Oklahoma City Birth Photographer | Personal Blog | Welcoming Maisie

Pro Tip: Do not check into the hospital wearing your hippy homebirth shirt

Pro Tip: Do not check into the hospital wearing your hippy homebirth shirt

From the first dating ultrasound, I assumed our second baby would be born sometime after 41 weeks. Jude was born via induction exactly a week after his due date, so it only made sense that this baby wouldn't voluntarily come any sooner - and I wasn't interested in inducing again unless necessary. Our due date was estimated as "July 5-7" I went with the 4th for the sake of keeping things simple, and because it just sounds more fun than July 5th or 7th. However, I was still anticipating labor to start around July 14-16th.

July 1st I started doing a few "home remedies" to induce labor and help get baby into a good position - knowing darn well they don't work unless baby is ready to come, but for some reason it just felt like the thing to do. Friday night into Saturday afternoon I had mild contractions about 30 minutes apart, we spent Saturday morning finishing up on most of the pre-baby to do list that I had, and by the time we were home that afternoon contractions were coming about every 10 minutes, although some were 20 minutes apart. Totally normal, and not an indication that labor is looming nearby. For funsies, Trey and I did the miles circuit together while making dinner that night. There were no changes, and contractions actually slowed down. Which is fine, since baby still has two weeks to go before the date I'm expecting her.  For the last few weeks I had been experiencing infrequent sciatic pain, Sunday it happened just like any other, except instead of being sporadic and maybe 1-2x in a day, it was happening several times an hour, and going horizontally across my thighs instead of straight down one leg. Laying in bed that night, I had reoccurring pains that I finally started timing around 11pm. At 1130 Trey noticed what I was doing, and being his calm and collected self, tried dragging me to the hospital immediately.

We called Labor and Delivery to find out what they suggested I do since "contractions" (which I still wasn't convinced were even real) were about 5-6 minutes apart. The nurse on the phone suggested walking to see if they would stop (P.S. THAT'S NOT HOW THIS WORKS), I chose not to, because I was still team "this isn't labor"

By midnight, the "not contractions" were 2-3 minutes apart, and my mom had arrived to take Jude to her house for the night. I finished packing my hospital bag, had a snack, and we headed out. Checking into the hospital could not have been more awkward - when you walk in saying you're in labor, but not visibly having any pain, no one really wants to believe you, and I got plenty of strange stares. We stayed in L&D triage for four hours determining if I was in labor or not. I was admitted at 4:30am, and finally met the on call doctor who recommended breaking my water.

Compared to laboring with Pitocin, spontaneous labor was simply uncomfortable. After my water was broken, I immediately fell into transition, which is a nice way of describing the pits of hell. At this point I threw Hypnobabies out the window, and asked for an epidural. My photographer had to leave the room for this - but at last check my cervix was still pretty far from complete, so no one expected what would happen next...

*Photos courtesy of Tiffany Roberts Photography

Worth The Wait | Full Term Pregnancy And Why It's Important

Pregnancy is LONG

The-last-month-of-pregnancy


The anticipation that kicks in once you've hit 36 weeks is REAL. A lot of pregnant women are pretty uncomfortable by this point, and just ready to have their baby in their arms. But (per ACOG guidelines) it's really and truly best for your baby to wait until 39+ weeks to deliver, barring medical necessity of course.

 

In 2013 the meaning of "Term Pregnancy" was redefined as the following:

  • Early Term:  Between 37 weeks 0 days and 38 weeks 6 days

  • Full Term:    Between 39 weeks 0 days and 40 weeks 6 days

  • Late Term:   Between 41 weeks 0 days and 41 weeks 6 days

  • Postterm:     Between 42 weeks 0 days and beyond

 

Research has shown that the last few weeks are incredibly important to baby's development

  • Important organs, like his brain, lungs and liver, get the time they need to develop.
  • He is less likely to have vision and hearing problems after birth.
  • He has time to gain more weight in the womb. Babies born at a healthy weight have an easier time staying warm than babies born too small.
  • He can suck and swallow and stay awake long enough to eat after he's born. Babies born early sometimes can't do these things.

 

And last but not least, your due date may not be correct!

Because every woman's cycle is different.
Because every conception isn't timed.
Because every baby is different.

Approximately 1 in 20, or 5%, of babies are born on their "Due Date"

Odds of …

  • being called to “Come on down!” on The Price is Right — 1 in 36
  • getting away with murder (assuming you aren't Steven Avery) — 1 in 2
  • living to the age of 100 — 1 in 3
  • going into labor AND delivering on your due date — 1 in 20

Yes, there is a chance.
But don't be discouraged if your due date comes and goes, and even if another week passes - not only is that okay, but it's normal!

For more information: March of Dimes articles related to Full Term gestation

http://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/what-is-full-term.aspx
http://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/why-at-least-39-weeks-is-best-for-your-baby.aspx

 

Hospital Bag Must Haves

When packing for the hospital, it's important to separate your list into immediate necessities, and things that can wait. Anything immediate should go into one bag which can be brought in when you arrive at the hospital. Things that can wait should be left in the car, so you aren't attempting to haul in several bags while managing contractions and checking in with the front desk.
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The Necessities

  • A folder with copies of your birth plan, contact list, insurance information, and any hospital paperwork (unless you've preregistered).
  • Baby book - Most books will have a page for baby's footprints. If it's removable, add it to your folder. If not, bring your book. Most nurses are happy to do a second set of prints for you after the birth certificate has been completed
  • Hospital rooms tend to be very cold, dry, and not very homey. Because laboring women get pretty hot, and prefer the air to be turned down, consider packing a warm shirt for dad, especially if he tends to be cold natured. For your own comfort pack warm socks, chap stick, throat lozenges, and a pillow to stay as comfortable as possible. Both physical and mental comfort is important during labor. Many moms choose to bring along other things to give their room a more home like atmosphere such as electric tea lights, birth affirmation banners, and essential oil diffusers.
  • Slippers and a robe to go over your laboring clothes/hospital gown if you decide to walk the halls. Easily removed nursing bra - if you haven't already ditched the stiff underwire bra, it's likely you'll want to when you're in labor or soon after.
  • Hair ties/Headband/Brush
  • Camera and backup batteries/charger/memory cards
  • Snacks - high protein snacks are ideal - if you're anything like me (and most of my clients!), by the time baby is born, the hospital cafeteria is closed and you're starving! Sure, dad can run out and pick something up, but a good snack is nice to have on hand.
  • Cash/change to use at the vending machines for when the delicious snacks you brought don't sound nearly as appetizing as a bag of chips.


Things to bring, but leave in the car

  • Chargers for electronics
  • Comfortable clothes with easy access for nursing - think maxi dress/skirt, yoga pants/leggings, and deep v-necks/button up tops, as well as nursing bras and/or tanks.
  • Pajamas and a change of clothes for Dad
  • Toiletries for Mom and Dad as well as flip flops that can be worn in the shower.
  • A pillow for Dad.
  • Going home outfits for Mom, Dad, and baby. This is important: Moms, don't be a hero - leave the pre-pregnancy jeans at home and bring something comfortable! For baby I highly recommend sticking with something simple like cotton pajamas. It's also a great idea to bring two sizes, just in case.
  • Season appropriate blanket for baby
  • Carseat - It's a great idea to have it installed in your car and checked by a CPST a few weeks before your due date so Dad isn't stress reading through the manual while you're in labor trying to figure out what the heck a LATCH system is.


Oklahoma City Birth Photographer | Overcoming Infertility | Personal Blog

I had full intentions of starting this blog two weeks ago, but ultimately decided it would be best to wait until I could end it on a definite note instead of having to leave it open for another update.

As many of you already know from my personal blogs 1, 2, I am currently TTC #Baby2Take2. A birth client called me as I was walking into a doctors appointment telling me her water had broken. I let her know that I was on the other side of town and to keep me updated. At this ultrasound appointment, we found not one but TWO(!) follicles at 20 and 21mm. Until this point I've only ever produced one follicle per cycle. Dr Reshef sent me on my way with an Orvidrel trigger shot to induce ovulation, and scheduled me for an IUI the following afternoon at 2pm.

I immediately started contacting my backup photographers to see who could cover for me if I needed to be at Becky's birth during my IUI appointment - since it isn't something that could be rescheduled, and missing it could mean missing our chance this month. I struggled hard with this decision. If I went to the appointment without a backup in place, there's a chance I could miss her birth entirely, but if I missed the IUI I would be starting over again next month, which is not only expensive, but there's a chance I may not ovulate, and completely miss the opportunity to conceive.

I found a backup photographer who covered for me long enough to go to Baptist and come back, and Becky delivered her sweet baby hours after I returned. I'm SO SO glad everything worked out and I was able to essentially be in two places at once. (link!)

After every IUI comes a long and horribly unbearable two week wait. I am not good at waiting. I took pregnancy tests on days 5, 7, 10, 11, 12,  13, 14, 15, (and 16 for good measure).

There is in fact some method to my madness. A trigger shot can cause a false positive, so when day 5 was negative, I knew the trigger shot was out of my system and any positive that came after this would not be false. SEE, logic. ;)

Days 7 and 10 were negative.
At this point I found an entire infertility community that I didn't know of in 2013. Reddit has at least 5 subs regarding infertility, ttc, chart stalking, and even one dedicated to posting pregnancy tests for second opinions.

Day 11 was POSITIVE! I called my RE's office monday morning (day 13) and went in for a blood test to confirm. After confirmation that afternoon, we immediately told our family and close friends.

We're super excited to bring our second baby home this summer, estimated due date is early July, but based on my first pregnancy, I'm not holding my breath.

Trey and I went back and forth for a few weeks on whether we were comfortable announcing a pregnancy this early, and I know my grandma would clutch her pearls if she knew we were telling the world at 5 weeks. After lots of soul searching and discussion, we feel that every baby needs to be celebrated - and since you all have come through this journey with us so far it seemed only right to bring you through it now. We know that risk of miscarriage is still high, but we want everyone to celebrate this life with us as it is.

Contrary to what many people believe, the struggle with infertility doesn't end at the sign of a positive. I've had a lot of guilt the past two weeks, knowing that while we did struggle, we've exited the infertility journey much much sooner than a lot of couples are able to. From start to finish, conceiving this baby has taken us less than 7 months. Many couples fight this same battle for YEARS. My hope is that anyone reading this who is still struggling, will be on the other side with us shortly <3