Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mary: a Late in Life mother

The first of many guest writers to submit her birth stories.  Mary is an amazing mother of 4 spectacular children.  She's given birth in 3 different decades and 2 different countries.  So, in her own words, I give you:

Mary's Birth Story

Ok. Babies births.

Baby 1: It was 1983, I was 19 years old and married living in Norfolk, VA.  At about midterm, I was told I was 1 1/2 cm dilated and to go home and go to bed for the rest of the pregnancy. Every exam they told me "It could be any day now."  Two weeks before I was due, my then hubby's ship was leaving for 6 months, so I flew back to Indy to be with family. 8 hours, with lay overs, 9 months pregnant! I had been up and active for a month. I kept calling the doctor telling him my back hurt and his only answer was to come to the hospital when the pain moves to my stomach. I never had one pain in my stomach, so we finally just went to the hospital. It's a good thing I don't listen well.  I finally went into labor ten days late.  Also only took 7 hours from first back ache to delivery, no pain medicines. Only intervention was doctor had to bust bulging water sack. (My mom freaked because "omg you could have had him on the plane" me "no mom, I would have had him in Philadelphia on my layover" lol) except for a large head & cord wrap (so i couldn't hold him immediately) that resulted in left side cut instead of a center, all was perfect. Late babies are ok. Successfully breastfed until he weaned at less then a year. When he walked he put his paci in the trash and he was done.

Baby 2: 1986 and now I was 21 years old.  My entire pregnancy went fine. I went into labor at 34 weeks though while living very rural northern Japan on an Air Force base. 13 hours of labor. Had to be put on pitocin and oxygen when babies stats dropped drastically. Once again I had a bulging water bag that the doctor ruptured and said he'd be back in a half hour to check me. I stopped him as he was going out the door and told him "Too late! Babies coming now!" At that time labor and delivery were separate and were under construction for the new style. My doctor rode on the gurney with me down the hall to delivery, with his hand in my vagina, holding onto baby. All this time a medi vac jet was on stand by to take off with my baby, to God knows where, without us, as it was a 12 bed hospital with no ICU unit. They had no idea the condition he would be in. I didn't get to hold him either until later because they wanted to examine him good. Besides feeding issues, he did great. Lungs were fully developed and he got to stay with us. He stayed for a week, home for a week, back in for a week. By the way, I was up and in the shower two hours after birth so I could go get my baby.

Baby3: 1990 and I was just shy of 26 years old.  By now I'm listed as high risk.  At 14 weeks, my doctors decided to do a cerclage and sew my cervix shut. It was supposed to be outpatient, but it carries risks and of course I hit those risks and started bleeding. My outpatient procedure became a two day inpatient. I went into labor at 26 weeks and spent the next 4 weeks in and out of the hospital in labor several times. Thankfully I was the type that my water never breaks easy.  I think that was all that saved her. On one ambulance ride from our small town to Indy, I asked the EMT if he'd ever delivered a baby. "No, but I watched once."  I told them to pull over and have my husband that was following get in, because at least he's watched twice! At 30 weeks the doctors decided baby and mommy have up had enough drugs. In 1990, the way to stop labor was morphine and seconal and tons of steroids. But for some reason she turned feet first and was in distress. That meant an emergency c section at 3:30 am on Labor Day. I've never seen so many masked people in one room. We each had a complete team. (I'm crying now!) It's a girl! After having two boys I finally have a baby girl, but ... she's totally lifeless. Nothing. They're working hard to save her. They all came rushing by me as I lay there in tears and they said "Kiss her mom, it doesn't look good" and they left with her.  I got only a half a second with her.  Artificial surfactant for preemie lungs didn't exist then. When I saw my baby later in the day she was on a ventilator in an incubator. She's had a long hard battle, she has ADHD and learning disabilities in some ways, but she is incredibly smart in other ways. She is now a flight attendant. By the way, I pumped daily and successfully breatfed my preemie. It can be done.  It's not easy at first, but it does get easier and it's very rewarding.

Fast forward 20 years to:

Baby 4: 2011 and I am 46 years old.  I'm remarried now and my hubby, who helped finish raising my first three, had said his only regret in life is he never had a child of his own. So?  We fixed that!  We are LIL (late in life) parents and we love it. I spent time in bed rest again but she still came 5 weeks early as we kind of expected.  This time though, with new technology, she had no lung issues. This time, delivery was hell. Going into labor late on a Saturday is the worst. I of course wanted to VBAC. Being a preemie I figured she'd be easy, but once again my baby's stats were dropping with every contraction. So , c section at 4 am on a Sunday by a surgeon I've never met. The epidural failed miserably, my legs were dead weights, but I could feel my insides being torn apart. I puked, I cried, it was pure torture.  They gassed me as much as they could without it getting to baby. My experience with my previous successful natural births helped me tremendously. I did my breathing and it helped. Once again, I don't get to hold baby but at least she's crying. They examined her as I'm focusing on my breathing through Every. Single. Stitch. (WTH didn't they glue me?!?). They take my baby girl to NICU for exam and observation and I make daddy go with her.  In recovery, when the nurses rolled me to change my bed pad, they busted my stitches about a fourth of the way. Like totally open. FML! Thankfully, this time they glued it. My little girl was small, 5lbs 11oz and I tried to breastfeed but she dropped to 4lbs 5oz when we left the hospital. A few days later they re admitted her for dehydration and failure to thrive. I think a better breastfeeding support and a LS tube would have worked and by the time she reached due date we would have been good. I even emailed my local LeLeche once when i was in the hospital because i wasn't getting enough BF support but I didn't get a reply. So I still hate that we missed out on that.

PS  I have Cloth Diapered all of my babies at least part time, if not full time.

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