Friday, October 10, 2014

Guest Mama: Ada's Birth Story

My friend Keri is a go-getter with a generous heart. She previously wrote a guest post about her son Callen's birth, and she has once again graciously agreed to share a birth story, this time of her second child. Her daughter Ada was born on September 15, 2014, via a water birth in Keri's home. Indeed, she gave Ada life in the very room where she has given all of her fantastic massages (she's the CEO of Mama Kneads Massage). When she isn't working, giving massages, volunteering with the milk bank, and advocating for mothers, children, breastfeeding, and milk-sharing, she can be found enjoying life to its fullest with her beautiful family, friends, and neighbors. Keri is a positive force in this world, and those who know her benefit from her. Please read Ada's fast and furious birth story in Keri's own words!

 Ada Grace’s Birth Story:

 My estimated due date was 9.9.2014. Almost a week later on Monday, 9.15.2014, I had a regular day. My neighbor helped me assemble a bench, my parents dropped by for a quick visit, and I let Callen play across the street with the neighbor’s kids.

When it was close to 8 pm, I bent down with my hands on my knees to tell my son Callen it was time to go home and I needed him to cooperate with me. One of the kids, McKenna, scooped him up to carry him across the street for me like she always does. As I stood up, I felt some sort of feeling that was little different. I hurried home behind them and told my husband Phil on the way in the door I may need some help. He was watering flowers by the front porch. He asked what was going on and I said I wasn’t sure yet. This was around 7:45 pm.

At 7:55 pm, I contacted my birth team (Dawn--my midwife, Brandy--my doula, and Tavia--my birth photographer), showered really fast and kind of just stuck around the bathroom as I was leaking water. I told them not to come yet because I wasn’t feeling anything going on yet. I told my mom the same thing. Phil got Callen bathed, wrapped, and packed up food for him to go to Deborah’s house across the street.

At 8:20 pm, contractions started up and I pulled up the app on my phone. I was camped out on the toilet to keep from making a mess. I was tired of sitting there so I started to stand and right then a contraction hit me that made me realize they may be a little more intense than I realized because I was sitting in a squatted position. I told Dawn to go ahead and come my way because she had almost an hour to drive. I got a bath towel and waddled through the house trying to help Phil with Callen, but he told me he had it under control so I made my way to the massage room where my birth pool was set up.

At 8:30 pm, I called my neighbor Tiffany to come help me as I realized contractions were coming harder.  I needed someone to help me gather last minute items like my chapstick, water, laptop with music, etc. How funny that with Callen’s birth, I had a playlist well thought out and this time I had maybe 15 songs that were thrown together…and honestly, I never heard them anyway because things went so fast!

8:45 pm - I got on my exercise ball and would summon Tiffany for hip squeezes between her gathering my things for me. Contractions were less than three minutes apart, which wasn’t too alarming to me since they were close together with Callen as well but slowed down later so I thought it may just be a phase of labor.

By 9:23 pm, I messaged Dawn to ask if I could get in the pool. Dawn said whenever I was ready and she was at El Reno (20 minutes away). I forgot about her answer at first because I was distracted with the stupid app.

At 9:45 pm, Dawn arrived – Brandy came shortly after. Right after Dawn arrived, I remembered I could get in the water. I had asked permission because I was worried about stalling labor if I got in too early. I was dilated to a 5 and 80% effaced several days before that so I should have known things would move fast once labor started! I stepped into the pool and felt so wonderful as I sank into the hot water. I had a few more contractions that were building in intensity. I was sitting upright on my knees but didn’t have my knees far enough apart. I was holding back a little. I changed positions to get on all fours and the next contraction ended with an involuntary grunt and push. Tavia, the birth photographer, arrived just in time!

At 10:02 pm, I felt the baby drop and lots of pressure. Dawn checked and said I was crowning. She told me I could feel the head if I wanted but I waited a moment. I think I was too frozen and had to really concentrate on moving any part of my body. I could feel at least two inches of soft wrinkly head and knew baby was coming soon. At some point I said I felt a lot of pressure on my rectum too. The next contraction helped me push the head out about halfway. It was uncomfortable but I couldn’t feel enough to push without another contraction. I just had to wait for it and sit there feeling the ring of fire. I said it felt “pretty burn-y”. Somewhere in this phase of labor, Brandy said a few brief words directing me to lean back into my position and let go. I don’t remember the words but I remember her calm voice and the reassurance I felt hearing her words. I had a contraction during that time but it was like it was muted while I was listening to her speak.

And at 10:13 pm, Dawn said “Your baby is coming!! Reach down and grab it.” I gave the final push that brought the rest of the head plus the body of our baby. I wasn’t fast enough to catch her myself because she shot out like a rocket. As soon as I knew it, I flipped over and took her to my chest, looking as I pulled her to me to see that we had a GIRL!

Courtesy of Tavia Redburn Photography
 I could not believe labor had been so swift! What a change from my labor with Callen! One of the first things I noticed about her was how perfectly round her head was shaped. We all enjoyed the first moments of knowing she was finally here and I cut her cord. Then, Phil took her while I waited for the placenta to come. I can cover those details later if anyone cares, but it took a while longer than I would have liked. I finally made it to our bed to join Phil and Ada (who didn’t get a name for over a week). Brandy had prepped my bedside and bathroom with all the postpartum things I’d need within reach. Dawn took great care of me. They both assured me that I’d be fine as I worried that I’d not know how to care for a newborn again…that I’d forget to change her diaper.

Tavia Redburn Photography

Dawn let Phil weigh Ada and announce her measurements…9 lb 2.5 oz & 21” long! I’m so proud, and I tell everyone what a big baby she was and that she was born at home in the water. She has been a wonderful addition to our family already and I just love her to pieces. I also think she helps Callen because he loves her so much. I wish I could really soak up these newborn days because I know how fast they fly by but I'll always remember what a trooper she has been on this trip to Denver that we needed to take right away to address some health problems with Callen.

**If you missed the other birth stories, here they are: Van, Callen, Adelaide, Zella, Jane, Gwendolyn.
Like Mikah, Keri also used Moments of Bliss Midwifery.  **

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