• S and C started care with me in the first trimester of their third pregnancy.  They had their previous babies at home with me, and were looking forward to another home birth journey.  You can read about their previous journey’s here and here. S’s pregnancy progressed along without issue.  Two days before her estimated due […]

  • What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum… I never have easy pregnancies. They are hard and complicated every freaking step of the way. I found out I was pregnant at four weeks because I kept throwing up my vitamins a couple days in a row. Who even does that?  I thought it was because of a recent surgery […]

  • You just found out you are pregnant!  You are so excited, but you feel so lost on the next steps with your care for your pregnancy.  Naturally, you turn to someone who you are close to for guidance and often times for recommendations for a provider.  The number one thing I hear from women over […]

  • A and H started care with me in the first trimester of their third pregnancy.  I have had the privilege of being their midwife through all three pregnancies.  You can read about their previous journey’s here and here. A’s pregnancy progressed along well, but as third baby’s are sometimes wild cards, this sweet girl definitely […]

  • N and T started care with me in the first trimester of their third pregnancy.  I had the honor of being N’s doula in her first two pregnancies in 2012 and 2016, and was ecstatic to be her midwife on this journey.  Although I did not have my blog in early 2012, you can read […]

H and J started care with us at the end of the first trimester of her third pregnancy.  H had previously had a precipitous birth center delivery and an unassisted home birth when she could not make it to the birth center, and was planning a home birth from the start this journey.

H had a smooth, uncomplicated pregnancy.  Since her previous babies came around their due date, this one was anticipated as the same.  Sure enough, around 1am two days past H’s estimated due date, H called letting me know she had been having some minor cramping and contractions for the last two hours.  She was certain this was labor, and ready for everyone to come.

I arrived around 145am, and found H sitting on her birth ball in her room, moaning with contractions.  She had her area of blankets prepped on the floor at the end of the bed, as she anticipated birthing on her knees at the end of the bed as she had previously.

H was well supported from her mom and her three girls as she walked through her labor journey, with words of encouragement, chatting, and getting her food and drink.

Aside from a couple trips to the toilet, H spent her journey on the ball, as she found it the most comfortable, as her contractions intensified.

As 3am neared, H commented multiple times how different this labor journey was, and it was very true.  She said her first labor was 90 minutes, and her second was 45 minutes.

At 359am, H went to the toilet, and when she came back, she got on the floor, prepared for birth.  Her water broke 7 minutes later, followed by spontaneous pushing.  H was in tune with her body and baby, and listened to the wisdom on what to do.  The baby was on perineum at 415am, and two more pushes later, and her sweet girl was born at 418am, and immediately placed onto her chest.

Welcome to the world, Amber!  Born earth side on October 31, 2019, weighing 7lbs 8ozs, 20in in length.

It was a joy to have been part of this special birthing time.  <3

-Midwife Shannon

#sacredjourneymidwifery

At Sacred Journey Midwifery, we offer the newborn hearing screenings that are recommended to be done to all newborns over 24 hours old for our clients and the community.

The method we provide is the Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) method.  This is where we position a tiny probe into the newborn’s ear canal, and measures the response when tones are played into the ear.

Why is this important?

1 to 3 out of 1,000 babies have a hearing issue, and intervention as early as possible helps get the assistance needed to make a big difference in hearing and communication.

Babies will respond to loud noises, but this does not ensure they can hear properly.

Hearing loss actually occurs more frequently than any of the diseases we screen babies for on the newborn metabolic screenings.

Hearing loss can also be associated with other under lying conditions, and may be the first sign of an issue.

 

If you are a client of ours, this is included in your fee to us.

If you have another provider and need this service, we provide this service for $150 for in office hearing sceenings, and $250 for in home hearing screenings.

 

Reach out to us if you would like to schedule your newborn’s hearing screen test today!

Pictures taken by the lovely Devynn Leanne Photography.

B and B started care with me in the first trimester of B’s fourth pregnancy.  B had her precious two babies with me.  Her first was years ago when I first started, and those few initial blogs went missing when I changed web hosting.  Her second birth story can be read here.

B has a history of going postdates and having what we like to refer as really healthy sized babies.  If you saw her in real life, you would never believe her previous two babies with me were over 9 pounds!  The body is truly incredible!

As B’s pregnancy progressed, she was feeling a lot more discomfort than she remembered, and I felt that this baby would be her biggest baby.  B’s due date came and went, and she decided that if she was still pregnant the Saturday after her due date, she wanted to be encouraged.

B and B came over the evening of October 5th to do some herbs and a membrane sweep.  She was very hopeful this would help her meet her baby in the next couple of days.  With the exam, I found B to be 1-2cm dilated, 50% effaced, and baby at a -3 station.  I estimated weight around 10 pounds.  Her biggest baby was 9 pounds 6 ounces.

B texted me the next morning around 7am that she was sure she was in early labor.  Contractions began over night that were becoming stronger, closer, and more regular.  After talking for awhile, B determined she wanted her team to join her.

I arrived around 930am, and found B laboring around the house.  Hers and babies vitals were perfect.  A cervical check showed her to be 4cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a -2 station.  As I was coming out, her baby of water ruptured.  Baby was in the ROA position.

B was planning to live stream her birth on Birthtube on facebook, so we helped her get this started.  Keeping her live stream going was no easy feat, as there was several technical errors, but we continued to fix it every time.

Apprentice A did lift and tucks with B as 10am neared using the rebozo for ten contractions, since baby was still high and we were anticipating baby to be bigger in order to help with positioning and engagement.

After the lift and tucks, B alternated leaning on B or sitting on her birth ball.  Contractions felt a little stronger.  We administered a homeopathic to help break up the rigidity on her cervix.

While the pool was finished filling, B moved to laying in her left side in her bed, resting while waiting.  It was not long, and the pool was ready.  She got into the pool at 11am, laboring on her hands and knees.

Contractions were coming about every 3 minutes, lasting 60 seconds while she labored in the birth pool.  She alternated her position to semi reclining to give her knees a break.

As 12pm neared, B requested a cervical check while in the pool.  I found her to be 6cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a 0 station with some cervical swelling.

B opted to get out of the pool to empty her bladder, so at 1210 she got out of the pool.  I recommended doing three contractions on the toilet.  After her toilet contractions, I recommended B try a position called open knee chest for 40 minutes to reduce cervical swelling and continue to help with progression.  B agreed.  This position is unpleasant, but B was a trooper.  During this position, we alternated doing “the booty shake” with the rebozo, as well as massage and work on her ischial tuberosities.

She powered through those 40 minutes, then moved to the toilet, before laying in the bed on her left side to get some rest.  She was ready to get back into the pool at 140pm which had been refreshed for her.  Contractions were coming every 4-5 minutes, lasting over a minute long.

While she labored semi reclining in the pool, we began to give her honey and a homeopathic to help her with energy.  Her labors have always been on the longer side, and the energy boost was helpful for the hard work she was doing.

B asked for an exam at 215pm.  She was 8cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a +1 station.  Contractions were much more intense now, and B was within herself in her labor haze, moaning gently with contractions.

B got out of the pool quickly around 3pm to try to empty her bladder.  She was beginning to feel pushy and wanted to give baby plenty of room to continue to descend.

With each contraction, B’s noises were changing, and by 330pm, B was feeling grunty at the peaks.  She requested a cervical check, and I found her to have an anterior lip.  B has had an anterior lip with all her babies, and is a source of some trauma.  I encouraged her that this baby would get past it just as all her babies have.  After a couple contractions, B asked me to hold back her lip.

We did this through a couple contractions, then I requested she blow through a couple, before I helped reduce her lip again.  The blowing was successful, and at 354pm, baby was passed the lip and at a +3 station.

B birthed her baby’s head at 407pm in a semi reclining position into daddy’s waiting hands.  I saw the classic signs of an impending shoulder dystocia, and worked with B to help get the baby out.  At the minute mark, we helped B moved into hands and knees, and then lifted her leg into runner’s.  As the two minute mark was about to hit, I went after the shoulder and helped release the baby’s shoulder, and sweet Gemma came at 409pm.  After giving Gemma a little help to get the right idea to breathe, she let out a triumphant cry for all to hear!

Welcome to the world, Gemma! Born earth side on October 6th, 2019 at 409pm, weighing in at 10lbs even, 21.25 inches long.  She is her daddy’s first biological baby, and she is the absolute apple (and identical twin!) of his eye.

This sweet mama has so much strength that she shows all the time in life, but even more so in her long, hard labors and birthing her big babies!

#sacredjourneymidwifery

I can hardly believe that 2019 has come to an end!  It has been a year for me on a personal front, but through everything, I have been blessed to have helped 25 clients this year.

While compiling my stats for this year, I noticed some unique things to this year!  6 of my clients had babies over 9 pounds this year, with two over 10!  I had one client choose to live stream her birth via Birth Tube on Facebook which was an interesting experience.  I love my repeats so much, so much in fact that my farthest client was a three-peat who moved to Seguin!

Here are my 2019 Stats:

Total Births: 25

Boys: 13 (52%)

Girls: 12 (48%)

Most Births in a Day: 2 (this happened twice this year!)

Biggest Baby: 10lbs, 2ozs

Smallest Baby: 6lbs, 2ozs

Longest Baby: 22″

Shortest Baby: 19.25″

Longest Labor: 44 hours, 09 minutes

Shortest Labor: 58 minutes

Vaginal Births: 23 (92%)

Cesarean Births: 2 (8%)

VBACs: 3 out of 3 total clients planning a VBAC achieved their VBAC with two of those clients successfully having a VBA2C!

VBAC Clients Served: 3 (12%)

Repeat Clients Served: 18 (72%)

Water Births: 13 (52%)

Labored in the Water: 19 (76%)

Used a Doula: 6 (24%)

Breastfeeding at 6 Weeks Postpartum: 24 (96%)

Labor Started With SROM: 4 (16%)

Earliest to Deliver: 36.4 weeks

Latest to Deliver: 41.4 weeks

2020 brings some exciting changes to the practice.  Watch for our announcement in early 2020 as the practice brings on Amy Embrey after she is licensed as part time midwife to the practice. Looking forward to seeing what lessons are learned and blessings are had for 2020.

#sacredjourneymidwifery

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One of our last breastfeeding sessions.

My nineteen month old weaned on Christmas Eve.  I recently had surgery, my supply tanked, and she was not happy with that!  It is bittersweet to come to an end of that relationship, a journey full of mostly struggles from my little one being born at 34 weeks, seven weeks of triple feeding, tongue and lip tie, poor latch, nipple shield for 7 months, oversupply, and so on and so on.  Not to mention the adverse impact this had on my own health.  Through all this, my sweet girl thrived and grew on breast milk, and we were able to donate over 2,000 ounces of breast milk to over 11 babies!

Since the age difference between my last two kiddos is over 8 years, a lot of products have changed.  Luckily, as a midwife, I sometimes hear of new products from my clients along the way.  Here are a few breastfeeding products that I loved on our nineteen month journey.

Silicone Breast Pump

Where has this been all our breastfeeding lives?  My preemie spent 6 days in the NICU, and I got my first opportunity to use my silicone breast pump five days after she was born when my milk was finally coming in (I experienced a massive postpartum hemorrhage which caused a delay in my milk coming in.), and every NICU nurse and lactation consultant wanted to see me use it.  The silicone breast pump is incredible.  You can be nursing your baby on one side, and suction the silicone pump on the other. I would easily get 2-3 ounces per nursing from this pump.  The Naturebond pump was personally my favorite.

Spectra Rechargeable Breast Pump

For a few years, I heard my clients rave about the Spectra when chatting about breast pump options.  When I had my boys, Medela was considered the best, but things had taken a shift according to things my clients had to say.  When I was pregnant, it was a no brainer that I was going to purchase the Spectra for my pumping needs.  I expected to be using my pumps when at births or away for an extended amount of time because of work.  When my baby came at 34 weeks, triple feeding was a necessary component.  I pumped 8 times a day for seven straight weeks, then 4 times a day for several weeks.  My baby was 7 months old before I was able to stop daily pumping.  The Spectra made the job so much easier with the awesome rechargeable battery component. I could easily pump for a couple of days before I would need to charge the pump again, and could pump anywhere that was comfortable for me.  The pump is super quiet compared to standard pumps, and the night light feature was a great bonus for night time pumping.

Simple Wishes Pumping Bra

I was convinced that I would never find an actual pump bra that would work for my plus size body, so i did not put much effort into searching for one.  I had a dear repeat client deliver a few weeks after I did that insisted her pump bra would fit me, and wanted me to try hers on.  Low and behold it actually fit!  This bra was very comfortable, and was perfect for keeping the flanges in place, so I could be hands free for breast compressions while pumping.

Pumpin’ Pals

My dear IBCLC friend, Leah, of Bay Area Breastfeeding and Education came to see us when my baby was two weeks old.  She introduced me to the Pumpin’ Pals flanges, and they were such a game changer for my pumping times.  I have pendulous breasts, and the design of these flanges is perfect for those of us with that breast shape as there is dramatically less discomfort with pumping with this design.  If using the Spectra, you can still us this flanges using a hack with medela parts that can be purchased on amazon.

These four products made a difference in my breastfeeding relationship, and I hope they make a great difference in yours as well.

#sacredjourneymidwifery

 

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