Thursday, November 18, 2010

Recent births & new pregnancies

I wanted to share some recent births and pregnancies from those I'm connected with via blogging or real life or both.

Jane of Seagull Fountain is a friend from college and just wrote up the story of her fourth birth (her first unmedicated birth). I'm happy to have played a part in her brainwashing decision to try things differently this time around.

Natalie of M&N+C (and also the sister of a sister-in-law, whose birth story I reposted here) wrote to me when she was nearing 42 weeks and facing a lot of pressure to induce. Fortunately she went into labor right before her scheduled induction--here's her story.

Two other SIL's recently had babies. One just had her third birth/fourth baby! (Babies 2 & 3 were twins born vaginally, the first on vertex and the second one a breech extraction). And another had her fourth baby earlier this year.

Finally, I've been corresponding with Desiree of Hitting My Stride about her pregnancy. After several miscarriages, she was diagnosed with two different clotting disorders. Thanks to daily heparin shots, this pregnancy is going smoothly. She really wants a natural, spontaneous birth (see Statistics do not matter to the individual and Dangit dangit dangit) but faces a higher likelihood of induction because of her clotting disorders. She had a frank conversation with her OB recently, and her doctor seems very supportive and understanding of her desires.

I love the connections that I've been able to create through blogging! Thanks to everyone who writes to me to share their stories or ask questions. I try to respond to everyone, but occasionally an email falls through the cracks. So if you're waiting to hear back from me and it's been a while, shoot me another note. 


  1. Thank you for posting these! I've read several of the ones that had hospital births and it gives me great hope for my first birth!

  2. My only worry with the mom who is on blood thinners is that I had a doctor who pretty much let me believe I could try things naturally "as long as baby's fluid's stayed fine" and whattya know. They didn't.

    Have you read Birth Sense's post on Low fluids at the end of pregnancy and raise in inductions for it?
    Leads me to think maybe my "risk because of low fluids" wasn't actually that much of a risk as I was told. More of a way for them to control the patient who thinks she knows it all.

    I'm grateful that my birth wasn't actually so bad. I had surrounded myself with great support, and I had a lot of options that I already knew about. But what about for other mothers?
    It will be interesting to see what happens in the end for this mother, I absolutely do not want to be negative in her space. So I leave it here.

  3. Echoing mommymichael's concerns...most, if not all, hospitals will not allow intermittent fetal monitoring if pitocin is being used. They want to ensure that baby is tolerating pitocin contractions and that mom is not having "tachysystole." Pitocin (at least at my hospital) would be a clear indication for continuous fetal monitoring. Of course, being on the monitors does NOT mean that she has to be "strapped to the bed." She can still be on the ball, in the rocking chair, standing, or hands and knees. And if her hospital has telemetry monitors, she can be in any position.

    I don't know...maybe this doctor is a wonderful exception to the rule...but this sounds an awful lot like a bait and switch to me. I doubt highly that the doc will order clear fluids for labor, particularly if pitocin is being used. I also question not using cervidil to first ripen the cervix prior to starting Pitocin. Pitocin on an unripe cervix (which would be likely for a first time mom at 40 wks) is a recipe for disaster...and yes, you can remove cervidil if you need to. I have NEVER seen a doc turn off pitocin once it's started (unless there is an issue with baby or too many uterine ctx). For a first time mom, the odds that she will go past 40 weeks are pretty good, so I would caution this woman to expect an induction with this practice and to really question how it will go. I do think an induction may be necessary, given her clotting disorders and the need to stop a blood thinner prior to birth, but she probably needs to readjust her expectations about what an induction will involve or she will be hugely disappointed. I just don't think that what her doctor told her (given my experiences, I'm a CNM) is realistic.

  4. I also was surprised at the statement that you can't stop cervadil. They removed mine when the baby seemed to be having problems and contractions stopped immediately.

  5. Rixa Freeze talked about me on her blog! Best. Day. EVER! :-)

    Plus, thanks for weighing in y'all and you're right - I'm nervous about the Dr. Jeykll/Mr. Hyde factor. But I have a choice - believe her or don't. I can go on what she tells me and I've been seeing her for over six years. I might have more concerns if I were new to her practice and she and I didn't have a rapport.

    And she did tell me I'd have to be on the monitor if we did Pitocin but I'm definitely holding her to the 'you said I could get off' promise.

    Besides, there's one thing that this and other blogs have taught me - I have a voice and I will not be afraid to use it!

    I won't be going into the hospital all paranoid and shifty-eyed, convinced that they're all out to get me. I'm arming myself with information, coaching my husband and expecting the best. And that's all any of us can do.

    This is the baby's show - she's the star, I'm the producer and together we're going to have a hit!

    Wop wop - I'm cheesy I know!

  6. I think you've done a great job from what I can tell. I just hope that she is as straightforward as she seems to be and all goes well. :)

    You sound amazing and heck. I love cheesy

  7. I won't leave the whole story here because it's long, but my CMN turned off my Pitocin when I hit transition.

    Thanks to Hypnobabies, I had beautiful, natural childbirth, even with the Pit. (Not that I would recommend Pitocin exactly...)

    Next birth, I will be using my voice even more than I did in my firstborn's birth.

    Desiree, you sound like you have a good balance of being realistic but not letting the paranoia get you down. Here's to a wonderful birth! You can do it!

  8. This might be a topic for another day/another post (if our hostess finds it worthwhile), but I'd be interested in hearing ideas about how to make those sort of conversations with doctors and midwives productive and honest. It's not that hard to find suggestions for the types of questions to ask (c-section rate, induction practices, etc.), but it seems like many women don't end up getting the information they really need.

    I'm not sure it's always a deliberate bait-and-switch. I suspect that even very medicalized doctors (and midwives), at least most of them, think they do what they do for a reason, so when they say they only induce for medical reasons, they're not lying. Then the woman gets to 39 weeks and they think the baby might be big and the doc thinks that's a medical reason. Or they think they support normal, physiological birth, but it turns out they have a very narrow concept of what that is, and if the woman deviates from the Friedman curve, the doctor is ready with the pit.

    I think it's also very hard for first-time moms who haven't thought much about birth before getting pregnant to really absorb everything there is to know about everything that might possibly come up, so when something does come up and decisions start being made pretty quickly, it's hard to have all the questions and information handy.

    I'm NOT saying this about Desiree. Desiree, you sound very well-informed, and I ABSOLUTELY agree with you that going in all paranoid about what they are going to do to you is counter-productive. You do need to trust the person you choose to attend you in labor, or at least, ought to able to trust them.

    I guess what I'm asking is how do you have the conversation or the interview in such a way that you maximize the likelihood of getting someone who really is on the same page as you.

  9. I just realized that I live in the same town (San Luis) as your SIL, AND had been going to the same midwife practice before we switched to a homebirth. I've been reading your blog for a few years now, such a small world:)


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