Yahoo! I'm so excited to start Jules' lodge.
36 weeks with twins! I cannot wait to share your journey and learn what you've been baking in there all those months.
How are ya' doin' mama?!?!?
DD 8.03, DD 6.05, DS 3.07, DD 5.09, and DS arrived 6.17.12
Welcome to your lodge!
Awww thanks Audra - you are an ABSOLUTE STAR!
I have got a couple of hours to myself this morning with the girls in Day Care so going to make the most of the time and start typing while there are no distractions. It's been an interesting 24 hours with consistent runs of contractions overnight and, of course, the distressing news from Christchurch.
So I guess I will start with my introduction. My name is Jules (32) and I have been married to Jimmy (also 32) for almost 7 years. I have two gorgeous girls Chloe (almost 3.5 years) and Lottie (21 months) and I am now 36+ weeks pregnant with twins - gulp!!
I met Jimmy on my second day at university when we were 18/19 and here's still here! We married in 2004 and came to New Zealand on our honeymoon and while here I got offered several jobs....so much to the shock of our families we moved permanently to a small town on the North Island and absolutely love it here. There is no question that we will ever move back "home" again (we're originally from the UK) and love the outdoors lifestyle and freedom that our children have. One of my sisters moved out last year as well (I'm still working on the other one and my brother ) so it really feels like home now.
Quick bonus photos of my girls; Chloe first then Lottie:
Will post this now otherwise I will probably lose it
DD3 & DD4 03/11
Going to keep going while I have the chance
My interest in Birthing Naturally was started following DD1. Unfortunately I didn't have a great labour and delivery; hence why I love this board. I am going to cut and paste from my previous lodge so it may be long....I obviously had a some time to type with only one child....
We decided to start a family and were very fortunate to get pregnant with DD on our first attempt. I had a very easy pregnancy and was planning on a home birth with my midwife. I loved being pregnant and seemed to have endless energy, working right up to the end in a pretty physical job - I think I was 40+ weeks when I finally stopped.
In New Zealand every woman has a LMC (Lead Maternity Carer) who is almost always a midwife, you are only referred to an obstetrician if there are any problems. I had no problems with requesting a home birth, it is common here and things went well with all the preparations.
I went into spontaneous labour at 41 weeks and was managing well at home, I was pleased to find out I was 4-5cm when my midwife arrived at my home. However, when I was checked 4 hours later (with just my trusted TENS machine for pain relief) I had not progressed (although I was now completely effaced, I just hadn't dilated any further). Being an impatient FTM who just wanted to meet my baby and hadn't REALLY looked into the interventions, I consented to AROM and I think that is where my problems began....with hindsight I think that my body would have progressed with just a little patience but I tensed up when they broke my waters and started to worry about why I wasn't progressing.
My story then turns into the typical cascade of interventions....when my waters were broken, DD locked into a posterior position (she was in the process of turning). After a couple of hours of labouring at home I agreed to transfer to the hospital to "speed things along" and was talked into having Syntocinon (Pitocin) and an epidural ("as you won't be able to manage the pain"). So I went from labouring at home to being attached to everything you could imagine...the photos below show me at home having a rest (own clothes and just the TENS machine - you can also see the HB kit on the worktop behind me!) and then 2 hours later at the hospital (gown, EFM, catheter, epidural, IV, pulse oximeter, BP cuff....) - so NOT what I wanted!
Anyway, the epidural caused me to drop my blood pressure to scary levels so I was pumped full of fluid and the Syntocinon (Pitocin) caused uterine hyperstimulation which sent DD into foetal distress. Typical side effects which I only wish that I was really aware of prior to my labour! I am a classic example of the problems which interventions cause...and it disappoints me when I hear of routine inductions / epidurals etc....
Somehow (probably due to the intensity of my augmented contractions) I progressed to a point where a CS was not possible (I have no idea how this occurred), but both baby and myself were in a bad way. I was later told that my BP was so low (50/30) that they stopped trying to save DD and were instead trying to stop me from "crashing". My epidural had failed and so the decision was made (not by me!) to give me a "proper" block, I think just in case I needed to be rushed to surgery!
Chloe was in severe distress and passed her meuconium and the on-call OB performed a double episiotomy (ouch) and she was born with forceps and taken away immediately due to meuconium aspiration. I wasn't even aware I had had Chloe as they were busy working on me and no-one thought to tell me that I had had a baby, it seems strange now but at the time I was so unwell that I couldn't comprehend that I had had a baby! Jimmy went across to see her and came back to tell me that we had a little girl (she was a member of team green!).
After the longest 10 minutes of my life I was eventually handed my little girl. I must admit that I didn't have that strong emotional bond with her, I was in far too much shock and distress but I did find her fascinating. Photo of our first cuddle...
I self-discharged home as soon as my epidural wore off. Unfortunately I had complications with my episiotomy which tore open at day 4 which was far more painful than labour. I remember that I was in so much pain that Jimmy would have to hold Chloe onto me to enable me to feed her. I'm not a fan of episiotomies even though there was a genuine need due to foetal distress in my case!
The other effect of the birth was that Chloe did have a minor hemiplegia (stroke) (I didn't write this in my previous lodge - too traumatic for me when I was planning another birth to acknowledge I guess?) due to all that happened and her distress. BUT one of the benefits of having a mum who is a Children's Physiotherapist is that you get quick diagnosis and early intervention throughout the first few months . Fortunately this has now completely resolved and there are no signs that Chloe will have any issues - she actually prefers her right side - and most people have no idea that she ever had any difficulties!
So that, in a very LONG post, is why I decided that another approach was required with subsequent pregnancies
Wow what an ordeal. How scary for you. I am so glad that she is ok now. My bp dropped dangerously low with my epi too, but nothing like what happened to you. Thanks for sharing your experience.
I hope I don't scare people too much with what happened, I was just VERY unlucky with my BP and it is an important part of Chloe and my "story" (if that makes sense?).
I guess it's just a confirmation of why people actually need to research the side effects of interventions, especially "routine" ones such as epi's! Someone has to have the complications and we were fortunate not to have any serious long term effects...
Onto more positive times....DD2's birth!
OK, so I will carry on my long introduction - feel free to skip forward!
We decided to add to our family when DD1 was about 10 months old and were fortunate enough to get pregnant on our first attempt again. My pregnancy ran very smoothly for the first half with the exception of low BP and a few fainting episodes.....Anyway, a chance remark by my MW at about 20 weeks who said something along the lines of "what would happen if we had to have this baby at hospital?" changed things. Maybe unsurprisingly I started having flashbacks of DD1’s labour and birth as I had never really processed what had happened the first time. I was diagnosed with PTSD and my MW referred me to a counsellor and I started to gain confidence in the fact that this time it would be different...I used the Hypnobabies Home Study course and planned a home birth.
Here I would like to sing out a massive praise for this board and the “lodge” process which I completed after 36 weeks with my second pregnancy. This was a very important part of me dealing with my DD1’s labour and the first time I had ever acknowledged what had happened. It was extremely therapeutic and I felt very supported by people I had never even met - so thank you all!
Anyway so I don’t bore everyone too much…I’ll fast forward to DD2’s birth. Again I am going to cut and paste from her lodge. Sorry it’s long….
I went to Music group with DD1 and I noticed that weird "contractions" were coming stronger and closer together, I wasn't timing them but they were fairly consistent and regular. After the group I had a midwife appointment and I asked to be checked by my MW at about 11.30am to see what was going on as I wasn't sure if these were contractions or what was going on....I was 3cm, 60% effaced with baby in ROL position still not even anywhere near my pelvis. So I was told that I was in early labour and was given the usual advice about mobilising, eating, drinking, resting etc...so then I drove home which was interesting as I had to grip the steering wheel several times! I wouldn't recommend driving with contractions.
By the time I got home it was about 12.00pm and I think that is when active labour actually kicked in as I was unable to concentrate on anything but my contractions. I settled myself into my bedroom and concentrated....as my last labour was over 27 hours I was expecting at least several hours of active labour.
I had been doing the Hypnobabies programme and decided to do the Birth Affirmations track while leaning over my gym ball, I was aware that the contractions were coming a lot stronger than I was anticipating. Due to the intensity of the labour I decided to put on my TENS machine and I pressed the boost button on the machine! For those doing Hypnobabies, I told myself that each time I pressed my TENS machine I was using my "light switch" and creating anaesthesia for my body (as the TENS machine gives you a tingling, pins & needles feeling). Like I say, not true Hypnobabies but it worked for me. So I did this for an hour or so...
That's where things started to get amusing (although I didn't think so at the time!).....DH got out the birth pool and promptly managed to puncture it, I have no idea how!!! I was initially unaware of this!! So he had called my MW to try to locate another "emergency" pool and went out to collect one....he then came back and pumped up the second pool (I was now aware of the situation!) and found out that that the second pool the stopper wouldn't remain in the pool plug and kept shooting across the room and deflating. So out went DH to the hardware shop for duct tape where he came back (leaving me alone in the house again) and repaired the first pool and pumped it up again, making it three pools in an hour!!! He claims that he worked as hard as I did during labour.....men!
MW called to see how I was going and she arrived about 10 minutes later...I explained that my contractions were coming very rapidly, every two minutes but lasting 20-40 seconds. My MW checked me and I realised that things were going fast when she immediately got on the phone to the backup MW and told her to come NOW as I was fully dilated. While she was on the phone I had the urge to stand up and as I did my waters broke all over the living room floor and I had to push. The backup MW arrived 5 minutes later and so did DD2! Despite all the efforts to preserve my perineum I had a major tear as our baby didn't bother with crowning and just came out in one go taking out my previous episiotomy scar which just didn't have time to stretch. Baby arrived at 3.02pm and immediately let out a loud cry!
After 15 minutes or so I was ready to go to hospital where I was met by the Obstetrician. DH held DD2 while I had a repair under local anaesthetic and used Gas&Air. Three hours later we went home with the MW who then stayed around for another hour. We then called our families in the UK and spent the evening with our new daughter Lottie (and a Dominos Pizza if I remember correctly).
The total labour was about three hours and definitely completely different from my first labour - night and day different. The only way I can describe it is intense, it wasn't painful, possibly so far beyond pain that it just was overwhelming and powerful. I am a real advocate for natural birth
So then we decided that (when the time was right) we would try for one more baby to complete our family!
Yay Jules, welcome to your lodge, what a great intro and nail biting first labour, I'm so glad the second one was amazing after all you went through with your first.
I can't wait to hear all about this birth, I know it'll be different because it's a twin birth, but I'm sure it'll be just as amazing.
Having decided on a third and final child the issue of timing came up. We had booked a trip to the UK for July 2011 as my youngest sister and Jimmy’s brother had booked their weddings within two weeks of each other so that we could attend both family gatherings. I didn’t want a big gap between DD2 and another child in case the youngest got left out. So despite still breastfeeding, we decided that we just needed to go for it, and again, we got pregnant the first attempt – which we are incredibly fortunate about (and DH thinks he is a total stud!!).
To be honest, there wasn’t anything glaringly obvious or significantly different about this pregnancy. No early BFP - in fact, I showed DH my HPT and he couldn’t even see the line. I had a HCG blood test to confirm the pregnancy (to get maternity care started at about 8 weeks) and this just showed typical singleton levels. Nothing obvious, limited morning sickness, no massive weight gain, nothing, I just assumed it was a normal uncomplicated pregnancy.
Looking back, maybe there were a couple of signs…..I was (and still am) extremely tired but I just put it down to looking after two active preschoolers while pregnant. I went snowboarding in August and couldn’t do the afternoon session; all I wanted to do was go home and sleep. I did mention to DH that I thought I could feel my uterus at about 11 weeks and I thought that I felt “movement” but ignored this as “it wasn’t possible at this stage”. Denial – maybe? But the thought of twins had never even entered my mind as a remote possibility….
Fast forward to my 13 week ultrasound scan, we elected for the nuchal fold test. I had booked it for a couple of days before DD1’s third birthday as I didn’t want to have sad news if anything was wrong with the baby. I had DD2 with me (clamped between my knees with a packet of raisins) and DH was running late. The radiographer put the probe on my tummy and immediately took it off again within about 5 seconds. The conversation went:
Rad: “What did you just see?”
Me: “Two” (that’s all I could say – words failed me)
Rad: “Yep, there’s two in there…do you want me to carry on now or wait for your husband?”
Around that point DH turned up in the room complaining about all the reasons that he was late for the scan - completely oblivious to his stunned wife and the very polite radiographer. I can’t remember how I told him, but for the rest of the scan was completed with two stunned parents saying “erm” a lot. Followed by 24 hours of hysterical laughter, especially when we told anyone our news! It’s taken a while to come to terms with the fact that there are two in there and that there will be four children under 3.5 years!
So that’s my introduction – sorry for the saga! From now on will update with the current pregnancy