Mama Jane of 9 Busy Bees shares the hospital birth story of her seventh baby on the Honest Birth birth story series! Jane was induced a few days before her due date and had an allergic reaction to the Strep B medication. She was in labor for 12+ hours before she delivered her son vaginally with the help of her midwife!
Hey mamas! Welcome to the twenty-third post in my Honest Birth series! I’m excited to share another real mama’s birth story, because I think it’s so important to share our childbirth experiences with each other. My goal with this series is to provide a place for women to share their birth stories without holding anything back, as well as compile stories for pregnant mamas to read in preparation for their own childbirth experiences. Every mama is different and every birth is different, and I believe that when we share our stories we help each other.
Today I am featuring Jane of 9 Busy Bees! Jane is an only child turned big family mom of 9 kids ages 14 to 1 with baby #10 due in June 2019. Jane and her husband Bill met almost 20 years ago, and have been married for 18 years. They are the family next door just supersized. Jane has battled Hypermesis Gravidarum (HG) in 7 pregnancies and Postpartum Depression last year, she is an advocate for awareness and support of HG and PPD moms. Jane is a stay-at-home mom; master chaos coordinator, professional diaper changer, toddler wrangler and “bus” driver. They live outside DC and love exploring the free world-class museums and parks in the DC metro area. Today I am honored to have her share the birth story of her seventh baby!
Ready to read her son’s story? Let’s do it!
The Birth Story
This is the first of my childrens’ birth stories that I have written down. Why choose my 7th child’s labor and delivery? Because it was one of my wildest, nothing went according to plan, deliveries. It showed me that no matter how many times your body has been pregnant and gone into labor always expect the unexpected. My labor with him was a difficult one with lots of unexpected twists and setbacks. Here is the story…
I was 37 when I went into labor with my 7th baby. I had been with my OB/midwives since my 2nd baby and this was my 6th baby being delivered at the same hospital. I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum HG (severe nausea and vomiting for 9 months) with this pregnancy (it was my 4th HG pregnancy) that resulted in severe anemia. I was sick every day from 5 weeks until I delivered; it very debilitating, isolating and took its toll on our entire family. Due to the severe anemia, I had a blood transfusion at around 28 weeks and then had weekly iron and fluid infusions until I delivered. During this pregnancy, I developed an allergy
to the iron product and had to switch products. Towards the end of my pregnancy I was really vitamin deficient and in one of my weekly infusions they added a vitamin bag. My husband, Bill, and I were talking to our nurse and within a minute I knew something was horribly wrong. I had difficulty breathing and let out a strangled yelp and my throat closed. I was having an anaphylactic reaction to the vitamins. Thankfully the nurse and Bill worked quickly and immediately stopped the IV and I
quickly recovered. It was very scary. I thought these two allergic reactions were isolated but they were a foreshadowing of what was to come during my labor.
I had set an induction date with my midwife, Karen, that was a couple of days before my due date. After a very difficult pregnancy we were ready to meet this baby. We had shifts of family and friends coming to our house to watch our other 6 kids and headed to the hospital bright and early that Thursday morning, March 19th, 2015. This was my 3rd induction, so we thought we knew what to expect, but what happened that day was nothing like my other induction deliveries.
We got checked in and into a room by 7:30am. We were at the same hospital where we delivered 5 of our other babies. We were high-fiving nurses as we were checked in. We met with Karen, who had delivered 4 of our previous babies, and we came up with our plan. They would start my antibiotic for the Strep B along with fluids to combat my dehydration and then start Pitocin and see where things went. As soon as I started the antibiotic I developed hives. I am allergic to penicillin so there are only a couple of antibiotics and that I can take and that will address Strep B. I was given a small dose of Benadryl and we moved forward. I had asked Karen to be aggressive with the Pitocin, as I had been having lots of contractions all week and thought things would move quickly, but I totally jinxed myself. I told Bill to go ahead and take a couple of work calls in the lobby while we waited. Murphy’s Law, right after he left I was in enormous pain–it felt like I was in a contraction that I couldn’t get out of. I called the nurse to try and go to the bathroom to see if changing position would help. It didn’t. I got back into bed and the pain was worse. The baby was not tolerating these mega contractions very well and the heart beat kept decelerating. The doctor on call came in and said they were watching things closely and if the baby’s heart rate kept dropping we may have to consider a C-section. Wow, after 6 vaginal births I was not prepared to hear that. Karen came in and she stopped the Pitocin all together. The pain stopped and baby’s heart rate recovered. We decided to take things much slower.
I began to have contractions on my own without the Pitocin. I labored on my own for a few hours. At this point it was early afternoon. I went ahead and asked for my epidural. I got my epidural and shortly after that felt really light headed and dizzy, like throw up and pass out dizzy. My blood pressure had dropped to 60, the anesthesiologist and staff came rushing into the room and put epinephrine into my IV to try and raise my blood pressure. After 2 doses my blood pressure recovered. Karen came back and broke my water. Now it was late afternoon and things were moving slowly; to say that I was exhausted was an understatement. During my past labor and deliveries Bill had been really good at updating and texting our friends. With this labor, the updates and pictures were few and far between, we just didn’t know what was coming next. Around 7pm I could still feel the baby kicking up by my ribs, not a good sign. I knew that the baby should have been lower at this point. Whether it was irrational long labor thoughts or exhaustion, it was in the back of mind that if things didn’t start to move a little faster that I was going to be told that I needed to have a C-section because things were not progressing. About an hour and half later everything clicked into place. I dilated those last few centimeters and was ready to push.
After 12+ hours of labor I was so ready to meet this little one. I did not push very long and soon baby arrived. That final push is always amazing; I feel like a super hero. We didn’t know the gender of the baby and I always assume girl, since we have more girls than boys. I was so surprised when it was another boy, our third boy. Our sweet baby boy with a head full of hair. No matter how many babies I have had, when you first hold your baby in your arms, something magical happens. The world is made new again.
I am so thankful to our midwife Karen, by her stopping everything as soon as problems arose and then taking things very slowly, I think made a difference in the outcome of my delivery. At the time, I was a little in a panic about having to ponder a C-section after 6 vaginal deliveries, but when it comes down to it I would have done it in a heartbeat it if it was necessary.
After delivering 9 babies and being pregnant with number 10 I have learned to expect the unexpected during labor and delivery. I think it is great to have a birth plan, but also to be prepared for things not to go as planned. At the end of the day a healthy baby and mama is what we want regardless of how baby was delivered.
Wasn’t that amazing? I loved the advice Jane gives at the end that it’s good to have a birth plan, but to prepare for things not going as planned! A healthy baby and mama really is the most important thing! Thanks so much to Jane for sharing her story on the Honest Birth series!You can follow Jane’s big family real mom life adventures on her blog and connect with her on Instagram and on Facebook.