L in LaLa Land

August 3, 2011

My Doula Experience

My friend Katena had a beautiful little boy 6 months ago and throughout pregnancy and labor she had many questions for me (since my son Alex is 9 months older). I spoke highly of my midwife, my birth plan, and most importantly my doula. Yes, I had a doula. Her name is Dee Dee and she is pretty awesome! I thought that she would be more of a coach for my husband (who likes to stay attached to his blackberry and the idea of that happening during my labor made me….angry LOL). However, she was more there for me during my braxton hicks and prodromal labor and the intense contractions after they gave me pitocin in the hospital. I always knew that Dee Dee had a calming and beautiful aura around herself and that’s exactly what I needed in labor and delivery. In a way, I became a mini coach for Katena during her delivery and it made me feel pretty awesome that I could help her like Dee Dee helped me.  Katena interviewed me about my doula and you can read it here


December 2, 2010

My Diastasis Has Got Me Down

At approximately 36wks pregnant (when EVERYONE  sworn I would’ve given birth by then), I went for my weekly check up with my midwife. I of course was depressed that I was only 1cm still, but I noticed while laying on the table that I had a slight bulge on my belly (that WASN’T the baby). Of course, being the slight hypochondriac that I am, I say “What’s that?” She nonchalantly says, “Oh, its a hernia. It should go away after childbirth.” I was ok with this WHILE AT THE OFFICE, but as soon as I got home I jumped on google. Word of advice, while pregnant, do NOT google everything (however, you should research and make informed and educated decisions on your pregnancy and birth). So google scared me half to death about women who herniated while pregnant. As my husband likes to say tho, it already was done so my goal was fixing it or not dwelling on it. I didn’t dwell on it because I was already paranoid enough. So naturally, after my c-section of my 8lb 2oz baby (yeah he was a lot bigger than they thought), while lying in bed I saw my stomach move and asked “is there another baby in there?!?” My doctor (where my midwife practiced) explained that my abdominal muscles separated during pregnancy and that what I was seeing was my intestines move. Eww gross. He then explained that the only way to fix it was through exercise and after 6wks, if I heal up nicely, that I could begin with 1 crunch a week and work up every 2wks. Imagine my attitude after a MALE doctor told me to workout after having a baby! By my 6wk checkup, I had learned that I had what’s called Diastasis Recti (probably with a slight hernia, yea its still there). There are two options to fix it, surgery (tummy tuck) or what’s called the Tupler Technique (a series of exercises targeted at closing the gap). I definitely wasn’t going to do surgery because I eventually plan on having at least ONE more child. I asked my ob/gyn (same guy who told me to exercise) about diastasis and the Tupler exercises. His response was, “Look, I’ll be happy if you just WORKOUT. Most of the clients here do not.” Wow, ok. I began, wrapping, binding, and whatever else I could do to pull my muscles together(and hide my belly). That worked for approx 1 month. Fast forward to now (4 months later) and I started P90X (which has been recommended NOT to do while having diastasis, so I skipped a lot of the ab work that strained that area). I went back to researching the Tupler Technique after week 2 of P90X. I was getting upset with what I had seen in the mirror. My body was showing results but my belly was still…gross. I stumbled upon a blog Shape of a Mother and that made me feel somewhat better. Beautiful women that had children and how they look. However, I’m sick of feeling the way I do about my belly (I look about 4-5mths preggo, I think I have a 8 finger separation) so I’ve decided to go ahead and get the Diastasis Rehab package. I wish there was someone here in Atlanta that did the training but there isn’t. So, as soon as I start, I’ll keep you updated on my progress. Wish me luck! Any other ladies with body issues after baby or dealing with diastasis?

He stuck out like a bullet which probably caused the diastasis

December 1, 2010

My Childbirth Story

At 39 weeks, my midwife told me that the practice would only let her have me go 1 week over my due date. I understood, working in healthcare, so I planned for when I would be out of school. I was banking on the fact that I would have a natural (meaning no drugs) childbirth and if I HAD to be induced, I was still going to have the baby vaginally. By week 40, I was doing all ‘natural induction‘ techniques but nothing seemed to work! My midwife hooked me up to a monitor in the office and I was contracting but not dilating. She gave me some evening primrose oil, said I could do Castor oil rubs, have sex and she expected to see me at the hospital in labor. The day of my scheduled induction, she was shocked that I still hadn’t gone into labor. By this point, I was having pretty consistent contractions at 10-15min apart but still not dilating. My midwife said the she would meet me at the hospital and start me with Cervidil. She explained that way, I can dilate with my contractions and the baby should be out by the morning. This was Wednesday evening at 7pm. 9am Thursday morning she came into my hospital room asking me why I didn’t have my baby yet. I had been on my birthing ball, changing positions, walking around…nothing. My midwife also had “words” (outside my room of course) with my RN on the morning shift because the RN decided to pull my Cervidil after the midwife said she wanted to be the ONLY one to touch me. Plus, this RN kept asking me when did I want pain medication because “at some point you’re GONNA need it“.  10am, Pitocin was started. She didn’t want to PUSH me, so she did smaller than the recommended increments because, that baby was coming out! That’s when things got hard. The pressure was a whole lot stronger than I had been feeling. My husband and doula would switch off and massage me, I was in and out of bed, still rolling on the ball, and I tried to eat but my appetite was gone. Around 6pm, after going to the potty and climbing back into bed, the RN came to check on me before her shift ended. In those 5 minutes of talking to her, I felt a huge rush of warm fluid and said, “Ooo, I think my water just broke!” She told me, “No, can’t be” (see why I didn’t like her?) To which I responded, “It can’t be pee, I JUST went!” She checked me, and almost said no again until she saw it still flowing and said, “you sure did break your water!” I felt relieved because the end was near. My midwife came back in (she was supposed to be off for 2 days from the hospital but she refused to let me birth without her), checked me and I was 5cm. Sometime after the next pitocin increment and the next 2hrs, I lost track of what was going on. I literally was in “active labor”, delusional, breathing thru each contraction (which seemed like 0min apart), and just wanted my husband by me holding my hand. The next time I saw my midwife, I asked for just a little something. I think she gave me Demerol which let me rest for about 10-15min. Around 9pm, the midwife was back in my room and I had oxygen on my face (where did THAT come from?). Her, the evening shift RN, my doula, and my husband had me changing positions constantly and trying to massage the baby down into my birth canal, which really hurt my back. The next thing I heard was my midwife quietly tell the nurse, “can you call Doctor Jordan?” My first words were, “I’m going to surgery? Can I get the epidural now?” The midwife explained that the baby’s heartrate started to drop and was not progressing down the birth canal. She wanted to wait a little longer but have the doctor ready. I asked for the epidural again. My husband and doula knew I was speaking out of pain, tiredness, and just plain delusional LOL. They told me it wasn’t what I wanted and I was doing so well. “Let’s not think of surgery. You are doing great, you are strong.” I started pleading with my husband, “I know that, this is not out of pain. I’m tired and about to go to surgery. I want the epidural!” Somehow, the husband and I decided to go ahead and get the epidural and see if I can progress and NOT be cut (I was trying to avoid a c-section). The midwife agreed. Of course, it seemed like hours for the anesthesiologist to get there and I was soooo relaxed after getting my epidural. I fell asleep and next thing I know it was midnight and my midwife told me the heartrate was still dropping, the baby still wasn’t coming down, and she didn’t want it to be an emergency c-section. I asked her to leave to discuss with my husband. I was comfortable to go ahead with the surgery because I felt that everything was done at that point. When my midwife came back in, I told her my decision and asked her to be in surgery next to my doctor. She agreed not to leave me until I woke up from surgery and b/c she did, I ended up with a beautiful stitch that she made sure the doc did (and refused for her to use staples)! I was asleep for the most part (which is why I didn’t want drugs, they hit me hard); turns out my son was FACE UP (yay for back labor) and 8lbs 2oz (they expected high 6s, low 7s). My husband woke me up, put my glasses on and let me kiss my son for the 1st time. I was happy it was over. I cried tears of joy.  It was great that he was healthy and I was recovering nicely. Below, you’ll find some important parts from my Birth Plan (which was loosely followed since I ended up with a c-section). Did your childbirth experience follow your birth plan? How closely?

My Birth Plan (excerpts):

I would like the room to stay as quiet and tranquil as possible.  I would like to keep the door closed, minimal interruptions, soft voices, dim lights, and soft music (provided by myself).  Please do not offer any pain medication to me. I will request it if needed.

  • I prefer not to have my labor augmented as long as baby and I are fine.  If my labor needs to be induced or augmented, I prefer natural methods (i.e.-nipple stimulation) and Cervidil (if needed)
  • infrequent vaginal exams
  • freedom to move around (including sitting up, walking around, etc.)
  • as long as the baby and I are doing well:  intermittent rather than continuous EFM,  no stringent time limits

If C-section is needed, I’d like:

  • My husband to be present at all times
  • the surgery to be explained to me as it happens
  • to breastfeed as soon as possible

"Hey there lil guy! Nice to finally meet you"

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