Friday, October 14, 2016

Waiting is not easy.

Still pregnant. 41 weeks today.

Monday, October 3, 2016

33 and very pregnant.

Today, I turn 33. I am 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I remember this time from being pregnant with Everett so clearly, because it is such a unique window of time. I am waiting for such a huge life change, bringing another being into the world and into our family, and it could happen today, or it could happen in two weeks. The days go by slowly in anticipation. I am trying to savor each moment of peace before the baby comes, but at the same time, I just want it to come today so we can begin the next chapter of our lives. I’m not sure if it is this way for everyone, but the waiting is so hard for me. I feel like I can’t be totally present in my life, because at any moment, I could have a baby! 

Here are some photos of Everett and me and my belly at the zoo on my birthday. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Trying to turn a breech baby.

Now, I am 38 weeks pregnant, and I have already been through quite the journey with this baby. After a lot of thought, Matt and I both made the decision to try to have a version to turn our breech baby. At church a few Sundays ago, we both walked away from the morning deciding that we would give the version a try, and we had a peace about it. 

With Everett, once we found out he was breech at 41 weeks, we scheduled an external version, and it took about twenty minutes, the doctor was standing and pushing the baby with all of his force. He was shaking and sweating, because he was pushing on my stomach so much. It was pretty painful throughout the process, and it didn't work. The baby wouldn't turn, and so we had a cesarean birth. 

This time around, we found out our baby was breech at 33 weeks, and at each doctor's appointment, it was confirmed it was still breech. I tried the exercises to turn it, and Matt and I discussed our options. We could try a version again or just schedule a cesarean birth. My fears with having another version were that I would be too disappointed if it didn't work to turn the baby, or if it did work, and then I ended up having a cesarean, I would be too disappointed. I wanted to just be at peace. Once we decided to have the version, I honestly didn't think it would work. We scheduled our appointment, and when the day came, I felt nervous but peaceful. We dropped Everett off at preschool after a particularly tough toddler morning, went out to breakfast, and then headed to the hospital. We checked in, waited, and then were taken back to our room. I changed into a hospital gown, the nurses put a heart rate monitor on me, and a newer nurse put an IV in me (that part didn't go so well). While we waited for our doctor, we listened to the baby's heartbeat and talked about how we might find ourselves in a room like this again in a few weeks in labor. It was all a bit surreal.  

This time was so different than the last time. Instead of standing, the doctor sat on the bed next to me, and slowly worked to move the baby. There were moments of pain, but nothing like the last time. It took only about five minutes and the baby turned! The version worked. I had to be monitored for the next hour to make sure the baby was okay, and I was actually having contractions every three minutes, so I had to be checked. Then, we were approved to go home. We ended our day with a slow walk along Sunset Cliffs before picking Everett up from preschool. This week, we had our follow up appointment, where we were able to have another ultrasound to make sure the baby is still head down, and the baby's head is far down.

From here on out, we wait. My birth plan this time is to have a VBAC if possible, and to wait as long as I can to have an epidural. If it doesn't work out, I already am at peace with that. If I have to have another cesarean, that is okay. 

I am just practicing gratitude for the journey I am on to bring another human into this world and into our family, and I know that how the baby comes into the world is not up to me. I am at peace with whatever happens, and I am looking forward to meeting our little one. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Waiting for baby.// A day at the park.

I am in an in between place in life, a place of simultaneously wanting time to stand still and yet anxiously awaiting the arrival of something beautiful. Soaking up moments when it's just our little family of three having an adventure, knowing soon we will be adding another person to the mix that will change the dynamic. Pausing to appreciate moments alone with my son, observing him play, imagine, explore, knowing that the times when it's just the two of us will be more rare. Feeling inspired by the work community I have as I prepare to take ten months off, and appreciating how the school I work at has shaped me. Trying to savor every little belly kick and movement, as I become more and more uncomfortable each day. 

A part of me wants the baby to be here already so we can jump into this next chapter of newborn bliss, extreme joy, incomparable love, tears, sleep deprivation, and all of the highs and lows that come with caring for a new little human. I want to meet our new family member and know if it is a boy or a girl. And yet I want to relish these last weeks with the baby still inside, because I know that so much change will be happening with the arrival of our new little one. 

The good thing is that I have a lot of peace about what is to come, even though there are a lot of unknowns. How will our baby be born? Will it turn or still be breech? When will it be born? How will Everett respond? Will breastfeeding be any easier this time? I am nervous, but mostly just really excited to get to be a mother of two.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Acceptance and gratitude.

Last week, at our 33 week doctor's appointment, we found out that we have a breech baby. That would be breech baby number two for us. I was hoping for a VBAC for a number of reasons, but it looks like that may not be in the plan for us this time around. 

Going into this pregnancy, I let go of all of my expectations for what I hoped for for this birth. I learned so much from the struggles of my last pregnancy, birth experience, and postpartum time. Perhaps these lessons would not have been made so clear to me if everything had gone the way I would have hoped for. 
  • During my last pregnancy, I ended up having six ultrasounds throughout for different little bumps in the road, which further helped me to realize that the most important thing is to have a healthy baby, regardless of how they enter the world. The word that I kept coming back to throughout my pregnancy with Everett was gratitude. Things didn't always go according to plan, but I was determined to be grateful, and focusing on gratitude instead of the challenges changed my perspective. 
  • At 41 weeks, we found out we had a breech baby (what a surprise that was to us). After that appointment, I was devastated, and cried a lot trying to process this new information. We ended up having a beautiful birth, despite it being not what we had hoped or planned for. I am a planner, and we had taken a birth class, hired a doula, and we had a birth plan all typed out. None of those things came into play for our birth, but it was a beautiful, life changing experience that was the best day of my life. 
  • After we welcomed our baby into the world, we struggled so much with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and yet, I did it, through many tears in the beginning, but it grew into one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced in my life.
The hard parts of the journey helped me to focus on and appreciate the beauty even more. 

This time, as I go into the end stretch of carrying this baby, I just want to be at peace. I want to spend this time leading up to having the baby focusing on Everett and being grateful for the opportunity to do this all again, and I don't want to worry if the baby will turn or not. I will not be stressed or disappointed if I have another cesarean birth. Whatever happens will happen, and I will be present and grateful. This baby will make its way into the world how it is supposed to, and I will enjoy the magic that is carrying a baby for over nine months and then witnessing it be born.