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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Surprise, it's preterm labor

My water broke yesterday around 12:30pm. I wrapped up a conference call, put Roscoe down for his nap and then settled in for a snack and some email catchup. A few small gushes and a double check in the bathroom didn't convince me, but as I walked back to my computer more water trickled out and I was back to the toilet where I sat for 30 minutes with water intermittently dripping and gushing as I called my midwife, Andy, my mom, and my doula, in that order.

36 weeks is the cutoff for home birth. I'm 33 weeks today. After much debate, and because we thought the baby might come quickly, we went to our nearest hospital, instead of my primary choice located in the heart of DC. I wasn't experiencing much in the way of contractions so we took our time at the house--I showered, we packed my bag, and gathered all the necessities including extra pillows. We left around 2:45; Roscoe was sawing logs in his bed, and my mom was elbow deep folding a huge pile of laundry.

When we first arrived I tried my best to resist any internal exams because they significantly increase risk of infection once the amniotic sac has ruptured. When the doctor couldn't visually see my cervix with the speculum she convinced me to do an internal, my first FAIL.

My cervix was soft, thick, and 1 centimeter dilated. We were told the baby might come tonight, or in a week.

The sonographer paid us a visit and Little Sears was well engaged in my pelvis, head down, and butted up snuggly to my cervix. I thought we might get a glimpse of his sweet little face but it was buried. He's measuring right on track (estimated weight: 3 pounds 13 oz. plus or minus 11oz.) and he hasn't shown any signs of distress so far.

We spent over an hour with the neonatal intensive care nurse practitioner to get a better understanding of the NICU's policies and procedures. At this stage in the pregnancy we're guaranteed a minimum two week stay, and of course the realities that go along with that break my heart, but we're trying to stay positive and advocate for the things that are important to us.

I can't imagine leaving him in the NICU alone. ever. We've been told that we can stay with him 24 hours a day, practice kangaroo care whenever possible, and I've expressed my very strong preference that he receive only breast milk. I was a horrible pumper last time so the learning curve will be interesting. Once he is born we will initiate the process to request donor milk in case he needs to be supplemented.

I was transferred to the ante/postpartum ward and ordered for strict bed rest with trips to the bathroom as needed. I've been able to change back into my own clothes and I have a "room service" menu to order from at all hours so, for the moment, I'm pretty content. Overall we've been pleasantly surprised, staff have been really wonderful and we're bummed that they'll be switching shifts in four hours. Of course, I couldn't escape confinement to the bed and continuous monitoring, didn't get to eat for almost 12 hours, or use the bathroom for the first 6, but comfort measures are hard to come by here. Even pillows are a hot commodity and I'm glad we brought three. 'Tis the nature of the hospital I suppose.

I finally fell asleep around 1:30am but woke around 2:00am with contractions that are now 5-8 minutes apart--they're not painful, but I would definitely categorize them as contractions vs. the cramping I've been experiencing off and on over the last two weeks. I'm torn between wanting to keep the baby in as long as possible (I received the first of a series of steroid injections around 6 this evening), and wanting to avoid infection and the higher risk for a c-section. When my body goes into labor they will not try to stop it. My doula is on call, and my hope is that I will still have a natural, vaginal birth. The current estimate is that he'll be born within the next three or four days.

For now everyone is exercising the wait and see approach, which is just fine with me. I'm still processing everything and I'm grateful for this little lull in activity which not only bides us time to emotionally and mentally prepare in the context of the current situation, but to gather our thoughts around our priorities and to adequately communicate them to everyone on staff.

Keep Little Sears in your thoughts, outcomes are typically great for babies at 33 weeks.


  1. I will of course keep Little Sears & you all in my thoughts & prayers. I can't imagine what it racing through your mind but try to rest & sleep while you can!!


  2. I hope all goes as well as possible. I have you and your family in my thoughts. I know I was devistated when I "lost" my chance at a home birth due to pre E but just know that you can make this birth what you want even if you can't have a home birth. Good Luck!

  3. Oh no! I am so sorry :( But I'm glad to hear that both you and the baby are doing well. Stay positive and rest rest rest! It may not be the home birth you hoped for, but as long as that baby comes out strong and healthy, that is all that matters. You are both in my thoughts and prayers. Will they keep you in the hospital until he arrives or are you allowed to rest at home?

  4. I am thinking of you lady and you and your fam are in my prayers, everything will be ok, you got this!

  5. I know this was not your plan, but you are not a FAIL. Sounds like everyone is doing everything possible to keep Little Sears inside. I'll be thinking of you guys, best of luck, stay strong.

  6. You and little Sears will be in my thoughts and prayers daily. I know this isn't your ideal but as a high risk patient I had very limited options for delivery. I can honestly say my hospital delivery was a wonderful experience. I ran the show and no one questioned anything. We had to have the NICU there and my delivery was in a room with 10+ ppl. You would have never known. This go around I have already had one stay in the antepartum ward and again was more than pleased with the experience. I pray that you will be able to feel the same way in a few weeks. Take it easy momma. You have lots of people thinking of you right now.

  7. Oh my gosh!! Glad to hear everything's so far so good, despite the early labor. I'll be thinking about you guys.

  8. Good luck to you and Little Sears!! I hope all goes well.

  9. Thinking many, many good thoughts for you and Little Sears! Your positive attitude is inspiring and all of your boys are lucky to have such a strong, pragmatic, and resilient Mama and wife! You are amazing!

  10. Sending good thoughts for you and your baby!

  11. Thinking of you and looking forward to seeing Little Sears on the outside. Glad things have gone well so far with the hospital.

  12. Laura at navigating the mothershipFebruary 18, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    Thinking of you And your family during this stressful yet exciting time. I know you will do such a great job with the birth regardless of how it might transpire. Sounds like the nicu team is first class there. Big hug.

  13. Oh my goodness - I hope everything turns out okay. Glad that you're getting the care that you need - I'll be thinking of you and Little Sears!


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