Tag Archives: Help

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. 

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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?

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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?

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5 Awesome TV Shows for Toddlers/PreSchoolers.

6 Feb

TELEVISION. Brain rotter, time waster, key component in lack of exercise. Blah blah blah. I know most people don’t want their children watching TV. And I agree, to an extent. I agree with watching TV only in moderation. I don’t want my kid spending all day with her eyes glued to a TV screen. But, I don’t think it’s all that bad either. This may come off as selfish, but get over it: TV is a great distraction when you’re looking for a break or have to get stuff done and don’t want a toddler under your feet. AND as I found when I became a parent, there are actually A LOT of educational shows for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. I was actually pretty surprised and impressed with the selection, especially if you have cable TV. When I was little PBS/OPB was thee channel. Barney, Sesame Street, Wishbone, Arthur. Those were the IT shows for me. When Rayne was born (2010), I found most of those shows were STILL on. As awkward as it was for her to catch me singing along to children shows that she didn’t even know, I was pretty excited that I could feel comfortable with her watching TV. Eventually we ended up getting DISH and having way more channels to choose from. Which also came with a lot of shows I didn’t want her watching. There are more than enough children’s channels, but only a couple who host educational shows. This may sound overbearing, but I didn’t want her watching just any cartoons. I didn’t even want her to watch SpongeBob (I read somewhere in a study that children who watched it opposed to educational shows had more difficulty in problem solving). I was really uptight about the whole thing. Needless to say, I eventually eased up and now allow occasional “stupid shows” as I call them, but naturally she prefers the more educational shows. A lot of the educational shows these days emphasize on making the child feel involved. They ask questions and invite them to participate instead of just sitting there. And I’ve witnessed Rayne learning while she watches, which is awesome! I don’t have to feel guilty about her watching TV, or like it’s rotting her brain (not to say I let her watch it all day).

I know it’s every parent’s nightmare to hear those ridiculous songs and squeaky voices all day everyday. But there are actually a few shows I enjoy watching with her (as silly as that sounds). Besides my good ol Arthur, there are a lot of new shows I’m actually impressed by. I’ve compiled a list of shows that I find entertaining AND educational in many areas, for any parents that may like to check them out.

THE SHOWS

1. Little Einsteins.

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I LOVE this show. I’m really big on art and music. As a child they didn’t have any shows that taught you Beethoven’s Symphony 9 or Picasso’s ‘Starry Night’. They didn’t teach you about different instruments or how to read music. This show does all of that. The whole show revolves around famous art and classical music while also encouraging the child’s participation. She learns things they don’t teach you in other shows or school, and I learn a lot about the art I love as well. It’s something other shows don’t offer and I think it’s awesome. Little Einsteins is on Disney Channel weekdays at 9am.

2. Yo Gabba Gabba.

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I know a lot of people think this show is weird, but I think it’s actually really cool and poses as a good example. Besides the usual teachings of colors, counting, etc. It also teaches children lessons in life if you will. Things like “Don’t Bite Your Friends” and “Try it, You’ll like it“. It opens children up to the ideas of eating healthy, being kind and compassionate, listening to their parents, and accepting people without judgement. The show is structured with many characters who are all different in looks and personality, but all accept each other for who they are. It shows children it’s okay to be different, and it’s actually cool! They encourage kids to not be afraid to wash their hair or try veggies. They also go on to teach them to give people their space, and not get in their face. Besides the fact that they explain the importance of naps, eating healthy and being kind, they also teach kids to have fun with dancing being one of the main themes. They always have celebrity guests whom the parents will recognize, new dances to learn and tons of awesome bands parents like. Rayne particularly likes the beat-boxing lessons with Biz Markie. I love that they teach kids to embrace their uniqueness while also teaching compassion and lessons in day to day life. Yo Gabba Gabba is on NickJr, and plays sporadically throughout the day. They also have an awesome website with games! http://yogabbagabba.com/#

3. Team Umizoomi.

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This fun show is all about math. Teaching numbers, shapes, counting, measurements, and patterns. You don’t get that anywhere else! I never thought I’d watch my daughter shout out the number of units wide an object is, or where the polygon is. It’s a fun way to learn a tough subject (one I was never great in). And it’s great that they can get started this early and save themselves from a struggle in school. Team Umizoomi is on NickJr in the morning and evening.

4. Olivia.

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I love Olivia because this show is full of imagination. This sassy little pig is always dreaming up different crazy cool situations. And she’s always so confident. I love this show because it encourages kids to use their imagination and be confident about themselves and what they’re capable of. Olivia wants to do everything and be everything. From a mommy to an astronaut to a queen of her own planet. She wants to try a little of everything and has no doubt in her mind about it. It teaches children to “go for it” and to keep their minds open about where life can take them. Her adventures are always a lot of fun for both child and parent to watch. Olivia is on NickJr everyday and she has a ton of books! AND she has an awesome website.  http://www.oliviathepiglet.com/

5. Franklin.

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Franklin is all about friendship and character. It teaches how to be honest and a good friend while also encouraging imagination while Franklin and his friends pretend to be superheros and solve mysteries! It’s entertaining and has some really great lessons in being considerate. Franklin is on NickJr everyday!

Those are my top 5 favorite children’s shows. Not only do I trust them in teaching my daughter (and sometimes me), but they’re fun to watch with her as well.

And, if you have just a little baby and would like something to put on for them, Baby First TV is awesome.

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I used to put it on in the middle of the night when Rayne woke up. It plays classical music and shows comforting and calming images all night, while showing baby friendly programs during the day to meet your baby’s sensory development needs.

I hope this helps someone looking for television advice! All of these shows are awesome in my book. Do you have any shows to add to the list?

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