Tag Archives: Motherhood

The Latest.

17 Sep

Today I had my scheduled appointment for a NST (non-stress test). Before I get to results and everything, I should mention Saturday.

So, on Saturday, baby wasn’t moving very much at all. Typically she is a VERY active baby. So much so, that I asked the doctor if it was normal for that much movement. So, when she wasn’t moving throughout the day, during kick counting, or even when I nudged her multiple times, I was very worried. Especially since Cholestasis has been in question. I decided to go to the hospital that evening and see if everything was okay. I have to admit I had a mini cry sesh in the bathroom before hand because I was so worried, but I got it together in front of everyone. 

We got to the hospital, and I didn’t want to be a burden or for the nurses to think I was being dramatic, so I just explained things and mentioned I had been tested for the Cholestasis earlier that week. They were all so nice and took me into a room where they hooked me up for a NST. As soon as they put the monitors on my belly, she started going nuts! It was like she was stomping on the monitor. I felt stupid of course, like they would think I was lying or just being dramatic. But I really wouldn’t have went in if I wasn’t genuinely concerned. She said, “It happens all the time. We prefer you come in and everything be fine, than to wait and for things to not be fine.”

She moved around the entire test. The nurse assured me everything looked great. I was having contractions the whole time. Since they were Braxton Hicks level, she said it was totally normal, especially being under stress. It was uncomfortable, but I wasn’t worried about them. They were countless. 

The on-call doctor asked for them to do an ultrasound just to double check everything was A-okay. I was excited because I had been expecting an ultrasound since I had one with Rayne around 31 weeks and my doctor hadn’t even mentioned one this time. During the ultrasound the very sweet and generous technician explained every step to me and my parents, let my mom talk to baby while watching her reaction, and even print me out pictures, even though the ultrasound wasn’t for pictures or my enjoyment, she made it very enjoyable. I even got to see her cute face practicing breathing. Everything looked perfect. I had been worried about her position, but the technician assured me she was “locked in” in head down position. In fact, she took a look at my cervix for measurement, and sure enough, baby’s head was RIGHT there, at the gate, ready to go. HUGE RELIEF.

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After the ultrasound I was taken back to the room for more NST. Contractions proceeded. But I was assured everything looked great. The nurse even told me in her 13 years of nursing in labor and delivery, she hadn’t seen a Cholestasis patient have a bad ending. I was so glad they were all so helpful and understanding. Especially since I will be delivering at that hospital, and wasn’t sure what to expect.

Today during my second NST, the contractions happened as they did the first time. In the matter of 30 minutes I had about 5-6 contractions. But baby did great. I FINALLY got the results of my blood work, and I tested negative for Cholestasis. HOWEVER, my doctor did warn me a week ago (before the test), it sometimes is too early to show up in a blood test. So, she says we will do another blood test next week, as I will be coming in weekly still for the NSTs to keep an eye on baby and my contractions. Things look good from that test, but since my symptoms are a classic fit for Cholestasis, we will be keeping an eye on it, since it does usually just get worse. I’m hoping my levels stay low so I can have the birth experience I dream of. I’m happy that things are looking good right now. And am really trying to stay positive. I’m so happy that I can trust my doctor and the awesome nurses to be proactive in this with me.

I will update again after next weeks appointment! 

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. 

My Decision To Have A Natural Birth, Hypno Style.

4 Sep

In making the decision to have give birth to my second child naturally, I was met with more negativity than support. I assumed my family and friends would commend me for at least being brave enough to try, not to mention embracing my body’s natural ability instead of facing the inevitable D-day with fear and trying anything to run from the pain. But, most people either spat out some sarcastic remark, or deemed me crazy.

When this decision was first made, all I felt was the absolute desire to make myself do this. But as I dove deeper into it (like I do with anything I decide, I become obsessed), I realized how ridiculous us women are nowadays. I mean, our bodies were MADE to give birth. It knows what it’s doing. Yes, there are certain circumstances when things arise and medical intervention is needed. But, society has conditioned us to believe that every birth is a medical emergency and is in need of assistance. If you really think about birth these days, most women’s birth experiences are based on convenience. Convenience for them to not experience pain, convenience for the whole thing to get over and done with as soon as possible for the doctors and nurses to move onto the next patient. It’s just a “let’s get it over with” type of thing….just like everything else in this day and age. Instead of the assumption us women will be walking in there, giving birth the way God intended and coming out victorious, they assume we’ll get whatever drugs they recommend, be as easy and simple as we can, and get the hell out of there. You actually have to request to have a natural birth without them constantly trying to coax you into just getting the damn epidural. And anything more natural (delayed cord cutting, not receiving pitocin, self directed pushing, delivering placenta on your own without them tugging or injecting you with more pitocin, self hydrating, moving about while in labor), all come with having to talk them into it unless your medical staff happens to be kind and understanding. But it really depends on the hospital’s rules and regulations. All these things are better for you, your baby and your labor progression.

Honestly, women who opted for home births were nuts to me. When I had my first daughter I knew nothing about giving birth. I went in there, was given a drug by choice of my nurse to basically sedate me, then once I was aware of what was going on, I was getting an epidural. Everything that happened that night, just happened. Nothing by my asking. I was strapped down, poked with an IV, told I wasn’t in real labor, given unknown drugs, told when to push, told to allow my baby to receive certain vaccinations, told my baby had to be poked too many times in her poor little foot at multiple locations, so on and so forth. I didn’t know I had choices. I was young, naive, and an easy in and out for them.

With this pregnancy I am much more aware of my choices, what should and shouldn’t happen, risks, and the pure nonsense that goes on with the medical system trying to control EVERYTHING and EVERYONE that passes through. 

I know there are GOOD doctors and nurses who really do care for the patients and their choices for a special birth. This is in no way to be against anyone or everyone in the medical field. I understand they want to get in and out of there and that they have a lot of patients to care for, so they can’t give everyone exactly what they want. But, it is not right for us women to be bullied or afraid to state what we want for OUR births of OUR children. 

I’ve been doing a lot of research about how to properly write up a birth plan. And every site and/or article I’ve read on the subject, was mostly based on how to write it in a way to not “offend” the medical staff, or to not come off as “demanding” or “inflexible“. Frankly, that offends me!

Okay….I understand the need to be flexible because sometimes, things do go wrong and interventions are needed and your plan needs to be changed. I get it. You don’t know how things will play out. But the fact that I have to tip-toe around the medical staff to have the birth that I wish to have, is just plain ridiculous. Why not just try to give a women the experience she would like as long as she and baby are healthy? They even say not to get too in detail because it might not even get read! 

First of all, why in the world would you be a nurse or doctor if your patients are an inconvenience to you and you would just prefer to do things the fastest, easiest way even if it isn’t the best way?? If I chose to devote my life (plus tons of money on schooling) to be a doctor, especially one that gets to be involved in the most important moments of a person’s life, I would want to do what was best for my patients and try my best to attend to their wishes.

This is what opened my eyes to how smart home birthers really are. They don’t have to deal with random nurses being mean to them or trying to jump through hoops to just deliver their baby the way they choose. If I ever have another child, I will most definitely be having a home birth.

Okay….You get my point…too much ridiculousness.

So, yes, I have decided to give birth naturally, no drugs. Don’t even offer them. But, I’m not a complete idiot who thinks I can just walk in there and “handle” the pain cause I’m no whimp (I’m not a whimp…but I’m not stupid either). I’ve done a lot of research on giving birth and the best techniques to make things easier. When I first came across Hypnobirthing, I didn’t even want to look into it. I assumed it was something like a creepy creeperton standing over you with a pocket watch, sending you into a deep sleep. But then I saw the numerous incredible videos of women giving birth using Hypnobirthing techniques, without drugs, and having calm, happy birth experiences. I was shocked that they can be popping out babies with hardly a grunt. 

My idea of a natural birth was what I had always seen on TV or movies. You know, knees to your ears, screaming, purple faced pushing, threatening murder, etc. But these women were calm, controlled and happy. I thought, “What the hell is this!?“.

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More research….more and more research, and I am IN LOVE with the entire idea of Hypnobirthing. If you don’t know about Hypnobirthing, just read something about it. Their whole concept is about erasing the implanted fears we have of giving birth and replacing them with joy, excitement, relaxation and trust. Why have we stopped trusting our bodies to know what it’s doing? Giving birth is one of the most natural things are bodies do, and we are so afraid of it. 

 

In Hypnobirthing, you are taught to trust your body and it’s ability. To not fear giving birth and instead, embrace it. Not only that, but it teaches you a form of self hypnosis. Sounds creepy, I know. But really this is something most of us experience on a regular basis. Get sucked into a book or movie and lose track of time? Daydreaming and feel like you momentarily checked out of your life? What about that relaxing moment right before you fall asleep when your body is limp and you feel so comfortable? That is all the level of hypnosis it teaches you to put yourself into whenever you choose. 

The point of it? When you are completely relaxed your body is able to progress in birth quickly and comfortably. When we’re afraid and try to “handle” pain, we tense up. Our body goes into fight or flight mode. Instead of working with the birthing process, it slows it down and makes it MORE painful. Just in the talent of being able to relax ourselves on cue during birth can make everything smoother, stress-free, and even comfortable.

And I know what you’re thinking, because I thought about it too. Will I be totally checked out during my entire birth if I’m in hypnosis? No. Yeah, some people get so relaxed they fall asleep between contractions or what the Hypnobirthing scene calls “surges” or “waves“. But you are awake, and alert. There is even a type of self hypnosis called ‘eyes open hypnosis’. Which allows you to enter this mode of relaxation, all while being wide awake, walking around, even talking. I assume it would take quite a bit of practice, but why wouldn’t you want that ability? In Hypnobabies (a type/brand of hypnobirthing), they teach a self hypnosis anesthesia in which you use to feel no pain. Yes, sounds far fetched and not every woman is able to achieve it, but many have reported pain-free births. CRAZY! 

I’m not expecting a pain-free birth, but I can tell you I practice the Hypnobirthing relaxation techniques and listen to the “affirmations” (recorded positive suggestions for you to listen to while you’re in this relaxation, to sink into your subconscious, ridding your mind of fear and worry and filling it with confidence and joy), everyday! I’ve been practicing only a week and already feel so much more confident and welcoming of birth. Even if I don’t have a pain-free experience, I know just the breathing techniques and positivity will help get me through the toughest moments in giving birth to my baby. 

It’s not just for natural birth, either. It teaches you to welcome any turns your birth may take, calmly and confidently. Plus, it’s great for relaxing when you’re huge and pregnant and can’t sleep at night. 

Obviously, We’ll have to wait and see how things play out after I use this in giving birth. But I’m sure I’ll have only good things to report. 🙂 

By the way….31WEEKS AND 2 DAYS!!! Yep…59 days to go. WHOA.

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Did you have a natural birth? Did you use Hypnobirthing or any other birthing technique??

Click HERE to read awesome Hypnobirthing testimonials! Or HERE!

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?!

Is It Too Much To Ask?/Update

19 Aug

29 weeks and 1 day. 75 days to go. 11 weeks left. Whoa.

It’s gone by so quickly. In my stressful first trimester, and stress-free second trimester, all I wanted was to enjoy this pregnancy without wishing it away so quickly. Now, it’s a different story.

I forgot how trying the third trimester is, especially during summer. It really is true when they say “The honeymoon phase is over”. Between my sleepless nights, severe lack of energy, constant irritability, and sweating my ass (and boobs) off, I just want to have this baby and NOT be pregnant. 

The stress is back and consuming as ever. After being exhausted all day, the second I lay my head down to sleep, the constant thoughts arise. You know, the “I’m 23 and what have I really done with my life?” or “I should probably roll over in my mind all the things that could go wrong during labor, or all the bad things that can ever happen to my kids, or all the things I need to do, or how stressed I am about visiting my biological father after not seeing him for 11 years, or if I can’t get everything done in time for Rayne’s 3rd birthday THIS WEEKEND, or the fact that she’s growing up so fast and it makes me sad because one day my girls will be 16 and most likely hate my guts, or, hey, what if I never get a real career and just continue sucking at life forever????”. Then there is the restless leg syndrom making falling asleep amazingly difficult. Oh, don’t forget the nightly dreams of having my baby and completely forgetting how to care for a baby at all. 

Then there is just the day to day struggle of being alive. I have no energy to clean and do chores and play with my toddler. I hardly do yoga anymore, besides a few stretches here and there to help relieve leg cramps. I do continue to walk, but hardly make it a whole hour due to my aching feet and back, the cramping under the weight of my belly and the fact that I usually have to pee. 

Everyday is a struggle. And the weight of it all (physically, emotionally and mentally) makes it very difficult to even attempt a good mood.

All I want is a healthy baby, a happy toddler, relaxation, and a peace of mind. Is that too much to ask?

Long Time, No Post. Update.

1 Aug

Yikes. I haven’t posted anything in quite some time. Mostly due to not having a laptop/desktop to use. Anywho….First things first:

PREGNANCY UPDATE:
Week: 26 and 3 days.
– Growing Belly, Growing Baby, Crazy Nesting, Restless Leg Syndrom, Lot of movement.
How am I doing on my “staying healthy” business? So-So. I do yoga every morning, and take a walk every evening. Although, my walks have become shorter because of this annoying pain I get in my belly while walking now. But, I’m still staying active, and that’s the point. Eating wise….not doing so great. Yeah, I try to stick to healthier choices, but recently I seem to be bouncing between having no appetite and having an appetite for something I shouldn’t be eating.

Now, mentally how am I holding up? Good…I think. I’m excited for my little bundle of joy to join us. But, I also can’t believe how fast this pregnancy seems to be going by. This Sunday I will be 7 months. Entering my third trimester. Already!? It’s crazy to think I just have a few months left, and I know they will fly by. But, I’m also jumping out of my skin to meet this little girl and hold her in my arms.

Relationship Update: Still single, and happy. Although my friendship with this baby’s father has faded, and we hardly talk (and when we do, it’s uncomfortable), I don’t feel like ending the relationship was the wrong thing to do. I feel much better, less stressed, without it weighing on me. Yes, he will be at the birth (at least that’s the plan), and I’m sure he’ll be around quite a bit once she’s born.

Oh, Yeah…..I forgot to mention….It’s a GIRL!!! 🙂

This mama is happy, healthy, and doing just fine. I hope to post more often!

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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