Do I Need A Birth Class?
For this chiropractor and his wife, having a long, first birth showed them a few things they wanted to change up for this next one. Home birth and more intimate care from one on one midwives was the first change they made. With a few refresher classes under their belts, this baby put them to the test. Listening to the things that popped into both of their heads as their baby switched things up last minute, is priceless! Once again, proving that if you are well educated, the right bits of information will show up in your mind as you need it(happens ALL the time). Your subconscious mind is powerful and your baby and your body know exactly what you’ll need to know in this birth! Get educated!
Hi, I’m Haley.
– And I’m Derek.
– And we wanted to share with you our experience with our son Ryland who was born at the end of January. We took our birth classes at the Birth Education Center with Miss Care before our first son, Beckett, who was born in March of 2018. We did the full Hypnobirthing series. And then we also did Newborns 101, Breastfeeding, and the Relax and Release class, which is my favorite class of all time.
– Yes, it is.
– And the Hypnobirthing class was huge, it really taught us a lot about what to prepare, connection. And that got us through our first birth, which was very long and challenging. And our second birth with Ryland, which was much quicker, I retook the Relax and Release classes. I held a lot of anxieties and fears following my first birth, and I knew I just needed to get those out of my head. So I took that class several times throughout my pregnancy, and that helped me to just be able to embrace the experience and really lean into what was gonna happen with Ryland.
– Yeah on top of that, she did a lot of like self-care, so acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage, just to help her get that body in the right space it needed to and give her some time to relax and get ready for it all.
– Yeah, so our first son, Beckett, we delivered at the Birth Center at UCSD. It was a lengthy birth, but a great experience overall. We did feel like we wanted a little bit more of an intimate, personal experience with Ryland.
– Yeah, definitely.
– So we chose to have an at-home birth with midwives. We actually chose to have it at my parents’ house.
– Yeah, we had just purchased a new home, and we’re in this transition of course, right during that pregnancy. So we weren’t quite ready to pull the trigger at our place. So we’d set everything up at Haley’s mom’s house. And when you’re having a home birth, there’s a lot of resources you need, like, we had to line the bed with plastic. We had brought in a tub, a sound machine, all these things to kind of get ready, but everything was over at Haley’s mom’s house.
– Yeah, so my labor actually started one day after my due date, so 40 weeks and 1 day. And I started laboring about 4:30 in the morning, and I remember Care telling us, you know, don’t get up, don’t start your day, like, don’t be crazy. It was kind of too early I felt like to drink wine, ’cause that’s really what I wanted to do. So instead I just continued to go to sleep for a couple hours, woke up, got dressed, showered, took some me-time before I got our toddler out of bed and realized that this really was, you know, for reals. I called my mom and told her to come over. She was already planning on coming over because I was very pregnant and tired. So she came over a little bit earlier to help watch the toddler. I called our midwives. It was about eight o’clock in the morning, sent you to work.
– Yeah, we kind of debated. I was like, uh, she’s like, “No, no, no. “The last one took so long, “I’m gonna be here all day.” Just we cut my day to half a day instead of a full day, and I was like, no. I remember leaving and I was like, I did like a U-turn, but I then did another U-turn ’cause I was like, she wouldn’t have sent me. I’m really close. I’ll be right back if she needs me. And so then her mom comes over.
– Mom comes over, I had called the midwives, and they were like, “Great, just kind of relax, “take it easy, see if it progresses.” So I just laid in bed, tried to sleep a little bit on and off. For sure was having contractions, but again, I was just very much sure that this was gonna be… I was two or three days away from anything for reals. So I go downstairs a couple hours later, it’s probably around 11. He was supposed to be home around noon, but was running late.
– Yeah. Not the time to run late, but it happens.
– I was like, I’ll put our son down for nap, and sent my mom off to Panera to get me lunch ’cause I knew I needed to eat before this thing got really serious. Put our son down. You got home about 12:30 right when my mom was getting back with the food.
– Yeah, her mom gets there with the food and we kind of tap off. We’ll see you at your house in a little bit. We’re gonna, I’m gonna bring her food up, bring her up a chicken salad sandwich up to the bath, which she inhales. And at this point, you know, I walk in, so I’ve been there for maybe 10 minutes, and she’s still going, “Yeah, I talked to the midwives. “I’m fine,” and she’s, it’s a little more intense, then I was like, so in the back of my mind, I’m like, we need to get over to your mom’s house. But she’s pretty cozy in the tub, and the tub had really slowed the labor down in our previous birth, so it was a nice place to relax. And I was like, okay, let her be in there, let her have her food, and then we’ll get her out and start going. Also, our son was napping in another room and my mom was gonna watch him, so she… We don’t have any childcare and there’s a napping toddler, so we can’t like go anywhere at this point anyways.
– And so I was eating my sandwich. He came up to eat his lunch with me to support. It was very loud and gross.
– I got the boot.
– So he had to leave while I just had my moment in the bathtub.
– Not very much time passes. He comes back and I am now on all fours in the bathtub.
– And I’m going, okay, this is… I’m already, like I didn’t bring any food, I didn’t finish any of the food. I’m up there, I’m like trying to get her out of the tub, but she’s really working through it. And it’s getting very intense in the tub. And in my mind, I’m going, I have no birth supplies, I have no midwives, I have… We’re what? No, we can’t do this here. I’m like, just really trying to get her moving towards the car. And my mom still isn’t there yet, but I’m like, hey, we gotta get this going. I don’t have anything here.
– So we get out of the bathtub. And it’s really intense at that point. I do very much remember saying, “I am not gonna make this without an epidural.” Like I cannot be in labor like this for three more days, like, absolutely not, like we’re leaving, let’s go. At which point I feel like you were like, oh, well, this is probably pretty serious. ‘Cause I didn’t ask for an epidural all with our first son.
– Yeah, no, this was-
– And that was a long time.
– She had never used, we used the word intensity, and she used the word pain. And she was in pain in the tub. Well, she was going through transition, and her water had probably just broken. We’d never, we realized this later on, ’cause we’d never saw the water break, so it must’ve happened in the tub. So she gets up out of the tub, and I’m still, I haven’t quite accepted the fact that that baby’s gonna be born upstairs in our house at this point. And so I’m trying to move her along, and I toweled her off, and she makes 10 steps and makes it to the bed. And those 10 steps probably took us like 5 minutes. So I’m going, oh, no. And we have flights downstairs and a landing, and I’m like, we’re gonna have this baby on the landing if we try and go downstairs.
– So we get to the bed. I bend over, and I-
– Yeah, all four on the bed.
– I’m sure very quietly screamed, “This baby is coming right here, right now.”
– Oh, but I tell you, you have to squeeze my hips.
– And never, ever, ever let go, ’cause that is just the best thing we learned. And it’s just the most pain relieving opening thing. And he just squeezed my hips. But our midwives had never been to our house before. We had yet to then like tell them what was really happening at this point. So while I’m screaming at him to squeeze my hips and never let go, he needs to call, not only the midwives to tell them where we live and this baby’s coming, but also call my mom back and tell her to bring all of the birth supplies that were at her house here so when the midwives arrive they can, you know, do the rest of their job.
– Yeah. So I’m squeezing her hips. And if I let go, it’s bloody murder, so you can’t let go. So she’s also on the side of our bed, which is about 2 1/2 feet wide. And she’s kind of gotten on all fours at that point. And I’m still not convinced this baby’s coming. I’m like, I have not gotten there, which is… I’m like, “No, we’re still gonna make it. “She’s just going through a transition.” Like we’re going to her mom’s house. There’s nothing here. So at this point she goes, “Baby’s coming.” And I go, “Okay, I can’t see anything, “so you need to feel for him.” And she reaches in and she feels the baby’s head. And I’m like, okay.
– No question. The baby was right there.
– Everything changes. We probably said three words after this point. But yeah, I had had to squeeze her hips and position around so I could call the midwives on speakerphone, but they didn’t have our address. I just got in. I wasn’t too good at remembering the address. I’m like, “I hope I gave them the right address,” at this point, and they’re 40 minutes away. And they’re like, “We’re on our way.” Luckily there was no traffic. They were rushing over. But she’s on all four. Baby’s coming. We kind of lay her on her side ’cause that was a game plan with the midwives was that’s a good position to kind of let it go as slowly as possible, even though he was flying out.
– And it was about, I mean, I feel like it was like what, two or three pushes?
– Yeah, yeah.
– Just a real intense urge. Push. Push again, well, I mean, I feel like a second push, baby just kind of came out.
– Again, we were just expecting so much more like fluid and liquid and it to be so much messier. But that’s kind of where we learned from the midwives that the water had probably broken in the tub because there was absolutely nothing that came out.
– And the first birth had been a little messier, so I’m sitting back there like, when is this water gonna come? Or is this baby gonna come and call? Like what? How do you even open a placenta? Like, you know, I was like, whoa. So the baby come, the head comes out, and this is about the time my mom walks in. So she just like comes in, and is like, “Whoa. We’re having a baby here.” Our son’s crying in the other room ’cause we’re loud in this other room. And you know, Haley’s just focused on what she’s doing. We’re really trying to slow her down through that last little process. And baby comes out, get it up on Mom’s chest, yeah.
– And I’m just laying in the bookshelf with my baby.
– Trying to be still calm.
– I feel like the whole labor was very primal, very intense. You’re just like, your mom instincts kick in. And you’re like, this baby’s coming out. And like, it is what it is. Like get on board ’cause it’s coming. Your job is to catch it.
– Let’s go. And then when baby came out, we were both very thankful that the midwives were at some point, hopefully soon gonna arrive because we felt pretty out of our comfort zone at that point. We did not have any education on placenta delivery or anything past that point. They arrived right in the best time possible and just said, “Well, you guys did great, “but we’ll take over from here.”
– Yeah, got Haley up onto the bed.
– Now our house is our home, and there are some spots to prove it.
– Yes, there are. Yeah. And I think it, yeah, it happened exactly how it needed to, and it was very intense and overwhelming, but there’s no time to let that fear in or be scared of it. Those babies know exactly what they’re doing and how to come out, and we’re just facilitating that process. And it really was a phenomenal bonding experience for me and Haley, and just having a baby takes your relationship to the next level. It really did that.
– One of the biggest takeaways I feel like I remembered throughout this experience that I learned from Care was watching the videos and her just mentioning that, you know, women just don’t birth like we do everywhere. There are women that don’t have hospitals or beds, and they also are able to labor, and you know, they may just drop down in a field, and that baby will come out where it’s supposed to be. And that is exactly what I remember thinking. Care said this baby can come out right here, and I am this tribal woman, and I probably sounded like a tribal woman during this whole experience.
– Yes, yes, yes.
– And this is exactly what’s supposed to happen. And I had just zero hesitation, zero fear.
– I knew that this baby was supposed to come how it was supposed to come, and it was coming on our bedroom floor.
– Yeah, and you kind of just accept the facts, the reality that you’re in. I remember Care talking about babies that come fast are usually no complications. And I was just going through the back of my head, I was like, wow, this is going so fast. Like there couldn’t be anything in the way for this baby to be held up with. So really it was a beautiful, time-space where we weren’t talking much. It was a lot of just body feel and touches. And really just in that moment together working through it. And I had my hand on the baby’s head as it was coming through, and just talking with her really gently, like slow down just once or twice. And then the baby was up on her chest. And it takes a second for that baby to cry, and they come out, and it’s just a new world for them, a new experience for us. And it took probably like 15 seconds for the baby cry, but it felt like eternity, right? You’re at home. No nothing. That was when it really got scary for a moment. But all of a sudden that baby starts crying, and then we’re all crying. And my mom’s been in the background, she’s crying. And it’s just this magical moment of what just happened? But that all fades away and you have this new life that’s in your new house with your new family. And it’s just, it was just so special and so amazing and something we accomplished, obviously, mostly Mom. I didn’t do much. I just caught the thing. But you know, to be a part of that and help tap her into being comfortable and preparing for that time, ’cause it is, it’s such a unique, special thing women get to go through, and it was awesome to be so a part of that.
– I think it was neat too, his mom, like he said, did kind of just watch it all happen as she came in. But her biggest takeaway afterwards, she was just in shock of all of it. But also she said, “That was the most beautiful thing “I’ve ever watched, it was like a dance. “You guys said maybe five words to each other “that entire time,” she was like, “and then all of a sudden, “you guys just like together birthed this baby.” And I feel like a lot of that was the connection we learned through our classes and just really learning what we needed from each other. And we did a lot of that during our HypnoBirthing experience and a lot of hands-on stuff that was very helpful in just allowing us to know that we were in this together, and we’d both been educated on it together, and it wasn’t me telling him what to do and him telling me what to do. It was kind of just like, this is where we are. And then yeah, then that baby just went right on my stomach and it was like, everything was fine. And I do also remember the delay in crying felt like a very long time. Mostly because, you know, we were at home, and that was when we were a little bit out of our comfort zone. But then you just have your baby and everything’s okay.
– Yep, and they’re crying, they’re happy. And you’ve made it through that. And then the next chapter really gets to begin. Yeah.
– I think the number one thing that I would tell families, new mamas, especially is to educate yourselves. I actually did. I saw an OB through my first pregnancy before I switched to midwife team. And then my second pregnancy, I did co-care as well. So I saw an OB as well as my midwives. And at one point in your pregnancy, they just hand you a folder that has a list of classes in it and says, okay, go educate yourselves. And I’m just so thankful that we didn’t just do that. We did extra research and we knew that we needed a little extra support. Not everyone’s gonna choose to have a home birth or an unmedicated birth at a birth center. But I really don’t think that matters. I think the education is so important. You learn how to connect together. You learn how to advocate for yourself. Like you said, I mean-
– How to feel capable as a husband to support your wife. And really a lot of times, we don’t know what to do, right, we need to be told, we don’t know. We haven’t been with a pregnant woman before. And there’s a lot of changes, hormonal, and you know, physical, and you just get a lot of resources here that really helps you to support your wife through a really special time in your life. And so many people do so much more research to buy a car than they do to have a baby, it’s crazy. You can sit there and review and do all these things, but you’re going through one of the biggest things you’re ever gonna do in your life, and you really should take the time to educate yourself. And it doesn’t matter what kind of birth you wanna have, whether it’s medicated, unmedicated, at home, in a hospital, in the field. It doesn’t matter. You really need to take that time, because no birth happens how you envision it. And so having these resources in your, you know, that you’ve taken the time to really pull in and take from, then you can relay it to out.
– Yeah, I think the biggest thing is, like you said, no birth goes according to plan. And having the tools and resources and the knowledge and the support to make the appropriate decisions is huge. And coming out of that and knowing that you gave everything you had and you made the decisions that were right for you and for your baby. Another thing I would recommend is just focusing a little bit on your postpartum care. I don’t think that there is nearly enough information and resources and time spent on that. I learned a lot of that. My recovery with our first son was a little bit tough. Just a long labor, and that’s hard on your body. And that was really important for me following our second. I had a very long list of postpartum things that were important to me. I spent money. I spent time. I got my resources and my team together so that I could recover appropriately and have a better experience and prepare my body for taking care of that human now, after everything that it went through. So I really think that taking the time to do some research on what you can do postpartum, asking around, taking the classes that’ll give you the resources for what to do following your babe’s birth is really important, too.
– Yeah, postpartum is huge, and we always think about the birth, the birth, the birth, the birth. And then all of a sudden you leave the hospital with a baby and you just go home. And all of a sudden life gets really real. You’re not sleeping much. Everybody’s a little cranky when they don’t sleep much. And the first six weeks is really a time to have set up resources for you and your family so that you can make it as easy as possible. It’s gonna be very difficult, but if you can take a little bit of the edge off and really support each other in that process, get a food lineup, Mom taken care of, and there’s so much more out there that you can educate yourself on so that you can really take care of yourself.