Tag Archives: Advice

Watching My Pregnancy Go From Care-Free To High Risk In One Day.

12 Sep

On Tuesday, September 10th, my “Birth Plan” and any hopes of having a completely natural labor and delivery went out the window. I had been so confident and actually looking forward to an awesome birth experience. Suddenly, In one day, it was taken away and replaced with fear, confusion, and near panic. Not to mention a deep sadness. 

In my last update post, I mentioned some itching I’ve been having on my hands and feet. I told my doctor and she told me there are two kinds of itching in pregnancy: The tummy itch, with or without rash, and itching from Cholestasis. As she was explaining Cholestasis to me, she wasn’t speaking in a way that was “it might be”, she was basically telling me I have it. She ordered blood tests to check my bile acid levels, and ordered to see me every week for NST (non-stress test) for baby. That told me this wasn’t a guessing game, no “maybe”. She didn’t go too into detail, I assume on purpose. I know she wouldn’t want to scare me. She told me it isn’t THAT bad, but it is serious and potentially dangerous. I was calm, because she was calm. I always loved my doctor because she always eased my worried mind. 

I was trying to stay positive while leaving the office, and didn’t really feel too scared. But, I hadn’t really thought about reality yet either. When I got home I started my researching. I didn’t want to read the WebMD sort of thing that is always the worst case scenario. But I quickly found that every site, every article, every testimony, wasn’t far off from each other. No one was playing this down. Everything I read on Cholestasis stated it is a serious condition. 

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What is Cholestasis? In short, the flow of bile (a digestive fluid in the liver), slows or stops, bile builds up and goes about the blood stream, which causes the itching. Blah blah blah. That isn’t the part I’m worried about. Here’s the serious part: The bile salt build up can be VERY dangerous for your unborn baby. My doctor only mentioned it could clog the placenta. But everything I’ve read has scarier things to say. Preterm labor, fetal distress, meconium in the amniotic fluid, and stillbirth. I was fear stricken.

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Treatment for Cholestosis? Consistent fetal monitoring, blood tests to check levels (both at least once a week), perhaps some vitamin K in case of blood clotting issues which can cause severe bleeding after delivery (but is rare), a lot of people are given “Urso” to help the itching and bile flow. Some say it works, others disagree.  But the only cure for Cholestasis is giving birth. Here’s the crazy part: After giving birth, usually, neither you, nor your baby are affected by it. Most women say they felt better very quickly after birth. 

The part that bothers me (ugh..where to start), is that up until now, I thought I was healthy, that my baby was healthy and that my pregnancy was normal and that I would have a great birth experience because I had no complications. But in a day, I went from having a normal, happy pregnancy, to considered high risk. 

In the situation of Cholestasis, induction is usually the answer, unless you go into labor before hand. From what I’ve read, they don’t want you going past 37 weeks because after that point the chance of stillbirth jumps significantly. A lot of women had levels so bad, they’ve been induced at 30, 31 weeks. Obvious induction was very far from my birth plan. But honestly, when I found out the risks of having my baby in there, I couldn’t care less about my birth plan. My main focus is her well being. If that means induction or C-section (God forbid), so be it. The sad part is, after having Cholestasis, you’re at least 70% likely to have it during future pregnancies. Which means, my chances of ever having the natural home birth I dream of, are slim to none.

I haven’t gotten the results back from my blood test yet, so I don’t know how bad it is, or was at that time at least. The thing is, it’s completely unpredictable. Your levels can go from moderate to sky high within an hour. My itching has gotten worse in just a day. My heart aches for what my body is putting my baby through, not to mention this crazy itching! But it also mourns my dream of an all natural home birth. 

There is nothing I could have done to prevent this, and since I’ve never had it before, no way of knowing it was possible. There is nothing I can do now but follow my intuition, take my doctor’s advice, and do whatever is best for my growing baby. 

Have you experienced Cholestasis during pregnancy? I could use some support. 

Aside

Honest To Blog: Should I Go For An Au Naturel Birth?

28 Aug

Until this afternoon, the thought of me going through labor and delivery without medication, just wasn’t happening. With my first, I was given an epidural eventually (which was the plan), and I was happy with it. I almost laughed my daughter out (literally)! I was calm and collected while pushing, which lasted a very short time (maybe 5 pushes). Of course I was expecting to go for the epidural this go ’round as well. But there were many things I had already planned to do differently.

I definitely wanted to go without an epidural as long as I could…..but sticking that thing in RIGHT when I request it. I also would prefer to move about as much as I can, but how can I do that with the God awful IV in which is required if getting an epidural? I also really would like to try the tub for pain relief before epidural time. But upon my research (I love my research), I found most second time births go a lot quicker than the first time. Most women even cut the time in half! Now, how can I have my freedom to try what I’d like without running out of time for my lovely net of pain relief when the going gets too tough? It makes me feel like I have to have either-or. 

I really don’t want to spend my whole labor with everything hooked on to me, while I feel nothing. Main reason being: I’m a pride seeking person. I want to be proud of myself and push myself and come out the other end accomplished. I know I would feel like a whimpy loser if I didn’t let myself go to my limit. Not that there is anything wrong with that method. It’s just not something I want for my experience.

I was, dare I say, semi proud after giving birth to Rayne. I did experience pain. I was upset that I was pressured into being drugged up, but it didn’t stop the pain. I remember a moment after whatever they had given me had worn off, and I was laying on my side being prepped for the epidural. A strong contraction came on and I just thought to myself, “Breathe, focus.”, and that I did. I held tightly to the bed railing and controlled my breathing, and worked with the contraction that also brought the breaking of my water. After the contraction, the nurse gave me a “Good girl!”. I felt controlled, and calmly said, “My water broke.”, she checked, and was surprised to see I was right (I think I know when it feels like a water balloon had popped inside me).

That one memory is what fuels me to believe I CAN do it without medication. Throughout this pregnancy my main excuse for an epidural wasn’t the contractions, it was the fear of what comes with pushing and delivering. I’ve watched those baby story shows, labor videos, etc. “Ahhh! It burns, it burns!”, I don’t want to feel any burning, or ripping in half! It’s a very scary thought. And not only that, but I was so calm while I pushed with Rayne. What if I’m out of control and traumatized or something?? Would I be just as happy right after? Or would I be in complete shock?

What made me consider a natural birth? My mom. She told me how she had me and most of my sisters, naturally. She said she was fine right after and forgot about the pain. It gave me a new view on natural birth. My mom can do it. Why can’t I? I picture myself fighting through labor and ending in victory and the feeling of “I rock” overwhelming me. How empowering to experience real natural birth?! I want to be empowered and victorious. Could I really do a natural birth and make it out alive, or maybe even sane?

Did you have a natural birth?? Any advice?

Aside

My Biggest Fear As Of Now.

21 Aug

It’s no secret that I could be qualified as a worry wort. I have always suffered from anxiety. I have my calm times, when I manage to control any worry I have. But, then I have times when my worries tend to pile up and stress becomes overwhelming. This entire pregnancy I have bounced back and forth between being strangely calm, almost numb, to worrying about every little difference between this pregnancy and my last. For the most part I’ve been able to conquer them all. However, the stress and worry that comes with the third trimester is definitely too big and pressuring to stifle. So much so, that they continue to show themselves in my dreams.

My biggest fear as of now, is that I wont be successful at breastfeeding

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When I had Rayne, breastfeeding was important to me, but I didn’t have the information, resources or the support to succeed. I tried and had a hard time with having no experience, not a good latcher, no one to help me or encourage me, and the first night home, ended up giving her formula. I spent a month pumping and giving her formula. It hurt me because, well, as they say, breast IS best. I couldn’t give my baby the best. What was suppose to come so natural. I failed. I am glad she was able to get as much as she did in the first 6 weeks from my pumping, but I always beat myself up about not succeeding in giving her what she deserved, the best.
With another chance to succeed on the way, I fear I’ll have the same (if not worse) disappointing failure. It’s so important to me to breastfeed, that I refuse to even buy bottles or formula. I don’t even want to give myself the option, because I know there will be a long period of weakness accompanied by exhaustion, stress, etc. And I refuse to give up, again. The difference now, is I have been opened up to the world of mom/breastfeeding blogs, forums, support groups, etc. I may not have breastfeeding support in my daily life, but I do online (which is to not be underestimated). I read about, speak with, and see photos of countless moms succeeding at breastfeeding and making it the big deal it should be. Not in the “Oh my God, she’s really breastfeeding in public?!” Kind of big deal, but “We are woman, hear us roar!” Kind of big deal. And that’s inspiring.
But honestly, I’m pretty much shaking in my boots about the impending and inevitable attempt at my own success. I want to be one of those moms. I want to inspire someone else to have the confidence to succeed at breastfeeding. But what if I fall flat on my ass and wind up being nothing but another breastfeeding horror story, scaring women away from it? And even worse, having to deal with another round of mom guilt…?
The other night I dreamt I had my baby and suddenly had no idea how to even care for a baby, I couldn’t even hold her right, and definitely couldn’t breastfeed. I just stood there, watching her cry, thinking “What do I do!?“. But that wasn’t my first nightmare. I’m constantly dreaming I’m trying to breastfeed and it just isn’t working! She wont latch or I have no milk. It’s horrifying.
I spend hours online reading tips and other mother’s stories. But they give very little hope, as most stories have many scary parts, implying the impossible struggle, stress and pain of breastfeeding.
I’m trying my best to stay positive and gather information that will do me good when the time comes. But to be honest, I’m officially in full on freak out mode.
Help?!

Worry Wort Mom.

12 Jun

With Friday being the most exciting day in quite a long time, this week seems to be dragging on purposely. I just want it to be Friday so I can see my baby once again on that screen AND see the gender. Is that not one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy!? As I wait…and wait, I feel my energy draining more and more day by day, and my mood gets worse by the minute. Of course when I have no energy Rayne has to test my limits. So, most of my week has been laying down, snapping at everyone, and handing out time-outs like free candy. Not to mention my cravings for sweets has gotten so bad, it’s hard to have an appetite for anything else. The other day I spent $8 on candy at the Dollar Tree! Needless to say, it’s gone.

I find myself being weak not only to my cravings, but also to worries that keep creeping in. Worrying is normal for pregnant women, but it’s so time-consuming and a complete waste. Even things I’ve been told are not worrisome I worry about. Maybe I should consult some of you moms?

Okay, Numero uno: Since about 14-15 weeks, I’ve had what feels like Braxton Hicks. A weird tightening and pressure around my stomach, mostly lower. I know Braxton Hicks don’t start until later in pregnancy, so is it something else? Or is this normal?

Second: When I was pregnant with Rayne, I was showing quite a bit by 19-20 weeks. This time around, You can’t tell unless you know. Not to mention my stomach is different sizes everyday! Some days I look pregnant, some days I just look like I put on weight…in the form of a muffin top >: ( My stomach isn’t even hard like it was the first time…just fat-ish. Which doesn’t help my constant fear of getting fat.

I’m hoping one of you mommies can put my mind at ease since the doctors have yet to do so. Of course, I know I could sound totally psycho. I know every pregnancy is different. But that doesn’t make me worry less. Any help for a worry wort mom?

My Sweet Cravings.

23 May

Having cravings during pregnancy is completely normal. Some women crave absurd combinations (I never understood the ice cream and pickles thing). Some women are lucky and crave something healthy. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those lucky women. My cravings happen to be nothing but rich, sweet desserts.

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No matter what I eat, I want something in the category of the above photo. A rich milkshake, cheesecake, apple pie, my go-to candy bar, Almond Joy, ice cream, and I’d kill for some truffles. Yesterday I treated myself to an amazing chocolate milkshake from Carl’s Jr, and was actually surprised by the goodness. The thick, rich, chocolatey goodness.

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This ^ is the wonderful shake I just described. It was a beautiful moment. Yes, it is 690 calories, but hey, I can treat myself every now and then! Even after I enjoyed this, I wanted another one later. Don’t worry, I didn’t do it.

I’m trying very hard to be good and not let myself get carried away with my cravings, because I know if I did, it would be bad news for my weight gain. I gain weight very easily, so watching what I eat is very important. I gained too much with my first pregnancy (55 lbs), and I wont allow myself to do that again. But, the fight is not easy, I can tell you that much.

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I’m hoping I’m able to stay strong and fight the good fight. But, man, is it hard.

At least it has fruit on it?

At least it has fruit on it?

 

Any advice on fighting not-so-healthy cravings?

Penny Pinching Mommy.

21 May

One of the best things about having another child, is knowing what NOT to waste money on. It’s so much less stress. And it really is amazing how simple it can be, but of course society has planted so many products in our brains we think our babies need every knick-knack and matching set of everything possible, oh, and don’t forget those $30 shoes they’ll wear for a month and they can’t even walk. I’m so glad I have the knowledge now not to get crazy on all the baby junk. I have a very short list (much shorter than my first pregnancy) of needed items and a lot I can get used from friends and family. Let me tell you: It is AWESOME having friends with kids around the same age. You can just pass stuff back and forth. A friend has actually given me a carseat and a swing! Saves me a bunch of cash-money right there.

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I LOVE a good deal and buying used. Is that weird? Maybe, but I think it’s more smart than weird. Craigslist is a must. And never neglect those hidden-in-a-corner baby resale shops. They may not be a big name retail store, but they have great stuff and will save you more than you think.. PLUS, a lot of them will take your used baby stuff for credit or cash! My plan with this baby: Stick to used and stick to the short list. I saved only a small amount of money for the baby budget ($600). People without children might say, “$600 should be more than enough! How expensive can baby stuff be?” Lets just say, when I had Rayne, I had saved $1000 AFTER buying all the baby stuff, and it only lasted 3 months. I learned my leason. And having a lot less money, I’m going to be very careful and smart.

My only problem is not knowing too many used baby and maternity stores/websites. Any suggestions?

Placenta Encapsulation: Worth it?

13 May

mothering.com edited photo of placenta green

There are a lot of negative points to this pregnancy, and I’ve talked a lot about them. But there are a few good points, too. The biggest, I think, is being aware of all my options as a pregnant woman. Whether it be with different activities to keep healthy, foods to eat, all the different choices we have to decide between concerning a birth plan, and what to do with the placenta.

Yes, I said placenta. When I had Rayne, all I knew about having a baby was: go to the hospital, decide if you want an epidural or not, then push a baby out. I didn’t know home birth was a real option, I didn’t know some people actually take home their placenta. All these options have me interested and open. I know I want an epidural. Not because I want to be pain free. But because I remember how out of it I was before having the epidural with Rayne, and how great everything went after I had it. After I was relieved of the pain I clearly wasn’t ready for, I could focus on what was going on. I was about to bring my daughter into the world. I was completely coherent and aware while pushing, and was able to enjoy it and take it all in. I know women who gave birth with no epidural at all, and had a great experience and were able to enjoy it . But I’m not sure I’d be one of those women. So, I’m sticking with what I know.

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Now, concerning the placenta. Some like to take it home, and bury it beneath a “birth tree”. Some cook it up and eat it. I’ve even heard of placenta chocolates. But the one I’m most interested in, is placenta encapsulation. Encapsulation is when someone who is trained, takes your placenta for you, and encapsulates them into pill form using a technique of your choice. This is something I’m really interested in. In fact, I already told BD (baby’s Daddy) that I AM doing this. But, then it set in that it will cost $150 from a very tight baby budget. I want to be sure this is worth the price.

Has anyone had their placenta encapsulated? What did you think? Worth the money?

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