Welcome to Returning to Birth! I share the amazing ways childbirth can teach us more about ourselves. ALL women deserve a positive and empowering birth experience, and I’m here to help make that happen.

Type 1 Diabetes and Pre-E

Type 1 Diabetes and Pre-E

  • Name: Amber Nielson

  • Baby Name: Hunter Cassidy Horn

  • Weight: 5lbs 14oz

  • Length: 19in

  • Birthday: 12/06/2017

  • Gestation: 34 weeks 5 days

  • Time of Birth: 4:09am

  • Location of Birth: Jacobs Medical Center La Jolla, CA

I knew from the moment I found out we were pregnant that it was going to be a bumpy road due to my Type 1 Diabetes, but still had an idea of how I would like our birth to go. When the time came, every thought I had about how it would be went out the window.

At 35 weeks I was diagnosed with severe Preeclampsia. I went in to see my doctor at UCSD Hillcrest because I woke up with severe swelling and a bad headache. After running the blood pressure test and blood work I was immediately sent to Labor and Delivery at Jacobs Medical Center. We had planned on delivering at Jacobs the whole time so we had already done our tour and taken a birth class, but I wasn’t ready to have the baby. I thought I had another month, but it was too dangerous for me and our son for him to stay in utero. In order to get him out safely, I would need to be induced.

By 5:00 pm I was admitted and at 6:00pm they started my induction with pitocin. At that point I was hooked up to 2 IVs, one for the magnesium to control my extremely elevated blood pressure and one to regulate my blood sugar with glucose and insulin. It was hard for me to be mobile and connected to everything, but my nurses and fiancé were great about helping me get up and move around as much as possible to help with the contractions. It was bearable for about 18 hours but by that point I had only dialated 2 cm.  

The doctor decided to help dilate my cervix with a Foley balloon. It was a terrible feeling. They put a ballon inside your vagina and then slowly fill it with water to push the crevix open. This stayed in and they kept filling it for 6 hours.  At this point my contractions with the balloon inside were so bad that I asked for an epidural. When the epidural stated to take effect I was able to rest for a while. I slept on and off for 6 hours and then we were ready to start pushing.

The team of doctors and my nurses moved me to the OR to make sure we had everything needed to help my son when he came out since he was premature. I pushed for 2 hours.  It was really hard because I was already exhausted and I wasn’t allowed any water due to the medication I was getting for the Preeclampsia. I could have ice chips though so my fiancé was feeding me those while I pushed.

As our son was crowning his should got stuck behind my pelvic bone so he couldn’t get all the way out on his own.  The doctor had to reach in to pull him out, which caused him to break his clavicle.  He wasn’t breathing at first so the pediatric team immediately started to resuscitate him. He took his first breath and started crying.

I wasn’t able to hold my baby when he was first born because he needed to be put on breathing support. My fiancé was able to go to the NICU with him while the doctor took me to another room to check my levels and make sure I was going to be ok. After my medication cycle was done I was able to go see my son at 7:00 am., 3 hours after he was born. He came into the world at 5 lbs 14 oz and 19 inches long. He was absolutely perfect.

I was kept in the hospital as a patient for 7 days to get my blood pressure and swelling down and he was kept in the NICU for 3 weeks to get him breathing and eating in his own.

We finally got to take our baby home December 28. He is now 6 1/2 months old and thriving, totally healthy and growing like a weed. He is a fighter and even though his journey into the world was not what we had envisioned, we couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out considering the circumstances. 

Baby Brooke: Born the Day Before Scheduled Induction!

Baby Brooke: Born the Day Before Scheduled Induction!

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I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant