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Thursday, April 6, 2017

James Christopher's Birth Story Part 1

Part 1 will consist of important details leading up to labor starting.  I want to remember as many details as possible, so this is the easiest way to keep the posts from being too long.  Feel free to read my oldest's birth story and my middle child's birth story as well.

I knew I wanted an out of hospital birth with my third baby.  I had attempted a birth center birth with Genevieve, my oldest, but after 6 hours of pushing, I was a hospital transfer and ended up with a c-section.  With Benjamin, my middle child, money was an issue, so we opted for a hospital birth with wonderful midwives.  The providers who cared for me with Benjamin's birth also have a birth center, so I knew that was where I wanted to birth.

I made sure to take care of myself during pregnancy.  I continued to go to boot camp until around 35 weeks and my body told me it needed rest, so I listened.  I ate decently.  I was far from eating Paleo, but I made better choices than I did with my previous pregnancies.

Right before I found out I was pregnant, I learned that I have the MTHFR mutation.  Man, I wish I had known about this with my other pregnancies.  I knew that folic acid was a huge no-no and to take vitamins with methylfolate or folicinic acid instead.  My naturopath also prescribed 2 different vitamin Bs for me to take as well.

All was going well with my pregnancy and such; however, at 30 weeks, I learned that there might be an issue and VBACs might not be allowed at the birth center.  I definitely started to stress because I did not want to be at the hospital unless medically necessary.  It would be easier logistically to be at the birth center because we were planning on the kids being at the birth.  Thankfully I was informed at my 36 week appointment that I would be able to continue as a birth center patient.  Whew!

Then at my 38 week appointment, things changed.  When the midwife measured my fundal height, I was now measuring 2 weeks ahead.  For some people, this might not seem like a big deal, but with Genevieve I had polyhydraminos (poly for short) which is excess amniotic fluid.  There can be complications with poly.  The midwife had me do a quick ultrasound to check fluid levels.  Pretty much as soon as I saw the ultrasound on the screen, I knew I had a lot of fluid.  She did her measurements and sure enough, I had poly.  Again.  I was informed that I would not be able to birth at the birth center and would need to have the baby by 40 weeks or we would need to talk induction. Baby was also posterior, which is not a good position.  Immediately my mind went to "this is exactly what happened with Genevieve."  My midwife was very kind and reminded me that I have had a vaginal birth and this is not the same situation as Genevieve's birth.

Once I left the appointment, I met up with Chris for lunch and told him what was going on.  He was upset for me and also concerned about the baby.  Again, there are complications that can arise from poly.  I might be naive, but since we had been down this road before, I was not as worried as I was when I found out I had poly with Genevieve.

When I got home, I called a friend and we chatted.  We discussed how I had the stomach bug for the last week and was dehydrated.  Maybe the excess fluid was my body's way of protecting the baby while I was sick. Another friend suggested drinking a ton of water.  It sounds counter intuitive, but maybe drinking the extra water would help flush excess fluid.  I was willing to give anything a chance. I drank at least a gallon of water every day for the next week.  I infused my water with lemon or cucumbers and drank as much as I could.

The plan was to check at 39 weeks to see what was happening.  Maybe baby would turn into a better position, dispersing fluid levels.  Who knows.  I was viewing the 39 week appointment as the "big" appointment and tried everything to get baby out of the posterior position.  I went to my regular chiropractor every day.  The day of my 39 week appointment, I went to a different chiropractor who is amazing with pregnant mamas and babies.  This office was the one I went to with Benjamin's pregnancy, and I know they do more ligament work, which is what I felt I needed.

After the chiropractor appointment, I drove up to the birth center and met with a birth worker to do some energy and body work.  She tried to determine the baby's position and could tell baby was head down, but it was hard to determine anything else.  Baby still felt OP to me.  She had me get on my hands and knees and did some work on my low back and ligaments.  I could feel that the baby definitely shifted, but it still felt OP to me.  Something felt different though.

I went out to the waiting room to wait for my appointment with the midwife.  Chris met me there with the kids because I knew I needed support for this appointment, depending on what the outcome was.  When I stood up when they called me back, I felt the baby turn from OP to OA.  I didn't say anything, but inside, I was screaming "yay!" After the nurse took my vitals, I stood up because I was concerned baby would turn posterior when I sat.

When the MW came in and measured my fundal height, I was measuring right on track! She asked if I wanted to check the fluid via ultrasound and I definitely did. The only thing I could get would be the same news: excess fluid, or good news: normal fluid. She did her measurements, and guess what?  No poly!!! My fluid was normal-high, but still normal.  I couldn't believe it.  It is what I had hoped would happen, but not what I expected to happen.  She confirmed that I could birth at the birth center now.  Talk about a whirlwind of emotion! I made my 40 week appointment and was on my way.  I really didn't think I would make it to my 40 week appointment, but you never know!

My 39 week appointment was on a Thursday.  As soon as we were finished, I texted my friend Kirsten to let her know the news.  She was so excited and predicted that I would go into labor Friday night and baby would be born on Saturday.  I said that's fine, I just want to get through Genevieve's Friday dance class and then it is game on for labor. The plan was for Kirsten to be at the birth to be a support for me and to help with the kids as needed.  I opted not to get a doula this time.  Kirsten and I chat a lot about birth and we both agreed that we would prefer to have a good friend at our next births.  I knew Kirsten would be strong enough to get through to me during labor and that's what I needed.

Friday came and I was having contractions throughout the day.  Not baby producing contractions, but definitely more than what I had been experiencing.  I even texted Chris saying "these contractions either need to stop or turn into real labor."  The kids and I ran errands in the morning.  Then we headed to dance class that afternoon.  That class was a parent observation class and the teacher had the girls come get a parent to dance with.  I was still having contractions and was not amused about this, but I did it anyway.

We drove home and as I turned on to our street, my gas light came on.  I don't like to let my gas get low, so I was surprised this happened.  I told Chris when I got home that we needed to go get gas after dinner. We ate dinner and then headed to get gas and ice cream.  It was the first time the kids had Dairy Queen and they loved it.  No surprise there! Lol.  Got home and I insisted on folding the 4 loads of laundry I had washed that day and Chris worked on getting the kids ready for bed.  Chris was laughing at me insisting on folding this laundry while I was having contractions.  Again, not strong contractions and I was able to talk through most of them, but still. Kids were in bed around 9:30 and I think I finally went to bed a little after 11 pm...




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