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Echo & Nicks Birth Story
Trinity Love Maese was born May 19th, 8lbs 7oz, 20.5 inches long. She is a healthy growing baby and gaining weight like crazy. She is already in the 97th percentile weighing in at almost 15 lbs in almost two months!!
I was in labor for 4 days! I had contractions non stop from anywhere between 3 minutes apart to an hour and a half apart the whole time. Finally Saturday evening they stayed consistently 5-7 minutes apart for over an hour so we called the midwife. As soon as we hung up they spread back out to 20 minutes apart. I called her back and she told me "Echo eat some dinner and go to bed that baby is not going to come tonight." I have to admit I was a little relived as I felt so tired from the sleepless nights before filled with contractions. I sat down to eat a salad and suddenly the contractions felt as though they were on top of each other!! I told my husband to call because at that point I was unable to talk but he was skeptical and wanted to wait. He regretted this decision when I quickly barked at him to listen to me or he would be delivering our baby!
The midwife showed up fifteen minutes later and checked me. I was already 9cm dilated! She told me I was 8 because she didn't want me to get nervous as her assistant was not there yet. By the time her assistant showed up I was ready to push. Sadly we didn't have enough time to get the birthing tub ready so pushing took place right next to our bed where after an hour and forty minutes of trying to figure out how to efficiently push, Trinity was born. She came out with her arm around her neck so she tore me on three places as she exited (13 stitches) recovery was very hard and it took me about four weeks to get up and actually walk around like a normal person. I'd do it all over again to have her!! She is such a joy and worth all the pain in recovering and delivering (contractions are a breeze compared to crowning and pushing!! Hahaha).
Jim & Lauren's Birth Story
I have been meaning to email you! We have officially (and happily) been sucked into "baby world". Sloan Kaydence was born October 5, 2012 at 7pm weighing 8lbs 6oz! She is so beautiful, I can't seem to put her down. It was such an intimate home birth and I feel truly blessed. It was 39 hours of labor but very manageable. You were right about the contractions - feels just like a period cramp. At first, I wasn't even sure I was truly in labor! I will admit, transition was pretty intense but luckily short! I was pleased that pushing, while hard work, did not hurt! I am so thankful we took your class because I was able to use the techniques I learned to manage my contractions. My saving graces were relaxation, abdominal breathing, the water tub and the birth ball!! Of course, Jim was there for me every step of the way and it would have been difficult without his support. I used the tub to ease my contractions but wound up birthing Sloan in our bed with Jim.
I am so grateful for the care she received and glad we can now enjoy her at home. She is breastfeeding like a champ and already weighs 6oz above her birth weight! I can finally say I have a healthy, happy baby girl!
Thanks for sharing your wisdom with Jim and I. Without your guidance Sloan's birth would not have been (dare I say) so easy. It really was a perfect labor and it went better than I could have dreamed. I believe good nutrition, relaxation and abdominal breathing were the keys to my "pain-free" labor and I am grateful you reinforced these principles in class.
Thanks again for your support during my pregnancy - my journey would not have been the same without you!
Susan & Ted Birth Story
Thanks for your help. We had an amazing birthing experience. The nurses suggested that we help teach the class and were surprised it was my first.
Our story: At 2am, on Friday May 28th, I awoke from a contraction. I started to time the contractions and they were about 20 min apart. Thoughts in my head as to.. is this real labor since these are so far apart? The rest of the night the contractions did not subside but were still >10min apart. (We needed to prepare for the sedan version on labor) I got very intermittent sleep that night so I stayed home from work as did Ted and we went for a walk in the forest preserve and I tried to take a nap for energy. We kept monitoring the contractions and by 7pm the contractions were 7 min apart. We actually went out to dinner with my sister's family and tried to act relatively normal. The contractions were manageable from a pain stand point. So after dinner and into the night the contractions did not seem to get closer together. I barely got any sleep Friday night. Saturday morning, I woke up and the contractions were 5-7 min apart. Ted and I decided to take a walk again. This time as a contraction came I needed to stop and breathe through them. By noon, the contractions were still 5 min apart and I was quite exhausted. We called the doctor bc we were worried about the health of the baby and laboring so long. So, we went to the doctor's office and checked the health of the baby. All was good, contractions were 5min and I was dilated to 3-4cm. She said I could check in to the hospital now or come back later after grabbing a bite, etc. especially since the contractions were slowly getting closer. So, with wanting to avoid the hospital for a bit longer, we ended up stopping at the supermarket and going home. Once home, I was not able to keep food down (or a honey stick) and finally water. At this point, we decided it was time to go to the hospital. These contractions were much more intense and unlike in the past where I could find a position to manage through the contraction.. I could not find that key position. So, before going, Ted suggested taking a shower. Yes, a shower. The shower actually helped me manage through the contractions; however also set into motion second stage and transition. My contractions were suddenly 3 min apart and my water broke in the shower. We raced to the hospital hitting every red light. We got placed in the room at 4:11pm and the first thing I was asked was "do you want an epidural?" I muttered that I would be trying to do this naturally. The nurse checked my progress and told us we were 9.5 cm! 10 minutes later, I was 10cm. At that point all I instinctually wanted to do was push. Room was swarmed with nurses and doctor paged pronto. The nurse showed Ted the head and they were talking about her thick blonde hair. Finally I could not stop from pushing, the stirrups were pulled up and the doctor coached me through the final pushes. She continually used lubrication to prevent tearing and even on the last push she had me control it - not blow it out completely- so as to further allow her to massage the area. It worked no tearing. Baby was born at 5:11pm... 1 hour after arriving. We were given 45min of tummy time and the placenta was delivered immediately. All in all the staff was supportive of our wishes but there were a few points that Ted and the doctor had to go back and forth on which was quite annoying! Wow! what an experience.
Thanks again, Susan & Ted
Mary & Ryan's Birth Story
I woke up on Sunday morning around 5am with a lot of pressure on my pelvis. Soon after I started having irregular contractions. By 1pm they were regular and at about 5:45pm we started the trek to the hospital. It was snowing out and there was an accident on the highway so the 45 minute drive took us 2 hours! By the time they checked me at 7:45/8pm I was about 5cm dilated. Our nurse (who is also a midwife) was amazing and let me walk the halls for hours, checking with the fetal monitor every 30 min. or so. At one point (not sure when because we took the clock down :)) I started having back labor. I tried getting in the tub but that didn't seem to help, then tried the shower, which helped a little but ultimately walking made me feel the best - I was able to walk through almost all of the contractions. The nurse suggested many different positions to try to help turn Genevieve around but none of them seemed to work. When the nurse checked me again I was 8cm but my bag of waters hadn't broken. I couple min. later I thought it had broken so I asked her to check again and I was at 9cm - bag fully intact. My midwife came in and broke the bag and soon after I started pushing. At this point I was incredibly exhausted - barely able to keep my eyes open or even stay awake between contractions so pushing felt impossible. I wanted to give up really bad but was able to get her out. When my bag was broken they noticed meconium staining so a respiratory team was standing by in the corner to check Genevieve when she came out. Her umbilical cord was very short (too short to put her on me) so I was only able to look at her until the cord stopped pulsing and they cut it and had to take her to be checked. They debated whether or not she needed to be taken out of the room for about 20 min. and then let me hold her quickly before they took her away. (She was born at 3:36 am by the way). Ryan went with her and came back about 1.5 hours later saying her oxygen was low and they were helping her breathe. Neither one of us knew the full story until we were able to see her at 9am and hear everything that was going on. It was an incredibly emotional few days and took me awhile for everything to sink in because I just wasn't prepared for anything to be wrong with her - I was so focused on labor and delivery that I only had a plan A and no plan B.
She is a very lucky girl to have recovered so quickly - our doctor said if she had taken in more meconium than she did it would've been a much harder road to recovery. We are so very blessed to have a strong and supported family and group of friends who helped us through everything.
By the way, our nurse was very impressed by our knowledge and preparation - she remarked to my sister at one point during labor how she sees so many women who want to have natural births but don't take the steps to prepare and end up with the epidural. So I wanted to thank you for teaching us so much and setting the bar high for becoming informed, prepared parents!
Liz and Tom's Birth Story
Well, this was quite an amazing and wonderful event. It all started on wednesday night around 7:30pm. We waited until my contractions were about 5-6 mins apart and called the Dr. to see what his recommendations were. At that point he decided that it would be a good idea to head to the hospital. Because the hospital was 45 mins away, I think he just wanted to make sure I wasn't too uncomfortable in the car, and to just get settled in the hospital. When i got checked in around 11pm I was only 1-2 cm dilated. Come morning (8am) I was only 3 cm. dilated. I had a lip of cervix and my water didn't break and dilation was progressing very slowly. Once I had started pushing (at 1pm), the Dr. had to move the lip out of the way so the baby could come down. With the first push my water broke and baby was on his way out (born 1:16pm)---with his hand on his head. His elbow got stuck and had to be manipulated out. He just did not want to come out! And lastly my placenta didn't want to come out either and the Dr. had to remove that as well. It wasn't the smoothest labor and delivery, but it wasn't bad either. We made it without any medication or medical intervention, we are healthy, no complications, and doing great! I couldn't ask for anything more. It was quite an experience and I am happy to have gone through the process just the way we did.
We are home and working together learning our roles as parents. My milk is starting to come in and so baby and I are working together to get breast feeding down to a science. It's going to take practice, but everyday is getting better. Lots of things to learn and we're loving every minute of it.
My husband thought it was pretty amazing how I seemed to fit the emotional transitions during labor. He said it was text book with each phase. I even remember him opening the book every so often...and now i know he was tracking where i was during labor. I was happy that he was very understanding of the process and was able to work with me through each step, knowing exactly what to do. The classes were very helpful and made for an easier labor and delivery. We were prepared. We were ready. And we did it!
Thank you again Barb!
Matt & Stormy's Birth Story
Well, I'm sitting here at midnight day 4 with my breastfriend pillow and my lil' Clare nursing while I type this email...motherhood is fabulous! My milk has already come in and we are pros at breastfeeding. Considering she nurses almost 24/7, we should be. :) Today was especially a good day since she slept without being held for 3 hrs for the first time...whew needed the break.
Unfortunately, my birth experience certainly wasn't what I expected nor wanted, but the doctor and nurses were absolutely great in helping us through a tough experience. After being told that my cervix hasn't ripened since week 38, we went in for an induction Wed. night at 7:30pm. I probably could have stuck it out a few more weeks but in the end it would not have mattered since the final verdict that lead to my c-section is that my pelvis was too narrow for the baby to pass. I will eventually get an MRI to find out if this is indeed the case before my next pregnancy. Anyway, I fought it out like a soldier and I am at peace with what happened.
So....what did happen?
Wed. 10 pm - received cook catheter to dialate and ripen cervix --> overnight I had contractions that got to about 1-2 min apart but these only lasted 1-2 hrs. These were the most intense contractions that I ever got..probably because the catheter enhanced the feeling...these are probably also the contractions that got me to ~1 cm
Thurs. 10 am - catheter out...cervix dialated to ~1 cm 65% effaced --> start pitocin at 4 mL/hr
Thurs. 2pm - pitocin to 10 mL/hr, doctor broke my water...this is the only thing that I look back on and think should have been avoided, even so the outcome I believe would have been the same
Thurs. 4 pm - 3.5-4 cm dialated (had hope that we were making progress)
Thurs. 10 pm - no progress on cervix...contractions at 1 min apart lasting 1 min...no drugs. Pitocin maxed at 20 mL/hr. Pit lowered back down to 4 mL/min to purge and start over...body just not ready for labor...continued to labor back up to 12 mL/min pit until friday 3:30 am -- contractions came back but not as strong..ALL that without drugs. Fri. 3:30 pm - prepared for c-section.
Fri. 4:55 am - Clare is born. Matt is quite convinced that Clare was never going to come out since he saw her right when she came out and her head had a large cone shape in the back/top but it showed where she was stuck.
...there could be a lot of maybe's to my story, but there is no reason to second guess the path we took considering that maybe things could have been a lot worse if c-sections did not exist.
Barb, feel free to share my story with your future Bradley students. I don't think I would be at peace with what happened had I not taken your class.
Matt adds his story
- When Stormy seemed stuck at 4cm the doctor requested a few things in exchange for allowing Stormy an extra six hours to push through what we were convinced was just a long NAP. One of those things was the external heart rate monitor. Both Stormy and Clare's vitals were extremely stable through the entire process: BP was 120 +/- 5 over 80 +/- 5, and the baby's heart rate was consistently w/in 5 BPM of 135 for the whole 18 hours. The in-mon turned into a minor battle and after about half an hour of gentle but assertive "get that thing out of my wife" pressure, I convinced the doctor to remove the internal monitor and the nurse to quit w/ the blood pressure checks. Husbands should be advised to pay attention to the details like blood pressure, heart rate, contraction size, etc. As long as the couple is aware that these things should not be used to measure labor progress they can use these things as ammunition to make a case when they want something done a certain way. The doctor, the nurses, Stormy, and I had a mutual respect for each other mainly because of our approach and knowledge and the fact that we used their own numbers to make a logical case for the things we wanted. -If a c-section proves necessary husbands should be warned to avoid looking at their wives opened up. I couldn't resist looking and a few hours after Clare was born I had a bit of a break down of self-doubt and regret in the hospital room. Seeing my wife opened up like that had me balling for about an hour. In 10 years together Stormy had never seen me cry and that was difficult for both of us. - We got to see Clare about two seconds after she came out. I had no idea she was going to come out purple. I was very concerned for a few seconds... - Even if things don't go how you planned a husband has a responsibility to be very assertive post-partum. I all but nagged the lady in the nursery to get my baby out from under the lamp and in my arms immediately which worked. I all but nagged the nurse in recovery to get my baby on my wife's breast immediately, even though she was still shaking after coming out of anesthesia, and that worked too. Gentle pressure is very effective and necessary no matter how tired you are.
Bradley proved extraordinarily valuable through the entire process and is not only a great thing for natural births but also helps to prepare couples for when induction and c-sections prove necessary. Thanks a million for preparing us! MK
ABC News article on Trying to Take Back Childbirth. Click here.
One of the couples from my Bradley class made front page in the local paper. See here
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