Ep 234: Mary Rose’s Birth Story – Overcoming Hyperemesis And A FAST Labor

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Mary Rose’s labor went so fast she wouldn’t have had time for medication if she wanted it. She went from “let’s do this” to “your baby’s here” in only 20 minutes of pushing! After struggling through a violently ill pregnancy, she got the beautiful birth she dreamed of.

Hyperemesis gravidarum made the first 20 or so weeks of Mary Rose’s pregnancy a nightmare.  It’s more than just morning sickness. Hyperemesis refers to extreme nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. She couldn’t keep anything down and eventually had to go for in-person liquid infusions after losing an unsettling amount of weight. But after that phase passed, she was able to have a normal pregnancy and a birth that went more smoothly than she could’ve anticipated.

In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

  • What hyperemesis gravidarum is and how it affected Mary Rose
  • How her care team could have done more to support her condition
  • Whether or not Zofran helped with her nausea and vomiting
  • How infusions helped her feel better
  • Why she chose a doctor who didn’t have the best bedside manner
  • What she expected labor to look like versus what really happened
  • How she used breathwork to cope with her contractions
  • Why she’s grateful to have worked with a doula
  • How quickly she was in and out of the hospital
  • What her experience was like with placenta encapsulation

Links Mentioned in the Episode

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Dr. Nicole (00:00): In this birth story, you're going to hear how having a doula and childbirth education made for an incredibly empowering birth experience despite having severe hyperemesis. Welcome to the All About Pregnancy and birth podcast. I'm Dr. Nicole Calloway, Rankins, a board certified OBGYN, who's been in practice for nearly 15 years. I've had the privilege of helping over 1000 babies into this world, and I'm here to help you be calm, confident, and empowered to have a beautiful pregnancy in birth. Quick note, this podcast is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Check out the full disclaimer at drnicolerankins.com/disclaimer. Now, let's get to it.

(00:57): Hello there. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. This is episode number 234. Whether you're a new listener or a returning listener, I'm so glad you're spending some time with me today. In today's episode, we have Mary Rose. She's a new mom to baby girl Hattie, and she resides in small town Iowa on an acreage with her husband, daughter, three dogs and two cats. She's an attorney by trade and she's learning to navigate work-life balance. Aren't we all? Well, Mary Rose was extremely sick with hyperemesis GraBar that is extreme nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, and she really couldn't keep anything down for about 22 weeks. So you're going to hear about that experience as well as how she ultimately went on to have a great birth experience. She wanted an unmedicated birth and she prepared for that through my online childbirth education class, the birth preparation course, as well as her doula's education.

(01:56): It was actually her husband's idea to get a doula after he went through the module in the birth preparation course with Mary Rose, and they consider that the best decision that they made. Their baby girl was born on her due date, which is also their anniversary, and she had a very fast birth. Her contractions started at 10:00 AM to get regular. She got to the hospital by 11, her water broke, and the baby was born 20 minutes later. So you are going to hear all about that in this episode. Now, before we hop into the episode, I mentioned how Mary Rose and her husband got prepared through the birth preparation course, and you can do the same. It is my online childbirth education class that gets you calm, confident, and empowered to have a beautiful birth in the hospital. You can check out all the details of the birth preparation course and join and get prepared yourself at drnicolerankins.com/enroll. All right, let's get into this birth story with Mary Rose. Thank you so much, Mary Rose for agreeing to come onto the podcast. I am really excited to have you share your story today. Yeah, I'm too. Yeah. So why don't you start off by telling us a bit about yourself and your family? Yeah,

Mary Rose (03:16): So I am an attorney in Iowa. I am married to my husband that is an engineer, and we live in very small town Iowa. Our town's about 1500 people. Oh,

Dr. Nicole (03:29): Wow.

Mary Rose (03:30): Yes, it's very small. We love it though. We love the community. Yes. So we have an acreage with three dogs, two cats, and now our baby daughter.

Dr. Nicole (03:40): I love it. That's nice. That's nice. So in order to understand the birth, we always have to talk about the pregnancy. In your case, we specifically need to talk about you had a terrible time with hyperemesis. So for those of you who don't know, hyperemesis, GraBar is really extreme nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, more than just that regular nausea and vomiting. And so what was that like for you?

Mary Rose (04:05): Yeah, it was very debilitating for me, and I even leading up to trying to conceive, I was reading books. I was listening to podcasts such as your own, and so I felt like I was trying to do as much to be knowledgeable about what pregnancy could be like, but I felt like everything just kind of hit a little bit on hg, and so I really was not at all prepared for what came at me, and unfortunately, I didn't have a super supportive care team based on my symptoms, and I've recently listened to your podcast episode with her foundation, and I know I will be utilizing that resource the second time around because when you're in it, it's so hard to try to advocate for yourself when you're that debilitated.

Dr. Nicole (04:58): Oh my gosh.

Mary Rose (04:59): Yeah. So it was just really early for me. I think my first appointment wasn't until 10 weeks, but I was almost at seven and eight weeks, very nauseous, throwing up a lot, and I think around nine weeks finally, my husband was like, you need to call before this 10 week appointment. You're not going to make it. So just over the phone I was prescribed Zofran. I wasn't really given much direction on how to take it. If I should follow a strict regimen, I am pretty sure it was prescribed as needed, and when I think it was 10 weeks was my first appointment, but I wasn't able to eat or keep things down for about two weeks leading up to that appointment. And so I had lost a lot of weight. I, by my count, had lost 20 pounds by week 12. Oh my gosh. Yeah, it was a lot. It was very bad.

Dr. Nicole (06:03): Oh my gosh.

Mary Rose (06:04): And so I think once I finally shared that information with my care team, they took it a little more seriously, but there were even comments made about, well, nobody else has really needed. I requested, should I be getting Another symptom for me for HG was I couldn't keep down any liquid. So prior to pregnancy, I would drink 80 ounces at least of water a day. I was very good on staying hydrated, so it was so hard for me not to be able to drink anything. I couldn't drink vitamin water or anything. What I found worked for me and what I've heard now looking back, is I could drink fountain, pop the fizz from Fountain Pop, give it to me at a can or a bottle that wouldn't work. I had to go to the gas station every morning, get a huge Sprite, and that's what I could keep down.

(07:02): So I finally requested around week 12, should I be getting infusions, like liquid infusions? I don't feel like I'm staying super hydrated. I was having trouble with my weight. And so they're like, well, we can put it in as needed. Just go whenever you think you might need an infusion. So not super giving me direction on what I should be doing. I ended up going every other day. The place where I was getting infusions, it is the same hospital I gave birth at is 45 minutes away from where we live, my God. And so I'd have to drive 45 minutes in. I loved the nurses at my infusion center. They were great, but by the time I would get there, get the infusion come back home, that was a three hour chunk out of every other day for my symptoms were until 22 weeks. I actually did get relief after 22 weeks, which I know not everybody does, but thankfully for me, I was able to come back to some normalcy after 22 weeks, but it was not fun and just didn't feel like I had a lot of support from my care team. Sure,

Dr. Nicole (08:13): Sure. I'm sorry that happened to you. And then were you just on the Zofran or did they add any other medicines? I

Mary Rose (08:20): Was just on Zofran at one point. I told them I don't think it's doing anything. Then again, I can't remember now, but I don't think I was taking it every four hours or whatever.

Dr. Nicole (08:32): They weren't telling you to do it on a scheduled,

Mary Rose (08:34): And so I told them I don't think it's doing anything. And so there was a different medication they prescribed that I tried for a little bit. I still felt like it wasn't doing anything, but they did also too do Zofran through the IV when I was doing infusions, and that just made me really sleepy and I still had to work. Luckily, I had a very good employer. I can really work at whatever time of day I need to. I can work remotely. So for me, I was like, I don't know how anybody else that doesn't have flexible work schedule could do this.

Dr. Nicole (09:11): Right, right. And how were you feeling mentally through all this?

Mary Rose (09:15): It was a huge mental drain, and I felt really guilty that I wasn't enjoying my pregnancy and that I was almost just wanting to rush through it and get it over with. Yeah. So I felt really guilty having those feelings. Sure. I was seeing a therapist throughout that prior a relationship with a therapist that I'm so glad that I had somebody to talk to that could work through all those feelings. It was hard to be like I got pregnant. We were very happy about that, but then just to not enjoy any of that was

Dr. Nicole (09:54): Tough. That is a lot. That is a lot. So then eventually, so you said it finally stopped at 22 weeks, thankfully. During that time, were you able to gain some of your weight back or did you just maintain it or how did

Mary Rose (10:07): That I mostly maintained until about 22 weeks, and then I was able to put more weight back on. I think by the end of pregnancy I was maybe five or 10 pounds more than my pre-pregnancy weight. It wasn't a lot.

Dr. Nicole (10:20): Okay. Okay. Wow. Wow. Okay. And then outside of the hyperemesis, did you have any pregnancy issues and what was your prenatal care? Yeah,

Mary Rose (10:33): I really didn't have anything else too bad other than the normal stuff. I got heartburn towards the end. Sleeping was uncomfortable, but honestly, after hyperemesis, I was welcoming those symptoms. I was like, I can do this. I can have heartburn.

Dr. Nicole (10:50): This is much easier. Puking and constantly. Yes.

Mary Rose (10:54): So really the rest of the pregnancy was pretty smooth saline for me. I did see a chiropractor that specialized in prenatal care, and honestly, she was the most supportive of trying to help me find other things that might work for my hyperemesis. I mean, that's not specifically what she's supposed to be treating, but she was great and I really enjoyed going to her. Then we just had our care team. It was a physician and a midwife and a nurse, so a really small care team, but that was my prenatal care.

Dr. Nicole (11:28): Okay, so just one physician, one midwife, that's the whole practice? Correct. Wow. Yes. Okay. And then how did you feel like, because they weren't necessarily as supportive as they could have been about the hyperemesis, how did that make you feel about the rest of your care that you were receiving? Did things get better or how did you feel?

Mary Rose (11:52): That really started to make me nervous about what I might want. I did your course on making a birth plan, and I definitely delayed having that conversation with them. I was really nervous. They wouldn't be supportive of what I wanted, and so it made me very cautious about certain things, which is very unfortunate when you're pregnant and absolutely, you've never been pregnant before.

Dr. Nicole (12:19): Right, right, right. And you are in rural Iowa, so how many options did you even have around you?

Mary Rose (12:28): Yeah, so there's two main hospitals about 30 minutes north of us in the biggest city we're closest to. And so there are two different health networks that you could pick from. They both had midwife groups that had obs that practice with them as well. But then there's this really small practice doctor that practices with a midwife, and almost everybody I talked to recommended them. The OB is really good, and my primary care who had had four children of her own recommended him. She's like, I've done rotations in the er. I know who you want as your physician if something would go wrong. And so I also was by everybody that recommended this practice, told the doctor doesn't have the best bedside manner, but he's very good at what he does. And so you kind of like with the trade-offs of what's available to me, that's what I chose.

Dr. Nicole (13:29): Gotcha. Okay. Okay. Okay. And so then you said you took my birth plan class. What else did you do to prepare for your birth?

Mary Rose (13:36): Yeah, so I read a few books Expecting Better by Emily Oster. I'm a economics major, so

Dr. Nicole (13:45): So that was right up your alley. It was

Mary Rose (13:47): Great. I love statistics, and that really eased me too on certain things. I was like, well, let me look at the data and statistically, so that made me feel a lot better when you might worry about certain things. And then I listened to podcasts and I took your course, which was great.

Dr. Nicole (14:06): Awesome, awesome. And I also understand that you decided to hire a doula, so what made you do that?

Mary Rose (14:12): Yeah, so my husband and I took your course together, so we would just pull it up on the tv, watch it together, pause and talk, and that was so great, just leading the conversation so that we could talk about those things where you would tee it up with the data and the options and that sort of thing. And so we got to the part in your course where you mentioned doulas and I had been listening to podcasts, reading books, and I knew doulas were an option, but honestly, I didn't think he would be super open to it, which I feel bad. I feel bad now assuming that. And we listened to that episode and he goes, you went through the data, you have better birth outcomes, you're more satisfied with your birth experience. And so after that episode, he goes, do you know if we have any doulas in our area? Should we be looking into that? Right.

Dr. Nicole (15:06): You were like, what? I was like,

Mary Rose (15:07): Well, actually, here's some links I could send you.

Dr. Nicole (15:12): You were ready. I

Mary Rose (15:13): Was so ready. I was like, yes, thank you. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So we met with a doula team. It was two ladies that have a business and they're doulas. And we met with them, felt like it was a really good connection, and they did two educational meetings before the birth and then just kind of go over what it would be like with them helping. And then they had, we got a schedule. If you would go into labor at this day, you would text this doula so we could have had either one.

Dr. Nicole (15:45): Got it, got it.

Mary Rose (15:46): It was great. I recommend if you have the resources. That's another unfortunate part. We were just lucky enough that we could choose that option. It was so beneficial.

Dr. Nicole (15:58): Sure. I like that. Sometimes I see that doulas struggle with having to be available all of the time, but sounds like they got together and created a nice little system where this time you get one this the other time you get another.

Mary Rose (16:13): And that's kind of eased me too, because I know obviously they have other clients and other things as well. So that eased my concerns of being available. And so no, it worked out great.

Dr. Nicole (16:25): Absolutely. So what are some things that you wanted for your birth?

Mary Rose (16:30): Yeah, so I just wanted a healthy baby. Honestly, after really thinking about what I wanted, my mom said she had two long labors with me and my sister, and so I was mentally preparing that maybe I would want, and she also did it without medication. So I'm a pretty competitive person, which I also did for my mother.

(16:56): And so I'm like, oh, I'm going to try to go as long as I can. And so that's what I wanted. I wanted to try to go as long as I could without pain medication, but I was very open to it. I was like, if I am in labor for 24 hours and we're not progressing or whatever, I am open to an epidural, whatever. Got it. So I really did try to have that flexible mindset of I'm open to whatever might happen. And trusting, honestly, I did really trust my care team too, as to what might happen during my labor that things would be discussed with me as when it was appropriate, and that I would trust them to bring up things as needed.

Dr. Nicole (17:40): Gotcha, gotcha. Now, did you eventually have the discussion with them about your birth plan?

Mary Rose (17:45): I did, yes. Now go. It was good. And luckily it was the midwife, so it would be the midwife or the OB would see you at your appointments. And just that day that I brought it with me, it was the midwife, and she did great discussing it with me. So no, it did go well.

Dr. Nicole (18:02): Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha. And then was there anything that you were scared about going into birth?

Mary Rose (18:09): And you hear, you'll know what a contraction is when you feel it, you'll know when you're in labor. I was just like, will, I don't know. I've never been through it. And we live 45 minutes away from a hospital, so I was nervous about that, about maybe having a very quick labor and then just that something would either happen to the baby or me. And that's why I was like, I'm really going to trust my care team to recommend interventions when appropriate, because my baby's health and my health are what's most important.

Dr. Nicole (18:48): Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha. Okay. So then what was your labor and birth?

Mary Rose (18:52): Yes. So I'll start the day before. So my due date was St. Patrick's Day, which is me and my husband's anniversary as well. Oh. So everybody's like, you're not going to have your baby that day. Of course. So the day before, which was a Thursday, I felt like I was leaking amniotic fluid is maybe what I thought. No burst of water, nothing. But I just constantly felt like I was leaking. I'm like, I don't feel like this is pee. So we called and they're like, just come in, we'll check you to see if it's amniotic fluid. So we went in Thursday, right around dinnertime, I would say, and they checked. It wasn't amniotic fluid. I think I was four centimeters. Okay. So I had started to progress, and I would think I was like 70% of face but no contractions. And I knew I wanted to labor at home as long as I could. So they checked me and they're like, go home and just just go home. So I don't know, I kind of had a sense it was going to be soon. And so I was like, let's go get burgers. I want to have a good meal. Nice,

Dr. Nicole (20:08): Good meal. Right.

Mary Rose (20:10): So we went and we got some burgers and headed home, and I went to bed that night, just I felt like throughout the night I was starting to have contractions, but I was able to sleep through them. I wake up and be like, oh, that feels like something's happening, but I'm just going to go back to sleep. It's not keeping me awake. And then Friday morning, which was St. Patrick's Day, I woke up around seven o'clock, and as I got out of bed to go walk down the hall to our bathroom, I knew, I was like, Ooh, these are stronger.

Dr. Nicole (20:44): This is it.

Mary Rose (20:45): Right? Yeah. We're getting ready. So I remember walking out to the living room to tell my husband, this is it. These are labor contractions. And I remember him because of the weeks leading up, I was kind of having some Braxton Hicks, and I remember trying to explain them to him, and he was just like, oh, okay. You could just tell he didn't get it, what was going on. He's like, are you in labor? I don't understand what you're telling me. Right.

(21:10): Yeah. And so that morning I told him, this is it. This is go time. And I remember him just being like, okay, I'll go take a shower. And I remember being like,

(21:22): Lets have some urgency to our actions. So I started to time them, but they were very erratic. It was like 10 minutes, three minutes, 4, 5, 7. And so I had been texting my doula since that morning. She was actually, I would say two hours away in postnatal, our doulas will do a post-birth visit as well. So she was doing one of those, and she was just keep me updated. I can leave whenever and reschedule this visit. And I told her, these are very sporadic. They're not super consistent. And she's like, well get into a position and just stay in that position. I had been getting up, doing the ball, laying down on my side. And so I finally just laid down on my side, and then I was timing, and they were consistent at about five to six minutes apart. And I think my doula, knowing I wanted to go, she didn't seem as urgent about going anywhere.

(22:32): My husband was on the phone with his sister, and he's like, yeah, they're about five to six minutes apart. And I was becoming to the point where I couldn't really talk through them when they were happening. And to other people's credit that say it, I did know it was a labor contraction. You feel it coming, you get ready. It's really, really bad, but it's going to get better. And his sister was like, you guys might want to go to the hospital. You guys might want to start getting ready. So we called our practice and they were like, yeah, why don't you head in? So we headed in and our doula was like, I'm leaving right now. I'll meet you guys at the hospital. So we probably left at 10 45, I would say. Got to the hospital about 1130. And the drive to the hospital was kind of funny because I would go in and out of contractions and my husband said it was the weirdest thing.

(23:28): He's like, you were fine. And then you would be like, I did some research on breath work. And so I was doing the audible low moaning through contractions, and he's like, so you would go into that zone and be gone, and then you would come back and be like, oh, that's a cool color of a vehicle. And he's like, it was the weirdest thing. But then we got to the hospital and checked in, and this is a hospital where they have labor and delivery, and they directed us to go through the ER when we got there. And I just remember my contractions were getting more intense. And through the check-in process, I just looked at my husband, you have to tell her everything I can't. Right.

Dr. Nicole (24:16): And

Mary Rose (24:17): I think it was hard for them because I was there on my due date. So I think they thought we were there for an induction. I just remember the check-in process taking too long. Of course I'm in labor, so of course I think that. But then they had to wheel me to labor and delivery, which is on the complete other side of the hospital. And as I mentioned, I have three dogs. I love dogs. And this poor girl that's wheeling me across to the other side of the hospital is trying to tell me about her dogs. And I'm just like, I can't be in this conversation.

Dr. Nicole (24:50): Yes. It's just not happening right

Mary Rose (24:52): Now. I felt so bad.

Dr. Nicole (24:54): So

Mary Rose (24:54): We get to triage. And another cool thing about my labor was my nurse and my doula were both pregnant. Yeah. So there was three of us pregnant

Dr. Nicole (25:05): People.

Mary Rose (25:07): So that was really cool. And honestly, when they were encouraging me through my labor, I was like, I trust you guys. You guys are pregnant. They had both, hadn't had babies before too, so that was nice. But throughout my triage, she was checking me and I think I, I wasn't fully dilated, but I think I was seven centimeters, a hundred percent in face, but my water hadn't broken yet. But she's like, I feel a bulging bag of waters is what she said. And as she had me hooked up in triage, she's like, your contraction's a minute apart. She's like, I'm going to go buzz the doctor because just so he knows you're here. Yeah.

Dr. Nicole (25:49): Right, right.

Mary Rose (25:51): And his office is in the hospital too. So it was like, what time was that? 1145. So he was there for his practice anyways, and the midwife. And so we get into the room, they have a tub, and I was like, I think I want to get in the tub. So I get in the tub and about that kind of, I felt better in the tub. My contractions were still getting pretty consistent, but they were more manageable. And my doula arrives at around 1245. And this is another reason why it was just amazing to have a doula because we sort of rushed into the hospital and we didn't grab our bags right away. And so by the time the doula got there, my husband had time to go down, get the bags.

Dr. Nicole (26:35): Gotcha. And

Mary Rose (26:36): We didn't bring in our birth wishes

Dr. Nicole (26:40): Sheet. I'm like,

Mary Rose (26:41): Why did we not grab that? So he gets that. And so I was never left alone, which I think was another fear, was like, I've never been through birth. I don't really want to be by myself if something would happen. So my doula was always with me once she got there. And that allowed my husband to go to the bathroom, get our bags. Like I said, in between current attractions, I really was doing pretty fine. So this was March madness season. So the Iowa Hawkeyes, the women were playing that day. And so she's like, yeah, turn on the game. We'll be able to watch the game throughout the attractions.

(27:19): So the doula gets there. She's like, okay, let's get out of the tub. Do you want to try walking the halls? Sounds great. Let's do it. I get up and I'm just like, after I got out of the bath, the contractions were just so intense, so close together. I remember her being trying to encourage me to go walk out in the halls. I remember looking at her, I can't, I am having retraction. Every step I take, I felt, and she's like, well, let's just try bouncing on the ball. So we did that and stood up and my water broke. And it was kind of funny because the nurse had just been in, and she was like, let me know if her water breaks. She walks out of the room,

Dr. Nicole (27:58): And then your water breaks. My

Mary Rose (27:59): Water broke. And I remember the first thing my doula said to me, she's like, alright, your contractions are going to get a little more intense. And I'm like, how are they going to do

Dr. Nicole (28:09): More?

Mary Rose (28:11): And she was right. They did. And so I think I almost immediately went onto the hospital bed on my side, and she did counter pressure on my hips. And she actually did that through the whole rest of my labor until my baby was born. And that was so great. I really don't know how I would've got through contractions without that, without asking for pain medication. So she gets, I'm on the bed, I think my water broke at 1 45 ish or something like that. And she's like, it's going to get intense. The nurse comes in, she checks me, and she goes, you're complete. Okay. And then the one thing she said, and I think she tried to say it quietly, but I definitely heard it. She's like, don't let her push.

Dr. Nicole (29:06): And I was

Mary Rose (29:06): Like,

Dr. Nicole (29:09): I

Mary Rose (29:09): Don't know if I could control

Dr. Nicole (29:10): That. Right.

Mary Rose (29:12): And so she's like, I'm going to go get the doctor. And so thankfully my doula, after she left, she was like, if you have to bear down, okay. And that just made me feel so much better that it's going to be okay. You're going to be okay.

Dr. Nicole (29:27): And where was your husband during all this?

Mary Rose (29:29): Okay. Yeah. I see another amazing reason to have a doula. They just know what's going on. My husband would've been so lost without somebody there to guide us. Like I said, I started to progress very fast once we got there. And he just would've been like, I don't know what to tell you. I don't know. And even though we did all these courses and everything, and he just doesn't do it every day, doulas do. And the nurse had to keep leaving to go get other nurses and go get the doctor. So his spot ended up being in front of me. He was holding my hand, and I don't know how, I didn't break a bone in his hand. He put on before all the craziness he put on Enya radio. And so he had some good ambiance going on, but I think at one point he was going to go change a song. And I was like, no, you're not leaving. You're not going. You're not going anywhere.

Dr. Nicole (30:27): So

Mary Rose (30:28): She checks me. She's like, you're complete. And then I think it was at about one 50 that I started pushing. The doctor had come in.

Dr. Nicole (30:36): So just a few minutes after your water broke? Yeah.

Mary Rose (30:39): Finally the doctor got in there, and I remember being like, all right, get through this. Don't push yet. You got to wait a little bit because the doctor's not here. And I was just so much in labor. I don't know if the doctor announced when he came in the room, if anybody told me. But finally I think I heard him and I remember being like, oh, okay. Thank God I can push if I need to. And I remember him saying, alright, you just want to give some pushes. You're going to have a baby. I'm like, oh, okay. Okay, we can do this. So I started pushing and it honestly felt like I only did a couple pushes. I know I did more than that. I think I started pushing at one 50 and she was born at two 11. Oh,

Dr. Nicole (31:27): Well, that's like 20 minutes.

Mary Rose (31:29): Oh no. It was so fast. So fast. So it was super quick. If I wanted pain medication, never would You've been able to. I never even had the iv. They never even had time to give me an iv. Right.

Dr. Nicole (31:45): And

Mary Rose (31:46): So after she was born and we didn't know the sex of the baby, and I really wanted a girl, that was kind of another reason. I was like, I'm not going to find out the gender because I'll be happy no matter what. But I really wanted a girl. And so my husband just blurted it out after she was born, and it was the best moment of my life.

Dr. Nicole (32:07): I love it. I love it.

Mary Rose (32:09): So she did go straight to my chest after she was born.

Dr. Nicole (32:12): Okay, good.

Mary Rose (32:13): And I did tear. Okay. I had a deep second degree tear and what else did they call it where it tore

Dr. Nicole (32:20): Up? Maybe in the vagina or in the labia, or

Mary Rose (32:25): Maybe in the labia. So I remember them saying whatever the medical term was for it. And my doula member, I remember her looking like, I've never heard of that. So they were giving me shots of pit to numb it up. And then also I was getting shots down there to get numb. He was like, I could hear some urgency in his voice with getting me shots and stuff for the nurses. I think the baby nurse had gotten to the room very close to her actually being born.

(32:56): So she went to my chest right away. But then they did take her and bless the nurse. The baby nurse. She was like, oh, she's a happy healthy baby, but her oxygen levels just aren't what I want them to be. And my husband said they took her and they were suctioning things out of her mouth, but she was just so calm and reassuring. That was one of my fears. Something would be wrong with her, but just the way she handled it just made me feel at ease. And she wasn't gone but a few minutes. And then she came back and we right away started trying to latch and she latched pretty easily. And we had a baby. And then I think the Iowa Hawkeyes hadn't even started playing yet.

Dr. Nicole (33:45): I love it. Well, let me ask, when you pushed, did they have you get on your back and push, or were you on your side? Or how did that work for pushing in for the birth?

Mary Rose (33:54): I think I remember them maybe encouraging me to try to go on my back, but I was like, no, I feel comfortable on my side. And so they let me stay on my side and I pushed on my side and she was me laying on my side.

Dr. Nicole (34:09): Okay, good. Good, good, good. And then how difficult was the repair part when he was sewing things up? So

Mary Rose (34:18): If my daughter had to have been, my daughter was on my chest for most of that. So our doula was taking pictures. And I can't say it wasn't, wasn't painful, but it was discomforting. I could feel tugging. And I remember too, he had to push on my stomach, I think to help my placenta get out. It wasn't just super going on its own, but I remember I had my baby, and so I was just like, I know there's all this other stuff going on. I could definitely feel, I don't remember the shots being super painful. I remember filling them, but then it did get completely numb. And then I just felt like the discomfort kind of down there, the pulling.

Dr. Nicole (35:05): Gotcha, gotcha. Okay. Okay. And then how long did you stay in the hospital? So

Mary Rose (35:10): We were only in the hospital for 24 hours. Okay. Yeah. We had the baby super quick, and then we were there that night. And then there's some tests that they want you to stay 24 hours. So I think it was like 10 o'clock. The doctor was doing his rotations the next day and he was like, I was doing good, baby was doing good. He's like, you guys want to go home today? And this is also a Friday. So staying would've been a Saturday. And I mean, I don't know if that had anything to do with it, but the hospital beds were, or the bed that was provided to my husband was horrible. I'm just like, please let us go home. And just to get into your home environment and

Dr. Nicole (35:53): Just feel more comfortable. Yeah,

Mary Rose (35:55): I was doing fine. Our baby was doing fine. So yeah, I think by three o'clock the next day we were checking out and going home.

Dr. Nicole (36:02): Nice, nice, nice. So then what was the postpartum period for you?

Mary Rose (36:06): It was pretty good. The first night though, I remember putting her in the bassinet next to me in bed and being like, I can't go to sleep. I am just so nervous that something's going to happen to her while I'm sleeping, even though she's right next to me. And thankfully, my mom was here. We have three dogs as I mentioned. So she came right away to take care of the dogs. And she was like, I'll stay however long you want me to stay. And thank God she was there that night because I went out to her and I was like, I need to sleep. Can you watch her because I can't sleep? And she's like, yes, go to bed. She's like, binge watch the show on hbo.

Dr. Nicole (36:51): Grandma was ready. So ready.

Mary Rose (36:54): So that was helpful. And then I did do placenta encapsulation.

Dr. Nicole (36:59): Oh, interesting. Okay.

Mary Rose (37:01): Yeah, so the doula team that we worked with, one of the ladies also does placenta encapsulation. And so I did take that throughout my postpartum.

Dr. Nicole (37:11): Okay. How did the hospital react to you deciding that you wanted to keep the placenta?

Mary Rose (37:16): So that was something that I was, again, kind of nervous to bring up, but they were just like, yep, sounds good. They kept saying, just make sure the team that day when you are giving birth knows that you want to take it. And then the doula came with her cooler and everything she was going to take it.

Dr. Nicole (37:34): Okay.

Mary Rose (37:35): And it was really interesting too, the doulas had that, normally placenta would make 80 capsules or 90, and mine made 180. My placenta was like double

Dr. Nicole (37:45): Had a huge placenta,

Mary Rose (37:47): Was double the size of placenta she normally see.

Dr. Nicole (37:49): Okay. So I dunno, I

Mary Rose (37:52): Had plenty of placenta pills.

Dr. Nicole (37:54): Okay. How long did you take those?

Mary Rose (37:57): I only took 'em for a month. I felt like after that period I was kind of getting into more of a routine. And honestly, I just didn't love the taste

Dr. Nicole (38:06): Of that.

Mary Rose (38:07): It did have a very, just like when you take fish oil pills, there's that little back taste. And so I like, I feel like I've gotten over the hump of the really hard menstrual part of it. And so I just did a month, although I had pills that could have lasted me longer.

Dr. Nicole (38:22): Gotcha. Gotcha. And what made you decide to do placenta encapsulation?

Mary Rose (38:26): So through reading books and everything, I was like, there's really no data to suggest that it super helps in any way. There's not been a lot of scientific trials or anything, but there's no really downside. So I was like, if there's something I could do that could potentially help me, I'm going to try. And I didn't have anything during pregnancy that,

Dr. Nicole (38:46): Yeah, you didn't have any infection meconium or GBS or anything, so I

Mary Rose (38:50): Was like, let's do it.

Dr. Nicole (38:52): Okay. Okay. Alright. Alright. And then how was breastfeeding? It was

Mary Rose (38:56): Pretty good. Honestly, at the beginning it was good. I did have to go back to work around eight weeks and I started pumping and my letdown just became too fast, so she would

Dr. Nicole (39:11): Choke. It was just,

Mary Rose (39:13): Yeah. And so I had to go to exclusively pumping and bottles, which I didn't love. I really did enjoy the actual breastfeeding part of it. And I didn't love pumping, but I had to go back to work and I wanted to give her breast milk. So that's what we did.

Dr. Nicole (39:32): America has such terrible parental leave. I

Mary Rose (39:35): Agree. I

Dr. Nicole (39:36): Agree. Yes. It's just embarrassing. Yes. And then did your doula come to see you at home? Yeah,

Mary Rose (39:44): So I think two or three weeks after they came and did a visit, so that was with the doula that was at our birth was sick. And so the other doula came for that visit. Everything was going good, answering questions. We kind of troubleshooted a little bit on my breastfeeding issues and stuff like that. And then actually through the package we got with our doulas, we had, what do they call it? Post birth, where the doula would come and basically do whatever you needed, like cooking, cleaning, just watching the baby while you slept.

Dr. Nicole (40:26): And

Mary Rose (40:26): So that was the doula that was at her birth for that visit. And she came and she made some energy balls and she watched my baby while I took a nap, which honestly was just like, it sounds so simple, but

Dr. Nicole (40:41): It's huge.

Mary Rose (40:42): It made the biggest difference.

Dr. Nicole (40:44): Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And then I guess last question, what about your physical healing? Do you feel like you healed up Well, physically?

Mary Rose (40:52): Yes, I do. To me, again, it's so bizarre that we don't have a visit until six weeks. I had some tearing, and so luckily I was able to, I think a friend or somebody told me, really, do your baths, do three baths a day. And I think that helped. But then it's like you have a baby and you're supposed to sit and breastfeed for a lot of the time.

Dr. Nicole (41:19): That's a lot. So

Mary Rose (41:21): We didn't have a La-Z-Boy or a good recliner before the baby came. And I think it was a week or two after she was born, we went and got one.

Dr. Nicole (41:30): We're like, we need something. We're

Mary Rose (41:32): In this all the time. Feeding her, yes. But physically just recovering from the tear, which I recovered. Great. Okay. And then, yeah, I don't feel like I had any issues really recovering physically.

Dr. Nicole (41:45): Okay, good. So then how do you feel overall about your pregnancy and birth experience?

Mary Rose (41:50): Yeah, my birth experience went way different than I thought. I was mentally preparing for long labor. It went super fast, but I really am satisfied with it, and I attribute a lot of that to the education I did while I was pregnant and hiring a doula. So the pregnancy part wasn't great, but the end result was amazing.

Dr. Nicole (42:14): Yeah. Yeah. I love it. I love it. So then as we wrap up, what is your one favorite piece of advice that you would give to someone who's having a baby?

Mary Rose (42:22): So as much education as you can do, that's just super beneficial because you might not have a care team that is maybe supportive of some issues you're going through. And honestly, the more education you could do before you're pregnant, because if you have HD or something that's so debilitating, it's so hard to advocate for yourself when you're going through it. And I did not have the energy to do the research on what other options I might've had. And then if you have the resources to get a doula, I 100% recommend that I do. And unfortunately, it's if you have the resources, but if you do look into it. And yeah, it was worth every penny for us, and we will definitely be hiring them again.

Dr. Nicole (43:05): Okay. I love it. I love it. Love it. Well, thank you so much. Oh, where can women connect with you? You can say nowhere if you're not on social media or it's up to you.

Mary Rose (43:14): So I'm on Instagram at Mary Rose Shelley, S-H-E-L-L-E-Y.

Dr. Nicole (43:20): Okay. Alright. Well, thank you so much for agreeing to come on and share your story. I'm so glad that everything went well, and I know folks are going to love it and learn a lot from your experience. So thank you.

Mary Rose (43:32): Thank you so much.

Dr. Nicole (43:41): Wasn't it a great birth story? So many important nuggets of information in that conversation. I'm so grateful Mary Rose shared her story with us today. Now after every episode when I have a guest on, I do something called Dr. Nicole's notes where I talk about my top takeaways from the conversation. Here are my Dr. Nicole's notes from my conversation with Mary Rose, and there are lots of them. Number one, it's okay if you don't enjoy being pregnant. She felt guilty about wanting the pregnancy to be over so her hyperemesis could end. That is actually a very normal and natural response to something that's taking over your body and wreaking havoc on your life. So don't feel guilty if you don't enjoy being pregnant. I personally did not particularly enjoy being pregnant. The only thing I enjoyed was feeling the kicks and the movement. Other than that, I just enormous and my butt was huge.

(44:33): And people would always comment, are you having twins? And stupid stuff like that. So I just didn't particularly enjoy being pregnant. Doesn't mean at all that you don't absolutely love your children with everything you have in you. Of course we do. But it's okay if you don't enjoy being pregnant. You still love your children. You're not a bad mom, you are not abnormal. In fact, it is quite normal. Okay, number two, know what you're getting into and prepare accordingly. Mary Rose knew that the doctor that she chose didn't necessarily have a great bedside manner, and she prepared for that. She was ready with information and ready to advocate for herself. This can be especially important when you have limited options. All right. She was in a small town in Iowa, not necessarily a ton of options available. So when you don't have a lot of options available to you, then you really, really, really need to prepare yourself accordingly.

(45:38): And being in areas where you have limited options, there may also be limited options for childbirth education. That is why the birth preparation course is a great option. It's my online childbirth education class, and it's great for you and your partner to do childbirth education together like Mary Rose and her husband did. Again, you can check out the birth preparation course@drnicolerankins.com slash enroll. Okay. The next thing I want to say is ask questions about things like placenta encapsulation. She ended up doing placenta encapsulation and she did it going into it informed inside the book preparation course. I actually have a whole lesson on placenta encapsulation and questions you can ask if that's something that you're interested in, so you can make sure it's done in a safe way. So if you're thinking about something like that, then definitely go into it having done a bit of research, asking questions so you know that it's done safely.

(46:33): And then the final thing I want to say is do it scared? And what I mean by that is that Mary Rose expressed hesitancy about asking questions, but she asked anyway. And that's so, so important. Sometimes it can be challenging, especially with the power differential that tends to favor doctors over patients. It can be challenging to ask questions of authority. Plus, we exist in a society, in a world where women are often looked at as being too aggressive or forward if they ask questions or people have this notion that really, why are you asking questions? You just need to be happy that your baby's healthy. Or the Dr. May say, I'm going to worry about, you don't need to worry about that. I'm going to worry about that. That's my job. That kind of thing. No, no, no. You have the right to ask questions and you should.

(47:28): So you can feel informed and empowered about everything that's going on in your pregnancy and birth. It is you, your pregnancy, your birth, that doctor's going to go home. At the end of the day, you're still going to be pregnant. So even if you're scared for whatever reason, whether it's socialized to do so, that power differential, whatever the reason is, even if you're scared, ask those questions while you're scared. It is so, so important and you deserve to have an informed and empowered birth experience. Okay, so there you have it for this episode. Do me a favor, do a couple of things. Number one, can you share this episode with someone who you know that may find it beneficial, whether it's another pregnant friend, someone who's thinking about getting pregnant, a childbirth educator, a doula, share this episode and be sure to subscribe to the podcast wherever you're listening to me right now. So you never miss an episode. And I would so appreciate if you leave a five star review in Apple podcast that helps the show to grow. I love to hear what you think about the show. And you can also, lemme know what you think on Instagram. I'm on Instagram at @DrNicoleRankins. You can follow me there for great information as well. So that's it for this episode. Do come on back next week and remember that you deserve a beautiful pregnancy and birth.