Wednesday, October 27, 2010

November Nursing Mother Group Topics

3660 W. Bethany Home Road Phoenix, AZ 85019

Nursing Mothers Group Discussion Topics
*** November 2010 ***
Wednesday Mornings: 10 AM – Noon


Join us in the Breastfeeding Support Center. Babies and toddlers
always welcome. Bring your questions and concerns –
In addition to the discussion topic, we’ll explore answers that work for YOU. This is informal and fun!

Nov 3 Accidental Holiday Weaning
Find out how “holiday weaning” can sneak up on a mother and what you can do to avoid it.

Nov 10 Nutrition (and Fitness) While Breastfeeding
With the holidays right around the corner, we’ll review healthy food and exercise choices for nursing mothers.

Nov 17 Baby’s First Holiday Season
If the additional busy-ness of the upcoming holiday season is already stressing you out, take a break and enjoy some down time with other mothers. We’ll discuss whatever is on your mind!

Nov 24 Happy Thanksgiving!
Share your favorite “new baby” memory from the past year. What unexpected changes did your baby bring into your life? How have you grown?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Life of a Student Nurse-Midwife by Jaime

Because of the scarcity of Full-Scope Midwifery practices, Student Midwives often have to branch out from their school locations in order to find CNMs (Certified Nurse-Midwives) to learn from. I was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ (Moon Valley High School, Class of 2000!!), but I relocated to Nashville, TN to pursue my education at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. I love Phoenix, and I find myself drawn here every chance I get J

So here I am, in my final semester of school. Looking back, I cannot believe how far I have come since I started this journey, but when I look forward, I see how far I have yet to go. I feel so fortunate to have landed in Phoenix, AZ for clinical training. Not only do I have my family here to support me, but I have been learning from the fabulous Midwives at Bethany Women’s Healthcare. Seeing the wonderful relationships that develop between the midwives and the women and families they serve is truly amazing, and it has helped me stay passionate about my goal of becoming a CNM.

I would love to answer any questions about being a Student Nurse-Midwife. So shoot!

Jaime Pickering SNM

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Teressa's Birth Story

Friday, August 27,th was the day after my due date. I remember it clearly as it was 119 degrees outside, and I was over being pregnant. I decided to swim laps in my pool and walk on the treadmill alternately for over an hour even though I could barely move. I had heard that exercise, pineapple, and lots of walking could bring on contractions, so I did all three. That night, around midnight, I felt my first contractions. I started timing them, and finally decided to go to the hospital around 7am.

I was dilated to 3 cm when they checked me, and I decided to stay. I did a lot of walking at first, and remember asking the nurse at what rate I could expect to progress. She said approximately 1cm an hour, so I remember playing mind games with how well I was doing, and stated at 12 noon I wanted to be checked, expecting to be at least 6-7 cm and almost done. Well....I was at 4 cm at noon, and while the pain was bad- it was somewhat manageable in the tub. I had back labor, so the contractions were painful, but they were far enough apart that I could handle it.
The pain in my back began to worsen around 1pm, and I tried several positions with a ball and in the tub to try to get the baby to turn. I decided the tub was the most comfortable, so I went back there to wait. Shortly after I got in the tub, my midwife had to leave to deliver another baby. It did not seem like I was progressing, so I thought this would be more than fine. By the time the nurse came in to check the baby’s heartbeat the next time, I was yelling in pain and was thankful to throw up to get a break from the pain. My contractions started happening one on top of another, and I felt like I could barely catch my breath. I literally fell out of the tub with each contraction while the nurse was asking me to “rate my pain from 1-10”. I made her leave, and during one horrible one yelled, “I need an epidural now!” to my poor mother sitting outside the bathroom. She ran to get the nurse I had just told to leave, who needed me to get back to the bed to check me first.

It took me about ten minutes to get back to the bed because the contractions literally made me fall over. The nurse thought I was exaggerating my pain I am sure, and thought I was just being dramatic. We got back to the bed, and I was at 6cm, and my water had popped sometime while I had been in the tub yelling. My midwife was still delivering another baby, so she gave the ok for an epidural. I was so frustrated with myself that I had not “stuck it out” with natural childbirth, but I felt like I was passing out and I couldn’t think of an alternative. I remember looking at the clock, which read 3:40pm. I was convinced the clock had stopped for several hours and that it could not possibly still be the same day. The epidural involved getting an IV in and some fluid that the nurse promised would only take ten min. She could not get the IV needle in my arm for about ten minutes, because my contractions were constant. By the time the fluid started entering, I was begging her to make it go faster, and a minute later I was overcome with the urge to push.

The nurse looked at me, somewhat shocked, as it had only been 30 minutes since I was at 6cm, and said she should probably check me. I was at 10cm and could not stop pushing. She ran and got my midwife, who ran in as I was already pushing regularly. This part I don’t really remember at all, but it was not painful. I was on a mission, and it felt like my body took over as if it knew exactly what to do. I was told I pushed for less than 15 minutes, and I kept thinking I had to wait, because my daughter’s father was not there yet.

Amaya Grace was born at 4:08 pm and weighed 9lbs 2 oz and she was 21 inches long. They put her right on my chest, and I will never forget how she squeezed my finger and turned and looked right at me with huge, beautiful eyes. She had a full head of hair, and was absolutely the most perfect miracle I could imagine. It was almost shock I felt that the whole time I had been waddling around in pain, and wishing away my third trimester, I had the most amazing little girl inside me.
Her dad made it about ten minutes later, and was able to cut her umbilical cord. I sat for a long time with her on my chest, not wanting the moment to be over. I felt a great sense of pride in the fact I had made it, although unintentionally for a portion of the time, through natural childbirth, and I was overcome with love for Amaya, as if she had always belonged in my arms, lying on my chest. She is truly an angel sent by God.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Some would say today is an auspicious day. 10-10-10. There have been 3 babies in our practice born so far today, one choosing to be born at 10:55 (seems like these would be fun numbers for a numerologist!). Sweet babies all. And STRONG mothers!! Such a gift to attend births. Big thanks to all the supportive nurses at Phoenix Baptist! It's a very good day!

Melissa's Birth Story Part 3

Kimberly didn't seem too worried that I was feeling pushy, but Kevin was a different story. He was frantically running around the house, packing the car, and getting ready to head to the hospital. I was still in "my birth zone," and hadn't noticed, but Kimberly mentioned that he seemed pretty anxious to get on the road. A few moments later, Kevin approached us and said "I think we need to go." They both looked at me, and I responded that I really didn't want to get out of the birth pool. "We REALLY need to go," Kevin repeated, and I once again made it known that I really didn't want to get out of the water. "How am I going to do this in the back of a car?" I cried. Deep down inside I knew we needed to go, but it didn't make the task any easier. "OK," I sighed, as I prepared myself to leave my comfortable watery home.

Kevin quickly lifted me up out of the pool and began taking off my wet swim shorts. Kimberly asked me if I wanted some dry underwear to put on, and Kevin threw her a pair he had dug out of somewhere. She began putting them on me, but stopped when we realized that they didn't fit. "I don't need any underwear!" I said, a little annoyed. I figured that I'd be pushing this baby out sooner then later and wearing underwear didn't really make sense at that point. They helped me put my dress on over my sports bra, and we headed out the door. I really wasn't looking forward to the car ride, but Kevin tried to make the experience a little better for me. While I was in the birth pool, he had retrieved every towel,blanket, pillow, and comforter from our house and had constructed a soft nest to labor on in the back of the car. They helped me climb in, and I got on my hands and knees in preparation of the next contraction. Kevin asked Kimberly to ride with us, and she sat in the second row so she could do counter pressure on my back. Her hands were priceless at that point.

Once we were all in the car, we took off towards the hospital. I asked Kimberly to call the midwife's office to let them know we are on our way so they could meet us there. She made the call, and Lylaine (the midwife on call) was on her way to the hospital. Our car came to a stop at a red arrow to get onto the 60 freeway. Kevin's anxiety got the best of him and after a few seconds he decided he didn't want to wait anymore. He slammed on the gas as he turned a sharp left onto the on ramp, and I went flying in the back of the car. Naturally, I screamed bloody murder, and told Kevin to stop driving like a mad man. Fortunately it was all smooth freeway from there, and we arrived at the hospital after about 20 minutes.

It was 205am on Sunday September 12th.

Since it was the weekend, the South Building entrance was closed, and we had to go through the North Building Emergency Room entrance. The buildings connect at a bridge on the 3rd level, and this was our only way to get to the labor and delivery floor. Kevin drove up to the ER doors and helped me out of the back of the Tahoe. Kimberly took my arm, and walked me through the doors while I vocalized through a contraction. There were people in the waiting room, and I could see them staring at me. I really didn't care, and I closed my eyes and continued working through the contraction. Kimberly told the front desk that I was in active labor, having a VBAC, and was feeling pushy. They immediately took me back behind the reception area and gave me a chair to lean over. Surprisingly enough, the lady took her time asking me questions and didn't seem to be concerned that this baby might make his grand entrance at any time. My mouth felt like cotton from all the vocalizing I was doing, and I asked Kimberly for a drink. When Kimberly tried to give me some water the lady quickly interjected, "Only enough to get her mouth wet!" "Yeah," I responded, as in "Yeah right you're gonna keep me from drinking water crazy lady!" You think she would have known better to mess with a woman in labor.

Finally we were good to go, and a nurse suddenly appeared with a wheelchair. I declined the free ride, as there was no way I was going to sit during a contraction. Another pregnant woman was coming with us, and I overheard that she was due in a few weeks and having some minor cramping. As we set out on our trek to get to the other building, our caravan had to stop every 2 minutes so I could work through each contraction. I moaned, I rocked, I even pushed a few times. I felt bad to make everyone wait for me, but my body was in charge and I did what it wanted me to. I couldn't help but think that I was probably scaring the daylights out of this young pregnant woman, but my body was not in the apologetic mood and so I continued to do my thing. Finally, after what seemed like the longest hike of my life, we reached the OB Triage. I saw Lylaine's white hair glowing through the window, and it was like seeing an angel. I was so happy to see her, and I immediately knew that she was going to help make my birth just the way I wanted it.

Once I was in triage, Lylaine had me lay on the bed just long enough to check my dilation. After a few seconds she announced that I was complete, and she asked if I wanted to walk to my room or be wheeled in on the bed. I opted for the bed as it would get me there quicker, and I immediately got on my hands and knees. They began rolling me out of triage, and Lylaine leaned over and whispered "You push whenever you feel like it," in my ear.

Once we were in the L&D room, I stayed on my knees and put my hands up towards the top of the bed. The nurse laid down two straps for monitoring, but before she could even start to put them on me, Lylaine told her that I didn't need them as my baby would be here soon. Instead, she had the nurse hold a monitor to my belly so it could track Dallin's heart tones.

Now for some reason, I was under the impression that pushing was the *easy part* of all this. While that may be the case for some moms, it was NOT the case for me. After channeling all the power in my body out through vocalizing, it was hard to start channeling it into pushing instead. After about 20 minutes of pushing, things weren't progressing as much as I had hoped and Lylaine asked if I wanted to try a different position. She had me lay on my side while holding one leg up. I would bear down and push with each contraction while everyone rooted me on and gave me encouragement. Lylaine would start to see the top of his head, but once the contraction was over and I relaxed, it went back in again. I was getting frustrated. I was trying so hard, but I felt like it wasn't doing anything. After another 45 minutes or so, I began worrying that they would call it quits on me or say that I was taking too long. I started saying "I'm trying!," "I'm trying!," hoping that they wouldn't give up on me. Fortunately, my fears never became a reality, and only the opposite occurred. Everyone in the room was so patient and respectful. They remained positive and upbeat the entire time, and never once tried to manipulate my body or control the situation. Finally, my water broke, and it seemed that my pushing was becoming a little more effective. I was getting so tired, and I could feel beads of sweat on my face. Kimberly put a wet washcloth on my neck and gave me water in between pushing. At this point, Lylaine asked Kevin if he wanted to "catch" Dallin, and Kevin said he would. I started pushing harder, and not stopping when the contractions ended. I pushed and pushed, and sweet Kevin began making pushing noises with me. He gave me the motivation I desperately needed at that point. Finally, after a good long push, Dallin's head started to crown and I felt that infamous "ring of fire" that everyone talks about. It really didn't feel that "firey" to me, and I thought "well good, the worst of it is over." Soon Dallin's head was out completely, and I gave one more hard push to get his upper body out. That is where I was caught a little off guard, and I screamed as his shoulders and chest emerged (later I found out that this is where I tore). Lylaine told Kevin to come catch his son, and Kevin immediately placed his hands under Dallin's armpits, and helped bring him out the rest of the way. It was 4:05 am on Sunday September 12th. After 40 hours of on and off labor and an hour and a half of pushing, he was here. Kevin placed Dallin directly on my chest. He was very alert and crying loudly. It was such a surreal moment having him placed in my arms. He was here, and he was healthy and perfect. Everything we had prepared for, hoped for and prayed for was suddenly a reality.

The moment I held him, the discomforts and challenges of labor didn't matter anymore. I was completely enthralled with this sweet new being, and there was no room for thoughts of anything else. I felt an immediate peace and joy as I held him. Everything about that moment felt so right.

Lylaine waited for the cord to stop pulsing, and then she showed Kevin where to cut it. My placenta came out, and the midwife gave me 4 stitches where I had a 1st degree tear.
Once my sutures were done, they brought me some juice and left us alone to bond with Dallin. Kimberly helped me to get him nursing, and once we were good she left as well. About two hours after he was born, they asked us if we were ready to weigh and measure him. The nurse was so respectful of our wishes and never tried to impose anything on us. The girls came to visit him that afternoon, and we left Sunday evening, only 18 hours after he was born. It felt so good to be home.

In Conclusion:
Going through a natural childbirth was the most physically challenging thing I have ever done. I was still trying to process what I had gone through a few hours later, and I couldn't say that I was ready to do it again any time soon. Even so, an intervention free childbirth was what I had planned and hoped for and I was so grateful I got it! It took educating myself and preparing, as well as surrounding myself with a supportive birth team to be able to accomplish what I wanted. I am so grateful for my wonderful husband, doula and midwife as I know that things wouldn't have been the same without them. While it took a lot of patience, trust, energy and endurance on my part, the benefits of going without interventions were so worth it. My body, the birth process, and my baby were respected the entire time and that made all the difference.
What I went through with my girls and their c-section was very intense, and what I went through with Dallin's birth was very intense as well. They both took a lot of sacrifices on my part, although they were different sacrifices. I can however, look back at Dallin's birth and say that everything about it felt right and I have no regrets whatsoever (although we might just plan on staying home next time and having the midwife come to us instead:) I am so grateful for Brenna and Brooke's birth as it taught me so much, and ultimately helped me to attain a much better birth with Dallin.

Friday, October 8, 2010

October 8th

It's my son's birthday today and I am on call. I'm wondering what babies I might be catching that will share a birthday with my son :D

Nursing Mothers Group October topics

Nursing Mothers Group Discussion Topics
*** October 2010 ***
Wednesday Mornings: 10 AM – Noon

Join us in the Breastfeeding Support Center. Babies and toddlers
always welcome. Bring your questions and concerns –
In addition to the discussion topic, we’ll explore answers that work for YOU. This is informal and fun!

Oct 6 What Your Baby Expects in Life
A baby’s “expectations” are not learned. They are the instincts and reflexes that are “wired into” all babies around the world. Learn what your baby “expects” the start of life to be like.

Oct 13 Postpartum “Survival” Guide
Many expectant moms worry about postpartum issues. Planning ahead and learning from other mothers can help as you adjust to life with your new baby.

Oct 20 Weight Charts
By collecting data on weight charts, it’s become known that breastfed babies grow differently than babies who consume artificial baby milk. We’ll discuss the newest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control.

Oct 27 BOO! Avoiding Mommy Burnout and “Holiday Mastitis”
A baby brings a whole new (very busy) chapter to your life. As the holidays approach, we often see an increase in both maternal fatigue and “holiday mastitis.” Join our discussion and learn how to avoid both.

Melissa's Birth Story Part 2

Kevin and I left Shirley's house at about 9pm in her Tahoe. We had swapped vehicles so that they could have our minivan with the girl's car seats already installed. As I got in the Tahoe, I knelt on the passenger side seat and hung over the headrest. There was NO way I was sitting down during a contraction. As we drove home, I told Kevin that I finally understood why women in labor did NOT like being in cars.

When we got home, I decided to give Kevin's poor fists a break and opted to take a hot shower to relieve the pressure in my back. The water felt heavenly. I could have stayed in there all night if I wasn't needing to save some warm water for the birth pool. Kevin wanted to start timing the contractions as he noticed that they were lasting longer then usual. I agreed, and told him I would yell out "time" at the start, and "over" at the end of each contraction. I let the hot water hit my back while I put my hands on the wall in front of me and rocked side to side chanting "open," "open," "open" with each rock. My hips were like the top of a metronome swinging back and forth to the rhythm of each contraction. The words I used were those that I had learned to be very powerful during labor. I wanted to give my body every opportunity to open and relax so I could progress instead of tensing up or trying to fight the power running through my body.
I noticed after yelling out "time" a few times, that the contractions were coming very close together. Kevin came in after a while, and told me that they were now 2-3 minutes apart and about 35 seconds long. I decided to get out of the shower so we could start filling up the pool sooner then later. Things seemed to be progressing quickly, so I threw on my birthing gear {sports bra/swim shorts/dress}, and met Kevin in the living room so he could continue tracking the contractions. We were feeling fairly confident that this might be "it," and so I took the liberty of uncovering the birth pool. As soon as my contractions were close to a minute long that is where I wanted to be. I began using our living room wall to lean on, and put a towel on the laminate flooring underneath me just in case my water broke. I continued working through each contraction, rocking back and forth and saying "open" "open" "peace" "peace" repeatedly until it was over. They had become a little more intense, and I had to concentrate more to get through each one. Kevin noticed that I was having to work more to get through them and suggested calling Kimberly. I told him he was not allowed until they were almost a minute long. We argued a little back and forth, and I could tell he was annoyed, so I told him he could text her an update instead.

At 1020pm, Kevin began timing the contractions again. They were coming every 3-5 minutes and were getting longer and longer. My chanting went from "open" "open" to "I can" "I can", as they became more and more intense. Soon, I was unable to say any words at all. I began vocalizing through them instead with a low "ahh" noise (another way in which you can help your body to stay relaxed and open) which had Kevin asking once again if he could call Kimberly. I had been pretty stubborn up until then, worrying that it would be too early, or that I wouldn't be far enough along to get in the pool. It took a few 50 second contractions that had me speechless with hands shaking to finally agree. Kimberly was on her way, and would be at our home in about 15 minutes.

It was 11pm, and Kevin was trying to fill the birth pool as quickly as possible while we were waiting for Kimberly to arrive. He attached the birth pool hose to our water heater, and within 10 minutes the pool was half way full of warm water. I walked by between a contraction and noticed that there was something in the water. It was mineral build up that had been at the bottom of the water heater and had come out of the hose. Kevin was obviously annoyed as he opened our back doors, and poured all the water out onto our back patio so he could start over again.

At 1115pm Kimberly arrived and helped Kevin to start filling the pool again. This time from our bathroom sink and outside hose. Kimberly listened to Dallin's heart tones during a contraction and he sounded perfect. I was glad that he was tolerating the contractions well. Our doula began warming water on the stove in a big pot and pouring it in, pausing only when she heard me start to vocalize through a contraction. I needed firm fists in my back each time in order to relieve the back pressure. She did a great job of reminding me to breathe deeply and spoke in soft tones to help me relax. At about 1130pm there were 3 inches of water in the pool and Kimberly asked if I wanted to get in. I agreed. Even though it wasn't much at the time, it was relaxing to be in the warm water. I laid my head on the side of the pool and tried to rest as much as possible between contractions. Kevin started playing a hypnobabies script aloud on the computer and I tried to relax and let my body do what it needed to. This is about the point where I lost all track of time. I kept my eyes shut so that I could focus as the contractions became stronger and longer. I found myself drifting off to sleep in between them which helped. My vocalizing became louder and longer with time, but Kevin and Kimberly were there feeding me relaxation cues and sips of water after each contraction. They also continued warming water on the stove and pouring it in to keep the temperature comfortable for me.

Poor Kevin picked up the last pot of water off the stove that he thought was just warm and ended up pouring scalding water on his hands as he was trying to put it into the pool. He was a good sport throughout all these little mishaps. Kimberly had me sit on the seat in the pool so she could check Dallin's heart tones. Once again, he sounded perfect.

At 130am (Sunday Sept. 12th), 2 hours after I had gotten into the pool, I was having very intense contractions. I was tired, especially after not getting much sleep the night before, and I still didn't know if I had progressed very much. I was so busy working through contractions that it had not even ocurred to me that I should have Kimberly check my dilation (she is an RN and is certified to do so). Feeling discouraged, I asked "how much longer do you think I can do this?" Kimberly and Kevin reassured me that I was doing a great job, and that I could definitely keep doing this. I WAS doing it.Their confidence in me lifted my spirits and I continued. But at the peak of the next contraction my body did something that we were not expecting. It started pushing all on it's own. Not once..but twice.

to be continued...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

National Midwifery Week

Celebrate National Midwifery Week!
Hug your midwife!

It's a week to celebrate the role of midwives in birth across the country. Take a minute to hug your midwives this week! And log onto the ACNM website to learn more about who we are and what we're about. It is a wealth of information about the latest in maternal-infant healthcare. Thank you for choosing a midwife to be part of your birth team!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


It's really sweet to experience TOTAL teamwork to make birth the safest experience possible. When everyone works in concert to support families' wishes, gives women's bodies every possible means of support and listens to what baby has to say...even when it moves to the operating room, birth is very special. BIG thanks to ALL who worked to make little Vinchencio's birth special this morning...especially Dr. George Figueroa. He's a fantastic teammate and this CNM appreciates his support and hard work!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Melissa's Birth Story Part One

***WARNING: this is going to be a long one so get comfy***

Some Background Information:
Three years ago, my twins were born by cesarean section because they were in breech position. While I felt that the c-section was necessary, I left the hospital feeling that so many things that happened to me and my babies there were wrong. Not that the hospital staff was mean or anything like that, but that the protocols in place and the interventions used were in no way "birth friendly". These negative experiences led me to seek out a very different path for my next birth. Soon after the girls were born, I immersed myself in researching everything I could about birth. I began attending birth circle and ICAN meetings, and preparing myself for what I hoped would be a much better birth.

Our Plan:

Have an intervention free VBAC

Labor at home for as long as possible using birth ball/shower/birth pool/hypnobabies

Have our doula Kimberly come over when contractions are almost 60 seconds long and get in the birth pool

Leave to go to the hospital when I am around 7cm dilated

Get into jacuzzi tub at L&D room until I am complete
Push baby out

Be discharged from hospital asap

batta-bing batta-boom!

(40 weeks)
My "guess date" was September 8th, and it came and went without any sign of impending labor. I tried to avoid thinking too much about "the numbers," as I truly believed that this baby would come when he was ready. Even so, I was anxious as any first-time-soon-to-be-laboring-mom would be. I had noticed a new surge of hormones running through my body, and I suddenly felt the need to protect myself emotionally. I didn't want to allow any negativity about him not being here get to me so I avoided phone calls and facebook as much as possible.

Some of Kevin's relatives had planned a baby shower brunch for me on September 10th, which gave me something to look forward to if I had not had the baby by then. That Friday morning, as I was blow drying my hair on the birth ball, I began feeling small menstrual like cramps with my braxton hicks. They weren't very noticeable, and so I wondered if they were really anything. I thought that maybe it was just my empty stomach. I began timing them, just for fun and noticed that they were coming about every 7 minutes. Kevin was getting ready for work, and after going back and forth as to whether I should mention anything to him, I cracked and told him about these alleged "cramps". I told him it might be nothing, and he left for work as I left with the girls and my MIL Shirley.

We had brunch at Wildflower, and I opened presents and enjoyed visiting with relatives. Afterwards we walked around Once Upon A Child and made our way home. On the way, I decided to tell my MIL my "little secret," as she was on call to take the girls when I went into labor. I wanted to do some walking to see if they would progress, and so we headed to Target. I sent my doula Kimberly a text message to give her a heads up just in case.

After perusing Target for about an hour with the girls, my contractions/cramps were coming every 5 minutes and were becoming a little more noticeable. We decided to buy our stuff and go home just in case. Once at home, I had the girls play in their rooms while I rested on my bed listening to a hypnobabies track on my ipod. The contractions seemed to slow down and were less noticeable while resting. I figured this wasn't quite "it," but that my body was definitely gearing up. We ate dinner and at 830pm and Kimberly texted me to see how things were going. I was still having the contractions every 6-8 minutes but they weren't progressing, and I felt that I could sleep through them that night. She told me to let her know if I wanted her to come over and help at any time.

I decided to go to bed early (930pm) just in case things progressed later that evening. I was able to fall asleep quickly while listening to a hypnobabies script, but woke up at 11pm at the peak of a contraction. Unable to get comfortable enough to sleep through them, I got up and watched TV with Kevin in the living room.

I never went back to sleep Friday night and ended up staying in the living room swaying back and forth during contractions or sitting on the birth ball. The contractions were coming about every 4-7 minutes and were lasting about 20 seconds. I was also feeling a lot of pressure in my back with each contraction which had me rocking my hips back and forth and doing pelvic tilts in an effort to relieve the discomfort. Kevin felt bad going to bed while I was in the living room working through contractions, and so he stayed with me.

At 3am on Saturday morning, he suggested that we text Kimberly with an update. We let her know that I hadn't been able to sleep past 11pm that night due to the contractions. She asked if we needed help and if she should come over, but I felt that it was too early. At this point I was so unsure as to what to do since this was my first time experiencing all this. We had no idea if things would progress soon or if it would be another day or two. As frustrating as it was not knowing when and how things were going to happen, this birth was all about trusting and allowing the process to happen in it's own time and not trying to manipulate the situation.
(930am Saturday morning)
I continued doing my thing in the living room, while Kevin tried to get some rest on the couch.It had been a VERY long night.
On Saturday morning (September 11th), before the girls woke up, I asked Kevin to give me a priesthood blessing. This was something I knew I wanted to have in "early labor," so that I could feel peace and assurance going into my birthing time. Kevin gave me a beautiful blessing that was exactly what I needed. It reaffirmed my trust in my body, and it's ability to give birth naturally and without complication. It also built up my confidence as I knew that my Heavenly Father would offer me strength and guidance throughout the process.

At 845 am, the girls were up and my MIL Shirley came over to get them. Kevin and I still hadn't gotten very much sleep, and we thought that active labor *could* start within the next 24 hours. I had also begun losing my mucous plug which told me that things were definitely progressing. I asked Kimberly to come over at 930am to see what she would recommend at that point.
On arriving, she checked Dallin's heart tones during a contraction and he sounded great. She helped me through a few contractions and I mentioned to her the discomfort in my back. She noticed that my stomach was really low that it was probably causing Dallin's head to push up against my back at a weird angle. She began applying counter pressure on my lower back during the contractions, and it immediately took away the discomfort. Kimberly also showed me how to lift my belly right before a contraction to lessen the pressure on my back.
(lifting the belly)
I told her that I was having a hard time using some of the hypnobabies relaxation techniques that I had learned, and so she helped me to relax on the couch while playing a hypnobabies script aloud on the computer. I was finally able to relax enough to sleep, and we decided that it would be best to try and get some rest at that point. I told Kimberly that she was good to go home and that we would keep her updated.

Kevin and I napped on and off for the next couple of hours. At 3pm we decide to go for a walk around the neighborhood to see if my contractions would pick up. Once we started walking they began coming every 4 minutes, but were still only 20 seconds long. Kevin and I would stop with each contraction so he could apply counter pressure to my back. After one lap we agreed that it was far too hot to be outside and we returned home.

At 530pm we went to Shirley's house to see the girls and eat dinner. My contractions were coming every 6 minutes, and Kevin and Shirley would take turns rubbing my lower back during them while I took deep relaxing breaths. We were still so unsure of when active labor was going to start, but we decided to have the girls spend the night at Shirley's house just in case. This turned out to be a very good decision.

to be continued...