The tremendous Renee Tanabe, currently 23 weeks pregnant, and Rylan (almost 2).
Renee's first pregnancy was the easy. She was able to remain active and it never affected her ability to work or do anything she'd hoped. She savored the moments and was delighted to become a mother but says all of that was marred by her labor and delivery.
Renee was induced 10 days post dates and trusting her providers, she never questioned the decision. In hindsight, she wishes she had waited and pushed off the induction. "For three days I was poked and prodded, monitored constantly, tried every which way of inducing labor including putting me on Pitocin twice since the first time didn't produce consistent or strong enough contractions." Frustrated, tired, and wanting to see her baby she was disappointed in the care she'd been provided. They broke her waters and she began contracting but they wouldn't leave her alone to labor how she'd hoped. She was monitored constantly and eventually an internal monitor was also placed. Renee hadn't wanted pain meds but unable to cope due to her inability to move around she requested an epidural.
"I hated the epidural. It took the edge off so I could sleep but it was so uncomfortable all I did was sleep one hour. I could still feel my water leaking out of me, I could still feel the contractions and have enough mobility to get on my hands and knees but not enough to get out of bed." Finally in the middle of the night, when she was left alone, she began to progress. Renee progressed to 8cm when she felt the urge to push but wasn't allowed to. Finally at 10cms she began pushing but her baby was so stressed that his heartbeat kept dropping.
They wheeled her in for an emergency cesarean but she was made to sit in the hallway for 20 minutes to wait for the surgeon. They placed a spinal block but she could feel them cutting into her the entire time. She screamed and wiggled but was told there was nothing that could be done until Rylan was out.
Rylan was born having a hard time breathing and was rushed to the NICU while Renee was put under general anesthesia. Rylan had to be on IV antibiotics and spend several days in NICU before he was discharged. When he was cleared to come home, Renee's incision opened up and became infected. She spent the next two weeks feeling like she had the flu and had to have her wound packed to prevent it from closing too quickly. "I hated recovering from my c-section, not only the physical part of it but the mental part of it. No one ever talked to me about the possibility of a c-section and how postpartum would look like."
This pregnancy has gone well and Renee has found two supportive midwives who are supportive of her wishes to have a homebirth VBAC. "Most of my family is medical and think that I'm crazy and putting myself in danger but I truly believe that women's bodies are meant for making and birthing babies without the interference we feel necessary today. I'm also hoping that this second birth will bring me healing so that I can stop being angry about Rylan's birth and hospital treatment."
"I wanted to celebrate with something special during this pregnancy. It seems with working full time, running a household, and running after a toddler I feel like I'm not connecting on the same level as I did with my first. Time is flying by and even though I smile and laugh at the little kicks and punches I'm not sitting around watching the belly roll around like I did with Rylan so I wanted to do something extra special to remember this pregnancy."