Friday, May 29, 2009

(Another) One of Those Days

I was writing this post all about the cute things that the Pumpkin says, but then my nanny had to go home early because she wasn't feeling well. So I got home during what should have been nap time, but as soon as I walked in the door, Londo told me that she was awake so I didn't have to tiptoe in. They were cuddling on the couch watching Wonderpets, and she was looking sooooo tired. But apparently, he tried to put her down for a nap, and was unsuccessful. Big shock.

I decided to take a stab at it. I brought her upstairs and had a very frustrating hour trying to get her to nap (and get in my own nap!). I gave her a bottle, which almost worked... if only there had been another ounce or two of milk in it, it might have worked. I tried cuddling her, telling her that we could nap together. I tried getting her to help her baby Pooh and baby Tigger lie down for their naps by lying down with them and closing her eyes. I tried being stern. I tried being silly. I had a very long talk with her about why naps are important for recharging our batteries, about how being tired with no nap affects us later, about how everyone she knows is napping during nap time, about how she would nap for the nanny so she should nap for Mommy*, and about how I was tired and so was she and that we both needed to nap. Finally, I tried bribing her to try to lie down, close her eyes and try to sleep by promising her a sticker (I got the furthest with this one, as she actually lied down on her own for a while).

After just about an hour, I finally told her that Mommy was feeling frustrated and sad because it was nap time and the Pumpkin wasn't sleeping. That didn't work, either, but it made me feel better to voice my frustration in ways I'm learning from the parenting books I've been reading and respect. The Pumpkin was sweet, and gave me a hug and kiss, telling me it was okay and asking if I felt better. Then, she went right back to bouncing and jumping on the bed.

My pregnancy crazies are not limited to being weeping. I also get frustrated pretty easily and can feel completely out-of-proportion anger at the drop of a hat. I was pretty impressed with how well I handled the hour with her. But at the end, I was AT. THE. END!

Luckily, Londo was here to take over. Now, I am sitting in bed (with five of my pillows) calming down a bit before I have to get more work done. Londo is downstairs playing with the Pumpkin and her moodiness due to tiredness (and due to receiving my genes).

I think I'll nominate Londo for sainthood. Especially if he would possibly let me stay in bed for the next 2 or 3 days and shut out the world until maybe I can get some sort of handle on my emotions and reactions...

(Oops! I just heard Londo let out a little bit of frustration himself! I guess I won't be getting those 2-3 days.)

*Why oh why is this the case? The nanny gets her to nap almost every single week day. But weekends and other days when it is up to Londo and me to get her down for a nap, she almost never takes a nap! What magic does that woman have? We do the exact same things, but it does not work for us!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Re-Planning the Boy's Birth

So I had that whole post about how I was leaning towards trying for a repeat C-section over my original intention of trying for a Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC). I thank you all for the wonderful responses I received, and I want to especially thank Ruta who gave me some good research which was really helpful and sent me down the right path for looking into both sides of the choice. I'll just say upfront, that we are going back to the original plan of trying for a VBAC if I go into labor prior to my due date. In fact, we will schedule a C-section for 3 days after my due date just to give us a window for trying for the VBAC.

Because the thing about looking into and asking about the risks associated with a VBAC is that you learn the risks associated with a VBAC. If you don't also look into and ask about the risks associated with repeat C-sections, you won't learn the risks associated with those. (This article Time magazine did on repeat Caesareans was really interesting (and spoke in layman's terms), if you are interested in some history behind VBAC vs. repeat C-sections.) Now, I've actually been able to look into both, and I truly feel that the risks are comparable. Let me talk about some of them.

The risk of uterine rupture is not to be ignored when trying for a VBAC. However, my research has now made me pretty aware of what the signs would be, and I do think the doctors and nurses would be able to tell that something unusual is going on. The window for reaction, as Jan commented about, is not a long one. Apparently, this is why the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) changed their recommendation from having doctors and anesthesiologists "readily available" to "immediately available." Where I live and the hospital where I will labor and deliver has a doctor from my practice there 24/7 and anesthesiologists there round the clock as well. So they are immediately available, which should cut the risk down.

In addition, there is apparently no conclusive evidence that a larger baby makes the risk of a uterine rupture greater. Although there is evidence that inducing labor can make the risk greater.

The risk of a maternal infection is always higher with a C-section. Although I know stories on both sides of the infection from family members and close friends, the stats show that it's higher with C-section.

The risk of hysterectomy is the same with both. How about that? I never really thought about that risk as something with a vaginal birth, but apparently it is.

Um, that's all I've got off the top of my head (and my memory of a goldfish). But overall, I just feel that there are risks on either side and the risks mostly are comparable based on my eligibility for a VBAC, my going into labor naturally (not induced) and my general health.

So then, it boils down to choice.

Londo is a big planner and wants to minimize serious risks to me and the baby, as well as any discomfort to either of us. He does feel that a repeat C-section would do this. He also feels that the doctors we've talked to and the research he has done supports this. BUT he has said this whole time that it is my choice. I know he will support me in the thick of things even if he would prefer I deliver another way.

So then, it really boils down to MY choice.

It's not just the research that leads me to want to try a VBAC. It is partly what the birth advisor we met at the hospital said: For me, it's less about wanting to try to deliver vaginally than it is my not wanting to go through another C-section if possible. That's absolutely true. Sure, I think the experience of a vaginal birth would be pretty cool, as well as really hard and exhausting. The idea of having my baby right there immediately after birth is so appealing that I just melt thinking of it. Being able to fully experience what my body was built to do also sounds fulfilling to me.

But even more, if I have the opportunity to avoid major abdominal surgery, it's direct recovery, it's mid-term recovery and it's sucky long-term recovery... Well, I'd like to try to avoid it. I've been comparing it to if you had to have major knee surgery, but a couple years later the knee is acting up again. The doctor says that you could try physical therapy and there is a 60-80% that it will be successful, or you could go directly to major surgery again. I think that most people would opt to at least give the physical therapy a try, right?*

Finally, my gut, my instincts, that tell me to try for the VBAC. If it doesn't happen, at least I tried. But I really feel like it's the right thing to do for me.

So the final plan is back to the original plan. We will schedule a C-section for June 22, the day my primary OB is at the hospital. If we go into labor prior to then, we will try for a VBAC. All our family and friends are in on the plan and will move on a dime when we give them the word that I'm in labor, or we tell them that we're heading in on the 22nd for the planned C-section. Either way, we'll get that baby out and have a beautiful boy within the month. Yikes!!!

I doubt anyone read this whole post, but I think this post is more for me to get all these thoughts and feelings on the matter written out more than anything else. I haven't been able to write much lately, and I think it's because I've been holding all this in... Okay, that's not exactly true, because I've been talking about it a lot. But the writer in me needs to write it out. So there it is, and now hopefully I'll be able to write about all the cute Pumpkin things that are going on and how much fun I had at the DC area May meet up!

*I gave this example to my dad, who jokingly said just hop using the other knee. I responded, "Well, I've got only one uterus!" We laughed, but we have the same sense of humor.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Question of the Week - And the Living's Easy...

What a fantastic weekend! The meet up at the At Play Cafe was so much fun (I'll definitely write up a post about that soon)! I had a lovely Sunday getting some good nesting in, the culmination of which was a cleaned out and organized linen closet (which I'd been meaning to do for months). And Monday was spent at the pool and relaxing at home. I do love summer time, especially long weekends with fun plans.

This week's question of the week is:
What summertime activities do you look forward to doing?

For me, it's the pool, the lake, the beach. Basically, hanging out in the side beside and in water.

This year, Londo, the Pumpkin and I will not be able to make our annual beach trip to the time share with my parents. Even though the beach is only 2.5 - 3 hours away, the trip would be... hmmmm... I think next week. And I am in no shape to do any car trip over 30 minutes. Plus, Londo kind of wants to keep me near our doctors and the hospital. Cause, you know, I could pop any minute.

These limitations also interfer with any trips up to my cousin's lake house, which is 2.5 - 3 hours in the other direction. The house is so relaxing, and although the lake is really cold it is beautiful. But the best part is zooming around on the speed boat, something I am totally not up for.

Which leaves the pool. The wonderful, cooling, just-down-the-street neighborhood pool. Where I can feel almost normal again and can carry and play with the Pumpkin in the big pool. Where we can come and go so easily from our house when the mood strikes us.

We'll also blow up the fun baby pool in our backyard and play back there a lot during the summer. We would have done that this weekend, but our beagle discovered a nest of baby bunnies* in our backyard**, so we are trying to keep toddler and dog away until either the mama bunny moves them or we figure out what to do with them. This also cuts down on Londo's favorite summertime activity, which is grilling while the family is hanging out in the backyard.

Those are the things I look forward to about summer. I'm a water sign, so what do you expect? Of course this particular summer, I'm also really looking forward to the birth of our son!

So what about you? Do you love summer like I do? Even if you don't, what fun summertime things are you anticipating?

*Unlike the baby birds' nest which is up too high to disturb, this nest is in a shallow hole right in a main part of our yard. It's like we are some sort of animal habitat or something. What's going on?

**For those who don't know, beagles are actually bread to hunt out rabbits. You'd think the mama bunny would have been smart enough to not build a nest in the backyard of a beagle! But our neighborhood is totally overrun with rabbits, so we guess that they are just out of room and finding any place. Dumb but cute, those bunnies.