Posts tagged ‘IV’

Amanda and Madeleine

When I woke up on Tuesday, June 26th, I felt contractions that were stronger and more distinct than the contractions I’d been feeling on and off for a couple of weeks. Throughout the day, the contractions continued and were about 15 minutes to a half hour apart.

When I saw my OB in the afternoon, I was dilated to 1.5cm and 50-75% effaced. She stripped my membranes for the second week in a row and ran a fetal non-stress test because I was concerned that the baby had been abnormally quiet for the past several days. Although the contractions continued, my husband and I went out for a burger and gelato for dinner before heading home.

At home, in Kirkland, the contractions continued and began to get closer together and strong enough to really catch my attention. My husband and I took a 2-mile walk, and I suggested that he get some sleep because it seemed like labor was imminent. From about 10pm until 1am, I bounced on an exercise ball while reading a book between contractions. By 1:30am, I’d experienced contractions every five minutes lasting one minute for one hour. It was time to wake George and call the doctor!

I checked into triage at around 3am. Walking into the lobby, tears welled in my eyes upon seeing the night triage nurse. The moment I’d waited for for so long was finally here! The L&D triage nurses checked my progress and determined that I was about 1cm dilated – discouraging news given my earlier OB appointment. We walked the halls of Swedish for two hours and, as I did, the contractions seemed to be getting more painful.

We checked back with triage, and, after a cervix check, the nurse told me that I had not made any progress. I was given the options of going home unmedicated or going home after a morphine shot. Unhappy with either option, I left the hospital in tears. About a mile from the hospital, after having several contractions in the car, I declared that we were going to back to the hospital. Back at triage, my original nurse’s shift was ending and a different nurse checked my cervix. She determined that I had progressed, had a bulging sac causing pressure, and should be admitted to a room.

Around 7am, we were checked into the labor room; we met our nurse, Christie, who would stay with us for the entire day; and my OB checked in with us. I got into a good breathing rhythm, taking progressively longer breaths and then shorter breaths. I moved around the room and spent time laboring on the exercise ball and standing doing big swaying movements with my hips. Thankfully, my OB agreed with my wishes to not have an IV port, and she gave orders that I could have a general diet. After being up for so many hours and without food for more than12 hours, I took advantage and ate some hospital food and snacks we’d packed. Over several hours, I was set in a good rhythm, but the contractions didn’t seem to be getting any stronger, closer, or longer. Our nurse was really happy with how calm and controlled I was, using the breath to get through the contractions, and she showed me where I was getting a contraction and where my breathing was overriding it – pretty cool.

My OB came to check my cervix around 1:30pm. I was almost entirely effaced but had only progressed to about 2.5 or 3cm. We agreed with my OB that breaking the membranes was a good way to get the baby to drop and keep labor moving forward. Almost immediately, the contractions became significantly stronger, longer, and closer together with a great deal of pressure. These very strong contractions continued for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening. I tried several laboring positions, including the Jacuzzi tub, none giving any relief. I stuck with my breathing pattern and relied very heavily on my husband to keep me focused and in control. As afternoon turned to evening, I was becoming exhausted and hopeful that transition would be coming soon.

My OB came to check on us when she finished her office appointments, around 6:30pm. She checked my cervix, and I had only dilated to 4cm. Everyone was surprised and disappointed. She gave me the options of continuing labor as is, getting a narcotic to take the edge off the contractions, or getting a spinal epidural. I told her that I could keep going if we thought it’d only be another hour or so to active labor…but that I didn’t think active labor was that close given my mere 4cm dilation. She confirmed that it would be much more than an hour with labor typically progressing at 1cm per hour. I knew that I didn’t want the narcotic; however, I knew that I needed relief if I wanted to have a vaginal birth.

I requested the spinal epidural, which was administered around 7pm – after first getting an IV. It may have just been my perception, but it seemed like the contractions were coming even faster as the anesthesiologist was administering the epidural. Then, almost immediately after the epidural was complete, the contractions faded into the background; I could feel them, but they were weak enough that I didn’t feel the need to respond to them. This allowed my husband and me to catch some much needed rest while the baby and I were monitored continuously.

About two hours later, the on-call OB came in to check me and discovered I was complete and ready for active labor. About 30 minutes of pushing later, our daughter, Madeleine Ngaire, was born…on Wednesday, June 27th at 10:30pm. As the OB was putting her onto my chest, the umbilical cord ruptured because it was exceptionally short (less than 12 inches). This didn’t cause any medical issues for either of us. Madeleine weighed 7 lbs. 4.2 oz. and was 19.5 in. long and continues to be happy and healthy.

June 27, 2012 at 10:30 am Leave a comment

Lidia and Melody

After calculating that I had a good 60 hours of work to do before leaving for maternity leave in 2 weeks, I wrapped things up at work and met my husband at Anna’s Couples Yoga for Labor workshop. It was Friday so I was tired from a busy work week. But on top of being tired, I was also feeling a strange tightness in my lower back and abdomen, which Anna also noticed while adjusting me during one of the poses. The workshop was very informative, and after doing all of the poses I went home feeling much more relaxed.

The next day, on Saturday, we had our first meeting with our newly hired doula, Lissett, who had also been our hypnobirthing instructor. During her visit I mentioned that I had been feeling some tension in my lower abdomen and that I was having some difficulty emptying my bladder completely which led her to suggest that perhaps the baby had dropped. It was 3 ½ weeks prior to the due date so I quickly discarded this possibility since this seemed like something that should happen closer to the due date. After Lissett left a couple of friends arrived from out of town to spend the weekend with us. We had a pleasant evening and tucked in for the night.

Sunday morning I woke up surprisingly rested but starting to feel like I had menstrual cramps. This was strange but I got up and got ready to go to a place nearby for breakfast. I still hadn’t mentioned the “cramps” to my husband but at the restaurant, as we talked, I felt the pain intensify. We left the restaurant and once home I told my husband, Jason, that I wasn’t feeling well and that I would call the midwife to see if she could help me understand what was going on. The plan for the day was for Jason and his friends to go shopping for the day while I stayed home to do some work. So, still hoping that I would have a normal day, I told Jason to go shopping and I would call him if necessary. As he left our room and walked down to the living room I started realizing that the “cramp” wasn’t necessarily intensifying, it was coming and going. Immediately after this realization I suddenly felt overwhelmed so I called him back to the room to let him know of the change of plans: He needed to call the midwife and the doula to let them know some major was happening.

At this point I was still in denial about what was happening. I was not ready to accept that I was in labor because I still had a lot of work to do both at my job but also at home. We had made the decision to have the baby at home but we weren’t quite ready with all of the supplies needed for a home birth. But it wasn’t long until I had to accept that this was it. After Jason reached the midwife and the doula, the conclusion was that I was in labor and, at that point, an active one.

A couple of hours later, Lissett arrived and relieved Jason of his post so he could start to gather the supplies and make a few phone calls. One of the phone calls was to the couple that was staying with us for the weekend to let them know that I was in labor and to ask them to bring a few remaining supplies. After another couple of hours the midwife, Loren, arrived with the news that she had checked the result of the group B-strep exam I took earlier that week and that I tested positive for the infection, which meant that I had to be injected with the antibiotics before the birth. This proved to be very difficult because at that point I was already having the urge to push but I had to be still for what felt like an eternity until the entire bag of the IV solution was administered. The antibiotic was also supposed to be in my body for 2 hours before the baby was born which ended up not happening. Once the antibiotic was administered, I got into one of the poses I had just learned at the yoga workshop and I stuck with it through the rest of the labor.

At 17:03 after a little over an hour of pushing (and a fair share of screaming), Mel was born. She was a healthy 6 lbs 14 ounces at birth and as soon as I had her in my hands all the memories of pain were replaced instead by an extreme feeling of joy. What a day! When I woke up that Sunday, I could not have in my wildest dreams guessed that later that same that same day she would be in my arms. It was a crazy and wonderful day which we also got to share with our friends who arrived back from a day of shopping just a couple of minutes before they heard Melody’s first cries. Our baby girl scored 9 points in the Apgar system and is doing great. I am thankful to all that helped us in this process including Anna, Lissett, and Loren.

May 20, 2012 at 5:03 am Leave a comment

Chrissy and Rylan

On Thursday January 12th at 9:30 a.m., my water broke. I was in the laundry room putting clothes into the dryer. I wasn’t completely sure, but I knew I hadn’t involuntarily peed my pants. A few minutes later, I felt a smaller burst, then I decided to go sit down and read my pregnancy book to make sure this was really happening. I should have known since I was already 6 days over due. As I was sitting there reading, I felt a larger gush. Yep, that’s it!

I called my husband and told him the news and he came home from work. I then called Puget Sound Birth Center, my doula, Mom, then Dad. Nicole was the midwife on duty. She told me to eat a lot of calories, drink a lot of liquids and get rest. My husband and I both took advantage of that. By this time it was about 12:30 pm, so I had my husband go to Kidd Valley and get us burgers and fries. He added in milkshakes.

My contractions started at about 1:30 pm and were about as strong as period cramps. My mom came over to pick up our dog at about 3:30 pm and my contractions had picked up a bit. She had also helped with my calorie intake by bringing cupcakes from Cupcake Royale, so I had a cupcake. Nicole checked in with us a little before 7:00 pm and had told me to eat another meal before my contractions became more frequent, so I did, then I finished it off with my chocolate peanut butter shake.

From 7:00-8:00, my contractions went from tolerable to pretty painful. When we talked to Nicole earlier, she had said that I should try to get some sleep and even get into bed early because it would be beneficial later. She had said she’d probably see us the next morning. My doula, Summer, said the same thing. Well, they were both surprised to get the call that my labor had sped up drastically.

Summer got to our house at 9:00 pm and I labored at home until 10:45 pm when we left for the birthing center. By this time, my contractions were back to back. I had 3 from my doorway to the car. We arrived at the birthing center at 11:15 pm. Nicole and her midwife in training, Katy, checked me out and I was dilated to an 8. I then got into the tub and continued to labor with my backside on the wall of the tub. They had me turn around and put my arms on the edge of the tub to get my IV in (antibiotics for group B strep). The IV was in for 20 minutes and it was the longest 20 minutes ever!

I continued in child’s pose and suddenly got the sensation to push. Katy had to help manually with moving the last part of my cervix so I could push. I pushed for about an hour. I could hear Nicole commenting on all the hair on the baby’s head when she crowned, then her head came out and on the next push her body.

Katy pushed her towards me in the water between my legs and I caught her, turned around and put her to my chest. She was alert with her eyes wide open and didn’t make any noise right away, then let out a big yell.

She was born at 1:09 am on Friday the 13th. My husband cut her chord (which was very short) and they had me hand her to him. He held her skin to skin while I delivered the placenta. I got out of the tub, dressed and laid down on the bed with her to feed her. The midwives weighed her and measured her. She was 7lb. 6oz. and was 20.5 inches long.

My dad had brought home made croissant sandwiches for everyone, so we all ate our meals, packed up and were on our way home in no time. We were home and settled by 4:00 am with our beautiful baby girl, Rylan Amanda Jones.

That’s our story!

January 13, 2012 at 1:09 am Leave a comment

Laura and Charlotte

Charlotte was born on Wednesday May 12, 2011 at 10:10 a.m. It’s hard to tell the story of her birth without saying that we, my husband Trent and I, had hoped for a natural birth laboring at home as long as possible. Charlotte, apparently, had other ideas. At 41 weeks, an ultra sound showed low amniotic fluid levels that persisted and worsened over the course of three days despite my efforts to rest and hydrate. On Wednesday morning, the ultra sound confirmed that my fluid levels had slipped just below the “critical” level. Delivering the results, Sharon, the midwife, said what I already knew, “It’s time to have a baby.” Though an induction, complete with Petocin, IV, continuous monitoring and laboring at the hospital was not what we’d hoped for, I felt very confident it was the right decision. The good news was that I was already dilated 4 cm and 85% effaced. Sharon assured me this was a very good place to begin an induction and promised to help us maintain as much of our birth plan as possible.

We walked down to the Family Maternity Center at Evergreen and settled in to our birth suite. The nurse started the Pitocin drip at 1pm. Trent and I spent the afternoon resting, snacking, briskly walking the halls, lunging and doing down dog on a chair in the waiting room trying to get things moving along. Though contractions started within a few hours it was not until about 8pm that they became strong enough that I had to focus during each one. At that point the nurse said, as she wrote in my chart, “We’re going to call this labor.” I thought it was pretty funny that I’d been at the hospital for more that 8 hours and we’re just now calling it labor.

One of the side effects of Pitocin is that contractions have a tendency to “pile-up” meaning that they can come very close together very early in labor even when the contractions are not particularly intense. As a result, my contractions were coming about a minute to a minute and a half apart from the very start of labor. After a while, it became very tiring because I had little time to rest between contractions. Periodically, the nurse or midwife would turn down the Pitocin drip and the contractions would space out again, but as they built in intensity, the they piled-up once more. For the first four hours, I coped with the contractions by walking the halls and leaning over the counter or bed doing hip circles and vocalizing during contractions. Trent rubbed my back though I found I didn’t like to be touched during a contraction.

Around midnight, the contractions were much more intense and continued to come very close together. I began to feel fatigued. Sharon checked my cervix. It was only 5cm and I began to doubt, for the first time, that I would be able to cope with labor without an epidural (especially if every centimeter took four hours).

Sharon suggested that I try getting in the tub, but I was reluctant to try it. I had a strong urge to lean forward during contractions and felt that would be difficult in the tub. She suggested I try kneeling on the bed over a bean bag instead. I tried it and obtained some relief, but within about an hour the contractions were very intense coming every thirty seconds or so, followed by an occasional break of what felt like 3 or 4 minutes. While this might sound like a good thing, I quickly realized that every “break” was followed by a very intense contraction during which I vomited and peed on myself (TMI?). I couldn’t make it to the bathroom and found myself throwing up in some kind of container, peeing on the floor, apologizing to the nurse in between heaves and thinking I can’t believe I’m peeing in front of my husband. Trent, however, didn’t flinch; he just stood there with a hand on my back holding a container while I puked up the sandwich the nurses warned me about eating. I asked Trent what he thought about this later and he said, “That got real.”

Exhausted, I finally relented and tried the tub. The warm water provided a tremendous amount of relief for the next few hours as the contractions became very intense and came in rapid fire succession. Trent poured water over my belly and took orders while I barked “turn off the water, turn it back on, don’t talk to me, okay you can talk to me again.”

Around 2 am, I was exhausted and no longer coping with the contractions very well. I got out of the tub and Sharon checked my cervix again. I was afraid she’d tell me I hadn’t progressed and I’d become discouraged, but Sharon delivered the good news: 8 cms. I would have thought this news would give me the encouragement to push through, but it had the opposite effect. My immediate reaction was “Oh thank God. Now I can get an epidural.” I felt I could get the epidural at this point and (because we were so far along probably avoid most of the potential side effects I’d worried about. Trent and Sharon were supportive of my decision.

As Sharon and the nurse prepped me for the anesthesiologist, I entered the transition phase of labor. The contractions became extremely sharp and stronger than before. During each one, I doubled over in pain and my attempts at “vocalization” came out more like “owwwwch!” I was afraid they would tell me it was too late to get the epidural, but instead, the anesthesiologist simply said, “Once I start, I can’t stop so you have to hold still.” Afraid of what might happen if I didn’t, I sat on the bed braced against my husband, Sharon and the nurse through two contractions while the epidural was administered. Once it was in, the relief came within minutes and I remember saying, “this is the best thing that ever happened to me!”

Now happily oblivious to the contractions, Sharon checked my cervix again. I was at 9 cms. She broke my water, turned down the Pitocin and encouraged me to get some rest before pushing. She also informed me that the baby was turned slightly to the side, but would hopefully turn on her own as dilation completed. I asked Sharon, “If she doesn’t turn, can she be delivered vaginally in this position?” Sharon said, “I think she’ll turn.” I repeated, “but if she doesn’t?” Sharon replied, “I’m really confident she’s going to turn.” The message was clear and I was now stuck in bed unable to do anything to help Charlotte turn. I worried that I’d opted for pain relief at the expense of a vaginal birth, but tried to share in Sharon’s confidence. Labor slowed and I went to sleep. That was about 4 am.

I woke up around 7am. Sharon’s shift was over and Janice, another midwife, took her place. She checked my cervix and delivered the good news. My cervix was “complete” AND the baby had turned into an ideal face down position. It was time to start pushing. At my request, the anesthesiologist turned down the epidural. Though I still had some pain relief, I regained feeling and movement in my legs and could feel contractions to aide in pushing. I pushed lying on my side, alternating from side to side with help from Trent and the nurse holding my legs. After about an hour and forty-five minutes, I thought there is no way I’m ever going to get this baby out. I really wished I was able to squat or kneel to enlist the help of gravity, but even though I could feel my legs, there was no way I was going to be able hold myself up. So there I am, laying on the delivery table, actually thinking to myself, how can I get out of having to push this baby out? There must be some other way! Considering that an elective cesarean would have been a little drastic at that point, I grabbed Trent’s hand, regained my focus and pushed as hard as I could calling, “Come on Charlotte. Come out and join us.” About 15 minutes later, Charlotte crowned. The longest moment of my entire life was between crowning and waiting for the next contraction to push her out. It finally came and one push later, at 10:10 a.m., Charlotte literally popped out. Trent cut the umbilical cord. The nurses gave her a once over (because there had been some meconium in the amniotic fluid) and then finally handed Charlotte to me. Trent and I cuddled her and after a few attempts she began breast feeding. Trent and I have been totally smitten ever since.

May 12, 2011 at 10:10 am Leave a comment

Nicole, Hersch & Jake – Give Health a Chance

©Dr. Mark Adams 2010. All rights reserved.

“So have you thought about when you want to have your babies? the doctor asked.

My wife was 32 weeks along with twins, and the 40 week due date was almost two months away. Yet we were being asked to schedule it like a root canal. Or perhaps around our work schedule.

“Statistics show that twins do better when born around 38 weeks,” the doctor continued. “So you should know what you want to do within the next two weeks.”

Schedule the birth of babies? A bit surprised, we said, “We’re going to wait until the babies tell us they’re ready. Let’s give health a chance and play its course.”

Each subsequent checkup had the same prodding tone until we passed that 38-week mark.

“I think you should induce today,” the doctor said in a suddenly more ominous tone.

My wife was now just past 39 weeks and wrapping up another appointment where both she and the boys continued to show every possible sign of fantastic health.

“You are now well past the statistical norm of 38 weeks for healthy babies. So we need to see these babies now before anything happens to them,” the doctor continued in a less than encouraging manner. She was outside her comfort zone. Or just didn’t like that we weren’t following her advice.

“But what happens if they still aren’t ready?” asked my wife, who was clearly not yet in labor.

“What are the risks and unintended consequences of babies being born before they are ready? Besides, there are always statistical outliers in both positive and negative directions for any averages.”

My wife and I got a 2nd opinion and, unexpectedly, a brilliant new doctor.

“We’re going to wait. Let’s give health a chance,” we all decided.
My wife’s water broke at 40 weeks and 2 days. Full term with twins.

“Your wife’s temperature is rising, we may want to consider antibiotics so the babies aren’t put in danger for infection,” the doctor told us during early labor.

“What are the long-term risks to the babies if we do give antibiotics right now?” With more information and mother’s intuition, we said, “Let’s reassess in an hour. Let’s give health a chance.”

My wife’s fever broke and she went into final stages of labor without antibiotics.

“We think you’re a candidate for a C-section because you aren’t dilating as quickly as we’d like and having twins is a high-risk pregnancy,” the labor nurse stated.

“We’ll cross that bridge if it becomes medically necessary. Let’s give health a chance.”

The twins were born vaginally 41 minutes apart. Herschel Washington Darland Adams weighed 6 lbs 11 oz and Jacob Michael Darland Adams was born 6 lbs and 1 oz.

“We’ll need to give Jake a shot or an IV if his glucose levels don’t come up,” the nurse told us less than 10 hours after birth while resting in our room with the boys.

“Let’s give health a chance,” as we politely yet firmly said no.
Jake & Hersch left the hospital with us and were safely at home 24 hours after birth with no shots of any kind injected into their young bodies.

“Wow, the babies look so healthy and are so strong!” the pediatrician told us at their 5 day well-baby checkup.

“But they’ve lost 10% of their birth weight, and studies show they can’t afford to lose any more weight,” she claimed as if forgetting what she’d just said and observed with the babies.

“I would normally recommend supplementing with formula immediately, but I know you aren’t going to do that.”

If it was a medical necessity or their mom wasn’t producing breast milk, we would consider it. But neither was the case.

“Have you ever really looked at the actual ingredients of formula? Let’s give health a chance,” we told her.

Hersch and Jake both were back to their birth weight within a week and were surging ahead with growth less than 10 days after birth on their mother’s breast milk.

Where’s the lesson in all this?

I believe there is a time and place for everything, including the most invasive medical interventions. But this wasn’t one of those times or places. And I know this is our story and no one else’s.
But giving birth is not a disease, so why is the default to treat it as such?

Same goes with much of our own health. Living is not a disease, either.

Yet, that is how we approach “healthcare.”

You see, few people talk about the long-term risks and unintended consequences of NOT giving health a chance.

And we are all paying for it one way or another in the midst of the 3-D recession of disease, dysfunction and dissatisfaction.

No budget in the world is big enough if we don’t give health a chance.
So I want to encourage you that if you find yourself struggling or are not as well as you’d like to please remember you do have choices.

And, sometimes, like with Hersch & Jake, you may need to make the same choice repeatedly in spite of what others might tell you.

Here’s the truth: Your body naturally tends toward health if given a chance.

So let’s give health a fighting chance.

Good things tend happen if you do, just ask Hersch & Jake!

August 27, 2010 at 4:23 am Leave a comment

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