Saturday, July 23, 2011

And the Heat is On...

Well, after a long hiatus of baby raising and nursing it seems as though my thoughts on NCB and such has caused quite a stir. I was targeted on a blog that demeans and mocks anything to do with NCB, attachment parenting, not vaccinating.... there is a mini debate going on in the comment section of this post and I figured I would respond better here.

In these past almost 8 months I have not lost my passion for changing the modern medical system into something more natural, something safer for both mother and baby. Especially since my friends are having their babies any day now. It is in fact, with these two women that I can properly explain my stance on birth as a whole.

Mama 1 is one of my dearest friends, a sorority sister and an "auntie" to my girls. She is having her first baby around September 1st and was diagnosed as having gestational diabetes. She is trying to keep in the back of her mind that she does not want to be induced but knows that she runs the risk of having a very large baby and may need a scheduled c-section, which she doesn't want but it a real threat. Would I suggest to her that she sees a midwife, ignored her doctors advice for checking on the baby more often, and still push for a normal birth? No! She has pretty severe diabetes and needs to be tended to as more of a medical case than a natural process. Do I hope that she asks questions and stays informed that gestational weight can be off by pounds and therefore she shouldn't totally dismiss the thoughts of giving birth vaginally? Yes!

Mama 2 is also a dear friend and about to have baby #3. She had one baby naturally, no drugs and tore the most you possibly can since her little girl decided she was in a rush to be born. Baby #2 was also a vaginal birth but with a touch of pain medicine since she was terrified of tearing again that bad. This baby is going to be a NCB as well hopefully. I am so proud of her for being brave enough to go the no medication route, but she will tell you that she knows that it is what is best for her and the baby, that she likes to be in control of her body and that isn't an option when epidurals are given. That is her decision and her beliefs.

Neither of these women are right or wrong. They are just doing what is right for their own bodies, with what information is given. I guess most of these silly debates boil down to that simple fact- depending on what information you have, what do you do with the information?? Honestly, most women don't want to hear about how dangerous epidurals are, how hospital practices are driving the rates of mortality and c-sections up (it is NOT due to women having small pelvises or any nonsense like that). They don't want to know about OBs who give episiotomys without consent or due cause, or how to handle the pain of childbirth in a natural non-medicated way. And they definitely don't want to hear that due dates are just an ESTIMATION and can be off by weeks.

I feel that my first birth went wrong not because of the OB's push to induce or the hospital time clock, but the lack of information I was given. I had NO CLUE that I didn't have to consent to the c-section or that at 38 weeks it was just not good to induce. I didn't know that with the help of a Doula, I would have been confidant in my abilities to birth and that all the people who scared me about the pain didn't know better. But then I learned... and what I chose to do was my responsibility.

So, for all those people out there who think that natural child birth supporters are baby killers or just plain looney... have you really looked at the facts and used your own common sense that connects the high mortality rates in the US to the modern medical practices? Maybe there is a better way?
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Sunday, January 9, 2011

1 Month Later.... Miss Moira's Birth Story

(Sorry this is so late folks.... babies don't leave a lot of time for blogging!)

Even though I had planned on VBACing with this baby it turns out that she just wasn't engaged in my pelvis so my OB and I decided to go ahead with a c-section. This was both an easy decision and a really tough decision, if that makes any sense. I felt relieved that there was an end in sight, that my OB had done everything in his power to get this little girl to engage my pelvis, and that this time I was making a very informed decision. But at the same time I was really disappointed because I was so informed and was still ending up in the OR. I had switched from an OB who was so anti-VBAC that she resorted to lying to me, to an OB who was everything a pregnant woman could hope for. I got a doula, read the right books, and worked super hard to encourage the baby to come down. And yet, there I was, looking at yet another surgery.... 
Still, in the end I was ok with the decision because I felt like it was 100% my choice and that I was still giving the baby time to come on her own by waiting a few more days. 

So on Tuesday morning, at 6am, Klint and I arrived at the hospital to get the ball rolling and meet our baby. The surgery was scheduled for 7:30am and everything looked like it was going to go as planned. I got my IV, the appropriate paperwork was signed, and I had been fasting since 10pm the previous evening. All that we needed to do was meet with the anesthesiologist.  But then a hiccup in the plans occurred.... apparently another expecting mommy needed an emergency c-section and they were going to have to bump my delivery to the early afternoon.... not good news for a hungry and anxious pregnant woman!

So Klint and I hung out in a room until the afternoon came and we were given the green light that at 1pm I was going to be rolled into the OR. Ahhhh! Crazy!! After the news came that everyone was all set to go things are a little blurry because of all the emotions going through me at the time.... I was scared of the spinal (I react REALLY badly to any kind of anesthesia), I was excited to finally meet the baby, and I was a little nervous about yet another surgery.

All in all, the surgery started at about 1pm and at exactly 1:30pm Miss Moira Marie Krebs was born into the world! I remember a LOT of pressure around my ribcage to pop her out... not the most pleasant feeling in the world, hearing her cry for the first time, and then the whole unpleasantness of the doc putting me back together. There were some moments where I thought I was going to be sick from all the pulling and tugging sensations, but thankfully Klint helped me stay calm and not pass out from everything. I don't know if I would have made it without his strength by my side. It was so nice knowing that as soon as Moira was weighed that Klint had her and she was with her daddy.

About 30 mins after they got Moira out I was stitched back up and was given the baby to hold while we went to the recovery room for a couple of hours. From there on I was taken to my post postpartum room where I stayed until I was discharged. There is absolutely nothing negative that I can say about any part of my hospital stay, from the nurses who took care of me to the supporting staff. Everyone was kind, compassionate, very skilled, and at no time did I ever feel like a burden or a pain. I was actually so happy with my care that I spoke with the head of nursing to tell her how much I enjoyed my stay and that every single nurse there had my complete gratitude.

So that is Moira Marie Kreb's birth story. A very happy ending to a very eventful pregnancy!! 
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Friday, December 3, 2010

Due Date Photo!

Here I am!
40 weeks and 1 day....
still very pregnant,
which I never would have thought I would be!
I have gone 2 weeks farther than ever before,
and even though I can't wait to button shirts again over my stomach,
I wouldn't trade it for anything!

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Let the Countdown Begin!

Well today I went in for my weekly NST and OB appointment. I had everything crossed in the hopes that all these contractions weren't in vain, that I didn't drink castor oil twice for nothing, and that there was some sign that Miss M was going to get on board with this whole birth thing.

The non stress test went well, as usual. Miss M gets excited when we are in Labor and Delivery and has fun kicking the monitors off and causing a fuss. She looks great and I was out of there pretty quick. Then came the OB appointment....

When the doc walks in he always asks how the contractions are going.... this time I had to tell him that they have petered out all together and maybe I will have 1 or 2 Braxton Hicks a day, but nothing like what I was experiencing. He was happy that I was coming out of the promodral labor, but not that things weren't progressing with the contractions. Then he checked me and I could tell that he was dissapointed. Last week he had tugged my cervix down to get the baby to engage in my pelvis, which hurt more than words can express. Then he swept my membranes in the hopes of something happening. Well, my cervix popped right back up and Miss M is still happily floating about my belly, playing kickboard off of my ribs. And here is the even more frustrating part.... not only have I not progressed at all, but I REGRESSED!!!!! WTH?!

Where I was a solid 2 and over 50% effaced when I went in to L&D with those awesome contractions, now I am barely a 1! And it is not from lack of trying folks.... seriously, two words- CASTOR OIL! I know that in Ina May's book it mentions that labor can regress from stress and whatnot, but I don't think that my usual stresses and even worrying made my body regress.

The doc quickly ended the exam and we had a nice, long, very rational talk about what to do from here.... I mean, I love being pregnant and all but I would like to have Miss M before January! He was very candid about my chances of going into successful labor on my own from this point and stressed that he does not take dilation and effacement into consideration because those things can change quick. He also talked about that pesky ring of scar tissue and the fact that even though he has tried to massage it, it is really good scar tissue that is holding up. If my OB was any other OB then I would have taken his points with a grain of salt, but I know him and his reputation in the VBAC world. I know, with everything I know, that this man has done everything he can to help Miss M engage in my pelvis, get these contractions going somewhere, and have the vaginal birth that I have fought for.

Unfortunately, we both believe that it is just not in the cards for me.....

The doc stressed that if I wasn't a VBAC then he could have done more, like a Foley to help, when I went in to labor before, but because of the induction risks my body either has to do this 100% on my own, or not at all. I am very lucky to have found my OB because I felt more than comfortable asking questions and know that I wasn't fed any BS answers. In the end, he was totally fine with me continuing this pregnancy until I hit 42 weeks, for him there is no harm in it as long as Miss M continued to rock out in utero. But if in the end I was still going to end up with a c-section, why put off the inevitable was my question?

Bottom line is that if the doc thought that there was a chance that this was going to happen he wouldn't have even brought up the c-section. But he did and I decided after talking it out with him (and confirmed that I was making a solidly informed decision with the Doula) that we are going to go ahead and end the misery, lol I mean pregnancy funness. (Although he did say that maybe by setting a date Miss M will get her act together and decide that life outside is fun too!)

So.... let the countdown begin.....
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Those Pesky Doubts...

I think that one of the hardest things about this journey is dealing with all the unknown factors in labor and delivery. Up until this point I was a cool confidant mama who just assumed that my body would fall in line with the whole going into labor bit. In the last week though I am starting to have doubts about whether my body will actually be able to work right and get this little one into the world without seeing the inside of an OR.

At my appointment about a week and a half ago my OB asked if I had had any surgery on my cervix, which I had not. Apparently I have a "funky" cervix that feels more like a ring of scar tissue and makes it really hard for others to check me and know that I am dilated. A week ago, when I thought that this was it, I went into L&D with contractions 2.5 mins apart and coming strong, yet wasn't dilated enough to be called real labor.... and the contractions have continued on and off but never strong enough to progress into labor.

Now I am worried that this funky cervix of mine can't dilate because if it feels like scar tissue will it be able to stretch like it needs to? I worry that I am having all this prodromal labor for nothing and even though my body is working hard, it just can't do what it needs to do... sigh.... I hate worrying!

I am anxious to see if I make it to my usual Weds appointment and if I have made any progress.... I just hope that I have and that my anatomy works with me and this baby girl (who is having a grand ole time propelling herself off of my ribs and headbutting my girlie parts!)

I am sure that lots of VBACing women have these doubts, especially at the end.... I just never expected anything  to do with my anatomy to be the issue. And I know that my OB is doing his best to help things along in the most natural way possible, he won't even use a Foley Catheter to get things moving.... so it is all up to me to avoid the knife!

Say a prayer, light a candle, whatever you do.... here's to my funky cervix, lol!
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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Naturally Inducing Labor FAIL

Yes, I know that babies are on their own schedule and that they will come when they are good and ready. And I definitely know that this little one is on a schedule that no one, not even the OB can figure out. But I have been having really intense contractions on and off for over a week now and even though this pregnancy has been fun and all, I am ready to get on with the VBAC action!

So yesterday at my weekly OB appointment my awesome Doc checked me and determined that not only is Miss M head down and ready to go, but he could sweep my membranes which he did.... (OUCH!). And he really surprised me when he suggested that maybe some castor oil would do the trick in getting these contractions to actually do something besides drive me nuts. Coming from a very cautious OB made me think that this was an AWESOME idea and that there was hope that it would work.... wrong!!

I looked online and tons of midwife and natural birth sites tote the dreaded castor oil as a miracle solution to getting labor going.... I read that I can either mix it with a food like eggs or drink it to make it more palatable....

First of all, that stuff is about as NASTY as it gets!!!!! I decided to mix it with some orange juice and made sure that the brand I got was odorless and tasteless. No one mentioned that the TEXTURE was going to be that of melted wax chunks!

Second of all, the thought of drinking the greasy concoction was enough to make me gag from the get go, and I hadn't even sipped any yet!

So I downed what I could, about 3 tablespoons (YUCK YUCK YUCK!) and went about my business. About 4 hours later it finally hit me and.... that was it. Sigh, yes the contractions started back up, and for a few hours they were intense and about 5 mins apart.... but nothing I couldn't talk through with effort. Double sigh..... I didn't even have to visit the bathroom again, lol.

Now I am trying to decide if I just didn't get enough down or if I am just destined to be preggers forever, lol. Oh, well... and that folks is my tale of the Dreaded Castor Oil!
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