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Jude’s Homebirth Story

On Friday, June 27, 2008 at 3:49pm.

It’s a boy, Jude Aidan Lieb.

9lbs. 12oz.
22.5 inches long

14 inch head
14.75 chest

In addition to documenting the newest Lieb family member I wanted to let everyone know
that despite the many complications we encountered during Jude’s birth we are very pleased with our home birth experience. I have a strong sense of accomplishment that I not only had a completely natural birth in the comfort of my own home but I also overcame many difficult obstacles.


On Thursday, June 26th around 9am I started to notice the first stages of labor with constant but inconsistent contractions ranging from 15 to 10 minutes apart. I tried to take it easy at home knowing labor could begin soon. That evening Joe and I went to get some dinner and had the Updykes over to play Mario Kart as a contraction distraction.

Around 11pm the contractions were about 5 minutes apart so we called Sabrina, our midwife, to give her a heads up that baby Lieb was coming soon. We decided to rest as much as possible and give her a call when we were ready for her to come over. Joe slept for about 5 hours and I tried to rest but ended up pacing the room most of the night. Around 4 am we decided to call Sabrina since the contractions were about 3 minutes apart and more intense.

Erin, our doula, arrived first and started setting up the birthing pool. Around 6 am I got in the pool, it was nice to be in the warm water. I started feeling nauseas which is a sign you’re headed toward transition and subsequently threw up. Around 9 am Sabrina checked me and I was around 9cm dilated. I felt certain I was near the end. During a contraction Erin was pressing on my lower back for counter pressure against back labor and suddenly I felt a pop and she immediately stopped pressing. We believe my tail bone was dislocated which should be able to be popped back in place by the chiropractor, Jude just needed a little extra room to come out I guess. At the time it didn’t hurt and for several days afterward it didn’t hurt but now my bum is sore and ready for a chiro visit.

So after birthing in the pool for a while and attempting a few small pushes I decided to move to the bed for a change of location and position. After about an hour on the bed with little success, his head would slightly emerging and slipping back, we moved back to the pool. Apparently his head needed to mold to the birth canal and it was taking a little longer than expected. Drawing near exhaustion and with still little success we moved back to the bed. After laboring on my hands and knees for several hours my upper legs and buttock muscles were burning, my last resort position was the typical hospital position of lying on your back. Even though gravity wasn’t working in our favor I was able to have the strongest pushes despite of my exhaustion. It had been nearly four hours of pushing and his head finally started to emerge. I hadn’t eaten much so I was weak and losing morale, wondering why it was taking soooo long.

Finally he was coming but I didn’t have much left to give. He finally crowned but my contractions seemed to be far apart and the ability to push was small. I screamed and gave every little last bit I had for a few more contractions but it seems like he was stuck. After 4 minutes of crowning the situation became serious and Sabrina had to perform an episiotomy then realizing he had shoulder dystocia (where the shoulder(s) of the baby are not entering the pelvis during the birth as they should) she had to reach in and grab him and pull him out. We all realized the seriousness of the situation and I told them to do whatever was needed to get him out safely. With a few seconds he was out and lying on my chest blue and barely breathing I was instructed to touch and talk to him as they gave him oxygen. At my first touch he took a gasp of air and soon regained his color. That is when we first met our little babe, Jude Aidan. It was the most overwhelming experience in my life.

Because of my long labor and lack of nutrition I was completely exhausted and my contractions had slowed drastically which inhibited the delivery of the placenta. After attempting several standard methods of aiding it out gently we were nearing the end of our window to deliver the placenta and Sabrina was forced to reach in and pull is out, which with the aid of Erin, Joe, a strong contraction and a horrifying scream it came out. Relieved and tired they brought me some food that Joe’s mom had prepared. As I was eating my food I had a contraction that resulted in a sudden hemorrhages of what appeared to be a massive amount of blood. Sabrina quickly massaged my uterus as Erin gave me a small injection of Pitocin to start contractions of the uterus which would stop the bleeding. Luckily, I didn’t pass out but did drink two large glasses of orange juice to help me regain energy.

During the hemorrhage Erin, who was draining the birth pool into the bath tube, was rushed into the room to assist. During which the bathtub overflowed and flood the entire upstairs bathroom. Everyone was able to clean it up but we do have some noticeable water damage on the ceiling downstairs. Oops!

Finally, it was time to stitch me up but Sabrina wanted another opinion so she called another midwife Audrey to come stitch me because she had more experience with the degree of cut/tear I had. There was some discussion of transporting me to the hospital because I had a hematoma(An abnormal localized collection of blood in which the blood is usually clotted or partially clotted and is usually situated within an organ or a soft tissue space, such as within a muscle). At that point I really didn’t want to transport to the hospital, they would have admitted me and probably kept me for a day or more but I was willing to go if that was their conclusion. After some evaluation they concluded everything was OK and they stitched me right here at home. I think getting stitches was probably the hardest part because at that point I was so exhausted I just wanted to be left alone, but in all actuality it wasn’t that bad… a case of mind of matter I guess.

Finally, after everything was said and done Jude and I were reunited and all the family came in to see the new Lieb family. Despite all the unforeseen complications I always felt safe, weather it was because I knew I had a skilled midwife and doula, or because I was in my own home or just because I knew God was taking care of me.. probably all of the above.

Would I have another home birth? Yes! It’s not something I want to do anytime soon but after all the healing is complete having this experience under my belt can only make me stronger. If I can accomplish this, I can probably do anything!

Jude Aidan Lieb is here!

In a few days I’ll write the complete birth story as best as I can remember but for now I want to let everyone know that we really are the “3” Liebs!

On Friday, June 27, 2008 at 3:49pm.

It’s a boy, Jude Aidan Lieb.

9lbs. 12oz.
22.5 inches long

14 inch head
14.75 chest

It was a long and difficult labor but everyone is health and resting up. We’ll post pictures soon!

Perspective on Waiting

So last week after my meeting with our midwife and doula I decided to make a list of “Post-Due Date Rewards”. Erin, our doula, said a friend of hers had done this and it sounded like a great idea so I’m copying her.
For each day I go past my due date (June 20th) I get to enjoy a special treat. My list isn’t complete yet because it partially depends on how I feel each day but here are a few examples of the rewards I’ve received for going past my DD.

On Saturday my mom and I got a pedicure and had lunch.
On Sunday Joe got a reward when we went to Toys R’ Us. I had yummy pizza for dinner!
On Monday Joe and I went to Cary Cafe for lunch.

I haven’t decided what today’s reward will be…. I do plan on going to lunch with my friend Virginia and I am also going to the grocery store where I may buy myself a special frozen treat.

I think changing my perspective from a negative, “Oh I’m still pregnant. When will this baby come out.” to a positive, “No baby yet, I get to go to a movie tonight!” helps keep my spirits up.

Baby Lieb Update

Obviously today is our “due date”, whatever that means, and no baby yet. Over the past week the baby has dropped and moved into an ideal birthing position (ROA – Right Occiput Anterior, or back along the right side of the mother’s belly). I’ve been having slightly more intense contractions almost everyday but nothing consistent… they usually stop after an hour or so. However, everything is working toward getting lil Lieb out and I just have to remember that everything is working toward the ultimate goal of birth. It is possible and probable for these random contractions to be thinning and possibly dilating my cervix.

Also, we finally learned my blood type, A-. Which raises slight concern in some people because of the negative bit… but we’re trusting God that everything will be OK.

What does this mean?

“Human blood either has the “Rh factor” or it does not. If you have the Rh factor in your blood you’re Rh+ and you have nothing to worry about. But if you do not have the Rh factor in your blood then you are Rh- and it could cause complications. Your Rh- blood recognizes the Rh factor as an intruder to your bloodstream and begins to attack it (form antibodies against it). If your baby is Rh+ and your blood mixes with your baby’s, then your body could view your baby as a foreign invader and begin attacking the Rh factor in his or her blood.

The chances of you blood hurting your baby are very slim. Your blood and your baby’s blood do not mix. They flow side by side, but separated by a thin membrane. Since the blood doesn’t mix, no antibodies are manufactured by your body.

Certain things can cause a mother and baby’s blood to mix. Sometimes a mix occurs during miscarriage, amniocentesis, chorionic villi sampling (CVS), or major trauma (such as a direct fall on the belly or a car wreck). Mixing can also occur during birth. It’s rare during a natural birth where the placenta is allowed to separate on its own. However, interventions increase the risk that a mother and baby’s blood will mix.

The anti-D injection (called Rhogam for simplicity’s sake) works much like an immunization. It puts a small amount of antibody into the mother’s body, effectively “fooling” her body into thinking that the problem has been taken care of. The shot is very effective.

Rhogam is made from human blood plasma (as are all anti-D preparations.) It’s highly filtered, but it is still a human blood product. There is still risk of disease from donor blood. There are also other side effects such as swelling and inflammation. Hives and anaphylactic effects are among more severe side effects. Some studies have indicated that having the injection may affect the immune response of both mother and baby to other foreign substances entering the blood stream.

A woman is free to reject or accept any combination of Rhogam (for instance, she can refuse it prenatally and still have it after birth). If a woman chooses not to have Rhogam, there are steps she can take to make it more likely that her blood and her baby’s do not mix.

A natural, intervention free birth is the best birth for an Rh- mother wishing to avoid Rhogam. A completely natural birth gives the lowest risk of maternal and fetal blood mixing. Wait for the cord to stop pulsing before it is cut. This allows most of the blood to flow into the baby’s body. If the birth is natural and the placenta is born gently, the chances of mother and baby’s blood mixing are very low, and so the risk of maternal sensitization is also quite low. “

Nesting Part 1

Yesterday I got busy nesting and got quite a bit done. There are still a few projects in the works but here’s a basic overview of busy little mama bee’s finished tasks yesterday.

1. Clipped Coupons and bought groceries.
2. Clean out my fridge, threw away some yucky stuff!
3. Framed art work… finally. Waiting for joe’s assistance with hanging them… he actually measures stuff.
4. We got our new table and chairs yesterday and assembled them last night…. breakfast nook almost finished. (unassembled table pictures… more to come soon.)
5. Finally set up crib (joe did this sunday night) and almost finished with guest/baby room. (more pictures of complete room to come)

Not bad for one day. Additionally, Joe and I went on a date last night to see Prince Caspian (with free movie tickets!). We’re trying to get our theater time in before baby Lieb comes and we have to limit our movie going for a time.

Hopefully we’ll finish all of our (mostly mine) projects before BL comes.

Baby Shower #2

This past Saturday my friends threw me a lovely backyard brunch baby shower. It was a lovely day, a little warm, but overall sunny and fun. We had alot of great food, especially the treats Kristy made… I’m quite fond of the banana pudding! Lil Lieb got alot of really cute and useful stuff. We also had a onesie decorating station complete with iron-on transfers. I think everyone had a great time creating their onesie. It’s great to have so many creative friends, Lil Lieb will be the coolest kid for sure! Later that evening Joe and I went to Target to finish off the still needed items from our registry. With a few returns of multiple items and gift cards we received we came out pretty good. Now we’re trying to get every thing set up and cleaned in anticipation of the arrival of BL (Baby Lieb).

Friday was my last day of work so I’m working diligently to get the house in order and take a little me time at the same time. Only a few more weeks and he/she will be here… hopefully before it gets too hot!

Mother’s Blessing

This past weekend my mom threw a “Mother’s Blessing” for Jillian and I. It was part Mother’s Blessing and part typical Baby Shower… but totally a blessing!

Here’s what a Christian Mother’s Blessing (Blessing Way) can look like. The activities of a Blessing Way center around preparing the mother for labor, celebrating the impending birth, and offering spiritual support.

Everyone was inform that no horror birth stories were allowed only uplifting and encouraging words for the new mom.

The day started with a lovely BRUNCH with everything you could imagine… quiche, bagels, fruit, hummus, muffins, toast, etc…

Then my mom gave an explaination of BIBLICAL CHILDBIRTH.
More info: http://www.unhinderedliving.com/birthbasis.html

Our mother’s and grandmothers surrounded us with a Heritage BLESSING & PRAYER .

Then as we opened GIFTS while people strung BIRTH BEADS which give the mother strength and focus during labor and remind her of all the family and friends that are praying and supporting her. It is a powerful and tangible way to show the love and support that surrounds the mother.

At the end of the day there was a SIGN-UP that people joined to be part of the labor prayer chain and bringing meals after the baby is born.