Thursday, December 15, 2016

Deacon's Birth Story - Part One

Of course I couldn't dive into the actual birth without the journey there, so I've done it in parts again. If you want to skip straight to the birth click here.
Deacon is 3 weeks now. His birth definitely wasn't the serene home birth I had imagined. This whole pregnancy was challenging. He gained the title Rainbow Baby because that is what babies born after a loss are called. Something beautiful after a storm. That name has been amplified for Deacon for sure. 
A shortish recap is that I became pregnant after trying for a couple years in September of 2015. We got a positive pregnancy test on October 4th . November 17th we went in for our 1st midwife appointment. No heartbeat could be found. They did an ultrasound where we saw that our tiny baby had only grown to 10+3 weeks. It took another week for his/her body to be born naturally at home on November 24th. Here is my complete miscarriage story.

I got pregnant again with Deacon in April of 2016. At 10 weeks I started spotting. I went in for an ultrasound and saw that everything was fine. I spotted on and off until 18 weeks. More here.

Kidney stones were my next bump in the road. I started having mild flank and bladder pain at 12 weeks, the beginning of July. On September 11th, I had the worst pain ever and when to the ER. Morphine didn't touch it so they put me on a dilaudid pump. That lessened it but didn't stop it. I started having non painful contractions every 2-3 minutes, so they gave me terbutaline. It stopped the contractions and my pain went away as well. I had a few little episodes over the next month, but on October 15th, it got bad again. Not as bad as last time, but bad enough to send me back to the hospital. This time one shot of dilaudid knocked it out. Thank the Lord it never got that bad again, a few minor episodes, but my CT after he was born showed it had passed at some point.

At 28 weeks I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes for the first time. I was able to stay diet controlled, but it was hard. I'm not sure I would have made it without medicine if he hadn't come early. 

Next was the threatened preterm labor. At 33+4 I started having more contractions 2-3 minutes apart. I went to the hospital and they gave me terbutaline again to stop them. It slowed them down, but didn't stop them so they also gave me procardia. They sent me home with another dose in case it picked back up when the medicine all wore off. 

I'm going to insert a bit about my home birth/provider struggle. When I first found out I was pregnant again, I was going to go back to the same midwife I went to when I had my loss, but I just couldn't do it. It was still too fresh to go back there. The only other CNM in town was pregnant too, and due around the same time as I was. I made a few appointments with local CPMs, but decided to interview with a CNM out of Danville as well. I sent her a list of my questions and she was very through. I ended up canceling my other appointments and going with her. She asks that you also establish care with a provider with hospital privileges. I decided to go with the doctor in Stanford that signs off on her because I knew the he was supportive of homebirth. My other pregnancies and deliveries had been so smooth, I really didn't think I'd need him anyways beyond ultrasounds. But after struggling with GD and being afraid of going early on top of kidney stones and everything else (by this time it was November and I was dealing with all the emotions of it being a year since my miscarriage), I had decided to transfer care to a hospital midwife. Since I wasn't 35 weeks yet, it made the most logical sense to go to someone who had privileges at the closest hospital with a NICU. I went and saw two. I decided to go with the 2nd because I thought she would be able to empathize with me because she was a homebirther herself. In the office, she gave me a steroid shot to help develop Deacon's lungs in case he did come early. That same evening, at 34 weeks, I started having contraction again! My care did not go how I had envisioned it though.

I'm just not a big hospital fan when it comes to labor and delivery. First of all when I started having contractions, I didn't even get to talk to see the MW I had just transfered care to. The OB she works with was on call. I hadn't planned on having any vaginal exams during pregnancy, but this whole preterm labor thing had thrown me for a loop. Cervical checks are very subjective and don't really tell you much unless you are assessing change with the same person checking. In the office that day I let my new MW check me so if I went back into the hospital, she could tell if there had been any change. Little did I know, she wouldn't come to the hospital unless I was confirmed to be in labor. Homebirth spoils you. I had to see another hospitalist when I arrived. I had found out there is a test for preterm labor called a fetal fibronectin test, but being checked in the last 24 hours can give a false positive. He decided to go ahead and do it because if it was negative it would mean I wasn't in preterm labor, and wouldn't likely give birth in the next 2 weeks. If it came back positive, they would have to redo it because I had let my new MW check me that day... grr. Of course his shift ended and I had to see yet another hospitalist. They tried to stop my contractions with just procardia this time and it wasn't working. They thought maybe the steroid shot triggered them and wanted to keep me that day on magnesium while I got my 2nd dose. That was awful. I was on it for 12 hours. I couldn't get out of bed. They had to catheterize me, put air compressions on my legs to prevent clots, and check my blood pressure every 30 minutes. It makes you feel like you're burning from the inside out. Turns out the test they had done got messed up at the lab so we decided to just wait until the next day to redo it. The mag didn't stop the contractions, so before it ended, they put me back on procardia and gave me something to help me sleep, but it didn't work. The procardia made my blood pressure drop and my heart rate go up, making sleep impossible. The next day I thought I was going to finally get to see my midwife, but apparently it was her day off so the OB came in and redid the test. It came back negative. PHEW! The contactions had finally stopped overnight, so I went home with a diagnosis of irritable uterus.
The next day I called my homebirth midwife and asked her if she'd take me back :) We thought that I wasn't going to give birth until at least 36 weeks. At that point I could give birth at home or at the hospital in Stanford, if I thought I could make it. If I could make it until 37 weeks, I could have my homebirth no question. Everyone said I didn't need to be on bed rest, but I was afraid that if the contractions started again, that they would cause my water break. Turns out I was half right....
Thanksgiving fell on November 24th this year, Dani's birthday, the baby we lost last year. I decided I didn't want to go to Louisville this year. I wanted to stay home and mourn where I had birthed and buried my baby. We have a few families at our church that are from out of town and don't have family close by. Some of them couldn't make it home for Thanksgiving. Our church is a family. When we lost Dani, they prayed and they cried with me. They give me strength through Him. We invited over a couple of families with the understanding it would be nothing fancy. Summer prepared the turkey breasts. Scott and Joshua did the rest. We used paper plates and throw away serving trays. What little dishes were dirtied, were washed by Jacob. Summer had cleaned the house in the days prior. I am truly blessed. I took it easy. I even did the shopping through Kroger's click list. It was a good day. I went to bed with no contractions. 
Read Part Two Here 

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