Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Welcome Isaac Lee!

We are so excited to announce the birth of our son, Isaac Lee. He was born on September 20, 2010 at 11:35pm. He weighed 8lbs 11oz and was 21 inches long.

I have been getting requests to post Isaacs birth story, so here it is!

On monday evening, Remie and I were watching tv and yelling at the kids to go to sleep. At 8:28pm (funny how I remember the exact time!) I felt a contraction. I told Remie about it but I wasnt getting excited because of all of the contractions that I had in the past that resulted in nothing. 8 minutes later I had another contraction, this one more painful. Remie suggested that we start timing the contractions. Once again, I wasnt convinced that this was the real thing. I decided to sit on my birthing ball to see if I could get this baby moving! The contractions started coming 4 min apart and were uncomfortable. I thought that it was false labor and that I just had to use the bathroom. As I was sitting in the bathroom, the contractions started coming 2 minutes apart and were painful. I thought, "crap this is the real thing"! I couldnt believe how fast things were moving. I told Remie to call his mom to watch the kids and to get my bag. I was in some real pain by now and I just kept saying "SHIT SHIT SHIT !" When Remie's mom arrived at the house, she found me bent over the chair. She started rubbing my back and told me that it would be over soon. I finally made my way to the car and we were on our way to the hospital. I remember yelling at Remie in the car not to accellerate because it made the contractions worse. We got to the hospital at 9:45pm and my contractions were right on top of eachother. I could barely get in my hospital gown because they were so intense. They checked me and I was 5 cm. I was actually frustrated that I was only 5 cm because of all the pain I was in. I thought for sure that I would be ready to push by then. The nurse asked me if I wanted an epidural and I said no. The nurse was awesome! She said "Great! I did it without drugs too, I wont ask you again about pain relief!" I was so encouraged by this because normally I am met with resistence when I say that I want to go drug free!At 10:30pm they checked me again to see how much time the on call dr had before coming to the hospital. I was at 6cm and again frustrated that I was only that far. I didnt realize how fast things were moving, so being at 6 cm at only 2 hours of labor didnt seem "speedy" to me. I labored in my room for about another 45 minutes. It was extreme pain! I could believe how hard it was to make it through each contraction but my doula and Remie encouraged me and helped me remain calm through each contraction. Without them, I wouldnt have been able to stay focused. At one point after a contraction, I looked at Remie and told him that I didnt want to do this anymore and that I wanted to go home! I dont know how he didnt laugh at me! He just told me that that meant I was in transition and that it would be over soon. I thought he was nuts! A little after 11pm my dr came in to check me. I told her that I needed to push but she wanted to check me first. I was completely dilated and she said that I could start trying to push while she got on her scrubs and prepared the room. I gave one good push and my water broke! It felt like a fire hose was spraying out of me all over my dr and nursing staff! Everyone started scrambling and my dr told me to slow down while she got ready! I couldnt slow down, my body just kept pushing on its own! My dr yelled "I NEED GLOVES!", I pushed about 4 more times and Isaac Lee was born at 11:35pm on my bed without anyone prepared! My poor dr had to deliver Isaac with only one glove on and in her jeans! They told me that he was a boy and laid him on my belly. He sat there content for about 5 minutes. It was very surreal. After the umbilical cord stopped pulsing, Remie cut the cord. We looked at eachother and I said "What in the world are we going to name him?" At that point, Isaac started peeing all over me and we started laughing hysterically. It was then obvious that Isaac was the best name for him because it means "laughter"!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pepsi Refresh Project

The Pepsi Company has a grant program in which they are giving away millions to fund great charity ideas. They are asking the public to submit ideas to better their communities. When I heard about this program, I immediately submitted my idea for the Serve those who Serve program. The Serve those who Serve project would do exactly that. I would like to develop a group of certifed doulas (labor assistants) to support women whose husbands have been killed in the line of duty or are serving overseas in our military and can not attend the birth of their child. Each military wife would have the option to have a certified doula support them during the birth of their child so they do not have to be alone. No woman should have to give birth alone. The doula would supply support physically, educationally and emotionally. The doula will also be available post partum to help the mother adjust to life at home by assisting in household chores, breastfeeding support and baby care.

Check back on June 1st to see if my idea was picked as a contender to better our community! If I am picked, I'll need your votes to win funding!

Friday, March 5, 2010

How I Did It

I am constantly being asked by clients, nurses, friends and family how I delivered two children without epidural pain relief. This question is one that I have never known how to answer because I didn't want to make mothers that received an epidural feel inadequate or like a failure. I would normally answer this question by simply stating that I have fast labors. I thought that if the mother wanted to know the risks of epidural and narcotic pain relief during labor that she would research the subject herself. The problem is that most mothers do not know that there are serious risks for the mother and baby if they receive pain medication during labor. Most mothers think that if the doctor is willing to give them the medication then it must be safe. This revelation has made me rethink my answer to the question of how I gave birth without an epidural. There is some truth in my original answer. I did indeed have relatively quick labors but that is not why I chose to go med-free. The truth is that I decided not to receive an epidural because I firmly believe that the benefits of pain relief absolutely do not outweigh the risks to my baby and me.

My role as a doula is not to judge women if they decide to get an epidural or narcotic pain relief during childbirth. My job is to educate mothers so they can make an informed decision about which pain relief would be best for their situation, if any.

Here are some good resources on childbirth:

The Hidden Risks of Epidurals

The Hormonal Blueprint of Labor

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Post-Natal Visit

I went to visit sweet little Anderson on Friday. I can't believe he is already 3 weeks old! Anderson and Mommy are doing great! We talked all about the birth and laughed about the silly things Anderson's Daddy did during the labor! It was great to catch up and kiss his sweet little cheeks!

Anderson's mommy gave me permission to share the story of his birth! Here it is from my point of view as I tell Anderson about his birthday!

I arrived at Beaumont hospital at 8 o’clock in the morning to assist during your birth. I was surprised to hear that your mom’s water had broke the night previous and labor was already on its way. Your mom was having pretty strong contractions and was 3cm dilated. At 8:30am, she asked for an epidural and was comfortable within minutes. At 9:45am, your mom was examined and to our astonishment she was already 8cm dilated and almost ready to push. Your mom was so excited to meet you. She couldn’t believe that she was going to be holding you in her arms in a few short hours. Unfortunately, it was at that time that your mom's epidural stopped working. She was in extreme amounts of pain and couldn't get any relief. I coached her through each contraction by reminding her to breathe, relax and stay calm. I also massaged her arms, hands and back-whatever she needed to relax at that time. At 12:00 noon, it was time to push. Your mom was a champ; she pushed and pushed and pushed. Finally, the doctor suggested that your mom take a little break to rest up and then she could start pushing again. At 12:30 your mom was ready to start pushing again. She was determined to get you out. Finally, during one push, I was able to see the tip of your head. Your mom was ecstatic to hear that you had reddish-blonde hair! With each push I was able to see more and more of your head. It was incredible to watch you come into this world! Then at 1:31pm you were born and handed right to your mom. She was filled with joy and started crying at the sight of you. The doctor handed the scissors to your dad to cut the umbilical cord but he declined. Then the doctor asked me if I wanted to cut the cord! I jumped at this opportunity and gently separated you from your mommy. When I told your mom how cute you were she said “Well, of course!” You were born weighing 7lbs and 19 ½ inches long. Unfortunately, you had a slight fever so the doctors took you to the NICU for further testing. It was hard for your mom to let you go, but she knew it was only to keep you healthy.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Welcome Baby Anderson!

Yesterday I was able to witness another miracle!Baby Anderson joined my doula family at 1:31pm. He weighed in a 7lbs and was 19.5 inches long! I was even privileged enough to cut his umbilical cord! What an amazing experience! Mommy and baby are doing wonderful!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Another Miraculous Birth

I will never grow tired of experiencing the miracle of birth! Here's me with baby Chloe, the newest member of my doula family.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What is a Doula?

A doula supports a woman and her partner during pregnancy, birth, and the early weeks of parenting, with reassurance, practical assistance, and information. A doula is someone you come to know well by the time of your birth, and who is there during your labor, by your side, focused solely on you and your partner. She can encourage you, remain objective, and help your partner feel more confident about how to support you. She can also assist you with practical knowledge on comfort measures for labor, such as massage and suggestions for positioning. A doula can provide information when you have questions, and can help you communicate most effectively with your medical caregivers. The main focus of a doula's role is often on the birth itself, but doula support can also be invaluable during pregnancy (especially if you face questions about tests or
complications), and after the birth when she can help out with feeding and adjusting to life with a newborn.
There are a few things a doula is not. She is not acting as a nurse or midwife, so she does not provide clinical care such as doing examinations on you or checking your baby's heartbeat. The support a doula provides fits together with, but does not replace, the care of your doctor, midwife, or nurses. Doulas do not make decisions for you, or speak for you. This is your birth, your baby, your life!
A doula supports you by providing information and explanations you may want about your choices, but it's always you who decides what's best for you.

Doulas make a difference!
The research has shown that
having a doula at your birth
can make a real difference to
the outcome.

The risk of an emergency
cesarean is reduced, as well as
the chances of other
interventions happening like
episiotomy and assisted

How a mother interacts with
her baby, her satisfaction with
her birth and her relationship
with her partner are all rated
significantly higher with
women who have had a doula
compared to those who have

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Choosing A Doula

How can I pick the right doula for me? Where do I even start? You might be nervous about interviewing doulas. Or unsure what steps to take first. Start with identifying what you want from your doula. Reassurance? Physical support and comfort during labor? Specialized expertise in attending twin births or VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean)? Knowing what you want is the first step to making sure you get it! Likewise, a good doula finds out what you want and works toward that, instead of offering a "one size fits all" service. Keep in mind that the doula who is right for you may not be the one who has attended the most births, but could be the one who can offer the support you need and with whom you and your partner "click" the best. Consider the following when you're speaking to a doula you're thinking about hiring:
• how much time does she spend doing the talking during your conversation? how much time does she spend listening to you? A good doula listens a lot!
• how much does she include your partner in her questions and discussions?
• do you feel able to speak your mind with her or are you worried about what she will think?
• do you feel this is someone you would enjoy getting to know and appreciate having present at your birth?
• what kind of formal training or work experience has she had as a doula? Some doulas have had basic training with a weekend workshop, while others have done months of extensive study, and still others have been trained "on the job" with no formal schooling; is there a particular training background that is important to you? Check the website of your doula's training organization to find out more about her
formal qualifications.
If there is something specific you are looking for, or a particular concern you have, ask her how she has supported other parents in your situation. In the end, listen to your instincts!