Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's Official!

Heard back from Dr. C's office this morning and it's official!  We are making to leap and staying with Dr. C in Texas.  My next appointment is January 6th at 29 weeks.  I'll see him for less appointments than a "normal" patient to accommodate the distance I'll be driving.  Right now the plan is to see him at 29, 33, 35, and 38 weeks.  After 38 weeks, I'll be there full time living with my brother and his family and will be able to see him weekly until I go in to labor.

I am SOOO thankful for a supportive physician like Dr. C.  I know GOD IS BIG ENOUGH and has this entire situation cradled in His hands.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Move

I have so much to write about, I don't know where to begin.

We are moved to Louisiana.  I took a break from worrying about the VBAC to concentrate on the move.  It has been a hard process being over 6 months pregnant.  My belly has really grown and the baby moves A LOT.  I am a busy body by nature and it has been very hard on me to rest enough.  If I work on my feet too much, I get pretty good spells of Braxton Hicks contractions and that horrible varicose vein aches and aches.  Oh and I hate those hose I got through my prescription from Dr. C.  I've only worn them a couple days and although it does make the vein stop aching, they are a major pain to always be readjusting and pulling up.  Guess I'll pay for not wearing those hose after the pregnancy when my leg looks horrible and I can't wear shorts.  :(

Yesterday, the stress of everything hit me hard after I received yet another message from someone telling me to reconsider the birth center we had been looking at.  I'm still waiting to hear if they'll even take me as a patient, but I was just so sick of not knowing what we were going to do.  I called Daddy B crying and my sweet husband was home within 20 minutes.  We talked about what we feel our options are:

1. Assume we could go to the birth center an hour and a half south and plan to have me live in a hotel starting at 38 weeks, due to their policy of me needing to be within 50 miles of the midwife.

2. I talked with a midwife at a birth center just inside the Texas border who said she would take me as a patient, but she didn't have direct OB back up in case of an emergency.  It is three hours away from us, but she wouldn't require me to be close by near my due date.

3. Call back a doctor in our area who said "he doesn't like to get involved in VBAC's," but I know he has done them and try to get a consult without mentioning I want a VBAC and then talk to him in person and hope he will give me a trial of labor.

4. Go live with my brother and sister-in-law in Texas starting at 38 weeks and stick with Dr. C.  My mother-in-law would come be with Baby C while I was in Texas so I could concentrate on trying to get labor started and not have to worry about caring for Baby C if I went in to labor during a work day when my brother and SIL weren't there.

I asked Daddy B what he felt our number one option was.  He told me that he had felt this entire time I should stay with Dr. C, but had wanted me to make the decision.  I told him I was worried he wouldn't get there in time and he said he would move the earth if he had to in order to make it so I should just take that off my mind.  After much consideration, I realized Dr. C is the only option I feel totally at peace with.  Later in the evening, a doula I've been talking to who would have been our doula had we gone with the birth center south of us, ended up calling me to talk about the latest message I had received.  We talked for 2.5 hours!  She agreed that she felt I should go back to Texas because what is most important is for me to feel comfortable and empowered and the best way to do that is to surround myself with my support people, which are not located here in Louisiana.

So I'm calling Monday to work out the details with Dr. C.  I sure hope it all goes smoothly and we can decide on a prenatal visit plan we both feel comfortable with until I'm there at 38 weeks.

I felt better today after coming to a decision.

Here's a look at the sweet baby belly growing bigger day by day!


My nesting instinct is realllly starting to kick in and we are waiting until after January 1st to start baby preparations.  When we went Christmas shopping for Baby C at Toys R Us, I talked Daddy B into letting me buy the new baby a couple of outfits.  It sure is different not knowing what gender this baby is and having to search through the racks to find something that could work for a boy or a girl!







Monday, November 14, 2011

Tribulations

I've been talking to ICAN Baton Rouge and Birth Rite Louisiana, which is a natural birthing group in the area we are moving to that I was referred to by the ICAN ladies.  I've called all references I've received and every single one has said "No" to VBAC.  There are not many birthing centers in the state and the one I was referred to said they love to do VBAC's, but there is a law in LA that a VBAC patient has to live within 50 miles of their midwife or OB in order to be accepted as a patient.  No VBAC supportive doctor in the state lives close enough and we don't know anyone we could stay with around my due date to make that work.  Then the ladies told me that they thought that law only applied to midwives, so I called a doctor I've heard good things about in Baton Rouge.  Left a message for his nurse, but haven't heard back.

I was really discouraged last night.  I think I cried from about 2pm-10pm.  I hadn't eaten, my head hurt and I was so sick of all of this.  It shouldn't be this hard!  Daddy B has been so encouraging.  He always says things like "What WE want,"  "OUR birth,"  etc.  It makes me feel so comforted to know he wants this as bad as I do and he is committed.  I prayed and prayed last night asking God to give me peace if He wants me to have another c-section.  It sure would make everything easier.  But He didn't grant me that peace and instead I feel more determined.  I tried to visualize walking in to a hospital for a c-section without having a trial of labor and the thought literally made me sick.  I just feel convicted that God wants me to TRY.

After talking to Daddy B about all of this, he recommended I call his mom.  His mom is retired and lives in Arkansas, but her husband (Daddy B's stepdad) is actually from the area in LA we are moving to.  So I called her and asked her if she would be willing to come down for longer than planned around my due date so that I could go stay close to the birth center that supports VBAC to enable me to have the baby there.  She didn't hesitate.  I've shared with her some about why this birth experience means so much to me, so it didn't come out of left field when her only daughter-in-law called her bawling her eyes out about everything.  I'm just so thankful to her and her support.  I don't know if she'll ever fully understand how much it means to me.

This afternoon I called the birth center back and they said they'd be happy to take me as a patient, as long as I can guarantee I will be in the area from 38 weeks on and that their backup OB approves my post-op report from my c-section for a VBAC.  Shouldn't be a problem, as I am almost a perfect candidate.

I still have the back up plan to come back to Texas, but there are a lot of things about that plan that scare me.  I would prefer to birth in Louisiana, but if that means I have to get cut, I'll gladly make my way back to DFW to have this baby.

One thing is for sure, after all this is over, I plan to do what I can to help educate people about a woman's rights when it comes to birth.  It is utterly ridiculous that this is so hard.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

20 Weeks

We had our 20 week appointment yesterday.  Everything went great!  Talked with Dr. C more about the move to LA and finding a new doctor.  He gave some more great tips and really gave me a hard time about leaving him.  :)

Amiga C met me out at the office.  It's about equal distance from our houses to Dr. C's office so it was really nice of her to drive the hour to go with me!

My blood pressure is looking good and was 116/71, the baby's heart rate was in the 150's and I'm feeling pretty good.  The only thing that is going on is that I have a pretty nasty varicose vein starting in my upper  left leg and wrapping around behind my left knee.  I had it towards the end of my pregnancy with Baby C, but this time I noticed it around 10 weeks and it has only gotten progressively worse.  Now it's starting to ache frequently and it has worried me.  Dr. C wrote me a prescription for support hose and wants me to wear them the majority of the day while I'm on my feet. Not thrilled about this development!  At least it's winter and I won't be suffering in the heat while wearing them.

So after consulting with Dr. C, we headed back to the ultrasound room.  I was excited to see my little baby!  I've noticed this pregnancy that I don't feel as much movement at this point as I did with Baby C and when I do feel it, it's in my lower belly.  I had wondered if maybe my placenta was in front and lo and behold, it is!  The ultrasound confirmed my placenta is anterior and is cushioning the little peanut's kicks and punches.  I'm a little sad about it because I LOVE these early movements, but am very thankful that the baby and I am perfectly healthy.  I know once they get bigger, I'll feel everything!

Everything measured perfect on the baby and they actually measured 21 weeks and were 14 oz and 11 inches long.  Even though we didn't find out the gender, the sonographer said she can assure us it is a boy OR a girl.  No in between.  I'm guessing boy! :)

Because we didn't want to chance a peek at the baby's goods, we didn't get a ton of time to watch the baby moving around.  One neat thing though is that when she did switch the TV on for us to watch the ultrasound, she concentrated on the face and turned on 4D!  We didn't have that with Clint because you had to pay extra for it.  It was really neat!  Here's my favorite picture.  Look at the lips!


Here's the monthly belly shot:


Monday, October 31, 2011

CBAC Week

I know I haven't updated in awhile, and it's not because I don't have anything to add to the journey I'm on towards a VBAC, but it's because I have needed a break.  Sometimes these things can consume your mind, and when you're stressed to the MAX trying to figure out a move to another state that would still allow you to at least spend Christmas together as a family, it's hard to spend all your energy processing emotions you're feeling regarding your upcoming birth.  My 20 week appointment is Friday and I'm sad to say Daddy B can't make it.  We are both bummed because he really prefers to be at my appointments when possible, plus this is the big anatomy ultrasound (even though we aren't finding out the gender).  Luckily, Amiga C is available to come with me and her sweet husband is watching their toddler so it can just be the two of us. Amiga C is about 35 weeks pregnant with her little boy.  Here's the two of us at her shower yesterday:


Amiga C has had such a different pregnancy this time around.  With her daughter, she developed high blood pressure that progressively got worse, put her on bed rest and lead to induction at 36 weeks.  This time, the pregnancy has been pretty uneventful and she has been very healthy.  At her 20 week appointment, her placenta was close to the cervix and her and I started talking more and more about the possibility of a c-section.  She has been so supportive through this VBAC experience and I think I may have scared her of going to the OR. :(  Definitely not my intention, but it did lead to some good talks between the two of us and how we both feel about our previous births and the ones to come.  C-sections can be absolutely necessary and placenta previa is one instance where they are used as wonderful medical technology!  Thankfully, at 34 weeks they did an ultrasound and we found out that the placenta was now a safe distance from the cervix and that she can move forward with her original birth plan.

That leads me to the topic of this post.  A CBAC is a cesarean birth after a cesarean.  As a hopeful VBAC mom, I know that it could be meant for me to have another c-section.  I've come to terms with that and my main objective in this journey is to simply give my body a chance to give birth on its own.  If I labor and it is just God's plan for me to have a second c-section, then I think I'll be okay with it.

A friend through ICAN posted a link to CBAC Week on the ICAN website.  I ventured over to the site and read through some posts by CBAC moms and am so glad I did.  Here are their full stories.

This quote really stood out to me when trying to figure out how to explain to others why I feel traumatized from my birth with Baby C.

 "I think that most birth trauma stems from a loss of control of your birthing experience – so planning ahead of time ways you can remain “in the driver’s seat” even if your birth plan goes awry is a great idea."

I just want to feel in control this time.  Even though things are absolutely crazy in our life right now with the move, I still feel that no matter where I end up giving birth or how this baby meets the world for the first time, as long as I feel in control I will be able to move on from my birthing experience with confidence that it happened exactly how it was supposed to.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Birth Options in LA

So remember that lead on an OB that I had in small area of Louisiana we are moving to?

Yeah, that wasn't a good phone call.  After talking with Dr. C, I thought I'd go ahead and schedule my 24 week appointment with a new doctor in Louisiana.  I called the one recommendation I got.

The receptionist answered and I told her I had heard that the doctors in their practice were VBAC supportive.  I should have known when she didn't act familiar with the term "VBAC" that things might not turn out well.  She told me that she would go ask.

A nurse returned on the phone after a few minutes and said "I talked to the doctors and they don't know why you heard they supported that kind of birth.  Our newest doctor out of medical school would be happy to sit down with you and explain why they don't do it since she is up to date on all the current information."

I told her I wasn't interested.

She said, "But we'd be happy to take you as a patient."

"For another c-section, right?" I responded.

"Yes," she answered.

"No thanks.  And tell that new doctor of yours if she had actually done her research and looked at facts she would know that it's safer for a mom to have a vaginal birth after a c-section than another major abdominal surgery."

And hung up.

I was so upset.  I guess I felt like maybe I had an option close to home there and since it was my only lead and there aren't even any birthing centers in the area, I felt it was the ONLY option.

We know we have Dr. C as back up, but I just am not sure with all the unknowns of having this natural birth I want after my experience with my son, that I'm comfortable with the possibility of me relying on Dr. C and then going in to labor before I had a chance to get back to Texas.  I'm also scared that Daddy B would not make it in time with the 5 hour drive.  I just have no idea what to expect since I've pretty much never been in labor before and definitely haven't gone in to it on my own.

So I contacted the wonderful ladies of ICAN in Baton Rouge (the only chapter in the state) and they are helping me expand my search.  We are about 1.5 hours from the nearest big city and Baton Rouge is 2 hours.  There are other options if we commit to a drive again and I have a good family friend in Baton Rouge that I could count on if I needed anything in that area.

We'll see what happens.  I felt really lost after that phone call.  I mean this whole process is scary and frustrating and I see now why some moms just go for another c-section, even though that is not an option AT ALL with me.  I have to try to have this baby naturally.  Daddy B told me he's proud of my determination and is behind me all the way.  I am so thankful to have a husband who supports me not only through his words of encouragement but in my knowledge that he is behind this vision for the birth of our next baby 100%.  I'm so appreciative he has listened and researched on his own to learn about VBAC.  I know I cannot do this without him by my side!

P.S.  Daddy B started in his new territory today.  It's a big day for him so keep him in your thoughts as he tackles a section of the railroad that is in pretty bad shape and almost four times the size of his territory in Texas!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

16 Week Appointment

We had our 16 week appointment with Dr. C last friday.  Everything went well and we found the baby's heartbeat quickly a few inches below my belly button.  It was in the high 150's.  I strained a muscle in my lower belly last week, but it's feeling better now.  It was from bending over to look under the car when I thought a cat was under there.  Who knew such a simple motion could pull a muscle!

I broke the news to Dr. C about our move.  Of course he was encouraging, as always.  He told me to stop worrying because he wasn't going anywhere and if can't find a care provider in Louisiana that we feel is the right fit, we can just come back and birth with him.  It's something we will seriously consider as we start our search for a VBAC care provider.  It's only about a 5 hour drive back to Texas and I've already been told I can stay with my brother and Aunt K.  If we do decide to go that route, I'd head to Texas close to my due date (if I haven't gone in to labor) and just stay until things got going.  I'd probably need to stay a week or so after the baby was born to get Aunt K's help with breastfeeding and then drive home.  Daddy B said he would just start driving the minute I called him to say I knew I was in labor.  Of course, we would prefer to NOT have to make a 5 hour drive with a newborn, but if it comes to it, we will do it.  I don't want to regret my birth decisions again.  I'll do everything in my power to make sure that doesn't happen.

The ICAN group in Louisiana has been amazing and I just got an e-mail this morning from one of the co-leaders saying she's been making calls and found a small birth group in the area we are moving to that has at least one VBAC mom.  I'll be contacting them to see what doctor they used.

So here's what you really want to see.  My growing belly! :)


Daddy B is leaving for Louisiana on Saturday.  This whole journey is really about to begin.  Our goal is to be moved by Thanksgiving, but we'll see what happens!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Raw Emotions

I wanted to blog about this while the emotions are still fresh on my mind.

It's a little thing, really, but for some reason it seems so big.

Since this whole thing started, you know... recovering emotionally from the c-section and researching, preparing and praying over a VBAC, it has felt so far away.  When you're this mom who just loves her babies and wants to have that instant bonding moment with them you feel is your right as a woman but never even had the option to have, the idea of a second chance at it pulls at your heartstrings.

I've been researching VBAC for nearly two years now and dreamed of the day I would get pregnant again to work towards that goal.  Well here I sit, pregnant and creeping closer to halfway through this pregnancy every day.  I felt some peace after deciding on Dr. C and then started looking in to a doula.  I emailed two different individuals before the news of the move and both were unavailable.  At the time, I didn't realize how much it bothered me.  Not that it is the doula's fault, but it's just a lot of thought went behind sending out that e-mail to them asking if they thought they fit what I wanted for my birth.  When they said they wish they could, but for one reason or another couldn't, I guess I felt like it wasn't real yet.

So this moving news came and I started looking in to the area in Louisiana that we are moving to.  It has a population of 47,000 or so.  Did you read that right?  The suburb I live in has 153,000 and we were driving an hour north to see Dr. C!  It has been daunting to do searches online for doulas and come up with one name and nothing comes up for VBAC friendly doctors or midwives.

So I contacted DONA International and asked them to send me a list of doulas in the area.  They sent 3 names within a 50 mile radius of the city.  I e-mailed all three this morning.  I didn't know what to expect.  But tonight, I got a reply.  It's nothing elaborate, but it literally made me cry these tears of relief.  Someone out there is interested in my birth!  This may not make much sense... but I guess it doesn't have to.  And if you know these emotions yourself or have talked with me about them, I suppose you probably know where they are coming from.

Just for grins, here is the (edited) reply:


I love your story!! I would love to consider working with you. :-) I had an amazing waterbirth a month ago today, with a midwife. I would definitely recommend her and the center. It is in a hospital, and is a team of midwives with two normal birth supportive doctors.

So this will be short because I have a three-year-old and a one-month-old, lol, but I would like to talk further with you soon. I think by your EDD I would be able to doula for you, and if not, there are some great doulas I think you would fit well with in Lafayette as well. I think you are in a really great place with your decisions and reflection on your  first birth. I have heard some incredible stories about the midwife about very successful, empowering VBACS.

Good for you!!!!!!!!


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Twist of Circumstances

About a week ago, Daddy B heard a rumor that he was up for a promotion.  He works for the railroad, which is pretty much a "good ol' boy" company and when you hear rumors, there's usually some truth behind them.  We found out yesterday that it was true and that he received the position.  I'm so proud of him and his advancement within his company!

But there is one problem.  We currently live in Texas (and were both raised here and went to college here).  The new job is in Louisiana.  In my husband's company, you don't turn down a promotion and we knew when he accepted the job offer 4 years ago that moving was a part of the job.  We just hoped that our next move would happen AFTER this baby was born!

So now, Daddy B and I are back to square one in finding a good care provider.  I'm pretty overwhelmed! I've started putting out feelers out there through ICAN and through the online community I'm part of.  So far I've gotten one recommendation of an OB who is VBAC supportive in the area.  Daddy B and I are prepared to birth out of the hospital if that's what it takes for us to feel comfortable with our provider choice.  I've only found one doula listed online for the area, but will probably contact DONA International (the doula organization) to see if they have any registered for the area.  The city we are moving to is only about 55,000 people, so that's why we are having a hard time finding sources.

Daddy B starts the job in just two weeks!  We will probably move in 4-6 weeks.

Our next appointment with Dr. C is next friday and I'm hoping since he is from Georgia, he may know some other VBAC-supportive OB's between here and there!

I told you guys this blog was going to follow my journey to a VBAC.  Who knew I would be speaking literally!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Articles on VBAC

In an online community I take part in, a fellow mom replied to a someone's inquiry about choosing an elective c-section over a VBAC with this response:


 "I have never seen compelling evidence that vbac is safer than a repeat c-section - that is an opinion not a fact. In fact, most doctors will not do vbacs because they are not considered safe. Repeat c-section still seems to be the prevelant recommendation. (Some will say "because it is convenient for doctors." Yeah - because they are ALL selfish monsters? I don't think so, but that's my opinion.) 
The body is meant to give birth, yes. However, labor was the leading cause of death for women before the advent of the c-section. When they are medically necessary, they save lives of women and babies. With the technology we have today, it is possible to have a planned c-section for medical reasons. Thank God!"

I responded with this:

"You are grossly misinformed about VBAC.  You should NOT give advice to someone based on your opinon and not based on research.  Want some compelling info on VBAC?  Here ya go:


I could keep going, but I think you may get the point.  
Have you been through an UNWANTED c-section because of a doctor pushing you in to it when it wasn't truly medically necessary?  If not, you cannot imagine what it feels like to be passionate about changing your birth options."

It is frustrating to me that people so carelessly influence others in to thinking a c-section is no big deal.  Her information is wrong, plain and simple.  

P.S. Sorry about the formatting.  It messed up when I copied and pasted from the other website.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

12 Week Appointment

It has taken me awhile to get this post done because life has been crazy.  Since I last posted, my mom ended up back in the hospital for another week and had FIVE surgeries.  She's home now and is doing okay, but ended up with two more wound vacs placed and pretty much getting liposuction on her whole abdomen from infected tissue.  My dad called me the evening of labor day and asked me to come back down.  I was there from Tuesday-Saturday, came home and had my oldest brother visiting from Georgia for two nights and then had my 12 week visit on Monday.

Since it was a "milestone" appointment, in my opinion, marking the end of the first trimester (more or less) and dropping the chance for miscarriage significantly, I wasn't thrilled when Daddy B couldn't make the rescheduled appointment since I was going to have Baby C with me (it was supposed to have been on the previous Friday).  BUT!  My sweet brother said "Well, I have the day off, why don't I go with you?"  I took him up on it and he was a trooper!

We made the hour drive and after a looooong wait in the waiting room, finally got back to see Dr. C and the visit took like 15 minutes, max.  They weighed me (I'm not tracking it), the took my blood pressure (119/68) and then Dr. C used the doppler to find the heart beat.  Our little peanut was way down in my pelvis and kept running from the doppler!  We would hear it for a second and then they would move.  We finally picked it up well and got a heart rate reading of 170.  Dr. C let my brother take a recording of the sound to send to Daddy B (he requested it, he really hated missing the appointment because he likes to be at every one!).  I wish I could figure out how to upload the sound file, but I'm not that tech savvy. Oh well!

Dr. C had to press sooo hard on my c-section scar to find the heart beat and it HURT.  It has been feeling uncomfortable every now and then if I get up from like watching a movie or get up after sleeping.  I do not like the stretching feeling of that old scar tissue.  He said that's totally normal and I should stop feeling any discomfort soon.  The other thing I asked him about was my headaches.  I got horrible pregnancy headaches with Baby C and they finally went away around 16 weeks.  That was my main first trimester symptom with Baby C, but this baby has made me very nauseous and I've actually lost my dinner a handful of times.  Well the sickness finally ended around 11 weeks and then the dang headaches started up!  Dr. C suspects it's my blood sugar getting low, since food usually makes them feel somewhat better.  Hopefully I only have a few more weeks of them!

I'll leave you with a belly shot of me at 12 weeks.  Not too much of a bump, but trust me, it's a lot rounder than it was 3 months ago!


Friday, August 12, 2011

8 Week Appointment

Well, we survived our first appointment with Dr. C!   I was pretty nervous, I'm not going to lie.  I think every mom is probably nervous the first appointment.  I mean, all you have up to this point to show you are pregnant are a few positive tests and lots of nausea.  I was prepared for a long wait, but it really wasn't bad.  The drive isn't too fun, but I don't think there's anything we can do about that.  We knew by choosing Dr. C that the drive would be an hour.  It's not bad when I have Daddy B with me. :)

So Dr. C came in and pretty much just talked to me.  He was wearing the bracelet!  That was awesome!  It took him a minute to remember that we were the ones who gave him the bracelet and then when he realized, he said "I bet you thought I wouldn't be wearing it, didn't you!" We admitted he was right but he told us he hadn't taken it off, like he promised.  When I told him about my mom's accident and that I wanted an ultrasound to ease my stress, he understood.  He doesn't like to do more than the one ultrasound at 20 weeks unless there is a reason, but he said he knew where I was coming from and decided to write an order for it.  Then he said, "Erin, why are we wearing these bracelets?  To trust God!  We have to trust God with your baby, no matter what is going on."  I LOVE that I have a doctor who believes in the same God I do.  It makes this whole process mean so much more!

Daddy B and I both really loved their sonogram room.  At my last doctor, we just looked on the little ultrasound screen to see the baby but at this office, it is a separate room and the ultrasound is up on a large flatscreen TV on the wall.

Without further ado, meet our little baby bean:
Photobucket


I measured 8 weeks 2 days and the heart rate was 167.  The little head is at the top and the little tail that is quickly disappearing is at the bottom, if that gives you better perspective.

Next appointment is September 9th at 12 weeks!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hard first couple of months

I've had a hard first 8 weeks of this pregnancy.  Sure, I've had the usual symptoms, but the biggest thing is that two and a half weeks ago, my mom was in a near fatal car accident.  I spent 2 weeks at her bedside in San Antonio but am happy to report she is doing relatively well and is expected to make a full recovery in about 6 months.  She is finally headed home today after 16 days in the hospital and I came home on Sunday to try to let myself get some rest.  I'm heading back down on the 15th.

Seems my bracelet applies to more than just baby-makin' and birthing, huh?

I had a really hard time taking care of myself while spending so much time at the hospital.  I definitely need a week's rest before going back to help shuttle my mom to all of her appointments while also taking care of her at home with Baby C close behind.

Daddy B and I are excited about our first appointment on Friday, which is one of the reasons I decided to come home.  I might see about getting some Zofran.  The nausea this time is just horrible.  I'm hoping I can have an ultrasound to see the little bean.  I'm not a huge fan of multiple ultrasounds if they aren't necessary, but was happy when I had an initial one with Baby C at 10 weeks (to see there was actually something in there!) and then the anatomy one at 20.  I hope to do the same this time, although we aren't finding out what we are having!

We already had a girl name picked out from when we were pregnant with Baby C and want to use it this time around and I think we finally agreed on a first name for a boy.  Still working on the middle name but I'm really excited about our first name choice!  It's perfect!

After the appointment Friday, I'm going to start looking in to doulas.  I'm really looking forward to interviewing with some women and finding the right fit!

Overall, the pregnancy seems to be off to a good start.  I wasn't planning on sharing the news with nearly as many people who now know, but while my mom was on her high levels of morphine after her vent was removed on the third day, she told EVERYONE.  haha!  I don't think I'll ever let her live that down!

I'm looking forward to updating this weekend.  Hopefully I get around to it on Saturday because Sunday is my birthday and I plan on doing as little as possible.  :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

We're on the way to our VBAC!

We're pregnant!!!

It was 9 Days Past Ovulation (DPO) and I had been having symptoms literally since the day I ovulated.  FertilityFriend.com said that 15% of pregnant women get a positive test at 9DPO, so I decided I'd give it a shot.  I saw a faint line!!

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I had read that the blue dye tests aren't as accurate as pink dye tests, so I took another one about 10 minutes later, it is very faint, but there is a line there too!
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That night I told Daddy B.  I couldn't hold it in!  I had read that if there is ANY trace of a line on a pregnancy test, it is positive.  So I felt safe telling Daddy B.  And with how well he knows me, well he would've known something was up anyway.   Baby C and I went shopping to find the perfect book:

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When Daddy B got home and went to relax on the couch while I finished up dinner, I called Baby C in to the kitchen, gave him the book and said "Take your new book to Daddy!"  He was so good and went right over to him!  Daddy B was like "What's this?" and then his eyes got BIG and he looked up at me and said "Really?! Well get over here!!!"  And gave me one of the best hugs!!  He seemed very happy! :)

So I showed Daddy B the test and explained how early it was in my cycle, which is why it was so faint. We decided it would be best to test every other day so we could make sure the line got darker and indicated the HCG in my system was multiplying daily like it was supposed to.

Here's the test at 11 DPO:
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Here was 13 DPO, which marked a missed period:
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I'd say it's official!!  :)

You're probably interested in seeing my chart too.  It's so cool how my body told me all of the signs and how my temperature confirmed everything.  It's sorta weird to post this, because I tracked every symptom and every time Daddy B and I did the "baby dance" up to ovulation.  I know it's probably TMI, but I'm keeping this blog anonymous anyway!  And for those of you who know me in real life, sorry!  haha  I stopped temping after my third day of a positive test.  I'm glad not to have an alarm going off every morning at 6am to tell me to take my temperature!


Here's the last two cycles overlaid.  You can see how similar my temps are until 9 and 10 DPO, when they stay up, instead of dropping back down to indicate my period coming:


We have our first prenatal appointment with Dr. C at 12:30 on August 12th.  
Can't wait to see our little baby on our first ultrasound!!

P.S.  If you DO know me in real life, please don't post anything about this on facebook!  I'm only 4 weeks and we plan on waiting to spread the news until closer to 12 weeks when it's a little safer.  Thanks!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Two Week Wait

Any mom who is actively trying to get pregnant can tell you how hard the two week wait is between ovulation and your expected test date.

I'm there right now.  I feel like I'm over analyzing every thing I think could be a symptom!

That is all.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

GOD IS BIG ENOUGH

I haven't written recently because there isn't much to write!  We've been enjoying this time with Baby C and getting ready to get pregnant, both mentally and physically.  I have been trying out the Brewer Pregnancy Diet the past few weeks to see if it was something I wanted to do while I was pregnant, and it really made me think about the nutrition balance I was getting every day and how what I ate affected my body.  It is a diet that is supposed to help pregnant moms avoid hypertension, although I didn't have any problems with that while carrying Baby C, I thought it has to be a good way for a mama-to-be to eat!  Read  info at the link above if you're interested.  I'd recommend it and it's pretty easy to follow on a day-to-day basis.

The other thing I've been spending time doing is BBT charting and analyzing my info.  Here's this month so far:



Before I was pregnant with Clint, my cycle was 32 days long, so I'm expected Aunt Flo around Saturday!

The next graph is really interesting to me.  After my period ended, I was confused when my temperature spiked between CD7 and CD10 (CD = Cycle Day).  Then I decided to look at both cycles together, anchored on ovulation.

Look at how similar my temperatures are both months!  I think that is pretty darn cool!  After further research, I learned that it is my estrogen spiking while the dominant follicle develops.  It's so neat how the human body works! :)



Okay, okay.... so by now you're probably wondering, "Yadda, yadda, when are you going to actually get pregnant already?!"  Well folks, I'm excited to tell you that after this next period, we will be actively TRYING!  WOO HOO!  I've been waiting for this for quite some time!

So on to the title of the post.  Today was our VBAC consult with Dr. C.  I piled Baby C in to the car over an hour before our 10:45 am appointment and started making, what I hope to be, the familiar trek out to Dr. C's office.  Daddy B met us out there from work.  We got there just in time but waited almost an hour to get called back.  The wait didn't bother us too much since we knew who we were waiting for!  

After going back to an exam room, Dr. C came in and we just spent half an hour all getting to know each other.  He remembered my "curved and shallow pelvis" from the ICAN meeting (lol!), we discussed how I ended up in a c/s with Baby C, what we want this time, etc.  We even looked at my charts together and Dr. C said I look normal and healthy!

The coolest thing that happened was at the end.  We know from hearing Dr. C speak that he believes in God.  Daddy B and I recently picked up these bracelets at our church:


It reads, "GOD IS BIG ENOUGH."  Daddy B and I have really been reflecting a lot on this saying.  We have talked about how much we have to trust the God has His hand on our situation, from getting pregnant, through the pregnancy and through the birth.  It is amazing to think that God already has our sweet baby picked out for us and knows how they will be born.  Daddy B and I decided to wear these bracelets from now through the birth of our next child to act as a constant reminder to keep our lives in perspective.  

So at the end of the appointment I told Dr. C about why we were wearing these bracelets and what they mean to us.  Dr. C couldn't have agreed more and I happened to have a spare bracelet in my bag ("happened to" ha.  You think that was a coincidence? ).  I told Dr. C I wanted him to have it.  He looked at us and said, "As you can see, I don't wear any jewelry.  But I am going to wear this bracelet through the birth of your baby as well.  I won't take it off."  ::tears::

Dr. C told us to get busy making a baby and he hoped he would see us very soon!  

Friday, May 27, 2011

16 & Pregnant

I admit it, I love this show.  I love "Teen Mom" as well.  I think that overall, it sends a really great message to young girls about the realities of having a baby at a young age.  Heck, it isn't easy at ANY age, but I sure wouldn't have wanted to do it when I was 16 or 17!

The episode this week covered a girl who was pregnant after having been treated for anorexia in the past.   Most of the episode was heartbreaking, as her mother was pretty much non-existent as a support system and she was having to wade through the dark waters of being pregnant with an eating disorder on her own.  I know the focus of the episode was covering this aspect of being a young mom, but I have to be honest, what screamed out to me was her birth.  Usually, MTV seems to do a good job at documenting the labor and delivery, noting whether pitocin or an epidural was used and giving a definition of drugs and tools used during the birthing process.

The girl's water broke at home and after telling her mom (and her mom completely blowing her off and not taking her seriously), she headed to the hospital.  We (the viewers) never saw her get out of bed to labor.  She just laid and laid in that bed and after 18 hours, she was 5 centimeters or so and the doctor came in and told her she needed to start thinking about a c-section.  MTV did not document pitocin used to try to further labor, did not document an epidural used to let the mom relax and further labor and definitely no alternative laboring positions than lying down.  They also didn't document any heart decels in the baby and didn't give any indication that they were concerned about infection due to the water breaking earlier in the birth process.

The poor girl looked to her mom for advice and her mom said, "Maybe you should get the c-section because you'll be so tuckered out after having a natural birth."  Really?!?!  Tuckered out?!?!  I thought that was what you were supposed to feel after birth!  And they had another thing coming if they thought the massive amounts of pain pills after a c-section don't "tucker you out" even worse!

So they headed to the OR.  A healthy baby was born.  I just hope this 17 year old mom doesn't look back at her birth some day like so many of us have.  I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

I'm either angry with the doctor or with MTV for doing a horrible job documenting the labor.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Charting after an IUD

I didn't ever look much in to BBT charting or natural family planning.  The most I had heard about it up until recently was that it was something done in the Catholic church, and seeing that we're not Catholic, it wasn't ever something we considered.  After having my IUD removed I wanted a way to figure out when I was ovulating.  I have heard horror stories of IUDs causing infertility and women not ovulating for 4-5 months after removal.  Daddy B and I are wanting to wait long enough to give my body a chance to return to normal (and also aim to have a May 2012 baby!), but we don't want to wait 5 months!!  

I had heard of BBT charting so I thought I'd give it a shot to help me figure out when I was ovulating this time around.  When I was tracking my cycle before we conceived Baby C, I had about a 32 day cycle and seemed to ovulate right in the middle, around day 16.  While I was on the IUD, I had regular periods that were very light and they varied in length from 29-32 days long.  

Here's a good link explaining how BBT charting works.  Anyway, I started taking my temperature on the last day of the period I seemed to get 2 days after removal.  I've been charting ever since every day at 6 am.  I was using one site that said I never ovulated, but then ventured over to Fertility Friend and plugged in my data.  It said I ovulated!  It was the same day I was getting crazy symptoms and Daddy B and I actually decided to take a pregnancy test just to make sure I wasn't.  (I wasn't!) I just wasn't used to having ovulation symptoms after NOT having them for over 2 years!  

Here's what my cycle has looked like over the past three weeks:


See that huge dip that just happened today?  I took that this morning and was shocked my temp went from 97.5 to 96.8.  Then I went to the restroom when I woke up and I was starting another cycle!  It is so cool that my body temperature reflects that!  But now I have no idea how long my cycle is going to be.  I guess we'll just wait another month and find out!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Notes of Insight from Dr. C

I've been meaning to do this post for some time, but just haven't had a chance to sit down and actually do it!  So the ICAN meeting was really cool with Dr. C.  He said a few things that really stuck out to me:

  • Let the people around you help you, trust them and trust your body.
    • These people include your midwife/doctor, your doula, your husband and your support team
    • I plan on my support team being Daddy B, Aunt K, Amiga C and the doula
    • This spoke to me because I know a big part of a VBAC is your mindset and having trust in all the things out of your control.  
  • 95-96% of babies will come out!
  • Your birth plan is usually broken 3 lines down and is simply a list of wishes.
    • This one made me think that I will write up a birth plan when the time comes, but I'm not going to focus on it unless I end up in a c/s, which in that case I will want things a lot different than last time, like seeing my baby immediately after they are born and before they are cleaned up, having my baby in recovery with me and being able to start nursing.
  • Your husband's bottom line is YOU, his wife, not the baby.
    • Dr. C used an analogy saying "Imagine your baby is in the middle of highway 635 and dad is on one side and mom is on the other.  If you both start going for the baby in the traffic, the mom will win every time and the dad will have figured out a way to save both the mom and the baby."  
    • This really spoke to Daddy B and I and I think it was one of the things that led Daddy B to feel that Dr. C was the right choice for us.  It honestly warms my soul to hear it put that way because I realize how true it is and how much Daddy B loves and cares for me.  I am his first priority because he knows his children are in my hands and are MY first priority.  (teared up just typing that!) :)
  • The risks of a c/s are the same of any major surgery
    • Spinal injury
    • Anesthesia
    • Cutting uterine artery
    • infection
      • Put that way, it sure sounds like a VBAC is a better choice, doesn't it??
  • Labor at home, it keeps people off of you
    • As soon as you go to a the hospital while you are in labor, you will be bombarded with questions, poked with needles and nagged constantly about how you are doing.  Dr. C wants you to labor at home until you KNOW you need the hospital so you have less chance of someone butting in and throwing things off course
  • The average labor lasts 18 hours
  • A VBAC mom needs something different because she is nervous.
    • Jeez so true.  I'm not even there yet, but after you feel like your body and/or the medical system has failed you, you are just plain nervous you won't be able to do it again the way you want to.  I know I'll need constant reassurance towards the delivery time that I'm made to deliver a baby the way I want to.
  • You have a "love affair" with your OB and when you trust them and they let you down, it's heartbreaking and you're angry.
    • Another true statement.  You trust your OB so much and when you're a first time mom and have really put all your naivety in their hands... you realize afterwards just how different it could have been if you had maybe not thought you knew so much and listened to others' experience and tried to learn from it.
Okay so the day after the meeting and after we had made our decision to switch from the midwife group, I called Dr. C's office to find out if I could get a consultation appointment or something so that I could be an existing patient before I became pregnant.  I figured with his reputation, he would be in high demand and wanted to make sure I would have him on my team when the time came.  So I call and talk to a receptionist and she tells me that Dr. C isn't taking new patients.  I was like "................what?  When WILL he be taking new patients??"  She said he hadn't been for months and didn't see it ending any time soon.  I asked about me being a VBAC patient and it didn't change her answer.  I was so upset when I got off the phone.  I jumped on the ICAN board and posted a new topic about this and my wonderful ICAN ladies replied within minutes telling me to call back and say I wanted a VBAC consult.  I did call back and talked to a different receptionist (who was a lot nicer!) and it turns out that Dr. C isn't taking regular OB patients anymore, as he wants to focus on VBAC and high-risk pregnancy mamas.  So long story short (or shorter...ha) we have a consult appointment for June 18th.  Daddy B and I are both looking forward to it!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Unexpected Switch

Since the beginning of the VBAC journey, I have felt a little alone.  Other than my ICAN women, I didn't feel anyone around me truly understood how I felt about my birth with Baby C and why I want a different experience with our next child.  I mean, Daddy B has always been supportive, but I have never felt he truly "got it."  I worried how he would act under the pressure of an unplanned birth and probably a long labor.  I know my induction was hard on him and one reason he wanted the c-section was because he knew it would be over soon and I would stop being in pain.  

I have been doing research for months and months, probably more than a year.  I talk about it some with Daddy B, but he would interpret it as "I want a baby now," when it wasn't that at all.  Once we decided we were close to being ready to have another, or at least make steps towards that goal, I know he listened a little more about the importance of choosing the right care provider.  When I told him I felt we had 3 options of a good chance at the VBAC I wanted to happen in a hospital, he definitely leaned towards the closest location, which was the Nurse-Midwife group at 23 miles from our house.  I wrote about that appointment here.  I was determined not to jump at the first provider we saw, but we left the appointment and we were like, "okay I guess this works."  Then, I heard that the local ICAN group was holding its May meeting tonight and the speaker was a well known VBAC OBGYN in the area.  Dr. C isn't the typical OB.  He believes in VBAC just like he believes that God has His hand on every pregnant woman and her birth.  He sees the things that have happened with birth and is one of the few OB's that is determined to do things different.  I decided to drag Daddy B with me to this meeting.  I kept pestering him, sending him reminders about the meeting tonight and ensuring that he had no reason to "forget."  I figured it would be a good opportunity to just have Daddy B learn about VBAC and give him more insight.  

Little did I know, Daddy B sat there tonight absorbing it all.  When we left, he told me he thought we should make the hour drive and have Dr. C be our OBGYN to deliver our next baby.  I was shocked!  One of the most important things to me with this birth is that Daddy B be on board and be comfortable with everything that can and will happen.  To be honest, I had a feeling in my gut that wasn't convinced the Nurse-Midwife group was the right choice.  I thought maybe it was simply because I would never be sure.  

As we talked in the car, I felt for the first time that Daddy B and I were on the same page.  He understands more about why I want this for us, for me, for our baby.  I'm so happy I could cry!  I told him I felt deep down that the Nurse-Midwife group wasn't the right choice but didn't voice it because I thought he wanted to go with them.  He told me he felt the exact same way and had a knot in his stomach about the whole thing!  We feel so confident in our choice to switch.  I can't believe we are committing to such a drive, but I had an ICAN mama say it best, "the drive is worth it to get the birth you want."  

Maybe it's my crazy hormones from the Mirena being removed a couple of weeks ago, but I get choked up every time I think about how thankful I am for my husband and for him being supportive and honest.  

I'll do another post soon about the words of wisdom I took from Dr. C tonight.  It was two hours packed with good info and advice!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sans-Octopus

We have a running joke in our family where we refer to the Mirena as "the octopus."  As my CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife) appointment approached earlier today, this evolved in to Aunt K referring to the midwife we were seeing as "Dr. Octopus."  Hilarious, if you ask me! 

See the resemblance??


So, I am sans-octopus, as Aunt K put it.  I got to the the Nurse-Midwife group office around 9:45am.  My appointment was at 10am and I figured this gave Daddy B and I enough time to do any paperwork that maybe required and be ready to go at 10am.  The drive took about 30 minutes and the right parking lot was a little difficult for me to find, but we got there eventually and got checked in and started on the small amount of paper work.  We waited for over 30 minutes after that and we regretted not getting something to eat first!  Once in the exam room, we waited another 20 or so.

I'm not going to lie, I was freaking out. 

It felt so impersonal, just like the OB office in San Antonio with the last birth.  I didn't really love the assistant's reaction when I told her I didn't want to know my weight (personal reasons), I was freaking out about the reality of having another baby and getting PREGNANT again, I was worried I would choose the wrong provider...  I was sweating up a storm and had some pretty impressive pit stains to boot.  (LOL) And to top it off, I was anxious about the pain that I might experience when they removed the IUD.

After the nurses assistant left and we waited a bit more (while Daddy B tried to make me laugh by playing with all of the instruments and calm me down by praying with me, glad he was there!), a midwife student came in that was helping out my CNM.  She was super friendly and had me talk to her about why I was there today.  I told her my back story with Baby C's birth and what I hoped for this next time around and told her I wanted my IUD removed.  She went to get my CNM and once they were both back in the room, that's when the questions really began.  We waited for a good while, but they were both in there for over an hour talking to us!  So worth the wait!  Baby C's pediatrician is the same way and after you wait so long you are very thankful your health professional has such great bedside manner.  It makes you forget about the waiting!

So after all my research, here are the questions we prepared and the answers we got:

Insurance coverage as it pertains to the midwife group - (Brian's main question haha)  They cover the prenatal care and birth just like any OB office.  This is all based on our health care coverage, which is through United HealthCare.  We asked this because with everything last time, we paid over $7,000 out of pocket and it really hurt!

How is the breastfeeding support in the hospital? The hospital the midwife group delivers at is one of the few baby-friendly hospitals in the state of Texas and are so adamant about breastfeeding that we were told it borders on obnoxious.  I'll have a doula with me as well to help establish good habits. 

I heard you have a "40 week rule" as a group, is this true? I was told that this is false.  The reason some women may have felt that is because at some point during your pregnancy you see the physician that is tied to the midwife group.  He tells you the risks of going past your due date for you and the baby, but does not encourage induction.  In fact, his wife is a VBAC mother that delivered well after her due date with no pain medication.  My CNM said because he is a man, his was of communicating to pregnant women sometimes isn't the most sensitive.  haha

Do you allow intermittent monitoring? Yes.  They said that because I would be a VBAC patient, they may want to monitor a little more often than normal towards the end of labor to ensure the baby is doing okay, but they are fine with intermittent monitoring.

Do you allow non-traditional pushing and laboring? Yes.  They want me to do whatever works for my labor and delivery and is comfortable. 

I've heard other midwives in the practice aren't as VBAC friendly, is this true? I was told "Absolutely NOT!"  All the midwives have different bedside manners and some of these rumors may be because of personality clashes between patients and midwives.  Also, the CNM I went to see was the most recommended through my ICAN ladies, but she actually has the lowest VBAC rate in the practice! 

I've also heard the physicians that back you at the hospital aren't all VBAC friendly, is that true? Yes and no.  Not all of the doctors in the practice will be comfortable with VBAC hopeful patients who have had MORE than one c-section, but the midwives all are and I don't fall in to that category anyway so I shouldn't worry about it.

One thing that led to my c/s with my son was that I wasn't following the "Curve of Labor."  Do you go off of that too?  They think the curve of labor can be useful in some birthing situations, but it is based on a study of like 50 births, so it is not accurate for every woman and every birth.


Those were my main questions, but I also got 6 recommendations for doulas and recommendations for homeopathic remedies for things like mood stabilization and varicose veins!  Loved that!

I was given a list of things that increase your likelihood of a successful VBAC, I thought you'd be interested. 
  1. Greater maternal height and BMI less than 30  - check and check (I'm 5'7.5" and am normal size)
  2. History of previous vaginal delivery - obviously don't fit this one
  3. Indication for previous cesarean for something other than failure to progress - My CNM said in her opinion, my c/s was due to physician intolerance, not my failure to progress or fetal intolerance so CHECK!
  4. Women who previously delivered infants weighing less than 4000 gms - 4000 gms equals about 9lbs, so Baby C just barely makes the cut at 8lbs 9oz!  Check!
  5. Earlier gestational age, spontaneous labor and smaller babies - CNM said we will work on this together with diet, exercise and and an active pregnancy to encourage spontaneous labor and lower birth weight
  6. More favorable Bishops score on admission - another thing the CNM said we would work on during my pregnancy (need to research this.  I have no idea what it is!)

So it looks like I'm a good candidate for a VBAC.  Woohoo!

Overall, it was a great visit.  It hurt a little to get the octopus out, but since I been having regular cycles since the Mirena was placed, I was given the green light to get pregnant after a month or so to let my body get back to normal. 

Daddy B and I talked it over and I think we are planning to give the midwife group a shot.  I feel such a weight lifted off of me knowing I have found my care provider!  One thing I loved that my CNM said is that a VBAC is 80% mental and emotional.  She said we will have LOTS of conversations about how I am just a normal, healthy woman carrying a normal, healthy baby who will have normal, healthy birth and that I can't get too caught up in having a VBAC but need to just let my body do what it was made to do.  As I get more and more pregnant, we will have to talk about this again and again.  I was glad she recognized that about VBAC mamas!

Now all the ducks are in a row and once I give my body a chance to remember how to ovulate, we just need to get to baby-makin'!  :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Excited

I haven't posted in awhile... but it's mainly because our MacBook is on the fritz and I haven't wanted to sit at our PC to blog since it's right outside of Baby C's bedroom door.

I wanted to take a moment to let all of you know how EXCITED I am to have another baby.  I know it has it's challenges, I think any mother knows that.  But I have such a different outlook this time when it comes to getting pregnant, carrying a life inside of me and bringing it in to this world.  Not to mention the countless hours you get to spend afterwards just staring at this little being in awe that you brought this child in to this world.

Our CNM appointment is quickly approaching and I'm so happy to say that I think Daddy B and I are BOTH looking forward to it.  When you want something like a VBAC so bad, you have insecurities that maybe the Daddy isn't as excited as you, but I can tell you that Daddy B is really looking forward to the idea of number 2! 

Tonight I was looking at Baby C while I was getting him in jammies for bed and couldn't believe how big he is.  He's almost 2 for crying out loud!  He was in his diaper and socks and had his legs just so that I was thrown back to those first few days of him as a newborn and simply couldn't wrap my head around how much of a big boy he is.  I mean we are at the beginning stages of potty training, he's practically running and trying to imitate everything I say.  Not to mention his dance skills!  He loves to dance!

I can't imagine loving another child as much as I love Baby C.  And to add what I hope to be an empowering birth on top of that... well that would just be icing on the cake.  My heart is full!


Plus, we make REALLY cute babies!  What will our next one look like?! :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Birth Center vs. Hosptial

There are a lot of debates about a birth center versus a hospital.   I think you know by now that our hospital experience wasn't ideal.  So why would I want to do it again?

First of all, I'm not set on it.  I'm hoping it could work out, but I am very aware that I could go to this nurse-midwife appointment and realize that this isn't for me.  And Daddy B will be there too, it could not be right for him either.

Second, like I said in my previous post, those two other OB's are 50+ miles away.  I've heard from a few different mamas that the driving distance is worth it to get the birth you want.  I'm not sure if we will be looking directly to an OB if the Nurse-Midwife group doesn't work out or if we will start looking in to birth centers closer to our home.

Why am I considering another hospital birth in the first place?  Here's what's on my mind:
  1. I was raised by a nurse who taught me to trust our medical system.  Now I know this system failed me last time (for the most part), but I also still have faith in our trained medical personnel. Amiga C is a nurse, my mother is a nurse... I trust nurses and doctors who are like them.   I just don't know if I got the best pick the first time.
  2. I feel a little pressure.  Aunt K has told me many times that she wouldn't feel comfortable without a NICU close.  Would I?  I haven't explored how I feel on this completely but I'm afraid that she could have a point.  I think I need to interview a birthing center to be sure.  
  3. I don't know if Daddy B would feel comfortable in a birth center.  I haven't directly asked him.  I guess I plan to do that if the Nurse-Midwife group doesn't work.
  4. When I visited that first OB, she made a good point about a birth center I was considering.  She said, "The biggest piece of advice I can give you about using a birth center is to make sure they have doctor backing at a hospital in case you end up in a c-section."
  5. It scares me to think that I could be laboring in a birth center and realize I need a c-section, only for an ambulance to have to be called and go through a scary ride to an OR.  After the traumatic experience last time... I just couldn't imagine adding that on to it.
I'd welcome advice on this issue.  I don't plan on moving forward with a decision until I explore this Nurse-Midwife group next month.  Know of any good Birthing Centers in DFW? Centrally located?

P.S.  No matter what, we will be using doula.  Just thought you'd like to know.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Cesarean and Breastfeeding

I had a plan when I was pregnant.  I would be induced, have an epidural, deliver vaginally and start breastfeeding and continue breastfeeding for at least a year.  Funny how we make "plans," right?

To say breastfeeding was hard for me is definitely an understatement.  First of all, breastfeeding is hard for anyone.  Three of the close women in my life all have really great, unique stories about breastfeeding.  I want to tell you a little bit about their experiences, since I'm sure I will be referring to them in this blog.  I'm leaving out their children's names just to be safe and respect their privacy.

Aunt K - She's my sister-in-law and one of my closest friends.  She has two kids, my nephew who is 4 1/2 and my niece who is 10 months. She was induced with both, had epidurals with both and had successful vaginal deliveries.  She had an over supply of milk with her first baby and this led to her decision to exclusively pump for 4 months, with the milk lasting for 6 months.  With her second, she had a great lactation consultant and breastfed for 6 months after overcoming the first challenging few weeks.  So proud of her!

Amiga C - My best friend since high school!  She has one child (planning on more!) and her breastfeeding story is famous!  :)  But really, it was just featured on Mama Birth!  She breastfed for over 6 months after suffering through preeclampsia, which resulted in a 36 week, induced birth with epidural (which she did not like) with her cute-as-a-button daughter.  I remember when she was pregnant she wasn't even sure if she wanted to attempt breastfeeding and has gone on to believe in it so much!  She is one of those women who has just blossomed as a mother! I am also so proud of her!

Cousin M - If you want to talk about a determined mommy, you need to look no further than my cousin M.  She had her daughter about 6 weeks after I had Baby C and had a long early labor at home before heading to the hospital and having a quick, natural birth. Her little girl showed signs quickly of food sensitivities in Cousin M's breastmilk.  I mean folks, she gave up everything to continue breastfeeding: dairy, red meat, certain veggies, all spicy food, went gluten-free, EVERYTHING.  Now this DID help Cousin M to get to a great post-pregnancy weight, but I think she would've rather been able to have a big bowl of mac n' cheese and still breastfeed!  ;)  She is my hero when it comes to breastfeeding and I'm proud to tell you at 17 months old, Mommy and baby are still going strong with nursing!

What do all of these women have in common besides successfully breastfeeding?  A vaginal birth.

I've thought a lot about how my birth with Baby C may have impacted my failure at breastfeeding.  Here's a recap:
  • I breastfed in the hospital, but did not have a great lactation consultant.  She kept asking me if it hurt and I would say, "Well it's not comfortable, but I guess it doesn't hurt."  She said that was normal.  I don't think it was.
  • The lactation consultant was already having me supplement with formula in a syringe while in the hosptial.  My colostrum should have been enough!
  • My milk came in somewhere between 6 and 7 days after giving birth. 
  • Baby C had a horrible latch and before my milk really came in, I was already bleeding.
  • To attempt to heal and take a break from the VERY painful experience of trying to nurse on bleeding nipples, I pumped for a couple of days and surrendered to giving Baby C pumped milk and formula.  It was then that I noticed I was only making about an ounce on the left and less than 1/2 an ounce on the right per pumping session.  This never increased.
  • I was worried about Baby C getting enough so when Aunt K suggested I do exclusive pumping like she did with her first, it sounded like a good idea. We both thought I could maybe be as successful as she was with her first.
  • I lasted 6 weeks pumping.  I pumped about 7 times a day and made a maximum of 12 ounces in 24 hours.  I got 3 clogged ducts and started to develop mastitis.
  • Funny side note - that pump started saying evil things to me!  In the late hours of the night I swear it would chant "Kill the bitch!"  LOL It's a running joke in the family now that the pump is possessed!  ;)
  • When I went to my postpartum vist with the OB who delivered me, told her of all my struggles and showed her the clogged milk ducts, she actually told me to give up. And she was currently a breastfeeding mother!

So I did.  I gave up.  I wish that I knew then what I know now about breastfeeding and I also wish I had Aunt K, Amiga C and Cousin M's and their experiences already with me when I was attempting it with Baby C.  I can't go back though and Baby C is a healthy 19 month old now, so I can't really be too upset.  I feel like I did the best I could at the time with the knowledge I had been given.  I know better for next time.  I can't help but wonder though, did my feelings about being inadequate to the point of not being able to birth my baby the way God intended have an impact on my feelings about being able to breastfeed?  I believe they did.

On to the point of this post...

I feel like a big reason my milk supply was so low was because my body wasn't ready to have a baby (another post, for another day).  I've talked to many VBAC mamas who had a similar experience with their first, but swear it was better after giving a natural birth.  I'm looking forward to that!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lessons Learned Along the Road

It’s been about 6 months since I put in to words one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I’ve learned so much since then! I’ve met so many moms through ICAN and other mommy-networks that have been responsible for igniting a passion in me to educate myself and my family on why attempting a VBAC is right for me. Originally, I thought I would just find an OB that would be VBAC friendly and I would move in to having a better hospital birth experience in the same setting I did before. Boy was I wrong. It’s not that easy.

I met with the OB who I originally thought was part of a VBAC friendly practice and hospital, but quickly found out that those were wrong assumptions and you can’t trust everything you find on the ICAN website. The women of the ICAN have been so honest and forth coming with me about their experiences and recommendations and through their wisdom, I have become more empowered than ever to make my own decisions instead of trusting our medical system.

While visiting the original OB, she made a good point that has stuck with me. I want a VBAC, that much is clear, but I have to consider that maybe I was supposed to end up in a c-section, regardless of how I feel about it. I can never know the answer, only God does, and according to His plan, I had the birth with Clint that I was supposed to. Like I’ve said before, I know I can’t guarantee the vaginal birth I want, but I can do everything in my power to make it happen. After much considering, my husband and I decided we’d like to try birthing in a hospital again. Do you know how large the metroplex is? Can you imagine that there are only 2 OBGYNs that have great VBAC rates?! Both of these doctors are 50+ miles from our home. From the beginning of my research, I quickly realized I wanted to work with a midwife mindset more than a physician mindset and our desire to birth in a hospital has lead us to a Nurse-Midwife group that is about 23 miles from our home. They deliver at the third baby friendly hospital named in Texas. I visit the nurse-midwife group on April 26th to have my IUD removed and see if this is the right fit for me, my husband and our next baby. I’ll let you know how it goes.