Tag Archives: Labor

Better Late than Never Birth Story #3

Sorry guys… it took me over a year to write my birth story #3. Better late than never! If you haven’t written down your birth stories… I really encourage you to do so. You won’t regret remembering your baby’s birthday even if it’s years later.

Here’s birth story #1 and birth story #2.

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The Pregnancy… skip if you just want the good stuff

The pregnancy with Emily was much harder than the boys because I was sick and nauseous and tired. It was awful at the beginning. Second trimester was great because I had no morning sickness but by third trimester I was nauseous again.

Every afternoon leading up to the delivery, I was nauseous for about three weeks.

I lost my mucus plug at 36 weeks! I really didn’t want to go into labor so I took it “easy” until I was 37 weeks.

Pre-Labor… it gets a little funny but skip if you want!

Thursday – Best Friend’s Bridal Shower

I went in for a check-up. At 38 weeks and 1 day I was at 2 cm 75% effaced and -2 station. The baby wasn’t engaged yet. That night my best friend from high school was having a bridal shower! I felt strongly that I needed to go to her shower down in Provo. I made it there and back without going into labor! I listened to positive affirmations the whole time. Well, it was a good thing I went because the baby was born the morning of her wedding!!!

Friday – Nothing exciting…

Saturday – Neighborhood Pot Sticker Party

I was having regular contractions and nausea. I was making gluten-free pot stickers. I was working so hard that I was sweaty and tired. My brother came over too. Dallin, my husband was in charge of our neighborhood pot sticker party. I stayed home for a while but eventually went to the party. We had a lot of people come and it was fun.

Sunday – The baby disengaged and all labor signs stopped!

Monday to Wednesday – Test Days

Dallin had tests for medical school on Monday and Wednesday. It was really funny because I’m pretty sure the baby engaged on Saturday and I was having regular contractions… Then the baby disengaged on Sunday so Dallin can get through his tests!

And so Labor Begins!!!!

Dallin came home on Wednesday and said “Ok this is the best time to have a baby because my tests are over.” I guess Baby and I took it super seriously because by 7 pm. I was cramping and having contractions lasting about 45 seconds for every 6 minutes.

I stopped timing my contractions and decided to go to bed. Dallin spent until 10:30 pm playing on the computer.

When I woke up at 10:30 pm, my contractions seem to have stopped… but I told Dallin he needed to go to bed. Good thing he listened because I woke up at 1 am with really strong contractions lasting every 4.5 minutes for over a minute (~1 minute 10 seconds)… I thought “Wow… may be this is the real thing.” I got serious. I read scriptures for a while and the contractions wouldn’t stop.

By 2 am the contractions got stronger. I woke up Dallin and called the Midwife at 2:27 am. I was debating whether or not to go in. I told her that I’m already having my husband do counter pressure! I didn’t want to go in and have them tell me I’m not in labor. I asked her if I can take a shower. She pretty much gave me the ultimatum that if I took a shower and the contractions don’t stop that I had to come in because she didn’t want me delivering in the car or elevator.

Dallin and I did a few more contractions together. By now, I was not to be able to talk through contractions. Then Dallin took the initiative that we needed to go in ASAP… so no hot shower for me.

I told Dallin to go over to the Home Teacher’s apartment across the way. Dallin went over there but knocked on the wrong door. Dallin was sleepy apparently! A random guy opened the door and Dallin said… “woops wrong apartment!” and left! The guy closed the door and chained it. You have to remember that this was about 3 am. LOL! It was a funny story… even when I was in labor!

To the hospital!!!

So then Dallin went over to another neighbors apartment. During that time, I probably did a few contractions on my own. I felt in control the whole time. Dallin came back and told me our neighbor was coming. I got ready and went in the car while Dallin waited for our neighbor to come. By now I was listening to my Hypnobabies soundtrack and breathing very hard during my contractions. On the drive there I knew the contractions were actually doing something and I felt like I was dilating.

We got to the LDS Hospital at about 3:30 am and it was the best experience I’ve ever had. It was amazing!!! The staff was amazing!!! We did one contraction in the parking garage leaning on the car. Then we ran and did a contraction in the elevator. Then we got to the maternal newborn floor and rang the bell. They said “Yes?” Dallin said “I have a mom in labor!” We went into the check-in desk and I did another contraction learning on the desk. Dallin pushed on my back. The contraction was over and I could talk to the staff like nothing was going on. They checked me in quick and sent me straight into my room! No triage… No checking if I was in labor… No asking too many questions… They believe me to be in labor?!?!? Awesome… thank goodness!!! (This was very unusual for me!!)

We got into the room and they let me change into my hospital gown. Dallin and I worked through a couple of contractions during that time. The nurses did everything I told them to! They never checked me in between contractions. They were super nice!! I had my super simple birth plan pinned on the board… I made this in between contractions while I was waiting for my neighbor to come over. 🙂

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I got the big birth room I wanted!! It was one with a jacuzzi especially for natural births… not that I had time for that! I asked for a birth ball and birth stool. The nurse even got me and Dallin apple juice!!! Yum!!! This was a way different experience than my birth at the University of Utah or Ireland. It was truly perfect and I felt in control the whole time! They finally checked me and I think I was at dilated to a 6. They got me the birth ball and I did the harder contractions on there.

Finally, my midwife arrive and she knew exactly what I needed! She rubbed my back and squeezed my hips. Then she told the nurse to squeeze my hips while she was looking at my chart. I told my midwife… “I’m ready for you to break my water.” I got on the bed. She attempted to break my water but couldn’t get a good grip. I said “Now we need to wait until the next contraction is over!” So I got off the bed.

I think we did 2 more contractions and I got on the bed again. She successfully broke my water and I felt everything leak out. I got back on the ball and I immediately went through transition! I had 2 really intense transition contractions. The nurse and Dallin were doing great counter pressure the whole time! I breathed through every contraction without falling apart or getting distracted. I just kept saying “Can you guys push a little harder on my back and hips?!?!”… lol. I remember thinking “Ok this is it! It’s transition and it’s the hardest part!!!” My midwife rubbed my back told me it’s almost over.

Pushing!!

Yep… very soon I was like “I want to push!!! Where’s the birth stool?” By now I took off my headphones because I knew the hardest part was over and I didn’t need my relaxation tracks anymore. I was so stubbornly wanting to give birth on a birth stool because that’s how I had it for my second baby… but after about 2 contractions and lots of pushing the baby wasn’t moving. The midwife said that I needed to stand up. The baby was stuck on my pubic bone. So with the last strength I had… Dallin helped me stand up. Then during the next contraction… I squatted down (Dallin behind me holding me up) and the baby came out on the floor on the side of the bed. Don’t worry the midwife got there just in time to help the baby not fall!! I didn’t even pushed… all I did was squat down. LOL! I was lying on the floor by now and I was kinda worried because I didn’t hear the baby cry but she was just fine.

She’s here!!!

Our sweet little baby girl arrived at 4:57 am weighing 7 lbs 0.5 oz. We were only at the hospital for <1.5 hours and the labor was about 4 hours total.

I got on the bed. I don’t remember this part. It’s all a fuzz ball. I don’t even remember them giving me the baby but they probably did. I probably fed her. Good thing I have pictures!! Oh and I didn’t tear… what a miracle! 🙂

Well it was worth it. I was so proud of myself. I never lost control or wanted to give up! Angels were definitely helping me! It was by far my favorite midwife, hospital and birth experience out of my three experiences. It’s all a miracle!!

This was my midwife, Jennifer Jensen, CNM. She now practices at Riverton, Utah. She was honestly the best!!! ❤

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Having a Baby is Not Scary

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I always have friends telling me their fears about giving birth or being pregnant. I had those fears too before I had kids but now I know that having a baby is not scary at all. Having a baby is actually a very spiritual and special experience. It brings so many blessings. I learn so much about the Atonement of Jesus Christ through the process of bearing and delivering a child. I also feel close to God and I feel God’s love for me as I go forth with faith to raise his children. I think every child that is born is a miracle of God but of course it does take work to prepare for such an event. Don’t expect to have a positive birth experience without putting some effort to create it.

I love the scripture in D&C 38:30 that says “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.”

This is the story of the birth of my second child.

I am currently living in Dublin, Ireland and I delivered my second baby at the National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street with a midwife. I had my first baby in SLC, Utah at the University of Utah hospital with physicians/nurses. Both births were amazing but the stories are uniquely different.

As with any other birth story… read this with your own discretions. I tried to keep it PG but don’t read this if you don’t think you can handle it! 🙂

I was 41 weeks and 2 days along! I was 9 days “over due”. My first baby was 2 weeks early, I never thought I would have a July baby… or a fourth of July Baby!

So after 3 weeks and 4 days of prodromal labor. I woke up on July 4th at around 7 am with contractions that I couldn’t ignore anymore. They were coming every 4 minutes and lasting ~1 min I told Dallin, my husband, to press on my lower back during the contractions. These were stronger than they have been but I wasn’t going to declare labor or anything since I’ve had so many false alarms this time around.

I put these contractions to the test. We did our morning routine. I fed Micah, our first child. I read Scriptures. It just happened that I was reading 3 Nephi chapter 1 about the birth of Jesus Christ and I read verse 19:

 And it came to pass that there was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid-day. And it came to pass that the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given.

I thought to myself.. that’s funny. Because before this I’ve been reading all these verses about being patient in afflictions (referring to my previous weeks of prodromal labor). Anyways… I ate a light breakfast and I took a shower. We had family scripture study but we had to stop every 4 minutes so Dallin and press on my lower back to ease the pressure of contractions. Finally, at around 10:00 am I decided that the contractions were probably not going away. So I called the midwifes. I told them I still don’t know for sure but I’m 9 days overdue so I wanted them to check. They weren’t busy so we decided to go to the hospital right away. Angelika, is our friend who has been staying with us the last week or so. It was such a blessing to have a babysitter at the home. We said Goodbye to Micah and walked out the door.

Traffic here in Dublin is pretty congested and it’s mostly one lane road to the hospital. I calmly listened to my Hypnobabies relaxation scripts while squeezing Dallin’s hand during contractions! I was focused and breathing during the contractions. We checked into the hospital around 11:30 am. We got to a room around 11:40 am just to find out that I wasn’t in labor yet. I wasn’t pass the 3 cm mark to be declared as “in labor”. I was still in prodromal labor… ridiculous! The midwife checked the baby on the monitor for about 20 minutes. She allowed me to stand up instead of being in bed which was nice. I hate laying down during contractions. The baby’s heart and movements were fine so she sent me to go walking for an hour. She told me to come back in one hour to be checked again to see if I go into labor. I listened to my relaxation scripts while walking around in the hospital. I stayed focus. I leaned forward against the wall and bent my knees while Dallin did counter pressure up and down my back every time I had a contraction. It only took about 30 minutes until I was groaning and breathing very deeply that disrupted everyone in the hallway. Dallin said I was having contractions 2 mins long and 4 min apart by then.

The midwife (Grace is her name) heard my noises and quickly pulled me back into the room. I told her my contraction isn’t over yet but she made me walk as fast as I could. She just said “Walk fast! This is a second baby. They come fast!” It was 12:30 pm. She knew I was in labor before checking me. During my next contraction, I was 4 cm dilated and she broke my water at the same time. We discussed beforehand that if my water didn’t break that she could break it when my labor officially started. This was my personal decision because my water broke before we went to the hospital with my first baby. Well labor sure went fast after my waters went! I finished dilating in ~20 minutes and I pushed for ~18 minutes. I had the baby by 1:10 pm. Good thing I was at the hospital before I started labor.

Pushing, like with Micah, was my favorite part. I love being in control and push only when I want to push. They had this awesome birthing stool. It is like a toilet seat with legs. I could sit on it while leaning on Dallin. With my first birth, I ended up pushing on a bed for 2+ hours because I was getting leg cramps that made me so I couldn’t stand up anymore. This stool was awesome!!

Grace, the midwife, was such a serious coach. She kept me focus and never let me waste my energy crying or moaning. She said sternly many times “Now May Bo, stay focus!” She helped me to know when to push hard and when to stop pushing so I wouldn’t tear, which  by the way I didn’t tear at all! This was completely different than my last pushing experience! Last time they just told me to push as hard as I could for longer than I wanted and I tore a lot with Micah. The midwife really made me feel empowered as she coached me through pushing. I could feel my kegel muscles working this time and I could feel the baby descending. She made sure my pushing was effective but never forced me to push when I didn’t feel to. I felt in control of the baby and it felt good. I think it helped being on the stool sitting upright. As the baby was crowing she told me to give one last big push. Then as the baby’s head was coming out she told me to stop pushing! I couldn’t believe that she wanted me to stop pushing cause all i wanted to do is push. So she told me to “puff” out breaths but resist to push. His head gently slipped out the rest of the way naturally during the next contraction. I looked down and I saw Quentin’s head with lots and lots of hair! He was all purple. This was a new angle, I couldn’t see anything with Micah while laying down on bed. Again she told me not to push because the shoulders slipped out gently. After the shoulders came out, she told me to bend over and catch him! Bending over was enough for the rest of Quentin to come out. I caught my own baby! The midwife helped me so I didn’t drop him and put him right on me with the umbilical cord still on. Crazy huh?

The minute you hold the baby makes all that waiting, pregnancy, and labor worth it! The rush of adrenaline after birth feels amazing. I would say it’s the equivalent of a “runner’s high” or finishing a marathon. Like I said in the beginning, preparing for the baby’s labor was a really important to me especially to overcome any doubts or fears I had. It was very necessary for me to prepare myself spiritually, temporally, mentally, emotionally and physically everyday. I asked my husband for many priesthood blessings leading up to the delivery. The priesthood blessings along with daily scripture study and prayer gave me the peace and comfort I need to keep going everyday. Of course, somedays are better than others but in the end it’s all worth it. Having a baby is not scary at all! It’s actually really awesome.

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Why I got a Doula

Intro

I’ve been really wanting to write about my recent pregnancy and birth of our baby but really haven’t had time with school. So I thought today… better late than never right? 🙂

Definition

A doula is a labor coach “who is professionally trained to assist a women during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born” [Google Web Definition].

Why a doula?

I was really terrified of childbirth but after talking to a few good friends who had really good birth natural experiences, I prayed about what I should do. After praying about it I felt the desire that I wanted to have a natural childbirth. (Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against epidurals! If you want one then by all means get one! For me, I was really scared to get an epidural because I didn’t want a big needle poked up my spine or to be paralyzed from the waist down. Who knows… may be one day I’ll overcome my fears and get an epidural.) For those who know me, I am a big wimp when it comes to pain. I have zero pain tolerance. Dallin can poke me and I would say “ouch!” So I knew I had a lot of work to do to prepare for a natural labor. I wanted someone to coach Dallin to help me get through labor without an epidural. I wanted someone who knew hospital procedures and protocols. I wanted someone who could massage me and help me relax during labor. I wanted someone who could teach me different positions I could use during labor. I wanted someone to stay there with me during my labor. I wanted a pain-free labor. And guess what?! I got exactly what I wanted with my doula! Here’s a picture of my doula, me, and Micah right after birth.

What about a doctor?

I had a OBGYN (a doctor) and hired a doula on the side. A doctor is the person you go to during your pregnancy to get your check ups. He can write you prescriptions, perform lab work, and make sure you’re in good health. A doctor comes to check up on you when you’re in labor at the hospital and usually comes back at the very end when you about to deliver the baby unless there’s a complication. A doctor performs C-sections and other medical labor procedures. A doctor makes all the medical decisions and facilitates the delivery of the baby. A doula does not cross over the medical side of your pregnancy or labor. A doula is there for support emotionally, physically, and helping you achieve your ideal birth usually with a specific birthing method.

What part did my doula play in my childbirth experience?

After I hired my doula, I was in constant contact with her. I would let her know how my pregnancy is going and ask her for her advice on things I was concerned about. She would help me decide when it was appropriate to call the doctor or help me work out my concerns. My doula came for a pre-labor visit to discuss my birth plan and what I wanted during labor. She answered all my “how will I know I’m in labor?” questions and my questions about “what it is like to deliver a baby in a hospital?”. She also helped me draft my birth plan to give to my doctor.

When I was having contractions (aka. birth waves), I stayed in touch with my doula throughout the day. My baby came faster than we thought! The doula helped me decide when to go to the hospital. My water broke at around 10:30 pm at home. The doula met us at the hospital. When she came, it made the world of difference. She helped me get in comfortable positions. The doula and Dallin gave me pressed on various parts of my body like my lower back and hips to help equalize the pressure of the birthing waves. It felt so good and such a relief. She helped me bounce on a birthing ball to dilate faster and she also helped me with different positions to help me push the baby out. The doula helped me do mother-directed pushing which also felt really good to be in control of the delivery of the baby. She also gave me emotional support and lots of encouragement. She helped me mentally feel like I can do it! It was like running a race and she was there to keep me running! After she helped us get our bags out of the car and took lots of pictures for us which was really nice because Dallin and I were busy looking at our new baby! My doula helped me achieve my natural childbirth and it was sure worth it! Right after the baby came out my body stopped working and it felt normal again. In fact, it felt better than normal because I was on an adrenaline rush at 4:00 am in the morning! I was able to walk, eat, and go to the bathroom by myself. I have to thank my doula for helping me overcome my fears and also one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.

How do you get a doula?

I just searched online and asked for references. You go through an interview process with as many doulas as you want. Interviews are usually free and it allows you to find a doula who fits your needs/personality. It’s definitely worth the time and research to find the one you want.

Doula Referals

Andrea Donaldson Lythgoe – This is the doula who attended my birth. She was very good to work with and is a certified doula. She likes lamaze birth method and teaches natural childbirth classes at St. Marks hospital. She also came to visit me for a postpartum visit.

Kristy Avery Huber – My original doula who helped me during my pregnancy but was not able to attend my birth so she sent Andrea. Kristy was the doula I interviewed with and visited me for my pre-labor visit.

Both are very highly skilled at what they do!

Let me know if you want to talk about childbirth because I could talk about this for hours!