Friday, January 21, 2011

30 weeks

I don't want another c-section.

Early in this pregnancy, we decided we'd go for the birth we'd hoped for with Rhys and Quin but weren't able to achieve; first because of the twin pregnancy and then later because of the unexpected placental abruption which led to their early emergency arrival at 33 weeks.  We decided that this time, we'd go for a VBAC in a freestanding (non-hospital affiliated) birthing center.

It felt so right.  I immediately began thinking about whether I'd want to bring patchouli candles to create my birthing ambiance, or whether lavender would win out.

Our ability to move forward with the VBAC as planned was contingent upon my placenta being in the right place during our OB consult and ultrasound after we hit the 20 week mark.  At 23 weeks we went in, nervous and excited to get the go-ahead for moving forward.

First we had the ultrasound.  Learned we are having a girl.  Learned that placenta-wise, all was as it should be.  Placenta far away from my Cesarean scar, far away from the cervix.

Next was the OB consult.  We went in, giddy about our girl, giddy about our green light.  The OB talked to us about the risks of VBAC.  She talked to us about  Rhys and Quin's birth.  She mentioned that although the placental abruption probably would not recur, if it did, being so far from a hospital, our baby could die.  I could die.

Suddenly, I was back at the hospital the night Rhys and Quin were born.  Laying on the bed and bleeding, waiting for the ultrasound, waiting for them to tell me my babies were dead.  I was on the operating table as they pulled my babies from my body and whisked them away.  I was in recovery, confused and cold and shaking, wondering if we'd all survive.

And then  I was back in the OB consult, sitting next to Kyle and nodding at the doctor's blurred words.  I knew I wasn't going to be bringing patchouli candles or lavender candles or anything else with a flame to this baby's birth.  In one startling second, the idea of a birthing center birth went from being exactly what I wanted to something I knew I'd never have.

The next day I transferred my care to a group of midwives who deliver at a local hospital with a decent VBAC rate, and began attempting to stem the flow of fear that suddenly gushed from every molecule of my being.

What if she's born too early?  What if I can't conquer my fears enough to let go in labor and VBAC successfully?  What if IT happens again?  What if IT happens again and I'm at home alone with the boys??????

I'm scared.

And I'm angry.

I'm angry at the doctor who was on call the night Rhys and Quin were born.  That doctor, who for whatever reason, knowing I lived 30+ minutes from the hospital, told me I probably had a kidney stone when I called an hour before my water broke complaining of terrible back pain and cramping.  Suggested I push 33 weeks pregnant with twins, after a positive fetal fibronectin test, several hospital visits to stop my pre-term labor, and a steroid shot that morning to develop the babies' little lungs.  A kidney stone.  That same doctor who didn't call me back for over ten minutes when I called the emergency on-call service to say my water had broken and I was gushing blood all over my living room floor.  That same doctor, who responded to my report of blood by saying, "it's normal.  Put on a pad and come to the hospital" and then adding a cheerful, "congratulations, your babies are going to be born tonight!"  

I'm angry that my trauma over the babies' birth is still there.  That I'm scared shitless.  That I didn't need to go through some of the trauma.  That the doctor could have said, "why don't you come on in" when I called the first time, and should have said, "get here NOW" when I called the second.

But it is what it is.

I have ten more weeks to go.  Ten weeks to get to an okay place.

I've made progress since our consult.  We've hired a doula.  I talk a lot to our midwife.  I'm reading and re-reading Birthing From Within.  I'm working and trying and processing.

I've accepted that this is the next leg of my journey.

It will be what it will be.  In the end, I get to determine what it becomes.

Monday, January 10, 2011

28 weeks

This morning I decided to make a smoothie.  Although I seem to have no trouble gaining weight in this pregnancy, I feel like really "taking care of myself" has been a struggle.  So a smoothie.  Full of brewer's yeast, wheat germ, flax seed, fruit, yogurt, milk, all the good stuff.  It took me ninety minutes to make.  Not because I had to pick the fruit, milk the cows, or even grind the flax seed myself.  No.  It was because I am Mama and this morning, that meant diapers and bartering for peace and returning boy bits into diapers where they rightfully belong.  But finally, I hit "blend" and had a luscious smoothie ready for my enjoyment.  Sixty minutes later, after taking two sips and spending at least three quarters of an hour searching for (but never finding) Cookie Monster, I decided to really buckle down and just drink the damn thing.  Enter toddlers into kitchen.  "Noothie! Noothie!"  Thirty minutes later, after consuming a good 80% of my breakfast, they were both busy tantruming over my glum announcement that our smoothie was all gone.

This is why I have not posted in four months.

This is the one thing that scares me about having a third baby.

I don't know how to get it all done.

Mothering, working, cleaning the house, making sure our refrigerator has more than an old jar of artichoke tapenade sitting on the top shelf, making sure we don't run out of dog food or milk or toilet paper, making sure Rhys and Quin know how much we love them and have the security in their world to grow into the people they deserve to be, making sure I remember to eat so that this new baby is born strong and healthy and robust...

...these are the things that I love and that consume me and often claim victory over my life.

And although it is crazy and full and hectic every second of every day, life has been really good. 

We're lucky.

I am still blown away by how lucky we are.

I still can't believe I'm pregnant.  From sex. 

By surprise.  Unplanned.

An infertile girl's dream come true.

Speaking of girls, I'm gestating one, and feeling pretty thrilled about that.

I have other things I need to write about.

I need to write about how I weaned the babies and it broke my heart, about how we're planning a VBAC and I'm simultaneously thrilled and terrified, about how this pregnancy has been an exercise in feeling confident in myself as a mother while finding the strength to ignore advice and input that isn't helpful to me, and  about how I'm trying to squeeze every last drop of experience out of this pregnancy to savor the right now.

It all has to come later, and I confess that I have no idea when that will be.  Maybe this week, maybe next month.  It all depends on how things go with my morning smoothie.