Bringing a baby into the world


I have a pretty one track mind these days.  I feel like a broken record and all I'm thinking about is baby baby baby.  I'm a planner, and while I know things change, I can't help but feel better about everything if I at least have put some thought into every tiny little thing the things that matter.  No really, if you all knew the things I think about in my head, I know no one would want to be around me ;)

So to recap.  Shepherd's birth had every intervention you could imagine.  I saw red flags all throughout my prenatal care, but didn't know enough to realize it.  At my 12 week appointment, the first time I met my doctor, I mentioned my mom had me via C-section.  I didn't tell her why, she knew nothing about me, she hadn't even seen me standing up.  But because of that comment, she told me, "oh then you'll probably have a C-section."  RED FLAG.   As I neared 39 weeks I was told my only option was induction or C-section, because I was going to have a "huge baby."  People have huge babies everyday.  Why would my doctor think if that was the case that I couldn't?  (FYI Shepherd was tiny and has been in the 5% since the day he was born).  The day before my induction I called to see if I could please put it off another day, and they told me no.  Really?  What were they going to do...not let me have the baby?  I had made clear over and over to my OB that I did not want to end up with a C-section.  So the fact that she induced me when my body had shown no signs of being ready, knowing that that actually drastically increases my chances of a C-section makes me so angry.  At the hospital I was immediately pumped full of drugs and fluids and pitocin.  My contractions were awful because of the pitocin, and I ended up getting the epidural at I think 2-3 cm?  Meaning I was confined to laying on my back, which makes it hard for the body to make any progress.  I had only been in labor maybe 8 hours when my doctor declared me "failure to progress" and therefore in need of a C-section.  One of the main reasons for induction in the US is macrosomia (big baby) and the #1 reason for C-sections in the US is "failure to progress."  But how long does labor take?  Certainly in most cases more than 8 hours.  Yet, I wasn't going quick enough, so my doctor told me I would have to have a C-section.  Its scary when you're in a hospital and don't know anything, and your judgement is cloudy from all of the drugs.

Because of all of the interventions I had with Shepherd's birth, I think it contributed to a lot of issues postpartum.  Now I have no way to know this for sure, but Shepherd was born at 6 lbs 9.5 oz.  I've since learned that all of the fluids I received during labor, could have inflated his birth weight.  So when he was losing weight, they told me he was losing too much.  All babies lose some weight after birth, but I just can't help but think Shepherd seemed to be losing too much because his weight to begin with was incorrect because of the fluids transferred to him.  Because he lost too much weight, I was told I had to supplement with formula, something I had no intention of doing.
Which leads me to my next postpartum issue.  Breastfeeding was very hard for us in the beginning.  Something common with C-sections.  My biggest goal out of everything was to successfully breastfeed, so when I'm being told that I'm not producing enough milk and he's not gaining weight and I would have to supplement, it was devastating.  For weeks I was waking up every 3 hours to nurse, he wouldn't latch on, so I would pump, then give him my expressed milk in a bottle.  I also can't help but think breastfeeding would have been easier from the beginning if I had a vaginal delivery.  I'm very proud of the fact that with all of our early issues, Shepherd was exclusively breastfed and is still nursing at 20 months.

I'm not saying all of these things as the gospel.  Obviously I have no medical background, I'm just sharing my experience and what I've learned to be true for me.  And while I wish my OB had handled me differently, I don't completely blame her.  I firmly believe we are all responsible to do our own research to make the best decisions, and I regret not realizing at the time all that I know now.

Not being happy with the way I experienced Shepherd's birth, I'm putting a lot of thought and research into how we will bring Major into the world.  I have already switched from my OBGYN to a midwife.  I've been going to the chiropractor.  I've been to centering visits with a doula group.  I have planned to have a doula with me for Major's birth, and she helped me create a birth plan before I go into labor.
I just need to do everything I can to optimize my chances for a successful VBAC.  If for some reason it doesn't work, I don't want to look back and think, "what if I'd done that or known that."

Which brings me to my decision/indecision to have an epidural.  This is literally something I started wavering on at almost 39 weeks, which is an awful idea if I decide to plan for a natural childbirth.  When I do all my research, I can't ignore the risks associated with an epidural.  And I firmly believe it is my responsibility to research all of my options, pray about it, and make the best decision I can.  I'm also concerned about it increasing my chances of a C-section.  I just don't want to do all of this preparation for a VBAC, and because I'm scared of pain to have it not work.  But I am scared of the pain.  I don't know what I'll do.  Right now my plan is to prepare as best I can to go med-free, for that to be my goal, but if in the moment I want the epidural then thats ok too.

In bold type on my birth plan, my biggest thing is that I want everything explained to me in laymen's terms.  I want to know exactly what is happening, and why.  I want there to be medical evidence for something happening, not just because its the way its always done.  I also wrote that I want time to privately discuss my options with my husband and doula.

I am so thankful for modern medicine.   I do not take for granted that these are things I get to obsess about and make decisions about.  I'm beyond thankful for good health, and realize for some people the only way to safely deliver their baby is via C-section, and thats amazing!

Having a baby is a HUGE thing.  We plan every other event in our lives.  We take months and months to plan a wedding, why would I not put time and attention and energy into planning for the birth of my child.  Obviously I know just because I have a "plan" its really just a "wish list."  Whatever needs to happen to get Major here safely is my top priority, not making myself happy with a certain birth experience.  But I had to find the best midwife, the best plan of action, so that I know I at least did that.

I have a few verses written down, that I want to have in my head to concentrate on during labor.  One of those is:
"There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love."
1 John 4:18
I want to remind myself that all of my motivations for a drug-free delivery are based in LOVE and not let my fear of "what ifs" get in my head.  This was something my doula said to me when I was talking to her about how I wanted to go without an epidural but I didn't know if I could because I was so scared.

Aside from Major's actual labor and delivery, I'm also planning ahead for the first few days...weeks...after he is born.
I'm someone that needs space around myself, if that makes sense.  When Major is born, I need time with him.  I can't share him immediately.  I want time to bond, without feeling rushed.  There are studies showing that mothers who don't have time to bond with their babies after delivery can have a hard time adjusting.  We plan on just having the two of us there (Joey and myself), and then a few hours, or however long we need after he is born, we will have visitors.  When Shepherd was born, I felt so possessive of him.  I didn't want anyone else to hold him or really do anything.  I don't know if thats normal for all new moms, but I just needed my time to be used to him, before I could give him up.  Even taking a shower made me sad, because I didn't want to be away from him.

I feel like I'm being a broken record, but I guess its my blog and I can obsess if I want! ;)


  1. Good luck, Lady! I'll be praying for you that you get to have the kind of birth that you want to have! I too feel like I wish things had gone differently with Hayden, so I know I'll be as obsessed with everything next time around too! Lots of luck and thoughts heading your way!

  2. Beautifully written. And expressed so well, Jess. Prayers that all goes as you wish. Sending love to you and Joey.

  3. I don't know you personally, but have been reading your blog for years and really wanted you to know I'm thinking of and wishing you the very best.

    I pray you have an incredible experience with Major. I feel so badly for you the way it went the first time. I just had my baby girl, Sloane, in November and the thing they really push and insist upon now is chest-to-chest right after birth. As soon as the baby is safe they place them pn your naked chest, facing your nipple. They turn the lights down and for an hour nobody is allowed in or out of the room (my mom and husband who were there for the birth could stay, but we had to maintain a calming environment). They turned her head toward the nipple and over about a half hour she found it on her own and latched. It was incredible, and I believe that is why we had such a great bond initially (I'm having more difficulty now lol!).

    You really sound like you know what you want, and I wish with all my heart everything goes the way you want! Wishing you a safe delivery and wonderful experience.

    Xo, katie

    1. Wow, thank you so much! Sounds like you had the best experience after having Sloane. Love that name BTW ;) I'm glad they insisted on a calming environment...I'm requesting dim lights and soft voices, so hopefully the hospital staff go along with it! I'm so flattered that someone continues to read my blog LOL. Thanks for commenting!