Thursday, September 23, 2010

Maximo's birth

Maximo's birth story, as told by his mom, Megan White.


The birth of our son Maximo was very much anticipated the last few days before his official due date. Due to Josh's line of work it was a lot of "hurry up and wait". We would try to get him to come while he was in town and as soon as Josh left for work it would be wait time. The weekend of his due date Josh was supposed to have a show in Las Vegas, which was ironic because Josh was in Vegas when Olive was born. He didn't make it home for Olive, but this time we were determined that he would be at the birth.

January 29th: Max's Due date.Friday morning I woke up determined that I would have this baby that day. I had been dilating for a few weeks and was more than ready to go into labor. The day before I had done some home remedy self inducing tricks. They all started contractions but nothing that continued on. This was a bummer. So, that morning I woke up 5 cms and 90% effaced. I decided that before the snow storm that was supposed to hit around noon I would make it to Target for a few laps around the store. As we were walking we realized that snow was coming down heavier and starting to stick. I decided to call the Susie and discuss her coming to the house to hang out due to the weather.

We got home and contractions stalled. I was so bummed but waited to try to make things happen in case the midwife didn't make it there any time soon. A few hours later around 1:00 PM Susie and Cindy arrived. We got contractions started and I waited them out. I was super prepared for the birth this time. I had been doing weeks of relaxation technique exercises. I made CDS full of music that encouraged me to feel relaxed and breathe. Josh and I began to just hang out and work our way through each contraction. I was very hopeful. Olive's delivery was hard and fast, it had a point where is stalled out but overall went extremely well. So far, Max's labor was going SO easy I began to worry something wasn't right. In the back of my head, I was very aware that if we had to get the hospital, the only way would be by ambulance and I don't even know how fast that would have gone since it was snowing and sleeting.

4:00 in the afternoon contractions had taken me to about 7 cms. So far so good, but I was starting to feel a little bit antsy for the labor to progress faster. Time started to blur around this time, but from here to around 9:00 we just kept encouraging contractions and keeping them going along with herbs and the breast pump. These techniques were working and it was fairly painless, but it wasn't taking me to the end.

Around midnight, I was starting to get completely exhausted physically and mentally and was really frustrated at the direction the labor was. I was desparate to hear that I had progressed enough to break the water. I was at 9 CM. I was getting closer... but Max's head was still not right. I think by now everyone probably realized (short of myself) that Max was posterior in the womb. Then my water broke and contractions hit the roof. They became intense and fast, very much like Olive's whole labor. Emotions were completely taken over, but the one thing that was keeping me going and strong was Josh. He was by my side the whole time and though he didn't say a thing, he gave me the encouragement to not give up. On top of this I had my amazing team. I felt surrounded by encouragement and love and despite my desparate calls for please just kill me : ) I knew that we could get through this. Honestly, we HAD TO GET THROUGH THIS.

3:00 am-- I was 9.5 cms and NOT progressing. The baby was obviously posterior and NOT turning. I was exhausted. So much for second babies being half the time of the first or easier. This was work. Hard hard work. Then Susie manually helped start the pushing process even with the 1.2 cm not complete. Pushing began. I tried pushing him under my pelvis for an hour or so. It was a constant push. No avail. Finally, he got through. Not sure how, but it was time to get him out.
4:45 AM
Born 1/30/2010 4:45 AM
9 lbs 7 oz 23 inches long

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lazarus-Another Grandbaby delivered at home

Contractions had been coming and going for weeks by the time they became more regular last Sunday night. When we left the Jensen's house after scones, I had hopes of meeting little Laz by Monday morning.

So many of my friends' second babies came much faster than the first and although I didn't want to be naive, I hung on to that possibility. Dan and I tried to sleep as much as possible between the contractions that came 10 minutes apart. We welcomed the morning with baggy eyes and discouraged hearts.

Determined to get things going, we took the kids to the sprinkler park. The boys doused each other in water while I walked around. By the time we left the park, contractions were coming faster and harder.

By 1pm, contractions were 5 minutes apart and more painful. After lunch at the Jensens, we headed home with high hopes. By 5pm, my friend Jen came with the camera and pizza. Vicki and the other midwife Linsey showed up, too. This was when I thought to myself "wow-it's really going to happen. I'm going to do this again!". A couple hours passed while I labored in the kitchen between bites. I really enjoyed laboring during the day-less sleepy and therefore more fun!

Between 6pm and midnight, I labored with various people by my side. God's timing was so perfect. My sister (who came into town on Saturday) was able to stay until Tuesday afternoon. We had all hoped and prayed that Lazarus would come before then, and it looked as if he would! My mom delivered all her ladies just in time to come for the birth, too. I was very thankful to have them there.

As well, my friend, and professional photographer, Jen had just come back from an 8 week internship with her family. I was worried she would miss the birth. Vicki got to be there with us,too which was really special. She's known me since I was 9 years old and is our St. Louis family. A few others stopped in to pray with me but didn't stay the entire night. I appreciated all the love and support. Childbirth is such hard work. I truly believe women shouldn't be alone during such a difficult yet special time. It was such an encouragement to me to have so many loved ones around, all wanting to be part of the miraculous occasion.

Around 8:30pm, the kids were put to bed in Eljiah's room, right next door. It took a while for the boys to settle down, but once they fell asleep, they stayed asleep. I knew that Elijah probably wouldn't be there for the actual birth, since it was getting so late. I was a little sad to let go of the fantasy I had of all of us being there together as a family, but got over it pretty quickly. I had work to do and needed to stay focussed!

By midnight, my contractions were so intense, I was sure I was nearing the end, but had only gotten to 8 centimeters. Things were progressing so slowly and my mom was convinced that if she broke my water, everything would speed up. Lazarus became very active, kicking and pushing his way down. We think he was trying to get his head in the right direction. My mom had me do a few contractions in some difficult positions to help turn Laz around. It was so incredibly painful. I'm sure it was hard for my mom to hear me say "mom! it's hurts!! please, no!" but we all knew we were doing what had to be done in order to get the baby out. Finally, my water broke and I immediately jumped in the pool and went into transition.

On August 24th at 2:14am, after just 45 minutes of pushing, Lazarus William Wayne Robbins peacefully entered the world. He barely made a peep although he did look pretty grumpy. We all cried with joy, so thankful for this new life.

After checking the little guy out, Grandma and Grandpa weighed their new grandson. Lazarus weighed 7 lbs. 12 oz. and was 21 1/4 in. long.

Dan and I were finally tucked into bed around 4:ooam. Dan passed out, but I couldn't take my eyes off Lazarus. A little after 7am, we woke up to the sound of the other kids playing. Dan took Lazarus out to show Elijah his new little brother. I heard Eli exclaim "Lazarus come out the big belly!!!!". It was hilarious. The rest of the morning was spent oohing and aahhing over Laz. The kids loved talking to him, especially Elijah.

My mom and dad stayed until Saturday afternoon. My mom took care of me while I recovered and they both helped so much around the house. It was great to have them spend time with Elijah, too.

Last night while eating scones at the Jensens, we all reflected on what a week it had been. It was great to sit there at the table with a scone in my hand and the baby in Rick's hands. It had been a week since it all began and I was thankful to be on the other side of things.

Labor was much longer than I had hoped, but God brought me through it. I feel as though I had more control this time around. My biggest fear was that I would loose my focus and freak out, but whenever I felt scared, I would pray and leaned on my birth team for support. Like my pastor's wife Stephene said, the presence of God was there the entire time. The birth was blessed from start to finish. I am amazed at how God answered every single prayer surrounding the birth. I had a water birth and everything came out that was supposed to. Lazarus stayed strong the entire time and came out with 10 fingers and 10 toes without a big birthmark on his face (another strange fear of mine). My mom delivered another one of my babies and my sister was there to help (without a camera in her hand!!! thanks Jen!). God gets all the glory. He worked all things out according to His will and for our good. I am so grateful!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sammy's birth

Here is Sammy's birth story, written and told by his mother, Kathryn.


My birth story begins at 2:30 Wednesday afternoon. I had been having contractions the day before, but nothing that could be timed. Susie suggested I go to the chiropractor to get adjusted and to have any pregnancy acupressure points hit to induce labor. By the time I got home, my contractions started coming every 15 to 30 minutes. I laid around the house the rest of the day watching HGTV and the Food Network.

By the evening, my contractions had shortened to 10 minutes apart. I had my mother, father, and husband with me. I held my mother and husband’s hand every time a contraction came, and my father wrote down the time. We called Susie by the time my contractions were around 5 minutes apart. Susie came in around 2:30 AM. Cindy, her assistant, came in soon after.

My contractions were very strong, but I didn’t know how to breathe through them. Susie immediately stepped in and showed me how to breathe properly to lessen the pain of the contraction. At this time, I went into my bathtub to labor. It really helped me to focus on the comfort of the water than the actual contraction. I stayed in the bathtub until the early morning hours. I then went to labor on the bed and attempt to “sleep” between contractions. I was obviously unsuccessful, but it was still comforting.

Susie checked me and I was around 6 cm. I needed to get up to 8 cm before they could break my water. My water was bulging, and we were hoping I would break on my own, but even through walking up and down the hallway, sitting on my balance ball, and squatting on my toilet, I was unsuccessful in breaking my own water. When I finally got up to 8 cm, Susie broke my water.

It was a relief to feel my water break. I was thinking to myself, “This is finally it. This is finally the moment. All I have to do it get to 10 cm, and he will be here before I know it.” Getting from 8cm to 10cm was the most difficult. The pain of the contractions were not unbearable because I fancy myself to handle pain better than most individuals, but they were pretty close to it. The only real pain I have felt in my life and remember quite clearly was when I had a horse fall on my foot and crush all the bones, some of them were powdered. When the nerves re-fired in my foot, it was an unbelievable pain, and something I would not wish on anyone. The re-firing nerves felt like my contractions, but the contractions radiated over my entire body and were not just centralized to an area on my body.

As I labored on the bed, Susie checked me again and had news that she could get my cervix over
Sammy’s head. I had made it to 10cm! The feeling after that was unbelievable; it was the feeling to push. It’s like your body knows exactly what to do. I had hardly eaten anything the past two days because I had not felt like it, but my body was able to find enough energy to push. I pushed during each contraction. The most difficult and discouraging part was trying to get Sammy past my pelvic bone. I would push as hard as I could, but I felt nothing would happen. Susie, Cindy, my mother, and husband were there the entire time as I pushed Sammy into the world.

After Sammy made it pass my pelvic bone, I pushed several times and his head would start coming out, but then after the contraction was over, his head would go back in. Finally, I was able to push enough and keep his head from going back inside. Slowly, I pushed his head out entirely. Susie told me to hold him there while they suctioned his nose and mouth, then with one final push from me, his shoulders and the rest of his body made it into this world.

They immediately laid him on my chest; he was perfect. His ten little toes, his ten little fingers, and his little body all radiating life, a new beginning, a new journey.

Babies are truly God’s greatest gift.