One Year Ago Today: Our Home Birth Story

A year ago today I became a mother, officially.

It all started when your due date came and went without a sign of you. We were so convinced you would come early that I’m sure you decided to show us exactly what being a parent was all about and you came almost two weeks late. Also, just for fun you decided to stay breech until January 26th (less than 3 weeks before your due date), when the midwives manually turned you into head down position and thank goodness you stayed there!

40 weeks pregnant. Waiting for a natural home birth. Natural pregnancy, unmedicated birth

Here’s how it all went down…

Thursday, February 16th, 2017 (EDD):

Nothing, not a peep. I had already tried castor oil smoothies 2x by this point and they didn’t work At. All.

Friday, February 24th, (8 days past due):

Midwife gives me a Foley Catheter (a little water filled balloon that sits on top of the cervix) to try to manually dilate my cervix. We had already attempted a few stretch and sweeps by this point but my cervix was too high and far back for the midwife to reach. The Foley starts giving me mild contractions, and we leave it in as long as you possibly can in hopes for it to dilate me to 3cm and fall out on its own. It doesn’t work.

Sunday, February 26th (10 days past due):

We go back to the midwife and she removes it, and my contractions stop.

I think we also tried a stretch and sweep.

Monday February 27th , 2017 (11 days past due):

I can’t remember how many but I know we did a lot of stretch and sweeps, they were painful and a few different midwives tried because no one could reach my cervix. So they tried to find the midwife with the longest fingers***, and it still wasn’t fully successful. I even sat on a birthing stool for them to try.

At 6pm I went for one more round of induction acupuncture (I’d be doing this since 38 weeks and nothing).

Tuesday February 28th, 2017 (12 days past due)*THE BIG DAY*:

So, today was our last shot at having a natural “intervention free” birth and if nothing got started, we had to head to the hospital for an oxytocin drip the following day.

4 am– first contraction (I think because of the acupuncture).

7 am– up for the day, contractions start to get less intense.

9:30 am– head to midwife, she breaks my waters and tells me if I don’t start active labor within 24 hrs we were to meet at the hospital the following morning for a medical induction. We really, really didn’t want this because we really, really wanted to have a home birth.

11  am– Head to Best Buy at the Eaton Centre to buy a camera- had my first *real*  contraction (they say you’ll know the difference, and I did) while talking to the salesman, had to excuse myself from the conversation. I told Junior we better get out of there because I didn’t feel like being in labor at the mall.

12:30 pm– Finally home and things are picking up- I’m a doula remember so I think I have a pretty good idea about how things should go. Waiting for contractions to fall into a 4-1-1 pattern and of course they do nothing of the sort. They are short, strong and very close together- I didn’t know this was a thing so I couldn’t understand how quickly things might be moving, so we call the midwife and our doula Angela (most amazing doula ever! www.nutmegconsulting.com). Midwife tells us to call back if one of a short list of things happens and she says it could be as soon as 20 minutes or as long as several hours. We tell Angela our doula to come over.

1 pm– We call the midwife back- the thing on the list happened. Things were getting pretty intense pretty fast. Angela arrives and helps me get into the shower. For some reason the I didn’t want to be in the day light and our bathroom was the darkest place in the condo. I feel like it was some kind of mama bear instinct searching for a nice dark cave to birth in.

Natural home birth. Hypnobirthing, water birth. Unmedicated birth.

2:30 pm– Midwife arrives and checks my dilation etc.- I think I was about 3-4cm dilated at this time. I was on my knees hunched over the edge of the bath tub with the water on very hot blasting down onto my lower back. I had towels under my knees and I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want to know what time it was, I didn’t want to know how dilated I was- I was in the zone and I didn’t want anyone to knock me out of it. I was using my Hypnobirthing skills and they really helped me get through this. All I wanted to know was when I could move into the birthing tub. The midwife said I could when I was 6 cm dilated. I wasn’t going anywhere until then, so I stayed in the shower the whole time. I bet the hot water bill that month was pretty high lol!

6 ish pm– I was finally able to make the move to the birthing tub. I remember this transfer taking a lot of energy for me. But I just psyched myself up, got out of the shower and booted it straight out into the living room into the birthing tub. I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like it, and the midwife warned me that changing positions might make the contractions more intense, and she was right…However, the tub was SO, SO much more comfortable than being on my knees in the shower! What a relief. However, this is when things really picked up. I remember at one point though, between some contractions, when I was able to take a breather- I turned to everyone in the room and said “wow I thought this would be a lot worse” and they all laughed at me.  The contractions got so much more intense that at a certain point I felt like my entire body was seizing up and I was really having to work to get in deep breaths. Junior told me that every single contraction I made crazy noises. I also threw up- a lot, but I think its because my body was contracting everywhere and just forcing whatever was in my stomach out- I don’t recall feeling nauseous. Also all I ate was fruit, and a drink called ginger, lemon switchel that I got out of the First Forty Days postpartum book.  I highly recommend having this drink on hand for labor, the idea of anything else completely grossed me out.

Natural home birth. Hypnobirthing, water birth. Unmedicated birth.

Natural home birth. Hypnobirthing, water birth. Unmedicated birth.

8:30 ish pm– My body just started pushing, I wasn’t doing anything to encourage it so I told the midwife what was happening. She told me to resist the urge but I told her I couldn’t really do anything about it. She checked me and was pretty surprised to find that I was 9cm dilated. I went from just under 6cm to over 9cm in an hour and a half. That would explain why things got so intense so quickly.   She told me that I didn’t have to resist the urge to push anymore, and I could actually just go with it because I was nearly 10cm. I started pushing leaned over the edge of the tub, but because my midwife was short and the tub was deep, she wasn’t able to really see what was happening so she asked me to turn around and put my arms over the back of the tub so I was facing her and sit on the little seat in the tub. This position was really bad because I kept floating up and couldn’t get my bearings to push down strongly enough. I think I was pushing in the tub for almost, or maybe even over an hour and you were crowning. However, the pushing just wasn’t as effective as the midwife would have liked. She also was a bit worried that he was coming out sunnyside up, and she thought his head might be swelling. Claire told me that she couldn’t quite tell what she was seeing. So in a very stern voice she suddenly said, “Milli, I’m going to need you to get out of the tub RIGHT NOW.” The tone in her voice sounded serious enough that as quick as you know it I was up and crawling out of there with a baby basically hanging out of me (ps. This tub was like 2.5 ft high, so you can imagine this feat).

Natural home birth. Hypnobirthing, water birth. Unmedicated birth.

9:40 ish pm– I crawled up onto the bed (thank god it was like 5 ft away) onto all fours and in two more contractions you were born! However- your umbilical cord was so short, they wouldn’t let me pick you up- and they were worried that it had torn because there was a lot of blood. I think the length of your cord is the reason you couldn’t turn into head down position on your own. Right after you came out, I had to hold you steady on the slippery shower curtain that I was kneeling on on the bed and wait for them to clamp and cut your cord and make sure all was ok It was the longest few moments of the entire process (they said about 2 minutes) waiting to pick you up! You were officially born at 9:58pm. I have to say that out of all of the labor process, the only true pain was the moment your head popped out. That was obviously pretty intense, and yes I did tear a little but it was only a first degree tear… not too bad!

Natural home birth. Hypnobirthing, water birth. Unmedicated birth. Natural home birth. Hypnobirthing, water birth. Unmedicated birth.

The whole thing was an incredible experience. At no point did I regret our choice to stay home and at no point did I request or even wish for pain medication. Yes there was pain, but it was a different type of pain than I’d ever experienced before- more like the most intense pressure I’ve ever felt. By the way, I had kidney stones at five months pregnant and I would definitely say that was actually worse pain in certain ways than my unmedicated birth expereince.

The whole thing was completely other-worldly and I am completely in awe and amazed at the entire experience. I feel so blessed to have had the birth that we did, and I’m so happy that it all went so well despite the hiccups and tiny scares. Becoming your mother changed me forever- it gave me a deep confidence in myself, a new and bigger focus in life, and the ability to see what is truly important. I am so honored to have gone through such a beautiful rite of passage with you Rosen, and I can’t wait for all you have to teach me still.

Natural home birth. Hypnobirthing, water birth. Unmedicated birth. Natural home birth. Hypnobirthing, water birth. Unmedicated birth.

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Why You Should Heal Your Cycle Before You Get Pregnant {video with free download}

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Growing up my mom always told me that my period would get more difficult as I got older, because that was what she thought to be a normal part of aging as a female.  In my case, she was right.  For years I suffered from severely painful periods.  I had all the symptoms that you can think of: swollen painful breasts, bloating, nausea, intensely heavy flow, chocolate cravings, mood swings/intense emotion, loose bowels and cramps, oh the cramps!! My cramps would be so bad that for 1-2 nights of my cycle I would be rudely awoken by intense pain and I could do nothing to make myself feel better to fall back asleep.

It was at some point at 3 am, jumping back and forth between an epsom salts back and the toilet with a hot water bottle on my tummy that I decided this just couldn’t be normal.

CLICK HERE-2

I took my menstrual health into my own  hands and went searching for a natural answer.  Since that time, I no longer suffer from debilitating periods.  Some are a bit worse than others, because I’m still on my journey, but they are 90% better than they’ve been in years and sometimes months go by with no symptoms at all!

A symptom-free cycle, is a healthy cycle and its one of the number one indicators that you will have a healthy pregnancy! If you think about it, your period is your body’s monthly way of preparing for a baby to make your womb its home.  If that process is not functioning properly, how can your body host a healthy pregnancy?

In this video, I’ll tell you a bit more about why that is:

Do you have painful periods? 

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If you do, come on over to my private Facebook community Radiant & Ready with Milli Fox and tell us what you’ve tried and found to be helpful to ease the discomfort.

Are you at the point where you are ready to spring into action and take real steps towards healing your cycle? Click below to Book a free 20 minute Clarity Call with me to start figuring out what the best steps to take will be!

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Lots of love & blessings,

Milli Fox

Nutritional Therapist & Preconception Health Coach

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Why I Want to be a Mom SO Badly

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I think a lot of little girls dream of growing up to me moms. I know not all of them do for sure, and that’s awesome too because everyone needs to do exactly what feels right for them.

I remember when I was little I didn’t care that much about barbies, I had my dolls. I had a full drawer dedicated to doll clothes and I loved my babies. I had a cat and he was also my baby. You better believe he was always dressed up in those doll clothes too.

And my favourite game? House.

Wow. You must be thinking, so stereotypical. So cliché. Haha. Me too!

Despite all of those super nurturing tendencies I had, I was also very much a rough and tumble tomboy type girl. I loved playing in the woods, getting dirty in the creek, catching frogs and bugs etc. I also owned a full train set and my own hot wheels too.

I would say that my parents were pretty good at letting me explore all ranges of “gendered” play. I got to make my own choices.

From a young age, it was very clear to me that I wanted to be a mom. I even remember telling my mom when I was a kid, when I’m a mom… blah blah blah.

When I got older, into my teenage years, I always pictured myself with kids. Its kind of weird actually, I always pictured myself as a single mom. Maybe that’s because I wasn’t sure of whom I would end up with, so I just didn’t include anyone in my fantasy future. I was actually not as set on the idea of marriage as I was on the certainty of being a mom.

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So maybe this is all very normal. Maybe there are a lot of girls who have mommy fantasies. But as my life has progressed, my yearning for motherhood deepened into something I didn’t really expect.

After my husband and I were married, we kept going back and forth between the number of years it would be until we would have kids. Baby fever would get really strong and then retreat for a bit. That was all good, cause it wasn’t quite the right time and I knew I wasn’t ready yet at 23.

When my sister-in-law started having babies, things started to get real. Especially when my second nephew, Mateo, was born last October. I understood what motherhood really looked like and what it meant to commit yourself fully to a new little human. I knew I was up for it.

However, I felt like I couldn’t become a mother until I healed my own wounds– many of which stem from the relationship I have with my own mother. It’s unfortunate because my mom also had a poor relationship with her own mother. The cycle is one that’s not easy to break, because when you don’t have a good model for a mother-daughter relationship, how do you navigate creating one with your own daughter?

You know how people feel they have to discover themselves and love themselves first before they can get into a relationship? That’s kind of how I felt about having a baby. There’s some self-work that I need to do first and I thought that was a really responsible belief to have.

I started working with a psychotherapist, addressing some of these really enmeshed beliefs I had about myself and about my mom. I started digging deep and doing some serious forgiveness work, and its been going really well. My husband has played a vital role in my healing, by showing my unwavering support and unconditional love in my healing journey. He’s helped be crack open and be able to access my true feelings.

The truth is I’m very lucky to be alive in this world where its easy to access these sorts of resources and to be able to go online and read blogs about The Mother Wound. Without these types of resources I can see how it would be incredibly difficult to figure out how to heal yourself. Especially since the stigma surrounding mental health has somewhat lifted since my own mother was my age.IMG_6684

I really felt like I had a lot of work to do and it was going to take me a long time to get to a healthy enough state of mind to have a baby and not feel it was a selfish choice. However, having children is in itself one of the most and the least selfish thing you can do at the same time.

Bringing another human into this wild world so you can love it and create a family is pretty much a choice you make solely for your own happiness, then again, you are committing to giving that child everything you possibly can of yourself for as long as they need it.IMG_6684

I felt pretty conflicted about this and about when the right time would be. My psychotherapist made a comment that I had really never considered before. I’m not even sure if I truly believed what she said at the time. She said Milli, I think a lot of healing will happen for you in the experience of being a mother yourself. BOOM.

Is that possible? Is that allowed? I’m gonna rely on a tiny little infant to help fix these deep seated issues I’ve been carrying with me since childhood?

It took me a while, but just last week I began to see how.

I was browsing this amazing Facebook group I’m a part of called Tribe de Mama and one of the ladies posted this absolutely beautiful and moving video of her, in a sports bra and boy shorts, 3 weeks post partum dancing with her little baby. Its actually making me tear up right now thinking about it. The happiness and peace on her face, the way she swayed and moved with such freedom. It was so incredibly powerful. In that moment, I saw it- that’s the power to heal, right there.

That connection, that building of a new bond and a new healthy relationship, one of complete and unconditional love, that is that kind of thing that can break you open and get to those super deep spots if you let it.

That’s the depth of emotion I think I’ve not only been so afraid to feel, but have been craving and yearning for.

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I am so unbelievably lucky to have been able to consider the emotional repercussions of my past on my becoming a mother. I am so lucky to have broken down so many of my walls so far, that I am learning to be vulnerable and that I am fully committed to always working on myself and always continuing on my healing journey.

I feel so blessed to have the moments in my life that I can be moved to tears by something so beautiful and that’s why I want to be a mom so badly. I know that me watching other women and their babies will invoke only a fraction of the emotion and love I’m going to feel when I hold my own baby in my arms for the first time.

I know I am going to be the one to break the cycle of painful parent-child relationships in my family, and for that, I want to be a mom so badly.

I know that I am going to feel fear, and worry and pain and grief like I’ve never felt before when it comes to the well-being of our baby. I want it, and I need to feel it all. That’s why I want to be a mom so badly.

My husband and I are so in sync in our beliefs and dreams for how we will parent our child and the immense love we will feel having created a family. Everything will become more meaningful, it won’t just be about us anymore and that’s why I want to be a mom so badly.

I am very well aware it wont be easy. I know it will be the biggest challenge of my life, and that’s okay. I’ve been through some painfully challenging periods in life, I’m talking heart wrenching, traumatizing periods that have made me who I am today. I wouldn’t trade any of those experiences now, because they’ve opened my eyes to what I really want out of this lifetime, and what really deserves my focus and that’s why I want to be a mom so badly.

I am utterly committed to the highs and lows to come. I will give it absolutely everything I have in me, because the feeling of parental love and support is something you might take for granted, but if its ever taken away or you feel like its not very strong, then you’ll understand.

If love is your foundation and there is always a deep love you can feel like a cushion beneath you for when you fall, then you can stay grounded in life much easier. You can feel worthy, and happy and hopeful. I’m lucky to have a husband who gives this to me, and a healing relationship with my mother.

I want to be that foundation for our babies, I want to help you build that foundation, mentally and physically, and that’s why I want to be a mom so badly.

If you feel very strongly about becoming a mom and you feel that you have some healing of your own to do before that time comes, then I warmly welcome you to join my Private Facebook Community, you can search for it on Facebook at Radiant & Ready with Milli Fox or CLICK HERE to head there now.

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