Thursday, July 7, 2011

Big update!

I've been slacking in updating, but up until the last week or so, there hasn't been much to report.

Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to a wonderful workshop centred around healing birth trauma. Thank you so much, Arie for organizing and hosting it, I found it to be a valuable experience and look forward to the next one.

She gave us some "homework", that I've been working through. Just a few questions about what I feel about this and that, and ultimately how I'd like to feel about it. I'm still sorting through a lot of those feelings, but I'll be happy to share them once they become a little more cohesive.  She also encouraged us to share our stories, which I have in this blog. You'll find the details of Lyra's birth a few entries below this one.

In other news, and the news many have been waiting to hear: We had our big ultrasound yesterday!

I went in feeling nervous and frightened. I feared going through what we did after Lyra's scan:

My ultrasound was on a Friday at around 2 PM. If I had been more receptive, I probably would have picked up that something was wrong at the time. The sonographer kept leaving the room, and coming back saying that she needed to get more measurements. Little did I know she had been reporting back to the radiologist about all the abnormalities she was finding. By 4 PM I had two voicemails; one from the clinic I was currently seeing and another from the obstetrician who ordered the scan. I wasn't home in time to receive the messages and call back. Though I knew in the field of medicine that no news was good news, and that a phone call this urgently was surely not good news. 

So I waited all weekend on pins and needles. Monday morning, both clinics called back. Momcare gave me a brief synopsis of the findings and asked me to come in. My boss drove me to the clinic right away. I was told that there were a handful of markers for Down Syndrome and Cystic Fibrosis. My baby girl had echogenic bowels (commonly found in babies with T21 and CF). Her umbilical cord was uncoiled and smooth, and she had several heart decelerations which were sluggish to recover. This could have indicated a congenital heart defect. The did some math with the results of my quad screen and told me I had a risk of 1:100 for chromosome disorder.

I was crushed.  They quickly made arrangements for me to have a targeted scan at the Perinatal Clinic, and set up an appointment for us to meet with a genetic counsellor.  

We had the follow up scan at the Perinatal Clinic a week or so later, and their result were inconclusive. They urged us to consider an amniocentesis, but I wasn't comfortable with the risk of losing what could be a perfectly healthy baby. We met with the genetic counsellor, who drew a confusing graph made of triangles and squares all joined with convoluted lines, and established that because my partner isn't caucasian, that it was unlikely for him to be a carrier for the CF gene. CF is a recessive allele, so we both would have to be carriers to result in an affected child. 

We decided to decline any further testing, and hope for the best.  

Of course, she is just fine.

You can imagine, after an experience like that, that ultrasounds are a nerve-wracking event for me. I was on edge initially, as we had the same "I can't find it!" sonographer as our early scan (go back a few entries for that gem of a story), but she didn't beat around the bush and she didn't force me into small talk. Though I wasn't allowed to seethe screen, she did walk me through what she was measuring. she didn't get edgy or nervous, nor did she leave me a lone at any point to go talk to someone else. She answered my questions to the best of her ability: I wanted to know the location of my placenta (it is posterior), and the lie of the baby (transverse/oblique at that time), and she answered them with no hesitation.

She finished her measurements quickly and allowed me to empty my bladder and get Chris, so we could look at baby together. She showed us the heart and we watched it beating, and she took a measurement of 144 BPM, she showed us baby's face and nose, arms and legs, shoulders, feet and spine, and then all the internal organs- stomach, intestines, kidneys. she assured us that everything looked great and baby was a perfect size per gestational age.  Our baby, so perfect:

She was about to shut off the machine and go get our prints when I spoke up and asked her

"Do you think you could tell us what the baby is?" (I almost lost my chance! And I certainly didn't want to pay $125 at a private clinic just for gender determination)

"Oh, of course! I don't tell unless I've been explicitly asked, as I don't want to ruin anyone's surprise"

So she put the transducer back down and found baby's legs, showed us the thighs and zoomed in

"Well, if baby is a boy, there would be a scrotum hanging right about here..."

She pointed at the are with her cursor

"But, I don't see one.. So, tentatively I will say you've got a little girl. But that's not conclusive so lets get a closer look..."

She zoomed in a little more. Lo and behold, there were the telltale three white lines. Little tiny labia.

We are having another little GIRL, and we are so incredibly thrilled. I wanted Lyra to have a baby sister SO badly. Being a big sister and having a sister is the most wonderful blessing and gift. I am so glad that she will have the same chance to have a built in best friend forever. I am so very excited to see them grow up together.

What a wonderful, healing ultrasound experience!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I'm  been having some "holy shit" moments. I had an appointment with Noreen last week and heard baby's heartbeat for the first time. It's real. This is happening. I have it in my head that babies don't happen on the first try. My mind thinks you get pregnant and lose a baby before you get pregnant and have a live one.

Not this time. This is a baby that wants to be born.

Holy shit, right?

I've been reading a lot. I plowed through "Silent Knife" faster than I've ever read anything else. Though it's old, it's still so relevant today. It was so reassuring, and laid out the facts about cesareans and VBAC in a way that makes it hard for me to go on feeling scared or uncertain.

I also read "Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife", which at some points had me howling with laughter and at other points sobbing into the sleeve of my shirt. It was so refreshing, either way, to read such a vast collection of stories about NORMAL BIRTH. I'm beginning to forget that what that even means.

I attended two births this month; the first was a stat c-section with no trial of labour, and the second was a very emotionally charged birth, my oldest friend, who was attempting a natural childbirth with a midwife, who stalled out at 4-5cm with a macrosomic and asynclintic baby after labouring for hours. Needless to say I feel a little like a kicked puppy.

What makes me think I can do it? I'm trying my best to prepare and I'm pulling all the stops, but lingering in the back of my brain is that horrible nagging fear of failure. What if I don't succeed?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Moving right along

I'm feeling so much better about everything knowing the details of my birth. I know there's nothing wrong with me. Of course I'm angry that my c-section was completely unnecessary, but at the same time, I am safeguarded against it being at home rather than in a hospital.

I have a little reading list compiled, and I'm slowly working through it. I just finished Diana Korte's The VBAC Companion: The Expectant Mother's Guide to Vaginal Birth After Cesarean. Much of this particular book I skipped over, as it's geared mostly towards mothers birthing with an obstetrician in a hospital, but I found the birth stories to be a good read.

My friend Shannon loaned me her copy of Grantly Dick-Read's Childbirth Without Fear and I'm going to start on that tonight. Of all the books on my list, this is the one I've been looking forward to the most. It's come highly recommended by people that I trust, and I've actually used some of the information from this book (accessed through databases) to write an essay last fall.

I've also received shipping notices from Amazon for my copy of Silent Knife, which I'm also very excited to read.

Good things are happening in the universe. I like it.

Here is my 10 week belly photo. I think I'm about the same size as I was around 20 weeks with Lyra Go go gadget uterus!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Birth Story. In Two Parts.

I've wanted to share the story of Lyra's birth, but I needed to understand it before I could share it in it's entirety. I had my appointment with Noreen yesterday, and she was able to pull up the O.R. report from my surgery.  I'm going to try and format this entry in a way that tells the medical facts and my perceptions of them side by side. I hope it doesn't get too confusing, so I'll try and keep my side in a different font format than what I copy from the report.

Some of the details are hazy to me, and somethings I have probably forgotten entirely, but I'll try my best to give an accurate account of what happened

The Birth of Lyra June

Thursday, October 22, 2009 (39 weeks, 5 days)
My sister's eighteenth birthday. She chose to have her birthday at Dadeo's, a local cajun joint with awesome food and a 'no minors' sign on the door. I can't think of a better place to have been at that time. She was celebrating her new adulthood, and we were taking advantage of one of the last opportunities we had to dine in such an establishment without having to hire a babysitter. If I remember correctly, I had the veggie jambalaya. After dinner, we went across the street to Flirt for cupcakes.

Shortly after, we were in bed (Chris and I, not my entire family), watching Grey's Anatomy. I felt a little, um, wet. Honestly, I didn't think much of it because I had had some episodes of stress incontinence late in my pregnancy. I waited till a commercial (LOL!) and went to the bathroom and put on a pad. At the next commercial, it felt wet again. I hadn't laughed or sneezed, and I couldn't think of any reason why  I would be peeing, so I smelled it. Not pee. It had a sweet odour, which I knew to be characteristic of amniotic fluid.

We finished watching Grey's, and then I decided it would probably be a good idea to pack my hospital bag. Within an hour or two I started contracting. They were about 6 minutes apart, 30-45 seconds long, so I didn't really think much of it. I could talk through them, and was having no trouble coping. Within a few hours they had picked up, getting up to 1 minute long and between 3-4 minutes apart. I called Labour and Delivery at the Royal Alexandra hospital and they said if I was ruptured, that I should come in.

Friday, October 23, 2009
At around 3:00 a.m. we called a taxi and headed to the hospital. I was checked when i came in, found only to be around 1 cm dilated, but the nitrizine test came back positive- I was indeed leaking fluid. There was some debate as to whether or not I should be admitted or sent home. I knew it was in my best interest to go home and let things happen in comfort, but for whatever reason, they admitted me.

This is the start of an awful ride.

I was not admitted to L&D. They put me in Antepartum in a ward room with a woman in pre-term labour.  Because it was ward and outside of visiting hours, Chris was not permitted to stay with me. So we decided to go down to the closed food court in the basement of the hospital so we cold stay together. At around 8, I felt very tired, so I went back to my room, and Chris went home to feed the dogs and cats, and to pack up some edibles and other things I had forgotten to pack. He returned with my mum around 11 a.m. They had swung by A&W and brought me a veggie burger and onion rings. Chris had also stopped by the Safeway deli to get me some coleslaw- my last pregnancy cravings (Which have me gagging as I type this, pregnant yet again)

I ate, and then we decided to start walking. I paced the hallways for a couple hours, returning when they wanted to put the monitors back on. My contractions weren't getting regular, nor were they strong enough to be considered progressive. (Why wasn't I sent home? I clearly wasn't in real labour.)

At about 5 p.m. I was finally moved up into labour and delivery, and they started an I.V. for syntocinon. (Synthetic oxytocin). I lost my mobility, and it was here when I believe I lost my autonomy. I had been very firm in my desires up until this point, but as soon as I was moved to L&D, they insisted that I no longer wear my own clothes and they put me into a hospital gown. I hadn't wanted an IV, and now I had one. I was no longer allowed to eat. I could have ice chips, but I wanted food. The contractions were now starting to come closer together and felt much more strong. I could no longer talk through them. I clamped my eyes shut and breathed. Chris held a vibrating massager to my lower back and I hummed through my contractions.

By 10 p.m. I was exhausted. I had now been up for nearly 40 hours. I accepted a shot of morphine. I was checked and my cervix was 1.5-2cm dilated. I was losing steam and confidence. The morphine did little for the pain, but it did wonders in making me stupid.

Saturday, October 24, 2009
Around midnight, I was checked agan, and found to be stuck at 2cm. At this point they began talking about surgery.  They suggested I consider an epidural, and seeing if being able to rest wold help me to dilate. I accepted their offer and the anesthetist came in shortly. He was very unpleasant. He kept getting short with me, barking orders not to move. I was devastated that my labour had come to this, and trying to hold still for a needle in your spine while you're sobbing isn't exactly easy.

The anaesthesia kicked in shortly, and I slept. Meanwhile, they had increased my syntocinon to maximum per body weight. I was spiking a fever, if I recall correctly it was 105 degrees. Lyra's heart rate was spiking as well, up n the 200's.

At 4:30 a.m., I was checked once more and found to be 2.5cm dilated, and I was wheeled down and prepped for surgery, which began around 5 am. Here is the dictation for the surgical report (and I am including it verbatim): My notes are in black.

Preoperative Diagnosis: Pregnancy at 39 plus 5 weeks' gestational age. Spontaneous rupture of membranes, Failure to progress in first stage. Query Chorioamnionitis (amniotic infection)

Procedure Proposed: Primary lower segment transverse cesarean section after trial of labour

Indications: Patient is a 25 year old, Para 3, Gravida 0 who arrived with spontaneous rupture of membranes at 39 plus 5 weeks' gestational age. On arrival, her cervix was 2cm dilated and despite Syntocinon for many hours, she never proceeded beyond 2cm to 3cm dilated. She began to have fetal heart rate abnormalities; however, overall the fetal heart continued to show good variability. We offered her an epidural and she accepted this offer. We then let her attempt to dilate her cervix with the epidural in place. This did not happen and her cervix remained 2 cm to 3 cm dilated. We, therefore, made the decision to go forward with a cesarean section. She was made aware of the risks and benefits and she consented for the surgery. 

Procedure (WARNING: GRAPHIC): The patient was brought into the operating room and received a top up of her epidural anesthesia by Dr. Scott Paterson. The patient was then placed in a supine position and draped in the usual manner. A foley catheter had been inserted into her bladder. 

A Pfannensteil skin incision was made in the anterior abdominal wall and taken down to the level of the fascia using sharp and blunt dissection. The fascia was incised transversely and the incision was extended using Mayo scissors. Cautery was used to achieve hemostasis.  The fascia was then dissected off the bellies of the rectus muscle. the rectus muscles were retracted laterally exposing peritoneum, which was entered without complication. 

There was a fair amount of ascites indicating obstructed labour (Dr. Google tells me this is a build-up of fluid). The lower end of the Balfour retractor was placed and the vesicouterine peritoneum was incised. The bladder was then dissected off the lower segment of the uterus. 

From a vertex position, a live female infant was delivered spontaneously with no complication. The NICU was in attendance. The infant was vigorous at birth (If she was so vigorous, why was she admitted to NICU?). Cord blood and gas were drawn and sent for further analysis. 

Lyra June Staples was born on October 2, 2009 at 5:22 a.m. She weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces, was 20.5" long and her head circumference was 13.5". Her daddy was able to cut the cord.

The placenta was sent to pathology. The patient had received antibiotics preoperatively. The interior content of the uterus was swept with a clean sponge after the placenta had been delivered. The uterus was then externalized and Green-Armytage clamps were placed both medially and laterally. the uterine incision was then closed in a single-layer closure. The uterine incision was then inspected and hemostasis required two figure-of-eight sutures.

The subfascial space was inspected and hemostasis required cautery. The fascia was then closed in a nonlocking 0 Vicryl suture. Subcutaneous fat was inspected. Hemostasis required cautery. The skin was then closed using staples.

The patient returned to the recovery room in stable condition. The sponge and instrument counts were correct at the conclusion of the case (Oh good, they didn't leave anything inside me) Estimated blood loss was 700 mL. 

Lyra was brought up to the NICU while I was in recovery. As far as I remember, I was in recovery for quite some time before they moved me into postpartum. I think it wasn't until around lunchtime when i was finally allowed to be wheeled up into the NICU to properly meet her. I almost had to laugh a her being there. She was in a pod next to a set of micro-preemie twins and she was, by far, the biggest baby up there.

She stayed in NICU for about 36 hours, they paged me to come up to feed her. I had to hobble up there with my bum IV pole and my catheter hanging out to another wing on another floor. It was awful. They finally released her to me on Sunday evening. She slept with me that night, and Monday morning, Dr. Halleran said that I might be able to go home that evening. But of course, no one seemed to know who Lyra's pediatrician was, so they had no one to discharge her. I ruffled some feathers and ended p getting them to call in one of the peds to sign off on her case so we could finally go home. I think we officially signed out at around 8:00 pm. It was so wonderful to finally be home.

Now reading this report n retrospect, makes me so sad. It admits, 100% that my cesarean was unnecessary:

1. Why was I admitted? I wasn't in labor, and I was leaking, not completely ruptured. I imagine had I been able to go home, that leak would have sealed and I'd have continued to be pregnant for another week or two.

2. Her heart rate had spiked, but the report says that there was still good variability, which from what i understand is the important thing- not the rate itself, but how it changes in response to stimuli.

3. Failure to progress in the first stage. Of course. I WASN'T EVEN IN REAL LABOUR.

4. Why was Lyra sent to NICU? They said she was having oxygen desaturations, but as far as I remember from her monitor and the reports, her 02 was 98%. Her apgars were good- she was born screaming. Does this look like a sick baby?

At least now I know there is nothing wrong with me. I wasn't in labour, and they decided to try and force it. I'm a little concerned that my incision was closed in a single layer suture, which is associated with a slightly elevated risk of uterine rupture (up to 3% as opposed to <1%), but other studies I've looked at imply that that the risk is associated more with the type of suture used- vicryl being favourable over gut.

My midwife is not concerned, so I shouldn't be either. She did have a nice little chat with me about worrying. She very frankly told me that worrying will not get me anywhere and that worry does nothing to empower me. I need to trust my body, to trust birth and to trust her as my midwife. And she's right. 

Monday, April 25, 2011


I have my first appointment with Noreen on Wednesday and I need help coming up with a list of questions I should ask her.

On the top of my mind are the following:
1) Issues with my uterus- how we can deal with a possible slow to start labour, and what I can do ahead of time to prepare

2)What could have caused the spotting I had on the weekend.

3)If she would be willing to go over my hospital records with me and help me to make sense of them and help me to recreate a timeline of what actually happened.

Any other suggestions about what I should bring to the Q&A would be great.

In other news, I had quite a fright this morning when an ER doc from the hospital called to tell me my swab came back positive. Of course I panicked, and he went on to tell me I tested 'inconclusive' for yeast. So I may or may not have an asymptomatic yeast infection. Ridiculous.

Friday, April 22, 2011

What a terrible day

I had some brown spotting today. I knew I probably didn't have anything to worry about, but of course me being me, I flew into panic mode, left work at 3:00 and headed to the emergency room.

The ER was deserted when we got there, so I assumed we'd be able to get to the bottom of things pretty quickly. I got moved to the gyne corridor right away and a phlebotomist came right in to do my blood draws.

And then we waited. For three hours, completely forgotten about. I walked into the corridor in my little gown and bare feet and got a bit shitty with a nurse.

Lo and behold, 5 minutes later my bloodwork magically appeared and the doctor shuffled in with a speculum and a portable ultrasound unit. My betas and progesterone were both good, cervix closed and we saw baby- heart beating away.

I'm not sure why they didn't do the ultrasound initially. It would have eased my fears immensely and brought my blood pressure down a little. At triage, it had spiked to 30/40 points above baseline for me. (130/85, whereas I'm normally around 90/55). I'm pretty irked that I had to ASK for the results and that no one seemed to give two shits about me, but this is my experience with hospitals and doctors. (After my miscarriage, I had a radiologist tell me that it was "god's way")

At least I can sleep well knowing that everything is okay.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ultrasound Follow-Up

I just got home from visiting my G.P. who ordered my scan. Apparently that tech wasn't the greatest at her job. I suspected such. The radiologist who checked the measurements afterwards said baby measured 6 weeks, 6 days (I was 7 weeks by LMP on that day), which clears up all the WTF-ery I had going on in my head. It just wasn't possible to be six weeks.

The report says everything is normal, heartbeat still on target for that gestational age. The only anomaly noted was my uterus, but baby didn't implant in the septum, so I'm not worried about it. 

BUT one thing came up in my visit, that I thought was rather significant and I'm wondering why nobody told me this: Apparently, having a bicornuate uterus can make your contractions less coordinated and weaker, which would totally explain my slow moving labour.  You would think at some point that would have come up either DURING my labour or afterwards. I had a c-section- my uterus was at one point outside of my body, and nobody seemed to notice that little anomaly?

So glad to have a midwife this time around.

On the topic of which, I had the WORST dream last night. I was at my initial visit, and filling out a bunch of intake forms, and she looked them over, and told all the other girls "Congratulations, welcome to my practice:, and then she turned to me and said "I'm sorry Vyky. but you just have too many risk factors, I'm afraid I have to transfer your care". Worst. Worst ever.  That doesn't happen in real life, right?

I feel good. All of the things that had been eating at me have been all cleared up. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I just got off the phone with Noreen Walker, MY MIDWIFE!!!!!!!

I had her programmed into my Blackberry as she was on leave for a while, and her receptionist had emailed me asking to phone on April 6. So I set an alarm and did so on that date. She took my info and she was so lovely about it. She told me she could hear it in my voice how badly I wanted a spot. I think she is my angel, I am going to send her flowers, I know it was her.

So just now when my phone rang, and I went into the kitchen and looked at the call ID, I just about died. Initially I figured it was another rejection, but it was Noreen herself asking if I was still seeking care. I immediately started crying.

She walked me through her model of care, 90 minute visits with a group of other women, which I'm actually very excited for. She accepted my plea for a home birth, she agrees that it is in my best interest to stay home for the optimal birth experience. And should anything go sour, she has admitting privileges at the Sturgeon in St. Albert, which is the lesser of all the evils- the most mother and baby friendly hospital out of all of them.

I am just.. Speechless.  I have the silliest grin on my face. I am so incredibly grateful for the powers that be that put this together for me. I am bursting!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ultrasound Results

I had my dating scan yesterday afternoon, and like usual, it was a fairly unpleasant experience.

My tech had a serious case of verbal diarrhea. Like, she completely lacked the filter between her brain and her mouth. She tried to get a good view abdominally, but couldn't see anything. She kept saying "I don't see it, I don't see it". I was always under the impression that sonographers are supposed to keep a 'poker face' so to speak. She tried for a couple minutes before asking me to empty my bladder so she could do the ultrasound internally. Not my first time to that rodeo. Unpleasant, but almost preferable to the painfully full bladder.

She immediately became quite flustered. I suppose she is not quite used to navigating uteri with birth defects. I don't think I've mentioned it yet in this blog, but I have a mullerian tube defect that causes my uterus to have a septum. My uterus is heart shaped, as opposed to balloon shaped, and there is a partial wall that descends from the top into the lumen.

So anyways, she was quite discombobulated by this, as it took her quite sometime to even locate my pregnancy. It is up inside one of the lobes, she did eventually find it.  She dated me at 6 weeks, a full 8 days behind my suspected dates, but ironically this is exactly what they found at my dating scan with Lyra. She found a heartbeat immediately, which she times at 117 beats per minute (which I thought sounded very slow, but at 6 weeks, the heartbeat is typically 90-110 bpm)

Then she couldn't find my ovary. Like, she just could not find it. I am very sure I have two, but she kept saying it was hiding in my bowels. I'm not entirely sure how that's possible, but she did locate it eventually, and was able to identify my corpus luteum as well.

This ultrasound was different than any other I've had. I've always had to sit in the room silently with the tech while they measure, then wait while they show the radiologist, and then they come back to show you everything. The whole thing left me feeling kind of addled. I'm not sure if she was caught off guard by my malformed lady parts, and it flustered her, or if there's something wrong. And I feel so ambivalent about that, and that makes me feel guilty because  in theory, it should upset me.

Weird pregnancy is weird.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I was so happy this morning to see an e-mail from Heidi at JoySpring Midwifery this morning. Unfortunately reading is reduced me to a blubbering mess

"Unfortunately, I do not have a spot available for you. You will need

to stay with your current provider or contact another care provider
for your pregnancy.

We have included an info sheet on local resources that you may find
helpful, along with the brochure: "Healthy Birth Your Way"

We would strongly encourage you to contact a doula, they are worth
every penny, especially since you are having a VBAC! I am sorry that
we can not help you, I know how frustrating it is to not be able to
get midwifery care.

We wish you the best with your pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum."

Cool, sell the idea of a doula TO A DOULA. And attached was a slap in the face brochure that listed some popular pregnancy and birth titles, and links to sites that I should hope any mother in the area should already know about. And their recommended health clinic was the one I was WITH for my last pregnancy- the group of baboons that put me through hell and back in the first place.

I feel so defeated. Like the whole fucking world is ganging up to beat me down. WHY can't I have this? Who needs and deserves this more than I do? I don't even know where to go from here.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Some thoughts for today

I have to put some things out into the universe today.

I feel so guilty about the feelings I have and the choices I make.

Let's address the feelings first:
- I feel so "meh" about being pregnant. I didn't ask for this, and because I certainly did not plan it, feeling so unprepared is so alien. I am ALWAYS on top of it. On top of everything. I am so "alpha" in that respect. I just feel like the unpreparedness combined with the ambivalence will end up being this whole spiral of poor decision making. I can't afford to make bad decisions- I need to be able to carefully weigh my options and make informed choices.

About the decisions:
-I saw my GP on Friday, and he took a small history, kept calling my daughter "the previous pregnancy" (Umm, no, she is a sentient being), and suggested that I have an early ultrasound. There have been some little factors that have been eating away at me- my very dark test lines, early onset of symptoms, and I can feel my fundus at 6w4d. I think I would like to know if I'm farther along than my dates would suggest, or rule out the possibility of multiples.

I was asked just now what my body is telling me, and the question was like a punch to the stomach. Because I don't know! I like to think that I am in tune with my body, and that I am aware of what is happening inside of me. At least I thought I knew. I thought I knew my cycles and my signs of fertility, and I was confident in my ability to chart them, but yet I ended up pregnant while we were trying to avoid. And now I feel so confused about how "with myself" I actually am. I can't hear what my body s telling me.. All I can hear is "HOW IS THIS HAPPENING?!"

 I am just so confused and I feel simply uprooted. This is not doing anything for my confidence.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Feeling Defeated

I feel so beaten down already. I called the Royal Alex to request my records and they told me it would take six weeks to get them. Am I wrong to think that's a little excessive? As if they aren't completely computerized. So I inquired how long it would take if my doctor ordered them, and she said "Well.... 24-48 hours". Right. So me wanting to be knowledgeable about my own health history is such a burden right? In any case, I booked an appointment with my family doctor. Somehow, the stars have aligned for me and his receptionist managed to squeeze me in on Friday at lunch time.  I'll have him request them for me, and hopefully have them early next week, so I can start to piece the details together.

I'm debating having him run Betas. I'm back and forth over whether or not I want to. One one hand, I am completely perplexed by my totally asymptomatic-ness. On the other hand, I spent my entire pregnancy with Lyra worrying about everything...

This is one issue I won't ever forget- prenatal testing and all of the awful, heartbreaking results that come out of them. They told me my daughter probably had down syndrome and/or cystic fibrosis, all because of a few clinically insignificant soft markers in her ultrasound. I assure you she has neither of those conditions. One of the doctors at the clinic even went so far as to tell to me the story of her 28 week stillborn baby. There is a time and a place for self-dosclosure, and that was definitely NOT one of them. it was completely inappropriate and I will never forget that.

Because of the horrible experiences we had with prenatal testing, I swore to myself I would never put myself through that again. Of course it's easy to say such a thing without being in that position again.  I know I have no reason to be worried- I'm not experiencing any pain, I'm not bleeding, my gut isn't telling me that something is wrong. I just don't trust my body. After everything I've been told about my reproductive system, how can I?

First, I was told that I might not be able to carry a pregnancy to term, because of my mutant uterus (muterus? LOL).  Then, when I did achieve pregnancy,  they told me there was something wrong with my baby. Then, weeks later at a scan they decided everything was fine. Of course as you know, after my birth experience, they told me my body was incompetent.

How can I move past these hurtful stigmas? How can I regain trust and faith in myself? Can I put to rest thee ideas that I am broken? How do you move past this?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Step One.

I have called and emailed every single midwife in the city. I am so fortunate to have been able to personally reach at least half of them. I had a very long conversation with Barb Scriver on Friday. She asked me to tell her my birth story, and I did so (as much as I could remember anyways), and she told me she could hear the hurt in my voice. She said she was obligated to give priority to repeat clients, but after that, she gives precedence to VBAC moms. I am hoping so badly that she accepts me into care. I felt so comfortable speaking with her.

In the forefront of my brain right is that conversation. As I was telling her my story, I was finding that I couldn't remember some of the details that I thought would be permanently ingrained into my mind. I can't remember what led to what, and why. I think in the time that has passed, subconsciously I have blocked a lot of it from my memory, because it is so incredibly painful to think about. I do believe that it is important for me to know what happened and to understand why, so I have just phone the Royal Alex and requested a copy of my hospital records. Maybe the clinical details will help me to piece it all back together.

Once I can assemble the clearer picture of what went on, I would like to share my birth story in it's entirety. For now, I only have a vague timeline, and my husband is no help in remembering. If you were to ask him, his account would be something along the lines of "She wet the bed during Grey's Anatomy, we didn't get any sleep, we walked around the closed food court, stuff happened, more stuff happened, I had to wear a stupid hat, they cut her open, and then Lyra was born". He's not very helpful.

I'm feeling positive today. Feel positive with me.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It begins.

This week, I was shocked to learn that I am pregnant.

This pregnancy is unplanned. It is not unwelcome, but being that I am the world's biggest control freak, being dealt a hand I didn't ask for is freaking me out. I am scared for myriad reasons. Will I love another baby as much as I love my daughter? When the new baby comes will I love my daughter less? These may seem like ridiculous thoughts, but my feelings are very real.

Perhaps what frightens me the most is that my daughter was born via caesarean section, for reasons I still don't fully comprehend. I have the scarlet letter stamped in my medical records, and already, at merely five weeks pregnant, I am experiencing an uphill battle. I need support- join my army, fight with me.

Firstly, midwifery care is sparse here. In a city with a metro population >1 million, we have ten practicing midwives. I was on the phone, control line on my HPT still developing, pants around my ankles and hands shaking, and I still was unable to procure a confirmed spot. Furthermore, there are only three local midwives who attend home VBACs, the other midwives prefer to attend them in hospital, and I firmly believe that the hospital is no place to give birth, but that is another post for another day.

I have started this Blog to help me along my way. I am damaged from my previous birth experience. I have lost faith in birth and in my body. Ina May assures us that we are not lemons, but allopathic professionals do a damn good job of convincing us otherwise. I have hope that writing here will help me heal, to nudge me along every step of the way. I have hope that over the next ten months I will have restored my self worth, and my confidence in my body. I have hope that my birth experience helps to heal the wounds of my past experience.

I just have hope.