Birth Announcements (from Shutterfly)

I LOVE Shutterfly! Of all the different photo websites out there Shuttefly is probably my favorite! When our newest daughter, Shelby was born 7 weeks ago, we decided to use Shutterfly for her birth announcements. The picture you see above is the template that we chose. We really like the pink and brown! Shutterfly is easy to use and has many many beautiful backgrounds, templates, etc. to choose from! If you ever run into a problem you can chat with an online representative. I just want to recommend using Shutterfly for your birth announcements or anything you may need! They do beautiful photo books as well. I made a gorgeous photo book on Shutterfly of our wedding pictures. It is a wonderful website! Christmas is coming up so if you want personalized Christmas cards I would highly recommend Shutterfly!

10 Ways to Prepare a Mom For a Bad Birth

Excellent Post from: Mama Birth : http://mamabirth.blogspot.com/2010/09/10-ways-to-prepare-mom-for-bad-birth.html

1.  Treat her pregnancy like a disease and her baby like a foreign tumor-  

This will set the stage for feeling sick, hating pregnancy, and wanting it to end as soon as possible.  It will also plant the seed of doubt in her bodies ability to do something right.


2.  Test, Test, Test-

Instead of talking with her and listening to her concerns, just run expensive and invasive tests for diseases and conditions that most likely don’t affect her.  This way she won’t have time to tell you what is really going on like she would if she actually KNEW her care provider, and (as an extra bonus) it will fill her with anxiety about her pregnancy and birth.  Things could go wrong at ANY time.

3.  Tell her her body does not work-

It is important to do this subtly.  You don’t want mom to get angry enough to run for the hills, just instill enough self doubt that she feels like she needs you.  Some good phrases: “You are measuring just a little bit large….” or “I’m concerned about your borderline test results with regard to X, I think we need to do another test….” are good examples.  (And of course, an oldie but a goodie, “You are gaining a little bit too much weight…”)


4.  Do frequent vaginal exams during pregnancy-

This helps establish dominance because she is in a subservient position with you as the Alpha dog.  Also, it is uncomfortable and we all know that nobody questions anything when they have no pants on.  It is also a great time to employ #3 (ie-  “Ummm, your pelvis is quite small…”)


5.  Remember, you can always find a reason to induce-

By the time the due date is fast approaching mom should be well aware of her complete inability to function without you and have a baby under her own power.  She is ripe for suggestion and now is the time to offer induction.  Also, she will be tired and uncomfortable (especially if she is focusing on #1) and she will feel like you are helping her out.  Remember, anything can be given as a reason to induce, from small baby to large baby and everything in between.

6.  Give her a due date-

So far you have been sure to treat the pregnancy and birth like a test that she is incapable of actually passing.  The due date is a perfect end to this.  It makes her more open to #5 (induction) and it reminds her that unless she does things perfectly (ie- has baby on the correct appointed day) she will not be receiving an A on her pregnancy/birth test.  How can a woman who does not have her baby when appropriate actually give birth properly?


7.  Remember, pitocin is your friend-

Now time for labor!  Now, even if mom is one of the rare ones who has her baby when she is supposed to, you can still use the pitocin to make it more painful.  And, if not, you can use it for the induction.  By now she will be practically begging you to help her get her baby out.  Pitocin serves lots of functions: 1) great for induction 2) great for making labor more painful 3) great for making her have the baby quickly and 4) great for making you feel needed.

By now mom knows that she can  not do this on her own without technology and she knows that labor is PAINFUL and HORRID.  Don’t tell her that the pitocin makes it worse.  She will just be glad you are there to make it better for her.


8.  Drugs!-

She will be kneeling at the alter of modern technology and medication at this point and will be so grateful for the “experts” around her who are capable of making all the pain go away.  This is where you come in.  Only a licensed expert can dispense pain relief.  You might not be a knight on a white horse, but you have a white coat and a needle and that is good enough!


9.  You can always SECTION!-

And- if all of the above doesn’t work to get that baby out- don’t worry- you can save the day with the expensive, quick, and invasive c-section!!!!

There are lots of benefits to this.  1) You get to save her and the baby (shh, don’t tell anybody you put them in danger in the first place with 1-8) and 2) Even though you cut her open and pulled her baby out, she will be grateful you were there to take care of things!  She truly could not have done it without you.  Thank goodness she was in a hospital!


10)  Remember- the baby is ALIVE!-

Now after all of this sometimes mom will grieve that un-medicated birth (usually because they have some horrible friends who like that awful Riki Lake movie).  Now is the best time to point out that she really has no right to grieve that kind of birth loss, after all, she has a healthy baby.  This is also a subtle reminder to her that she is selfish and a bad mother.

It sounds crazy boys, but follow the above 10 rules and we will keep those ladies coming back for more!

Women Speak Out About What’s Gone Wrong with the United States Birthing System

Very very good article from : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tabby-biddle/women-speak-out-about-wha_b_781205.html?ref=fb&src=sp#sb=370053,b=facebook

 

“Women die in childbirth as a result of systemic failures including: barriers to accessing care, inadequate, neglectful or discriminatory care, and overuse of risky interventions like inducing labor and delivering via cesarean section.”Amnesty International

For many of us who haven’t yet been through childbirth, there’s an image we have of what it’s like: A woman is rushed to the hospital in a taxi; she gets put in a wheelchair and is rolled down the hallway in dire emergency; then we see her screaming, and yelling in pain and then… there’s the baby.

Sadly, this is the image that a lot of television shows have put into our minds, and have led many of us to believe: Birth is scary. Birth is dangerous. And it might be better if we just numb out through the whole experience.

Because so many women don’t have an image of what a natural, empowered birth looks like, there is a lot of fear surrounding the act giving birth. Accordingly, the majority of women give their inner authority over to doctors in their birth process. They trust the doctors more than themselves. The problem with this is that many women aren’t aware that the majority of her doctor’s medical decisions are being made today for monetary and legal reasons, and not necessarily for the good of her and her baby.

Here is the reality: Hospitals are businesses. They want those beds filled and emptied. They aren’t really interested in having women with long labors hanging around. And there is something else you should know: Having a baby in a hospital might not be as safe as you thought.

Did you know that the United States has the second worst newborn death rate in the developed world… and one of the highest maternal mortality rates among all industrialized countries?

You can go to any other developed country in the world, and you will find that they are losing fewer women and fewer babies around the time of birth. The important thing to know here is that in these countries, midwives are attending 70 to 80 percent of the births (doctors are there for the small percentage that have complications). In the United States, midwives attend less than 8 percent of births.

Why is this number so low?

“I’ve interviewed a lot of nurse midwives and I’ve noticed that as soon as their practice reaches over 30 percent of the women in a certain hospital, the doctor will start firing them because that’s too much competition,” said medical anthropologist Robbie Davis-Floyd, PhD, in an interview for the documentary The Business of Being Born.

Hmmmm… interesting.

The common way to have birth now is be Cesarean section. Today in the United States, the Cesarean section rate is at an all-time high. Since 1996 the C-section rate has risen 50 percent, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Today one out of every three babies comes into this world by C-section.

This seems like a crazy statistic. What is really going on here?

Marsden Wagner, M.D., former director of Women’s and Children’s Health at the World Health Organization, gave his opinion in an interview for The Business of Being Born: “A Cesarean is extremely doctor-friendly, because instead of having a woman in labor for an average of 12 hours, 7 days a week. It’s 20 minutes, and I’ll be home for dinner.”

Many women come to the hospital with a plan for a natural birth, but all too often their birth plan changes very quickly based on a doctor’s decision (that is not necessarily based on any real complication). For example, one friend of mine had written a birth plan with her doctor. She would be having a natural, vaginal birth at St. John’s Health Center in in Santa Monica, California. On the day of my friend’s birth, her doctor did not show up. So my friend was then under the charge of another doctor. This doctor decided that instead of the natural birth my friend had wanted, she should have a C-section. His reason: she was taking too long in labor.

But the doctor forbade my friend from squatting and getting on all fours (apparently against hospital policy), even though it felt so good for her and it opened up her pelvis. (FYI: When he left the room, she went ahead and squatted anyway.) My friend knew she could give birth naturally. She felt deep inside that she had the strength and power to do this. She trusted herself. But the doctor kept insisting on a C-section.

After fighting off some medical interventions that the doctor was insisting on (one of these was the “fetal probe”), and a lot of eye rolling and shaming from the hospital staff in the process, her baby was born. While my friend was happy as can be about her new baby girl, she explained to me: “The birth was something that should have been beautiful, but degenerated into something that wasn’t.”

As Nadine Goodman, Public Health Specialist, has put it: “What the medical profession has done over the past 40, 50 years is convince the vast majority of women that they don’t know how to birth.”

I have heard too many stories from friends and family members where the hospital told them that they were open to the natural birth they wanted, but then the reality was so different. First came the Pitocin to speed up the labor, then the epidural to dull the pain from the strong contractions caused by the Pitocin, and then the C-section “for the safety of the baby.”

“We need to make sure that we reduce the overuse of interventions that are not always necessary, like C-sections, and increase access to the care that we know is good for mothers and babies, like labor support.” — Maureen Corry, executive director of Childbirth Connection

As Dr. Eden Fromberg, OB/GYN, has admitted in an interview: “There was a doctor who used to train me who said, ‘They can never fault you if you just section them. Just section them.'” In other words, the current thinking in the medical world is: avoid being sued at all costs.

“There’s the prevailing sense among doctors that you don’t get sued for the C-section you do, only the ones you don’t,” said Nan Strauss, a maternal health researcher for Amnesty International, quoted in The New York Times. Amnesty International published a report earlier this year declaring the country in the midst of a crisis in maternal health care.

The reality is that once the hospital starts with an intervention, it becomes a domino effect. They say: Thank God we were able to do all of these interventions to save your baby. But, as Eugene Declerqc, Ph.D., Professor of Maternal and Fetal Health at Boston University School of Public Health has said
…. the fact of the matter is if they didn’t start the cascading of interventions, none of the rest would have been necessary.

[By the way, putting a woman flat on her back for giving birth literally makes her pelvis smaller and makes it much more difficult for her to use her stomach muscles to push. The result: It is much more likely that she will need an episiotomy and a vacuum or forceps will be used to deliver the baby.]

Negotiating their way through the hospital environment is a power struggle that many women aren’t interested in, so they are choosing to have their babies at home.

“For most women who are having a normal, healthy pregnancy, it can be safer to have a home birth,” said Cecily Miller, prenatal and perinatal specialist living in Los Angeles, in an interview with me.

When I asked Ms. Miller to tell me more about the benefits of a home birth for expectant moms, here is what she told me:

“Giving birth is a rite of passage. It is an initiation into motherhood. If we want an empowered initiation where women are honored in the female body, and we are ushering in new life to the society, then women need to feel safe in their birth process… Giving birth is the most intimate experience we can imagine. And how we make love is how we want to give birth.”

Cecily explained to me that the qualities of making love and the qualities of the environment — dim lights, private space, intimate space — is the same conducive environment for birth. It should be a place where a woman feels she can be herself, which, as Cecily explained, is usually at home.

Sure makes sense to me.

When a woman is at home she can groan and make natural sounds (these sounds actually open up her pelvis); she can eat when we she needs to; rest when she needs to; have privacy when she needs to; kiss her partner, be held; walk around, look out at nature, and basically do what feels best for her. “The comforts of home afford a woman her ground, her roots… and then the body will naturally in most cases, open, and will give birth,” explained Cecily.

A friend of mine who had both of her babies at home described just that: “The best thing about giving birth at home was that I never had to leave my home. I could be rooted there. My husband brought me smoothies. I could hop in the tub when I wanted to. I could get on all fours. Then after the birth, I was exhausted and all I wanted to do was curl up with my baby, and that is exactly what I did.”

When I asked her about her confidence level for her home birth, she explained to me that through her birth classes and her yoga practice she felt prepared. “Deep breathing, steady focus, determination, and a desire to do it myself helped me bring my babies into the world.” she said. My friend explained that when the time came, she allowed her body to take over and do the rest. “I really do believe we are all strong women. I think the whole hospital realm has brainwashed women to think: ‘Oh you can’t handle this, so we will give you drugs.’ It’s pretty sad.” Agreed. She added: “While giving birth was the most challenging thing I’ve done in my life, having my children at home was comforting, inspiring and empowering.”

While a home birth might not be for every woman, it’s my hope that more women will consider it as an alternative to the institutionalized and currently over-medicalized environment of the hospital. As Cara Muhlhahn, a Certified Nurse Midwife in practice for more than 10 years, has said: A home birth gives the power back to the woman.

Shelby’s Birth Story

Today Shelby is 12 days old. She is precious, sweet, and beautiful.  Tucker is a wonderful big brother to her and I love both of my babies so much! God has blessed our family beyond measure.

If you know me or have been following my previous posts then you know that I was desperately desiring to have a VBAC with my second child. After my failed induction and consequential c-section with my son, I vowed that I would never go through an unnecessary c-section again! With my October 13th due date quickly approaching I began to worry that my body would not go into labor on its own. I never got the privilege of going into natural labor with  my son because I was induced (with no medical indication and with an unfavorable cervix) at only 4 days overdue (see my post “Tucker’s Birth Story” for the full details). All during this pregnancy my 4 doctor’s told me that I would be allowed to “attempt” a VBAC but that my deadline was 41 weeks. If I hadn’t gone into labor by 41 weeks (Oct. 20) then we would have to go in for an automatic c-section. My OB practice does NOT allow a woman who has had a previous c-section to be induced. They don’t want to introduce Pitocin to a uterus which has already been cut open. That was fine with me. I hate Pit.

On Wednesday, October 6 I had my 39 week OB appointment with the only female doctor in our practice. She is not my favorite doctor by any means because she told me at one appointment, “You’re welcome to try for a VBAC, but I wouldn’t do it if I were you.” Keep in mind that this statement is coming from a young female OBGYN doctor who has NO kids and has never experienced childbirth. hmmm. Anyways, we (my husband, son, and I) went to our appointment that afternoon HOPING to hear some good news. I had been having a lot of lower abdominal pain and pelvic pain over the past week. I also had been having a good number of contractions. I was really really hoping that my cervix was doing something….ANYTHING. The doctor said she would check me and I got all excited. However, to my disappointment, she informed me that NOTHING was happening whatsoever. I had not thinned or dilated at ALL. My cervix was tightly shut and not about to open up shop. I was sooo disappointed. I left the office that day in tears and cried for quite a while at home. My husband and I decided that we would do more walking to see if that would help. We walked around Target a LOT during this pregnancy. It’s our favorite store. 😉 We also walked around the mall quite a bit too. I began taking other people’s advice on “how to get labor started.”  I ate spicy food, pineapple, drank 2 gallons of green tea, walked a lot, and other things that I won’t mention on here. I never did try the castor oil though. I’ve heard too many bad things about that. Nothing I tried worked. Finally I had to just put it in God’s hands. I have to admit that the last week of pregnancy is the hardest week I’ve ever had because I struggled soooo incredibly hard to have faith and trust in God. I was so worried that God would not answer my prayer and that I would have a c-section. I began to worry a lot. I was stressed as well. I just imagined how much more awful my postpartum depression would be after having a second c-section. My husband admitted to me that he was worried that I would be suicidal if I had another c-section.

Wednesday, October 13 rolled around. DUE DATE DAY! Nothing really was happening. I’d had a few contractions that week and a little bit of pelvic pain, but not much. My mucus plug did fall out in the middle of the night that week. It was either Monday or Tuesday. That was a slight encouragement. Our 40 week OB appointment was at 3:15 on Oct. 13 with my favorite (and most VBAC friendly) doctor. I prayed and BEGGED God that I would have made some progress. I didn’t care if it was 1 cm, I just wanted SOMETHING! The doctor checked me and God answered my prayer. I was dilated to 1 cm AND the doctor felt Shelby’s head!! My cervix was also beginning to thin out! My doctor asked if it was ok if he stripped my membranes and when he told me that it could induce labor I told him, “Sure!” It wasn’t too painful and was over quickly. Now, we just had to sit back and wait. We went ahead and scheduled my next visit for the following week. My doctor was kind and encouraging and said that he didn’t think I would make it to my next appointment. I asked if I could see him again the next week if I still hadn’t had the baby. He said that was fine but we would have to have a serious talk about a c-section. I started crying and told him that I didn’t want another c-section. He then assured me that there were other ways of inducing labor without using Pitocin. He mentioned that they can thread a foley bulb catheter up into the cervix and open up the bulb and help dilate (manually open) the cervix. That was an encouragement! Not ONE other doctor EVER even told me that there was a possibility of inducing me any other way than with Pitocin (which I can’t have). I left the doctor’s office that day a lot more hopeful than the previous week. I began praying even harder that Shelby would arrive soon! Little did I know that God would quickly answer that prayer. 🙂

That night (Oct. 13) my husband went to work and I went to bed. I woke up at 4:30 with EXTREME back pain! I texted my husband at work and told him I was in really bad pain. He (thankfully) was able to leave work and come home to be with me. I couldn’t sleep. I started having really painful contractions. We tried timing them but they were quite irregular. I was awake for a couple of hours and finally had to sit in our glider. I managed to fall asleep for a while in the chair. That morning we called my mom and had her come over to watch Tucker because my pain was getting worse and worse. Still, the contractions (which were quite painful) were not regular. I tried sitting in the bath tub with hot water for a while, but that didn’t help much. The back pain was constant and was almost unbearable!  I managed to deal with the pain and try to lay down and take a nap for a few more hours. Finally at 2pm I told my husband that we had to go the hospital. He called our OB and the OB nurse said to go ahead and go because sometimes back labor can cover up the contractions and make them hard to time or irregular. We arrived at labor and delivery at Greer Memorial around 2:25pm. I was taken to triage and checked. Still 1-2 cm. What???!!!! The nurse told us that we could go back home or walk around the hospital for an hour to see if that helped move things along. So, from about 3:40 to 4:40pm Glenn and I held hands and walked around the hospital. I had to periodically stop for some painful contractions but the back pain NEVER let up. When we got back to our room the nurse checked me again. Still no more progress. Our nurse (Mona) moved us to a new room so that I could sit in the jacuzzi tub and relax and see if that helped turn the baby and/or help with the constant back pain. We were moved to room 283- the same room we were in 16 months earlier when our son was born! How special! I sat in the tub for over an hour (from about 5:30-7pm, I think). It felt good to sit in the whirlpool tub with the jets on. However, it only felt good for a few minutes. The contractions were so painful that I yelled every time one hit. My husband sat by my side for a while and then he went to sit in the room (and ate a sandwich that the nurse brought him) and let me be alone so I could try to relax. Finally, I got out of the tub and moved to the bed. It was “shift change” time so I had a new nurse, Roberta, come in. She was a little rude to me and told me that she read my birth plan and would try to accommodate all my wishes. (She said it in a way which almost sounded like she was making fun of me). I wasn’t too thrilled with her (although over the next 2 days she ended up being pretty nice). I told her I was in a LOT of pain and her response was, “Well honey, natural labor hurts.” She sounded like she was making fun of me again. 😦 Roberta asked me what I wanted to do. At that point I was not “admitted” to the hospital yet so she said I could stay and be admitted or I could go home and come back when my contractions were more regular and things were moving along. I couldn’t make up my mind. I wanted to be in the hospital because my pain was through the roof ridiculous. However, I was worried that when I was admitted the clock would start ticking and immediately I would be put on a time schedule and if I wasn’t progressing fast enough I would be wheeled to the OR to be cut open. I voiced this to my nurse. I told her that I had decided that I would try to go home and come back later because I didn’t want to “use up all my time in the hospital only to be rushed to surgery.” Also, I was starving!!! They never let you eat when you’re in labor and I was told that I was in early labor so I couldn’t eat. My husband snuck me some food- Sprite, fig newtons, and a couple bites of his sandwich. He’s a sweetie. However, I needed to eat a little more. So, before we checked out I asked if they had any pain medicine. I was hoping that it would help with the pain and also make me sleepy so I could go home and get some rest. The standing orders were for Stadol and Phenergan. I like Demerol better so I requested that. My nurse had to call the doctor for approval and she approved. Roberta gave me a shot of Demerol and Phenergan and we left the hospital at 9pm (Thursday Oct. 14). We stopped at McDonalds on the way home and I ate a grilled honey mustard snack wrap. We called my mom and she said Tucker was over at their house doing well. The Demerol helped a LITTLE with the back pain but couldn’t even TOUCH the painful contractions.

The next 3 hours were some of the worst hours of my life. From 9:30-midnight we tried everything. I tried sitting in the bath tub with the lights off. I tried every position possible and the pain was only getting worse. I kept saying, “Honey, the pain can’t get any worse.” And lo and behold, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it got worse. At 12 midnight we made our way back to the hospital. The nurses were waiting for me because they knew I’d be back. They put me back in the same room again. Room 283. They told me that they even waited for a while before cleaning it because they thought I’d be back sooner. I was admitted around 12:30am and was given Stadol and Phenergan for pain. The doctor didn’t want me to have more Demerol because it has potential to cause respiratory problems in the baby. I definitely didn’t want that!  At around 12:50 am (Oct. 15) the nurse checked me. Finally some progress!!!!! I was about 2 to 3 cm at this point. Shelby had moved down to 0 or +1 station as well!!! That was good news!!! The nurses left us so we could TRY to get some sleep. Needless to say, I did NOT sleep much that night. I had to call the nurse in the middle of the night for more Stadol and Phenergan after my last dose wore off. I woke my husband up several times to come hold my hand because the contractions were so painful. My contractions were worse than the ones I had when on Pitocin with my son! I don’t know how or why. They were HORRIBLE. However, the contractions STILL weren’t regular. GRRRR! The next morning around 6:50am my contractions were about 3 to 5 minutes apart. They still weren’t completely regular but the nurses kept their eye on it. The nurse checked me at 7am and PRAISE THE LORD!!! She gave me the BEST news that I had heard in the past 27 hours!!!! I was at 5 cm!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn’t believe it! I had never made it past 3 cm with my son so I was THRILLED (although in pain) to be told that I was at 5!!!!!! The nurse said she felt the bag of waters and that the doctor might break my water soon. My husband left and went to The Waffle House for breakfast…just as he did the morning that Tucker was born. I was in so much pain while he was gone. I texted him and told him to hurry. My new nurse for the day, Kristen, came in and asked if I needed anything. I told her I needed pain medicine. My options were the Stadol (AGAIN) which wasn’t helping much at all or the dreaded epidural. Finally, after talking with Kristen for a while, I admitted that I was going to HAVE to get an epidural. I had been in labor with excruciating pain for 27 hours at that point. I was proud of myself for waiting so long. I knew that I must be at least 4 cm to get the epidural and that was on our birth plan as well. (I got it way too early with my son and it slowed everything down). I texted my husband and told him to hurry hurry hurry. At 7:54am I got the epidural. My husband, who was holding me and watching the procedure, got sick and had to sit down. The nurses brought him a “pink bucket.” Thankfully, he didn’t throw up. The guy who placed my epidural did a TERRIFIC job. At first it was a little to the right and I told him so he moved it over and it was perfect! He was super. I finally felt some relief after about 20-30 minutes and for the first time in 27 hours I FINALLY felt pain-free and was able to rest!!!!! It felt soooooooooooooooo good and getting the epidural was the best decision I made! 😉

I rested for a bit and then the doctor came in to break my water. Thankfully I couldn’t really feel it. After he broke my water things started speeding up. However, my contractions STILL weren’t regular. Go figure. The doctor said I was making good progress and things were looking good for a VBAC. He did remind me that I was on a time limit because of the VBAC so if my progress didn’t happen in a specific amount of time then I would need a c-section. (How stupid is that?) The doctor said he wanted to see a good labor pattern (aka regular contractions). At 9:31 am I was checked and my husband posted this on Facebook, “We are now at 8 cm, 100% effaced and at 0 station!!!!! We are now at the 29 hour mark, folks. The light is at the end of the tunnel, guys! God is great. Please keep us in your prayers.” And finally at 8 cm is when my contractions magically became regular!!!! They were perfect and I was told I was in a great labor pattern! YAY!!! At 10:04am I posted this as my Facebook status, “Hi everyone this is Erin. I had to give in and get an epidural at 5 cm because I couldn’t take the back labor anymore. I had been having EXTREME pain and back labor for 28 hours straight. For the first time in 30 hours I have finally been able to get a little rest and I am progressing well! I’m so ready to get this over with. I’m scared. Please pray. Oct. 15 is a GREAT day for a birthday! ;)” 

The doctor checked me at 11am and I was at 9.5cm. I was getting so excited yet scared at the same time! Finally the best news ever came at 12 noon. 10 cm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The doctor decided to go home and eat a sandwich for lunch and said he would come back in an hour or so. He wanted to give Shelby time to move down a little bit more. He told me I could start pushing at 12:30. So that’s what we did. I started pushing at 12:30pm. (My husband insists that I started pushing at 12:45pm. So we’ll just say it was some time between 12:30 and 12:45). 😉

🙂 THE GOOD PART:

From 12:30 to 1:30 was one of the best hours of my life. It was so awesome. The setting was quiet and very intimate. It was just me, my husband, and Kristen- the sweetest nurse in the entire world. Kristen was about my age and was very calm and encouraging. My husband and Kristen each held a leg while I pushed with each contraction. Finally they said they could start to see Shelby’s head. Kristen assured me that Shelby did NOT have bright red hair (which I was worried about haha). I asked for a mirror so she brought one in. Kristen had to leave a couple of times and Glenn held both of my legs while I pushed. It was awesome to be able to work toward bringing a baby into the world as opposed to being strapped to a cold table and cut open and feeling helpless. I was soooo worried that I wasn’t going to feel the urge to push because of the epidural. But, when it came time to push I could feel the pressure and I had NO problem pushing. I couldn’t really feel the contractions so Glenn and/or Kirsten watched the monitor and told me when I was about to have one and I would push 3 (sometimes 4) times with each contraction. We asked our nurse if both of our moms could be in the room for delivery. She said only 2 people total were allowed and Glenn counted as 1. We didn’t think it would be fair to only have 1 mom and not the other. We knew that both had wanted to be present. Glenn went out into the hall and asked our doctor if he could make an exception and allow both moms in the room. He said that would be fine!

At around 1:30 Glenn went to the waiting room to get each of our moms so they could be in the room for delivery. They were sooooo excited! They didn’t think we were going to let them be in the room but we surprised them. Around 1:40 or so, the doctor finally arrived and a TON of nurses came in as well. So much for the quiet and intimate setting. lol. I felt like I was the main attraction and yeah, I was literally in the spot light. lol. But I knew that this was my moment to shine. My moment to PROVE to myself that my body was NOT broken, that my pelvis was NOT too small (like one doctor told me) and that I am able to push my own child into this world. I could feel (and see in the mirror) that Shelby’s head was stuck. I kept saying, “I don’t think she is going to fit.” The doctor told me that I was either going to rip or he could do a 2nd degree cut. My mom and mom-in-law both said I should get the cut. Finally I told him to make the cut and he did. (Thankfully it just felt like a little pinch). No joke, on the next contraction I pushed as hard as I could and our little Peyton Shelby arrived at 2:18pm. She was placed on my tummy and I was overwhelmed. I started crying and didn’t know what to do or say. I touched Shelby and said, “Hi, Shelby.” Glenn’s first words were, “Hi, little one!” She wasn’t crying and was blue so Glenn cut the cord (which was so super sweet to watch) and Shelby was taken to the baby warmer. She was suctioned and then started crying. Her Apgar was 7/9 and she weighed 8 pounds, 13 ounces, and was 21 inches long. My son was 8 pounds, 11 ounces, and 21 inches long. Shelby was 2 oz. bigger than Tucker and I was able to have a successful VBAC. I was and am so thankful that I was able to have a VBAC. The doctor sewed up my cut and my epidural was removed. I was able to get up and walk around about an hour later.

I can’t tell you how happy I am that I (with God’s help) was able to have a successful VBAC. It was the most incredible experience in my whole life. I feel like I helped bring my child into the world. I feel like I redeemed myself. I feel like I could totally do it again (hopefully minus the 34 hour labor). The epidural was a HUGE blessing and I don’t think I could have pushed for 2 hours without having those few hours of (virtually pain-free) rest before I started pushing. I was also able to relax and enjoy the pushing stage instead of screaming in pain and wanting to get it over with. I was able to enjoy every minute of it and I wish I could do it all over again. The emotional feeling is indescribable!

I also want to mention that I am so blessed and thankful to have such a loving, caring, and supportive husband. He was there with me every step of the way and it would not have been the same without him. He is my hero. I love him so much. He was the best labor coach ever.

No Shower, No Worries

A few months ago I was a little concerned (and I’ll admit, a little sad) that no one was throwing Shelby a baby shower. I realize that I had one a little over a year ago for Tucker, but since we are now expecting a girl I guess I just figured that someone would offer to plan a shower. As the weeks went by I realized that wasn’t going to happen. Several people asked me when my shower was going to be and I was embarrassed to always answer that Shelby wasn’t having one. Several people told me that wasn’t fair and that the shower is for the baby and if you have 10 kids you should have 10 showers. Others told me it only made sense not to have one if we were having another boy, but since we would need girl stuff I should be having one. Yet, others reassured me that they only had one shower (with their first child and not any showers for subsequent children) so that made me feel better inside. I never meant to sound selfish, I guess I just figured every child has a baby shower. However, over the next few weeks God blessed us more than I could’ve imagined and we have more things for Shelby than I EVER thought we’d have without a shower!

First off, because I’ve been couponing (for a year this October!) I’ve been able to find AWESOME deals on diapers. We’ve been stocking up for the past couple of months now. Tucker has plenty of size 4 diapers and Shelby has plenty of newborn, size 1, and size 2 diapers. We’ve also got a TON of wipes! My mom (aka “Mimi”) has also purchased some diapers and wipes for us so that was a big help as well! God bless her!

Secondly, our daughter is going to be the best dressed girl in South Carolina! Why? I’ll tell you. She has a TON of (very nice and beautiful) clothes! Glenn and I purchased a few outfits on clearance at Target, Wal-Mart, Carters outlet and then we started shopping at consignment shops like Safe Harbor and Miracle Mart for good deals. We found a TON of good deals! We especially enjoyed going to Miracle Mart on Saturdays when ALL the infant clothes (0-24 months) are ALL $0.50 a piece! We really stocked up on clothes from there! My mom and sister also purchased some clothes for Shelby as well (from Goodwill, Carters, Ross, etc.) Then on Sept. 18 my mom purchased over $100 in clothes from our favorite consignment shop, Trunk Treasures! It was half-price day and we took advantage of it! Then, my friend, Stacy (who has a little 6 or 7 month old girl) was SO kind enough to give me SEVERAL boxes of ADORABLE clothes that her little daughter has grown out of (as well as some super cute clothes for Tucker!). Some outfits even still had tags on them! She also gave us shoes, blankets, hair bows, a swaddle me blanket, an adorable pink bouncy seat, and a really nice crib bumper! I’m so thankful to have such a sweet and generous friend! I hope that I can help someone else out someday in the same way that she helped and showed kindness to me! Yet, there is more! Today we got a box in the mail from my husband’s Aunt (who lives in Virginia). She sent us a BOX of clothes (and bibs, socks, hats, and a blanket) for Shelby! What a surprise and huge blessing!!!! Everyone has been so generous to us!

Third is all the little things that I wanted to get for Shelby. You know, like hair bows, hats, socks, and other girly things. I guess I don’t mind using Tucker’s stuff and I know it really doesn’t matter if Shelby uses blue bibs, blankets, and burp cloths, but at the same time I really wanted her to have her own stuff since Tucker has his own stuff. Over the past couple of months we’ve been able to purchase a few things a little at a time as well as find some deals/sales and use some coupons. Also my sweet sister got Shelby some Hello Kitty hair bows, a sippy cup, a bib, and a wash cloth. My mom got Shelby some socks, shoes, bibs, hats, bottle liners, etc. Glenn and I were able to purchase some hair bows/head wraps, a couple of bibs, some girly bath towels, 2 pink bottles, 2 blankets etc. One day Glenn (my hubby) and Tucker surprised me with a baby book for Shelby! I love it and have already filled a lot of it in and it’s packed and ready to go to the hospital so we can put Shelby’s footprints in it! Other people have been generous as well. My friend, Joy, surprised us one day with several little things for Shelby. She brought us some hair bows, head wraps, socks, and wash cloths for Shelby! Soon after that my sweet cousin Angie sent us two beautiful hand crocheted (by my mom’s cousin, Julie) hats for Shelby! They are gorgeous!

Lastly, there were a couple of things that I wanted to get for me. Glenn and I created a Target baby registry when we found out we were having a girl. No one even looked at it. BUT, God worked everything out!  This week my sweet Aunt Judy and Uncle Will sent us a $25 gift card for Babies R Us! We went right to the store because I already knew what I wanted to get—a Moby Wrap! I never used or tried a sling, wrap, or baby carrier with Tucker. I really want to try one with Shelby. The Moby was $39.99 and I had a 20% off coupon (which deducted $8) and then we used the gift card. We paid $8 for the Moby Wrap and I am very thankful and excited! One other thing I wanted (that I also did NOT have with Tucker) was a nursing cover. I found one online called an Udder Cover and it was FREE (just pay shipping). So for $14 I got a beautiful nursing cover-up and a milk band bracelet (to keep track of which side I fed on and what time) and some (reusable) nursing pads for my bra! We have decided that since we only have one crib (and it’s Tucker’s crib) that Shelby will sleep in our room in the pack ‘n play. My mom bought us a fitted sheet for the pack ‘n play this week. It matches perfectly and looks very nice as well. We already have an infant car seat, stroller, swing, and infant bath tub, so there is nothing more that this little princess needs. God has been soooo good in providing all of these things for us! I NEVER thought we’d have all of this stuff before Shelby is born! I am overwhelmed and thankful! The only thing really left to get is a little girl to wear all these clothes and use all of this stuff! Thank you, God for all you’ve done!

Waiting on the Princess

This Wednesday (in 2 days) I will be at 39 weeks!!! We’re getting so close! We’ve gotten so much done but yet I feel like there is still a lot left to do before the little princess arrives! Shelby has PLENTY of beautiful clothes for her first 2 years of life and I can’t WAIT to dress her up with little hats and bows! Everything (clothes, blankets, bibs, burp cloths, towels, wash cloths, etc.) is washed and hung up, folded, or put away. Her pack ‘n play (where she will sleep) is ready to go. My nursing cover up (aka “udder cover”) is washed and ironed. Her swing and bouncy seat are sanitized, fabric is washed, and new batteries are inside. I’ve got all her bags (for the hospital) packed (still working on my bag). Her car seat base is installed in the car. I’ve purchased a Moby Wrap (which I can’t wait to try!), a couple of bottles, some baby towels, wash cloths, hair bows, etc. We’re REALLY stocked up on newborn, size 1, and size 2 diapers and TONS of wipes. Shelby has bibs, burp cloths, socks, shoes, hats, headwraps, blankets, etc. There really is not much left that this child needs! The house is relatively clean. My husband and I have kept up on dishes and laundry so we’re not behind on that. Now if she can just hold off until after this week!!! 🙂

This is going to be a busy week for us! Today we had an appointment at Tucker’s doctor’s office at 2:45pm so he could get his flu shot. That went pretty well. He didn’t cry and we didn’t have to wait for the usual 1-2 hours. We stopped at Publix on the way home so I could pick up some last-minute sale items and some much-needed sugar-free ice cream. 🙂

I (along with my husband) decided today that we are going to switch pediatricians. We’ve taken Tucker to New Horizons Family Health Services since he was born. His “doctor” (she’s a nurse practitioner) Mrs. Olson is really sweet and we like her a lot and are going to miss her. Tucker’s nurse, Laura, is a sweetheart as well. We will miss those two very much but what we WON’T miss is the 30 minute drive to get there, the 2 hour wait in a nasty and very hot building (which is in the ghetto and next to a mental health clinic), and being surrounded by all ages and types (this place takes walk-ins from homeless people, does free HIV testing, etc.) Every time we go I feel like I’m the only one there that can speak English. :/ The waiting room is so nasty that we won’t let Tucker get down on the floor. Since this practice treats people of ALL ages there is NO area for kids, no toys, no kiddy chairs, no kid’s TV or anything. I’m not exactly sure how we even ended up going to this doctor’s office. When I was in the hospital after giving birth to Tucker one of the nurses asked me who Tucker’s pediatrician was. My response– “I don’t know! We don’t have one.” So whatever pediatrician that was at the hospital at the time (his name was Dr. Johnson)  was the one that checked Tucker out (and did his “little boy procedure”). The nurses told me before I left the hospital that I had to write down a doctor for Tucker because they had to have somewhere to send all of his paperwork and information so we could follow-up with them. I was limited because of our insurance so I basically just “picked one off of the list.” Some friends of ours said they took their son to New Horizons and that Mrs. Olson was really good. So we took their recommendation and went with it. However, after 16 months of taking our son there, we have decided that it is time for a change. So I called Pediatric Associates- Greer today. Surprise #1- a PERSON answered the phone! And she was friendly and knowledgable! If you call New Horizons all you get is a huge recording and a long list of extensions (so inconvenient). Second good thing is that they take our insurance. Woohoo! Third – they are taking new patients. Fourth- when I asked if we could schedule a free prenatal interview she said “Sure, can you come at 2:25pm tomorrow?” Wow! So we’re going to meet one of their doctor’s tomorrow. Fifth- their doctors come to Greer Memorial Hospital (where I’m going to deliver Shelby) to see and check on their new babies! Last (but not least)- this place is only 15 minutes from our house instead of 30 minutes. Oh, and one more thing–they are building a new building and will eventually move to the Greer Memorial campus— right next to the hospital (which we LOVE) and our OB (Greer OB/GYN)–which is only 10-15 minutes from our house. So I’m excited to be switching doctors and hoping that the interview goes well tomorrow. I feel sad leaving the people at NHFHS, but it’s time for us so to move on. I’m very optimistic about Pediatrics Associates Greer. I’m glad it’s ONLY a pediatrician and that they DON’T take walk-ins (although you’re welcome to call for same day sick visits). Hopefully they will have nice, knowledgable doctors, and possibly a nice waiting room and maybe a few toys since it’s for kids!

So, tomorrow (Tuesday) is our prenatal interview at the NEW pediatrician! On Wednesday this week I have my 39 week OB appointment with Dr. Harris at 3:00pm. I’m really hoping that she can check me (no one has checked me yet) and I’ve made some progress. I’ve been having more and more contractions every day. Last Wednesday we had an ultrasound (to get an “estimate” of how big Shelby is since I have Gestational Diabetes). The ultrasound tech told us that Shelby was about 7 pounds and 2 oz. (give or take 1 pound). So that’s GOOD news! I’ve been quite faithful with my diabetes diet since the day I found out that I had this temporary disease. My blood sugar numbers have been PERFECT and I’ve lost about 11 pounds! My husband has been on the diet with me and has already lost about 30 pounds! I am so proud of us! I’m hoping that we can STAY on our diet AFTER Shelby gets here. Of course, I want to splurge just a couple of times. I can’t tell you HOW much I miss mushroom pizza, sushi, and frozen coffee drinks! But I’m doing what’s right for our daughter!

Thursday this week should be an “easy” day because that’s the ONE day this week that we DON’T have an appointment. Maybe I shall do more cleaning on that day. I spent a long time last night cleaning the master bathroom, but there is still more to be done around the house!

On Friday Tucker has a Pediatric Ophthalmology appointment concerning his lazy eye. (I don’t think I’ve posted a blog about that, but I did post a note on Facebook about it). We’ve been doing “patch therapy” for one hour every night for almost two months. We’ve done quite well and have only missed two days. We’ll see what the doctor has to say on Friday.

Then Saturday is something fun! A local consignment shop called “Trunk Treasures” is having their fall half-price sale! September 18 they had their half-price kids clothing sale and my sweet mother spend over $100 on BEAUTIFUL nearly new/name brand clothes for Shelby and Tucker. This Saturday is their sale on adult clothing and children’s equipment, toys, and books! Can’t WAIT! The doors open at 9am and that’s when I plan on being there!

So, after all of that is finished, Shelby is welcome to arrive! Her due date is Wednesday, October 13th. I’m praying that she gets here on Oct. 10 or 11. Wouldn’t 10/10/10 be a cool birthday?? I’m hoping she comes on a day after my husband has the night off from work. I want him to be wide awake for this momentous event! lol. I’m soooo glad that we have enough money in our savings account for my husband to take 2-3 weeks off of work to be home at night and help with feedings etc. I plan on breastfeeding Shelby for an entire year, but I like to pump sometimes so I can have a break and so my husband can get a chance to feed the baby. My husband looks so cute when he burps babies. I LOVED watching him burp Tucker and I can’t WAIT to see him burp our little girl. hehe. 😉

Oh, and I can’t BELIEVE that our precious little son is 16 months old today! He is a sweetheart and such a blessing from God. I’m so proud of him. He started walking last month and it’s just the cutest thing! I’m also proud of him for not crying today when he got his flu shot. He is going to be such a wonderful big brother!

Have you gotten your flu shot?

Pregnant women urged to get flu shot

from: http://www.babycenter.com/204_pregnant-women-urged-to-get-flu-shot_10338412.bc?scid=momspreg_20100921_B:4&pe=2Uwcn7F

Fri, Sep 17, 2010 (HealthDay News) — As flu season approaches, a coalition of the nation’s largest public health organizations are highlighting the need for pregnant women to protect themselves and their babies by getting immunized.

“Based on expert medical opinion, we urge all pregnant women, and women who expect to become pregnant, to get their influenza immunization because the flu poses a serious risk of illness and death during pregnancy,” Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes, said in a news release from the organization.

“The flu vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective,” she noted. “As an added bonus, during pregnancy, mothers pass on their immunity, protecting babies until they are old enough to receive their own vaccinations.”

On a cautionary note, however, experts point out that pregnant women should be sure to get the influenza shot, rather than the nasal spray vaccine option. The shot is made with a killed version of the virus, whereas the spray contains a weakened, but live, virus.

That said, the current education campaign highlights the fact that pregnancy increases the risk for sometimes fatal complications associated with the flu virus, including bacterial pneumonia and dehydration. Immune system changes that accompany pregnancy also increase the risk that a bout with the flu will require hospitalization, researchers have found.

Citing research presented in the April issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the March of Dimes news release noted that in the United States, pregnant women constituted 5 percent of all H1N1 fatalities in 2009 despite the fact that they made up just 1 percent of the American population.

Therefore, beyond getting vaccinated, pregnant women are advised to take additional precautions. Frequent hand washing, the use of hand sanitizers, and limiting exposure to children and sick people are some of the ways pregnant women can limit their flu risk.

People in close contact with pregnant women and/or young children should also be vaccinated, experts advise. And if and when a pregnant woman develops flu-like symptoms, medical attention should be sought immediately.

In its national effort to raise awareness of such pregnancy-specific flu risks, the March of Dimes is joined by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Pharmacists Association, the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For his part, Dr. Pascal James Imperato, dean and distinguished service professor of the School of Public Health at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in New York City, praises the effort to draw attention to the particular threat the flu virus poses in pregnant women.

“We discovered in the last influenza season that many pregnant women were not aware of this need,” he noted. “And also their obstetricians were not aware. And part of the reason is that pregnant women were not traditionally listed among the high-risk groups, such as people 65 and older, and individuals with any chronic debilitating health complication requiring ongoing health care,” Imperato explained.

“Health care providers and those providing critical services — such as firefighters and police — were later added to the list, but it’s only in the last couple of years that we added pregnant women,” Imperato noted. “Because of the physiological changes that take place in their bodies that make [pregnant women] more vulnerable . . . it’s very critical that they get immunized.”

On another note, this year, adults seeking immunization will need just one flu shot, as opposed to the two that the CDC recommended last season.

The CDC pointed out that last year’s concern over the H1N1 virus necessitated one shot for that flu as well as a second shot targeting the seasonal flu virus. This year, however, a single vaccine has been developed to protect against three types of flu: the H3N2 virus, the influenza B virus and the 2009 H1N1 virus.

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