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0 In csection/ Motherhood/ pregnancy

Maxwell’s birth story

cesarean section

As a labor and delivery nurse, I think it’s natural that I love reading and hearing about other people’s birth stories. They are each so different and so beautiful.

I have thought for a long time about sharing Maxwell’s birth story.  At first, it wasn’t one that I was proud to share as it wasn’t the birth I had hoped for. But over time I’ve learned that every story is different and truly it doesn’t matter whether you had your baby vaginally or by csection. Two years later and as I prepare to bring baby #2 into the world, I’m finally getting to it. (#procrastinatorsunite)

So here goes…

My birth story is not at all what I had envisioned when I first got pregnant. I had hopes of going into labor naturally on my own and seeing how far my body could go and what it could do. I dreamed of a delivery where I would work my butt off but it would all be worth it in the end when they placed my baby on my chest for my husband and I to marvel at this miracle we created. But that wasn’t the birth experience I was given.

pregnant

At about 35 weeks pregnant, I started showing signs of preeclampsia. My legs were swollen, I was spilling protein in my urine and my blood pressure was elevated. I had mentioned it to one of the OB’s at my appointment and explained that my mom also had a history of preeclampsia and that I was concerned. The doctor pretty much brushed it off, told me to eat more protein and lay off the carbs. I left feeling like my concerns were not being heard, and deep down I knew to trust the voice in my head.

At my 36 week appointment I saw another OB in the group. My blood pressure was still elevated, and I still had protein in my urine so she decided to run further lab work. I went to the lab for my testing and they explained that since it was Friday, they wouldn’t have the results until Monday.

That weekend, I started having awful headaches and just felt like something was off.  Monday morning came around and I logged into my online portal where patients could check the results of their labs and have access to all of their medical records. My lab work showed that my protein-creatinine ratio was 0.3 which was borderline. I called the office and left a message with the nurse that I wanted one of the OB’s to call me back to discuss my results.

preeclampsia

The next day, Tuesday, I still hadn’t heard back from the doctor I had seen on Friday. I was working at the hospital that day and texted my favorite OB in my practice and told him I wanted to discuss some things with him. He happened to be on his way into the hospital and we agreed to talk when he got there. I explained my labs and my symptoms and he scheduled me to see him in the office the next morning. The next day at my appointment, my blood pressure was 150s/90s, my legs, arms and face were swollen. Overall, I felt like crap, and I kept getting headaches on and off. We decided that while everything looked fine with the baby on ultrasound, it would be safer to head into the hospital for induction.

I remember we were driving home to go pack my bags and get the dog to bring to my parents and I had this overwhelming sense of anxiety. I just felt like something was going to go wrong and I was upset that this was not happening the way I wanted it to.

So off to the hospital we went, it was Wednesday and I was 37 weeks and 2 days. My cervix was pretty thick and only a fingertip dilated so I spent the first night and the next day getting cervical ripening to help make my cervix favorable for pitocin.  On Friday when my OB came in, my cervix was only 1 cm dilated and about 80% effaced.  My OB wanted to break my water and start pitocin. I mentioned trying a foley balloon instead to which he said “he didn’t think that was a good idea” as I also didn’t want a prolonged induction.  So they broke my water and started pitocin. In hindsight I wish I advocated for myself more but what’s that saying? “Shoulda, coulda, woulda”.

I’m not sure how long it was after that, but it didn’t feel like a long time, I soon started kicking into labor. My contractions felt like one was coming after another and I felt like I wasn’t getting a break. I got my epidural and shortly after, Maxwell’s heart rate had one prolonged decel that felt like an eternity. My OB came in to check me and I was only 5-6cms. We tried repositioning side to side but it wasn’t coming back up to baseline. I don’t know how long it lasted, but the next thing I knew we were going right back to the OR.

Once we were in the OR, it all happened very quickly. Next thing I knew, the baby was out and I heard my OB say “it’s a boy!” and he handed him off to the baby nurse. When they brought him over to me, I felt relieved that he was here and healthy but I was still in shock of how everything had happened.

csection

cesarean section

Back in the recovery room, I started having feelings like I couldn’t breathe and just this overwhelming sense of doom. Anesthesia and my OB both came back to see me and agreed it was probably from the epidural and maybe my level was too high. Looking back now, I know that it was a panic attack.

I went home from the hospital with feelings of guilt from having a c-section and not being able to do it naturally. Should I just have kept quiet and let things happen naturally? But what if I ended up having a seizure or stroke? Did my OB jump the gun by going back to the OR? If we waited a little bit longer, would his heart rate have come back up and would I have ended up with the delivery I envisioned? My husband tried to help by saying “you have a healthy baby and you’re healthy, what more could you ask for?” But I wasn’t healthy mentally. I didn’t want to hold my baby, I would cry when I had to breastfeed him, and at night I would stare at him obsessively to make sure he was still breathing.

I was 10 months postpartum when all of my feelings came to a head.  I literally wanted to run outside of my body and run away somewhere. I didn’t know what was wrong, but I knew it wasn’t right. I decided to go on anxiety medication and made a few appointments with a therapist. After a few sessions I realized my anxiety was due to feeling like I wasn’t in control of my own birth experience and feeling guilty for not being able to have a vaginal delivery and breastfeed.

Almost 2 and a half years later and I can say I still feel like that birth experience was robbed from me but in the long run does it matter? The answer is no. My son is the healthiest, happiest, most loving soul and I wouldn’t change that for the world.

However, this time around, I’ve changed OBGYN practices where I feel 110% supported and where I can play a more active role in my experience.

 

birth story

2 In Baby/ pregnancy

Must haves for your second baby from a second time mom

must haves for your second baby

As we head into January and our second trimester, we’re starting to prepare for Baby #2. There’s something to be said for no longer being a first time mom.  There’s that feeling of self assurance. You know you will survive, you did it before.  You know what works for you, what doesn’t, and you know what items you need, and what you don’t need.

pregnancy announcement

When we made our registry for our first baby I remember being in Buy Buy Baby, with a huge list in my hand, feeling so overwhelmed with all of the baby gear. We literally registered for everything.  This time, being a more experienced mom, my motto is “efficiency”.

Here is a list of some of the “Must Haves” for your second baby.

Dockatot

dockatot

Ask me before becoming a mom if I was planning to cosleep and the answer was “Hellz no.”  But when it was the only way #1 would sleep, you do what you gotta do. Looking back, I wished I had a cosleeper.  When I learned I was pregnant with #2, Dockatot was super gracious and sent me one of their beautiful sleepers. What I love about Dockatot is that it is an easy, portable solution to make your little one feel snuggled while sleeping safely on their backs. It’s all natural, 100% cotton and tested for breathability. I love it so much that I am so excited to offer you all $10 off your purchase for your very own Dockatot.

Baby Jogger city select

double stroller

When we made our registry for our first baby, we registered for the Baby Jogger City Select because we knew we wanted at least two children and we wanted the option for a second seat. It’s very easy to steer and well built. However, it is on the heavier side.

Homemade burp cloths

One of the best gifts I received with our first baby was homemade burp cloths. They were made with cloth diapers – super absorbent and durable. Much better than anything you could buy in the store. Check out this super easy DIY to make your own from Chelsea at Life with my Littles.

Pack n Play with changing station and napper –

We got a pack and play with changing station and napper like this one. I stocked diapers, wipes, diaper cream and some onesies in a basket in the pack n play that way I could change babe’s diaper quick without having to go upstairs.

Halo sleep sacks –

halo sleep sack

These were a lifesaver with Maxwell. He was a little Houdini and could break out of the tightest swaddles, and I am a swaddling pro (that’s an L&D nurse for you). These kept him feeling snug as a bug.

Puj Tub –

Puj tub

I love sink baths! Not only is it super precious and magical, but it is way easier than having to lean over a tub to wash your babe. With our first baby we had a clunky, hard bathtub we would put in the bath for bathtime and then try to find somewhere to store it afterward. This time around, I’ve discovered the Puj tub (you can find it on Amazon here). It’s soft and foldable to cradle your baby, easy to clean and you can hang flat to dry.

 

What are some of your baby essentials? And be sure to get $10 off your next Dockatot!!!

 

must haves for your second baby

 

10 In Motherhood/ pregnancy/ Support

30 Things your Labor & Delivery Nurse wants you to know

 

It has been absolutely balls to the walls at work the past few weeks (thanks to Valentine’s Day and the release of 50 Shades Darker 9 months ago – hello job security!)  By the end of the day I’m starving, haven’t peed, my feet ache, I’m cranky to my husband and I’ve been away from my son for over 12 hours, but I still go back to work wanting more. Why? Because I have the best job in the world.  Don’t get me wrong, when it’s a bad day, it’s a horrible, unimaginable bad day. But I feel so privileged to be a part of so many women’s lives, through the highs and the lows.  

Here are 30 things your labor and delivery nurse wants you to know:

1.) Whether your baby comes out the vagina or you had a c-section – it doesn’t make you any more or less of a mother.
2.) Same goes for whether you went all natural or had an epidural – it doesn’t make your baby any different.
3.) But if it’s your goal to go all natural we will bust our butts to help get you there.
4.) We’ve seen all sorts of vaginas and they’re all different, And we won’t remember what yours looked like. 
5.) Being upright is your best friend – walk, get on the birth ball, dance. Whatever you do don’t just lay in bed.
6.) Babies don’t come with handles, we can’t just yank them out.
7.) Breast or formula, it’s up to you, fed is best!
8.) Nipples – they come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
9.) We may tell you you’re 8-9 cms, there’s a good bet your fully dilated, but we know its best for you and your baby if we let you labor down.
10.) There’s alot of swelling that goes on down there so don’t be surprised if yours looks like a ciabatta roll the next day. We can make you a magical diaper pack with ice, witch hazel and dermoplast
11.) We have no problem kicking all your family and friends out of the room so you can rest, have some private time with your partner or if they’re simply driving you crazy!
12.) When you came through our doors and there was no heartbeat, please know as soon as we walked out to our car we burst into tears and cried the whole way home.
13.) And when we got home we didn’t say a word to our families that night we just hugged our babies tight.
14.) We still pray for you and think of you. 
15.) If you come in with a birth plan, we’ll start prepping for your c-section because nothing ever goes to plan.
16.) If you’re a redhead, we will have every anti-hemmorrhage medication in the room and the hemorrhage cart outside the door because there’s a good chance you are going to bleed out on us and we want to ward off any bad juju.
17.) There is no evidence based research as to the benefits of consuming your placenta – just because the Kardashians did it doesn’t make it right.
18.) We don’t care that you lost your mucus plug and no we don’t want to see.
19.) Just because you’re 1-2 cms dilated or one day past your due date doesn’t mean your in labor – go home and labor in the comfort of your own home where you can eat and drink.
20) Also you’re not in active labor until you’re 5-6 cms dilated so don’t listen to those people that tell you they were in labor for 72 hours.
21.) Also being pregnant does not entitle you to be excused from work so don’t ask for a work note – We work 12 hour days on our feet holding heavy epiduralized legs pushing with our patients for 4 hours without eating or drinking and often times work right up until we deliver.
22.) We probably haven’t peed since before we left our house for work that day.
23.) And there’s a good chance we haven’t eaten either unless a family brings us food.
24.) Our families sacrifice alot – were gone most weekends and holidays and at work from sun up until sun down so please don’t be rude. 
25.) Make sure your partner or support person stays hydrated and fed – we don’t have time to pick them up off the floor. 
26.) Laboring in the shower, tub or on the toilet can do wonders.
27.) We may contort you into a bunch of crazy different positions that we know have successfully worked to get someone to deliver.
28.) Being in labor and something about new babies brings out the crazy in some people and their families. We’ve seen it all and nothing surprises us anymore.
29.) You have a right to ask questions and refuse anything. And we will advocate for you.
30.)  We still think birth is magical and we have the best jobs in the world. 

30 things your labor nurse wants you to know