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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

Just Tell Me

Posted on February 28, 2017 at 9:39 AM Comments comments (0)


I was reminded again yesterday how prevalent the stigma still is around the struggle after a baby is born: baby blues, postpartum depression, onset of anxiety in the postpartum period...

The transition into motherhood is hard.  The first child is pretty shocking, even if you have a good support system. Nothing can prepare you for the overwhelming emotion and experience of holding a helpless newborn, the blood that is dripping out of you for the next few weeks, and then learning to breastfeed on top of all that.  It is doable, and people have been doing it for generations, so you know in your head it's possible...but your body is screaming WTF just happened here.

On top of all this, is the pressure from society to pretend that nothing happened. Bounce out of bed with full make-up, pose for some pictures, host everyone who wants to come meet the baby, and fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes by the time the six-week check up comes around or you are a slug who just can't get it together.

As you add Sweet Peas to your family, there is still an adjustment period. The love happens - you will have enough.  The adjustment for me was learning how to manage the time and the house with 2+ children.  A wise woman once told me, "Lower your expectations every time and you will do great."  Another wise woman reminded me, "They are not all two at the same time."  More on those topics another day...back to the topic at hand.

An older woman asked me why I write about postpartum so much...her generation just got on with it. She asked me why this was such "a thing" for women of this day and age.

My answer is I DON'T KNOW. Is it the food we are eating that doesn't support the hormonal shift as well as it used to? Is it that we know now that drinking and smoking are not the best stress relievers for mothers of newborns?Is it the pressure of  social media to "fakebook" and we are speaking up to say, "not today"? Is is the age of the internet that allows us to gather information and know that we are not alone? 

I have no idea.  My point today is, it is okay to ask for help if you need it.  Maybe you don't need help.  Maybe you had a satisfactory birth experience and your support network is amazing and enlightened and you are doing great.  Yeah!! Bonus points for you. (and I don't believe you)

There are also GOLD STARS waiting for you if you are able to say two of the hardest words, HELP ME.  I just read an affirmation today that really sparked me along with running into some friends who reminded me just how important postpartum care is to families who are struggling:

"It is healthy for me to say what I need and accept help".

When your childbirth educator, doula, midwife or anyone else in your life you cares about you calls you and asks how you are doing, for your own sake, tell us the truth!! 

We expect to hear, "I'm fine!" "Things are great!" "All good!"

What we are listening for are the in-betweens: the pauses, the crack in your voice, the tiredness as you speak.  We have been there - we know it is hard - we know it's an adjustment, and we want to help you. We will try to find a way to see you if we are concerned. So just make it easier for us to help you - tell us without shame, because we have been there, too.

Please tell the people who ask you and want to be there for you what you need.  We will show up and we will support you in any way we can as you make the transition from maiden to mother.  It is okay - you are still a great mom.

Doula Services

Posted on February 21, 2017 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (29)
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, ScottsdaleMore and more people are thinking about using doulas or making space in their birth budget for doula care. Doulas are a great resource and can be a huge asset when it comes to preparing for the birth journey. My favorite analogy is that they are tour guides - they have been on the birth journey before and can point out the major landmarks and the subtle nuances. It's up to you to decide how to use that information to have your best possible birth given the circumstances.

Here are some things we share with our students when they are thinking about hiring a doula:

ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL
Doulas comes in a huge variety - there is no one right way to be a good doula.  Be sure to interview at least 2-3 so you can get a feel for their personality.  Most are happy to do a preliminary phone interview. If that goes well, schedule an in-person meet and greet. We ask our students to consider if they can see themselves naked in front of the person they hire...because it may just happen and if it does, you don't want to have to think about it - you just want to be able to do whatever you need to do to birth your sweet pea.

BASIC SERVICES
Standard doula care typically includes 2-3 prenatal visits, assistance through your birth, and 1-2 postpartum visits.

Prenatal visits last anywhere from 1-2 hours, give or take. They are intended to help you and your doula get on the same page about your birth wishes, offer some time for childbirth preparation, and also have time to talk through what your wishes are if things start to move away from your plan.

Birth support typically includes being on call for you 24/7 from 2 weeks before to two weeks after your due date. Doulas will not typically take on clients if they have a vacation planned within that window - they want to be there for you and that four-week window is a commitment they make to be available when you need them.  You will decide during your pre-natal visits when you will be calling them.  Some families want support while they labor at home, others only want labor support at the birth place. If you are having a home birth, then you will want to talk to your doula about their communication with the rest of the birth team. Again, there is no right or wrong way to use a doula - you hire them to support you in the way that you want to be supported.

A doula will be with you when you are ready for labor support and will stay with you until your baby is born. Typically they stay for 2-3 hours after the birth to make sure you are settled in your recovery space at home or at the hospital, to make sure you eat something and that breastfeeding is off to a good start. Doulas are not necessarily lactation consultants; most do have basic training to help a MotherBaby get a good latch for the first feeding.

Postpartum visits typically happen within a day or two of your sweet pea's birth, and then maybe one more at a week or two weeks postpartum to review your birth story and answer any questions you may have about your birth. While birth doulas have a different scope of practice than postpartum doulas, some may offer to prepare food or do a load of laundry or clean a bathroom, etc., while they are there.

ADD-ON SERVICES
In this day and age, many doulas offer more than birth preparation and support.  Here are some of the different services doulas may also offer:

Prenatal massage
Reiki
Maternity photography
Birth Photography
Newborn Photography
Placenta Encapsulation
Belly Binding
Postpartum Care Packages
Herbal Teas + Tinctures
IBCLC Lactation Services

PRICING
Doulas have a lot to consider when they set the fee for their service.  They have spent hours and money on training. Some continue to take classes every year to stay sharp and hone their skills. If they have children, they have to arrange and sometimes pay for childcare. Some carry liability insurance and have fees associated with maintaining a personal website. If they also offer childbirth education there are yearly dues with their certifying organization. If they are an accredited doula, they also have their yearly dues with their doula organization.  In other words, it isn't free to be a doula!

Doula services start around $400 and in some areas of the country range up to $2000 for their basic packages (prenatal visits, birth support, postpartum visits).  Fees may vary based on their experience and added services that can be factored into their fee for a "one-stop shop" experience.

Even if you don't think you can afford a doula, think about what you can offer. They can work for trade, barter, or exchange of other services. Some do offer a sliding scale or scholarship when they can - it never hurts to ask.

Those of us who love birth work and believe in supporting families so that all mothers and babies have the opportunity to birth peacefully will work with you. Do not ask a doula to work for free - as I outlined above, doulas really can't if they are working to support their family.  Even if a doula is new and "training" she has already invested in her skills in order to better support you.

THOUGHTS TO CONSIDER
Hiring a doula is a personal decision. The person that your sister or best friend loved may be a lovely person. However, that does not necessarily make them the best person to help you along on your birth journey.

Take a minute to think about what you think your ideal labor support person is going to be: hands-on, hands-off? In charge? More of a guide? Involve the husband as a partner? 

Keep in mind that although The Bradley Method® places the wife and husband as equal partners in the birth process, not all birth partners want that mantle of responsibility. If your birth partner is saying they are not sure or they absolutely do not want to be in the middle of the action, explore how that works for you.  

Your doula will help you create a space that welcomes your sweet pea. Trust your instinct about what is right for your family and make the best of the birth journey that you and your baby need.

What do you look for in a doula?

Disclaimer: 
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, ScottsdaleThe material included in this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and related videos contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Mesa,AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale



Q&A with SPB: How do I find a care provider that supports natural birth?

Posted on October 4, 2016 at 5:14 PM Comments comments (0)
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

A question that came up in our Friday night class was, "How do we know if our doctor supports natural birth?"

Here are some questions to ask to find out:




Here are the questions with a little more detail:
1) How do you feel about natural birth?
If you ask, "Do you support natural birth?" you will probably get a "yes" answer because they want your business and/or they want to make you happy.

Asking "how do you feel about" gets them to talk more about their beliefs and basic understanding of how a natural birth works in a hospital setting.

2) What has been your experience with couples who want a natural birth?
If you hear rave reviews, yeah! I offer a follow up question, "How many of your couples who prepare for a natural birth end up with what they wanted?"  A vaginal birth rate of around 85% is typical for a provider that supports hands-off birthing...how many of those are unmedicated versus medicated depends on the practice.

Some providers may be "natural birth tolerant", so while they don't practice a "hands off" approach, they also don't interfere when a couple is following a natural birth plan.  They may have a more middle-of-the road, "we'll see how it goes" attitude when you ask this question.

If the care provider is skeptical or outright dismissive, that is your sign that you may need to "break up" with your care provider.  Even if it is the doctor your family has been going to for years.  Check-in and ask what their vaginal and cesarean birth rates are for a follow-up question.  If the cesarean birth rate is higher than 30%, your chances are much higher of receiving interventions than if your provider takes a "Wait and see" approach to the birth journey.

3) What do you recommend for natural birth preparation?
 If they have had patients have natural births before and/or if they are in touch with the birth community (childbirth educators, doulas), they may have an idea about what their patients in the past have used to prepare.

If they give you a blank stare...red flag!! They really don't know what the options are...which may lead back to the question, "How many of your patients have had intentional natural births?"

Speaking of red flags, here are the two red flag statements I teach to all our students:

  • We'll let you
  • We'll allow you


Those phrases indicate that your provider has rules about how you are going to birth.  If you fall out of their range of normal, which may or may not be evidence-based, you are going to be forced to birth their way.

I encourage you to find out more about what "their way" means.  If they are going to set time limits or set expectations, do your own research to see if their parameters are evidence-based or practice-based, i.e., "How did you determine that rule for your patients?"  And you can also check the links below for some reliable research sources for evidence-based information about birth.

Ideally, your provider will not set time limits or rules AS LONG AS mom is okay and baby is okay.  As long as both appear to be doing well via monitoring and observation, then birth is probably progressing as it meant to be *for them*.  Each birth is unique.

If, God forbid, your birth has an unexpected variation or complication, you want to be sure that you trust your care provider explicitly.  If they are in a situation where they need to make a life-saving choice for you and/or your baby, you want to know that you are hiring a person that works in alignment with your beliefs and your wishes.

In closing, don't be afraid to trust your instinct.  Find the care provider that makes sense for your family - there are no "do-overs" in birth.  As you prepare to meet your Sweet Pea on their Birth-Day, choose a care provider choice that you trust and that trusts you back.

Links for more reading:
Taking charge of your maternity care 

Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth

Consumer Reports: What to REJECT when you are expecting

Consumer Reports: Your biggest [cesarean birth] risk may be your hospital




Disclaimer: 
The material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 

Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

Birth Plans for Siblings

Posted on February 18, 2016 at 10:59 PM Comments comments (0)
We have the fortunate situation where our alumni ask to come back to take a refresher course when they are preparing for their next children.  

When these couples take a class together, we still follow the same course outline because the material makes sense in a different way now that they have a reference point for what they are learning.

We also add a little section to each class to talk about sibling preparation.  This fall, we are going to devote some of our Tuesday posts to some of the material we are sharing with them "just in case" it may come in handy for some of our readers, too.

The transition from one child to two children was the hardest for us.  We didn't know how the family dynamics were going to go.  Would our oldest feel abandoned when we left for the hospital? Would she feel betrayed when we brought a new child home?  Would we have time for her? And how about the new baby?  Would we be able to bond with them and still meet the needs of our oldest child?

One of the things we did to reassure our oldest and give her some sense of what to expect was to create a visual birth plan for her.  I didn't take a picture of it - who knew I would be teaching sibling preparation some day??  

Two points to consider:
1. What do they need to know to feel secure? The simpler, the better.

2. How can you portray those ideas visually for non-readers?  You could find pictures on the internet, have them make the drawings, cut out pictures from magazines, or use pictures from their birth to illustrate the ideas that are important to your family. 

Here is a rough idea :

Sibling Preparation with Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonMommy and Daddy will work to labor












Sibling Preparation with Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson(People or Person) will bring you to see Mommy and Daddy and meet 
the Baby
















Mommy, Daddy and Baby will come home in a few days













Sibling Preparation with Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonWe will all grow together













If you are ready for more sibling preparation ideas, click HERE.

How did you prepare older children for a sibling's arrival?
Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 
 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonDisclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

 

 

New service: Birth Story Listening

Posted on January 22, 2016 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (0)

I am so excited and honored to share that I am starting to offer Birth Story Listening sessions.

This work allows me to sit with mothers and allow them to share their birth story in a new way.  Maybe a woman has unresolved questions about a previous birth.  Maybe she feels "stuck" in her last birth.  Maybe she is ready to process an aspect of her birth that she doesn't like to think about.

If any of these, or other, scenarios apply to the way that you think (or don't want to think) about a birth journey, then maybe a quiet time to reflect and share is something to consider.

I am offering these sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Modern Mommy Boutique.  I have two starting times available. You can choose from a 6:30 pm or a 7:00 pm start time, allowing me to do one session/evening.

What to expect:
You will receive my full, undivided attention. Due to the nature of this work, please make childcare arrangements for your Sweet Peas. We will spend one-hour together. I will make you some tea. You will share your story with me, and through this work you will unearth a new understanding for you to take home about your birth story.

I have completed the training and have been approved to offer these sessions by Birthing From Within®.  I am asking $40/session for this work. The intention is that after one session you will walk away with a new perspective about your story that will nourish and sustain you as we continue this journey called "life". Very rarely are two sessions needed.

It would be an honor to sit with you and help you discover a new story about your birth journey. Please email, call or text me to reserve your time.

Blessings,
Krystyna
602.684.6567 cell or text



Wordless Wednesday: Cesarean Awareness Month

Posted on April 8, 2015 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (0)
There are no mommy wars on this page.  Every birth is acknowledged, as our tag line is, "Celebrating every Sweet Pea and their birth."  However your child enters the world, it is the day of their birth, as well as the birth of a Mother and Father.  If you need help processing your birth, please email me at krystyna{at}sweetpeabirths{dot}com and I would be happy to send you a resource list.
 
Cesareans:
This Coach still got to cut the cord - you can preserve some elements of your birth plan, even if it plays out differently than you prepared for.


Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC):

SPB students working through VBAC labor

ICAN of Phoenix leader and baby*

ICAN of Phoenix leader, husband and VBAC baby*

We celebrate ALL births at Sweet Pea Births - ALL Birth-Days are the first day of your family's life. That is not to say there is not grief or sorrow for a birth that doesn't go as expected - we hope and pray that with time, glimmers of joy can be gleaned from your birth experience. If you had a cesarean birth, we invite you to find an ICAN support group in your area, and then prepare for a VBAC if that is a choice that works for your family.

Thank you to our students and friends who sent pictures to share today...there is so much to say about cesareans...we'll leave these pictures with you today and share words and thoughts throughout the month.  

*not an SPB student - they took a Birthing From Within Class as part of their VBAC journey


Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonDisclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.



Birth Story: Marathon Labor

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (480)
Christine & BJ Bollier 
Bradley Method© Birth Story

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonOur goal is to prepare families to have a natural birth by teaching a mom and her loving coach to labor together.  The reality is that even with the best preparation, birth is unique, fluid and unpredictable.  Our experience as natural childbirth educators is that even if your birth does not go according to your plan, a comprehensive education like The Bradley Method® will pave the way for you to have your best possible birth with a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.
 
This story is a great example of making your wishes known, persevering through a long labor that stalled (The Bradley Method® calls “the stall”, aka “failure to progress”, a “Natural Alignment Plateau” or "NAP"), and making decisions as the labor progressed for a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby birth experience.  Even with an intervention they did not initially want or anticipate, they were able to have the vaginal, unmedicated birth they had prepared for.
 
One of my favorite quotes from the video is Christine’s statement, “I was tired, but I was never scared, because I knew what to expect.”
 
 Link to video: http://youtu.be/PmlPITHsFio

Here is a quick summary of their labor:  She started with contractions around 15 minutes apart on a Thursday morning.  They went to their doctor’s appointment that afternoon and decided to go home and let their labor progress. On Friday, they were timing contractions throughout the day.  When they got to five minutes apart, they decided to go to the hospital because of the impending blizzard (they live in Payson, AZ).  By the time they were all checked into their room, it was 2:30 am on Saturday.  By Saturday evening at 6:00 pm, they hit a NAP at around 8 cm dilation.  They made the decision to accept an amniotomy (breaking the bag of waters) at 10:00 pm.  Their son was born on Sunday morning at 3:30 am.
 
When the Bollier's time their labor, they call it 36 hours from the contractions that were 6 minute apart  on Friday afternoon to the time when he was born on Sunday morning.  They both stayed awake for the whole of that time, save a few cat naps that happened between contractions when they were both exhausted.  It is good to note that they did sleep on Thursday night when contractions were still in the "putsy-putsy" stage.
 
I am so glad she talks about how she experienced contractions – that’s a big question mark for first-time moms.  Christine says she felt them as rhythmic and internalized them – she says she could have painted you a picture of the contractions.  I love that perspective!
 
HIGHLIGHTS
Birth plan

  • They did their work throughout and after Class 7 when we talk about writing the Birth Plan. 
  • They got great ideas, and then took it to their care provider and asked her, “Is everything realistic on here?”  She went through it line by line and said it was all in-line with what was possible in a hospital setting. 
  • Care provider signed off on plan, put it in file, sent it to hospital to give the staff their a heads up on their desires for their birth. 
  • When it was “go time”, they arrived at hospital with several copies of plan and 3 dozen cookies.
  • Everyone who walked into the room was offered cookies and a birth plan

 
Changing the Plan

  • “Going in, we knew there might be a possibility that things were not going to go to plan.”
  • Came to terms with making an adjustment
  • Once the bag of waters was broken, contractions completely changed and things progressed quickly
  • Christine reasoned with herself, “This isn’t going to be how I planned it, but if I give up one thing, the birth can still happen unmedicated like I want it to”

 
Christine’s Insight:
Q: What did BJ do as a Coach that helped you the most?
A: He kept me from freaking out when it had gone on for so long.  
As she explains, he kept her on track through the exhaustion. BJ kept her calm with reassurance; he also pointed out the progress they had made. 

Loosely paraphrasing: [The hard part] wasn’t the pain – it was the exhaustion.  I knew the pain was purposeful because I was getting a baby.  [Contractions] came in bursts and they were not constant - it wasn’t miserable pain or constant pain from an injury that hurts all the time. Looking back a year later, [a contraction] was such a short period of time.
 
BJ’s nuggets of wisdom
Education & knowledge quell fear – having notes at my fingertips kept me from getting scatterbrained while I was watching (coaching) my wife through labor.
 
Postpartum advice for the husbands: Don’t be proud – just say yes.  Don’t be too proud to accept help – it’s a gift.
 
On the lighter side, you’ll hear the inauguration of the term “The Splash Zone” – now that we know our student’s perception of watching all the birth videos from the first row of chairs, it’s what we call that front line when we show birth videos in class - lol.
 
QUESTIONS FROM THE CLASS:
Q: Were you both awake the whole [36 hours of progressive labor]?
A: Yes…If I had it to do over again – we would rest throughout labor.  You’ll hear it in class that you should rest.  Seriously – REST.  After the baby is born, you are playing catch-up with sleep.
 
Q: What can you tell us about breastfeeding a newborn?
A: Get your hands on reading material, borrow books, have phone numbers of support people you can call, have a good structure around you to encourage, inspire, and inform you.
 
Invest in good bras – wear a tank top with shirt underneath at this age (son is about 11 months old in this video), after the infant stage the nursing cover is not staying on!
 

Did you have a long labor?  What labor management tips would you share with first-time parents?
 Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 
 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonDisclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.


 

Birth Story: Penelope

Posted on January 9, 2015 at 9:12 AM Comments comments (0)
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
It’s birth story day!!  This week I am sharing a birth story from our Fall 2012 class.  In today's video, Courtney is talking about her family's birth journey with our Winter 2012-13 class.  Jake was working, so Courtney shares his words of wisdom for coaches, too.

Here is their backstory: 

  • Courtney was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes via blood glucose test (usually administered between 24 – 28 weeks of pregnancy)
  • High Blood Pressure was measured at office visits from 36 weeks on; whenever she checked her blood pressure at home, it was normal
  • Midwife recommended induction at 38 weeks due to risks of having gestational diabetes (large baby, possible stillbirth) – Courtney negotiated for more office visits, more monitoring, and extra ultrasounds to “buy” two extra weeks of pregnancy


How their birth journey progressed:
  • Courtney and Jake agreed to induction on her due date with prostaglandin gels
  • After about 12 hours at the hospital, the couple was told that labor had not progressed enough so they agreed to an amniotomy (artificial rupture of membranes)
  • Baby was born vaginally with no other interventions at 11:56 pm


In Courtney's own words:

 

Video Highlights:
Note: Looking back, Courtney was so grateful she advocated for a longer pregnancy.  One of the biggest concerns about gestational diabetes is that babies are larger than average.  At birth (40 weeks gestation), their baby weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces and measured 21 inches long.  This is clearly *not* a baby that would be called “large for gestational age” when you consider the average birth weight for a term baby is about 7.5 pounds.

Which labor tools worked for you to manage the intensity?

  • Changing positions and moving around: we the used birth tub, knees on bed and arms draped over back of the bed, side lying position
  • Being surrounded by people who support your choices is probably the most important thing: husband spoke up and asked people who were in the room to leave; midwife was amazing; everyone on staff who walked in the room acknowledged reading and supporting their birth plan
  • Peppermint oil for nausea – helped control the pace of her breathing
  • Unspoken communication with a loving coach – even though it felt silly at the time, the practice in classes and at home paid off because he knew what she wanted with the wave of a hand.

 
What would Jake (husband) say if he were here?

  • Be prepared for everything
  • Expect everything to not go the way you want it
  • Try to predict what she needs so she does not have to say it


Some images from their birth:
 
Courtney & Jake's Birth Journey
Courtney & Jake's Birth Journey
Early labor after induction with prostaglandin gels. They are using the labor position we call "The Prom Dance".
Courtney & Jake's Birth Journey
Using the deep tubs available for laboring at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center
Courtney & Jake's Birth Journey
Courtney & Jake's Birth Journey
Courtney & Jake's Birth Journey
The awe that hits many couples after Sweet Pea arrives...we hope that you are supported in your birth choices so you can feel awed by your birth journey, too.
 
PostScript:
Courtney and her husband Jake were the last couple that enrolled in that class series with a last-minute phone call, “We really need to get into this class!”  You would be hard-pressed to find a birth worker who would say no to them!!  It is so humbling to hear that saying yes to them when we had a full class already made a big difference for their birth. I praise God for His wisdom and His incredible design.

 
What did you learn from your birth journey?
Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 
 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonDisclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

 

Monday Mantra: Gift of Birth

Posted on May 5, 2014 at 2:18 AM Comments comments (0)

A couple of birth stories have really brought to mind a mantra that was so beneficial to Bruss and I when we were laboring with Otter:

"We will give our baby the gift of the birth that she needs."

It was so important to us that we have undisturbed time, free of the pressure of "the clock" for things to happen, free of vaginal exams that have always been difficult for me due to past trauma, and most of all - we wanted to be free of any interventions.

Believe it or not, even though we were birthing at home, there were things our midwives were prepared to offer us to help "speed things up". We asked the two most important evaluation questions, "Is Mom okay? Is Baby okay?"

Once we were assured that we were both laboring beautifully with no signs of distress, we politely declined and kept on the course to birth - no interventions, no exams, no time pressure.

We knew that the best Birth-Day present we could give her was an undisturbed birth.  Although it took a heck of a lot longer than we had anticipated since we were laboring out of the hospital (my labor always slowed when we transferred from our home environment to the planned hospital births), we were happy to give her just that: time, patience and the birth that she needed.

How this mantra applies to your story is going to be unique and individual.  I would love to hear what you did to give your baby the birth that (s)he needed.

What did you do to give your baby the birth that (s)he needed?
Please leave a comment below - it will be moderated and posted.

Want to read Otter's birth story? It's in two parts - startHERE


Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

In Their Own Words: Marshall Family Cesarean Story

Posted on April 11, 2014 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)
Annika and Danial were students in our Spring 2013 class.  As with all of our students, they prepared using The Bradley Method in order to have a natural childbirth.  

Through the course of the class, we have a session on cesarean birth in the event that a student's path of labor has to follow that for a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.  As part of the process to avoid an "unnecesarean" we teach many communication tools throughout the twelve weeks for a couple to use for true informed consent.  We don't perceive a cesarean as a "failure" - we absolutely see that as a successful Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome because we know our students used their positive communication techniques to make the best decision for their family.

What are the circumstances that led to your cesarean birth?
Danial and I were made aware that our son was breech at our 39 week check up with our midwife. We were then advised that we needed to go see an OBGYN at St Joe's to see if an external eversion was an option for us as the chances of Landan turning on his own that late in the pregnancy was very very slim. After being seen by the OBGYN and getting an ultrasound, the decision was made that it would be safe for the Landan and I to undergo an attempt for an external eversion to try and flip Landan head down. We were then admitted to St. Joe's and Dr. Medchill attempted multiple times (at my insistence) to turn Landan externally. After the 5th eversion attempt Dr. Medchill advised us that Landan was not going to flip and that we needed to decide what we wanted to do. At that point in his professional opinion, the chances of Landan flipping naturally were less then 2% as I was 39 1/2 weeks along and there wasn't much room left for him to move. He gave us the option to schedule the C section later that night or we could come back in a week and have a c section. 
 
Were there any questions that you asked of your care provider to inform your decision to have a cesarean birth?
Danial and I were very insistent on knowing the odds of Landan turning on his own and the different risks associated with doing an external eversion. Since we had been planning on having Landan in a birthing center the option of possibly having a c-section really had not entered our minds until then. We were lucky enough to know at what point do we really start to consider the option of having a c section as viable. After attempting an external cephalic version (ECV) 5 times, the focused shifted from really trying to obtain our natural birth to what is going to be the best option for myself and for Landan as well. That's when Danial and I really decided that a c-section was going to be the best and safest option for myself and for Landan as we would not want to deliver Landan naturally as a breech. 
 
What did your intuition tell you about your decision?
My intuition at that point was that after going through the amount of pain that I was going through by doing the versions (ECV), all I wanted was to see and hold my baby and make sure that he was ok. I couldn't imagine what it would have been like for him to have four people trying to rearrange you in such a tiny space. 
 
What stands out about your birth - was there anything you remember clearly about the experience?
 I remember clearly feeling oddly at peace however I don't really think I understood clearly what exactly was going on as I was on such overload from all the eversions. Having a c section is a very odd and very sterile experience but when you are laying there all you can think about is hearing your baby cry and seeing your baby that you don't really notice the other things around you. I will say though my Dr was absolutely wonderful and treated us with such respect in that he really was delicate about the entire experience and he knew that this was not our first choice for a birth. 
Which personal strengths did you bring to the experience?
 
What were your partner's strengths that he brought to the experience?
Danial was very calm and collected about the entire experience which definitely helped me. I feed off his energy and having him there telling me that everything was going to be ok and holding my hand was all the strength I needed to get through the versions (ECV) and then through the c-section. 
 
What would you tell someone who was going to have a cesarean about a cesarean birth? How about the postpartum period?
 C-Sections are scary. Theres no getting around that fact. It is major abdominal surgery and anyone that tells you that it isn't a big deal is LYING straight through their teeth. However, if you do have a c section it isn't the end of the world and your fate for your preceding births isn't sealed. 

You are going to need help during the postpartum period. There is a lot of pain and your movement is very restrictive due to you having stitches so TAKE IT EASY. If your spouse can take a couple more days off work then DO IT. You are absolutely going have to take it easy. Oh and DO NOT FORGET THE STOOL SOFTENERS!!!!!!! 

Do you have any advice to share with current SPB students? If so, what would it be?
The best advice I can give to current students is really listen to the doctors, but also know what questions to ask. If the writing in on the wall that a c-section is the only safe option for both mom and baby then feel confident in your decision. You have to protect the well being of your child and at the same time you help to protect your well being as well. There absolutely is nothing shameful in that. 

A huge thank you to Annika for taking the time to share her cesarean story for our students and readers!

What words of wisdom would you share with a pregnant mama about your cesarean experience?

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonDisclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.




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