Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Natural Birth Story

So my freaking out about just having to schedule an induction date must have seriously done the trick to help coax Brynlee into entering the world!

Her due date was scheduled for December 18th and when that day came and went I was needless to say more than slightly irritated.  I know, I know, it's an estimate, it's not set in stone, and usually your first child takes longer anyways.  Well none of these seemed to set into my mind my entire pregnancy haha so I thought that she would either come early or right on time.  Well she get's one thing certainly from her Dad ;) she likes to be fashionably late!  All I had been thinking about for 9 months was seeing that sweet little baby and bringing her into the world, I was no longer patient.  I took a ton of good long walks (well, as many as my swollen feet would allow me to) and tried to just pass the time by studying for finals, cleaning, and doing some fun crafts..I pretty much did all of my early labor projects within 2 days haha

December 20th came and we got to spend some time with Rich and Jess Jensen (Ben's family) and went out to dinner with them.  We went to Applebee's and usually I really can't eat that much but for some reason I was absolutely starving! I ate all my spinach and chicken ravioli and probably a good portion of the spinach dip that we had as an appetizer too! It was quite a bit of food for someone who was 9 months pregnant.  Well after we said goodbye and Jess tried to convince Brynlee that it was time to come out, we parted ways and me and Ben just hung out.  We went to bed around 11pm and at around 2 am I woke up feeling sick to my stomach.  I chalked it all up to me being a super pig and eating WAY to much.  I'll spare you from the graphic details but I had to make a mad waddle to the bathroom to throw up everything that I ate.  Then the cramping started...Oh boy...

I still didn't really think that I was in labor but maybe pre-labor, but that can take anywhere from a couple of hours to days.  So I didn't want to get to excited yet, and it could have just been a stomach ache because of me being a little porker and all.  Well all my stomach pains just kept on getting worse and worse and I couldn't believe it! There was no doubt in my mind that I was in labor, so we waited about an hour and than started timing them.  They ranged from lasting for over a minute at two minutes in between all the way to last only for 40 seconds with 5 minutes in between! They were sporadic for quite a bit. I was completely unsure about what to do so we called in to talk to the midwife on call and she said that it definitely sounded like I was in labor and that it was completely up to my discretion about when to go into the hospital.  Well we had planned on laboring at home as much as possible so that we could both be more comfortable and avoid any unneeded intervention and monitoring.  So the contractions were getting so strong I hopped in the shower and it felt so good just to bend over and have the water hitting on my back.  I had terrible back labor!! Than my birth ball became my best friend and saving grace

Our child birth instructor Katy had said that you can kind of tell what type of person you are going to be like when you are in labor by your reaction to when you stub your toe.  Well I apparently turned into a sailor! I'm so glad that our neighbors above us weren't home to hear me and our neighbors next door had moved out that day! I'll never forget Ben's face when a certain word came out of my mouth during a really painful and what felt like forever contraction.

At around 5:30 a.m. I decided that it was time for us to go to the hospital I have no idea how close my contractions were at the time.  I was just trying to manage through the pain! By the time we got to the hospital and got checked into a labor and delivery room I was really feeling the pain.  The nurse there was so nice though because she worked around me because I refused to sit down on the bed haha I only wanted to sit on my birth ball and bounce! It really did hurt ten times more when I sat down on the bed. So they did the required fetal monitoring and as soon as they had finished the 20 minutes she took it right off of me

My midwife Helene got to the hospital at around 6:30 am and she checked to see how far dilated I was.  I was  9 1/2, so almost complete! They said that I probably came just in the nick of time!  By then I was really feeling the need to push and the nice thing about the midwives is that they really let you do whatever you want when you are in labor! So I began to push down with every contraction like I was going to the bathroom.  It was pretty intense and there I am moaning like someone who hadn't pooped in like 10 years.  Sorry, but that's really what it felt like! I know TMI, but seriously your reading a birth story what did you expect?! :)

I had already planned on not wanting to give birth lying down, but rather work with gravity.  So instead of lying down I was bent over on the side of the bed using my forearms to prop me up standing right in front of my midwife.  Ben was amazing and got me a cold wash cloth and using my headband we were able to hold it there hands free! He was super supportive and was holding my hands on the other side of the bed.  The urge to push was getting stronger and stronger and I definitely didn't fight it.  I'll never forget when my midwife was sitting behind me and all of a sudden she started seeing the babys head, she goes "Oh and there's the baby" She was so surprised it all happened so fast! My water than broke all over the floor haha oops! And than it felt like only a few minutes and I was pushing her out! Yes, I gave birth standing up...for some reason people keep finding this very odd, but it makes sense to me.

It was the most amazing experience of my life and I will never be able to forget it! Apparently it's not that common, but I lucked out because I was only in labor for 5 hours total, and around 1 hour of that was actually spent in the hospital.  It still blows my mind how fast it went by!

Unfortunately I tore.  Like a ton! A partial 4th degree perineal tear which is the highest you can go.  After I delivered the placenta and I was sitting down with Brynlee on my chest skin to skin, a doctor came in and stitched me right up.  They gave me a pain killer, tylenol, and a stool softener that I have to take every 6 hours.  Surprisingly I really don't feel any pain at all! I know I'm really blessed. There is some discomfort when I sit up and down but it doesn't hurt.  When I think about it I really did get everything that I wanted.  I did it all natural (they didn't even offer me and epidural, she just asked on a scale of 1-10 what level was my pain).  Delayed cord clamping for sure, and I lucked out and didn't really need any intervention, and got skin to skin with the sweetest baby girl that was ever born

Brynlee Theresa Stanly came into the world at 7:27 am weighing in at 8 lbs 6 oz. and 20 1/2 inches long at Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg, Idaho

I'm not going to lie, I loved child birth...seriously! It was so hard but I felt empowered and I know it was because I was prepared and committed to what I wanted.  It hurt like crazy at times but one thing that I'll never forget was when my midwife told me that she could see her head and I just smiled as I was standing up bent over the edge of the bed and knew 1. this was almost over (haha), 2. I'm really doing this! and 3.  I can't wait to hold her.  I felt so much love and excitement for this little girl that I was able to block out some of the pain.

Me and Ben could not love this little girl any more! She is absolutely the biggest little blessing

At the hospital her jaundice level was a little high so we brought her into her pediatrician this morning and they tested her again and everything seems to be just normal.  They updated her weight and she lost a little she's now 7 lbs and 12 oz and 21 inches long.  She loves to snuggle on her momma and eats every few hours. Brynlee's favorite thing to do is sleep on our chests in just her diaper with a warm blanket over her.  I've never seen a happier baby :) We are one lucky family!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Due Date Came and Went!

Well if you didn't know my due date was yesterday, unfortunately no baby yet! As much as I'm enjoying this time and getting a lot of cleaning done and cooking I just want to be in labor already! I feel like the size of a bus (and not the short ones).

I'm super bored actually! Since school is out and I don't work anymore I just feel like a bum! On top of that it's super hard to walk now because my feet are swollen and I'm now a size 9 (prepregnancy I was a 7).

We are so excited for baby to get here! We are debating between two names; Sadie and Brynlee.  SO we are just going to decide when we meet her.

I had an appointment with one of my midwives on Wednesday and she said that she estimates the weight to be around low 8 lbs.  Looks like we have a little turkey ball on our hands!

We had the uncomfortable talk about induction and set a date just in case.  It's the 27th! So if I don't go into labor spontaneously by than that will be the big day! I'm hoping that it doesn't come to that because I really didn't want to use an synthetic drugs and be hooked up to an IV.  But whatever happens at least I have Ben with me and I know that it will be an AMAZING (and painful lol) and SATISFYING experience.

We had our last childbirth class yesterday and it went great! I highly recommend Katy Rawlins from  She knows what she is talking about! One of the most important things that I learned from this class is that I have a right to choose what kind of birth experience I want.  I feel empowered to make choices and to tell people no, I'd prefer to do it this way.  Lastly, I know that you can't really plan child birth.  You can make a list of a billion things that you do and don't want but chances our most of those are going to fly out the window, so it's important to know what you will not cave in on unless it is medically necessary.  If and when things don't go as planned for our little girls birth I know that I did everything in my power to be prepared and knowledgeable of what is happening, and for me personally I think that is what makes all the difference on whether you have a satisfying birth or not.  You have the choice!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pink and Aqua Nursery is Complete!

Well our baby girl's room is finally done! And just in the nick of time as well, considering my due date is this Sunday :)

We are really happy with how it turned out and the best part of it is that a lot of it was done on the cheap through different DIY projects, buying stuff on sale, and just shopping around for the best deal in general.

I made the lamp, the "I'm a Child of God" picture was bought on etsy as an electronic file for only $3 and I had the frame already so all I had to do was go and print it out, I also made the embroidery hoop wall hangings from scaps of fabric that I had and you can get the hooks for like $1.

We we're really fortunate with our families being able to get some of the bigger pieces for us so that we could still have a small Christmas! The Stanly's bought us our crib and my mom got us the dresser, and we got the bedding from Pottery Barn Kids.  It was the only thing in the room that I splurged on :)

This chair was a total gift from Ben! We were walking around Walmart one day picking up some of the stuff that we still needed for the baby and we said we should get this for you, it's probably more comfortable than the regular recliner that we were going to put in there.  What a sweetheart! Now we have some owl accents as well throughout the room because I thought they were cute, but this is by no means a "theme"! Every time Ben see's something with an owl on it he try's to convince me to get it! I again made the lamp, and I painted the ceramic owl, and the table...check this out!!! Was $25 from Walmart and is super perfect! We absolutely love it! We got the owl pillow as a baby shower gift from the Stanly's and I was able to get this paper lanterns for just a couple dollars a piece online.

We finished up the day before yesterday with finally hanging the shelves that I had gotten on the wall.  Because we've been so busy and I tend to hang things crooked, I've been waiting several weeks for this to get done! I'm so happy with how it turned out and how much storage space our changing table gives us.  Thanks Dad!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"So that's what they're for!"

So this post should probably have a little disclaimer if you are anywhere near a super private person and if the subject makes you uncomfortable then I'm sorry you should probably just stop reading now! I've got a little something to say about this and I'm not going to be shy about it! :)

I hate how in this country there is a stigma associated with breastfeeding.  So many people have a issues with getting their babies to breastfeed and are embarrassed to get help.  Sure there are lactation consultants at the hospital but their way of doing things are a lot different then if you saw a doula that was a lactation specialist.  In our country we have to have a giant blanket covering our whole upper body so nobody feels "uncomfortable".  Seriously?! If you are uncomfortable about me breastfeeding than here is a thought, don't watch! Ugh who would have thought of that?  Apparently we are now so ashamed of our bodies that women can't breastfeed without being behind a closed door with a blanket over us, so that nobody else feels "uncomfortable"!  You want to know what's really uncomfortable?  A newborn latching on only to your nipple and pulling! You can talk to me about how breastfeeding makes you feel uncomfortable when you actually know what it's like.  

Stepping off my soap box now.

So your probably wondering where on earth is this coming from she doesn't even have her baby yet?  Well I got the AMAZING opportunity to attend a 3 hour breast feeding intensive class where we learn about the basics of breastfeeding, the benefits, positions and latching (yes, with baby dolls), and common problems and what you can try to fix it.  My childbirth teacher was teaching the class at the Agape Birth Center and I asked her if it would be beneficial to me to wait until the baby was already born to go to one, or before.  She was so sweet when she said if you take the class before you will be so much more prepared for it and you could potentially avoid some of the struggles that other women experience.

I learned so much at this class! There were 5 of us who were expecting and 1 women who had her baby girl just 2 days ago.  It was such a special opportunity to have her there.  She was very open and not shy.  This was her second child.  Her first child she had such a hard time breastfeeding that she said she gave up and used formula.  She was crying while she said that because she knows that if she had just sought out the help and had been more prepared from the start should could have nursed him, she said that she was willing to do anything to nurse her new baby.  It was a very beautiful experience being able to actually see someone nursing and she was so open that she let Katy (the instructor) pretty much walk all of us through it. just sitting right in front of us.  All I've ever seen of breastfeeding was a women covered up with a blanket, I had never really seen a child actually nursing and let me tell you it was the most amazing beautiful thing!

There are so many benefits to breastfeeding

Benefits for Baby!

  • Early breast milk (colostrum) is literally liquid gold- nothing beats it! It provides baby with so many nutrients and antibodies to protect them, help them thrive, and fight diseases.
    • Formula fed babies have a lot higher risk (not a guarantee) of asthma, obesity, diabetes, and gastrointestinal track infections.  
  • Since breast milk is a living organism it's easier for baby to digest 
  • No formula changes with the growth of your baby.  Your breast milk changes from colostrum to mature milk around the 3rd to 5th day after birth.  Mature milk contains just the right amounts of fat, sugar, water, and protein for your little one.  
Benefits for Mommy! 
  • Life can be a little bit easier! Obviously your going to spend the first while feeding every 2-3 hours but eventually the feedings will get a little longer in length and your baby will sleep longer stretches as well.  When that happens it makes going out a lot easier, you don't have to make formula ahead of time.  Think about all the time you can save by not having to make, measure, and sterilize! 
  • It feels good! Yes for a while it can and will hurt because your nipples are not conditioned to it yet.  But when you nurse you are releasing oxytocin in your brain because of the skin to skin contact with your baby.  It can help them feel more secure, warm, and comforted.  It's a great way to bond with your baby! 
  • Breastfeeding saves you $
  • It's good for your own health.  You bounce back to your prebaby weight faster.  Breastfeeding is linked to lower risk of health problems such as, 
    • Diabetes
    • Ovarian cancer
    • Breast cancer
    • Postpartum depression
I don't want it to come across that I think that women who formula feed are bad moms! Cause that is not the case! Sometimes due to medical reasons a baby is unable to nurse and I think at that point the best thing that you can do is try to pump, pray, seek help, and hope for the best.

This class taught me so much valuable information especially about how critical it is to start breastfeeding right after birth and how we choose to labor and give birth can effect breastfeeding as well.  Whatever drugs and fluids (like an IV) you get your baby gets as well.  But think about how small their body is and how much they are getting?  It's very common to see babies whose mothers have gotten epidurals to come out lethargic and unresponsive, this makes them being able to latch properly very difficult which makes it hard for your milk to let down.  In addition pacifiers and bottles should be introduced till after 6 weeks.  This isn't really due to much to nipple confusion but really the flow of the bottle.  When you bottle feed your baby never has to work for it, but when you breastfeed the milk just doesn't poor out, they have to give it a little effort! 

I just want to end with how grateful I am to have a body that God created that has given me the greatest privilege to be able to nurse my baby.  I know that I am more prepared now than I was yesterday, and that this class taught me that if this is really important to me to not give up.  If I have problems with nursing I am completely dedicated to providing my daughter with what I see as the very best source of nutrition.  I just want to share the information that I learned with other mothers and future-mothers because it has already blessed my life and I definitely feel empowered. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

38 Weeks and your LEGS?!

So yesterday we had our comfort and coping child birth class.  It was such a blast!  Not to spoil any surprises to those who are going to take Katy Rawlins class down in Idaho Falls, but she had us do practice contractions.

Your probably thinking...practice contractions, that's impossible! Well probably, yes.  But she had us go and do a wall sit for a minute.  It hurt so bad!! I'm not even kidding, we couldn't use our hands or anything or put our hands on our sides we just had to keep doing it at a complete 90 degree angle.  I thought I was going to die haha

Well then she had us do another one about a couple of minutes later to represent transition in child birth.  When you feel like you can't possible do it anymore.  I thought I was going to cry. 

Well than we learned a bunch of visualization techniques and breathing that seriously worked!  She had us do another wall sit, but this time she told us to use the techniques that we used to work through the pain.  They really did work! For me I breathed in through my nose and breath out of my mouth.  As I did it I pictured that I was breathing in one color changing it in my body and breathing out another color.  Sounds a little nuts?? Well it may be, but it works! It didn't take the pain away but allowed me to focus on something other than my throbbing burning legs. 

Than we talked all about our comfort bag.  I knew that there were things that I needed to bring to the hospital, but I never would have thought of some of the comfort items that she suggested, such as a rice pack that you can heat up in the microwave, and even....take two tennis balls wrapped them in a stocking and there you go a sweet massage tool :)

And of course food!! I definitely plain on snacking throughout the birth on stuff like granola, apples, and hello...I'm sure Ben would appreciate some food as well!! And plenty of juice, Gatorade, and WATER! And a little treat for whoever is in the room...I'm going to make some brownies! :) After putting up with me in labor, I'm sure they deserve a treat ;)

I finished our "Priorities and Preferences" sheet, otherwise known as a birth plan outside of a hospital, so I'm happy to be all set with that.  I just have a few things for example such as no constant electronic fetal monitoring (instead we would like to use a doppler), no IV or Hep lock (this allows me to move around as much as I like and not be tethered to an IV), and we want delayed cord clamping (this is when you don't cut the umbilical cord for at least 3 minutes and it's stopped pulsating (provides lots of good nutrients and antibodies for the baby)...and then some other stuff as well :)

Other than that I'm glad that the semester is coming to an end, Sadie will be here in AT MOST 3 weeks :), and we are just so excited for this little adventure to begin! I have less than 2 weeks left until my due date, but chances are I'll go over! So I'm just trying to enjoy the last few weeks of feeling her move and catching her little foot when it sticks out.  It still blows my mind when she will completely move and I see my stomach do like a wave. Or when she sticks her bum out.  I'm going to miss that feeling! 

However....I am not going to miss being the size of a mini bus, the terrible back pain, and peeing every 30 minutes.  38 weeks has treated me well so far, but I can't wait till I can see her, and hold her in my arms, and talk to her...even though I talk and sing to her now, I can't wait to be able to look into her eyes and do it!