Wednesday, March 23, 2016
I am a Family Practice Chiropractor and I know a lot about homeopathy, botanical medicine and optimizing the pelvis in preparation for labor. Chiropractic care during your pregnancy will shorten your labor time and reduce the chances for back labor and a mal-positioned baby. Homeopathy can reduce labor time and help with pain management and stalled labors. Taking uterine tonifying herbs can help with labor and also help post-partum. Acupuncture can help your birth as well as help induce labor.
My births although good, were not within the perimeter of what they should have been even with all of this knowledge.
I tell patients all the time what the average patient experience should be and advise them what the research says so it improves their chances for a better birth outcome. But I now know that these are only statistics and they don’t mean a thing when you are the out-lier.
My first labor was 60 hours and it stalled and my second was 17 hours and 43 minutes and it also stalled. I was a week late for both my births ( I think this is how are family rolls). I needed pitosin both times which is something I wanted to avoid. After these experiences, I have learned that my birth was my own; it was not in my plan, but 2 healthy beautiful girls and the love and support of my family, doula and birth professionals made me love my story and be thankful for it.
The Birthing from Within was a class that helped prepare me to accept my story and make the correct decisions during my birth and not feel guilty about my decisions.
Monday, March 14, 2016
After both of my pregnancies, I have gotten plugged milk ducts and have been very uncomfortable. I had already tried the poke root, essential oil poke root, hot and cold therapy, massage, and lecithin orally. I knew I was in need of a stronger remedy because I didn’t want to get mastitis. I had that when I had Zara and it is not only painful but also very debilitating due to the high fever that can accompany it. I went for a treatment that our acupuncturists in our office have been doing in our office, ultrasound. I first noticed it when I could feel a plugged duct and everything else had failed. It was getting so painful even to the touch on the breast that I was having a hard time massaging it out. I did the ultrasound treatment and it was not anymore painful than the massage I had been doing; in fact it felt almost relaxing. Afterwards, the pain wasn’t gone but it was 80% better. I could even stand to massage the duct that night afterward and I didn’t get an infection in that duct.
I highly recommend if you are a mamma that is struggling with plugged ducts and the home remedies suggested in my previous blog (http://drwalkerpregnancy.blogspot.com/2013/09/breast-trouble.html ) don’t work then you may greatly benefit from an in-office breast ultrasound procedure that is safe for mom and baby and pretty affordable also.
Thursday, March 3, 2016
My due date was September 14, 2015; exactly ten years after I asked for my husband’s number. Although it would be a great story to tell should my baby come on that day, I was hoping the baby wouldn’t wait too long because I was ready to have my regular body back. My pregnancy went well overall but I wanted the heartburn to end and I missed being more active. At the clinic, our manager, Marj, would say, “as long as you don’t have the baby before September 1st.” That was the day that we would take our photo for the Holiday cards. That was a very busy day at the clinic and when I got home, I promptly took a three hour nap, which was much longer than my usual naps. An hour after I woke up, I began having some low back pain. I wanted to try to walk it out so I went for a walk with my husband and our dog. Whenever the dog would do her business, I would take the opportunity to do some squats and try to get my pelvis together. As we walked along, my husband and I took turns answering the question of what makes a good parent. We encountered a woman who asked when the baby was due. I replied “any day now” not realizing that the process had already begun. When we got home and a surge of back pain came back with a heaviness to the front of my pelvis, I said, “This back pain is weird. It comes and goes.” As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I knew that I had been actually experiencing contractions. My baby was coming!
I emailed my midwife and went to bed so that I would be well-rested on labor day. However, the back pain paired with my excitement kept me from sleeping until 8:30am the next morning. When I woke up two hours later, the contractions were not coming regularly anymore and I was exhausted. I called the clinic and they moved my appointments to Dr. Ho’s schedule and I was scheduled to be seen by Dr. Walker and Yoevita. I did not intend to have “back labor.” After their treatments, I felt relaxed. The back pain was gone and the contractions were coming at regular intervals again. That night I slept as the contractions came and went.
Thursday morning, the 3rd of September, I woke up and knew that it was going to be labor day. I was going to have my baby! I had no appetite at all but managed to eat an egg and a potato anyway because I knew I would need the energy. For the rest of the day, I had broth and chlorophyll in water while I labored. When the contractions started getting more uncomfortable, my husband helped me with the tools he learned from Patricia Madden’s class called “Tips and Tools for an Active Birth.” Around 4:30pm, his help with the contractions was not enough and I asked him to fill the birthing tub. At 4:45, I asked him to call Hope, our midwife. When she arrived, I had been in the tub for a few minutes and got tremendous relief from it. I was so happy to have it and the idea of being in a hot tub in my living room was really fun for me. My contractions were still coming regularly so I was confident that I wasn’t relaxed to the point of stalling my labor. The tub put me in such a good mood that my midwife was a little doubtful that the baby was coming soon rather than later.
The contractions were gradually getting closer. Hope would check on baby’s heart beat periodically and when the contractions were about a minute and a half apart, the baby’s heart rate was elevated to 180-190. She asked me to get out of the tub. The baby’s heart rate was still elevated. She was getting concerned and said we may have to transfer to the hospital. I didn’t answer. I was hoping the baby’s heart rate would normalize at any moment. She had me lie down and checked dilation. She also took my vitals. There was no sign of infection and the heart beat was steady and not decelerating. Decelerations would indicate that the heart was failing. There was no perceptible reason as to why my baby’s heart was beating was so fast. It was as if he was getting a workout. Somehow I felt calm and that everything would be ok.
“We might have to go in,” she said. I was trying to visualize grabbing the packed bag and my wallet. Trying to see myself step into the night air and going to the car. Trying to accept the possibility of leaving. I wasn’t going to move in that direction until my midwife said we had to. I started praying over and over again. Laying on my back and on my side was very uncomfortable and practically intolerable so I changed positions. On my knees, I hoped that this position would help my baby’s state. Still high. I cried out, “Why?”. My husband and my sister came to me and laid their hands on me and prayed. Hope was monitoring the baby’s heart rate and it started to go down though it was still too high. After another contraction, Hope asked me how I felt and what my intuition or gut feeling was. I said I felt fine. I got up and took a few steps. Then she said, “You’re so close. I feel like you could have the baby right here.” That was a ray of hope and I ran with it. I felt hot so I stepped outside and came right back in for another contraction. The cool fresh air felt wonderful though and I felt better. The next time she checked the heart rate it was just above normal. I was so incredibly relieved I almost wanted to cry. My water broke shortly after that and when she checked the heart rate it was calm and healthy! Back on track!
Labor was gradually getting more intense all the while and I was starting to be ready for it to be over. My husband’s love and support nourished me. This experience was making our bond even stronger. Throughout the labor, Hope was never more than an ear shot away. She was never overbearing and let me be free to listen to my body. She gave me guidance and I felt secure with her nearby.
After what felt like a lot of pushing, I was on my hands and knees when our baby was born at 10:35 pm. It’s a boy!
The moment that I had my son is the single most joyous and beautiful experience of my life.
The memory of it fills me with such gratitude. Though my husband was a little skeptical of a home birth in the beginning, he now says that he can’t picture it any other way. We don’t want to leave the area now until we’re done having babies with the hope that they can all be delivered by our midwife Hope, into the serene and loving space of our home.