My due date was Tuesday, May8th.  I went to my appointment. I hadn’t been getting “checked”, as I just wanted whatever to happen, to happen.  I began taking primrose oil as that’s about all the “intervening” that I was doing.  Janet, my midwife, thought that I wouldn’t go too past my due date, but I didn’t care because I mentally prepared myself to go 42 weeks. So in the days to come, I would continue walking, curb walking, and having maritals.

On Thursday, May 10th at 5am, I awoke to feeling “weird,” almost like I was about to come on my cycle but needing to have a bowel movement.  So I went to the restroom, had a bowel movement and came back to bed.  But for some reason, I needed to go again about 10 minutes later.  So I went again, this time having a bloody show with mucus.  This is it! I am in “early” labor, so I thought!  Well, I went back to bed, and didn’t bother to tell Keith since this is the beginning.  Well Keith woke up about 5 minutes later and asked if I was ok.  Yes, why?  He said I was squeezing his leg.  Well apparently I am having contractions!  I had to go back to the restroom, as it just felt great to sit on the toilet. Keith got up to “monitor” me.  I felt like I was having waves of menstrual cramps.  I was thinking this is early and it’s going to get more intense, so embrace it and hang on to my hat.

Keith said ok let’s time them for his sake, as I’m on the toilet I was contracting.  They were every 3 minutes lasting 30 seconds!  My mind took me to thinking; nope they need to be around 5 minutes lasting an hour.  I proceeded to get in the shower at this time around 6am.  I had to been there at least 30 minutes, as it felt great!  Keith was getting dressed, and he continued to time my contractions.  They got stronger, but not strong enough for me to want to react.  Well once I got out the shower, I wanted back in!  I had 2 intense contractions that made me grab Keith as he grounded me to “breathe” and I yodeled through the contractions.  I wanted to get back on the toilet, as I kept feeling bottom pressure.

I then decided to call my midwife.  I put on my clothes to prepare to go to the hospital.  Keith packed up the car.  The midwife calls back at 7am and listens to me contract or yodel if you will, and tells me to come in.   For some reason I had it in my head that it’s going to get worse, and my contractions are not lasting a minute, they are not 511 or even 411!  They are like 3-30seconds!  Well we got in the truck, and uh oh!  That dang on car seat is in the way!  Teresa told us not to put it in!  Well, I couldn’t sit down in the seat, I had to ride with my knees on the seat with me facing backwards and my head on the headrest, as I kept yodeling and feeling bottom pressure.  It’s 7am on Thursday am, we will not be able to go the regular route (I-285 to 400) to North Fulton.  We are taking the back way, to ensure we won’t get stuck in too much traffic; however, it will be a lot of lights.  I told Keith to do the best he could.  He decided to drive 100 miles an hr instead!

However, during the trip, I had one intense contraction with that continuous bottom pressure, afterwards, I got in a zone.  I didn’t yodel, I just mentally endured and breathe through them.  Keith kept asking if I was ok.  I thought maybe the contractions were subsiding or if I was really in the zone and not “feeling” them as intense as they were.  We got to the hospital an hour later.  (at about 8:20am at this time) As soon as Keith pulled up to labor and delivery they had a wheelchair ready.  I didn’t want to sit, so I proceeded to place my knees on the chair and I rolled into delivery backwards! I changed into my hospital gown, as I realized I didn’t have my sugary drink!  Oh well!  I had an intense contraction in the middle of the wardrobe change.

Kim Storrey (midwife) on call reminded me that I needed to be monitored before filling the tub.  I just said, I know but go ahead and fill it up.  Mind you, I tested positive for Strep B, and needed to get the antibiotics as well.  Well don’t you know she checked me and I was 8 cm!  Kim was like when did you start contracting?!   It just started at 5am!  Well, with that being said, about 3 minutes later my water broke!  And what do you know there is meconium in my water!  Oh well.  I didn’t care, because we were prepared to embrace what happened and was taught beforehand that your birth plan is only a plan!  At the point of my water breaking, I was fully dilated!  They brought over a mirror and his head was crowning!  I was ready to push, because I’ve been feeling the urge!   It only took 3 pushes! From the time I came into the hospital until delivery, it happened all in 12 minutes!  Everyone was like, you’re a first time mom?!!!   This is every laboring mom, and midwife’s dream!  Well, we didn’t get any antibiotics for Strep B, I didn’t have my water birth, but it was the most exasperating experience ever!

Kendall and I both checked out fine/healthy.  They didn’t even have me fully admitted yet, as everything happened so fast! So, we had our birthing ball, rice sock, focus wall, snack bag, my “Bozo” (lol), and it didn’t even make it out the car!  Lol! However, my natural birth experience was awesome!  Thank you for being an awesome preparation coach! (Teresa taught them private classes)

 

Best,

Deketa

Introducing Micah Blake

Born November 4, 2011.  Weighing 6 lbs, 13 oz. 19 Inches tall.

 Sweet Baby Boy

We are delighted and proud to introduce you to our first son, Micah Blake Cooper.  He was born November 4, 2011 and weighed 6 pounds, 13.4 ounces.  He was 19 inches tall.  God opened the heavens to shine on us.

Labor and Birth Story

The following is a narrative told in three voices: Myself, my husband, and our doula.  We hope you enjoy reading our labor and delivery story!

The Fisher King.

Nov. 2nd (Wed), I went for my 39 week check-up after telling my Mom I felt like Micah would not be an early-bird baby.

That evening, my husband and I were watching ‘The Fisher King’ together – it’s a Jeff  Bridges and Robin Williams comedic drama.

To my surprise, laying in bed at 10:30pm, I felt a slightly painful pop and then jumped out of bed.  My water broke! – Robyn, Mom

We couldn’t tell if the liquid was amniotic or not, so we kept watching ‘The Fisher King’. – Ian, Dad

Our doula, Teresa Howard suggested it could be a fore bag of waters, go to bed, and call her in the morning. – Robyn, Mom

It seems that Robyn may have had her membranes release at 10:30 pm on Wed., 11/02/11. – Teresa, Doula

By 11:20pm I was sure my water had broken, so I called my mom, AKA Grandma Boom Boom, to tell her.  We texted Ian’s mom, AKA Grandmaski, as well to tell her.  Grandmaski said she had a psychic feeling it might be today that Micah would be born.

By 2am on Nov. 3rd (Thurs.), contractions were 3 to 5 minutes apart.  I started feeling shaky sometimes, so I called Teresa at 3:30am to talk to her and get her advice. – Robyn, Mom

  (more…)

My birth story reminds me of shopping for my wedding dress. I always pictured my dress as simple, strapless, and without beads. MY wedding dress had straps, a train, and beads all over it and it was PERFECT! The moral of this birth is Never Say Never. (and it has nothing to do with Justin Bieber!)

I woke up at 2:00 am Sunday morning to a ‘pop’ and a gush of water. I never imagined my labor starting this way. I was so happy to see that the water was clear. I ‘tried’ to sleep, but was happy when our 4 year old son came to our bed at 6:00am. Contractions hadn’t started, which confused me. We got up and went and had breakfast at Waffle House. My husband took our son to my in-laws and I went back to bed. At 10:30, I texted my sister to come from Athens. I wanted to have some fun before the hard work. She arrived at noon and I was having mild contractions. We went for a walk, talked, ate subs, and watched TV. I went to take a nap around 2:00 and contractions started picking up, so I got on the birth ball and listened to hypnobabies. Our doula came to check on me. We all knew I still had hours to go, so my sister and I went to the mall and walked around. I would lean over the railing and have contractions. I knew the walking was good.

Once home, I got down to business. I got in the back, on the ball, did squats and lunges. All while listening to hypnobabies and vocalizing during contractions. Sister, doula, and husband were all close by supporting me. I threw up and contractions were 4 minutes apart so we headed to the hospital at midnight. I knew it was almost over! As we drove from the house, we all heard something (sounded like a camera) fall off the top of the van, but nobody said anything. We got to the hospital and found out I was at 6 cm. I was good with that knowing I would go fast from 7-10. (more…)

On Wednesday night, August 16th, I took a bath and had some “bath meditation time.”  I was 39 wks and 6 days pregnant and knew I probably had at least another week (if not 2) before I’d be going into labor.  While meditating and visualizing, I saw the little baby in my arms that I had seen in my visions for the last couple of years.  This time, I looked at the baby’s body and saw that it was a girl.  I thought to myself  “Finally, I know that this baby is a girl!”  I hadn’t really had a strong feeling either way throughout the pregnancy, but once I had that vision, I finally had a strong feeling.  I knew I was having a girl.

I also had a conversation with my baby and told him/her that it was okay with me if he/she came now.  I’d be “okay with” a Leo child.  (My preference had been a Virgo child due to the fact that I get along great with Virgo people.)  I then told the baby “I’d even be okay if you wanted to be born on your 40 wk due date… I could be one of those 2% of women that spontaneously go into labor and have their babies on their 40 wk due date!”  I still wanted another week to get things ready, but I got okay with baby coming earlier than that.

Around 11:30pm that night, I got into bed to watch a show and go to sleep.  As soon as I got into bed, my water broke.  “What the hell???  How could this be happening already???  It’s too soon!”  I was so shocked that this was happening now.  I called my midwife – Anjli was the mw on call – I told her that my water broke but that I wasn’t really having contractions.  (I had been having stronger braxton hicks type contractions all week, but that had happened for a few weeks before my first birth, so I really didn’t think anything of it.)  Anjli told me to try to go to sleep and get rest b/c it could be another 24 hrs before anything really got going.  She told me to call her again whenever contractions were just a few minutes apart.  I went back to sleep until 3:30am.  I had contractions here and there throughout that 4 hours, but nothing really consistent.  At 3:30am, a contraction was strong enough to wake me up and I was starving!  I got up and made myself a bean and spinach burrito.  Halfway through my burrito, my water broke again.  (I didn’t realize water could break more than once!  In my first labor, it never “broke,” it was more of a “slow leak” so this was a very new sensation for me to experience.) (more…)

Jack’s Birth Story

On Wednesday, July 6th, I had an internal exam at my doctor’s office, and I was not dilated or effaced. That Saturday the 9th, I had a birthing class with my doula, Teresa Howard, called FEAR to FREEDOM and I believe that during the relaxation exercise I started to dilate. I lost my mucus plug at around 2:30 pm on Monday, July 11th, shortly after my mother and sister, Katie, arrived (they were just staying for the night, driving through from Chicago to Florida). Later that afternoon we went to the pool and I didn’t feel right. My stomach was upset and it was the first time all summer I didn’t feel good in the pool. I knew I was going into labor. That night we got prepared and I had trouble sleeping, so I took an Ambien (which was approved by my midwife). At 6:30 am the next morning (only about 5 minutes after Adam left for work), my contractions started. When I was getting out of bed an hour later, my water released on its own.

I called Adam and Teresa to let them know my status, but I knew I was still in early labor, so I didn’t think there was any rush (boy was I wrong!). I ate breakfast (yogurt, granola and blueberries), and was having an easy time breathing through my contractions. At 8:45 am I was in my office sending an email to my boss letting him know I was in labor and I transferred my employees to him. Around 9:05 am, I think I went into active labor, since I got serious and went upstairs to lie down. Adam arrived home from work a few minutes later and we left for the hospital around 9:45 am. I sat in the back seat of our SUV, listening to my Hypnobirthing relaxation on my IPOD and wearing an eye mask. I was in full-on labor during the drive since I had to really focus through each contraction. (more…)

Becky and I spoke several times during the day. I called her mid morning to discuss the induction options. She was nearing the deadline that her doctor had determined for her to birth within.  But all of the conversation may prove moot since she was contracting on her own. She said they were mild and inconsistent but definitely different than they had been earlier in her “false alarm” moments. Her exam at the office earlier in the week showed she was dilated to 1cm and somewhat effaced and the cervix had moved from posterior to anterior but the baby remained high. The ultrasound person had also told her that the baby looked to weigh ten pounds! The plan was to show up at the hospital around 8pm for either Cervidil if she was not dilated to at least 3cm or if she was, to start Pitocin.
I talked to Becky again mid afternoon. The contractions were still irregular and coming around 10 minutes apart. But the next call came around 6pm from Aron, who had just gotten home from work. He said Becky wanted to alert me that I should probably not go to my yoga class tonight. The contractions were coming about every five minutes and he was unsure how long they were lasting. I could hear Becky in the background and she was still sounding chatty. I discussed the demeanor changes in labor with Aron and he told me he thought she was doing good still. I asked him to stay in touch. She later got in the tub and had a peanut butter sandwich.
The next call came at just before 8pm and Aron said she was getting out of the tub and wanted me to come to their home instead of meeting them at the hospital. I finished eating quickly and put on my doula clothes. But as I was dressing, Aron called back and said she was ready to head to the hospital instead. I left within minutes to meet
them.
I arrived to the hospital at just before 9pm. They were in triage where they only allowed one person to be with her. I sat and waited til around 9:30pm when Aron met me in the lobby and suggested I head back to see her. When I arrived in the room she was sitting straddled the gurney. She had a desperate look on her face. Later I would find out she had told Aron she wanted medication, but she did not mention it to me initially. She was six centimeters dilated and in a brightly fluorescent lit room. I raised the back of the bed up so she could rest upon it. The nurse entered the room a few times and never even acknowledged Becky or myself. The third time she came into the room, I asked about allowing Aron to return to the room with us. She told me that was not allowed due to privacy issues. And she said the charge nurse was trying to secure a labor room to move Becky to. Becky was strapped to monitors and restricted from having support from her husband and doula together and so we waited. (more…)

Bodhi’s Birth Story

by his mom, Katherine

                                                           by the doula, Teresa

 

On the morning of July 24th, I woke up for another bathroom run. It was still dark outside and thought nothing of it as I crawled back into bed. I wasn’t due for another four days, and as this was to be my first child, I figured I would make it to 40 weeks and maybe beyond.

 She told me later things started around 7am.

About an hour later, I woke with what felt like menstrual cramps, a sensation that I had blissfully forgotten. It faded away, but a while later, I was woken up again. This stop and start lasted for about two hours. The sun had risen, while I rocked myself to ease the cramps. I decided to wake DH. He started timing the cramps on a handy smartphone app he had downloaded a few days before. The timing was weird and irregular – not anything like what we had been told to watch for, so I chalked it up to very strong Braxton Hicks. Well, after another hour, I wasn’t so sure.

At 11am they called me. I suggested it may be early labor. Keep busy, hydrated, try the tub and rest when you need to.

We called our doula, who recommended we stay vigilant for next few hours, but that it could be labor. We soon called our midwife, who gave us similar advice. I decided to get in the tub and turn on the water jets. The cramps eased, but soon were replaced by what I now know were contractions. The intensity grew quite dramatically and I started implementing some of the pain management techniques that DH and I had learned in our Birthing from Within class. But it wasn’t long before I looked at DH and said it’s time to call the midwife and tell her we’re on the way to the hospital.

 She had taken Guina’s Birthing from Within Immersion series.

As soon as I got out of the tub and tried to dress, the contractions hit me like truck. I could barely talk through them and I had to stop moving to ride them out. It became a race to see how much I could accomplish between each hit. Kneeling at the sink, can I make it to closet and put on that dress? Waddle to the closet, slide the dress on, stop, here it comes, lean into the wall. God***n it… ok, I can make it down the stairs if I go right now. Whew! Ok, maybe I can make it to the couch. No, damn it, here it comes, lean into another wall. Where is DH!? Ok there are my flip-flops, by the door, get them on and get into the garage… hurry go, go, go! Collapse into DH, as he’s holding the car door open, need to get into the back seat and kneel.

She called me to tell me to head to meet them at 12:40pm.

The swaying of our SUV helped, plus DH was a bit panicked so I focused on him and the drive. It took my mind off the contractions. We took the long route to the emergency room entrance by accident, DH cursing up a  storm. I wanted to laugh, but sort of muffled chuckled instead. We arrived and I was swiftly placed in a weird wheeled chair, but not an actual wheel chair. The wheels were rickety like an old shopping cart, but sweet, sweet, Jesus, the rough vibrations were a salve to my ever-widening cervix. I should have told him to take me on a tour of the whole hospital – it felt so good.

Once I was dropped off in the L&D room, my birth plan went out the window. A very pleasant nurse handed me a gown, to which I rudely responded, “no I’m not going to wear that,” followed by a start of a contraction, which was then followed by “f*ck it, give it to me.” However, based on the numerous pictures taken, I apparently decided being completely naked was the new birth plan.

At this point, I entered a hazy state, where I only existed in two forms, pain and sleep. Soon the room was filled with the hustle and bustle of nurses, my midwife and doula. The rubber tub was inflated and filled with water. I had arrived at the hospital at 5 cm. What?! You mean I labored all on my own to 5cm? Really? I did that? Ok, now give me a drug. I need a BREAK!!

An exam at 1:24pm showed she was already dilated to 5cm.

I arrived 1:30pm to meet them in room 11.

Anjli, her midwife arrived at 1:40pm.

My awesome doula, supportive DH and attentive midwife all tried to talk me down. Ah, poor innocents, they hadn’t figured out that I had made up my mind and the whisper of the word epidural had already started to take form in the shattering fragments of my weakening will.

A second exam was given by Anjli because I felt Katherine was moving along faster than she would be expected to be.

Anjli found her to be dilated to 7cm with a bulging bag.

And although we tried to encourage her to try the tub first- she resisted and instead at 2:05pm she received some Fetanyl.

Kat, a wonderful woman is our nurse. She begins to fill the tub at 2:30pm.

They relented and I was given a mild, short lasting narcotic. And I slept. I’m sure you’ve had dreams where you find yourself falling… well that’s what it felt like as soon as the narcotic wore off – a massive shock to my system as the next contraction hit. How did they become so strong? I tried to activate my mind to help survive each one. They guided me to the water, in which my water finally broke.

(more…)

This is a great article that tells it like it is. http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2011/08/hospitals-bad-job-breast-feeding/ and this is the study link http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/breastfeeding/

Yesterday I got a call from a mom who had had a baby less than 18 hours earlier. Her daughter had been born unmedicated and gently. She was a VBAC baby who weighed 9 pound even. Beautiful baby that within the first hour after birth had nursed beautifully. She then began to have her heel lanced and her blood sugar checked before feeding each time. This is not a little prick- it is a full lance of her foot- making it quite sore I am sure. Her blood sugar was fantastic. But this baby girl cried after nursing often times. She had 12 bowel movements- so obviously it was not because she was not getting enough colostrum to make her bowels move great- and we all know her stomach is the size of a marble irregardless of how big she was! But guess what? Instead of teaching the mom to swaddle or soothe her baby, the nurses convinced her that her baby was hungry and crying because the mom was not producing enough!!! AUGH! It makes me want to SCREAM!!!! So, this article shares what the CDC studies prove- the hospitals sabotage the nursing relationship-

“– (And this one is astounding to me, hence the bold) In nearly 80 percent of hospitals, healthy breastfeeding infants are given formula when it is not medically necessary, a practice that makes it much harder for mothers and babies to learn how to breastfeed and continue breastfeeding at home.”

Baby Bottles

I wonder how much formula she was sent home with! Why can’t we educate those who could really make a difference for moms and babies? I honestly tell people there is not one hospital in our area that I think does an excellent job after the baby is born. There is either some stupid policy about bathing the baby or having to pay for an isolete like a recent hospital I doula’d at… or stupid stuff like this mom went through. ENOUGH! We need to stand up and SCREAM NO! STOP IT! ENOUGH!

This is the birth story of a first time mama who took Teresa’s childbirth class six week series and hired Renee Wymer as her doula.

Jef and I welcomed little baby Ryan Michael to this world on Wednesday the 15th (9 days early) at 11:06pm. He was 7 lbs 8 oz and 20 inches long. It was an amazing experience! Here are just a few of the highlights…

So my contractions woke me up at 4:30 am on Tuesday morning. They were about 10 minutes apart and very manageable but I couldn’t sleep through them, so I just went about my day.  By 1:30am on Wednesday morning, they were about 5 minutes apart and I was feeling good – we were making progress. My birth ball and the bathtub were really helpful! That went on until about 6:30 when they went back to 8 minutes. I was a bit discouraged (and tired) but knew that it was normal. (more…)