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New Birth Story

I’m thrilled to share a new birth story with you!  Jenni shared her first birth a couple of years ago.  Now her husband is telling the story of their second birth.

Read on.

A First Time Family’s Homebirth Story

I have a new birth story available for your reading pleasure. Tori and Eric were such a pleasure to have in my Hypnobabies class. They were nearly giddy about all things related to their birth.

I’m happy to share their birth story here.

You can also catch them in person at July’s Blessingway. They will be sharing their birth story with our community at 2pm on July 27 at Natural Baby. The event is free and open to everyone!

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When Birth is Difficult

I’ve attended three challenging births in the last 8 months.

Two were first time moms –hospital births lasting over 40 hours of active labor.  These were caused by the baby trying to come in a funky position.

One was a homebirth that wasn’t long but was hard because of several factors.

All three women birthed healthy babies without an epidural.

When birth is hard, the support team is usually the deciding factor in the outcome.  When the challenging births come, the doula is necessary.

At a recent interview, I was asked, “What do you like to do most at births?”  Without hesitation, I answered, “Nothing.”

It is a rare job interview that “nothing” is the appropriate response.

See, when I’m not needed, that means the birth is easy.  I deeply want my clients to enjoy butter births.  My clients want that, too!

But the challenging births are what doulas prepare for.

I want to share Keren’s birth story.  It was beautiful.  And tough.  Spiritual and amazing.

The photos are stunning.  Especially when her husband catches their son!

(Hypnobabies students:  Use your BOP before reading.)

Go read!

To be astonished

Let me keep my mind on what matters,

which is my work,

which is mostly standing still

and learning to be astonished.

–Mary Oliver

New Blooper Added

Added number ten to the Blooper Page:

 

10) I was the first to arrive at a homebirth.  When I walked in, I noticed all the signs of labor:  childbirth books open on the floor, half-eaten dinner on the table, hypnosis script playing, tub full of water.  But I did not find signs of the couple.  I searched every room in the house.  Looked in the backyard and garage.  Called out, “hellooooo?”  Where were they?  Ambulance transport?  I called the midwife who was on her way and said, “What is going on??”  She was as shocked as I was.  Then the dad pokes his head down the stairs and waves.  I hang up with the midwife and rush upstairs.  And still couldn’t find them!!  Looked in all the rooms again.  Turns out I was standing three feet away (twice!) but didn’t see them in a tiny space around a corner.  P.S. she had her baby an hour after I walked in the house.

Overheard at a homebirth

I take notes during births.  I like to record comments.  Usually I get some funny ones.  Occasionally a few “you did this to me” from mama to papa. 

Here are all the notes I recorded from a recent homebirth.  I arrived 2.5 hours before baby so these were all spoken in active labor.  And mom is not a Hypnobabies student.  🙂 

“What a magical time.”

“Gimme some lovin'”

“I can’t believe how natural this feels.”

“I love you.”

“It feels good.  How can it feel this good?  It is %*#&$ great!”

“Why do I feel it is easy?”

“So easy, easy, easy, so easy.”

And then after the birth, “I don’t know if that birth could have been any more blissful.”

The question is:  Do our positive words, feelings of love, and gratitude to partner/support team create an easier birth?   Or does an easy birth create the positive words, love, gratitude?

First Time Mom (Homebirth Story)

New birth story up!

Good Thing She Wore Her Nike’s (Brady’s Story)

[shared with permission]

Crain’s Birth Story is one that needs to be shared. I feel that our family and friends need to hear why Crain was born at home and hear how amazing that Saturday Morning was for us. Tyler and I had to make so many decisions with Crain’s birth; decisions that are not accepted by many, but in the end were the right ones for us and Crain.

There are two subjects that I do not share my opinion on with many people and those two subjects are religion and birth. If you are close to me you know how I feel about these two, but even so, I feel that people have the right to worship how they desire and women should be able to birth how they desire (medicated, un medicated, hospital or home).

In this birth story I am going to open up about my views, some will learn from the words that I write and the natural tendency of others will be to pass judgment, but either way you will hear the story of Crain’s birth and hopefully gain an understanding of our beliefs on birth.

Tyler and I enrolled in hypno-birthing classes for Crain’s birth. Julie was once again our guide during this pregnancy, and we learned so much in our classes.  I did my Hypnobabies homework religiously and I feel that Crain’s birth benefited greatly from my hypno studies.  I had been in the care of Dr. Stafford for this pregnancy.  Dr. Stafford delivered Preston and I truly admire Dr. Stafford and I am very grateful to be in the care of such a hands on, awesome physician.  But with all that said, Dr. Stafford cannot control hospital procedures and there was something in me that really did not want to fight to have the birth I wanted.  I knew in the hospital, I would have to battle to have a true hypno birth, and so after going back and forth on the “homebirth idea” We connected with our midwife from the beginning and I felt calm and at peace about the homebirth idea after meeting with her. She was extremely knowledgeable about birth.  So it was decided a Homebirth for Crain!  We were excited and at peace with the idea, however; kept it a secret because I did not want to hear all the negative comments.

So May 7th  (Crain’s guess Date) came and no baby Crain, and boy oh boy how it  made people mad that he was not here.  I was determined to let Crain choose when and how he came into this world.  But it was hard to be out of control and it taught me the first lesson of being a good parent, PATIENCE, and most of all it made me closer to my faith.  I knew God was watching over us and I knew I was doing the right thing.  I read quotes and scriptures every day and had faith I was making the right choice.  Our birth team walked us through this wait and made me feel that it was normal when most everyone around us were asking when we were going to be induced, and when were “they” taking the baby, and don’t forget the people sharing with us why you should not carry your baby past it’s guess date.  It was a long 14 days for many reasons, but looking back I am so proud of us for having faith and waiting on Crain.  If I would have delivered in the hospital, I would have had to been induced and I am so happy I did not do that.  Thank you to Tyler, my Mom, and my sister Laura for really talking me through those 14 days and being so supportive of me.

On Friday, May 20th, I started feeling some Pressure waves, that’s hypno talk for contractions.  I went to acupuncture and had a nice relaxing session.  I texted my birth team and told them that I was having some pressure waves.  In the meantime, my parents came up (I had not told them I was having pressure waves because I did not know if it was truly labor).  That evening, the pressure waves still came and went; I listened to a Hypnobabies script before bed and decided to get some sleep.  At midnight, I got up and walked around, got some water, and tried to go back to bed.  Once again I listened to my easy first stage Hypnobabies script.  At 2:00 am, I got up and was definitely feeling more intense pressure waves.  I woke Tyler up and told him that they were getting a little intense.  I got into the tub as Tyler timed the waves.  Oh yeah, they were close together and getting stronger.  Tyler stood by my side and he does not even have to say anything to me during birth, he looks at me and I regain focus, and I instantly feel calm.  Tyler is my strength when I run out of it in labor.

We called Julie, but told her that she did not need to come yet and that we would call her back in an hour.  Tyler woke my parents and they took Preston to Tyler’s parent’s house.  My Mom knew of the homebirth, but I had just informed my Dad that evening when I thought I was in labor.  I knew he would worry, but once again my Dad surprised me and handled it beautifully.  I guess he trusts his “little Miss Magic”.  At 3:00 am Tyler called Julie back and told Julie to call the midwife.  Julie had already gotten her gear together and was on her way.  My Pressure waves were strong and very close.  I hummed during waves, yes I sounded like a dwarf from Snow White [note from Julie:  the “hi-ho, hi-ho, its off to work we go” song], but you know that is what I love about a natural birth, if you let yourself go and let your body lead you, it does things to get you through birth.  And my body apparently wanted me to hum, and so hum I did.  I told Tyler to get my “Birthing Outfit”.  Yes I like to look cute when I deliver!  My birthing attire was a knit skirt and tank and most important my Nike’s.

[note:  notice the wall behind her is covered with birthing affirmations]

Julie came in a little after 4:00 am. She just saw I had my Nike’s on and I remember she said “Oh you are ready!”  I wore my Nike’s during my labor with Preston and would have delivered in them if the hospital would have let me!  So with my outfit on and Nike’s laced, I was ready to go.  [note from Julie:  When things got intense with Preston’s birth, Brady ritualistically put on her Nike’s.  I knew when I saw them on her feet, we would meet a baby soon.  I got on the phone with the midwife and told her to hurry!]

I had had the urge to push a little right before Julie arrived.  Now the urge was uncontrollable.  Crain’s birth took over my body and of course my body knew just what to do.  I remember feeling like I was just watching myself birth.  You go to this whole entire different realm, or at least I did.  It one of those experiences in life where you are not the driver, but the passenger and you let your body drive and have faith that it knows what to do.

I think my water broke at 4:45am or so and I remember saying “that felt great.”  Crain’s birth was moving really fast and the midwife was not there, but I was not scared, I actually felt very calm.  I had Tyler and Julie there, and it was really calm and peaceful.  My pressure during pushes became really intense, so intense, and so difficult.  The only position I was comfortable in was standing up.  When I pushed it took over me and literally lifted me onto my tip toes (good thing I had that extra support from my Nike’s).  I felt burning, and knew that Crain was coming, but it was happening so fast.  I remember telling Tyler and Julie that I felt burning.  I reached down and felt Crain’s head, and saw Tyler place his hands below.  I pushed again, and my beautiful Crain was caught by his father’s hands, and my world stopped.

Crain laid in my arms and talked, instead of crying he talked and talked (you know baby cooing).  He apparently had a story to tell me about where he had been for the past 40 weeks and 14 days.  The midwife arrived within seconds.  Our birth team took great care of me and Crain in the hours to come.

So why did we have a home birth?  On May 21st, 2011 at 4:53 am, Tyler caught our 9lb 6oz son with his strong hands in the comfort of our home.  I had no nurse chasing me around trying to check me.  I was free of wires and IV’s.  I was able to have a true, calm Hypnobabies birth.  I was not met with paperwork to fill out nor did I have a nurse counting for me while I pushed.  I was able to place Crain directly on me after birth.  Tyler and I did not have to fight for anything we desired for Crain’s birth.  It was a calm, beautiful, safe birth. We have been asked if we worried or why we would take a “risk” of having Crain at home. To answer those questions yes, of course I worry.  I worry about both my children, constantly.  Did I worry about birthing him at home?  No!  I was in safe hands and I knew our birth team would never put me or Crain in an “unsafe” situation.  As far as risk, you take a risk whether you are at a hospital or at home.  Ironically, if you do some research and listen to other birth stories, sometimes hospitals and their many interventions put you and your baby at more risks.  Tyler and I weighed the benefits and risks and in this situation; and the benefits outweighed the risks.  Tyler and I educated ourselves and surrounded ourselves with birthing professionals.  It saddens me that instead of excitement after Crain’s birth, most everyone’s first reaction was that of worry and judgment.  I understand that this is not the “norm”, but to those I say open your minds to a new yet old way of birth, do some research on natural hospital births in the US, and have faith that people make decisions for all the right reasons, and be okay with women who choose to not be the “norm” when they birth their children.  I certainly do not judge other woman on how they choose to have their child.

The coolest part of Crain’s birth is that I felt so connected to my faith.  They say that God is present with every birth and by having Crain at home, and being surrounded by calm, supportive people, I felt the presence of God.  It was truly the most incredible experience. I am so happy that I trusted my gut and stayed true to who I am, and had Crain the way Tyler and I wanted to.  I look at Tyler and feel closer to him than I ever have; he truly is a great birth partner, and even a better husband and father.  I know that I am a stronger wife and mother.  I am proud of Crain’s birth, and do not look at his birth in any negative light.  I look at his birth as a gift.  Both of my boys gave me the gift of birth and I discovered if you open your body and mind to birth it is truly life changing.  On May 21st, 2011 at 4:53 am as Crain entered this world something in me changed, just as it did when Preston was born.  I cannot describe the change; it is just the most amazing feeling, and I know it was because of how we brought both Preston and Crain into this world.  I will never forget either one of their births, but especially Crain’s birth.  I grew that day, and I am so glad that I experienced the gift of birth.  Thank you to our birth team for supporting us, and helping us through this pregnancy.  Without you guys I would not have had the experience I had, and for that I am forever grateful to all of you.

Crain still “talking” to his mama an hour after his birth:

 [Note:  Brady and Tyler made the challenging choice to change care providers and birth location at around 36 weeks.  If your intuition is telling you to explore other options, it is never too late.]

Sacred Moments

It was the middle of the day.  There were four of us.  A woman, her husband, their doula, and a baby ready to be born.  The light was muted by curtains.  She had carefully created this birthing room in her home.

It was an ordinary weekday.  The neighborhood went about its business.  The postman delivered the mail.  In the distance, someone cut the grass.  The school bus picked up and dropped off children.

But inside the birthing room, something transcendent was happening.

Inside the birthing room, there was silence.  For an hour, complete silence as the woman worked with her waves.  The only sound was water.  Each time a wave began, I slowly poured water from a pitcher down her back.  And in the background, water flowed from a fountain she had placed in the room.

I didn’t dare speak.  The space was heavy with the sacred.

This is what the Lord says—he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and will help you:  Do not be afraid…

for I will pour out water on the thirsty land…

I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring and my blessing on your descendants. 

They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.

(Isaiah 44:2-4)

Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself,

where she may have her young—a place near your altar. 

(Psalm 84:3)

This is what the Lord says—he who created you…he who formed you…

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you by name; you are mine. 

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you…

Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you.” 

(Isaiah 43:1-4)

I glimpse the sacred at all births I attend.  I feel near to the altar.  Like a priestess serving the woman; but ultimately the Author of this new life.  It is a meeting of worlds–the spiritual and physical.  Soon after, the midwife and her apprentice arrived.  The baby was born.  And the world carried on, though forever changed by a new life.

As birth servants, may we ever tread carefully in these birthing rooms.  These altars.

My sister’s doula

My family is tight.  I have one sibling.  My parents still love each other.  We have weekly Sunday dinner during which we sit at the table talking long after the coffee has cooled.  And for this rare moment, we all live in geographic proximity.   

When my sister became pregnant, I coached myself on:

  • respecting her privacy
  • not using scare tactics
  • not saying too much
  • not saying too little
  • keeping horror stories to myself
  • keeping homebirth talk to a minimum
  • stepping back and allowing them to make informed decisions

All the while, I wondered how I could possibly be her doula in the hospital setting.  I imagined scenes of security guards forcibly removing me from the hospital.  But they chose a homebirth and I breathed a sigh of relief.  I wouldn’t need to guard her or time her arrival at the hospital just right.  I could relax into supporting.

Ha.

As her time approached, I had so much anxiety.  If she had to transport, I would blame myself.  I knew this.  Deeply knew this.  A big sister thing, you know?  I did a Hypnobabies “fear clearing” before her birth. 

Then her birthing time began.  And it felt so normal.  The anxiety melted away as I moved into the familiar and comfortable space of birth.  I hunkered down to support her in the work of bringing a baby. 

What I was not prepared for was the emotion.  The powerful emotion that hit me full force out of nowhere as she was close to birthing.  At this moment:

Yes, this moment.  Do you know what I was thinking?  I was remembering the time I left her in my uncle’s hayloft.  She was little and refused to come down the ladder.  So my cousins and I left her crying.  My horrible brain fired off many of those memories in rapid succession leaving me a pile of mush.  I wept in her shoulder so she wouldn’t see.  I was entirely unprepared for the onslaught memories.  I never cried at my own births. 

She was a warrior, as I knew she would be.  And Zach was a strong birth partner whispering prayers and endearments throughout. 

Her sweet babe weighing in at 8lbs 4oz was a precious dumpling.

And her doula was busy remembering every mean thing she ever did to her.