An Unexpected Birth Story…

As many of my friends know, I was very adamant about delivering this baby via VBAC. I had an excellent provider and was set up to be successful in every aspect of it. There are however things you cannot account for— such as blood pressure.

On January 14th, 2016- my water broke at home. I was so freaking excited that it had done it on its own. I wasn’t feeling any contractions besides what I had already been feeling for the last month. I patiently waited for my husband to get home and then my aunt met me to take my kids to my brother’s house.

We arrived at MetroHealth and were taken into the L&D triage. There I was checked my a fellow who said my water was not broken and it was just discharge. Then a resident came in to do a speculum exam and said, “It is indeed broken.” So I was moved to the birthing room.  When I arrived in the birthing room, my blood pressure was repeatedly taken and was repeatedly high. They ordered a bunch of tests.

After being placed on the monitors, we learned that I was not contracting and not dilating so my OB suggested putting in a foley catheter. It is meant to manually dilate your cervix. As the doctor was placing it, it was a lot of pain and was very uncomfortable but nothing prepared me for when they placed the weight on it. It was death. I had to lie in bed until it finally fell out.

I was unable to walk around because of the magnesium drip. It was meant to protect my brain in case my BP got too high. After the foley fell out, my doctor started pitocin. I could see the contractions on the monitor but I could not feel them. They placed two monitor internally and it was more painful than the foley but now they could get an actual read on how strong the contractions were.

30 hours in without an epidural and I start to get a headache and very lightheaded. Everything got very blurry and at that point, we decided that a repeat cesarean is not such a bad idea to eliminate the possibility of having a stroke.

I get back to the operating room and the resident messed up my spinal TWICE and finally the doctor got it placed. There was blood everywhere but she was born and perfect with a full head of hair! After about two hours, we are wheeled into the high risk room and I start getting the post partum cramps except they hurt more than anything I have ever experienced in my life and I feel things sliding out of me. I am screaming and the doctor notices that I am basically birthing blood clots.

They start weighing the birth clots and by the end of it, I passed about 4.5lbs of blood clots.  I lost the equivalent of a two liter bottle of blood. I start feeling warm and they decide they have to do a manual DNC right there. They tried three times before the pain was just unbearable (even with dilaudid) and wheeled me back into the OR.

Another spinal was placed and I eventually passed out from the pain. I woke up back in the high risk room and was receiving a blood transfusion.

Had the doctors at Metro not moved as fast as they did, I could honestly be dead right now.

I may not have gotten to birth my baby out of my vagina like I intended but I proved to myself that I can dilate and labor without pain meds. I can do it. I don’t need a doctor to prove my worth as a mother.

So welcome to the world baby girl. You are worth every ounce of blood.

When it rains—

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One month before my due date and I find everything going to absolute shit.

My husband’s hours at work have been dramatically cut so the company can save on their electric bill. He’ll have 11 consecutive days off from December 24th until January 4th. All but two are unpaid…  We can barely afford to pay all the bills but hey! I’m glad his company found a way to save money during the holidays.

My wheel bearing on my truck went and seeing as its the only safe car that fits all of us, it had to be fixed immediately. I’ve never felt so sad swiping my card at Autozone.

My husband’s car has tires that are so bald he almost went into the ditch today with a dusting of snow and of course Walmart is out of the super cheap ones.

The Holidays are around the corner and I had banked on his Christmas bonus to get gifts for the kids but they decided to take that away this year.

I am due anytime in the next 6-8 weeks and I still have things I need because again I banked on that stupid bonus and Christmas sales.

I am so stressed. Its ridiculous. Of course when you go to get any help from government agencies, I am told we make too much for help. We applied for unemployment for the days he won’t work.

I have a great support group of friends who luckily listen to me complain and offer their love and that has been so amazing to have that. Luckily, after the first of the year, the husband will be on salary and we won’t have to worry about this crap again.

Ugh. Happy Fucking Holidays.

My fears…

The closer my due date comes, the more fearful I get of labor and delivery. I have never been afraid of a cesarean but having a natural delivery scares me.

With a cesarean, its planned. You know exactly when you’re going to have the baby down to the exact time. You can get to the hospital without any issues and find daycare.

With a cesarean, it takes about an hour and then your precious tiny human is all yours. In my case, I was able to nurse Ben and Charley immediately in recovery and they did not leave my side.

And in my case, a cesarean is where I am comfortable. I know what to expect. I know how it will feel. I know how I will feel. Recovery is hard but manageable.

So you’re wondering, why stray from my norm?

Why push myself to do something I’ve never done before?

Why drive an hour for a VBAC supportive doctor?

Why put myself into an unknown, often undocumented situation that could have plenty of risks?

The answer is very simple—

I’M NOT BROKEN.

Every time, I decide to have a baby, I am repeatedly told that I must have a cesarean. I am not able to even have a trial of labor and that’s not fair to me or my body.

I have never known what it is to feel a real contraction that wasn’t pitocin filled. I have never gone into labor spontaneously. I have never felt the gratification and satisfaction of birthing a child the non surgical way.

HOWEVER, I AM STILL NOT BROKEN.

Plenty of medical professionals tell me that a VBAC3C is not possible and no doctor will allow me to even try. Well, they’re wrong.

They tell me that in addition to risks, there are stakes.

They tell me that me and my child will die.

They tell me that a repeat cesarean is much safer.

The truth is, they don’t know. There just isn’t enough data to give doctors a reasonable estimate of what could happen and as scary as it is, I am willing to help change that.

BECAUSE AS I’VE PREVIOUSLY STATED:

I AM NOT BROKEN.

I may go into labor and hours in something may happen requiring surgery but that is something I have come to terms with. The fact that I was able to attempt to have a vaginal delivery and someone believed enough in me and my body to give me a chance is more than enough to heal from my past birthing experiences.

This is meant to help me heal. It is meant to give me the option of having more children down the road.

I will do this. I will birth a baby without surgical intervention.

Cesareans. Cesareans, EVERYWHERE.

Cesareans used to be performed on dead or dying mothers to save the baby. The earliest record I have seen of them in the 1500’s.

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Cesareans now are performed at the mother’s will and the doctor’s convenience (not always the case).  There are real medical emergency cesareans and thankfully, we have those. I cannot fathom how many mothers or babies would have been lost without surgery.

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I find that I am often doubting my ability to have vaginal birth. I am so afraid of all of the things that could potentially happen but the risks are exponentially greater with a repeat cesarean and that scares me more. You talk to people about your plans hoping they’ll share in your excitement and then you find out that they’re horribly uneducated about how birth works.

You talk to your family and they tell you, “Just have an cesarean! It’s so much easier and you can plan it!”

Yes, because major abdominal surgery (without medical necessity) is how I feel babies should be brought into the world. For me personally, there is nothing more impersonal than an cold, barren operating room when its supposed to be the best day of your life. Doctors slice and dice like its business as usual.

Heaven forbid you get pregnant again and want to try to VBAC. Finding a supportive OB and hospital is quite possibly the biggest pain in the ass ever. You will feel so much rejection. So much animosity. So much stupidity.

I was at WIC the other day. They asked for my OB and I said, “I don’t have one yet. I am searching for a VBAC friendly doctor.” After explaining what a VBAC was to the nutritionist, she looks me dead in the eyes and said, “NO DOCTOR IS LET YOU LABOR AFTER A CESAREAN. LET ALONE THREE!”

1 in 3 women will have a cesarean in their life. That is horrible.

Each cesarean has with it, its own set of risks.

Recently, ACOG stated that VBAC is safer than a repeat cesarean, and VBAC with more than one previous cesarean does not pose any increased risk.

This will be a journey but I will do it.

My birth stories…

I have just recently came to peace with the stories of my children’s births. For so long, I thought that if I didn’t talk about them, it was like they never happened. So…

At 20 years old, I found myself pregnant and very uneducated about birth and pregnancy. In all my infinite knowledge, I allowed my doctor to induce me the day after my due date. I wasn’t dilated at all and barely effaced. After 16 hours of back labor, they deemed it “failure to progress” and at 10:02PM, my daughter was born via cesarean. I was very heartbroken. Later I found out that my OB had a golf tournament early in the morning which just upset me even more. Fast forward four years and I am pregnant again. I had heard about VBAC but I was really uneducated about it. I wanted my vaginal birth so I switched providers four times. By 36 weeks, I was so disheartened at the lack of VBAC support and providers, that I consented to a elective cesarean. It was much more relaxed than my first and I felt a little better about it but I still was very upset. Two years later, I am knocked up again, and my OB said I could try for the VBA2C as long as I went into labor before my due date. I was so excited! I went to every appointment, made sure to stay healthy and keep myself in prime shape. Then I started realizing that every time I had an ultrasound, he’d find something wrong and send me to the high risk doctor. At my 30 week appointment, he said he was going on vacation from the week before until after my due date and we should just schedule my section for the his last day before he left. I refused. I was given the opportunity to try for my VBAC and he wasn’t taking it away for his convenience. At 37 weeks and 2 days, I had a growth scan scheduled. I went and after the ultrasound, the technician sent me upstairs for a “non stress test”. Okay. Not a big deal. I get up there and the nurses are all looking at me and they walk me to the pre-op room. I have my mother-in-law with me, my husband is home with my two other children and they’re trying to give me a section right then and there. He said that the fluids were dangerously low and she had to come right there or she could die. He also said, “It is in and out and we’re done.” Business as usual, right? I was so scared that my baby was going to die. I called my mother and asked her to meet me at my house so she could take my kids and I could grab my husband and I went back for my third section. (I am getting so mad even just writing this out.)

Nothing makes me more angry than just typing this out. It hurts my soul to think that a chance at a normal, natural delivery has been taken away from me because of choices my first doctor made. A man who is no longer a practicing OB/GYN. That man ruined everything. My perfect birth— gone out the window. My subsequent births— ruined.
I know people say that your births are what you make them but I honestly find that to be the biggest load of garbage that I have ever heard. A woman can only fight so much before she gives in from sheer exhaustion.

Bullies.

Anti_Bullying

Ever since I’ve become a mother, I’ve learned that the biggest bullies are other mothers. So often I see women putting another woman down for her choices without knowing the whole story.

Oh, you didn’t even try to breastfeed? You lazy, selfish, person. You shouldn’t even have kids.”

“You’re not vaccinating? You should be sterilized?”

“You’re circumcising your son? What about his rights?”

“You eat processed foods? You’re killing your children.”

“Crying it out? Are you insane? They’re going to be retarded because of it.”

“You’re going to smother your children because you cosleep.”

“You’re a pervert if you cobathe.”

“You discipline by spanking?! You are breaking the sacred bond of trust between mother and child.”

Here’s my take on it. I am not a crusader for people to parent my way. If you are, then you ought to look for a new hobby besides pushing your beliefs down anyone’s throat. There is more than one way to raise a child and your way isn’t always the right way for someone else.

We are so stuck in this mode of though that involves being the best and knowing what is the best. Its saddening that mothers can’t turn to each other for support without getting treated like garbage.

That woman you made feel like shit because she didn’t breastfeed, had a double mastectomy to save her life.

That woman who doesn’t cosleep, has an alcoholic husband and can’t risk having her beautiful baby in her bed.

The mother who cobathes can barely afford her water bill as it is.

The woman who chooses not to vaccinate, lost a child to vaccine injury and is just too ashamed to talk about it.

We don’t stop and think about why people do things the way they do. We just take their choices at face value and attribute it to being a horrible person and parent. Its not fair.

As a person who runs a groups for moms, I am always seeing mother’s bashing other mother’s choices and it hurts my soul because in the end, we’re all mothers doing the best we can for our children. Parenting is already hard enough without having to listen to the constant barrage of insults.

BE KIND. EDUCATE. LOVE.

This is my group’s motto. Honestly, when I put it up there, I meant it. If you want to change how someone does something, attacking them will never help. It will never fix it. It will only make them defensive and angry and hurt. Attacking them will make them feel like they are less than human and they are pieces of crap.

Mother’s are always trying to teach their children not to be bullies but most of the time, we as mothers, are the biggest bullies and our own worst enemies.

Being A SAHM

My day started at six am with a poopsplosion from the youngest. She has had tummy issues for the last two days and it has resulted in numerous outfit changed on both of our parts. So bright and early before I’ve even had a cup of coffee, I am giving a 10 month old a bath and singing her a song because she hates baths— with a passion.

7 AM rolls around and the oldest is up. She’s hungry and I better make her cereal right then or she’ll do it herself and make a huge mess.

8 AM brings the boys awakening. He’s screaming and punching the door because god forbid I take my time. He also managed to pee through his diaper and the bed, his jammies, and he are all soaking wet with the awesome smell of piss and he crapped up his back. Just another bath to another kid who hates baths even more than Charley.

I have to hurry though because Adison has to be in language arts class at 9 AM and I have to stay on her like white on rice. She wants to go to Youtube and watch Frozen videos or play stupid Frozen games. She wants to fight with her brother because he’s being a jerk. Class runs until 10:15ish and then I have 45 minutes to go to the store and get what I need to get.

I get home at 10:50 and unload three kids plus all the crap I bought and then I have to get everything ready for my husband to get up to go to work. So 30 minutes to roll his cigarettes, make his lunch, get his clothes, and put everything into the bathroom for him. I wake him up at 11:28. I have to change two diapers in between there too because they all shit at the most inopportune time.

I haven’t eaten anything nor I have I sat down besides to drive the car.

My husband leaves for work at 11:44 and then I have to get the kids fed their lunch and then Adison into her school work which she has to work on until 1 PM when its time for math class. I have to keep Benjamin busy while Adison works and Charley naps and I still haven’t eaten anything.

Benjamin finally goes down for a nap around 2 PM and I get stuff done around the house. The last few days, I’ve painted the entire downstairs. Charley wakes up from her nap and Adison plays with her for a few minutes and then around 4 or 5, Benjamin wakes up and he’s hungry. So I start dinner and that takes usually 45 minutes. While I am cooking, I am asking Benjamin to “quit touching the lamp” or “stop climbing on the chairs.” Its always the same thing, every single damn day.

“Stay out of the fridge.”

“Quit licking your sister.”

“Quit hitting each other.”

“No, you can’t have a cookie. It’s almost dinner time.”

I feed everyone dinner and its yet again, a whole lot of me telling Ben to sit down and eat. We usually spend over an hour at the table. Everyone calms down and watches a bit of tv before bed. Charley falls asleep in her pack and play around 8 PM. I take Benjamin upstairs and put him in his bed and we read the ABC book (EVERY SINGLE NIGHT) and I tell him “Good night Tookie. I love you.”

And I get a cute little, “Lub du.” He doesn’t even take the cup out of his mouth.

9 PM rolls around! Adison’s turn. I then spend the next hour telling Adison to go upstairs with her coming back down to tell me something or ask if she can do my hair or something ridiculous. It goes on and on and on until I finally say, “Dad’s on his way home.”

She finally goes into her room for the night.

I spend the next hour or so picking up after everyone. I put all the toys away and do the dishes. I feed all the animals.

My husband walks in the door.

Me: “How was work?”

Him: “It was work. What did you do all day?”

Me: “The usual.”

Him: “Sooo nothing?”

I spend the next two hours getting homework done and making taking a bath or shower. Then I go to bed.

In addition to all these things, I am also supposed to take the garbage down to the end of the driveway, shovel the driveway, and in the summer— I mow.

What the fuck?

So men, if you have a stay at home wife, don’t be a dick. She doesn’t stop all day. Even if she did nothing else but take care of the children, that’s more than your job. You can at least escape to the shitter at work. If she says she needs a break, trust her. She does. Don’t ever say you have a vacation every day.

Lastly, don’t make her do what you’re supposed to do.

A girl and her dog :D

This was originally written June 27, 2014. Somehow, I forgot to publish it.

Eight weeks ago, I gave birth to a darling little darling named Charley. Last weekend, I made this insane choice to get a puppy. She’s a cute little thing named Tankasaurus Rex. (Yes, my obsession with dinosaurs has apparently transcended into naming animals.)

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This was Tank’s first night with us and she was scared, of course. She had to always been within touching distance of any human but she seemingly loves to around Charley. They sleep and snuggle all during naps.

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Tank even crawls into the carseat the moment I walk through the door. Its amazingly sweet to watch these two innocent little perfect beings snuggling at every opportunity.

With that being said, our older dog, Jack Attack O’Neill just turned 9 a month ago. Its amazing how puppy-like he still is.

Before Marriage

I usually don’t blog about super personal stuff but I thought that maybe what’s going on with my life could help someone else.

Before I was married, I had exactly two best friends. One has been my best friend since kindergarten. We met on the playground and she chased me around because I had a shirt with a pony on it and ever since have been each other’s go to friend. Nothing has ever come between us. She’s still living her life and respects that I am married with three kids and doesn’t get mad when I don’t want to go to bars. We hang out on my couch and talk about the things going on. Our friendship has evolved and matured the same as we have.

I met my other friend at an old high school hangout. He was a private school kid and after our initial meeting, we were inseparable. He’d spend the night at my parent’s and we’d talk about boys and our crappy dates. I’d take him to meet every perspective boyfriend and he’d always have final say. Fast forward to today and apparently, I am a bad friend throwing away a friendship because I have changed. Of course I’ve changed since I was fifteen years old. I’ve had so many life experiences in the last thirteen years. I’ve met lots of people and forged ever lasting friendships with people from the military and my general shenanigans across the US. I’ve learned that life isn’t always peachy and I’ve become quite cynical about it. I’ve learned bad things happen to good people and that sometimes the world isn’t fair but I’ve changed for the better.

Imagine someone telling you they don’t know you anymore. Why is it so hard to tell him that maybe if he got over the fact that I wasn’t the same person, he could meet the new me. The person who’s life revolves around my children and my husband and who’s idea of fun is sitting on my couch eating twizzlers alone and watching Netflix. It hurts that he doesn’t understand that he is my friend but not a priority. How do you tell someone they aren’t a priority? Wouldn’t it be safe to assume that he would understand that without me having to tell him? Should I be mad that he’s acting like a child?

I was stupid. I blamed my husband when I didn’t want to hang out. So that started an intervention of my husband being controlling. Thankfully, I got the balls to tell him that I just didn’t want to hang out it him and that ended the discussion of my husband being controlling. For those of you who don’t know, I have the most freedom in the world. I want something, I get it. I want to go somewhere, I go. That being said, my husband and I discuss if me doing something or going somewhere is financially responsible. We are a single income family of five0 so of course we have to be aware of our bank account.

Being a single income family means that I can’t go get Chinese whenever you’re hungry and it means we can’t just go buy another vehicle so I can available at your whim. Yes, we have one car. My 2003 Ford Focus named Ferdinand that has nearly 200k miles and has been in three accidents. He takes it to work every day unless I have something to do because I am not getting three kids up at 5 AM just to drive around. At this point, getting another car isn’t a priority nor is it an option and frankly, I don’t want a car payment or full coverage insurance because we’re saving up to buy a house.

For those worried about my children’s safety while my husband is at work, he is a supervisor. I say, “Honey, come home. There’s an emergency.” He will be home in less than 7 minutes. I have epinephrine, albuterol, and am fully trained in both CPR and infant CPR. I know how to set broken bones and perform a tourniquet. I pray nothing bad happens but I am about as prepared as you can be and people who know me in real life can attest to the fact, I am pretty much always calm. If I were really unprepared for what happens, the emergency rescue is seriously five minutes from my house and have a very fast turn around time.

Sorry this is so long winded but this has been two weekends of me being barraged and attacked because I am such a horrible friend. I’m sorry you can’t see me once a month but seriously, I can’t even take a shower or shit by myself once a month.

5. Never apologize for being a dickwad and then continue to be a dickwad by being a self righteous, pretentious cry baby.

4. Marriages where one of the spouses is still going out like their single is doomed to fail.

3. Honoring my husband is entirely different than being controlled.

2. I may not be super religious but I do believe in biblical marriages. I honor my husband. I don’t cheat. I don’t lie. I tell him everything and more than anything I respect everything he does for me and our children.

1. I don’t go anywhere without my kids. They’re like my left arm. So don’t tell me that you’re awesome for being “cool” with my kids coming to hang out with us. If you had an issue with that, I’d ALWAYS pick them over you.

So friends of married mothers and father, stop being fucking assholes and realize that people grow up. Priorities change. Sometimes a mom with a six year old, two year old, and newborn is totally cool with showering and taking a nap. My husbands only night off for the week will be spent with him because I miss him during the week.

Two last things…

I’m almost thirty.

(I don’t do sleepovers.)

I fucking hate Chinese food.

BOOBS ARE MAGICAL.

When I say, “Boobs are magical” I mean it in the unicorn or flying pig kind of way. All these years, I’ve though boobs were just fun bags for my husband and here they are leaking and hurting and nurturing a tiny little human. Breastfeeding and I have a love-hate relationship. I love it and it hates me back.

So far, I’ve dealt with thrush twice and I must say that as much as I love seeing purple everywhere, I don’t enjoy feeling like I am lactating razor blades. (Yeah, it hurts that much.) We also get to deal with the small baby things where every single person who has to weigh the baby makes me feel absolutely inadequate. I also get to deal with the cuteness of milk drunk babies. Nothing is better then a little baby completely satisfied with your breast milk.

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I also find that the more comfortable I get with nursing, the more I want to share the love and show everyone, although this not always appreciated. I have not had too many unpleasant experiences when I have to nurse Charley in public, YET. I am sure I will get some ignorant person telling me to cover or to do it the bathroom. The stares will continue even though she’s in her sling and people will resist the urge to say something.

Its an amazing thing. I gave up with Bug early because I was selfish and lazy. I made the mistake of giving Ben bottles because I didn’t want to feel embarrassed and because I learned not to be selfish and lazy when it comes to your children, I slaved away at a pump for two years. With Charley, I want to have an amazing extended breastfeeding relationship. I don’t care if people says its for me or she’s too old.