Welcome to your lodge Brittany!!!
Welcome to your lodge Brittany!!!
When I write DD’s birth story, it is typically long. The long version is in the birth stories sticky and in my first lodge. I’m going to TRY to write a short version here.
Since it was my first baby, I really had no idea what to expect contractions to be like, so I kind of overreacted to the early labor contractions I had. I didn’t want to expect labor to be painful because the Hypnobirthing book said that if you expect pain, you’ll experience pain. I also felt like something was slowly leaking out of me, but I tested negative for amniotic fluid twice—once at a midwife appointment and once at the hospital, from which I was sent home because I was about 1 cm and 80% effaced, I think.
I went back to the hospital the next morning (February 2nd--the EDD I had calculated from my chart) after having more contractions for the afternoon and all night, and they had been about 5 min apart for over an hour (they weren’t very strong, but I didn’t know how strong to expect them to be). I didn’t really sleep. They found I was now 2 cm and fully effaced (I think these contractions also rotated DD to a better position, because she had been posterior the last few weeks), and they would have sent me home except while they were monitoring me, the nurse was changing the pad under me and saw a trickle of fluid, which she tested and it was, in fact, amniotic fluid. I think I had really been leaking all along. Hospital policy was that they were supposed to keep me there if my membranes were ruptured.
My midwife Mindy arrived and started talking about pitocin because I wasn’t contracting much at this point. I cried and said I really didn’t want pitocin, so she said we could try walking and stuff. She told me that he on-call OB that day was one she didn’t usually work with and he was very medically minded, but she told him that she was going to give me 6 hours before starting pitocin (she said her normal docs would have been willing to give me a lot longer). I had almost no cervical change in those 6 hours, so Mindy broke my water the rest of the way and started a low dose pitocin drip. I REALLY started feeling the contractions then—it was like zero to sixty. I distinctly remember screaming and thinking, “did that sound really just come out of me? I’ve never made a sound like that before.” Mindy did a great job of helping me focus on my breathing and I found sitting on the birth ball and bouncing while breathing in for four bounces and out for four bounces helped me stay focused. Next cervical check showed I wasn’t progressing, and I really lost my focus and was really disappointed. Mindy said she needed to increase the pitocin and I didn’t like that idea. I think I complained quite a bit at this point. I tried getting in the tub, but it was hard to get comfortable in the tiny tub with the monitors (they got the telemetry monitor for me) and the IV.
While I was in the tub, Mindy took DH out and talked to him about the possibility of pain relief, then sent him in to talk to me. He told me that she said the on-call OB was talking about doing a c-section if I didn’t show progress soon, and we really didn’t want a c-section for failure to progress. I know I didn’t need a c-section. We decided to go with the epidural (DH later told me that Mindy had originally suggested IV narcotics, but DH had told her he remembered me saying want to do narcotics because they were more likely to affect the baby).
The anesthesiologist was sent for. My ILs arrived (my MIL was supposed to be my extra support person because she had 7 natural births, but they had another responsibility that day). I was tired of pitocin contractions. The nurse suggested I get back on the birth ball, which helped. Anesthesiologist arrives and I get the epidural, which was well-dosed so that I wasn’t completely numb. I got the rest I needed and they turned the pitocin up a few more times, and then had to turn it back down a little because the contractions were looking scary on the internal pressure monitor they’d put in (but DD’s heart rate did fine and we kept her on the external monitor). I remember I started feeling a lot of pressure and I felt her moving down. I got checked and there was just a lip of cervix.
The next time Mindy checked, it was time to push. I had really wanted to do mother-directed pushing in a squatting or hands-and-knees position, but with the epidural, we just raised the back of the bed and dropped the foot of it and I pulled my knees back and pushed while Mindy and the nurse counted to 10. I remembered from reading Ina May Gaskin’s book that it helps you not tear if you open your mouth, so I tried that. I watched her crown in the mirror, which was cool. DD was born 54 min after I started pushing, with three small 1st degree tears. She was immediately placed on my belly and it felt so surreal. Mindy waited a little while to cut the cord, but didn’t wait for it to stop pulsing completely so they could take her to the warmer and deep suction her because she didn’t have a strong cry (her 1 min apgar was only 7). Then they weighted her and dressed her and put goop in her eyes while the placenta came out and Mindy stitched me up.
They brought her back to me and I looked at her and couldn’t believe I was holding my baby. She was beautiful. I think I said “She knows me.” I was able to nurse her and she did well.
We named her Tehani Lindsey Belle. Tehani (“tay-HAW-nee”) is a Tahitain name that means “the sweet fragrance of flowers,” Lindsey is my mom’s maiden name, and Belle is my great grandmother on my mom’s mom’s side’s middle name which she went by and an “-elle” name, which is a tradition for girl’s middle names on my mom’s side.
I was sad that I didn’t get the natural birth I wanted, but my baby was just perfect and I was so happy to have her. I also treasure the whole experience now for what it was. I had always wanted to be a Stay at Home Mom, and help from my very generous parents to get DH through his 1 year graduate school program in Arizona made that possible.
I was able to breastfeed DD for almost 19 months. I was having issues with hormone imbalances causing constant spotting and ended up trying the herbal remedy Vitex, which made the spotting stop and I had AF on my own for the first time in several years. Around this time, we were visiting my parents house for Christmas and kind of threw caution to the wind (we had been using protection because we didn’t want any surprise really close together pregnancies, but we forgot to bring protection with us on the trip). Since I was having periods now at least I would have some clue if I got pregnant, though my cycles were still pretty long at that point. I didn’t know if I would be able to get pregnant again without going on metformin again, but I didn’t really want to go on it because it is rough on the system, so I thought we’d just see what happened for a while. One day, on a whim, realizing I hadn't had AF when I probably should have, I bought a dollar store test and took it:
I had no idea how far along I was because I had kind of lost track of my cycle. I’d had AF 2 months before my BFP, but then I had weird spotting for about 2 weeks about a month after that, so I never recorded an AF for that month because I things were weird. So, I didn’t know what to consider my LMP. I went to the practice that used to be the freestanding birth center in Phoenix (the birth center part is closed, the group just does hospital births now) and the nurse practitioner ordered a u/s for me to date the pregnancy, which gave me an EDD of March 8th. I knew we’d be moving after DH finished grad school in a few weeks, so I didn’t make a big deal about shopping around for a practitioner.
I had one more appointment with the nurse practitioner at the midwife group before we moved to WA. Then I had to try to find someone here. DH works for a hospital (in administration/accounting), but his hospital doesn’t have an L&D department, so we’re using the small hospital about 25 minutes away that is owned by the same company so we can get the company discount. Unfortunately there aren’t any nurse midwife practices that attend births at that hospital. (By the way, there aren’t any homebirth midwives in the area either and the nearest birth center is too far away, so options are quite limited) I talked to a former doula and an L&D nurse at the hospital and they both game me the name of the same OB as who to go to if you want a natural childbirth. Dr. I. is awesome. I trust that she will keep me and the baby safe without unnecessary intervention. She had some of her own babies naturally and she also breastfed.
We found out we’re having a boy at my second appointment with Dr. I. DH is really excited to have a son and to give his parents their first grandson since they have 3 granddaughters already. I’m excited for the new experience of a boy. The name we have chosen, which isn’t set in stone yet, is Teio Tiatia Edward. Teio (“TAY-oh”) is my MIL’s maiden name, Tiatia is DH’s name and he’s also named after his maternal grandfathe, and Edward is both my dad’s and my paternal grandfather’s middle name, and my grandfather goes by “Ed.”
ultrasound of baby Teio
I decided that this time I would do the Hypnobabies homestudy. I really wanted to do Hypnobabies last time, but time and money were factors. I feel much more prepared this time and I feel like I have a much better grasp on how to use hypnosis during birth and I really love the program. I have been really excited ever since I found out I was pregnant because I am really looking forward to a chance to try again for a natural childbirth. I have had worries about the reality of having another child and even some fears about feeling trapped by breastfeeding, but I have delt with them.
By the way I will probably be using Hypnobabies terminology in my lodge. The idea is to avoid words tied to birth that might have negative associations in your subconcious, and replace them with positive or neutral words. The biggest ones are:
Contraction = Pressure Wave (which I like)
Labor = Birthing Time (this one I struggle with because it sometimes results in awkward wording and it kind of reminds me of Power Rangers…“It’s birthing time!” like “It’s morphin’ time!”)
Transition=Transformation (which I probably won’t use much in my lodge, but whatever)
yeah, so, that was a ridiculously long intro. I won't be offended if no one reads the whole thing :)
I loved your intro! It sounds like you are uber prepared for a natural birth this time around. I am confident that you will have the birth that you want. I am sorry your first birth did not go at all how you wanted it but with what you learned from that you can use in the birth of your son. I am excited to hear more updates!
Thanks, Marcia, and thanks to the other ladies who have given welcomes. I have an OB appointment tomorrow, so I'll probably have an update.
DD has been sick with a stomach virus. She threw up twice yesterday the evening, and then woke up dry heaving in the middle of the night. Her temperature was 100.8 before bed last night and I'm pretty sure it went higher while she was sleeping, but it is down to normal now. Most of the day she has spent lying on my lap, but she hasn't thrown up again. She's acting like she's feeling better right now--hopefully she is on the mend.
Ahhh, ((HUGS)) to you both sick babes are no fun:( I hope tomorrow is a good day for you and that she's all better in the morning. I got a little laugh tonight when my husband ask me "are you pregnant?", I ask why and his response "I saw a picture of one of those pregnancy things and I was scared"....I had your lodge up on the computer and he saw the bfp:)
LOL, that's funny, Vanessa. I think DD is feeling better. Her fever was down long enough that I felt okay about taking her with me to the doctor's office today. DH actually got to come, too, and meet Dr. I. for the first time. They had him working at the hospital I'll be having the baby at today, so he just came over to the clinic for my appointment.
My appointment went well. I'm still slowly gaining weight, up about 22 lbs from pre-pregnancy now. No concerns with urine test and BP was 120/70, which I think is similar to what it was at this point with DD. She didn't tell me what my fundus measurement was, so I assume it was in the range of normal. She did the swab for GBS, and hopefully it will be negative again so I won't have to worry about it.
After the appointment, we went over to the hospital and tried to tour the Family Maternity Center (that's what they call their L&D department), but they didn't have any rooms available to show because they were too busy. I did get the pre-registration paperwork filled out, though, so that is a few less forms that have to be signed when we show up for the birth.
What a beautiful Lodge intro! I read your entire intro and it was very moving. Love your kids' names! Best wishes to you on this journey.
Hey Brittany! Can't believe you have a lodge already! I remember your old one and thinking I wanted one too! I do hope things go better for you this time around and that you get the natural childbirth you want!