Friday, October 10, 2014

Twins Born Naturally in the Hospital

My Perfect Natural Twin Birth

I have no doubt that I have experienced the most miraculous and perfect thing that I ever will in my entire life! My twin's birth was amazing on so many levels and I want to share my story :)

I chose to use the Hypnobabies method to be able to birth my twins naturally. I didn't always want a natural birth, ESPECIALLY once I found out I would have to push two babies out... I was like,
But I am a huge fan of doing things naturally and wholistic stuff, and I kept having the thought come to my mind, "why would Heavenly Father make our bodies perfectly but then require it to do something that everyone thinks is impossible to bear?" So I decided not to give up quite yet and educate myself on birth. 

Through my dear friend Rachel and some spiritual promptings, I stumbled upon a Hypnobabies class taught by Talya Matheson. Hypnobabies teaches self hypnosis to re-wire the way we view birthing to a very positive thing and it teaches deep relaxation and how to use hyono-anesthesia. It also teaches very detailed and accurate information on the birth process and what our bodies can do! I soaked up every ounce of information like a was exactly what I wanted to hear and it felt good! By the end of the course, I was craving a natural birth and had so much confidence in myself and my body! Thank you Talya! 

I finished the classes and had about a month to practice my techniques and get my birth team together. I hired Talya as my Doula and Jordan stayed by my side with all of my decisions. I was so excited to see what my birth story would be like! So without further ado..

Thursday started off as a normal day... Sleepy, uncomfortable, and excited that I was one day further. I was 35 weeks and a few days. I had a doctors appointment to go to that I went to with my mom. The doctor said that the babies looked really good! Both head down and cooperating completely. He even made the comment, "they could be born tomorrow and probably be just fine!" Heh heh... 

We went to lunch right after and while we were eating I noticed I felt a little crampy. I had had these feelings before and they didn't hurt at all and they didn't seem to be coming and going... Just kind of a general feeling. I usually felt that way when the babies were growing and my uterus was stretching so I just figured they were getting bigger. 

That night I had a huge dinner packed with protein and carbs and I had the thought, "this would be a good meal to eat right before I went into my birthing time" heh heh... 

After dinner I was supposed to go to a wedding reception with Jordan but I felt a huge desire to sleep and a prompting to listen to my body, so I fell asleep and Jordan went to the reception. I slept for about 3 hours, woke up at 9:00 pm, and waddled myself to the bathroom. While on the toilet I felt a big shuffle come from the babies followed by a slow and somewhat constant trickle. I thought, "um? That was not pee... Wait..." Yyyyyep my water broke and I knew it! I sat there wondering why I hadn't felt any pressure waves and if they would start. In the mean time I just sat there and texted Jordan. I knew that would result in some sort of hyper-reactive tornado that is Jordan, but I needed him home because I was a little bit in shock. I also texted Talya, my doula, to let her know things were starting. Then i called my mom for some comfort before Jordan got home. 

I was still just sitting there when Jordan got home. Sure enough I was bombarded with excited questions... "Are you sure?" "Why is so much coming out?" "Are you ok?" "What do I do?" "CALL THE DOULA" haha... I reminded him what we learned in class and that this is normal and calmed him down a little. I called Talya anyways and she suggested to lay down and get some rest  before things started picking up and to send Jordan to get some pads so I didn't soak the bed. Haha.. Jordan knew what pads were from being a husband, but I had to explain that I needed the big obsorbant kind this time. He ran out the door and came back with the biggest pads I had ever seen!! They were just short of being a diaper.. I laughed and told him thank you.. But they ended up being just what I needed. 

We hadn't packed our hospital bags yet and I hadn't felt any pressure waves so I figured I should get that ready before I got some rest. I was very calm but Jordan waaaaas not. He went into what he calls "survival mode" and ran around the house packing anything and everything he saw that might come in handy later..this included tuna fish cans and a can opener...(an obvious necessity for birth). It was while I was packing that I felt my first real pressure wave! I kind of excitedly just stood there and felt it. I had been wondering for 35 weeks what this would feel like! It felt like a really big fast cramp...ish. I was glad things were moving! 
 I kept packing and they kept coming until I finally realized the pressure waves were coming faster than they should if I was in my early birthing time. I started tracking them and they were already about 6 minutes apart and lasting 30 seconds to a minute. At 10:40 I texted my doula and let her know that things wet picking up and I didn't think I could sleep through the waves. She encouraged me to listen to my body and get into hypnosis. I tried laying down to listen to my cd but man my body did not want to lay down! I decided to sit on my birthing ball and listen to my deepening track (a cd that talks you into deep hypnosis). Ten minutes later I realized the waves were pretty intense and I couldn't talk through them. I wasn't completely able to tap into my hypnosis tools because things were moving so fast so I was getting anxious for Talya to come over but I figured I still had like 15 hours left of labor so I didn't ask her to come yet. Ten minutes later though I texted her that I was having a hard time relaxing on my own and she called me and talked me through a few pressure waves. Her voice was so calming and she said everything I needed to hear to remember my hypnosis tools I had been practicing. I was able to be very relaxed after listening to her prompts. Where was Jordan during all of this? On a packing rant... He even came in to ask me if he could run to walmart to buy a head mount for his GoPro and some canned soup... I gave him an exasperated and curious look and said, "no I need you here" and he kicked in and sat with me till Talya got there.

Talya got to our place at about 11:30 or 11:45. I heard Jordan greet her at the door and directed her right upstairs to where I was. I could tell he was really relieved she was there and so was I! 
I spent the next little while awkwardly waddling around trying to find a position that my body would agree with while Talya made me feel very calm and relaxed. At about midnight I threw up and boy did that feel good! When I was throwing up, I remember thinking, "don't people usually throw up when they are in transition?" I still really didn't think I was that far yet.... Talya soon pointed out that my pressure waves were every two minutes now and asked if I would like to go to the hospital yet. I agreed and we made our way to the cars. I went with Talya so she could continue to help me and Jordan followed behind us. We ran lots of red lights and I realized Talya thought I was pretty close to having the babies! But as we got closer to the hospital I experienced some pressure waves that were different from the rest... I don't know how to describe them except for very productive feeling.. And then I finally knew that I was definitely close! 

We pulled up to the ER entrance and a nurse rushed out with a wheelchair to greet us. I didn't hear her, but Talya told me later that she told the nurse I was ready to push! She rushed us up to the Labor and Delivery unit and turned us over to those nurses. The L&D nurses must not have thought I was that close because they were not acting rushed at all. They asked us a few questions and then sent me to triage and they told me to put on my gown and then get in the bed where they will check to see how dialated I was. I just did as I was told, but as soon as I went to change into my gown I felt a huge overwhelming need to push my baby out! I told Jordan and he proceeded to run back and forth between the bathroom where I was to the nurses desk outside yelling, "CAN I GET SOME HELP?" Finally the nurses felt some urgency and walked me over to one of the delivery rooms. Somehow I got changed into the gown and in the bed and the doctor who was on call checked my dilation and announced I was duh... I got rely excited when he said that though because the only pelvic exam I had was the last one :) and I was so so excited to meet my babies! 

I was pushing during all of this with each pressure wave and the doctor told me not to push until we got to the operating room.... Uuummmm FYI it is impossible not to push... But he is a man and could not possibly understand, so I forgive him for making the comment. (We had to go to the operating room because of hospital policy that every mom with multiples has to deliver in there) Pushing felt so so so good! I loved actively working with my body rather than trying to relax and let it do it's thing. 

We finally made it in there and I chose to push on my knees. Talya was not allowed on the OR so it was just me and Jordan working together. This is something I will cherish for the rest of forever :) he held me and said little prayers with me and told me how amazing I was doing. 

I was pushing for 40 minutes. Those were arguably the best 40 minutes of my life. It was a little weird because there were so many nurses in the OR watching me... I looked around at one point and saw a small crowd of nurse faces watching me from a window... I didn't know what to do so I just smiled at them. They didn't know what to do either and awkwardly smiled back. I was in the zone for most of it though and wasn't aware of my surroundings at all. Jordan said lots of nurses in the room were talking to each other about how well I was handling everything. I felt no pain but felt every sensation from from both babies coming down and crowning to both babies slipping into this life. I pushed my baby boy out first :) it. Was. Amazing! I did it!! I was so happy and proud of myself and feeling him come out was surreal! I was facing backwards so I had to turn around and sit normally to hold him :) he was softly crying and so beautiful! The doctor let his cord pulse a little bit before he had to clamp it and get things ready for baby girl to come out. I handed him to Jordan and then assumed the normal "pushing" position so the doctor could see what baby girl was doing. She was a little angel and was still head down. The doctor suggested we break her sac so she would continue to come down quickly. I was against the idea for a second but I felt very at peace with it and agreed. I didn't have time to get back on my knees because she was coming! After 9 minutes and two pushes she was here! I could see her and she was blue but she quickly took a breath and pinked right up. She was very quiet and just enjoyed me telling her how much I loved her. A piece of my placenta wouldn't come out so there was a bit of craziness while they got that out... But eventually I got both babies in my arms, kisses from Jordan, and the happiest feeling I can't even describe. I still can't believe I did it :) we finally left the cold operating room and went back to the regular room where I got both of my babies to latch and nurse at the same time! Our family was finally together and everything was perfect.  

I owe a lot of this to my hypnobabies training. I spent months re-training my brain and practicing hypnosis. Also Talya was amazing to have! I don't think I will have a baby without her... And Jordan... I might cry.. You were so supportive and helped me be so strong! I love you! 

I am so humbled I was able to be a part of Heavenly Father's plan and participate in the power of His creation. I feel very close to heaven as we work together raising these two little angels :) 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Postpartum, Baby Moon, Fourth Trimester

 I thought since we give so much attention to the pregnancy and birth that I would take some time to write down memories of my recovery.  I think it is important to know this was my eighth baby. I have birthed all my children naturally.  This was my fifth home birth, my fourth water birth. She is my second girl.  Also, I am a doula and run the Powerful Birth Group.  I add that because no matter how much we know, when we are the mother we are the mother.  We worry and have concerns about everything.  We question ourselves and hope that our baby is okay.

As I write this my baby, Eden, is laying tummy down on my chest.  I hear little baby noises as she breathes, see her soft hair, tiny features, fresh eyelashes,  and smell her baby sweetness.

I felt awesome after she was born.  The birth was amazing and I was so thrilled and happy.  I was looking forward to the time that I could  relax and nurse her.  I was going to enjoy this time and get to know this fresh person.  As we began that journey together, it turned out to be more difficult than I anticipated.

The first time I nursed Eden something felt wrong.  I think I even said, "That's not right."  I hoped she just latched on wrong and that next time would be better.  I kept trying to help her latch correctly.  She was frustrated, swallowing lots of air, and I was in a lot of pain! She would grunt and it seemed like she was really uncomfortable. When she was two days old things were extremely painful.  That night I had an IBCLC (breastfeeding guru) come over to see how to fix things.  She grimaced with me.  She validated the poor situation.  She also told me that Eden needed her tongue and lip released.  She was lip tied and tongue tied.  I know there are worse things in the world, I do, but this was sad news. We each got a blessing that night.

 We called the dentist the following morning and took her in.  They used a laser to fix the problem.  She was wrapped and held down while they did it.  She screamed.  Brian said he saw smoke come from her mouth.  My heart hurt! 

She did not nurse better right away.  In fact, it got really bad.  I had sores and was in so much pain.  Her lip swelled up.  When she tried to nurse, she let off in pain.  It was so sad.  I felt so bad for her. We had to rub and stretch the wound so it would not re-adhere.  She hated it!  So did I and I admit I made my husband do it.   About a week after the procedure, I felt like things were starting to get better.  She is four weeks old today and nursing still needs to improve.  It has gotten better than in the beginning, but we are not completely there.  She still gulps lots of air.  Some feedings go better than others, but she always has lots of large burps and is fussy after she eats.

We have tried lots of things.  I think we have spent $600-$700 trying to help her.  This includes the Dentist, Chiropractor, Cranial Sacral Therapist, and Massage Therapist.  Things will get better.

My recovery physically, as far as the birth, has been very good.  No discomfort or pain in my bottom.  I had after birth pains/cramps that were intense for about 24 hours after the birth. I took 800mg of ib profin, but felt like it didn't touch the pain.  In past births, that totally helped.  Not this time.  After the first 24 hours, they lessened in intensity and I could cope better.  I have had to make an effort during this recovery not do too much.  If I was too active, then my bleeding would increase and I would feel more achy and have pressure in my bottom.

Emotionally I have felt well.  It helps to have the support and help from my husband, kids, parents, in-laws, and my sister.  I have had food brought upstairs to me in my room several times.  I really appreciate that!   I am tiered and frustrated with the nursing struggles, and that can bring me down emotionally.  I feel good for the most part.  I have snapped at kids and feel bad about that.  They have been so patient.  It is hard to get things done.  Eden likes to be held. A LOT. When she is being held, she likes to be held upright and usually is swaddled.  She likes pressure on her tummy. Thank goodness I have big kids who don't mind holding her so I can use the bathroom.  Going outside always helps calm her down.  She loves walks in the evening.  She also loves being in warm water.  Kids have also helped switch loads of laundry.  Dinners that were brought into us were FABULOUS!!  Now I have been making pretty simple meals.  Really, dinner is hard for me to get done.  I can't do a little here and there or let it go if it doesn't get done.  My kids need to eat.

Yesterday I went through all my baby boy clothes.  That was a sad thing for me!  I am thrilled that Eden is here, but sad that I will never need my boy things again.  Plus,  I think I am mourning the fact that I will never have a tiny baby again.  I am good with that and know all is well, but knowing this is my last baby does make me sad.  I took a bath with her tonight and wanted to hold on to the moment.  These are my last baths with a tiny baby.  She is changing so fast and I will never have these tiny moments again.

I am grateful to have Eden here in our family.  I hope she continues to improve her feedings.  I think that will help her and I feel better.  She is cute as can be and I love her so much.  It is fun to see her develop and notice new things about her.  She is beautiful!   Our family is so blessed to have her!!!!

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Birth Story of Baby Eden

Baby was "due" May 11th, 2014, Mother's Day.  One week later it was Sunday the 18th and I was still pregnant.  I went to church and taught my last Temple prep class for the series. This baby must have known I needed to finish the class.   I knew that if I went past 11:14pm that night it would be my longest pregnancy.  I was emotional at church.  I heard lots of advice on how to go into labor.  I took it all in stride.  People meant well.  I was not really worried.  I knew she would come when it was the right time.  My body would be ready and she would be ready.  That night Brian and I went on a walk alone.  When we got home I took a steamy shower to help my annoying cough that I had been dealing with for a month to loosen up.  I went to bed with plans to get up and do laundry and fix my hair.

At 3am I woke up to a strange feeling in my abdomen.  I laid there and thought it might have been a contraction.  I got up and went to the bathroom.  Nothing new.  Went back to bed.  I would have a contraction again.  Not to intense, but more than the light ones I had been having here and there for weeks.  I tried to time them.  Some were ten minutes apart, some three.  Some weak, some stronger.  I stayed in bed for an hour trying to sleep, watching the clock and hoping this was it.  I was thinking that if this was labor, then why are the contractions so inconsistent.   I wondered if she was in a good position.  But the contractions were low in front where they should be, so I didn't do anything about it.  At 4 am I decided to get up and move around a bit.  If this was labor, I would rather get it going before the kids were all up, but at the same time I wanted to let my birth team sleep as long as possible.  At 4:30 I woke Brian up.  The contractions were steadily coming and getting harder.  He called the Midwife and Doula.  They were on their way. 

I had planned on a water birth and really hoped to catch my baby this time.  I had fears that I would be alone.  I had fears that she would be in a difficult position.  I had filled my bathroom wall with positive affirmations and words of encouragement from friends.  In the time leading up to the birth I read these things often.  The positive affirmations helped me a TON!!

As I was standing in the bathroom and when I would have a contraction, Brian would rub my lower back and hips as I leaned on the counter.  That felt good and I wondered how he knew to do that.  Usually I would want my hips squeezed, but that didn't feel right this time and I never had to tell him.  He was filling the tub and getting it ready.  I would rotate between leaning on the counter and sitting on the toilet.  At one point as I leaned against the counter I felt her come down quite a bit.  I told Brian she is coming soon.  I told him she is moving down.  He called Chris and told her I was going to have the baby soon.  She said she was 2 minutes away.

I climbed in the tub and it seemed like no time at all she told me to reach down and feel my baby.  I remember thinking it was too early for her to be there.  But I felt her crowning.  I felt her head emerge.  I kept my fingers on her and felt as her shoulders slowly came out and then her body. I do not know if my eyes were open or closed because everything I "saw" at this time was through my hands.  It is hard to describe how this felt.  It was amazing to feel her body emerge from me.  I reached down with my other arm and lifted her up out of the water.  I had done it!  We had done it!  It was over.  I had never felt so aware during any of my births.  It was an amazing feeling and I was so happy to see her and know the journey of this pregnancy was over.  She was here and now we would begin our new journey together. The fears I had could finally be put behind me.  I loved seeing her stretch her legs and arms out.   The cord quit pulsating rather quickly and the placenta was delivered.  We kept the cord attached as the placenta sat in a bowl. 
I just caught my baby!  Born at 5:05am

After I got out of the water and into bed we got Aubryn to come in and cut the cord.  It was more difficult than I think she thought it would be.  She was proud of herself and has enjoyed telling people her big role in the birth.  She also was taught all about the placenta by Chris.   Aubryn  loves to hold the baby and would do it all day if I let her.  She has been so good with her.

This was an amazing birth experience for me.  There is no way I can think of to improve it in any way.   Now it was done.  Everything was well!  Everyone was there that I needed!  I was able to catch my baby!  The birth went smoothly!   ALL IS WELL.

9lbs 2oz

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Gabriella's Birth Story

 Friday, September 13, 2013


        I woke up around 5:45am after having a good night's sleep.  I went to birth group the night before and I had one of the ladies give me a few tips for going into labor.  She said she expressed some milk and did some hip rotations on an exercise ball.  I thought my exercise ball might still be out in the garage, but since I was the only one awake I thought I would try expressing milk first.  She said she had her baby within ten hours, so I thought it would be good to get an early start. 

        It was a Friday morning, which is what I had been hoping for all along.  Bryce recently started a new job which meant he didn't have any sick time or vacation time, so having our baby at the beginning of the weekend would be perfect for him to be home with us for the next few days.  My mom also had Fridays off and we were planning to have her come watch the kids when I went into labor.  The last few Fridays I was hopeful as well, but our little girl just wasn't ready yet. 

        So I sat on the couch trying to express some colostrum.  I  wasn't sure if I was doing it right, nothing was coming out.  But after about five minutes on each side I felt a few small contractions.  I gave up and went back to bed to snuggle with Bryce.  I had been having regular contractions on and off for the last month, so I definitely wasn't getting excited. 

        After laying down with Bryce for a few minutes I felt uncomfortable.  I figured my body did not want to lay down any longer.  I sat up while Bryce and I talked about plans for the day.  I said, "I will call you if I go into labor, but don't get your hopes up."  I had said that many days, this was my longest pregnancy.  My contractions were really starting to get my attention at this point.  I told Bryce we should probably get ready and finish packing the birth bag.  I texted my Doula, Twyla, to let her know I was having contractions, just giving her a heads up.  I also texted Chris, the midwife, to let her know things were starting up.  Bryce decided he would shower, that panicked me a bit to be left alone. My next contraction was really painful and I didn't want him to leave me even for a minute.  While he was in the shower it went from exciting to scary for me.  I had never felt contractions like this before.  I was leaning over the side of my bed and focusing on groaning and breathing.  The contractions were about every 2 minutes apart and really intense.  In the next few minutes I told Twyla I was ready for her help and let my mom know to head over.  My mom lives an hour away and I didn't want to wait too long. 

        Within just a few more minutes I changed plans.  We needed everyone to meet us at the birth center.  There wasn't going to be time to labor at home.  The contractions were so painful that I couldn't do anything. In the short time between contractions I managed to throw some clothes on.  Bryce was grabbing all of his things and woke the kids up to get ready to leave.  They were amazing and completely ready to go in about 5 minutes - in their school clothes.  They helped grab snacks and the food we had planned for our birth breakfast.  Maddie grabbed me a towel and a bucket - at this point I thought I was going to throw up.   

        I remember standing at the counter, I was going to attempt to help gather things.  Instead I ended up leaning over the counter trying to cry through a contraction.  Jonathon was standing in the hallway watching me with concern.  After the contraction was over I reassured him that I was ok, this is how it is supposed to happen.  I heard him tell Luke that he thought I was crying.  Maddie was so helpful to remind them that I was ok, and helped get them excited about the baby coming. 

        Everyone went out to the car and I started having another contraction by the small couch.  I remember leaning over the couch and just burying my face into the big cushion.  I felt like I couldn't handle the pain anymore and I was really scared.  It was at that point that I remembered I wanted to do this.  I knew I could do it if I relied on Heavenly Father to help me.  I said a quick prayer right there that He would be with me and help me.  I knew I needed to relax more and trust Him.  Bryce helped me get up and started walking me to the car.  I told him I wasn't going to make it to the birth center.  I knew the baby was coming fast.  I was really worried about spending 20 minutes in the car with how much pain I was already in. 

        Bryce gave me a blessing in the driveway right before I sat down in the car.  He mentioned in the blessing that everything was going to be ok.  I remember the part that stood out to me was he said I was going through transition.  I hadn't realized that for some reason, and that made me happy to know that Heavenly Father knew what my body was doing.  I was also nervous because I know birth isn't far behind transition.  As we started driving I tried to find a comfortable position that I could hopefully relax in.  Bryce suggested the kids sing a primary song to me.  All four of them sang their best and I loved it.  I could definitely feel the Spirit, and although I was still in pain I was able to relax much more than I had been.  After a few primary songs they switched to singing a song they had learned at school.  I could immediately feel a difference in the Spirit and I wasn't as relaxed.  I asked them to sing more primary songs and attempted to sing with them between contractions.  I was feeling the need to push during the contractions, but I just tried to breathe and relax as much as I could.  It was comforting to me when Bryce said that Twyla was right behind us, following us to the Birth Center.  I hoped Chris wasn't far behind. 

        We arrived at the Birth Center and everyone got out of the car.  I had been leaning back and to the side and started to get up.  Twyla and Bryce came to the passenger door to help me and told me that Chris wasn't there yet.  I knew I couldn't get out of the car until I absolutely had too.  I rested my head back by the top of the seat belt and tried to breathe slowly.  I told Twyla that I felt like I needed to push and she reminded me to relax and breathe.  She did really good talking to me and trying to keep me calm.  It was only a few minutes before Chris arrived and told us to hurry and come in.  Bryce and Twyla helped me walk to the stairs, but I had to stop for a contraction before going up.  Twyla held onto me from behind and Bryce was holding my arms in front.  It was then that my water broke.  I could feel it going down my legs and I told them the baby was coming.  I heard a little panic in Twyla's voice when she called for Chris.  I can't remember who said it, but they said to hurry and get me upstairs.  I remember having a lot of help getting up the two sets of stairs, although Bryce and Twyla said I did it by myself.  The kids followed behind us and I directed them to go play in the toy room for a minute. 

        We walked into the birthing room and I kind of froze by the side of the bed because I didn't know what to do.  Bryce and Twyla got my sandals and pants off and helped me climb up on the bed.  They stacked a bunch of pillows in front of me and I leaned over and buried my face in them.  They said the baby was ready, and they could already see her head.  It hurt so bad, I was too scared to push.  They were encouraging me and letting me know I could do it.  I knew it would be over faster if I did my best to push her out.  I took a breath and waited for the next urge and I pushed as hard as I dared.  It was so much more painful than I had imagined.  I was screaming, saying it hurts, saying I was going to die.  Bryce was getting ready to catch and I pushed again, screaming at the same time.  It was so incredible to feel her body slide out, and I knew Bryce caught her.  I was in shock about everything that was happening, the memories seem blurry like a dream.  Bryce slid her on the bed underneath me so I could see her.  I stayed in my position because I didn't think I could move.  I think the first thing I asked was, "Is it really a girl?"  Bryce assured me that he had checked and Yes, it was a girl.  I listened to her grunt and fuss and had memories of when Jonathon was born.  He wasn't breathing right and they took him to the NICU for the next two weeks - I didn't want that to happen again.  I kept asking if she was ok and everyone answered that she was perfect.  Healthy, pink, big and perfect. 

        The kids got to come in and see her while I was still on my hands and knees.  They had put some covers over me so that I wasn't exposed.  It was so neat that they got to see her while she was so brand new, even before I had delivered the placenta.  I think my mom got there around that time and was surprised to find that I had already delivered the baby.  We had her put on a movie for the kids while I tried to get more comfortable and get ready for the after birth.  I was surprised when I felt painful contractions again, I thought after the baby was out I was done.  I  was not happy about delivering the placenta, and I was in a lot of pain.  I think I may have been slightly cranky at that point.

        I was so happy to get to hold my new baby, we still hadn't decided on her name yet.  She latched right on when I went to nurse her, it was great.  We were both pretty messy at this point still.  The kids and my mom came back in and Chris showed them the placenta.  The kids put gloves on and got to touch it and Chris showed them how it worked and what it did.  It was really fun to see their different reactions. Maddie got to cut the umbilical cord and was pretty excited about that.  I was incredibly happy that my kids were there with us, it made everything sweeter for me.  Not long after that I was able to take a shower while they cleaned up the baby.  Maddie got to help with the baby's first bath. 

        It felt so good to be clean and to hold a clean baby.  I was still having a lot of cramping and pain from the birth, but I was happy.  Bryce went to work making us all a nice breakfast.  We had hash browns, omelets, bacon, orange juice, chocolate milk and krispy kreme doughnuts.  It was perfect.  After filling my belly I felt really worn out and wanted to rest for a little bit.  Bryce took the kids home to get their back packs and go to school, and also stopped to get the car seat that we hadn't forgotten in the rush that morning.  While my mom held Gabby I thought I would try to sleep.  I was apparently still too traumatized from the whole experience to rest my mind.  I kept replaying the events in my head and feeling the fear and stress I had felt earlier.  I finally decided to give up on sleeping and started packing up and getting ready to go instead. 

        I was so relieved that I hadn't torn during the delivery.  I had always had episiotomies before.  This was the best recovery I have ever had.  I was so happy to get to bring my baby home and finish recovering there.  It took us till the next day to settle on her name: Gabriella AnnaMarie Sherwood.  We have both loved the name Gabriella, and AnnaMarie is Ilse's middle name.  (Bryce's grandma)          She was 9lbs 9oz and 20 1/2 inches long, born at 7:38 am.   She is perfect!  We have bonded to her so quickly and have been much happier about losing sleep than we have been in the past.  I wouldn't change a thing about how she was born, the Spirit was so strong.  I found out other things later that added to the strong Spirit we felt.  We were very blessed and I know we had Heavenly help through the whole process. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Birth Story of Baby Samantha

This story comes in four parts.  To begin reading, click here.  I was so engrossed in the story!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Crysta's Five Births

I have never written a birth story of my five children. So here it goes in one big lump! I do not claim to be an expert on birthing. I am simply a woman who learned a little bit with each birth how amazing birth can be. I have always been hesitant to share my opinion on birth and share my stories. It seems like whenever I do, I lose friends or I offend someone. So I usually keep my mouth shut. Well, I then realized I would have never met my midwife, Chris Miller and experienced three awesome home births if my friend Dannika would have kept her mouth shut. Women need to know about their options so I might as well share.
My first pregnancy was awesome! I am one of those girls that have been blessed with easy pregnancies. Please don’t hate me  However; I do make up for it in gaining a good 50 lbs. each time. It is pretty cool that I have lost 250 lbs. over these past ten years. Not the fun part of pregnancy. Anyway, I knew nothing about birth or how I wanted things to go. All I knew is I wanted the best doctor and best hospital. That is what we want for our kids- the best right? I really didn’t know many options. Everyone I knew has doctors and had babies at the hospital. My aunt just had a baby so I called her and asked her who she recommended. I went with him. I met with him, I liked him ok. Never really felt like we were that connected but my pregnancy was going so well I didn’t care. I did learn about labor and delivery and I really wanted to have a natural birth. My reasoning was simple, “If women have done this since Eve, then I can do it.” When I told my doctor, he basically made me feel like, “Yea, yea, I have heard this before.” I researched and I knew I wanted things to happen on their own. My “due date” came and my doctor started to stress me out. “ Your baby is getting big, the water is running low, etc.” It took a lot of convincing for him to not start me. I really felt great and I knew deep down that I was fine. Well, he would not let me go longer than 12 days over. So 12 days came and went and he freaked me out enough to start me. Let me just say this, the term “due date” needs to go! Some babies are fully developed at 37 weeks and some take a little longer to cook. The baby will come when it is ready. With the rest of my babies it became, “The baby will come at the end of December” or whatever month not a specific day. Having this set day in your head can start to play games with you those last few weeks. Not to mention being off a little bit on any cycle days can mean that you might be starting these babies when they really are not ready to be born. So many important things are happening to your baby those last few days and also so many things need to happen to the mom’s body to get things happening. We carry these babies for 9 months really what are a few more days??
Okay second issue, “Your baby is GINORMOUS!” I love this one. My doctor was scaring me with how big my baby is getting and would it fit? Ultrasounds are not accurate. The measurements are a big estimate and so far with all five children have been way off. Also, our bodies are made to have babies. God made us to have babies ladies! All 5 of mine have been “above average” and they all came out!
Another thing that frustrated me was him checking me at every visit. When I was 36 weeks I was dilated to a 4 and 75% effaced. Wow! My doctor kept telling me how any day I was going to have this baby. Every visit he would say, “I bet the next time I see you will be in the hospital.” It left me feeling really disappointed every time I came back to my next appointment. I came to find out that these numbers for dilation and progression are so different for every women and every pregnancy. During this pregnancy things were happening for an entire month, and then with my 4th child I was a 0 when I started labor and 3 hours later had a baby!
Okay so I got started at 8 a.m. things progressed pretty steadily. I had an awesome husband that kept the nurses in line and he knew what I wanted. I had a quite a few different nurses which were annoying because I felt like we had to explain what we wanted over and over. In the end hours of labor I ended up with an awesome encouraging nurse. When I said, “I didn’t think I could do it anymore” (which is a point I get to with each labor) she told me to take it one contraction at a time and how great I was doing. She was awesome. Things were intense when the Dr. got there and he had me get up on the bed (not where I wanted to go) and I pushed my guts out. I popped vessels in my eyes and I wanted her out. She was born at 4:20 p.m. She was 7 lbs. 14 oz. (the Dr. said she was going to be way over 8 lbs.) I remember being annoyed at my doctor who came in 15 minutes before delivery and in between contractions I caught a glimpse of him looking out the window not really involved with the birth at all. It really annoyed me. He held my baby up for me to see and then handed her to the nurses to do their thing. I couldn’t get her fast enough. I did not put her down. I would not let the nurses take her. They insisted on taking her for a bath. So I said I was going with her. They were a little surprised when I hopped out of bed and followed her down the hall. I felt great! With all of my deliveries I am on a high for the first week. All kinds of good endorphins kick in. For being started, I think things went pretty good but I knew that I wanted a few things different for my next birth.
Baby #2
Baby #2 was a little bit of a surprise for us. We knew we wanted more children though so we were excited. We lived in Wisconsin and I found an awesome D.O. who was very supportive of natural childbirth. I could tell he loved what he did and I enjoyed our visits. Again, I had another great pregnancy. I carried this one about 41 weeks and went into labor at about 2 a.m. We drove to the hospital and right when I walked in, my water broke. Not just a little trickle this was full on explosion. I felt bad for the janitor. We walked up to labor and delivery, they saw the wet pants and called the doctor. He came right away and he was great. He stayed in my room for most of the labor and was very encouraging. Our son was born at 9:11 a.m. and he let me hold him right on my chest. We let the cord finish pulsing and then the nurses wanted to do their thing. They let me keep him in the room the entire time. Our son was 9 lbs. 10 oz. 21” long and healthy. . . We had a great experience, but again the endorphins kicked in and I really just wanted to go home.
Baby #3
We moved back to UT and I lived next to a great friend, Dannika Gunn. She is the reason I am sharing these stories because she shared her stories with me. She told me about her homebirths and how great they were and how awesome her midwife, Chris Miller was. I was very intrigued by all this and started researching and reading all about homebirth. It took about a year to get pregnant with our 3rd. We met Chris and right away knew that she was the perfect midwife and that this is the kind of birth we wanted. This pregnancy was a little bit harder for me. I had hurt my back about a year before getting pregnant, which contributed to having back issues with this one. I was not as active as I had been with the other two and I swear that made this pregnancy harder. Still, I really couldn’t complain, things went smoothly. The final month I had a lot of false labor and that was crazy. Thinking it was the real deal and then it would just end abruptly. I loved Chris. She was so intuitive and helpful. There was never any telling me what to do. “This is your birth, your baby, it is up to you” was what I heard all the time from her. Whatever I wanted to know she provided information and answers but ultimately she respected what I wanted. This baby came a few days before 40 weeks. It was a little unexpected because I had gone longer with the others.
We got home from a BBQ and I got the kids to bed and then we started a movie. I watched the movie on my birthing ball and had contractions throughout the night. I was still a little unsure because of the previous false alarms but it got intense so we called Chris and my mom over. Leah was 6 and Ben was almost 4 and I really wanted them to watch the birth. I know some might think that is weird but it was something I felt very strongly about. I had read them books about birth and we watched videos of birth. I prepared them for it and I felt like they could decide if they wanted to watch or not. My mom came to be in charge of the kids. If they did get a little freaked out or if they were bothering me she could take them downstairs or home. Chris arrived about 1 a.m. I was very vocal with this one. I remember it was raining and I opened my window and was moaning out the window. My neighbors probably were wondering what was going on at the PoVey’s??
I had planned on doing a water birth. Jared had filled up the tub, but when Chris asked if I wanted to get in I just thought I would be too hot. I was hot and and didn’t want to be more hot. I also was hanging on Jared for each contraction and just wasn’t sure about what I wanted. My mom woke up the kids, Ben said, “Wake me up when the baby’s here” and went back to bed. Leah was so excited; she was so sweet and helpful. She was my little doula. She encouraged me when things got tough. She said, “You are doing so good mom, our baby is almost here.” She brought me water. It ended up being one of my best memories of that birth, was her being there. The pushing phase hit and I crawled up on my bed (which is funny because at the hospital that was the last place I wanted to go). I pushed for about ten minutes and we had another beautiful boy. He was 8 lbs. 14 oz. and 22” long. It was awesome! I held him for quite a while and he nursed right away. Leah got to cut the cord and Chris let us be with him for about an hour. Then she weighed him and checked him out. She showed us the placenta, which fascinated Leah. It was great just being together in my room. My mom took the kids home with her. Jared and I were home and I felt great!

Okay surprise #2! Another unexpected pregnancy test  We were going to have 4 kids?? We were excited. I was excited to see Chris again every month. This pregnancy was by far the easiest. I ran until my 7 month and I felt amazing. Then came the last month . . . I got a cough . . . then I got bronchitis and then it turned into pneumonia. It was awful! I didn’t sleep for an entire month. I coughed so hard I bruised my ribs and I was in so much pain. It got bad enough that I took some medicine. That might not seem like such a big deal to some, but it was to me. Taking medicine is something I don’t even do when I am not pregnant! I was desperate! The doctor gave me a breathing treatment and I took some codeine cough syrup so I could maybe get some sleep. I really hate to take drugs (and I swear this is why my baby girl has some immune issues but that is another story) I know that sometimes you have got to do what you got to do but it never sat well with me. Anyway, the medicine was not helping so I stopped taking it.
Our baby was due at the beginning of August. When it gat close for me to have this baby, Chris was worried about me. She said I might need to consider delivering at the hospital. She wasn’t worried about the baby, but she worried if I would have enough oxygen and strength to have a safe labor and delivery. I love my midwife. She is so great and smart. I love that she knows when things are out of her hands. There is a time and a place for hospitals and interventions. So after she told me this news, I was determined more than ever to get rid of this cough and get better. I called a lady that does hypnotizing. That is not what she called it, but that is what I felt like it was. She did these relaxation techniques with me over the phone. Basically, we were visually and mentally getting this pneumonia out of my body. I did this Friday and Saturday and felt like I had my energy back Sunday. Whatever voodoo she did, it worked! I still had an awful cough but I was getting sleep and getting some energy back and was ready to have this baby. Monday, was August 9th and I really wanted to have her birthday be 8-9-10. All day there was no action but a lot of pressure. We had a BBQ up in Morgan and I wore my swimsuit to scare everyone. I had a lot of pressure but not one contraction at the party. I was sad! Her cool birthday was not going to happen. About 9 p.m. we got in the car to come home. The minute I got in the car, the contractions started. The drive home they were about every 10 minutes and then they got to be every 5. Maybe we could pull the birthday off after all?? We got home and got the kids to bed. I told them tonight might be the night. Ben, again said, to wake him up when the baby was here. Isaac wanted to watch but he fell asleep. Leah was up and ready to help. Things were happening fast. This time I had a little team come over. My mom and my good friend Naomi were going to help with the kids and my sister was going to take some video. Chris came over and got things set up.
Birth is a very spiritual thing for me. I am not at all saying if you don’t have a natural birth it is not spiritual. I know for most women it is. Even with my first birth, I had a very spiritual experience where I felt close to Christ and I knew that he knew I could do this. He made my body to have children. He did not make women capable of giving birth and then sometime in the 1940’s or whenever they started making birth a “medical” process rather that a “natural” process change a woman’s body and make it incapable. We were made to do this. It is not easy and that is where I turn to our Savior and I picture him. I also, thought of women all over the world, ancestors, every woman out there doing this and it gave me strength and confidence. There is a lot of symbolism with birth and my beliefs that I won’t get into but it makes me proud to be a woman!
This labor was the most “in tune” I had been in. I felt every single stage of labor. I knew where my baby was. When she was turning. When she was moving down. Everything. It was awesome. It was definitely my most quiet labor and I was in my own little world. I didn’t know who was around me. I couldn’t hear anything. It was a neat feeling! I labored a lot on my left side lying on my bed. When it was time to push, I got up and got in the pool and pushed her out in about 5 pushes. She had the cord wrapped around her neck, which my midwife says is a great place for it to be! She was perfect and I held her on my chest. She hardly made a sound. Isaac and Leah watched their sister be born! It was a great birth. Oh and she barely missed her cool birthday. She was born at 12:20 a.m. Bummer! She weighed 8 lbs. and was 21” long.

We had four kids. What was one more right? I was done having kids. We had two boys, two girls. Our family was complete. I started training for my marathon, so I could finally be part of the “Marathon Club.” Jared and I were excited to maybe start planning some trips we wanted to take, etc. Well, we had one more up there wanting to join our crazy clan. Good thing I love being pregnant  I kept running. I would be about 12 weeks along when I did my marathon. I injured my knee playing indoor soccer when I was about 10 weeks and so my marathon was a bummer. My knee could only handle about 13 miles of running so I had to quit. I did the Ragnar Race a few months later. I was slow but I did it. I had a great pregnancy. I stayed active and was healthy. I had my ultrasound when I was about 22 weeks. When I went to see Chris, she said she got the results from the ultrasound and that I had placenta previa, which is when your placenta covers your cervix. She went on to explain that there was a chance I would have to have a c-section. I was really sad. I had enjoyed home birth so much. Again, I was so grateful for a great midwife who knew her “stuff.” She said the placenta is unlikely to move. However, sometimes the baby’s head, as it grows can move it out of the way. So I continued to have a great pregnancy and I had to wait, wait until the delivery was closer and we could confirm where the placenta was. I did start to research C-sections and prepare myself for it. I was nervous, but maybe humbled and grateful for this medical intervention. It does save lives. This is when women used to die and bleed out. This is when intervention is needed. I learned all I could, but I still felt like things were going to work out and so did my midwife. I did some more crazy visualization. No laughing, but every night I would visualize my placenta moving a little higher. I talked to my placenta. I told it to move out of the way! Pregnant women do crazy things! I went again at 38 weeks to see where it was . . . it moved! I really should stop calling this visualizing stuff crazy because it kept working. Anyway, I was excited. At the same time I was kind of disappointed. Even though I know a natural vaginal birth is the best thing for my baby, I was kind of excited to avoid the pain! Okay, I had to refocus and get in my right state of mind and gear up for this birth. I was very unsure of my dates on this one. Between the ultrasound guesses and my guesses, he was due around Christmas. December was a rocky one. I had sick kids. I had false labor again where the midwife and doula were called, pool was filled and ready to go and then it just ended. UUUGGGHH!! I got extremely ill with the stomach flu. It sent me into labor a few times. I was done. I called my midwife and said I couldn’t do this anymore. I needed to go to the hospital and get started. Luckily her and my husband kindly talked me out of it. She said, “You can go and have your baby and try to take care of your baby while you are sick” or “You can hang in there, get better, and have a baby and take care of him while you are healthy.” I stuck it out, but man the stomach flu, dry heaving, diarrhea, mixed in with contractions-that was rough! Anyway, I got through that ordeal and was glad I let my baby continue to grow!
I thought, no, I KNEW this baby was coming early. I had the false labor, constant contractions, lots of pressure, little bit of water leaking out- he was coming soon! We were going to have a Christmas baby . . . so much for intuition. Christmas came and went. In fact, I swear he crawled up higher. I lost the pressure, contractions stopped, nothing! Well, I guess we will shoot for a New Year’s baby. New Year’s came and went also. I guess he had some things to finish up in there!
I have never been a planner. Even with my births, I know what I want and with each one I have learned more and more. Still, I haven’t been the best about writing down a birth plan or having my house spick and span when the time is near. I have just let things happen. This pregnancy, I decided I was going to have a doula, maybe do candles, have pictures, do my hair cute, etc. I don’t know if it is because we are for sure done having kids (snip, snip) or what but I was going all out. Well, the weekend came and I was sad my baby had not come. My kids were going back to school. I couldn’t believe I didn’t have a baby yet. Friday, my husband decided to throw his back out. It was a bad one. Like crawling- on- the –floor- to- the- bathroom-bad back . “Okay baby not a good time to come now. I need take care of your dad.” Well, at least Jared could walk by Sunday, but still he was useless. And I need him. I practically hang all 200 lbs. of my body on his neck through contractions. Well, January 7th at about 5 a.m. Monday morning- bam! Contraction hits hard. These contractions were not messing around. Forget a warm up; I guess we did that all December. They are 2 minutes apart from the get go. Jared calls Anjie- my doula, my friend- Naomi, and my mom and says to come over. Things were moving quickly. Then he called Chris. She is in Logan at another birth. This is definitely not going as planned  The way things were going we knew it was happening soon. I admit, I freaked out a little bit. With my other births I always felt like things were good, I could have done them on my own if I had too. However, this one I was worried I might need a little assistance, because I knew he was going to be big. Chris called her student midwife, Tina who I had met before and I really liked. I felt good about her coming but it was all a bit of a whirl wind. Not the most in control I have been. So much for having cute hair  Leah was filling up the pool and being a great helper. Jared was trying, but still pretty useless. I kept thinking, “Really baby boy I have been expecting and ready for you all month and you are picking now??” I had labored walking around leaning on my kitchen table and then I knew I was in transition. No midwife here yet. I was nervous. I went and lay on my bed and closed my legs. That hurt. That is not what my body wanted to do. But I really wanted Tina to be there. Tina walked in at 6:30 I was relieved but in a lot of pain. She started setting things up around me, because I was showing signs of pushing. I had a break in contractions and without saying anything to anyone I walked in to the front room and got in the pool. I got on my knees and rested my arms on the pool. I had never delivered in that position but that is what my body was telling me to do. My water broke immediately and three pushes later, and a little assistance from the midwife with his head, I had my baby boy! This guy came out chomping on his hand- he was ready to go to town. I held him on my chest. The cord pulsed for a long time on this one. We hung out in the water for a while. Then I showered off and nursed him in my bed. Later we weighed him- 10 lbs. 6 oz. 23” long. He was a husky little guy.
There you have it five beautiful children. Five beautiful births. Not perfect but perfect for each one. I learned a little more with each one I had. I was blessed with a little intuition from the beginning that I knew I could do this. Women need to know they can deliver babies. They are made to do it. Birth is a natural process. They need to listen to their bodies and not depend on doctors. Most doctors have never seen natural child birth and are not trained to do natural childbirth. They are trained for the medical interventions, which is great when we need them. Except, 90% of births are uncomplicated and when left alone we don’t need them. Empowerment is a great thing. So trust yourself, do your research. Do what is best for you and your baby.

Baby Ian's Birth Story

We were blessed with the arrival of our new baby boy!
Ian Michael Hunter
6 pounds 12 ounces
20 inches
11:32 am
March 22, 2012

We had the amazing opportunity to have Ian born in our home.
Everything worked out perfectly- from the day he arrived to the delivery itself.
My awesome midwife- Valerie Hall

I was awake most of early Wednesday morning with contractions. But they slowed down once I got up and was getting the girls ready for school. They were on and off all day. I tried to rest, but also went on a couple walks. I went to sleep without consistant contractions. I woke up at about 4:30 Thursday to some strong ones. I finally started timing them. From about 5 to 7, they were every 10 minutes. I told Collin when he woke up. This time when I got up, the contractions got closer together and stronger. Around 7:30, I called my midwife. We got the girls fed and off to school and playgroup.

My midwife came around 8:15. She had all kinds of supplies with her. She brought them straight up to our room and then started filling out paper work. She told me to eat some breakfast while she took all my vitals. We all talked and ate. Around 9, I was pacing around the house while Valerie was doing paper work and Collin was making phone calls. About 9:30 I laid on the couch and rested. At this point I felt like I had to focus on breathing and Collin was helping more. Valerie went upstairs to get everything ready and the other midwife, Tina, arrived. Around 10, I went uptairs and got comfortable on the birth ball. Collin finished up some calls and finally turned off his phone! He stayed close and applied pressure on my lower back during contractions.

mommy and baby ian
After about an hour sitting on the birth ball, we got ready for the baby to come. That was the only moment that I thought 'we are actually having this baby at home'. I was not a nervous or scared, but completely peaceful. I knelt on the floor over the ball. My water broke just after 11. And about 20 minutes of pushing later, Ian was born. I heard him cry, but could not move. I just stayed there, collecting myself. I cannot describe how I felt at that moment. We had another child! I finally sat down and held my little boy in my arms. Collin cut the cord. Ian nursed right away.
2 days old
From the time I started pushing, the midwives played a very active role. They were even more busy once the baby came. They watched the clock and the baby and wrote everything down. When he was done nursing I got into bed, had lots of blankets put over me, given lots of drinks, and Collin got me some food. I nursed Ian again. They cleaned things up, checked all of my vitals, and then did a very thorough check on the baby. It was really awesome to see them do everything right by my side, in my own bed. Collin waited on me hand and foot for the next 2-3 days. He was the best nurse I have ever had!
watching first ball game with dad- 1 day old

The girls had seen Valerie pull up in the drive way on their way to school, about 8:15. She left around 2:00 and school gets out at 2:20. They ran home from school and got here in record time! It usually takes them at least ten minutes to walk home, but I think they got home in 3 or 4 minutes!! They were extremely excited to see Ian!
Breah-6 1/2

Kylie 8

Addison 5
Addison and Clarissa went to playgroup at Bita's house. She actually came and got them about an hour early and they stayed until 2:30. Addison was completely mesmorized by the baby. She stayed in my room and sat by whoever was holding the baby all evening. Clare held Ian once. She just ran around playing like normal. Every once in a while she would ask if the baby was still here! Grandma and Grandpa came with pizza around 6, cleaned everything, and left with all four girls by 7:30. The girls only had to miss one day school, because the next week was spring break! It seriously could not have been more perfect.
Sweet Baby Boy- 5 days old
I just feel like this birth story is not complete with out acknowledging my Heavenly Father. This decision to have a home birth was not taken lightly. We have always had unmedicated births, so that part wasn't new to me. Just not being in the hospital was going to be new. Collin and I fasted, prayed, and went to the temple before we made our decision. Throughout my pregnancy, I continually prayed that if we needed to change our mind I would clearly know it. I felt more and more comfortable with this choice as I went to my appointments at the birth center. (Which were a hundred times better than any OB appointment I have ever had.) When March rolled around, we finally talked to the girls about what was going to happen when the baby came. We tried to prepare them as much as we could. We had a family fast that Ian would be born safe and healthy. And the girls continued to pray for that everyday the entire month. I cannot believe how strong their faith is. I know that Heavenly Father heard our prayers.

one week old