You will have the birth you and your baby both need.
That statement resonated with me as I was preparing to birth my third and final baby. I was starting to get discouraged, here I am planning on having a Vba2c ( vaginal birth after 2 caesarians) and I was overdue. My first darling baby was born promptly on her due day ( 56 hour labour ending in a C-section), my second was born 11 days early ( 36 hrs of labour ending in a C-section), I knew the longer I went over due the chance of having a 3rd C-section loomed over my head. The odds were against me and I wanted to prove that I could have a vaginal birth, I wanted to prove to all the nurses and the obstetricians that I wasn’t crazy for attempting.
I was trying every which way to induce labour. I ate my 6 or 7 dates diligently since I was 35wks, I ate all the spicy food, climbed all the stairs until my legs turned to jello, drank litres of red raspberry tea, kept up with my evening primrose capsules both orally and vaginally, and even had sex every day… sometimes multiple times if my husband was lucky. Nothing worked.
It was when I was at my acupuncture appointment that I realized I needed to stop being so uptight about trying to get this baby earth side and start focusing on what I needed from this birth. I needed to have confirmation that I didn’t take the easy way out with my previous births by consenting to a caesarian. I needed a reminder that each baby came the way they were meant. I needed to trust my instincts and my ability to make informed decisions about what steps to take during birth.
My c-section scar started having shooting pains like I never felt before, I KNEW was time. I had to make my trek down the highway to the neighbouring city as my local hospital was on diversion. I was triaged, baby was being monitored, and the OB came in to make sure my uterus wasn’t rupturing (that’s the risk when trying for a vaginal birth after a c-section). Everything looked fine. He asked me if I wanted to have a baby tonight. I looked at my husband and with a clear mind I said yes! I didn’t argue or fight for a VBA2C. I knew in that moment I needed to have my baby in my arms. I knew I couldn’t wait any longer, 6 days overdue was long enough.
I had the birth I needed, not the birth I planned and dreamed of. I experienced the weeks of false labour that some women get and the frustration of the contractions not turning into anything significant. I experienced the frustration of being overdue. I knew healing from a 3rd caesarian was going to be hard, I knew baby needed to be born this way… I just didn’t know why. I trusted my instincts, no one forced me to have the c-section. I chose it and I’m proud of the choice I made.
Heidi, Owner, Yellow Bird Birth Inc.
It’s hard looking down and seeing what once was ankles, are now unrecognizable and have been consumed by these thick puffy cankles. Those sexy little sling back sandals you bought to match your dress are now impossible to fit, you might as well try and place a whole cow into a single sausage casing.
That you are tossing and turning each night trying to get to a good night’s rest. Sleep has become a foreign concept, and if another person comments on how tired you look, you may just burst into tears. Don’t they know that you now have a worn out path where your new hardwood floor once was because you have been pacing back and forth all night long. Pregnancy insomnia is such a struggle.
That there is nothing glamorous about the end of pregnancy. There is no shame in wearing those adult diapers or thick panty liners you are trying to hide under your jeans! Can’t be caught unprepared for a miscalculated sneeze or cough accident or better yet, JUST INCASE your water breaks in public? No one wants to be THAT pregnant lady.
That you are wanting to hide away in your home. If you receive one more text you or call you asking if baby is born yet, you will take a sledge hammer to your phone! And if another stranger (or friend) comments how huge you look, they may be unapologetically drowned in an unholy dose of pregnancy hormone rage that can’t be tamed.
The spilt juice on the floor will most likely be there tomorrow. After all bending, down to clean it may mean you’re on the floor for an extended amount of time, so you want to plan your day around cleaning that spill so you can be prepared to clean the baseboards, cupboards and fridge while your down there.
Waddling is no longer left to the penguins.
A crowded room is now your nemesis. No one likes sweat dripping down their back. Even if you had flashing lights and a wide load sign above your head, there is no way you’d be able to squeeze through the crowd, the classic “turn sideways, hold your breath and slide through” technique is no longer your friend. You either strategically find a space to spend your time (one that’s equally close to the food and beverages as it is to the bathroom but still in the cross breeze of the open windows), or your just ram your big O’ baby belly into people (making them feel as though it was they’re fault they bumped you) as you make your way across the room.
It’s frustrating waiting to see if every Braxton hicks you feel is going to be “THE REAL DEAL” this time, or that you have inspected that toilet paper you wiped to see JUST MAYBE you lost your mucus plug or had your bloody show.
All these things listed above will only be a faint memory the moment your babe is placed on your chest for the very first time. Those sling back sandals you never really liked anyways. Lack of sleep was just building up your endurance for all those late night feeds. Those adult diapers and panty liners, just gave you extra cushion when you sat on a hard chair, that’s the real reason you wore them. You’d never ACTUALLY take a sledge hammer to your phone, after all how else would you be able to baby spam all your friends and family? Your fridge and floors has never been cleaner since being pregnant. Who ever said you waddled was jealous of your pregnancy swagger! Crowded rooms just gave you an excuses to get out of those non-essential events that where going to bore you anyways. And really, inspecting your toilet paper after ever use of the bathroom just gave you something to do to pass the time.
Heidi, Owner, Yellow Bird Birth Inc.
We all have those mile long lists of things that need to get done before baby arrives, you know the one, it includes painting the nursery, making sure all the shelves are secured to the wall and cleaning supplies are out of reach of small children, stocking the freezer with ready-made meals, buying the newest and greatest baby gadget on the market, and packing the hospital bags. Often we can get consumed by the ever growing list, causing unnecessary stress and anxiety. We forget to take a deep breath, relax, and indulge in some self-care. For those of you who know me personally, know that I’m currently 28 weeks pregnant with my third and am currently in the midst of buying and moving to a bigger home around the same time baby is due; the stress and anxiety going through my brain is ridiculous. The irony of this blog post is definitely not lost on me, I’ve been actually laughing at myself as I wrote this. So how can we as pregnant women de-stress and relax? It’s not like we can grab that glass of wine anymore..
Its amazing how deep intentional breathes can relax your body and allow the stress and anxiety to melt away. The best part is, breathing exercises can be done at any time or anywhere. When taking those deep through the nose breaths, you are increasing blood flow, improving posture, calming your nervous system (reducing the fight or flight response), and pausing in the midst of chaos to become focused and grounded. Bonus is, if you can learn to take deep intentional breathes while pregnant, it will become second nature and will help when you are riding those long waves of contractions when it’s time for labour, WIN- WIN! Here is a very easy Breathing Technique I have been using called the 4-7-8 Method.
Get Outside and Exercise
Sunshine and Vitamin D is essential. The more fresh air you take in the more “clean” oxygen you are taking in which increases the serotonin (the happy hormone) you inhale, the happier you become. Going for a walk or any sort of exercise helps get those muscles moving, blood pumping, and help decrease any discomfort you are feeling such as backaches, relieves stress, and builds up stamina that is needed for the labour and delivery of your little on. Fresh air also gives you more energy and a clearer mind. After spending a few minutes outside you may notice an extra pep in your step and ready to take on the task at hand that was bogging you down a few minutes before. Being able to get outside may not always be possible when we need it the most, so opening a window and taking some deep breaths while standing beside it is a great compromise.
Take a Bath
This one is my favourite. While it’s recommended not to take a bath that’s hot enough to raise our body temperatures to 102.2 degrees for longer than 10 minutes, a bath is a great way to wash all the anxiety and stress away. Turn the lights off, light some candles, play some of your favourite music, read a book or watch a movie, pour yourself some bubbly (bubble bath that is), and just relax back. Turn your mind off! Ignore the doorbell, and your phone. Soak in the ambiance, romance yourself. If you have any other children, this may be difficult, but I have had great success using this technique after mine have gone to bed for the night. My husband knows I needs a “mommy time out” and he is “mom duty” for the next hour or so!
Sometimes getting down on all fours and scrubbing those stubborn stains off the baseboards or making some delicious backed goods (after all stressed spelled backwards is desserts) can be the best way for a person to work through their stress and anxiety. Bonus is if you’re in the late stages of your pregnancy as it’s said that being down on all fours can help shift baby into a great position for birth. It’s amazing how therapeutic scrubbing a floor or pounding down some risen dough is, for me at least, it’s when I do my best thinking, and am able to more often than not work out a solution for what is causing me to be stressed out or anxious.
Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, so why does the nursery have to be Pinterest perfect? Self-care is so important in any stage of life. If you can learn a way that works best for you to de-stress now, it will become a lifelong skill you can fall back on for the years to come. Pregnancy can be an overwhelming time for many women, but it also is a beautiful time to reflect and start bonding with your unborn child. So don’t let stress and anxiety control your pregnancy, take some time to enjoy the dessert 😉
Heidi, Client Care Specialist , Yellow Bird Birth Inc.
Birth Plan, Birth Preference, or Birth Map, whatever you choose to call it, writing down your ideal birth is a great way to communicate with your birth team. Before I elaborate, it’s important to know that birth plans should have flexibility and not all births go according to plan.
Birth plans are great opportunity for you and your partner to sit down and discuss what your birth wishes are, and what you want to avoid; it encourages you to be educated and responsible for your care (also known as informed consent). It encourages you to make clear goals and allow changes to be made if needed (not wanting to use any pain management vs receiving an epidural because your exhausted for being in labour for a while and need a few hours of sleep). If you and your birth team know what your preferences are in different scenarios, then everyone is on the same page and help you best articulate your desires accordingly. Don’t shy away from having a few copies with you at your birthing location, they can easily be lost or misplaced, and review with each of your support team (doula, partner, mom, sister… whoever is going to be out your birth).
Some things you may want to include in your birth plan:
- What kind of environment do you want to birth in (lights on or off, music playing or quiet, home or hospital, etc)?
- Do you plan to eat or drink during labour?
- Do you want staff to offer you pain meds?
- Who do you want present at the birth?
- What positions do you want to labour in?
- Do you want to stay in bed or do you want to move freely?
- Do want your care provider to break your water or do you want it to break on its own?
- In case of needing a c-section, do you have any special requests?
- Actively coached while pushing or do you want to follow your body’s direction?
- Do you want a mirror to be used when baby is crowning to connect with baby?
- Can forceps or vacuum be used to during delivery?
- Do you have any religious or cultural practices you want to everyone to be aware of?
- Cut the cord right away or delay cord clamping?
- Do you want baby to have skin to skin with you right away?
- Do you have any plans for your placenta?
And let’s be honest, the last thing you want is to be bombarded with questions and having to make decisions when you are in active labour and exhausted, so if there are others who can answer questions on your behalf the more time and effort you can put on focusing to bringing your bundle of joy earth side.
Side note, we cover ALL of these topics in our Prenatal Intensive Classes and we’d LOVE for you and your partner/support person to join us! Click HERE for more info.
Heidi, Client Care Specialist , Yellow Bird Birth Inc.
Are You Prepared?
We LOVE providing Abbotsford & Chilliwack with our long running Prenatal Intensive Classes! For years we have taught hundreds of couples the must know and basics of birth. It’s important to us that expecting couples feel prepared, have their questions answered and get some hands on techniques to walk into their birth feeling confident and in control. That’s you! You could feel confident and in control, knowing how to ask the right questions to make all your decisions (for all kinds of birth) that are right for your family.
We know people don’t have a lot of time these days which is exactly why we created a program covering all the basics in just 3 hours for an affordable price to be able to welcome everyone. Our instructors are not only trained but have hands on experience in birth and postpartum as doulas and personal experience with their own pregnancies. That’s the bonus! We share stories, laugh together and help you to feel supported and prepared.
We’d love to have you join us for one of our upcoming classes.
Research has shown that the support of a doula during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period can help growing families feel more confident and lead to a more satisfying birth experience and enhanced parent and infant bonding. During pregnancy and birth, labor doulas provide education, reassurance, and non-judgmental support. After birth, postpartum doulas provide ongoing education, emotional support and expert advice on all things baby!
The physical comfort measures that a labor doula can provide can help reduce pain and increase comfort during birth.
You don’t need to navigate the uncertainty of labor, birth and parenting a new baby alone. Your doula can be there with you, every step of the way.
Yellow Bird Birth
Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Group providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!
Need a bit of SPICE in your pregnancy? Hint… We aren’t talking cooking.
It’s the month of love and it’s getting steamy with couples ready for Valentine’s Day. Roses, chocolate and perhaps a night away in a romantic hotel furnished with the MOST COMFORTABLE bed you have ever slept in. Sounds nice doesn’t it? All of this won’t get you revved up and ready for a spicy night with your partner if your hormones have taken your sex drive hostage!
It happens. Many women have a pumped up drive during pregnancy while others wonder if they will ever get back to feeling sexy and normal again! Fair enough, your body has undergone major changes and perhaps nausea and tiredness are still lingering.
Slight changes in your day can prepare your mind and body to get you in the mood. Touching throughout your day is a perfect way to feel connected. Holding hands during a walk, a bit of a longer kiss before you leave for work and spending an evening cuddled up together all help lead to a steamy night. Does fatigue at night when you crawl into bed makes sex the last thought on your mind? Try switching to mornings or afternoons when you feel more awake.
Did you know research indicates women who regularly engage in intercourse during pregnancy have lower chances of giving birth prematurely? Having orgasms may be the key to lowering chances of giving birth early. Great news, now let’s get spiced up!
- Buy Maternity Lingerie: What better way to feel good than flaunting your new curves with intimates that are pretty AND comfortable!
- Book a Photo Shoot: Maternity shoots are all the rage right now. Spend an afternoon in a cozy bedroom with candles lit, music playing and some bright red lipstick as all the attention is on you making beautiful poses. Or take it outdoors to a lush forest with a flowing dress that fits your curves oh so well.
- Escape on a Baby-moon: A romantic little hotel in the next city for a night or flying away on a sun-filled, white beach vacation. Either way a change of scenery may be the trick to spicing up sex! Leave your worries at home and take some time to focus on each other before baby comes.
- Find a Good Position: What felt good before might not be working for you. Switch it up! Getting on top, side by side (keeps the most weight off your uterus) or sitting down can make all the difference plus throwing a couple pillows in there takes comfort to the next level.
Communication and openness are the keys to maintaining or improving sexual satisfaction during your pregnancy. Keep talking and remember, what is normal for other couples may not be normal for you!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
-Amanda & Jaclyn
Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Group providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!
I was sitting in a room of expecting moms the other night. Listening to their stories, their excitement, worries and how they were feeling that day. I love this. I love listening to each beautiful detail but something stood out to me. There was a need and a want, something was missing for them in their pregnancies.
Connection. Community. Other women who were in the same stage of life.
I started thinking back to when I was first pregnant. I was working full time, most of my friends had careers and busy with dating or their new marriages and spent their weekends socializing and traveling. It was relaxing and I enjoyed that lifestyle but I felt like I was standing with a foot on each side of the line. I was partly in my social circle of friends and the other half of me was entering into a new world of motherhood. It was difficult to meet other women going through pregnancy. There are many many groups in my area for new moms. Mommy and Me workouts, meet ups and baby music classes. But other than taking a prenatal class where you walk in, learn and leave without getting much for interaction, there wasn’t much for an expecting mom.
Have you felt like this? Have you been able to find women to surround yourself with who are going through pregnancy at the same time? Building good solid friendships.
I wanted to create a place where women, during their pregnancies, can come and build relationships, talk about what they are feeling that week and get a good workout at the same time. A place where it is relaxing to come and stretch your body and work out any discomforts you are having. A place where you can laugh a lot and get a little crazy (just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t shake your hips!).
I am inviting YOU! Come join us. Special invitation to hang out with great women, relieve pain during your pregnancy and have a fantastic time!
Don’t miss out on our July prenatal fitness session, sign up today! Email me at [email protected] to reserve your spot for this 4 week session!
Doula and Prenatal Fitness Instructor in the Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford and Chilliwack