Why does it seem like everyone I know is pregnant? Oh.. I know, because just about everyone I know IS pregnant. My good friend Natalie is pregnant and due September 21. She asked me if I would be her birth coach, I said “Yes!” I love birth. Is that strange? But, I do. It is so cool to see the beginning of a life, to be there and witness it. So, Natalie and I have been going to a Bradley Childbirth class every Thursday for the past 10 weeks. We have 2 more weeks to go.
In the meantime my sister Rebecca is pregnant and due in a week or 2. My sister-in-law Rachael is due in 3 weeks. My sister-in-law Dani was due on the 6th. Chris, who works here at Two Little Hands, his wife is having a baby today! Plus there is LeeAnn who works at ST! and our friend Tonya both pregnant. One of our ST! chat regulars, Macsmama is having triplets!
A few weeks ago at my sister-in-law Dani’s baby shower she asked if I would be willing to come to her birth. It is her first baby and she wanted to have a natural birth and wanted me there as a support person.
Here’s a little background about my family and our Birth Culture. My mother had 9 children… pick your jaw up from the floor 🙂 Mom was always nursing somebody, so we grew up in a home where you breast fed, no question about it. She had a home birth with her 6th, my sister Rebecca. The five older siblings were there and saw birth in a new light, not as a hospital procedure. So, we are pretty much a natural birthing, breast feeding, wearing our babies in slings kind of family.
I have 11 nieces and nephews. Five of them were born at home. Four were born at hospitals with midwives. Two nephews were born in hospitals with doctors. All 11 births were without anesthesia. I have been a support person at 3 of those births. Leah was a natural birth in a hospital with a midwife too. Lucy is the only C-section and technically I had two c-sections with her. This is the Birth Culture I was born into and it is the basis for the attitudes that I have about birth.
So, here is where this month gets interesting for me. My busiest months as far as traveling and speaking and performing are September and October. Did you know that your organization can have me come speak? 🙂 October is the month of Down Syndrome Buddy Walks and I get asked to perform and or speak at many of those each year. I also speak to educators, parents and professionals at trade shows, conferences and workshops all throughout the year. These things can be scheduled… babies have their own schedule! Between now and November 1st I will be going to Oklahoma, Oregon (twice), Denver and North Carolina.
This past week I was in an incredible self-development, communication and relationship workshop (The Landmark Forum) all day Friday, all day Saturday and all day Sunday. During a break on Saturday I checked in on my sister-in-law Dani, she was having contractions 10 minutes apart on her due date. (Oh boy!) So, I gave some quick coaching, “This is a marathon. Be sure to eat and keep hydrated. Keep your face and neck relaxed. If you make sounds, be sure they are low sounds rather than high sounds. Take each contraction one at a time. If you walk, eat and shower and the contractions keep coming and they keep getting stronger LET ME KNOW!” I checked in on them during each break and the contractions had slowed and then stopped.
I got home Saturday night around 10:30PM and checked in one last time. Contractions had started again and were 10 minutes apart. I reminded them about “411” having contractions that are 4 minutes apart that last for 1 minute and have continued for an hour, that’s when you typically go to the hospital. I went to bed and kept my cell phone by my bed… but I didn’t notice that I had left the ringer off!
I was asleep and dreaming. Vaguely through my dream I heard my home phone ringing. I sat up in bed, “Did you hear that?” I asked Aaron and I jumped out of bed and ran down the hall. I looked at the caller ID – it was my little brother Aaron. I called him back and he said, “We are at the hospital Dani is dilated to a 5.” I told him I was on my way. I brushed my teeth, got dressed, got a second set of clothing and some water bottles and got in the car. It was a little after 4AM. I got to the hospital 40 minutes later and she was now a 7. Yeah! My mom arrived shortly after I did. We massaged Dani’s back, squeezed her feet and got the things she asked for during and after her contractions, like hot blankets, cold wash cloths etc. Her mother was able to “be there” from Mexico City via Skype and a laptop!
After an hour and 45 minutes of pushing and a little after 9:15AM, my brand new nephew Asher took his first breath and entered the world screaming. We all cried.
Dani did it, she had the birth she wanted. I walked her through a little Breast Feeding 101 and Asher went to work nursing within 30 minutes after he was born.
WOW and Whew! I now have 12 nieces and nephews.
I had sent a text to my workshop to let them know where I was and that I would not be there at 9AM. I changed my clothes and arrived by 10:30AM.
Next is Natalie’s birth. She is due September 21st, the day after I come back from Oklahoma. She is due 5 days before I go to Oregon. I go straight from Oregon to Colorado. I will be back on September 28th. Yikes! It’s like baby roulette!