Thursday, June 20, 2013

{Becoming Mother} A Hospital/Epidural Story

I've gotten quite a few questions about my hospital birth with Cannonmy birthing center birth with Cason, why I choose those locations and why I wanted a natural birth. I thought it might be fun to do a blog series on women who have had different birthing experiences and what they've liked about them. I'll be back at the end of the series to share what we liked about our hospital birth and what we liked about our birthing center birth. 

This is not a promo for a particular type of birth, in fact I've tried to cover as many types of births as possible from natural at home to c-section in the hospital. This is more of a "what can you expect" if you were to have one of these types of birth. Hopefully they will encourage you, help you make a birth decision that's right for your family, and most of simply rejoice in the way God creates life. 

Let me introduce you to my friend, Chelsea. We have several mutual friends and followed each other's blogs long before we ever became "real friends." When our boys were just weeks old we started Google chatting. New mama questions flew back and forth about cloth diapers, sleep schedules, nursing issues, and "how does this work for you?" inquiries. We compared notes and encouraged one another through sleepless nights. Two babies, many skype dates and that one awesome trip to College Station for a busy bag swap later and I'm so thankful to call Chelsea a friend.

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I'm Chelsea and we have two kids and two completely different birth stories. The stories are similar in the fact that I got an epidural both times and birthed both babies in a hospital. Both babies were born with some complications which lead us to prayerfully make the decisions we did. 

With our first, Chandler I had no idea what to expect. We decided that getting an epidural was the route we wanted to go but I was still really nervous and wasn't looking forward to the birth experience. We felt extremely excited and blessed to be able to have a child. He was due in August so I spent lots of time at the pool doing water aerobics with the older ladies! 

Towards the end of the pregnancy I was very swollen but never diagnosed with preeclampsia. My blood pressure was always in the normal range and nothing seemed out of the ordinary, until the last week. At 39 weeks my doctor checked me and I wasn't dilated at all and she basically told me I wasn't ready to have the baby yet. The next day, I woke up with a horrible headache and felt dizzy all day. I ended up going to the "blood pressure station" at Walmart and calling L&D because it was high and I didn't know what to do since it was the weekend. They basically told me to rest. The next day I woke up feeling the same way so we decided to go to the hospital to have everything checked to make sure. Oh boy was I in for a surprise! The next time I left the hospital, I had a baby in my arms. 

My blood pressure was so high that they wouldn't let me go home. They monitored me for hours and it wasn't changing. I was honestly really sad because I had heard about the dreaded "induction". I knew though, it was best for me and Chandler. I had a very long hard labor. I ended up getting an epidural around 4cm and I think it worked up until about 7cm or so. After that, I was in alot of pain and didn't know how to handle it. At 10 cm and 2 hours of pushing, my water finally broke but Chandler still wasn't coming. He was stuck in the birth canal. They ended up using the forceps to "help" him out. It wasn't "my doctor" or "my plan" but in the end our baby boy was here and that was all that mattered. 

Then, there was Audrey! Around 30 weeks my doctor asked me about my plan for delivery and if I had anything I wanted to discuss and I started crying. Chandler's birth was so hard physically I didn't know how to prepare for it again. We discussed the epidural issue with Chandler because I was ready to prepare for natural labor if that is what was going to happen again. I needed to know how to cope with the pain. She talked me through it and said that most likely from them rotating me back and forth due to my blood pressure issues my epidural stopped working. We decided we would try for the epidural again. 

At 35 weeks, I woke up not feeling well and quickly realized I was having contractions. It was pouring down rain and my 1 year old was sleeping but we got in the car, PJ's and all to go see what was going on. Long story short, I WAS IN LABOR, already 3 cm. I was directed immediately to L&D (we later found out all the nurses thought my placenta had ruptured and were preparing for an emergency C-section). I had an AMAZING nurse, "my doctor", and my epidural worked perfectly. My sweet girl was here only a few hours later. 

I have lots of amazing friends that have chosen all sorts of birthing experiences all I can say is keep an open mind. Every child is different and the Lord teaches you through it all. I will say for anyone who is wanting to get an epidural, make sure and COMMUNICATE! If it starts wearing off, especially if you have had a long labor don't wait. Tell your nurse, doctor, anyone who is listening! Looking back, which Chandler I was too timid and scared to speak up. It's your body, only you know how you are feeling. Also, I would recommend taking a natural childbirth class or at least reading a book, just in case. I honestly didn't know if an epidural would work for me but after trying it again, it was awesome. Worked perfectly and I would totally do it again. 

You can read more about our family here or feel free to email me, if you have any questions. 

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