Starting to feel a little crazy!

Saturday I will be 35 weeks. For those who don’t know or remember I had the twins at 34 weeks exactly, so passing that milestone has been a big accomplishment.

For the most part this pregnancy has FLOWN by…until the day I turned 34 weeks. We’ve had lots of activities going on and keeping up with 2 toddlers generally keeps me pretty busy, but the activities seemed to have slowed and coincided with that 34 week date. I also think I have started feeling contractions this week. Every night my belly feels like it stays rock hard, like one continuous braxton hicks with a few real contractions mixed in.

Knowing that this is when my water broke last time just puts me on edge, like it could be any day now (even though that is most likely not true) and I find myself over analyzing EVERYTHING. It feels weird to not have made even one trip to l&d and every time I feel a cramp, or get a moderately elevated BP reading, or see something weird in the mirror I am wondering, “should I go in? No that’s crazy. They’re going to think I’m stupid.”

And I feel stupid! I don’t want to be one of “those” people, but honestly – its terrifying! I am definitely feeling uncomfortable and grouchy, but I am SO SO thankful to not be having the kidney issues I had last time. Adding to my impatience is the fact that this baby has been measuring much larger than the boys did, and if ultrasounds are correct is likely over 6 pounds already…to me THAT is a big baby! And I can feel it. I have gained more than I did with the twins, have gotten stretch marks and keep getting new ones whereas last time I didn’t, and by photos I look just as big or bigger (though my fundal height is on track instead of 6-8 weeks ahead). I have to be a lot more active this time too. I am carrying both boys into school plus the diaper bag and lunch box, in the floor changing diapers…its just not comfortable and when I’m not by myself I have Mr. R help, but during the day I often don’t have a choice.

I feel guilty about being antsy. I know its a normal last month of pregnancy thing, but mine were in the NICU so abnormally long I thought I would be much more tenacious about getting to 39 weeks. I definitely want to avoid NICU time, and I want him to get all the antibodies he can get from me with winter germs going around and such…but if that meant 38 weeks maaaayyyyybe it wouldn’t be so bad? I dunno? :/

I think I just need him to drop or something. Get more comfortable.

Otherwise I am glad to have made it this far. And I am really looking forward to the prospect of ACTUALLY having the baby in the room with me during our recovery. That sounds amazing :) I am SO excited to see this little guy.

 

Decision – made.

I am 25 weeks and 2 days today. It’s wonderful to hit one more milestone, and I absolutely don’t take a single day for granted!

I was able to take a peek at baby’s position on Saturday and he was frank breech (he was transverse last month as well). And to be honest, my first reaction was to be relieved/excited/hopeful. A breech baby would take the whole choice part of the VBAC/RCS decision away and therefore the guilt and anxiety of making the wrong one.

After that reaction, I realized that I really don’t actually WANT a VBAC. People can say whatever they want about that, but many “vbactivists” have not had a vaginal delivery before. I have and the recovery from my stage 2 tear, while not as intense at the beginning, lasted a lot longer than my c-section and left more long lasting issues. I still have pain sometimes.

I’ve just been having this feeling that this is going to be a large baby, he has measured way ahead at every scan and I have gained weight fast as well. D was only 5 pounds 1 oz. and I tore. A c-section could very well happen anyway and the #1 thing I remember feeling about the twins’ birth was that I should have just chosen the c-section to begin with.

My hospital offers a family-centered cesarean where they really try to make it as good of an experience as possible, and I’d really like to try for that if I have the opportunity to pick the date and time. I know it requires an extra nurse at your head and they only do so many - and usually not if it is in the middle of the night or an emergency. They dim the lights a bit, will play music if you want, peel back the blue sheet revealing a clear window so you can watch baby being born if you want. They also will “walk” baby out a little more slowly because there is evidence it helps to squeeze the fluid out of their lungs better similar to a vaginal birth. And they offer delayed cord clamping and skin to skin with mom or dad in the OR while you are being stitched up. They will even let you try to breastfeed on the table so long as you are up for it.

I have an appointment tomorrow and at the last two my doctor has asked what I had decided and I wasn’t sure. So I gave myself a deadline to decide by this appointment. And I have: I’m choosing the scheduled c-section.

It feels like a huge weight has been lifted. The rupture risk for the baby just kept eating at me and I feel like doing the safest thing for him is the best decision for me. I’ve had two friends have their second or third sections in the past few months so I’ve been able to see how they are recovering and that has helped a lot.

It works out best for us to have a plan and a schedule to get sitters for the boys because our family all lives 3+ hours away, and 5 days before my due date is a painful anniversary for my husband’s family so I really need to avoid delivering on that day if at all possible. I also am considering getting my tubes tied (weird) since I am not using them anyway, I will already be in the OR, and our insurance will be maxed out for the year. It might seem counterproductive to do so if we plan to try for more, and pointless if I am infertile anyway, but stranger things have happened and because of our feelings about life and our embryos we want to avoid a spontaneous pregnancy and use as many of them as possible since they are already created (even though it is much more expensive to do so). If our remaining 3 didn’t end up creating any more babies, at this point I think we would be content with 3. Heck, I am SO glad to have these three…I haven’t forgotten wondering if we would even get one. But even if we changed our minds, IVF again wouldn’t be off the table without tubes. And not taking BCPs (and likely forgetting frequently and screwing up my hormones) sounds awesome.

We still don’t have a definitive plan regarding our remaining embryos, which was the biggest factor for thinking of VBACing. But we aren’t going to make one in the next 4 months. It’s a circle – we both can only get so far when really thinking about it before our brains throw up that wall and say, “NOPE! Shut down – do not make any decisions”. There’s no way to know the outcome of future transfers either regardless of our record, so it is pointless to have everything planned and decided.

But there are still options and that is the important part.

The past two weeks

In the past two weeks the boys have had their 18 mo checkup, D was referred to EI for evaluation based on possible delayed speech, J had a hearing test, I had my 20 week anatomy scan, and D had his subsequent EI screening AND evaluation. CRAZY.

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The anatomy scan went great, NO soft markers this time to cause me two months of grief thank GOD! I saw my doctor afterward and again brought up the VBAC subject in hopes he would say something reassuring since I have been so unsure, but also because Mr. R was there and I wanted him to hear all these stats and things from the doc himself. Basically he said that when we get closer they will put all of my info into a “VBAC calculator” and if it is 61% or higher projected success rate they will suggest a trial of labor because maternal morbidity with a repeat c-section is actually higher (13 in 100,000 vs 3 in 100,000 with VBAC). 51% percent or lower with the calculator and they suggest repeat c-section.

I found that calculator online and it projected success rates for me at 85-89%. However, the 1% risk of rupture is still there. And that is 1 in 100 not 1 in 1000 like I thought. The doctor did say that a scheduled c-seection recovery is like butter compared to the emergency double whammy situation I had last time and that his wife had had 2 of them…and the reason she had the second one is because he didn’t want to take that 1% risk. But they only wanted 2 kids.

I also asked him if the hospital had an average emergency c-section response time, and he said he didn’t have the data on hand, but it was damn good, something like 8 minutes and the best we will find anywhere around here. I figured as much, we picked this hospital for a reason last go around.

I can tell my husband is more comfortable going the repeat c-section route and in a lot of ways so am I. After that appointment I was ready to just choose a RCS and put it to bed, but after sleeping on it I wondered how I would feel if I went into labor spontaneously before my due date and everything was textbook….it would be hard not to even try. So I think I am leaving my options open, but the tentative “birth plan” is:

- schedule a RCS for due date or the day after

- if I go into labor before then and I am feeling good about it, I will try for the VBAC. I don’t want to use induction agents (not because I am against them, but because they increase rupture risk) and will get an epidural.

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D’s appointments have also been weighing on my mind a lot. We went from “probably fine” with the pediatrician to “probably delayed” and qualifying for EI in a week. It is just the worst feeling to watch someone do little social experiments on your kid and know he isn’t doing what he is supposed to. I felt like I was watching from outside my body, because in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter how he performs. He is still my son and I love him no matter what so if he turns out to have delayed social skills…it doesn’t change anything. But the society we live in right now has taught me to panic about autism, and though my gut hasn’t been telling me he has it…where will all of this lead? When he does something that raises a red flag, that I can see so clearly behind the therapist’s eyes – is it a regular red flag or an autism red flag?

So today my mind has just been spinning with what ifs. And I am still pregnant with another boy so that worry is there for him too. I have really been looking forward to having a new baby, but after this week it all just seems so overwhelming. I just hope I don’t lose my mind so much that I can’t enjoy it!

Thoughts on VBAC

I haven’t been very good at updating lately. Maybe it is because until a certain point it seems to early to consider anything seriously for fear you will jinx things. Since I am 18 weeks now and nearly halfway there I think I am starting to think more seriously about choices up ahead…with one big one being to VBAC or not to VBAC.

My doctor is actually the one who brought it up at my first OB appointment. He recommended I attempt to VBAC, and honestly if he had said c-section I probably would have followed blindly. However, I have the right kind of incision, we waited long enough before a second pregnancy, and so long as I go into labor on my own at or before my due date (and baby isn’t gigantic) I am apparently a fairly ideal candidate.

I’m kind of surprised to find myself really anxious about trying for a VBAC. I think its the element of the unknown. I feel like if I knew I was going to have a scheduled c-section I could relax. But the word “rupture” sends me (and Mr. R) into a panic, and I with the boys I didn’t really “labor”…my water broke and I went on pitocin, but never really felt contractions (I  got an epidural at 3cm). So it scares me to think of a potentially painful labor experience and hour drive to the hospital. I would love a normal birth with skin to skin after, and no incision to deal with when I will have to take care of 3 kids after discharge. All of that sounds great, but the rest makes me extremely nervous.

Our other big dilemma is that we still have 3 embryos left. We know we eventually want at least one more, but one more is all our brains can process at this point – and we are thinking we will take a longer break between babies this time as well. If I elect for a c-section though, I am kind of making the decision about our remaining embryos indirectly because my doctor says its not wise to have more than 3 c-sections. And a pregnancy after 2 c-sections has a lot of increased risks for complications. I’m not prepared to make a decision about those embryos…I still very much feel attached to them.

I feel torn. I am leaning toward trying for the VBAC (or I guess a “trial of labor” is more appropriate), with the real tipping point being an unknown number of future pregnancies. But—this is the part I am really struggling with—does that mean I am putting THIS baby that is actually real and more than just potential, in greater danger?

The thing that freaks me out is that with the twins they had me push in the operating room in case I needed an emergency c-section…and I did. But with a VBAC you push in a regular room. What if you do rupture? Can they seriously get you into an operating room (assuming one is free) get anesthesia, etc quickly enough? The thought of that scenario tears me up and is the reason I still don’t feel I have made a 100% decision. Because I did need the section last time and that is all I know. And what if it isn’t even MY doctor delivering?  Do I trust someone I probably won’t meet until the day of to be able to save both of us in that scenario? The thought makes me want to throw up. That thought makes me want to book the c-section now.

But

I can’t have 5 c-sections.

and I could potentially in some undetermined span of time..have 6 babies. Maybe.

Maybe.

 

I just feel like no option is completely safe. And it is making me feel trapped. I’d love a door #3.

 

…I’m going to go cry now because that is what this subject always makes me do. But I have to face it sooner or later.

12 weeks

Finally have crossed the threshold into the second trimester. I’ve been feeling pretty good, except for a stomach bug we got all last week. Mostly just tired and hungry!

We find out if the nugget is a boy or a girl in 2 weeks and 2 days(!!!). SOOO excited and a little nervous. I’m 99% sure we have final names picked.

It has all been going pretty fast. Some days that are tough obviously are longer, but holy crap 2nd tri…already?! Doesn’t seem real. In some ways I still feel like this is all a dream.

I’ve been thinking a lot about logistics of 3 under 2 and trying to plan how we will handle the challenges. I am not in love with triple strollers so I’m most likely going to rely on babywearing. I’m having fun researching more about it and getting some new pretties. I’m dying to start the nursery but am restraining myself for now.

We will probably be more limited as to where we go. We still will be able to if necessary if course, but going out is less fun the more kids you have to buckle and unbuckle. Thankfully we’ve gotten lots of fun outdoor toys so our own backyard has been great when the weather is good.

I’m so excited about having another little squish. I miss the baby days a lot. I know some people feel like they are drowning in the newborn days, but I felt so capable. Toddlers are a much different story! They are tough. I go to bed feeling defeated and exhausted much more these days than I did with tinies. I know they will still be toddlers when this baby shows up though, so that is definitely a little frightening.

Here he/she is during the nt scan. Hope everyone is doing well :)

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9 week update

Everything is going well with the little nugget :) I had an ultrasound yesterday as a 2 week follow up from the last one. He/she was measuring on track at 9w2d and I got to see some little wiggles. The best! The SCH seems to be resolving.

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This pregnancy so far has been great. Maybe it is because the only thing I have to compare it to is a twin pregnancy, but I’ve been finding myself wondering if its really real! Next ultrasound is actually pretty soon, but then I will probably have a long wait for another. I can’t wait to find out gender – I’m so excited either way (though most of our family that knows is thinking pink). We will probably announce in about 3 more weeks though I haven’t thought of anything creative.

D and J are doing well, but D has still been tough. His diarrhea went away, but he has been in this crazy momma stage, plus he will.not. nap anymore! Maybe 30 mins I get out of him. Today he has had a waterfall runny nose and was up and down last night. We are also very much dealing with tempers and strong wills. J has started babbling a lot and saying “Yeah” and “Yes!” all the time. It’s really really cute.

Hope you all are doing well! :)