Join me today as I chat with Kayla, one of my sweet mamas from my Calm Labor Confident Birth class and a member of our Calm Mama Society membership.
Kayla is also someone I consider a dear friend who I adore. She is a warrior navigating hard postpartum emotions while battling sleep deprivation and a strong-willed baby girl.
Today we will share her birth story that began as an induction for preeclampsia and ended in an urgent cesarean that Kayla has been working through since.
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Kayla's birth story
Trish: [00:00:00] My name is Trish Ware, and I am obsessed with all things pregnancy and birth, and helping you to navigate with the practical and the magical seasons of this journey called motherhood. I'm an all day coffee sip and mama of seven. I've had the amazing privilege of delivering mini babies in my 15 plus year career as a labor and delivery nurse, and as a mama of seven.
I'm here to help you take the guesswork out of childbirth so you can make the choices that are right for you and your baby. Quick note, this podcast is for educational purposes only and does not replace your medical advice. Check out our full disclaimer at the bottom
of the show notes.
Hello everyone. I am so ready for this episode. Today's guest is [00:01:00] one of my calm labor students, Kayla, and she is so near and dear my heart. I get to know my students inside of my membership and Kayla has been coming and hanging out with me for quite a while. So welcome Kayla. Thank you. I'm so glad you're here today.
Kayla: I am too. It's a long time coming. I know you were supposed to do this before and I had to push it back, but I'm ready. Yes,
Trish: I am. I'm so glad and I know that. I know this has been a little bit hard for you to be here today, so I just want to tell everyone that It's taken a lot of courage for Kayla to come today and her birth story is not gonna be, a perfect birth story to listen to, but not everybody's gonna have, that picture perfect birth story.
And so we wanna honor all birth stories [00:02:00] here because we represent all birth stories. And just because you take a labor nurse mom, a birth course does not mean you're gonna have a birth a perfect see, right there. Cut that out, Elias. Just because you take a labor nurse mom of birth class does not mean we can guarantee that you're gonna have a perfect birth story, but we will be there with you and come alongside you and help you process it and love on you.
And that's what I hope we've done with you. So I wanna share your story today.
Kayla: Yeah. Thank you. I I definitely have felt the love since everything. I guess I'll dive right in.
Trish: Yeah. So let's go back. Yeah. Let's talk about you and Steve. Let's talk about your journey to getting pregnant and finding us and all of the, all the
Yeah. So I actually didn't know if [00:03:00] I could get pregnant. I have endometriosis and in 2019 I had a laparoscopy to, to get that official diagnosis. And I had no reason at the time to believe that it had impacted my fertility, but I know that it can for many people I met Steve in the summer of 2020 and we just clicked.
It was perfect. We were definitely meant to find one another. We're actually from the same town and we have no idea how it's possible that we had never run into each other before. I still don't really understand how that happened, but in the beginning of 2021, March of 2021, I had been seeing a specialist in Boston for my endometriosis, how to manage my symptoms, and.
I had aired my concerns over fertility. So he brought to my [00:04:00] attention that there was a test that I could take, which nobody had told me before to test my ovarian reserves essentially. So I went in and got the blood work done and I was terrified. Because, I, what if I couldn't, I so on the one side it was great because I would know, but on the other side it was terrifying because if it was yeah, exactly. So I did a telehealth appointment to get the results and Steve was with me and we sat through the appointment and my doctor, told me that it looked really good for my age.
In a year, if I wanted to retest again, I could, but everything looked great. Obviously I cried tears of joy because I knew that we would be able to fast forward through 2021. Around November I decided to have my i u D [00:05:00] removed so that we could start trying. I ended up having to take I can't remember the medicine, but to kickstart my cycle cuz I wasn't ovulating, my cycle didn't return on its own.
I got my first period in December and I started tracking my ovulation and whatnot. And in January I knew I was d my period was due and I was mentally prepared that it was gonna take a few tries. That the percentage of people, couples who try to get pregnant. The percentage out the gate that it's successful on the first try is really low.
So I was prepared to have some disappointment and have to go through it a few times. We were home on a Sunday, it was raining and I said, you know what? I have the pregnancy test in the bathroom. I'll just take it. I didn't tell, I had even wanted to record, my reaction, but I, on a whim and I took the test and it was positive and I like [00:06:00] shaking so bad.
I came running outta the bathroom and I'm, I started crying and I'm like, it's positive. It's positive. And he, at first he didn't realize like what I was saying. And then he saw the test in my hand and he looked at me and he's oh my oh my God. It's positive. So I. Was obviously, oh, we were overjoyed.
I was shocked that it happened so quickly for us. I was not expecting that. I loved being pregnant. My pregnancy was amazing. I have no complaints over my pregnancy. First, obviously first trimester is not anything beautiful or wonderful, but I got through that and I, I did, I love being pregnant.
It was, I know that's not a very popular opinion. All my friends, they hated it. Yeah, I did. I really did. Yeah.
Yeah. I felt [00:07:00] beautiful. I felt like how I was supposed to, I guess because. The endometriosis, there were times that it made me feel like my body was broken because it was doing something that it shouldn't be doing. And that was painful at times. And to be able to be pregnant and it goes so well, like I felt, that I was fulfilling a purpose and if, Steve made me feel beautiful and he loved, pregnant me. And so it was great. Around my third trimesters when things started to get a little bit I don't wanna say complicated at the time that it wasn't complicated, but there were concerns that started to arise. I had some pretty severe swelling around it started in around my 32, 33 week mark.
But as the weeks went on, it got pretty bad. I wanna say around my 35th or 36th week appointment, [00:08:00] I had started going for weekly ntts because they had noticed that my blood pressure had started going up. And, that's where everything, I think from that point forward, stuff started changing very quickly without having any kind of control over it.
My 39 week appointment it was a Monday, I like, I'll never forget the day of the week. It was a Monday and I went in, I had an N S T that Friday before. And I went in to see my doctor and, Baby's heart rate was doing great, but the swelling, was I can't remember what he said. I think there was a number rating.
Trish: Yeah, I remember you were having like tingling and numbness and Yeah.
Kayla: Yeah, I remember that. And my, my ankles were gone. My feet were, I could only fit in. Like I had to go up two full shoe sizes and like flip flops just to be able to leave the [00:09:00] house. I had to keep my feet up all the time.
So at this appointment he mentioned the possibility of having to look at being induced. And I love my ob. He was my, our story aside, my OB was amazing throughout my entire pregnancy and has been an amazing support person after And he, he said, I don't wanna induce you either. If you can go into labor naturally, I would prefer that.
But let's give it a few days and see what your body does. But I couldn't do curb walking. I couldn't do certain things because of the swelling. So I had to find other things to do bounce on the ball or Steve and I tried doing it the old fashioned way and to see if we could kickstart it that way.
Yeah. But my body just, it wasn't ready. Ainsley wasn't ready for, to, for my body to [00:10:00] go into on its own. And you were
Trish: having some blood pressure stuff too,
Kayla: right? Yeah. Yeah. That's why I was going in. Besides the swelling. Yeah. That's why the NST started being. Weekly because I was having, yeah.
My blood pressure had started going up. Yeah. So Wednesday, the September 28th that was what we agreed on. If by the 28th, if by Wednesday if I didn't go into labor naturally, I was gonna go to, get the fully bulb inserted. Yeah. Yeah. So we went to the hospital. I didn't realize that I was actually gonna be getting admitted that day.
I thought we were gonna place the bulb and I was gonna go home and see what would happen. The hospital that we delivered at doesn't do that. So once I was there for the fully bulb insertion, I was there until they became so while they were admitting me and I was doing all the paperwork, Steve had to come and get all of like our hospital bags and whatnot because we didn't bring any of that with us.[00:11:00]
The bulb, my blood pressure, it was high. Again, it wasn't like emergent, but it was high. They wanted to keep it. Yeah,
Trish: yeah. I think I remember it was like one 40 s or high one 30 s or something. Yeah,
Kayla: yeah. Yep. They, so I got, I did all the paperwork. I got admitted, they placed the bulb sometime Wednesday evening.
And which was
Trish: good that you were somewhat open.
Kayla: Yeah, I was I, if I recall correctly, I wanna say they were saying it was about two centimeters. This is great. I baby was at a negative three. Negative three. So baby was not dropped at all. Yeah. And only, I think like 20%, maybe 40% a face like cervix was definitely not ready.
Like naturally for that process to begin. So they placed the bulb and pretty quickly I could feel the pressure, the [00:12:00] contractions. I remember I got sick, I vomited a few times, which from your course, I was like, okay, like this is a good sign. Vomiting can be a good sign. And I'm, I'm thinking to myself like, okay, my body is responding well, things are going well.
They gave me some nausea medicine so I could sleep because the bulb was in for 12 hours. So it was in overnight. They came in around 6:00 AM the next morning to remove the bulb. And when they checked me, there was no change.
Trish: Why did they remove the bulb? I'm
Kayla: wondering. I, they told me it was gonna be placed for 12 hours.
I don't know if that is. A lot of times standard
Trish: or a lot of times we let it stay in until it comes out. Cause it comes out at four centimeters.
Kayla: Yeah, no, they removed the bulb. Yeah. And there was no change. My, I, my cervix had not dilated any further. Baby had not come down anymore.[00:13:00] And I, there was no more softening.
And that was disheartening because one, it was uncomfortable as heck to have that bulb in and then feeling like I was having good contractions and that they were coming consistently. But to have no change, that was disheartening. Disappointed. Yeah.
Trish: Yeah. Because your body
Kayla: wasn't ready. And obviously as a hi, I mean in the moment, but definitely as a hindsight thing, I think that was one of the more frustrating things because I think I didn't.
Need the induction. But so they took the bulb out in the morning and then things were at a standstill. There was, we were, I was waiting for my OB to come in the on-call did a cervical check, and that's how I knew that there was no change. But there was no decision on getting medicine started or when to get medicine started.
So in between kind of waiting to [00:14:00] find out what to do, I was walking around, I sat on the ball. Eventually the decision was made. Okay, let's get you hooked up to Pitocin. Wait, which
Trish: is so just interjecting. Sure. Is is so manning because you have a unfavorable cervix, which the whole point is get the cervix favorable before you get the uterus contracting.
Kayla: Yeah it, at one point, the eve the night of the Foley bulb insertion, my, one of my nurses said, asked me, are we supposed to be, are you doing me? And I said, I have no idea. You're like, am I coming up with a pool or, I have no idea. The doctor didn't mention anything about that, but I have no idea.
So I have no idea if there was an order placed for meso for that night, which would have helped to [00:15:00] soften what made sense? Yeah. So I, I have no idea. So the miso was never started that night when the Foley bulb was in. So on Thursday, the decision was made to start the Pitocin. Before Miso was started, I was on Pitocin.
Overnight. I don't remember exactly how long, but the order was in, it was supposed to be Pitocin for X amount of hours and then start the miso immediately after it. The, that Pitocin drip finished and then once the miso was finished, I would go on Pitocin again,
Trish: which I've never, in 16 years of labor and delivery heard.
Kayla: So labor started on Wednesday night and then stalled. So someone
Trish: made a mistake. You know that now, right? Yeah.
Kayla: Oh, for sure. We, that's
Trish: not a normal Steve [00:16:00] order of induction. You always So cervix favorable, then start the uterus contracting. Yeah.
Kayla: My. I don't wanna like disparage all of my l and d team because I did have some really amazing people.
Yeah. But there was definitely a major disconnect between my nurses and the orders that my doctor was giving in that the nurses were not following the orders that were
Trish: the nurse who started the Pitocin that first time messed up. Yeah. That's,
Kayla: That's where And the fact that miso wasn't started the night before.
Trish: Yeah. Or yeah. Or maybe then bec Yeah. But I, I can't say for sure because it is appropriate. The Foley is a cervical ripening process and that can be in place of the miso. Either one of those is the same type of it that's a mechanical, cervical ripening [00:17:00] in place of miso. It can be either or. So that is appropriate.
So he could have written it, he could have written either one of those, but you would never go cervical ripening, uterine contraction, cervical ripening, uterine contraction. You don't do that. You do cervical ripening prior to uterine contractions. It's put the key in the door, unlock the door, pull the door open, shut the door key, open the door, shut the door key.
You know what I'm saying? Yeah. You can't open the door until you unlock the door. It makes no sense,
Kayla: sense. So in the morning when that Pitocin drip stopped, no additional medication was administered to me the way it was apparently in the orders. So they were supposed to, as soon as that Pitocin drip stopped, start the next medication at 7:00 AM so that way come [00:18:00] early afternoon, we could start whatever the next process was gonna be.
So again, the Pitocin had, I couldn't feel them. They could see them on the monitor. I guess I was having some contractions. So again, labor was progressing and then stalled. So that, is the second time now that my body is starting the process and then stalled.
Trish: But had you made any cervical change at all at this
No. No. Still no. Okay. So on Thursday afternoon, at this point I'm exhausted. I'm starting to get a little bit discouraged. My, the emotional side of everything is really starting to take a toll. We're here for a few days now. I, it's exhausting. I was, it was exhausting. And I'm, hearing other moms in other, rooms and hearing them pushing [00:19:00] and the doctors encouraging them and all that, and these moms are coming in, delivering their babies and then going and we're still sitting in this stand still.
Yeah. So I, we ended up asking my doctor if we could go home at one point because nothing is happening. My body obviously isn't ready yet. And this is just exhausting. This is emotionally exhausting.
Trish: Plus you feel like crap cuz you're swollen, you've got the blood pressure stuff going on. Yeah.
Kayla: My doctor was willing to, he was actually willing to let us go home. He understood where we were coming from. Nothing had changed. Baby's heart rate was doing great. So there was no concerns there. There were some concerns, obviously with my blood pressure. But nothing again, emergent. Yeah. So I had a really tough decision to make.
Did I wanna go home and come back in a few days and see if my body was ready or stay the course? And I made the decision to stay [00:20:00] the course. To me, I was already there. I, if I got to leave and go home, I don't know if I had the, I didn't feel like I would have the emotional strength to have to go back to start the process all over again.
I reluctantly said we will just stay. And how they ended up kind about that now Cause I know them. Somewhat now. I definitely wish I had left for sure. I wish I had come home and we'll come
Trish: back to
Kayla: that again. Yeah, I definitely wish I had made the decision, yeah. Differently. So the decision was made for me to stay.
My doctor said, okay, we're gonna pause on any medical intervention, so we're gonna pause on rest. So we're gonna pause on Pitocin so I could try to get some rest I could eat. Cuz obviously on Pitocin they're telling me I can't eat.
Trish: Which is entirely appropriate. Give you a body, a rest. [00:21:00]
Kayla: Yeah. So I got to get a little bit of a rest and then we started everything all over again on Friday.
I was give, then I was given things in an order that made more sense. I was given meso and then Pitocin and overnight Friday overnight is when things really started kickstarting. At this point I had,
Trish: That makes more sense to me that in that order makes a little more sense.
I still wonder if someone made a little bit of a mess up on the orders. Because it just doesn't make no sense to start Pitocin when your cervix isn't favorable,
Kayla: yeah. I, it was definitely, I know for sure it was the pit, the Pitocin that we started first. Cuz I remember Yeah. Because it was in my birth plan to have it as low as possible.
Yeah, no, I,
Trish: there's no doubt that you're right. I'm just, I'm just wondering. Yeah,
Kayla: Yeah. So overnight things started [00:22:00] to. Progress. The way, my doctor wanted them to be progressing, better. The decision was made at that point because my labor had stopped installed a few times and I was exhausted.
I was, I opted to do an epidural. Again, it was a hard decision to make because I felt like I had done so much preparation to, to not, or to, to go natural to with, without the epidural. But I was so exhausted and I felt okay, if this can gimme the ability to get some rest to prepare for this, then I'll do it.
That was awful. My epidural was awful. I had back surgery in 2017 and. The anesthesiologist had issues placing my epidural. He tried, I think three different sites, so I had to sit there during contractions. Punched over. Oh my goodness. He tried to place my [00:23:00] epidural multiple times. Yeah. And obviously having to make sure if there was any numbness and tingling and this and that and yeah, I think it was three placement sites.
I think the third site ended up being successful. So that was sometime late Friday night. Overnight I was able to get a little bit of rest. At some point I remember the doctor coming in to check me and things were progressing really well, so he felt really confident. Sometime early Saturday morning.
I got, I had a cervical check. I had, I think I had started getting some nausea, some vomiting. Even with the epidural, I was feeling some strong sensations, contractions, so they called him to do a check, and I was fully dilated and fully efface. I don't remember what station baby was at, but I know that she wasn't like super low.
I don't think she was at a [00:24:00] negative station any longer, but I, I don't remember, where exactly she was. All right, time to start pushing. Great. This is what, we've been in the hospital a few days for I was adamant that I wanted to do the majority of my pushing on hands and knees if I could.
Or side laying, or whatever the case may be. I just knew I 100% didn't wanna be on my back. So in my room was Steve and two other labor and delivery nurses. Now obviously with an epidural, I can't 100% feel my cen the sensation of the contraction when one is coming and when it's not. I was relying on my nurses to be monitoring it, on the monitor and say, okay, let's get ready for the next one.
Except that my nurses were having side conversations and getting distracted. So I'm facing my bed. I'm not facing the monitor. [00:25:00] I'm feeling like I'm having contractions and that I need to push. So I'm saying, okay, I, I feel like I need to push whether or not I'm having a contraction or not. I'm not sure Are they responding to you?
Yeah. Steve, cuz I'm like, I feel like I need to push, so then Steve is having to get their attention and be like, okay, she feels like she needs to push. I'm
Trish: getting anxious right now. Yeah.
I don't think I knew that part.
Kayla: Yeah. Yeah. They were having side conversations. I What about obviously I don't recall,
Trish: but shame on you too.
Kayla: they were not focused and in saying, okay, Kayla, here's another contraction. Get ready to push, get ready to bear down. My, because of the swelling that I had that went. All the way up my legs, my knees, my thighs being on my knees, hands and knees. That probably made it work. Ended up it made it wor Yeah.
I ended up getting pins and needles much faster, I think, than than [00:26:00] other mamas may have if they didn't have the severe swelling. Yeah. So
Trish: I ended up having to change what you had all that fluid for so many days.
Kayla: Yeah. Plus everything they were giving me. The iv, all the medication. Yep. In bed.
So we changed the position to, I think next I tried sidelining and again, like I'm feeling like I have a contraction coming. I don't know for sure if I am, Steve's holding my leg. The other nurse on the other side should be holding my leg to help me. And he's again, having to corral them and get them to refocus.
I didn't love side lying at that time, so I wanted to sit up more. So we did the throne position. So they put the bar for me to hold onto and scooted, I scooted to the end of the bed. And that position, I felt like I was able to push like the best because I had that ability to hold that bar.
[00:27:00] I have no idea how long I was pushing for, I don't know what time my labor, officially started. But after a contraction and after pushing, I remember saying, I can't do this. And Steve's you can do this, you can do this. I said, no, I can't do this. I don't feel right. Something doesn't feel right.
I need to lay down. And that's the last thing I remember. I. Wasn't responsive to my nursing team. I closed my eyes, and, they called my doctor in and he was trying to talk to me. He, even the pressure point, like at your cuticle, he was pushing down to try to get some type of a response.
Steve says, I responded to him. I guess he had been talking to me and I had vaguely responded, but I essentially, I passed out during active labor. So at that dis at that point, obviously the [00:28:00] decision was made to have an emergency c-section. Because I wasn't in a position to push and the baby wasn't low enough for an assisted delivery.
I was not conscious for my daughter's birth. We didn't know what the gender was. So I didn't know that I was having a girl. I was not conscious for my daughter's birth. I was, I was out. They had given me medication through the spinal tap the I do remember before they pushed that last push of medication.
I remember contractions and like crying out or moaning out. I remember the feeling of them cutting me, and then that's it. And then I don't remember anything. So I have no photos of me, Steve and Ainsley in the operating room. I didn't get any skin to skin with her in the operating room.
My doctor says I had I woke up as they were wheeling me out [00:29:00] and I asked what I had. Again, I have no recollection of that. S Steve was able to do, skin to skin with her which I'm grateful that he was able to do that. I woke, a few hours later, Ansy was born at eight forty five.
I woke up sometime after 10 30, 11:00 AM so she had been born for. A little while before I got to see her. I don't have any recollection of those first few hours. There's photos of, me and her as I'm still coming outta that, that medical, that medication haze. I was in, the post-op room for a bit.
I did my first attempt at breastfeeding in that post-op room. The hospital that we delivered at has in the labor and delivery ward a button you get to press to announce, the arrival of a baby and that you're moving to a postpartum. So once I [00:30:00] was in the clear to go to the postpartum, I got to finally push that button, which was great.
And our first night in postpartum, WA was tough. I tried breastfeeding. I was still really weak tired. And I think I was in, a haze because I don't really remember a whole lot, but I just, being tired is the big thing. I remember the next day they, you, they're checking in on us the whole time and checking the incision.
And I think my first sense of what really had happened was I think like that first incision check and, oh, it looks really great. He did such a it looks so good. And I remember thinking to myself like I don't care how good it looks like this wasn't how things were supposed to go.
That night [00:31:00] I was exhausted. Ainsley had started cluster feeding essentially. And my milk hadn't come in yet. Having her latch was difficult and I'm still exhausted, weak at this point emotional. And that night, that second, day of her being born, I had to make I made the decision that I needed to give up my breastfeeding journey.
I cried making that decision. I page the nurse in, I'll never forget her name. She was amazing. I paged her in and I said, I, we're gonna for start formula feeding. Ainsley, and as I'm telling her this, I'm crying and she's I can see that, that this is a really hard decision for you.
Can you tell me what's going on? Tell me what you're thinking. And I just broke down because she was the first person that had asked me [00:32:00] how I was doing, seeing visibly how I was. And it was the first time someone acknowledged that I had been through something traumatic because she understood.
She's telling me it doesn't matter how you feed your baby. When you walk down the street, do you see someone and say, oh, they're breastfed. Oh, they're formula fed. You've been through something really big. You've been, what you just went through was traumatic. Everybody in labor and delivery and postpartum knew about us, knew what we went through, knew what happened.
And it was the first time someone said it out loud. And that was big that someone saw that and recognized that. I remember feeling very disconnected from Ainsley. I remember feeling
Not resentment, but just like I didn't like looking at her and it almost, because [00:33:00] I wasn't there for how she was born, it almost didn't feel like I knew my baby. Around day three of being in the postpartum. Ward, my energy levels had still really been really low. And they did some blood work and saw that my hemoglobin was really low.
Like sevens and I, from what I understand, like a healthy person is 10 and when you're pregnant, they want you to be at like an 11 or 12. So they did blood work and they saw that my hemoglobin was really low and the decision was made to do iron infusions. My blood pressure at the time was still again, something they were monitoring.
I still had a lot of the swelling. I didn't go down, after the surgery. And I think I had two iron infusions and that's okay. They did more blood work and it just wasn't really impacting the way that they, you said they wanted to do iron infusion, so then a discussion was [00:34:00] had about a blood transfusion.
Trish: start that part again. So they,
Kayla: and at first I wasn't really excited about it. It was scary. The thought of needing to do that. I talked about it with Steve. I even called my mom to get her input and she said, I think it's probably just your best bet.
I think you just need to do it. So I agreed, to do it. If this is what I'm gonna need to get my energy levels back up and my hemoglobin two a healthy. Stage a healthy level, then I will do that. The one stipulation I had was I didn't wanna see it. I didn't wanna see the blood bag hanging.
I didn't wanna I was already having some emotional ups and downs from everything. And the decision for the blood transfusion was hard. They had, I think at some point had to give me, some anxiety medication. So I [00:35:00] just didn't wanna see it. If I didn't see it, I felt like outta sight out of mind.
That was a little bit of a disaster. There was four post, there were four nurses in my room, some students in my room trying to figure out how to set up this blood transfusion and how to hide it. And Which in and of itself was a little anxiety inducing. Steve ended up calling my obs office and they he got him on the phone.
They were like he's out. Or he was like, no, I need to talk to him right now. So he got my doctor on the phone and explained to him what's going on. He's you have a patient who has been through something really intense and she's on anxiety medication and I'm not a person with anxiety. And even watching that was a lot for me.
He's you need to get everybody out of her room right now. This is not helping. I don't want any more student nurses, [00:36:00] treating. Treating her. And my doctor completely understood and he was all for it. And helping him come back, got everybody out of my room after the transfusion was set up.
So sat there, had my transfusion then they do my blood pressure check and I was like, in one eighties over, it was, I'll never forget the look on my, the nurse's face. She's I'm gonna be right back. I was like, oh gosh, okay. This can't be, that can't be good. That's not a great response.
They gave me a medication. I don't remember what it was, but I think it, the goal was to see if it was gonna have an immediate effect of taking my blood pressure down. It didn't, they checked it again. I was still really high. And my doctor comes in to tell me, I, I have to go back to [00:37:00] the labor and delivery side for postpartum preeclampsia that they need to put me on a magd drip right away.
And I was gonna be on seizure protocol because when your blood pressure's that high there's that concern. And I remember I just immediately started crying and I even said to him, I'm like, it's just one thing after another. So I get wheeled over to l and d and. All the nurses are like, you're back.
Yeah, I guess I am. They put me on the magnesium drip for Yeah. I knew that was coming. They, yeah, I know. I put, I, I didn't think I was gonna have to be back here. I got to push the button. They put me on the magnesium drip for 24 hours. And it, yeah. Yep, exactly. And then I was still retaining a lot of [00:38:00] fluid between what I was retaining, what I had from during the pregnancy, plus what they've pushed into my system.
Now at this point, we've been in the hospital for, I don't know, five days at this point. Six days I pushed the button. Damn it. So then they gave me something else to help my kidneys. Work out all that fluid. And so now I'm up and down to pee every five minutes as if getting in and out of a hospital bed with a abdominal energy incision isn't hard enough.
But now I'm hooked up to all these things. I get the cuff on my arm that every 10 minutes is checking my blood pressure and the heart and the oxygen monitor. And but the me the medicine did its job. I was getting, I was going to the bathroom to help get, try to get some of that fluid out.
Y I had even made a comment, I had even joked at one point, I'm like, if we could just do that again, cuz [00:39:00] obviously they had a place one. Yeah, because they obviously had to place one with the epidural. I'm like, cuz it at least I wouldn't have to worry about getting in and out of bed. Obviously I'm having headaches at this point still because of my blood pressure.
And I think we were back in labor and delivery for three days total. They had started me on blood pressure medication for a few days and I'm surprised they didn't
Trish: have a catheter
Kayla: in you. It was a holding period. We were just waiting to see if my blood pressure would come down with this medication.
I'm really surprised they didn't, obviously it did and yeah, I was in the hospital total eight days, nine days. Induction surgery postpartum? Yeah. For the first five days of my daughter's life, she was in the hospital. I'm, it was nice in a sense to have the [00:40:00] help of the nurses that we did to be able to at night for them to, cuz that it got to be to a point where she was the only baby.
We were the only people there. She was the only baby. So they could take her at night so that Steve and I could get some rest and they would just all take turns holding her and feeding. Yeah. But, it was hard to say the least. I, at one point I sent a text message to my friends and family.
I still have it on my phone, but because I felt really disconnected and. Not wanting to give all the details or whatnot is just second nature to me. I'm not a hundred percent in terms of asking for help. I'm not always the best at it or and Steve really cur, he's you need to let everyone I've done that know's happening.
So I sent a text to my fam family and friends saying, I know I've been distant since [00:41:00] Ainsley's arrival. This is what's going on. I'm not okay, things are not okay. I explained to them, I had to make the decision to give up breastfeeding and to clue them in it as to how I was at that moment, at that time.
And even, like I said, feeling disconnected to Ainsley. I remember saying to her at one point That. I'm sorry Mommy hasn't told you she loves you yet. But, I eventually got there to say the least. I love her with every single fiber of my being. But what we went through has impacted so so much.
It impacted those first few days of me with her how I felt with her, how disconnected I felt from her having to not, not being able to breastfeed because I was physically incapable of it. Being [00:42:00] triggered, going to the doctors, stuff like that. Everything that we went through has had such a huge ripple effect across my life.
Trish: I'm so glad you came today. And I just want to, I wanna talk a bit about just your journey since, because when I think about our postpartum healing group in the membership, and particularly you and I can still remember the first out, and I remember you sitting at your kitchen bar and I can remember, I am definitely an empath, number one, and I can remember feeling your pain.
That hangout. [00:43:00] So I would love it if you would just share just your journey, like with the Hangouts and how it that has been for you, because I know what it's been for me, like just to walk that journey. I feel like, I share on here all the time on the podcast, on Instagram, like what our hangouts for the pregnancy and for the birth courses inside the membership are, and how incredible they are.
And just how, I know there's no other childbirth educators that do coaching calls with their students every week. There aren't, no one else does it. Doulas charge through the roof for virtual coaching calls. So I know I'm an enigma. And I say this all the time to you guys that the postpartum hangout, I really just did it so I could continue to hang out with you guys.[00:44:00]
But what has happened has blown us all away and it really started with that first hangout. And part of that was, your story was Cassie's story was, Liz's story was, I remember Liz sharing how sh you know her feelings of those intrusive thoughts. So I would love for you to kind share just what that has meant to you cuz it's meant so much to me.
Kayla: Yeah. I. The val the sense of community, I would say is like the biggest thing that comes to mind and being able to connect with these other women because, I have friends that have children, but they're much further postpartum, than I am. So to have one, to have [00:45:00] someone who's in the thick of it in the moment is totally different because I can text my seasoned mom friends to ask them a question about, a given moment, but two.
To tell them that, my kid is driving me nuts today. I know that they get it, but in the moment with a baby, with, this little tiny ball of adorable cuteness it might be a little bit different, but to be able to hear these other moms describe these ups and these downs and to be able to feel like you're seen, I think that's one of the biggest things is to be able to feel like you're seen and to appreciate the courage that some of these moms have had to share these really tough, dark moments because it's not sunshine and rainbows.
And [00:46:00] after my story and my experience and how my motherhood journey began, To be able to connect with these other moms who have also had these really tough trying starts to their motherhood journey. It just, it makes you feel like you're not alone. And I think that a lot of the moms on our postpartum calls have said that a lot, that I don't feel like I'm alone.
So and so has said this and it resonated with me. And that has happened a lot. When a mom shared about intrusive thoughts or when a shared about being hesitant to start medication. That was me a few months ago, because I wanted to try my journey of healing through, through therapy before I tried medication first.[00:47:00]
As and as we've chatted about that, that therapy journey has been very difficult. But my anxiety and being overwhelmed at times and feeling lonely, and again, to have another mom admit that feeling lonely at times. Trying to put Ainsley down for a nap and finding myself crying because I'm overwhelmed that she's fighting this nap and I'm tired, and and making the decision I, that it was gonna be in my best interest mentally and to be a better mom to start medication, like other moms have shared that already.
And it made me feel. Not that it, not that I needed the justification that it was okay to start medication, but to know that someone else has also felt similarly. Am I making the right decision? Is this the right decision for me? Or, [00:48:00] is anyone gonna think lesser of me that I need to do this medication?
Or, other moms have said that. And I think that feeling of connect being connected to them it's invaluable. I don't think that my journey, I don't think I'd be where I am in my journey if I wasn't able to hop on those calls and share the ups and downs. Yeah.
Trish: I've, I it has really taken me for surprise.
It really has. And for those of you guys listening, what we're talking about last fall, we. Turned we, we opened up our student community, turned it into Calm Mama Society, which is our pregnancy and postpartum membership. And what has taken life of its own is the postpartum side of the membership. So anyone who joins one of our birth courses, either calm Labor, confident Birth, which is what [00:49:00] Kayla took or the v a Lab, which is our other birth course, gets 30 days in Calm Mama Society to try it out.
You get it 30 days free, and then it's 1997 a month, and that includes virtual labor nurse support and our doula support. And then you get this. Unbelievable undescribable community support through your postpartum journey and while you're pregnant. We meet every Wednesday and we have a coaching call via Zoom.
I go live inside the community. I try to go quite a bit. I get on there in the morning. These girls are my friends too. Like we hang out. They know I sh I'm very vulnerable. I share my life like I'm real with them. They're real with me. I know what's going on in their lives. They know what's going on in mine.
My doulas, hang out with them. We've got a pelvic floor specialist. We've got a baby care specialist on and on. And then on Thursday nights we have this postpartum [00:50:00] hangout, which is funny because if you know anything about labor and delivery nurses, we are not postpartum nurses. When we get floated postpartum, we bitch and moan.
We are not postpartum nurses. So the extent of my postpartum nursing is mostly two hours after birth. And then I say bye unless you are high risk and you come back to me like Kayla, and then I put on my high risk nursing. I like it. It's thrilling. I take care of you again and then I ship you back. But what's been really incredible is that I, and I've told Kayla knows this cuz I've told them because it's mind boggling.
I've been able to heal some wounds inside of myself that are old cuz some of my kids are adults. But it's things that I didn't even know that I went through in my own [00:51:00] postpartum journey because the moms in my own life, none of, so we never talked about it. These are things that my friends never verbalized.
We didn't verbalize it because some of it is embarrassing. And so there's something about us being on something, there's a safety to this co, this Zoom call that we do, that we are able to just be free to talk and share. I don't know, it's just been really cool. And like you and Cassie have become friends outside of labor nurse
Yeah. We text all the time, every day, all day. I actually, I mentioned to her about obviously it's not until October, but flying out for ink's first birthday, like it's, it, we talk all the time and. We've connected, we initially connected and [00:52:00] bonded over the fact that not even our stories, but over the fact that our babies were not sleeping at the time.
Sharing that struggle and trying to find humor in it. And then just from there, we've just connected and bonded over just different aspects, our journey, the, the stuff our kids are doing, where they're at. And then another mom I've been texting with is Sarah because, there were a few calls where Sarah voiced some struggles that she was having and.
I saw that, in, in me as well and I remember reaching out to her and just telling her like, Hey, like I get it. I see you. I'm in the thick of that right now as well. And then we've started texting as well and that's been great. I love that so much.
Trish: I love it so much. And some of my other students, yeah.
Like I, a couple of my other students [00:53:00] flew out and met each other in California and I'm like, that wouldn't have happened if we didn't start the membership and have these weekly hangouts like that.
Kayla: Oh yeah. Without a doubt. That
Trish: is that makes it so worth it cuz you know, Taylor and I pour ourselves into you guys like beyond and that just makes it.
So worth it to me. Like I love that so much and I love you guys so much. So that just, yeah. That makes me so happy. And we just, we love you guys and we just want, like all these workshops we do, and the hangouts we do it's because we want to invest and I want to change this culture. Like it needs to change, like for Ansley, for my daughters we want it to be different,
Kayla: yeah. I think taking the stigma away from talking about postpartum, I think we need to stop [00:54:00] glamor, glamorizing, I don't know if that's a word. Yeah. But it, making it seem like it's all sunshine and rainbows. It's not I think that I. I think that there needs to be a lot more discussion around birth trauma as well.
I never in a million years would have envisioned that I would have experienced birth trauma because I never knew really that was a th a thing that could happen. Obviously I know that there were scary things that can happen, but this term birth trauma never really was something I was aware of.
And I think that we need to start talking about it more. And the one thing I have come to realize is that birth trauma is not the exception. It's the norm. Yeah. And that what you know, which is hard, powerful picture. Perfect births it, it's
Trish: hard. Yeah. And in my shoes, it's hard, which you do have.
We do have a chapter at the very end [00:55:00] of calm labor. That is a birth de debrief, birth trauma chapter. But yeah, I, it's a fine line because you don't want to scare, but you wanna be real, you know what I mean? So it's hard. And I've talked to you guys before, like, how do I promote Call Mama Society and say, you need this, you really need this.
Listen to me, you need this. Come in here. It's $19 a month, but I promise you need it because you don't know what's coming without scaring the shit out of these new moms. It's I don't know how to say cushion yourself. Get ready. You need us. Come in here before you need us because you need us.
It's so hard. Yeah. I don't know.
Kayla: Yeah. I, yeah. So I can. I can definitely understand how Yeah. You wanna find a way to to give that message, but yeah, not, and I think [00:56:00] that, and not scare them. And I think that's why, for me like talking about my birth story so openly, I think I've been very hyper aware of who I talk to and about.
Because again, I think that lack of knowledge and that lack of awareness around birth trauma being a very prevalent thing. I need to know, who I'm speaking to and if they're gonna understand it, I can connect with Cassie over my birth trauma because Kathy, Cassie suffered her own. But versus trying to explain to my mother-in-law that my birth was traumatic. Like I, she's not gonna really understand. Why, or in what sense or what. But I think to your point, any moms who are pregnant or even are postpartum, the, they need this community for sure, because they don't know what they don't know.
Yeah. I definitely look back thinking, okay I don't think I set myself up for failure by not [00:57:00] having other birth plans. I didn't plan for a C-section. I didn't have that birth plan written out. I didn't have that What if plan. But I can tell you now, do I think it would've played out if I, even if I did, due to our circumstances, it may not have been.
This is a very, the fact that it was an emer, this situation, it, due to the fact that it was an emergency C-section and I wasn't really able to, Voice. I wasn't conscious, but I think it would be, I think to not say that if I had planned a little bit differently or if I had given more mental space, if to what, if this happens.
I would've felt more prepared. I, we, I went in with my birth plan and I went in, okay, these are my tools. This is what I'm gonna do for X, Y, Z. But that went out the window. Yeah. Pretty quickly.
Trish: Yeah. And I think [00:58:00] allowing yourself also for the space that you had a very unique situation and there's not Oh my gosh.
Hello doggie. That's a good No, I'm sorry. We've gone very pretty long.
Kayla: Oh, okay.
Trish: I'll finish that and then we'll wrap up here in a second. Okay.
I think we're good. I think just allowing yourself space that you had a very unique situation and there's not much that you could have done to handle that. You were unconscious. It's this, in any situation, being unconscious, like your plans, like who's, who can plan for that? Like I think just knowing you, you [00:59:00] really can't plan for that.
And just giving yourself some grace, I think would be, like maybe going back a little bit, but even hearing your story like. I even wonder gosh, is there a chance that maybe they weren't monitoring your blood pressure well, and maybe you were seizing what, what was going on with your blood pressure?
I'm thinking these girls were chatting it up and not paying attention to your contractions. Were they paying attention to your vital signs? Were you preeclamptic? What, what's going? The high risk nurse in me is like my, I'm perking up a little on this story because everything about your signs are very high risk, so I think giving yourself a little bit of grace, this is a pretty unique situation, but the Vback lab side of me is, anyway, I am so glad you came on today. I love you so much.
Kayla: [01:00:00] Yeah, no, I know. I love you too. I'm so happy that I got to do this. I. I wasn't sure if I was gonna be able to do it, but I'm glad that he did it.
Trish: Yes. And we, I've got I've got like a tear. I'm like, the whole time I'm like, are my eyelashes gonna come off? Thank you so much for coming today, Kayla. Thank you. All right. I'm gonna stop it. I'm so glad you came. Oh, mama. I hope you enjoyed today's episode where I chatted with Kayla, one of my calm labor students, all about her birth journey.
Birth trauma is real. We can't sugarcoat that. But having a community, having people to chat with, having therapy, and sometimes having medication is the answer. Make sure you talk, get help. We're here for you. We love you guys, as always, hit subscribe. [01:01:00] Subscribe as always. Hit subscribe. Leave a review.
We'll see you next Friday. Bye for now.