December 9, 2016

We met with 7 doulas, all referred by birth professionals. Miquela was the last one we met with and we knew right away that we wanted her to be our doula. She was warm and friendly and calming. I also used Miquela's services to encapsulate my placenta. The morning I went into labour, Miquela came over within an hour. I had horrible back pain and she used all her tricks and skills to help ease the discomfort. I was even able to labour in my home for several hours before going to the birth center. I would not have been able to do that if she wasn't there. Miquela really put my nervousness at ease and I owe all the pain management and ability to labour for 17 hours unmedicated to her. After I delivered my placenta, Miquela took it home with her right away and the next morning she already had my capsules ready and came to the birth center to give them to me. I am so glad we chose to have a doula and that it was Miquela.

I highly recommend her!

October 8, 2015

We strongly recommend Miquela and could not be happier with our decision to have her as our doula! Miquela was the first doula we met and we knew within the first 5 minutes that she was the one for us!  She is extremely knowledgeable and provided us with numerous resources to help prepare for labor and the birth of our daughter.  Miquela has such a comforting and calming presence and helped us prepare for, feel empowered, and confident with the endless choices and decisions we were faced with at the hospital.

We would have Miquela be our doula again in a heartbeat!      

October 6, 2015

My experience with Miquela as my doula was amazing!  She visited me 3 or 4 times prenatal and we went through different labor positions and ways to get through labor. She was there for me for ask of my questions I had. I was in labor for almost 40 hours and through day and night she was always available for me and a great support in the hospital. She has great knowledge and helped me to achieve my goal of having a natural birth. Also she was a great help with reimbursing my claiming for the doula costs through my insurance.  Thanks again Miquela!

I highly recommend her as a doula. 

"If a woman doesn't look like a goddess during labor, then someone isn't treating her right"

-Ina May Gaskin

Copyright © Heart Centered Birth. All rights reserved.

March 23, 2016
Finn - a birth story

Before…
We didn’t know what we were having. I always pictured myself with a boy first. I’m not sure if this was desire or foresight. On Doug’s side, there are only Granddaughters and no Grandsons. Therefore, my mother in law “had her order in” for a boy and had been praying. While I was pregnant most people who knew me guessed I was having a boy because of how I was carrying (more in front). Not to mention, a few years ago someone performed the chinese ring test on me and said I was having a boy first and then a girl. A few weeks before I was due I went to acupuncture and she told me I was having a girl. Because all the clues pointed to me having a boy except for acupuncture I became convinced those last few weeks that we were having a girl.
My Plan…
My plan was to have a natural birth at the birth center in UCSD Hospital in Hillcrest. Originally, we were exploring home-birth options and ended up going the birth center route. We went to hypnobirthing classes and had a doula. I read the hypnobirthing book and both Doug and I watched The Business of Being Born and various other birthing documentaries. Doug was also getting very good at sleeping(and snoring) through the hypnobirthing visualizations. There were a few things I told Doug to remember:
1) Try to keep me at home for as long as possible, since it’s my first birth I will likely feel like I’m further along than I actually am and I don’t want to be sent home.
2) There will be a point when I really don’t think I can do it. That means I’m close (this is what the hypnobirthing book said). You need to make me hold on.
The Beginning…
I hit 40ish weeks and for about a week I was feeling crampy. On Monday the 28th we had an appointment with one of the midwives and she offered to sweep my membranes, after Doug and I had what felt like a somewhat long conversation about the baby coming when they’re good and ready, we decided it wasn’t a big deal and I got my membranes swept. My mom was in town so we decided to go to DSW Shoes. One of my favorite places to go. My mom got a pair of really cool brown and turquoise cowboy boots and I found an amazing pair of moccasin boots by minnetonka on sale. I started having contractions during that trip. I ignored them because of all the talk of “false labor” and went along with my shoe shopping business.
By 8pm my contractions had continued and I tried to eat dinner but had lost my appetite. I told Doug that he had to clean the kitchen because we weren’t going to go to the birth center and leave a messy kitchen. I finally told Doug that I thought I was having contractions. He said “I think you’re just having cramps.” Apparently this was his ploy to keep me at home as long as possible, but I’m pretty sure “I think you’re just having cramps” should be on one of those lists of “What not to say to your wife when she’s in labor”. I of course got really upset and went and lied down crying because how was I ever going to have a natural birth if my husband won’t even believe I’m in labor! Contractions progressed and I ended up pacing our hall because contractions hurt too much to lay down. I took a couple of showers and then Doug offered to draw our bath. We had never tried to take a bath in our tub before and when Doug pulled the stopper up it broke off so the tub was unable to fill. So much for our bathing plan. I immediately got in the shower and Doug called our doula to come over. I eventually started asking to go to the Birth Center because I felt like I needed a change of scenery. Like I requested, Doug stalled as much as he could and at the time it really pissed me off.
The Middle...
Finally by 130am (after being in labor for 8 ish hours we went to the birth center. They luckily admitted me to the last room in the birth center and I was 5cm and 70% effaced. We immediately had them fill the tub where I spent the next 8-10 hours. Contractions slowed down for a while and I was able to relax and fall asleep in between contractions. I was surprised at how deep you could fall asleep for two minutes. The nurses would try to talk to me and I kept thinking “why do they keep waking me up?” Not realizing that I was only sleeping for seconds and minutes at a time.
About 5-6ish hours later they checked me and told me I was 6cm and 100%effaced and I remember thinking “good lord! All that time and I only dilated 1 cm?!?!?! How am I going to do this???”. I got back in the tub and my fingers and toes got more and more pruney. Doug fell asleep at one point and snored on the bed. This didn’t bother me because my doula was by my side. Between my doula and Doug there were only a few contractions without a hip press, and I truly don’t think I could have continued had I not had those so consistently.
Somewhere in the mix I leaned over the edge of the tub and vomited everywhere. We are talking, no warning projectile vomit everything in my stomach. At this moment I appreciated we weren’t having a home-birth and that the cleaning lady was right outside the door to our room. It was cleaned up in a second and for some reason I felt amazing after.
It wasn’t too long until they checked me again and this time I was 9.5cm. I was ecstatic! The time it took me to get from 6cm to 9.5cm felt like nothing! I felt like I was home free. The nurse told me I could start pushing if I felt the urge.
The End…
I never felt the urge to push. So I just started pushing. I pushed hard. I pushed loudly. I pushed squatting. I pushed lunging. Looking back, I realize I probably could have waited longer to feel the urge to push, but I had gotten impatient. Pushing continued to get harder and harder and more painful. We used the ball and kept switching positions. I started losing all my energy. I hadn’t really eaten anything and since I had emptied my stomach of all its contents my blood sugar was running very low. I only wanted to drink water because the coconut water kept leaving a salty taste in my mouth. I decided that I couldn’t do it anymore. I had nothing in me. I had no energy. I pushed for 90 minutes and then I decided I couldn’t push anymore and the midwives said something that I took as “the baby’s not really moving down very much”. I told Doug I need an epidural. I was convinced I couldn’t do it. I had nothing left. I reached my end. There was no way I could push this baby out of me. Every part of me believed I was done. Doug didn’t believe me.  
The midwives gave us a few minutes alone and I said to Doug, between tears, “will you think I’m a failure if I can’t do this?” He said “no, I’m so proud of you and you’re doing great”. The midwives had expected things to move along quicker and thought that there might be some odd positioning that was slowing things down in the birth canal. They said that we could have some Dr.s check me out and see what the hold up was. Thankfully, our doula recommended we have the Dr.s come to us instead of us going to them (a much better idea). The Doctors came and at one point I’m pretty sure I had 5 hands in my vagina and they were using all this lingo I didn’t understand. Doug had them explain again in english. I still couldn’t tell you what they said. I was still convinced I needed an epidural and that I couldn’t do it. So the midwives and nurses left to go prep an epidural and set up my transfer to the 2nd floor.
While they were gone and it was just Doug, the doula and myself I did the only thing I could do. I kept pushing. At this point I couldn’t really stop myself from pushing. My Doula said “I’m not an expert but it looks like something's changing or moving differently”. I kept pushing and the midwives came back in. Doug tells me that this was after he waved the nurse off who was carrying a gigantic needle in the room.  I kept pushing.
My doula started feeding me ginger ale which tasted so good. Push. Sip of ginger ale. Sip of water. Push. Sip of ginger ale. Sip of water. Push. The midwives said I was making more progress than I had been. I asked “what’s happening?” Not really able to get the words out to ask if I was still going to get transferred and have an epidural or not. “You’re staying right here and you’re going to do this” they told me. “How many more pushes??” I asked. They said they didn’t know, which I found very frustrating, I needed a number to focus on!
They could see the head! They insisted on making me look in a mirror to see the head, which kind of annoyed me because I was actually really comfortable pushing with my eyes closed. But it was still pretty cool. I pushed so hard my eyes were rolling back in my head. Then I was told to push nice and slow so I don’t tear. I felt him crowning. It felt like a burning sensation. It hurt, but for some reason it almost felt good because it distracted me from the pain of the contractions. I overheard the nurse prepping Doug to “catch” and asking him to wear gloves which he refused.
Finally the head was out and so was one of the arms (which had sat comfortably under his chin while I pushed, hence the hold up in the birth canal).I remember hearing the midwives say “That’s a big baby!” I pushed again and the legs were out and Doug caught our child and put him on my chest and he yelled “It’s a boy! It’s a fucking boy!”. I couldn’t believe I did it. Our boy was born and somehow already managed to have biceps and big hands and feet already! Doug took off his shirt and climbed in bed with us. It was the most incredible moment on the face of the planet. Doug looked at me and said “thank you, thank you so much.” We had the most beautiful boy - even though his head was a bit cone shaped.

Finn Thomas born at 4:35pm 9lb ½ oz.
Postpartum…
My mom was in town for a few days after he was born. I was really glad because she held him relentlessly since I felt incredibly weak from the labor. I’ve run a marathon, done a ½ ironman, raced at World Championships and competed at the Crossfit Games and I’ve never been more sore than after giving birth. My entire body was wasted. I was sore with every muscle in my body.

The days that followed are kind of a blur and I just remember them being full of exhaustion, mixed with gratitude and hormonal emotions. I cried everyday for about two weeks, nothing was wrong and I knew that, I just needed to cry. I had this incredible feeling of gratitude for my doula who was this calm energetic women who never tired. I was grateful for my mom, not just for holding Finn for hours on end but for having a home-birth with my younger brother (which I was present for at 4 years old) and setting the example that our bodies are made for this. I also have never ending gratitude for my husband, he is the best partner I could possibly have and truly got me through Finn’s birth. I have immense gratitude for all the mommies that I texted in weeks to follow who probably saved me from numerous calls to our pediatrician. Lastly, I have incredible love and gratitude for my son Finn, who chose Doug and I as parents.

xoxo