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Amanda’s Birth Story — Baby Maia, born March 23, 2005
Amanda laboured early on while decorating cupcakes with her daughter, and was able to navigate through the increasing intensity with movement and breath, and the positive support of her birthing team.

Yogaspace - Pregnancy Yoga - Birth Stories     Maia Francijntje Dagher was born on March 23rd at 8:17 pm weighing 7lbs. and 15 ounces.

     I am so happy with the birth that Maia had. When I had my first daughter, Nelleke, there was alot of intervention because my water broke before I was in labour and they induced me immediately as I happened to be at the hospital (long story). Before I knew it there were tubes hanging from every angle and I felt very defeated, having expected a natural birth. By the time she was born I had been awake for 40 hours without food and completely exhausted. I had induction drugs, penicillin, epidural, episiotomy, "assisted urination", and I pushed for 3 hours. (I consider myself lucky to have been allowed to push for 3 hours! I actually have the BEST doctor.)

     On the morning of March 23rd I woke up at 5am due to cramps and a squirming 2 year old. I climbed into my daughter's bed, because we had plans that morning to decorate Easter cupcakes with friends and I wanted her to have a good sleep. At 10:30 am the girls were putting pink icing on chocolate cupcakes, with jellybean and yogurt-covered-raisin eggs and green and blue coconut bird's nests. The contractions were getting regular and I started to wonder if today would be the day.

     I had a nap after lunch and lying down decreased the frequency and intensity of the contractions. But by 3pm I knew that it was really happening. (I had had several days of cramping/contracting so I was didn't want to quickly judge this as true labour.)

     My doula Lesley was already at another birth, but her student and stand-in Jodi came over right away. The second I stood up from my bed I got hit with a serious one—confirming my joy and fear! I got into the tub and relaxed until she arrived. I snacked on cupcakes, jellybeans and green apple slices. And cheese and sesame sticks.

     How did I get through these contractions? I tried many many things. Massage with tennis balls helped at one point, but the best was leaning over on a piece of furniture (or a husband in a pinch) and lightly bouncing! Bouncing gently REALLY relieved the pain. Ocean sounding breath, for sure.

     At 6:30pm we decided to go to the hospital. Very glad we did. BUT being in the car was terrible. Bucket seats are not the best for labour. My advice - sit in the back and pull over for contractions. AND I really would have liked a picture of the people's faces who were sitting in the emergency as I screamed my way through. One man kindly offered me his chair (yeah, right buddy).

     Upon arriving at the birthing center (7:03pm) it was determined that I was 6 cms and 100% effaced. Woa! At this point my doula had arrived and I begged for drugs. "Sorry" she said "it's too late". I didn't know how I would survive. I thought I was going to have to endure this for hours...BUT I was 10 cms within 20 minutes and she was born at 8:17pm. I have to say, without the epidural I could feel exactly where she was (her head), when she was coming down. I felt the water break. It was very cool. AND when dilation is complete, the pushing is not really "painful" - it feels necessary and good.

     I had quite a cheering section. 2 doulas, 1 husband, 2 doctors (my doctor had been in a c-section delivering twins so the intern was in the middle of my delivery) and a nurse. I felt surrounded by positive energy. After the birth, both of us were alert and feeling good. Maia nursed well right away and I fell in love with her in an instant.

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