A Wild Experience: Birth in the Car, Dirt Road, Birth Tent, or Born in the Wild? Hurry Only 13 Minutes Left!

                                                            Maleah’s Birth Story

               A Wild Experience: Birth in the Car, Dirt Road, Birth Tent, or Born in the Wild? 
                                                      Hurry Only 15 minutes left!

Bump, Bounce, Jiggle.  I thought, “Can’t you drive this car any smoother on this dirt road?” Okay, it will be okay, I am just going to jiggle my baby out. Yes, I’ll just think “jiggle my baby out”. As I repeated this silly affirmation, I calmly but quickly hurried out of the car and started approaching the Birth Tent. I wondered, “I hope the water is warm enough in our birth tub”. The events from the days before had not given me any reliable indication on how this night would end.

Earlier in the year, I contemplated, “Oh, that’s interesting; the local Birth Center sent me an email that talks about outdoor birth options. I wonder what that would be like, to give birth in the great outdoors? I guess it’s not that much different than the home birth videos I have seen of women giving birth in their backyard in a well heated Jacuzzi tub.” A home birth seemed like a natural transition after having had two low-risk, smooth, quick, and painless births and because this pregnancy was going so well.

My first birth was in a large hospital, with an excellent Nurse and Nurse Midwife. I chose to go with a Midwife and not an Obstetrician. I felt some Doctors instilled fear about the birth process and treated it as a “medical illness” that needed to be managed and fixed. The midwives tended to view birth as a normal process and as an event in a woman’s life that did not need to be feared but instead could empower her. This midwife came from a large practice of 15 midwives. Having this many midwives was stressful and a bit like playing the lottery and hoping to “win” a good midwife and attending nurse. Luckily, I did get the one I was hoping for. Lance and I took two childbirth classes and learned about childbirth hypnosis for the first time. I felt that the monitoring seemed a little excessive which hindered my repositioning for birth at times and toward the end.  This was not a private event; there were about 8 people in that little room and most I didn’t know. After birth, I felt tired and it was difficult to get some sleep with the many nurses continually in-and-out of the room.

For my second birth, I wanted my husband, grandma and daughter to be in the room—I did not want any strangers magically appearing as I birthed.  Also, I wanted to get to know my midwife providers a little better so I went with a group of three Certified Professional Midwives in a modern birth center. My trust and respect for these women became stronger during every prenatal appointment because they spent a considerable amount of one-on-one time, about an hour or more each visit! This evoked feelings that they truly cared about me and that my questions mattered. During this second birth my Birth Waves were so comfortable and unsuspecting that I felt I had plenty of time before the birth. However, things moved so quickly that I thought I would have my baby in the car and might not make it to the birth center. Fortunately, Lance drove fast and I got there in time, and 8 minutes later had a successful water birth.

The plan for this third birth was to have my baby in the birth tub, at home, and with a midwife that could come to me. This would allow me to eat my own food, wear my own clothes and sleep when I needed to. Home is somewhere I felt safe, unrushed, and calm. I carefully selected my midwives from a practice of only two care providers. To qualify the midwife, I typed up well over 100 questions to ask in an interview. These questions ranged from licensure, years of experience, how many assistants attending, right down to what types of medications they would use for a hemorrhage and what would they bring and how would they take care of a resuscitation or a transfer to a hospital if needed. I was pleased to know this midwife had 25 years of experience, was an RN, CPM and was working on her CNM doctorate. Also, she did blood tests, brought monitors for the baby’s heart rate, oxygen saturation, and IV supplies/meds if needed. She had training in neonatal/newborn resuscitation and would bring all of the bag/mask/O2/warmer pads to the birth location—just in case. After a 2.5 hour interview, and after meeting many other midwives, she and her colleague were the correct care providers for me and my baby. 

While pregnant I received an email about outdoor birth, which made me think, “Who wouldn’t want to give birth in a beautiful location…. as long as there was a skilled care provider and the safety of all the medical monitoring equipment the midwives bring?” I had already had two easy and low-risk births and this pregnancy was going great. After having healthy results on my ultrasound and prenatal visits, the midwife indicated I had every reason to believe that things would go well for this birth. Considering her professional opinion, and my past history, Lance and I felt an outdoor-home-birth would be a safe option. I was already planning a homebirth and having an outdoor birth seemed almost the same but even more wonderful. I contemplated the many births I had attended as a RN and then as a Doula. I had viewed the confines and limitations of a hospital room and medical equipment many times and the birthing women wishing and even visualizing they could be anywhere else.  They’d usually focus on somewhere beautiful like a beach or being in the mountains. Therefore, instead of simply imagining, I knew for this birth I could make my peaceful place be the actual location!

Furthermore, ever since I was a child, I enjoyed hiking, exploring and gardening in the great outdoors.  Call it my Pioneer or Native American heritage, but I felt even more than being at my house, that I was at home out in nature. I truly wanted my newest baby to have the special moment of coming into the world, under the beautiful sky, outside in nature, on the gorgeous mountainside, overlooking the lake—comfortably, smoothly, and peacefully. 

Experience & Preparation
We decided to look up more information about the outdoor birth option. Online we found a representative of a new upcoming Reality TV/Docu-series that wanted to follow couples choosing this option of a natural childbirth in the great outdoors/wilderness/wild. During a Skype interview with the representative of the TV show, she explained that the series was called “Born in the Wild”. She asked us about our background, experience, education, medical training, books read, and childbirth classes attended. I was pleased to respond that we had a lot of education and experience which included:

●     Having two older daughters through smooth natural births
●     Helping other birthing women as a Certified Doula
●     Teaching Childbirth Education classes with my husband
●     Working as a Registered Nurse
●     Certifying in NRP/newborn resuscitation
●     Taking a Midwife Assisting Course
●     Reading 30+ childbirth books; including Emergency Childbirth
●     Attending 4 childbirth courses (Lamaze, Bradley, HypnoBirthing, Hypnobabies)
●     Obtaining college degrees: Linda =BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) , Lance=MBA (Master of Business Administration)

The representative wanted to know more about our comfortable childbirths and Childbirth Hypnosis training. After many months of waiting, and more interviews, the TV network A&E/Lifetime chose us as one of their six couples for this particular series. That news was filled with excitement, a little anxiety, wonder and anticipation.

The process of preparing for a birth outside was not without challenges. How does one prepare for an outdoor birth? What exact location would be best for this? What would we do for electricity, running or heating water? Where do we eat, sleep and go to the bathroom? What specific things would the midwife need for the birth? After we make a list of equipment needed, where do we buy all of this? What do I put on a Birth Preference Plan in this scenario? How far away is the hospital and how do we get there from here? Is there wildlife that we should consider? All of these questions took careful planning—which took months.

After scouting out several birth locations (Little Dell Reservoir, Great Salt Lake, Middle Canyon, Lake Point), we decided that the proximity to our house and the hospital were the main priorities. We never planned on going so far out into the wilderness that we wouldn’t have access to medical attention. The birth location was only 10 minutes away from my house.  And the hospital was a short 12 minutes from the birth location. The actual birth location was closer in distance to the hospital than our house was. We also had to receive permission to film and give birth on the land and this helped us make our final location decision. All three locations were beautiful, but the Lake Point mountainside overlooking the Great Salt Lake was literally a breath of fresh air.

After ordering most of our camping/birthing supplies online, we wanted to set everything up on the mountain and sleep over to see if the location and weather conditions would work for having a baby there. The Birth Tent was to be my personal oasis. I brought the comforts of home andhospital there: comfy bed, rocking chair, birth ball, toilet, portable water heater, birth tub, generator, birth supplies, monitoring equipment and relaxing music. With our philosophy of preparedness in all things, this unique birth location gave us a great opportunity to know what we would need if a natural disaster like an earthquake or flood occurred in our beloved state of Utah. 

After setting up what we thought would be a strong double sized, white, easy pop-up canopy, the wind started to pick up. We had been to this location many times before and the wind didn’t seem to be strong. Our much loved canopy started to bend. I called, “Lance, please hold that side of the canopy, and I will hold this one down…We need to stake these poles down more securely”. The wind kept blowing and we had to take the canopy down before it flew away like a giant white kite. So much for that grand idea!  We set up our smaller tent to sleep in and found that there was a black widow on our pillow and promptly killed it. Noises from the outside rustled and this made for an unrestful night to say the least. Surely, at this point in our preparation both Lance and I knew that having an outdoor-home-birth was not for everyone.

In addition to preparing for an outdoor birth Lance and I had to mentally prepare ourselves.  As many nights as we could, he read childbirth hypnosis scripts to me. On the other nights I listened to relaxation/hypnosis tracks on MP3/CD. In the Birth Tent we conducted a “birth rehearsal” of sorts and tried various labor positions with our hypnosis script and relaxation music.

Am I In My Birthing Time (Labor)?
August 30th
Two days earlier started like any other day, I woke up got ready for the day, put a little more makeup on than usual, and helped my children get their clothes on. I thankfully sent my children with my older sister, Andrea, to be watched for the day. I was going to be on camera talking about my preparations for this outdoor-home-birth. How unusual this was to have people following me around going to different places while making preparations for this birth. While driving up to the birth location like we did many times before, I thought about how close my “Guess Date” was, being that it was supposed to be September 2nd, but I felt it would be more like the 4th based on my ovulation adjusted Estimated Due Date. All the while, I thought and visualized how fun that would be to have a baby on September 1st—Labor Day!

August 31st
The day before birth, I started waking up for church and trying to get everyone ready. I had more Practice Birth Waves (Braxton Hicks) on and off and did not feel up for emotionally being able to handle the girls at church that day and sent Lance with them instead, so I could rest. I called my sister and she asked me if I was trying to fight going into labor because of  wanting to film all that we had planned for that week.  I confirmed that I was, but the Practice Waves didn’t really seem to get any stronger and I was denying that this was anything other. The camera crew decided that they should film these little birth waves just in case.  After church, Lance and Andrea decided to set up two tents that she found from her home and my mother’s house that day. They were able to reload all of the birthing supplies and birth pool into the two new tents established. I had Practice Birth Waves but they were not strong therefore I decided to go home, take a shower, and they went away by the time I went to bed.  I felt that it would be a few days from then before I had my baby.

Maleah’s Birthday
September 1st
That night, after I went to bed, I woke up about 1:15 AM, the Birth Waves were coming consistently and stronger than the day before. I still was not sure if these would last, so I decided to give them a little bit longer before I thought too much about them. Soon they were coming about every two minutes or so and we called the midwife. She said that she just finished another birth and was headed our way but it might take a while. Lance called my sister and the photographer  to come soon.  They both got to my house and I needed Lance to go to the birth site and heat the birth pool water. Luckily, Lance wasn’t working this Monday because of the holiday.

Andrea looked at me and felt that I was going to have this baby soon. I felt the urgency as well, but did not want to leave right then because the birth tub water was not heated. I knew how comfortable my previous birth was in the heated water and wanted this same wonderful feeling. Also, it was the middle of the night and I didn’t want to go out in the dark and cold if I didn’t need to right then—I wanted to wait till Lance got back.  Andrea called Lance and told him that I had progressed quickly and seemed far along in labor. He decided to hurry home.  When he got there and I was in transition and the birth could be soon. I told Lance, “If we are going to birth in the wild, then we need to leave right now…we just need to get up there.” Andrea asked me if I was sure.  I felt we could make it with an okay amount of time because I did not have strong enough downward pushing feelings—yet.  However, the Birth Waves were coming so fast, and in an effort to conserve energy, I ended up crawling on the floor towards the garage.  I didn’t realize at the time how hilarious that looked.  Funny, how the cameras faded into the background while I was focusing on getting to the previously planned birth location.

We got into the car and I informed the camera person to simply,” jump in the car and let’s go.” I was in the front seat and wanted to kneel while leaning over the back of the seat. I asked Lance to, “stop the car…I need to switch seats because I can’t get the headrest off.” The camera person moved to the front seat while I went to the back seat and took the head rest off. At this point I was hot, the Birth Waves were coming fast and strong, and we needed to get up there right away. Fortunately, we already planned on a quick birth, like our previous ones were, and chose a close birth location.

 I wanted to relocate from my house because we didn’t have any birth supplies there and the Midwife and her monitoring equipment was all at the birth location. We left our house around 2: 50 AM. Lance was well composed during the car ride. He gave me childbirth hypnosis cues, rubbed my back, and conversed with the midwife—all  while driving the car. The road became a dirt road and was quite uncomfortable to go bouncing up and down. I found myself saying, “we will make it, I am just going to jiggle this baby out.” Right then, in the car, I started to feel a way stronger downward reflex or pushing feeling.  I knew that it would only be minutes before I would give birth; I told Lance to hurry.  “if the water is not heated enough when we get there I will give birth on the blowup bed.” It was now 3:00 AM and we made it up there in a quick 10 minutes. The midwife had called Lance and said that she took a wrong turn and would be there soon. With all of our preparation I knew we would be okay if we had a baby in the car, at the Lake Point site, with or without the midwife but I still wanted her there. I thought, “I hope she makes it!”

As the car stopped, I calmly but quickly got out. I asked if the water was warm in the birth pool and he said “No”. I went straight into the Birth Tent and climbed onto the blowup bed in the hands-and-knees position. I was wearing my own birth skirt and shirt. The plan was to have my skirt cover everything so the cameras would only see the baby coming out—haha, so much for that plan.  The Midwife made it to the birth location, just in time at about 3:05 AM. I was making low, exertion noises by this time and was pretty much kneel/squatting. The Midwife placed an absorbent pad underneath me and monitored the baby’s heart rate with a Doppler. She said, “the baby’s head is way down there…and the heart rate is good.” Pop, I felt my Water release and a ton of downward pressure, “is that the baby’s head…that better be the baby’s head.”  She accidently lifted up my skirt for a better view. I felt a major relief of pressure as her head came out. There was one push for the water to release, one push for the head, and one for the body. Lance wanted to receive the baby. However, with the rush of the event, the midwife received the baby and handed her to me. She was born at 3:13 AM in the morning!

The baby started to cry, and I felt like crying. What a feeling of Joy! What a feeling of empowerment and love. I brought my baby to my chest. We discovered that this baby was a girl! The tent and lights had a blue hue to them. The midwife checked the baby’s oxygen saturation with an oximeter—which was at a perfect level.  How amazing was this moment after birth! I placed her under my shirt, skin-to-skin for bonding and warmth. It was a little colder that night and I was grateful that I didn’t end up having a water birth, so that we were both not too cold. Holding her under my shirt, I nursed her and loved her. The Midwife, Lance, Andrea, and my daughter Mariah were all able to make it to the birth—how wonderful! The afterbirth went well and after Lance, Mariah and I all cut the cord together. Even though we had a slight change of plans my baby, Lance and I felt comfortable, peaceful, and calm—Incredible! 

That Night/Morning After Birth
After the birth the camera crew went back to their hotel. The Midwife stayed with us and we were able to go home with minimal clean up. The Midwife conducted the newborn exam and the baby looked great. Lance weighed her and she was 7lbs 4oz, and 20.5 in long. We sang happy birthday to her and snuggled on our warm bed. Later, her hearing test and screening test all came back wonderful. What a perfect baby. We could not resist naming her Maleah due to the meaning of her name: “wished for child, calm, peaceful, and is derived from my favorite flower the plumeria”. While going to bed that night we were so grateful everything went well! We thought about her being “Born in the Wild” and felt it was ironic because it was truly a “wild” and exciting day!
Names, occupations, how many kids?
  • Linda: I’ve been a Registered Nurse for about eight years and have taught Childbirth Education Classes and provided Doula services as a Birth Coach for about three years.
  • Lance: Received his MBA degree (Master of Business Administration) and now works in sales and marketing.
  • Mariah is 5 years old. Makayla is almost 3 years old, Maleah is 6 Months Old. 

Describe your lifestyle, environment you live in.
  • We live in a 3 bedroom townhouse, away from the city. The mountain side above the lake, where our baby was born, is just a few minutes away from our neighborhood (which is also only a few minutes away from the hospital).
  • Like many we try to budget, be organized, eat whole foods and exercise daily, while at the same time go on family vacations and play games.   

Have you seen your episode yet?  Does it portray your experience accurately?
  • Yes I've seen the episode.  For the most part… I don’t remember making that much noise or things happening so quickly. They cut out a lot and it is difficult to not have inaccuracies when making a week fit into a 45 minute episode.  

Did your religion or faith play any role in this decision?
  • Yes, but not in the sense that the teachings of my religion made me think I should or shouldn't do it. More in the sense that my religion, like most religions, encourages education, prayer and faith--and that is what we did.
Did Lifetime and/or the producers coerce you into doing the show?
  • No.
Were you compensated for doing the show?  If so, how much?
  • We did receive a nominal amount for birth supplies. But that is not the reason we chose to do the show.  We already made our birth plans before learning of the show and would have had a home birth regardless.
What process did you have to go through before being cleared to do the show?
  • We had extensive conversations with the producers, and also spoke with other individuals working on the show during the casting process to feel comfortable that the birth experience would be presented in a respectful way. We had to have a clean bill of health and a low-risk delivery of any previously-born child.
Did you have to take any special classes on birthing before being cleared to do this?
  • Lance and I have taken at least four official birth classes. I have been trained as a Childbirth Educator, Doula and received a formal university education as a Registered Nurse. We read multiple books and took emergency courses, but we did not have to take any specifically-required class. We followed a birth plan that required us to get certain supplies in advance. 
What kind of information did you have to provide and what types of questions did you have to answer?  How long did it take for you to get cleared?
  • We had to be low risk, healthy, and had to have had a baby before, and we had to have reasonable Birth Preferences. The process took several months.  
What was it like being filmed, with all the cameras around you? Were you aware of the cameras during the birthing process?  Did they get in the way at all?
  • No, they were not in the way at all. At first I was a little nervous but as we got to know the film crew, they became our good friends. Also, it was comforting to know that a few of the crew members had previous experiences with un-medicated births. The crew had committed to ensure appropriate modesty which was important to me.  As a Certified Doula, I am always amazed at a woman’s ability to tune everyone out during birth. I was concentrating on simply having my baby.
Did the producers at any point direct you or give you lines to say?
  • No. We were so focused on having a baby and everyone just stayed in the background like we asked. Really, there is no way we would have the time to remember lines. 
How did your family/loved ones react to your decision to give birth in this manner?
  • They were a little surprised, but not completely. They knew that Lance and I had studied a lot about natural birth and that I was passionate about the fact that women should have more options than just in-hospital birthing. They were worried about safety at first, but knew that I, my sister, and some cousins had already had successful out-of-hospital births.They are happy everything turned out alright. 
Biggest difference in hospital vs. outdoor birth.
  • I had my first daughter, naturally in a hospital and my second daughter in a free-standing birth center. I had great experiences with all of my birth locations!
  • This time we were able to have our baby in the position had chosen, I was able to eat and drink when I wanted, and we had the option of water birth. And after birth, we could go to sleep in our own beds without being woken every couple of hours, and the baby and I could rest. It was really almost exactly like the birth center. We even had all the monitoring equipment brought by our skilled midwife. But really, they were all very similar; even down to the monitoring equipment used. 
What are your issues with giving birth in a hospital that made you decide to do this?
  • We had our first baby naturally in the hospital, our second in a birth center and our last like an outdoor-home-birth. We have fortunately had great experiences with all three births. Each time we chose to have professional and highly experienced midwives. For this birth, I wanted a water birth like I had with my second daughter, but as things went, we adapted. I respect women both who give birth in hospital and non-hospital settings, and as a Doula, I have helped support them in their decisions. 
Do you know anyone who has given birth outside?
  • I do not. I have seen many home births however, which is similar. 
Did you have final say on where you gave birth?  Did Lifetime or the producers play any role in this decision?
  • I had a few locations I was considering. Representatives were able to help me sort out legal permission and access, and yes, I did have the final say.
Why did you decide to participate with the show?  Was it an easy decision to come to?
  • We believe in the benefits of natural birth and know it can be safe, calm and comfortable. Did it turn out exactly how I planned? No. I did make noise, but I was not in any significant pain. I learned that I could adapt to my environment and circumstances. We spent a long time configuring a well thought out birth plan and contemplated and planned for possible scenarios before we decided to have an outdoor birth. We support couples being able to have more options. We also feel like it is important for us, as part a society, to keep the centuries-old experiential knowledge of how to give birth in more natural settings. We learned a lot that now we can use to help others with their birth experience.
What made you originally want to give birth outdoors? When did you decide to give birth in the wild?  When did you decide to do this on the show? Are you doing this because of the show or for other reasons? Why did you decide to show and air everything publicly?
  • We saw an email from our previous Birth Center about outdoor birth options. I started thinking that giving birth outside could be a peaceful place and I had already had two easy natural births, so I knew I could do it.
  • After planning for an outdoor birth we thought that it would be nice to show other people how we as a couple worked together in creating a birth plan, utilizing calming techniques to promote a comfortable birth in any location.
  • Also, my cousin had an unexpected home birth due to a rapid labor and knew this was a possibility for me also, given my history of each labor being shorter than the previous one. I wanted to know in advance what supplies I should have on hand should I find myself in a similar situation. 
Did you contact the producers or did they contact you?
  • We learned about the show and emailed the representatives who then contacted us.
Why do you think people will want to watch you giving birth on camera?
  • Creating life and giving birth is the most rewarding experience. Television has been documenting births on camera for a long time. This show documents our choice to give birth outside and provides awareness of what is possible in different circumstances—which we think people will be interested in. 
What made you decide to select the location you gave birth?
  • It was close to my home and I did not have to travel very far. That way I could stay at my home but have a birth that was secluded and in the outdoors. Also, it was only a few minutes away from a hospital in case of a transfer that required extraordinary care. 
What were the fears you had prior to giving birth? complications?
  • As a Registered Nurse and Certified Doula, I have seen many births and I have prepared for multiple scenarios. I worried how we might heat the water for our birth tub. And I took a Neonatal Resuscitation Certification course. Also, Lance read an Emergency Childbirth Book just in case he was the only one there if birth went too quickly. I took a Midwife Assistant course and previously read over 30 birthing books. We didn’t just do this spur-of-the-moment. We made major preparations prior to this experience.
  • At any point in this process, did you and your husband have any fears about doing this and want to back out?  Were there any restrictions from Lifetime or the producers preventing you from backing out? 
  • As with any preparation for birth there could be small fears, but we calmed these fears with our preparation and birth plan. We were free to back out anytime we wanted, but we wanted to complete this journey.
If something went wrong, did you have an emergency plan?
  • Of course we did. We had an 8 page birth plan, with our preferences in various circumstances, and the hospital was just minutes away. I had a healthy pregnancy and my other births were low-risk and uncomplicated. Given my history, the birthing plan we created for this birth and my experience as a trained Nurse/Doula, we felt the risk was minimal.  Obviously, if we felt there was a significant risk, we would not have had an outdoor-home-birth.
Did you have medical staff from lifetime?
  • We were allowed to pick our own medical staff. I chose a Midwife. I hired midwives to assist in my other births and I felt completely comfortable because of the extensive knowledge and training they have. I spent many hours interviewing midwives to see who was the most qualified and educated. Our particular midwife is a Nurse, Certified Professional Midwife, and is in a Doctorate Program as a CNM. I asked over 100 in-depth questions and inquired about what resuscitation/monitoring equipment she had, as well as what life saving medications she carried.
When you talked to doctors beforehand, what did they say?
  • We chose a highly experienced and qualified midwife for our medical provider. She was helpful in offering some perspective on what we might need if we did not have running water or electricity.
What did your doctor think of it?  Did he/she recommend against it?
  • With all three of my children we decided to go with a Midwife. My first birth was in a hospital; my second was in a Birth Center; and I planned on my third baby being at home. As Childbirth Educators we respect people who have their babies in hospitals as much as we hope they respect our decision. I have professionally supported many women in the hospital setting as a Certified Doula. 
How did you prepare? Did you do research? Did you talk to someone who had done this before?
  • Preparation has been an ongoing process. We have taken 4 different childbirth courses, trained in Hypnosis for Childbirth and read over 30 books related to childbirth.
  • Education over the last 6 years and the natural births of our three children have allowed us to gain more and more experience with how birth generally is for us--quick and comfortable.
  • I have attended births as a Registered Nurse and many varieties of births as a doula, including home-births. I did not speak to anyone who has had a birth in a very remote location that was outdoors. However, I did see many births that were outside online.  I have a cousin whose baby was coming so quickly that she delivered at home in the tub and chose natural births for her succeeding children.
Did you get prenatal check-ups?
  • Certified Midwives follow the standardized checkups the same as OB’s, and we went to all of those. In conjunction with my home birth midwives, I also went to hospital based midwives in case there was a transfer to the hospital, I would already know who my care provider would be.
Can you briefly describe your experience? How long was your labor?
  • I had some practice birth waves on and off the day before. I went to bed and woke up in the middle of the night and had the baby in 2.5 hours on Labor Day! It went really fast. I made a little more noise than usual: I think because I got in the car and went to the birth location a little before having the baby. My facial expressions and noises were more from effort and exertion than anything.  Even though I made a lot of noise, I was not in pain, I used my Childbirth Hypnosis Cues and was comfortable (even if it does not look like it).
On a scale of 1 to 10, what was the pain like?
  • I was not in pain, I think the relocating to my birth place caused me to make more effort noises. I have never described any of my birth waves as painful but as an intense tightening sensation or more like pressure waves.
What would you say was the most painful time? contractions? pushing?
  • I think the most pressure and intensity for me happened just before I got into the car and right after the water released, just as her head came out.
Since you didn’t have any medications, what did you do for the pain?
  • I was comfortable with Childbirth Hypnosis and the massaging and occasional counter pressure on my back from Lance.
Did you have to get any special treatment/medication in advance of the birth to avoid infection, etc?
  • No.
So what happened after baby came out? Did your husband cut the cord?
  • Since I was on my hands and knees, I was given the baby under my birthing skirt and then I placed her under my shirt for skin-to-skin bonding and warmth. I was able to feed her shortly after. Yes, both Lance and I cut the cord a while later.
How do you wash her?
  • We waited to wash her because we wanted to rub her vernix into her skin, like a moisturizing lotion. Vernix has antibacterial properties. I also did not have any birth canal/perineal tears, so she was not bloody at all.
How was recovery?
  • It was amazing!  I was up walking around about 15 minutes after birth. I felt great! So full of energy from the endorphin and oxytocin high after birth. My family watched my other children for a few days while Lance and I were able to spend every minute with our new baby. She is such a joy and sleeps really well! She was already one pound over her birth weight at the 2 week appointment and 12 pounds at her 6 week appointment! She’s pleasantly plump!
Did you have any sort of postpartum letdown after your baby’s birth?
  • I have never had postpartum depression and feel very fortunate. We are overjoyed to have our baby and are happy with how things turned out. 
Did your baby get sick in the days following his/her birth?  How is your baby now?
  • My baby was completely healthy, she even weighted around 12 lbs at her 6 week appointment. She is plump and happy!
After giving birth, how soon were you and your child examined by a doctor?
  • Our Midwife examined the baby right after birth, later that night, the next day, at day four, week two, and week six postpartum. She was also examined by our pediatrician for her Well Child Checks. 
Did you have any type of screenings?
  • I had the usual blood work and screenings. I had a clear bill of health. My pregnancies are fairly easy on me.
Was there any moment where you wished you were in a hospital?
  • No. I knew that everything was going just as it should and I was confident.
What were you most surprised by during the experience?
  • That the water we had already in the birth tub wasn't warm enough to have a water birth like I wanted.
Why was this special for you to give birth in the wild?
  • Birth can be special anywhere a baby is born.
  • For me, I chose to have an outdoor-home-birth due to the quick nature of my previous births. I enjoyed sharing this birth story and my love of nature with my baby.
How’s it going with the baby?
  • She is pleasantly plump! My baby and my 2 year old daughter feel like they are about the same weight! I am so blessed, she is so happy and smiley. She so far is the best sleeper we have had!
Have Lifetime and/or the producers followed up with you after the birth to make sure everything is ok?
  • Yes.
What were your other children doing while you were giving birth? Did they understand what was going on?
  • One was asleep and the other was there.  My sister was with them. I have spent years preparing them for the birth of their sibling. They probably know more about birth than some first time mothers. Mariah, my 4 year old, knew all about birthing support and the whole process. She still talks fondly about her sister’s birth and I feel their bond is much stronger because of it.
How were your other children born and how did they react to this?
  • My first child was born in the hospital, second, a birth center and this one was an “outdoor-home-birth”. They were previously prepared to see their sister’s birth. My daughter talks fondly about her sister being born on the mountain side in a tent. I think, for them, seeing the birth provides sisterly bonds and love. 
What do you say to people who have spoken out about the dangers of doing this? What would you say to someone who disagrees with your decision to do this and says it’s a very bad idea?
  • Everyone has their own point of view and we know that this decision is not for everyone. We wouldn’t want everyone to have a baby outside. It takes careful planning and low-risk pregnancies. We respect everyone’s right to give birth where, how and with whom they choose. As we respect their decisions we hope they respect our decision to do this.
Don’t you think you were putting your child’s (and your) life and health at risk?
  • No. After having midwives assisting my other births, I felt completely comfortable because of the extensive knowledge and training they have. I spent many hours interviewing Midwives to see who was the most qualified and educated. Our particular midwife is a Nurse, Certified Midwife, and is in a Doctorate Program as a CNM. I even inquired about what resuscitation/monitoring equipment she had. As well as what life saving medications she carries. We were also within minutes of a hospital in case of unanticipated situations. 
  • As a Nurse and Doula myself, I have seen many births and prepared for multiple scenarios. Also, Lance read an Emergency Childbirth book and I took an NRP resuscitation class in case I needed to revive my baby. I took a Midwife Assistant course and previously read over 30 birthing books. We prepared in every way we knew possible. I’ve had a healthy pregnancy and my other births were low-risk and uncomplicated. Given my history, the birthing plan we created for this birth and my experience as a trained Nurse/Doula, we felt the risk was minimal.  Obviously, if we felt there was a great risk, we would not have done this and put our child in danger.
Are you worried about any potential unforeseen, long-term health effects to doing this?
  • We obviously hope our children lead happy, healthy lives, as any parent would.  But we don’t believe there are any long-term health risks from simply being born outside, particularly when the appropriate steps are taken. Many babies throughout history have been born outside and have been healthy; otherwise we wouldn't be here. 
What would you have done if something did go wrong?  And if it could’ve been prevented in a hospital birth, do you think you could live with that? What would you have done if something bad happened?
  • Thankfully, everything went smoothly. In my particular birth preferences I chose to include a “Complications and Transfer Plan.” I specified what I would want in case of bleeding, resuscitation, transfer and a cesarean birth. Plans change no matter where you decide to give birth. But given my history, education and experience, we were well prepared and are happy with the outcome. 
Did you have to sign any release forms indemnifying Lifetime and/or the producers in the event anything went wrong?
  • Yes.
  • We decided to give birth outdoors and in the event something did go wrong, we were not going to hold anyone else responsible.
Some may say the show exploits and risks the health of the couples and unborn children.  What’s your response to that?
  • Couples are having home-births all the time, which we were planning on regardless of a camera crew being there or not. 
  • The show merely is documenting this journey we have decided to go on because it is a fascinating choice.
Do you think this show pushes the envelope too far?
  • Born in the Wild documents a couple’s choice and experience of giving birth outside.  The format of the show is chronicling a couple’s personal choice to give birth on their own accord and an actual real-life event that would’ve happened regardless, whether a camera crew was there or not.
Were you comfortable with the medical personnel who were on set in case of an emergency?  Did you meet with them at all beforehand?  Did the producers tell you what they would do if you had complications and needed emergency care?
  • We wanted only the Midwife we had chosen to be our medical personnel as was the case with our previous non-hospital birth. So yes, we met her many times before the birth. We had many discussions and plans for what we would do in case of complications or an emergency.
Do you have medical insurance?
  • Yes.
What will you tell your child why you gave birth in the wild?
  • Preparedness in all things is what I strive for.  What I know is that my next birth could be even faster than this time. Come what may, I wanted to know I could have my baby anywhere, and he/she would be alright. It was a well thought-out, planned and personal choice. With future pregnancies I now know what preparations are necessary and plan to have the supplies I need with me to meet those contingencies.  
How do you think your child will react to this when he/she is old enough to realize the significance of being born in the wild…and on camera, no less?  Are you worried if they have a negative reaction to it and hold it against you?
  • I have shown my other children their homemade birth videos and have taught them about how mommies have babies. I prepared my other children to be at the births of their siblings with videos, books, pictures and stories. I even showed them how to help me when I’m having a baby. They probably know more than many first time moms.  
  • Not at all.  I think my child will be thrilled to have this document to share with loved ones as she gets older.
 Did the experience live up to your expectations?
  • Yes, it was an amazing experience!
What other things do you do in the wild?
-Mostly hiking, and we also go camping for family trips. 

Would you do it again?
  • I would love to have my next birth outside on my own secluded property, in a pre-heated Jacuzzi, with beautiful scenery. Of course, sunny weather permitting. 
Do you think this form of childbirth will grow in popularity?
  • I don’t know.  But it seems like more and more people are talking about it.  But again, this is a very personal decision for each couple to make.
Would you recommend this to expectant mothers?
  • This is a very personal choice and we believe we made the right choice for us.  Whether or not other people want to do this is entirely up to them. We think that couples should be well educated, have midwife support and a well thought out plan, and even contingency plans. 


Born in the Wild: Outdoor-Home-Birth Preference Plan

Linda & Lance and Baby King--Background

Previous Births:

I have chosen Heather/Janelle as midwives because I trust their expertise. I also relate because I am a Doula and Nurse.

Our 1st daughter Mariah was a 7 hour HypnoBirthing natural/ drug-free birth at IMC hospital with a large Midwife practice. 2nd daughter Makayla was a 4 hour Hypnobabies birth at a Birth Center with a small midwife practice. I barely made it to this last birth (8 minutes after we got there) and have chosen a Home Birth for this and other reasons. The staff did not believe I had progressed as far as I did do to my calm appearance. With everyone’s help, I am anticipating this birthing time will be even shorter.

I would NOT describe my birthing time as painful, more like painless—even though I had a natural and drug free birth. Birthing/pushing was easier and less intense for the second birth. This birth we have done a lot to prepare for an even more comfortable, relaxed, and pleasurable birthing.

I desire to give birth outside, with conditions permitting, and feel it is a once in a life-time chance to do so. I hope this will bring awareness to others for even more birthing options.

Please work with us as a team in achieving our goals! Birth Team

I look forward to working with my birth team which includes:  a Midwife / Assistant Midwife, our Doula, my sister, my husband and daughters. (Videographers & Film Director)


Daughters at Birth

Our daughters has been well prepared for birth via explanation, acting, pictures, and videos. We have been using child-like language to explain what she will see and what will happen during birth. *Please see attached paper on Children at Birth Language. Ex: Blood= The Baby/mom’s Red Fruit Juice

We have my sister that will be watching our daughters at home/birth location during the Birthing Time.

We would like my daughters to be included as much as they desire, especially during the birth—pleasant circumstances permitting.

Please help them to remain included by allowing her to massage me, hold my drinking cup, wipe off the Doppler/ my forehead, squeeze the blood pressure cuff, sing to me, make pushing noises, dry the baby off after birth,  and sing the happy birthday song after birth, etc.

Happy Birthday Preferences--Birth Support

        *Even if you do not believe what is being said, please say it to me anyway, Thank you!* 
General Phrases & Birthing Affirmations to Use:
Love your body and trust its capabilities
Embrace the sensation
Work with the energy, let it work through you
Be happy to be in your birthing time
Enjoy this journey
Stay in the present, it’s a gift
The past will stay there. The future is now
Encourage oxytocin and endorphins to flow
Welcome stronger, longer, more efficient pleasure waves
Remember intimate times with Husband, imagine his touch
The endorphins are nature’s anesthesia, use them
Endorphins are increasing and will comfort you
The further you progress the easier it will be
Breathe peace and anesthesia throughout your body
The more you relax, let go and release the faster the birth
Allow the water/massage/aromatherapy to increase the… …endorphins
Your movement/mind/body/baby increases the endorphins
Expect the best and enjoy what happens
Your baby is perfectly sized for your body
Your baby is correctly positioned for an easy birth
Hug your baby out, open like a flower
Enjoy feeling the head coming down, out and the body through
Joints and tissues are toned, stretchy and flexible
Only feel pleasurable fullness, tingling, stretching, numbness
Your blood vessels close to the appropriate degree
Your baby is pink, awake, alert and joyful

Childbirth Hypnosis Phrases to use:
See (visualize), feel, imagine and/or hear.
Turn mental light switch to off or center.
Becoming completely loose, limp and relaxed.
Go deeper, deeper, with every breath you exhale.
Count down from 5 to 1 (or 10 to 1)…to go ten times deeper.
Breathe your anesthesia where you need it—PEACE.
Go to your Special Safe Place, use the Bubble of Peace.
Instantly RELEASE…(Lightswitch OFF)
DEEPER and DEEPER relaxed..
Partner’s hand on her forehead/shoulder for...… (instant/deep ) relaxation--RELAX.
OPEN, OPEN, OPEN…soft gold ring cervix melting like butter
Open comfortably…easily…gently and quickly…
Hugging your baby out/here.
Exhale/AAHHH/Breathe baby out (for pushing).
With each pressure sensation more and more powerful Anesthesia flows throughout all of your abdomen/birthing path.
Anesthesia flows in front of your baby’s head.

    Happy Birthday Preferences--Linda & Lance King:

   ~Thank you for attending our birth and hope that everyone has a moving and special experience! ~


My husband and I have been working together and practicing various relaxation techniques and prefer Childbirth Hypnosis. Please protect the birth space for privacy & only allow those who are absolutely needed in the birthing area.
I would like my husband to act as the main support and the Midwives and Doula to help guide him in his efforts.
·         Please refrain asking me about pain, but instead ask me about comfort. Please offer me lots of liquids to drink, 16 oz/hr.
·         Refer to contractions as pleasurable sensation waves or Birth Waves, and labor as my Birthing Time.                            
  *Please see attached paper on Preferred Language Used in Prenatal and Birthing Time.
·         I plan on using self-hypnosis CDs for birthing, and/or soft calming music and/or birth affirmations with low lighting.
·         Help me to remember to stay in hypnosis at all times, especially during pushing, with my Center Switch—which means I can move around and talk if I need to. Please remind me to use the Belly Lift Technique. Doppler for baby HR are approved.
·         I welcome any aromatherapy, massage, acupressure, rebozo usage and may possibly use natural oxytocin stimulation.
·         Please remind me kissing will help move things along, as well as thinking about past loving experiences with my husband.
·         To have videographers, photographer, staff honor our need for a calm, quiet, relaxed, unhurried birthing environment. If needing to speak please do so in soft tones and be supportive with positive language throughout the process.  

Movement & Positioning :  
Mariah’s birth I felt a lot of back pressure and stayed sitting in a chair with knee/sacral counter pressure almost the entire time. Makayla’s Birth was easier/faster with forward leaning and hands & knees positions.
·         I would like to remain as active as desired. I feel movement will help move things along faster, with less back pressure. Please remind me to change positions occasionally. Please trade off with my husband doing counter pressure if needed.
·         Encourage me to use smooth movements, rocking, belly dancing and a birth ball to move my pelvis/hips.

Birthing Time (labor) & Pushing:
Pushing with Mariah was confusing and with Makayla she just slid out without hardly any effort with the hands & knees position.
·         Please help me to be in the birth tub at least by transition if possible.  I do not want my membranes stripped or bag of water broken please. Call my sister to bring my children for the birth, if they are not already there.
·         I desire to utilize my natural birthing instincts to facilitate the decent of the baby, as much as possible, with mother-directed breathing down techniques.
·         I would like to push in an upright position such as squatting with my husband sitting behind me, possibly a birth stool or leaning forward with hands & knees.
·         I might want to try pushing the head out without a contraction right as the head is crowning and about to come out.

Birth & Post-Birth:

With Mariah’s birth, I had slight peri-urethral tear which left a skin tag. I used the forward leaning position for Makayla’s birth and did not tear. I also felt some afterbirth-sensation-waves and would like options for reducing their un-comfortableness.
·         I liked my water birth last time and I desire a water birth again. If I am not in the water please use warm compresses/oil, perineal support with a birthing stool or maybe hands and knees position. (please no bum/perineal exposure while delivering baby’s head.)
·         Encourage me to, touch the baby’s head coming out and to watch the birth
·         I would like to receive the baby out of the water with my husband (him in front while I kneel/squat. If I am not in a position to receive the baby then Lance can receive the baby and then I would like to bring the baby out of the water (lance behind me while I do hands and knees)
·         To have baby placed on chest after birth and if APGAR is good to place baby under shirt, skin-to-skin for breastfeeding.
·         I want Lance & daughters to have the chance to dry the baby off after birth and to massage the vernix in.
·         In case of a resuscitation, please keep baby attached to cord and include me if possible (I am trained in NPR)
·         We would like to cut the umbilical cord together. Remind me to take the placenta home in a container.
·         For the afterbirth- I would like to use any of the herbal tinctures available, an abdominal binder, and self-uterine massage.
·         Please inform us again about umbilical cord care, baby sleep patterns and calming/breastfeeding techniques.

Photography & Videos:

I missed seeing the actual birth of my previous baby’s head/body on film and would like to record this baby being born.
With the regular camera take tons of pictures throughout the birthing experience. Please have the Doula, sister or Midwife Assistant accomplish this request. Please see the following list of desired pictures. I understand if not all of these photo/video cannot be taken but please do your best, thank you so much!

Photos/Videos desired:

·         Picture of Linda & Lance at the house before we leave to the birthing location
·         Linda using different  Birthing Time/labor positions & birth support equipment (birth ball, rocking chair, blow up bed, and walking outside)
·         Lance providing Birthing Time/labor support (back/feet rub, hugs, shoulder/forehead hypnosis cue, giving a drink etc.)
·         The girls helping with Birthing Time/labor support (giving a drink, hug, being close)
·         Both daughters watching the baby being born
·         My sister helping my daughters, if she is there
·         Baby coming out of the tub water just after birth
·         Faces of everyone during/after baby is born (mom, dad, girls)
·         Finding out what the gender of the baby is, and placing the associated color of hat on baby
·         I would like to get at least one picture of the baby still attached to the umbilical cord and the placenta
·         Lance & I cutting the cord
·         The placenta being inspected on the fetal and maternal side
·         Discretional photo of breastfeeding baby with or without breastfeeding cover/shield
·         Lance and I kissing/Hugging
·         Just Linda holding the baby after birth
·         Just Lance holding the baby
·         Both girls holding the baby
·         Mom & dad holding baby’s feet & hands
·         Lance & I kissing the baby’s face & hands
·         If my mother comes after the baby is born, to have her hold the baby/daughters
·         Family getting into our car to go home

                               Thanks again, for all of your hard work and preparation! 

Signature:________________________ Date:_____________

Baby Birthday Preference Plan: Outdoor-Home-Birth

This plan is for a baby that does not have any health issues. Thank you for working with our baby so calmly and gently.
Please see the “Baby Transfer of Care” paper, if relocation is necessary.  Please see “Baby Stillborn or Unexpected Baby Passing”, if this occurs.  Thanks again for being such wonderful people and helping our family to have such a positive experience!

·         For the birth of this baby, I would like semi-low lighting, and background music playing.
·         I would like to receive the baby out of the water with my husband.  If I am not in a position to receive the baby then Lance can receive the baby and then I would like to bring the baby up to my chest.
·         If the older sisters could sing happy birthday to the baby on film, with a cake and a zero candle, and for all of us to blow out the candle—that would be great!
·         I would like the baby to be attached to the umbilical cord until the placenta is delivered. To have Lance and I cut the umbilical cord together, after pulsation has completely stopped.
·         To have the baby placed skin-to-skin, and Lance and daughters to  gently pat dry the baby off after birth. Also, be allowed to rub the vernix into the baby’s skin for moisturizing and antimicrobial skin protection.
·         It would be nice to breastfeed right away, but with discretional video footage taken at this time.
·         I will sign the Vitamin K shot waver, but if transfer is necessary and there is forceps/vacuum involved or other unforeseen baby trauma, I would like to use oral vitamin K. Consult us before use of any injectable vitamin K.
·         If there is GBS, we are okay to either do vaginal douching with Hibaclense, or if in the later stages of labor, forgo any treatment at all. However, in either case, for the baby to be closely monitored for signs of infection.
·         I would like Father to help with weighing the baby, and girls to help with measuring the baby.
·         There should not be any reason that we need to use eye drops, or erythromycin, we will sign the waver.
·         If I do not show any signs of hypoglycemia during labor, and the baby seems stable, as well as breastfeeding of colostrum goes well, we would like to forgo blood sugar testing. However, I am open to some testing if the baby shows signs of hyper/hypoglycemia.
·         We are okay to do the Baby screening tests on day 5 after birth visit. If there seems to be a sign of jaundice, to be allowed to try increased breastfeeding options first. And Bili-lights only after consultation.
·         If the baby is a boy, we will not be circumcising our baby soon after birth, and possibly not at all
·         Would like to have my baby’s foot prints, if you could make a copy for me, that would be great!
·         I would like Lance and daughters to give the baby the first bath, whenever that occurs. 

Preferred Language Used in Prenatal and Birthing Time

We have been trying to maintain positive thinking by using easy-going and relaxing words during this pregnancy and for our baby’s birthday. It might be a little different to use these hypnosis birthing words. However, we do appreciate the effort made to help us reach our goal of a comfortable and pleasurable birthing experience. 

Hypnosis Birthing Language                                             Medicalized Language
Please Use:                                                                           Instead Of: 
Guess Date / Birth Day / Birthing Time or Month                  Due Date
Birth Companion / Birth Partner                                             Helper / Supporter / Coach
1st/ 2nd Pregnancy / Mother or Birth                                     Nullip / Primip / Mulitip : gravida or parous
Parents                                                                                   Clients / Patients
Preborn / unborn baby                                                            Fetus
Pelvic floor exercises                                                             Kegels
Discomfort                                                                              Pain
Special Circumstances                                                          Complications
Change of Plans                                                                     Emergency
Cesarean Birth                                                                       C-section / Section
Pre-Surges / Pre-Birth Time Warm-Ups                                Braxton Hicks
Practice Birthing / Practice Labor                                          False labor
Sensation / Pressure / Tightening                                          Pain or Contractions
Birth or Sensation Waves / Pressure Sensations….            Contraction…
/ Uterine Surges /  Energy Rushes / Pleasure Waves          ...
Birthing Time                                                                           Labor
Birth Room                                                                              Labor Room
Birth / Birthing                                                                         Deliver / Delivery
Uterine Seal                                                                            Mucous Plug
Birth Show                                                                               Bloody Show
Thinning / Opening                                                                  Effacing / Dilation
Beginning Birthing                                                                   Early Labor
Active Birthing                                                                         Active/Hard Labor
Transformation / Nearly Complete                                         Transition
Water Release / Membranes Release                                   Water Breaking / Rupturing
Birth Slide / Birth Path/ Sliding Path                                        Birth Canal
Downward Birthing Reflex or (NER) or (MFER)                    Uncontrollable Feeling to Push
Birth Breathing / Birth Nudging / Exhale Breathing                Pushing / Bearing Down / Holding Breath
Receive the Baby                                                                   Catch the baby
Newborn                                                                                  Neonate
After Birth Delivery                                                                  Placenta Delivery                                     
After-Birth-Waves                                                                    After Pains       
Post-Birth                                                                                 Postpartum

Children at Birth Language:

We have informed and educated our 2 year old daughter and 4 year old Daughter, about the anatomy and physiology of labor and birth. We have chosen to use other more pleasant and easier words for her to comprehend. Please look over the list and help incorporate these words when she is in the birthing room. We are so excited for our baby’s birthday. Thank you!

Preferred Child Language Used:                             Medicalized Words of Labor & Birth:
Baby in the belly                                                           Pregnancy                                                    
Baby comes out                                                           Birth
Mommy sings / Makes silly noises                             Labor & birthing sounds
   -(it feels good for mommy to sing/noises)                -
Mommy dances and wiggles                                       Labor Movements
Baby’s house is a big red balloon                                Uterus
Mommy makes a bigger belly                                      Abdominal & deep breathing
   -(she fills the baby balloon in her belly with air)        -  
Mommy’s belly gets hard / tight to get the baby out    Contractions
Mommy is really sleepy / likes to sleep or rest           Concentration / Labor Land
   -(she needs to sleep before the baby comes out)    
Daddy helps mommy with (Daughter does too):         Partner Support:
   -sleeping/resting                                                          -concentration
   -taking a bath                                                               -water birth
   -getting the baby out                                                    -counter pressure
   -dancing / wiggling                                                       -labor movements
   -singing                                                                        -labor sounds & pushing
Baby’s going to swim out into the baby bath               Water Birth
Baby’s bath water comes out                                      Water Breaking & Amniotic Fluid
Baby slide, how the baby comes out                           Birth canal & vagina
-(the baby slides out of the balloon)                                -
Mommy’s pee-pee hair                                                    Pubic hair
Mommy’s bum-bum or pee-pee lips, stretching              Labia & crowning
Baby door, where the baby comes out                           Perineum / Vulva
Mommy has to push the baby out, like poo-poo             Pushing
Sticky baby honey or banana sticky’s                            Vaginal mucus (from mom or on baby) 
Mommy red juice (like fruit juice/punch)                          Blood
The baby is sleeping, tell the baby to wake up                Baby’s head emerges & is born  
The white cheesy is on the baby                                     Vernix
Baby is purple when it comes out, (like Mariah’s purple coat)    Purple / Ash colored baby
-(then the baby turns pink, like your pink shirt)                Mother / Father Crying
Mommy’s silly, she is so happy she’s laughing/crying    After birth when baby is born and cries 
The baby says WA-WA, I want some nummies              Breast feeding 
Baby’s nummies                                                               Breast feeding / colostrum / milk
Long belly button like a blue & white Candy Cain cord    Umbilical cord
Cuts the Candy Cain Cord with scissors                         Cutting the cord
-(red baby juice comes out the Candy Cain)                    Blood out of cord
Mommy’s big red pancake comes out with Jelly on it      Placenta 
-(they put the red/blue pancake in a bowl)                       Placenta in a Bowl
Mom’s red fruit juice-> chocolate milk -> sticky honey    Lochia: Bloody-> brown -> vaginal mucus

Change of Plans Hospital Preferences
~Birthday Cesarean Birth~

Attending Surgeon/Doctor      -       Anesthesiologist/CRNA            -           Nurse(s)

We have had a change of plans. We were hoping for a different kind of birth experience, but know that we are in good hands. Please help us to feel as emotionally comfortable as possible.  Some of these requests we know can only be filled in case of a difficult labor/high risk complication, and not the case in a true emergency cesarean. We understand that every request might not be possible but please help us with as many as can be fulfilled

•       Allowed to start labor contractions before I have the cesarean-section.
•       If at all possible please allow me to be scheduled first in the morning, if I have to be scheduled.
•       Please allow husband and my midwife/doula or both to be present. (Midwife to support me, and Doula to support my husband) (or Doula stay with me and Father go with baby.)
•       I prefer an epidural/spinal block rather than general anesthesia, so I can be awake. I do not want any medications that will cause me to “forget” the experience/birth of my baby, as used with other surgeries. I am used to the Operating Room (surgical nurse) and will not have a problem.
•       If the spinal/epidural takes longer than 20 minutes, the option to request a different anesthesiologist/CRNA to place the spinal/epidural.
•       If cesarean-section becomes absolutely necessary, I prefer a horizontal cut that most likely facilitates VBACs for subsequent births. With a double layered suture method, as well as sutures rather than staples for abdominal skin closure. Please do not lift my uterus out of my body for suturing. And use non-animal sutures (Vicryl maybe)
•       I would like my arms to be free to hold Lance’s hand and touch our baby after birth. To have my arms held up by my chest, instead of outward like a “T”.
•       Please place the IV in my lower arm so that I can bend my arms, not keeping them straight. To have the blood pressure cuff in the arm that my husband will not be holding (place IV in the arm closest to my husband please)
•       If my O2 sats are doing well, to have only Nasal Cannula oxygen or blow by, instead of a Mask. (or mask at first and then removed after O2 sats are sufficiently increased.)
•       To have oxygen saturation monitor on my toe, instead of my hand. If possible the Blood Pressure cuff on leg, to have my arms free.
•       To be allowed to play my own relaxing music during the surgery. (or to have ear phones for me and my partner to listen to)
•       Be allowed to have good smelling lotion on my cheeks (to make the smell of the OR less like cautery).
•       Option to have the drape lowered or a mirror if I want to see the baby being born.
•       If Possible be able to assist in the delivery of my baby (lifting baby out of incision) as seen in Australia.
•       Permission for Lance or the nurse to take pictures and VIDEO. If Lance is not allowed in the OR due to general anesthesia, please, please, please have the nurse take a PICTURE of our baby being born!
•       If drowsy, still allowed to see baby directly after birth, and to allow that moment to be filmed. If general anesthesia, to have the first moments with baby in the recovery room filmed  and photographed.
•       The cord be cut by Lance, please Dr. slowly milk the cord before cutting. Be assured, he won’t touch the drapes!
•       If the baby’s breathing is well established, is healthy, and scores well on the APGAR test,  to have baby placed skin to skin as soon as possible after birth, since I should not have any groggy medications. I should be awake as any mother with an epidural/spinal block. I would like this option to warm my baby instead of placing baby in a warmer.
•       If it is not possible for me to place baby skin to skin, then for my husband to be able to place baby skin-to-skin.
•       If baby has to go to the nursery right away, I would like Lance or my midwife/doula to go with baby. Allowing one person to stay with me.  Even if the baby needs to go to the NICU please allow the father to follow.
•       If baby is healthy, quiet family time together as I would have with a vaginal delivery, including delaying routine newborn procedures. Please do not rub the vernix off, we would like to rub it into the baby’s skin ourselves.
•       Breastfeeding as soon as possible please, in the OR please if I am awake and it is allowed at the time.
•       Breast feeding only please: no bottles, formula, pacifier, or artificial nipples. I would like to avoid nipple confusion. We would also like to conduct our baby’s first bath, no matter how dirty our baby is.
•       Baby is allowed to room-in and remain with us at all times. If for any reason the baby needs to leave the room, Lance be allowed to stay with her. For me to massage my own uterus and use natural oxytocin stimulation.
•       That any interventions, or lab blood draws / testing be conducted in mom’s room (Bilirubin, PKU, glucose, etc.)
•       That vitamin K shot, Hepatitis B immunization, Erythromycin or other salve eye ointment not be used.

Change of Plans Hospital Preferences:
~Baby Transfer of Care~

We would like to include as much of my Baby Birthday Preference Plan as possible, even when transfer is necessary. We understand that flexibility is needed in the case of transfer care. Please allow us to be involved in the decision making as much as possible. Thank you for being so accommodating and helpful in this time of need.
·         After birth my baby’s pediatrician (family doctor) will be Dr. Veronica.
·         Baby please be allowed to remain with us at all times. If for any reason the baby needs to leave have Me and/or Father follow.
·         Breast feeding only please: no bottles, formula, pacifier, or artificial nipples. I would like to avoid nipple confusion. If my baby’s glucose is low and has been for a few hours then, only then, will I be willing to try something else (sugar water with colostrum)
·         If prematurity is noted, and baby has a difficult time latching on, then I will pump so the baby can still have breast milk.
·         If I do not show any signs of hypoglycemia during labor, and the baby seems stable, as well as breastfeeding of colostrum goes well, we would like to forgo blood sugar testing. However, I am open to some testing if the baby shows signs of hyper/hypoglycemia.
·         That any routine interventions, or lab blood draws / testing be conducted in the room (Bilirubin, PKU, glucose, etc.)
·         That vitamin K shot, Hepatitis B immunization, Erythromycin or other salve eye ointment not be used.
·         If there is trauma from forceps, vacuum or anything else, We are okay with oral vitamin K being given. 
·         If there is a sign of Baby having a bleeding disorder, only then would I be okay with vitamin K shot, after consultation. 

If our daughters, is around please help them be included as much as possible with the care of the baby. 

~Baby Stillborn or Unexpected Baby Passing~

•       We would like to spend a few hours of unrushed time with our baby.
•       Would prefer delay of talk that the morgue is here to pick up our baby.
•       Would like to have time for our family to visit our baby at the hospital.
•       We Do have a photographer that will be taking pictures of our baby.
•       Have the staff remain as upbeat as possible, only telling those who are in our direct care circle.
•       Still be able to cut the cord and receive the baby’s body.
•       Be informed how much the baby weighs, be able to bathe baby if desired, and wrap our baby in his/her first baby blanket. Dress our baby in his/her clothes, socks, hat and/or shoes.
•       Be allowed to make foot prints and hand prints of our baby.
•       Keep all arm bands and leg bands with baby’s name
•       Still have the opportunity to name our baby, and let the staff know his/her name.
•       Still be able to fill out a birth certificate, even if it is not sent in.
1/23 Monday-


I’ve been over a week past due, and I was ready to have this baby any day. We had an appointment with the midwives at 4 pm, and she “stripped”my membrane, which is just massaging the membrane to trigger labor. She said if its ready, it usually happens within 6 to 12 hours, and I will also have cramps and
blood discharge right after.

[Early First Stage:]

I did start having cramps as we were driving back home. I thought it’s just the cramps that can go away, so I kept going with cooking dinner, and cooking strawberry shortcake for FHE… by the time cake was  baked, I could hardly stay on activity when contraction was coming. Lance kept asking me if he should fill the Birth tab, but I kept saying: “maybe it’s just a false labor, so just wait…” finally he decided to ignore my opinion and start anyway, and I am VERY glad he did. Around 7 pm we started timing the contraction and they lasted about 1 min, and came every 4 min.

[Active First Stage:]

We called Linda, our doula and midwives around 7:45 pm. By that time Lance had to give me pressure every time I was having contraction - it was getting strong. When Linda arrived around 8 pm, I was not in a talking mood. I tried different positions as Linda suggested, but nothing helped ease the pain… although her soothing voice of constant encouragement and telling me to breath REALLY helped! Lance was busy getting the tub ready, so I really have no idea how I would have gotten through without her. 

Around 9 pm midwives arrived, and now I think about it, around that time I already had urges to push every time I had contractions, but I wasn’t sure exactly how it’s suppose to feel, so I just tried to breath through it… When I got into the tab around 10:20 pm, Michelle (midwife) told me that if you have the urge go ahead and push! Then I was like, wait a minute, I do have the urge to push! It surprised me I could already be pushing.

As I was going through labor, I did think about “what if I just went to the hospital?...it would’ve been so nice to not have this pain!!!” Though having that in the back of my mind, I just kept enduring through, telling myself this is the decision that I made. I asked Linda around a little before I went into the tub, “How close am I?” I think the hardest part was that not knowing how long this will keep going.

[Second Stage / Pushing:]

Anyway, after I got into the tub, the water did make it ease the pain and pressure, enough that I didn’t grunt through contraction anymore…and I started pushing!! Lance was behind me and held my hands tightly as I pushed. It really helped to have him there to hold on to. At this time my water still hasn’t been broken yet, so I was thinking it would take a long time. Then Michelle told me that I’m almost there and that the head and the water sack is bulging out as I was pushing –what a relief! It gave me hope and I just kept pushing, soon the water popped, and it was the time for the head to come out. I remember the term in the book “Ring of Fire” – it was. But when it passed, it wasn’t that bad.


The head came out and I touched his head! What a strange feeling… the body came out soon after, at 11:03 pm. HE WAS BORN!  He was white, and had wrinkly hands, didn’t cry too much, he was completely perfectly normal in every way. The first feeling of holding him was hard to describe. I still didn’t feel like I was a mother of this little child I was holding. He just looked so helpless and the first thing I thought of I think is the realization that “this little boy needs me.”
I think the bond and the love grows as you spend time with the baby. Lance and I kissed, adoring our creation, the gift from our father in heaven, and we just kept looking at him (I could probably just look at him all night, but I had to get out of the tub, etc.). Anyways with all that worry and pain, when it happened, it wasn’t bad at all. It only took 20 min to push, 3.5 hours of strong contractions. AMAZING. 

[Third Stage / Postpartum Period:]

What happened after was scarier for Lance than for me, I just bled a lot as I passed the placenta (water turned red, I was expecting more of pink…) and when I got out of the tub, when Lance try to carry me out, a gush of blood came out, making me a little bit in shock. I was given 2 bags of IV and Pitocin shot to help contract the uterus to stop bleeding. All I remember was it was SOOOO cold, and I was shaking like crazy. But after about a bag of IV, I was feeling fine.

They gave me the baby and I started feeding him, he was hungry! After a long while of just enjoying the baby, Midwives started weighing and measuring the baby, doing all sorts of check ups. Turns out, he is 9 lb 6 oz, and 21 inches long, with a BIG head! I also found that I didn’t tear much, not enough to get stitches. Oh man I was lucky! I can’t believe how big he was, and
healthy and so perfect he was!

My body was more tired than I expected, (I couldn’t go to the bathroom on my own and I had to use the bowl by the bed…) and was hard to adjust at first but at least the baby slept really well the first day and I was able to rest. Overall, the homebirth with water was a success! It was a first time and I just didn’t know what to expect, and that was the scariest but the whole environment, and how involved Lance was in the whole process was very nice.
I just felt bad for Linda and Lance having a lot of cleaning up to do afterwards, since my blood splashed everywhere, etc. And it is definitely more time consuming for Lance even the following days, he’s the only one who can take care of me. He had to skip some classes for me, continue
cleaning, feeding me, helping with the baby…

Seriously, this is no mother-only thing; it was a group effort for sure--and Lance was a champ partner!

I had my first baby with HypnoBirthing and my second baby with Hypnobabies. The second one was overall easier but I think that was because of the way the two programs are set up.

The Biggest differences are: HypnoBirthing does not encourage pushing with contractions. Hypnobabies says to use an "Ah/Exhale" and gently push your baby out.

HypnoBirthing uses hypnosis but mostly has guided imagery and relaxation. Hypnobabies uses a medical grade hypnosis which trains your mind/body to only feel pressure with a contraction and not pain. By creating "hypno-anesthesia" from the top of your breasts to the middle of your thighs.

HypnoBirthing hypnosis you mostly have to remain in one place for it to work because moving around breaks your concentration. Hypnobabies you are able to have "eye's open childbirth" which means you can talk, walk, and move while you are still in deep hypnosis.

HypnoBirthing was very good at explaining WHY you could have a painless childbirth but not so good at HOW. Hypnobabies is good at explaining HOW and not as much WHY.

HypnoBirthing talks about the Fear-Tension-Pain Cycle in way more depth. And Hypnobabies only mentions it on 1 or 2 pages.

HypnoBirthing spent more time on how to write a birth plan. Hypnobabies says to keep your birth plan short and not too detailed, to make it more personal.

One of the biggest differences is the amount of materials given. With HypnoBirthing I was given a book, a workbook, and 3 CDs. With Hypnobabies I was given a very large book, 2 other script & info books, tons of pamphlets, and at least 6 CDs. I got way more with Hypnobabies.

Hypnobirthing is more for those who do not want to be told how to use your hypnosis. It allows you to pick which hypnosis/relaxation methods that you wish to use. Hypnobabies is more for those who like structure and want to be told how to use their hypnosis. has a set method for hypnosis with hypnotic-"tools". It did make it nice to know HOW to work with the hypnosis instead of randomly picking a hypnosis technique and hoping for the best.

HypnoBirthing has 5, 3 hour classes and Hypnobabies has 6, 3 hour classes

overall Hypnobabies did work better but lacked the stories from their book.. although you could see them on their website. For my next baby I will be using it again. and as for my doula clients... I wish all of them could use it to so they can have a 4 hour, painless birth like I did... good luck!

Hypnobabies YouTube Playlist: 

HypnoBirthing YouTube Playlist: 
I am a doula and I have taken these childbirth classes: Hypnobabies, Hypnobirthing, Bradley Method, (Birthing from Withing Book), and Lamaze. Some classes I took while I was pregnant and others when I was not pregnant. 

I found all of these classes helpful in their own ways. 

The founder of Hypnobabies was previously a Bradley Instructor as well as a HypnoBirthing Instructor. She found that both of the programs were lacking vital information. 

The biggest difference of the two classes is that Hypnobabies belives that pain is not a requirement for birth and the Bradley Method does, essentially.

Both of them talk about nutrition, excersize, pros/cons of interventions, relaxation, visualization and deep abdominal breathing. Both classes inform about how birthing without drugs if possible, most likely lead to the best outcomes. 

To be honest I learned invaluable education about childbirth from the Bradley Method. The one thing that I could not understand is why birth had to be such an ordeal comparable to an olympic event.

Hypnobabies says that birth does not have to be hard, difficult, strenuous, long, or painful. Hypnobabies says that it can be easy, enjoyable, quick and comfortable!

When you first read about this you think, "ya right". But really, it can be enjoyable. Here is how I have come to understand why birth can be pleasureable. Hypnobabies teaches hypnosis for childbirth. And hypnosis is a deep level of relaxation or meditation combined with "numbing" tools per se. 

Hypnobabies uses medical grade hypno-anesthesia. This hypnosis "anesthesia" is used occasionally when someone needs surgery but are deathly allergic to the drug anesthetics. there only alternative is to use hypnosis which trains them to not feel pain when operated on but only pressure sensations.

What you learn in Hypnobabies is the hypnosis "tools" that make it so you are numb and only feel pressure from the top of the breasts to the middle of your thighs.... and you either are pain free or have very little pain...you are comfortable. It does this by helping train your mind to release endorphins (which are 200 X stronger than morphine) on command when you use a cue such as "PEACE".

I personally have had three natural, drug-free births. I read the bradley books (workbook, Husband Coached Childbirth, The Bradley Way, Labor Assistants & Children at BIrth). They were tramendously helpful for both me and my husband. My first birth went well and was 7 hours but was hard during the pushing. My second birth I used Hypnobabies, and she was born in 4 hours and I didn't really push..she just kinda came...It felt way better!!! I mean way better!!!, my third birth was an outdoor-home-birth and was about 2.5 hours.  

Find out what you want to believe and make up your mind.  One method just says that you can have an easy, comfortable birth and the other one kinda doesn't.
The Hypnobabies YouTube Playlist:http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE26AA13B47ED8DA8&feature=view_all

The Bradley Method Playlist:
Description of Labor
Jenny started having contractions around 10:52 pm December 10th 2011. The contractions were spaced out enough that Jenny went back to sleep most of the night. Her contractions became about 5 minutes apart around 6:00 am. Jenny called me to come over to her house and I arrived at 7:00 am. She was talkative and not too focused with each contraction. However, we stayed at her house for about 30 minutes and then Jenny/Scott drove to the birth center. I followed behind them in my vehicle. At 7:45 am she was checked at 4 cm dilated, 90 % effaced, and a -1 station. She had some back labor and needed sacral/hip pressure. Spontaneous rupture of membranes at 12:14 pm; after, the pushing became more prevalent. Their baby girl was born December 11th, at 1:25 pm. Different breastfeeding holds were shown and the midwife’s instructions were reiterated; after birth a few hours, and again a few days/weeks later.   

Jenny’s labor estimations: early labor about 10 hours, active labor about  3 hours, transition about  22 min, second stage/pushing about  1 hour 11 min. Total labor was about  14 hours and  33 minutes. Baby weighed 8 lbs 14 oz, and was 19 in long.                

My Role as a Doula
Most of my role as a doula during this labor was to provide reassurance in Jenny’s own ability, to let her know that what she was feeling was normal, and to help her with the back pressure. Scott and I, when she was in the birthing tub, held counter pressure on both of her hips for many hours. At times my role was to step back, and allow everyone to offer their emotional support. At one point she needed her husband very close, then later she needed me to help her with the contractions, and then when Jenny doubted her ability she relied heavily on the midwife to console and provide her with reassurance. After the birth, Jenny needed continued support for breastfeeding, a few days and a couple of weeks following.

Mother’s Reaction to Labor and Birth
During the prenatal visits conducted Jenny seemed confident in her own body’s ability but was uncertain of how much she could handle. She also was planning for the best but with her first birth it ended with a cesarean and her boy had some genetic learning disabilities. She also felt that breast feeding was non-existent with her first postpartum experience. Jenny educated herself about the birthing process, her options and took a prenatal birthing class, to prepare. Additionally, she told me that they wanted me to be there to reassure them of the normalcy of what would go on and that I could help her husband to not have the entire burden of knowing everything. She also informed me about her history of panic attacks after her first son was born, and to try to keep everything with this birth low key.

During the initial onset of labor Jenny did not seem concerned about this birth. She knew that this one would be different than her previous birth and was looking forward to it. Jenny was excited that she was going to have this baby only 1 day past her estimated due date. When I arrived at her home, she still seemed talkative, upbeat and a little more concerned with the baby sitter and how her son would do while she was gone.

At the birth center, after her things were settled, she proceeded to lay on the bed for a while with her husband behind her, and she moved around the room a lot. She seemed to rely on him for emotional support more than any other kind of support. She loved using the bathroom/toilet, and the Jacuzzi tub most often for relaxation. About during the transition period she became more irritable and used short/abrupt answers with her husband. At this point she relied on verbal support from me and the midwife. When it was time to push she seemed like she knew what to do but she kept saying that she could not do it by herself. When I would offer some verbal and emotional support at this time, she seemed to reject it coming from me. Therefore, at this point, the midwife decided to fulfill this role. Jenny expressed that she was tired and the midwife said she had the strength within herself to go on. As the head was crowning she said she could not do it, the midwife looked at her and said that she could, to breathe with her, and that she was almost done.

After the birth, Jenny was unsure about how she felt at the time. Later she said that she was so amazed and proud of herself. She did not like the intensity of the labor and birth and did not want to do it again anytime soon. She appeared a little tired but seemed energized by eating some toast and juice. Later, she said that she was glad that I suggested getting back into the tub for transition, after using the bathroom, because she really did want to have a water birth. But she expressed that she needed even more emotional support from me. Jenny said that it was strange but a new beginning to have a change to hold her baby right after birth, and to breast feed her. The bond between Jenny and Scoot seemed to grow and be strengthened.

What I Learned as a Doula
I learned the importance of using the double hip squeeze. She said that the counter pressure is what made the labor tolerable. I also learned the importance of emotional support from everyone on the birth team; that birthing is a team effort both physically, and in Jenny’s case, very involved emotionally. I had heard that sometimes VBACs could be a battle with emotions but I was able to see her work things through emotionally and the positive outcome of her increased self-esteem and joy of this birth being a different experience than her first baby. Also, it takes longer than just immediately after the birth to establish good breastfeeding habits and confidence. 

Belly Dancing As a Form of Pre Or Post Natal Exercise  By Nate Maurice 

Dance has always been an important part of life, including childbirth. In fact, since ancient times, most rituals in life including birth has dance involved in it in some way. Today, dance is used extensively as a prenatal exercise, in particular belly dance, as it is an excellent form of childbirth preparation.

Research shows that regular exercise will bring a lot of pregnancy benefits. Women who exercise regularly tend to have shorter spans of labor pain and have a lower need of any interventions in their delivery like a cesarean section.

It has also been proven that exercise helps in increasing placental blood flow. And with this, the baby tends to get more oxygen and nutrients delivered to it through its intra uterine lifeline.

Develop strong and flexible muscles 
It is important for a woman to have both strong and flexible muscles that both expand and lengthen to move the baby along for an easy birth. To help with this, belly dance, which is an aerobic exercise and isotonic workout, helps in exercising all the muscles that are necessary for giving birth. This includes muscles of the abdomen, torso, the pelvis, pelvic floor and the thigh muscles.

Belly dance comprises of a basic posture of standing with slightly bent knees and the pelvis tucked under to collaborate with the spine. Standing like this for a few minutes is sufficient in strengthening the quadriceps muscles; and this posture is used in all belly dance movements.

This stance strengthens thigh muscles which is important for people who want to deliver in an upright or squatting position although this is uncommon in western society. The muscles of the abdomen and pelvic floor are also exercised with hip, torso and chest movements to improve flexibility of the muscles.

Reduction of labor pains 
Moreover, the slow hip movements of belly dance help the baby find the right position for navigating birth through the birth canal. This in turn cuts short the painful and lengthy labors that arise with the mal-position of the baby's head, leading to the woman enjoying a shorter labor, a more satisfying birth experience and a less stressful birth for the baby.

Even the shimmies of belly dance, which are the gentle vibration movements of hip, chest and body, are useful in reducing the pain and tension of labor by dispersing it. This helps the mothers counteract pain while working with her body during the birth.

Improve body awareness 
Belly dance also helps improve body awareness in the expecting mother, as does yoga and Tai Chi. Mothers become in tune with her changing body and baby. This benefit of belly dance is most important for women who look for an un-medicated birth experience, without the use of any modern pain management techniques.

Belly dance also leads to a healthy body image for the woman to be proud of. With this improved body image, self esteem and sense of personal power, pregnant women will find it easier to deliver their babies and the world. Besides all these health benefits, belly dance has an additional benefit, that it is fun and makes you feel good while doing it.

A lot of women who take up belly dancing as a form of pre natal exercise continue on in post natal exercise developing their belly dancing technique and skill.

If you are a women, an expecting mother or just someone looking to have fun, participating in belly dance as a form of exercise, either pre or post natal or recreational will add great benefits to your health and life.

Nate Maurice is a well respected fitness trainer & experienced post natal exercise specialist. For more information on his pre or post natal exercise programs please visit Post Natal Exercise Sydney for the best post natal exercise programs and mothers group fitness classes in Sydney

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nate_Maurice

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2154512 

                                                             Makayla’s Birth Story:

Birth in the CAR? Water? Only 8 Minutes Left!

I stepped out of the car and both my legs started to cramp, “Peace, endorphins, anesthesia” I thought to myself. I had been travelling in the car for the last hour to get to the birth center. I nervously said to my husband, “Lance, you’re going to have to carry me in; I can’t walk.” He quickly left my grandmother and daughter in the car and picked me up. We calmly but hurriedly went into the birth room where my midwife and hypno-doula were waiting for us. Little did I know when I woke up that morning that I might have my baby in the car!

Earlier that morning I woke around 4:30 am, as I did most mornings to practice my hypnosis. This regular early hypnosis practice was due to my rambunctious little two-year-old daughter, Mariah. She would practically NEVER let me relax at any other time of the day. I had been experiencing practice pressure waves for a while now and did not think much about these particular sensations. By 5:30 am, the waves were coming quickly and consistently. My husband was still asleep and I knew our car was full of luggage and did not have enough space for all of us so I went and asked if he could clean the car out for my peace of mind. He said, “For your peace of mind? It is pretty early. Are you sure you want me to clean out the car right now?” I told him that I did, but because of the books he read and my own calmness we did not seem to think that I was as far along in my Birthing Time as I truly was. After he cleaned out the car, he asked me if there was time for him to go workout at the gym because I appeared comfortable and therefore it could be many hours before the baby would be born. Thinking that it would be alright for him to go, I told him I would call if I needed him to come home. My kind husband looked for some emotional sign posts but could not obtain a reliable assessment—I simply looked relaxed and sleepy. I soon learned that these sensation waves were, in fact, different.

Nothing in my training as a Registered Nurse or Certified Doula could have prepared me for the quick and painless birth that I was soon to experience. I kept waiting for these sensations to start feeling like they did with my first natural birth but the same intensity, work and labor never came. Our lack of timing these pleasant waves was due to the endorphins and hypnotic anesthesia being so effective.

Since my Estimated Due Date was May 16th but the ultrasound showed it could be around April 27th, I was uncertain of the Guess Date. Despite this wide, 3 week calendar gap, I was ready for my baby anytime he/she wanted to come.  After listening to the Deepening CD, I remained in Center Switch and tried six different things to make sure THIS WAS THE DAY my baby was going to come: I fixed myself some eggs, drank water, tried to go back to sleep, changed my position, went for a walk and then decided to take a shower. I felt that things were going really well because I was comfortable throughout all my birth waves. The warm water of the shower on my back and muscles felt extremely relaxing. I even danced a little, my own sort of belly dancing in the shower! Nothing I did caused the waves to go away, in fact they made them come quicker. These sensations seemed as if they were coming every 3 minutes because I could not finish shaving one of my legs before I had another wave. I thought, “Bubble of Peace, Relax, Deeper and Deeper.”  I also knew that things were going faster than I anticipated when I could not even dry my hair after the shower.

Time must have simultaneously paused and fast-forwarded because it seemed like a long time had gone by but I called Lance to come home from the gym only 15 minutes after he left. I laid on my left side by the front door of the house and called my hypno-doula and then my midwife. I told the hypno-doula that I did not know how long or far apart my birth waves were since there was no clock in sight. As she was talking with me over the phone she timed a few of the waves. She said that they were about 2 minutes apart and we should leave immediately. She said this with urgency because she knew we had an hour drive to the Birth Center. These birth waves started coming much faster and lasting longer but did not alarm me in any way, that is, until we got in the car!

I told my husband, “We have a slight change of plans. My grandma is going to have to come with us to the birth!” We previously prepared my two-year-old daughter to be with us at birth but I needed someone to keep her occupied at the Birth Center. My friend, who was going to watch my daughter, was out of town. We were staying at my grandmother’s house at the time so having her watch my daughter was the best option. Lance woke up Grandma and invited her.  She assumed we were just going for a prenatal check-up and did not realize the urgency to leave right then. Waiting for her to be ready felt like forever, when in reality it was less than half an hour.

As we all left the house I thought, “I hope we make it.”

I entered this crazy but fascinating “labor land” or time warp while listening to the Easy First Stage CD—20 minutes really did feel like 5 minutes. After about 45 minutes of driving my grandma asked, “Lance, how fast are you driving?” He was driving barely over the speed limit. As soon as I heard this I said, “You are going to have to drive a lot faster or we are going to have the baby in the car!”

I knelt on the car floor, facing backward and leaned over the front seat as Lance simultaneously rubbed my back and drove with the other hand. About 15 minutes from the Birth Center my birth waves started to spread out and I thought, “Either my Birthing Time just stopped or I am fully dilated!” It seemed like we were only driving for a few minutes. The Hypnobabies techniques worked so well and consequently it wasn’t until I felt the downward reflex, or pushing feeling that I was convinced I was actually in my Birthing Time, and I was the one feeling everything!

After arriving and being carried into the Birth Center by Lance, I jumped into the warm Jacuzzi water so fast that I did not even take my shorts off. The midwife looked at me, smiled and said, “You know you are going to have to take those off, right?” Half laughing and half annoyed I slid them off.  I exclaimed to my hypno-doula, “I need more hypno-anesthesia!”(AKA instant endorphins) She placed her hand on my shoulder and said “Peace.” Then she had me turn my Light Switch Off and then back to Center for breathing down and exhale/Ahh pushing.

I knelt down in the water and enthusiastically hollered for my grandma and daughter to come into the room. Between pleasure waves I asked Lance if he could run and get the video camera. By the time he came back the midwife expressed, “If you want to receive the baby you need to get in the water right now.”  He hesitated, and I sweetly yelled, “GET IN THE WATER!” He flung his shoes aside and did not even have time to take his socks off. One push and Pop! “I think my water just broke?” A second push, “Ahhh, the head is coming.” A third push, and my baby’s body slid out. I gave birth in the water at 9:24 am, only 8 minutes after we got to the Birth Center! I can’t believe it, that was so much easier and quicker than my first birth, not to mention way more comfortable—my perineum did not even tear.

The midwife gently pored warm water over both my cute vernix covered baby and me. My husband, daughter, and grandmother observed with amazement. The hypno-doula was so kind and rubbed my sore calves as my two-year-old sang happy birthday. After I delivered the placenta, both my husband and I held the scissors and cut the cord together. Interestingly, I chose not to find out the gender of my baby during a previous ultrasound but now was the moment of truth. I excitedly shouted, “it’s a girl!” There she was, my beautiful daughter. We all gazed lovingly at this precious new gift. She was sent straight from heaven and was so pure, that I could not resist naming her Makayla which means, who is like God.

Wow—a sigh of relief—we made it to the Birth Center just in time; I almost had my baby in the car! If I knew I had only 8 minutes left of my Birthing Time, I would have jumped in the car a lot sooner—or would I? My Birthing Time was only about four hours long and the midwife lovingly smiled and said that it was like an “In-and-Out” baby delivery service. It turns out the birth I pictured, while listening to Visualize Your Birth CD, actually came true. Also, It sounds funny but having Lance pick me up and carry me into the Birth Center seemed like a fairytale where the damsel in distress is swept off her feet and they live happily ever after. However, this story is better than a fairytale because at the end of our story we took home a perfect and adorable baby—our baby, Makayla. That night we slept at my grandma’s house and as I looked at our new baby I laughed thinking about that perfect and wild day!


Brief Description of Labor

Lori’s labor began at 6:00 am May 3rd 2011. The contractions varied and gradually moved into 10 minutes apart around 3:45 pm. This is when Lori called me. I arrived at her house at 4:07pm. I could tell that she was talkative and still interested in conversation. Therefore, we watched a movie. After the movie contractions were about 8 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds long. Lori, her husband Scott, her mother, and I ate dinner together at 7:00pm. After dinner her contractions continued to slowly become closer together. At 9:36 pm her contractions were about 5-6 minutes apart, lasting 60 seconds long. We arrived at the hospital at 10:00 pm.  She was 5 cm dilated, 90% effaced, and at 0 satiation. Electronic Fetal Monitoring was initiated for 30 minutes and questions were asked.  Intermittent monitoring was used the rest of the time. Shortly after her IV saline lock, she went to the Jacuzzi. After getting out of the water, at about 4 am Lori was 8 cm dilated. At about 6:00 am when the doctor checked her she was 7 cm again. At 6:30 the doctor broke the bag of waters. That doctor left at 7:00 am and another doctor came into the hospital. At 9:20 am she was fully dilated. Pitocin was administered and holding her breath for 10 seconds while pushing was instituted. By 10:35 am her baby girl was born on May 4th! And was in an anterior presentation. The placenta was delivered 10 minutes later. And breastfeeding was initiated.

These are approximations with Lori’s labor: early labor 15 hours, active labor 11 hours, Transition 1 hour, pushing 1 hour, placenta delivery 10 minutes. Total labor 28 hours 35 minutes. These estimates are variable because vaginal checks were not constantly conducted, but emotional sign posts were observed. 


My Role as the Doula

When I arrived at Lori’s house she was talkative and excited about the contractions being in a consistent pattern. We all thought that it would be helpful to not focus too much on these contractions and decided to watch a movie. After the movie, I could tell that Lori wanted to get things moving along. I thought it would be a good idea to walk, but she said she did not feel like walking now. I asked if she could eat dinner and she said yes. After, I suggested that it would be a good idea to try some relaxation, massage, aromatherapy, and acupressure points. She tried various positions: sitting on chair couch, leaning over couch, sitting on birth ball leaning on the birth ball.

After a couple of hours her labor was more consistent. She decided to go to the hospital, I followed in my car. I helped them carry some things into the hospital. In her Labor and Delivery room, Scott and I made sure the lights were low, and that there was some soft music playing. We applied counter pressure to her knees for almost the entire labor. Scott and I switched off for many hours and at some point asked if the nurse could help apply pressure. She said on her birth plan that she wanted to use the Jacuzzi, so we moved to the adjacent room. The room was small and did not have ventilation. I asked if we could use a fan because Lori was starting to feel hot and nauseated. I helped Scott know when to stroke her arm in accordance with her deep breathing, this rhythm/ritual seemed to help.

When she returned to her bed, I thought she might like to use some sensory recall from past favorite trip she had. Scott talked to her about some of their favorite places. With the negative comments from the doctor, I told her to simply act like those words were never said, and that she was doing great, and not to worry.

For the possible posterior baby we tried leaning over the top of the bed while she was on her knees. When AROM was mentioned, I encouraged her husband to ask some questions about options and alternatives. They decided to go ahead with AROM, and continuous monitoring we tried moving from left side to sitting to right side. When an episiotomy was suggested I once again encouraged them to ask questions. The episiotomy was given with Lidocain before crowning. During the birth I helped by staying out of the way of the staff, Lori liked the way the nurse was encouraging her to push.

 I helped with taking pictures after the birth and helped establish breastfeeding with encouraging immediately having the baby skin-to-skin and at the breast. Then trying the “U” hold and showing how to have a correct latch. The nurse was extremely helpful during this breastfeeding education.  My main role was to offer a variety of suggestions to Lori and her husband throughout labor.


Mother's Reaction to Labor and Birth

The doctor said the day before her labor started said that she was around 3 cm dilated. She felt some pressure from her doctor to be induced since she was 41 weeks and 2 days gestation. She opted for a biophysical profile. She was told that her amniotic fluid was normal but on the low side. She said as long as it was normal then she would wait to go into labor herself.

Lori was woken up by her contractions and decided to go walking. She kept busy talking with her mother who was visiting. She appeared upbeat and excited about these early contractions. This meant that she did not have to be induced. After dinner she seemed a little annoyed at the contractions staying so far apart. After two hours of helping her stay calm and focused the contractions became more frequent. As soon as the contractions became about 4 minutes apart she wanted to go to the hospital.

The car ride really had a negative effect on her, she started to cry. Lori had some difficulty getting back into a comfortable rhythm or relaxation ritual with the interruption of EFM and IV saline lock. She felt like the Jacuzzi really helped but missed the previous counter pressure. She decided after a few hours that she needed to get back into the bed.

At this point she heard that her least favorite doctor was on call until 7 am. He also made some comments about things going slowly and referenced to women dying in childbirth in the 1800s. He also said he needed to catch a plane that morning, so he would be leaving. During this time she had reversed dilated by about 1 cm less. Lori was upset by his comments and did not want to have him as the doctor delivering her baby.

The nurse mentioned that her baby might be in a posterior position. Lori tried different positions. AROM at 6:30 am, and continuous monitoring. Lori was a little saddened about the continuous monitoring but she said it was not too big of a deal because at that point she did not want to get out of bed.  At this point the other doctor she preferred more was going to deliver her baby.

She was told she had an anterior lip of cervix left and expressed she was tired and wanted to take some medication. The nurse said she was too close and advised her not to have medication at this point. She felt overwhelmed, but soon was pushing. She liked pushing but was so tired. She did not want Pitocin but the nurse said it might help; she used the standard hospital pushing method.

The doctor said that she was going to tear and needed to give her an episiotomy. She was so exhausted at this point she said that she just wanted to get the baby out! After the birth she was ecstatic. She did not like the stitches but felt the overall experience was amazing and she found a new sense of power within herself that she knew she had but wanted to prove it to herself! 

What I learned as a Doula

I learned many things but for the most part, I gained knowledge on how to help the family communicate with the staff, keeping a positive atmosphere and how to help a husband participate. I felt like it was a little tricky, trying to work with such a long labor but then to have some negative comments and people around made it even more difficult. I found that I could help protect the mother’s birthing space and facilitate peace in any setting. I realized that I am there to help Lori have the best experience she can, even when decisions are made that I would have chosen differently. After everything is over, what matters is that Lori feels empowered and confident with herself and her choices, despite anything that happened to her or any change of plans that occurred. 

    About Me:

    Hello! My name is Linda. I am a Doula CD(DONA), Hypno-Doula, Childbirth Educator, Midwife Assistant and a Registered Nurse (RN) by profession. 

    I had two wonderful births with my daughters Mariah, Makayla, Maleah and wanted other women to have the best birthing experience they could. 

    This website is created to help women and their partners become more informed about birthing choices, classes and labor/birth methods. 

    I am currently NOT taking doula clients (due to my recent baby's birth & nursing her). If you live in Utah, the Salt Lake City/Tooele county area, and have thought about wanting a doula helping you at your baby's birth, please email me at naturalchildbirthing@gmail.com 

    For more information about finding Doula's go to:
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    Or https://hypnobabies.com/find-a-hypno-doula-2/find-a-hypno-doula-2 

    Try the FREE download of "Relax Me Hypnosis MP3 & What Is Childbirth Hypnosis?"                                                            https://www.hypnobabies.com/free-mp3


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