categories. natural birth, hospital birth, doula present, midwife present.
year story took place in. 2013.
country birth took place in. united states.
It was my first time being pregnant and everything had progressed wonderfully - no morning sickness, no diabetes, etc. Around 32 weeks, I decided to hire a doula to help my husband and me through the labor process since we really didn't know what to expect. Since we wanted a birth with as little intervention as possible, she advised us to switch to a local midwife program of midwives who delivered at our local hospital. The doctor I had been seeing had a 46% c-section rate! Thankfully, we made the switch around 35 weeks and our experience with the midwives was amazing. They taught me so much about my pregnancy and the appointments lasted around an hour instead of the usual 5 minutes I would get from my OB. During the pregnancy, my OB had kept me fearful of gaining too much weight and put me on a diabetic diet, even though I didn't have gestational diabetes. How stressful. The midwives assured me my weight gain was completely normal and not to worry about it.
At 38 weeks, my mucous plug passed which caused me to quickly dash to the pregnancy book to look up that chapter! The book advised I could go into labor in a few days or a few weeks. So, I didn't give it a second thought and continued relaxing on with house chores. About an hour later, I felt a little crampy and figured it was just false labor. My husband and I headed over to this outdoor mall, to grab some lunch and walk around to see if the crampiness would go away. While ordering at Panera, my cramps/contractions started to become more regular at 15 minutes apart. My husband excitedly downloaded an app to track when the contractions started/ended and I would smack his arm when they started so he could press the button. During lunch, they maintained 10 minutes apart but started to feel a little more uncomfortable. We left Panera and started to walk around but of course I felt the urge to pee. We started towards the bathrooms and then I felt like I was peeing my pants and announced this fact to my husband immediately. We soon realized that my water had broken and it was time to head to the car! I called my amazing doula, Melanie, on the way home and she congratulated me and advised to just go home and 'do life' but call her in an hour. The midwife advised that she would get the hospital room setup but to call her again when the contractions were 5 minutes apart. Upon arriving at home, I immediately tried to do laundry since my water broke in my labor clothes! I found the labor ball and was rolling around on that but the contractions started to become more severe - to the point they were rapidly approaching 5 minutes apart. The app my husband was using to track the contractions turned red with alert and told us to go to the hospital! I couldn't get in touch with the midwife and started to freak out a little bit. Thankfully my doula was available and had a personal connection with the midwife group and was able to relay the message that we were on our way, while we hopped in the car and drove 80mph down the highway to the hospital. It felt like we were going 40mph so I kept yelling at my husband to speed up!
Did I mention I ran out without shoes on? Yep, showed up at the hospital barefoot (how cliché). The midwife met us at the front door and supported me on the journey upstairs to L&D- while I was having contractions the entire way. You should have seen the looks on the faces of the people in the elevator with us. As soon as we reached the hospital room, I wanted all clothes to be removed from my body, which the nurses were happy to oblige. They hooked me up briefly to the monitors to get the vitals and determined all was well - I was 6cm dilated. Holy crap, when did that happen? It was only 3pm! My doula showed up and started applying counter pressure during my contractions which felt amazing. Then we moved into the bathroom so I could labor in the tub. She had hung up white Christmas lights and continued to help me with my breathing and relaxing my face muscles! The tub took all of the pain away so I stayed in there, while my husband held my hand the entire time. After about an hour, I felt the urge to start pushing so the midwife got me out of the tub (you aren't allowed to give birth in the tub apparently) and back into the hospital bed for more checks.
At this point I measured 9 1/2 cm and it was time to start pushing! We tried various positions: squatting and hanging over the back of the bed, pulling on the bar above the bed, etc. They all felt the same to me. The nurses kept shoving paperwork in my face to sign, since my labor had progressed so quickly - I managed to eek out a scribble of a signature. I basically kept my eyes closed the entire time while my body took over and did all of the work automatically. It's amazing how it just knows what to do! There was no time for an epidural so when his head was crowning I got to feel all of the glory of the "ring of fire" and thought I wasn't going to make it. I cried out for help but of course no one was listening - everyone was focused on ushering the baby out. My husband held my hand tightly and encouraged me to keep going. What seemed like an eternity of crowning (maybe 1 min.) and them telling me NOT to push. Turns out I had some natural tearing this time, which probably explains the extreme pain. Thankfully shortly afterwards baby Dylan was born at 7:29pm and a huge rush of happy adrenaline erased any pain I was feeling :)
Baby boy immediately peed everywhere as they laid him on my belly. He was so beautiful. We held him for an hour or so, skin to skin and then they took him for measurements. He weighed 6 lb 12 oz and was so beautiful. He immediately latched on and breastfed for about an hour. All total, my labor lasted about 6 hours - so I count myself incredibly lucky. The worst part was his head crowning and then afterwards when they pressed on my uterus to get any blood clots out. I'm pretty sure they had me hold the baby during this time so that I didn't punch the nurse ;)
I am so grateful that I switched to working with a doula and a midwife who coached me and my husband through the natural labor process and gave us such amazing encouragement. Afterwards, the midwife made a "placenta print" which is where she placed my placenta and umbilical cord on a piece of paper. After the blood dries on the paper, it looks like a tree - so cool!
categories. natural birth, home birth, unassisted birth.
year story took place in. 2010.
country birth took place in. united states.
Here's the incredible story of Cody Enkichi Mitchell's home birth:
On the evening of December 13, we prepared our 2 year old daughter Lyla to spend the night at Baaba and Grandpa Glen's house as I had lost my mucus plug at 5pm and knew that the onset of labor was a possibility. I had been having inconsistent contractions for the past week or so, but they always faded away. I said my goodbyes to my parents and Lyla with the thought in the back of my mind that I might have a baby in my arms the next time I see them.
My husband Travis and I settled in early that night just in case we were going to need some precious rest. I had some trouble falling asleep because, as was the case for the past week or so, I started having contractions as soon as I got in bed. I did my best to ignore them, but shortly after 3am I felt a sharp pain like someone gave me a strong kick from the inside. I immediately felt a gush of fluid and knew that my water broke! I woke up Travis and he jumped out of bed to prepare for labor. Travis called our doula, Sherill, who lives about an hour away and notified her that labor may be starting. Just like last time, she recommended that we try to get some sleep. Travis texted the midwife, Karen, who lives about 30 minutes away, and let her know that we would inform her when contractions were consistent (3-5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute or more, and had been that way for at least an hour).
We had been thoroughly prepared to labor in our bedroom with a birthing pool at the foot of our bed. It looks like a tall kiddie pool with a blow-up stool inside of it. Travis filled the pool with water as I started breathing through some pretty intense contractions. It wasn't long before we realized that I was certainly in active labor. Travis called Karen to let her know that my contractions were consistent and she said she was ready to head over and asked if we thought we were ready for her. We didn't know what to tell her because it was only 5am. Who knows how long before the baby's arrival??? Lyla took 15 hours after my water broke! So, Travis and I just kept busy trying to remember all the breathing techniques and positions we learned from the Bradley Method book and from my coaching from Sherill from two years prior. The contractions were exhausting! They felt so strong and very close together. Once the birthing pool was filled, I got in and tried to let the water comfort me. I labored in the pool for about 30 minutes and felt that I needed a change. I got out to get in the shower and the pressure from the shower water on my back was great. After about 20 minutes in the shower, I felt like getting into more of a sitting position, so I moved to the edge of our bed.
Shortly before 7am, I told Trav that I needed some extra help and asked when Karen was coming. He called her on the phone and let her know that we needed her as soon as possible. She was just leaving her home in Lake Elsinore and would be here in about 30 minutes. As Travis was talking with her on the phone, my next contraction brought with it the incredible urge to push. I said to Trav, "She's gotta get here SOON". He asked her if it was normal to feel the urge to push before it is necessary. She advised him to tell me to do what my body was telling me to do. I was relieved that the next couple of contractions did not give me that "pushy" feeling again, but only because I really concentrated on breathing through them. I then moved from the edge of the bed to the middle of my bed. I got on my hands and knees to prepare to push in case the next contraction gave me the urge again...and it did. Travis got behind me and said he could see something. He said, "go ahead and push" and I said, "I AM!" and with the next push his head was out. Travis told me to push one more time and he would be out. He was right. I pushed one more time with a loud scream and Travis caught his very slippery and crying baby boy. Cody Enkichi Mitchell was born at 7:10am on his mommy and daddy's bed with no assistance from a midwife or a doula. It was just the three of us!
There was a lot of commotion at this point. The three of us were looking at each other trying to figure out what to do next. Travis called his sister Kandice into the room to help us out. It's a good thing that she had been staying with us in the guest room because the extra set of hands really helped us! Kandice called Karen while Travis passed the baby to me. She gave us instructions over the phone. Cody was perfect. He came out crying and had no complications whatsoever. It is a miracle that it went as smoothly as it did. Looking back, we think of all the things that could have gone wrong and we count our blessings that nothing did. Karen arrived at about 7:30am to check the new baby and mommy. We are recovering well and amazed and overcome with joy at our new son. Lyla loves her little brother too. She is so gentle and sweet with him. We are a very happy family of four and we can't thank God enough for the incredible blessings we have received. Welcome to the world, Cody!
I had known for a long time that I wanted to have a natural birth with no epidural, as long as everything was “normal.” When I was pregnant, I read a few different books about natural child birth. I can say honestly that I didn’t read the entire book on “Bradley Method,” but enough to understand. My husband and I took the normal child birth classes that were offered by our hospital. While this class covered all types of labor and deliveries, I did feel like they didn’t spend as much time going over techniques to use when choosing to go without the epidural. Out of all the other expecting mothers in our class, I was the only one who was choosing to not have the epidural.
On my 37 week appointment, my doctor informed me that I was dilated to 4 cm and 90% effaced. I wasn’t expecting my water to break in the middle of the night after that appointment. That, by the way, is like nothing anyone can ever prepare you for. I got up quickly, feeling like I needed to go to the bathroom. When I stood up a small gush was released (not sure if that’s the best way to describe it). I ran to the bathroom and continued to do what I would call, “leak.” I woke up my husband and told him that I was pretty sure that my water had just broken. I remember our instructor telling us that if it doesn’t smell like pee, it’s not pee. As gross as this seems, I had my husband go over to the carpet where I had stood and he let me know it was not pee. A friend of mine told me her story about wearing grey sweat pants to the hospital after her water had broke…not a good idea she said. So I put a HEAVY DUTY pad on and sat on a towel on the way to the hospital. I felt disgusting as I was, “leaking” all over the place.
On the way to the hospital it felt surreal. I wasn’t having contractions, so I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. When we got to the hospital (1 am), they put us in triage. I got into my gown, making a mess all over the bathroom floor (gross), and got hooked up to the monitors. Sure enough, my water had broken, but after observation, they found that I was not having contractions. I told the nurse that I was not planning to have an epidural and she suggested that I watch the video because I would probably change my mind (super supportive!). We were moved into a delivery room, and we were told that they would wait a few hours to see if I started contracting.
About 4 hours after we were put into a room, they came and told me that they would be starting me on pitocin since my body was not naturally going into active labor. When they started the pitocin, I noticed some cramping (contractions) start pretty quickly (6am). From there it got really hard really fast. My husband was able to tell me when a contraction was starting and after the worst part was over. This helped me because I went into this whole thing, thinking about running sprints. It hurts for about a minute and then it’s done. When I knew the contraction was on the downside, I was good. After about an hour of hard contractions, we decided to try to turn over on my hands and knees. Bad move. At this point I started vomiting and having diarrhea…yuck. If you know me, this was it! I was done. I don’t do bodily fluids, even my own. At this point, I had only been seen once by a doctor that was on call. It was the weekend and my doctor would not be on call. When this male doctor came in, he didn’t say one word to me. Just checked me and left. He didn’t even tell me if I had made progress or anything. Needless to say, when I started to be sick, I felt discouraged. I looked to my husband, who was in the restroom when I first started vomiting and was confused as to what was going on, and told him, “I don’t like this. This isn’t what I thought it would be like. I want an epidural.” In the most gentle way, he reminded me that I had told him no matter how bad it was, I WOULD NOT GET AN EPIDURAL! I didn’t want to hear this when I was in this horrible state of mind. When I said something to the nurse, she quickly checked me and found that I was at 8 cm. This is what I needed to hear. Knowing that I was so close to the “finish line,” made me stick with my plan. I knew I could do it! Oh, backing up, after that male doctor had come in, the nurse who noticed my blood pressure rise when he came in, told me that if I waited until 8:00, another female doctor would be on call. Okay, back to 8cm, once I knew my progress I was determined to speed it up. I got out of bed (my original labor plan was to walk the neighborhood until I had to go to the hospital and then once there, walk the halls. Neither of these could happen because first of all my water broke which meant immediately to the hospital and second, I was hooked to the pitocin) and sat on my big exercise ball. After about 2 minutes there, I felt this extremely STRONG pressure “down there.” The nurse overheard me tell my husband this information and she said that she should probably check me. It had only been 5 minutes since the 8 cm, so I didn’t think there was any way that I had made more progress. Wrong! I was fully dilated!!!
They called the Dr. in (who my mom said looked 16 and was beautiful looking since she had just started her shift and was freshly make-uped) and I began to push. I pushed through about 3 contractions and that was it. She did do an episiotomy on me because she thought that I may tear. I didn’t know any of this until after because I was so focused on getting that baby out!
Overall, I would call my experience good. I’ve heard a lot of people say to me, “Your labor was easy,” since it was so quick. I am the first one to correct anyone who says this. There is no such thing as an easy labor, fast, but not easy! The only negative thing I have to say is that I didn’t feel like the nursing staff supported my decision to not have an epidural.
Sidenote: My sister who gave birth a year later, labored for a few hours and then asked for an epidural. They didn’t check her before giving it to her, but checked right after. Amazing to find out that she was at 10 cm, but sat there fully dilated for 3 hours after that until they could get to her (it was a busy night). After hearing this story, it all made sense. A patient with an epidural is easier to “control.” When you are in labor, your body naturally takes over and there’s no stopping it, unless a drug does… interesting!
categories. hospital birth, epidural, induced.
year story took place in. 2012.
country birth took place in. united states.
On a Saturday in November, when I was feeling very large, my husband and I decided to hang our Christmas lights before our little girl arrived. She was due just a week later. We unpacked our lights and began to hang them when the cookie craving hit me full force. So my lovely husband got to baking in between trips out front to hang the lights. At about 10pm we were finally finished, so we sat on the couch to enjoy our chocolate chunk cookies.
A few minutes into our cookie binging, I felt (and HEARD) a snap! I can only describe it as a rubber band being snapped inside my lower abdomen. I turned to my husband and said "I think she just caught herself on something. It sounded like she broke a bone!" I truly thought Logan had turned somehow to break her clavicle. She had been dropped so low for weeks that I was always concerned about her little head and neck. My husband thought I was just being paranoid so we went along devouring our cookies.
Of course I had to pee, and when I got off of the toilet that's when the water came a flowin'! We were both very excited and just got going. Our hospital bags had already been packed for several weeks. My husband grabbed them and waited for me to get into the car. Well, I wanted to fix my hair. So, I took a few minutes for myself to fix my messy bun (yes. I realize that is ridiculous), put on some fresh powder, and touch up my mascara all while leaking baby juice. We got to the hospital at about 10:45pm and even though I had already sent in my admission papers, somehow they were lost. I had to refill all the paperwork and sit in a puddle in a wheelchair. So glamorous.
I had a few contractions and decided to go ahead and get my epidural before they got any worse. The epidural was the most painful thing I have felt in my entire life. I have a chest and arm full of tattoos and they were cake compared to it. As painful as getting the epidural was, I would say that it was well worth it.
The night was hard because I had never been in a hospital at night before. Also I was just incredibly uncomfortable because my legs were asleep from the epidural. I had to have my husband turn me from side to side many times. This just made me hope that my next baby will start coming in the morning! At about 8am I was given pitocin. I moved along pretty quickly and by 9:25am I was ready to "practice" push. The practice pushing turned into actual "get the baby out" pushing and she arrived at 9:49am.
She couldn't have been any more beautiful. We felt so thrilled and blessed and TIRED.
We did not want any family or friends at the hospital while I was in labor. It made me feel very anxious. I just wanted this experience to be for my husband and me. People may have been upset, but it was about us. We did allow our parents to come visit in the evening after we had been moved to recovery and we all got comfortable with each other.
I am very happy that I went in with an open mind and trusted that the staff would take care of me. I feel like if you write pages of a birth plan, it will only make you have anxiety and take away from moments you should be enjoying. The professionals know what they're doing. :)
. hospital birth, natural birth. big baby. year story took place in
. 2012. country birth took place in
. united states. learn more about this mom
My first child was born on September 3, 2012, a Monday, but not just any Monday: Labor Day, which anyone can tell you is infinitely better than your average Monday, as well as an appropriate day to give birth. My husband Andy and I spent that weekend trying to distract ourselves from the fact that we had reached my due date and could still have up to two weeks of waiting before we met the baby. On Saturday, we went out for a fancy dinner, took a walk downtown, and rented a movie. On Sunday, we went to church, but sat in the back and left early because I was getting so uncomfortable. I had no desire to go anywhere or see anyone for the rest of that day. So we just stayed in, worked on a puzzle, and had french toast with peaches for dinner.
I know now that that sudden, instinctual need to hide myself away from (almost) all people and activities was my body's way of preparing me for what it knew was coming. That night, I woke up at 3 a.m. feeling crampy. I tried to ignore it, but then I noticed that the pain was coming in waves. At 3:30, I woke Andy up and said, “I think something is happening.” We hung out in bed for a while, then ventured outside for a moonlit walk and started timing my pains, which were 5-10 minutes apart, but seemed to spread out further as we walked. We spent the rest of the dark, early morning hours trying to distract from the pain by working on the puzzle, then going for another walk. The second walk was longer, but didn’t seem to make a difference in the timing of the contractions, which were now a steady 3-5 minutes apart. When we got back I took a shower, then we called our midwife and parents. The midwife said to call and head to the hospital when the contractions were 3-5 minutes apart for several hours. My parents headed down, and Andy and I spent the next few hours packing up and timing contractions.
Throughout this time I kept thinking, “If I have an average length labor, I should have this baby by midnight.” Since I was due just two days earlier, we had always joked about having the baby on Labor Day, and now it looked like that was actually going to happen! At 6 a.m. I remember thinking, “I’ve already been in labor 3 hours” and at 9, “I’ve already been in labor 6 hours.” As ridiculous as it sounds, I was amazed by how fast it seemed to be going by. I felt like I barely had time to even think about the fact that I was in labor. I would wander around the house breathing through the pain and yelling “Okay!” every time a contraction started so Andy could write the time on a piece of paper in between gathering up our stuff. I spent a good portion of that time sitting on the edge of our bed with a pillow in my arms, which seemed to be the most comfortable I could get. It didn’t even cross my mind to try most of the positions they taught us in birthing class. My body just knew what it wanted to do.
Around 11 a.m., Andy and I were sitting back at the dining room table trying to work on the puzzle again, when I had three contractions in a row that were 2 minutes apart. Andy and I both looked at each other and said, “It’s time to go to the hospital.” My parents pulled up as we were walking out to the car and my mom asked if we were going for a walk. I just said, “We’re going to the hospital.” She jumped in the car with us and called the midwife as Andy drove.
When we got to the hospital, I found out that I was 4cm dilated, 100% effaced, and that my water would likely break any minute. I was so lucky to have an amazing nurse named Jennifer who was super sweet, encouraging, and very supportive of our birth plan, which I myself was barely even aware of at this point. I spent the next several hours in Labor and Delivery rotating between the birth ball, to the bathroom, to the bed. All the while, my mom was behind me rubbing my back and Andy was in front of me reminding me to breathe and relax. Every time a contraction came, I would grab on to Andy and sway and moan and try to relax and breathe. Sometimes I would squeeze Andy too hard because of the pain, but never once did I ever feel even a little annoyed by him. He was an amazing support all the way through.
The next time they checked me, I was 7 cm and that’s when things began to get intense. The contractions were one on top of the other, and I began throwing up some, which, thanks to my birthing class (we chose the Bradley Method), I knew meant that I was at least approaching transition and that the end was in sight. It was also at that point that I started losing my modesty, which surprised me in hindsight because I am normally an extremely modest person, but the hospital gown was getting in the way, so I took it off and went through the entire rest of the birth in nothing but the tank top I had on underneath and couldn't have cared less! I was way more focused on managing the pain and birthing this baby. Throughout my whole time at the hospital, I kept thinking, “Why did I want to have a natural birth again? Why did we take the class? What was I thinking?” but for some reason I felt like it was too late to turn back now, so I just kept breathing and relaxing. I think the main thing that got me through the worst parts, though, was all the encouragement I received. Both my mom and Andy know me well enough to know that I needed verbal affirmation more than anything else and they never ceased to comment on how well I was doing, which made me feel like I was tough enough to keep going. It also helped that the sweet nurse kept popping in and cheering me on as well.
After my second measurement, they called the midwife and when she got there she measured me at 9 cm. At that point, my "about to break any minute" water still had not broken, which the midwife said had probably helped me manage the pain up until then, but would speed things up now if she broke it. So I said sure, and it wasn't long after it broke that I started feeling the urge to push. Andy told me later that it was just he and my mom with me when I started to feel the need to push and that he was super scared but just thought, “Well, you have to push then.” The midwife came in soon though and we started pushing. I say we because it really felt like it took the work of all five of us, Andy on one side, my mom on the other, and the midwife and nurse in front of me, all helping me in their own way. Pushing was interesting because, at least for me, it was very much something I had to learn to do. It took me a while to get the timing right with my contractions, but once I got the hang of it things went really fast and my midwife just kept saying “you’re doing so good, Alissa, keep going.” I was vaguely aware of her telling me that the baby’s heart rate had dropped and calling the doctor to come use the vacuum, but I just kept pushing and then Andy said that the baby had hair and a few seconds later I felt him slither out and he was on my chest. As he was being handed to me, I heard my mom say, “It’s a boy!” so I just said “Hello Oliver!” It was an amazing feeling and an amazing experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better birth. Oliver was born at 4:49 p.m. so I was in labor for 13 hours total and pushed for just about half an hour of that. Later, my midwife told me that with my first baby and him being so big (9 lbs. 5 oz.), I shouldn’t have been able to push him out in time for them to not have to use the vacuum.* I hadn’t had an ultrasound since halfway through the pregnancy, so I had no idea he would be so big, which is lucky for me because I probably would have had way more anxiety had I known. It’s also lucky that he decided to come when he did because I had an ultrasound scheduled for the next day otherwise, which may have revealed his size, or even prompted an induction.
Giving birth to Oliver was definitely one of the proudest moments of my life. Throughout my pregnancy, I had this secret fear that my body would somehow not be up to the task of delivering a child, much less one so large with hardly any medical interventions. I was so amazed to see what my body was capable of, that one of the first things I remember thinking and saying after Oliver was born was, “I did it!” Giving birth the way that I did was hands down the most empowering event of my life thus far, because I was able to really witness my body going through the entire birth process the way that it was made to.** I have never felt more capable of handling anything than I did in the hours following Oliver’s birth.
*In some ways, particularly considering my situation, I am proud of this, but I've also recently learned from an interview with Ina May Gaskin that it's the time spent pushing that helps prevent tearing. I ended up tearing pretty badly and took a long time to heal completely, so I'm just saying that I don't think pushing time itself is necessarily something to be proud of.
**I am completely aware that natural birth is not for everyone, nor should it be, as there are a myriad of health issues that can prevent a woman from giving birth this way. However, I do believe that most women and babies would benefit from at least being given the opportunity and education to attempt a natural birth if they choose.
As a woman ages, she may experience some unpleasant changes to her body such as pelvic organ prolapse. This occurs when the muscles and ligaments of the pelvic floor weaken and can no longer support the pelvic organs. They then sag into the vagina. It is an unpleasant but not life-threatening medical condition.
The pelvic organs include the bladder, uterus, small intestine and colon. Specific types of prolapse are referred to by their specific names:
• Cystocele: Prolapse of the bladder.
• Rectocele: Prolapse of the colon.
• Enterocele: Prolapse of the small intestine.
• Urethrocele: Prolapse of the urethra.
The uterus or head of the vagina may also prolapse. Remedies range from simple exercises
to surgical intervention. Causes
There are several causes of pelvic organ prolapse, including the simple one of the aging process causing the muscles to become relaxed. Sometimes, the tissues and muscles are torn during childbirth. Overweight women are also more susceptible to developing the condition than those who are of normal weight. The condition generally manifests itself in postmenopausal women. Non-Invasive Treatments
Some simple treatments if the situation is not severe include making changes in daily living habits such as:
• Limiting caffeine, which is a diuretic.
• Losing weight, if being overweight is a problem.
• Exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles called Kegel exercises.
• Use of a pessary, which is a device inserted into the vagina that supports the prolapsed organs. It is specifically fitted to the individual by a doctor and is removable. Surgical Interventions
Several different surgical procedures are available, depending on which organs have prolapsed and how serious the problem is. Procedures vary and may be performed either through the abdomen or the vagina.
One surgical intervention common in recent years involves the use of transvaginal mesh. The mesh props up the prolapsed organs by creating a sling-like effect.
There have been many problems with the use of the vaginal mesh
. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now tells doctors that transvaginal mesh should only be used as a last resort and only then when all other considerations, including the possible side effects, have been considered. Side Effects
After receiving over 1,000 complaints, the FDA issued a warning in 2008 to physicians about problems that had been discovered from the use of transvaginal mesh. In 2011, the FDA strengthened that warning saying the side effects were “not rare.” The FDA warning statement also emphasized that research showed no benefit from the use of the mesh as opposed to traditional repair procedures.
In fact, a number of serious side effects have been discovered, including the same symptoms that required the surgery in the first place: vaginal discomfort, prolapsed organs, feeling that something is protruding from the vagina, continued urinary or bowel problems and an inability to have sexual intercourse.
Bacterial infections are more common with transvaginal mesh surgeries than traditional surgical repairs. Some women have even experienced permanent nerve damage.
The problem is that the body views the mesh as a foreign body and begins to reject it. The mesh then can begin to erode. Some of the pieces can slough off into very small pieces and embed themselves in the vagina. This causes extreme pain, scarring and painful intercourse. In some cases, the mesh has cut the vaginal walls and caused extensive bleeding.
Another surgical procedure may then have to be performed to try and remove the mesh. This is not always possible because the mesh disintegrates into such small pieces, it cannot all be removed. This leaves the patient with permanent pain and suffering. Many women have already been affected by these side effects
. Thousands have filed vaginal mesh lawsuits to seek compensation for these sometimes irreversible complications.
Please be sure to always discuss all treatment options with a medical professional.
Elizabeth Carrollton writes to inform the general public about defective medical devices and dangerous drugs for Drugwatch.com. Please visit our site or social media pages such as our Facebook page
to find out more.
categories. hospital birth, natural birth.
year story took place in. 2012.
country birth took place in. united states.
Where to start...
We decided to have the sex be a surprise this time since we had a 2 year old son at home. I was surprised throughout my pregnancy how quickly it went by. I think partly because I had a busy two year old at home and partly because I didn't know the sex. We excitedly waited for the arrival of our baby after a healthy uneventful pregnancy. Our due date of Jan 23rd came and went with no signs of labor. I had my midwife strip my membranes with no luck. I spent part of the day actively trying to induce labor going on hilly walks, eating spicy food… You name it we tried it. I finally gave up and resigned myself to the fact we were going to be overdue.
On the 25th I visited my midwife again. She stripped membranes and stretched me (so painful!) She said see you tonight as she left the exam room :) With no signs of labor after that I gave up hope it would work and called a friend that lived away that evening to complain. We talked on the phone for about 2 hrs, finally hanging up around midnight. I was tired by then and started getting ready for bed. About 12:30, I very randomly had a hard contraction. Yay!! Then… nothing. At about 1:15 or so things started up again, regular contractions 3 minutes apart, lasting 30 seconds. I called the midwife at 1:30, told her I was in labor with short but really intense regular contractions. She advised to me head to the hospital. I woke up my husband and told him it was time.
As we started getting ready to leave, my contractions stopped. I told him I guess it's a false alarm and laid down on the couch to try to get some rest. I told him to do the same. After nothing for 40 min my contractions started again 2 min apart, a min long and super painful. I called my mom, and she zipped over (she lives next door) and we headed to the hospital. Of course it had to be the one snowy night of our unusually mild winter and the roads were slippery!! The hospital is about 30 min away but due to the weather it was taking a little longer.
I was in the back laboring as my husband was driving. My contractions were right on top of each other with no breaks. I remember telling my husband if I get to the hospital and I'm only 6cm I'm getting drugs! 5 minutes later I transitioned to pushing, 15 min away from the hospital!!! I panted through pushing pains determined not to have my baby in the back of my car. We finally arrived at the hospital. I ran through the ER telling the nurse “no, I don't need a wheelchair I can't sit down”!! I ran up to labor and delivery and announced to the nurse on duty, “I am having this baby”!!! I was directed to a delivery room where I ripped off my pants and jumped onto the table. The midwife checked me, and said, “I see the head. Give me a good push.” I told her, “I can't my husband is still parking the van. He can't miss it!” When he arrived a few minutes later, I started pushing. Two pushes and our beautiful baby was out, 15 minutes after arriving at the hospital. “It's a girl!!” my hubby excitedly announced. She was born at 3:16am, weighing 7lbs 12oz. We named her Brenna Marie. She is now such a blessing :). It was so much fun announcing to our waiting family member what the sex of the baby was. I am currently expecting our 3rd baby in July and we aren't finding out the sex with this one either :)
. hospital birth, natural birth. year story took place in
. 2011. country birth took place in
. united states. learn more about this mom. http://ashleyophotos.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-birth-story-isaiah.html
First I'll start with my goals for labor and delivery:
- To have a natural and unmedicated delivery (for this we took Bradley classes).
-To bake homemade cupcakes for my son's official 'birth day' (it's a tradition in my family to make homemade birthday cakes each year, so I though why not start now!)
-To labor at home as long as possible before going to the hospital (making the above statement possible).
Now that you know my plan, here's the story...
On Thursday, August 25, I went to work for a few hours. Up to this point I had not had a single contraction (that I could feel), but I did have 'the show', indicating labor in 2 days (although at the time I wasn't positive that's what it was). I was dilated to a 2 and 75% effaced 2 weeks in a row at the doc’s office. Ray and I went for a walk around the neighborhood that night, then went to bed.
I woke up 3 times that night (my usual was once a night) and realized I was having some back pain. The first couple times I thought it might just be carrying around that big 'ol belly. By the 3rd time of waking up, I decided that these were indeed contractions and that I did in fact see 'the show' yesterday. I timed my first contractions at 11.5 minutes apart. The next one didn't come for over 20 minutes, so I decided to go back to bed and give it some time.
When Ray woke up that morning, I told him that I had been having some contractions and that labor should be sometime in the next 2 days (but I probably didn't say this with the most confidence, and Ray just took it as this baby will hopefully come this week!). He took our 1 vehicle (his was broke down at work) and headed to Chesapeake. I spent the morning cleaning the closet, vacuuming, looking up verses for labor, and getting little things caught up (I even designed Isaiah's birth announcement during the night). I was putting off making the cupcakes because the contractions weren't regular or stopping me in my tracks. I was also spending time rocking on my hands and knees, trying to get Isaiah to turn so that I wouldn't have back labor (I was afraid that back labor would be too much for me to handle without meds).
I called Ray before noon to see if I could try one more time to talk him into letting Deshawna shoot the birth. At first I conceded to his desire not to have a photographer, but as things got closer, I really wanted her there. He told me he'd call me back (before I got to mention it) and that he would be going to the gym with Owen. I had already called my mom and my friend Summer to tell them that the process had started, and we should be days away. I decided to time a contraction to see if I should let Deshawna know (even though I was waiting on Ray) and to start my cupcakes. The first contractions I timed were 6 min apart, the next 7. With the next contraction, I stopped mixing the ingredients and held on to the counter, then GUSH- It felt like a watermelon sized water balloon just busted (thankfully it was the tile in the kitchen floor :c) Alright- no more denial.. Isaiah was coming! It was right around noon.
I called Ray's cell phone, no answer. I figure he's at the gym, so I called the front desk and got a little choked up as I tell them I'm in labor and ask if they can find my husband. She said she could 'try to ask around'. Did you hear me woman.. LABOR?! Anyways, my mom and stepdad were in town helping redo my sister’s bathroom, so I call my mom. They said they will be right over and I tell them I'm going to jump in the shower. (They decided also to jump in the shower since they were covered in sawdust.. but I didn't know this). So I shower and spend some more time on my hands and knees (the contractions were much more painful at this point and I was worried that since my water broke in a gush, that there might be cord entanglement). I gathered the last few things (Ray had the 'go bag' in the Highlander at Chesapeake, so I wasn't able to check everything there). I decided that since my ride wasn't here yet, I could finish my cupcakes. I called my dad in Texas to let him know, then hurried off the phone to turn on the mixer. I sloppily get 12 chocolate cupcakes in the oven. Then I call Ray's sister Judy, my friend Summer, and decide to try Ray again. I called his friend Owen that he was working out with, then another friend of ours that I thought might be with him (no answer from either, but I'm sure Mike kinda flipped when I left a message that I was in labor on his phone). I call the gym back and talk to the same girl. She said she had gone upstairs and couldn't find him, that they were short-staffed and she couldn't leave the desk for long, blah, blah, blah... then oh! She spots Ray walking out. She hands him the phone, I tell him that my water broke, my mom and sister are coming to pick me up, and to meet me at the hospital. He calmly says okay and hangs up the phone.
Kacey and mom show up shortly thereafter and start loading things up. I have mom take one last pic of me and my belly (since the last one I took was at 38 weeks, almost 2 weeks prior). Kacey packs up the cupcakes with 8 min to go on the oven and I climb in the back seat of her car (she said that was the scariest drive she's made!). I stay on my hands and knees in the backseat, working through contractions and giving Kacey the fastest route there (I work at the hospital that I delivered at). Ray called to check on me. Then asked if anyone wanted him to pick up some food. Once I heard the word 'food', I got really nauseous. I asked for something, just in case, and mom unloaded the cupcakes from the Tupperware. I threw down the phone in the seat (with Ray saying "hello, hello?") and promptly threw up (thankfully my water broke before I got my omelet made!). Mom picked up the phone to explain, then put in her order.
We called the hospital to let them know we were coming. Thankfully I had preregistered since the one thing I forgot at home was my wallet (you know I had to forget something!). They get me in a wheelchair (it was weird wheeling through the place I work) and take me straight to a room on the labor and delivery unit (no triage for me!). I make sure to ask for a nurse who is comfortable with unmedicated deliveries (one of my fears was having the staff not cooperate with this). They get me in a gown. Then I just sit there and wait. I'm anxious to make sure that Isaiah is doing alright (I did feel him kick after my water broke, so that made me feel a little better). They came in, hooked me up to monitors, and checked me. She had a little trouble at first, but then said I was 8-9 (!!) cm dilated but a plus 1, so he needed to work his way down. I asked if I could move around some (I was really uncomfortable on my back) but she said she would have to check with the doctor first (I had to reassure the staff that my doctor had privileges there, he hadn't been there in a while..).
At some point a new nurse comes in (a true angel) and starts working with me. She tells me I can reposition myself, so I turn over onto hands and knees in bed, connected to the monitor still, with the birth ball at the head of the bed for me to lean on. I signed all the consents (I think each signature looked different..) and got my IV started all in that position (I had a hard time keeping the IV in my hand in place). The whole time I felt a strong urge to push with each contraction. When I asked if I could, my nurse told me to do what my body said. So without much rest in between, I bear down with each contraction. Ray was putting some counter pressure on my back, which helped some (I kinda flew past all the steps he learned in Bradley). My nurse said to let her know when I felt the urge to push between contractions. I had to ask a couple times if I was in the transition phase, because I didn't want to think it would get harder than this. Both Ray and Deshawna (I had called her to come shoot without Ray's consent.. I figured he couldn't say much at that point!) reassured me that yes, this was transition. My mom, sister, and Ray's sister were in the room with us the entire time (except for when they left to eat lunch).
The doctor called to check in on me, and the nurse decided to check me for the 2nd time to give him an update. 10 and fully engaged- it's go time! It's about 3pm at this time (my water broke at noon and we got to the hospital around 1:15). I start panting through the next couple contractions so that I don't push, which was difficult. I was now on my side with Ray sitting next to me, being super sweet and supportive. The doctor came in, along with a ton of carts and equipment, and asked how I wanted to deliver. I didn't really have any preference on positioning, but just whatever was needed to get this done! He said back would be easiest, and sat down on the bed next to me. With the next contraction (which seemed to take waaay longer once the doc showed up, I felt like that wait was the most peaceful time in the room since we had arrived) I pulled back my legs and began to push. Ray was at my left, my nurse on my right, and my mom and sisters at the end of the bed (I wasn't planning on them being in that location exactly, but I understood then what I was told in birth class about not caring a thing about privacy when it's that time). They all started hollering "PUSH PUSH PUSH" (my stepdad was outside the door and said it got pretty loud!). I rested between the contraction, then pushed again with the next. Their encouragement really did help me push as they said they could see the head. I really wanted to breathe longer between pushes, but they kept on me. My next thought was that I really just wanted to get him out so I could stop! Pushing only through 2 contractions (about 10 min of pushing), little precious sweet Isaiah was born at 3:25 pm. They placed him on my belly and all I could really see was a head full of curly hair! I got a sweet kiss from my hubby, which actually surprised me since all I felt was relief that it was over! Ray cut the cord. Then the nurses took him to do their thing. All the family followed him as I finished labor and got stitched up.
By the time it was over, I was kinda amazed. It all went much quicker than I had anticipated and now I have my baby boy! We all had a cupcake and celebrated my son's Birth Day (my family commented that they were a bit underdone, but I was hungry by then and thought it tasted great!)
Isaiah Beck entered this world on Friday, August 26th at 3:25 pm.
He weighed 8 pounds and 1 ounce and was 21.5 inches long.
I was 39 weeks and 6 days when I delivered (he beat his due date by 1 day!)
It's now a year and a half later and I am expecting my second child, also due in August, and am praying for an unmedicated labor that goes just as well (although I distinctly remember saying "never again" after Isaiah was born... ;c)
. hospital birth, epidural, induced. year story took place in
. 2011. country birth took place in
. united states. learn more about this mom. http://www.heatherandwalter.blogspot.com/2011/09/birth-story-part-i.html
Well, we've been on quite the emotional roller coaster this week. I guess I should start back at the beginning.
All day Tuesday I had random contractions that felt a little different than normal. Shortly after Walter left for work that evening, they started coming, and just kept coming, so I started timing them. I never had to do this with Max, so it was an interesting experience. They got about 2-9 minutes apart and I debated if this was "real" or not. I really hate all the unknowns about labor - it's confusing and scary. Around 9:30 they pretty much fizzled out, so I went to bed. I woke up a couple hours later to more contractions, and when they kept coming, I asked Walter to come home, because I was getting nervous. These were coming every 3-7 minutes, but the hospital doesn't want you to come until your contractions are regularly 5 minutes apart. I finally fell asleep around 2:30am and felt contractions all night.
Waking up on Wednesday, I really felt like it would be the day. After Walter dropped Max off at daycare, we walked for a few hours trying to get my contractions "regular." While walking, they were coming strong and fast, but when sitting, they would slow down. Or, vice versa, when I was sitting and they were coming, if I stood up, they would stop. So very frustrating. We ate a spicy lunch and did lots more walking throughout the day to see if labor would really start. At this point, I was getting frustrated and embarrassed that everyone was waiting and hoping to see if we were in labor, but still nothing to report.
That night was an even worse night. Not only was I waking up to contractions all night, I also realized that I had a nice head cold from Max. A baby gift, I guess. My nose was running all night, which meant it was draining all night- so my throat felt like I had swallowed glass, and I woke up feeling so nauseous. My body felt like I had a fever, so I didn't feel like more walking. I mostly just napped and rested, until I finally called Dr. Shaw's office to see if she could see me that day (Thursday) instead of waiting until my scheduled appointment on Friday. Luckily they could fit me in right then, so off we went.
My weight was up 1 pound (so official baby weight gain was 8 pounds.) My blood pressure was up a tiny bit (wonder why?) and Dr. Shaw came in to see me. We talked about my contractions, and she checked me. I was up to 4 cm, and she asked how I felt about having the baby today? I said, "Yes, PLEASE! I would love that." The hospital was busy - they had several girls come in that morning, but they knew some would be leaving. So Dr. Shaw told me to go get some lunch and head to the hospital. They would at least start my antibiotics (for Strep B) and would eventually get pitocin started.
I felt so relieved! Finally, this was going to happen.
. home birth, natural birth. year story took place in
. 2011. country birth took place in
. united states. learn more about this mom. http://fantasticmisfox.blogspot.com/2013/01/birth-story.html
so yesterday my little guy turned two...and all day long i was reliving the amazing day that i brought him into the world. so in interest of using words to preserve that which is significant and meaningful in my life here is my two year old memory of the day my son, enrico was born (the long version)
i think i was 38 weeks pregnant. i had finished working and was home trying to keep myself busy. i had gone for a walk with my mother-in-law and then came home and my water broke. i got incredibly excited and called ryan who immediately left work and headed to berkeley bowl. we hadn't been expecting it to be so early and the house was not well stocked with supplies. he proceeded to wildly fill his cart with anything and everything we might possibly need. eva (our dear friend and midwife) told me to relax and slow down, that without any contractions happening we could be a long way off from the birth and to pace myself. she advised us to get some acupuncture to hopefully help bring on the contractions and get the labor started.
ryan came home and took me to the acupuncturist and then proceeded to continue his shopping spree. while i was laying there connected to electrical needles he somehow managed to buy two pairs of jeans and some new shoes. (i think fearing he would never leave the house to do anything for himself again.) nothing was happening in terms of contractions so we went out to eat at la med. we ran into a friend of his who was also pregnant and as i was sitting there stuffing my face with drumsticks and dolmas, she asked when i was due. to which i replied well i'm actually in labor right now.
we went home, took a walk around the block and then tried to go to sleep. i think i woke up at around midnight and started feeling mild, period like cramps. it was manageable enough that i didn't wake up ryan. i had a few hours of sitting up reading my book, knitting some leg warmers for the baby and breathing through the early contractions. somewhere around 3am i was trying to figure out how to use the timer on my cell phone and getting frustrated and unable to do effective math while feeling the ever increasing contractions and decided to wake up ryan.
things just keep moving slowly through the early morning and we called eva around 6:30 or 7am as i was having the regular shorter contractions. i do remember having a conversation when she arrived, that went something like this:
me: did you bring me anything?
eva: like what?
me: i don't know. arnica? something for the pain, some homeopathy or something?
eva: no honey. this is just what birth feels like. you're ok you can do this.
while disappointed not to have a magical herbal epidural, this was a common theme of hers that actually was very reassuring, while not pain relieving. this is birth. i kept reminding myself. this is birth. and this is just what birth feels like. my mom had me at home with two wonderful midwives and she always recounts a moment in my birth when she was really struggling and suffering through the pain and one of the midwives said to her, "open your heart harriet, you're having a baby" and while some women might have lost it at that point, for my mom it was exactly what she needed to hear in order to do just that.