What did you do on resurrection Sunday? For many, the spring season is often symbolized with an Easter Lily, but this year, we were blessed to witness the natural childbirth of beautiful, Miss Alivia Rose.
Labor began early, no doubt helped along by the full moon Saturday, March 31st, 2018 and Easter was right around the corner. Her basket would be full but not with eggs! Fortunately, there was plenty of family in town to oversee their son while she worked.
A few days earlier, Trece had shared she was not happy about the thought of labor during the full moon, because they had a huge Easter dinner planned with extended family coming over. I replied, "well guess what, that is exactly when you should expect a baby then because they love to be unpredictable and crash plans!" And, so... she did!
The Easter celebration was delayed. It began shortly after birth, in a different location and worse, everyone arrived hungry, because the cooks were at the hospital...lol.
Now, don't get me wrong, we don't get to just make a wish, blow out the candles, birth a baby and someone begin singing Happy "BIRTH" day. No, first WE WORK! Make no mistake about it. It is called a Labor Marathon for a reason. There is, nor will there ever be, a "PAIN-FREE" labor and birth. You see this is where many go wrong. Their perspective is off. They think if they just skip labor and have a c-section or insist on their epidural as soon as possible they can avoid the pain all together. FALSE! They haven't considered all sides. At some point, mom will be uncomfortable, in pain, etc. either before meds, after meds (as many don't get the relief they were seeking or worse it doesn't work at all or stops working), after surgery for six long weeks, or simply DURING LABOR. Now, also one must consider wisely the use of long term pain management, also leads to many other interventions, such as, use of pitocin, restricted position, constant external fetal monitoring, internal monitor, increased likelihood of surgery, routine antibiotics, catheter, etc. etc...
With preparation, training, education, skills for mom and dad, doula support, etc. you have a choice of which way to do business, but make no mistake at some point you WILL experience unpleasantries. Reality bites, don't shoot the messenger, but let's keep it REAL! The reality remains, "WHEN WOULD YOU LIKE TO EXPERIENCE YOUR PAIN?" It's a woman's right to choose and still many women choose to labor, "YES, IT'S THEIR CHOICE TO LABOR & BIRTH NATURALLY." Birth itself, hasn't changed in thousands of years. However, what you experience, what you get billed for certainly seems to compound every year and yet, many women refer to their medicated hospital birth after all these amazing interventions (which are supposed to "SPARE THEM PAIN AND SUFFERING") in one simple sad word: "TRAUMATIZING!" Allow me to explain why and how Trece, rocked her contractions, one at a time, with the help of her supportive husband coach, her mother, her amazing natural birth supportive nurse, Tasha and her Your Birth Helper doula team.
Let the Contractions Commence! The reason why most women will go into labor in the wee hours of the night is they finally get into a relaxed state. The body desires relaxation to progress. All of nature finds a way to get comfy, pull away from all the other animals, have a quiet, dark environment and work unencumbered. (For some reason, at CMC NE, there was no such thing as a dark room for mom to work, because the huge window did not have shades you could pull to block out the sunshine). Someone, didn't think that through. All of nature desires a dark quiet place. We will give them credit for the pretty fountain out front.
We found a little less light to work in the bathroom. At least, you could shut the door and turn the bathroom light off. However, there were NO tubs, only a shower. Girls, make sure when you do your birth place tour, if such things are important to you, ask and not just if they have any, but how many rooms have this option. Some locations will have a few tubs, some all rooms have tub/shower combo available. Look for hand rails in hallway. Use the location amenities to stay out of bed as much as possible. Keep hip flexors nice and loose and use the water to totally relax and ease pain.
Sadly, for many, depending on where (chosen birth place) and with whom (what practice or birth professional) they decide to hire, this can be quite a challenge. There is nothing worse that being led to believe during pregnancy your birth professionals will support your birth plan, only to find on the day of labor, this is far from the truth, as Trece and Wesley realized only a few hours after admitting. Their female OBGYN did not understand why anyone would care how they get the baby out. In fact, when she tried to tell dad that his wife could I quote, "Have an epidural and probably have a baby just shortly after and besides we all get to the same place so, who cares how we get there?" Even worse, she proceeded to tell dad, "Her baby is most likely posterior and you know what happens to OP babies, they get cut out because they can't do a back flip into the birth canal!" Let the personal opinions and BULLYING BEGIN... it is not very attractive to see any doctor choose to demand their own way, but particularly disturbing for a female OBGYN. A woman who has the same body parts, who has been a laboring woman herself and of all people should understand how crushing her words and disturbing negative attitude could be.
Thankfully, for Trece, this conversation took place outside. Dad did his job, protected mom and asked the doctor to NOT SAY THE INTERNAL RESULTS OUT LOUD. Trece was smart and didn't want to focus on just a number. Lots of things have to happen to get a baby out besides just dilation. Now, is it possible a baby could get stuck, yes. More common with an OP presentation, but is it likely, no. We BIRTH POSTERIOR BABIES ALL THE TIME, not only out the vagina, but also DRUG FREE! Ironically, Trece was not even having back labor contractions. Note: a good doctor or midwife can put their hands on the outside of moms abdomen (without an ultrasound) and tell you what position the baby is most likely in. No, this doctor was simply aggravated that Trece wanted to try to labor and birth drug free, because "SHE DIDN'T GET IT!" Well guess what, "YOU DON'T HAVE TO GET IT, TO SUPPORT YOUR CLIENT AND ENCOURAGE HER IN HER GOALS."
It's called kindness and patience and compassion. Birth professionals, even if you don't get it, YOU ARE GETTING PAID! We are going to do this, with or without your help and encouragement. We helped the couple prepare and we are skillfully executing her plans. If we do it with you, the client will be singing your praises after the baby is born and if we do it without you... well, we will be saying it was disappointing or maybe you had a bad day, were sleepy, tired, lost your basic manners, didn't want to be at work, etc.. My mom taught me manners can go a long way. And, I am a firm believer, manners will often get you further in life than any higher education. Look at the bright side, it doesn't create any more work for a doctor or nurse. In fact, it's less work, we didn't ask her to do anything before push phase, just let us work without unnecessary interventions. Work, work through each contraction, minus the doctor's support, is exactly what we continued to do. Trece and Wes did agree to the amniotomy, because it was clear their doctor would keep pushing for pitocin, if we did not compromise and agree to some sort of intervention, (despite no medical reason at that time to augment labor). Her OBGYN even referred to her marathon as a long labor... I was in shock, she hadn't even been in active labor five to six hours at this point. Hmmm, ACOG doesn't even consider a woman in active labor until 6cm dilated, so, was this statement possibly being based off of Trece being 5cm dilated for several weeks prior to active labor. Well, ladies, had Trece not had an internal exam prior to real labor beginning, would six hours constitute a long labor? If so, how many of you ladies would take that so called long labor any day of the week? LOL, most of us labor for days to birth a baby vaginally.
#SymbioticBirth is a movement created by Your Birth Helper to be the liaison between medically necessary interventions and the natural process. There is no reason the two can't work well together. Not every woman desires pain management and that should be acceptable to. After all, if we respect a woman's right to utilize pain management options in the first place, birth professionals should also respect, support and encourage a woman's right to go drug free, as nature intended and all of nature still birth to this day! We want to bless the doctors and nurses and we attend to not only assist our clients with their wishes, we help the nurse, we stay proactive keeping couples active/moving, using positioning to progress labor and we have a strong desire to help couples positively communicate with their birth team. The goal for us is to encourage couples to work WITH THE MEDICAL STAFF not against them. Further to ask the right questions, create an atmosphere of cooperation and guide couples in asking the questions to fully acquire informed consent and take full responsibility for their decision making. Doctors in particular, and nursing staff, should appreciate this! However, everyone should remember, to fully accept responsibility, they need to know what they are agreeing to, why, and what their other options are when medical issues/ complications present.
Jumping Hurdles: The doctor was very frank the water needed to be broken or pitocin needed to commence, because she was not progressing. Now, understand this is a valid concern when women show up to the hospital too soon vs. too late. If you are on their watch, you have a repeat internal exam and your cervix has not increased in dilation, this is what you set yourself up for. There is more to progressing than just dilation alone. In fact, we now educate women this way, in the natural realm of doing business, "We don't care what your cervix says. The cervix will do whatever it wants when it wants." But, sadly when on their watch "failure to progress" is almost always based on an unchanging cervix that has "failed to dilate"... If this is called a doctor, who supports Mom's birth plan, then I'd hate to meet the doctor that doesn't!
We worked alone with the help of a their LDR nurse, Tasha who helped put positive energy back into the room when the OBGYN left behind her negativity. I am afraid some doctors forget, expectant parents are PAYING THEM for a service. Expectant mothers are NOT SICK or DYING, waiting for you to SAVE THEM, they just want you to catch their baby, do some perineal massage and help protect their bottom. And, when MOM is OKAY and BABY is OKAY, what is the problem? Why under normal circumstances can't you bring yourself to just support moms choices and perform the service she is paying you to do with a smile? We don't get re-do's. We have one shot at our baby's birth. Its a one day event, never to be repeated how it goes down matters!
You see, YourBirthHelper has come to realize over the years, there is way more to it than someone speaking the words, "Of course, we will support your birth plan." In fact, let me play devils advocate for a moment. In the average doctor's defense, they know several things: Few will prepare adequately to achieve their own birth plan, first of all. Second of all, it is hard for doctors to keep a straight face or not out-loud eye roll, when moms say my plan is to have a natural birth, because 9 out of 10 women will ask or beg for their epidural at some point. Sad statistics, but fairly accurate I am afraid. So, we get why some doctors are not buying into moms birth plan in advance, but these same doctors need to know some women WILL WORK HARD IN ADVANCE OF LABOR, some women WILL TAKE QUALITY CHILDBIRTH EDUCATION, some women WILL TRAIN THEIR BODIES TO GIVE BIRTH, some women WILL HAVE A TRAINED COACH and some women WILL HIRE A DOULA WHO KNOWS HOW TO HELP THEM THROUGH OBSTACLES to birth EPIDURAL FREE!
That choice for the select smart few is to prepare for their baby for 9 months. To stay healthy, to stay low risk, to build stamina, to learn how to work with their body during labor instead of working against it. It is not just words on a piece of paper sprinkled with fairy dust. We not only cross our fingers we uncross our legs. We practice productive positions, we teach the best ways to push a baby out. And, the smart ones like Trece and Wes, see the benefits of that process long before their labor begins. We understand why doctors feel this way, but we would ask politely please don't stereotype all of us into that category of "wait till 7cm she will be begging for her epidural!"
In fact, the vast majority of YourBirthHelper students/ clients NEVER ASK for an EPIDURAL, nor do most desire one. They do, however, understand why they should not be opposed to medical interventions that could potentially keep them on track to reach their goals. There can be some obstacles we call, "variations of normal" and sometimes "complications" present. If so, no panic, we tackle one at a time. Sometimes, like Trece they do call upon a higher power to help them and well... thats perfectly alright with us! I had Trece supported in a squat and asked her, "Would you like us to pray over your labor and birth?" The next thing I know, she is in full blown worship and Trece herself proceeds to say a beautiful prayer for safety and favor. It was very moving indeed. Trece and her husband attended training with Your Birth Helper and came to understand how the natural process works and they learned to allow their uterus to work without interfering. They listen to instructions and they applied what they learned to experience THEIR BIRTH - THEIR WAY! We just helped navigate them through accomplishing their birthing goals.
Mom was a complete rockstar while facing a typical first time labor despite being pregnant for the second time (since baby number one was born at 31 weeks of gestation the first time around). So, technically this was her first full term baby. She worked very hard to maintain her daily good nutrition, stay out of her head, increase her confidence level, make good decisions, maintain her health and stay fit for labor.
She not only demonstrated during hard labor the perfect example of "how to use Relaxation as a means to progress labor" and how the support of her Husband Coach, Mother and YourBirthHelper Doula services complimented her My BIRTH ~ My WAY wishes! Mom learned, as a paying consumer, she had options in birthing, and after birth, she gets the bill. Why is it when it comes to medical services, people forget they are paying for a service?
Trece did not desire a medicated labor or birth. Her main goal (quite the opposite of today's U.S. norm), an unmedicated, low intervention hospital birth. Her plan was to train her body to "GIVE BIRTH" and use proven relaxation techniques and positions that progress labor naturally to avoid having her baby "DELIVERED from her". When properly applied and executed, such specific training allows women the opportunity to naturally progress labor. Sounds crazy to many, but contrary to preparing and training your body for birth, many simply buy their relaxation in the form of an epidural, coupled by artificial means to augment labor, such as pitocin along with multiple other interventions that either happen simultaneously or as a pre-req to the epidural such as heparin lock/ IV, 2 bags of fluid, constant fetal monitoring and maybe worse possible fetal distress, possibly catheter, stirrups, vacuum extractor and more risk of tearing during to lack of mobility for mom.
Not Trece! Not this time! She was focusing on one contraction at a time. Relaxing the right muscles, allowing the uterus to work its magic.
The second time around, this smart couple signed up for one of Your Birth Helper birthing workshops to help them prepare for the marathon that they were going to be facing this time around. Trece connected with the local #BirthFamily to empower herself to make decisions, plan and prepare for her baby's birth and she did it! Boy did it pay off big! Think drug free~ low intervention BIRTH doesn't exist anymore, better think again! Let us help you plan for your happy "BIRTH" day! With the help of the YourBirthHelper.com team, like Wes and Trece you will realize...
Congrats to the new family and welcome to the best darn birth family in Charlotte little Miss Alivia Rose!!!!!! Trece and Wesley it was an absolute pleasure to help you not only PLAN your happy "birth" day, but also execute it brilliantly! #OneProudDoula #OneProudChildbirthEducator #NotJustADoula #NotJustAChildbirthClass #BirthFamily