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A Doula’s Empowering Birth Story

A Doula’s Empowering Birth Story

I woke up Monday (for the third or fourth time) around 7:45 am, went to the restroom and noticed more bloody show. I had some pink tinged mucous all weekend so I knew some kind of change was happening. Last Monday at my 38 weeks checkup I was 2+ cm dilated and about 50% effaced.

So I layed back down in bed with my boys and started playing on my phone. Almost immediately I had a contraction. Much different than the braxton hicks I had for nearly 6 weeks straight and much different than the contractions I had with Halen. About 6 minutes later I had another.

At 8:00 am I got out of bed to start timing them and move around to see what they would do. At that point they averaged 4 minutes a part and about 45 seconds long. When they stayed this way for an hour I let a few people know what was going on and asked for prayers. I then called my Mother-In-Law because she is who would be taking care of Halen while we were in the hospital.

I started doing dishes around 9:30 and they kept coming and getting stronger. At this point it felt really good to squat down really deep through my contractions. When Halen’s Nana was on her way to get him, I woke the boys up. “Hey, honey, we’re having a baby today.”

“Huh?” Dustin replied.

“We’re having a baby today!” I said again.

Then he asked “Why?” but meant something along the lines of how did I know. I told him I had been having consistent contractions for a couple hours and his mom was on his way to pick up our boy.

At 10:00 am I make Halen’s breakfast and continue to pack the rest of our last minute items. Lisa showed up and we said our goodbye’s to what would be our last moments of being a family of three. After they left Dustin got out of bed, did a few last minute chores as well and then got into the shower. We’re talking about my morning in the bathroom and he worries that we’ll be going too early since we got sent home when I was laboring with Halen. I, on the other hand, wanted to make sure we got to the hospital in enough time to get antibiotics for my Group B Strep.

So we headed out the door at 11:00 am. Living 35 minutes from the hospital, meant I had to go through about 10 contractions without the ability to squat through them, like I had been doing at home. After making a quick pit stop to get Dustin breakfast we arrived on the L&D floor, still smiling, a little before 11:45 am.

My nurse checked my cervix and found me to still only be 2+ cm dilated. I was pretty disappointed in my body until she said I was 80% effaced and had a bulging bag! They said they needed to get at least a 20 minute read on baby’s heart rate then they would let me walk around. I had to make progress quickly or they would send me home to labor some more! I did not want that AT ALL so I squatted some more through my contractions but eventually what felt best was just sitting straight up on the end of the bed.

At 12:36pm my baby kicked really hard and my water broke! Yay! I couldn’t get sent home, and that meant I was really having my baby! It was such a crazy feeling having a spontaneous rupture of membranes. My nurses came in to admit me and they wanted to get baby’s heart rate through a contraction to make sure there was no cord prolapse.

As they’re attempting to start an IV, draw blood and get baby’s heart rate my contractions started to get crazy and very close together. I couldn’t sit still and my nurse trying to stick me blew two veins. The other, more experienced nurse decided to just check me internally again to look for the cord. Baby’s head was engaged, no cord, 90% effaced and 4 cm dilated! She finally got my IV started and my Midwife, Kim, came to check on me and see how I was. She told me she would be here as soon as we were ready and reassured me I was doing a great job handling my contractions.

When Kim left my whole mood changed. I started getting snappy with my poor husband and yelling at him for no reason. I remember telling him to “shut-up, I am breathing”. I flipped to my hands and knees at the end of the bed and started to feel lots of burning and pressure. It scared me that I was feeling those sensations so quickly so I asked her to check me again. It had only been 20 minutes since my last check and I was already at 6 cm!

Dustin stepped into the hall to call my mom and update her. She heard me on the phone and said, “Let me know when she gets here and I will come up”. When he hung up he texted his mom and told her I was at a 6. While he was doing this I felt my body pushing hard and fast. How was this happening already? I knew it could be involuntary but I didn’t want to tear my cervix from how hard I was pushing already.

My nurse, bless her heart, asked if there was anyway I could get to my back so she could check me again. I told her I couldn’t and she warned me how uncomfortable it would be to check me like that and I said “just get it over with”. So at that point, only about 15 minutes maximum since my last check, I was at 9.5 cm.

“Call Kim!” She said to the other nurse. “Don’t fight it, Janis, push if you need to push”.

At first, it felt so good to push with the contractions. It actually made the pressure feel better. I could feel her head making its way through my pelvis, then it happened, the burn. Then I heard Kim’s voice say “I’m here sweetie just do what you need to.” I couldn’t see her, but hearing her sweet voice, so calm and reassuring gave me confidence.

At this point I don’t even know what my husband was doing, though I vaguely remember him saying push a couple times. I no longer felt waves of contractions, just bursts of pressure and my body bearing down for short amounts of time. I was pushing on my hands and knees at the edge of the bed and I felt Kim helping to stretch my perineum. “Stop doing that, it BURNS!” I yelled at her. I think I may have even crawled away from her a bit.

“I’m just trying to help you stretch a little so you don’t tear, she is very big,” Kim calmly said to me.

“Okay but it burns really bad.” I felt my voice getting shaky and my body literally sucked her back up. The doula inside me started talking and thought quickly “It will stop burning once you got her out,” and there was no way around it, “You just have to do it.”

The next time I felt my body bearing down I pushed as hard as I could, she was big, bigger than I thought was possible. I had to adjust my legs wider to make more room in my pelvis but I got her head out! I didn’t know it at the time, but her cord was wrapped around her neck and Kim slipped it over her head quickly. With my next urge I started to push again to get her shoulders out, I knew this would be just as difficult.

“Okay Janis I need you to put your right leg up, like you’re going to take off running.” At that point, I figured her shoulders were stuck so I pushed a bit until Kim asked me to change positions again to accommodate for my big girl. I was laying on my left side, pulling my right leg up toward my shoulder. I thought once I got her shoulders out she would slip out pretty easy but that wasn’t the case at all. It still took quite a bit of effort to get her hips out!

She passed some meconium immediately after delivery and had aspirated some fluid on the way out so it took her a bit to cry and pink up. After her cord stopped pulsating, I cut her away from me.

Harley Marie Belle came Earthside on July 14, 2014 at 1:47 pm. After 6 hours of labor and only about an hour of active labor. She weighed in at a whopping 9 pounds 10 ounces and 20.5 inches long. Bringing Harley into this world made me realize how strong I am, I feel like a super hero.

a doulas empowering story

{Story submitted by Janis Tucker}

A Military Birth Story {Giving Birth During My Husbands Deployment}

A Military Birth Story {Giving Birth During My Husbands Deployment}

operation special delivery skype birth doula

Growing up, I’ve always dreamed of becoming a mommy and a wife, but never a military wife who would have to deal with deployments and whatnot. But when I met my husband, I knew that it would just be a part of our life, because he was worth it and he was the man for me.

However when he deployed when I was 18 weeks pregnant, no one told me how hard it would be to be pregnant without him and when he told me he couldn’t come home for the birth and neither could my mom, I was scared because I would be giving birth to our first-born all by myself.

By luck I found a doula who offered her services through a program called Operation Special Delivery, and she was my angel! She stayed with me through 20 hours of labor and guided me the whole time. Luckily, my husband was able to Skype the birth with me, too! I gave birth 5 months ago to a happy, healthy, and thriving boy, 8.5 lbs and 20.5 inches.

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He hasn’t met his daddy yet, but he will soon! I read him his recordable storybooks every day and they Skype from time to time, so I know he knows his daddy is there loving him even from afar. This experience has just made me stronger; I wish all the military mommas going through the same thing luck and know that you can do it! 🙂

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Stephanie Kramer and 1lt Timothy Kramer and Johnny, our son

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{Props to my doula, Virginia Rivenbark!}

Baby Born Outside the Hospital ER Door {Rainbow Baby}

Baby Born Outside the Hospital ER Door {Rainbow Baby}

My birth story.

Hi Girls….the dust has settled, I’m out of the newborn fog and am so excited to share my birth story with you all.

Miss Elliette Mae dramatically entered the world at 10:37PM on 1/3/13. She weighed 8pounds, 8.5 ounces and was 20 inches long.

The morning of the 3rd I woke up and had an intense urge to reorganize my bathroom. Good thing I was in the bathroom, because by 11:00AM, I had been to the potty 4 times (in hindsight, two very strong indicators that labor had started; nesting and multiple potty visits) The rest of the day was spent running errands. I went to the post office, Target, gas station, grocery store, vacuum repair shop and frankly felt quite productive. I was 38+2 and had been pretty uncomfortable the past three days.

My husband arrived home early from work. I began to prepare dinner, had a contraction, and wondered if I should watch the clock, but quickly got wrapped up in dinner and didn’t notice any other contractions. After cleaning up dinner, my DH and I watched some TV. At 8PM, I looked at DH and said, “Something is different. I have a feeling she’ll be here sometime in the next 24 hours.” The feeling that things were different would not go away….at 9 my DH suggested we go to bed. He instantly fell asleep and I laid there trying to get comfortable. Suddenly I had a strong urge to go to the bathroom, but when I sat on the pot, I couldn’t go. I headed back to bed feeling like I was going to wet myself, so I again headed to the toilet, but still couldn’t go.

I went back to bed, lay down, and had a contraction that took my breath away. I thought, “Wow, better watch the clock.” I did and exactly seven minutes later, I had another strong contraction. I got up, headed back to the bathroom where I pushed to finally relieve my bladder. When I wiped, I was spotting. I immediately woke up my husband saying, “I’m in labor. We need to go.”

Well, DH asked how many contractions I had had. I told him two. He then proceeded to turn on the shower. He was convinced that the baby wouldn’t be here until at least the next day, so he thought he could take his sweet time. It was 9:37 and I called my doula. “I’m pretty sure we’re having a baby.” She said she’d be to our house within ten minutes. She made it in eight minutes and at 9:45ish walked in while I was having a string contraction. She took one look at me and said, “I think you’re in transition.”

At this point my DH was out of the shower, bags were in the car and my contractions were roughly 2-3 minutes apart and very intense. Our doula offered steady encouragement during four contractions before she said we needed to get in the car NOW. She told my DH to put towels down since my water would likely break in the car.

My contractions were coming one on top of the other and it was frankly the scariest car ride of my life. I vaguely remember crying, praying to God to slow it down, gripping the hand rail, and seeing the speedometer at 90mph only to tell DH to go faster. UCSD is roughly 25 minutes away from our house, and in hindsight, way too far away.

We exited the freeway, my water broke, DH took a wrong turn, and our baby was coming….after stopping to tell our doula that he was lost, she headed in the right direction and the hospital was in sight. DH asked where he should go and I said to pull in to the ER. He pulled in behind the paramedics, I stepped out of the car and DH ran in to get a wheelchair. When he made it back outside, he said get in…I said she is coming NOW. I lifted up my skirt and reveled her head, as she was crowning.

I remember keeping my hand on her head and thinking, “I am not going to drop my baby on the concrete.” The rest is blurry, but there were lots of people standing around; random ER patients, homeless folk, passer-bys, and hospital staff. I remember hearing someone say, “Lay down.” And then another voice said, “I’m going to catch your baby.” The next thing I remember hearing was, “I’ve got a shoulder…baby’s out.”

And there she was; just like that; born on the concrete in the driveway of the ER on her terms. My husband had the thought to snap one picture, and that’s all we have to commemorate what is likely one of the fastest labors in history.

Needless to say, I did some damage to my lady parts. But I’d do it all again and again if need be. My rainbow girl is perfect in every way, and my heart is full.

My doula gifted Elliette with her birth story, and in it she wrote, “to be a rainbow baby does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears in the sky, it does not mean that the storm never happened, or that the family is not still dealing with its sadness aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds…..and that light is you. Storm clouds may still hover but a “rainbow baby” provides a counterbalance of color, energy, and hope.

What a journey this has been. Love and light to all, Jen.

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A Contracting Uterus, Crowning and More: Pictures

A Contracting Uterus, Crowning and More: Pictures

Lindsay McCoy is a Hypnobabies Instructor, birth doula, and prenatal yoga instructor in Minneapolis, MN. She captured these pictures at the birth was at Morningstar Birth Center in St Louis Park, MN with Catherine Mascari, CNM.

The mom loved being on the toilet for the majority of her birthing time.  When it came time to push the baby out she asked the midwife if she was going to have to move and Catherine assured her that where she was at was just fine.

Here is the amazing mom’s and the midwife’s expression upon finding out it’s a GIRL (everyone except Lindsay guessed boy)!


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