Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Keira's Birth Story

It's weird how intimidating writing my birth stories are. My first one took me 18 months and here I am, 3 months postpartum 4 months, shit almost 5 months post partum, and still haven't written about that day. Or should we say days, because lets face it, I'm a marathon laborer. I'm convinced I will have precipitous labor one of these times. Just to throw me off since I expect to labor for so long.

The difference with this birth story is that it really begins with THIS birth story, as often time VBAC/TOLAC stories do. To sum it up, if you are lazy like myself and don't want to read it, my last birth ended in a cesarean after 40 hours of what was supposed to be a natural hospital birth. It was one of the most trying and glorious days of my life. I became a mother to a beautiful, independent, sassy pants little girl we named Kennedy. She was 8lbs 9oz, not huge but according to my OB too big for me. Pre-Kennedy I was about 130lbs and 5'4", too small to push a baby out. It didn't make sense to me. It didn't add up and I spent 18 months asking myself how I wasn't made to birth babies. While everyone reminded me that 'at least you have a healthy baby" the guilt just sunk in deeper that I wasn't okay with how everything went down that day. Until I found ICAN. You can read about that in the other birth story, but again to summarize, I was given the confidence I needed to pursue my vbac (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). So I started the research and got together the best team I could. Hired an amazing doula, and found a care provider that would give me the best chance at the birth I wanted. And then we waited...

Saturday October 5, 2013 40 weeks 4 days

Nothing too extravagant happened on this day. We did decide to meet friends of ours for dinner and I started to notice a trickle. Yep. You guessed it. I couldn't be 100% sure, but I am pretty sure this is when things started (very slowly) to begin. I went about my evening just like every other over due pregnant lady does...nummy food with ice cream for dessert I'm sure was included.

Monday October 7, 2013 40 weeks 6 days

Happy 2nd Birthday Kennedy Mae! She woke up early (it's been too long for me to remember, but I think it was about 5:30am) I got up to go get my little birthday girl and as I stood up to hold her my pants soaked to my knees. I walked in and asked Nate to take her and went to the bathroom where I was able to see my bloody show was beginning as well. I had been losing obscene amounts of plug daily since Friday and this finally had some "show"! I knew labor was imminent and chatted with Nate. We were both too excited to go back to sleep. After a few hours of nothing happening and thinking there was a possibility of leaking since Saturday we put a call into my doctor to see what he wanted us to do. They were swamped at the office and after 2 hours he still hadn't called me back so I called again, where the nurse told me I should just head in. I was devastated to say the least that things seemed to be going exactly as they had with my first birth. I decided to take my time and arrange child care and also schedule an appointment with my chiropractor to see if babies alignment had anything to do with why labor wasn't picking up. Just as we were about to head out the door my doctor called and said that as long as my temperature was fine and the water was clear, I was free to stay home and wait for labor to begin on its own. THANK YOU JESUS! Nate and I both were relieved that things were finally not going to head down the same path that they had the last time. We still left the house and went to the chiropractor and dropped Kennedy off at my mom's. That was probably the hardest part of the day. I had an enormous amount of guilt about leaving her on her birthday. I know she was only turning 2, but I felt like a terrible mother not spending the rest of the day with her.

After dropping her off, we went to Subway for lunch and went home. Well I went home and Nate went to work for a few hours. I attempted to take a nap and did some curb walking outside. My neighbor noticed me out and came by to invite me for a walk, so we went on about a 3 mile walk. My waves were coming every once in awhile, but nothing regular or even close to me thinking labor was beginning. That night for dinner, Nate and I went for pizza at the place we had gone the night before my labor with Kennedy began. At this time I wasn't noticing any other water leaking. I still, to this day, have no idea what happened that morning, but I know that it was amniotic fluid. Its one of those things i need to remember to talk to my OB about the next time.

Anyways, after dinner we went home and I went to listen to my Deepening track (part of my Hypnobabies) at about 10pm. I knew I was going to wake up to waves, but was starting to doubt my body a bit.

Tuesday October 8th, 2013


I woke up and had a bit of a cramp. Was that a wave? No. Couldn't be. And I drifted back to bed

12:30 am

I felt another wave and started to wonder if things were going to begin.

1:30 am

I decided to get out of bed and start timing my waves. I'm assuming my adrenaline must have kicked in here because within 15 minutes my waves started coming every 2-3 minutes and were lasting 45- 60 seconds. After 15 minutes I decided to wake up Nate and tell him we should probably make the 50 mile drive to the hospital because I was definitely in labor and wanted to actually use the tub! Nate was a wreck. He probably won't admit it, but I kept having to reassure him we were not going to have the baby in the car and he could take his time. I was so sure my waves were going to stop at any minute so I wanted him to take his time just in case.

I know I texted my doula and just gave her a heads up and we called the hospital on our way to let them know we were on our way! I put on Birthing Day Affirmations and tried to relax through the waves. The bumpy drive and lovely MN road construction made sure that they stayed coming every 2-3 minutes the whole drive to Hudson. I remember getting a text from my doula as we got in the parking lot and she said she was going to head up since she also had a bit of a drive. I still wasn't quite sure that labor had set in and was nervous of things stalling out since I know that can happen a lot when you arrive at the hospital.

Upon check-in, I consented to a pelvic exam where the nurse told me I was a good 5 almost 6 cm! I was so happy! She also said I had a bulging bag of waters and that Dr. Hartung would probably come in and break it. They did a test to see if my waters were actually broken and also gave me an antibiotic. She wanted to get a good strip from me on the monitors and was not very happy about me being on the ball so I got into bed for a bit and relaxed. The test actually came back negative for fluid, so to this day it's still a mystery about the gush of fluid the day before. My doula came and started using essential oils, which we used for the whole birthing time. My body really responded well to them, especially clary sage. My OB came in at 7am to check in with me. It was his day off, but he reassured me that  he would come in when I needed him. I declined having my water broken and said I wanted to just have things naturally progress. I was afraid of things becoming too intense and was trying to avoid all interventions. Shortly after he left I got into the tub in that room. I wasn't ready to move to the big tub yet. I'm not sure why not, but it just seemed natural to go into this one.

The waves were fairly manageable and we often laughed in between them. I remember feeling antsy and wanting a change of scenery so I got out and decided to walk the halls a bit.

I actually only wore the hospital gown as a robe. I came equipped with a sun dress and swim suit to birth in.
 See this is where I need my notes from my doula because things start to really blend together! I should probably ask her for those too, huh?

She knows me well enough to know that I live inside my head, so all clocks were covered so I couldn't watch the clock. I knew time was passing, but just not quite sure of when things happened.


At some point we moved into the water birth room with the big tub. Upon getting into the water I remember saying aloud that it was "orgasmic". The warm water and jets were amazing to submerge in. We also did a lot of spinning babies in this room: belly lifts, inversions, major rebozo action, and side lying release. I knew enough to know that this baby was not in a great position because time was passing and baby was not coming out. At one point in time we went outside and walked around the labyrinth they have in a courtyard and I remember thinking that I was pretty sure I was 10 cm. My body had been shaking a bit before, which I know to be a sign of transformation. I couldn't understand what was going on though. We went inside and decided to try nipple stimulation. My waves had spaced out to 5 plus minutes apart and I guess the nurse had told my doula she didn't think I was in labor. I started to second guess what was happening and decided I wanted to be checked.This must have been around 3 pm. I must not of communicated what I thought I had, but soon enough Dr. Hartung was on the phone. He told me I had a few options. 1. Have another cesarean and call it quits, which we both knew was not going to happen 2. Go home. The nurse had told him too that she didn't believe that I was in active labor. 3. He could come in and check me and break my water and we could go from there. I of course chose option 3. This was the first I had heard of the nurses thoughts and it DEVASTATED me to say the least. I started to freak out (in my head) that something was wrong and knew there was no way I could go on any longer if this wasn't even the real deal! Lucky for this nurse it was shift change and I never saw her again. Nate and my doula reassured me that she was just not familiar with Hypnobabies and was not used to seeing people as calm as I was.

When my doctor arrived he did a very vigorous check to see if possibly baby was OP, which was not a comfortable thing at all. I would actually go on record to say that that was the worst part of my birthing story. Since I was not wanting to know dilation he wrote it down on a piece of paper for my doula. Nate says at this point he was just praying for anything but an 8! (what I stalled at with Kennedy) I kept saying I thought something was wrong and after a little coercion I allowed my doula to tell me that I was complete! He actually said I was a 9.99999. I'm glad he had a sense of humor at least! So who knows how many hours I was walking around complete? I guess we will never know! No idea why I wasn't having an urge to push, but I was given the green light to! Of course there was meconium present so this meant that my water birth wasn't going to happen, but I was free to get in the tub and start pushing. Their rule is that you can push in the tub, but have to birth the head out of water if it is present. We started filling the tub and I got in only to pretty much get back out. I wasn't comfortable anymore in the water. Too much in and out I think. I got into bed and started pushing on my knees, facing the back of the bed. This felt natural to me, but eventually ended up pushing on my side. All I really remember from this phase was my doula saying over and over 'she believed she could, so she did' and Nate cheering me on like I've never heard him before. I was oblivious to what was going on in the room, but Nate says that he knew it was close when my doctor took off his shoes and put on some gloves and came and sat at the end of the bed. I really believed I still had a few hours to go.

I pushed for 3 hours without a baby with Kennedy, so I expected at least 5 hours this time. I rested a few times and I remember right before I pushed her out the nurse said 'you're going to have your baby during this next wave' and I looked at her and said "Seriously??" I had NO clue we were that close. Like zero idea. So the next one, at what I now know to be 5:59pm, I gave it all I could and out she came! I reached down and pulled her up onto my belly. It was such a surreal moment and happened so quickly that I was in shock. I'm not even sure how long it took Nate to look and see what we had. I still remember the tears in his eyes after I exclaimed that "I did it! A baby came out of my vagina!" He lifted up the babies leg and said "We have another little GIRL!" I also may have said that a certain doctor could go eff herself and the whole room erupted in laughter! Seriously. She told me I couldn't have a baby and I believed it! Well little did she know, but Keira Elizabeth was 21" and 9 lbs 15 oz of pure perfection.

I'll skip all of the gory details of stitches, which were minimal and how actually amazing delivering the placenta was for me. I won't say orgasmic, but I will be an odd one and say it felt good. Keira stayed on my chest for a few hours and latched right away. We were able to delay cord clamping and all of my wishes were granted as far as delaying weighing and such so we could just snuggle for awhile. I couldn't believe to actually witness a baby to the breast crawl. She lifted her head straight up and found her way.

I know there is probably more that I may add at some day, but I needed to get this down before I forget even more. Now I will just spam you with my little pumpkin pie, Keira-belle, as I call her.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Say What?

Holy hell, what have I been doing this summer? Well, I can tell you what I haven't been doing, and that's updating this blog! I'm not even sure where to begin... First of all I DID pass my GD test which came as a huge shock. I really never saw that coming. I figured since I failed the one hour the first time I would fail again the second. Turns out every pregnancy can be different! (Heavy sarcasm)

The month of July was pretty much a big vacation. We spent a week up at Beeezy Point with the fam and K and I took off for Texas to hang out with my sister while she's one maternity leave. Oh and I got to snuggle the sweetest niece ever as a perk. While in TX Nate and I still were going back and forth about the provider debate. We really just couldn't find a compromise. I ended up making an appointment with Dr. Hartung and found out from insurance that he WAS in network so Nate seems better with it all now. 

As of today I'm 34.5! I've been visiting the chiropractor weekly for the last few months which has been amazing for my rib that pops out as well as RLP. As an extra bonus it should help make for a quicker and easier labor. Well, so "they" say. 

Last week we had our first meeting with our amazing doula. It went wonderfully and was super beneficial I think for Nate. He even rebozod me! Rebozos are Mexican scarfs used to help left the baby a bit to get more in a prime position. 

Here I am at 32.6 I think:

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Third Trimester

Yesterday a friend wrote me to congratulate me on making it to the 3rd trimester. My response, "Holy shit. I didn't even realize that!" I think I come here every time with some sort of comment about how time is just flying by, but it really truely is. Just last night we finally spoke about names for the first time, we still aren't for sure where we will be having this baby even. 

Tomorrow I have what needs to be my last ob appointment with my current provider. I decided to stay with them through my glucose test since they gave me the juice. Very technical planning as you can see. I'm terrified of failing the 1 hour again. I know they say you can't trick the test but I'm going to at least eat healthier than I did last time before it and drink my water. I actually downloaded an app to help me with my water drinking. Even though its 10:30am right now and I still have yet to drink a glass...

Here's my belly last week at my sisters wedding. 

And strange. A picture of my two loves, K and ice cream. 

Tomorrow marks 27 weeks I think?! And I am still feeling good. Fat, but good. My rib is popped out so a chiropractor visit is in the near future. Baby is super active and I love watching it poke and roll across my belly. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

20 Something Weeks

It's amazing really how time seems to be flying by. In a way it's a good thing, but then again I have this feeling that we may be sitting in the exact same place in September with no name, not sure on where we are delivering and nothing figured out with the babies room.

Last week (or maybe the week before) the hubby decided he didn't want to drive to Wisconsin for care. His exact words, "If this whole VBAC thing is so normal, why do we have to go so far to have a baby?" He's a little nervous, and I get it. Kennedy's birth was a traumatic experience for the both of us. Here is an article written by the amazing man I do still hope to deliver with. Maybe I should just have Nate read it and he would understand?

 I do feel more equipped this time with a doula at my side so I'm open to looking for a different provider. Things I DO know is that home birth isn't an option for us. I'm not ready for it, and I know Nate isn't either. A birth center is an option that I'm open too, but I guess I don't see the point. I might as well have the baby at home then, and that brings me back to the first point.

I had a great appointment last time with the providers who won't allow me a TOL and the doctor said she thought I was making the right decision and she hoped to allow VBAC's again soon, but since they deliver at two hospitals they are not allowed to. So silly how much of a business our right to birth is.

On a lighter note, I am 24 weeks tomorrow. Things are coming along smoothly. I do have a rib out at the moment and had that with K. Hoping it will pop back in soon or a chiropractor is in my near future. I've never been, so I'm a little freaked. My favorite thing right now is when K is on my lap and the baby starts trying to kick her away. It's a little battle only I am privy to, since K feels the kicking but isn't that impressed.

U/S at 22 weeks. I think baby looks deep in thought :) Baby was measuring 5 days ahead which is just like their big sister.

Monday, May 20, 2013

20 Weeks and 6 Days

It's really unreal how time flies when you have children. People tell you, but you can't really grasp what they are saying until you are in their shoes. Since the last time I have written, I was blessed with the opportunity to attend my sister M's birth of her baby girl. It was a whirlwind of a trip. Literally drove to the airport after her water broke and got on a flight to Dallas. I made it in time, and let me tell you it was the most beautiful thing I have ever been a part of. It's her story to tell, but I will tell you that it really affirmed a calling of working in the field that I've been ignoring for quite some time.

This was my first time away for Kennedy for a whole 72 hours! It doesn't sound like much, but I was excited to get home to this little pumpkin.

Okay this is super old, from November I think but I need to upload pics in a bad way!

While I was away, I also felt the little one from the outside for the first time. I have been nervous with the little movement I've been feeling, but keep reminding myself that I'm not lying around on the couch as much as I did last time.

How far along? 20 weeks 6 days

Weight gain/loss: Oh dear God, I am afraid of the scale. I was up 27 at my last appointment, but then was down 5 so we will see next week!

Maternity clothes? Yep. They are just so comfortable!

Stretch marks? Not anymore than I already had

Sleep? Insomnia and a crazy toddler have been visiting me at night. I also have a ton of bad dreams! One from two nights ago was about the baby, and it was a little girl we had named Jude?? Weird.

Food cravings: Nothing really. Honestly, I've been craving a beer in a bad way!

Movement? Movement has really picked up in the last few days, and I felt my first outside kick in Texas at 19w6d I believe

Gender: We're those people that don't find out, but we do have our anatomy scan next Tuesday (late because I had to reschedule while I was in TX) if baby wants us to know i suppose they will show us!

Belly button in or out? Still in and it never popped last time

What I miss? Having my body to myself. I'm going through some issues with having been pregnant and then breastfeeding until I was yet again pregnant again. I love every second of it, but at the same time I can't help but want it to be all mine again.

What I'm looking forward to: The constant movement that is coming up. I also love when you can lie down and watch your belly move.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Doula Decision

Ohmygoodness I am SO excited that Nate agreed to us hiring on the doula that I was hoping for. We had the interview last week and on the way, tears were shed. He is very black and white, my husband, and doesn't quite understand the whole VBAC thing and why it it important to me. Hmmm. Maybe that should be my next post? He's starting to catch on, and OUR doula was able to help him see things even a little more clearer.

So now we wait until around 32 weeks and will have our first prenatal appointment where she will come out to our home and we will go over some hypnobabies things and I've also asked her to help assist me in some nutrition/exercise as well. Now that it is nice out, I am definitely getting out more and doing a lot of walking so hopefully that will help as well!

I really feel so much more confident now that she is hired. We are still not 100% on the OB situation and have an appointment this coming Tuesday at the old one still, which happens to be our anatomy scan. I'm so excited to see this little one! I am starting to feel a few pokes here and there, but nothing like how I did with Kennedy. Maybe it's because I don't get to lay around all day with a laptop on my belly and play on The Bump.

So here we sit at 19 weeks and a few days....

Somehow, the 8.5 oz doesn't add up to the 20 lbs I've put on...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Questions For the Doula

Tonight is the night we meet with our potential doula. I am SO excited, and in a way shocked that Nate is even open to the idea. Let me preface by saying I met this women during my last pregnancy with Kennedy and she was really the first person to bring hypnobabies to MN, so of course I was drawn to her. For some reason though I couldn't justify the cost. I also had complete confidence in my body and myself that I didn't see the need for one. Now looking back it is one of the biggest mistakes I made was not getting one.

I've decided to study hypnobabies again for this pregnancy because of how amazing it worked during my last one. I think I am more clam 9 months pregnant, then I am on an average day. So it's important to me to have a doula that is knowledgeable in hypno-anesthesia and one that will use the same terms: transition= transformation, the "P" word = pain is a no-no, labor= birthing time, etc. My goodness I sound like such a hippie some times! So i know that I am already sold on the idea of having her present, but the husband...not so much. I've been looking at some different questions to ask and this is a list that I've collaborated.

-What made you become a doula?
-Where/When did you get your training? Are you certified?
-How many births have you attended?
-How many VBACs have you assisted in?
-Have you ever missed a birth?
-Tell me about a birthing experience that was challenging and how you were able to overcome it?
-What are the prenatal/postpartum visits like? What do they entail?
-Do you have a back-up and do I meet her ahead of time?
-What do you do if I am induced or need to have a c/s?
-How does having a doula still allow for a couple to still feel like this is a private event?

So we will see how this goes. During my last birth I had a nurse that was amazing. I think I spoke of her in my birth story. I keep reminding my husband of her and how awesome it would have been to have had her there the whole time. Maybe if I would have had someone trained in rebozo, Kennedy would have been able to get in a better position.

Today we are 18 weeks and 2 days, so I guess that makes this little bean a sweet potato. This little sweet potato has been doing lots of somersaults and finally is starting to give some kicks and pokes. I swear I remember feeling kicks sooner last time, but I also think I'm a lot more active this pregnancy so there isn't as much time to lay around.

Here are Miss K and I this week at the March of Dimes walk. Don't mind my tongue, but it's the only way she would look at the camera and we were solo! We walk for our friends on the team, Devoted to Dylan. Check out their awesome story here!