Natural Home Birth / Emergency C-section / Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia (NAIT)

Our Natural Home Birth Plan

My husband, Erik, and I had decided to have an all natural home birth with a mid-wife.  I was going to be able to labor and have the baby in a doula pool.  No drugs or unnecessary procedures would be used.  I would be able to eat while in labor (which is very important because a woman’s body burns a lot of calories while in labor) and doctors do not allow you to eat while in labor (in case you need an epidural).  I would be able to breastfeed my baby as soon as it came out.  The first 30 minutes after a baby is born they are usually awake and if they are given the opportunity to breastfeed at this time they typically continue to breastfeed well.  This golden opportunity is usually missed when you have a baby at a hospital.  The most important factor for me was the ability to have the baby in any position that was most comfortable (or least painful) to me.  At hospitals you have to labor on your back which is only best for the doctor.  I didn’t want to have pain pills because they can affect the baby.  We had regular 1 ½ hour appointments with our mid-wife (who gets that kind of one-on-one time with their doctor?)  We knew the possible problems that could occur and had our emergency plan in place.

Labor Began

December 18, 2007 9:00 p.m.  One day after my due date, I felt the first contractions.  It was around 9:00 at night and I knew I needed to get to sleep.  But I was excited about finally meeting my baby and finding out if it was the little girl I had been dreaming about.  I stayed up for a few more hours talking to my mom who was staying with us to help out with the baby and our business.  At 3:00 in the morning the contractions woke me up and I knew this was it.  I woke up Erik and told him he wouldn’t be going to work the next day, we were having a baby!  We timed contractions for awhile and called the mid-wife.  By mid-day on December 19th, the mid-wife had been to see us and left.  I still had a ways to go and the labor seemed to progress better when the mid-wife wasn’t there.   I thought for sure I would be having my baby that evening.  But as evening approached I began to realize that my baby was not coming that night.  The mid-wife had me take a shower and go to bed.  Sleeping while having contractions every 3-6 minutes doesn’t work too well.  I had to wake my husband up for every contraction so he could push on my lower back to reduce the pain (and he was timing contractions).  The longest stretch of sleep I had that night was 11 minutes.

By the morning of the December 20th the contractions were very painful and I was worn out.  I was trying to eat but my contractions were so bad I would throw up during them.  So I wasn’t keeping much, if any, food down.  Around noon the mid-wife checked me and I think I was around 6-7 cm and the baby was riding really high up in my belly.  The mid-wife decided we should go for a ride, a really bumpy ride.  So Erik & I got in the back of our van and the mid-wife drove us around on bumpy, snowy, icy, country roads.  We did stop at a Burger King and I managed to keep most of Cheeseburger down and a frozen coke (I craved frozen Coke through most of my pregnancy).  But in general, that was the worst van ride of my life.  It did help though.  After the 1 ½ hour ride, the baby had dropped and I was about 9 cm dilated.  Then the bad news came; our baby was breach.   One of the mid-wives thought she felt the scrotum.  What?!?!  A scrotum, girls don’t have scrotums!  I was so sure I was having a girl, that just added extra chaos in my mind.  But a big decision was in front of us:  to go ahead with a breach home birth or go to the hospital.  The mid-wife said if we went to the hospital they would definitely do a C-Section (which we really didn’t want).  The mid-wives could deliver the baby at our home, but once the butt came out I would only have 5 minutes to get the head out.  I was so worn out from being up for days I wasn’t sure if I could do it.  The next 2 contractions were so painful that I decided it was time to go to the hospital, I couldn’t handle much more pain and I just wanted my baby to be safe and healthy.

Emergency C-Section

It's a girl! 12/20/07 6:38pm
It's a girl! 12/20/07 6:38pm

We grabbed a few things and headed for the hospital.  I have this blur of memories of checking in at the hospital, being taken to a room, having my blood taken, an IV put in, a catheter, an ultrasound, heart monitors for me and baby, tons of questions – all while having very strong contractions.  The doctor at the hospital just happened to be the OBGYN that I used to go to a few years back, so that was nice, at least I knew her.  She checked me and said I was 8-9 cm.  They wheeled me out of that room and into surgery.  They put a spinal block in and finally the pain stopped.  They laid me down and began to operate.  Erik showed up in scrubs.

After awhile I heard my baby cry for the first time!  I waited an awkward moment, expecting them to say the sex of the baby or something, but no one said anything.  I asked if it was a boy or girl and the doctor said it was a girl!  Erik and I both cried, we were so happy.  Then I asked if she had any hair (Erik had told me the whole pregnancy not to expect our baby to have any hair).  She did have lots of hair!  Erik was able to go over a take a picture of her with our digital camera and bring it back for me to see (this is the picture).  Then finally they brought her over to me, all wrapped up.  I could see a little bit of her face, but she was adorable.

Little did we know that our lives were about to get much more complicated…

Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia (NAIT)

Sophie in the NICU
Sophie in the NICU

In retrospect, we now see that Sophia being a breach baby was a blessing in disguise.  Having an emergency C-section followed by Sophia’s admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) were vital steps to saving her life.  Only in the NICU is a platelet count a standard test.  Thankfully Dr. Chua saw her low platelet count and was able to take the steps necessary to save Sophia’s life.  When Sophie was 1 day old, I was taken by ambulance to a clinic where I donated platelets to my baby.  All I wanted was sleep and food, but not yet!  Sophie was given her 1st platelet transfusion that evening.  Our experience in the hospital was chaos.  A whirlwind of decisions, rushing to the NICU to feed baby, being checked myself, trying to sleep but rarely getting to, trying to get our baby out of the NICU, and filling out paperwork.  Sophie was weak from crying because of all the needle sticks and was too weak to eat.  We had to give her a feeding tube at one point.  That was a horrible moment, luckily it didn’t last long.  We got out of the hospital on December 23rd knowing we would be back soon.

Mom, Sophia, Dad on Christmas 2007
Mom, Sophia, Dad on Christmas 2007

We were home for Christmas which was nice (but busy with lots of visitors).  Sophie returned to the hospital on December 28th for her 2nd platelet transfusion.  I had to go give platelets for a 2nd time on New Year’s Eve and Sophie received her third platelet transfusion on January 2nd.  A fourth transfusion happened on January 7th.  As of January 21st, 2008, Sophia was making her own platelets and was declared a healthy baby!

The rare disorder that we encountered is called Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia (NAIT).  It is a very rare disorder in which the father has an antigen that the mother lacks.  Less than 2% of Caucasian woman are missing this common antigen.  Unfortunately I am part of that 2%.  The antigen from the father is passed on to the baby.  When the baby’s blood and the mother’s blood mix during labor, the mother’s antibodies begin attacking the baby’s platelets.  If the baby’s platelet count drops too low, an intracranial hemorrhage will occur.  Thankfully we were able to prevent a hemorrhage by giving Sophia 4 transfusions of my maternal platelets.  After a month, my antibodies had died out in Sophia’s body and Sophia began producing platelets.  The good news: Sophia is now a healthy 4 year old.  The bad news: we would have to deal with the NAIT disorder with all future pregnancies.

Make Your Own Bath Soaps, Salts, Oils Recipe eBook

500 Bath and Beauty Recipes eBook

A wonderful and extensive guide to all natural bath and beauty products!  The wonderful aromas are designed to relax, calm, rejuvenate, and so much more.  From the Beeswax Lip Balm to the Velvet Seduction Erotic Massage Oil. You can save money and know exactly what your bath and beauty products contain by making the simple recipes contained in 500 Bath and Beauty Recipes!

Enjoy the relaxing natural scents of vanilla, almond, apricot, peach, raspberry, strawberry, coconut, apple, orange, tangerine, cucumber, honey, chamomile, jasmine, sandalwood, rose petals, lilacs, lavender, oatmeal, aloe vera, spearmint, peppermint, green tea, and so much more.

500 Bath and Beauty Recipes contains recipes for:

Scented bath soaps, shower gel, fragrant bubble bathes, balancing bath salts, fizzy bath salts, scented bath oil, all natural milk bath, body soaps/scrubs, body powders, and a detox bath that is so refreshing!

Scented hair gel, frizz tamer, blonde and red highlights, shampoos & conditioners, honey treatment for very dry damaged hair, several types of face toners, wrinkle creams & lotions, facial soaps/cleansers/masks/scrubs, Cool As A Cucumber Yogurt Facial, avocado & honey moisturizer mask, honey oatmeal scrub, astringent (sage, rose water, strawberry), creamy sun-tan lotion, insect repellant cream, lip balms, lip gloss, teeth care, breath fresheners, deodorants, perfumes, body sprays, eye care, makeup remover, nail care, and foot scrub.

Massage oils (diuretic, anti-cellulite, essential), a variety of erotic massage oils, exotic patchouli massage oil, massage oils to help with: menopause, PMS, post-pregnancy depression, stretch marks.

Click here to get your own copy:  500 Bath and Beauty Recipes.

How to Check Out Digital Library Books with an Android Tablet

It’s such a great idea!  Use your tablet to check out digital ebooks for a limited number of days (typically 14).  But accessing the digital library, figuring out which format of book your table can read, download some software on your computer, setup an Adobe Digital ID, then load and app on your tablet that can read the file, move the library book’s file from your computer to your tablet….

Are you kidding me?  I thought this was supposed to be easy.  I have a Bachelor Degree in Computers for the love of God.  If I’m having trouble doing this, I bet there are whole lot of people out there that have given up long before they set up everything just right to make this work for them.

Here’s how to get started:  ON YOUR COMPUTER (not your tablet):  Go to the website for your local library (hopefully this is on your library card).  Your library’s website (hopefully) has links to electronic books mixed in with regular books or it may have a link to “Downloadable” or “Electronic Media.”  You will need to be able to login to your library account and (at least for my local library) it links to a Digital library for my state, Indiana (Indiana Digital Media) which is part of Overdrive.com.  You may be required to login in to the digital library site using the same login (probably the account number on your library card) and password as your local library’s site.  From there you can put books on hold that you want to download in the future, or check them out now if available.  Once you select the books you want, then “checkout.”  You will need to download the files for the books you have chosen.  I like to save these in My Documents > My eBooks folder.  Here’s a link to Overdrive’s Help section.

Here’s where I think the system sucks, it didn’t allow me to download this straight to my tablet.  I had to go to my computer, download & install Adobe Digital Editions and set up an Adobe ID (necessary if you want to put library book on your tablet to read it, or share the book between your computer and any other device).  You can read more about setting up Adobe Digital Editions from this help page.

After setting up your digital ID, downloading & installing, Adobe Digital Editions, go back to your library account and download the files you need (I save them in My Documents > My eBooks folder.)

 

If you’ve made it to this point, then follow this advice I found in a forum to complete the rest of the steps.

Normally Adobe Digital Editions would be installed on a computer and then the downloaded books transferred from your computer to tablet. If your library uses the overdrive service, your book may be available in the overdrive media console from overdrive.com. It only supports epub ebooks though, not epdf. You will also need a compatible ebook reader app on the tablet. Do you have Aldikos or something installed?

From Aldiko support: (I’m sure many other file managers besides ASTRO will work too)

For importing library books into Aldiko app, please try to follow these steps:
(1) Go to your local public library’s website on your computer, select any eBook in Adobe ePub or Adobe PDF format, check out and then download the eBooks files. Normally, libraries will offer you an acsm file for each eBook, please make sure this.
(2) Put the acsm file in either the SD card or internal memory of your device, depending on the model of device you are using.
(3) Download and install a file manager app called “ASTRO” from the Android market. Use the file manager app to locate the acsm file.
(4) Tap on the acsm file in the file manager app. If you have verified your device with an Adobe ID already, the eBook will be automatically downloaded and imported into your bookshelf in Aldiko. If you haven’t verified your device with an Adobe ID before before, you should see a pop-up window which asks you to authorize your device with an Adobe ID. After authorization, the eBook will be automatically downloaded and imported into your bookshelf in Aldiko.
You don’t need to use Adobe Digital Editions (ADE).

http://www.androidtablets.net/forum/coby-generation-2-technical/19679-adobe-digital-editions.html

Personally, I was able to get the Aldiko app from the Amazon App store much easier than from the Android Market. I never found the ASTRO app, but any file manager should work.

Here are some useful Questions & Answers from Adobe Help:

Transferring items between computers

If you have authorized your computer, Adobe Digital Editions does not “lock” your eBooks and other digital publications to that computer — they are assigned to you through your Adobe ID. This means that you can transfer library items to up to six computers and six supported mobile devices.

Before you can transfer items between computers, you must authorize both computers with your Adobe ID.

Note: Bookmarks are not copied when items are transferred to another computer.

To transfer a library item to another authorized computer:

  1. On the computer you’re transferring from, locate and open the My Digital Editions folder, located inside the My Documents folder.
  2. Choose the EPUB or PDF files that correspond to the eBook titles you want to transfer.
  3. Copy the selected files to portable media such as a flash drive, or email the files to the target computer.
  4. On the target computer, copy the EPUB or PDF files into the My Documents folder within the My Documents folder.
  5. Open Adobe Digital Editions on the target computer. Choose Library > Add Item, and then navigate to the My Digital Editions folder and select the new files to bring into the library.

Transferring items to a supported eReader

Adobe Digital Editions allows you to transfer items from your library to a supported eReader device.

Connect the supported eReader device to your computer and launch Digital Editions. Digital Editions automatically detects the presence of your device and offers to authorize it with your Adobe ID. If you have not authorized Digital Editions with your computer, you will need to complete that first (Digital Editions guides you through that process: View the Activation and Authorization topic). Both Digital Editions and the device must be authorized to be able to transfer protected content to and from the device. Unprotected content can be transferred to and from the device without authorizing either the device or Digital Editions, but Adobe strongly advises authorizing Digital Editions as it gives you content portability for your protected books, whether on Digital Editions or the supported device.

After authorization, the device appears as a new bookshelf in your library. You can transfer items to and from the device’s bookshelf just as you do with other bookshelves in your library. You can read books that are on your device or your own computer. You can even read books off a friend’s device (though you cannot transfer books from that device to your computer or vice versa).

Important: Do not disconnect the device while transferring library items to or from your computer.

 

I hope this helps you!

Change 3 Cloth Diapers Per Day Challenge

Change is Good - Use Cloth Diapers!
Change is Good - Use Cloth Diapers!

I think this is a great challenge that www.cottonbabies.com has come up with. I buy most of my cloth diapering supplies from Cotton Babies.  Their challenge is to get people to use at least 3 cloth diapers every day.  Personally I use about 8 cloth diapers every day.  I do use disposable diapers at night (usually just 1 per night) and when I’m going shopping or to visit someone.  I don’t want to mess with cloth diapers on the go (I know it’s possible, but I’m not that much of a saint!)

Bummis Super Whisper Wrap
Bummis Super Whisper Wrap

I personally use Bummis Super Whisper Wraps with Chinese Prefold Cloth Diapers with the blue string or Indian Prefolds are good, too.  I can use the same whisper pant several times in a row while just replacing the wet diaper.  Eventually the whisper pant gets damp or poop on it and then I toss it in to wash it with the diapers.

Imse Vimse Flushable Liner
Imse Vimse Flushable Liner

I use Imse Vimse Biodegradable/Flushable Liners to make life easier (just flush them when they’re covered with poo).  If she just peed then we throw them in with the cloth diapers to be washed and reused.  They can be reused 3 or 4 times before they start to fall apart and then we toss them.

Occasionally I use a Hemp Insert (diaper doubler) for when the baby might have an extra wet diaper (or the cloth diaper I’m using is getting too thin).

So to take the 3 Cloth Diapers per day challenge, visit their Facebook page or you can make your commitment at the Change 3 Things website.

 

Change 3 Things
Change 3 Things: 3 Cloth Diapers