Friday, February 26, 2010

My FIRST Placenta Encapsulation!!

So, Amy and Morgan came over today to help me with the placenta encapsulation! The kids played, and we worked with a placenta!

The word placenta comes from the Latin for cake.

The placenta is an organ that connects the developing fetus to the uterine wall to allow nutrient uptake, waste elimination and gas exchange via the mother's blood supply.

So, first we had to rinse the placenta and drain the blood from it.

Once we removed the cord and drained the blood from it, we put it in the steamer.

And, steamed it...

While it was steaming, we took the cord and made a heart with it.

Once the steaming was complete, we cut it up and put it in the dehydrator.

Once it's completely dehydrated, I'll post about the next steps!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Movie & Discussion

Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Time: 10:00am - 12:00pm
Where: Amy's House, RSVP for directions! (

This month's movie is Born in the U.S.A.

BORN IN THE U.S.A. is the first public television documentary to provide an in-depth look at childbirth in America.

"Through the eyes of an obstetrician, a licensed midwife attending homebirths, and a nurse-midwife at an urban birth center, BORN IN THE U.S.A. explores the landscape of American maternity care. How do different caregivers answer these fundamental questions: What is "normal" birth? How much technology does safety require? What choices do women have? How do we decide what's best?"

The state of birthing in the U.S. is complex and controversial. While we now routinely use technology that saves countless lives that might have been lost just ten years ago, this technology has also led to one of the highest cesarean section rates in the world - one in five - and more than half of all births involve some type of surgical or operative procedure.

Bring a snack to share, there's room for kids and mamas!

Join us on!
Join us on Facebook!

Tuesday's Baby!

I attended one of the most amazing birth's on Tuesday. The mom carried her baby to exactly 42 weeks. We did a lot of talking the last week, but we finally had a breakthrough the night before labor began.

I got funny text from her that morning around 7:30am. She called me after that to let me know that she was having these "cramps" that sort of "come and go" every 5 minutes or so. She then added that she'd had some bloody show about an hour before that when the cramps started.

We talked again around 11:30am. Things her picking up, but not much.

We talked again around 1:20pm. I could tell she was in active labor at that point. She seemed much less like talking, and a bit "weepy" and "complain-y". They said they didn't need me yet.

At 3:15pm came the next call. "We'd like you to come now". So I headed out - it's a long drive. I arrived at about 4:20/4:30pm. She looked panicked, but had her friend and husband helping her work through a contraction. I told her I was going to warm up my hands and she insisted that I don't, and put my cold hands on her belly.

At the next contractions, I could tell she needed some focus. I wrapped her arms around her husbands neck. He stroked her face and I helped him breathe with her, while I rubbed her back. After that, she seemed much more in control. She had a purpose during a contraction, a plan.

After a little while of standing and swaying through contractions, she went and laid down on her side on her bed. We worked through contractions, focusing on slow, deep breathing, relaxing her neck and face and hands.

Later, she went to the bathroom and then we stood and leaned against a wall. She started to enjoy it when we squeezed her hips, so we did that, and encouraged her to breathe.

She laid back on the bed a while later, and I massaged her feet and calves, which were really bothering her. Contractions seemed to become quite intense at that point. I pushed on her hip during each contraction. She started to completely sleep in-between contractions. I looked at her husband and whispered that we ought to be getting ready soon. It was a 30min (minimum) drive to the birth place.

Around 6:30pm, I managed to get everyone in the car. She was feeling pressure at this point, but not needing to push.

We arrive!

So now, we're trying to make everyone aware of the plan. They check her - she's 10cm/+1. They call the doctor.

They start bringing delivery stuff into this TINY, maybe 8x8 Triage room.... the baby warmer, the delivery cart. The doctor comes in, checks her, and then asks if they are going to move her to a room... he looked slightly perplexed. The nurses say no, and he walks out, I think a little annoyed.

At that point we only have one nurse, the nurse assigned to her there. She is wonderful. She listens and hears. We get the monitors off, and we turn her over on hands and knees over the back of the bed.

They decide to move her to her room, since she's still not pushing yet. We cover her with a sheet and wheel her down the hall to her room.

Once we get there, the nurse starts asking what the preferences are. Basically they want nothing done to them or the baby. So, she calls the doctor back in, so they can talk. He agrees to everything, including that the husband gets to help catch the baby. YAY!

So, she starts pushing around 8:10pm, on her hands and knees. She does this, well, for about 30min. We start seeing the baby's head sometimes, so the nurse calls the Dr in, and he gets ready, but after a while there is still no baby, so he leaves again. They monitored her twice during pushing, and baby was wonderful.

She starts to ask why it's taking so long, and I tell her and the nurse tells her that it isn't taking long and she's doing great. I ask if she wants to try a different position, and she does, so we put the squat bar up and break down the bed and get her squatting. We set up a mirror so she can see. Within minutes the baby's head is clearly visible. The doctor is called back.

With another few pushes he is out. Mom and Dad cry and cry and cry with joy! She sits back and dad picks up his new baby and holds him up like an offering to the mom. It was beautiful. Her friend managed to get the most amazing shot of this moment. I will never forget it. He places him on her chest and they love him and cry over him and it is amazing.

The doctor calmly watches... doing nothing. The baby nurse doesn't touch the baby, she only looks in-between them to try and gauge his APGARS.

Baby was 8lbs 8oz and the dad guessed his weight exactly.

It was AMAZING!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010


So, I keep stats on all the births I attend. Mostly to get a general idea of how a doula is contributing in comparison to the averages in my area. Here are mine as of the end of 2009...

* 82% gave birth vaginally
* 18% gave birth by c-section
* 24% received an epidural or other pain medication during labor
* 71% were unmedicated during labor
* 18% were attempted VBACs, with 30% achieving a vaginal birth
* 24% received an episiotomy
* 18% were inductions
* 24% received internal monitoring
* 47% were first time moms

I'm happy with them. I don't really care much about the medication rate, so much as the vaginal birth rate. 18% is great for this area, since in 2006 the rate was around 38%+.

Still waiting on that birth to happen. :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New Year, New Blogging!

So, I've been slow to begin blogging this year. I've been, well... busy. January was a lovely month, that included the entire household getting the flu. We are well again, mostly.

I am now waiting for the birthing to start! So, here is a rundown of the planned events for February.

8th - Sophia turns 4!!
9th - Client Due Date
10th - Movie and Discussion with Wiregrass Birth Network
12th - Wiregrass Birth Network Outing at Landmark Park from 12-2
14th - Valentines Day!
16th - Birth Network Meeting in Fort Rucker from 10-12
18th - Birth Network Meeting in Dothan from 10-12
19th - Cole turns 2!!
20th - Healthy Pregnancy Class at 2pm
25th - Potential Client Due Date

Busy busy busy.

I suspect my next post will be a birth story! YAY! I'm ready!