Babies Babies Everywhere

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!

Is this labor?

Is this labor?

Yes this IS labor

Yes this IS labor

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.

Aunt Rachel and Baby Asher

Aunt Rachel and Baby Asher

 

Baby Asher

Baby Asher

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!

This entry was posted in Crazy Little Thing Called Life and tagged , , , , by Rachel Coleman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rachel Coleman

The opinions and late night musings published on this blog are Rachel de Azevedo Coleman's alone, and are not ever intended to represent the opinions and sentiments of any organization or product that Rachel is, was, or will be associated with. Rachel Coleman is the creator and Emmy-nominated host of Signing Time!, the children's American Sign Language vocabulary building series. She is also the creator and host of Baby Signing Time, Rachel & the TreeSchoolers, and Rachel & Me. Rachel now serves as the Executive Director of the American Society for Deaf Children, a 501c3 nonprofit established in 1967 by parents of deaf children. ASDC is the American Sign Language organization for families who are raising deaf children. www.deafchildren.org Motivated by her child, Leah's deafness, Rachel has spent the last 18 years creating ASL products to help bridge the communication barrier between hearing and signing communities. In 2006 Rachel founded the Signing Time Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to putting communication in the hands of all children of all abilities. In 2014, the Signing Time Foundation launched a 50-Lesson online ASL curriculum called "Sign It: ASL Made Easy" that is available free-of-charge to families with deaf or hard of hearing children ages 36 months and under. Apply at www.mydeafchild.org. For those who do not qualify to receive Sign It ASL for free, they can find it for purchase at very reasonable rates on www.SignItASL.com. Rachel and her husband, Aaron, live in Salt Lake City Utah. They are parents to Leah who was born profoundly deaf, and is now a senior in college at NTID/RIT in Rochester, NY. They are also parents to Lucy who has spina bifida and cerebral palsy, and recently graduated high school. In 2010 the Colemans were joyfully reunited with Rachel's daughter Laura. Rachel is proud to be Laura's birth mom. Laura was placed for adoption as an infant in 1992 when Rachel was 17 years-old.

18 thoughts on “Babies Babies Everywhere

  1. Rachel, Thank you for sharing such a wonderful birth story with us. Your nephew and his parents are so blessed to be so surrounded by love and welcoming during this marvelous event. I am so glad that Dani could have the natural birth she wanted, too. I am looking forward to hearing more great birth stories! It sounds like you are going to be very, very busy the next couple of months. Sharing your message, supporting families, and welcoming babies sure sound like fun ways to stay busy, though!

  2. Rachel, I’m not very familiar with blogging, believe it or not, in this day and age! But, I’d signed-up for your blog, and I read it whenever I receive it in my mailbox. We love your videos in my household; I have Kiki and Kevin, twins who will be three this November, and who just began pre-school this week! My son has had an interesting road in terms of hearing and speech, so I began using signing around their 6th month, and have been pretty consistent with it. It hasn’t been the total solution to our issues, admittedly, but I’m always hopeful that one day the language (expressive and sign) will just pour forth in Kevy. He’s an interesting character, a real sweet little boy, who just can’t get his emotions and thoughts out the way he wants, and his twin sister tends to be a Broadway actress in terms of her personality. It sort of walks in the door ahead of her! Anyway, you’ve been a great inspiration to me, and I’m appreciative. God Bless your family, it’s getting bigger every day! (Relatives and friends!!). Congratulations on your blessed new little nephew!

  3. That is so awesome! It’s amazing to be there when a baby is born! When I was 6 months pregnant with my first baby, my older sister let me come into the delivery room. It was amazing, I was also “taking notes” for when it was my turn. Congrats to you and all your new mommy friends!

    I like you and your families view on birth, breast feeding etc!

    BTW the reason everyone around you is pregnant is because you live in Utah 🙂 The first year my husband and I were married I was in charge of getting meals to people that had babies in the neighborhood…man, I was really busy! It makes for great playgroups and preschools a few years later though.

    You’ll travel places to speak? If I got all the people I know that worship you would you come to Costa Rica? j/k My boys would love to meet you, Alex and Leah one day.

  4. My family can’t wait to see you in Salem, Or. The entire family is coming along. You are a fixture in my house. ALWAYS on the tv. You saved my communication life w/ my daughter. I love ya!! Congratulations for all the new arrivals!!

  5. Congrats to all those blessed moms and expectant moms! How nice that your family is filled to the brim with knowledgeable birthing coaches.

    On a side note…you’re coming to Oregon? TWICE? I need details!

  6. Go natural birth! and midwives! I just had my first child last July at home, with a midwife. We welcomed a healthy little boy, also named Asher, with an easy delivery and no complications. I have chosen to breastfeed and do everything as natural as I can for him, it has been a great experience and bonding time with my child.

  7. Paging Dr. Coleman….(LOL) Let me guess, your voicemail must say something like: “This is Rachel Coleman.
    I’m sorry I missed your call. I am either participating in the beautiful miracle of childbirth, or witnessing the life-changing experience that is Signing Time!…”
    Congrats to you Aunt Rachel, and to all those who are, and will be blessed with a baby. After all, the hope of the world rests in a tiny baby’s hands.

  8. Congratulations Auntie!!!! I’ll bet you were an awesome coach… how cool was it to be there for that? And how wonderful they were hooked up to skype so her mom could ‘be there’ to share in the special event.

    oh, hey, I finally started blogging about our vacation w/pics. Let Lucy know!

  9. I love babies too. (BTW Tonya I had no idea…..congrats!!)
    There is nothing like a new baby smell, that’s one of the many things I love about Rhett is that he has never really lost his baby smell…I could just lay there and smell him for hours, and maybe take a munch or two out of his neck! 🙂

    You are so amazing in everything you do. I am so honored to know you.

    I think you ought to know though that Rhett has staked his claim on you. Whenever he watches Signing Time, picks up one of the books, goes through the flash cards, anything with you on it he brings it to me with that huge Rhett grin and says, “My Achal!!!” It’s the cutest thing ever.

    Andy and I still can’t get over everything, we talk about it every night and how you being there for Rhett was the most magical thing that could ever happen to him. The look on his face when he realized who you were will forever be imprinted in my mind as one of the happiest moments of our lives.

    After our Softball season is over in the next couple of weeks I will join you guys in chat.

    I hope you have lots of fun the next few weeks. Tell Leah and Alex that Chloee says Hi, the snowman door hanger that they gave her is her most prized possession. 🙂

  10. Yay! You added the pictures!!! I love how Asher is looking at you. Dani looks pretty dang good for someone in labor. Just need a close up of little A & Asher together~
    Hugs friend!

  11. The baby, birth, breast-feeding stuff is all very sweet. However, I am very intrigued about your experience with the Forum. As a graduate myself (I did the Forum in May 2007 and the Advanced Course in August 2007), I’m very curious about what you got out of it. Of course, I realize that many people get something very personal out of it, but if your experience was something you are willing share (and you think is appropriate to do so) I’d love to hear about it.

    Sounds like a very intense weekend!

  12. Pingback: Rachel’s Blog » Late Night Phone Call

  13. Pingback: Rachel Coleman » Blog Archive » Babies, Buddy Walks and Blogs

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