Monday, January 9, 2012


There are times when my heart breaks all over again. Then, there are times I know I'm strong. I can take it. I know my lone voice in this ocean of noise is heard. And I help someone.

Since the first time I opened up about my loss on a non-stillbirth website, I've had women find me. Some are Angel Moms, some are friends of Angel Moms, and some just want to thank me for my honesty.

It's crazy because I started selfishly. I wanted to meet Angel Moms who weren't constantly on sad websites where new Angel Moms would come in everyday. Don't get me wrong, there was a site that got me through in the beginning. It's just that, when I was ready to move on, they wouldn't let me. Every new Angel Mom broke my heart all over again. It'd take me back to a place I had to move from.

And there were so many of us.

So many broken hearts.

I needed to know that I could move on. That there were women who'd moved on. Not forgotten, just gathered up their broken hearts and carried them as they tried to put together the pieces.

I feel like I've done that. There's some pieces missing, but I've picked up my pieces and I've walked through Hell. In my eyes, it was the only thing I could do.

So for the Angel Moms who've found me, here's what I did in the beginning to get me through. It's not fail-safe. I couldn't be around babies until I had Wombat, not even when I was pregnant, and it hurts to see the children from Moose's Bradley Class. Actually, it breaks my heart to see children I think are close to the age Moose would've been. And sometimes, my heart just breaks.

So back to what I did to get through:
  • My boyfriend (he wasn't my husband at that time) and I told each other all of our "what if..." Like "what if I'd not ran that time right after we found out I was pregnant." By saying them, we'd realize how outlandish some of them really were.
  • We did a bunch of things that we couldn't have done if we had a baby. For us, that meant staying out late, planning a trip (didn't happen since I got laid off shortly after returning to work), planning a wedding, and just enjoying each other.
  • Think about the happy things that happened with Moose. Moose loved listening to the band Rush. I remember going to a doctor's appointment, turning the music up loud because I love Rush, and feeling Moose move around. It was like Moose was playing air guitar, or I guess womb guitar, in there. Rush still makes me smile.
The most important one:
  • Recognize that there is no way that Moose would've wanted his/her legacy to be my pain. If I stayed in misery, Moose's mark on this world would be my pain and I could not allow that.
Since it's been two years, I've decided that part of Moose's legacy should be my voice. I'll give a voice to the Angel Moms who can't speak openly about their loss. I want people to know it happens even if a mom does everything right, but most importantly, I want Angel Moms to know that they can live through it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wombat's Birth Plan

Since a lot of women want to see someone else's birth plan, myself included, I figured I'd share ours. Our RN was amazing because she took the birth plan, read it in front of us, and followed it to a "t." Without her agreement, I would've never been able to have my dream birth.

Also, we had our birth plan approved with our two doctors and two midwives prior to labor. I highly recommend doing this as they knew what we wanted. Plus, we had an RN when we were first admitted who wanted to immediately give me an epidural and was only talked out of it after we showed her our doctor approved birth plan.

So here you go:

McBride and McHusband's Wishes for the Birth of Wombat:

Hi and thanks for being part of our Birth Team. We've taken a 12 week long Bradley Birth Course to prepare us for a natural labor and delivery. McHusband achieved his Coach's Card and will guide McBride through the labor and delivery. Below is our plan and wishes for what we hope the birth to be, some of the bullets are the choices we will make if asked. We wrote it so that, if there are any questions or concerns with the points, we can have an open conversation about them before we are in labor.

·         IV insert only, not hooked up
·         Eat and drink what she wishes: water, ice chips, Gatorade, honey, Gu
·         Able to walk around and change position
·         Shower/Tub
·         Vaginal exams to a minimum, no premature breaking of the membranes or scraping
·         External monitoring only
·         No continuous fetal monitoring unless required by Wombat's condition
·         Please, only monitor 1-2 contractions and not for 20 mins/hr
·         No premature rupture of the water or membranes
·         We would like to exhaust all methods of natural labor stimulation prior to any drugs being administered (nipple stimulation, ankle, etc.)
·         In the case of any drugs being suggested, we will ask for the packet insert for the drugs and would like to discuss the benefits vs risks.
Anesthesia - Pain Medication
·         Please inform the staff not to offer us pain medication at any point during the labor, we will ask if we feel it is necessary
·         We will ask for a second opinion in the event a Cesarean is recommended
·         If a Cesarean is found to be necessary, we would like to request the following:
·         Coach present at ALL times
·         Participate in any discussions
·         Wombat will be breastfed ASAP
·         No screen lowered (McBride reserves the right to change her mind)
·         We will be trying for a VBAC in the future, please take all measures to make the site as strong as possible
·         If Wombat is not in distress, then please give Wombat to McHusband to announce Wombat's gender
·         If Wombat is placed in a nursery, McHusband will accompany Wombat at all times
·         No episiotomy unless for Wombat's safety
·         Rather tear than cut
·         Support the perineum during pushing/crowning and use a warm compress
·         Please help us and give us directions to aide with pushing, allowing the perineum to stretch
·         We would really like McHusband to catch
·         Free to move while pushing
·         Push when the urge to push comes and push to comfort
·         No pulling Wombat's head, please, no forceps
·         I am undecided, but may many to touch Wombat's head as it crowns
Post Delivery
·         Wait until the cord turns white and stops pulsating to clamp
·         McBride will expel the placenta on her own, please no tugging or pulling
·          Hold Wombat right after delivery to breastfeed and to aide in the delivery of the placenta
·         Evaluation delayed until after the first feeding and hope it can be done with Wombat having skin-to-skin contact with McBride
·         We would like to delay the eye medication for one hour to better bond with Wombat
·         Please show us how to do the first bath
·         In case the need arises to separate Wombat from McBride, McHusband will accompany Wombat at all times
·          We prefer skin-to-skin contact over lamps and nursery
Post Partum
·         Breastfeed exclusively, please no bottles, artificial nipples, sugar water, formula, etc.
·         If Wombat is a boy, no circumcision
·         We would like to meet with a Lactation Consultant
·         Auntie Pickles, McBride's sister, will be present for the delivery
·         No separation from Wombat
·         Interns and students may be present at the birth, but should remember this is a natural delivery