The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
42 weeks 3 days pregnant
Attempted Blue and Black induction --failed-- no contractions at all Acupuncture treatment mid-afternoon
morning: attempt B&B from 8am to noon --no ctx--
afternoon: attempt to induce using breast pump --no ctx--
Much discussion about options -US to check on placenta, considering castor oil, sent message to list asking for ideas-
My sweet husband who usually defers to me on matters regarding pregnancy and rarely has any thoughts on the matter at all says that he feels like the castor oil is what's going to do the trick. He's so sure and calm, I go with him.
late afternoon: Castor Oil Daiquiri (I may never drink orange juice again)and then took a hot bath and went to sleep.
Midnight: Woke to go to the bathroom. Contractions start up immediately 5 minutes apart lasting a full minute each but not at all painful. Lost my plug a few hours later.
I called my support folks (Mother and cousin, and the person set up to care for our daughter) and let them know that we're finally doing it.
Cousin arrived at 5pm / Mother at 5:30
Contractions were 2 minutes apart lasting 50 seconds, but so easy I could talk through them.
I called my midwife (hereafter referred to as MM) at 7am just to give her a heads-up. She came over at about 8:30 with all the birth bags, and stayed a little while...it felt like a party. My contractions spaced out further and further apart as the morning went on. MM went to lunch, and said she'd stop on the way back to buy some Goldenseal. When my ctx slowed to q 15 minutes, I called the acupuncturist, and he agreed to work me in.
1:30pm Went to the acupuncturist, and started Goldenseal tincture.
3:00 Got back home, and as long as I kept up the tincture, I had good ctx. every 5 minutes lasting a minute or so. When I quit the tincture, the ctx petered out again, so we just kept it up...Goldenseal makes your teeth yellow :}
I requested that MM check me, because my cervix was posterior at my last pre-natal, but would come around with some gentle guidance. What MM found was that I was a slit 4, but stretchy to 6
**NOTE: I severely damaged my cervix at my daughter's birth, but we did not realize how badly until it started to dilate. Parts of the cervix dilated and effaced fine, and other places there were tongues of fat thick cervix. MM said this was truly bizarre, and that this was new to her.**
The manual dilation didn't hurt, so we did it again a while later and I was at 8 or 9 not including the little 'tongues' which MM tried to work, but would just not go away.
Labor still didn't hurt, and I had not felt transitiony at all at this time. MM checked my cervix again, and said that mostly what was left was an anterior lip and a pretty fat little tongue...did I think I could push and let her see if she couldn't work my cervix a little with some arnica. We did this with no success. My cervix was not going to budge.
I felt like the labor was not really happening, and when MM said that I had a bulging bag after the last push, I asked how about breaking the water? She agreed, hoping that the baby's head directly on my cervix might do what she couldn't. The fluid was clear, and I cried wet sobbing tears of joy at the beauty of it. (My daughter's amniotic fluid had been green, and I can not explain my relief that, this time, there was no mec in the water.) The contractions came a little closer together, and I started to feel pushy. I pushed (small pushing, not serious pushing) squatting, kneeling, h&k, on the stool (deBy) on the birth ball. MM asked me to get serious about it, and push on the stool. I pushed for a long time with great pain (In truth, I felt awfully transitiony at this time) while MM tried to hold back that bizarre lip. She also applied arnica. I was so worn out. We were getting nowhere, so I asked to go in the pool for a bit, and maybe to eat some. In the pool, i ate and cried and growled through the contractions which slowed again (I wasn't taking the Goldenseal) and spaced out. MM asked me to push on my Hands and Knees like I did with my first birth, and that sounded okay, so I got out of the pool, and went to trying to push on the floor. All I could do was cry. My mother prayed. I had nothing left. She let me sleep in between some contractions, and then said it was time to push again, but all I could do was growl through them the hurt was so intense. My mother asked if MM thought that this baby would come out here (at home) and if we were to transport what would they do at the hospital that we weren't doing here. MM said that they would probably hook me up with some pit (oh the terror that word sends through my veins) and try to get my ctx. more regular, and stronger, but beyond that she didn't venture to guess. My mother then looked at DH and said "You need to make a decision. What should we do?" I was obviously not in any position to be asked -at this point I was sure that the only way the baby was coming out of my body was through a slit in my belly-. All through, the baby's heart tones were in the 150's, DH later said that this was the decider for him. DH said, "I think we need to stay here and push some more." He made me look at him and said to me as I cried (staying and pushing were not my first choice) "Let's push on the stool one more time. You can do this." I believed him. "I can?" he nodded and kissed me...odd for him, but perfect for the moment. "Okay." He doesn't know how to lie. He doesn't even run yellow lights...I would have believed no one else. The boy I married became a man in my eyes this moment of this day.
He sat behind me in an easy chair while I sat on the birth stool my mother at one knee, and MM's other apprentice at the other. I pushed with might that was not my own, drawing strength directly from DH, my Mama, and the apprentice into myself. I had severe pain under my belly, and we put heating pads there to try and help without success. They kept telling me to push harder than it hurt, which I never managed to do. MM said that the baby was moving down, but I didn't believe her (she told me at my 3 day visit that the moment that she decided 'to hell with this cervix, let's get the baby out' he started to move down.) I pushed and pushed in that eternal painful place we all have to go. I heard MM ask for a glove, and opened my eyes to see her put it on her left hand. I said "Oh, the second glove." It was the sweetest sight, because putting on a second glove always means that baby is nearly there. After the next contraction and round of pushing, MM said I could feel the head...and I did. Precious fuzzy little thing. Then, to complete the circle, birthed my son. All 9# 5oz. of him (that's 4224g for our friends across the pond) He had the cord around his neck, and MM says that she thinks he was a little asynclitic (but anterior!!!) and that might have been why it hurt so much worse than my first birth.
It was 1:30 am. I reached down and picked up the baby, as MM covered him, I looked to see whether girl or boy, and turned to tell DH "We have a son." He kissed me, again.
Beautiful Baby Boy, apgars 10/10, 14 1/2" head, 19 3/4" tall Lots of vernix on his back and head (so much for being overdue, there were no signs at all of post-maturity :) His hairline is his Daddy's, but otherwise, he looks like me (my daughter is the spitting image of her daddy, so I'm glad to get credit for this one) He has gained 9oz (!) this week in spite of a rocky start nursing owing to a very short frenulum. Funny thing, I thought all along that he was going to be a little baby (less than 8lb.) guess he showed me.
I had some tearing which merited 8 stitches in all. One skin tear along the line of my first (which had 48 stitches,) and 2 very small periurethral tears. Let's hear it for midwifery care!! We are all doing very well. Thank you all for your advice and kind wishes.
I am planning on erecting a monument to the list midwife who posted her Goldenseal tincture advice without which I would surely have ended up transporting and getting 'pitted'...I'll let you all know when and were as soon as I can manage it :} In the meantime, if you want a testimonial to the effects of Goldenseal vs. B&B, I'd be happy to give it.
It is a long time (18 years this September) since I sat and watched
as my brother was birthed in our home in Richardson, Tx. That was the first
birth I ever attended, and I have always blessed my mother for the experience
which may well have made me who I will be. On this special day, my mother
attended me at my birth; her first birth other than her own. Our circle
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