I am so excited to be sharing my birth stories with you today. Each birth has a different story and helped lead be to become a birth doula serving families.
In Feb of 2010, I gave birth to our first baby boy. I was fearful about birth and knew that I absolutely wanted to have an epidural. To be honest I didn’t even want to feel one contraction! I went to the OB that my Mom and aunts went to and he even delivered me! I trusted in him and in the staff at the hospital that they would take care of us. We took a class at the hospital to prepare for birth. I made it to 40 weeks with flying colors with no sign of labor happening. I was sent for the “stress test or non-stress test” and my amniotic fluid was looking low. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes with this pregnancy, so with those two things together they told me they wanted to induce and sent me to L&D. I was actually excited because I was so done being pregnant, just like any woman at 40 weeks and 2 days right!? The pitocin was started and after I felt the first three contractions I was ready for my epidural. After getting the epidural I soon realized that it was not working on the left side of my uterus! I had no idea this was something that could happen! My legs were completely numb along with the right side of my belly but I could still feel everything on the left. They rolled me to my left side to try to get the meds to flow to that side of my body and even talked about taking it out to replace it again but we never did because I just kept thinking the baby would be born soon. I was in that position for most of the 18 hours of labor. Our baby was born vaginally after an episiotomy. There was a lack of communication of what was happening with him after birth. They took him to the NICU and my husband went with him while I was being stitched up. I felt worried, so worried about my baby and wondering what just happened to me! I wasn’t able to see him for quite some time because I couldn’t walk and he had to stay in the NICU. Eventually, my husband came back for me and wheeled me to NICU to see our baby. It seemed like a lifetime until I could walk again after the epidural. I had this scary feeling of wondering if I would ever be able to walk again! Once all the feeling came back I had an intense sore aching feeling on my left hip(due to laying on it the whole labor) that didn’t subside for months after birth. With this, my episiotomy, and trying to navigate how to keep this little person alive and happy, I wondered how and why people would ever want to go through this multiple times! My recovery took longer than normal but not having anything other experiences to compare it to I was sure I would never do this again!
In 2013 I got pregnant again. With this baby, I knew I needed to explore some other options. Knowing that the epidural did not work for me the last time and the fact that I did not like how it made me feel, I started looking into childbirth classes that could help me through labor without the epidural. My husband and I took a Hypnobirthing class together and this made all the difference for both of us! He learned skills and techniques to help me during labor and also helped him to feel more a part of the birth and have a more involved role. He will tell you today that I drug him to the class but he is so glad that he did it! For this birth, I wanted to let labor start on its own and at 40 weeks and 5 days it did! After 4.5 hours our second baby boy was born unmedicated! The first thing I noticed about him was how alert and wide-eyed he was! I labored in a big birthing tub with him but had to get out for the delivery. My husband and sister (not yet a trained doula, but would be the next year) were with me during this birth and I was so grateful for their support. The birth high I felt after this baby was born is something I will never forget. I wanted to scream to the whole world “I just did that!!!” Everything about this experience was so different from the first. My recovery was such a night and day difference it was astonishing! With the birth class, additional research and education it made all the difference.
My last birth was full of emotion for me. I knew this would be my last baby. At this point In time I had completed the Birth doula training through DONA international and had finished the training and certification to teach Hypnobabies childbirth classes while I was 20 weeks pregnant. My husband and I chose to give birth in a birth center this time. As this was something new and different for us, it was not a decision that was taken lightly and had a lot of thought, conversation, education, and prayer that went into it. I found a CNM(certified nurse midwife) that ran her own birthing center and did extensive research and interviewing to choose a care provider. This birth was the fastest with no tearing at all! I credit that to the midwife who coached me through the last three contractions so I didn’t tear. That was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done physically in my life but was totally worth all the effort! It was such a great and amazing experience for all of us. Our midwife even made us breakfast that morning before we went home!
Tiny Blessings doula Meagan Heaton is VERY excited to announce that our team is growing. Melinda Hudnall will be joining the Tiny Blessings doula services team. Melinda is trained and certified through DONA international, as well as through the Midwives College of Utah as an Advanced doula. She started her doula career the birth of her second son. To read her birth stories (click here). In addition to her incredible certifications Melinda is a Hypnobabies instructor here in Salt Lake City.
Melinda is a momma of three handsome boys and has an incredibly supportive husband. She serves all over the Salt Lake Valley and lives in South Jordan. I am so excited and honored to have Melinda joining the Tiny Blessings Doula services team. To read more about Melindas very impressive bio head over to our contact us page or click HERE
Mom Guilt….. Have you ever felt it? How does it creep in?
Mom guilt is real. It effects so many if not all moms out there and it sucks. Im going to be real honest and pretty vulnerable here for a moment. I suffer from mom guilt. Almost 7 years ago I became a mom. That day I met my baby girl my entire world changed for the better. Everything was wonderful my perfect little girl would look up at me and smile and there were days I felt like a queen. Then MOM GUILT! I will never forget the very day that I first felt it. My daughter was 5 days old. I had just returned home from the hospital and still recovering from my cesarean section. She was hungry and I was doing everything to feed her and she just wouldn’t latch or calm down long enough to get enough milk. I could feel my shoulders creeping up and the tears coming, while at the same time anger flooded over me. WHY!!! WHY won’t you calm down I thought! I sat her down a little forcefully and walked away. Instantly my mom guilt kicked in! I couldn’t believe it! How did I just set my baby on the floor and leave walk away. She’s hungry… She doesn’t know how to communicate other than crying… How dare I? I have told myself I am a terrible mom so many times, ie: When I went back to work, Stopped Breastfeeding, had another baby and didn’t give the other kids as much attention, my son broke his leg cause I let him step off to steep of a step, when I am gone for long periods of time etc etc. The list could go on forever! There are many ways that mom guilt can creep into our lives.
The following are moments we may tend to feel mom guilt more.
Anxiety and or Depression
The feeling of having to be “perfect” (there is no such thing)
Social Media and more
How do we overcome mom guilt?
Mom guilt looks different for everyone. In today’s world there is so much pressure in our society, expectations of what other moms are doing and what is the best way to be a mom. From the very beginning the pressure is there on what is the best thing to do. Should I have an unmedicated birth or a medicated birth, Should I breastfeed or not, should I go back to work or be a stay at home mom, should I hire a nanny or take my child to daycare. YOU NAME IT! We ask ourselves these questions all the time and its silly. THERE IS NO FAILING!!!! Really though there isin’t! Momma’s you’re doing a great job. Please believe it. There is no book out there that can tell us exactly how each child is going to be and how we as parents should be. According to Postpartumdepression.org 70-80% of mommas experience the “Baby Blues” and a recent study 1 in 7 women can expect to experience postpartum depression in the first year of pregnancy. Postpartum depression can stem from mom guilt. And as mentioned in a few blogs back even Antepartum depression can happen.
So how do we overcome this feeling of mom guilt?
Change our thoughts- we do not have to compete with Mary Jane and Sally Jo. Be the best mom you can be and don’t worry and focus so much on what everyone else is doing.
Accept- Accept the way you parent. Chances are you’re amazing and you just need to accept it.
Let the guilt go- There are so many things in life that we can feel guilty for. We need to let them go. Do your best and learn from what things you wan’t to keep and things you want to change and don’t let the guilt take over.
Know your children love you- Most of the time we may do something or say something that we regret. Our children know we are not perfect- they love YOU more than you know!
Consider what you contribute- This applies to all mommas. I have heard oh so many times working moms bashing stay at home moms and vice versa. No matter your role in the home or workplace recognize what you contribute to your family and give yourself a pat on the back.
What I hope you leave with today is the knowledge that momma…. You’re amazing. We have to let the fear, shame, guilt, and doubt go. I saw thisvideoone day and it really hit me hard. I bawled while watching and then watched it again and bawled even more. Please know you’re amazing mommas. Keep rocking parenthood and know you’re not alone and there are others that are feeling that mom guilt too. Lets end the mom guilt.
Talking about Gender Reveal!? Did you do a gender reveal party? If so how did you do it? I love seeing all the fun ideas of how families learn the gender of their babies. Today I want to share a new and very fun way that I learned. Its MAGIC! Yup you read it correctly. Find out your gender via magic. Doug Roy has come up with a fun exciting way to tell families what they are having through magic. When he told me this idea I thought it would fun to share with the world.
A little more about who’s behind all the magic:
Meet Doug Roy –The Gender Reveal Magician
Magician Doug Roy began his journey into magic at the young age of nine, when he first saw a magician perform in-person, and has been inspired by old-time magic greatsHarry Houdini and Harry Blackstone, and current greats David Blaine and David Copperfield. His magic is a fun mix of typical magic as well as mentalism, and his style is strong… personable… and often includes a touch of humor.Doug is also a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, and has been performing professionally for over 13 years.
Earlier this summer Doug discovered that Gender Reveal Parties were becoming extremely popular, but that no magician in the U.S. provided a show solely dedicated to that theme!This surprised him, since the entire process of pregnancy and childbirth is so amazing and “magical”!With this newly discovered info he decided to get to work and develop a show designed around the Gender Reveal theme… and to become known as “The Gender Reveal Magician”!
So how does it work?
Doug’s 1-hour Gender Reveal Magic Show is totally unique and customizable!It can include any combination of stand-up magic (performed in front of the entire group), strolling magic (close-up magic while people are mingling with each other), and a hands-on magic class for children ages 5-10. Yes, Doug’s show has something for anyone
Doug’s show also allows everyone to participate! This element is very important when it comes to the siblings, who sometimes can feel a bit left out of the typical reveal party. During Doug’s Gender Reveal Magic Show the siblings and other family members actively participate in the show, and thus become an important part of it!
Lastly… but not ‘leastly’, Doug’s Gender Reveal Magic Show is designed in a way that reveals the gender through magic!In typical gender reveal methods… you know, for example, that the cake IS going to be either pink or blue inside! Or… the balloons WILL have either pink or blue confetti inside!Not much surprise here… other than the actual “knowing”!
In Doug’s show… no one has ANY idea how the gender will be revealed!!In other words… it’s wonder, anticipation, and excitement… on steroids!!
THAT is the type of magic that every Gender Reveal Party deserves!! :)))
So if you’re looking for unique, and highly entertaining alternative to the typical balloon or cake-type reveal parties, Doug’s Gender Reveal Magic Show is a superb choice!
To contact Doug and book your party today- check out his website HERE
A massage during pregnancy can be so wonderful. If you have ever had one you probably know how amazing you feel after right? AND if you have had one during pregnancy I’m sure you remember how heavenly it was. So why get a massage during pregnancy? There are many benefits before, during and even after pregnancy.
Help increases blood circulation and reduce swelling
So where can you get a great Prenatal or Postnatal massage?
SLC mommas!!!! Look no further. I have got to tell you about Maternal Massage! I was massaged by Elaine Lewis, and let me just say SHES AMAZING!!!! Not only was the environment at Maternal Massage so calm and warm the staff was incredible. I would highly suggest massages during pregnancy and the postpartum stages.
Maternal Massage is a clinic focused on and centered around women. With specialty training and equipment they focus on the changing needs of a woman’s body during and after pregnancy. With orthopedic supports they are able to safely perform prenatal massages throughout all phases of pregnancy. (they even have special pillows for pregnant bellies) Their therapists have extra training in prenatal, postpartum and even labor stimulation massage. They even offer couples massage.
To learn more about their services or to book online, Click HERE to call and schedule your visit today.
I am SO excited to share this post with you today. Have you heard of the blog “A Good Mom” If you haven’t you should head over there and give it a read. Her name is Elise and when I found her blog i was captivated by her honesty, tips, view points and just over all simplicity. Something that Elise talks about on her blog is overcoming anxiety’s and depression. I contacted her to see if she would be willing to write a guest blog talking about antepartum depression and what she has done to get through those really hard times. Working in the birth world I feel like this specific need is often lost in the hype and excitement of having a new baby and everything should be super happy and nothing but. However Its not sometimes all happy and joyous. Join Elise on her incredible blog post as she shares her incredible story and the things she’s done to help her through this next pregnancy.
If you’re experiencing antepartum depression it is OKAY. To seek for help click Here.<<<<
This has been one of my deepest, darkest secrets that I have been keeping to myself for several years now.
I am terrified to be sharing this with the universe, but I’m writing this because I feel that it needs to be said, and I need to help bring more awareness to antepartum depression.
When I found out that I was pregnant with my first, it was as beautiful as I ever imagined it would be.
I cried happy tears. I fell to my knees and thanked God. I was glowing for days!
Over time, my emotional state began to deteriorate.
Any time that I would make mention of the things that I was experiencing, I would hear things like “That’s normal.” “Pregnancy is hard for everyone.” “You’ll get through it.”
I never truly confided in anyone, not even my OBGYN at the time, about the intimate details of my emotional state for two reasons.
1. I was very embarrassed. And to be completely honest, I still am…
2. I downplayed it hard core thinking that it was just a normal part of pregnancy.
I WAS DEAD WRONG!
I was so physically sick that I lost 20 pounds over a period of 2 months. Keep in mind that I was already very thin and in shape.
That should tell you just how sick I was.
I was too sick to eat.
Most women eat, and then throw up. I was throwing up before I could get the fork to my mouth.
That’s not normal either.
My physical state was at it’s absolute worst.
Just to be brief- I was blacking out and passing out frequently, among other unpleasant things…
I just remember begging and pleading with God to spare my child!
I just wanted her to live!
Now I know that it is nothing short of a miracle that my fetus survived when I myself was hanging by a thread. Literally.
Now for a little science lesson of the day- your physical state is directly linked to your emotional state.
When you are suffering physically, you will also suffer emotionally.
But it was more than that for me.
I already suffered from depression prior to my pregnancy.
So to take my current (untreated) depression, and couple that with physically dying- it was a very ugly combination.
As much as I don’t want to go into the details of my emotional state at the time of my first pregnancy, I will.
I was suffering emotional breakdowns on just about a daily basis.
I would curl up in little corners, or in the shower, or on the floor and just felt like my spirit was perishing.
I had thoughts of harming myself
I had thoughts of suicide and death
My marriage was suffering gravely
I felt guilty. Oh so guilty for feeling the way that I did when I had so many friends and family members struggling with infertility. I thought that I should just be happy and grateful to be able to be pregnant!
I felt guilty that I hated myself and had such violent thoughts towards myself.
I felt that I wasn’t worthy of my child and that she deserved a better, stronger woman to carry her to birth.
I feared that my emotional state would never improve and that I would utterly fail as a mother.
The amount of hopelessness and worthlessness that I felt was overwhelming. And “overwhelming” is an absolute understatement.
I was one of the unfortunate women that was physically ill until I reached my 8th month of pregnancy.
Which means that I was suffering emotionally for those 8 months!
Once I started feeling better physically, I was finally able to follow a normal diet again.
I finally got to experience what a “normal pregnancy” would feel like.
For the last 2 months.
That was when my emotional state improved DRAMATICALLY!
Like I said, there’s a direct correlation between the physical and mental state.
And I am very happy to report that my postpartum depression only lasted a week. ONE WEEK, PEOPLE!
And just like that, I was back to being me again!
So if you are feeling like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, there is.
Here’s what I learned from this incredibly dark, lonely, and terrifying time of my life:
1. I can clearly see that I was not thinking straight. I should have consulted with my doctor about every grueling detail of my emotional state. Without reservations.
2. What I went through was NOT normal, and listening to other people say that it was- was the STUPIDEST thing that I have EVERRRR done to myself.
3. I will never put myself, or my unborn child at risk like that again. This will never be repeated. And I am happy to say that with this current pregnancy (I am 7 months pregnant currently), I was prepared. My doctor and I have been proactive about treating my sickness, and nipped the physical and emotional sickness in the bud before it ever even got close to getting out of hand! Hallelujah!
4. I don’t care about anybody else’s opinion. I will do WHATEVER it takes to keep myself healthy, and therefore my child healthy (and ALIVE). Even if that means taking medication while pregnant. Yep. I said it. And if you are judging me for that, then count yourself blessed that you are not one of 20% of other women that experience what I did during pregnancy.
5. What I went through, and what you may be going through is very real. It is serious. It is not in your head. It is not just part of pregnancy. It needs to be treated immediately, and if your current doctor is not validating you, then you need to find a new doctor who will.
6. I wish that I would have educated myself at the time, on the resources that were available to me! For instance- Doula Services!!!! Which is basically a source of emotional support- which would have been incredibly beneficial to me during such a fragile time.
Some women’s bodies handle pregnancy like a boss.
Other women’s bodies do not.
It is not my fault that my body hates being pregnant.
It is not in my control.
If you are one of those women too, then accept that you are not at fault and rid yourself of your guilt immediately.
Everyone reacts to pregnancy differently.
And in many, many cases, each woman’s body reacts differently to each pregnancy that she has!
Isn’t that awesome?
For a person like me with severe anxiety to have to deal with that much unpredictability is just great. (Not!)
There are resources out there for you.
If you are struggling with antepartum depression, or even postpartum depression-
Seek help IMMEDIATELY!!!
You are NOT weak!
You are NOT failing!
You are NOT doing anything wrong!
Your body is making the shots, and you are suffering the consequences.
Seek advice from a medical professional, or emotional support from another source such as a Doula.
Do NOT be afraid to try different things…even if it’s medication.
Especially if it means saving your life, your unborn child’s life, and/or your marriage.
For your sake, and your child’s sake, and your marriages sake, and for all of the sakes!
Something many people do not know about my little Webster (my VBA2C baby) is when we were trying to conceive him we did some “crazy” things during the process. My first two children were girls and we LOVED them of course but we really hoped for a little boy the next time around. I was told about the Shettles method. This method was how to try and get a certain sex. I rolled my eyes because I figured YA RIGHT, there is no way you can choose the sex of your baby. RIGHT??? Somehow I was still interested. (you can find it on amazon click the image below)
At the time we were not quite ready to start trying for our third baby so I figured Id dig a little and see what information I could get on it. A friend of mine gave me the book Titled “How to choose the sex of your baby” She said that it was VERY important for me to read the entire thing not just the boy section. She did it with her kiddos and swore by it. Sooooo I started reading along. A lot of the information was very interesting to me. I started doing the things it said like tracking ovulation, temping, checking CM (cervical Mucus), and eating different. After a few months of doing this my husband said he was ready to start trying. I told my husband about the book and what I was learning. We knew that the third baby would possibly be our last child so I asked him what he thought about us trying the things in the book. He said sure, I suppose we can why not. I told my husband what I was doing and asked him to do a few things too.
“Let me tell you all this conception was anything but romantic ha ha”
THINGS WE DID TO GET A BOY!
HIM: I told him he needed to start by cooling things down: My husband LOVES hot showers, unfortunately for him I needed him to take luke warm showers so his guys were not “overheated”. Scrotal temperature is something that is discussed in the book. A good scrotal temperature is one that is just less than the bodies temp, so keeping loose fitting unders, not sitting in a hot tub or taking hot showers, and not overheating while he worked out were the instructions I gave him. He also needed to drink caffeine just before we had sex. Who doens’t love a good excuse to drink Caffeine? Well, this is another thing that men can do before sex. He doesn’t drink coffee so I had him drink a nice cool Mountain Dew about 15 minutes before we had sex.
ME: I mentioned above a little about what I was doing however let me get into deeper detail for you. I talked about checking my CM. If you haven’t seen or heard of the term CM that means Cervical Mucus. This is something we make all month long and depending on how our CM texture is is how fertile we are. What you are looking for when you ovulate is “egg white” CM. This literally means just like it sounds it should look like egg whites clear and super stretchy. When having a girl your CM will look different because you want to catch things a little earlier than you would with a boy. In addition to checking CM I also took my temp every morning. I chose to take it vaginally, some do orally I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to temp as long as you’re temping every morning before getting out of bed and really trying to temp around the same day everyday. You may have heard about a Basil thermometer. I didn’t use a one but I did get a nicer one that read fast and accurately. Eating was a large thing for me as the book talked about keeping my Alkaline levels down. Staying away from Dairy, and focussing on raw fresh fruits and veggies. One of my favorite snacks was bananas with almonds sticking out of them. I also drank Alkaline water.
WHEN WE FOUND OUT WHAT WE WERE HAVING…. GIRL OR BOY???
At 14 weeks I went into my doctors and begged for him to show me baby so we could see if we knew the sex because we were telling our parents on Christmas day and I wanted to give them an ultrasound with a bow on the head or a bow tie. He agreed and said it may be hard but we could see. When we were looking it appeared the baby was a girl. I was so excited but also super bummed. We told our family on Christmas day and we told my friend who gave us the book that we tried everything and we found out we were having a GIRL. She was ADAMANT that we didn’t do it correctly. I told her that we did everything to a T. She still swore to me that I must had missed something. Fast forward 6 weeks at our 20 week ultrasound. We walked in and started the visit. She did as most techs do starts at the head and moves down as they measure and check everything. I kept telling my husband AHHH look how cute she is, she’s a wiggler, etc etc. The tech stopped and looked at us??? She said Im so sorry but why do you keep calling this baby a girl? I said oh we found out a little early that she was a girl and told her what we chose to name her. She looked at us with a very strange look and said WELLLLLLL, this is a BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
IT COULDN’T BE!!!!!!
She moved the arrow down and made it into a finger and pointed to what was MOST DEFINETLY not a girl. I was shocked, my husband was shocked we couldn’t believe our eyes or ears. We walked out thinking WOW it worked. It actually worked!!!! When I told my friend she said she was wanting to have their last and really wanted to try for a girl. At this point I am a firm believer that the things I did had to of helped me right???? I told her all about the book and she started all the things to try for a girl. Guess what she got a girl. She has blogged about her story as well you can find that HERE. Our sweet boy just turned 2 and we just can’t get enough of him. If you would like to read more about this method check out the book
My name is Sarah, I am twenty seven years old, a mom to three girls and i’ve had three c-sections!! my husband and i got married in 2012 and didn’t wait very long to get our family started! i did very little research and before we knew it we were staring at a positive pregnancy test! we were ecstatic!!! i had a pretty rough pregnancy, and was throwing up from the very beginning until about 25 weeks. as this was my first baby, i did some light reading but honestly not much, i never went to any birth classes and didn’t really have a “birth plan”. all that mattered was that momma and baby were safe in the end! at 36 weeks i had an ultra sound to check the position of my baby and found out that she was breech and that my amniotic fluids were low! I was told to take it easy for a week and would check my fluid levels again at my next appointment! a week passed and at my 37 week appointment my fluid levels had dropped even more and was sent for a more detailed ultrasound to determine whether or not baby was coming that day or not and a stress test to check on baby! my amniotic fluid levels were so low— there was basically nothing in there and because baby was breech there was no way to turn her to be induced so i was sent in for an “emergency c-section” that day and honestly, i wasn’t disappointed at all. like i said, i never had a birth plan so i didn’t feel heart broken for it not going as we had planned! the surgery went well and i was surprisingly very impressed with how it all went! we were so happy to have our baby girl here! i always wanted my babies super close in age so we got pregnant again 12 months later! i was interested in doing a v-bac but wasn’t certain so i did some research and talked with my doctor but in the end my husband and i decided to go with a return cesearen! my second procedure went fine but not as smoothly! i was very nauseous and threw up during the surgery which was so miserable. And all i could think about was when it would be over! baby number two ended up in the nicu for a few hours for a few minor complications! we ended up getting pregnant with baby number 3 in november of 2017 and just like my other pregnancies it was a very difficult pregnancy! my OB doesn’t allow a v-bac after two c-sections so that wasn’t even an option but both my husband and I were okay with it… we were overall very happy with our first two births! because of how my second procedure went i made sure to go into my third c-section with lots of positivity and made sure to get some nausea medication as soon as we were in the OR, my husband and i listened to music during the procedure and talked to the doctors about vehicle wraps my husband had recently finished and other random topics. my third c-section went SO smoothly and i was SO happy with the outcome! with my third cesarean i was able to do skin to skin with my baby while they were stitching me up unlike my other two c-sections which made my experience that much better! i loved my c-sections and i wouldn’t have changed how my birth stories turned out!! i love my “battle wound” and that it shows all the amazing things my body went through to bring my three beautiful daughters here!
This pregnancy was a high-risk pregnancy due to my Type 1 Diabetes. This time around I didn’t have as tight of control because I was now not only taking care of myself, but a toddler. It was hard to focus on me when my toddler wanted me to always focus on him.
We were with the same doctor because we absolutely loved her with my un-medicated delivery and wanted the same experience. This time around though, she was more hesitant to deliver a big baby due to the shoulder dystocia with my last baby. She started talking about cesarean section before 30 weeks. We absolutely did NOT want a cesarean section. I had some misguided ideas of people who have had cesarean sections. I thought they didn’t try hard enough, they didn’t know better, they didn’t want to know better, they wanted to “take the easy way out”, etc. If you’ve had a c-section, you know these are very misguided ideas.
My doctor wanted me to have twice a week non-stress tests. Her and I agreed one once a week since my blood sugar control was decent and I was doing my kick counts. At my weekly non-stress test they found that this little boy was breech, meaning his head was up when it should have been down for delivery. I started getting nervous about him staying breech. My doula was helping me find things to do to turn him such as Moxibustion, the things listed on spinningbabies.com, chiropractic care specializing in the Webster technique, rebozo sifting, etc. We did all of these things with no luck. My doula thought that perhaps when I broke my foot around 30 weeks all my ligaments tightened up so my body didn’t allow my baby room to turn
We scheduled an appointment with one of the few OB’s that delivers breech babies in Utah, Dr. Silver. We were going to see him when he was doing his rounds at IMC, since my insurance didn’t cover the University of Utah where Dr. Silver delivers. We would do my weekly non-stress test then consult with Dr. Silver. We were going to see if he would do an external cephalic version, or if a breech delivery was possible. While I was getting ready for this appointment I started having regular contractions. I got my toddler’s things ready to go to my parents’ in case they were able to do a version and I had to stay to deliver. I dropped him off at my parents’ house and told them I may or may not be picking him up later that day.
On my way to the appointment at 3:00, I was starting to have to breathe through the contractions. I called my husband, who was meeting me at the appointment, to let him know that I thought I was in labor and to let our doula know. When we got all settled in for the non-stress test I was having some serious back labor. I had to put my fist in my back during the contractions while trying to hold still for the non-stress test monitors. Laboring on your back really sucks, especially with back labor! During the test, baby’s heart rate was decelerating. The nurse doing the test looked concerned so I asked if the monitor just wasn’t picking up, or if it was a real deceleration. She said the monitor seemed to be working. A few minutes later, Dr. Silver came in and said that I seemed to be laboring and asked me if I thought I was in labor. I told him yes. He told me that since I was in labor and baby was having decelerations we could not do the external cephalic version and baby was too big for a breech delivery so I should go downstairs and have a c-section. My heart sunk. This was not how I wanted to bring my baby into the world, plus I was terrified of surgery.
We went down to labor and delivery and the nurse got us all checked in and started prepping for the cesarean. Chase, my husband, went and got our birth bag, which I had packed a few weeks ago and had ready in the car for when the time came. He called our birth team and told them what was happening. One of the doctors wanted to check my cervix. I asked why because I was having a c-section. She told me that they needed to know if I needed to go back right away or if we had a while. Really, they could have known by the way I was acting, but I didn’t think about that at the time so I let them. I was 1 cm dilated, so they had a while, especially with him being breech and not pushing my cervix open efficiently.
In the operating room I received my spinal block. He started numbing it and I just broke down crying. I really didn’t want this. I had an amazing un-medicated, natural, vaginal birth last time. I knew my body worked, so I didn’t understand why everyone thought my body was broken this time. The anesthesiologist said you should feel better in a minute. My doctor touched my shoulder and told me the anesthesiologist was almost done. They were both trying to comfort me, but they didn’t understand that I wasn’t crying about the spinal. The spinal sucked, yes, but the situation sucked more. It was around 6:00 when my doctor showed up and was ready for surgery. She asked my doula if she was going to go back with me and my doula responded, “Yes, if I’m allowed.” The nurse told my doctor that due to the OR not being big enough (which it was definitely big enough) only one support person was allowed back. This made me even more nervous. I was not ready for this and now I was losing one of my support people. My doula walked me to the OR with my husband and she said she would see me when I’m done.
Once he was done they had me lay on my back before I got too numb to move. I felt so nauseous. I told the anesthesiologist but he just said that he gave me some anti-nausea medicine so I should be fine in a second. Since he was not listening I told Chase, my husband, to find me a garbage to puke in. The anesthesiologist did something about it since he finally got the hint that I was serious and gave me an alcohol swab to sniff in my oxygen mask. It smelled awful, but it worked.
The nurse leaned down asked me if I was okay and told me my eyes were beautiful. She was very nice, but didn’t have any regard for personal space. She was literally right in my face. This just added to the situation. I felt like I had no choices, no personal space, nothing. Everything was up to them and I had to rely on them and go along with whatever they wanted to do.
My doctor asked me if I could feel her cold hands on my stomach and I couldn’t so they said they were ready to begin. I was not ready to be cut into, but I never would be, so whether I was ready or not, they began. My doctor asked me if I still wanted to have the surgery explained to me, per my request in my birth plan. I told her I changed my mind and didn’t want to know. Chase was trying to comfort me as much as he could. He didn’t want this either. He played music for me and stroked my hair. A few minutes later my baby boy was out! He was born at 6:19 p.m. They lowered the drape a little and I tried to lift my head, but couldn’t move much since I was numb from my chest down. He looked so big in my doctor’s arms. I barely saw him over the drape then they handed him off to the pediatric team.
They weighed and measured him. He was 9 lbs 14 oz and 23 inches long. He was huge! No wonder my belly was so big. They stitched me up while Chase went over to be with him. This is why I wanted my doula with us. She could have been by me telling me what is going on with my baby or the surgery. Instead I had to listen to the doctors talking about where they used to live as they put me back together and stitch me up. My doctor asked how I was doing, but because of the anesthesia I felt like I had big sand bags on my chest and could only muster out whispers. I’ve never felt so out of control of my body, and this was normal from the anesthesia.
After they stitched me back up one of the doctors who was operating on me asked how I was doing. I said I was fine, but I wanted to know how my baby was because I couldn’t hear him. She looked over at him and said that he looked good, but she’ll send over one of the nurses to let me know. They brought a hospital bed in to put me on. It felt very strange to be turned side to side and then lifted by several people onto another bed. They handed me my baby, finally. About an hour after he was born I finally got to touch him. I didn’t want to let him go. I couldn’t see his face because it was under my chin, but I was fine with just snuggling him. This was the only good thing about the cesarean, my healthy baby boy.
Once I got to my room my parents, our son, doula, and photographer were all there. My dad took some pictures to send to people and asked me who to send it to. I was so high on all the drugs they gave me for the surgery that I couldn’t answer his question. My doula was trying to help me feel better with essential oils, which did help. I got a couple minutes of bonding time with my new baby before they had to take him to the NICU for low blood sugar. His sugar was 26. I was sad about this, but understood. Chase and my photographer both went to the NICU with him.
My doula helped me get all situated in my postpartum room. One of the nurses came in and asked me if I needed more morphine. I don’t like to take medication unless I absolutely need it, so I was hesitant to get it. My doula suggested that I take it before I start hurting, so I told the nurse I wanted it. I asked her if it would make me nauseous and she told me she had given me some ant-nausea medication so I should be okay. Immediately after getting the morphine she left and I started puking. My doula got me some bags to puke in and was trying to push the nurse call button but it wasn’t working. Luckily my photographer had just come into my room and went and got the nurse. Apparently they forgot to plug in my bed so none of the buttons were working.
The nurse felt my legs and asked if I could feel her touching them. I told her I couldn’t and she gave me a look. I don’t know how to describe it, but it made me kind of nervous. A few hours later I could finally feel my legs.
After several more hours of getting me settled in, my doula left. She was so amazing for after delivery. I’m sure she would have been amazing during, but they wouldn’t let her in. I asked when I could go to the NICU to see my baby. They told me once I had gotten up to pee and my catheter was out. I kept asking for updates on my baby, but they didn’t know since they didn’t work in the NICU. I called Chase since nobody was updating me. Baby Wesley’s sugars were stabilizing and he was on oxygen.
Later that night I asked if I could see my baby. The nurses got me out of my bed to pee. I was still really dizzy, but I wanted to see him so I made myself get up. I asked the nurses if they would catch me if I fell. They responded, “Of course!” I finally got up and peed so now I could see my baby. They wheeled me down there and I told me that I couldn’t stay long because they needed to get to their other patients. I kissed him and stayed for less than 5 minutes before being wheeled up again. They told me that I needed to get some rest.
The next morning I called Chase to come bring me down to the NICU again. Chase had been there all night with him and didn’t leave his side except to go to the bathroom. We spent all of our time there for the next 6 days. It took a while to wean him off of the glucose IV, but he was able to go off oxygen on day 2. My nurses had an easy job with me since they never had to check on me because I was always in the NICU. I got discharged after 4 days, we did a hotel stay in the hospital for 2 days, and finally baby was discharged before we had to figure out where to stay again. The NICU is a depressing place and we are grateful for all they do, but we were glad to finally be going home and to see our other child.
This was a very humbling experience for me. I learned that cesarean moms are strong, stronger than I ever imagined. I learned that c-sections are not always avoidable no matter how many things you do right. I learned that cesareans are NOT the easy way out. I have a newfound respect and love for cesarean moms.
April is C-section awareness month. I would love to share some stories from mommas this month. I have had two c sections and would love to share my stories with you.
I was pregnant with my first baby. My husband and I were so excited when we found out we were expecting. I had a wonderful pregnancy. I loved seeing her grow from the outside and feeling her movements get bigger as she grew. I was tracking my ovulation very carefully because we had been trying for a bit and a friend told me that tracking with ovulation strips help so I had a really good idea on the time that we conceived her. When we went in for our first ultrasound they gave us the date of October 26th which was pretty accurate from the time that we had written down when tracking. However as the pregnancy continued they changed the date on us due to growth. They said that her new due date was November 6th. As the days got closer I got more swollen and uncomfortable. I was still stuck on that 26th date and couldn’t seem to get past it because “I KNEW” the 6th had to of been wrong. (OH HOW I LAUGH NOW)
Anyway October 26th came and went and I started to feel VERY pregnant. I was doing it all from Spicy food, running all over the place, taking drives in the mountains, eating pineapple. YOU NAME IT I was doing it. I tried everything google provided me except for a few things like Castor oil and B&B cohosh. My cousins told me that they did Castor oil and it worked every time. Hmmmmm It got me thinking. I decided one night I was going to try it and see what happened. I took a small small amount and went to bed hoping I would wake up in labor. Sadly I woke up and nothing was happening. I looked at the dosage and realized I had taken a childrens dose. All day at work I went back and forth should I do it again??? should I just wait it out???
Well the evening came and my frustrations took over. I decided that I would give it one more go. I took a normal dose with a protein shake and about 3 hours later started feeling a little nauseous. I sipped on some sprite and ate some saltine crackers and started feeling better. Super bummed I headed to bed. I woke up at 11pm as usual to go to the potty. I went into the bathroom and something didn’t really seem right???? I was going potty but it seemed to be a lot and I couldn’t stop it. My mind went to thinking…. Could my water just have broken? I sat there for a few more moments and sure enough it kept happening. I got up and put a towel in my pants and waddled over to the bed where Ric was sleeping. I woke him up and said hey babe I think my water just broke. He said okay and rolled over, while I waddled back into the bathroom and sat down on the potty again. I decided that I wanted to shower. My doctor always told me if your water breaks come right in! So I figured I would shower and get ready and head in. While I was in the shower Ric came in and said Did you just tell me your water broke. I said I DID. I was giggling at him. I finished showering while Ric packed the rest of the bag and we headed to the hospital. I kept feeling like I was going to poop all over. (I was so worried because I had taken the oil and everyone said that it makes you poop) But after a few times Ric said babe Its just your contraction??? Ha ha I had done very little to prep for this baby. No childbirth classes just a little bit of reading and hanging on my baby bump app. We arrived to the hospital and contractions were very far apart and very faint. (now knowing we went way too soon) I was GBS- and the fluid was nice and clear.
We walked in at 1am and they got me in the bed and got us all checked in. She checked my cervix and said you are 1cm! I was so happy. A couple days before at my visit I wasn’t dilated at all. I said okay they got me an IV and left. Ric and I looked at one another thinking hmmm OKAY. Contractions started coming on stronger and sitting in the bed was very hard for me. I was told that I could not get out because I was hooked up to the IV and they wanted my baby on the monitor. I still to this day cant remember where I was feeling it, in my belly or back or what but I remember that it was strong and hard. at 3 am they checked me again and said I was 2 cm and they wanted to start pitocin. I really didn’t know what that was at that point so I said okay and went along with it.
OMG things intensified from there. It was instant I immediately was clenching my hands around the bed telling Ric it hurt. 5/6 am they checked me and I was 2 1/2 cm. I was stoked but OH MY GOSH IN PAIN and after asking Ric to help me a million times and asking him to do something we decided to ask for the epidural. My doctor came in at 7:30am and checked me. I was still 2 1/2cm and 90% thinned. He said that he would be back in a couple hours. They continued to turn pitocin up and I was calm trying to sleep. around 9am they came in and said I was still only about 3cm. The doc said that he would give me about 2 hours and if I hadn’t made SIGNIFICANT change they would be looking at doing a C-section. (a little back story my mom had 2 C-sections and it was really something I was scared of happening so this really scared me) I mentioned it to my doctor during the pregnancy and he said that he didn’t see any reason at that point for me to need a C-section.
come 11 am they came in and said I was 2 1/2 maybe 3 cm and my baby had a couple not alarming but a couple decels and that I was going to have a c-section in the next hour. My heart broke. I was confused looking at the monitor she looked great had a solid heart rate of 150’s. I didn’t want a c-section but we trusted our doctor and figured if thats what he thought was best we would do that.Our goal was safe mom and baby. One hour later I was 3cm and the doc said that I had been in labor too long with no progress (failure to progress) soon after my husband was dressed and they took us out and down the hall. I was bawling and super nauseous but excited to meet my baby girl.
Not long after our baby girl was lifted over a blue curtain. I wanted to cry but couldnt seem to let it out. She cried and cried and my husband left my side to go see her.
I laid there and wanted nothing more than to see what was happening on the other side. All I could hear was the doc and his assistant talking about their trips they just got off of and how bummed they were with the snow storm outside. Soon after my husband brought my baby girl over and took a picture with me and him. I was so happy to see her. She was perfect in every way. He and the baby left and they finished sewing me up and got me back on a comfortable bed.
I was very sleepy after but enjoyed holding my baby girl once I was in recovery. We went into the hospital room and there were a lot of family members in there waiting for us. I was so dozy I was sort of in and out as visitors came and went. The birth that I anticipated was not what happened. This was hard for me to get over and even now typing it there are a flood of emotions that are coming in. I am grateful for this birth though. It taught me a lot and was the starting puzzle piece that led me into the doula that I am today. I love my little girl so much and am so grateful that she joined our family that day.
Next story to come ….
If you have a c-section story you would like to share Please feel free to send it to me pictures are also welcomed. Contact me HERE