Category: Breastfeeding


Okay, so I know this blog is for me and my thoughts so no one has really been waiting to find out when our baby arrived but I really have been meaning to get this story down before details escape me!

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One of the last times Ryne and I would spend together with the belly.

Let me begin with the night before.  November 18, 2014.

I was feeling uncomfortable physically but emotionally, I was doing well.  I had come to peace in my mind that if this little baby did not arrive until December that I would be okay with that.  After all, I know how fast time passes so I knew I would have my baby soon and that I would for sure have him or her before Christmas.  This particular week our girl’s Bible study was meeting on Tuesday night to study our Boundaries With Kids book together.  For some reason I cannot remember now, Doug and I were busy doing something and neither of us felt like making dinner so Doug went up to Little Caesar’s and got us some cheap, greasy pizza.  I took mine over to Becky’s so I wouldn’t be super late for study and I just ate there.

Well, we didn’t quite get very much studying or discussion done that week.  We talked about all sorts of things and were laughing our heads off about silly things.  Doug texted me twice and had me rolling…for some reason the past few days I thought everything was hilarious…hormones, I guess.  He texted me that Ryne was asking the dogs to play cars with him and that one of the dogs actually did come over and was like, “okay, what’s up, let’s play”…for some reason, the scene just was so funny to me.  And then Doug told me a lady came over for his Nerium party (Nerium is a skin care line that our next door neighbor sells) and he didn’t even know he was having one.  He said he should have invited her in and ran upstairs to get a sample of Jergen’s naturals and try to sell it to her.  Again, I could just see that scenario in action and how Doug could totally pull off a prank like that for a few minutes.  Then the girls and I were all goofing off and talking about every subject under the sun, and we started to plan a get together that Friday night to watch Frozen and to all do boudoir photos…so discussing that possibility and encouraging one another was pretty funny.

Jess reminded me that the night before she went into labor she was spending time with some family and she was just rolling laughing too so I should watch out!  Amanda was rolling her eyes at me for being so silly thinking it could be a December baby because she was clearly convinced baby would be here sooner.  I told all the girls that I didn’t believe baby was in the optimal position just yet so I thought that might still be holding us back a bit.  After a fun night I headed home and took a hot bath and typed out an email to my girls thanking them for a fun night and asking for their prayers that baby would get in an occiput anterior position, that my body would remain pain free (from the cyst, pelvic pain, and other random things), and that our household would remain healthy.  I pressed send on that email on November 19, 2014 at 12:27am, got out of the bathtub (yes, I emailed from my phone in the tub…I was a big, uncomfortable pregnant lady, cut me some slack!!) and went to get ready for bed.

Before bed I rubbed a generous amount of peppermint essential oil combined with coconut oil on my lower back, as I had done a number of times before, in an attempt to get baby to turn to anterior.  Ryne decided he was going to have a bit of a rougher night sleeping so I helped Ryne into bed with us so he would sleep.  Once he was settled, I focused on visualizing our baby turning into the best position for birth and visualized what I wanted my birthing time be like.  Visualizing was one of my favorite tools from my Hypnobabies home study materials.  I love to visualize so I continued to get in a good frame of mind and drifted off to sleep.  I had a “normal” night of sleep…tossing and turning a bit, hips getting sore, and keeping Ryne’s limbs off of me.

I woke up at 5:30am and noticed that Doug was in the bathroom.  Well, I really had to go to the bathroom too and I couldn’t wait so I went into the other bathroom.  I heard Doug leave the bathroom and then return so I was concerned.  I texted him and asked if he was okay (and yes, I took my phone with me once again, because I planned to be up for the day and take a bath!) and I told him I thought I was having bad gas pains from that greasy pizza the night before because we don’t normally eat all of that.  He texted me at the same time telling me he thought he was also having gas pains.  I told him I was really uncomfortable with these gas pains plus a baby on top of it and that they were really bothering me so I was getting in the bath.  I took the time in the bath to read my verse of the day, Psalm 37:4 “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.”  I meditated on that verse for a little while.  I also listened to my “Childbirth in the Glory” mp3.  I love and highly recommend this album.  It has tracks with music and scripture to meditate on and is so calming and affirming to hear God’s promises for birth.  I was in the bathtub for about 35 minutes and was also having some bad back pain on top of the gas pain.  I was just very uncomfortable all around.  I texted Doug at 6:28am and told him I thought this might be labor starting but that I wasn’t sure.  I started timing these “waves”/”contractions”/”gas pains” at 6:34am.

I then went back into our bedroom and leaned over Doug, who was still lying in bed with Ryne, and told him I didn’t know what was going on.  That I was having really bad pains and I didn’t know if it was labor or not.  I breathed through a contraction leaning over Doug but I was so confused and so thirsty that I wanted to go downstairs to get some water to drink.  I made my way downstairs and dropped to the floor on my hands and knees to get through another one.  I don’t remember exactly what I was thinking at this time, other than, “holy cow, these are really challenging, I don’t remember early labor being this difficult with Ryne”.  I made it to the kitchen island and had another “wave” come over me and it was another one that rocked my world with how intense it was.  I think I got my water, or maybe I didn’t.  Doug had come downstairs at some point and was seeing what I was doing since I was completely naked walking around the house.  Doug suggested that I contact Brenda, our midwife, and Sarah, our doula, to let them know what was going on.  When I was leaning over the island, I asked him to put counter-pressure on my back through that wave but it didn’t help very much.  It somehow brought me more back to the here and now and I didn’t need to think about that, I had to focus on surviving through each wave my body gave me.  I remember all of this being very foggy in my mind.  Ethereal, out of body somehow, it is true.  I was so IN my body and strongly feeling each sensation but at the same time, the little things like getting from place to place (upstairs to downstairs and back again) just seemed like I somehow arrived wherever I wanted to be.

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Maybe I should see if I can time these “pains”…

I went back upstairs and remember being back in the guest bathroom, leaning over the countertop again, turning on my Hypnobabies “Easy First Stage” and trying to wrap my head around why these felt SO different and difficult to when I was in early labor with Ryne.  I had been mindlessly timing my contractions for about 45 minutes and Doug suggested yet again that I go ahead and let Brenda and Sarah know what was going on.  I was in some serious denial and I was hesitant and told him I didn’t want to yet because “what if this ends up fading away and lasting for days like with Ryne?”  Some part of my brain knew this was the real thing so I ended up texting both Sarah and Brenda.

Texts to and from Brenda:

7:16am: (Me to Brenda) “I hope it isn’t too early to text.  I think things might be starting, but it feels really strong to be so early on…thought I had bad gas pains this morning but it has turned into something really tough and timeable, definitely contractions.”

7:26am: (Doug to Brenda) “They are lasting around a minute or more, and ranging from 3 minutes apart to 5-7 minutes apart.  Nothing super regular yet, but they are sounding really strong.”

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This was the real thing, whether I was in denial or not!

Somewhere in this 15 minutes Doug tried to again, help me get through contractions…I would ask him to help and then tell him to stop, that it wasn’t helping and I just had to do it.  I also told him I didn’t care if it slowed down labor, to get that pool filled up ASAP.  I had used all the hot water in my bath in the morning and I wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to fill it with hot water.  Ryne also woke up during this timeframe.  I saw him and remember talking to him and saying hi, but Doug helped him go downstairs and get some breakfast and watch something on TV to keep him distracted so Doug could still help me.  Doug brought the pool into our room and began filling it up.  He got pots of water on the stove to add to the pool when our hot water ran out.  He was rushing back and forth, caring for both me and Ryne. I’m pretty sure this was also around the time where in my head, I was trying to figure out how we could quickly get our things ready and go to the hospital because I knew I would NOT be able to have this baby at home with the contractions already being this strong and overtaking me.

7:45am: (Me to Brenda) “This is really strong feeling already, I feel like I don’t know what’s going on because it is difficult for me to handle.”

7:46am: (Brenda to Me) “Somebody needs to get in the pool, pull together.”

I was texting when I could think to, in between contractions, still in the guest bathroom, and when I got this text from Brenda, a part of my brain was like, “hey!! I AM pulling it together, I’m doing all I can do…pull it together, humph!”

7:47am: (Me to Brenda) “But I’m also afraid that this is going to go on forever or that it is going to stop and not amount to anything.  Haven’t seen any bloody show or anything.  Doug is getting pool ready now.”

7:48am: (Brenda to Me) “Ok just moving faster than your first one to hang tight I’m trying to get there.”

7:48am: (Me to Brenda) “Are you sure this is moving faster and not just baby trying to get in a better position or something? Back hurting a lot too.”

I believe with these texts I was in this “in between” place where I was finally believing this was the real thing and it really was happening quickly and also still in a bit of denial and that I was being an absolute wuss and I was doing terrible with these contractions.

7:49am: (Me to Brenda) “Feels really real”

7:50am: (Brenda to Me) “No, I am sure, on the way!”

8:00am: (Doug to Brenda) “I have Val in the tub to help out”

8:12am: (Brenda) “Getting off at the Glade Road exit right now.

Brenda arrived at our home at 8:37am

Texts to and from Sarah (our doula):

7:14am: (Me to Sarah) “I think things might be starting…but it feels really strong to be so early on…thought I had bad gas pains this morning but it has turned into something really tough”

7:16am: (Sarah to Me) “Ok. Were you able to sleep last night?  You may be starting further along this time.  How far apart and how long are they?”

7:17am: (Me to Sarah) “Yeah I was able to get some sleep.  It feels really tough this time, but I don’t know if I’m just being a wuss…or if this is going to go on for days again.”

7:18am: (Sarah to Me) “No I don’t think this will go on for days.  Sounds like today is the day.”

7:43am: (Sarah to Me) “Have you been able to time them?”

7:50am: (Me to Sarah) “Feels like too much too fast.  But I’m still worried it’s not it.  But I think it is.  Doug is setting up the pool.”  And then I sent the text with the screenshot of my contractions that were coming every 2-3 minutes lasting over a minute.

7:51am: (Sarah to Me) “I think so too.  I was honestly expecting you to go like this based on last time.  Have you called the midwife? I am going to leave here in a few minutes.”

7:51am: (Me to Sarah) “Been going on since about 530 I think.  No bloody show or anything though but I feel like I’m having trouble with these.  It came on so quick.  Brenda is on the way I think but I don’t want this to not be the real thing.  Thought I would have more time.”

7:52am: (Sarah to Me) “Ok that definitely looks like active labor patterns.  I think you just skipped over early labor.”

7:52am: (Me to Sarah) “I don’t know.  This couldn’t be all in my head right?  This is already taking a lot for me.”

7:53am: (Sarah to Me) “That was how my labor was with Finley and I kept thinking I could not be in labor yet but was complete when I got to the hospital.  I think you were just expecting it to go slower but it definitely is not in your head.  Those contractions are over a minute long.”

7:55am: (Me to Sarah) “It’s difficult to tell because I’m just in constant mode.  Feels like I don’t know that I can do this whole thing like this.”

7:56am: (Sarah to Me) “You can.  This is probably close to the worst of it.  I have a feeling you won’t have ore than 2 hours of this.”

8:01am (Doug to Sarah) “I have Val in the tub to help with things.”

8:03am (Sarah to Doug) “Ok.  It sounds like she is pretty far along.  If you can do counter pressure on her lower back, that and some soft arm strokes between.  I’m on my way in the car.”

8:04am (Doug to Sarah) “Ok see you soon.”

8:55am (Doug to Sarah) “Baby is here!”

8:57am (Sarah to Doug) “No!!!!!!!  I am almost there.”

It was very difficult for me to text through all I was going through with the waves that kept overtaking me.  Somewhere around 7:30am is when I told Doug to please get the pool set up so that I could get in soon.  I told him I didn’t care if it slowed things down, I needed to rest in the water ASAP.  At some point near 8:00am I guess Doug may have told me that the pool had water in it or maybe I just went from the bathroom to the bedroom and got in.  When I got in the pool, things continued to stay “real” and maybe I then allowed myself to let go even more, even though in my mind I still felt like I was fighting it somewhat.  When I was in the bathroom I was listening to my hypnobabies tracks about early first stage labor, which was honestly a joke since I think I somehow skipped first stage all together.  The track then changed to the Pushing Baby Out track and I don’t think I consciously heard or absorbed much of it but I do remember visualizing and thinking “open, open, down and out” like I encourage my own clients to do.  In my mind I had to think “open” because I was still somewhat nervous since Ryne had trouble getting under the pubic bone.  I was convinced that mentally I could encourage this baby to easily come down and out and that this baby was in the perfect position for birthing and working with my body.

During this time I remember Doug running up and down the stairs.  He was helping boil water and fill up the tub more and he was also keeping Ryne distracted.  I was largely alone during this time in the tub.  The sun had already risen and the soft light was filling the room.  I was aware of this natural light and I was grateful for it on some level.  In the tub things were getting even more intense.  There was never a moment where things really let up.  I was squatting in the tub and could feel baby’s limbs moving against my abdomen and remember thinking, “what is this baby doing?  Baby is supposed to be working on coming out, not on moving around and kicking me still.”  I’m sure baby really was working on moving around the way he or she needed to be, but in my mind I remember thinking it was really odd that I was doing all this work with the contractions and that the baby was just hanging out in there, still kicking at me.  I would have a contraction and vocalize and focus through it and then in between I tried to rest.  I laid down on my side in the water when I could and while it was still somewhat comfortable to try to do but at some point it all became too much and I couldn’t lie down anymore.  I remember resting in a squat in between contractions and just calling out “Your strength, Your comfort, Your rest, Your peace”.  This became my mantra.  In between every contraction I would simply call out and focus on those words.  I would say “I can’t do this without You.  Not my strength, Yours.  Your rest, Your strength, Your peace, God.”  I remember calling these out during some contractions too when I felt baby coming down.  This was such an intense and incredible experience for me.

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My birth affirmations banner

When I got in the pool, this is also when my body began pushing or bearing down with the contractions even more than when I was out of the tub.  There was nothing I could do to stop it.  My body and baby were doing what they needed to do and I was along for the ride.  A wave would come and I felt such intense pressure everywhere down below.  I felt baby moving through my birth canal and the pressure becoming more intense.  Since I was alone during this time I was also trying to figure out if things were “okay” and that my body was actually progressing the way it should.  I could only assume that it was.  I reached my hand down several times to try to feel my cervix to make sure it was open so baby could come through but my mind simply couldn’t keep up with my body.  My body was doing exactly what it needed to do and so was baby.  I was able to trust the process because there was nothing else I could do.  I was reaching down to feel my cervix and I thought to myself, “I’m feeling baby’s head.  Baby is coming.  Baby is almost here.”

About that time, at 8:37am, Brenda and her assistant, Jen, arrived.  Doug calmly answered the door and everyone came upstairs.  Of course, Ryne knew something was up so he also wanted to go upstairs to see mommy.  They all came up and Brenda told me she didn’t have time to get any of her equipment out, that this baby was coming.  They were able to get baby’s heart tones with the Doppler and said everything sounded good.  I asked her if everything was okay and if baby was going to be here soon.  I needed that reassurance that everything I had been doing was right and I could further relax.  Brenda assured me that baby was about to be born.  During these next few contractions Ryne came over and gave me a kiss and held my hand.  It was exactly what I had hoped for when visualizing our birth.  I had wanted Ryne to be present but I wasn’t sure how he would do or how he would be acting.  Thankfully it was early in the morning and Ryne was interested in the birth process as opposed to causing trouble at the moment.  Within just a few minutes baby’s head was out and I could see it in the water.  The relief from the pressure on my perineum was incredible.  I just wanted to sit there and wait a few minutes so that is what I did.  I told them all that I needed a minute.  Brenda said that was fine and to take my time.  Then I decided that I was ready to have this baby out and I don’t even know that I waited for a contraction, I just pushed the rest of my baby out.  I reached down and Brenda helped me bring baby to my tummy and chest at 8:46am, just nine minutes after Brenda arrived.

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Ryne was calling out “baby came out!!”  And I was crying that we just had our new baby and telling Ryne to look.  Brenda came over and was wiping baby with the towel and rubbing baby’s back to get things going.  Baby was just fine and it was at that time that she asked if we wanted to look and see what we had.  I picked baby up and found out that baby was another sweet, precious boy!  We weren’t surprised.  We were so excited to have another baby boy.  Benjamin Wald Rohde.

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It’s another baby boy!

I stayed in the birth pool for another 10 minutes or so but I was ready to get out because I wanted somewhere comfortable to rest.  Brenda, Jen, and Doug helped me to get out of the tub and walk over to the bed to deliver the placenta and then I got to take a wonderful shower in my own bathroom, dress in my own comfortable, cranberry colored nursing gown, and relax back in my own bed.  Sarah arrived once I had gotten out of the tub and was delivering the placenta.  She took beautiful photos of our experience and was there for me to hold my hand while having my repairs done.  The whole experience of birthing at home was an incredible one.  I kept saying, “Can you believe we just had our baby?!  I can’t believe that just happened.  So quickly and easily.”  While I was on the bed Benjamin was weighed and measured.  He was 8lbs 4oz and 19.75in long.  He was just perfect!  And we had been through a lot together during this pregnancy already.

This birth experience was intense for sure.  The speed of it all and how quickly the contractions came on and how strong they were from the beginning.  I definitely felt disoriented but overall, my body and my baby knew what they were doing and in my mind I was somehow able to just let everything go and just ride the waves, as intense as they were.  I knew they would wash over me and then they would wash away.  I had prepared a banner in my bedroom with affirmations along with a book of the notes and encouragement from the women at my Mother’s Blessing.  Needless to say, I didn’t have the time or thought to actually use the book or my birth necklaces but I believe the act of preparing them and meditating on them was what I needed in order to let go and feel the support around me.

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My birth affirmations book from all the sweet women who attended my Mother’s Blessing.

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The rest of the day I got to love on our new little boy with Doug and Ryne.  We were so happy to welcome him into our family and are excited to see just who he becomes and the fun (and fights!) he and his brother will have in the years to come.  We are so grateful for the gifts that God has given us in building our family.  Many gifts we couldn’t even imagine just a few short years ago.  We are grateful for our birth team and that we got to spend so much time with them over the past months of pregnancy and for their continued support and knowledge.  Overall, even though this birth was different from my visualizations, it was everything I could have wanted for my first homebirth.  I am so grateful for a wonderful birth team.  Brenda’s care, skill, faith, knowledge, and wisdom throughout our entire journey.  Brenda’s open communication with me whenever I needed it provided much peace of mind and confidence in our decisions.  Brenda had to go the extra mile for us several times throughout this pregnancy and I am so appreciative; Sarah’s encouragement and willingness to listen as well as provide wonderful support throughout our journey and capture such beautiful moments for us; and I am extremely grateful to my husband for having faith in the birth process and supporting me in the decision to birth at home.

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Ryne waiting for me to get out of the shower. He was amazed by the whole thing I would imagine.

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Relaxing in our own bed after a nice, hot shower!

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Ryne playing with the midwife’s flashlight because, why not?!

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Kisses for baby Benjamin.

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Benjamin being weighed. Love that sling!

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We did it!!

“As your days, so shall your strength be.”  Deuteronomy 33:25  I am so grateful to God for His strength, His peace, His comfort, and His rest.  I am grateful for His design and His beautiful process and creation for birth.  All the glory to Him for allowing us to play even a small part in creating new life!

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Welcome to the world, Benjamin!

 

 

Two days in a row…this is too much already, I know!  Anyway, I thought about blogging this morning before I even got out of bed.  I think about blogging all the time, it just doesn’t get done.  But I am constantly thinking about things I want to journal and share so that I don’t forget!  This blog is more for me than anyone else, remember?!  That being said though, I hope it does help in some way if you’ve come across this page, or warm your heart from the experiences I share.

I am happy this morning.  I woke up pretty happy.  Even when my almost 2 year old came into our room whimpering for me at 5 something AM.  I welcomed his warm little body into our bed as he climbed up next to me to snuggle.  It was enough for him to just make it to the bed with me…lying near my knees as he kind of snuggled his sweet little head into my legs.  I let him lie there, fallen back to sleep, for a few minutes before I pulled him up closer to my chest.  As he lie there sleeping, I felt little kicks, jabs, or punches on the right side of my belly so I rested my hand there to feel them even better.  Wondering if they were little arms or legs or elbows.  Baby movement inside is so fascinating to me and I can never quite seem to figure out what exactly baby is doing or what position he or she is in.  Anyway, I just relished this moment with my two babies in the quiet darkness of the early morning.  A time where I wasn’t annoyed by the unexpected intrusion into my bed, which apparently also woke up the new littlest one who wanted to let me know that he or she was in there too, dreaming away.  The little bumps settled back down and Ryne’s breath grew deep.  I just enjoyed it and I wish I could capture that moment here to come back to some day when my babies are much bigger and they aren’t crawling into our bed anymore.  The knowledge that these sweet times go by far too quickly just makes my heart sad but I’m grateful for moments like this morning where I can simply be in the moment and enjoy what God has provided for me in it.

And my devotional this morning, from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, is so beautiful and captures the closeness we are to have with God and I feel our relationship with Him can be such a reflection of what I experienced with my little ones this morning.

“I continually call you to closeness with Me.  I know the depth and breadth of your need for Me.  I can read the emptiness of your thoughts when they wander away from Me.  I offer rest for your soul, as well as refreshment for your mind and body.  As you increasingly find fulfillment in Me, other pleasures become less important.  Knowing Me intimately is like having a private wellspring of Joy within you.  This spring flows freely from My throne of grace, so your Joy is independent of circumstances.

Waiting in My Presence keeps you connected to Me, aware of all that I offer you.  If you feel any deficiency, you need to refocus your attention on Me.  This is how you trust Me in the moments of your life.”

I so needed that this morning along with these powerful words that are speaking straight to me in exactly what I am going through.  Just more proof to my heart that scripture is God-breathed and truly living and applicable to each of us.  God meets us just where we are and has a word to say for every situation.

“Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for his mother’s milk.  Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.”

“But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.”

Psalm 131:2

And the verse before this one, Psalm 131:1 “I do not concern myself with great matters or things too difficult for me to grasp.”

I haven’t mentioned our weaning process with Ryne but it has been very slow and natural for both of us and it has been sweet.  The other day I just lost it though with emotions of it all ending since the time has gone so quickly.  Yes, TWO years of nursing has gone by too quick!  I didn’t set a date or plan a big scheme to end it, it just kind of is happening.  Pretty much has happened at this point.  So to have this verse laid before me, waiting for me, at just this right timing is a beautiful way to recognize the end of that particular facet of our relationship.  All while recognizing how wonderful and beautiful a weaned child with his mother can be.  Contented.  Calmed.  And can still draw that closeness and contentment from its mother without the need to nurse.  I needed that for my soul.  Thank You, God, for Your ever-present, powerful, timely Word.  Thank You that we too can be contented and calmed by our closeness with You.   

I had something else in mind entirely for today’s post but that will have to wait for another day.