Monthly Archives: December 2011

Londyn’s Birth Story

My little boy {OMG I completely tear up at the thought still!} is a week days old. We “celebrated” with a walk around Town Lake enjoying the beautiful fall like weather and soaking up the last day with family. Today means my world was completely turned upside down and transformed into my new “normal”. It means a week ago I experienced one of the most amazing things life has to offer. And it means it’s been a week since our family of 3 {Stew counts} is now a party of 4.

It’s been a whirlwind of Christmas traditions, family stepping in and helping me with everything, and getting used to my new title as mom. And although there are many things that I still need to learn, Londyn’s birth story is something that I will always hold dear and never quite forget because it truly all progresses so naturally, I couldn’t imagine it going any other way.

{this will probably be a long post so bear with me…}

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As I mentioned late {early} wednesday night, I was experiencing some severe lower back pain/labor that I couldn’t quite ignore after a restless evening. By 6am I made Jake call Julia to let her know what was going on. She said she could come over right away if I needed her to or I could try and get a few more hours of rest after another hot bath and glass of wine. I opted the latter because I knew there was nothing she could do if she came over right away and a few more hours of sleep would be a great idea if this was in fact “it”.

To no ones surprise the pain didn’t subside so we called Julia again and she suggested I call the chiropractor to help alleviate the pain. He really helped me a few weeks back when I was sent home from work so i immediately said yes and have him a call. Thankfully it was a week day and he was open early because I got a spot right away.

Jake drove me down there (longest drive ever feeling Every bump along the way!) and the Dr immediately took me in and made some adjustments through some painful contractions. Before he finished I asked him what I could do at home to help the pain. He just said, “have this baby within the next 24 hours”. Then I knew that there really was no turning back and that this was going to be a long day/night.

We called Julia on our way back and she told me to do some cat/cow exercises for the next hour before she came {by this point my contractions were about 10 minutes apart} over. Once I got home I saw that my mom and her boyfriend had started to clean the house and get their things together because they knew I would be having this baby today/tonight. I tried the cat/cow exercise for awhile but that wasn’t doing any good so I asked Jake for another hot bath while we waited.

I was in the tub still when Nina and Julia arrived {how quickly modesty goes out the window when you’re in pain}. They wanted to check my vitals, Baby V’s, and see how long/far apart contractions were. By the time they timed my contractions they were still 10 minutes apart but only 30 seconds long. Hearing the word only 30 seconds made me somewhat fearful of what was to come. If it wasn’t for another contraction I probably would have gotten stuck on that and worried about how much more pain I could handle. They wanted to kick start labor so they had me get out of the tub {not sure I could handle that but I trusted my midwives to guide me in whatever direction this labor needed to go} and head over to the couch to pump and use the heating pad or my back. It felt good to lay on my side and try to relax but after about 30 minutes {?} I was really feeling stronger contractions. Each time Julia saw the contraction coming on she would gently rub my back and sit back down beside me. It was so nice to have that attention. **you might be wondering where Jake was at this point. He was still taking a nap since the night before was not filled with too much of it for either of us and he wanted to be able to support me throughout the labor, especially once I started pushing. We figured {just based on the classes we took and books we read most labors are an average of 12-20 something hours so a nap on his end was much needed}.

She got me up and walking around because that too helps with labor and although I could barely makes it only a few laps around my living room I did manage to see the clock, by mistake. I saw it only said 2pm. Now since I had been feeling pain and contractions since 12 the night before I had to really talk myself out of worrying about the and close my eyes and focus on my breathing. At that moment I asked if I could head into the bath again for my back. They said no bath but a hot shower would be ok.

Thankfully Jake awoke {he said he heard me in pain and couldn’t sleep any longer} so he started the shower and set up a towel so I could do some cat/cow stretches while the hot water was on my back. He did an amazing job reminding me to breath through each contraction especially when I started to doubt that I could really do this at home {transition phase}. I know I wasn’t the nicest lady during this point finding more comfort in my midwife’s assistant, Nina.

Jake came and went to and from the bathroom to check on me as well as check in with the midwives. One of the times he came back he said we could get into the pool but they would have to turn off the shower first. The hot water was the only thing slightly easing my pain but I’ve been talking about having a water birth for so long I knew I needed to say yes and get moving. Once he turned off the shower I asked to go to the bathroom before getting into the pool.

Funny thing is I never made it into the pool. It was something that i thought i totally wanted {and still would have if i could have made it out of the bathroom in time}. I just closed my eyes ad focused on my breathing and the support of Nina {read squeezing her hand and digging my nails into her leg}

I did the majority of the pushing in the bathroom and spent the last 15 minutes in my bedroom giving birth to Londyn at 4:15pm on December 22nd.

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I remember reaching down and checking him out right away wondering if it was a boy or girl- yup a boy alright! **Julia and Nina didn’t announce whether or not it was a boy/girl, we got to discover this ourselves.

I remember seeing Jake’s eyes fill with tears of joy and giving him a kiss because I too was extremely joyful.

We both got to lay down in bed together {cord still attached} and take in this special moment while Julia and Nina cleaned up and let us have our bonding time. Before making their quiet exit Nina showed me how to latch Londyn on and start nursing. I can’t quite describe the range of emotions I felt but extreme happiness and contentment were definitely up there. Sitting with our new little family on our bed doesn’t really get any better. We decided on a name and it’s spelling, almost nervous to commit after all of this time that had passed since we had chosen a name back in the spring time.

Our midwives came back into the room for the afterbirth, weigh and measure Londyn, and start cleaning me up so I could get into an herbal bath. To my surprise he weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces and was 19.5 inches long! Boy oh oh was I carrying around a big basketball.

We called my mom first {who was anxiously awaiting to hear the news!} as well as several other family members to announce Londyn’s birth before settling into the tub for a family bath.

The rest of the evening was filled with lots of cuddling together, pizza dinner in bed {food never tasted so good}, and
listening to our boy coo all night long. A day and night I will truly never forget….

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Things I learned….

1: trust your body, it knows what to do. Once I gave into the experience I could feel the labor move more quickly on it’s own. This wasn’t easy to do but being in tune with my body because of yoga was super important for me.

2: have a support system that you feel 100% comfortable with. My midwives and Jake made my at home experience better than I could have imagined. I knew I was safe and that they would all take care of me.

3: self doubt it part of the process BUT it does pass. Choosing to have a natural birth is something that I think every woman should consider. I feel so powerful and proud to know that I birthed a beautiful baby boy without the use of drugs. **I must recommend an amazing book full of birth stories, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. The book really helped me feel more comfortable win my decision of a home/natural birth as I read stories about other women and what different experiences they had with their birth stories. Excellent read and worth your time if you’re preggers.

4: don’t bother with clocks/progress. This only made me more anxious {and I only saw the clock one time}. my midwives never told me how dilated I was or how much farther I had to go. The monitored this themselves and only asked if I wanted to feel the head. This was something we discussed throughout my pregnancy so Nina, Julia and Jake all knew that this was important to me.

Tree of Life

I wrote this post some time ago but for some reason it didn’t publish. Still wanting to share and not quite done with Londyn’s birth story this will give you something to think about {or not} in the meantime.

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Since we’ve decided to have a home birth we’ve been introduced to a whole world of cloth diapers, questioning on vaccinations, and other alternative ways of parenting/labor. Thankfully the community in Austin is pretty liberal and has been accepting of decisions we’ve made because we know they they are “right” for us.

I wanted to share something that I never knew existed until about a month ago, placenta encapsulation. The placenta is full of iron and other great nutrients that help baby stay nice and healthy throughout your pregnancy. Having a home labor meant that instead of deciding what to pack for our hospital stay we needed to figure out a few other details. One of those details was what we wanted to do with the placenta. Since my midwife cant legally remove it from our home our options were to freeze it and throw it out of trash day, bury it in the yard (apparently it’s a great fertilizer!), or (what we recently learned about) placenta encapsulation. After a few conversations amongst ourselves, a meeting with Hill Country Placentas, and some research on our end we decided to go through with it.

The history (google articles are endless…see the Anderson Cooper videoclip to get a quick ideas) and endless list of benefits is what really got me. I’m only able to take 8 weeks off for maternity leave and was feeling a bit worried about the transition from being a new mom to a new working mom. I know I want to breastfeed for the first year and know that that alone can be affected with the stress of going back to work (let alone the craziness of a teacher that barely allows me to sit down). The placenta increases milk supply so this seemed like a natural way to support that. Although I’m not quite worried about the postpartum depression, I know that baby blues are quite common and again figured a natural way to help this soon to be new mama should be looked at.

I’m curious to see how the capsules will affect me as adjust into my new role as mommy. Surely this yoga-lovin’, veggie eating lady will have some stories to share with y’all. Would you encapsulate your placenta if you knew these “happy pills” would help you?

An Early Xmas Gift

We’re holed up in bed still snuggling under layers of blankets and covers, soaking in these first few days of parenthood. We’ve been peed on, fed, and YouTubed our way through these past 24 hours.

And although I’m tempted to play hostess and finish preparing for the Christmas holiday I remember to take a look down and see the sweetest thing that completely takes my breathe away. Good thing family is in town super excited to meet and care for Londyn and I have the sweetest sleepy husband on the planet.

Happy Merry ….. Everyone!

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This boy is seriously mine? Wowza, feeling like the luckiest lady!

Baby Steps

I definitely didn’t think I’d be writing a blog post a)this early in the morning- why hello 5am! You never looked so good to me and b) after being up nearly all night with contractions that mean business.

Not sure what the rest of the day has in store for me but since we’ve been getting tons of sweet phone calls, texts and emails I figured ya’ll were curious as to whats going on. I’m on my ?? bath of the night, using my heating pad and focusing on my breathing rather than the pain. We’re calling our midwife soon and hoping to catch some more zzz’s in the meantime. Baby steps is all I need to remember at this point….and the fact that all of this work is for a sweet healthy baby.

Extra Clean

I’m on my 4th bath in 2 days, not to mention the shower I’ve taken in between too. Although it has been awfully chilly here, I’ve been holed up in the tub because of some pre labor symptoms.

Yesterday I was sent home from work early because my blood pressure was really high. I was having a great morning (lessons went well, kids were awesome and on task) until about 10am. At that point I started feeling kind of “off”. So I ate something, drank water, and sat down while working with a small group of kids. Luckily the kids go to specials around 10:30 so my coteacher said she would take them and I could just go straight off to our meeting. I let my coach know I wasn’t feeling good and she said I didnt look quite myself either. She suggested I call Jake to let him know just in case I needed to leave or something. Well, about an hour into our meeting (and snacking in between) some of the teachers started getting worried about me because I was still not looking well and was starting to get flushed.

Enter a trip to the nurses office. At this point I knew something wasn’t right and when the nurse took my blood pressure (it was very high, like 138/110) she said I needed to lay down until she took my blood pressure again. Ten minutes later she took it again, and although it was lower it was still higher than normal. Coupled with the fact that I’ve been having lots of cramping and lower back pain, the principal said she wouldn’t let me go back into the classroom for the day and I needed to have someone drive me home. I also called my midwife to let her know and she said it was a good idea that I take the rest of the day off and rest. She also suggested a hot bath, some exercises I’ve been practicing for back labor, and some food.

Jake was tied up until 2 so my principal took me home. Once I got home it really set in that baby was starting to make his/her way and that I probably wouldn’t be making my 25th due date. Listening to her orders, I took a bath, ate and relaxed the rest of the day. Nothing got worse which was great, but I was still cramping and having back pain by the evening so I called my midwife again to let her know how I was feeling. She said to drink a half a half of a glass of wine to ease the muscles, to take the next day off of work to rest, and call her in the morning to let her know how I was feeling.

Happy to report that I slept really well last night (like over 10 hours!) and I’ve just been hanging out on the couch or in the tub. Jake and I will be going to see Julia this afternoon for my weekly checkup too. Not sure what this means from here (although baby has dropped quite low) but it definitely looks like we are well on our way to making our family of 3 (hey my animal son counts!) to 4 quite soon….and I have to admit I’m totally excited and ready! I think Jake might be a bit more nervous than I am but I’m sure those roles will flip flop a lot throughout the labor/birthing process.

Will be keeping families posted once we “officially” are on our way to meet Baby V!