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Unmedicated Births


  


Austen's Birth Story
My son Austen was born 9-9-99 This was my second pregnancy.

We found out that I was pregnant and that his due date was going to be 9/10/99

My husband asked can you induce labor before a due date.

The doctor said “No unless there’s a need to. Why do you ask?”

My husband said “So he can have a cool birthday?”

I’m only 5'4" 105 lbs all my family members are small. But..

My husband was 6' 200 lbs. His mom was 6' and gave birth to 3 babies over 10 lbs.

Having complications with my first pregnancy we watched closely on this pregnancy too. I had more doctor visits than normal. Everyone of those visits they measured my baby, making sure he didn’t get to big for me to deliver.

He was getting bigger and bigger as time grew close to my due date. But it was still to early for me to have him. I went into false labor way before my due date. I called my husband and we went to the hospital they gave me a shot to help develop his lungs faster just in case I did deliver him.

We survived that, and now a week before I was due I start going into labor. The Sunday (September 3rd ) before my due date I have full on contractions. All day long. But I went to bed and when I woke up Monday morning the contractions went away. Again later that Monday evening I started full on contractions again. But then went to bed and they went away. This happened for the rest of the week. I tried to stay up as long as I could thinking that would help, it just wore me out.

On the morning of Friday, September 8th, I had one last doctor apt. They told me if I didn’t have my baby over the weekend we were inducing Monday morning. Also while I was there the doctor decided to strip my membranes, that was not fun!! Very uncomfortable! My stomach started cramping right away.

After the doctors apt my husband and I decide to walk and go eat breakfast. It was about a 2 mile walk from the hospital to the restaurant. When we were done with breakfast e were going to walk home but, by this time, I decided I didn’t want to walk any more because my stomach was cramping really bad from the doctor. It felt like really bad menstrual cramps. The rest of the night I was cursing the doctor for causing me these cramps. I didn’t think I was in labor. They were just very uncomfortable pains.

About 8pm on Friday September 8th we went to the hospital just so they can check on me. They got me into a bed and strapped the contraction monitor on me. The nurses were in shock! They asked me if I was feeling anything. I told them “yes , a little” so they adjusted the monitor in a different position, and asked me again “do you feel anything?” I gave them the same answer ?just a little? The nurses took the monitor out of the room, said it was broken and brought in another machine.

When they were getting the same results on this machine they realized the machine wasn’t broken, but were shocked and confused. The contraction line was going up off the page barely coming back down and then back up again. No rest in between the contractions. I’m just a relaxed type of person and I didn’t let the pain overcome me.

They decide that they would check me then. When they checked me they could see the head. So then they realized I was having this baby tonight and moved me to the delivery room.

At 9pm they checked me. I was dilating, but slowly. At 10pm they checked me, and I barley changed. At 11pm they checked me and I haven’t changed. I was the same as I was at 10pm. They told be they were going to break my water. I told them “No. I’m going to wait till midnight, and then you can” I waited one more hour and as soon as midnight came I called the doctor in. the doctor broke my water at 12:05am and .. well,.. by 12:20am - I had my son on 9-9-99. He was an 8lb 10oz, 21˝" big bundle of joy!

I love my boy! He is now 8 years old. (He learned his birthday by the age of 2. Lol :o]) )

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Logan's Birth Story
My son Logan was born 10/14/95. This was my first pregnancy.

I wasn’t the healthiest person so when I became pregnant I was closely watched. I had more visits to the doctor than normal. My pregnancy was going good. It made me the most healthiest I have ever been. No complications, check-ups were good, I was healthy and my baby was healthy.

One day before I was about to deliver, I had a funny feeling. It felt like my baby has turned sideways. At this point it was REAL close for me to deliver him so his head should have been down. I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to deliver him. I told my doctor and he decided to do an in office sonogram. I remember being in that office for hours.

He told me my baby was in the right position but?.. His bladder is oversized. I laid there while the doctor pushed on my belly to try and get my baby to pee. Nothing changed so I was sent over to the hospital and they did tests and measurements. They told me that once I deliver my baby that they need to take him and do surgery. Now I was scared.

I went into labor during the night and got to sleep through most of it. The morning came and my mom wanted to take me to the hospital to just check in. When I got there the nurses didn’t think I was in labor so they took their time. I was very calm and relaxed. I didn’t scream or freak out.

When they finally got me into a temporary bed and went to check me, they panicked. They told me ?your having this baby now!? So they transferred me to the delivery room, now rushing around.

I was in the delivery room bed at 9:00am and had my boy at 9:20am. Talk about cutting it close.

He was 7lbs 4oz. A very healthy looking baby on the outside but sick on the inside.

Anyways, less than 3 hours of him being born he was incubated and sent away to a neonatal hospital.

I didn’t even get to hold him yet. I didn’t hold him for 3 days. L

He had an extra valve in his bladder preventing him from urinating. Most kids die from this, because its too late. He looked healthy when he was born and we would have brought him home not knowing and he would have died. But we found out before he was born and we were able to take the steps to save him.

My son went through a few surgeries all in his first few months of life. He had a hole in his stomach with a tube coming out of it. A lot for a mom to have to deal with.

My son is now 12 years old! A happy, very outgoing young man. I love my son and if I didn’t have that funny feeling he wouldn’t be here today.

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Arelis Ruth's Birth Story
Our daughter is here!!! Arelis Ruth was born 8/8/06 8 lbs 2 oz. My first daughter was born c/s in 1999 due to mostly naiveté and posterior positioning. So 7 yrs later my hubby and I prepared for a vbac.

I sprung a slight high leak at 1:30 am 8/7/06. Called my MW at 7am (knowing she would need her sleep :o). She came over to my house at 8:30 am or so to give me penicillin for my GBS. It was a compromise I was fine with – meds at home so there would be no rush to go to the hospital too soon. My ctx were mild and sporadic. My husband and I dropped my dd off at camp and I got a pedicure. He bought me some yummy healthy grub and I went home to do some nipple stimulation. That helped, but since I fell asleep doing it – it didn’t really take. My ctx were every 5 to 7 minutes and not very intense. This was around 3pm. Once I had 2 doses of meds in me, my MW checked me and I was at 3 cm so we were unconcerned about the slow onset of ctx. Especially since I lost so little amniotic fluid. But she did want ctx to start – so we did castor oil. (Looking back I’ll just ignore such small amounts of fluid and not rush, but it was still laid back).

Ok, so Monday afternoon at 4:30 the ctx. got to 3-4 minutes apart lasting 30 seconds and slowly were getting stronger. I finished the 2nd dose of castor oil at 7 pm and by 8:30 pm we were leaving the house for the hospital with good stable ctx. We arrived at 8:45 and got settled. I was 4 cm (they had to check b/c the backup ob happened to be there for another client – apparently if I had been in active labor he would be required to stay).

Everything was so quiet and peaceful – my MW quietly watched in our room as I used the birth ball (that thing is Wonderful!). My hubby and mom gave me massages but I mostly liked being somewhat alone at this point. By midnight things got more intense, ctx every 2 minutes. I was still walking a ton. Because my first labor had been spent restricted to bed, I was determined to walk. I decided to walk the halls with my hubby while my mom napped. Then the hospital lost power because of a storm! The hospital hallway went completely black. I got very scared for a minute, then my wonderful MW comes bursting through the emergency doors and towards us to make sure I was ok. She was so motherly and protective in that moment, it meant so much, I’ll never forget it. It wasn’t nice using the bathroom in the dark – but we finally got emergency lighting. So from 12-4 AM we walked the halls, did birth ball stuff and rubbed my legs when it hurt, my mom and hubby took turns with me. I spent some time in the hospital room, eating, drinking, using the bathroom. Ctx were very intense coming every minute lasting a minute – but I was very uncomfortable sitting – so even though I was tired I felt more comfortable standing or leaning over the foot of the bed. I remember wishing I could suspend myself from a hammock or something. My pelvis and legs were exhausted but hurt more if I laid down. I also happened to have pregnancy related carpal tunnel so when I would support my weight with my arms – it was tiring and felt as if my arms were made of noodles, and they ached. But I was determined not to set myself up for complications by getting meds.

Oh, one interesting detail – my bag of waters was bulging below the baby’s head (the size of a tomato). So we think this was what kept things from moving any faster, though I was making steady progress. By 4-5 am I was pretty miserable. I was begging for the Jacuzzi tub but the power outage had shorted out the mechanism and the tub wasn’t working. The nurses were trying to get maintenance to handle it but we were low priority for repairs. Around 5:30 am my midwife fiddled with the tub and managed to fix it :o)

You never saw a laboring woman bee-line it so fast to a tub. I knew relief was in that water. I hopped in without waiting for them to get me in. I just knew I need to get in.

The second I got in the tub I felt immense pressure. My body created a contraction so strong I thought I was turning inside out – but it wasn’t so much pain – it was just a huge consuming force. I let out a belly growl that would be the first of many. And just then my bag of water exploded. Literally, we heard this intense underwater bomb and then all kinds of stuff came out. The MW and nurse immediately grabbed the waterproof fetal monitor and verified that the baby was happy and heart tones were strong. They were.

I told the MW I was having the baby then and there – but she sweetly smiled and said she needed to get me out of the water. Though the hosp. is very labor friendly – they don’t do water births. So my Jacuzzi time was short lived but served a very productive purpose.

By now it was 6 am and I got in bed – I felt the urge to push a few times so I did. However, the urge to push subsided (what was that all about I wonder??) The ctx were still probably only a minute apart – they never seemed to be “one on top of another”. I laid in bed and attempted to hold my knees but had no strength in my arms because of the carpal tunnel – I couldn’t get the power I needed. So I turned around. I kneeled with the back of the bed at nearly a 90 degree angle. I held the top of the bed or the rails. I was practically vertical. This was about 6:30. I could see the clock ticking the minutes away and I was getting discouraged because my pushing wasn’t getting the baby out (little did I know). But when I turned around and had no clock staring at me – I got in the zone. I lost all track of time and people. I literally roared. I’m a very quiet person – but I made up for a lifetime of quietness between 4 and 7:30 am. :o) I learned enough from ICAN and other sources about productive noises so I used all of them. I used low “O’s” and low “Ah’s”. I tried never to get high pitched. I grunted a ton. I realized later that the big, deep throaty sounds made me feel stronger than the contractions. I felt like the ctx wouldn’t be “bigger” than me if my sound was big. I talked a lot to the baby with, “Come out baby” and other phrases I can’t really remember.

From 6:30 on I just felt the baby pass through each part of me. The weight was incredible, the pressure was strong. I felt if I could just push once hard enough the baby would be there, but really I was just getting through the stations. I pushed consciously, the ctx didn’t really give me any urge – I just knew I had to make progress, so I pushed whenever I felt I’d mustered enough energy for another push.

Finally my MW said the head was right there and I put my finger just inside myself and sure enough there she was. All I can say is WOW. Soon a couple inches of head were right there and my mw said she had a ton of hair. My husband was watching everything. I really didn’t want or need anybody to touch me – I was in that zone. Finally I felt the burn (yep, it’s a ring of fire) but it was SOOO encouraging because I knew I was so close to being done! So I pushed and roared like mad :o) I heard my hubby and mw say she was crowning – I nearly didn’t believe them. I felt like the ring of fire was taking longer than I wanted :o) And before I knew it the burn got seriously intense and then passed and my mw said to push for the rest of the body. My hubby said she came flying out. (CPD diagnosis for previous c/s) I still had my back to my mw with my knees on the bed. She told me to get my baby and passed her up between my legs. I held her and rolled over onto my back in pure ecstasy. I was conscious of the cord between my legs so I moved carefully. We waited to cut it. I nursed her immediately. She had apgars of 9/9. There are few words that come close to the intense elation.

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Betsy's Birth Story
My mother and father are very old fashioned and were suggesting that I take caster oil before I went to bed to ease the contractions I had started to have. They weren’t very consistent but since my labor with Zechariah was so intense I tried it. Mom mixed it with ˝ cup yogurt to a1/4 cup caser oil, and added some fresh fruit to it and blended it up in the blender until smote. Down the hatch it went. I went to bed around 10 PM that night and was up around 4AM with contractions about 8 minutes apart and trying to get off the toilet to go to the hospital which is 45 minutes away. Finally I got to where I could get up and get dressed to leave and my husband helped me the best he could. We had packed essentials a head of time so all I needed was my toiletries and tooth brush. We were off and my husband didn’t drive my father did. He thought it would be funny to torture me and arrive when I was having contractions 5 minutes apart. So a 45 minute drive took nearly an hour and twenty-five minutes. It was funny to them but not to me. Finally we arrived at the hospital and by that time I was well on my way to delivery of my baby girl.

The nurse on duty checked my dilation and I was completely dilated and she said that my waters could break any time. We had called the midwife ahead of time and let her know we were on the way so she arrived shortly after that exam. As soon as the nurses cleared the room I hit the toilet. Caster oil eased the pain of the contractions but I almost gave birth on the toilet lol. I finally got back into the bed just in time for my waters to break. Help could this self inflicted torture get any worse. I wasn’t screaming for pain medication but an emergency bath perhaps and a smooth delivery at best too. I finally got into a room. I guess July 19th was the day everyone in that town delivered because if anything could get worse it did. I was stuck in a sea section recovery room in a bed with no stirrups on it. Hold on it gets better from here. My midwife calls my OBGYN in whom so happened to be there in the hospital. She then checked me and the baby and we were ready to push. So guess what? I had human stirrups instead. My OBGYN on one side and my midwife on the other were great but who was going to catch the baby? My husband, yea that was not happening any time in this lifetime since he can’t stand the sight of blood let alone any of that other yucky stuff. Anyways my midwife and he traded places and I pushed.

Out came this tiny miracle of my heart Betsy JoAnne, Crying so hard that she was purple. Yea she cried and cried for about 3 hours. Nothing wrong with her at all in fact she had great lungs. My mom and son finally arrived shortly after giving birth while the nurse was checking her over and cleaning her up. Zechariah not quite two looked over at me in surprise and then at tiny Betsy and let her have it. He said and I quote, “If uoo (you) don’t shut up I’m going to woop (whoop) your butt!” Even he couldn’t take it. The first order of him being a big brother and already taking charge of the situation at hand. By the way that was the first complete sentence he spoke.

After she was cleaned and dressed Zechariah got to give his kisses to his little sister and tell her how much he loved her. She did stop crying and needless to say she showed her personality from the minute she was born and stayed a reddish color for 2 days.

Zechariah is now 8 years old and Betsy is now 6 years old. They are very smart children and take care of each other very well in school. I can hardly believe that my baby girl just lost her second tooth and my son growing up to be a nice young gentleman. The fact is that when they are babies they don’t stay small long. Cherish them always even as they get older. Pay attention to the way they act when they are infants because their personalities get matured as they grow older. Take my children they both have distinct personalities. My daughters showed her personality from the beginning and she still lets you know just how she feels about any given situation now quite clearly.

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Bradyn & Cheyenne's Birth Stories
I'm a very young mother. I was 18, 3 days from 19, when I had my Son. It was the longest.. Hardest labor I have ever had. Lasted from 6 a.m. Till 9:15 that night. They were suppose to do a Csection, at 8:00, but at 8:01, I dilated, and they made me wait and have it natural.

But, To start off, I weighed 105 lbs. When I got pregnant. When they induced me, I weighed 167lbs!!!!! Can you Say "STRETCH MARKS!" lol! It was so weird walking after having the baby, I felt like a feather!

He weighed 9 lbs 4 oz.

My daughter was 8 lbs 13oz. After her, my doctor said he wasn't trusting me anymore, and my next one was going to be a C section because Cheyenne nearly made me bleed to death. He said my little body couldn't handle it.

Now I know why my doctor told me I had to lay off of Chinese food and chicken nuggets. I'll listen next time .. . .. .. Well, Maybe..






















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Zander’s Birth Story

**WARNING ? some of this is graphic!**

***Early Labor***
Thursdays were TV nights for Jason and me, so we were lying on the couch watching our television shows and Jason had his hand on my belly [Zander was born Friday morning]. He could feel the first contractions under his hand before I could in my uterus and started getting excited when he realized that they were consistently about 9-12 minutes apart. I pooh-poohed it, though, because they were just a bit annoying, not at all painful and besides, I'd had this happen on several occasions before and nothing came of it.

This continued until after 10:00pm when we went to bed. Then things suddenly started to get painful! There was no gradual build-up like other women have talked about when they have their husbands take them to the movies or play a game to distract them from the contractions. I had back labor, so it was like the worst lower back ache I'd ever had (and I've had bad ones!) in addition to the contracting belly. Since the majority of the "problem" was in my back, I first thought that perhaps I’d just thrown my back out terribly somehow and tried adjusting my position in bed.

***Active Labor***
I quickly realized that this might be it! My past backaches were always just constant, but these came and went. Jason was talking about work the next day and I said, ?Jason, I don’t think you’ll be going to work tomorrow,? then began asking him the times as the pain grew and subsided since he was by the clock which I couldn’t see without my glasses on from my side of the bed. Shortly after 10:30 we got up and Jason began tracking contractions on a piece of paper. At 11:00, just a half hour after the serious pain began, the contractions were already 2-3 minutes apart, lasting 50-60 seconds. We were told to go into the hospital when the contractions were about 60 seconds long and five minutes apart.

Jason was trying not too act too excited, but I could tell he was and I thought it was cute -- at least between contractions it was cute. I tried to use the bathroom, remembering that many women have a bowel movement during labor and that it can slow things down beforehand anyway. I wanted there to be as much room around that area as possible right away! Jason, in the mean time, called an on-call nurse and told her what was going on. She asked me a couple questions then said, "Get ready and congratulations ... you are having a baby tonight!"

Jason loaded up the car while I kept bending forward as far as my belly would let me, because it took a bit of the ache out of my back that way. Into the car we went and what a LOOOONG twenty-five minute drive that was! The only way I had the slightest bit if relief was when I was leaning forward, and I couldn't do that in our little Ford Focus with my belly on my lap! Jason said, "I know this isn't very fun for you right now, but I'm kind of excited...." I thought that was sweet and he said some other things that I thought were nice, but I can't remember what they were. It helped to hear that he was so happy that we were having a child and I was proud of him for not freaking out! His calm helped me to stay calm. I was certainly more in tune to every little feeling in my body than at any other time in my life and I found that interesting

I did a lot of visualization, or as I like to call it, "reaction/brain-training," for the few months before my due date and one thing that I had tried to imagine myself doing was keeping a sense of humor, among other things. It's a good thing I did, because Jason was so eager when we arrived at the hospital that he grabbed the bags and took off to the emergency entrance without me!

"Jason!" I called through a contraction in the driveway of the hospital as he entered the building. "Wait for me!" He turned and said, "Oh, sorry. Do you need help?" I had to make myself chuckle a little instead of get angry. I'm glad I chose the chuckle route, though, because it had a slight relaxing effect on my body, whereas getting upset would have made me more tense and tenseness makes things more painful and last longer. I determined to stick with the keep-my-sense-of-humor plan, though I really can understand now why so many women get vicious when they're in labor.

We gradually walked the seemingly endless hall to the elevators that would take us to the third floor of Theda-Clark Medical Center. I remember getting off the elevator and walking up to the reception desk, but then I don't know what happened. The next thing I remember is being in my birthing room with Jason and my mom. I vaguely remember a nurse checking to see how dilated I was (invasive procedure!) and while I don't remember how far along I was, I remember that I wasn't disappointed.

Next I remember standing around, being hooked up to an external monitor so they could watch the baby's heartbeat. I hated that! The nurse wanted the baby's heartbeat to go over 150 BPM for several seconds before taking it off and while it stayed at a constant, healthy rate between 130 and 145, it didn't elevate the way it was "supposed" to and the @(*$%^#* contraption kept slipping off and going haywire!

During this frustrating time I remember my obstetrician, Dr. Eberts, coming in dressed in scrubs looking exhausted. He had already delivered another baby and had worked way too many hours already. I imagined him dozing off just as he was to deliver the baby ? tee hee. I told him to go home and not worry about me since I didn't care who caught the baby anymore at this point. Or at least I thought I said that. Jason and Mom insisted that I didn?t. There are many remarks that I thought I made during labor that apparently never came out of my mouth.

Finally I asked if I could take the monitor off and the nurse brought in a waiver for me to sign, making it very clear to me that the hospital did NOT recommend this and that I was signing to ascertain that the hospital and staff wouldn't be responsible for anything negative that occurred as a result, Blah, blah, blah. I scribbled my name down and gleefully tore the "leash" off. Now I could sway and rock with the contractions (always leaning over to provide a tad bit of relief to my back) without worrying about that evil, bleep, bleep, bleeping machine falling off. I was also able to move about the room freely and try various positions.

Things get blurry in my memory at this point. I recall my mom rubbing my back, which was nice for a while, but then I didn't want to be touched at all. I remember sipping water off and on and eating sweet Italian ice that I'd brought, and maybe a fruit and yogurt Popsicle at some point.

I also remember being so, so tired and wanting to lay down, because I knew I would be able to catch a few seconds of sleep between contractions then, but laying down caused the back pain to be far more excruciating. In fact, I hardly noticed the regular contracting of my uterus anymore because the powerful ache in my lower back overshadowed it completely.

***Transition***
!I also know that at some point I went into the Jacuzzi and that was a bit helpful ? until I reached transition. I got out to use the restroom and became really dizzy as transition began and ended up getting sick, barely making it to the bathroom. I remember Jason trying to get me to the toilet but I only made it to the sink. That was an extremely unpleasant mess and I felt very alone in the bathroom by myself. Jason was just outside and wanted to come in and help me, but as alone as I felt, I felt gross and didn?t want to be seen for a moment. Somehow I made it back to my room, though I only remember a faint glimpse of the carpet from the walk.

My memory of what all happened after we returned to the room is unclear, but I recall Jason standing behind me while I supported my weight on his arms. Apparently at passed out for a moment in this position and Jason told me later that he was afraid he was going to drop me because I became total dead weight.

Near the end, I climbed onto the bed on all fours facing the head of the bed, with the end of the bed lowered down where my legs were. My water broke at this point which was a rather anti-climatic thing to me. It just felt like this little thin bag of water came down and popped open. Contractions were one on top of the other now and NOW my body wanted to push. Other women have described it as an "urge" to push, but my body took over and I almost had no choice. What a bizarre feeling that was! The nurse told me not to push yet and it was really hard to prevent my body from bearing down.

I noticed that when I resisted my body's compulsion to push, I felt a bit of relief and started feeling naughty because I'd found a way to reduce the pain, howbeit in a small way. I even cracked a half smile, happy to feel like I'd gained back a little control.

Jason was up by my head the whole time encouraging me and telling me how great it was that I was remembering to breathe. I remember the nurse saying that I was really good at breathing, too, and her tone was that of pleasant surprise. My mom was behind me somewhere and she was a calming presence. I recall her saying soothing things in her sweet, smooth voice that only my Mommy has.

***Here Comes Baby!***
I don't remember the nurse checking me again, but she must have somehow because she said it was okay to push. AHHHHHH! I don't know how to describe what it's like when your body bears down, except that it made me think of a hornet when it points its butt down to sting.

Now I could feel the baby's head but it felt like it was coming out my anus instead of where it should have been coming out. I soon also began to feel a burning, tearing sensation [ow!], which ended up being a small urethral tear. Again, not where I expected to feel tearing. "This is not right!" I kept thinking because these feelings weren't where I expected them to be. I think things were different for me in these ways because Zander came down sunny side up.

I don't know how long the pushing stage was, but it seemed like about 45 minutes, though I wasn't pushing constantly and again, my body was doing it by itself for the most part. I felt like I was just going along with it and helping my body do the work.

Once I felt the baby's head between my legs, I thought that was SO cool! "I'm almost done!" I thought. I felt the head and it didn't feel at all like I thought it would. I had read about other women touching the baby's head as it came out and some said that they could feel the bones in the head overlapping and I also expected it to be gooey. Instead, it felt like fuzzy, moist wrinkles. "Is that the baby?" I asked, because again, it wasn't what I'd been anticipating. The nurse laughed a little and said, "That's the baby!" I guess that was a silly question to ask because what else would it be?

The nurse tried telling me that I had to turn around so that the obstetrician could deliver the baby. I thought I said, "No, there's no way you're getting me to turn around!" but Jason had the video running and after watching it, I guess all that came out was a whiney, "Whhhhhy?" I didn't turn around, by the way, and Zander entered the world with me on all fours.

I loved the feeling of the baby sliding out! I could feel the contours of his body and it all finished in one quick, slippery swoosh! It amazed me at how dramatically the pain went down in that instant. Yay!

***Postpartum***
I looked down between my legs at my baby. The first thing I thought and said was, "He's not funny-looking!" Again, I didn't expect a nice rosy child with a round head and smooth pretty skin. I expected the usual old-mannish-looking newborn. He started crying beautifully right away and Jason cut the cord, though I didn't see the cord cutting. Someone told me it was a boy around this time, I guess, but the order of events isn't clear at this point.

The woman obstetrician, Dr. Ko0llermeier, had me turn around so she could check me and have me deliver the placenta. Delivering the placenta wasn't a big deal and delivered with one push. To me it felt like when my water broke, only heavier.

I had envisioned myself taking the baby up on my chest right away like in the video I saw during a breastfeeding class, but I was content to watch Jason and my mom with the baby for a little bit (hey, it was about time someone else did some work!). Then they handed me the baby and I made the first attempt at breastfeeding him. It only took Zander about five minutes before he was nursing like a pro. I was thankful because it can be much more difficult to begin, I understand. Maybe God did that for me because He knew that I wouldn't be able to breastfeed Zander for a very long time after Zander started having the Hirschsprung's trouble.

For about the first hour or two after Zander was born, he was amazingly alert with eyes wide open. It was a beautiful time is all I can say. I was in awe.

At some point I had my mother give Zander his first bath and Zander was weighed and measured. Eventually I managed to try using the bathroom and showering, though that all took a very long time because of the soreness. I was encouraged at how I looked because the way I'd imagined I would look was much worse. My belly button still poked out and my belly felt so odd to poke. I will never feel the same about the words "jelly belly" but I actually enjoyed the strangeness of it, knowing that that aspect would go away after while.

The whole experience, while definitely painful and challenging, was incredibly interesting and amazing as well.

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Naomi's Birth Story
My pregnancy overall was good but uncomfortable. I had more morning sickness, aches and pains than with my first pregnancy, but also more energy. Shortly after we learned the wonderful news that we were pregnant, I had some bleeding and was afraid I was going to have another miscarriage. I went to bed to rest, pray, and cry. It was during this time with God that I asked Him to please either make it stop and wait until after we returned from the trip to Madison we were to leave for the next day, or give me confirmation that everything was going to be all right. Jason was really looking forward to the weekend and I wanted him to have an excellent time and break from work. God granted my request for confirmation and I had a strong feeling of peace wash over my body that instantly caused my sobbing to stop. I thanked and praised God again and again then never had any doubts for the remainder of my pregnancy.

I was extra prepared this time having made about nine meals ahead to freeze for later as well as purchasing some convenience and quick and easy meals to make after Baby Two arrived. This turned out to be a wonderful blessing, because between that and what people generously brought to us, I didn’t have to think about grocery shopping or meal planning for nearly a month after Naomi was born.

Regular contractions began around 8:00 in the morning the Wednesday Naomi arrived, but I didn’t begin to time them until 9:00. The contractions remained consistently two to three minutes apart and lasted 40-70 second long all morning. I managed to do the laundry, but besides that all I could manage is playing happily with Zander since I couldn’t concentrate enough to accomplish anything else due to my excitement knowing that I could very well be in labor. Finally I decided to have my Friday prenatal changed to the current day since I wasn’t certain I was in labor and didn’t want to waste a trip to the hospital. I notified Jason, Mom, and Alicia, my labor coaches, to let them know what was going on and called the Johnston family since they were going to help watch Zander and my youngest siblings if I were to be in labor. In case I was going to have to stay at the hospital, I decided to leave Zander home and called the home-schooled neighbor girl, Suzi, to baby-sit. My contractions had been only slightly painful until I left for my appointment. Something about the position I was in while driving caused stronger contractions, two of which I actually had to breathe through so I asked God to help me deal with the pain so that I didn’t have to pull over.

I learned that the on-call doctor was a man and nearly cried. I felt embarrassed and disappointed, but once I met Dr. Kaldas, I felt at ease. He was very calm and had a somehow soothing presence to him. He noted that my cervix was 4 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced, plus the baby was at zero station, then asked if I had any questions. A nurse then got me set up to go onto a monitor to time my contractions and measure their intensity to determine whether I was truly in labor.

In the room hooked up to the monitor, I felt lonely and when I had a particularly painful contraction, the loneliness overtook me and I started to cry. I wished Jason was there , or Alicia or Mom. I prayed, a couple more contractions passed and then I felt better.

Dr, Kaldas determined that I was indeed in labor and said that he believed I’d be having the baby before the next morning. I had the option to either be admitted to the birth center or go home to labor, but he cautioned that since I had such a quick labor the first time, he said that once I reached four centimeters, I could deliver in as little as ten minutes. Not wanting to risk having the baby the in car and not at all looking forward to driving myself back home after the discomfort of the trip there, I decided to get checked in.

A very nice young nurse named Kelly settled me into the room upstairs on floor three at about three o’clock and then I called Jason and the others so The Plan could be activated. I just rested and tried to hold still to keep the contractions from getting too frequent or more intense because I didn’t want my coaches to miss anything, plus I didn’t want anything to happen without them! Jason arrived around 4:00 with all our bags and the cooler of food I’d prepared ahead of time. He was very excited and I felt so in love with him.

At 4:50 the next nurse, Dawn, checked me and said that I was between 4 and 5 centimeters, 70% effaced, and at +1 station. I wanted to get walking and moving to make things go faster, but I also wanted to make sure that Mom and Alicia were here for it. It was especially important to me that Alicia be there because this would be her first experience with labor and I knew that she would really benefit from it.

At 5:40 Mom and Alicia arrived. I dictated the birth story so far to her and she recorded it in the red notebook I’d brought. I did a lot of bouncing on the ball to the beat of some techno music and found that to alleviate much of the discomfort. After while though, bouncing actually made the contraction stop so we started walking the halls at a brisk pace to get things moving. I would talk and walk, then when a contraction started I would slow down and concentrate. As soon as it was over, I’d pop back into action and get gabbing again!

At 6:20 Dawn checked me again and found that I was 6 cm, 90%. I had had a few good contractions, but so far it was quite tolerable. Dr. Kaldas came in at about 6:30 to ask how things were going and told me that at my current rate, I’d have my baby by 8:00!

At 6:45 my water broke when I was having a contraction in the middle of my room. I hurried to the bathroom to change out of my clothes and Jason handed me the hospital gown through the doorway. At 6:50 Dawn checked the baby’s heart rate on the external monitor and I became more emotional. It wasn’t from the pain, it was just because I was feeling so happy, excited, special, and blessed to be having my baby with me beloved husband, calming Mom and darling sister present.

I directed Alicia to do the video and get the good graphic stuff. Everyone else was going to get to see the baby come out of MY body so I wanted to see it, too! I was in the bed various classic labor positions and I remember things started getting wet and gushy feeling with some of the contractions around this time (ew). I did a little laboring with the labor bar at some point, too, and also drank some Reliv Innergize and ProVantage as had been recommended to me.

At 7:10 Dawn checked me again and found me to be 8 cm with a nice, stretchy cervix, then at 7:18 someone put up the side rails for me. I don’t know exactly when it was, but the rest of the labor team piled in to wait for Baby Two to make her entrance. Dr. Kaldas came in as well as a women named Pat who was a labor technician and another woman named Heather who was a resource nurse. I had quite an audience!

Everyone kept telling me that I didn’t look like I was in labor and that I was handling it extremely well. I sure FELT like I was in labor, though!!

Dr. Kaldas finally told me that I could start pushing if I wanted to and I was surprised because I didn’t feel any urge to push at all. I started to get noisy with the contractions because hollering alleviated the pain. Unfortunately the hollering was making the contractions also less productive, Dr. Kaldas explained, and Dawn told me that if I hold the noise back and put all that energy into pushing, the baby would come down faster. She was right, but never even once did I feel an urge to push, whereas with my first labor my body took over and bore down by itself so all I had to do was help it. I had to really focus and work at getting Naomi out because my body afforded no help this time.

Jason’s eyes were an important focal point for me and his expression was so loving, sweet, and encouraging. I could see some concern in his eye as well, and that look with all those emotions in it was so precious.

I remember one particular push when Naomi’s head was coming out and I pushed so hard, but then pooped out at the end of the push and felt her retreat back into the birth canal. I said, "Oh, no I did bad," and felt that way, too. The nurse and Mom assured me that no, I was doing great. That encouragement was what I needed and her head came out with the next push (or just about the next push; I can’t quite remember.)!

I only had back labor for a few minutes at the very end, even though she was in the posterior position just like Zander had been. After having an all-back labor birth and then a nearly no-back labor birth, I can attest to the fact that back labor is much worse than regular labor! This birth just seemed so easy form beginning to end compared to the first one. Plus it was so nice that it all happened during daytime hours instead of in the middle of the night like the first time.

Naomi Kathryn Lowery entered the world at 7:54 pm and earned an 8 and 9 on her APGARs. The first thing I said at I looked down at her as her nose was suctioned out was, ?You were hard work!? then she cried and I got teary-eye myself and exclaimed, ?But I still love you!?

I can’t remember all the little details about what happened then, but I know Jason cut the cord and my little baby girl was put up on my chest. She crept up me as I helped her find my breast and she latched on immediately. It was 8:12 and I had my baby and she was nursing beautifully. I was so proud, happy, feeling overwhelmingly blessed and full of elated joy!

Naomi Kathryn born Wednesday, January 18th at 7:54 pm weighing eight pounds three ounces and measuring 19 ˝ inches long
 
 

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