The Birth Story of Skyler J’ann

I found Gentle Birth Options when I found out I was pregnant with my second child. My son was 8 months old and had been born at Eglin afb. I had dreamed of an amazing peaceful natural birth but as a first time mom I had given into the pressure and was induced at 41 weeks 2 days only 12 hours after my water broke I had tried very hard to make it through the intense painful pitocin induced labor but after 13 hours my body was giving up. I ended up getting an epidural that I had fought so hard to avoid. My son Tavin was born an hour later healthy but I was disappointed in my body. I knew next time it was going to be different. I never wanted to set foot in a labor and delivery unit ever again. This time aroud we decided to be surprised and not find out the babys gender. I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy so I will start my birth story off here… After 2 and a half weeks of prodromal labor and a couple false starts I was awoken at 4am by a surprisingly strong rush of intense sensation. Not believing it I laid in bed for a while longer, after 3 in a row I couldn’t lay down comfortably anymore and I was quite hungry so I got up make myself a shake whilst still having strong rushes I was having to stop what I was doing and breath through them. I decided then that this was the real thing and quietly started getting things together that I needed to take with me to the birthing center. I didn’t yet want to wake my husband in case it wasn’t really happening, but after a couple hours I’m going to say it was around 6 am that I decided to let Joseph(my husband)know that I was pretty sure it was the real deal and to give my birth team the heads up. Oddly enough he was awake with Tavin (they had slept upstairs to give me some peace and quiet. He said Tavin who never wakes up early for anything had randomly woke at 4 am and refused to sleep.) Joseph called my midwife let her know. she said if they needed to they would be able to be at the birthing center in 30 mins I decided to wait a little bit longer and we said we will call when we are ready for sure. He got up and helped me finish getting packed I let my friend who said she would watch Tavin know that we would be dropping him off. Joseph was going to make the 10 minute round trip over there and come back and get me but as he was about to walk out the door I had a very intense rush that made me involuntarily blurt out PLEASE HURRY! Thats when he made the call because he clearly knows me better then I know myself as I was secretly still in denial that this was actually labor. He quickly loaded me up as well and we headed out. My rushes spaced out in the car which didn’t help my denial and I was nervous that we were headed in too early. However they promptly picked back up. Car contractions are really not fun! We arrived at GBO around 7:30. Christina met me outside to help us in. I was bent over the back of the car, I looked up with a big smile and said HI! I could tell by the look on her face(which she later confirmed) that she she was thinking it was going to be a long day! The Birth team got me checked in and then left us alone to settle. Labor picked up pretty quickly and after a particularly intense rush I decided I wanted to get into the tub. Joseph started the water which got my birth teams attention because like I had already tried to tell him he needed to let them know to come fill the tub. My midwife Carla then performed my one and only cervical check and said I was at about 6cm able to stretch to 8. Then it was time to get in to the nice warm relaxing water. It was like heaven! I was not in there long I had to pee and got out. Peeing was extremely difficult because every time I needed to I would be having an intense rush and sitting down was near impossible I settled back in the tub but a little later thought I needed to poo and got back out. Joseph said that’s probably the baby! Don’t poo that’s that’s the baby! I was pretty positive it was just poo but Christina rushed in and blurted out “don’t you have a toilet baby!” Which got me laughing and contracting while trying to sit which was already pretty much an impossible task and I’m sure quite the sight. They however were very right and I headed right back to the tub. About 2 rushes later there was a pop and a gush and I felt the baby decend pretty rapidly. My body decided it was time to push. I made deep primal growling noises that I have never made before in my entire life. My body was on auto pilot. I was reminded by my midwife to relax a bit and when I did my instinct told me to lean backwards and in doing this the baby’s head popped out! My body then rested which seemed like forever but it was really only long enough for Joseph to say why don’t you push the rest of the baby out? and me to respond with because I’m not having a contraction! until another contraction hit and then the rest of the baby emerged. The cord was around the neck so my midwife quickly unwrapped it and just like that it was over and I was holding my sweet precious baby GIRL! I was so surprised I did a double take and and even asked for confirmation that what I was so seeing was actually girl parts. Miss Skyler came into this world at exactly 9 am. It was over with so quickly. I was grateful that I listened to my husband and left when we we did because we were only at the birth center for an hour and at half before she was born. I DID IT! I accomplished my goals. I had trusted my body and birthed my daughter without fear. My husband had been the exact support I needed. My birth team was awesome, we had some good laughs and I felt at home with them. I was able to relax and let my body do all the work. It was exactly what I needed to overcome the disappointment in my body that had haunted me. Skyler J’Ann Mabry was welcomed into this world on 6/17/2014 @ 9am at 40weeks 4 days gestation. 7lbs 9oz 20in long.

Skylar Mabry

The Birth Story of Cecily Mae

The Birth of Christian

The Birth of Kace

KACE’S BIRTH – (I wrote this at 1:00 AM grammar and punctuation will be off 😉

First: Why have a baby out of the hospital when I had three healthy decent hospital experiences with my others?
I asked a friend at church last year if I could photograph her home birth just for the experience. I will admit and say up until that point I thought having a baby outside of the hospital was ridiculous. Why? Why have a child at home or at a center where there are no doctors, no pediatricians, NO EPIDURAL?? But that day changed my view forever. My friend had her baby girl and the room was filled with an overwhelming since of joy and peace and thankfulness, but it was silent. The sweet baby went to her mommas chest and within seconds she cried and turned pink. There weren’t a hundred people in and out. She didn’t give birth then hand the baby off to people for them to make her cry, put goop in her eyes, and wrap her in an ugly blanket. She actually bonded the first minutes of her child’s life. It was amazing. I can’t explain it but I knew after that I would want to look more into having an out of hospital birth if we had another. After finding Gentile Birth Options and hearing how much experience and knowledge Cindi had in this field I was more than confident. She has enough school to be a Doctor and far more experience than most people in the hospital setting. She has all the medications and equipment needed for any emergency situation. I knew she was my girl. After talking Troy into it we were set!When I found out our due date was May 6th, I jokingly told everyone he would be born May 5th(Cinco De mayo)and we would have a fiesta every year for him to celebrate. Little did I know he really would arrive on May 5th.That morning my friend Kellie asked could she come over. I told her only if she brought pineapple. After texting two other friends trying to talk them into meeting me at the mall or outlets to walk this baby out pineapple seemed to be my only hope. I ate pineapple about 10:00 AM and we sat and talked for hours. During our conversation my water broke. I texted my midwife Cindi at 3:48 telling her I thought it broke and called her shortly after to tell her it definitely did. I called friends from church to come get the other three kiddos, called Troy, and cleaned my van out. By 4:20 I called Troy telling him I was in a lot of pain and to hurry. Honestly I didn’t want to be a wimp. My water had just broke 30 minutes ago so I had a long while to go right? I kept thinking how in the world could I do this for the next several hours. My water never broke on its own before. He got home around 4:30 and we headed straight for the birthing center.I was having some horrible contractions but still managed to put on my makeup in the car between every contraction. I remember holding the mascara and thinking, what if I can’t do the other eye? I’ll look ridiculous! I called Cindi at 4:58 and told her I was in a lot of pain. In the back of my head I still thought I was possibly being a hypachondriac and needed to chill out. So I decided to feel down there… Yep I could feel head. I pulled my pants down in the car. And somehow after driving through an intersection with 12 lanes and all red lights then almost running into the birthing center doors I manage to keep him in a few more minutes. Troy hops out, pulls my pants back up and gives me off to Cindi. I walk in, crowned and all, to the room and drop my pants and fall flat back on the bed. Cindi says she can see his  head and all I have to do is get on all fours and push. And with that I knew I had this. I knew this was it. This was the moment I’d waited for, and thought about, and encouraged myself for. I prayed about this moment over and over. I envisioned it, a lot differently but I envisioned it non the less. Troy walks in and takes his shirt off and just as he sits down behind me and at 5:03in the first push out comes our sweet boys head. It was the most amazing thing in the world to actually hold his head in my hand and push the rest of his body out into his daddy and my arms (with Cindi’s guidance).9 lbs 9 oz 21 ½ inches long. Kace Tucker Kiick came into this world.

I know I sat there on my knees in shock for moments until Cindi told me to lay back. I think the first thing I said to Kace was “Hey Buddy, wheres your hair?” Everyone was amazing. It was far more then I ever dreamed of. Now I won’t lie, I had thought of my beautiful water birth many of times. I bought a special bathing suit top and water proof makeup and hired a birth photographer. I pinned a million hairstyles that would look great during birth but stay out of the way. I bought $50 worth of essential oils to help with birth. I studied a quote I found online and wrote it on a chalkboard to help me concentrate during birth. I watched video after video. I had music downloaded. But after its all said and done I don’t think I’d trade my hour and 18 minute labor with only the last thirty minutes being tough, for all of that.

Whats the big deal? I had every bit of control of this situation. I alone and completely birthed my baby. I didn’t have to be told when to push or have manual guidance. I didn’t need drugs to deal with it like I did in the past. I just did it. I’m proud of that. There was an overwhelming feel of Joy and a high I had never felt with any of the others. The atmosphere was so positive and encouraging. There aren’t words to explain the difference of how it felt but its definitely something I’d do again and again. I honestly feel like a different person since I’ve had him. I have a different sense of confidence and peace in myself. It could be my over abundance of hormones taking over my body or it could be that it was just that amazing.

Credit for photo goes to Sabrina Lewis our amazing birth photographer. I have no idea how she made it there but she did and this photo alone is totally worth every penny.

The Birth Story of Jovie

The Birth of Campbell Jane

[Read more…]

Labor and Birth Story of Emory

Thursday April 3, 2014 – I went about my normal work day and had my 36 week prenatal appointment with Cindi, my awesome midwife, everything went well – she told me I was far enough along that should anything happen (such as my water breaking like with my first child) I would not risk out of home birth, we listened to baby’s heart and he sounded great, I even had a couple contractions on the table that she commented were “really nice contractions.” Afterward, I went and had my chiropractic adjustment. That evening I went home and was in the mindset of enjoying my last day or two of work (expecting to finish with Friday and sub for a coworker on Monday – ha! Baby had different plans!), and anxious for my mom to fly out on Monday.

Friday April 4, 2014 – I woke up at 2 AM feeling a strong pressure/contraction, got up to use the restroom, came back to bed, but couldn’t get comfortable again. Drifted back off to sleep, only to wake up again at 3 AM and repeat the process, and again at 4:30 AM. At 4:30, I decided there was no way I could go back to sleep, but never thought/imagined I might be in labor. I figured it was late pregnancy insomnia. I went to the office and looked at photos of rainbows on the computer and chatted with a friend who happened to be awake in California till about 5:50 AM. I figured at that point I’d just go try to catch a nap before having to be up for work. I went to lie down in bed, but that lasted 10 minutes.

6 AM – I had more intense pressure, went to the restroom and as I peed, it felt like there was more force behind the pee than usual which was my first sign that something has changed. My husband had been getting ready to go to work (scheduled to fly) and was ready to walk out the door when I told him to wait. I stood and walked by my mirror when I remembered that if it was my water that broke, there would be fluid leakage while I stood still and contracted my muscles as if to stop a pee – and sure enough, as I stood still, fluid leaked onto the floor. My husband was not going to be flying that day, baby was coming! I had my husband, Brandon, make his phone calls while I made mine: first to my mom to tell her she needed to change her flight, then to Cindi to let her know my water had broke and discuss the next steps, and finally to my boss to let her know I would not be making it to work that day. My mom wasn’t super thrilled since this was the second time I’d had my water break on its own and she wasn’t here to help me (she was supposed to be my child care for Damian). Cindi and I agreed since my GBS status was unknown at the time, I would receive IV antibiotics just in case, and we would talk again later that morning to determine my progression/how I was feeling.

I went about my morning, showered, ate a hearty breakfast, then we took Damian to school with his Big Brother books. By that time, it was 8:45 AM, and my coworkers all had heard the news, and several of them asked why I was out of the house with my water broke – uhh hello! Trying to keep busy and nothing was being inserted into my vagina, so low risk of infection not to mention getting antibiotics later…and walking is good for labor! (Laughing!)

9:00/9:30 – After we dropped big brother at school, Brandon and I went to Wal-Mart to pick up some last minute essentials, food, etc. I ended up using the restroom there and found I was losing my mucous plug! As we walked around getting everything, it was getting more difficult to walk through the contractions without concentrating on breathing, and they were 15-20 minutes apart.

10:30 AM – We got home from Wal-Mart, I got to setting up the bed for the birth only getting through one layer of bedding with a shower curtain liner underneath, while listening to one of my two new Linkin Park CDs.

11 AM – Cindi called to check on me. She had to be at the office to see a postpartum mom, and told me to call her whenever we needed her since contractions were regular/progressing and I seemed to be coping well. I decided to try and eat some lunch and rest since I didn’t know how long I’d be in labor, and I wanted to ensure I wouldn’t put myself in a position of having to transfer for exhaustion if labor ended up being really long. I went out to the living room and tried eating a bowl of chicken noodle soup only to deal with contractions that wouldn’t let me get through more than one bite at a time, and even then, I couldn’t chew through them. I soon abandoned the idea of eating and instead focused on staying hydrated and working through my contractions.

1:20 PM – I decided it was time to call Cindi and have her head our way and get antibiotics started since contractions were picking up and it was difficult to do anything but stay on the couch where I’d been laboring for the past hour, or in the bathroom where I alternated emptying my bladder and laboring on the toilet (and I felt better being in the bathroom in case I needed to vomit as I was becoming nauseated between contractions). She said she was leaving and heading our way, so I went back to laboring and my husband worked on getting the pool blown up and filled.

2:something PM – I was laboring on the toilet in the bathroom when Cindi arrives. I recall being very vocal through contractions while keeping my tone as low as possible like we learned in our childbirth education classes. Once I’m through the contraction I made my way to the living room. Things get fuzzy from here on out, and time pretty much ran together. Cindi took vitals and listened to baby (he was doing great, which was a relief to hear!), and worked on getting my IV antibiotics started (only took three pokes thanks to my veins rolling away from her) and I went back to laboring. I continued to labor both on the couch (facing the back and rocking/swiveling/rolling my hips) and in the bathroom – Cindi brought her stools into the bathroom, had me put my feet on them, and hold up my belly through the contractions. This helped ease some of the discomfort, but eventually I made my way back to the living room where I ended up staying. At one point, she asked why I kept going to the bathroom, and my answer was along the lines of “in case I need to throw up, I feel better being in the bathroom” but I can’t quite remember.

I know at some point Christina arrived, and Jessica, but I have no idea of what time it was. All this time, Brandon was alternating heating water/filling the pool and coming to hold my hand and help me through contractions. He says whenever he touched me or did something I didn’t like I shook my head and made a grunting/growling noise…I can’t quite recall.  I do vaguely recall asking if the water was ready…apparently I asked more than once…it finally was as ready as it would be around 4. By this time I was sitting on the couch working through contractions, and somewhat sleeping between them and Cindi asked if I felt any pressure in my bottom, which I was starting to, indicating I’d be pushing anytime in the near future, so I got into the pool (and man the feeling of the water was amazing!).

4:15 PM – It felt like not long after getting into the pool I really felt the urge to push – it felt like I really needed to have a BM, with tons of pressure, and I had no control over the urges, so I went with it. I would push for what felt like several minutes then as the contraction and urge would decrease, I rested against the side of the pool and drink water offered to me (I think by Christina, since she was usually sitting in front of me and held my hands through all my pushes). I don’t remember how many times I pushed, I just remember working with my body to get baby down a little at a time, and breathing through the pushes to try to ensure I’d stretch slowly as his head made its way out. Cindi advised doing a one-legged kneel as I pushed, so I started with my right leg up for several pushes, then she had me switch legs. Cindi was there guiding me and doing what she does best, and everyone kept me going telling me I was doing great, yet it seemed like it was just me and my body, everything and everyone (except Christina) faded into the background until baby was finally born.

4:54 PM – After several pushes with my left knee up in the half-kneel, baby’s head is finally out, and oh how good it felt to have that hard little head finally out. Cindi and the birth assistants had me turn over to push the rest of baby out, and while I knew Brandon was in the pool with me for the pushing, I was now facing him. I leaned against the back of the pool and pushed with all my might with the next contraction, and baby was born in the water, caught by his daddy.

It was 4:55 PM when baby’s body exited mine and he was brought up out of the water and placed in my arms with assistance from Cindi and Brandon. We soon discovered the knot in his cord, which surprised everyone. I just couldn’t believe I had my HBAC and water birth! I was so happy and in awe of everything that had just happened, of the sweet baby in my arms I just sat there stroking his head and kissing him until it was time to get out and deliver the placenta, cut the cord, and check my bottom for tears. I had a small tear, so Cindi stitched me up, and eventually we moved to the bedroom so I could shower and we could measure/weigh Emory.

Emory Lynn Deusenberry

April 4, 2014 4:55 PM

6 lbs., 9 oz. 20 ½ inches long

Water Birth/Home Birth After Cesarean

Damian got to meet his baby brother later that night since he was at school the whole time, but got a better meeting the following morning (above photo).

The Birth of Wesley James

Your story began in the middle of the night on September 21. I’d been having cramping off and on for several days, but it was this evening that uncomfortable contractions started. They were infrequent, maybe one or two an hour. I woke up the next morning feeling great and full of energy. The contractions had stopped, but I knew they would likely return again within the next few hours or days. Daddy left for work as usual, I dropped Hannah off at her preschool, then, headed up to Niceville for my appointment at Gentle Birth Options (GBO). After meeting with my midwife, Cindi, I saw the chiropractor for an adjustment. I’d been getting adjustments every 2 weeks throughout the second half of my pregnancy. The chiropractor told me you might have just been getting yourself into a better position for labor and that contractions would probably pick up again soon. She was right! Around mid-afternoon, uncomfrotable, but tolerable, contractions began. I made sure to rest while Hannah was napping. After nap we skyped with Grandma. Contractions continued and were becoming more frequent. It was around this time, about 4pm, I needed to stop and breathe through them. I didn’t have much of an appetite but knew I needed to eat something, in the event I was in labor all night. So, I fried an egg and ate it on top of a sweet potato, a staple in the Ray house. After dinner we went for a walk at Oak Tree Nature Park. I trailed behind Daddy and Hannah while stopping for a contraction every 10 minutes or so.

Once we got home, Daddy called Cindi to let her know we were, indeed, in labor. We then put Hannah to bed around 8pm, finished packing our bags, and put on a movie to distract ourselves. After 30 minutes of contractions on the birthing ball, I decided to take a shower for some pain relief. Little did I know this shower would speed my labor up quite a bit! I turned on the worship playlist I made on spotify and began praising God for the miracle of childbirth. I was filled with thanksgiving to be given the priviledge of carrying you, to have had such a healthy and uncomplicated pregnancy and to be delivering in a peaceful and beautiful environment. I meditated on Deuteronomy 31:6, “be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or terrified…for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” I felt so empowered to be in labor! In the midst of the pain, I knew this was God’s design to bring new life into the world and I was ready to tackle it!

Contractions were coming very close together now and I spent most of them on my hands and knees or leaning over a piece of furniture. I also tried side lunges, abdominal lift and tucks, pelvic tilts and some squatting to progress labor. Daddy called Cindi at 1030pm to tell her we thought we were ready to head up to the birth center. We knew we needed to get to the birth center at least 4 hours before delivery because I tested positive for group beta strep and needed IV antibiotics. We called our sweet friend Shelagh over to spend the night at the house with Hannah and arrived at GBO at 11pm, the same time of day we arrived during Hannah’s labor! After the antibiotic was done infusing, I laid down to rest for 15-20 minutes. Contractions were very painful, so rest was difficult. I decided to try the birthing tub. I sat in the tub in a squatting position for maybe 20 minutes before realizing it was slowing down my labor. Urgh! The birthing tub wasn’t helpful during Hannah’s labor, and to my dissapointment, it wasn’t during your labor either. Cindi and her 2 birth assistants came back in my room and assisted me with side lunges at the base of the bed. Soon after, I needed to empty my bladder, so Cindi sugested we try some contractions on the toilet, using the squatty potty to prop my legs up. In theory, the toilet progresses labor not only because of the positioning of the pelvis but also because it facilitates muscle and mind relaxation. For me, it was pure torture! It takes the discomfort of labor contractions to a whole nother level. Cindi insisted I sit there for at least 3 contractions, as it takes the body 3 contractions before adjusting to a new position.

It was now after midnight and Cindi suggested I go home becaues I might still be in the early stages of labor. If we stayed we’d wear out the birth team and be chasing labor. What?! No way! I was so dissapointed to hear this, but not surprised. Throughout most of my labor I never felt “in the zone” as I did while laboring with Hannah. I was still able to talk and laugh between contractions. Also, contractions were not much longer than 30 seconds with most being several minutes apart. I felt bored of being in labor, like I was ready for it to be over. I dreamed of my cozy bed at home and how I longed to just lay down and rest in peace. Of course, in order for me to do that I knew I needed to get you out! Before potentially sending me home, Cindi oferred to check my cervix to reassure me that my body was progressing. I was 6-7cm dilated, which she said was too far along to go back home. Hurray! At this point I was feeling sleepy and desperately wanted to rest. While resting on my left side I prayed for God to intervene and help move things along.

After about 15 minutes of horrendous contractions Cindi came back in my room and said I was making grunting sounds like my body was pushing, and that if I wanted, I could try pushing in the position of my choice. Thank you, Lord! Daddy and I got up from the bed and I leaned my arms over his shoulders while squatting on the birthing stool. My body began to push with each contraction. What an answered prayer! I never felt the urge to push while laboring with Hannah so Cindi had to coach me through 40 minutes of pushing until she was born. I REALLY did not want to go through that again! Before each contraction Daddy would whisper words of encouragement and affirmation in my ear. “We’re going to meet him soon! You can do it!” After a few pushing contractions I felt a burst of pressure pass through my bottom. I stood up quickly and shouted, “his head is out!” It was quite a shock because I never felt any stretching or the infamous “ring of fire” pain. Daddy was holding your head while I pushed as gently and intensely as possible to get your body out. I made an effort to pant rather than hold my breath. I’m not sure how effective my panting was, but I know I was LOUD! With the next contraction you slid out into your Daddy’s arms at 0149. When I looked down at you I saw a yellow water balloon looking thing over your head. You were born en caul! 1 in 80,000 babies are born this way. You were special from the moment you entered the world. 🙂 Could this have been why your head shot out with no pain or stretching sensation? Whatever the reason, we are praising God for an easier labor and a healthy mommy and baby!

When I finally saw your face, I held you in amazement, with shaking legs and a racing heart. You were quiet and peaceful. While holding you I walked to the bed, and when the cord stopped pulsing, Daddy cut it. I put you on my chest and looked at you with so much love. We are overjoyed to have you in our family, Wesley James. You are our treasure and we will love you always.

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The Birth of Rye Sapphire

The Birth of Rhoades