Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Birth Book - Part One Conner

     Well since this blog was inspired by my sweet Mercy I suppose I should tell you why her birth was such a life changing event. This will have to be done in more than one post.

     I became pregnant for the first time in early 2008 with my son Conner. Like most women I set out to find the perfect OB one who came highly recommended and had recently been written about in the paper for being one of the top OB's in north Texas. I went to all my appointments, watched my diet, got the daily emails telling me exactly how my baby was growing and waited. I read everything I could get my hands on about pregnancy and watched birth videos but didnt think much about what actually happened during labor. I thought well I will be in the hospital in the hands of professionals who will guide me through my birth. Right??

      I was due December 22nd and as my due date approached my OB began hinting at induction, then began the talk of you are a small person and the baby is getting bigger if it doesn't come before your due date we will have to induce or possibly do a c-section. Keep in mind he was going on Christmas vacation the 20th. I told him how much I wanted a natural birth and what he suggested to achieve that. Never once did he suggest I take birthing classes or give me any resources for info. Instead, he suggested I tour the hospital to help relieve the fear of the unknown and that we would just have to wait and see. This is where I failed myself and my son. I believed that the best thing I could do was trust someone else (Doctor or not) with my birth. Someone who knew my bodies abilities better than I did. Whether I knew it or not I was saying well right or wrong he's a doctor and if something goes wrong it is on him.

    Then comes December 18th. I began having contractions at 11:30pm a minute long every five minutes. They came on so hard and strong and they were the required five minutes apart so I called and the nurse said to go in and be checked. Of course they sent me home with some meds to help me sleep. I was in a panic the pain was horrible, and I lived 45 minutes away from the hospital. I felt abandoned and didn't understand what was going on. HA! I wanted a natural birth what was I thinking? I went on like this till late the next morning and we went in again. I was no further along and crying I told them I was not leaving because I WAS in labor and couldn't deal with another car ride having contractions. The nurse with tears in her eyes whispered to me, "Honey you are in labor, you are doing great! Don't leave just walk the hospital for an hour and come back to me." When she told me that I let go of some of my fear and panic which was good. But as I began to feel justified the contractions became much harder, more than I could bare. I came back in an hour and had progressed to a forced two. It was nothing in my mind to the work I was doing and felt like I was completely failing and weak, that I could'nt handle the pain AT ALL! Later I would learn of the fear pain cycle.

     Being 2cm was enough to admit me and get an epidural which I was begging for. This was the first of a long list of interventions. Once I had the epidural within minutes I was a four. My OB who was on call, came in and said," well the good news is your gonna have a baby! The bad news is I'm leaving for vaction. I am going to break your water and see if we can speed this along." He did not ask my permission he just did it. The nurse simultaneously was preparing to give me pitocin which no one even told me I was getting until after they gave it to me.

      The doctor left the room and the nurses prepared, read the papers coming out of the machines and talked amongst themselves. In just a few minutes I felt this overwhelming urge to push and with everything I had I tried to fight it because I had heard it was bad to push to soon. My body didnt listen and my water was gushing as I involuntarily pushed. I asked the nurse, "Is it okay to PUUUUUUSH?" She informed me it wasnt time yet and as she glanced down checking me let the other nurse know I was complete! A ten in just a few minutes and let me know it was fine to push. I only pushed a few times and they were telling me, "We can see his hair! He has sooo much hair. I remember my husband saying we were only in the room about two hours after the epidural. Which means my actual push time was much less.

      At the shift change another doctor from my OB's office comes in looks at me and says this baby is not coming we are going to have to section. I dont know why we didnt question this. In the moment and in my ignorance I defeatedly agreed trying to act like it was fine. We were taken into the OR and my son was born. He was 9lbs 15oz. No gestational diabetes he was just a prayer answered for a big strong boy that I had prayed from God for years. I instantly loved him and knew his every need before he did. The medicine made me shake and burn and I was miserable and yet the whole world was perfect at that moment. I still knew in my heart I had missed out on something amazing.

     I was diagnosed in my chart as FTP due to CPD which is failure to progress due to Cephalopelvic Disproportion. My doctor told me later that my body and frame just wasnt built to expand for the baby to pass through my pelvis in labor. And I believed him.

Conner a few hours old

Delivery and Deliverance mercy's big day!

The Birth Book - Part Two Grace

   if you missed part one click here for Conner's story

  When I became pregnant again toward the end of 2009. I knew I wanted to try for a vaginal birth this time because I had talked to several mom's who had experienced a vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean). So when I returned to the OB I had used with my previous birth I just knew this time would be different. I went in to the office and explained all I had learned and that I wanted a vbac. He began to explain to me very detachedly that having a vbac was too dangerous for me and the baby and that it was not an option if I wanted to continue my care with him. That the hospital he delivered at did not allow vbac's that is how dangerous it was. That this child due June 21st would have to be scheduled for at least June 17th for an "elective" cesarean.

     I did not understand how something I didn't want could be called elective. He went on to explain that if I happened to go in to labor not to panic just call them and that if I was to arrive at the hospital about to deliver and all seemed okay they would go ahead and deliver the baby vaginally. WHY OH WHY did that not register to me?! He was telling me it was too dangerous to attempt but if it happens well.... it'll be okay. I blindly followed his every direction. I was devastated. I was frightened to try and find another caregiver. To build trust, report, history etc. with someone else and he was trying to protect me from danger after all. If I found someone else what kind of doctor would in good conscience put me or my child in danger.

     The day came that I had not gone into labor and I went in to surgery. Most of that day was a blur. I went in that morning only to be told there were no beds and I'd have to come back later. They called me later that evening and I returned and walked in make-up on hair done got in a gown and got my spinal block. Grace was born and barely shown to me they handed her to my husband shortly and then took her to the nursery. They had all been talking about how understaffed and overextended they were. The drugs they had given me were making me shake uncontrollably. I was shivering but burning up and feeling like I couldn't move my arms. I laid in my bed with my husband, friend and pastor waiting on them to bring my beautiful daughter to me.

     A nurse came in to tell me she was fine but her body temperature was low and they were keeping her in a warmer for about thirty minutes to get her warmed. We waited and tried to converse as I shook and ached for my baby ready to bond and nurse and meet this beautiful blur of a child. FOUR hours later they still had not brought me my daughter! I called and explained skin to skin contact with my daughter would also help her with a low body temp and they would bring her to me or else!!! That I didn't believe she had a temperature problem they just didn't have anyone to bring her to me. That I heard the nurses talking about how all the beds were full and they were understaffed! Needless to say she was in my arms within minutes. This was the first time I stood my ground and let the "professionals" know this wasn't my first rodeo either.

     I don't remember very much of that day. I still have to read her baby book to remember what time she was born. I felt as if I didn't even have her. I struggled to feel connected to her. I loved her with every cell in my body but I lacked that alert eye to eye soul bonding connection with her (you know the one) until she was quite a bit older. Now she is definitely a mama's girl and we are very close and I am so grateful. I kept a smile, showed her to those who had waited hours to meet her and tried not to dwell on those things. After all as they say all that was important is that she was here and healthy...... right?

Grace a few hours old


Saturday, April 21, 2012

The first step

       I am new to the world of blogging. I am new to a lot of things which is basically why I am starting this blog in the first place.  Four months ago December 19th, 2011 I gave birth naturally to our third child Mercy. This day was the culmination of months of fear, education, anticipation, faith and a life changing answer to hope. It taught me to seek truth. Not someone elses truth but mine. I don't mean that in a self deluded way . I mean sifting through all of the misinformation out there that is skewed towards those wanting unhealthy control in one way or another.  It was initiated by the birth industry and yes I mean industry. However, it then bloomed into seeking a deeper truth in Christ and expounding on this spiritually empowering answer to prayer. So much is changing in my life due to this event and I want to share it with anyone that will be kind enough to lend an ear. Hoping that as I pioneer through my road to mercy (which is solely dependant on God granting it) you may learn from, laugh at and possibly be challenged by what you read.