Saturday, October 10, 2015

Kate's Birth

A little background- Josh and I have been married for almost 5 years- 9/4/10. We always knew we wanted kids, and motherhood was more than a dream for me- it was like a life requirement. I never expected to deal with infertility because I am extremely healthy and have always had regular periods. After about 2 years of trying, we discovered that I had a uterine anomaly- a huge muscular septum. I also had very poor quality eggs. This was all extremely devastating. We looked into adoption and actually got packets from a couple of agencies. Our very good friends (small group leaders, actually) also went through infertility and had adopted their son and were in the process to adopt their daughter, but adoption just didn't feel right to us at the time. Because my husband and I are both in the medical field, Pershing fertility treatments just felt more right- especially after lots of prayer. I also had an extreme desire to experience pregnancy and childbirth since I have been an L&D nurse for over 8 years. In February 2014, I had surgery to resect the septum. They couldn't quite get the whole thing, but my doctor felt that it was a success. After healing and then attempting to try to get pregnant on our own and pursuing less invasive fertility help, we eventually turned to IVF, and Kate was conceived after a 3 year struggle with infertility. We also conceived 2 other embryos that we hope will become a sibling or siblings for Kate. Because of the uterine septum, I had an extremely complicated pregnancy. I had lots of preterm labor and a short cervix. I lived at the perinatologists office. When my cervix started shortening, I was only 20.6, so Kate was not yet viable. It was probably the scariest thing we had ever gone through knowing we could lose this precious baby that we already loved so much. Because of this and my infertility history, truly every day, moment, second of my pregnancy was a gift. By a miracle (the doctors still don't know why my cervix stopped shortening- they attribute it to prayer- no exaggeration at all), I made it to 36 weeks.

Before infertility, I knew exactly what type of birth I wanted and had everything planned out. After infertility and going through a high risk pregnancy, I just wanted a healthy baby and didn't care how she got here.

The doctor let us go on a "babymoon" as long as we were sort of close by, so we got a hotel room in midtown. We had dinner reservations, a couples massage, we were going to the dogwood festival, and then my water broke in the bed at the hotel on Sunday morning at 4:50! My husband was ready to go to the hospital right away, but my cervix had only been a fingertip at my 36 week checkup and I didn't feel painful contractions. I didn't feel in a hurry to go to the hospital at all, plus my fluid was clear and baby was moving well. We didn't find out the gender of our baby beforehand, so it was very exciting to know we would find out that day!

We slowly showered, packed up and checked out of the hotel. They were really nice about letting us cancel the second night. I knew I wouldn't be allowed to eat in labor at the hospital, so I insisted on stopping for breakfast. We went and got bagels at an Einstein brothers near the hotel. It was there that I started having painful contractions. Josh wanted to go in, but between the contractions and the thought of leaking fluid at a restaurant, we just went through the drive through and ate in the car. I also wanted to go home. My suitcase was in the car, but there were a couple of things I wanted to grab. I also needed to see my house for some reason. I contracted all the way home in the car and at the house. I had called the midwife from the hotel, but I called the hospital and spoke with the nurse who would be taking care of me (perks of being an l&d nurse). She asked if I was sure I was ruptured and I told her that there was a puddle in my driveway!! We then went to the hospital, which is about 5 miles from our house. We checked in, and my practice was not on, so the OB hospitalist took care of me. This was kind of a "full circle" moment because he also took care of me for a preterm labor episode at 23 weeks when we weren't sure if we would end up with a living baby at all. I told him that he would probably need to induce me because I was a fingertip that Friday in the office and my contractions weren't that close together. They hooked me up to the monitor and I was contracting more than I was feeling- every 2-5 min and I was 4-5 cm/90% effaced and 0 station! That was a big surprise! I refused to let my coworker give me an enema, and I knew I needed one, so I made everyone leave and I did it myself. Afterwards, they checked me again and I was a good 5 cm. I knew I was going to get the epidural no matter what because of my history of uterine surgery. If there was an emergency like a uterine rupture, I wanted to be awake for my c-section! I got the epidural at that point. During the epidural, my contractions got super painful. I was actually in tears. After that, we actually had a nice day. I am normally a very anxious person, but felt surprisingly chilled out. I munched on ice chips and played on my phone, and we watched the masters. I remember being incredibly thirsty!! I was determined not to make plans or be upset no matter how the labor went. I progressed rapidly until 9 cm, and then things just stopped. I was 9 cm for over 3 hours. My doctor gave me the c section talk and even the "1 more hour." At that point, I was really disappointed. My main prayer about the labor (besides of course the safety of baby and myself) was that I would have a scheduled, planned c-section OR an easy delivery. I didn't want to be one of those people who labored forever and then got cut. So, I did actually start to pray there. After my hour was up, I was still 9 cm. I felt like the baby's head was crooked because I had this hip pain everyone gets when their baby's head was crooked. No one believed me! ( she was crooked and now is in physical therapy for torticollis for being crooked in my pelvis the whole time). The doctor suggested that I try to push, which I thought was ridiculous because I was 9 cm and the baby was at a 0 station. I gave a little half push, and she shot all the way down!! I didn't realize how low she was, but the doctor said "wow, you are a great pusher" and everyone scrambled to get the room set up.

At the time, I was thinking they were wasting a set up! I spent this time explaining to my husband that I would push about 2 hours since I had an epidural and this was my first baby. The next contraction came, and I actually pushed for real, and she just came out- in that one single contraction!! Total pushing time was maybe 90 seconds. The doctor opened Kate's legs and asked my husband to announce the gender. He was so stunned by the quick birth, and he was so convinced that she had been a boy that he just stood there stammering. Later on, he said I kept looking for the penis and didn't see one, so I wondered if there was someone wrong with the baby!! I finally took over and looked and announced. It was a girl!!

Kate was screaming and pink. I just can't even express in words how thankful we were. She was super tiny and covered in vernix as well.

The team left because Kate was doing so well, and I was able to keep her on my chest. I nursed her right away and she fed for 20 minutes each side! She has been a champion nurser from the start- not at all like a 36 weeker. We are still going strong at almost 5 months old! The next couple of hours was a blur of discomfort! Because Kate was born so quickly, my perineum didn't stretch so I tore pretty badly. I am still healing up. I got stitches. My placenta refused to budge because it was stuck to my lovely uterine septum. The cord evulsed off the placenta and the doctor had to do a manual removal. He thought he got the whole thing, and he did an ultrasound after, which seemed clear. I bled A LOT! Right after that we called the parents (remember no one knew I was in labor or had delivered). They were so excited and shocked it was a girl! Everyone thought I was having a boy because of the shape of my belly. If people didn't like the name- Emma Katherine- I didn't really care because we loved it, and it was our daughter's name, not just some arbitrary name we were considering at that point. I was so incredibly thirsty. I drank about 72 of those little apple juices and of course started throwing up. My night shift nurse came in shortly after I delivered (Kate was born at 6:40 pm) and gave me some Zofran, which really helped. By the time the parents arrived, I was eating a gross hospital sandwich, but it tasted like a gourmet meal. I seriously scarfed down the whole thing. By the time everyone left, and Kate had her bath and assessment finished, it was super late- maybe 10:30 pm, and we were all exhausted. I was so thankful to get to my postpartum room. Josh saw us to our room, and then he had to go home to take care of the pets and because he had to work the next day. I was alone with Kate. This was the first time I really got to inspect her, and I was shocked at the amount of hair she had and how cute she was. It was really special to be just the two of us.

We had a super rough recovery. Kate ended up at Scottish rite for unstable blood sugars and temps for 4 days related to her prematurity and low birth weight. We were sent to the ER 8 hours after our discharge from Northside, and that was super scary. Also, at 5 weeks postpartum, I had a major hemorrhage due to a piece of placenta that was retained. I had a 2 am d&c, a blood transfusion and nearly lost my uterus. Whether I will be able to have more children is still up in the air, and I go back to the fertility specialist this winter to see if I need additional surgery on my uterus. Overall, we just have so much to be thankful for- from the perfect little girl we got to the fact that we are both okay. Kate is the greatest gift I have ever received and I pray daily that I can bless her with a brother or sister someday.

~Shared by Allison W.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Nehemiah's Birth

We had been praying since the first of June, for our 6th baby to make his appearance. Due to some family things, we were praying that he would come sooner rather than later. I had had contractions regularly off and on for over a month, which is very normal when you have had many pregnancies. My parents came Saturday afternoon, and not much had happened labor wise that day, so I was not expecting anything. We made plans for church and lunch for Sunday and got to be around 10 pm.

About 2:30 am I woke up because I really had to pee. After settling back in bed I realized I was contracting. It was already every 5 minutes, but they were not strong. I tried to go back to sleep, but was unable to. At 4:30 I decided to get up and go to the living room to read my Bible and pray. After reading a couple of the Psalms that have been helpful and praying for God's grace in this birth, I was able to nap for about an hour.

Around 6 am, my oldest came into the living room. I told him what was going on and asked him to pray for me, and he did. (He prayed every day for his brother to come.) Not long after this, the contractions got a bit stronger and were more like every 3 minutes. Jim came down the hall at 6:15 am and I told him I was in labor. We got a quick shower and the contractions changes. I knew then was in full blown labor. I called the doctor to help me determine if I should head on to the hospital, and since it was my 6th baby, we decided to go ahead so I did not have a baby in the car.

A little before 7 am we got in the car and headed to the hospital. God was very gracious to me and spaced out my contractions a little so I did not have too many really strong ones in the car. Once I got out at the hospital, they were right back again. I checked in and went to triage. They told me I was 6 cm and got my IV in place. (This is the WORST part of the whole experience every time hands down.) I kept having to stand up because I could not sit during contractions. I walked over to my labor room where they got the baby on the monitor and saw everything was fine. I stood up again and did not sit down until after my water broke.

Around 8 am my water finally broke, as I had been praying it would since getting into my labor room (so about 30 minutes). Jim called out to the nurses station to let them know, and they came in to check me. She told me I was 9 cm so I could not fully push yet. I looked at Jim and said, "I need to have a baby." I could feel my body pushing with each contraction. They were busy getting the room set up as I finished my labor.

At 8:20 am, our baby boy entered the world! We named him Nehemiah Ezra, which means "God is my comfort and help". This is what God has been teaching me so much the past few years, and has taught Jim and me together the past year.

I was so blessed to have the labor I prayed for (except for the IV) and it could not have been any better. We are so thankful to have Nehemiah in our family and cannot wait to see how else God will use his precious life.

Original story shared on The Manor Manor

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Is An IV Necessary?

This is another common question that I hear frequently that has a simple yet complicated answer. Is an IV necessary?


However, very few hospitals will allow you to labor and deliver without one, even if you plan to have an un-medicated birth.


This is a precautionary measure, like not allowing you to eat, in case there is an emergency and you need a c-section or other surgery of some kind. IV access is important in those cases and can be difficult to get if needed quickly. This is why most doctors will require you to have access, known as an INT, a hep-lock or saline lock, if you are delivering at a hospital.

If you plan to be induced or plan to have an epidural, an IV is necessary because of the medicines given for induction, and an IV fluid bolus is necessary for an epidural.

For those who are healthy and have had an uncomplicated pregnancy who are completely opposed to an having an IV, consider a home birth or going to a birth center to avoid an IV.

What is your experience with IVs?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Can I Eat During Labor?

This is a very common question from first time moms, with both easy and complicated answers. Can you eat while in labor?


However, if you are in a hospital they will not let you have anything but clear liquids or Popsicles (find out what the rules are for where you are delivering). If you have an epidural, you cannot have anything but ice chips.

Why is this?

Primarily health care providers are concerned about the need for a c-section. If there is an emergency and intubation is needed there is a risk of aspiration, which is when stomach contents are thrown up and go into the lungs and can cause many problems. The likelihood of these things happening is not great, but hospitals are not likely to take chances with this.

Therefore, if you are wanting to eat while in labor, I recommend staying home as long as possible or plan to have a birth at home or in a birthing center that allows you to eat.

Did you eat during labor?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Can I Become Tolerant of Epidurals?

One of my friends who has four children asked me if it's possible for epidurals to become less effective because of becoming tolerant of the medicines in the epidural as hers had become less effective with each birth. I did not know the answer. So at one of my prenatal appointments I asked my doctor about this.

My doctor said that this is not really possible because of the way epidurals work. An epidural is a temporary block on the nerves that is there and then goes away. There is not a way to build up the medicine because it is not metabolized like medicines that you ingest. He said that it could be possible if you were given epidurals every day, but this is not likely for women having babies.

Why then were the epidurals less effective each time? I have no idea and neither did my doctor.

Have you had the experience of epidurals being less effective with each delivery?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Barrett's Birth Story

So, here's the story of how little WB came into this world.... I was scheduled to be induced Monday morning, since my specialist didn't want me to go past 40 weeks due to my history. I had planned a natural waterbirth and did everything to try to naturally induce my labor, but nothing worked. When We arrived at the hospital, they too, tried to start labor without drugs, the balloon method dialated me to 5cm but did not start labor, so, then came the pitocin! The one thing I wanted to avoid the most (besides epidural). So, finally after enduring 14 hours of pitocin induced labor, I hit transition (which is right when you are just about ready to deliver) it came hard and fast. We stopped the pitocin which made my contractions less intense, and I finally felt like I COULD continue to birth without asking for an epidural. However, during this time, most women throw up, myself included. I was throwing up and convulsing, my body decided to rip the muscle off of my rib bone, I heard a pop, and instantly felt EXCRUCIATING pain and pretty much became immobile. I continued to get sick, adding to the rib pain, while contracting causing more pain than than I could have ever imagined. Which meant there was literally no possible way at all I could have pushed through that pain even if wanted to. My body simply would not have let me if I tried. So, in came the epidural. Well, the anesthesiologist hit a nerve, thus, causing EVEN MORE extreme pain, and then yelled at me for moving because it made my back spasm, which was not something I could control. So he stuck me again and hit another nerve! He spent a full 2 minutes jabbing nerves, and me begging him to stop! At first, it only worked on half my body, but it finally caught up to the other side. So after a quick nap I was finally ready to push, the pain had subsided, and I just wanted him here. The nurses came in, I pushed for less than 10 mins, and then he was in my arms! FINALLY! So after everything we did to prepare for our peaceful, natural birth, we did not, however, prepare for craziness that actually happened. But in the end none of that even mattered, he's here safe and sound and I couldn't be more thankful.

When I asked Ivy about sharing her story this is what she said:
"I would love to share my story on your blog, I'm sure it will help other women understand that no matter what our plan is, essentially, it's out of our control."

~Shared by Ivy L.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

When Should I Get An Epidural?

This question is one I get frequently from new moms wanting to make the best decision possible about getting an epidural. This is an easy and tough question all at the same time, so I will share my general guidelines from what I have seen in the hospital.

For first births I recommend waiting as long as possible simply because first births can take awhile so if you get it too early you could end up lying down for hours and prolonging your labor. If you are looking for dilation, I would recommend waiting until you are at least a good 4 cm dilated before getting an epidural for the same reason. If you are able to wait until 6 or 7 cm this is ideal because you will be getting it right around transition, which is the hardest part of labor, but is generally quick compared to the rest.

What if you are having trouble dilating? These recommendations are thrown out the window. If you are having trouble dilating, it is likely that your body is struggling to relax to dilate. In this case, an epidural may be very beneficial in helping you to dilate. This is not a, "I haven't made any progress in an hour" recommendation. This is a, "I have been stuck at 5 cm for a few hours" recommendation, because the first part of labor can be long and slow and can take quite some time to get to 5 or 6 cm, especially if it is your first.

Trouble dilating could also indicate there is some kind of complication, and having an epidural may be a good idea in case a c-section becomes necessary.

If you are being induced, then it does not matter as much when you get an epidural because your labor is being done for you. The question you need to ask yourself is how long to I want to be stuck in bed?

For subsequent births, there is a little more ambiguity. Your first birth will likely give you a good indication of when you should get an epidural with your next.

As with everything else, pray about when the best time to get an epidural is because everyone is different. These are my recommendations based on years of experience. Often times you will know if and when you need it, even with your first.

How did you decide when to get your epidural?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


What is an epidural?

An epidural is placed in the epidural space in your spine. A needle is used to place a catheter in this space and medicine is giving continuously through the catheter. What is put in the epidural depends on where you are and is typically a combination, for example, fentanyl (an opiod) and bupivacaine (a local anesthetic). Ask your provider what they use in their epidurals.

What are some pros of an epidural? 
  • If placed well there is complete pain relief with the ability to feel pressure when it's time to push (yes feeling this pressure is a good thing)
  • Ability to sleep/rest during your labor
  • If you have been in labor for a long time with out progressing it can help speed up dilation
  • If a c-section is needed you already have it in place
What are some cons of an epidural?
  • Can cause your blood pressure to drastically decrease- If too low can lead to distress with the baby
  • Unable to get out of bed in most places
  • Cannot eat or drink (ice chips only)
  • Can slow down labor process- (if this happens you may be given pitocin)
  • May not be able to feel to push
  • Catheter is needed to empty your bladder
  • Other unforeseen complications
When needed, epidurals are great tools to have. Again I encourage you to pray over whether or not this is the best option for you. 

What have been your experiences with epidurals?

Updated from "Epidurals" posted on February 19, 2014

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Keaton's Birth

From the Archives

We waited five very long years to begin trying for our second child. Wanting to be rid of our tiny, two bedroom duplex and secure in a house, my husband insisted on waiting for what felt like an eternity to me. Being a teacher, I had to consider and plan when the ideal time to become pregnant would be during the school year. We felt that February would be the earliest reasonable time for me to take maternity leave, so we counted down the days until May of 2006 when we could begin trying.

To our surprise conception occurred very quickly, after only a week and a half. I was suspicious that I was pregnant for several days before I decided to take a pregnancy test. I had been experiencing food aversions, intense fatigue, and endless weeping over unusual circumstances, such as watching a Memorial Day parade. My five year old and I went to Walgreen’s where I bought a pregnancy test for me and apple gum for him. I brought the test home and left it in the bathroom where I refused to think about it for two hours. In the middle of an episode of Oprah, I said a quick prayer, retrieved the Walgreen’s bag, and took the test, which was of course positive. I immediately dragged my husband off the computer to the bathroom where I showed him the test and then promptly burst into tears.

Almost two weeks after discovering that we were expecting, we told our son that “The Baby Boss” had answered his prayers and had put a baby in Mommy’s tummy. He was very excited and asked a lot of questions. That evening he gave my tummy a kiss, explaining that “the baby’s never had a kiss before.” After a few minutes of playing with his Legos, he changed his mind and said, “Actually, Mommy, that was probably the baby’s second kiss. I bet Jesus gave the baby his first kiss before he left heaven.” We knew then that he would be a very thoughtful big brother.

My second pregnancy proved to be very different from my first. I suffered from severe “morning sickness” that occurred from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed at night. Not only was I ravenously hungry but also intensely repulsed at even the idea of food. I was thrilled when this misery finally stopped at 14 weeks. During the second and third trimesters, I experienced the typical pregnancy ailments: Heartburn, leg cramps, back pain, and an inability to take deep breaths. I was very much looking forward to the conclusion of my pregnancy.

At twenty weeks, my mother, husband, son, and I gathered in the ultrasound room in my OB/GYN’s office. After several minutes of checking the baby’s heartbeat and measurements, the technician informed us that another little boy was on his way. After pausing a moment, my son excitedly declared, “Mommy, it’s a boy fiesta!” Laughing, we all agreed with him.

My due date was Sunday, February 4th. Unfortunately, that day came and went without a contraction. My doctor scheduled an induction for the following Friday. Having heard multiple horror stories about inductions, I prayed that one would not be necessary and that my little boy would appear on his own.    

On Tuesday, February 6th, I went to work as usual, feeling very annoyed that I was still hugely pregnant and having to teach. After school, I went to Target to pick up curtain rods for the nursery as the curtains had just been delivered, and they were the final item I needed to finish the nursery. That evening I went back to school for my grade level’s PTA performance. Despite being over 40 weeks pregnant, I conducted over 80 second graders as they sang a Japanese song about frogs. Occasionally, I would experience a contraction, but none that made me think that my baby would arrive soon.

That night I went to bed irritated that I would have to teach the next day when I would have much preferred to stay home and mentally prepare myself for my baby’s arrival. I fell asleep quickly about eleven o’clock. At three o’clock, just four hours later, I was awakened by my first real contraction. This contraction was painful, but I chose to ignore it, because I was convinced that this baby would come out only by an induction. Ten minutes later I experienced another contraction that was as painful as the first. At 3:30, I experienced a third contraction that was followed by a noisy pop. Having read hundreds of birth stories during my pregnancy, I knew this sound was my water breaking. The pop was followed by a loud and very painful clanking sound, which was the baby’s head descending into the birth canal. I knew at this point the baby was finally on his way and an induction was not going to be necessary.

I chose not wake my husband yet because I assumed that we had many hours until we would have to leave for the hospital. I was even considering going into work for a few hours. Having had a 39 hour labor with my first son, I was not in a rush to leave for the hospital.

After hearing the pop and feeling the baby start his descent into the birth canal, I got out of bed and waddled down the hall to the bathroom. I noticed I had a slow leak and then decided to crawl back into bed to rest for a while longer. After getting back into bed, my contractions immediately increased in frequency and intensity. I grabbed my husband’s hand and squeezed through each one. Around 4:00, he awoke and asked me groggily if this was it.

By 4:30, I was crying and telling my husband that this labor was so much worse than my first and that I couldn’t bear it. If I had paid closer attention to what I was saying and how I was feeling, I would have realized that I was probably in transition at this point and should have rushed to the hospital. Instead I headed for the shower, insisting that I needed to be fresh and clean for my delivery.

The shower was a miserable experience. Each flurry of cleaning was halted by an excruciating contraction. I turned the shower massager on full blast and let the spray hit my stomach where the pain was most intense, desperately trying to find some relief. Repeatedly, I mumbled through my tears “What time I am afraid, I put my trust in Thee.” After an agonizing thirty minutes, I was finally shampooed, conditioned, scrubbed, and able to leave the shower. 

Upon exiting the shower, I instructed my husband to call our families and his boss. Between contractions I quickly texted my friends and co-workers, letting them know my water had broken. My mother-in-law was due to arrive soon to pick up our son, while my mom was getting ready to meet us at the hospital later that morning.

Our son woke up during this time and was very excited to learn that his baby brother was on his way. However, I was unnerved at the thought of him watching me in pain. I told my husband to keep him out of the room as much as possible. Before he left to put on his clothes, my son said a prayer for me, asking God to “help Mommy be very brave.”

While I struggled to put on my makeup and fix my hair, my husband called his boss to notify him that he would not be coming into work. While he was on the phone, I yelled at him to hang up and hold my hand because my contractions were more than I could bear alone. At this point, I told my husband there was no time for him to take a shower and to call his mother to question where she was.

A few minutes before six, my mother-in-law arrived and took our son to her house. After having my husband snap my last pregnancy picture, I headed for the car. My husband grabbed my bags, tossed them in the back seat, and quickly took off. Giving him instructions to drive fast, I suffered through several contractions on the short ride to the hospital. As he drove, I begged my husband to pray that I was at least four centimeters and could get an epidural upon arriving. I was convinced that in the five years since my son was born I had become a complete wimp as this labor was so much more intense than I ever experienced with my first child.

We pulled into the hospital parking lot at 6:10. After struggling through a contraction, I quickly exited the car and headed for the registration desk. To my dismay, no one was at the desk when we entered the lobby. After two or three very long minutes passed, a receptionist meandered up to the desk and inquired about my social security number. Unable to speak for myself, my husband managed to correctly supply this information after three failed attempts. I was extremely agitated that he could not remember my social security number, but I was neither able to voice my frustration nor the needed numbers. The receptionist took my insurance card and after I endured fifteen minutes of painful and very loud contractions, she declared that I was ready to go to triage. The receptionist questioned if I wanted a wheelchair. I asked her if she could get me one quickly. Her response was so slow that I determined walking would be faster and barked at my husband to get me to the elevator.

Upon entering triage at 6:30, I was met by the gazes of five nurses. I noted that I was their only patient and hoped that this meant I would be checked and given my epidural quickly.  I was shown a room, given a gown, and told to undress. I quickly shed my clothes and put on the hospital gown between contractions. I lay down on the bed, grateful to be in a horizontal position to endure my contractions. When the nurse entered my room to hook me up to the monitor, I asked her to check me. She explained that she had to ask me a few questions first.

With agonizing slowness, the nurse inquired when my water had broken, when I had last drank anything, what my religious affiliation was, and when I had last had a b.m. At this last question, I lost my patience and yelled that I needed to be checked immediately because the baby was right there. While the nurse was scrambling to find someone to check me, I demanded that my husband pray for me and then promptly yelled at him because I could not hear his prayer over my own moans and screams.

A new nurse entered the room and had me roll on to my back. Upon checking me, she said, “She’s nine centimeters, 100% effaced, and at a plus one station! Get her to delivery!” I was shocked to learn of my status, and then in the next moment my body was consumed by its first urge to push.  As several nurses ran me from triage to the delivery room, I asked, “Am I going to be able to get my epidural?” I knew the answer even before the nurse replied, “Honey, you’ll have this baby before the anesthesiologist can even get up here.” Unhappily, I resigned myself to a natural child birth.

As I was rolled into the delivery room, I told my husband to call my mother and tell her to hurry. Medical personnel scurried around the room as I lay on my side and screamed through what felt like never-ending contractions and an all-consuming urge to push. I begged for water or ice chips as my throat was completely dry from my continuous screams, but I was ignored.  

The nurse checked me again and said, “She just has a small lip left.” My body paid her no attention as it pushed of its own accord. The midwife hurried into the room and had me begin pushing along with my body. After my first intentional push on my side, I realized that I was solely responsible for getting this baby out of my body and for ending my pain. I rolled on my back to be able to push more effectively. With the next contraction, I pushed as hard as I could, screaming, “Get out!” as he crowned. My mother ran into the room at this moment, having been directed upon exiting the elevator to “follow the screams.” She ran quickly to me to support my neck as my husband and a nurse supported my legs. 

As I cried and gasped for breath before my final contraction, the midwife asked if I wanted to touch the baby’s head, and I quickly replied, “No!” I knew that doing so would make the delivery longer than necessary, and I wanted it over immediately. With one more push and several screams of “Get him out,” Keaton Parker entered this world at 7:08 a.m., just four hours after my first contraction.

My little boy weighed 8 pounds 2 ounces and was 20 and ½ inches long. His arrival was unexpectedly fast and extremely tough.  However, God knew that this baby would be an enormous blessing to our family and worth every painful contraction. I am grateful that He was right. 

~ Shared by Ashley B.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Ways to Help Naturally Induce Labor

You are past your due date and your provider is talking about induction and yet you do not want to induce if possible. The question that comes after this talk: is there anything I can do to start labor on my own? There is a lot of question about this as some things work well for some people while others have no success. With my first I tried a lot to make myself go into labor, but nothing worked. I have talked to others that the first thing they tried helped them go into labor. Ultimately, only God can start your labor and sometimes He allows your efforts to push you on over.

With that being said, here are some things that may or may not help you go into labor.

First I suggest you pray, because God is the one who will make labor happen!

Walking- This one is completely up in the air as to whether or not it helps, hinders or has no effect at all on labor. Do not walk until exhaustion, but feel free to try walking as it will not hurt you.

Sex- Sex is one of the best options as long as you are healthy for a few reasons. Semen has prostaglandins in it that help prepare the cervix for labor and can then kick you into labor. It also helps with intimacy and preparing you together for what's to come. There are other techniques I will mention that can be implemented during your time together.

Nipple stimulation- This can be very effective as it releases oxytocin, which is the natural form of pitocin, into your body. You must pay very close attention to your body so you do not over stimulate your uterus leading to contractions that are too long or too frequent. This site has a good basic process to follow.

Acupressure- This can actually feel really nice as it is more of a massage technique. There are 2 primary places to use: 1) The webbing between the thumb and forefinger and 2) 4 fingers above the ankle on the inside of your leg. The spot on your leg is really nice for helping to relax while someone massages your ankles. See this link to learn the process.

Food- There are some foods that may help you go into labor. Some that are out there include: pineapple, spicy food, eggplant parmesan, date fruit, curry, Chinese food and licorice. There is no definitive research to back up any of these, but it can't hurt to try.

Blue or Black Cohash- These are herbs and need to be handled with great care. Please consult your healthcare provider before trying one of these.

Castor Oil- This is another method that should be used with great care. You drink castor oil  or add it to your food causing the bowels to be stimulated, which stimulates the uterus. I have talked to many women who have had success with this. It can cause severe diarrhea. There is also some question as to whether or not it can cause the baby to have a bowel movement in utero. Ask your care provider before using it and use wisdom.

These are just a few well known options. Again pray for wisdom and for God to bring out labor. If you are unsure of anything ask your health care provider.

Have you tried to induce labor naturally? What did you use? Was it successful?

Updated from "Are There Ways To Induce Naturally" on February 18, 2014

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Inductions Updated

What is induction of labor? 

This is when medical interventions are taken to cause a woman to go into labor.

When are inductions necessary?

There is certainly some subjectivity to this question, but some cases that may need an induction of labor would include developing pre-eclampsia or pregnancy induced hypertenstion (PIH), low or high amniotic fluid, the baby being too big or too small, and going far over your due date. This is not an exhaustive list but more of the common reasons why induction may be considered.

What medicines are used to induce labor?

Depending on the circumstances different medicines may be used.

Cervidil is used to help prepare the cervix for labor. It is put inside of the woman behind the cervix and left in for up to 12 hours.

Cytotec is also used to prepare the cervix for labor as well. It can be put behind the cervix and absorbed or taken orally. This can be given every 4 hours minimum, depending on contractions.

Pitocin is a synthetic form of the hormone secreted by women to cause labor. It is given through an IV and the dose depends on the provider and how labor is progressing.

A balloon catheter is another device used for induction that does not involve medicine but can be used in conjunction with pitocin to aid in inducing labor. A balloon catheter is inserted by a doctor or midwife into the cervix so that the balloon that is inflated puts pressure on the cervix to aid it in opening.

Three of my births thus far have been inductions and were completely different experiences. I so desired not to be induced, but God taught me so much through them. From my personal experience I definitely would not recommend having an elective induction as my recoveries were a lot easier when I was not induced. Whether or not you should be induced should be a matter of prayer, seeking God's wisdom.

What is your experience with induction?

Updated from Inductions posted on February 17, 2014

Saturday, July 4, 2015

McLain's Birth

         From the Archives

          As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a mommy and have lots of babies. Growing up, I practiced mothering on my two brothers, my two cousins, and my multitude of dolls. I baby-sat almost every weekend for a decade and loved every minute of these opportunities to fine tune my diaper changing and bottle warming skills. At 22, I learned that I would be able to use this expertise in April of 2001 on a sweet baby of my own. I was both terrified and absolutely thrilled.
          During the nine months of my pregnancy, I prepared for the arrival of our first addition. As would later become my tradition with every pregnancy, I watched A Baby Story every weekday. I read What to Expect While You’re Expecting until I was so frightened by the possibilities of what could go wrong that Clay took the book away from me and hid it until after our baby was born. I washed loads of baby clothes in Dreft, painted bookshelves, and organized and reorganized the beautiful nursery that Clay and I decorated in stars and moons.
          In December, Clay and I went to the OB/GYN for our baby’s five month sonogram. As the ultrasound tech scanned our baby’s body, we learned that we were going to have a little boy. Knowing we had a son on the way made the idea of parenting a lot more real.
          At 6:00 am Monday, April 2nd, I awoke briefly to cramping feelings in my back. As they were not too uncomfortable, I went back to sleep until 10:00. At this time, I awoke and put in a recorded tape of Survivor. Snuggling with my husband, we watched the reality show while I experienced continued contractions. Shortly after the show began, I felt my baby make a big turn, perhaps moving his head in the necessary position for exiting. At that point, the contractions moved from my back to my abdomen.
          As I was still six days from my due date and this was my first child, I was uncertain if these contractions were truly labor or a false alarm. Clay began timing them at 10:23, and we noticed that while they were not spaced perfectly apart, they were consistently coming. I called my mom to let her know what was happening, and she agreed to go with Clay and me to my previously scheduled doctor visit that afternoon.
          Hoping that we could speed labor along, my husband and I decided to take a walk. We dressed in shorts and t-shirts, and then I slowly waddled up my street with him, holding his hand. Every two to three minutes I had to pause for a contraction. I was surprised at how close together they were, having expected them to start far apart like all the books, Lamaze instructors, and doctors had said they would.
          After finishing our mile long walk, I went back to our house to shower. My grandmother had since learned that I was in labor and was convinced that if I took a shower that I might very well have the baby in the bathtub. Instead of letting me relax in the shower, she stood her ground in the bathroom and talked to me while I shampooed, conditioned, and shaved my legs. There was no privacy as I readied myself for my OB/GYN appointment.
          At 3:00, nine hours after my first contraction, I went in for my scheduled doctor visit with Clay and my mother. I was nervous in the waiting room and even more anxious in the exam room. While I waited alone for the doctor to enter the room, my contractions continued, and I lay down to ease them. They were not very painful yet, but they were nothing I could ignore.
          The doctor examined me and determined that I was a “loose” one centimeter, 25 percent effaced, and probably in labor. All I could think was nine hours of contractions and only one centimeter? This mama was not happy.
          After the doctor’s visit, Mom, Clay, and I went to Chick-Fil-A. I ate soup and French fries, feeling annoyance and contractions throughout our meal. I knew my baby was on his way, but I had no idea how long it would be before he arrived.
          When we got home, Clay and I went for another walk. Again, I experienced a contraction every two to three minutes, but their intensity wasn’t strong enough to even justify a call to the doctor.  My contractions continued throughout the afternoon and into the evening.
          At dinner time, we went next door to my mom’s house. My mother had made my favorite vegetable soup, which I ate not knowing that this would be my last meal for the next 26 hours. Clay talked on the phone to a friend while we were there, giving him the details of my labor. As my contractions continued, so did my frustration with Clay being on the phone. After I snapped at him, he quickly hung up, and we headed back to our home.
          Throughout the day, my contractions had slowly increased in intensity but not significantly.  Nevertheless, I was exhausted from the day’s emotions and 18 hours of labor. I crawled into bed at midnight and slept until my bladder woke me up at 3:30 AM. Initially, I thought my water may have broken, but this being my first baby I wasn’t sure. 21 and ½ hours of contractions though prompted Clay and me to ready ourselves for the hospital whether it was my water or my bladder that had broken.  
          After making this decision, I called my mom to give her the update. She said that she would get ready and shortly be over. Clay called his parents, and they made plans to meet us later in the morning at the hospital.
I waddled to the shower and again readied myself. As I sat in my rocking chair and curled my hair, I wondered when my baby was going to make his appearance. A few minutes later, my mom knocked on the door, and we all piled in our car. I was determined that I would not come back home without my baby.
          On the way to the hospital, Clay mentioned that he was hungry. He stopped at the Quik Trip that we passed and went inside to buy powered doughnuts. I was annoyed.
          At 5:00 AM, we arrived at the hospital, a long 23 hours after my first contraction. I was assigned a triage room, and after I changed into a gown, a nurse checked me. She determined that my water had not broken (apparently it had just been my bladder) and that I was still at one centimeter. I was so disappointed. However, the nurse could see that my contractions were painful, so she instructed me to walk the maternity floor for an hour to see if I could further my dilation. And so began the hour of hell.
          Around and around the floor, my mom, Clay, and I walked. Each time a contraction gripped me, I had to stop and cling to Clay. The more I walked the stronger the contractions became. At one point, I claimed to have to use the bathroom and just went into the waiting room restroom to escape having to walk. I was stunned by how horrible the pain was and was ready to run away if there had been any way for me to do so. Reluctantly, I left the bathroom after ten minutes to continue the most painful walk of my 23 years.
          Because my contractions had developed a steady pattern, I would experience one every time I passed the triage station. The nurses witnessed my being able to neither walk nor talk through the pain. I thought nothing of that at the time, but their seeing my physical distress while walking apparently convinced them that I was not experiencing false labor.  
          When the hour was up, I returned to my triage room. Walking even one extra step was not an option to me. I was immediately checked by a triage nurse. She stated that I was still a “loose one,” but she also said that I was now 80% effaced and my cervix was soft. She also explained that because my contractions were clearly regular that I was in labor and here to stay. I was so grateful that a medical person finally believed that I was in labor, something that I had known since my first contraction 24 hours earlier. Briefly, my in-laws came in the triage room, and Clay explained that I was being admitted and that their grandson was on his way.  
          Because I was not eligible for an epidural yet, the nurse offered me a narcotic shot. After having experienced such horrible contractions while walking, I gladly accepted her offer. She gave me the shot in my right hip, and I could feel the medicine’s impact almost immediately. The nurse forbid me to try to walk to my labor and delivery room, even though I had just been doing laps around the hospital floor. In the words of my nurse, “You’re drunk, and you’re not walking anywhere.” Without argument, I sat down in my wheel chair and rode to my new room.
          The narcotic shot was not what I expected. The nurse had told me that that it would “take the edge off” my contractions. However, my pain did not diminish but my ability to stay awake did. Instead of being able to try to relax as the intensity of each contraction built, I would wake at the peak of each one, groggy and terrified of the inescapable pain. I would fuss at my husband to hold my hand as I tried to endure the pain and then would promptly shove him away, so I could go back to sleep as soon as the contraction was over. This cycle continued for ten hours. The frustration of being unable to relieve my interminable exhaustion or pain was the most difficult part of my labor for Clay.
          Throughout the morning and afternoon, many parents, in-laws, siblings, and friends were in and out of my room. This long stretch of labor was painful and hazy to me, especially after I received a second narcotic shot. I remember waking to see my mother-in-law in a rocking chair, my husband eating Taco Bell (which he was forbidden to ever bring into a labor and delivery room again), and my baby brother and little sister in law telling me how they had snuck away from the waiting room to play on the elevator and had gotten in trouble. 
          Brandi, my best friend from high school was at the hospital and didn’t want to miss her opportunity to video the birth. She asked the doctor if she could go to class without missing it. The doctor said, “You could drive to Tennessee and back and this baby still won’t be here.” She went to class and made it back with hours to spare.
          At 3:00, the labor and delivery nurse checked me. After 33 hours of contractions, I was finally deemed to be four centimeters. I was equally grateful to learn that my body was progressing and that I was ready for my epidural. However, I had to endure another hour of contractions before the anesthesiologist arrived at 4:00 to give me the relief I so desperately wanted.  
          As the nurse and anesthesiologist set up my room and readied me for the procedure, I became nervous. My mom told me, “Don’t worry. As soon as you get the epidural, you won’t feel any more pain. The hard part will be over.” I clung to what she said and was later relieved when her comforting words proved to be true.
          Receiving the epidural was nerve wracking. As I sat on the edge of the hospital bed with a pillow in my lap, I tightly gripped the hands of my nurse. She encouraged me to stay curled up like a ball so that the needle could be easily inserted into my spine. However, staying relaxed and in this uncomfortable position while being hit with a contraction was almost impossible. Thankfully, the anesthesiologist was patient and able to place my epidural between contractions. The procedure was quickly finished. More importantly, the contractions I experienced while I received my epidural were the last ones I felt during this labor. My mother was right. The pain was over. 
          After receiving my epidural, I was happier and willing to interact with my visitors between my drug induced naps. My family and friends periodically came in to talk to me. However, I was still very tired because of the narcotics and slept the majority of the evening, waking periodically to scratch my face or my chest. Itchiness proved to be a side effect of the medication in the epidural, but I hid that information from the nurses as I did not want them to turn it off. I much preferred itchiness over pain.
          Not long after getting my epidural, my body began to relax and my contractions grew less frequent. My nurse followed my doctor’s orders and added Pitocin to my IV to help reregulate my contractions. In less than four hours after this medicine was administered, I went from four to ten centimeters. I was ready to push but unfortunately the medical staff was not.
          Not surprisingly, multiple women were in labor at the same time I was.  Because of them, I had to wait until other women delivered before my midwife or nurse could prepare my room and me for my son’s delivery.  During this time, I started shaking. My exhaustion and nerves were reaching their peak. I was ready for this long labor to be over and to meet my baby. Testiness began to overwhelm me before I even began to push.
          At about 7:45, I was finally prepped and ready. My labor and delivery nurse sat on the end of my bed and instructed me when to breathe, when to push, and when to relax. Clay and my mom stood on either side of me while Brandi stood back and to the left of the bed with a video camera. Through my narcotic haze, I began pushing. It was awkward. It was difficult. It was also extremely embarrassing to be that exposed to so many people in my room.
          I pushed and was encouraged. I pushed and was cheered on. This cycle continued and still I had no baby after an hour had passed. The nurse coached me to try long pushes while holding my breath. Still no baby. The midwife told me to try short pushes with every other contraction. Still no baby. My frustration could not be contained as I told everyone in the room to be quiet and threatened to kick my mother out of the room if she made one more joke. This exhausted mama was about to lose it.
          Because my laboring was taking so long, my midwife and nurse could not stay in my room the entire time. They began checking on other mothers, leaving me in the room with just Clay, my mom, and Brandi. Despite their absence, I continued my pushes with each contraction and finally saw my son’s head begin to emerge. I was so completely ready to be finished with this labor that I was unconcerned if there was any medical staff in the room to deliver my son or not. I kept pushing. 
          The nurse returned and immediately summoned the midwife who was surprised by my obvious progress when she reentered my room. As she quickly slipped on her gloves and delivery garb, she told me to relax and not to push. I was aggravated and just wanted this delivery to be over. After what seemed like an eternity to me, my midwife instructed me to push with my next contraction.
          With Clay and my mother each holding one of my legs, I pushed with every ounce of strength I had remaining. Slowly and through several more contractions, my baby finally made his entrance with a great rush of amniotic fluid that sprayed all over his daddy’s arm. I was overwhelmed at the sweet sight of him.

          After 39 ½ very long hours of labor and an hour and twenty minutes of pushing, Bryan McLain entered my world at 7 pounds 4 ounces and 20 inches long. God blessed his father and me with a strong, healthy, incredible son that captured my heart from the moment I first looked at him, forever changing me from daughter, sister, and wife to mom. I am so eternally grateful that God chose me to be McLain’s mother and cannot imagine my life without him. 

~Shared by Ashley B.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Vitamin B6 and Unisom

Morning sickness is a common problem among most women in early pregnancy and everyone wants to know what to do to help. There are many things to try from ginger to Phenergan. In my last pregnancy the combination of vitamin B6 and Unisom was suggested to me if I did not want to take stronger medicines. I had been told B6 could help with nausea during my 3rd trimester with my 5th pregnancy but it did not seem to help and I was not told about Unisom. I was a little skeptical about it, but decided to give it a try. I was shocked that it worked!

Here is what you do. Take a tablet of B6 three times a day with meals and take the Unisom right before bed.

I do not think anyone really knows why it works, but it helped me so much this time. My guess is that it helps you get really deep sleep. I still had to eat first thing in the morning, but it helped me to actually be hungry so I could eat. Make sure you eat something high protein with a good carb to help keep the nausea away the rest of the day. This helps in keeping other medications from being needed if you are wanting to avoid them.

Have you tried this combination for nausea? Did it work for you?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ultimately God Starts Labor

People are always trying to find ways to start labor so that they can give birth. I'm in one of those modes currently as I am ready to have my baby and have been for a couple of weeks. A week ago my doctor asks me, "This is your 6th and you do not know what puts you into labor?" which really frustrated me because the answer is NO! Of my previous 5, three of my babes were induced and the two that were not induced had not connection of me doing this or that to put me into labor.

The conclusion: only God can ultimately start your labor. 

This is true even when induced. My 5th took forever to kick in even with pitocin running through my veins. God and God alone puts us into labor. God and God alone brings forth life. With my first I tried everything I was comfortable with to attempt to get my labor to start on its own, and nothing worked. My body was ready, but it never kicked in on its own. By God's grace a pictocin induction worked for me. With each I have tried different things at different times and for me nothing is the "Key". This is not true for everyone. Some people know exactly what puts them into labor, which is God's grace. Some never go into labor on their own, but need help. This is God's grace too, because it reminds us that He is ultimately in control and we are not.

What is your experience with labor starting? How have you seen God working in it.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Matthew's Birth

From the Archives

Baby number five was an odd challenge.  We thought we were done after number four.  But not long after we brought number four home, our eldest started saying, “God is going to give us another baby.”  We would shake our heads and say “Ok” and move on.  Then he started saying, “God is going to give us another baby and it is going to be a boy.”  Mind you, he is six and we already decided we were done; two boys and two girls seemed perfect.  Besides we were running out of room in the van.  When he started saying, “God is going to give us another baby and it’s going to be a boy and we’ll name him Matthew” we started to wonder. 

Then we got pregnant.  I am not one of those women who love being pregnant.  I am “morning sick” all day and way past 12 weeks. Also, I carry way out front, like so far that it scares people when I turn around in the end of pregnancy, “whoa! I totally didn’t know you were pregnant, you’re huge!” 

So we had to find out if this would be a boy baby, and get used to the idea of a baby with the name Matthew.  When I looked it up in our names dictionary, I discovered something cool.  Matthew means gift of God, and so does Nathanael, our eldest.  So the name seemed super fitting considering the surrounding circumstances.

Our first hiccup came with my initial blood work.  I got a call back from the midwife’s office saying they were referring me to maternal-fetal specialists because one of my labs came back elevated.  We found out at maternal-fetal that my anti-e was elevated.  Basically, the thing to worry about was if Matthew’s blood type was incompatible with mine, then at some point my body would consider him a threat and my antibodies would go after him and his blood supply.  He went on to say this usually happens in high frequency pregnancy mamas—this being number seven for me, it all made sense to him.  So as long as this anti-e stayed below a certain number there was no worry.  This meant I could continue to see the midwives, but had to get poked at every appointment.

Thankfully that lab work never spiked again!  My pregnancy was normal up to the going one week past my due date.  My parents got in town and the next day I was timing contractions again.  They would taper off if I lied down in the last week, but this day they wouldn’t just go away.  I tried doing dishes, still they were there.  I tried lying on the couch, now they started to take my breath away.  I sent my husband a text message at 2 saying they wouldn’t go away.  He left work.  At three o’clock I left the house with the library books that were due that day, asking my husband to just drive to the drop box on the way to the hospital.  Halfway there, we changed our minds.  It was getting harder and harder to concentrate, and we weren’t going to make it if we detoured.

I checked into the desk and they got the room ready.  My midwife came in and looked at me and said she was going to go down the hall to tell the other mother she had there that she was going to stay with me because she was not going to miss delivering this baby.  She came back in and broke my water to make it easier.  Forty-five minutes after checking in at the front desk we had Matthew in our arms!  It was wonderfully fast and during the day! 

The next morning, my husband brought up all the brothers and sisters to meet Matthew.  As they were walking up to the hospital Hannah started to skip and fell.  She ended up spending half the day after meeting Matthew waiting in the ER with Dad for 5 stitches to close up her chin.

God was merciful to us in giving us one more gift of a son.  We wouldn’t trade any of our five kids or their birth stories for anything.  Our van is completely amazed out now, and my husband is building a triple bunk bed for the boys.  God is good.

~ Shared by Laura A. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Psalm 127

Psalm 127 is another great Psalm for preparing for labor as it reflects that God is the One who builds our homes. 

Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To [a]retire late,
To eat the bread of [b]painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
Behold, children are a [c]gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate.

Children are a heritage from the Lord, a gift. God is the building our homes as He gives us children. Pregnancy, labor and birth are part of this process. As you seek prepare for your family to grow, your pregnancy and your birth remember that God is ultimately in control. Hand your plans to Him and wait with anticipation to see what He will do.

What Scriptures speak to you?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Struggle of Inviting God's Control

As I right this post, this is very much on my mind. I have written before about God being in every birth and this is true whether you invite Him or not. But I will tell you, when you invite Him in and relinquish your whole experience to Him, it is much easier to accept what comes your way. Right now, I am really having to invite God into my birth every moment. Current circumstance are causing me to strongly desire to take my birth into my own hands, but I know that that is not what is best for my baby or me. I find myself relinquishing control and then snatching it back. It's primarily a battle of the mind. Sometimes the Spirit is winning, sometimes the flesh. But it is ongoing and a bit wearisome.

God alone is our strength. God alone knows what is best for us. God alone will bring our babies into this world. Will you invite God into your birth?

How do you struggle with inviting God in?

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Josiah's Birth

From the Archives

After the last three babies waiting till my mom was in town or on her way, my mother-in-law joked that she wasn’t coming to help after baby number 4 till my mom had visited.  Sure enough, the morning after my mom arrived, my water broke at 4am!  I woke my tired mom and let her know, and my husband and I headed to the hospital.  My midwife had said if my water breaks, come straight away since the last two babies were born shortly after having my membranes ruptured.

Off we went to the hospital, but again, no really painful contractions.  The ER nurse looked skeptical, but sent me up to L&D to check in.  My midwife met us up there and she checked me over.  She said she wouldn’t leave since her house was a good 45 minutes from the hospital.  After an hour of no real progress and irregular contractions she examined me again.  She said baby boy feels like he was facing my thigh rather than my tailbone, maybe that is why my contractions and labor are stalling.  So she told me to lie down on my side, so he is on his face and maybe he would turn.  She was going to go home.  She said to call her again when we reached 8cm. 

I lied down on my side and napped.  My husband went to the cafeteria and got breakfast.  He came back and I told him to go nap.  I wasn’t struggling through contractions, and could breathe through them on my own right now.  I would really need him later.  When the contractions began to regulate again and get more uncomfortable I woke him.  He called the nurse to come check me, and we were on our way to baby-time!  The midwife was called back and when she arrived we were just about ready.

I had been using the squat bar attached to the bed and loving that I could use it to support me how I was comfortable and my husband could rub my back during contractions.  The midwife had me lie down a bit and put my feet up on the squat bar, so I was still in the position of a squat, but now baby wasn’t wrapped around my pelvis.  I gave a few good pushes, and out was a blond baby boy!  First time we had a blond baby, and he was big—8lbs, 10oz! 

Then came the anatomy lesson.  After I delivered the placenta, the midwife said look at this. To which my husband was almost grossed out completely.  She said, look where the amniotic sac tore, it was 3 inches from a huge artery-looking thing.  She said this was a rare occurrence.  Usually the umbilical cord attaches directly to the placenta, but my baby’s had threaded its way across the amniotic sac before attaching to the edge of the placenta.  She said if the sac had torn 3 inches in the other direction both mom and baby would have died before we go to the hospital.  God had been merciful to us again! He not only gave us another healthy baby, but spared both our lives in protecting us!

Then came the other interesting trial.  The week of his due date I had developed a rash on my belly.  No fun in the middle of May.  I was terribly itchy and huge to boot.  After Josiah was born, the rash didn’t go away, it spread.  By the time I left the hospital, it was all over my body and spreading to even more unpleasant places.  For about a month after giving birth I wanted to peel my skin off.  Nothing brought relief.  Even my mother-in-law who frequently gets hives thought I looked miserable.  Eventually it faded, beginning with my belly, and I found relief in not having it.  They call it the PUPPs rash, and there is nothing you can do about it.  No one knows why it happens, and thankfully it only happened to me once!

~ Shared by Laura A.