Sunday, July 26, 2009

Birth Stories: Rebecca ~ unmedicated hospital VBAC

My birth story actually began back in June of 2007. That is when I made the choice to allow my OB to give me an elective c-section due to both of my twins still presenting breech at 38 weeks. Little did we know that three days later one of the boys would move head down. Whether or not the other boy would have followed eventually who knows but there is a part of me that will always wish I had waited it out...however even though it was a c-section birth it went very smoothly and my boys entered this world without any issues.

Fast forward about 15 months. We find out we are being blessed with a baby again! Unlike last time where we had to try and try and eventually received medical help we did this one all alone without even trying. What an amazing surprise! I originally planned to go for a repeat c-section. My first one went so well I figured why not. Several of my friends had just had repeat c-sections and everything had gone perfectly for them. So that was my tentative plan for the first few months of my pregnancy. However something kept nagging at me inside. It just felt like this time should be different. I really can't tell you what it was that made me change my mind and decide on a VBAC...I think a big part of me was still in the debating stage when I met with the OB I used for the twins. In talking to him I got such a medical vibe. He basically told me that while he would support my 'attempt' at a VBAC he really didn't understand why anyone would want one. He kept throwing around the word catastrophic. When I talked to him about a drug-free VBAC he was once again supportive in theory however as I mentioned various things like walking around, alternate birthing positions and such he really wasn't open to these. He also told me if I went one day past 40 weeks he would insist on a c-section. We left his office feeling annoyed and more interested than ever in doing a VBAC. So we left and the next day I scheduled a consult with the midwives at one of the local hospitals. I was accepted and toldl I have about a 90% chance of a VBAC and that most of their clients go medication free. I really liked all of their birthing principals so we signed on and never looked back.

June was a stressful month for us. We were supposed to move (and then had paperwork problems) we had the boys' second birthday and their birthday parties and then we had Becca's due date all wrapped together. Becca's due date came on the 23rd of June...and went. Over the next 13 days I analyzed every 'sign' I got that I was in labor. Sadly these were few and far between. On our anniversary June 27 I had contractions that were close together and steady for several hours but eventually they puttered out. I even lost my mucous plug but nothing else. For the next week I did lots of visualizations, 'Come out baby' from hypnobabies, red raspberry leaf tea. We tried sex, pineapple and spicey foods. The only thing I didn't try was castor oil since I felt pitocin was better than castor oil! I would have contractions off and on but nothing really steady or close together until July 4th. That night I had pretty consistent contractions until 3 am, but eventually they once again puttered out and I went to bed. On Sunday July 5th I had contractions pretty much all day but only about 2-3 an hour. Around 3:30 or so in the afternoon they started to get more and more regular however it wasn't until around 10ish that things started to really pick up. It was then that I started to realize this really might happen. Dave was going to go to sleep but I was in enough pain that I asked him to stay awake. I took a bath but honestly it really didn't help much. I ate, drank, walked around and tried (unsuccessfully) to sleep. Nothing was helping. Between eleven and twelve I took to lying in bed while Dave just rubbed my lower back. I would say 80-90% of my pain was in this tiny spot in my lower back. Nothing made it feel better but Dave made it bearable. He was the most amazing coach ever! Every contraction hurt so much. They were right on top of eachother with only 2-3 minutes apart. It felt like non-stop pain. He kept massaging and talking to me and assuring me that I could in fact do this. He believed in me long after I stopped believing in myself. Around midnight I started my 'obsession' with the toilet as David later called it. I felt like I had this horrid diarrhea. I was also so nauseous. I never threw up but man I thought I was going to. Sitting on the toilet felt good. It was also during this time I felt like I needed a break from my DH. I was in such intense, never ending pain that I thought to myself there was no way I could make it any longer. I was still convinced these contractions were just going to fizz out like the others had. I thought there was no possible way that I could do this anymore. I tried to figure out how I could get an epidural without having to leave the house since I was in too much pain to even do that! Around one I decided that it was time to go to the hospital. Not because I thought it was time for us to go, but because I figured with the intensity of my back labor pains that perhaps if I couldn't talk my DH into an epidural that perhaps I could instead get some sterile saline injections to help. David, knowing my plan was to stay home as long as possible (and knowing my 'secret' plan to plead with him for drugs) discouraged us from leaving, however I put my foot down so he called his mom to watch the boys and she showed up about 1:30. We left immediately. On the way we called our doula to meet us at the hospital and the midwife's answering service to page her. I somehow wobbled to the car and we made the 20 minute or so drive. It took us forever to get into the building. Since it was after hours it was nearly impossible to get it! Once in the contractions were about a minute apart so we found a wheelchair since that was the only way we could make any time! I still had to stop for every contraction! We got to the L&D floor around 2:30. It took them forever to check us in. They finally took us back to triage. They asked a bunch of questions but I just ignored them and let David answer. HE was still doing such a great job of supporting me! He would still massage my lower back for every contraction and continued to praise me the whole time. Once we got to triage they were asking if I wanted an epidural. Everything inside of me was screaming YES but somehow I found the strength to say no. She asked me to rate my pain, I said about an 8...she asked how intense I have ever had pain without taking medication, I told her 'we passed that about three hours ago'. So the brand new fresh outta med school resident wanted to check me for dilation. I made them wait out a contraction and let her go ahead. She took forever feeling around (okay like a minute but it felt like forever since I only had a minute between contractions) then the chief resident wanted to check me also. I told them to wait til after the contraction. Once he was able to check they were shocked (as was I) to find I was between a 7-8. I was so relieved to find out all that pain had been worth it! I could DO this! I didn't need drugs I could handle this! So they paged the midwife and took me to the room. They were telling me how I would be able to use the whirlpool or walk the halls and such (I kept thinking to myself, ummm I am a VBAC I don't think I am allowed to do any of that) but I decided to keep that all to myself! The nurse wanted me to lie on the bed so they could get some baseline measurements and to get my heplock in. For some reason or another the chief resident checked me again and said something about my bulging bag of water. It was about 30 seconds later that I had another contraction and my bad BURST. It was shocking to me just how obvious it was when that happened. Things started moving much faster then. They checked and saw that there was meconium in the fluid so the nurse called down to the NICU to have their staff come up for deep suctioning. The nurse was sounding kind of panicky. She kept telling them to hurry because this baby was coming! I remember thinking: It is?? AWESOME! I am almost done. My doula and my husband were both so encouraging during this time. The nurse told me to let her know if I was feeling 'pushy' so I said okay and then with the next contraction I said "Oh...I'm feeling pushy" that's when things moved into crazy high gear. There was so much movement around me they asked me to stop pushing and I totaly ignored them. They got the chief resident and the other resident gal in the room and made sure I was completely dilated. They were trying to break down the bed and I just kept pushing along with the next contraction. The nurse was paging the NICU staff to report to my room stat to be ready for suctioning. With contraction number three they told me I could start pushing. I pushed throughout that one and her head was almost all the way out. It burned so much but I kept trying to relax as much as I could. To be honest I was feeling kind of panicky. I'm not sure how to explain it, but I felt out of control, my body was just acting instictively without worry or care to what I mentally was contributing. Since everything was happening so fast and because of the meconium they wouldn't let Dave catch the baby or to cut the cord. So he stayed by my side while Dusti rubbed my cramped foot. Next contraction came and I pushed with everything I had. I squeeze Dave's hand so hard. He told me 'you are doing it!!' and all of a sudden I felt it! The head came through, I took a deep breath and out came her body. She was all covered in green yuck...they cut the cord and handed her off to get suctioned. Dave went with her. They wanted to start pitocin since I was bleeding 'too much'. I asked if it was necessary (yes) could it wait til after I started nursing (no) did they have to do my stiches at the same time (yes). They then put in an IV for fluids (not really sue why they did that, I started to argue with them about it but decided to pick my battles and let it go). Then Dave carried Becca back in and handed her to me so I could nurse her. It had been a short few minutes but it seemed like forever. It felt so great to nurse my daughter. She took to it so fast. During this time I learned I had a second degree tear that they were stitching up. Eventually it got quiet in the room They checked out the baby mostly while she was in my arms. I refused the eye goop and vit K shot. I asked them to save the placenta (there was a pregnant pause with that question) but they did so. At some point they weighed her 8 pounds 4 ounces. 20.5 inches long. Her apgars were 8 and 9 due to color. It was around then that the midwife showed up and was very apologetic. The call center never called her when we had left the house. They didn't call until we were checked into our room (a little after three) which didn't give much time for her to get across town since she was born at 3:17! I really hate that she wasn't there. I think had she been there Dave could have caught, we could have avoided pit and the unnecessary IV, but in the end it didn't matter. Our baby girl came into this world nearly two weeks late but in a blaze once she decided it was time to get here!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The new Economic Stimulus Packages...your boobs!



Genius! There's a new breastfeeding campaign going on that's aiming to increase breastfeeding rates in America(apparently, we crunchy babywearing extended nursers have failed miserably in our attempts to sway opinions, lol). I do have hope for this and it seems like a brilliant campaign. Their website is cute, full of information, including a section for women who have no desire to breastfeed, and is fun to read. I love the "booby traps" section and the main photo of a naked model nursing a baby(and yes I will kill that woman if she really is the mother of that newborn for looking that good...I'm sure she's not). I really admire their mission to change public perception of nursing too. Part of me is sad that it has to come to this to encourage nursing and the public acceptance of it. But let's face it, boobs don't have multi-billion dollar formula companies lobbying and advertising for them. Here is my favorite quote about the campaign:

"...aim to shift the focus off the “breast vs. bottle” debate and current backlash against breastfeeding, and on to the real issue: women are being urged to breastfeed but set up to fail."


Finally someone is getting to the root of the problem. We need to quit these mommy wars that we all get in to(admit it..you've entered the breast vs bottle ring a few times) and focus on the real problem: lip service to the benefits of breastfeeding with simultaneous lack of support, misinformation, and cultural aversion to breastfeeding.

Please check out their website Best for Babes and let me know what you think!