• Posted by Pregnant Stories
  • 24 Apr 2012

A very sad but wonderful story…

A pregnant woman who was declared dead after suffering a brain aneurysm has given birth to twins after her body was kept alive for a month on a respirator. Read the story here..



  • Posted by Pregnant Stories
  • 20 Mar 2012

One mom didn’t quite make it to a hospital for the birth of her third child. But, she was very close.

She and her husband knew the birth of their baby was imminent as they walked up the sidewalk to the hospital. But as they neared the entrance, Elissa realized she couldn’t make it inside. Josh says his wife got down on her knees next to a bench as he bolted into the hospital to find help.

By the time her husband ran back outside with medical personnel, Elissa had given birth, behind the bench. Mother and baby were rushed inside.



  • Posted by Pregnant Stories
  • 14 Mar 2012

She lies writhing on the bed, under the scutiny of apathetic doctors. The seemingly dispassionate nurses finish the preparations. Bright lights, a hard bed, the many eyes watching are nothing but background noise for the oblivious woman crying in pain.

Everyone turns their focus to this woman. The nurses grab her legs and push them to her shoulders. The doctors gather around, pulling lights close to shine brightly on her opening yOni. The nurses give orders to “hold your breath and 1-2-3 push. Push, PUSH…Deep breath, quick, 1-2-3, PUSH-PUSHPUSH”. The father stands next to her, mimicking the nurses commands. Minutes of this continue, yet it seems like hours. She cries as if the center of her being is actually being sucked out of her. Little does she realize, it is. The doctor has cut her and attached a vacuum to her baby’s head and is actually suctioning her baby from her womb.

The baby cries. The nurses wrap the baby, give mom a quick look and rush the baby off to the nursery for the required 4 hour observation stay.

The mother, bare, exhausted and empty wimpers a cry for her baby, “I want my baby.”

No one listens.
Baby Cassandra was not so gently brought into this world. October 4th, 1990.

Regardless of the brutal birth, it was a happy time. Not to mention I was happy to have that birth experience behind me. Never have I experienced physical pain, even 4 births later, as I did my first labor and birth. I’d like to say it was unimaginable. However, I am certain there are moms who do know that feeling.

The pregnancy was easy, uneventful. The doctors and nurses I encountered during my prenatal exams were not the nicest. But we flew through easily enough. By 40 weeks of pregnancy, I was ready for birth. Being my first baby, I was beyond excited. How many more times could I wash the baby clothes, unfold and refold, hold them and imagine a tiny creation, my creation, fitting into these so small items? I walked, I whined. And I jumped the gun on October 3rd. I was not in labor, but allowed a friend to tell me the Braxton Hicks contractions I was having were the real thing and to hurry to the hospital. Who was I to argue? I was ready.

The nightmarish 32 hours began.

I should step back here and mention a few things. First, we were not married, we were young and we were on state insurance. We’d taken childbirth classes at the hospital that had the new womens center and birthing suites. We were excited. Only to find out that as of October 1st, my insurance switched and didn’t allow for me to have our baby at this new and wonderful place. Instead, I was to labor and birth at a hospital that later had it’s whole maternity floor shut down.

I did tour this hospital and asked the nurse, “Will I be able to use different birthing positions?” This had been strongly encouraged in our childbirth classes. We were told there their nurses would encourage and help.

The nurse at the hospital we’d be birthing at asked me to explain myself… I elaborated that I’d like to labor in a squat position, or on my hands and knees.

She replies with a smirk, “Oh, ask Nurse So-and-So this one.” While she opens a door to what I will assume was a break room for the nurses, as several nurses were sitting around. I repeat my question to the specific nurse. I don’t remember the answer, only the laughs that were generated throughout the room.

Embarrassed, discouraged I wanted to crawl into a hole. I already knew I was in for trouble.

Back to labor. We headed to the hospital where they put us in a little room with a little bed, a table and a chair. A cold room. They hooked me up to monitors, told me not to move and started an IV of pitocin. While I’m sure pitocin has it’s place, pitocin on a non-laboring woman, who is only 1 cm dilated is a bad idea.

I labored all day long, with wave after wave of excruciating contractions. I was out of my head. I only remember bits and pieces of the day.

I remember one doctor in particular coming to check my progress repeatedly. I called him “big hands”. I’d cry, “please, no”… his hands were so big. It was so painful.

I remember begging for an epidural. The pain radiated around my abdomen, into my thighs. The pain was horrible. My soon-to-be husband sat there. There was nothing he could do for this pain. There were no words of encouragement to offer. His mother came and took him to lunch. I labored alone. But even with him there, I was alone. There was no one for me.

Eventually, they decided that the pitocin drip needed to be stopped. They turned it off around 8 pm.. Twelve hours of non-progressing contractions. My contractions stopped. They assured me they’d start back up on their own in the night. At 10, the end of “visiting hours”, they sent my partner home. I was again alone. Just me and my baby belly.

I slept until around 2 that morning, when I was awoke with a contraction. Oh, it hurt.

I called the nurse. “Please, I want an epidural.”

Nurse tells me she’ll give me a shot.

A bit later, I plead, “please, I want an epidural.”

“Here,” the nurse tells me, “Have another shot of demoral. It will take the edge off.”

I didn’t need the edge off. I need the pain off. No pain. I was so tired. I hurt so bad. I clung to the bed rail, and begged, “please, oh please, make it stop hurting…” I cried. Only the poor new mother in the bed next to me heard my cries.

At 5 a.m., the nurse tells me I can call my husband-to-be back (note: how lovely, *I* got to call him, in all my pain). She also tells me that the anesthesiologist will be back in around 6. I wasn’t given an epidural because they didn’t want to call anyone in during the night. I lay in agonizing pain so someone could get all their sleep.

I get my epidural only to have it work only on one side. Unfair, just so unfair. They gave me more, and more.. and finally had someone check my reflexes. As if I were lying about the pain. Eventually, they gave up. It was time to birth.

They moved me from my little cold “Labor Room” to a gurney they wheeled across the hall into the “Birthing Room”. This is the surgical room. It’s cold, it’s unfriendly. From the gurney onto the surgery bed. Lights, people – everywhere. It no longer mattered. I just wanted, needed to have this baby.

The nurses told me to hold my breath, I held my breath. They chanted to push in their rushed, loud voices. I pushed. It felt good. I pushed and pushed. It was relief to the pain I’d felt for hours upon hours. The doctor cut, attached the vacuum and pulled my little baby straight from my womb, I ripped more. Nothing gentle and beautiful. Ahhh… but it was done. The pain was gone.

They took Cassie away. Stitched me up with several stitches. Wheeled me to a room, where I layed flat on my back to “recover” in what was no longer referred to as my “Labor Room” but instead the “Recovery Room”.

After some time, a nurse comes in and aggressively pushes on my uterus. She says it’s to make it contract. I feel a huge rush of blood as she pushes on me. It soaked the bed under me. I cried again…”I want my baby.”. Again, it fell on deaf ears.

Four hours, I’m reunited with my first baby. It was worth every second of pain. I’d do it all again. I do not, however, feel that what I went through was necessary and I do feel it could have been much different. But, it was my experience and I won’t wish it away.

The rest of my hospital stay was no better than my laboring and birth experience. But I had babe in arms and I was happy.

Today, at the time of this writing. My little baby turned 15 just a few short hours ago. Amazing how time flies. I don’t remember all that happened during this labor and birth (probably a good thing) and time has surely distorted some of my memories.

by Judi

  • Posted by Pregnant Stories
  • 13 Mar 2012

1.  You look like you’re about to PoP!

2. Are you having Twins?

3.  When are you due, last week?

4.  How much weight have you gained?

5.  Enjoy ____ while you still can!

6.  You are eating for two!

7.  What are you having?  or Do you know what it is? (a dog. I’m having a dog.)

8.  Are you going to have a natural birth?  (no, i will have this baby via teleportation)

9.  He/She is going to be a soccer player!

10.  Your vagina will never be the same.

  • Posted by Pregnant Stories
  • 08 Sep 2011

Most mom’s would do anything for their babies…even grandbabies… Eva Ottosson, 56, is donating her uterus to her 25-year-old daughter, Sara, who was born without reproductive organs, in hopes that she’ll be able to have a baby. (If the surgery is successful, Sara and her boyfriend will use in vitro fertilization to conceive). The groundbreaking womb transplant, set to take place in Sweden next year, has been attempted only once before, but that transplanted womb had to be removed a few months after the procedure due to complications. Maybe this mother-daughter duo will be more successful, like the 61-year-old woman who gave birth to her own grandchild in February.

Another above-and-beyond mom? Forty-year-old mom-of-two Diane Kieras-Ciolkos is serving as a surrogate for her best friend, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, a pulmonary disease which can cause pregnancy complications. The two, who have been friends for 30 years, had to endure serious psychological testing to get accepted at a fertility clinic. Stay tuned — Diane is due in July.

But one California mommy literally went through a labor of love (two days worth, to be exact) and gave birth to a 14-pound baby via C-section. Her newborn boy, Matthew, surprisingly didn’t break the Guinness World Record: A boy in Canada was born at nearly 24 pounds in 1879.

Would you serve as a surrogate for a friend who couldn’t carry her own baby?

  • Posted by Pregnant Stories
  • 03 Jun 2011

If you are choosing to have a natural birth without pain medication, here are some tips from Lamaze International to help you have a smooth and natural birth. Talk with your support person beforehand to let them know what your plan is for the birth. Remember to listen to your body’s cues and rhythm. Having a natural birth can happen, but make sure that you are prepared for medical intervention.

1. Find a place that will support your choice of a natural birth. Whether this is at a hospital, home, or in a birth center, choose a place that supports your choice of birth.

2. Look for a healthcare provider that will support you in your choice of having a natural birth. Many women have found that the care provided by midwives and doulas includes more labor support and less medical intervention.

3. Do not request or agree to induction of labor unless it is medically necessary to do so. It is a good idea to let your body go into labor on its own, because that is the best sign that your baby is ready to be born. Give your body time to find its own pace and rhythm during labor and don’t focus on the clock. Don’t use any medications such as Pitocin to speed your labor.

4. Try moving during labor. You will be much more comfortable if you are able to move around freely, and your labor will progress much quicker. If you stay upright and respond to the pain of your labor by changing positions, your baby will move through the birth canal easily. Try different positions such as rocking, straddling a chair, lunging, walking, and slow dancing with a partner.

Labor & Delivery

5. Aside from your partner, consider who else you want to support you during labor and birth. You might want to hire a doula to give you and your partner emotional and physical support.

6. Ask that your baby’s heartbeat be monitored intermittently instead of all the time so that belts, cords, or wires do not tie you to a machine or a specific place.

7. Follow your instincts and eat and drink as your body tells you. If you drink plenty of fluids during labor, it will give you energy and keep you from getting dehydrated.

8. Try to use non-medical pain management strategies. Many women like to get into a warm bath and showers to relieve pain. Practice using birth balls, massage, hot and cold packs, aromatherapy, and focused breathing to help you deal with painful contractions.

9. If you can, avoid giving birth on your back. Use an upright position such as sitting, squatting, or standing to give birth. This will increase the effectiveness of your contractions and enable you to work with gravity. Push when your body tells you to and ask your support persons to give you only quiet encouragement.

10. Have your baby with you right after you give birth. Skin-to-skin contact keeps your baby warm and helps to regulate your baby’s heartbeat and breathing. Staying with your baby in the same room will help you to get to know each other, and it lets you respond to early feeding cues and get breastfeeding off to a good start.

If problems arise, ask questions about the risks and the benefits of any recommended intervention. Understand that sometimes labor and birth don’t go as expected. If you’re involved with decisions about your care and have good labor support, you’re more likely to be satisfied with the birth, even if medical interventions are necessary.

  • Posted by Pregnant Stories
  • 24 May 2011

Today women are more educated about their birth options, and while most opt to deliver in a hospital rather than at home or a birth center, many women aren’t aware that using someone other than and OB/GYN is an option.

The question is not whether to choose between a doula or a midwife but to realize that you can actually use both!

A midwife performs actual pre and post natal medical care and delivery.
A doula is there to support the mother and meet her needs.
An OB/GYN is a medical doctor that can perform the pre and post natal medical care and vaginal delivery, as well as handle any emergency birth situations such as would require a Caesarian section.

Your options are:
Just your OB/GYN
Just your midwife
A doula & OB/GYN
A doula and midwife

In a hospital setting an OB/GYN will be available if an emergency should arise.

There are varying levels of Midwifery – Lay Midwifery, Certified Midwifery and Certified Nurse Midwifery.
If you are foregoing an OB/GYN it is important to make sure you have a Nurse-Midwife. More info on this topic.

Midwives and doulas encourage a natural (non-medicated) birth and tend to be medically as hands-off as possible. Doulas are better known as a birth coach, they are there to support the mother as much as possible and both help to assist in postpartum care and breastfeeding.

Many midwives can perform doula services.

Most major insurance companies cover midwifery services– typically at a reduced “out-of-network provider” rate. Your lab charges, as well as physician charges, if needed, are additional and usually covered by insurance plans even if you choose an out-of-network provider.

Doulas are rarely covered by insurance and most require a up front one time fee. Often this fee can be paid or reimbursed from your Flex Spending Account.

  • Posted by Pregnant Stories
  • 09 May 2011

Women were asked for natural ways to induce labor. There are so many wives tales it’s hard to find what really works. Most women want to avoid inductions and c-sections. Here are some ways to get the baby train moving naturally.

Sexual intercourse – This works in two ways to induce labor. First, female orgasm can bring on contractions. Second, semen contains prostaglandins. Prostaglandins work to help ripe and soften the cervix.

Nipple stimulation – Stimulating the nipples triggers the production of natural oxytocin. Oxytocin contracts the uterus.

Accupressure – Accupressure may be helpful in inducing labor. Some pressure points you can try are the roof of your mouth, the webbing of your fingers between your pointer finger and thumb, and above the ankle about four fingerspaces above is a pressure point.

Massage – Find a massage therapist qualified to work with pregnant women. Many will know various points to massage to induce labor. This is why massage is not recommended during the early stages of pregnancy.

Stripping the membranes – This can only be done by a health care provider. Your doctor or midwife will separate the bag of waters from your cervix and this is thought to help encourage labor to start.

Raspberry Leaf Tea – Raspberry leaf tea is not actually known for its labor inducing properties, but it is believed to be helpful in toning the uterus and helping with labor.

Cinnamon stick tea – Take cinnamon sticks and boil them into a tea and drink. It actually tastes good so even if it doesn’t bring on labor it may help you to relax.

Evening primrose oil – Evening primrose oil comes in small capsules similar to vitamin E. It is believed to help soften and ripen the cervix.

Yoga – Many places offer special classes for all stages of pregnancy.

Walking – Walking may help to get baby to drop into proper position.

Visualization/relaxation – Relaxation can help with labor induction. Try doing relaxation exercisers. They are also good practice for when labor actually begins.

Pineapple, cumin tea, eggplant parmesan, and spicy foods – are another thing you can try.

Exercise Ball Bouncing – Bouncing gently and sitting on an exercise ball can also help baby drop into position and get your hips flexible for birth.

Spicy Food & Chinese Food – Some swear if you eat both mexican and chinese in the same day it can bring on labor.

  • Posted by Pregnant Stories
  • 26 Apr 2011

1. Don’t get induced unless medically necessary

Years of study have shown that inducing labor often leads to a C-section.

2. Labor at home until you’re approximately 3 centimeters dilated

Consult your DR if your water breaks, they may want you to come into the sterile hospital environment to avoid infection. Also many hospitals start the 24 hour to birth clock when you check in, and your body may need longer than that.

3. Choose your hospital, and your practitioner, carefully

If having a vaginal birth is important to you, shop for a doctor and a hospital with low C-section rates.

4. In the delivery room, ask questions if your practitioner says you need a C-section

Some situations are true emergencies, and a C-section is necessary within minutes to save the baby’s life. That’s not a time to negotiate. But in other situations, parents should ask questions about whether a C-section is absolutely necessary – such as if the Dr says the baby is too ‘big’ or the DR is following a time table.

5. Get a doula

Doulas, or birth assistants, can help advocate for a mother when she’s in labor.

  • Posted by Pregnant Stories
  • 19 Apr 2011

My daughter was born on Sunday, May 2nd, around 4:30 a.m. At the time, I was a little over 38 weeks and never thought I would get that far. In fact, my doctor had kept telling me he would be very surprised if I didn’t go into labor a week earlier.

It wasn’t until Sunday morning at 3:00 a.m., when I went to get my 4 year-old daughter from bed, that the contractions began.  I called my parents to come get my other daughter, because I didn’t want her to see me in a lot of discomfort and get scared. While waiting for my parents, I took a shower to ease the pain and avoid my daughter having to watch me endure the contractions. In the shower the contractions were coming on sporadically.  Sometimes they were really close together but not consistent.

By the time my parents got to the house, the contractions were coming very close together, but since I was trying to get my daughter ready to go with my parents, we hadn’t been able to time them. So we had no idea exactly how close they really were. My doctor had told me to wait till the contractions were about 5 minutes apart for a few hours to make sure it was the real deal. Since my first delivery was 33 hours long, I figured I would definitely have a couple of hours.

Ready, set, go!

As soon as my oldest daughter was gone we timed a couple of contractions and they were 2 minutes apart.  That’s when my husband called the doctor’s answering service so they could page him and tell him we were leaving for the hospital. We live 45 minutes from the hospital and I wasn’t looking forward to the drive, which is why I stopped to go to the bathroom before we headed out. Just then, as I was going to the bathroom, I felt a large release and then a very strong urge to push. I called out to my husband and told him I was worried that I needed to push and that I thought our daughter was coming now and wasn’t going to wait for the hospital.

After hearing this, my husband called 911 and the very nice dispatcher told my husband to get some towels and a shoe string. At this point I was squatting, feeling my body changing to make way for Madelyn.  And after just one contraction, the head was out.

My husband was trying to get me to lay down on the floor so he could help me. But just like that — with the 911 dispatcher on the phone and another contraction on its way — our daughter was born. We cleaned off her eyes and her head and all I could do was hold her and just smile. Thankfully, we live very close to the rescue squad. The ambulance arrived very quickly and was at our house just a few minutes after the baby arrived. Once there, the rescue squad members cut the cord and helped me deliver the placenta. The baby arrived just an hour and half after my contractions started.

Luckily, everything went smoothly and there were no complications. And after the placenta was delivered we all made our way to the hospital to be checked out. The baby was perfect and I only required a few stitches.

I had fully intended on a birth in the hospital and with drugs but I wouldn’t change a thing about how things went. My husband did an amazing job and helped me bring our beautiful daughter into the world.