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Uba5c Birth Story (Talana)

September 2, 2014

Hi you all. Here is my birth story… I want you to understand how I got to the decision of homebirth and the feelings I had prior to it. I might bore some of you so please be warned that it’s a long story. Also, if there’s any spelling mistakes or incorrect grammar then I apologise in advance.

A bit of history:
Baby 1 30-05-1995 3.3kg elective caesarean. Doc said she was breach
Baby 2 21-01-2000 4.1kg repeat cs
Baby 3 23-06-2003 3.2kg same story
Baby 4 08-12-2010 3.5kg cs
Baby 5 28-04-2012 3.4kg cs trying for a UB but ended up having cs being 8cm dilated
Baby 6 23-03-2014 3.4kg Unassisted Home Birth

Ok so here goes…

My birth story UBA5C took 18 years in the making. Every one of my beautiful children’s births brought me a little closer to my dream birth. Starting with my first pregnancy…I was young and naïve…believed every word the doctors said…went for every check-up etc. and when they told me I needed a cs I just went along with it.

with my second pregnancy the thought of a natural birth came up but yet again I believed the “trained professionals”…”once a Caesar, always a Caesar”

By nr 3 I had given up on the idea of a natural birth…

Eight years later I met my true love and when we found out I was preggies we were overjoyed. Early on in my fourth pregnancy I decided to try hb. By the first couple of contractions I decided to go to hospital. Stupid hey? Maybe. I don’t know why I didn’t even try harder but maybe I know now that I wasn’t prepared enough. I got a lot of negative feedback from the hospital staff for even getting pregnant after 3cs. Good idea to make someone feel bad when they are vulnerable. I hated every minute being in that hospital.

I got pregnant with baby no 5 and decided to learn as much as I can about vbamc. I went into labour around 07:00 the morning of 27 April 2012. I just knew something was happening. Not to mention the show I had since a week prior. Waiting and wandering when I was going into labour. I actually went for a long brisk walk the day before. Buy now I was 41 weeks and ready to meet this little man.

I didn’t tell anyone that I was in labour and went on with my normal day. I took a nap with my little one and decided to do my shopping trip after our nap…when I woke up something just told me that there’s no way I’m going to be able to do a shopping trip now! Ok so we are low on sugar, low on milk, low on cereal… whatever! It can wait!

Long story short… by midnight the pain was more than I could take (or thought I could take) so hubby and I went to hospital.

At the hospital I was told to “lie down and wait”. Lie down? Are u insane?! Well I listened and lied on my back too scared to move. The contractions were unbearable and I was about 8cm when my waters ruptured. Lol they still made me sign a form to give them permission to insert the loop. Lucky for me I was too far dilated, they said. Oh and not to have ANY more babies…go figure…

July of 2013 I found out I was pregnant…again…yes..you would think we were going at it like rabbits but that’s not so…remember…it only takes once. And oh boy! Once was spot on!!! It was quite a pleasant shock. Hubby said it was an old test and I said: “feel it, it’s wet, I just peed on it!” that was like the 3rd test I did that night lol!

I KNEW I was going to have my HB. I did LOTS of research, (not that there was much info on uba5c/hba5c/vba5c). I spoke to, emailed and “facebooked” lots of people. Majority of them telling me it’s too high risk. (Even a well-known doctor told me it’s too high risk…imagine I listened to him. Note so self: email him my birth story…)

I came in contact with an awesome doula (Heidi). The first time I spoke to her her voice was peaceful and reassuring. I think by that time she had more faith in me and my body than what I had. We kept in contact all through my pregnancy and tried on a couple of occasions to meet up. 8 days before Kydans birth we eventually got to meet…and come to think of it we almost postponed that appointment too!

In the last couple of weeks the fear of uterine rupture stuck its ugly head out again. I was starting to doubt that my body was able to birth this baby. Maybe it was also due to the fact that I had to bury both my parents within 42 days of each other…

I had a difficult time enjoying the last 2 months of my pregnancy because of this loss and an impending move.I prayed that things would work out…not the way I wanted it to work out but the way it God wanted it to be. When I did that I started to feel more at peace and I felt more positive that my body would do what it was designed to do.

Fears will always be in the back of your mind. But you deal with them and make peace with it. Then and only then I was ready for this beautiful birth.

Because we were moving I sent all my baby goodies to the new house with hubby…he still made a joke that I’m sending all the stuff to the other house…”what if baby comes at the old house?” I told him not to worry and that baby will only come mid-April. Haha!

Friday 21 march was the beginning of a long weekend. My doula still asked whether it would be okay if she went away for the weekend and I said “Sure” …she had nothing to worry about…
I woke up 11:59pm Friday night with a huge pee. Wiped off and saw what I thought was too much blood. Hubby walked passed and I told him I was in labour. His response: “ye right, don’t joke now”. I phoned Heidi and she said not to worry it’s just a show. She told me to get some rest and thank heavens I listened to her. She phoned me early the next morning and said she was making the 5 hour trip back home and I should rest. I do apologise again for cutting her family’s long weekend short. Xxx

I had contractions most of the morning and early afternoon, trying to relax and watch TV. Everything was now on hold(remember this was our moving weekend). Thinking that baby will come quickly I just lounged around. When Heidi came over around late afternoon the contractions were still far apart. We went for a long walk with pram in tow. We walked passed a car with a little sicker saying “don’t push” on the window…funny!

After the walk we contemplated whether she should go home and come back later. That thought didn’t last long as things started kicking up a notch. Heidi and my 10 year old son were timing contractions and later on I got a bit fed up telling them when contractions started and stop. So I stopped doing it. Hubby was handling the move and the two little ones.
I didn’t want to see how long and far apart the contractions were as I was worried that I would lose focus. PS. Dirty spot on tile floor is good to focus on when in contraction. Lol. Note to self: floors needs a wash.

Late evening I decided to lean on the side of my bed when a contraction came. That only helped for a little while and I got into the shower…Oh boy! The water felt amazing. It took the pain away in an instant. Some counter pressure also helped quite a bit. Not wanting to waste the water that I needed for the bath, I decided to try my bed again.

We decided to fill the bath. I couldn’t wait for the bathwater to be ready! I was looking forward to just lying in the bath. I was in the bath for around 3 or 4 hours and we had to top up the hot water a couple of times. I had gotten a nice position in the bath on my left side with my right arm hanging over the taps and my legs straight down. So when a contraction came I could anchor myself nicely against the side of the bath pushing with my feet against the bottom of the bath.

With every contraction I tapped on the side of the bathe and Heidi knew that I had to squeeze her hand. By the end when the contractions were quite painful I was worried that I would break her fingers.

I got out of the bath to pee at one point but couldn’t hold myself up lol I felt like 2 tons of bricks so she and hubby helped me. I think it was of lying in the bath so long being weightless that I couldn’t carry my own weight. At some point I felt some trickle like my water braking but it didn’t last long and so I just ignored it. My contractions also starting changing to more of a pushing feeling or like a feeling that to poo. Shame my ten year old was lying on his pillow outside the bathroom door for ages, waiting for this baby to make its appearance. Thank you u sweetheart for caring. Xxx I sent him to bed a little after that.

Something just told me to get out of the bath so off to my bed I went. At this stage hubby was lying down with my 3yr old because he was a little antsy and running on all 6 cylinders. Maybe because he could feel the energy in the house changing. He is still on the boob and so badly wanted “milky”. I felt so bad not being in the mood to breastfeed him but really…I couldn’t concentrate on breastfeeding and coping with contractions.

I got on my knees on my bed with the pillows propped under my chest. I started getting shivers and felt I needed to get back to the warmth of the bath because if I started shivering I would not be able to concentrate on the contractions and my breathing. Lol halfway off the bed I got a contraction and it stopped me right in my tracks. I was freezing even though I had a pyjama shirt on. Doula got me warmed up and I got back on my bed..bath forgotten.

Soon I needed to change positions and as I reversed of my bed on all fours a gush of water just squirted out onto poor Heidi. So she’s been baptised in amniotic fluid. (Oops!) I think that was the last of the waters coming out that was lodged in front of babies head.

Okay now I’ve gotten myself leaning with my back against my headboard and pillows under my backside. Not in a laying position…more of a squatting position as I am terrified of lying on my back in labour. (remember the “lie down and wait” saga with my 5th baby) And as you know lying on your back does zero favours for gravity.

Every time I had to push I curled my fingers around the top of the headboard giving me an anchor to push. That helped quite a bit.

Around 03:00/03:30 doula woke hubby and the three of us sat there pushing…well I pushed and they watched! By the last push doula said in a stern voice: “nou moet jy druk Talana!!!” …”push Talana!!!” Oh boy did I PUSH PUSH PUSH!!! Bubbas head was out and not waiting for the next contraction I gave a little more push and he was out! 04:15 giving a nice loud cry for his debut into this world. I was crying too. Tears of joy, accomplishment, love…
Somewhere in that last push I was waiting for the “ring of fire”…where was it? I had a little burning sensation but not as I anticipated. Yay! I eluded the “RING OF FIRE!” (Happy dance) I got baby on my bare chest and he starting nursing like a grown man with a hangover.
I was waiting for the next contraction to deliver the placenta but that didn’t come. If this placenta doesn’t come I would have to go to hospital. HOSPITAL??? No way!!! There was no way I was going to hospital to deliver a placenta!!!with the help off hubby and doula I got myself and bubba off the bed and squatted over the container and just pushed. Thank goodness it came out, intact, I was so relieved. There was still some bleeding but that was from the tear, not a very big tear but it was there.

When the cord stopped pulsating and it was limp and white hubby tied the cord with dental floss and cut it with a scissor…a blunt one!!! (oops, my bad…only scissor I had)
Hubby was so proud of me…I was so proud of me!

He made tea and him and doula cleaned up. Shame she still had a 40 minute drive home. Hubby went to lie by the other kids and bubba and I had skin to skin and was nursing and sleeping and he pood on me sometime when we were dosing off but that didn’t worry me. I got up Sunday morning around 9:30 and was a little light headed when I got to my feet but I was feeling amazing and I was on a God given natural high. I couldn’t believe how good I felt and by late morning I was already on our trampoline with my other little ones! My high lasted for days and days after the birth.

SENSITIVE READERS SHOULD STOP READING NOW!
I kept my placenta. I made some placenta prints with it. Cleaned it up, chopped it up and froze it. I swallow one “booster” every day.
You don’t need much for a homebirth…just a pregnant woman!
My hb kit wasn’t even complete yet but I managed perfectly with what I had. The only things i used from my incomplete kit was:
About 7 towels (I ended up throwing one away)
2 sheets
2 receiving blankets
Container for placenta
Dental floss
Scissor
Gloves
All of which I already had in my home except for the gloves.

Now 7 weeks later…hindsight…
You won’t believe how different this birth was in relation to my cs. From the recovery to the way I feel about myself, the birth, the baby…everything…different…
Kydan’s umbilical cord came off by day 5 (the other kiddies by day 10) and I think it was a lot to do with the delayed cord clamping. My tear healed within 2 weeks without any stitches and everything looks perfect down there. (tmi?) The light headedness only lasted around 3 days.

7 Weeks later I still feel very proud and in awe of this beautiful amazing empowering experience I was blessed with.

Thank you so much for reading my birth story and please share my story with those who you think might need the encouragement, understanding or those who are just nosy…xxx
My UBA5C was the most empowering thing I’ve done in my whole life…I DID IT!!!

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Goodbye Forever, Bikini (Becky)

August 22, 2014

Age: 24
Children: 1
Child’s age: 1 month

I have never been skinny. I’ve never wanted to be. I liked my size 8, athletic build with curves in all of the right places. I liked my boobs. I liked my body. Period.
When I got pregnant, my husband and I were so excited. Yes, the thought “oh my God what’s this going to do to my body?!” nagged at me a little bit, but I have always had a very strong mind and figured I could handle it. It couldn’t be that bad, right? I’m healthy, I work out, I eat well. I’ll be fine. Or so I thought.

I expected to have stretch marks. My mom has them, though they are very minimal. My sister- well, her stomach looked like someone took a set of kitchen knives to it (until she had a tummy tuck)! But my sister also had a VERY unhealthy, fast-food and diet-soda pregnancy. I would be fine, I thought. So I did everything “right”. I began a very strict skin care regimen and maintained it throughout my entire pregnancy. I took baths with vitamin-e oil. I used Palmer’s cocoa butter every day, twice a day on my belly, hips, thighs, and breasts. I drank more than a gallon of water per day. I ate a healthy diet. The day I went into labor with my sweet girl, I had gained 35 pounds- exactly what my doctor recommended, not a pound more or less. Despite all of that, I had stretch marks. I had them worse than my mother did. I have them worse than my sister did. They are all over my stomach, some on my hips. Thankfully, my breasts were spared.

I am devastated.

My daughter is beautiful. She graced us with her presence the day after she was due. And she was BIG and healthy and perfect. 8 pounds 7 ounces worth of healthy. She’s the best thing that ever happened to me… still I am feeling so unhappy with my body after birth.

I’ve lost all of my baby weight (and then some!) thanks to breast feeding and can’t wait to get to the gym to start working out. But I have spent countless hours researching only to find that these marks aren’t going anywhere. No creams or lasers or wraps are going to get rid of them, no matter what is promised by the advertisements. So here I am, on our family vacation, loathing all of the women in bikinis and knowing that I have said goodbye to mine forever. There are sexy one pieces that I can wear next year. I know that. But I’ll never quite feel as sexy as I used to. My husband is supportive. He says the stretch marks are just a part of life. That he doesn’t did me any less attractive with the scars if bringing our girl into the world. But I see him glance in the direction of the bikini-clad women who don’t have these damn stretch marks. (Some of them toting their own little ones around- HOW IS THAT FAIR?!) And it hurts. My once high self-esteem is plummeting.

I hope I get over it. But for now, I’m devastated.

Photos:
6 months pre-baby
38 weeks pregnant
1 week postpartum
3 weeks postpartum

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The Aftermath of 3 Kids (Anonymous)

August 18, 2014

I am a 33 year old mother of a 10 year old boy, a 9 year old boy and a 4 year old daughter. I am including 2 front view pics and 1 side view pic. I feel that this is the best my body will ever be again. I have saggy breasts from breastfeeding. I have stretchmarks on my breasts and on my stomach all the way up far past my belly button. My belly button will always stick out. My stretch marks are as faded as they ever will be. I have diastasis recti which will keep me from ever having an entirely flat tummy again.

Pre-pregancy, my tummy was one of my favorite parts of my body. I had a belly button ring and a gorgeous six pack. I was a size 6 at my biggest. I am now a size 10, and even after years of working out, I will probably always be this size. I struggle with the appearance of my tummy on an almost daily basis….still.

I am thankful for my husband. We have been together since my senior year of highschool, and married when I was 20. He has stuck with me through everything. He is an amazing father to our 3 children. He loves me so much, and still finds me just as sexy and attractive as he always did. I think that I actually believe him when he tells me how beautiful he finds my body….although I have no way to understand how he could.

My hope in posting is to help myself become less shallow and self-focused on the way my body looks. With clothes I am very happy with the way I look actually. :) I have 3 amazing kids and a wonderful husband. There is so much more to life than the exterior, and I want to lay to rest the things that I cannot change and focus on the so many positive things in my life. I can assure you that even if I could have my previous body, If it meant not having the precious babies that I have now, or the sweet bonding moments of breastfeeding each one of them, or the intimacy that I have with my husband that far exceeds an outward attraction of lust….I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I wish the same for each person who reads this. May all we all walk this journey together of learning to appreciate ourselves, and those who love and accept us with each curve, sag, and flaw that we have. May we extend that grace to those on this journey with us.

To being our best selves ladies!

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