welcome to your lodge!
welcome to your lodge!
Ok, I’ll try not to get too long winded with my stories. I'll start with a short version of how DH and I met, and I'll post about my births in a bit.
I’m Stacie, and I have a wonderful husband, Brandon, and 3 beautiful daughters, Jessica, 13, Felicia, 11, and Charlotte, 2. I'm expecting daughter #4, Veronica, on the 15th of May. We live in Oregon, having moved here from California a couple years ago.
How DH and I met isn’t the beginning of the story, but that’s where I’ll start. I had been dating a guy, “C”, a little over a year after my first DD was born, and while he was a nice guy, I came to realize that he wasn’t looking for a wife, he was looking for a child. I was just a “bonus”. I didn’t want someone to want a relationship with me in order to have a ready-made family. Since we had been friends since middle school, I told him that while I still wanted to be friends, I didn’t think we were meant for each other. Luckily for me, he agreed, and we stayed friends. He started bringing a friend around when he came to visit, who I later learned was recruited just to try to convince me to start dating C again. As time went on, we got to know each other better, and started dating each other, instead. This guy was, of course, Brandon. We had a very quick courtship, meeting in late September 1997, and we were engaged by April of 1998, and married in August that same year. Now we’re going to celebrate our 12<SUP>th</SUP> Anniv this year, much to the continued shock of all the naysayers who said we wouldn’t last, including my parents. Lol
Here's a picture of us at out wedding. A piece of advice for everyone: if you are getting married in August in Southern California, do it INSIDE! Whew, it was so hot, by the end of the day I was pretty wilted.
I seem to get really zoned into myself during labor/delivery, it seems. I don’t remember very much about any of my births, except for the bare details, so these will be really short.
I gave birth to Jessie when I was 16. I’ll keep it really simple, and just say that her bio father was not a good guy, and I’m very glad that he’s not in the picture anymore. Jessie was born in a hospital in California. Being my first pregnancy/birth, and being that I was so young, I trusted completely in whatever the doctors told me, and followed their directions, no matter what. She was due on August 9, and of course, went past that. Amazingly, I was not pressured to induce before, or even on her due date. I went for an u/s and tests when I was 1 week overdue, and was told that there was very little fluid left, and we would have to be admitted and start induction. She also said that it looked like I was contracting already anyway, so it should be an easy induction.
So I got admitted, and lucky for me I had lazy nurses, who decided to wait until the next day to induce, give me an IV, etc. Throughout the day, my contractions got stronger and stronger, and closer together, until around 11pm, when I was walking the halls and having to bend over and breath through them. I went to lay down, and then felt like pushing. My mom, who was my labor support, called the nurse, and told them to come and check me. They told her that there was no way I could be ready to push yet, since I was just walking around, and that they’d be there in a minute. Enter psycho mother! I’ve never heard her use that kind of language before! I won’t repeat it, but let me say the nurse was there very quickly. She checks me, and… 9.5cm! That was about 12:45 or so, and by 1 I was pushing. Since it was so unexpected, I never even had the chance to be offered an epidural, and since I didn’t have an IV yet, they couldn’t give me anything that way either. So Jessica was born naturally, arriving at 1:45am on August 17, 1996. 8lb 9oz, 20.5”. I recovered pretty fast, and she had no problems at all.
I guess I remembered more than I thought! Be back with the next story.
What a fabulous first birth story! That's great that you got a natural childbirth without having to fight for it at all. Sounds like your body knew what to do.
Welcome to your lodge! And thanks for the intro and birth story. I'm glad it worked out so well for you! Good for you for staying on your feet for so long, too! I look forward to reading the rest.
Great introduction and first birth story! You were lucky indeed...looking forward to reading more :)
Felicia was due Jan 14, 1999. Of course, that day comes and goes, with no sign of anything going on. On the 19<SUP>th</SUP>, however, I feel more “wetness” down there than usual. She had been playing trampoline on my bladder for the past couple weeks, so I just thought at first that it was more of the same. I went to lay down for a while, which caused it to get worse. So I called my mom to come pick me up (DH worked about an hour away, and we only had one car). Luckily, she had been watching DD that day anyway, and one of my sisters offered to watch her. So she comes to pick me up, and we head to the hospital to get checked out. Turns out it is my waters that broke, and the machine I was hooked up to was showing slight contractions already, so they decided to keep me. I called DH and told him, and he showed up about 20 minutes later. So happy he didn’t get a ticket!
After a few hours, F’s heart rate started to dip with each contraction, a bit more each time. I can’t remember how far down it got, but trying new positions didn’t help bring it up, so they decided that I needed a c/s. By then I was in pretty active labor, but still only dilated about 4cm, so they didn’t want to wait on it. Could I have had a vaginal birth still? Maybe, but I was still in the “whatever doctors tell me is the whole truth, and I trust them” mindset. Honestly, I don’t care about it, I got a healthy beautiful baby out of it, so whatever needed to be done was fine.
So Felicia was born on January 20, 1999 at 1:23am. She was 7lb, 4oz, 20.5”.
After F was born, we KNEW that all of the babies after would be c/s. It was safer, easier, etc etc. Can you tell I did absolutely no research about it? Then we decided that we were done having babies. Two was a perfect number, and we should be happy with our healthy smart girls. But after a couple years, I started to feel that urge. I wanted a baby. Turns out, DH did too! So we started thinking about when would be a good time. He was currently in school, and I was the main source of income. We weren’t sure if we were even going to stay in California after he graduated, so we decided to wait a bit more. In Dec of 2006, I got my BFP! We were pretty excited about it, since it was the first try. February came, and we had our first appt, with an u/s. There was our little gummy bear baby, so cute! They put my due date as September 15, which was right on with what my LMP had been. A couple weeks later, I started spotting. I called in to the doc, and he said that as long as it wasn’t bright red (it wasn’t), and not a lot (again, it wasn’t), to not worry, and it should stop soon. Nothing like this had ever happened to me, though, so of course I was freaked out, and went in anyway. They tried the Doppler, but since I was pretty early still, they didn’t have much hope of being able to find the heart beat. So they did an u/s. Turns out our little bean had stopped growing maybe a day or two after my first u/s, since it was almost exactly the same size as we had seen before. My body had just started to miscarry on it’s own. I was given Cytotec to “help”, and was sent home. I hope to never have to deal with this again, but if I do, I will NEVER take Cytotec. That was one of the scariest things I’ve ever been through. So painful, and so much blood. It didn’t take long to work, however, and on March 5, 2007, my little angel left me.
We were told to wait at least a month until we TTC again, which we did. In June of that year, I found out I was pregnant again. Happy news, but now I was paranoid about every little twinge, cramp, and weird feeling I had. It took a while for me to relax and enjoy the pregnancy. That same month, DH graduated with his Bachelor’s, and started looking for work. The plan was to get a job and move as soon as possible. Of course, it didn’t work quite that way. I kept working at my current job, a two hour drive away, and decided to stay there, since they had such good medical ins.
By this time, I had decided that I was going for a VBAC. My doc for this pregnancy was very very supportive. Up until about 34 weeks, that was. Then, all I heard was “Your baby is so big! I think you’ll need a c/s” and “What day would you like to schedule your c/s for?” I even warned DH about this, but until he actually heard those words come out of her mouth, he didn’t believe me. I just smiled and told her that I still wanted to try for a VBAC. To her credit, she didn’t try to force me to have a c/s, but there was still a lot of pressure. Finally, at about 39 weeks, she gave up and offered me a “compromise”: induction. I knew that raised my risk of c/s, if the baby wasn’t ready, but accepted, to get her off of my back. Besides, I could just not come in that day, right? I pushed it back as far as I could get her to go, which was a little over 41 weeks. The day came, and I was so tired of being pregnant, I decided to go in. They hooked me up to the many machines, and I saw that I was already contracting a tiny bit. It felt more like baby movements then, though. After a couple hours, a room opened up, and I was set up in there. IV, machines, etc. The doc on call decided to break my water first, to try to keep from giving me Pitocin, since I was a VBAC hopeful. That evening, things still weren’t speeding up to their liking, so they started Pit anyway. I had spent all day in bed, no walking, so getting up, no eating, nothing. I was miserable, and ready to just tell them to do the damn c/s. Lucky for me, though, things sped up soon, and I was able to become a success story! I did accept some pain meds in my IV (still can’t remember what they were), but was able to stay strong enough to decline the epi, which count as another victory, since I was getting a LOT of pressure to get one. Poor DH, he was so worried for me, he didn’t know what to do. Should he talk me into the epi, or stay out of it? :lol:
Charlotte was born on March 4, 2008 at 1:02am. She was 9lbs even, 20.5”. She was a very special birth, both because she was my VBAC, and because of the date she was born. I think she decided to wait so long because she wanted me to not be able to think so much about my m/c the year before and be so sad about it.
So there’s my looong story, and now I can start on the present tale! Sorry this turned out to be such a novel, feel free to skip over any parts!
Ok, last part of my intro, I PROMISE! :lol:
After X harlotte was born, we moved up here to Oregon, where I was given not good news. The hospital where I would birth does not allow VBACs! I told them that I have already had a VBAC, so I had proven I could, and they still told me no. If I wanted to drive to Portland, which was about an hour away, on a good day, they had a hospital that would allow it, but I wasn't too keen on driving an hour in labor. So on to research other options.
I thought about home birth, but DH is dead set against it. I think that everything that has to do with the birth is the woman's decision, but at the same time, if my support person is going to be so freaked out that he can't properly support me when I need him, I should take that into consideration. So, no home birth. I looked around, and found a really nice birthing center. I made an appt for a consultation, and have been seeing them ever since!
This pregnancy has not been too bad. I have hip pain, which is getting worse as time goes on, but it will go away after Baby V is born. I've had the same pain every pregnancy, so I'm kinda used to it. I also had a low placenta earlier in the pregnancy, not completely low, but borderline. That's not a problem now, everything is ok. The only bad part of this pregnancy is my emotions. My mood swings are worse than anything I have ever been through! Some of it is from being so tired, some from being stressed, I have no idea what the rest is from. I've been working with my midwives on it, trying different things, but so far, nothing really helps. I haven't sent anyone to the hospital yet, though, so I guess it's not that bad. :lol:
So that brings me up to date, finally! My next appt is Wednesday, but I don't expect anything exciting to happen. Today I get to go defend my VBAC rights at the capitol (so glad I live here, all this stuff is close!), they having some sort of meeting about VBAC restrictions with out of hospital births. I won't be able to stay for the whole thing, but I hope to go for part in the morning, and maybe come back in the afternoon after C's nap. Too bad they won't allow public speaking this time, I have plenty to say, but I still want to be there to support.
Wow---induced and no epi! I am impressed. I caved.
Was the hospital you found Legacy Emmanuel in N.Portland? They are the only hospital that does water births too. I didn't realize it would be so difficult to find a VBAC hospital here. You think Portland would be a bit more accepting of NCB.
Is your birthing center in Salem? Or are you going up to Andaluz in Tualatin? Just curious--is your health insurance covering it?
My birth center Is Bella Vie. Technically, it's in Salem, but about 15 minutes from the city part. It's an old renovated farmhouse, it's beautiful!
Charlotte didn't let me listen to much of the meeting today, but I heard one of the board members talk about an unnamed hospital nearby, that according to her research, 60% of first time mothers were induced, and of those, 60% ended up being a c/s. That didn't include any planned first time or repeat c/s! I thought that was so crazy, and made me that much more happy that I'm not in any hospital nearby. Not that I'm a first time mom, but they still seem pretty knife happy, KWIM? Sheesh.