First time mom, Lexie, has always wanted to be a mom and spent years thinking about the kind of pregnancy and birth she would someday have. She originally planned for a low intervention hospital birth with midwives and the support of her husband and doula. But as is typical, the way she imagined it was far different from the reality!
Lexie became pregnant at the very start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Pregnancy brought many of the usual challenges, like intense nausea and fatigue and pelvic pain. The nausea was particularly difficult for Lexie to manage due to her emetophobia (fear of vomiting) but with the help of therapy and medication, she was able to endure the tough first trimester. She also experienced pelvic pain starting very early at 10 weeks that eventually became Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, and she sought care with both a chiropractor and a pelvic floor physical therapist.
As her pregnancy progressed, new challenges presented themselves that puzzled her midwives. Lexie experienced frequent migraines as well as fainting spells and episodes of heart racing. The midwives sent her to several specialists to rule out any serious conditions, although none could be found. But as these puzzling symptoms persisted and her blood pressure began to rise around 34 weeks, the midwives became uncomfortable continuing her care. They risked her out to an OB in their practice at 34 weeks, which ended up being a very smooth transition and her new OB was genuinely supportive of her birth preferences.
Labor started spontaneously at exactly 39 weeks with contractions. During several days of intense prodromal labor, Lexie was unable to make much progress or get adequate rest. Two days later, around 3:00am, the hospital admitted her at 3cm and she got an epidural hoping it would provide much needed rest so her body could dilate. But soon after it was placed, construction noise nearby was too loud to sleep. With rest and mobility off the table, they looked to other interventions that might help labor progress. Her OB broke her water and started Pitocin, and her doula helped position her legs to keep her pelvis as open as possible. They continued this through the entire day with no progress, until dinnertime when things picked up with a bang.
Lexie was able to vaginally deliver her daughter after roughly an hour of pushing. As Isla was born, her shoulder got stuck under Lexie’s pubic bone and her collar bone broke during delivery. It also became apparent that Isla had been asynclitic during labor, as she had a very dramatic and asymmetrical cone head. This is likely the reason labor was such a long and painful endeavor. In total, her labor was about 50 hours long.
The challenges for Lexie and Isla continued after delivery, with Isla being jaundiced and struggling with nursing due to an undiagnosed posterior tongue tie, and Lexie experiencing a DVT blood clot the day after being discharged from the hospital. Lexie had to be readmitted to the hospital for several days while they treated the blood clot and observed her for complications. Thankfully there were no complications, and they were able to diagnose a blood clotting disorder called Factor V Leiden before sending her home for good this time.
Things settled down after a few weeks, and Lexie could finally enjoy this dream turned reality of becoming a mom. Although pregnancy and birth did not go as planned, Lexie still feels positively about her experience overall and attributes this to having such a wonderful and supportive team of providers.
Lexie Smith Bio
Lexie lives in the greater Nashville metro area in Tennessee with her husband Michael, daughter Isla, and two very large dogs, Mozzie and Delta. She is an executive assistant for a marketing agency that works with banks on their brands. Although free time is scarce these days, she enjoys listening to podcasts about true crime, watching (and rewatching) shows on Netflix, and spending quality time with her little family. If you would like to connect with Lexie, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on Instagram @lexasaurusrex12.
• The Birth Hour Online Childbirth Course
• (IBCLC search)
• Infant sleep expert; non-sleep training approach
• Safe bed sharing guidelines
• Evidence Based Birth
• Postpartum & newborn care, basic breastfeeding support
• A no-B.S. formula expert
Part I of this episode is sponsored by Premama Wellness. Premama creates doctor-backed supplements that support every stage of your maternity wellness journey. From balancing hormones, to trying to conceive, pregnancy, postpartum recovery, and breastfeeding nutritional support. All Premama supplements are gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan or vegetarian, with no additives and no synthetic flavors. Discover why moms (and dads-to-be!) trust Premama wellness for their nutritional support by visiting Premamawellness.com. You can use the code BirthHour25 for 25% off your purchase!
Part II of this episode is brought to you by Kindred Bravely. From adorable maternity wear to comfortable nursing bras, this mom-owned company has you covered. See all of their comfy clothing at kindredbravely.com! I especially love their Simply Sublime nursing tank, their high waisted leggings (for pregnancy AND postpartum). Listen to this episode for a special coupon code and to hear about my new favorites in their summer line of clothing and loungewear!