Tag Archives: midwife

Sprout is here!

Hopefully I’m not too long winded here because everything happened so, so fast!

Here goes. I was feeling a bit down last night. Texted my midwife and was telling her I was having a hard time with all the “what-ifs” because of the past few days. What ifs like, “What if I don’t have my baby by the end of the week?” or “What if something is wrong and that’s why I’m not going into labor?” That was about 9:18pm.

We watched a couple episodes of The West Wing (on DVD) and went to bed.

At 1:40am I woke up to pee. I got to the bathroom and felt a gush before I had a chance. I was kind of confused because with Bean I felt a big bubble and then felt it pop and then felt the gush. This felt more like the fluid had just been sitting in there for awhile and came out.

So I told Stephen that I thought that maybe my water broke, but I wasn’t sure. I told him to call our midwife. He kind of ho-hummed about it. I still wasn’t having contractions.

Got back in bed and another gush. Ran back to the bathroom. Another gush. Yep water definitely broke.

Stephen still hadn’t called our midwife. I was kind of annoyed. I nagged, he called at 1:45am.

By about 2am I was definitely having contractions.

We started timing them.

Called the midwife again. I told Stephen to make up the bed (for a homebirth you make up the bed with two sets of sheets with a giant plastic sheet in between… you get the first set all yucky and then when you pull those and the plastic off you have a nice ready to go made bed).

I decided I wanted to take a bath. Yesterday in the shower I forgot to shampoo my hair and thought I might try to wash my hair too while things were still light. Except then I’d have a contraction and decide I didn’t want to afterall. I stayed in the tub until about 4am. This time the water actually did help me manage the pain for most of my labor a lot better. The key was a folded up towel on the bottom of the tub so that it wasn’t so hard to sit on.

Then I started to feel like I really did not want to be in the tub. I just had a feeling things were about to change and that I wanted out.

Made it to our bed. Contractions got much more intense. I didn’t scream much like last time, but I did have some issues with breathing. I started to hyperventilate a little at some point and felt all tingly all over. Stephen had to really coach me to breathe and I still wasn’t doing that great of a job. I’m pretty sure this was transition.

I know my brother-in-law came at some point during that and picked up our daughter. Stephen wanted to go talk to him, but I needed him so he didn’t. Eric managed to find the keys to our van and everything Bean needed on his own and get out without me basically even knowing he was there. Awesome.

Right around 5am I started feeling the need to push. Did two contractions on my side laying down like this. Then I told Stephen I needed to push. He said I didn’t, but I knew I did. After the first few pushes our midwife arrived. Pushing seemed to take forever this time, but really it was less than an hour. I guess Sprout was slightly transverse at first, but then he turned posterior. He was also much bigger than Bean. The sliding back part after you’ve pushed during a contraction is still the part I hate the most, it is so uncomfortable.

Stephen says he’ll likely not forget the point when Sprout was crowning and I yelled, “Burn! Burn! Burn!” instead of my usual grunt. He said I sounded like a Puritan which hunter. Someone’s been reading a little too much colonial history lately, I think.

Anyway, at 5:49am he was out and up on my chest. For all the worry about being post-due Sprout was born completely covered in that lovely white cottage cheesey vernix stuff. At 41+4 Bean only had a couple of very small chunks. So my midwife is fairly certain he was born right on time.

So here’s a testiment to my husband’s improved Bradley Method coaching skills. Sprout weighed in this morning at a whopping 8lbs 14oz (Bean was 7lbs 4oz), but I managed to only get one tiny little tear and that was because Sprout came out with his hand up by his cheek. Stephen helped me breath correctly and mostly stay calm through almost every single contraction. I couldn’t have done this well without him.

And because pictures make the story here are the first few we have:

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We are going on false alarm #5 over here…

Since Sunday, I’ve had four more false alarm contractions sessions. It is getting a little annoying.

The second to last time was over 21 hours long. The contractions never really picked up in intensity, but were just annoying and strong enough to keep me from sleeping or napping. I was actually a tiny bit relieved when it was finally over with yesterday because I knew it meant I would finally get to sleep.

So last night we were blessed with pretty much an entire night contraction free and sleep issue free as well (which, those of you who have been through pregnancy know all about that third trimester insomnia). I slept straight through from about 11pm to 5am when my bladder woke me up. I don’t even remember the last time that happened.

Upon relieving my bladder, drinking a little water, rearranging my pillows and climbing back into bed, I was hit with some fairly serious contractions. Much more intense than any of the ones I’d felt in the previous days. I seriously felt like it was impossible to breathe during them. After about three of these guys I woke up Stephen because I thought for sure this was going to be the real deal.

We started timing them and they were more along the lines of what early labor should look like: slightly intense contractions that are about 4-5 minutes apart. The contractions in previous days had always been around 2 minutes apart and were not intense at all, just annoying. They were intense in that I had to concentrate on breathing through them, but still not hard labor.

So little praise to my husband here. He has actually been reading the Bradley childbirth book and it has been like a dream come true. Just in these few false alarm experiences I can tell a HUGE difference between this time around and Bean’s birth.

If you remember from Bean’s birth story, upon arriving home I had him install our carseat. This was mainly because I honestly felt like he would be more of an annoyance to me than help. A few hours later when he was asking me questions like, “What do you want me to do?” and “Do you want to wear a sports bra?” I was definitely annoyed. I was in hard labor and couldn’t really begin to think about what he needed to be doing and didn’t really want to make a decision about whether or not I should be wearing a sports bra when our midwife arrived.

This time has not been like that at all. Stephen totally takes charge of the situation. There are not 50 questions about what to do. He knows what to do and he handles it and gets it done. This morning when I was having trouble breathing while lying down and found that sitting up helped more, instead of letting me sit with no back support on our bed, he ran around the house gathering up pillows to get me propped up and as comfortable as possible. He rolled a towel to stick near my lower back and provide counter pressure during contractions since back massage wouldn’t be easy in my semi-reclined position. He was completely attentive to every body part when a contraction was going on and constantly reminding me to relax my forehead or not clench my hands. He payed attention to my breathing and reminded me to stay calm and take deep breaths. Gave me visualization cues to concentrate on during a contraction.

In short it was awesome. A couple weeks ago Stephen said he has learned way more from the book than he ever did from our childbirth class. The class was useful, but the book just provides way more information about what to do in certain situations and why to practice things like breathing through a contraction standing up in case your wife has to go to the bathroom during labor and has one on the way there, etc. So for all those men out there that say they don’t need to read the book and that they’ll just get enough information from their childbirth class, I offer up this example. Books really do get the information into your head in a different way and a more thorough way, in my opinion. And I think anyone who says that they don’t need to read the book is just being lazy. You have nine months to get the reading done. It really isn’t that much. Be a good coach. Read the book. End of public service announcement for all the husbands who are probably not even reading this.

Anyway, back to my story. After about an hour of timing, my husband called our midwife and based on what we were experiencing, she too thought this sounded like the real deal. So she left Bakersfield fairly early this morning and carefully navigated her way through some soupy valley fog and an hour of LA freeway driving.

Stephen got everything arranged with his sister to watch Bean and got her all packed up and out the door.

By the time my midwife arrived the contractions were around three and half minutes apart, but still around the same intensity level. She did a cervical check which hurt like heck because I had a contraction during it. I was so disappointed when she told me that I was still the same as our visit from over the weekend which was 2cm and my cervix was still posterior. Seriously? All these contractions and intensity and no progress at all? What the heck?

She said we should go for a walk and see if that helped things progress. So we did a couple laps around our apartment complex. During our walk I stopped being able to feel individual contractions because I was experiencing some fairly instense pelvic pressure. When we got back to our apartment, I still had a lot of pressure and was not feeling any contractions. Then as I sat for a bit the pelvic pressure began to subside, but I still was not feeling any contractions. I was starting to get even more disappointed. Not only was this seeming to turn out to not be the real deal, my midwife drove two hours to hang out for nothing for a few hours and my sister-in-law and her family had to get all coordinated and rearranged to watch Bean. Plus this was false alarm NUMBER FIVE. I was starting to feel like the boy who cried wolf.

A few minutes later I got up and walked around our livingroom. I started having some contractions again, but they were really weak and didn’t seem to have any pattern. Stephen was making me some food to eat and by the time I’d finished my meal I wasn’t feeling anything. It was all over.

So completely frustrating.

Because of work schedules and vehicle coordination, my sister-in-law wound up watching Bean the whole day. While it was kind of nice to be baby-free, after about an hour of sewing and hanging out by myself I was pretty much bored and already missing Bean. So I guess if anything this helped me realize that I’m glad we’re no longer DINKS.

Anyway, that’s your second installment of Baby Watch 2009. Stay tuned…

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They do exist.

If you’ve read Bean’s birth story, you know I didn’t have the greatest experience with the OB community. Perhaps I brought it a bit on myself by going into appointments guns ablazin’ after reading a lot of research. However, even prior to my last OB and being pregnant, I didn’t have the best experience with those guys (and I say those guys because it really is a very male dominated profession).

So, when I found out I was pregnant again I just felt like there was no way I’d ever go see another OB. I love my midwife. She gave me a level of care that was far beyond what I could have ever hoped for. For about half a minute I thought about trying to find another midwife that was local, but I already had this relationship established. Plus, she has had patients as far north as Fresno which is the same distance away as we are from her. I didn’t want to have to go through trying to find someone else. I wanted her. So that’s the decision I made.

From the outset of this pregnancy it seemed like there was really no reason to question that decision. I was having absolutely no problems. This pregnancy was a cake walk compared to when I was pregnant with Bean. I didn’t even have morning sickness for quite sometime. My labs showed no signs of hyperthyroidism. I was doing great, eating great and feeling great. I was very excited that this time I was going to have a pregnancy, labor and delivery that was as intervention free as possible.

Well, then things changed a bit. I started having morning sickness and while not as bad as it was with Bean, it was still miserable. I was managing though. I started taking some over-the-counter medications that have been known to help with the morning sickness. I started avoiding foods like tomatoes and anything spicey that would give me severe heartburn and indigestion. I was doing OK. I was still eating regular meals. For the most part I wasn’t throwing up multiple times a day or even every day.

The nausea has been getting worse though and I haven’t been gaining weight. Actually, I lost all the weight that I put on the first few weeks of the first trimester and then some. I currently weigh less than my lowest point with Bean. Stephen has had to work from home a couple days because of the way I was feeling.

Unfortunately, there isn’t anything that my midwife can do about this except tell me to go to the hospital for some IVs if I get particularly dehydrated. Which is what things nearly came to last night. I couldn’t keep anything down for several hours. Plus my wretching did something to my esaphagus. It felt like I had a lump in my throat and chest like when you swallow a pill and it gets stuck halfway down. Anything I tried to eat after that felt like sandpaper grinding its way down to my stomach. I was finally able to get some medicine in me that calmed things down a bit, but did nothing for the nausea. Then once that kicked in I could only manage tiny sips of water the rest of the night. This morning when I woke up I could not see any of my veins which is what happens when I get dehydrated. I was pretty worried.

Not only was I worried about the fact that I was dehydrated, I was worried about Bean and what this meant for her and my breastmilk, I was worried about if we had to go to the hospital and the questions and rude remarks we might get about my seeing a midwife (not just any midwife mind you, one that is two hours away). I was not looking forward to being told that I just needed to eat crackers first thing in the morning to feel better. I was not looking forward to a lot of things.

The fact that my morning sickness has been getting worse and not better this late in the pregnancy doesn’t exactly go over well with me. I mean last time I was really sick in the beginning (like started feeling it a mere 5 days after conception) and then it tapered off around 14 weeks. This time I didn’t even start feeling bad until about 8 or 9 weeks. At over 15 weeks pregnant, I’m starting to wonder if it is going to just keep getting worse or if it will be over with soon. And, if it does keep getting worse, what the heck am I going to do then? Make a bunch of trips to the ER? Doesn’t sound like fun, as I mentioned above.

Awhile ago a friend of mine here had recommended an OB to me, but with my never-seeing-an-OB-again attitude, I sort of just filed it away in the back of my mind. This morning I couldn’t do that though, not when I knew that I was seriously dehydrated.

So I called their office soon after they opened. I explained my situation in full. That I had been seeing a midwife and planning a homebirth. That I had HG last time around and it was starting to seem like that’s the way things were heading. That my midwife was in Bakersfield and there wasn’t really much she could do for me in this situation. That I really didn’t want to wind up in the ER. The receptionist was warm and friendly. She made no comment about how far along I was without having seen an OB. She made no comment about my choice to see a midwife. She got me an appointment for this afternoon.

I started feeling much better as the day wore on. I kept down water, a smoothie and a sandwich. Instead of rejoicing in this though, I was thinking, “Just great. Of course I start feeling better hours before I’m supposed to see the doctor.” Then I just kept worrying about the appointment and getting nervous as the time drew near. Playing out conversations that were yet to be in my head. Trying to make my decisions sound completely reasonable and not like those of a crazy hippie woman.

I was so pleased to discover that all of my worrying was completely unnecessary. When I got to the office, I was the only one there. It definitely didn’t have that cattle feel that my last OB’s office did. The nurses were friendly, cooing at Bean. They knew who I was immediately. Went over the paperwork with me. Never made a single disparaging remark about the midwife thing at all. When I told them I was still unsure about whether I really wanted to transfer care to the doctor or continue seeing my midwife they were completely fine with that. Even when I went back there was still no other patients waiting in the office. I didn’t feel like I was being rushed through despite having only been given this appointment a few hours prior.

Then the doctor came in. He was so awesome. We went over my concerns and my medical history with regard to pregnancy. I explained the situation with the midwife and he didn’t balk or try to talk me out of my decision or anything like that. He agreed to give me a prescription for some stronger nausea medicine. If the prescription worked then that would be great, if not we’d talk about other options, other medications and possibly home or hospital IV care. But he didn’t think it would come to that. He just thinks I need something a little more potent than the OTC meds I was taking. He said after we were done treating my problem I could still choose to give birth at home with my midwife as planned or he would be happy to deliver me at the local hospital here. It was a complete relief.

I mean really, there is SO MUCH antimosity in the medical community between midwives and OBs. Maybe you think I’m blowing this out of proportion or you don’t believe me, but there is. I’ve experienced it first hand and I know many others who have as well. So to see an OB that is willing to treat my one problem and then let me continue as I choose in the birth I want is really amazing and refreshing to me.

I called my midwife afterwards and told her all about the appointment. She was so glad I had such a good experience and also thinks it is good for me to have this local backup plan.

The more I think about it, the more I think I’ll likely continue to see this doctor. It would be nice to have a backup plan in case my birth doesn’t go the way I hope. I mean if I am going to have an OB at my birth, I want the one that says stuff like this:

“I’m really hands off. I’ll give you your options and let you make a decision.”

“If you are in labor and your body is contracting naturally, there is no reason for me to augment that with pitocin to try and speed things up. Your body is going to do what it was created to do. Not every labor fits an arbitrary preset time clock.”

And I know from my friend’s birth story in which she had a 63 hour labor that ended in a completely natural birth, that these aren’t mere words. That this is stuff he actually believes in and practices. It really is just so refreshing to find someone like this. I seriously wouldn’t be surprised if he oversees some homebirth midwives on the side. His attitude is completely amazing. I am so happy to have found such a wonderful doctor here locally.

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You have asked… a pregnancy update follows

I think I felt more connected to my pregnancy and the baby when I was pregnant with Bean than with the current bean because my symptoms were so severe that I was constantly thinking about the fact that I was pregnant.

Now, not so much.

Days go by without a single thought towards it. Then I have a day like today where too little sleep plus back to back errands leaves me achy, crampy and flat-on-my back exhausted. And then I’m like, “Oh yeah. I am pregnant. Probably shouldn’t try to do too much like that again.”

Or maybe this is second child syndrom already setting in.

Hmmm. Not so sure. I just think it is hard to forget that you are pregnant and that fact is sucking the very life out of you when you are barfing 20 times a day.

So glad this pregnancy is completely different.

I am definitely excited. I honestly can’t wait until I feel that first kick. To daily know that there is new life within me. And as much as I fear becoming a huge fat beached whale by the end of the pregnancy (brought on by the fact that I’ve already gained 9lbs… which by the way, what the heck?! I am eating healthy and stuff.), I actually like having that round basketball tummy and all the maternity clothes that go with it.

I am very excited to be so close to the end around Christmas time. Many moms that I know that have been pregnant at that time say it is a unique experience.

I am excited to have another homebirth with my awesome midwife.

I am excited to have my babies interact. For Bean to be a big sister.

And despite everyone else’s wishes, I really hope I am having a girl. I’ve got my name picked out and everything. This time I’m not sharing though. I don’t want the criticism.

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“Look! Hers is holding my hand.”

Between other mamas going into labor, phone tag, sick kids and busy schedules my midwife and I were having a bit of trouble connecting. Finally, today I called her up since I was heading over to that side of town and she was planning to be home all day!

When I got there she was doing a prenatal on another client. I came inside and she had me wait in the livingroom. One of her daughters exclaimed, “Mom you have TWO ladies now!” She seemed really excited about it.

In addition to her kids she had one of her nieces over. All the girls were so cute. They were all pretending to be pregnant with dolls stuffed up their shirts. They were very interested and excited about Bean being in their presence. As I sat down I was swarmed by them.

“Can I touch her head?”

“Sure. Just be gentle.”

Bean was immediately loved on by these little girls with kisses, hugs and pats on the head.

“Look! Hers is holding my hand.”

“Yep, she sure is. She might not give it back. She likes to hold onto things really tight.”

“Hers likes me.”

“I think you’re right she’s smiling right at you.”

“Can I hold her?”

“No, she’s still too little.”

“She’s wearing pink just like my baby.”

“That’s right.”

“Oooo Little Bill is on. Does she like Little Bill?”

“Well, she doesn’t really watch TV yet so I don’t know.”

“Can you button my Cinderella costume?”

“Sure can!”

“She looks just like my cousin.”

“Our cousin just turned one.”

“Wow her eyes are blue!”

“She smells good.”

The other couple left and I started to head back to the “exam room” aka my midwife’s bedroom.

“Is Mommy going to check you out? Are you going to have another baby?”

“Oh, no. Not yet. She’s just checking me out for after the baby.”

“Sorry. They’re all just very interested in what I do.”

“Oh, it’s OK.”

And OK hanging out with all those cute little girls today that were so interested in Bean totally makes me want another baby. It was so cute seeing them interact. I know we need to space things out a little bit more than this, but jeeze it was cute.

After that I headed over to Babies ‘R Us where I saw a very pregnant and gorgeous Kourtni hanging out with her beautiful kids and trying to keep busy till little Genevieve decides to make her debut.

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