It seems that everyone has advice for pregnant women. Even with all this advice, there are still a few things no one talks about...
the postpartum period isn’t always glamorous. It is though, such a beautiful time to make memories with your new family. Take time to relax and enjoy your new baby. Give yourself grace and patience. You will never be the same again. We are given the gift to be mamas to our little babes. They are only little for a little while.
The best way to prepare for your pregnancy, birth and postpartum is to educate yourself! Sign up for one of my classes today! siouxfallsbirth.com
12:30 am on 7/7/17 is when my first contraction hit… of course the middle of the night.
My babies like to wake the whole world up for their arrival. I had been having weird pressure for a few hours. I wasn’t able to sleep through it but I didn’t know it was the prelude to labor. I kept getting out of bed trying to go to the bathroom but didn’t have to. Once the first few contractions went by I knew that I was for sure in labor.
My labors are never putsy putsy. My contractions start strong. I tried laboring on my own for a while. I used some positioning techniques my doula encouraged me to try. I was trying to slow things down so I didn’t have to wake everyone up… that didn’t work. I finally had to wake Jared up and tell him it was time. I had just gotten through a contraction so he didn’t think I was really in labor. We sat in bed for a few minutes until another one hit, he then believed me.
I thought I would get into the shower and see if the water would slow things down. If nothing, it sped labor up. I had been so anxious towards the end of pregnancy. I was worried what I would do with Jonah when I went into labor. I had a list with literally over ten people. Many going on vacation around my due date. Everyone was telling me to relax and that it would work out.
I decided to call my brother once my contractions were six minutes apart. Hoping that would be good timing to get to the hospital. Well we did, but no answer. My anxieties were becoming reality. I really didn’t want to take my two year old to the hospital in the middle of this night while I labored! We waited about twenty minutes until we called the next person on the list. This was my coworker who had watched Jonah many times. thankfully she answered and came right over!
By the time she got to the house my contractions were really picking up intensity. Even though I knew I should probably go to the hospital I felt fine between them. I was second guessing myself but by the way I had to brace for impact, Jared knew we needed to get going.
We got to the hospital at 4:15am. A nurse came right down and wheeled me upstairs. The cold hospital air was making me mildly nauseas. During contractions each bump about set me over the edge.
This time around I was able to get through the paperwork myself. With Jonah’s labor I was not able to due to the pain. I had Jared put my Jewel radio station on. I was signing between contractions. I thought for sure I wasn’t very far along because of this. I was checked, for the first time during this pregnancy. I was dilated to 7 cm!? I was so excited I had made it so far so quickly.
I wanted to get into the tub right away, that helped tremendously with my first labor. Heidi, our doula arrived quickly and helped me in. I was only able to handle about twenty minutes of this. It was not comfortable or relaxing this time.
Getting out of the tub, I was only able to make it to the sink. It was like I was glued to the floor. I didn’t want to go any farther. I spent quite a bit of time leaning over the sink swaying side to side. Looking back I realize this was transition for me. I was having very intense surges. I was having nausea, hot flashed and intense pressure.
After a while I was helped to the bed, again I wanted to stand. I had learned in my first labor that side lunges felt really good so I started doing those. My contractions were spacing back out but now they were much more intense.
Our midwife encouraged me to try leaning onto a peanut ball on the bed. I did so on my hands and knees. It took about 45 minutes of pushing and our sweet girl was born at 6:15 on 7/7/17. Jared was able to catch her! That was an incredible moment for both of us.
Looking down at her I couldn’t believe she was here! My pregnancy really went so fast. It seemed like I had just found out I was pregnant and now she was here. I guess that is what happens when you’re chasing a toddler around! I spent time studying her. She didn’t look like anyone in our family and she was so petite and little!
Her name, Mackenzie, is a name we both liked with our first pregnancy. It is a known name but not very common. We liked Jonah for those same reasons. Viviann, her middle name, is a combination of my grandmother Vivian, and Jared’s grandmother Ann. There are also many family members who have Ann as a middle name in our families. Jared hopes to call her “Mack” someday. Jonah calls her “Kenzie.”
She really is the sweetest baby. She always has the biggest smiles for us. She only cries when she’s hungry or when she’s in the car seat. This is a pleasant change for us. I think it is God’s way of making sure we have more children!
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Let me tell you about my designer nursery.
The minute I found out I was pregnant I started designing it. It has beautiful bright teal/blue walls. I painted the ceiling a shade of that blue closest to white. I found a light that has three hanging glass globes, each with white and gold glass beads in them. I put the lights on a dimmer so when I ever so slightly light the globes, they look like they are timbers glowing in a fire.
We also used pieces from my husband’s nursery; his guardian angel picture & a teddy bear poem. I dry brushed the frames of those and a large mirror with bronze paint to match. My sister made a large sign to put over my sons bed after he was born. The background is planks of wood that are distressed and teal in color. Each letter different, the N is covered with a map that includes my, my husband, my mother and fathers birth cities. Cool right!? The A is aluminum with lights that light up! I found beautiful nursery furniture that are off white, and rustic with dark metal accents. Next was a car seat, stroller, diapers, changing pad, monitor, clothes etc. I was sparing no expense…
I could continue, but as you can see I was so excited to prepare for this baby. As the pregnancy went on there came a time I started to think about birth itself… I realized that I had to do something huge to get this baby here!
The thought scared the crap out of me to be honest! I am a nurse and have seen an epidural being given. I will spare details but I knew I didn’t want one because I was too scared. My mother had three natural births and that gave me hope I could do the same. I asked my midwife what I could do to prepare. She suggested I take a comprehensive childbirth class. This was the best decision we made during the pregnancy. My husband and I quickly realized how unprepared we were for labor.
Being a nurse I thought I knew a lot but really I didn’t know what it took to have a natural birth. Nutrition, exercise, relaxation, birth provider, birth team, etc etc. I also didn’t know my husband needed education. Wow, were our eyes opened up!
Yes, good education costs money. But if we think about what we are preparing for it really is saving us money. After the first ten minutes of class my husband and I were so excited and we immediately knew that the class was worth the money.
In 2016 students who took Birth Boot Camp’s ten week comprehensive class, 84% had a vaginal birth, of that percentage 76% had an unmedicated birth.
On my most recent hospital bill, one ibuprofen was $10… Think of all of the interventions that can be prevented by preparing for a natural birth, saving you money! Speaking for myself, I am in this business because I am crazy passionate about educating couples. Far too many women are robbed of great birth experiences. I want to help couples, one at a time, prepare for amazing experiences.
Not only do I prepare couples for great experiences, I help prepare them for all possibilities in labor. Labor is unpredictable, having great education will help you advocate for yourself in the event that interventions are needed.
Yes, babies need car seats and cute clothes! But first they need to be born into this world. You only get one chance to birth your baby. Education gives you the opportunity to prepare for a safe and amazing birth experience!
Birth and Pregnancy Classes
Today while I was trying to talk with my cousin over lunch, my two year old decided to climb the booth like a ladder. He really enjoys poking his fingers through the slats to see if the person behind us is interested in sharing his salsa covered chips. Luckily no one had a tantrum and thankfully the restaurant was loud. This got me thinking about my life as a mother… of two.
The life of a mother of two is interesting. The memory that sticks out the most to me was our first venture out of the house. It went fairly well... wait for it. We went for our two week and two year checkups. I had thought about how I was going to tackle this. My sweet husband was meeting us at the clinic. On the way there my he called and said he couldn’t make it, two machines at work had broken down. I was worried but decided I can handle this! I latched the baby in the stroller and let the toddler walk. Mistake. Number. One. (Advice to all parents expecting their second child, ALWAYS RESTRAIN THE TODDLER!)
We did well throughout the checkup. My son was busy with snacks and peeling stickers off the chart over the scale. I, now teaching my childbirth classes, decided I’d like to bring some cards and fliers to the nurse manager. Since both kids were doing well I thought, “Perfect timing, I am here anyway.” Mistake. Number. Two.
I wheeled the baby and had to drag the toddler into this nice man’s office. I had to go back and chase the toddler down the hall and bring him back into the room. I asked if I could close the door behind me, corralling my monkey into his office. The baby started screaming, she didn’t stop. My son decided to pull at everything on the desk, touch outlets, pull his shoes off and throw them. (Bribing him with suckers was not working this time.) I was trying to sell myself and birth boot camp to the nurse manager all while trying to tame my two zoo animals. Good thing he was a father of four, I prayed he understood.
I tried to get through the meeting, whilst shooshing the baby and chasing the toddler around this small office. On the way out I myself lost a shoe, just to add icing on this terribly burnt cake. When we got to the first floor my son would not leave. He was determined to drink all of the water that the water fountain had to offer. It took about five minute of coaxing before I picked him up and carried him head first out of the clinic, while pushing the now sleeping baby in the stroller…
I continue to leave the house with my two sweet love bugs. Why? Because I tell myself I can do it. If a tantrum ensues, or salsa covered chips fly, it's not the end of the world right? Life as a mother is beautiful, exhausting, hilarious and often messy. If I see you mama, struggling with your zoo animals, I will give you a reassuring smile and a helping hand. I know where you’re at and I’ve been there. This stage of life is beautiful, messy, and fun. I'm so going to miss this.
Cheers - May your coffee be stronger than your toddler!