~*Umpqua (Laura)'s Birth Lodge*~

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Joined: 10/16/06
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~*Umpqua (Laura)'s Birth Lodge*~

Hi! I just added you to the list and I noticed you are past 36 weeks. Welcome to your lodge! Tell us all about yourself!

Mrs.KC's picture
Joined: 05/27/10
Posts: 603

:DHello! Welcome to your lodge ~! They are a wonderful way for all of us to hear all about you!

HopelessPoet's picture
Joined: 10/12/07
Posts: 291

Welcome!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Welcome to your lodge! I'm looking forward to getting to know you. Smile

ourfirstblessing's picture
Joined: 01/07/07
Posts: 1094

welcome to your lodge!

Umpqua's picture
Joined: 09/30/07
Posts: 120

I wasn't expecting a lodge - I guess that means I'm really going to have this baby, and soon! Thanks for the warm welcome here ladies. I'm really hoping for a natural VBAC birth for my second child and it's wonderful to be in such a supportive environment for these important last few weeks.

My name is Laura and my husband is John. We have a 17-month-old son named Jacob and the sex of this new LO will be a surprise. Although I have a strong feeling it's a girl. We'll see, I was pretty sure Jake was a boy, but I have lots of people telling me this one is going to be a boy too. More than anything, I would love to hold my baby after the birth and check on the sex myself, rather than have DH announce it across a crowded operating room.

A little background on me: I just turned 36 yesterday (never dreamed I'd be having a child at this age). I met John 14 years ago when I was home from college over the summer. He was the roommate of some high school friends and we dated casually over the summer. He stayed in CT for school while I headed to Albany, NY for an internship at a newspaper for the final semester of my journalism program. John made the trek up to my apartment on weekends while I was up there and we stayed together despite the distance, then I moved back to CT, where we eventually moved in together.

I worked at reporting and editorial jobs for a few years and we got engaged on Valentine's Day in 1997. That summer we moved to southern Oregon to be near my parents and try out living on the west coast. We stayed there for a year and worked, camping, skiing and hiking to hot springs during our down time. It was wonderful, but we opted to move back to CT in 98 to be near most of our family and friends. We were married in September of 99 and now live in northern CT bordering MA in a semi-rural area (rural for CT anyway). I worked in publishing up until my DS was born, and am now a stay at home mom, doing occasional freelance work from home. I'm hoping to pick up more work when the kids are a little older and maybe move to part time in a few years.

We were on the fence about having children for a long time, preferring to travel, go to see lots of concerts (DH is a drummer) and just generally do whatever we felt like. That all changed abruptly when John's older brother was killed in a major car accident almost 3 years ago. He left behind his wife and 5 young daughters and our lives pretty much came to a crashing halt. We started spending a lot of time with the girls and we slowly came to realize that we wanted children of our own. And also that life is short and circumstances can change instantly, and neither one of us was getting any younger.

I got pregnant with Jake on the first month of really trying, and had a relatively easy, complication-free pregnancy. I took Bradley childbirth classes and educated myself as much as possible on natural, intervention-free birth. My actual birthing experience ended up being anything but that, and now I think I can look back at it objectively and identify some of the problems and things I could have done differently. I'm going to make a separate post with my birth story because this introduction is already getting really long!

I feel MUCH more confident and positive about my upcoming birth. I have been able to visualize a peaceful natural birth throughout this pregnancy, something I could never fully do last time around. This has also been an easy pregnancy with no complications, and I just found out yesterday that my GBS test is negative, so that was pretty much the last hurdle. Yahoo! Thanks for reading if you made it this far, and I'll include a few pictures as well.

I'm really looking forward to documenting the final weeks of this pregnancy here and getting to know you ladies better!

I'm about 1 month pregnant with Jake here:

Me and DH (almost 37 weeks this pregnancy):

One of Jake's new fave foods:

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Great intro, Laura! Congrats!

I don't live too far from you.

I'm eager to hear your birth story and what your plans are this time around.

Joined: 05/28/06
Posts: 118

Welcome to your lodge!

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

:wavehello:

stercry's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 450

Welcome to your lodge Biggrin

Mrs.KC's picture
Joined: 05/27/10
Posts: 603

Yay on the neg test!!
Welcome to your lodge!!!:D

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Welcome to your lodge Laura! Biggrin

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Welcome to your lodge! It is nice to read your story! Smile

MamaArty_RMT's picture
Joined: 11/09/05
Posts: 805

Welcome!!

aotus76's picture
Joined: 10/01/05
Posts: 170

Welcome to your lodge!

AmyJo86268's picture
Joined: 12/08/07
Posts: 1406

Welcome to your lodge. I hope you get the birth you are preparing for!

Umpqua's picture
Joined: 09/30/07
Posts: 120
37 Weeks - Full Term!

Thanks again for all the support ladies. I'm feeling pretty good today and have been slowly crossing things off my very long to-do list of tasks to complete before the new baby arrives. My mother-in-law is staying with us for a few days and helping out with DS, so that gives me some free time to tackle projects, and of course spend more time on preg.org Smile My own mother is arriving Thursday morning and staying with us for about a month to help out. She lives in Oregon (3,000 miles away) and I don't see her that often so it will be great to have her here.

I'm going to post my son's birth story in the next entry. It's horribly long and I really don't expect anyone to read it. It's more to just get it out there as a reminder of some of the things I'd like to do differently with this birth. Highlights include: I should have gone to the hospital much later, I shouldn't have let them break my water - that's when my son's heart rate decelerations really started to get funky. I should have insisted on mobility and help in trying to get DS into a better position to descend, I honestly think his positioning was the issue with me not dialating and his heart rate decels.

As a postscript to the birth story: I ended up with a C/S, which my OB at the time said was ultimately due to my son not being able to descend past a fibroid in my uterus. Turns out my former OB flat out lied to me - my current OB read me the post op report and there is no mention of the fibroid being in the way. Offical reason for C/S: failure to progress. This information has just fueled my desire to have an intervention-free vaginal birth this time around. And my fibroid has hardly registered on the ultrasounds this pregnancy, so my current OB says it's a non-issue.

Also, while my blood factor is still APL positive, they're not really treating me as "high risk" for that this time around since I've had 2 healthy pregnancies and no miscarriages. I guess I'm somewhat of an anomaly on this front, but I'm just happy it hasn't been a complicating factor.

Umpqua's picture
Joined: 09/30/07
Posts: 120
Jacob's Birth Story

Warning: insanely long. Not especially uplifting (although it does have a happy ending). C/S mentioned.

Some History
To really understand what happened the day Jake was born, I’ll have to provide a brief medical history. A few years ago, I started having some aches and pains and felt sluggish in general. After seeing a number of doctors, my mother suggested I visit her rheumatologist from when she lived in CT, as she has lupus and she thought perhaps what I was experiencing could be related to that. After several blood tests it was determined that I did not have lupus, but that I did have APL Syndrome (anti-phospholipid syndrome) – a subset of it. I have a minor case of it, meaning my blood levels are low, and I’m not really in danger of developing full-blown lupus. The syndrome can cause blood clots and similar complications. I have a minor case of rheumatoid arthritis from it, but that’s about the extent of it, luckily. I take a small dose of aspirin every day to thin the blood and have had no other problems. APL has been a leading cause of miscarriages in the first trimester of pregnancy, and a lot of women don’t know they have it until they experience several miscarriages. It can also cause complications toward the end of pregnancy, with the placenta becoming “overripe” and having blood clots.

I knew these risks well beforehand, but my rheumatologist encouraged me to get pregnant as I was healthy in every other way and he thought I would do well. John and I finally decided to go for it, and I had a normal, healthy pregnancy throughout the nine months.

From the beginning, the baby measured slightly ahead of his estimated gestational age. I never thought anything of it since his Daddy is 6 foot 4 inches tall! Daddy had been an average sized baby at around 7 ½ pounds, and I had weighed 6 ½ pounds at birth, so I always assumed I wouldn’t have an enormous baby. I’m a small person and I believed my body would not create a baby who was too big for me to birth. My last Level 2 ultrasound, at almost 40 weeks, had put the baby’s weight at over 9 pounds! At the time, John told the technician that we had read ultrasounds can be off by as much as 2 pounds in either direction. But the technician said no – maybe 1 pound, but he thought based on what he was seeing that the baby was large. I think his exact words were “This isn’t a small baby.” Even after that, I didn’t think I’d be having a huge baby, I just trusted my maternal instincts and what my body had told me all along.

We asked our obstetricians tons of questions and I wasn’t the perfect patient. I declined most of the tests typically done in the first trimester to determine abnormalities because of all the false positives they produce. And then there was the gestational diabetes debacle. I ended up gaining 55 pounds total with the pregnancy and had gained “more than average” by the second trimester. This led my OB to give me an early glucose tolerance test, which I passed. Then he did another at the normal time and I was just over the limit. This typically leads to the 3-hour tolerance test, but I declined it. I had been eating well, had no history of diabetes in the family, and had read about the problems of the test as well as false positive rates. I didn’t want to be coined a “gestational diabetic,” which I knew would up my chances of intervention even further. In the end I compromised and took two fasting blood sugar tests, both of which I passed with flying colors, scoring lower than most non-pregnant people do. My OB was satisfied that all was well, or at least that’s what he told me at the time.

We took Bradley natural childbirth classes and I spent the entire pregnancy immersing myself in research on pregnancy and childbirth, as well as newborn/infant care. I wanted to make the best decisions possible for the baby, and to stick to nature’s plan as much as possible and with as little intervention as possible. I envisioned a calm vaginal birth and hoped to avoid painkillers, followed by quiet bonding time with my baby. My actual labor and delivery experience strayed about as far from that plan as possible (which I always knew could happen with my medical status). The doctors had tagged me as a “high risk” and I should have realized that this status, along with giving birth at Yale, a hugely technological hospital, would most likely set off the chain of interventions I had so hoped to avoid.

My Labor & Delivery Story
My labor story begins nearly a week before Jacob was born. I had prodromal labor (early labor with mild contractions that didn't pick up) from that Wednesday through Monday night. The contractions would begin to get regular, then diminish. They never got strong enough to be considered “hard labor” and I was always able to sleep through them. In fact, I got some of the best nights of sleep of my final stage of pregnancy during that last week. I went for my prenatal visit the following Monday, as my official due date was Tuesday. The specialists had told me all along that they recommended induction on my due date, but the OBs had seemed a little more flexible, saying they would probably let me go until the end of the week. I got my first dose of the power of the medical community at that visit, when the OBs said they were completely deferring to the specialists, and that I should schedule an induction for the next day. Of course, I could have refused, but John and I agonized and decided it was best for the baby. After all, what did we know? It had been a healthy, normal pregnancy, but we didn’t want to put the Bean at risk at that critical point, when things could start to go wrong. Looking back, I realize now that my high-risk status really put a crimp in my natural childbirth plans from the very beginning and ultimately influenced my entire labor and delivery experience, despite the ultimate outcome.

I asked the OB if there was ANYTHING I could do to help kick in labor naturally, since it looked like I would be going to the hospital first thing Tuesday morning for an induction. We had tried sex, nipple stimulation and walking, and two membrane strips but the contractions had never picked up or become regular for any length of time. She said the only thing we could try (at our own risk) was castor oil. It would get my intestines in an uproar, which was supposed to create “sympathy” contractions in my uterus. I had read about this and had hoped to avoid it, but at this point decided I was willing to do whatever it took to avoid the dreaded induction. John and I went out to lunch after the appointment and were both pretty sad. We picked up the castor oil, then went home and had some quiet meditation time in the bedroom in which I bounced on the birth ball and John focused on the baby and did some acupressure. After a few hours of this we were both calm and I took 2 tablespoons of castor oil mixed with orange juice – aack. I believe this was around 4 p.m. I had my first bout of diarrhea around 7 or 8 p.m., but it didn’t do anything to my contractions. I had trouble falling asleep that night, and had another massive bout of diarrhea around 11 p.m. That did it. The contractions got very strong and John and I hung out and timed them for about 2 hours. They remained strong and steady, coming anywhere from 2-4 minutes apart. I had to breathe through them and they became too painful to walk or talk through. I noticed they’d developed a bit of an odd pattern of one strong contraction followed right away by a milder one, which we came to call the “aftershock.” We were both convinced this was it, so we called the doctor and she told us to come on in to the hospital.

We got our bag together, alerted my parents and went to the hospital. I was happy it’s only a few minutes away, as contractions in the car are no fun. John called his Mom on the way there and soon we were pulled up at the emergency entrance of the children’s hospital at Yale. We had to wait a few minutes and I had to sign a few things in the reception area, which was no fun while contracting. I chose the wheelchair for getting up to labor and delivery since I knew the walk would take a long time with all the contractions I was getting.

They hooked me up to the fetal heart rate monitor upon arrival and I stayed on that for a while. They confirmed I was having real, strong contractions so that was good news. Then they did an internal exam and I was still only 2 cm dilated. I was pretty unhappy about this, and thought I’d either be sent home or left to walk around the hospital to try to get the contractions to pick up. They put me back on the fetal monitor and they noticed the baby was having heart rate dips after my contractions. Apparently, dips during contractions are normal, but after contractions are a cause for concern, so that – combined with my high-risk status, was enough to get me admitted.

By now it was 3 a.m. and we got settled into our labor and delivery room. I was in pain, but using my Bradley methods to deal with contractions and I really felt like everything was under control and going smoothly at this point. We put on our recording of ocean waves but were told we couldn’t light our banana nut candle due to oxygen concerns so we took the top off so I could at least smell it a bit. I was calm and wanted to walk around a bit and also asked for a birthing ball. We met Brenda, our L&D nurse at this point, who basically stayed with us through most of the labor. She was great, even though she made me do things I didn’t want to do and that were painful. She was understanding of our birth plan and I believe she really tried her best to work with it despite all the complicating circumstances.

At this point they decided an IV was needed to hydrate me and the baby because of the heart rate dips. I had been chugging on a bottle of water since the hard labor began at home, but apparently this was not enough. I wasn’t happy about this – it was the first intervention I hadn’t wanted, but what did I know about heart rate dips? Actually, the continuous fetal monitoring was the first intervention I didn’t want and it limited my mobility greatly as I was hooked up to that damn machine throughout my entire labor. But again, they said the heart rate dips were abnormal so who was I to contradict or question that? I wanted what was best for the baby. They didn’t like the idea of a heplock (despite what my OB had previously said about that being OK) and so they put in the IV and I was now tethered to that and the fetal monitor. Before connecting me they made me put on their hospital gown, despite being told on the hospital tour that I could wear my own clothes. I had purchased two cheap nightgowns at Walmart for the occasion just so I would be more comfortable. But Brenda said the hospital gown was easier for the nurses because it gave them better access for all the interventions they would need to do (OK, that’s not how she put it but that’s exactly why they made me wear it). It’s too bad I was in a lot of pain and didn’t stand up to each of these interventions. Neither did John, we just kind of looked at each other and shrugged because we both wanted to do what was best for the baby and I guess we were choosing our battles carefully as we realized this wasn’t going to be a typical labor at this point. I think the word “pitocin” had already been thrown around at this point too – I’m a little fuzzy on that. Our doctor hadn’t even arrived yet!

At 4 a.m. the birth ball arrived and it was a huge pain to get all the wires and stuff moved so I could sit on it, but I labored SO much better on it. The pain was almost half what it was when they had me laying on my side in bed. At about 4:30, Dr. Knudson arrived and did an internal check – I’d made it to 4 cm dilated and 100 % effaced on my own! I was ecstatic. Everything seemed so much better at that point. She went ahead and broke my water at that point, which wasn’t painful at all. I felt the warm gush and they put the huge diaper and mesh underwear on me. This was starting to resemble a real labor now and I was getting excited. The baby’s head was still at -1 station, but now that my water was broken it looked like the Bean should start coming down.

At 6 a.m. or so the contractions were coming harder and the pattern was more constant. I had been laboring for 7 hours now and I really felt optimistic that I’d start to dilate more and things would kick into high gear. I labored in bed and on the birth ball until 8 a.m. and they checked my blood pressure. It was on the high side, and that combined with the baby’s heart rate decelerations required Brenda to make me labor on my side, in bed. OW. Let me repeat, this was an absolutely excruciating position for me. I felt SO much better laboring upright on the birth ball or standing and leaning over something. By 8:30 my blood pressure was back down, so I was able to stand, walk and use the birth ball again. It was a pain to make Brenda keep moving the wires and I didn’t care. Dealing with my pain level was all that mattered to me. This went on, alternating with laying on my side, until 11 a.m.

At that point Dr. Fox arrived and did an exam, and I was still at 4 cm. I was bummed yet again because the pain was getting worse and I had nothing to show for it. He said he thought the baby’s heart rate decelerations were from the Bean pushing against the umbilical cord. He said he’d give me another hour or so to progress on my own and then he wanted to start pitocin. I was not happy about this but I was also in a lot of pain and not progressing. They assured me they would start at the lowest level of pitocin possible and I figured I could deal with it if I just concentrated and breathed.

At noon they started the pitocin through my IV. At this point John left to get some food and to update my parents and his Mom and sister, who were all in the family waiting room at this point. They cranked the pitocin up a notch every half an hour and the contractions immediately became more painful. Also, they made me lay on my side the entire time I was on the pitocin. This double whammy of pain really hit me, and I started to see white after a while. I breathed, I tried to focus and meditate, but it was almost like I could feel that stuff yanking at me and it was without a doubt the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. At about 1:30 they checked me again, and no progress. I had been telling John all along that I couldn’t take the pain, I was really ready to give in and get an epidural. He was really supportive and tried to remind me of my birth plan and to just talk me through the contractions. But I was really not feeling like myself at that point. I was strapped to the bed, connected to the IV and fetal monitor and forced to labor painfully on my side with no movement. I felt like a prisoner undergoing torture, honestly, and I couldn’t see beyond the pain. I briefly thought about a shot of narcotic pain relief, but I had read enough about those to know they would make me feel “drunk” and possibly knock me out for a little while, but wouldn’t really take away the pain of the contractions. And at that point I clung to some hope that the epidural would give me rest and enable the contractions to do their job. Dr. Fox had mentioned c-section already (I’m not sure at what point, but he was having doubts about the baby’s head descending, which was necessary to dilate me further). Also, and again I’m not sure when, they gave me a uterine catheter at some point during all this. It didn’t hurt, but it involved placing yet another tube inside my uterus which dangled out of me. This was to monitor the intensity of the contractions, which were “very intense” according to the doctor. All this and I was still managing to get to the bathroom and pee on my own, somehow!

The hospital gets points for speed, because I told the nurse I wanted the epidural just after the 1:30 check and it arrived at 1:45. I managed one more unmanned bathroom visit and then it was show time. The anesthesiologist numbed my back (that needle hardly hurt – nothing from this point on really hurt when compared to those contractions from hell). Then she put the epidural in. I was told it would take effect within 10-15 minutes and would be a “walking epidural” – meaning it wouldn’t completely numb me, although they wouldn’t allow me to walk with it per hospital policy. HA! As if I had been allowed to walk for the last few hours anyway! After about 10 minutes my right side numbed up. I could only feel the pressure of the contractions but the pain went away, and my leg was tingly but I still had feeling in it. Unfortunately, my left side was still in pain and it felt like the epidural was hardly working on that side at all. Normally, they would have me lay on my left side to try to distribute it more evenly, but that was causing the baby’s heart rate to decelerate even more, so I was now confined only to my right side. After about a half an hour (and me still breathing through these intense half contractions on my left side), the epidural lady was called back in. She tried to adjust the catheter and I think she even upped the level of the epidural, and the pain to my left side decreased. But I still had feeling there and could definitely still feel the contractions, although it was manageable.

I labored on the epidural for maybe 2 hours total, when the doctor returned and checked me. He said I was still stuck at 4 – maybe 5, but didn’t seem to be going anywhere. He was now strongly recommending a c-section. The baby’s heart rate decelerations were bothering him, and his theory was that this was a large baby with a large head and that he was just not going to make it through my narrow pelvis. I was really upset. John and I took a few minutes to confer, but we decided that after 17 hours of labor that hadn’t dilated me much, the last few of which had been torturous for me, something needed to be done. The nurse also took this opportunity to chastise me for not taking the three-hour glucose test. Apparently, because I hadn’t followed protocol, the hospital considered me a “gestational diabetic” by default – exactly what I was hoping to avoid! This automatically upped my chances for cesarean and further fed the whole large baby theory.

The doctor probably would have let me labor some more like that, but I felt pretty weak at that point, and I think we both thought that my high-risk status should take precedence, so we agreed to the c-section. Things moved pretty quickly at this point. Two anesthesiologists came in and adjusted my epidural, basically cranking it up so I was definitely numb. They prepped me quickly and then John had to get into scrubs with a lovely hair net. I was whisked away to the operating room, and after everything was tested and it was determined I wasn’t going to feel anything from the waist down, John was allowed in. They had placed a curtain at my midsection so neither of us could see anything (thankfully) and John sat up by my head and held my hand.

We basically made ridiculous small talk with the anesthesiologist for the next 20 minutes to a half an hour so we wouldn’t have to overhear the doctors as they worked on me, and then suddenly the doctor told me I’d feel a lot of pressure. It didn’t hurt, but I did feel a tug and all of a sudden a crying baby entered the room. “Oh yeah, this is a big baby,” the doctor said as he pulled him out. I started to cry – it was the first time I cried during the whole labor and delivery process! I couldn’t believe the baby was here. The doctor remembered that we didn’t know the sex so he had John peep across the room (he was careful to avert his eyes from my abdomen) and he declared that we’d had a boy! “I knew it all along!” I exclaimed, and my mother’s intuition had been right about that at least. I’d later find out I was right about the baby’s size as well – he was born at 7 lbs and ½ an ounce and was 19 5/8 inches long – with an average head circumference. On the small side of average overall, go figure.

After a few minutes they brought him over to us while they were still working on me, and John was able to hold him. His apgar scores were 8 and 9 and he appeared to be the picture of health. Once he got near us and heard our voices he quieted down instantly and looked at us intently. John held him while I strained my arm and got to touch his cheek. I was bawling at this point and really wanted to hold him, but they wouldn’t let me do it while they were still operating. It was just amazing to see his little eyes turn in the direction of our voices – he was alert right from the beginning, thankfully, despite the epidural.

When I was just about stitched up, Dr. Fox told me that my fibroids had been a complicating factor in the labor. One of them in particular was very large and he thinks it had prevented the baby from descending into the birth canal. All through the pregnancy I had been told that the fibroid was out of the way and wasn’t competing with the baby for the placenta’s nutrients, so I had though it was the least of my problems. Who would have guessed?

John was asked to leave the room and they finished working on me and transferred me to a rolling bed. Then they placed Jacob in my arms for the first time, and I got to carry him to the recovery room with me. It was awesome, and he was so quiet and just looked up at me as I stroked his little head.

Post Partum Fun
Once I got to the recovery room they were busy trying to hook me up to a morphine drip before the epidural wore off. They also said they had to take Jacob to the nursery within an hour of his birth to test his blood sugar, because of my gestational diabetic status. John wasn’t there (he had gone to the waiting room to make the announcement to our families) and I didn’t want Jacob going anywhere unaccompanied. I asked the nurse if I could please have some skin on skin contact with him and try to get him to nurse. It had already been probably 45 minutes since his birth and I did not want him going to the nursery before I had a chance to do this. At first she said no, then she said she’d have to unwrap 3 layers of swaddling blankets, and gave a few other excuses. Then John came in and joined me in the argument and the nurse gave in and her disposition changed. She helped him to latch on and he did it almost immediately! He must have been hungry. I can’t believe how easy that first latching was and again, I was so emotional. He nursed for a good 10 minutes and then she said she had to get him up to the nursery for the tests. John went with him and I was left alone in the recovery room for a while. I couldn’t sleep, I was horribly excited and extremely thirsty. I had never felt so thirsty before, and the nurse brought me a tiny glass of water. Apparently I got a little dehydrated despite the IV fluids, and I would go on to drink gallons and gallons of water over the next 24 hours or so. I ended up with horrible edema (water retention and massive swelling) from the waist down. It’s been 17 days since the birth and I still have a little left in my pelvis and ankles, amazingly.

We had won the first battle and had gotten him to nurse before the interventions began on him. At this point I wasn’t thinking at all about what had happened to me, but I did realize we’d have a battle ahead of us during our LONG hospital stay (only 4 days but it seemed like forever) to prevent unwanted interventions from happening to our son. And I was determined to protect him from this, since I hadn’t been able to protect myself during the labor and delivery.

John accompanied Jacob to the nursery, where he received the first of many heel pricks to test his blood sugar. An extremely pushy nurse there told John Jacob would be having a bottle of formula. John informed her that he would not be having formula, and he really had to fight it out with her. She claimed his blood sugar was on the low side, then admitted it was 54, and that the cutoff for low sugar was actually 40, so his level was perfectly normal! I was moved to my post-partum room and soon Daddy and Jake joined me there, and I got in a good long feeding with the help of a very militant nurse. Each nurse seemed to have different ideas about how long and how frequent his feedings should be, and some of them were very pushy with us. We were respectful and listened to what each had to say, and then consulted with each other and consulted our library of books (one aide asked if I was a student because I had so many books scattered around the room) and then did what we felt was best.

John was a total trooper through the next couple of days, completely taking care of Jake’s diapers and playing with him while I slowly made my way out of bed after the section. We had our next mini trauma on the second evening at the hospital. The nurses came in at all hours of the day and night to check my vital signs as well as Jake’s. Apparently it was also “hospital procedure” to have him go to the nursery every night around midnight for certain tests. John had said he wanted to accompany Jake at all times, but when the nurse came in to get him that second night I didn’t have the heart to wake John, who was snoring loudly on the uncomfortable couch in the room. The nurse said they were just going to give him a bath and test his blood sugar, so I told her to go ahead. She clarified with me that if the blood sugar was low they would want to give him a bottle of formula. I told her I didn’t want that (as indicated by the huge sign in his bassinette that said we were breastfeeding, please don’t give bottles – placed there by the HOSPITAL per our birth plan) and asked if he could have sugar water in a dropper. She said no problem. Then they left, and were gone for close to an hour.

Panic began to set in as I lay awake without my baby. I began to realize it was a bad idea to send him off without John, and through my raging hormones and the pain of recovery I realized he should be in the room with me, not off getting pricked in the heel and being fed who knows what. I started crying uncontrollably (I did this a lot in the hospital as the hormones peaked after delivery, plus the nurses and pediatrician gave me a few extra reasons to turn on the waterworks) and woke John up. I told him what happened and he immediately ran out to the nursery. When he came back with the baby, a nurse accompanied them and she reluctantly fessed up that they had given him a bottle of formula. John and I were livid (even though it wasn’t this particular nurse’s fault) and asked why this had happened? She said his blood sugar had been 44 and they needed to give it to him. She tried to backpedal, but it was clear they had either given him formula for convenience, or because they thought he should have it to supplement the breastfeeding, not because of a low blood sugar problem. We got him latched on without a problem after that though, and John watched all the nurses like a hawk from then on.

We didn’t have any other major incidents during our stay (except for constant interruptions as we tried to breastfeed our son and get him onto something resembling a sleep schedule) until the last day. A nurse had noticed the day before he looked a little jaundiced, and research confirmed that more than 50% of newborns experience this, especially when breastfeeding. On the last day the pediatrician checked him out and said he wanted to do a blood test to make sure his levels were OK. I accompanied him to the nursery for this one and got to see firsthand the horror of him getting pricked in the heel for the third or fourth time. I got so emotional I had to leave him and John there. After the test was done, I was discharged and we began packing up the room and getting ready to leave. We just had to wait for the test results, but we were SO ready to leave the hospital after 4 days there. The doctor called back and told us he had tested at 17.5, and that he strongly recommended Jacob be put under special lights for a few hours and given formula. I ended up losing it yet again (damn hormones) and crying uncontrollably. Once I calmed down we did a little research and decided that we could most likely handle any levels under 25 (per the La Leche League and a few other sources) without this type of intervention. I was convinced (mother’s instinct kicking in once again) that all he needed was a couple of quiet days at home breastfeeding and some exposure to sunshine and he would be fine. John told the doctor we were declining the treatment and he was unhappy, but we were firm. We compromised and decided to test him again the next day, and if the levels had gone up then we would consider treatment.

Sure enough, after less than 12 hours at home with us his levels had gone down. By the time he went for his 2-week pediatrician’s visit there was no sign of jaundice, and he had gained up to his birth weight – plus an additional 7 ½ ounces. The pediatrician said he was perfectly healthy and was actually surprised at how quickly he had flushed out the jaundice and gained weight without medical intervention.

I’m really glad we followed our instincts when it came to caring for our son during those crucial first few postpartum days. While I couldn’t have the medication-free, vaginal childbirth I had dreamed of, at least I was able to manage my son’s care and get him started off on the right track. Our Bradley classes, as well as the extensive reading and research we did throughout my pregnancy, really paid off for us and we were able to stand up to the nurses and doctors and make informed, healthy choices for our child. He is the absolute picture of health now, and his Mom isn’t doing so bad either. The whole experience has really affirmed my belief in letting nature take it’s course, as well as the power of a Mother’s instincts.

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

Welcome to your lodge! I hope this birth is everything you want it to be Smile

Umpqua's picture
Joined: 09/30/07
Posts: 120
37 Week Appointment

I had a great appointment today and my OB is very optimistic about my VBAC at this point. The baby is measuring right on target, and I had an ultrasound and my fluid levels are good. Baby is "pretty much engaged" - whatever that means. The head is pretty low and baby is facing back (anterior? I always forget which way is which), so seems to be in a good position for birth. He did check my cervix and I'm soft but not dilated. I'll go back in a week.

The receptionist made a few comments as I was leaving that really angered me though. I was making next week's appointment and she said, "Oh, I bet you were wishing this would be the last appointment and he'd just schedule an induction." I replied, "Uh no, I'm a VBAC so we won't be doing an induction." To which she said, "Oh, that's even better. Maybe he'll just schedule a section next week!" I just looked at her in horror and said, "That's exactly what I DON'T want to happen." She just looked confused. I'm sure she's basing her comments on the attitudes of most of their patients, but I was truly livid that she would assume I'm ready to evacuate this baby at 37 weeks pregnant!

In happier news, I picked up my Mom at the airport this morning and she'll be staying with us for a little over a month to help around the house and take care of DS. It's already a huge relief to have a bit of help!

awini8's picture
Joined: 10/21/06
Posts: 386

welcome to your lodge!!!

Umpqua's picture
Joined: 09/30/07
Posts: 120
38 Weeks

I'm 38 weeks today and everything is pretty much status quo. I've been having lots of cramping both in front and back and feeling all kinds of cervical twinges. I get some uncomfortable contrax at night, but nothing timeable or really noteworthy at this point.

I've upped my evening primrose oil intake to 3g a day, am eating a lot of fresh pineapple, and am still having red raspberry tea regularly. Also bouncing on the birth ball and getting DH to help out now Wink so I'm hoping my cervix is gearing up for the big event.

I'm really excited and feel ready for this baby to come, but I know it could be at least a couple of more weeks so I'm trying not to get too worked up about it. Overall I'm feeling good though!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

"Umpqua" wrote:

I'm 38 weeks today and everything is pretty much status quo. I've been having lots of cramping both in front and back and feeling all kinds of cervical twinges. I get some uncomfortable contrax at night, but nothing timeable or really noteworthy at this point.

I've upped my evening primrose oil intake to 3g a day, am eating a lot of fresh pineapple, and am still having red raspberry tea regularly. Also bouncing on the birth ball and getting DH to help out now Wink so I'm hoping my cervix is gearing up for the big event.

I'm really excited and feel ready for this baby to come, but I know it could be at least a couple of more weeks so I'm trying not to get too worked up about it. Overall I'm feeling good though!

Wow I could have almost written the same post myself... except I'm at 40 weeks and allergic to pineapple! We do have a lot in common right now. Biggrin

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Loved reading your intro and birth story! Cant wait to follow your last weeks of pregnancy and I hope that you get the VBAC of your dreams. You can do it!!!

Umpqua's picture
Joined: 09/30/07
Posts: 120

Thanks for the support all! Maria, that's great that you're 2 weeks ahead of me and feel the same way. I can only hope to feel this good at post dates. But at least I'll be given the opportunity to go post dates this time if necessary!

I started losing my plug this morning which has given me a lot of encouragement. Again, I know this can happen weeks before labor kicks in, but it's a good sign anyway.

It also occurred to me that I was having so many more interventions by this point in my last pregnancy, and I really didn't think much of them. I was getting NSTs already, lots of internal exams, and I think I had my membranes stripped by this point. That caused me to lose some of my plug, but it certainly didn't send me into labor.

I really feel like my body is doing this on my own this time and progressing at its own pace. I've gotten zero pressure from the doctors and they've been nothing but positive so far. That goes a long way toward boosting my own confidence in this whole process!

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

Glad to hear things are going well.

Joined: 08/03/07
Posts: 3262

Welcome to your lodge (I'm a bit late) and great job staying positive. Your body is doing great!

Cindy

Umpqua's picture
Joined: 09/30/07
Posts: 120

I wasn't going to write anything about this, but I guess that is what lodges are for Wink I've been losing pieces of plug since Tuesday and started having some uncomfortable contractions yesterday afternoon. By last night they were coming about every 8 minutes, but then I decided to stop timing them. I knew they weren't strong enough to be the real deal, and yet they were the strongest contrax I've had so far this pregnancy. Very frustrating!

I was in prodromal labor for days before my son arrived, so I know better than to get my hopes up this time. The contrax continued overnight, but I was able to sleep a couple of hours at a stretch. They're continuing sporadically this morning too. I have a bunch of errands planned with Mom and DS, so I'm just going to go about my business and see if walking around gets them to pick up at all. But there's a voice in the back of my head that says I may be in for a week of prodromal labor again, ugh. No fun, but at least I'm better prepared for it this time.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I hope the prodromal labor doesn't stick around for a week or more. That really sucks!

On a side note, I just noticed you have a Jacob, too. Smile Though, yours is almost a year younger.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Woohoo for starting to lose your MP! Biggrin

As for the prodromal labor, I feel ya there. Not so much yet, this time, but have been there with each of my other three. It can get so tiring and discouraging- but everything that happens now, is less that has to happen later, when "real" labor kicks in!!! Biggrin

Umpqua's picture
Joined: 09/30/07
Posts: 120
38 Weeks + 4

I had my 38-week appointment this morning and it was a good one. Blood pressure is normal, I lost 2 pounds, and baby's heartbeat was good. I had an internal check (I knew I wouldn't be able to resist with the sporadic contractions and other stuff I've had going on). I'm glad I did since I'm now 1-2 cm dilated, 50% effaced and my plug is gone. The doctor said he could feel baby's head!

This was encouraging to me, even though I know I can walk around like this for weeks. So far, the end of this pregnancy seems to be following my last one, except everything seems to be sped up just a wee bit. It would be great to go into labor over the next few days, but I'm really not getting my hopes up. I'm just going to continue to be active and bounce on the birth ball and do all the other things I've been doing.

The other encouraging thing that happened was the doctor said something about "we'll only let you go 10 days past due date as a VBAC." I know they had said 1 week initially, so that buys me 3 more days! I know I can refuse a C/S at that point (and I'm hoping it won't come to that), but it's nice to know they won't be pushing for one for a few more weeks.

It's nice to have some good news going into the long holiday weekend. We'll be taking DS to a parade and DH and I may even go to see Prince Caspian one night. I'm looking forward to having some fun before things get crazy around here!

Joined: 09/29/05
Posts: 826

Wow, that's an exciting appointment!!!

hope_537's picture
Joined: 07/04/06
Posts: 232

YAY for progress! I'm so excited for you! Sounds like things could happen at any time! Yahoo

Jessica

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Great appt! I'm so excited for you! Biggrin

Umpqua's picture
Joined: 09/30/07
Posts: 120
39 Weeks + 1

Still pregnant, just checking in. I had a fun weekend with lots of activity, but it was also frustrating. Had lots of contractions, to the point where I couldn't sleep Saturday night and I was up timing them at every 8 minutes for about an hour and a half, then they fizzled out. But - that's how things went with my son's labor so I knew to expect it this time. It doesn't make things any easier though!

I at least got in lots of walking and birth ball bouncing. Yesterday we watched a road race (my SIL and some friends ran in it) and went to a huge family BBQ afterwards. I even went on a bumpy hay ride with DS! It would appear that this LO is quite comfortable at the moment though and not keen on going anywhere.

I have a prenatal appointment tomorrow and I expect everything to be status quo. I've had quite a bit of discharge this morning so maybe my cervix is making more progress. I'm also going to try to schedule a chiropractor visit for tomorrow to make sure everything is lined up properly and to help my sciatic pain, which is on and off depending on which way LO is lying. The babe moved down even further over the weekend - the top of my belly is all jiggly now so I know baby is lodged in the lower half. I'm really trying my best to treasure these final days of pregnancy Blum 3

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Sorry about the trial run on Saturday. I've had a few of those. Congrats on baby moving farther down, though. Maybe the hay ride helped that.

Good luck at your appt tomorrow!

hope_537's picture
Joined: 07/04/06
Posts: 232

I totally feel your pain! Hang in there and try to stay positive, that's what I'm trying to do anyway! These babies WILL come out!! Hehe. :bigarmhug:

Jessica

Umpqua's picture
Joined: 09/30/07
Posts: 120

I had my prenatal and chiropractic appointments today. I have to say, my overall frame of mind has really changed after the OB appointment, and for the better. I've been generally crampy and cranky with on and off contractions that don't lead anywhere. I was hoping to hear I'd had some type of cervical change from last week, but I'm exactly the same. I should just be content with that - my body is gearing up for labor and the state of my cervix at this moment has no bearing on when I'll go into labor. I KNOW that, but it's still hard to get out of the head space that I should be making some progress with all the pangs and twinges I've been having.

Anyway, I asked the OB about a membrane sweep and he said I'm not progressed enough to do one. The baby and I are doing great, so he basically said all is well and we'll see you next Wednesday for a regular appointment and NST (I'll be 2 days post dates at that point). I then asked him about the possibility of a foley catheter if things haven't progressed. He basically said I'd have to be a lot more dilated for that to be effective. Then he said, "Don't worry, we're not going to push another C/S on you. We really support this VBAC and we're going to work with you. As long as you and the baby are doing well, that's all that matters. Back in the day, women would go several weeks post dates. So if we need to stretch it out to 42 weeks, that's an option."

I was absolutely shocked. Here I am, asking about membrane sweeps and all these other things to get labor going and my OB is telling me to calm down and wait things out. For a VBAC. I can't believe how fortunate I am to have found this OB practice! I know they may not be as liberal as some birth center or homebirth midwives, but they're pretty darn hands off for a medical group.

Anyway, after processing all this information I went to my chiropractic appointment and got a nice adjustment. I feel great and I feel so much more positive about taking my time and letting this birth progress on its own timetable, as it should. I hope I can keep this feeling with me for as long as it takes.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Then he said, "Don't worry, we're not going to push another C/S on you. We really support this VBAC and we're going to work with you. As long as you and the baby are doing well, that's all that matters. Back in the day, women would go several weeks post dates. So if we need to stretch it out to 42 weeks, that's an option."

I was absolutely shocked. Here I am, asking about membrane sweeps and all these other things to get labor going and my OB is telling me to calm down and wait things out. For a VBAC. I can't believe how fortunate I am to have found this OB practice! I know they may not be as liberal as some birth center or homebirth midwives, but they're pretty darn hands off for a medical group.

That's really great news, Laura! I'm so happy that your OB is rooting your VBAC on. GL!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Sounds like you have some great docs!! Any updates? How are you doing?

Umpqua's picture
Joined: 09/30/07
Posts: 120

I've been having a different type of cramping today. Much more uncomfortable than the BH and pressure waves I've been dealing with. I also woke up (after an amazingly long night of sleep) thinking "today would be a good day to go into labor!"

That said, I'm really trying not to make much out of this since I've been having on and off contrax for so long now. I'm beginning to feel like the pregnant lady who cried wolf, even if it's all only in my head. Oh well, at the very least this is good prep work for what lies ahead.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Sounds promising, at least! Smile IKWYM though about not getting too excited, that is for sure!

Great that you got such a good night of sleep, just in case!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Tomorrow is your due date, right?

I'm thinking of you!

Umpqua's picture
Joined: 09/30/07
Posts: 120
Due Date!

After all the "pre-labor" "prodromal labor" or whatever you want to call it that I've been having over the last couple of weeks, I think I expected to feel miserable and frustrated today. But I'm actually pretty happy. I made it to my "due date" this pregnancy without any induction threats or negativity looming over my head. It feels pretty damn good!

I've been reliving the last few days of my pregnancy with DS these past few days and this is such a different pregnancy. I'm not afraid, that's probably the biggest factor. I know all this cramping and the odd contractions are just gearing me up for real labor, and I'm confident my body is going to work with me this time.

I've been trying to stay busy these last couple of days so that I don't obsess over when the birth will be happening. I went for a long walk with my Mom yesterday and then DH and I went to see Prince Caspian at the drive-in theatre last night. That was fun! It's a beautiful day here today so I plan to get more walking and some gardening in. I have a prenatal appointment and NST on Wednesday so I will plan to update again after that.

Umpqua's picture
Joined: 09/30/07
Posts: 120

Here is a belly pic of me with my nieces on Memorial Day. My belly is lower and looks a little smaller now - I think I've lost some water weight and it's also just hanging pretty low at this point. I'll have to try to get another pic this week.

Joined: 05/24/05
Posts: 944

Awww, what a great belly, and happy due date! The same thing sort of happened with me when I went past dates with Ella. I felt at peace with it and knew she would come when ready (everyone else around me was a jittery wreck though... heehee). It's kind of fun to go out in public and when people say, "when are you due?" and you can say x number of days ago. They get a look like you might delivery on the floor in front of them.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Happy due date!!! Biggrin I am glad to hear that you are feeling well- that is the best! And great belly pic, looks ripe for the birthing, lol. Wink

AmyJo86268's picture
Joined: 12/08/07
Posts: 1406

Happy due date~! Glad you feel good!

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

Yay for reaching your due date! Sounds like you are doing well and it a great place mentally. You're definitely at the home stretch now!

awini8's picture
Joined: 10/21/06
Posts: 386

I love the picture! You definately look low. Your time is soon I suspect.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

How are you doing today?

I love the photo.

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