Welcome Gracie Jane Watson!

I posted my 39 weeks blog post two days ago, which was actually 2 days early. I ended up going into labor that night! We went to bed as usual. I woke up around 10:30pm because I was super hot and wanted to turn on the ceiling fan. And, boom, my water broke!

That’s the same way it happened with Turner. But this time around, I was Strep-B positive (a bacteria that lives in the body that can be passed to baby) so I was told I would have to come in to get an antibiotic if my water broke first. Sure enough, I called the birth center and they said to come on in. I called my mom to come stay at our house with Turner and we hit the road!

Once we got there, they hooked me up to a monitor to listen to Gracie moving around and see how often my contractions were coming. They were about 10 minutes apart already. So they gave me a dose of antibiotics and told us we could get some sleep for a few hours.

Stew slept for a few hours while I just rested. I probably fell asleep for about an hour. Since I was laying down, my contractions started to slow down. So I got up around 3:30am to walk around and try to bring them on.

Stew woke up around 4:30am and helped me move around so we could pick up the pace. I walked around, rocked on the birthing ball, and took a shower (all the while listening to my hypnobabies tracks).

By around 7am my contractions were between 3 and 5 minutes apart but not coming at a consistent pace. Again, since I was StrepB Positive, I had to have her within 12 hours since my water broke first. So it was game on. My midwife, Erin, gave me some crazy herbal concoction that I had to drink every 15 minutes for an hour. Once I choked those down, my contractions were coming much more quickly!

By 9am they were pretty close and strong. So I got in the birth tub and it was time to push! There was a little hiccup at that point. The urge to push disappeared and my contractions started slowing down! My midwife made some adjustments in my positioning and I was ready to push again.

A few minutes later and Gracie was out! She was completely wrapped in her umbilical cord. She cried immediately and then stopped crying. I was so nervous! Erin quickly unwrapped her and she was good to go! Scariest minutes of our lives!

Gracie Jane Watson was born at 10:04am on September 24th. She weighs 7lbs 2 oz and is 20 inches long. She’s the most perfect little bundle. All of our prayers have been answered with her! Wish us luck in our transition to a family of four! I can’t wait to share updates!

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Our Natural Birth Story

If you don’t want to know details, don’t read! But I’ll keep it clean… ;o)

Friday night, November 16th, it started! My water broke at 4:30 pm. I was completely taken off guard. Stew and I were sitting on the couch getting ready to take Dexter for a walk. He was just finishing something up on the computer. He says, “I’ll be ready in 5 more minutes”. As I’m sitting there, I got a shooting pain in my stomach (that I thought was gas)! Then, just like in the movies, my water broke! 

The birthing class we took is called “Hypnobabies“. I absolutely recommend this class to anyone doing a natural birth!! To sum it up, it’s meant to keep you completely relaxed in order to have a shorter and more pleasant birthing time (our term for labor). There is a series of scripts loaded onto my ipod that are about 30 minutes long that I’ve been listening to every night for the past 2 months. I can’t tell you what they say because I fall asleep every time! I guess they work! The classes trained us to stay calm and not get too excited. So we did. We lit a fire, ate some dinner, and watched TV until about 9pm. At that point my birthing waves (our term for contractions) started getting stronger and closer together, about 8 minutes apart. They were not bad, but strong enough that I wanted to start listening to my scripts. So we got our bag and snacks ready for the birth center and got ready for bed. I put on my headphones and off to sleep I drifted. I knew laying down would slow down my birthing time, but I figured it was more important to get rest during the night which was a good plan! So I slept through the night until about 3:30 am. I would wake up every 30 to 40 minutes when a strong birthing wave would come but then go back to sleep.

Stew and I got up around 3:30am when my birthing waves were 5 minutes apart. They were really strong by then so he called the birth center. Our midwife said to wait until my birthing waves were 3 minutes apart. So I just kept listening to my ipod breathing through it. I walked a bit to speed up the process. Finally, around 6:00am they were 3 minutes apart. Stew packed the car and we hit the road. I kept my ipod in the whole time and just kept my eyes closed for the 25 minute drive.

We got to the birth center and my waves were REALLY strong by then. I laid on the bed for about 1 1/2 hours. I would have a REALLY strong wave and then fall asleep. Finally, the nurse had me turn over to shake things up. At that point they got even stronger so I knew something was about to happen. It was another hour before she started the tub. About 15 minutes later, Stew and I got in. Stew put on the “pushing baby out” script. I was only in the the tub for about 5 minutes before I started to push baby out! He was out in 25 minutes. I couldn’t believe how fast that happened! It was so surreal and amazing that I was holding our baby that was just inside me for the past 9 months! He was so perfect!!At that point, Stew got out of the tub and had “skin to skin” time with Turner while I got out of the tub. I felt so great afterwards! I couldn’t believe it. It was truly because of the relaxed atmosphere and the natural birthing process. There was not so much as an Advil in my system! I was really able to enjoy our time as a little family! It was the most amazing experience of my life!

Turner Lewis Watson was born November 17th at 10:21 am, weighed 8lbs 2 oz, and was 20 inches long.

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Natural Birth Tips Article

I read this amazing article ,written by Sarah Clark, this morning about having a natural birth. A lot of it seems obvious, but it really makes sense. I should print this out and read it as a reminder when my due date gets closer!

 

Positivity is #1-

This is just so STINKING true.  You have to believe that you can do this.  Your partner has to believe that you can do this.  Birth is normal.  It is also JOYOUS.  Find the joy and the magic in it- don’t just think about how hard or how painful it will be.  I can guarantee that if you think it will be a negative experience it will probably end up that way.  Birth isn’t always easy or pain free- but it is always an amazing, transformative, life changing event that should be cherished.

Own it!-

Ahh….this can be a tough one to swallow but it is so very true that we need to own our birth choices.  I think that this is where the true empowerment comes for women at the time of birth.  In fact, talking to women what makes them feel awful about their birth is not where it took place or even everything that happened but if they were the one MAKING CHOICES.  It is a big responsibility to own your birth and your birth choices- but it is so very worth it because herein lies the power inherent in women.

KNOW why you are birthing naturally-

So often the difference between a woman who goes “natural” and one who opts for drugs is simply KNOWING why you are birthing this way.  Think about it from the standpoint of breastfeeding-

If you think breastfeeding is great and will give it a try but you don’t know anything about WHY you should or the benefits to you and the baby, it sure is a lot harder to stick with it when the going gets tough.  The same is true with birth.  Accomplishing a natural birth is going to be easier for those motivated by KNOWLEDGE of why they want to do this and HOW they can do it.  That is why I am so devoted to the teaching of natural birth classes– education makes all the difference in outcome.

Hire a midwife-

Ummm…..YES A MILLION TIMES OVER!  Every time I go on about the midwifery model of care I hear from people about their AB FAB OB.  Sure, there are great OB’s who trust birth and all that jazz.  But let’s be real- they are trained surgeons.  They have a place in birth- but probably not as much of a place as we give them sticking their noses in every single healthy birth out there.

Choose midwifery (carefully- they are not all created equally) and you up you chance of a natural birth.

This leads to her next tip-

Trust your birth team!-

Holy cow, this is a biggie.  In labor you desperately need the people around you to support your wishes if you are too busy laboring to actually VOCALIZE your desires!  Too many women plan on birthing with people they DON’T TRUST, DON’T LIKE, AND DON’T FEEL COMFORTABLE AROUND!!!!

That is, simply put, a mistake.

Fear the needle!-

I loved this quote from my doula friend Alexa, “Truly a mom who fears epidural side effects more than her pain, has a much greater chance of going all natural. Those “I am going to try” moms make me nervous.”

Man, this is so true but so hard to say sometimes.  I think we want to be flexible and open to change- you kind of have to be because birth is unpredictable.  BUT- you also need to be committed.  Committed to going natural, committed to staying low risk so you CAN go natural, and just committed to the long haul (birth isn’t always a cake walk).

I compare this to high school.  (I know what you are thinking- what the heck does HIGH SCHOOL have to do with natural birth.  Wait for it.)  Let’s say you are in high school and you get a date with the hottest guy in school.  Oh yes.  Nice.  If you go into it thinking- “I am going to TRY not to take my pants off because it is our first date and I am 16 and I don’t love him, BUT you never know what happens…”

How is this really going to play out?

Maybe he takes you to a rowdy party.  You drink a little.  You go park somewhere.  You get the picture.

Having a “I am gonna try a natural birth” attitude with a cut happy OB and no knowledge of birth and an openness to the epidural, is like getting drunk with the hot guy in the back of his car when you have raging teenage hormones and expecting to stay fully clothed.  It might not turn out how you planned.

Ahem.

I highly suggest researching the drugs commonly used for pain in labor and learning about their side effects.  This is eye opening to say the least.

Surrender!-

I know this sounds a little contradictory, especially after my “keep your pants zipped” high school analogy.  Let me explain.

YES- we need to be stubborn and strong and even flexible.  Birth can change and it is not often that every little thing goes just as we had in our head.

When we talk about surrender in birth, we mean surrendering to the process, to your bodies natural instincts, to the moment, and to the power of BIRTH.  So many women are afraid of losing control that they hold in, tense up, and don’t just open up and LET GO.  Surrender is a deeply important part of labor.

And…surrender is pretty handy when it comes to motherhood too.  Birth is the greatest teacher, isn’t it?

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