Viewing entries in
Hospital Birth

Dancing Through Labor :: Denver Birth Videography

Comment

Dancing Through Labor :: Denver Birth Videography

. .:: We’ve quickly stumbled upon the anniversary of Elias’ birth, and as time has flown, so has he grown. I feel so blessed to have been a small part of Elias’ birth day. I’ll never forget Tiffanie’s warm, welcoming embrace upon my arrival at the hospital, her tireless determination to do everything in her power to keep those contractions coming, her delightful dancing and always positive spirit, joking with hubby between contractions, Elias’ abrupt and startling entrance into the world, and their insistence that I hold that tiny, perfect soul before I left them. But enough from me, now. Enjoy his momma’s beautiful account, below. ::. .

Doula in training: Hayley Mazula

My son, Elias,

Today is your First Birthday and as I am reflecting on how quickly this year has seemed to pass and perusing photos from your birth, my heart yearns to share with you about the day you joined us earth side.

I believe that you are a "way maker", and that you are destined for greatness, Elias. Your story of birth is beautiful and cherished, as are you. The name Elias translates "The Lord is my God" and is a form of the name, Elijah. Your name carries strength and blessing my son, and you have brought strength and blessing to our home in more ways than you may ever know...although I hope that someday, you will know, and I will always do my best to convey it as well as I can!

Let me tell you about how you arrived on this earth.

We had a normal and healthy pregnancy all the way to the day you and God decided you guys were going to call the shots instead of letting mama stick to her plans. ;)

It was the 5th day after your "due date" and I had gone to the Boulder Birth Center that morning to have a check up done to make sure you were not under any stress. Since it was 5 days past the day everyone thought you might come, it was a good idea to keep an eye on everything and make sure you were safe and mommy was safe. At this appointment, the sweet midwives hooked up a monitoring device to my tummy to help us hear your heartbeat and see how you were doing in there. You were moving a little bit slowly and seemed a little sleepy so mommy drank some juice to wake you up a bit. You still were pretty sleepy after a while and the midwives recommended that I head over to the hospital to do an ultrasound where we could see you better and also so we could measure how much amniotic fluid was present. (That's the name for the baby waterbed that I'll tell you about when you look at these pictures with me for the first time.)

I was a little stressed out about finding an appointment time because they said the only time they could see me was in the afternoon. I knew I needed to pick up your sister from school in the afternoon. I asked the midwives if they would call me if the hospital came up with anything open sooner and I walked toward the door to go home. As I was leaving, they called after me, "Wait!! They can see you right now!!! Just go straight over!" Yes!!! I got excited and exclaimed, "Yes!! Everything always works out for me!" and I drove to the hospital.

They got me in and did the ultrasound right away and it turned out that the amniotic fluid in my uterus was actually very very low, and it was not safe to let you stay put any longer. So, they told me I needed to go upstairs to the labor and delivery department where the babies get to be born and that I would not be able to go home, or to go to the Birth Center to deliver you (like we had been planning to do.) I was very shaken up and I called your daddy right away and told him what was happening. I was very sad because I had gotten to know the midwives at the Birth Center all through the journey of your growth in my tummy and I had my heart set on having one of them help you come earth-side.

After I talked with daddy on the phone, the nurses sent me upstairs to the hospital Labor and Delivery area and I got checked into a room. It was room 327! This was the same room your big brother was born in! And when your sister was born, she came at 3:27 in the afternoon! I loved that little connection. The nurse that was helping me hooked up a monitor to my belly so we could listen to your heart and make sure you were still happy and safe in my tummy as I waited for daddy to arrive. He had been at work since it was a Thursday. I called our doula, Hayley and she said she was going to bring me some lunch and come over right away.

Eventually daddy and Hayley both arrived and there was discussion about what we would do in order to help you come out to meet us. I knew that I wanted to deliver you without the help of any medicines and so we all agreed that since I was not in labor yet, we would try all the things we could to get labor started naturally. A midwife came and we started the process that eventually brought you out to meet everyone. You and I danced, exercised, walked up and down the halls, put on oils, and used the breast pump to help stimulate contractions. We did this for hours and hours on end until finally, we all decided it was time to break my water the rest of the way. This would hopefully encourage a more regular pattern of labor in order to bring you out.

SUCCESS!!!

As soon as we did this, I knew you would be here soon. It was like you were pushing your own way along the birth canal now. You were ready! I was ready! Everyone was ready! I sat on the birthing ball at the end of the bed for a short while and then decided I needed to try to use the restroom a final time before you made your debut. I hobbled to the bathroom with the help of daddy and Hayley. We were not in there very long and on the way back to the bed, which was a very short distance, I felt you making your way out. We had planned to have me get into the bed and lay down on my side when it was time to push but we had only reached the corner of the bed when I said, "He's coming!!!" There was no time to get into the bed because you were coming to meet us NOW. Standing up, right there at the edge of the bed with daddy holding me by one arm and Hayley holding me by the other, I groaned and pushed 3 times and delivered you into the hands of our midwife and nurses. It was like time stopped. The experience was very surreal and I'll never forget how ecstatically happy I was to finally hold you in my arms. We cozied up in the bed together, let your cord stop pulsing, and then daddy cut it for you. You were tiny and perfect and weighed 6 lbs, 8 oz. Your hair was dark and your sweet tiny fingers curled and uncurled, feeling their way around. The midwife and nurses were working on helping mommy's body and so we snuggled and adored one another for a good hour, if I recall correctly. It may have been even longer. During this time, you nursed for the first time and you took to it so easily. We put some Frankincense on your back and laughed and talked and cherished you.

Eventually it was time for you to have a check up to measure you, weigh you, and make footprints for your hospital records. Mommy ate some breakfast while the nurses and the pediatrician checked you over and then daddy got to hold you for a while too. The nurses moved us into a different hospital room where we stayed for a couple of days to recover a little bit and the whole time you slept and nursed like a pro. You were taking to life outside the womb like a champ. While we were there, you were visited by some different doctors and nurses and also your brother, sister, and grandma. You charmed us all and you have continued to do that every day since.

It is with great joy and love in my heart that I celebrate you today, my son. You are cherished beyond measure and loved beyond words.

Happy Birthday sweet boy.

Love,

Mama

Comment

The Birth of Fiona :: Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center

Comment

The Birth of Fiona :: Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center

This is the birth of sweet Fiona at Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. We're so thrilled that Fiona's momma has chosen to share her birth story with all of us!! Read on, birth geeks!

Baby Fiona was one week overdue so our OB scheduled an induction for Thursday, September 28 at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital. When we arrived at 8pm that evening, the nurse said I was actually already having minor contractions, which I had assumed were just Braxton Hicks. She gave me the medication to induce labor, and Nick and I tried to get some rest (though I was way too excited to sleep!). I felt my first real contractions around 2am, but my progression was slow so they gave me Pitocin on Friday morning. Finally around noon, I stood up from my yoga ball … sneezed … and the sneeze literally made my water break! But despite walking laps around the labor and delivery ward with Nick all afternoon, I was still progressing very slowly.
By Friday evening, I had been in labor for nearly 24 hours, so we ordered an epidural to get me some relief. Unfortunately the procedure had to be redone about two hours later because the catheter moved out of place and stopped working. Luckily the second time worked like a charm, and we were able to sleep for a few hours before the nurse came in to check me first thing Sunday morning. I was finally 8cm dilated and fully effaced! We were all very excited and thought I should be able to start pushing soon, but a few hours later I came down with a fever due to infection because it had been too long since my water broke. What’s more, my cervix had actually started regressing due to inflammation, and I was now back down to 7cm dilated. My OB was not on call anymore, but her colleague arrived at the hospital and explained that a cesarean birth would be safest for both Fiona and I at this point.
During the surgery, Nick held my hand and we waited patiently to hear Fiona’s first cry. As she lifted Fiona up, the doctor joked that “there is no way this baby was coming out on her own” because Fiona ended up being a healthy 8lbs 12oz and 21 inches long! Nick brought her over to me and I tried to hold her on my chest but ended up having to throw up, so Nick held her while we snuggled her between our faces. When they wheeled me into the post-op room, I saw the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen: Nick holding Fiona skin-to-skin against his chest as she gazed up into his eyes. Finally I was able to hold her and in between adorable little cries and coos, Fiona latched on to breastfeed for the first time.
The next few hours in the post-op room and our recovery room are kind of a blur, but I remember that first night in the hospital with Fiona very clearly. At about midnight, Nick was sleeping on the couch beside my bed and the dim light of the street lamps was coming in my window. I held Fiona in my arms and told her “I’m your mom. I will always be here for you. I will always love you.” I’ll never forget how she looked up at me as if to say “I know, mom. I love you too.”

***Note: All images are approved by our clients before being made public***

The Birth of Fiona :: Denver Birth Story

Comment

The Birth of Vivian :: Denver Birth Videography

Comment

The Birth of Vivian :: Denver Birth Videography

Comment

The Birth of Emma :: Denver VBAC Story

Comment

The Birth of Emma :: Denver VBAC Story

. .:: It doesn't seem that long ago that I received a text message, out of the blue, during a meeting with another prospective client. It was a lengthy text from an unknown number, requesting information regarding my services, and also sharing a little of her genuine heart with me, a complete stranger, who would soon certainly become a friend. It read:

This baby means so much to me. She’s my rainbow baby. Heaven gained my first baby girl when I was 36 weeks. Someone crashed into me, leaving me in a coma. My sweet baby girl passed away a few days later due to the impact of the car accident. It’s been a challenging journey, and God has finally blessed me with another baby girl on the way....

We quickly found time to meet, and connected instantly. It has been beautiful watching this little family grow, and seeing this woman take to motherhood so naturally. She truly is a momma bear in every way, protective, passionate, and not taking for granted a single second with this child.

This is the birth of Emma. Her mom labored tirelessly and without food, (due to the small risk of uterine rupture following a cesarean birth with a low transverse incision). During the toughest of contractions, she'd breath deeply in and then out, and she'd quietly shake her head as if to say "I can't". A bystander would suggest an epidural, and she'd say with spunk and clarity, "Nuh uh! I did not come this far to get an epidural. I CAN DO THIS!" And like a rock, her partner was right there with her, offering quiet but solid support through it all. ::. .

**Note: All images are reviewed and approved by my clients prior to being made public**

Comment

The Birth of Huck :: University of Colorado Hospital

1 Comment

The Birth of Huck :: University of Colorado Hospital

. .:: When I walk into a mother's birthing space, it's as though the room swallows me up, and I'm completely immersed in every emotion present. This room had such a warm, calm, and loving vibe, much thanks to two amazing labor supports, dad and doula Lizzie. There's little room for fear or disbelief, when the people you trust most are telling you that you're safe, your baby is safe, you're so utterly capable of the job at hand, in fact you solely are intended for this big event. This is the story of the birth of Huck, and it's one of those I know I'll look back on often and with fondness.

For those who gobble birth stories right up like I do, don't miss Doula Lizzie's account of Huck's birth day, following the images!

**Note: All images are posted here with explicit permission from my clients.**

My clients are excited to share with you Huck's birth story, written by doula Lizzie Treat!:

The month of September of 2016 was a warm one in Denver, Colorado. As much as your mama loved being pregnant with you the sensations of being a full term pregnant woman in the heat started to help her feel increasingly ready for your birthdate. Papa had a few work trips scheduled abroad and your timing to arrive was just perfect. One of the birth affirmations mama practiced to help set herself up for the birth she wanted was “My baby will be born at the perfect time for a safe and healthy birth.”

Late the night before you were born, Mama Kyla was really starting to set up a pattern of surges around 9:00 pm.

When mama called her birth doula, Lizzie Treat, around this time it was clear that you would be coming soon - Lizzie knew just from the sound of mama’s voice. Lizzie said to stay in touch and to let her know if she should come to the house or when to meet you at the hospital. Mama tried to rest and listen to her hypnobirthing recordings that helped her hold a peaceful and relaxed state of being. This was a little more difficult to manage because of some heavy pressure mama felt on her lower back.

Around midnight, papa Q texted Lizzie to see if she was still up, when she saw those words she knew it was time to put on her shoes and be ready.

Mama’s water started leaking just as papa was gathering things to leave to drive over to the hospital. Luckily it was just a steady trickle of water - never a gush which was a good sign you were coming!

Shortly before 1:00 am we all drove from our homes in Parkhill to University Hospital where the team of midwives were in their magical middle of the night, someone special is being born vibe. Your incredible birth photographer, Michelle was there too. Holding space along with Lizzie for mama’s labor.

Mama had made this meaningful & symbolic banner written with lovely affirmations all over it and was hung right away in your birth space for a positive reminder of the vibes mama was working with to help her waves push you down. Her back was experiencing a lot of pressure and there was a little tint to the amniotic fluid that occasionally trickled from mama. The scent of lavender filled the room oil diffuser filled the air to promote a chill environment.

Papa needed to run down to the car so Lizzie took his place swaying and holding mama’s lower back, squeezing her hips open for your decent.

The lovely nurse, Kathleen, was louder at first but became more aware of the importance of the low hushed tone and light we were keeping in the room for a relaxing and peaceful environment. She brought mom water and helped her when she would feel sick - which happened several times to help push you down into her pelvis. During these moments, mom was drawn deep inside and was feeling the pressure from your surges & from the nausea that kept pushing you down.

Nurse ran a bath, which was a little too warm at first. We worked on some of mama’s affirmations in the tub, listening to her favorite recording, taking sips of water, and moving through the waves for a while until it was just too hot in the water & uncomfortable in the tub.

Out of the bath around 3:00 am, mama was starting to experience surges coming much closer together. Mama’s midwife checked her and found she was around 5 cm. But with a very soft lip of cervix left. This news was not what the room had expected as mama’s surges seemed to be one on top of the other and she hadn’t slept for a while. This was one of those moments she knew she might face - she was tired & just wanted rest. It felt like time to decide about getting some extra help with relief since mama needed a rest if she was going to go 5 more cm & the pressure on her back was intense. Knowing she eventually needed an energy reserve for active labor and pushing she decided to take the help from her nurses and consider her options. We bargained with mama to see how she felt after a few more surges so she tried a few more positions and sat on the birth ball for a while, on the bed, and eventually decided to try an epidural for rest.

The sweet nurse with the kind eyes needed to continually reposition the fetal monitor straps to get a good read on your heart tones. It was important that they keep good track of the sounds you made to be sure you were safe - especially since there was a tint of potential meconium in your amniotic fluid.

Around 5:00 am, mama finally had some rest - with an epidural and some medicine to sleep a little, everyone in the room tried to rest. But then you wanted to know where everyone went and you wiggled away from the heart monitors and that sweet nurse needed to bother mama’s sleep more and move the monitors into position. Lizzie felt protective of mom’s rest so she went out into the hall to explain this to the new team that was switching shifts that morning. The new midwife, Molly was brilliant and gave mom that rest.

While mama had a short nap, Lizzie and Michelle had a mini rest on the sofa in the room and dad was on the floor. He’s pretty tough!

And daylight crept into the room you started to move further down into mama’s pelvis. The next time Midwife Molly checked your mama’s cervix she was closer to fully dilated. She had however started a slight fever. The nurses started mama on an IV antibiotic and some fluid to help her hydrate some more. Soon, as her epidural began to ware off, it was time to start pushing. Papa and mama had a moment of realization that they would soon meet you, face to face. It was emotional and beautiful to witness their anticipation. Lizzie looked deep into mom’s eyes just like she had earlier that night when mom was in the midst of transition and told her she was ready. She could do this. She is a strong and beautifully powerful woman.

Midwife Molly was a wonderful active labor coach. She stayed and helped mom with every push. Helping redirect mama’s energy and belief. Papa on one side, held mama’s leg and Lizzie on the other side mirroring papa. The two helping her breathe, remember she was made for this moment & that she could do it. Papa’s breath and power pouring into every moment of your beautiful mother. His raw care and concern for both you and your mama so vividly clear in his eyes and words.

Molly made jokes here and there while you rested in between surges. Nice long rests between active labor surges felt like a sea of time in the room compared to the waves of transition from the early hours of the morning. Mama was smart and sank into the bed in between each mighty push. Molly suggested that we use a hand mirror so mom could SEE your head starting to crown. This really worked for mama and it worked to get papa’s happy tears going too. Seeing that first glimpse of your hair was proof you were so close to being born. We all knew then that you would be in your mama’s arms in moments. The poignancy of mama being able to actually see you was incredible. Her power and grit showed strong now. In this next few pushes you were so close - mom and dad were beyond tired but buoyed by the intoxicatingly exciting anticipation of your arrival. When you finally crowned, Molly had mama wait as she assisted your shoulders out and then like a piece of cake all 18.75” of you was on mama’s chest and announced that you were a big 7 lb. 1 oz. healthy baby boy.* Mama’s elation was evident even as she shook from all the hormones flushing through her system. Relief and gratitude swept over her face and into her arms as she held you for the first time. Papa cried joyful and proud years. We could all see your father’s face in yours from that first moment. The resemblance was striking - you made this expression that was undeniably a Quinlan smirk. As mama worked with Molly to deliver your placenta papa got to cut your umbilical cord. It was just finished pulsing and mana had you to her breast. You nuzzled and cried and made wonderful first sounds. Papa went with you to the warming bed where the nurses took your weight and height and celebrated all of your fingers and toes. You were given an antibiotic and had some eye drops to keep you healthy after having some of the meconium in your airway as you were born - nothing a little suction and medicine didn’t help and just think of what a good down to earth beginning that is. You’re going to be a fella won’t be afraid to get a little dirty.

Midwife Molly checked mama’s membranes for small tears and helped her with a few small abrasions. She mentioned the amazing condition of a healthy woman like your mother and again joked about how nobody makes a big deal when a male has a penis that changes sizes so nobody should make a big deal about a female’s anatomy changing sizes to accommodate life. We all loved Molly for her levity.

Mama sipped on apple-cranberry juice and had papa help order her some breakfast. While mama ate, dad climbed into bed next to you and mama and held you to his skin - chest to chest, heart to heart, weeping tears of joy once again.

When your doula Lizzie got to hold you for a moment she smile-cried in celebration of the sweetness of your birthday and her with nessing your miracle. Every care provider that came and went from your birth suite loved and gushed over you and your dapper little striped hat and that cherubic face. Every little whimper or cry celebrated and savored as it meant you were finally here with loud and strong lungs announcing your arrival.

In that peaceful and ethereal glow of the early autumn morning sun your parents celebrated your first birthday. Papa Q wrote your name on the white board in your birth suite and everyone loved it! Welcome Huck!
— Lizzie Treat, Doula

The Birth of Huck :: University of Colorado Hospital

1 Comment