Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Birth announcement and story (and pictures!)

We are thrilled to announce the safe arrival of Peter László Anderson!

Peter was born last Monday, January 15th, at 10:11 p.m. weighing 8 lbs 1 oz and measuring 21 inches. 


Birth story below. Please do not read on if blood and guts make you queasy.





Last picture of 'only' 9 kids - on a field trip to the Phoenix Zoo one week before Peter was born. 


As is usual for me, I started having contractions off and on for about one week before actually giving birth. Sometimes they would be as close as every 2 minutes, sometimes as far apart as an hour. They were not painful contractions, just an uncomfortable tightening of the uterus.
Thursday the week before (4 days before giving birth), I had lost my mucous plug. This is typically not any kind of indication of when labor will start. I had never lost mine before being in active labor except with Chloe, who was born several days later, so I knew not to interpret this as a sign that labor was imminent. 

Monday morning, I was running some last minute errands with the kids, but the contractions were starting to become a bit uncomfortable so I relied on Solomon to do most of the driving. In the afternoon, I had an appointment with my chiropractor at 2 p.m., which I asked my husband to drive me to. 

After we were done at the chiropractor, we stopped at the grocery store on the way home. We were trying to decide whether it was time to alert grandma that things might be getting serious. She was ready to fly out our way at a moment's notice. I thought it was still too early to call. 

We got back home around 3 p.m., at which point I had Isaac help me bake a double batch of lactation cookies, while I got dinner going and did some housework. All this time, contractions were coming regularly every 3 minutes, and definitely getting more uncomfortable. 

By 4 o'clock, I knew this was probably the real deal. My mother-in-law was on her way by plane from California, I had notified my midwife, and Isaac was starting to hook up the plumbing to fill the birth pool while my husband took some of the younger kids out of the house. 

My midwife and her assistants arrived shortly after 5 o'clock, as did my husband. They were all busy setting up the pool and birth kit supplies, while I continued to have contractions every 3 minutes. The older kids were watching the younger ones in the backyard to keep their interruptions to a minimum. Little people don't care if mom is in labor, they still expect to eat dinner!

Once everything was ready and set up, my midwife wanted to check my cervix for dilation, and more importantly, the baby for its position. At every appointment up until then, the baby had been very high up in the pelvis (-5 station or higher), which is not uncommon prior to labor for a mom of many. By now, baby was supposed to have 'dropped' into the pelvis, as well as turn toward the spine, head down (as opposed to being 'sunny side up' and/or breech). 

The good news was that I had already dilated to 7 cm, with really not too much discomfort up to that point. However, baby was still floating very high up. Not only that, but the head seemed to be somewhat off to the side, with something small presenting first - maybe a hand, possibly a foot if the head actually turned out to be the buttocks instead. 

We spent some time trying to maneuver baby into a better position, all the while I was having contractions every 2-3 minutes and in transition. Before very long, I was fully dilated, with baby's exact position still a slight enigma - including the possibility of footling breech. Baby was so high up it was simply impossible to tell from the internal exam which part was presenting first, because nothing was within reach. I did not think baby was breech because he had been head down at the last ultrasound a few weeks earlier and I would have noticed him flipping completely around, but of course I could not be sure. Even so, head off to the side and presenting arm first is not a safe position for birth, either. Being fully dilated, there was also a real chance that my water could break at any moment, and with baby so high up in the uterus, that could lead to either a prolapsed cord (extremely dangerous, emergency transfer necessary), or to baby descending into the pelvis suddenly and becoming engaged in whatever compromised position it was presenting in. 

In any case, dangers aside, I knew I would be stuck in transition (THE most painful part of labor) for hours more. I had experienced a prolonged transition during my last birth with Chloe (she had both hands up by her face), and still felt somewhat traumatized from that. Before that, Isaac had also taken a long time to be born once I was fully dilated (he had a short cord that took a long time to stretch long enough to allow birth). I was not mentally prepared to go through with that kind of pain while also facing the added danger of baby being in a possibly compromised position. 

My midwife left the decision to transfer to the hospital up to me. As much as I wanted to be at the hospital if I could snap my fingers and be there in an instant, I absolutely DREADED the thought of getting into the car and going bumping down the road while fully dilated and having contractions every two minutes. Still, I felt that all things considered, it was the best option, so around 7 p.m. my husband, midwife, and I loaded into the van and headed to the hospital, while her assistants followed in the car behind. 

My husband had taken out one of the seats and put a blanket on the floor instead, as well as loaded my birth ball. During each contraction, I would lean over the ball to "roll" with it, while clutching on to the seatbelts in a sort of tug-of-war. Since this was not an emergency transfer, we did not go to the nearest hospital, but rather the best, where my midwife knows the doctors and they are happy to work with her. If baby turned out to be breech, this was the most likely hospital in the area to allow me to attempt a natural delivery. My midwife called ahead to let them know we were en route and why. The little kids had been put to bed for the night, the teens were babysitting, and grandma was on her way to the house from the airport.

After a bumpy 20 minutes which seemed like an eternity in a terrible carnival ride to me, we pulled up at OB triage. I managed to get into a wheelchair which a random Good Samaritan rolled into the hospital for my midwife, while my husband parked the van. Being fully dilated, we were rushed to labor and delivery in no time flat, and quickly hooked up to ultrasound which - big relief - confirmed baby was head down. The bumpy ride really seemed to have improved baby's position, as he was now much more centered rather than head off to the side, though still very high. 

A resident OB was put in charge of my care. She was super nice, as were all the staff. They were shocked to find out that this home-birth transfer, mother of ten, all-natural labors was demanding an epidural, STAT. Transition is no joke! If I was going to be at the hospital, I might as well take full advantage of their amenities.

They put in the IV, moved me to a delivery room, and paged the anesthesiologist as soon as they had administered the required amount of saline solution. She came and chatted with me in German while doing a quick, easy, and perfect job with the epidural. Thankfully, I did not see the needle that she used, or it might have freaked me out. 

By about 8 p.m., I was settled in, and the epidural was working its magic. I'm not going to lie, I enjoyed every bit of that! I could still feel every part of my body. My feet were tingly, while everything upward of my feet was somewhat numb, but only to pain. I could still feel the contractions, I could still move my legs as usual, but only the worst 10-15 seconds of each contraction were actually still painful (though manageable). Being able to relax between contractions allowed my body the break it needed to eventually push baby down. The only people in the room with me were my husband, my midwife, her assistants, and my labor and delivery nurse from the hospital. The lights were dimmed and we all hung out while waiting for baby to make his entrance. Everyone else was also having dinner at this time, but I did not feel like eating.

Everyone expected baby to be born before 9 p.m. When 9:30 rolled around and baby was still up high and floating, my waters still intact, the labor and delivery nurse suggested I should start pushing to bring baby down. We all thought the big hangup was my bag of waters still being intact, but neither her nor my midwife thought it wise to break it on purpose and risk a cord prolapse or baby getting wedged. 

I pushed through the next several contractions, and on the fifth or sixth one, my midwife had me pull on a shawl she held in front of me while I pushed, like a tug-of-war. This did the trick - baby dropped into the pelvis, my water exploded, and with the next contraction baby's head was crowing. The nurse paged 'my' OB, as well as two others working on the floor at that time, but all were busy delivering other babies at that very moment. Before any of them could make it into the room, I pushed once, felt the head be born, pushed once more as baby rotated one way to free one shoulder, rotated the other way to free the other shoulder, and slipped all the way out. It was 10:11 p.m. The nurse immediately put baby on my belly, where I picked him up and checked to see if we had a little boy or girl - BOY!



The lights were still dim, the "stage lights" above the bed were off, the bed had not been taken apart at the lower end to make easier access for the OB. I was not even in a hospital gown but just my regular clothes - it was literally every bit like giving birth at home in my own bed, except for the convenient part about the epidural - ha!

After several minutes, the OB came in in a hurry and grabbed her gloves, before discovering that baby was in my arms already. She was a bit disappointed to have missed the birth, but genuinely happy for us. She checked my uterus and helped deliver the placenta, before leaving me once again in the care of the L&D nurse and my midwives. 

Before the birth, the only thing I had requested was to be administered pitocin after birth due to my tendency to bleed heavily after birth. Even though the bleeding this time was normal if not minimal, I still went ahead with the pitocin as a precaution. We had also requested delayed cord clamping, no vitamin K, eye drops, vaccines, or meds for baby, and immediate skin-to-skin contact. All of our wishes were respectfully carried out. In fact, an hour after being born, I pretty much had to insist the nurse take the baby to the warmer next to the bed to weigh him and do the newborn assessment, or I might never have found out how much he weighed.



Even though I felt ready to go home, and the OB would have discharged me AMA, the hospital did not have a pediatrician on call at that hour to discharge baby Peter. I did not mind staying overnight, and was transferred to the postpartum floor around midnight. By this point, I had already sent my husband, who was still getting over a bad cold/cough, home to sleep - I wasn't going to insist he sleep at the hospital when I was just going to be asleep myself. I had also sent my midwife team home about an hour after the birth.

My night nurse on the postpartum floor was just as nice as all the others had been. At my request, she turned off all the lights in the room, blocked off the lights from the hallway, and let me sleep all night without interruption. She didn't even bat an eye at me having the baby sleep in bed next to me, which I knew to be against hospital policy.

The next morning, Tuesday, my husband arrived early with breakfast from Panera. His mom was home with the rest of the kids. We were just waiting on the pediatrician to clear baby Peter for discharge, which took until almost 1 p.m. as she was making her rounds. The day nurse was a sweet lady who kept us entertained, plus we had a number of other specialists stop by - a lactation consultant (who confirmed NO tongue-tie), a newborn hearing screening (done with baby asleep on me - so sweet!), the lady who filed the paperwork for birth certificate and SSN, my husband went to billing and paid the hospital bill, etc. - it was a busy morning.




The pediatrician was the first and only staff we encountered during our entire stay who tried to foist conventional medicine on us wholesale. She was telling us that baby might die within the week from a brain bleed if we did not give him vitamin K, but even if he survived, he would be at risk of dying again between weeks 4 to 6. We just smiled and nodded, but shook our heads on the inside. She remarked how great Peter's color was, with no signs of jaundice. I told her that we always delayed cord clamping and that none of our kids ever got jaundiced, and she actually said, "Wow, in spite of the delayed clamping, they didn't get jaundiced?" Thankfully, neither me nor my husband laughed out loud at that statement. She finally, reluctantly, signed Peter out for early discharge (the minimum is 24 hours) after checking him over every which way and warning us of the grave dangers to watch out for since we also declined the PKU screening (more dead baby scenarios).



Chloe thinks only she should be allowed to hold Petey



We arrived home shortly after 1 p.m. on Tuesday. The kids were thrilled and clamoring for a chance to hold Peter. He has been a hot commodity ever since! It's all I can do to keep them from holding him 24/7. Peter is very mellow and content. He eats every few hours, and is content to sleep in between meals.





My recovery is going well. I have never bled so little after giving birth. One week after giving birth, I was already 2 lbs below my pre-pregnancy weight, in spite of Peter being our second biggest baby ever (John was 8 lbs 3 oz). For the first time ever, I am back into wearing my non-maternity clothes the day after giving birth!! This has never happened! 

Peter is only the second of our ten children that does not have a tongue-tie, a huge relief as it makes breastfeeding easier now and saves much trouble later. I believe this is a direct result of me making every effort to avoid all synthetic B vitamins, most notably folic acid, for months prior to becoming pregnant as well as during pregnancy, and instead focusing on getting lots of folate from natural food sources instead. While folic acid is safe for many people, those who cannot metabolize it actually become B vitamin deficient if they consume it. I believe this also played a huge role in my lack of morning sickness this time around (more on that here). 

Thank you to all who prayed for a safe, speedy, and easy delivery - we were blessed with all of the above!




 


 

 



54 comments:

  1. Love, Love, Love, I am so glad the hospital stay was pleasant I hated to have a hospital birth after homebirths.....but I think that the hospital staff has really calmed down on their fear tactics in the last 10 years...especially when its your 10th baby! Congrats! Chloe is such a doll baby and Peter is so sweet!

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  2. Awww, I've been patiently waiting to read this!! What a wonderful birth story! I can't imagine how strong you had to be for that 20 minute ride... Peter is absolutely beautiful! Praise the Lord and Congratulations!!!

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  3. Thank you so much for your labor and delivery story. I always learn a lot from your posts. I'm going to look into the delayed clamping and see what that is all about. My first baby (only baby at this time) had jaundice and we had a big problem with the dr' s and pediatricians.

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  4. I was a hospital transfer from a birthing center because of a Frank breach baby. Delivered naturally thankfully, to everyone's surprise as she was my first (and seems to be my last as she is almost 7, and we have never conceved again.)

    My hospital experience was not as welcoming as yours unfortunately but we had a great night nurse that really helped with breast feeding.

    Glad to hear that you and baby are doing well.

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  5. Congratulations!!! What a story! I love reading birth stories! I am 34 weeks pregnant with our second (living) child and feeling a little overwhelmed looking forward to labor. "No, thank you. I can keep the baby right here. Inside." With our first son I felt the same way, but his labor and delivery went very smoothly and was much easier than I expected. I kept telling the midwife that I wasn't ready for them to come yet. When they finally showed up I was fully dilated and was told to push when I felt like it.
    Thank you for sharing your birth story! Reading birth stories really help me prepare mentally for my own labor. Peter is precious! Thank you for sharing pictures of your new little boy!

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  6. I'm glad the hospital respected your wishes. He is adorable. Congratulations to you and your family

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  7. Congratulations!!
    What a handsome wee man!

    I'm so glad your hospital delivery was a good one and your were surrounded by understanding.


    The pictures of Chloe and her new baby brother are just precious!
    All the photos are sweet but there is just something about those ones.


    Thank you for sharing your birth story.

    Blessings,
    Elizabeth.

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  8. He's so cute! Congratulations! Your story is such a good example of how midwifery and homebirth work. You had competent midwives , who knew when the care they could give you was out of their realm. People tend to think all women that homebirth and their midwives are careless. Generally speaking homebirth is safe and everything goes well for many women but their are times when medical assistance is needed. So glad everything went well for you both.

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  9. Muchas felicidades zsuzsanna desde España!leo tu blog hace muchos años y me gusta mucho ver como crece tu hermosa familia. Un beso enorme al recién llegado

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  10. He is so perfect!! Congratulations!!! You so very incredibly blessed!

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  11. Congrats!!! So happy for your sweet blessing!!. like another commentator shared thanks so much for sharing your story. It helps me prepare for my first boy due in April!! We are going to do delayed clamping as well i'm glad you had success with it. solidifies my choice lol. Enjoy every new fresh baby second Momma you deserve it!

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  12. What a beautiful birth story! A hospital transfer is always mildly traumatic so forgive me for thinking it's great that you got to experience an epidural at least once! I had my 5 babies at home and always wondered what it would feel like. In our homebirth advocacy circles, it's important to maintain some common sense about the epidural which is a great option in cases of prolonged labor or foetus positioning issues. My friend recently delivered her first baby breech in hospital and had to push for several hours, but it was completely doable with the epidural. Save the C-sections for life or death emergencies!

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  13. What a lovely story! And what adventures you had!! Congrats on getting through all of that - I'm so glad all went well. And I'm super-glad to hear that you guys drove to get to the better hospital - it's totally worth it, and that specific item is always in my birth plan!! (That is, in non-emergency transfers, to take the time to drive to the better choice.)

    Peter is beautiful, and that picture with Chloe holding him is priceless!

    Congratulations!!!
    Diana J.

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  14. All 4 of my kids have had tongue ties (my husband has one too). Not sure if its related, but they all have innocent heart murmurs too! Can you direct me on how to go about getting folate naturally (which foods)...and do you take any good quality supplements when pregnant?

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  15. Beautiful pics! I have loved all of my hospital births. There are good ones still out there! I love your birth stories...well I love ALL birth stories. 😋Go snuggle that baby!
    ~Cassandra

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  16. My what a beautiful baby! I love that Miriam is wearing her baby ktan, she will make a great mother!

    Praise God for your safe delivery and healthy baby.

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  17. What's the difference between an epidural and vitamin K in terms of conventionality of medicine? Both are conventional, both were optional. Why do you put Peter on his stomach? I just don't get how one thing (epidural are dangerous) is right and the other wrong. Is vitamin K dangerous? Sorry, but I really don't understand the difference....and putting a baby to sleep on his stomach has been proven to be the main cause of got death....

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    1. Vit K and epidurals are conventional services labor and delivery wards offer, but Vit K and epidurals do not contain the same ingredients, nor do they do the same thing in the body.

      I believe the author of the blog chose an epidural after weighing the risks and benefits to her labor. Her labors are long and this labor would likely be extremely painful as the baby was not in optimal position, ouch! Being in intense pain during labor can actually stall labor, there could be risks to baby with a drawn out, painful labor. An epidural is a combination (usually) of numbing drugs, and pain killing drugs. It is injected into the membrane surrounding the spinal cord via a catheter. It is not entering the blood stream, the baby is not receiving the drugs from an epidural.

      The Vitamin K shot directly enters the blood stream of the newborn. It does have risks to the infant. The Mayo Clinic, a well respected conventional source, lists possible side effects as: trouble breathing, tightness in chest, swelling of eyes/lips/nose, light headedness, difficulty in swallowing, fast or irregular breathing, fainting, rash. Vitamin K is not the only ingredient in the vitamin K shot. Some other ingredients include- hydrochloric acid, benzyl alcohol, phenol...etc. An infant's liver is not working well the first few days after birth, it may not be able to process this excessive amount of vitamin K. The vitamin K shot is given to infants to prevent a child with a very rare condition (1 in 10,000 I believe), from having a brain bleed should they be in a rare and tragic accident, like a horrible car wreck. Apparently, some scientist are concerned about the link of the synthetic K to childhood cancer.

      I am not implying one should choose any treatment, or deny any treatment, I am no doctor. I am simply pointing out that there is a big difference in choosing one service over the other. Epidural for mother is very different than a Vitamin K injection for an infant.

      As for putting the baby to sleep on his stomach...SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is not so named because they know the cause, it's because they still don't know. Before the "Back to Sleep" campaign, the death rate of SIDS in the USA was about 1 in 1,000, and after the campaign, it dropped to .52 in 1,000. A half of a percent. I am glad it has decreased, wonderful, but this does not prove that stomach sleeping causes SIDS, a very rare and not well understood condition.

      Some believe that toxic off gassing from baby mattresses may cause SIDS, but the author of this blog uses organic bedding, I think wool or organic cotton. It is not a fire retardant laden mattress that the baby is pictured on. Her bedding would not be off-gassing. NASA and the Wolverton Environmental Institute have interesting research on the affects of off-gassing in our living spaces, you can search for it.

      It is obvious that the child is pretty much being monitored 24/7 by many people. This baby is not being left alone for hours in a crib on its belly. It is a breastfed baby who is kept by it's mother's side most hours of the day and night.

      The American Academy of Pediatrics has a publication online about what they recommend to avoid a sleep death of an infant. Baby Peter is not overheated, not sleeping with toys or other foreign objects, is not exposed to cigarette smoke, does not have a mother or father who is consuming alcohol or elicit drugs. The mother is following guidelines such as: breastfeeding, laying baby to sleep on a firm mattress intended for infants, sleeping in the same room as the parents for the first months of life. No, stomach sleeping has not been proven to be the main cause of SIDS...the AAP believes there could be a correlation. If being on their belly caused SIDS, why would the AAP also recommend babies get several 15 minute sessions a day of tummy time? The AAP does concede that babies sleep better on their stomachs. They do not startle easily on their stomachs, and feel safe and secure.

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    2. ^^^ What anon said. Perfect, thank you!

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  18. Thank you, Mrs. Anderson, for sharing your birth story! Congratulations on your handsome new little man, you must be so proud. I'm so glad your birth went well and you enjoyed it and were respected. This podcast about "Women Who've Birthed Many Babies" made me think of you.

    https://www.indiebirth.org/serving-women-whove-birthed-many-babies-dispelling-myths/

    I think you will find it interesting. If you skip to 17:50 she talks about how labours and births can be very different for women who have birthed several babies.

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  19. I teared up! Congratulations. My first daughter was an attempted home birth turned hospital transer and I got an epidural with her too. You're right about how you just think, well I'm at the hospital anyway! Might as well be comfortable!

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  20. Congrats Andersons! LOL @ Chole facials haha too cute!!

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  21. Congratulations to the whole family!: ) God's blessings to all of you always! <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3

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  22. Congratulations. God hath richly blessed thee with an abundance of children. Praise God. Best of everything to you all.

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  23. Wonderful Blessings!!!
    Praise GOD!!!

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  24. The bible clearly states that women are meant to feel pain during labor. Epidurals are not acceptable according to God.

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    1. Yup, I love that verse in the Bible that says "Thou shalt feel pain in labor, and punk you best not try to comfort yourself." Also, the verse that coincides: Adams curse "The ground will be cursed, food will now require much work, so you might as well not work and starve!" ...

      I understand how one may dislike the author of this blog, but to spout nonsense does not help your argument, it likely just turns your opposition even more against your view.

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    2. Anon @ 5:53

      Excuse me, but, you weren't the one going through labor here. She has birthed 10 children here. It bothers me when people guilt induce women over how they give birth, especially postpartum women, who are already feeling emotional. Please be sensitive to others. Congratulations Anderson family on another beautiful baby. He is precious

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    3. There is no way to avoid labor pain unless you have a planned c-section, which is a whole other kind of pain afterwards. One must be in full fledged labor before they give you an epidural which is usually about 24 to 48 LONG hours after labor has started. Bless you, Mrs. Anderson, and bless that new little one. What a cutie!

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    4. Oh come on. I disagree with 90 percent of the Anderson’s beliefs but enjoy reading about their large family. That is literally the dumbest thing I have ever heard. You think she should suffer for no reason? I really think God has bigger things to worry about than an epidural.

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    5. It is not about whether I like the author of this post. It's about preaching the WHOLE Bible, which is the word of God.
      Women who have epidurals circumvent God's punishment for original sin. Just saying it like it is,not my words.

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    6. Dear anon and Jennifer du Toit,

      Let me assure you that I still felt plenty of pain during labor. Not to mention the fact that I have gone through it nine other times before, more than most women likely including yourself have. Also not to mention months of nausea I have endured with most of my pregnancies.

      Yup, I think I'm covered on the "in sorrow shalt thou bring forth" part.

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  25. Congratulations Mrs. Anderson May God bless your growing family!! I have a question. How did you opt out of vaccinations and newborn screening in the hospital? I’m currently 33 weeks pregnant of my 4th baby and I was told vaccines and newborn screenings are mandatory in the hospital otherwise your child will not be released from the hospital. I really don’t want my newborn to have any vaccinations or screenings, I do not find them necessary. I’m not sure if this is a law in my state or if they are just trying to scare me into doing what they say. If you could please give me some advice I’d greatly appreciate it! Have a blessed day!

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    1. I just told the staff I didn't want any of those things, and they marked my records accordingly, as well as the patient board in the room. That's it. They were not pushy about it, neither did they try to foist anything on the baby behind my back. I have found that even the most pro-vaccine, pro-intervention medical personnel are courteous and respectful when treated politely. I am not there to re-educate them on the evils of xyz intervention. They do their thing, I do mine, and everyone is happy.

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    2. Some states do not respect a parents right to make decisions for their child. They have made certain shots or screenings legally mandatory. Some states have an opt out process. Others will have CPS take your baby to get the stuff done. AZ allows a parent to make the decision.

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  26. Another beautiful birth story from a beautiful mama! I have very fast, very intense and very painful labors. My rule of thumb is that if it goes on for more than 7 hours, I will get an epidural. This might seem short for most women, but I'm talking about hours of excruciating contractions will little to no respite, requiring intense mental focus to overcome. So far I have given birth three times and haven't needed one, but it gives me the willpower to push through the hardest parts (no pun intended ;). Let's just say I watch that clock like a hawk! I'm really glad you had that relief when you needed it most.

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  27. Congratulations!!! He’s so adorable! So glad everything worked out. ❤️

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  28. Does anyone here know anything about "sleep training" and is this something that needs to be done? I have a 13 week old baby and I have been reading online about how my babys sleep with completely change at 4 months and I can kiss sleep goodbye and I need to start sleep training my child, but I am not sure if that is the best thing for my baby, could someone please advise? Thank you, and Congratulations on your new baby!

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    1. Most babies will fall into their own predictable sleep routine by 12 weeks. If you are breastfeeding, don't expect them to sleep through the night until they are weaned, but nighttime feeds usually drop to a couple times per night. I have only had to sleep train one baby (Chloe) who refused to sleep by herself, ever, or to stay asleep unless she was laying on top of me. If your little one is pretty reasonable and predictable, I wouldn't worry about sleep training. If you are at the end of your rope and feel like you are losing your mind because baby never sleeps, you might need to help her through gentle sleep training.

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    2. All three of my babies slept through the night (6-8 hours) by 3 months old, and two of them were exclusively breastfed during that time. I followed many of the principals of Babywise. Not to start an argument about that, because I know that it's as controversial and heated of a topic as vaccines and such, but my babies did just fine. They slept in their own cribs from the start (cosleeping doesn't work for me or my husband) and naturally slept longer during the night because I put them on a eat/wake/sleep routine during the day. One baby was 20 pounds at 5 months old being exclusively nursed and sleeping up to 10 hours during the night at that age. I'm not exaggerating. I did have supply problems with one baby but I can assure you it had nothing to do with Babywise. Don't have time to get into all that right now. But anyway, I would suggest you read Babywise. Read the WHOLE book THOROUGHLY, and don't form an opinion based on someone else's opinion of it. The direction to feed the baby first and foremost if he/she is truly hungry is clearly there. It worked for me, and I would do it again if I were blessed with another baby.

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    3. Like anon said above, there are many moms who have great success sleep training or otherwise scheduling their babies. I say, more power to you! I know some moms get cross-eyed if you even mention schedules, cribs, or bottle feeding, but I'm in favor of whatever works for you and preserved your sanity. If you sleep best with your baby on a schedule and in another room, go for it! Do whatever works best for you and yours. Mom's don't need anything else to feel guilty about.

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  29. Congrats! He's beautiful. You look amazing ��

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  30. Congratulations! He is beautiful.

    That being said, my heart is breaking for you that your husband left you with all these kids & a newborn to go on a trip to Aruba? You deserve so much better, Zsu. You have to know that. Praying for you.

    Your Would-Be Bestie

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    1. Dear Would-Be Bestie,

      I am the one who urged my husband to go on the Jamaica missions trip, which in his case was re-routed to Aruba. I wanted him to go because he was taking Isaac with him. Had he stayed home, Isaac would also have missed out.

      Also, at the time they purchased the flight tickets, we were planning on having my mother-in-law stay at my house and help while they were gone. She became ill while here, and had to go home much earlier than expected, but that was not how it had been planned or intended. Yes, my husband could have come home instead of continuing to Aruba, but I did not want that for Isaac's sake who had spent much of his hard-earned money to go on this trip.

      You only seen one tiny part of our life through the internet. You should not jump to false assumptions. I am happy and well cared for. My life is a cake walk compared to most.

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  31. Great story; thanks for sharing it!!! He's so cute and I'm so happy for you guys

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  32. That is one hundred percent false no hospital can force you to vaccinate your baby or perform any screenings. You may have to sign a paper to opt out of Hep B shot given on day of birth, and listen to some lengthy grandstanding and scare tactics, but absolutely nothing will be done unless you ageee. I live in Washington State and the hospital where I have delivered 3 children in does not have a “nursery” you deliver your baby and it’s you responsibility from them on out. Rooms in with you. I’d be wary of letting a baby out of my sight if that is not the case where you live!

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    1. I live in Washington State too and while there was a nursery in the hospitals I delivered at with my daughter (my kids are 25 and 19 - my daughter is the youngest) it was only for babies with issues that were not serious enough for the NICU. Other than right after birth when my daughter slept in the warming bed, both my babies slept in the bed with me after birth and were my responsibility until we checked out. I changed all the diapers, nursed them, etc. They had their hair washed, were weighed, measured, and checked out by the doctor right in my room. My daughter got her exam from the pediatrician while sleeping on my chest (it was Christmas eve at 6 in the morning) so we could go home that day. Personally I could not wait to get out of the hospital and get home to sleep in my own bed. ~ Sweet Lilac

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  33. Congratulations!
    I wonder if you could share your views on PKU. You mention declining the testing, did you decline it with your earlier children too? Just curious as to why you don't worry about it.

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  34. Peter is beautiful. Congratulations!!! My first baby was at a minus 1 station even though I was dilated to 9cm. That is when the pain became overwhelming to me and I wanted an epidural. I got one only because baby was still really high - sounds like that is why you got to have one so late too - Yay!!! Got to love those anesthesiologist who give good epidural - mine was similar to yours as it just took the edge off and I could still feel the contractions, move my legs, etc. I was not an experienced mom as you are, but I had a friend in the delivery room with my husband and I who was a great advocate for me. When I asked for the epidural, my husband tried to talk me out of it as it was not our birth plan, and my friend, all five feet of her, leaned across me, grabbed my husband by the front of his shirt and said "she NEEDS an epidural. Long story short, after 90 minutes of pushing where my son would crown, then disappear (I maintain he was holding onto my ribs with his toes). He was delivered by forceps (this was 25 years ago). Thank you for sharing your birth story. Every birth is so very unique. ~ Sweet Lilac

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  35. He a little bit if knowledge can be a dangerous thing, sounds like it's the case here I wonder if epi's will increase now due to this blog �� not a word about trust or leaning not on thine own understanding. great outcome but I do think god had a better way.all the "teams" and so on and so on ,where's the Lord, for women looking to you ,you have set a low bar when it comes to trusting in the lord, that being said I wish you and your family blessings in the future, you have a wonderful family and congratulations!

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  36. You need to update your "about me" section. "I am the wife of a hard-working pastor and a stay-at-home Mom to our nine wonderful kids" is no longer exactly true.

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  37. I am pregnant with my fourth child and am very interested in no vacs for baby. Is there any that you personally deem safe? I've watched a couple sermons on the dangers of vacs and am in the beginning of a documentary. Seems with my other three children there were so many vacs! It's hard to keep track of each one! Thank you

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  38. I’m so behind at commenting! What a beautiful addition to your sweet family. Congratulations!! He’s precious. Love all the pictures. The kids are growing so much. What adventures it looks like y’all partake! Fun memories. Love and miss you all. Hope we meet again one of these days!

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Your KINDLY WORDED, constructive comments are welcome, whether or not they express a differing opinion. All others will be deleted without second thought.