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Now Rowyn is almost 2 months old and im finally going to sit down and share our birth story.
On August 8th sometime in the evening our labor began. Greg was just finishing up at work and it wasn’t enough for me to call him home so i had my friend and doula Stacy come over and prepare with me. We went out to get some snacks for the labor and came home to count contractions as they slowly grew more noticeable. Greg came home from work and Stacy went home to rest up for the birth, But it seemed almost as soon as Greg and i went to bed labor became to uncomfortable to ignore and just sleep. I got up and walked around, i got in the shower and eventually i cried out for Greg to call our Midwife. After Sara arrived its almost like we were in a time warp and everything is such a blur. I remember constantly moving from birth tub to shower to comfort myself. I screamed for an epidural a few times (i wont lie. I understand why any woman would want drugs during labor, ITS INTENSE!) Sara was amazing and everytime i thought about going in she would say “ok we will get your things ready and we can go in no problem but just so you know, you will have to get in the car and there are a few things that you have to do when you go in to the hospital that we should talk about and make sure your ready for that transition”. Her telling me this was enough to bring things into perspective because i honestly did not want to get into a car and slow my labor and end up having procedures done in the hospital that i hadn’t planned for or wanted in the first place. Greg would get into the birthing tub with me and hold my hips and sway with me. He always encouraged me and kept me going, he was right there with me doing everything i needed from start to finish. Looking at the clock was bizarre because hours passed like minutes and before i knew it it was the next evening and we had made it through the night, through all of the Harry Potter movies and almost all of the energy i thought i had. The girls would feed me chunks of watermelon or a sip of recharge or some honey without asking and it was a good thing because i couldn’t do it for myself or even think about food. I hit some hard spots where i was sure i would die, i screamed and everyone would start a low hum so that i would follow and breath through contractions instead of wearing myself thin screaming. Finally i was getting angry at my contractions and just started pushing. I pushed a bit to long on and off for almost 4 or 5 hours and ended up on my side in the bathroom floor with Sara (our midwife) sitting on the edge of the toilet, Greg on the side of the bathtub and Stacy and Jen (our midwifes assistant) at my head. After almost 24 hours of labor Rowyn was going to make his appearance but not without some bumps in the road. His head started to show but there was a mass in the way holding him back and Sara became concerned that i would just keep pushing and possibly push out whatever the swollen mass was so she talked to me and we made the call to go into the hospital. Its better to be safe than sorry and after all of that hard work i wanted things to go as smooth as possible. The ride to the hospital was only 8 minutes tops but when your crowning in the back of an SUV going over bumps in the middle of hard unstoppable contractions its not so pleasant to say the least. We got in, hooked up to monitors and ended up with the biggest asshole doctor in the hospital. Luckily the resident that he was overseeing was amazing and the nurses were incredible. He tried to order an epidural while i was crowning without even talking to me, he walked around talking about me like i wasn’t in the room and obviously had a problem with home birth and was trying to take it out on Sara who he insulted quite a few times. I had to tell him to stop and that he couldn’t make her leave. Sara was an advocate for me and was asking him how was an epidural going to happen at this point in my labor, his head was crowning, how would i sit still enough for an epidural and i had made it this far why did i need one? She said ” i think Anna can do it, shes made it this far” and his response was “really can she?” that was the cherry on top for me, i thought “i will show you” so i pushed even harder hoping that Rowyn would just pop out already. They were talking about making a small incision so that i didn’t tear and so that i didn’t push the mass out any further. It scared me but it made since, and i insisted that the resident doctor do the incision and that the overseeing doctor get the hell away from me. It was empowering to tell him to pretty much fuck off. After dealing with this doctor i was even happier for having labored at home as long as i had. Before i knew it, everyone in the room (except the doctor ofcourse) were cheering me on and telling me to keep pushing and all of the sudden there he was in my arms crying for me. That was the most incredible, magical moment of my life. Looking into his sweet eyes and seeing this perfect person for the first time. There is nothing like it. We all worked so hard and the reward is Rowyn Kael Morgan, born on his due date August 9th 2011 at 11pm. He weighed 8 lbs 11 oz which no one expected but he is just a big, healthy boy. Now he is almost 2 months old 14 pounds and full of personality. Greg and i are so in love and so grateful for our birth experience.We worked together and made it through without drugs and with very little intervention. We have no regrets about going into the hospital. Im so thankful for modern medicine when its needed and the mass is still an unknown, unexplained thing but whatever it was can’t be found now and we are both happy and healthy.
Im so excited to meet you and also terrified of giving birth. Somewhere within me i know we can do it. I know my body was created for this, that you and i will be working together, and i will try to trust that. I will do my best to enjoy these last days, weeks, moments of pregnancy and not think constantly on what birth will be like, because this is the last time that i will have you all to myself and my thoughts should be positive and empowering both of us. I have to say through it all that your dad is constantly pushing me through my fears and worrisome thoughts. Your daddy is amazing. He works so hard for the two of us and we are very lucky and blessed to have him in our lives. He reads to you often and we just started reading my favorite a week ago, Harry Potter. Daddy is so supportive and loving and whenever im in pain or scared he is right there giving me love and support with words and touch. I hope that you inherit or learn these incredible qualities that your dad has. Its a rare thing to find someone so sincere in all that they do. Most of all i hope that you will be a happy little boy and always feel like you can talk to either of us about anything. I want to create safe space for you and i want you to grow into the beautiful person that you choose to be, and we will both be there with you the whole way giving you love and support.
I love you with all my heart and i cant wait to welcome you into the world.
Today I had my blessingway! It was so sweet to be surrounded by my friends and just soak up their company and blessings before my labor. They brought food and painted my belly with henna. We played apples to apples lol, and we did a “chain link” sort of thing where we all sat in a circle and wrapped yarn around our wrists so that we were all linked. They each offered their blessings and wisdom to me before cutting the yarn and tying off our pieces to make little bracelets on each of our wrists, as a reminder to me that they are with me in labor, and to them so that they are reminded and thinking of me to send me good thoughts and love.
On another note, Im almost 38 weeks now and making amazing progress. My new midwife who i absolutely love came over last week to check up on how we were doing and even though he was head down it was still sitting pretty high in my pelvis. She said “don’t get to stuck on the idea of going into labor early” Just because if im sitting around waiting for it to happen its like watching the water boil, if you keep watching it never seems to happen. I had told her i felt that it may happen early but i wouldn’t cling to the idea, i would just let it unfold however it needed to. So these past couple of days i started having some intense cramping and movement from the baby and felt like something was up but didn’t want to bother the midwife if nothing was actually happening. The movements got pretty hard to ignore this evening so i just shot her an email and within 30 min she called me to check in and asked if she could come over and check on me and the baby. She was amazed to discover that his head is fully engaged and just at how quickly he moved into position. She was so amazed at the progress she is bringing the birthing tub tomorrow morning “just in case”. Im so happy, lucky, and blessed to have a midwife that is so sincere in her work that she would come to my house at 11 at night without me asking just to check on us. We talked for a while and it was really comforting and exciting to hear the progress we are making.
Im looking forward to my birth experience <3
Its really sad and unfortunate when you build trust in someone and they completely let you down.
I have been seeing a midwifery practice in town from the beginning of my pregnancy and i have to say that my very first impression was not great. That’s my first bit of advice to people- go with your gut and don’t doubt those feelings of uncertainty, weigh your options before you commit. So anyways, i gave them a chance and actually grew to like a couple of the midwives alot. Things seemed to be going ok besides the fact that from the beginning i had brought to their attention an issue that was going on with me that had been causing me pain and discomfort. They constantly wrote it off as just a symptom of pregnancy and told me that my body was changing and to relax. It got to the point that i called one of them in tears because of the pain and was told that i was overreacting and needed to let it go basically. By my 26th week of pregnancy i started having some bleeding and decided enough was enough. I called them and said we have to do something, i know this isn’t normal and they were quick to say “oh yes! , we should see you right away! its sounds like this could be a bacterial infection and if so should be treated with antibiotics because without treatment it can lead to pre-term labor!” I was furious because i had been telling them from the get go that something was wrong, but i let it go because i was glad that atleast something was finally going to get done about it. I went in for the exam which was a horrible experience, i will spare you some of the detail but lets just say she was not gentle in the least. She was completely unprepared and couldn’t find the swabs that she needed so she left me flat on my back (at 26 wks pregnant) with the speculum still in and walked out of the room to call another midwife and search for the things she needed. I was on my back for quite a while and began to get dizzy, nauseous and broke into a cold sweat. I knew i needed to get off my back and roll to my side to get some air but couldnt move because of the speculum so i called for the midwife and told her i wasnt feeling well and that i felt i was going to pass out. Instead of the obvious reason of pressure on the vena cava, she asked me if i was “prone to panic attacks” or if i “suffered from anxiety”. This whole experience blew my mind. But i did find out in the end that i had a pretty bad bacterial infection that could have been treated a long time ago. They gave me antibiotics and everything was perfect after that, but really! Why the hell did i have to go through all of that? Why did they not do their jobs? After this experience i had bi weekly appointments and at almost every appointment was questioned about my “anxiety”. Eventually i was questioned to the point of tears and was told things like “your lack of confidence and worrisome attitude makes me wonder how you are going to handle childbirth” and assumptions about mine and my husbands age or our financial stability. She even said “I may be wrong here but as i recall this was an unwanted pregnancy right?” WHO SAYS THAT! NO! i planned this with my loving husband and we are happy about being parents and meeting our baby. Either way that was unprofessional and completely uncalled for. It was like she was searching for the “deep rooted problem” that lead to my “anxiety” that they had created in the first place! I was told flat out that i ask far to many questions for it to be normal and that something had to be wrong with me basically and it was beyond the worries of a first time mother, which i know was not true and even if i did ask a lot of questions, isn’t that their jobs as midwifes to support me and answer any question that i have? The final cherry on top was when she looked at my husband and said “you know, you are such a good partner. Its rare to see a husband show up for every prenatal appointment and be so supportive of his wife but you wouldn’t say shit if you had a mouth full of it would you?” I couldn’t believe the words coming out of her mouth. We were both shocked at the lack of care, professionalism and pretty much everything we had just listened to her say. All of this at my 36th week of pregnancy and she says to us “you both should really consider whether we are the right care provider for you or not”. Really? there is no question that you are far from the right care provider, but really, you are doing this to me at the very end of my pregnancy? There are no words for all the things i was feeling at that moment. I left in tears with no plans of returning and no idea what i was going to do.
We figured it out though. We found the most amazing CPM (certified professional midwife) whom my friend just delivered with and after sharing my story with her it was like a weight lifted. She really came in and did the job that my old midwives should have done from the beginning. She is a home birth midwife so we are excited to announce that we will be attempting a home birth but in the case of any emergency we are well prepared to transfer to the hospital. Its been a blessing talking with her and venting and really just having someone take care of me and allowing me to share my worries and fears without judgement. Its refreshing to work with someone who genuinely loves what they do and wants only the best for our family whatever we choose to do or how we choose to do it. We even talked about “coping” techniques today. Just different ways that she, my doula and my husband can support me during labor. We came up with some great ideas like- in early labor making some food together and preparing for the labor as it progresses, things to distract me like baking a birthday cake or working on little projects for the baby that I’ve started, playing board games and watching movies (Harry Potter to be exact lol) and really just anything to distract me and sort of make light of it so it doesn’t feel like some dark, doomed thing that will never end. Shes bringing an amazing home spa birthing tub that im super excited about and she suggested maybe putting together an alter with things that encourage and empower me on it, like the vision board Greg and i have been working on. The more we talked today, the better i felt about birth. I feel scared of course but im so excited because at the end of it all i will meet my son and if i can try to have fun on the way then that’s even better.
I will say that as soon as im healed and feeling better after the birth i am taking my story to someone who can take care of that midwife practice the way that they deserve. It was not just me who endured their insanity. I have spoken to many people over the past couple of weeks who have had or know someone who had similar issues with them. Even my current midwife said that she knows some families who went through some crazy things. So im going to try to get together with those people and get our voices heard. No one deserves that kind of treatment, especially from a care provider handling pregnancy and birth.
that is the end of my rant and the last i will speak of the situation for the rest of my pregnancy. Only positive things about birth from here on out
i want to write more on Harry Potter and the final movie in all of its glory but wanted to just go ahead and share this.
this was an article that was published in the Asheville Citizens Times. Im proud to be such a nerd
ASHEVILLE — It’s been 10 years since Anna Morgan, 24, first picked up a “Harry Potter” novel at the Rosman High School’s library for a class report.
Ten years since she stayed up all night for the first film adaptation midnight showing, a wee hours experience she’s enduring again tonight for the series finale, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.”
And ten years since she met Greg, her husband and the father of her first child, a son whose arrival is anticipated as soon as next week.
It’s a year of personal milestones and change for Morgan, an Asheville resident and masseuse. But the “Harry Potter” series of books and films have remained a constant source of comfort since she first poured over author J.K. Rowling’s words at 14.
It’s a magical coincidence that the young adult series about a boy wizard, which debuted in 1997, is concluding just as Morgan prepares to begin her next chapter, in which her childhood favorite becomes the book she reads to her own child.
“(They) calm me down,” she said of the movies, which she plans to have playing during her home birth. “I’ve always liked the escapism (aspect) about fantasy … but there is something really different about ‘Harry Potter.’ It is supernatural, but it feels within reach.”
There is something different about the Harry Potter series that has made it resonate with the world on an unparalleled level: The seven books alone have sold more than 450 million copies, translated into more than 60 languages.
The eight-movie series — the final installment was split into two films for the silver screen — has already earned more than $6 billion worldwide, making it the most successful film series of all time, even before the debut “Deathly Hallows Part 2.”
And the response for tickets in Asheville has already been crushing: At Biltmore Park Town Square’s Regal Biltmore Grande Stadium 15, all 15 midnight screenings had sold out by Wednesday afternoon; two 3 a.m. showings, added to meet the demand, were still available.
Morgan’s been to every midnight screening of the films and owns a home copy of each.
“We just had a movie marathon,” said Morgan, who is 36 weeks pregnant. “We watched all of the movies and it lasted from about 9 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.”
Her friends piled on their couches and crammed onto the floor, reciting lines from the films and snacking on treats, from chocolate owl cookies to a friend’s take on butter beer, the nonalcoholic drink that’s a favorite of the students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter books.
“It was more like an ice cream float,” Morgan said, “cream soda with a scoop of butter pecan ice cream.”
Watching the series from start to finish was unusual for Morgan, but having one of the movies on — especially her favorite, 2004′s “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” — during her day is typical.
“I seriously watch the movies almost every day,” she said, noting that she’ll keep it on as background as she goes about her daily tasks in her home.
She can’t take a break from her dream to attend Hogwarts, a central setting in most of the books, where the trio of main characters — Harry, Ron and Hermione — study the magical arts.
Morgan’s found the closest thing to it in the Asheville universe: Two years ago, she attended an herb school. She’s made her own personal potions, like a belly balm for her ever-growing stomach.
“That’s why Neville Longbottom is my favorite character,” Morgan said of Harry’s classmate, who goes on to become a professor of herbology in Hogwarts in the novels’ epilogue. “I’m such a herb nerd.”
But she’s not so much of a Harry Potter nerd that’s she’s naming her son after it. He’ll be Rowyn, a name and spelling, however, that does share the same sense of whimsy of the supernatural series, she noted.
Greg’s been reading one of his favorites, J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” to Rowyn and Anna before she drifts to sleep. She’s hoping they’ll finish soon, so that they can start reading the “Harry Potter” series to him.
“He’s going to probably be anti-Harry Potter,” she jokes, noting that Greg, like his parents, is a super fan. “He’s either going to rebel or join us in our nerdiness.”
I have only had 3 hours of sleep and i think im losing it @_@
Tomorrow i will be 35 weeks along and i really feel like this pregnancy is coming to a close. I mean, he has to be getting here soon. My pelvis is killing me, i can barely walk through the grocery store without having to take ten breaks or pause because of a shooting pain (or what feels like lightning bursting through my junk, pardon my gracefulness). All i can think about is preparing. I spent all day yesterday just pacing Rowyn’s room trying to figure out what i could do to feel more “ready” because at the moment we are still waiting on his crib and several other things that will fill the space. I ended up washing most of his clothes and mentally figuring out which ones were going into the hospital bag… which we are packing today lol. Yes, so Greg and i have planned to pack the hospital bag (at least mostly), schedule meetings with pediatricians and probably force ourselves to read more of the vaccine book. Then luckily we will escape the madness by having dinner with some friends. Its crazy though how much needs to be done and how i just feel like the clock is ticking now and pretty soon he will be here.
- our “birth intentions” mainly meant for the hospital nurse because our doula and midwife will know whats going on
- Contact list (give to doula to make calls or message people for us)
- Extra clothes for Greg and some swim trunks (for the birthing tub)
- Comfy PJ’s, Slippers, a robe, some nursing tops etc.
- Clothes and diapers (chem. free wipes) for Rowyn
- Toiletries and other things- toothbrush, soap, shampoo, (does the hospital have hair dryers like in hotels? lol) chapstick, small bottle of olive oil to clean off meconium (aka Rowyn’s first poo), belly and nipple balm, sitz blend, herbal goodies for my lady parts etc.
- water bottle with a big bendy straw – thank you miss Maranda for your post on things to pack.. it was a big help! ( I would post a link but i searched and couldn’t find it)
- PILLOWS! i am a freak for my own pillows, and i don’t think i would like the hospital ones very much lol, maybe a bath pillow as well?
- lists of restaurants closest to the hospital that we like and to-go menus so that we can send people out to get food for us ;)
- easy to grab snacks like granola bars, dried fruits, nuts etc
- Do not disturb sign
- Ipod with playlists ready to go
- Camera (may not want any pictures during birth but good to have around for after
I think that’s most of it but i am running on very little sleep so i may think of something i left out later
Ok, Guess its time to decide if i want to go back to bed for an hour or just shower and make breakfast… or just go insane