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
“low-sugar” Electro light drinks like coconut water and Ener-C
Urinating every 30 mins or more often in early labour when I left I needed to.
“Mood” Lighting – Keeping the lights dim. Closing me eyes during every contraction and really focusing on controlled breathing.
Essential Oils – Diffusing essential oils to help with relaxation and stress
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.
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
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.
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.
The drive to The Birth Centre was one of the worst parts of my labour. With every contraction my low back was in just as much pain as the actual contraction pain. I couldn’t sit in the car normally so I decided to sit in the back seat backwards as we drove down Crowchild a little faster then usual. I had four contractions on the 15-minute drive to the Birth Centre and I have never been so happy to get out of the car.
By the time we arrived at the Birth Centre my midwife, Jen, was already there getting paper work started and running me a bath. My sister also arrived as a secondary support from my husband. As a got into the warm bath, my sister set up my aromatherapy diffuser while my husband continued to support me through each contraction. After labouring in the bath for about an hour, my contractions felt like they were coming faster, stronger and I started to feel the need to push. My midwife seemed surprised when I asked her if I should feel that already.
She wanted me to contract a little longer in different positions before offering to check my cervical progression. My back labour made it painful to sit or lay during a contraction but changing positions is the best way to have baby perfectly placed, ready to come down the birth canal. I had a few rounds of contractions bouncing on an exercise ball while my sister massaged my back, I had a couple rounds of contractions leaning against walls or my husband and I had a few rounds of contractions on my hands and knees/ child’s pose. Finally it was time to see my progression and thankfully I was dilated 9.5 cm but I had a bit of a cervical lip. This term means that you’re fully dilated, but an edge of your cervix (usually the anterior — or front — of the cervix) is a little bit swollen and is still in the way of baby’s head. When there is still a lip you can either push while your health care provider manually moves the lip with their fingers as you push, or you can labour a couple contractions longer in positions that put pressure on the lip and encourage it to “melt” away. I decided to labour a bit longer so back to the bath I went.
At about 1pm on February 1, 2017, my second midwife, Susan, showed up and it was finally time to push. Pushing can take moms any where between 30 minutes to 2 hours. After pushing in many unusual positions and many different areas of the birth suite I could start to feel my sweet baby’s head. After 2 full hours of pushing Miss Aria Lynn Cross was born at 2:59pm on February 1, 2017. I choose to do delayed cord clamping, prolonged skin-to-skin bonding, immediate breastfeeding and keeping my placenta for encapsulation. After about an hour of bonding with baby, delivering my placenta and getting stitched up, it was time for baby to get a quick check up and weigh in. Baby Aria weighed in at 6lb 3oz and measured 20 inches long.
We were both happy and healthy so it was time for us to get ready to go home. The midwives gave us some guidelines for me on normal bleeding and how often I should be feeding baby during the night and they help us gather all of our stuff. Midwives would be coming to the house in the morning to check on us. We made baby all nice and warm in her car seat and we were headed home by 5:30pm on February 1, 2017.
I was so happy to have a completely drug free and out of hospital birth. After 11 hours of labour and 2 hours of pushing I had my beautiful and healthy baby and were back at home by 6pm the same day.
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).
Try thinking of labour and delivery as along marathon that you want to fuel your body for. You want to make sure you give your body the food it needs to substance itself for hours. When a women is in labour, her uterus is the largest and hardest working muscle in your body. When it comes to food choices bland but sustaining is a good place to start, it’ll give you a good low release energy kick. Choose foods that go down easy, as well as offer the energy boost you’ll need for those more-challenging delivery moments. Try focusing on High dietary protein, high fibre but low in sugars.
After some research on the type of foods I should be fuelling my body with to help my body to perform well, I found some get muffin recipes that freeze well so they’re easy to have on hand.
Fuel to Go Muffins
2 cups multi grain flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup raisins/dried cranberries/dried blueberries (or any kind of dried fruit (figs,apricots etc) about 1 ½ to 2 cups total
2 cups grated carrots
1 apple shredded
8 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup chia seeds
¼ cup hemp seeds
⅔ cups olive oil (can also use vegetable oil)
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Add dried fruit, coconut, seeds,raisins, crushed pineapple, apple and carrots. Stir to combine.
In separate bowl whisk eggs with oil and vanilla.
Combine this mixture with dry ingredients and blend well. This will be very thick.
Fill 12 cupcake baking cups heaping full.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes
Morning Glory Muffins(Carrot, Raisin, Coconut and Pineapple)
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour ( I used 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 1/4 cups of all- purpose)
2/3 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple (including juices)
1½ cups shredded carrots (2-3 medium)
½ cup raisins
½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
½ cup walnuts (or pecans)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cups.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
In a separate bowl, beat together oil, eggs, and pineapple (including pineapple can juices). Stir egg mixture into the flour mixture, just until combined.
Stir in the carrot, raisins, coconut, and walnuts. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.
Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.
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
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
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.