I moved in with my boyfriend November of 2009. We had been together since January 2008. In the middle of December 2009, I found out that I was pregnant again. I was instantly so excited. I had done lots of studying between when J was born in 2002 and this pregnancy. I knew lots more about birth and the natural ways of doing things. I had intended to get a job doing massage when I moved in with my boyfriend, but that was put on hold when I got pregnant. I decided to spend the next 9 months learning as much as possible as pregnancy and childbirth. My first step was to finish up my training as a prenatal massage therapist and learn the areas to avoid during pregnancy and to help with inducing labor when a woman is past due. I read everything I could get my hands on. I read two wonderful books by Ina May Gaskin. For anyone wondering if natural birth can be accomplished I would check out her books and her site here: www.inamay.com. Her books contain story after story of women that have done it. It is encouraging and you feel like you have all of those women behind you. I also soaked up positive birth stories like the ones at www.positivebirthstories.com and www.hypnobabies.com. I read so many childbirth books, that I can’t remember all of them. Most of them focused on why the medical system of birth is a system gone wrong and how childbirth is natural not a medical emergency. The medical system of birth is a mess. It is a system that is seriously broken. It has gotten better from years ago when they used to put women completely under and remove their children but it still doesn’t give parents much rights with their own children. It is my belief that it also uses fear to push unnecessary medical procedures and interventions on women based on a doctors convenience. It is no coincedence that the induction and cesarean section rates go down on the weekends and rise again during the week. In all my reading, I also discovered that the drugs like an Epidural and narcotics like Stadol can inhibit the release of endorphins. Endorphins are nature’s pain killers. During natural labor, there is a steady stream of endorphins being released into your system to help releive the pain. As the pain gets more intense, higher levels of endorphins are released to match those more intense levels of pain. The endorphins also reach the baby to reduce their discomfort. The baby doesn’t reap the benefits of epidurals to help them with the discomfort and narcotics just leave them drugged up and woozy which can cause problems with latching. After the baby is pushed out the endorphins reach their highest levels and oxytocin is also released. These hormones in such a high concentration make the mother feel drunk with love! It is said to be so potent that everyone in the room can feel it, thus facilitating mother/child bonding as well as family bonding. That “high” can last for weeks after a natural child birth. That surge of hormones doesn’t happen in such a high concentration with a medicated birth and can cause some problems with bonding and can lead to higher rates of postpartum depression. That isn’t to say that if you require a c-section or induction that bonding can’t happen; it is just to say that initial bonding is easier with the love hormone coctail present in the air after birth. I mentioned my bonding issues after my first delivery in a previous blog. With all the information that I learned, I seriously believe that the bonding issues might have been caused by the trauma of the birth (due to forcing something that wasn’t ready to happen and the tearing), the medications in my system making me sick and my hormones not releasing like they do in a natural birth. Now I am not saying that bonding can not happen should there be an induction or c-section needed for serious medical issues. It just takes a while longer and if you battle with postpartum depression it can take a bit of extra work. What I learned was that if there isn’t a serious medical issue that would require you to have interventions, then don’t. It will make it easier to care for and bond with your infant.
It was during my pregnancy that I decided that I would be using cloth diapers after the baby was a month old, I would probably cosleep, baby wear, delay vaccinations and follow the attachment parenting way of doing things. You can find more info on delayed vaccinations and attachment parenting at www.askdrsears.com. I chose a midwife at a birthcenter to do my prenatal care. She was located about 45 minutes from my house, but she didn’t belive that would pose any problem when my time came. She would advise me of things to do to stay healthy during my pregnancy. She knew that I was trying to avoid a repeat of my last pregnancy experience. I started taking prenatals as soon as I found out I was pregnant. They made me very nauseous, it didn’t matter what time I took them. My midwife recommended Rainbow Light Prenatal Vitamins. These are super gentle and didn’t upset my stomach at all! Due to my unfortunate past and choices, I also have genital herpes, and know that you can deliver vaginally; but if you have an outbreak close to delivery you have to have a c-section. I wanted to do everything that I could to prevent an outbreak so I was taking Lyseine and Garlic suppliments once a day. Most people see an increase in outbreaks during pregnancy due to suppression of immune system but I didn’t have one full outbreak the entire time I was pregnant. I believe it was the Garlic and Lyseine that did it. I still take that suppliment now that am no longer pregnant. During my third trimester, I was prescribed Acyclovir to take for the remainder of the pregnancy to prevent any outbreaks at all. Also, it is rare to have PUPPS reoccur during your second pregnancy, but I wanted to avoid that as well. I learned that PUPPS was related to liver function and when the liver is overloaded during pregnancy PUPPS can rear its ugly head. I started taking Dandelion Root Extract to support my liver. My midwife approved all of the suppliments and also had me on a Calcium/Magnesium suppliment and a Vitamin C suppliment. Once I hit my last trimester, I used EPO (evening primrose oil) pills. I took one 1000 mg capsule and inserted one vaginally some nights before bed. I also started taking alfalfa to reduce any post partum bleeding. I took it once per day even though the bottle said to take it much more. One other thing that I took was Dr. Christopher’s Birth Prep. I started it at 37 weeks per the advice of my midwife. I took it a bit differently than it said on the bottle since I started a little later than the bottle recommended. For a half of a week, I took one in the morning. For a half a week I took one in the morning and one at night. For the next week, I took 2 in the morning and 2 at night. For the last week I took 2 at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I believe the birth prep was crucial to how fast my labor was! I am going to insert here that I am horrible at working out and even worse when I am tired, sore and round. She wanted me walking 30 minutes daily, but I think I actually averaged a walk a couple of times a month. I was going to do a prenatal yoga program and I did it two times. I have a horrible time with follow through! I really had great intentions of doing everything different but it didn’t always work out. I did get some of the most important things right. I ate better in general this pregnancy, but I still had my fair share of bad eating habits. We still ate out a lot but not as much. I cut all caffeine out of my diet by 3 months and switched from diet coke to sprite. My midwife didn’t really like the Sprite thing, but it was better than diet coke. I didn’t eat enough veggies and had way too many carbs! At the beginning of my pregnancy I couldn’t stand sweets and craved sour stuff! By the end of the pregnancy, my boyfriend and I would have oreos and milk every night before bed! It became our ritual! One thing that I did differently than my first pregnancy was I took a childbirth education class. I knew that I had a lot of knowledge of childbirth from previous training, but I had always been interested in the Hypnobabies program. I ordered the Hypnobabies program when I was 6 months pregnant so that I could start the program by 7 months (by 28 weeks is their recommendation). I am going to state here for anyone looking into the program, that it is great. I was so worried that it wouldn’t work because I didn’t listen to my CDs every night like I was supposed to and I didn’t listen to my affirmations exactly like they said but I did it as much as I could possibly do. I believe in this program and will use it again if I should have another! Check them out at www.hypnobabies.com. I eventually would like to provide training for Hypnobabies.
My pregnancy was pretty easy and uneventful and I stayed excited the whole time. Around 20 weeks, I developed pelvic pain. This progressively got worse and worse. I believe that it was SPD (symphisis pubis dysfunction). I tried not to take pain medication very often and occassionally had some Tylenol. Despite this, we had a good time preparing for the baby! We were both very excited. I had decided that I wanted to get most of the stuff for the baby used. I had spent a lot of money on new stuff for my first daughter and she didn’t wear half of it, so I wanted to do it differently this time. We shopped at consignment sales or shops and thrift stores. By the time my due date was approaching, we had pretty much everything we needed for the baby. We only had a couple of things left to get! All I talked about was the baby! I was going to avoid all ultrasounds, but we weren’t sure how far along I was so I ended up getting one for dating purposes and we found out we were having a little girl! I had totally thought it was a boy, but we were happy! We were totally ready for the baby to come. As part of my Hypnobabies training, I kept telling myself that I would have an easy and fast labor and picturing a happy labor and delivery. I had never went into labor on my own, so I wasn’t sure what to expect…so I just waited in anticipation.