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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

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VBAC Preparation: Ask the Midwife

Posted on April 29, 2015 at 7:16 PM Comments comments (0)
Our posts for Cesarean Awareness Month continue.  With their permission, I am sharing notes today that I took at an ICAN meeting presented by some Phoenix-area midwives in 2012.  

The main presenters and most of what you see below are the paraphrased words of Diane Ortega, CNM and Belinda Hodder, CNM.  They are midwives at Valley Women for Women, whose overall cesarean rate in 2014 was 7% in the midwife practice.*

Also in attendance and adding commentary to some of the answers was another CNM in the area.  While all three midwives believe in and support the natural process, all of these women have had a cesarean themselves.  It seems to me that it lends them an extra dose of vestment in their patient’s goals for a vaginal birth after cesarean.

The format of this meeting was question and answer.  Below is a paraphrase of the midwives’ answers to the questions posed by the women in attendance at the ICAN meeting on October 24, 2012 in Tempe, AZ.

There is not a lot of opinion offered here.  It was a presentation of information so that a woman considering a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) could consider the information as she prepared for her next birth journey.   

This information is offered a starting point for the previous cesarean birth woman to do her own research so that she could make the decision that is right for her unique situation.

VBAC Planning and Preparation
Q: What are the best methods to prepare for a VBAC?
A:
  There are several things you can do to prepare:
  • Use midwives so you can have the one-to-one model of care.
  • Stay at home until you are in established labor.
  • Be supported
  • Set yourself a mini-goal: what are my absolutes even if the VBAC doesn’t go as planned?
  • Take a good childbirth education course
  • Pain is associated with death, dying and injury.  You have to redirect that fear to the understanding that this pain, labor pain, is going to lead to life.  


Q: What can I do to prepare my body for a VBAC?
A: There are a few things you can do
  • Be physically fit – strengthen your body.
  • Eat well – eat foods that promote skin integrity and scar integrity (i.e., foods high in Vitamin C have collagen that is essential for building strong, stretchy tissues)
  • Be mobile – do everything you can to stay active to get baby in a good position for labor.

Q: Will the type of sutures I have determine whether or not I can have a VBAC?
A: Whether an obstetrician will do a single-layer or a double-layer of sutures depending on how they are trained, and sometimes it depends on what the uterus looks like.  As long as you have a low, transverse scar, or the status of your scar is “unknown” than you can have what is called a “trail of labor”.  If you have a vertical scar, the standard is to have a repeat cesarean.

Uterine Rupture
Q: Will my chance for a uterine rupture increase with the length of labor?
A:
There is no evidence in the research that supports that.  (At this point, ICAN leader Stephanie Stanley mentioned that a uterine rupture can happen at any time, with or without a previous cesarean –
HERE is her research on that topic).

Q: What are signs of uterine rupture? 
A:  Pain that doesn’t go away after the contraction is over, and a decrease in the baby’s movement an/or heart rate.

Q: How long does it take to heal from a uterine rupture?
A:
  Like a cesarean; maybe there will be a little more bleeding.

Going Past 40 Weeks
Q: What is the concern about going postdate?
A:
  ACOG guidelines are that babies should be born by 42 weeks gestation.  While the literature does not show an increase of risk for uterine rupture, it does indicate that a baby does not tolerate a labor as well after 42 weeks.  There are more issues with meconium, the umbilical cord and the placenta after the 42-week mark.  You could find a care provider that is willing to let you go past 41 weeks as long as you are having ultra-sounds and non-stress tests done.

Q:  What is the policy for induction if a mother wants a trial of labor after multiple cesareans?
A:
  That usually depends on the personal beliefs of your doctor(s).  The use of prostaglandins or Cytotec is not indicated.  In reality, there are no guidelines, only protocols to consider and to follow.

Q: How do I know if I am really “past” my estimated due date?
A: 
The ultrasound at 9-10 weeks is considered to be the most accurate predictor of your estimated due date.  If you know the history of your menstrual cycle (menses), or if you used an ovulation kit, you might have another data point for establishing your conception date, and thereby having another way to estimate your due date.

Q: What are strategies for inducing labor for a VBAC mom?
A:
  Things that are done in office and then allow you to go home and labor there: a foley bulb (aka foley ball)  or a stripping of the membranes.  In the hospital and you stay at the hospital: foley ball, artificial rupture of membranes, and in some cases, you could use Pitocin.

About Labor
Q: What is the most common reason for a repeat cesarean after a trial of labor?
A:
  A slow progress of labor with no real signposts that labor is going to progress.  Keep in mind that if you come to the hospital early in labor, you start chipping away at your chances for a VBAC.

Q: Why do I have to be continually monitored? 
A:  Our hands are tied by hospital policy – any VBAC patient has to have continuous electronic fetal monitoring.  We work in a community that is frightened of litigation.  
    On the upside, if everyone looking in from the outside can “see” that mom and baby are doing fine, this can buy you more time. 
There are options in monitoring.  There are waterproof monitors that can be used in water during labor, and there are also some hospitals that use wireless monitors.  HERE is a great visual on all the different positions you can labor in even if you are continuously monitored.
    In reality, the amount of monitoring is specific to the hospital.  You have to decide how you feel about going Against Medical Advice (AMA) if you feel strongly about not having a continuous monitor.

Q: What are your thoughts on an epidural?
A:  You want to try to get into labor on your own at the beginning since epidurals tend to slow your labor down.  When we say “get into labor” we mean dilation to at least a 6 with a good, established pattern of contractions.  Pain is one of the indicators that can tell you something is going wrong right away.  If a mom has an epidural, bradycardia (slow heart rate) in the baby is the only indicator we have that things are not staying low risk.  The use of Pitocin to augment a slowed labor can also increase your chance of uterine rupture.

Q:  How long can I go with ruptured membranes (broken bag of waters)?
A:  If you are GBS negative, you could wait up to 24 hours before coming in.  If you are GBS positive, then we evaluate that on a case-by-case basis. 
(Krystyna’s note: the presence of GBS at the time of labor raises the concern for mom/and or baby to develop an infection during labor since the bag of waters in no longer intact and able to provide a barrier against infection.)

Q: What are ways to prevent tearing during the pushing phase?
A:  Eat well – a good diet packed with fruits and vegetables.  There is no evidence that shows that perineal massage will prevent tearing.  You could avoid tearing by tuning into the natural “safety mechanism” known as the “Ring of Fire”.  By tuning into your body, you will slowly ease the baby out.  This is another reason to consider going the natural route: you don’t feel the ring of fire when you have an epidural.

In closing, here are their "Words of Wisdom": 
CARE PROVIDER
  • Take care in choosing your provider – do you trust them?  Do they follow evidence-based care?  Do their cesarean numbers bear that out?
  • By picking your care provider carefully, you can ensure that you hire a person that truly supports your desire to VBAC and will give you the time to labor as long as mom and baby are doing well. 
  • Choose a care provider with whom you can have an open dialogue.
  • If your instincts are telling you that you are with the wrong provider, then change.
  • Not only do you need to find out how your care provider feels about VBAC, you need to find out how their back-up doctor or other care providers in the practice feel about VBAC.  You do not want to do everything possible to prepare an then show up at your birthplace and realize that you won’t be able to have the birth you have prepared for.

WHAT IF…
If your VBAC doesn’t work out, be easy on yourself. 
  • Ease that path by writing a cesarean birth plan – what do you want to do differently this time
  • As long as things are not critical, you can opt for a “natural cesarean”, where some of the principles of natural birth can be honored.
(Krystyna’s note:HERE is a family-centered cesarean on film.  What is a little startling about this is that one of the references is dated 2008!  At least we are doing our part to bring awareness to this option.)

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
  • If you feel inside that you can do it, then give it a go!
  • Have faith in yourself

*Rate for one baby, head down, for patients who wanted to have a vaginal birth was 7% in 2014. This marks the third year they have collected data and the rate has remained 8 % or below whilst their overall number of patients rises each year. 


What did you do to prepare for your VBAC/CBAC journey?  What did you learn that you are willing to share?
Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted.  *I think* that the amount of traffic you so generously generate has led to a lot of spam posting.  In an effort to keep the spam to a minimum, I am taking the time to moderate comments now.


Link List
Visual reference of labor positions during EFM
http://www.icanofatlanta.com/?page_id=159

The Family-Centered Cesarean
http://blog.ican-online.org/2012/04/14/the-family-centered-cesarean/   

Video: The Family-Centered Cesarean
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5RIcaK98Yg


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®.



Birth Story: Marathon Labor

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)
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 News

Posted on January 10, 2014 at 6:31 PM Comments comments (0)
Happy New Year!!  Wishing all of our readers many blessings as you welcome the new year.  I trust your holidays were wonderful and that you are looking forward to all the promise of a fresh slate.

These are probably going to keep being evening editions - thank you for your patience as we ramp up posting again in the New Year.  I am really placing a high value on being Peaceful Mama for my kiddos, which means that being on the computer is taking a back seat to homeschooling and teaching classes this season.  

I will be back in full swing soon - until then, please do not hesitate to contact me via email (krystyna{at}sweetpeabirths{dot}com) if you have any pressing questions about pregnancy, natural birth or breastfeeding!

Birth News
 
FERTILITY
NOTE: Please read this with a grain of salt - we have had students have beautiful, term babies even though they used IVF to attain pregnancy.  Simply shared as a tool for discussion with your care providers as you weigh the benefits and the risks.

IVF Pregnancies Are More Likely To Result In Stillbirth, Preterm Birth, Low Birthweight, Or Neonatal Death

Couples struggling with infertility often turn to assisted reproductive therapy in an effort to start the family of their dreams. A study out of the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Institute found that pregnancies conceived with assistance such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) are more likely to end in stillbirth, preterm birth, low birth weight, or neonatal death, compared with natural pregnancies.

"More research is now urgently needed into longer term follow-up of those who have experienced comprehensive perinatal disadvantage," said lead researcher Professor Michael Davies from the University of Adelaide's Robinson Institute. "Our studies also need to be expanded to include more recent years of treatment, as the technology has been undergoing continual innovation, which may influence the associated risks."

Medical Daily http://bit.ly/19V24Sc

PREGNANCY
NOTE:I am by no means suggesting that you *should* go get a flu shot – again, I am simply offering this as information to discuss with your care provider.  See what Dr. Sears has to say about the flu shot during pregnancy HERE and HERE 

Flu shots in pregnancy protect babies from being born too soon, Canadian studies show

Pregnant women who are vaccinated against the flu are significantly less likely to deliver premature or low-birth-weight babies compared to unvaccinated expectant mothers, new Canadian research finds.

Based on more than 12,000 women in Nova Scotia who gave birth in the immediate aftermath of the H1N1 flu pandemic, the study adds to mounting evidence that the flu can have “really detrimental effects for both mothers and their babies,” said first author Alexandra Legge, a fourth-year medical student at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Ottowa Citizen http://bit.ly/1gqKeoL


BIRTH
Premature 'Water Breaking' During Pregnancy Linked to Bacteria

High levels of bacteria are associated with water breaking 
prematurely in pregnant women, a new study indicates.

Researchers arrived at their findings by analyzing samples of amniotic sacs (fetal membranes) from 48 women after they gave birth. The report is published in the Jan. 8 online issue of the journal PLoS One.

Nearly one-third of early deliveries are associated with premature rupture of fetal membranes, and it's important to learn more about why this happens, the researchers noted.

WebMD http://bit.ly/1d31rF3

POSTPARTUM

Is Placenta Encapsulation the Answer to Postpartum Depression?

It's a sad reality that a lot of moms are familiar with postpartum depression. For anyone that has suffered from this type of clinical depression, you know the impact it can have on both the lives of the individual suffering, and those around her. There have been studies upon studies to find a way to eradicate the symptoms; some have been proven helpful and others not so much. But what if you knew of something that could eradicate all the above? Something so simple, natural and readily available. Would you give it a try? What if that particular “something” just happened to be encapsulating your placenta and eating it? Ew. But what if it really worked?

Not only does it work, but it does much more than combat the “baby blues.” January Jones, Kim Kardashian, Tia Mowry-Hardrict and Tamara Mowry-Housely all rave about their experiences with encapsulation. Before you allow your stomach to churn, put down your lunch for a few moments and take a few moments to learn more about placenta encapsulation and postpartum depression.

Mommy Noire http://bit.ly/1gqI3By

BABY

New causes of diabetes in babies discovered

Scientists have found two new genetic causes of neonatal diabetes - a form of diabetes that occurs in the first 6 months of life. 

The research by the University of Exeter Medical School provides further insights on how the insulin-producing beta cells are formed in the pancreas. 

The team discovered that mutations in two specific genes which are important for development of the pancreas can cause the disease. 

Business Standard http://bit.ly/1a3eaX5

'Kangaroo Care' May Have Lasting Benefits for Human Babies 
 
At age 10, the children who had received maternal contact as infants slept better, showed better hormonal response to stress, had a more mature functioning of their nervous system and displayed better thinking skills.

LiveScience http://bit.ly/1gpnkyc

Preemies who cry a lot may have problems later on

Premature babies who cry a lot may be more likely than other preemies to have behaviour problems by the time they reach preschool, a new study suggests.

Experts said the reasons for the finding are not certain, and no one knows whether "interventions" to soothe preemies' crying would ward off behaviour issues later.

"In many ways, this study raises more questions than it answers," said Dr Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioural paediatrics at Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Centre in New Hyde Park, New York.

Health24 http://bit.ly/1iWKgZG

Doctors report uptick in number of babies with RSV, a respiratory virus, this flu season

For older children and adults, RSV is usually like a cold. Since there isn't a good vaccine against it, Dr. Starke says parents of babies should act fast if their baby has trouble breathing.

"You notice their chest going in and out, they're breathing rapidly, those kids need to be seen right away," he said.

Dr. Starke says there's no treatment for RSV, so parents may want to be extra cautious about taking their babies out in public during this RSV epidemic.

abc13.com http://bit.ly/1gqJ8cC

BREASTFEEDING
Study Links Breastfeeding to Lower Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The latest study documented in the journal Rheumatology, was conducted on more than 7,000 older Chinese women. It revealed that breastfeeding was strongly related to a reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Mothers who breastfed, their risk of rheumatoid arthritis came down by almost half compared to those who never breastfed.

There were studies conducted prior to this that focused on the association between breastfeeding and RA, but the results produced were mixed.  It is a well known fact that breastfeeding benefits infants. But there has been growing evidence that breastfeeding has a positive impact on the health of the mothers too. This latest cross sectional study examined the association between breastfeeding and RA and also on the intake of oral contraceptives.

Science World Report http://bit.ly/1iWMTKQ


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®.




Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

A New Chapter: Meet Cassandra

Posted on March 5, 2013 at 8:48 AM Comments comments (1)
Bruss and I would like to welcome Cassandra to the Sweet Pea Births Family.  She will be a regular contributor to the blog and you will start seeing her around the internet on our other social media platforms.  I am looking forward to sharing her areas of expertise with our students and readers.  Bienvenidos, Cassandra! ~KRB
 

Hi, I am Cassandra Okamoto and I am a new contributing writer here at Sweet Pea Births! I thought I would tell you all a little bit about myself & then share my birth story, which just happened to take place almost exactly one year ago.   

I am wife to my wonderful husband, Eric, of four years, and mother to our one-year-old son. I quit my career in telecommunications finance at 34 weeks pregnant and have stayed home ever since. SAHM, wife, mother, all roles I am still struggling to understand, identify, navigate, and balance a year later.   

In 2009 I began a whirlwind adventure into all things nutrition, holistic healing, natural living, conscious consumerism, and sustainability, not only for our earth but also for us! This led me to obtaining a certificate in Holistic Nutrition from the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in 2010 and exploring the world of healthy pregnancy and natural home birth before becoming pregnant in 2011. Now my days are filled with post partum/nursing nutrition, toddler nutrition, gentle parenting, and being the best facilitator to my son as he explores the world.   

My pregnancy was filled with tons of herbs/herbal tea, chiropractic care, yoga, massages, nutritious food, walking, weight training (until my due date!).  Everything progressed very normally.

At 43 weeks 4 days (according to the date *I* believed my baby was conceived), I woke up around 9:00 am and while laying in bed felt some slight cramps that were coming and going about every 5/6 minutes. I had no signs of labor up until this point and I knew this could last for days or even weeks so I just relaxed, read, and then got ready for the day. My husband was taking me on an afternoon date to see The Lorax!    

While I was getting ready they were coming a little stronger and by the time I met my husband at 1:00 pm, I was stopping for a breath at each one. I LOVED the movie but about an hour into it I just couldn't get comfortable during the contractions and I asked if we could leave so I could lie down (I still haven't seen the end of that movie!).   

We got home about 4:00 pm and I tried laying on the couch while my husband changed our bed sheets and made me something to eat.  That wasn't very comfortable and I settled in on the floor.

Around 5:45 pm I called our doula. I knew it could still be a very long time and didn’t want her to come prematurely but wanted to give her a heads up so she could plan her night. She was on her way to teach a birth class which was from 6:30-8:30 pm and I told her to just come after! She had to run home and get her things and said it would probably take about an hour and I figured I could definitely go on like this for three more hours and 9:30 pm would be perfect. 

The bed was now ready so I got in, surrounded myself with pillows and tried to rest, but they were really coming now. I also had to get up and pee a lot, which was no fun. I felt the best lying down, I needed to be supported and just try and sink into the bed when a contraction would come. I tried the birth ball for one and I just felt so unstable without the support of the bed and pillows all around me. I would have some on the toilet though and would brace myself against the door; the support of the door and the toilet beneath was good too.

Around 6:45 pm they were more intense and hard for me so I started moaning through them, it actually really helped. I decided I needed to call our doula back and have her come now. I also called our midwife then to give her the heads up as I was definitely feeling this was the real thing and hoping to have my baby with us sometime the next morning.    

Our doula arrived around 8:00 pm, and I was so happy to see her. I was still in bed, surrounded by pillows and not opening my eyes – just moaning through each contraction. She set up the birth tub and it was super noisy but I didn’t mind at all, during my contractions I was in my own world and although I would still have my eyes closed between contractions I could still hear and understand everything going on around me.

I am not sure what time it was when the first batch of hot water was in the tub but that is when I got in, it wasn’t very deep but it was actually perfect. The water felt good. I got on my knees and laid over the side with my arms outside, I began to lose it a little in the pool. The contractions were so strong and honestly I wish I could describe how they felt but I can’t, I couldn’t really explain to my husband right after and by now I can’t remember as vividly. They were HARD though, I got really scared that this was going to go on for hours and hours and hours and I knew I wouldn’t be able to last that long. 

I kept asking my doula if she thought I had a lot longer left and she just kept telling me to focus on each contraction and not think about anything except that one. She held my hands and repeated “think about being soft and open in front of your baby” during the contractions and I did. I spread my legs out wide during each and thought about my cervix as butter melting away. Between contractions all I wanted to do was rest, I just wanted to lie down. I started sitting back in the tub during the breaks just to try and find some relief, even though it was more work to get back up as soon as I felt another contraction coming.

During this time I had a non-stop feeling that I had to pee. I would get out of the tub and go to the toilet but during contractions it started feeling so much better if I pushed like I was peeing. Our doula put a chux pad outside of the pool and I spent a couple contractions coming back from the bathroom leaning on the outside of the pool and pee would dribble out each time. She said a little bit of pee in the pool was fine and I was SO happy because it seriously felt so much better when I could do that during the contractions.

Somewhere in here I was asked if I wanted the student midwives to come hang out in the other room but I said no, surprisingly (for my worrisome nature) I didn’t feel like anything was wrong and the only thing I was worried about was that labor was going to go on forever and I wouldn’t be able to make it through.

I started feeling some spasms on the right side of my belly during three contractions and then at 9:55 pm my water broke! It was the wildest feeling ever, I really had NO idea what it was – it felt like a big gush and then bubbles coming out. I don’t know if I made a weird face or something but my doula immediately asked if my water broke and then I knew what it was!

The very next contraction was a pushing contraction – it was the craziest thing I have ever felt. It was like my stomach was literally ejecting my baby out. It would happen about three times each contraction. It wasn’t as “painful” as the other contractions but VERY overwhelming and honestly scary to me because it was SO strong and so involuntary – my body was doing it all without me and it was nuts! I don’t think I actually pushed with the contractions for awhile, I didn’t feel like I was doing anything – it felt like my body all on it’s own. My doula told me to reach down and see if I could feel my baby and I could! His head was about half a finger inside.

After a few contractions his head was closer, and then I would feel it come down and go back up. It then started coming down and staying down, but during the break between contractions would go back up.   

My husband replaced my doula in front of me holding my hands during these contractions while she went behind me and put counter pressure on my back. It felt amazing, I didn’t really feel that much pressure in my back/bum and I think it was because she was doing that. The beginning of a couple came without her ready and they were SO MUCH WORSE.

Our midwives arrived around 10:40 pm. They checked my baby’s heart rate and it sounded good and I was relieved. I hadn’t felt any movement from him and a couple of times it crossed my mind that maybe he wasn’t ok or alive (I know that is awful but it was in my thoughts). Pretty soon I started feeling burning on the inside, then a couple more contractions later and I was feeling a terrible burning on the outside – I could reach down and feel my son’s head RIGHT there.

I had felt something slimy sticking out of me earlier and my doula had checked me with a flashlight and mirror and saw that it was just part of my bag of waters. Our midwife noticed the same thing at this point and wanted to make sure she knew what it was, she couldn’t get a good look with the flashlight so she told me I needed to stand up. I thought there was no possible way in the world that I could stand up even if I tried but somehow everyone helped me up, a contraction hit and my baby just shot/tumbled/fell right out, it was 11:20pm on March 7th, 2012.   

March 7, 2011
March 7, 2011
My husband & I admiring baby immediately after his arrival
Later this week I will be sharing Part 2 so watch for it on Friday! In the mean time I would love to hear from you in the comments: where did you birth your baby(ies)? Was it what you expected or planned, why or why not?    
 
Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted.  *I think* that the amount of traffic you so generously generate has led to a lot of spam posting.  In an effort to keep the spam to a minimum, I am taking the time to moderate comments now. ~KRB    

Disclaimer:  
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson 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®.    

Rupture of Membranes

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 5:06 PM Comments comments (0)
Today’s post is going to be short and sweet.  We had a great question come up in class on Friday night.  Since we are not medical professionals, I am going to remind you that my Bradley™ teacher hat requires me to say that you are in charge of doing your own research and drawing your own conclusions.
 
The set up:  We were reviewing information from the previous class on vaginal exams, and reminding students that *anything* going upstream once the membranes have ruptured has the potential to introduce infection.  We were also reviewing what the pros and cons were to having an amniotomy (artificial rupture of membranes) performed.
 
The question: How long is too long to have your membranes ruptured? 
 
The answer:  Our answer was to remind our students that once the membranes rupture, care providers do not want patients putting anything in the vagina and discourage augmenting labor with intercourse (what!?). 
 
In addition, we have the privilege of having a pediatrician in attendance in our classes (she is going to be the assistant coach for one of our students), and I was happy to have her input.  She said that there are several studies that cite 48 hours as the time when the risk of infection rises.
 
So I set out to find these studies and I did not find them.  I did find that the medical term for one of the infections is chorioamnionitis, and this has been tied to risk associated with the number of vaginal exams in labor:
 
"Chorioamnionitis is an inflammation of the fetal membranes (amnion and chorion) due to a bacterial infection. It typically results from bacteria ascending into the uterus from the vagina and is most often associated with prolonged labor.  The risk of developing chorioamnionitis increases with each vaginal examination that is performed in the final month of pregnancy, including during labor."
 From Wikipedia

Here is a link that explains the risk of infection and the signs to look for that might indicate that the mother is developing an infection:
 
 
Here some additional links that you might also like to review:


 
 
In conclusion, we want all of our students and readers to remember that it is up to them to educate themselves – what are the benefits and risks to any of the procedures or protocols of pregnancy, labor and birth?  It is up to you to read up on the variations and complications of labor.  Once you are informed, then you can decide what course of action you may want to take in regards to your own situation and use that as a starting point for discussion with your care provider.

 
Disclaimer: 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonThe 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®.