Nurse A Baby All Day Strong!

Nurse A Baby All Day Strong

“I’m not telling you its going to be easy

I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it”

-Art Williams

“Breastfeeding is a Mother’s gift to herself,

her baby and the earth.”

-Pamela K. Wiggins

Hello Friends,

Happy fall! Today I am inspired to talk about my nearly six year journey with nursing. As for you who don’t know me, I have three small children whom I have continuously nursed through infancy, to toddlerhood, through pregnancy and tandem nursed four of those years. If you are not familiar with the term Tandem nursing or breastfeeding (I perfer the term nursing, it is close to my heart) this is not an easy commitment in the slightest. A little information to share is, tandem nursing is when a mother is nursing an older child when her baby is born. She continues to nurse her older child and her newborn at the same time. Just think of a tandem bicycle, it is a two for one : ). Another interesting fact is this term tandem nursing is not used when a mother is nursing twins or higher multiple babies.

I can remember when nursing would engulf thirty to forty percent of my days. From one baby to the next, I am so luck I had and still have these amazing daily experiences. All of time has enabled me to create solid bonds with my babies. My five year old still likes to have her “bobo snuggles.” It is her comfort, she falls fast and sound asleep as do I most nights.

Nursing is one of the most selfless tasks we can do for our children. It is also one of the most fulfilling memories and current everyday life event I have been so blessed to endure. I have always been so lucky. I have had from the start of my nursing career an over abuntant supply of breast milk.

There was one point in my life when my son James was ten months old and I was nursing him on demand on an average of four to six times a day. I had a distant friend, whom I heard had her twins premature at thirty three weeks. Her brother a client of mine, was sharing her story about the babies that they were in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). I felt the urge to help her. I was so saddened by the story. I have slightly been in her shoes with my first nephew being born at thirty five weeks, my mind and body was compelled to reach out to her.

So what did I do next? I was compelled to offer my breast milk to her, I am not sure how I even went about offering this to her. Hearing how tiny and sick her babies were in combination with her brother saying something about her using the hospital’s donor milk until they were strong enough to go home. His sister a fellow mother and a distant friend was exhausted mentally and physically. I felt this deep need to help her and help her tiny babies. Her boys were home from the hospital, they were almost six weeks old, we got in contact. I started pumping for those babies two times a day, as well as nursing James on demand. My body knew it needed to help, my milk began flowing so healthily.

We would randomly text back and fourth, she would send me pictures of her tiny twin babies. I would look at the pictures and feel this maternal need to help them with the milk their mommy was struggling to produce. Here I was with this over abundant supply of breast milk, why wouldn’t I help her?  I progressed to pumping anywhere between three to five times a day for this sweet friend. On an average good day I would pump eight ounces and on an excellent day I would produce upwards to thirteen ounces. Her husband would come to my house and pick up the milk and give me little bits of info on his boy’s health and growth, he would share more pictures of his sweet boys.

I proceeded to pump until I felt my friend was strong enough to go solo. I progressed to pump for their babies for three months. I also got slightly burnt out, knowing my friends babies were healthy enough put my mind at ease to stop.

I then continued to nurse James, until I  was pregnant with my third child. I continued nursing through my entire pregnancy, I can remember times when it would hurt so bad. But I knew it was what was best for him and it felt natural and normal to keep nursing him. This is exactly as I had done with Violet when I was pregnant with James, it felt right for my body.

After Hugo was born I tandem nursed both of my boys, the strong bond and benefits of nursing them together was amazing and even more so beautiful. It brings a tear to my eyes just thinking about it. My two year old and my tiny baby, would gaze at each other as they held hands, while filling their tiny body’s with my yummy milk. One of the sweetest, most genuine memories I have.

When Hugo was four months old my sister Amybeth had her first and only home birth, of little miss Isla Jane. What an amazing empowering birth experience I was so luck to be a part of. This sweet baby girl was born with a cleft palate soft palate. A cleft can form on any part of the pallet most commonly found palates are the orofacial palate and cleft lip palate located on the hard palate which indicators are found on the lip or the roof of a babies mouth.  Isla Jane’s specific form of cleft was formed on her small flap of tissue that hangs down in the back of her throat.

This condition most likely formed during the sixth week of my sisters pregnancy, there were no signs of a cleft on any ultrasound my sister had. This flap of skin you know of is most commonly called a uvula, or the hangy thing in the back of your mouth. Isla was born with hers being completely split down the middle. Leaving her with a gap or a hole that continued to proceed on down her throat. When Isla would try to nurse my sister it sounded like she was a little clucking chicken and she never fully formed a suction onto my sisters breast.

For you and I it would be equivalent to us drinking out of a straw with ridges that would have a giant hole in it. As you can imagine this sweet baby’s frustrations with nursing. A day after my sister had experienced her empowering homebirth, her midwife discovered Islas cleft. My sister’s family was rused to the NICU, where there were immediately shown a specific bottle with a nipple created for babies with this condition, this specific nipple is called the haberman nipple. Amybeth, her husband Matthew, one day old Isla Jane and their midwife showed up at the hospital with a frozen bag of my milk. She was then given donor milk, because of the hospital regulations on outside breast milk.

My sisters images of nursing her baby were thwarted, she now had this image imbedded in her mind of her baby only being able to drink out of this specific bottle. Her one day old daughter was now labeled with a special need. I immediately started pumping milk for her when she went at the hospital. I know how it is in there and I knew her milk supply was going to suffer for this traumatic shock. Again me having an ample supply of breast milk, my instincts flew in and that was the only way I knew I could help her and her family.

Being my sister and one of my best friends, I was once again compelled by my heart. I dedicated a huge chunk of my time to nursing and pumping. I was on demand nursing my four month old, along with nursing my two year approximately three to four time a day. I added into my daily routine, pumping for Isla any where from two to four times a day.

I nursed a baby and pumped all day strong! My milk was flowing, my sweet niece was home and growing healthily. My sisters milk finally came in full force. Isla was never able to form a suction to my sisters breast, despite of this my sister committed to pumping for Isla. As you may know most moms might have let this defeat them and that would have been the end of pumping. Amybeth was not one of them, she used it as more motivation, she knew in her daughters future she was going to have to endure surgery. She knew her milk was what was going to keep her baby strong and healthy.

All of this strength led Amybeths milk to be just as plentiful as mine. She pumped and pumped her days away. There were times I would go over to her house and she would be pumping while her baby was crying in her swing and she was so patient. She would have to finish up pumping and then proceed to have to prepare her bottle and feed her baby. With all of the added stressors my sister was a champion. She did not let any of that hinder her, I was and still am so proud of her. I can only imagine her everyday life of pumping and feeding. What an amazing woman she is.

I pumped almost two months for Isla, until my sister had a freezer full of milk. Her milk was flowing. She hadn’t needed my help the last three weeks I pumped, I just wanted to ease her mind to know she had support and she was not having to jump into formula. My sister contunied to pump until isla had her cleft surgery when she was almost ten months old. Her surgery was rough but she got through it, my sister and her husband were strong mostly amazing. Islas surgery was an all around success her cleft palette soft palette was repaired in one surgery. Strong little girl, she is a trooper. My sister continued to pump until her daughter was one, I am so proud of her. What a committed, loving mother.

I stopped nursing James at the beginning of the summer, it was hard. He would still nurse today if I let him. I just felt he was ready as was I. I had this strange feeling when I stopped tandem nursing, I had so much more time to spare. That’s why I started this blog! I continue to nurse Hugo on demand daily, he has increasingly slowed his milk intake. With his love for food : ) I will savor every nursing moment, as he is my last nurser.

Lots of love to all of my fellow nursing mommies, keep the love and the milk flowing! Help other mothers in need if you can, even if it is encouraging words or sharing your nursing ventures. We call all use inspiration from each other. Until next time friends!

Keeping True To Myself

Keeping True To Myself

As long as you

are keeping true

To yourself, you

will always find

happiness.

-Amber Riely

Be happy, be yourself

if others don’t like it let them be.

Happiness is a choice.

Life isn’t about pleasing everybody.

-unknown

Hello Friends,

I can’t believe these summer mornings are turning into chilly fall mornings. I love fall it makes me feel so excited for what is to come! Here I stand at 5:40 AM in my slightly chilly, calm and oh so silent home. Soon to be filled with running feet and happy little faces well I can only hope for the happy and not fit throwing children or husband for that matter : ) I have my days too, today is on my side!Some of these mornings I battle myself on how I am going to pull all of this all off? But I am doing it day after day. I am here constantly changing my life each morning after the next. One year ago you would never in a million years have found me awake at this time. One year from today I can feel big change I can see happiness and success in my future. Some days I find myself unsure,but I am keeping momentum with my vision day after day. What is trying going to hurt? It can only be helpful at this point.

I still have my struggles, is any of this really making a difference? I believe it really is. Here is to a fall filled with amazing days, early dark nights, love, laughter, mind freeing stories, smiles, good sex, carefree editing, filling my mind with amazing books, inspiration, sisters, and all of the children in my life! I have never felt more like myself in my entire thirty two years, this is who I am. It is freeing to finally find me and I see so clear. Let us all be true to what makes us happy and not to everyone else. Make time for the things that make you feel good about your body, your mind and your soul every day!

All of this today, yesterday, tomorrow, even next week is bringing me closer to loving my life stories, all of the good, the bad, the laughter and even the fit throwing, chaotic children, messy home filled days. Let us all love each and every moment, we are in charge. Don’t forget to smile when you are in the throws of your life stories! Until next time friends!

My Empowering Second Birth Experience: And Then There Was Two

imageMy Empowering Homebirth 

“I gave birth at home

Not brave…

Not crazy…

Just educated”

Hello Friends,

Here is the continuance to my soon to be life changing birth experience.

With the shocking news of my second pregnancy at hand and witnessing my sisters soulful home birth, I was forever changed and my perspective was on a whole new level. And yes, it was still childbirth. But the calmness the gentleness and, only the people you choose to be at your birth are present. There are no strangers dressed in blue, aimless wandering in and out of your ” birthing room” scanning your bracelet, carelessly asking your name and birthday. No tubes, no iv’s, no stiff hospital bed, no monitor strapped to you belly. We are not sick when we are giving birth, then why in the hospital are women treated as cancer patients? We are enduring one of life’s most amazing experiences! We don’t need to be strapped to a monitor laying flat on our back. If you have ever known a pregnant women or personally gone through the crazy, amazing life experience you will know she would never lay on her back.

 We as Women need to wake up to change when it comes to our bodies and our births. There are more choices out there. The pressures of our loved ones and society, I know how hard it is. A home birth is a 180 to hospital birth, and it may seem with it’s given name. Your imagination can only lead you there, but until you have been blessed to experience the entirety of a home birth, you will never know the magnitude, the empowerment and the peace that it brings a mother, her baby and her family it changed everything for me.

From my nephew Finny’s homebirth, I was determined I was going to have a home birth. I would never subject myself or my new baby to what I had previously endured. And with the experience of Finny’s birth, I was affirmed of my decision. Rex was not immediately onboard with my past C-section history. When it came down to it, I put it out there truthfully. “My body my choice.” I was certain, I was 100% this was my birth path. 

I was thirty-eight weeks and two-day pregnant, I had just had a fresh shower with my one and only sweet daughter, Violet June. She was two years and two months old. In my light pink, terry cloth, bathrobe, I snuggled with my one and only child for the last time, before she was soon to be my oldest. My sister Jenny called while we were snuggling,, I answered.

“Geez…I am so sick and tired of peeing myself.” I told her on the phone. I had done it once in the shower,  and once getting my bathrobe on and now while I was laying in bed with June. “Are you sure that’s not you water?” Jenny responded to me.

“Of course it’s not my water, I am only 38 weeks pregnant.” I answered back to her, I have never experienced my water breaking with June and to add she was two weeks overdue. So mentally I had prepared myself to be long overdue. I mentally thought I had an entire month of pregnancy ahead of me. Little did I know! I hung the phone, snuggled my one and only sweet baby girl, soon to be one of only two. (Ps We had just had a close friend who is a custom worker build, June’s very first big girl bedroom set, she was giving her crib to her new baby brother, what a good big sister she was going to make!)

I quietly heaved myself out of her bed, as quiet as a giant bellied, 38 week pregnant Mama could be. I stood up and in my pink terry cloth robe, a small gush, rushed down my legs. Thought’s of what my sister had said on the phone, lingered in my mind. “Oh my, was that really my water or did I just pee again?” I questioned myself, I quietly stomped my swollen feet into my room and closed the door. I dialed my sister Jenny as fast as I could. “Ummm… Jenny… I think it is my water, but I am not sure?” I told her

I could hear the excitement in her voice, “Call Carol!” She urged me. My heart pounding, I called my midwife and gave her a run down, she said it sounds like I have a slow leaking water. If you think of a woman’s water breaking you think of the gushing, river of water. A slow leak is exactly as it sounds. It is a tiny tear in the sac, the amniotic fluid or “the water,” (breaking or rupturing) is coming out at its own pace. So in my case you may feel like you are slightly peeing yourself every five minutes. Which is hard to differentiate, with a baby smashing your insides and laying on your bladder. Any woman who has carried a baby can relate to the constant accidents and incessant peeing.

And so, I would off and on have this unfamiliar slow leak. Small gushes and giant gushes of warm clear fluid streamed down my legs.

With my water now ruptured, and I was Group B Strep positive. Group B Strep also known as GBS is a type bacteria or an infection found in a womans vaginna or rectum.  The bacteria is normally found in 25% of all healthy adult women AKA 1 in 4 women carry this bacteria. In pregnancy, Women are tested for GBS, it can be known to pass to the baby during childbirth.  GBS is a leading cause of life-threatening infections in newborns, including pneumonia (lung infection), sepsis (blood infection), meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord), and other problems.

With my GBS and previous c-section the clock was ticking. Legally my midwife can only allow a birthing Mother 24 hours with this infection before complication such as the above listed may present worry.

At my home on my terms, my sister Jenny and her eight month old Finny arrived, her other two bigger boys were at home with their dad. My braxton hicks contractions that I had been enduring for the last few weeks were weakly and lazily, coming and going every thirty minutes ,if that. Braxton Hicks contractions, also known as prodromal labour or practice contractions, or incorrectly as false labour, are sporadic uterine contractions that sometimes start around six weeks into a pregnancy. However, they are not usually felt until the second trimester or third trimester of pregnancy.

My husband, Rex at work and could I reach him? Ummm… nope… Of all the panicked times he answered the phone, “Are you in labor? So, you need me to come home?” He asked me this question dozens upon dozens of times. When it was actually happening, his phone would ring and ring and ring. I could not get through, I finally called his supervisor and that’s how i got a hold of him. I was slightly panicked he would not make it in time.

Rex finally was home, and a few hours later my midwife and her assistant arrived. We were at home and the afternoon ticked by, the evening came, we were all patiently waiting for my labor to start. It had almost ceased to exist. I somehow frightened it away. I kept thinking to myself,  “maybe I really was peeing myself? ” It was dark, my one and only daughter, June was nursed and sound asleep in her big girl bed. My midwife and her assistant retreated to the futon in the lower family room, we joked about them snuggling and spooning each other. My sister went to bed on my couch. With a rapid heart beat, I could feel in my arms, I nervously, tried falling asleep flopping and heaving from side to side. I kept perfectly arranging and rearranging my eclectic, array of my eight fluffy pillows. As Rex would referred to as my wall of pillows. I barely, nervously, anxiously, dozed off.

My sister Jenny woke me through my gasping, incessant drooling and snoring. She sweetly urged me to get up, that the clock was ticking and maybe a walk would help to get things moving along. My husband, daughter and midwives, were fast asleep. We went out the front door for a midnight walk, the time was moving fast my contractions were off and on, weakishly every thirty minutes still.

Jenny and I on our late night, ever so dark morning hour stroll, she was cracking me up. She was encouraging me to do lunges, and squats I kept gushing, there were even hilarious fart moments. I have amazing memories of that night with the two of us, lots of laughs and lots of gush farts. Hey I couldn’t help it I had a giant belly, I gained 54 lbs after all, yikes!

We returned into the house, still the same, I walked up and down my three flights of stairs at least ten times. Still nothing but one giant tired, anxious, Mama. The early morning hours approached, Carol and Myrta submerged sleepy from the downstairs living room.

“Any changes, Shelly?” Carol sweetly asked. I responded, nothing new to report except more gushes of fluid. She had me lay on my couch and double checked with a lithium paper that it in fact was my water and not pee as I kept suspecting. We were all half and half, hoping it wasn’t a ruptured membrane and just an end of a third trimester, giant bellied Mama, peeing herself. Carol checked my babies heart beat and he was perfect in there, he was head down, positioning was ideal for birth. We were just lacking the labor pains that I was hoping would have come and gone by this point.

Carol spoke to me about my fears, about my body, she suggested we light a candle and sit in a circle and say a prayer, she spoke to me about releasing any worry from my mind and any doubts I was holding onto. With the sun slightly rising, a tall flickering candle, we circled on my living room floor. I was surrounded by My sister Jenny and two loving midwife’s, Rex and June were still asleep and I was ok with that.

Gazing into the flickering light, I released my fears of pushing out my baby. I had a worry that when it came time to pushing I was not going to know how to get my baby out of my body. I released tears of joy and tears of fears of having another c-section, my pains of my first birth, each woman said encouraging words to me. We release thoughts of positivity and healthy birth into to universe. My lips quivered of course I cried, my sister cried. I felt so much love and warmth.

Morning approached, my dear friend Shay entered my home with her eight month old baby girl Arden, and her amazing positive presence. “What a beautiful day to have a baby Shelly.” She genuinely smiled to me with her sweet southern accent. He face made me tear up.

My progress, still the same. I tried disgusting tasting tinctures, I choked down the dreadful castro oil and orange juice with vodka. Yes vodka, it relaxes a laboring mother. I was determined to try anything, I was not going to the hospital! I started get contractions or intestinal cramping, my breathing started to get heavy. It was not the contractions I wanted, I had sever stomach pains I was sweaty, queasy, I was going to puke, but I didn’t. Those waves left me and I was now left with no contractions.

My midwife asked to speak to my husband and I, she sat on the floor up against my bookshelf. I bounced on my birthing ball with my hair braided to my left side, in my emerald-green nightgown. Rex sat in a chair to my right. I embraced my giant belly as I bounced up and down on the ball. She gently told us, everything I knew she was about to say. I was GBS positive and with my history of c-section we were approaching 22 hours of a ruptured sack. The dreadful words came out of her mouth.

“Shelly, we are going to have to move you to the Hospital.” I lost it, I had no emotional filter or control. I tightly held my belly and sobbed and sobbed, myself into heuristics. I couldn’t stop.

“It’s not fair!” My lips quivered with tears streamed down my cheeks unto my green nightgown. “It’s not fair!” I repeated time and again. “I worked so hard for this.” I spoke trembled under my tears.

Rex held me, I lost it I couldn’t keep it together. Luckily June was at a close Friend’s house and she did not have to see her Mommy like this. Jenny and Shay held me and comforted me in a small circle. They both affirmed to me this is what I needed to do to meet my son and have a healthy son, it was going to be ok. And everyone was going to be there every step of the way.

PS I never knew while this was happening. I kept asking for my other sister Amybeth, I had no clue where she was, I kept getting angry at her for not being there. And little did I know she was plagued with a horrific case of, influenza B. I was so sad, but out of our hands, I couldn’t have influenza B much less my newborn baby with it. I missed every moment without her.

Rex was frantically gathering all of our things for the hospital. With my birth pool set up in my kitchen, and longing for my home birth. Rex sweetly told me to get in and relax before we headed to the hospital. I resisted him at first, how could I relax? Relaxation was a distant island to my soon to be drifting away future. I finally gave in, I got in the pool I  floated in the warm birthing water, I accepted what was to come. I gave into the thoughts of a C-section. I actually thought of how much easier it would be than having to endure the pains of birth.

Carol my midwife gently put her hand on my shoulder and said to me, “Shelly, it is time.” She held out a towel and helped me out of the pool. I dripped water on my way up the stairs to my bedroom, half way up I stopped and gazed down onto my living room floor at the hospital bag and the car seat I hadn’t intended on using for at least another month. I looked around at my home and how ready it was for me to have my son in.

I got to my room in my soaking wet sports bra, I made it to the foot of my bed and then, my breath was stolen from me. I had the most intense cramping, these unfamiliar feelings had not dawned on me at the moment that I might be in labor. I held my body up at the foot of my bed and held onto my hard as a rock belly, I swayed back and forth, taking deep breaths blowing out my breaths. The cramping paused and then I tried for a second time to pull off my wet bra, but I atlas I couldn’t. I was stopped in my tracks by another intense, breath-taking, hard as a rock feeling over my body. “Are these contractions?” I asked myself. It stopped again, I made myself move confusingly to my bathroom with my wet bra still in tacked, I made it to my bathroom sink. I strongly put my hand on the counter with my head down swaying back and forth. I was breathing deep again, my thoughts were how I couldn’t imagine riding in the car feeling like this.

My dear, sweet friend, Shay, slowly entered my bathroom. “Is everything ok, Shelly? Do you need some help?” She calmly asked me with her baby in her arms. It was happening again and again. Shay stayed with me for my next couple of contractions, she happily watched. She was as confused as I was to what was happening. I told her “I do not want to ride in the car, this is going to suck so bad.” My breath was stolen away by another rock hard contraction.

My sister, Jenny stood at the door way. Shay whispered to her, sharing her last moments spent with me. I heard her feet scurry off and up came my midwife, Carol. Yet another wave overtook me, I had to stop, I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t talk, all I had was my breath, my labors sounds started to chime in. Carol flooded me with questions, I answered in my blurry, painful confusion. She told me we were going to just wait and see what happened. We still had two hours and if I were to go into active labor in that time, we might just be able to stay at home. She raised her hand above her head, praying for a miracle. Not sure of what she was saying. My longing labor pains that I so desperately wanted were here, and WOW! Did I ever forget their intensity. My friend, Shay packed her eight month old baby girl, Arden on her back. Arden was calmed by her Mommy and the ever so familiar sounds of birth. Shay rubbed me in my dark, calm and fluffy bed. I labored a while longer, it was at least forty-five minutes. Carol insisted in checking my cervix. Something she usually does not do, but this was a completely different circumstance. Carol did not speak the number to be directly but I was dilated to a five and a half. One being as big as one fingertip and ten being as big as ten fingertips and ready for baby to come out.

I asked if I could return to the pool, Carol told me not to get too comfortable in there. But she agreed to let me try, I waddled my way down the stairs as fast as my body would allow. A contraction once again stole my breath and I had to stop, I began swaying my hips back and forth and laboring moans filling the air. I almost ran into the pool at the pause of my contractions, at the rate I was going it was only a matter of minutes I had before another one over come my body.  I am pretty sure as I leaped into the water I made a giant splash, no one said a word. I got into my the comfortable position that I could at the time. I was on my knees, they were spread as wide open as possible. I had my arms crossed over the side of the pool, I would cradle my head with each contraction. I am not sure where Rex was at this point, I think he was sitting on the sidelines in fears of what was happening. I could hear one of the baby’s making sweet coos. I felt safe, I felt so much love, it felt right and it was happening for real this time.

Jenny got in the pool with me, she was prepared with a swim suit. There was a point I felt she was actually laboring with me. She rubbed my back. My soothing music played in the background, I looked up and saw a flickering candle. Shay stood on the outside with Rex while Shay was holding Arden checking the temperature of the pool. With my eyes closed I could hear Jenny and Shay both affirming to me,” Shelly your body is doing exactly what is it supposed to be doing, accept these contractions, you are strong. You are capable.” She reassured me. With a momentary break in my contractions, I gazed up at my sweetest, seven month old nephew Finny, calmly and happily playing on the floor mimicking my laboring sounds.

In this pause Carol leaned down and whispered the best words I have ever heard, “Shelly we are going to set up for a home birth, you are going to have your baby at home.” I will forever remember that moment, tears of joy filled my eyes I hugged her I could not believe her words. Shay and Jenny both cried, it was really happening. Rex was still confused, but ready to do whatever he needed to do to help out. I was having my son at home, in my kitchen. In my most amazing birthing pool surrounded by only loving, supportive people. My birth I had always imagined and dreamt of night after night. Only the people I wanted to share this amazing experience with, were with me and I was safe and in my own home.

I labored in the pool, my sister in the pool with me. At one point she was holding up my body as I rested back on her. And then in a moment’s time I began getting nauseous and dry heaving, I threw up. It was calm, my body was doing what it was made for.  My midwife was trusting of me and I was of her. And then my loud laboring roars, turned into the deepest grunting sounds. My whole pregnancy I was terrified I was not going to know what to do when it came time to push my son out. And lo and behold my body took over, I was involuntarily bearing down. Deep grunting sounds filled the air. I was comfortably resting back in the pool, Rex on the outside of the pool holding my hand. Jenny was still in the pool and squashed over to one side.

She later told me at one point she had to pee so bad, but didn’t want to leave me. Carol told her it was ok to go in the pool, Jenny was surrounded in my bodily fluids as I was of hers. When I was in this state, I only wanted darkness. My sister and Shay had made me cold wash cloth, upon cold wash cloth with a lovely lavender scent. I kept demanding of a colder wetter rag. I could feel my son in my birth canal, that little stinker kept coming down and going right back up. There was one point when I just wanted to push with ever being in myself to get him out. At that point Carol raised her voice to me,” If it is burning and stretching back off, let your body do the work.” I heard someone’s voice say, “Surrender to the pain Shelly.” With a the ring of fire slowly approaching, I remembered I let go of everything in my mind and body. I let my body float in the water, I let my body do what it was made for. It hurt like Hell, it was the most intense, real feelings I had ever experienced in my life at that point.

All I remember is grunting and thinking I ripped my critters open and then I reached down and submerged my baby boy out of the water. Jenny was directly behind me at this point. I pulled my son on my chest, I held his tiny bottom in my hand I kissed his head.  I cried, “I did it babe, where is he where is Rex?” I cried tears of joy, I looked around and he reached his hand down. “I did it Carol, I did it.” I cried more and more tears of joy. I held him on my chest and someone wrapped a towel around us in the water. I felt euphoric, I was holding my baby I was at home just as I had dreamt of doing.

Moments later, Carol asked if I could get out of the pool and make it to the couch to deliver my placenta. With helping hands in every direction I was hoisted out of the pool with warm towels and blankets wrapped around me and my newborn baby. I shivered on my way to the couch. I laid there trying to process what had just happened. I nursed my nameless son, I instantly was in love with him. I often wondered during my pregnancy how I would love another baby as much as I loved June. But It was automatic. Carol asked if I could push to help my placenta be born. I took a deep breath and blew it out of my mouth, I did this several times. Carol instructed me to breath in and hold my breath and push, when I was pushing my son I involuntarily pushed. I never had to think about it, I was focused. A few good pushes and I pretty sure I said “F*c* yes, that felt so good!” And then my ultra shivering, overcame me, I was losing mass amounts of blood. Carol quickly and confidently administered a shot of Pitocin into my upper thigh (these times are what Pitocin was created for), and I was quickly given a tincture. Carol said,” Shelly you need to tell your uterus to clamp down and shut off!” Demanding like, my ears and body were open. I loudly stated. “Uterus clamp down and shut of!” With every being I shouted those words, I was in charge of my body and it was going to obey. And moments later, my body listened and my shivering dissipated. I was laying on my couch with my nameless son, snuggling and nursing. We chose to burn his cord, it was another amazing experience on its own. It was lovely and in walked our oldest daughter, June. She was confused I held her and tandem nursed my two babies, they gazed in each other’s eyes and nursed together. It was amazing I did! And that night my family got to sleep soundly and comfortably in our own beds. It was a breath of fresh air compared to my five night stay at the hospital first birth experience.

I want to tell other Mama’s you can do it to. It is our bodies and our choices. I can never describe the empowerment that day gave me. I carry that experience along everywhere I go. I finally was able to forgive myself and know that I held the power the entire time. Know that you have a voice and mostly it is your body and your body, so make the best choice for you and not for anyone else.

Until next time friends!