Lottie Lucille Reynolds was born May 7, 1918 near Bishopville, SC. She was incredibly patient and could withstand any hardship for the good of the family. Many would refer to her as the matriarch of the Reynolds family. We, as females, before, during and after pregnancy, nursing, potty training, cooking, cleaning, etc. work tirelessly inside and outside the home to meet the demands of a growing family. Ms. Lottie was no exception, a living example of resilient womanhood during the depression. A time in our great nation when even children pitched in to help the family provide and simply survive trying times. Ms. Lottie was also that selfless young girl, a strong young lady who overcome great physical challenges, as well.
She wore a smile and pushed on. She did not allow life's hardships to cripple her (not even literally), overwhelm her or cause her anxiety/depression, etc.. She had every reason to end up there, but her focus always remained on providing for others and in the form of a better life. Women, particularly, mothers in today's world, could benefit from stories like hers. I sum it up this way a lot: When hardships fall on us, whether physical, mental, financial, we need to rise up to life's adversity. We have three choices: Give up, Give in or GIVE IT ALL YOU GOT! Expectant mom Lauren, who married into the family, decided with this labor and birth she would do just that! Lauren married Ms. Lottie's great grandson, Jackson, and together the couple would soon welcome baby number three.
You might ask yourself, why would a couple who already had two children come to a birth workshop and hire a doula? Shouldn't they already know what to do? Disappointed from past birth experiences and particularly the first feeling bullied, disparaged and abused by an LDR nurse, who refused to let her push her baby out (despite baby sitting in birth canal) and instead pushed an epidural. She described that experience as, "Every first time moms worst nightmare!" She also had a former unplanned natural birth, despite not having a trained coach or knowing how to work with her body during labor, she contributed her former natural birth directly to an awesome nurse, who reminded her she was almost done! They decided there had to be a better way to birth outside of 50/50 odds to repeat those two experiences. So, they took steps to PLAN a HAPPY "BIRTH" DAY with YourBirthHelper.com. For Jackson & Lauren, their recipe for their third birth, would not the most convenient, easiest route with two other kids at home, but it would be the most logical... they would educate, prepare, apply and give it all they got and so, they did... with magical results!
See below for our Recipe for Baby Number Three aka the "Give it all we Got" Birth Plan
The couple decided to attend a YourBirthHelper.com Workshop in Charlotte. There they, along with other couples, learned some very valuable techniques for reducing discomfort during contractions. Shown here, basic counter pressure basics and how the coach can protect his or her back, as well. Although, there is no such thing as a painless labor and birth, there are a multitude of proven techniques/ positions that can make drug free labor quite manageable. This was the desire of Jackson and Lauren for their third birth. During their workshop, we discussed a variety of options to increase the odds of birthing successfully instead of feeling out of control or bullied. Note: we use the term "successful birth" when the individual mom has as few medical interventions as possible. In other wards, she is not administered routine interventions often unnecessary for a healthy mom. We teach moms and dads to ask, "Is this medically necessary for me and my baby or not and to acquire informed consent. This is what I like to call, #SymbioticBirth, a perfect harmonious blend of the best of the normality of the labor and birth process, combined with only medically necessary interventions, not ROUTINE interventions performed on the masses. See, when mom is healthy and low risk, she has many options, one important one, to be left alone, to labor free of the bed, free of IV /hep lock, free of drugs... but, with the support of a loving coach, a doula team and supportive medical professionals including: nurses, midwives and doctors.
During the workshop, we discussed the many benefits of utilizing a midwife, if healthy and low risk, because they are highly skilled in the natural process. Your body will instinctively kick in natural urges for positions and even the urge to push when drug free, however, your body will also instinctively not use proper positions to progress labor. Your body will want to camp out, often in one position of more comfort to you. Nor, will your body instinctively use proper pushing techniques to effectively make progress and not waste precious energy. This is learned and practiced not instinctive! Instinctive is to keep your pelvic outlet on lock down.
The #CharlotteDoulaDreamTeam has the pleasure to see some of the best work across the queen city and other cities in multiple states. There is a difference girls, make no mistake about that. The skills you acquire and bring to LDR room, the resources you bring by having a competent doula to support you and, as important, the decision of where and with whom you give birth determines so much.
It is imperative you choose a practitioner who will do what is best for you and your body ~ not choose interventions/ positions that's easier for them. Make no mistake, if you desire a happy "birth" day, IT MATTERS WHERE and WITH WHOM YOU BIRTH. There are no re-do's. This is why we brought to Lauren's attention, she had highly skilled midwives in her practice, under the leadership of Tina Hayes, who has successfully brought midwifery into Novant Matthews, the old Presby Matthews, but with a new maternity wing. For Tina Hayes, CNM, of Carmel OBGYN, this was no simple feat. Lauren and Jackson decided since healthy and low risk, to utilize the midwives in their practice for this birth experience. They also chose YourBirthHelper.com to serve them in the area of doula service and 24/7 support during the remainder of her pregnancy.
Lauren's body enjoyed torturing her with regular bouts of practice labor runs. Frankly, she was quite put out and over the weeks worth of prodromal labor. After several, " Am I in labor, Is today the day, The contractions are getting longer, stronger, What is my Body doing, What is my Baby doing?... It was made evident to the family, it was simply fate that their baby was born on her great-great-grand mother's birthday and totally meant to be. Here is why... I had helped Lauren interpret and work with her body for several weeks each time the labor would kick in high gear. Lauren would describe intense pain levels, nothing indicative of typical pre- labor, but crazy pains that would double her over and she would describe as feeling as if her baby was trying to come out her back? We discussed reasons for such unusual pain: a slipped disc, pulled muscle, cracked tailbone? She laughed and said, "or baby is trying to break my back... I am going to try to sleep this off." Bless mom's heart, this happened more than once making resting through the night terrible difficult.
I suggested a visit to Dr. Kelley Helmendach for an adjustment. I assured Lauren how very unusual and not typical pain levels related to early labor. I suggested trying some hands and knees/ inversion positioning, ice pack, a soak in the tub or trip to triage to see if they could figure out what may have been happening, if something other than related to baby. Lauren wasn't interested in a trip to triage, heck she didn't even want to move. Nope she would just pick a position she could tolerate and again try to sleep it off.
We met the next morning to execute encouraging her body to labor by walking some inclines and slow graded hills in the subdivision of a friend. During our walk, once Lauren started to have contractions, I asked her to lean forward and relax into it. It was then I spotted the baby's head, plain as day in her low back, near the sacrum area!
It was shocking and so defined. I immediately knew why Lauren felt what she had been describing. Made perfect sense now. I snapped this photo to convince her she really needed that adjustment because baby's don't come out our sacrum. She finally agreed to go despite not being a fan of chiropractic popping noises. Here are a few shots of her pelvic adjustment near term and the look of relief after we got the baby's head aligned and back where it needed to be ~ out of her back.
On Friday, May 4th, I was helping a friend with her daughter's wedding reception. I teased Lauren by attempting to bribe her to go into labor and I would bring wedding cake. Although, she really liked the sound of that, the day came and went. Saturday, May 5th, Lauren text me asking if I could give her a rub down before I headed back to Georgia. She had been feeling a bit better after her chiropractic adjustment, but she had also decided nothing was going to
alleviate ALL her discomfort, less giving birth and fully evacuating this baby!
Sunday morning upon waking I sent Lauren a text that read, "Thank you so much for letting me have one night to recover from wedding work in my own bed!" (I had slept in until 11am- hey baking a wedding cake & setting up an entire reception single handedly for approximately 150 was tiring. I definitely prefer Doula work...lol.) Her reply, "Hehehe I've been getting even more intense painful contractions all day on and off in bouts again. They wrap around and hurt pretty bad, last around a minute, five minutes apart but then, AS USUAL THEY STOP after an hour or so. I also feel pain way down low in my sacrum that takes my breath away.
My body is seriously being so unforgiving." I suggested once again she check in with her midwife, that pre-labor/false labor doesn't typically have this sort of pain and discomfort. I was a little concerned baby may have worked itself into a unique head down position again. She wasn't real interested in going and getting checked. When I asked if the back pain was ever present as in back labor, she said no, just hard to breathe and low back hurts like at the peak of contraction. I suggested an inversion position and hands and knees to ease. Lauren asked if she needed to stay in the position during the contraction? Good question. My response, YES! Labor was again far from textbook, but boy when it decided to pick up... well it certainly did!
One minute Lauren is texting me, another I am deploying team members to hospital and another baby was on her chest! Jackson would say it happened that quickly and so would my team, but for mom the one who endured each contraction, lets go into a few more details explaining how we ended up here!
Later that evening, 10:13pm on May 6th, Lauren shared "...in last hour very intense. Have to have counter pressure and I yell into a pillow.... like pain of 7/8 bad both in front and back, but they have spaced out a lot now... lasting 60-100 seconds... I am sooooo confused by my body, but also in sooo much pain. I tried doing some inversion positioning and the contractions quickly started right back up. " This on again off again labor was driving Lauren completely batty. These bouts had been going on almost a month since the last time I encouraged her to get checked out because she described her contractions as "breaking her back"... bless. Many women find this sort of labor business so annoying, but in the grand scheme of things, you labor a little, you get a break, you labor a little- contractions stop and you get a break... it actually is not a bad way to do business, but definitely frustrating to women.
When, of course, does real labor typically happen? Well, good question, lots of text book answers, maybe most common, a good portion of women will start labor close to or after midnight when they finally assume a relaxing state, waking to contractions. The average healthy mom carries her baby 41 weeks and 1 day. Then there is the answer few want to hear, REAL LABOR arrives when we least expect it. So much so, that it is near 11pm, Lauren herself is still texting me, as I am trying to convince her she is in labor. I encouraged her, to at least, have Jackson
prepare the car to be ready to head out. I reminded them to give the practice a heads up of when they were planning to head over.
I checked with Tina Hayes to see who was on duty.
She shared Jessica Grobsmith, CNM was on call.
Special thanks to Jessica for catching baby Annabelle!!!
We will be sharing more about Jessica and her dedication
to #SymbioticBirth in a future "Meet the Midwife" segment
on our facebook page @BradleyBirthYourWay real soon.
I decided to phone and check in. This time Jackson answered. I inquired about Lauren's demeanor, her contractions, length/strength, etc. of what the last few hours have looked like.
From what Jackson shared in terms of length and frequency of contractions, as shown here, I quickly replied, "I do not have a magic 8 ball, however, oddly enough, everything you guys are describing to me sounds like textbook push phase?...." (Crickets-Crickets!) Dad shared well she is yelling into a pillow. I advised her to make a productive noise - not screaming which waste energy. Although, silly Lauren was still trying to convince herself this was just another round of her crazy pre-labor.
Next few text (still from Lauren herself):
@ 10:47pm Just had another one. Getting really nauseous. Gonna try to get in tub for a bit but thinking we will head in pretty soon probably
@10:49pm Also just started getting shakes/chills
In speaking with her husband by phone, I shared based on her body's unusual way of doing business, I highly advise you two to head over and get checked out. I said if nothing else, they could even use ultrasound to verify if posterior, at least, and then we could go from there, but I would also not be shocked if she wasn't getting ready to blast a kid out. After listening in to Lauren over the phone during a contraction I said once again, Jackson, unless you want to unexpectedly catch your own baby at home, I would suggest you head over. Besides, if you wait too late, I won't be able to get doula help to you. If I am wrong, well I'll take the blame. At the least, let me send Nancy on to your home? Also, cold cloth to forehead and peppermint oil can help nausea. Chills/ shaking common late labor- tell Lauren slowing her breathing down can help.
@10:55pm They agreed. I had Nancy in route to their home and the #CharlotteDoula DreamTeam on call, because I had a feeling there would be a baby quickly and Lauren was simply in denial from all the previous false labor.
Literally a minute later this text came in:
@10:56pm I think we are going to head in they're coming close - I can't stop shaking
@10:58pm Allison headed to hospital and I detoured Nancy to hospital
@11:15pm Jackson and Lauren arrived @ Novant Matthews Maternity. Their midwife, Jessica, was not currently at the hospital, but lived close by and triage called her in when they found Lauren was in labor. In fact, not only was Lauren confused at home about false labor or not, she and Jackson may have been even more confused when the triage internal exam revealed she was only 4-5cm dilated... but remember when I said Jackson was describing what sounded like push phase timed contractions? Well turns out, that 4-5cm dilated or not, she was much closer to pushing a baby out than she thought. Good thing they decided to head on in or Jackson would've been catching a baby at home. Remember, couples this is why YourBirthHelper.com teaches YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW YOUR DILATION.... it often doesn't matter and serves to discourage you mentally. Dad can step out with dr/midwife after exam to acquire results.
About 30 minutes later, Lauren started to feel as if she had the urge to push. She got on the bed was checked and considered 8-9cm dilated and baby was -1 station and then literally three contractions later Lauren felt the baby significantly move down and announced she felt a ton of pressure. Her body was telling her to push. The midwife checked again and she was completely dilated.
The very first actual push, Lauren's water broke and the second contraction the whole baby emerged and out. Sweet relief - Mom has her back back (pun intended) and baby is now in her arms! We welcomed Annabelle Claire Edwards @ 12:18am 7lbs 7oz
Some, consider a woman who endures a natural childbirth, as a very pain tolerant strong woman. We know, pain tolerant is so far from true, however, many like Lauren, still choose to endure the pain and discomfort during labor, instead of delaying it, because low intervention -drug free birth is still the safest route of passage for baby into the world. She weathered weeks of on again off again labor completely drug free using good positioning and relaxation techniques, not just to say she did, but to achieve our number one goal: healthy mom-healthy baby!
It was quite a challenge to convince her she was in full blown labor, however, they paid attention, listened to the guidance of their Doula team and despite the challenge of giving birth, free of routine interventions, in less than an hour from arrival/ admittance.... far from textbook labor, but spot on for the history book!
Lessons from Lottie's life that the family desires her great great grand daughter to know: Lottie was one of 10 children that was raised in downtown Charlotte during the depression. She quit school at the age of 10, to cook for the boarders that lived in the big old house her mother ran to support them after their own father abandoned them. She simply told folks she had a job and that was ok during the depression. She actually was ashamed to say her mother could not afford the books for her children to remain in school. Everyone was in a similar boat during the great depression. Lottie's luck would go from bad to worse to better as was an heiress in the 30’s and 40’s
due to a drunk driver running her down while she was crossing the street uptown Charlotte.
(Lottie shown here with Jackson's grandmother, Nancy Monteith, current owner of the family business. Lottie passed away May 22, 2013 at the age of 95 yrs old)
Lottie remained in a body cast for one year. The family often thought that might have had something to do with her 67 yr marriage to Rommie Purser… he told them that everyone thought that little Reynolds girl was quite a catch due to her inheritance. She was incredibly patient and could withstand any hardship for the good of the family! She started the Reynolds Fence and Guardrail company when she was 63 years old….WHAT was she thinking, you might ask, well certainly not about retirement. Just like the Lottie at age ten, she was still thinking of ways she could provide a better life for her family members. As a side note, that inheritance was the seed money for everything the family has now….it bought the service station that daddy ran profitably before taking on other financial business successes…that inheritance was a whopping 2,500.00! Body cast for a year vs. $2500 not sure anyone would consider that a blessing, but the moral of the story is:
Ms. Lottie pressed on to Provide, Protect, Love, Laugh and LIVE AGAIN despite the extreme financial hardship of living through the great depression, forced to work at age 10, a father who abandoned her, being ran down by a drunk driver as a young woman who endured extremely challenging physical ailments not just EXIST but truly LIVE LIFE.
Lottie would've been 100 years old the day her great-great-granddaughter was born. If only she was still with us, but something makes us think maybe she is and had a little to do with this interesting happy "birth" day.
No doubt, if Baby Annabelle has a few of Lottie's attributes, life will be very glorious for her!
Congrats to Mom & Dad for a job well done and enduring this not so simple, FAR FROM TEXTBOOK, LOW INTERVENTION, DRUG FREE BIRTH!
Happy 100th in heaven Ms. Lottie! You now share "birth" days with your great- great-granddaughter, Annabelle! There is so much we as women can learn from the late Ms. Lottie. Truly her legacy lives on!
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