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July 5th, 2006, 02:31 PM
wonderfullymade's Avatar Doula & MW Apprentice
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Location: Galveston, TX
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Just wanted to let you all know that we have a new subforum for natural childbirth stories. Anyone who wants to post PAST NCB stories or CURRENT NCB stories, this can be a great way to encourage one another! Can't wait to read them!

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July 8th, 2006, 08:50 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: in the whirlwind of life
Posts: 2,343
Ok, I have a few.....first one is really long....(posted on oct ddc, too, so some of you may have already read these)

Angie's Labor of Love--told by Auntie Vikki

There I was, peacefully sleeping when I heard the phone ring. It is 5:30 a.m. It rang twice and I

thought, "Surely that's not Angie..." And then Breena knocks on the door to tell me it is indeed

Angie. Ok, ok, I'm awake now! Angie asked if Billy was gone yet because she knew I'd have to get a

ride with him. She said she'd been having contractions since 10 last night. I jumped into action and

started packing a bag (was going to pack it later that day since I didn't think labor would start

yet). I let Billy know he needed to get a move on. You know men, he wasn't really happy about it but

after a cup of coffee he got it in gear. I was so nervous the entire ride to Angie's house. It is an

hour away,and the whole time I'm thinking I'm surely going to miss the birth.

We arrive around 8:30 and Billy says a quick hello and goodbye and heads to work. Dave is busy

cleaning the house and looking like a real Martha Stewart. There are candles burning, Angie is

walking around laboring and Tommy was busy wondering what was going on. I didn't really know what

to do first so I gave my Sista a big hug. I was so excited but didn't want to introduce a disturbing

vibe since things were so peaceful. Shortly after, I hear a car outside and go to see who it is. It's

April and Lisa, the midwives. I had never met Lisa before, but LOVE April! Yay! I go out to greet

them and let them know how things are going, and that I'm here to stay and help.

The midwives talk to Angie some and then she decides to have Lisa do an internal exam to see what

kind of progress her body is making. Cervical dilation is only 1 cm, which I know just broke Angie's

heart, after laboring all night. I get a feeling that this is going to be one of 'those' labors. So, Dave

and I go to the store while the midwives stay with Angie. We had a good time getting labor food, and

I bought a few things for Tommy...some of those markers that only mark on special paper, and a

Memory game. Dave and I picked out a nice candle for Angie (a soy apple spice candle), and he finds

a pretty bouquet of flowers for our laboring Mama. When we get back home, the mood is changed

and Angie is crying. I just wanted to pick her up and rock her and make it all better.

Dave's daughter Katie came by to take Tommy for the day. We thought that would make it easier on

Angie to relax, and I was really thankful Katie was available. I encourage Angie to lie down and get

some rest, because I know she didn't get much sleep the night before. So I busy myself around the

house for awhile. I don't think Angie really got much rest during that nap. When she gets up, she

said they were a bit stronger, so yay! However, when I start to question her about the nature of the

contractions, I hear major warning bells going off in my head. Oh no, please Goddess tell me that

Angie isn't going to have a labor like I did with Christofer! Up until that point, I had not realized

that she was having what I call uncoordinated contractions. Now I knew for sure, and I had to drag

myself up out of a point of pure fear. Fear for Angie's emotional and mental state because I knew

what was coming. Not only had I gone through this myself, but had attended another friend, Christy,

through her very similar labor. These uncoordinated contractions are not that common, and are

extremely hard to deal with. They are impossible to relax through, and if a person hasn't

experienced them firsthand, there is no way that person can understand how they feel. At this point

I knew I was suppose to be here. I knew Angie would need me.

We spent most of that day just talking and walking and having a party. I didn't want things to be

too exciting because I knew Angie would just get too worn out. So I fed her and loved her and just

waited. What else could I do? We also discussed the possibility that her dates were off a bit. There

were two different ocassions during which this baby could have been conceived--twelve days apart.

She mentioned that her fundal measurements had been decreasing. They had done this with each of

her other pregnancies when she was closer to her due date. That led us to believe that her dates

were indeed off.

Around 5:30, I suggest that Angie call Lisa, because it was obvious that the contractions were not

going to go away, and I felt like it would be best to encourage the labor to kick over into good,

productive labor. These uncoordinated contractions don't do the job of coordinated ones. Something

usually has to happen to help kick the labor over into productive labor. I could tell Angie didn't

want to call because she had this strange way of thinking she would be 'bothering' her midwife. I

reminded her that her midwife works for her and at this point they often get calls several times

daily (and during the night) from a client who is so near her dates. I also told her how many times I

had called Molly (my midwife) at 3 a.m. towards the end of my last pregnancy.

Finally, after Dave and I threatened to call Lisa for her, Angie picked up the phone. She was so

frustrated and tired at this point. The call to Lisa went well, and she told Angie that she could try

something called Startup, which is from Trilight herbs and contains blue and black cohosh, beth root,

and pennyroyal. Good stuff, in my opinion. Christy had also used this to try to get her labor going.

Angie ended the call and said she was suppose to talk it through with Dave and call Lisa back. When

she calls her back, however, Molly got on the phone and told Angie that what she really needed to do

was to try to stop the contractions and get some rest and that 'real' labor would start on it's own

later. I could see Angie just dissolving during the conversation and I ended up taking the phone and

talking with Molly. She convinced me that we should try to stop the contractions at least so Angie

could rest. I agreed that we could try it, and I had bought Angie a formula called Contractease for

afterpains. I have to admit that after my own experiences, I was very skeptical, but also knew

Molly well enough to know we should at least try it. Molly said something during her talk with me

that actually made me pretty upset. She said, 'Vikki, you weren't in *that* much pain with

Christofer', and I very quickly told her that yes I was and it hurt like hell!!! I got the impression

that she did not remember at all what I went through.

I started giving Angie the Contractease, a half teaspoon every hour. Along with this, Angie drank 2

beers. I knew that if this didn't stop it, nothing would. She had about 3 doses and the contractions

started changing. Lisa had told us that once in awhile the Contractease would actually make the

contractions change into the nice, coordinated ones. But that she doubted that would happen this

time. It did. They also spaced out, which I figured was a good thing, because that would surely allow

Angie's body to rest. I told her about a product called Master Gland. I had taken it with

Christofer, a neighbor had taken it when she was threatened with a hospital induction by her doctor,

and Christy had also used it. I have alot of faith in this stuff! It produces the same glandular

activity that normally occurs in a laboring woman, but there are no bad side effects, as with castor

oil. If almost all the Baby's ducks are not in a row, it will not work. We decided that if things

weren't better in the morning, we'd go get some.

At some point, (I think around 9 p.m.) Katie brought Tommy back home and while playing with him I

actually managed to bonk his head on the living room floor. Nice job, Auntie Vikki. I got him ready

for bed and then they all decided to go to bed.

Angie had five doses of the Contractease before deciding to go to bed. I spent some time after they

went to bed just thinking things through and praying that things would really get going during the

night so she wouldn't have to go through what I feared--a really long, exhausting, frustrating labor

that could possibly end in total exhaustion and a trip to the hospital.

Early the next morning, Angie and Dave come to wake me up and tell me that contractions never

stopped during the night. I told her she should have woken me up earlier! I could have at least

supported her some during contractions, but I think she was afraid to bother me. I think she was

feeling pretty embarassed that I'd come to her house and there was still no baby to show for it. Of

course, I completely understood those feelings, but knew I couldn't stop her from having them. All I

could do was to reassure her that I was there for her. So, I went to make breakfast and we all

discussed going to get some Master Gland. I went to look up the place on the internet, and we had to

wait awhile to call, as they would not be open for a couple more hours. I could see that just having a

different plan was good for Angie's spirits. I understood that she felt her midwife was not truly

supporting her the way she needed, so someone had to fill those shoes. Dave was a total trooper, too.

He offered a tremendous amount of support and was willing to do whatever it took, as long as Angie

and Baby were not in danger. I assured him that the Master Gland would either work or it wouldn't,

but that there was no way it would hurt.

We loaded up and went to the herb store. We go into the store and find what we needed. The day

was sooo nice out. We stopped at a drugstore to pick up a bottle of castor oil, just in case. The first

store didn't have it, but the second one did. Angie took her first dose of MG in the car, at noon. She

took it every half hour (2 capsules) all day long.

After being cooped up in their house for an hour or so, we decide to go to Sam's Club, figuring that

the walking surely wouldn't hurt anything. It was kind of hot outside, so walking in a/c was the best

option. We had a good time shopping in Sam's and I picked up a new math book for Hanah and a

really cool book on Egyptology for Breena. We bought a couple of bottles of wine, and some good

snacks. Tommy was a doll the whole time. We stopped at Kroger on the way home and Angie and Dave

went in to get a few things so we could have fajitas that night.

Angie had contractions pretty consistently all the time we were gone, but they didn't seem to be

picking up in intensity. We ate a great supper (well, Angie didn't eat as much as I'd have liked her

to, but I wasn't going to push it.), and then decided that since it was a full moon and beautiful

outside, that we'd walk. We walked awhile, but I didn't want her to wear herself out so we ended up

sitting outside and talking awhile. Dave told lots of his famous jokes, and then Angie decided to take

her first dose of castor oil. Wow, she chugged it with no problems and impressed the pants off me!

All the while I was seriously trying not to puke myself. Blech. Two hours later she chugged the rest

of the bottle. After that dose, it was obvious it was working to clean out her system, poor thing.

(Somewhere in here I bathed Tommy and put him to bed. It was so nice to snuggle and rock him.)

She's still taking the MG, but I told her not to stay up late to take it. She had to stay up a bit late

because she was spending so much time in the bathroom. She went to bed at 1 a.m. and I collapsed on

the couch myself. I honestly expected Dave to wake me during the night.

Early the next morning, they wake me and tell me she's been having contractions all night and they

are stronger and about 7 minutes apart. Great! Maybe that MG is doing it's job. She starts taking

MG again, just to make sure they don't stop this time. She had an appointment at the birth center at

noon. We kinda putz around awhile and then get ready to go. Shortly before we go Angie discovers

some mucousy bloody show. Woohoo! That means 'something' is happening. We go to the birth center

and an intern, Faith and Lisa do all the usual stuff--palpating for Baby's position and take Angie's

blood pressure, etc... Then Lisa checks for cervical changes and find that Angie is at a 'good' one cm

this time, and there is more bloody show. I know Angie is disappointed. While she was in the

bathroom I tell Lisa I'm not going home, and fill her in on what's been going on, minus the MG and

castor oil part--that is up to Angie to mention, and she didn't want to.

We decided to go to Whole Foods for some lunch items and to walk around a bit more. We find some

really scrumptious foods. We also pick up a bottle of blue cohosh tincture, just in case. Angie goes

to the bathroom and discovers 'a bunch' more bloody show. Good deal. We check out and go back

home and eat our nice lunch...salmon, tofu, salad, dolmas, etc...

At home, Angie takes several doses of blue cohosh before I can convince her to lie down for another

nap. I know that one of the most important things is for her to save her energy 'cause this is going to

be a loooonnnnnggggg day and night. She managed to get about an hour nap, which is so much better

than nothing. She woke up feeling somewhat refreshed and we decide to go on another walk. We load

Tommy up and head for the walking park near their home. Bless her exhausted heart, Angie walked

briskly through each and every contraction. They started coming every 5 minutes or so, and I finally

talked her into going back and resting before she wore herself out. I know she didn't want to stop,

but good grief, she simply couldn't walk forever! During the walk I asked Angie if she felt that my

presence was inhibiting her labor. She insisted it wasn't, but I had to ask. She ended up getting in

the shower and just crying. Dave went in to comfort her while I played with Tommy. Shortly after, I

ask Dave if he thought Katie would be willing to take Tommy for the night because I knew Angie

wouldn't be able to deal with him well. She came and took him and that just made everything easier.

I'm so glad she was available!

After eating supper we ended up convincing Angie to call Lisa again. I know she didn't think it would

do any good, but I told her I'd call her if she didn't. I also informed Angie that since there were

things she wasn't telling Lisa, that I was going to pull Lisa aside and talk to her before she saw

Angie. I told Angie that since she was hugely preggo, there was no way she could run fast enough to

catch me if she didn't like it! So when Lisa arrived, I talked to her for about 30 minutes outside. I

let her know that Angie was on the verge of becoming very tired, and that I was getting really

worried about her emotional state. I was thinking she was very close to just breaking down. I told

Lisa all about Angie's measurements being the way they were with her other children right before

she birthed them. I told her that Dave had had a really cool observation having to do with the

appearance of Angie's nipples. They had gone through a change right before she went into labor with

Tommy and they had just gone through that change again. I told Lisa that there needed to be a

complete change in the way she was handling Angie because at this point, Angie was quickly losing

faith and trust in her midwife. I told Lisa she needed to go in there and tell Angie we were gonna

give it all we had to get it going. I told Lisa that these contractions were just like what I'd gone

through myself and that because of it, I could completely understand Angie's emotions right now.

Lisa was really glad I had this talk with her, because how else would she have known? Lisa asked if I

thought Angie would want Molly to come because she attended Tommy's birth and understandably,

some women get really attached to their midwife. I knew Angie loved April as well, but said she'd

have to ask Angie herself. So we went inside...

Lisa was great with Angie. She let her know that she now understood why we needed to hit it with all

we've got. I could see IMMEDIATE changes come across my Sista's face. I knew she was relieved

that whatever I'd said to Lisa must've worked. So, of course, the first course of action is castor oil.

Again. About 9 p.m. Angie took the first half of the dose. Blech again, but this time she got to

impress Lisa. We sit around and talk and wait. Two hours later, Angie downs the rest of the oil, and

pretty much sprints to the bathroom within minues. Contractions get much stronger, which I know

may just be the oil irritating her insides, but I didn't say so. Lisa calls April and she shows up with

Faith. We all hang out and watch Angie, and rub her back when she needs it. I fixed snacks and

waited. We all take turns dozing a bit when we can. Things seem to be getting more intense, and we

move to the bedroom, where Angie leans over the birth ball. At this point I felt like surely she was

resentful of my hovering, but she told me how glad she was I was there. I can't tell ya how good that

made me feel. I just wanted to be able to do something for her, and didn't know what.

Around midnight, Angie wants to be checked again, as she is just sure she's really far along. She was

so incredibly disappointed to find that she was only 2 cm, not effaced any more than she was before,

and Baby's head was still pretty high. Angie completely broke down and just sobbed and sobbed. I

could feel her pain, I swear it. My heart hurt for my friend. I didn't know what to do so I just

stroked her hair and loved her. I think it did her some good to cry and just get out her frustrations

to someone who understood.

Some of the details are a bit fuzzy for me during this night. I was really tired, but sure didn't want

to complain much. I knew I wasn't as tired as Angie. I think we all kind of dozed off and on, and I

know I checked on Angie quite a bit.

The next morning we all get up and I get the coffee going for myself and Dave. I cook some bacon

and eggs, and honestly don't know how I managed to not burn it all. After eating, Angie gets checked

again, and finds out that after allllllll this time, she has only progressed another 1/2 cm, however she

is effaced a bit more. That doesn't do much for her emotional state, though. She pretty much loses it

again, and I sit with her, trying my hardest to give her some comfort, but I sure didn't think I was

doing any good. I don't think anyone had ever seen things go this slowly. I think even the midwives

felt a little more than helpless, and were also starting to worry about her emotional exhaustion,

which almost always comes before pure physical exhaustion. But she was quickly nearing the physical

kind, too. I asked April to call Helen, because she is the most experienced midwife I know. She has

3,500 births under her belt, and that is who April called during Christy's long labor. She called

Molly instead, though. April mentioned that there is a CNM that could give demerol to stop

everything, but that she'd probably scoff at giving it to a woman who wasn't even her patient.

Finally, it is decided that the last thing we could try at home was a homeopathic black cohosh. It was

well-known to stop these contractions so the mom could rest. We just didn't know what else to do. So

April and Faith went to the birth center to pick it up while Angie took a bath. I know that Dave was

in there talking to her, and then Lisa went in. Later I found out that Angie overheard April on Lisa's

phone telling her assure Angie that they were not going to abandon her. I know she needed to hear

that. I'm sure Angie didn't realize that when a laboring mother is in a very delicate emotional state,

midwives aren't going to bail out on her like a doctor would.

Around noon, Angie just had to sleep. The homeopathic black cohosh did manage to space her

contractions out, but in no way did they stop. She managed to get about an hour's nap, and that

really helped. She was still very tired, but I could tell that helped to refresh her. After her nap,

she had Lisa check her, and she found her to be at 3cm. Progress, yes, but still so slow! I asked her

if she would like to have April check her since she has more experience and she's the primary

midwife. She said yes but didn't want to ask herself for fear she'd hurt Lisa's feelings. I got Lisa

and April and explained what Angie wanted and when she checked her she said she'd call it a 4,

instead of a 3 and that her cervix was really super stretchy (master gland!). I know just hearing

that made Angie feel so much better. Truth be told, we ALL felt better. We decided to eat lunch

and go for an outing. We thought maybe a change of scenery would help. We were right because

right in the middle of Garden Ridge she started having contractions so strong she would break out in

a sweat and take a minute to 'come back' from the contraction. She was needing to lean on someone

during the contractions and was having trouble talking through them. Finally, she declares that we

must leave. She has to go home. Now. And we do.

Shortly after we got back, she came out of her bathroom and told me that she was scared because

there was too much blood when she went to the bathroom. I went to look and discovered that it

really wasn't that much (not from what I'd seen in the past), and calmed her down some. I told her it

was not only ok, but great! Must mean something else is going on in there.

Things seem to start tapering off again, and Angie mentioned that at this point in her labor with

Tommy, she remembered Molly giving her blue cohosh tincture to kind of help things along. She was

having trouble communicating with the midwives (fear? exhaustion? embarassment?) so I did it for

her. She started taking StartUp. She was pretty tired, so I again convinced her to lie down and

rest. Even if she didn't sleep. She'd been walking and pacing for hours, it seemed, and that couldn't

be good. I stayed by her bed, straddling a chair, and gave her the StartUp every half hour until she

was sleeping through time for another dose. I didn't care if she got upset with me, I wasn't about to

wake her for a silly dose! Contractions were coming every 15 minutes at first, and then they spaced

out to every 30 minutes. Finally, her body gave her a break for a whole hour and she snored!!! I

would kind of slump over with my head on her bed inbetween contractions. When she was startled

out of sleep by a contraction she would reach for me and I'd help her through it and then we'd both

doze back off. Several times, Lisa and April would ask if I needed to be relieved of my position, but

I just couldn't do it. I just couldn't leave her. Except once, when I had to pee.

I don't know how long we stayed like that, but finally Angie woke up, had a round of vitals, and said

she just couldn't lie there anymore so we got up. She ended up having another cervical check and to

our surprise found she was 7 cm, and 80% effaced!!! The bag of waters was bulging and we all

expected her water to break with any one of the next contractions. But again, Angie's body

surprised us all, and that bag of waters stayed intact. So we started a game of Scrabble with Lisa.

Faith was working on her laptop, and April and Dave were sleeping. It is about 3 a.m. now.

After our game (Angie creamed me), we decided that the two of us should take a walk. She had to do

*something*. The contractions had spaced out again, and this baby just had to come! We walked in

the moonlight, and did alot of talking. She asked what I'd do if it were me. Wow, that's a hard one,

because it wasn't me. But I told her that after all this time, and knowing that Baby's head is low

enough for there to be no danger of cord prolapse, I'd probably have them break the waters. Not

something you'd typically want done, but good grief, this was not your typical labor by any means.

There was no way Angie (or anyone else for that matter) could handle a whole 'nother day of this.

We went back and told April and Lisa that's what was going to happen next. Let's get this show on

the road. Angie was fully aware that this would do it and there would be no turning back. The

contractions she'd get after breaking her waters would be awful. But we felt that it would work. So

we woke Dave up and he went to make coffee. He looked pretty ragged.

Lisa broke the bag, but it was a chore! All that red raspberry leaf tea she'd had during this last

month did it's job and those membranes were THICK. Finally she got them to break and we all just

waited for that next contraction to hit. I could tell Angie was really bracing herself for what she

knew was coming. She was at 8 cm. when the waters were broken.

Angie was on her back when the waters were broken, and she stayed there through two contractions.

We waited as more amniotic fluid gushed out and there was alot more show. It was obvious this was

hitting her like a ton of bricks. Lying on her back was way too uncomfortable. I was on the bed on

her right, Lisa was to her left, standing, and April was at her head when we got her flipped over and

hanging onto the birth ball. It was so incredibly intense for us, and I cannot even imagine what it

was like for her. I have no doubt that it was a much more intense transition than I'd ever been

through myself. The contractions were coming one on top of the other, and she was having a really

hard time coping with them. She was shaking and about to cry, and finally she gave way to her tears

as the contractions rocked the whole room. She began to cry that she couldn't do this anymore, it

was just too much. April was stroking her arms and telling her that she was doing it. I told her it was

almost over and so very soon she'd be holding her sweet baby. Right about this time another midwife

arrived. I'd never met her before, but she knew who I was from my birth videos. ohmy.gif) Suddenly,

Angie had to lie down, the birth ball just wasn't what she needed. We threw the ball off the bed and

she just slammed right onto her belly. She managed to turn onto her left side a bit more, and then

she just had to push. Now. There was no stopping it and Elizabeth kept trying to listen to the Baby's

heartrate in between pushes but there was no in between. I yelled at Dave to get in here before he

missed it--she's pushing. He was on the phone to his boss, and probably would've missed it had he

stayed much longer! Angie's face was turning all shades of pink and purple, she was working so hard.

Angie said, "oooh! It burns!" I told her that the burn is her friend, while April instructed her to

grunt it out. It didn't take but three pushes before we could see the sweetest, littlest hairy head.

Lisa looked like she was really working hard to support Angie's perineum. And then Lisa said, "full

crown", and there was a wrinkly forehead, two tiny scrunched-up eyes, a button nose, and one lip,

two lips, and a chin! Wow, oh wow! Dave put his hands under the head and I put mine where the body

would be in just a second as Lisa said, "You got that, Vikki?" I practically shouted, "of course I do!"

while I was trying to control the emotions that were threatening to burst. Out came a very chubby

body right into my hands. Warm and wet and slippery! Squishy and sweet. I think part of my heart

went into that baby right at that moment. I have never felt such intense emotion. As I was handing

Angie her perfect little bundle, Dave looked and announced that it was indeed a GIRL! I don't think

Angie even really believed it at first. I can never ever describe just how happy I was for her at

that moment. I knew how badly she had wanted a girl, and I just kept having 'this feeling'.

Angie laid still a few moments just looking at her baby. Dave went around to kiss them both, and I

sat there and just broke out into tears. There were so many crazy emotions running through my head

and heart. I'm almost ashamed to say that some of those emotions were jealousy. Billy and I have

been trying to conceive for almost a year. But mostly, there were feelings of positively

overwhelming joy and love. And exhaustion. I don't think I've ever been so tired in my life.

Finally, it was time to see about that placenta. Lisa would very, very gently tug on the cord to see if

it was ready, as there'd been the small taletell gush of blood that proceeds the placenta. Angie cried

out that it hurt! So we waited. And waited. And waited. Lisa would gently tug again, and again, Angie

would cry out. It was hurting up high. I have to say, I started to get a little concerned about it all.

Finally, I ended up getting behind her and literally picking her up and holding her while the placenta

came. I was shaking like a leaf, but I managed. She slumped back into me and we both just sat there

while Lisa inspected the placenta. It was starting to show signs of calcification on the maternal side,

which certainly indicated that this baby was born right when she should have been. There were also

what Lisa called "false knots" in the cord (which was plenty long), and that was interesting to see.

Everyone left the room for a moment and Angie said something that will stick with me forever. She

said, "We did it. I couldn't have done it without you." I was so glad she felt that way. There were

times when I was concerned that my presence was not helpful, or that I maybe needed to make

myself scarce awhile. Mostly during the beginning of her labor, though. We had known each other

for awhile, but now I really feel that we know each other so much more. We forged such a strong

bond during this difficult and beautiful time. I would anything for my Sista. I love her with all my


After the newborn exam, Auntie Vikki bawled again while being allowed to dress sweet Gabriella

Diane Guerra. I got her new blankie all wet. I feel like the luckiest woman alive to have been invited

to share such a blessed event.

I know now that the long labor was due to some emotional issues from the beginning of the

pregnancy. It's amazing how our emotions can inhibit our bodies normal functioning.

Gabriella Diane Guerra September 19, 2005 6:09 am 7 pounds, 4 ounces 19 ¾ inches

My beautiful vbac.

My dh and I had been so surprised to find out I was pregnant! We had lost several babies already, and I guess we thought it just wouldn't happen for us. It took him about 4 days to realize that it really was true. I was already several months along. I had suspected that I was pregnant, but just knew I'd end up miscarrying, so was in deep, deep denial.

I immediately went into a panic thinking of my first birth. It was a truly awful experience that I did not want a repeat of. We had no insurance and he made too much money to qualify for any kind of assistance. We fell thru the cracks. I began calling around to different obstetricians to see if they would accept some sort of payment plan. No one would. More panic. What was I going to do for prenatal care? I started going thru the phone book. What I was looking for I did not even know. I came across a listing for midwives. Not really knowing what one would do, or what kind of services they really provided, I picked up the phone and started dialing. They were all willing to talk to me, but I quickly realized there was no way we could afford their fees. Finally I got ahold of a wonderful woman who spent an entire hour and a half talking with me about my options. She asked questions about my last pregnancy and birth. This woman's name was Helen, and she was the owner of Family Birth Services, which was a freestanding birth center. She told me to come in and meet them, and she said I could get my prenatal care thru them for $50 per visit, and then go to the hospital in labor, if that's what I chose. I just KNEW I'd have to have another cesarean, so the idea of actually birthing at the birth center never crossed my mind.

At our first appointment, I felt such a sense of love and belonging. I quickly knew this was the very best choice for my prenatal care. A student midwife named Christi took me back to a little cozy sitting room and took down my history, checked my urine, and then did some labs. She was so sweet and caring and gentle. I felt so cared-for and it was nothing like I felt at the ob's office during my first pregnancy. We scheduled our next appointment and we went home.

Fast forward to my 8th month of pregnancy....

Billy and I were attending our childbirth classes, held at the birth center and taught by the midwife who supervised all the student midwives. Her name is Molly. All the classes were going well, but I have to admit I kind of spaced out during the ones about pushing. I just never believed I'd even get to that point before I was cut open again. I didn't have faith that my body really knew what to do to birth a baby. Then came the class where we were shown beautiful midwife-attended births--some at home and some at various birthing centers. I completely broke down in tears and had to leave the room. I wanted that kind of birth. Molly came and talked to me and told me that she knew of a wonderful ob who was supportive of midwives, and she thought I should go see him to get his opinion about my upcoming labor choices. She said she'd call to make an appointment for me.

At the appointment, I was told that he could see no reason that I would not be given a trial of labor at the hospital. They would certainly not just take me straight to the operating room when I walked in the door. I was shocked! His advice to me was to do a trial of labor where I felt most comfy, and that was the birth center. He said there would be plenty of time to transport me to the hospital, if it were necessary. I left feeling that I actually had a chance to birth vaginally (something I'd been told as a teen I'd never do because I crushed my pelvis in a car accident). My whole attitude about my pregnancy and the upcoming labor changed. I asked Molly to spend some extra time with me and review the things I'd spaced out on in birth class.

Almost 2 weeks after my due date, I started having contractions. I was leaking amniotic fluid, but no big gush yet. I called my mw and asked her what I should do. She said to eat, drink, and rest. When the contractions got to be 5 minutes apart and a minute long, to call her. Billy and I sat up and watched a movie because there was no way I could go to sleep. Finally the contractions got stronger and longer and I called Christi. She told us to come on in. That ride was the most uncomfortable ride of my life! Every bump made me cringe.

When we got to the birth center, I got to pick which room I'd like to labor in, and we set up camp. We sat up and played Monopoly and Scrabble and listened to music, ate, drank, and laughed. We watched a movie, and just waited. I was checked vaginally a couple of times, and really wasn't making much progress, so my mw gave me some catnip tincture and told me to lie down and try to get some rest. Billy snored and I just layed there contracting and worrying. I dozed off a bit early in the morning. After we got up, we ate and then I was checked again. No progress thru the night, so my mw started me walking up and down the stairs and was giving me blue and black cohosh tinctures to see if that helped the contractions get stronger and closer together. I walked and walked and then we sat down to discuss our options. My waters had been leaking enough to bring up the issue of time and the possibility of an infection setting in. I had no choice but to go to the hospital because it had been 32 hours.

My mw went with us, and we were shown to L&D, my worst nightmare coming true. The ob gave me a sonogram after yelling at me and my mw and telling us that we were doing a really irresponsible thing by 'attempting a vbac with a midwife'. I was sooo angry and hurt and tired and just hated him! We were not doing anything dangerous! Turns out that my membranes had ruptured way up high and in the back, and then healed back up. I was no longer in labor, contractions had stopped, and we were sent home. I couldn't believe it! Two days later I went into labor again....

This time, when we got to the birth center, I was contracting much harder than the last time. This had to be it! We got all settled in again, and again played a game and watched a movie. I finally started contracting so hard and strong that I was having trouble coping with the pain. The supervising midwife, Molly arrived, and she and my mw started preparing the room for a birth. I was still doubtful but was feeling pretty helpless by then. All I could do was try to get thru one contraction at a time. I was fed orange slices by Billy, got lots of sips of water, and tried to eat some cheese, but had a hard time with it. It was getting really late so again, we laid down and tried to sleep before things got really hairy. Billy dozed off, but I could just lie there, nested among the pillows and breathe and moan thru each contraction. At least I was getting a little rest in between. About 6 a.m. Billy got up and went to make some coffee and eat breakfast. He brought me back some oatmeal. I managed a few bites and drank some more water. My mw helped me get up to walk down the hall to pee.

That walk changed my labor pattern and it kicked into gear. I was really needing help to get thru each contraction. Once I said I needed drugs and just to take me to the hospital. What my mws said made me feel strong. They said, "you are doing this, Vikki. You are doing a great job, and soon you will be done!" They said I was so strong and doing so well, and that was all I needed. I did not really want drugs, and certainly didn't want to go to the hospital! Soon the receptionist came in to take over the video camera, because I was finally starting to push.

Molly asked if it felt good to push. During a long push I moaned, "yeeeeeessssssss!". It felt wonderful! I was on my back lying down w/a washcloth on my head when I started pushing. They let me do that for awhile to get use to the feeling of pushing. Then they encouraged me to get up and lean on Billy and try pushing that way. I really started moving her down then! Billy wasn't tall enough to really give me the support I needed that way, though, but before I tried another position I managed to pee on his foot, lol. There were chux pads everywhere and he wasn't concerned. I remember hoping I was hurting his back 'cause I sure was hurting!

I got onto the bed on all fours and leaned on a birth ball. I clung to that ball for dear life! My mw announced that hte head was coming and that this was the hardest part. I couldn't believe I was actually doing it! My body was really working. I glanced into a mirror and saw a little wrinkled head trying to come out and I was pushing and pushing and pushing with all my might. I never imagined it would be so hard! I started to feel an incredible amount of burning as her head was crowing. I was instructed to blow with loose floppy lips so I wouldn't blast her out. I felt alot of oil being rubbed into my perineum. Finally I heard my mw say that the head was out and for Billy to get ready. I asked if she was ok, and Molly said that she opened her eyes and looked at Daddy! Suddenly a contraction hit and I needed to push. I asked if it was ok to push now and they said to give it all I had. I pushed 3 more times and her body came out and into her daddy's waiting hands. I could hear him crying. Everyone was cheering and I was just stuck there holding onto that birth ball and didn't know what to do next. I heard Molly say the baby was covered in green poop. They all helped me get turned over onto my back and placed my baby on my belly. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't see the face so I got help moving her (I was exhausted!) so I could get a look. Billy announced that she was indeed a girl.

After her cord stopped pulsing, it was cut and Hanah Starr was taken to the table across the room so she could be wiped up a bit and covered in salt packs because of all the meconium. They suctioned and suctioned her and she cried for the first time. It was a beautiful song to me. They kept her there while Helen (the owner) came to help me deliver the placenta into a bowl. I had hot washcloths applied to my perineum while I pushed it out and that felt soooooo good. After I birthed the placenta, they cleaned me up a bit, changed the Chux underneat me, applied some more hot washcloths, and Billy and I snuggled up with our brand new baby girl.

I have never felt so womanly and empowered. I did it! The mws left and went to do the laundry and fix us some food. Shortly after, Billy left to run get Breena from school so she could meet her baby sister. I had to pee while he was gone, and the mws were downstairs so I gathered up my baby and we hobbled to the bathroom. It was so hard to pee, but while I was sitting there with her in my lap, I was rewarded with a tiny smile. I will never believe that business about babies not being able to smile that soon. She melted my heart at that moment. We went back to the room and nursed and nursed and nursed. No one told me to take her off the breast, or that she was nursing too long. My mw came in to check on us and just smiled and said, "She's nursing like a champ!"

Several hours later we all went home as a family and I crawled into my own bed, surrounded by Billy and Breena.

Doh! I didn't see the folder at the top of the page.

Could someone please move these for me? TIA!!!!!
The best gifts we can give our children are roots and wings....Author Unknown.

Vikki, Earthy Mama to 4 great kids.

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