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Mandy Moore, 36, opened up about giving birth to her first baby, Gus, on a podcast.
She revealed that she had to change her home birth plans due to complications.
Mandy's platelets dropped and baby Gus' heart rate dropped, so the doctors had to use a vacuum to expedite his arrival.
Mandy Moore, 36, welcomed her son August in February, and she shared in a new interview that things didn’t exactly go according to her original plan.
In an episode of Informed Pregnancy Podcast with Dr. Elliot Berlin, Mandy said that, despite going to childbirth classes, she felt a little unprepared for what childbirth was actually like. Mandy described labor pains as “diving into this wave as it's coming at me. It was crazy.”
"I think that's what was so wild to me about just the concept of labor,” she said. “Trying to imagine what it would be beforehand, and then when you're in the throes of it. I guess I'd taken all these classes and we talk about breathing and you talk about the techniques that your husband's going to help you with and the different tips and tricks."
Mandy said she felt “super prepared” in terms of knowing what she thought would work for her, but “all of that just went out the window.”
Mandy also said she was surprised to feel like she was on her own. "I felt like it was going to be somewhat more participatory, like with other people," she said. "That I would see their faces and be awake and alert and listen to their suggestions and go like, 'Okay, yeah, I agree with that.' But ultimately, no, it was, my eyes were closed and I was on my own. … Everybody else was just in the background."
Mandy originally planned to have an unmedicated home birth but her plan changed. So, her husband, Taylor Goldsmith made a “bed” for her in his car to take her to the hospital. “I was writhing around in pain," she said. Mandy said that it was a “huge priority” for her to have midwifery care, but she decided in the car to get an epidural.
“We live pretty far away, it was almost a 40-minute ride to the hospital at 3 o'clock in the morning,” she said, noting that she was “moaning like an animal” and “trying to breathe” while she got checked in.
Mandy said her labor was “intense” and “grueling.”
She was also denied an epidural because her platelets were dropping "exponentially" during labor. Platelets, in case you’re not familiar with them, are small, colorless cell fragments in your blood that form clots and stop or prevent bleeding. While it’s normal for platelets to drop slightly during pregnancy, it’s required that you have a higher platelet count between 80,000 and 100,000 per microliter to receive an epidural, according to the Platelet Disorder Support Association. "If platelets are dropping, that can put you at risk for getting an epidural hematoma," which is bleeding in the brain, according to Christine Greves, M.D., a board-certified ob/gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies.
"It wasn't on the table for me, which was, I guess, good because my initial thought was like, ‘I do want to do this unmedicated,’” Mandy said. “But once I was in the throes of how painful it was, that wasn't even an option for me.”
Mandy said she pushed for three hours before her son’s heart rate started to drop.
"The OB was just literally like, 'Okay, show's over.' Seven people walked in and he's like, 'So this is a vacuum and I'm going to attach this to the top of his head. And when I tell you to push, I want you to push harder than you ever have. And I'm going to pull at the same time and your baby's going to come out.' And I was just like, what?" she said.
Doctors typically monitor a baby’s heart rate during labor and delivery to help detect how the baby is handling the experience. If a baby’s heart rate shows an irregularity, the doctor may recommend using medication to speed up the labor or decide to use forceps or a vacuum to get the baby out sooner, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.
"It all happened so quickly. It was, one second everything was fine and then the next second it was like, this is happening,” Mandy said. “And literally I pushed harder than I had. And it went from no baby to a full body out in seconds."
Mandy said she was “so confused” when her son was suddenly put on her chest. "My husband was crying. I was like…this is not the way I expected to feel. I just remember going, I'm so confused right now. And quickly that transitioned into being emotional too. And I just couldn't believe that it was over because it happened so quickly,” she said.
Mandy said she can’t believe the level of love she feels for her son.
“I've never felt this kind of love. It was like the world stopped again, and you're not aware of anything else that's going on,” she said. “You just have your baby on you. And I couldn't imagine anything else mattering."
Mandy also wants to have more kids. "I've said to my husband so many times—and really anyone that has come by that will listen— I'm like, 'I can't wait to do it again,’” she said. “As harrowing as the journey was, I miss it. … It brought me this child who is my whole world now. And I'm so grateful for it. I'm grateful for how hard it was, because now I have the greatest gift.”
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