• 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 […]

  • 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 […]

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

Thoughts of a Midwife contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

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

 

Birth Story of Theadora

S and J started care with me at the end of the first trimester of their seventh pregnancy.  They had their last baby at home with me, and you can read about that journey here.

Traditionally, S’s babies liked to come at 41-42 weeks.  However, S was experiencing a lot more discomfort this time around.  At 39.4 weeks, she had been up since the middle of the night with an irritable uterus.  We talked a couple times that day, and S decided she wanted to come over and see if a mini labor encouragement would do anything to get her into labor.

S arrived in the middle of the afternoon for labor encouragement.  She drank some strong herbal tea, then we did an exam.  S was 2cm dilated, 50% effaced, and baby a -3 station.  While doing the membrane sweep, S had a contraction which changed her cervix to 3cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a -3 station.

I recommended staying hydrated and some activity, and let me know how things go.

Early labor contractions began at 4pm while S was on a walk.  S continued to stay busy through out the evening.  At 745pm, contractions were every 2 minutes and were a lot stronger.  S spent the next hour really questioning herself and what she was experiencing.  After talking to us midwives and her husband, S asked us to come.

We arrived at 930pm, and found S laboring around her bedroom, clearly in transition.  She apologized for calling us over if this was a false alarm, which I quickly told her this was not a false alarm.  She continued to question if she was in active labor the entire time.

S asked to be checked when we arrived, and we found her to be 6cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.

After the exam, S alternated walking around her room and sitting on the toilet.  She was feeling a lot of sacral pressure with her contractions.  We continued to finish filling the birth pool so that it would soon be ready for S.

We told S she could get in the pool at 951pm, where she proceeded to question us if it was really time to get into the pool.  J told her it was definitely time to get into the pool, and she readily got into the pool, alternating between semi reclining and laboring on her knees.

Things moved fast.  As 10pm came, S began to moan and state she was feeling some pressure.  S began to spontaneously push at 1006pm kneeling in the birth pool, and her precious baby girl was earthside a minute later.

Welcome to the world, Theadora!  Born earthside on October 1st, 2019 at 1007pm, weighing in at 8lbs 2ozs, 20.75in long.  Her mama was so powerful through her fast labor.  Theadora is so loved by her six older siblings.

#sacredjourneymidwifery

A started care with me in the first trimester of her pregnancy.  A’s story is unique, as her journey is her second surrogate journey.  You can read about A’s homebirth of her last child here, her homebirth from her perspective here, and her first surrogate journey here.

A’s first trimester was a little bumpy as she had spotting to light bleeding off and on the entire trimester from a subchorionic hemorrhage, and feeling off from her erratic thyroid levels.

The parents of the baby actually lived internationally, and were set to come in when A was 37.5 weeks, which we all thought would be a safe time to come to the area.  So imagine our surprise when A called around 6am on September 10th, 2019 at 37.2 weeks stating she was pretty sure her water had broken.

My first reaction was for her to immediately try to reach the parents, as flights from Europe would no longer be coming out this way before long.  Unfortunately, the parents weren’t reachable for a bit, and could not leave until the next day.

A came over around 800am for an assessment and for some herbs to encourage labor since she was GBS positive, and we needed to have a baby within 24 hours. A was 2cm dilated, 50% effaced, and baby was at a -3 station.  I started A on some herbs, and did a membrane sweep.  I sent A and C on their way, instructing A to eat breakfast and take a walk.

Things quickly started, and A began having regular contractions with some intensity at 9am with contractions coming every 2 minutes, lasting 45-60 seconds.  It was soon decided we should head towards the birth center.

Due to the agreement made in A’s surrogate contract, A had to have the baby in a birthing center.  Shout out to Patty Ghaly at Cy-Fair Birthing Center for allowing us to use her center.

We arrived at 11am, and did A’s labor assessment vitals.  A began to do some position work with her doula J.  J performed counter pressure off and on during contractions to provide relief.

A was resting on the bed as 1230pm neared, laying on her right side.  She was starting to feel some pressure at the peaks of the contractions, and was moaning gently with the waves.  The birth team was working on getting the birth pool ready.

As 1pm neared, A got into the birthing pool, laboring sitting with her knees crossed.  Transition was upon her.  A is a funny person anyway, but she continues on in labor.  In between contractions, A would be chatting away with us, and then a contraction would cause a pause in conversation, and then she would pick right up mid sentence after the contraction passed.

We were encouraging fluids in between contractions.  A was commenting about increased pressure with contractions.

A moved to semi reclining.  As is normal for some women in labor, she became nauseous and vomited.  What makes this humorous is a couple contractions after vomiting, she asked for some gum.  Doula J gave her a piece of gum.  A couple contractions passed, and A stated, “This is the best gum I have ever had.  I can’t even taste throw up in my mouth.” and went on about how the company needed to make an ad for being the best gum for refreshing vomit breath.

At 210pm,  exclaimed, “I am pushing!”  Spouse C called the parents on video chat so they could see the birth.  In between contractions, A kept reassuring the parents that everything was normal and okay, which made us all laugh.

At 216pm, A exclaimed, “There is so much pressure!”  After an exam per her request, we found the baby at a +2 .

When baby was ready to come, things went quickly.  The baby was crowning at 235pm, followed very quickly by the head.  The cord was wrapped around the neck twice, which we unraveled as the baby was born into the water earth side.  She was here.

Welcome to the world, Amelia!  Born earthside on September 10th, 2019 at 236pm, weighing in at 6lbs 14ozs, 20″ long.

It was such an experience to see the reaction of the parents long waited and hoped for rainbow baby, and so sad that their sweet girl was 24 hours old before they got to hold her and see her live for the first time.  Such a beautiful experience, and beautiful gift that A provided.

Thankful to have gotten to work with A again, and if she ever donates her uterus to “friends and family” as she said she may do down the road, I will look forward to it again.

#sacredjourneymidwifery

 

 

SUBSCRIBE FOR UPDATES.