Baby Gregory's BirthMon, February 11, 2008 - 2:22 PM
Riiiight, me sleep when I know something like this is about to happen! I gave up around 4am, got ready and figured I'd grab a good breakfast before going in since I didn't know when I'd get to eat next. Lesson 1- NEVER EVER go to IHOP at 5am on a Saturday. It's where all the drunken and hungry bar closers go to be caged until subdued. Meant for lots of entertainment value.
I got to the hospital around 6am and settled in with my bag of tricks. I was nervous because this was the first non-coven birth I'd attended and I wasn't sure how open Jenn was going to be; plus this was going to be a greater roll than I'd played previously for other births.
Each event had been so different. Gracie's birthing was at the same hospital. I pretty much followed the suggestions of the RN's, gave Bobbie breaks and did some PowWow chanting with her. Little Lennon's head didn't want to move and things were very difficult for Grace for awhile. I learned how to push in on the hip bones to help open the way for the baby to pass through the bones, giving her just enough space to avoid the C-section being considered. Gracie was a Lioness.
For Soo's birthing was another story. Different hospital and it was like a girls slumber party for much of the night with about half a dozen women in attendance. When labor came Soo was quiet and concentrated and very focused. She learned the chant quickly and was a true force of nature, magic in action. It was deep women's magic and there was no masculine energy involved in the process. Little Rowan's life has been magically guided from the onset.
So, back to Jenn. Since that solstice day when she decided that she would indeed like me to attend, Jenn always referred to me as her Doula. It was a title I didn't feel I'd earned properly. I considered taking the training, but realized that it was a bit of a financial investment for something I probably will only have a very few opportunities to witness again. So, I read what I could on positions, aromatherapy, the birth process, looked at diagrams and generally did what I could to live up to the title- all the while correcting her- 'no, I'm a birth coach' and Jenn would go 'what ever. your the doula.' Stubborn woman. Then I prayed... a lot. I asked for guidance from Holda, and hoped that I'd remember as much as I could for the birthing. I filled my basket with the things I'd need, and hoped for the best.
Attending Jenn's birthing was a blessing and gift to me in more ways that I could imagine. She ended up being very open to trying what we could. We used guided visualization, light hypnosis, and lots of cool aromatherapy recipes. We even got to talk about some of her concerns privately. All in all Jenn took everything offered with an open willingness to do what could be done to make this a positive experience. I was super impressed, because I knew how scared she was, and also that this couple were both not the sort to do something simply because they were told to- it had to make sense, and it has to be a freewill choice or it's not happening.
The birth room smelled deliciously of Lavender and Jasmine through much of the early labor. Aromatherapy kicks butt :-)
Unfortunately, this was an induced labor. Pitocin, proved once again that it is not the momma's allie (unless the situation is desperate, I don't think I'd ever recommend this route- but that's just a personal opinion and I'm not a doctor). Jenn did not want pain killers, she wanted nothing that might effect the baby, or endanger herself. She really fought the good fight. Unfortunately the pitocin doesn't let up, she was ready to push before her cervix had dilated enough to allow for a safe birth. Jenn had to fight the urge to push for almost 2 hours. I don't think there is much that would be more cruel to a birthing mother than that. She did give in at one point and took a shot in her IV, which made her feel awful, worried for the baby, angry with herself and wore off too quickly. I felt so bad for her. Jenn just wanted to check out, to pass out and get away from her body. But she kept fighting for focus and stayed with us. Her husband was there for her through the whole active labor. He kept her eye contact, kept her there and stayed connected riding this through with her.
As far as the medical staff, there was one shining light and I thank the gods that it was the RN who was on staff for her when the time came to give birth. Her name is Shannen and she stood as advocate for momma and baby, talked her through the worst of the pains when I'd run out of words, picking up where I'd left off. Shannen knew we were pagan within minutes of being in the room and was pretty savvy to our belief processes. She also surreptitiously stuck around in the room, while I gave the birth blessing at the end, to listen in. I was pleased to hear today that she stopped in before Jenn left with little Speck to check in and give hugs all around. It's a shame there aren't more like her.
I honestly can't say anything good about the doctor.
Finally when the time came, the baby moved fast and little Gregory's moved into this world quickly and relatively 'un-squished'. He was very pale at first and they were a bit concerned about anemia or a possible tear in the placenta. Luckily, after a few hours in NIC he was given a clean bill of health and able to go share a room with his Momma.
The whole family is home now and ready to get into the routine of living life, happy and glad to be out of the hospital.
From Marlene Erickson we used Lavender in a bath when Jenn was 2cm dilated between the Cervidil and Pitocin. (shortly after the current RN learned that Jenn was not one to be 'told' what to do, lol). Lavender was also used as a compress for pain and to ward off fatigue.
To help stimulate contractions I used Jasmine compresses on Jenn's lower back while she used the birthing ball (which she was very fond of).
We used several different oils in an electric diffuser depending on the emotional state of the mom. We used quite a bit of lavender, also Neroli and Bergamot to relieve anxiety.
I'd made several blends that we did not use for application, but ended up putting into the diffuser to help lend their properties during different phases. Primarily because I did not want to adversely effect the mother by applying too many different EO's.
These three recipes came from Francoise Rapp.
Early stage, for apprehension:
10ml carrier oil
4 d. Lavender
2 d. Neroli
Active Phase, for relaxation and strength:
6 d. Lavender
1 d. Neroli
1 d. Rose
For Transition for added strength:
4 d. Lavender
4 d. Sage
4 d. Peppermint
My favorite recipe came from Demetria Clark (Heart of Herbs)
In 4 oz distilled water in a spray bottle, add
20 d. Spearmint
15 d. Lemon
5 d. Sweet Orange
Shake well and mist the air in the room whenever the mom begins to feel nauseas (don't spray on anyone or on any sterile surface !) We also took a cloth and sprayed it liberally with this mixture for the mom to inhale off of, and also to fan her with. This stuff is a miracle worker.
I also used her recipe for Leg Cramp Oil
luckily, I keep a good stock of St. John's Wort Oil on hand
2 oz St John's Wort
5 d. Neroli
5 d. Grapefruit
I borrowed the following Elemental Blessing from the Church of Ancient Ways (I believe they are based out of Long Island, NY)
Make sign with earth element ( my powwow stone) and say:
Spirits of Earth, we ask that you give unto this child the rock solid place to stand
and fulfill his destiny. May his journey mirror the vast planes and fertile fields,
expansive and alive. May he find the right seeds to sow to ensure a bountiful
harvest. And when he looks up at the Northern Star, may he know it is as
bright and constant as the love of the divine is for him.
Make sign with air element (a yellow feather) and say:
We ask the spirits of Air to open the lines of communication for this child. May
his future be as bright as the dawn on the horizon. As Air flows freely to and
through and from us all, may his heart, and mind, and soul come to know the
world in this manner. Seeing not only with his eyes, may he grow wise with
Make sign with fire element (an unlit candle) and say:
Spirits of Fire, we ask that Gregory’s passion for life, remain ever strong and
vital, fortifying each day with a vibrancy rooted in strength, boldness, and
courage. As Fire clears the way for new growth, may he know that this power
is his: to create change and bring about the richness and quality that comes with
a true love of life.
Make sign with water element ( Monasaravara water) and say:
We ask the Spirits of Water, that the comfort of loved ones, like the serenity of
the deep blue ocean, be the oasis that forever surrounds Gregory. May he be
well loved and love well. As assuredly as Water makes its journey to the sea,
flowing over rocks, around trees, even turning into vapor and riding a cloud,
may it ever serve as a reminder that with love all is well and will endure.
Lord and Lady, descend and shine upon us,
She who is all knowing, all loving, all accepting,
Mother of all living things,
He who is mighty as the ancient Oak and bold as the Sun,
Without whom there would be no life.
We thank you for the gift of Love
that you have bestowed upon this couple.
The gift whose name is Gregory John Speck.
May they, all together as a family,
forever dwell in the light of your love,
and flourish as the leaves on the trees,
and the fruits of the vine.”
So Mote it Be.
I do hope that I get the honor of witnessing more births in the future, but I'm pretty sure I'll stick to friends and family. Perhaps some day I will fit to wear the title of Doula. For now, I'm happy to know that I've learned a little bit more to help in this amazing process that brings new life into our world.
Thank you Jenn, Greg and little Greg.
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|Thanks for sharing, twin. What a beautiful positive experience for everyone involved, and than sk for the recipes too. I am adding them to my BOS if you don't mind.. : )|
|Dure thing Lori :-) Just be sure to give credit where credit is due. I've emailed the originators for permission to share and that is all they ask- what cool people there are in the world!|