The Working Mom Feels Guilty

I have gone back to work after both of my children. With Tanner I was fortunate to stay home until after he was a year old. With Chandler I was back to work at 11 weeks. It was not easy to return, no mother wants to leave her child. When you are in your 3rd trimester you feel as though the stupid comments will never come to a stop, but inevitably you give birth and you can breathe a sigh of relief because you no longer have to hear “When are you having that baby?”

As mothers we all become frustrated with the slue of ongoing questions like “You haven’t moved the baby out of your bed yet?” “When are you going to ditch that pacifier?” or my personal favorite “Did you circumcise?” But to be perfectly honest the most obnoxious comments have been delivered regarding my return to work.

Before I even stepped foot into my office I experienced the comments that were geared to make me feel better about my time away from my children. Generally harmless, things like “At least you will have adult interaction” but there were a few such as “Aren’t you glad to have some free time to yourself?” and “Your baby needs to learn to be away from you.” My work is hardly free time. I don’t get to finally cut my gangly nails and top them off with a fresh polish and I am certainly not catching up on my favorite TV Series. The 40 hours of work I put in is not my free time because if it were I would be spending it watching my children grow. Also, my 11 week old doesn’t need to learn to be without me but I won’t go on that tangent today.

It was not until I reached my office chair, sat down, and finally stopped sobbing that I realized the ignorant questions would start pouring in. It was my first day back. I had just left my 11 week old with a babysitter who has no idea the exact position he likes to be held in. She didn’t know that special tone that only mommy knows to calm him down. She certainly doesn’t play with his toes the way I do and she will never be able to rock him to sleep just the way he likes it. Being honest I will say that leaving my second child was no easier than leaving my first and since Chandler was younger I found it to be much more difficult.

I reached out to friends to support me and a handful of them certainly made me feel better. The ones that truly put a smile on my face just told me they hoped I could stop crying soon and that with any luck my day would fly by. They knew there was no sugar coating on going back to work and so they listened to me sob on my drive in and they reminded me that my sitter will never be mommy but she will find her own special ways to comfort my babes. That is the one piece of solid advice that has made me feel better so let me repeat it for any working mothers…

Your baby sitter will never be able to comfort your children like you do, but they will find their own ways to comfort your children.

So bring on the stupid.

Now that I have made it through day 1, 2, 3 and 4 (it does get a little easier) I have found myself reaching out to other friends and even my Facebook mom group seeking advice on the best pumping schedule, how to find the perfect long term nanny, and the nitty gritty details of being a working mother of two. Much to my dismay I have found ridiculous comments along the way that really made me feel like giving a few individuals the worst titty twisters of all time. That’s right, I said it, titty twisters. Hopefully they aren’t lactating.

The first comment, although meant to be harmless, was “Wow! I would be a nervous wreck leaving my child with a stranger.”
Really? Would you? It never crossed my mind that perhaps I should be concerned about leaving my children with someone I don’t know very well. Of course I am a nervous wreck! Especially on my first day, week, and probably even month of my return.

The next comment received was in response to me asking if there were other working mothers using an in home nanny for childcare. This one seemed more intentional to me, “I prefer to leave my children with someone we know, a family memeber.”
Jeesh, someone you know? Why didn’t I think of that! It never occured to me it would be better to KNOW my care provider. OF COURSE I would prefer to leave my babies with someone I know.

And finally, I received an article via email from a friend who came across a news story on, what happened to be, my second day back at work. The article was about a mother who hired a nanny and the nanny was basically abusing the children while the parents were at work. Thanks. Fear mongering at it’s finest. I don’t know about you but I will certainly rest better knowing that some nannys beat the children while the parents work. Come on.

I am sure none of these people meant any harm by the things they said or did but over the course of my 4 days at work I have had no less than 2 comments each day that led me to blog. Perhaps I will encourage others to think before they speak or maybe just tell my working moms “You are not alone.”

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The Home birth of Chandler Michael Price

At 6:30 am on Thursday morning I had my first contraction. I had just gotten out of bed and was getting ready to get into the shower for work. I was 40 weeks 6 days pregnant and didn’t want to get my hopes up because I was feeling forever pregnant. I took a shower and had a few more, very random, contractions. I told my husband, Andrew, to go ahead and head to work because even if I was in labor this would be a lengthy process. He took our 4 year old to preschool and started working as usual. My sister in law, Leanne, lives in Toledo (3 hours away) so I let her know I was having a few contractions and just be prepared because I might have a baby that evening. I wandered around the house alone, in the peace and quiet having a random contraction about every 15 minutes apart and lasting no more than 30 seconds. Andrew works driving around and his company had been keeping him local since they knew I was so close to having a baby so he stopped by on occasion to bring me food and to check in. I decided around 9:00 to have Leanne leave Toledo. I was really afraid that she was going to get half way here and my contractions would stop completely. I figured I would be having a baby that evening because nothing was picking up but I wanted to be safe rather than sorry.

About 9:30 am my midwife stopped by and blew up the birth pool for me. We decided the hose laying in my backyard probably wasn’t the best option so when Andrew came home about 12:00 pm I told him to go grab me some ice cream and a 50ft hose from the store. I mainly was trying to keep him busy outside of the house because when I had a contraction and he was there he looked at me like a sad little puppy and I knew that seeing me in pain was bothering him. The contractions really weren’t bad. I walked around and moaned through them. I swear something about walking into my kitchen made me have a contraction. I tried to lay down and rest but laying down made my contractions so much more painful. I kept thinking “no wonder women in the hospital think natural birth sucks, LAYING DOWN SUCKS!”

Felicia, my midwife, left to drop her kids off and get some food. Before she left she said “You might want to call your birth photographer.” My photographer lives an hour away and being the cheap-ass that I am I was not ready to call her because she was charging me $50/hour. I told Felicia she was crazy. My contractions were about 9 minutes apart and had been for well over an hour. They were VERY mild as far as I was concerned. I felt like I was barely in labor. I took her advice and text my photographer, although I fully intended to yell at Felicia later when I got a bill for $700.00.

Suddenly at 12:30 pm, alone in my home, I felt incredible pressure. I text Felicia and my husband Andrew and said they needed to hurry back. Andrew replied to tell me they only had 35ft hoses and what should he do. I don’t recall my exact response but I think it said “I don’t care just come!”

I was staring at the pool, empty, with contractions much more painful. I was mentally preparing at this point to have a baby by myself. I wanted to get in the water so bad. I quickly debated filling our bathtub and getting in but I knew if I did that I would use all the hot water and I would not be able to use the birth pool during Chandler’s arrival. I held out, waiting for my husband to get home. Andrew arrived first and I told him to immediately get water running in the pool. I think he started putting ice cream away which made me want to kill him (sorry babe!) Felicia arrived shortly after. Kneeling on the floor I put my arms over my giant birth ball and used that to help relieve contractions. I decided to go ahead and get in the birth pool even though there was only about a foot of water at the time. It was immediate relief.

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At 1:00 pm after being in the pool for about 15 minutes my sister in law showed up and started video taping. Minutes later my photographer showed up. Thankfully she was armed and ready to start taking photos. The contractions were much stronger and the pressure was getting very intense. When I contracted I let my body float, holding my arms over the side of the pool and resting my head on the side. Letting my hips and legs float behind me took so much pressure off my body, it made the pain subside enough to focus on my body and feel myself progressing. I really don’t remember too much around me, I kept my eyes closed. I moaned out the pain, I floated, I focused.

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At about 1:10 pm I started feeling the need to push. I didn’t even tell anyone I was pushing. Felicia knew, she knew before I did exactly where I was in my birthing process. She sat on the couch and was quiet I barely even knew she was there. Pushing was easy as first, really my body did the work for me. I just gave in and let it and moaned, which seemed to help. When Chandler’s head was half way out is when the pushing got interesting. It felt like my body never wanted to stop pushing but I knew I needed to push with contractions. It was an internal battle to try NOT to push until a contraction hit. At one point I yelped out and I heard Felicia say to moan deep. That was the only piece of advice she gave me during my whole birth. In hindsight I am so grateful, I can truly say I birthed my baby by myself, trusting my body. At one point I started trying to flag Leanne to get behind me to get the money shot, since no one knew I was pushing she was pretty confused but Felicia told her and now I can watch the birth of my gorgeous boy over and over.

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Once Chandler’s head was out birthing him was a piece of cake. A push or two more and out he came, into the water. I had been on my hands and knees so I looked down, found him, sat behind him and pulled him out of the water and onto my chest. The pain was gone. I instantly felt fantastic. It was as if this baby just appeared in the water, there was no birthing that occurred. I loved on him for about 20 minutes until I was ready to get out of the water. Andrew cut the cord, wrapped Chandler in a towel, and sat on the couch with him while I birthed the placenta.

Our sweet boy was born at 1:30 pm on Thursday November 7th, 8 lbs 3 oz, pulled from the water by mommy. This birth was so beautiful and so healing. Home birth was everything I ever imagined and more.

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Here is the slideshow!

Chandler Birth from kaylee price on Vimeo.

Tanner’s Induction and Birth Story

It took a few years before I could really explain this story in detail. It took years before I truly understood what happened to Tanner and I at Miami Valley Hospital. And once I thought I really understood, I would find out more information that infuriated me!

How do hospitals and obstetricians get away with things like this? Americans are conditioned to trust their doctors, and we should be able to. Even after my the tramatic birth of my son I still went to this OB. I still believed he had my best interest at heart.

4.5 years later, 6 months into my second pregnancy, I requested a copy of my birth record. Mainly to see if there was any information in there that might be beneficial for my midwife. Imagine my suprise to find a report of lies. Below you will find a copy of my birth record, specifically I have copied the report of mine and my sons condition at birth. There are also pictures of Tanner that are graphic in nature. If you chose not to view these photos please stop where I indiciate a warning that photos are below.

The interventions started at about 38 weeks. I was told that I should expect “a big baby”. I had an ultrasound and they told me that the baby was already measuring at 9 lbs. My doctor recommended induction. I had my membranes stripped twice, which did nothing.

At 40 weeks, I was impatient like many pregnant women. The doctors had warned me that my son was measuring quite large (10 lbs). I was 2 cm dilated and had been for 3 weeks. I decided to go ahead with the induction. I showed up Tuesday at 5 pm and was given cervidil to sleep on so that I woke up with a nice soft cervix. That never happened. I didn’t sleep that night, Tanner kept rolling off the monitors and the nurses would not leave me alone. All day Wednesday I was not progressing. They gave me pitocin. They gave me more pitocin, more pitocin, more pitocin. Somewhere in the middle of the pitocin, I was given nubain which made me feel awful. Then more pitocin. Then they stripped my membranes again, because I wasn’t dilating. Eventually I got to 4 cm about 1 pm on Wed. At that point, I received my epidural – which, of course, lead to more pitocin. Sometime afterward, they broke my water. I slept the rest of the day, through the contractions, through everything. I remember being SO thirsty and begging in the nurse for apple juice. She kept telling me you cannot drink while you are in labor because they might have to give you a c-section.

I woke up about 8pm on Wed evening. I was 9cm dilated. The nurse checked me and said she felt that the baby was in an awkward position; specifically she said she thought she felt an ear. I was sent for an ultrasound. My son was “face present” meaning he had locked into my pelvis coming out face first. Face presentation births are pretty rare, but even more rare is the fact that he was coming out lips first. I was told that I would need a C-Section. My worst fear.

My OB/GYN arrived at that time and the nurse told him she was prepping me. I was mortified. Thank God I spent the last 6 months stressing to my Doctor that I was NOT having a C-Section. He told me that I could have a vaginally delivery but I would need to be prepared to have a bruised up baby “Nothing serious, nothing permanent”. My friend was present during my birth that happened to work in the NICU at the hospital. They wanted a NICU nurse present “just in case” so she hand selected two of the best NICU nurses.

I recall asking why this happened and not really getting a good answer, other than “the baby just happened to descend into the birth canal this way.” To be honest the staff did a great job of not alarming me.

I started pushing at 12am Thursday morning. That’s right, Tuesday….Wednesday…. Thursday morning. After 10 minutes of pushing, the nurse flew across the room, hit the emergency button, and I heard my OB cut me, 3 times, snip. snip. snip. (This is contradictory to what my hospital records report) And out came a baby. I didn’t feel my episiotomy, but I heard it. I would argue that hearing your vagina being cut open might be as awful as feeling it. I didn’t see Tanner. I remember looking up to try and see him and seeing my OB cut the cord. I was mad because my mom was supposed to do that. Oh well, too late now. They took him to the other side of the room and in a blink of an eye there were 6 NICU nurses working on my angel. There were so many people and my epidural was wearing off. My OB started stitching me up. It was painful. Stitches were the most painful part of the entire experience. After a few minutes I realized my son wasn’t crying. My mom knew he wasn’t breathing, she saw him, she knew what he looked like, but I didn’t. My mom was trying to find a way to comfort me. She was antipating having to tell her daughter that her first born child just died. She did a great job of keeping me distracted. There was so much chaos. Tanner was resuscitated after 10 minutes and started nursing immediately despite his poor face. He is my angel.

I will never again be induced unless it is medically necessary. Tanner was not BIG. He was 7.6 lbs. He was not overdue. In fact, despite them “measuring me at almost 41 weeks” they think he was 37 weeks gestation. I was in labor for 30 HOURS.

All of the interventions caused further problems.

The doctor told me after that having my water artificially broken resulted in the face presentation, because Tanner descended too quickly. This was during a routine post partum visit. And mentioned quite casually. In 2013 when I mentioned having a home birth he told me that because I had already had a face presentation baby that it would likely happen again. The story changed.

The episiotomy resulted in me having a 4th degree cut with 46 total stitches. Literally the stitches are all the way to my anus. The scar still causes me pain 4 years later.

They cut the cord before Tanner was stable which resulted in them spending 10-15 minutes resuscitating him.

They also put an internal fetal monitor on. In the second picture (below) where he was not as purple you can see the cut in the middle of his forehead from the internal monitor. He also had abrasions on his eyelids where they missed his forehead with the monitor. Had his eyes not been closed they could have very well made him blind because the monitor sliced both lids.

I spent the next week with the most terrible epidural withdraws.

My son almost died from NOTHING OTHER than my decision to let the doctors induce me and a series of piss poor medical interventions.

Here is a copy of relevant information from my birth records. Here you will see that they reported an APGAR score of 8 when Tanner was born. Compare this APGAR score to the first picture below. Are you telling me that this child has an APGAR of 8? (A score of 7, 8, or 9 is normal and is a sign that the newborn is in good health.) While the birth record indicates that a resuscitation team was in attendence, the delivery comments state that once the mouth and nose were suctioned there was a “vigorous cry”. The report also states that my child was born over my “intact perineum”. There is no record here of my 4th degree episiotomy resulting in 46 stitches. And finally “mother and baby both doing well.”

This report was entered at 2:01am, just 27 minutes after my son was born, and just 10 minutes after they were done resusciating him.

Hospital Birth Record

I first read my birth records in July 2013. My son was born in January 2009. I contemplated revisiting my OB and asking why this report did not reflect the accurate story but I am not convinced I would receive any answer worth my visit to his office. I have made the decision to not seek any type of explanation from the OB who delivered my son because I have gotten no where going that route. I am currently expecting our second child in November 2013 with my absolutely wonderful midwife. I will be having a home birth with my second little boy and am hoping that experience leads me to place of healing.

My motivation for creating this blog and story is simply to help other women see the ugly side of inductions and make better decisions.
When you know better, you do better.

The following are pictures of Tanner after his birth. They are somewhat graphic and may disturb some sensitive viewers. However, as they are a real and valid part of this birth, I would like to share them. Please feel free to stop reading now, if you do not want to see the pictures.
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Tanner at birth

Tanner hours later

To end this blog on a happy note, here is my handsome little 4.5 year old now =)
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