Male Postpartum Depression, does Your Man have it?

Do you know about Male Postpartum Depression?

Does Your Man seem on edge since the baby was born? You may not realize but…maybe.

Stress Man. Businessman  suffers from a headacheI did not think about this until I opened my eyes wide enough to notice that Male Postpartum Depression is real and it happened to me

I wrote a very candid post about my real life examples.

My friend Christina at Laughing and Losing it has shared my post on her Blog here.

I discuss some personal thoughts and experiences in hopes that others will benefit and avoid the “baby blues” and depression.

You don’t want to miss this.  Please Read, Share and Discuss.

Lets open up the conversation for us guys who kinda go un-noticed.

After our second child Hana was born, I had a lot of extra stress that caused depression and real tough emotional issues for a typical “tough guy” dad. But I didn’t really realize it.

If you’re recently pregnant or have a New Dad in your circles, please Read and Share.

Thanks,

Clint.

Why Personality is the #1 factor for Staff

Ever wonder, is personality the #1 factor for staff?

Maybe you are, plan to or have been in the same position that I am in.

I was just promoted to Sales Manager in a great SMB (Neumann Marking Solutions) and I’m given a huge amount of freedom for creativity. I want to maximize efficiency and streamline processes in order to increase sales.

 Is Experience or Personality the more important when hiring Sales Staff?

Is it…

Sales Numbers? Team Motivation? New Markets? Existing Markets? Hiring/Staffing?

How to build a great team in your company.

I have observed that at present in 2015, the majority of workers still revert to many traditional, old and out-dated job customs (I do my own private survey with everyone I meet of all different ages).

To my surprise, the average worker does not expect companies to be overly accommodating with personal life goals, dreams, flex hours or non-work related achievements.

They still are ok with “a job” and to be treated just decently.

The times have and will continue to change incredibly; especially the way that companies operate, manage and treat their staff.

I believe that if you want Winners, Champions, and Intrapreneurs you cannot hire for the tasks you need but start with the personality then distribute the tasks to each individual.

What duties are the best for a superstar Sales Manager?

Now, remember to focus on Small-Medium Businesses (SMB) here, not huge corporation conglomerates that still have to treat employees as a number.

Do you think that your employer should ask your personality type and internal traits, before you’re hired?

If you say no, are you ok with having recurring misunderstandings, career setbacks or conflicts as a result?

Do you know yourself inside out?

Do you know your personality type? Your internal traits? Your temperament?

I know my strengths and weaknesses, I can say that inspiring, motivating and hiring the right people are the top of my skills and interests, followed by creating structure and systems to make training and turnover simple.

I believe the personalities are key to building a great team.

If used properly, things like the Briggs and Myers test, Dave Ramsey’s DISK system (Decisive, Interactive, Stabilizing, Cautious) and Sally Hogshead’s Fascination Advantage can really build a team faster and sustain it.

I’m a huge fan of the How to Fascinate.

For instance, my advantage is Mystique so I use the power of LISTENING and I’m introverted so I gather and recharge my energy with solitude. Knowing this means that I get very drained by needless talking and by physically being in noisy social work environments.

My workplace did not accommodate a private place for me to concentrate, recharge, and do my best work, consequently, I believe that I would have found success much quicker if these personality factors were capitalized on.

I feel that the personality and level of drive are more important than the skills and education that a new team member has.

Here’s Why Personality is the #1 factor for Staff.

Consider this example…your company is growing and needs professional sales people. You also need a shipper/receiver who plans on leaving.

A person (we’ll call him Jim) comes in with a resume with a deep knowledge and experience in shipping and receiving in a large enterprise that had a huge warehouse with staff and couriers that constantly came and went.

Jim thrives in an environment of hustle and bustle.

But at your company, success comes with much fewer shipments per day and to boot, the shipping area is all by itself in a tucked away corner with little to know interaction with other staff.

Jim’s motivation will be crushed in no time, even though he’s highly trained.

Now, say that your company requires the personality test up front.

You find someone that prefers solo work and has big aspirations and personal drive to learn new things including a future in sales.

Which is a better fit/hire for your company?

The traditional hire is by position, which means hire by skill or experience for the job.

Not that this is entirely bad (this was a no-brainer for the industrial age/assembly line worker).

But hiring for the “job” or “position” means that you’ve immediately hit your limit once the employee learns the task. That might be ok for a period, though at some point, things have nowhere to go but down.

If an employee has no inspiration or desire for more, the human spirit will break some day, due to something stupid like money.

At that point you cannot tell someone “Your pay is not going up because you suck you’ve stopped”.

Translation:

If the employee does not want to be challenged, it is rare that the employee will be long lasting.

 

Tweetable

Am I being delusional in thinking that these personality hiring systems and process are doable and are the future of business?

Am I the only one who knows that I could succeed more efficiently in the proper setting?

Please speak up, comment and share.

Clint.

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Sniply Examples: and other Lead Generation Tools

Have you noticed the latest style of engagement bars and wondered,

“What are those about”?

There has been an increase in applications that allow subtle pop up messages that link back to your own relevant pages. I’ll discuss some Snip.ly examples of this and other alternatives for Lead Generation.

Basically, you can drive traffic to your site by

         Using all the pages that you share anyway!

You all know that I advocate for everyone to create there own website and Personal Brand. This really is the future of leaders.

So what these companies are offering, I call “Personal Bars for Personal Brands”. That is, they could be used to promote your Personal Brand.

The premise is that while we all share interesting pages, we can now add a personal message that pop’s up and invites the visitor to “Click here for something similar” with your words of course.

Sign up to one or more of these applications (I like Snip.ly), which allow you to add a narrow bar or small text bubble that when clicked will direct traffic to your own site.

Example:

I read a cool article on Intrapreneurship.

The page looks like this…

screencapture2

Normally, I would just share this to my social networks and be done.

With Sniply,

I create a custom link to that same page but it includes my message and link (to a post that I wrote, or a product or landing page.) as a pop up.

Like this…

screencapture

Freakin’ Cool!

 

How does Sniply work?

Just paste in the URL, create your message and choose your button. Sniply creates a new URL and shortens it for sharing. Currently, there is a free version and paid versions with more features (such as advanced analytics and customized colors to match your website).

screencapture3

You can click to see my above example in action here.

 

This will continue to grow in popularity. I look at this as kinda creating your own Personal Adsense because these are basically your personal ads that are placed on relevant pages.

Besides the Sniply examples, I realized there were several other similar apps and/or plug-ins.

After a quick Google search, some others  that I’ve seen but not tried, are:

Sharedby.co

HelloBar.com

Woahbar.com

Clickmagick.com

 

Some will say these are annoying pop ups, but I feel they can be subtle and effective if used correctly.

Do you think these are annoying or helpful?

Do you know any other apps like this that are surfacing?

p.s. sorry about the small screenshots. I couldn’t find a way to make them bigger without blurring? Hope you get the idea.

Clint.

Should I have a Personal Website if I’m an Average Person?

Should I have a Personal Website if I’m an Average Person?

Ok, I’m going to get real on this post.

jumbotron clint

Hopefully I don’t sound whiny as I’m really just asking for your help and your opinion.

Today, I was told, by someone close to me, that my efforts on this website were subpar.

That I should focus on updating it more regularly.

That I should stop the ongoing research/education that feed my knowledge that will produce my future online income (passive).

That I should stop the Tweets/Twitter growth that shows credibility.

I hate making excuses but I’m a real person and life is hard (I’m sure for you too).

Keeping (insert cliché) “the balls in the air”, “irons in the fire’ has been very difficult for me.

  • Full-time job (Breadwinner, Intrapreneur)
  • Father,
  • Husband,
  • Finances,
  • Toastmaster,
  • Personal Brand Ambassador (Clint Moar) ,
  • Student of Sales, Marketing, Psychology, Multipotentiality, Introversion, Sleep Cycles/Sleep Patterns, Leadership, Business.

The job takes the most of my time.

Home and family are next (chores, meals, errands, home repairs, fun where possible).

Being a student is next. I’m continually learning online and reading books.

The Personal Brand, Toastmasters and building Websites online that generate money, have been the lowest on my list since the kids came along.

Hobbies have been temporarily gone (playing guitar/ukelele, art, woodwork, social engagements).

This person close to me, who gave it to me straight today, may or may not really understand all the balls that are being juggled.

It probably doesn’t matter.

This person feels that reading, researching, learning, and sharing it on social media to be found as an intelligent person and resource, is not important, but that blogging/writing here on clintmoar.com is more important.

OK, this person is my wife.

We’ve been to see a counselor and I’m dealing with the complexities of relationships, children, employment, debt, finances and personal growth and achievements.

True, I have not added anything to this site in a while.

I feel that the personal brand will be an ongoing work in progress and that something is better than nothing. What do you think?

What’s better?

1. To be seen as a go-getter – some online leadership (like this website)?

Or

2. Crickets (nothing, no website, no professional online presence.)?

I really need some honest feedback here gang. Please comment below.

Thanks,

Clint.

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Adventures in Blogging, StoresOnline vs WordPress

Moving website from StoresOnline to WordPress…my honest opinion.

goats

In a past post I shared some insights of how to ease into Internet Marketing and Blogging, now,  here’s my Advice on Website Platform Providers and my Real Life examples

The short answer is, Stores Online seems to be a good E-Commerce Company, but very expensive. They offer very easy to use software, many design choices, reliable servers, and 24/7 support available for technical questions.

WordPress on the other hand, is not expensive, FREE actually. I’m not sure what all is involved in adding the E-Comm elements to a WP site, therefore, it’s hard to compare StoresOnline vs WordPress.

Through my experience, I do know this…

There are many less expensive options for E-Comm sites than Stores Online. The Platform is not important, it’s the SEO and Marketing that are most important. The online marketing “work” was not part of the $9000 that I paid for. They only help with direction and advice. For any newbies to Internet Marketing and Websites, I would recommend starting a free WP site Blog, then move up as you learn. Take your time, there is no easy, quick way to success. It’s very true.

Now, my real life example…

I dove right in to ecommerce from self-employment by spending investing about 9 grand on a website hosting company. Yeah, I was serious. I hoped that MyBambooFurnishings dot com would bring in some passive income. I truly believed that Business On The Internet was for me and I knew no other way than this opportunity that presented itself. Stores Online offered the whole package, website host, design and training. For me at the time, I needed this help, though it was very expensive!

My progress on this website endeavor was as follows…

-Aug/2009 – attend SO seminar, purchased 1 site w/additional training. Spent next 4 months running Woodworking Company while doing reversed keyword research, finding products and drop shipper, building site, etc.

-Jan/2010 – MyBambooFurnishings dot com goes live! I began tracking my Alexa Global rank as a measure and started at about 13 million then rose to 8,343,785 by Feb.

-Mar/2010 – 3,761,926

– Apr/2010 – 2,844,710

-May/2010 – 2,252,459

I did not do much to promote this site as I was advised. That is, no blog updates, no social bookmarking, no social media, little directory submissions, no Google Adwords, etc. I just did not have the time to put into this as I was trying to make a living and support my family by building furniture.  By May, I did have a small success by reaching the 2nd and 3rd pages in Yahoo on my chosen keywords.

Then, after making a couple of sales to family members, in June,

      it happened!

A unique visitor from Phoenix Arizona made a purchase on my site!

The elation from my first, online, $29 sale quickly turned to Horror as I was contacted a week later. My customer had not received her order and was not happy. I promptly tried to resolve it with my drop ship supplier but he would not respond to my emails or phone calls.

The Sweat Dripping from my forehead and rapid Beating of my Heart proved that my

Fears Were True when I was finally contacted.

My order did not ship and his business was in trouble.

I refunded my customer.

MyBambooFurnishings dot com was done.

The following days were of reflection, realization and regrouping.

There were many reasons why I was not getting ahead in the Woodworking Company.  I was running it solo and I was quite specific in the work that I wanted and did not want to do. I’d had enough and knew I had to change course and re-focus. My passion for Custom Woodworking ran dry and my interest/hobby turned business was not what I wanted anymore.

I was beat.

(Temporarily, that is, as the entrepreneur in me would just have to step back for a while.)

What now?

I met with a mentor who said “you gotta get a job, but not forever”. He advised me to keep the business open but just pay its bills until I find my real focus. So, that’s what I did.

But this time it was different, I had a plan.

Find a job that would teach me more skills for business. I chose the Sales field and continued using the Internet as education, by subscribing to newsletters of Internet pros, Podcasts, Audio books, Googling and reading a lot of books. While continuing as a Sales Employee, I embraced the premise of Creating a Personal Brand to promote yourself and your skills to earn rapport and someday, money.

Enter ClintMoar dot com.

time to start a blog

I didn’t know what to do, or where it would go, but I bought some domain names and went back online.

ClintMoar dot com was my place to write whatever. It’s scary at first but I highly encourage you to do the same. Here’s how it played out while still with Stores Online platform.

Feb/2012 – goes live, 13,651,687, no focus just writing about where I was at.

Apr/2012 – 4,519.007

June/2012 – 3,843,309

Aug/2012 – 2,676,276

This carried on for about a year, as I continued educating myself online and trying to get comfortable with writing some posts. I kept hearing and reading about WordPress websites and blogs and it seemed all of my online mentors were using it. Realizing that I my Stores Online website was meant for ecommerce, I slowly taught myself on this new platform.

ClintMoar dot com switched to the WordPress platform in Feb/2013.

Feb/2013 – 6,153,021 (96,979 in Canada)

Mar/2013 – 6,037,865

Apr/2013 – 4,822,145

May-Dec/2013 – ranged from 4-9-15-27,000,000-3,000,000

Jan-Oct/2014 – ranged from 3-8,700,000-3,000,000

As you can see, I’m no Star Blogger but it’s fun and I can’t wait till I’m in a stage of my life when I can focus more on my Personal Brand.

To sum it up…

Start a WordPress dot org blog, tomorrow.

   It’s free.

Buy your domain name and start finding your direction. Waiting doesn’t get anything done, but this will.

Seriously, it’s 2014 people.

Clint.

Intrapreneur

So, I’m an Intrapreneur.

By my definition, this means that I’m “an entrepreneur who is currently using and learning entrepreneurial skills within someone else’s company”. 

I’m currently an Intrapreneur rather than Entrepreneur because I’ve got myself into a precarious financial situation and I choose to have a job to provide my income.

You may be an Intrapreneur for the same reason as I, but more likely you are because of Fear and/or Insecurity.  You don’t believe in yourself, or, others don’t believe in you or you’re just scared shitless to quit your job.

Not an Intrapreneur yet?

If you’re reading this you probably should be.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I swallowed my pride 3 years ago when I shut down the operations of my first company, Tailored Woodworking Ltd. and gave up self-employment for another day job. By then, I knew I was truly an entrepreneur, but my path led me to, what I didn’t know then was, Intrapreneurship.  Going back to work for someone else is freakin’ hard for us! It took some real positive thinking, planning, and internal discussions to come to realize that this could be a good thing and make the most of a “job”.

 

I’m not sure when I first heard or found the term Intrapreneur but it was about 6 months or so ago when I acknowledged that this, is what I’ve been doing. It has mostly been the sales techniques that I’ve been honing (as per the advice of Robert Kiyosaki, Jeffery Gitomer,), though, I’ve also learned a lot about Distributorship, Reselling and staff/team Motivation which is rooted in my passion of psychology.

Intrapreneurship is really just the step before going “Full On Entrepreneur”. It is when you make your mind up to be someone other than “the number” that makes your employer rich. When you recognize that you have something to give the world, something to help others, and you’re going to do something to execute it.

Intrapreneurship is Doing Entrepreneurship.

When you decide you’re going to begin your Entrepreneurship, it makes sense to learn, plan, prepare, market and sell, while you have a stable income. At some point you will go full Entrepreneur. When you do, please remember to inspire others to embrace Intrapreneurship.

Hell, inspire them now and share this article!

Would love to hear your comments.

Thanks,

Clint.

Challenges of the Entrepreneur, Dad and Multipotentialite.

Challenges of the Entrepreneur, Dad and Multipotentialite.

In this post, I ask…

 Image courtesy of Gregory Szarkiewicz / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Image courtesy of Gregory Szarkiewicz / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Do you have these problems?

Problem #1= Life Pulling You in Too Many Directions.

Problem #2= Not Enough Time.

Through my struggles, I managed to find some pretty damn good tips for you.

Plus…

BONUS Content– I will introduce you to 3 online geniuses that have changed my life (maybe yours too).

Let’s get to it.

 

My personality and lifestyle have created many problems that I’m aware of, but often can’t solve.

 

I’m different because my 3 main traits are:

Entrepreneurial

Introverted

Multi-potentiality

 

These traits aren’t the problem, it’s that I’m also a husband, father and breadwinner who works full time.

I don’t plan to be distant or un-family oriented, though, it kinda looks that way, as these traits involve: solitude, self-awareness, and constant creativity that require isolation and time alone.

My brain works this way and I can’t help it. I’m trying and am getting better at dealing with this.

With help from 3 masters…

Emilie Wapnick at Puttylike.

re: Multi-potentiality.

– For those unfamiliar with the term “Multi-potentialite”, I now introduce you to Emilie…Prepare yourself for a massive awakening here! (Feel free to thank me in comments below)

 

Chase Reeves at Father Apprentice and Fizzle. 

re: Fatherhood and Entrepreneurship.

– Finally, a guy like me! (minus the introversion)

 

Susan Cain at The Power of Introverts.

re: Introversion.

– Haven’t read Quiet yet but next on my list.

 

My Frustrations and Solutions…

 

You all know that I’m no stranger to challenges, self-improvement and busting my butt to get ahead, both personally and professionally.

Lately, I’ve been especially frustrated that I haven’t progressed in my Toastmasters roles, both Speaking and Leadership. The fact is, since my second daughter, Hana, was born nine months ago, I haven’t been to one meeting. This is killing me because Speaking and Presenting Skills are the foundation of how I plan to earn money and I haven’t been spending ANY time working on them.

From Sales Presentations, to Online Video Creation, to Conferences and Seminars, I know that I (and you) must continually spend time nurturing this because it will take practice and Years To Master.

 

 My Best Tips… 

Only 24 hours to a day so we must break our time down. Emilie explains this well, but it only really sunk in to me the other day.

Everyone’s workday is different, but here’s a quick example of mine.

– Go to work 7:30-4:30

– Home to supper (thankfully usually made by my wife)

– Eat with the family

– Day’s work catches up, get very tired after meal

– Gather strength to do dishes and play with kids for 1-2 hours

– Ready for bed but haven’t done anything at all to contribute to ClintMoarInc. (blogging, writing, marketing, reading, social media, analytics, etc.) or wife time or personal finances/budget or home chores or fun/entertainment.

I’ve done some serious sleep analysis and I know myself enough that I cannot function without 7 ½-8 hours sleep. That’s my minimum.

Sorry Gary V, it’s not in my DNA.

I cannot go to a full time job all day long (where I give 110%) on 4 hours sleep. I would be an under slept zombie, irritable to coworkers and my family.

So, the work until 2 in the morning and just Crush It, isn’t an option.

Oh, and because I’m so introverted, I can’t just sit down, start writing a blog post and pop something off 30 minutes. I’m like 30 minutes just to “Get in the Zone” of writing.

How do I not ignore the wife and kids, yet progress in all the areas that a Multi-potentialite, Entrepreneurial Father continually yearns for?

Try to “TimeBlock”, that is, block small amounts of time to focus on tasks. You must use a physical timer, have no distractions and a list or plan.

So, for a Productive 3 Hours, after the kids go to bed, I write something like…

1 hr – Budgeting

1 hr – Start Blog Post

45 min – Exercise

This is working for me.

Even better if you write the tasks BEFORE you plan to do them because then you don’t get distracted. You just sit down, set the timer and go (Thanks to Pat Flynn for this tip).

Hope you’ve found something of interest, help or motivation here…

The good news is that being aware of your Traits and Lifestyle is an important step. Keep working at it and eventually something’s gotta give (like less time at physical “job” or other opportunities).

Do you have any ideas that will help others or me?

We could really use it.

Later,

Clint.

Does Toastmasters Help in Real Life?

 Ever wonder…

“How, specifically, does Toastmasters help in real life?”

Here’s an example of how taking on the role as Newsletter Editor for my Toastmasters Club has brought me additional success at my day job and skills for the future.

toastmasters icebreaker

Toastmasters newbie

Toastmasters Lesson:

In order to get content for the newsletter, I had to get members to volunteer their writings. I found that a few friendly reminders were not enough as we’re all busy and a vague request was insufficient. By nature, people are less likely to participate when asked in a group  then when asked in a one on one setting (email or a meeting).

So, I got more specific by writing a personal email request to each member, with a theme or idea to use for his or her article.

Success.

People responded with contributions.

 

      How I used in real life…

 

Real Life Lesson:

At work, I recently presented my interest in taking on more responsibilities in hopes of a promotion and more income. My wish was quickly granted and I was given full permission to mentor and create a better training procedure for our new hire of outside salesperson!

In order to create my vision of this procedure, I needed a lot of help. The timeline was tight so I had to get other staff to assist in product training and in the design of a procedure book.

Would the newsletter technique that I used to get member participation work with my coworkers?

In the past, I may have casually asked the group what I needed from them. Instead, I gave specific tasks for each colleague with a definite deadline date. I spoke to each individually to ask for their participation and they all willingly agreed.

The training has gone smoothly and I’m glad I continue to take these challenges.

This advice may sound obvious when reading (“be specific and direct when you need help”), but it really hit home when I lived it.

Until I physically took on these assignments, I didn’t physically feel the pressures. The pressures are not major but nagging and feel different than our normal daily life demands/tasks.

It’s these feelings that real leaders feel when they force themselves into Uncomfortable Situations which help them grow and learn.

Making these agreements with myself add more to my character and strength.  The additional commitments that we accept will force us to orchestrate and give us the skills that will ease the more difficult tasks needed for higher leadership roles in life.

Make sense?

The lessons that I learned in Toastmasters were instrumental in helping with a real life situation.

Have you used similar lessons in real life?

If so,  we’d love to hear your example in the comments below.

Please share!

Thanks,

Clint.

Cool Uses For Apps for Business. Why you need an App.

 

Apps have come a long way in the last few years.

By far the most popular apps are Games but I want to enlighten you on Cool Uses For Apps for Business.

NiceApp PDF

apps wordle2

Apps do 3 things.

  1. Make money.
  2. Help customers, staff, worshippers, followers/fans communicate.
  3. Make life easier.

 

How they work/what they can do:

  • Give directions
  • Reward regular users
  • Special coupons/sales/promos/recipes/menus
  • Surveys/contests/voting
  • Promote buzz and engagement
  • Teach/educate/inform
  • Book appointments
  • Contact them instantly 24/7

Best industries (obvious ones):

  • Bars/restaurants
  • Retail stores
  • Churches/Parishes
  • Not-for-profits/Associations
  • Magazines/TV/Radio Companies
  • Medical/Dental
  • Salons
  • Sports Clubs

 

Creative uses (not so obvious ones):

  • Utilities such as: How to’s, training manuals, catalogues, tutorials, employee collaborations, schedules
  • Music/Arts/Entertainment: latest festivals, songs, exhibitions, plays or shows,
  • Travel companies: guides, tips,

 

Why get an App for Business?

 

Mobile’s very important.

A great example is from Mitch Joel and compares the scenario of 2 teenage girls in a mall, looking for sunglasses. They used to go in, try them on, pick one and buy it…now, they’re at the mall but considering their social networks and smartphones they’re more like 2000-3000 people!

The user engagement is HUGE.

 

Traditional marketing sucks.

Going mobile and digital allows very detailed analytics, which means tangible results. No guessing how your marketing dollars are working. A Business App is a small investment in comparison to past marketing techniques.

 

Really, a custom made app may not be exactly for you personally but I guarantee that you know someone in an industry above that does need one.

It costs them nothing to contact my friend Jeff and chat…

 

Please forward and share this NiceApp PDF with them.

Thanks,

Clint.

Power of a Woman wanting a VBAC

The Power of a Woman wanting a VBAC

 from a Dad’s point of view….

 

A VBAC story

A VBAC story

This is the story of the birth of my second daughter Hana. I am not a doctor or medical professional just a dad.

 

These opinions are my own and are hazy at best!

 

The short version is how my wife really did the unthinkable.

Beat the odds given by most doctors re: VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean).

 

Without risking the health of her daughter, she carefully increasing her chances of actually having a child by VBAC.

 

Step by step, this story is pretty powerful.

 

To be honest, as a guy, husband, dad, I wasn’t fully onboard to Karen’s yearning for a natural birth delivery at first. “Why?” I thought, “Why go through those grueling, painful hours when you can have a C-Section and get the same result?”

And really I still can’t fully understand, even after the amazing story below, because I’m not a woman.

 

I did get onboard for her sake and I’m glad I did.

 

Read on for Full Story…

 

 

Last fertility try…

 

Our first daughter (now 4 ½) was a small baby who was conceived through fertility treatments using IUI. She was delivered by C-Section due to stopped growth and fluctuating heart rate at 37 weeks.

We used the same fertility treatments this time, though, our first 2 attempts failed and we were on the third and final chance (before having to go to a different city, use a different technique and spend a lot more money).

To me, this was the First Real Power of Mama’s Will to conceive and started the ultimate goal of a VBAC birth.

 

The 3rd attempt took with baby due on June 25!

 

Baby’s small, again…1st Dr. wanting C-section…

 

Being monitored by regular ultrasounds throughout pregnancy, we knew this baby girl was small and she wasn’t growing as expected. Up to this point it was like déjà vu to our first baby, small with slowed growth.

At week 37, the Dr. reviewed the numbers and calculations and sent Karen for another ultrasound that day. He didn’t come right out and say it but we knew he was thinking C-Section. Baby went from the 10th to the 3rd Percentile for growth and they sent us to the hospital for more observation.

I knew the time had come and

Here We Go!

 

Nurse #1 a savior…2nd Dr. wanting C-section…

 

At the hospital, baby was hooked up for Non-Stress-Test (NST) that monitors heart rate and fetal movements. Everything suggested that the baby was doing fine, that is, no drops or dips on their graph.

Enter our first nurse at the hospital…Anyone who’s had children knows that there are many nurses and Dr’s that come in and out during the stay and some are rude, cold or unfriendly, some are like a ray of sunshine and are immediately trustworthy and helpful.

This nurse was the latter.

Having a doula (more about doulas in a moment) and discussing/researching about VBAC births, we were well aware of most Doctors’ reluctance and lack of support for a natural delivery. We were ready for any and all Dr’s questions and persuasions towards un-warranted C-Sections.

Nurse #1 came in with great words of encouragement and an important warning of the on-duty Doctor who was to soon visit. I think the words used to describe the Dr were “very direct” and “abrasive”. This little pep talk prepared us to focus on our game plan to VBAC.

I should note here that we would never compromise the health of our new daughter, that is, if the risks of trying to VBAC outweighed the many benefits, we would opt for C-Section.

So the Doctor gave us all the horrible possibilities of not delivering the baby now, including death. Though, because there were no signs of struggle and there wasn’t an emergency, if we chose we could wait until morning to discuss when our trusted Dr. arrived.

Thanks to our first nurse and

We Waited…

 

Small hope…3rd Dr. wanting C-section…

 

Our Dr. came in and laid out our options. He too leaned towards a C-Section delivery, though, because the baby seemed in great shape besides being very small, there was an option of mechanical induction (Foley catheter). The Foley Balloon thing has two balloons that are injected with saline to hopefully persuade a woman’s body to go into labor more naturally. A chemical induction was not alternative due to factors…No harm to baby for trying Foley, though we were told a 100% chance it would not work.

This Dr. didn’t know the stubbornness rather determination of my wife!

If the Dr. on call that day was willing to insert the catheter we had the go ahead to try.

So we waited…

 

4th Dr. holds C-section…11:30pm

 

Fortunately, the next on-duty Dr. was very familiar with the using this technique and was optimistic that it may work!

The process went smoothly and I don’t remember the exact times but as the cervix began to dilate, more fluid would be injected to keep the progress going and with any luck a natural labor.

Waiting…

 

Our Birth Team comes together… Coach Stacy, star player Karen,

 

So, now a brief word about our doula.

Stacy is a doula that happens to be a friend of Karen’s from high school. Though Karen and I’ve been married for almost 11 years, I only met her once as we sat down and talked about all of our hopes and thoughts on this pregnancy. I’m so thankful that she came into my life here because this birth story would’ve been extremely different if she wasn’t included.

A great person who knows her stuff and happened to be a friend, Stacy really eased tension and relaxed Karen and I for the first part of labor.

Karen’s main drive purpose for wanting a VBAC is because she did not experience a “real” birth, due to an emergency C-section with our first daughter. She says, ever since that first pregnancy her body craved the need to push a child out naturally.

“I didn’t even feel a contraction with the first one,” she says.

Well the contractions started and her first wish came true.

Karen’s tough and at first she didn’t know if the contractions were real at all and even after many hours of these first stages of labor she was a rock.

With Stacy there, we reminisced old times, and all held hands as Karen breathed out each contraction. We continued on as the hours built but after every contraction ended, we were right back to talking and Karen was a champ.

The Doc checked a few hours later and she’d dilated to 3cm!

“We’re VBACing” Karen says, “Yes we are” Stacy confirms.

Yay team! Keep it goin’.

I was very proud of Karen at this moment as the odds were against her getting to this point.

 

The Peppermint incident…

 

As the catheter fluid was increased, the balloon got bigger and did its job. About an hour before the Foley would have to be removed, the dilation improved and eventually it fell out by itself! This was a great sign and after inspection we had dilated to 6cm!

Up to here, our great progress had really inspired us, but at about 4:30am things changed.

A short time before, the contractions were getting more difficult and painful. Note, Karen’s sleep had been virtually nonexistent for about 48 hours due to being admitted in the hospital 2 days ago, having repeated nurse visits and her insomnia. She was incredibly tired, had fought hard but she was running out of gas.

Her cervix had actually closed to 5cm and was beginning to swell from the stress and strain. We had tried several positions and techniques to keep the progress going i.e.

  • Walking
  • Exercise Ball
  • Hospital Bed Positions

Karen’s legs had no strength and all options were running out, so she resorted to knees down leaning on the lowered hospital bed, crying.

Stacy asked if it was ok to apply some lotion to Karen’s calves to help with circulation etc.

Initially, there was no problem, the room filled with a fragrance of peppermint.

It was nice, but shortly after, Karen lost control.

Writhing in pain (mainly from the leg pain) and unable to get into a comfortable position, she opted for the epidural.

This was by no means a failure and very necessary to continuing.

 

A little sleep…5th Dr. wanting C-section…

 

After the epidural kicked in, Karen finally relaxed and we were all able to turn out the lights and get a tiny nap. I was becoming groggy and wobbly from lack of sleep and food.

I’m totally amazed at how women do this!

We waited in hopes that her body would continue contracting to further the dilation and keep the VBAC alive.

By 6am there was no change. 9am no change and baby’s head hadn’t lowered at all. We had lost some confidence but we hadn’t regressed so we again reviewed our options. We discussed giving in and doing the C-Section though the baby’s vitals were solid as a rock.

New Doc on duty had told Karen at a previous appointment that if the baby were to come early he would not induce her and he would only perform a C-section .

Needless to say he was pretty surprised to see how far we’d advanced and was even a bit encouraging.

Our last option was to inject oxytocin, which is basically more of the natural hormone to again help dilation. Doc said it probably wouldn’t work although we could try it but if after 2 hours nothing happens he’ll have to do the C-Section. We agreed because it had been a long haul and Karen couldn’t continue much longer.

Anxiously waiting…

 

Last chance…Get it together Daddy…

 

So Karen, Stacy and I had all had our times throughout the labor where we lost complete track of time. I had been on a tough go the last hour or so. I hadn’t eaten and very little sleep. I was not very steady so I lay on the couch waiting for the nausea to pass. It didn’t and I got woozier and so pale that everyone including the nurse said I didn’t look good.

It was about this point when the Doc said Karen had dilated to 8cm and the head had lowered!

Holy crap, the VBAC’s on again!

We’re on the home stretch but here’s daddy on the toilet, getting sick from both ends! “Gotta get it together Clint,” I told myself.

 

Meet Nurse Linda…

 

A short time earlier, a senior nurse named Linda came in to introduce herself after reading/hearing our story. She had an immediate warmness and Stacy pipes up and says, “It’s you!”.

Linda looks in wonder as Stacy tells the story of how nine years ago she delivered her baby in the same hospital and how great she was. Linda told us about the courses she’d taken and how she fully supports VBACs etc.

It’s funny how things happen and whether we knew it then or not, Linda was the newest member of our team.

 

Boom, the Big Push…

 

Things were really progressing now, by the minute not the hour. I managed to pull myself together and went for a quick walk to regroup for the big push.

Our other favorite Dr. was a resident who was very encouraging, excited and likable. She said the baby’s ready to be born and we reviewed the plan in order to push the baby into the world.

Stacy and the nurses asked if I was ok and ready. I said yes but really wasn’t. As we prepared and began the big pushes, nurse Linda appeared and informed us that all the doctors were presently in surgeries and that she’d be delivering the baby. We were more at ease and pleased that she was in charge.

The next 14 minutes were unfamiliar to a man.

Emotions that I never new I had, presented themselves as this baby appeared and entered into my life!

Happiness of course, for the birth of Hana, but more for the strength, determination and will of my wife to have this child vaginally, after C-Section.

After VBAC Birth

In total, it was about 25 hours on a roller coaster of excitement, hope, fear and joy.

 

Call it a miracle or what you like but to me, this truly was a story of the Power of a Woman or the Power of a Mother.

 

Please share with friends, family, mothers and fathers who may enjoy…

 

I’d be delighted to hear any thoughts, stories of your own and stories of others you know…. (Especially moms wanting a VBAC)

 COMMENT

Also, don’t hesitate to email me directly for more details, advice or support.

Thanks,

Clint.