Here are a few new products that have come across my desk, that I thought I would share with you. Full Circle has been lucky to receive them from the companies who create/ sell them to introduce them to our clients and students.
This carrier provides skin to skin and is designed to be a wearing apparel, inspired by native wear. It is designed to carry babies 8 to 18 pounds. if you want to check this carrier out, stop by the office; you can learn more here: www.nesting days.com
Our doulas were in awe how well designed and convenient it was to dress baby. Each magnetic is sewn into the fabric and around the magnetic for an extra safety feature. They are pretty awesome! Check them out at www.chotobaby.com
May 23 was our baby’s guess date. That same day I had my 40 week maternity appointment with Dr. Cardinal. She did her regular blood pressure check and listened to baby’s heartbeat. Everything looked great so off I went. She had mentioned that around June 2 if baby hadn’t arrived that we would discuss induction but I really hoped it wouldn’t come down to that.
6 days went by and I was waiting very patiently every day for any sign of my birthing time. Thursday evening, May 29, I decided to call up a friend to go to a movie. Ella was at the lake with Oma and Chris was working so I thought I should take advantage of my free time and have a little outing. I had napped twice that day so I was very well rested. The movie (we watched “Neighbours” by the way!) was over before 9PM so I came home and went to bed.
A few minutes before midnight, while sleeping, I was wakened by a “gush” of fluid. I immediately got out of bed and realized that must have been my “water” breaking. It wasn’t much fluid, so fortunately there was really no mess to clean up. I waited about 20 minutes and didn’t notice any pressure waves or other changes, so I gathered a few last things for my hospital bag and went back to bed.
I was in and out of a light sleep for over an hour or two (I don’t clearly remember the timeline!) when I began having light pressure waves, I began listening to my “Easy First Stage” Hypnobabies track. I do know that the pressure waves were approximately 20 minutes apart. I had probably 3 or 4 of these waves and then they started to become more frequent. I found the most comfortable position for me was on my knees with my bum in the air and my face and arms draped over several pillows. The waves were very comfortable.
Somewhere between 5-5:30AM I remember thinking that I had not cleared my bowels and didn’t want to have a mess at the hospital. I went to the bathroom in hopes of clearing things out! In the meantime, I was experiencing waves on the toilet. It was not a very comfortable position for me and I was breathing deeply. Apparently my husband, who was still in bed, heard my deep breathing and realized the waves were coming very frequently. Once I was finished in the bathroom, he asked me the frequency and length of the waves. I replied that I was unable to keep track and that I wanted to have a shower. Chris disagreed and said no, let’s get to the hospital. I said I was fine and that I would shower quickly.
The waves started coming really quickly and I kept changing my mind about the shower. Finally I jumped in and the hot water felt so great. I also took the exercise ball in with me so I could drape my body over it while on my knees if necessary during a wave. In the meantime, Chris called our doula, although I was concerned that we were calling her too early in the morning. I didn’t want to waste her time and be at the hospital for hours and hours before the baby was born. It was a good thing he called her.
Chris loaded my 20 pillows (okay there were only 4!), blankets, and other “stuff” in the truck and sped off to the hospital. I wore my headphones and constantly listened to my “Easy First Stage” track. I was in the back of the truck with pillows stacked on the seats, knees on the floor and body draped over the pillows. I was very relaxed this way.
We arrived at the hospital at exactly 6AM. The main entrance doors open at 6AM but nobody was yet at the information desk to register me. Between the truck and the 3rd floor of the hospital, I stopped at least 3 times on a bench or chair to kneel down and let my birthing waves pass. It took a while to get to floor 3! Upon arrival, they asked if we had registered and Chris said no. I was having a pressure wave so I kneeled down and draped myself over the suitcase. While Chris went back downstairs for my paperwork, they assisted me to the assessment area and our amazing doula showed up.
I was having frequent waves and breathing through them all. They told me they needed a 20 minutes non-stress test (NST) to check baby’s movements but I wasn’t convinced that’d happen because I was most comfortable on my hands and knees- not an ideal position for NST. Fortunately our wonderful doula spoke up and suggested they check my cervix before attempting NST because last pregnancy I came in and was already dilated to 8cm.
After what seemed like a couple minutes, I think the nurse gave up on trying to get a NST and told me to lay back to check for dilation. I was 9cm! They said I could go to a delivery room immediately. The asked me to walk there but I wasn’t sure I could because I was having a wave. Once the wave was over, I quickly walked barefoot to the room. I remember thinking how gross it was that I was barefoot walking in the hospital!
Upon arrival to the room, I think I layed on my back and they attempted to insert an IV for some antibiotics that I consented to. The nurse could not get it in and I felt like she was stressed about it because she loudly asked another nurse to come and try to get it. I felt like telling her to calm down and relax- maybe she should take Hypnobabies! Another nurse came and I don’t remember much other than I was having pressure waves and I had my eyes closed to focus and be so relaxed. I finally asked if the IV was in yet and this nurse also couldn’t get it in either. Chris suggested we just not do the IV but I spoke up and said that I thought it was very important. Next thing I know, someone said to me that Dr. So-and-so, the anesthesiologist, had arrived. My immediate thought was fear and I wanted to scream out “ I did not request an epidural”! Before I could get out the words, I was informed that he was present to insert the IV since the first 2 nurses weren’t successful. While I was having the IV inserted, I think I was having waves but just kept my eyes closed and time passed very quickly while I was completely comfortable.
Throughout the morning, I was mostly on my back sitting slightly upright. I remember asking for water in between almost every wave. I was so thirsty! Chris was also holding my leg against his body and our doula was near my head. I remember loving the warmth of Chris’s hand on my leg. I asked for reassurance several times and seemed to gain control of my wave by saying “relax” a lot to myself. At one point I requested “relief”. I was reminded that nitrous oxide inhibits the urge to push. That immediately made me decide that I’d quit using the gas so that I could get the baby out. Several times I remember feeling very impatient and just wanting the baby out. With every new wave, I would “ahhhh” the pressure out. It helped so much to keep me relaxed as possible. I also remember requesting they cover up the clock so I couldn’t see the time. I saw Dr. Cardinal in the room whenever I opened my eyes. I think she was present for most of the time. I felt like the process was taking long and felt like I was wasting her time!
Near the time my baby was born, I decided to change positions. I went on my knees and my head was facing down. I draped my upper body, head and arms over some pillows and continued to breathe deeply during waves. Several times I reached down to feel if the baby was near coming out. With the next few pressure waves I pushed out my baby and tried to get her myself. It was my vision of a perfect birth to be able to hold my baby immediately as she was coming out. The team assisted me in passing her through my legs. I then rolled over to lie on my back and admire her.
We immediately named our girl Quinn, but it took a day to figure out her middle name, Annika. She was born at 7:51AM, less than 2 hours after arriving to the hospital. As I lay with my beautiful baby, I watched her cord get clamped and Chris cut it. I stayed cuddling her while I birthed the placenta as well as getting my perineum “repaired”. I had 4 stitches with class 2 tears. I felt like the repair took a very long time but tried to remain patient. I remember being a bit cold but not as cold as when my first baby was born.
Once that wrapped up, I laid holding my baby who was very ambitious to breastfeed! She immediately tried latching on her own and had no problem. She had several poops of black tarry meconium and it seemed to get everywhere, including on me! I was very eager to find out how much she weighed. After Ricky, Chris and I reflected for a bit, our fantastic doula left, I showered, and we weighed our baby. She was 7lbs 11ounces!
They took us to our “theme room” where we settled in and I continued to breastfeed. I was very cold, a bit dizzy, and experiencing some cramping. I was still being given oxytocin intravenously and requested it be taken out but they said not until I was able to pee. Finally I peed, they took out the IV and all of my symptoms went away! I had an appetite and felt really great considering I just had a baby.
Later that day my mom brought our daughter, Ella, to meet Quinn since I had to stay overnight. Ella was not very pleased that her daddy was holding a baby but has since become very loving towards Quinn. I am so pleased with how the birth went and how quickly I am healing this time. I had minimal bleeding after the birth and very little discomfort. I am enjoying these days so much with my perfect little family despite the night waking’s and all the soiled diapers!
To the mom at the grocery store with the kid grabbing for everything:
Hi, I've been there. I've bribed, I've given in, I've even left the store with nothing while our almost full cart stayed in the juice aisle because I wouldn't buy the juice boxes with Mike and Sully on them.
To the mom supermanning her baby onto her back to get him ready for wearing in the middle of the Costco parking lot while people look on concerned, some asking if they can help, some even commenting on your apparent disregard for the safety of your child: Hi. Go for it! Keep doing it! I've had onlookers clap for me in a food court while I back wrapped a baby. I've had people comment on how dangerous it is for his legs to be “spread apart like that” while I was mailing a package at the post office.
To the visibly exhausted dad at the dollar store doing his best to be cheerful with the cashier: Hi. I saw you in the parking lot with your wife and brand new baby. You're doing amazing. It's one of the toughest adjustments you will ever have to make but you'll get there. Your marriage will be fine. You'll both feel like yourselves again. Just don't give up.
To the nervous mom at the parenting group trying to do what's right: Hi. I'm so happy you're here. You know your child so well... better than anyone. Your heart is so full of love. I can't imagine what it's like to not see your kid every day. You go and read her that story, you go kiss her good night, and you keep helping her through this crazy time. You're a good mom and I'm proud of you.
To the working mom who feels guilty for being the working mom:
Hi. I can't help you feel less guilty, but I want you to know that I think you are awesome. It takes a village and if that village involves a day care or a day home, so be it. Whatever your reason is for having that job, good for you! Research says that the time you spend with your children should be quality vs quantity (I'll find that research and post it here later!)... frequent short amounts of time. You're doing a good job, both at work and at home. It's a balancing act and you are killing it!
To the stay at home mom with pjs still on at 3pm and this morning's oatmeal in your hair: Hi. It's ok to be tired. It's ok to lose your cool sometimes. It's ok to want to run out the door as soon as your partner comes home. You may feel that you have lost your identity... that you're only “Mommy” now. You're still in there. You're still you. Have a nice long shower, grab a book, and head to a coffee shop. It's ok to not be “Mommy” all the time.
To the mom sitting back while your toddler displays her full vocal range in the middle of the mall: Hi. Meltdowns. Ugh. You probably feel that everyone is staring and judging you and thinking that you are just a terrible mother or that this kid is a psycho. One or two might be, but the other 98% of passers by are sympathetic and compassionate and are wondering what they could possibly do to help. It takes a lot of strength to let those big emotions run their course through her tiny body. You're doing so much to help her develop resilience.
As parents, we go through a lot. A lot of joy, a lot of tears, a lot of rage, a lot of fear, a lot of frustration, and a lot of wonder. As good humans, we need to let each other know that we understand... that we've been there, we survived, and we don't regret having children. Not totally, anyway. When people cross your path and you find yourself thinking “Oh man, I remember feeling like that”, catch their eye and shoot them a smile, pat them on the shoulder and tell them you've been there, buy them a coffee and say “I remember, and I can tell you that it's going to be ok.”
Welcome to Full Circle's blog, creating content for our clients and readers with a focus on all things pregnancy, birth and beyond.