Tag Archives: doula

Labor Has Begun

27 Feb

labor1pic_smallWhile Kate has been in “Early Labor” (or Latent Labor) for the past few weeks things have been ramping up as the days tick by.  This morning things went up a major notch and baby-watch 2013 has begun!  Tomorrow we are scheduled to induce so I can say with confidence that this baby is coming in the next day or so…the question is when?  Personally, I think that we’ll be checking in to the hospital tomorrow as planned but the needs for induction will be lessened by the natural things Kate’s body is already doing…I’m hopeful that “inducing” will simply be helping Kate’s body jump start and then do the rest on her own.  Who knows…we’ll see.  I feel really good about our support team, doula, and midwife.

Reminder: PLEASE DO NOT CALL/TEXT KATE right now offering support, asking her how she’s feeling, etc.  She knows she has your support and love and we all appreciate it.  Our support team is already in place and there is nothing we need right now, if we do we will contact you.  The best thing you can do to help us right now is give us some space and we’ll introduce you to the little guy as soon as he’s ready.  If you are wondering when is a good time to contact us, click HERE to read the rules we’ve laid out.

My posts will be short updates when appropriate for the next few days.  Thank you for your support.  See you on the other side.

©1993 Robert Mankoff & Conde Nast

©1993 Robert Mankoff & Conde Nast

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INDUCING: We Are Having A Baby This Week!

25 Feb

The final countdown has begun…we will be having a baby in three days or less.  While inducing was never our hope with this pregnancy it has become the right option for baby’s health (which is currently fine).  Plain and simple, the baby (a.k.a. “Zag”) has run out of space and if he grows much more he’ll be at risk.

Europe+The+Final+Countdown+Front+CoveI am more conflicted today than I have ever been with any other pregnancy and parenting decisions over the past three years.  With Max (who was two weeks late) inducing seemed like the right idea, though 20/20 hindsight he could have cooked a little longer.  The induction, however, was a disaster and that falls entirely on the shoulders of our OB and the practice she works for.  I put the bad elements of the birth behind me celebrating my happy, healthy baby boy!  However, I wasn’t the one giving birth and I knew Kate would have a harder time…which she did.  Plain and simple we got bullied.  Pregnancy and birth (from my observation) is a seesaw of feeling like you are losing control of your body and then learning to trust your body.  Women’s bodies know how to make and deliver babies – giving over to that trust requires trusting yourself.  My wife Kate is amazing and she’s a bad-ass, not the kind of bad-ass that’ll deliver a swift roundhouse kick to your head and become a nighttime vigilante…no.  She’s the kind of bad-ass who represents why women are amazing by showing that she is powerful, gentle, smart, forgiving, and can do anything better than you and make you feel like you taught her (she knew it all along).  She is a goddess.  That said, last birth she learned to trust her body early on and even during the pitocin-induced labor it was clear who was in control:  Kate.  Then, the OB pulled the pitocin, took control without cause, and ordered an unnecessary C-Section.  Kate lost her control and trust.

Maybe I'll just pretend the Pitocin is coffee or wine instead!Two years later a few words that spur those feelings of broken trust and loss of control were said today, “induce” and “pitocin.”  We did a sonogram today and the baby was fine.  Happy heart beat, good blood flow, practicing breathing, and calm.  However, without getting into details the baby is out of room.  So we are scheduled for  an induction early Thursday morning which is why I’m conflicted.  On one hand I am relieved to have an end date because all this waiting can drive a guy nuts!  On the other hand I don’t ever want to see my wife robbed of her self-trust and for her to feel she has no control over her body and the amazing things it can do.  She can make babies, birth them, produce food for them, release pheromones for bonding, and has an automatic heat shutoff built-in for when babies nap on her chest!  All my body can do is sweat and convert tacos to farts…which I’m quite good at thank you very much!

NSTKate was the one comforting me today when I welled up at the doc’s.  I told her about how I wanted her to have a birth she looked back on with good memories…a place of power.  She assured me that the team we have tending to us this time around understands that and the sentiment has been backed up by our midwife, her assistant, and our doula.  I just want to hold the little guy in my arms, I want Kate to have a happy birth, and I want my wife to be healthy as well.  I’m ready…which is odd considering how this year has been fraught with peaks and valleys of learning to cope with anxiety.  I don’t feel anxious about this.  Well, let me reword that…I don’t feel inappropriately anxious about this.  Anxiety from nowhere is scary…anxiety from somewhere is expected.  So I feel appropriately anxious but not overwhelmed about having a baby.

FullMoonThe curveball factors:

  • Wichita got 14.2 inches of snow on Thursday which is the most snowfall on record in almost three decades.
  • Our house has been under construction and was slated to finish Thursday which obviously did not happen – instead the snow on the roof seeped into the exposed flashing sites on the eves ruining two of the three new windows recently installed.  We now have fans running everywhere in the house.
  • Wichita was not prepared for so much snow and the roads were finally cleared by Sunday when my basement began to take on water due to the fact that I have no gutters and all the snow is running down the side of my house as it melts and pooling in my window wells.
  • Now that practically all of Wichita’s snow removal budget for the year has been used in the past storm, weather reports show a second front is going to hit today with accumulations between 10-15 inches.
  • The streets (which were not properly plowed last storm) are soaking wet and the entire city will turn into an ice-skating rink when the temperature drops below freezing around this afternoon.
  • It has just started snowing…hard…really hard!
  • Today is a full moon…technically it is a “Full Snow Moon.”

Though the induction is scheduled for Thursday labor could start on its own any second and all signs say it could.  Ladies and gentleman…the stage is set for a good story.

SnowForecast022313

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The Perfect Storm…For Having A Baby

20 Feb

This past Monday was the due date for the birth of our second son…and so the waiting game has begun.  My wife Kate and I were expecting the due date to come and pass as it did with our last baby, but now we think there is a possibility we could be going into active labor sooner than expected.  Why?

The Perfect Storm

  1. For whatever reason still unbeknownst to me, my parents scheduled an eight-day vacation to Disney World with my sister and nephew the week of our due date…meaning we have no in-town family to help with Max (our two-year-old) or be here for support if labor starts.
  2. Kate’s parents have a trip they are making this weekend and will be unable to get to Wichita to help out if needed till Sunday or Monday.
  3. Its snowing…hard…in Wichita freakin’ Kansas!

Wichita KS Radar SnowThe snow is the the wild card!  It rarely snows here so when it does all hell breaks loose.  No joke, people were flooding into the grocery store today stocking up on dry goods like it’s the Apocalypse, driving 5mph in less than an inch of snow, and I narrowly avoided an accident on my way to work when a car started driving into oncoming traffic because they couldn’t figure out where the lines in the road were.  Zoink!  The truck a few cars behind me smashed their trunk into pieces…its okay…they were both going 5mph.  Followers of So Long Freedom know of my feeling on snow in Wichita so I won’t linger on it…bet seriously, its chaos here!

The phone rings this morning and its the doctor’s office rescheduling our appointment, presumably because no one will be driving anywhere tonight and tomorrow when all this snow turns to ice.  Kate gets off the phone and goes “Oooooh.”  I shoot her a look.  She breathes.  I wait.  She says to me, “That was like no contraction I’ve had before.”  Then ushers me out the door to go to work.

Aaaaarggh!!!!

Wichita KS Snow ForecastYeah, I’m officially freaking out…but humorously so don’t worry.  Situations like this make me laugh because they are laughable.  We have no family within 1,500 miles, our midwife is rescheduling appointments, it’s snowing hard outside, Wichita is panicking because for once it will actually be an accumulating snowfall, and my wife is having contractions.  Screw Occam’s Razor and the Principal of Parsimony!  The theory of The Perfect Storm seems much more viable at this juncture.  In an hour I will know more when we go see the midwife.  I feel like I’m in one of those old oaters (that’s an old western TV show for you city folk) where any minute now some woman in an apron and a bonnet is gonna shout out, “Boil some water and bring me all the towels and bed sheets!”  Or…it’ll just snow and we’ll have this baby next week, or the week after that, or whenever.

After a few minutes of snow it is already accumulating.

After a few minutes of snow it is already accumulating.

Snow accumulation after arriving at the office 7 minutes later.

Snow accumulation after arriving at the office 7 minutes later.

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Baby’s Due Date Today

18 Feb

Due DateWell…here we go again.  Today is February 18th, 2013.  A date I have had circled on my calendar for over nine months.  It is my future son’s computer predicted birthday, better know as the “due date.”  As I’ve made clear in previous articles I don’t believe in due dates as they create a false sense of urgency around a natural happening event.  Its like trying to predict the weather two weeks from now: technology has allowed us to make much better presumptions, but without a crystal ball or time machine you cannot predict it exactly.  That said, my stomach is in knots today.

Photo Feb 15, 6 35 38 PMFriday Kate slipped a note into my briefcase getting me pumped up for today reminding me that it may be our last weekend as a family of three!  Even though my wife and I understand how unreliable due dates are…here we are at our due date and we both feel that all signs point to a few more weeks of pregnancy.  However, in two weeks we will cease to be “late” and considered “high risk” by the medical community thus bringing induction into play.  Some women carry longer than others and if our last pregnancy is any  proof as to which category Kate belongs to, I would say she’s a 44 week kind of gal.  However we were bullied into inducing after 42 weeks with Max and had a birth where we felt completely out of control.  So it was with a heavy heart that we began the induction conversation this weekend so we would know where we stand if it comes down to it.

20130217_172607It was almost 70 degrees in sunny Wichita this Sunday so we packed up the car and headed over to Chisholm Creek Park, a 280 acre wetlands wildlife preserve in the heart of NE Wichita.  We strolled along the paths, over the bridges, along waving wheat fields, and down to the creek as we discussed induction, pregnancy, life, etc.  Max rode in his stroller and sang songs as he took in the scenery.  It was calming…relaxing.  It was some lovely family time…the calm before the storm.  We agreed that we felt lied to by our medical support team with Max’s birth and that we were bullied into an induction and C-Section that was unwarranted and not needed.  We agreed that our new medical support team was more in tune with our beliefs and wouldn’t bully us.  We also agreed that if it was decided and agreed upon by Kate, myself, our doula, and our midwife that inducing was the best and right option we would…but we would not be bullied into a decision again.  We were mad that we had to discuss inducing the day before our due date but recognized, thanks to our doula, that we had put inducing completely out of our mind…meaning if we needed to induce we would have to face all those angry emotions in the setting of birth.  No bueno.  So we hashed it out slowly over prairie vistas as Max chased ducks down the boardwalk.

20130217_172411Now we have our induction plan as well as our birth and we’ve communicated to each other what our stance as a couple is.  On Thursday we’ll communicate that with our midwife and ensure she is on the same page.  We’ll communicate it with our doula who is on the same page and she’ll help us stick to it when we turn into deer in the headlights as time ticks by.  Now is the part of the pregnancy where we wait, and wait, and wait.  If there is one thing I learned this week it is that I need to spend more time in Chisholm Creek Park which is only one block from my office.  I felt at home there.  It reminded me of where I grew up before they cut a highway through the fields then built a strip mall, an auto plaza, gas stations, and a hotel.  It reminded me of how I feel when I stand on the end of our dock in Bolton Landing and stare out at Lake George just before the sun goes down.  It reminds me of waking up before the crickets to have coffee under the willow tree when Kate and I lived in a camper for one summer.  It reminds me of the beauty and power of Kansas…not our entrepreneurship and engineering…our landscape.

20130217_172924As we walked, Max ran ahead, and Kate shifted her stride to a waddle.  “Bfffff.”  She said, which means the baby is rolling around inside.  “You okay?”  I asked.  “Yeah, I can just feel him moving down,” she replied.  Then I thought back to the birth class we went to three years ago and remembered one of the women in the training video going for a stroll with her husband in a park during early to active labor.  Back then I thought, “What park would we go to?  I wouldn’t want to be around people, I’d want to be in a hospital!”  Now, weather permitting, I really hope we get to go to Chisholm Creek Park when labor begins.  I want to breathe in that air, see Kate’s hair in the sunlight, and watch the milkweed sway in the breeze before we head to the hospital.  The countdown has begun.  Soon I’ll be slow dancing, rocking, and breathing with my wife as we welcome the newest member of our family to beautiful Kansas.  I hope it happens soon.

20130217_171754

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1 Week Till The Due Date!

11 Feb

Due DateAfter months of waiting, preparing, going berserk, calming down again, peeing on sticks, sonograms, and doctor visits…the final countdown has begun!  As I have said in past articles, I do not believe in “due dates” as they give people an unrealistic timeline of when their baby will come.  No doctor, computer, or amount of science can predict when a baby will be born…so they estimate, call it a “due date,” and create a sense of being “due” like a heating bill you forgot to pay.

Dear Gates Family,

Please remit baby due by February 18th, 2013.  If you do not remit the baby in full by your due date we will be forced to turn your pregnancy over to a collection agency or hospital intern who will be authorized to use pitocin, cesarean sections, and any means necessary to remove the baby from your person.  We look forward to your rapid delivery and thank you for your speedy response.

Sincerely,

Modern Medicine

Pregnancy Due Date GraphThe statistical probability that Kate and I will have our baby on our “due date” is less than 4% and the probability that we’ll have our baby within 7 days of our “due date” is only 50%.  Meaning?  Mother nature doesn’t keep a pocket watch.  I hear so many stories of young mothers who schedule inductions or C-sections on their due date.  Wait a bit…your body will tell you when its ready.  If too much time goes by that it is a danger, then you have a C-section.  We are a bit crunchier than our friends when it comes to birth so we’re going with the 1-2 punch of a doula and a midwife…meaning most of our friends think we’re crazy.  Relax people, modern medicine will still be at hand in the event it is needed but we believe child-birth is not something that needs to be dictated and managed as a medical procedure.  It is natural.  My wife’s body knows more about how to birth our baby than any doctor on the face of the planet.  Same as my body understands how to expel my flatulence better than any gastroenterologist.  So, we’re going to let the expert do the work…Kate, and her body.  In the unlikely event that something goes wrong we’ll have modern medicine waiting right there to swoop in and address the medical issue.  Birth is not a medical issue…it is nature.

So while there is a 4% chance we’ll have a baby in 7 seven days, a 34% chance of it happening today, and a 50% chance of it happening in the next 14 days…we of course have everything chaotically possible going on in our lives happening right now!

brokeThe house is still under construction and while I’ve long since given up the idea of it being completed by November as planned, I am hopeful to have the interior completed by the end of this week.  We’re buying a new car this week!  We’re broke…but the one Kate is driving is on its last leg and an amazing deal dropped in our laps…so, why not?  Babies don’t cost anything right?  Two cars in less than a year!!!  I’ll be broke forever.  This also seemed like a good week to start interviewing schools for Max.  As the “due date” draws closer we find ourselves more and more aware of the fact that Max is going to need to be back in school as we’re not going to be able to give him the stimulation and learning environment he needs as a growing two-year-old.  I inadvertently lined up the next few weeks as the one’s that require the most attention from me at work, we haven’t finalized our birth plan yet, and we still have not packed our bags to take to the hospital.  Though I do not believe in “due dates” they certainly create a sense of urgency I suddenly feel unprepared for.  We are having a baby!

So, if you want to bet on when you think the baby will be born please click HERE.  There is no cost to enter and you can win fun SLF prizes!

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