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Drake Alexander Kirsch


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  #1  
January 9th, 2009, 01:44 PM
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So ladies, this may be the longest birth story ever. I wanted to record every little detail so I can remember it all later!




The Birth Story of Drake Alexander Kirsch

What a wild ride our little guy had into this world! Although the story of his birth was very different from what I expected, it was in many ways what I had hoped for. I achieved most of my goals, and the ones that weren’t......I’m not dwelling on. As you’ll soon read, I didn’t have my “scheduled” support for the most of my labor and delivery. So, alot of it is a big blur, and there isn’t anyone who can help me clarify what all went down. Poor Eric, he is so sad to have missed it all; but he’s so happy I ultimately had the birth I wanted. And I’m shocked my doula didn’t get a speeding ticket racing to the hospital!

Drake’s guess date was January 16. We used the term guess date rather than due date. Eric and I studied a program called hypnobabies to prepare for Drake’s birth. A lot of common terminology isn’t used in this program. For example, we don’t say labor, we say birthing time. We don’t say contraction, we say pressure wave. We never use the word pain, but rather pressure and discomfort. Knowing this will help as you read this story, if you aren’t familiar with hypnobabies. (HB). To make a long story short, it’s a program that teaches self hypnosis and extreme relaxation to make your birthing time comfortable. It completely retrains the way one thinks about pregnancy and childbirth; the basis is that pregnancy and childbirth are a normal, natural, healthy, and safe part of life. Eric and I really both enjoyed the program, especially him reading me the scripts. I fell asleep every night listening to the scripts and CD’s on my ipod.

I chose the HB program for my birth because I do inherently believe that pregnancy and childbirth are a normal and natural event. I’m sure it seems slightly twisted that I wanted a pregnancy and delivery with the least number of interventions possible. I mean, I work in the medical field for heavens sake---what’s wrong with interventions? If you believe, as I do, that this is a normal and natural event, then why are interventions needed? They shouldn’t be, if a pregnancy is low risk. Some of my friends joke that I turned completely granola when I became pregnant. They may just be right. One of the first things I should explain about the HB program is that there is a script/class about visualizing your birth. Every time we did that one, I always used January 5th as my birthing day. I chose that day because I didn’t want to miss my shower on January 3rd, and the 4th was a Sunday. There isn’t always a midwife on call the entire weekend, so I did not want to take the chance of delivering on a Sunday and having one of the OB’s. I loved my midwives, and was dead set on having one of them catch Drake. (If anyone is wondering about midwives and doulas, please search my blog for previous entries.) So since the 3rd and 4th were out, the 5th was the first date that worked. That put me at 38 weeks and 3 days. Who would’ve guessed the the HB visualizing your birth script meant such serious business? So, that brings us to the morning of January 5th, 2009..... Drake’s Birthday!

I was scheduled to work 10-6:30 on Monday, the 5th. I woke up around 7:15, and just relaxed in bed for a few minutes. Drake was always active in the am when I’d lay in bed, but not that morning. He’d not been very active on Sunday either. Other than the hiccups, I had not felt him move. Around 7:45, I called the midwife on call since I was concerned. Tina was on call, and she said that this was an easy problem...just go on to the office for a non stress test. So, I was at the office at 8:30 for the NST, which looked great. He was active, and reactive to stimuli. Of course the coke I drank on the way might have helped. I really wanted him to start moving and reassure me. So, the NST looked fine, and afterwards I saw Gannon. She was the midwife in the office that day, and Tina was the midwife at the hospital for births and rounds. I saw Gannon, and she checked me out only to say I was about a fingertip (maybe 1cm) dilated. They did all the normal visit stuff, so I could skip my appointment later in the week. Once all that was done, I headed off to work. I was running a bit late, so I called to tell them I’d be in around 10:30 or so. On my drive to work, I did notice I was having a little bit of cramping, but contributed it to being examined.

When I got to work, I wasn’t assigned to a room for cases, so I spent my time giving other CRNA’s lunches and breaks. I gave two lunches, and the whole time I was still having some cramping. I really just thought it was from my morning exam. Looking back on it, those cramps were getting more significant and stronger. But, I was busy putting patients to sleep and starting cases for people, so I honestly was just focused on my everyday job. So much of the HB program is about envisioning a comfortable birth and creating your own anesthesia for the pressure waves.....subconsciously, I know that’s what was happening. About 12:30 I headed down to the cafeteria for my own lunch, which consisted of a grilled cheese and fries. Thank heavens I didn’t choose spaghetti. I went back up to our break room and ate, the whole time becoming more uncomfortable. As a matter of fact, while climbing the two flights of stairs between the cafeteria and OR break room, I had to stop and breathe through one of those cramps. Looking back, it’s ridiculous that I honestly wasn’t acknowledging it may be the start of my birthing time. But why would I? I was only a fingertip dilated that am. So anyways.....while sitting eating my lunch, the coworker next to me and I were chatting about baby stuff. She’s preggo with her second. At one point when I was pausing eating and talking, she asked if I was okay. I said “Yeah, I’m just a little uncomfortable with cramps from an exam this morning.” By 1pm, I was finished with lunch. I headed back into the OR to give some afternoon breaks to CRNA’s in rooms. The first break I gave was to my coworker Janet, who fortunately had a student anesthetist in her room. That means I didn’t have to do anything except sit in the room and supervise. My cramps were continuing to get worse, and I decided to try and see if they were at all regular. They were about 6-8 minutes apart. Not completely regular, and they were most definitely do-able. Despite the fact that I didn’t think it was truly my birthing time, I was having to use my HB cue of peace to relax through them. I was focusing on the peace cue with each exhalation, and breathing anesthesia down to my cramps. (If this stuff doesn’t sound familiar, you can find more details at the hypnobabies website.) Since there was a student in the room doing the case, I took the opportunity to put in a call to my office. I was wondering if Gannon had possibly stripped my membranes during my visit, and not told me. I really didn’t think she had, because I really trust my midwives to ask my permission before doing something like that. Plus, the exam had not hurt at all. I’ve been told that having your membranes stripped really hurts. I called the office to ask that, and they told me they’d ask Gannon and call me back. They asked me to pay a little more attention to the cramps in the meantime, and try to time them better. So, I went on about my day, trying to pay attention to the cramps. I went and gave my friend Jennifer a break next, and that was when I decided I was over working while being so uncomfortable.

I thought by this time that what I was feeling were actually pressure waves. But I truly didn’t think it was my birthing time. I still thought the exam had stirred things up to cause pressure waves, but that they’d go away if I could just rest. I went back to the anesthesia desk and told the CRNA in charge I was having pressure waves and needed to leave. By this time, it was 1:45pm. On my way to the car, I made a few calls. First, I called Eric and told him about my cramps, and that I was going home to relax. I should probably have a little side note about Eric and his phone. Eric was working out of town on Monday, about 3 hours from home. He’d left Charlotte about 6am that morning, at my insistence that he go on to work. When I had talked to him that am after my checkup in the office, he told me that his phone battery was low, and that the car charger he’d bought wasn’t working. He had just bought the new charger, but it wouldn’t work either.....he thinks the actual car lighter/charger is what’s actually broken. So when I talked to him at 1:45, I told him I was heading home, and to call me as soon as he got to Charlotte. He said he’d call me from the Charlotte office as soon as he got back. My second phone call leaving work was to my doula Annette. I just told her what was going on, but that I didn’t think it was for real. I just wanted her to be aware, on the off chance it was my birthing day.

I was at home by 2:15. Before I went inside, I knocked on my neighbors door to ask Lee if she’d be around for the afternoon. I told her that I was having some pressure waves, and Eric was still out of town. I asked if she’d drive me to the hospital if it came to that, although I highly doubted it. She said she’d be home, and to call her if I needed her. So I headed inside and went straight to the shower, in hopes the hot water would make the stupid cramps go away. Funny, right? Well, it didn’t help. I went to the living room and sat/bounced on my birth ball for a few minutes, and that was very short lived as well. I then went and started filling the bathtub. I got in the tub, but that was a no go as well. The cramps were just getting too bad. By this time, I finally believed they were pressure waves. I wasn’t convinced they’d stay around though, I was concerned they’d fizzle out.

At 2:40pm, I called my doula again to say that I wasn’t doing very well, and asked if she had any suggestions for getting more comfortable during what I thought was my very early birthing time. I was struggling because I didn’t have Eric to help. She gave me some tips, and told me to call her back if they got closer together, or I had any bloody show. I didn’t know it at the time, but she was already clearing her schedule to come on over. At 3:07 I called her back again, and said that my pressure waves were now about 4 minutes apart, and I was having bloody show. By this phone call, I was having to stop with each wave; I just couldn’t talk through them. She’d coach me through it over the phone, giving me HB cues and encouragement. In all honesty though, I’m not sure how far apart my waves were. Things were so intense, and I was alone, so timing wasn’t my first priority. She said she’d start heading over. I hung up from Annette and called the midwife office to let them know my waves were about 4 minutes apart, and that I had to stop and breathe through them because of the intensity. I left a message and they called back numerous times, all of which I missed because I was in the bathroom. I finally got to the phone on about their 4th try to get me. It was 3:22 when I picked up, and the nurse told me to head on over to the maternity center, and she’d call them to let them know I was on the way. I asked her to let them know I wanted a nurse who was good for natural childbirth, and she said she’d pass it along.

At 3:13 pm I had called my neighbor Lee to say I needed to leave for the hospital, and she said she’d be right over. I sat on my birth ball waiting for her, and she was over in 5 minutes or less. I got up and made it to the door, and then had a major pressure wave that had me leaning over the couch. As soon as that wave was over, Lee asked where my bags were so she could start loading. As she was doing that, I was putting some clothes on, rather than my robe. Luckily, I had written up a notesheet for Eric about what last minute things needed to be remembered and tossed in our bags. Lee found that and followed it, and got everything loaded. My waves were really close together by this time, and I was on my ball until she told me it was time to go. Now.....here was a MAJOR clue I missed. I was super nauseated with each wave. To the point I grabbed a trash bag to go in the car with me. Logically, I should have been suspicious I was transitioning. But that never entered my mind at the time. We got in the car, and I just turned my ipod to the HB tracks. I honestly don’t remember what it was. I think the painless childbirth script, because I really felt like I needed that one at that very moment.

Lee and I were at the maternity center by 3:45pm. And I have to say, this is where things all start getting fuzzy in my memory. Not much of a surprise, since I was probably in transition and just didn’t know it. Lee pulled up at the door to let me out, and I told her to not bring in any bags. I said if I was only 1-2 cm, they’d send me home. No point in moving all my stuff around. I had to stop on the sidewalk and breathe through a wave. When I walked in, the nurses at the desk immediately asked if I was Nikki, and I said Yes. I heard a voice I knew, and it was my midwife Tina sitting there with a chart. I’m assuming it was mine? The nurses said, “We understand your plan is for a natural childbirth, and Marilyn will be your nurse. She’s wonderful for going natural. She’ll be down to your room in just a few minutes.” Right about then, I had another pressure wave, which required me to stop talking, bend over the desk, and just rock my hips. I was seriously trying every cue I could think of right then. There were a couple of people telling me how awesome I was doing, how nicely relaxed I was, etc. I remember thinking, ‘Wow, they really can be supportive of going natural in a hospital.’ One of the nurses took me down to my room, lucky number 18. They handed me a gown, and I immediately started to strip down to my sports bra. That’s what I had planned to get in the tub with, just that bra. Things got a little hairy then, because I was SO nauseated. I went straight to the bathroom and threw up my entire lunch. Then I was having some major lower GI distress, so turned around to sit on the toilet. My nurse Marilyn, God bless her soul, was in the bathroom with me by this point. She told me not to sit down until she wiped the vomit off the seat, but I assure you I didn’t care. I sat down anyway, and she sat down across from me on the top of a trashcan. She said that it was not a good way for us to start off (with me puking my brains out), but that it was nice to meet me. And that we’d get through this, lol. I’m glad she was confident. She told me I looked really tired, and asked me how long I’d been in my birthing time. And if I tried to rest at all, or eat, or drink. I remember thinking, ‘Is she freakin kidding me.....I’m dying here....of course I look tired.’ I snapped back at her, “I have bad allergies, so there are always dark circles under my eyes.”

After clearing out my stomach and entire intestines, I did feel a little better. Of course there was still the matter of dealing with the pressure waves. About that time, Tina walked in and asked if my water had broken, that I knew of. I said I really didn’t think it had. I said I just wanted to get checked and see how far along I was. Marilyn left the room to get the supplies to test for amniotic fluid, and Tina just stayed with me and talked me through each wave. She was amazing! I just cannot say enough about all of my midwives. But despite her talking me through them, I was NOT a happy camper. I explicitly remember saying that I must have been crazy wanting a NCB. And that I just wanted to get checked, get my IV and fluids, and get my epidural. Tina told me that I can certainly have what I need, but that I was doing beautifully; and that we should just check me before making any decisions. Marilyn came back with the supplies, and Tina checked me. This is where the story gets CRAZY. Tina looked at Marilyn kinda strangely, then looked at me and said, “Well, your bag is intact, and you are COMPLETE!” I think I said something to the effect of “You’ve got to be freaking kidding me!”. My next statement was “I can’t push, my husband isn’t here yet.” Keep in mind, he was probably still on the road between Cary and Charlotte, with a dead cell phone. They told me I didn’t have to push until I felt like it. Which of course, they had nothing in the room. Marilyn pushed the magic button, and told someone over the intercom that I was complete, and she needed some help. About 3-4 more nurses came in. One started getting the delivery table, one turned on the warmer and started getting baby stuff ready. I don’t know what they were all there for; it seemed excessive. I just tried to keep in mind that I had caught them completely off guard, so it was going to take some extra people to get things set up. Marilyn did say to me at this point, “I know your are complete, but I don’t want you to feel like we are refusing you an epidural or anything else you asked for. Do you still want one?” I said that if I had made it this far, I didn’t want anything. This is when I realized that I probably would achieve the natural birth I’d been planning and preparing for.

After getting checked, I had turned around in the bed and was on my hands and knees. Marilyn put the head of the bed straight up, and suggested I try leaning over the back of the bed. It must have been what I needed, because I stayed like that for a while. I think around 15 minutes? I had my head down, concentrating through each wave. And sometimes gripping the sheet and/or mattress. I kept saying to myself to relax my face and hands. Boy was that difficult. I just wanted to grip something and squeeze. When I had turned around to my knees, Marilyn was right beside me, talking really softly in my ear. She verified my allergies and that was about the extent of it. All the other crap that comes with admission she just put off. She magically pulled out a thermos of ice water, and kept putting the straw in my mouth, encouraging me to drink and stay hydrated. She explained to me that I was free to push at any time, but didn’t have to. She said to just go with whatever my body was telling me. She also explained what laboring down was, b/c I didn’t know. Basically, it’s just being complete and letting my body push the baby down my pelvis naturally. Until I felt the urge to push, that’s what we would do. During this time, she also asked me if there was anything else I needed. I had one of the nurses grab my computer from my bags, and put on the HB pushing track. I also had a nurse get the Arnica oil from my bag for my midwife Tina, to use for perineal massage. I remember reminding Tina that I didn’t want an episiotomy under any circumstances, unless he was in trouble. She agreed to let me tear naturally if it came to that. Tina asked if I wanted her to break my water, and I said “no”, just because I knew it would make things more intense. I was scared of anything more, and didn’t think I could do it. While still on my knees, I would get the urge to push with about every third pressure wave. At some point, I flipped over to my back.

While planning my ideal birth, the last position I ever wanted to push and deliver in was on my back, with my legs in pulled back. Somehow, that was exactly what my body needed though, b/c I went straight to that. Noone in the room ever gave me any directions, they just let me follow my body. But I was SO crooked in the bed, that I was almost sideways. Tina asked me once if I wanted to straighten up to get more comfortable, but I said No. I just couldn’t fathom moving. The pressure waves were so close together, and extremely intense. I didn’t have the “uncontrollable” urge to push, but I wanted him OUT! And proceeded to scream just that....”Get him out!!!”. I just wanted the pressure waves to stop. I got serious about this pushing business, and about this time my doula Annette came running in the room. Oh thank heavens! I remember being out of control and being extremely vocal, but they told me later I really wasn’t that loud. I didn’t in the moment feel like any of my HB was working. I didn’t feel the least bit relaxed or in control...but they told me otherwise later. Annette said that when she would put her hand on my shoulder for the relax or release cue, that I really did relax and refocus on pushing. I’ll just take their word for it. Marilyn said I never lost control--Haha! It’s honestly funny how different my perspective is from the others. The intensity of a natural childbirth totally messed with my mind and how it was perceiving things. I think I pushed around ten minutes or so, actual on my back, pulling my legs back and truly pushing. Tina kept encouraging me to feel my bag of waters(amniotic sac) with my hands, and telling me that his head was right behind it. In the last five pushes or so, my water finally broke, and I could feel the huge gushes. I knew we were getting really close then. Tina told me to feel his head and hair, and just kept encouraging me since I was so close. At this point, Marilyn told me to listen to only Tina’s voice, and focus only on that. So I did, and she talked me through the crowning so I wouldn’t tear. Her coaching was invaluable. There was never any counting to ten, yelling at me to push, scrunching my face up, or people holding me legs up in the air. I pushed using the “Ahh” from HB as much as I could. It wasn’t a soft and relaxed Ahh, but a forceful and loud one. I was serious about getting my little guy OUT! Tina told me again to reach down and feel him, because he was SO close to being out. I put my hands kinda beside hers, and felt him crowning, then the rest of his body just kinda slip out. They did tell me to quit pushing after his head was out. Tina and I together pulled him up , and put him straight on my chest. Drake Alexander Kirsch made his grand entrance at 4:43 pm. I kept saying “He’s so little”, over and over. I could tell he was a small baby, from seeing newborns in all the C sections I do at work. He stayed on my chest for quite a while, they never took him from me. That was one of the few things Marilyn and I had talked about from my birth plan, since she sure as heck never had time to read it. He hardly even cried after the first few minutes. He was so alert, just looking around and checking everything out. I’ve been told that babies who’s moms don’t have an epidural or drugs are so much more relaxed, calm, and alert. Man is that the truth! I could not believe how chilled out he was. After a couple of hours, it started to worry me- I thought his vocal cords were broken.

So, my poor husband. His dead phone was accumulating about a million voicemails and text messages from a variety of people. My neighbor, my doula, my parents, me.....
About 30 minutes or so after Drake was born, I was trying to figure out how to get in touch with him. I didn’t know the name of the office he was working at, but did know the doctors name. Annette called information and started trying to get in touch with this doctor, who in turn could give us the specific number for the sleep lab Eric was at. While she was on the phone, my phone beeped again for a waiting call. It was a Charlotte number I didn’t recognize, but it was the same number that had called while I was pushing. Obviously, we didn’t answer it the first time. Since it was calling again, I told Annette to answer; it was Eric!!! It was the office phone since the cell was still dead. Annette handed me the phone, and I said “Hey babe- we’re at the maternity center. Do you want to come over and meet your son?”. He screeched, “WHAT?!?!?!”. Then was like, “Oh my God, I’ll be there in ten minutes”. He got there in record time, and by this point the whole situation was kinda funny. I couldn’t believe I had my son in my arms, and that he came so fast. And I really couldn’t believe that my husband missed it. I was so disappointed for him. He was sad as well, but said that the most important thing was Drake and I were healthy. And he was so happy for me that I got the birth I wanted. He was so proud of me accomplishing my goals.

Looking back on it all, I contribute so much of my wonderful birth to the hypnobabies we studied. I got my “fast, easy, and comfortable birthing.” Well, maybe not the comfortable. Since I never acknowledged being in labor, I don’t know what points were what. Since I worked until 1:45 pm and used HB for relaxing and comfort the whole time I was there, I think it’s safe to say it worked for the majority of my birthing time. It wasn’t until leaving for the hospital that I wanted an epidural or drugs, and I was so nauseated then. So, I believe that was transition. I believe it’s safe to say I had a successful natural hypnobabies birth, with comfort until transition. Thank you hypnobabies!
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  #2  
January 9th, 2009, 02:04 PM
ShaunaB's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Beautiful and amazing! I am so happy and proud for you. You did an incredible job! Congratulations on your gorgeous little boy.
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  #3  
January 9th, 2009, 02:58 PM
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Nikki, this is an incredible story!! I'm really proud of you.Congrats again!!
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January 9th, 2009, 03:41 PM
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I LOVE how detailed your story is....your an inspiration to me!
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  #5  
January 9th, 2009, 05:26 PM
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Wow! How amazing, what a story! Beautful! You did awesome! :-) I hope I can do the same!
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  #6  
January 9th, 2009, 06:27 PM
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I am so proud of you Nikki! You did an amazing job bringing Drake into this world! WTG!!!
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January 9th, 2009, 06:33 PM
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Wow what an amazing story!! You did such a great job writing that all out, that's so intense! Congratulations on your success!! We're all proud of you
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January 9th, 2009, 06:38 PM
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Congrats again Nikki!!! I'm sooo happy for you!!!! And yea for HB!!! I just received my home study course, and am starting it next week at 27 weeks! I'm soooo excited for it, and as I read your whole birth story, I cried as I dream of a birth like yours!!! You have a beautiful son!!!
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January 9th, 2009, 07:01 PM
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Yay! I love your birth story, it's so much more well written than mine lol

I thought it was funny how you said you were nauseous but didn't believe/think you were in transition, because the EXACT same thing happened to me! And not being able to move during the pushing phase too, same thing.

Congrats on having your natural birth! And yay for hypnobabies!
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January 9th, 2009, 07:04 PM
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wonderful birth story Nikki! you did a great job!!
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  #11  
January 9th, 2009, 09:09 PM
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What a beautiful story! You have truly inspired me to start looking into HB! I might be coming to you with questions!!! Congrats!
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January 10th, 2009, 05:57 AM
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Shoot, girl! I am at work and a patient is coming in 5 minutes and I am all teary eyed Congrats to you, your family and lil Drake. You did awesome! I am so going to have to get HB!!! Your support staff at the hospital sounds fantastic. I am so sad your husband missed the birth, but in the end, you both have a beautiful and healthy baby and that is most important.
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January 10th, 2009, 06:16 AM
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Nikki this is so inspiring and such an amazing story!!
I'm so sorry Eric missed Drake's birth, but you definitely have so much to be proud of!!!
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January 11th, 2009, 02:25 PM
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What a beautiful story!!! You did such an amazing job!!!
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  #15  
January 11th, 2009, 06:27 PM
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Wow girl, great job!!! I love how you were in full out labor and thought they were cramps! I am so happy that you got your natural birth, it really is inspiring! Congrats again!!

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January 12th, 2009, 07:30 AM
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Wow...I am so proud of you! You are truly an inspiration. I loved how detailed your story is...I couldn't stop reading it! I'm so glad you got the birth that you wanted. You're amazing! Congrats again.
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February 3rd, 2009, 11:18 AM
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Wow that is an amazing birth story. Congrats on having a wonderful experience, you are an inspiration!!
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February 3rd, 2009, 11:29 AM
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Congrats on your baby boy! You are an inspiration to me too! I want to do HB when we have another baby and am looking forward to it. BTW my son's name is Drake too, he was born 9/28/08.
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