self-care

All you need is Love and an amazing OB

(Here is proud mama and the amazing Dr. John Morton)

Whenever anyone asked me when was my baby due, I would state matter of fact, “Valentine’s Day.” I knew I was due around the 13th, but Valentine’s Day had a lovely ring to it.  I had my heart set on having a VBAC.  We were having our baby at the same birthing center and with the same OB I had with my first pregnancy because it was an incredible experience.  (See Waiting for baby girl – part 1)

I only had two ultrasounds during this pregnancy. One to confirm that yes, I was indeed pregnant and the other when I was almost due.  The birthing center was also a teaching hospital and I made an appointment for my ultrasound there.  The residents could learn and I could bring my then 3-year old too.  She even got to hold the “magic wand” around my belly.

We were having another girl and were just waiting for natural labor to begin. On Wednesday, as I was getting ready for my OB checkup, my water broke a lot.  I called my OB right away, and he said to stay at home to wait for active labor to kick in before going to the hospital.  Because I was a VBAC, I’d be constantly connected to a fetal monitor.  So I followed my doctor’s instructions.  We sent our daughter over to my sister’s to await the arrival of our newest edition.

I felt a lot of back labor and my water was continuing to break. I checked in with my OB the next day.  As long as I felt fine and didn’t have a fever, we could stay home.  It was the same scenario on Friday too.  We did go to the hospital that evening to check in.  But I didn’t feel comfortable in the tiny labor room they had available and my husband didn’t like the duty nurse.  We went home with the promise to return the next day if nothing changed.  I was grateful to sleep in my own bed that night.  But I was growing weary of the back labor and not progressing.  And my daughter was with my sister for three nights already, going on the fourth, waiting for baby.

So we went back to the hospital on Saturday. I was given a somewhat larger labor room.  They hooked me up to the fetal monitor, and the baby was strong and perfect.  I was having sporadic contractions.  Active labor never arrived.  On Sunday, Valentine’s Day, we had another gentle cesarean.  My OB was my support as I got my epidural shot.  I felt grateful and comfortable, knowing that I was in good hands.

When my pink baby arrived, she let out a snort first instead of a cry. She was here, my Valentine’s Day baby, just as I foretold.

 

self-care

Waiting for baby girl – part 1

My new niece is about to be born. As her mom, my sister-in-law, is nearing the 24-hours in labor mark, I’m reminded of my two baby’s births.  Each one was as unique as they are.  Today I will focus on my oldest.

My five-year old was a breech baby.  I tried every available technique to get her into the ideal position: acupuncture, chiropractic, even the manual version, which I don’t recommend to anyone ever.  There was a ton of pressure and painful twisting, not to mention the uncomfortable hallucinogenic medication I received.  My baby girl wouldn’t budge.  Each day I felt her hard head pressed against my ribs and little flickers of her feet near my pelvis.  Her head was close to my heart.

A home birth was ruled out and a cesarean was scheduled. But just like my little headstrong five-year old, she chose her own birthday.  On a Friday at 4:30 in the morning, my water broke.  I rested a while longer in bed.  I had a small breakfast, and then we headed to the hospital later that morning.

It was a blissful birth experience. Her fetal signs were strong and I was relaxed.  It was kind of amusing and annoying when the nursing staff kept putting the fetal monitor on backwards. They were actually putting it on the “normal” way, but she was a breech baby.  I was surrounded by my husband, doula, midwife and rockstar OB-GYN.  It was a “gentle cesarean.”  The lights in the operating room were softened.  I had my iPod playing my birthing music.  We welcomed her around 2 p.m. that afternoon.  Everyone in the operating room stopped performing their job for a moment and welcomed her.  It was heartfelt and special.  She was hungry and began to nurse immediately while they sewed me up from the operation.

When she was a young toddler, every night she would rest her head against my chest and fall asleep while I gently rocked her. It was a cozy time, and I still have fond memories of it.  She will forever be close to my heart.