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

MY 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!


Baby#4
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.


Baby#5
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

Baby Tyden's Birth Story

Saturday I had several crampy contractions. I had had a few Fri. as well. But Saturday I had many more. Twyla had called me Saturday night just to see how I was feeling. And I let her know about the contractions. Told her maybe in the next couple days he would be coming. She asked if I would be comfortable if Anjie came to take pictures so she could practice her birth photography. I told her that would be great and that I would love for her to do that. And that was that.
I woke up Sunday Morning about 1:45 with a crampy contraction. I had had several the day before and knew they weren’t Braxton Hicks but knew it didn’t necessarily mean that I would be having my baby that day or the next or the next. I went to the bathroom and came back to bed. I had more contractions and I was timing them to be a minute long by counting in my head. I never got an actual time for how close they were. But they were too close for comfort. So I got up and walked around a little. I woke Hyrum up to have him time them. When I told him I needed him. His thought was, “what you need my help out of the bed? Why do I have to get out of bed? “He got out to time them for me and I asked him to call my mom because I was pretty sure this baby was going to be coming and I wanted her to be there to watch our toddler so we could leave when we decided we were ready...
Hyrum informs me that my mom is not answering her cell or house phone and neither is anyone else that lives with her. Before we could even time anything I felt a trickle of water come down my leg and I thought my water was leaking. I don’t know if it really was. But I got overwhelmed because now I am 100% sure I am in labor and I was a little bit scared/unsure of what was ahead of me. So I tell Hyrum I think my water is leaking. I tell him to “Call my Mom, call Twyla (my doula), call Chris my midwife), pack all the last minute stuff I wrote a list last night, and zip up all the bags and get them in the car! He asks me what I want him to do first.
While I am giving him orders I jump in the shower because I read that can help to relax you and ease some of the pain. I’m in the bath and I am trying to call Chris my midwife. I get her voicemail and I start to panic because I thought the only time you get Chris’s voicemail is when she is at a birth. So I am thinking great Chris is at another birth and she is not going to answer her phone and I don’t even know another midwife.
So Hyrum is trying to call my mom from both our cell phones and is not getting an answer. I am calling Chris and not getting an answer. So we leave a semi-panicked message for both of them. Hyrum calls Twyla and didn’t really know what to say. So he hands the phone to me and I start to cry because I am panicked. I tell her I want to meet her at the birth center as soon as she can but that I can’t get a hold of Chris or someone to stay with my little boy. I think she told me she would make some phone calls.
Hyrum tells me his brother is on his way to come stay with Axel our three year old. I am getting out of the bath and drying off between contractions to try and help pack the last stuff in the bags. But by the time I dry off another contraction comes. So I was really just drying off to get back in. When I hear that my brother in law Joe is on his way I get out and get dressed. Twyla calls back and tells me Angie has a key to the birth center and they will both meet us there as soon as they can and that she will keep trying to call Chris.
Now that Twyla is helping I feel a little relieved. Hyrum gets all the bags in just as his brother and wife and baby show up. I have them give me a priesthood blessing and we are on our way to the birth center which luckily is only about 10 minutes away. On our way we pass my mom who finally answered her phone thinking it was the first time we called her. Oh if she only knew the chaos that preceded her arrival.
Anjie had been waiting for us at the birth center for awhile and thought that we had decided to go somewhere else. Which I wondered if we would have to go the hospital when we couldn’t get a hold of Chris, which I was not happy about the thought of going to the hospital and ending up with who knows what Dr! The hospital was the last place I wanted to go!! I just knew inside of me that I did NOT want to go the hospital. When we get to the birth center I am asking Anjie (who is also a doula), what should I do? What should I be doing? And I think she said, “Well what do you want to do?” And I’m thinking I have no clue, you are a doula can’t you tell me some magical thing to do so I can’t feel these contractions? She was so calm and I was still trying not to freak out a little.
Then Twyla arrived and she hadn’t been able to get a hold of Chris either I could see the concern on her face. She made a joke about her and Anjie delivering the baby. But looking back I don’t think she was joking. She went to find Chris’s assistants phone number back in Chris’s office. In the meantime l decide I want to get in the shower because that seemed to help a bit before. Anjie got it all going for me and she came in and was putting counter pressure on my back. At first I was like this isn’t even helping. But I was kind of expecting the counter pressure to take all the pain away. So I had a reality check and just tried to breathe through them. I moved to my hands and knees and Twyla came in and let us know she got a hold of Tina and that she was on her way. It’s a really good thing that Tina had been one of Chris’s patients because Twyla had found her phone number in her old patient chart. When I heard that Tina was on her way I was not concerned that Chris may not come I was just glad that at least Tina was. I had a flood of relief when I first got the birth center and knew I had someone who knew what they were doing who could help and support me. Because after the first hour of contractions at home with neither my husband or I really knowing what to do I needed support and encouragement from a legitimate source. When I heard Tina was coming I was even more relieved knowing that someone would be there who was more familiar with the medical aspect.
From that point on I think everyone was a little more relaxed. I know my concern went out the window. Tina got there about 3 AM. Maybe 45 min. after I had gotten there. Twyla and Anjie and my husband had all been helping press on my hips and back. They did this for me for probably 95% of my contractions I bet. And they did a really good job. A couple of times I told them the contraction was over and they would stop and I would realize it wasn’t over , they were just doing such a great job that I seriously couldn’t even feel the contraction. Tina checked me and said my water bag was bulging and I was complete. Boy was I relieved! I had been checked three days before at my appointment and I knew I had been dilated to a four. Up to this point I had no idea if I had dilated more or if I was progressing or not and had forever to go still or what.
I had felt the bag before Tina got there and I thought it was his head. My water broke and I pictured this pink water balloon just exploding out of me and popping as it hit the tub. But they tell me that didn’t happen. Everyone else thought after my water broke that it was going to be pretty quick. So I moved out of the shower, I really didn’t want to move it seemed too hard. But I knew it was a good idea to change positions. Hyrum was feeling woozy because he had seen some blood in the shower. I think one of the ladies got him a drink and he sat down. For about 5minutes we tried some other positions on the bed and with the ball. But I really just wanted to be on my hands and knees. They tell me this is where I hit transition. All I wanted to do was get in the pool. One because the water really helped me relax I am not sure if this was more mental or physical or both. I kept looking over at the pool yearning to get it. I think I asked a couple of times if I could get in the pool. At first it seemed like they didn’t really want me to. But I guess we had used up a lot of the hot water in the shower so the pool wasn’t as full as they normally would fill it. But I didn’t know any different. I didn’t know how full the pool usually was.
I got in the pool and I had heard that you don’t get into the pool until you are really close because if you get in too early it can slow your labor down. So I am thinking, okay I am getting in the pool and in 5 minutes this is going to be over and my little guy will be here. But that was not the case. I tried some other positions, but I felt the best when I was on my hands and knees with counter pressure. They kept telling me I was doing a great job and that I was almost there and I was close. I didn’t believe them because in my mind almost there meant 5mintues more max!
Hyrum was sitting in a rocking chair at the edge of the pool recovering from seeing the blood. He was holding my hands and I was squeezing his so hard, he thought I was going to break his thumb. I was feeling like it was taking forever and I couldn’t tell if progress was being made. And I didn’t know if they were telling me it was and telling me I was doing great just to keep me going even if I really wasn’t progressing. When they would tell me I was almost there, I would say, am I really? Are you just saying that? At one point I said, “I don’t know if I can do this.” What I really meant was I don’t know how much longer I can do this. I just wanted someone to say, you only have this much longer, or you only have this many more contractions. I knew there was an end in sight but I wanted a definite number. It was getting pretty intense. But Twyla calmly said something like, “what do you mean, you are doing this!” I told myself she was right and I was repeating to myself I can do this, I can do hard things. My husband had printed me a poster of affirmations for the birth, and the ladies would move it around the room for me so that it was right in front of me and when I was doubting or thinking anything negative I would read something off of it.
The babies’ heart rate went down at one point and they gave me oxygen and I was asking is everything okay? Is something wrong, is something wrong? But I flexed my back or something and it helped his heart rate to go up. It seemed like Twyla was only holding the oxygen for me for a few minutes but the chart said it was on for10 min. I asked if I should be pushing. I kept waiting for someone to tell me what to do. Because the only birth I know was Axel’s hospital birth where they tell you how long to hold your breath and they are pushing on your stomach with all their weight.
I think Twyla asked if I felt like I needed to push. And I did. I pushed for most of the time I was in the pool. But I think I started early. Beause when I really needed to push it felt a lot different. I could tell I was progressing. There was definitely a change. There wasn’t a whole lot of water in the pool so when they could tell I was really pushing they asked if I wanted to move to the bed. I didn’t really want to move anywhere, but I stood up to get out and things started getting really intense and moving fast. I thought things were intense before this point. But this is when things got really crazy intense. I think the baby finally moved down when I stood up.
The Doulas told Hyrum to get in the pool to help me out but I wasn’t going anywhere. I kind of just hung from Hyrum’s arms while he held me up like a ragdoll because it felt so much better. While I was pushing I learned why they call it a ring of fire. Because it was really burning! I reached down with my hand and felt his head. Hyrum held me up as long as he could while I pushed really hard. It was probably the longest most intense 4 minutes of our lives. Hyrum did a really good job of supporting me and telling me I could do it. We both ended up sitting in the water and I was leaning on Hyrum and he was supporting me. They told me, “he has dark hair”. And I couldn’t believe he was really almost her and it was all coming to an end.
Little Tyden 8 lbs 2 oz 20.5 inches long was born sunny side up. He had been posterior and that’s probably why it took 20 min instead of 5 after I got into the pool. I was so relieved that it was over. And I was so excited that he had dark hair. I held him and I asked Hyrum if he wanted to hold him. Tina had to remind me that he was still connected to the cord. I kept expecting someone to take him from me maybe because I didn’t get to hold my baby Axel until 30 min after he was born because the dr. wouldn’t let me hold him until he was done stitching me. We waited until the cord stopped pulsing then Hyrum got to help cut it and hold him.
Out came the placenta and we got out of the pool. And I am telling you Anjie and Twyla and Tina just pampered me. They helped me get cleaned up and in bed. Braided my hair for me, brought me drinks and food, took lots of wonderful pictures. There was always someone right there to help me with whatever I needed. I really just wanted to take at least one of them home with me. Anjie and twyla both caught lots of precious moments on camera. And even though Chris didn’t make it until well after Tyden was born I wouldn‘t change a thing, although I wouldn’t mind getting rid of the initial panic of not being able to get a hold of people.
Everything turned out so perfectly and I am so happy I was educated and brave enough to take this route. I would recommend getting a doula to anyone having a baby! And I can tell you from firsthand experience that Twyla and Anjie are both awesome! You are probably wondering where Chris was. She was at home sleeping with her little grandson who had turned her phone to silent so he could play games on it because grandma fell asleep before him. When she got up Sunday morning she had a load of texts and missed calls and messages from all of us. She got there a few hours after he was born. She was just beside herself that she had missed it. When she got there she was so embarrassed. This was the first time in over 40 years that she had totally missed the phone call. She stitched me up because that was the only thing Tina wasn’t comfortable doing. I thought Tina was Chris’s nurse, but she is actually a midwife in training. This was her first solo catch. And she did a great job! And now everyone involved has a great birth story they will never forget, and I have an amazingly sweet little boy too!
I feel absolutely blessed that I was introduced to the Powerful Birth Group and that it helped me to further educate myself and offer support and encouragement especially when I felt like all I was getting was negativity and silence from others. It was an answer to my prayers. I feel truly blessed to have had this experience and am so grateful that I wasn’t at a hospital in a bed on my back. Because Tyden didn’t drop down until I stood up and I probably would have been told I wasn’t progressing and most likely would have ended up with a c-section. Which was my biggest fear during this pregnancy. I feel truly blessed and know that all the coincidental happenings during this pregnancy and labor were not coincidence at all but divine intervention.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Labor Gown

I recently sewed a labor gown for a friend, and a few extras.  Click here to see.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Home Birth Onsie

born sweetly
born safely
born at home

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Newborn Procedures

Let the sucking, poking, and proding begin! Or not?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkX286L5a_0

I am going to list all the newborn procedures that we could think of.  I will note next to them very briefly what we discussed and put any useful links.  Feel free to discuss in comments.

Apgar

http://www.childbirth.org/articles/apgar.html
Suctioning/ Deep suctioning
baby being suctioned before completely born

suctioning with bulb

deep suction

Often done before the baby is completely born. 
-Babies are born with 75 to 100 mls of amniotic fluid in their lungs.
-sound gurgly first hour or so
-absorbed within 24 hours
-sneeze and burp it out
Necessary when:
-meconium
-to stimulate baby
Negative:
-irritate airways
-scratch
Cord Clamping
http://www.nurturingheartsbirthservices.com/blog/?p=1542&fb_source=message
http://midwifeinfo.com/articles/cord-clamping--please-wait
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3RywNup2CM



Eye Ointment
http://mountainviewmidwives.com/eye_prophylaxis.html
http://evidencebasedbirth.com/is-erythromycin-eye-ointment-always-necessary-for-newborns/
Vernix/Bath

Purpose of vernix:
-moisturize baby's skin
-facilitate passage through birth canal
-conserve heat
-protect delicate newborn skin from environmental stress
-antibacterial, physical barrier to passage of bacteria
There is no urgent need for a baby to be bathed, however, if you choose to have baby bathed, it can be done in the room with you close by or even helping.  Vernix is very good for their skin.  It can be rubbed in.
Vitamin K Shot









http://www.facebook.com/pages/Powerful-Birth-Group/262843612835#!/notes/powerful-birth-group/vitamin-k-for-newborns-by-sara-forsberg/10151095687777836
Warming Table/Nursery

Babies need to be with their mothers when possible.  Babies can be kept warm when placed skin to skin with mom.
http://pregnancy.about.com/od/caringforyourbaby/a/6-Reasons-To-Be-Skin-To-Skin-With-Baby-After-Birth.htm
Weight and Measurements


weight, length, head circumference, and chest circumference.  Done to keep record.
Hearing Screening

This is relativly simple.  Most states require it.  Shouldn't harm the baby and can be done in mom's arms.
PKU

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Powerful-Birth-Group/262843612835#!/notes/powerful-birth-group/newborn-metabolic-screening-by-sara-forsberg/10151095702842836
Circumcision

http://www.nocirc.org/
http://www.intactamerica.org/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Powerful-Birth-Group/262843612835#!/WholeNetwork
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ceht-3xu84I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4p9O3HSpaY
Newborn Exam

-general appearence, skin, head, face,mouth, eyes, chest for symetrical movement, limbs, tissue, bones, symetrical movement, muscle tone
-cord, bleeding, infection
-hips
-liver & spleen
-spine
-step reflex
-cleft
-genitals
-listen to heart, heart rate
-listen to lungs, breathing
-temperature
Footprints/ID tags









This is done to protect baby from being mixed up. 
Hep B Shot
I will not discuss that here.  It is an immunization.

I think it is important to know that when you choose to have certain procedures done to your newborn, that many may be done while baby is still on mom or at least in the room next to mom.  It would also be good to know if any of the procedures could be delayed.  Not all need to be done immediatley.  Newborns tend to be very alert right after birth and it is an important bonding time.