Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Class #4 Labor Dry Run! by Mama to be, Abby Jordan

How many of you actually acted out what might happen when you went into labor for the first time? I had never heard of such of thing. Well, last night that's exactly what we did. We spent an hour and a half timing contractions, changing positions and being coached by our partners. My husband and I are still on the fence about a doula so this was a very important class for a few reasons. It gave him a chance to practice being my husband during labor and to practice being my coach. It gave me a chance to let go and to let him do the coaching. It also helped us work out some quirks, like breathing and the way he rubs my back.

Labor will be hard enough (so I've heard) as it is but I'm especially scared because I really like to be in control, of every situation. If you know me, you know it's true. I can't help it. So, labor is going to be a tough one for me. We know we really want to try and have our baby the most natural way possible. Mostly, I don't want pitocin and I don't want a c-section. I think I've mentioned this before. Therefore, we signed up for these classes to get a better understanding of the things we can do to help make this happen.

Last night we used ice to simulate the intensity of contractions. First we held onto bags of ice for the length of the contractions, next we had to put our hands in a bowl of ice and by the end we were dipping our hands in ice water. Ouch! Now, I'm sure those of you who have experienced labor thinks this probably pales in comparison to real contractions. I'm sure it does too. This was not to show us the level of pain. We used it to practice with our partners, what they should be doing and NOT doing during the different levels of intensity.

We want to stay at home and labor as long as possible. We want to be comfortable and in our own space. We practiced different positions so we could keep moving and get that baby moving in the right direction too. I really liked the lunge pose and the birth ball. Scott was there to remind me to take sips of water, change positions, rub my back and remind me to breathe. As of now, he's my couch. He really has the biggest responsibility. He has to keep me calm and focused. Eyes on the prize! Afterall, we are getting a baby out of all of this!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Class 3 = Stick it in!

That's what she said. OK, that's what I said when I was pregnant with my first baby with regard to the epidural. I sat through the childbirth classes and used it as a "moment" for the hubby and I to share in our pregnancy journey and that was it. I totally tuned out the c-section talk because there was no way that would happen to me, and we giggled as he sat behind me squeezing my ample butt in a poor attempt at the double hip squeeze...it was supposed to help me handle contractions, but there was a little secret my childbirth teacher didn't know. I didn't need all that pain management crap since I was getting the epidural the moment I felt my uterus twinge...so THERE!

Induction day arrived and I went into the hospital ready to get the pitocin and epidural package. But to my horror...that bitch nurse made me contract for HOURS without getting the pain relief!! WHY didn't anyone tell me I had to dilate at LEAST until 3 to get it?? Or had she? Who cared...it hurt like hell and all I did was lie in the bed in the fetal position and grab my husband's hand and cry and hiss for "that boy" (AKA the hot resident) who was chatting it up during my contractions (which, by the way, hurt so bad I could ignore his bedroom eyes and curly black hair...OK, I noticed it!) to get the flick out so I could writhe in my own misery without anyone looking at me.

Fast forward to last winter. I decided it was time to teach women that A. Normal Birth is GOOD. (notice I didn't say natural...although that is good, too!) B. If you want a natural and normal birth, it doesn't make you crazy, a martyr, a fool, or any of the other BS people tell you if you dare to say those words. C. You can have a healthier birth WITH an epidural...yes, you heard that right...WITH an epidural. That's what my classes are about. Teaching those that want a normal birth to have one, and those that want an epidural how to do it BETTER than I did and how most women in Omaha do...so the baby and they can have the best start possible.

Ok...that's as serious as I get. Next week we're on to labor rehearsal. OOOOOOH boy..I LOVE it! These mom's and dad's can put the info they've had so far to use!

'Till next week!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Class #3 Start Asking Questions! by Mama to be, Abby Jordan

Our 3rd Class at Baby Love Birth Services was all about medical intervention and natural techniques that actually might work. Let's just start by saying after watching 2 or 3 videos of women giving birth at class last night, I definitely was trying to give birth in my dreams. I also want everyone to know that I am not afraid of getting some pain relief. I'd like to think I'm pretty tough and can manage the pain but let's face it, I'm no hero and I'm not trying to be. I honestly just want to focus on what's best for baby, so here is how I see it. Getting an epidural off the bat, 5 or less centimeters dilated, will most likely slow down your contractions to the point where the hospital is not comfortable with your progress. They will then most likely administer Pitocin. Pitocin is a drug you get to help you have contractions. Yay! Except they are not really natural contractions. They are harder, longer and more stressful on your baby. You are now on two pretty strong drugs and the hopes of getting up and moving around to help with labor is probably over. You'll be lying in the bed asking if your having contractions and hoping they move along fast enough so you don't have to have a C-section from the pure exhaustion of the experience. I am terrified of having a C-section. I'm not afraid of surgery in general, I'm just afraid I will not bounce back as quickly. I've pretty much heard from my mom my whole life, you'll probably have C-sections. My pelvis was too little and yours probably is too. Who knows? Maybe it is? My whole point in taking these classes and learning the non-medical side of giving birth is to get a little bit a knowledge about how the system works. What I've described above just might be the way it all goes down for us but knowing my options makes me feel better about our birthing experience. Plus!!! Dr. Kate is going to make sure my pelvis is looking good and optimal for delivery. She will also assist and possibly work some magic if we find out our sweet little tiny is breech.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This won't hurt a bit!

ALRIGHT, OK! I have no idea how to write a blog and I’m sure you’ll all be able to tell that this is my first attempt, BUT, there is something I am SO passionate about that I’m willing to step way out of my comfort zone to talk about it. Pregnant women…..the myths stop here! In my six years of practicing chiropractic, I have heard a recurrent theme: my back hurts, but it’s just because I’m pregnant.


I can tell you as a pregnancy chiropractor and as a mom that has been pregnant twice, you don’t have to be uncomfortable while you’re pregnant. READ THIS CAREFULLY – Back pain during pregnancy isn’t normal. In fact, pain anywhere in your body isn’t “normal”. It’s common, because we often try to ignore it or figure it’s just there, BUT, it’s actually your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t right. Most often in pregnancy, it involves the joints (and muscles and nerves) because of ligament laxity and the changing biomechanics that come with carrying (the BEAUTIFUL!) growing baby belly. I will spare you the anatomy, physiology and biochemistry of pain for blogging etiquette sake, but put simply, back pain is not normal (EVEN WHEN YOU'RE PREGNANT!!!). You don’t have to suffer!

From a woman that has been through pregnancy twice myself, I can assure you that chiropractic adjustments throughout pregnancy are extremely helpful! There is not enough money in the world to make me go through a pregnancy without getting chiropractic care to prevent back pain. (NOT to mention that getting adjusted makes labor faster and easier….but that will be a topic for another time).

I know you might think my opinion is skewed because I do this for a living, SO, I hope you’ll take into consideration what our “pregnant mama”, Abby, had to say.

Check out her blog entry about her first chiropractic experience. (I’m honored to be her first!!)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dr. Kate, My Second Visit, But I've had this pain for years!! by Mama to be, Abby Jordan

I went to my second chiropractic appointment in my life on Monday. It is so enlightening. I was feeling really good and probably would not have made another appointment but I just kept hearing a voice in my head saying, you need to make follow up appointments to make sure things stay in place. So, I did it. I ran in there thinking, I'm already all good, this will be super quick. I was wrong. My little lower discs had started slipping back to where they had been for the last God knows how long so she moved them back into place, again. I then started complaining about all my ailments from childhood through now. The first thing I told her about were how my knees and hips always hurt really badly after a day of standing or other physical activity. I told her the pain had been way less recently and I read it was because of the glucosamine that your body releases during pregnancy. She agreed but checked me anyway. Well, one of my hips needed to be popped. I say popped because that's what I heard. I am not sure what she did but I went through rounds of Xrays, MRI's etc in college because of this darn hip. I can't wait to feel the results. It already feels better but to not have to baby it or pop ibuprofen will be sweet! Another successful visit with Dr. Kate Hansen. Next, we are going to do acupuncture. Can you imagine the things she is going to discover about me then?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

So class two is where they get to see the money shot....

The Big Hoo Hoo. The mighty V. The live birth. It always makes me laugh when my adorable couples squirm in their seats during the birth video...the dad's look pastey white and like little deer in headlights and the moms..well, it appears by the looks on their faces that they are connected to the mom on the screen and can actually feel the crowning sensation that she is.(which, if you hook your fingers into the corners of your mouth and PULL until it burns, that my friends, is similar to what the "ring of fire" feels like!)

In class two I try my best to give them an idea of what happens inside their bodies during each stage of labor and what their partners can do to provide comfort and support during each stage. It's A LOT to take in...I think many of them feel overwhelmed with the amount of responsibility that is truly put on the partners' shoulders the moment a mama's uterus begins to twinge. At the end of this class I pick the parents' chins up off the floor, wipe the sweat off their brows and I introduce the idea of hiring a doula as one of their options for pain management.

A DOULA is a greek word which translates into "woman's servant." No, really... A doula is an educated (and hopefully certified!) woman hired by an expecting couple to continuously provide emotional and physical support to them during the entire course of labor. I tell my couples that the doula bascially takes the thinking part out of the labor and delivery so the couple can focus on eachother and the doula can be the one to remember which positions help to dilate quicker, or rotate a sunny side up baby, or to slow down the delivery so she reduces tearing, etc. She encourages, massages, suggests, explains, and supports during the labor. Basically she's the walking book of knowledge that guides the couple into having the birth they've envisioned as best she can.

Here is a more detailed description of what Baby Love Birth Services doulas will do if they are hired...http://babylovebirthservices.squarespace.com/doulaomahane/

Check out this link that shows a few minutes of what a doula does!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvmB96cRnaU&playnext=1&list=PL7170BCE1586FECA3&index=55

Until next week!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Class #2 To Doula or Not To Doula? by Mama to be, Abby Jordan

Our second class at Baby Love Birth Services flew by! Before we knew it, it was over. This class was all about the three stages of labor. I think Scott and I were so enamored by all that was going on that we didn't realize how much time had passed. I just kept leaning over to him and saying, "Write that down!" When is it okay to take a bath? What should I do in between contractions? When should we go to the hospital? I think I was more worried about if he would remember all these things for me. There's so much that goes into what the coach needs to know that I'm worried he is going to be just as scared as me and not remember some of the simple steps and techniques that we learned tonight.

Since becoming pregnant I have never really thought about using a Doula. My main concern has always been about this being an experience for my husband and I to share. I bought him a book on husband coached labor etc. I honestly thought a Doula would get in the way of the experience we were sharing together. As we went through the class last night it dawned on me that not only would a Doula ease my mind but she would really take the pressure off of my husband. She would do all of the guiding and let us focus on each other and the experience. It's funny to me now thinking that she would take away from the experience. We are going to be in a hospital with lots of unfamiliar faces. Bringing along another familiar face could only ease my mind more.

My husband and I still have some talking to do to figure out what is going to be best for us. We are still not quite sure if we are going to have a Doula but I definitely understand the benefits and would recommend at least looking into what a Doula assisted birth might be all about.

OMG! Dr. Kate is AMAZING! My First Chiropractic Visit! by mama to be, Abby Jordan

For as long as I can remember back I have sworn off of chiropractics. I love massages but for some reason I thought the whole back cracking thing was pushing it. I also love yoga and thought, "Listen, I can get myself aligned okay?" Well, turns out I can't. Since I've been pregnant I've been especially lazy with yoga. I have really been doing it on an as needed method to stretch out sore muscles. Last weekend I had taken things too far. My lower back had been sore all week and finally on Saturday it was almost too much to take. I spent Saturday and Sunday alternating heat and ice. It relieved some of the pain but I thought I would check out a Chiropractor. Since I had been taking the Baby Love Birth Classes I knew about Dr. Kate Hansen. She specializes in prenatal care and I thought she'd be perfect for my leap of faith.

Today, I had my very first session with Dr. Kate Hansen. I had an assessment and it turns out my pelvis and my tail bone were not aligned. Can you believe it? I could!! As soon as she made the adjustment I felt a difference. I know I will need more treatments to ensure everything stays all lined up (something else I've always been skeptical of) but it makes sense. Who knows how long I have been off the track? Of course, my bones and muscles are going to try to revert.

I have been pregnant for almost 30 weeks now and I kept thinking that back pain was part of the process. I kept thinking, "I am gaining weight up front and it must be putting pressure on my back ." I really didn't know that you could go through pregnancy (or life) without back pain.
I'm thrilled I finally hung up my misconceptions and tried it out.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Our First Class! Episiotomy, Ice Chips, 12 Pound Baby, Oh My! We're Learning Already! by Mama to be, Abby Jordan

My husband and I attended our first class with Kristi at Baby Love Birth Services and we were thrilled!! Okay, so we weren't sure what to expect. Are there going to be other couples like us? Are people going to judge if we want an epidural? Will it be all home birth this and only ALL natural that? We were, of course, so happy that the other couples in the room were there for what seemed like all the same reasons we were. They wanted facts, stories, answers and scenarios from people who were trained in the field, who have been there and who weren't being influenced by what's best for the business side of having babies. They wanted information about the birth of their child, what happens and how it all works. Personally, I kept looking online for a book or guide to help us get mentally prepared and then I came across these classes. They are perfect for people who, like us, want to be as prepared as possible to make all kinds of decisions on the greatest, most exciting and most adventurous day of our life!

After the first class alone we already feel like we are a step ahead. Did you know that your baby really, truly decides when natural labor starts? A chemical is released from the baby's brain and it starts the process. I had no idea! I thought it was up to these old bones to get things moving. See?! So much more to learn. We can't wait! Thanks, Kristi! See you next class!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Alright, all you mother-bloggers...

and mother-to-be bloggers! It’s time to introduce Baby Love Birth Services and all the phenomenal birth-tastic women behind it to my pregnant (and not-so-pregnant) sisters in Omaha! Starting with me…My name is Kristi Wilson, the tired and fierce mother of 4 kids (3 from my loins and one awesome stepson), wife of almost 10 years (holy crap!) to my quieter other half, and birth junkie. I am a certified doula, certified childbirth educator, certified baby whisperer (seriously..there’s a certification for that!) and breastfeeding advocate offering something to the women in Omaha that has never been offered before…Uncensored, up-to-date information about birth and newborn care taught from a mainstream mama’s point of view. And damned if I’m not funny, which changes the feel and face of Prepared Childbirth and Newborn classes into something to be ENJOYED, instead of having to pull that partner kicking and screaming every week for two hours of vagina talk. 

I partnered up with a fantastic chiropractor that had the same mindset as me…She wants help Omaha families have healthier pregnancies, births, and after, but does it with her hands instead of her mouth. (that’s what she said…sorry. If you take my class I can hardly contain myself and NOT say that when the opportunities are too perfect!) Dr. Kate Hansen is not only a certified acupuncturist, but also focuses on pregnancy, women, and baby chiropractic care and AMAZINGLY can cure tons of those common pregnancy and newborn ailments that we were always told was just part of being pregnant by a crackin’ here and a pokin’ there. Her office now houses all the Baby Love Birth Services classes AND we’ve recently expanded to include a store with all kinds of goodies for our mamas and babies to indulge in.

With another series of "Not Your Mama's Childbirth Class" starting up on Wednesday, I thought it would be fun to follow a mom-to-be through the last trimester and first few months after her first little cherub arrives. I think my classes are pretty awesome, but I thought it would be better to find out what a real Omaha mom thinks...and see how she uses the information when the D-day actually arrives...so stay tuned to learn more about our Not Your Mama mama, Abby Jordan!