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a hypnobabies birth February 1, 2008

Posted by guinever in birth, birth stories, birth story, doula, health, midwifery, pregnancy.
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A big thank-you to Sheridan for sharing her birth story here. Sheridan is a Hypnobabies instructor and a fellow member of Independent Childbirth. Here are some excerpts:

The Hypnobabies Birth Guide CD was amazing. It seemed to be saying exactly what I needed to hear when I needed to hear it. Either during or right before Dr. K broke my water, in the CD it said when your water releases you will feel a rush of anesthesia. It was perfect timing and it worked! After my water was broken the pressure waves were no longer painful.

…Luckily the lip was gone after those 2 pressure waves. I was so glad and started pushing. The nurse said, “Stop, we need the Dr. here and we need to break the bed down.”

I was like,

Whatever people, I am pushing, I don’t care if a Dr. is here or not.

I didn’t say this, but thought it. IT was ok to push, so I was pushing. I was a yeller grunter kind of pusher. It was so powerful. I really didn’t choose to do anything, it just happened. I would try to remember to breathe the baby out, but my body wouldn’t have that. But between pressure waves I would sometimes be breathing the baby down. To read the rest of the story, go to Sheridan’s website.

You can submit your birth story too; please click here for guidelines.

on homebirth: Ron Paul in favor of families having the option to choose January 15, 2008

Posted by guinever in doula, family, health, home birth, homebirth, midwifery, pregnancy.
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Here’s what Ron Paul said at a political rally in Greenville, North Carolina when asked about licensing midwives:

But if you can allow it with licensing, that’s slightly better, [than prohibition] the ideal is that people make up their own minds. I am not in favor of government prohibiting people from making private choices. I may have a medical opinion–well, you shouldn’t do this or you shouldn’t do that, but politically, people should make their own choices.

So you’re in favor of families having the option to choose.

Oh yes, definitely, said Ron Paul.

To watch and listen to this short video at a rally in Greenville, South Carolina, go to the clip at YouTube. What I have quoted above appears at the end of this video.

sing during labor: an inspiring, beautiful video especially for my pregnant friends January 14, 2008

Posted by guinever in doula, health, homebirth, labor, midwifery.

a beautiful woman with a beautiful voice
a quiet birthing at home
a reminder that the Lord will help and guide us through labor

When I saw this, I immediately thought of Karla, Erin, Rebekkah, Kate, and Kellie who are pregnant now… and of every other woman

surely, surely goodness and mercy will follow me
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
close by His side
I will abide
in His lovingkindness


unmedicated twins birth, shoulder dystocia, sibling birth and more! December 21, 2007

Posted by guinever in birth stories, birth story, doula, health, labor.
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At the beginning of a contraction, I would lean against Calvin’s chest and, as the contraction came to fullness, I would bend my knees and sway my hips in rhythm to my contraction. He would apply counter pressure to my hips, and, at the conclusion of my contraction, would reward me with a sweet kiss. I remember picturing our baby in our arms and getting those same sweet kisses from my husband – that was my goal for each wave of childbearing.

There are so many things to like about this birth. Highlights include baby’s siblings being present, her husband being an awesome support and coach, the Gaskin maneuver working for shoulder dystocia. She describes this birth as “long, but gentle and easeful.” Read the full story.

Nicole, who calls herself a birth junkie, has given me permission to share excerpts from her four birth stories with you. You can read them at her Bellies and Babies blog. Her births are reminiscent of my own. Not that they were similar to my own labors, but because all of her labors were different from each other, just as mine were.

mom dilates quickly in the relaxing water

This old bitty of a nurse was helping me back to the room and I was peaking and resolving one on top of the other. I told her that the baby was coming and all she did was look at me with this look that said ‘NOW she is starting to feel REAL labor… I told her so’.

Not too long before, the nurse had checked her and she was only 4 centimeters, but after a little while in the jacuzzi, she was feeling a little pushy. Here’s another excerpt from the birth of her first baby:

Well… we got back to the room and she was going to just leave. I basically jumped her and told her to check me. The nurse literally rolled her eyes at me and said, while pulling on her gloves ‘there is no way that you have dilated that much in such short a time… just relax’. Well, she checked me… and her jaw just about dropped to the floor. She told me not to push, that she was calling the doctor. On the phone I heard her say that I was 10cm, completely effaced, and +3 station.

no tearing even when the doctor said she would

The doctor was adamant, because of the level of scarring from my first episiotomy, I would either tear extensively or REQUIRE an episiotomy. I told him I would rather tear. I also asked him about perineal massage and warm compresses… he said he never even tried it as no one had ever asked before. So he and I read up on it together and put it to practice. Read this birth story.

un-medicated twins birth

Dr. V tells me ‘thanks for the bragging rights’ of being the only doc in their office that has delivered twins unmedicated… and one of the few who have delivered vaginal twins. He also told me he is extremely impressed with the un-medicated mother, labor & delivery and to send patient’s his way if I have any friends… that the questions and learning together was ‘fun’.

If you’d like to see your birth story on this site, get the scoop here.

frequently asked questions about due dates December 11, 2007

Posted by guinever in doula, pregnancy.
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pregcalc1.jpgThere is too much emphasis placed on due dates. The due date is actually just an estimation of when your baby will be born. The average length of pregnancy for first time pregnancies is slightly more than 41 weeks long.

  1. How is my due date determined? Your due date is 40 weeks after the first day of your last period. It is based on a 28 day menstrual cycle. So if your cycles aren’t consistently 28 days, your estimated due date may be a little “wrong.” And even if you are regular, stress can delay ovulation.
  2. Are ultrasounds accurate for determining my due date? First trimester ultrasound is consistent for establishing due dates. The American Pregnancy Association says that the best time for dating pregnancies using ultrasound is between 8-18 weeks along.
  3. I didn’t even have sex at the time that my doctor says I conceived. How can this be? Sperm can stay alive for many days, so it is possible that you conceived several days after you had intercourse. Once you ovulate, there are only about 24 hours to conceive.
  4. My doctor switched my due date after I had an ultrasound. What’s up with that? Remember that due dates are determined by a 28 day cycle. If you ovulated later than what would occur with a 28 day cycle, your due date will be changed if an ultrasound shows a younger baby. Be wary of changing due dates based on weight or size of the baby late in pregnancy.
  5. Do I need to be induced if I go past my due date? There is a time and place for inductions, but most are not done for true medical reasons and can be harmful if the baby is not ready to be born. In fact, 50% of inductions on first time mothers end with cesarean for the simple reason that if the cervix isn’t ready dilate, it’s not going to open up and allow birth.

Dr. Bradley in Husband Coached Childbirth gives the example of an apple tree. Just like the majority of apples are ripe and ready to picked at a certain time, most babies are ready about 40 weeks gestation and are ready to be born. Some apples fall off the tree earlier than others and are perfect for eating, and a few babies are perfectly healthy a little early too. But some apples cling to the tree when all others are gone. If picked before ready, the apple will not be ripe and ready to eat. Some apples need longer time on the tree. Likewise, some babies need more time in the womb than others. Be very careful with inductions. You might force your baby to be born before he’s ready for life outside the womb.