Tips for being induced.

Let’s talk about induction of labor. It’s fairly common in the US to get to 39 weeks and be induced a week before your due date. Most care providers won’t or can’t induce before this point unless there is a medical need for baby to be born sooner rather than later.

So let’s explore how we can help this situation.

Things to consider: Do I really need to be induced? Babies tell mom’s body that they are ready to be born. So by having an induction without a medical need you could be risking a baby who isn’t ready to breathe air just yet.

What is the medical need? Lots of different situations may cause you to need to be induced. Pre-eclampsia is no joke and most providers take it seriously to help keep mom and baby safe. Maybe the care provider thinks baby is getting too big. But based on evidence and ACOG recommendations (read about them here,  here,  and here. )this is not a reason to induce because ultrasounds are very often wrong on estimated weights and often leads to unnecessary cesareans. Even going past your estimated due date is not a recommended reason to induce until you’ve gone to 41-42 weeks.

Maybe you’ve weighed the risks and benefits and still want (or need) to be induced. Let’s help you have an easier and better birth with some tips!

  • Know your cervix so you can know your options.

Ask what your bishop score is at your last prenatal appointment.  (You can calculate your score here.) This can help you talk through your options with your provider. There are a lot. Cervix ripeners – like Cervidil and Prepidil. Manual options – like a membrane sweep or a Foley balloon ( the foley is a GREAT option for all moms, including vbacs). There’s Pitocin of course to stimulation contractions and there is AROM – artificial rupture of membranes (breaking your water).

  • Have a birth plan.

Even though it may look a different, having a birth plan is still a great way to help the hospital staff know your needs/wants without you always having to tell them. There very well may come a point in labor that you cannot speak your wishes to them. So having it wrote down is perfect.

  • Stay active and upright.

There is no reason to stay in the bed, even if your water is broken. Let gravity help you. Being up and walking/dancing/squatting is great at utilizing gravity. Using a birth ball or CUB also does this, while supporting you if you start to get tired. Even sitting straight up in bed is using gravity to help your body do it’s thing!

  • Be prepared for the long haul.

Depending on your body, bishop score and chosen induction method – you may be looking at 2 or 3 days of an induction. Low and slow is not a bad thing when you are trying to jump start labor. Your body needs time to get the message. So don’t be discouraged if you don’t make progress right away.

  • Stay hydrated and fueled.

Most hospitals still say no eating during labor, but some are coming around to the American Society of Anesthesiologist recommendations of eating lightly during labor to keep energy up. (read that article here ) Don’t try to eat any steak and potato dinner during labor though, it likely would come back up later.

  • Listen to your body.

Even though you are telling your body to do something before it might be ready, it will get the memo and start to do what it needs to do. Listen to your body and follow it’s lead. If you feel like you need to get up and move, then do it. If you feel like you need to lay down with a peanut ball between your legs, do it. If you feel like you need to sway your hips, sway those hips! This is how your body lets you know what needs to be done to help baby be born. Giving birth is instinctual, all you have to do is listen to your body.

  • Ask questions.

Does your care provider have a preference on how long they will attempt induction before calling it quits? What if pitocin doesn’t work and you aren’t in active labor, will they stop and let you rest for a while or even go home before trying again? At what points will the doctor recommend a cesarean birth for non-emergent reasons? When you know the answers to these questions and any others you might have, it helps you to be in control and make informed choices for your child’s birth. Don’t be afraid to speak up.

  • Have a pain relief plan.

An induction is often more intense than natural labor, simply because it is being forced. Preparing for labor pains before they start is an excellent idea. Consider types of pain relief you want to utilize. Physical comfort measures, hydrotherapy, IV narcotics, epidural? Take a childbirth education class and if available, a comfort measures class to help you and your partner learn ways to help alleviate pain and discomfort during labor.

  • Have support.

This one is pretty self explanatory. Make sure to have a birth team of those you choose that will be the most helpful and supportive during labor. Everyone that is at your birth is an intervention, so you want them to be helpful. Your uncle sitting across the room playing on his phone means well, but he isn’t helping and actually could hinder your progress by making your feel watched or embarrassed to make noise or move around like you should. Don’t feel bad to say that only a select few are going to be with you during labor(or if you want everyone, that is ok too!) Consider having a doula there to support you during labor as well, we have lots of tips and tricks to help your body get into the rhythm of labor and reduce your risk of more interventions and cesareans too.

  • Finally, be excited!

Your baby is coming soon!

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What to pack in your hospital birth bag.

It’s a question that will continue to be asked as long as women are giving birth outside of their homes. “What should I pack in my hospital bag?”

So we decided to put together a list of things and why you might want to bring them. The hospitals usually provide a lot of things, like pads/mesh panties, diapers, wipes and more. So will focus on things that are beneficial and maybe something you haven’t thought about packing in your bag.

  • An extra pillow (or two!) – There’s nothing wrong with the pillows provided at the hospitals or birth centers, except that they are limited. So you may not be able to get an extra one if you need it. Best to bring one or two from home. These are also a good idea if you have a cesarean, something to hold against you as you get up and down after surgery.
  • Your favorite blanket/robe – Having something familiar and comfortable to make your room feel more homey. Anything that helps you relax and feel more comfortable in the hospital environment is helpful for not only labor, but for your morale.
  • Copies of your birth plan – 2-3 copies is ideal. Your nurse will need one, the baby nurse will need one, and an extra for whoever may need it.
  • Extra towel or two. – The hospitals usually have plenty of towels, but they aren’t very big, kind of like a glorified hand towel and if you plan to use the tub/shower during (and after) labor then you can expect to need about 3 or 4 of those just to dry off. Bringing one or two large towels from home will save you some time & energy.
  • Snacks – often you are told that you cannot eat during labor, but new recommendations from anesthesiologists say that a light meal or snacking during labor is beneficial. Keeps your energy up so you can stay strong while you labor.
  • Electronics & chargers – this one is a no brainer, but if you bring a phone/tablet/laptop always make sure to grab that charger! Make sure to have some of your favorite calming music saved on there somewhere too!
  • Toiletries – obviously they have some of this at the hospital, but most women prefer to use their own shampoo/conditions and body wash. Travel size bottles of your favorites are perfect for the hospital bag. Don’t forget the lip balm, hair ties and toothpaste.
  • Depends – you may thing why depends!? They are PERFECT for postpartum bleeding. If you had a catheter placed, you could have trouble urinating after it’s removal too. These are a bit easier than the mesh panties and pads, provide more coverage and great at not leaking.
  • Anything that gives you comfort – this could be a picture, a special scarf, lotion or essential oils, slippers to walk around in. If you think it might help keep you relaxed and comfortable during labor, bring it!
  • Nursing pads – you may or may not start leaking right away while at the hospital, but it’s best to bring a few pairs of disposable or washable pads if you plan to wear a bra or shirt while at the hospital. (Personally, so much skin to skin time and nursing happens that you may not wear a bra while there)
  • Nipple butter – most hospitals have samples of lanolin for moms, but you need to make sure to wipe it off before each feeding; which can get tiresome. A good all-natural nipple butter can make life a little easier since it doesn’t need to be washed off before nursing baby.
  • One dollar bills and change – you might find yourself needing cheetos from the vending machine at 2 a.m.
  • Birth Props – if you have a specific tool you plan to use during labor, don’t just assume the hospital will have it available (or they have it but it’s in use by another mom), so bring your own birth ball/peanut ball/birth pool. If you think your birth place has these available just leave it in the car and if you need it, send someone out for it.

For Baby

  • Cloth diapers – if you don’t plan to use disposables then make sure to bring about 4-5 cloth diapers in baby’s bag. Hospitals provide wipes as well, unless you have a preferred brand you want to use.
  • 3 sizes of clothes – Preferably just one going home outfit in each size : Preemie, newborn and 0-3 months. While you’re in the hospital baby will likely be wrapped up or skin to skin with mom, so a going home outfit is sufficient. Because ultrasounds can be way off on the guess weight of babies, we suggest bringing the multiple sizes so no one has to run out from the hospital for something to put on baby.
  • Pacifier – if you plan to use one, you might consider bringing your own paci (or two). Babies often need to try a few different pacifiers to find the one they prefer. (Ask us about getting a free Dr. Brown’s pacifier)
  • Favorite swaddling blanket – pretty self explanatory, but we suggest bringing a back up as well in case of a poo-splosion.

And of course don’t forget your doula! We not only do birth support but over night postpartum support in the hospital is available as well. Check out our service list for details.

Happy Birthing!

How to become a doula.

Nearly anyone who may be interested in becoming a doula can do so, no special pre-requisites are required. If you have a passion for birth and want to help improve the birth scene in your area you should consider becoming a certified doula. You will need to take a specific training, read a certain number of birth related books from an approved reading list, consider the tools you will need to fill your doula bag, figure out childcare; someone who can come tend to your children with little to no notice if necessary, and prepare to be on your feet for many hours at a time – sometimes even days. The costs vary from some to a lot, average is close to one thousand dollars by time everything is said and done. Travel fees, cost of books and other training materials, attire, a doula bag and comfort measure items you will need can quickly add up. It can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete all the requirements for certification depending on the program and your dedication.

**All of the doulas at TDS are trained through either Childbirth International , DONA or Stillbirthday or a combination of these. **

There are dozens of agencies and organizations out there for an inspiring doula to sift through and find the one for them to train and certify with. Find the organization that has a mission statement that you align your birth philosophy with. Some trainings require in-person workshops be attended, usually held over the course of a weekend. Others allow for all the training to be completed through their online program. Prices all vary depending on the organization or agency. Some are more affordable at four to six hundred dollars; while others can surpass one thousand dollars. Once you have signed up for a training you should begin reading the required books that are necessary for your certification. If you take an online certification you can begin your studies right away. These usually include lots of reading and taking some quizzes followed by two small book reports, a childbirth education class evaluation and then attending a required number of births – usually two or three births.  The online reading will consist of learning about the physiology of pregnancy, labor and birth. This is also where you will learn about how to physically and emotionally to best support a laboring mom. You will learn the variations of normal in regards to labor, birth, placentas and newborns. During an in-person workshop these things are gone over in a much shorter time frame but you get the chance to practice comfort measures on other trainees.

            After you have completed your training you will need to find clients for your required certifying births. It is advised to charge when seeking these certifying births, even if not as much as you would if you were certified but something to cover the costs you will have. The easiest way to do this is to talk to expecting friends or family members. You can advertise online or locally as well. It’s up to you. Your training agency should supply you with sample contracts that you can edit and use. It’s important to have contracts so that everyone knows their role and what is or isn’t expected of them. You will need to meet with your clients at least one time prenatally so that you can learn their desires for their birth. You should practice comfort measures and learn what each mom might, or might not, like to utilize during labor and remember to be flexible. Just because a mom liked a certain thing during a practice run, doesn’t mean she won’t hate it during labor. So be prepared to change along with the needs of each client.

You will likely be ‘on call’ starting at the two-week mark before your client’s estimated due date and stay ‘on call’ until baby is born. Building your doula bag should be done before your client’s birth. What you put into it is up to you, but there are some basic things that you should consider having. On the list of things I recommend for your bag would be: lotion or oil for massage, a rice sock, massage tools, essential oils that are safe and recommended for labor, LED battery operated candles, personal care items for yourself, protein and shelf stable snacks for you or to share with your client during labor. Having a change of clothes in the car is a good idea as well. Scrub pants are wonderful for doulas because they are stain resistant, comfortable and durable(I pair mine with a TDS shirt so as to not be confused with medical personnel in scrubs).

After your clients have birthed you will be required to fill out a questionnaire to turn in to your certifying organization to make sure that the stipulations were met to make it a qualifying birth.  Usually these questionnaires just ask for the hours spent with the client prenatally, during labor and postpartum. Along with details of the birth: medications used, interventions done, vaginal or cesarean birth. The average amount of time the certifying agency is looking for spent with each client is about 24 hours total; not just the hours spent with the client in labor. There will be a few reflective questions asking things like ‘what was an area you think you had a strength/weakness in’ or ‘what might you do differently next time?’ After completing the questionnaire, you will turn it in to the appropriate person in your training organization which will likely be your appointed trainer.

Your trainer will go over your book reports, training exam scores, birth questionnaires and anything else that you have turned in. They will submit everything to their higher up to request your certification of completion. Depending on the organization it can take a few weeks to get your certification in the mail. Once you have completed every step of your training you are ready to go out into the birth world and look for clients who want labor support.

Why every woman should have a doula.

Sarah is preparing to go to nursing school and some of her pre-requisites required that she write certain types of essays. As you can imagine, most of the essays were birth related if it fit the criteria for the essay. This last essay due is a persuasive essay. So of course Sarah had to write about why every woman should have a doula! A grade hasn’t been received for the essay yet, but we would love you, the reader, to give her a grade and leave some feedback!

“If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.” – John H. Kennell, MD. This phrase is powerful and probably one of my favorites that is related to birth work. A doula is a professional childbirth support person, who has specialized training and often is certified, but is not a medical professional – unless the doula happens to hold separate medical licensing too. As a doula I provide you with all the information you could ever need, if I don’t know the answer to a question you have; I can find it.

Doulas support you emotionally throughout pregnancy, during labor and postpartum as well. We comfort you physically with massage, position suggestions, breathing techniques. Most of us have a doula bag full of tools to aid a mom during labor as well. As a doula our job is to help you know about all of your options and to be empowered in your decision making, to open the lines of communication between family and medical personnel and even translate medical jargon into easy to understand terms.

Dad and other family members are not excluded in the support when a doula is in the picture either, we provide emotional support for everyone in the room. A lot of women ask “Why should I hire a doula? I have my husband/mom/sister to support me. I didn’t have a doula for previous births so I don’t need one this time.” I like to say that having a doula for the first time is like having a Starbucks drink for the first time; you don’t know what you are missing until you have one!

Doulas improve overall birth outcomes. This happens in several ways. Studies show that having continuous labor support from a doula – not a family member, friend, or hospital employee – is when the best outcomes occur (Gruber, Kenneth J.). Up to a 31% decrease in use of Pitocin, a 28% decreased risk of a cesarean section, 12% more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth, 9% decrease in use of pain medication (which may not seem like a lot, but our biggest delivering hospital has a 93% epidural rate so it would make a small dent in that), a 14% decrease in the risk of baby being admitted to the NICU and a 34% decrease in the chance of mom being dissatisfied with her overall birth experience (“The Evidence On: Doulas.”). Considering that our nations cesarean rate is hovering around 32%, which is double to triple the recommended cesarean rate, any opportunity to help bring that number down is a great tool to utilize (Almendrala, Anna).

A study from Minnesota found that women who had a doula were 22% less likely to have a preterm birth. By reducing the cesarean rates, doulas can save private health insurances about $1.74 billion each year and state Medicaid about $659 million (Bess, Gabby). Even the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend the use of doulas during birth for their benefits and helping to shorten labor times (“Women’s Health Care Physicians”).

Even in the event of a cesarean, planned or unplanned, a doula is beneficial to have in the delivery room (Dekker, Rebecca). A doula is the constant, and the familiar even when the birth plan goes out the window. While physically there is not a lot that a doula can do in the operating room, the emotional support is most important. Taking pictures, making sure mom and dad are both understanding what is happening every step of the way, reassuring them both that everything is ok and their baby will be with them soon. Often baby goes to a warmer with a nurse immediately after birth and dad goes along too. This leaves mom alone, but with a doula by her side she’s never alone. In the OR I give constant reassurance and describe baby to mom if she cannot see baby, how beautiful baby is and how wonderful everyone is doing.

Being on the operating table can be such a lonely experience, and a doula changes that dramatically. We help facilitate skin to skin and breastfeeding in the OR as soon as possible to help mom have that golden hour of bonding and get breastfeeding off to the right start. I always have lots of tips for moms during the recovery of a cesarean so they have the easiest and quickest healing period possible. Having extra training through the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) has helped me to become a better doula for cesarean moms and to be better able to help moms avoid an unnecessary cesarean.

As a doula, I am always furthering my education to learn more about the physiological happens during pregnancy and birth. I’ve been studying pregnancy and birth since 2005 and I still learn something new at every birth I attend. Keeping up to date on new studies, ACOG recommendations, local hospital policies and even going backwards and reading old books to gain helpful information is crucial to me as a doula. Women deserve the very best care while they go through this life changing time, and I strive to give each woman just that. My very best.

Doulas also provide postpartum care to new moms. Having a doula postpartum is said to decrease the likelihood of a mom developing postpartum depression (Chee, Allie). We continue to take care of the mother after she has become a mother herself. While friends and family come over to see the new baby in the days and weeks after birth, a postpartum doula comes to make sure mom is taken care of so she can focus on taking care of her new baby. We do things like run errands, go get groceries for mom, clean up around the house, dishes, laundry, making sure mom has eaten and stays hydrated. By lifting this burden from new moms, we are helping her heal; physically and emotionally.

The birth of her child(ren) is a time that is going to be forever remembered by a mother. Our goal is to make sure that she has the best memory possible. That her birth(s) are stories that she wants to tell repeatedly, being filled with joy and empowerment when she thinks back on that time.  25-34% of women say their births were traumatic (B, Danielle). That number is too high. Our hopes are that through our work as doulas we can lower or eliminate the percent of women who experience birth trauma and replace it with a higher number of women who felt empowered, respected and in charge of their births.

 

References

Almendrala, Anna. “U.S. C-Section Rate Is Double What WHO Recommends.” The Huffington

Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 14 Apr. 2015. Web. 02 May 2017.

B, Danielle. “14 Women Share The Heartwrenching Details Of Their Birth Trauma.”BabyGaga. N.p., 25 Apr. 2017. Web. 02 May 2017.

Bess, Gabby, Andalusia Knoll Soloff, Kimberly Lawson, Leila Ettachfini, Sophie Wilkinson,

Kristen Yoonsoo Kim, Amos Mac, and Annabel Gat. “Every Pregnant Woman Should Get A Doula, Study Says.” Broadly. N.p., 14 Jan. 2016. Web. 02 May 2017.

Chee, Allie. “A Postpartum Doula for Every Motherby Allie Chee.” A Postpartum Doula for

Every Mother – by Allie Chee. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2017.

Dekker, Rebecca. “A Doula Facilitates Skin-to-Skin in the Operating Room.” Evidence Based

Birth®. EBB, 01 Oct. 2015. Web. 02 May 2017.

Gruber, Kenneth J., Susan H. Cupito, and Christina F. Dobson. “Impact of Doulas on Healthy

Birth Outcomes.” The Journal of Perinatal Education. Springer Publishing Company, 2013. Web. 02 May 2017.

“The Evidence On: Doulas.” Evidence Based Birth®. EBB, n.d. Web. 02 May 2017.

“Women’s Health Care Physicians.” Approaches for Ob-gyns and Maternity Care Providers to Limit Intervention During Labor and Birth in Low-Risk Pregnancies – ACOG. ACOG, n.d. Web. 02 May 2017.

 

 

 

Mind your own uterus t-shirt campaign.

As our doulas are preparing to support families during the most joyous occasion of bringing their baby into the world, they are also preparing to comfort a family through the most difficult time of losing their baby – in any trimester. Trinity Doula Services never charges a family for bereavement services. But our doulas still endure some costs – child care for an uncertain amount of time, gas to get to wherever the family is, food and self care for herself while away from home and her family.

So, thanks to wonderful idea from a client who heart Sarah utter her usual phrase of ‘People should mind their own uterus”; she suggested that it be put on a t-shirt! So that is exactly what we did. You can get these one of a kind t-shirts to speak your mind for you and help support the doulas as they support bereaved families.

If you don’t want to purchase a shirt but still want to help, you can donate through the campaign as well on the website listed below.

https://www.booster.com/mind-your-own-uterus

If you’d like to make a donation for TDS to support bereaved families please send them using this paypal link. Paypal.me/TrinityDoulaServices

Cesarean Awareness Month

April is Cesarean Awareness Month and Sarah shared a picture of her cesarean scar and wrote the following. “I’m about to be very open and transparent so hang on. This is my cesarean scar. It brought my second child into the world. It was not life or death. It was because she was breech. I was given no options. Not a single person mentioned trying to manually turn her. I was told to put a bag of peas under my ribs where her head was and that was it. I kept going into labor. I asked if anyone attended breech births to which I was quickly told ‘no!’. Which I later learned yes there are. A cesarean was my only option I was told. I didn’t fight it. Surgery did go well, after about 4 attempts to numb me that is. It was so cold in that OR. I was so nervous, I had never had any type of surgery. I wasn’t prepared for a cesarean. I was going to birth my baby with no pain meds. That is what I had prepared for. The tugging and pressure was insane because she was so wedged under my ribs. My daughter had bruises on her arm and leg from being yanked out. Then her cry, it was beautiful. I got to see and kiss her and get an upside down meeting my baby picture. She went to the nursery and I remained there to be put back together. I was shaking so bad. I was so alone with all of these strangers. I think I had met the OB once or twice during my pregnancy. I was given something for the shakes and it made my entire body break out I hives and red blotches. A nurse (it was her first cesarean she said) screamed “oh my god!” when she removed the draping from my legs. No one wants to hear that when you are strapped to a OR table. The resident came and looked a my chest and arms, which were covered in hives. I thought I was going to die for a minute. I already was freaked out because I couldn’t feel myself breathing, I had to look down at my chest to make sure it was going up and down. I was kept in the recovery room for about 2 hours. Making sure the hives went away and that I remained stable. They never brought me my baby. She needed oxygen and couldn’t leave the nicu. My spinal lasted about 3x as long as it was supposed to. It took about 8 hours before I could get into a wheelchair to go see my baby. Her respiratory distress was because she was born via cesarean. We spent 8 days in the hospital. I healed, slowly and painfully, but physically I healed. I was unsure if I wanted more kids because I couldn’t fathom going through that again. But about 2 years later my third daughter was going to be making her arrival. I knew I could vbac, my mom did it with me, it can be done. I didn’t face much opposition until 38 weeks when she flipped breech. I was hysterical. The ultrasound tech and the OB were pessimistic and reluctantly agreed to a version the following week. As we left, he told the nurse to schedule it to and an OR because it would end up being a repeat cesarean. He didn’t know I heard him. I was livid. How could he doubt me and my baby so easily? I did everything I could to turn her and less than 48 hours later had a successful vbac without him. And then 2 years later did it again. Women shouldn’t be told they can’t birth their babies vaginally and pushed into a cesarean without even being given again chance for their body to do what it is designed to do. 2/3 of women who try for a vbac are successful, but why is the vbac rate so low? Only about 10% of women are vbacing. Why aren’t we as friends and family more supportive of mothers to do research and make their own choices? Why aren’t more medical providers supportive? Studies prove it’s safest for most women to vbac rather than have multiple surgeries. Why are we perpetuating the myth that women are broken? I am scarred, but I am not broken and neither are you. #scarredbutnotbroken#cesareanawareness “.

There were some mixed reactions to the post. I’m sure someone thought I was only talking about how bad cesareans are. But anyone who has ever spent 5 minutes talking to me knows that I support all birth. Where I get fired up is when women are not being told the truth, their options or are forced and coerced into things they do not want. On the other hand, I do want women to know about the risks that come along with a cesarean. They are wonderful and life-saving. I am so glad we have the medical technology to do this and save moms and babies. But what I do not like is cesareans being painted to be unicorns and rainbows because they sure the hell are not that. Do some women have really easy recoveries? Sure they do. Just like some women have super horrible recoveries. There is no ‘one size fits all’ for any type of birth. Every mother and pregnancy is different. Every woman’s story is different. Just because Jane Doe had 3 elective cesareans that went so smoothly you wouldn’t know she had surgery, doesn’t mean Janet Doe will have the same experience.  I just want people to be mindful of what they tell expecting women when talking about their personal birth experiences.

The other part of this that I want to talk about is VBAC, again, if you have spent 5 minutes with me you know I LOVE VBACs. I am a vbac baby, I’ve had 2vbacs, helping women vbac makes me so happy. But VBAC isn’t for everyone and I respect that. I am just enraged that women aren’t being options. Or when their care provider(or friends/family/online person in a random forum) tell them that it’s an option but only talk negatively about it – filling women with fear and doubt in their body’s ability to do what it’s designed to do – subsequently causing the women to hastily choose the major abdominal surgery for no reason other than she is scared into it. That is not informed consent. Don’t get me wrong, there are awesome care providers out there that are very evidence based and give every woman they see compassionate care. But this type of coercion also happens with all sorts of other things in regards to a birthing mother’s choices and it needs to stop.

If you’ve managed to get through all of that I just want you to take away one thing. We support ALL moms, ALL babies, ALL families and ALL BIRTHS. If you are happy with your birth, so are we.

To learn more about informed consent, cesareans and vbacs visit EBB , ICAN & Vbac Facts

#birthmatters

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The fight against PPD rages on…

You may remember me from a blog about postpartum depression that was posted a while back. In that blog, I laid bare my experience of the previous weeks. I was raw, open and honest about what it is really like to struggle with postpartum depression. By the end of the blog, you may have thought that “the worst is over”. I thought so too! But here I am 3 months after having my baby and the last two weeks have been hell. I have felt like I was losing that grip on happiness that I had found just a few weeks ago. Around the time that I wrote that blog, I had felt like I had finally peeked my head above the fog. I was still in the thick of it, but I was rising and could see the sunlight and the beauty of my new “normal”. But now, just a few short weeks later, I am sinking back below that fog, clawing at whatever I can to stay up. But I’ll be honest. I’m tired. I’m tired of fighting. I’m tired of feeling like the rug is being pulled out from under me just when I think I have a good handle on things. So I am writing another blog, which I did not plan to do, because there may be someone reading this that feels tired too.

To the mom that feels like she will never be enough for her family. To the mom that worries she is starting to annoy her friends with her constant anxiety about ridiculous things. To the mom that looks at herself in pictures and wonders if her eyes will ever look happy again. To the mom who feels total guilt for losing patience with their older child who you know is only acting up because they are jealous of the new baby. To the mom who feels guilt because you aren’t as sad as you should be when you drop your kids off at daycare to go to work. To the mom giving her child popcorn for supper because she doesn’t have the mental fortitude tonight to handle a crying baby and a clingy toddler and cook a nice meal. To the mom who cries in the shower because she doesn’t want her partner to know just how awful she feels.

I see you.

To the mom who sometimes wonders if she made the right decision having another child. To the mom who loves both of her children so much more than she could ever explain but still briefly considers running away. To the mom who is touched out. To the mom who feels guilty for depending too much on her partner for the third month in a row. To the mom who’s nerves are shot. To the mom who sometimes feels like her family and friends would be so much better off without her bothering them. To the mom who worries that her toddler can feel her sadness.

I see you.

We will get through this. If you ever read any mom blog ever, you know that this is a phase. Right now it feels hopeless and endless, but eventually, it will end. Things may not get easier, but they will get more “normal” and we will be able to cope. Parenting is one of the most incredible journeys a person could ever take. But we’d be lying if we pretended that things were always great. No, children aren’t the worst (most of the time), and parenting isn’t terrible (again, most of the time). But it is SO. DAMN. HARD. And it’s even harder when you are battling the beast that is PPD. AND IT IS A BATTLE. We fight this fight daily. Some days, it’s a fight to smile and some days, it’s a fight to get out of bed. But we continue to fight because we know that eventually that fog will lift again. Eventually we will climb back up to the sunshine and the beauty. Eventually we will smile again and actually mean it.
Please continue to fight this fight with me. I won’t give up on you. – Doula Megan