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Old 11-12-2011, 07:05 PM   #1
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Nyla's natural, Birth Center story (with pictures)


November 5th, 5:00am:
Early contractions started but nothing too serious. We decided to go about our day as usual. I started the day with a great prenatal yoga class at the birth center. Later in the afternoon, I had my hair cut, we ran a few errands, and we met some friends for a late lunch. Later in the day, I started "losing my plug."

6:30pm:
After we got back to Austin's parents' house after lunch, the contractions started getting a bit stronger. We decided it would be best if I could get some sleep, especially if these were real labor contractions and not pre-labor contractions, so I took a relaxing bath and hopped in bed.

November 6th, 6:00am:
The contractions continued through the night and I lost more of my mucous plug. The more intense contractions woke me up about every hour but thankfully, I was able to sleep through the more mild ones.

9:00 am:
We decided it was time to call our midwife. My contractions were becoming more regular even though labor didn't seem too serious yet. I expressed this to her, and we decided it just wasn't time to head to the birth center yet. She was pretty certain these were real labor contractions since I lost my mucous plug and had my "show" yesterday, but I wanted to labor at home for awhile. She told me to go ahead and tell Mom to head this way.


1:00pm:
The contractions were becoming more regular although they would speed up to about 2-3 minutes apart if I was up walking and would slow down to 5-6 minutes apart if I was sitting down. Austin, Khalid, and I went for a pleasant walk around the neighborhood. I called Damaris when we got back and told her things were picking up, but that we weren't quite ready to head in yet.


3:00pm:
The contractions started getting serious and consistent. I called Damaris and told her we were ready to come in. We did some last minute packing and headed over there with Khalid. We noticed Khalid was getting a little worried about the contractions. When one would hit, he would put on a particularly sad face and say, "no, no, no." Still, we really wanted him to be around for the birth so we continued talking with him and trying to make him feel more comfortable with it, hoping he would come around. Austin's parents headed to the birth center a few minutes later. We called our photographer, Christina, and Susan, our babysitter for Khalid, and asked them to meet us there as well.


4:00pm:
We arrived at the birth center and were greeted by our midwife, Damaris, and our student midwife, Lorie. They checked her heartbeat with the doppler and everything sounded great. Upon arrival, baby girl started getting more serious. Apparently going to the birth center was a little kick in the booty for her Khalid really wasn't getting used to Mama laboring so, after hanging out at the birth center for awhile, we decided it would be better for Susan to take him home.


4:30pm:
Damaris wanted to check me and see how dilated I had gotten so she could know when to call in the second midwife. I expressed my hesitation with her because with Khalid's birth, I had really gotten emotionally hung up on my lack of progression. Damaris left the decision to us but encouraged me that she could tell I was further along than I had thought. I agreed to the check and was pleasantly surprised that I was 5 cm and, she was actually able to stretch me out a little bit further to 6 cm!


5:00pm:
Mom and my stepdad arrived at the birth center.



6:30pm:
It was time to move to the birthing pool, and it was the most relaxed I had felt in many many hours.


8:00pm:
By this time, my mom, Austin's mom, Damaris, Lorie, Christina, and Austin (of course) were all in the birthing room with me. Austin's dad and my stepdad were waiting outside in the next room. Everything was calm. The sun had set. Adele sang us some tunes. Labor was serious. I grew getting louder and louder as I worked through contractions. Some were taken in the birthing pool, some on the toilet, some lying on my side, some on all fours, some squatting, some leaning/hanging on Austin, and some while walking. I love to be mobile when I'm in labor and find it particularly difficult to labor in one position. Damaris made position suggestions and occasionally checked baby girl's heartbeat with the doppler (in whatever position I happened to be in). Other than that, she and Lorie remained on the sidelines.


We were ready for a second check to see if it was a good time to call the second midwife. 9 cm! Holy moly! I never made it to 9 cm with Khalid so this was a HUGE accomplishment for me. I felt a surge of energy and motivation. Damaris suggested breaking my water at this point because baby girl was so high still. After discussing it with her a bit, we decided it was a good idea. Sometimes, having a good pregnancy diet can make your water bag really strong and difficult to break on its own. We're guessing this was the case for both Khalid and Nyla.


8:30pm:
Damaris broke my water without any pain at all (although the contraction that she broke it during was still quite painful). I got back in the birth pool and she checked me again. After the birth, she told me that I actually slid back to about 8 cm at this point. In her wisdom, she decided this wouldn't be the best news for me to hear, especially knowing the situation with my first birth. I was quite thankful that she made this decision.



For the next few hours, labor was particularly intense. Damaris asked everyone except for Austin to step out of the room to see if it helped me progress any. I stalled out at around 9 cm. I felt the urge to push a few times and Damaris encouraged it, but then decided, after checking me, that it was too early. I don't handle regression well. There were moments where I completely spaced out. There were moments when I thought my body would burst and my muscles would explode. There were moments that were so intense, that I yelled out in a completely primitive fashion. At this point, my body was going into survival mode. Logic was no longer on the table. I don't know how else to describe it. I felt completely out of touch with reality and reverted back to everything innate within my body. It was truly humbling. What made this part of labor so difficult was how badly I wanted to push her out even though my body wasn't ready. Damaris was encouraging me to blow through the contractions rather than bare down. I can usually handle anything as long as I'm progressing, but I don't do "stalled" very well at all. At times, between my moments of self-doubt, I verbally coached myself aloud and under my breath. "Come on, Kayti. You can do this. I can do THIS!"


Thankfully, I had an amazing husband and labor coach along with two incredibly encouraging midwives to guide me and give me direction. Full disclosure, if someone had offered me drugs... I would have taken them, so I'm incredibly thankful to have not been at a hospital where this option would not only have been available but probably offered and encouraged multiple times. Again, my body was in the mode to survive and, I really wasn't thinking clearly at all. I needed medication not to be an option.

10:45? (Can you blame me for not keeping up with the time?)
Finally, Damaris decided she would try and hold back my cervix to 10 cm while I pushed. Unfortunately, we couldn't do this in the birth pool so I had to get up on the bed... on my back... not my favorite position. But, I was so glad to be moving on to something different. I started pushing with Austin, Damaris, and Lorie around me. At some point, they called my mom, Austin's mom, and Christina back in the room. I was wondering if this was for real, or if I would have to revert back to laboring rather than pushing once again. Trying not to get my hopes up, I pushed with every contraction and resisted the urge to push when I wasn't having a contraction. Eventually, Damaris and Lorie exclaimed that they could see her head. "WHAT?!" I thought. I really wasn't prepared for that at all. I guess I had talked myself out of this pushing thing being a reality. It gave me a surge of energy. "I CAN do this!" I told myself.

11:11pm:
After the top of her head was out, I was able to reach down and feel her. I'm not going to lie, I couldn't really tell what I was touching. There were a lot of things going on down there, but the thought of touching my sweet girl was exhilarating. I moved to a standing squat position on the bed, resting my hands on Damaris' shoulders as I continued to push her head out. When her head was completely out, I reached down to touch her, offering soft words from a loving mother in between contractions. "Hey, baby girl, I love you. Come on, sweet girl." Then, Damaris went behind me to help guide her out and I got down on all fours.

11:14pm:
A few more pushes and.... RELIEF... she slipped out quickly into welcoming arms. My immediate instinct was to open my tank top and put her on my chest as I had always imagined, but since she came out behind me, it was quite important that I be careful with her cord so as not to break it. I suddenly realized, she wasn't crying. The three midwives (another had come in to help once I started pushing), were trying to get her to breathe. Damaris gave her a few breaths mouth-to-mouth and then asked everyone to start talking to her. We all began greeting her sweetly and coaxing her to breathe. "Hey, sweet girl. Come on, you can do it." They brought out the oxygen tank. I prayed. They helped me turn over so they could lay her on my bare chest. I kept sweetly speaking to her as she began to cough up what was clogging her airway. The midwives continued clearing out her throat as I held her close, caressing her sweet hair and kissing her soft face. Austin and I continued loving on her as she finally let out her first little cry. The most amazing part was, as frantic as this situation could have gotten, everyone remained relatively calm. It was like we all knew she was fine. We all knew God was taking care of her.



On a lighter note...Moments later I delivered a whopper of a placenta to three very surprised midwives. "Whoa! That thing is huge!" Lorie exclaimed. At this point, we were all joking and laughing about everything. I mean, how could I not laugh about all the baby poop smothered all over me? Apparently I "won the award" for this one at the birth center too.



I can not express the immense joy and burst of energy I felt after giving birth. I realize a lot of it was hormones, but what an incredible design by God! I felt alive... invigorated... powerful... yet completely humble. "I can't believe I just did that," I kept saying. I sat up in bed and started feeding my littlest nursling who took a little while to get the hang of it. I was relieved when I finally felt her strong latch. Beautiful. Everything was just perfect. I birthed a 9 pound, 6 ounce baby, free of medication, with only one minor tear that didn't even require stitching. I am still in awe... not of myself... but of the One who created me to do this.

**Photographs by C. Taylor Photography

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Old 11-12-2011, 08:13 PM   #2
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Re: Nyla's natural, Birth Center story (with pictures)

Those are awesome pictures, Kayti! And such a precious little girl. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:14 PM   #3
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Re: Nyla's natural, Birth Center story (with pictures)

I really need to do that whenever my next pregnancy happens thank you for sharing the pictures! Gives me hope
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:54 PM   #4
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What a awesome story and yes praise God for the safe delivery of your precious baby girl
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:08 PM   #5
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Re: Nyla's natural, Birth Center story (with pictures)

What a beautiful birth story. Thank you so much for sharing. Gorgeous pics! God gave you an amazing birth experience.
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:26 PM   #6
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Re: Nyla's natural, Birth Center story (with pictures)

Beautiful mama and baby! I love the pictures and your story. Congratulations on such a wonderful birth.
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:54 PM   #7
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Re: Nyla's natural, Birth Center story (with pictures)

What a beauitful birth! Congratulations, happy babymooning and thank you so much for sharing with us!
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Old 11-12-2011, 11:36 PM   #8
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Re: Nyla's natural, Birth Center story (with pictures)

What a beautiful story
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Old 11-12-2011, 11:40 PM   #9
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Re: Nyla's natural, Birth Center story (with pictures)

Beautiful pics and story. Congrats
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:40 PM   #10
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Re: Nyla's natural, Birth Center story (with pictures)

Thank you everyone!
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