Baby E's Peaceful (and Very Medical) Birth

Who knew being a new mom would be so busy? I should have known the first two weeks of E sleeping all day would be gone. But it's soooooo much more fun now.

Anyway, let's go back into the past of 14 weeks ago (yikes! my little E is getting so big!) on the fateful day I had an ultrasound appointment. As it turned out, not only was E completely breech, but I had low amniotic fluid as well. We went into the hospital at one point to have her turned, but it didn't happen. The doctor at that time said he was concerned about the low amount of fluid I had, and of course, he didn't explain why he was concerned. I had to look that up for myself. I was borderline oligohydramniotic (is that even a word or did I totally make that up?), which basically means I didn't quite have low enough amniotic fluid to warrant an emergency C-Section, but I would have to go in for weekly ultrasounds until my due date. Essentially, if the amniotic fluid drops below a certain threshold, the chance that umbilical cord could get pinched off goes way up. That's because there's less fluid to hold the baby suspended, so the cord could get stuck between the wall of the uterus and the baby's appendages. Not cool, obviously, so I was a bit worried.

Also since E didn't turn over, I decided to schedule a C-Section. We were given the option to let everything happen naturally, but after we weighed the pros and cons, we went for the scheduling option. Nevertheless, I still wanted to use Hypnobabies and have a family-centered C-Section. So, I went about creating my birth preferences, which included having E with me in the OR while I was being sewn up, having her breastfeed right away, and us being allowed to video the birth, among a lot of other things. My doctor and midwife both agreed to my preferences, and they said they would do everything they could to make sure the pediatrics people would let E stay with me.

So, a couple more weeks of ultrasounds showed my fluid decreasing even further (they don't know why, but there are several theories about it) until finally, at the end of March, I went in only to be told I was now officially below the threshold, and I needed to go right away to see my midwife. The midwife was pretty concerned as well, so they did a stress test, and E was fine. When she sat me down, I was terribly nervous, but, as always, my awesome midwife calmed me down. She said she didn't want to wait until the planned C-Section three days later. She wanted to get me in as soon as possible. That could have been that night or the next morning. But since E was doing fine, she didn't see the need for an emergency C-Section. Whew!

That turned out to be a blessing. The midwife had me scheduled for the next morning with a wonderful OB at a great time, considering I couldn't eat or drink for 12 hours before the surgery. Our friend, who was going to be at the birth, couldn't actually make the original date, but she could make the new one.

Basically here is how the birth went down:

We went to the hospital at 4:30 AM, walked to the maternity floor (after I convinced the security guard in the ER that I wasn't going to give birth before we got up there), went to the room where our friend was already waiting, put the horrible hospital gown on, and got hooked up to all sorts of monitors. The nurses were amazing. Everyone was laughing and having a good time, and then the big moment came. The worst part was sitting on the table having the spinal put in. It didn't hurt at all, other than where I was prodded against my spine, but for some reason I got a huge case of the shakes (non-medically induced). That sucked, but it went away when they laid me down on the table. The brought G and our friend in, talked me through the procedure, and E was born. I might add that there was a little more to it than that, but the whole thing was amazing. The doctors explained what they were doing and when. They let G announce E's sex. I was able to have E with me the entire time (all 45 minutes of it!), and it was so nice.

I was expecting the worst after everything I'd read about C-Sections, but really, I'm so glad I didn't wait and take the chance of having an emergency C-Section. Plus, I got my sweet baby E!

Hypnobabies makes for a very peaceful pregnancy...

So, as I mentioned in my last post, Miss E was born by a scheduled C-Section. This was probably the farthest from what I was expecting, since I had planned for a completely natural birth using Hypnobabies. Here's the first part of the story:

When I first found out I was pregnant, I got on the internet to my BFF about her birth. She'd had this awesome birth story, and I hoped to have something even kind of that awesome. Turns out she had used this program called Hypnobabies. They have in-person classes along with home-study ones. Since I was in the UK, and they don't have Hypnobabies classes there as far as I could see, she said she would send me her home-study materials, and then I could do the classes on my own time.

Hypnobabies isn't just a self-hypnosis study, it's a full childbirth education course. You don't just learn how to cope with pain; you learn all about what happens during the birthing time (Hypnobabies speak for 'labor') and methods to help your body do what it's supposed to do without pain (but not necessarily without discomfort). Essentially, you put yourself into a very relaxed state, getting around the Fear-Tension-Pain cycle that is commonly discussed in childbirth classes. I absolutely loved doing the classes! I was so incredibly relaxed from the first class I did, and I stayed that way throughout the pregnancy.

In fact, people kept mentioning how calm I was, and really, I felt calm! Even when things started not going to plan, I was calm about it. I had prepared myself for such a calm natural birth, but I hadn't realized how awesome I would feel during the pregnancy too. In fact, I had lots of people ask toward the end of my pregnancy if I was just ready for the baby to come already. I never ever felt that way. True to Hypnobabies, I wanted her to come when she was ready.

Doing Hypnobabies also helped me come to peace with having a scheduled C-Section, something which I don't think I would have been okay with otherwise. But more on that next time...

Suffice it to say, I'd recommend Hypnobabies to anyone who was interested in a non-medicated birth. If for nothing else to help with relaxation during pregnancy and birth!

My Pregnancy in a Nutshell

We found out last July that I was pregnant. I waited as long as possible to take the pregnancy test, and then I just couldn't wait any longer. One morning I woke up, completely unable to go back to sleep. So, at 4:00 am I took a test, and I thought I saw a line. I showed it to a very sleepy Mr G, and he said he didn't see anything. It didn't deter me, because I KNEW it was a line. I was right!

Fast forward to around 6 weeks later, and I started feeling ill all day, with it getting worse as the day wore on. The only things I could stomach were fruit, sugary things, and fried things. Even smells of other things just made me want to throw up. Meat was totally out, and vegetables were from Satan. It was not a pleasant experience. This lasted for around 6 weeks, and we traveled to California from Manchester while I had "morning" sickness. We wanted to wait to announce the pregnancy until 12 weeks, so it was hard trying to keep the pregnancy quiet when I basically couldn't eat anything. We did manage to keep it quiet though.

The healthcare I received in the UK during this time was excellent! We had some scares very early on, and I was able to get in immediately for ultrasounds to check on the baby. The only thing I didn't really care for was the inability to get to know the midwives who would be present during the birth. It was a disappointment, but then, I wasn't paying for the services either!

Fast forward to later in the year, and I was approached by my former employer about a possibility back in the US that I should apply for. It sounded great, so after a lot of consideration, I decided to apply for it. Well, I got it. So, we moved from the UK back to the US during my last couple of months of pregnancy. As crazy as it sounds, everything went great! My job is awesome, some of our friends are still here, and I was able to find an EXCELLENT midwifery practice in town. Everything was going so smoothly...and then I found out Miss E was breech...and she wouldn't turn for anything! We did an external cephalic version, I laid upside down on an ironing board, and I had chiropractic treatments. She just didn't want to turn.

So, I was scheduled in for a C-Section. As I'll write about in another post, I was very unhappy about having to schedule a C-Section, because I wanted to go all natural, but it turned out great and we got an awesome baby girl out of it! I'll talk about that later too. But in the meantime, here is a series of pictures we took during the pregnancy.

Here We Go Again

Well, we've moved back from Manchester to Colorado (yeah, I need to change the blog title), Miss E has arrived (I'll talk more about that in another post or five), and my life is chaotic yet again. Maybe it's the lack of sleep from getting up every 2-3 hours to feed Miss E or maybe it's the lack of computing time I've been getting lately, but I had a desire to blog again. So, here I am!

Since I haven't been writing for pretty much the entire year, I probably won't have a lot of writing related posts, at least not pertaining to me. But, I may talk about other writer friends who have books coming out or who are posting awesome things. I also hope to have some reviews of books I've managed to read in between working, breastfeeding, cooking, cleaning, etc. But for the time being, I would like to post some things about my pregnancy and birth experiences along with the experiences of being a new mom and product reviews. I was told all sorts of things about having a baby when I was pregnant, and some things worked out while others didn't. I felt like some pieces of advice or other people's experiences weren't realistic and sugarcoated the whole thing, so I plan to not do that here. I'll just tell it like it is, because I think that's more useful. Maybe writing about my experiences will be a little cathartic for me as well.

28 Week Update

So, I didn't start out doing updates, mainly because I had so much to do to get ready for the move.  Now I've moved, and I'm looking at pretty snow falling from the sky. I may not think it's so pretty if/when it starts to stick. But that's okay, because I've got a picture!! Please excuse the awful hair and lack of makeup.

So that's me at 28 weeks pregnant with baby Ninja. My mom took the picture with her new camera in a poorly lit hotel room.

I have my first midwife appointment in the US tomorrow, and I'm really excited about it!! I hope it goes well. So there's my update. I'll try to post more pictures when I get them later on, but I'm still really busy with moving, etc. It's tough to move, especially when you're pregnant!


Well, it's only been 7 months since I last posted anything on the blog. Bad Laura!! Well, now I'm back, hopefully regularly. only took the fact that I'm moving back to the US to convince me to post.

If you've not heard yet, I got a job offer back where I did my PhD. It looks like it will offer some really good opportunities to work from the ground up on some interesting projects and gain some experience in the process. So, after much deliberation with the hubby, we decided to make the move back. It just happens that he found a position as well! Honestly, I think this was all building, because also if you've not heard, I'm pregnant! After I found out, I started getting more and more homesick. Plus my visa ends in June anyway, so the timing was great.

We're both excited to be going back to someplace we love. At the same time, we're sad. It is already hard on me knowing I have to leave my friends behind, and they'll be so far away too! Apart from the people I've met here, there're a lot of great things about the UK that I'll miss as well:

  1. Blackcurrant jam
  2. Stately homes that are more than 3 centuries old
  3. Castles
  4. Intelligent politics (to a certain extent!)
  5. Pubs (they're not just for good beer!)
  6. Yummy Indian food
  7. Cheap(ish) flights to Europe
  8. Misfits, Sherlock, Have I Got News for You, period dramas, etc.
I'm sure I'm forgetting things off this list, but those were just things on my mind.

Next up for me is flying back to meet my parents, driving to Colorado, and starting my new job while trying to find a midwife while the hubby is tying up loose ends in the UK. He'll come out a month later. I'm excited and a little scared about what's to come. 

Next post: 26 week pregnancy update