Monday, May 7, 2012

One Year Later (well, almost)

A lot can happen in a year. Before you know it, the tiny little baby that came out of your body is walking, talking and growing right before your eyes. Josiah is a very happy 11 1/2 month old. He is walking, saying a few words, and just as happy as can be. I've decided to leave this blog as an homage to my VBA2C, and not add anything more to it. If you wish to follow me and my crazy life and hear about lactivism, VBACtivism, intactivism, homeschooling and homemaking head over to my new blog, Attached To My Kids!


Monday, June 6, 2011

The VBA2C Of Josiah Morgan

Josiah’s birth story begins the weekend before he was born. I had been through a rough appointment with my OB’s partner (and the CNM at that, not the other OB). She wouldn’t let me leave the office without my c-section scheduled for 42 weeks, which was the following Thursday. I was overdue, swollen, tired and just ready to meet my baby boy. I posted to a few groups about my frustration and it was suggested to me that I look into acupuncture. So, on Friday afternoon I went in to see a local chiropractor who did acupuncture. We did a session, and I went home. We took the kids to the community pool after LJ got home and enjoyed some family time.

Saturday morning, we woke up, got everyone dressed and went down to the beach with my parents. We had quite a fun day together. The kids loved the sand and water. We were on the family beach, which was a lot quieter than the “real” beach. We didn’t have to worry about the tide (which was nearly fully in when we got there), waves, anything. Sunday we went to church as usual, stopped for sushi on the way home. We decided to take advantage of our last chance to enjoy the pool before the baby got here, because one way or another he’d be here this week. At the end of the day, we were quite content with our fun-filled final weekend as a family of four! (Try saying that four times fast!)

Monday we didn’t do much. LJ went to work, I went to get more acupuncture done. I had some minor contractions, nothing that was enough to time and they were barely noticeable. I was supposed to go for more acupuncture on Tuesday, but had decided to spend the day at home working on cleaning the house, getting laundry caught up, everything I wasn’t going to be able to do the rest of the week come Thursday.

Tuesday morning started like every other day. I fought to get out of the bed and got LJ ready to go out to work. When he left, I used my breast pump for a few minutes, trying one final time for the day to get labor started. Nothing. Not even a tightening. Jonas woke up and was hungry, so I put the pump up and started to get up to get him breakfast. And that’s when it happened. Right at 8:00AM. The telltale “pop” quickly followed by the gush… and gush… and gush. My water had broken! I called LJ and told him he needed to come back home. He had just pulled in his parking space at work! I called my mom to come get the kids, and called my doula, Carrie, to let her know today was the day. I called out for my sister (who had been staying with us to help me) to bring me a towel. I couldn’t move without gushing more fluid.  We got the kids ready to go to my mom’s house, and I started making the cappuccino muffins I’d planned on bringing the nurses. By now my water had been broken for an hour and I started getting contractions. They started out slow, about every 10 minutes. I finished the muffins, then my mom arrived and took the kids. We kissed them goodbye, and our house was quiet. We didn’t want to jump the gun with going to the hospital, so we hung out at home for a couple hours. The contractions started to grow closer together, about 4-5 minutes apart. We decided around lunchtime to head on to the hospital. We waited for me to get something to eat (because I knew they wouldn’t want me to eat at the hospital), then we stopped by Taco Bell for LJ (there’s a first—contractions in the Taco Bell drive thru!) and headed on to St. Luke’s.

On the way to the hospital, I listened to the “Easy First Stage” Hypnobabies track. It certainly helped make the trip down 95 a lot easier. We got to St. Luke’s, checked in and were sent to triage. I handed over the cappuccino muffins to some very happy looking nurses. Since I told them I was using my third towel to catch amniotic fluid, they didn’t bother checking to see if my water had truly been broken. Carrie arrived and we were soon transferred to a birth suite. I had several people come in and do some things. One nurse came in and asked about a million questions and had me sign a bunch of papers. One nurse came in and put me on the monitor. Another nurse came in and tried to start an IV. Fail. We asked to wait a bit, and stating something about being back because we needed it “in case of an emergency” she left. The anesthesiology nurse came in and asked a ton of questions and wanted me to sign the consent for anesthesia “in case of an emergency”. I got tired of hearing that phrase. When I asked to wait, he reluctantly accepted. He then offered to get my IV started. His first try was too close to a nerve and right as a contraction started, and I made him stop. His second try was an immediate success. We were left alone then for a while. LJ rubbed my feet with some oils Carrie had. It felt good. The contractions were slowly but surely getting more intense and closer. The room we were in was really hot. We asked for the temperature to be turned down, but apparently it was not working properly, so we were transferred to another birth suite. I walked to our new room, pausing for contractions. We got settled into the new room.

With each contraction, I had an overwhelming nausea. LJ and Carrie each held a pressure point on my ears and it helped get me through. At one point, the nausea got to be too much and I asked for some Phenergan. It made me drowsy, but I was still able to focus during contractions on my relaxation, with LJ and Carrie’s help. With every contraction, one or both of them were there to use a relaxation cue and help me get into hypnosis. At this point, I had been checked and I was only at 1-2cm.

The nurses had given me one or two bags of IV fluids, and at one point they wanted me to go to the bathroom. I got up and walked to the bathroom. I tried to sit on the toilet, but the intense pressure was way too much for me to handle. I just couldn’t sit down. I tried to go standing up, but that was a no-go as well. I told LJ I wanted something for the pain. I think he maybe thought I meant an epidural or spinal, because he tried severely to talk me out of it. He reminded me how important a natural birth was to me, and how I desperately wanted my VBA2C and pain medicine would possibly hinder that. I said I just wanted something in my IV. The nurse came in and said they needed me to use the bathroom. I said I couldn’t do it, and asked to be catheterized. They cathed me and Dr. VanScriver came in to check my dilation. She said I was 2-3cm. 2-3?! For real?? At this point I should at least be a 6! Why wasn’t I dilating quickly? I was relaxed during contractions… well, sort of… I later found out that she was being “generous” and I wasn’t really 2-3, more like still 1-2. I asked for something mild to take the edge off and help me focus again. She gave me Stadol in my IV. And that’s where everything goes fuzzy.

I remember contractions. I remember being encouraged to “release”. I also remember Carrie leaving for a little bit. I remember seeing LJ and Carrie drinking Cokes and wanting one for myself. But, I also remember things that weren’t there. Like my oldest son giving me dirty looks, sitting in my living room. My mom and I talking in her kitchen. Other things that just weren’t happening, and I remember responding to them, and then being brought back to reality when LJ would ask me why I was asking him why he was looking at me like that, when he was across the room talking on his phone. That’s about all I remember of my experience with Stadol. Carrie later informed me that they were able to let me listen to several Hypnobabies tracks and I was a lot more focused afterward. She got to go pump for her baby, they ate dinner and got to get ready for what was coming.

Shortly before midnight I believe (given the timetable I have been told), Dr. VanScriver came in and checked me. I was 9cm. NINE!! For a brief minute, I got nervous. Here I was, where I got to with Arianna. My body had never gotten past 9cm. Could it get there? BAD THINKING!! I could do this. Easy. This was what my body was made to do. I started feeling “pushy” and Carrie picked up on it immediately, based on the noises I was making (sign of a good doula!). I think she or the nurse suggested I get checked again. Sure enough, I was at 10cm with a little bit of a lip! I couldn’t believe it! I didn’t have a faulty cervix! I got to 10cm! Now came the hard part…

The room had quickly transformed from the pretty suite into a “procedure room” look. All the birth tools the doctor would need (and wouldn’t need but were there “in case of an emergency”) were ready and waiting. I was given the go-ahead to start pushing, although I think my body had been doing some of that on its own. I tried to find a good position to push. I pushed on my hands and knees, but they lost the baby on the monitor and wanted me to move positions so they could read him. I tried to push lying on my side. I couldn’t even get on my side. The pressure I felt was way too much. So, I laid on my back in a semi-reclined position and pushed. They still had trouble getting Josiah’s heartbeat on the monitor. We got it settled, and I started to push. I pushed for a couple hours and kept accidentally moving the monitor, so the doctor asked to put in a IFM (screw in the head to monitor his heartrate). I didn’t want it, but if it kept the nurses from having to find his heart rate as I pushed, I would allow it. I was tired of the external monitor. I pushed some more. It was intense. I finally found a position that was moving him down and a routine that worked for me. I’d wait until I felt the urge to push. LJ and Carrie would grab my lower legs, I’d grab my thighs and push as long as I could. Then LJ and Carrie would each grab my ears to keep me from throwing up. I’d push again, then rest and Carrie gave me a sip of water and I’d put the oxygen mask on they gave me. The oxygen helped a lot.

I heard someone say, “He’s crowning!” I felt his head and couldn’t believe I was so close to holding my baby! We pushed a few more times and the doctor tried to stretch my perineum out so he could get out. Nothing she or I could do would stretch it enough. He was stuck on my perineum for an hour. She numbed it and we tried pushing some more. I began to tear below my perineum, so the doctor said I would need to get an episiotomy. I begged to let me go one more contraction before cutting, and she let me. I couldn’t push him out though. So, she cut me. That sound is nauseating! And what does my wonderful husband do? Comment on how nauseating the sound is! I thought Carrie and I were going to beat him up! He quickly stopped commenting.

Shortly after the episiotomy, I felt him move down even more. I think it was two or three more good pushes after that I felt intense stretching and pressure and then relief. He was out. He was here. He wasn’t really crying. I was scared to death. They suctioned him in between my legs, then put him on top of my chest as they cleaned him up and tried to get him to cry. He was moving, just not exactly pink and not wanting to cry. They let LJ cut the cord and took him over to the warmer. Those few minutes of silence were deafening. I was scared to death. I wanted someone to tell me what was going on. LJ would look over there. One of the nurses told him what was going on. Josiah would breathe and cry when they rubbed him, but when they stopped, he didn’t want to cry. They called the neonatologist in. Josiah had a fever of 102. They wanted to take him to the Special Care Nursery to make sure he wasn’t sick, didn’t have meconium, etc. I said ok, but I wanted to see him first. The neonatologist acted like I was crazy. Of COURSE I’d get to see him first! They brought him over to me. I kissed him. My littlest man. He was so wonderful, so beautiful. He looked just like his brother. I kissed him again and let them take him, escorted by his daddy. I laid there as the doctor stitched me up. I delivered the placenta about 25 minutes after Josiah. As soon as she was done, I sat up. I felt great! Well, yeah, I was sore. Really sore. I felt like a Mack truck had been run through me! But, compared to the c-sections? TOTALLY different! After a while, I got up and walked to the bathroom. Compared to being catheterized for 24 hours following a c-section, totally great! Carrie helped me back to bed, and got me my cell phone so I could be in contact with LJ.

Different than the calm before the storm, the calm after was quite unique. All of the medical equipment was removed from the room. The nurses left, the doctor left, it was just Carrie and I. We sat on my bed mostly in silence. I was digesting everything that had happened over the last 19 hours. Every now and then I would say, “I can’t believe I did it.” She filled in a few details, like my true dilation the second time I was checked, what I did during my Stadol time, etc. I apologized to her for any bruises she may have on her arms. I was holding on pretty tight to her and LJ at one point. She said it was normal. She offered to help me shower, but I refused. I wanted to keep by my phone to make sure Josiah was ok.

About an hour after birth, I was getting anxious. I wanted my baby. I had lost an hour of his life. Yeah, he was with his daddy, and his daddy would make sure nothing we didn’t want him having would happen, but I wanted him. Skin to skin, nursing, with Mommy. I apologized to my nurse in advance, but I was going to be a trouble patient and insist on going to the special care nursery to be with my husband and son. She went to get a wheelchair, but returned to get the bassinette. Josiah was coming back to Mommy. They said he was going to be ok. His bloodwork was fine. They did an x-ray and would bring him back to me. LJ and Josiah came back. We got a picture with Carrie, and she left shortly after. Then it was just the three of us. And I cried. God is so good!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

40 weeks!

Yes, I'm still here. Things have been a little crazy around here, trying to get everything ready for our newest little man. I've been blessed to have my 12 year old sister staying with us most week days to help me around the house and such. She's been such a blessing. The kids have thoroughly enjoyed having their "E" (not just reserving her privacy... that's what they call her) around a lot. Right now "E" and J are blowing kisses across the table while eating breakfast.

A and J both seem to be more clingy to Mommy right now. They know something is about to change. J has been especially clingy to me. He'll sit down next to me on the couch while I fold laundry and just sit there. If you know J, you know what a rarity this is. He's not a big fan of sitting still. A at least once a day tells me she's ready for her new baby brother.

I've had weekly visits to the OB for a few weeks of course. I've started leaving the kids with my mom so I don't have to deal with them. Although, I couldn't ask for better kids. When they did go with me, they were perfect angels. I would tell them where to sit, and they would sit. Occasionally J's 2 year old mind would wander from what Mommy said to what J wants to do, and I'd have to sit him down again. Other than that, they're just great. And that's expected. But, at full term, I don't feel like chasing them. So, they stay with GeGe and have fun watching Playhouse Disney, something that they don't get at home (no cable).

I was getting a little anxious as my due date approached. I was worried I would reach my due date and my OB would tell me something along the lines of, "We've gone as long as we can, it's time to schedule a c-section." I was especially concerned because my only other labor wasn't until 41w3d. So, at my appointment this week, I asked some very to-the-point questions of the midwife (my OB was at the hospital that day). I asked what happens when I reach 40 weeks, 41 weeks, 42 weeks. Her answers really mirrored everything I've heard "normal" OBs for "normal" pregnancies. At 41 weeks, we'll have a nonstress test (NST)/ultrasound to make sure everything is okay in there (since he is currently kneeing my ribcage with impeccable accuracy I think he is pretty happy in there). As long as the NST is good, we'll be going to 42 weeks. If I make it to 42 weeks, we will have to have something "on the books". Unfortunately, because of the risk of uterine rupture, it will be a cesarean birth. However, just because I have it "on the books" doesn't mean it will happen. Typically when a cesarean birth is scheduled, they do it 3-4 days out, and that gives me an additional 3-4 days to go into labor.

I'm very content with our plans. I don't see us making it to 42 weeks, so I don't see a scheduled cesarean at 42 weeks as any kind of "threat". It's just procedure. I really hope to do some things over the weekend to try to gently "help" my body prepare for labor. I've already been using evening primrose oil and putting castor oil on my belly (when I can stand that smell--ICK!). I feel further progressed than I did with my first, so maybe things will happen next week and I'll avoid the NST as well!

Prayers are appreciated, as well as happy thoughts or whatever you want to send my way. We are so excited about this change in our lives. We can't wait to welcome our new little boy. We can't wait to see his sister and brother interact with him. We can't wait to kiss him, hug him, hold him. It won't be long now!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Nearly Full Term!

We just got back from another OB visit. Today's was with the midwife in the group. Everything is looking good. Baby is head down, measuring fine. I tested negative for GBS, which is good because I really wanted to avoid antibiotics during birth. We start weekly visits now that I'm 36 weeks.

There's SO MUCH TO DO!!! I've got the birth plan, but I need to get the bags packed for the hospital eventually... I still have to finish some momma cloth pads, get some of the baby stuff we're not using back in the closet, and there's the general day-to-day housework stuff! AHHH!!! We've also got to buy his car seat, figure out what to do with the pediatrician, etc.

On a very happy note, my 12 year old sister is going to be staying with me during the week to help me get things done quicker. She's also going to be helping me with Mr. Wild And Crazy, who has been quite the handful lately! A is pretty self-sufficient, dresses herself, doesn't put up much of a fight, is pretty easy going in general.

Finishing week 5 of Hypnobabies this week. I just can't believe everything is this close!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Update-March 2011

Wow, I can't believe it's been over a month since I updated!! I am SO sorry! We have just been so busy! Here's a little example of everything that has happened...
  • My baby turned two years old *sniff*
  • Two... maybe three... wonderful OB visits. Passed the glucose tolerance test *yay*
  • My uber-hands off birth plan was approved by the OB.
  • We moved from our two bedroom apartment on the third floor to a three bedroom apartment on the second floor. It's about 30 minutes from the old place, but it's less than 15 minutes from hubby's work. I'm so jealous. I fill up my tank more than he does now!
  • We had J tested for the foods A is allergic to as well as milk and wheat. No allergies! A goes in for testing shortly after Bean is born.
  • I don't remember mentioning it before, but we found out that Bean is a Boy! Josiah Morgan, hereafter referred to as J2. Josiah is after the Israelite king who tore down the high places where idol worship was performed, and Morgan after my mother's biological family, who we recently came into contact with.
  • J's birthday party. I made an egg-free volcano cake, which was quite hairy at first, because I used a cake mix. Cake mix+egg replacer=cake that doesn't stay together. Which was ok for this cake. I mean, how often do you see a non-lumpy, lopsided volcano?
  • Had our big meeting with our doula. We talked about things I want/don't want during my birth for comfort measures.
  • Continuing working on Hypnobabies.
I think that gets us up to date. J2 is getting big, and he's super low. No matter how low he is, he seems to always be able to manage to get his little feet up in my ribcage. Stubborn little boy.

A and J already know his name. They talk to him, rub my belly, and are just too stinkin' cute! A pronounces his name pretty well, but J says, "siah". They can't wait to get their hands on their baby brother! Friends of ours had a baby in January, and they love loving on her. I know they're gonna be great with J2. The only thing I worry about is J. He's... intense. You know that song "Love Hurts". J's love hurts. He can't hug without chest butting. I'm really nervous about how he's gonna be around J2. I'm just hoping he'll get used to being gentle.

I'm getting to the point where I'm nesting. Yeah, 33 weeks I probably should be nesting! I have a LOT of nesting to do! Finish unpacking, sort mine and LJ's clothes into our new dressers, get J2's clothes ready, crib (we use as a sidecar co-sleeper) ready, buy some more cloth diapers, and continue the status quo as far as house chores go (laundry, dinner, housecleaning, etc.).

I'm also getting to that ready-to-have-a-newborn point. I miss having a newborn in the house. That sweet newborn smell, the squeaky noises he'll make, nursing a newborn again, the newborn poo (yes, I said poo--when you've changed toddler diapers for 2.5 years, newborn poo sounds heavenly), wrap lovies. And no, I'm not letting all those mommy hormones get to me and have me in la-la land. I know I'm gonna lose sleep. I know I may need to adjust my diet if he has his sister's digestive system. I know I'm never going to get to take a shower while LJ isn't home for fear of J wanting to "help" with the baby. I know I'm going to have to get up 30 minutes or more earlier for church, start getting everyone ready 30 minutes or more earlier to get out the door. I really don't care. My newest little man will be worth it. :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wow, it's been a while

I apologize to my few but faithful followers for not updating before now. It's been quite a crazy few weeks. Let's see where we've been...

Week 19-I met with the OB that will hopefully be taking over my care from the midwives at the birthing center. We had a nice discussion about my history, this pregnancy and the future. She told me she had to discuss my case with her colleagues before giving me an answer. Later that week, we had an ultrasound. We have quite a stubborn Bean. Bean's head was at my belly button and facing my spine. It was quite difficult to see, but Bean is a HE! We have a Josiah on the way. Josiah was measuring about 9 days off. I planned on discussing a repeat ultrasound or changing my due date completely. The "typical" standards are if they are measuring 10 days off, however I am not a "typical" mother, and 9 days can mean the difference between going into labor naturally or having to fight to prevent yet another unnecessary cesarean.

Week 20-I was beginning to get stressed out. I hadn't heard from the OB yet. I was worried she was going to say no. I didn't know what I was going to do. I got a phone call the day before Xmas eve from her office. She agreed to take me as a VBA2C patient! I was so excited! What a Xmas present!!

Xmas day was... chaotic at best. We woke around 10:30. The kids were happy, we were happy, we ate breakfast and casually got ready for the day. We left the house knowing we weren't going to be home again until that evening. We went to my in-laws house, and A had an allergic reaction to fumes from peanut oil my father-in-law was frying in. It was nearly aniphylactic. We had to give her Benadryl and leave immediately. We went to my parents' house, however the rest of the day she was lethargic and "drugged up". She had no desire for opening presents, playing with her aunts or even watching the Xmas parade on TV. At one point she asked to go home, so we left the house. In lieu of our annual trip to the Japanese restaurant with the kids, we ordered some sushi to go and headed home. When we got home, A threw up and fell asleep. She slept 14 hours and woke up happy and back to normal.

The kids were sick most of this week. It was pretty miserable. I love my kids, but honestly have you tried cuddling with a body that is at 104degrees?? I stayed hot. It didn't help that we had unseasonably warm weather that week either! I was happy when they returned to feeling better and we got back to normal daily living.

Week 21-I had my last visit with the mdiwife at the birthing center. We discussed her conversation with the OB. She informed me that the OB I met with was the only provider in the practice that approved the VBA2C. She said I needed to go ahead and switch over to the OB's office for care. I was so sad. I felt so at home at the birthing center, but knew they could only do so much with a primary VBA2C. I called the OB's office and made an appointment. According to the OB's office, the OB I met with didn't see new OB patients, only OB patients who were established. Even though I was an established patient with the practice, they insisted on making the appointment with another OB in the practice. I accepted, understanding that the visit would not be the best, and understanding I had to just get over that hurdle and be done.

I woke one morning with a migraine. I have a history of them and they've come back with a vengance. It got to the point where I couldn't handle the pain anymore. I was sort of in limbo between providers, so I went to the ER. My mother-in-law picked the kids and I up, dropped me off at the ER and took the kids to my mom's house. The ER doctor gave me a prescription for medicines that would help, and I went home to sleep. My mom kept the kids the next day and I appreciated a day to rest and recoup.

Week 22-What a week. I took A to the allergist to discuss Xmas day and get refills on prescriptions. It's always nice to get a refresher on using an Epipen, especially when apparently you may have a time you need to use it.

The next day, I had the appointment to switch providers over to the OB's office. You could say me expeccting the visit to be a total and utter fiasco was a self-fulfilling prophecy, or you could just say I'm too smart. Either way it happened. I was a few mintues before my appointment time, and had a bunch of paperwork to fill out. I filled out everything except the Enfamil Family Beginnings Program enrollment form. I don't need a formula company to tell me how to breastfeed. Eventually we got back to the waiting room and the doctor came in. She introduced herself and shook my hand. That is the only time she touched me during the entire visit. She began looking at my paperwork and began discussing my history. The conversation went something like this...

The first thing she says is, "Well, you've had two c-sections, so you're not going to have a vaginal birth." Immediately I said, "I'm going to VBAC."
"No you're not."
"Yes, I'm [your colleague]'s VBAC patient. She's already approved me."
"It's against the standard of care."
"Not since ACOG's October statement."
"That had nothing to do with repeat c-sections."
"Yes it did."
"Well, I'm not approving it. You need to see [my colleague]."
"Honestly, I don't know why I'm here with you. I asked your staff to make an appointment with [your colleague]. They said I had to see you first. I knew you wouldn't want to touch me because I'm a VBAC."
"Well, we'll reschedule you with [my colleague]."

I stood up, took the stupid paper she had, grabbed my kids and walked into the waiting room. I was beyond furious. Mainly for several reasons.
1. Her assumption that her word was final and I had no choice in how to birth my children.
2. Her arguing with me about what I have planned.
3. Her bold-faced lie about ACOG's new policy regarding VBACs and VBA2Cs. October's statement had EVERYTHING to do with VBACs and VBA2Cs.
4. Her refusal to discuss any issues about my current condition. I am still having migraines and will run out of medicine long before the 31st, when my appointment with my OB is.

Such is life, you know? When you parent the way I do, you make "enemies" naturally. We (LJ and I) feel that with a healthy mother and healthy baby a vaginal birth is healthier than a cesarean, with only very few exceptions. We feel breastfeeding is natural, normal and the best way for any baby to be nutured. We don't feel circumcision or vaccination is necessary or wise. We feel that our baby is safest at night in our bed, with easy access to nursing and cuddling. We refuse to let our children cry-it-out. We don't think "sleep training" is necessary, ethical or safe. Do people disagree with us? Sure. If we did formula, circumcision, vaccines and sleep training we'd still have "enemies". So, I'm used to having to fight for my parenting beliefs, and this fight begins for me, because of my previous ignorant decisions, shortly after conception. I hope my meeting on the 31st with my OB is better than it was with her colleague. I am pretty sure it will be.

Week 23-We're at today now! I had my first official meeting with our doula. We have a lot in common, and we get along great. I probably talked too much, but she didn't seem to mind (at the time lol). She gave me a lot of information to read, and I probably should be reading instead of blogging, but I haven't in such a long time!

So, it's late, my kids are tired, my husband is on his way home, and I'm ready to go relax. Goodnight, internet. I will post after my next grand adventure!