Thursday, January 30, 2014

40 Weeks

So, I'm 40 weeks and 2 days today.  I have 5 days until the dreaded C-section.  

I'm still fairly optimistic, though.  And most of that is because of my doctor's reaction yesterday at my appointment.  Typically my doctor is very blunt, and straight to the point.  At my 37, 38, and 39 week appointments he was very negative and saying all these things about how he doubts I will go into labor on my own and have a successful VBAC.  But yesterday was like I had a completely different doctor.  

He began telling me a story as he was walking into the room.  He recently had a patient who was wanting to try for a VBAC.  He said he would have bet a million dollars that she wouldn't have gone into labor.  Her c-section was scheduled for 7am.  She showed up at the hospital at 3am, in labor.  He even continued to say when she was 4-5cm dilated, the baby's head was molding (? or something like that) and how he still thought he was going to be doing a c-section on her.  But, she pulled through and had her VBAC!  This must have blown him away because he was seriously a different guy yesterday.  

He checked me and I was only a "stretchy 1cm", I figured I would get all the negative feedback like usual, but that wasn't the case at all.  He was strangely optimistic.  He kept saying how he may very well see me before Tuesday.  So, I'm hopeful!  It really sucked when I was leaving the appointment and was told all my info about coming in at 5am on Tuesday to begin the c-section prep.  Ugh.  But I still have 5 days.  Lots can change!

I was having time-able non-painful contractions all Saturday night, and all of Sunday.  They then became sporadic,  but still often during the next 3 days.  But every time I would lay down I wouldn't get them.  Last night was different, though.  I had them all night long.  Still not painful, though. I know at least one or two were real.  They woke me up and they felt completely different.  And of course I would stay awake for 30+ minutes afterwards, wondering if it would happen again.  They never did.  But I still had the regular non painful contractions continue.  I'm still getting them, even now as I'm typing this.  I'm praying this leads to something!

I've been praying so much and trying to be as positive as I can be.  It's hard, though.  I've even started repeating "My body is not broken.  I will go into labor.  I will have my VBAC" in my head over and over when I'm feeling particularly negative.  And last night I spent 45 minutes imagining the perfect (for me) birth.  It was really incredible to do that.  I'm sure I'm setting myself up for heartache by doing that, but it was nice to experience that, even if it was not real.  

Today has actually been the day I have been hoping Wesley would come.  Thursday, January 30th.  If he is born today, he would share something from all of our birthdays.  January is Nick's birthday month.  30 is the day I was born, and Tanner was born on a Thursday.  It's 8:15am...I still have some time, right? :)

Okay Wesley, I'm ready for you!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Just a quick update

I am still pregnant.  40 weeks today.  At my 39 week appointment last week I was a fingertip dilated.  Which doesn't seem like a lot to most people, but it took me 30 hours of pitocin to get to a fingertip dilated with Tanner.  So I'm pretty happy with that.  My doctor said baby isn't engaged at all, and that he thinks I won't VBAC because of that.  But in reality, most second babies don't "drop" or engage until labor has started.  He's just trying to use scare tactics. And it's annoying.  

Over the weekend I was having Braxton Hick's contractions every 6-10 minutes.  All weekend long.  I've had them like that every day since, but not quite as often.  I'm hoping they have done a little something to my cervix.  I have another appointment tomorrow, and my doctor may be able to do a membrane sweep to try to get things started.  

I'm running out of time!  In one week I will be having a c-section.  I really, really don't want it.  And it just sucks a little bit, because I keep having these signs that labor may be coming soon.  I feel like I could be close.  I'm trying not to let my anxiety get the best of me.  It will all be okay in the end, right?

Thursday, January 16, 2014


I'm so happy!  I met with my doula today, and she is great!  I really get a wonderful feeling from her!  

She knows my history with Tanner's labor and delivery, and she knows my hopes for my future labor.  She asked some excellent questions to get an idea on how I cope with pain, and what will be helpful for me.  

She said her sister may act as her assistant because she wants to become a doula, but hasn't taken the classes yet.  I told her that is awesome!  I  remember what it was like to be a student nurse and hope patients would allow me to participate in procedures and whatnot.  I'm glad I can help!  

She knows I would like to try as best as I can to avoid an epidural.  And she also knows that I'm not certain I will be able to do it.  So I'm glad she is aware of that.  She gave me great examples of some personal experience she had with and without epidurals.  My doctor recommended me getting an epidural "just in case of a rupture".  That way I wouldn't be put under general anesthesia during the c-section.  But I did my research.  I know epidurals need at least 20 minutes to be brought up to surgical strength.  If I were to rupture, I would be put under general anyway. So why not try?  Maybe with her support and knowledge I will be able to deal with the pain.

Now, I need to wait for my mom to come to Oklahoma on Tuesday.  After that, Wesley can come anytime!  And lots of prayers and all my fingers crossed that I go into labor on my own so I can actually use my doula! 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Excited for Tomorrow! 38 Weeks Pregnant

I had another appointment yesterday (38 weeks).  Everything was the same as the week before.  No progress, but I still wasn't expecting anything to be different.  My doctor tried to ask me about a c-section at 39 weeks again.  I told him, "No! I'm waiting until 41 weeks...". He said he thinks that is a great idea, but that he is legally required to ask me about it since there was no cervical change.  Whatever. 

I'm still feeling really good.  And I am so thankful for that!  My blood pressure is great, and Wesley is moving a ton.  My only problem is negative thinking.  I'm really trying to make myself think positively about labor and having my VBAC. Your mind can do crazy things, and stalling labor is one of those things.  

Tomorrow morning I will be driving an hour away to meet my doula! I am so excited!  I've got my list of questions ready for her, and a little cliff's notes version of Tanner's birth story.  I'm only hoping Tanner sits still long enough for us to talk.  Ever since he turned two, he's gotten a bit spunky.  I re-read her profile and it looks like she has a TENS unit rental.  I've read about them in nursing school, but never actually have seen or used one.  But after some research it seems like they are amazing for back labor!  I'm definitely going to be asking her about that.  

I will write another post tomorrow after our meeting.  I'm so looking forward to meeting her! I still can't believe my friends did that for me!  And I'm actually a little blown away that I'm 38 weeks pregnant now, too.  3 weeks max until Wesley is here.  AHH!!!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

So Completely Thankful!

I feel like I've been pretty pessimistic and negative lately, so it's time for a thankful post.  And boy, am I thankful!

These are all pregnancy related, because that's pretty much my life right now.  (Tanner is still a great little kid, but he's teething his last 3 molars and that's not fun.  Also, there is a lot to complain about military related things, but I'm not going to do that)

The differences between this pregnancy and Tanner's are so crazy!  I am thankful for every single one! Well, almost every one.  The 9 month long morning sickness, and extreme insomnia I can pass on.

*I've gained 17 pounds.  This time with Tanner, I was up 55 pounds! (60 total at delivery).  After re-reading some of my posts from that time I am absolutely certain I had pre-eclampsia.  My swelling was so bad, and I had all the other symptoms, too.  I am swelling now, too, but it's just normal pregnancy swelling.  My ankles and my face are swollen.  But that's it.  I still have my rings on.  I'm also carrying Wesley a lot different than I did with Tanner.  I can STILL wear pre-pregnancy jeans! But most of my maternity shirts barely cover my belly button!  I'm really only belly this time, and with Tanner I got big everywhere.  Here's a comparison picture. 

I always hid my face in pictures when I was pregnant with Tanner.  My face is swollen here (especially my nose) in the second picture, too, but I don't care anymore.
*My heartburn with Tanner was horrible.  I was already halfway through my second bottle of Pepcid Complete by this time.  I still have 1/3 left in my first bottle now.  Don't get me wrong, when I do get it, it's really painful, but it's nowhere near as bad.  

*This time, my hormones are normal!  Except when I watch a sad TV show/movie or something like that.  No crazy mood swings this time.  

*After Tanner was born my belly was very angry with stretch marks all over.  Big, deep, red stretch marks.  They are all light and silver now.  But I have no new stretch marks.  I keep looking for them, but they have stayed away so far!

*I'm also feeling great.  Just overall great.  I have bad hip pain here and there, but it's nothing I can't handle.  I could literally stay pregnant for another 3 months. (Only if insomnia would disappear!) I'm so thankful for this.  I was really worried I would feel the same way I did with my first pregnancy.  There is no way I could chase after Tanner feeling like I did.  Thank you, God! I appreciate it!

*But what I am MOST thankful this week is my family and friends.  After my last appointment and blog post I vented to my friends.  These women I have known for almost 3 years.  They are all a part of a December Mom's group I joined when I was pregnant with Tanner.  We broke away from the bump and joined Facebook.  And we've only gotten closer and closer. But on Wednesday I talked to one of those wonderful ladies and she told me they all got together and raised money for me to hire a doula.  I was beyond speechless and amazed!  After I got off the phone with her I bawled.  I don't know how I can thank them enough!  

I've spoken with the doula, and I really, really like her!  I was actually looking at her website when I was in my first trimester and wondering if we would be able to hire a doula.  We will meet next week, and I will report back on how that goes.

Having a doula is going to be nothing short of amazing.  She is our (Nick and my) advocate. She will be with us during my labor and delivery.  She is skilled in ways to support the laboring mother.  Whether that is special massage or acupressure during contractions for pain control, helping with position changes to get a baby (especially a posterior baby) to descend, or saying encouraging and motivating words to help the woman work through contractions.  Even if I end up with an epidural she will be able to help me get into the correct positions to keep what happened with Tanner from happening again this time.  

I might actually be able to stay home as long as I can with her help.  And if I end up with a c-section again after being in labor, it will be ok.  Knowing I had the support from my family, friends, and the help of a doula, I will have done everything I could have done. (Chiropractor care being the only exception)

I only worry about going into labor in the middle of the night and having to call and wake her up.  I absolutely hate doing that.  And I've realized it stems from working night shifts and having to call doctors in the middle of the night.  They were usually always upset and grumpy.  But I'm sure if I actually go into labor on my own I will be more than thrilled. FINGERS CROSSED!!! 

I am actually looking forward to this next chapter now.  Before I was absolutely terrified.  I know this is the work of God.  He is helping me get though this.  Once again, I thank Him, my family, and my friends!  I love you, all!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bait and Switch? 37 Weeks Pregnant

I'm starting to remember why I disliked my doctor after Tanner was born.  It's been two years and since going back he seemed better.  He said he is very VBAC supportive.  The nurses at the hospital even said he was really great with women attempting VBACs and that he was patient with them.  From things I've read in my VBACFacts group online, he seemed really great!  But really, he's no different than the regular C-section happy doctors.  

He's trying to pull the whole 'bait-and-switch' on me.  Meaning, he is "very supportive" all the way up until you get close to your due date, and then starts pushing for a repeat c-section.  Even though I've told him I've done my research, he seems to think I am naive.  

I had a feeling something like this would happen after this appointment.  They start doing cervical checks at 37 weeks.  I could have denied it, like many women choose to do, but in a way I wanted to have the info.  I'm not dilated (no kidding...), but my cervix is soft.  My body is working.  I wasn't expecting to be dilated.  HELLO!?! I'm only 37 weeks!  But this is what my doctor said:

"Nope, you're not dilated.  Soft, though!  At this point, I don't believe you will be very successful with a VBAC.  If there isn't much change by next week, I would recommend a repeat c-section at 39 weeks".  Frankly, I said "hell no".  

First, there are so many stories of women who are overdue who aren't dilated at their appointment and then that night they go into labor.  It doesn't matter how much you dilated before you go into labor.  

Second, I'm still fairly certain my dates are off.  But since my ultrasounds dated the same as my LMP, they didn't move my due date.  If I have a c-section at 39 weeks, it will be like having one at 37.5.  (I'm pretty certain there is a 10 day difference).  

Third, it's just crazy.  Why wouldn't I want by body to go into labor on it's own?  I want Wesley to pick his own birthday.  I want to experience natural, non-pitocin, contractions.  I want to have that "is this it?" moment.  I want Wesley to get the hormones that my body would give off with labor.  

I told him we have a date scheduled for the c-section.  At 41 weeks.  I don't feel comfortable doing it any sooner.  And he said, "ok!".  

I should have listened to my mom.  She had that feeling about my doctor.  Frankly, I did too.  But I don't have many other choices in this town.  There is only one hospital that even allows VBACs.

Anyway, the rest of the appointment went perfect.  Wesley is still head down (but I'm pretty sure he's posterior, which sucks).  His heart rate was great, fast.  My BP was absolutely perfect for me (114/59).  

He didn't even talk to me about my trip to labor and delivery last week either.  I doubt he even remembered.  After a long day of nesting and cleaning I realized that there was a spot on my c-section incision that was turning red.  I had Nick take a picture so I could see it better.  It is in the same spot as the hole that opened up one week after Tanner was born.  It looks like a blood blister or something, but internal.  So, of course, I freaked out.  My doctor was on call and at the hospital for surgery and said I could come in to have it checked out.  So I did.  

After peeing in a cup, getting a bed, and being hooked up to monitors for 45 minutes  he came by and took a look. I don't know why they did all of that, he said I could just come by for a quick look.  Whatever.

He said he wasn't concerned about it.  But he couldn't tell me what it was, or why it was there.  The nurse assumed it was because I was probably doing too much that day.  It's still there but not quite as red.  I'm worried about it though.  I don't want anything to happen to my incision.  I don't want my uterus to rupture.  And any change I see, is alarming to me.  

I'm starting to get that feeling again.  When I was pregnant with Tanner, I just KNEW I would be induced and it would end up in a c-section.  I remember re-reading it in a post at the beginning of this pregnancy.  I've got that feeling again.  I just know Wesley will be born via c-section on February 4th.  I'll have to live with the what-ifs for the rest of my life.  What if I didn't get induced with Tanner.  Maybe I would never have had a c-section.  Maybe I would never have had to have two surgeries.  Or the "I wonder what a natural labor and delivery would have been like."  "I wonder how different a normal recovery would have been"...

Why does it have to be this way?  Why can't I just think how some of my friends think like..."At least you have a healthy baby".  They just DON'T understand everything else that goes along with a traumatic birth.  I feel robbed.  I'm a woman.  Women are made to grow and birth babies.  Why can't I do that?  

I've seen this picture on Facebook, and It's how I feel most days. 

 OF COURSE I am beyond happy and in love with Tanner.  And if I had to do it over again, I would do all of it again.  And he was healthy and happy.   But that doesn't make this feeling go away.  And I know I'm not alone in that.  If I have to have another c-section, which is very likely, I hope it can help take some of that pain away.