What would I do if I went into labor during Hurricane Harvey?

What would I do if I went into labor during Hurricane Harvey?

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It is difficult to imagine an event that could stop me from simply getting into my car and driving 15 minutes to check into labor and delivery at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. But this week, while watching the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey on Houston, Texas, I can’t help but think about all the women waiting out their last weeks of pregnancy. Would they go into labor during one of the worst reported floods in Texas history? Would the stress of the event induce labor?

The thought made me Google, Houston floods and labor.  This is what came up.

Women in Labor Saved from Houston Floodwaters After Neighbors Formed Human Chain.

The hurricane came, and these newborns refused to wait out the storm.”

Mom delivers twins during Harvey as family evacuates.”

(VIDEO) TV Reporter Meets Baby He Helped Deliver During Harvey: “A Chance to Smile.”

The story that stood out the most to me was the story of Andrea Smith and her husband, Greg, who were both doctors. They recently moved to Houston in late July for advanced training in their specialties. As I read their story, they seemed as prepared as a couple could be--way more prepared than I could ever be with their medical knowledge. When they woke up the morning of the hurricane with Andrea in labor, they were trapped in 2-3 feet of water with no way to get out. They reached out to the Coast Guard and local hospitals for help, but no one was able to come to their aid. Luckily, their apartment complex is home to doctors, nurses and EMT who work at the nearby Texas Medical Center. They arrived at their door with sutures, scissors and other supplies.

The article states,

“Luckily, someone reached out to a fire station — and the rescuers stopped by on what appeared to be a large garbage truck.” The Smiths’ neighbors then formed a human chain to help Annie wade through the water — which at that point was waist-high — to get to the truck, and the firefighters were able to escort her to the hospital, where she gave birth to baby Adrielle at 1:59 a.m.on Monday morning.

I cannot imagine the level of uncertainty that would come in that situation, especially now that I am deemed high risk. Again, it reminds me how blessed I am to have access to high quality doctors who are supervising my prenatal care and to reliable transportation to top hospitals. At the same time, it puts into perspective that in the event of a natural disaster, this could all change. I am motivated by the stories above. Random strangers worked together to help these pregnant women deliver these newborns in scary circumstances.

This week I am incredibly grateful for the #bebetter52 challenge for two reasons. Let’s talk about the first and more important reason. This week I have felt affirmation as to why I am working hard to build Be Better Movement. For all completed #bebetter52 challenges, money is raised for Every Mother Counts. The weekly donation of $1 per completed challenge might seem insignificant, but when multiplied by 52 weeks and completed by all participants nationwide, the impact grows exponentially.

It has been interesting to follow the efforts of Every Mother Counts during hurricane Harvey. They sent out a newsletter which states,

“Every Mother Counts is supporting our friends at Circle of Health International (COHI)through our Maternal & Child Health Emergency Fund. COHI, based in Texas, is working with their partners throughout the region to identify pregnant women, families with newborns and medically fragile children to help connect them to critical healthcare and safety.”

In the face of natural disasters, I believe funds should go directly to organizations that know the community and its needs. I appreciate Every Mother Counts partnership with COHI. All the money from the Be Better Movement raised toward Every Mother Counts is going to the right organization to guarantee the greatest impact to help women access essential maternity care worldwide.

The second reason I have enjoyed this week’s challenge is because it has seriously helped with my heartburn.

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Why do I get acid reflux while pregnant?

According to thebump.com, acid reflux is “when stomach acid doesn’t stay put in your stomach and creeps up into your esophagus. Acid reflux is more common in pregnancy because progesterone, the main hormone of pregnancy, slows your digestive system. That, combined with the pressure of a growing baby, increases the possibility stomach acid will make its way upward."

I remember experiencing acid reflux with Cooper. Suddenly in the middle of the night, a burning mass would appear in my throat, and I felt like I was choking. Cory would laugh as I’d dramatically sit up from sleep, acting like I couldn’t catch my breath because of this strange need to cough and burp.  I, too, would laugh because it was a dramatic reaction but an involuntary one. For weeks of my pregnancy with Cooper, I had to sleep in a propped up reclined position, which helped tremendously. Even in labor when the nurses had me too far reclined, I’d feel that choking feeling creeping up and demand I be propped up. Magically, the second she was born, the curse of acid reflux vanished.

So far this pregnancy I’ve encountered less morning sickness and acid reflux, but, coincidentally, this week the acid reflux choking sensation resurfaced. One of the natural remedies I used while pregnant with Cooper was a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). It is a strange irony.  With reflux, acid comes up your esophagus, yet here I was treating my problem with an acidic vinegar that stung as it went back down; however, I felt an intense relief from the pain.

As I reached for my trusted home remedy of ACV, I decided to do a little more research. Thank you heathline.com for your advice. I needed it.

-It’s thought that this home remedy helps balance your stomach pH by neutralizing stomach acid.

- It should be diluted in water (which I was NOT doing). The ratio should be one tablespoon of ACV with 8 oz. of water.

- You can prevent the acid from damaging the enamel on your teeth by using a straw and rinsing your mouth right after.

-Consider adding honey if the ACV is too sharp or sour for your taste buds.