How To Have A Great Birth!
Education gave this family all the tools they needed for what turned out to be a fast birth! Dad was along for the ride in classes but found that he was able to stay calm and move through the experience easily because of what they had practiced. Hiring a doula also gave this family reassurance as to when they should go to the hospital and what to do once there. Mom followed her body’s lead and was able to go with the speed and consistency of what baby needed to come out! Hear the tools they used and see this adorable little boy!
Doula: Maggie VanderLee @mommasdoula
For more information on Hypnobirthing Classes…
– It was just so beautiful, like everything that you wait for and you hope for. It was just perfect. It really was.
– I had to wait a little longer, though. Like, I didn’t get to hold him for like, a couple of hours.
– Aw, it wasn’t a couple of hours but it
– Seemed like.
– It was, I know, I’m sure it did for you. It was probably a good hour though that he just stayed on my chest. Brett got to touch him but I didn’t give him up. Well, I went and, I went online because I knew that I needed a little bit more help preparing for the birth. And, that’s where I found the Hypnobirthing class, so we went to that, and then, we had the book too, so we definitely read that. I read the whole book. Brett did Cliff Notes version through me but it worked out. But the classes are seriously so, so helpful. That’s just where we learned really the basics about birthing and it wasn’t just what you see in the movies, the stereotypical yelling, screaming, that’s not how birth needs to be or has to be, and yeah.
– I just kinda winged it and went to the Hypnobirthing classes, and that was enough for me. I didn’t have to deliver the baby, I was just there and that worked for me.
– I was pretty relaxed through two days prior to me giving birth. I was off from work, I was supposed to work the day that I went into labor and I kept telling Brett that, “I really don’t wanna go to work on Friday. “I really don’t want to. “I’m just so pregnant and I’m just, you know, “I’m just ready for him to come.” And we had met with our doula the last time, the day before we went into labor. But, we just kinda hung out the night before and I was feeling a little crampy but I had kinda been feeling that, you know, for a month before. So, that was pretty normal for me. But then that night I remember I kept waking up and I’m like, “Hmm, I’m feeling more crampy.” But I didn’t think too much about it.
I just, you know, I thought well maybe, this is a month before he’s gonna be due still or something, I don’t know. A couple of weeks because his due date wasn’t, well, his due date wasn’t for a couple of weeks anyway. But then at 6:10 in the morning, I kinda rolled to the side and felt a little gush of something down there and I was thinking, “I just peed a little!” And then rolled over some more to get out of bed and then that’s when I had huge whoosh. And I just thought, “I’m so excited. I was like, “here it is. He’s coming, he’s coming.” So, I just took that little moment for myself before I turned to Brett and I was like, “Honey, my water’s just broke, Oh my gosh!” And I remember he just kinda jumped up and he’s like, “Oh my gosh! Really? Okay! Okay!” And then he, he just went to this such calm, peaceful mode where he’s just like, “Oh, what do you need? What should we do?”
So, we got out of bed. He even asked me, “Well, do you think we, should we wash the sheets “right now?” And I’m like, “Yeah, let’s wash the sheets. “That way they’re ready for when we come back “home and…” But we knew the baby was not coming right in that moment but it was, it was a kickoff. So you get super excited but then you know you gotta get calm again because this is the start to your whole process. So after that, we washed the sheets of course, I had a light breakfast, I think I had some peanut butter and toast, and apples.
He ate and then I just came out to the living room area and he was watching some TV and we were just kinda cuddling and I put in my birthing playlist and I just kind of, I didn’t take a nap, but I just kinda tuned out to my birthing playlist, and listened to that and we just kinda hung out. It was really peaceful until about 11:30am. I had a grand idea that I wanted to get in the bath, and I needed needed to wash my hair. So, I got in the bath and I start washing my hair and that’s all of a sudden I start feeling the surges and I’m all, “Okay. Okay. This is “getting real. This is what its gonna be like.” And it just happened really fast from then. My surges started coming pretty quickly, about 2 minutes apart really, 2 to 3 minutes apart for my entire labor. Bless you. Yeah, so, How were you feeling then?
– Well, when you came out of the bathroom and got on bed, and you surges got strong, it started getting a little scary because at that point, things seemed to be moving really fast, and our doula wasn’t here yet. So I called her when it started getting a little much, and then she got here like 45 minutes later, thank god, because I thought I was gonna have to deliver the baby in the bedroom. So, I went down to let our doula in and on the elevator ride up I was like, “I’m no doula but I think we should probably “get going, its happening really fast.” And then she got here and saw her naked on all fours on the bed. Like, she’s like “yeah, we should probably “get going now if you guys want to.”
– But then I of course though, I’m draped over my birthing ball on the bed and I’m all, “No Maggie, I don’t think I wanna go “to the hospital yet. I’m gonna labor here as long “as possible.” And she’s all, “Okay, I understand that but I really think “you might wanna start making your way there.” So then I’m thinking, “Oh no, is this baby coming right now?” And she was, she was saying when she got here, she’s like, “Yeah, you have a lot more bloody show than I thought too.” And like things were progressing much more quickly than some births do so.
– Yeah. So we packed her up, got her in the car and on the way to the hospital she kept having me turn the AC on and off every 5 seconds because she was too hot then too cold.
– Yeah, well because when you have a contraction, or surge, excuse me, you get really warm and then when you get through the surge, then you just get really cold. It was really funny, its hot cold, hot cold, hot cold, the whole time. But the car ride was probably my least favorite part about birth just because it’s not fun to be confined to the seat. And, for us, it was about what? A 20 minute drive maybe 15. I had no sense of time at all but I was super happy once we got to the hospital. It was funny the valet guys, they heard me making my cow noises and they were all, “Does she need a wheelchair?” Brett’s like, “Yeah, grab her a wheelchair.” Even though I didn’t really wanna be sitting, but I didn’t wanna be walking either, so.
– Yeah, so we wheeled her in and then we were doing the intake and they were asking us the information, the medical stuff and I was just, you know, one track minded. I couldn’t even remember her birthday. So that was kinda embarrassing but
– Any other day I would have known, but not this day.
– So I’m in the middle of a surge and I’m yelling my birthday from down the hall because I hear him struggling. I felt so bad but he was just, it was all really fast, so.
– Yeah, it was fast.
– And then we got into the room and you just going through different positions on the bed, and trying to get comfortable so they could move it along.
– Yeah, we did a lot of different positions and that was something about the birthing classes that was super helpful. All the different positions that you learned, I don’t remember exactly which ones we tried or how many but I was in multiple positions. I remember they got me on the bed to begin with and at the hospital, because I had a hospital birth, they had to put an IV in just for safety precautions or whatever it may be and that was totally fine, I didn’t care at all. But then I got back up and I was doing the position where I was draped around you, and all naturally, my hips just start moving and my doula, I remember her saying, “Oooohhh, I like “your hips moving like that.” I’m like, “They’re just going! I can’t help it!” But I also, thank goodness for a doula because I started to crawl up Brett as my surges came.
So she’s sitting there, she’d plant my feet back down and, it was just really nice to have her there to remind me to just breathe and the positions to be in, and she was fantastic when she could tell I was getting maybe a little tired on a certain position, she would just, you know, tell me, “Hey. Do you wanna try this? Do you wanna that?” And even hospital staff were really great. They got me a birthing bar for the bed so I could be in a squat position but kind of drape myself over it. Yeah, I was in a lot of different positions and I don’t know, what time did we get to the hospital?
– It was around 2.
– Around two ish? Because once I got there, I was just having the surges and so I was just in the middle of getting through those. But it didn’t seem like it was long at all, that I was going through all of that. I remember Brett was really great about getting me water, so definitely pack your water bottle. That’s a must with a straw. Make sure you stay hydrated. What else? So, I guess we went through all the different positioning and then came time that I finally, I was just like, I feel like I really need to push. So I asked, I said, “Can somebody check me?” That was, I didn’t have them check me before but I asked.
I said, “You know, now I feel like “I’m ready to push, can you check me to make sure “that I can. Because I need to push.” I mean I was pushing anyway, but, so they came over and they checked and the nurse is like, “Yeah, you’re good to go. “Just start pushing whenever you’re ready.” So I just worked with all the surges whenever they came, I pushed and the little man’s head was a little on the large side. So we’re playing peek-a-boo for a while, which at the time is tiring of course because I would reach down and it’s so surreal to feel his little squishy tapioca head, that’s what it felt like, a little tapioca. So I had to sit there and I feel his head but then they brought me a mirror and that really helped because I could watch him coming out. And then it just, I’m like, “Okay, focus here Mischa. “You can do this!”
And with every surge that came and we just started pushing. And I did end up pushing for a while. It was about, about an hour, I think, 45 minutes, an hour, that I was pushing? And then, yup, we got him out. Okay, so after we pushed him out, it was just so amazing because, you just feel this whoosh when he comes out and then the rest of the water comes out too which is just amazing. And immediately they just put him up on my belly. He didn’t quite reach my chest because he had the umbilical cord and this is another thing, having a doula and your partner in your birth plans, so the doctor went to cut the umbilical cord and even I was the one who said, “Oh! No! No! No! No! No! Wait, “wait until it stops pulsing.” And he said, “Oh yeah, sorry.” But even in that moment I’m watching my baby I’m so excited by still, I’m like, “No! I need, Like I need him to have that, “that blood inside of him.”
But I just scooped him up and he was just wailing, he was crying which is fantastic because you hear him cry but he was just the sweetest little thing, oh man! He just felt so warm and so tiny and just so perfect and you wait that long to see them and finally they’re there. So, after the placenta, I meant not the placenta, gosh, the cords, stopped pulsing, then Brett was able to cut that and then that’s when I was able to really put him on my chest and just really cuddle him. And Brett got to lean over and he was just touching him too but, Oh my gosh, it was the best thing in the world. I just remember looking at him and I looked at Brett, and Brett looked at me and he said, “You did it!” And I said, “Yes!” And we just kissed each other and then we just kissing on Emmett and it was just so beautiful, like everything that you wait for and you hope for, it was just perfect. It was…
– I had to wait a little longer though. Like, I didn’t get to hold him for like a couple of hours.
– Awww, it wasn’t a couple of hours but it was…
– Seemed like.
– It was, I know I’m sure it did for you. It was probably a good hour though that he just stayed on my chest. Brett got to touch him but it didn’t give him up. But, yeah, it was just really amazing. How did you feel when he first came out? And you got to watch it so,
– For me, it was a relief. Seeing him cry for the first time and then, just surreal I guess, yeah. It was crazy seeing our son for the first time.
– Yeah, so, what helped me cope was turning into a cow. For real though, the breathing, the surges were so intense quickly because they just, they were coming, you know, every few minutes for about a 6 hour time frame. Every time a surge came, I just dropped down, I just dropped down into the, noise, a noise I didn’t even know I was capable of really making. We practiced it in birthing class but man, it got really real when it was coming out naturally. And so, I just breathed and you know, I always thought too, I was thinking of Emmett the whole time, I felt so connected to him.
I kept in my mind, I wasn’t talking out loud to him but I was like, “Come on buddy, you’re coming. Like, “we’re doing this together.” Like, I could feel him coming down too. It’s so amazing to be able to feel that. You can you feel him dropping down in you, ready to come out. It’s just, it’s so amazing, but the breathing techniques and just seeing, really connected with him that we were in this partnership, we were doing this together, and then of course Brett was there doing it with us too, helping on the outside. But just thinking about the internal and I was just talking and thinking about him a lot, during the surges, and breathing, and letting that air flow and letting the noise come naturally even though it felt a little weird.
And I remember thinking like, “Wow! I really kind of sound like a cow right now!” And when I was on all fours on my bed feeling like one but, you know, that’s okay. Whatever you have to do! So, yeah, that’s what really helped. The breathing techniques and just being really connected to him. So, definitely, starting off with the classes. I mean, that’s where you’re getting all your information, that’s where you’re getting all the great information on what a doula does, which is an, a key. If you want just a really tranquil, beautiful, stress free birth, get a doula.
You don’t know how its going to all pan out and just having that security of someone else there who that’s their job. They know, they’ve been through a million births. So they’re ready to handle it especially when it’s your first, second, third, you know. You haven’t had a hundred children, I hope. So, having that security of a doula is super, super important but the birthing classes, that’s where you learn the breathing techniques, that’s where you learn how to connect with your partner, your partner being able to touch you in the right ways, the wrong ways, just, preparing. I mean, you wouldn’t go take an exam without preparing for it, would you? So I feel that birth is the same way.
If you just go and you wing it like yeah, it might turn out okay, but I think its gonna turn out a lot better if you prepare. So birthing, doula, having a lot of those conversations with your partner of what exactly you want from your birth and after care for your baby too. What procedures do you want or you don’t want? You know, that’s a whole other thing. Shots, no shots at that time. Little boys circumcision, not to circumcise. There are a lot of things, so just having that all prepared before you get down to birthing day and then having it all overwhelm you making those decisions. So what about you, what do you think?
– Definitely the classes, and a doula made life a lot easier. And I’d just read up a little more because at the end of the day, they give you your baby, and like, “Here you go, here’s your baby. “Have a good day.” And like, you’re responsible for keeping this little guy alive. It’s kind of a crazy thing, a huge responsibility. So, I think we’ve done pretty good.