Will I Be a Candidate for a VBAC Delivery? #Throwback

I don’t even know if I’m pregnant at this point since I’m still in the two week wait.  But even while I wait, I can’t help but think ahead.  And I can’t help but think it terms of having a positive pregnancy test.  While I wait, I think ahead.  One thing that I ponder is having a VBAC delivery.  Do I even want a VBAC delivery?

A VBAC delivery is “vaginal birth after cesarean.”  It means just what it sounds like it means: trying to have a vaginal birth after having a previous cesarean.  Norton was born through cesarean.  I don’t have any regrets about that; it’s what was best for Norton. [Read more…]

38 Weeks Pregnant and Crabby

Warning: this is not a pleasant post.  I hate being pregnant.  I seriously do.  This is my third baby, and I have not enjoyed a single pregnancy.  Really, it’s a necessary evil since I’ve yet to find an incubator that will grow my kid.  Other than me, of course.  So by the time 38 weeks pregnant rolls around, I’m fairly miserable.  With Andy, I never made it to 38 weeks pregnant.  I had him at 37 weeks pregnant on the nose.  With Norton, I had a c-section at 38 weeks and four days.

I am presently 38 weeks and 2 days.  I have been having prodromal labor for 13 days now.  Thirteen days. [Read more…]

35 Weeks Pregnant and Crazy Dreams

I’m finding that 35 weeks pregnant is having some effects.  I don’t suddenly feel amazing or feel awful, but 35 weeks means that birth is getting pretty eminent.  I’m actually 35 weeks and three days, so my daughter is due in 32 days.  Which means that she could be here and be full term any time between 11 and 32 days.

I should state for the record that I have never been pregnant longer than 38.5 weeks.  And my first boy was born at 37 weeks on the dot.

So this means that my goals have been pretty much centered around preparation.  I’m preparing for my VBAC delivery with the Hypnobabies Home Study Course.  I’m preparing around the house with my massive list of stuff to do and major cleaning.

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35 Weeks Pregnant and Blissfully in Love

Amazingly enough, we hit 35 weeks pregnant yesterday.  In two to five weeks, our little girl will make her arrival.  Aside from that obsessive nesting need to get everything done (which is even stronger at 35 weeks pregnant than it was at 33 weeks pregnant), the husband and I have finally gotten our rumps in gear and started our Hypnobabies Home Study Course in earnest.  Of course, since we delayed so long, we’re doing an “accelerated plan” that we found online.

We’ve got a doula, and she’s awesome.  We have a doctor who does not do c-sections, so really, it doesn’t get any better than that for a VBAC delivery.  Most amazingly, though, the more the husband and talk about Hypnobabies and why it’s so important to us that it works, the more I realize how absolutely amazing my husband is.

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Pondering Our Birth Experience

We have a little while to go before Eudora is born.  I’m 33 weeks pregnant at this point, so it’s weighing pretty heavily on my mind.  This time around, there’s a lot more to my potential birth experience than there was with Norton or Andy.  I’m hoping to avoid a repeat birth experience like the one that I had with Norton – I’m shooting for a VBAC this time, so no c-section for me, please.  And because I’m going for a VBAC, there’s no way that I can have a repeat of my birth experience with Andy.

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Checking Out Hypnobirthing as a Natural Childbirth Method

So, yeah.  I really do want to attempt a VBAC delivery.  Fortunately, my doctor is supportive of that and even encourages a VBAC delivery over a repeat cesarean whenever possible.  But here’s the thing: I have zero experience with using a natural childbirth method… or with having a natural childbirth.  We’re looking at two choices for a natural childbirth method: Hypnobirthing (or the Mangan Method) or the Bradley Method.  (We’re also seriously leaning towards hiring a doula, which means I need to get my butt in gear and start searching.)

Checking Out Hypnobirthing as a Natural Childbirth Method (Cloth Diaper Addicts)Either way, we doubt we’ll take a class.  We essentially have the Hypnobabies class in a box, and we’ve purchased all the materials that we can find (including the Bradley Method course workbook since there is no Bradley Method class in our entire province).  So far I’ve been taking a gander at hypnobirthing.  We bought HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing online and I started reading.

I’m not terribly far through the Hypnobirthing book, as I find it terribly… hippie in some of the verbiage.  I’ve had a vaginal birth before.  I know that it can be pretty effing excruciating.  I also know that it can be painless, even without any sort of natural childbirth method training.  Especially if you’re a woman in my family.  (My mother had one of my sisters in such a painless labor that she felt no contractions and had to be told when to push.  My oldest sister had the same type of labor, and it was a fast labor to boot.  It looked like I was on the way to the same type of labor with my firstborn… but some impatient soul decided that I should have pitocin to speed it up.  Grr.)  But whenever someone goes on about how “women were made for this” and so forth, it’s kind of a big eye roll for me.

The book also has a CD in the back with a couple of tracks designed to put you in a state of hypnosis.  I’ve been listening to them when I have an excruciating headache and can take a nap… and I’ll tell you what: it’s definitely relaxing.  I’ve always fallen asleep before both tracks were over with, and when I wake up I have less of a headache.  It’s got me starting to think that maybe there is something to this HypnoBirthing thing, after all.

What’s appealing to me right now is a sort of blending of the two methods.  If I can have a painless child birth through hypnosis, great.  I’m all for anything that makes the process easy.  But if not, the pain management techniques that are a part of the Bradley Method seem like they could help.

Did you use a natural childbirth method?  Which did you go with?  Were you able to go natural?

Fourteen Weeks Pregnant – Really?

As of Thursday, I officially hit the fourteen weeks pregnant mark.  Maybe it’s because I haven’t been having much happen in terms of prenatal care, or maybe it’s because I’m so darned busy with Norton that I don’t have time to dwell on every little change that’s happening with my body this time around, but getting to the fourteen weeks pregnant point seems to have just flown by.

At this point, my baby is roughly the size of a large navel orange (as opposed to last week when we were about the size of a really small one).   He’s moving about, but I’m not actually feeling it yet.  He’s starting to practice doing the things that will be crucial to survival when he (or she) finally gets here, like breathing, swallowing, and sucking.

As for me, things are going all right.  I’m still very tired, but that’s largely because I’m not sleeping very well.  I have awful headaches and I was taken off of my amitriptyline weeks ago.  I’ve always had awful headaches, but my headaches during pregnancy are even nastier.  And of course, my usual regimen for dealing with it is out when it comes to headaches during pregnancy: I can’t take Advil Migraine.  (I get the American stuff when I go to the States; it’s different than what we have in Canada and works far better for me.)  Ibuprofen is out for treating headaches during pregnancy.

There’s been no change in the weight gain department; I weigh the same now as I did fourteen weeks ago.  However, I do have quite the belly and have sprouted two cup sizes.  So I really don’t get the lack of weight gain thing.

I had a prenatal visit with Dr. K, the doctor who prescribed my Clomid, on Thursday, too.  I have to say, I’m kind of annoyed.  My family doctor referred me to him, even though I suspected that Dr. K would not handle my prenatal care for the duration of my pregnancy.  He only handles high risk patients.  He’s the place to go for fertility issues in Prince George.  He’s also teaching at the medical school and is Chief of Obstetrics at the hospital.  He’s busy.  The wait list to get into his office is generally two months, if you’re lucky.

When I saw Dr. K for my prenatal visit, he did the usual poking and prodding.  He did my pap smear, since it’s been six months and I was due (since I haven’t had a normal pap smear in three years).  He talked to me about my VBAC delivery options, and I was pleasantly surprised when he told me that he thought that I’d been referred to him because I was adamant about a c-section, and he was going to try to convince me to go for a VBAC delivery in the first place.

Then he suggested a midwife, which really irritated me.  I’d love to have a midwife, but since there aren’t enough and they are all booked, it’s not an option.  (It didn’t irritate me because he suggested it; it irritated me because I’d already thought of that and been shot down at every practice.)  However, at the same time, he recognized that I’ve kind of gotten screwed in terms of prenatal care since I’ve essentially had none at this point.  So he did the requisition for my twenty week ultrasound, and I’ll have an appointment with him again after.  So, yeah.  I’ll be looking at about two months between appointments, which is also annoying the crap out of me.  He’s also planning on referring me to a family doctor who does prenatal care.

I was also disappointed by no doppler at the check up.  At this rate, I’m going to be delivered by whatever intern will be at the hospital, and maybe she’ll be assisted by a med student.

On the bright side, at least he gave me a prescription for amitriptyline, even though he doesn’t want me to use it as it’s intended when prescribed for headaches (as a preventative, not a treatment).  And since I’m fourteen weeks pregnant, at least I’m well over a third of the way through.

Supportive Husband and Pregnancy Stress – Gratitude Project Day 8

This morning, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I have reason to be grateful for my wonderful, supportive husband.  I was pretty freaked out and upset about not being able to get a midwife.  I was certain that I was going to end up with a repeat cesarean, whether I want one or not.  And, yeah, there were more than a few tears.  This is one of those times that I was so very grateful for having a supportive husband.  You see, my husband’s first inclination whenever something has me that upset is to fix it.  He loves me.  He wants to make everything better.

It was with heavy heart (and raging fury) that I called my family doctor for an appointment to get another referral.  Hopefully this time to a doctor who won’t waste my time, otherwise I’m not going to actually have any freaking prenatal care at this rate.  I’ll show up at the hospital and a resident will have to catch or something.  (Okay, I’m still pretty mad about this shenanigans.)

When the husband came home from work, he tried to fix everything.  The one thing that he could do was go to Taco Bell and get me the vaguely defined food product that I wanted.  I couldn’t remember much about it beyond it was some sort of chicken burrito and it had rice.  I hate Taco Bell and hadn’t eaten it in over ten years.  He came back with what I wanted, and even took the liberty of ordering it without tomatoes.  (I hate tomatoes.)

And then we talked about things that were bothering me.

I found it so very strange that I was freaking out over potentially not having a VBAC delivery.  Why was this so very important to me now, when I’d never given much thought to it before?  Why am I fighting for this option now, after only a few days of considering it?  Especially since vaginal childbirth scares the Hell out of me?  (By the way, special thanks to the hospital in Dade City, Florida… which was then known as Humana of Pasco… for making childbirth as traumatic for me as possible.)

And then I realized why I was so angry about how these things were going.  My choices were being taken away.  Without a midwife, there is absolutely no way that I can have a home birth or a water birth.  Those options are automatically off the table.  My hospital has a 22% VBAC delivery success rate.  I don’t know if that’s because there are some doctors (like Dr. T) who won’t even touch you if you want to attempt a VBAC delivery or if some women decide to forgo the VBAC altogether in favor of a repeat cesarean.

I decided that if I’m not going to be part of the 22%, it’s because there had better be some sort of demonstrated medical reason.  As in, one of us had better be at risk of death.  And you know why I’m so grateful for my supportive husband?  He told me that it’s my decision and he understood.  He also told me that he didn’t want me to feel like I had to do a VBAC for his benefit.

I love that man, and he really does complete my life.

What are you grateful for today?

Repeat Cesarean and Accepting Defeat

Repeat Cesarean and Accepting Defeat (Cloth Diaper Addicts)Apparently, my chances of having the VBAC delivery are dwindling.  There are three midwife practices in Prince George.  They are all booked up.  After my craptastic appointment with Dr. T, I have little hope of getting a VBAC delivery from an OB/Gyn.  I really, really didn’t want to be forced into a repeat cesarean.  Not wanting to be forced into a repeat cesarean was one of the biggest reasons that we were looking into using a midwife.  But there’s no chance of using a midwife now.

I’m so, so very disappointed.  I went through a time of crying.  I’m angry.  If Dr. T hadn’t wasted my time with waiting for an appointment with him, perhaps I could have gotten in with a midwife.  But instead, I got screwed.  I’m twelve weeks pregnant and change, and I don’t even have a freaking plan in place for prenatal care.  I feel cheated.

I feel like I have no choice, and I’m going to have to have an unnecessary surgery that I don’t want.  The last thing that I want is a repeat cesarean, especially if I don’t need it.

I’m already frustrated with everything being up in the air.  And now I’m just so angry.

Of course, even if Dr. T hadn’t essentially strung me along by making an appointment instead of just saying right off the bat that he wouldn’t be available to deliver, I still wouldn’t have been able to get a midwife.  There are a grand total of three in my city.  And they work in the towns that are within an hour or two of Prince George, too.  So, yeah.  If you don’t call to book with a midwife the second you get that second line, forget it.

My poor husband, of course, has no clue what to do.  He wants to fix it, but there’s really no way to do so.

Hopefully, there will be a doctor in my city that will support my VBAC delivery preference.  If I’m lucky.  I’ll definitely have to give birth in the hospital (and on the bright side, they can’t try to give me pitocin this time around), and I won’t get to have a water birth even though the hospital does have the option available.

Either way, it just seems like my options are being taken away from me.  And the funny thing is, two years ago, these options never even interested me.  Go figure.  So what’s changed?  Why is this something important to me now?

Graphic Images Make VBAC Delivery a Little Scary

I’d been thinking about attempting a VBAC delivery. Actually, no, we’d decided that a VBAC delivery was going to happen. I was torn between having a repeat c-section to avoid the trauma of birth (my first childbirth was just horrible) and going for VBAC delivery to avoid the healing time of major abdominal surgery. My husband’s desire to see his child come into the world instead of being behind a screen while a surgeon lifted our child out of my womb was the thing that put me in favor of trying a vaginal birth after c-section.

I’ve been reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. It’s supposed to be a wonderful book that’s empowering, educational, and encourages women to make their own birthing decisions rather than be bullied by medical establishment into doing things that are not necessarily in our best interests. (I mean, really, it would be nice if all doctors made decisions based on the welfare of the patient rather than concern about malpractice suits. But they don’t always, and I can’t blame them for wanting to protect themselves in an overly litigious society while they try to help someone else.)

There’s one thing that I wasn’t anticipating: pictures.

I don’t want to see exits. I really don’t. I know, childbirth is supposed to be beautiful, blah blah blah. But the biggest concern that I’d had about natural childbirth (or even a VBAC, for that matter) is my husband being anywhere below the waistline. I’m just not certain that him watching that closely when our kid exits would be favorable to our sex life in the future.

I mean, really, I don’t want us to be spending some, uh, “quality time” together only to have the mood ruined because he flashes back to our kid’s face looking at him as the exit is made.

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I flipped through the book, found a photo of a baby being born sunny side up, and handed it to him. And then I told him that this was why I wanted him to stay above the waistline. And then he saw my point and realized why I was rather concerned about that.

Now I think he might be swinging back to being perfectly happy with a repeat cesarean. There’s no danger of him seeing more than he should that way. Either way, he finally understood what I’d been getting at when I told him I didn’t want him to be able to catch. And he’s thinking about things.

Did you have a vaginal birth? Where was your partner standing?