Here is my intro:
My name is Susan, I turned 30 a few months ago, and I'm currently a SAHM to my son, Adam, whose picture you can see in my signature.
DH and I met almost 8 years ago when we were living in Philadelphia. I was working as an elementary music teacher and working on my masters part-time. He had just moved back to Philly to start a PhD program. We met through our church, but at my own house. I was hosting a party for the new students at my house (which I shared with 2 other girls from my church) and DH attended. We hit it off right away, but alas, I was dating someone else. The ex was actually a big jerk but he was away at boot camp and I felt so guilty for totally flirting with DH while he was away suffering. The ex came back from boot camp, and we actually broke up and got back together several times over the course of 1 year before I official dumped him. DH waited less than a week before asking me out. He was paying attention and didn't want me to get sucked back into the ex's manipulation.
We dated for 6 months and it became serious pretty quickly. After 6 months DH proposed on Valentine's day and I accepted. We got married 6 months later, in August of 2004. I was 24 and he was a few weeks short of 26 when we tied the knot.
DH, of course, was knee deep in his 5-year PhD program and I was a teacher. I wanted to have babies pretty quickly, but financially we didn't think it would be a good idea. I knew I wanted to be a SAHM but my job provided great health benefits. He did have a fellowship, but basically I supported us until he was finished. So we waited until the end was in sight for DH's schooling. We lived in Philly for 3 more years. I got pregnant with DS in Dec of 2006. By June, DH had found a job in Washington DC. So I finished out the school year, and then had a week to pack up our house and move--7 months pregnant! DH started before the end of June so his benefits would start on July 1, so we could have seamless insurance, which left me to do most of the work myself. Washington would definitely not be my choice of places to live, but it is the central place for DH's line of work so it was not a big surprise.
I had so much packing and other stuff to do, and since my pregnancy was so uneventful, I waited a tad too long to find a care provider in the DC area. By the time I started making calls I was almost a month behind on appointments. I was interested in a natural birth, but the only midwives I could find were around the beltway from us and DH was really concerned about the traffic lag in getting to them in case my labor was quick. So I ended up with an OB's office that had midwives on staff--only to find out after my first appointment that the mw's there only do prenatal care and don't deliver. But was was just over 6 weeks out and nervous about finding someone, so I stuck with them. They seemed really progressive and supportive of a natural delivery. The hospital they use, too, was all about rooming in and said they encourage women to use birthing balls and only require a monitor for a few minutes an hour.
I'll post DS's birth story in another thread, but basically it was anything but a natural birth. I take partial responsibility for that because I did end up asking for the epidural--but only after being left to labor alone in a wheelchair in a hallway for 1/2 hour, being given an IV against my will (which I had been told previously wasn't required), and being repeatedly asked for my DH's social security number in the middle of strong contractions, even though we were preregistered. I ended up with the epidural, an episiotomy (which I did not consent too, and was screaming at the OB to stop as he was cutting) which tore into a 3rd degree tear, and a vacuum assisted delivery because apparently DS was "struggling" but had apgars of 9 and 9. I blame myself because the epidural opened the door for all of those things--but I also blame the crappy OB who delivered him. My DH is a very reserved and gentle person and I am pretty sure that if he ever sees that guy again, he will punch him.
My 3rd degree tear never healed properly, or perhaps wasn't sewn up right. It still is sensitive to the touch. When I asked another OB at the practice about it, I was told "the penis doesn't rub against that part of the vagina, you should really be fine." Uh, I don't know about your husband, sweetie, but mine fills the area! That response was the last straw!
So that brings me to this pregnancy. I found a great group of midwives that have an office basically next door the the old OB's. They run a freestanding birthing center within the hospital complex. They are independent but physically connected, in case of emergency. They have a very low transfer and intervention rate, though, and are able to be my attendants in the hospital should I need to birth there. I feel really comfortable with all 4 of them and I am really excited about the center. They have 3 suites all with beds and roomy tubs with jets. They are really open about whatever I want to do, and really don't care who I have come to help with the birth--though I will have just DH and my doula present--but knowing that they would also allow my friends and family (including DS) seems like a really good sign to me.
So that is my story of how I got to where I am. I'm really looking forward to this birth!
TFS your story! I sincerely hope you have a better experience this time around. I'm in a very similar type of birth center situation and getting "risked out" is one of my biggest fears (although the midwives accompanying you to the hospital in that event does make me feel better too) so I will be sending you lots of happy, healthy, normal birth vibes from here on out!
Sounds like you found a great place and more supportive attendants this time. Hope your blodd test show you are not anemic and you can birth in the center.
Susan- I'm so sorry your first birth was so awful! I really hope that this second birth is everything you envision! It seems you're in a much better position for it this time!
Mara & Joel, 2009
Thanks for the well-wishes everyone!
I don't think I will get risked out, because like I said, I feel way better now than I did a month ago. I'm so glad that they caught the anemia when they did.
From about month 4 of this pregnancy, I was feeling tired. Or rather, exhausted. I told lots of people that, including the midwives, and everyone's response was "you're pregnant, you're supposed to be tired". When I pointed out that with DS's pg I had lots more energy, they would remind me that I'm almost 3 years older and now taking care of a toddler. True, but with DS I was working full time as a teacher and on my feet, as well as doing things like packing up my house. DS and I spent many long days at home together with the TV on and me dozing on the couch. I felt horrible about that. But even climbing 1 flight of stairs would leave me absolutely winded. I'd have to sit down and pant.
When I went in for my GDB test, they did a routine hematocrit as well. Apparently the normal low for a non-pregnant woman is 38, the normal low for a pregnant woman is 33, the lowest the BC will take for a birth is 30, and I only came in at a 28! This was a bigsurprise to me as I've never had anything like this before. However, it does make sense because I bled out really badly with my m/c last year and I wonder if my body just never recovered. I was actually relieved to find out that pg at 30 didn't have to be like that! I was starting to wonder how anyone ever literally had the energy to have more than 2 kids!
So I was prescribed 2 iron pills per day as well as lots of red meat, beans, and spinach w/ vitamic C. No problem, I love those foods! My m/w said that she could not think of one person who could not get the iron levels up to the bc standards. I'm feeling so much better now so I'm pretty sure everything will be fine. I will probably find out on Tuesday at my next appointment. If for some reason they are not up to 30, I still have some more time (hopefully) to get another test in 2 weeks.
Even if I pass the test, the only residual thing is that the m/w's are a little concerned about my bleeding in general. I'm a pale redhead, recovering anemic, and had the bleed at my m/c. So we've already agreed to a shot of pitocin as soon as baby is delivered, even if everything looks OK. They said they usually wait and see if there is bleeding, but in my case it's better safe than sorry. That seems like good and reasonable idea to me, though I'm a little afraid of how the pitocin will feel after experiencing only the natural contractions for so long.
Last edited by RedRoses; 04-15-2010 at 03:31 PM.
I had the EXACT SAME THING happen! My tear (no episiotomy, just a lousy OB) never healed properly... my midwife actually says she suspects it'll need to tear again next time around so it can heal properly. But she feels confident she can "clean it up".My 3rd degree tear never healed properly, or perhaps wasn't sewn up right. It still is sensitive to the touch. When I asked another OB at the practice about it, I was told "the penis doesn't rub against that part of the vagina, you should really be fine." Uh, I don't know about your husband, sweetie, but mine fills the area! That response was the last straw!
Anyways, it's exciting to "meet" you, what a great intro!
She also added that a large portion of their clients are not first time moms, who are refugees from a bad OB experience with stories a lot like ours. She is confident I will be happier with my healing this time.