Oh Hey PTSD!

A week from today is the dreaded NT scan. The scan that triggers anxiety, stress and an epic meltdown. I have such a clear picture of that first NT scan, with the first baby that made it to 12 weeks…

As we approached the hospital, I stopped dead in my tracks, held my stomach, turned to my husband and questioned ‘what if something is wrong?’ He brushed away my worry, without words, telling me I was being a nut. In my gut, I had known something was awry. I shook off the doubt attributing it to this being the ‘first’ pregnancy (or one that has made it this far). However, as much as I tried to reassure myself, I knew something wasn’t right. My biggest fears were confirmed. I remember the color of my nails, the clothes I was wearing, the silent ultrasound sound tech who refused to answer any question or reassure my fears, the color of the doctors hair, the sound of his voice and thick accent, his body language as he entered the room, and the unforgettable feeling of finding out something is terminally wrong with your most wanted child.

This day becomes clearer as we approach this baby’s NT scan. I am prepare for a slow increase of anxiety as the day approaches and most likely an epic, two year old style meltdown as we enter the room.

Boy, would I love to know what innocence and ignorance feels like. I have been robbed and it doesn’t get easier, even after a healthy pregnancy…

10 days to go

If everything goes according to plan, I have 10 days left of my pregnancy. It could be less if I go into labor naturally, or it could be more if my dear child decides to flip. However, I find the latter to be unlikely. She has not moved since 32 weeks. I do not think she will decide to move her head down south. She enjoys being upright. Apparently she already marches to the beat of her own drum and doesn’t follow the crowd. I wonder if I am in for a stubborn, strong willed child?

I naturally have anxieties about my pending delivery. What will the procedure feel like? How will I mentally prepare for being sliced open? Will I grief the loss of a vaginal deliver (most likely)? What will the recovery feel like? Will I be ‘all there’ when I meet my much waited for baby? Will she come out safely? Will surgery go smoothly? Will it be without complications? Well..you get the point. The list of what ifs can go on and on… All I can do right now is breathe and enjoy the last days of this pregnancy.

I want to make sure I cherish these last 10 days with my daughter growing inside of me. I can control where she is right now and for all intents and purposes, I know she is safe. When she joins us in the outside world, there will things out of my control and I am pretty confident that a slew of anxieties will follow. I know I will miss running my protruding tummy and feeling her respond to my touch. I will miss feeling her hiccup. I am sure I will even miss those swift kicks to my vagina and bladder. I will miss the reminder that she is a part of me, growing with me.

 

Pregnancy is not easy. It’s downright uncomfortable towards the end. However, it is the most magical thing I have ever done. It’s probably the most incredible experience I have been granted thus far. Despite the aches and pains, hemorrhoids, forgetfulness and inability to sleep- I love being pregnant. Maybe it was the cards I was previously dealt, but the one thing I did not do during these past nine months, is take this experience for granted. I made sure of it. I made sure to enjoy every milestone big and small an to savor her every movement. I promised myself I would and I followed through with that promise.

Dear baby girl, as much as I am cherishing you as you continue to pack on the pounds within, I cannot wait to meet you on the outside. I dream about holding you and kissing your little face. You are all I can think about. I’ve never look forward to anything more than meeting you.

One Year Anniversary

A year ago today, we terminated a pregnancy. We made the heartbreaking decision to let our daughter go after a grim diagnosis. This was by far the worst day of my life. I remember the day very vividly. I remember entering the operating room and just breaking down. One of the nurses took me in her arms and reassured me that a sick child wouldn’t have the life she deserved and this act was out of love and to spare her a lifetime of pain and suffering. She assured me that I was making the right decision for me and my family and understood my emotional turmoil.

The weeks following this procedure, I cried continually. I cried myself to sleep, I cried when I woke up, I cried throughout the day. I ached for my baby to be back inside of me. I ached for her to be healthy. I hated the card that I was dealt. I resented anyone with a healthy pregnancy. I hated anyone who welcomed healthy children into their lives because it seemed easy for them.

I look back on this past year and I recognize that a lot has changed. I am not religious and I am minimally spiritual, but for some reason, I feel like I have to thank my first daughter for sending me her sister, who is happily kicking away at the moment. In honor of our first daughter, we are naming our second daughter with the name we had chosen for her. I toyed with whether or not I wanted to name her with the same name, or if I wanted to choose a different name before I got pregnant and when we found out it was another girl. Ultimately, we decided to keep the name. The name is not only one we love, but it also honors her memory and gives more meaning to it, at least it does to us.

36 week bumpdate

How far along: 36 weeks 6 days! I have a scheduled C-section at 39 weeks so….Exactly 15 days until we meet baby!

Baby is the size of: Large cantaloupe, papaya, or honeydew melon! She is anywhere from 19-22 inches long and weighs around 6 pounds.

Total weight gain: about 25 pounds

Symptoms:

  • contractions apparently they are no longer braxton hicks
  • heartburn
  • rib pain- I had so wished that one was not returning
  • pregnancy brain

Food cravings:

  • fruit
  • cookies
  • chocolate
  • and basically everything- I can’t stop eating this week

Anything making you queasy or sick?: nope!

Movement: Yes- because my stubborn baby is still in breech position I get swift kicks in the vagina on the regular. My OB put it beautifully: feels like a coat hanger to the vagina. Yup. She hit the nail on the head with that one.

Stretch marks: nope, however, I am sure I’ll have them after birth when my skin doesn’t know where to go after being so stretched out

Gender:girl- but as I have been saying, I have an irrational fear she is going to come out with a penis.

Happy or moody? I am happy! I am even more happy that my doctor pulled me out of work due to my long commute. The commute itself was exhausting: waking up at 5 am and leaving before 6 to commute an hour to an hour a half into Manhattan and then the same on the way back. Sitting behind the wheel was not only uncomfortable, but it was worrisome. I was getting contractions on my way to work because I refuse to drink liquids prior to getting in my car. If I drank anything before I got in the car I was risking peeing my pants…there is also limited places to stop along the drive…and apparently dehydration brings on contractions. Because baby is in breech, contractions are not my friend. There is fear of the cord prolapsing (going into the birth canal before the baby) if my water breaks. This can compromise the baby’s oxygen supply. So, even though I did not anticipate going out of work this early, I do feel safer being at home and closer to the hospital. This makes me happy.

Best moments this week/baby milestones:

We had our shower this past weekend which makes her pending and very soon arrival very real! It was also confirmed that my baby is in fact getting the hiccups on the regular! We were able to see her hiccuping on the ultrasound!

Purchases for baby: 

People spoiled our little one and she is set for the first three months of her life! She has so many cute outfits and great baby paraphernalia.

I

Purchases for momma:

I order a belly binder for after the C-section or natural birth (if she does decide to flip!) based on recommendations from fellow bloggers and friends.

The bump: 

It is large and heavy! When I switch positions during my sleep it feels like I am transporting a bowling ball from side to side!

Miss anything?

  • not peeing during the night. I have contemplated wearing an adult diaper to avoid disrupting my sleep…
  • seeing my vagina- I am desperate to groom and I cannot see a thing
  • bending over without contemplating if the object I dropped is really worth the trouble
  • sex without feeling like a giant blow fish

Looking forward to? 

Obviously meeting my baby in 15 days!!!!!

  
Some shower pictures: 

   
    
   
   
    
    
 

Let’s talk C-Section

I had first weekly appointment with my OB today. The last appointment at 34 weeks and 6 days, we were told that baby was breech. In delivering this news, she was by no means concerned; reassuring me that baby had time and room to flip. Today, at 36 weeks 4 days, baby has not budged. She prefers to be right side up apparently. In combination with her positioning, I have been experiencing contractions. Contractions without terrible cramping, but contractions nonetheless. After confirming her positioning with the ultrasound, the doctor was pretty confident that this little one of mine would be delivered through a C-section…

So my daughter will be born no later than April 22, 2016. Currently, my cervix is high and closed…but it is soft. My OB believes there is a chance of me going into labor prior to the 22nd…

As my OB was scanning me, I was contracting. She then looked at me and told me she was taking me out of work. I commute about an hour to an hour and a half in the morning and in the afternoon. Since my contractions have been kind of regular, she is concerned about my water breaking and me going into labor before the 22nd. If my water broke and baby is feet first, there could be a risk of the cord coming through my vagina and causing many problems (I think this is what I heard correctly, however, I was quite overwhelmed and could of misunderstood). So she told me no more commuting to work and wrote me a doctor’s note. This being said, if I have constant contractions and if my water breaks, I need to immediately go to the hospital and will need an emergent c-section.

I am relieved to know my OB is making sure my baby’s and my safety is her first priority, however, having a scheduled c-section is a lot to process. Pregnancy always comes with the fantasy of going into labor and pushing and having the baby being immediately placed on your chest. My fantasy will now change to a more ‘predictable’ one.  I have to mourn and grieve the loss of a natural delivery.

Although it is likely that I won’t have the ideal natural birth story, all I care about it delivering my baby safely. 

Any advice from moms who have experienced a c-section, whether emergent or planned? What is the best way to mentally prepare? What should I expect from recovery? I was told to get a waist binder and high rise underwear- thoughts and/or other suggestions?

ease my worried mind…

Anxiety, anxiety, and anxiety 

I wake up multiple times in the middle of the night,typically the catalyst is my ever shrinking bladder. When I return my bed, I can’t drift back to sleep until I feel a movement. Sometimes it happens instantaneous, sometimes I have toward seconds to minutes which feels like eternity. This is the time my mind wanders to dark places…

As my much awaited due date approaches, I am crippled with anxiety. Will I actually meet my daughter? 

I am 13 days away from being full term. As far as anyone is concerned, she’s healthy. It is now up to my body to ensure she stays safe until she is ready to join the world. Body don’t fail me now. 

Baby is feet first…

How foolish of I to think she was head down! I am 34 weeks 6 days and baby is happily sitting upright… 

The doctor told me not to fret, she still has time and room to flip.

Worst case scenerio: scheduled c-section a week before my due date. 

Turn baby turn! 

A year ago today…

A year ago today, my husband and I went to the hospital for a routine NT scan. This scan forever changed the course of our much wanted pregnancy and my outlook on life. We were given the news that there was an 80% chance our baby was sick. After 2 and a half weeks of waiting… We were given a diagnosis. We had to make that heartbreaking decision. 20 days later we said goodbye to our daughter.

A year ago today I was raped of my innocence. I became forever cynical when it comes to pregnancy. I am now cautiously optimistic. 

A great deal has changed in the last 366 days… 

I was in the throws of hell a year ago, yet today I can feel her sister wiggling around in my belly, getting stronger everyday. 

To my rainbow- I can’t wait to  hopefully meet you in 6 weeks/whenever you decide to make your appearance.  

“Congratulations”

This past week I have been staying in Manhattan at my parents apartment. My husband is on Navy duty until next week so I figured I would stay closer to work to get a reprieve from commute. My parents live a little over a mile from my work site so I have been walking to and from work. On my walks to and from over the last couple of days people have said ‘congratulations’ on the sight of my protruding stomach. These are people I have never met, never seen, and certainly do not know. They say congratulations as they walk past me. I find this odd. I understand that their comment is suppose to be ‘endearing,’ however, I find it unnerving. It goes hand-in-hand with the notion that pregnancy=baby. A course of a pregnancy is undetermined until birth, therefore, I feel like the obligatory ‘congratulations’ should be saved until the safe arrival of the child. Maybe someone who hasn’t experienced losses would think differently, but I just feel funny accepting a ‘congratulations’ for something that is still so unknown…