Sunday, August 24, 2008
This will be my last post until we get internet access, hopefully on Wednesday. I will definitely post some pics, and hopefully I will have some before and after pics to show in a few days (there is paneling in the living room--that needs to go FAST).
Signing off for now. Wish us luck!
Friday, August 22, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Moving usually sucks, but this time I just want to get started so we can finally move into our home! It seems like the process of finding this home, offer being accepted, inspection and everything else was ages ago! FINALLY let's get this going! I am stressed out right now about moving and I just want all of this to end. I swear, when we walk inside the house with the last load of boxes and close the door behind us, I will collapse on the floor with one great big sigh of relief.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I am really starting to feel that 1st trimester fatigue setting in. Yesterday, I was fine until 4 PM. I caught myself nodding off while sitting on the couch with Mason. I had to put on a Blue's Clues episode for him while I caught a wink on the couch. It was insane how tired I was! Not only is pregnancy the culprit, but I can blame it on the Olympics too--they have gymnastics on at an ungodly hour, and I make myself stay up and watch it (though it ends up being totally pointless because I just doze off halfway through anyways). Now I realize how much easier it was to be pregnant with no kids!
I remember someone telling me before, that after you are pregnant with your VBAC baby, you aren't as worried about the birth. Whoever told me that, was right! I know I am barely 5 weeks pregnant, but before I was pregnant I would have moments where I was petrified how the birth will go--would I rupture? Would I be in too much pain? Would I have another cesarean? Would I opt for homebirth or the hospital?
Now that I am pregnant, I am very zen about everything. I am going to take everything as it comes. I feel confident about my ability to birth this baby vaginally. I also take comfort in knowing that this time, if I needed another cesarean, it really would be because it was 100% absolutely NEEDED. I think having a necesary cesarean would be much different than having an unnecessary one. Of course, I would still go over the what-if's, and is-my-body-really-broken questions, but in the end I know I would have given it my best shot.
As I type this, there is A Baby Story on TLC (yup, now that I am pregnant, I just have to watch ANYTHING-no matter how mainstream and crappy it is--about birth). There is a woman having a c-section (surprise, surprise). Yuck, her arms are tied down. She is trying to smile and look happy--but I can see it in her eyes. C'mon, it sucks laying there like that, especially when all you do is want to get up and hold your baby! All those woman who want a primary elective cesarean (due to fear of birth, etc.) must be REALLY afraid of birth if they opt for that. Holy hell. Have they ever seen a cesarean section take place? Or any surgery? Know all the risks--especially when compared to a vaginal birth? Or, what really gets me, is when woman say they want a cesarean to "feel in control"...um, feel in control?? You can't feel ANYTHING! You are strapped to a damn table, unable to move, being cut open and SOMEBODY else is fucking around with your body--having COMPLETE control over if you live or die---and you say that is control? There must be another reason, because honey, that isn't control. Maybe that's how you rationalize it to yourself, then. Oh--do you mean you just don't want to feel the pain of labor, and you want to pick your baby's birthday and squeeze it into your busy schedule, and not tear your precious little vagina or avoid people from hearing you grunt and groan or possibly take a shit in front of everyone? Oh, well, don't we ALL have those fears, at least to some extent? But, the strong face their fears, the weak go out of their way to the point of not making sense and doing them more harm in the process. The "easy way out" really isn't the easy way out.
Okay, that may have sounded harsh, but this is my blog and I am pregnant and hormonal. I just want to say that I don't agree that a totally medically unnecessary cesarean should actually be a "choice", as if it's safer, or even as safe as vaginal birth, but since it somehow, suddenly is a choice, I do support a woman's right to choose her birth. It still doesn't keep me from thinking the way I do about her decision, or even making judgements about her in my head, or writing about it in my blog. Just like many repeat cesarean mommas think VBAC or HBAC mommas are "selfish" (just recently, a woman left me a comment on my YouTube video calling me "selfish", and I "need to grow up"). By the way, why isn't a cesarean "selfish"? What is so unselfish about a cesarean? If anybody has any ideas, please let me know. I would love to see the official list on what's selfish and unselfish on repeat cesareans vs. VBAC's--a side by side comparison would be great.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I couldn't think of a more perfect time for our anniversary....not only are we celebrating the best 8 years of our lives, but we are closing on our first home, we have a beautiful son, and we just found out our family is growing. It's just all too perfect for words.
Friday, August 15, 2008
This was taken the day I found out, I was 3 weeks and 4 days right here.
4 weeks 1 day. :)
Part of me wants that nice, warm and peaceful surrounding that comes with a homebirth, but the other wants to save some money and have the OR there if I really did need it. They both have their pros and cons. This morning Jason and I were talking about the expense of a home birth, and $3000 is a lot of money (plus the cost of a doula). If I go with the midwives at the birth center, I only pay one $25 co-pay, that's' it. That lasts through my whole pregnancy and post partum care. I received an email from them last year, I posted it on this blog, and they don't use heplocks, or even EFM! They sound as natural as a hospital birth could get, so I set up an interview with them for September 4th. Jason and I will be able to see them and talk to them and get a better idea if this is the way we really want to go. Jason would love a home birth too, but we both want to explore all avenue's before we settle with our final decision.
I am only 4 weeks pregnant. I am not stressing out about it...actually, I am fairly calm. I feel all the cards will fall into place. I will know if these midwives are right right off the bat, if it doesn't feel right even in the slightest--home birth here we come.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I keep thinking as I am jogging (though I slowed the pace considerably) "oh no.....what if I cause a miscarriage.." I am petrified of this. We wanted and waited for so fucking long....we would be devastated if we loose Baby Bean (my name for the baby until I figure out a better one). I would dread the TTC part again, cycles trying to even back out--ugh, it would be HELL. Not to mention just losing the baby you wanted so badly. Even when these dark thoughts surface, a bigger part of me just has this feeling that everything is fine. This pregnancy is strong.
So far, so good. No nausea yet, except if I wait too long to eat or eat too much. My boobs are not that big yet. I remember with Mason, that was my first sign. They were noticeably HUGE. I get the same weird belly twinges I got with Mason, and that weak, shaky feeling if I don't eat enough. My appetite is definitely increasing, I can't believe how often I am eating now. I am literally hungry again 30 minutes or so right after I eat, and not just hungry, but hungry. Not much cravings except for swiss cheese (not usually a big swiss cheese fan) and tons of water. That's about all I am feeling at this point, though I am sure the nausea will kick in soon. With Mason it kicked in around 6 weeks and lasted to about 12 or 13 weeks. I actually feel great right now, it may also have something to do with eating pretty healthy and still working out.
Ahhh....this is awesome. I am walking around with a perma-smile on my face, people around town probably think I am nuts. I am at the stage where the pregnancy is not at all noticeable, so it's like a secret between me and Bean. It's also way too early for Jason to enjoy the kicks and big belly rubs, and for total strangers to stop and hold the door for me or ask very rude, prying questions. Mason isn't able to see my belly and give it a kiss. Nope. None of that right now, and I am not even rushing it....right now it's just me and Bean, and I am enjoying every minute.
I remember when pregnant with Mason, I wanted to rush it so bad. When I was just 4 or 5 weeks, I remember wanting to be farther along already. I was way too anxious to meet the baby. This time, I am enjoying every micro second (especially since Jason suddenly recanted on the 3 kids plan, which is another post in and of itself). I actually don't want it to end....I am enjoying it way too much. I learned my lesson from trying to rush things last time. It got me nowhere except for the OR.
This time....it will be much, much different. It's only just begun.
Monday, August 11, 2008
I wasn't going to POAS until today (10 DPO), but I caved yesterday at 9 DPO. I just walked in the door after my morning run, I was already up for 2 hours, had drank my coffee and guzzled tons of water, but something told me to POAS. I did. It was a 1st response test, my last one. Right away, I saw a TINY, VERY FAINT line appear. I thought it was an evap (like the one I had a few months ago) but it showed up right away, and was a very faint pink color. I was attempting to hide it from Jason, I didn't want to get his hopes up - but he caught me in the bathroom scrutinizing, so I broke down and told him. He said he didn't see anything.
It was bugging me all day, so needless to say after realizing I had 2 clear Blue Easy Digital tests lying around in the bathroom, I quickly snatched one and POAS.....BFN. It was odd, for some reason, I wasn't disheartened (now I am convinced women really do just know). I went and bought 3 more tests (POAS is not a cheap hobby), they were E.P.T's, two +/- tests and one bonus digital test. I vowed I wouldn't touch them until the next morning.
WRONG! By 9 that very night I was POAS on one of the +/- tests, and like the 1st response, right away a very faint, but blue colored line appeared, and stayed. I showed it to Jason...he still wasn't convinced, but I just had a gut feeling (pun intended). This morning, 10 DPO, I nervously POAS. The same exact thing happened, faint line, but it was a little darker. I showed Jason, and he said he did see it this time. At this point we were a little hopeful, and very confused. Not to mention petrified of getting our hopes up.
I was not going to POAS again today. I was just going to wait a few days...but I had that nagging little voice like I did when I was unknowingly pregnant with Mason.."just take a test!" So I did. I took my last CBE digital test since I knew they were more sensitive than the E.P.T's. I did my duty and set it on the sink. I was so afraid of seeing the "not pregnant" flash across the window, so I dodged out of the bathroom and switched a load of laundry over to the dryer. The whole time I was saying to myself, "Of course it's not positive.....oh PLEASE say pregnant! Please!..." then as I took the empty clothes hamper back to the bedroom, I passed by the bathroom and quickly glanced at the test on the counter...I couldn't make out much, just something had obviously had appeared on the result window. After I dropped off the hamper, I made my way back to the bathroom..dreading the test results. As I made my way to the test, I saw only the right side of the test had words on it...like it does when it only says "pregnant". I quickly went in for a closer look......
It did say pregnant. OMG! My knees felt like they were going to give out. I grabbed the test out of disbelief...no, this isn't real!! Is this real?! I swear, I lost my mind for a minute - running around trying to find the phone, dialing Jason's work number, then hanging up, running around looking for my cellphone, test still clutched in my hand. I ended up taking a photo of the test on my cell phone, and sending it to Jason's email. I then called him and told him to check his email. He couldn't believe it.
It took 11 months. 11 unexpected months of hell. We actually had a conversation this morning about how this is sucking the life out of us. Now we have Mason's sibling on the way...finally.
What a journey this will be! I can't wait!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
I am a little anxious this cycle, more than usual. If we do not conceive this cycle, we will officially hit the 1 year "infertile" mark. Holy shit. Just typing those words scares the living crap out of me. I can't stress enough how I never thought it would take this long...ever, ever, ever. I am almost in shock about it, kinda left scratching my head, too.
I am feeling no different than usual. No cramping, no big boobies. Nothing. I also have Jason asking me every other day if I am pregnant. Talk about pressure. I have to kindly explain to him, "honey, even if the egg was fertilized, it probably didn't even implant yet, I wouldn't technically be pregnant or get a positive HPT either." I must sound like a nut job. Jason actually knows A LOT about TTC and the female menstrual cycle now.....he was actually talking to a FEMALE about it the other day. They are a couple thinking about TTC soon, and she was asking HIM questions. That must have been a sight to see.
I remember when I was pregnant with Mason (before I found out about it) my top signs were very swollen breasts (not painful though), "full" feeling in tummy--like something was "there"- no matter how many crunches I did, slight cramping-but AF never came, and I distinctly remember (I don't know how many DPO, I didn't keep track--I wish I did) working out to some cardio routine 'On Demand' and feeling SO OUT OF BREATH. I had to keep stopping to catch my breath, and I was very frustrated since I didn't know why. It was really odd. I am guessing it had to be at least halfway through my luteal phase. Needless to say, today on my morning jog, I was sort of hoping to be out of breath again.....but I wasn't. In fact, quite the opposite. I had a shit ton of energy, and talked to my sometimes jogging buddy (yup, the pregnant one) the whole time. I never envied someone in colored pantyhose and sneakers so much.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
May Be More Common
Than Previously Believed
August 5, 2008; Page D1
Amid the debate over how to effectively manage maternal mental-health disorders, a new type of postpartum illness is gaining attention: post-traumatic-stress disorder due to childbirth.
PTSD is most commonly associated with combat veterans and victims of violent crime, but medical experts say it also can be brought on by a very painful or complicated labor and delivery in which a woman believes she or her baby might die. Symptoms can include anxiety, flashbacks and a numbness to daily life. Even as medical advances have resulted in many more lives saved during high-risk births, extreme medical interventions can leave a mother severely stressed -- especially if she feels powerless or mistreated by health providers.
PTSD is much less common than postpartum depression, which has become better-understood by the public as celebrities like actress Brooke Shields and former CIA agent Valerie Plame have spoken out about their experiences. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that postpartum depression affects 15% of mothers.
The incidence of childbirth-related PTSD hasn't been widely studied. But a new survey suggests the disorder could be more widespread than previously believed. Of more than 900 U.S. mothers surveyed, 9% screened positive for meeting all of the formal criteria for PTSD set out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-IV, a handbook of mental-health conditions. And 18% of respondents had some signs of the disorder. The survey, which included an established PTSD screening tool, was conducted by Harris Interactive for Childbirth Connection, a nonprofit maternity-care organization in New York. Separate earlier studies outside the U.S. had estimated the prevalence of childbirth-related PTSD at between 1.5% and 5.9%.
Shari Lusskin, director of reproductive psychiatry at New York University Medical Center, who wasn't involved in the survey, cautions that many aspects of PTSD still aren't understood, especially as it may apply to childbirth. "We don't want to overmedicalize a normal part of human development," she says. "Just because you had a traumatic birth, doesn't mean you'll get PTSD."
Still, the survey results are likely to add fuel to a debate about how to better identify and treat maternal mood disorders and whether widespread, systematic screening is warranted. New Jersey in 2006 passed a law that requires every new mother be screened for risk of depression prior to discharge from a hospital and again at her first post-birth doctor's visit, although women can decline the screening.
'Drugging of Mothers'
Other states, including Illinois and Texas, have passed laws to promote greater educational efforts about postpartum mental illness. And now the first federal law on postpartum mood disorders, which would fund research, treatment and public awareness, is working its way through Congress. Opponents say the law would lead to more "drugging of mothers."
Gena Zaks, of Baltimore, became suicidal with violent nightmares after the premature, emergency birth of twins in 2004, one of whom faced life-threatening respiratory problems. Ms. Zaks was diagnosed with several postpartum conditions, including PTSD and depression. "I was crying nonstop for six days in the hospital," says the 34-year-old mother. "Nobody said anything to me about depression."
Monica Bristow, a clinical psychologist in Redmond, Wash., who counsels mothers with PTSD, says one key to treatment is sharing the story of the trauma with a professional who can understand and validate the experience. Medication can be used to alleviate symptoms like insomnia and anxiety, she says, but nondrug techniques, like relaxation or gradual re-exposure to the trauma through memory in a constructive setting, can be more long-lasting and effective.
A history of sexual abuse or other trauma can also put women at greater risk for PTSD from childbirth, says counselor and childbirth educator Penny Simkin, of Seattle. She says discussing such information with a health professional before giving birth can help reduce the risk.
Maternity-care providers say the increase in the number of medical obstetric procedures in labor and delivery, like Caesarean sections and premature births, could be contributing to PTSD. These providers also note that childbirth-related PTSD became more of a focus of study only after 1995, when the American Psychiatric Association broadened criteria for the disorder.
PTSD, whether brought on by childbirth, natural disaster or some other trauma, can happen immediately, or months after the event. It may occur when someone has experienced an event that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury, and responds with intense fear, helplessness or horror.
Cheryl Beck, a professor at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing who researches birth trauma and was an adviser on the Childbirth Connection survey, says the mothers who reported signs of PTSD in the survey appeared to have a higher rate of medical interventions and describe feeling powerless in a threatening environment.
The survey also found that African-American women, those without private health insurance and women with unplanned pregnancies were more likely to have PTSD symptoms. The survey, called New Mothers Speak Out, available at childbirthconnection.org, also covered a range of other post-birth issues. Executive Director Maureen Corry noted the majority of mothers with PTSD and depression symptoms didn't seek professional help.
In 2003, Liv Lane spent 29 hours in labor. After a painful, vacuum-assisted delivery, she gave birth to a son whose lung had collapsed and whose heart had moved to the right side of his body, a condition known as pneumothorax. Ms. Lane, 33, of Shorewood, Minn., says the baby was whisked away and she was left alone, scared and unsure if he would survive. She says the hospital staff also ignored her calls that pain medication wasn't working. The baby, Ryder, eventually recovered.
At her eight-week postpartum checkup, Ms. Lane told the nurse practitioner she'd been sobbing every day and "fantasizing about driving off a bridge." She says the nurse suggested reading some parenting magazines. "I felt ashamed that I'd even asked for support," Ms. Lane says.
A therapist later diagnosed Ms. Lane with PTSD. She began a year and a half of treatment that included psychotherapy. Ms. Lane says she then felt ready for a second baby. But when she got pregnant, her flashbacks, anxiety attacks and panic about her son's safety resurfaced.
She took measures to make this birth different. In consultation with her doctors, Ms. Lane switched hospitals and opted for a scheduled C-section, believing that a vaginal birth might re-trigger the trauma. Her doctor prescribed Zoloft at the end of her pregnancy to alleviate anxiety. She also made sure that her husband or another support person would be with her through labor. The experience was "wonderful," she says. Baby Truman is now 3 months old.
Bill in Congress
The proposed federal legislation on postpartum mood disorders, called the Melanie Blocker Stokes Mothers Act, named after a woman who jumped to her death from a Chicago hotel with postpartum psychosis, was approved by the House of Representatives in October. Last week, the proposal got caught up in a package of bills that failed to reach a final vote on the Senate floor. Democratic supporters say the measure, which doesn't include mandatory screening but does authorize a study about its benefits, could be back later this fall.
Amy Philo, of Frisco, Texas, is using her Web site, uniteforlife.org to help galvanize opposition to the measure, which she believes is designed to enrich pharmaceutical companies. "This bill will result in an increased number of women being referred and treated with drugs," Ms. Philo says. Ms. Philo, who calls herself a "Zoloft survivor" because of the adverse reaction she experienced after being prescribed the drug following a postpartum panic attack, believes antidepressants are unsafe and sees mental-health screening as an invasion of privacy.
Susan Stone, a clinical social worker in New Jersey and past president of Postpartum Support International, a nonprofit proponent of the Mothers Act, says the law's intent is to provide effective care, whether it's talk therapy, medications or some combination, to suffering mothers. "Every woman needs to be assessed individually," she says.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Cesarean Birth After Cesarean.
This means different things for a lot of women. For some, it is a planned VBAC that changed to an elective cesarean at the last minute or towards the end of pregnancy, a VBAC labor that resulted in another cesarean for whatever reason, a women who wants a VBAC at heart but can't due to certain reasons, etc. It's semantics, pretty much.
To me, a CBAC would be an emergency cesarean for whatever reason. I am sure as hell not signing up for a repeat, so it would have to be a real reason. I am not particularly afraid of uterine rupture, I am just afraid of another fucking cesarean.
The thought alone sends shivers down my spine. Whenever I see a bright, sterile operating room on TV, or just hear someone utter the word, "surgery", I get cold sweats and my heart is suddenly in my throat. I am not even pregnant yet, and this is my reaction...I can only imagine my fear when I am waddling around 30+ weeks pregnant. How could I go through another one of those again? HOW?! If the baby was going to die, of course I would be beyond thankful.....but I still have a hard time believing that I would be "okay" with it all. Honestly, an emergency situation like that would probably be 100 times more hellish than the first. I can't imagine laying there, numb again, being cut, not able to see what's going on, not able to touch my baby, depression, pain, drugs, recovery, oh shit.......I hope it's not me. Please not me.
Damn, I will be pregnant someday (maybe even now) and the baby will have to come out...one way or the other. I have to realize that there is a very real chance I could end up on the operating table again...but how would I deal with that? I don't want to recover form surgery again. I don't want additional scar tissue and more pelvic pain and numbness. I just don't want any more of my children to enter the world that way. It's just so......cold. It's like a nightmare, it's like all those alien abduction stories that they tell you about, where you are out of it, you see these faces, you are blinded by bright lights, you hear talking, you can't move, no one listens to you, you feel ignored, scared, alone, and the next thing you know BAM - you wake up in recovery with your deflated belly like,"what the fuck just happened?" The women who want or prefer these procedures are like the 8th wonder of the world to me. I can't even begin to understand that.
Part of me is getting my hopes up - why am I having these thoughts? Could it be? Maybe we did it this time, maybe my body just knows like it did the night we conceived Mason - I remember thinking,"I am going to get pregnant tonight...I just know it".
Monday, August 4, 2008
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Later that afternoon, my sister Anne showed up, she had just closed on her house. There was only one problem - in some sort of confusion, she didn't have the house key. She thought her realtor had it, he thought she had it. I don't quite know how that ends up happening, but it did. It was almost comical. She has been having so much bad luck for the past few months, that I seriously think someone put a curse on her. So, we all trekked over there, and tried to find something to open the door with. We finally found Anne's electric drill, and Jason drilled his way through. I should have caught it on camera. The door was not damaged, just the lock. Anne has to get a new lock anyways, so it sort of worked out, er, I guess.
Anyways, the house was small, and very outdated, but she can make this house really special. She has a keen eye for interior design anyways (I don't know why she just doesn't become an interior designer) so I can't wait to see how this place will turn out. There is a vegetable garden in the back, there were some tomatoes already growing. I am very excited for her, I can't wait to see her happy again. The good 'ole Annie Bananie.
We stopped by the annual rummage sale at the church. I am surprised I didn't burst into flames on such holy property, but all was well. They had a special; $3 bags. We got to grab a bag and stuff it with clothes. I got some really cute things for Mason, like a little red belt with a whale on it, and some totally retro babyblue bell bottoms. Jason grabbed a few tee-shirts, and I got some oversized boy tees and what not for myself - thinking about wearing them in my hopefully very soon pregnancy.
At this point, it was 5 PM and Mason was running on only 30 minutes of sleep (he had to nap in the car with the neck pillow - it doesn't look too comfortable) and he was delirious. We went back to dad's, and just spent the rest of the day there, just hanging out, and playing with Mason. It is really strange to see Mason running around the same yard I did as a kid. It's crazy. It brought back so many memories. When we finally left, it was almost 8 PM. I took a few pics, of course.
(Mason thought he was hiding behind the stick! LOL)