How I accomplished my all-natural (drug free) labour/ delivery

  1. Drinking a sip of water after ever contraction. Sometimes I would throw it up but it was good to try to get hydration. A hydrated cervix is a happy cervix
  2. “low-sugar” Electro light drinks like coconut water and Ener-C
  3. Urinating every 30 mins or more often in early labour when I left I needed to.
  4. “Mood” Lighting – Keeping the lights dim. Closing me eyes during every contraction and really focusing on controlled breathing.
  5. Essential Oils – Diffusing essential oils to help with relaxation and stress
  6.  My Birth Partner – Having my husband there to support me through contractions and be on the same page as to what I wanted to accomplish. Words of encouragement are a huge motivation.
  7. Moving into Different Positions- squatting, child pose over birthing ball, laying on my side, leaning against my birth partner, lunging up the stairs and leaning against the shower wall
  8. Bath/ shower – The hot shower on my back helped during contractions for my back labour. The bath was good to get into different positions that were hard out of the water due to pain or the heaviness of my pregnant body.
  9.  Inspirational music. I played Christian music during my whole labour. Some songs that always help me through rough situations are below.
  • Oceans – Hallsong

Sprit lead me where my trust is without boarders let me walk upon the waters whenever you would call me. My faith will be made stronger in the presences of my savior

  • He Said- Group 1 Crew

He said I wont give more, more then you can take and I might let you bend but I wont let you break. I wont ever let you go., don’t you forget what he said.

  • Holy Spirit – Francesca Battistelli

Holy Spirit you are welcome here. Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere. Let us become more aware of your presences.

Aria’s Birth Story – Part 1

At 7 weeks pregnant, I was given a due date of February 8, 2017, which never changed through the pregnancy.

At 37 weeks pregnant, you are concerned full term and can start preparing your body to give birth. Most doctors and midwives suggest drinking red raspberry leaf tea, taking evening primrose oil (orally or vaginally), having sex and taking a pill called EZ birth.

On Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 1:30 pm I went to my midwife appointment, I was 38 weeks plus 6 days. I asked my midwife, Chelsea, to do a membrane sweep but when she check my cervix it was high and still closed so she couldn’t do anything. The only thing that showed any sign of labour happening in the next couple weeks was that baby’s head was engaged.  The midwives expected that could be late by a week since that is very common. I could feel a lot of pelvic pressure so I knew that baby’s head was getting deep in my pelvic so I thought that it was going to be an uncomfortable couple of weeks.

 After my appointment, my husband and I decided to go to Chinook Mall for a walk since the weather had become colder the last couple days and I didn’t want to risk falling on the ice. We stopped at Starbucks and chatted about what I might need to get before the baby comes and what I thought I could just get later in the week.

After a regular evening of dinner, some Tv watching and getting kicked in the ribs over and over, I had a conversation with my bump. I said “ I know I wanted a February baby, well tomorrow is February so you can come out now”. Later that night while lying in bed I had a weird feeling. I felt I needed to go to the washroom but didn’t think I need to pee. The feeling didn’t go away so at 12am on February 1, 2017 I went to the washroom and my water broke as I sat on the toilet. I called to my sleeping husband “ Daniel, my water just broke and my mucus plug is coming out” and with the best response ever he replied “Ha that’s funny”. After taking 5 minutes to have an “oh shit this is happening” moment, I put on a pad to catch the never ending drips of liquid and when back to sleep while I was contraction free.

At 1 am on February 1, 2017, I had my first contraction. It was mild and just felt like a side or stomach cramp. It lasted longer then I thought it would (about 50 seconds) but then it was gone. I figured it would be awhile till my contractions were regular so off to sleep I went again. At 1:40am I had a second contraction that was noticeablely stronger and was just as long as the first, there was no sleeping for me after that. Contractions came regularly and strong enough that I couldn’t stay laying down. By 3am I couldn’t let me husband sleep anymore. I needed him up with me to time contractions or help me breathe. I knew it could be a long road to baby so I wanted to try and eat to keep my energy up, Sadly with every new contraction I would throw up the bites of muffin and water I had consumed moments just before.

At 6:45am on February 1, 2017, I had contractions coming every 4 minutes and they were lasting at least a minute. I was unable to talk or move while having the contractions so I really had to stop and focus while I had each one. I had reached the 411 rule (contractions every 4 mins, lasting at least 1 minute and its been happening for an hour) and it was finally time to call the midwives. At 8 am one of my midwives, Jen, arrived at the house to do my assessment and see if it was time to move to my birth place or if we should labour at home long. All the midwives that had heard I was in labour (Jen, Chelsea and Susan) where a little skeptical on my progression due to the fact that I was just in clinic less then 24 hours earlier with no cervical opening at all. When I was accessed it showed that I was 4 cm dilated and my cervix had completely thinned. It was time to move to our birthplace (The Arbour Birth Centre).

birth-centre
This was my birth room at the Arbour Birth Centre in Calgary. 

Whats in my Hospital Bag?

Since my plan is to give birth at a birth centre instead of a hospital some of the items in my hospital bag aren’t allowing in most hospital. ** Indicates the items that you would need to check on before using in traditional birth settings.

  • 2 pairs of warm, nonskid socks that can get ruined
  • A warm robe or nighty you don’t mind sacrificing to the cause ( I have a labour and delivery robe from Pink Blush)
  • Maternity bras or  bra with no underwire and nursing pads
  • Lip balm
  • Toiletries and personal items (hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, face wash, makeup, shampoo, conditioner , Hair ties and lotion)
  • Inspirational or calming music **
  • Camera and camera charger
  • Cellphone and Cellphone charger
  • Comfortable going home clothes
  • Birth plan (3 copies)
  • Maternity underwear (or comfortable underwear) and heavy overnight pads
  • Diffuser and essential oils **
  • Snacks ** ( high protein/ high fibre and low in sugar) I made a couple different healthy muffins recipes and have them stored in the freezer
  • Coconut water**
  • Ener-c Packs **
  • Cooler and Ice packs for bring home my Placenta (I plan to do encapsulation)

Depending on if you have a midwife or an OBGYN the hospital bag list my differ, however, most of the top point are pretty standard for either health practitioner and either birth place.

What’s in Baby’s Hospital Bag ?

Since you never know how long you will be away from home and at your birth location its good to be prepared. If you are giving birth at the hospital there are somethings that they will provide for the new baby that you don’t get at alternative birth locations (like birth centres). This list is everything I wanted to pack and/or what my midwives suggested for either a hospital or birth center birth.

  • 2- 3 sleepers (you ever know what feeding or changing mishaps may arise)
  • Baby blanket (s)
  • Receiving blanket
  • Disposable Diapers (save the cloth diapers for when you are back at home)
  • Wipes
  • Coconut Oil (helps to prevent the sticking of meconium to the infants bottom)
  • Booties or socks
  • Hat
  • Going home outfit
  • Infant car seat
  • Jacket or Snowsuit (if its that time of the year)

If you are at the hospital, especially for an extended period of time, they will provide disposable diapers and formula for the baby.

As a mom-to-be I want to pack everything I might possibly need, try to resist, don’t over park the baby bag. Make sure you have appropriate items for the weather and a safe car seat, you will do fine.

Struggles at 34 Weeks

On December 28, 2016, I reached my 34th week of pregnancy with only 42 days till my due date. Baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (about the size of a cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. My sweet niece that is now 5 years old was born at 34 weeks and I think back at that 5lb baby and I cant believe that is was it rocking and rolling inside me.

Sleep has become a challenge as finding a comfortable position is harder then ever. Muscles are feeling tight and sore in many areas of my body and when people say that February is so soon I can’t seem to agree wen I am laying a wake at 3am. Perhaps this lack of rest is our bodies’ way of preparing me for the many nightly wake up calls that are rapidly approaching.

Breathlessness. This baby seems to like pushing against my lungs, diaphragm and rib cage. There really isn’t anything you can do however, f you’re pregnant for the first time, your baby is likely to drop down into your pelvis around 36 weeks, this is when the breathlessness might ease. The only other thing that I find works a bit is holding your hands over your head when you try to take a big deep breathe.

Nesting. I want to get everything clean, put away and organized. I know this is a normal part of getting ready for your little one but I’m sure I don’t need to fold the same sleepers 5 times. Some say an increase in the amount of adrenaline coursing through your system around 37 – 39 weeks of your pregnancy probably contributes to this final frenzy, but the emotional factors are just as strong and its productive, But don’t be upset if the nesting urge doesn’t strike you at all. That’s perfectly normal, as well, and doesn’t at all indicate a problem.

nesting