Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bea's Planned Home Birth Story

Monday, November 25, 2013-Due Date

9:20 pm I go to the bathroom to pee and feel an extra spurt of liquid that I know is not water had just broken. I start crying because I do NOT feel ready for this baby to come; I was sure I had several more days (Madeline was 13 days late); I still had so much to do to get "ready" (what does "ready" for a baby look like??); I had NOT practiced my Hypnobabies like I was supposed to, and I didn't want the money and time spent to be a waste (it wasn't!).

Bless Walt, he comes in from the garage and can hear me crying, and though we are not the couple who normally hangs out together in the bathroom, he comes in to find out what is wrong. He gives me a hug and says, "You are ready for this."

10:45ish pm  I am in bed listening to a couple Hypnonbabies tracks and trying to get to sleep. Walt is asleep in no time, and I am trying really hard to turn off the nervous energy I am feeling so I can go to sleep. A little while later I feel a gush of liquid; thankfully we had put the water proof mattress cover on our bed a few weeks prior, and I was laying on a chux pad. I think, "Ok, no need to wake up Walt, I'll just get up and get cleaned up myself." But I wait too long and soon there is another gush of liquid and then another and I am soaked and the pad is soaked and I'm pretty sure the sheets are getting wet.

12:15 am  I wake Walt up to help get me and the bed cleaned up. I get in the shower while he changes the sheets and gets a new chux pad.

12:45 am  Back to bed and listening to another Hypnobabies track.

12:52 am  I feel the first pressure wave (Hypnobabies term for contraction) deep in my pelvis. I wasn't even sure it was a pressure wave because it was so deep in my pelvis which is not where they started with Madeline's birth. After the third or fourth one I tell Walt and he starts timing them.

1:12 am  I feel like I might need to go to the bathroom, so I go sit on the toilet for a few pressure waves.

1:23 am  I am so tired and would really like to sleep, but the waves increase in intensity pretty quickly, and I can't just breathe through them while lying down. So I try being on all fours in bed, squatting, standing and swaying, and I start humming (really low in my throat) through the waves.

1:38 am  I feel nauseous and ask Walt for a bag just in case. He puts a few drops of peppermint essential oil in the bag for me to inhale and that keeps me from getting sick.

1:45 am  Back to the toilet. I keep feeling like I need to go to the bathroom, but when I get to the toilet nothing happens. I sit down and it hurts and I get up and feel like I have to go, so I sit down and it hurts. This seems to cycle around for a bit.

1:52 am  Back to bed to try to rest. I alternate between being on all fours during pressure waves and laying down between waves.

2:16 am  I am back in the bathroom to pee. At some point I cross the bathroom to the tub and get down on my knees and hang over the edge of the tub swaying my hips and making very low sounds as needed. Eventually I am hanging on to Walt (arms around his neck, face buried in his neck or shoulder) while either sitting on the toilet or standing in front of it.

In the months leading up to Bea's birth I had been mostly confident I could manage my fear and stay calm, but it was tough as the pressure waves were so intense and we were an hour or so into a process I was sure would last at least another 8-10 hours (Madeline's labor was about 45 hours). I was really battling fear, but knew that I had to stay calm and loose as tension would makes things feel even worse. I was quoting II Timothy 1:7 (God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind) over and over and forcing myself to breathe deeply and evenly and make low noises (to keep my throat open and loose) if needed. At one point I definitely thought, "Maybe we should just go to the hospital and get a c-section," and if I had been at the hospital I probably would have been asking for the pain medicine.

All this time Walt has been talking and texting with our midwife and doula. Both were at other births.

2:34 am  Midwife texts that her assistant should arrive any minute. She had already told her back up midwife to head our way.

2:42 am  Midwife assistant is here and checks Bea's heart tones; she sounds good.

2:53 am  Walt lets doula know we are ready for her to come. The client she is with is still in labor so she sends her back up.

2:54 am  I am dancing/swaying with Walt through the pressure waves. Using horse lips to help keep me from pushing; I really wanted my body to spontaneously push, so I held off as long as I could with any pushing on purpose. And also I just knew we had a while to go, so pushing so early would just exhaust and frustrate me.

3:20 am  Somewhere around in here the backup midwife arrives. She offers to check to see how dilated I am, but I have no desire to know, so I decline. She and the midwife assistant ask if I think they have time to set up the birth pool and would I like them to do that. I am pretty sure we have quite a ways to go, so I say I think there is time, and I would like them to set up the pool. Later I find out that they were pretty sure there was not enough time; the backup midwife described me as catching my breath with some of the waves like I was starting to get a pushing urge. But, bless them, they started setting the pool up! What a great team we had!

3:29 am  Suddenly there is a head! And I am saying, "There's a head! Somebody catch it! Catch it!". I have a death grip on Walt as we are still standing and swaying next to the toilet, so the backup midwife rushes in from the bedroom where they were just uncurling the hose for the birth pool and holds Bea's head and shoulder.

3:31 am  The rest of Bea is born and the backup midwife hands her to the midwife assistant who is standing by with a towel. The cord is shorter, so they can't bring her to my chest, but they get me sitting down and put her on my belly. I have a gush of blood shortly after she is born when the placenta releases. The cord pulses for a few more minutes and when it stops they clamp and Walt cuts her free.

We decide to see if we can get the placenta out (Madeline's placenta took another 13 hours to come out after she was body took a break to sleep for the night and then it came out first thing the next morning). I feel like standing and it comes out easily with a couple pushes.

About this time my midwife and her other assistant arrive along with the backup doula. I have quite a team around me! Bea and I get in the bath tub to hang out and rinse off. We go get in bed for a bit for a bottom check (no tears!) and Bea nurses for the first time. They do the newborn exam: 9 pounds 2 ounces!

The team really wants me to pee to make sure all is working well. I am feeling a bit lightheaded so we use a rolling office chair to get me from the bed to the toilet; once on the toilet nothing happens so I get in the tub to see if the water will help me relax. Finally after 30-45 minutes of trying I pee and have no trouble walking back to bed.

Walt and I could not believe we had a baby after only 2.5 hours of labor! My doula pointed out that my Hypnobabies training probably helped me make it through the first stage of labor without even really noticing it. The gushes of fluid around midnight were probably from contractions...and I couldn't even feel them! Woohoo!

I have to say that even though the last 2.5 hours of labor quickly became very intense, I don't think I could actually call it pain. It was uncomfortable (and did I mention intense?), but not painful. I credit the things I learned from Bradley training with my first baby and Hypnobabies and Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth among many other resources that emphasized relaxation and working with the body for giving me tools to manage a very intense time without losing my cool to fear. And Walt; sure glad I had my man to literally cling to.

So there is Bea's birth story!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Weekend Recap

Busy Weekend!

Friday night we had dinner with the neighbors. They shared delicious halibut they caught on their recent trip to Alaska. We also had mac and cheese and caesar salad, and I brought Cherry Pineapple Dump cake and vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Saturday we loaded up the neighbor's truck with tailgating supplies and 6 of us headed to the K-State/Missouri game. We snagged a parking spot in view of the jumbo tron, set up the canopy and enjoyed the game from the comfort of our camp chairs with plates full of smoked brisket (oh yes, even the smoker came along), potato salad, spinach and cannellini bean dip, guacamole, taco bean dip, sugar cookies shaped like footballs and Powercat heads, chocolate chip cookies and smores bars.

This was my second tailgating experience ever with last week's catered meal at Walt's company's tent being my first, and I must say I'm hooked. There is something so festive about sitting under the tent watching footballs flying through the air and seeing so many people out enjoying themselves. I am quite enjoying K-State's signature purple. It makes this girl happy to see the parking lots, people, vehicles and everything else you can imagine blanketed in such a lovely color as purple.

Stadium, jumbo tron and lots of purple visible in background!

Sunday Walt went fishing with a neighbor (can you tell that we landed in a great neighborhood with fun people?), and I used the morning to relax with some tv. In the afternoon I walked the 2.6 miles to Radina's in Aggieville for a fancy coffee drink. Only when I got there I was so hot and thirsty that I couldn't stomach the idea of a coffee drink, but water and a raspberry lemonade granita sounded just right. I pondered the idea of walking 2 miles any time I feel the need for a treat; this could be the beginning of a great workout plan. Walt picked me up on the way home for a total of 4.86 miles walked.

We rounded out the day and the weekend with a couple German beers with the neighbors to start our Oktoberfest mini tour at Old Chicago and pizza and pepperoni rolls from Hy-Vee's Italian Express.

Monday, July 12, 2010


It's July. In Kansas. Which is not as hot as July in South Carolina yet, and for that we are extremely grateful.

Here's a quick update:

We moved to Kansas. Manhattan, Kansas, in fact. January 26 we loaded up a U-haul and hit the road, pulling over long enough to drop a sweet pup at the cargo area of the Atlanta airport, so he could fly to his new home in Tucson, Arizona, where we hear he is extremely happy playing with his new doggie friend Oscar the boxer mix (I think!)!

January 28 we pulled into our new driveway in frigid Kansas. The wind blows a whole lot in Kansas during the winter, by the way, which we did not realize until we moved there. And it makes it significantly colder than a South Carolina winter. Brrr.

Almost 6 months later here we are still in Kansas and loving it. We miss our family and friends and church and small group, but we feel like we are right where we need to be right now and that is a blessing.

Oscar, the dachshund, had to be put to sleep Wednesday, March 10, 6 weeks after we moved. It was so very sad; he had a tumor that kept him from eating or drinking and there was nothing that could be done to improve his quality of life. It happened very quickly; the tumor was suddenly big enough to bother him and he was put to sleep the next day. I still hadn't found a job, so it was very hard to lose my little shadow who kept me company every day at home. I am thankful he didn't languish and suffer.

We have since gained a cat, Molly. She is very fluffy and quite affectionate, and while she isn't Oscar she is lovely to have around. I quite like her.

The girls we were caring for last fall went home December 22. I enjoyed the peace and quiet, but I missed them! They are with us this summer; we are going on our fourth week of summer fun and, boy, now I wistfully dream about the peace and quiet sometimes :) But we are so glad they are here! We have been to the splash park (free! I love Manhattan, KS!), several playgrounds, the recycling center (anything can be an adventure, right?), the farmer's market and the Hawaiian ice stand several times. We still need to visit the zoo and the new city pool with the big slides. And we need to eat a lot more ice cream.

Tonight I made an amazing dinner. Not necessarily because I am amazing, but because I had amazing recipes to use. We had:

White Bean and Mushroom Ragout over polenta; I used the instructions for polenta from this recipe. I just used some whole grain corn meal I had on hand, and it worked wonderfully.

Oh. my. goodness. It was delicious. The girls loved it. Hubs and I loved it. It was flippin' delicious. I will be making this again.

I miss you bloggy folks. I gotta get my bloggy mojo back.

Happy Summer!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Wow...if I wait 3 more days then I can say I took a 5-month hiatus from my blog whereas blogging after 4 months and 20-something days makes it totally obvious that I was just a slacker.

Now you know the truth.

Stuff happened, and I'll blog about that later, but first here's a post that has been languishing in my drafts folder since about November 20.


7 weeks ago we added 2 younguns to our house. And we're all still alive to tell about it.

One morning last week during the rush out the door to school I reached the zenith of my desire to inflict bodily harm on a certain 7-year-old, and I don't just mean a simple spanking. I wanted to hurt that kid. You will be proud to know that I didn't.

Really I don't know that you should be proud; I'm an adult, so giving in to my desire to inflict bodily harm cannot be an option...unless I'm inflicting my own bodily with harm by eating a cone full of ice cream for lunch...which I did today (*bliss). You will be relieved, maybe, or less likely to call the authorities if I go on to say that instead of inflicting bodily harm I dropped her off at school...ha, take that, kid.

And I simmered down and that was a good thing.

November 6 was my 28th birthday! 28...sounds so weird. Its been 10 years since my age had an 8 in it. And a lot has changed since then. But I don't feel so different, you know?

Hubs decided to make me a birthday dessert. You may remember the picture perfect chocolate cake he made last year. I had forgotten all about it until I saw it again on the blog. That's why I need a blog. So I can remember all the sweet things hubs does for me.

He asked what I wanted; I produced the recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake pie from my way-too-extensive recipe file (recipes go in, but do they ever come out...).

He made it happen! It was SO good!

Yes I shared it with the girls.

But only the tiniest slices ever.

Refined sugar is not good for our kids, folks. I had to eat it all...for the good of the children...

Because he made it I let hubs play with a piece...

Poor scared pie.

"They" say that you should photograph slices of things with the point facing you, as if the food were looking at you (do I want my food looking at me?), so that the viewer feels connected with the item in the photograph.

This piece of pie is almost looking at you...its looking at something over your left shoulder.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Kinder, Gentler Halloween

Bank situation solved: 2 empty Polaner All Fruit jelly jars (it doesn't have high fructose corn syrup in it...can you send sypathetic thoughts to hubs? sometimes I think I drive him crazy when the grocery list has more do-not-buy notes on it than actual items I'd like to purchase for us to eat) washed out, de-labeled, slots punched in the lids. I decided I wanted the girls to see the money in their banks and thereby perhaps be motivated to save it. Homemade banks working for now!

Actual conversation "friends" this weekend. Yes, our friends related this story to us. This in no way, shape or form happened in our believe me, right??

Person #1: You do realize you put a plastic bag on a 7-year-old's head?

Person #2: You do realize you left a 7-year-old with a plastic bag on her head in the car while you picked up the hot-n-ready pizza and Crazy Bread at Little Caesar's?

Person #1: more pizza for you

So what had happened was...S was Snow White and we used some of the Halloween hair color in a can to make her red/orange hair black. And, while this hair color seems semi-permanent on skin and bathtubs, it sits on hair like a fine powder threatening to "poof" off at the slightest provocation.

So in order to keep it under control on the car ride home from the fall festival at church one of the adults in her life may or may not have given her a Bi-Lo grocery bag to put over her hair.

And the other adult may or may not have left her and her 5-year-old sister (a red and yellow sunflower) in the car while picking up dinner at Little Caesar's. I have it on good authority that they were alone all of 10 minutes...and that they are both alive and well today...

Please don't call whoever gets called about kids alone in cars with plastic bags over their "friends" would be so bummed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

You're 3 feet tall and still pick your nose; you don't scare me...much

(Note: We want to get the girls started on an allowance, so they are going to need a bank of some sort for saving their quarters. These are $5 at Old Navy and are serious contenders, but then I start to think about it:

Ooo! Sparkly piggy banks! They'll love these!

Wait a minute...they are both going to want pink...and it's going to be a pain to try to keep up with whose pink bank is whose. Hmmm...maybe I make the pink one a special reward?, that could totally blow up in my face.

Ok, I'll get the pink sparkly one for myself, and I'll get silver and green for them...or would they like silver and gold better...

Why is this so hard! If only they had a purple one! Then I'd be set! Yeesh, this parenting thing is hard.

I still don't have banks for them.)

Oy, what a two and a half weeks it has been.

Friday, 10/2: S and C move in.

Monday, 10/5: S and C go to their new school and hubs and I suddenly become responsible for two little girls with HOMEWORK...I thought I was done with homework when I got that diploma a few years back...

Friday, 10/9: We celebrate one week with the girls with dinner at Pizza Hut! This is the first meal S and C have eaten outside of school or our house all week...this makes me happy! We are meanies and only give them water to drink, not the requested Mello Yello and pink lemonade...can you imagine?? Now relax, there will be plenty of time for sodas later...

Saturday, 10/10: We eat lunch at Sonic where they have their weekly desserts. S has a chocolate sundae and C has a strawberry sundae. We visit mom-in-law in the hospital. Her best friend is there and offers to watch the girls while we get more clothes from their house and buy school supplies. $84 later...we are appalled. C really needs 20 glue sticks?! Are they eating them for snack or something?!?! We buy 6 glue sticks, with 3 going with each girl. And when we get back to the hospital...C proudly brandishes the Dr. Pepper she's been given. See, I told you sodas would show up somewhere.

Tuesday, 10/13: I realize that I am reaching a breaking point. I haven't yelled or snapped at anyone yet, but I can feel its not far off. I start to take everything personally...I'm SURE S is taking 4 hours and 92 gallons of water to brush her teeth because she KNOWS how much it irritates me. C interupts me while I'm talking to the neighbor because she KNOWS steam will come out of my ears. I tell everyone who will listen that my full-moon transformation is about to happen and they better stop me or stand back. I pray...a LOT. I truthfully answer the woman who has been in the hospital for 3 weeks (mom-in-law) when she asks me how its going. Woman in Hospital is so comforting and encouraging...I feel like a selfish, whiny, brat. Dang it...

Wednesday, 10/14: I pour it all out to my mom, and she talks me down from the ledge. Lets me know it's ok to feel annoyed. Tells me not to beat myself up. The girls get in the car after school, and I am, very unexpectedly, a new woman. Go ahead, say my name 327 times, challenge each and every boundary I've given you, tell me a few fibs and definitely tell me how, since you've eaten chicken livers before and you don't have good taste, you really can't eat the mushrooms in the lasagna...I can take it.

Wednesday is not a breeze, but hubs and I handle it. Thursday morning is not a breeze, but hubs makes the lunches and has them waiting in the fridge, and we got to school early enough for me to walk C in...she'd been asking me to for 2 days.

Sunday, 10/18: We are finally ready for church only to look at the clock and realize we'd have to take the girls to their classes late as the current sermon series isn't appropriate for them (The Elephant in the Pew; this week's focus: pornography). I've done the late thing and its one thing for me to do it to myself, but I really really really want to avoid doing it to them, so we decide we aren't going. I'm feeling grumpy and guilty about this and I tell hubs I'd like for us to do something together to enjoy the beautiful fall day. Being the amazing hubs he is, he finds a local hiking trail all of 15 minutes from our house, and we spend a lovely couple of hours throwing rocks in the lake, picking up leaves, looking at colorful mushrooms and hiking through the woods in the gorgeous sunshine. My soul is recharged.

Can I just be a witness that God is good? Talking to wise people, praying like crazy and working together with my man results in postponed full-moon transformations and much happier Insta-Temporary Parents.

WE (using our huge network of support and leaning on God) CAN DO THIS!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The ball is rolling...

Mr. Bouncy Ball!
Originally uploaded by moiht
...or bouncing, as it were.

We met with the guidance counselor at S & C's current school earlier today. The meeting went so well! She was very helpful:

--C is in montessori which has limited spots, and we wanted her to be able to return to montessori when they move back in with mom-in-law. Counselor said she didn't see that being a problem; yay!

--We wondered about the best way to ease them into living with us and going to a new school. I wondered about driving them an hour one way to their old school for a few days after they moved in with us. Counselor said since they know hubs and me and have stayed at our house, they would probably be fine starting in their new school right away. We'll drive them by the school this weekend to show them where they'll be, and they should be much more comfortable Monday morning. Yay!

We talked to the new school today, and they will be ready for the girls to start Monday. We meet with the counselor at the new school tomorrow afternoon to make sure everything is in place.

And tomorrow evening we'll be moving two little girls into our pink guest bedroom (the one with the snot on the walls).

Looking forward to the adventure!