October 30, 2014

My Journey to the VBAC not meant to be

When I got pregnant this time around I knew I wanted to do things differently.  With the twins I think I believed a C-section was inevitable.  I tried for a vaginal birth, but I think I never really believed I could do it.  So when we hit a few hiccups we had a c-section.  I don't think I realized then how much that would follow me around for the rest of my life.  The twins birth story really set the stage for this uphill battle that happened during my pregnancy with Judah.

After having the twins, birth and birth stories became something I really enjoyed learning about.  I did so much research and heard so many birth stories, so when we learned I was pregnant we knew we wanted things to be different.  Mainly I knew I wanted a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and I wanted to have a natural birth.  To do this I knew I needed to have a great birth team.  So I started researching OBs and Midwives in my area and I asked the advice of a few like minded people I knew.  I also asked for suggestions for a doula.  I did some interviewing and settled on a birth team that I thought would give me the best shot at the birth I wanted.  I also signed us up for Bradley Method birth classes.

Now I knew going into it that getting a VBAC is not always easy because of the risk of a uterine rupture, although the risk isn't that great, it is a scary thing. So not all providers are on board. I never really thought it would be quite as challenging as it was.

The first part of the pregnancy was smooth sailing.  My provider was super on board.  I was signed up for classes and getting comfortable with our doula.  I had mild morning sickness but felt good.  I was really tired this time around, but such is the life of a pregnant working mother with twin 3 year olds.

Come the second trimester things started to get a little trickier.  I had started my birth classes and things were going good there. Then I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes.  This really threw me for a while.  There was tears and calls to my doula and talks with my Bradley teacher.  I was scared what this would mean for the pregnancy I wanted.  So I saw all the specialists, pricked my finger 4 times a day, and watched my carbs and exercised.  Doing all of this my blood sugar was very controlled.  The baby grew at a good rate and I only gained 6 lbs for the whole pregnancy.  So hurdle number one was cleared.

The next hurdle came when the provider at that time told me, out of the blue, that due to my high pregnancy BMI that he wanted me to give birth at 38 weeks.  I would be allowed to VBAC, but I would not be induced.  That was really no choice.  How can you make yourself go into labor before you are ready?  This started a search for a new provider who was more willing and capable of dealing with my circumstances.  I had heard good things about a midwife a about 30 minutes away who used to do home births, but now worked in a hospital.  We went to talk to her and the OB she worked for.  Both of them heard our story and read our files and agreed to take us on and allow me to try.  They were going to let me go till 41 weeks and I instantly loved the midwife, so hurdle number two was cleared.

Part of them agreeing to let me go so far involved non stress tests, where I would be hooked up to monitors and the baby would be monitored.  These happened twice a week.  I always passed, but the baby was always so active it was hard to keep the monitor on him.  Also towards the end of my pregnancy there was some concern the baby might have turned head up so there was a sono scheduled.  At this sono they also decided to measure the baby.  When you measure at that point in the pregnancy (I was 36 or 37 weeks) the measurements can have a 30% margin of error on either side, so they are not super accurate.  The baby was measuring slightly bigger, but because of the margin of error and my Gestational Diabetes, the OB was concerned that I might have a big baby, so he scheduled my c-section.  I was really disappointed with this.  He also decided that instead of nonstress tests I would get weekly sonos to check on the babies.  The next couple sonos measured the baby smaller, so I asked if we could move the c-section date.  He let me, which helped me over come my last hurdle to a VBAC.

I went into labor on my own 2 days after the original c-section was scheduled. The final hurdle to my VBAC was given to my by the baby.  The baby was OP, which meant he was face up.  This involved lots of very painful back labor because he was not positioned correctly.  But I tried.  With out any medication I got to a 10 and I pushed for an hour and a half.  He just wasn't going to come because of his positioning.  So that is when the OB said we should have a c-section.

So no, I did not have the VBAC I tried so hard for, but I am very at peace with Judah's birth experience because I know I did all I could.  From all the steps I took during the pregnancy to the natural labor until that very last minute.  I did everything naturally except push that baby past my pelvis.  But in the end baby Judah got here safely and I have no complaints.  I feel good about all the decisions that were made and that I didn't give up when there were road blocks.  I must also say that this could not have happened with out the support of my doula and my birth teacher.  They were amazing sources of support and knowledge.  I could not have cleared the first couple hurdles with out them.

So my journey to a VBAC may have fallen just short of the goal, but it got me to the end my baby and I needed.  I learned a lot about the birth process and a lot about myself.  Plus the end was with this amazing little guy.  Nothing can be wrong with that.


October 29, 2014

Introducing Judah Michael

 On October 6th at 7 PM Judah Michael was brought into this world.  He was 8'5 when he was born and 20".  After 48 hours of labor that ended in a c-section I gave birth to our third child.  It was quite a remarkable and amazing experience.  I may not have had the birth I set out to have, but I am completely at peace with what happened and completely in love with the outcome.  I am now enjoying maternity leave.  I am taking my full leave so I will be home until after the holidays, which is amazing.  I would love to stay home, but I'm just not sure that is feasible this time around.  But I am going to soak in every minute of baby cuddles. 

Penny and Ben have been dealing well with the family changes.  They love Judah and always want to hold him.  Penny is being a big helper.  We have had some hiccups and bumps in the road, but we are settling into being a family of 5. 

I plan on sharing his birth story and my breastfeeding journey because both of them have been major learning experiences for me.  There were some major challenges in trying to have a vbac from gestational diabetes to unsupportive providers.  While I may not have had a vbac because little Judah was just in a wrong position and not going to come out that way, I still had a crazy journey through pregnancy trying to get there.

So with out further ado.  Here is Judah Michael.


July 16, 2014

A little bump in the road... Gestational Diabetes

So I was sitting at work the other day when I got the phone called. One of the nurses from my midwife's office called to tell me, ever so nonchalantly, that I did not pass my glucose test and I had been signed up for a class. I was confused because I had just been in the office for a check up the day before. So I asked "does this mean I have gestational diabetes?"  Once again ever so nonchalantly, the nurse said "Yes. You're class is at 1245". And the conversation was done. 

After some crying and confusion I called my doula and started researching. My primary concern was what did this mean for my chances of a vbac. My doula ensured me as long as I followed the diet and the exercise routine that everything should be fine to continue with my natural birth and vbac. That made me feel much better.  I found some great sources online with tips and information. Tomorrow I have my class plus the Bradley Birth class on nutrition, so I am ready to face this. 

I used this blog once before to reach out for a community when I was a stay at home mom of twin toddlers. It was amazing the connections I made. There is some really good support and people out there. Now I am going to use it again for the same thing. Have you ever gone down this path before?  Gestational diabetes is fairly common, but it is new and kinda scary to me. I would love to hear your stories and tips!

July 15, 2014

Big News!

 So life does get away from me. This time it got away from me for 7 months. Which means I am 7 months pregnant!

We are having a little boy sometime early October. We are very excited, especially Penny and Ben. 

This time around I am hoping for a different birth experience than I had with the twins. I can't complain too much because I did bring home two healthy babies, but I just want things to be different. I am hoping for a natural vbac. I am seeing a midwife and I have a doula, so that is different. I am also taking Bradley Birth Method classes. It is also going to help that there is just one baby this time. So far everything is going really good. 

So come October, we will be expecting a beautiful baby boy. No matter how it happens, we are over joyed to be meeting our newest member of the family in just 3 short months. 

January 7, 2014

Find the Balance for a Working Mom

I have been pondering doing a post about the transition into being a working mom.  It's hard to try and give tips when I feel like I am barely managing.  It's hard to give advice when my heart is still at home with my babies.  It's hard to find the time when I come home from work  and dinner/bath/bed, then sometimes have more work or no energy to do anything.  I have been working for 8 months now and still hoping to get the hang of it soon.  However there are a few things I have learned along the way.

Be Where You Are
This sounds pretty simple, right?  When you are at work be at work, when you are at home be at home.  Sadly, this is insanely difficult.  We live in an age where we are constantly connected.  I have clients calling me at 10 O'clock sometimes.  I get texted about work at dinner.  It never ends.  However I do try my best when I am at home to try and turn work off and if I do have some work I absolutely have to do I make sure it is after bed time.

Let It Go
Right now I am looking around at my house.  I have some dinner dishes to do, loads of laundry to finish, toys to put away, the list goes on and on.  I tried to do it all for awhile.  Clean house, happy babies and a happy boss.... I don't think that exists.  Maybe some people can do it, but I am really starting to doubt that.  So for me, I prioritized, and that meant letting some stuff go.  That meant I had to said goodbye to a clean house.  Someday, maybe I will have a clean house again, but until that time I will just love my evenings with precious babies and do my best to let the rest go.

Find the Time
Find the time for you.  What do you like to do?  Drinks with your friends? Quiet time and a book? Shopping and a mani/pedi?  Make sure you take the time to do that.  It is important.  It is so easy to lose yourself as a mom and when you add work into that equation it is even easier.  The more roles you have to fill the less you take time for you.  So just make sure to do that.

Ask for Help
This is a hard one for me because I hate feeling like I am a burden and I don't want people to think I am taking advantage of them, however I can not do it all by myself.  I am blessed to live close to family and good friends who will help me.  I also have an amazing husband who helps me out in so many ways.  So don't be afraid to reach out, most people will be happy to help you.

Goodbye Guilt
When you figure out how to do this let me know.  I know I am doing the best I can but those thoughts always creep in... Is my best good enough? Am I being fair to my kids? Am I letting people down?  I put so much on myself and feel bad about it.  I know I am not alone in doing this.  I know it is not actually true.  My kids are happy and loved.  I am good at my job.  I am doing good at so many things.  I will not let those thoughts win.  I will not explain my choices to those who disagree or those who judge.  All that matter is right here in my delightfully messy house.

So those are my tips.  I hope someday to be able to implement them on a consistent basis.  But all we can really do is just do our best.  Know what you want and what you need and try your best to make them blend together.  And on those days when that seems impossible just remember why we do it.

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