Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Nelson Family

The Birth Story of
Mari Karlene Nelson
Parents: Lindsey and Rob Nelson
Told by: April Millar, doula
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A few days before baby Mari would grace us with her presence, Lindsey was feeling pretty anxious that she was fast approaching her due date and no baby. Especially because she had shown signs of early progression being dilated to a 1+ and effaced quite a bit for two weeks now. Lindsey called me up and we chatted. She mentioned that she wasn’t concerned really about when she would go into labor, she knew the baby would come; but she had since become very focused on the actual labor, what it was going to feel like and if she could handle it. We had a wonderful discussion and she regained the confidence she had months earlier that a non-medicated birth was what she wanted and she could totally handle it. I agreed. I had seen enough of Lindsey that I had no doubt that she could absolutely handle childbirth.
            Three days later, Friday October 24th, I got a text from Lindsey at 4:00PM telling me she thought she was experiencing some contractions. They were much tighter than she had ever felt before and coming in a pattern for the last 30 minutes. Hooray, it sounded like sweet baby Mari was on her way. I advised Lindsey to rest as much as she could, nap, bath, and eat and drink lots of water. She promised she would. However labor really got going, and was happening fast. An hour later Rob texted me telling me that Lindsey was having contractions every 5 minutes and each one stronger than the last. He wanted to know when they should head to the hospital. I told him that whenever Lindsey felt like they should go to the hospital is exactly the right time to go. However, if it were me I would wait a while and labor at home because they lived so close to the hospital that I was confident they would make it no matter what. We texted back and forth about ways to help Lindsey feel more comfortable and how to help her relax as much as possible, taking each contraction one at a time.
At 7:00PM Rob texted and told me they were ready to head to the hospital. Alright! I was so excited for them, and I could tell they were excited too. I got to the hospital right close to 8:00PM. Lindsey was in the bed; Rob, her mother and sister all near helping encourage Lindsey to relax as much as possible. Lindsey was at a 5! She was doing great and progressing quickly. Her sister informed me that Lindsey had been pretty tense, before they got to the hospital her hands were curling and unable to open or move because the muscles were so tight. Lindsey was doing better at releasing her muscles but it was still pretty clear that she was tensing up a lot. I was familiar with Lone Peak Hospital and aware that they had some of the best birth tubs I have ever seen in hospitals. I went straight to the bathroom and saw that they put her in a room with just a shower. It was at that point that I strongly urged Rob to go ask the nurse if a room with a tub was available. Lindsey wasn’t completely convinced that she wanted to get in the bathtub. I told her if she didn’t want to she definitely didn’t have to but it would be nice to have the option in case the desire arose.
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            Lindsey had a wonderful nurse who was very accommodating. It wasn’t but a few minutes before we were in another room and she was filling up the bathtub. Lindsey got in the tub and as she was sliding down into the warm water looked up at me and said “It’s like you know what you’re talking about.” It was then that Lindsey was able to really relax and unwind her muscles and as a result she not only labored easier but she started cracking jokes all over the place. She had us all laughing as she positioned the washcloths as a triangle bikini. She labored in the tub for about an hour getting out about 9:30PM.
            She was checked when she was dry again and found to be about 8.5! She was sure moving fast. It was starting to make sense to me. Because she was moving so quickly her body was in hard very effective labor from the get go. That is why, I believe, she was so stiff in the beginning, she was trying to keep up with her contractions but they were so intense so it was throwing her off.
            Lindsey’s preferred position to labor was standing next to the bed. It was perfect for her, she swayed her hips and took a power stance through every contraction. Rob was right by her side, quietly whispering encouraging words into her ear. Her sister and mother were so helpful throughout the whole process with their support and words of comfort, I could tell Lindsey really did well having them there. I did find it very interesting that Lindsey wanted very little physical support. She did not like any pressure on her back at any time of her labor. She didn’t mind the light touch massage but really only when Rob tickled her. For some reason she was retaining a lot of water in her legs, could be because she preferred to stand as she labored but she also wasn’t able to relieve her bladder the last time she tried so the fluid was making her legs really tight. I was able to rub her legs to give her some relief from the pressure. But really that is all the physical support she wanted.
            At about 9:50PM she began to feel pushy with her contractions, this was only about 10 minutes after her last vaginal exam. Her nurse checked her and said there was only a little lip of the cervix left; she was a 9.5+. With each contraction it seemed as though Lindsey was pushing more and more, she was doing amazing squatting with every push. It wasn’t long before her water broke, showing there was a little meconium in her fluid.
At about 10:30PM she moved to the bed and really got down to pushing business pulling her legs up to her chest to help her bear down. She had amazing control and she told me after that when she was pushing she felt no pain, she didn’t even feel the “ring of fire,” she was just so focused and driven to get that baby out. Lindsey did perfectly, her baby made a smooth very gradual decent. Little Mari was crowning for a while when her heart rate started to drop some. Lindsey’s Dr. recommended an episiotomy and Lindsey agreed. Within seconds sweet Mari was born into this world at 11:11PM October 24, 2014. They gave her right to Lindsey and made sure all was well with Mari, that she didn’t need any additional treatment because of the meconium, she was perfect and soaking up the image of her mama’s face.
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Rob did so well, only having to sit down twice for a few minutes to get his strength (stomach) back. And from what I understand, he did much better than expected. He really was right there with Lindsey the whole time, being her rock and strength throughout the whole process.
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Congratulations Lindsey and Rob, Mari is adorable. I was so impressed with Lindsey and how well she did. Sometimes it can be overwhelming when labor goes quickly, everything seems more intense right out of the gate. But Lindsey did beautifully; she was so aware and even communicative even right up at towards the end. I am not kidding when I say she was joking around with her Dr. as she was pushing. And completely un-medicated I want to emphasize! Thank you for letting me be there, the birth of Mari Karlene was an absolute joy to witness.
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Barbieri Family

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:bob:Pictures:iPhoto Library:Modified:2014:Cora Birth:DSC_7814.JPGBirth Story of
Norah Capri Barbieri
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Told by: April Millar, doula

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            It was clear Sarah and Jake were going to do everything they could to be fully prepared for the birth of their first child. I met them about half way through Sarah’s pregnancy; they had done lots of research, made lots of decisions and were looking for a doula and a HypnoBirthing class. Sarah asked so many questions and had pretty much thought of everything, I was very impressed. I could just tell they were going to have an amazing birth experience.

            I have to admit I was very surprised when I received a text from Sarah at 12:30AM Monday October 13th, (two weeks before her estimated due date) telling me she had just awoken and had about a half cup of clear fluid come out. She said she wasn’t experiencing heavy cramping just what she had been experiencing for the last few weeks. I responded telling her that I assumed that was her membranes releasing. Perhaps the reason there wasn’t more fluid was that there was only a small hole in the sac, or the baby’s head was so low that it was plugging up the rest of the fluid. I told her she should try and go to bed and get as much sleep as possible before labor started.
            I figured she must have gotten some rest as I periodically checked my phone through the night and didn’t have any new messages. Until I got a message from Sarah at 7:30AM saying:
“About 3 minutes apart lasting a minute. What do you think that means? Some are stronger than others.”
Do you have to focus pretty good through them? Can you walk or talk? How did your night go? Did you get any rest?”
“Focus very hard! They are intense, thrown up from a couple. Barely walk hard to talk unless in between contraction… and still hard. No sleep was up all night with contractions. So tired.”

At this point I am realizing just how far along she is; and that Sarah is the one trying to communicate with me, not Jake or anyone else. I found out later that soon after her water broke labor started hard. Sarah labored on the birth ball, in the bathtub for a few hours and all around her house. She was in some sort of denial about her labor (probably because she was 12 days early), because she told Jake to go to work! Sarah finally got to a point that she realized she was far advanced in labor and got pretty nervous that she was going to be alone in her house when her baby came. Luckily her mother-in-law was able to help her and Jake got home from work to get her in the car and get to the hospital.
            I got a text at 8:30AM telling me they were headed to the hospital. They got there at about 8:45AM. It was 9:00AM when Jake called me and said “She was just checked and she is really close! Dilated to a 9 ½.” “Oh my goodness! Ok I am just passing Provo I will be there!!!!” I walked in the delivery room at 9:20AM and sure enough there were 7 or 8 nurses, Eve the midwife, Jake, and Sarah pushing with all her might. I was so relieved that she and Jake had a lot of support; some really great nurses and a wonderful midwife; all giving her great prompts and direction. It did make me feel so horrible that Sarah labored so long by herself at home, but I was glad she had so much help now. Because it seemed that everyone had a good rhythm going during every contraction, I just started snapping pictures.
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            Sarah had the most amazing concentration and control during every contraction. I was amazed! She would rest between and then with calm quiet focus she worked so hard to gently push and bring her baby to crowning.
            And just like that their sweet baby was born at 9:46AM!
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It was probably a good two minutes of utter elation that the baby was born before someone said, “Wait, what’s the gender?” Jake looked between the legs and announced with astonishment “It’s a GIRL!” “A GIRL???” Sarah questioned. They both were pretty convinced that they were having a boy, so the appearance of a girl definitely stimulated some shock and awe in them.
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She was weighed: 6 lbs 9oz
Measured: 19.5”
And found to be perfect.
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It either showed sweet Norah’s personality or poetic justice but Sarah kept saying, “I wasn’t prepared at all, I don’t have anything I wanted to have. There was so much I still needed to do.” It’s so fun how these darling little babies just do what they want to do and wait for no mama.
Congratulations Sarah & Jake, she is absolutely stunning!
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Peregrina Family

The Birth Story of
Enzo Peregrina
Parents: Mallorie & Mike Peregrina
Told by: April Millar, doula
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            I was so happy to have met Mallorie and Mike, It seemed as though everything aligned and they ended up in my HypnoBirthing class. We got to know each other pretty well and I was even more pleased when Mallorie asked me to be her doula.
It was Thursday evening August 14th, we made arrangements to meet up so they could get my birth pool for Mallorie to labor in at home. As I briefly spoke with them I could tell Mallorie knew something was going to happen soon. They were both so excited.
            Sure enough about 9:00PM I got a call from Mallorie telling me she was experiencing contractions. I gave her the advice to go to bed and see if she could sleep between her contractions so she could give her body some energy when she really needed it.
            Mike called me at 3:00AM “Her contractions are about every 2-3 minutes, can you head over?” I got to their house about 4:00AM, exactly the same time Mallorie’s mom was getting there. We walked into a sanctuary. The lights were low, beautiful music was playing, deliciously scented essential oils were diffusing, The birth pool was set up, and Mallorie was right in the center laboring like a goddess. And her sweet little dog, Toby, was protecting her constantly.
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We all got in and started to give her support and comfort measures as she labored. It was about 5:00AM when she decided she was ready to go to the hospital. It was a bit of a process to get out the door but we got to the hospital at about 5:45AM. She was 6cm and 80% thin. Her nurse came in and decided to move us to a room with a bathtub since Mallorie was laboring non-medicated.
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            Mallorie was incredible!! She labored for hours in many different positions, breathing deeply, relaxing completely, and just overall conquering this labor. At 10AM Mallorie was at an 8cm with a bulgy bag of waters so she and her Dr. decided to artificially rupture her membranes.
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Things got more intense for Mallorie, she was so tired from not sleeping all night and having her body work so hard for so long. She was focusing more deeply in her body and tuning the rest of us out. At 10:45ish her Dr. checked her again and found that the babies head was posterior. As Mallorie was in a contraction he tried to push the lip of the cervix that was still there back and turn the babies head to be anterior. Mallorie was un-medicated! She felt everything that he did and it caused her excruciating pain! The sound out of her mouth at that moment made me cry to hear. I wished I could have taken on even just some of what she was feeling. After that her labor became unbearable. It was almost as if she could not get a handle on her contractions and they were more than she had in her to handle at that moment. She asked for an analgesic to take the edge off. It really did nothing but made her a bit irrational. Not to mention because her baby was posterior she was feeling him deep in her back and bottom. “I feel like I am going to split apart!” She kept saying. Unfortunately that was because of his position. She labored for a long time on her hands and knees trying to get him to turn. She also kept saying that she wanted it to be over, that she wanted to go back in time and not be pregnant. It was really rough at this point. At about noon, I could tell this was not normal laboring and Mallorie was severely suffering, I asked if she needed an epidural. It was like she just needed permission. Yes, she didn’t want to experience one more contraction. The anesthesiologist got there and gave her a spinal tap and an epidural. It took the pain right away. The relief on Mallorie was immediate; it was almost like she was coming back from being buried. We got her comfortable so she could rest before she needed to start pushing.
At this point I had a nursing baby who hadn’t eaten for 10 hours so I asked if I could go soothe my baby and hopefully be back before all the action happened. I left at 1:00PM. (Unfortunately I was not able to make it back. My babysitter needed to leave at 3:00 and my husband couldn’t get off work until 3:30. I met him in Orem and was on my way back to Mallorie when I got a text from Mike at about 4:00 telling me Enzo was born. I was stuck in standstill traffic so I just turned around when I could and headed home.)
The remainder of this story is retold from when Mallorie told me how it went: At 2:00PM they had her start pushing. For Two Hours they had her push. Her Dr. said he was getting concerned with how long the baby had been in the birth path and said if he wasn’t born soon he’d have to use forceps or the vacuum. Mallorie asked for 5 more contractions. She also mentioned that it would help if she could feel anything, it was then that the Dr. noticed her epidural was still dripping when it should have been turned off hours ago! They got it turned off, Mallorie started to feel more of her body and in 5 pushes little baby Enzo was born!!!!
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The real kicker was as soon as Mallorie started pushing he turned back to be in the anterior position. Speculating, they think the reason he turned posterior in the first place was because he had a really short umbilical cord.

            I was disappointed I wasn’t there but I am so glad I got to be there to help when I was needed. Mallorie truly did an amazing job! I am so impressed with her determination and dedication to her baby. She is a wonderful mama! Little Enzo is adorable!
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