Postpartum Back Pain and the Ghostbed

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During labor and delivery, it was discovered the my son’s umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and he was facing up. The combination meant that his heart rate kept dropping dangerously low. After several hours, a positioning specialist came in to try to find a position for me to loosen the cord around his neck.

Needless to say, it was uncomfortable. I’d already had my epidural and couldn’t feel the limitations of my body very well.

After having my son, it was discovered that I likely had a fractured tailbone, in addition to a messed up SI joint and my hips were out of alignment.

All of these problems are unfortunately still lingering. I find myself in rather extreme pain at different times and I realized that some of my lifestyle choices were not helping. My mattress was one of the biggest culprits. 

We finally made the decision to find a new mattress. It was a very necessary decision, since we were still sleeping on the $200 mattress I’d bought when I moved out of my parent’s house after high school (yikes). We were overwhelmed with information and suggestions on mattresses and it’s no small purchase, so we wanted to be informed consumers.

We finally selected the Ghostbed for its great reviews, moderate price, level of firmness and quick shipping. The mattress also has a cooling top layer.

  • 100% Designed and Manufactured in the USA
  • Cooling Technology + Memory Foam
  • 20 Year Warranty
  • Firmness Rating of 6.5
  • 101 Night Sleep Trial
  • Free Shipping
  • It comes in a box (don’t be skeptical) and it’s vacuum sealed. The box is heavy, but the mattress expands fully in 24 hours (but can be slept on immediately).
  • Plush Cover
  • Optional Box Spring + Pillows

After much review, this mattress was indefinitely the right choice for us.

The box arrived quickly and after getting it to our second floor, we opened the box/bag and it expanded rapidly. It’s firm, but not too firm. It supports my body in all the right places and it truly stays much cooler than a typical mattress.

I wear a FitBit regularly and my typical sleep pattern is pretty rough. Generally waking fully 3-5 times a night and restless 20+ times. My FitBit quickly showed the changes in my sleep patterns after switching to the Ghostbed. The first few nights, I was awake 1-2 times,and restless fewer than 10 times. That is a huge improvement. Not only that, but my lower back pain was reduced dramatically in the morning. Life changing. 

I am a Ghostbed believer. I hope that it holds up for as long as it says it will, because I’m addicted. I look forward to bed, not that I didn’t before, but now I feel like I could hang out in my bed all day. gb-mat-deco.png

Ghostbed is affordable! We bought a King size for $875. Very reasonable in comparison to some of the mattresses running around $4,000 with much worse ratings.

I 100% recommend Ghostbed and am so thankful for reduced postpartum back pain!

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Want to try it for yourself?

Here’s a $50 coupon!

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– Katie

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I Am The 1-In-4

“I’ll see you in my dreams tonight.
I’ll kiss your cheek and hold you tight.
I have no more tears left to cry.
You’ve flown away, my butterfly.”

This is not going to be a typical BurritoBuzz blog post. Typically we’re reviewing products, being sarcastic, writing about Lego’s and organization. We’re making our readers laugh and living the happy mommy dream one post at a time. However, I am sharing with you today about a topic that isn’t talked about, taboo in a sense; people aren’t made aware of it because no one talks about it and it’s heartbreaking: pregnancy loss. This is going to be real and this is going to be tear-jerking, but not only do I want others to be able to try to understand, I want other moms who have experienced loss to know that the moms here at BurritoBuzz sympathize with you, can relate and are here for you. 

**Please keep in mind that this is my experience. If you have cramping, bleeding, back pain or another out-of-the-norm symptom, please call your doctor or visit your nearest ER as soon as possible. **

I couldn’t even think of a witty typical BurritoBuzz title for this post and I’m sure that has to do with the fact I simply can’t think at all right now. It’s like a blurred shade has been pulled over my eyes and I just go through the motions to make it through the day.

Nothing I can put into words will truthfully help anyone understand. It’s one of those situations, that if you haven’t been there, you can’t even begin to imagine the pain. It’s one of the worst things I have experienced in my entire life, and I’m still trying to figure out how to make it from day to day. I promise I’m not being overly dramatic, it absolutely f*cking sucks. a27c0fe7949608c3784b2b824e541dd3

The wounds are fresh and very, very new. Not even a week ago, I was being rushed to the ER via ambulance with my 10 week old fetus in a tiny little container on my lap. I had suffered a spontaneous complete miscarriage at home at 9:42pm on Thursday, September 8th, 2016.

Let me start from the beginning. Here’s how it all happened:

Sunday, September 4th – I was seen in the ER for minor spotting with no accompanied cramps. An ultrasound was done and we were told our baby was fine, growing right on schedule, strong heartbeat and the spotting was from a subchorionic hematoma and there was nothing to worry about. Given the positive news, Danny (my husband) left for a funeral in California.

Tuesday, September 6th – I was back in the ER, as the blood had increased, still no cramping. Given the same information as before in regards to the baby being healthy and everything looking perfect.

Wednesday, September 7th – I was seen by an OB. I had yet another ultrasound where she told me everything was perfect, the baby looked great. I still had the subchorionic hematoma, but there was no harm to me or the baby. She told me I had a less than 2% chance of pregnancy loss. I was told to expect some minor (if any) cramping while the bleed cleared itself out. She then reiterated the “low, low risk of loss.” I remember hugging her as I left and thanking her because she put my mind at ease. I immediately called Danny and told him the great news.

Thursday, September 8th – Typical day at home. No bleeding. Few twingy cramps here and there, but nothing worrisome, all to “be expected.” I laid down in bed with C (he sleeps in my bed when Danny is out of town). I felt a peculiar “pop” right above my pelvic bone and vaguely remembering Googling “can you feel you baby move at 10 weeks?” While reading about how chances are extremely slim, I felt more wetness than normal. I figured I was spotting again. I had light panty liner on, so no worries. However, felt the urge to go pee. I stood up out of bed and from there to the hospital is a huge blur. I remember barely making it to my tile floor before the amount of blood became alarming, as it pooled around my feet. I remember trying to stay calm since my 3 year old son was still awake. I remember sitting on the floor of the bathroom on the phone with Danny telling him I had a miscarriage and was holding our 10 week old fetus in my hands. He didn’t want to believe me, swore I was mistaken because less than 36 hours prior I was told everything was perfect. I called my mother-in-law to come stay with C and I sat on the bathroom floor, in a huge puddle of blood, clots and tissue, with our baby, crying hysterically. I remember intermittently answering and making phone calls to my husband and listened to his beg and plea for me to be okay and get to the hospital. I remember trying to clean up the floor before my mother-in-law got there. I suppose this was out of embarrassment and instinct. I don’t remember her coming over and I don’t remember calling 911, but now know the reason I did was the amount of blood I lost. I don’t remember how my baby got placed into a tiny Tupperware container. I don’t remember the ambulance ride or getting to the hospital. I was in such a daze. A blank stare daze. I didn’t speak. I didn’t think. I didn’t move. I laid in the hospital bed, still hemorrhaging severely while the doctors did whatever they needed to. There were so many people, so many questions, gowns, blankets and IVs. My heart rate was through the roof and my blood pressure was low.  I had lost a significant amount of blood, to the point they were hanging bags of blood to give me (which I guess I refused until 100% medically necessary). They estimated from 9:42pm to the time I had gotten to the hospital, I lost between 550-575 ml of blood. I don’t remember anything else past that point. I was discharged roughly 8 hours later with instructions, narcotics and an empty womb.

September 9th-12th – Bleeding, mild cramping, exhaustion and still emotionally numb.

Monday, September 12th – I followed up with OB today and it was horrible. I walked down the hallway of the Women’s Health Clinic as the sound of fetal heart monitors echoed out of the rooms and into the hallway. The doctor came in, did an ultrasound and said that aside from some average clots and a thick uterine lining, my body had expelled everything itself, as if I was somehow unaware of this. She prescribed Cytotec to re-induce labor, Percocet and Ibuprofen for pain. The Cytotec will “shorten the rest of the process to 1-2 days”. I can’t write about my experience with the Cytotec because I haven’t began taking it yet and haven’t decided if I will. If I chose to take it, I will write about it. My body is naturally doing what it is supposed to do and the doctor said everything will resolve itself. I did not need and as of right now, will not need a D&C. This appointment was extremely hard. Not only did I see the same doctor who told me the day before I miscarried that everything was “perfect,” but I also saw my barren uterus. The same uterus that was so full of life, kicking feet and a beating heart last week. It really took a bigger toll on my already fragile emotional state.

Emotionally, I’m still not sure what is going through my head. The “Stages of Grief Cycle” is  a universal kinda thing but what is all true is that we all grieve differently and this cycle is a bunch of bullshit. Just because I’m choosing to share my story doesn’t mean I am in the “Dialogue and Bargaining” stage and given how I’m feeling, I am image011_0somewhere between my personally improvised grief cycle categories of “not wanting to get out of bed in the morning” and “sitting on the couch in a daze all day.” What has truthfully helped me a teeny tiny bit, is the outreaching of my family and friends who have been there and experienced a loss. The support of my husband is outstanding and people have come out of the woodwork to offer their condolences and share their stories. They’ve offered “tips and tricks” for what has helped them, links to websites, books, songs, blogs, etc. Does it heal the pain? Absolutely not. Does it help by surrounding yourself with others who can truthfully relate? Absolutely. Surround yourself with anyone and everyone you feel comfortable with and bask in the love and support you’ll receive. There have been moments when I want to be 100% alone and just be able to cry and scream without anyone consoling me. There have been moments when I want someone around because I won’t breakdown around others and it’s nice to be able to feel “normal” in the sense of having a casual conversation. It’s a crazy mixture of wanting people around, but wanting to be alone. I’ve found myself locked in my bedroom with a house full of people just to keep myself from having a panic attack. There are other days when I have been at my mother-in-law’s house, laughing and interacting with other members of the family. I do want to take an extra moment and touch on my wonderful husband. Even from over 2000 miles away he has been my rock through all of this. He answers the phone no matter what time of day, he calls numerous times a day to make sure I’m okay and he knows how to make me laugh even through all of this. He even sent me a dozen red roses to ensure I knew he was here for me. I have never doubted his support and do not fault him for being away. If we received even a slight bit of hesitant news on that Sunday, he wouldn’t have left. I strongly encourage you to take comfort in your spouse or significant other. They may not show it as emotionally as you will but trust me, they’re hurting just as bad.
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I can’t tell you how to grieve and I can’t give you a timeline as to when the pain will subside because frankly, I don’t think it ever will completely. What I can provide is a support system and the ability for you to reach out to someone who has been there, understands what you’re going through and can offer a sympathetic shoulder to cry on.

I’m here for you, mama. We’re here for you. You’re not just a 1-in-4 statistic like the world labels you as. You’re a grieving mom to an Angel Baby. 

– Kirstyn

 

How To Be There For Your Infertile Friend

So your friend opened up to you and shared that she’s having problems getting pregnant. (And if you’re a good friend, this will happen. Infertility is way more common than you probably think). Your first instinct is probably, ‘Crap! What do I say? What do I do to help her?’ As a member of the infertility club, I’m here to give you some tips and tricks! Things I wish the people around me had said or done.

Disclaimer: We know infertility is hard to understand if you haven’t experienced it first hand. We also know it can be super awkward to talk about (sperm, vaginas and sex, oh my!). The fact that someone is telling you about their infertility struggles just means they need a trusting place to vent!

Let’s start with some things to do:

  • Listen! We need someone other than our husband/partner to talk to!
  • Listen well! There’s nothing worse than having to re-explain procedures and diagnoses over and over. Try to pay attention and actually understand what is going on with your friend’s journey.
  • Do some quick research. A quick Google search will give you more than enough information to fully understand your friend’s upcoming IUI, or HSG test. Your friend will be thrilled you spent the time to try and understand!
  • Unexpected friend mail is the best! Snacks, bubble bath, fun socks (for all those dates with the stirrups), even just a simple card! All are amazing and all are appreciated.
  • Just being aware. Certain social events and holidays are hard. Being understanding and aware of these triggers is huge. Don’t be hurt if your friend doesn’t come to your baby shower. She’s still so happy for you! She’s just sad for herself.

Here’s some things to try and avoid:

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  • Giving advice. Unless you’ve gone through the same things, try to just not to give advice. We know you’re trying to help, but it doesn’t help. Trust me, we’ve tried it all. Duh, temping sounds better than painful procedures and spending thousands of dollars. But that doesn’t work for everyone.
  • Telling other people about your friends struggles. Just don’t. That’s so rude and we aren’t in high school. Not everyone is as open about this as I personally am.
  • Comparing your 4 months of trying to her years of trying. Again, not the same, and not kind. It’s ok that you got pregnant easily. We wish we could too!
  • Complaining about your kids/messy house/lack of sleep. We are dying for those things.
  • Tell her about adopting. We know! This not only makes adopting look easy (which it isn’t, and it’s not for everyone), it also makes her feel guilty that by following her biological instinct to reproduce, she’s being selfish. You adopt! Adopting shouldn’t be the sole responsibility for infertile people.
  • If you become pregnant, don’t avoid her or purposely not tell her. That’s hurtful. Also telling her in person is a little much. I suggest a thoughtful text message explaining that you wanted to share, but wanted to be respectful. Again, if she’s a good friend, she’s going to be happy for you. Just sad for herself.

These me are just a few little tips and tricks I’ve experienced along the way. It’s hard to go through infertility and I’m sure it’s hard to know what to do or say to a person experiencing it! It’s even been hard at times for my mom and I. She was super fertile, and just doesn’t always know what to say. And that’s ok! Just having the support is really what we need most.

– Chelsea

 

“I never got to see if her eyes were as blue as her sisters.”

Guest Blogger: Ana

First birthdays. The one thing parents look forward to, yet deny that their child is actually growing up. It means they are no longer a toddler. The balloons, birthday cakes, presents, family, and friends. What parent wouldn’t be excited for their child’s first birthday?

My name is Ana. I am 26, and a stay at home mom, while also going back to school. A wife and mother to two beautiful girls, three if you count the dog. Yes, you read that right, two girls. Carsyn lives here on Earth, Kennedy in heaven. My goal has been to share Kennedy’s story to as many people as I can, and to try and share my raw emotions through this extremely painful journey, to simply raise awareness. As Kennedy’s first birthday grows nearer, our family prepares for these celebrations much differently. Here is my story.

In August of 2014, my husband and I bought our very first home. A home to raise our family and give our German Shepherd and 8-month old daughter, at the time, some space; a place to call our own. Shortly after closing and moving in, I became pregnant with Kennedy. A big surprise to us, but nothing short of happiness. As the months grew on, 20 weeks came around quick! In December, we went to the doctor to see our newest addition for the first time and to find out if we were having a baby boy or baby girl. We would be celebrating Carsyn’s birthday that week, so we thought it would be fun to find out the gender while celebrating a first birthday. During our ultrasound, our doctor had found a defect in the heart, but what she thought was a little hole in the heart, or a septal defect. From there, we were referred to a specialist who would take a closer look. It was hard hearing there was anything wrong in general. A little bitty baby shouldn’t be “defected”. They haven’t done anything wrong in this world to deserve to be anything but perfect. We had to wait an entire month before we got to meet with our specialist, due to my husband’s grandmother’s passing and the holidays.

January 2015 we finally met with our specialist who had another ultrasound done, mainly to look at her heart. I remember so vividly that moment she sat in front of us, Josh Groban’s You Raise Me Up was playing out of the speakers in the room, and told us that our baby had a very severe heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). As our world stood still, emotionless, cold, and lonely, she continued to explain that Hypoplastic Left Heart is a severe underdevelopment of the left heart, requiring a series of surgical interventions crucial for survival. Never in my life had I ever expected I would be in this position. I was healthy! I’ve always been healthy! I lost my mom at 18 years old unexpectedly. I never thought that could happen to me and it did. Being told that I could possibly lose my baby, it CAN’T happen to me…. it did, and it can.

We knew we had a tough battle ahead of us, as our doctor appointments became more regular, almost on the weekly between 2-3 different offices and hospitals, we received bad news, after bad news each time. We then found out during a fetal echocardiogram that Kennedy had another set of defects: double outlet right ventricle, and an intact atrial septum. The intact atrial septum would cause her lungs to become weak, sick, and stiff. At 30 weeks, on February 24, 2015, our family walked into Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor to have a rare in-utero surgery done called fetal intervention. In this surgical procedure, it is similar to an amniocentesis, except the doctors would have placed a needle with a balloon through my belly, directly through her chest and into her heart. They would open up the balloon to open up her septum and place a stent in it to keep that septum open like it is supposed to be in the womb. I’ve never been more scared in my life. I’ve always heard about these types of procedures, mostly on TV, but never imagined I could be the one having it done. Unfortunately, we were not able to have the procedure. The doctors did not feel comfortable continuing due to the newest pictures that showed Kennedy’s underdeveloped left heart was smaller than they had expected it to be.

Fast forward, or should I say slow forward, a couple weeks to March. My husband is a track and field coach for Michigan State University. His season was getting busy on the regular with indoor season wrapping up and outdoor season about to start. He had just left for Arkansas for indoor NCAA national championships on a Wednesday and I had a doctor’s appointment on Friday. This was the first appointment I had been to alone, so I was already pretty nervous. It was just a simple growth check to be sure she was still growing inside my belly with everything that was going on with her. Once again, our doctor came in, sat in front of me and told me she sees fluid in Kennedy’s abdomen and a little swelling on her scalp. This fluid in the abdomen is called hydrops, and it is the first sign of heart failure. She directed me to go directly to Ann Arbor and to meet my doctors there and let them monitor me more closely. Blaine was hundreds of miles away, at the second biggest meet of the year, and I was alone trying to compose myself enough to drive 60 miles to the hospital with unknown expectations for our child’s future. He hopped on a plane last minute, and came to be with us for the rest of the weekend, while his athletes were competing at nationals.

We had scheduled Kennedy’s delivery, via c-section, for April 20, 2015. I had Carsyn natural, and very quick, so a c-section was new to me. I was scared, not to undergo the surgery, but because of the scenario. I was delivering in an actual operating room on the general surgical floor, beside Kennedy’s heart surgeon’s OR. Her birthday came slowly, and with growing anxiousness. We were there early, and almost feeling like celebrities, everyone was prepared and awaiting our arrival. As I was getting my spinal tap, my hands and feet were shaking uncontrollably. My heart was racing out of my chest, and I, really, was absolutely terrified. The amount of nurses, doctors, surgeons, anesthesiologists, people in general in the operating room was almost unbearable. They were all there for me, for Kennedy. The maternal-fetal medicine doctor had already started cutting into me when they brought Blaine in. I thought I was going to vomit all over the place, so I lay there with a kidney dish being held up to my face as I closed my eyes and felt my hands shake uncontrollably. At 8:36 am Kennedy was born. She cried. I didn’t expect her to be able to let out a big cry, but she did. Blaine kept repeating how beautiful she was with her dark hair, and looking exactly like her big sister. As I was stuck on the operating table, Blaine was able to see her and touch her. She was baptized and prepped for surgery immediately. Within 12 minutes of being born, she was on bypass and had her first surgery to open up the atrial septum.

I was eager to get up to the ICU to see her. The doctors called her a rockstar through the surgery and were very happy with how strong she was. They got me moved into a private room on the women’s floor and I went up to see her as soon as I could, about 3 hours after surgery. I was pretty out of it, and extremely exhausted going to see her. I was scared to touch her, even scared to look at her, almost trying to guard my own heart. I only spent about 10 minutes with her before I felt I needed to go lie down again. Blaine spent every moment he could with her, and still it wasn’t enough. Kennedy passed away that evening at 8:43 pm. She lived 12 hours and 7 minutes…

I never got to hold her; to kiss her while she was alive. I never got to see if her eyes were as blue as her sisters. I barely had the chance to tell her how much I loved her and how she has changed my life. Almost everyone thinks it can’t happen to them, but it can. We are 1 in 110 of this happening sporadically. I didn’t do anything for this to happen, even though I do feel it was my fault in some way. I have so many friends who are having babies, or had babies around when Kennedy was born. I’m still bitter for not having the chance to get to care for her, or to watch her grow. The best I can do as a mother is being her voice. Her advocate. An advocate for all the other babies who have been lost, and those who are still fighting.

Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect. Twice as many children die from CHDs each year compared to all childhood cancers combined; and funding for pediatric cancer is 5x higher than that for CHDs. Heart research has come such a long way in the last decade, as early awareness and medical interventions are becoming more successful. There are still so many babies sent home with undetected heart problems. If you are having a baby or know someone who is, please have or ask them to have a pulse oximeter test done. It is not invasive, and it only takes a minute! A minute to save your child’s life!

You can read more about our story HERE

What you Didn’t Expect, when you were Expecting

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Here’s the truth: You can read every pregnancy/labor & delivery book out there, and there will STILL be something that surprises you or catches you off-guard. Guaranteed.

Bringing a child into the world is a mix of beautiful, unbelievable, and disgusting. So, here are just a few of the things that I wish someone would have prepared me for (not necessarily all that will happen to you, but that definitely could happen!):

  1. Nosebleeds. Most women know about the nausea, headaches, sore boobs, etc. (the more well-known side-effects of growing a human.) What people won’t tell you is that other things can also happen that are pretty out-of-the-ordinary: Nosebleeds. Floaters in your eyes. Spots and skin tags. Tailbone pain. Round-ligament pain. Tender gums (and restrictions at the dentist. Most require you to have written and signed consent from your OB before performing any procedures, including routine cleanings.)
  2. Old Wives Tales: Most aren’t true. One that is, however, is the concept of heartburn meaning your child will have hair. So, try not to take too much stock in most old-wives tales, but this one is a good one to pay attention to.
  3. You won’t have as many ultrasounds as you want. Most often, your insurance will pay for two. Unless you have an unusual circumstance around your pregnancy, you’ll likely only see your little one on the screen twice.
  4. Hunger, and Lack of Hunger: Pregnancy is often portrayed the same way, all the time. Women that have insane appetites, and binge on whatever craving they have that day. Sometimes this is true, but not always. Some women are sick for so long that the idea of food is the farthest thing from their minds. In fact, some women struggle to keep on the needed weight for pregnancy. For these women, medication is often required so that you can continue to have a healthy pregnancy.
  5. Not all testing is required. Some OBs will try to convince you that all testing is mandatory, but often this isn’t the case. Do your research and decide what is best for you. I did all the testing of my own volition, but some parents would prefer to avoid some of these tests.
  6. You may not have the same OB your entire pregnancy. I was shocked to find that most clinics have OBs on a rotation, so you may see a different doctor every time. It makes sense; doctors are busy people. But, it was important to me to have the same OB my entire pregnancy and at the birth of my child. I spent a significant amount of time trying to find a clinic that allowed this, and was thrilled when I finally did. If this is important to you, be prepared to do some digging to find the right obstetrician for you.
  7. Most doctors will not let you go past 41 weeks. Most of us want to wait for our babies to come on their own, but a great many doctors will absolutely put their foot down. Why? There are some risks, which you can read about here.
  8. When you’re ready to deliver: be prepared to be examined by 10 or more nurses, a handful of doctors, and possibly some medical students. If this isn’t what you want, make sure you talk to your hospital in advance.
  9. Labor and Delivery might not be what you expected, in a variety of ways. If you’re like me, I expected to have the cinema-style birthing experience where the actress has her water break, and baby arrives in a dramatic scene within a few hours. More often, your water will leak all day, and all through your labor, you’ll spend hours bored, in pain, eating popsicles and watching reruns of Friends.
  10. If you have an epidural, you’ll likely have a catheter at some point. Some hospitals keep them in, others just use them periodically. Most often, too much is going on for you to even care.uventet1.png
  11. Be prepared to be unprepared. You can plan for nine months how your labor is going to happen, but most often you’ll have to do what your doctor or midwife thinks is best. If this means a cesarean, episiotomy, etc., sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. And sometimes, like with my labor and delivery, things can get complicated QUICKLY. Ask your nurses and doctors to explain fully what is happening instead of tip-toeing around you. My son was both face-up, and had the umbilical cord tightly wrapped around his neck. This meant that I had a positioning specialist, internal monitors, and saline injected back into my uterus. I wish I had known more about things that can go wrong in L&D, though I think many people might want the opposite: to not know at all, and not worry about it (I’m just not that person.)
  12. enhanced-buzz-7951-1440537069-6Things like the “husband stitch” still exist. Sex after childbirth is usually fairly unpleasant the first few times for most people. This will make it worse, so ensure that you have a doctor that doesn’t practice this.
  13. Post-partum. OH post-partum. It can be a crazy ride, that’s for sure. If anything, know what to expect. Knowing now to care for yourself both physically and mentally are crucial to both your well-being and your child’s. Know the signs of post-partum depression and don’t be afraid to talk about it and ask for help. Accept help. Also, know that post-partum pain and bleeding can last a decently long time. Be prepared for it so that you aren’t trying to run to the store last-minute toting a newborn with you.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. What shocked you about your own pregnancy and labor & delivery?

-Katie

I have a Large Family: Stop the Judgement!

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Guest Blogger Kelsey Burrows, on her Family and Judgments Surrounding it:

Hi, my name is Kelsey.

I’m twenty-nine years old and I’m a mom. I am a mom of five living, breathing, beautiful monsters. They leave their clothes on the floor, and toothpaste spit in the sink. They forget to turn off lights, or just don’t care about the electric bill. They leave messes just about everywhere they go, and generally don’t pick them up without being asked at least twice. They fight with each other constantly, over practically nothing. I rarely get to sit down and eat a meal with them because I’m too busy helping the younger ones get their plates, cutting up their meat, pouring drinks, cleaning up spills, and getting out some random condiment that I inadvertently forgot. By the time I get done shoveling food down my throat, they’re all done and I’m reminding them to clean up their plates, finish homework, get ready for volleyball or soccer, or whatever extracurricular activity is going on. It’s generally pure chaos in my house from dinner until bedtime. At the end of the day, I wonder how I managed to survive their waking hours. Let’s not even start on the damage they do to the bank account with all their wants, and “needs”, and actual necessities. That alone can drive a person over the edge.

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Kelsey with 5 of her Children

Looking back fifteen years ago, if you would have told me that I would have five kids and be divorced by the time I was thirty, I’d have looked at you like you were out of your mind. I wanted to go to college, maybe get married, travel a little, and then maybe settle down and have a baby or two. But yet, this is my life. I rarely go into public with all five of my kids without getting some kind of look insinuating that I am a crazy person. But guess what? I am a crazy person. My kids drive me to the brink of insanity, multiple times a day. It’s amazing to me that I have any hair left on my head. So often in a day, I’m frustrated enough that I could probably pull it out without a second thought. You haven’t lived life until you’re trying to cook dinner while a whiny two year old asks for a fruit snack, and his seven and eight year old sisters fight over whose turn on the computer it is. And then, my favorite is the “MOM! He just shot me in the eye with a Nerf dart!”. Yes, this is my life.

Occasionally though, there are times when we go out in public when my kids behave. Quite honestly, they behave most of the time when we have to go places. That’s not to say that one or two of them don’t cop an attitude over wanting candy or to look in the toy aisles, but they’re generally good kids. While we’re at it, my kids are pretty awesome. They’re smart, they’re caring, they’re mostly hilarious. I have some of the best times with them, even if it can be a little stressful. So when you see me with my kids while I’m out in public with that look of pity in your eyes, I’m generally looking at you like you’ve lost your mind. You’re judging me, someone you don’t even know, because of how many kids I have? Don’t you have anything better to do with your life? Both of my grandparents come from families where they had several siblings, and by several, I mean upwards of five. It only seems natural that I have a large family too. Some days, I question my life choices. Most days though, I thank God that He has blessed me with these five kids who are daily reminders of why I’m here on earth.

I’ve been asked so many times, “Are all these kids yours?”, while I’m grocery shopping. Let me ask you, do you routinely suggest that your kids bring their friends along to run your errands? I don’t either. So yes, to my knowledge, all these kids I have with me while shopping the aisles of Walmart are in fact my children. The sandy blonde hair and fair complexion doesn’t give it away I guess. I understand that your questions are not necessarily intended to be judgmental or rude. Your questions, though, cause me to question my worth as a parent. Is there a reason you’re asking me if all these kids are mine? Why did you ask if I’m planning on having more? Should I not? Am I not a good enough parent to have five kids? What if I want six, or seven kids? Surely you’d really judge me then.

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Well actually, I don’t have five kids. I have six. I gave birth to an angel baby in June, at only twenty-nine weeks pregnant. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her. I wonder what her smile would have looked like, or if she would have had any hair or teeth yet. I think about what an awesome set of older siblings she would have had. She was taken from me before I even got to hear her cry. It was a devastating blow, one that I feel the effects of everyday. When you ask someone if they’re done having kids, or jokingly ask if they know how babies are made, be sensitive. There are people like me out there who thought their families were complete, and then a surprise came along that rocked their world. People like me, who fell in love with the baby they were carrying inside them. People who dreamed about what their baby would look like, sound like, what their personality would be like. Would they cry 24/7 and make me want to smack my head against a wall in frustration? I’d give anything to be able to be up all night with a crying seven month old right now.

I no longer feel like my family is complete. My heart grew to accommodate that sixth little being, and now there is a void where her tiny little smile should be. So while my five kids are sometimes brats, they’re sometimes mouthy, and they fight all the time, they are here with me. I can hold them close, and kiss them goodnight, and tell them I love them whenever I so choose. It isn’t right to look at someone and make assumptions about their lives based on the number of kids they have. If you only have one child by choice, good for you. You knew your family was complete. If you have two kids, or ten kids, good for you. If you chose not to have kids at all, I understand that too. But, don’t judge other people because of their choices in procreation. Some of us have experienced losses greater than what you could ever imagine. Those losses sometimes effect our choices.

I hear, “Wow, you really have your hands full”, at some point during almost every outing with my kids. Most of the time, I just ignore it. Sometimes people jokingly ask me if I know how babies are made, or if I’m planning on having more. I love my kids. You don’t have to, because they aren’t your kids. So yes, all these kids are mine. Yes, I’m a little crazy. Yes, I’d love to have another baby. Yes, I know how that happens. Yes, I know my hands are full, but my heart is too. The love you feel from a child is unlike any other love you will experience in your life. I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world.

-Kelsey

Fight the FLU

*BurritoBuzz is a group of moms that gives advice, and any medical content should be regarded as non-professional advice. Please consult your physician with any medical concerns you may have.*

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I will start off by saying that I am not a physician. I’m only listing my recommendations from the perspectives of both a mother and a nurse. I cannot guarantee that you won’t get sick if you listen to me (wouldn’t that be a money maker!). My hope is that these simple tips will keep you and your loved ones healthy and happy this flu season. These tips come from experience (I have two kiddos and I work in healthcare) and I believe have helped keep myself and my family in good health in the past.

 

  1. Get a flu shot

You can read more about vaccinations in this blog by one of our guest bloggers about a month ago. No one enjoys getting stabbed with medication or watching their children get stabbed and crying hysterically thereafter. Let’s face it, it sucks getting shots. It also sucks being sick with the flu – fever, body aches, chills, fatigue – symptoms that last far longer than the quick little poke of a vaccine. These symptoms are also easily spread to others. Please get the vaccine to keep yourself and others at a decreased risk of getting the flu. It is so easy to get at most doctor’s offices and pharmacies. Most often it’s free. Your arm will be sore and your kiddos will probably cry but it is totally worth it!!!

 

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  1. Drink water!

If you’re not sure if you’re drinking enough water, you probably need to drink more. According to the Institute of Medicine sited on Mayo Clinic, it’s recommended that women drink 9 cups of beverages a day and men to drink 13 cups of beverages. I know I personally struggle getting in this amount, but I really do try to have my own bottle/cup when I’m at work that I’m always refilling. I try to do the same thing at home. The bottle in the photo is similar to the one I received from my hospital after having a baby and I LOVE this thing. My 2.5 year old does too. It’s perfect because it large, insulated, and clear. I know I’m always getting plenty of water and it’s measured so I know how much!

 

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  1. SLEEP

I know, I know. It is easier said than done, especially with little ones at home. Try to make an effort to get as much rest as you can. Even if it’s not always “sleeping,” resting/relaxing and just letting your body recharge and catch up is a good way to stay healthy. If you have kiddos at home, make sure they’re getting the rest they need too. Let them sleep in when they can and try not to skip nap time. We all need our rest!

 

  1. Wash your hands

This is a simple task. It’s so simple that sometimes it’s easily overlooked. We all should be washing our hands quite frequently especially when germs are more prevalent this time of year. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom, before preparing and eating food, after being in public places, after coughing/sneezing into them, the list goes on. If you’re not sure, just do it. You can use sanitizer too. Keep sanitizer always on hand – leave some in your diaper bag, purse, in your car, and around the house. Sometimes I just have my little one sanitize after using the bathroom or being outside, but other times a good hand washing is the best. Along with keeping your hands clean, try to keep other commonly used surfaces throughout your home clean too (this will keep those germs off of your hands in the long run!). I love my CLOROX wipes any time of year!

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  1. Cover your cough

Use a tissue or cough into your elbow to avoid spreading those germs when you cough. If you do end up coughing into your hands, avoid touching anything and wash them ASAP. Pass these good habits on to your little ones. The sooner they learn to cover their cough appropriately, the better off everyone will be!!

 

  1. Stay away from others who are sick

This goes both ways. Try to avoid others that you know are ill and being in public places where you could come in close contact with potentially sick people. The same goes for you and your kiddos. If any of you are sick, stay home. Avoid spreading that sickness any further than beyond your own home.

 

  1. ENCOURAGE

We need to hold each other accountable. I mentioned before about teaching our kids early on about covering their cough and good hand hygiene. We should do the same with adults. Encourage visitors at your home to wash their hands before they hold your babies or coworkers to sanitize after blowing their nose. We have a strict policy at the hospital I work in to wash/sanitize our hands before and after entering a patient’s room. It doesn’t matter whether or not I touch anything while I’m in that room. Germs spread like wild fire, and we need to look out for ourselves and each other.

 

Along with what I consider “The Top 7,” it’s important to maintain a nutritious diet, regular exercise regimen, and manage your stress to stay healthy and avoid the flu. Even though flu season is upon us now, all of these tips should be utilized year-round as best we can. With just a few easy adjustments to our daily living, we can avoid feeling miserable and downright bad with crippling flu symptoms down the road.

 

Check out the CDC’s website for even more helpful links and tips to keep your family happy and healthy!!

 

– Megan

The Birth you Want

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Labor and delivery mostly sucks. Let’s face it, outside of finally meeting your tiny human and snuggling them into your arms, there is nothing very appealing about having your body go through so much pain. I love the movement “Birthing Without Fear” and really, to those women, you are awesome. I am not that woman. Other than wanting to get my son into the world, there was no major motivation for me to “want” the pain of labor and delivery. I’d just rather be… eating Chipotle not in pain. Or like, anything else really.

I was lucky to have the same OB my entire pregnancy, and the same OB at the birth of my son. I told her from the get-go, that she’s the medical expert and I did research on doctors for so long so that I could leave it all in her hands. I didn’t go in with a birth plan, and I had no restrictions. I told my doctor to “do what she needed to do to get my son into the world safely.” (I’m not at all belittling anyone that goes in with a birth plan, but that’s just not me.) I trusted my OB, and that’s the important thing.

Even with that mindset, my birth was NOT what I had planned or envisioned.

I was on restricted activity from 33 weeks on, because I was at risk for preterm labor. Strangely enough, I needed to be induced at 40+6. I went to the hospital prepared at 8AM for them to break my water. I started Pitocin, had my water broken, and shortly after everything got a little crazy. The cord was wrapped around my son’s neck, and after my water broke the cord got much tighter. His heart rate was dropping drastically down from 160BPM to 50BPM. I had a positioning specialist, internal monitors, and saline being injected back into my uterus (it’s about as fun as it sounds.) At one point, they had to stop my labor completely to get his BPM back up. After labor started again I dilated SO quickly from 4-9 in a matter of minutes (which made me throw up for the rest of my labor.) All the while, both anesthesiologists were busy, so I didn’t get my epidural until it was so late in the game that it was barely worth it (and, it wore off within the last few minutes of labor because they didn’t have enough. (Great timing. Thanks guys.) I had so many doctors at one point in that room, as well as students, that I was totally overwhelmed with everything that was happening. (I was in labor 14 hours, and pushed for 3.)

My doctor and nurses were everything I could have wanted. Amazing individuals, and I’ll never forget my L&D nurse. Some of the other personnel I could have done without. My doctor advocated for me the entire time she was there. She is an incredibly, intelligent woman and I couldn’t have possibly had a better OB.

My labor left me feeling intensely traumatized afterwards. I was not prepared, and wish I would have known all of the things that can go wrong. I’m thankful I was in a hospital with the professionals I had, and that my son made it into this world safely. It was just NOT the peaceful day I had envisioned, and I wanted the epidural WAY sooner than I ended up getting it.

My labor was a little out-of-the-ordinary because of the cord circumstances, and I just count myself among the lucky to have my healthy child at home with me. While my labor wasn’t what I wanted, nothing matters other than my healthy son being in this world with me.

Here are some other labor and delivery stories. Thank you to these kind ladies for being willing to share, in hopes that it guides some other soon-to-be momma in the right direction of what is best for her and her child:

Amanda Velain
Neither of my births went like I thought like they were going to, but I think as women we plan for chaos or calm, and you never usually get what you are planning for. With my first I had everything planned for any number of circumstances, down to the minute. I had multiple people on standby, my natural birthplan, bags packed two months in advance, house baby-ready, and all I did was research and take everything in I possibly could so I knew exactly what to do. My first baby came and my plans went out the window. There was water all over the kitchen, my husband was an hour away, my parents thought I was talking about the literal plumbing and didn’t believe that I really needed a ride, the hospital didn’t think my water broke, and during labor I was in and out of a tub and in a million positions. I was in labor for 17 hours! NOT planned! It is an amazing story though. But looking back I would have moved around more. I sat in the tub way too long, and got too comfortable. So second baby, a year later, I didn’t even go into the tub. I walked around target, and was in denial about being in labor for most of the actual labor. It was a good thing I had planned on going natural, because I got to the hospital and there really wasn’t a whole lot of time! I mean I had hours left, but not many! I planned for calm and I got chaos! I wouldn’t have changed anything about my second birth though. It was hard and extremely painful, but I was surrounded by loved ones (husband, mom and midwife), and my little boy came into this world and it was all worth it!

Kiersten Offineer

I would have stayed at home until the pain was unbearable. I went in way too early. I ended up being in labor for 30 hours. Next time I’ll relax and take a bath until I can’t stand the pain. I wanted to go natural. I stuck it out for 24 hours then gave in to the epidural.

Ashley Stoll

Well I have 3 kiddos so this might get a little lengthy, so I apologize.
With my first I was young and dumb and just went into it with zero research. Basically, whatever interventions they wanted to do to were fine with me. They were afraid my baby was going to be too big so they induced me 5 days early. I had an epidural (took him 35+ minutes to put in it correctly,) which literally only made my legs numb and did nothing else. So I felt the labor and everything but I was unable to move, change positions or walk. It was frustrating and made things much more difficult than they needed to be. But I can’t complain too much because after only pushing for a few minutes, my baby boy was born at 2am, healthy and perfect. 8lbs 13oz, 19 1/4in long.

With my second I decided that I would do everything I could to avoid an epidural. So I researched like crazy and decided to do a natural hospital birth. Again they were afraid of me having a huge baby for some reason and convinced me to be induced a few days early. We tried to induce by just breaking my water first, to avoid pitocin, but I didn’t progress fast enough and ended up having to have it anyways. Labor was very intense but was so much more manageable without being restricted by the epidural. And again after only about 5 minutes of pushing, my second perfect, healthy baby boy was born at 9:27pm. 8lbs 14oz 20 1/2in long.
With my third I decided I wasn’t going to be talked into unnecessary interventions. I wanted to go as natural as possible. I found a birth center and midwife in Boardman and after a ton of research we decided to go with them for this birth. I went 9 days past my due date which was 2 weeks longer than I got to go with my first two! I woke up at 4:30am having decent contractions. So I got up and got ready to go. My husband woke up shortly after I did and I told him I was labor. We got ready and were taking the kids to my mom’s on the way to the birth center when all of sudden my contractions started coming really close together and we still had an hour drive. I started to get really worried that I was going to have the baby in the car! Thankfully, we made it to the birth center in time. Though I was 7cm upon arrival, I labored in a tub for a while and then got out when things started getting intense. When I felt the urge to push, my contractions pushed for me and I didn’t feel any need to physically make myself push. After about ten or 15 minutes, my perfect, beautiful baby girl was born, without one single “real push” and en caul, which is when the water doesn’t break and the baby is born inside the intact bag of water! Once her shoulders were out, my midwife broke the bag and lifted her out and into my arms. Pretty awesome! 2:22 pm 8 lbs 14.5oz, 20 1/2 inches long.

Looking back now I wish I would’ve went the birth center route for all three. I know it’s not for everyone but for me, it was perfect. It was just so nice and calm/relaxing but also reassuring because they have all the medical stuff right there, ready to go in case of an emergency. And the hospital is a block away. So I felt like I got the best of both worlds there. I also really regret inducing the boys early and of course I regret that epidural. Looking at how intense the pitocin made my labor with the first two compared to how much easier the third was for me without it, makes me wish I wouldn’t have agreed to getting it at all. Oh well. At the end of the day the only thing that actually matters is getting the baby out safe and sound and into loving arms. I have three gorgeous, happy, healthy babies, so I really have nothing at all to complain about.

Kaylee DiPietro

From the time I got to the hospital to the time he was born was 12 hrs. My plan was to wait as long as I could to get the epidural since I heard it slows dilation. However, it was 1am and the nurse talked me into it so I could get some sleep and I’m glad she did, because within 2 hours I went from 3 cm to 9 and it would have been too late. The hardest part was pushing for 2.5 hours…but as soon as you hear that first cry, you don’t care how long it took or how much pain you are in…it’s the most amazing experience of your life! Also, I was one that didn’t really have a set birth plan and I think that’s good…I know someone that was completely against a c section and ended up having one. She was so upset because it wasn’t her plan, she cried for a week after. It was just too much added stress on her…the first week is hard and she made it harder on herself..

Chelsea Woodruff

I knew I was having a scheduled C-section before I was even pregnant. I have mild to moderate hip dysplasia and the stretch of giving birth was a potential danger to my pelvis. Shockingly, I made it to my scheduled surgery day without so much as a contraction. No water breaking, none of that (I know, some of you want to strangle me right now). However, my surgery was EXTREMELY painful. I was not able to lie flat on my back for the majority of my pregnancy and being strapped down on the table with pressure being placed on my trunk to get the baby out caused me a LOT of pain. I was screaming at the anesthesiologist for more pain meds (this is after my epidural) and he said I already had enough to knock out a 200lb man. I’m sure it didn’t help that my OBGYN, expecting my baby to be between 6-7 lbs, cut a tiny incision and the child was 8lbs 7oz. One of the assisting doctors was standing on the edge of the bed using her full body weight to press the baby out. My OB was literally grabbing drs passing in the hall saying “come look at this tiny incision I just pulled this baby out of!” Umm..could we not?! Needless to say, pain. Pain was all I felt for about the next 3 weeks.

After my baby was born, I felt like I vanished in the eyes of the nurses. My one regret is not speaking up more. My nurses were always behind on my pain meds and I was literally in tears calling them on my radio thing asking when the next round was coming and getting snarky comments back that it was “shift change.” Listen, I’ve worked in a hospital before that would have NEVER flown. Shift change shouldn’t take 45 mins and you have a patient in misery. I left after a day and a half because I knew I would get better care from my family at home. Upon discharge, a different dr from my OB’s practice wrote my orders and DID NOT EVEN CHECK MY INCISION! I don’t even think she knew I had a C-section. I wasn’t given any aftercare instructions, nothing.

Bottom line, speak up. If you are in pain or have a concern, say something. Don’t be afraid to ask a million questions. I wish I would have and it is my one regret during my birthing experience.

So in closing, know your body. Educate yourself (and your partner!) Ask questions, do research, and follow your intuition. There is no WRONG way to bring your baby into this world, but there are ways that you will be more or less comfortable with. Plan and prepare, but know that what you envision might not be what ends up happening.

Good luck Mommas!

-Katie

Product Review: Mirena

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**I am most definitely not a medical professional. This article is based on my personal experiences. As always, please talk to your doctor before making any medical decisions for yourself**

I have had a lot, a LOT of issues with BC. I have tried several different brands and forms with mostly negative results. Before I was married and interested in having children, I wanted a BC that treated strong cramps and heavy, long-lasting cycles. The types of BC I tried before TTC include:

  • Yaz– This daily pill made me feel like my heart was racing and have spells of lightheadedness at random times (the pill was later found to cause severe blood clots and actually does not treat any symptoms of PMS like it claimed).
  • Lo Loestrine Fe– Also a daily pill. This did not treat my heavy, long-lasting cycle and painful cramps.

At this point, my gyno decided I need a constant stream of hormones with no placebo time (like many pills have) So then I tried..

  • Ortho Evra– This is a patch that you place on your waistline, back or rear. It was disgusting. It was like a band aid you wore for one week and then replaced. It left a nasty ring of stickiness (like a band aid) and skin irritation wherever I placed it. It also would come off occasionally in the shower, which left me in constant fear that I was not being protected. I
  • NuvaRing– This is a vaginal ring you replace yourself after 3 weeks in and one week off. This was by far, the worst of all BC I tried. It slipped out constantly and was very gross to put back in myself. But worst of all, it gave me a SEVERE vaginal infection that took two drs (one of which was a urogynocologist) to diagnose and treat. Horrible. Just horrible.

After that horrendous experience, I just dealt with my discomfort and we used the trusty ol’ condom until we were TTC. So after the birth of my LO, I was extremely hesitant to go back on BC but knew it was necessary because I conceived very, very easily and we were certainly not ready for another LO. My gyno suggested Mirena.

Mirena is an intra-uterine device that can stay in for up to 5 years. It slowly releases low levels of progestin into the uterus. The device is inserted by your gyno and small strings are left hanging that are supposed to allow you to check and make sure it is still correctly in place. This BC is recommended for women that have had a child.

imagePROS: When I had mine inserted, my gyno said to me, “pick a four letter word to say now because you’re going to need it when I put it in.” I honestly had to ask her if she was done because I felt nothing other than the usual discomfort of her messing around in that area. It didn’t hurt me in the slightest. I love not having to worry about taking a pill everyday. I have heard some people say that they can feel the strings that are left hanging. I have never had any discomfort. I’ve had the device in for over a year now and (now) I can say that my cycles are short and very light. I still have some cramping, but nothing like I’ve experienced in the past.

CONS: I bled. I bled every single day for almost 5 months. I’m talking several heavy flow pads per day. Mind you, I had a C-section. So this was strictly related to the BC, not from giving birth (I had no bleeding in the 6 weeks after giving birth and before getting Mirena). It was horrible. My poor DH. Not only was my last trimester a painful nightmare, I finally have the baby and we still can’t be intimate because I’m disgusting. Sexy.

It finally got so bad that I was concerned it was not inserted correctly, so I went back to my gyno. She did a full exam and said it was inserted correctly and to just hang in there. My symptoms were not uncommon and if I held out for one more month, it could go away. And she was right. A few weeks after that, my bleeding subsided and I finally began to have a recognizable cycle again. Still, it was quite the ordeal.

In the relatively near future, my DH and I will be TTC again. I am planning an extensive article series on TTC and (God willing) my subsequent pregnancy. I do have a fear of having difficulty conceiving after removing my Mirena. DrugWatch.com states that 80% of women can successfully conceive within one year of removal. Fingers crossed.

I hope my experiences can help you make a better choice on what is right for your body. I can’t say I am a strong proponent of BC after my dreadful experiences, however, it’s a necessary evil in my personal opinion. I’m constantly doing research on what is safest and best for my body. I strongly encourage every woman do the same. Meanwhile, I’ll be continuing my earnest prayers for the development of the male BC pill… *please Jesus, please*

-Chelsea

Intuition

After TTC for about a year and a half, it’s easy to understand the apprehension in being excited over pregnancy. I had taken so many pregnancy tests out of habit. So, when I took a test (before even missing a period, because my periods were irregular,) I expected another negative indefinitely. That amazing, wonderful morning, I took a test thinking “unlikely, but maybe,” and then hopped into the shower. Forgetting about my test entirely, I continued to get ready after my shower. While doing my makeup I looked down to see two, TWO, glaring pink lines. My heart may have actually stopped. I quickly dismissed it as an “evap line” (which really happens more often with blue ink tests, and had happened to me twice in the past.) I took two more tests that morning, which both showed faint positives. I still wasn’t sure. I took two more. And then another. All different brands… ya’ know, just because I didn’t trust them. So, like $40 later in pregnancy tests I finally believed it. It was real. After it was confirmed at 6 weeks pregnant at my doctor’s appointment, I finally felt some relief.

Yet, I knew something was wrong. I knew. In my gut.

My entire pregnancy I was apprehensive. I had purchased a fetal Doppler on eBay (awesome, and only about $30. Totally worth the money.) I listened to my little guy’s heartbeat at least weekly. It was the reassurance I needed. I spent days worth of my life researching cord accidents. It consumed my thoughts entirely. For some odd reason, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

At around 33 weeks my guy moved head down. He had gone from a total wiggle-worm, to rarely moving throughout the day. I was dilated, effaced, and my doctor feared he was coming too early. I had a stress test done, and they monitored his movement. It wasn’t great, or at least not what they wanted to see. They watched him closely. I ended up going past my due date, ironically, and was induced. Thank God I was induced. Thank God for the medical professionals that knew what they were doing, and the research I had done to find an amazing OB. They broke my water in the hospital, and things suddenly changed. The loss of amniotic fluid tightened the cord on Lucas, which was around his neck. His heart rate kept dropping dramatically, down to 50BPM. I had nurses, doctors, positioning specialists, all trying to get it sorted out. I ended up in CRAZY positions trying to help loosen that cord (I mean, on all 4s face down after having an epidural. Yeah. That happened.) They put internal monitors on him, and started injecting saline back into my uterus to loosen that cord up.

Ryan and I were scared. Our family was scared. But I trusted my doctor, and feel like my intuition had been preparing me for this moment. I was seconds away from the operating room if they decided he needed to come out quickly.

I pushed for 3 hours, with close monitoring. When I got to my last two sets of pushing my doctor told me he HAD to come out. It’s amazing what the female body can do. I knew that I couldn’t push anymore, that my body didn’t have the strength, but my body got that tiny guy out. The doctors quickly pulled the cord off and got him to start breathing. That screaming baby was the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard. My Lucas was healthy. Here. He was here and in my arms.

Intuition.

I’m not saying that I generally believe in intuition. But this time, it was spot on. My body knew something was wrong.

Cord accidents are common. They estimate that 1 in 3 babies will have the cord wrapped around them. It’s less frequent for them to have the cord around their neck, and even less common for it to actually cause problems. The cord is naturally lubricated, making it slide and slip around easily, as to not get stuck around the baby.

My situation was compounded by Lucas being born face up, 1 in 20.

The scary: Cord accidents cannot be prevented.

The not-so-scary: They are rare.

I cannot stress it enough: If you feel like something isn’t right, be absolutely relentless with your doctor. If you can’t get the reassurance you need, keep on them.

I got lucky; things happened in a way that likely saved my LOs life. Had I not been induced and my water broken naturally, I may not have gotten the saline that I needed to keep my guy’s heart rate going and to keep that cord loose enough. I had medical professionals that knew how to work these stressful situations, and I was in a facility that is top-notch for infant care.

We were luckier than some. We don’t take a single day for granted with our guy.