Tag Archive | Ricki Lake

It’s Shaped Like a Heart!

So, we (finally) arrived at the hospital.  Despite what I figured would happen, we did not in fact deliver the baby in the back of the van on the highway.  That’s a good thing!  I totally scored once we arrived & I learned that the CNM I had been seeing (in case we needed to transfer to a hospital) was on-call that day.  Now, I had my husband (aka ROCK), doula, 3 midwives and the midwife on at the hospital!  In addition, our nurse was hilariously sarcastic (which was perfect for me), so I was having a blast joking with all of these women.  Labor or not, I’ve always got time for jokes!

Sadly, I’d been pushing hard for about 6 hours at this point, and if I was going to get this baby (who’d been in the birth canal for 4 of those hours) out of my body, I needed rest.  This is where my plan fell apart.  I was about to get an epidural to slow the contractions for a while.  They wanted me to get an hour of rest.  The problem was, I don’t listen to instructions very well and I continued to joke around with people instead of resting.  I mean really, my body was still contracting; there was no way I was going to sleep.  (If you’re a man or if you’ve never had contractions, imagine your absolute WORST case of vomiting when you’re actually just dry heaving…now multiply it by 100…that’s about what it’s like to have contractions.)  After about an hour, they then informed me it was time for…(dun dun duuun) pitocin.  UGH!  I worked so hard at preparing for a natural home birth. Now I’m getting slammed with an epidural AND pitocin?  I would have said no, but let’s face it, my baby was stuck in the birth canal and he needed to be out!  Fine, give me the awful pitocin.  Now I can have twice the contractions (because it’s not like they stopped, they just lessened some).  This was in the best interest for the baby, so of course I did what needed to be done.

Back to pushing, pushing, pushing.  I had someone holding every limb, making jokes to keep my spirits up, trying to help me focus on the baby not the pain.  In all honesty, I had one heck of a pit crew!  The OB on call came in & threatened to get out the vacuum.  My midwife put him in his place, telling him I could do it.  I pushed for a total of THIRTEEN HOURS.  Yes, that’s right.  No, I’m not confused.  I was in labor for 18 hours, I pushed for 13.  If one more person tells me I must have that wrong, I’ll be forced to publish my medical records!  At the 13th hour of pushing, the OB returned & asked the nurse to get out the forceps.  By the grace of God that word must have done something in me & my baby because FINALLY he came out!  I couldn’t believe it.  I was finally holding my baby boy, in my arms, on my chest, right away.  This was the moment I’d dreamed about for so long.  There was no anesthesia preventing me from holding him, there was no operating table for me to be strapped to.  There was me, my husband, and our perfect second baby boy.  Just when we thought our hearts couldn’t possibly hold more love, they flooded some more.  We held him until the cord stopped pulsing (which I highly recommend, by the way) and they cleaned him up quickly & we held him some more.   We’d soon learn that the reason he was stuck in the birth canal for so long is because my pelvis is android (heart) shaped.  That’s not exactly conducive to delivering a baby.

Now, it needs to be said that the entire time I was home & at the hospital, I still hadn’t voided my bladder.  I had a fourth degree tear (yup, fantastic) that required quite a lot of stitching.  It was then that I learned what happened to my body.  My body had suffered significant trauma.  I had pushed so hard and for so long, that my body parts were no longer recognizable.  Literally.  Please, lift me up in spirit.  I am breaking once again sharing these details.   It’s like a horror story I relive every time I tell the story I’ve only just begun to tell.  The intimate details I’m about to share are embarrassing, to say the least.  But ya know what?  They’re my story.  They’re my reality.  They’re not my fault.  They’re the reason I’m even stronger today.  I had about 40 different people looking at my lady parts over the next 5 months.  Do you have any idea how much pride that strips from a person?  Just about all of it.  Really.

So, I’d tell my nurses, one after another, that I still couldn’t void.  “Oh, that’s normal after having a baby.”   Finally, we demanded a Foley catheter.  The nurses tried and tried (sure no big deal, it’s not excruciatingly painful or anything!) but because I was so swollen, they couldn’t insert the catheter into my urethra.  A doc finally came and inserted it.  Let me just tell you, having a catheter inserted is incredibly painful to a urethra that’s been abused by previous attempts at insertion.  As a woman who just pushed a big ‘ol baby out, yes, a catheter is extremely painful.  The nurses had me remove it later (also painful, but not nearly as painful as insertion).   Guess what?!  I still couldn’t void.  I was told not to worry, though.  “It’s normal to not be able to pee after having a baby”.  Well, considering my previous delivery was via cesarean, what did I know?  They’re the medical professionals, right?  Every time I’d try to go to the bathroom, all I could void was a drop or two.  Imagine, if you will, having a bladder that’s incredibly full, and only being able to get one single drop out.

So, I continue this nonsense and then was released. My husband & I told EVERY SINGLE NURSE that came into our room that I couldn’t void.  We’d later learn it was never documented.  Awesome, eh?  So, we finally get home with our new little bundle and our family of four could be together at home at last.  My parents (who’d been watching Brayden while we were at the hospital) brought Brayden to our house and our family was HOME!  Later that night, however, the nightmare began.


Building Networks

Hi everyone!  We’re sorry it’s been several days since our last post.  Sometimes things come up and life just gets in the way.

I left off talking about helping women to avoid & helping them to work through postpartum depression.  One of the main reasons I was able to get past that rather quickly was because of friends.  I decided it was time I made some friends that had babies so that Brayden & I could do some socializing.  I found a playgroup and started signing up for any event I could make it to.  Immediately Brayden & I found these other moms with little babes and the babies would lie on blankets next to each other just having a great time with their baby babble. It was adorable.  While they “played”, the moms would have coffee or tea & just chat about anything and everything.  It was such a great outlet for all of us to have this network we could rely on for socialization, in a crowd that “gets” how frustrating it is when that nasty diaper leaked through the clothes and you forgot to replace the back-up outfit the last time there was a diaper blow-out; a crowd that understands your baby is coming with you so yes that means you won’t be able to give others your undivided attention and you will come with a fair share of noise, a crowd that understands why Lansinoh is a must-have in your purse at all times as a newly nursing mother.  Yes, this network is vital for every mother’s mental well-being.

Time went by, I made more friends that I really enjoyed seeing, but the drive to get to those meetings was just too long & far.  Todd & I talked a great deal about starting up our own family playgroup.  While I really enjoyed meeting all of the moms in the mommy group I’d been attending, I always wished there were more events that my husband could join in on when he had a day off.  After all, new dads deserve socialization, too!  So, we started a family playgroup on our own that would give people that lived near us a more local group of events to join in on.  It took off!  We never expected so many families to join, but it ended up having about 65 different families involved!  WOW!  It was awesome.  Every week we spent time with different friends, anywhere from 1-3 days a week.  We both met other folks with young children that we could really connect to.  We loved having families over for bbq & s’mores nights, potluck parties, holiday parties, and one of my favorites…Coffee Talk.  One member had the great idea to start a regular event where everyone who wanted to would show up at the chosen destination and we’d have this massive stroller walk with each other.  It was so much fun, gave us a good dose of fresh air, and we got exercise! This play group helped create lasting friendships for our oldest child and for us as well.  One of the things that was so humbling was that every time a family had a new baby, or there was a death in the family, or someone had illness in their family, moms and dads would pitch in to make a dinner & deliver a hot dish to the family in need.  It was a drop at the door to avoid making mom more stressed out (we all do a little extra tidying when we’re expecting company, so a drop at the door avoids the stress of feeling like that must be done, because that would defeat the purpose!).  When a family had a new baby we’d get 2 weeks worth of meals on the sign-up sheet so that the first 2 weeks they were home from the hospital, they didn’t ever have to worry about dinner.  What a wonderful thing these families did for each other!  I feel so blessed to have been able to be a part of that.

Time went on and Todd & I decided we were ready for baby #2.  We were so excited to have chosen a different path this time.  I knew if we were to deliver at the hospital a half a mile down the road, they’d require me to have a scheduled c-section due to my previous c-section (for breech presentation).  We wanted to research other options.  Through a friend I’d made in the playgroup, I was introduced to an amazing and inspiring woman who I’ll call Hope.  This woman, a Doula who was training to become a Midwife, would end up having such a deep impact on our hearts that she’d have a lasting effect on our lives and our children’s lives.  We met with her and explained the trauma of the previous cesarean section.  One of her many wonderful qualities is the ability to teach that there are always other options, but she did so in a way that fully supported whatever path we felt was right for our family.  She would point us to information, but was always clear that it was just information, from every angle, so that we could make truly educated decisions.  After all, this would be OUR BIRTH.  The previous birth was more of a hospital policy birth, we just did as we were told.  That’s just not how it should be, and it’s not how it has to be!

After a LOT of researching, questioning, soul searching, and praying, we decided we wanted to plan a home birth for this second baby.  We were so excited to have a HBAC (Home Birth After Cesarean).  I’m sure you can imagine the shock that most people felt when we told them this was our plan.  I’m okay with shock.  If something is different than what we’re used to, it surprises us sometimes.  No problem.  The only issues I had with reactions were from people who felt it was their duty to tell us that it was wrong, dangerous, and just unhealthy altogether.  Clearly they had not done any of the learning that I did.  No, they in fact followed along with policy just as I and so many others had done.  That following is okay, it’s their choice, but it’s never okay to tell someone they’re making the wrong choice.  It’s THEIR choice to make.

We read several books & watched movies about natural, home, and water birth.  My ultimate favorite is by Ina May Gaskin and it’s called Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth.  This woman is a huge inspiration.  A couple of the other books I read were Water Birth: A Midwife’s Perspective by Susana Napierala, and Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon.  Ina May herself is enough to get you thinking about how you want YOUR birth experience to be.  I highly recommend reading over her website and learning a bit about what she does & what she stands for.  One of the movies that comes to mind instantly is The Business of Being Born produced by Ricki Lake.  I also strongly recommend every expecting parent watch that.






So by this point, we’re certain we want a HBAC.  We do all that we can to prepare, including establishing ourselves as patients of Midwives (awesome Midwives, I might add) that assist with home birth, and as a backup, a Midwife that has practicing rights at hospitals just in case we ended up needing one.  I won’t get into how ridiculous it is that there is this line drawn to keep women from having birth where THEY  want it by not protecting the practicing rights of ALL midwives.

Next time, I’ll begin to explain the process of preparing for home birth, and soon after you’ll get to read about the actual birthing process.  It was,…interesting.