Monday, May 31, 2010

Breastfeeding- final thoughts hopefully

I don't mean for this blog to become an all about breastfeeding blog but I wanted to give an update on how its going. Since last posting I stopped directly breastfeeding him, choosing to pump instead. Yesterday I had no spare milk and he was starving so I decided to nurse him. It went bad. We tried for 45 minutes and he screamed until his throat went hoarse. I guess this is what they call nipple confusion. I gave him to Jack who fed him formula and I ran upstairs and cried my eyes out in the dark. Today after a day of pumping and feeding I decided to try breastfeeding again. Again, he began screaming but Jack would take him away when he cried and soothe him and we'd try again. Finally he latched and though it took us a lot longer than it should he nursed successfully. And you know what? His eyes closed, his arms resting on my breast, it felt nice. When we got done he looked at me as though he was seeing me for the first time. He smiled at me and cooed and while I'm sure at this stage (three weeks) its probably gas like the books say, his little smile flew right into my heart and melted it completely. It gives me the strength to continue. I can't say the issue I've had with breastfeeding is over, after all, this is only a one time thing, but today I didn't cry instantly and I felt some hope. It also helped that Jack took a night feeding shift and my parents are visiting so I've actually managed to get more than four consecutive hours of sleep. When you feel more rested, things don't seem so dire.

It was hard to give formula. I wept and felt like such a failure. Then I read a passage from Momma Zen (seriously, if you're pregnant or parenting you must buy this book). She urges you to see food as food, to not look at it as representing failure or success. I've been fixated on breastfeeding = success and formula= failure that the feeding became way more than about the feeding, it become a matter of ego, a matter of me. This reminder helped me let go. Sometimes he will get formula- and its okay.

Another difficult issue about breastfeeding has been the time commitment. A feeling of being trapped (and I'm not alone in feeling this way). A lactation consultant told me law school required you to focus to get through it. Its hard but you did it because it was worth it. I'm trying to see it this way. Quitting law school tempted me countless times but I took it one day at a time and found my way through. Mama Zen talks about how parenting requires facing your ego (I swear she's not paying me to plug her!) I've lived thirty years and eight years of marriage on my own schedule. I'm not sure but perhaps this is playing a part here too.

I've heard at two months breastfeeding will get easier. Today I feel strong enough to get there. Maybe when I'm sleep deprived again I will feel differently- but I'm hanging on to this feeling today. I can't tell you how beautiful it felt for him to nurse on me and for there not to be instant tears springing to my eyes.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Done Waiting

I'm trying to take this feeding thing one day at a time. Each day is the day we're going to try the formula to see how he reacts but each day I end up rushing to squeeze another pumping session in. I only get a max of 2-3 oz per session. I heard I should pump at night to maintain supply but I can't bring myself to do it so I either directly nurse him at night or use a saved bottle of milk. If I go too long without nursing or pumping I wake up a disgusting leaky mess but its difficult to figure out how to choose between that or getting some precious drops of sleep in.

People keep telling me to stick with it and after three months it will get better. No. No. No. I will take it one day at a time. I can manage that but I am not waiting for three months. You see, I am done waiting. I waited a long time to get pregnant. I waited a long time to have this baby but now Sunflower is here. I'm swimming in his beautiful glossy eyes. His silky soft hair. His soft baby skin. I'm inhaling his baby smell as I soothe his cries by cuddling him against my body. He's beautiful and perfect and I waited a long time for him. I can hardly believe I saw him when he looked like a shrimp, then a peanut, then a skeleton waving hello. It was a long wait to meet him and now? I'm done waiting. I'm focusing on living and enjoying each moment. I refuse to stare at calendars any longer and miss out on a thing and what that means for my breastfeeding success is secondary to enjoying this miracle of mine in the here and now.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Two things they never told me

Three days. It's been three days since the baby blues have left the building. Thank you GOD. It truly feels like I was living in a fog and its finally dissipated. There are some things they never told me about in the books I had read, like 80% of women experience the baby blues. And that just because you struggled with IF and loss doesn't mean you're spared. I'm grateful for you all, and dear friends who helped me not beat myself up for the ugly thoughts that passed through my head. Letting myself feel the feelings helped them pass through me quickly.

Also, despite reading tons of articles, and books on breastfeeding, none of them told me how difficult it can be. I just finished a book that literally said there are no downsides to breastfeeding. And yet there ARE downsides, there are hormonal reactions that can happen, the act of feeding is exhausting and the constant requirement that one be available at the boob can be draining on a woman. I wonder if more women give up on breastfeeding because no one talks about this stuff. Had I known I could have prepared for it, instead I cried constantly and felt like a bad selfish mother. Little guy is still 100% breastfed but honestly I'm not sure how long I will continue. Formula is not acid and each day its siren call to me grows stronger- but you know, seeing his little face, it gives me the strength to try to hang on for one more day [I call it his Zoolander pose][Katery, recognize the outfit?? :)]:

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I've read your comments at least three times, its given me comfort to know that its okay to feel the way I do about breastfeeding. In case someone comes across this blog looking for information, I wanted to share the articles people left in the comments that I found fascinating and have helped me make sense of what I'm going through.

Anonymous shared this article about the studies about breastfeeding. While perhaps better than formula the over hype may be unwarranted.

Suzanne Jones (can't seem to link to your blog!) shared this about the rise of women pumping exclusively. This made me feel so much better.

Alyssa shared this website about a condition called Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reaction, an emerging condition that is being researched where a breastfeeding woman has a drop in dopamine due to the act of feeding which triggers negative emotions just like I've been feeling.

Yesterday I pumped exclusively all day and felt like a fog was lifted from me. I could enjoy my baby without the hormones clogging up space. I didn't celebrate just yet because I couldn't be sure if I was out of the woods.

At night though, when I planned to breastfeed him, he grew frustrated and cried so much trying to eat, probably because a bottle is much easier and he had gotten used to it. Eventually he ate but it took a long ten minutes to get to that point. I began wondering if I needed to breastfeed him more so he didn't lose the ability. . . so today I breastfed him before going to the dentist and all the emotions bubbled up again. It's like an instant reflex, feed = blues. But then, at the dentist I began missing him and despite wearing breast pads I was a leaking mess. When I got home he was hungry and I didn't have time to pump so I fed him directly and did not have the negative emotions. It could because the emotion of missing him was stronger.

Jack was talking with a colleague who used to be a lactation consultant (It is SO weird that he keeps meeting lactation consultants) and she said for some women there is an instant trigger of tears with breastfeeding, particularly women with good supply, and that it can take a month or more to resolve that and she said I'd naturally want to breastfeed more than pump as time went by. I don't know if that's true or not but its nice to think so.

It feels weird to pump, clean the pump and bottle, feed him from the bottle. I'm adding steps that don't need to be there but at least now its what works. I literally fantasize about going to Costco and buying buckets of formula. I sit and just visualize it and smile. It would be easier but I've heard this is the hardest time so I feel determined to push through. . .

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I can't believe I'm in the second week of parenthood. It has been an incredible ride so far. I can tell you about his cute little toes and how they curl when we bathe him. Or how he smiles in his sleep and the way his hair is so silky soft I can't stop touching it. This is all true but I also want to be honest and tell you I've also been experiencing what they term the 'baby blues'. I'm scared to admit that on an IF blog since I know I have what all of us want, a healthy happy baby. He is just that, he is the answer to my prayers, I could not have asked for a better baby and yet- I've struggled with the baby blues and I'm praying that they will not escalate into the scary PPD. I'm scared to talk about it because I don't want you to judge me, but at the same time, I remember Mel once said that IFers have higher rates of depression post-baby than other populations and maybe the reason is because we don't talk about it and when we don't talk about it the dark thoughts fester and spread like cancer.

I have the usual weepiness over small things which I hear all mothers have. I also have a root canal issue I'm trying to resolve which doesn't help. But the biggest struggle has been breastfeeding. Namely- I hate it. And this both shocks and depresses the shit out of me. I dreamed of breastfeeding him. I was one of those people nuts for breastfeeding. So far- he hasn't taken an ounce of formula but the act of breastfeeding is triggering my blues. I have what seems to be good supply, he latches well, but I find myself weeping almost every other time I feed him. I can't figure out why. I thought breastfeeding triggered happy feelings but for me it triggers tears.

Jack met a girl to buy an edger off Craigslist and as they small talked she told him she was a lactation consultant. Of all the careers right? She also worked at my pediatricians office. She told Jack to tell me to call her. I did and she told me its hard at first but after six weeks it gets easier. She gave me advice about feeding and this helped, I took it as a sign from God that I needed to keep going and it helped to feel this way for about a day- but then today, I again wanted to cry each time I had to feed him.

I want to enjoy Sunflower. I waited SO long for him and yet this breastfeeding thing is taking over everything. It's taking away my joy. Today I just at the dinner table and wept for nearly an hour about the guilt I feel at not liking it. Jack and my mom are urging me to just stop but how can I when its the best possible thing for him? I tell myself in six weeks it will be easier but right now six weeks feels far away and I don't want to wish away six weeks, I want to enjoy this child I waited for so long!

I don't mind pumping- its annoying sure, but it doesn't trigger the same emotions and again- I can't tell you why. I'm experimenting for tomorrow and will pump and bottle feed him during the day and see how that goes. (Again- irrational as it sounds I don't mind breastfeeding him at night). I know that pumping mostly instead of direct breastfeeding can affect supply in the long run but maybe it can help me hang on longer than it would otherwise.

If that doesn't help I'm so confused. I feel such guilt considering formula so I feel stuck in a catch-22. Damned if I do, damned if I don't. I'm just afraid that this issue will spiral and I might get postpartum. I don't have that right now. I'm not depressed, but I'm frustrated and stressed and weepy about this issue.

I want to do what's best for him. I know my milk is best for him. And yet the act of feeding is affecting me in ways I never knew it could.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sunflower's birth story

First, if anyone wants to file a class action lawsuit with me against TLC for their "Baby Story" series please let me know. I intend to sue for messing with "mothers-t0-be expectations of birth" and if this is not yet legally actionable then perhaps we can take a trip to Congress to make it so. Just kidding. . . I guess.

I went in to the hospital Thursday night around 4am because of painful contractions. They checked me and I was still only 1cm dilated but the contractions implied labor seemed ready to perhaps kick start but they told me to come back in a few hours for my scheduled induction. Jack and I went home, we cleaned up a bit, and went out to eat dinner at Boneheads. It's just a fish joint but it felt almost sacred eating since we knew it would be our last meal as a couple.

We checked into the hospital around 7:30pm. They put the IV in wrong (and left it in like that for the entire labor process causing my right hand to swell to triple its size) and inserted the cervadil. They kept trying to get me to get an enema but I was in so much pain I said no. I don't know other people's experience with Cervadil but mine was brutal as the contractions I was already getting ramped up to the umpteenth degree. They offered me Morphine. I was trying to refuse it since we saw it had adverse reactions to animal fetuses. But the pain. I listened to soothing music. I tried breathing techniques but the pain got so brutal I wanted to die and so I asked for the shot of Morphine. The morphine did not help at which point the nurse offered me an epidural. This pissed me off since she could have offered that to begin with. While they went to get the anesthesiologist my water broke. The cervadil induced contractions ramped up to beyond "hospital policy" so they removed it. Once the epidural was in, I felt like myself again despite being numbed from the waist down. At least the pain was gone. The doctor looked at my water and said it looked like the baby had passed meconium. She told me a team would be there upon baby's birth to suction him out so I would not get skin-on-skin contact immediately. I said that was fine since baby's health ofcourse is most important.

From 5am when my water broke onwards, they began the pitocin and my cervix continued to progress 1cm every few hours like clockwork. Around 6ish the doctor came in and told me I could be ready to push at any time and when I felt the urge to let her know as she had another woman at the same stage of the laboring process as me next door. I told her I couldn't feel anything waist down so how am I supposed to know if I'm having an urge to push. She hesitated and then offered to check. When she checked she said with surprise that Sunflower was already in my birth canal and I needed to start pushing now.

So I pushed. I thank the nurse with me because she was so caring and encouraging. But. That pushing. On no food. No water (fuck the IV that doesn't help my dry throat) and pain (because it kicked in now) Is hard. I honestly did not think I could do it. It was the most draining, most difficult process of my entire life. It took me 40 minutes and then he was born into this world at 7:02pm.

The rest was a blur.

The doctor did not let Jack cut the cord saying they had to quickly get him to the neonatal team. This makes me cry as I write this because I saw his crestfallen face. Still, you have to do what you have to do. I got a third degree tear so the doctor was stitching me while my son lay under yellow lights getting suctioned. He sobbed hysterically until they brought him to me and then- he stopped. Just like that as soon as he laid eyes on me. He stared at me with his big eyes as if he knew me already, as if he had been wondering where I'd been.

As I held him I began feeling dizzy. I asked Jack to hold him. Then I told the nurse I was seeing black dots and then the next thing I knew I was out cold. I would come to and then fall back out of consciousness. I think this went on for 10-15 minutes.I have no recollection of what happened during those 10-15 minutes but when I came to I was told I spiked a 104 degree fever and my blood pressure had dropped dangerously. Apparently I was not fully unconscious during those 10-15 minutes because I told everyone I was dying, I told Jack to love our son and tell him his mother loved him. I don't think I was in danger of dying but apparently this is what I said. I slowly began recovering but still was too weak to hold him. Each time I tried my hands started shaking. I couldn't stop crying because he was moving his lips and his tongue rooting, trying to find my breast but he couldn't. They then had to take him away because they had to make sure he did not have any infection like they suspected I had. Jack stayed with him, and held him and bonded with him and I'm grateful because I did not get to hold him until about 5am. Nine hours after giving birth.

It's interesting isn't it? It's like was teaching me a lesson. Expect the unexpected. I wanted a vaginal delivery for only one reason. To have the skin-to-skin contact. To hold him right away and despite a vaginal delivery he was away from me for nine hours.

I can never explain the feeling when they brought him to me. The nurse undressed him and lay him across my chest. And he just snuggled up to me. Nope, I may call myself a writer, but words can't capture how that felt. Even now I find myself crying just remembering it.

They had to prick my son with so many needles to test for issues because of my health and we ended up having to stay a bit longer than we would have otherwise have had to because of it, but the tests thank God were all normal, as were mine.

I thought I was going to lose some weight considering I let go of a placenta, and a nearly 8 pound baby but my weight loss is only 3 pounds. The doctor says its normal? My legs and feet are very swollen. Again, I'm told this is normal.

I have my son and he is healthy and that's all that matters. I can't say I like the hospital experience and had I had an option, or at least felt I had an option, I would never ever go through that process again. If you are pregnant and are complication free I strongly encourage you to consider a birthing center or a more natural process, but- that's just my take.

We're home now. I'm better. I remain a steady 99-100 degree with fever and no one really says what that means though they suspect it might be the pre-onset of mastitis. This comes from thrush I read, which is on the baby's tongue so I am wanting to pump and feed, but everyone says you can't do that you have to feed from the breast! So I'm confused. He prefers the breast but honestly I don't understand why I can't pump and give him some milk this way once in a while just so I can maybe get an extra hour of rest or maybe stop my breasts from getting infected? It's not formula, its still my breast? [Wow- I got random, didn't I?]

So, that's my birth story. Not very eloquent but it is what it is. In conclusion- just because you have a vaginal delivery- it certainly doesn't guarantee you get the experience you want. But- the beautiful child you get at the end? It's worth it a million times over.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The State of the Blog

My mother and MIL are setting up dinner. Jack is out getting pictures developed for the technologically challenged family members. I'm sitting here in the family room watching my son in the baby swing sleeping. He is so tiny. It's hard to believe he will get bigger, that one day he won't stare into my eyes after a feeding with wide eyed wonder. I see Jack hold his son, change his diapers, shed tears at his vaccination and I feel so much love, so much love in my heart that I ache knowing how temporary it is, how one day we will get old, one day he will grow up. I just want to freeze frame this moment of seeing him cuddled and warm and sleeping forever. But don't let it be mistaken, I'm enjoying these moments, I'm savoring them for the priceless moments they are.

I decided I'm going to keep blogging though I might change the title and I think its important I go a *little* less anonymous for reasons I'll explain in another post (speaking of which, his name is on the jpeg of his picture). There is so much I want to write about. The birth story, the first few days, the feeding, the emotions. I want to have a place I can write and come back to remember and hopefully what I share might be of interest to others.

I've got the hang of my iPod touch so please know I'm keeping up with your blogs while feeding Sunflower but its tough to comment that way. Hopefully once the daze of the first few weeks passes I will get back to commenting.


First, I hope you all are well and as always thank you thank you for loving and caring comments. You know K is busy when miss-twice-daily blogger goes silent for days. Veteran mothers can feel free to laugh but new motherhood is bewildering in how busy one gets particularly when you're up every hour to feed. [Pauses for a moment to consider I'm a mother now. . . wow. . .] Posts continue to brew in my head but there are breasts to be pumped and poops to be stressed over, so in the meantime until I get my bearings. . . I wanted to share a picture with you guys. Isn't he beautiful? Nope- not biased at all! :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Sunflower

This will be brief, more details to follow but. . .

Sunflower is here!

Born May 7, 2010 at 7:02pm. 21.5 inches long 7lb14oz.

We are both doing well and will be discharged hopefully sometime tonight. When I get my bearings around me I will write about what happened and ofcourse share plenty of pictures! I hope you all are doing well.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Off to Induction

I came home and managed to sleep a little and feel like a new person. A lot more optimistic, a lot more hopeful. Thank you for your e-mails and your comments, they gave me comfort and reminded me its normal to feel this way and that I will get through this. I feel incredibly blessed to be here. There was a time I could not watch a TV scene showing a L&D room without bursting into tears. There was time a hospital was not a place of hope. No matter how nervous I may feel, no matter how many things don't go according to plan- if Sunflower is okay- there is truly nothing else that holds a candle to that ultimate goal. I'm going to do the best I can, that's all I can do.

I'm going in tonight at 7pm and will be induced Friday morning. Please keep me and Sunflower in your prayers. Many of you held my hand as I recovered from my first miscarriage, and celebrated then cried with me when I lost my second. You've never laughed at my fears with this pregnancy and your support has kept me buoyed. Thank you.

See you on the other side!

Nope- not even close

I ended up at L&D. We waited five hours to be seen by a doctor. My contractions measured at 8-10 minutes apart. Despite the herbal pills, the long walks, the eggplant, the membrane sweeping, the bloody show, my cervix is thick, way far up, and I am still only 1cm dilated. The on call OB did not know my history so said go home and we'll schedule you for an induction at maybe 41 or 42 weeks because you're not even close to being ready. And then he looked at my chart and said never mind you have GD and thrombophilia. Come back tonight for your scheduled induction. I stared at him. Can't you just keep me here, start the cervadil and get the show on the road instead me coming back in six hours? Nope. He told me my odds of a C-Section are very high given the state of my cervix but because of my issues oh fucking well.

I'm not sure what's wrong with me but in the effort to be fully honest here about my experience I will admit to feeling very emotionally vulnerable. I feel foolish for having headed over there. I should have stayed put at home. I should have let Jack catch up on rest. I keep bursting into hysterical sobs which for the life of me I don't understand? Maybe its because being in hospitals reminds me of loss, not birth. Maybe I feel bad that Jack thought it might not be time and I insisted we go, and he was right. I keep apologizing to him and he keeps responding to me like I'm three with a gentle smile and no need to apologize you did the right thing. Over and over again because I can't seem to stop apologizing.

The pain is intense. It's horrifying. When it attacks I can't sleep through it. I can no longer talk through it. Nor can I walk through it. It feels like the bottom half of my body is trying to rip itself off my torso. And what do I get for it? I get absolutely no progress. Nothing to show for this pain. I feel like a liar. Like my threshold for pain is too low, but the contractions registered high on the machine when they monitored me. It really fucking hurts.

I am maintaining hope for a vaginal delivery but I'm going to be honest, the hope is dwindling and I almost want to ask them to just section me since they continue to tell me any opportunity they get how high my chances are for this. I shouldn't be angry at my body, but the familiar frustration is coming back even though I know logically most women pass their due dates and had I not had the "high risk" factors my body would likely have done the right thing over time.

I know I sound ungrateful. Please know I realize the important thing at the end of the day is a healthy happy Sunflower. I think the pain, the lack of sleep, the frustration at the lack of progress is just wearing on me. But- I know there is a bigger picture. Hopefully tomorrow, when I meet Sunflower, regardless of vaginally or C-section, all this frustration will melt away.

L&D Conflicted

Contractions picked up their pace. 11 from 1:00-2:00am. 12 from 2:00-3:00. In the 3:00am hour and they've slowed down again. The on-call doctor said I could go to L&D to be evaluated but. . . I don't know what to do. They're not evenly spaced contractions. Yes they hurt like hell, but for example, the last contraction was at 3:11 and its 3:21 now and no contraction yet. I wish my water would break so I just knew but as it stands I can't figure out if this is just prodromal or not.

1 more day, I guess?

The promising contractions are irregular again averaging 8-9 minutes mostly but but with breaks that last up to 15 minutes though when the contraction comes its more painful than the last. I'm wondering how high the pain will ultimately ratchet up to.

In the morning L&D will call to schedule us. 6pm they plan to insert the Cervadil. 6am Friday morning the induction begins. I wonder what happens if I'm already dilated enough? Will they begin the induction tomorrow evening? That seems logical? Ofcourse, hope springs eternal and I hope we won't have to induce but I accept either option.

This is my last night without him on the outside. This might be the last night I feel his little butt wiggle against my womb, his fingers poking me, his feet stretching my stomach outwards. I'm trying to memorize this moment. Etch it forever in my mind. It blows my mind. Can't wait to meet him.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

More on Contractions

The last five contractions are now 8-9 minutes apart. And they hurt. But. How much are they supposed to hurt? They hurt enough to make me want to moan. They make me want to stop walking. They make me not want to talk. However. The standard provided to me was: you are unable to walk and unable to talk. I am able to do these things the pain is just so intense I don't want to. Also- my standard of pain might be different from your standard of pain. My 8 on the Richter scale might be a 2 for you, or a 10. I wonder what's going to happen. . .

AND- might I add everyone is pissing me off? Jack sitting on the couch is so annoying. My mom asking me how I'm feeling is maddening. Yes- that is irrational. My, am I cranky.

[Sorry for incessant updates- just need a place to write, a place to make sense of it, to record to remember later. Thanks for reading and for your support]

Waiting and Wondering

The contractions remain irregular but each one is more painful than the last. Whereas before it was possible to just do something else and take my mind off the pain, now its stopping me in my tracks and honestly, sort of scares me. They average every 18 minutes, sometimes closer. My hope is even if I don't go into full blown labor before its time to go to the hospital tomorrow evening I'll have dilated enough not to need 12 hours of cervadil to ripen my cervix and we can just start the induction. (and this word ripen- its just so weird in the context of my body- I feel like we're trying to turn some avocado into guacamole)

I feel like there's a timer ticking in me- any minute it will beep. Any minute I'll be done baking. Any minute. . . I'm trying to take my mind off it as much as I can. The house is now spotless. I made some food to freeze for later. There is no use being scared because when it comes to labor, there is no way out but through, and Sunflower and I will, God Willing, get through this.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

My mom read me a story as a child where a boy shephard would prank villagers that a wolf was trying to eat his sheep. People would come, he'd laugh, they'd leave. One day a real wolf came, he cried wolf, no one came, all his sheep got eaten. Moral of story: It sucks to be a sheep.

I feel like this boy saying this but I'm starting to wonder if I'm in early labor. 8 contractions in the 6am hour, I slept from 7-8 and then was woken up around 8am and had 8 contractions. 9am so far I've had 5 and its only 9:30. They hurt. They wrapped around my stomach like a rubber band. When they are here I think they'll never go away. Once it leaves I feel relief. I'm also getting pink mucus discharge. I'm rating each contraction. Half are of medium-strong strength, 1/4 are medium strength and 1/4 are weak. I'm not counting the weak ones. It's not full on labor but I think I might be in the early stages. I am going to consult Dr. Google.

Most tellingly I wonder: Why exactly do I hate C-sections? What is my issue with epidural? Because this pain? This pain is incredible.

2 more days

My OB stripped my membranes today in an effort to spark labor. I'm sorry in advance, she said. I shrugged, lay down, and then [&!#$$$]<-- insert every foul word ever invented. It hurt so much I saw black dots. OB said the contraction that I had is the type to call in to them about as a sign that labor begun. OH.MY.GOD. I'm still 1cm dilated but she said my cervix is softer and lower. Since then I'm losing my mucus plug which is a sign of labor, oooor maybe not! And I'm having a lot of contractions and feel kind of dazed and confused. If I don't go into labor before my induction these are all still good signs that my body is getting more ready.

I've known my OB for over two years now and today she had some time to talk to me and Jack and it was funny how she's got me figured out. I know its scary but you can't control the labor process, she said. You've researched, you're informed, but ultimately this baby will decide when he comes and how he comes. Maybe its being the eldest who was responsible for resolving my parents arguments, and watching my brothers, and being a teacher- but I do feel like I need to hold on, I need to carry it even if it is something I can't control.

But I can't control labor. And today when she swept my membranes and I felt the strongest most painful contraction of my life I had no thoughts but the pain. In that moment there was no ability nor desire to control just a desire to simply to get through the moment. And that's when the obvious concept hit me again, this is what its all about, its a series of moments that make up a life.

I've allowed my mind free reign to roam with worry and fear because I thought I'll stop worrying once Sunflower arrives. But I'm beginning to think that the worries will not go away, they will simply morph and take new shape. I will make mistakes but it does no good to anticipate what they will be. I will feel confused and frustrated at times but those moments are not today. I need to stop looking so far ahead because I will lose sight of the now.

If you've been reading my blog long enough, you'll recognize these thoughts since I'm constantly reigning myself in from letting fear fill my house with helium balloons and float me away. I guess I'm just a work in progress but I know what I need to work on. Slowly I think I'll get there.

I may have shared this poem before. I'm going to take it with me when I go into labor:

Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to.
Don’t try to see through the distances.
That’s not for human beings.
Move within, but don’t move the way fear makes you move.

-- Rumi

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

3 more days- random scatterbrained thoughts

Last night a major storm passed through. The thunder was so loud it shook the house and woke Sunflower. It was incredible. One second my eyes flutter open to the flashing light and the loud crack of thunder and the next I hear little feet kicking and squirming followed by hiccups. I rubbed my belly in the dark as rain hit the windows, talking to him in a soothing voice, and just like that the movements slowed and then, silence. It worked. I soothed him.

It hit me again that there's a real person in there. A person who, though in utero found comfort in me. I'm scared of a C-section because I won't be able to hold him right away. And I'm the one he'll most likely recognize. I'm scared if we miss out on those first few moments we'll miss vital bonding time, that maybe the right hormones won't release from me and somehow I might feel distant from my son. I've read that C-Sections can trigger PPD and that scares me too since I know it can happen to anyone, no matter how wanted the baby is.

I'm at a more peaceful place right now but I've had moments of sheer terror today. Not about the labor but the aftermath of raising him. I have a lot of ideas of the kind of parent I want to be and I'm getting scared of how I'll actually do it. I was raised with no television for the first few years of my life, and didn't know what cartoons were until I went to Kindergarten. I want the same for my child but I watch a lot of TV. I want my child not to have to struggle with his weight and to be healthy but I eat a lot of crappy food. Do I tell him to do as I say, not as I do? I am planning to stop these things and Jack is planning to cut our cable when our contract ends in December- but will we do it? Will we be able to become the perfect people we need to be? The perfect people this baby deserves?

I'm trying to not think so much. I'm trying to just live in this moment. I wonder if its infertility that is making me think so much about all of this. Had I simply been able to get and stay pregnant at will would all this feel much more matter of fact for me?

And because I said this is a scatterbrained post, when I realized the title of this post is three more days, it reminded me of my favorite singer Ray LaMontagne, and a song he has by just that name [and no, it has nothing to do with babies!]

Monday, May 3, 2010


As I said in the earlier post I had to have some conversations today, both with Dr. MFM to convince her to give me a weight estimate (they only do it every four weeks and it was only three weeks), and then with my OB to see how far I could go without inducing.

Dr. MFM agreed to weigh Sunflower and I was scared they'd tell me I was on track to birth a ten pound baby but he measured 7lb5oz: 50th percentile. Not much more than his weight three weeks ago (6lb14oz). Dr. MFM even if we are off by a pound, he's 8.5 pounds. Nothing alarming and I'm amazed considering I have GD. I got excited and suggested maybe we can go past my due date then by a week or so to see if he can come naturally? To this she emphatically shook her head. It's not the GD baby she's worried about but more that each day I pass my due date the risks associated with thrombophilia go up and if I chose to go past the due date it would be against medical advice though she admitted that the odds are in my favor should I go past my due date the baby would most likely be okay.

I honestly believe I'd be fine going past my due date but three out of four doctors are urging me to not pass my due date so I'm not going to fight it. I talked to the OB's nurse. She's going to get me scheduled to go to the hospital Thursday night for cervadil to attempt to ripen the cervix and then induction Friday morning. A step-OB will be on call but oh well. I'd rather wait until Thursday night with the hope that perhaps my body can get more favorable in the next few days, rather than go in tonight and always wonder.

I'm doing my best to let go of my need to be in control. I'm going to continue taking the evening primrose oil and walking and hoping and praying he comes on his own time before induction- but- I'm accepting I can't control when he comes and what happens if I'm induced. I'm going to write my birth plan (or birth hopes would be more accurate) tonight and mentally ready myself for whatever may come Friday.

4 more days

4 more days. Wow. wow. WOW.

It's midnight and I'm a bit nervous about the conversations I'll have to have. I should have been going in for my induction tonight but instead I'm waiting to hear from my OB and seeing how difficult it will be to push for a Friday/Saturday induction. I hate confrontation and going against authority, so we'll see how that goes. I also have my last MFM appointment for this pregnancy in the morning! They keep saying they wont' weigh him anymore since its not going to be accurate but I want to ask them to do it anyway just to have some sort of an idea since the biggish baby argument is the big one my OB is using for induction.

I took the primrose oil, walked to the point of sheer exhaustion. There's a crazy storm coming tonight and I hope the pressure will send me straight to labor too but I'm so exhausted that if I go into labor naturally tonight I don't know how well I'll do. Besides, all these things? Not working yet. It seems everything could send you into labor tonight!!! oorrrr maybe not. So like Lisa suggested I think I'm going to rest a bit more from here on out. I'm so tired I don't have the energy to put away any of the dishes. I've been cleaning up spotless each night before bed for fear that I will go into labor, rush to the hospital, and my in-laws will walk into our messy house to discover how we truly live! Gasp! Tonight I don't care so I'm hoping Murphy's law will ensure natural labor tonight!

This last weekend of coupledom felt special. We slept in, held hands on our walks, ate frozen yogurt out of the same cup, and had the types of conversations we stopped having somewhere along the way, about life, our perspectives, our childhoods. Being married as long as we have I forget sometimes that there is so much more to know and love about him. Also, IF, loss, and pregnancy has in some ways swallowed up the rest of our life. It was nice to be a couple this weekend.

But. We're ready now. We're ready Sunflower. We're done waiting. Please come to us. Come to us as soon as you can. Preferably tonight. You know your mama hates confrontation. Thank you.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

5 more days**

U2 says desperation is a tender trap. Hence our visit to Scalinis on the complete other end of town tonight. Its an Italian restaurant where the eggplant purportedly puts women into labor within 48 hours. [If you don't live in the ATL they provide a recipe on-line]. I was impressed with the numbers: 300 women have gone into labor upon eating the eggplant we've had on our menu for 25 years! Hmm. 300/25= 12 per year = 1 per month = coincidence. [Damn me and my math skillz!] Still, it was fun to engage in an Atlanta tradition and after a day of zero contractions I did get a few since we left. Still-

I grew massively in the past few days. One minute I was big. The next- bigger. It's actually frightening. I tried to bring labor on today with the eggplant, mopping the house, scrubbing the walls, not thing, no real signs of labor. I'm exhausted though. And even though I haven't eaten that much today I have the worst indigestion and acid reflux I've ever had.

Tomorrow, Jack and I are planning to power walk in the mall, and buy some primrose oil tablets and an exercise ball from Target. I heard bouncing on it can help ripen the cervix? Question about primrose, the one at Target said "oral use" is there a different one to insert near the cervix or same deal? Hopefully between prayer, primrose, power walks, bouncy balls, and egg plant something will happen!!!

**Updated to say: He got super active around 2am while we were finishing up a movie. Ridiculously so. Kicking, squirming, moving, and then- when I got up Jack and I gasped because my stomach now looks like a different stomach. It looks almost like a torpedo. I swear it looks lower than it was but I can't be certain but its certainly changed shape. Is this lightening? Dr. Google said When the baby begins to drop, you will notice that your abdomen will change shape, shifting down and forward. Unfortunately Dr. Google says this can happen 2-4 weeks before natural labor begins. Dangit. Please let me be an exception. :(

Saturday, May 1, 2010

6 more days

Thank you so much for your advice in the last post. [And Murgdan- your educated opinion is never assvice!] I feel better. I was raised to be a"good girl" which even at this age makes disagreeing uncomfortable. But- even if my choice annoys them, they can't say well we won't deliver you EVER. [right?]. I'm trying to alleviate my anxiety by reminding myself theres no induction police. I've loved my OB but she's disappointing me at the end.

My logic to wait a few more days is (1) An induction is serious and guarantees pitocin and the whole cascade of medical interventions which (2) boost the odds of a C-section. (3) Yes I have a GD baby but he's not going to gain a pound between Tuesday and Friday but (4) waiting a few more days until Friday could possibly progress me further, maybe not at all, but it could.

She kept saying 'Think of the baby first. I know you don't want a C-section but his health is paramount' which frustrates me because duh, but a C-section isn't the best option for him either. We don't get our skin on skin contact. Nursing is delayed. There's a lot that sucks for him too. Besides, he's being monitored weekly by MFM, they check everything and he's (thank God) scoring excellent. Besides we're talking about four days. And if we're going with convenience why should I accommodate her on-call schedule? Friday means Jack can catch up on his work, my family can drive up instead of taking pricey last minute flights and renting cars to get to the hospital. Hell, if we're going to do this for convenience why not my convenience then? Monday is quite inconvenient for me and my family. (not that this is why I want to wait until Friday).

Then because they said go in Monday, a part of me gets afraid that what if I don't listen and something God Forbid, bad happens. . . but I'm trying to push this out of my mind. Had my OB been on call Friday that would've been the scheduled induction date. This is not a medically necessitated induction on Tuesday. I'm trying to control my frustration. Most first timers go past their due date and here I am getting frustrated at my body for not going into labor already when its probably behaving perfectly normal.

I haven't prayed as much as I would like in the past few months. I feel guilty that now I am praying. I am begging for natural labor. I hope I will be heard and answered. If you remember, toss a prayer in for me and Sunflower. Much appreciated.