Sunday, September 18, 2011

Full Circle, Golden Birthday Blessings

September 12th, 1999, the day oldest, Lina, was born. It was a beautiful day, but a defining one in my life, the day I was marked with my inverted T, the scar that started this all.

Just about every year, the celebration of her life and birthday is dampened by a touch of sadness about her birth, the longing for a better birth for her (and me), the desire for it to have been different, the going over and over in my head to replay and see if there was anything at all I could have done differently. The haunting of the painful memories often linger closer on that day, always in the background of my mind, in spite of rejoicing at how blessed I am with my precious miracle.

Well, not this year!

It's September 12th, 2011 and I got a call just after 2am from a client's husband, saying she's in labor. Her's has been a birth I've especially looked forward to, a precious mama going for a VBA2C, and delivering with the same doctor I used for my VBA3C, so I knew it was going to be amazing. Since things still seemed pretty early and manageable, I told him to update me in an hour or when contractions got closer together.

Ok, I do have to confess here, I was a touch bummed. Lina and I had made elaborate plans for the day of her "golden birthday" (12 years old, born on the 12th, to kids this is apparently a BIG deal!) and we had been praying for God to hold the space for her day for a couple of months! Our 10am Starbucks date, shopping at the mall for Toms, some girl time over lunch, it was going to be special! I said out loud, "well Jesus, you knew the desires of our hearts, I just have to trust you will work it out and give my girl grace."

I try to go back to sleep, but something tells me I better not. Right about 3am I get another call from my client's husband, saying she was still managing well, but had thrown up in the bathroom, her water broke about 5 min after the last time he had called me, and was now in the shower, contractions are now coming every 4 minutes and are more intense, but tolerable. I ask if we should just plan to meet at the hospital. I tell them if we get there and it still seems early-ish, we can walk around before checking in. He asks me what should we look for, just to make sure they still have some time. We run through the list of signs and symptoms of transition, and other than throwing up that one time, and the fact that her water broke, she doesn't seem to think she's in transition. I tell him I'll start heading their way since it seems she's ready for extra support, and if they decide to start heading to the hospital just to call me and I'll turn around and meet them (they live about 25 min south of me, and the hospital was about 25 min north of me).

I wake my birthday girl and tell her I got called, and give her a big hug and tell her we'll reschedule since it appears I won't be available by 10. She says she's going to pray it all goes quickly. I nurse my toddler and get on the road.

I have been on the interstate about 5 minutes when I get another call from the dad. I assume they are heading to the hospital and before I even answer I'm checking lanes to get off at the next exit and start heading back north toward the hospital. What my client's husband said caught me a bit off guard to say the least... "uh Katie... she's feeling like pushing and says she can feel the head only about an inch inside..."


me: "uhh... ok.... well.... we have 3 options then.... we can call 911 and have EMS come, go to the nearest hospital, or I can try to find a midwife to meet us hopefully before baby gets here"

I hear him ask her and comes back and says she says to try to find a midwife. I tell him get her out of the bath, throw a shower curtain on the bed and have her lay on her side and try not to push till help arrives.

Now I am flying down the interstate (the only time I *ever* speed is to births, and now even more than usual, dear Jesus, now is *not* the time to get pulled over, ok??) It takes a couple of calls, but I get one willing to come, she's a bit farther, but Kim is my all-time favorite midwife and the one I'm hoping to apprentice with, and I feel peace about it.

I violate my personal policy about not texting and driving and send her my client's address. Dear Jesus, take the wheel while I do this, ok?

I arrive at 4:10ish and let myself in. S is on laying on her side, doing amazing.
Me: "So, are we having a baby today or what?"
S: "Who, me? Uh, nah, I think I changed my mind."
Haha! Glad to see you still have your sense of humor hon!

I remember a pair of gloves I had tucked in my purse (you never know when you'll need a pair of gloves, right?). I take them out and put them up on the dresser. In Jesus' name I'm not going to need these.... because doulas don't catch babies, right??

I update Kim that we can't see baby's head yet. That begins to change really quick and by 4:25 it becomes clear that baby is coming soon, and that Kim likely won't make it. I had a touch of fear, and reverence for the fact that even though I'm NNR certified, I am not yet trained to do this, but I feel God's presence and peace. I grab for those gloves after all and pray, "Jesus, this needs to go perfect, please!"

I put her on speaker phone so she can walk dad and I through this. Crowning at next contraction, then head born with the next one, then a bit of a lull, (all normal, but a bit unnerving to mom and dad) then with the next contraction, one shoulder then the other, then at 4:38am, baby *GIRL* is here, born right into her daddy's hands, with a bit of doula assistance, and then right on mom's chest!

Baby pinks up right away, and lets out some sweet little cries. She's had a perfectly gentle birth, no one pulling or poking at her, or rushing to clamp her cord, no bright lights, no loud voices. Its a beautiful moment, and I am in awe of what God just did for this family. Just simply amazing! Praise You Jesus, You rock!! :D

HBA2C, mama S is a rockstar! She just birthed like a pro who had done this 10 times before! :D

Kim arrives about 5 minutes after the birth. Placenta is born a few minutes later, and mom and baby are both perfect.

Then the birth photographer gets there (whoops!)

My clients' oldest wakes up a little while later, comes in, and says she could hear a baby crying, what an amazing moment! Funny side note, my client's childcare that she had lined up for their older girls never did answer the phone. So had they tried to leave, they would have had 2 tiny spectators along for the ride! Jesus provided a way to work out all the details, and every loose end was tied up!

We all marveled at how the common theme was that Jesus provided for *everything*, even if it wasn't exactly how we had planned it to go! (or actually, even close to how we had planned LOL!)

I got to my babysitter's house to pick up Lina and Sergio at 9:45, then we had our Starbucks date and an amazing birthday celebration day. :)

So, before even starting my apprenticeship, I helped catch a baby. :) Unfortunately it won't count, but I will never forget it. And I'll have my daughter's birthday to remind me year after year, with another sweet wonderful memory to reminisce. :)

If anyone had asked me 12 years ago, what I would be doing 12 years from then, this would have been the farthest thing from my mind. But this day will go down as another defining moment in my life. Thank you Jesus for golden birthday blessings for me too. :)

 (My 12 year old snuggling with baby Q a few weeks later)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

There are numerous benefits to chiropractic care by an ICPA Webster-certified practitioner during pregnancy. Many advantages include reduction of back pain commonly associated with late pregnancy, less likelihood of having a breech presentation, better positioned babies, faster, and smoother labors and deliveries. As someone who chose to use chiropractic care during the third trimester of pregnancy, I can personally attest to its benefits and share that personal experience with clients. I highly recommend chiropractic care to all my clients and find that those mothers who chose chiropractic care have easier pregnancies and the best outcomes on birth day.

What is different about Webster?

Dr. Larry Webster, Founder of ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association) discovered this technique as a way to safely restore pelvic alignment and function for pregnant mothers. Misalignments in the sacrum and pelvis structure cause pulling and torsion on the supporting muscles and ligaments. These muscles and ligaments have a negative effect on the uterus, preventing baby from finding optimal fetal positioning for birth.

It is recommended that pregnant women have their spines checked frequently throughout their pregnancy. The adjustment consists of two steps, an adjustment as necessary of the SI joint and the sacrum, and soft tissue contact opposite round ligament of the restriction. This releases intrauterine constraint and allows baby to find an ideal position.

Other benefits of chiropractic care:

Due to the immense changes a woman’s body goes through during pregnancy, her musculoskeletal system must constantly adapt to the changes the growing baby puts on it. Her center of gravity changes and this can happen so quickly it is difficult for the pelvis and spine to keep up. Subluxations result and pull on the connected supporting ligaments to the uterus. The result of these subluxations and strain on uterine ligaments is pain and discomfort, and chiropractic can provide a more comfortable pregnancy.

Subluxations interfere with the functioning of the nervous system. Interference to the nervous system during pregnancy can slow or halt messages the brain is trying to communicate with the body.

Subluxations can also cause malpresentation and malposition of the baby, including breech presentation and posterior positioning, which can complicate labor and cause dystocia. Labor with a malpositioned baby can be much longer and more painful, increasing maternal exhaustion and the need for drugs and interventions. The second stage of labor also is much more difficult as baby tries to maneuver the pelvis improperly positioned to do so.

My personal experience with chiropractic care:

I began receiving adjustments during my VBAC pregnancy at the start of the third trimester. I had read a lot about posterior babies sabotaging VBAC attempts and I did not want that to be me. I also knew since I had a vertical scar on my uterus, I did not want to be laboring any longer than I absolutely had to.

Webster adjustments sure made me feel a lot better. My back did not ache quite so much, and I was certainly more comfortable. I also noticed a reduction in the amount of preterm labor contractions I had. Having gone into preterm labor in all 3 of my earlier pregnancies, I was relieved to get relief from those worrisome and bothersome contractions. Because of my history I was adjusted 3 times a week and noticed results after the first week.

My baby quickly got into alignment and the proper position and was well engaged at about 33 weeks along. This had some negatives because since he was so low, I had no bladder left and woke up 5 times a night to use the bathroom. But since I had delivered two babies at 35 weeks, I was happy to have a well-positioned baby.

On birth day my water broke before I was having good contractions. I was at first a bit upset by this, fearing the dreaded “clock.” Thankfully labor started 30 minutes later, and after only 5 hours 25 minutes, my baby was here. Labor was not at all unbearable, and not even what I would consider painful until I was 10 cm. I really attribute that fast, relatively easy labor to the chiropractic care I received and the perfectly positioned baby that resulted. I love my chiropractors!

Learn more about Webster technique here.
You can find a Webster-certified chiropractor in your area here.

Saturday, September 10, 2011