Friday, September 5, 2008

Note to self: do not trust "feelings"

I though it was going to be good. I really did. When I got in the car Bob Dylan and Coldplay came on the radio back to back, and I thought, gee, this is a good sign. I was feeling happy.

When we got to the hospital, mom, a young primip was already at 8! We were all elated, and I was thinking how great this was for her, that that was what the universe had in mind for her.

2 hours later she had an anterior lip. 6 hours after that she had an anterior lip. A little pit, an awesome midwife (or 2) and 4 more hours of pushing later, she had a baby girl. No epidural, lots of joy. A happy family.

Then the doc, as he was stitching up her tears, says, what's that going on with your uterus? She ended up having a uterine inversion, which for those of you that are lucky enough not to know, is a rare emergency where after delivery your uterus ends up inside out trying to come out of your vagina. It is very serious. I would love feedback from any of my midwife and doula readers who have any experience with this. So mom is rushed to the or, lost lots of blood, will be in the ICU for three days unable to see baby, nurse, bond. It's all just very maddening and sad.

This is exactly why I went to work for BOLD. The little picture of birth is just too emotionally draining.

Off to Bend to see the BOLD performance. Let me know if you'll be there too.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A new season for all

Well, tomorrow is the first day of kindergarten for the big one, and the first day of preschool for the small one. I myself am off to a birth, the first after the summer off. Looks like it's time for change for us all.

This birth feels like it's going to be good.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

If you give a woman an epidural...

A doula from Minnesota wrote this hilarious spoof on "If you give a mouse a cookie." I love it!

If you give a Woman an Epidural...

If you give a woman an epidural, she'll need a big bag of lactated ringers to go with it, the lactated ringers will keep her blood pressure from plummeting when she gets her epidural, but it will also swell her tissue with excess fluid so her legs and breasts will swell and she'll be shedding water weight for days if not weeks. The fluid in her breasts will make it hard for the baby to latch on at first, so the nurses will think the baby's not able to nurse and they'll recommend some formula, just until the nursing goes better, this will probably make mom feel insecure and crappy about her mothering skills and it could interfere with bonding.

After the epidural's in, she'll probably need a catheter because she won't be moving around much anymore, and hey! she can't feel anything below her belly button anyway! If she gets the catheter, she might get a urinary tract infection to go with it.

Once she gets the epidural and the catheter, even with the extra fluid, her blood pressure might drop anyway in response to the medication she's getting, she might get some epinephrine which has the following common side effects:

Anxiety; difficulty sleeping; dizziness; fearfulness; headache; nausea; nervousness; paleness; sweating; tremors; vomiting; weakness.

If she's unlucky she might even experience these side effects:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); fast heartbeat; irregular heartbeat; wheezing.

If she gets the fluid, the epidural, the catheter, and the epinephrine, the baby might not respond very well, so the doctor will want to know what the baby's heart rate looks like all the time, and the doctor will also want to see whether mom's contractions are strong enough to dilate her cervix, so an electronic fetal scalp electrode will be screwed into the baby's head, and another special catheter, one that measures the strength of the contractions, will be pushed up inside mom's uterus. Of course, to do this, the bag of waters would have to be broken, so that the catheter can go in. Once the bag of waters is broken, the doctor will be paying close attention to the time, because doctors don't like women to walk around with a ruptured amniotic sack for much longer than a day, even if the mom and baby need longer to birth.

When she gets her fetal scalp electrode and the intrauterine pressure catheter is in place, the contractions might not look very strong on paper, so the nurse or doctor will do some cervical exams, to see how things are going. Lots of people, from the nurse, to the doctor, to the resident, to the medical student might put their fingers up inside of mom's vagina, so they can get a better idea of what's going on. But it's no big deal how many people put their hands up there, because remember, mom can't feel it! If they put their fingers up there over and over again, mom might get sick. She might get a fever, she might even get a fever in response to the epidural! But the doctors won't know exactly what's causing it, so they'll just give her a full spectrum anti-biotic to cover everything.

And if they give her a bunch of anti-biotics over the course of labor, she might get a yeast infection to go with it! If she gets a yeast infection she might give the infection to her baby too, then the baby would have thrush, which could cause more breastfeeding problems.

Once she's got the fluid, epidural, iupc, fse, the catheter, the cervical exams, and the anti-biotics, her contractions might poop out altogether, so she'll get some pitocin. The pitocin will blast her body into labor, making her contract harder and harder, faster and faster, but it won't cross the blood-brain barrier like natural oxytocin does, which is what triggers our bodies to create nature's pain killers: endorphins, so the contractions will be excruciating and very difficult to work with.

And if the contractions are very difficult to work with....

chances are.....

She'll want an epidural!