Archive for May, 2009


Is it really May 28?  Could my house really be this cold?  Yes!

I’m hoping to return to blogging land next week…I’ve been wrapped up in babyland for the last several weeks.  But I’m looking forward to sharing with you about my $30 garden, our yard renovations, and of course the day to day happenings with the babe.  Thanks for sticking around!



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Shouldn’t every weekend start off like this?

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my busy girl

Mollie is  2 and 1/2 weeks old and so far she has had many adventures.  She has been to her first birthday party, church (and heard Grandpa preach!), a huge combined worship service, her first photo shoot, the grocery store, walmart, work with mommy, the doctor and has had lots of time with family and friends.

Yesterday she weighed in at 7lbs 14 oz… that is over a pound that she has gained since she was born!  Good girl!

Mollie with her BFFs at home group… their boyfriends weren’t there last night

At cousin A’s 1st birthday party

chillin with cousin M

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I haven’t been blogging for the last two weeks because I have been busy adjusting to motherhood!  My baby girl was born on April 20th and Erik and I have totally fallen in love with her.  Her name is Mollie Anne and she weighed 6 lbs 12 oz and was 19 inches long.

I spent some time last week writing out her birth story.  It turned into quite a long and detailed post (mostly for my sake… I want to remember all the details for the future) and I invite you to spend some time reading it if you are interested.  I hope that it will be an encouragement to any expecting mother who is interested in natural birth. 

For those that would prefer the shorter version, here it is:  After having inconsistent light contractions all weekend, they started to get more consistent and intense early Monday morning.  We headed in to the hospital around 7:30am when my contractions were about 5-7 minutes apart and discovered that I was fully dilated when I arrived.  Mollie was delivered at 10:32am Monday morning and we were able to have a natural (no drugs) water birth.


Timing Contractions
My contractions started getting strong and consistent around 2am early Monday morning.  I had been having ‘light’ contractions since Saturday morning but they never got consistent.  We spent they day on Saturday playing Rock Band 2(which I gave to Erik as an early birthday present that day) and running some random errands.  I think that the closest the contractions got were 15 minutes during the night on Saturday but by the time I woke up on Sunday morning they had slowed down.  So we got ready and headed to church for the morning.  I continued to feel these light contractions throughout the morning as I waddled around and taught Children’s Church and trained the volunteer who will be covering for me while I’m out.  The rest of the day on Sunday I spent resting and slowly getting things ready, just in case… all the while having these inconsistent contractions.

I went to bed at 11pm and continued to wake up with each contraction.  I kept getting up and using the bathroom and studying the pre-labor/labor section of my ‘What to Expect’ book which I kept next to the toilet.   Around 2am they started to get stronger and were coming every 10-15 minutes.  I woke up Erik at this point and asked him to start timing them for me.  I waited until they were consistently about 10 minutes apart for about an hour and then I called the midwife.  I think that it was around 4am at this point.  She told me to wait until the contractions were 5 minutes apart, 1 minute long, for an hour before coming in (which I already knew from studying my ‘What to Expect’ book while on the toilet).  She suggested I might find it relaxing to take a shower which I was already planning on because I felt gross and didn’t want to go through this whole labor deal feeling unshowered and dirty.  So I hung up and took a shower… shouting out to Erik with each contraction so he could time their length.  By this time we had a system, I would say ‘time’ and he would take note of the time and start timing how long the contraction was.  They were starting to get more intense and I found it necessary to start using my breathing techniques (breathe in for 4; out for 8 ) and I found relief in swaying back and forth and walking around the room during each surge (contraction). 

So, we each took a shower and I dried and straightened my hair and put some make up on (it was a good distraction) stopping each time a surge started so that I could walk in circles around the bedroom.  Erik started pulling our stuff together and finished up packing our bag.  I laid down at some point because I was getting a little tired but I wasn’t very comfortable laying down for the contractions.  I remember needing to use some of my hypnobirthing techniques around this time but I was hesitant because I didn’t want to use up all my tricks too early.  What I found helpful was the breathing and visualizing my whole body relaxing (especially my lower half) throughout the surge. 

The contractions began to get closer together but never really got to 5 minutes apart… they were hovering around 5 – 7 minutes apart and every now and then they would be 3 or 4 minutes apart but never for very long.  I finally called in again to report around 7am.  I remember the midwife saying “Do you feel like you need to come in?” to which I promptly said “Yes.”  I’m sure that she was thinking that I still had a ways to go…but I was anxious to get this show on the road.

Going to the Hospital
I called my sister Cammie at 6am to let her know that things were progressing so she would have time to get ready before heading to NH to be with us for the birth.  I called her again at 7:30am as we were leaving the house to let her know that we were heading to the hospital.  She told me later that she thought she would have plenty of time to get here because of how I sounded on the phone.  She figured since I was able to call her that I must not be too far along.

We gathered our things and left the house at about 7:30am… calling our family members along the way.  As we were driving in my contractions started to feel a little different.  With each contraction I was starting to feel pressure, as if I needed to go to the bathroom.  I had talked to enough people and read enough books to know that this might mean I was getting close to being ready to push.  It completely freaked me out, especially since we were creeping through the Monday morning traffic at the tolls, but I didn’t say anything to Erik.

Arriving and Checking in
We arrived at the hospital and parked at the side entrance.  I started heading straight for the door and Erik caught up with me after grabbing our bag.  We made it up to the second floor and checked in at the  Birth Center.  There seemed to be a bit of confusion at the desk as the nurses discussed where I was to go and who was going to check me.  One of the nurses, Kathy, took me to the triage room and instructed me to get undressed and give a urine sample.  The pressure to use the bathroom continued but I was able to give a little sample before making my way to the bed.  Kathy put a monitor on me and checked the heart beat through the next contractions.   I remember her making some comments about the midwife and continuing to monitor me but no mention of checking me to see how far dilated I was.  This worried me a bit (I felt like they were all so laid back with me when I felt deep down that things were farther along than expected), so I piped up and let her know that I was feeling some pressure and the urge to go to the bathroom.  She caught my drift and decided to check me… and said something like, “I can’t find your cervix, you’re fully dilated.  Oh, there is a full head of hair!”

At this point, everything started to move a little quicker.  Cricket (the midwife) came in and confirmed that I was fully dilated, they ordered the IV antibiotics for me since I was positive for Group B Strep, and some of the nurses tried to figure out where to put me since it was a very busy morning at the Birth Center.  There was much discussion between the nurses about how the only room available was the water birth room and Erik finally let them know that we wanted to do a water birth so all was well and they brought me into the water birth room.   It was about 8:15am. 

I had no desire to lay down on the bed.  It felt much better to stand and sway or to lean over the bed and sway.  This was what I did while they started my IV.  Then we asked for a birthing ball and I sat (and continued to sway) on that for awhile.  Our nurse Kathy(who was amazingly wonderful and wasn’t even supposed to be doing deliveries that day but got assigned to us since she checked me in- yay!) encouraged me to push if my body felt like it and she said that my water would probably break with one of the contractions.  So I began to push with each contraction while on the ball.

After about an hour my legs were getting tired so I got onto the bed and laid on my side with one of my legs up… not super comfy but it was better on my legs.  Erik stayed right by my side the whole time and encouraged me.  I didn’t really want to be touched but it felt good to have him right there.  As I was on the bed pushing he kept telling me to breathe because apparently I stopped breathing and my face got all red every time I focused on pushing.  I think that he was concerned that all the blood vessels in my face were going to burst.

At about 9:30am my water broke, or more appropriately my water burst.  It was like a balloon being popped!  It kind of startled me.   Shortly after my water broke Cammie arrived, pushing Alexi in her stroller.  My parents were going to watch Alexi but they hadn’t arrived at the hospital yet so Cammie put the stroller in corner and gave Alexi a bottle and then grabbed my camera and started taking pictures.

I wanted my sister to be there for support and encouragement, kind of like a doula, but it turned out that I didn’t really need much intervention.  Kathy, our nurse was with us the whole time but she was pretty hands off, just periodically checking the baby’s heartbeat, and making suggestions every now and then.  I really felt like I(or my body) was in control of the whole experience.  Erik was right there next to me the whole time but he too kind of just let me do my thing.  Or at least that was my perception.  So when Cammie arrived, she took over the photo documentation, and unfortunately there wasn’t any need for me to take advantage of her massage experience.

A short while after my water broke, Kathy suggested that I sit on the toilet for a little while and push.  I was up for anything so I waddled over to the toilet and sat down.  The water birth tub had been filled but they were holding off on me getting in because Cricket, our midwife, was delivering another baby so they were waiting for her to arrive before I got in.  I loved sitting and pushing on the toilet (I know, weird) .   I’m not sure why, but it was really comfortable!

Water Birth
Cricket arrived and everyone started preparing for me to get into the water.  I was a bit hesitant at first about getting in the water.  I’m not sure if it was because I was feeling so comfortable on the toilet and was nervous about switching positions, or if subconciously I knew that by getting into the water would mean the most painful part (ring of fire, etc) was imminent.  But I reasoned with my self that I couldn’t give birth on the toilet and I had no desire to get back onto the bed so I figured I would give the water a try.  I remember asking if I could get out if I didn’t like it.

But oh, as soon as I stepped into the water… I liked it.  It felt wonderful.  Except that I couldn’t sit down on the little step/seat because there was a baby’s head between my legs… well not exactly but it felt like it. (Kathy later mentioned that she thinks that act of me getting into the tub really help the baby work its way down the birth canal)  So I kind of squatted in front of the step and used my hands on the step behind me to support myself.  And I started to push. 

I’m not exactly sure how long I was in the water before the baby was delivered but Erik and I think that it was about 10 minutes.  After I started to push I felt things moving (and burning) and I knew that I was close.  I kept pushing, despite being tired because as the head started to crown I just wanted to get the baby out, I didn’t want the head sitting there for too long because of how it felt.  So I pushed, and I grunted, and I moaned, and my baby was born!

They lifted the baby up and handed her to me and laid her on my chest.  There was a bunch of commotion and I noticed that the cord was wrapped around her neck, but she was screaming so I wasn’t concerned.  Then I heard something about the cord snapping…not being clamped… I didn’t really pay attention because at about that time I realized that I didn’t know if the baby was  boy or a girl.  I remember saying, “What is it?” and Erik and Cammie helped me look between the legs and announced it was a girl!

At about this point they helped me out of the tub and onto the bed (they actually wheeled the bed over to the tub).  Mollie was able to stay on my chest, skin to skin, and they covered us with warm blankets.  It is the practice of the hospital that they leave the baby on the mother for the first hour as long as everything is looking good with the baby.  So we didn’t know how much she weighed or how long she was until after that first hour… but it was so worth it to have her close to me during that time.  It was wonderful.

I found out later what had happened with the cord snapping was actually kind of serious for me.  When Mollie was lifted up and given to me the cord snapped and the end that was still attached to me was not able to be clamped.  Until the placenta was delivered, I was squirting out blood which could have been dangerous for me (for obvious reasons) if the placenta hadn’t been quickly delivered.  Looking at the pictures of me in the tub with Mollie you can see how the water quickly turned red until I was pretty much surrounded by dark red water.  I had no idea at the time.  Fortunately, the placenta was easily delivered and the bleeding was stopped.

We had an incredibly positive birth experience.  I believe that I was fortunate to have an easy labor and delivery and it was not due to anything that I ‘did’,  but rather that God allowed me to have a birth with very few complications.    I know that being informed, prepared and confident about what my body was created to do certainly helped me to have a natural birth, and for that reason, I would highly recommend hypnobirthing .  I did not find it to be all ‘new-agey’ or ‘hippy-dippy’ but rather it equipped me with information and tools to use in my experience.  I also wonder if the red leaf raspberry tea helped! 

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us along this journey, from our first and then second miscarriage, through the testing for pregnancy loss, and finally to this pregnancy which resulted in a beautiful little girl who we absolutely adore. 

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