Friday, January 10, 2014

Ultrasound!

The ultrasound went great! It was amazing to see our sweet baby moving around on the screen.  The kids were interested for a minutes but they really couldn't decipher the images on the screen so they got a bit bored.  The placenta is anterior, but above the cesarean scars so that's good for now.  Baby is measuring 21 weeks 3 days and that correlates perfectly with my calculated ovulation date.  By LMP I'm 21 weeks 5 days, so no issues at all.  Everything is looking great so far and I really hope that this ultrasound eases some of my anxiety.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Finally! An ultrasound is scheduled!

Since I'm using the midwives locally ultrasounds are bit hard to come by.  The midwives are minimalists when it comes to these things and they only require one ultrasound near the end of pregnancy.  They do work with the local community college's sonography program for the 20 week anatomy ultrasound, but it is not a required or even suggested thing. Just an option.  I have been trying to get in touch with the college since my 16 week appointment on December 2nd with no luck.  This week I've been getting their holiday OGM that says they are closed from December 13th through the 1st and says to call back on the 2nd. Well its the 9th now and I still haven't been able to get in touch with anyone.  I've called and called and left at least a dozen messages.

On December 23rd I found out there is a new elective 3D/4D place to open in January and made an appointment for the 9th. I've since waffled over whether I want to keep the appointment or not.  Hubby said that if we are getting a fancy ultrasound we might as well find out the sex.  What? We had decided to keep that a surprise!! Okay. Well even that I can get past, but what I can't get past is that the elective place can not legally tell me anything remotely medical.  It is only to look at your baby and find out the sex, nothing more. That isn't what I wanted.  I wanted to know if baby is okay and where my placenta is placed etc.  Therefore, I've been considering and reconsidering this elective ultrasound, all the while still trying to get in touch with the college.

Last night I finally decided that since this place isn't going to tell me what I really want to know that I would cancel.  I decided to keep trying the college, but if I couldn't get in touch with them, I'd just wait till the 36 week ultrasound.  This is a little upsetting because I'd love to see my baby and I'd love to have the information that a medical ultrasound could give me.  But, having made my decision, I called the 3D place and cancelled my appointment.  I had a nice chat with the woman on the phone, who was super sweet and understanding, so I will be recommending them to anyone interested in doing a 3D u/s. Then I decided to try and see if I could find a different number for the sonography department.  After a little bit of digging I found one.  And someone answered that line!! And I got an ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow (January 10th) in the morning!! I'm thrilled! The only thing is that Hubby might not get to be there since he is working.  He is going to try to be there, but it'll be a challenge for sure.  If he doesn't go, I will definitely stick to my guns about not finding out the sex.  If he's there and wants to know, as I imagine he will, then we may end up finding out.  We'll see how it goes!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Appointment 3, Things are looking good!!

So I've been feeling pretty down about everything lately.  I don't feel a great deal of movement at 21 weeks along. Way less movement than I felt with my previous two.  With them I was seeing movement on the outside of my belly by this point, but this time I feel flutters a few times a day, but they are faint, low and infrequent.  I may have an anterior placenta, I know. This seems to be the general consensus from everyone I've spoken to about it, including the midwife.  I have outrageous heartburn, so bad that it makes me vomit and when that happens it feels like fire coming back up. Just awful.  I'm also struggling with drinking enough water. It still makes me nauseous, especially if I drink it with a meal.

However, after my appointment today, I feel so much better! She had trouble getting the heartbeat on the doppler, but because the baby was obviously moving that much and seemed to be hiding from the doppler. When she finally pinned the baby down long enough to get a reading the heartbeat was a very strong one at 160bpm.  The baby seems to be doing just fine.  My BP is great and steady.  I've had the same reading the last 3 appointments at 118/76 and everything just seems to be right on track!!

I have a 3D ultrasound appointment scheduled for the 9th that I am seriously considering cancelling now. They legally cannot tell me anything about anything except the gender of the baby, which we don't want to know.  I'm going to try to get an appointment with the local college again since they can tell me fluid levels and placenta placement and all that.  I also asked if a MW would accompany me in the event of a hospital transfer and she said yes and the MW would bring all my prenatal records too.  She also said the try to avoid the nearest hospital that is very close to the center, unless its an immediate life threatening emergency.  If its a transfer and time permits, they transfer to a hospital 20 minutes away, which is a much better hospital when it comes to childbirth.  I was relieved to hear that too!  So great appointment and I'm feeling pretty positively about it all right now!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

2 appointments down, so far so good

So far things are going well. I was very nervous for my first midwife appointment and I think it was mostly because its so different from my last 2 pregnancies and seeing an OB.  The midwife was very sweet and extremely informative.  She went over every detail of the state required testing and exactly what was being tested for.  I remember asking the lab at the beginning of my last pregnancy what was being tested for and the lab tech drawing my blood either couldn't or wouldn't tell me. Its so nice to be openly given information about what is going on and given options to make the decisions for yourself. The MW had a little trouble finding the heartbeat, which made me nervous, but she got a different doppler and found it pretty quickly.

The second appointment was with the other midwife that I hadn't met yet.  I'd been warned that she seems harsh and not to be put off by that. I can't say that I found her difficult at all, but she definitely seems more strict.  She is absolutely very much naturally minded and did not approve of me getting antibiotics for strep throat.  She gave me the impression that she thought it was an uneducated decision on my part and I just blindly accepted whatever the doctor suggested.  It wasn't. I did my research on strep and the use of antibiotics for strep during pregnancy.  Otherwise everything at the appointment went perfectly.

The only thing that I wish they did that they don't is ultrasounds.  As a VBA2C patient I will be required to have one at 36 weeks to check the placenta position, but if I didn't have a scarred uterus they would require no ultrasound at all.  There is an option to get an ultrasound after 19 weeks through the local college sonography program.  I tried that, but after a month of calling and leaving messages I had not been able to get in touch with anyone.  I local friend told me the name of a place just opening up and I looked into it.  Its a 3D/4D ultrasound place and made an appointment with them.

My main issue is working on overcoming my own fears and doubts.  I'm so terrified that something will go wrong, or some complication will arise and risk me out of the birth center and then I'll be stuck with an unsupportive OB. I've joined the ICAN Facebook group and a VBAC support group as well, but there are so many negative posts and stories about failed VBAC attempts or those who just change their minds. I wonder why some are even there because the seem to do nothing but push interventions and RCS.  At this point I'm not there for extra research as I've done tons of that.  I'm aware of the potential risks of all my options.  I'm looking for positive birth stories with great outcomes to prepare my mind and keep myself thinking positively.  I need to conquer my fears and replace the negative thoughts with positive thinking.  I don't have a lot of support from the people around me and need to find a way to build myself up.  That is where I am now.  My next midwife appointment is in January and the 3D ultrasound is a few days after that.

Monday, November 4, 2013

3 hours till my first midwife appointment

At this moment I am 3 hours away from my first midwife appointment.  I am 12 weeks 1 day.   There are a million things running through my mind and I'm excited and nervous.  Maybe I'm being silly being so about my very first appointment with my third child, but this is different.  This time its a midwife.  This time I've had 2 prior cesareans and am considered higher risk and I have to think about and prepare for things that non cesarean and non VBAC women don't necessarily have to think about.  This time we are paying a very large amount of money out of pocket and we still aren't sure where all of it will come from and how we will work it into the budget.  This time is different, and I'm nervous.

My husband and I have talked about this and the risks and his fears and concerns.  We will surely talk about it more in the coming months.  We will have to 'explain' to our families (once we tell them) and my husbands sister is a surgical nurse and will NOT understand to approve of our decision.  Not the we need her approval, but I don't like having to defend myself and the decisions I have the right to make just because she wouldn't make the same decisions.   There is just so much to think about and consider and be nervous about.  This is uncharted territory for me and I will confess to fear and even lack of confidence.  All the what ifs are right there.  All the people who won't be supportive or there to believe in me are taunting me in my mind.  I know.  I know that I HAVE TO get past that and move that mountain out of my way.  I know that and I intend to work on it, but right now it is still looming in front of me.  I want this VBA2C.  I need it.  It will take a lot off our plate if I can have a vaginal delivery with a quick recovery with this baby.  Being laid up after surgery and not being able to pick up my two older kids will be impossible for me. There is no possible way my husband can take off enough time to help me out if I have a cesarean.  We have nobody else who could help me either.  I need this VBA2C.  I am officially on the path.  I hope and pray that I remain low risk in every other way with no complications.  I hope there are no potholes or boulders on this path that could derail my plans.  I hope and pray that I am strong enough.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Progress!

The last few weeks have been extremely busy!  I have spent much time online searching, asking for advice from local mom groups, and calling OB offices everywhere.  The OB calls are usually very quick and go something like; "Hi, I am pregnant and looking for an OB who is willing to work with me on a VBA2C.", the receptionist either immediately tells me, "Oh we don't do those." or some will double check to make sure I just said 2 previous cesareans and then tell me that if it was just one I might have a shot but with 2 there really is no way.  Its depressing, discouraging and infuriating.  Infuriating because I feel so strongly that it should be MY CHOICE!  I understand that most OB's are uncomfortable with their own lack of control in a labor situation with a woman who has had 2 cesareans and they have too much fear to want to be a part of it.  At the same time, the overall risks are comparable or better if I birth vaginally, but I guess a surgeon wants to cut and feel they can control the risks better in that situation. I get it.  But shouldn't I get a vote!?

Well. I did finally find an OB who is willing to take me on as a VBA2C patient.  He will be a great option if I risk out or can't complete the pregnancy with the midwives. The issues with this OB are that he has privileges at the local hospital that is VERY unfriendly towards VBACs and if this exact OB isn't on call when I go into labor, I end up cut open.  My last VBAC failed due to pressure from supposedly VBAC friendly hospital staff, so that is an option my entire system rebels against.  I also really don't like some of this hospitals policies and standard protocol regarding babies and their care.  Specifically that they have a mandatory nursery stay for all babies for observation and monitoring.  That's it.  No medical indications, but all babies must be monitored in the nursery for 2 hours.  So, while its great to have that option, it is not my first choice and feel my chances of success are sincerely diminished if I choose this option.

I called the midwives back to see if I could negotiate the price down with them, but they won't budge on the price simply because I'm a VBA2C.  So I talked to the hubby again and finally had a really good, long talk about this with him.  We talked about the risks and he asked a ton of questions about c/s vs VBA2C stuff and made some comment that I seemed very determined to do this with the midwives.  I've been mulling it over for another week or so and called the midwives today to make my first appointment for early November! I'm terrified and excited and nervous and borderline hysterical even.  So much running through my mind, and the foremost issue is how I'm going to come up with a second mortgage payment each month to pay the midwives!  But my appointment is made!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"Failed VBAC"

I got my medical records yesterday.  I requested them a couple of weeks ago from the clinic where I was seen throughout my first two pregnancies.  I was surprised at the large stack of stuff I got, but there wasn't any information in there that was new or surprising really.  The OB had made various notes during my second pregnancy about 'patient desires vbac' and how he had counselled me on the risks and benefits of a vbac. Mostly the risks and repeatedly on the 'chance of rupture'.  Don't get me wrong, the OB is a great one and he was very supportive and mentioned that the risk is only 1% higher for rupture as compared to a first time pregnancy. But is was interesting to look through all the paperwork and look at all the test results of all the blood tests I underwent.  I was in a groove and had a good pace going in looking through everything beginning with the infertility before we conceived our daughter and the procedures and tests we went through to figure that out.  Then the pregnancy when we finally got pregnant including the sudden bleeding at 17 weeks and how the ER doctor told us we had a 50% chance of losing our baby and diagnosed me with placenta previa.  I had to wait 2 weeks to find out from my OB that is a subchorionic hemorrhage and that everything was fine. All of this I knew and read over with relative ease.  And then I got to my second pregnancy, specifically the birth.

'Failed VBAC', 'Failed attempted vbac' or some variation of those words appear repeatedly on the pages. It describes my 'failure to progress', and that they couldn't use augmentation methods due to my previous cesarean.  I knew this too, of course.  I still have a lot of regret over not staying stronger for longer to wait it out.  I could have done it.  I should have done it.  Then I wouldn't be where I am now.  I would have a chance now, if only I had persevered last time. Its already hard when you internally feel like a failure and weak because I caved in to the pressure and negativity being thrown at me by the medical staff.  But nobody forced me to make that call.  Yes, they mentioned it every single time someone walked into the room, but they didn't make me do it, I could have said no.  I did many times, but that last time I didn't. I failed.  I failed because 'they' failed me.  Because they wanted me to fail.  They expected me to fail and did absolutely nothing to help me not fail.  None of those people working there that day, on Good Friday, were there for me.  None of them wanted to be there and none of them wanted to wait for my baby to be born on his terms.  So I failed. I am a failed VBAC patient.   Now because of the '2' added to VBA2C, I will have to fight twice as hard (if not harder) for what I want for me and my baby.  Because I failed last time.