family, labor and delivery, pregnancy, Uncategorized

More Amazing Pregnancy Lessons from a mom of 5

So, you have read my first 2 pregnancy and labor experiences. And I’m sitting here thinking, three more to go.  Can I write anything new and different and fun? And I’m sure you are thinking, “Goodness! Do we have to read 3 more of her pregnancies?”  I’m going to save both of us the trouble and decided to combine my last 3 experiences into one blog with a few more tips.

Fast forward to my last doctor’s visit with my third pregnancy. She wanted me to get an ultrasound because I was measuring low when she checked my fundal height. Lesson #1. Fundal height is where the top of your uterus is felt.  It correlates with how many weeks you are into your pregnancy.  For me, it was the amount of amniotic fluid, surrounding my baby.  At the ultrasound, the fluid was low enough that my doctor wanted to induce me.  I was admitted, started on Pitocin and felt my contractions quick and strong. Lesson #2.  Pitocin is a medication that is used to start contractions.  And the contractions are usually stronger because of the medicine.  All of a sudden, the whole team came rushing in because my baby wasn’t tolerating the labor and his heart rate was dropping.  They rushed me to the operating room about to do a cesarean section.  Everything was chaos, I didn’t know where Eric was and I was left speechless.  My doctor came rushing in and said I was going to deliver this baby vaginally because I “was a good pusher.” Lesson #3. I’m sure there’s a lesson in here about an emergency, trying to stay calm, etc… for the sake of time, I’ll let you do some self-learning.  Ultimately, I had my baby and everything ended up wonderful.  My third boy was here and joined our chaotic, loving household.

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My fourth labor started out the same as my last. I needed to be induced because my fluid was again low.  But this time, it was even lower and I started worrying if the same thing would happen.  My doctor actually sat in the room this time waiting.  She and my husband were talking and my contractions were off and running.  My doctor asked if I was ok.  I actually gave in this time and said that I would like something for pain.  Her response was, “Pitocin does make your contractions stronger and closer.  Your contractions are 1-3 minutes apart.”  Then she started talking with my husband again.  Umm. My pain medicine?! They were so busy talking, I didn’t know how to interrupt them. Finally, they stopped talking and I said I would like something for pain.  Lesson#4.  Don’t be afraid to ask for pain medicine, whether during labor or after delivery. It’s hard to be in the moment when you’re in pain.  The nurse gave me something through my IV and the next thing I was pushing.  The fourth boy arrived with no complications and healthy.  Now I felt our family was complete.  I was a happy mother of four boys.  I wasn’t going to get my girl, but I knew our family was complete.

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#TEAM WALTON!

After talking and debating and almost getting a tubal ligation, my husband decided to get a vasectomy. One week before his procedure, I found out I was pregnant! I’m not going to lie, I took the test a few times, bought different brands. I used it first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.  I finally showed Eric the last test I took, it had a bright pink positive sign.  I think Eric was a little stunned also because he was like, “Positive, so that means good.  You’re not pregnant?”  As you could guess, we weren’t quite ready or expecting another addition.  Another boy?! Another busy, loud, messy boy?! We came to grips with our new reality, we were told the baby was a girl, friends and family were excited.  I wasn’t going to believe it until I saw my baby.

I was older, working 12 hour shifts and pregnant. I would text Eric and see how quickly he would respond so when the time came I knew he would be available.  I started looking for a back up because he wasn’t passing the practice runs.  I had a couple people willing to watch the other kids when the time came to go to the hospital. Lesson #5.  Know who you are able to call to watch your other kids when you go into labor.  Remember, you could go into labor any time so it might be helpful to have someone ready during the day and someone willing to do the midnight shift if needed. 

The day came. I made it to my OB visit and told my midwife I think I was having contractions.  She checked me and said yes, you’re 3 cm dilated.  Then I felt something and she said she stripped my membranes.  Lesson #6.  Stripping your membranes is done to help labor progress.  What?! I still had to pick up my kids from school, I can’t go to the hospital yet! She said, well you know when you need to come in.  That put a lot of pressure on me because I really don’t know when I needed to come in.  Lesson #7.  Learn when you should go to the hospital, whether your water breaks, how far apart your contractions are, and especially warning signs for going to labor delivery.  I picked up my kids and then called Eric and then my friend.  My friend came to the house before Eric.  I called him again and he said he was about to leave the school! Oh no! He wasn’t even on his way yet! He is totally failing this final exam! He came home and we took off hoping we wouldn’t run into traffic.  We arrived to labor and delivery, the midwife on call came to assess me and said, “So you think you’re in labor?” The way she said it, made me doubt myself, my water hadn’t broken, maybe I’m not.  She checked me and I was 9cm dilated! I had my baby 45 minutes later.  The first thing I did was look to see and was ecstatic to find a girl! She was so small, only 6 lbs 2oz.  The midwife asked about my medical history, I didn’t have any, because my placenta was calcified and “looked old.” Lesson #7. If you’re older and pregnant, it’s very important you eat well, rest, and monitor medical health especially blood pressure and blood sugar.

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The Princess Arrived !

If I thought my family was complete with four boys, that one girl added a whole new dynamic to my family. She is hard headed, tough, rambunctious, loud–not what you think a girl should be. She’s also caring, funny, smart and a true princess; everything a girl should be.  I would not have my family any other way.  Yes, there’s challenges. Yes, there’s yelling.  There’s hair pulling (me pulling my hair), there’s sibling rivalry, there’s noise.  There’s also laughter, love, kisses and hugs. 

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My Family / My Love

Kristine Walton,RN , BSN

Wife/Mother of 5/ Registered Nurse

Contact Kristine @ kkd_2426@hotmail.com

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pregnancy, Uncategorized

‘Summer Bumpin’ (Baby Bumping)

Summer ‘Bumpin’ (Baby Bumpin)

Sing to the tune of Grease’s Summer Nights

Summer Bumpin and having some fun!

Summer Bumpin it happened so fast

I’m carrying a human that’s as cute as can be

I’m your mommy; want the best for you and me

Pregnant days are drifting away, to uh oh those

delivery day

Baby Boy Baby Girl

Summer Pregnancy

 

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Many women experiencing pregnancy during the summer months think they will miss out on fun with the family or be stuck at home drinking water in front of the air condition. The truth is you can still have fun, stay safe and survive the summer months of pregnancy. (Of course, remember to stay safe and follow your doctor’s recommendations).

 

Listed below : 8 Fun Activities and Tips to having a “Summer Bumpin Time”

1.First thing first- Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

It is very important for pregnant women to drink enough water- especially in the summer. You definitely want to make sure you avoid becoming dehydrated. Some signs of dehydration: dizziness, racing or pounding heart, urinating only small amounts or having dark yellow urine (The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2016). Dehydration can cause cramping /contractions in the third trimester as well as overheating (St.Laurent , 2013).

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Beat the heat and drink—Water that is! Grab a pretty BPA free water bottle- fill it up and carry it with you everywhere you go!

2.Entertaining the little ones at home

If you have little one’s at home and pregnant- how can you entertain them during the summer months and take care of yourself and the little human you are growing?

Use your backyard.

Turn your backyard into your personal oasis. You won’t have to travel and you have the comforts of home. Make sure you and your children have on the right amount of sunscreen- and make your backyard a summer playground. You can find a kiddie pool-with just enough water for them to splash around in, turn on the sprinklers and have a ball.IMG_0654

You can sit right next to the children and watch them play while sipping on your ice-cold water, enjoy the summer day. However, if you feel yourself overheating- find a cool place.

3. Working Full Time and Entertaining your younger   children

You may be asking: what if I work, and don’t have time sit in the backyard all day? The great thing about the summer is the days are longer. There are more opportunities for FUN!

Once you are off from work- your family can take a walk around the block, stop at the local dairy queen or just once again-enjoy your backyard

Bubbles. Yes, simple but so magical. Entertain the children one evening after work. Bubbles are fun, affordable and lots of fun for the little ones.

4.Comfortable shoes

Swelling is common in pregnancy, due to the extra fluid in the body, combine that with the Summer heat= swollen feet and ankles. The strappy sandals and wedges are most likely off limits for now- and that’s okay. There are cute comfortable shoes you can wear during these hot months. Also, a tip is because of the swelling, going up a ½ size may increase your comfort level.

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Save these for after baby

* Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing swelling and have concerns*

5.Comfortable Clothes

Once again, pregnant women have extra fluid- which causes swelling; especially in the summer heat. You want to make sure you are comfortable. Take advantage of the cute flowing maxi dresses and skirt trend. They allow room to grow, fashionable, and come in so many different patterns and styles.

6. Fresh Delicious Fruit

Healthy, Refreshing and Delicious. Take advantage of all the available summer fruit. My favorite is Watermelon, but all fruit will help with hydration.IMG_0662 Enjoy the sweet delicious fruit available during the summer months. Keep in mind, some fruit have a high sugar content- so if you have Gestational Diabetes or other health concerns- Speak with your doctor or dietician on what is appropriate for you to eat.

7. Swimming

Exercise in pregnancy is a wonderful idea- if your doctor approves. However, in the summer; you don’t want to overheat. Choose exercises that will not cause you to overheat- choose indoors rather than outside to exercise. One of my favorite form of exercise swimming- it will keep you cool and is a great pregnancy exercise-low impact and relaxing. Plus, it will keep you cool.  IMG_0663

8.Amusement Parks

This is one summer activity that can be challenging while pregnant in the summer. Do not ride the roller coasters .

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Not While Pregnant

Do  make sure you are drinking water the entire time you are there. Do wear sunscreen and a sun hat to protect your sensitive skin. Do wear comfortable shoes and clothes. Do make sure you are taking time to rest. It is okay if you cannot keep up with the crowd you went with to the amusement park. You are growing a human and the sun is hot! Take it easy on yourself 🙂

Your Summer ‘Bumpin‘ time of pregnancy may be challenging, but you can have fun, stay safe ,cool and survive the summer months while growing a human.

 

Summer Bumpin and having some fun!

Summer Bumpin it happened so fast

I’m carrying a human that’s as cute as can be

I’m your mommy; want the best for you and me

Pregnant days are drifting away, to uh oh those

delivery day

Baby Boy Baby Girl

Healthy Mom/Healthy Baby

image

 Mary Echols,RN ,BSN, MSN

Wife/Mother/ Registered Nurse/ “Champion of All Pregnant Women’

Contact Mary @ theamazingadventuresofpregnancy@yahoo.com

 

 

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References:

St.Laurent,C. “The Effect of Dehydration in Pregnant Women on the Baby.” Livestrong

http://www.livestrong.com/article/505961-the-effects-of-dehydration-in-pregnant-women-on-the-baby/

“Exercise During Pregnancy-ACOG.”

http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Exercise-During-Pregnancy

Photo Source: Pixaby & Bossfight

@copyright Mary Echols,2017

labor and delivery, pregnancy, Uncategorized

Amazing Pregnancy Lessons for #2 from a Mom of 5

My first pregnancy was perfect. My labor experience came straight out of a text book.  My delivery was a breeze.  Because I did what I was supposed to and everything came out fine, I thought, “Ehhh, I can let go a little bit.”

 

My first indulgence was drinking my beloved Coca Cola. Now I didn’t go hog wild, I drank 1 20oz bottle a day.  My child is now 10 years old and he is probably the most hyper of my kids.  So my immediate take away Lesson #1. When the nurse and doctor recommend not eating or drinking something during pregnancy, listen. There’s a reason why there are diet and food restrictions. They tell you to limit caffeine. Now I know why.

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I also didn’t eat as healthy. I ate more junk food.  I did gain the recommended weight gain of 25-30 lbs but the difference came in my baby’s birth weight.  My first baby weighed 8lbs 5oz and my second baby weighed 7lbs.  A significant difference.  Lesson #2. The foods and drinks you put in your body affect your baby’s development and health.

 

I found it harder to take naps with a toddler at home and still working 12 hour shifts. I found myself being tired more easily and probably a little bit more irritable–or so my husband says.

Lesson #3. Learn to take naps.  If you have a toddler, take a nap when they nap.  The chores can wait.  Remember, you’re making a baby and that takes energy.

 

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One day, my water broke. I was confused. I wasn’t have contractions, how can my water break? I called my doctor (her number was again posted on my fridge).  She told me to go to labor and delivery and be evaluated.  It was determined my water indeed broke and I won a stay in the hospital. I asked if I could go home until I started having contractions.  I was told,”No, your water broke and we need to monitor you.” Lesson #3.  Once your water breaks, you will probably be admitted to monitor the progress of your labor.  If labor does not progress after 24 hours, the chances of an infection increases.  Your baby was kept safe inside your uterus protected by the amniotic fluid and your mucous plug.  Once those walls of safety are gone, bacteria can more easily enter and cause an infection.  I started walking once again, hoping to start my labor.  When I had a cervical check, I anticipated 6-7 cm, the nurse told me I was an outstanding 3 cm!? WHAT?! I told my husband, we’re going to be here forever!

 

I started walking, again. I started feeling those twinges but nothing that told me I was anywhere close to delivering. This time, I was able to eat dinner alongside my husband.  Unlike him, I wasn’t overly thrilled.  My nurse came back and monitored my baby with a Doppler.  Lesson #4. If you are having a low risk pregnancy, your baby can probably be monitored with a Doppler that checks on the baby’s heart beat to make sure it is not too slow or too fast.  You don’t necessarily have to hooked up to those huge monitors and be confined to bed.

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It was getting close to 12 hours since my water broke. My nurse said if my labor doesn’t start soon, I would have to be induced.  She suggested using a breast pump.  Yes! The same breast pump you use for pumping milk.  She said the nipple stimulation can start your contractions.  I used the breast pump for 10-15 minutes each side.  Afterwards, I felt my contraction!

Lesson #5. Again, listen to your nurse.  She knows what she’s doing.  I was checked again and still 3 cm dilated.  It is now 3am!!  I predicted I would be in labor for another 6-7 hours.  Sad face emoji.

 

As my contractions continued, they became stronger. So strong I wondered how I did this medication free with my first one.  I was confined to being balled up in my bed.  I was on the brink of giving into the relief of pain medication when my nurse came back at 5am to check me again.  She came back up proclaiming, “Oh my! You’re already 10 cm! I need to call your doctor!” The doctor on call came in and told me my doctor was on her way.  I said, “I feel like I have to push.” The nurse said, don’t push yet.  Excuse me?!  How can I not push when I feel this huge urge to push?!  I was told to breathe.  So I breathed.  It did help.  If you’re breathing, you literally can not push. Try it. Lesson #6. If they say you’re not ready to push yet for whatever reason, breath.  HeHeHe. Puff puff puff. Whatever is easier for you.

 

My baby came a little after 5am. Eric was able to cut the umbilical cord this time.  Again that feeling of overwhelming love.  Again, Eric held his second son throughout the night. 

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When our first son came to visit the next day, there was a gift for him from his baby brother. Lesson #7. It is a cute idea to give a gift for your first child from his sibling.  It lets your first child know, they will not be left out with a new arrival.  Let them help in a capacity that is appropriate for their age.

 

Breast feeding was painful. What was I doing wrong? I endured the pain.  Pain that made my toes curl with each feed.  I started bleeding. I wanted to give up.  Then I called the lactation consultant.  She told me to come in so she could see what I was doing.  She cringed when she saw me.  I put my baby to breast and felt the familiar pain.  The lactation consultant, without breaking the latch, adjusted my arms and miraculously the pain instantly disappeared. I looked amazed because she explained what was wrong.  I could have cried because I didn’t have to give up and it was so easy when I had help. Lesson #8.  Get help with breastfeeding.  That’s why there are nurses and lactation consultants–they there to help.  Know community resources available for breast feeding help and/or support.

 

 

 

Though my second pregnancy experience was not perfect and there were a few hiccups along the way, I learned to accept help. I learned how to manage 2 young boys, maybe not perfectly. They were beautiful, lovable boys.  They were my sons.  I was enjoying my life and I didn’t even know my third one was coming soon.

 

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Kristine Walton, RN, BSN

Wife/Mother of 5/ Registered Nurse

Contact Kristine @ kkd_2426@Hotmail.com

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pregnancy, Uncategorized

“C-Section or Not; You are a Mother”

 

She Cried Today.

She cried because her pregnancy journey will end with a Caesarean section (C-section).

She cried because pregnancy to her that means she didn’t earn her baby

She cried because she felt she wasn’t a ‘real’ mother/woman.

She cried because she will not be able to labor her baby into the world.

She cried because she was embarrassed to tell her husband.

She cried because to her – she has failed.

My heart hurt for this 1st time mother.  This mother who has planned from the 1st positive pregnancy test for this baby, prayed for this baby, dreamed about her pregnancy and mentally prepared for the birth of her baby.

My heart hurt because she could not see there is more than one road to a healthy baby.

She Cried Today

I spent time with her. I talked with her. I wanted my words to acknowledge her feeling and empower her to own her birth story.

I wanted  her to know :

She is a Mother

She is a Woman

She has not failed but is winning and has won.

She has carried this child for almost 40 weeks; who she loves without ever meeting. She has nurtured this child in utero doing everything right to set the stage to welcome her little one into the world.  Her desire is to have the perfect pregnancy journey, which to her is to have a vaginal delivery.

She Cried Today

She left her office visit with a look of resignation and anxiousness in her eyes.

I will see her once more before her scheduled C-section. I will speak with her, comfort her, encourage her to express her feelings, hopes, and thoughts.

In my mind and heart:

My hope , my prayer is that she will always know:

The journey of pregnancy and parenting may not always be linear. That she will learn to expect the unexpected, that plans change.

Regardless of how her birth story unfolds ; that she will remember:

She is a Mother

She is a Woman

She is Strong

Her name is Mama

Her Baby = Love

Healthy Mom/Healthy Baby

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Mary Echols, RN , BSN, MSN

Wife/Mother/ Registered Nurse/ “Champion of All Pregnant Women”

Contact Mary @ theadventuresofpregnancy@yahoo.com

 

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family, labor and delivery, pregnancy, Uncategorized

Amazing Pregnancy Lessons from A Mom of 5

Pregnancy is a wonderful soulful miracle. Whether you’re religious or spiritual, we can all agree that carrying this precious tiny human affirms how spectacular life is and will always be.  Everyone says each pregnancy is different. Each labor is different. Each child is different. And what you do, what you eat and how you feel affects your pregnancy.  I’m here to let you know from my experience, that those statements are so very true.  I’ve had five pregnancies, five deliveries and five children. And each one was different.  I hope some of the things I went through can help in a small way with your pregnancy, make your labor and delivery a little less scary and give a slight piece of parenting help.  Because we all know, any help is appreciated. 

I was 29 when I became pregnant; shortly after becoming married and after deciding we would wait since babies are expensive and we had just bought our first house. Lesson #1— Pregnancy rarely happens when you expect or plan it.  A miracle does happen when you least expect it. We were excited; I did everything right. Ate the recommended foods, eliminated my favorite beverage-Coca-Cola; which was the hardest thing for me. My one indulgence was eating coney dogs with chili cheese fries while working midnights at the hospital. It was so deliciously delightful though. My one craving. My one sin.  

I went to Child Birth Education Classes.   Childbirth Education Classes helped me help myself. Lesson #2–please go to this class especially if you are a first time mom. I truly believe that knowledge is power and will lessen any fear of the unknown. Fear increases pain which may slow labor down. Labor is already a long process without anything slowing it down! If you have the opportunity to attend a breast feeding class, I would recommend it also.

I created my birthing plan; which included Eric cutting the umbilical cord. I wanted to do skin to skin, where your baby is placed immediately on your bare skin as long as everything is fine. I wanted to breast feed. I did not want an episiotomy, a surgical cut made at the opening of the vagina during childbirth, to aid a difficult delivery and prevent rupture of tissues. I did not want any medication. I wanted to try to have a natural birth. I thought women have had babies for centuries and were able to go through labor without medication; to me women bodies knew what do, if we let them.

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Lesson #3–have a birthing plan, know what you want but at the same time allow flexibility.   In my experience as a nurse, patients that had extensive super detailed plans and who were set on only doing things they planned, always ended up with a C-section. Those moms were always disappointed in their birthing experience and we, as nurses, always had to reinforce that they have a beautiful healthy baby–that’s what mattered in the end.

I woke up one morning; Mother’s Day, May 9, 2004 with a little twinge. It came again. I thought, let me go back to sleep and if that twinge is still there, I would call my doctor. I woke up later and still felt these cramps so Eric and I decided to call my doctor. She said to go to labor and delivery once my contractions became about 5 minutes apart.

Lesson #4–have phone numbers readily available. It is important to have your doctor’s number and labor and delivery number easily assessable. Post it on the fridge so both you and your partner can find it easily because you’ll both be excited and anxious and probably not thinking straight.

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What are the Numbers?!!!??!!

Lesson #5–learn to time your contractions, because the nurses WILL ask you. Have your partner learn to because you may not be in your right mind to be counting and timing. I called labor and delivery and they asked me how far apart my contractions were and then if my water broke. I answered, “No.” they told me don’t come in until your water breaks. I must have had a stunned moment of silence, not expecting them to tell me NOT to come to the hospital?! They then explained there were no beds available but if I wanted to come in I could. I decided not to because less time in the hospital, the better. Eric and I walked. And walked. And walked. And walked. Lesson #6–walking during early labor will help speed up the labor process.

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My water broke. Not as a big gush that you see in movies but I felt like a peed but didn’t have the urge and couldn’t stop it. We went to the hospital. Upon examining, doing a cervical check, I was 6 cm dilated. Lesson #7–cervical checks are THE most uncomfortable experience both physically and mentally. It may feel like your doctor is elbow deep in your vagina. Let’s hope your doctor and nurses have small hands–Check them out during your doctor’s visit.

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I was having back labor. My nurse told me to get on my hands and knees with my head down. I can promise you, this was uncomfortable, and I thought, “What is this nurse doing?!” She came back in about 20 minutes later and told me I could sit up. Wait! Where’s my back labor?! They were gone!     Lesson#8–listen to your nurse. They are there to help you. Believe me, they want your labor to progress just as quickly as you do!

I used the birthing ball. I breathed during each contraction. Eric was eating dinner and came over leaning down, close to my face and said, “I don’t know about you, but this meatloaf sure is good!” My nurse was thoughtful enough to say in a kind way, “She’s going through labor. I don’t think she really cares about eating.” Because otherwise, Eric’s dinner may have been thrown across the room if I had to say something.   Lesson #9–be prepared that your partner may not be the help you thought and hoped. You may have to be specific in telling them want you want and need.

Throughout my labor, because, I did not want an episiotomy, the nurses would massage my vagina with warm wash clothes and olive oil to slowly stretch my vaginal opening to allow an easier delivery of the head. It came time for me to push..Lesson #10 when you start pushing, push like you’re having a bowel movement, keep your eyes open and even smile or grimace. Making that guttural sound helps. Be prepared that you may actually have a bowel movement.  But don’t worry, your nurse is discreet and will take care of things for you, so you don’t even know.

The doctor told me push, push, push, and I felt this burning sensation! Lesson #11— yes you will feel the burning sensation and it is your baby’s head coming out and true to it’s name—the ring of fire! Imagine the size of a baby’s head and how big your vagina is…yes it will burn.

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Feel The Burn

Then my son came! Eric was ecstatic but was too overwhelmed to cut the cord. Lesson #12–your partner will see your vagina in a whole different light when they see a baby come out of it! “The wait 6 weeks until resuming intercourse” is for the benefit of your partner. It allows them time to process the experience, allows them to recover from what they just witnessed. When I was a nursing student, I saw my first delivery and told Eric how the father cried. His response, “Why? Did it smell?”–that is how men view labor.

Once you get to hold your baby, a feeling overcomes you, a feeling you never knew you had. Unquestionable, undying love. Your partner will feel it too. I remember Eric staying up all night holding and rocking his first son, tears in his eyes.

 

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A Father’s Love

Lesson #13–if your partner is a father, let him be part of his child’s life no matter the relationship you may have with him. A child needs his father. A son can only learn to become a man from a man. A daughter learns how she should be treated when her father protects her, helps her, and tells her how beautiful she is. She learns to not accept anything less from any man.

This was my first pregnancy and labor experience. I felt everything was text book, everything went according to what I expected. Breast feeding was a breeze, no problems with latching on, no pain or discomfort. This was my first. My second would be a whole different experience.

 

 

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1st Baby Boy Walton

 

Kristine Walton,RN,BSN

Wife/Mother of 5/ Registered Nurse

Contact Kristine @ kd_2426@hotmail.com

Find her on this blog “The Amazing Adventures of Pregnancy” every Wednesday

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pregnancy, Uncategorized

Walking a Tightrope, carrying a Rainbow Baby

There will be dancing in the rain

There will be sunshine behind the clouds

There will be Rainbows after the stormimage

Yet

Step. By. Step.

Eyes focused

Breathing. Slowly.

One. Breath. At. A. Time.

Heart Guarded.

Carrying a Rainbow baby; which is a baby conceived after a miscarriage or loss can feel like you are walking on a tightrope.

 

It’s a careful balance between the excitement, joy and hope of a new life; and memories of the past. A balance of validating the child you loss, acknowledging the baby who you never held in your arms, but will always hold in your heart; with opening your heart to trust your body , to bond with the new pregnancy/baby.

 

You will realize that there is not a “ normal “ as you embrace a “new normal”. Every twinge, every bathroom break will have you questioning “is it happening again?”, “is this okay?” . This journey across a tightrope can be challenging, it can be scary, it can be unfamiliar. 

Yet

There is hope while carrying a Rainbow baby. I’m writing this post so you will know, despite the pain and uncertainty and fear you can have hope. I want you to know it is a blessing in carrying a new life. I want you to know you are not alone on your journey. There are many women walking the same journey with you.

 

8 Ways to Walk the Tightrope with Hope while Carrying a Rainbow Baby

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  • Remember the baby you miscarried/loss. That baby’s life is precious; and their life mattered- even if it was a short while.  You many not have held your baby, cared or nurtured your child– the baby is still yours and their memory matters. I have found guilt sometimes associated with a pregnancy loss is eased when you acknowledge the baby you loss.
  • Own your feelings. Know everything you feel is true to you. There is not a right way to be happy or right way to grieve the baby/babies you loss. Work through the process. If you need counseling / spiritual advisor , family member or a really good friend- Know it is okay to talk with someone about your feelings.
  • Celebrate this life. Some women wait until the 12/13th week to announce the pregnancy. However, if you want to SHOUT your posistive pregnancy test when you first test- That is okay. This life is precious and deserves to be Celebrated
  • Bond with the Baby. After a loss it can be difficult to trust your body to do what it does. You may have a guarded heart. Things to help you bond with the baby: Talk to the baby, dream about the baby, ‘see a future” with the baby
  • 1 Day at a Time: Seems very simple. Yet, it can be difficult. Try to focus on each day and what it brings.  Rejoice in the present day that you are carrying your baby.
  • Prayer. Praying for peace, wisdom and Faith have served as great comforts during challenging times
  • Journaling. Taking the time to write your pregnancy journey.  A journal will given you a place to vent, be excited, expresses the uncertainty and hope . To have a place to dream and believe
  • Know that everyone’s journey is different; and there is not one idea thought or suggestion that will work for everyone.  You know what will help you have hope while carrying a Rainbow baby. Trust yourself and your instincts.

 

There will be dancing in the rain

There will be sunshine behind the clouds

There will be Rainbows after the storm

A “rainbow baby” is a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss.In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison. (Kick Counts, 2015 found: http://www.kickscount.org.uk/rainbow-baby/)

 

Mary E., RN,BSN, MSN

Wife/Mother/Nurse/Champion of All Pregnant Women

contact: theamazingadventuresopregnancy@yahoo.com

domestic violence, pregnancy, Uncategorized

Are you Safe?

One moment to change a person’s destiny, one second to alter their future, one question to save their life.

Are you Safe? Is that question.

Time and Time again, I have seen women who are clothed in masks of smiles, masks who voices say “I’m ok, I’m fine”, masks who appear happy and excited. However, behind these masks are hopelessness, sadness, confusion, hurt, fear and often a small glimmer of hope.

I have seen far too women who are in domestic violent relationships that present to their healthcare provider. Often, these women present for routine visits, no bruises are noted, conversations are flowing, all seems well. Their masks are firmly in place; painted with a smile.

Then a question is asked, the one question that help remove these masks:

Are you Safe?

I have seen tears begin to flow as masks are removed when women are asked:

Are you Safe?

I have had women express gratitude saying no one has ever asked “If I was Safe before”. Women have said: “many people have asked me if I need anything? Am I ok, but few have asked:

“Am I Safe?”

I encourage all women on their life journey, all pregnant women on their pregnancy journey to discuss all concerns and situations with their healthcare providers; no matter what the situation may be. As healthcare providers, we are there to help, to listen and to assist; we enjoy serving our patients.

Often, the doctor’s office may be the only chance to reach and assist a person. Taking the time in that one second to ask the question

Are you Safe?

 A life saver is thrown.

As the healthcare provider; you may not be able to erase the pain the patient is in, or remove her from her current situation, but in that moment:

Resources can be given, escape plans can be made, help is there, kindness can be offered,

Lives can be saved.

Are you Safe?

Remember to Always Ask the Question

As Always

Healthy Mom/Healthy Baby

If you or someone you love needs help, don’t be afraid to Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233

 

Mary E., RN,BSN, MSN

Wife/Mother/Nurse/Champion of All Pregnant Women

contact: theamazingadventuresopregnancy@yahoo.com