Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pregnancy rollercoaster continues...

Lots been going on with my pregnancy in the past couple weeks. I've been having constant pain in my inner thigh for over a week now. I had an ultrasound and they didn't find any blood clots or deep vein thrombosis. That's a good thing but in the meantime, they don't know what it is (possibly varicose veins?) It's extremely tender and achy and throbbing. Basically it's no fun and I haven't found any relief yet. It just may be this way until I deliver, which is of huge concern to me regarding labor and delivery. All those wonderful labor positions I've been working on I can no longer do - I can't bend my leg, I can't squat, I can't get on all fours; it hurts to sit, to lay on my side with my legs touching... so how am I supposed to deliver a baby?

Speaking of delivering this big boy of ours... my midwife is having me do a consult next week with the Dr. she is under. Baby continues to measure big and therefore this is an "at risk" pregnancy. She had me do another ultrasound... the first ultrasound they measured the baby at 6.5 lbs; a week and a half later I had another ultrasound and he measured at 8.5 lbs, which proves to me how inaccurate the test is! How can a baby gain 2 pounds in less than 2 weeks, and wouldn't I also have had to gain more than 2 pounds during that time period?
They also are testing me again for gestational diabetes to see if that is a factor for baby's "bigness". I took the test this morning and haven't gotten the results yet.
So next week, my husband and I meet with the dr., she's going to gather all my info from my ultrasounds, from my diabetes test and do a pelvic exam and my midwife said not to be surprised if she recommends a C-section.
At this point, my husband and I are shooting for a vaginal delivery; we at least want a chance to begin laboring and then if I can't or if there's a medically necessary reason why I can't, then we'll go for a C-section. (please God, no) I'm trying to emotionally and mentally prepare myself ahead of time for it but so far, I'm not ok with it.
We are getting anxious for baby boo to come out... mostly so I won't have to be induced and he could come naturally. I feel like, the closer we get to my due date, the doctor is going to pressure me for induction or a C-section.
I'm so attuned to my body and waiting for any little sign that labor may be near, but reality is, I'm still a month away from my due date and he could come late.
I'm still trusting that baby will come when he's supposed to come and really, I don't have much say in the matter if I want him to come on his own. But I feel abandoned by my midwife and very disappointed that she seems to be passing me off to the dr. and that she will not support me if I decide to go against doctor's wishes for a C-section. This is the very reason I went with a midwife. Maybe her hands are tied and legally she has no choice. And if there was a medical reason for all of this (like if my gestational diabetes test comes back positive) than that's a different story. But no longer working with me because tests that are reliable 50% of the time are saying I'm having a "too big" baby doesn't seem fair to me; that seems contrary to what midwifery is all about.
Well, here I go again, writing a very long post. Thanks for reading. Please keep us in your prayers.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Grumpy Bear

So I'm in a bit of a bad mood today. 33 weeks pregnant and I'm no longer enjoying this "renting my belly out for living space". I had no idea it would include such major home renovations. I'm uncomfortable 24/7 no matter if I'm walking or sitting or laying down. My hands and feet and legs are swollen, my back aches, my pelvis hurts, I see stars when I stand up... and to top it all off, I can't even find relief in complaining because I feel guilty for complaining. I love my precious baby boo. He can't help any of this... (nor can my husband help any of this and yet I'm afraid I've been taking it out on him a bit today... He made the mistake of saying something about how difficult the delivery turns out to be isn't as important as having a healthy baby, blah blah blah... or at least that's what I heard and I got all mad and said something about him having no right to say anything about the "discomfort" of labor or delivery when I'm going to be doing all the work. Of course I shared this with him in a very loving tone. Thinking back on it, our conversation made me feel alone... like when it comes down to it, I have to get this baby out by myself. No one else can do it for me. Yes, there will be people there to support me - wonderful people which i am so grateful for - but it will be my body doing the work and feeling the pain and I just don't know if I'm up for it. I felt more confident in 2nd trimester when I was feeling better. How am I supposed to get through the labor and delivery when I'm feeling so physically uncomfortable and achy? And baby has so much more growing to do... I'm still 7 weeks away from my due date.)

I think I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed as well. Baby could come now, he could come in a month, he could come in two months... or more... There's lots to do but I feel like I can only do a little at a time before I get too tired or my back starts hurting or any of my other random body parts start aching and swelling.

This "grumpy moodiness" all began with an ultrasound I had this morning. On one hand, it was a wonderful experience. I loved seeing my baby - he looks great – all ten toes and fingers; strong, steady heartbeat; a head of hair, chubby cheeks and a round belly (like his momma). The tech measured him and calculated he's about 6 ½ pounds (at 33 weeks, average for baby's weight is 4 ½ pounds). Not new news, I've known all along he's going to be a big boy. The tech said he'll most likely gain a ½ pound/week til he's due which puts him as a 10 + pound baby for delivery. I know what's important is having a healthy baby but to be honest, why do I have to have such a big baby? Why me? I was of average size when I was born. My husband, on the other hand, was 9 pounds 9 ounces. But I can't be angry at him because of that. He couldn't help it. I feel guilty for saying that I want a nice “normal” size baby. I should be grateful he's so healthy...

The ultrasound tech doesn't believe that my due date (July 1) is necessarily wrong but that most likely they will not let baby boo come that late. I like the idea of not having to be pregnant until July 1 (or after). But I don't like the idea of being induced. Who knows, maybe he'll come early on his own... before he reaches 10 pounds. But I'm worried that he won't. I'm worried that he's loving it in my belly and will be in no hurry to get out. I'm scared of the idea of being induced and all the interventions that often leads to... induction causing labor pains to come on so strong and so fast that I need to have an epideral... which means I can't be upright during labor which slows down labor, which often leads to C-section, etc...
My childbirth educator lead me to some research about the accuracy of estimating fetal weight through an ultrasound. (or more like inaccuracy). Research shows that in the third trimester, it's only about 50% accurate and yet from these predictions, women can be strongly pressured to have a C-section or be induced or other such interventions. For example, when the baby is predicted to be 'big,' the doctors often induce labor early in the mistaken belief that this will be more likely to result in vaginal birth. The opposite tends to be the case, in many cases, induction strongly raises the chance of a cesarean. Numerous studies have concluded that the best plan is not to induce labor or to have an elective cesarean. The research made me feel better. I allowed the ultrasound results to cause me to doubt myself and my body but the research helped me to stay strong and trust this pregnancy process.

I guess this is what they call "pregnancy moods". One day someone tells me I look fabulous pregnant and how cute I am and I feel beautiful and radiant and walk tall with pride. The next day I have an ultrasound where the tech predicts that I'm going to have such a “big” baby and I feel ashamed and huge and want to hide. Is this because I stopped running years ago and gained weight? Is this because I'm so out of shape? I wonder how much of this weight I'm carrying is shame.

I see my midwife next week and I look forward to hearing what she has to say about the ultrasound results. I just need to keep telling myself to trust my body, trust this baby and trust God. He knows my heart; He knows my fears. I won't let anyone turn me against my own body. Baby is as he's supposed to be... even if that means he's destined to become a baby sumo wrestler.