Sunday, September 16, 2012

Birth Story II

After I learned about Cholestasis, that Friday morning I called my midwife group and left a message with their nurse.  About an hour later they called me back and told me to come into their office immediately.

They did a series of tests and told me that the test results won’t be back until the following week and explained how serious Cholestasis can be for the baby and me.  I was prescribed medication and was told that if I didn’t go into labor naturally over that weekend then on Monday we would have a serious discussion about inducing labor.  At that point, I let one of the midwives strip my membranes because I did not want to be induced with Pitocin. 

From the literature I read on childbirth, I learned that Pitocin (which induces labor and makes the labor harder), epidurals (which helps with the pain but can increases the length of the labor) and other interventions in childbirth could be very hard on the mother’s body and on the baby.  For example, the harder the labor and the longer the labor, there is a greater chance of an increase or decrease in the baby’s heart rate during labor, which, in each case, most-likely leads to a greater chance that the mother will have to undergo a C-section.  Many friends and family members were forced to undergo a C-section because of some type of medical intervention, so I dedicated that weekend to doing what I could in order to get the baby out naturally.   

Fast Forward to Monday morning…  I was very disappointed to wake up once again not in labor.  I had done every old wives tale trick to naturally get this labor going and nothing!  At the midwife appointment, they did another series of tests to make sure the baby was still doing well and to see if my liver was still releasing bile into my body The test showed that my baby was doing well but my liver was still releasing bile. With this news, my midwife highly recommended the induction.  Since the tests they took that day showed that the baby was still in good shape, I asked for one more night to mentally prepare, the midwife agreed.  

The next part of this story is really a bit of blur… to help me organize it I wrote it in a timeline, so if some details seem to be missing its because I really just don’t remember them.

May 15, 2012

9:00 P.M.:  My husband and I arrived at the hospital waiting room

10:00-11:00 P.M.:  I am admitted to the hospital and given a room so I could start my slow induction. Cervidil will be in inserted tonight and if I don’t go into labor they would give me Pitocin in the morning.  We are bought to our room and a midwife meets us there and reassures us that we are making the best decision for our child and takes the time to answer any last minute questions.  I change into my nightgown.  The midwife examines me and I am 1cm dilated and 60% effaced. The Cervidil is inserted and I am given a sleeping aid.  Monitors are placed on me for a couple of hours to monitor the baby.  The monitors are very irritating because they move as I move and sometimes they slip into a position where it was not able to monitor the baby and the nurse would have to wake me up to reposition it.  This made it very difficult for me to get any rest.

2:00 A.M.  The monitor is removed and I could finally sleep.

2:30 A.M. Contractions start and I can no loner sleep. I am so pissed! MT has to lie in the bed next to me in order to message my lower back as each contraction hits.  He’s such a sweetie, but this means both of us aren’t getting the good night sleep we are supposed to get.

8:00 A.M.  I go to the bathroom and the Cervidil falls out.  My nurse is not concerned because the Cervidil had been in place for the recommended amount of time.

9:00 A.M.  Midwife comes in and checks my progress.  I am now 2 cm dilated and 75% effaced.  I was hoping to be further along, so that they wouldn’t have to give me the Pitocin, but with these results Pitocin was the next step.  My midwife told me that I could order breakfast and walk around and that my Pitocin drip will start at 11 A.M.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Birth Story Part I

Week 39: 

I was truly enjoying the end of my pregnancy.  I was walking and doing the exercises that my Doula*, Jessica, taught me and my husband in order to help our little girl be in the right birthing position and to open my pelvis.  I was also happily cleaning my house, washing and ironing baby clothes.  I was in nesting bliss. Though my husband also wants me to add that I was driving him crazy during this nesting period.  Apparently, I also made him clean and organize too, haha!  Any who, one night I noticed my feet were itching and I later I noticed that my hands were also itching.  I figured I was allergic to something I was cleaning with, so I started switching out soaps and lotions trying to figure out the cause of the irritation.

Week 40:

I met with one of my midwives.  There are 5 midwives in my midwife group. The midwife group I used does not check to see if their patients are dilated or effaced until they reach 40 weeks of pregnancy.  Being dilated or effaced does not determine whether someone is in labor.  My midwives explained that if they prematurely determine how much their patients are dilated or effaced, then their patients often become discouraged if a lot of progress has not been made.  I experienced this firsthand when my midwife informed me that I was only 1 centimeter dilated and 60% effaced.  Upon hearing this information, I became very discouraged.  It didn’t matter what my doula, my midwives and my own reading taught me, I still became stressed and discouraged.  I knew that I would become more dilated and effaced during my labor process, but to me the news meant labor was a long way off and at that point in my pregnancy I was ready to have this baby.  Seeing my disappointment, my midwife asked if I would like to get my membranes stripped (a procedure known to kick start labor).  I declined, because to me this procedure is a form of medical intervention, which I was trying to avoid in my quest for a natural childbirth.  I wanted the baby come on her own time. 

The only thing that cheered me up after my visit with the midwife was my full body prenatal massage.  My doula suggested that I book one on my due date, which was ultimately great advice.  My husband also told me to splurge and go for the longer message.  The message was amazing!!!  It was just what this soon-to-be mama really needed.  My husband and my doula rock!  I went to bed that night with zero stress, but I woke up around 4 A.M. with intense itching on my feet and hands.  Over the last week my hands and feet had been itching, but this night it was much worse then before.  So, at 4 A.M. I went on the Internet and searched Google for “itchy feet and hands”.  I learned that itchy feet and hands is a symptom of a pregnancy illness called Cholestasis.

That Friday morning I called my midwife group and left a message with their nurse.  About an hour later they called me back and told me to come into their office immediately. 

*For more  information about my wonderful doula Jessica: