Pregnancy & Birth Series – Introduction

In this series you will find a variety of posts related to pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum time periods.  I will be discussing tips for staying healthy during pregnancy, different birthing options available, childbirth education classes, and the benefits of using a doula to name a few. I will also be posting positive birth stories for you to read.  There are so many TV shows out there that sensationalize birth, in a bad way, that I think it is important to read about REAL births.  As you are reading about these beautiful births you may want to have a box of tissues nearby! If you are interested in learning more, please consider signing up for the L.E.A.N. Expectations series. If there is ever a topic that you are hoping I will cover, please let me know...
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Finlay Roe’s Birth Story

This story of Melissa’s fifth birth is beautiful and shows us just how different each and every birth can be.  This story is full of wonderful pictures…wait till you read who took them… The year 2012 was full of big changes for our family. We moved to a new state when I was about 3 months pregnant with our fifth child. Our fourth was our first home birth and we knew we wanted to birth this baby at home. Finding a new midwife in a new state can be a daunting task but we found one that fit. My pregnancy continued normally. I love pregnancy! I even decided to do underwater maternity pictures; my first professional maternity photos ever.  We planned for my mom, who was present for our 4 other children’s birth, to fly down when I was 39 weeks pregnant. During my third trimester I told the baby daily that he needed to wait for grandma. Well, he had plans of his own. On 10/24/12 at 38 weeks and 6 days pregnant (the day before my mom was scheduled to arrive) I woke around 1:30am to use the bathroom. I noticed a contraction. I went back to bed and had a few more. I got restless in bed so I went downstairs for water and a snack. The mild contractions continued. Shortly before 3:00am I decided to tell my husband, Adam that our baby may be on his way! Sleepy Adam asked me to come back to bed. I snuggled up with him until the next contraction came that made me sit up in bed. I told him that I had to get up, lying in bed no longer felt right. I quietly walked around my house feeling a sense of excitement! Adam came and joined me downstairs. Around 3:30am I decided to give my midwife, E, a heads up call. She didn’t answer so I left a brief message.  At this time my contractions were starting to pick up a bit in frequency but they were still rather mild. I decided it was time to start gathering our birth supplies and my husband hauled the pool up to our bedroom. I love heat during labor so I asked Adam to heat up my old rice pack for my lower back pain however it smelled horrible and was rather annoying. Sometime after 4am I decided to call...
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Violet’s Birth Story

All too often we hear birth stories that end with mama in pain.  Pain for an experience that wasn’t as beautiful as she hoped and sadness over the loss of choice during her birthing time.  Thankfully, many of these mamas go on to have another baby and a birth that helps them heal.  Samantha’s story is one of those experiences. To get the happy ending…I need to start from the beginning. When I first announced my pregnancy with my son on April 1st, 2010 (yes that was on purpose), I remember one of my former friends telling me I should look into a midwife and giving me a recommendation to one. I told her I was completely uninterested and trusted a doctor more than I would ever trust a midwife. Even so, there was NO way I was capable of a natural birth. I had seen the movies and heard the horror stories. It also didn’t help that my books all talked about the “ring of fire”. How could I possibly survive something like that? I chose to continue ahead with my plans of an OBGYN office and delivery at a hospital. I ended up disgruntled about my care pretty early on and the doctors never really listened to me or cared about my opinion. By my 6th month, I felt like cattle and that the doctors were only interested in getting me out of their office ASAP. I was so naive and stuck with them…I was too scared to switch to anyone else that far out in my pregnancy. The office visits ended up being the least of my problems. On November 4, 2010, I woke up with what I thought were just cramps. I sat in the tub for a while and found them to not be anything unmanageable. I was so sure it wasn’t labor. My husband was the one who insisted on taking me to the hospital…when they hooked me up, my contractions were every minute and I was at 3 cm. Despite how little I was dialated, they decided to keep me. They asked me if I wanted the epidural right then and there and I told them to delay it (probably the smartest thing I did). When they moved me in the labor/delivery room, however, it all went downhill. I started getting intense cramping and I thought that if that was how I...
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Jude’s Birth Story

Jude’s birth is a lovely example of a mama trusting her body and her own intuition during her birthing time. If you haven’t read Marcella’s Birth Story yet you should read that first. It will give you a whole new appreciation for this mama’s strength and courage. He laid quietly, softly breathing, warm and safe. He lay close enough to her to feel the warmth of her breath. With his eyes closed he thought of her, and tried to understand her. She was like the whole world. When he came from the darkness she was the only one he knew. He recognized her smell, and her voice, and even the way she moved, he was safe with her. She was always nearby, all he ever had to do was call, and she would come, she would hold him close, and kiss him she would make the world feel right. She rarely went away, for very long, and always came back, so glad to see him. He lay there quietly and she was so close just the way he liked it. She began to roll away, he called for her, and she smiled. She rolled back and kissed his forehead softly, “I’ll be right back,” she promised. He laid and watched for her return, after a moment he got frightened and almost called for her. Then she returned, and leaned over him, She again kissed his forehead, and smiling she whispered, “It’s ok baby boy, Mommy is here, and she loves you” He wanted to answer, to tell her his feeling, but he couldn’t make himself understood. He softly curled the corners of his lips and smiled as he struggled for the words. He wanted to make them as sweet and soft as her words, but all that came out was a tiny noise that meant nothing. He wanted to cry out; no matter how he tried he couldn’t tell her his feelings. How would she ever know how he loved her, he tried once more in vain to make the words come out. It was only then that he noticed her smile, at each soft noise he failed to make into a word and each tiny smile he gave her she smiled. His heart grew warm, and he slowly drifted off to sleep knowing that she knew what he meant.   HE and SHE By Mandy Howard Jude’s due...
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Pregnancy and Birth Series

Nourishing your Body for Fertility, Pregnancy, Birth, and Beyond
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Beckett’s Birth Story

Today we have Beckett’s birth story from Mama of 3, Georgia.  This story brings tears to my eyes every time I read it.  If you are facing an induction this story will show you that it is still possible to have the birth that you are hoping for.  It may not be the birth you planned, but at the end of the day, holding your sweet baby is worth the change in plans! “Do you have a birth plan?” asked the night nurse. I laughed as I glanced at the IV pole next to me. The Pitocin was now dripping through the tube into my veins at a rate of 20 milliunits per minute, generally considered the maximum dose. Wires snaked from belts strapped around my pregnant belly out from under my gown to a box that wirelessly monitored my contractions and my baby’s heart rate, both of which were displayed in one of several small squares on a computer screen in my room. “I did,” I said. “It did not include any of this.” You see, I thought I was done with the whole difficult labor thing. My first son was born in a birth center, after pushing for five hours. My second, another boy, came so quickly that I barely made it to the hospital. So clearly, this one should be even easier. I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy for the most part, save for the flu at the end of my second trimester. Around that time, I started to notice that this very active little one inside me, was also very small. My previous two boys had been 7#9 and 7#13, and I could tell this one was nowhere near that big. I mentioned it at my 30 week appointment. I hopped on the table, my belly all but disappearing when I laid back. The doctor pulled out a paper measuring tape and measured my belly, from pubic bone to the top of my uterus. “29 centimeters. Still measuring normal. “We can do an ultrasound if you want,” he said. “No, its fine,” I said. Rule #10 in Samuel Shem’s House of God: If you don’t take a temperature, you can’t find a fever. Of course I compulsively measured my belly for the next few weeks. Always normal. I relaxed a little. Until my next appointment, that is. “You’re measuring a little small for 35 weeks,”...
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