I am at work right now, although doing any actual work is the farthest thing from my mind, I’ve been so distracted lately LOL can’t wait to start mat leave. I think typing up my introduction is a welcome distraction! Although I will have to wait until I get home tonight to post pictures.
My name is Shella. I’m 30 years old and I live in
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I married my everything, Patrick, 5 years ago. After 2 years of marriage, we decided we would stop using birth control, so while we were not specifically “trying” we were not preventing either. I went off the BCP and 4 months later we were very excited to get a BFP! As my cycles were not totally regular yet, I was not sure exactly how far along I was, but somewhere 9-11 weeks I started bleeding heavily and cramping. I had a miscarriage, was totally heartbroken, and very much wanted to get pregnant again. A few months later, we got another BFP and we were blessed with the most beautiful son, Nolan. Nolan is now 27 months old, a typical 2 year old lol, but the absolute centre of my world. I know he’ll be a great big brother. This past January, after some New Year’s celebrating lol, dh & I decided we didn’t really need to use a condom and 2 weeks later I got my BFP! Slightly unplanned, but very welcome. I’m so excited to be adding to our family! I had constant morning sickness for the first half of my pregnancy, I would throw up multiple times a day. (I joked that I should just skip the middle man and put my lunch directly into the toilet because that’s where it ended up every day.) But I’m happy to report the m/s has subsided, although maybe once a week I will still have some nausea. We still have a few things to do to get ready for baby (including picking a name!), but I’m expecting I still have a few weeks before baby’s arrival. No signs of impending labour to report. My last day of work before I start mat leave is September 9. I’ve probably gained more than the ideal amount of weight (somewhere between 55-60lbs: EEK!), which is likely not helping my achy back and hips, but I did the same when I was pregnant with DS too. I have a regular appointment with my obgyn this afternoon, and today I am getting the GBS test done so everyone think GBS NEGATIVE thoughts for me!
Here is my DS’s birth story, although it was 2+ years ago, so I hope I’m remembering accurately (I had previously written out his birth story but for some reason can’t find it now. Pregnancy brain LOL). My pregnancy with DS was “normal”, I’d had a UTI and constant m/s throughout, and I was ginormous, but nothing too out of the ordinary. At 41 weeks, I had an u/s to check on how baby was doing since my
OB wanted to start considering induction. I was not really too thrilled about possibly being induced, and was still hopeful the contrax I’d been having for the last 3 weeks might finally progress to real labor, and I agreed to the u/s to make sure baby was still doing alright. I had my u/s appointment at 10 am, by the time I got home it was around 11:30am. I was hungry, but also very tired, too tired to make myself lunch I decided to take a nap and I would eat later. (Sidebar: looking back I totally made the right decision, given the choice between getting some rest and eating, I know to always choose sleep! Lessons learned by a btdt mom: sleep is so important!)
At 2 pm the phone rang and woke me up from my nap. It was my friend Angie on her way over for a visit. I got up, but had sorta forgot that I hadn’t eaten lunch yet. Angie arrived and as we visited I noticed that my contrax were different than they had been for the last few weeks. I was feeling them very much in my back, and would have to take deep breaths when I felt them, but they did not seem to be coming at regular intervals, so I did not think much of them. To pass the time, we baked a cake! This is funny for anyone that knows me, the idea of me actually baking a cake is laughable, but it was an idea suggested to me by my dad. His theory: You know how they say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach? Well, there's a bit of truth in this, men, even newborn baby boys, do respond to food. And EVERYBODY deserves to have a birthday cake. That baby is just waiting until you have baked a birthday cake for him, so all you have to do is bake a cake. As soon as you have a cake ready, he'll know that's supposed to be his birth day, and he'll make his appearance. When he told me this I thought it was just stupidest thing I had ever heard. But I was getting desperate, I had already tried pretty much every other labor inducing trick, and I figured there wasnt any harm in trying this. I also rationalized that it'd be good to have cake all ready to serve to guests that stopped by to see the new baby. (Also could have been that final nesting instinct kicking in). So we thought it was worth a try. Angie was concerned about my contrax, which continued to come and I was really feeling them in my back. She insisted we started timing them. Sure enough, when we actually started keeping track of them, they were now 5 min apart, lasting about 45-60 sec. As the timer on the oven went off for the cake at 4:00pm, I stood up and felt a gush. My waters had broke! (Dad’s “cake=labour” trick actually worked LOL!!) It was a bit of chaos for the next half hour. There was a plethora of phone calls, I called dh to come home from work, called my family to let them know we were going to go to L&D. I suddenly realized this was it, I was in labour, but I still hadn’t eaten lunch, so I quickly made a bowl of soup. I didn’t get a chance to eat it though, I got so busy I forgot, the doorbell rang (someone from the power company), it started to rain so I had to bring our dog inside, and the phone was ringing, and I was still contracting and now they were really getting intense I would have to stop what I was doing. Dh arrived, and we headed off to L&D. Even though it was a short car ride, and I had a “bad” contraction in the vehicle, I think it felt worse because I was sitting with my seatbelt on which was not a comfortable position. When we got to the hospital at 5:00 I was wisked up to the L&D dept, where they confirmed yes I was leaking (clear) amniotic fluid, and I was 3 cm dialated, so I was admitted.
My contractions were intense and I was feeling a lot of pain in my back. Dh would massage my lower back for me and apply counter pressure, as well, I tried a variety of position, but that was not giving me much relief. The pain in my back was intense: an all consuming, burning, stabbing pain. About this time I “had to go” and I went to the bathroom and completely emptied by bladder and bowels. The nurse asked me what my plan was for pain management, and I said epidural, and she said, “That’s good.” The anesthesiologist was busy with another patient and would be a while, so in the interim I hoped in the shower and dh left to go get himself some supper. I labored in the shower for about an hour, and while the hot water did help provide some relief, I was still really feeling the pain of my contractions. At 7:30 pm, 3 hours after my water broke, I got out of the shower as the anesthesiologist was on his way to give me the epi. I was checked for progress and was at 4 cm. They gave me an IV line and a catheder, and then I got the epi. From that point on I did not get out of bed. I did not feel the needle going into my back, but shortly after felt relaxed (ah, sweet relief!) I was not feeling any more contractions (I actually thought they might have stopped). I was hooked up to a monitor and assured the contractions were continuing, but given some pitocin to “keep things moving”. As a side effect of the epi, my neck and chest were very very itchy which was kinda annoying. I was checked periodically throughout the evening, and by 1 am I was 10 cm. The doctor told me I could start pushing if I felt the urge. I was still a little numb from the epidural, and being a ftm I wasn’t really sure what the urge to push felt like, but I was so excited to be so close to having my baby that I wanted to start pushing. So I tried pushing. And no baby. Hmm, I must have to push harder. So I did. (At least I thought I did, I was still somewhat numb from the epi, I’m not sure maybe I wasn’t pushing any harder?). And no baby. Hmmm. After an hour of pushing and not making a lot of progress, I was starting to get tired. But by then I realized NOW I am feeling the urge to push, and I couldn’t stop for a break! After another hour of pushing, we still didn’t have a baby, although he was engaged, he seemed stuck. He was turned OP (the likely cause of all my back labor/pain). I was vomiting in between pushes (possibly as a side effect of the epi?) and was vomiting sometimes during the pushes –yuck- which resulted in vomit coming out my nose since I was holding my breath. After another hour, I was starting to tucker out. My doctor was concerned because baby’s heartrate was irratic, and wanted to explore other options to help baby be born as soon as possible. The doctor recommend we use forceps, however said that they routinely do an episiotomy when they use forceps. I was sad that after 2 and a half hours of pushing, I had not been able to birth my baby, and I was afraid of them wanting to do an emergency c/s, so I agreed to the forceps. 4 pushes later, assisted by forceps, at 3:45 am, June 6 2006, my precious son Nolan Patrick was born (my brother pointed out the sequential time & birthdate: 3-4-5-6-6-6) . He weighed 9 lbs (pretty close to the estimated 8lb 6oz from my u/s earlier that day), and his scores were 5 and 7. The doctor was concerned about his breathing and heart rate so I only got to see him for a moment before they took him to NICU. Dh went with him, and I was left alone to birth the placenta and then get stitched up (in addition to the episiotomy, I also had a 3rd degree tear). Also, my temp was a little high, they were concerned about risk of infection, so I was started on antibiotics.
An hour later, I was all stitched up, ready to be moved to a recovery room, and got news that Nolan was much improved and being released from the NICU! I was so happy to finally be able to hold my baby! He had a horrible conehead, it was purple and misshapen, but I was assured that was normal given the amount of time he was engaged in the birth canal. He took to breastfeeding like a champ, and seemed to be perfectly healthy. My recovery went alright, my temps came down, no infection, although my bladder muscles were mush. (Sidebar: I continued to have bladder and incontinence issues for several months, although I’m not sure how much of those issues could be attributed to having a catheder/forceps vs. what kind of issues I might have had without those interventions). We went home from the hospital the next day, overjoyed with our new baby.
The swelling of ds’s head began to go down, it was pretty much a “normal” shape, although he still had a pretty good bruise on the top of his head. Three days later, I noticed DS twitching. It wasn’t the same as hiccups, only his right side was twiching, his tongue would click and his eyes sort roll back in his head. I was a ftm, I did not know what I was seeing. He was breathing fine, he was not upset, did not seem to be in distress, when I picked him up and started to feed him, he stopped the twitching, ate well, and went to sleep. However, he had another episode later that day. Again it only lasted a few minutes, and I wasn’t sure what to make of it, but I was scared. I was all alone with him, and I wasn’t sure what I should do. I didn’t want to be one of those crazy overprotective moms that freaks out at every little hiccup, but at the same time I was really concerned, so I decided to take him to the ER. They confirmed, my baby was having seizures. I was so frightened! They wanted to put an IV into DS so they could give him medication to stop the seizures but they were having difficulty getting the line put into his tiny arms so they put the IV into his head (Watching this quite upset me, they had only told me they were putting an IV line in, and the next thing I know there’s a needle going into my baby’s head!) He had a CT scan, and he had another seizure while he was having the scan done, which actually helped them see what was going on in his brain. The seizures were coming more frequently now and lasting longer. It was the most horrible thing holding him as his tiny body convulsed. I’m actually starting to get quite upset just remembering so I’m just going to cut ahead a bit. He’d had bleeding on his brain, LIKELY caused by the tramatic delivery (read:forceps) and when the swelling went down it caused him to have the seizures. With the medication they gave him he stopped having seizures later that night, luckily, his brain just absorbed the excess blood. He spent a week in the NICU recovering, and there has been no long term damages caused.
I have often wondered if I had not had the epidural how his birth would have been different. I know at the time, I felt the contractions were so intense that at the time I did not think I would be able to last, I would have been a puddle on the floor from the pain/exhaustion long before it was time to push, and might have ended up having a c/s as a result. However, I wonder if I had not had the epidural, maybe my labour would have progressed pretty fast on its own, and maybe if I’d have been moving around instead of confined to bed he would have turned so he wasn’t OP, maybe I wouldn’t have tried pushing before I really felt the urge, and maybe my pushes would have been more effective, maybe we wouldn’t have needed forceps, maybe he wouldn’t have had those seizures, maybe he wouldn’t have been wisked away to NICU right after he was born (I’ve since learned that some babies simply do not tolerate pitocin-induced contractions, the result being abnormal fetal heart rate).…. it’s only a guessing game though with a lot of “maybe’s”, there’s no way to know.
It has made me reevaluate my birth plan for this baby. Last time I got the epidural because I just assumed that was how it was done, that modern medicine knew best and that NCB was only for granola-crunchie-hippie types. I never even knew this board existed until about 2 months ago, when I was stalking Kelly/klebanik’s lodge, whom I knew from the June 2006 board. That was the first time the thought even entered my mind that I should at least look into NCB and what it was all about. I’ve learned soo much!! While I’m not specifically opposed to medicating for pain management, at the same time I now understand the risk associated, and how one “intervention” can lead to another, so I want to avoid intervention if at all possible. I have the same
OB and will deliver in the same hospital. I’m once again measuring a little big, and will likely have another “big” baby. But I do not want the same birth experience. I understand that there are somethings beyond my control, however all the things that ARE within my control I want to have a firm handle on. I do feel somewhat unprepared though, as I feel I’m coming to the NCB game a little too late to follow a specific program, like hypnobirth, which I’m intrigued by but not sure I have enough time that I would get anything out of the program. But better late than never, I figure I will just do the best I can with the time I have left to prepare for a natural birth. I’m trying my best to arm myself with as much information/knowledge as I can. I am following the principles of Spinning Babies, hopefully to obtain an optimal birthing position for baby. And I’ve been reading as many birth stories as I can, especially stories of natural childbirth. It’s inspirational and empowering to hear other’s women’s stories of birthing without medication/intervention. Especially on this board. I sooooo value all of your feedback and thoughts! To NCB “veterans” you might think it common sense, common knowledge, but even the most ordinary of comments has sometimes caused me to rethink what I “know”. For example, up until recently, I’d never heard of RRL tea, but this board introduced me to it, and I looked into it, now I drink it daily. (Not related to my intro, but I just thought of this question: do you continue drinking RRL postpartum? I would presume so, as I would expect it to help with post partum bleeding?) I know my DH is still unsure and a little hesitant, and while he is on board with me wanting to “try” for NCB, I know how last time he hated seeing me in pain and was glad once I’d gotten the epidural. I’m thinking we are going to have to watch BOBB together, so I’m sorta looking around for a copy.
I am afraid of whether I will be able to handle the pain, seeing as I “couldn’t” handle it last time without an epidural, but I think I am MORE afraid of ending up with a csection. I really like hearing everyone’s different mantras, even just short & sweet “Trust your body” and “Pain with purpose” etc, I think is really empowering. I would really welcome everyone to share some of your own empowering statements. I’m going to make some cue cards for myself. Actually, I have just decided that that will be my assignment for the next few weeks: I’m going to start a list and everytime I read a birth story I have to write down at least one sentence in the story that I find inspirational, and I’ll use that list to base my cue cards off of. I just try to keep reassuring myself that this is a natural process, done by millions of women for thousands of years the world over, and I too am a woman, capable of NCB
Wow, this is getting long! I told you it’d be a novella!! For anyone still reading: thanks
Last edited by Shella5478; 09-02-2008 at 04:51 PM.
loved the intro and yes I made it through all of it! lol! The forcepts and vacumme scared the crap out of DH and I in our birthing class! Those things are HUGE and arn't made to go where they put them! I'm glad though that you made it through and your baby is happy and healthy now!
Can I virtualy spike my RRL tea? lol!
Congratulations Shella on your lodge!!!
Sorry I didn't get any pictures posted last night, I put DS to bed and completely crashed myself. I had my obgyn appointment yesterday afternoon, and she did an internal check (I'm 1 cm) and ever since I've been feeling crampy and having (gentle) contractions. Nothing regular or too intense. Just enough to make me feel kinda uggy. But I slept pretty good last night, was only up once to pee.
Last night dh & I were talking baby names again, and I think we've narrowed down our leading contenders. Of course, these are far from finalized, we want to meet our baby and make sure the name feels right before we put it on the birth certificate, but right now our favorite names are for a boy Reid Lorne, and for a girl Mallory Beth. While we are pretty solid on the first names, both of the middle names are subject to change. We really want a family name for middle name, right now Lorne is after my dad and Beth is after my aunt. However, if a baby boy is born on Uncle Owen's birthday (Sep 30) then mn will probably be Owen. If baby boy is born on Uncle Ian's birthday (Oct 2) then mn will probably be Ian. If baby girl is born on mom's birthday (Sep 20) then mn will probably be Faye after my mom. If baby girl is born on the first day of autumn then mn will probably be Autumn.
I enjoyed your intro (the whole thing) I really hope your able to get a better delivery this time. I had my first much like you, while no forceps where used I did have drugs and an episeotomy. I decided I wanted to do things different the second time as well and was lucky to have a great intervention free labor and delivery (aside from pit after her birth). You can do it! I can't wait to see how it goes for you.
Welcome to your lodge! I read your intro and I hope that you get the birth that you want this time!
thank you for sharing your intro with us. i just cannot imagine the emotions you went through when ds was having seizures, i'm so glad he has no long term effects. Have you read Ina May's birthing guide? i am reading it right now and the second half where she discusses pain with a purpose etc. has been really helpful for my mindset. I'm looking forward to sharing this journey with you!
<3 Dh Jason 3/22/03
Baby #4 11/24/13
Shella- I love both names you have chosen! Do you have a feeling you are having one gender over the other? Your b-day schuedual sounds like mine! I have my bros DF Sept 16th, my SILs Sept 21, MIL's Sept 24th, and October 3rd next year my bro is getting married. Could it get anymore crammed?lol!