We had the pleasure of hosting a class reunion at the beginning of August for the families that we taught in the Spring of 2011.
Here is first installment of one of the birth stories we heard that day. Chelsey and Bryce share their experience in today’s video segments.
Below you will find an explanation from Chelsey about what they liked about the classes and the class information that they found useful during their labor and delivery.
We were so happy to meet their healthy young man, Brody! They made the best of their scheduled induction and ended up with the goal we emphasize throughout the class series: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby.
Our Bradley Method® Class Experience
~ By Chelsey Bloomfield
The Bradley® classes really laid the foundation for a positive birth experience for us!
We started out not knowing the slightest thing about the whole birthing process... In fact I tried to avoid thinking about what would inevitably come so that I wouldn't be scared or freaked out by it. We were looking into getting a doula because I was terrified of the whole doctor and medical aspect of it, and I was scared that I would get pushed into doing something that I REALLY didn't want. I started looking into which birthing classes I wanted to take because I am a very education oriented person and we figured that it would help put some of my fears to rest. When we were comparing prices we realized we could only afford one thing, a doula vs childbirth classes... and when we signed up for the Bradley Method® classes I knew we had made the right choice for us!
The Bradley Method® outlines from the very beginning how to prepare your body for natural childbirth. I loved that the nutrition and exercises were a central aspect of the classes. Other classes merely focus on teaching you breathing techniques or ways to relax during labor, rather than preparing your body and mind for the entire process ahead of you.
I also loved the background information on what is happening to your body throughout pregnancy and the different stages of labor!!! By understanding what to expect, and how the entire process worked; that information really put my mind at ease. I felt calm and prepared when I was in the hospital because I knew how the natural process worked and everything my body was going through.
During Labor we really used all of the relaxation techniques. I specifically found massage, deep breathing, and mental relaxation the most helpful.
The abdominal breathing was the most useful because it gave me something else to focus on instead of the pain or pressure, and it really put me in this state of total relaxation that is quintessential for natural labor.
Also during labor, we relied heavily on the things we covered in Class 8 when we discussed variations and complications. Since we ended up being induced and having other complications due to my high blood pressure, it was nice to have the tools and understanding to make the right decisions for us, so that we could end up with a healthy mom and a healthy baby.
In the end it all turned out well! The Bradley Method® gave us all the tools we needed to be able to communicate and work together as a team to bring our baby into the world.
My notes on Chelsey & Bryce's Birth Story
I want to thank Chelsey & Bryce for agreeing to share their birth story out on the internet. I was especially touched by her praise of her husband when she talked about how she couldn't have done it without him. That is the true testament to their teamwork and we are overjoyed when we see a couple bond over such a moving life experience.
A comment about inductions...and I will state, as per the disclaimer below: I am not a medical professional, this is NOT medical advice. What follows below is simply my anecdotal observation about inductions after teaching several couples.
As I have written in a previous post, there are many factors that go into determining your estimated due date. So far, three of our couples have been induced. Of those three, one ended up in a cesarean birth, while the other two did have a vaginal birth. In listening to their birth stories, I am starting to think that inductions only progress to a vaginal birth when the body is already SO close to starting labor, that the medical intervention serves to "push" mom into a process that was almost ready to start.
In reading other internet sources on the subject, it seems that other natural childbirth bloggers and/or websites have come to the same conclusion. As we teach our students: research, research, research and ask questions when your care provider suggests that you interfere with the natural process. There are no guarantees that what they are asking you to do will work, so if you do decide to go forward with an intervention or procedure, make sure you do so with true informed consent. Your care provider is not a "mean" or "evil" person - they want a healthy baby for you, too. It is understandable that their practice history or medical malpractice insurance may skew their approach, however, give them the benefit of the doubt and work together to have the outcome everyone wants: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby.
Onto another part of their story, this couple did a couple of things that were key to their mostly-natural labor...First of all, Chelsey slept! Never underestimate the power of sleep in aiding you to physically, mentally and emotionally navigate your labor. The first thing she did after they induced her was get a good night's sleep - they didn't pay attention too soon. Yeah!!
The second thing they did well: they handled the "failure to progress diagnosis" brilliantly. As you will hear in part two of the video, Chelsey's cervix held steady at a "4" for most of the time after their induction although her contractions kept increasing in intensity. Once she passed the "5" mark (cervix is half-way to the point of being open enough to push), she progressed from a "7" to a "10" in less than two hours, and they were happily holding their baby in their arms 25 hours and 44 minutes after their induction started.
I was very impressed with this couple's ability to communicate with each other. Their knowledge and confidence in the natural process allowed them to progress to their epidural-free birth because they were successful in getting their birth team behind their choices and supportive of minimal interventions and vaginal exams. They also invited Chelsey's mom to be their assistant coach, and she was able to reassure them that based on her own birth experiences, Chelsey's body was working and that they would be meeting their baby sooner than later despite the staff's concern that Chelsey was not progressing.
Great job, team!!
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®.