Meet Charlotte Ramberg. Busy counselor by day, wife and mom to a busy toddler by night. First allow me to preface, often times, medical staff expects to encounter women who are no where near having a baby, but acting like they are and therefore, things don’t always happen as quickly as they should. In childbirth class, I call this their Oscar winning performance. Then there are my star students, comprised of Your Birth Helper trained, 12 weeks of Bradley Method® natural birth trained and whose goal is to avoid unnecessary medical interventions and just use the bed to give birth. Simply put, clients who do their homework, stay healthy and low risk, like Charlotte & Kevin are prime candidates for home birth. Many find These clients prefer a much later arrival and avoiding unnecessary routine interventions or what we like to call individual care or Symbiotic Birth (the best of normality coupled with only medically necessary interventions). It takes a level of skill and understanding of how labor works and how to work with your body in labor, as well as, how the coach can help.
Let me explain. Charlotte knew what to expect and so did her husband coach. They also knew they preferred to labor at home, uninterrupted by constant knocks on the door for medical protocol that was not warranted for her based on her level of health. Her baby, healthy. Her prenatal care, a top priority, just as it was for her first baby.
Despite her former OBGYN retiring and having to get acclimated to a new practice, her second pregnancy had been very similar to her first, uneventful and free of medical concerns. She knew exactly what she would do to accomplish her second low intervention, drug-free birth. Their decision would be a second hospital birth and they chose to remain at Gwinnett Medical Center based off logistics, as it was the closest hospital. Now, this isn’t always the best choice for many clients (especially those who plan to arrive at birth place much sooner), but for The Ramberg Family, they were not planning to be there long enough for unnecessary interventions to happen anyway. They chose to utilize Maternal Gynerations. It was conveniently located to them and the hospital. Despite not having midwives in the practice, many of the OBGYN’s were known for being supportive of couples birth wishes.
The couple had formerly trained twelve weeks in The Bradley Method(r) under me for baby number one. With their busy work schedules, having moved and relocated during the pregnancy, they chose a Your Birth Helper Labor workshop to review their birthing skills. A week earlier, we met up in Athens, Georgia at The Oconee Greenway and refreshed knowledge for both her job during contractions, as well as, his role as labor coach, positioning and best techniques.
A few days later, with the full moon upon us, we talked strategy of natural ways to prep her body for labor and more specifically to get labor going, should she pass her due date. We had a fun girls day. She relaxed as I performed trigger point work, Amanda Allen, later joined us for lunch at Taqueria Tsunami. We consumed some unique Asian Fusion foods like, hot Avocado Cilantro Eggrolls and some spicy Shrimp De Fuego with all the amazing sauces. Now seeing as though Charlotte has some Thai in her bloodline, our lunch wasn't even close to what her father’s family would call spicy, but it was delicious! After lunch, we headed to the state botanical garden and enjoyed hiking down the path (toward the chapel) descending all the way to the bottom creek bed (shall I say Charlotte walking me back up to the top...lol). We enjoyed the shade through the wooded paths and especially our tour through the new children's garden.
What a wonderful time at The State Botanical Garden. The new Children’s Garden is a fabulous addition and a must see for kids!
After a restful evening, during the night, contractions commenced. Kevin used the full term contraction timing app to track her progress. They had called me to come to their home and I could definitely tell her labor was progressing.
Amanda Allen, YBH Doula Apprentice, was called to join us shortly after. She captured these shots as mom, dad and I, worked through late labor contractions.
Charlotte went from birth ball, to shower, to bathroom counter, to hands and knees, to side lie and overcame constant back pain, in addition to, classic contractions, utilizing techniques learned in her Your Birth Helper workshops.
Shown below, Inversion positions, allow mom to tip baby out of the pelvic bones and increases circulation, as well as, eases back pressure. Also, if head is misaligned, it also allows baby an opportunity to hopefully realign in a more favorable position for it‘s grand entrance into the world.
Your Birth Helper & Teams, encourage women to consider how have you eased pain in past without medication? Dr. Robert Bradley would do the same. Don’t forget things like hot or cold packs, electrical stimulation such as portable TENS unit, massage tools (as shown in this photo below) specialized suction cups, similar to what’s used in cupping therapy, which create their own sort of counter pressure and all can be self applied.
In labor, proper positioning matters, changing positions frequently matters. Having the ongoing support of your labor coach / husband matters. And, for some even the addition of doula assistance matters. Our Your Birth Helper Doula Teams do not do Dad’s job. We do not take Dad’s place. It is important to us that we properly prepare the labor coach to understand their role and how significant it is. We only compliment Mom & Dad during their important work and help navigate along the way.
The time had come to make our way down the staircase and into the car. we stopped to take each contraction along the way. Mom helps ease her strong late labor contractions while leaning in across my back for more support.
We arrive within 15m to their chosen birth place. Registration grabbed a wheel chair, because mom was no longer able to stand and walk without the pressure of the descending baby creating an expulsive pushing sensation. The girls at the registrar desk wrapped up very quickly and with a little teamwork, had us right down the hall to LDR within minutes of arrival.
The nurses were all sitting at the nurses station as we were wheeled by into the open triage area. We were awaiting room and nurse assignment. Unfortunately, they didn’t seem to believe there was urgency to move quickly. In their defense, most women are not 10cm upon arrival. Finally, when the nurses came around the corner, they asked Charlotte to stand on the scale to be weighed. I politely suggested they may want to reconsider, get us quickly to a room, because her uterus was already pushing and her water bag was still intact. I did, however, acknowledge, I am just the doula, it’s possible, I could be wrong, but I believe we are very close to baby being born. Then they took us directly to a room and handed me a hospital gown to help get Charlotte out of her clothes, out of the wheel chair and into the bed.
At this time, I adjusted the bed to a comfortable position for MOM. She was doing an amazing job laboring down and being patient delaying actively pushing with her uterus as best she could. To our surprise, this close to birth, a nurse still offered her an epidural. Note: Expectant moms & dads, need to be aware, that despite being ready to give birth, even with a head right between your legs, some are still offered and administered epidural anesthesia. Natural birth is so few and far between in today’s world, that I think some medical staff truly feel they would be doing you a favor to stop your push phase and administer drugs. And, even of those who unknowingly accept, some end up having a baby and then twenty minutes after giving birth the medication kicks in. Sadly, you do not get a refund either. Charlotte proudly said, “No thanks.”
Several nurses began admitting protocol, simultaneously trying to get monitors on her, etc. few were listening to us that her body was pushing and to get the doctor.
I had expressed we had been trying to labor down, but urge to push began in the car and uterus was pushing. Charlotte herself was not adding to the push it was all involuntary work of her uterus. We all were in shock with what happened next...
Her uterus began to try to expel the baby and the nurse physically closed Charlotte‘s legs and said, “No we are not doing that, the doctor isn’t here yet!”
I immediately took my hands and physically adjusted Charlotte’s legs back to an open pelvis position comfortable for her and replied, “Well we are not playing that, so, I suggest you get the Doctor in here to catch this baby.” It was obvious to all in the room, Charlotte could not control the involuntary urge to bear down and she had avoided actively pushing for as long as she physically could.
Now in the Doctor’s defense, she was not advised they were on their way, but she was present in the hospital at the time of arrival.
Charlotte had wanted to chose a comfortable pushing position such as full squat or 45 degree angle reclined classic, but unfortunately was denied her choice of pushing. There simply was no time left to adjust position. We improvised and created the classic position all by ourselves .
Her former birth at same hospital with Dr. V (now retired), she had used the aide lie position and found it extremely comfortable. This time, the Doctor proceeded to adjust the bed and instruct Charlotte’s position. When Charlotte spoke up and said, what are you doing? She said adjusting the bed so I can catch your baby. The adjustment may have been easier for the doctor, but for a woman having natural birth, flat on her back with legs in stirrups is one of the worst positions to give birth. It creates a stronger felt contraction and is way more uncomfortable. It puts all of the baby’s weight onto the perineum which often causes tearing. And, if mom doesn’t have the energy left to curl herself up, well, let’s just say this is a very old school way of doing business in the natural realm, but the most popular for epidural moms who are numb from waist down.
Charlotte, of course, did her entire labor completely natural. She was a very active participant in “Giving Birth” not just having her child delivered from her body. It’s a totally different level of competency and way of doing business with trained, educated and prepared couples. Most doctors aren’t used to our highly skilled couples who confidently execute birth together and drug-free.
I leaned in and whispered to MOM, don’t worry I will help you up into classic position myself. With some help from DAD and I, Charlotte used her abs, curled around her baby and approximately 3 active pushes later, baby began to emerge. She did not need or want to use stirrups.
Shown above, Doctor Dark supports the Baby’s head as it rotates like a key in a lock down and out the birth canal. I reminded MOM to take a deep breath, hold steady, easy - easy, as the head was crowning and open her eyes...
As the baby exits the body, mom’s body is filled with a rush of hormones known as the birth climax. This rush of natural hormones allows mom to be quickly rejuvenated and energized to interact with her new baby.
What a HANDSOME BIG BOY!!! Wide eyed looking right at MOM!!
Dad cuts the cord and the happy “BIRTH” day party commences... The Ramberg Family has a very healthy baby boy with a very full head of hair!
Baby Alaric was born on July 18, 2019 at 5:56 pm. weighing 8lbs 5oz and was 20.5 inches long.
Your Birth Helper and Teams, could not be more proud of our amazing team mate, Charlotte, now mother of two and also a newly fully licensed Counselor, as the board was issuing her new credentials, she was welcoming her new family addition!
Special thanks to Dr. Dark of Maternal Gynerations in Lawrenceville, Ga for catching baby on such short notice. Unfortunately, in late labor rush, Dad forgot to phone ahead. It happens. Baby also enjoyed his first feeding and was not going to stop for photos...poor fellow, he worked up and appetite on his way out!
Ms. Pam, aka Doula Your Birth Helper, gives baby his very first hair do during his physical exam... that hair! 😍
Amara sure is enjoying her baby brother!
After her maternity leave, Charlotte will continue her amazing work serving couples in need of counseling services and we are happy to share and thank her for her awesome work assisting moms with postpartum trials, as well. Please don’t hesitate to reach out, should you find you need help in this area. Parenting comes with lots of challenges, but can also strengthen relationships and the family as a whole when both mom and dad are working together! We cant wait to share dates for our upcoming YBH Fourth Trimester workshops, in which Charlotte will help instruct couples segments. So stay tuned!!
Mom and Dad executed their labor/birth exactly as planned and with great confidence. Kevin and Charlotte wants you to know they fully believe the key to “Your Birth-Your Way“ is staying healthy and low risk, having your body physically prepared for labor/ birth, being mentally aware of how your body works and how DAD can help, being physically and emotionally prepared to overcome labor pain/ discomfort while managing a variety of sensations like pressure - lots of pressure!
Congrats again Kevin & Charlotte! Two completely drug-free, low intervention (as in one internal exam and a few minutes of EFM) under your belts!! It’s couples like you, educating, preparing and executing labor beautifully together, that further fuels my passion to share my #SymbioticBirth movement with as many couples as possible. Thanks for being such a wonderful part of our #AthensBirthFamily!