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Birth Stories

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Choosing To Support Natural Birth- One Doula’s Story

Today we are pleased to share a guest post from one of our amazing instructors, Tashina Benning-Witter, who both teaches and works as a doula in the Sacramento, CA area. Tashina does something a little different- she has started to take clients who are only planning a natural birth and are willing to take a comprehensive birth class in order to achieve this. This is something that she has shared with us and which has had an incredible positive impact not just for her, but mostly for her clients. Her story is beautiful and her deep belief that women need somebody to truly support their desire for a natural birth is something that sets her apart. We are so glad to have her be part of our Birth Boot Camp team, and excited to share her words. Enjoy! Read more

Birth Story


daddy

We are excited to share today an inspiring birth story from a couple that took a live Birth Boot Camp class.  Their story is wonderful, honest, and triumphant. The right birth team (including a doula!), a confident partner, and serious preparation can make a world of difference in your birth. Enjoy reading!

  

PREGNANCY

Nothing about my pregnancy was textbook. I had no morning sickness, suffered no constipation and my boobs were never sore. My appetite never changed and I had no weird cravings. In addition, I ended up giving birth to my son at 13lbs under my pre-pregnancy weight (and 7 weeks postpartum I am over 40lbs under my pre-pregnancy weight). Read more

Why Writing Your Birth Story Matters

Recently, I stood in a parking lot speaking with a woman I had never before met. I quickly learned that she, like me, was the mother of three little ones. Soon enough she began telling me her birth story. Within less than 10 minutes of having met this total stranger, she used the term “vaginal” in our conversation. And I didn’t blink an eye. Why? Because words like that and situations like this have become quite commonplace since I’ve become a mother. And I love it. Read more

Birth of Axle

We have the privilege today of sharing a birth story from one of our students.  We are so grateful to them for sharing such a private event with all of us and so glad that they had a great birth.  Education really does make a difference!

The Birth of Axle

I think my biggest fear about giving birth was what kind of birther I would be.  Would I be loud, scream, yell, cry, or sing?  I wasn’t afraid of the pain, and I have to give props to my Birth Boot Camp natural birth classes and my midwife for that.  I was born to give birth and I could do it!  I met a lot of women and doctors that said I was lying when I said I wasn’t afraid, but that wasn’t the case.  I was scared to have a newborn, I was scared to be a mom, but I never was scared to give birth. 

My pregnancy went well.  The first trimester was a little rough with all the morning sickness, but after changing my diet and no longer eating anything with gluten, dairy or pork everything got so much better.  I didn’t really crave much other than plums and Simply orange juice (no other brand would do).  I was with a doctor my first 16 weeks, and then transferred to a midwife once we had our gender sonogram.  I was a little nervous about this since I grew up with a PICU nurse as a mother and only thought of midwives as old fashioned.  But my husband was pretty supportive in using a midwife and after watching “The Business of Being Born” I knew it was the right choice for us.

When we first met our midwife Terry we knew that she was the one for us.  After going to a doctor for 16 weeks and only getting answers if we had questions, she poured into us that first meeting.  We learned so much, and never asked a question.  I mean, come on! We are first time parents; we have no clue what to ask.  After being with her for a few short hours, I had no doubt about leaving the doctor and had our files transferred to Edenway Birth Center. 

This was the best decision I have ever made (besides asking Christ in my heart and marrying Cody).  Edenway is a family, and we loved/love it.  I quickly learned however that a midwife or at least my midwife is a lot harder than a doctor.  I had to keep a food diary, pee on a stick that pretty much told the midwife if I lied about being good, and had to stay in a certain weight.  I had to stay active, drink tons of water, take vitamins, and eat right.  All of these are on the top of my “I Hate” list. But I did it!  I’m a walking testament that a very borderline preclampsia momma can take it all the way to deliver the natural way.  It just takes A LOT of discipline.  I didn’t start out that great, both Cody and Terry had doubts and both were Army Sargent’s getting on to me and keeping me in check.  But I was willing to do whatever needed to be done for my little man. 

So enough about the pre story, let’s get into our birth story. 

Axle Festus Scholz was 12 days late!  And even though physically I could have gone for months more (seeing a chiropractor makes all the difference!) mentally- every day I was starting to freak out a little more.  I never wanted him to be early, but never even thought he could be late.  At 10 days, I started really getting worried. I knew that on day 14 I would have to go to a doctor and no longer could legally use a midwife.  I started freaking out.  On morning of day 11 I got contractions that unfortunately went away after taking a shower.  Later that day Cody and I went to the midwife’s house and started to use a breast pump to encourage contractions (only under a midwives supervision is this ok).  We did this for about 2hours, and then we went home. 

My contractions never stopped after we left but I went to sleep like I was told…until about 10:30pm when I woke up out of dead sleep screaming!  Oh did it hurt!  But it was a slow processes.  After Cody helped me a little with the pain, I remembered that contractions on the toilet were supposed to really help (Birth Boot Camp tip) so I took my phone and blanket and headed to the bathroom.  It worked!  Between texting my midwife and a friend Paige, who also was in labor at the same time I finally decided to head to Edenway (the birth center) at 3:30am. 

From 3:45-9:30am I labored at Edenway, mostly in the bathtub which was amazing.  At first the pain was so intense I wanted to and did throw up, but it got easier the more I took deep breaths remembering that keeping my chin on my chest was the key.  Labor honestly wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, but don’t get me wrong it hurt and it was hard.  I think I did pretty well for a first timer, and was mainly quiet with deep moaning when I really needed to.  I was so in my head that I never heard anyone say a word, which is pretty funny since there were 12 people in the room with me. During the birth there was about 3 times that I remember not wanting to finish. Like I had a choice!  One of the things they kept trying to do was give me sugar to help with my energy, but I kept saying “no sugar, no sugar” it sounded so gross at the time which is funny since I do love my sugar. 

I had by far the best birth team.  Cody, Terry and Melissa were amazing!  Melissa was a God send and truly was the reason I believe my birth was such a great supportive experience.  We had worship music playing in the background, and Terry knew every time I was in a place that I needed her to just pray.  Two times I remember thinking, “God, I need you” and then I would just hear Terry praying and everything in me would go calm.

Cody was a surprise, I knew he would be good but I never could have thought he would have been as helpful as we was.  In class he always joked around, never took anything really serious and truly felt as if he learned nothing from going.  But I must tell you otherwise!  He was so great at reminding me to breathe, to relax, and breathe some more.  Between him and Melissa they had battle wounds for days and neither complained. 

I mainly labored in the bathtub, with a small portion on the toilet, but then when it was decided I needed a new position I moved to the bed.  That’s when Axle came.  Cody was lying on the bed with his back on the wall and I was on all fours with my hands on Cody’s ribs and that’s how I pushed.  Yea, definitely not the pretty water birth I had hoped for but none the less that was the reality.

It was in that position that I decided my son was coming with the next push.  I knew that if I pushed after the contraction was over then most likely I would tear, but I was ok with that.  I took a deep breath and pushed as long as I could even after feeling the contraction stop.  And out came my little bundle of joy with his hand over his face.  As I felt him dropped I screamed for the first time, and in all my wisdom yelled “oh Sh**!  What was that!?!” and then out he came.

I was so shocked, I honestly couldn’t believe it.  I was just standing on my knees not moving, not believing what just happened. There really was a baby inside of me, and now I’m holding him!  All I could say was “it’s a baby”… I know I know, of all the things to say. Haha. 

Once Cody cut the cord and we took a nap as a family, I looked up at Cody and told him I was ready for another.  And I am, when God allows.  To this day I don’t remember the pain, which is pretty cool that my body can make my mind forget.  I tried and tried to remember, but it’s gone.  Only the joy of having Axle remained. 

My only complaint was that I truly didn’t understand just how much of a marathon my birth really was.  No matter how many times I was told to work out and be ready I wasn’t anywhere close.  I was so tired, and was falling asleep through both labor and after.   For my next birth, I will be fit.  I will be healthier and I will most defiantly use a chiropractor and Terry! 

My placenta came out later than most and needed a shot of Pitocin.  I love to joke that I was given Pitocin after my birth.  My aftermath from the birth was 2 hemorrhoids and 4 tears, one with stitches which was a little banged up on the inside.  But at my 6 week checkup, I looked really good and everything was back to normal. 

I loved my natural birth and 100% will do it again, and hopefully the next one is my beautiful water birth.  Axle weighed 8lbs 2.5oz and was 22inches long, with tons of hair on February 21st 2013 at 9:35am.  Total amount for labor from start to finish was 14hrs and 39mins, with 2hrs of pushing.

These pictures were posted with permission from Lauren Marie Photos.

Birth Story – Kadence

One of our goals at Birth Boot Camp is to train couples in natural birth.  This tender birth story from one of our former students exemplifies everything we hope for our couples.  You will see a father go from scoffing the idea of natural birth and frightened of birth videos to being an amazing and integral part of a family birth experience.

This is truly what we seek to do as a company- improve the birth experience for the mother, her partner, and their baby. 

Enjoy this amazing birth story!

It was just about a year ago when we found out that we were pregnant.  I’d been a little too anxious with the first pregnancy test and despite assuring results up to 5 days sooner; the test still came back negative. A week later when Mother Nature still had not run her course, I tried again.  POSITIVE!

For reasons I don’t even completely know, I’ve always desired to have an un-medicated childbirth.  Granted, that wasn’t a conversation that really came up in our dating days, so when I told my husband this after we received the pregnancy news, he was a little unsupportive.  Okay, he might have even scoffed and said, ‘yeah, we’ll see how you feel when the time comes.’  Thankfully, I was with my mother-in-law at the time and she does a wonderful job trying to help me understand my husband.  She explained that his only up-front experience with childbirth had not been a very positive experience.  My husband has an adorable 6 year-old son (whom I love with my whole heart) from a previous relationship.  They were young and unprepared.  The mom is tiny and my (step) son’s head is rather large.  All of that resulted in a lot of pain and eventually a C-section.  This is what my husband had in his mind.

After explaining my desires a little bit more and reading a book that got us both on the same page, my husband jumped on the un-medicated band wagon with me!  We enrolled in a local Birth Boot Camp (instructed by none other than Donna herself!) so that we could both be educated.  Friday evenings were one of our favorite times.  It was great having time to be so intentional about understanding the birthing process.  What we both found most useful was the emphasis on the husband’s active role throughout the pregnancy, labor, delivery, and beyond.

What my husband found most uncomfortable was the birthing videos.  Seriously, he’d turn away, cover his face, catch glimpses of the video and be totally disgusted.  Uh….he was supposed to be my #1 support during the delivery; how were we going to make sure this happened?!  As classes went on, the whole birthing process became a little less…disgusting…to him.  However, to this day, he still will say he found the videos revolting.  Bless his heart.  However, having been exposed to un-medicated births via those videos let him know a little bit more about what to expect on D-Day (Delivery day).

When the day arrived (I would say finally but she came a few days early despite me being convinced she would come late – so perhaps unexpectedly arrived would be more accurate), we were as ready as we were going to be.  My husband had his affirmations written down for me, lots of lyrics and scripture saved, and an entire playlist put together for during labor.  I think we got through a few songs before she came much quicker than anticipated!  My husband was my #1 support that day as I had hoped he would be.  He was calm, encouraging, supportive and calm.  Did I mention calm?  When meeting my husband, calm probably wouldn’t be one of the words used to describe him.  Yet, thanks to a lot of prayer, the classes and conversation (and, yes, even the videos), he knew what I needed that day to have a positive birthing experience.  It was an incredible day all together.

I had a friend there with us taking pictures of the whole experience.  When talking to her a few days later, she told me the first thing she told her husband after watching our daughter’s birth was that she was super impressed (and even a little shocked) with how well my husband responded throughout the process.  Even my midwife commended him for his support.  While he might not have been the one to catch our daughter, he did manage to peak and even caught a glimpse of Kadence coming into the world – with her arm raised high by her head.  Really, Kadence?!  But to think he might have missed that if not for everything we had learned ahead of time.  I’m so incredibly thankful for our experience and how prepared we felt going into all of it.  My husband was so enthralled with how alert our daughter was immediately upon entering the world.  Really, he’s just enthralled with her in general.  I’m so thankful for Donna, Birth Boot Camp, our fellow Birth Boot Campers and the healthy arrival of our tiny newest addition.  We couldn’t have asked for anything more; we are incredibly blessed.

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