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Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Blog: Things I didn't know before I had a C section

April is C-section awareness month. I've been meaning to write down things that I didn't know, until I got one, and then another one.


Your belly gets bigger and bigger and your ponder who in the world the baby will turn out to be. And sometimes they come out through our bellies.


* Depending on the spinal anaesthesia (if you get one) you will feel tugging and pulling and a certain weight on your belly. The stitching of your belly will seem like it's taking forever. You will feel legs in a different position then they will be, after they move you off the operating table. 

* Afterwards you might get the shakes, the chills, and/or itching skin.

* Pain killers will be your new best friend. Just turning on your side will be painful. 

* It's best if you start moving as soon as possible, first with support of course. Once you can walk, your urine catheter comes out.


* You won't be able to take care of your baby for first few days, but that doesn't mean the baby can't be with you.

* Your first bowel movement will hurt.. a lot. It's preferable not to strain. Your abdomen muscles were cut.

* You will feel gas pain.

* It's best for the wound not to be covered after the first day. Just let it be dry.

* You'll need help with everything in the first few weeks.

* Your skin around the wound might feel numb for a long time.


* Nobody tells you this, but it's important to massage your scar, it helps to break the scar tissue (this can hurt, but so do the adhesions).

* Diastasis recti is more common if you give birth via C-section. Start with gentle exercise as soon as you are able.


* You will feel many different emotions, even "C-section guilt".

* C-sections are allegedly named after Roman emperor Julius Caesar, who is believed to be born via mother's belly, but records say that his mother lived long into his adulthood, which makes this less likely to be true, since C-section were by law reserved for the dying mothers. It might be named after Latin word "caedare" which means "to cut".

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Blog: Tega nisem pričakovala

Nosečnost, še bolj pa rojstvo otroka, si zapomnimo za življenje. Večinoma se to zgodi dvakrat ali trikrat. Misliš si, da si se dobro pripravil, bereš, vadiš, dihaš, piješ čaj iz malinovih listov, ješ datelje, poslušaš šolo za starše... In si ustvariš porodni načrt v svoji glavi, kako bo potekalo. 

Po poklicu sem babica, ampak ne delam v porodni sobi. Vedno sem se spraševala kako je roditi otroka. Rada sem prebirala knjige od Ine May Gaskin, poslušala kako naj bi porod potekal, kako si lahko pomagaš, da zmanjšaš bolečino, katere položaje lahko zavzameš, da olajšaš otroku pot skozi porodni kanal... Zmeraj mi je bilo zanimivo, kako naša telesa naredijo, negujejo novo življenje v samo devetih mesecih. Kako nastane nova oseba samo iz jajčeca in semenčeca, ki ju s prostim očesom niti ne vidimo. Poznam zgodbe od znotraj. Misel, da mogoče ne bo šlo vse tako kot si predstavljam, se mi ni nikoli porodila.

Moja prva nosečnost je bila brez posebnih težav. Na začetku sem imela slabosti, ki so trajale enajst tednov, ter na koncu sem pridobila preveč na teži. Na ultrazvoku je ginekologinja zmerila, da ima otroček večji obseg trebuha kot glavice, ampak nič kar bi me moralo skrbeti. Ocenjena teža je bila 3,5 kg. Na rok poroda je odpadel sluznični čep. Bila sem vesela, ker je to prvi znak da se porod približuje. To je bilo na soboto. Do torka se ni nič zgodilo. Otroček je bil živahen in z brcanjem malo predrl plodove ovoje, vendar nisem čutila, da bi mi odtekala voda. Četrtek. Še vedno nič. Na ultrazvoku so preverili, če je dovolj plodovnice. Bilo je je dovolj. Sobota. Še vedno ni poroda. Prosila sem, da me pogledajo. Odprta sem bila 3 cm, maternično ustje tanko, malo plodovnice je odtekalo. Brez popadkov. Sprejeli so me v porodno sobo, predrli plodove ovoje, vendar se popadki niso začeli. S hipnozo so se potem začeli redni popadki. Ampak ustje se ni več odpiralo. Dodali so mi še Synto, da bi pojačal popadke, vendar ni bilo napredka, vmes se je plodovnica obarvala zeleno. Otrok je pokakal mekonij, kar pomeni da je pod stresom. 

Šele takrat me je zadelo: "Tole bo carski rez." Odpeljali so me v operacijsko sobo. Jokala in tresla sem se, nisem se znala pomiriti. Tega nisem pričakovala. Nikoli mi tudi na pamet ni padlo. Zaprla sem oči in dihala. Čutila sem vleke in premike v trebuhu. Počutila sem se kot da lebdim v morju, negibna. Čutila sem občutek olajšanja, ko so jo porodili. Ko sem odprla oči sem jo videla, glasno je jokala, glava polna črnih las. Pristavili so jo zraven mojega lica, in začela ga je sesati. Ko so jo stehtali so bili presenečeni, 4300 g.

Prve ure je bila z mano, nato so jo odpeljali za "čez noč" (in jutro, videla sem jo naslenji dan po kosilu). Tresla sem se nenadzorovano, zaradi anestezije in hormonov, koža me je srbela. Pustili so me "spati", ampak sem komaj zaprla oči. Slišala sem kako joka nadstropje višje (prepoznaven glasen jok), jaz sem pa ležala spodaj v pojstelji, brez možnosti, da bi ji pomagala. To je najbolj bolelo. Celo noč sem ležala na hrbtu, nihče ni dal navodil, da bi se morala kaj premakniti, tako sem v istem položaju ležala okrog 15 ur. Zjutraj so me spravili iz pojstelje. To je bila najhujša bolečina do sedaj, občutek kot da se bo rana odprla in organi zlezli ven. Dali so mi proti bolečinam in čez nekaj časa smo spet ponovili vstajanje, tokrat je šlo.

Tudi glede dojenja sem bila optimistična, da bo steklo. Vedno smo pravili "povpraševanje - ponudba" in bo dovolj mleka. Ampak sem tudi tu imela probleme, tako da je samo delno steklo. Še en razlog več, zaradi česar sem se sekirala. Po carskem rezu, še posebej ko si ločen od otroka in prejema adaptirano mleko, dojenje težje steče, ob velikih otrokih, ki zahtevajo tudi veliko mleka, pa še težje.

Porodno izkušnjo sem predelovala mesece. Nisem našla prave tolažbe. Ja, otrok je zdrav, ampak sem se počutila oropano, težje sem se navezala na otroka, kot da nisem uspela kot mama, da se nisem dovolj potrudila, nisem omogočila svojemu otroku najboljšega začetka v življenju, kot da bi morala nekaj drugače narediti, pa bi lahko rodila, kot da nisem rodila, saj je bil otrok "izrezan" iz mene... Nisem znala iz te "C-section krivde". Bolelo je tudi, ko sem videla, da nekateri ljudje ne rečejo, da sem rodila, ampak sem imela carski rez. Kot da sta dva načina, kako spraviti otroka ven in moj se ni "rodil". Pogrnila na pomembnem testu. Ženske rojevamo tisočletja, ampak nisem uspela pri nalogi, ki jo naša telesa izvajajo. Brez carskega reza mogoče otrok in/ali jaz ne bi preživela.

Že takrat sem se odločila, da bo naslednji otrok rojen preko VBAC (vaginalni porod po carskem rezu), brez dvoma. V drugi nosečnosti sem se v 24 tednu ustrašila nenadne krvavitve. Ugotovili so, da je pojsteljica nizko segajoča (bila je dolga). Morala sem se paziti, da se ne bi krvavitev ponovila. Nekaj časa sem bila še prestrašena, ampak sem zaupala, da bo vse vredu, tudi če bi prej rodila, bi preživel, saj je vredu rasel.

S tedni se je pojsteljica umaknila višje. Medtem sem se pripravljala na porod, kakor sem vedla in znala. Vadila sem yogo, izvajala položaje, da bi se otroček postavil v ustrezen položaj, poslušala sem hipnozo, ki mi je zelo pomagala, da se umirim. Čisto sem si predstavljala kako bo poroditi otročka. Okrog 35 tedna je bil na ultrazvoku ocenjen, da je velik; mogoče celo večji kot moja prva. Nisem ravno verjela, kako lahko pridobi skoraj kilogram v dveh tednih? Izvidi krvnega sladkorja so bili vedno vredu. Začela sem še bolj paziti na prehrano in moja teža se je celo zmanjšala in ostala ista do konca. Zato sem bila prepričana, da ne bi smel biti kaj veliko večji kot 4 kg.

V 37 tednu sem imela občutek, da se telo pripravlja na porod. V 38 tednu se je odluščil sluznični čep in začeli so se neredni "pripravljalni" popadki, predvsem zvečer. Zato sem vsak večer pričakovala, da bomo ponoči imeli akcijo. Noben babiški trik mi ni pomagal. Njegove brce so postajale močnejše iz tedna v teden. Občutek sem imela, kot da hoče priti ven skozi trebuh. Začela sem dvomiti, "mogoče je pa res velik".

V 39. tednu smo bili dogovorjeni za indukcijo. Bila sem mirna in zaupala ekipi. Otrok bo rojen danes, na takšen ali drugačen način. Po nekaj urah se je ustje odprlo do 5 cm, vendar se glava ni spuščala v porodni kanal. Moja želja po VBAC se je spremenila v drugi carski rez. Tokrat sem bila mirna. Vedela sem, da sem probala vse kar sem lahko. Na nekatere stvari nimamo vpliva. Vse je potekalo hitreje kot prvič, nisem čutila nobenih vlekov, samo veliko olajšanje ko se je porodil preko trebušne stene. In sem ga videla, takega kot sem ga sanjala, nekaj tednov nazaj. Položili so mi ga na trebuh ko so čakali, da popkovnica neha utripati. To mi je bilo všeč, saj prvič ni bilo tako. Nato so ga prinesli do mojega lica za par trenutkov. Ko so ga stehtali smo bili vsi presenečeni... 4900g... Samo zmajala sem z glavo, "kako?". Rodil se je dva tedna prej kot moja prva, pa je bil težji za 600g. Imam res gostoljubno maternico. 

Tokrat je bil z mano ves čas, razen prvo noč, ko sem potrebovala čas, da sebe spravim na noge. Prvo vstajanje je bilo nekje 6 ur od carskega reza. Vsi so bili presenečeni nad njegovo težo, ampak meni je deloval majhen. Manjši kot moja prva. Ni deloval debelo, ampak močno grajeno... in je zelo močen. Čeprav vem, da sem naredila vse kar sem vedela in znala, sem se še vseeno spraševala kako lahko nekatere ženske rodijo še večje otroke, in jaz ne?

To sta moji porodni zgodbi, podobni, vendar različni. Vem, da večina žensk doživi carski rez brez večjih težav, ampak nekatere gremo skozi občutke krivde in neuspeha. Ampak vsi delamo po najboljših močeh za naše otroke. Ni važno kako so nam naši otroci izročeni, so naši in iz nas naredijo matere. Nismo izbrale "lažje poti ven", kot nekateri verjamejo. 

Mogoče moramo gledati na porod kot je, in kot je vedno bil, nepredvidljiv dogodek. Mogoče smo narisali prelepo sliko "naravnih" porodov. Tudi če so naravni, kdo je rekel, da narava ni včasih kruta. Potrebujemo babice in porodničarje v sodelovanju. Mogoče se ob pripravi na porod osredotočamo samo na to kako bi moralo potekati, ne govorimo pa o težavah in ukrepih, ki se lahko pojavijo. Enako delamo z dojenjem. Ko imaš težave pri dojenju, nimaš nikogar v zdravstvenem sistemu, ki bi ti res pomagal, bolj si prepuščen sam sebi.

Porod je začetek nove zgodbe. Dragoceno majhno bitjece nam je bilo zaupano v skrb, in prehitro odrastejo pred našimi očmi. Ne glede na to kako so prišli na svet. Občuti svoja čustva, daj si čas, predelaj, govori in crkljaj svojega dojenčka. 

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Blog: This wasn't what I expected

You remember your pregnancy and especially your childbirth for the rest of your life. You think you're prepared, you read, you practice, you exercise, you breathe, you drink raspberry leaf tea, you watch natural births... And you get a birth plan in your mind of how it's gonna be.


I'm a midwife by profession, but don't work in the delivery room. I've always wondered how birth will be. I loved reading Ina May Gaskins' books, I've heard all about how it should be, what you can do to manage the pain, to move around so the baby gets into the best optimal position. I've been fascinated by the ability of our bodies to make, build, nurture a new life in just nine months. I know stories on the inside. And never did it crossed my mind that maybe not everything will go as imagined.

My first pregnancy was pretty much straight forward. I had nausea for eleven weeks and I ended gaining too much weight. The doctor said that the baby's abdomen is bigger that the head, but nothing to be worried about, the estimated weight at that time was around 3.5kg. On my due date I lost mucus plug. I danced happily because I remember we were taught that's the first sign the labour is near. That was on Saturday. By Tuesday still nothing. The baby was lively and she burst the amniotic sac, but I didn't feel any real water breaking. Thursday, still nothing. They only checked by ultrasound if there is enough amniotic fluid. There was enough. Saturday. Still no baby. I asked if they could please check me. I was 3cm dilated, and the amniotic fluid was leaking out a bit. No contractions. They checked me into the delivery room, did the amniotomy, but still no contractions. We did hypnosis and jump started the contractions. But I wasn't opening up. They put me on Synto cocktail, but I wasn't progressing and the amniotic fluid turned green. The baby pooped meconium, which means she was under stress.

Only then did it hit me: "They are going to do a cesarean section." They rolled me into the operating room, I was crying and shaking, couldn't calm myself. This wasn't what I was expecting. Never did it even cross my mind. I just closed my eyes and breathed. I felt tugging in my abdomen, felt like I was laying in the sea, motionless. And then I felt as the weight had been lifted from my abdomen, and next thing I know, I saw her, crying, with a head full of black hair. She was at my cheek for a few moments and she started sucking on it. They weighted her and were in for a big surprise, 4300 g big.


She was with me for a few hours then they took her away for the night (and the morning, I saw her after lunch the next day). I was shaking uncontrollably, due to all the hormones and drugs, my skin was itching. I was left to "sleep", but I barely closed my eyes. I heard my baby crying one floor higher and I was laying there in bed, unable to do anything. That hurt the most. I was laying in bed the whole night. And in the morning they got me out of bed. I was laying in the same position for 15 hours. The getting up hurt like hell, I thought the wound would burst open. So they gave me more drugs and waited a bit. Next try was much easier.

I always thought I knew everything about breastfeeding and that it will flow nicely. But there were problems there as well, and I was combining breast milk and formula, until she finally accepted food. It's harder to start breastfeeding after a C-section, especially if the baby is big, because it demands more milk.


I was processing this experience for months. Couldn't find any real solace. Yes, I had a healthy baby, but I felt robbed, I felt like a failure, like I failed as a mother, like I didn't try enough, like I should've done something differently, like I didn't give birth the baby was cut out of me, I was crying a lot... I couldn't get over this "C-section guilt". It also hurt to see that some people can't say that I gave birth, I had a CS, and that's it. Like there are two ways to get the baby out, and mine wasn't birthed. Women have been birthing since the dawn of time (so to speak), but I failed at one thing our bodies were set out to do. Without a C section, my baby and I, might not have survived.

At that time I was determined that the next baby will be born via VBAC, no doubt about it. During my second pregnancy I had a scare at 24 weeks, I started to bleed, and it turned out I had a low lying placenta (and also long) and had to watch myself and rest more. The baby was growing nicely. I lived in fear for some time afterwards, but I trusted that everything will turn out ok, and even if I gave birth prematurely, he'd make it, since his growth was really good.


Meanwhile I was preparing for labour the best way I knew how. I was doing yoga, I was doing exercises so the baby would be in the best possible position, I listened to hypnosis and it really helped me to stay calm and I imagined how the baby will be birthed out. At 35 weeks he started measuring big. Estimated even bigger than my first. But I couldn't believe it. How could he gain almost a kilo in two weeks?! My glucose level was always alright. I started to really watch my diet and I even lost a kilo. I didn't gain any weight in the last month. At 37 weeks I felt like my body was getting ready to give birth. At around 38 weeks I started to lose mucus plug and had irregular contractions, especially at night, so every evening I was expecting to go into labour. No midwifery trick helped though. His kicks were getting stronger by the week, sometimes it felt like he wanted to come out through my abdomen somehow. I started to doubt myself, maybe he really is big.

At 39 weeks I was up for an induction. I felt really calm and trusted the team completely. I opened up to 5 cm, but the head wasn't descending into the birth canal. My wish for a VBAC turned into a second C-section. I was much calmer though, I knew I did everything I possibly could. Some things are just out of my control. The operation was much faster than the first and I didn't feel any tugging, only a big relief when he was birthed out of my abdomen. And I saw him, just as I dreamt him a few weeks ago, perfect. I got to kiss him and he was at my cheek for a few moments. They weighted him... 4900 g... I couldn't believe it. He was born two weeks before my first was and was heavier by 600 g. Talk about a hospitable uterus.

This time around he was with me from the moment I was rolled out of the operation, they only took him the first night. He seemed small to me. Smaller than my first, he didn't look fat, just very well build... And he IS really strong. Despite knowing I've done all I could, I kept asking myself, how do some women give birth to even larger babies, and I can't?

These are my two birthing experiences, similar, yet very different. I know most women might go through C-section just fine, but for some of us, we feel like a failure and go through C-section guilt. But we all do our best we know how, for our children. No matter how our babies are handed to us, they are ours and they make us mothers. We did not take the "easy way out", as some believe.

Maybe we should take birth as it is, and always has been, an unpredictable story. Maybe we painted the picutre of natural births too brightly. Even if they are natural, who is to say, that nature isn't sometimes cruel. We need midwives, and we need obstetricians to work with one another.

Birth is the beginning of a new story. A precious little being was entrusted to us, to nurture, and they grow up too fast, right before our eyes. No matter HOW they entered this world. Feel the emotions, process, talk, and cuddle that baby.

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Poem: Call to life


Call to life

. . .

it seems ridiculous to count the time

when no matter how much time passes

it still feels like some people never left

holding the same essence of home

within your heart

 

now I know we're not the same people

as we were when we went into this storm

heavy darkness filled our lungs, questioning our minds

the world isn't what is seems

it won't always be this way

 

but I recall a time when we were free,

when no challenge was too big,

nothing could break our spirits

when we could stand and fall together

what do we worship now?

 

do we ever question what we had?

and for what did we exchange it?

maybe in another life we could

meet and have it all

maybe in some other world we do

 

where have we hidden the key

to the cage where our hearts are locked in?

are we but shadows roaming these streets?

love is nothing but a word we fool ourselves we know

until we honestly look ourselves in the mirror

 

Love is all there is, the only magic you need

it starts within you and if you water it, it grows

let your heart be vulnerable, it's stronger than you think

let yourself feel the feelings and don't close the doors

we were born and we will die, in between we're alive

 

you’re here to find out what that means for you

and life is calling you home

 

© Natašek