A Plus Sized Mom, With Two Healthy, Low-Risk Births and Many Prayers Answered
I love these two birth stories. I read LOTS of birth stories- but these ones just sucked me in. I think you will enjoy them too and feel the joy and blessings that this mom experienced as she welcomed her two precious girls.
Mia's Birth Story~
I suspected I was pregnant in April 2010 while my husband and I were on a vacation to see friends in Oregon. I was not in the least bit nauseous, I just craved berries so intensely that if I did not get them I got a headache. So I told my hubby that I thought I was and that I was nervous. I was trying to lose weight so I was on medication and watching what I was eating carefully, so I was not too thrilled about possibly gaining weight. In his signature carefree, laid back manner he replied "If you are great! If not, then great!" Greaaaaat.
Not that we were not TTC, we were, I just was not ready for the reality of it actually happening. So when we came home from our trip we went and got a home pregnancy test and I wanted to take it right away but hubby said to follow the instructions. So I did. And at 3am on April 26th 2010 I took the test and it came back positive! I remember climbing back into bed and laying next to my sleeping hubby, and thinking that our lives were going to permanently change and that I was not going to be falling back to sleep any time soon. As soon as my hubby stirred I told him he was going to be a Daddy! We were both very excited, but decided to keep it a secret until Mother's Day.
We announced our good news and started the search for a health care provider for myself. I originally wanted to be a part of the local midwife program through our Hospital that was closest to our home. When I met with them they explained that they did not take women in the program who were over 250 lbs. before they conceived because that automatically made me a "high risk" pregnancy. Oh how I would come to loathe those two words.
I then made an appointment with a local female OB/GYN, and gave them all my information (height, weight, medical history etc..) The appointment was not for another month so I started doing everything to ensure a healthy baby. The morning of the appointment I went into the office, checked in and got excited about seeing and hearing our little one for the first time. My husband and I talked nervously about the future and started tossing around a few names, then I was called back into the office and was told that they do not take women who are over 250 lbs. because I was......you guessed it,"high risk."
I was already 12 weeks along. I was angry that they made me wait a whole month to tell me this! I left the office mad, frustrated, depressed and even a little guilty for letting myself get to 365 lbs. I made about 20 calls that day to other providers in our area and every one of them told me that they would not take me because I was "high risk." I finally asked one of the providers who they did know that would take someone over 250 lbs. We got an answer and I was not thrilled with the only option I had. This doctor did not have good reviews, a good bedside manner or a good reputation. But I had no other options. Now I know I have many more options.
Each appointment I had so many questions for the doctor but each time by the time I got up into a sitting position on the table he was already out the door. That was when I discovered the joy of the Internet for answering some of my questions. I was told each time that I was not to gain any weight AT ALL during my pregnancy. So I made sure that from that time on I did not gain a single pound. And if I did, I made sure I lost it by the time my next appointment came around.
I weighed myself religiously twice a day and made sure I ate very healthy. But I am sure the portions I ate were barely enough. I was made to feel like a circus act or an enigma at every appointment because all the tests for all the things I was "supposed" to have because I was "high risk" came back negative every time. I was not sure why they all thought I was so weird. I ate healthy, was active and led a pretty decent lifestyle. My husband and I would discuss all the things they were testing for and could not figure out why they would need to test for some of the things. All in all, it was pretty frustrating. Oh yeah, and we found out that our hospital would not let that doctor deliver there. Yay me!
On November 22, 2010 at our appointment, I told the nurse that for two weeks I had been having irregular but strong contractions and was feeling less movement than normal and she said that she would relay that to the doctor. She did a pelvic exam and said I was 60 % effaced and 3 cm dilated. When he came in, he did an ultrasound and used the doppler to hear the heartbeat. Everything seemed good, but he was worried that the baby was too big and that I might have to do a c-section because of it. That was the LAST thing I wanted to hear. The doctor scheduled a Non Stress Test for the 29th. The doctor said that if everything went ok, he was going to schedule me to be induced on December 6th at 39 weeks.
November 29th came and that morning I told my hubby to take everything just in case of something. He said it should all be fine but grabbed the bags anyways. I love him for that. We got to the hospital and I was hooked up to two very uncomfortable monitoring straps. After an hour and a half of monitoring, the nurse came in and said I could go home. So I asked that I could schedule the induction while we were at the hospital, she said she could call the doctor and ask. After about 30 minutes and some heightened activity in the Labor and Delivery area, the nurse came back and said the doctor had changed his mind and that I was going to be induced that day. I kept asking "why if everything was ok?". I did not get much of an answer until the next day.
I was ushered into an ultrasound where I was informed that my baby was between 8-9 lbs. and I was contracting regularly. After the ultrasound I was checked in and given a room. I got changed into the hospital gown and the nurse started my IV for fluids and Pitocin. She started the Pitocin small and gradually increased it until she had given me the most she could give me. I was shocked that the contractions were not nearly as painful as the ones that I had been experiencing! I had been told how horribly painful the real contractions could be and that I would have to do a lot of controlled breathing to get through them. HA, yeah right. I was started on Pitocin at 1 pm on the 29th. I was on facebook on my phone until 10pm with no pain.
The contractions were one on top of another so the nurse came back in and dialed it back. She explained that my body needed to rest in between each contraction so the baby would not be distressed. My Mom was actually mad at me because I was not in any real pain!(She herself experienced a lot of pain in childbirth with me as I was born via c-section after a failure to progress. And both of my siblings were VBAC but with Demerol)
At 10pm, the head nurse came in and offered me an epidural because I was dilating pretty quickly but I needed to sleep. I was really uncomfortable because of the stupid fetal monitoring belts. My daughter was (and still is) a very active little girl and the monitors kept having to be repositioned every 5 minutes. I am not kidding about that either. So I was told to stay flat on my back and not to roll on my side and to avoid getting out of bed to pee if at all possible (yeah, right).
I really struggled with the decision because I was so committed to a natural childbirth. I understood that if I did not get sleep I would not have much energy for pushing. I just wanted to have as much energy as possible so I opted for the epidural. I hate needles. I think the most painful thing was getting the epidural. It took very well and I was asleep within an hour of getting it. At 2:57am on the 30th my water broke. Even though I had the epidural I woke up because I knew my water had broken. Sure enough a minute later a nurse came in and checked and I was dilated to a 7 and 90% effaced and my water had broken. I went back to sleep for about another hour.
Then things started to get a little tense. They started having issues keeping the belt on me and the monitor in her little head. They dialed the pitocin back to almost nothing and I was in active labor on my own. By 9 am I was 10cm dilated but still 90% effaced. I was worried about the cord becoming wrapped around her neck because I could feel her moving even when she was at a +2 station. At 10:45am I felt the need to push and when the nurse checked me she told me that whatever I did DO NOT cough, laugh, sneeze or bear down.
Mia was crowning and the doctor was in the next room delivering another baby. I remember thinking my body is going to do whatever it wants to because I am not in control at this point! Luckily the doctor came in about 5 minutes later and only 3 pushes Mia was born at 10:57 am weighing in at a scrawny 6 lbs 14 oz., as compared to the 8-9 lb. estimation and 19 3/4 inches long. She was beautiful and perfect and looked right into my eyes when they placed her on my chest. I remember saying over and over "Mommy loves you Mia Rose."
I cried and there were tears from hubby as well. I was told that I did not tear at all and had absolutely zero complications for my being "high risk". Unfortunately Mia was taken from us to the nursery before I could nurse her. 6 hours later we were able to finally start our breast feeding adventure. During the 6 hours I came to find out that another of my doctor's patients that was due when I was exactly, had come in for a NST and found out that her baby was stillborn. The doctor decided that it was too much of a risk to let me continue the pregnancy. I had no complications and no risk factors other than my numerical value of weight. Needless to say I was a perfectly healthy and normal pregnancy and birth other than the fact that I was morbidly obese according to my doctor.
As I write this Mia is an extremely active 18 month old and loves music with a passion. She is very excited to be a big sister.
Hallie's Birth Story~
I did not find out I was expecting Hallie until I was 4 months pregnant. Let me back up and give you a little background.
May 2011 my hubby and I were both unemployed and looking for work. Our daughter was 6 months old and I had just weaned her. I had one cycle. I was on the pill and exercising. June 6th my hubby received a call for an interview with a security company and I received a call to interview for a position at Starbucks. We both got the jobs and suddenly our family went from spending 24/7 together to being passing ships in the night between work schedules. I am really very lucky that my Mom lives on the street behind us. She watched our daughter while we worked. Mia started experiencing some separation anxiety so that made me going to work even more rough.
July 26, 2011 I developed a rash on both of my arms and nothing cured it. I was informed by our insurance that in light of consolidating Medical Records, my general care provider had just been changed to a provider that was an OB/GYN as well as a General Care provider. So I went into the new doctor and showed him my rash and he had me do some blood work to make sure it was not Celiac Disease, which my Dad had just been diagnosed with. I put off doing the blood work until I could afford the co pay which was 2 weeks later. August 29, 2011 I received a call from my doctors office saying they needed me to come in and discuss the results of the blood work. My appointment was for the next day.
August 30, 2011, I went into the doctors office with my husband. I was nervous because of the need to be called in to discuss the results. The doctor came into the room and sat down and opened up my file. He said that the rash was not the news but that he needed to discuss the fact that we were going to be parents again! I think my jaw hit my chest!
My husband looked confused. We had taken every precaution against getting pregnant again! We went into the ultrasound room a few minutes later. I laid on the table and readied myself to see our little tadpole or bean. The doctor stuck the wand on my belly and I saw a fully developed baby! No little bean or tadpole because I was already 16 weeks pregnant and I had no clue! No cravings, morning sickness, no nothing! I had even had my regular cycles! My due date was February 28th, 2012.
Needless to say I was in shock and denial. I cried. Not because I was not happy, but because I was not ready to be pregnant again. My 8 month old was just beginning to crawl, we had just moved into a house from our studio. We had done everything humanly possible to prevent it but I know God was looking at me and saying "I don't care what you do, you need another precious little gift!" I firmly believe that we are not given more than we can handle, but that belief was shaken for about a month. We did not tell anyone for that month because I was in shock. I prayed and prayed and asked why. I had just started working again and there was so much going on but I was given a peace that I cannot even explain. I am going to try though.
After I had Mia, I enjoyed being a Mom so much that I wished and wished that I could be a stay at home Mom. When I went back to work, it tore me up every time I had to leave her, and when I saw her little face at the end of the day it made me feel so complete. Even though I thought I could not handle another little one, God answered the deepest desire of my heart to be a stay at home Mommy. My husband's job gave him a raise and I was given another little life to cherish. I resigned my position at Starbucks in the beginning of October 2011.
We had such a difficult time finding a name for our new baby girl. It needed to have meaning that was significant. We eventually decided on Hallie Michelle because Hallie means "unexpected gift" and Michelle means "Gift from God". It defined her perfectly.
It just so happens that my doctor also happened to be the only "high risk" OB/GYN that our insurance would cover. And he was the doctor I originally wanted for my first daughter. Talk about answered prayer! I went to all my appointments through December and everything was going wonderfully. My doctor and I had a great understanding. He understood that I was not "high risk" other than the fact that my weight was not what it should be. Other than that I was a perfectly healthy and active individual. My husband even liked him, which says a lot because my hubby hates doctors.
January 13th, 2012 was the date of my first appointment in the new year. It was also Friday the 13th. I am not overly superstitious but looking back, I should have known it was not going to be a great day.
I checked in for my appointment but was told that my insurance had been canceled and the doctor could not see me until I had some form of insurance because I was already past 34 weeks. I was so upset!!!! My Insurance told me that we had been without Insurance since the end of November. We had never been informed of anything. So for the next 2 weeks I spent most of my time in a frenzy trying to get some kind of medical insurance so i could continue to be seen. I finally got medical insurance again on February 12th, 2012, when I was 38 weeks.
Well my due date came and went. No sign of Hallie making an appearance. By 41 1/2 weeks I was ready to have her. I was in labor with her but I was not dilating. I was checked into the hospital on the evening of March 5th and started on Cervadil. I dilated and labored naturally all the way until 7cm and 100% effaced at 6 am on the 6th. I stopped dilating and I was in a crazy amount of pain. I felt like my hips were being ripped off my body with each contraction.
Hallie was not descending and nothing was helping her to either. I had a gut feeling that she was not descending because my water had not broken. I told the nurse that as soon as my water breaks within about 10 minutes I would be able have her out. I explained that my last delivery went very quick once I dilated completely. I asked for an epidural only because my hips felt as they did. I had wanted to avoid an epidural because I had one with my last daughter, but I was ready for some relief. Have I mentioned how much I HATE needles? I do. I cried like a baby when they gave it to me. But I was able to get some rest until 9:45am. That's when things got crazy.
The nurse was checking me and she had a resident along with her. The resident was very nice and was asking how she could tell that my water was going to break any minute so the nurse waited until my next contraction and then asked the resident to feel the bag as the contraction was happening, she said "it feels exactly like a water balloon filled to bursting.". After that the head nurse checked me to see where I was dilated to and she said I was a 10 and completely efface but Hallie was still at a -2 station.
As she was checking me my water broke and I felt her drop hard into my pelvis and the immediate need to push. This was at 10 am. I told them I felt I needed to push NOW, and they put the fetal monitor in and Hallie's heart rate was going crazy. It ranged from 90- 180 bpm. They called the doctor and he said he was 20 minutes away but would try to get there ASAP.
They started to get things set up but I saw that they were also prepping for an emergency c-section. My poor husband was not sure what all was happening. But they started to break away the bed as they put my feet into the stir ups, as they were doing that the bed got jammed and that was the end of me being able to deliver on my side. The head nurse was concerned that the fetal monitor might not be in right because of the crazy readings we were getting.
She re-inserted the fetal monitor into Hallie's scalp and then her readings went back to normal! 2 minutes later the doctor came running in and was all scrubbed up. The head nurse explained what had happened but also said I felt I needed to push now. He had my husband help me into a traditional pushing position and told me to refrain from pushing while he did a perineal massage to help me not to tear. He told me to give him a push and Hallie was crowning with a full head of hair! One more push and Hallie Michelle was born at 10:10 am weighing in at 7 lbs even and 19 3/4 inches long. She was laid on my belly as I delivered the placenta. She latched on right away and nursed for 30 minutes straight. I remember my hubby and I just staring at our beautiful little gift and crying. Life would never be the same.
As I write this Hallie is 8 weeks old and smiles all the time. She is my little cuddle bug and chatterbox. She has been cooing at me since she was 4 weeks old. Her big sister adores her but sometimes forgets that she cant play the same way. LOL I love my crazy life, my hubby and my 2 daughters. I am blessed to now be a Stay at Home Mommy.