The Story of Paxton

  I am madly in love with this little man: 

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    And there is not a day that goes by that I don’t scoop him up in my arms, bring him up to my cheek and just breath a prayer of thanksgiving for his life here on earth with us.  He is a gift straight from my Heavenly Father. 

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  As with all our successful pregnancy’s, Paxton was a surprise.  I took a pregnancy test based on a gut feeling, and it immediately showed negative.  Ok, good, I was hoping for a bit more time to decide if we wanted a 4th.  After 2 babies back to back (Tylan & Avery) I had asked the Lord for a 2 year break.  I had started consulting Him about these things, as obviously Birth Control should be called Birth UNcontrol at our house. The 4 we have here on earth were all surprises and the 4 I tried to plan, are all in Heaven! 

  I had to quickly set the negative test down to go deal with crying 1-year-old Avery, got busy and totally forgetting all about it.  When I came back much later, I swooped it up to throw it away, glad none of the kids had found a new “play thing”, Gross!  Just as I am an inch from the trash can, I glance down to see 2 very distinct lines and Gasp!!! Where did that second line come from??? It sure wasn’t there before!!!!  Woah, guess that’s a big YES after all! Good thing I hadn’t already thrown the test away!!!!!

  God sure has a sense of humor……

Remember my “2 year break” request? 

Guess who was due 2 weeks after Avery turned 2? 

Baby #4. 

  Dale said next time you should tell the Lord you want a 2 year break between PREGNANCY’S, not a 2 year break between children! lol  🙂  After being pregnant so many times in a row, 8 in 8 years at this point, you just kinda run out of fun ways to tell people you’re pregnant.  This go around, we decided to announce it to the world via facebook like this:

“Apparently, the world is in need of another Ferguson.”

  People flipped out!  “What?! Does this mean what I think it does?”   🙂

Why yes, yes it does.

143  It wasn’t long after this that the complications began;  like a week of big time bleeding.  Thinking I had miscarried yet again, we went in for an emotional sono…immediately they find our little peanut.  Praise God, healthy and thriving!!  I am curious if Paxton was a twin, but this side of Heaven, we just won’t know.  (I wonder the same about Tylan, I had 2 bags of water with his pregnancy!)

 By the 2 month mark,  I was contracting every day.  It seems each and every one of my pregnancy’s was to be a complicated faith-walk the entire way through. Obviously this 4th and final little Ferguson was to be no exception!  By 14 weeks I was on light bed rest due to more contractions with severe cramping that felt like a miscarriage in process.  Thankfully that was not the case.

  Soon after this, it was time for the exciting sono…….boy or girl? Something fun to look forward to no matter how many times you’ve experience it! 

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  ”It’s a boy!” the sono tech told us.

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Then, she got quiet. 

  She kept going back to this one area of my placenta.  I don’t know if you can recall what it feels like lying there, tummy exposed, bladder full, heart pounding with anticipation, smiling and hoping all is well, watching your little one on the sono screen….asking “Does everything look ok?”  Waiting for that reassurance. 

None came. 

  Instead she handed us a slip and told us we needed to contact our doctor for another diagnostic sono.  Suddenly, our happy sunshiney day had dark clouds rolling in:  Fear.  Worry.  Anxiety. 

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    See that spot that looks like a hole?  That was the area of concern.  We were sent home to wait the month it takes to get into a Fetal specialist for a level 3 sono.  Can  you imagine?  A MONTH of not knowing what was going on inside?! 

  Miracle of miracles, God moved as only He can, and we got in to the specialist 7 days later.  Just like the last time, the sono tech can tell you nothing, so again we waited for the phone call, just 2 days this time. (2 LOOOONG days)108

We were diagnosed with a Complete Circumvallate Placenta. This condition can result in low birth weight, preterm labor (this explains all the contractions I’d been having!!!!), preterm emergency delivery and intrauterine growth restriction…aka baby not getting the nutrients or oxygen needed to grow and thrive.   Another thing that occurs is a white band forms around the perimeter of the placenta, causing further blockage of minerals and oxygen as well as preventing the toxins to be removed from the placenta as the baby goes to the bathroom.

  If that wasn’t bad enough:  Pregnant women who experience circumvallate placenta are at a very high risk to deliver a premature baby or have a miscarriage. The “hole” we saw was the curled placenta, which means it is not properly attached.  Often circumvallate placentas continue to curve and curl throughout most of the pregnancy, creating a chance that the placenta will detach and the baby will need to be delivered immediately (like within minutes) by Caesarean section. If the placenta detaches before 25 weeks of gestation, there is a significant chance of miscarriage.  

    As I mentioned before, we had lost 4 babies at this point, so this was a HUGE point of fear for me already.  I began pleading with God for His hand to protect our little Paxton and keep him safely attached in the womb.  The Lord gave me this verse through a dear friend, which I personalized and CLUNG to the whole remainder of the pregnancy:

152Psalms 112:7  “(She) does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what will happen. For (she) has settled in (her) mind, that Jehovah will take care of (Paxton).” 

Oh wow, this was JUST what I needed to hear!

   This is already longer than I had intended, so I am going to fast forward and sum things up a bit.  Basically, we were without a doctor until 32 weeks pregnant.  No one wanted to take a patient with a CV placenta and allow vaginal delivery, I was considered too high risk to deliver at the Birthing Center of my choice, so we waited, doctorless.   Do you know how awful that felt?  How scary it is to be contracting and wondering, what happens if this kicks into full labor? Do we just show up in ER praying a Doctor we can tolerate is on call?  So we prayed and waited and prayed some more.

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  With CV placenta, 32 weeks is a monumental turning point in the pregnancy.  It is the determining gestational age for whether or not the compromised placenta can handle the increased demands for food and oxygen from baby or not.   There were 2 scenarios:

 1) Do a Level 3 sono and see his growth had stopped and/or his oxygen supply was compromised and go in for an early C-section and live up in NICU with a premie for a while.

  Or 2) Do a Level 3 sono, and find out he is growing just fine. I am then released to the doctor/midwife of my choice with a free and clear bill of health. 

  You better believe we spent those 32 weeks PLEADING with our Heavenly Father to feed our child since my body was not able. To give him oxygen so there would be no problems later. 

  126Mostly, I felt betrayed by my own body, which was supposed to be the safest place on earth for my litte one, yet it was the reason he was in such danger.  I spent a total of 6 1/2 months on the recliner in my living room, cramping, contracting, crying at times, praying and trying to be Mommy to a 6, 2 and 1-year-old.  I relied heavily on Dale, family and friends for the day-to-day tasks.  Even back to school shopping was done via cell phone from my living room, as my mom walked up and down the aisles describing items to me.

    During this time, prayers were going up constantly from family and friends and church prayer chains.  We were so blessed to find out an elderly lady from Dale’s aunts church, after hearing of our situation, committed to get up at 5 am every morning to pray for Paxton and I for 2 hours.  She paxdoesn’t even KNOW us but felt led to intercede on our behalf.  I had tears in my eyes and goose bumps all over when I found this out. 

FYI: I want to be JUST like her when I grow up.  Wow.

   So our 32 week appointment day arrives and with it the big “Make it or break it” appointment….the one that determines whether I could have the natural birth of my choice, or if they were going to need to take him early by C-section and put him in NICU.

    Hearts pounding, we enter the sono room, pleading with the Lord for all to be well  And you know what, 30 minutes later, we had our answer:

Paxton was doing just great!!!!!!!!

 In fact, MORE than just great.  He weighed in at 4 pounds 5 ounces already!  The average size for 32 weeks gestation?

 3 pounds 3 ounces!  Praise the LORD!

Not only was God feeding him for me, he was feeding him WELL!  Look at those fat cheeks:Paxtonschubbycheeks

  004We were released from the fetal specialist to our midwife with their blessings and no substantial fears of further complications from this condition.  Praise Jesus!

  As I approached the end of a 9 month-long miracle, I breathed  a sigh of relief; all the fears, prayers, hours and tears from months of bed rest were coming to a close.  Only God Himself knows the extent of His covering over Paxton this pregnancy.  His power was made perfect in my body’s weakness. Hallelujah!

  So when they let you off of 6 1/2 months of bed rest, designed to keep your baby in, you naturally think your baby is coming out as soon as you are up and about again. 

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Nope.

Not mine. 

  He was cozy in there and he wasn’t budging.  In fact, he made me wait until the morning AFTER his due date.  Stinker!

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At 4 am, August 17th, I woke up to a POP-POP noise.  That was weird, I thought, did Pax just kick my tailbone?  Nope. I had just heard my own water breaking.  Holy cow. Craziest sound/feeling EVER!

  It was show time, FINALLY!  I always have evening babies, 2 of my 4 born at exactly 7:11 pm, so I figured we had a LOOONG day and evening ahead of us. 

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  But by 9:32 am, after only 2 hours of being at the Birthing center, I got to meet my little (BIG) man.  Apparently, the look on my face when they said he was crowning was priceless…..Like popped my eyes open, dropped my mouth open in shock, mid-contraction.  I seriously never expected it to go that fast, envisioning spending the afternoon in labor yet!

  And just like that, 16 minutes of pushing, and he was here, safely in my arms!

Paxton Clay Ferguson, my miracle, fed by the hand of God for 9 long months. Not only did God feed him, but He fed him WELL, like super charged God-food. 🙂

  This kiddo weighed in at 10 pounds, 3 ounces, 22 inches long, and although he was much more blue-grey in color than my others, seemed to be doing fine. Praise be to God!

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  This 4th and final birth, was the most laid back, hands off experience I have ever experienced. And soaking in the tub during labor? AMAZING! Totally takes the edge off contractions and helps you to relax. If you get the chance to birth at a Birthing Center with a midwife, I highly recommend it! It is a beautiful, peaceful, natural process!!!

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  After everyone was all settled in and cleaned up, they did an examination of the placenta.  It was found to be 95% covered around the perimeter by a white cord, as is common with CV placenta.  To have an over 10 pound baby off a compromised placenta is nothing short of a miracle………

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……..A precious gift sent from Heaven above.  Praise be to God for His provision and His hand on Paxton, caring for him in the womb when my body could not.

Guess what?! Tomorrow is Paxton’s 1st birthday!

   How is it that the first year takes us from helpless newborn to walking, jabbering, little mini-person? 

 Can’t we stretch the 1st year out over 2 years or something? Pul-eeeeeeeeeeease?

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{Sniff sniff}

~T

 CVP moms:  Besides tons of prayers and petitions to my Heavenly Father, I also was on several homeopathics.  They were Hyland’s brand, and one of the was to help with oxygen levels for the baby.  The other was a magnesium one to help slow down the contractions.  I could TOTALLY tell when they kicked in and wore off.  If you have CVP and are comfortable with the use of a natural, homeopathic remedy, despite what your doctor may have to say about natural things, this was very helpful to us. 

Ferrum Phos. 30X & Magnesium Phosphate

Hyland’s Ferrum Phos 30x — 500 Tablets
This product can help the lungs to distribute oxygen throughout the body. It helps carry the oxygen in the circulatory system.

Hyland’s Mag. Phos 30x — 500 Tablets
Hyland’s Magnesium Phosphate is the homeopathic version of the magnesium they give in the hospital to stop labor.

  I took about 10 of each of these 3 times a day.

  I give all glory to God for this miracle, and these homeopathics are one of the ways He allowed us to have the healthy baby we did.  I believe that with my whole heart.

 If you are Kansas local and are looking for a natural, laid back, incredible, natural, birth experience, please go to http://www.yoderbirthcenter.org/ for more info. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Let’s Talk Shop…Mommy Shop

Warning:    Most of my reader’s are woman, mommy’s in fact, but there are a few of you men out there that subscribe to this blog.  (I adore that you read this by the way!!!!) So to you guys out there, be warned, this blog post contains words like Uterus, Episiotomy and Crowning.  You may want to skip this and just read my 2nd post, Tiramisu Stuffed Cupcakes.  Yummy, right?!  Off you go.

  Are you still reading this?  Are you sure you want to read on? 

Ok, up to you, but don’t say I didn’t warn you! 

Last chance:  Read on at your own risk…..

This post is written for Preggo friends and readers……Mommy’s To BE!!!!!  🙂

 PREGNANCY JOKES

Q. Should I have a baby after 35?
A. No, 35 children is enough.

Q. How will I know if my vomiting is morning sickness or the flu?
A. If it’s the flu, you’ll get better.

Q. Since I became pregnant, my breasts, rear-end, and even my feet have grown. Is there anything that gets smaller during pregnancy?
A. Yes, your bladder.

Q. What is the most common pregnancy craving?
A. For men to be the ones who get pregnant.

Q. What is the most reliable method to determine a baby’s sex?
A. Childbirth.

Q. The more pregnant I get, the more often strangers smile at me. Why?
A. ‘Cause you’re fatter than they are.

Q. My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she’s borderline irrational.
A. So what’s your question?

Q. What’s the difference between a nine-month pregnant woman and a model?
A. Nothing, if the pregnant woman’s husband knows what’s good for him.

Q. My childbirth instructor says it’s not pain I’ll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right?
A. Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.

Q. What does it mean when the baby’s head is crowning?
A. It means you feel as though not only a crown but the entire throne is trying to make its way out of you.

Q. Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A. Yes, pregnancy.

Q. Does pregnancy cause hemorrhoids?
A. Pregnancy causes anything you want to blame it for.

Q. Where is the best place to store breast milk?
A. In your breasts.

Q. Is there a safe alternative to breast pumps?
A. Yes, baby lips.

Q. What are the terrible twos?
A. Your breasts after baby stops nursing cold turkey.

Q. Do I have to have a baby shower?
A. Not if you change the baby’s diaper very quickly.

Q. Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A. When the kids are in college.

Need a few more chuckles? Check this out, it’s hysterical and oh-so true!!!!

 20 Things No one Told Us About Having A Newborn 

  I can’t tell you how many times new mommy’s call or write with questions, good questions, about pregnancy and motherhood.  And lately, those same new mommy’s that call or write, have been asking if I’ve got this info on my blog.  Ding ding ding, now THAT is a good idea, why didn’t I think of that!?   It’ll beat typing this out over and over, now I can send them a link! Yay for convenience!   

 I can recall so vividly wishing that I had someone to talk to my first time around as a 21-year-old new momma.  What I am about to share with you is not the law, nor do I think it is.  Take it with a grain of salt, try the things that speak to you, discard the things that don’t.  This is simply my take on Birth and Motherhood;  my experiences, my goals, my aspirations.  

  For example, I aspire to labor naturally, drug free, allowing the body to work slowly and without medical intervention unless absolutely necessary.  I am aware this is not for everyone.  Because this is my goal, we have used a Midwife in a hospital setting 3 times and a Midwife at a Birthing Center once.  If you are still deciding which you prefer, midwife or doctor, I suggest watching Ricki Lake’s “The Business of Being Born”.  A fantastic documentary full of great facts!

  Without further ado, here are my most talked about topics with new Mommy To Be’s…….

Pregnancy stuff:

  The last 6 weeks of pregnancy I take 5W.  It’s an herbal supplement from Nature’s Sunshine that prepares the body for the tolls of labor, by strengthening the Uterus and softening everything “in there” to allow the body to start to open, and often dilate, for the impending labor.  Of course, talk to your doctor about this, knowing they may poo-poo it because they are unfamiliar with it.  Have some info ready so they can read about it.   

  With my last pregnancy, I did something called Gentle Birth instead of 5W, which does the same things to prepare the body, with the addition of an ingredient that cuts down on bleeding after birth.  This was something important to address the last time around, due to certain circumstances and as promised, it did just that! Amazing!

   I also, those last weeks, visit a chiropractor every other week (he has a special tummy table) to make sure I stay aligned.  I labored once with a hip out of place and had to do all sorts of crazy stuff to get my little darling to maneuver through the birth canal.  I decided never again!  And I tell you, it makes ALL the difference to be aligned!!!! Even for your own comfort those last weeks.  Remember, your joints are way loose preparing for the arrival of baby and it’s easy to get a hip out and not even realize it.  Plus, once you are perfectly in, you often go into labor!  Major bonus!!!

So, to you mom’s asking about a natural labor…..

   I hear they are no longer offering Lamaze classes locally, which is probably ok, I only used Lamaze once, for my 32 hour labor and about “heee heee hoo’d” my lips off.  I have heard the Bradley method is great for natural pain maintenance and is still offered around here.

  My goal for myself, and something I prayed for the whole 9 months, was to have a natural, drug free, stitch free labor each time and we did! Praise the Lord!

My favorite methods for pain management are the f0llowing:

  •   Labor in the bathtub.  Being in the tub takes the edge right off those painful contractions and allows your body to relax, something super important!  If your hospital doesn’t allow this, consider using this method while hanging out at home.  I know you want to rush right to the hospital while your contractions are still like 15 minutes apart, and maybe you should, but for me, the “hurry up and wait” that often occurs by arriving at the hospital way too early, at barely 2 cm or something, was way worse than just laboring in the comfort of my home as long as possible. 

  Now it doesn’t always work that way.  One time, I called my midwife to see if I could meet her at the hospital to “get checked” before nightfall, just to see where I was at in the process before a possibly long night ahead.  She figured if I was talking to her so cheerfully I wasn’t too far along in the labor process, but she was going to be at the hospital anyways, we could just meet her there for a quick check.  At this point, I was still out on the town with Dale for my birthday date;  not in too much pain yet, so I wasn’t expecting much in the way of dilation.   You can imagine my shock when I was already 6 1/2 cm. upon our arrival.  Needless to say, they made me stay!  Good thing I grabbed my bag, just in case.  🙂 

  •   Labor on a big exercise ball.  I use a ball the whole last part of my pregnancy.  It feels so good to arch your back across it and stretch those sore muscles!  I would sit on it during evening Tv time with Dale too, and just sway and rock.  When trying to induce labor naturally and I was exhausted from walking, I’d sit on the ball and roll side to side, which basically does the same things as walking.  It helps get things going, but keeps you from being so tired before the big show starts.  I also use the ball DURING labor. In fact, I spent most of my hours on the ball.  It’s very soothing to rock through the pain, and if you sit right, it opens your pelvis up and allows the baby to help you progress further, similar to walking laps around the labor and delivery floor.
  • RELAX between contractions:  The baby moves down between contractions, not during, so it’s very important that you are totally relaxed, even to the point of sleep, between those contractions, not uptight waiting for the next big one.
  •  Do DEEP breathing. Imagine you are taking in fresh clean air then blowing out the pain. Deep breathe through the nose slowly, clearing out the pain,  then purse your lips and blow that pain right out!  If my breathing got too shallow and panicky, Dale would calmly touch my arm, have me make eye contact with him and breathe slowly with me saying “Deep cleansing breath in……..blow the pain out….slow your breathing down, honey.  Good.”   Your mental game plays a huge role!

  Your coach plays a big part in the success of this too.  I love to labor surrounded by those I love, to share in the miracle of birth! Over the course of 4 deliveries, we have set up a system so to speak.  Everyone has a different job they do:

  Dale talks soothingly to me as I deep breath and helps during the pushing part by holding a leg.  My mom has been at each of my labors, her job is to give me lip gloss and drinks of water.  Remind your coaches not to ask, just offer these items.  At that point you’re usually too focused on pain management and getting that baby here to answer.  My best friend, Kasey does massaging and takes over coaching when Dale needs a break. She has also been known to hold a leg during the pushing part! 🙂 My mother in law takes photos of the event.  I love that she captures all those precious first moments on earth!  And, at my last birth, my Grandmother sat in. She has never experienced a birth other than her own, and we thought it’d be neat for her to sit in on our final hurrah. (4 and no more you know!) 🙂

PIT:  Ugh, the dreaded pitocin.  Hell on earth.  This causes sharp contractions, waaaay different than natural ones and can cause all kinds of troubles.  This article tells you more:

” ……the quality – strength – and quantity of your uterine contractions are greatly affected when pitocin is used during labor. It is a fact that contractions tend to be longer, stronger, and with shorter relaxation periods between each of them.

  When you know and understand that during a contraction, the blood supply to your uterus – and therefore to your baby – is temporarily shut off, you realize very quickly how dangerous the use of pitocin can be.

If deprived of blood supply, your baby can experience what is called fetal bradycardia (or decreased fetal heart-rate deceleration) – heart-beat drops. This can – and often does – result in neurological damage and eventually death.

If your baby’s heart rate is indeed affected, an emergency c-section will usually be performed.

The diagnosis will be “fetal distress” and your doctor will be hailed as a hero for “saving” your baby’s life…that he put in danger in the first place!

In the 18th edition of Williams Obstetrics, it is stated:

“Oxytocin – pitocin – is a powerful drug, and it has killed or maimed mothers through rupture of the uterus and even more babies through hypoxia – asphyxia aka lack of oxygen – from markedly hypertonic uterine contractions.” Hypertonic means the contractions were too strong – which does not happen with a natural labor.

This medical textbook goes on to urge careful administration of the lowest possible amount of pitocin in order to avoid the tetanic – huge – contractions that can cause uterine rupture, and to insist that once the drip is started, the mother should never be left alone.

Obviously, these “rules” are too often disregarded to the detriment of women and their babies.”

  No WONDER so many induced labors end in emergency C-sections due to a distressed baby!!!! Ladies, know what you believe well before you EVER step foot in that hospital!  Knowledge is power.

Pushing time:

  First of all, may I say this is the best part of the labor process.  It’s showtime! I love it! All the pain changes, contractions no longer pinching sharply.  Instead your body is screaming for you to pushhhhhh! You realize, your baby really is coming! It’s REALLY HAPPENING!!!!! Contrary to the belief that you might die from pain before seeing your child, you lived through labor and you are about to meet your sweet baby face to face!!!!!!  (I’m going to stop here for a second and address something:  right before pushing time you hit a stage called the transition stage when you go from 8-10 and you will hit your MAXIMUM pain. You will.  Don’t worry, the second you hit 10 cm. and get pushy, it goes away!!! I cannot tell you how many momma’s try to do it naturally, get to this point, break down and get the epidural because they think “If this is what 5cm feels like, I’ll never make it”, only to find out they are actually already at 10cm and its time to push, now numb from the waist down.  If you decide you want an epidural after making it as long as possible without, do yourself a favor and insist on being checked, you may very well be headed from 8-10, which tends to go really quickly.  THEN you can decide epidural or no based on your number…..)  I know that was a bunny trail, but thanks, I needed that off my chest. 🙂

  So, back to pushing time, your doctor will tell you to bear down.  My first time, I had no idea what this meant and wasted effort pushing wrong, which does nothing!  I finally figured out they mean, and I say this bluntly……..push like you’re pooping.  I am not kidding, this is totally what they mean and it works. The second I switched to that kind of pushing, we saw the baby.  Sorry, told you this was going to be blunt!

  Most hospitals make you push flat on your back.  We are the only nation that requires this! My understanding of this, is it’s the easiest method for the doctor to see what is going on, but is not necessarily easier for your body or the baby, who now has to maneuver through your tilted pelvis to enter the world.   

  And talk about maneuver, have you tried to pull your knees up to your chest around a GIANT belly in the midst of an urgent “I have to push!” contraction in your most exhausted moments!?  Your arms shake, your belly gets in the way, it’s usually so incredibly hot at this point, and you can barely remember to tuck your chin to your chest to push down as sweaty palms struggle to hold on to exhausted legs.

  My favorite method is squatting, something I only experienced with my last.  It changed everything! If only I had known to ask for this method before!  I didn’t have to work HALF as hard!  I could feel my baby moving down even when I wasn’t pushing, thanks to good ol’ gravity, who was now working with me rather than against me!  Plus, I got to be in Dale’s arms!  I can’t even begin tell you how much better it was!  Ask your doctor if they “allow” this, I HIGHLY recommend it!  (Sentences like this tick me off, your doctor is not the boss of this labor experience, YOU are. I guess what I am trying to say is, if this is important to you, find a doctor that agrees.)

    Ask your doctor if they usually do episiotomy’s before the pushing part starts.  There is a time and a place for this procedure, but it doesn’t have to be the “norm” before you are even allowed to try on your own.

  Example: (this is what made up my mind for me about this issue)

Take a piece of paper.  Pull both sides as hard as you can away from each other.  The odds are it won’t rip.  Now go ahead and make a tiny cut in the top of the paper.  Now do the same thing you did the first time, pull as hard as you can.  The cut rips even further.  Your body will stretch, most of the time enough to successfully birth, without an episiotomy, which can promote more tearing than if you had never been cut at all.  Like I said, there is a time and place for this to take place, but find out if you will be given the opportunity to try and birth your child without getting one.

    Another thing to ask is if your doctor allows the cord to finish pulsing before cutting it.  In most hospitals today, cutting the cord is such an uneventful routine that it can pass unnoticed by the overwhelmed mother.  Doctors generally wait about thirty seconds a time period long enough, they believe, for the baby to receive all the blood it needs from the placenta.  They then apply two clamps, break out the scissors, and often ask the father if he wants to cut the cord.  Some childbirth experts argue that, rather than being guided by a clock, it’s best to wait until the cord stops pulsing before cutting, allowing the baby to receive all the blood it was meant to receive from the placenta.  I read it helps the mother as well, because the placenta shrinks as it pumps out extra blood, making it easier to deliver.  {There are some medical circumstances where this is not an option.}

  Ask yourself if you want to be cleaned up and have your baby cleaned up and wrapped in a blanket before you meet, or if you want to be the first one to hold your baby.  Make this desire very clear in your birth plan, or verbalize it that day in the delivery room.

  For me, it was the second option.  I wanted to be the one to bring my baby into the world and be the first to hold, touch and meet him or her. I didn’t want to strain to see him or her across the room while the nurses cleaned us both up.  After all that hard work, I figured I deserved first dibs! 

   Once my baby was half out, my midwife helped me grab them under their arms and then I pulled them up to my chest.  I can get teary just thinking about it!  It is by far my favorite part!  To feel that heavy, floppy little body in my hands, feeling them exiting my body and entering this world, pulling them up to my chest and falling back exhausted, but exhilarated. Stroking their little backs while checking them over to see that they have all their parts….I wated to count 10 tiny fingers, 1o teeny toes.  Hearing, up-close, that sweet first cry, smelling their brand new sweet breath….all while my midwife waits for the cord to stop pulsing, so daddy can do the honors of cutting it.  I LOVE IT!

  Now that your kiddo is here, it’s Feeding Time!

  If you want to try to breast feed and I hope you do, you have about a 45 minute window to get your baby to your breast.  After that window of time passes, they get sleepy and you work a lot harder at it.  I’ve had many a new mom call me in tears that they can’t get the baby nurse after it was swept away for cleaning and warming and wasn’t returned to momma for over an hour.  I truly believe working within this time makes all the difference!!!!  Be verbal, tell the nurses what you want.  Ask for the hospital’s lactation consultant to be there for this part. They can help your baby latch properly and give you some great tips, which are crucial for the success of this process!  Have your coach remind you of the time so you can ask for your baby back for nursing in time.  Trust me, you may be pretty out of it with your head in the clouds, smiling like you’ve never smiled before right about then! 🙂

  Babies are used to eating and sleeping simultaneously, so getting a full feeding does take work, but its worth it in the long run.  Strip ‘em down naked, burp between breasts, tap the bottoms of their feet, whatever it takes to achieve a full feeding.  I was told to nurse 20 minutes on the first side and finish with the second until baby was full.  The next time, switch which breast you start with and repeat the process.  Some of my babies nursed for 45 minutes total, another for only 9 minutes total each feeding. (one side per time is all)  No kidding! And they were full the same amount of hours.  Go figure.  If anything, Motherhood teaches you that every child is different, so roll with it!

  Ask for Lanolin cream, use it between every feeding at first, and change your breast pads often.  This will help prevent your nipples from cracking and bleeding.  Lanolin also pulls the pain from the hard “suck suck suck swallow” your baby has to do to get the Colostrum out, before your milk comes in.  After the milk comes in, you’ll notice they “suck swallow suck swallow” rapidly, even to the point of baby choking at times over how fast it comes out!!!  You typically aren’t as sore at that point, or ever again, as you get used to it. 

  If you have sore spots in your breasts, massage them. Even if it hurts, make yourself do it!  You do not want blocked ducts. This can lead to an oh-so painful infection called mastitis.  MISERABLE! I had it twice and learned my lesson.  It’s far less painful to rub a sore spot, than to have an infected hot breast that you HAVE to make your baby nurse on to get some relief, as you lay in bed fevered and chilled.  Ouch.  FYI, I found that switching to a molded cup nursing bra, rather than an underwire style, helped to promote better flow and less trouble with blocked ducts.

  Even if you don’t plan to nurse long-term, please please nurse your baby the first few weeks you are home.  Even just the first few days can make a difference, so they can get that immune boosting, super thick, super-charged Colostrum.  You are giving your baby perfectly created food, created by the Creator Himself!  Now before you get upset, I know that nursing it not for everyone, nor is everyone successful at it.  That’s why I told you at the beginning that this was just my take on things.  Not the rule.  Just an opinion.

  My goal for myself is to nurse my babies 1 year.  And we’ve done it.  It’s not always fun, I stayed home a lot until I learned to drape and nurse, but it is so worth it!

  We like to schedule our babies day and make them stick to it as best we can!  Our goal is Eat –Awake- Sleep, repeat every 3 hours!  I know there is controversy about this, and some people are all about demand feeding, and that’s fine, I told you this was my take on Motherhood!

Let me give you some stats that speak for themselves:

I scheduled my first baby to the minute.  OCD much? We chose 7-10-1-4 (repeat) because it fit best in our daily routine.  She slept all night at 5 weeks.

I tried to schedule my second baby, but he insisted on nursing for 30 minutes every 2 hours no matter what I tried.  You can imagine all I did was feed the kid, burp him, change him, get a drink or go to the bathroom before we started the process again!  Our schedule was not my “3 hours between feedings” goal by a long shot.  He slept all night at 6 months.

My 3rd baby came 17 months after my second, and I was exhausted and got lazy.  I did not schedule her feedings at all.  She didn’t sleep all night until she 9 months old.  I thought I was going to die from lack of sleep! It was awful! I knew I never wanted to do this “roll with it” method again.

My 4th baby was going to be scheduled! No question!  And he did, near flawlessly!  However, as a fourth time mom, I found some grace within that schedule.  I allowed myself 30 minutes of “flex” on either side of a feeding. For example, because I want all the kids down for nap around the same time, I do his 1:00 feeding around 12:30, knowing he won’t eat again until 4:00’s regular feeding time.  Rebel, I know! 🙂

  I highly recommend the book “Becoming Baby Wise” if this appeals to you.  My favorite part was knowing I could plan a hair cut or much-needed date night with my hubby and know exactly when to be back home, or how many bottles to leave with the sitter.  {Example:  I could plan a 2:00 haircut then run an errand while I was out, knowing I had just nursed at 1 and wouldn’t need to be home to nurse again until 4!}  I am an orderly scheduled person, so this fit well with what I desire my life to be like, and helped me achieve some resemblance of “normal” after baby came and shook things up.

  If you are a working mom, scheduling will allow you to know exactly how many bottles to leave your sitter, plus give the sitter some peace of mind knowing if baby is crying at 10 till 4, it’s time to heat up the bottle. This also allows you to tell your employer, I need a 20 minute break to pump at 10, 1 and 4.  You’ll need to maintain the same pumping schedule at work as you do your feeding schedule at home to keep your milk supply up.  My favorite pump is Ameda Purely Yours.  Get the dual electric, you won’t be sorry!

  If having the bottle be an option during the week or in church is appealing to you, or if you plan to return to work, plan to pump as soon as your milk comes in.  You have a surplus of milk, go ahead and pump after each feeding.  Yes, it feel’s a lot of work, and “one more thing”, but its well worth it!  Imagine if you could have a stash of 80+ bags of milk before your baby starts eating everything you have to offer and there seems to be no extra!?  It’s great!  I have put away the pump at 4 months before, and never had to use it again, thanks to a great stash early on!!!

  You’ll need a deep freeze for your milk to last longer than 3 months, which is how long it lasts in an upright fridge freezer.  Deep freezer milk can last up to a year, I try not to let mine get older than 9 months before using it up.  Although baby still drinks it, I think it starts to smell different after that.

  I store my milk in zip lock type milk bags and date them, using the oldest first.  I have never needed to put more than 5 ounces per bag, as none of my babies every drank more than that from a bottle, even my big 10 pounder babies!  I think they work harder to get the milk out of a bottle, so they eat slower and hit the “full button” faster.  

  Do not microwave breast milk!  Just stick your frozen milk bag in a cup of hot tap water and it will quickly thaw and bring it to a temperature similar to the milk coming straight from your breast.

    When you schedule feedings, you tend to also schedule naps.  The goal is a minimum of 1 1/2 hours of napping, up to 2 hours…..this is something we work towards, and fight to keep, the entire first couple years of our kids’ lives!! 

   In general, after the sleepy newborn stage where they sleep between EVERY feeding, our babies take 3 naps a day until they are around 8 or 9 months old.  Then they drop the evening nap and go to bed earlier instead.  Around 12 months or a bit after, they tend to drop their morning nap.  We require an afternoon nap or rest time, until they are in school all day.  Even if they don’t sleep, we like them to stay in their room for “Quiet Time” and they can read or look at books for that 1 1/2 – 2 hours.  This momma needs the break!  I am a better mommy after quiet time!!! And the kids are way happier too, and excited to play with each other again!

  I could go on and on, going right into the 5 month “adding cereal stage” and all that entails, the new studies about white rice vs. brown rice vs. not doing cereal at all but lentils instead. In our family, we choose to start manner training and discipline at that same time, so it feels like a big step to start solids!!! I’ve blogged about it here if you are interested in reading more: Starting Discipline.

  I’m no expert, everything I’ve shared with you is based on personal experience or what I was told during my pregnancy’s.  However, I have “been there, tried that” a few times now, so I can speak to you based on those experiences at least!!!!!  🙂 

  Hope this was helpful to you.  I love to “talk shop” with new mommy’s, so if you have a question I didn’t cover here, email me and we can talk more privately via email.   daleandtonya@msn.com

  Congrats new mommy or mommy to be!  Hang on, you are in for the ride of your life!!!!!!!!!!!

~T