I'm overjoyed to introduce the first, of please G-d many, Birth Stories that will be happening here on the blog! I plan to have them featured twice a month, but we'll see if we can keep up! I hope that by sharing these stories, we can all learn about the many variations of normal, the miracles of modern medicine, and the benefits of trusting our bodies to do what they were born to do!
Here are Bracha's Birth Stories of her son and daughter:
An Ultra-Sound of Dassi, Bracha's daughter.
With my first, I had infertility issues that lead me to need insemination treatments after many failed attempts of less extreme methods.
I have PCOS so I feared I'd never have kids. Our second IUI was successful, albeit only producing one egg with the ovulation stimulating injections and turned into my now son Dovid. When I got my first positive after so many negatives I was beside myself. I feared everyday of losing the gift I was given. We were put on Metformin and Progesterone suppositories as we were told by RMA of NY (Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York) that it would help prevent losses for us due to insulin resistance and low progesterone issues. I went in for blood work to check my HCG and Progesterone levels every two days but had a bleeding scare at 8 weeks after being discharged! It turned out to be nothing or so we were told. Then we followed up with a regular OBGYN and I ended up developing a small subchorionic hematoma in the first trimester which put us on bedrest until we were in the second trimester. After that the pregnancy was pretty typical, but we did have Placenta Lakes, which made me somewhat high risk and made me followed up closer. My son being the silly boy that he is, would not cooperate on the NST scans and we failed many, leading us to discuss early induction- but thankfully that didn't happen!
On December 26th, 2015 my estimated due date I started having contractions but they were sporadic and 15 minutes apart at shortest. They were so painful tho so we went into the hospital to check it out. I was 1cm and 50 effaced so we were sent back home and told it could be any day or still weeks! I gave birth to my son on December 28th, 2015 at 12:50am. I remember it like it was yesterday. Sunday morning the 27th after having contractions that whole night i vowed I was getting that baby out! I ate an entire pineapple pumped my breasts was with my husband and danced the pregnancy dance; then I took the dog for a run in the park and that did it... although I'd been doing all that since week 37 this time my body was ready! I started having stronger contractions that stopped me in my tracks and then had my bloody show. This time before running in I paged the Dr and he said to go in. By the time I went in I was 3-1/2cm and 80 effaced and they admitted me! From there on in, the entire ordeal lasted 2 hours about of labor and then pushing. I pushed for 50 minutes with an epidural which I begged for but I feel as though it only helped with contractions the pushing I felt like 70% of. When I had the ring of fire by crowning, I felt like that was it, I wasn't making it through; but I did and at that point of extreme pain and giving up, my son was out. I assumed the pain was over with, but it wasn't. The recovery lasted around 5 weeks I had Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (spd) which hurt like crazy and made walking and sitting unbearable and due to my large tear, I experienced burning for a while before it all healed up. The pregnancy childbirth and recovery made me swear no more kids for a good 2 years. I was nursing my son and assumed that would be birth control, especially for someone like me, who needed such help getting pregnant.
Dovid, Bracha's oldest child.
I fell pregnant 4 months postpartum! Needless to say I was surprised and unsure how to feel. I went straight to the fertility clinic knowing I have progesterone insufficiency and was put on Progesterone and Metformin again. I hoped this pregnancy would be easier than my first but no such luck. At 5 weeks we found a massive subchorionic hematoma again, right were the placenta attaches and I was told that if it wasn't already over, (there was no heartbeat detected yet since it was too early)
it would most likely be soon but there was a slight chance this was reversible if I went on strict bedrest only getting up for bathroom breaks. I was lost and confused as to why this happened again. I blamed myself for lifting my son too much and being too active. We had just signed a lease on a new house and I was helping pack. I was terrified of losing my baby and on the other hand so fed up with pregnancy and restrictions that I just wanted it to be over!
I was breastfeeding and despite Dr's orders wasn't giving that up for a slim chance of another pregnancy. I continued to nurse my son till he was 7 months, so for the rest of the first trimester. I was discharged from the clinic fast this time because the situation was so dire they didn't even want me on car rides due to bumps.
Not knowing whether I was still pregnant aside from no bleeding, I feared everyday that it would come. I decided I was going to just hope for the best but not give up on things that meant the world to me, like nursing my boy. I went in to be seen at 6 weeks and there was still no heartbeat... they told me that wasn't good and they should have seen one by then. I had another scan 2 days later to determine whether it was a blighted ovum or not. At my next visit there was a beautiful strong heartbeat (!!!) but the clot was still there and still big. It had gotten a little smaller so there was hope that the bed rest was working. I was then not seen again until about 12 weeks for my Nuchal Translucency scan. Of course I asked about the clot first thing and it was still there, but my baby was fine. They even guessed that it would be a girl! Somehow I had a strong hunch about that all along. At my 20 week scan I was told I could get off of bedrest and that the clot had entirely disappeared! I was also told that everything was fine and my baby was in fact a girl! The fear with those clots is that they will cause the placenta to detach from the uterine wall (placental abruption) or irritate the uterus, causing cramping which can put the body in extreme preterm labor, resulting in a miscarriage. Neither of those things happened to me, Thank G-d, and after the clot issue, the pregnancy was totally uneventful... Until we hit 34 weeks and had a growth scan. We were then told that our baby's belly was in the 6th percentile, and might not be growing properly. We then we're once again classified as high risk, and we're seen for big weekly growth scans. Panicking, I joined IUGR support groups and heard that eating a lot of protein could help. I overdosed on protein and at our second growth scan we were told baby was fine! I mentioned the protein idea, and the Technician said it was true, and it does help. This seems like a controversial opinion though- some doctors told me it had no effect. Similar to bedrest being prescribed for SCH, doctors opinions differ on the matters. After the growth scan scare, everything went fine.
I was almost at the end of my pregnancy, praying that it would just go smoothly and that perhaps this time I'd deliver by week 39- lol! My doctor was saying second time around women deliver earlier. Well that did not happen for me! At my 39 week visit I was 3cm and 50 effaced, but had felt nothing major, but occasional cramps here and there. I had watched the movie "The Business of Being Born" and it scared me about going into hospitals too early, and needing Pitocin etc., I'm not sure why I thought that way, when my previous birth went so quickly, but I did. In my last week I had nights here and there of severe cramps that made me say this is labor, this is it! But wanting to avoid being sent home, I breathed through them, took hot baths, and told myself labor is natural and even if I give birth here, we'll live- lol. On February 1st, 2017 I woke up feeling ill... I threw up right upon waking up, and then felt sick the whole day. Midday, I started thinking labor was coming and started telling my mom I think it's coming soon. That night I started having heavy contractions, but I vowed not to go in until they were 3 minutes apart for 1 hour. That never happened😏 . I went into the tub and Murphy's Law- there was no hot water 😂 ! But I stayed in there moaning and moving my hips to help with the pain. An hour into it, although they were coming sporadically, some 3 minutes apart some 10 etc., I knew it was time. I started getting loud in the car as it was starting to become quite painful. By the time I got to the hospital I couldn't walk. I asked for a wheelchair and was taken up to the L&D ward. I was then taken in right away and was 6cm 100 effaced! I was taken back to triage.
Bracha in Labor with her oldest son, Dovid.
My water broke on the table in the triage room, where they asked me a million questions which I couldn't answer. I was screaming my head off at that point 😉 , begging for an epidural, but they kept telling me soon, soon. They wheeled me into the delivery room and tried to tell me not to scream. I ignored them and turned onto my side and just screamed all I wanted. Being on my side helped a lot. They continued to ask me questions but I wasn't answering anymore. They asked me to move onto another bed and when I attempted to lift my body and move, the baby moved down and my body took over and started pushing, it was insane! I laid down and said "I'm pushing! I need to push!" they then tried to tell me not to, but my body wasn't having it. It pushed and pushed no matter what. I really had no control at that point. I started to realize at that moment that epidural wasn't happening and that this was going to be an all natural birth. Lucky me I had watched so many clips and knew that it would all be ok! I told myself in those moments of suffering, "This is normal, this is natural, this won't last forever, and everything will be OK! This too shall pass!!"
The doctor then came running in, and my daughter was born after 5 pushes. I was so in love at that moment, something I did not experience as strong with my son, (maybe due to epidural) and wanted to hold her every second. They said I had a small tear and stitched me up. My poor husband came walking in and saw the baby! He missed the birth as he was waiting for someone to pick up my son from the car, so he could be there with me. In the end apparently it all only lasted 40 minutes from admission to birth. The anesthesiologist, with the epidural, came in right after baby was born 😂 😂..
I was a little traumatized for the next 2 days but the recovery was 24 hours! I was up on my feet hours after birth, and had zero pain or issues. No burning when I peed, nothing. I was shocked and waiting for it to come, but it never did. I am now almost 7 weeks postpartum now and feeling great! My daughter has MSPI, like my son did, so I'm off milk and soy while nursing. 🙂 Next baby I am hiring a doula and going to a midwife! After my 24 hour recovery both physically and emotionally, which I did not have with my son at all, I am sold on natural birth and will be looking to have a tub birth next time.
Thanks for listening 😍