Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Birth Story Part 2

So I... put on my headphones and I listened to my hypnobabies sound track and then I was able to relax.  At that point my husband went to sleep. My Doula spent the rest of the night massaging my pressure points or turning me in my bed. I listened to my tapes all night and watched a simulated birth on my cell phone over and over and before I knew it morning had arrived. I remember my doula telling me, Breanne your contractions are slowing down and they are going to tell you that they want to start to give you Pitocin. Ask them for another hour and at that point your OB will be on call and we can let her make the decision. And just like my doula said, an intern for the OB who I didn’t like walked in and said she was going to give me Pitocin and I asked for another hour and she agreed.


At 7am, the hospital shifts changed and I had to say goodbye to my wonderful nurse. I was sad to see her leave because I really liked her and I understood how important your birthing nurse is to your birthing experience. I remember hating the birthing nurse I had when I gave birth to Kennedy. I even requested not to have her this time around. I didn’t remember her name but it was in my files at the hospital. Funny enough, my OB knew the nurse I was talking about even though I couldn’t remember her name. Anyways, the new nurse came on and she seemed a bit distant. So my husband and my doula started to make small talk with her and she slowly started to seem more human which helped me relax.

Around 9am, the nurse walked into my room and said your baby' heart rate is decreasing and my heart dropped. I thought this is it – here comes the C-section talk, but instead, she checked me and said you are COMPLETE!  I did it. I made it to 10 cm dilated. This was it… I could see the finish line! My nurse left to get my OB and I swear when my husband heard this he got so excited.   He buttoned his shirt and brushed his teeth. I thought to myself… hell no he was not going to look beautiful in the post pregnancy pictures and I was going look a mess. I told my doula to grab my make up bag because it’s show time. The theater major in me came back in full force.  My doula helped me brush my teeth and I had time to apply a little lipstick.

My OB came in and told me that I would need to start pushing soon, but we were going to wait for the baby to drop or something. That part is a bit vague. I remember my mother and my mother in-law coming at that point. We were all so excited.

Time to push. Pushing by far was much harder then I thought it would be, even with the epidural.  I pushed for almost 2 hours. Everyone kept telling me I was doing a good job, but it seemed to take forever. The nurse asked me if I wanted a mirror and I told her yes.  The only problem is when I pushed I would close my eyes. Apparently the baby’s head would come out while I was pushing and go back in when I stopped. So all I could see was the head going back in towards the end of my pushes.  I got very frustrated over time, but eventually I was able to see some progress. Suddenly, after some time, my doula and my OB said “this is it”…I would need to take down my nightgown if I wanted to do ‘skin to skin’, but I was in a bit of denial, so I said no… I didn’t want to get my hopes up.  In the back of my mind, I didn’t believe this was really happening. I was really about to give birth to my daughter – a vaginal birth.  Then, with that last push I began to cry because I felt her leave my body and I knew that I had done it. I did it! Per our birth plan my husband announced to the room it was a girl!!! Then they immediately put her in my arms. I’ll never forget this moment.  She smelled so good and I put her on my chest and I thought, no, I didn’t do it, we did it!  There were so many times during my pregnancy and even my labor that I doubted that this was going to happen, but my prayers were answered.  Talia had a gentle birth and she was born in a room full of love.   

Monday, March 31, 2014

Birth Story Part 1


During my second trimester, I was diagnosed with Cholestasis. Because of the potential for adverse fetal outcomes, my Cholestasis treatment included medication, weekly stress test with ultra sounds and an early induction. I felt apart of the reason I had C-section with Kennedy was my body wasn’t ready for the Pitocin induction. I decided to go a more natural rout. My chiropractor gave me three natural induction sessions that included a combination of acupuncture and acupressure.  The natural methods of induction worked because with each session I became more dilated. When I went to the hospital on the night of Jan 20 for my medical induction where they were going to put a Foley catheter over night to help my cervix dilate. The OB on call told me I was already too dilated for this procedure, so there was no need for the Foley catheter. The doctor told me she was going to break my water and I was going to have my baby that night!

This news threw me into a panic because I hadn’t rested that day because  I  thought I was going to the hospital and they were going to insert the catheter and give me a sleeping pill with labor starting the next day. I also didn’t like the OB on call, but my doctor wasn’t scheduled to be at the hospital until 7AM the next morning. I felt the OB on call wasn’t comfortable with a VBAC and that she would send me into surgery for any little reason. I remember her looking at my birth plan and saying “no” to things my OB already approved. The nurse on call could tell I wasn’t comfortable with this news and she talked to the OB privately. She asked the OB to give me 2 hours to rest and told us to call our doula. This was really great of her because 2 hours meant that my water wasn’t going to be broken until 11:30pm, which increased the chances that my OB would be working by the time I was giving birth.  This also gave, my husband, my doula and me time to rest. During these two hours I played my hypnobabies birthing day affirmation tracks over and over again and I found them so relaxing and I was able to really get rest and prepare for labor.

About 11:30, the OB on call arrived to break my water. This time around she was nicer and more reassuring. Apparently, she had delivered some babies while she was away, so she wasn’t under as much pressure and she could supervise me the way she wanted too. After my water broke, my contractions came on stronger and more regular, but I really didn’t feel anything for another 30 minutes.

I just kept on feeling like I had to go the bathroom. Then finally on the way to the bathroom a painful contraction hit me.  I remember being crippled by it. I started to use my hypnobabies techniques to help calm me and I was able to relax through the contraction. Then another one hit, and another one. They were coming faster and harder. My husband tried to massage me to help alleviate the pain but it wasn’t working. He whispered beautiful words into my ears but they were just irritating me. That’s when the nurse told my husband to call the doula because I was in active labor and she could tell my husband needed back up.

My doula came about 20 min after my husband called her, but by that point, in my mind I started to want an epidural.  These contractions were different then my contractions with Kennedy. My contractions with Kennedy were in my back and my doula was able to massage them. This time around the contractions came from deep inside and I felt like I was being split in half and I knew that massages were not going to help me. My doula asked my nurse if I could go into the shower. Sitting in the bath really helped with my pain with Kennedy’s labor, so I was very excited about getting in to the tub.  My doula explained to me because of hospital policy I wouldn’t be allowed into the tub because my water was broken. Instead she asked the nurse if could I get into the shower. The nurse called the OB on call and the OB said, “NO”. The OB said, I was a VBAC and she didn’t want to take any chances. At that point, I realized because I was a VBAC they wouldn’t let me do a lot of things to help me naturally manage the pain so I asked for an epidural. In order to receive the epidural they have to fill you with so many litters of liquid via the IV before they can give you the epidural. This seemed to take forever because the contractions and the pain did not stop.

After I received the epidural, they checked my progress. I cannot remember how dilated I was at this point, but I do remember two things. One, I was dilated more then I ever was when I had Kennedy and two, I was progressing fast enough that there was no talk of Pitocin. In my first birth, soon after I received the epidural things went wrong, so I wasn’t able to totally relax right away. So I...

End of Part 1


Thursday, February 6, 2014

She is here!!!




Talia was born 3 weeks early on Jan 21 via VBAC!!!! I DID IT!!!!  Well, WE did it! I wouldn’t have been able to have a successful VBAC if it wasn’t for my supportive husband and  my amazing: Doula, OB, Nurse, Chiropractor and hospital.

Why have I been so silent recently? Well, my last trimester was tough. I found out once again I had cholestasis.  Cholestasis is a pregnancy disease that increases your chance of having a stillborn baby.  In order to prevent a stillbirth, I had to be on medication, go to the hospital every week for sonograms and stress tests and I also had to be induced early. From my understanding, a chemical induction also meant the odds of me having a VBAC was less. With all of this going on, I took a break from the blog. My next story will be my birth story I can’t wait to share it.

For more information about Cholestasis please click this link:

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Traveling with a baby or toddler this holiday season?

Our Thanksgiving trip to Florida was Kennedy’s 8th round trip flight! Kennedy has traveled to Florida (4x), New York, California, the Caribbean and Europe. We have traveled as a family and I have travelled with Kennedy alone.  So I think it’s time that I write a post offering some baby/toddler flying tips!


1.     If the airline you are traveling on has curbside drop off, then use it!

2.     Wear your baby in a baby carrier of your choice through security. This will leave your hands free to take off your shoes and put your carry-on items on the conveyor belt. When you are in another country the local airport security may ask you to remove your baby, but in the United states TSA will not ask you to remove baby from the carrier.  What TSA will do is swab your hands for explosives. The swabbing of your hands takes about two minutes. You put your hands out and they wipe it with small cloth, then they test the cloth.  

3.     For domestic flights you can bring frozen breast milk, non-frozen breast milk, water or formula on the flight. TSA will test the milk and the water.  TSA will put the milk in a machine or do an air test, where they swipe a little piece of paper over an open bottle. In other countries, they may have you taste the milk or water.

4.     While the plane is taking off or landing try to nurse or bottle feed the baby. This will help protect the baby’s ears from changes in the air pressure. If your baby is not hungry sometimes a pacifier will do the trick. If you have a toddler, then a lollipop may also work.

5.     Pack extra clothes and supplies because you never know if your flight will be delayed.

6.     If your baby is old enough to be entertained with toys, then use toy leashes so the toys do not fall to the floor. If you child is old enough to use a laptop or a tablet device, then make sure it has a childproof cover.

7.     My favorite infant stroller to travel with is the snap and go stroller.  It opens and closes very easily and it’s very light.  The snap and go also has a good-sized storage pouch on the bottom for you to store things.  Also if you have a paid seat or you are lucky enough to get a free seat for your baby, it’s an easy way to carry the car seat on to the flight.

8.     We have never brought Kennedy a seat, so we try to travel during off-peak hours, increasing our chances of getting a free seat for Kennedy. We’ve had the best luck with Southwest Airlines.  Southwest has pre-boarding for families with small children and passengers are allowed to choose their own seats.  No one wants to sit near a baby, so other then our travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, we’ve always gotten a free seat for Kennedy on Southwest.  With other airlines, I’ve asked the gate agent if the flight is full. If the flight is not full, then they will usually find a pair of available seats and assign one of them to me and the other one to Kennedy at no extra charge.  (This may change since airlines keep trying to find ways to charge more fees.)

9.     Using gate-check bags are great way for you to protect your stroller and car seat if you check them at the gate.  However, when I was traveling alone with an inexpensive snap and go stroller I didn’t bother with a gate check bag.

10. Always be polite!!!  




Thursday, December 5, 2013

HypnoBabies!!!

A few weeks ago, my husband and I started taking a Hypnobabies course. When I was pregnant with Kennedy, we took classes on the Bradley method of childbirth. I liked the Bradley method and I think it’s a great class for first time parents, even if you aren’t planning to go natural.  However, I didn’t think we had the best teacher.  Also, my husband and I didn’t do all of the exercises that we were supposed to do.

I felt the Bradley Method educated me on how to have a healthy pregnancy and the pros of natural childbirth but in the end didn’t teach me how to deal with labor pains which left me feeling a bit helpless.  Granted, I didn’t go into labor naturally.  I was medically induced with Pitocin, which is supposed to be more painful than a natural childbirth, but Pitocin or not, I didn’t feel that I had the tools to help me deal with the intense pain.  When my doula or husband reminded me to relax it did help, but unfortunately, I was so scared and filled with so many other emotions that I actually forgot how to relax. At times it was very frustrating and scary. The only thing that helped was my doula’s massages, my husband’s kind words and soaking in the bathtub.

This time around, I looked for a natural childbirth method and class that empowers the mother. I want to be able to control my reaction to the pain and if possible control the pain. I also want to control negative thoughts and not just during active labor, but also during my pregnancy.  As I prepare for my VBAC, I have heard and will likely continue to hear negative stories and some may get into my head. I also know that I have more to fear during this labor and that’s not just a fear of the pain, but a fear of all that can go wrong. I need a class that teaches me how to deal with the intense physical pain and the fear in my head. 

After researching different birthing methods and classes, I think I found what I was looking for in  Hypnobabies.  The  Hypnobabies  ourse teaches medical hypnosis techniques.  These techniques are supposed to help create a relaxing pregnancy, a calm yet confident Birth Partner (my husband), and an easier, more comfortable and sometimes (dare I say it) pain-free birth.  I can’t say just yet, if it’s going to give me a pain free birth, but what I do know is my pregnancy is much calmer. Every time we hit a speed bump with this pregnancy, I believe that I can handle things and I have been fortunate enough to overcome the obstacles we have faced! With  Hypnobabies , I feel empowered, calm and in control of my pregnancy.