Last Post of 2017: A Birth Story

Last year’s last post of the year was a tough read. Sure I was hopeful because we had 1 pgd perfect embryo on ice but the year itself was so so rough. And here I am a year later writing my very own birth story. Wow.

Man, I wish I knew where to begin. I want to start with how I’m feeling but those feelings are just too complex to unpack right now so I’m just going to start at the beginning and just recount his birth as it went from start to finish. Just the facts. This is going to be a long post.

I wrapped up work on Friday the 15th. It was a relief but didn’t really feel real since it was a Friday. The weekend was pretty uneventful. Had dinner at my mom-in-law’s, Went to a Christmas party and Sunday we had friends over then N and I went to watch Star Wars as our last hoorah together.

On Monday I had the fullest schedule. In hindsight I wonder if I did too much. That morning I was feeling a lot of the contractions and I told N to keep his phone nearby but I’d been having them all the time so we both brushed it off.

9am: I had an appointment with one of the cats. All is well, just a check up and some shots.

10:45am: Chiropractor appointment in Providence. Set up a follow up appointment for Friday. He wishes me luck for the version the following day. Stop at Target to buy a baby book.

12pm: Get home and rest for a while but all the while I’m running through the laundry list of things we have to get done. I still have to finalise my and N’s bag. There’s no telling what could happen at the version the next day.

2:45pm: Go to last OB appointment before the version. Everything looks good. We set up an appointment for next Wednesday in case everything goes well with the version.

3:45pm: Head straight from OB to Orthodontist appointment to tighten braces. I’m feeling a bit anxious about the next day because that damned bag isn’t packed. why didn’t I pack it last week? It’s okay, I have all night to get myself calm. I’m just doing my checklist in my head but I’m also going through the things I haven’t done. Like I haven’t really taken the gentle birth classes seriously. I haven’t really listened to my hypnosis tracks. I bought my affirmations but haven’t read them really. Can I really do this? Shit is getting real now. But it’s okay, the version will go well and I’ll have time to get my shit together. There’s time.

4pm: Walk into the orthodontist office and check in. As soon as I sit down I feel a quick sharp pain in my vagina and warm liquid starts flowing down my thighs. WTF! Luckily my pants are dark and there’s only one other lady in the waiting room. I make a mad dash for the ladies room but I know this is my water breaking. It stops when I get to the toilet. I check and there’s nothing red or brown. My heart is racing and I’m suddenly very excited. This is it. But what the heck do I tell the receptionist? and how wet are my pants? I check and it’s not too too bad. I could leave without a big scene.I text my girlfriends back home to tell them what’s up. One is the best nurse in the world so I’m hoping she has good advice. They all just say to go home and get my ass ready to go to the hospital. As I pull my pants up to contemplate and exit strategy another big gush. There’s no time to think. I stick my head out the door, the receptionist desk is right across from me. She looks at me curiously. “I’m just going going to leave if that’s okay, I think my water just broke”.
“What’s that?”
“Um, my water just broke, I’m gonna go, if that’s okay.”
“What?!! Yes Yes go go oh my god go!”
“Okay, everything is okay in there, I’ll reschedule the appointment when I…”
“Oh my god it’s okay just go!!!”
I run my wet ass outta there as quick as I can and I hear “That’s so exciting!” as I close the door behind me.

I call N on my way home. He’s at Home Depot looking at trim. He’ll drop everything and meet me at home. Not to worry, we have time. Contractions shouldn’t really start for at least an hour. I’ll go home and shower and pack that damned bag in the meantime.

I call B to recount the story and have a laugh. She also says to go home and take a shower I have about an hour to kill. While I’m talking to her I feel my first real contraction. Like what I’ve been feeling before but way more painful. But bearable. Hmm, I thought they only start a little later. No worries, that was a little one. I have time.

I call another friend to have another laugh for some company. Another contraction during that call. Hmmm.

4:20pm: Walk into the house. Parents are laying on the blow up mattress in the tv room
“Okay guys, please please don’t panic. Please don’t panic. My water just broke. I need you to not panic and go to the car and please wipe my seat down for me. I’m going to jump in the shower and then I’m going to need help packing my bag”
They both jump  up simultaneously and panic ensues. I leave them behind and jump in the shower.
Two more contractions while I’m in there and the stuff just keeps coming out of me. It is really cool how it all works. The heat of the water on my back is great and I’m able to collect my thoughts. I’m excited. N walks in and he sticks his head around the curtain and we chat about our feelings and stuff. We’re both calm but we both say we have time. But I tell him I’ve now had 4 contractions. I should probably time them.
I tell him to text the doula even though she’s at a resort with her family and she likely won’t make it to the hospital. It’s okay. We’ll text the backup doula, L.
I get out of the shower and instruct everyone to eat. N says I should probably eat too and he’s right but I have zero appetite. Everyone is eating, I’m standing in the bedroom looking at the closet… What the fuck do I wear?
“What do I wear??!!”
All the while I’m texting my friends to keep them up to date. Consensus is wear any damn thing. I’m opting for pyjama pants, nursing sports bra to labour in maybe, a sweatshirt and slippers, no socks. Another big contraction. This one is big! I yell for N to come and put pressure on my hips. One of the techniques the doula taught us.
I’m starting to panic a little. I’m not dressed yet and the bag isn’t packed!
I put mom on bag duty but I’m remembering little details that are putting me in a tail spin because I’m now on a steady schedule of contractions but there’s not rhyme or reason to the severity. Some are small and quick, some are long and painful, some are short and painful. 3 to 5 minute breaks in between. This can’t be right. It’s not been an hour yet has it?
N gets in touch with doula L who will meet us at the hospital but we should call ahead and see if we can talk to our doctor.
At this point I realize I have no phone numbers for the doctor or the hospital. I’m in full blown panic mode right now because these contractions hurt and I am not ready for this to be  happening so fast.
My husband is shaving and is then going to jump in the shower because the last time we spoke I was the picture of calm. But he hasn’t seen me since I got out of the clothing debacle and that one big contraction.
While he’s in the shower my mom is now on hip duty since I need someone to put pressure on these hips when I’m contracting. I’ve also for some reason instructed my dad to cut my toenails because that’s clearly what’s important right now.
So, I’m laying on the bed googling a number for the hospital while breathing, my dad is cutting my toenails and my mom is running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off because I’m barking orders at her about what to put in that damned bag.
I get through to the hospital but I don’t know what to ask for. I ask for maternity and then the mother of all contractions starts and I’m up off the bed screaming for my mom who has a million stuff in her arms. I throw the phone at my dad and stand up leaning on the bed yelling for mom to push on my hips. My foot still in my dad’s hands who is still calmly clipping. He calmly picks up the phone and takes over with N telling him what to ask for. Apparently Dr L isn’t on call but we should go in.
The contraction passes and my mother is flipping out.
Mom: Let’s just go, I don’t understand why we haven’t left yet
Me: Mummy just calm down
Mom: *Not in English* Don’t tell me to calm down!!
Dad: Okay okay *still clipping nails* Your nails are done. I think N should finish shaving, not shower and let’s just go.
All three of us: N! Don’t shower, Let’s just go!

5:45pm (I believe): I don’t know how but we’re all in the car even that damned bag! I’ve stopped timing contractions but last I checked they were 2 – 3 minutes apart and ranging anywhere from 20 seconds to 1minute 10 seconds.

6pm: N drops us at the entrance. I have another C (I can’t type contraction anymore. I will refer to them as C’s from now one as there are lots of them) as I get out of the car. The 3 of us walk in while N parks the car. I’ve been to this hospital. I think I know where the maternity ward is but we stop at reception anyway to ask.
The oldest man in the whole entire world is sitting at the front desk with and another old lady who’s on the phone.
“Where’s maternity?”
He leans forward scrunching his face, ever so slowly.
“Maternity??!!” I shout
“Rezendes?” He asks
My mother and I look at each other incredulously and swear in Afrikaans. The lady gets off the phone and points us in the right direction. When we get to the elevator N is right there. Then N’s mom is there too.
We find the ward and drop the parents off at the waiting room and we make our way in.

Maternity Triage

There’s obviously no one at reception because why would there be. Eventually a nurse strolls in and says they’ve been waiting for us.

6:15pm: We are checked into triage in the maternity ward. Intake Nurse N is asking me a million questions that I have no time for. She warns me that she has a lot of questions and she understands but they’re necessary. In the meantime she has me strip down and put on the Johnny. Then I remember the damned bag. Everything I need for my perfect labour is in the bag!! The bag is in the fucking car! The pretty pusher johnny I bought so I wouldn’t have to wear the hospital one. The fairy lights. My affirmation cards. My Birth Plan!! The bluetooth speaker for calming  music! Oh my god another C! Fuck it. Put the hospital Johnny on. Fuck everything.

I’m on the bed now and Nurse N need to test the amniotic fluid to make sure that’s what it is. Oh you mean the stuff that’s pouring out of me right now as I’m contracting that’s definitely not pee? Sure go ahead. I feel a little bad for her because we all know it’s amniotic fluid but there’s also that hospital policy. I ask when we’ll get results through gritted teeth.

20 minutes.

I look up at N in desperation and start doing C math. That’s at least 4 more C’s. She walks away and that’s the first time I show weakness. I tell N I don’t think I can do this, it hurts too much. Where is Doula L? I don’t know if I can do this. N looks me in the eyes and says that I absolutely can and I will. He obviously doesn’t love me and wants to see me die. I’m alone here and I’m going to die alone.

Doula L is at the hospital but they won’t allow her into triage. Are you fucking kidding me? Only one person allowed in. It’s okay, we’ll talk to her in a bit because the on-call Dr is here.

Dr H… A tall woman. A bored smile. She introduces herself and proceeds to do a scan. “Oh I see a little butt down here, someone is breech… Okay we’ll have to do a c-section. Let me check  your cervix”. I’m protesting a little bit. Let’s just do the damned surgery, just don’t check my cervix!

Cervical checks are awful. This one in particular was horrendous. It feels like she was in there for hours and up to her elbow I’m sure. I’m kicking and moaning. When she pulls out I have another huge C and as I roll over I see her pull and exasperated face to Nurse N. I don’t think she got a good reading on that. She leaves without a word.

Things are ramping up now. 2 more nurses come in with forms that need signing and more and more questions that need answering. N and I are trying to wrap our heads around this new outcome. Should we protest? Why can’t we wait? But I’m in so much pain. N looks scared. He did not want this for us. It being major surgery and all. We decide that he should go get Doula L for a talk and maybe swap out. I’ll be okay I think. They’re putting an IV in.

Once I’m alone Nurse N asks the personal questions about whether I feel safe with my husband. Am I being abused etc etc. While she’s asking another C comes and I beg her to rub my back. She obliges. When it’s done I ask her if the c-section is absolutely necessary. Can we wait til her turns? Can we try an ecv now? She says now because I likely don’t have enough amniotic fluid to turn him and best to get him out sooner rather than later. I’m sad now because I’m having a moment of clarity between C’s. My first in a while. I’m able to get my wits about me.

In all that craziness I’ve assessed the C’s. It feels like small, small, big, really big… small, small, big, really big. And if my calculations are correct I have two small ones coming. That means I can do this!! As Doula L walks in she throws her coat and bag on the chair because she sees my face contorting. She comes over to me really quickly. She bends her whole body over mine holding my right hand and rubbing my lower back and whispering in my ear “You’re doing so awesome! You’re doing a great job!” over and over. Where has she been all my life? It’s like she was sent from the angels. That C was bearable again. Okay we have  small, then big then really big coming. I have time to fill her and in answer questions and sign forms. Oh the forms.

The anesthetist comes in to explain what he’s going to do. While he’s going through his spiel I realise my calculations were way off or my body is changing the rules. It’s big.. It’s really big and it’s fast. I roll over to my side and I can’t see straight through the pain. I’m remembering to try to keep my eyes open and not scrunch them. Breathing isn’t helping so I’m now loud moaning. Doula L is still whispering in my ear but she sounds far off. I only feel pain. Why is it lasting so long? It feels like hours. I want to climb the walls to run away from the pain but I can’t move. Finally it’s reached the peak and it slowly (I mean slowly) calms down. “What the hell?!”. I hear the form filling out nurse say “Wow that was long”. Doula L tells me that breech babies make irregular contractions. I’m very frightened now. I definitely can’t do another one of those. Thankfully, the next 2 C’s  as small and small again but with 30 seconds spaces in between.

Doula L asks me how I’m feeling. I’m feeling sad and relieved. I feel a bit like I failed. She reminds me that I’m in labour right now. I did it. I got to experience labour. I’m in good  hands here and c-section is not the end of the world. We’ll see our son soon. I feel a little better. She says she’ll stick around until after he’s born but she’s going to swap out with N again. She grabs her coat and bag and looks back at me and it’s time for another big C. She drops everything and runs over to me and for some reason both of us are laughing a little through this one. Just a little because it still hurts.

Okay she’s off. While I’m waiting for N to come back. Dr H sticks her head through the curtain “Hey do you want some painkillers?”…. “Hell yes!” I say, forgetting that point #1 on my birth plan was Please don’t offer pain killers, I will request them.

This was really a mistake. I’m given Stadol through the IV. N comes in and I am incapacitated. The Stadol makes me completely woozy and speaking is very difficult. My head seems to be lolling about. But it doesn’t take the pain of the C’s away. It’s worse now because I can’t tell N what I need. I need him to whisper in my ear that I’m doing  great job. All I can get through the next few C’s is “Say something nice to me”. He chuckles and tells me I’m beautiful and kisses me. It works.

It’s just N me and Nurse N. N asks her about the c-section and how it’s going to go. The hospital is supposed to offer gentle c-section so N asks if that’s what we’re getting. She assures us that it is. They’ll do delayed cord clamping and I’ll get skin-to-skin and we’ll get him very soon after he’s out, etc. etc. N won’t be allowed in immediately though. He’ll stay behind and get changed into the full zip-up outfit and they’ll come get him once they start cutting.

Operating Room

OR Nurse B and another Nurse come to get me for surgery. I’m still not really able to speak and I don’t remember saying goodbye to N. Nurse B and her friend are bubbly and lovely and telling me things that I don’t remember. I’m so woozy. But nurse B has a very pretty rose pin on her shirt. I’m so focused on this pin. It’s all I can see and think of right now.

We’re in the OR now and I’m asked to sit up. They’re talking about the epidural or spinal block or whatever. I have to curl over a lot and push my lower back out as much as possible. I still can’t really believe I have to have a c-section but there’s no turning back now. People are saying things but it’s just me and my thoughts. How is this happening? I’m starting to freak out and here comes another C. A big one. I can’t curl my back!! Nurse B has me rest my head on her shoulder. I see the pin again. I strongly believe the pin is keeping me alive because it’s the only thing I can see and focus on. Why is the epidural taking so long? I can hear them saying things to me about curling my back but I’m moaning loudly over their instructions and focusing on the beautiful pink petals on the rose. I’m now on C number 2 moaning again and there is still no epidural in. What’s the hold up?!

C number 3 has started and I hear them say they’re all set. Really? I didn’t feel a thing. I thought he was just digging his thumbs into my back. They lay me down and I think maybe the stadol is wearing off because I’m feeling a bit better. Nurse B is telling me how well I did through those C’s. But now I’m panicking because I’m about to have major abdominal surgery and where is my husband?

Stay calm, stay calm. They’re talking to me about what I should be feeling. The anesthesiologist says something about no more C’s. I realise he’s right and my legs feeling tingly. Someone says they’re going to put the catheter in now and I can feel them doing so I’m really panicking now. I frantically tell him I can feel things. I can still feel!!

He assures me that I’ll still have a bit of sensation but no pain. I don’t like it. Where is N?! I don’t want this. Stay calm. Stay calm.

They put the draping on my chest and start pulling it up so I can’t see. I really don’t like that. I’m the IVF patient who watches them draw blood. I’d like to see what you’re doing to my body please. But do I really want to see them cut me open and not feel it? Better leave this to the professionals.

Dr H walks in. Where the fuck have you been all night. She’s different now. No fake smile. All business. “Okay, I’m going to poke you and you tell me if you feel it”. Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes. “Okay we are good to go… Agree?” then everyone in the rooms says “Agree!”. But no! no! I said yes to all your pokes!

I look at the only person who’s talking to me. Larry the anesthesiologist. “But I said yes to all the pokes”… “Not all of them” He smiles. I’m not reassured. I want my husband.

The room goes very quiet now and it’s just me and Larry but I can’t see him without craning my neck. I smell something. They’re cutting! or cauterizing! Finally N walks in stage right and sits down and grabs my hand. He looks calm. That calms me down. “What’s that smell?” he asks.

I chuckle. I’m okay now. We’re okay. It’s still deathly quiet. No one is talking. Waiting to feel that tugging but it’s not coming. I look at the clock over N’s shoulder. 8pm. Then I feel the tugging. It’s weird. Then someone says “Look up mama”. I look up and  up pops a little head with a hand on the forehead then it’s gone.

“Oh he just peed again”… Everyone laughs.

So that’s it, huh? I just had a baby. Boy, is he screaming. Poor guy. I wonder what they’re doing with him. Aren’t I supposed to get him for skin to skin? What’s taking so long? I look over N’s shoulder again. 8:05 I think. What’s taking so long? N is also starting to worry. He leans over to ask where the baby is. Everything is fine they’re just cleaning him up. But aren’t they not supposed to do that really? This doesn’t feel very gentle c-section to me. It feels cold and harsh. N asks if they did delayed cord clamping. Dr H snaps back “No.”

N’s face changes to irritation. But as he’s about to protest Nurse B’s friend brings over our little bundle and places him on my chest. He’s warm and squirmy and difficult to get a good hold on. He’s laying across my chest and crying. I can kind of see his face. So this is the baby I just gave birth to. He’s cute and little but I can’t hold him. He keeps slipping up to my face. I tell N to take him and do skin-to-skin. The nurse says no at first because N would have to take his t shirt off. He unzips the suit they gave him to reveal no t-shirt “Way ahead of you”. She laughs and moves Lucky to his father.

His father. My husband. A father. To my son. Our son. I look over at the two of them and he is beaming. A beam I’ve never seen before. It’s beautiful. I could look at them forever.

Okay I want him back now. I think I can handle it. N puts him back on my chest and we let him try to rooting around and crawl to maybe find my breast. He finds his way but never latches but it’s okay.

I’m not sure how much time has passed but they tell us that N and Lucky have to go to recovery so they can finish up with me. I’m still feeling like this isn’t real.

I hear counting. They’re counting the swabs or whatever. Just like on Grey’s Anatomy. I look up at the bright lights and I catch a glimpse of my incision in the reflection. Cool!! I can’t tell what they’re doing but the fun part is over. Everyone is talking about vacations to Cancun. The drape comes down and Nurse B is including me in the conversation but I’m just smiling. Did I really just have a baby?

Eventually they’re ready to wheel me into recovery. I’m enjoying the ride I keep hearing babies cry as we pass rooms. Then I hear my baby’s cry! Why are we going passed it? “Stop! stop! I know that voice!”

Both nurses laugh at me. They were just turning me around. I see N leaning over the baby in the warmer bed thingies as I’m wheeled in. He’s still beaming. Baby is still crying and I am still trying to understand how this is real life.

N comes over to be with me while the nurse swaddles up our little bundle. They adjust my pillows a bit and we try to get him to latch. It’s not very easy but we got him eventually. But he’s lazy and probably tired from you know.. being born.

While I’m watching this little person familiarize himself with his surroundings I notice that the nurse has my leg in her hands and I can’t feel her holding it. It’s freaky as hell so turn my attention back to the little person.

Once we’re all settled our family and doula L are allowed in to come say hi. I only vaguely remember this because I’ve been given some morphine before they come in. I know that my mother is crying big mom tears and my dad just has the biggest smile on his face. I don’t remember much about the conversation. They don’t stick around for very long but doula L stays for a bit to drop a few words of wisdom. Again,  I wish I could remember all that she says but it’s similar to her words in triage. I do remember that she is holding my hand and squeezing it lightly and reassuringly. I’m sad when she leaves. I know I’ll likely not see her again and she was pivotal in this story. I’m sad.

10pm: We’re a family of three now. N and I are in my hospital bed in room C210, holding this little body watching him sleep. I’m trying to take everything in. Wondering if I should be feeling a certain way. Shouldn’t I have cried by now? Shouldn’t my heart have grown three sizes? Aren’t I supposed to be experiencing a love I’ve never known?

None of that is happening but I can’t take my eyes off him. He’s so fuzzy. He has so much hair. I knew he would have lots of pitch black hair. The way his little top lip sticks out looks exactly like his ultrasounds. His eyes look like my nephew’s. His perfect little nose is… perfect. Is this really my child?

***

I don’t know how long we stared at him while he slept. I don’t know how the night ended actually but I remember we just stared and stared silently at this person we made.

So the birth didn’t go as planned at all and everything is not how they said it would be. I thought I wouldn’t be able to get over the fact that it didn’t go as planned, but 2 weeks in and I’m feeling much better about it. My incision is healing nicely and my baby is breastfeeding with the best of them. And while I didn’t feel that instant love that you read about when I saw him the first time but, again, 2 weeks in and I find that I worry about him constantly and I can’t stop looking at him and kissing his little fingers. It makes putting him down to sleep very difficult. I would be happy if he could sleep on me or N forever thank you very much. Maybe that’s the love they’re talking about?

My favourite part of all of this is watching my husband as a father. He does a lot of things better than I do. He’s so patient with Lucky. He can’t seem to get enough of him. It really is the best thing in the world. I hardly recognise this man but I love it and I love him more and more because of it.

Okay, it’s 2 minutes to midnight here. My parents are sleeping on the blow up mattress at our feet. N is playing Zelda on the Nintendo Switch and I’m typing this while little Lucky is sleeping on my lap.

Life is fucking fantastic at the end of 2017.

 

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Christmas Came Early This Year

A week early to be exact. I had every intention of at least having a birth story by his due date which I thought was today but I was wrong. It was yesterday. Lol. 

So I’m going to be realistic and wait to tell the story I’ve been dreaming to tell for a very long time. I’m just going to enjoy Christmas and not worry about plans and due dates and timelines. My baby certainly does not 😁.

But I wanted you all know that he is here and he is safe and he is so wonderful. He was born on Monday December 18th at 8:03pm weighing 6lbs 5oz (2.86 kgs) and measuring 19in (48.26cm). 

If you’re on instagram please feel free to add me on doit4babym as I have some pics of him. It’s my IVF account so it’s private but I’d love to follow you all too.

 I also wanted to wish all of you a merry Christmas. It can be really awesome or really shitty but I hope that if it’s shitty you can find moments of awesomeness to cling to to get through and if it’s really awesome I hope you revel in it. I’ll be sparing a lot of thoughts for everyone who might be having a hard time this Christmas. I am here for you and I am always rooting for you.

xxx

2-ish Weeks to go

Still breech.

Every morning I wake up and I rub his little noggen on my left side underneath my boob. A little sad that he hasn’t turned but a little glad that I know exactly where he is and sometimes when I rub he responds and that makes me smile.

My parents arrived on Sunday. It’s really good to have them here but I feel bad that the living arrangements aren’t perfect. Of course they’re fine with everything and it won’t be for much longer but still. We just have to do the floors upstairs then we can start moving things up there but for now they’ve opted to take the blow up mattress in the tv room because they don’t want me sleeping on it. And they’re unable to unpack their suitcases because there’s nowhere for them to put their clothing. But we’re making due. I’m just very happy they’re here.

My appointments yesterday went well enough. As we suspected, he’s fine, he’s just smallish. He’s up to 6lbs (2.72kgs) now which isn’t bad IMO. My parents joined us at the level 2 ultrasound. I warned them that they may not see much because of his position and most of it was just the tech measuring his belly and the femur and his head. She struggled to get his belly because his little knee was pressed into it. I don’t understand how that’s comfortable but I guess they’re just different. She was all business at first but after she got his measurements she actually tried to get us some 3D pics. It wasn’t easy because there were hands and feet in front on his face but we saw a nose and a set of juicy lips and some cheek too. He may only be 6lbs but I think 2 of them are all cheek. My favourite was seeing the little dimples in the knuckles on his fat hands. He’s cute. He’s mine. Wow.

During the 3D scans the high risk OB popped in to say that baby’s doing great and if we’re planning on doing an ECV that we do it at 39 weeks and induce that same day. Then she popped back out. Seems like the best job in the world to me :).

At my OB appointment later that afternoon N came with me. I was really relieved because I felt calm and confident and ready to ask questions about what our final plan is going to be. While the nurse was taking my BP I mentioned the cramps I’ve been having. Oh, btw I’ve been having a lot of cramps. Especially at night. My friends think I’m in early labour which is very exciting to me but the cramps seem to sporadic so I don’t want to get too excited. I timed them last night and they’re really all over the place. Anyway, so I mentioned the cramps and then she had me undress from the waste down so that the dr could do a cervical check.

As I was undressing I told N I didn’t want to do it and I was again disappointed in myself. But these people just tell you to do things seemingly in passing and run away before you can say something. She said “okay since you’re having cramps you can undress, Dr will be in in  a second” and then she was gone. In my mind I didn’t have time to protest. I need people to give me a second to digest what’s going on. Anyway so I sat through the doctor’s visit half naked screaming at myself to say something and thankfully at the end of it she got up to check me and I asked if she really needed to and she said no so I said okay then let’s rather not because I really don’t enjoy them. She said that was fine and that was that. Yay! Go me!

So what we discussed at the visit. When she walked in she said that she had the version scheduled for next Tuesday at 8:30. If he turns successfully then we’ve decided to go home and wait for him to come on his own. If he doesn’t turn we were given the option of going home and waiting for labour to start then we can go in and do the c-section. We also have the option of picking a c-section date if the version isn’t successful. We’re going to go with former right now. There’s also the chance that he goes into distress during the version and if that happens they’ll do an emergency c-section right away but she said she’s never had that happen.

She said that they would give it 3 good tries and if he doesn’t budge then they won’t force it. He seems so comfy cozy I wonder if he will want to move. Either way I’m glad that we have the option to try and I just hope that he’s co-operative.

And that is where we are so far. She also wrote a note getting me off work this week which is a huge relief. I don’t think I would have made it next week. So I only have 4 more days of work left! Woohoo! I actually have a bunch to get through so let me sign off for the week.

Thanks everyone who’s hung around for this ride with me. I appreciate everyone’s kind words and everyone’s positive thoughts and baby turning vibes :). You’re all awesome and I love you for it!

3-ish Weeks to Go

Just got out of a hand-over meeting with my manager. He’s going to be taking over my duties while I’m out which makes me feel better. We hired a teacher trainer in August. She’s lovely but (and this is completely silly) I get jealous sometimes because she’s really really lovely and chatty and everyone loves her. She has a background in teaching so all the teachers love her. She’s really bubbly and funny too. She was hired to train our teachers on any new (or old) technology that we have at the school. So what ends up happening sometimes is that questions that I would get now go to her which is good because it gives me time to do my job which is NOT training teachers on how to use technology. Unfortunately, it now feels like I’ve fallen out of favour with them. The other day one of the directors walked into my cubicle and sang-asked “Where’s my new favorite IT person?”… Stab me right in the heart, why don’t you? She sits in the cubicle next to me so I get sad now when everyone walks by me to go to her. She and my boss also have a long conversations about techy and teachy things that I wouldn’t appreciate. In my dramatic moments, I always text N that they’re edging me out and that I won’t have a job to come back to next year. But I think I’m okay, remember a few months ago I mentioned that I’d had the worst year end review ever. I kind of just had a pre-emptive on now since I’m going to miss the next one and he is extremely happy with my progress so I think I’ve done enough to keep my job at least :).

So, how’s our breech situation going? It’s the same. Let’s start at the beginning.

Last week I had an appointment with my old acupuncturist. It was great seeing him again and he was overjoyed for us. The session was relaxing as usual but he said it wasn’t necessary to come again unless I wanted to. He gave me a moxa stick to do moxibustion at home. This is a homeopathic way to get a breech baby to turn. I haven’t used it yet because it doesn’t smell the best. You’re supposed to hold the smoking moxa stick a few centimetres away from the outside of your pinky toe for a few minutes. I don’t know how it works but there have been a few studies on it on the evidence based birth website. So I’ll try it.

On Friday I had a chiropractor appointment. He pulled a face when I said that I was almost 37 weeks almost like he didn’t think it was enough time but he said he’d like to see me twice a week until I deliver and we’ll do everything we can. Let me just say that the chiropractor is awesome! I felt so go afterwards. And it looks like my hips are way out of alignment which explains my back spasms, I guess. I’m happy I found this guy.

Other stuff I’ve been doing is what they called a breech tilt. Just laying at an incline with your hips above your head. Most women can’t do this for long but I find I can lay there for well into an hour long tv show. It feels good to get the pressure of my hips.

There are other exercises on the spinning babies site that help but they tend to make me dizzy or I need a helper and both N and I are too tired when we get home.

Other than that I’ve just been chatting to Lucky and asking him to please turn but if he doesn’t I won’t be mad.

At my appointment yesterday I learned that he is still frank breech. His head and feet are literally protruding on my left side and it’s extremely uncomfortable. He’s also small still. Growing but small. He’s below the 10th percentile at 5.5lbs (2.5kgs). My doctor isn’t concerned. She thinks he’s just small but she wants me to do a level 2 ultrasound on Monday to make sure the placenta and cord are still doing their thing. If that’s all good then we can proceed again with ECV discussions. She felt around on my tummy and kind of gave me an idea of how they’ll try to move him. I’m feeling a little nervous about the pain involved in an ECV but I still think it’ll be worthwhile option to try.

Oh, we also had a doula class last Friday which made me feel a lot better about the situation. There was another couple there who are due 3 days before us and her baby is breech as well. She’s thinking about just going ahead with the c-section though but she was also doing all the techniques that I am. They joked about us having a moxa stick party.

And that’s pretty much where we’re at right now. Sorry if this was a little long. Both of us continue to be healthy though and that’s paramount.

Next time I update my parents will be here which is super exciting. This week is going to draaag. I can’t wait to see them. Yay for mom’s cooking!

Meanwhile, my magnificent husband has been working day and night on upstairs to get it even a little livable before they come. My ability to help is really lacking though. I can’t really bend over and I get winded easily. I can do a few hours and then I’m tapped out so he’s been doing the walls (endless mudding and sanding) by himself largely and he’s just incredible. Hopefully we can do floors this weekend then we can just leave painting for another day.

Okay, that is it from me this week.

I hope everyone is doing well. Sending bucket loads of love to whomever needs it. xxx

4-ish Weeks to Go

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. I know it can be a difficult holiday for some. I, personally, have never had trouble with any family gathering. Even in low points in my journey I always found spending time with loved ones re-energising and I just love it. But if you do find any type of gathering saps your energy or makes you feel less than, then know that you are in my thoughts and I hope that you made it through Thanksgiving okay this year. xx

Ours was really good. I won’t bore you with details but it was nice to see everyone again and to catch up and more importantly to eat everything in sight.

Yesterday, I had another appointment. This time I wore my lucky IVF socks and I wrote down all my questions. I just wanted us to get on the same page instead of just sitting there and taking it all in. I’ve also decided that I do not want anymore cervical checks because they suck. So I saw the gel on the table and I was preparing myself to do some serious advocating for myself. Luckily I didn’t have to. It was just a quick blood pressure, fetal heartbeat and tummy measurement check. She said that she felt a head on my top left but let’s keep hoping this little stinker gets his act together.

She’s booked me for an ultrasound next week and if he’s still breech we’ll make an appointment to manually turn him. Woohoo! The socks worked and I didn’t have to fight for an ECV. We talked about how the procedure works, the risks involved and the success rates. I asked all my questions and wrote down all her answers (kinda) and we had a good talk.

I know an ECV isn’t ideal but I’d really like to avoid a scheduled c-section if I can. Or at least say that I’ve tried everything I can. If it doesn’t work and Lucky decides he’s happy where he is then so be it.

Real talk: I worry that I’ll experience some postpartum because I’m not getting the birth that I want. It makes me sad to think about it now. I mean I listen to birth podcasts, I’m on birthtube on fb (it’s great btw if you like birth videos). I read birth without fear blogs. I have fully immersed myself in this world and I’ve just stopped now because they make me sad thinking I may not get the opportunity. It really does feel like infertility again. Like I’m being robbed of something that should be the norm.

That being said, I have the tools to dig myself out of this funk. I have the experience of shifting my mindset and being okay with my new path. I can do it but right now it just hurts.

But I’m doing what I can. I’m looking for planned c-section videos and birth stories and working towards being okay with it. What’s helping the most is that when I think about the day we found out we were having little Lucky every single drop of  hurt and shitty feelings about how we got there was gone and it was just pure happiness. So I know for a fact that once we hear his voice and see his face, how he got into our arms won’t matter at all.

Right now I just have to get out of my own way and let life unfold.

I apologise if I sound a bit ungrateful but I’m hoping you can appreciate the feelings I’m feeling.

Today’s been a bit aggravating as well. I had the worst sleep of my life last night. I was just telling (humble bragging to) my friend that I’ve been sleeping really well considering, and last night I was up at 3 and just could not fall back asleep. Surrounded by 3 cats and a husband all happily snoozing. I just wanted to cry. Eventually I dozed off by some miracle only to have my alarm go off after what felt like 3 minutes. Then when I got to work my space heater died and let off a nice big smelly cloud of smoke which prompted the entire maintenance team to run downstairs to find out if the building was on fire. Now I’m sitting at my desk freezing with my winter coat wrapped around my legs (I work in the basement next to a server room so there will be no warmth for me ever).

Also, I’m working on a terrible project and the deadline is next Thursday. Guys, I finished this project last month but I needed help from a third party company that runs the site to fix a few issues before I submit. It’s taken a month… a month for these dudes to help. It’s so frustrating. Look, I don’t mind if you can’t find a solution. But don’t go missing for days at a time and make me run around after you and have to explain myself several times. I just hate it so much. I’m so angry. Luckily my boss is now involved and hopefully we’ll get it sorted by next week. Well we have to. But today is one of the days I would much rather just start maternity leave.

Okay, that’s enough whining out of this sorry sack for one day. I have appointments everyday this week (dentist, orthodontist, acupuncture and chiropractor) which I’m excited about. Hopefully my next update will be a bit less mopey and a bit more happy.

Until next time!!

Life’s a Breech

**Trigger warning! This is a “p” update. Please take care if you’re not in the mood for this type of post**

 

 

 

We’re in the final stretch.

I vacillate between “OMG we don’t have much time left!! We need to get XYZ done asap!” and “Meh, plenty of time. No need to be an eager beaver.” I haven’t actually done anything but I have plenty of lists. To-do, To-buy and the like.

We’re on weekly appointments now and yesterday’s one didn’t go like I’d expected. Last week she measured my tum and said that it’s a little small so she ordered and ultrasound to check his size. She didn’t seem concerned so I wasn’t either. I did do some Googling but I think I held it together well enough.

I had hoped to get some pics of his little face and perhaps a 3D one as well but unfortunately he’s decided he’s most comfortable in an incomplete breech position and his face was hiding so she couldn’t get any good pics except for the ones the doctor needed. So I saw the top of his head, his abdomen and his thigh bone and I heard his heartbeat. That was enough for me. All through the ultrasound he was squirming and fussing about. I don’t think he liked any of it.

At the appointment afterwards I was told that he’s 4lbs 11oz and in the 13th percentile for weight. She’s going to order another ultrasound in 2 weeks and if he drops to the 10th percentile she’s going to send me to a specialist. She never used the words IUGR or anything scary sounding so it’s probably just to make sure the placenta is working properly.

Then she casually mentioned that because he’s breeched that she’s likely going to do a scheduled c-section at 39 weeks if he hasn’t turned by the next ultrasound.

You know when you’re talking on the phone and someone else is having a conversation with you and you’re trying to concentrate on both voices? That’s how I felt. Like I was talking to the doctor on the phone about this impending c-section and my inner self was like “Wait, what?… What about feeling contractions?… Why 39 weeks?… Can we wait to see what happens?…” all the while the dr was talking and I couldn’t hear what she was saying over the voice in my head. She asked if I was okay with the idea of a c-section, I know that because I answered. I said I’m not at all afraid of a c-section but I’d like to avoid it. I know she mentioned an ECV (External Cephalic Version) and threw out a stat of it working but mentioned that it could put him under some stress. But that was all I caught. I know she said other stuff but it was just a buzz.

While I was trying to process everything she moved onto the glorious GBS test. That certainly took my mind of things. Goodness me!

I don’t remember much of the appointment after that just the words “scheduled c-section” over and over until I got home and jumped in the shower to wash the GBS test feeling off of me.

When N got home and I filled him in he basically asked all the questions inner me was asking. None of which I had an answer for because I  never verbalised them. I decided to text the doula to let her know what’s up and she quickly called me back with ideas on how to get him turn. Techniques on the spinning babies website (which I’m perusing now). Acupuncture. Chiropractor. And she talked a bit about an ECV as well as a last resort.

I’m looking into all of these things. I would be nice to see my acupuncturist again. The last time we saw him was for our 2nd failed transfer. We did pre- and post- acupuncture sessions with him.

I’m also just trying to wrap my head around this new plan in case he decides he’s happy in breech position. He’s really who’s in charge here anyway.

I’m not okay with it yet. I think I will be if I’ve tried my best and nothing works. But for now I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me and I’m frustrated and annoyed and trying to find my footing again. I’m also trying to not blame myself since this is clearly not something I have any control over. It just is what it is.

But Lucky is otherwise perfect and healthy. He moves almost all the time. I’m not sure if he’s active while I sleep because when I do sleep I am dead to the world. I struggle to drift off initially but then it’s on. I usually wake up 15 min before my alarm in the morning but I’m very lucky that it’s not interrupted by needing to pee all the time. I know I’m not drinking enough water but I also try to get all my water in before I leave work to avoid night time peeing.

And he used to be very still until around 7am but lately he’s up and dancing as soon as I wake up. Rests between 2 and 4 during the day then it’s on again for the rest of the night. He’s the most active when I’m trying to doze off. I often have to put my hand over him to get him to calm down just for a second to give me a break.

He reacts to loud noises now which is so cute. One morning N banged a hammer against the wall really loud and it definitely woke him up, poor guy and last night N yelled “Flip baby!” into my belly and he did a little jump. Not enough to actually flip though.

Other than that I’m doing quite well now that I have the hang of the 3rd trimester. The hemorrhoids are under control. The heartburn is annoying but I carry tums with me everywhere. I thought I found some stretch marks but it turns out it’s just a reaction to the kinesiology tape I was using. Driving is the worst but it’s bearable. The only thing I’m struggling with is that bending over actually hurts. Putting pants and shoes on is really difficult but I don’t want to ask for help to get dressed so I just moan and groan through it.

I’ll be doing more updates as the weeks roll on since I guess things will probably ramp up now. In the mean time, here’s to getting this boy to flip.

 

October Favourites

October is done already??? I woke up to this message in my friends Whatsapp group the other day and had a mini panic attack.

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But I have a feeling this month will drag. Let’s see.

Anyway, on to this month’s favourites!

 

I only have one that has been sticking in my mind all month. We really haven’t been out at all and I haven’t had a chance to try anything new.

So… we’re a “meals in front of the tv” kind of family. Always have been. Even growing up, we only sat at the table as a family for Sunday lunch.

And it’s not without trying. We’ve tried meals at the table but it always falls by the way-side and we end up in front of the tv again. Whatever, maybe when little one starts solids we’ll move our way to the table again.

With the renovation, we have been working extremely hard on the weekends because N gets home too late during the week and I have no energy when I get home. And it’s just the 2 of us. Up at the ass crack of dawn until 5ish. It’s awful. But. I am loving it.

Every morning we lay in bed for a bit and complain a bit about how much this sucks. Then N gets up and gets dressed and feeds the cats. I lay for a bit longer but eventually I get up and make breakfast.

During breakfast we’ll chat about what needs to get done and we’ll talk and joke about little Lucky and generally just catch up. Then N ties my shoelaces for me ❤ and off we go. We pick a Spotify playlist (right now we’re on 90’s RnB) and while working we joke around about the music and other random stuff. It’s not all sunshine and roses though, the work part. My husband is a perfectionist and I am the opposite. He gets grumpy with me when I make mistakes on the dry wall cuts and stuff like that but I think for the most part we make a good team. If it wasn’t for his drill sargenty ways we wouldn’t get any of this done. And if it wasn’t for me being relatively calm and blasé about some things then we wouldn’t be married anymore :).

At lunch time we order take out because there’s no way I’m cooking during the weekends now. And I love me some take out!! We usually check our phones or Skype with my parents or just catch up and chat before that final push of the day.

By the end of the day we have just enough energy to take a shower and plop our asses on the couch for some binge tv series watching while N catches up on work. My poor guy has been working terribly hard. I’m so proud of him.

I was sending pictures of our progress to a friend and complaining about how rough it’s been but I also said that I’m loving our time together.

My favourite time and my definite October favourite is breakfast and lunch breaks when we’re just chatting. We’re a techy phone family so it’s nice to take a break and talk to each other. I feel like this reno has brought us closer together. You know how misery loves company ;). I’m finding out new things about him and vice versa. When there’s a song that triggers a memory then we’ll share stories about our past. Sometimes N will open up about things he hasn’t before. We have more inside jokes now. And I’m loving watching him say and do things with Lucky in mind. I know that he really wants everything done before he gets here but he also wants things done perfectly which is lovely to see. These lunch time catch ups are really my favourite part of this reno. We’re making great memories.

It’s been really really difficult job, but it’s coming along nicely. We have lights up (which I did myself, if anyone asks lol) and we’re almost done with the walls. After that it’s just mudding the dry wall and then floors and making the lights switches and outlets look pretty. We’re definitely NOT going to have the bathroom done. We don’t even know what we want it to look like yet. But it’s not a big deal. I think for this being a 2.5 man job we’re doing really well and I’m proud of us.

And as much as I hate the actual physical work, I love getting spend time with my husband just us two and I’m soaking it up because it’ll only be just us two for 4 more weekends (my parents land Dec 10th).

It’s not your ideal babymoon but when it’s all done it’s going to look great and it will have been a true labour of love and I’m really loving it.

Happy November everyone! I know the holidays are coming up and it’s a difficult time for most of us. I’ve always loved this time of year but it’s not been without it’s difficulties, of course. But I hope we’re all able to find at least one favourite thing for this upcoming month.

Thinking of all of you and sending all my love to whomever needs it.

xx