Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Home Birth Story

A Home Birth Story...

My home birth story actually starts with my last birth. My second child. My first birth was the normal US birth. A hospital epidural, pitiocin birth. It went as expected. I had an episiotomy, it was what I wanted. 

My second child, I wanted all the same things. I was hoping for epidural and no pitiocin though. However, everything happened the same way. Except how I was treated. I was treated like I was unimportant, to be got to when they felt like it. I was not in control and I was made aware of it. 

I came away knowing that if I ever gave birth again, it would not be like that. 

Skip ahead, 2 years and I found out I was pregnant again. I knew I did not want to go through the same bad experience as I had last time, however I was not certain about unmedicated. I was taught to believe that I should do that, why go unmedicated, when you can have meds. 

However, I began to research different things. I still was on the path to hospital epidural etc. Then our circumstances changed. We moved to Texas where I knew there was a large unmedicated/home birth network.  Somehow that move made me want an unmedicated home birth. 

I was told about a birth class that I should take. Birth Boot Camp. I took the class online. It was amazing and informative on so many levels. I even began to realize that the class I had taken with my first had geared me for a medicated intervental birth. As I watched each video, I became more certain and more aware that I could do this and I did do it.

My labor story starts weeks before I had my baby girl. I was one of those women that contract for weeks before actually going to into labor. I even had a false start the week before, where the birth team was called in and I labored for nearly 24 hours and STOPPED.  

I continued to contract daily. However, nothing firmed up. Then nesting hit. My desire to clean my house top to bottom was overwhelming. I HAD to do it. I did do it. Everyone kept telling me that I needed rest. I was going to need it. I knew they were right but I could not stop cleaning, arranged etc. 

The next day I felt awful. I was exhausted, grumpy and nauseous all day long. I was so weak, I could barely function. I contracted on and off all day on top of all that. However, they were on and off, some intense and some just there. 

I went to bed earlier than usual because I was so tired. I was woken up around 3am with contractions. I will call them unfriendly. I knew this was it but I was afraid to really KNOW that given how many days and weeks and one false start I had had. So I labored alone for about an hour. I finally woke my husband around 4am. I also started timing them around the same time. 

Around 445 I called my sister who was my coach along with my husband. I asked her to come over. My youngest child kept waking up and I needed someone to take care of her and someone to be with me, because the contractions had gotten bad enough that I needed assistance to get through them. 

I also called in my birth team at this point, because upon reviewing my contraction list, they were 3-4 minutes apart and becoming increasing painful and hard to handle. 

While I waited for everyone to get here, I decided to take a warm bath to help with the contractions. My neck was hurting really bad and I was hoping that the water would help that as well. It did. I stayed in there until everyone arrived. Around that time, I did not want to be in the tub anymore and I wanted my swimsuit on and to labor with help and the birth ball. 

I spent some time laying over the ball, and holding my husbands hands. I began to get really nausous. Each contraction seem to make the nausea worse. My back also started hurting at this point. It was not too bad though, most of the pain was in my neck and lower uterus. 

I finally decided that the ball was at fault for my continuing worsening nausea. I stopped using it and labored on my hands and knees for a few contractions. I was becoming pretty tired at this point and the nausea had not gone away. Finally I threw up. Oh man, I felt better. 

I wanted to lay down then. I laid down and labored on my side and wanted my sister to lay with me. She helped me through contractions and I rested in between. They seemed like they were a little further apart, though a little harder to handle laying down but I was so tired. 

Then my midwife, Mercy, wanted me sit up, because I am sure they were spacing out. I did not want to, but I was ready for this baby, so I sat up. I don't remember exactly what happened after this. 

I know at some point, I began to get real back labor. It was awful, it was so painful and then it got worse. I needed support on my lower uterus and pressure on my back. The pain became so much, that I could not longer make any sound. I had to internalize. I became quieter and quieter. It felt like the pain was unbearable and there was very little break in between contractions. I wanted to stand during contractions but felt I had no ability. My sister or my husband mainly but others also would hold me up during a contraction and sway. When I say hold me up, they literally did. My amazing doula, Megan was also using the reboza scarf to pull in on my uterus and my back as well. 

I was not holding myself at all. I wanted them to hold me up and sway with me. I was saying nothing. I was only breathing, and I think moaning every now and again. I had a chant going on in my head. "God made my body to do this" and " I can do this" I chanted each contraction silently. 

What everyone thought was labor slowing down, was actually transition labor. I was so quiet that no one realized when I was really having a contraction and how bad they were. 

At some point, I believe my midwife wanted me to sit on the toilet to have a few contractions. I did this. I did not want to but I did it. I was a couple of contractions in and I began to feel the desire/need to push. I tried it a couple of times before I even mentioned it to anyone. 

I then told my husband I was ready to push, it was time to get the tub ready. The birth tub. I stayed on the toilet while they got it ready. It did not seem long. I got in the tub. It felt amazing. However, my back labor had gotten so bad, that I began to verbalize on it at this point. 

I pushed a few times in the tub alone. However, my back was hurting so bad with each contraction I could barely focus on pushing. I asked my husband to get in behind me to give me support on my back. ( I probably did not ask but you know) He got in and that helped a lot. I began to get louder and louder with each push. 

Then my midwife told me I had cervical lip and I needed to get on my hands and knees for a few contractions and not to push. I did not want to do this either, but I did it. 
When I finally got back into position with my husband behind me, I had almost no cervical lip.

I began to push in earnest at this point. I started off by holding on to the handles in the tub, but then holding my doula Megan's hand and the student Midwife's Stephanie's hand. I would pull against them with each contraction and each push. 

I was not aware of much except getting this baby out. I was ready for this to be over. However, I could hear my oldest child giggling. It was an amazing little thing that spurred me on. And, with each push I got louder and louder. I was using the power in my voice to give power to my body. 

The ring of fire hit. Oh my gosh. I knew though that this meant, I was close to meeting my precious child. It gave me more strength to continue. I began to really bear down to push, using my voice and my body with everything I had. Her head came out, and one more push and she was out. 

I had given birth to my beautiful unexpected baby girl. I was so happy. I felt so empowered that I had done it at home and unmedicated. 

It was not over for me though. I still had to deliver the placenta. That was another 3 hours. It would not detach. I took various herbs to try to make it. No, nothing worked. My midwife began to mention pitiocin shot. Oh  Heck no. I had done the reading on that shot, I did not want that. 

I actually began to get truly frustrated and losing my focus entirely at this point. I began to cry. My sister came over and told me to focus, repeatedly and it worked. I settled back down. 

Then it was decided to go ahead and put me into a herbal bath with the baby. I was still struggling with the horrible back pain though, and the baby could not stay in long with me. I was in the bath a good while, and still no placenta. My midwife told me we were going to have to take the pitiocin and if that did not work, go to the hospital. 

I did not want either of those. At this point, I prayed. I asked God to intervene and not with pitiocin. I almost immediately began to contract pretty intensely. I beared down with all my might, and gave birth to 3 hour placenta. 

I did it. I had an amazing home birth. I did it all without meds. I also recovered faster than any of my other births. I can say I loved my experience. I understand why women do this. I have never felt so empowered, so strong. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Texas and being Texan

We have moved to another state. A state I grew up in. A state I am proud to be from. I grew up learning about Sam Houston and the Alamo before I learned about George Washington and the United States. That's right people, Texas.

Only in Texas, do you see the state flag waving at the same height as the American flag. The reason, Texas is the only state in the union that was a country before it was a state. I assure you, every Texan knows this. There are so many sayings in Texas basically about all that. 

'You can become an American, but  you gotta be born Texan'. 

'I wasn't born Texan, but I got here as fast as I could'

'I wasn't born in Texas, but my great-whoever died in the Alamo' (Not a saying, but makes not being born Texan far more acceptable, even commendable. It is not your fault you weren't born in Texas if this is true. 

I like it here. I forgot, I guess that being Texan is something that is ingrained in your very being. I no longer even hear accents. My husband says this is because mine is back. I don't hear mine either, which when I was in California I could hear. I wonder how soon it will be before my littles develop an accent too. 

I will admit I do wish things were easier financially here. I hope that my husband finds a better job soon. Life would certainly be easier if that were true. However, that being said. I believe that everything is happening according to God's will. We are in this place because it is the way God wanted it. We are learning and changing each day according to his will. 

That all said. I am glad to be back in Texas. I never knew that I had a 'place' that I felt more at home. I have always been proud to be from Texas, but never realized until I came back that it was home. My husband has a place, Huntington Beach, CA. I also said I don't have a place that makes me feel more at peace, more at home. I guess I did and just did not realize it.

It is Texas simply because I am Texan. 

and... still waiting.

Yes, we are still waiting to meet our newest little O. She is pretty happy it seems where she is. This momma is getting way past ready to go into labor. God certainly knows what he is doing. If the end of pregnancy were more fun, you would worry more about what labor would be like. As it is, a woman is ready and then so. Her thoughts run more like 'Bring it on' than 'oh crap'. 

I am ready to hold my newborn. I am ready to see her beautiful little face. I am ready. I think I might be more than ready. I will admit I do have some desires. I want it to happen here in my home as I planned. I don't want any complications that might move me to a hospital. 

I want my husband, and family here with me. Everyone is in town right now. I really wish it would happen now. I also know though that it will happen in God's timing not my own. However, these are just things I want. 

Yesterday, I walked a lot. At the end of the day, I had pressure everywhere it felt. I thought it might throw me into labor. Yea, it threw me into miserable-ness not labor. I am not sure I will try that one again. 

We are officially 40 weeks 4 days. It is the most I have ever been pregnant. I had the older girls by now. We are creeping towards 41 weeks. I don't know how some women are so pregnant and stay pregnant for 42, 43, 44 weeks. I commend each and every one of you. It is tough being that pregnant.

I am still contracting on and off through-out the day. Some days more than others, some contractions more painful that others. I keep thinking that due to all this, it will be fast but the reality is- it could be just as slow as the others. 

No one knows, only God. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

So.. What is the bottom?

Where do you go when you feel like you have hit bottom? Do you go up? Is it a question of where you go? Or... Is it a question of what you do? Is there an up from the bottom? Is there such a thing as the bottom? 

Sometimes I wonder these things especially in light of our circumstances. I can't say I have ever been in this particular situation. I can't say I recommend it either. It is not a good situation to be certain. I am learning a few things though that I might not have learned otherwise. 

I have come to the conclusion that when you think you have it bad, you don't. There is always someone out there who has it worse, much worse than you do. I am by nature a positive person I like to think. I usually try to see the positive in any given situation, even those that seem hopeless and pointless. 

This situation is made harder by other parties emotions I must admit. I am struggling myself often in dealing with my own set of emotions and struggling to remain strong and positive in this particular case that is our life. However, dealing with another's negative emotions makes it so much harder to keep your own positive outlook. Sometimes it makes it nearly impossible. 

That is not to say that what other parties are feeling are bad or even wrong. Just difficult to keep my own head above water with my emotions when dealing with those other emotions that are not even mine. I am praying that God intervenes and changes these circumstances for the better soon, but the reality is .. this might what God for us now. I hate to say that but sometimes bad situations are exactly where God wants you to be to learn some lesson for you or some other person. 

I lived with a bad man for years, it was awful. It was bad. It was anything but good. I was trapped and hopeless often during those years. I knew not how to get out. However, a time came when walking away was the only option in my head and it is exactly what I did. God provided a way times a trillion. He protected me, he provided for me and he was my strength during that time just as he is now. 

My point is.. without those years of hardship, heartache, hopelessness, fearfulness, anger, disappointment and dread would I be who I am today. The answer you all know .. is of course not. All experiences in your life make you who you are in the long run. 

So.. This experience will color and change who I am. It is my choice how it does that. I choose to let it make me more.. to make me stronger.. more hopeful.. more positive. 

and... Today is the day.. or is it?

Today is my 40 weeks of being pregnant marker. According to the charts today is the day, but really is today the day that our little girl will decide to let us met her? That is the really the question on everyone's mind. When do we get to met her? When does Mommy get to not be hugely pregnant anymore? When do we get to see her face and hear her cry? When do her sister's get to see her beautiful little face? 

Short answer: Only God knows. Well maybe this little one knows. 

I have to admit that I am ready, not just because of the labor fiasco the other day but because being full term is not an easy place to be. Many of you understand what I mean when I say this. However, you exchange it for other uncomfortableness. It is not a great exchange, but you do get to hold a precious little miracle of God in the exchange, so I guess after all it is a great exchange. 

The miracle of life is amazing in how God created it. How you start with two parts of different people and they become one person. How that those two different people create one person that starts so small and grows into something big enough to live outside of momma who sustains him/her for so many months. 

Researchers and PH. D's and various other people through out the years have tried to understand it. They have tried to duplicate it. They have tried to make it seem like less of a miracle than it is. However, the reality is. This particular miracle is God created and only God can sustain it. 

I am proud to be part of it for my 3rd time. I am so happy that I get to met our little miracle very soon. I am proud of my other two little miracles watching Angelina Ballerina right now. I know that God created children so that we might understand his love for us a little bit clearer. The love you feel for your children is unlike anything else you might feel, and God wanted us to have that. 

Thank you Father God for letting me be part of that. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Yep.. and More waiting.

I just don't know where to start with this entry. I guess simply put- I am still pregnant and not in labor. I went into labor on Wednesday morning, finally figured it out by Wednesday afternoon. It went on all day and it even got very intense. I believe I was very close as does my midwife but then it just stopped. 

I cannot truly verbalize or express in proper words how this feels. I felt like I was so close to holding my little baby and everything just stopped. We are two days later and labor has not started back up. The waiting game is to put it succinctly no fun at all. I am ready, I am more than ready but baby girl is clearly not. 

I am certain on one hand it will be soon, it has to be but on the other I want it to be today. I am trying to put my mind in the frame of she will come join us when God is ready for her to.

Soon I am sure I will post that our new little addition has finally joined us. In the meantime, this very pregnant momma. She waits..

Saturday, June 8, 2013


We are in wait mode. Simple statement, yet such a hard place to be. It seems to be a place we have been in so much of our lives. I do know eventually wait mode ends and you just live your life day by day without waiting for something. 

Right now, we are in serious wait mode for labor to begin and this little girl to join us. I am ready to meet her, her sisters and her Daddy are too. I am as ready as I am going to be to handle labor. I have a great support team and I am glad to be able to do this in my home. I am nervous of how painful it will be, but I know God designed my body to do this. 

We are also in wait mode for a better job for Mr. O. He has been looking but so far he has had no luck. I know there is a better job out there for him. It is just a matter of time before he finds it. So.. We exist in wait mode for that. 

I am sure this time in our lives will not last forever, but right now it often feels like it. Things are pretty difficult in the financial sense. I don't even know what will happen when those loans start coming due. I am not sure what will happen with our financial future due to that. I am just as certain that God has a plan and we are only seeing one portion of the braid he is weaving in our lives. 

However, that said. It is not an easy place to be, to live, to hope, to be. 

Friday, June 7, 2013


Being so without money is difficult. We have been in a bad positions before, but this is pretty bad. I don't have gas in the car to do the errands needed and I don't have money to put gas in the car to run the errands needed. 

We don't even have money for food. Dang. That's bad. We are hoping the state aid will kick in soon. I know I sure do. I called WIC and got that moving but right now.. Money is tight. I don't know how we are going to pay the bills that we have. 

I am going to talk to my mother about moving her phone into her own account because it is a constant fight for us to pay the phone bill. She paid the last one. Another one will come due for 300 soon. Where will the money come from. I don't have a bloody clue. 

I try to be positive about the money situation but it is in fact pretty bad. I mean, we aren't homeless and aren't likely to be. So that is a plus. We do have food in the house, not much but food yes... We got some furniture off freecycle that is pretty nice.. that is a plus.. We are about to have a baby and have pretty everything we need to do that... another plus... 

I just have to try not to think of the actual money available cause there is so little of it. I know God has a plan but the season of low money is hard. We have been in this season for a LONG time. This part of it, just seems to be worse. You know how the some seasons get worse as they progress, well that is where we are. We are in Winter, and it is January and snowing really hard on us. Have I mentioned I don't like cold weather.. 

Again, I am sure there is a plan. I am trying to look at God's work like a braid. There are 3 strands. You can only see one at a time. Even though there are two other strands moving. You won't see the plan until the braid weaves together. 

However, this is hard. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Birth Stories and a New Choice

So I have mentioned to ya'll I am planning on a home birth. I have made this decision for several reasons, most of which have to do with my second daughters birth and how I was made to feel. I was thinking I would go into detail of both my children's birth to show what I have learned and what I will do differently.

My oldest child L was conceived with fertility treatments. We had tried to get pregnant for a couple of years and had but had lost the babies. It was hard on me emotionally. We had reached a point where we could not even seem to get pregnant and I was 34, I able to enter the high-risk stage. After talking with my doctor, he said I should have been seeing someone a long time before because of my age. So, I scheduled an appointment with a fertilty doctor. We did all the testing, and they found I had an ovulation issue, and I had a blocked tube on one side. So they unblocked the tube, which was not pleasant and then I was given 5 days of clomid and I was to go in 12 days later, given a shot to prompt ovulation and told when to spend time with my husband. We got pregnant. We stayed pregnant. 

Fast-forward 40 weeks, I had started labor at 39.6 on a Thursday afternoon. I had a doctor appointment the next morning at 10. I labored all night, and went to the doctor appointment. I was effaced 30% and dilated almost 3cm. I was told that I would have this baby tonight. Okay.. Some more fast-forward, 3 days. I was still in labor, with some starts and stops. Finally we went to the hospital because I was worn out. They checked me.. I was 80% effaced and.... almost 3 cm dilated. I broke down and cried. I had labored for days for no progress. I was listed as a failure to progress. I was given two options. Morphine to sleep or an epidural and pitocin. 

I had read about pitocin and how awful it could be, but I was worn out. Exhausted both physically and emotionally and choose the epidural and pitocin route. They had trouble with the IV, oh so not fun, they had trouble with the epidural, oh so not fun. Finally everything is in place. The epidural is working, after an hour or so, maybe less, they start the pitocin. It was probably 4 in the afternoon. I was hooked up to nine kinds of wires, fetal monitors, iv's needles in my back, catather and on my back. I stayed that way. I had L 12 hours later with guided pushing and a one degree episotomy. 

My labor was exactly what I expected and had been taught and American birth story was. I was not disappointed in any way. I had my child, and she was beautiful. 

My second child, V was born in the same manner. It was not as many days because I recognized the signs. I went into the labor with her at 40.1 and had her 2.5 days later. I labored for a long while and did not progress and ended up with an epidural and piticion. However, her story takes a turn. We went to hospital and had a great resident. We were asked do you want a resident or a midwife. We choose the midwife because we felt we would get a more hands on approach and see her more often. WRONG.

I was given the IV, which they struggled with again. I was given the epidural which the wonderful lady who did that was quick and efficient. I was strapped to the bed with wires, and hooked up to all the stuff. No more walking, or eating or anything else as I expected. The nurses came in and check the monitors and sometimes said nothing to me. I had a contraction that was pretty bad, I did not feel it because I was on an epidural. They said they though my water had broken. 

Hours went by. Still on the pitocin and no one checked me to see what my progress was. I wanted to know. I was told that it was likely my water had broken and if they went up there, infection could occur etc. I was told that same sentence so many times you would think I could repeat it verbatim. After about 10 hours of this, I was becoming insistant that I get checked. I had been on pitocin a long time and no one knew how close to birth I was, I could not feel anything so I could not either. I got a new nurse who talked to me like I was an idiot and did not even bother to read my chart before entering my room. She was condensending to me and told me as a first time mother I did not know what I was talking about. I was not a first time mother.  I was not pleased and was still insistant that I get checked. Same speil over and over again. I was finally told I would be checked at a certain time, which was about an hour away. Okay. FINE. 

That time came and went. About 30 minutes later the same nurse comes in and I asked if I am going to be checked. Yep, you guessed it.. Same spiel. I was becoming irate. I have been laboring on pitocin for nearly 11 hours and we don't know where I am at. I was becoming insistant. Finally they said. So.. you want to be checked. Umm yes. Oh okay. The midwife finally came in, the first time I have seen her. She says the same spiel. I said I want to know what is going on. She tells me they have this special paper and they can check to see if my water has broke.. I thought my head was going to spin around, hours of arguing and there is a paper.. Okay let's use that. So she gets up and walks across the room, my room and opens a cupboard and pull out said paper. I do believe my head did spin at that point. 

They check. WATER NOT BROKEN. Leaking so she breaks the bag. I am fully dilated. Hmm wonder how long I sat like that. She said baby not in right station, I will labor another 2 to 3 hours like that. I don't know any better so I say okay. She starts leaving the room, and I get sick. I start throwing up and V starts coming out!!!! How could she be coming out if she was not in the right station. HMPT.. 
The bed does not get broken down, I have baby girl in 4 pushes. 

What I found to be tramatic is how much I had to fight to get my wishes met. I felt out of control and unimportant in my own labor. I was told stuff that was untrue, and was clearly a number on a chart. I was a schedule to get to, when they decided. I came away, unhappy with my birth. I was happy to met my girl, but felt her birth could have been so much more. 

This time, I decided no hospital birth. I won't say I decided that right away. Where I lived there was no natural birth network. It was likely to be a hospital birth, but I had pretty much decided it would be a natural birth. Then we moved, and then we moved again. 

The second move put me in a position to have a home birth with a certified nurse midwife. I am planning on a non-intervental un-medicated birth. I want to experience it. I want it to be MY experience. I want it to happen the way it is supposed to. I have learned so much about birth since I made this choice. Why, it is the best way. It is not the American way anymore but it is still the best way. Women heal faster this way, believe it or not. It is proceduralized. You are not a number on a chart. You are you. Your baby is your baby. 

I have been taking natural birthing classes and have learned so much. I learned that my very first birth class with my oldest was definitely geared towards a medicated birth because I was given no tools to deal with the pain of childbirth. This time I had tons of tools. I won't say I am not nervous, but I will say I feel empowered in my choice. 

Baby Girl is due in two weeks, so I will be posting my experience to you soon. I will let you know if I made the right choice. I believe I have.