Letter from a Birth Center Mama

I can think of few jobs that offer the degree of love and satisifaction that I feel when I read this letter!!!

Dear NOVA midwives , Doulas and all student midwives!

I was just another pregnant client or patient to you as you deliver babies daily.

However to me NOVA is like a dream to me.

I came back home with my new family, depressed I couldn’t go out! It felt like Baby was on my boob 24 hrs ! I couldn’t get anything done, I still didn’t understand him! But I was eager to breastfeed.

Around the time I gave birth, 5 of my other friends gave birth too.

However NO one talked about their birth with happiness and eyes glowing… Instead they said epidural, C section, inducing …..won’t have kids anymore, last one, can’t take it etc etc etc.

NOT ME.

When I talk about the birth of my son at NOVA , I talk as if I am talking about my wedding dress or my wedding !! My eyes glow and I smile every time I recall my experience! I say I would do it over and over again! All the women think I am WEIRD! And Blessed too!!!

All my friends kids are on formula. My baby is still being breastfed. I almost had lost my milk and the doctor said maybe it’s time to give formula. I was adamant to NOT give formula unless it was my last resort. I made sure I ate the right foods and pumped like crazy to the point where my breasts Blew up again. Then I realized its a mental thing. If you want to feed, you make the milk.

My baby wakes up smiling and sleeps smiling. he giggles , and such a peaceful baby. Healthy, chubby , reaching all his milestones !

Where as my friends children (boys too) are no where compared to Baby. I don’t say it because  I am his mum, I say this because all my friends say why your son is so happy and calm and etc etc… And I go back in my head and say the way he entered this world made a huge difference!

Baby loves people . My friends, you can’t hold their babies. It makes me sad. They are on strict schedules. Baby naturally fell into a routine without me being such a paranoid OCD mum. He sleeps when he wants and eats when he wants and believe it or not , on his own he somehow got an amazing schedule that suits us greatly.

I feel his birth had a huge part to do with his happiness apart from me taking care of myself.

As you all know my dad was dying and everyone was worried about how the baby would turn out emotionally.

All my friends are trying to lose weight, my weight has gone back to normal .

Intimacy for my friends is different . For me it’s better !

I’ve healed wonderfully.

I am back at the gym and yoga..

I will never forget the women who were part of his birth . You made giving birth as exciting as buying a wedding dress! And protected me and cared for me
whilst I was alone !

Baby never stops laughing !!! And giggling!!

PS. I almost thought I was pregnant again last week and my husband said, “Sweets this time I want you here beside me”.  I said, “NO. I am going
to Nova again !!!!!”

Happy new year to you all

With love,

Mama and Baby

*names were protected

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Lily’s Birth Story

As Lily’s due date came and went, it seemed like she was NEVER going to be born; and life went on as normal.

On Thursday 25th, Iris had a membrane stretch and sweep in the hopes it would induce labor, as the fear of transferring out of our midwives care at 42 weeks (October 30) would lead us to a hospital birth. The S&S caused some bleeding, which we knew was normal. At noon, Iris drank 4 oz of Castor Oil to help induce labor.

Throughout Thursday Iris was experiencing contractions with more bleeding and a slow leaking of amniotic fluid. By Thursday at 5:00p we activated the Birth Team and Pre Birth Plan (eat, shower and sleep!) because Iris was definitely in labor!! She couldn’t get comfortable and was having painful sensations, different from her Braxton Hicks contractions.

My phone rang at 6:00am with Iris in labor and ready for some help. She had a bad reaction to the Castor Oil and had been unable to keep food down and had been unable to sleep through the night. We took a walk around her neighborhood and her spirits were good!

We tried to feed her throughout the day, we knew she needed energy in her system. But an hour later it was vomited up. Luckily she was able to keep drinking water. We were all able to rest and take short cat naps through the day and each hour I would time her contractions.

Knowing that women labor better and for less time when they were at home, Iris decided to stay home for as long as possible. Our midwife said she trusted Iris and her body and Iris would know when it was time to go in.

At 7:00pm, Iris was READY. We packed the cars and headed to the Birth Center.

With the heightened nausea that the castor oil caused, Iris couldn’t get into any positions to ease her back pain. Anything other than sitting up would cause her to vomit again. We spent some time in the tub, in chairs, she tried to sit back in a recliner…but couldn’t get comfy. I rotated hot and cold packs against her back to ease some of the pain.

At 10:00 the midwives had to check Lily’s heartbeat, requiring Iris to lie in bed. She was so uncomfortable but endured it like a champ. We also found out that Lily was in position and when ready, Iris could start pushing. Iris also got to feel the top of Lily’s little head!!!

Because of the tremendous back pain, Iris didn’t want to labor lying in bed. The midwives created a spot on the floor for her to kneel but Iris was on the toilet and decided not to get up.

I think repositioning on the bed for that short time moved Iris into the pushing stage of labor, cause 3 contractions later Lily was crowning. On the 7th contraction her head was born. Followed by her arms, one arm was extended right at me and I gave it a rub them coaxed her forward toward the midwife. Then she was born!!!

The castor oil might have caused Lily to have some stomach problems also because she had a massive BM during labor. The midwives suctioned the meconium out of Lily’s lungs.

Unfortunately, Iris’ body was so exhausted from days of not eating or sleeping, it stopped contracting and she couldn’t deliver the placenta. There had been some blood loss and we all decided it was better for Iris to go to the hospital to get the placenta out.

While Iris was at the hospital, I stayed with Lily at the birth center. As part of our emergency plan, I had asked Iris if she was ok with me doing skin to skin with Lily. It was a wonderful few hours of holding this brand new baby girl against my chest. She was passed around the birth team and slept comfortably with each of us.

Iris and Lily are doing great. Perfectly healthy and bonded!!!

And, I know this is what I want to do for the rest of my life!!!!

Check out Iris’ blog post about this wonderful birth day!!!

*Technically, I did get some sleep; off and on over night Thursday/Friday, on Friday I slept for 30min on Iris’ floor, and the team let me sleep for a GREAT hour at the birth center Saturday morning!!!

LaborAde

An excellent natural way to boost energy levels!! Electrolyte balance combined with natural energy (honey), natural fluids (lemon and water) and calcium and magnesium; are all essential in effective muscle contraction!

Heat in a saucepan:

  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of honey

 

Pour in to a blender and add:

  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 5 lemons)
  • 3 calcium/magnesium tablets, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Mix well and freeze!!

 

Alternatives:

  • Pedialite
  • Coconut Water

How to Grow a Healthy Baby

Everyone wants a healthy baby! While there is no way anyone can guarantee this, there is something you can do to give your baby the very best chance of being healthy, while also avoiding the diseases of pregnancy associated with malnutrition.

Why is diet so important? Your baby is made out of protein. So you need to eat lots of protein to “build” the baby. A factory can’t make it’s product without raw materials. Babies don’t come from nothing, they need construction materials from Moms food!

What happens when you don’t eat enough of the right foods? Normally our bodies use protein to build and maintain muscle mass and keep our blood sugar levels steady. We use carbohydrates for energy and brain power. Fats are necessary for vitamin absorption, hormone production, nervous system health and development. They are used for dense energy or stored for later use.

When a mom is pregnant her needs change because she is creating a whole new person inside her. To “build” that new person she needs protein. If, when pregnant, mom does not eat enough protein and calories, her body will slow down the “construction” of the baby. It will also start to burn protein (mothers muscle) for energy and will store all the fats she eats because her body thinks it’s starving. The protein that moms’ body burns for energy will leak into the blood and make harmful acids called ketones which may cause damage to the baby.

Mom needs complex carbohydrates for energy, vitamins and minerals, and fats for the essential fatty acids they contain.

 

What should Mom eat? At every meal, a good quality protein, fresh vegetables, a fresh fruit, and a whole grain food. Mom should eat three regular meals and at least two snacks (one being right before bed). Later in pregnancy, six small meals.

 

What should Mom NOT eat? White stuff. Stay away from too much dairy, white flour, and sugar. Make all calories count for nutrition, Avoid processed foods, fast foods, trans fats, and hydrogenated fats. It’s best to avoid caffeinated beverages, koolaid, flavored fruit juices and high fructose sweetened foods.

 

Tips:

  • You need to gain weight. Your body needs to have some reserves for when you are us at night nursing and caring for your newborn.
  • If you eat a nourishing, well balanced dies, you will gain exactly the amount of weight you need to grow a healthy baby.
  • Eat a wide variety of hoods to help satisfy your appetite.
  • Beware of cravings, you might just be thirsty or in need of protein.
  • Pack some food.
  • Plan a menu ahead of time.
  • Make extra and freeze what isn’t needed.

Herbs for Labor Prep

These products should only to be used after the approval and under the supervision of a professional health care provider.

Follow manufacturer instructions.

Your body has everything it needs to birth your baby, but some women find it helpful to add a herbal labor prep regimen to their routine in the last weeks of pregnancy. Herbal labor prep regimens use time tested herbal combinations that help “prime the pump” to get your body in optimal condition for labor, birth, and postpartum. Midwives have used these preparations to help ease labor and delivery by increasing the effectiveness of contractions, producing larger cervical dilation before discomfort begins. Also, herbal labor preparations may help to minimize postpartum bleeding. NOVA Natural Birth Center recommends using one of these four herbal labor preparation regimens as an optional supplement to add starting at 34 weeks.

 

DR CHRISTOPHER’S BIRTH PREP

Get it at:

Herbs First

How do you take it:

34 weeks-take one capsule daily

35 weeks- take two capsules daily

36 weeks- take two capsules 3 times daily until birth

How much does it cost:

$22.99 for 100 capsules, you’ll need 2 bottles for the scheduled 6 weeks for $32.20. A third bottle will be needed for a pregnancy longer than 39 weeks and postnatal use.

 

 

 

POLLY-JEAN FIVE WEEK ANTENATAL FORMULA

Get it at:

Birth Junkie

How do you take it:

34 weeks-take two capsules twice daily

35 weeks- take two capsules daily 3 times daily

36 weeks- take three or four capsules 3 times daily until birth

How much does it cost:

$36 for 400 capsules, which will last till half way through the 39th week.

 

 

 

NATURE’S SUNSHINE 5W

 

Get it at:

Naturally Herbs

How do you take it:

two capsules 3 times daily until birth

How much does it cost:

$18.25 for 100 capsules, You ‘ll need 3 bottles for 40 weeks of pregnancy for $54.75. A fourth bottle will be needed for postnatal use.

 

 

 

EVENING PRIMROSE OIL

Get it at:

Available at most health food stores, like Whole Foods, and online.

How do you take it:

Orally, take 1300-1500mg per day.

Vaginally, insert 1500-2000mg each evening at bedtime.

How much does it cost:

At Purtians Pride.com 500mg are $11.00 for 100 softgels, You ‘ll need 2 bottles for 40 weeks of pregnancy for $22.00. A third bottle will be needed for postnatal use.

NOVA Birth Center

They have four beautiful birthing rooms with private restrooms and tubs.

NOVA Natural Birth Center is a community of support for your journey. As midwives, we are passionate about helping women birth as their bodies were designed to do – naturally, with loving support, and in their own way.

In addition, NOVA Natural Birth Center’s community includes a wide variety of childbirth professionals and wellness practitioners.  Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to work with doulas, childbirth educators, chiropractors, lactation consultants, massage therapists, and other wellness experts.

NOVA Natural Birth Center also is a gathering place where you’ll develop lasting friendships with other people planning to birth and live life naturally.  We offer a wide variety of opportunities for families to connect with one another.  In addition to your visits with our midwives, there are many classes and birth center events.

NOVA Birth Center

All of our birth classes and Midwife appointments are at NOVA BC so I will be seeing a lot of it!