Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Musing, remembering, and planning

Here we are, just past the 34 weeks mark. That means that in less than two weeks, this kid will be considered term. And by 38 weeks, I expect to be talking induction with the OB (assuming it doesn't happen at 37, etc.). We are in the home stretch.

Because of some stupidity in HR, I need to work to the end of 37 weeks or it will cost me extra $$$. I am displeased with that whole scenario, since I am a firm believer in the "if the baby is mature, then get it the heck out where it can't die for XYZ reason" philosophy. (blissfully ignoring all the ways a baby can die once it has been born... let's not talk about that, please).

I am surrounded by pregnant women and newborns in my circle of friends and acquaintances. I would guess that we are talking about 20-30 women who are pregnant or wrangling newborns. I know them from playgroup, which means the reason that we know each other is our kids. Which also means that the group spends a lot of time talking about pregnancy and childbirth.

It doesn't hurt the way it would have 3 years ago. Or even a year ago. I can quite contentedly sit by and listen to the naive things that they say. Like the classic I heard last week - "They wouldn't let me do a VBAC because they just like to cut". Ha, ha, ha, ha. Because a ripping uterus or placental abruption, etc. are things that we just shouldn't worry about. It is more important to give birth in a swimming pool with your husband chanting and feeding you granola.

However, I keep that opinion to myself. And in the process of keeping it to myself, and of doing this subsequent-subsequent pregnancy, I have learned something. I take a lot of pressure off of my brain when I think of a medicalized birth. If there are doctors and nurses and monitors and drugs involved, my brain thinks that things will be OK. It is good for me when I think things will be OK.

When I was expecting C, I wanted to deliver naturally in the hospital with no drugs, etc. I had my nice little typewritten birth plan all packed into my hospital bag. Next the the tennis balls in tube socks for pain relief. I would have hired a doula if there were such a thing in my town (there is now, btw). I was happy that the hospital had jet tubs that I could labour in. My biggest fear is that I might cave in and take drugs.

Then, when I showed up at the hospital in labour, 3 centimeters dilated and regular contractions, they told me my baby was already dead. For some reason, I stuck to the birth plan for a few hours - no drugs, tried the tub, etc. Really, that was quite silly. Then I took the drugs. I think this is when my perspective changed. Natural is bad. Babies can't trust my body to deliver them naturally. There has to be doctors and nurses and monitors and drugs. That's the only way to trust.

I think what scares me now is the idea that I could go into labour on my own. I don't like that idea. I want to have control over when this thing starts. I want drugs to start the process, I want someone to rupture my membranes for me, I want drugs to control the frequency and intensity of contractions, and I want my epidural. The only "natural" thing that I want is to deliver vaginally (because I have always recovered very quickly from vaginal delivery and I will have to chase a 3 year old...). But I have no fear of episiotomy - that's old hat, too.

Coming to realize that I don't trust my body and that I do trust medical interventions makes it a lot easier to sit through conversations about other people's views on this. I know why I don't trust my body. I know that I used to trust my body. I can see why other people might trust their bodies. I can even go so far as to understand why someone doesn't trust their doctor (um... maybe find one you can trust), even though I will always maintain that choosing to give birth without immediate access to an operating room is a poor choice. I can keep my mouth shut, and I don't feel like I am letting myself down.

2-4 more weeks. I hope time flies. God, I have a lot to do.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Good News

Baby is no longer breech. Stay that way.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A misnomer

I think they mis-named the illustrious "non-stress test". I find them quite stressful. We started them at 29 weeks, which is admittedly early to get a good trace, and I have been doing them weekly ever since. Today was week 33.

Last week almost resulted in a meltdown when it took almost 2 1/2 hours (plus 1/2 hour in the waiting room) to get the accelerations to show on the trace. The standard we are looking for is 5 accelerations that are 15 bpm above baseline. The baby was kicking like crazy, but no accelerations of more than 10 bpm. Cookies, orange juice, a walk, and a nurse moving the transducer around finally resulted in a total of 5 accelerations. By then, I was planning what I would need to pack when they hospitalized me and put me on bed rest for the next month or so (which they actually wouldn't do, but don't tell my anxiety-addled brain that...).

Today's NST was similar, but we managed to keep Baby awake long enough to get 5 accelerations to happen. I kept guzzling juice, eating cookies, and poking my belly. When you phrase it like that, it almost sounds fun.... It's not.

How 'bout this? I do most of my NSTs in the room where they told me C was dead. I often have to walk past the room where we sat waiting for them to tell us what they were going to do (and where I imagined they would do a c-section, resuscitate him, and leave us with one of the "almost" stories). The same nurses who cared for me 5 years ago care for me now. And it doesn't freak me out. I remember, each and every time. But I don't freak out. Thank god for 5 years.

Changing the subject, I can't sleep much any more. Hard on the pubic bone. I also have been fighting a cold for nearly 3 weeks, meaning I can't breath. My best option is usually to doze, propped up with pillows on the couch. That means that I am awake for the day at 6 a.m. and require a nap immediately following supper. Don't even ask how work is going - concentration is impossible when all I can think about is "when can I sleep again????".

Only a few more weeks. I expect either induction or c-section before the end of April. I would prefer to deliver vaginally, but the baby is not head down. Last u/s was breech, but I am thinking transverse is more what's happening now. We'll see what the OB says tomorrow.

Hoping to go for some BPPs, but don't remember when we started those last time? What's your experience?

And that's an update.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Get a grip

I feel like I am clutching at sanity. Really all that has happened is that BB and my husband are sick, my mother came to visit (causing exhaustion for me and regression in behaviour and potty training in BB), I am behind at work, nothing is ready for the baby, and I can't sleep.

If I have Googled correctly, it seems I am experiencing symphysis pubis dysfunction. It has worsened in the last few days due to slipping a couple of times. Fun. I will mention to my OB next week and see if I can get a quick referral for physio (though at this point it seems somewhat futile, only 8-10 weeks to go...). I can barely walk in the morning. Getting out of bed is torture.

Baby is breech.

So I think what I need is sleep. However, I am not getting any. I have to pee or one of my men get up in the night with their colds or my pelvis is so painful that it wakes me.

My house is messy and needs a really good spring cleaning. And reorganizing (re: fitting in one more person).

Oh, and work has notified me of some unexpected financial burdens that will be coming our way. Good times.

Okay, off to think about my latest knitting project, which is terribly cute and coming together just perfectly.