Norah’s Birth: A Breech Birth Story

Norah napping with Daddy

Baby Norah is here! Our beautiful third baby arrived right on her due date last Thursday, February 5th.

I would have never imagined that each of my births would be so completely different from one another. While I haven’t shared my first born’s birth story on here, I did share my second birth. I’m sure I’ll write out my son’s birth story 6 years later but today I’m writing about my beautiful Norah and how she chose to come into this world. [Read more…]

Best Start Birth Center San Diego {Review}

When I learned that I was pregnant for the second time I knew I wanted to pursue other options when it came to where I gave birth. The experience I had with my son was not my ideal situation and I wanted to make sure that I did everything possible to make sure I would receive the birth I dreamed about. Yes, I know that sounds crazy but I just knew I could give birth naturally with no intervention and wanted those around me at that time to believe so too.

I went in search of a birthing center that not only allowed for a natural birth but was also covered by my insurance. And that’s when I learned about Best Start Birth Center San Diego Best Start is the only state-licensed, nationally accredited, free-standing birth center in Southern California. That means they are not part of a hospital or HMO. They are a private practice owned and operated by midwives. They have physicians associated with the practice whom we consult with and refer clients to as needed, but they are not here for deliveries — it is the midwives who do the deliveries. Best Start is also the only state-licensed, nationally accredited facility in San Diego offering Water-birth.

Best Start Birth Center

When I went in for my first appointment I was immediately set at ease. I received a tour of the facilities, met a few of the midwives there that day and got to know the reception staff and nurses. I would come to find out that they are a tight knit group who work very well with each other. Every time I called in or had a question or concern at an appointment I was quickly helped and given great information and answers. I never felt like my concerns weren’t important nor did I think that anyone was hurrying me up or brushing me off. I was important and they cared as much about my pregnancy as I did. My best interest was their concern.

Each time I went in for a prenatal appointment I would see a different midwife. They do this so that you get to know each midwife at the practice. The midwives rotate who is on call so when you go into labor you don’t know who’s on call until you call in. As luck would have it the only midwife I didn’t get to meet due to schedule conflicts (I always had to make my appointments for certain dates and some midwives were off on those dates) was the midwife who would deliver my daughter.

But that wouldn’t matter. From the first few moments I met Brita on the day I came in to deliver my daughter I knew things were going to be ok. Throughout the birth both Brita and her birth assistant were reassuring, calm and empowering. I wasn’t sure if I could get through my natural birth without my trusty doula and best friend by my side (like at my son’s birth) but with these two women I knew I could. Every step of the way they were there to guide me. They offered me different suggestions and positions and never once said I had to do anything. They let me decide what I felt most comfortable with and when I needed direction the most they helped me out.

Being placed in mommy's arms 5

As soon as my daughter came into the world I knew I had made the right decision in going with Best Start Birth Center. She was immediately placed in my arms and was allowed to stay with me for a bit. Then she was taken to be measured and weighed while I delivered the placenta. I then tried to get her to latch on before handing her over to Daddy while they sutured me up (yup… I tore!). The whole time we were there after giving birth she was in the room with us either in my arms or in Daddy’s arms. My son came to visit two hours later with my mother-in-law with lunch in tow and four hours after that we were headed home.

Coming home from the birthing center

Two days after I gave birth a nurse came to my home to check on me and the baby. She offered help with breastfeeding and gave me great suggestions for different foods to eat, teas to drink and how to overall care for myself while caring for a new baby. At my 6 week check up I was greeted by congratulations and smiles while everyone oohed and aahed at my new daughter. I felt as if I had come full circle from the first time I visited the birthing center seeing the new mom next to me waiting for her 6 week appointment. If I decide to get pregnant again I will more than likely be turning to Best Start to deliver my third child.

To read my full birth story go here. And if you are considering a birthing center for the birth of your child and have more questions please feel free to contact me at any time!

Molly Claire’s Birth Story

Molly with Mommy shortly after being stitched up

I woke up at 1:45 on Tuesday morning to Ethan crawling into bed with us. I fell back asleep but at 2:30 I woke up again with some back pain. I couldn’t fall back asleep so I went to play on the computer. I started to feel contractions so I started timing them and was surprised to see that they were 3 minutes apart.

After 45 minutes I called the midwife on call to let her know what was going on. I was surprised to have her answer right away and she didn’t even sound tired. I would later find out that another woman was in labor with her first and had arrived at 1am that morning. She told me to continue to time them and when they continued to stay 3-5 minutes apart for a full hour to call back.

They continued so I woke up Joseph and told him I was going to take a shower. Ethan woke up and wouldn’t go back down so he and Joseph started watching Madagascar 2. I called the midwife, Brita, again and mentioned that they weren’t super intense. I also told her about my 8:30 appointment that morning and we both agreed to just have me come in then to see what was going on. She also assured me that she would be at the center so I could come in at any time if things changed.

By then it was 5am so we called Ann, my MIL, to see if we could drop Ethan off at 8am before my appointment and started getting ready for the day. We called Ann back a few minutes later to see if she could come pick Ethan up instead of us dropping him off. I continued having regular contractions and they started to feel a little more intense.

40 weeks pregnant

Ann came by at around 6:30 and Ethan was ready to jump in the car. I guess he knew what was going on to a degree and had no problem heading off with Grandma. Or he knew Papa was at Grandma’s and he wanted to play with him. He kissed us goodbye and was on his way…

By 7:50 we were in the car heading to the birthing center. On the drive over the contractions got more intense and maybe 2-3 minutes apart. But they were definitely bearable. We circled around to find un-metered parking since we didn’t know how long we would be there. I checked in at 8:30 and waited for the midwife. She was still with the woman who was in labor.

She came and got me at about 8:45 and had me pee in a cup. Then she measured the fundal height and checked Molly’s heartbeat. She then checked to see how dilated I was. She exclaimed “Wow!” And I asked if she felt Molly’s head thinking she was just responding to how low she was. She them told me I was 8cm dilated and fully effaced. OMG!

She admitted me at 8:50 and showed me my room. She asked if it were ok to have me in the back room since she had to go from the woman in the front room to me and going up the stairs may be harder. I had no preference and didn’t mind at all. She then asked if I wanted a water birth and I said I would try it. But when she drew the bath and I got in she quickly realized that I was too tall for the tub in the room. She assured me that we could move upstairs if needed and I told her that it wasn’t a problem.

I got out of the tub and started having contractions one after another with maybe 30 seconds of reprieve in between and asked the labor assistant when Brita was going to check me again. She ran to get Brita (she was w/ the other laboring woman) and when Brita checked me I was at 10. I quickly got on the bed to allow them to check the baby’s heartbeat since they couldn’t find it while I was swaying at the bedside trying to get through the intense contractions.

Brita also told me the only thing holding back Molly was my bag of waters so I asked shat would happen when she broke it. She smiled and said that as soon as I started pushing the bag should break on its own.

By this time I really don’t think I knew exactly how close I was to having this baby. I got on my hands and knees and began pushing with the next contraction. Next thing I knew my water broke. The midwife asked if this was how I wanted to push her out and I told her I had no clue. She tried to get a reading on the Baby M’s heartbeat but couldn’t find it in the position I was in so she asked if I could turn around for just a second. I got slightly on my side and put my leg up on her shoulder.

I was ready to push this baby out and push her out now. I started pushing and the midwife asked if I was pushing with a contraction. I told her I had no idea when the contractions were coming, I just needed her out now. She than felt my stomach and would tell me when to push. She and Joseph both told me how strong I was and how close I was to meeting my daughter. The midwife asked if I wanted to see or feel her and I quickly turned her down quickly (I guess I am pretty mean and snappy when I am in pain) and just wanted to focus on pushing.

I felt the midwife’s hands and didn’t understand why Molly wasn’t out yet. Later on I would find out that the midwife just wanted to help prevent any damage with her coming so fast. I finally was at the point where her head was crowning and with the burning ring of fire I felt all I could think about was getting her out. With two pushes after that she was out. As soon as her little body was out, she was on my chest. The midwife looked at the clock and told us she was born at 9:45.

Being placed in mommy's arms 5

I was shocked at how fast it all went! In less than an hour from being admitted I was holding my little girl. The midwife later on mentioned that she thinks my body just went for it after she told me I was 8cm since I had such a huge grin on my face after she told me.

Molly latched on as soon as she cleared out her lungs with some screaming and nursed for a good 30-45 minutes. I had a 2nd degree tear so as I got stitched up Joseph got some skin-to-skin time with Molly. More to come about big brother Ethan meeting his sister for the first time…

Ethan meeting Molly for the first time

Looking to give birth at a birthing center and live in San Diego? Check out my review of Best Start Birth Center San Diego here.

Ethan Joseph is here!

He was born on Sunday, February 22nd at 2:45pm. Delivery went well (as it could have). Water broke at 7:45am. We called L & D shortly after (I took a shower and ate first). They told us to come in. We came in and I was having no contractions/no pain and was only 1cm dilated. We tried to walk around a bit to get contrax going but weren’t progressing so they had to put me on pitocin 🙁

I tried to labor it out without going for meds but had to at least get something to take the edge off. At that time I was 3cm dilated. When that wore off I couldn’t handle it anymore and went for the epidural. I was about 4 cm dilated at the time. After an hour or two of intense pressure they checked again and I was at 9cm! Shortly thereafter I was ready and so was he. His head was right there ready to come out!

After 30 minutes of pushing he joined us. Throughout the pushing I had no tears and than when he came out I did tear quite a bit because he came so fast. But I don’t mind it. He’s just perfect. He’s 7 pounds 13.5 ounces and 21 inches long. He has blonde hair like his mama and papa and his eyes are gray-blue for now. We’ll see what they are in a few months. More pictures to come when we get settled.

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