Monday, February 27, 2012

The Emotions

Let me preface this post with acknowledging that I know my hormones are going crazy right now.  I can cry easily and get irritated even easier!

I have less than two weeks before I have to say goodbye to Baby C.  I've been struggling with the reality of having to be away from him.  This past week he got some mild food poisoning from some applesauce he "hid" after dinner and decided to eat for a snack the following morning while I was in the shower (he came to show me, that's how I know).  That afternoon, my poor dude was throwing up every couple of hours and really counted on me to console him.  He would come up and say "My belly hurts," and just lay on me... until he threw up.  Yes, I took a couple extra showers that day!  haha

Here's a cute picture of recovering Baby C the day after the applesauce incident:

Anyway, I kept thinking that day about not being there while waiting for this next baby to choose their birthday.  I have the logical side of my brain telling me he will be fine, he won't even realize I'm gone for so long and that he will be in wonderful care with my MIL and Daddy B.  But I have my mommy-brain side that is really struggling.  I called to make my 38 week appointment with Dr. C, but as luck would have it he is out of the office on March 9th, the day I make the trek back to Texas.  No big deal, I made the appointment for March 13th instead since I'll be there, but I started thinking about how my friend and I could relax on the drive home and maybe I could wait to leave until after Baby C woke up.  After talking it through with Daddy B though, I realized that I would be a WRECK if I had to leave him face to face.  After coming to that realization, I just started sobbing!  Daddy B was at a loss and trying to console me, but it is really hard for me right now.  My SIL (Aunt D) called me right when I was upset and talked me through it.  She said her sister-in-law ESP told her to call just because.  She knew how I was feeling, seeing that she has my two nieces who are 7 and 4, and my youngest niece is special needs.  When she was born, Aunt D had to spend a lot of time with her in the NICU and be away from her older daughter.  I think it's, in a way, a similar emotion because I know this is what the baby and I need, but I hate feeling like I'm choosing this baby over my other one.  Yes, I know that's not completely rational, but I did preface this post with a warning about my crazy hormones.  ;)

So fast forward to Saturday and while Daddy B was home, I took the opportunity to go up to Walmart and start making a dent in my "to-buy" list for my hospital bag.  I picked up travel toiletries I could keep packed and an extra pair of comfy pants, you know... the essentials.  Then I was standing on the candy isle deciding what flavor gum I wanted to buy to have handy in the hospital when I had what I can only describe as a mini panic attack.  It's like the reality of having a second baby slapped me in the face all at once.  I felt dizzy, nauseous and was breathing a little faster than normal.  I walked around in a daze and came home with all these little things I had bought.  For some reason putting things in that basket gave me the illusion that I was making myself more prepared!  Daddy B laughed at me, but also understood what I was feeling.  I told him honestly, "I'm scared."  It's scary to go from having one child to two.  It's scary to think about all the unknowns that are inevitable with a newborn.  It's scary not to know how your new "normal" will look in your home.  You get so comfortable with being parents of one and we know that we will be fine as parents of two and will love this baby just as much as Baby C, but it's still scary!

Then I started feeling a little mad at this whole VBAC situation.  I've felt this way before, but in relation to all these emotions I've been feeling, it takes on a whole new meaning.  I get angry that I'm a second time mom and yet completely feel like a first time mom when it comes to this delivery.  At the same time, I'm so thankful for VBAC and it giving me the opportunity to feel that excitement that usually only first time moms feel about not knowing how everything will happen.  I know every birth is different, but I think the difference in being induced and going to a c-section will be completely different than letting my body go in to labor and having a natural birth.  And I get frustrated with the state of Louisiana and the birthing environment here not being conducive to me staying home and going in to labor like a "normal" expectant mother.  Instead I have to travel to another state to do something my body was made to do. But again, I'm also grateful that I have the option to travel back to Texas to have this baby and that I have so many friends and family supporting our decision to have this baby in a very non-traditional way.

To recap, I feel sad, scared, excited, unprepared, prepared, angry, grateful, etc. etc.

The brain of a pregnant woman can be so confusing!  Thanks for listening reading. ;)

Friday, February 24, 2012

36 Weeks and the VBAC Debate

A friend of mine posted about how many days were left in her pregnancy and that made me realize there are only 28 days until my "guess date" (as she calls it!).  That's crazy!

I've had some good contractions that I hope are causing some kind of change on my cervix.  I've definitely reached that uncomfortable part of pregnancy.  Sleep is getting harder and harder during the night and this baby has its little bum so high up in my ribs on the right side that it's really hard to sit upright in a chair.  Baby C never "dropped," but I'm hoping this baby does at some point to give relief to my lungs, stomach and ribs.

Here's my belly comparison from two weeks ago.  I can see the change!

I got a couple great kicks on video the other day:

There have been a lot of great things posted lately on different pregnancy sites and facebook that I've enjoyed.  As the push for VBAC is rising, the push back is rising too.  Many c-section moms who did not have a traumatic experience can't understand why some of us want to try to have a vaginal birth the second (or third, or fourth, etc.) time around.  It is really frustrating to hear something like "I don't understand why it's such a big deal.  I had a great c-section experience and all that matters is a healthy baby.  How I have my baby doesn't affect you."  Well yes, on one hand that is true.  But on the other, it does affect me.  It affects ALL women.  The more women who go through the labor and delivery experience not educating themselves and just blindly trusting our medical system, the more our national c-section rate will just continue to be the atrocious number it is.  There are some of us actively fighting the system to try and reclaim our rights as birthing mothers and demand fully INFORMED consent for all patients.  Yes, there will always be some moms who would rather just take their doctors word for things, but I have to believe in my heart that if more women did their own research or were given full information on risks and reasons from their care providers, many c-sections would be avoided.  

This was a recent blog post.  It is a women try to put "humor" on an elective repeat c-section.  The article is appalling (in my opinion), but the debate in the comments is definitely something worth reading:

I love the site, whose author made many comments in the above debate.  It is a great site to go for statistics for BOTH sides of the risks of repeat c-section vs. VBAC.

Also, I've had a lot of friends and family use the phrase with me, "I hope this birth goes the way you want it to."  I feel I need to set the record straight on something I thought I had been communicating all along...

I'm okay with a repeat c-section.  I've done my research, I trust my doctor and I'm giving my body every chance to do what it needs to do naturally.  The main thing I want out of this experience is an EMPOWERED birth.  That birth does not come with the requirement that this baby be born vaginally.  That birth comes with the requirement that I feel I am fully informed on each step of the process and if Dr. C tells me we need to head to the OR, it is a discussion of options and not an order that is prefaced by scare tactics.  I have confidence in the decisions I've made and feel myself and this baby are both set up for the best possible outcome.

If anyone in the birth world is solely focused on vaginal birth over c-section, they've missed the point.  I just wanted to make that clear.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

35 Week Midwife Appointment

I'm exhausted today.  This past weekend, we had our 35 week appointment with Dr. C's partner midwife on Friday and a wedding reception to go to that night.  We made it an overnight trip and I'm so glad I only have to do that drive one more time and it will be one way until after the baby comes.  It's just plain hard to sit in a car for 6 hours at this point!

Anyway, Daddy B, Baby C and I left Louisiana about 7:30am on Friday and made our way to Texas.  We actually arrived ahead of schedule and got to the birth center to see Dr. C's partner midwife at 2pm instead of our scheduled 3pm appointment.  I was really looking forward to seeing the birth center she practices at, as I've heard so many good things about it.  It truly did not disappoint!  On the outside it looks like an old house but the inside is completely remodeled.  The birthing suite is spectacular and made me wish in some ways I was going to birth there instead of the hospital.  I'd give anything to have that tub in the suite in my room at the hospital!  haha

Everything went well at the appointment.  Baby is still about 2 weeks ahead of schedule and the midwife guessed it weighs around 7 lbs right now.  She agrees with my prediction that this baby will be over 9 lbs at delivery.  My blood pressure was a little bit up, reading 126/85 (it's usually in the 110-120/60-70).  She said it was still in a great range and was probably due to the long drive and the VERY full bladder I arrived with when we got there!  Baby's heart rate was a strong 148-152 and the midwife had fun using the doppler chasing baby around.  Baby kept moving right as she'd get a good reading!  They had a little difficulty last appointment getting a good spot for the heartbeat too, but she didn't realize I have an anterior placenta and said that only adds to this baby seeming a little "fiesty," in her words. :)

Afterwards we headed to Daddy B's stepsister's house.  We couldn't stay with Aunt K and my brother because the wedding reception was for Aunt K's stepsister and her house was FULL.  I'll tell ya what, Daddy B and I definitely do not miss DFW traffic.  It took over two hours to get from the birth center to his stepsister's.  It should have taken an hour, tops!

The reception was fun and Baby C made it until about 9:30pm (he usually goes to bed at 8pm!).  It was definitely different being 35 weeks pregnant at an event like that.  I sat a lot and got second helpings of the awesome macaroni and cheese being served with dinner. :)  I sent Aunt K a text earlier in the week saying too bad I had to bring this with me and couldn't enjoy the open bar! ;)

We left the next morning around 11am and took our time getting home, arriving close to 6pm.  We stopped in Shreveport to check out the Toys R Us/Babies R Us there since our area doesn't have one.  We were really disappointed and will definitely be making the trip to Lafayette in a couple weeks to complete our registry.  Baby C was worn out from so much over two days and spent the last couple of the hours of the drive like this:
(notice the lollipop still in his hand haha!)

Next time I make that trip, it will be baby time!  Can't wait!  The reality of baby's arrival is making it's appearance around here.  Just today Daddy B put up the swing we are borrowing from Aunt K and my brother this time around.  It's all very surreal!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

33 Week Appointment & Baby Shower

Dr. C has been awesome about just going with the flow when it comes to my appointments.  I should "technically" be seeing him every two weeks right now, but since the pregnancy is healthy, I'm not seeing him nearly as often due to the driving.  I saw him at 29 weeks and last weekend was my baby shower, so I saw him the friday before at 33 weeks.

Everything went well at the appointment.  My blood pressure was something like 119/72 (can't remember now that it has been a week) and baby's heart rate was strong at 145 bpm.  I shared with him what had just happened the day before with Cousin M and Dr. C let me listen to the baby longer than normal.  I just cried hearing that sound and thinking of my sweet cousin and everything she had already been through.  I still tear up thinking about how much that heart beat meant to me during that appointment.  Both he and his partner midwife told me the baby sounded strong and perfect.  I've definitely relished every hiccup and (sometimes painful!) jab and kick since.

Cousin M is doing well, for those who are thinking and praying for her.  We have talked nearly every day, whether through text or a phone call and are trying to support each other in the ways we can.  We are both in unknown territory when it comes to supporting each other through the loss, as neither of us expected this turn of events.  I'm so thankful for my relationship with her and her encouragement for the natural birth I desire.  We are hoping her and her daughter will be able to come for a visit shortly after this baby is born so she can help me with her awesome nursing skills!  On that note, continued prayers as she deals with having to try to stop her supply for the first time.  She nursed her first daughter until she weaned right before she turned two and was really looking forward to a new nursing relationship with baby Charlotte.

To continue about my appointment, the baby also is continuing to measure two weeks ahead.  Baby C measured the same throughout the end of pregnancy and Dr. C warned me that this baby will definitely be larger!  I have faith that God designed my body to grow the perfect size baby for me to deliver and am not letting that scare me one bit.  I know they will be born exactly the size they need to be! The baby is still head down and considered in the "perfect" birthing position.  They haven't really done too much moving around my belly since they turned head down at 28.5 weeks.  In fact, the area they kick all the time is starting to feel a little sore! I'm headed back to Texas this coming friday for a wedding and my last appointment before the big transition at 38 weeks.  Dr. C will be out of the office, so I'm seeing his partner midwife at her birth center.  She has been at nearly all of my appointments and I'm looking forward to seeing the birth center, as I've heard a lot of great things about it through the ICAN of North Texas ladies.

I'm feeling pretty good still.  Getting more uncomfortable and can tell my pelvis and lower back are relaxing more and more.  Have had some nausea spells, but I read that's normal in late pregnancy.  Last night I was nauseous and had a head ache and being the paranoid mom that I am, I took my blood pressure.  Brian and I sort of laughed when it came back 109/66.  I never have had a problem with blood pressure, but I'm so worried something will come up that throws this entire birth plan off.  I should probably try to relax a little bit. ;)

Here's the two newest belly comparisons.  I have started taking a picture every two weeks, as I did the same thing with Baby C and want to have the same pictures as I did the first pregnancy.

The next day, four of my closest friends (who were all bridesmaids in my wedding!) threw me the most WONDERFUL baby shower I could have asked for!  The cherry on top of the entire thing was that my other sister in law (We'll call her Aunt D), surprised me by flying in from Georgia on Friday night!  She has my two nieces who are 7 and 4, and one has special needs, so she is a busy busy busy mama.  I was so touched she went out of her way to come celebrate with us!  Here's some pictures:

 Aunt K made all of this awesome food!  Her famous meatballs, ham and cheese croissants, tortellini skewers, spinach dip in a bread bowl (my fav!), and Chili's chips, salsa and salad.  My good friend J made that amazing cupcake owl and the dozen baby owls that surrounded it!

This tree represents everyone's guess of boy or girl and has a piece of advice written on the back.  
Girl won two-to-one!  

33 weeks and enjoying my shower :)

These were my beautiful hostesses!  L to R: Aunt K, Amiga C, (me), my friend J who I went to college with and my friend L who I've known since I was 5!  Love these four ladies so much!

I feel much more prepared after the generous gifts from the baby shower.  The baby room is nearly finished and I can't wait to share all of the hard work Daddy B and I have put in!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"A Little Joy"

Charlotte Joy was born February 7, 2012 at 9:13pm.  
She weighed 3 lbs 11oz and was 19 inches long.

Cousin M and her husband are holding strong in their faith and inspire all of us who love them and baby Charlotte to do the same.

Thank you for your continued prayers as our entire family grieves the loss of a beautiful little angel.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Prayers for Cousin M

My sweet cousin M, who readers of the blog should know, found out she and her husband were also expecting baby #2 just a couple short weeks after Daddy B and I found out our news.  We shared our first pregnancy together and her daughter and Baby C are only about 7 weeks apart in age.  We were excited to be so close in due dates this time around and really be able to have each other to lean on during this pregnancy.

Unfortunately, she found out this past Thursday that her second baby girl had gone to be with Jesus at 30 weeks along.  This has been a difficult time for her and for our entire family.  Tomorrow they begin the process to bring this baby girl in to the world sleeping and we are all taking comfort in knowing she is already being cradled in Jesus' arms in heaven.

I ask that you say a prayer for her, her husband, and all the family and friends so impacted by this turn of events.  There are difficult days ahead, but we know that God is good, all the time!

I'll be back to update soon about my 33 week appointment with Dr. C and my baby shower.

Thanks in advance for the thoughts and prayers being sent this way.