Health Foundations

Birth Story: "The Definition Of Perfection"

The birth of baby Revira

By Emily Grace Whebbe

In recounting our birth story, I finally fully understand the definition of a word I have used so many times: perfection.

Although I write this after a generous dose of oxytocin from breastfeeding, I will try not to embellish beyond belief. Perfection is a word and concept I rarely use or believed in, unsure of it's even existence. However, after going through the experience of childbirth and now being able to be a part of this incredible baby's life, I realize that what happened more than a week ago was as close to perfection as I could experience. Let's start at 3:00 a.m., Thursday, August 4th.

Baby Revira was born on August 4th, at 7 pounds, 2 ounces, to proud parents Emily Grace Whebbe and Kai Curry.

Kai had been working late for the last few weeks, trying to get a project done before the baby arrived, and came to bed around 2:00 a.m. I had been sleeping for only a few hours when I woke up for my 3:00 a.m. bathroom trip and noticed that some fluid was dripping out of me...a lot of it. I hurried to the bathroom convinced I was finally having the incontinence issue during pregnancy that I hadn't yet had. I was wrong.

"Um, Kai? I think my water just broke," I said calmly from the toilet. I was more amazed than scared, as if the entire pregnancy I wasn't fully convinced that it would conclude with actual labor. It felt like a science experiment had begun, as if I could say "Hey, Kai, the water is boiling" in a similar fashion.

Kai got out of bed and stopped at the fridge for a glass of water on the way to the bathroom. He sat down on the floor next to me and casually drank the water. "Are you ready?" I asked him. "Maybe you should just go back to bed," he said. I called Cheryl first, one of the midwives at the birth center. She gave me the same advice to go back to bed, monitor any contractions, eat something, take a shower, whatever I needed to do to prepare, but mostly just get some rest. She sounded excited and calming, having a tone of reassurance I had gotten used to throughout the pregnancy. So, I went back to bed.

Contractions started within 10 minutes of hanging up the phone. They were 10 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute. I laid there quietly and let Kai get some sleep. The contractions weren't that painful and I was excited that they were so timely and steady. I knew I'd have a baby in my arms within 24 hours.

By 6 a.m. I felt the urge to get out of bed and start preparing. I ate, took a shower, put in a load of laundry, and packed some last minute things. I politely told Kai, "If you have anything you want to do before we go, now is the time." He answered from bed "15 more minutes." I laughed, but knew he was tired and going into labor with little sleep wasn't going to be a good idea. We laid in bed a minute and my contractions slowed down. It felt so nice to be relaxed, in labor, and in his arms. But then, another contraction hit that was so intense I ran to the bathroom to throw up. Kai took this as a cue to get up as things were getting serious, and we started our birth journey, first by going to my mom's house to drop off our dog. I figured I'd labor there a little bit and get to the birth center around 10 a.m. if things were staying steady. After all, I had a prenatal appointment already scheduled then.

By the time we got to mom's, the contractions were pretty strong. Mom seemed nervously excited. Every 5 minutes or so I'd simply get down on all fours and do some breathing into the rug of choice and then get up and promptly go to the bathroom. I thought to myself, "This isn't so bad, I can just fall to the floor for the next few hours, no problem." However, I soon realized that things were becoming even more intense and I'd soon not be able to make the car ride to the birth center, so we were off. Being in a car during a contraction was the worst, but at least we were only a few minutes away.

We arrived at the birth center at 9:30 a.m. I walked straight into the birthing suite and got on the bed to have a contraction on all fours. Midwife Amy and her apprentice, Sky, were there to greet me. I was excited to show them my progress. I said something to the effect of, "So that's that," after the contraction ended. They smiled and started preparing quietly in the background as I labored. Sky brought me some "Emergen-C" to drink and nurse, Jill, made me some oatmeal. I'd have a contraction and then shove my face with food and drink before another one started.

Emily labors in the bathroom of the birthing center with her partner Kai, before the birth of their daughter, Revira.

Emily labors in the bathroom of the birthing center with her partner Kai.

I went through a few contractions and asked Amy if I could get in the tub. She said she'd rather have me wait a bit to make sure it wouldn't slow my progress to get in there. So I had about five more contractions and asked again. Now, instead of being mostly silent through them, I had begun moaning a bit. Amy said she'd start to fill the tub and I got more excited. I was in the tub for just a short time when I asked if Kai would join me as I wanted something to push against during a contraction. He didn't hesitate, as with the entire birth, he calmly did whatever I or the others asked of him. He was collected and encouraging; completely there for me and baby. Within what felt like an hour, but was probably more like two, Amy checked my cervix as I was feeling closer to wanting to push. She found that it was not fully open on one side and kept her hand there during a contraction to see if she could help it move a bit. It didn't seem to work, but I didn't get the sense that she was nervous. I was totally in my body and couldn't feel any outside anxiety or stress in the room. Everyone was calm and reassuring.

Amy told me that if I stuck my finger in just a little bit, I could feel the baby's head. I hesitated, but put my finger in only about 2 inches. I felt it. How amazing it was to know my body had already brought the baby's head that far! She could have said how far dilated I was, but instead, letting me feel the head made the progress more real, more encouraging that my body was doing exactly what it needed to be doing.

The contractions continued and were painful, but never unbearable. I breathed through them and would take a cleansing breath through my nose at the end. Sky massaged my legs, Kai put pressure on my back. Jill checked my cervix to confirm what Amy had found. Although they didn't tell me this at the time, they realized the baby was "occiput posterior" or "sunny side up," which means she was facing up toward my front rather than toward my back. This position makes pushing a baby out difficult because the very top of the head is against the cervix, instead of the crown, which is smaller. Jill confirmed that although it would take a bit more pushing, my pelvis was able to fit the baby's head through at this angle.

I'm sure some women would have wanted to know all these details during birth, but I'm happy I wasn't distracted with measurements, dilations and technical terms. I like that I was told what I needed to know, and what positions I could try rather than how far dilated or what an occiput posterior baby would mean (four hours of pushing for me!)

Amy asked politely if I could get out of the tub and have Amber, the birth center's resident chiropractor, take a look at my sacrum (my lower back). I was helped onto the bed and Amber laid her hands gently on my back during a contraction. From one contraction she could tell what needed to be adjusted. Kai was standing by my head and held my hand during each contraction. I remember pushing my face into his shorts, which were cool and wet from the tub. I could hear him breathe above all the other noises. In between contractions, I'd try to match his rhythm. I had my eyes closed, but I could feel him looking at me. Most importantly, I could feel his confidence in me, in my body, in our baby, and in the women surrounding us.

Amber adjusted my sacrum with a tool that made a snapping noise, but didn't hurt a bit. It felt great actually, releasing all the tension in my back. A few more contractions and Amy suggested I go to the bathroom to labor on the toilet or in the shower, anything upright to keep baby moving down. After Amber's adjustment, each contraction actually felt like the baby was moving further down. I had no urge to stop, wanting each contraction to come, only getting frustrated when they'd pause for longer than a few minutes. I welcomed them into my body, silently telling my baby to descend with each contraction. The pain and intensity was increasing and I told Kai, "If this isn't transition, I am not sure what is." Nobody seemed to believe me because I wasn't howling or asking for drugs or anything of the such.

It wasn't until everything was done that someone said it probably was transition, looking back. I amazed myself that I could talk through it instead of scream. All the stories we had heard mentioned transition being the time of wanting to give up or give into drugs. Those thoughts never crossed my mind. I trusted my body, and honestly didn't feel like I had time to think about anything else but remaining focused on each contraction and getting this baby out.

I went to the toilet, which was one of my favorite positions to labor. Not only could I go to the bathroom during a contraction (which would happen whether on the toilet or not), but I could also put my head on the assistance bar behind the toilet which was nice and cool. Then I went to the shower and Amy thought it would be a good idea to have a few contractions squatting. I waited for the burn of her head crowning to begin. I asked everyone how long it would be. Not long was all I could gather, but it still felt like it was taking forever to feel her crown. Amanda, another midwifery apprentice, was to my right, Kai to my left. I sat on the birthing stool in between contractions and squatted down during them, leaning my head on Kai's. Everyone continued telling me how amazingly well I was doing. I believed them, and agreed. I felt my baby descending, I felt it starting to burn, and finally I saw everyone put on a new pair of rubber gloves. I knew this meant I was close. Jill asked Kai if she could get him a granola bar, to make sure he wouldn't faint at the sight of things. He accepted.

A few contractions later her head was out and her body slipped out with ease immediately after. I sat on the stool and held her, pink and screaming nicely. She looked amazing and felt warm and soft. I loved it. As soon as I saw her face come out of me, I felt no pain. The rest of the room disappeared except for me, her, and Kai. It was 2:51 p.m., just nine minutes under 12 hours from start to finish.

Kai cut the cord after it was done pulsing. A few minutes later my placenta came out with a lot of blood and I was escorted to the bed to make sure I wasn't bleeding too much. I felt weak and shaky. Oxygen please. Kai lay next to me holding the baby. Thankfully, within a half hour I was stitched up (from tearing), breastfeeding, and laying in a cozy bed, not bleeding too much. I was happy. The baby was healthy and alert, I was healthy, Kai was the perfect companion for labor, and all the staff at the birth center worked together like a finely tuned machine.

We were alone in the room for a bit and Kai said, "I am so glad we had our baby here instead of a hospital." Amy, Amanda, Sky, Jill, and Amber were beyond my most wild expectations of what a birth team could be. They worked quietly in the background, but were there when I needed them. Everything they suggested helped. Everything I told them I wanted was upheld. They had reminded me to breathe through my nose, to push with all my energy toward my bottom. It was as if they were so knowledgeable and respectful of the birthing process that they were actually inside of my body with me. They knew exactly what I needed to do to work with my body in bringing this baby out.

Within six hours of birth, we were headed home to our own bed with our 7 pound, 2 ounce (3.23 kilogram for Kai), 19 3/4 inch baby girl, Revira. My baby sleeping on my chest in my bed was perhaps the best feeling I could have ever imagined. She is perfect, and I wouldn't change a thing about our birth. Thank you Amy, Sky, Amanda, Jill, Amber, Greta, and everyone at Health Foundations; and thank you Kai: of everything we've been through, this is by far the most incredible.

Birth Story: "We all have this maternal power~ we just have to believe in it..."

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The birth of baby Raina

Contractions started early in the morning on the 27th of November but never gained momentum – in fact, they stopped for most of the day – until Raina’s big sister Elya went to bed. Around 9:00pm then, I finally laid down and decided to get some sleep. The minute my head hit the pillow, however, my contractions started again. You have got to be kidding me, I remember thinking. I laid there for about an hour, trying to rest since they were only about 20 minutes apart, but eventually went out in to the living room to see my husband, Peter.

Once I was there and sitting on the ball, my contractions got stronger and closer together until eventually we thought, “This is it!” That’s when they spaced out again (around 11pm). I felt incredibly frustrated and worried that this “start-stop” pattern would continue throughout the night! Sensing my exhaustion, Peter kept urging me to lie down and sleep, but I knew that if I could just get my little girl’s head in the right position (pressing down on my cervix) I’d be in “real” labor. I therefore started doing squats during contractions, and in no time, was in full blown active labor, throwing up, and calling the midwives telling them “it was time”. This was around 11:30pm.

We got to Health Foundations birth center at 12:45am on November 28th, 2012 and my contractions were 3 mins apart. The minute I walked in and hugged my doula and friend, Aubrey, I started crying, feeling so grateful that she was there and that soon I would be meeting my baby girl! Amy, my midwife, immediately told me to get in the shower. "Why isn’t she starting the birth tub?" I thought, but brushed it aside and got in anyway; and thank God too, because the water felt amazing! My birth mix started playing (which was made for me by my best friends) making the whole scene surreal and emotional. Tears started streaming down my face, and I even managed to sing along to “Wade in the Water” by Eva Cassidy (in between contractions, mind you). I felt such joy and excitement for what was about to happen, it was unreal.

Finally, Amy and Aubrey told me to get out of the shower and try sitting down. There was NO way that was going to happen since Raina’s head was causing too much pressure, making any other position except standing unbearable. I leaned over the bed then, and put my head on some pillows. I squeezed Peter’s poor hand for the millionth time (he was smart and took off his ring this time) and Aubrey massaged my shoulders and neck, which felt amazing since I had pulled some muscles during contractions; again I started thinking, Why isn’t Amy running the water? I know I’ve got to be close. (Amy told me later that she thought I wasn’t even in active labor yet since I was being so “quiet” and “jovial”).

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Eventually I demanded they fill up the tub so I could get in. I also started telling them that I “couldn’t do this any longer” and that they had to “tell me what to do!” I knew from my actions that I was in transition but didn’t care. I needed my support team to tell me it was almost time to push so I could allow my body to do what it needed to. That’s when my water broke and I threw up again. I knew I was near the end, but since Amy still hadn’t checked my cervix I started doubting my intuition and resisting “the urge”.

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Once in the water, I immediately relaxed. Amy ‘checked me’ and told me Raina’s head was super low (which I was able to feel!) and that I was ‘complete’. What a relief! I thought. She then told me to start pushing with little pushes if I wanted to so I could ease into the “second stage”. This advice was extremely helpful and allowed me to gradually prepare for the “big push”, which eventually came from a source greater than myself – in 3 minutes then, I had my beautiful baby girl in my arms! I started crying, “Oh my God oh my God oh my God!” and kissing Raina’s perfect little head. Peter was crying too, and we kissed and marveled at the beautiful creation we had in front of us.

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Raina was born at 2:23am (7lbs 11oz and 22 inches long) after three hours of incredible and intense labor. It was the most amazing and gratifying birth ever. My first one was amazing too, but this experience had been exactly how I’d wanted it (except for the hope of being able to push without guidance. Nothing is ever perfect with Life.)

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I wouldn’t have had the birth of my dreams without Peter, Aubrey, Amy and Amanda (my midwives) by my side. I am also SO thankful that I now have beautiful and gorgeous pictures (taken by the lovely and wonderful Danica) to remind me of how strong and powerful I am. We all have this maternal power; we just have to believe in it, claim it, and trust in it, so we can fully let go in the welcomings of Life.

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All Photos by Danica Donnelly Photography

Recipe: Lactation Cookies

This yummy oatmeal cookie recipe is one of the many ways for breastfeeding/pumping mamas to maintain their milk supply!

Lactation Cookies Recipe by MilkinMamas

2 Tablespoons flax seed meal

4 Tablespoons water

1 cup butter, soften to room temperature

1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour (all-purpose or white whole wheat)

3-4 Tablespoons brewer’s yeast

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups rolled oats

1 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flax seed meal and water. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl or stand-up mixer, beat butter and brown sugar well.
  4. Add eggs and beat well.
  5. Add flax seed mixture and vanilla, beat well.
  6. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, brewer’s yeast, baking soda & salt.
  7. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, mix well.
  8. Stir in oats and chocolate chips.
  9. Scoop by rounded tablespoons onto baking tray.
  10. Bake 12 minutes.
  11. Cool on baking tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Be creative and try these variations or additions:

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • flaked or shredded coconut
  • dried cranberries, cherries, apricots or raisins
  • white chocolate chips

Birth Story: "We Are Stronger Than We Know"

Birth of Baby Viggo | 24 December 2012

By Sarah Bach-Bergs

all of usOur little one was 11 days overdue — it was honestly getting a bit emotionally trying on me. I literally began to think that I would FOREVER be pregnant (not cool — except for the part about forever being able to go to prenatal yoga! Ha!) I was beginning to get worried about many things – like “will I give birth to a 15 pound baby?!” or “will I actually be able to push this baby out if it gets too big?!” or “will I even be able to give birth at Health Foundations naturally or will I have to go into some cold hospital to be induced?!” All of these things were circling my brain. And even though I was very aware of “letting them go” and telling myself that “what will be will be,” I couldn’t help but find myself worrying about these things on a frequent basis.

I also was aware that there is no “right way” to birth but I also was very determined and passionate about giving birth naturally, at a birth center, with those that have been with me through this whole journey. Some things are just hard to let go of or imagine otherwise, even if you hold no judgement on other ways of birthing.

inductionAnyway… our little one DID finally arrive! I gave birth to a BEAUTIFUL BABY BOY on the morning of Christmas Eve — 7:55 a.m. to be exact — at Health Foundations Family Health & Birth Center. Viggo Edison made his grand entrance in the bright, beautiful morning sun weighing in at 9lbs, 3oz and 22 1/4 inches long. Details you say? Well, here’s the birth story, in a nutshell….

On December 22, 2012, my husband Tom and I headed to Maplewood to hit up the Toys ‘R Us. I had a Groupon coupon to use by the 24th and was stressing about getting it redeemed — big time. This HAD to be taken care of TONIGHT! So, we jumped in the car, even though I was having slight contractions, and decided to hit up the most chaotic store in the Twin Cities metro area around the holiday season. If nothing was going to send me into labor – THIS would.

I didn’t think much of the contractions as this had been going on for nearly a week (seriously). My contractions would start in the early evening and proceed, about 5 minutes apart at the least, throughout the night. The past couple of days, the contractions throughout the night were strong enough to wake me up consistently and sometimes labor through them on my hands and knees in bed. However, when morning would roll around, they would either completely stop or they would space so far apart that you couldn’t even really consider it close to “labor” — just annoying little pains here and there throughout the day.

However, while in Toys R’ Us, my contractions got stronger and closer together. They were consistently 5 minutes apart. The longer we spent in the toy store, the closer together they got. Some of them became about 2 minutes apart! I told Tom that if we didn’t leave soon, I was going to give birth in a toy store. We made it to the car, stopping in the parking lot every once in awhile to breathe through a contraction.

When we hopped in the car, I decided that Pizza Ranch pizza buffet was a MUST…NOW. So, I took my vegan husband and vegetarian me to the Pizza Ranch and ate as much pizza (not all vegetarian mind you) that I could. Talk about a last-minute pregnancy craving! Yum. We actually dubbed it my “Pizza Ranch Farewell Tour.” The signal to leave Pizza Ranch – besides having dessert pizza – was when I had a contraction that was so strong I started crying. We decided to head home.

Two brothersWhen we got home, we immediately went to bed knowing that we needed as much rest as possible with things near to the end. “I remember Sarah having a rough night and barely sleeping in between contractions,” said Tom when asked about his interpretation of this stage (literally, I don’t remember this portion of labor AT ALL. I must’ve been in coping mode!)

The next day, December 23, I didn’t even get out of bed until late afternoon. Tom brought me all of my meals in bed and I labored consistently throughout the day. Finally, Tom convinced me to get up and take a walk around the block to get things moving. It was a rough half block. “She asked to stop and go back,” remembers Tom. “But we were already halfway around the block so it was the same distance either way … I just encouraged her to keep going.” We stopped several times and I hung onto Tom as I labored through the contractions. I don’t even want to think about what the cars driving by were thinking as they saw this on the sidewalk!

Around 9 p.m. we called our midwife at Health Foundations and gave her the “heads up” that this might be the “real deal” this time – I just couldn’t sleep. She told me to get an over-the-counter sleep aid, take one, and try to get as much rest as I possibly could. Tom ran to Walgreens to pick up the sleep aid and when he got home, I willingly popped one in my mouth. This did NOTHING for me.

after birth2It was now about 1 a.m. on the morning of Christmas Eve and my contractions were still strong and consistent but not picking up much. I knew that getting in the bathtub historically slowed my contractions down and sometimes nearly stopped them altogether. I also knew that working “towards” the pain was where I needed to go — but I needed a break. So, I ran the bath water hoping to get a tad bit of relief. Sitting in the bath, my contractions continued to get stronger and closer together. They were about a minute and a half in length and about a minute apart. The bath WASN’T giving me a break.

That’s when I knew it was the real deal.

Tom called our midwife and told her where the contractions were at. She indicated we needed to get to the birth center ASAP! Originally, I was hesitant about Tom calling our midwife. I think I was literally in denial about the labor. I also didn’t want it to be a “false alarm,” especially given that it was the night before Christmas Eve! I just kept telling myself I wasn’t close enough yet and it wasn’t time to go in. Yet, laboring in the tub was so constant that it did worry me a bit.

So, we grabbed our packed bags and food and hopped in the car (not before working through many contractions on the way to the car). Once we got to the birth center around 2:30/3 a.m., we settled in, had our midwife check me, called our doula and began “moving.” We walked the stairs, up and down, and walked circles in the yoga studio and tried to move this baby down.

kissyContractions were strong but I felt like prenatal yoga had well-prepared me for the importance of the breath. As a close friend once told me, everything we experience is merely temporary – something we can breathe through. This same friend also had once told me that NOTHING in labor can overpower us, because it IS us. I tapped into this energy frequently throughout my laboring. This gave me strength. I focused on my breath even though I was often reminded by my birth partners (my husband, my doula, my midwives) to SLOOOOW my breath down. This was incredibly helpful in feeling like I had “control” and was opening up. Breath is SO POWERFUL.

I used MANY mechanisms of working through labor – standing with my arms around my husband’s neck and squatting (allowing him to hold my weight), sitting on the birthing stool in the shower with the hot water on my back (helped tremendously with my back labor), facing backwards on the toilet, on the birthing ball (swiveling my hips on the ball felt SO GOOD and reminded me of yoga), etc. etc.

Finally, my midwives decided to check me again at 6:50 a.m. It was decided that we should break my waters as they had not broken yet. I kind of had an emotional break down at this moment in my labor. In my first birth experience with my oldest son Odin, they also had to break my waters and I vividly remember how intense labor got after the baby no longer had water cradling his every move.

I KNEW we needed to move in that direction but it was a lot emotionally to take in. It felt like I was standing at the gates of labor land — filled with both excitement and intense fear of what was to come. I HAD to walk through that gate. I had a little cry; we talked it through — my husband, my midwives and I; and then we did it. We broke the waters. I waited … I waited for the freight train to hit me. But it didn’t happen like I had expected.

dad and viggoMy midwives suggested we get up and move around to get things going. I stood … and didn’t move from there. I experienced intense contraction after contraction after contraction right in that spot. I hung onto the strong shoulders of my dear husband, let him hold my weight, and dropped into a squat with every contraction. I had about 5-10 seconds of breathing time in between each one – and man did I soak up those 5-10 seconds!

Before I knew it, we were headed to the toilet again to labor. After a few “opening” contractions on the toilet, I requested to go to the birthing tub. I got in and had a few really strong contractions there — ones that made me feel the urge to push. I did. I pushed hard. I didn’t remember it being this hard!

I noticed my midwives were doing some “private communicating” via post-it notes. I just focused inward and tried to direct my energy towards baby. My midwives suggested I get out of the tub and onto a birthing stool. I tried to convince them to bring the birthing stool in the tub but I ended up getting out of the water and giving some good hard labor pushes on the birthing stool. Before I knew it, we were headed towards the bed, per the midwives suggestion again (this kind of pissed me off — I DIDN’T want to give birth laying down on a bed. I wanted the help of gravity on my side to bring this baby down, yet there was a part of me that just put trust in my caretakers as not ONCE throughout my labor had they suggested anything I didn’t want to do. I knew there was a rhyme or reason why this was suggested and at this point, I was so OUT of my head and into my body that I didn’t give it much “head thought”).

I got on my back and put my legs up by my shoulders (it kind of reminded me of happy baby pose, but I was not a happy baby!). My doula and the birth assistant helped hold my legs. My midwife was helping push my cervix aside. I pushed and pushed. I WANTED THIS BABY OUT!!! I felt the baby coming out and I never let it stop its descend. I wonder how long I pushed and pushed and pushed for? I didn’t let up. Soon, I felt the crowning and the baby’s head coming out. Once the head was out, my midwives said to flip over on my hands and knees and put my foot up by my hands.  I did this — and my baby was born!

breastfeeding2I heard his beautiful cry echo off the walls of the birth center room. At this point, I still didn’t know the sex of the baby. I felt the umbilical cord between my legs and reached down for my baby. “What is it?! What is it?!” I kept asking. The baby was facing down, towards the bed. I turned it over and saw that big ball sack! A BOY! We had another baby boy!

Turns out, and I didn’t know this at the time, but when I came into the birth center at 2:30 a.m. that morning, I was 5 cm dilated. When they checked me at 6:55 a.m., I was STILL 5 cm dilated. I had not progressed AT ALL. Thank God they didn’t tell me this or I would’ve given up and said “I can’t do it!” (labor math makes complete sense when you’re in labor but is never accurate when your birth story plays out). According to labor math in this case, I’d be laboring forever and never progressing! All that work for nothing?! But, they didn’t tell me and instead just suggested breaking my waters. That means, from 6:55 a.m., when they broke my waters, to 7:55 a.m., I went from 5 cm to holding our baby boy in my arms. In ONE HOUR! Holy man! I couldn’t believe it!

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On top of that, my baby was born OP or “sunny side up” as they say. His face was facing upwards. We knew he was OP a week before but usually OP babies will turn accordingly during labor. My little guy did not. THIS is why my midwives knew I couldn’t have a water birth — they knew I’d probably have to get on my hands and knees once baby’s head was out — as I did. And convincing me to get out of a birthing tub when baby’s head is hanging out of my vagina probably was going to be harder than anything. To add to it all, once his head was delivered, his shoulders got stuck and they had to help him out. It’s actually amazing to me that he was born with the ease he was given these factors.  I felt blessed that they trusted in me, and me in them to make this labor happen — that I was able to deliver at Health Foundations with the sun shining in the windows that Christmas Eve morning.

My 9lb, 3oz baby boy came into the world with some resistance, but he’s here with us and eats like a banshee! Every hour and a half on average. I’m a milk machine these days.

In the end, like my friend said, NOTHING can overpower us in labor, because it IS us. We are stronger than we know — and THIS may be, ultimately, what scares us. Who are we to be that strong? But, really, who are we NOT to be?

Grand Old Days 2013: Celebrating our Community

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Grand Old Days volunteers: Thank you!

It’s Monday and we are still basking in the glow of this weekend’s fun festivities.  So many wonderful Health Foundations moms, dads, and kids took time out of their busy lives to make this year’s Grand Old Days Festival one of the best yet!  We want to share our gratitude for all who helped make this year such a success:

Thank you to the families who came out on Saturday to build our fantastic float and fabulous new sign. Thanks to the many parents and kids who woke up early on Sunday morning to join us for the parade walk. And thanks to all who stopped by The Lactation Station to nurse and mingle with us throughout the day!!

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Health Foundations Building Community

Beyond fun, this weekend's community festival encouraged us to stop and reflect on what Health Foundations IS to our team, the families we serve, and our larger community.

Health Foundations is so much more than a place to give birth or receive quality health care—it is a place where people’s dreams are made possible, where families grow and where community is built. 

While the core of our work is helping families have a healthy and empowering birth experience, we also strive to cultivate a vibrant birth and parenting community.

Whether it’s…

…expectant moms in the waiting room swapping pregnancy stories…

… parents who entrust us to help deliver their babies…

… Milk Hour and Mom’s Group mamas supporting each other through early motherhood…

…or the new friendships we saw forged amongst moms, dads and kids at Grand Old Days…

…Health Foundations is about nourishing relationships and creating a supportive birth and parenting community in the Twin Cities.

And we could not do that without you.

Whether we got a chance to see you this weekend or not, we are so glad you are part of our Health Foundations family.  Thank you!!!

Upcoming Events

If you were not able to partake in this year’s Grand Old Days festivities, don’t dismay!  There are lots of fun upcoming events we hope you’ll be part of.  Our Family Picnic will take place in just a couple weeks on June 22, 2013.  Hope you can join us~ stay tuned for details!

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Photos by Annie Wiegers Photography

Welcome to the Health Foundations blog

A blog is born! Greetings and welcome to Health Foundations’ new blog!  We are thrilled to create this virtual gathering place—a space for you to gather information, support, and resources during the childbearing year and beyond.

Here we will offer:

  • information about preconception, pregnancy, birth, babies, postpartum, and parenting
  • news about community and Health Foundations events
  • birth stories
  • insight from experts in the birth world
  • recipes
  • pictures
  • and much more

This blog is for and about YOU—our amazing Health Foundations families—we invite you to share with us your birth stories (and pictures!) as well as other stories about your birth and baby adventures.

We also welcome feedback—what would you like to see shared here?  What are your burning questions about pregnancy, birth, and new parenthood?

Please feel free to contact Jaime at Jaime@health-foundations.com with your questions, stories and feedback.

Thanks, come back and visit us again soon!

469755_10150978476250734_504943501_oPhoto by Gwendolyn Waite Photography