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Jyn’s 8th Baby {Hospital Waterbirth}

Jyn’s 8th Baby {Hospital Waterbirth}

I have been pregnant every year since 1998 with the exception of 2004. We lost 2 in that time, but I have effectively been either pregnant and/or nursing for the past 14 years.

Just because you have been pregnant and have birthed a lot does not mean the next one will be easier. Your body doesn’t stay stretched out. You have to do it all over again. You have to contract, you have to open, you have to efface and dilate.

My 7th birth was harder and needed way more intervention than my 6th, so when #8 came around, we really had no clue what to expect!

I was due July 14th, but was walking around in labor for 2 weeks prior to the 4th of July. I was dilated, stretchy, 4-6 centimeters and my bag of water was bulging- to my midwife’s amazement. I had bloody show, I passed the plug constantly (as it renews itself). My pubic bone was separated so I was super uncomfortable. I PRAYED for it to end, I had never felt so ‘done before!

Late on the 3rd of July, I noticed the contractions I had been enduring for the past 2 weeks were every 5 minutes, now. I started timing them at midnight and finally decided to call the midwife at 1am to discuss if I should come in. On one hand, the contractions were regular and, knowing I had Group B strep and needed the antibiotics, should get in sooner than later so I could get the full 2 recommended bags of IV fluids in before birth. On the other hand, I didnt want to be premature and drag everyone in only to have everything stop, like it had in the past.

By 2am after chatting with the midwife, she finally said, “Jyn… come in and have your baby!”

So I gathered my husband, woke one of my daughters and got any last thing we needed which felt like the equivalent of a backpack prepared for a week’s stay in the wilderness. I texted my mom to come stay with the rest of the kids, and we left.

We got to the hospital at about 2:30am fully expecting it to be busy because, after all, it was now the 4th of July. It wasn’t.

They had the birthing pool ready and hot- but I couldn’t get in yet. They had to monitor me first. I actually didn’t even get into the tub until 3:30am. Enduring contractions in the hospital bed was awful.

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As the contractions came closer and harder and he moved down more- the pain in my back got worse and worse. I attribute that, now, to my separated pubic bone which was probably pinching in the back. I was worried about a stretchy but not fully dilated cervix being dragged down with the baby’s head. This is what happened 2 years earlier with my 7th. So I was prepared with some Astroglide to help ease the baby’s head through the cervix and out with minimal scraping on the inside. With each contraction I eased the cervix around his head myself, but really- he felt more like he was going to come out the other end!

Finally, at 9 centimeters dilated my water burst with a sonic boom and he was coming and the contractions were harder.

With a primal roar, out came his head and shoulders at 6:17am on the 4th of July- and up to my bosom with a great big sigh of relief and “Ohhhhh!”

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The water was quite warm as I had insisted, and I started bleeding a little more than we wanted- so they had me get out to an awaiting bed. The whole ordeal, on video, looks so quiet and collected and calm- absolutely the farthest from how it felt! I felt, most of the time, like I was on the edge of insanity!

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Jude Elias was officially 7lbs, 9.5 oz and 19 inches long- beautiful and full of life! The placenta was huge, with 2 lobes (like a heart) and a very thick long umbilical cord that pulsated forever, it seemed!

We rejected the Vitamin K injection as well as the silver nitrate. He was my second child to not receive the Vitamin K injection and my second child to leave the hospital with absolutely no jaundice! It also took them 30 minutes to get a proper PKU sample because… his blood kept clotting.

{Story and photos submitted by Jyn Meyer.}

A Natural Hospital Water Birth

A Natural Hospital Water Birth

My story really begins from 36 weeks pregnant. This is when the “challenges” began! Up until this time, everything had been going smoothly, and I was feeling fantastic.

Then, at my 36 week appointment with my OB, she informed me that a blood test she’d gotten me to do previously had come back showing I had cholestasis (where the liver enzymes and bile acids are raised and can become toxic for the baby, which runs a risk of affecting their heart, and could possibly lead to fetal death; a very rare risk, but still a risk).

I was not totally shocked as this was my second pregnancy, and I had had cholestasis, along with pre-eclampsia, in my first pregnancy. Just to set the background, during this first pregnancy, I managed to keep everything stable with health supplements and diet changes and ended up having a natural, intervention and drug free, hospital birth. Axel Riley came 2 days prior to his due date after a 28hr labour, and was born in perfect health!

Back to where I left off. My doctor was rather concerned, as my levels were a lot more raised than they had been in my previous pregnancy. She told me it looked like I would have to be induced early. I left her office in tears, I so badly wanted a natural and intervention free birth again and of course a healthy baby!  I should just mention that I had no symptoms (itching, etc.) this pregnancy or the last, which is interesting.

We repeated the blood test at 37 weeks, and that came back higher again. That was it, I was to be induced the following Thursday, at 38weeks. I am a pro-active type and very much into natural remedies, so in the meantime, I was using high quality supplements (Neways) as recommended by a natural therapist, and again the diet changes (lots of raw foods etc). Before Thursday came, my bile acids had come from 13 back down to 8! The liver enzymes were also back down a lot too!

I was overjoyed, and my husband and I felt that with close monitoring, we felt at peace to cancel the induction, and take it all a few days at a time, hoping I would go into labour naturally. The drs were happy enough to let us do this as long as they could keep a close eye on things. One dr though tried to be very overpowering, and gave me such a hard time about it, and made me feel terrible. I stayed strong though, and kept to what WE felt was best for our baby.

By 39 weeks, all my levels were TOTALLY normal, and at exactly 40 weeks, my body went into labour naturally :)! I couldn’t have been happier.

It was just after mid-night, Tuesday the 24th of January 2012. I felt as though it was beginning, so I text my older sister Karen, who was planning to be at the birth with us. By 3:15am I knew it was the real thing, as my contractions were coming at 2 to 5 mins apart and lasting 40-45 seconds. I also lost a lot of my plug. I couldn’t sleep anymore, so got up, and finished packing my bags for hospital, and bounced on my fit ball during contractions.

At 4:30 I decided to lay back down to try get some rest in-between the contractions. I did get a little sleep which great! As soon as 6:30 came I started making phone calls. I called to let my mum know first, as she was coming to stay with Axel, my 22month old. And I also organised a visit to my chiropractor for later in the morning. Finally my husband woke up (he could sleep through a hurricane!). And told him that this was it – I was finally in labour!! We were both so excited. I kept myself busy during the morning organising Axel for the day, and concentrating on working with my contractions as they came.

Going to the chiropractor whilst in labour was rather interesting. Thankfully I didn’t have any contractions in the clinic, only in the car on the way to and from the clinic!

By lunch time, my sister and Mum had both arrived. I was very relaxed and was able to go into my own little space during my contractions. I showered several times which I found helped a lot. By 3pm, I knew it was time to get everything packed into the car, and leave for hospital.

At this stage, whenever a contraction came, I felt I just had to get down on all fours, as I was feeling a lot of pressure on my coccyx area. Into the car we all got, and drove the short distance to our local hospital, arriving at 4pm. I had been using a snorkel at home to breathe through and bite on, which I absolutely had to take into the hospital with me! The midwife had to ask what it was, to which I replied, “It’s my snorkel. Don’t laugh; it’s just gotten me through 13 hours of labour!” I was smiling inside thinking how funny it must have looked!!!

I stayed in my room for the next 2hrs working hard through some strong contractions (with the help of my snorkel, pounding my fists on the bed, and encouragement from my support team!). Finally I asked my midwife if she thought it wouldn’t be too early for me to get into the bath. I consented to a vaginal examination, to which she told me I was 8cm dilated, and I should “hop in now, and enjoy that water!” It was so lovely when I got in. I felt so relaxed and couldn’t stop smiling. It was just what I wanted, soft music playing, dim lights, my husband Dan by my side, my sister Karen watching on and doing a fantastic job of encouraging me, and my midwife sitting back and letting us go for it.

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Not long after I got in the water, I had to go to the loo. My waters broke while I was there, and I knew it wouldn’t be long before our baby would arrive. Back in the water I hopped and immediately felt like pushing. I tried to hold back a bit and take it very slowly. I had second degree tearing during my first labour, which I was trying to avoid this time. Just 40 mins later, at 6:46pm, out she came with her left arm above her head and into my husband’s ready hands.

He handed her up to me (after getting detangled from the umbilical cord), and placed her onto my chest. It was the most beautiful moment!

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We didn’t know what we were having, so I lifted her up to look, and said rather excitedly, “Oh, it’s a little girl!” The next few hours were just amazing, cuddling and breastfeeding her while we left the cord attached. My mum brought Axel in as soon as we let her know, which was such a precious moment. Axel was so in awe of her and is still so loving and proud of her today!

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Ava Grace weighed 7lbs (3.195kg) and was 49cm long.

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Hospital Water Birth with a {Supportive} OB

Hospital Water Birth with a {Supportive} OB

I’d like to share a story that includes a birth story.

I want to share with you the way that the right doctor can have influence. I will start by saying I didn’t have an OB, I didn’t have a midwife, I choose to use my family medicine general practitioner as my doctor. He was my grandma’s doctor, he is my mom’s doctor, and he is the doctor for me and my siblings and about half of our relatives. He knows my whole family. Since he has known me since before I was born, I choose not to have to find someone else.

So almost immediately after that test said positive I was in his office. Here is the first effect he had on this pregnancy. He thought something was wrong and sent us immediately for an ultrasound. While it was nothing, him sending us for that ultrasound netted my child her first nickname, Speck. Because at only 4.5 weeks pregnant that is all my baby was, that speck there on the screen. And to this day you will only find her online referred to as Speck, and half my friends call her Speck on a regular basis.

I went to my doctor for all my appointments. He encouraged me not to take any medicines while pregnant, even if it meant 35 weeks of throwing up. He got his water birth credentials, even though I am probably the only patient he will ever have used them on, since we are pretty sure he will be retiring here in the next year or two. He listened to exactly what I wanted the whole time. Even though he thought I was kind of weird for wanting what I did and questioned why I made the choices I made. I felt comfortable and cared about at each visit and you might ask why I did even though he questioned me, but his questions made me think and ask myself why. If I couldn’t answer him why I wanted that…did I really want it?

He also provided me with the closest thing to the birth I wanted that I could probably have gotten. I went into labor at a convention. I was 40 weeks and 5 days along and walking around. Looking back, walking around with all that excitement is probably why I went into labor. I can honestly say I thought it was fake. I labored 6 hours in the oddest way possible; I made beaded hair sticks, watched movies, I played cards, and walked around the hotel, before the blood on the toilet paper finally made me ask, blood means not fake right? {my poor husband}

I spent another hour laboring at home in my bathtub upon advice from the hospital and my mom. I declared it was time to go to the hospital when each contraction brought on the dry heaving/throwing up that I had already suffered through for 35 weeks, I just wanted to go long enough for them to make the throwing up stop, then I wanted to come home and go to bed.

I got to the hospital and walked in, albeit very slowly. The security guard decided that a wheelchair was beyond necessary. And much to my dismay, the nurses’ station stated that they needed paperwork filled out because while I had been there earlier in the day for the non-stress test it was now past midnight and a new day hence time for me to fill out the same stinking forms again. After getting to the room and getting in the gown and all hooked up, I declared that just 10 hours ago I was only dilated to a 1 and I just wanted the throwing up to stop and to go home. I let them check me, and was already at a 6, at which point they said I would not be going home tonight. The went out to call my doctor and get me a few things, came back and I was near a 7!!!

So they went and prepared the water birth suite. I walked over there myself, only stopping once. They got me on the bed just as my doctor arrived. And arrive he did complete in his bright red swimsuit! They checked again and I was complete {only 2 hours after walking in at a 6}! Speck was still at a station 0 though. So they decided to break my water. At this point my tailbone was killing me, and I was still getting 2 contractions a big and a little. I asked for IV drugs. {Which only took 3 IV’s to finally get in}

After they broke my water it was determined that it was filled with meconium. But I was still allowed to get in the water birth tub, which apparently was debated. In the tub I felt wonderful. I was told I could start pushing at this point. So push I did. It was so odd, I floated along, pushing away. Speck made it down a bit, but after 1.5 hours of pushing, I still didn’t have a baby. At which point…I was told I had to get out of the tub. That was the worst!!! I was SOOOOO COLD! I was shaking and shaking. I tried another position on the bed. I pushed like that for a bit. They decided that wasn’t working either, and I was getting SOOOO tired. They had me try the squat bar. I didn’t like it, but they said it was helping, so I kept at it.

This whole time my doctor and nurses kept going just out of sight and whispering. I began to fear that I was never getting her out and I wondered how long they would let me keep going, I was sure they were over there talking about how to take me back for a C-section because I just wasn’t getting her anywhere.

They came back and started me on pitocin and sugar water because I had pushed for 2 hours and was exhausted. I got a 4th needle stick then. I was at that point sure I couldn’t do it. I cried, I wanted a nap, I told them I can’t do this anymore. My awesome husband told me I could, the nurse was there telling me I could.

So I got in the traditional position and pushed some more. Finally they said she was crowning, but she was getting hung up on skin. They told me an episiotomy would reduce my pushing a half hour. I said yes instantly. The next contraction they told me to push hard. So I did, I pushed with everything I had left {not much at that point} and out her head came, and her shoulders, and the rest of her too; 3 hours of pushing! They flopped her up on me instantly, and she was crying. Oh the joy!!!!

Apparently I was told to stop pushing, well I didn’t hear them, and it was all just one push to get her out. Turns out she was posterior the entire time, hence all the pushing and the odd big little pattern on my contractions. It also explains my level 4 tear! Yep, they cut me and then she tore me the rest of the way. After they called a specialist in, an hour of stitching, and more drugs than labor had netted me, I was again one whole person with a 7lb 8oz 20.5″ long picture prefect little girl.

Now you might say, well, your doctor didn’t sound helpful at all. He showed up in a swimsuit and thinking about it looking down I remember seeing flip flops on his feet. Pretty sure my birth suit was his idea of a beach! But no one noticed that she was posterior so it’s not his fault that no one tried to turn her. It was entirely his doing, though, that I was allowed to continue to push until Speck came out. The nurses were behind that curtain, telling him that too much time had passed, that I was too tired; that the Pitocin wasn’t doing enough, that a C-section was the only way that baby was going to come out. And he stood his ground for me, and said, “no… she’s a tough lady she’ll get her out.”

Without my doctor instead of a scar below I would have tummy scar. And while recovery for that might have gone quicker. I know that I wouldn’t have been anywhere near as happy with the birth of my first child. So I want to encourage everyone to find the doctor that will stand there and tell the nurses… no she’s a strong lady. Because, heck, we are all strong ladies.

Speck

Me and my Speck, 8 hours after she was born. The first time we BOTH got some sleep.

Hospital Water Birth {Membrane Sweep Experience}

Hospital Water Birth {Membrane Sweep Experience}

I had my first child when I was 20 years old. I was the typical ” I will be so drugged up” young girl. I was pretty much terrified to have any sort of pain. However as time went on, and the later into my pregnacy, all it took was one person telling me that I couldnt do it. From that point on, I was going to do it 100% natural. As I did, all three of my children.

I was only able to have one water birth. I thought since he was my 3rd child that he would come early. Well, I was wrong. I had been to my midwife the week before, had my membranes stripped, and sent home for it to work, well it didnt. Came the following week, I was 39 weeks 6 days. She did it again, and again sent on my way waiting for contractions.

I woke up about 3AM to go to the rest room, where I felt a familia gush of fluid ( my 2nd child my bag or waters just leaked for a day ) I immediatly knew that unless I started labor on my own somehow Pitocin was in my future, which made me nervous for my water birth. We got to the hospital about 9:30 AM on 9/20/12. We tried a few methods to jump start labor, I would have some pretty bad contactions but nothing that stuck, he was coomfortable and simply didnt want to come out.

About 6:00 PM I was hooked up to the wonderful medicine Pitocin… which I was also given in my last labor and delivery. I was praying it would just quickly jump start labor and I would be good to go. I was finally able to get in the water around 10:25 and at 7 cm. The best feeling ever, was turning that nasty IV machine off and getting in the warm water. From that second on, with in 25 minutes I went from 7 to 10 and welcomed my third healthy son! 8 LB 1 OZ 20.5 inches long Mr Ethan!!

I will definatly do a water birth again if we have any more. I will however, go against the membrane stripping as I think that is what caused me to leak the fluids in my last two pregnacies.

Hospital Water Birth, Dad Catches

Hospital Water Birth, Dad Catches

From the day we found out we were pregnant, our delivery and birth choices were researched, studied and discussed amongst many people.  We decided early to have you naturally (un-medicated) and the education on how to accomplish that began.  We “interviewed” two different doulas, toured two different hospitals, talked with the delivery staff at one of them, “interviewed” the midwife group we were considering switching our care to, and even took a 12 week long class on natural birth.  We knew from the get-go that this was the right choice for us.  The following is all a result of the preparation and choices we made.  It’s a beautiful result.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011:

After anxiously waiting for you to arrive (and hoping, wishing, begging!) it was before Christmas, at about 5:30am, you woke me up.  I felt a contraction and knew it was different.  For about an hour, I laid in bed next to your Dad (as he snoozed away) and tried to pay close attention to what my body was doing.  Finally, at 6:30am, I told your Dad I thought I was having some real contractions.  The look on his face was priceless.  He got serious.  For the next hour we timed them while still laying in bed.  I would tell him when I would start to feel something and when they were over and we discovered they were about 4-5 minutes apart.  At 7:30am, as we got up to get ourselves ready and eat some breakfast, we called our doula, Jamie, and told her what was going on.  She said it sounded like you were on your way so she would head over.

At about 9:00am, both Jamie and your Grammy arrived at our house and we got settled in.  Until about 11:30am, nothing was really changing.  Contractions were still about 4-5 minutes apart.  They started to get a little more intense since I would have to stop and breathe through them with my eyes closed.  I started needing to concentrate more, which means we were making progress, but still, they were coming about every 4-5 minutes.  Jamie decided to take a break and head out for a little while.  She said to call if anything changed or if my water broke and she would be right back.

So, expecting this to continue for quite awhile, she was out the door with your Dad not too far behind to go get a pizza for lunch.  (We figured since we would be here, we might as well have something good to eat!)  While they were gone, your Grammy stayed with me. At about noon, I felt as if I couldn’t sit on the couch anymore and I needed to get on my knees and lean over the chair.  I felt as if the contractions were getting even more intense; that we were about to get busy.  I distinctly remember at this time thinking to myself, “Oh boy, here we go!”  Then, while Jamie and Dad were still gone, at about 12:20pm, my water broke.  Right there, in the living room, leaning over on my hands and knees.  It was the funniest feeling.  I told Grammy, “I think my water just broke” in a semi-strained voice and we made our way slowly to the bathroom as she called your Dad to report the progress.

I remember thinking that your Dad needed to hurry and get back; I literally needed him at this point; emotionally and physically.  I remember feeling nervous and somewhat scared but I knew I was going to do this; I was determined we were going to welcome you into this world medication free.  I needed that to happen for myself and for you–and it was about to happen, for sure!

Soon enough, your Dad and Jamie got back.  I remember hearing your Dad say something to Grammy about how he could tell just by looking at me that we had switched to transition (the part of labor right before pushing).  As we tried different laboring positions with the ball, on the toilet, etc., the only thing I remember working was leaning on your Dad standing up.  I know when a contraction would come I would nearly pull your Dad down!  Those were the most intense moments of my life.

I screamed and groaned every time one of them hit.  I distinctly remember one in particular when I was standing at the foot of the bed with my head on the birth ball, your Dad on my left, Jamie on my right and when it came, your little head was swiveling around, pushing down.  It was incredible!  During all the contractions before, I remember only feeling a squeezing sensation; I hadn’t actually, literally, felt you moving down yet!  That feeling, although painful, really put me in tune with you, I think.  When I felt your little head moving and twisting around, it was almost as if it made it real at that point.  I was about to meet my little man.

At about 1:45pm, we decided to head to the hospital.  After being in the bathroom and Jamie seeing me work through my contractions, she made the decision that it was time.  One of our goals for our birth was to labor at home as long as we could.  And luckily we could do that with Jamie (because of her educated judgment) and the fact that we only live 1/4 mile from the hospital!  At this time I was already feeling the sensation to push.

As the four of us headed out the door, me gripping your Dad’s arm as tight as I could (and saying our rushed, half-hearted goodbyes to the dogs–who were used to getting long, drawn out parting wishes) we were out.  There was one contraction in the front yard that I thought you were going to come right then and there!  I remember hearing your Dad say, “Oh!  She’s pushing!”  That was cool to me (in the midst of it all) to hear him say that because he made that realization all by himself.  We hadn’t actually talked about my urge to push.  It was as if your Dad was so in touch with what was going on with us, he could tell the difference.  Your Dad was amazing.

When we finally made it up to the room around 2:00pm (after some confusion about where to go exactly) as I was on my hands and knees on the stretcher (yes, I had to be transported up there) I remember everyone rushing around frantically.  I knew you were coming soon and apparently, they did too!  When Lindsay, the midwife, checked me, I remember her whispering in my ear that I was “at a 10” (which means completely dilated…which means you’re ready to come any minute!) and that if I wanted to get in the tub (which was our goal) that I needed to get moving and get in there now.

So we made our way to the tub and as soon as I got in, I immediately felt relief.  It’s funny but at that point, between the pushing contractions, I felt relaxed.  I was much more coherent and was able to somewhat talk with people.  I remember leaning over to your Aunt Lindsey, who knelt down by me at some point, and asked her if Daddy (your Grandpa) was here.  I asked if Gigi and Dad had made it too.  I wanted to make sure that everyone was there ready for you.

Then, only just a few short minutes and pushes later, with your Dad right by my side and Lindsay, the midwife, coaching me through each one, your little head was out.  Your Dad had been watching and feeling every push before that as you would make a short little appearance.  Only the very top of your head would poke out until you had positioned yourself exactly how you wanted to be and were ready to see us.  I remember your Dad saying with such excitement, “May!  His head is out!”  Michelle, our photographer, got a very special picture of your Dad’s face when he said it too!

Then, with Lindsay calmly coaching me on the next step, the pushing sensation came, I started to push, your shoulders were out, your Dad grabbed a hold of you and there you were!  At 2:37pm, our beautiful baby boy from Daddy’s hands to Momma’s chest.  I couldn’t believe it.  You were here!  There we were, lying in the tub, with the nurses trying to get you wiped down and warmed up right there in my arms.

We had done it.  We had gotten you here, in this beautiful mess of a world, and we did it how we had hoped and wished for. We love you, little man.  Happy birthday!

Hospital Water Birth in Iceland

Hospital Water Birth in Iceland

“I live in Iceland and in March 2010, my husband and I had a baby girl. She was 6 lbs. 3 oz, and 49 cm long. I gave birth in the water at the hospital here in Reykjavik, Iceland. These pictures were taken when she just came out of the water. The birth was incredible! I came to the hospital at 3:00 am and she was born at 6:26. So beautiful and her name is Adela.” ~Berglind

VBAC Hospital Water Birth Announcement with Pictures

VBAC Hospital Water Birth Announcement with Pictures

Lisa, a BWF mama and doula, sent in these pictures she took while supporting her good friend Helen. She says,

“These photos of my dear friends water VBAC in April this year. I am a birth doula but when Helen asked me to support on her journey towards her planned VBAC, it was the first time I would be doula for a close friend. Nothing could prepare me for the emotion I felt …I’m so glad I picked up my camera at just the moment that I did because I never tire of soaking up the raw emotion in these pictures. Seeing her bring baby Ollie to the surface while her amazing partner Craig had his first experience of a vaginal birth will stay with me for the rest of my life. We cried. Tears of pure joy. I’m still in awe of her.”

Just love Daddy’s face…

Welcome to the world Ollie. He weighed 9 lbs 6 oz.

A supported, hospital water VBAC! What a high and the smile shows it!

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