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<p>rainbow_mandala, it's your week to shine! </p>
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<p>Tell us a bit about yourself and your plans to birth!  If I vaguely remember you are going to UC?  How does that feel for you - are you nervous?  excited? </p>
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<p>Cool, it's my turn! <span><img alt="thumb.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/thumb.gif"> </span> I live in South Houston, I'm turning 30 at the end of the month (on the 28th), and I'm planning another UC.  I recently moved here from Portland, OR to be near family and it's been working out great!  My mom has been really helpful with my older son and I feel like I'm able to enjoy this pregnancy more than my last (I was nervous about becoming a mom).  This baby moves A LOT!  I wonder how much she is going to actually sleep <span><img alt="lol.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/lol.gif">  I'm no longer with this baby's father (long story, basically he's not able to be there because of his emotional and physical health) but I've been getting closer with my son's father (sounds like a soap opera, I know, but it's actually drama-free and feels natural).  I'm feeling good physically except it's harder for me to walk for very long this pregnancy...makes my feet and hips hurt pretty quickly. </span></p>
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<p>The UC feels right to me, feels very natural.  I even feel like being alone this time around is what is meant to be, which will undoubtedly be challenging but also very empowering and healing.  I can't believe there's still 3 and a half months left, but, at the same time, it feels like time is going be awfully fast.  I'm also planning on having a lotus birth (letting the umbilical cord dry up and fall off on its own) mostly because of the spiritual aspects but also the physical, of course.  I'm really vibing with the name Violet Rose but I also keep leaning towards Ruby...possibly Ruby Willow. </p>
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<p>If anyone wants to ask me questions, I am open to pretty much anything <span><img alt="thumb.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/thumb.gif"></span></p>
 

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<p>i love both your name choices! just beautiful... <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"> i'm glad to hear things are working out as far as the move goes... i come from texas originally, from dallas. i love that you're on your second UC & that it feels natural. are you UP as well? i would love to do a UC! how did you become most inspired? did you meet someone who'd done it, read about it? same question for lotus birth! </p>
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<p>and, have you done lots of research and such on things that could come up, or are you just totally trusting nature and your intuition? just love hearing these things! </p>
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<p>sorry the hips and feet hurt when you walk...i know my daily walk does me such good, but there've definitely been periods when my sacrum/hips hurt after. that's less than fun!</p>
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<p>ashley</p>
 

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<p>Not that you asked really but i love Ruby willow!  Violet rose is cute but I have heard if before I think Ruby Willow is more unique.</p>
 

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<p>i feel silly, but lost, what is a "UC" or a "UP" ?</p>
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<p>not at all silly</p>
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<p>UC= unassisted childbirth (no paid expert at birth)</p>
<p>UP= unassisted pregnancy (no paid prenatal care)</p>
<p><span><img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"></span><br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mcs</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279796/spotlight-on-rainbow-mandala#post_16052086"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>i feel silly, but lost, what is a "UC" or a "UP" ?</p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ashleybrook</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279796/spotlight-on-rainbow-mandala#post_16051291"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>i love both your name choices! just beautiful... <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"> i'm glad to hear things are working out as far as the move goes... i come from texas originally, from dallas. i love that you're on your second UC & that it feels natural. are you UP as well? i would love to do a UC! how did you become most inspired? did you meet someone who'd done it, read about it? same question for lotus birth! </p>
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<p>and, have you done lots of research and such on things that could come up, or are you just totally trusting nature and your intuition? just love hearing these things! </p>
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<p>sorry the hips and feet hurt when you walk...i know my daily walk does me such good, but there've definitely been periods when my sacrum/hips hurt after. that's less than fun!</p>
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<p>ashley</p>
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<p>Hey Ashley <span><img alt="hug2.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug2.gif"></span> Thank you for the kind words!!  I found out about UC (and UP) when I was researching health care providers during my first pregnancy.  I quickly realized I didn't feel comfortable giving birth in a hospital, especially with a doctor (mainly because I didn't see pregnancy or birth as an illness), so I looked into midwives.  My insurance at the time only covered one midwife and she was a little far from us...just as I was about to give up and just go with her I stumbled upon <a href="http://www.unassistedbirth.com" target="_blank">www.unassistedbirth.com</a> and it immediately felt like a breath of fresh air.  Laura Shanley has this way of portraying unassisted birth as being something not only rooted in nature, but also something that can be done in a state of peace.  Her tone is as far from fear-based as you can get, imo.  Not only her, but most of the UC birth stories I read during that time sounded and felt very peaceful, like they were just matter-of-fact.  Very little stress, very little fear, you're simply in labor, you let your body do what it needs to do and the baby is born.  I know it doesn't always go that smoothly, of course, but it sounded to me like the more the woman trusted her body's innate wisdom to birth a baby, the smoother it all went.  The less she had to think about, the easier it was to go with the flow.  I knew instinctively that this was what was right for me and my baby.  My DH and I also picked up a copy of Emergency Childbirth and we extensively researched all the possible complications that could come up and what to do in those circumstances.  My intuition kept telling me everything would go wonderfully, but my intellect still needed reassurance.  My labor was, in fact, very peaceful, very matter-of-fact.  Since I didn't have to think about dilation or calling anyone or doing anything in particular, I just relaxed and went with it.  I have the birth story if anyone would like to read it <span><img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"></span></p>
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<p><span>UP feels just as natural as UC...I haven't felt the need to be monitored when there's nothing wrong with me.  I understand that things could happen, but I'm very well-versed in health care (I have a BS in Health Science) and I've always been a bit of a health nut (well, okay, maybe more than a bit</span> <span><img alt="lol.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/lol.gif"></span><span>) so I'm very aware that the number one way to ensure that problems don't arise is through prevention.  If you take care of yourself, eat what your body needs, drink plenty of water, get plenty of rest, all the essentials then the odds of something "coming up" become very low.  Also, it's very easy to take your own blood pressure, use urine strips to check for protein, notice signs of anemia, etc. that a HCP doing this becomes a bit irrelevant.  Sometimes they can pick up on things quicker than you might (like pre-e) but, again, prevention is the key.  Also, my intuition is so strong that I'd be able to sense if something was off inside of me and what to do about it. </span></p>
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<p>I remember reading a few different lotus birth stories when I was pregnant with my first.  I wanted to do it then, too, but the placenta ended up coming out when I was peeing <span><img alt="biglaugh.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif"></span> so that didn't work out.  I didn't have the energy or motivation to clean it really well after that.  We did leave the umbilical cord intact for a few hours, though, before cutting it, which I know was really good for him.  If you do a search on google you'll find some very inspiring stories <span><img alt="orngbiggrin.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif"></span>  I really resonate with the spiritual aspects of lotus birth, namely the non-severance aspect.  I don't feel there's any innate or biological reason for cutting the cord and the act of allowing it to fall off on its own is about as natural and non-violent as you can get, imo.  It also allows for a quieter & more peaceful transition period for the mother and baby.  Since you have to tote around the placenta if you carry the baby anywhere or pass the baby to someone else, the mother and other caregivers become more conscious of how often they do this, making it more appealing simply to lay and rest as much as possible. </p>
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<p>I hope that answers your questions!  I love talking about all of this, so if anyone has any more questions, feel free to ask!  Don't worry about sounding "dumb" or whatever...curiousity is all that's needed, imo.<br>
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<p>I would absolutely love to read your birth story...and if you're interested in posting it, i'd love to post it on my website...just pm me and i'll send you the link to see if it's a place you'd enjoy sharing it...if that interests you. i have several home birth stories, but would love to share an UC story! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"> but, either way, i'd love, love, love to read it! </p>
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<p>i'd interviewed sarah buckley and was very interested in doing a lotus birth...unfortunately my dh is somehow afraid to see the placenta after 2 hospital births with his ex...so i let that idea go for this one, but he gave accepted all my other ideas on home birth, etc...he's got a big hurdle to overcome from his past experiences. so, maybe the next one will get a UC & a lotus birth! blessings to you on this one! what fun, i look forward to hearing this birth story too!</p>
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<p>ashley</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ashleybrook</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279796/spotlight-on-rainbow-mandala#post_16057831"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I would absolutely love to read your birth story...and if you're interested in posting it, i'd love to post it on my website...just pm me and i'll send you the link to see if it's a place you'd enjoy sharing it...if that interests you. i have several home birth stories, but would love to share an UC story! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"> but, either way, i'd love, love, love to read it! </p>
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<p>i'd interviewed sarah buckley and was very interested in doing a lotus birth...unfortunately my dh is somehow afraid to see the placenta after 2 hospital births with his ex...so i let that idea go for this one, but he gave accepted all my other ideas on home birth, etc...he's got a big hurdle to overcome from his past experiences. so, maybe the next one will get a UC & a lotus birth! blessings to you on this one! what fun, i look forward to hearing this birth story too!</p>
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<p>ashley</p>
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<br><br><p>I can see why it would be a slow process for your DH <span><img alt="winky.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/winky.gif">  I think my partner was relieved when the placenta fell into the toilet last time so that we didn't have the lotus birth...he's a bit squeamish about blood and organs</span> <span><img alt="lol.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/lol.gif"></span></p>
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<p><span>Here's the birth story and I'll also PM you for the link to your site:</span></p>
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<p><span style="font-family:Arial;">Where do I begin?  I guess I'll start with why I decided to have an unassisted birth.  Last February (a few months before I got pregnant) I started researching hospitals/doctors in the area when I randomly came across <a href="http://www.unassistedchildbirth.com/" target="_blank">www.unassistedchildbirth.com</a>.  My intuition told me that this was right for me.  I immediately felt very comfortable with the idea that birth is a natural, normal process that if left to its own devices will much more often than not go smoothly.  I've always trusted my body very deeply, so it makes perfect sense to me that if a woman's body knows how to grow a baby then it will also know how to birth it.  Medical intervention seemed to be a bother (to say the least) for such an intense, amazing experience.  Having a midwife was slightly appealing, but I knew that I wouldn't be able to completely let go of my inhibitions if I had one around.</span></p>
<p>      <span style="font-family:Arial;">After I got pregnant in April, I started reading as much as I could about the nature of birth including inspiring birth stories that made me trust even more that my body knew what to do.  My husband and I also prepared for any and all complications that could arise and had a back-up plan in case we couldn't handle whatever might come up.</span></p>
<p>      <span style="font-family:Arial;">On Wednesday, January 3rd, I had a feeling that tonight might be the night due to having strong contractions off and on for a few days prior and also the fact that it was a full moon.  My instincts were right for at about 5:30 PM they started up again.  They were pretty much like how they had been the past few days (a low crampy feeling in my front and back), so it wasn't until a few hours later that I started thinking this might really be it.  My husband and I put in a movie and we started timing the contractions.  For awhile they were averaging about 7 minutes apart and slowly picking up intensity.  I was still able to talk and breathe pretty easily through them (and watch the movie), so I still wasn't sure if I was really going to give birth or not.  During the latter half of the movie (it was around 10/10:30 at this point) they started getting closer together and stronger.  Now I had to concentrate on my breathing and consciously allow the waves of intensity to come.  That's a great way to describe them: waves of intensity for they didn't exactly hurt nor were they were particularly pleasurable. </span></p>
<p>      <span style="font-family:Arial;">At 11 I had some bloody show, so there was no mistaking it now...this was definitely it!!  Between about 11 and midnight they were still about how they were during the latter half of the movie...pretty intense but definitely manageable.  At midnight I started feeling sleepy since that's when I normally go to bed, so my husband and I went and laid down in the bedroom.  We had already set up the area next to the bed with an old shower curtain, several blankets and towels.  My sweet husband put his hand on mine as the waves came stronger and stronger.  It felt natural to moan deeply through them...it wasn't a conscious thing, really, the moans felt like an involuntary response to what my body was doing.  As the waves got stronger, so did the moans...what started out as a nice, gentle noise slowly evolved into deep, animal-like bellows at the end of labor.  Being so wrapped up into myself (and also not having anyone around but my husband) I didn't feel the least bit self-conscious about them. </span></p>
<p>      <span style="font-family:Arial;">I moved onto the floor at around 12:30 or so (I wasn't exactly staring at the clock at this point).  Chris brought me a chair to lean on as squatted/kneeled in front of it.  Now is where the fun really began :p  The waves were coming about a minute apart (maybe less), they lasted what felt like eons with a distinct peek in the middle of each one.  Trusting my body deeply, I knew it was doing what it needed to do even though I didn't particularly like it.  I didn't hate it, either...it's hard to describe.  I guess a good way to describe it would be I was completely immersed in the process...there really was no separation between the "two" of us.  I could feel my cervix expanding pretty rapidly now, so I knew the moment had to be pretty near.  Now the waves were taking over my body to the point where I felt like I might not be able to go on...I knew then that I was at transition.  They welled up fiercely inside me and crashed down against my cervix.  I could feel the head starting to push down as the waves crashed, which was the first time I felt any real pain.  Now with the deep, bellowing moans came "Owww!!" at the end of each one.  I decided to lay on my side, propped up on one arm with one leg in the air (what a site that must have been lol).</span></p>
<p>      <span style="font-family:Arial;">As the head made it's way into the birth canal I felt like my body was opening up.  My cervix screamed at me with a burning sensation, and I seriously wondered if my vaginal canal was splitting into two.  Now the head was coming out...between waves I asked my husband what he could see and he said the head was crowning.  "Thank God!!" I thought as the next wave pushed the head out...once again I wondered if I was being ripped open but knew instinctively that everything was okay (there were also female spirits around who would tell me from time to time that I was doing great and the baby would be out soon...I like to think of them as birth angels) :)  The body soon followed as our little miracle literally squirted into his daddy's waiting hands.  This sensation felt like a big, slimy fish shooting out of me.  Chris laid the baby on the towel between us.</span></p>
<p>      <span style="font-family:Arial;">We both looked down at our baby...for a split second neither of us were aware of what just happened and then suddenly something clicked inside of us and we both reached for the baby.  My husband excitedly declared that it's a boy as I pulled him close to me.  I really can't describe how I felt at that moment...elation is too small of a word.  I can say this, though...it was definitely love at first sight.  I keep falling more and more in love with him, too.  By the way, I didn't tear at all and everything after the birth went well.  As a side note, I don't believe unassisted birth is for everyone...one must trust VERY deeply in their bodies and the birth process.  Lastly, he was born at 1:42 am on January 4th, 2007 and when we weighed and measured him a few days later, he was 8 pounds even and 19 inches long.</span></p>
<p>      <span style="font-family:Arial;">So there you have it...I hope you enjoyed reading the birth story of Quantum Michael :)</span></p>
 

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<p>i did love it very much...especially your birth angels...and the moment where you and your dh realized what had just happened and reached for babe! i can see it happening. thank you for sharing. it is such a gift to see someone trust so deeply. <img alt="hug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"></p>
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<p>ashley</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ashleybrook</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279796/spotlight-on-rainbow-mandala#post_16058676"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>i did love it very much...especially your birth angels...and the moment where you and your dh realized what had just happened and reached for babe! i can see it happening. thank you for sharing. it is such a gift to see someone trust so deeply. <img alt="hug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"></p>
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<p>ashley</p>
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Thank you, Ashley!  I'm glad you enjoyed it so much, it warms my heart to know that <span><img alt="luxlove.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/luxlove.gif"></span></p>
 
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