Thursday, February 10, 2011

Effie Rose Jordan, by Mama! Abby Jordan

Our Effie turns 3 weeks old tomorrow. I can't believe it has taken me this long to write the story of her birth. What they say is true, everything changes. Time is something I took for granted. I will never do that again. Oh, is it worth it. We are so thrilled to have her here.

Effie's birth was not at all what we planned. I really thought that I could control things and this was my first lesson that I am no longer in charge.

On Thursday, Jan 20 I woke up at 2am with contractions. They, I will later find out, hurt but were not the real thing. We started timing them and they were coming frequent but nothing consistent and nothing too breathtaking. Scott stayed home from work and we took it easy. Everything slowed down and we considered it pre labor. However, I was ready. I wanted to do everything I could to keep things moving. I scheduled some induction acupuncture with Dr. Kate Hanson for 5.30 that evening. I bought Clary Sage and Rosemary oil which in combination are supposed to help "Get the Party Started". I drank a little red wine, ate pineapple and we headed to the mall around 6.30pm to walk. I wanted to stomp around to see if I could shake her out. We came home about 8 and I went to bed. At about 9.30 I had a contraction that woke me up. I didn't think much of it since I had been having some all day. At 10.11 (I'll never forget that time) I felt a thud in my pelvis and then felt some wetness. I stood up and with no mistake, my water had broken. I ran to the bathroom and it just kept coming. Yay!!! It worked!! It worked!! We were getting our baby, soon!

My husband had fallen asleep on the couch so I went out and told him the news. He woke up, got a big smile on his face and then fell back asleep. I wanted to let him sleep while I figured out what to do next. It did not take very long for contractions to start and they were strong, immediately. They were coupling, coming one right after the next, and they hurt, badly. They hurt way worse than any of the ones I had during the day. I called the doctor and rewoke up my husband. He thought he had a dream of me telling him my water broke.

We headed to the hospital and arrived around 12.15am. On the walk from the lobby to labor and delivery I had to stop about 4 times to have contractions. During first check, I was dilated to 3 cm. From then until 6.30 am my awesome labor coach, my husband Scott, and I moved from the jacuzzi to all fours to the birth ball (horrible for me, I was too far along) standing on the side of the bed, on the toilet etc. He kept me moving and I kept dilating. Every time they went to check me, they made me lay down on the bed. OMG! I will never forget how badly I hated getting on that bed. The pressure of lying down or sitting was unbearable, I hated it. So, at 6.30am I was at 8 cm. Awesome! We are on our way now. We were almost there.

This is where I lost control of Effie's birth and things went the opposite way of our wishes. The pressure was getting so strong that during contractions as hard as I tried I could not resist the urge to push and it was NOT time. This was making my cervix swell and almost making it close back up. I stayed at 8 until around 10.30am. At that time, they started talking epidural. I could not stop pushing and I had to stop if I wanted to progress in the right direction. The idea was that an epidural would relax me enough that the last 2cm would come. We fought the idea for a little bit longer. We gave it another half hour of music and what we called the dancing position. I put my hands around his neck while standing and we really danced. When I had a contraction I would move my hips and almost squat to try and get those last 2 measly centimeters. It didn't take.

At noon I received the epidural. I felt defeated but I couldn't do much about it. The epidural numbed the pain but did not move me along. By the way, an epidural seems like a fantastic way to go through labor. We slept and all the screaming and pain were gone. If I had to do it over, I would labor without an epidural but if it's not for you, get an epidural. At 3pm they started a pitocin drip. I, of course, kept saying I didn't want pitocin. I didn't want it because I didn't want the contractions to get worse and since I already had the epidural I went with it.

They upped and upped the pitocin and at 8.30pm I was at 9cm. Effie's heartbeat had taken a couple small dips and my doctor believed that there was a reason I was not progressing. C-section was the answer. OMG! I could not believe that after all of that planning, stressing, laboring etc that I was headed into surgery. Well, I was. I nodded my head, again in defeat, yes and that was it. We had a beautiful baby girl at 9.15pm January 21, 2011. She was finally here.

It turns out, the shape of my sacrum is not the norm. It is straight instead of curved. This explains the pain all through pregnancy and the reason I felt the urge to push. I was awake for surgery and while they had me open my doctor explained this to me. She was not sure if I had gotten to 10cm if Effie would have been able to come through. I'm so glad I didn't get there from the epidural and pitocin, pushed for 2 hours and then had a c-section. That is really the only way I think it could have been extended and gotten worse!

Overall, it all ended up working out. She's here and she's perfect. The bond that my husband and I have from the experience has set into motion the way we are experiencing parenting together. I have really relied on him and he has helped me so much through each step so far. I have also used the experience to remind me that I am no longer in control of every minute and every detail. All she does is eat and sleep right now but somehow there are so many challenges with both of these. Those stories are for another day.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Induction Acupuncture? Yes please! by Mama to be, Abby Jordan

At my last appointment with Dr. Kate, (January 7) she mentioned that if I was ready by the next time she could start some induction acupuncture. Um. That's scary. I don't think so. I'll just wait patiently for this little peanut to make his/her move. On Monday (Jan 17), I signed up for it.

Let's go back a bit. So far, (January 14) my OB says I'm 60% effaced, almost dilated to 1 and at a -1 station. She said she thinks I'll go full term but to go ahead and prove her wrong if I wanted. At that time, I was fine with waiting. Sounds great, I thought. Stuff is going on but nothing major. Sweet. We have time. And then...I thought my water broke. I think it was pee but I was on the toilet so no big whoop. It just felt different. Scott and I went kind of crazy. It was 8 at night and we thought, "this could be it!" We were so excited. I bounced around on the birth ball, we put everything we needed on the dining room table so we were READY. We put the car seat in the car, looked over some birth positions, etc. Now, where were the contractions? And how come I haven't leaked any more fluid? We decided to get in bed, relax and see what happens. Nothing happened. No contractions, no baby. Nothing like a false alarm to make us realize that we were prepared. There was nothing that we felt like we forgot to do. Wow. We did it, we were as prepared as we could be.

Not only are we ready, but now we WANT the baby to come. Dr. Kate, here I come! We started with an adjustment, which felt great. I was not in a lot of pain but after the adjustment felt even better. Now, off to the acupuncture table. She put needles in the different pressure points that together should help get contractions started. I was thrilled to have an all natural way to get things moving along. I had been having contractions. Lots of them. All the time. I was so curious to see how this would go. I took the time to relax and to visualize giving birth. I visualized such a nice, quiet, beautiful birth. Fingers crossed. Dr. Kate thought mentioned that the baby might start moving or I actually might have contractions during the treatment. The baby definitely started moving but no contractions, until later. That night I had very strong contractions. By strong, I mean my uterus was harder than I had ever felt it. It was keeping me awake a bit. I probably had about 3-5 of these over 4 hours and then eventually fell asleep and still no baby. I'm going to go back either Thursday or Friday and see if we can continue the process. If I still don't have a baby next week, Dr. Kate said that it would be safe to do daily treatments. Oh, man. Let's have this baby already. We're READY!!

My prediction: labor starts tonight (Jan 18) and I have the baby tomorrow. There is a storm and a full moon. Again, we're READY. I could come up with a reason for everyday.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Dr. Kate, Gotta Love, Dr. Kate by Mama to be, Abby Jordan

I have been making my way to Dr. Kate's table about once a week for the last month. It's so amazing. I get there, she starts pressing around and then I realize all the things that hurt, that ache, that have slipped out of place and are so SORE. Today, she tapped up and down my back, I don't think my neck has ever cracked like this before and then my hips and knees! Yikes. I was in bad shape. I went from working on my feet all day everyday to getting caught up on paperwork and getting our website all shaped up for Valentine's Day. I think sitting shifted my hips all around and typing has made one of my shoulders SOOOO sore. After a few minutes with Dr. Kate, I'm feeling so much better. I thought I better get in to see her since I am 37 weeks and 5 days along. I could have the baby this weekend? I need to be aligned as possible so I can really get down to birthin' business.

I'm also scheduling an Acupuncture session for next week. My first one went really well. I had it about 2 months ago and it was extremely relaxing. I did not have any of the ailments that Dr. Kate might treat with Acupuncture (heartburn, anxiety, depression) but the great thing about Acupuncture is the proactive benefits. As Dr. Kate explained in her blog entry it's really about keeping your energy in balance. As of right now, I feel pretty balanced but who couldn't use a little relaxation and some positive energy. The other thing that we might do is start some induction energy. I am terrified of being medically induced (no pitocin for me!) so why not get the ball rolling? We'll see. I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

So, 37 weeks. That's Full Term!! by Mama to be: Abby Jordan

Tomorrow, I am 37 weeks along and we have not had class for weeks!! We decided I better post some stuff about how things are going.

First of all, I feel like my cute basketball belly is a brand new shape that I can hardly describe. It gets a new angle almost everyday. It was round and sticking straight out. It is now sort of round but has some weird flat, plateau like surfaces that make it feel more like an octagon. I think baby is running out of room. Mama wants to be accommodating for at least another two weeks. Yes, I would like to have the baby sometime after January 16 and would prefer January 23. Does that sound like a naive first time mom to you???

I think I have mentioned this before but I work in retail. So, up until late December 24 I run myself ragged. We had our biggest month of online sales ever. AWESOME! This could not be more exciting for us. I was happy to be up and active through this time in my pregnancy as well. At the end of the day, you could knock me over with a feather but all was good for me and baby. We ate and slept enough and we worked REALLY hard. I'm pumped to see the work ethic this baby is going to have. During the last week or so of the holiday rush I started daydreaming about me and my husband settling in at home for a daylong laboring session and then driving to the hospital for a nice "getaway". The thought of labor and delivery was starting to seem like an amazing escape from my non-stop work reality. What!!??? As I'm waking up from that daydream the "getaway" is seeming less and less vacation and calming like and the fears and anxieties that have always been there are creeping there way back into the reality of giving birth.

Last week, I was talking on the phone, carrying six things and not being careful as I was coming into the house. I slipped on the ice and pretty much landed on my 36 week pregnant belly. I'm pretty sure my arm caught most of the weight but I was terrified! I could not feel any tenderness or soreness on my belly and there did not seem like there was much to worry about. I called my mom to tell her and started bawling!! She convinced me to the call the doctor. My doctor was out and the doctor on call did not want to take any chances. I ended up in Labor and Delivery at The Women's Center on a fetal monitor for 4 hours. I was so scared when it happened and then so relieved and glad we got to listen to the heartbeat instead of staying up all night wondering. Everything looked great. No worries. I'm sure I wouldn't have slept a minute. Scott and I have been calling it our dry run and hope we don't have to rush in this next time but at least we know where we're going and a little more of what to expect.

All in all, I still feel pretty great. Sleeping for more than 2 hours without being in a lot of pain from either having to pee or putting to much weight on a hip is starting to be missed. I know this is part of getting me ready for what's to come and I'm a-okay with it. I think a lot of women end up pretty miserable before they actually go into labor and I'm not there yet. I think baby and I will be together for another few weeks. I'll keep you posted!

Friday, December 31, 2010

My Hippie Versus My Heathen

I might look modern on the outside, but there’s a hippie on the inside is sportin’ hairy armpits and listening to Grateful Dead in a tie-dyed sundress. OK, maybe not the hairy armpits part. I actually find hairy armpits to be scratchy. And stinky. (more on THAT lovely postpartum change on another blog!) Maybe my inner hippie has dreads instead…yea, dreads….now THOSE are cool! I love me a little “goin’ green” IF it doesn’t interfere too much with my whoops-what-happened-this-is-crazier-than-it-should-be-life. For example, when I go shopping, 9 times out of 10 my recyclable bags made of old recycled bags that I bought with wonderful intentions is left behind in the entry closet, stuffed behind the vacuum and 16 little pair of shoes. I hustle to the checkout in record time, but not fast enough to stop my screaming 16 month old from having a fit out of boredom. As I clutch him in one arm, he throws his solid 29 pound self in an attempt to escape and like a seasoned prison guard I use the other hand to separate the 6 and 7 year old girls as they begin to push and shove each other out of the way so they can both play with the stupid $5 fan toy filled with candy. I’m flustered. I’m sweaty. And the cashier at the grocery store asks the question “paper or plastic?” I will tell him proudly “PAPER!” and in the next breath, “Oh. Wait. Do they have handles on them?” If they do, (and sadly, ONLY if they do) I will walk out with my loud ass kids and my groceries packed in my brown bags feeling like I did my part save the earth for the day.
When my doula friend Mary approached me about trying cloth diapering, I had a flashback to my childhood. My head was filled with images of me gagging while my mom scraped turds into the toilet and then choking on the stink from the diaper pail as she stuffed the soggy, wet mess into its belly. I remember the look on her face as she struggled to diaper up my little brother as he wiggled like a pink little pig, desperately trying not to skewer him with what looked like the hugest, sharpest pins in the world. No thanks. But Mary assured me that those days were gone and it was MUCH easier to cloth diaper nowadays. Plus, dangit…I just read a statistic that said it takes 500 YEARS for ONE diaper to decompose in a landfill. Take 3 kids in diapers for a combined 7 and ½ years, and well, I’m pretty sure MY landfill pile is taller than my own house.
After Mary swatted away all of the excellent excuses I used about why it was great for her but there was no way I could possibly do it, I bought 6 of the cutest cloth diapers WITH velcro tabs (having snaps was one of my excuses…couldn’t take the time to snap with my carpel tunnel and such!) and there they sat, on my counter for 2 months. Finally, I took the plunge. I washed and dried all 6 of the Rump A Rooz SIX, yes, count it, SIX times, (apparently you have to do that to get the maximum amount of pee soakage possible) put one together, and slapped it on Grady’s butt. Although it LOOKED like it was going to be tough to figure out, it was amazingly easy…and that’s coming from the girl who has self proclaimed ADD and can’t focus on ANY project that takes longer than 20 seconds to complete. Grady is now sporting his FIRST cloth diaper while taking a trip to Sports Authority with his dad, walking around with that telltale cloth diaper big ole’ booty. Dang it’s cute…and I will update you on how it goes. Mary PROMISED it would be easy. I’ll be sure to let you know if she was telling the truth…or if these will go in the closet next to my recycled recycle bags!

Friday, December 17, 2010

BONUS! Breastfeeding Class! by Mama to be: Abby Jordan

To start off our bonus class we learned that 2 out of 5 couples from our class had their babies. OMG! I was completely freaked out for the first 15 minutes of class. Both of them had premature emergency c-sections. I just kept saying, "We're not ready!" Let's just keep this in mind baby, mommy and daddy could use a few more weeks and you need to keep baking. :)

Instead of waiting until after the baby is here the brilliant ladies at Baby Love Birth Services threw an extra class at the end of the 6 weeks. We were invited back for a night to learn about breastfeeding. It's rewards and a lot about it's challenges. There are so, so many schools of thought on what's right. Binkies, no binkies, nipple confusion, supplementing bottles, when dad can take part, formula every now and then is that cool?, etc.

The first thing we watched was a video of a baby put skin to skin on it's mommy right after birth. The baby bobbed it's head and scooted it's way to her nipple. Animal like instincts. Isn't that amazing??

We also learned that newborn bellies are the size of tiny marbles. They don't need to eat a lot at first. They might get on for about 10 minutes and that might be all they need. We learned about cluster feeding, latching and nursing cues. We learned why it was so important to keep your baby with you in the hospital all night so you don't miss their feeding cues. This is a crucial part of getting the breastfeeding foundation set down between you and your baby. I have always heard to send them to the nursery so you can get a good night's rest before you go home with baby. It turns out, if you want to breastfeed, you really shouldn't do that.

There are so many little tips and tricks that you can learn about before you have a sweet little tiny peanut relying on you for food. I was so thankful that they added this bonus class to our 6 week course. We feel like knowing a few things before everything hits us will be great.

Next up, we will taking the Sanity Series. Why doesn't every parent take this class?? Seriously! They go through breastfeeding and any problems, complications, what's working, is it safe?, etc. Babywearing, did you know that colic symptoms don't even exist in some cultures? It's called the 4th trimester and you learn all about how wearing your baby and keeping them close reminds them of the womb. They can't help but be content. The last thing, which I'm sure we will learn so much more, is learning how to turn on our babies calming reflex. I CAN'T WAIT!

Okay, I guess I am ready for that sweet little tiny peanut to get here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Acupuncture in Pregnancy - WHAT"S THE POINT?

At Essentials Family Chiropractic, we get asked - "What can you treat with acupuncture?" The truthful answer is just about anything. However, acupuncture was (when it was discovered over 5,000 years ago) and is (primarily in Eastern cultures) intended to be used as a preventative or wellness treatment. For example, people in China will go have acupuncture to stay healthy. They know that by keeping their energy in balance with acupuncture, they will prevent any ailments like pain, digestive problems, foggy headedness, headaches, menstrual cramps, anxiety, depression, etc...
In western society, we are raised in more of a "sick care" model, meaning we usually seek treatment after we are having pain, symptoms or sickness. Although this isn't ideal for many reasons, there is hope! The good news is, acupuncture can be used to treat a lot of "ailments" even after they have started (AND, is still great for wellness or preventive care, too!!!)
We all know that pregnancy is a time of dramatic change in a woman's body. A lot of the unpleasant (to put it nicely!) symptoms of pregnancy can be treated with acupuncture. AND, It's a great option for the pregnant mama because it is safe for the mom and growing baby, relatively affordable and very effective.

Here is a list of some of the things our pregnant patients come in for:
First Trimester: Insomnia
Morning sickness/Nausea
Second Trimester: Headaches
Sciatica/Lower back pain
Depression/Anxiety/Mood changes

Third Trimester: Heartburn
Pubic bone pain
Induction of Labor (naturally, without the use of artificial hormones)

And, for the lucky pregnant women that don't experience any of these symptoms (your friends will HATE you, by the way!), acupuncture is a possibility for wellness, relaxation and immune boosting.

Our very own pregnant mama, Abby, was willing to try an acupuncture treatment. She experienced a normal session, where we insert the very teeny tiny thin needles into specific points and let you relax for about 15-20 minutes. I think she would tell you the treatment was comfortable and even relaxing.

AND - I would be neglectful (I don't know that I've ever used that word in a sentence) if I didn't mention one of the biggest reasons that women seek acupuncture in our office - TO GET PREGNANT in the first place! Acupuncture is extremely effective in helping achieve fertility and pregnancy. We'll be discussing how and why it works in January at the "Mama said Knock You Up" class. Please check out for class dates and times and for more information on acupuncture!