Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Our birth story part II

When we arrived at the birth center Vanessa and Gus, our doula, the midwives and my photographer had all arrived before I did. In my haste to get ready the day before I forgot to fill up the mini-van with gas so we made a quick stop on the way. The biggest birthing room is huge with a full bathroom and kitchen so that seemed like the perfect room for all the people we had coming. Contractions were about 8-10 min. apart when we arrived. My midwife checked me at I was 5 cm and doing great. I spent some time chatting with Vanessa and her cousin whom I okay'ed to be in the room as she was going to be the babies God mother and I had gotten to know her a bit too during my pregnancy. We got some really sweet photos of us talking, laboring and just enjoying the process before it got serious.

Vanessa and I while in labor

Within an hour or 2 my contractions were 5 min. apart and I was ready for the tub. The birthing tub is a magical place where contraction pain hardly exists and all you feel is pressure. 5 min. quickly turned into 3 min. apart and then I started grunting. So hardly 3 hours of labor before I started pushing. My midwife checked me and I was complete

When I started pushing it was grunts at first that quickly turned into full uncontrollable pushing. These contractions never lasted what they should have or seemed very productive. This wasn't my first rodeo so I knew what to expect and that was not it. My amazing midwife and her students were on top of our vitals the entire time. Blood pressure temp, heart rate and of course the baby's heart rate were monitored frequently and as pushing progressed baby's heart tones were being checked in between every contraction and we were all perfect the entire time. After the first hour of pushing and position changes we moved to the bed to try some more complex maneuvering as it seemed the baby was posterior which can be harder to push out.

The tub was warm and cozy, I did not want to get out. This entire time I had handled the contractions and pushing amazingly well. I was calm and collected making low moaning sounds. I encourage hypnobirthing for all my clients so figured I should actually do it myself. It really helped stay calm, when I gave birth to Sammy I was screaming and freaking out. This time was completely different even at the end.

After about 45 min. of pushing in the bed, doing hands stands with my midwives arms up me trying to turn the baby we discovered not only was he posterior but his head was deflexed or extended. Basically he was trying to come out upside down and by his forehead which doesn't mold to fit through the pelvis like the top of his head does. My midwife would turn him and he'd go right back. After a little over 2 hours of pushing and trying every trick imaginable he still wouldn't come under the pubic bone. He never made it past +1 station. After the 2 hour mark and still not a single bit of progress we decided to go to the hospital hoping he'd miraculously change positions so he can get low enough by then to labor down with an epidural or vacuum out.

around hour 2 of pushing
Since this was a non emergency transfer I could have just gone by car but I was not up for freaking my kids out by pushing uncontrollably pushing in my car while Nik drove us there so we called for an ambulance. What better place to be if he, on a whim, decided to figure his way out than an ambulance while in transit. The second the EMT's arrived I waddled my way down the stairs to a sea of complete stranger I wasn't aware were there along with my kids and husband all looking a bit freaked. I forced a smile as to assure everyone I was fine and that we were just taking this party somewhere else. The babies extended family had come in for his arrival, I had just forgotten they were coming let alone that they were there already.

Part III coming soon.....
Part I is here

Friday, August 22, 2014

Baby pictures!

One month old!

Big sister C loves her brother. 

2 months old!

Photos from the birth Part I

Our birth story Part I

It's said that the 3rd baby is always the wild card when it comes to labor and birth and I've known this to be true in my years as a doula. Boy did I underestimate that when it came to the birth of Sweet Baby J. This story has highs, lows and way too much information. My modestly went out the window 8 years ago when I had my first baby so don't mind me.

On June 21st (39 weeks to the day) I woke up around 1:30am to pee. My water was broken for me in the throws of labor with my own children so I had never experienced what my water breaking on its own felt like. Apparently what had woken me was my water breaking. I didn't hear it or feel it because I was asleep. I leaked a small amount fluid for about an hour and had a bit of show but then it all stopped. I had a few prodromal labor contractions but again, it all stopped after an hour. What commonly happens is moms get a high leak and it seals itself off like nothing happened but amniotic fluid is always being produced.... or they just wet themselves. I'm going to go with the former in this case. I did what I advise all my clients to do which is to do some inversions, leg lifts and pelvic floor tilts. I wrapped my big belly in a belly wrap because I had a pendulous belly so to bring the baby in more would, in theory, keep him from being in a bad position. After an hour of no more fluid or prodromal contractions and me, pacing the house doing leg lifts, inversions and weird looking yoga positions I said screw it and went back to bed.

That morning I took it easy, packed my bag, packed a bad for the boys and Nik, ate a nice breakfast just in case, rescheduled all of my work obligations for the next week just in case and took a nap. My wonderful friends threw me my birth blessingway later that day.

Through out the rest of the day I only had a few more prodromal labor contractions but nothing serious or even real contractions and most importantly, no more fluid leaking. My midwife asked me to check myself at home but just in case my water had broken and were still broken, I wasn't putting anything in there as I didn't want to give myself an infection.  I had given hints to Vanessa and Gus, my midwife and most importantly, my photographer. Vanessa and Gus had just arrived in Tampa to stay they with family until my due date which was still 6 days away. Tampa is 2 hours away, with traffic. After my due date the plan was to get a hotel near me or the birth center. At this point I knew deep down the next day was going to be the big day. I went home, took a shower, shaved my legs somehow and went to bed. At exactly 4:30 am I woke up with a real contraction. they came every 30 min. That's all early labor and honestly, doesn't really count as its just meant to just soften and efface the cervix. I'd have contractions off and on through out the wee hours of the morning and wake up to it, then fall right back asleep again. Nothing to write home about.

8 am came and the kids were not letting us sleep in any more than that and neither were my contractions so we got up to eat some breakfast and take a shower. Around that same time I got an odd burst of energy. I say odd because I had the urge to sweep my floors and for those of you now know me know I'm not type A enough to care what my floors look like to sweep them up while I'm busy doing something important like contracting. I sent Vanessa a text letting her know it would be today and contacted my midwife, doula and photographer. My friends, sister and mother in- law were supposed to come as well but something told me to ask them not to come until after the baby was born or just at the end. The contractions were becoming more frequent at 15-10 min. apart so we figured it best to head for the birth center which was 45 min. away. Our last baby came very fast so our concern from the beginning this pregnancy was that we'd have the baby in my mini-van.

39 weeks and 1 day in the mermaid room at the birth center. 

Part II

Friday, July 18, 2014


My wonderful friends threw me a birth blessingway on Saturday (the day before I delivered). I arrived to see a lovely post luck lunch of all my favorite foods, a henna artist and a great group of friends to help me celebrate my upcoming birth. My doula, Cynthia, gave me foot massage which set off a ton of contractions. I got the most beautiful belly henna with a hamsa which is my good luck charm ( I wore one during the embryo transfer too). They each brought beads to make me a necklace to wear in labor so that I had them there with me in spirit. Everyone made me a birth affirmation so I could see their words of wisdom, love and even some smart ass comments because they knew I'd appreciate that.  I was honored by these women whom I had helped them through their labor as the doula, worked along side me at births, or whom I had thrown blessing ways for in the past. These lovely ladies made me feel safe, loved and put me in the right frame of mind to have this baby with confidence in myself and my body.

All the while I was having prodromal labor but didn't let on. I knew the next day would be the big day so I went to my chiropractor for an adjustment and got some rest.

39 weeks

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Look what I made!

Sweet baby Joaquin was born June 22nd, 2014 at 4:20pm weighing in at 6lbs 12 oz. (The same as my oldest son) I got to watch Vanessa's (IM) face as he entered the world and it was one of the most wonder feelings ever. Birth story to follow but here are some photos of Sweet baby J that I've gotten over the last few weeks since his birth.

I cry happy tears every time i see this picture. It reminds me why I did this in the first place. 
1 week old!

1 week and 5 days old!