Monday, October 19, 2015

Brachial Plexus Injury Awareness Week 2015

     Brachial Plexus Injury Awareness Week is October 18-25. During this week, I, and several other people affected by brachial plexus injuries work extra hard to spread awareness. I am passionate about sharing awareness for a couple of different reasons. 1) AWARENESS - I had never even heard of a brachial plexus before my son was born, much less on how to prevent a brachial plexus injury. 2) Acceptance - I want people to know about the condition, what it means, and how they can help so that they can still see my son as Colsen, not "the boy with an injured arm."
     This week, what I am doing to help raise awareness is tagging images with an "Erb's Palsy Awareness" ribbon. I'm doing these for anyone who wants one. I hope to make at least 100, and I love to see them used as a profile picture on Facebook... or anywhere.
     So what IS a brachial plexus injury? A brachial plexus injury is an injury that happens to the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus consists of a bundle of nerves located on each side of your spine near the collarbone. The injury is caused when nerves of the brachial plexus are stretched.
     What does this mean? When the nerves are damaged, there are a variety of things could happen.
Depending the severity and individuality, the arm  could be paralyzed, numb, tingly, painful, etc... Often you'll see children with a "waiter's tip."
     There are different kinds of brachial plexus injuries. Obstetric brachial plexus injuries are brachial plexus injuries that happen at birth. - often associated with shoulder dystocia and/or incompetent OBGYNs. OBPIs usually heal within the first couple years with the assistance of physical therapy.
     Traumatic brachial plexus injuries are brachial plexus injuries that happen later in life. These are sometimes related to motorcycle accidents. Traumatic brachial plexus injuries are much less likely to heal.
     How can we prevent an obstetric brachial plexus injury from happening? Since most obstetric brachial plexus injuries happen with shoulder dystocias, our goal is to prevent a shoulder dystocia. Talk to your doctor. Ask him how often he comes across shoulder dystocias and his way of releasing the dystocias and ask about ways to prevent it from happening. Do not give birth on your back. This decreases the vaginal walls by up to 30% increasing your risks of a shoulder dystocia.
     If you'd like to help spread awareness, feel free to share this post and/or some of the photos provided. These are NOT my property. I've seen them around the Internet and collected them over time.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Austin's Birth Story

     This blog post and birth story are provided by a sweet fellow brachial plexus mama. Thank you Melanie Jesuele for sharing your story and Brachial Plexus Injury Awareness. You rock!

     I had a normal and super healthy pregnancy, I ate clean and worked out until I was in labor (literally) and gained the "normal 25lbs". With my 1st son I gained 65lbs ate whatever I wanted and stopped working out the day I took the pregnancy test. My l
abor with my first son (not my bpi son) was horrible and long. It was 26hrs and he got stuck for almost 3 hours. Thankfully he was healthy and happy when he finally came out but I promised my self the next time I got pregnant that I would be more health conscious and work out so I had a nice smooth labor.

     Fast forward to 15 months later it is the afternoon of march 27th and I was out to lunch with my best friend and son and she asked me what my biggest fear of labor is and with no hesitation I said something going wrong and something happening to my baby. 

     Later that afternoon I was having bad cramps but chalked it up to Braxton hicks. I had no idea what real contractions felt like because I was induced with my first. A few hours later I still felt pain so I figured I would work out to make the cramps go away I figured there was no way I was in labor because I was just checked the day before and 0cm dilated. The pain still didn't go away and I found my self screaming at my 15 month old for giving me a hug at that point I knew something was wrong. It felt like I needed to poop really bad so I tried and nothing happened so my husband took me to the hospital because by this point my "poop pains were 5 min apart"

     I got to the hospital and the nurse was so mean she pretty much yelled at me for going to the hospital for poop Pains and said labor is a really long process if your not dilated I'm sending you home I was like thanks I know this isn't my 1st rodeo.. but it hurts so bad idk what else to do. 

     I got on the bed and I could tell right away something was wrong they couldn't find my babies heart beat I flipped over like an acrobat and heard nurses and drs coming in and telling me to do things to find the baby or were touching my stomach for what felt like a million years until finally they found him and then rushed me into a room. They were going to do a c section but the anesthesiologist was in Surgery .. it was at that point that my guilt started and I wished I would have demanded one to this day .. once in the room they stabilized my son and gave me an epidural and broke my water and that's where I found out that he was drowning in amniotic fluid had the cord wrapped around his head and i was 6cm dilated (thank you bitch nurse who said I was prob going home that night) and that if I didn't go in when I did that my son would have died. 

     Two hours later the nurses came in again because his heart rate dropped again .. at this point again I regret not asking for a c section .. Instead I asked if it's ok to push him out .. the nurse checked me and said I was at an 8 and one good push could get me to a 10 so I did that one good push and 5 minutes later my baby was out. 7lbs 12oz he never got stuck and he wasn't pulled out. He was healthy and I was told that his right arm was just a little slower than his left and after all that could have happened I didn't care at the time I was like ok no big deal it will catch up.

Austin Alexander Jesuele
Birthday: 3/28/15 12:17am

7lbs 12oz 19 1/2 inches
     Well once I was in the room with him I realized that it didn't move at all. I was pretty much told that it will fix it's self within 3 months and not to move it that it would be ok. I am so happy that my mommy instinct popped in a few weeks later and I knew that wasn't right and that I was able to get us on the right track. I later learned that my story is diff than most .. a Dr didn't hurt my baby, he just came out way to fast and twisted weird and I think the cord wrapped around his neck may have some factor in it. 

     The moral of my birth story is is that it doesn't matter how "healthy" you are or how much you do things right .. anything can still happen and sadly my biggest fear came true. 
     Also to never second guess your self, I should have went to the hospital sooner and I should have asked for those c sections maybe my situation would have been different.. but this is the hand we were dealt and honestly if it wasn't for austin I never would have known how strong I really am and I never would believe that miracles really do happen.