My Conscious Birth.

My husband will adamantly tell you this is not exactly how our labor went but it’s my recollection and I’m sticking to it! I wont get too graphic but consider this your warning…I’m talking about birthing a child for goodness sake!

The weeks leading up to the birth of our son, I had been making significant progress with effacing and in dilation. At 38 weeks I was 1 cm dilated and 70% effaced. At 39 weeks I had gotten to 2 cm dilation and over 80% effaced…My OB swept/stripped my membranes for the first time at this appointment. To the surprise of my OB I made it to my 40th week appointment on my due date – 1/30/17. I was almost 3 cm and over 90% effaced. For a first pregnancy this was great…she swept my membranes again and, as I told my husband later, she really got after it this time.

The rest of that day I walked, sat on my birth ball, stretched…you name it – I was excited to get that kid out. A friend of mine came by mid afternoon to visit. While sitting at my kitchen table I was feeling very mild cramping and didn’t think much of it. I started timing them when I realized I was beginning to anticipate their arrival. They were 45 seconds long every 4 minutes. Regularly. Having some episodes of Braxton-Hicks the weeks leading up to this point I grabbed my water and repositioned myself on the couch. After about 30 more minutes of slightly noticeable intensity of the contractions I called the on-call doctor. She advised me to pay attention to them for another hour and if they indeed did not go away to come in for monitoring. She also told me while on the phone that I didn’t sound like I was in labor so it might be nothing…”What is labor suppose to sound like?” I thought to myself.

I called my husband to come home from work around 5:30 pm and we went to the hospital around 7 pm. We shared the elevator up to L&D with a nurse just coming in for her shift. Our conversation went like this:

Nurse: Are you here visiting friends? 

Me: No.

Nurse: A tour of the Maternity unit?

Me: No.

Nurse: An induction?

Me: No. I’m in labor…

She looked very puzzled at how this woman could be standing here actively contracting and holding a conversation like nothing is going on. She wished us luck as we stepped out of the elevator probably assuming we’d be sent home. When we walked to the desk to check in the nurse there was the third confirmation of how unusual my labor was presenting itself. “You don’t look like you’re in labor.” She had said…again, I was wondering what does labor look like? Sound like?…I kinda began doubting that what I was feeling was actually it.

We were sent to a monitoring room for a few hours where I was hooked up to the machines that allowed them to “see” my contractions…by 9 pm we were admitted to the hospital but no one explicitly told us this. I was over 5 cm and 100% effaced. We were told to switch rooms and when we were alone I asked my husband “So, we’re not leaving here without a kid?”.

Prior to my third trimester I began visualizing what labor was going to be like. Not necessarily about the pain or sensations I would experience but the atmosphere and energy that would be present while I labored. I often told friends and family that I pictured Jason and I joking, laughing, and generally enjoying the moment as I kept progresssing. And what do you know…that’s exactly what I experienced. We alternated between Pawn Stars and My 600 lb. Life on TV, we Googled where our nurse was from (p.s. It was the same nurse that we had met in the elevator so she was a little shocked to see us admitted!), “doctor Jesus”, and the list of fun and memorable moments goes on and on. My early labor was FUN!!

Around midnight the OB came in to check my progress. She medically broke my water and I was at 8 cm!! I could not believe how quickly everything was going and relatively less painful than I had anticipated. My contractions where definitely stronger and more painful at this point. We also learned that he was “sunny side up” so the OB tried to turn him into correct positioning but he wouldn’t go. I continued to labor and around 2 am I started feeling the need to push. My sweet, sweet nurse tried to hold me off as long as she could but by 3 am I think she had enough of my complaining…The OB came in and I began to push. 

Because this was my 1st labor and he was facing the incorrect direction everyone kept telling me that I’d probably have to push longer so to save my energy. At 3:20 the doctor left the room to check on another patient in labor but instructed me to keep pushing. So I did. Only a few pushes later there was panic in the room…His head was out! I was told to refrain from pushing until the OB came I waited…it was the longest minute of my life. I remember it feel like slow motion – almost an out of body experience. Once the OB was back and suited up she wanted me to scoot towards her on the table.

“YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT?!?!” With the help of Jason and the entire medical staff they moved my body down the table.

At 3:36 am on 1/31/2017 Noah James was born. 7lbs 1oz.  20.5 inches long. Unmedicated and perfect.

There are parts of his birth story that ignited this desire within me to become an advocate for women in their most vulnerable state. This is why I trained as a doula…someday childbirth won’t be viewed as a ‘medical event’ in a woman’s life, it will be viewed as a spiritual one. Because of this we will all be happier, healthier, and most of all hopeful!

My Conscious Pregnancy

Here’s our story…

My husband and I decided to expand our family after our 1st wedding anniversary. We were successful around Christmas 2015 and went in for our 8 week ultrasound in the beginning of February 2016. The baby was measuring small so we went back in a week later to make sure it would be viable.

It wasn’t.

The second ultrasound revealed no growth or heartbeat. That was on a Tuesday… I was leaving for a work trip on Friday. We decided to have D&C Wednesday morning so I wouldn’t have to miscarry naturally while out of town for two and a half weeks.

*Side note: I had a premonition even before we conceived that this would be a reality at some point in my life. I wasn’t expecting it for our first pregnancy but as it was unfolding I had a sense of calm. Almost as if my soul had been through this before and I was not afraid. This inherent knowledge also came into play during my labor but I’ll save that for a different post.*

That was a tough month for us. But because of that experience it opened a dialog between my husband and I that proved we were in this together. We are a team. We discussed the fact that we did indeed want to be parents but maybe the divine timing would allow us to achieve our personal goals first. We talked about going back to get Master degrees, switching jobs, taking a second honeymoon, trying again after summertime…little did we know that wasn’t the plan…

May 2016. On a whim, for no apparent reason, I took a pregnancy test I had left over from that winter. Positive. What now?

The first few weeks I was in denial and had to set reminders on my phone to drink plenty of water and not drink that glass of wine. I didn’t have any signs of pregnancy — no morning sickness, nausea, sore boobs. Nothing. 

I’m naturally a positive person so it was not difficult for me to keep my thoughts on the up & up but this was the first time I could see both sides of the situation. I try and live each day consciously and am very in tune with subtle energy shifts around me. I was aware that if I had not been in my normal state of mind I could easily fall into a dark place because of this pregnancy. All the “what ifs” and the “should have been” thoughts that creep in can really cause damage to someone’s psyche (or ego, if you will).

The first trimester passed without a hiccup. I had so many people tell me how lucky I was and that I wasn’t “normal”…that really bothered me. Now I’m not saying that all pregnancies can be without difficulty but what I challenge you to notice is the soon-to-be-mother’s perception of her situation. If you live gratefully in the moment, your perception of the experience will be more positive than if you view it with fear and anger–obviously. So the next time you talk with an expecting mother and all she does is complain…help her shift her reality by focusing on the silver linings.

I began to feel him move around 18 weeks, my husband felt him move around 20 weeks, and I really began show around 23 weeks. The second trimester was just as non eventful as the first. I liked to learn about how other women had progressed (when did they feel the first kick, what symptoms are they experiencing, etc.) but I never compared my experience to theirs. I was comfortable sharing my “easy” experience not to boost my ego or to discredit theirs but to lead by example. Because what is life if you’re not choosing to be happy each and every day — and yes happiness is a choice.

By the third trimester I couldn’t believe it was almost over. I had enjoyed every moment of being pregnant even the “bad days” when all I wanted to do was nap or couldn’t catch my breath walking up our one flight of stairs. I admit I was a little nervous not about labor, surprisingly, but what life would be like after he was on the outside. 

What I want all people, not just pregnant ladies, to understand is you don’t need apologize for your condition. Be gentle and understanding with yourself. Listen. We have within us the ancient wisdom and support to overcome any adverse situation.

Most of all stay happy, healthy, and hopeful!

Breaking the Ice.

Guys…this is my first ever blog post! Bear with me… There are so many ideas floating around for topics and ideas so hopefully this will help me better organize these thoughts. 

But first, what content will be discussed?

Anything & everything is fair game. I am a LMT (licensed massage therapist) and trained Birth Doula in Eastern Iowa. Other titles that have been used to describe me in this lifetime are sister, energy worker, wife, reiki practitioner, mom, personal trainer, daughter, light worker, friend…the list is endless. All content will evolve as I do. When I reach new understandings and growth physically, emotionally, and spiritually it’s only fitting to share with others. Not because I expect others to share the same viewpoints but because it is essential to start opening others to different ways of experiencing and understanding life. And to appreciate those who see the world in a different light!

So often I have struggled with saying too much or not saying enough. I’ve witnessed hundreds of synchronicities and premonitions throughout my life. I plan on writing about some of these experiences and how they have shaped the lens in which I view the world today!

Why start this project? So. Many. Reasons. 

While in my doula training I felt an urge to start sharing my experiences and understandings. Through my birth experience I realized how much I am an advocate in my life and also that many people, women in particular, don’t voice their goals when put in vulnerable situations. There is so much fear about the unknown, not only in pregnancy and childbirth, but in life in general. My hope is to show through example or explanation that our experiences in this lifetime are beautiful blessings no matter the circumstances.

I’ve also have seen how others have struggled to “be in the flow” of life. For these individuals there’s a struggle to manifest things and life seems like a losing battle. Do you know anyone like that?  Me against the world mentality, always a victim of their circumstances, does not take responsibility for karmic lessons in their life…these thought patterns can be transformed to start living a lighter, enjoyable existence.

What a start! Thanks for being participants and recipients in this creative endeavor. Hold on tight and remain Happy, Healthy, and Hopeful!