Saturday, 6 October 2012

My Lovely Apprentice on Numero Uno

Sweet Noah’s Birth Story Noah’s birth is one of my favorite memories, and one I think of often. I didn’t know much about Midwives or the importance of the birthing experience when I found out I was pregnant. I went to my routine prenatal checkups at a hospital every four weeks. I felt like I was missing out on so much, I felt like another number or unknown face at the hospital.
When I was six months pregnant, I attended a friend’s birth. She was having her first child at the birthing center with Amber. I wasn’t there for more than an hour before I knew that this is what I was missing. After experiencing this birth, I knew that if I continued with the hospital route I would always regret it and the experience of the birth of my child was not something I was willing to have any regrets about. So I started seeing Amber in my third trimester and it was a completely different vibe. I didn’t feel like I was just another number in a long line of people who needed to use the room after me. I knew I was finally heading in the direction of the birth that I wanted to have. On the day of Noah’s birth I woke up at 6:30 am with my husband, James, as he was getting ready for work and I noticed that it felt like my water had a slow leak. Now, at this point I was so ready to meet my new little baby that I was on my 3rd or 4th false alarm. I was determined not to tell my husband “this is it” again, until it was really it. My mom had even flown in early because I was so sure I was going to have him early (I was walking around at 3cm dilated for over a week, so I thought every day was going to be the day). So I kissed my husband good bye and started my morning routine of “get this baby out” with yoga and walking. Throughout the morning I kept feeling little gushes of water, at this point I probably should have known, but I wasn’t having contractions and I was starting to get use to having no idea what my body was doing. Midmorning, I told my mom what was happening but I wasn’t getting my hopes up again. The minute I told her she shouted “This is it! That’s your water!” That’s when it finally hit me and I got really excited. We started preparing the house and running some errands to get some contractions going. When I was at the grocery store somebody asked me when I was due and my mom started crying and saying, “She’s in labor! The baby is coming today!” then the stranger started crying and put her hand on my stomach and prayed for me and the baby. It was a very special moment. James decided to come home early even though my contractions weren’t very strong yet. Amber came over at 6:30pm because I was feeling anxious about my water being broken for too long (I was scared about having to go to the hospital if we hit the 24hr mark). She finished breaking my bag of water and oh did those contractions come. She encouraged me to take a warm shower which helped. Labor progressed and I remember going through the transition state. I hit my wall and was afraid that I wouldn’t have the energy to push and I just needed a break from the pain. Not long after that, it was time to push. I was in the bathtub already and definitely felt the urge to push. This is when I got my second wind and had a renewed sense of energy. My sister was in the room with me and was driving me nuts with a flashlight that kept reflecting off the water into my face. She suddenly announced that it was a girl! All I could think of was “why does it still hurt?” As it turns out, she just saw the head and saw it had hair so she said it was a girl (yes, that’s going to come back to bite her- I can’t wait until her first pregnancy). I, on the other hand, still had a good 4 or 5 pushes to do. Then, he came. There are no words for the moment that you see your baby for the first time. Noah came out and was laid straight on my chest, not taken from me. The bonding between my husband, baby and I was instant and intense. Noah never cried, just stared at us and we just stared amazed at him. That was the moment I first understood a mother’s love which cannot be explained, only felt. 3 years later and he is absolutely amazing.

Saturday, 7 July 2012


You's seldom easy. Sure, sometimes we get the easy birth, "butter birth", they call it. Most times it's hard. It's hard because there are layers upon layers of emotional damage to dig through, hard because there are medical professionals fighting your every move, hard because mommas want what they want, hard because in the midst of all that we are as midwives...we are also moms, wives, daughters, and friends. I just transported a mother for a true "emergency c-section". It was really needed. The baby was done with birth and at only 2 ounces shy of 11 pounds I was without a way. The baby was born without complications and was is doing well today, but in many ways I felt like I had let down my client and my friend. After all, the body shouldn't grow a baby too big and besides this momma was no stranger to big babies, her 1st was 10.1 and was delivered posterior and vaginally, so why???? I was so shocked that this guy couldn't make it through and while we dug for answers I just know this Dr. is sitting here shaking his head as to why we keep doing this and why we aren't surrendering everything to the mainstream medical establishment when had we waited another hour this baby may not have been born breathing. And I'm going to be honest here, I think this Dr. is quite awesome!! don't get me wrong, but there's a problem going too far any one direction!! Midwifery is amazing, but thank God we have medicine when a momma or baby is sick. Obstetrics is amazing, but overkill for most "butter births". I'm just tired tonight. I'm wishing all could have been better. I'm wondering what, besides size, got in the way of this little baby. Baby and mom are doing fine, just wish we didn't have to go into hospital!!

Monday, 30 April 2012

VBAC @home

Norah’s VBAC Birth Story I woke up around 7:30 Friday March 20, 2009 to regular cramping. I had just had light cramping for a few days before that had not been at any regular timing so I didn’t think much of it yet. My mother in law and brother in law came over around 8:30 to do some work in the yard for us. I got Ryan up and ready for work. I made pancakes for breakfast and ate about half of one before I got a little sick to my stomach. I told Ryan that he was going to have to go out for lunch because I didn’t feel well enough to make his that day. I also informed him to keep his phone nearby and sign on to AIM as soon as he got to work so I could message him quickly. I had stopped to time contractions for 30 minutes they were coming every 4 minutes. I wanted to go for a walk and get in the bath, but I couldn’t leave with the in-laws here. I did not want them to know what was going on at the time. They did not know we were having a home birth, and I didn’t want to let anyone know I was in labor yet. I still wasn’t sure it was the real thing. I called the midwife around 11 to let her know what was going on. I was supposed to have my appointment with her at 12:30 that day, but we had rescheduled the day before for the 24th. She asked me a lot of questions and said they would be on their way over in about an hour. My mother-in-law and brother-in-law left around 1pm, and the midwives showed up about 30 min later. I was talking to Ryan over AIM and told him that I was in fact in labor and to let his boss know he might have to leave early. At my previous appointment I was at 1cm and 50% effaced. She checked me and said I was at 3cm. The contractions were still light enough to where I could walk around the house. The midwives said they were going to go for coffee and be back in an hour to check on me again. I lost track of time at this point. The contractions were getting more intense and I started having the urge to moan through them, which helped immensely. After they left I had my mom call my sister to come over to help with Kaylee, and I got in the bath. Them warm water was so soothing and I was actually able to sleep in between the contractions. The midwives got back and came in to check on me. I was now at 4 cm. I stayed in the bath for a while longer. It was really helping me with the pain. I was surprised at how easy it was going so far. One of them came back in to check on me and listen to the baby during a contraction. The baby’s heart rate sounded a good and so did mine so I stayed in for a while longer. However the next time they checked her heart rate it dropped a lot during the contraction. They told me to get out of the tub and get in a different position to see if the baby would tolerate it better. It worked great. I got on the couch on my left side and the baby’s heart rate was so much better through each one then. She checked me again and I was at 7cm. The contractions were getting pretty intense, and I was getting louder. Kaylee woke up from her nap at this time. Ryan was told to come home. Kaylee was not doing well at that time. She would cry during my contractions. Ryan got home just in time to take her outside. The midwife was a little concerned about the baby being under a little stress while I was in the tub and wanted to break my water to make sure it was clear. I was a little nervous for my water to be broken so I asked her to wait a little while. I was really afraid my contractions would become unbearable. They were intense, but still never felt bad enough to need pain medication. She waited a while and then broke my water. This is where things got a little scary. There was a lot of meconium in the water. We started to talk about transferring me to the hospital. We got the car seat out and I started to get dressed. The closest hospital would take me but would automatically set up for a c-section since they banned VBACs. I refused to go there. The next closest hospital was completely full. She came back in and told me my options. I could either take a 30 min car trip into Austin to have my baby at a hospital there where VBAC’s were allowed, or I could push out my baby right now. She said we had to get the baby out as soon as possible. There was not really a reason not to try and still have a homebirth. They had all the equipment and training necessary to take care of the baby as soon as it came. I was not able to have a water birth anymore though. I started pushing on the couch, but it was not working well. We moved to the bed. Since I did not know how to push it was hard to get in the right position and the right grip on it all. After trying many different positions I ended up back on the bed. Pushing was the hardest thing I have ever done. I did not know how to push a baby out since my first was a c-section. Finally I was getting the hang of it and could feel the head start to emerge. Amber was getting a little worried at this time though and told me I had 3 more contractions before she was going to call 911. I was so close. I pushed through all 3 and the baby’s head was not out yet. Sheila got on the phone with 911. I was having another contraction while she was dialing so I gave it all I possibly could. That last one did it. The head was finally out. Shelia hung up with 911 and came back in to the bedroom. Amber was busy suctioning her lungs. After what seemed like forever I was able to push the baby the rest of the way out and they put the baby on me. Amber said she was not going to tell me the sex (we didn’t find out during the pregnancy) she wanted me to find out for myself. I looked and saw we had another baby girl. My sister got Ryan on the phone and I told him I had the baby and it was a beautiful little girl. He had taken Kaylee and gone to his mom’s since she was not doing well here at home. He was excited and came home immediately. The phone calls were made while Norah and I were getting cleaned up. The midwives were so great. They put clothes in the washer and took me in the bathroom to get cleaned off and she even helped me wash my hair. They stayed here until about 1am helping us out with everything. Norah was 7lbs 4 oz and 20 ½ in, and absolutely beautiful. Norah’s birth was exactly how I had imagined a natural birth would be. It was unbelievable that I did it. I was very scared about how I was going to handle all the pain, but it never got as bad as everyone had told me it would be. Her birth was exactly how I wanted it. I felt so empowered, like I was a true woman now. It was the best feeling to be experiencing after being robbed of that with my first childbirth experience.