Friday, 6 January 2012

This Pregnancy

I was debating whether or not to write about my pregnancy on this blog or on my Life on the Bay blog.  Either would have worked but I figured this would be the better place since the whole blog is focused on pregnancy and childbirth anyway.  So maybe it's going to become more of a journal for this pregnancy, but I think that's fine too. 

Last night I was reading some of the posts I had about my previous pregnancies and birth.  Reliving them never gets old for me.  As time goes by I often wonder how much I will remember, so it's good that I've written some of it down somewhere.  My memory is not that good, and while I'm sure some women remember the times they gave birth as clear as day, I am not one of those women.  I remember many of the details, but there is often a lot of fog and I find it hard to put myself back in that place.  Writing it down allows me go back and experience it all again, at least as much as I can based on what I've remembered to write!

I kept a pregnancy journal with my first pregnancy, and when I re-read it several months back I was shocked at all the little things that I had not remembered about it, that had been glossed over.  It was quite interesting and was what prompted me to start writing again.  I didn't keep any type of journal with my second pregnancy unfortunately, though I did write a lot on message boards online so actually I think if I ever wanted I could go back and find a lot of the day to day stuff somewhere.  This time around I hope I can record more of it as it happens.

This was very much a planned and wanted pregnancy.  I always knew I wanted another child, and while my husband was not always sold on the idea, I think he always knew as well that we would have one.  The question as to when got tossed around quite a bit over the past year, usually with me making some comments about it being soon and him saying he didn't want to consider it until our youngest was a bit older.  But once things started to settle and we were feeling more comfortable in our life, it started to look like sooner rather than later was going to happen.  To me, I just wanted to have the baby next year to keep even spacing between the 3.  I know they say you shouldn't put to much emphasis or thought on the age gap between your children, as it happens when it happens, but I really did want another fairly close age gap.  I also wanted to keep up the momentum while the baby stage was still in our minds, without getting too far away from it and then having to go back.  I have to admit that there was a part of me that wondering why we would want to go through it again.  I always found that things became so much more grounded and easier after my kids were over a year, and the thought of going back to square one again was quite scary.  But I also knew that no matter how much I tried to reason with myself, I would never ever get over the feelings of wanting to have another and do it all again, and grow our family.  So for me it was a no brainer, I was just waiting for the hubby to come around.

Which he did, and so quickly that it caught me by surprise.  In just a few short months he went from "I will consider another one in a few years" to "Maybe I'll be ready to start next year" to "I'm ready now"! 

Our first pregnancy was planned so I was not a stranger to the whole trying to conceive game, though this time I did feel more knowledgeable on the subject.  I felt more anxious this time.  I'm not sure why, because it's not like I wanted it any more than I did the first time we started trying, but the thought of going through month after month unsuccessfully and seeing all those negative tests made me feel awful.  I was just hoping things went smoothly.  Because our second pregnancy was a surprise I got to bypass all the stress that time around, which really was a blessing in disguise.

Lucky for me we got pregnant this time on the first try!

When I was waiting for the time to come to take a test, I do remember feeling very anxious and afraid of not being pregnant that month.  I didn't enjoy the waiting time.  My cycles were luckily very regular so that made it fairly easy for me to know when the right times to conceive were, but still in this game there are no guarantees.  Several days before my period was due, about 5, I had a few symptoms which could have either meant I was pregnant, or that my period was on it's way.  The suspense was killing me.  I know that many sensitive pregnancy tests claim they can detect pregnancy 5 days before your expected period, and I also knew that it wasn't necessarily wise to test that early because it could be negative even if I was pregnant.  I was so certain I was going to hold out as long as possible.  I was also telling myself that this time I would tell my husband before I tested so that he could wait with me for the results, instead of doing it on my own and then telling him after.

Well of course my impatience got the better of me.  I bought the test on the Tuesday before my period was due (on the Saturday) with the intention of waiting a few more days.  But when I got up early on Wednesday morning I felt compelled to take it, so I did.  There is nothing quite like waiting for the results of a HPT.  Your heart wants it to be + but your head is telling you it is likely -.

When the double line appeared, all that kept running through my head over and over was, "A line is a line!  A line is a line!  A line is a line!".  It was faint, but it was a line!

That was on Wednesday, October 26th.  I didn't tell the hubby right away.  Instead I went and bought two more tests.  Now I can't remember if it was the Thursday or the Friday that I took another, but when I did I waited for him to come home and then had my oldest son give him the test.  I expected more of a surprised response, but he wasn't surprised at all.  Rather, he said "I KNEW we'd get pregnant right away!"

After my period was confirmed late, I took the other test to make sure.  I really hate those early days and weeks, where there is just no way of knowing things are moving along.  Especially for me, because I didn't get sick or even that tired, I was always feeling uneasy about whether or not I was actually pregnant.  I am not a fan of the first trimester, it's just a whole lot of waiting and worry!  However, I can't complain because I did feel fine, and not just fine I felt great.  Life went on as normal and that horrid pregnancy fatigue that normally slows a woman down in the first trimester never hit.  I was tired at times, but actually no more than any tired mom of two.  I managed to keep up with all my daily activities without issue.  I would be quite tired by the end of the day and would go to bed early, but getting through the day was not a chore.  I remember with my second pregnancy feeling so tired that I couldn't move from the couch.  None of that this time around!

Some things I did experience during my first trimester were mostly sleep disruptions.  I was having to get up what seemed like a million times to pee at night (it was anywhere between 2-5 times), and I just was not sleeping well, tossing and turning all night long.  I remember experiencing that with my second pregnancy as well.  After a few weeks though these things did subside, and while I have always had to get up to use the bathroom at least once, I have at least been sleeping much better for the most part.

At 10wks we had our first midwife appointment at the Midwives Nottawasaga.  My husband came with me (though I think he would have been just as happy to not be there and in all honestly I kind of wish he wasn't either), and we met with our first midwife named Natalie.  I had midwives from two different practices for my other pregnancies, but these would be totally new ones for us.  I learned that they work on teams of 3, and that our care would be shared by the 3 and one of them would attend the birth. 

That first appointment did go well as we covered all my past history and whatnot.  At 10wks Natalie could not yet pick up the heartbeat, but I did know that was likely to happen though I was kind of hoping we'd be able to hear it.  I think though it was a bit of a disappointing appointment simply because of my husband being there and us having different views and opinions on how we want this birth to go.  I had many questions about homebirth for the midwife, and my husband is not supportive of homebirth.  Unfortunately while Natalie is obviously very supportive of homebirth, I think her inexperience was apparent and she didn't come off as very confident, which completely put the hubby off.  This birth will be my second VBAC, and I have done enough researching to know that it is very safe and my chances of being successful again are very high.  My husband is not comfortable with the idea of a homebirth to begin with, but the added VBAC factor made him completely against it.

Needless to say we have not yet seen eye to eye on this issue and have yet to discuss it further.  However it is not something I am ready to toss aside, regardless of how stubborn he is at the moment.  Right now all I would like from him is to read as much information about VBAC and homebirth as I have, so that he is not putting his foot down without knowing the facts.  He is welcome to bring to the table research against homebirth if he can find it, but I think he will realize that the information that I am gathering for him which supports the safety of homebirth is overwhelming and hard to ignore.

In a few months time we will be able to attend a homebirth information night at the midwives practice, which I hope will ease some of his concerns and answer some of his questions.  He agreed to watch The Business of Being Born with me which I think helped him understand birth a little better as well.  There is still lots of time, but I am still hoping that homebirth is something we can consider, but I know it will be safe and that I will feel comfortable here.

When I think back to how my labour unfolded with my second pregnancy, how I was able to labour on my own at home and it was a great experience, and how I got to the hospital just in time to push, it makes sense to me to be able to stay in the comfort of my own home.  While my second birth (which was my first labour and vaginal birth) went smoothly and well overall, I think there are things that could have been avoided with more planning and possibly staying home.  When I had gotten to the hospital I was almost fully dilated and ready to push, and being in that setting made me just want to get on the bed and stay there.  I pushed and gave birth on my back, in the least ideal position for childbirth, and as a result had an episiotomy and tore very badly which was the most horrible part of the whole experience.  I really believe being able to stay home and move around here will help avoid that situation this time.  I would also like to consider a water birth, which I know could only be accomplished at home.

The hard part of my argument is that, most women plan for homebirths to avoid unnecessary hospital intervention.  In my case I wasn't faced with any intervention at the hospital, it was actually a good experience, so it's hard for me to say that I want to avoid the hospital for that reason.  I have also heard as well that the hospital here is good for not getting too involved unless necessary.  Still, I just want to be able to stay home if possible.

I actually plan to do a post about homebirth (including HBAC or home birth after cesarean), which will include all the great info that I have come across in my research, so I probably don't need to get into in too much detail here.

Last week I finally got to have my first ultrasound.  We have decided this time not to go ahead with any of the prenatal screening tests offered, even though we did with our previous pregnancies.  We just found that it caused added stress and we have already decided that we would not terminate the pregnancy regardless.  As a result there was no need for a 12wk ultrasound as there had been in the past.  The midwife did offer one for dating purposes, and even though I was sure of my dates already I accepted anyway because I couldn't help wanting just a little peek to know that the baby was so far growing and doing well.  So last week at almost 13wks I went in for my ultrasound. 

Seeing your little baby on that screen never gets old, I couldn't stop smiling while watching it jump around.  It was hopping all over the place and waving at me.  Such an amazing sight to see.

Imagine my surprise though when the ultrasound tech told me that I was a week ahead of my dates, and instead of being due around July 8/9th like I had thought, he gave me a new date of July 2nd.  At first I was flabbergasted, and in a way happy because I wanted to be even further ahead.  But the more I thought about, the more I figured he must have been off because I was certain of my cycles.  So I've decided, for myself, to stick with my original due date.  I know that due dates are estimates anyway and it's not good to get hung up on one, and that's not what I want to know it for.  But, if they say my due date is July 2nd and I go over, there is always the chance I will be pressured into induction which I don't believe in.  I believe this baby will come right on time, and it will be according to my cycles and not this scan.

So I am sticking with a guess date of around July 8th, give or take a week.

Now I am officially in my second trimester and still feeling great.  Except this past week I have had a lot of headaches, but otherwise am feeling good.  I'm a bit sluggish these days and still trying to recover from the holiday chaos.  Over the holidays I haven't been exercising as much and I can feel that I have less energy as a result.  I look forward to getting back into our routine next week once my older son goes back to school.

Before I got pregnant this time I started exercising more to get into shape, and have been able to continue my exercise routine since becoming pregnant.  I was not terribly active through my last two pregnancies and I hope that this one will be different.  I would like to stay active and stay in shape, so that hopefully I can have a smooth labour again, and also so that I can snap back in to shape quickly after the baby is born.

Well, I could go on, but that is all the time I have for today and I have two little monkey to wake up from their naps, so I'll have to continue more on this pregnancy some other time.  More info on homebirth coming soon!

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