Wednesday, July 15, 2015

My all natural water birth

I know it has been a while since I’ve been on (ok, a LONG while) but I thought what better way to come back then tell you all about how our #2 came into the world!
People had a lot of questions and comments about my all natural labor and delivery with Brooks (as remembered here), and honestly, I love going back and rereading it.  It doesn’t seem like that long ago (not even 2 years!) but I’m glad I wrote everything down in as much detail as I did and was more than happy to answer any and all questions you all had on having an all-natural drug-free birth.

Even though the first couple weeks post-partum with Brooks were a bit rough on me (I tore pretty bad and getting around was tough), I knew I wanted to do another all-natural birth since it gave me the greatest gift of all; a healthy, happy, alert, little boy.  So when I found out I was pregnant again, Chris and I decided to go with the Dallas Women’s Birthing Center again since it was the best compromise for both of us (I wouldn’t have minded looking into a home birth and Chris, being a little more cautious, liked the safety of having all our “what-ifs” covered at a hospital… with the birthing center being right down the road from Baylor Medical, it’s the best of both worlds)
their website
I feel super lucky having another wonderful, uneventful pregnancy, except for some blood pressure issues at the end that I was able to manage (more on that in a different post) and as my June 16th due date crept closer, I was full of mixed emotions.  I had Brooks 16 days early at 37 weeks 5 days, so after that milestone came and went with #2 I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulder.  However, since Brooks was induced with a Foley Bulb catheter and I was told “You are having the baby this weekend”, I never got to go through the experience of my body randomly going into labor.  I felt fine, healthy, and was going great, but couldn’t help but think of the “Hollywood” labors of me randomly having my water break while at the grocery store or at the water park with Brooks.  Luckily enough, that didn’t happen.

The night of June 13th, I started to have some VERY slight cramping and felt a little uncomfortable around my hips.  I sat on my birthing ball (aka. 72” giant work out ball) and it felt AMAZING. I sat like that while Chris and I watched a little TV and headed to bed around 11p.

Around 4:30a I woke up with some more cramping.  They started to come in waves so I began to time them on my phone, but nothing was consistent.  10 min, 7 min, 12 min, 15 min, 6 min… I waited it out as long as I could before 5:30a hit and I knew I wasn’t going to get anymore sleep.  I woke up, brushed my teeth, and threw on a bit of water-proof mascara (hey, why not!).

Brooks started to wake up around 6:30ish (VERY early for him) so I changed him and brought him into our master since Chris was stirring too.  I told him that he should probably call his parents to come down and get Brooks since I’m thinking “something” may happen today…. To which Chris responded “Oh yea?” and high-fived me.  #married

I also got sick once, but nothing near as bad as the 4-5x I got sick when I was having Brooks, so I really wasn’t concerned at all.  I called our doula around 9ish to fill her in, but she didn’t seem too worried since my contractions were still pretty irregular.  She told me to lie on my side with a pillow between my legs and to call her back if the contractions were too intense.  Less than 5 minutes later, I was asleep… and “napped” for an additional hour and a half.  Yes, I napped during labor.  Funny especially how my mom told me when she was in labor with me, she fell asleep at the hospital and all of a sudden woke up to push and I was there 30 seconds later; no epidural, no nothing… barely enough time for a nurse to run in and catch me. (side note: my mom is freak and I believe her telling me that story gave me SUPER unrealistic expectations of what birth was going to be like… she’s a lucky-lucky woman, that mother of mine).

Once I woke up around 11a, my initial contractions were even further apart (almost 20 min) and Chris and I decided to go for a walk to start and get some progression going.    However, it started raining and our doula suggested going and walking around the mall.
Labor selfie taken right before we left for the mall... Chris said he was feeling great...
It was in the car ride there that it hit me how different this labor was from having Brooks.  I was totally calm, joking and talking with Chris, not panicked, and in such a good mood I don’t think anyone would believe me that I was in labor.   It was like I was almost “enjoying” it.  Weird, yes, but not a bad experience or a very painful one with how far things had gone.  Surprised, I continued to run with it and let it all play out.

Chris and I did 4 or 5 laps around the mall and with Chris’s fitbit keeping track of our steps, walked just over 3 miles.  All the while, I was able to walk (and talk) through the contractions which were now starting to speed up around the 7 minute mark.

We headed home and met our doula (her name is Nikki, I guess I should stop referring to her as “our doula”) at the house where we walked around the block a few times sans rain.

Contractions were definitely coming quicker, but only lasting between 25-35 seconds, sometimes shorter.  It wasn’t until we got back home and she had me try one of her laboring positions did stuff really get going.  She had me sitting facing the opposite way on the toilet, and when a contraction hit, lean back and brace myself in Chris’s hands who was sitting behind me.  Dear sweet mother of GOD. That worked.  I lasted through a few of those contractions before we decided to go into the birthing center to get checked, just in case. (We had called them before we started walking around the neighborhood to give them a heads up I was in labor).

Another fun random side note, our birthing center has 3 certified nurse midwives and I LOVE two of them.  I did 95% of my prenatal appointments with them, and honestly, was terrified of the third midwife, especially since she was the one to give me the news with Brooks that he was going to have to come a little early.  In the one appointment I DID have with her for #2, she kept telling me my blood pressure was high and that I would probably have to deliver the baby early at 34 weeks (umm YIKES! And NO WAY!)  I was able to keep my BP in check and managed to dodge her in appointments for the rest of my pregnancy (since my BP was always higher with her in the room), but definitely knew I did NOT want her there delivering #2.  Low and behold, guess who was in the rotation when I went into labor?  Yep.  God definitely has a sense of humor.  Even when she picked up the phone, I explained to her that I felt more comfortable with the other two midwives to which her response was “well, I’m on duty, so its me.”… hooray…

The car ride to the birthing center wasn’t nearly as carefree as the ride to the mall and had 3 VERY intense contractions in the 10 minute drive there.  There were even several times I had to tell Chris to “drive faster” and cursed the city of Dallas for having potholes on every.single.street.

When we arrived at the birthing center, I was checked and was a 5 out of 10.  Well on my way.  I labored around the birthing center for about 30 minutes and even tried to “nap” again through a contraction but Chris and Nikki wouldn’t let me (haters!).  When the midwife asked me if I wanted to get in the tub, I honestly could not undress any faster.
best, most relaxed feeling ever
Getting in the water was quite possibly the most relaxing feeling in my entire life.  I honestly could feel my entire body drop and let go.  Heaven.  The contractions came but were very manageable with breathing and squeezing Chris’s hand. 
When the midwife told me I could start pushing because she could see the baby coming, I honestly didn’t believe her.  I didn’t feel the intense pain or need to scream like I did with having Brooks.  I started to push, but mostly just to get the midwife to stop bothering me. (side note:  the midwife actually ended up being great and I didnt have any complaints or issues during labor.  Everything was wonderful)

Less than 5 minutes and a couple of manly grunts later, Chris was scooping our son out of the water and placing him on my chest.  (PICTURE WARNING!  Nothing too graphic but these were taken seconds after birth)
Collins King Yanniello was born at 6:20pm on June 14th, 2015.
We both sat there in the water as we waited for the cord to stop pulsing. As I looked down at him, I was shocked to see that I was staring at what EASILY could have been Brooks’ twin.  He looked SO much like Brooks did at birth and even remember saying “oh, its like Brooks 2.0”… yea, nothing like being the 2nd child and automatically cast under your big brothers shadow… sorry about that buddy.
I moved to the bed to deliver the placenta (eww, I know, gross, sorry but it’s a thing) and was shocked at how great I felt.  Little man started nursing like a champ and got lots of good skin to skin in right away.  But the best thing ever? No tearing!!! No stitches, no nothing! I honestly almost started clapping I was so excited!

Little man weighed in at 7lbs 12oz and 20” long… nearly a pound and a half heavier than Brooks was and an inch longer.

About an hour later, Chris’s parents came over and brought Brooks to meet his new brother.  He was smitten from the start and I’m proud to report he is still a VERY doting big brother.
A little less than 2 hours after he was born, Chris and I were ready to head home. (HA! I know, right?!)  We had to talk to the nurse about all the newborn details but after we got the speal, all 3 of us were home by 10pm (Brooks was having a sleep over at his grandparents).

All in all, it was the best birthing experience I’ve had so far (only counting against Brooks’ but hey).  If you are planning to do a natural child birth, DEAR GOD I recommend going for the tub.  I understand that it’s not for everyone, and everyone is free to birth the way they want to, but for me, it was so relaxing, calming, peaceful, and just plain wonderful.

I now have two awesome little guys that I’m obsessed with, and so lucky and blessed to be their mama.
Life is pretty awesome and I thank God for such a wonderful birthing experience.

I would love to answer any and all questions you may have!  I really am an open book so feel free to truly ask me anything!

P.S. – now that I am “back”, there will be more updates and furniture flips coming soon!  Thanks for sticking with me!


  1. Wow! Congrats. I had an emergency C-section with my first and a planned c-section with my second. If I could, I'd love to try a water birth but we're done with our baby days. Enjoy watching the two together - my daughter is 6 and my son is almost 2. Their bond keeps getting better and better (and yes, I realized I just cursed myself but oh well!).

  2. Hey! What a wonderfull news ( oh I love babies <3 )!!! Congrads. I wish you a amazing times with your family, enjoy it!!!


  3. Wow! That's awesome Samm! I'm still about 2-3 years out from kiddos, but no tearing, no nothing and able to go home that night?!?! definitely going to look into this option, when the time comes! So happy for you guys, and Collins is only 1 day older than my new nephew! ha Congrats :)

  4. Congratulations!! You have a beautiful family.


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