Thursday, September 26, 2013

Baby Rosalie: 27 weeks

I am 27 weeks now which puts me in the third trimester and 2/3 of the way through this pregnancy! It's a relief to get to this point, because if something crazy happened and the baby came early, most likely everything would be fine. That viability point is a huge milestone.

I'm feeling pretty good right now after my awesome 80 minute pregnancy massage on Friday! Great 30th birthday gift Neil! It was so relaxing and I felt like my posture was so much better after too. I would love to get another massage before the birth! I had a really nice birthday weekend. I treated myself to some new earrings and makeup for my birthday. Neil and I had a great date day on Friday and my mom and I shopped on Saturday afternoon (yay for new shoes and jewelry!) On Saturday night Neil and I went to Oktoberfest downtown. Fun!

I'm still sleeping okay, sometimes even through the entire night. I think I could use an extra hour or so each night, so I really should try to get to bed earlier. I haven't been doing much on the exercise front. I'm just totally spent and sore by the time I get home I never make it to do anything. I really need to be walking and stretching more.

I have one new, slightly weird symptom. My belly feels like it's buzzing. Like a cell phone on vibrate. It's so odd. It's a very weird thing to describe. I can't figure out if it's the baby breathing or doing something new or my uterus shaking/growing. It's usually very low down in my belly/pelvis. Lasts for 10-20 seconds then goes away. No clue what that is about.

We have officially decided on the baby's name! She will be named Rosalie June Miller. We are having a harder time using the name in conversation than we did with Lila, but I really love it and I think it is perfect! We can't wait to meet miss Rosie June!

I just ordered her monogram letters to go over her crib, so we better be sold on the name! The will look like this below, but with RMJ. I'm not sure if I will paint them pink or yellow. I will share pics of the nursery soon! I've been working on some other artwork in the last few weeks.

Everything else is going pretty well. Work is busy but that helps to keep my mind occupied from going to crazy with baby planning and thinking. If you read my VBAC post you know that I'm an active (over)-thinker, so having work to focus on is definitely good at keeping my crazy mind at bay!

Our friend Joe is going to take some maternity/family photos next weekend, so I'm excited about that, and I'm thinking about what we'll wear and what type of shots I want him to take. I'm also busy getting my fall decorations out, planning fun fall activities for Lila and trying not to eat everything pumpkin that has ever been made!

Here is my 27 week update!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Thoughts on Birth: VBAC vs. C-section

I'm doing a lot more thinking about the birth. (FYI: This is going to be a LONG post and I've been writing and adding stuff to it for a while!) This is a huge place of anxiety and worry for me. I am so torn about the decision of what kind of birth to have and all the little decisions that go into that. Because Lila arrived by emergency c-section, it's my choice if I want to do a repeat c-section (RCS) or vaginal birth after c-section (VBAC). I'm apparently great candidate for VBAC because I went into labor on my own, got to 5 cm and because my c-section was due to cord and heart-rate issues and isn't something that should happen again with this baby.

Most people in my situation opt for a RCS and I don't blame them. If you've had a traumatic delivery experience where you were told your baby's life was in danger - a planned, calm surgical procedure sounds pretty good. It's not an easy choice by any means though, because even if your first c-section recovery (like mine) was fine, it's still surgery! A c-section means at least 2 nights in the hospital but likely 3 or more, longer recovery with restrictions on lifting, stair-climbing and driving, greater chances of complications for the mom during surgery (as compared to a vaginal birth), and some studies have shown more breathing and breastfeeding issues in newborns born via c-section. 

The concern with VBAC is uterine rupture. Because I have a scar on my uterus, there is a small chance that the scar could come apart during labor or really anytime during pregnancy which could be fatal for the baby. This is very scary but a rupture happens in only .6% - 1% of VBAC attempts. A smaller percentage of that percentage actually have a catastrophic outcome for baby or mom. 

I truly believe VBAC is the best choice for me and that is what I'm leaning toward now, even though I'm pretty sure I would have a perfectly fine c-section with an okay recovery. I am mainly concerned about the affect that a longer hospital stay and recovery would have on Lila and her adjustment to the baby. I also had a lot of difficulty nursing Lila in the first 3 months which might have been related her birth, but could also be due to other things. I really want to do everything I can to make breastfeeding easier this time around.

The other issue with a second c-section is that with each subsequent c-section the risks grow greater. So if I was planning on more babies, I should really think hard about doing another c-section because it would make my 3rd birth a much riskier proposition. We are planning on this being my last pregnancy, so it doesn’t really play much into my decision.

So with all of that considered, I think I want to try to have a VBAC. Neil's biggest concern with me attempting the VBAC is that I will feel like a failure if I end up having to have a c-section anyway and that an emergency c-section will be a lot harder to recover from than a planned one. I think I'd be no more disappointed than I was last time. I actually think I'd be more disappointed if I didn’t try at all and just elected to have the surgery. Giving baby and me a chance at a vaginal birth is what I really want.

Earlier on in my pregnancy I was considering switching hospitals and doctors to increase my chances of successful VBAC. I sought out advice from the International Caesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) group here in Cincinnati, and many of those ladies encouraged me to look at a more supportive provider, specifically Dr. Daniel Bowen, and a potentially more VBAC-friendly hospital (Bethesda North).

In the end, I’ve decided that sticking with my original doctors and delivering at Mercy Fairfield will ease my anxiety about actually going into labor: Not driving to a different hospital, worrying about whether my solo practitioner doctor will make it to my birth, etc. I am sticking with what I know, and hopefully that works out okay! They seem very supportive of VBAC and I like knowing that if something bad does happen I'd have skilled doctors right there at the hospital.

Enter the next complication. My due date (40 weeks) is December 25. With Lila, I didn't have her until 9 days after my due date, or 41 weeks and 2 days. There is a good chance I will go "overdue" with this one as well, although usually not as long as the first time. Most of the OBs in my practice have been fine with letting me go 7-10 days over my due date. But they will not induce me if I go that long, I will just go in for a c-section. Induction can cause more stress on the uterus and is more likely to cause a rupture. I haven't asked about other non-chemical induction/augmentation like Foley catheter, membrane sweep or even low dose Pitocin. All of those I've read are the safest options for getting labor going in VBAC births.

Now, personally I'm fine with going over my due date and waiting until baby girl is ready to come out. I've done it before I can do it again. I'm not all that concerned with Christmas because Lila doesn't know any different and we can celebrate on any day. My parents will be around during the holidays anyway, so it will be fine if I go into labor during that time. The real issue is insurance and the costs of the birth. It’s pretty unfortunate that this has to be a consideration for us and what type of birth I will have.

If I go much past my due date, there is a chance that even if baby is born in 2013 that my hospital stay could extend into 2014. I’ve checked with my insurance company and if my birth and hospital stay spans into 2014 I will likely have to pay two out-of-pocket maximums. So instead of a $4000 cost for birth (which we have saved up for), we could be looking at $8000. I am already going to have to take 2 months unpaid leave to take off as much time as I want, and I’m afraid this cost will cause me to have to go back before baby and me are ready.

So “worst case” scenario, I go into labor on Dec 30, am not released until Jan 1, and have to pay two deductibles and two out of pocket max amounts. If I make it to Jan 1 without going into labor, no problem I just go overdue into 2014 and have the baby vaginally or end up with a RSC. But is it worth the financial risk to possibly go into labor between Dec 28-31? It’s not like it’s easy to keep a baby IN if it wants to get out, and vice versa.

I know this is SO much information, but it’s actually really helpful for me to type it all out instead of having all of it just spinning in my head.

So after thinking it through I think I will try some natural induction techniques (which probably won’t work) starting at 38 weeks. Nothing crazy, just staying active, lots of walking etc. As it gets closer to my due date I may try more drastic induction techniques and ask my doctor to sweep my membranes (which put me into labor last time) or if there is anything else they can do to augment my labor or induce.

I'm also looking into some other things that can make my labor better/easier/quicker, such as taking Evening Primrose Oil (EPO), drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, doing Spinning Babies techniques for good positioning and possibly even Hypnobabies, chiropractic care or acupuncture which I've heard and read can help.

I think what I may have to do is schedule the c-section for Dec 27, which will likely have me out of the hospital by Dec 31, but hope to go into labor before then. I just don't think I want to risk it otherwise. Neil suggested complete bedrest from Dec 28-31 to try to not go into labor and try to make it until the new year. I don't think either of us are really comfortable with that idea. 

The decision is tough. Birth is unpredictable and scary, especially when you have had a traumatic birth in your past and a giant scar on your uterus. I know another c-section is not the end of the world, and as it gets closer and things change, I may even opt to do the RCS. But right now, I think I need to put my energy into having a successful vaginal birth if that is in the cards for me. It's MY decision and I am going to do my best to listen to myself and what I think is right for me and my family.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Baby #2: 26 Weeks

Less than 100 days to go until my due date! That's a pretty cool milestone, I think. I'm getting so excited to meet this baby girl! I am almost in my third trimester and things are going pretty well.

This week has been better than last, pain and discomfort wise. No charlie horses, back spasms or horrific heartburn. I've slept better this week and haven't had any insomnia or frequent wake ups due to pain or having to pee! It's pretty awesome.

I've tried to take it MUCH easier this week. My house looks a bit disheveled and I'm behind on laundry, but I think I feel better because I'm letting myself rest in the evenings. Working and commuting pretty much wears me out and it's been nice to try to lay on the couch and read or watch shows on Netflix after Lila's in bed instead of running around cleaning or cooking. I still have to do some of that of course, but I'm just letting some things slide this week.

Some other good news, I passed my glucose test! Last pregnancy, I failed the 1 hour test and had to take the 3 hour test (which takes much longer than that, and you have to fast for a long time). I'm so happy to have avoided that this time around. It was horrible and one of the worst parts of my pregnancy with Lila!

Not much more to add, really. Lila is doing great. She is SO stinkin' cute these days. She is getting into princesses and Disney movies, which I just love. She even slept in a tiara the other night. She is so sweet and girly, I love it! She also loves having birthday parties for her dolls and toys, acting like a baby, playing with babies, dancing and singing to music and making up funny stories. She has such a great imagination and I just love talking to her and watching her play. So much fun. She seems so ready to welcome her baby sister into the family! She wants the baby to sleep in bed with her and says she is going to feed her and will kiss and hug her if she cries.

Well, tomorrow is my 30th birthday! Pretty exciting. It's not phasing me at all. I'm honestly pretty happy to be 30. I am SO lucky to have a happy marriage, a wonderful daughter, a healthy pregnancy and family and a nice home, job, car, etc! Part of me wishes I was in Vegas celebrating it up big, but I think I'll take a normal day in my pretty awesome life. I am super excited about a date day with Neil on Friday and a pregnancy massage! YAY! :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ughh, it's those working mommy blues

Lila was just acting off this morning. Laying on me, laying on the couch/floor, not eating, saying her belly hurt... after cuddling her and watching her as long as I could and getting her to eat a few bites of toast, I got her dressed and in the car. She had perked up enough to go to daycare and because she was not feverish or throwing up, just acting a little off, I decide to send her.

I hate days like today. I have a class to teach and 2 hours of desk time and really can't take the day off unless she is actually full blown sick, not just acting a bit under the weather. It's a horrible feeling. I think she just needs a lazy day at home with me with some extra cuddles. I'm hoping that sending her today doesn't throw her into an actual sickness this week.

Because I cuddled her most of the morning, I didn't get to pack my lunch, I forgot her jacket (it's about 65 degrees, so I hope she'll be fine at the park this morning) and I got to work so late there were no spots and I had to park in the pay parking garage.

Some mornings are like this - you leave your child, jacket-less in the sitter's car bound for the playground (with a puke bowl, just in case), while you pay $5 to park and $10 for a not-healthy lunch and try not to worry about her all day. I absolutely hate it.

Meanwhile I sit down for a moment at my desk and feel the baby kick, and remember, oh yeah, hi baby #2! I try to drink some extra water before this next class I'm teaching and take a moment to think about this baby a bit. I know I will feel this exact torn, horrible feeling multiple times a week when I leave two little girls at daycare in just a few months.

I feel like I'm in a constant state of hurry and chaos and of being pulled physically and emotionally in 6 different directions. Is this how every working mom feels sometimes? Or is it just the working moms with 35 minute commutes each way? How will I do this with two?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Baby #2: 25 Weeks

Baby girl is 25 weeks along, and I'm going to do my first real whining/complaining of this pregnancy! It goes without saying that I'm extremely lucky and thankful to have a healthy baby and an uneventful pregnancy so far. I know lots of people would love to be in my shoes. With that said, I am allowed to complain once in a while. Pregnancy sucks, let's be blunt. It's ridiculously cool and miraculous too, but I'm started to get all the aches and pains and annoyances and I still have over 3 months to go (14 wks and 5 days til Christmas, ya'll!)

Yesterday was bad. I woke up in the middle of the night (it ended up being about 4:45am) with the worst charlie horse of my life! Imagine being awakened out of a dead sleep with excruciating pain! I've been trying to hide my sweet limp since then and it hurts to walk! The charlie horse was brought on by me trying to flip myself over in bed, because I'm getting increasingly uncomfortable. My hip goes numb if I lay too long on one side and I need like 5 pillows to be comfortable for any length of time.

In addition to those two the sleeping issues and charlie horses, I am having extreme tailbone pain. It hurts (like wincing in pain) to stand, lay, sit, drive, bend over, pick up Lila, pick up stuff off the floor, etc. Walking is the only truly comfortable position/movement at the moment. I have been trying to stretch, do yoga, take it easy in the evenings (sorry Neil), not do as many physical things at work, get more sleep, etc and nothing is really working. I really hope this goes away!

I am getting A TON of movement from baby, and she is kicking/punching down low, up high, on the sides and everywhere. Some of her kicks are actually pretty painful and surprising! Strong little girl. I really don't remember Lila being this strong and active at 25 weeks. 

All and all, things are good. I'm looking forward to my birthday next week and my 28 week ultrasound on Oct 2! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Baby #2: 24 Weeks

I am 24 weeks pregnant today which means I am now 6 months! Six months pregnant sounds like a legitimate amount now! I am getting closer to the end of the 2nd trimester and only have 16 weeks until my due date. I know it will go by quickly, as fall semesters always do for me. I'm a bit bummed that summer is over. As we were leaving the YMCA pool on Monday as they closed for the season, it hit me that next summer Lila will have a baby sister to play with in the pool! How exciting!

I had my 24 week appointment this morning and everything is going pretty well. Baby girl's heart rate was 140, my blood pressure was good 120/75, I gained too much weight this month (6 lbs, oops) and I got my blood drawn for glucose testing. I hope I pass! I scheduled my next appointment for Oct 2nd at 28 weeks. I will get another ultrasound at that point (to check on the choroid plexus cysts that were on the baby's head at 20 weeks). After that appointment, I will start going every 2 weeks instead of every 4.

I am feeling a bit more tired and a bit more uncomfortable at the end of the day and overnight. I need a lot of pillows to sleep (one under my back, one between my knees, etc) and I'm about to try the giant pregnancy pillow which takes over the bed! If I wake up at night, sometimes I can't get back to sleep for an hour or two. I still have heartburn daily and I'm feeling SO much movement from the baby. She's so strong and all over the place. She should be about 12.5 inches long and 1.5 lbs. She is very active and moves A LOT at bedtime, overnight and in the morning. I can see her moving around my belly and it honestly never gets old!

We are getting close to naming our baby girl. I really like Ada, Elsa and Cora but for a few different reasons we are leaning away from those choices. I love June as a first name, but I think I like a name with more than 1 syllable. We haven't 100% committed, but we think her name will be Rosalie June Miller. We will call her Rosie, Rose or Rosie June. Rosalie was not a name I had considered originally, but with Lila's (over)use of Rosie for her dolls, I grew to love Rose and really like giving baby girl the option of three names (spunky Rosie, elegant Rosalie or the more simple Rose).

The nursery/guest room is shaping up as well. I ordered new crib bedding from Pottery Barn and I've been slowly adding things to the room. I really love the pink and yellow girly theme I've got going on. I need to buy/make artwork and a few more pillows, hem the crib skirt, get a nightstand and get some more baskets and bins. But right now the crib and changing table are up and there are baby clothes in the closet! It's nice to get some things out of storage and move them up to her room. Also, Lila loves playing in the baby's room with her dolls and acting like a baby herself. She seems to be adjusting to her future role as big sis pretty well!

Here is me at 24 weeks 1 day:

I am slacking on my normal updates with photos, so this update will have to do for now! I'm excited to get a little closer to meeting our baby girl!