26 May 2014 3 Comments
I am so blessed to now have three beautiful children in my life right now! After having a traumatic hospital birth for my first birth, In 2010 when I was pregnant with my second child I started to research birth centers and found the New Birth Company in Overland Park, Kansas and had the most healing and empowering 2nd birth experience. When we found out we were pregnant for the third time, we knew right away that we wanted to return to New Birth Company.
On May 4, 2014 (the day before my due date) a group of girlfriends came to my house for a Mother Blessing Ceremony, which was put on by my doula and prenatal yoga teacher. I invited a small group of friends who have empowered and inspired me throughout my pregnancy. A Mother Blessing involves sitting in a circle and sharing amongst one another. The purpose of the ceremony is to help the pregnant woman to prepare herself for the birth, emotionally, spiritually and mentally, for the all important role of motherhood. It is a great way to help the pregnant women release any blockages she may be feeling and to allow her to embrace what’s to come. Everyone brought a flower and together they created a bouquet as they shared how the flower they brought symbolizes me. They then took turns reading out a poem or words of inspiration, thoughts about being a mother, birth or empowered living. And then each person brought a bead to place onto a necklace for me to wear during labor so that I could feel the support of my circle of friends.
I truly felt I was surrounded by so much love and support and it was so awesome to have a belly cast done on me!
This ceremony was very powerful because less than four hours laters I was in labor!
After everyone left my house I felt very serene and calm as I went to bed. At 2am I woke up to go to the bathroom and I felt a small trickle of liquid go down my leg, I knew it wasn’t pee but it seemed to be too small of an amount to be my water breaking (my water has never broken on its own with my other births). I went back to bed and at 5am I woke up again to go the bathroom and I discovered I lost my mucus plug. I called my doula and midwife around 7am to let them know what happened, but I was convinced I was no where near the start of labor because I wasn’t feeling any contractions, my other two babies were “late” so I assumed I gestate longer and this was only May 5th (my due date). Also, my husband and I had a theory that since both of our babies were born on a rainy Saturday, it just seemed fitting that it would happen that way again and May 5th was a sunny Monday My midwife asked me to come in at 11am just to check things out and in my mind it was going to be a quick appointment and then I would return home until labor actually started. I begged my husband to go to work and not to make a big deal out of this but he already told his boss he was not coming in today. I didn’t realize that my husband had been secretly texting my doula telling her I was in denial again (like last time) and that I was really in labor and to meet us at our appointment at the birth center because it was “show time”. My other two kids were in preschool, and as we were preparing to get in the car to drive to the birth center for our appointment we got a call that my 20 month old daughter had a 102 fever and we needed to pick her up from school. My husband quickly picked up our daughter while I got a tepid bath ready so that I could try to take down her fever naturally. I started crying thinking I can’t believe this is happening, my daughter has never been sick and of all days! Once she got home we put her in the bath and 20 minutes later her fever came down a little bit and we put her down for a nap while a friend came over to watch her. I told our friend that we will probably be back in an hour, while my husband standing behind me shook his head no and whispered to her that I am in denial.
We got to the birth center and my midwife checked me and said while laughing, “you are 7-8cm. dilated, with very little cervix…I suggest you not go anywhere”. I was shocked! How could I be that dilated and not feel anything but some slight pressure every now and then?!? I wanted to go back home to do my labor project, which was to bake a cake for the baby but my midwife advised against it because she thought this could go fast (given that this was my third child). I didn’t want to just go into the birthing room and wait for labor to really start so I went next door to my chiropractor to get adjusted.
Afterwards, I took a walk with my husband and doula outside and that is where I started to feel more intense pressure every few minutes.
I came back to the birth center and started to do some yoga, move around, take a bath and soon my contractions were more intense but not lasting for very long (about 20-30 seconds). Hours went by and I felt like this was never going to end. Needless to say, not the quick speedy labor we were all hoping for. I still was smiling and talking to everyone in between contractions but around 3:30pm I started to get tired and worn out. Even though I was 10 cm. dilated, the baby was still high up and I had a strong bag of waters that was still intact. With both of my previous births I eventually had my water broken so I thought maybe breaking my water would help to move things along, at this point it was around 4-4:30pm and I had been at the birth center for 5 1/2 hours.
I loved the environment and calm and positive energy that surrounded me at New Birth Company; it felt like I was at a day spa, hanging out with friends.
I had my candles on, my tree picture (that I painted with my husband) up by the tub and my yoga music on.
It was a gorgeous sunny day and outside the window I was surrounded by beautiful green trees.
I loved the fact that I was not being annoyed by beeping sounds, machines, hospital timetables and doctors who wanted to continuously check me. I was encouraged to eat and drink often, listen to my body and move around. My doula massaged my back, worked pressure points on my feet in between contractions and encouraged me to try various positions. I also loved that whenever they had to check the babies heart rate they would quickly do it without disrupting the position I was in or the movement I needed to have at that moment.
The feeling of needing to poop was driving me crazy, but just like my last birth, it was just the pressure from the baby causing that sensation. I tried all types of positions, yoga moves, nipple stimulation, squatting, and still baby was pretty high up. Finally at 5pm, my bag of water was broken and soon contractions became more intense and more frequent. I wanted to have a water birth but I just felt too hot to be in the warm water. All I wanted at that point was to have a fan on me with a cold washcloth on my head and neck. So I got out of the bath and tried to push in various positions like squatting and on all fours but couldn’t feel anything and my stamina was fading.
Finally I said, “I am done, I can’t do this anymore” and layed on my back on the bed. This is the point where if I was in a hospital and they offered me the drugs I might have shouted “YES, GIVE THEM TO ME!” but some crazy power surge happens when you know that drugs are not an option and the only way to get this baby out is to push it out yourself. Very quickly I gained an adrenaline rush and started to feel the urge to really push! It was the most incredible feeling in the world. I felt like I was really working with my baby and we were doing this together. I can’t put into words how amazing it was to feel my baby being born! The energy in the room was incredible and I felt like I had such an amazing supportive team, rooting me on. My husband, doula, 2 midwives and nurse just kept giving positive affirmations and encouraging me!
After 4 or 5 strong contractions our little girl was born (6:41pm…less than 2 hours after my water was broken). My midwife put her right on my chest and my husband and I just cried hysterically. Here she was, our precious little girl! WE DID IT! Our beautiful Leora (which means “my light” in Hebrew) was 9.4 pound, 21 1/2 in. long baby (with no tears)!
One thing I really focused on for this pregnancy was the idea of “moving into discomfort”. Prenatal yoga helped me to learn the coping skills needed when I wanted to take “flight”. I really worked on how to breathe, create positive beliefs and affirmations and to face fear head on. During labor, it is only natural to want to make the “pain” go away and so moving out of discomfort seems to be the end goal. But what I learned is that when we face our fears, do the introspection work beforehand, prepare ourselves and surround ourselves with a supportive network of supportive people… then moving into discomfort is not as scary anymore. Giving birth has empowered me to believe in my true potential and have the confidence in my body! I am forever indebted to my birth team: the midwives/nurses at New Birth Company and my incredible doula/massage therapist! Thank you for surrounding me with so much support, love and light during my pregnancy and birth!