Water Birth and VBAC #3

At 35 weeks pregnant, John and I moved back home to South Carolina.  While this was hard to do pregnant (again) and tough to leave our church family, homeschool family, and friends, I was excited.  Why?  Because in the state of South Carolina, a midwife can care for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) patient nd I could have a water birth!  In Florida, it is ILLEGAL for a midwife to do such!  VBACs are like taboo to many offices and hospitals.  Here’s my timeline and how wonderful Payson’s birth was!

My kids were staying with my sister so I took full advantage of a nap!  And this is when it began.

2:30 – woke up with severe heartburn and cramping.  Took 2 chewable calcium/magnesium supplements.  They worked like a charm and I was able to get some cleaning done and did not give it anymore thought.

4:00 – Having consistent contractions but they were not hurting and I was busy around the house so I just assumed they were the joys of Braxton Hicks.  I took two more chewable calcium/magnesium (I’ll share later why these are helpful in another post but they help your muscles relax).  Then met my sister to get my other three little ones after our oldest got home from school.

4:30 – Sent the hubby an email at work.  “Not sure how long you will be but I’ve been having more contractions quite a bit but they are not hurting at all.  So may be nothing.”

5:30 – Hubby gets home and I’m finishing up vegetable soup and cornbread.  While eating, my contractions are definitely 2-3 minutes apart, but I’m still not hurting.  They are uncomfortable.  Let me remind you this is my fourth baby so I know what contractions and labor are!

6:30 – I wanted to take a hot bath but did not want to stall labor if it was coming.  I did not think I was in active labor yet so I wanted the contractions to get stronger so I took a shower.  My sister and her family headed to my house.  Called the midwife and told her my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart for almost 2 hours but they were not strong and I had TWO while on the phone with her without any interruptions.  She said it was my call.

7:30 – Contractions were nonstop.  They were 90 seconds long and coming back to back basically.  I was in labor!   They were finally stopping me from walking and I had to stop and sway.  I popped two more calcium/magnesium and we headed to the car and called the midwife.  Sitting was hurting!  On the way to the hospital, I’m texting my mom and few close friends!  Yeah….I did not realize I was in active labor about to deliver this baby any minute!

8:20 – Check into labor and delivery to get checked.  My midwife said I was only 5-6 cms.  I thought I would cry.  I did not want to get there that early.  I was almost 8 cm when I checked in with my third and was 10 cm. within 2 hours of checking in.  I wanted to time it well.  But oh well I thought….just longer in the birthing pool.  Got me to my room, checked vitals, etc.  I was asking for my birthing pool and wanted out of the bed.  Your body handles labor so much better walking, swaying, moving….contractions are killer on your back!

About 9 – I was in my birthing pool.  It felt great!  The hot water really helps you relax and your body is able to handle the contractions better.  At one point I was sitting on my bottom, another time I was leaning over the pool on my knees, and later I was just floating it felt like with my feet pushing on one side and back on the other!

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It’s a little blurry.  But I’m laughing between contractions! 

10845996_10205247076433312_9029301716825240338_nI’m concentrating more.  But it was so nice to move into any position during my 15-20 minutes in the pool!

9:10 (ish) – I feel a pop (now I know that was my water breaking).  I’m in pain.  I’m starting to ask for the doctor so I can get an epidural.  I’m crying “I cannot do this”  In fact, I’m apologizing (WHY?) to my husband for not being able to do it.  Looking back immediately after her birth, I was in the transition phase.  But I never thought I would have been there that soon.

9:15 (ish) – Midwife comes in and apologizing for not being there sooner.  She was getting all the paperwork together and was finishing my registration.  She asked to check me and all I remember was her saying, “Honey, you are having a baby now.  Let’s go”  I don’t know if she even told me to push.  My body just did it.

9:17 – I was holding my sweet baby girl!

10806300_10205247084193506_5778003991271207137_nYou see how clean that baby is coming straight out of the water!  That was great!

9:30 (ish) – Laying on the bed holding my baby and signing my check-in papers (I never got to that before I delivered).   My midwife apologized over and over.  She did not expect me to go that quickly.  Midwives stay with you during a good majority of your labor and delivery to help you more.  They don’t typically get there just to catch the baby:)

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Our 2-year old holding his baby sister.  Let me share that she has yet to be bathed!  That’s also how alert a baby comes into this world with a natural birth!

It was such a true blessing to deliver Payson using a birthing pool.  It was amazing.  It was totally different than any other delivery.  I have delivered four babies.  First was induced, labored, pushed, and then c-section.  Second was VBAC with a midwife and epidural.  Third was a vacuum assisted birth.  And now a waterbirth.  If God blesses us with more, this will definitely be my choice of birthing if possible again!  Recovery was amazing!  I was walking out of the pool on my own within 15-20 minutes of delivering and discharged 24 hours later!  While there is absolutely no shame in having a needed c-section or using medication for pain, recovering from a natural birth is far easier.  But having a natural birth does not make me a supermom or a better mom than others.  And I will highly recommend Greenville Midwifery and Greenville Hospital any day to a VBAC mom!

Calcium/Magnesium for Labor
A mom’s experience with calcium that is absorbed well to aid in easier labor.  This combo together helps calcium be absorbed better.
Another woman’s thoughts (who studied midwifery) on calcium and magnesium with some great sources!

Baby #4….A Not so happy ending

I think I am ready to share with the world now!  On May 29, I typed this blog but did not publish it.  Today…I’m sharing with you what happened to our sweet baby.

May 29, 2013—I was hoping today would be the day that happily announce our 4th pregnancy to all our friends and family.  However, the news is rather shocking.  Miscarriages are far more frequent than we realize; however, we hide it from everyone.

On April 19, I took a wonderful pregnancy test.  It was a faint positive about 10 minutes later.  So, I was not 100% sure, so I took another one two days later.  Of course, it was positive.  I was sure I was pregnant because I already had the wonderful heartburn I always get.  I called the OB to make an appointment.  Since I was still breastfeeding, they wanted to do an early ultrasound to check the accuracy of the due date.

On May 15, I had my first ultrasound.  I measured about 6.5-7 weeks pregnant.  I thought I was 7.5 weeks, so it went well.

During the ultrasound, the doctor found a second sac.  She was not sure if it was a gestational sac with a second baby or a uterine blood clot.  Being as early as she thought I was, she wanted to do an ultrasound two weeks later to see if a second baby developed.  For the next two weeks, I was unsure if I was having one baby or two.  However, we were excited to see the precious heartbeat of at least one baby.

Today, I had my second ultrasound.  I was nervous.  I am not sure why.  For the past three days, I felt uneasy, as if something was wrong.  As soon as the tech showed me my sweet baby  on the screen, I knew something was wrong.  I am not a tech, but I knew I should see the heartbeating.  I didn’t.  Then she said it.  “I’m sorry sweetie but there is no cardio activity in this baby.”  She continued on to measure the baby and the gestational sac.  The sac measured to show I was about 9.5 weeks pregnant like I originally suspected.  However, the baby stopped growing at 7.5 weeks.  I felt like my heart just stopped for a second.  I did not process what happened.

What about the second sac?  The ultrasound tech clearly saw the second sac and it had grown larger than the baby’s gestational sac.  It was taking up about 50% of my uterus.  It was then obvious it was a blood clot, also known as  Subchorionic Hemorrahage.

How does a blood clot form in the uterus?  The doctor gave me a couple of explanations and most of my research online confirmed what she told me.  During implantation when the one tried to implant, it attached to the uterine wall but caused a tear in it.  This caused a bleed to occur and it continued to grow.

What happens with a blood clot in the uterus?  Several things can happen.  1)  It can slowly come out and cause some slight bleeding during the pregnancy. This does not cause a threat to the baby.   2)  The body simply absorbs the clot and the pregnancy continues as normal.  Or 3) The bleed continues and the blood clot grows bigger.  If it becomes bigger than the gestational sac that the baby is in, it causes problems.  In my case, the blood clot pushed the gestational sac and caused it to detach from my uterine wall.  This caused my sweeet baby to quit developing.

Can anything be done to cause this?  From what I read and the doctor told me., no.  I was breastfeeding when I conceived; however, it played no role in the miscarriage.  Some patients are put on bed rest if a blood clot is discovered in early pregnancies to help give the body time to heal and hopefully allow the clot to shrink.  Unfortunately, many women are not aware they have a clot.

What now?  I am waiting for my sweet baby to miscarry naturally.  I opted against a D&C or any medications to cause the miscarriage.  I feel God will let nature take its course.  For now, I continue to have pregnancy symptoms because my body still thinks there is a baby growing.  While there is a baby still in there, she has no heartbeat.

For those going through this, please know it is not your fault.  I know it feels that way.  All I have done all day is wonder what I did or did not do to cause this.  But I also know God has a plan.  This was a part of it whether it makes sense to me yet or not.

What made it easier—-looking at the three sweet faces that were waiting for me in the car with their amazing daddy who just held me tight while I cried some more.

I am also thankful for an wonderful doctor.  What amazed me was that many doctors use any word but “baby;” however, she only refered to this sweet life as my baby.  I am thankful for a doctor who realized life began immediately and recognized the pain I was feeling.

***On June, 12, at 11 weeks and 5 days, I naturally miscarried our sweet angel at home.  My story will be shared with another website that shares testimonies of those who naturally miscarried (and delivered) their babies.  If you would like a link, email me at ja.robinson29@gmail.com.  It is a detailed sight so I will send to those interested.***