This is probably the most intense and beautiful birth video I have ever watched. It shows sounds being used so beautifully and effectively in labor. I think if you want to be truly moved by the power of birth this is a must watch! The details of this singing teacher giving birth can be found here- http://www.naitreenchantes.com/Naitre_Enchantes/Historique.html and the actual video alone can be viewed by clicking on the link below.
I recently had a birth at a satellite hospital in North Forsyth. It was my first birth here. I had hoped it would be a great facility that supported natural birth since some of the doulas with my company have had good births here. The mom had vacillated about moving to a different facility but due to insurance reasons, made the decision to stay the course. She took a childbirth class with friends of mine and felt really prepared. We had discussed being prepared to have to stand firm in some areas if she wanted the birth she desired.
She started out with on again off again type contractions that had started Sunday and continued into Monday. She had had an exam in the office on Friday. (Vaginal exam 3- she had had two prior to this appointment) Often times labor gets a kick start by having an exam. But sometimes the exam causes a start that is not quite ready to get going and thus leads to an on again off again irritated uterus. The mom had knowledge of the risks.
I was in touch with them on and off. I met them at the hospital early on Tuesday morning. She was concerned that she was not yet in active labor. And then we met our nurse, Tammy. She came in and announced we were lucky since she was not only a nurse but a previous midwife. She then told my client that if she was wondering if she was in active labor, she most certainly was not. BOMB!
I started having contractions around 9:00 in the morning on December 10, 2012. The contractions were stronger than the usual Braxton-hicks I’d been having, and they were more frequent. They were as consistent as my contractions usually get, and over the course of the morning they were getting closer together at times. However, with my two previous birth experiences my contractions didn’t get consistent and/or regular until the very end of the labors; so with this being my third, I didn’t know what to expect or how quickly it would go.
I decided to call Teresa, our doula, after we ate lunch at about 12:30 pm. At this point I was exactly 37 weeks pregnant, so it was early which made me question whether or not this was the real thing. I talked to Teresa about all this, and she suggested I call Intown Midwifery and see about going in for a labor check. We called Intown on our drive down, and I went in to get checked while my husband continued to drive around with our two sleeping kids in the car. I got checked about 2:30 pm, and I was 4 cm dilated, about 40% effaced, and -1 station. Emile suggested hanging around the area to see if my contractions would get closer together, because at this point it would be hard to say if I was actually in labor or not. She told me that it is possible to sustain a pregnancy on 4 cms dilation, so it was still too early to make that determination. I went back downstairs and outside to call my husband to come back and pick me up, and then I made a couple more phone calls to make arrangements for my kids. I called Teresa to discuss what was going on, and I let her know that while I had been standing outside for the past 30 minutes walking and talking on the phone, the contractions seemed to be coming more quickly, at about every 2 minutes. I asked her to come on down and that we were going to go over to the hospital.
(Teresa’s comments are following the bullets and Lauren’s story inserts are italics. Lauren and Matt took the Wisdom for Birth Classes we offer.)
- Lauren stated contracting around 8 pm the night before. The contractions were mild and irregular.
I had decided to take this week off of work to start my maternity leave. This was one week before Aiden’s due date. Three days went by of being off work and I wasn’t feeling any different from weeks prior. I was able to relax and get some things done around the house in preparation of the birth. On Wednesday night Sep 12’th around 8pm I started feeling very gentle contractions about 30 minutes apart. I wasn’t sure if they were real contractions due to them being so mild. At first I was under the impression they were Braxton hicks contractions which I had been experiencing in weeks prior. When I noticed the contractions were consistently 30 minutes apart I began to come to the conclusion that my labor had in fact began.
- She slept from 9 pm to midnight.
I went to bed around 9-9:30 and slept for a few hours and woke up from the contractions becoming slightly more aggressive. This made me feel very excited to know that the day had come. I called my fiancé Matt and asked him to come home from a friend’s house. Upon Matt’s arrival (about 1am) I asked him to take a walk with me. We walked around the block once and the contractions began to be consistently 15-20 minutes-ish apart.
- 9/13 She called me at 3 am with some concerns but I told her what she was seeing was normal.
Since the walk the contractions stayed the same intensity and distance apart, I chose to call Teresa to inquire about the brown discharge I had noticed when I went to the restroom. I knew a bloody show would be normal… However, I wasn’t sure if the brown was normal. Teresa assured me that the brown color was nothing to be alarmed about. Teresa also explained to me that I could be in labor for another 30+ hours and to try to get some more sleep. Teresa suggested to take a warm bath and drink a glass of wine to relax my body and maybe slow the contractions to allow my body to sleep some more in order to gain strength for the remainder of the birth. I did as she instructed, and was able to relax enough to get about 3 more hours of sleep.
- She then went back to sleep.
This is the birth story of my third child. My first son Wyatt was born after my water broke at 38 wks and not knowing what I know now, I went on in to the hospital and allowed them to start me on pitocin after only 4 hours of not contracting. I ended up with a posterior baby, pain medication, an epidural plus three hours of pushing. Needless to say, when the time came for my second son Sawyer, I was determined to do things differently. I switched providers and hospitals, planned a waterbirth, and hired a doula. Mission accomplished. I had an unmedicated waterbirth that was fast and furious. I was a “park and push”…showed up to the hospital at 9 cm and had a baby within 30 minutes. It was empowering and overwhelming, yet scary because everything happened so fast. It scared my husband Shane too. He felt like we “barely made it there.”
When I found out I was pregnant with our third baby, I knew I was going all natural waterbirth again. As I entered the third trimester, I started to become anxious over the position of the baby. I think I just knew that this one was going to give me some trouble for some reason. Every time I had my midwife palpate my tummy, the baby was anything but head down. But I stayed calm and listened to them about how it’s not an issue and babies almost always turn head down. BUT, even if the baby was breech, it was okay too because I could have a vaginal breech birth. And I would do it because that’s just how I roll.
But as the weeks passed, Baby Lloyd v3.0 decided that transverse (sideways) was the most comfy position to lie. And I knew something for certain…babies couldn’t come out sideways! I did it all to try to turn the baby…chiropractor for Webster technique, moxibustion (basically burning some stinky incense that sticks off of your pinky toe), forward leaning inversions off the couch, and lots of reading on the Spinning Babies website about how to encourage optimal fetal positioning. I talked to the baby, I begged the baby, and I cried some. Then at 36 weeks, I had an ultrasound to confirm, and yes, baby was still transverse. I discussed and external cephalic version (ECV) with my backup OB/Perinatologist and while he didn’t think it was 100% necessary (he remained steadfast that labor will often turn a baby into a birthable position), he agreed to do it when I was almost 37 weeks. We had the room at the hospital booked and everything.
Around a year before we got pregnant my husband, Patrick, and I were watching the Jennifer Lopez movie, “The Back up Plan” together. The scene of the water birth came on and Patrick and I were horrified, laughing, and joking about how crazy the characters being portrayed were. We watched as a woman gave birth in her home, sitting inside a blow up pool, while other women chanted and played drums around her. Both Patrick and I commented on the fact that they were crazy. We both said that we would never do something like that. Joke was on us when we ended up with me screaming in his face from inside a pool as my Doula poured water over my back and my midwife let me know I could reach down and feel my daughters head starting to make its way out into the world on July 13, 2012.
Our journey towards having a natural, midwife, and doula supported water-birth was a long and interesting learning experience. I started off thinking of birth as a painful and often dangerous process that required the safety of a hospital and the care of a doctor. Most of my female friends who had recently had children around me spoke of their many “complications”. They discussed problems like the baby’s head was too large to birth, it was too painful, they never dilated enough to push out their child, and having to schedule a c-section or induction to ensure their practitioner would be able to deliver their child safely.
Even though many of my friends seemed to believe that birth is painful and scary I had some friends who were on the opposite end of the spectrum. One friend in particular often posted pictures on Facebook of laboring women, placentas, and breastfeeding that often shocked me. She and I wrote back and forth about where we were in life and when I found out she was writing a dissertation on midwifery I told her about one of my friends getting involved in the Doula Project. I commented that I was “starting to learn more about it but I think I plan on having a hospital doctor drug me up and knock me out.”
When Patrick and I started getting serious about having a child I started getting serious about my health. I lost the weight I had put on during our engagement and early marriage and started really committing myself to working out, eating well balanced healthy meals, and making sure I felt good as a whole. I had an appointment with my OB/GYN to discuss becoming pregnant, health, and safety and I decided to stop drinking alchoholic beverages and limit my caffeine intake drastically. I was very committed to keeping my body healthy and even stopped taking any medications other than prenatal vitamins. I had decided that if we were going to have a child I did not want to be able to look back at choices I made and wonder if something I did caused a problem with the development of my child in the womb.