Thanks for your patience through all our technical difficulties. Part 2 of the Birth Story is up!
Olivia, Cody and Baby CJ share their Birth Story
This family was the first family to deliver from our Fall series, and they wanted to come share their story during our Coach Class. Olivia felt that their labor would not have been what it was without Cody’s great coaching, and their Birth Story is shared in two parts via YouTube.
Please click on the accompanying links to hear about their birth, their feelings about taking The Bradley Method® classes, sleeping during labor, coaching, and their view on the somewhat controversial baby-led vs. scheduled baby care.
Olivia uses the word “lucky” in regards to their experience several times in the video, and you’ll see it in the answers below as well. I see it as not just luck, but a reflection of how prepared they were: Practice makes Prepared. They showed up to class every week, paid attention to mom’s exercise and nutrition, and practiced their relaxation outside of class time. All those things added to the “luck” that was with them throughout their labor and delivery.
I transcribed the Question and Answer portion of their presentation. I also added some notes that be of interest to reader’s who haven’t taken Bradley Method® classes. Feel free to read all the questions, or jump to the ones that apply to you and/or interest you.
Question: Which hospital were you at?
Answer: Banner Gateway – we really liked Banner Gateway. Our Labor and Delivery room was huge – it was awesome. Our recovery room was really comfortable. The nurses are awesome. There are great nurses there – everyone was really good.
Cody: One thing we forgot to mention [during our Birth Story] was having to get the student [nurses] out. There were a couple of times they tried to bring students in.
Olivia: And Cody was like, “No, sorry, get out.” Which at that point, I didn’t care if the whole Mormon Tabernacle Choir was in there. You really do lose modesty; you don’t care. You’re so uncomfortable; it feels like everybody is down “there” anyway.
Question: This week is “Coach’s Week”. Is there anything you want to tell the coaches that you learned from Bradley classes, what you learned through the process of labor, any recommendations?
Cody: I know it’s a lot of pressure, but you are kind of, like, the only one there. And I think you need to take that responsibility on for your wife to feel comfortable. She is not going to feel comfortable knowing that there is any responsibility on her. I think you need to take ownership of your birth plan, anything that happens; if it doesn’t go the way you want it to, that’s your job to make sure it goes the way you two have discussed. And I would also suggest having some help there…that’s what stressed me out the most…having to go between the baby in the nursery and mom. It would have been nice to have someone there with us, or at least in the waiting room, where you could say, “Hey, come here” so no one would be left alone.
Olivia: Even a doula; we thought about a doula and considered it, and we were, like, we’ll try it just us. And I think that next time, we probably will [have a doula]. It would be nice for Cody to be able to go and just leave me in the room.
Cody: I would also say have an arsenal of what works that relaxes your wife, and go through those and be familiar with them. If the first time you do them is when you’re in labor it’s not really going to work. And with us, as with other couples that I heard, what worked for them the most before labor didn’t work for them in labor, so have an arsenal of things that you can use. And also I think the most useful thing for me was knowing the signs for the stages of labor, how it progresses and helping her recognize them. That kind of gave her confidence, that, “This is good!”
I would also suggest taking a lot of time off of work. I loved having just the three of us at home. It made the whole "getting used to" having another person in the family more enjoyable. It was a celebration of CJ being home. I took three weeks off of work – it was really nice.
Question: Did you put together a “Coach Book” for yourself with some of the materials [from class]?
Cody: I actually had little cards of the stages. I printed up a pocket-sized version of those and reviewed them. We actually wrote down what we would do in certain situations. We wrote down, “We’ll be at home until we have these contractions.”
Olivia: You know, that [student workbook] is really great. Review it as much as you can before – have it with you in your head, because you won’t forget. You (gestured at the coaches) especially won’t forget. You’ll get nervous, but you’ll remember.
Cody: She did go through and mark the things we’d need to know in the moment with tabs. We had it with us, but there was never time to look at it.
Olivia: He did get to review it before we went to the hospital, and he was really on top of it. He did all the homework every week…luckily, he knew what he needed to know.
Question (from a coach): That’s my thing is, I am worried that once I am in the moment, am I just going to blank out?
Olivia: You won’t - you will be amazed. It’s exciting – it’s super-exciting and you will be super-excited and you’ll remember. You really do – you’ll be surprised how much you remember. It’s actually funny to say this, but it’s such a natural thing – it just happens. There were a couple of times where I was scared and that’s why it was really lucky that we know that was part of it: being scared, being a little unsure of yourself is all a part of it. So knowing that actually made it a little more doable. And it is doable. People would tell me before, women that had babies naturally: it is painful, and it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do, but – you can do it. I am excited to try again with the next one knowing what I know now. It makes me feel even more confident.
Question: How much did he weigh?
Olivia: 8.5 pounds
Cody: All the protein she ate.
Olivia: Good stuff! The [Brewer] diet is awesome – it’s a really great thing. In the beginning [of the class series] I was opposed to writing down everything I was eating and annoyed with it. Now I actually pulled out my nutrition sheet the other day and I was like, “I’m going to start doing the [Brewer] diet again!” I felt really great eating all that protein and he’s been really healthy.
My note: The Brewer Diet is taught by all Bradley Method® instructors. It was developed by Dr. Tom Brewer to help pregnant women achieve optimal nutrition during pregnancy, eating a well-balanced diet from all the food groups and achieving a daily protein intake between 80-100 grams of protein. By following his dietary suggestions, research suggest that the baby’s birth and overall health outcomes are improved; while minimizing the mom’s possibility of developing pre-eclampsia or toxemia of late pregnancy.
Statement (from a mom-to-be): I don’t know what to expect.
Olivia: No matter who you are, it’s going to be different. I would like to tell you what to expect, but it will be different for you. It will be so worth it. And if you have to use the drugs, don’t worry about it. There were times I was so consumed with having the baby naturally that it stressed me out. Well, what if I needed the drugs? Just letting go of that helped.
My note: The Bradley Method® classes teach couples how to ask questions regarding interventions, including drugs used during labor and delivery. Especially if they are in a non-emergency situation, we teach that you can ask questions. At a minimum, couples can ask “why” is an intervention indicated, that they know “what” the intervention entails, what some alternatives might be, and then evaluate whether the benefits of the procedure or drug being offered outweigh the risks to mom and baby.In addition, we talk about being prepared to make choices. We discuss possible deviations in the course of a natural labor, and invite our couples to talk about what their choices might be as they formulate their birth plan so that they are mentally prepared for dealing with those options ahead of their actual labor.
Closing advice from Olivia:
Regarding the end of labor: You do get an energy surge – you think that you don’t have anything left, and then you find that you do. And after the baby is born, there is another adrenalin rush – I didn’t go to sleep until 11:30 that night (CJ was born at 7:30 am).
Regarding breastfeeding: Breastfeeding is challenging. If that’s what you are planning on doing, it’s good to take some classes. And it’s nice to talk to other women who are doing it. That was probably more difficult even than the delivery, was getting used to the breastfeeding.
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.