Posts Tagged ‘Abbott’

Birth Story: “The Most Gratifying Moment of My Life”

February 15, 2013

This blogging wonder mama’s birth story is one not to be missed! From her mantra of “loose on the top, loose on the bottom,” to her  beautifully-worded descriptions of labor and birth, this story is filled with gems!


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma


Family first{by Sarah A.}

I’m not going to bury the lede here — the arrival of Edwin was, to-date, the most gratifying moment of my life.

But I couldn’t have known that 24 hrs before his arrival. Twenty-four hours before, I was weary from an unshakable sinus infection. I couldn’t tell if my midwife’s suggestion to break my water the next morning (I was 40 weeks and 4 cm dilated) would relieve the stress of life at the moment, or add to it.

Knowing we wanted to labor with our midwife, Deb Stealey, my husband Chris and I decided to go for it.

The night before we broke my water, I continued the tradition from my first pregnancy of meeting my best friends for a steaming bowl of Pho* (Vietnamese cure-all soup) and got to bed early. (*I seriously swear by the stuff.)

The next morning at Abbott, we broke my water and with the encouragement of nurse Jessica and Deb, we got to gettin’!

“I don’t want you to shuffle the halls cooing at the nursery. I want you to WALK-walk!” Jessica said, swinging her arms with vigor. (more…)

Birth Story: “Sex, Squats, Wine, a Bath & Spicy Food”

February 8, 2013

So, mamas — do you ever wonder why we prenatal yoga teachers encourage you to “ahhhhh” nice and loud during class? Strange as it may feel, there’s a reason for it, and this mama’s birth story hits right on it:

Once I got to the hospital the contractions became painful enough that I had to vocalize with each one (ahead of time, that seemed kind of silly to me, but when the moment came it just felt natural), so I moaned and ohmmed all day long, which helped me stay as relaxed and open as possible.

hennabellyRead on for the rest of this Minneapolis mama’s lovely birth story!


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma


Hi Blooma!

Writing cuz I was at the Tuesday night (Dec. 4) prenatal yoga class at Blooma Minneapolis with Sarah — folks who were at the class would remember I was past due, and I went in to labor in the middle of the night after yoga and gave birth Wednesday, Dec. 5! I wanted to write to share the story!

I was 4 days over 40 weeks, and had been trying all the old-wives-tales labor-inducing tactics while trying to remain patient as well. I don’t know if it was the awesome yoga class that night, or the pineapple, walking, sex, squats, wine and a bath, spicy food, or most likely baby decided it was time!

That night after yoga, I woke up at 2 am feeling sick and uncomfortable. Contractions started in the next half and hour, and Evey Josephine was born at 2:13 pm that day!

labor in showerAll in all, it was an amazing birth experience, I would describe it as simultaneously awesome and terrible. I ended up being able to labor and birth with no medications or major interventions, which was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done but I’m SO glad I was able to. I don’t know if I would have been able to if not for the things I have learned, done, and the encouragement I’ve gotten from all the folks at Blooma and The Childbirth Collective, as well as our amazing doula Ellie. THANK YOU!

I labored at home from 2 am until about 7 am, able to breath deeply through each contraction. They were coming quickly from the start, on average 3 minutes apart, lasting between 30 seconds to a minute. Eventually when I called the doctor (and also called my best friend who is an OB), they recommended I go in, but I was hesitant, it was my goal to stay at home as long as possible. But, I was not comfortable anymore and the contractions were coming quickly and getting stronger, I knew I wouldn’t be any less comfortable at the hospital.

We went to Abbott, found I was dilated to 5 (woo-hoo!) and Ellie met us there. I labored in the shower and then leaning on a table or birthing ball, with near constant attention from my husband and Ellie. During each contraction, they would hold my hands, rub my lower back, help me sway back and forth, hold me up from collapsing, and encourage me.

Once I got to the hospital the contractions became painful enough that I had to vocalize with each one (ahead of time, that seemed kind of silly to me, but when the moment came it just felt natural), so I moaned and ohmmed all day long, which helped me stay as relaxed and open as possible.

Hugging in labor

Hugging in labor

I also remember “transition” contractions were extremely painful, but time went by quickly. I was “stuck” at about 9 cm with one little lip of the cervix for a long time, and the doc wanted to break my water. I was frustrated and hesitated through several contractions, but eventually trusted her advice, they flipped me on my side and helped hold back the cervix lip while I pushed and they broke the water and got the baby turned a little bit better, and very quickly we were into the pushing stage! Moaning was not enough for this stage, I’m pretty sure I was gasping and yelling!

I pushed for only about 20 minutes, with her head coming nearly out and then going back in with several contractions (I got to feel her head!). Then the doc wanted me to get her out with the next push because they were starting to get worried about her heart rate, so with the next contraction and big push, she came out pretty much all at once! We did it!

All the prep I had done, and the amazing support I had from my tireless team of Matt and Ellie (and a great nurse & doc!) helped make this possible, and I feel so blessed that I was able to have a fairly natural birth!

Thanks to everyone involved in Blooma and all the other amazing women who go there, you’re all amazing! I hope to see you at a future BYOB yoga class or mamas group!

Happy after birth

Happy after birth


*{A little note from Blooma: We joyfully share birth stories sent to us by Blooma families, however, Blooma does not claim responsibility for and does not endorse individual choices made by families or their care providers. We seek to share an array of birth stories to showcase a wide range of experiences.}

Jesse’s Birth Story: “Calm, Peaceful, Powerful”

November 28, 2012

A big, big congratulations to Blooma Prenatal Yoga and Vinyasa Flow Yoga teacher, Jesse Bennet, on the arrival of her sweet baby boy!

Today Jesse shares her birth story and intimate photos of her labor and first moments post-birth.

We love you, Jesse, for all that you share with Blooma’s mamas and for your beautiful strength as a woman, mother and teacher.


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma


{By Jesse}

My labor began Saturday the 18th when I could tell my Braxton Hicks were turning into a bit more organized and intense contractions.

My mom flew into town from California just for the weekend to see me pregnant because I wasn’t “due” until the 29th! Saturday night of course we were watching “What to Expect When You Are Expecting” (I love that movie!!) and I began timing my contractions. They were getting stronger.

At midnight they really arrived every 5 minutes and I knew that my body was starting to work! Fifteen minutes before leaving to take my mom to the airport my water sprung a leak!

My mom stayed to be with Madison, and Ryan and I headed to Abbott. We arrived at Abbott around 1:30 and I was a 4. By 2:30 my midwife was able to break the rest of my water and I went into full active labor.

The next 5 hours I spent moving— on the ball, stretching over the bed, and I spent a lot of it in the shower with Ryan pouring water on my back.

Once I hit transition they filled the tub and when I got in my body felt so much lighter. Time is a little fuzzy during labor but I remember in the tub feeling strong.

My midwife said I would know when it is time to push and she just let my body birth. It was calm and peaceful and powerful.

My sweet son Samuel was born in the water at 7:42 p.m., weighing in at 7 lbs, 2 ounces and we could not be more in love.


Birth Story: “…Amazing, Innate Strength” + Hypnobirthing

July 2, 2012

Hypnobirthing, lots of walking, a doula, a tub, and breathing baby down were the methods that new mama Kjersten used to help her during labor.

There are so many wonderful parts about her story — you’ll just have to read for yourself to discover them all. But one great part is Kjersten’s honesty. She doesn’t shy away from admitting that labor is really hard work. And that at times, she wanted to give up.

This is normal, mamas! Those feelings frequently arrive just when labor is at its most intense: transition. This held true for Kjersten — and with much support, beautiful breathing, and the ability to dig deep into her own strength, she came out the other side a mother.


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma


{by Kjersten J.}

Benjamin Michael was born at 9:12 p.m. Wednesday June 13, 2012.  The labor was intense and fast — and completely drug free, thanks to Hypnobirthing, my amazing supportive husband and our rockstar doula, Megan Titcomb (Healing Garden Hypnosis).

Tuesday June 12 was my ‘guess date.’ I got up that morning, feeling crampy, and went to work. Around noon I was pretty uncomfortable and decided that I would be leaving early that day. I left my office around 3:45.

Tom, my husband, was already home. We took a nice long walk to a nearby Mexican restaurant (Rojo); had some chips & salsa, a virgin margarita, and then walked back home. I knew that I was having surges (aka contractions) but other than breathing through them they felt like what we’d been experiencing for the past two months.

I went to bed around 9:30 Tuesday night; still having surges, but thinking that (like usual) they’d stop overnight. I was wrong.

Wednesday morning I had my regular appointment with my midwife; my first official ‘over due’ appointment. Tom drove me as I was still having the surges and now needing to focus more on breathing during a surge.

I mentioned to the midwife that I’d been having more liquid-type discharge since Tuesday; she checked and sure enough my membranes has started to release. They hooked us up to the fetal & contraction monitor and after 25 minutes told us we were having a baby today and that we needed to get to the hospital.

During the monitoring session I knew my membranes were releasing; it was the strangest sensation, and I really don’t know how to describe it other than it felt like I’d been carrying around a water balloon between my legs and it popped.

We left the clinic around 8:45 a.m. and headed home.  Tom packed up our stuff, changed, and we relaxed for a bit.  We were both hungry, so on our way to the hospital we stopped for breakfast at Good Day Café in Golden Valley.

The surges were stronger now that my membranes had released; and I definitely needed to focus on our Hypnobirthing techniques.

We arrived at Abbott around 11:30; they checked us into the Maternal Assessment Center (MAC) where we sat and waited (a very common hospital occurrence we came to learn!).

The MAC nurse came and asked us why we were there; after recounting the morning she checked my file and told us we were going straight to a labor room.

Michele, one of the midwives in the collective, came to see us around 12:30.  They began monitoring Benjamin and me; my surges were still about 8 to 9 minutes apart and Michele advised against a cervical check seeing as my membranes had released.

Because I wasn’t in ‘active labor’ yet, but my water had broken, Michele began talking about interventions – i.e. Pitocin.  We had wanted to stay at home for as long as possible, to avoid being ‘on-the-clock’ (and thus the induction discussions) but because the clinic called us in, we figured we’d better go to the hospital so we could be spared the constant calling and check-ins from the midwives/hospital.

Our Hypnobirthing preparation allowed me to confidently (and respectfully) ask Michele if we could wait to discuss Pitocin and other interventions for a few hours. We settled on 3 p.m. as a time to talk again.

After Michele left the room, we immediately called our doula, Megan. Megan suggested some labor starters to help get the oxytocin (natural Pitocin) going to start things. We told the nurse that we were going to go for a walk and that we’d be back at 3 for our next monitoring session.

Tom and I left and walked outside for a bit, and then down to the Midtown Global Market.  (That was a longer walk than I anticipated!) We had some lunch at Midtown and my surges really started to intensify and pick up.

We found that on the walk back my surges were coming about every 7 minutes – but they were definitely intensifying; I had to stop for each one and really concentrate on breathing.

When we got back to our room (about 3:45) our nurse (who is expecting at the end of June) began our monitoring session.  This was challenging as I was ‘strapped’ to the bed, but surges were coming now about every 5 minutes.

I was feeling the surges in my lower back, which made sitting/lying in bed challenging. When the midwife reviewed the monitor strip, she said I’d need to be monitored constantly as there were some concerning things about Benjamin’s heart rate – potentially indicating something with the cord.

Megan arrived just as we were hearing this news (6 p.m.). For the first time during the labor I was scared — not for me, but for Benjamin. Megan was perfect; she reassured me that this was something that she sees a lot. That we could (and would) still have our calm, natural birth, and that even though I was being monitored I could still go in the shower and labor tub.

At 6:15 I got back in the shower, with the wireless monitors.  My surges were really intensifying.  The nurses got the labor tub ready and at 6:45 I was in the tub.

The labor tub was amazing – it really made the surges easier to handle as I was almost weightless.  However, I was still having really intense back ‘pain’.  (I hesitate to use the ‘p’ word but it is all I can remember now.)

Things were really getting intense in the tub, and I remember saying “I can’t do this” and “I change my mind.”

I got out of the tub and back to our labor room at 7:30 p.m.  I was checked for the first time, and informed that we were 7 cm open. This was devastating to me as I felt like we were so much farther; so again I told them that I wanted the epidural.  Tom and Megan were supportive and the nurse came with the IV.

Megan told me I’d have to wait until the IV fluid bag was finished and the anesthesiologist arrived; she suggested that we wait in the bathroom where it was nice and quiet.  The next twenty minutes were tough – I was struggling with my breathing, but Megan was incredible.

Even through the hardest points of that twenty minutes (which to be honest only seemed like about 5) there was this amazing, innate strength that I felt.  I wasn’t afraid, just wanted to be done.  After the twenty minutes she asked if I wanted to be checked again – I said yes.

The midwife checked and I was complete.  Fully open.  Ready to birth my son.

Breathing down Ben, and then ultimately pushing was so empowering.  I’ve never felt more strength in myself and my body than when I felt Ben being birthed.  I don’t know exactly how long I pushed, but it felt really good.  And then, he was here.

Tom announced that he was a ‘he’ and then Ben was immediately on my chest.  I’ve never felt more love and wonder in those first few minutes.  And the love has just continued to grow each day.  Now I can’t even imagine what our life was like before Benjamin.

*{A little note from Blooma: We joyfully share birth stories sent to us by Blooma families, however, Blooma does not claim responsibility for and does not endorse individual choices made by families or their care providers. We seek to share an array of birth stories to showcase a wide range of experiences.}

Birth Story: “I’m Stronger Than I Can Even Imagine”

January 3, 2012

{By Brooke O.}

Hi Blooma ladies!

I cannot thank you enough for all the support you gave during my pregnancy.  Our little Ollie was born at 4:59 a.m. on 9-10-11 at 7 lbs, 7 oz.

I was always fearful of delivery, but I truly believe that Blooma’s supportive community helped me to realize that I’m stronger than I can even imagine and was able to push myself far beyond what I ever thought was possible.

I was having contractions most of the day at work on Friday. I kept telling myself that they contractions were Braxon Hicks and I wasn’t in labor.

When I got home that afternoon, my husband was running around the house cleaning and getting our bag ready for the hospital. I told him not to worry about it, nothing was happening. Ha — little did I know baby Oliver had other plans!

We went to my in-laws for dinner, but after a few hours I was tired of people staring at me as I continued to have contractions. We headed home around 9, my contractions were now about 5 minutes apart and getting more painful. I waited another hour or so and called the nurse, thinking my contractions were still 5 minutes apart. She told me to hold off on coming in as this was my first baby.

The contractions were getting more intense, but I was able to still talk and breath through most of them so I didn’t think anything of it. I realized about 30 minutes later that my contractions were actually only 2 minutes apart and I finally told myself that I had just been trying to fool myself all day! We rushed to get the rest of our things together and drove quickly to Abbott, arriving around 11 p.m.

When they were able to check my progress I could hardly believe what the nurse told me. I was dilated to a 7!! I never believed that I could get that far by myself without pain meds. I did end up getting pain medicine, but was so proud of what I had accomplished.

I dilated to a 9 before my water was broken. I started pushing around 4:15 and after 45 minutes of pushing, our bundle of love was born with a FULL head of black hair and more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

Again, thank you for all your loving support. I’m so excited to be a mom and can’t wait to get back to Blooma for BYOB. 🙂



Water birth in the Twin Cities

September 27, 2011

The first family to have a waterbirth at Abbott.

Blooma loves hearing about and sharing the latest options in birth throughout the Twin Cities. So when we learned that waterbirth recently became an option at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, we had to give a little cheer!

A Coon Rapids mom claimed the honor of the first mom to deliver in a tub there, welcoming baby girl Kaelyn on Sept. 15.

“I can’t imagine what it would have been like without the water,” said the mom, Aimee. “It was so relaxing and a huge pain management tool.”

Most women who’ve experienced waterbirth say they couldn’t imagine it any other way. The benefits are immeasurable: easier movement during labor and delivery, natural pain relief, warmth and relaxation. And for baby, an “easier, more gentle transition from mother’s womb to an external ‘womb’ of water that is weightless, warm, wet and soft.”

Blooma families, we’d love to hear from you about your waterbirth experiences: What would you say to couples considering waterbirth? And where did you deliver?

If you’re deciding where to have your baby and birthing in the water is something you’re interested in, see below for other places in the Twin Cities metro that offer waterbirth. Your options are homebirth midwives, birth centers and various hospitals.

When making your decision, be sure to ask your specific care provider if he/she does water birth, how comfortable he/she (and the group) is with waterbirth, and what the success rate is of water births for the given group and/or hospital.


HCMC Midwives (Minneapolis)

St. Joseph’s Hospital (St. Paul)

Woodwinds Health Campus (Woodbury)

Regions Hospital (St. Paul)

Hudson Hospital (Hudson, WI)

Freestanding Birth Centers:

Health Foundations Family Health & Birth Center (St. Paul)

Morning Star Birth Center (St. Louis Park)

We’ve also heard that the midwives at Methodist Hospital plan to add water birth as an option sometime in 2012. If we’ve missed listing any other waterbirth resources, please let us know! And to learn more about waterbirth, head over to Waterbirth International for a slew of great info!


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Birth Story: Tapping into a miraculous power

July 17, 2011

Sarah Longacre, Blooma’s founder, was over the moon reading this love note from new mother (of four!), Rebecca. We hope you are as inspired by her birth as we are!

“If I went into the experience thinking it was going to be an athletic feat or a demonstration of will power, I certainly would have been disappointed: birth is such a beautiful miracle that I feel I was part of something much bigger, much more special than all of that. I feel so BLESSED. So GRATEFUL. I am so happy to feel part of a community of women who know the power of the female body and respect and love themselves for tapping into that power with such good intention,” Rebecca writes.

Whew! *Tears.* We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Read her entire letter and birth story below.


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma


Dearest Sarah,

I am sitting here at home, four short days after giving birth to our little Harriet Jane, and thinking of you… My new — and dear — friend, Elizabeth, introduced me to Blooma and brought me to my first prenatal yoga class just days before she gave birth to her fourth son.  I’ve had the opportunity to attend only a couple of yoga classes since, but it was the Couples’ Birthing Intensive that really impacted my birth experience the most.

About halfway through this (my fourth!) pregnancy, I changed directions and started really thinking about having a more natural birth experience.  Meeting Elizabeth and talking with her and listening to her experiences as a doula contributed to my altered way of thinking.  My little sister, a Bikram devotee who lives on Maui, gave birth naturally at home to her son last year, so I certainly have been influenced by her story as well.  That said, I feel that the three hours we spent with you and the other couples in that lovely yoga studio a couple weeks ago were the most important part of the process.  I went from thinking about a natural birth to doing it.

I felt armed with information, tools, and a new found sense of determination after leaving your class.  While I normally feel a bit intimidated in the presence of doctors and don’t always speak my mind, your gentle reminder that we need to be advocates for ourselves and our children really encouraged me to be strong, to speak my mind clearly and firmly.  And to trust myself.  I have to say, for her part, my OB, Dr. Kelly Morrison at Women’s Health Consultants, has always been such a good listener and willing advocate for my needs…

Yet I feared that trying to have a birth the way I wanted it, especially so late in the game — an unconventional, natural birth at a hospital! — was like trying to have my cake and eat it too.  I made an off-handed remark at my 39-week appointment about waiting until Shawn could “see the head” before heading to the hospital when I was in labor, and that time Kelly did raise an eyebrow.  She told me that a fourth baby could come quickly and I did not want to give birth in my car, so I should try to trust that she and the nurses at Abbott could and would support the birth process I had chosen.

I’m glad I decided to trust Kelly because, although I didn’t come close to giving birth in the car (if only it were that easy!), I did find that Kate, my delivery nurse, was as supportive a birth companion as I could have wanted.  She gave me ideas to help ease the discomfort of the contractions (the birth ball and the shower ended up being my saving grace) and her calm, confident, yet unobtrusive presence was reassuring throughout the entire process.  She was a godsend!

The way in which you and your class affected Shawn and me the most, however, was that it helped Shawn reach his potential as a partner and “coach” (as he called himself) in my birth.  He has been known to be a fainter and a wimp in all situations medical and usually is more of a liability in the delivery room, taking the nurses attention away from me while they tend to him.  But, because of your class, which you said right then and there was “more for the dads,” he was prepared.  He did a great job and feels proud and fulfilled by his own participation in the birth of our baby.  He had his binder full of materials.  He had Vitamin Water and snacks for me.  He pushed on the right spot on my back for every contraction.  He knew the right things to say and remained remarkably calm (almost annoyingly so at times!) throughout the whole process.  Shawn credits his sense of calm with knowing what to expect. He said it was your incredible acting skills when demonstrating the stages of labor really helped him prepare in advance for what he’d see.  And he didn’t freak out when it happened.

I shook uncontrollably, threatened to vomit everywhere, screamed.  It was hideous during transition but he was unshakable.  And therefore I could be strong too.  During that hellish time during labor when I thought I literally would die, that no one could possibly live to survive such pain, I was able to think of my sister, my friends, the women in Ina May’s stories, and know that they’d done it and so could I.

I can look back now, having healed emotionally for all of four days (it’s amazing the brain’s ability to forget, especially when it comes to childbirth!) and sort of laugh.  The things that were coming out of my mouth during transition could have been scripted, they were so…almost cliche.  “Someone HELP ME.  I CAN’T DO THIS.  I CAN’T TAKE IT ANOTHER SECOND!”  Sound familiar?  It seems like those choice phrases are the earmarks of transition, reminders to Shawn that I was near the end of my hardship.  And now I can see that it all makes sense:  when a woman is on the brink of participating in a true miracle, it seems only fair that she would be taken to the very precipice of what she has ever been capable of doing before to earn the right to be there.

After hours of brutal back labor, my sunny-side up little sunshine greeted us, made everything worth it.  We did it!  I am so happy to be sitting here right now with my own little miracle: a lovable, healthy, sweet baby girl.  She smells so good I can barely stand it; she is just delicious.  And I am … well, amazingly enough … not too much worse for wear.

Thank you so very much for letting me share my story and for — well, for being you!  Your gifts, and your willingness to share them, really do change people’s lives.  I feel blessed to have met you and wish you all the best.



Bringing mind, body & spirit together

April 14, 2010

This class isn’t being held at Blooma, but we like to let you know about various opportunities to grow and learn as parents-to-be, parents, and yogis. When this flier crossed our desk, we knew this was one of those opportunities. So, here’s the skinny:

Transformation to Motherhood: A Mind, Body, Spirit Approach: This class will highlight the integral roles of the mind, body and spirit in pregnancy, birth and parenthood. Through creative experiential activities and interactive discussion, we will acknowledge the transformations and rites of passage which emerge during the childbearing year. This class will provide an opportunity to reflect on your experience now and your highest intentions for the unfolding future.

Date: Saturday, April 17, 1- 5 p.m.

Location: Penny George Institute for Health & Healing at Abbott Northwestern Hospital / 2833 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis

Cost: $40 // Call 612.863.3333 to register.

Parents, if you go to this class, we’d love to hear about it!


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma