The Birth of My Little Big Man

It feels like it has been EONS since I was pregnant and I feel like my memory of all the drama that goes into having a baby has faded a bit, but I’m going to do my best to recollect.

My last 4 weeks of my pregnancy were filled with chiropractor appointments, prenatal massage, induction massage, acupuncture, long walks, Non Stress Tests, OB Checks and membrane Sweeps. At the beginning of my pregnancy, I had vowed not to go crazy with the natural induction methods because of how things went with Charlie (she got stuck in my pelvis). Now, clearly, I wasn’t just sitting back on the couch waiting for things to happen, but I was a little less intense (ie: I did NOT drink castor oil this time… although I was close to doing it).

On Friday, May 27th, I had a Non Stress Test (NST) (maybe my 3rd or 4th?). After my NST, my doc came in and stripped my membranes. For those of you who have not had this lovely procedure done, it’s essentially an excruciating “procedure” where the doc reaches all the way up to the back of your eyeballs, via your lady bits, to attempt to detach your water bags from your uterus using her fingers. Lovely, as you can imagine. The point: induce labor.

Anyway, I definitely felt things moving on Friday… not crazy, I’m in labor moving… but contractions. I went back in on Tuesday afternoon (5/31) for another NST and another lovely sweep. This time, it was probably only about an hour or so until I felt things starting to pick up. It wasn’t crazy levels of contractions, but they were there and consistent. This was probably around 5pm. I went grocery shopping, made dinner… no biggy.

By around 7pm, they were getting more uncomfortable. I had Mark take the lead putting Charlie to bed. This is when things become blurry. Essentially, from this point until around 12:30pm the following day, I STRUGGLED through labor at home. Mark was amazing. I was literally awake and in severe pain all night. Mark brought one of our bar stools into the bedroom for me, lined it with pillows, so I could try to close my eyes and be comfortable between contractions. I was having such back labor that I literally couldn’t lay down. The pain was excruciating.

We called our doula sometime in the morning. Mark’s mom came to take care of Charlie so Mark and I could labor in our bathroom/bedroom. Somewhere around 10, my contractions became super regular… 3 minutes apart, over a minute in length, consistent for 2 hours. My doula came over sometime before noon.

By around 1, we finally left to go to the hospital. I felt like things were close… or at least I had hoped that they were. I remember being SO afraid of being in the car, getting in the car, everything. But, we made it.

The nurse checked me when we got there, although, I asked for her to keep my dilation to herself… I didn’t want to know. Unfortunately, I totally expected (or hoped) that she would say, “ok, it’s time to push”… but she didn’t. Between the total lack of sleep and exhaustion from the previous 15+ hours of laboring at home, I was already feeling defeated. From the minute we got to the hospital, I was talking about the epidural. I just could not get my head in the game. I remember with my labor with Charlotte, I got so deep inside myself. I just couldn’t get there this time.

But, I pushed forward. I went in the shower and labored in the bathroom for another 6 hours. Finally, I asked to be checked. I needed to know where I was because I was losing it. I was crying and just struggling. I was so tired. Feeling like I was falling over when I tried to stand, just totally fading and exhausted from the pain.

When I was checked… after 20 hours… I was at 5 cm.

I melted down and demanded the epidural. I was done.

Let me just tell you one thing about the epidural… GAME. CHANGER. I literally napped… for hours! I had my legs propped up on a ball in every which way and just slept. I was happy and great. Every so often, those pesky contractions would come back and the anesthesiologist would give me another dose. It was great.

Check upon check, no change. They pumped me with pitocin, clocked nice and strong (and consistent) contractions, but no change. I literally hung off the bed in some weird Welchers position, laid on a birthing ball for hours, squated, etc… no change. I stayed at 5 cm, -3 station until my water finally sprung a leak, for 10-15 hours. I labored a bit more after my water broke. Henry had moved down a little bit (not much), but I still had no further change in dilation and my cervix started to swell.

With my last labor experience with Charlotte weighing on all of us, my doc urged us to consider a c-section. Mark and I talked (and cried) and gushed over the details, but ultimately, the decision was easy. It wasn’t worth the risk to Henry. It was time to call it and time to meet our baby.

At 10:30 am on Thursday, June 2nd, we met our little man. 10 lbs, 5 oz and 22.25” long. Born after nearly 42 weeks of pregnancy (original due date: May 20). It should be noted, that Henry came out howling! He was screaming on and off for the duration of the c-section (post birth). Little man was hungry and cold and wanted his mommy.

It’s interesting because the c-section experience was so different and just the whole thing felt so incredibly different. With Charlotte it was intense all the way through. There were no breaks. Just from one high intensity moment to the next, until we finally got her in our room, after she spent 5 hours in the NICU. With Henry, it was calm. I was rested. We had an easy c-section. They put him on me right after they weighed (and wiped) him. I was irked that they cleaned him off, but whatever. The frustrating part is that the anesthetics made me SO incredibly shakey. My whole body. I felt like I was freezing and just couldn’t calm my body down. Ultimately, I had to ask Mark to take Henry from me because I felt so unstable. But regardless, it was wonderful to have our sweet boy in our arms.

And then, just like that, we were four.


The C Word

Throughout my pregnancy, I refused to even say the words “cesarean section” let alone actually consider the possibility of having one. To me, that was just about the furthest thing from what I wanted. As someone who had never been a patient in a hospital before and really, never experienced much worse than a broken finger, I just could not get over the idea of someone cutting me open and stealing my baby out of me. Stealing my childbirth experience. Preventing my baby from receiving the benefits of a natural childbirth. Preventing my baby and I from sharing those first minutes of skin-to-skin time.

With that said, I have to admit, when we were discussing a c-section and finally agreed upon it as the next step, I barely felt an ounce of anxiety surrounding the surgery. My only concern was the skin-to-skin time, which unfortunately, I was told was not a possibility. However, the nurse agreed to bring the baby up to my face so I could kiss her and meet her. So, how did that anxiety magically disappear? I’d say 20 some hours of crazy ass labor and the fact that the contractions and pain were still very much a battle until I received the spinal. The only anxiety I could hold onto was the worry that I would contract as they were putting a needle in my spine.

The plan was for me to go in with a nurse, the anesthesiologist, my doc and maybe a couple others and that once I had the spinal, Mark would be allowed in. He was worried about me. He held onto me and said, “Don’t worry. If you get scared, just look at Sarah. She’ll be in there with you.” Me: “Who’s Sarah?” Mark: “She’s the nurse who has been with us for the past 12 hours…” (as he points at her.)

I literally did not recognize her at all. My eyes had been shut for a solid 15-20 hours. I think MAYBE I opened them 5 times, very briefly, during the entire experience. Sorry, Sarah. (Honestly, I don’t even remember if that was her name??)

Anyway, I survived the spinal and was finally able to relax a little. However, the anesthesia was making me very shakey. It was as if I was freezing. My entire body was quivering uncontrollably. They assured me this was normal. Then, Mark was by my side.

They strapped my arms down to the table so they made a “T” with my body. Thinking back, I’m surprised this didn’t make me uncomfortable. Somehow, I just wasn’t able to think of anything but my baby. This was it. The pain had finally stopped and I was going to meet my girl.

Now, we had skipped the class about C-Sections and I truly didn’t really know what to expect. The doctors started the surgery and everything seemed to be going fine. Then, there was a ton of movement. My whole body was moving and it felt like a lot of pressure and tugging. At one point, the entire table moved, at which point I heard my doctor snap at someone to lock the table down.

Things started to seem as if they weren’t going well. I heard them discussing options. Let’s try to dislodge the head by pushing up from the vagina. (I was so zoned that somehow this didn’t send me into a panic. I just looked at Mark and he seemed calm, so I stayed calm). Somebody step in, I need backup! Let’s try pulling her by her leg!

So much was going on and it felt as if it had been hours.

After what felt like a long while, she was finally out… but there was no crying. I instantly became alarmed. I started asking “everyone” why she wasn’t crying. (Mark informed me that while it felt like I was asking many people, I just kept asking the anesthesiologist who would walk out and back into my view.)

They took Charlotte to a table behind me. I was desperately trying to look over my shoulder to see what was going on, but couldn’t see. I’d look at Mark, he just kept saying everything was okay.

I swear it felt like 20 minutes, but finally, I heard her. Her sweet cry. I was so excited! I kept saying, “she’s crying!” After however many more minutes, they brought her over to us. We kissed her face. It was totally unreal. They said that they had to clean her up and take her to the NICU. I clearly was not fully understanding the severity of the situation, because I asked them to bring her back over before they took her to the NICU. Mark said that they had to take her right to the NICU. We would see her after. Then, he told me that he was going to stay with me instead of going with Charlotte to the nursery as we had planned.

Hello, sweet girl!!

Hello, sweet girl!!

I was still so incapable of actually thinking through things, I agreed and said that he’d go there after. The doctors continued to put me back together for the next hour. Then, finally it was over.

The room looked like a total blood bath. There was this weird hanging organizer that looked like one of those over the door shoe racks. Each clear pocket was filled with what the doctor informed me was bloody gauze. Gross.

I was wheeled back to my room where we were informed that I would have to stay for the next couple hours. Charlotte was in the NICU. I was in my room. I started to freak out. Through tears I begged my doctor to just wheel me over to the NICU so I could be with my baby. It was pretty heartbreaking. Not only were we not able to have our skin-to-skin moment, but I wasn’t even able to be with her. It was so crazy to me. I had experienced nearly 43 weeks of pregnancy; this crazy, intense, unimaginable labor; a VERY intense surgery… and now, I was supposed to just sit in an empty room? Charlotte was born at 5:17 am and at this point, it was around 6:30.

They said they’d come back at 8, but I would need to be able to get up for them to take me there. Of course, I immediately start hitting my legs in attempt to get feeling back.

I sent Mark to the nursery and I stayed with our doula-in-training, Jennisee. It was really helpful to have her there. In the moment, she was driving me nuts because she kept talking about stupid stuff that I had no interest in (aka: it wasn’t about the baby I had just birthed), but in hindsight, it kept me distracted.

Once Marky got settled in the NICU, I was able to FaceTime with my sweet girl. Mark took the iPad and put it in her NICU bassinet and I used my phone. Talk about an Apple commercial waiting to happen.

Talking to my baby.

Talking to my baby. Such a glamour shot.

Welcome to the world, tiny person!

Welcome to the world, tiny person!

Finally by around 8:30, I was cleared to go see her. Yes, just 3.5 hours after major abdominal surgery I was walking. Crazy what a little motivation will do to a person.

We spent the next 1.5 hours in the NICU with our girl. The lactation specialist came by and using a little colostrom that I had pumped while trying to induce labor, I was able to get my sweet little princess to latch (we dripped some colostrom onto my nipple). It only took 15 minutes of trying and from then on, she was a pro. We got our skin-to-skin time. I kissed her face and her fingers and her toes. Everything was so quiet. Just Marky, Charlotte and I. It was what I had been longing for for the past 10+ months.

Finally, we were all together.

Falling in love.

Falling in love.

Thinking about her very tough little day.

Thinking about her very tough little day.

Daddy snuggles in the NICU.

Daddy snuggles in the NICU.

So, it turned out that our sweet girl was stuck in my pelvis. Typically, it takes 30 seconds to deliver a c-section baby. They simply slip a hand/finger under the baby’s head and deliver head first. However, the tiny lady was stuck. They tried everything to get her out and finally were able to dislodge her by pulling her out by her arm. In fact, once delivered, they x-rayed the arm to make sure there was no damage. Thankfully, none.

It took them 6-10 minutes to deliver her (compared to the average 30 seconds). The trauma of the c-section was a lot for Sweet Charlotte. When she was born, the only thing she had was a heartrate of 50. In anticipation that she would not be breathing, they immediately hooked her to oxygen and began the process of resuccitation. It took them 4 minutes to bring back our girl, and once she was back, she was great. They took tests and monitored her in the NICU, and thankfully, everything was perfect. Our girl is a fighter. Later, our doctor would tell us that our surgery was one of the most difficult she’s experienced in many, many years. They did a little extra cutting on me to get her out, but all in all, it was a great success.

By 10 am, they released Charlotte from the NICU and let us take her back to her room. Finally!

Loving my girl.

Loving my girl.

As a whole, our journey was pretty crazy, but when I look back, it somehow still seems beautiful. I was able to experience the craziness of pitocin, the beautiful rhythym of natural/unmedicated labor, and the partnership bond with my amazing husband and my beautiful girl… More importantly, we were staffed with an amazing group of individuals who took care of my baby and me. I wouldn’t change our experience. It is ours and I cherish that.

The Labor Story of Our Sweet Charlotte

Let me start this by saying that I had such plans for my childbirth experience. It was going to be this beautiful and natural experience. I was going to labor at home for as long as possible. Maybe take some walks. Spend time outside. Take a bath with candles and soothing music. Be with my husband. In my head, it was perfect. Now, I still believe this type of labor experience is very possible for some, but here’s what I will say… 1) That was not my experience… at all… although there were definitely elements incorporated. 2) I could not have planned for the childbirth I experienced if I tried. Even if someone told me what was going to happen specifically, I wouldn’t have been able to prepare. Now, that’s not to say all my efforts were in vain… my workouts and meditation and mindset were essential. I just had no idea what it was going to be like, how it was going to transform me, and how much of a test I would be putting my mind through. So, with that, our birth story…

To give you a preview… despite what I had researched about labor, I thought labor would be like this…

Look at me all pregnant and giant in my new little nightgown...

Look at me all pregnant and giant in my new little nightgown, hair and makeup done…

And this is what my labor actually looked like…

Yes, this might be TMI, but it makes a point, right?

Yes, this might be TMI, but it makes a point, right?


Night 1 in the Hospital – Doula Drama

After literally trying EVERY natural induction method, every which way, it was finally time to turn to medicine. So, on the evening of July 14th, we went into the hospital to begin our medical induction process. We got into our room very quickly, which was nice. The nurses told me to change into the gown, put on the belly band and buzz them when I was ready. I was pretty slow moving, as it was my first hospitalization in my life, and I was a bit overwhelmed. The nurse on staff that evening had a different pace and, before I buzzed, waltzed in to check me and put in my IV plug thing. I immediately felt a little on edge, but tried to relax as much as possible.

Once hooked up, they could see that I was still having somewhat regular contractions. Not very strong ones, but definitely contractions. Because of this, they had to check with my doctor before administering the cervadil, as I was on the border of not being a candidate for the drug. While the nurse waited to hear from the doc, she decided to stir up some drama. She had reviewed our birth plan and recognized the name of our doulas. She informed us that it was her understanding that our doulas had been banned from the hospital due to a post-birth situation a few months back. We were aware of the situation, but had heard nothing from our doulas regarding a ban or any lasting issue with the hospital. Of course, Mark and I are immediately uncomfortable, stressed, worried, etc. These women that we had hired to bring us strength and guidance and peace during our experience seemed to be hated by the hospital. Not a great start.

After a lot of deliberation, we decided to call my acupuncturist, who is also a doula and who is familiar with our doulas, to get her opinion of the situation and to see if she might be available if we needed to let our doulas go. She encouraged us to call our doula and talk through the situation with her. In conjunction with that, our nurse informed us that there was not actually a ban and that our doulas are welcome as long as they do not cross the line of trying to provide medical advice (THANKS A LOT, Nurse Lexi, for stirring shit up for no reason). So, we called our doula and explained the situation. We told her that whatever happened is in the past and that we need her there to support us – everything else was irrelevant. First crisis averted.


Medical Induction Time

After the doula drama, we finally heard from the doc and upon her recommendation, had the cervadil inserted (it’s pretty much a shoelace shoved up in your lady parts, against the cervix, to help soften and sometimes even induce labor). Then, it was time to rest, which we were somehow able to do. We were woken up at around 6 or 7 in the morning on July 15th to have the cervadil removed and to get a cervix check by my doctor. While I was no more dilated, effaced or lower, things must have softened because during my exam, my doctor accidentally ruptured my water bag. We had discussed the possibility of her rupturing my waters as an option and had opted against it… oops. Because of that, my doctor decided to hold off on administering the pitocin until 9:30 to see if that would be enough to kick me into labor. During the next couple hours, we climbed up and down the 4 flights of hospital stairs and walked all over the hospital. While I was contracting, it was nothing to write home about, so at 9:30, we started the pitocin.

We had spoken with our doctor ahead of time about how we wanted to administer the pit. While it is typical to start at a level 4 and increase every 15-30 minutes, we would begin at a level 1 and increase only once per hour. So it began.

My acupuncturist came to work on me at around 10 am and already at that point, I was pretty inside myself. The pain was increasing quickly and honestly, my memory of her being there is so faint. BUT, it really was a perfect way to start. I was nervous and it was just what I needed to find some peace from within. And here is where things get really blurry for awhile…

From about 11 when our acupuncturist left until around 1:30 when our doulas arrived, I had the most intense/horrible/excruciating/nonstop/terrible contractions. Pitocin is the biggest bitch ever. At that time, I was only at a level 3, but because of the intensity of the drug, I was having nonstop contractions. Most women get a 5-15 minute break between their 1-5 minute contractions during active labor, but I literally had 40 minute contractions. I thought I was dying. I was screaming and grunting and swaying and just in total agony. Terrible. The pain is definitely unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.


Natural Labor

When the doulas arrived, I was checked and was only at 3 cm, 90% effaced, and baby in -2 position. Are you kidding me??? This is about the time I started BEGGING for the epidural. We had talked about this moment and I had told my husband not to give in and to just keep redirecting me. But holy shit. I was in so much pain. As he suggested other things, I tried to look deep in his soul and beg, but he stayed strong. Either Mark or the doula suggested turning off the pitocin, as it seemed as if my body had kicked into labor on its own, which they assured me would help. But, at this point, I was SO tired. I just kept begging for a break. I think in their attempts to distract and redirect me, I went in the tub to try and labor there, which I absolutely hated, and tried some other birthing positions. Maybe on the toilet, too? Mind you, my eyes were closed and I was pretty much a zombie holding on for dear life. I was also walking around stark naked… except for the belly band holding my monitors in place. Now, I am a pretty modest lady, but I was ass out, boobs hanging, and lady parts leaking all sorts of amniotic fluid and blood and such all over the room. I can only imagine I was quite a sight. (Not quite the cute pregnant lady in the new nightgown anymore.)

At this time, they decided to give me Nubain, a pain medicine that would last about 45 minutes and wouldn’t change the pain or intensity of the contractions, but would just allow me to relax during the breaks (which I was now having since stopping the pitocin). So, I laid in bed on my side and moaned through each terrible contraction and closed my eyes during the breaks. And honestly, this was so necessary. After some amount of time, the doulas helped me up and Mark and I went to the shower. My little Nubain break definitely gave me strength to continue. In the shower, Mark applied pressure on my lower back and rocked with me for 2-3 hours. Ugh, he’s amazing. Towards the end of our shower, I was starting to feel a lot of pressure. The doulas suggested I move to the toilet to take a few contractions there before heading to the bed. They thought I might be ready to push.

I sat on the toilet as both Mark and our doula in training, Jenissee, knelt down to see what they could see (bye bye, shame! Later modesty… you want to take a peek? Sure, I’ll straddle the toilet and just feel free to have a looksy).

They both seemed so optimistic that this was it! I could feel such a wave of relief. Soon, I would be pushing. This was it! So, I very slowly made my way to the bed (changing positions was absolute hell… so painful) to get checked. This time, I was at 7 cm. While this was great progress, I was SO disappointed. I wanted to be done. The pain was so overwhelming and I was already so tired.

I believe we went back to the toilet after that. Contracting there was terrible. It was so much pressure, but I was in it to win. I wanted this shit to be over with… or maybe I didn’t have the strength to put up a huge fight… but regardless, I obeyed. Over the next couple of hours, I had progressed to 8.5 cm, then it was 9 and then 9.5. We were getting so close. All the while, I labored in every position and in every inch of the room. I was on all fours on the bed, I had the ball on the bed, I was on the toilet, back in the shower, back in the tub, leaning up against the wall, on the ball on the floor… I was everywhere.

This position changing game lasted for another 9-10 hours, during which I remained at 9-9.5 cm. Towards the later hours, I remember it getting so calm in the room. The lights were very dim and it was somehow very peaceful in there. I had Mark applying pressure to my back, and I was squeezing the thumbs of our doula in training, while our doula gave me water. We were in perfect harmony.


The C Word

At around 1:30 or 2 in the morning on July 16th, my doctor finally came in and said she thought it was time for a c-section. I was so tired, so deprived of food and energy, so in a different world, I couldn’t even think. I just looked at my husband with desperate eyes – as I swayed with him through a contraction – and asked him what I should do. I wasn’t ready to be done trying. My doc gave us a half hour and came back for another check… still no progress. Then, Mark went out in the hall with the doc. He asked her if we NEEDED to do the surgery right away or if we could keep trying. He did not want either of us (baby or I) to be in harm’s way. The doctor assured him that we were both fine and they agreed to give me another 2 hours.

Upon hearing the news, I immediately demanded more nubain. I needed another break. I was 17 hours of very HARD labor in and I was so exhausted. So, with another dose of nubain, I was able to take another short rest. Mark let me “rest” for an hour (remember, the contractions don’t stop). When it was time to get up, Mark suggested that we take a short walk to gain a little perspective (life was bigger than our room) and help to start fresh. He also had the nurse clean up the bloody, fluidy mess that had taken over our room. So we walked to the family visitation room (this was like a weird dream).

When I got back into the room, Mark and I spent some time in the shower. We rocked, I drank juice (throughout my labor, Mark and the doulas were constantly trying to get me to take small bites of granola bars or apple sauce or drink some juice for energy – all I wanted was water), and I labored. Then, we went to the toilet (TERRIBLE) and the worst of all, we did the Walcher‘s position. Mark and I had done this before labor, but during labor, in hour 20 something of hard, horrible labor, this was pure torture. I think I made it through 1 or maybe 2 contractions in this position before I just couldn’t. It was too much pressure. So, we went back to the toilet. At that time, it was just Mark and I and again, things were so quiet and dim. During a break, I looked at him and told him, “if I still haven’t progressed, I have to be done.” I think with a bit of relief, he agreed, and our doulas came in and agreed as well.

Unfortunately, the check had shown that not only had I not progressed, I was starting to backtrack. Along the way, one of the nurses had said I could start pushing a little (as my body kept pushing automatically anyway). This, in combination with all the labor and the status of my cervix, was making my cervix swell… aka, I was backtracking. It was time to call it.

So, over the next 30-45 minutes, they prepped us for surgery.

Okay, Okay, I know I did this before, but this is going to have to be a To Be Continued… C-Section details to come later this week!


A Month’s Worth of Questions Answered

Homemade caramel coated, chocolate covered pretzels... a little bribe.. errr... gift for my doc and nurse!

Homemade caramel coated, chocolate covered pretzels… a little bribe.. errr… gift for my doc and nurse!

While our 20-week doctor’s appointment was wildly overshadowed by our anatomy scan, which we had right before the appointment, I must say it was quite informative. I’ve been sending myself text messages in the middle of the day… or night… when I think of questions to help keep track of everything over the month’s time.

This month, I happened to watch, “The Business of Being Born,” which created about 10 questions right there. Anyway, this is why I bake for my doctor. I am totally aware of the fact that I’m an obnoxious patient. Not-to-mention the fact that I have it in my mind that if my doctor likes me, she’ll be more willing to go out of her way to make it to my delivery. I’ll let you know how that pans out.

So, here are my questions and the corresponding answers:

  1. Does it bother the baby when I poke my belly (my husband was on my ass about this one)? Nope! There is so much cushioning, etc, that you wouldn’t be able to poke hard enough to hurt the baby because of the pain it would cause you. IE: Poke away!
  2. Can I drink kombucha? My doc didn’t know too much about kombucha but we pulled up the product page online and she said her only concern would be the caffeine quantity in Black Tea, and urged me not to drink too much.
  3. Is it okay to take a probiotic supplement? Yep!
  4. What are your thoughts on a doula? Essentially, she said they can be very helpful for the mothers and tend to work really well with the nurses in our delivery hospital. Doula away!
  5. Can you write me a note providing permission to fly (we are headed to NY tomorrow and Mexico next month)? While she didn’t think this was necessary, she had no problem writing our note.
  6. Can I drink fresh fruit juices from the resort juice bar in Mexico? All of the food you have at the resort should be just fine – assuming you’re following basic pregnancy do’s and don’ts. This makes me beyond happy because for some reason (maybe because I’m a hungry pregnant lady), a juice bar and pizza restaurant were requirements for the resort we selected.
  7. What percentage of women are given pitocin? Oy. This answer was sad. My doctor literally laughed and said, “A Lot!” This obviously isn’t surprising, but the conversation felt like a clip out of the Business of Being Born.
  8. Do you have to take pitocin? This was a little wishy washy, but the gist was that if you do not want it, they will be patient with you. And, ideally, you want to stay out of the hospital for as long as possible. It definitely reinforced the fact that if you don’t know your options, it’s very easy to fall into the pitocin/epidural/c-section pattern.
  9. Do you allow mothers to deliver standing up or on all fours? Our doctor definitely seemed flexible, although, it seemed as though she’s only delivered a couple of babies with the momma in an alternative birthing position (versus the typical on your back posish).
  10. Do you guys use vacuum/forceps for delivery? Yes, when necessary. They’ve found that it can be done to prevent the need for a c-section.
  11. Does the momma have control over the lighting and number of people in the delivery room? Absolutely! My doc recommended writing up a birth plan to give to the nurses when you come in to labor/deliver. While the nurses and docs have their standard procedures, they are very willing to work with you to create the best environment and experience for each mother. Mark and I decided we better have some sort of homemade goody to bring to the nurses so they don’t get turned off by my ridiculous birth plan 🙂
  12. At what point are interventions optional versus requirements? When the mother or baby are at risk, that’s where the docs step in.
  13. Percentage of c-sections? About 20%… I think that’s what she said?
  14. How can you stay in the Jacuzzi tub? Can you deliver in there? You can pretty much stay in there until it’s time to get the baby out… but you can’t deliver in the tub. One question my mom brought up was that she had heard you couldn’t be in the tub once your water breaks. I’ll have to ask that next month.
  15. Do you get an IV right away? Yes! There doesn’t have to be anything connected to it, but just in case, they want to make sure they’re prepared for any situation that may arise.
  16. Can you request that your nurses don’t ask you if you want pain meds? Yes! Again, this is something to put in the birth plan. My thought is that if I want the meds, I’ll ask. But if not, I don’t want to be tempted.

Wow… okay, that’s all of them! Thankfully, she seemed excited about her treat and didn’t seem to notice the ridiculous number of questions I asked. She even said that she didn’t feel as if she had earned the delicious pretzels. She did in my book!


A couple new things lately… one, in certain positions – mostly when I’m lounging on the couch or laying down in bed – I can feel my heart/blood pumping. At one point, I even took my pulse because it felt like my heart was pounding… but it was completely normal. My doc said it’s just the increased volume of blood that is likely causing my heart to work a little harder in certain positions. Regardless, it’s a little annoying.

The other symptom is the kinda-but-not-really runny nose. I pretty much always feel like I need to blow my nose, but there is rarely anything to blow out. Not a big deal, just something I’ve noticed.