap bar was behind me. And I couldn't get out without holding onto something. So, I took a chance on the curtain rod. And it came down with a crash. But I used it like a cane and succeeded in getting out of the tub!

Onto the birthing stool, two more pushes, and Anika was out. It was 3:20, five minutes after Gazelle confirmed that I was fully dialated, and Irene wouldn't arrive for another ten minutes! Total labor, 8 hours 35 minutes, just over half as long as my labor with Talia.

Once the cord was clamped, Gazelle gave me a shot of pitocin in the leg. After Talia's birth I had some pretty major hemmoraging and they wanted to prevent that again. That, other than an occasional poke with a dopler during the labor, was my only "intervention," and it was after the birth. Anika had inhaled a lot of mucus and was having trouble getting a breath at first, so Gazelle did some suctioning with the bulb aspirator before handing her to me. I took Anika and climbed up onto the bed to push out the placenta, and relaxed. She was a little too confused to take my breast right away, but figured it out within an hour (I'm not sure exactly what time that was.) I got the placenta out and Gazelle let me relax for a while, maybe half an hour or so, before checking me out to see if I needed stitches. I had one small tear that needed a few stitches, and then I was done. Irene ended up suctioning Anika again with the sucky machine (whatever they call that thing) a few hours later, because she was having too much trouble breathing through
her nose to nurse. They waited a few hours to wash her up and weigh her and stuff, so I had her all to myself for about two hours or so, and then she was never out of my arms for more than a couple minutes nor farther than about three feet from me when she was out of my arms.

My family stopped by about two hours after Anika was born, and brought Talia with them. She was a little confused, and very tired and hungry, so she didn't really know how to react. They took her back out for dinner and then home. Since I had refused antibiotics for the GBS, we had to stay at TBC for at least twelve hours so they could observe Anika. Craig took out dinner for us from YangMing - excellent, *spicy* Chinese. I highly recommend it We wound up leaving at about 7:30 or so the next morning.

The after-pains were rough this time. I knew they're supposed to be more difficult for a multipara than for a first-timer, but I was surprised by the degree. Last time 'round, they felt like bad menstrual cramps or b/h contractions. This time, laying in bed they felt like full-on contractions. And, when I stood to go to the bathroom late at night, they hit me like a train - I couldn't stand up straight. I ended up taking Motrin because I couldn't walk. After Talia's birth, I was a little weak and dizzy from the hemmoraging, but the pain wasn't bad; This time around, I was never dizzy or weak, but man, was I in pain! That, fortunately, is fading fast.

Anika is now a nursing champ, and she is no longer stuffy at all. She wakes and cluster nurses for a couple hours, and then sleeps well for a few hours - as long as she's on one of us! (She's currently asleep on my chest.) The last two nights, she's woken for cluster feeding from about one am until about four. Ugh, I hope she smooths that out soon. Talia was easier on that count - she'd nurse and then fall right back asleep. But, we're settling in well. Talia is fascinated with her and wants to hold her all the time. She hasn't been too possessive of my breasts, which I feared she would be. But, I was really surprised to
find she was quite possessive of her sling today - she saw me put it on and *she* wanted to ride. She was very upset that I put Anika in it!
See less See more
This is one of those stories where I am unsure of where to begin...

When I first sat down with Nancy we tried to figure out a due date. There was only one option for date of conception and I had been tracking my cycles but I had only had two periods and the cycles were entirely different. Throw in there that I was still nursing Amelia full-time and we were putting all kinds of dates down. Plus, with each pregnancy I had gone past my due date. By the time I left we had 7/23/04 (DOC) and 7/31/04 (LMP). We felt pretty good about 7/31. Regardless, I told Mike and Nancy that I would be amazed if the baby was born before 8/10/04.

Jump ahead about nine months. 7/23/04 came and went. 7/31/04 came and went. I was prepared for that to happen but it didn't stop it from being difficult. For some reason it is so hard to let go of those due dates.

I had my visit with Nancy 7/26 but we did not do an internal. We chatted about pre-labour, false labour, good ones and bad ones (contractions) and how we were going to handle this birth differently from the hospital VBAC. At that visit Nancy told me she was not going to have office hours the following week but was still attending births. So, I was not scheduled to see Nancy again until 8/10. I had a brief panic attack. When I needed Nancy's confidence and calmness the most I would have to do without. Of course, I could still call her but I wasn't going to admit to any weakness on my part. I wanted the baby to come by that weekend (7/31) but I KNEW that neither the baby nor my body were ready for labour and birth. Besides, I did have a wedding to attend.

False/Pre-labour was picking up. Some days there was a pattern to it but most days there was not. At the end of each day I would crawl into bed, throw myself around to get comfortable and all the contractions and Braxton-Hicks would pass. Amelia was demanding to nurse more often. This always brought on regular contractions but not the right kind. I knew that my cervix was still not ripe. I kept flashing back to Brannon's birth where no matter how much Pitocin they gave me things weren't happening. That compounded with each passing day as bringing me down. The kids were acting up probably in response to my increasing edginess.

On Monday (8/2) the Braxton-Hicks were developing a familiar pattern and I felt like I might just have a baby by then end of the week. They started at 20 minutes apart and worked their way down to 5 - 10 minutes apart on Thursday. But, each night they passed. Except for Thursday - when I woke up Friday morning they were still with me. I hoped and I 7pm on Friday they were still with me and more frequently about 5 minutes apart. I decided to call my brother and place him on "stand-by" in case "it" turned into anything overnight. I decided to call Nancy also, in case this was "it" I didn't want my first phone call to her to be in the middle of the night.

I went to bed and slept the night. I woke up at 8am rested and depressed. NOTHING was going on. I warned Mike that I was in a bad mood and that we needed to get out of the house so I didn't sit around dwelling on the fact I was never going to birth this baby. I was preparing for my visit on 8/10 to be all about natural induction talk. Finally, I bottomed out and called my mom.

My mom came down Saturday afternoon. WE all just hung out and it was great to have an extra pair of hands. My brother and a friend came over to take the kids to the pool. Amelia was asleep but Brannon was thrilled to go. It was such a great surprise for all of us. Mike was able to work on the girls' room and I worked on staining Amelia's new bed. It was so nice to get something accomplished and keep myself distracted.

Later we all went out to dinner - the kids were great. We got them home and in bed and then the "grown-ups" were able to hang out, enjoy each others company and a couple of glasses of wine. I went to bed feeling more relief than I had in probably months. Minus a few trips to the bathroom I was looking forward to a full nights sleep. Sometime between 3 and 4 am I woke up. I couldn't figure out why. I was uncomfortable but at this point in the pregnancy that was nothing new. Amelia stirred, fussed, but never woke up. I went downstairs to read for a while. I had a few Braxton-Hicks but didn't think much of them. Actually, I thought, "here we go again; a whole lot of nothing." Around 530am I went back to bed.

I woke up again around 830am. I was still having Braxton-Hicks; about 7 - 8 minutes apart. I told Mike and Mom I wanted to get out of the house. Mom and I had planned on going shopping but being Sunday nothing was open until noon. I couldn't wait that long. I suggested brunch. The Braxton-Hicks kept up and I was constantly headed to the bathroom. Every once and a while the Braxton-Hicks were more intense but nothing that kept me from talking or walking. I went to the bathroom right before we left, about 1030am, and MUCOUS. I held my breath, "well, maybe!?!" But this was my secret. I had already cried wolf once I was not going to make that mistake again. Besides, for some people that can happen weeks leading up to the labour. But, it had never happened to me before.

While at brunch I made a number of trips to the bathroom but the Braxton-Hicks were not changing much. I wasn't in the mood to eat and just picked at my sandwich. The kids were so amazingly well behaved. Maybe it was the live jazz that kept them going. Amelia was getting tired but I still didn't want to go home so we split up. Mom and I took Brannon shopping with us and Mike headed home to put Amelia down for a nap.

Around noon we got to Short Pump Towne Centre. I was shuffling along. More trips to the bathroom and more mucous. The Braxton-Hicks were about 5 - 6 minutes apart; big deal. But, I was finally willing to think that maybe I would have a baby in the next day or two. We shuffled around the mall getting some gifts for the kids; Mom wanted them to have something special from her when/if the baby ever came. Finally, I was just exhausted and every ounce of me wanted to be at home. Brannon wanted me to carry him and I tried but I had to keep putting him down. I felt all my energy drain out of me and wanted to get home and take a nap.

We got home at 200pm and Amelia had just woken up. The kids played with Mom and their new toys in the playroom and I headed upstairs to lie down. Mike came up with me. Mike was supposed to leave at 300pm to pick up Sarah and the earliest he would be back was 515pm. I didn't want him to go but with all the problems with his ex Mike didn't want to put that burden on anyone else. It was decided that Jack, my brother, would go get Sarah so Mike could stay with me. I didn't want to be alone that long.

Mike went downstairs to put water in the inflatable kiddie pool The kids wanted to play and I decided I would get in there with them. At this point I was no longer timing the Braxton-Hicks. They were starting to take some deep breaths to get through. I was starting to lose mucous in globs and some was blood tinged. This was a whole new experience for me.

Mom came out to help keep an eye on the kids. Mom also decided to time my contractions. Mom told me they were less than 2 minutes apart. I didn't believe her. But at this point Mom and Mike wanted me to call Nancy. I hemmed, hawed and stalled. I finally needed to admit something was going on and it was picking up. I couldn't stay in the water because the kids were climbing all over me and I just couldn't handle them jumping on my belly and having contractions. Finally I went upstairs and took the phone with me.

I was trying to lay down but I couldn't get comfortable so I called Nancy. She wasn't home so I paged her. Nancy called me back at 330pm. Nancy was out - living her life - but told me she would head home and call me back. I told her not to worry about it I was just giving her a heads up. My contractions were back up to 3 minutes apart while lying down and I thought. "Shit, I didn't again."

Earlier in the day I had discovered THE most comfortable place to sit - the ottoman of my rocker. I asked Mike to bring it upstairs to me.

I had to stop here to get my head together. It's taken a few days. Why is this so long? Why am I purging...Finally, I realised all the weight I carry with me that began with Brannon's birth. I trusted in God and the ability of my body to birth my children but I also carry the reality that things can go wrong. The fear that I might lose my child's life, the knowledge I can do everything I am "supposed" to do and there are no guarantees. I have always believed that labour is hard, I was raised that it is called labour for a reason.. But I have felt weak when faced with the reality of it.

Mike brought the ottoman upstairs. I covered it with Chux and sat down. It felt so good. Mike laid down on the bed to talk to me. I told him I didn't think I was going to make it. I was too tired already and the contractions were already hurting pretty badly. We should probably just go to the hospital and let them "just take this baby out of me." There was no way I was going to make it when things picked up. I asked Mike why we were doing this? I was so bummed out. Then Nancy called back. She was back at home getting her stuff and wanted to know if I wanted her to come over. I told her no. I didn't want her coming over to tell me that I was only 2 cm. I would have totally lost it. Nancy told me this was when she would normally come over. I told her I didn't care and she could come if she wanted to.

From here things are increasingly fuzzy...Time seemed to stand still.

I kept going between sitting on the ottoman and leaning on the bed and going to the toilet. I wanted to get back in the water - either the shower or the tub - but I was afraid it was too soon and that I would need the relief later. Instead I continued to wear a path between my ottoman and the toilet. It felt SO good to sit on the toilet but I couldn't comfortably lean back. I would get off the toilet, head back to my ottoman and make Mike sit/squat behind me so I could lean back into him.

Nancy arrived at 430pm. I continued in my various sitting positions while Mike helped Nancy bring her stuff in. I did have to get up to see if I was comfortable on the large birthing stool but it wasn't that comfortable and I headed back to my ottoman. Nancy wanted to check me. I had only been checked on other time at 37weeks 2 days. At that time I was high and soft. I agreed but didn't want to know - I thought if I was lucky I would be 4cm but probably only 2cm. It turned out I was a loose 6 and "mushy, watery" and a whole bunch of adjectives I always think are weird when describing my body.

I swear I saw Mike's jaw drop. Nancy told me I was ready to have the baby I just needed to let go and open myself up to it. I didn't want to believe her but I also knew Nancy would never say such a thing unless it was true. But, "how do I let go? I never have labour like that..."

We moved the ottoman to the other side of the room while Nancy set up a space to deliver the baby. I continued back and forth between the toilet and the ottoman and then tried to walk around some but it was so uncomfortable. I leaned onto Mike and we rocked our way through a couple of contractions. Mike and Nancy got the bathtub ready and I settled in. I laid there while Mike poured water over my belly. I was only in the water about 20 minutes when I started to heave with my contractions - like I was going to throw up but "throwing down." There was so much pressure in my butt I had to get out of the water and moved back to the toilet. The contractions were so intense - I reached out for Mike to hold his hand. I wanted to squeeze his hand but reminded myself to relax and let go. The heaving increased with the contractions and I could no longer get comfortable on the toilet. I wanted to move back to the ottoman so I could lean back. Mike settled in behind me and leaned back into him. I ran my hands through his hair and it helped me stay relaxed instead of tensing up. There was one split moment where I left the labour and was only focused on Mike. It was the first intimate moment we had in months. Momentarily we were a couple, without kids, again.

I reacted with a sudden intense/violent contraction/push and my waters exploded all over me. It was such relief and warmth (558pm). I felt such joy. Nancy then told us it was time to move. I went to the other side of the room to the birthing stool. Mike sat on the bed behind me. Fear crept up on me again and with each urge to push I stood trying to push myself away from the pain. Nancy coached me through and I focused on her voice and encouragement rather than the fear. I was sweating and leaning into Mike. I was shaking at the end of each push. The baby crowned and I quit pushing. Amazingly enough I held the baby in position. With the next push I focused on easing the baby out. The head emerged and the rest of the body seemed to erupt from behind. Nancy brought this tiny warm body up into my arms -all blue and cheesy and so amazingly warm. I sat there, spent and relieved, in Mike's arms and we met our daughter (616pm). I remember the phrase "full circle" clicking in my head.

I got a shot of Pitocin because I was bleeding quite a bit. After 3 contractions I passed the placenta. Nancy had told me sometimes you can feel your placenta separate. I don't know if I felt it release but I did know that right before the last contraction it was going to be the one bringing the placenta. Once the placenta came and Mike cut the cord I moved into bed.

Maillie Elizabeth latched on at 630pm and nursed for 45 minutes. I called Dad in Iraq and then we invited Brannon in. Amelia had gone to bed early. After Brannon met his sister, Sarah, Mom, Jack and Amy came in.

When Maillie stopped nursing we got her stats and then Mike dressed her. 7lbs. 5oz, length 20.75 and head 13.5 Maillie was passed around a bit and was so incredibly calm. After everyone ooed and awed Mike took the kids downstairs. Mom, Jack and Amy headed out to dinner and get me Thai food. Maillie and I hung out while Nancy cleaned up and drew and herbal bath for me. Nancy also checked out my vitals once more, checked my uterus and checked for tearing. I tore along my first tear so we had to stitch that up. After I was all patched up and okayed I shakily stood up and got into the tub. Full of cloves, rosemary, Shepherds purse, comfrey, calendula etc. - it was so warm and smelled so good. The lights were off while I sat in the water. Nancy held Maillie and Mike came in. We all just sat there - Mike and I in awe of our experience and the career Nancy had chosen - and Nancy forever oozing calmness and confidence. I felt so pampered even I couldn't believe I had just had a baby. I was so full of love and felt just as loved.

Also, you can go here. Only one picture uploaded at the moment.
Maillie Elizabeth
See less See more
i posted this on the uc thread also:

hi all,

i have been keeping up with the uc threads for a few months. i thought my midwife might back out of attending due to the legal climate here, but i have also been interested in uc anyways. she decided keep her commitment and attend.

we didn't know if we would call anyone. we would just wait and see how we felt and if the other kids were awake. i thought it would start in the middle of the night and have an earlier morning birth.

well, it started sunday afternoon. around 3:30pm i started losing the mucus plug. dh and the kids returned home shortly after. when they arrived i told them we were going to have a baby before we went to bed.

we put groceries away and ate a something. then started getting the room ready for the birth and filling the tub. around 5pm i decided to call my friends who would help out with the kids if we needed them. at the time no one was home i just left messages. shortly after calling, my 2 year old was starting to get unmanagable.

we decided we should have them come. i let the kids get in the pool with me for a little awhile before anyone arrived. i started to get a little frustarted with the kids jumping around and labor was getting up. i started getting vocal and my 2 year old was copying my sounds. it is cute in retrospect, but at the time i didn't like it.

people started arriving around 6 pm. we decided since we called our friends we should go ahead and call the midwife too. she really wanted to here at the very beginning. she arrived around 7:30pm or so. she asked if she could check out a few things, but i said no. i didn't want to be touched or move from my spot in the pool. she was ok with it and didn't push anything.

i felt inside to see if i could feel the baby's head or bag of waters. i felt the water bag. shortly after that, i switched to hands and knees position. the bag popped!! i felt pushy and wanted to push like crazy the first time, but realized i was going to hurt myself and slowed down.

i decided to let the midwife support my bottom. then i slowed myself down and pushed much slower. i finally had his head out. she checked for around his neck for cord and nothing was there. i pushed the shoulders and the rest slide out.

he was born at 8:50pm. he weighed 12 lbs 4 oz and 23 1/2 in long. no tears, but a sore bottom. the afterpains get worse each time, too.

this was the first birth my midwife attended that was so hands off. everything worked out great.

we named him forest, but are still thinking about the middle name.
See less See more
Heather Elizabeth was born on Friday, August 27th, 2004 - on her due date !!

I am still working on the details of her birth to write up her story properly, but felt I could post the short version here in the mean-time.

Friday morning started like any other lately - woke up and puttered around the apartment, playing with our 2-year old, having breakfast then off to do some errands. We got back around 11 am.

I put Owen down for his nap - nursed him to sleep while Brad cooked up some pasta for our lunch.

Between 11:30 and 12:00, I was sitting out in our living room, chatting to a couple of friends when the first contraction came on. Really strong, it actually HURT. And the next was about 5 minutes later, and they were a minute or more long.

One of the people I'd been chatting with was my doula - she asked if she should come over, but since I'd had a number of "false" starts lately, I put her off for a bit - she went to have a shower. When she came back, I told her it was a good time to come over, then I went to shower myself. Washing my hair and all during some strong contractions was interesting, but the hot water felt good.

I got Brad to start inflating our pool, and took to leaning over our excersice ball during the contractions - with Brad pushing on my hips/tailbone as hard as he could. Then he was filling the pool up with water.

When Tammy arrived, my contractions were less than a minute apart, and she asked if we'd called the midwife - which we hadn't done yet !! So Brad paged her, and we found out that she was at another birth, but she got someone else to head our way - that was around 1:00 or so I think.

Owen woke up from his nap around this time and came out to the living room - he was a bit scared, and clingy to Brad. He gave me a hug and kiss, and tried to copy Tammy in pressing on my back.

Not long after that, the pool was filled enough for me to get in - so I waited for a bit of a break and stripped down and got into the pool, leaning on the couch on my hands and knees.

Somewhere around there - Tammy asked if she should call 911, but was told "NO" in no uncertain terms - there was a midwife on the way, and I was managing okay (contrary to the moaning and groaning and carrying on I was doing in the pool!). The phone rang then - the midwife who was on her way had been in a car accident !! But another midwife was on her way !

It wasn't long after that that what felt like multiple ctx on top of one another started - luckily that didn't last long, and I could feel the baby coming way down. Brad was standing in the pool behind me, pushing on my back and tailbone.

My water broke in a gush - clear as clear could be ! Brad didn't notice anything being as I was in the water, but there was NO missing it for me.

A couple of contractions later I was screaming - loud - NO NO NO. Tammy asked me "No what" - I told her the baby was coming now, coming out.

Tammy was telling Brad to look and see if he could see the baby's head, but because of our positions, he couldn't tell. I think it was 2 contractions later that I could feel her head coming out - somehow I flipped from my hands and knees to sitting - Brad could see the back of her head then. I told him to hold the baby's head, but then put my hands back onto her as the next contraction came on and her head came out. I had her head in my hands as her shoulders came out next, then somehow caught her under the shoulders as she flew out with the next contraction.

I brought her up out of the water, and took a look to see if our baby was a boy or a girl. I *think* I told Brad and Tammy that we had a baby girl, but I'm not sure. That was 1:50 pm. Not 2 full hours after the first contraction hit me !

Heather latched on and started to suckle almost immediately, so we stayed in the water for a little while - someone contacted our midwife and told her that the baby was here, breathing, nursing and starting to get some colour, and I called my mom too.

With some help, I got out of the pool and onto our couch - and was lounging there covered in lots of towels and a blanket when the midwife (not ours) arrived about 2:15 pm.

Heather's cord was cut around 3-ish, placenta delivered not too long after that. She has been nursing like a dream, had lots of wet diapers and is working on clearing out the mec. Her big brother has been kissing and loving on her, he's fascinated with her little nose.

I know I've left lots out, but it's all something of a blur to me. Somewhere in there Brad and Tammy got Owen into his high chair watching TV and eating bananas !
See less See more
Sebastain's birth story

The birth of my second child started out much like my first child's: late. I had gone five days past my due date and had pretty much decided I was never going to go into labor! My older son, Ezekiel, was born 11 days past his due date after an induced, heavily drugged, vacuum extraction assisted birth. I was having a lot of anxiety that this birth was going to go the same way as Ezekiel's. His birth was the opposite of what I had wanted and was rather traumatic.
However, on this fifth day past due I did some soul-searching and made peace with going past my due date. I had to trust my body to do this natural, normal thing and trust my midwives, who were not putting any pressure on me, to do what they felt was best for us. I had an appointment at the birthing center the next day and was planning on discussing possible natural induction methods. That night after dinner I vomited and was having lots of low cramping and backache. Since I had been having pre-labor for a couple weeks I didn't think much of it.
At 3:30am the next morning I woke to the feeling of something trickling. I assumed it was either sweat or I was peeing on myself, both of which at that point in pregnancy are not uncommon! So I got up and went to the bathroom. After I peed I went to stand up and there was more trickling. Hmmmm, I thought. that's strange. Then I stood up and the trickling increased. I thought maybe my water had broken, but tried not to get too excited in case I was mistaken. I got a towel and waddled back to the bedroom where my husband, Joshua, and son were sleeping. I debated waking Joshua for a moment, but the trickling was pretty unmistakable as broken water by now. I smacked his foot, "Hey, my water broke. I think…" He asked what we should do and I shrugged and said we should probably go back to bed because I wasn't having any contractions. So we lay back down and then the contractions started coming on. They were mild and short but close together. After about 30 minutes I told Joshua to call the birthing center just to let them know.
Cher was the midwife on call and I talked to her through a couple of contractions. She said that since they were so short and pretty mild to go back to bed and call in a half-hour or so or if anything changed. So, we went back to bed, though of course neither of us could sleep. My parents, who live with us, had heard us on the phone and were up and about now. I felt bad for waking everyone up so early! Back in bed the contractions were getting stronger but they were still short and irregular. After about 20 minutes or I couldn't handle them lying down and was started to moan through them. I decided to take a shower and told Joshua to hold off calling Cher back until I was done.
In the shower the contractions were quickly getting stronger and I had to lean over and hold on to the handles on the shower door and moan through them. In between contractions I washed my hair, my body, and face like I wasn't even in labor! At one point I vomited and got the shakes and though to myself Huh, that usually happens during transition but didn't for a moment think that I actually was in transisiton! I got out of the shower and got dressed and ready, all the while having intense close-together contractions. Joshua called Cher back and told her we were coming in. He and my mom puttered about the house for maybe 10 minutes, getting things ready to go and left me alone to deal with these major contractions! But I felt really in control the whole time and was looking forward to getting in the big tub at the birthing center.
Not long after we started driving my contraction started coming on one right after the other and I had to focus and really concentrate on getting through each one. My mom kept me calm in the backseat and rubbed my back, reminding me to breathe and relax. I am really glad she was there to help me through them. During one of the contractions I felt my body push! I thought to myself that there was no way I needed to push already and ignored it. The next contraction it happened again, a huge surge of energy pushing down. I told my mom I felt like I needed to push to which she said "Don't push!" The birthing center is a 40 minute drive from our house and we were about halfway there but as soon as Joshua heard me say I needed to push he floored it! My mom helped me pant through the urge to push and I tried my best not to, but it was incredibly difficult! I read somewhere once that the urge to push is a lot like the urge to breathe, and I certainly found this to be true.
We made it to the birthing center in record time and when we walked in at 6:01 am Cher and another midwife, Kim were waiting for us, but of course had no idea how close I was. They had me go to the bathroom for a urine sample which I tried in vain to give, and Joshua told them I had been needing to push in the car. While on the toilet I was rocked by a huge contraction and an overwhelming urge to push. The midwives could tell by the way I sounded that they had better move fast and they quickly got me over to the bed (with my pants around my ankles no less). Someone got my shoes and pants off and Cher (I think) checked me. Oh yeah, fully dialated, baby's head was right there. I was given permission to push, though I would have liked to see them try to stop me! It felt great to push, even though I was rather vocal (ok screaming) at that point. I pushed a few times on my back, and then Cher checked the baby's heartbeat and told me go onto my left side. I pushed once on my side and Kim told me to reach down and feel the head. Amazing! I pushed again and it burned like crazy, once more and the head was out! I opened my eyes and could see the head, then needed to push again and out came the rest of the baby! I think everyone announced at the same time that it was a boy and the put him on my chest. He started crying right away and was a good color and no cone head at all!
Sebastian Jeffrey was born at 6:13am on Thursday, August 19th. 6 days past his due date, but right on time! 7lbs 15oz and 21 inches long. My labor was 2 hours and 45 minutes long and I never did make it into that tub! I am still in awe of this birth and the amazing abilities of my body. After the birth of my first son I felt defeated and like I had failed. I felt like his birth happened to me, rather than me giving birth to him. Sebastian's birth was so healing and wonderful I will never be able to put into words how it really feels. I am so happy with my two little boys and so grateful that I was able to have the birth experience I so desperately wanted.
See less See more
On Monday (8-23) my doctor and I made the decision to induce on Thursday (8-26). He was worried about delivery of a large baby and I was worried that my stubbornness to avoid an induction for my sake was clouding my judgment to do the right thing for the baby's sake.
On Tuesday (8-24) I was what I thought was labor. I had contractions that were starting out at 9 minutes apart that went to 4-5 minutes apart. This went on all night and day. I went to the dr's office to get checked during office hours and I had made no progress. L I was still 2 cm and 50 % effaced, which is what I was for at least 2 weeks now. I felt disheartened and they gradually stopped during the night. The next day I went shopping with my mom and kept busy to get my mind off the decision to induce or not. I ended up deciding to keep to the plan and go start pitocin on Thursday morning.
Thursday morning I went to the hospital around 6am and started paperwork, iv, enema, yada yada yada. I was checked and I was at 4 cm and 50 % effaced and the baby was at -1 station. I had made progress overnight. 8:00 I was started on low dose of pitocin, then it was doubled, 9:30 was when I had my first uncomfortable contraction. It was bumped up one more time and they got tough. I used my birth ball for most of them. It was GREAT. I was told that I could take the monitors off to use the bathroom and I did at first. But the baby was right on my bladder and I had the urge to pee all the time, so I didn't want to get nurses uppity so we figured out how to make the wires reach to the toilet. That was great because I could sit on the toilet during contractions or stand and lean on the bars. Eventually I was checked and I was at 8 cm. (around 11?) They turned off the pitocin. I continued to labor on my own! Good regular strong contractions. The pain was less intense so I was able to relax between them and even nap. Time gets fuzzy here. I was checked again later and I was 9 cm. The station was changing each time. I just can't remember other than the baby was getting lower and lower. The nurse said the bag of waters was bulging, so the dr. broke it. Then….somewhere in there I was checked again and still at nine. This wasn't progress enough according to them, so they turned back on the pitocin. BIG mistake. I was not able to relax between them and they were right on top of the other and I was in a lot of paaaaaaaaain. I begged them to switch off the pitocin and let me go with out it and they agreed after bargaining with me to make it 5 more contractions. I couldn't make it but 2 more and they turned it off anyway. I never really regained my "napping between contractions" composure. It was hell after that. I remember looking at the clock and it seemed like it was 3:30 FOREVER. I was clawing Josh. I was very scared and crying a lot. Then I got the sudden urge to push. It was so intense. I demanded the nurse come check me because I was ready. She said there was still a lip and I needed to wait. Then she said that maybe I could push through it. I had the green light to push. It was a relief. I stuck my tongue out during the first push. I bit it. That was the last time I stuck out my tongue. I remember is it was very quiet. Everyone must have been just watching and waiting not saying a word between contractions. It was strange. During the pushes they brought out a mirror but everyone's heads were in my way and I couldn't quite see, but that was ok because during pushes I needed to close my eyes anyway. I did experience the "ring of fire" I read about. I looked down to see when I was suddenly pushing out a beautiful squishy slimy baby boy at 4:39 pm.They put him right on my belly and Josh cut the cord and they did suction and whatever they do.. I was just in shock. I couldn't speak or blink or move my hands. Thomas was 9 pounds 9 ounces and 21 inches long. I did it all with no drugs (except pitocin). I couldn't believe I did it. I couldn't have done it without the help of my last minute but wonderful doula.
See less See more
Labor began on August 31st at 3:00am when I woke up with contractions that I couldn't sleep through. I officially began clocking the contractions at 5:00am and that's the time we used as the "official" start of early labor.

According to the midwives' records active labor began at 10:00am. Up until that point we had been laboring downstairs (main floor of the house) but at that point they suggested we might want to go upstairs to the bedrooms (that's also where the bathroom is located).

I continued to labor for quite a few hours - spending nearly all of my time in the baby's room. Paul was my rock and I never would have been able to do it without him. Most of the contractions involved him supporting me - quite literally - as I worked through them.

At about 2pm I hit a point where I was so exhausted I didn't know if I could go on, but my midwife was fabulous and suggested that I try to move around more and she fed me some honey. I walked back and forth between the bathroom, my bedroom and the baby's room and did get another burst of energy.

At about 3:30pm my midwife offered to do an internal exam (the only internal done during the labor phase btw). I went ahead and let her. I was dilated to 7/8cm and about 90% effaced. That information helped really perk me up and, I believe, helped push me on toward stage 2.

At about 5:15pm my midwife sensed that I might be fearful on a subconscious level and suggested a homeopathic remedy. I don't recall what the extract was, but as soon as I took it I ended up getting the urge to push - the unofficial start of stage 2 and the delivery.

I continued to have very strong contractions and was now standing in my bedroom. During contractions I would hold onto my husband and began feeling the urge to bear down and push. This continued for about an hour when my midwife asked if I wanted the birthing stool brought in. Her assistant went to get it from the van and I changed positions and sat in the birthing stool.

During the very first contraction in the birthing stool my water broke (and squirted all over my DH) and at 6:30pm stage 2 officially began. My midwife allowed me to continue to labor in the birthing stool for a while, but noticed during one monitoring that the baby's heart tones were weakening during contractions. She decided to have me use the oxygen mask during contractions. That immediately gave me a burst of more energy and brought the baby's heartrate back up to about 120 during contractions.

At some point (and I don't recall exactly when) the midwives decided we weren't making adequate progress pushing in that position and they suggested we move to the McRobert's position. This involves the mother lying on her back with legs supported by labor assistants and pushed up and open (imagine a crab on its back). My midwife had a length of fabric and she held one end while I pulled the other during contractions. It helped me to gain more momentum with the pushes and allowed me to keep my body relaxed and only use the muscles I needed to push with.

Molly decided to be born with her right hand tucked next to her head. In retrospect we believe that's why stage 2 was so long. Once her head and hand were delivered the other hand and shoulder came out quickly. She quickly opened her eyes and stared directly at my husband! We have a fabulous photo of Molly alert and greeting the world with only her head, arms and torso delivered. She took a moment or two to finish the delivery and in the next contraction her hips loosened and she was born.

The midwives immediately placed her on me and we spent about an hour or so snuggling while I delivered the placenta and we waited for her umbilical cord to finish pulsing before it was cut.

Overall we labored for about 15 hours when you use the 5am starting point as Molly was officially born at 8:13pm.

I had three small tears - two internal and one external - that didn't require stitches.

It was hard work (that's why it's called labor) and not without significant pain, but it was the most exhilarting and empowering experience of my life. I didn't realize until it was over how much of my DS's birth experience had been missed.

See less See more
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.