Monday, May 22, 2017

BREASTFEEDING JOURNAL



July 15th, 2015-
My breastfeeding journey started with the birth of my first son in October 2012. I had a cesarean birth that was pretty traumatic, however my breastfeeding experience was awesome! Thankfully  I had an over supply issue. I learned how to work through the over supply in the early days following birth, and my milk supply soon stabilized at about six weeks post partum. I returned to work after what is now known as the fourth trimester, and done well with pumping at work on a very structured schedule. My son was successful with breast milk via the bottle while I was working. I breastfed him until he semi self weaned at 14 months. I helped to lead the weaning, and looking back I stopped because of peer pressure from family and friends.

 Fast forward to December 2014, I gave birth to my hypnobaby via VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). I currently have a great support system, I know breast is best, and I have educated myself regarding extended breastfeeding. This second time around I have a great supply, I pump at work, and I have a beautiful freezer stash. Post Partum I took placenta capsules, hydrated/nourished my body well, and limited stress to ensure my supply would be great! I began to pump as soon as I became engorged as I did with my first son around 4 days post partum. My son is now 7 months old, and I dont supplement with any formula. I feel very confident in my journey thus far, as well as the future breastfeeding. I look forward to breastfeeding until child led weaning takes place. I will NOT lead at all this time!

October 29th, 2015-
It has now been ten months, and I am breastfeeding Braxton (my second son) with expressed milk when I am away from working. I breast feed him at home. He has not received ANY formula. I had doubt that I would make it this long the second time around, so many people told me that it would be easier the second time around. I knew I was dedicated and determined, however I still didn't know if I was up for the challenge of pumping. I also had to throw away a ton of my frozen stash while I was building my freezer stash while on maternity leave (this is a very funny/crazy/sad story). Braxton nibbles on some table food, but is still enjoying about 20 ounces of breast milk everyday (expressed). What a great feeling! I am providing all of the nutrients my child needs by giving him my milk. I am so happy to be still breast feeding, and can not wait to see what the future holds! Month eleven is approaching! One year here we come!


December 15th 2015-
Braxton has reached his first birthday milestone. He is now drinking water from a toddler cup, and we are using bottles for his breast milk. He is a distracted nursling, but it is so much fun to watch him perform gymnurstics while feeding. He still gets most of his nutrition from breast milk, while eating complimentary foods for fun. I love the white milky coating on his tongue. He still has the sweet baby's breath. I enjoy our night time and morning feedings, I enjoy holding him close, I enjoy his sweet eyes gazing into mine when he is nursing. He still takes one of my fingers inside of his hand, and grasps it just enough to let me know this is such a special time between just the two of us. I can't believe we have almost finished our freezer stash. Sooooo, I will take his lead, and will continue to breastfeed as long as he would like. I am so glad we reached this milestone! He has had breast milk exclusively this first year of his life! I look forward to extended nursing into toddlerhood. Breastfeeding this far has been absolutely amazing for the both of us. Braxton is a happy healthy breastfed one year old!



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

MY FIRST BIRTH, MY CESAREAN

In February of 2012 I learned I was pregnant. It was a very exciting time for both me and my husband! I was working for a local hospital system as an RN, and knew that I would be choosing an OB who was affiliated with the system. I also knew that I would be pretty "traditional" and birth in a hospital. I knew several friends and family members who had babies, and all went well. I was looking forward to a "normal" pregnancy and birth.




I called the Obstetric clinic to make a prenatal appointment, I remember being extremely excited! I chose the health care provider who had an available appointment. I never interviewed before choosing a provider. I was entering this experience very trusting. I went in when I was about eight weeks for a standard nurse appointment, and saw the OB during my twelfth week of pregnancy.


The first appointment became one of many over the course of my pregnancy of course. During my 37th week appointment I remember feeling like a number, I described to a close friend. I recall vocalizing to her how much my prenatal care seemed like part of a business! During this appointment I had a cervical check, I was told my baby was "still very high". I was told that my OB would be out of town close to my due date, and induction was an option as I got closer to 40 weeks. It was at this moment fear began to set in. I had no plan, no preparation, and no guidance when making decisions in relation to birth.



My pregnancy was fairly healthy fortunately, looking back now I truly knew little about what my body, mind and soul needed to be nurtured during this pregnancy and birth.. I took the hospitals' education courses about birth, breastfeeding, and newborn care.


 As my birthing time approached, we were anxious and excited to finally meet our new addition. My last day of work was Friday October12th. I was excited to complete my nesting list in anticipation for the arrival of our baby boy! My "due date" was Monday October 22nd. I spent the week nesting and also receiving phone calls from well meaning family and friends inquiring about the baby's arrival. On Wednesday October 24th I took a brisk 20 minute walk followed by breakfast and a shower that morning. I had a feeling that today may be the day! My step mom called to notify me of the lunar moon, and how it may "bring on labor". Despite talk of induction earlier in my pregnancy,  I went into labor on my own on Wednesday October 24th. This experience would change my life forever!



I began to lose huge chunks of my mucus plug around lunch time. I convinced my husband and mother to take me to the hospital, thinking maybe my water broke.  Although hesitant, my husband drove me to the hospital where I was triaged and put into the "holding" room. I was there for a couple hours with other laboring mothers waiting on a room. They placed a fetal heart monitor on me, and checked heart tones while I was there. I was told I was about 1 centimeter dilated. But, if labor looked like what the women who were around me were experiencing,  I already felt defeated! My doctor came over to the hospital and done a quick assessment before returning to the clinic, and in fact my waters were still intact. I was actually just losing a lot of my mucus plug. I was given discharge paperwork with instructions to rest and take Tylenol. I remember the discharge nurse telling me "see you soon", and "you won't be pregnant forever". This gave me motivation!



We stopped at CVS for Tylenol on the way home. Once we made it home I was in pain from pretty consistent contractions the rest of the evening. I sent my husband back to the store later that evening for a subway sandwich and a heating pad. I clearly remember by the time he returned home I was vomiting, and barely wanted sips of water or juice. The heating pad offered some relief from the discomfort. My mom went home for the night, and my husband retreated to the recliner to relax at my request. I felt I needed to be alone. The next 9-10 hours would prove to be the most challenging of my life. I was in pain, and felt out of control. Laboring was so taxing! I felt disconnected! I felt not present! Mentally I was a mess! I walked from the bed to the bath tub alone screaming in agonizing pain most of the night. My husband checked on me intermittently, but didn't know how to help me. The sad thing is, I didn't know how to help me. This is one of the few times I saw my husband feel so very helpless.



Approximately 4 AM I told my husband it was time to put our things in the car and drive to the hospital. I took a shower, and we headed to the hospital. The car ride during active labor was rough, I squeezed and held on to the door molding until we parked in the hospital parking lot. We sat in the car through a few contractions before going in. We went in and stopped at the front desk to check in with security since it was after hospital visiting hours. We made it to the Labor and Delivery unit about 5 AM on Thursday October 25th, and was assigned to a nurse. I could tell the floor was busy, and the night shift staff would be leaving in about 1-2 hours. I was told I was dilated to a 6, and the baby was up "high" after being examined by my assigned nurse.



I was assessed, triaged, asked many questions, signed paper work, received an IV and a gown before being moved to a room. Once I was in a room I was asked if I wanted an epidural. With no hesitation, I firmly said "yes"! I did not know how else I would deal with the pain. I emptied my bladder, and the nurse placed a Foley catheter. I could tell by the phone conversation the anesthesiologist was not happy about placing my epidural so close to shift change. I however, was looking forward to what I thought would be pain relief. He arrived at shift change, and although a little grumpy he placed the epidural.




I anticipated the very minute my pain would go away, despite him clearly telling me there is a chance that the epidural could partially work or not work at all. After about an hour of no relief, my nurse volunteered to page anesthesia so that my epidural could be assessed. Approximately an hour later a new, fresh anesthesiologist came up to the floor. After assessment, it was determined I needed a bolus, and he gave me that bolus through the epidural. An hour after the bolus he came back up to check on me to find me still in pain. He recommended the epidural be removed and replaced with a new one. I was desperate for pain relief, and agreed to let him put in a new epidural. After an hour I still had no pain relief. During this time I was also being told by my nurse that due to my "high blood pressure" I would be started on an IV drip of magnesium sulfate. I was able to check into my nurse brain long enough to argue that my blood pressure could be high for many reasons (i.e. pain, two epidurals, and anxiety). I refused the IV and demanded them to test my urine for protein. I agreed to the IV Magnesium only if my urine was positive for protein. I quickly gave up the fight after my OB told my nurse over the phone that I needed to start the IV magnesium STAT!  I remember feeling so tired, and worn out. I wanted my family, friends, and the staff to just leave me alone! I was now confined to the bed with a Foley catheter, but vocalized I needed to stand up so many times. I was told no because I had an epidural. I thought that since the epidural was not working, and I had sensation in my legs that I should be able to get up. I wanted to at least take the fetal monitor off and sit up. I felt like my body needed gravity to help me get my son down and out. Fetal heart tones were good, so I decided to sit up on my own, which made my nurse very uneasy. She eventually gave in and "let" me sit up. Sitting up did not last long due to vomiting caused by the IV magnesium or the transition stage of labor, I am unsure which. I was back in the lying position within minutes.



About 3 PM a medical technician came into my room. She began to set up everything in preparation for birth, and it made me so excited! That excitement quickly disappeared after a cervical check revealed I was 8 cm, and my son was still up "very high". My nurse saw the sadness on my face, and attempted to cheer me up by telling me that he had "lots of hair". She let me know that my OB would be over as soon as she was done with clinic. My doctor came over about 4:30PM and done a quick exam. She let me know that I was now a "9 or 9.5, but still high". She said that if I did not progress within the next hour that we would need to discuss a cesarean. I was emotional, felt like a failure, I was tired, and had really already given up! Around 5 PM I called the nurse to let her know that I was ready to proceed with the cesarean. Within minutes I was being swept off to the OR to have a cesarean. My family was directed to the waiting area, and my husband was reassured that he would get to be with me during the cesarean. He put on all the surgical gear with a huge smile on his face. I remember smiling back at him with excitement of soon becoming a family of three! I remember being in the OR alone, feeling cold yet excited to meet my first born child in a matter of minutes. The certified nurse anesthetist reminded me of risks that were listed on the consent form that I DID NOT read while having contractions. She placed the spinal block, and I remember her voice becoming more and more distant. The way I felt seemed not like anxiety as she described, yet breathing difficulty.


I woke up in recovery to friends, family, and the CRNA charting notes. I was sedated, cold and itching from the medication. Our friends and family were enjoying our son before I had the chance to. We had little skin-to-skin initially, yet I was so happy to breastfeed without any difficulty when I was able to eventually. I had so many questions, but I was too out of it to process any of it. My OB left shortly after the surgery, and I was handed over to the care of the nurses and the OB on call. My recovery was difficult in the early days, I was in pain, sore, sedated, and showed mild signs of magnesium sulfate toxicity. My son spent the next five days in the hospital due to jaundice and labored breathing, but at discharge from the hospital was pretty healthy.


On October 25th 2012 at 5:25PM, I gave birth to a 8 pound 11 ounce, 21.5 inch long beautiful baby boy! I birthed him alone because my husband was not able to join me in the OR. I later learned that I had a high spinal due to anesthesia, and as a result had to be put under general anesthesia. I had a very medicalized/traumatic birth. This birth would change me, my husband, and my family forever! This birth left me happy, sad, confused, and broken!

"Although birth is only one day in the life of a woman, it has an imprint on her for the rest of her life" ~Justine Caines~

I experienced sadness soon as I was able to keep my eyes open without drifting off to sleep from all the medication I had on board post operatively. This was only days after birth. I displayed classic signs and symptoms of PPD (post partum depression), but I knew that my recent child birth experience played a major role in the PPD. It is possible that I would have developed it anyway, however I had these feelings that I had to process regarding my birth experience. It was a very difficult time for me. It is difficult writing this birth story three years later. I am aware that I am being vulnerable by tapping into these emotions. I felt lonely, isolated, guilty, at fault, ashamed, embarrassed, incomplete, not whole, I ultimately felt like my body failed me. I was also sad that I felt this way after just bringing a beautiful baby earth side. This was one of the most happiest times of my life! However, it was not! I grieved for what could have been, and what should have been. I was desperate to find answers to what was. I clearly remember being not only sad, but angry, and in denial about my emotions. I put on the perfect fa├žade telling everyone who asked how I was doing that I was ok. I was really crumbling, and did not know where to turn without feeling judged or even more of a failure. I decided I should just suck it up. I had a healthy baby, and well meaning family and friends told me that is all that mattered. But, if that was the case why did I feel this way. I thought about my birth experience every single day!

I kept hoping all of these emotions with time would get better. I retreated to a dark place emotionally, hiding within the walls of my home caring for this beautiful baby boy. I done this very well day in and day out, but continued to neglect the very real feelings that I could not ignore internally. There were only a few close friends and family members who truly understood the depths of my sadness. I was scheduled to see my OB for a 6 week post partum appointment. I really did not want to face the woman who cut me open, stitched me up, and left me in the care of her colleague. I called and rescheduled this appointment three times. I didn't want to cry, I didn't want to tell her I was angry at her! Besides, she was a pretty nice lady. This is what I kept telling myself during my prenatal appointments. Anytime I felt that my care was rushed during my prenatal visits, I would always negate those feelings by reassuring myself that my physician was nice. I finally saw her at 9 weeks post partum. She completed a physical exam, and then asked me the paramount question! "How are you feeling"? I proceeded to give her the same story I had given everyone that asked me the last nine weeks. However, only a few minutes into saying "I am ok", "Just tired, which is to be expected"; I lost it! I burst into tears right there on the exam table. My precious son now sleeping peacefully in my arms. I opened up to her about my feelings regarding my birth experience and the role she played. She offered me a box of tissue, a referral to a counselor of her choice, and downplayed my PPD to "baby blues". She assured me that this was "normal", and to be "expected". She assured me "it would get better". I left that appointment feeling worse than I did going in.

I must share how happy I felt to be a mother! It was an indescribable feeling! This new little person was now depending on me to protect him, take care of his needs, and love him! Breastfeeding without any issues gave me some peace amongst the negative feelings I was experiencing. The very first latch was perfect! He and I had this breastfeeding thing down! The first few hours/days following birth were a blur to me. I was so out of it from all of the medication on board. I remember friends and family holding my son because it was not safe for me to being that I was so drowsy. I would fall asleep frequently those early hours following birth. I do not have memory of those very precious bonding hours following his birth. I was in pure awe and amazement at the sight of this little life I was now responsible for. My husband describes my transition into mother hood as that of a momma bear protecting her cub. I was so happy to be a mother to such a perfect little human!  It made my heart happy to care for this new little being. I finally understood what it meant to have my heart outside my body.

There was not a day that went by after the birth that I did not think about the birth. I was tearful most days. The most significant trigger that still triggers me at times today is my cesarean scar. When I finally had the courage to read my medical records thoroughly, it was like reliving the experience all over again. I wanted answers! I wanted answers to questions about the epidural, continuous fetal monitoring, my blood pressure, the intra venous magnesium sulfate, the need to walk during labor but not being allowed to, the high spinal, my husband not being present during the birth, the care I received in the OR, the anesthesia I was given, and the care I received immediately post operatively. My OB never answered these questions for me. However, she was very adamant in telling me that she did not remember nor think she could have possibly left me after the birth without telling me or my family what happened in the OR. She also couldn't believe her on call colleague failed to answer any of these questions following my birth as well. Her absence after my birth was her only concern when asked specific questions related to the birth. She was very evasive when asked very straight forward questions. I don't know how I could be treated this way during such a vulnerable time!

I felt broken, I felt I would never have children again, I felt my husband had a broken wife, I felt my close friends and family saw me as a failure. I yearned to feel whole again! I longed to feel normal, I desperately wanted to have a vaginal birth, I dreamed many nights of pushing my son out of my vagina, and him being placed on my chest for me to hold. I felt that this was not too much to ask for, this should be within reach for every mother who births right? I felt robbed, I didn't feel like a woman. I was angry at myself for not educating myself more regarding being proactive, I was angry at the health care system that I am a part of, I was angry that I was angry, and I was angry that those around me didn't understand.

Approximately five months post partum I found a local positive birth group. I attended monthly meetings regularly. I connected with women who shared similar stories, who empathized. I educated myself about birth options, I allowed myself to feel, to be angry, to be vulnerable. I asked questions, I located local resources, and most importantly I told my story! I will continue to tell my story!

My journey, my healing continues.......


















Monday, June 15, 2015

I DID IT! MY VBAC JOURNEY!


MY VBAC JOURNEY!

“You’re not broken, you’re whole”

The day of my 37Th week prenatal appointment with my first pregnancy, I vividly remember calling a friend after the appointment to voice how much I felt like I was part of a “business”. I explained how the in and out atmosphere of the obstetric/gynecology clinic was not how I envisioned my first prenatal experience. I was teary eyed while on the phone explaining the extremely uncomfortable cervical check I just had. I was uncertain how to feel about being told during this prenatal visit that my cervix was “not dilated and that the baby was pretty high in my pelvis”.  I hung up the phone with my friend that day thinking this experience was the norm, and I would soon have my baby. I had no plan! I was going into the hospital to have a baby soon. I was scared, but trusted my health care team. 

I went into labor on my own, although there had been some mild discussion with my OB regarding induction. This day would change my life forever! My first birth looked nothing like I imagined. There was oxygen, a blood pressure cuff, IV pitocin, IV magnesium Sulfate, an epidural, several cervical checks, a continuous fetal monitor and a Foley catheter.  On October 25Th 2012 after several hours of labor, my first born son entered the world via an unnecessary cesarean under general anesthesia due to a high spinal. I birthed alone and unaware of anything going on in the operating room. The next few days were a blur! The next few weeks when I was fully oriented I processed my birth experience. I was happy, sad, confused, and broken!

In March of 2014 we found out we were pregnant with our second child. This was a very pleasant surprise! This time would be different, this time I would be prepared! The past year I had researched VBAC as an option for subsequent births, I joined a local Positive Birth Group. I talked to women who had given birth naturally, watched several natural births online and I had not read as much since my college days. There was no question surrounding how I would deliver this baby, I was NOT having another cesarean. It did not take long for my husband and I to decide that this baby would be born vaginally. I wanted this VBAC with every inch of my being. I educated myself, hired a hypno doula, hired a midwife, took a hypnobabies class, received chiropractic care, walked 1-2 miles a day, made nutrition/hydration/supplements a priority, and most importantly I believed in myself! My husband was on board and was a huge supporter, this was all I needed.

The closer I was to my guess date, the more I became confident and positive about my VBAC. Sunday December 7th I was reminded by a few friends and family that there was a full moon, and I recall a few Braxton hicks that evening. I remained calm, but excited! I knew that I would meet our new addition soon! Monday December 8th my doula visited us at our home for our last prenatal visit shortly after dinner. I really needed this visit, it gave me a pick me up! It was relaxing and affirming for me, we spent this time talking, discussing placenta encapsulation, birthing time, hypnobabies practice, and we even went over some positions and exercises to ensure optimal position for the baby such as pelvic rocks and rebozo. I also recall losing huge chunks of my mucous plug and having some waves on this day. I would soon be holding my little one!

 Tuesday December 9th I got to stay home with my son, and this gave the two of us some time before birthing to be alone just he and I. He was a little under the weather and stayed home from daycare. I called into work and took care of him. We stayed in our pajamas and rested most of the day. My birth photographer/friend sent me a very encouraging HBAC story, and we of course went back and forth communicating that day about my upcoming birthing time. This made me feel even more empowered.  I had what would be my last prenatal appointment at 4:00 PM with my midwife. My son and I went to this appointment, and it went well as usual.  My midwife mentioned to me that the baby was “still up high”. She told me to sleep on my left side as much as possible, and to make sure I am doing pelvic rocks at home and return to see her the following week. My appointment was made for the following Tuesday. The evening was uneventful. I spent the evening running after my toddler who was feeling much better. I remember having dinner and doing a little cleaning that night. My cousin came to visit, and we had a few laughs. I went to bed a little later than usual, but felt fine when I went to bed around 10:30 PM.  At midnight when I made a trip to the bathroom I lost a little bit more of my plug and had some bloody show.

Wednesday December 10th I was 39+5, I was awakened at 2:30 AM by a pressure wave. I decided to empty my bladder and took a few sips of water to see what would happen. I didn’t have any more waves so I returned to bed. At 3:30 AM I was awakened again by another wave, but this time the waves were consistent and did not go away. I knew that this was it, my birthing time had begun. My husband was due to leave for work at 4:30 AM and I usually take my son to school around 8:30 AM before I travel to work. As my husband gets into the shower, I let him know that my birthing time had begun. I don’t think he believed this was the real deal, but after a few more pressure waves, and me explaining pretty sternly we would have a baby today he got it! The waves were about 6-7 minutes apart, and tolerable.We decided months prior that we didn’t want our two year old son to see me during my birthing time. My husband gathered everything I needed and I locked myself inside our bedroom. I had a blanket, my hypnobabies bag, CD player with ear buds, birthing ball, water, greek yogurt, and pretzels. I decided it was a little early to contact my midwife or doula. I spent the next few hours moving from the bed to the floor listening to my birthday affirmation CD. I found that opening my mouth and softly moaning during each wave made me feel more comfortable. At 5:30 AM I decided I should contact my doula, being I may need her soon. I still didn’t think it was time to contact my midwife. My husband was in and out of the bedroom checking on me while he waited for my son to wake. I text my doula to let her know that I was in my birthing time. She wanted to know more about the timing of my waves, and whether or not I was in hypnosis. At this time I was drinking water, taking small bites of yogurt, emptying my bladder, and listening to some positive birth affirmations on the CD player. My waves were now 5 minutes apart, lasting 40 seconds, and were very regular. I kept thinking about how long my birthing time would probably be, and I had only slept four-five hours total. I was not feeling any pressure in my back; the pressure waves simply felt like menstrual cramps.

Although my doula suggested I try to sleep a little between waves on my left side, I knew that I couldn’t. However, I was drinking, pottying resting and snacking. My doula suggested listening to the hypnobabies deepening CD to get deeper into hypnosis, and turn my light switch to off which pretty much means to shut your mind and body completely down in hypnobabies language.  I got my deepening CD, and got on my birthing ball around 6 AM. I chose to get into center. This allowed me to use the birthing ball to bring my baby further down while still going deeper into hypnosis. Being on the birthing ball felt really good. I spent the next few hours resting in the bed, bouncing on the birthing ball and sitting backwards on the toilet seat. I was clothesless, still in center and the temperature in the room was perfect. My husband was gone for about an hour to take my son to daycare and run a few errands. He returned and checked on me periodically, and this seemed to work perfect. I had everything I needed, and felt like I needed to do this on my own (contrary to what I thought I needed during birth originally). I could not believe birthing time was going so well when compared to my first birth experience, I actually felt pretty comfortable! At 9:45 AM I started feeling some pressure while bouncing on the birthing ball listening to the deepening CD. I then felt and heard a loud pop! My husband must have heard it too; he rushed in the room to check on me. I had previously called my midwife around 7:30 AM who told me she would head to the birth center, but it was too early for me to come in (which I wanted to wait as long as possible anyway). From our home to the birth center is approximately 15 miles. I let my doula know that my water had broke, we discussed its appearance which was not abnormal, and she let me know that she would be heading to my home (approximately an hour drive for her). I remember feeling calm and in control.


 My waves became much more intense once my water broke. They became closer and longer. I recall one wave lasting 2 minutes with only seconds between the next. At 10 AM I contacted my doula to let her know that my waves were much more intense. She was able to listen as I had a few over the phone.  She left it up to me to contact my midwife again. I decided to not contact my midwife at that time. I was was obviously in denial about how close I was getting (which was a great thing looking back). I got into the tub for a warm bath which was very relaxing. I used that time to do some visualization, but began to have the urge to push while in the tub. My husband began to become anxious once he learned I had the urge to push. At 10:15 AM I contacted my doula to let her know that I was having the urge to push, but it was not a rectal type pressure that everyone had previously described to me. This was a pressure that felt as if I had to urinate. She let me know that she would meet me at the birth center, and to breathe as if I was "blowing out a candle". I attempted to breathe as she described, but wasn't too successful. I then called my midwife to let her know that I was on my way to the birth center, she was already there. She heard me pushing while on the phone and urged me to come in ASAP. My doula was in contact with my birth photographer, so she knew to be in route as well. Since having the urge to push, I no longer had waves and pushing felt wonderful. My husband gathered our things and we headed to the car to make the drive to the birth center. My doula suggested we listened to the hypnobaby easy first stage CD during the drive to the birth center to help us prepare for the baby’s fast approaching arrival. I was on hands and knees in the back seat of the car while the CD played, which helped to keep both my husband and I calm. 

My midwife called to check in and see where we were located in route. I am sure my last conversation with her while pushing had her a little anxious. We arrived at the birth center at 11:15 AM and greeted my entire birth team. They were very calm, speaking to me in such soft voices. This happened to not be a prenatal day so the birth center was empty. My doula helped me out of the car and up the stairs. As soon as I got in the door of the birth center, I had the urge to push. I had been pushing the entire trip to the birth center in the car. I knew that I would not make it upstairs to a birthing room. I slowly squatted down to the lobby floor to push while my birth team gathered pillows, pads and other supplies. I remember being so excited! It happened so fast, my doula on one side and my husband letting me squeeze his hand on the other; I pushed a total of four more times and birthed my beautiful baby boy onto the lobby floor of the birth center at 11:19 AM. There were tears and smiles and not much talking during this time. My doula whispered in my ear, “you’re not broken, you’re whole”. 

This entire experience was much different from my first birth experience.  I was awake and immediately held my baby; my husband was able to cut his umbilical cord. Once I was upstairs in the bed, I had skin to skin and was able to breastfeed. I immediately drank fluids, I was able to have a few bites of soup, and I took an herbal bath with my baby. I spent the next 4-5 hours at the birth center for observation. My oldest son and mom later joined us, this was one of the best days of my life! I made informed decisions during this experience that empowered me, my family, and many women I will meet for a long time. I took charge of my own birth! This is my amazing, healing VBAC journey!

 My Amazing Birth Team!
 Pictured left to right:

*Erin Dorr (Midwife apprentice- Labor of Love Birth Center)
*Vicky Wells (Owner/Midwife- Labor of Love Birth Center)
*Katherine Stangling (Hypno Doula- Ancient Heart Birth Services)
*Amanda Henninger (Photographer- a little bit of joy photography) not pictured

You can view a short slide show from this incredible day by clicking on the link below:
~VBAC Mom~
Tasha