Thanks to our good friends Kera and Alex for capturing these lovely photos!
I draw myself a bath thinking, Here we go again, prodromal labor. I had experienced contractions in the morning on the days prior, but these called my voice forward.
They came over my body, calling my total attention to remain focused, relaxed, calm.. So I laid in the tub for an hour, seeking comfort as I waited for them to stop or slow. They didn’t.
TJ woke up to his alarm around 5am. “You may not be going to work today.. ”
He looks concerned. He had several big projects to wrap up and wanted to go in for an hour or two to meet with his boss and coworker. He saw quickly I wasn’t kidding about the strength of the contractions and their frequency.
I laid back down and he rubbed my body as I continued to vocalize and relax and wait for things to stop. He left for the office and I was almost relieved. The house was mine to labor in, no energies that weren’t focused on the goal. I napped until 9am or so, waking during the surges then quickly relaxing back down. Around 10am I couldn’t handle laying down. I moved to the living room, turned on some Netflix and positioned myself on hands and knees, on the ball, and doing whatever I could to relax during the surges.
At 11am I took another bath and called the midwife. I had checked myself and my cervix was thin and effaced and dilation had progressed from 2cm to about 3.5cm. The contractions were strong and about 5mins apart. She heard my vocalizations. “Tonight or tomorrow”
I called TJ and he was on his way home. Bearing food, much more relaxed and focused, he was home by 12:30pm.
I attempted some smoothie (had been vomiting) but quickly was sick again. I labored on the ball until I was able to eat around 1:30pm.
We laid down and attempted to nap, but the contractions were too strong. I needed movement. I found myself laying in bed, staring out the window at the sunshine. It’s like he was telling me, get out! Give me sunshine!
So around 4pm we went for a walk, and almost instantly, the surges came on. The sunshine felt so good on my face and body. Three houses down, contraction.. Another three houses, contraction. Now this is more like it… I start having to drop into tj’s arms to deal with the intensity. It hits me. This is our last walk as just the two of us..
We go to kitty’s two blocks up and her and Michael join us on the walk. I’m dropping into tj’s arms, vocalizing, and they are 3minutes apart. We walk back to the house and I decide things are a bit intense. I went pee, and the pain hit a point where I needed relief. I took my last bath, realizing I’m probably in labor, had TJ call linda. I popped myself into open knee chest position and two contractions later, he was in my pelvis and things really shifted. I sat on the ball and labored. I couldn’t handle touch during surges. I let my arms drop to my side and let the pressure build in my bottom. TJ started setting up the pool. Patiently waiting instructions in between surges. At one point he started filling it without the liner! We laughed.
Finally around 6:30pm I accepted things were real and not slowing. I believed I was around 5cms, I could feel the bag of waters bulging.
Linda and Najee arrived at 8pm. I was laboring on hands and knees in nothing but undies and a tank top. I felt primal and raw. My dogs went to the in laws at 8:15pm. I finally stripped down and hopped in the tub. Holy sweet warmth over my body.
Lights went off, music came on, candles going.. I labored in my dark, raw, primal space.. Things intensified more and I check myself.. “Linda… What’s this mean if I can do this?” I open my fingers to show her how wide my cervix is.. “Is that like a 5?” “No laurel, that’s like an 8” We all laugh. I start pleading with my bag of waters to break, still in denial, I’m 8cms and about to have a baby.
Two surges later, 8:45pm pop, it broke! the warmth of the fluid leaving my body and all the force was amazing. It was so pleasurable! Then two contractions later, I started to push on my own.
Pushing was intense. Squatting and lunging, vocalizing loudly, low and primally.. I pushed, I pleaded with him, I went through transition. Eventually I started roaring.. “My body is made for this… My body is made for this… My body is made for TTHHISS” and I’d start pushing uncontrollably. “Its under the pubic bone” “Starting to crown” I give everyone the play by play as I hold his head with my hand. “No hair, lots of vernix”
His head comes, his body comes with the next breath.
I quickly unwrapped the cord from his neck, just a single,loose wrap. Pull him from the water an to my chest. “We did it! We did it! Holy crap!” He cries instantly, loud and strong. 9:44pm, 7lbs, 19.5 inches, 13 3/4 inch head!
Covered in vernix, I cradled his body next to mine. Crying and smiling. Born at home, in the water, received by his mama. Just as I had dreamed.
Several minutes later we held up the body.. ” it’s a boy!!!!” We laughed and cheered. All those pink clothes and girl dreams ;)
He was perfect. My placenta came 45minutes later, I was no longer pregnant.. This portion of the journey, completed!
What a wonderful adventure the last few months have been. Having served 34 families over the last year, I always loved and admired pregnant mama's, but never more-so then now having gone through this myself. I have always known pregnancy was challenging, and decided to take this time and experiment by 'living what I preach'.
No, pregnancy has not been the easiest for me. Just because I'm a doula and student midwife doesn't mean I'm immune to the unpleasant effects pregnancy can bring. In fact, my first topic I want to discuss stems from my first trimester! Hold on to your hats ladies, I'm currently 36 weeks and STILL throwing up occasionally each week!
Morning sickness at 36 weeks?! Not fair, right? Thankfully, I'm a tough mama, and I know there is a reason my body has had this response. I sure did try ginger candy, ginger chews, ginger ale, crackers by the bedside, acupressure points, acupuncture, essential oils... should I go on? Thankfully I was always able to eat later in the day and gain weight avoiding Hyperemesis and Hospitalization.
Eventually I accepted that this was part of my journey, and it has also helped me prepare for the labor and birth by stocking up on high electrolyte, easily absorbed (and easy to throw up) foods and drinks in case I do end up having vomiting in labor. My fridge is full of Smart Water, Coconut Water, Freezer has frozen fruit, Pedialyte pops, and Ice. I'm also making my own bone broth and soups! We also have bananas, frozen waffles, peanut butter, and other quick to eat, easy to digest foods.
I have been very fortunate and have been seeing a chiropractor during my entire pregnancy. I have always recommended this for my mama's but having experienced the difference first hand, I can truly not imagine going through pregnancy without this!
I have been seeing Dr Michaella Walter, owner of Optimal Wellness Family Chiropractic for almost a year now. She's certified in Webster Technique and also is amazing with infants and children. I saw her biweekly until my 20th week of pregnancy and now go weekly. I find myself longing for an adjustment come Tuesday (you'll see I'm posting this on a Tuesday and my hips DEFINITELY notice a difference). She's helped me fight tailbone pain, a persistently posterior baby (now in LOA WAHOO!), and just helps the general physical adaptation to pregnancy. I can't wait to see how else it helps and will be taking our baby within the first week of life to have their first adjustment.
I hope to write more before baby comes, but if not, then I'll share after. We are definitely gearing up and are so excited to be bringing our first baby into the world soon!
I have decided to offer my Raw Dehydration method of Placenta Encapsulation for only $150 if you call me for services in the month of March!
This is a $50 discount and normally is only offered to doula and home birth clients!
*Must be due in the end of February or month of March
*Must sign contract and leave a deposit (1/2 down, 1/2 when I pick up your placenta)
*Must be within 30 miles of Ferndale, MI: Will pick up from hospital or your home.
*Placenta must be kept free of chemicals of any kind and kept refrigerated or frozen until picked up.
*You are responsible for the release of your placenta.
(Some hospitals and providers have "policy against releasing your placenta", it is your responsibility to be informed of such policies and advocate for yourself if you are hassled about the release. I will not drive to a separate location for it's release if they demand it be sent to pathology at an outside location. AKA, No wild goose chases for placentas!)
*Credit Card Purchases have a 3% processing fee
It has been an honor serving 23 families so far in this journey as a doula and student midwife. Now a new chapter has unfolded.
I am happy to announce that in September of 2013 my husband and I will be expecting our first child.
We are incredibly excited to become parents and personally experience the transformation that pregnancy and parenthood bring.
Of course this does mean some big changes for Guided Passage over the next year.
Currently I am taking 4-6 doula and student midwifery clients a month. I will continue to take clients due before August 2013.
I will be taking placenta clients due through August.
September through November are reserved for baby moon, in which time I hope to take placenta clients again. I hope to be back to doula work by January 2014.
Obviously, plans change and flexibility is key. I promise to keep you updated on our journey!
I brought in New Year's Eve by watching a powerful woman birth her little one. It was a perfect way to end 2012 and bring in the new year!
What an honor it has been to serve 17 families this past year.
I am looking forward to 2013 and the many wonderful women and their families that I will be working with.
This Small Business Saturday, we celebrate by offering you $50 off any doula service booked after Feb 2013!
Call or email today for this special!
This year I am inspired to participate in Small Business Saturday. I'll be offering a special for all births due after February 2013! Stay tuned and if you been holding off on contacting us about services, tomorrow is the time!
We support all women of all shapes and sizes and are honored to be a part of Plus Size Doula Connections!
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