Thursday, September 11, 2014

Honora's Birth

Honora Vivian’s Birth Story

My back story was that I had a really difficult birth with my first baby, and when I was pregnant again about a year later, I was determined to find a different way…enter Hypnobabies!  This is my 4th birth, and my 3rd Hypnobaby, and I am thankful for that first bad experience, because otherwise I would probably never have known the subsequent births. J  My first baby was born at 41 weeks, my second at 41 weeks 2 days, and my third, on his due date!  This time around I have a close friend, Melissa, who is a doula and birth photographer, and I was so excited to have her onboard my birthing team, along with my husband, who is always so great during birthing, my midwife, and the nurses.  I was going in for my 39 week appointment, 5 days before my due date, and my friend said that she was teaching Lamaze during the days on the weekend that would be easier not to have to schedule around, and then I looked at my family’s calendar, and this week was so open, but the next was not, and I started to think it would be a good time to have a baby!  So, when my midwife asked if I’d like her to sweep my membranes, I thought, why not?  I’d had it done after 40 weeks with my others and it had really never started much up, but I thought I’d go for it anyway.

My appointment ended around 11 am, and I went to lunch with Melissa and had a few “means business” pressure waves, but I kind of thought it would fizzle out.  Instead, they started establishing a pattern.  About 8-10 minutes apart by the time I was home around 3pm.  We went to a business dinner at 6pm and I think they were about 6-8 minutes apart then, but I wasn’t timing.  We walked around a bit so that we could come home after the babysitter had our other little ones in bed for the night. J  We decided to watch a movie while I chilled on my birth ball.  I texted my midwife around 10 pm when my waves were 4-6 minutes apart, but relatively intense, and we agreed that I could probably try to finish my movie for the next hour and make a decision.  So in an hour, I decided I wanted to get on the road, because our drive was about an hour long and I wanted to have freedom to move as things progressed.  My doula said she’d meet us at the hospital, and we got there sometime around 1 am.  I got all checked in and hooked up to an IV, b/c I was Group B Strep Positive, I was at 4cm and 90% effaced at check in.  When they were finished with all that jazz, I started walking with my IV pole.  I was pretty sleepy and wanted to have my tracks onboard, and they were in my room, so I headed back after about 30 minutes and hopped on the birth ball for the next while.  I settled in with Early First Stage playing in the background, and I think I got some sleep in between waves.  I started to vocalize a bit, and my doula reminded me that lowering my pitch would help keep things loose, and it was such a good bit of advice for me to focus on.  

I recognized that my midwife, Anne arrived, and Melissa said that she was pretty confident that I was further than I appeared.  She had asked earlier if I might want to labor in the tub for a bit, an I started to think that the warm water would feel nice.  Before I went to the bathroom, my midwife checked me and said I was at an 8.5 to a 9 with a bulging bag of waters.  I started for the tub, and I heard Melissa and Anne talking, and they asked me to sit on the toilet for my next wave.  They told me they thought I was pretty close and maybe getting in the tub might not be a great idea if I didn’t want to birth there, which I didn’t—it is a nice jetted tub, but no birthing pool for sure!  So I made my way back to the bed. I think by this time I had vomited about 5 times.  I had some more vomiting, which I learned was my body trying to rupture my bag of waters.  I was pretty tired of puking, so I asked if it might be a good idea to rupture my waters.  My birth team was very supportive of what I wanted to do without telling me to go for it, but I was really over throwing up and wanted to get the show on the road. ;)  Anne ruptured the bag for me and said it was a “bag of steel.”  I got settled in on my side with a few pillows between my knees and had 2 or 3 more productive waves, and then I told them I was starting to feel pushy.  I guess I was so calm that they didn’t think much of it.  But, bless my husband, he started up my *Pushing Baby Out* track.  I focused on what Kerry was saying and on keeping my pitch low and my mouth round, because of what Melissa said, and because I think I recall Ina May saying something about that helping things open as well.  I was feeling pushy more and more often, and I looked to my side and saw my midwife sitting on the floor cross-legged watching me progress, and my friend nearby.  My husband was providing the best counter pressure on my back with each strong wave.  My sweet L&D nurse Shana came up and asked if she could listen to the baby’s heart with the stethoscope on my belly, and I declined.  Everyone thought I was just having a particularly strong wave, and they started to think about getting up and ready for Pushing Stage, but in reality I was confused at why she asked, because I was actively birthing my baby.  I had two more pushing waves and Shana came back to see if she could check baby’s heartrate again just as I felt her body birth, and I told her, “Sure, she’s in the bed.” And my husband simultaneously said, “The baby popped out!”

My doula, midwife, and nurse all hopped up and said, “What did you say?!”  Anne came over, lifted up the sheet and saw that Baby Honora had a nuchal cord once around, and undid that and passed her up to me.  They were completely shocked and awed.  Anne didn’t even have her gloves on!  She said that in over a thousand births this was the first one that she completely missed from about 2 feet away. Melissa, said, “Well, I’ve never seen it before, and I may never again, but you really just breathed that baby out!”  They were so sweet and supportive.  My nurse said she groaned when she saw that I had a doula, and my birthplan, but she was a believer and felt so privileged to be there to witness everything.  I got to cut the cord (my first time ever), and Honora had vernix all over—another first for me!  She had apgars of 9 and 9 and she was my tiniest little peanut at 7lbs 14.8 ounces.  Blessed again to be a Mama!  She nursed immediately and has been an effective little nurser ever since.  Each new person who came in asked how all of this worked, the lactation consultants listened to some of the tracks, and one of the pediatricians on call told me I should teach “my method,” because people would drive for something like that! 

It was a crack up, but I am seriously so thankful for the Hypnobabies curriculum.  I always feel so empowered in my decision making leading up to and during labor.  I know that I make educated and informed decisions for me and my baby, not necessarily what everyone else would do for themselves or their births, but it has so helped me to heal from my first birthing to take ownership of the process of bringing life into the world.  We are confident that our family is now complete, and I will miss Hypnobabies and childbirthing.  I am in awe of the Lord’s design for the process and so thrilled to have been able to be an active participant. 

Melissa is putting together a birth slide show that I’ll probably post for you all when it’s finished too, but I wanted to get this written up while Honora is still in her sleepy newborn stage! J

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Welcome Malachi!

Well, this one was definitely a new and different birthing experience!  Malachi decided to be prompt and arrive on his due date (my other two were each at least a week passed their dates). 

It was funny, because while we were putting the kids to bed, I joked with my hubby that tonight was probably the night because I was irritable and didn’t want anyone touching me—just like I wanted to go be alone somewhere.  We decided to watch a movie until bed.  I was feeling kind of sick-ish by bedtime and thought I’d had too much to eat earlier and was in for a night of heartburn.  I went to the bathroom before bed and then as I was heading upstairs, my water broke.  That completely shocked me because my first birth, they ruptured my waters, and the second time, we aren’t sure when my water broke, but it was intact when we arrived at the hospital and I was well into labor.  I had been having some pressure waves, but they were spaced between 8 and 12 minutes apart, so I figured it was just more warm-ups. I was a little concerned that things might not pick up the way I would like once my water broke and I wasn’t already in a good active pattern.

Our ride to the hospital was comfortable, and my waves were between 4 and 8 minutes apart by the time we arrived at about 12:45.  I was measured at 3-4cm and 80% effaced.  We found out that Baby Thumper had moved and was occiput posterior again, despite my earlier spinning babies success, and we needed to do some work to get the baby to move down and into position.  So we started walking, and walked until around 3am.  We ran into a granddaddy in the hall who asked how we were doing and we chatted a bit only to find that he was there to support his daughter who is 5 months pregnant and was pretty sure she was miscarrying.  He was so kind to us in spite of his own trauma, and I promised to pray for them.  When we finished walking, my waves were increasing in intensity, so I decided I would like to try sitting on a birthing ball for a bit and putting on my relaxation tracks.  Our midwife, Kim, had arrived at the hospital by this point and was so sweet to get the ball ready for me and find me some snacks.

Ben was able to catch about a 2 hour nap at this point and I worked on squatting as deeply as I could, circling my hips, trying to breathe the baby down.  In between surges, I was praying for the family we met in the hallway, as well as for our birthing. 

Around 5 ish I felt like resting, so I hopped up in bed and my midwife put me in the Texas Roll position on my side to try to get the baby to rotate.  I was at a 6 at this point and really focusing.  The nurses came in twice to try to get a Hep Lock placed during this time for pitocin after birth (I have had big babies in the past, and since this was #3 they were concerned about the possibility of hemorrhage).  This was incredibly painful, because my veins were rolling all over the place and they could not get one in.  It took me out of my relaxation something fierce, and it took me a good couple of minutes of intentional focus to get back to close to on-track.  The waves were still pretty intense in my back, so my midwife had me get up in hands and knees position, which really moved things along.  I wasn’t quite prepared for how much it would change the game, but I was able to view it as progress, so even though the intensity was greater, I could tell more work was being accomplished, and for that, I was grateful. 

I found that this birthing was not really what I visualized at all, and I got a bit discouraged as the sun came up and my baby was not yet in my arms.  I had envisioned it being as speedy as my last birthing.  What really helped me get beyond that was recognizing benchmarks and internally reminding myself.  I thought to myself that I was getting to a place where I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore, and I knew enough to tell myself that I didn’t have to for much longer, because I must be really close to transition/transformation.  Sure enough with my next big wave, I started to throw up, surprising everyone else who thought I had farther to go than that because of my calm.

It was about now that they tried the 2nd time for the Hep Lock—not fun!  But I got through it.  Decided I needed to go to the restroom; the walk there and back felt pretty productive, and by the time I got back to the bed, I wanted to get back on my side to get ready to push.

I started for the bed and a wave hit me, so I grabbed onto the side of the bed and tried to climb on, only it is a bed that breaks down, and somehow, I broke it down in the process, so mid-wave, half of my bed fell to the floor.  Looking back it was pretty hilarious—definitely unexpected!  Everyone rushed around putting it back together, and then it was pretty much time that my body started pushing.  My midwife was great; continually reminding me to “blow baby down and into my arms.”  That really worked for me when I focused on it. 

And soon, little Malachi Benaiah came yelling into the world just as beautiful as could be, we snuggled, nursed, and I ordered breakfast!  It was pretty glorious in the end.  They did have to give me a short of Pitocin in my leg and another anti clotting med, because my bleeding wasn’t exactly what they wanted. Not as quick and easy as my last birth, but beautiful in other ways.  I learned about myself that I can do hard things, and do them well even with hiccups in the road and expectations that aren’t realized.  And in the end, I don’t think I would have had it any other way, except maybe a better positioned baby from the get-go. ;)  I’m in deep smit, and likely to remain so! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Maple Cornbread Goodness

I lost my Maple Cornbread recipe from my Grandma recently; not wanting that to happen again, I am posting it here as much for myself as anyone else who may tune in--since I haven't posted here in an age and a day!  Anyway, it is a treat of a recipe! <3

                   MAPLE CORNBREAD

     1 cup cornmeal
     1 cup flour
     4 teaspoons baking powder
     1/4 cup sugar
     1/2 teaspoon salt
     1 egg
     1 1/3 cup milk
     1/3 cup maple syrup
     1/3 cup oil

Mix dry ingredients.  Add liquid and mix.  Pour into greased
9 by 9 pan.  Bake at 375 degrees 20 minutes or till done.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Little house BIG woods for sale!

Hi all! We have been trying to sell our little house for a year come-November, and haven't had much luck! We moved out of state for Ben's job and had to leave our little spot. I put together a slide show of the house and land with a link to the realtor's listing. If you know of anyone that might be interested, or you have any insights other than "The economy is in the dumper," or "Mortgage crisis, blah, blah, blah," we'd sure appreciate them!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Happy Birthday!

My parents came for their very first, in-person, celebration of Nehemiah's birthday last weekend. One of the gifts that he got was a Buzz Lightyear water rocket thing. He adores it! Here is a funified picture of the awesomeness that ensued. :)

Oh, and we made some fun 4th of July birthday cookies (originally found through the Crafty Crow)in lieu of a cake--they are fabulous and quirky and may be a new favorite for the 4th!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Craving Community

I am coming to realize the depths of my deprivation of community living in the country. Many people fantasize about and truly love such a life; I had hoped to be one of them...I am not! And it is good to know about myself.

It is a breath of fresh air for me to live in a neighborhood again. I can bake cookies and bring them to my neighbors (not saying I have, but hey, I could!), I can offer my assistance to one of the many elderly widows on our street, and they remind me of the wisdom and love of old age--love that I have missed since my GG passed away. My son can yell out the window to his friends across the street and say hi to passersby as they walk.

I hurt my knee badly--tore my ACL, at one of the worst foreseeable times to do so. And the Lord is wrapping me in community. He is using it to care for me. For my kids. And for my spirit. And, I know that when I am back at it again, there are going to be places that I am needed to reciprocate. I am going to be an important part of my neighborhood, and I love that.

Thank you Jesus for walking with me, and showing me your care, even when things are a bit rough. Thank you for your provision. Thank you for my street, and my town, and my friends, new and old. You go before me always, and for that, I am forever grateful!

Blog Alert!

On the recommendation of my new friend Amber, I looked up this blog by the wife of one of the members of Selah. Her name is Angie Smith. My word; what a testament to the Lord and His preservation in sorrow and in joy.

Read on, but not without a big ole' box of tissues and some serious time to devote...can you tell it is the first day campers are at camp? It's going to be a late night, and I certainly found something to do!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

God Bless Iowa!

Well, what can I say? It has been a very rough last few day's here in the Frank household. Not only have we been in the middle of moving for the 2nd time in as many months, and all that comes with that, the painting, the packing, decisions, and chaos, with 2 little ones craving a return to their routine, but summer camp is starting for Ben, which means the return of the 80 hour work week for him. And about two days ago, I fell down some slick stairs at camp, twisting my knee and blowing my ACL in my left knee--not fun folks, not fun! And I should know, as I blew the very same one in high school--uugh!

But there is a bright spot in all of this loveliness, and it has been what I termed the "Just Add Franks" community we are encountering. You know, sort of like the "Just Add Water" baking mixes that come together unexpectedly easily. We have had people who are just getting to know us offer all sorts of help. I have had 2 people watching our kids at various times and for appointments, and our new friends/landlords brought us 2 freezer meals and a scrumptious egg bake and beautiful fruit salad last night. Breakfast was fit for kings this morning, and it was so nice! There are more offers of help that I am going to have to accept as well, thankfully--even though it is kind of tough for me to do sometimes.

My mom mentioned that she had heard that Iowa was the best place to raise a child according to a host of variables, and from what I have seen so far, I would have to agree. Hopefully this mentality rubs off on me. :) Come to think of it, one of my closest friends in MN who could always be counted on for these type of things is originally from Iowa. Dependable, sincere, and sweet are the virtues I am encountering, and it is refreshing!

Thank you Lord and new friends for this provision, we need it!