A Blue Moon Baby – A Northside Hospital Birth Story

Blue Moon Birth Sotry, epidural, Atlanta, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Winnie was born 4 hours before her due date, on the night of a full Blue moon, August 20th. My water broke naturally at home around 11am on the day Winnie came. I had been having contractions for two nights prior. They would start right when I would try to go to bed, but weren’t really consistent in timing, and never got closer together than 5 minutes. I remember sitting in her bedroom in the rocking chair, writing in my Notes what time they were happening. Two sleepless nights before she was born really sucked, but it enabled me to warn my mom that the baby was on the way and she was able to fly down from Chicago in time.

Before my water broke that morning we had gone for a really long walk and I was just uncomfortable, but I was not having consistent contractions that morning either. I was actually taking a nap when I felt one huge contraction and my water broke. I took a shower, called the doctor, did my makeup, and got my step kids back-up rides to soccer that night. I was so calm, and my mom was freaking out! I think I read every horror story on the internet prior to delivery. My birth resulting birth plan was that I was very certain that I would absolutely refuse and episiotomy, and that I wanted an epidural.

By the time we got to the hospital I was 4cm dilated. I was put into a labor and delivery room – a big huge room with a tv, private bathroom, two couches, a chair. They thought I would be delivering fast so I was given an epidural not too long after. The epidural significantly slowed everything down. Had I not gotten one I think I would have given birth within a couple hours, if that. They administered Pitocin after a few hours to try to speed labor along. It was a lot of painless waiting around, basically, but I was stuck in the bed (starving) because I had already had the epidural. The epidural also made my face go numb for a couple of hours, which really freaked me out at the time. The feeling that half of my face was paralyzed eventually went away but my face was pretty swollen the next day.

I was still able to feel the pressure of the baby with each contraction, but it wasn’t painful. Around 8:30pm I told the nurse that I was literally holding the baby in and was ready to push. I remember she checked me and said ‘Um, yeah you are, her head is right there!’ and she called my midwife in. As I started pushing my midwife used her hands as Winnie crowned, to work around the head and help me stretch and not tear. I did suffer a few very small tears, but nothing big enough for stitches and I healed naturally on my own. After 16 minutes, Winnie was born!  In the room were my mom, husband, midwife, and two nurses.

I would say I generally felt “normal” after having Winnie. I was overwhelmed and alone with no family nearby, my mom was only able to stay for a couple days after she was born. I think I just felt exhausted but thought it was normal for a brand new mom. 4 months later I had a miscarriage. At my mom’s suggestion I went to get my thyroid checked (many members of our family have thyroid disease) and it turned out that I was Hypothyroid, with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (autoimmune disease). They check your baby’s thyroid immediately after birth, and I wish they had checked mine! Pregnancy, birth, and miscarriages can all trigger a previously dormant thyroid disease.

While I’m happy to have it identified, unfortunately It’ll never be resolved. My immune system attacks my thyroid which causes it to leak hormones. So I have to take medication every morning to replace the hormone that is leaking out.  I’m pregnant again, due in 7 weeks (!) and with this pregnancy I have to get my thyroid hormone checked via blood test every 3 weeks. If the level is too high my medication dosage has to be adjusted. So many of hypothyroid symptoms mimic postpartum depression so it can be hard to know that what you’re feeling isn’t normal. I would advise everyone to get checked, especially if it runs in the family!
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