Monday, April 25, 2011

Babies Don’t Keep

by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Inductions have been on my mind lately. I have some friends who are getting induced or thinking about induction...

BEFORE I go on a little bit of a rant, I am all for informed consent. If a mom is well informed and chooses to induce- then that's her prerogative. I don't judge people who make that choice. And, as I always say, and want to reiterate, there ARE situations that WARRANT induction.

Inductions scare me. Point blank. I was induced with my first child, which ended in c-section. Was I informed? Kind of. I didn't really know about inductions. Whose fault was that? Mine. I take full responsibility. I trusted my Dr. They had never lead me astray. They wanted to induce me at 39w 2days but I pushed it as far back as they would allow-- 39w 5d. I was boarderline gestational diabetic. I failed the test by 2 points. I poked my finger 4 times a day- never a high number. When my baby was in fetal distress (60bpm) and I was deemed to small (hip wise) to birth my baby (CPD) he was cut out and ripped from my womb.

Does every induction end like mine? Of course not.

Pitocin. Pitocin forces your body to have contractions. It forces your uterus to contract by loading up your bloodstream with pitocin- a synthetic oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that helps the uterus contract with gradual increasing intensity. Pitocin has one speed: strong. Women who get pitocin are more likely to ask for pain medicine (narcotics) and then eventually an epidural. Medications make it so you can't get out of bed. Gravity can't help in the positioning of the baby on the cervix when you're lying flat on your back. It CAN be a nasty cascade of events that can spiral out of control in no time.

(photo from google images, credit unknown)

My advice (for most healthy moms and pregnancies)-- avoid inductions at all cost. Your body is made to birth. Your baby will come when he or she is ready. Trust yourself. Trust your baby. Trust birth. You are not a lemon. God made your body to work perfectly on it's own. You CAN do it. In those last couple weeks and days -- every mom wants to meet their baby-- but let your baby choose their own due date.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

One Born Every Minute-- My Commentary

WHY does this show START with a SIREN? Birth is not an emergency situation.

Which is immediately followed by LOTS OF SCREAMING. Birth doesn't have to be super painful.

ALL the patients there are happy with all these cameras? Do they all WANT their births on tv?
I bet they have to sign a waiver before being admitted. What the heck. Birth is NOT a spectator sport.

First Scene: you hear " and hold.... push push push push push"
Pro: baby is handed to mom
Con: not skin to skin

Second Baby: Acting like Pit is routine. She's already 3-4cm dilated.
"the trend today is a 90% epi rate, *smile*"
Stuck in bed.

Gossiping about patients. awesome.

Third baby: Induced. Pit then water break is the plan.
"is your dr planning on you having this baby vaginally?" no.
"are you planning on an epidural?" no, it slowed me down last time
"if you time in right, it won't"
"not quite 2 fingers, let's break your water and start pit"

I seriously have to stop... There's too much to write!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

looking back

As I prepare to deliver another baby in August, I am reminiscing about my previous births.....
Parker’s Story
At 7:30am Wednesday October 17, 2007 Brian and I arrived at Oswego Hospital for a scheduled induction. I had been classified borderline gestational diabetic and thus had to be induced at 39 weeks gestation. They wanted to induce me earlier in the week- but I pushed it as far back as they would let me—hoping I would start labor on my own. They inserted my IV and then used a drug called cytotec (a stomach ulcer medication) to start inducing. It’s a pill that they divide into 4 pieces and insert one at a time in hopes to make your cervix dilate. So, after the first dose I was 0 cm and 50% effaced. The second dose made me 1 cm and still 50% effaced. After the third, I was still 1 cm and 60% effaced. I was getting antsy to get into the tub- just to relax and so I did that and waited. During the cytotec I was having little contractions—nothing that I really noticed. So by this time it was 11 pm. I was given an option whether I wanted to start the pitocin then or in the morning. So, they gave me a pill to sleep and inserted a drug to help soften the cervix- cervadil. And I slept…
At the ungodly hour of 6am- they woke me to start the pitocin. They periodically checked me- and continually upped the pitocin level- and I was 3 and 4 cm until about 1pm. They broke my water and placed an internal contraction monitor. I was getting frustrated as the contractions were rather strong and it seemed as though I was taking forever. I was not allowed to get out of bed- with the monitors and ivs. It was then that I decided to ask for the epidural (and got the catheter put in). I didn’t want to be having tough contractions and have it take multiple more hours to get to 10cm. But, lo and behold, when they checked me about an hr later (the epidural hadn’t even started working) I was 9cm and 100% effaced. They put an internal fetoscope on his head. The nurse said she was going to check with the dr to see if I could start pushing. This was a relief to hear seeing as though the contractions were still being felt immensely- there was an end in sight. I wondered why the epidural hadn’t started working. So, I got the okay to start pushing. Just as I was told to push-- I no longer felt the contractions, I was told I was pushing great but the nurse decided that she should turn off my epidural to see if I could push even better. I was mad because it just started working. I pushed with full blown contractions for two and a half hours! I kept feeling like something was wrong. I kept telling my mom, Brian, and the nurse coaching me to push push push. I kept pushing. I turned to my mom, and said in a very serious voice "mom, no one is listening to me. something is wrong". My mom told the nurse to get the Dr NOW. I soon found out Parker’s head was wedged in my pelvis. He wouldn’t budge- when I pushed- his heartrate plummeted- the internal monitor had come off and nothing was measuring his heartrate. I was checked – finally by a DR- and the he confirmed that I needed an “emergency” c-section. Meanwhile, while I’m in agonizing pain bc his head is stuck—the dr delivers another baby. I went to the OR at about 6:25pm and Parker was born at 6:39pm. His poor head was really coned from trying to fit - you could see where he couldn't get through. When he was delivered- he wasn’t breathing because of all the stress his little body was under. After some coaxing he began to cry and started to breathe really rapidly. He had to be put under the oxygen. Then he was jaundice and kept getting put in the photo therapy booth because every time they took him out his numbers would jump back up. Finally his numbers stayed down and we were sent home a week later- weds oct 24.
Parker seems to be a happy baby- eating, sleeping, and pooping a lot! He has a follow up appointment on Friday.
As for me, recovery has been tough. But day by day I get a little better. I’m really, incredibly sore and its hardest for me to get in and out of bed. Brian has been a great help at night, he’s a proud papa!
Carter's Story
My first birth was nothing short of ‘typical’. It was one unnecessary medical intervention after the next which, of course, led to a cesarean section. I smiled through the pictures and the countless ‘congratulations’ but inside I was dying. Had I really done all I could to make sure that my baby was born healthily? Did I really need to be induced? Did I really need cytotec and pitocin? Did they really have to break my water? Did I have to push when they told me? I knew from the moment I laid staring at the blue sheet waiting to hear the cry of my firstborn that next time was going to be different.
On July 3th, 2008 we found out another child would be joining our family around March 2, 2009.
My research began there. I craved anything related to VBACs. I perused the pages of the ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) website and went from there. A common trend I found was that successful VBAC moms had doulas. I found Doulas of CNY and began my journey. I emailed Chris, met with her, and she agreed to be my doula! I was well on my way to a VBAC.

The doula experience begins way before birth…. Chris met with me and asked me what my plan was and I said that I ‘wanted to try to VBAC’ and she said ‘You will VBAC’. I sent her countless emails with questions and she answered them all! She also sent me some poems that I hung around my house and read them daily to keep me focused and motivated. She arrived at the hospital as soon as she could (even though it was her birthday!!), and through her kind and encouraging words, gentle touch, and level head- I delivered my second son: without being strapped to monitors, without ivs, without pitocin, without pain meds, without being confined to a bed, and I waited for my water to break on its own and pushed when my body wanted to. This is how babies were supposed to be born…
This is that story:
Since Thursday, February 18th I had been having contractions. They had been very spaced out and ranged in intensity. I knew for sure this baby would make his appearance before March 2nd.

Monday night (February 23rd), I watched the Bachelor finale and went to bed around
10:30pm. At 2am Tuesday (February 24th) morning, I awoke with a very painful contraction. I got up, walked around, drank some water, and the contractions kept coming. I leaned forward, placing my hands on the back of the white chair in the living room and rocked my hips side to side. I closed my eyes and breathed slowly though the contraction. I was afraid to time them because I didn't want to jinx it. So, I ran a hot bath and stayed in for a bout 45min. Around 3am I timed one contraction. It lasted over a minute and the next one was less then 3 minutes later. Woah! I started to get anxious. Parker and Brian were still sleeping. So, I woke up Brian and asked him to call the Dr for me. He told me to go ahead and call and I said I couldn't, I was in too much pain. He called, and the midwife on duty called me back and told me to head into the hospital. Was this for real? Or would I get sent home? Brian packed his hospital bag and loaded the bags in the car. We woke up Parker and Brian brought him out to the car. I took my time, walking down the 3 flights of stairs at our apartment complex stopping and breathing through the contractions. I had at least 3 on the way out to the car. Parker was amazing. While in the car, the contractions made me so hot I put the window down- yes, in Feburary. I called my mom. They were going to head to the hospital shortly and they would be there in about 2hrs.

The person that we thought was going to take Parker said they couldn't. We panicked. We had to bring him with us. We got to Crouse Hospital a little after
4am. I went to triage and was checked. I was mentally prepared to be 1 or 2cm and was hoping I could stay there at least and not be sent home!! I was checked and I was 4cm, 70% effaced! I was on my way to my attempted VBAC! We called our friends nearby to see if they could watch Parker until my parents got there. My husband brought our son out to meet our friends - which worked out perfectly because they had a child about the same age as Parker so they had everything including a carseat in their car- and I went to my labor and delivery room (I was in there around 5am) and was still being checked in- with a million questions. Not long after I got in the room my doula, Chris (short for Christine), arrived- about the same time Brian came back, and like I said- it was her birthday!!

The on-call midwife was amazing. She kept telling me to visualize the baby moving behind my pubic bone while I was standing and swaying. She held me, rubbed my lower back, encouraged me to drink drink drink. When I had a contractions she would tell me to 'breathe my cervix open'. She was a very sweet lady. She was concerned that I might be dehydrated bc my contractions were back to back.

I was hooked up to the fetal monitors and they ran an iv just for a bit (to make sure I wasn't dehydrated). Then Chris and I walked around- with the rest of the IV- while Brian went to the car to get the bags. I didn't want to bring it in- incase I was sent home.

Soon after the IV bag was done, I asked if I could go in the tub. They wanted to check me first to make sure I wasn't fully dilated- like I said- the contractions were still back to back.
I was 6cm dilated, 90% effaced. I went into the jetted tub at 6:15a. No IV! No monitors! =] I stayed in the tub for about an hr. Chris kept asking if I felt pushy. I didn't think so... All of a sudden I was like "ok, I'm ready to get out".

I started feeling lots of pressure and pain (no urge to push) and so I got out of the tub and went to the room to be checked. I was 9cm dilated, almost 100% effaced.

At this point the contractions seemed to never stop and so, I got in some different positions to help. While I was kneeling on and leaning against the back of the bed at 8:23a my water broke! All of a sudden the room got really bright and I had a burst of energy. Contractions became even tougher. I felt like I couldn't do it anymore. I wanted something. Anything. My cervix was almost all the way effaced- there was a tiny little lip left. I asked just to make sure I could not get medicine at this point. Chris said "You are almost there. You've done all the hard stuff!" That was just what I needed to hear-- this wasn't the longest part. I was almost done. My doctor, one of the midwives, my husband, Chris, and a couple nurses all witnessed what you are about to read next…

I laid on my side for about 2 contractions and I said "oh my gosh, I gotta push! I can't stop it". So, they hurried to check me. I was ready to push!!!! At
8:40am I started to push. In the back of my mind thinking "please Lord, let this happen, please". I pushed with ALL my might, I did not want to be pushing over 2hrs like last time.

After 18min, our second son took his first breath!!

I did it!! I really did it!! I can birth babies as God intended!!
Tears started coming, I had done it.

My dream came true.


ICAN and IDID VBAC Med Free!

No words can describe the feeling I felt as I felt his little body coming out of mine. This is what it was supposed to be like. This is how it was supposed to feel. My body knew what to do, and did it! Incredible.

They placed him on me for a minute or so, and then took him away to complete all of his vitals. He wasn't breathing and was a little blue. (later I found out the cord was around his neck) I wasn't worried then or when I found out (they would monitor his heartbeat often with the portable monitor or they'd place the other monitor on me to hear/see the heartbeat)..... They got him breathing and gave him a little oxygen. My husband cut the cord. He was weighed, wrapped and we got him back! No whisking him off to the nursery! I saw my baby!!! Soon after, we attempted to nurse.

I could not have done it without my amazing support team!!! My doula and my doctor were lifesavers. My husband and I are so blessed to have experienced this.