Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Five new mommy tips.

My son, Hunter will be five months on June 22nd so I am a very new mom.  I don’t have years of experience but I do have some tips to share that can help a new mommy with the most important role of her life.
1. Watch the documentary, "The Business of Being Born," by Ricki Lake. (http://www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com/) The trailer is available on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DgLf8hHMgo.

I already knew I was not the natural “type.” I had already decided (even before I was pregnant) to get an epidural.  However, I didn’t know about a drug called Pitocin and that I was going to be a candidate.  Pitocin is a medication that is used to start or improve uterine contractions.

I was approaching my due date when I went to my weekly doctor appointment to see if my cervix had dilated.  I had not dilated nor had the baby dropped.  The doctor suggested that I should be induced and to schedule a room with the hospital, just in case delivery beds were taken.  I felt my due date was wrong because it was not 40 weeks from the date of my last period, which differed from the ultrasound that the doctors went by.  However, I let the doctor make the appointment, just in case I needed it.

From watching the documentary I knew that being induced could lead to a cesarean section.  Pitocin is the only alternative if baby still has not arrived and your water has broken.  A cesarean section was not in my birth plan.  I also knew that Pitocin can cause harder more painful contractions (remember I am not for the pain i.e. “epidural please”) and can cause the baby to go into distress, thus a cesarean section.

I waited and waited for a painful contraction, for the mucus plug to come out, for my water to break and it never came.  I had to answer countless Facebook comments, “is he here yet?” 

I decided to go into the hospital on the scheduled date, which was three days after my due date.  I was disappointed that I would never be able to tell the funny story of where my water broke or the rush to the hospital while in labor.

Guess what? The Pitocin worked for me! It sure took awhile, about 24 hours to go from zero centimeters to fully dilated.  I do feel that the nurses were concerned that I wasn’t making enough progress and about 20 hours into it, I felt the dreaded “c’ word was coming. However, the nurses and my doctor gave me more time for my body to go into active labor and I got the command to start pushing around 8 a.m.  An hour and 22 minutes later, my precious Hunter entered the world.  No complications and no cesarean section. A healthy baby boy, weighing in at eight pounds and one ounce!

I felt the movie gave me some insight into the delivery process. However, I feel that it might go too hard on the organized medical community.  I remember watching, “One Born Every Minute,” a reality show filmed inside a maternity ward and they showed a clip of a natural couple berating a nurse for wanting to give her medical opinion to move the mom’s labor along.

I suggest you do your research and do what works best for you, while allowing you to stick to your birth plan.
2.  Take your pregnancy photos in your 7th month, before the   stretch marks, swollen face, wide nose and glow that now looks like a hot sweaty mess.
3.  Get a pedicure close to your delivery date.  They will be up in the air quite awhile.  I was too hot for socks.
4.  If you are breastfeeding, get as much direction from the lactation consultant as possible.
5.  You are paying a pretty penny for the hospital services.  Ask  for as many freebies as possible (diapers, granny panties, pads, etc.)

Special hugs to my delivery team, Dr. Helen McSwain from Peachtree Women’s Specialists and the nurses at Piedmont Hospital.

Please add your comments below, so new mommies will be prepared for their new adventure.


  1. trust your body! I know you definitely did KK!

  2. Hi Katena! I'm a friend of Ashley's and I saw the link to your blog from her Facebook. I think this is such an amazing thing you're doing with this blog. I'm sure it will help many mothers to see that they are not alone in this struggle we call motherhood :-)I have a 2 yr old who will be 3 soon and I have a 5 month old son who was born 6 days after your baby boy on Jan 28th!

    I watched Ricki Lakes documentary about 3 months before I had my daughter, and I remember being super pumped and motivated to have a natural birth without an epidural ( that was not the way I was feeling before I watched the movie). Until the labor pains kicked in 10 days AFTER my due date, all that went out the window FAST!!! I was in labor for 16 hrs total and 9 of them were without the epidural. When it was all over I thought to my self WOW! look at this amazing little person I just brought into the world, the pain was all worth it but I don't think I can do this again. Here I am 2 1/2 yrs later with another one LOL!!

    The second time around was much different, I was in labor with my son for a little over 5 hours. I labored most of the time at home because being that the pain wasn't unfamiliar I could bare it much more than before. It started about 10pm and by 2am I was waking my husband up like "It's SHOWTIME" Let's GO! We dropped our daughter off at his parents on the way to the hospital, got to the hospital by 3am and my little man popped out at 3:32am! After my husband checked me in he went to move the car. When they checked I was 9 1/2 cm's dialated so by the time he got back up to the room I was in there pushing.

    I remember when they were rolling me in the deliver room everything was moving so fast and I was still asking for an epidural, when they told me it was too late I'm like WAIT is there some sort of alternative because there's no way I can push this baby out through all this pain, the nurse looks at me and says the only alternative is to push becuase you're about to have this baby. I swear my life flashed before my eyes!!!! It may sound crazy but I'm totally convinced that Labor is the closest thing to death.

    When it's all said and done being a mother is a great honor and probably the most important role of our lives, it takes a certain kind of woman to be a mother along with having a career. I honestly feel like I'm superwoman and pretty damn proud of it! Although I'm still learning everyday how to juggle being a mother of two along with running my business, I would'nt change a thing :-) Keep the blog post coming I look forward to reading more about your journey through motherhood.

  3. Thank you Shahidah! omg! so you did natural the second time. That is great! My sister did natural not by plan but she was young and just went with the flow and she never had another. She nearly scared me to death about the pain. I still felt a lot of pain even with the epidural and they had to adjust it twice. And I remember thinking I am going to tell all my friends it is not worth it, the pain is too much. Of course, then I met my baby and it was all worth it and I can't remember the pain now.