Monday, December 31, 2007

Love More and Fear Less in 2008

I am in the living room, on the couch. My baby is asleep in the other room. It took awhile to get her to close her eyes tonight. She napped really well today and I think that left her with some energy this evening.

Last year at this time I was very newly pregnant. In fact, I did my day 18 beta one year ago today and then had to wait for the clinic to re-open in the new year to get the result.

In January we saw the baby on ultrasound for the first time - it was the day before Abby's birthday and when we saw that little heart beating we just cried. But being pregnant still seemed abstract and surreal. We made the decision to tell no one until we were out of the first trimester (due to our loss in October 2006).

So the first few months of 2007 were us walking around with a little secret... and me being sick. Morning sickness, in my case, was all day sickness and it went on well into the second trimester. On days when I didn't feel as sick, I would obsessively worry that I was losing our baby. Funny what 3 years of ttc and one miscarriage will do. My only regret during this time was that I worried too much - and couldn't let myself enjoy.

In March we started telling people.

May/ June were hot and muggy months for me at 6-7 months pregnant. I was teaching on the second floor in a non-air conditioned classroom. I was so uncomfortable and swollen during this time. More ultrasounds, hearing the heartbeat several times, my growing belly, and seeing/feeling her move on a regular basis made pregnancy more of a reality. I was worrying less. And pregnancy really suited me.

I was off work starting in July. With teaching no longer occupying my days I slipped into the realm of feminine time. Eating when I was hungry, sleeping when tired, and generally feeling pretty zen. A and I practiced hypnobirthing which required daily guided meditation together - and continued to feel closer and closer.

I loved being pregnant... loved it.

I became a mom on September 8 - Carys came 4 days after her due date. And not at all like we'd planned. Her first week was us running back and forth from home to hospital, with me pumping breast milk for her - at all hours. It was a scary time. I am happy to say that she is healthy now... very healthy.

By the end of September Carys was exclusively breastfeeding - and this was quite an accomplishment (I have my partner, my midwife and a fantastic lactation consultant to thank for that). No one tells you how hard breastfeeding really is... I am glad I stuck with it.

The summer seemed to last well into November. Which was good for me. I was able to get out of the house and take Carys for walks.

I attended a post partum depression support group for 3 weeks in October and I found out that I am not alone in my feelings. Depression is an odd odd thing.

My therapist spent October in Africa and at first I couldn't wait to see her. Now I feel very betrayed by her and therapy - mainly because my work in therapy is what led me to feel empowered enough to want a natural birth (that never happened). I am contemplating a break from therapy in 2008. This is a big deal because therapy has been a huge part of my life for the last 6 years. (I should probably explore this in another post).

In mid-November, A went back to work after 8 weeks of maternity leave. I was like holy-crap-I-have-to-take-care-of-my-little-one-all-on-my-own... happy to say that I am doing fine with it all now. I have spit up on my shirts, don't get to shower everyday, and I'm still wearing my maternity pants most days.

I am finding out that I can live off of 1/2 my income.

This month, my c-section incision has finally healed - yes, there was some issue around a small section of it. And just having the incision open made me feel anxious - I wanted to move on and couldn't - it seemed still so fresh.

Christmas was spent here in Canada with family and friends... and our new baby.

Yesterday we went to the mall and I wore Carys in the Cuddly Wrap. It says a lot that the highlight of my days right now is finally being able to successfully tie a wrap so I can wear my baby!!!

I became a mom this year!!! (Seriously, I still can't believe it sometimes).

In 2008 I want the depression to continue to lift. I want my confidence as a mom to grow. I am excited to watch Carys grow. I want to go with the flow more. I want to love more and fear less.

And, I'd like to move on and starting in the fall teach at a new school - just putting it out there.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

My Daughter

She is perfect. I look at her and I can't believe I am her mom. She is utterly and completely beautiful.

And the way she just sleeps in my arms. Such trust. Oh my heart.

Friday, December 28, 2007

I didn't think he'd actually get me pregnant.

In the mail today came our donor's profile and photos.

We chose our donor without seeing what he looks like. I mean by the time we chose him we didn't actually think we'd get pregnant by him.

I'm sure at some point C will be curious about how we selected her donor.

We chose him because he has brown hair and blue eyes (partner A's colouring) and his blood type was O- (I am O-). Oh and he is Open ID. Meaning when she is 18 she can look him up and get in contact with him.

The Open ID part was pretty important.

He was like our 5th donor. Most of the donors we chose were recalled and/or retired and/or used by us with no success. We put so.much.thought in choosing our donors in the beginning and by the end I was like: brown hair, blue eyes, O-, Open ID - check, check, check, and check... okay, good... we'll take it.

The sperm bank sent us his profile and photos when we sent in the information reporting the pregnancy and birth.

At first I was surprised at how young he looks. He is 12 years younger than me. He looks like he could be a student of mine. (I teach high school).

I kept looking at his photo trying to see which traits C inherited. I mean, I've been pretty amazed at just how much she looks like me. I've been studying her face and then his photos. We have two - one of him as a child and one of him now. I can see she has his dimples. [I don't have dimples, but partner A does...]

I look at him and I like him. Probably because he helped me make C.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Gratitude to the Boob Goddess

I have huge amounts of gratitude over the fact that I am breastfeeding my little Carys. Like huge amounts of gratitude.

I was in such a fog after the birth - we had such a hard time initially with breastfeeding because of her PCCU time and nipple confusion and then my supply issues. I remember crying and then making the decision to take it day by day. Of course we got the midwife and a lactation consultant involved. Even after the initial meeting with the LC I was so foggy and overwhelmed and sleep deprived and tearful that I was this close to giving up.

I am so glad we stuck it out.

* * * * *

And in the realm of gratitude, it hit me a few weeks ago - I am happy to be done with ttc. But I shall save this for another post.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Joy Mixed with Worry

Last x-mas we spent the day in MI. We had x-mas dinner with my family. We actually went to my cousin's house - which was the house I grew up in (it was my parents' house then).

Dinner was delayed because my brother, his wife, and 3 year old daughter were for some reason delayed. I was so hungry. So hungry. A few times I announced, "I am soooo hungry..." My aunt - who was aware of our ttc endeavours - quietly asked, "might you be pregnant?" And I said, "no." Keep in mind it was 13 days past IUI#5. I don't know why I said no. I hadn't even tested. We had a funny mindset then though. We had been let down so many times that I think - depending on the day, the mood, the weather, whatever - it was either "no" or "yes." Mostly it was no.

I remember that it was our plan to just wait for the clinic's hcg blood test on 18 days past. That test would take place on a Saturday or a Sunday. But the clinic wouldn't call with the results until a full week (plus) after the test when they re-opened for the new year.

On the 26th we were back home in Ontario. It was that day that I started to have a little bit of a feeling that maybe just maybe... I managed to persuade a reluctant A to take me to the store for a test. It was after 6pm. Cold and dark. She was reluctant because she didn't want anything to ruin our holiday. She stayed in the parking lot and I went in. Later she said she'd closed her eyes for a second - when I was in the store - and visualised a light blue cross. (Which was funny because all the tests prior to the one I bought that night were the two /or one/ pink line variety - and in the store I'd decided to get the blue cross variety, unbeknownst to her).

At home, that evening, I peed on the stick.

and another

I watched it for a moment and then called A into the room. "Um... could you look at this?" My voice was cracking and quivering. In fact, as I write this I can feel the joy swelling up in my chest. We were stunned.

And then I think we mixed worry in with the joy and excitement. That is what the ttc process does to you. Or it did to me anyway. I knew too much. I knew what could go wrong. I was well into my second trimester before I could go with the flow.

Incidentally, my day 18 beta was 963. The clinic said that we didn't even need to check it again. An ultrasound was scheduled for January 20 (the day before A's birthday).

Now we have a little one - asleep in the other room. I suspect she is overtired from all the visiting over the past few days.

Monday, December 24, 2007

It is just a number

My parents are here for the holiday. At the moment they are sleeping in the hotel just up the road. I had them bring their bathroom scale. We don't have one. And I wanted to weigh Carys. You know, I stand on the scale, see how much I weigh, then I hold her, see how much we both weigh, subtract it out to know what she weighs.

It appears she has not gained since the last time she was weighed - at the midwifery, one month ago.

If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that I am obsessed with her weight. Mainly because I have this fear that somehow my boobs are defective and she isn't getting enough and that it is a matter of time until the doctor tells me to put her on formula. Or I worry that I am not eating the right things. Or my supply is dropping and I don't even know it... and won't know it until one day there is nothing. I should probably talk about this in therapy, because, um... well... it is getting out of hand how much I am doubting myself. This is a serious amount of self doubt.

I want so badly to breastfeed my baby. And not just for 3, 6 or 9 months. 1 year plus.

Partner A pointed out that the scale doesn't show ounces so it is not accurate. And she is probably right.

Plus C makes lots of poopy and wet diapers. She's alert. She's meeting milestones. All of this counts for something in the world of healthy babies... right?

Okay so it is ocurring to me now that perhaps I am not trusting my body so much around breastfeeding because of how the birth went. I was all about going with the flow and trusting my body when it came to the birth and we all know how that went. So maybe in a way I have lost faith in my body. Just a thought.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Let Go and Ask For

Last year's Solstice was a gathering of wimmin at my house. We did a group meditation, we lit candles, we shared our wishes for the up-coming year, we sat in darkness before we sat in the light. It was a lovely gathering. I didn't know it at the time but I was pregnant. Very newly pregnant. "Family" was one of my wishes for the up-coming year.


Solstice this evening was the three of us grocery shopping. Partner A wore Baby C in a carrier. We filled the cart. Bought a few extras for the holiday. It was a lovely evening.

I plan in the future as well to celebrate Solstice somehow like last year. I plan to include C in that celebration. I plan to build tradition around it. Solstice is very much a part of the holiday season - in fact, it's a very nice part. A real chance to reflect. To let go and ask for.

So what do I let go? I let go of my hard feelings around the birth. (It is not that single event that defines me as a woman, as a mother, as C's mommy - it is that event plus all the time that follows and even the time before that event).

What do I ask for? I ask for the ability to stay open to the love that surrounds me, the power of forgiveness, and more chances to go with the flow. I ask for the lightness that comes with letting go.

And now the days get longer. Soon we will be strolling through the park enjoying fresh air and sunshine.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I've missed out

Some stuff that I saw on TV today and some things I read in some blog have triggered me around the birth experience. I wanted to have a natural med-free birth... actually I wanted an at home water birth. That didn't happen. I had an emergency c-section and I was under general anaesthetic.

I feel like I've missed out on "giving birth" because I didn't get to push my baby out.

And don't even get me started on how I feel about being asleep when she was born, or that my partner couldn't be in the room, or that we didn't have skin to skin right away.

I wanted to bring her into the world gently and calmly.

I talk about this a lot in therapy. And I am starting to feel like I want to - need to - just let it go. Let it go. Let it go. Let it go. See the big picture. Healthy happy baby. Family. My family.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Read This!

Came across this article today. Yes, I worry about weight gain and growth charts and percentiles. This article helped.

Perspective - oh, perspective.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Asleep... my arms and I don't want to put her down.

She is so sweet.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Sleep Issue

Snowed in.

I've been wanting to take Carys up to the midwives to have her weighed. It doesn't look like I'll be able to do that this week. We are a one car family right now. I won't have access to the car until the evenings - unless I want to get up early and take partner A into work. This would mean waking C up. The last time we did that (so I could go to a doctor's appointment) C was messed up all day and super cranky in the evening. She needs her morning sleep.

Speaking of sleep. Last week and the week before it really seemed like an issue. So we bought E1izabeth Pant1ey's book (The N0 Cry S1eep S0luti0n). Very good book. Still reading it. Sleep has become less of an issue - not so much because of the book, but maybe a little bit because of the book - I think we have become more realistic about our expectations around sleep.

This is (roughly) a schedule that C has fallen into with regard to sleep:
Asleep by 10pm (give or take)
Up between 3 and 4 to nurse
Up again between 7 and 8 to nurse
Again for the day no later than 11am
Nap (30 + minutes) sometime after noon
Nap (30 + minutes) sometime after 4
Nap (30 + minutes) sometime after 7
10pm bedtime

She's only been on this schedule for like a week or so. She has set it herself. I suppose the book has helped me to recognise her cues for needing sleep - which has helped. The hard part about it all - the sleep thing - is that she fights sleep. She cries before she finally falls asleep. Which makes me doubt whether she needs to sleep - even though she looks and acts so sleepy. But then my doubt goes away when she suddenly stops the tears and closes her eyes and goes to sleep. [It is hard to watch her fight the sleep - I was hoping the book would help us with that...]

Here's the thing this evening - she has gone down for her "sometime after 7" nap and she is still asleep - it's 8:20. We went in to check on her and she is out. I am worried that she is asleep for the night. Which would mean that her wake up for the day time might be 4am!? I am wondering whether I should wake her up so that she sleeps in the night. Or maybe she needs the sleep. I don't know. See! This is the thing about parenting - you never quite know.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

One Year Ago Today

Last October I had a miscarriage. It greatly affected my next ttc attempt last December.

Here is my LiveJournal post from one year ago today:

"IUI#5 The Last One"

IUI#5 went well. Before we got there - not so well. Once we got there - okay. The IUI itself - lovely. Very positive experience.

Now I relax.

* * * * *

I had therapy today. Yay therapy. I cried. I cried. And I cried some more.

Up to this morning I was feeling hopeful about the whole ttc thing. Then today - after the insemination - I started to feel all anxious and uncomfortable. It became clear to me that when I try to get pregnant - inseminate - I am open to more possibilities than pregnant or not pregnant. There is the chance of pregnant for now and then miscarriage. I feel less hopeful and really felt less hopeful when I got to therapy.

I am feeling a bit better now.

Things we talked about:
-trying to control
-doing verses being
-reconnecting with my spiritual self
-the love between me and A - which she referred to it as "exquisite"

Therapist L shared with me that she lost a baby. We didn't really talk about it. She said it and then said "yes it is a big loss... and yes some people don't get it..."

I have no idea why I called this particular IUI "the last one" - I mean we have two more tries waiting at the clinic, but... maybe I was thinking positively. Maybe I just knew. It was the attempt that brought us baby Carys.

Finally, to Carys, I say: Happy Conception Day!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Shopping and Nursing

Breastfed in public again today. Well actually I was in the nursing room at the mall. It was this quiet little room tucked off near the washrooms outside the food court. And there was a lot going on in the food court so it was kind of noisy in our room. But C latched on and fed without a fuss - it was great. Because her feedings at home during that time can be a challenge as she is still latching on and pulling off, latching on, pulling off. But not in the nursing room.

We went x-mas shopping. Partner A took off to get a few things; C and I went in the other direction to get a few things. I found the mall hot and stuffy. I was proud of the way I was able to move quickly and push that stroller around. In the weeks following my c-section I was moving so slowly and felt so uncomfortable that I never thought I'd be able to get up and go again.

C has the 3 month fussies lately. Not sure what that is about.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Chill the F**k Out and TRUST

Last Monday we stopped in at the midwives, dropped off some pregnancy books, and weighed little C. She is 11lbs 1oz with her clothes on. So um yeah she is gaining. Of course though it didn't take long for me to start worrying again - especially after some really difficult feedings where she whines and pulls on and off the nipple and seems to give up. Last night was me worrying. But today she is back on, eating really well. I just need to go with the flow. As my dear friend AMS would say: chill the f**k out and trust.

Most of the holiday stuff is up. With a new little one in the house holidays have new meaning. Last x-mas we were down. Partner, A, was sadder than I knew. We'd had a m/c in October and IUI in December (with no results until after x-mas) and not feeling to positive. It's weird, though, A was telling me yesterday just how sad she was. I don't remember her sadness so much. Not because I was focused on my own sadness. Because I wasn't that sad. I remember putting up the holiday stuff alone - I think I remember A saying she didn't want holiday stuff up. I had a Solstice Celebration at our house with some friends and I remember that being pretty wonderful (little did I know that whilst celebrating Solstice I was newly newly pregnant so newly that a test wouldn't show it for several days after Solstice).

I have pretty fond memories of last December. Making pretty fond memories this December.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I guess my boobies are working after all

So my little one has always been in the 25th percentile in terms of weight.

It seemed that according to her weight at her last appointment her weight gain was slowing. I asked the doctor about it and she said, "well she's still on the charts."

I found an interactive growth chart, entered her data, and found that she's always been in the 25th percentile.

I am feeling way less worried.

What was I worried about?

Maybe my supply was low, or that her latch was ineffective, that at night she was going too long between feedings... I don't know.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

2 Things:

Slow Weight Gain and Immunization Shots.

At her 2 month check up she gained a lot less weight than I thought. The doctor is not concerned at all. Says she is climbing up the chart appropriately. I, on the other hand, am totally worried - mainly about nursing. Is she getting enough? Is my supply low? What should I do? Then, we nurse this morning and she is only on for like 5 minutes and she is done. Both feedings.

She had her first shots yesterday. She cried so loud and for so long. At first she was inconsolable. We left the doctors with her almost asleep in her stroller. So we walked around the neighbourhood. When we got home she slept for a bit. Then she woke up and started screaming. In the end we gave her infant's Ty1eno1. The hot spot on the one injection site went down and she nursed for 30 minutes. She's been pretty good ever since.

But oh my it was so hard to see her cry like that. She was hurt and scared.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Good

I love it when Baby C nurses really well and gets a full tummy.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

At the Local Nursing Room

I breastfed in public today for the first time. Well I wasn't in public per se. We were in the "Nursing Room" at the mall.

Skipped the PPD support group again this week. 3 weeks in a row... or is it 4?

* * * * *

Then I found myself triggered a bit by a post in a blog of a couple w/new baby. They were talking about the challenges of breastfeeding, that their baby is doing well with it for the most part and they proudly pointed out that she isn't using a pacifier.

Not sure what triggered me.

I guess maybe it's because, we had such a hard time breastfeeding because our baby was in NICU for 5 days being fed at first through a tube in her nose and later bottles (of my pumped milk). NICU nurses gave her a pacifier.

We brought her home and continued to bottle feed her my expressed milk for several days before our midwife could hook us up with the best lactation consultant ever.

We did turn around her nipple confusion - but it was a challenge. At one point I was going to give up and just go to formula.

For one, pumping was a pain in my ass. And ultimately my supply suffered. So then I had to take fenugreek and blessed thistle. Which worked.

And now she breastfeeds - every now and then we have issues - normal stuff. For example, when she is tired and hungry she has the hardest time staying latched on and gets real frustrated. We pause a lot and I talk to her to calm her down. It breaks my heart to see her crying at my boob.

She still uses a pacifier.

But wow! No one really tells you how hard breastfeeding can be. Or painful. In the early days my nipples hurt when she latched on. And then I would feel like I was doing it wrong or something. I think the challenges are minimised so that new moms don't give up. Or something.

I am glad we stuck with it. I have these moments - especially during the early morning feedings - where I look down at her latched on - just sucking away - and I feel so much love.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I can do it on my own

The good that came out of L - my therapist - being out of town for a month: In that month I discovered that I was feeling depressed, more than the typical "baby blues" hormonal adjustment post-partum period.

On my own:

1. I opened up to my midwife and told her how I was feeling at a time when I was not even sure what I was feeling, at a time when I was embarrassed about how I was feeling. But opening up allowed my midwife to share some important details about the birth. She told me that she was there when C came into the world and when she realised that I was going to have a general anaesthetic emergency c-section whe exercised her midwife privilege to attend the birth because she knew that without Abby there I'd need someone there. I told my midwife that I felt sad because "I lost it" during the birth. (I was making the assumption that if I had a natural "normal" birth that I would be the opposite of someone who lost it - that I'd be this amazing and powerful woman, and that I was intuitive, etc). She pointed out that I didn't lose it at all, that I was powerful no matter the birth (and maybe even moreso because of the birth I did have), and that I was so incredibly intuitive and aware of my body because I was the one who kept saying, "something is wrong." "Do you remember saying that to me?" she asked. I said it way before she discovered the meconium in my water.

2. I cried to my mother and told her how I was feeling. Not just once, but several times over the period of a week or so. I have never felt safe sharing my feelings with my mom. In my childhood, she stifled my feelings. But when I told her how I was feeling - I did so knowing that if I had to stand up to her and find safety in my feelings I would. It turns out I didn't have to. We are closer as a result.

3. I found and attended a support group and told them how I was feeling. I attended for only three sessions over three weeks. I found out that I was not alone in my feelings. I was not the only mother who felt this mixture of sadness and anxiety and confusion.

4. I got in touch with my family doctor and told her how I was feeling. She gave me a prescription for an anti-depressant. I never filled the prescription because I learned that anti-d's show up in breast milk. I reasoned that while my brain is fully developed, C's is not and I didn't want to introduce chemicals to her system that alter brain chemistry. The side effects to the baby could be listlessness and trouble sleeping. Not worth it to me when I considered her beginning and the medications she was on during her hospital stay. I was scared though to not take the anti-d, at the time I really felt so low and so stuck that I believed it would be my only way out.

5. I started writing in my paper journal very randomly and very non-judgementally. I decided to do this after deciding not to take the anti-d. It was my way of facing my fear that maybe I wouldn't get better for a long time. I was settling in for the long haul. Writing is therapeutic.

6. I made sure that I stayed open to my partner by sharing my feelings on a regular basis. This helped me to shift my perspective. This also allowed me to ask for help if I needed it. "Can you take the baby while I write in my journal?"

7. I made sure that I stayed open to myself by not running from my most difficult feelings. I wasn't always successful with this, but I tried. And some of my most powerful realisations and perspective shifts came to me when I was open.

I wish that during the most difficult time post-partumly that I could've opened up more to my friends. I couldn't. For whatever reason. And the truth is no one friends-wise really knows that I have been struggling with depression.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Post-Therapy Reflection

The birth experience was really hard for me and I keep going back to it in therapy.

I wanted to bring Carys into the world gently and calmly. I wanted to be present when she came in to the world. I wanted A (my partner) there. To greet her, for us both to marvel at the birth of our daughter in those moments after she came into the world. I wanted to hold her and nurse her right away.

I had an easy pregnancy once things got going and I surrendered to it. I felt amazingly healthy. I ate well. I moved my body. I relaxed often. I loved to feel her kicking. I loved watching body change. I loved sharing this experience with my partner.

Together we practiced hypnobirthing - self hypnosis to manage pain during birth. We had to do meditation together nightly as part of the practice. We chose music for the birthing that would have a calming effect on me.

With my group week after week I talked about how I wanted a calm birth, no intervention, non-medicated. And everyone in my group supported me in that.

L (my therapist) reminds me how I like to be in control. I like to plan. I make lists. I organize my world. I make things predictable. She tells me that you can't control birth (like I couldn't control getting pregnant)... and I can't control my child. Carys' path involves being born her way, the way she was born. Carys is already on her path and proved that to her mom and baba in a major way on September 8.

Because I like to control, however, I have started to blame myself for how the birth went. What did I do wrong? What is wrong with my body? Was it because when the contractions came they were so hard and so fast that I got scared? Did I scare my little baby because I couldn't cope? Or was it something that I did or didn't do before that day - something I did in the pregnancy? Because blaming myself is about feeling responsible and feeling responsible is about control, in this situation anyway.

And if I am to accept that I am not responsible for how the birth went that day; If I am to accept that shit sometimes happens no matter what you plan and practice for, then I have to accept that the world is a very unpredictable place. Very unpredictable. Where little baby girls are born without heartbeats and not breathing in limp bodies. She lived - but she might not have, that is how unpredictable the world is. Unpredictable is fucking scary. I mean how am I going to keep this little girl safe and well in this unpredictable world? I am overwhelmed.

I used to be very controlling in my relationship with A. She went to therapy and really started calling me out. It was hard. But I remember the day that I stopped trying to control. I realised that she was a individual separate from me and I felt relieved that I no longer had to tell her what to do and how to do it. When I realised that and felt the intense relief it was hard to go back. From that moment on the intimacy between us grew because we were on common ground, I was no longer responsible for her, she felt safe to be (defenses went down), I felt her honesty, etc. A viscous cycle stopped.

Thinking about how I was controlling in my relationship and how I learned to stop seems like a good place to start as I try to make sense of my feelings around birth experience. I just don't know where to start.

A has a different take on the whole experience - yes she would have preferred to be there when our daughter came into the world - however, she believes that the universe actually picked us up and carried us in its arms and finally set us down when Carys was well. We were cared for. We made it through. She is here with us. A never believed we could control the birth - from the very first day we knew I was pregnant she went for the ride and took every day as it came. She had no expectations for the birth. She practiced hypnobirthing with me because I wanted to, it was a fun way for us to connect, and maybe it would come in handy. [I wish sometimes I could be more like A].

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Two Things

My therapist is back from her month long trip in Africa. I went to see her this week. I was amazed at how my emotions just surfaced immediately when I got there. I thought I was feeling fine. And when I left, I really didn't feel better.

Two things are influencing my PPD:
The Need to be Perfect
The Need to be in Control

Parenting and motherhood is imperfect. I choose to do things that I know I can do. I walk around with a sense of confidence and competence. But when it comes to being a mom, I am not always competent and not always confident.

I also like to control my world. Pregnancy, birth, motherhood, etc., cannot be controlled. They just are. They are unpredictable.

Of course, I see all of this in theory. It is the in practice part that is challenging.

My ears have been open lately. I am looking for messages. I want to face the challenges of motherhood. I want to get through the depression, sadness, and anxiety. I want to get the lessons. I want to grow.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Another Baby?

Today was the last appointment with the midwife. I was actually feeling a bit tearful as we waited for her.

She checked Carys out. She's now 9lbs 8oz and 22 inches long. Strong and alert. Meeting milestones.

Then she talked to me. She asked if we'd ever do it again (have another baby). I asked if what happened during the birth (fast/ hard contractions, water breaking w/meconium, placenta separating, baby distress, emergency c-section under general anaesthesia) would happen again. Not likely. Would I be considered high risk? No. But you probably couldn't do a homebirth (because of the c-section). Would you be our midwife again? Absolutely.

I felt good that she'd be our midwife again.

We have two more tries (Carys' donor) at the clinic.

To tell the truth, I think I am considering another baby because I want another pregnancy because of my birth experience with Carys. Not exactly the best reason to want another baby. Good thing I have to actually go to a clinic to get pregnant.

If and when we get pregnant again it will be because we want another baby. I will have healed by then. My motivations will be clear.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Feel Good When

I feel best when I have had enough sleep. Whatever enough is.

I feel good when I am able to get some jobs done. Like today I was able to fold some laundry and start a new load, clear the summer stuff out of my closet and get out my fall/winter stuff. Uploaded a bunch of photos to be printed - I will pack up and go to the mall later on to pick them up.

I feel good when I am breast feeding at 10am when Ellen starts - and I can laugh through the feeding.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I am jealous of people who are pregnant right now. Mainly because they are going to go through the birth. And I keep thinking their birth experience will be better than mine. They will get to see their baby come out. They will get to hold their baby right away. I feel jealous like this less and less... and when I re-read it I feel like I need to grieve and move on. My birth experience is holding me back. I worry about how I am mothering my baby because I am so caught up in the birth experience.

I worry about bonding because I did not get to see her until the next day - well over 12 hours after the birth. I worry that because she didn't see me / hear me / feel me that we've not bonded. She didn't see her other mom (her baba) either - until several minutes - maybe 10 or 15 minutes- after the birth. Because she was not doing well, she was not aware her baba was there. Her baba could not hold her. In fact, we both held her for the first time late the next day.

I worry about bonding. And I wonder what exactly bonding feels like. How do you know that you and baby have bonded?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Oh Perspective...

I did get a prescription for anti-depressants. Then did some searching on the internet and found out that they show up in breast milk - and in some studies have been shown to affect the baby, so I am not going to fill the prescription. I decided this at some point in the week. Then decided that I'd better go to the PPD support group (on Thursdays) and start writing in my paper journal. I am not sure what to do next. But I want to start feeling better soon.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

From an e-mail sent to a friend, re: PPD

From an e-mail sent to a friend today:

We here are crazy busy. I am contemplating going on anti-depressants - I went to a post-partum depression clinic last week and I scored high on a post-partum depression scale. I cry a lot - still and I feel overwhelmed. I have a few options - like I could continue to go to the clinic which has a therapy group for new moms, I could have a few sessions (I think 6) with a therapist, I could go on anti-depressants... I could also wait for Linda to come back from Africa and see her... um, but last night I cried so much that I started thinking anti-d's might be the way to go.

I attached a picture of Carys from today - she found her thumb for a brief moment and looked adorable sucking it while her baba held her.

Gives an idea of where I am. Very mixed. Sad, depressed, overwhelmed - and yet very much in love with my baby girl. It is a hard place to be.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

4 Days Past My Due Date and I Gave Birth

I felt crampy on the morning of the 8th. Like menstrual cramps. Not unbearable. By about 1:45 that afternoon, I paged the midwife because I hadn't felt the baby move. She suggested I have a snack, lie down, and do a kick count. I paged her again at 2pm. I was having contractions that were about 3 - 4 minutes apart. They were unbearable and I could not do a kick count.

"You are in early labour..."

The midwife came by. I was dilated 1 cm. And having a hard time keeping up with the contractions. I threw up. A lot. She checked me again and I was 3cm. In like 1/2 hour. Then my water broke. There was meconium in it.

"It's time to go to hospital..."

We live 2 minutes away from hospital. The leading children's hospital in Ontario. The midwife went ahead of us. She actually left most of her stuff at our place and practically ran out the door.

I remember now the hot hot sun and contracting in the hospital parking lot... then contracting in the walkway leading to the floor with the birthing centre. Contracting again in the reception area of the birthing centre.

They took my blood when I arrived. Somehow I found myself dressed in a hospital gown. Still trying to cope with contractions by staring at my partner and repeating "calm and relaxed... calm and relaxed..." Sometimes I could cope and would actually close my eyes and almost sleep between contractions. They were 2 - 3 minutes apart by then.

I was hooked up to a monitor. The baby had a heart rate monitor attached to her head.

Everything was happening so fast and everything was a blur. It is amazing what the contractions did to the way I was seeing the world. I couldn't focus.

Every time I contracted the baby's heart rate would dip. The OB/GYN came to me and said that she is "conservative" and only does c-sections if she truly needs to... she could not continue to look at the data (baby's heart rate) and I was still not dilated enough to be giving birth any time soon.

I was so present. (Perhaps that was the hypno-birthing training).

I made the decision to have a c-section. At some point I remember the midwife telling me that it is always okay to change my mind - meaning change my mind from my original no pain med/ no intervention/ natural birth... I think it was before the OB suggested c-section.

The bloodwork results came in and my white blood cells were elevated. Suggesting that I was fighting an infection. This meant that it would not be safe to do an epidural. I had to go under general anesthesia. This also meant that my partner could not be in the OR with me.

I signed some papers. And was whisked off to the OR. I remember being prepped and worried that I could feel them prepping me - perhaps the anesthesia wasn't working. I said something to this affect, and was assured I'd be feeling nothing soon. My last memory is the anesthetist putting a mask over my face and asking me to take a deep breath.

When I woke up, I was looking at the clock. 10 minutes to 8pm. (Carys was born at 10 to 7pm). I remember thinking, oh good I am alive. I thought someone told me I had a girl. Then I thought someone told me I had a boy. Then someone came to me and said, "you had a girl." I was confused. I wanted to see my partner.

C G was born at 6:50pm. She weighed 6 lbs 15 oz. She was 19 inches long. Her 1 minute apgar score was 2. Her 5 minute apgar score was 8. She came out not breathing and with very little heart beat. She had to be resecutated. She had meconium in her lungs and in her stomach. She was intubated. Attached to monitors. And stayed in the pediatric critical care unit - with one to one care - for 2 days, before she was moved to the 7th floor (still intensive care, but not one to one) for 3 more days.

My partner took her picture that evening. I didn't get to see her until the next day.

I looked at her picture before I went to sleep. I think I was in shock or something because I didn't have much in the way of emotion. Maybe it was the pain medicine. The next morning though I had to get up and go see her. And I did.

She recognised my voice. She was so little. I remember repeating over and over to her how good she is doing. I was like a cheerleader. I wanted her to know I was there and rooting for her to get better. It really didn't look good in the first day.

I pumped colostrum and later breast milk for her. In the early days she was fed through a tube. By the time she got to the 7th floor she was drinking from a bottle. I was released after 3 days. We sat the entire day in hospital with her - only leaving at night to sleep.

We brought her home on the 13th.

Friday, September 7, 2007

At 3 Days Overdue

So we went to see the midwife today. I am 3 days overdue and the baby's head is not in the pelvis. Apparently this is not a good thing. Usually with a first birth the head is in the pelvis by now.

We may be looking at an induction.

In fact, we go back to see the midwife on Tuesday the 11th. That same day we will go to the hospital to do a fetal non-stress test - I will be hooked up to various monitors for about 2 hours to assess movement and heartbeat. The idea is to check that the placenta is working and still providing baby with oxygen and nutrition. On the 14th we will have an ultrasound to check amniotic fluid and baby's muscle tone - again to make sure the placenta is doing it's job. On the 16th we will most likely be induced. Although if the testing on the 11th and 14th shows that everything is okay, we could wait a bit longer to see if things progress naturally.

The midwife had to have this talk with us today and set up these dates.

She also indicated that a lot can happen in the next few days and that it wouldn't be unusual for the baby's head to move down.

She suggested that we go for walks, that I spend some time on my hands and knees and/or in the squat position, that I use the birthing ball, that I keep moving around, etc.

We left and had a lot to process. This is not exactly our plan. Yet we want to be safe for the baby and me.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Friday, August 31, 2007

4 More Days

The birth pool is set up. Not filled, of course, but set up and waiting.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


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39 weeks, 1 day

I have been collecting a 24 hour urine sample today/ tonight/ tomorrow, due to protein in my urine. I have no other symptoms of anything. Could be an infection. The midwife wants to look into it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

39 Weeks - Today!

Home visit with the midwife last night.

Pee'd on a stick and I had protein in my urine. Sugar was good. BP was good. But protein in my urine. Not sure what it means. She had me come into the clinic today to check my urine again. There was protein in it again. She was seeing someone - so she'll call me later and let me know what it means. She really wasn't too concerned last night...

She palpated my uterus and while the baby's head is down - and moving downward - she believes I will make it to my due date. I was really feeling "ready" Sunday night. But I think that was more anticipation and eagerness. I can't wait to meet this little one. In the meantime, I must be patient.

We also picked up the water birth equipment from the clinic. Hoses and pumps and stuff.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Just over 38 weeks

Tried installing the car seat base yesterday and couldn't figure it out. Went to the fire station because we'd heard that they can help. They were nice but told us they can't help because of a recent liability issue. They gave us the number of an agency that can help. So at some point today I have a phone call to make.

We went to C0stc0 yesterday as well and spent over $200 on stuff - we stocked up on cleaning products, laundry detergent, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, etc. so that we don't have to do that sort of shopping in the next few months. Hoping to save some $$$ while we are both on mat leave.

A assembled the stroller and swing and put up a little coat rack in the baby's room. She also put up blinds on the window in the closet in the baby's room.

I am finding that I am not as hungry and when I am hungry I want sugary-floury things. I am sleepy during the day and awake at night. Not uncomfortable but not always comfortable. Just waiting.

We did a plaster cast of my belly last night. Fun and it turned out really cool. I have some ideas about how I want to paint it. But not a lot of energy right now to paint it.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Photo Friday

Here is my 37 week photo. Actually 37 week and 1 day. At my last appointment with the midwives - the day before I hit 37 weeks - I measured 37 and 1/2 weeks. For whatever reason various people in our life are suggesting I am going to give birth sooner than later. Personally I think people are just eager to meet our little one. I have a feeling our little one is going to hold on until September. But that's just me. Only the little one knows, really.

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I made some flannel diaper inserts,
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several flannel burp cloths,
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and 12 flannel post partum pads.
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I am working on flannel breast pads, now. After buying 6 for $11.99 last week, I thought I could make my own!

It sounds like I have a lot of energy right now. I don't, really. In fact, I've noticed that I've been more sleepy and way less energetic this past week. Yesterday I started making dinner and let A finish so that I could nap. A nap at like 5pm! It felt very first trimester to me. Oh well.

I am so glad I am not working right now.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Today = TERM!

Last therapy appointment for awhile today. A few sessions ago I'd indicated to L that I will probably not be doing therapy until the new year - mainly for financial reasons... (I am going on mat leave and so is A and we will have less $$$).

We talked today about how in therapy I've felt like I've had nothing to work on really - and that I've been feeling that way for the last 6 months. In the last 3 months we've done a lot of hypno-birthing work and not necessarily the "real work" of therapy. She also said that in many ways we haven't done the "real work" of therapy because she hasn't pushed it - pregnancy is a unique time to focus inward in different ways that traditional therapy. She suggested however that after the baby is born I may feel like there is work to be done again. At the very least, processing the birth itself is important. I get that.

We also talked about my tendancy toward depression and how it may/ may not manifest itself after giving birth. We talked about the time of the year - I'll be giving birth in September and by November winter will set in... and winter in London, Ontario can be hard and depressing. I talked about how work has always "saved" me from "winter blues" in many ways because in teaching I had purpose and on long cold days I could get lost in lesson planning and then get out of the house 5 days a week to teach exciting lessons and get students going on interesting projects.

I suppose as a mother my purpose will still be there - but different.

We talked about getting me out of the house. To which I said, "I hate the cold - I hate the snow..." And I anticipate not having a lot of money... so what does one do on a cold day with little money? She waited as though I'd answer that question myself. But I asked her again, "Really... what does one do on a cold day with little money and an infant?" She suggested taking an infant massage class - I like that idea (though I think it might be expensive). And I know that the doula centre very near my house offers infant massage. What about a trip to the library? Central library is huge and has great parking and good food in their cafe... I love the library system here. I could sit and read with our baby in a sling. Perhaps I should start putting books on hold. Swimming or a Mom and Baby Yoga class? (Expensive - maybe).

Something else she asked me: Are you okay with telling A that you don't have all the answers when it comes to dealing with an infant? I think I am. She asked this because she knows that I can be intellectual and a perfectionist. That dealing with an infant is unpredictable and that they don't come with instruction books. She reminded me that when I started teaching and was in a classroom for the first time not a lot from teacher's college applied and there was a learning curve to deal with. Caring for an infant is the same thing. Theory and practice can overlap but usually don't. She also knows that I can kick my own ass if I am "not doing it right." That I can get down on myself if I don't have the answers and/or feel a certain level of competency. I tend to turn inward when I am struggling with something. She knows this.

But you know what? I am so glad that A is off for the first 3 months. We can definitely figure this out together.

Monday, August 13, 2007

37 weeks Tomorrow

Met with the midwife today. A new one. All is well. We are on to weekly appointments now.

Aftwards we went to Prince Alberts Diner for lunch and Funky Monkey to browse baby stuff. Bought two books - one for baby and one for the mamas (something like The Happiest Baby on the Block).

Thursday, August 9, 2007

36 Weeks - Midwife - Sewing - Pillowcases - Parties

We met another midwife on Tuesday at my 36 week appointment. Jane. She was older with long greying hair. Hippie midwife. She did the homebirth talk with us. Very thorough. I feel kind of like I felt when we finished our child birth classes - fearful-ish and overwhelmed.

We went shopping for most of our homebirth supplies after the appointment.

I've gained 37 pounds. My BP is great. Heartbeat in the 150s. Good. Head down. No protein or sugar in my urine. Good.

* * * * *

Yesterday my work threw us a baby shower. We got lots of stuff. It was like x-mas.

I've spent much of today washing baby clothes, burp cloths, diapers, booties, etc. I'm feeling very nesty. And I am loving putting the stuff away. I can't wait.

* * * * *

I've made burp cloths and diaper inserts. I bought more flannel so I can make breast pads and post partum pads.

While at the fabric store A came up with an idea. Instead of x-mas stockings we should have x-mas pillow cases. She always thought as a kid it would be fun to get a bunch of stuff in a pillow case. They had a lot of x-mas type fabric at the fabric store and we checked it out. I think x-mas pillow cases are fun. So we shall see.

* * * * *

I have thank you notes to write.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

This is a good thing

My mom garage sale shops and finds baby clothes. She washes them up. And gives them to us.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Just thought I'd share.

My boobs are leaking.


I am lazy about housework. I just am. Haven't always been. But I am since becoming pregnant. And I suppose it isn't fair to A.

I want to spend today making burp cloths - then I want to go to the fabric store and get more fabric for burp cloths. I am interested in making my own post-partum pads as well. So maybe the next time I go to the fabric store I'll get what I need for that.

Paid some bills today - that felt good. Soon my credit card debt will be gone.

My ideal day today is one in which I finish burp cloths, tidy up the house, finish pre-reg paperwork for the hospital, and eat well. Oooh maybe I should make some supper for A as well.

Since the midwife appointment this past Tuesday I know that A is thinking a lot about the birth. I think she is anxious.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

34 Week Appointment

34 Week Appointment with the midwife today. Everything looks good.

At one point the midwife said, "Labour is so much FUN!"

And she genuinely meant it.

Monday, July 23, 2007

It's all about the cupcakes...

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A made these for the baby shower her work people threw for us on Sunday.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Taken a Few Days Before Week 33

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Face my Fears

I have to admit it. I have been in a bit of a funk. I think that I am starting to get nervous about actually giving birth. I can't picture it in my head. Nor should I try, really. My fears are not pin-pointable. And they are leading to nervousness and anxiety. I want to try to shift it all over the next few days and come to some sense of peace. I think it is important that I face my feelings and not resist. I can come out the other side.

Monday, July 16, 2007


I just looked at my pregnancy ticker today - we have 50 days to go.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

TTC Timeline

I originally posted this in Queer_ttc on LiveJournal, after the moderator asked for success stories.

We started ttc in September 2004. [And our estimated due date is September 4, 2007].

We were referred to our local REI clinic. They performed the HSG (found out that left tube was slightly blocked)... and they ran bloodwork (on both of us). I am 34 now - will be 35 in November.

In early 2005 our first three cycles were cancelled. I was ovulating past day 20 and my period started 6-8 days after ovulation. And - they weren't even sure I was ovulating. All three of these cycles were clomid cycles.

By June 2005 I was ready to take a break. I started acupuncture. We got legally married in September 2005. From September 2005 to February 2006 I attended a once a month therapy retreat type thingy and I did a lot of work around ttc, motherhood, childhood issues, etc.

After the therapy retreat thingy I started full force on ttc. The first try in 2006 (I think March) was non-medicated... I ovulated later (day 20-ish) but surged wonderfully all on my own. (Acupuncture, I believe, helped... and perhaps all that damn therapy as well...) I was put on progesterone because my luteal phase was short.

The next try (I think in May 2006) was medicated - I was shooting up Puregon and triggering with HcG. Clinic did almost daily bloodwork and bunches of transvaginal ultrasounds. I ovulated earlier (day 15-ish) and still took the progesterone.

The next try was in June/ July - same thing as the try in May. Not getting pregnant was particularly devastating for this try. I am a teacher, I was off for the summer and I was thinking that because my stress load had decreased surely I'd be pregnant by the time I returned to school in the fall, right? Wrong. I remember us eating cheeseburgers the day the beta came back negative.

We switched donors - mainly because we'd run out of the one we were using and he was no longer available - for our September 2006 try. [By the way, we went through 4 donors total - but only used 2]. I was back in work. Coming in close to the morning bell on bloodwork days and missing every other morning for ultrasounds - feeling stressed. I had a student teacher, more stress. But in early October we found out we were pregnant. [I had tested too early and thought for sure the cycle was bust - we even began researching other options...] Less than two weeks later I miscarried. Oh, and I should point out that the timing for the insemination was changed from 24 hours after trigger shot to 36 hours after the trigger shot - really the only difference.

On November 27 my period returned post-m/c. This to me was good news. The clinic stops taking Day 1 calls on December 1st so that they can have most procedures done by X-mas and New Year so people can take a holiday. I shot up the Puregon and ended up surging on my own. [I did ovulate from the left side, which apparently had a block, according to HSG, and was advised to cancel the cycle - but chose not to...] We did a pee test on Boxing Day and found out I was pregnant... I'll never forget that day - we danced around the bathroom. I had to wait for the beta results because the clinic was closed - so even though I had the blood drawn for the beta we had to wait until well after the new year for the number. [It was a difficult time because I kept thinking I'd miscarry before we got the results - based on what happened in October...] Anyway, the day 18 beta was 936. A lovely number. Lovely compared to my day 18 in October.

I had some spotting at various points in this pregnancy - which is scary. I've had 4 months of evening sickness. Now I am feeling pretty good. Most days I feel amazing and blessed. While I was sick in those early months my partner took good care of me and painted/decorated the nursery - she did a bunch of odd jobs around the house - and basically nested her ass off. We've paid off a lot of our debt. I am now off for the summer (and the next school year)... and now we wait.

I am glad we stuck with it. I am glad we turned to each other when times got tough - and times did get tough, that's for sure. I am glad that I took breaks as well. At the time I didn't want to take a break - but knew that somehow it would be a good thing. I am glad that we did our best to feel our feelings each time the test came back negative. Because we really grew a lot in this process - and feeling the feelings helped with the growth. When I look back I really believe we had to go through all that we went through - including the miscarriage. We've become closer, and stronger. It helped us to look at it all as a ladder - each test, try, the miscarriage, etc. is a step on the ladder bringing us closer to the top.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I Have Felt Better and Other News

32 weeks yesterday. And I have had a headache since yesterday afternoon. It was really bad this a.m. so I took 2 regular strength ty1eno1. It didn't go away. So I paged the midwife - because headache that doesn't go away is on the list of things to page about. So I am going in at 3 to have my blood pressure and urine checked.

And even though I am in an air conditioned house I am very aware that it is hot outside. My feet are swelling a bit, and I am just generally feeling that muggy fatigued feeling.

ETA: BP 120 over 70, no protein in urine... just a headache. Maybe a tension headache.

* * * * *

In other news, I went to therapy yesterday morning. Pre-headache. We talked about many things.

A few nights ago A and I were in bed chit-chatting about the future as we were falling asleep. A said, "Soon it won't be just the two of us anymore." I felt sad. Then I felt guilty for feeling sad. I am happy and excited for the future. I can't wait to meet our baby. I can't wait to be a mom. I love that we are having the opportunity to raise a child together. After 10 years together - 10 years! - I feel like I might miss just the two of us. And I can't see what the future holds - I can only guess. I will miss the way we talk about everything. I will miss the way we know each other. Will we still have that? So I talked about this in therapy. I couldn't believe how much I cried. I felt guilty. I feel guilty.

Therapist said the guilt and the sadness are acceptable - and make sense. She made practical suggestions about date nights and babysitters and time together, etc. She talked about how in our society couples put the kids first and then lose track of each other over the years - feel lonely as a result. She talked about how she deals with couples who are finished raising the kids - and they struggle because they are strangers to each other when the kids move out, or they have affairs because someone else is paying attention to them.

One thing that she said that really stands out now: "It is important to continue to nurture the relationship you two have with each other, as it will contribute deeply to your success as parents and your child's overall well-being."

Makes sense. We came together because of love. We wanted to make a family because of our love. Our baby is made from our love. So let's keep that love alive.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Lots of Girl Babies

Lots of babies born lately. I am not ready. I am enjoying being pregnant. I am enjoying the kicking and the feeling of it in me. I have over 8 weeks to go.

A lot of girl babies being born. Statistically - does that mean I'm having a boy. You know it should be 50-50 in any given population, right. Maybe that doesn't make sense. But that is what I am thinking about.

Finally, I read over my last post. I need to be careful what I say - what I put out there. I may need medication and intervention when I give birth. I have to be flexible. And of course keep in mind safety. Right? Anything is possible.

We did however buy our pool for the birth last night.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Fears, Myths, and the Mail Box

Therapy today. We did more hypnobirthing work. Last time it was all about releasing fear around the birthing process. And this time it was about numbing body parts through self-hypnosis. I have no idea if hypnobirthing will work at this point. I am way open to it. And so is A. But... who knows? I am reading the hypnobirthing book right now and I am finding it very interesting. So I shall stick with it.

With regard to fear, I have to say that the pre-natal classes didn't help. They were very much along the non-medicated, natural, normal birth path. Medications, interventions, and complications had to be covered. I had no idea what all existed in the world of complicated birth. For example, I had no idea a urinary catheter was needed for an epidural. Makes sense, but... yuck! Needless to say, my fear level has gone up. A bit.

The other thing that came up in the pre-natal classes was all the myths people have around midwifery. We were the only ones with a midwife. And so many people - make that everyone there except the people teaching the classes - believed midwife was synonomous with homebirth. "Oh, we thought about a midwife but we didn't want a homebirth for our first one..." When we started with our midwife we were pretty set on having a hospital birth and it was never questioned. Midwives seem to listen to what you want and work with you. Eventually we got the idea of a home water birth. Our midwife has watched us evolve and has supported us accordingly. Oh well. It is interesting.

In other news, the Dunstan Baby dvd arrived today. I want to watch it now. But I will wait for A to get home.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

31 Week Appointment with the Midwife

Met with the midwife today. 31 weeks.
  • I measured 32 weeks.
  • BP, good.
  • Urine, good.
  • Weight, 27 pounds gained so far.
  • My iron is back up.
  • Like the big 20 week ultrasound, the 29 1/2 week ultrasound did not show the fibroids.
  • Everything looks good with the baby - except bladder was enlarged, but for now not a huge concern.
  • We talked more about a home water birth.
  • Also found out that the midwife will give us the paperwork to start the birth certificate sometime before the birth.

She palpated my uterus and discovered that the baby's head is down. And it's back is to my front. Excellent position. Then she let A have a feel and explained what she was feeling for.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Things Feel Different

I sat in the park today. I love that the weather has cooled off. I felt a freeness in watching kids on skateboards and cars going by. I enjoyed the north breeze on my arms.

Yesterday was my last day of work. I teach. It really hasn't hit me that I won't be back there until early June 2008. It won't hit me until either I give birth or the first day of school arrives - whichever comes first. Because in my world thus far work ends when June ends.

In years past however I'd spend today with fellow teachers drinking beers on Barney's patio. Or I'd do something to celebrate completing one more year of teaching - like getting my nose pierced. I'd stay up late. And then sleep in. None of that happened this year. Things feel different.

I found a shady bench and sat.

There is no time like the present...

Here I am. 30 weeks pregnant. A nice even number - a round and curvy number. 30 weeks.

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