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Old 03-27-2010, 07:03 PM   #1
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Stella Mae - my beautiful all natural Hypnobabies water birth (pic heavy)

3/22/10
8 lbs 2 oz
20 ½ inches long
13 ¾ centimeter head measurement

Around week 35, I started having “false labor” contractions pretty frequently. By week 38, I was spending almost every night awake all night because of them. All through the pregnancy, I had a feeling that I wouldn’t go past my due date (even though I was induced at 5 days past my due date with Kelsie). At my 37 week appointment, I was at 1cm dilated and barely starting to efface. On 3/8/10 (38 week appointment), I was at 2cm and 50% effaced. Stella was at -1 station and definitely engaged. I ended up having some bloody show after my appointment that day, along with lots of mucus, so I kept thinking maybe labor was coming soon! Nope…every time contractions would start, they would eventually go away. Sometime between week 38 and 39, I got my heart and mind in the right place and realized that God knew my baby’s birthday already and I refused to stress over it anymore. She would come when it was time.

Thursday, 3/19/10
I was at 39 weeks 4 days. I had my membranes stripped at my OB appointment that day, but Denise (one of 3 midwives) said that I was still only at 2cm and barely 50% effaced. She said Stella was still at -1 station and she said that she had a really hard time stripping my membranes and it might not even do anything for me. I was ok with that, as I had my membranes stripped twice with dd1 and nothing happened. She said it would be at least a few days, but probably a week or more. We talked about some natural methods we might need to try to get things moving in the following weeks, as I was going to refuse induction before 42 weeks. I was induced with dd1 at 40 weeks 4 days and did not want to go through that again. My goal this time was for my body to go into labor on its own and to have a natural water birth using the relaxation techniques I had learned through doing the Hypnobabies home study course. I scheduled an appointment for 3/25 (the following Thursday) to come in for a Non Stress Test. I went home and nothing happened.

Sunday, 3/21/10
DH and I decided earlier in the week that we wanted to spend Sunday getting the house really clean. It wasn’t really “nesting” as I had to force myself to want to do it. We dropped dd1 off with my MIL that morning around 10 and went home to clean. We cleaned the house from top to bottom. It took us about 4 hours and I was exhausted. But, it felt great to have a spotless house! We went to pick up dd1 and made some s’mores at dh's mom’s house. I ate six of them. LOL! While we were at her house, I noticed that Stella felt really, really low. It was nothing all that new, as she’d been low for a while. We went home around 5 and by about 5:30, I just felt something was different. I had started having light contractions, but these were different. With every contraction, there was tons of pressure down low. That had not been the case with the contractions I’d had for weeks. I also had a dull “ache” in my lower back. I kept figuring the contractions would die down like they always did. DH was busy folding laundry and taking care of dd1 while I just sat and relaxed since my back had been hurting from cleaning. At around 7pm, I went on contractionmaster.com and started timing contractions. I realized that they were coming 2-3 minutes apart and lasting about a minute each. I decided to get in the shower, as I assumed this was not the real thing and they would go away. They calmed down in intensity while I was showering, but kept coming. At around 8:20, I had some slightly blood tinged mucus. At about 9:30, I told dh that he might want to just call his mom and let her know that this *could* be the real thing. She was going to come to our house and spend the night since dd1 was already in bed. While he was on the phone with her, I went to the restroom to pee and had lots of bloody show. I knew this was it! He called her back around 10:15 or so and she came on over. I was doing great at this point! I was walking around, packing last minute things and laughing between contractions. I was so excited! I had two contractions and just kept doing what I was doing when MIL said, “Those were only a minute apart! You better get to the hospital!” We left our house at around 10:50 and drove 10 minutes to the hospital. At 11:15, I was at 3-4cm and 90% effaced. They told me to walk the halls for a minute while they got the pool set up.

Monday, 3/22/10 (my due date)
I walked the halls for about 20-30 minutes, then got on my birthing ball and just rocked/bounced gently while April, my midwife, set up the birthing pool. It should have only taken 30 minutes to fill up the pool, but some hoses were misplaced, so it ended up taking about 2 hours. During that time, I just listened to my Hypnobabies and some of my favorite music on dh’s iPod. During the contractions, I would lay my head on the hospital bed (while sitting on the ball) and breathe through them. I was still feeling perfect between contractions! April checked me at around 1:15 and said I was at 4-5cm and 90% and she said she’d like to break my water once I was a good 5cm since my bag of waters had barely any water in it and it wasn’t likely that it would break on its own. At about 2:25am, she checked me again. I was at a full 5 cm and 100% effaced. She broke my water, then I got in the birthing pool. The water was amazing. It was so warm and just felt sooooo good to be in. I put the iPod away when I got into the pool and had dh put my favorite music cd in a cd player and turn it down pretty low. What I learned with Hypnobabies was invaluable, though. Although I didn’t listen to the scripts during the last part of labor, I used what I learned and I truly believe it is what helped me make it through. Immediately, the contractions picked up intensity. I was still able to breathe through them pretty well at this point. At around 3:15 or so, I noticed a huge change in the intensity of the contractions. I became more vocal during contractions. It felt good to make some noise. Around 3:45 or so, they got so strong that I was actually praying out loud during contractions. I prayed for God to give me strength, as these were so strong that I didn’t know if I could get through them. I remember thinking, “If this goes on for more than a few more hours, I don’t know if I’ll last.” Pain medication was never something I considered. I just honestly didn’t know if I could physically handle the contractions without passing out at that point. I looked at April between contractions and said, “I don’t know how much longer I can do this. Is it going to be hours?” She told me that it wouldn’t be long because I was in transition. Transition! Duh! I didn’t even think that that was a possibility so soon. No wonder I was feeling such intense contractions! During one contraction, I prayed aloud and told God that I didn’t know if I could take many more of these. April took my hand and looked me in the eyes and said, “He’s not going to give you even one more contraction than you can handle. You can do this.” That sent a wave of relief over me. I knew I could do this. She checked me then and I was at about 8cm. I think that was around 4am. I started feeling the urge to push a few minutes later, but didn’t want to do so too early. April told me to trust my instincts, so I slowly pushed with a few contractions. At around 4:10am, April checked me and I was complete, 10cm. I started pushing with each contraction. I felt her head come down and knew she was close. However, although I wanted to just gently push, I found that I was pushing with all my might as she felt like she wasn’t coming. At some point, as she was crowing, April told one of the nurses to grab my leg and told dh to grab the other and pull back as far as they could. She sounded slightly panicked and she looked like she was about to jump in the pool with me. She said nothing to me except, “Push!” I pushed with all my might as she pulled on the baby with all her might and weight. I knew something was wrong. She pulled and tugged and turned as I pushed as hard as I possibly could. At 4:27am, Stella Mae was born. She handed her to me and I noticed her head was very blue – almost black. She did finally start to cry, though, and it was such a beautiful noise. I remember saying to April and dh, “I did it! I really did it!” I was so amazed that my body did what it needed to do without intervention and was admittedly proud of myself for doing it without any pain medication. When the cord stopped pulsing, Ben cut the cord. I had intended on holding baby while they did APGAR scoring, but I knew something had gone wrong and wanted them to check her really well, so I let them take her to the warmer. During that time, I got out of the pool and moved to the bed to deliver the placenta. Once it was delivered, April told me that it was pretty much shot and it was a good thing Stella went ahead and came when she did. I had basically no fluid left, either. It was then that April explained to me that Stella had shoulder dystocia, where one shoulder got stuck as she was trying to turn and come out. What a scary experience! But, she checked out fine and all was well with her, thanks to God and my amazing midwife/nurses that handled the situation properly. It could have turned out much worse. I had one very tiny tear (from all the turning because of shoulder dystocia) and she said it could use a stitch, but it wasn’t necessary. I really wanted to avoid stitches, so I declined.

Recovery was awesome. I felt great pretty much from the time she came out, other than the normal afterbirth pains. All I ever took was Motrin, though. That was SUCH a change from the recovery I had with dd1. I couldn’t be more happy to have this sweet angel in my life. She looks JUST like her sister…so much that it almost freaks me out, lol! I get déjà vu every time I look at her. So begins our new life as a family of four…I am so blessed!

Leaving for the hospital! 10:45pm 3/21/10


Laboring, around midnight


1:30 am or so


During Transition


I feel huge in this picture, but this is the first time I held her!


First Family of Four Photo


My girls!


Stella 1 day old


2 days old


Just for your viewing pleasure...dd1 at 3 weeks old, dd2 at 5 days old:

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Missing our tiny love bugs 6/11, 4w4d and 10/11, 9w1d

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Old 03-27-2010, 07:23 PM   #2
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Re: Stella Mae - my beautiful all natural Hypnobabies water birth (pic heavy)

so sweet Amber
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:30 PM   #3
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Re: Stella Mae - my beautiful all natural Hypnobabies water birth (pic heavy)

amazing story mama! Great job!!! Sounds like you had great help during your labor!
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:40 PM   #4
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Re: Stella Mae - my beautiful all natural Hypnobabies water birth (pic heavy)

congrats momma! love the name you and your dh finally agreed on:-)
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:30 PM   #5
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Re: Stella Mae - my beautiful all natural Hypnobabies water birth (pic heavy)

Beautiful story and beautiful baby!
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:26 PM   #6
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Re: Stella Mae - my beautiful all natural Hypnobabies water birth (pic heavy)

Well done Amber! She's gorgeous
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Old 03-28-2010, 12:00 AM   #7
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Re: Stella Mae - my beautiful all natural Hypnobabies water birth (pic heavy)

She is so sweet Amber, Congratulations
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:59 AM   #8
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Re: Stella Mae - my beautiful all natural Hypnobabies water birth (pic heavy)

thank you for sharing your amazing story
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Old 03-28-2010, 06:25 AM   #9
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Re: Stella Mae - my beautiful all natural Hypnobabies water birth (pic heavy)

That made me cry! Thanks for sharing. Your girls are beautiful!
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Old 03-28-2010, 07:38 AM   #10
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Re: Stella Mae - my beautiful all natural Hypnobabies water birth (pic heavy)

Thanks, ladies. It's amazing how much my girls look alike, actually. My heart is so full!
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Missing our tiny love bugs 6/11, 4w4d and 10/11, 9w1d
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