It’s A Girl!

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So this is a very late announcement, but looking back over my blog I realized I made at least mentioned on my previous pregnancies. So here is goes…

My wonderful husband and I are expecting our 4th child, a girl, in May 2016.

We are so excited to be entering into the new journey of raising a girl. I have seen it done, but experience is the best teacher, so, to put if plainly, I am nervous as heck!

We are planning another homebirth with my wonderful midwives at Central Texas Birth Center, Heather Hilton and Salli Gonzalez. I am praying that this one goes as smooth as the last homebirth but without the postpartum NICU visit. I keep getting closer and closer, so this time…

Her brothers, Josiah 5, Aaron 3, and Samuel 1 are very excited to be getting a sister. When we went in for the ultrasound they (really just J & A) said they wanted a girl. Louis and I wanted one too, though a boy would have been a bit of a relief since we kind of already know that song and dance.

I went shopping last Wednesday at Salvation Army and bought 42 girls items from 0 – 12 months and spent a total of $21. You cannot beat that! I might just “have” to get a few pink cloth diapers to go with my already bountiful supply, but that is about it. We are ready.

Well, ready, but only 20 weeks, so we will have to wait. Cannot wait for the birth and cannot wait to hold her in my arms.

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3 Reasons Motherhood is Hard and the things I’ve learned

As a natural birth enthusiast (that is an understatement), during my pregnancies I can be a little too focused at times on the birth and not so much on the “what happens after baby comes” part. As a mom of three this is not as big a deal as when I was a first time mom. When I was a first time mom, I was shocked at how difficult it was getting adjusted to motherhood. For me, the love part was easy. I even had a natural maternal instinct, as most women do. But I just didn’t have the experience with all the things surrounding baby land. I just wanted to share a brief list, albeit confessional, of the things that I have struggled with as a new mom (and not just on my first).

1. Sleep Training is Hard!!!

Sleeping-Baby-

Another huge understatement! I read nothing before my first son came, but quickly devoured a few popular books after I realized that babies didn’t, in fact, sleep like a baby (at least not after the first month). They all had a great theoretical solution, but add in two sleepy parents, a mother hyped up on hormones, and apartment living, and you can get pretty overwhelmed pretty quickly.

This is not the part where I tell you the answer to all your babies sleep problems. This is the part where I tell you that you will learn, your baby will learn, and you will get sleep again! Plus, the next time you dare to have a baby, you will have a easier time at it. I have three sons that sleep and nap happily and are no worse for the wear because of my blunders in sleep training.

2. Breastfeeding can be challenging!

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I actually am one of those people who never had difficulty breastfeeding initially. It never hurt, my milk was good, etc. Most women are not so fortunate and experience difficulty getting baby to latch along with serious breast pain. On top of these issue, many women don’t get the support they need and when a mom that is wondering what the heck she is doing anyway starts to get push back to “just give him a bottle” she is likely to cave and then feels like a failure.

My first two experiences breastfeeding went great. I breastfed without a second though until 12 months. I didn’t own a pump, and I never had low supply. My third experience was a bit challenging. After an initial great start, I started having low supply. Baby boy was always fussy and I was without a doubt not producing very much. I ordered a free pump through my insurance and started pumping. I was getting practically nothing when pumping. I was very depressed and frustrated. I did not want to give up but I was desperate thinking I was starving my child with my persistence. Thankfully my sister, who was also nursing at the same time had pumped over a weekend out without baby and had a supply of milk she would probably never use. She generously gave it to me and it helped buy me some time to find the problem. It turns out that my nutrition was not complete. I am a very healthy eater (for the most part) but after doing some more reading I realized that I was protein deficient. I made the necessary corrections to my diet and my milk was up to great supply in no time, flat.

This is not the part where I tell you how to fix all your breastfeeding problems. This is the part where I tell you that you will learn, your baby will learn and no one will die of starvation in the process. Plus, all the things you learn in the process will make you a smarter more prepared person, mother, and friend.

3. Raising kids is tough!

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I am not going to sit in any place saying how much I have “made it” in raising respectful, obedient, honest, kind all around perfect children. My oldest is only 4 years old and in the time it took me to write this post I have been yelled at “no”, seen one hit the other, played police man and lost my cool. I am working very hard at purposefully raising strong men with hearts after the Lord, but it is a serious work in progress, as I am also still a serious work in progress. I fail. They fail. We fail together.

There are a lot of opinions on how to raise your children both good and bad. Books, blogs, friends, family, strangers. It can seem like if you don’t have it all figured out on day one then you have already lost the battle. I used to never read to my first son. Heck, I probably very rarely spoke to my first son, when he was a baby. I didn’t really grasp the concept of talking in a one way conversation. But, by the time I had two, I was talking all the time to the first, so it seemed natural to talk to the second. I started reading to them after I finally realized how important it was, but it was well into my first son’s second year. I just in the last year started reading to them from the bible, and am just now teaching them chores. I did not and am not doing it “all” now. I am learning as I go, the same as them. I make it a point to always be bettering my parenting skills from reading select books and observing other mothers and fathers that are “seeming” to be doing a good job. But then, at the end of it, I have to find me. My way that fits with my personality and my goals as a parent.

This is not the part where I tell you how to raise perfect kids. This is the part where I tell you that you will learn, your kids will learn and in the process you will get better and better. Plus, all the mistakes you and your kids make in the process will just go to show us how much in need of a savior we are.

The three biggest lessons I have learned as a mother of three in 4 years are:

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1. Humility

Never judge what you yourself have not experienced. I was a perfect childbirther until I went into labor, I was a perfect mother until I had kids, and I was a perfect Christian… I have never been a perfect Christian. Plus, comparison does nobody any good. You will end of either looking down on yourself or others.

2. Everything is a lesson

My exercise instructor quoted the other day a Mexican proverb:

They wanted to bury us, but they forgot we are seeds.”

Don’t be buried by your problems. Grow from them.

3. We are all in need of a savior

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Everyone needs salvation because we have all sinned. You are a sinner. Your kids, believe it or not, are sinners.

“No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.” … For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Find out more about salvation here)

Perfection cannot be the goal, because is cannot be achieved. The sooner you learn that without Christ, both ourselves and our children are doomed to failure. This is not bad new, but good news. That means we are off the hook from doing everything right all the time. That means God is the only one that can truly change us into His image. We are just the gap fillers in our kids lives until they are old enough to decide for themselves. He will give us the tools to train our children up, but He is ultimately the one to close the deal with them. So if you can only do one thing as a parent, it is to continually, lovingly point our children to Christ.

So lets go be great parents! Not because that statement actually describes our output, but because that statement describes our input.

Home Birth Story of Samuel – May 2014

Just a few days before I went into labor myself, I read a beautiful birth story where the mom was surprised by her labor starting at only 1 day past 39 weeks. I thought to myself that this would be  nice to go early, especially since both my other boys came after their due dates, but I never actually considered it a possibility. I just knew baby was going to come the weekend of my due  date.

39 weeks

Friday night, 39 weeks, I finally lay in bed after a long exhausting day. I was the kind of tired that makes your eyes weary to be open. I tried to go to sleep quickly, even asking God to put me to sleep, and I repented of doing so much. I vowed to rest more over the next week to prepare my body for labor. Then, I got a contraction. Now after having two previous spontaneous labors, I  know what a contraction is. This was one. No Braxton hicks stuff. I thought to myself, “crap”! Not  tonight. Not being so tired. I couldn’t do it tonight. I waited to see if another would come and about  10 minutes later, one did. I went into full on prayer mode.  “Jesus, I can’t tonight. I am too tired.  Please let me sleep tonight!”

I woke up the next morning to my kids yelling for me to open the door (they are not allowed out of  their room in the morning until I open the door). I got up, made breakfast, and started our normal  routine. My husband was already at work. It was 10 am, and as I was doing morning chores, I felt  a contraction. It is only then that I remember the night before. I was grateful to God that he  spared me from labor with such little sleep.

This was for sure prodromal labor. I had been here before.

Thankful for a good nights rest, I knew I should keep my energy and rest as much as possible. This is easier said than done when  you have two toddlers and a few more things to get done before you have a baby. So with  keeping calm in mind, I finished laundry and dishes, got the birth stuff together in one place, and  periodically laid in bed in between request for cheesy rice and milk.

Contractions occurred every ten to fifteen minutes lasting only about a minute until just after I put  the boys to sleep for their nap at 2:30 pm. These were early labor contractions and did not feel  much different than period cramps. The house was quiet, and all my chores were done so I  could finally lay down to see if I could nap for a while.

At 2:58 pm, though, I had my first active  labor contraction.

If you have never experienced labor before, this is very different from early  labor contractions. This feels like a tightening of your lower abdomen that increases in intensity  with a distinct pulling downwards. It is not necessarily painful, but powerful. I takes all your force  to not tense up during one.

I sent an email to my church family for prayer and made a quick prayer request on Facebook. I  knew that I was going to need my sister in Christ backing me up on this. As usual, my husband  arrived home at 3 p.m.. Other than a quick phone call in the morning where I warned him labor  might be starting, he was coming in not knowing the situation. I wanted to be alone, so I gave him
a quick list of things to do and showed him where everything was. He went to work blowing up  the birth pool, lining it, and filling it with a foot of cold water (hot water to be added when needed).  He also put all our big pots on the stove with water to boil (you can never have too much hot  water).

I closed the door to my bedroom and continued to labor in the bed lying on my left side with a  pillow between my legs. I installed a contraction timer on my kindle just to track contractions for a  while. I was definitely in active labor and my contractions were coming every 4 to 6 minutes  lasting for a little over a minute.

The funny thing about labor for me is all about saving the best things for later. Every few  contractions I would go to the restroom to relieve the additional pressure from my bladder and  would consider trying a contraction on the toilet, but I would quickly jump back into bed not  wanting to open up that position until I really needed it, like it had some kind of limit for working.  Silly. What I learned is that good positions work multiple times during labor (like the toilet).

I labored a little while longer in bed and then during a potty break, I decided to stay. This was  such a good idea. It changed the way I was experiencing the contraction pressure. I rocked back  and forth during the contractions with my hands on my legs rubbing them back and forth, as well.  In between contractions I circled around at the waist in small circles. This had added benefit, as  the circling caused me to go #2.

After only a short time on the toilet, and since I was right there, I decided to jump into a steaming  hot shower. The heat helped me relax even more. I faced the shower head between contractions  and let the water hit my lower back during them. I just stood there like a limp noodle. I left my  hands open and down by my sides. I really enjoyed it, but in the back of my mind I knew with a  limited hot water supply I should get out before the heat runs out. I dried off and sat back onto the  toilet for a few more contractions.

The toilet and shower are great during contractions but I found I could not do those positions for  very long as there is no real good resting place for in between them. Resting in between  contractions is a gift, too, as you can completely relax and let go of the last contraction.     I decided to try the birth ball for a while. I laid over it during contractions and again, tried to keep  my hands and arms limp. During these contractions, though, I felt a lot of different sensations  that made me feel like I was further along than I really was. I was trembling in between  contractions and feeling nauseous right after one would end. These are traditionally signs of  transition (the last 2 cm of dilation).

I decided to tell my husband that I was ready for my midwives and sister to come over. It was about 5:30 pm.

After a lot of thought, I decided that I wanted my sister to act as my doula. She is not a doula, but  has been at my last two births and is my best friend. She also can tell me things in a way so hat I  hear them and has earned the right to talk to me a lot more frankly than most. She helped me in
my last birth try for just a little longer when no one else could talk sense into me. We had gone  over all my birth wishes and she had hear me talk a number of times about my heart’s desire.  She is also a great Christian woman and I only wanted those that could support me both  physically and spiritually at my birth.

My sister arrived within the hour. By this point I had done the birth ball a little more and the toilet  again. I remembered having a plastic hand massager in a bag in my closet, so I had rummaged  it out and was using it on my lower back during contractions. I was not having back labor, but I  did enjoy the extra pressure on my low back. When she arrived, I had her take over the  massaging.

Shortly after she arrived, at 6:30pm my midwife Heather and Salli and midwife in training Randi  also arrived.

They encouraged me to get in the shower again, so I did that again for about 25 minutes. I lay  over the ball again, but at the peak of my contractions said that i was feeling a lot of pressure.  Again, this threw me off a little because I thought that I might be getting closer to the end. I was  not, but as soon as I got off the ball only 15 minutes later that sensation went away. I think  because you are so open when lying over the ball that it caused more pressure in that area than  other positions.

I went back to the bathroom to see if I could relieve some of the pressure i had on my bladder  and ended up sitting there for another 15 minutes. Then into the bathtub. I was hesitant to use  the water again because I was concerned about the hot water needed for the birthing pool. And  sure enough when I was drawing the water, the temperature was far from ideal. Lucky I had told  my husband to put those pots on the stove, because they ended up pouring all three big pots of  boiling water into the tub and then it felt good.

I was a little disappointed with the bathtub because, even though it is a garden size tub, it is hard  and not large enough to move your hips around a lot during contractions. At first I just lay still and  used a cup to pour water over my belly. My sister brought me a glass of wine to sip on, and  although I was not in need of calming down, I went ahead and downed it in two or three sips. I  tried to move my hips from side to side, but as I said, this just wasn’t happening so I got out and  tried the toilet for another couple of contractions.

I really didn’t know what I wanted to do next so I just walked around the bedroom for a couple of  contractions. My midwife encouraged me to rest on the bed where they had chux laid out. I was  hesitant because during my last labor I hated that position, but it just goes to show me that every  labor is different. For another example, I loved the tub during my first two labors and this time, not  so much.

I lie on my left side while my sister rubbed my back with the massager and Randi rubbed my  feet with coconut oil. I was surprised I was able to do this for about half an hour without tensing
up. During one really intense contraction I had a big urge to push and bear down a little but  luckily the power to throw up was stronger. I ended up throwing up for almost a minute but it felt  surprisingly good to feel a different sensation from the contraction.

Needing again to relieve my bladder, I went back to the toilet. I stayed there about 10 minutes  while I ate a slim fast bar.  I loved the toilet during this labor. It felt so much better but I never  wanted to stay in any position too long.

This is when things kicked into high gear.

I stood up and wasn’t sure again what I wanted to do. My sister told me that I should go enjoy the backyard, per my suggestion sheet, and despite the  fact that I did not really want to (really I didn’t want to do anything at this point), I did.     I walked out the bedroom for the first time since 2:30 pm and now at 9:10 pm, things had gotten  dark, my older boys were in bed, and all was quiet. I walked out on our back patio and started  walking immediately for the patio chairs that sat out on the lawn. I was planning on lying over one  when the contraction hit, but once one started I found that I couldn’t stop. I kept walking.

This was a very interesting time because I was very very tired. My head hung down  and  curled  towards my breast (very low) and my shoulders slumped over. I kept my eyes closed and took  steps no longer than a couple of inches. I honestly thought I probably looked like a character from  “The Walking Dead”. I sure felt like one.

My husband had run out to get some pizzas for everyone and had made it back. I looked into the  house and saw him in the kitchen with the pizzas. i knew that the last thing that I would want is to  come back into the house to push the baby out and have the house smell of greasy pizza so I  told my sister to have him put it into the garage.

He then came outside. My sister said “Louis is here” and I almost made a joke that he better not  call me a zombie, but I couldn’t get the words out. He later told me he was thinking he might say  “better not let Rick see you” but he refrained. We obviously watch too much Walking Dead.

As I made my way closer to him I decided that I would lean on him for support. I put my arms  around him and continued walking. This means that he was walking backwards but since we  were going slower than a snails pace, there was no danger.

It was getting increasingly hard to fight the urge to push at the top of the contractions, but I knew  it wasn’t time.

In my mind I was reaching the point of desperation. Surely my water would break soon. Surely something would change that would mean that it was over. Finally that something  did. I started to feel something hanging between my legs so I reached down to find out what it  was. When I looked at my hand, it was bloody and mucusy. I said “oh thank God!”. I knew this  was the end of the dilating phase. Now, or within a few contractions, I would be complete. It was  what I needed to push me through to the end.

I continued to walk for a few more contractions when I finally decided that I wanted Heather to  check me. I knew that I needed that reassurance that I was in fact complete. I did not want to  start pushing before it was time. I called Heather out and after she asked me if I was sure, she  checked me and said I was 9 ½ and she thought I could just push past it. I told her that is what  happened the first time and I started to swell. She still thought I could do it, but I decided to try  one last thing. Knee/chest. I dropped down in the grass with my head on the ground and my butt  up in the air for three contractions. This was intense. I was holding on for dear life onto the grass  and blowing like a mad woman, but it was what I needed to try before trying to push in earnest.

After three contractions like this, I decided to give it a try. I sat up right where I was and started  pushing. I think everyone thought I would deliver this baby in the grass in my backyard, but I knew  that I was heading for the birth pool if this one push worked. Heather held back the little lip of  cervix and the babies head slipped past it with ease and did not go back. With this news, I  jumped up and headed in towards the birth pool.

It was 9:55. At the next contraction I gave it all I could.

I was leaning over the side in a pool and was sitting up on my knees. I pushed with all my might. I was quiet for a few pushes but got  increasingly vocal. I was not scared or in pain (though the pressure of stretching and opening is extreme), but I needed to make these noises.

My sister encouraged me to reach down and I felt inside and could feel a little bit of the bag only a  few inches in. It wasn’t long before that bag was at the perineum and then “pop”, the bag broke  and babies head was in my hand. They said one more push and sure enough, with the next push  he was born.

I grabbed him up, pushed myself back against the other side of the pool and cried out, “it’s over”.

I was so relieved to be finished. It took me a few seconds to even settle down enough to pay too  much attention to my baby boy. Once I did, I just did what I have been doing for the last three  years. I mothered him. I cleaned vernex off his eyes, talked to him and fell in love.    Finally my beautiful baby boy that I carried in my womb for 39 weeks and 1 day was in my arms.  He was perfect, and just like it did before with my first two sons, my heart doubled in size.

Post birth

After about 30 minutes in the tub holding my baby boy, I decided I would hand him off to daddy and try to deliver the placenta. I rested in the tub for another 10 to 15 minutes before I decided it might be easier in the bed. Within a few minutes of moving to the bed, I pushed it out (no fun… I was supposed to be done pushing).

I got my homebirth, but the story didn’t end there, unfortunately. After only four hours at home, we  decided to take baby Samuel to the hospital for oxygen treatment for what was later diagnosed  as transient tachypnea of a newborn. I short term breathing issues caused by not getting all the  fetal lung fluid out of his lungs during labor and birth. It was never dramatic, but we did spend 3  days in the NICU before we were able to return home again and finally get some needed rest.

NICU

After the experience I had with my first two birth, I finally had a win.  Even with the transfer to the  NICU, the experience was positive from beginning to end. I was so happy to be able to forget  about labor and focus on my baby. That is what I missed during my first two births. I was so hurt  and disappointed that I couldn’t give 100% to my new baby. This time, 100% was on him.
I owe a lot of thanks for the outcome of my birth. Yes, yes… I did the work, but I truly would not  have had this opportunity with some help.

First and foremost, to my Creator God for allowing me to conceive and carry another wonderful  blessing. He was the only power that could sustain me through the trials of pregnancy and labor.  He was the one I leaned on during those contractions I just knew I couldn’t do myself. He was in  my thoughts, and thanks to a lot of prayer from my church family and friends, I did it with Him.

My amazing midwife and team. Heather was a great support through my second pregnancy,  believing in me the entire time, and even after I totally lost it during my that delivery, she still  believed in me. She supported me in so many ways during this pregnancy and was the only  reason I was able to attempt another homebirth. Her whole team from partner Salli, midwife in  training Randi, and support staff Amy and  April are amazing and made me feel like I was a  special member of the family.

My sister, the best doula for me ever, without whom I would not have had nearly as “fun” and  special of a birth experience as I did.

Finally, my husband who still supported me after all the previous drama and did not doubt my  ability or sanity to want to do it again.

Now only if I can have a home birth and stay at home after it is all said and done… wells, there’s  always a next time.

Chick for more information about my faith based childbirth classes and to check the schedule and sign up.

 

October – November 2014 Faith Based Childbirth

praymama11

Introducing Open Arms Childbirth Educations new 6 weeks faith based class series. This new and improved class series includes all the nuts and bolts of the old series, but with an emphasis on centering your pregnancy and childbirth around faith in Christ.

Each class will include time for sharing, prayer, scriptures, and of course, the ins and outs of pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and newborn care.

Another change we have made to the class is the price. We are no longer have a set price for the series, but instead are accepting donations for your participation. The suggested donation is $180 per couple, but we want all couples to be able to attend, no matter what their financial situation is, so if you can’t afford much, donate what you can (there is no minimum).

Our next 6 six series starts October 16th and is located at my home in Leander. Space is limited so sign up now.

Email us with questions or to be added to a class.

What does a third time mom have in her homebirth kit?

With less than 2 weeks to me third son’s expected due date, I have finalized my preparations for his pending arrival.

I have planned another homebirth with my awesome midwife, Heather Hilton from Central Texas Birth Center in Georgetown Texas. If you have read my previous two birth stories, you will know that this is my third homebirth attempt, but no homebirth has actually been achieved.

Nevertheless, I have experience in planning and almost having two babies at home, so I can tell you that there are some things I think are important to have on hand and some things that just didn’t get used.

Every birth is different so you really never know how this one will be compared to your other ones, or to a friends so there are those things you might have around that don’t get used even when you used it at another birth.

I have a friend who loves and sells essential oils and she had every oil potentially needed set up for you birth but because her birth happened so quickly, none of the oils got used and none were needed. It happens.

The great thing about a homebirth kit is that you don’t have to gather all those personal items like cloths and toiletries since you won’t be leaving your home. It is a good idea to gather everything else together in some fashion to help those attending to you easily find them. I have a couple of shelves that I have gathered almost everything on and labeled anything of question.

The biggest difference between the prep for my first homebirth and this one is that I am way less concern about this one having a plan, since I know that plans are just that, plans.

In my birth kit this time I have the following:

  • Birth Tub (borrowed from CTBC)

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  • Birth tub liner
  • Heavy duty liner from Lowes to go under birth tub
  • 2 Light duty liner from Lowes to go over mattress
    • You create a sandwich with nice sheets on bottom, liner, bad sheets, liner and bad sheets. This way when I layer needs to be changed there is still another layer to protect the bed. When birth is done that layer can be removed and you have a nice clean bed to crawl into.
  • Duck tape to hold down all liners

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  • Birth kit from “In His Hands Birth Supply”
    • This is my midwife’s specific kit which includes gloves, chux, pads, herbal bath, foot printer, and other disposable medical items my midwife does not bring herself.

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  • Lavender Epsom salt for the bath or birth tub to relieve muscle tension and relax the mind
  • Food item (plus other stuff I have in the fridge)
  • Hydrogen peroxide (for clean-up)
  • Dermoplast for after birth

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  • Bach’s essential rescue remedy fast acting spray to use during any mental freak-outs.

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  • Homemade hot pack made with rice (heat up in the microwave for 2 minutes

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  • Camera with extra batteries

 

But far and away, the most essential thing that I have prepared for my birth is the below list that will be printed out in duplicates for anyone attending my birth. This is my personal list (not a birth plan) that will help other’s know my wishes and help me remember things I want to do. I really advocate doing your own because all those “plans” you have in your head go right out the window when you enter labor land. You will forget do all those things you planned so carefully for, all those wonderful words of wisdom from your childbirth educator, and every last bit of the advise you read in books.

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Natalie’s Wishes

Please read fully before entering birthing area!

Please remember the following:

  • I DO NOT WANT to know how many cm I am dilated (don’t whisper to one another)
  • I DO NOT WANT to know the time
  • Keep atmosphere joyous and upbeat
  • Encourage mom to express her feelings

Before going to the hospital did I try:

  • A glass of wine
  • Knee chest position
  • Going outside in the backyard
  • Praying
  • Rescue Remedy Spray
  • Katniss… Remember who the real enemy is

Suggestions for encouraging me to change positions

  • Instead of saying “would you like to change positions” say
  • “If you think you would like to get off the bed and sit on the toilet, after the next contraction, I’ll put your arm around me and help you stand up. Then we will walk to the bathroom and you can see if sitting on the toilet feels good to you.”

During my labor please remind me of the following things

  • Relaxed jaw
  • Relaxed hands
  • Smile
  • God’s grace is sufficient
  • Count backwards
  • Keep mobile as long as possible!!!
  • Slow, quiet, deep breathing
  • Ride the labor wave – don’t get pulled under by panic and fear
  • Relax – don’t resist
  • Fighting contractions make them painful and less effective
  • Relax into the contraction and look at it as pressure not pain
  • Each contractions brings you closer to meeting your Samuel
  • Once labor is over, so is the pain
  • Avoid thinking about future contractions
  • Once a contraction is over, it will never come back
  • This contraction is one down, moving me closer to my baby
  • Stay in the present

During my labor please suggest or help me do the follow positions if change is needed

  • Walking around the backyard or down the street
  • Sitting on the toilet
  • Birth Ball
  • Foot up on stool rotating hips around
  • Stair climbing
  • Hands and knee
  • Dancing
  • Pelvic rocking
  • Shifting side to side on birth ball (keep back tall and feet on ground)
  • Hands and knees moving forward and backwards
  • On knees leaning forward over pillows and rocking
  • Supported squatting position
  • Left side-lying
  • Positioning pillows for comfort

During my labor please do these things as I might forget

  • Pray out loud frequently and remind me to pray (see print out for help)
  • Turn on music!!!!
    • Pandora – Great Big World
    • Pandora – Relaxation Station
    • Phone – Childbirth in Glory (can be connected to radio that is on the cart)
  • Crockpot on “warm” with water. Place olive oil in small metal bowl and put on top of water. When crowning, use washcloth with warm oil for compress on perineum
  • Keeping feet warm
  • Hip squeeze/Rebozo
  • Warm showers/Birth pool
  • Urinate frequently
  • Cool cloth to head/neck
  • Massage/Light Touch
    • Only if I do not object
  • Warm packs/cloths on abdomen/back
    • With or without essential oils
    • Rice sock
  • Kissing, loving, cuddling

If I starts to panic during a contraction, remind me

  • Everything is fine
  • This is normal
  • You are strong and doing great
  • Let go
  • Breath (breath with her)

______________________________________________

I have another print out with prayers and scriptures on them so they can be references if anyone needs any help with that.

So that is basically it. I have a bottle of light fruity wine chilling in the fridge just in case, some tums for heartburn and some ratty towels and sheets still in the closet that I will pull out when time draws near, but other than that, I don’t feel like I have missed anything essential (will update after my birth with what I did and did not use, and anything that I missed).

Hope this helps anyone out there planning a no fuss homebirth.

Enjoy

5 Reasons attending childbirth classes are so important

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Many first time parents feel that attending a childbirth education class is just not necessary. Either they have read all the latest childbirth books and believe that is all there is to know, or they just plan on getting an epidural and trusting the doctors and nurses to do the rest.

Both of these reasons are not good. Sorry.

The first reason is not good because, while childbirth books do provide a lot of information, it is not personal to you and your partner. It cannot ask you questions, delve into your minds, and find a plan that work specifically for you.

The second reason is not a good one because, while doctors and nurses are trained in a lot of things, normal birth is not one of them. You might think that all you are getting is an epidural, but you may find yourself caught in a whirlwind of interventions that seriously increases your risk of major surgery.

5. Learn how to work with your partner to optimize your birth experience:

Birth is a beautiful process, and many woman are prepared to go into it and have a specific plan to back them up. Many woman just assume that hubby is right there with them. I mean, he is not having to do it, so why should it matter. It matters! Many dads to be are not prepared for what labor and delivery will have in store from them. An unprepared man can find themselves in a very uncomfortable place watching a very unique process happen to his lady. They can feel scared, overwhelmed and left out.

During childbirth classes, your partner will be learning the things you might already know in a fun and interactive environment with other guys. You will learn how to work together so that both of you enjoy the process of birth and no one gets overlooked.

4. Be in an environment that promotes a healthy view of pregnancy and childbirth

So many TV shows, movies and stories portray an extremely negative image of childbirth. Many people decide to choice a natural birth and are faced with comments like “we’ll see”, “you can’t do it”. If you decide to take an alternative childbirth route like midwife, birth center or home you will get bombarded with “worried” family, friends and doctors that tell you that your decision is selfish and dangerous (despite what studies say).

In Open Arms Childbirth classes you will find you are surrounded by other supportive couples that share your belief that birth is normal. This can lead to friendships outside the class, people who can be a shoulder to lean on when others might think you are crazy.

3. Decrease your labor length and pain

Horror stories of 24 hour labors with contractions that felt like your insides were ripping apart are no new thing. In fact, they are more prevalent today because of TV “reality” shows that depict labor as dangerous and excruciating. But thousands of woman that birth their babies naturally with a plan will tell you how empowering their birth was and how they would do it again in a heartbeat. Now while the first might make for better TV, the second is what I think most woman would prefer.

In childbirth education classes you will learn how to actually shorten your labor and decrease pain. This only comes with technique and practice and it is difficult to learn these and understand their serious importance in a book.

2. Drastically reduces your risk of unnecessary intervention

Wonder why the US C-section rate is 1 in 3 woman? Is it because today’s woman has some how fundamentally changed to be less able to give birth? Absoluely not! The ability to give birth is born in every single woman and in about 80% of births, this means that no intervention is necessary. No Pitocin, no vacuum, and no C-section. But how do you avoid become a statistic. Even if you don’t end up in major surgery, everything that takes place in birth is important and no decision should be made lightly.

In Open Arms classes you will learn what interventions are used for, when they should and shouldn’t be used, how to avoid these from happening, and becoming the active leader in your labor.

1. Knowledge helps you decide what is right for you

Not every woman is the same, will labor the same, has the same beliefs, desires or preferences. One may decide to birth at home with a midwife while another feels more comfortable birthing at a hospital with a doctor. But how do you know what is the right choice for you if the only choice you have ever know was been the traditional hospital/doctor combo?

In Open Arms classes you will learn ALL your options. You will be taught the risk and benefits of each option and build your confidence that the decisions you make are the best for you. There is not a “right” way to birth and you will find support and encouragement in whatever way you choose.

Now that you know why childbirth classes are so important, sign up today for our next class, starting February 6th at 7pm in Georgetown Texas.

Mention this blog post and receive $75 off your enrollment fee.