My birth story...

Saturday, January 16, 2016

First off :: this is written sleep deprived and may not be my best work! And have errors .. Ha!

As reflect back on the birth of London (aka Apple) I feel it wasn't that exciting. But to think of it, a dull delivery story is a good one right? I already experienced three births all that were different.. a doctor assisted hospital birth, midwife assisted hospital, and a midwife assisted home birth. My first son being born when I was only nineteen was very straight forward until his shoulders got stuck on the way out and it became an emergency to get him out safely without breaking his clavicle. He was born in six hours. My second born son was born a quick four hours after labour started. I gave birth in the hospital but checked out within two hours after his arrival. He was my drive-thru baby! My last son Kingley came speeding into the world at a rapid fifty minutes from first contraction to holding him. He was born at home in our bath. All these births were unmedicated and this leads to baby Apple...

At around seven months pregnant we had already faced many upsetting challenges. I had been worn down and started to think about the actual birth. Having good labour and fast deliveries doesn't mean I can get through the pain any better or don't have the fear that comes with facing labour again. I started to think about pains of contractions and the "ring of fire" when pushing baby out. My worry about the pain led me to research epidurals and how they work.  Completely out of my ordinary thought it must always be natural and unmedicated. (For me personally - I don't care what others do. No judgement here!) I am not sure if it was my emotions of having dealt with so many changes and stresses so far or I was just giving myself an excuse to use medication. As the weeks passed by I dropped little hints to my doctor and husband that I was possibly considering an epidural. There was guilt inside of me and I was worried about what people may think. Why would a woman who can deliver babies so easily get an epidural or drugs after having three uncomplicated good deliveries?? I also thought I was going against my inner desire to be a naturalist. Finally I came out and said it ... I had decided that I was getting an epidural. With my new decision and birth plan, the excitement for baby girls birth day was back on track. My days started drag slower than a snails pace as I anxiously I waited for signs of labour. I tried helping her along by keeping active and doing the natural stimulators to get labour going. Then the Friday came that something changed.

That day I had been feeling high anxiety. I was getting tired of being displaced in Vancouver and the thoughts of our vacation rental place being due for us to move out of was stressing me. I also noticed a change with Apple and her movements. Since we had the ECV to flip her she was moving less and less. Knowing I wouldn't sleep, we decided that evening to go to the hospital to have a NST done to make sure everything was ok with her. To our surprise she was perfect but I was not. My blood pressure had shot up to a scary level. (I always had low healthy BP) It was most likely due to the stress I was under. My doctor was working that evening and luckily was there to talk to us about our choices. We decided the best thing was to start labour by breaking my water. After being admitted, it was midnight before my water was broken and in a half hour my contractions had started. They came on quickly and strong like my last baby. I was given an epidural after an hour in  but the pain was still there. (I didn't understand what women raved about with these epidurals at this point... It worked like shit!) I breathed through the pain and kept contracting harder with no progression. My doctor discovered my cervix had a ring of scar tissue that wasn't allowing it to open. I wanted to push through the pain willing my body to contract hard enough to break that scar. After about two hours into labour my nurse could see my discomfort had elevated and called the anaesthetist to up my epidural, this is when we discovered I wasn't actually getting anything! The needle popped out of my back! So again, the anesthesist put the epidural in and praise the lord the pain stopped! It worked like magic. I felt nothing! No pain! It was the best relief ever. I felt so damn awesome I suggested for my husband to go to sleep. I wanted to handle this labour peacefully myself until I was ready to push. (Being a guy he jumped on that offer right away! Lol!) 

After four hours in of contractions and no progression, my doctor had said we needed to boost the strength of my contractions to break the scar or I could be facing a C-section since London was having blips. They gave me what they called a "wif of oxi" and that extra strength and intensity broke the ring. Rapidly, I progressed to fully dilated and was ready to welcome London to the outside world. The nurse woke my snoring husband up to watch the delivery and in a few short pushes London Navy Adelaide was safe in my arms! My heart was bursting.

My experience was so different for this baby. If I could describe it in one word I would say "peaceful". It may sound like I am pushing for epidurals but I am not, I am pushing for women's choice. I chose to do things differently this baby and for me it was using modern medicine. I am thankful I had three babies without interventions or drugs but at the same time I am thankful I allowed myself to try this road without guilt in the end. It didn't make me less of a mother or champion as I thought. 

Items worth buying for postpartum...

This is a list of a few items worth buying for after birth of your precious little one.

Amorini Silver Nipple Covers :: These little silver nipple shields (not the feeding type nipple shield) are shaped to cover your nipple. Silver has natural antibacterial healing properties. And unlike using creams or balms that can leave residue or need to be wiped off they are the purest protection for your breasts and baby. I personally found them amazing because pads and nursing bras can stick to your nipple that is super sensitive when newly breastfeeding. Pulling off a stuck pad can be torture olive ripping open a new wound. These little formed covers come off easily without pain every time.

Belly Bandit Bamboo Postpartum Wrap :: This is the secret to reducing that swollen tummy and helping you get back to shape sooner. Wrapping is an age old tequnique used around the world mainly for medical reasons these days. Wearing a wrap post baby has so many benefits like reducing swelling, helping flush fluids away from the area compressed, reminding you of good posture and much more. When you wear the wrap you can adjust from upper tummy to lower waist. I try to wear mine twelve plus hours a day.

Belly Bandit Hip Bandit :: When your body is preparing for birth you release a hormone called Relaxin. This is what helps your pelvic expand for birth. This hormone continues in your body for seven to eight  weeks after birth. By using the hip band you can use that hormone to your benefit and tighten your pelvic and hips back together. Some women have been known to have smaller measurements after birth by using suck products. When you wear it properly for a good length of time and tight enough you may feel some mild aching. I had more aching with my last baby than I do with having London.

Bravado Bodysilk Bra :: Comfort, easy access, full breast exposure when cup dropped, simple sizing, washes and dries in normal laundry, adjusts to large cup size with engorgement. Need I say more?

Nuroo Pocket Skin to Skin Shirt :: This top is genius! Get your skin to skin while keeping baby and yourself covered and comfortable. It is extremely easy to put on with your newborn. If you are breastfeeding this will help your bonding and promote your milk to come in faster. You are tired after birth and yet want to do the best for your baby, wearing this top frees your hands and allows you to relax your body while having baby as snug as a bug. I wore mine right away and the bonding was wonderful. I didn't need to put her down when I had to get out of bed or worry if she was chilly.


Amorini Shields 

Bravado Bodysilk Nursing Bra

Belly Bandit Bamboo post delivery four days.

Top to right :: Belly Bandit Corset, Bamboo Bandit, Hip Bandit

Post delivery sixteen days.

Nuroo T-shirt Carrier one day old.
Nuroo T-Shirt carrier 23 days old. 


Snapshots of our journey with our forty-eight hour old baby...

What a story to tell this little girl someday is thankfully over. After a long four months in Vancouver, we were finally able to travel home. Baby girl was a whopping forty-eight hours old and about to start the journey and take her first flight. We packed into an SUV with all our belongings and started the drive from Vancouver to Seattle. Being that London was so new we weren't able to get her passport in time and had to drive her across the USA/Canada border with the required paperwork. With a few stops for feeding breaks the overall drive went as smooth as possible. I sat in the back and stared in awe that I had this new baby while the boys happily played on their devices. 

We got to the airport on what felt like the busiest day ever! This is where I realized I was in for more than I bargained. After being pushed, butted in front of, asked a million times how old my baby was and being told I was nuts over and over we stopped for a pump and feed prior to boarding the plane. My milk came in with enough to feed a village and the fact I had been up for over two days was starting to affect me. I won't bore everyone with the details of entire day but I will say it was a much bigger, more emotional day than I ever expected! After eleven hours of travel our plane finally landed and I cried. It was over and I knew I was done the biggest journey ever. I had so much relief to be on the ground.

I'm thankful to be home and in my own bed. I'm ever so grateful to have a healthy full term baby girl. I would do it all over again, the moving, the stress, surgery, ups and downs of 2015. Maybe next time waiting an extra couple days to fly! I know for sure the hard days make the good days that much better and I'll forever be appreciative of what I have. It's now been two weeks and we are settling in to our routine. Every morning I wake up I feel blessed to see a new baby beside me, boys I love and to have our health.

P.S. She was the youngest passenger our flight crew ever had. I also want to shout out a thank you to Delta Air. They were amazing and the most accommodating when they saw our newborn boarding the plane. The entire flight we were taken care of.

My thirty-nine week bumpdate had a baby in the photo instead of belly.

One of the few nursing roadside stops. 

The nursing room at Seattle airport. 

Proud big brother. 

Traveling with Orbit. 


Leaving the hospital in heels.. the drama it caused.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Our normals may not be the same. And that should be ok with each of us. 

In the world of social media and sharing there are many doors opened. These doors lead to great connections made by moms around the world, some are good for information or advice you may be seeking, others are just fun seeing a different world than yours. It would be great if every door was positive but sadly this world comes with negativity too and some pretty mean things. 

A month or two ago I saw a poor mom defending herself over an image that was getting shared around. She had full makeup on and was just meeting her baby the first time via C-section. People were outraged this mother would take the time to do herself up. Stating she was selfish, it was disgusting, and she was completely vain. Truth behind the photo wasn't the case. She had an emergency delivery and had no time to plan for the birth of her beautiful baby. 

I very recently had Apple and I never thought my first blog entry would be anything but my birth story and first week. But this won't be the case. It's this post and how we act towards other mothers. It's important to me to share what I came across from my leaving the hospital photo. 

Attacks. I had been attacked on a shared image of my choice to 1) wear heels 2) walk out of the hospital 3) put myself together.

I shouldn't have to defend my choices and it should have been a glorious share of me in my element with my baby. It should have been positive because I felt great and had another healthy baby. But it wasn't. Some moms couldn't see past my shoes or the fact I was standing at all. I started to write back to the negative comments while Apple nursed peacefully at my 5am feeding time after coming across a share on Facebook. Each one the same thing, saying I didn't actually put on full makeup, I only had blush on, my hair was in a topknot and my heels were low and comfortable to me. Also adding that the hospital allowed moms to walk out if they chose to. My sweater was loose, jeans were stretchy and jacket an oversize easy wearing coat. 

Why was I carrying my Orbit car seat? Honestly, I was feeling mama bearish at the time. I have what my husband says is a tendency to control everything. And that photo shows that loud and clear! I wanted Apple in my arms to keep her close to me. I didn't want my husband buckling her in, carrying her (which felt like taking her from me), or buckling her seat into the taxi either. I wanted to do everything for my baby. (Yes, it's his too but I just pushed her out I get a pass on saying mine) 

This clearly wasn't what others thought of normal. I read the comments loud and clear for the disgust to my post. It is my normal. It's my daily life, my routine, my personality, it's what makes me different than you. It doesn't make me less or more of a mother a female or person. 

It does make me sad though. Not for myself having to defend my actions and choices. But for others I know who maybe aren't as strong. I'm bothered with the knowledge that moms often hide things to be safe from parenting attacks. If you are one of these moms who have been hurt, know I feel for you! I'd stand up and fight for you. If you're the person with the desire to put negativity into the world, shame on you. Think twice next time. Just because it's a photo online it doesn't mean that the person in it isn't a real human with real feelings.

So as I embark on the journey as a mommy of four. I will be myself. I'll wear heels, I'll breastfeed publicly, I'll co-sleep when she's older, I'll screw up at times and I'll love my kids more than life itself. I won't be afraid to share this with you. I also will never tell you to do as I do. Because that would be boring to all be the same. 


I support being yourself and was inspired to throw on my heels for no reason other than I can! I like them. They are me and my normal. 


Carmen Shalene © All rights reserved