I am so excited to be sharing my birth stories with you today. Each birth has a different story and helped lead be to become a birth doula serving families.
In Feb of 2010, I gave birth to our first baby boy. I was fearful about birth and knew that I absolutely wanted to have an epidural. To be honest I didn’t even want to feel one contraction! I went to the OB that my Mom and aunts went to and he even delivered me! I trusted in him and in the staff at the hospital that they would take care of us. We took a class at the hospital to prepare for birth. I made it to 40 weeks with flying colors with no sign of labor happening. I was sent for the “stress test or non-stress test” and my amniotic fluid was looking low. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes with this pregnancy, so with those two things together they told me they wanted to induce and sent me to L&D. I was actually excited because I was so done being pregnant, just like any woman at 40 weeks and 2 days right!? The pitocin was started and after I felt the first three contractions I was ready for my epidural. After getting the epidural I soon realized that it was not working on the left side of my uterus! I had no idea this was something that could happen! My legs were completely numb along with the right side of my belly but I could still feel everything on the left. They rolled me to my left side to try to get the meds to flow to that side of my body and even talked about taking it out to replace it again but we never did because I just kept thinking the baby would be born soon. I was in that position for most of the 18 hours of labor. Our baby was born vaginally after an episiotomy. There was a lack of communication of what was happening with him after birth. They took him to the NICU and my husband went with him while I was being stitched up. I felt worried, so worried about my baby and wondering what just happened to me! I wasn’t able to see him for quite some time because I couldn’t walk and he had to stay in the NICU. Eventually, my husband came back for me and wheeled me to NICU to see our baby. It seemed like a lifetime until I could walk again after the epidural. I had this scary feeling of wondering if I would ever be able to walk again! Once all the feeling came back I had an intense sore aching feeling on my left hip(due to laying on it the whole labor) that didn’t subside for months after birth. With this, my episiotomy, and trying to navigate how to keep this little person alive and happy, I wondered how and why people would ever want to go through this multiple times! My recovery took longer than normal but not having anything other experiences to compare it to I was sure I would never do this again!
In 2013 I got pregnant again. With this baby, I knew I needed to explore some other options. Knowing that the epidural did not work for me the last time and the fact that I did not like how it made me feel, I started looking into childbirth classes that could help me through labor without the epidural. My husband and I took a Hypnobirthing class together and this made all the difference for both of us! He learned skills and techniques to help me during labor and also helped him to feel more a part of the birth and have a more involved role. He will tell you today that I drug him to the class but he is so glad that he did it! For this birth, I wanted to let labor start on its own and at 40 weeks and 5 days it did! After 4.5 hours our second baby boy was born unmedicated! The first thing I noticed about him was how alert and wide-eyed he was! I labored in a big birthing tub with him but had to get out for the delivery. My husband and sister (not yet a trained doula, but would be the next year) were with me during this birth and I was so grateful for their support. The birth high I felt after this baby was born is something I will never forget. I wanted to scream to the whole world “I just did that!!!” Everything about this experience was so different from the first. My recovery was such a night and day difference it was astonishing! With the birth class, additional research and education it made all the difference.
My last birth was full of emotion for me. I knew this would be my last baby. At this point In time I had completed the Birth doula training through DONA international and had finished the training and certification to teach Hypnobabies childbirth classes while I was 20 weeks pregnant. My husband and I chose to give birth in a birth center this time. As this was something new and different for us, it was not a decision that was taken lightly and had a lot of thought, conversation, education, and prayer that went into it. I found a CNM(certified nurse midwife) that ran her own birthing center and did extensive research and interviewing to choose a care provider. This birth was the fastest with no tearing at all! I credit that to the midwife who coached me through the last three contractions so I didn’t tear. That was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done physically in my life but was totally worth all the effort! It was such a great and amazing experience for all of us. Our midwife even made us breakfast that morning before we went home!
This pregnancy was a high-risk pregnancy due to my Type 1 Diabetes. This time around I didn’t have as tight of control because I was now not only taking care of myself, but a toddler. It was hard to focus on me when my toddler wanted me to always focus on him.
We were with the same doctor because we absolutely loved her with my un-medicated delivery and wanted the same experience. This time around though, she was more hesitant to deliver a big baby due to the shoulder dystocia with my last baby. She started talking about cesarean section before 30 weeks. We absolutely did NOT want a cesarean section. I had some misguided ideas of people who have had cesarean sections. I thought they didn’t try hard enough, they didn’t know better, they didn’t want to know better, they wanted to “take the easy way out”, etc. If you’ve had a c-section, you know these are very misguided ideas.
My doctor wanted me to have twice a week non-stress tests. Her and I agreed one once a week since my blood sugar control was decent and I was doing my kick counts. At my weekly non-stress test they found that this little boy was breech, meaning his head was up when it should have been down for delivery. I started getting nervous about him staying breech. My doula was helping me find things to do to turn him such as Moxibustion, the things listed on spinningbabies.com, chiropractic care specializing in the Webster technique, rebozo sifting, etc. We did all of these things with no luck. My doula thought that perhaps when I broke my foot around 30 weeks all my ligaments tightened up so my body didn’t allow my baby room to turn
We scheduled an appointment with one of the few OB’s that delivers breech babies in Utah, Dr. Silver. We were going to see him when he was doing his rounds at IMC, since my insurance didn’t cover the University of Utah where Dr. Silver delivers. We would do my weekly non-stress test then consult with Dr. Silver. We were going to see if he would do an external cephalic version, or if a breech delivery was possible. While I was getting ready for this appointment I started having regular contractions. I got my toddler’s things ready to go to my parents’ in case they were able to do a version and I had to stay to deliver. I dropped him off at my parents’ house and told them I may or may not be picking him up later that day.
On my way to the appointment at 3:00, I was starting to have to breathe through the contractions. I called my husband, who was meeting me at the appointment, to let him know that I thought I was in labor and to let our doula know. When we got all settled in for the non-stress test I was having some serious back labor. I had to put my fist in my back during the contractions while trying to hold still for the non-stress test monitors. Laboring on your back really sucks, especially with back labor! During the test, baby’s heart rate was decelerating. The nurse doing the test looked concerned so I asked if the monitor just wasn’t picking up, or if it was a real deceleration. She said the monitor seemed to be working. A few minutes later, Dr. Silver came in and said that I seemed to be laboring and asked me if I thought I was in labor. I told him yes. He told me that since I was in labor and baby was having decelerations we could not do the external cephalic version and baby was too big for a breech delivery so I should go downstairs and have a c-section. My heart sunk. This was not how I wanted to bring my baby into the world, plus I was terrified of surgery.
We went down to labor and delivery and the nurse got us all checked in and started prepping for the cesarean. Chase, my husband, went and got our birth bag, which I had packed a few weeks ago and had ready in the car for when the time came. He called our birth team and told them what was happening. One of the doctors wanted to check my cervix. I asked why because I was having a c-section. She told me that they needed to know if I needed to go back right away or if we had a while. Really, they could have known by the way I was acting, but I didn’t think about that at the time so I let them. I was 1 cm dilated, so they had a while, especially with him being breech and not pushing my cervix open efficiently.
In the operating room I received my spinal block. He started numbing it and I just broke down crying. I really didn’t want this. I had an amazing un-medicated, natural, vaginal birth last time. I knew my body worked, so I didn’t understand why everyone thought my body was broken this time. The anesthesiologist said you should feel better in a minute. My doctor touched my shoulder and told me the anesthesiologist was almost done. They were both trying to comfort me, but they didn’t understand that I wasn’t crying about the spinal. The spinal sucked, yes, but the situation sucked more. It was around 6:00 when my doctor showed up and was ready for surgery. She asked my doula if she was going to go back with me and my doula responded, “Yes, if I’m allowed.” The nurse told my doctor that due to the OR not being big enough (which it was definitely big enough) only one support person was allowed back. This made me even more nervous. I was not ready for this and now I was losing one of my support people. My doula walked me to the OR with my husband and she said she would see me when I’m done.
Once he was done they had me lay on my back before I got too numb to move. I felt so nauseous. I told the anesthesiologist but he just said that he gave me some anti-nausea medicine so I should be fine in a second. Since he was not listening I told Chase, my husband, to find me a garbage to puke in. The anesthesiologist did something about it since he finally got the hint that I was serious and gave me an alcohol swab to sniff in my oxygen mask. It smelled awful, but it worked.
The nurse leaned down asked me if I was okay and told me my eyes were beautiful. She was very nice, but didn’t have any regard for personal space. She was literally right in my face. This just added to the situation. I felt like I had no choices, no personal space, nothing. Everything was up to them and I had to rely on them and go along with whatever they wanted to do.
My doctor asked me if I could feel her cold hands on my stomach and I couldn’t so they said they were ready to begin. I was not ready to be cut into, but I never would be, so whether I was ready or not, they began. My doctor asked me if I still wanted to have the surgery explained to me, per my request in my birth plan. I told her I changed my mind and didn’t want to know. Chase was trying to comfort me as much as he could. He didn’t want this either. He played music for me and stroked my hair. A few minutes later my baby boy was out! He was born at 6:19 p.m. They lowered the drape a little and I tried to lift my head, but couldn’t move much since I was numb from my chest down. He looked so big in my doctor’s arms. I barely saw him over the drape then they handed him off to the pediatric team.
They weighed and measured him. He was 9 lbs 14 oz and 23 inches long. He was huge! No wonder my belly was so big. They stitched me up while Chase went over to be with him. This is why I wanted my doula with us. She could have been by me telling me what is going on with my baby or the surgery. Instead I had to listen to the doctors talking about where they used to live as they put me back together and stitch me up. My doctor asked how I was doing, but because of the anesthesia I felt like I had big sand bags on my chest and could only muster out whispers. I’ve never felt so out of control of my body, and this was normal from the anesthesia.
After they stitched me back up one of the doctors who was operating on me asked how I was doing. I said I was fine, but I wanted to know how my baby was because I couldn’t hear him. She looked over at him and said that he looked good, but she’ll send over one of the nurses to let me know. They brought a hospital bed in to put me on. It felt very strange to be turned side to side and then lifted by several people onto another bed. They handed me my baby, finally. About an hour after he was born I finally got to touch him. I didn’t want to let him go. I couldn’t see his face because it was under my chin, but I was fine with just snuggling him. This was the only good thing about the cesarean, my healthy baby boy.
Once I got to my room my parents, our son, doula, and photographer were all there. My dad took some pictures to send to people and asked me who to send it to. I was so high on all the drugs they gave me for the surgery that I couldn’t answer his question. My doula was trying to help me feel better with essential oils, which did help. I got a couple minutes of bonding time with my new baby before they had to take him to the NICU for low blood sugar. His sugar was 26. I was sad about this, but understood. Chase and my photographer both went to the NICU with him.
My doula helped me get all situated in my postpartum room. One of the nurses came in and asked me if I needed more morphine. I don’t like to take medication unless I absolutely need it, so I was hesitant to get it. My doula suggested that I take it before I start hurting, so I told the nurse I wanted it. I asked her if it would make me nauseous and she told me she had given me some ant-nausea medication so I should be okay. Immediately after getting the morphine she left and I started puking. My doula got me some bags to puke in and was trying to push the nurse call button but it wasn’t working. Luckily my photographer had just come into my room and went and got the nurse. Apparently they forgot to plug in my bed so none of the buttons were working.
The nurse felt my legs and asked if I could feel her touching them. I told her I couldn’t and she gave me a look. I don’t know how to describe it, but it made me kind of nervous. A few hours later I could finally feel my legs.
After several more hours of getting me settled in, my doula left. She was so amazing for after delivery. I’m sure she would have been amazing during, but they wouldn’t let her in. I asked when I could go to the NICU to see my baby. They told me once I had gotten up to pee and my catheter was out. I kept asking for updates on my baby, but they didn’t know since they didn’t work in the NICU. I called Chase since nobody was updating me. Baby Wesley’s sugars were stabilizing and he was on oxygen.
Later that night I asked if I could see my baby. The nurses got me out of my bed to pee. I was still really dizzy, but I wanted to see him so I made myself get up. I asked the nurses if they would catch me if I fell. They responded, “Of course!” I finally got up and peed so now I could see my baby. They wheeled me down there and I told me that I couldn’t stay long because they needed to get to their other patients. I kissed him and stayed for less than 5 minutes before being wheeled up again. They told me that I needed to get some rest.
The next morning I called Chase to come bring me down to the NICU again. Chase had been there all night with him and didn’t leave his side except to go to the bathroom. We spent all of our time there for the next 6 days. It took a while to wean him off of the glucose IV, but he was able to go off oxygen on day 2. My nurses had an easy job with me since they never had to check on me because I was always in the NICU. I got discharged after 4 days, we did a hotel stay in the hospital for 2 days, and finally baby was discharged before we had to figure out where to stay again. The NICU is a depressing place and we are grateful for all they do, but we were glad to finally be going home and to see our other child.
This was a very humbling experience for me. I learned that cesarean moms are strong, stronger than I ever imagined. I learned that c-sections are not always avoidable no matter how many things you do right. I learned that cesareans are NOT the easy way out. I have a newfound respect and love for cesarean moms.
My Birth doula impacted my entire pregnancy in the best way possible.
I was more in tune with my body and my baby than my first pregnancy and it made me feel like I had an even more amazing connection with my baby.
The day of my birth was the best day of my life. My doula was there every step and was like my right arm. I needed her there and she’ll never know how grateful I am for her. Bringing my second child into the world non medicated was the most incredible feeling in the world and I owe LOTS of it to her.
All in all, my doula impacted my life by empowering me and letting me know that my body and mind are capable of so much more than I ever thought possible.
March 22nd to March 28th is world doula week. I wanted to take this week to share stories from families that have somehow been touched or impacted by a doula. Maybe you didn’t hire a doula, or maybe she just helped you over e mail. No matter how she may have impacted you I would love to share your stories.
In honor of World doula week I would like to share my own reason why I love doulas. My birth was one that I will never forget. Being a doula Im surrounded by so many doulas and truly have felt the love from all of them during my labor journey. My birth may have been unique. I had 5 women who I knew would be able to help me through a labor journey that I had been hoping for for years. Each woman brought a “special ingredient” to my birth. My husband made fun of me for a really long time asking if he needed to attend the birth since I would have a village. He agreed after my birth they were so needed. During pregnancy there are a lot of mind games that we may have. Going back and forth in what happens if…. and what do we do if….. My doulas were always there for me to talk to and they would always rejuvenate my spirits and help me feel motivated again. They were there during my birth to help me get through some of the past triggers that I had and remind me that I was okay. Their support was incredible for both my husband and myself.
After the birth Ric said that he really could not imagine the birth without them and was grateful that I had chosen them for our birthing team. Doulas are amazing, YES I know I am one myself so Im biased but having a doula at my birth was one of the best decisions I made for myself and my husband.
I love what I do and am so grateful for my doulas and all their support that they did and still do provide me with.
To all my fellow doula’s Happy World doula week!!!!
Tiny Blessings Doula Services has had a great year, Here is a recap! It’s hard to believe we are starting 2017 already. Looking back on 2016 I can’t help but smile. I have truly met some amazing families. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have had to be apart of these great births.
In 2016 I attended every birth in the first 6 months pregnant. It was such a fun experience for me leading up to my own birth I was able to help all these moms all while receiving motivation for my own. I experienced my first home birth which was something I was so very excited about. I was able to meet so many great providers and nurses. I have loved every birth and I can’t wait to see what 2017 has to bring. I have set so many goals so it will be fun to hopefully meet them all. I look forward to working with many more families this year!
Something that I learned while I was pregnancy with Webb was the importance of an aligned body. I started going to a chiropractor at 18 weeks pregnant and continued throughout my pregnancy. This one of of the KEY things that I believe I did that helped me achieve my VBA2C goal. Right now a good friend of mine is offering a fantastic deal. I wanted to share it for all of you to see. Go check him out his name is Jake. He is kind and gentle and is fantastic at what he does.
When I tell people I’m a doula I get a lot of responses like oh my gosh you deliver babies, or do you take over the dads job during labor?
I think there are a lot of myths about doulas. Here are a few of the most common myths.
As your Doula my goal is to help couples enjoy their birthing experience by providing educational support as well as physical. I can help you get through any doubts or fears that you or your partner may have, while helping you gain knowledge of the situation and comfort you along your birthing experience. Although Im not on call until 38 weeks I am there for you from the moment you hire me, via phone, e mail, text.
In our prenatal visits I will help educate you with questions you may have and help provide the needed resources for further research or care IE: Chiro, Energy work etc. I am there as apart of your birthing team and will support any decisions you make during your journey. A lot of people think that doula’s only support unmedicated moms and that is not true. I want to support couples in all birth settings. One of my goals as your doula is to help your partner feel at ease and educated about what is happening.
Here are 5 Common Myths about Doulas:
1 – I am not wanting to go unmedicated, so I wont need a doula.* Something to remember is as a doula I am there to support you no matter what your birth plan may be. If you are wanting a medicated birth there are still many ways that I am able to help you. ie: Positions on the bed that can help with rotation of baby and progression, education on what the next step of labor and birth may be and what to expect once its time to push, Support for the partner so they can feel comfortable with what is happening. I want to be there to support and educate you along the way no matter what birthing choice you have in mind.
2- I have a planned cesarean section. A doula cant help me. * As a fellow cesarean doula I cant stress this myth enough. There is so much as your doula that I can help with. A C-section is a major surgery and a mom and partner may have a lot of questions and may need help after. I am happy to be there before hand as well. Something I have done with c section mommas is make a blend of essential oils to help keep them calm and then also have something refreshing for them to smell while they are in the OR, I have been able to help dads know what is going on on the other side and help keep them calm while they wait for their sweet baby to arrive, I have also taken pictures for clients.
3- I have a midwife so there is no need for a doula. *Midwives are amazing! I have had my own and I don’t know what I would have done without her. However with that said I also don’t know what myself and my husband would have done without my doula(s) either. They were with me constantly and helped my husband feel comfortable with everything that was going on. Doulas are able to provide constant physical, educational, and emotional support. Most midwives suggest a doula.
4- I wont need a doula. I have my husband. * I love hearing husbands wanting to be involved. Birth can be daunting. As your doula I will never try and take over a dads position. I am there to help dad and be on your team. Birth can often require a lot of physical support. After time it can become tiring for mom as well as her partner. That is where I step in. I can provide breaks for the partner and give ideas of how he/she can help mom cope. As your doula it is my goal to only help during the labor process not replace.
5- Doula’s try and take over . * As your doula it is not my role to make decisions for you. It is actually outside of my scope to do so. I am simply there to help you as you are making decisions to feel educated/comfortable with your decision. As your doula I will not speak to the hospital staff on your behalf or coax you into making decisions. I help educate and help you feel comfortable. So the decision you are making is the correct one for you and your family.
I am happy to answer any questions that you may have.
There are those out there who are interested in becoming a doula, but are unsure as to where to begin. http://www.doulatrainingguide.com, has compiled helpful information about the roles of a birth and postpartum doula as well as training opportunities and costs. If you choose to get certified, they have overviews of doula certification programs including curriculum information, reading lists, and workshop information. Getting started in your career as a doula is not as hard as you think!
ARE YOU A MOMMA WHO HAS HAD A CESAREAN SECTION AND ARE HOPING FOR A VBAC THE NEXT TIME AROUND? CHECK OUT YOUR LOCAL INTERNATIONAL CESAREAN AWARENESS NETWORK.
Have you thought of encapsulating your placenta?
I encapsulated my placenta with my last pregnancy and I could tell such a difference in my body my mood etc. I also became very anemic and was told by many docs nurses and midwives that it could take me 6+ months to get back to the normal range and even then I would be in the lower end of the normal range. I took my pills daily along with other things and at my 6 week visit I was in the normal range!
If you have ever thought about encapsulating or maybe are interested in learning more check out this great site. Feel free to e mail me at tinyblessingsdoulaservices.com with any questions you may have. I serve Salt Lake City and other surrounding cities
You can find more benefits on the Placenta remedies network