Monday, November 4, 2013

Happy second birthday baby girl

My little one turned 2 today. 2 years since she entered our life. And boy what an entry that was. Its easier to think back about her birth now. Not as many tears. I just try to focus on the joy she has bought into our lives. Her surgery scars seem such an integral part of her now - another ECMO mom calls it angel kisses. Yup, that's where the angels touched her, so she could continue to brighten this world. 2 years and I never got around to writing my birth story. Talk about procrastination.

We have a small birthday party planned for her. I started with really small, and now my small has turned into more than 20 people (kids and adults). We'll see how that goes.

I am 28 weeks along now. I wrote in my last post that I feel perfectly normal. And karma did come back to bite me! Third trimester has hit me like a ton of bricks. I feel so so tired all the time. Like I want to sleep all day. Which is impossible when you have a toddler. Its like I am dragging myself around just trying to get by. I don't remember feeling this tired with my first. Maybe I am older? Maybe its because running after a toddler adds to the work. I also feel like this baby is so much lower. I can literally feel hiccups in my crotch. I can almost feel her sitting on my rectum!! I know, TMI. There's time I stand up mid-pee 'cause it feels like she may fall out.

Last, but not the least, I just bought the home study course of Hypnobabies. Once I receive it, hopefully I will put enough effort into it to reap its benefits at the time of labor. Somehow I have a feeling another pitocin delivery is on the cards, and I want to be prepared for those contractions from hell.

Hypnobabies plus a doula = hopefully an uncomplicated unmedicated birth. Here's hoping.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Its a....

Let me rephrase. Its another girl!! I realized its been crazy long since I checked my blog feed. And what do I see, but two other bloggers also just announced that they are having girls!! 'Tis the season for pretty frocks, lots of sparkle and pink bows.

With our first, I had convinced myself it was a boy, just because I wanted to be prepared to handle the disappointment, just in case it was indeed a boy. I was super excited to learn it was a girl, since that is how I always pictured my life - married with two girls. Its probably because I have a sister and I am so close to her.

This time around, I was somewhat neutral about the gender. Yes, still slightly biased towards a girl, but a boy was absolutely ok too (not that it wouldn't have been ok the first time, of course it would have been fine!). I was more concerned about the anatomy part of the scan - is the heart ok? Does he/she have 10 fingers and toes? Then the tech told us it was a girl, and hubby and I looked at each other smiling. Great, we don't have to invest in a whole new wardrobe. Deep down though, I had this teeny been itsy bitsy niggle - a boy would have been nice too. Maybe its because we don't plan to have any more kids, so I know its two girls and we are done. So I will never know what it feels like to be the mother of a boy. Does that make sense? It was a strange feeling, especially because I had never pictured myself ever as a mother of a boy. No wonder Gautam Buddha calls desire the cause of suffering.

I am once again loving the squirms, kicks, hiccups and all things baby inside of me. I can't believe I have only 15 more weeks or so of experiencing this lovely miracle of what will probably be my last ever pregnancy. Its hard letting go...knowing that I may never experience these feelings ever again.

Meanwhile, I am research and reading up as much as I can about natural child birth. No I am not a crunchy mama. I dare not take an epidural because I am so scared it will bring on all the complications it did for my last pregnancy, so I am trying to be prepared for pain-relief free labor.

If anyone has any insights on hypnobabies, do let me know.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The doula hunt

We are finally back home after a long forced vacation. Vacations are supposed to be fun, but this was no fun vacation, what with Ava falling ill every week or so including a bout of viral fever accompanied by severe vomiting that almost got us in the hospital.

Its good to be back. And now I can finally focus on my current pregnancy. As you all know, I had a really traumatic labor and delivery with my first. I have never posted the complete labor story here, some day I hope I will. Even if I did end up with a vaginal delivery, I do blame the OB and hospital for decisions that I believe got my baby girl into the hospital NICU, fighting to live.

This time around, we decided we wanted nothing to do with that hospital, or the OB practice. We had our first OB appointment in the States with a new doc at 14 weeks. We will be delivering at a different hospital. So far so good...but I'll never trust any doctor ever again. Everything here onwards will be taken with a grain of salt.

After the experience I had with my first birth, where we felt so lost, lonely and helpless, I felt that I really needed a doula. I had never heard of doulas till my first pregnancy. But even then, it was just a passing glance. I thought, if I had so many nurses and doctors at a hospital, why would I need one more person, who is not even medically qualified to add to the mayhem. I now wish I did have a doula during my first delivery. The more I read about doulas, the more I feel that a doula would have helped us take the right decisions, supported us emotionally, and helped me get through the worst of the pain. It may or may not have changed the outcome of baby girl going into distress, but one can only wonder.

Doulas are expensive, anywhere from 500 - 1200 $ (less or more depending on training, number of births attended etc). Its hard to convince oneself to part with so much money, especially when one doesn't know how well spent the money will turn out. Still, it seems a fair amount for some peace of mind and support during labor. The other reason I would really like a doula is because this time, I am hoping for as unmedicated a birth as possible. Last time, the epidural was a big reason things went from bad to worse. As much as I would love another epidural, I am all too aware of its side effects and complications, especially on me. So I hope to labor with minimal pain relief. But I feel like I can only get through that pain if I have a labor coach, someone who will help me through those killer contractions.

So far, I have picked 3 doulas to interview (one person charges 500, one 800 and one person 900). I have met with one person so far. She is also an instructor for childbirth classes, so I am sure she has a lot of tricks up her sleeve. I like her. I don't know if I love her. She tends to push "all natural" a lot, whereas I am of the opinion that interventions happen for a reason. I still wonder if a C-section would have actually helped baby girl as opposed to the stress of the vaginal delivery. I am not sold on her yet. We are meeting with the other two doulas soon, so we'll see how that goes.

I have heard some negative stories about doulas as well, but then again, everything has a positive and negative angle to it. I hope I can trust my instinct and pick the right person to help me through labor this time.

As far as pregnancy goes, its been similar to the last time. I rarely if ever feel pregnant. I guess I am lucky that way. I've always loved being pregnant, and I feel the same way this time. This time I had mild nausea, but nothing to complain about. 3 weeks of feeling nauseous on and off and minimal interest in food is nothing compared to horror stories I have heard. Just today I was talking to a friend who said she was so sick of throwing up, she almost wished this would end (she didn't really mean it, but you can't blame someone who is head down in the toilet most of the day).

A few things different this time is I started to show much sooner. I had a small belly from week 13 and I actually look pregnant, not just fat, at 17 weeks. Last time, even at 20 plus weeks, I was barely showing. I also started feeling flutters from week 14, and I can feel some movement on and off, though not very consistent.

Last, but not the least, I keep thanking my stars that this time around, we were saved all the heart ache of trying to conceive.