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It's like this, and like that....

I started this blog in an effort to track my experiences with pregnancy and beyond. Writing is therapeutic. Kind of like talking to myself without the people in WalMart thinking I'm crazy. If you find some entertainment in this along the way, then even better!

This is one woman's journey through unfathomable hunger, vivid sex dreams and a bulging belly...from conception to birth in 9 months or less...

Welcome to Mommyhood!

Saturday, March 27, 2010
What a strange and unusual week it's been. It's been the most wonderful, more emotional and most exhilarating, and most exhausting 5 day stretch of my life. I'm so happy, I've felt so up and so down. I've had amazing successes and the crushing feeling of failure. I've had to so quickly learn a new kind of patience. I've had to succumb to the inability to control everything. I've had to realize that everyone is learning here and not instinctually just knowing how to be a mother doesn't not mean I cannot do it. Coming home from the hospital is a shock, and then you have to just learn as you go.

There is obviously a long story about our birth, the c-section, the recovery and the coming home. I want to share it and I will but right now is a small quiet moment and all I want to do is watch my daughter sleep and be.

I'm having the best time ever, and I cannot believe I have the most beautiful little daughter. And I have her almost all to myself.

Until I'm back with the rest of the story, here are some photos of our new addition Everly Delilah:

We're having a baby....TOMORROW!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010
Yes, tomorrow. I got a phone call this morning from the crazy receptionist at my OBGYN's office and we're scheduled for our c-section tomorrow!! (as an aside, the crazy receptionist really is crazy. Her name is Saffron and she multi-tasks like no one I've ever seen before. I've had the birth date of my daughter in the hands of a crazy lady who is named after a spice for the last few weeks).

The appointment is at 11am, so we need to be at the hospital at 9am.

I am scared, I am excited, I am all sorts of things. I don't know what to do with myself.

This is a short post, I just wanted to let you all know why I may be missing in blog land for awhile. Hopefully when I come back, we will have moved to our new URL (you can email me for that at babechilla@gmail.com).

I will be updating on Twitter when I can, if you want to keep up!

And for fun, here is my 39 week belly shot (I am SO glad that I didn't get any stretch marks, so that my scar can shine alone in all it's glory, ugh).

39 Weeks

Baby Girls Red and Aqua Nursery

Sunday, March 21, 2010
My nursery looks so much better than I ever could have imagined! I REALLY wish I was capable of taking even half decent photos because this room deserves my better than my photo skills but, here it is:

I'm not sure about my mobile? Is it too much?

Our "no closet" solution. Also known as the shelf that tried to ruin my life:

Books, blankets and other random things are well hidden in here :D

Dresser/change table, full of cloth diapers and a million tiny baby clothes :D

View from her crib. The picture is level, the room/ceiling is not.

Our awesome light!!


Just another view:

Up close of our Vinyl Birds over the crib:

I need to tidy this up a little bit, I think I need some baskets.

Her view (ti's cloudy but there are mountains):

Are you ready?

Saturday, March 20, 2010
Suddenly last night, I got this overwhelming need to meet my baby. I don't know what it was. I've been feeling cautiously optimistic the entire time I've been pregnant. I know for a fact I am going to love her with every ounce of my soul and not one part of me has any regret or hesitation about becoming a mother. That said, this whole process is still scary as hell and the idea that I will soon be solely responsible for a precious new life can give me a little anxiety.

People ask you the same questions when you're pregnant, especially at this stage. They ask you how you're feeling (and for some reason 'fine' is not a satisfactory answer, because if you don't elaborate, you are then asked how you are sleeping, if you've got energy and if your back is sore, if your breasts are sore ). They ask you if you're excited (nah, whatever, it's just A BABY I HAVE GROWN FOR 10 MONTHS YO!), and they ask you if you are ready. 

That last question has admittedly been hard for me, and for the hubs. He gets away with it as new dad jitters, and people tend not to push him for fear of making him feel bad or awkward. I, on the other hand, am expected to perform some sort or preggo cartwheeling miracle, complete with pompoms and the shrill voice of a high school cheerleader - "I AM READY. R.E.A.D.Y. READY!!!!" And if I don't, I get the sympathetic side glance, with the "you'll do just fine" chaser.

I know I will do just fine. I am confident that the hubs and I will not be the first couple in the history of the world to simply implode from an inability to handle our new life. Sure things will be hard and I will cry when the baby won't latch on but is screaming from hunger and he can't help me so he get's frustrated and all we want is to go back to Saturday nights when the biggest problem was that I had to pee and the line up for $0.99 pizza was 20 mins long. I know things are about to change so epically that there is no way for us to fully be prepared for it. And I also know that my little sister, my BFF and countless other friends have managed this process, and all of them still have all their hair.

What is hard to answer, or at least has been, is 'ready' part of the question. Not because I am not ready, but because who is ever ready? And what the hell is ready? Is it having enough diapers? Is it having no fear (because then honestly, no ones ever ready)? Is it giving up all selfishness? What is ready? Sure I tried for 14 months to make this human. Sure I've had the last 35 weeks to wrap my head around it. Sure we've bought every. single. baby. item. EVER. And sure, putting my shoes on without a head in my ribs will be a welcome change, but to say I'm ready would be a lie.

I am not ready to share her with the world at all. She has been with me, experiencing every up and down I've had for the better part of a year. I was the first person to know what it felt like when she moved, and the first person to feel her hiccup. I know what it's like to get a punch to the cervix by a frustrated little girl who just wants to flip around (her hands are under her butt in this breech position, so my cervix is still ripe for the kicking). I know when she is awake and when she is asleep, and I know that she is safe. There is no risk of her falling to the floor, or getting a cold. She's safely living in my body, and to date, caring for her only requires I care for myself. And that I got the hang of over the last 29 years.

I've just been feeling this sense of apprehension about having a real live baby, in my house, that I am responsible for 100% of the time. And I am pretty sure this is all normal. Then last night, a weight lifted and all I can think about now is holding her (but just me, I'm still not ready to share).

I could take this as some sort of cosmic sign that she is on her way shortly. That this calm that has come over me is her way of signalling she is also ready, and that it's ok to take the next c-section appointment that comes my way, instead of running screaming in the other direction. I could assume this means labour is imminent shortly, and that I should stay close to home. I could take comfort in the fact that I got here before she did, and know everything will work out for the best. Or, I could be honest and realize that this feeling stems from jealousy over having a few of my internet friends recently have their babies, and me wanting mine too!

I am actually pretty sure it's a combination of factors, one of which is certainly the jealousy. The good news is, I'm not getting impatient yet, I am just getting more and more excited. And I think this is a good way to be, after having felt the crazy mix of emotions as of late. I am over the loss of my natural vaginal birth experience, and am prepared to kick c-section ass. I am ready to meet my darling daughter, set my eyes on her for the first time and hopefully not be too drug induced to remember. I am ready to look at my husband, and give this child the name she will carry for her entire life. I am ready to be a mom, and see what kind of craziness that brings.

So if you need me, I'll be sitting over here, tapping my fingers and waiting :D

So far, I've got a dog but not a baby....

Thursday, March 18, 2010
Alright, let's get back to having our eyes on the prize here people...in less than a week (ok well the exact time is STILL undetermined but, we'll assume) this baby will be here. In my ARMS, relying 100% on me to care for her. I will be responsible for someone else's entire life, and that quite frankly it both exciting and terrifying.

Let's think about this from my point of view, remembering of course that I may be certifiably insane. The only other "life" I've ever been solely responsible for maintaining thus far is my little monkey Tuker. Ok, he's a dog but I call him monkey. And I can't say I've always been great at that. Forget for a moment that I revel in the fact that I can feed him for 3 months on only $100, or that on particularly lazy days I forgo walking him in exchange for yelling "go poop" from the porch and hoping he chooses to do it outside and not in. Forget that I throw bacon flavoured treats down the hall so I can sneak out unnoticed every morning, or that I lie CONSTANTLY by telling him I'll be "back in 5 minutes". We can forget that sometimes, I bring him along for the day on errands, so he can sit in the car, in hopes he again, won't poop inside. Also, let's forget that he has no only been saved 1 time from certain drowning death, but 4 different times, for different reasons and NONE of which I've done on my own. Forget all that, and let's look at some of the serious issues my Boston faces.

For one, the dog lacks a certain survival instinct that I can't help but wonder if I should have taught him. Seriously, if left unattended for more than 30 seconds, this dog would be dead. He sees large shiny objects, moving towards him on wheels and thinks he should go play with them. Roller bladers, skateboarders, cars, trucks, bikers, this dog will throw himself in the path of any rolling object, tongue out butt wagging, in hopes of some love. Ai ya. I've seen him put his entire face underwater, trying to get a ball (stick, rock, barnacle) and breath in. Eyes wide open, he dives under, and breathes as usual. And if he's not almost drowning that way, it's because he's jumped into a raging river and it's sweeping him out to sea. And if a bear wandered into my yard with her cubs right now, he's be licking them in the face faster than you can say "THE DOG!". One time, the hubs threw a GIANT piece of driftwood, but it slipped from his hand and instead of the dog moving from it, he watched it as it came at his head and clocked him so hard, he dropped and was actually paralyzed for a moment. He trusts everything and everybody (EXCEPT the sound of fireworks, which makes him put his head under the bed because, you know, if he can't see you he must have gone invisible) with a completely open heart. He loves everything in life, and I've not taught him to fear anything, even the scary stuff.

And beyond all these things, let's think about the fact that just this past January, my dog had the ENTIRE FRONT SET of his teeth REMOVED. Not 1 or 2 teeth, but 6; and the only reason there weren't MORE, is because he'd already lost most of them. How you ask? Well let's see, there are the times at the cabin where he drags giant driftwood 3x his size up the beach, and then proceeds to eat it. And there is his OBSESSION with tug of war, and my husbands obsession with doing parlour tricks with a dog lock jawed on the end of a rope toy - passing him through his legs and over his shoulder. There is also the simple fact that 2 grown adults and a tube of chicken flavoured toothpaste (which is perfectly disgusting by the way) cannot brush the 11 teeth of a 10 pound dog.

Anyway, I realize I will have a baby and not a dog, and that hopefully my child will grow up with a slightly more enhanced sense of reason and comprehension than my fartastic Boston, but it's what I've got for now. And while my dog is fundamentally healthy, overly loved and completely and utterly snuggled beyond all reason and necessity, I still leave him at home alone all the time and only worry he's eating the molding (which he does ALWAYS). While I've managed to keep him alive the last 6 years, I think I could probably have done a better job at raising him to be a good dog. Sure I have regrets about that, but at the end of the day he's a dog and he's cute, and I can always claim he's insane and not take responsibility. With a BABY, I am much more responsible for ensuring she grows up to be a well adjusted, respectful AND respectable little girl, young lady and WOMAN.

I'm being silly, I realize but in all honestly, my dog has been my baby all these years, and soon I'll have a real flesh baby, and I cannot use the things I've learned on him to raise her. Unless of course I want her to hump the arm of unsuspecting strangers and find it acceptable to eat from the garbage if it contains meat remnants (the answer to this is obviously no). I want my dog and baby to be the best of friends, but I need to figure out how to curb his incessant desire to mouth kiss....especially since he's got death breath. And most of all, I need to figure out how to make the dog know he's still my #1 little man, even when the baby is taking up every moment of every day from here on out. Bottom line is, my dog has been my baby so long, I just hope I can quickly make the transition to managing a helpless human, while still caring for him.

Ok seriously, this post just went all sorts of sideways. But it's late, and I've eaten too many peanut butter eggs to know what to do about it. I could go down and hit 'save now' and fix this into some sort of coherent non-sense tomorrow but instead, as a special treat, I'll let you have a sneak preview into my tired and overworked mind.

Enjoy...I suspect there is more insanity of this nature coming post-baby!

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She's having a baby....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Yup, that's me. I'm having a baby. In fact, my doctor thought I was going to have her tomorrow. Because his completely banana's receptionist (her name is Suffron) called me at 10:00am to inform me that my "surgery" is scheduled for tomorrow at 7:45am.

First of all, please do not refer to the birth of my daughter as surgery. I may have been referring to it as "gutting me" and "cutting her out of me" for the last 2 weeks, but I'm allowed. You are not. And second of all, please give me slightly more than 24 hours NOTICE about said surgery. Not 21.25. And third of all, you're insane and I know you can multi-task like no ones business, but could you pretend to listen to me?

I realize that my baby could, at any point, decide today is the day and we'd be off to the races, but that is OK. This is her birth, so she can dictate the time. But in absence of being afforded that possibility, I will control it and that means keeping her in my womb until the latest possible moment. And the latest possible moment is not 7 entire days before she is DUE! So no, she will not be born at 7:45am tomorrow, despite it being St Patrick's Day, and everyone thinking I should have jumped at that chance. I cancelled that appointment, and asked to be placed BACK on the wait list. She thought I was crazy (along with a few other people in my life) but thankfully obliged. I will now be waiting for a phone call, giving me less than 24 hours, but at least occurring, for my daughters BIRTH on Friday or Monday.

I am feeling much better these days. We met with the midwives this morning, and she was very optimistic about the c-section, and said something I hadn't really thought about properly. She said "no matter how this baby comes into the world, this is still her birth and a moment to be cherished. Whether she is born vaginally, or through an incision, it is her birthday, it is still special and we will still celebrate it". And she is RIGHT! And I am happy to hear that she will be there, doing many things to help this experience be positive, wonderful and exciting.

I also need to give mad props (yes I just said that) to 3 bloggy women who have helped me immensely over the last 3 weeks. I had to explain to the hubs that while he might not GET this whole blog/Twitter world I have found myself living in as of late, he should appreciate it. If not for all of my Twitter friends, and these 3 in particular, I definitely would have wallowed longer in my self pity than I did. I needed someone to help me pull my fat head from my tiny ass. And none of my real life friends have had an experience like this that could empathize and then kick my butt into gear. My real friends are awesome, and have helped me just get through the last weeks on a personal level, but in terms of getting out of my head and learning to keep my eyes on the prize, I need to say THANK-YOU to 3 very special people.

First of all, Mae from Parenting in Progress. She has spent a ridiculous amount of time emailing me, and really making me THINK about all my issues with the c-section process. It's 1 part tough love and 3 parts sincere desire to help me have a wonderful birth experience like she did with her daughter Piper. Due to a medical condition, Mae needed to choose between a c-section for her daughter, or a labour which would potentially leave her blind (to read Mae's story, go here: The Story and then here: The Slice...The Yank ). So while the catalyst for her decision was different than mine, she shares my experience of having to make this choice. And she has done wonders for helping me get over myself. So thank you Mae, because you have certainly stopped the flood of tears I was previously experiencing. And she is the first one to tell me that this birth will be special, no matter how she arrives, and she even beat the midwife to making me realize it. Unfortunately though, the midwife will be with me when Mae cannot, so I needed to also hear it from her.

Then we've got KristiMaristi who is super cute, super awesome and super funny. She not only walked me through HER c-section experience, which she went through for EXACTLY the same reason we are about to go through this one, but she sent me a photo of her little Milo's cute baby butt in the tub which made me laugh and smile on a day I couldn't swallow without the tear bubble popping up. Not to mention she is sending me a baby gift AND watches 16 & Pregnant with me...she's a friend and I'm so happy to have met her....even if it's been only virtually (and one day, it will be IN REAL LIFE).

And last, but certainly not least, is Emmie Bee . I think she is my first official twitter/blog friend! She's the first one to ever find me on Facebook and friend me. And let's not forget, she has hds 3, count them 3 babies via c-section. 2 of them just 2 short weeks ago. Emily helps me by telling me not to take it so seriously, and giving me pep talks, sometimes 140 characters at a time. She's shared her experiences with me, and helped me stop freaking out about major abdominal surgery. She's a friend, who also watches 16 & Preggo with me (and may have introduced me to it?), and who bought baby girl something from baby gap (how DID I get SO LUCKY?).  And when I make the trip to see Kristi, it will also be the trip to see Emily. And there will be perfectly round headed babies EVERYWHERE!

I honestly didn't know blogging would ever result in meeting so many wonderful people. I know, everyone says this, but I really wasn't expecting it. And I am so lucky that these 3 women, and many others out there (hopefully you know who you are) have helped me. Because honestly, I don't know where I would have found this kind of support, and I've truly needed it.

Stay tuned for updates on when Baby Chilla will be here....OH and I'm moving to my mommy blog...as soon as the design is ready...I will let all my Google Friends Connect followers know by message, but if you're a lurker who doesn't follow there, and you want to know where you can find it, please email me at babechilla@gmail.com for the URL. I won't be posting it here for my special reasons :D

And since you've read ALL the way down here, I think you should probably give me a click, because I've slipped off page 1 to #28, since I've stopped harassing people while being completely self absorbed this week.......and doesn't my baby deserve to come in on page 1?

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Reveling in my non-success.....

Friday, March 12, 2010
So I've tried a lot of things over the last 2 weeks to get this baby to flip. And although she has yet to flip, I feel proud of all the things I have done. I won't say I failed, because I don't really believe this is a failing or succeeding thing. Sure I tried, and sure she didn't flip, but this isn't a black or white situation. We don't know why she flipped, and in fact many a medical professional have studied this phenomenon and have yet to truly settle on why some kids do this. It could be an issue with my pelvis, it could have been a cord in the way, or she might just be that stubborn. Whatever it was is keeping her locked and loaded into the butt down position, and after 2 weeks of insanity, I need to just settle in and accept that my daughter would like to start her life mooning you all.

So, because I am proud of how hard I've tried to turn my little one, I am going to brag about it to the internets. And I do this not for reassurance, but because I really am happy with what I've tried and I think putting it out there will help me remember that. We've decided that unless she turns, which isn't that likely, we will be having a scheduled c-section....when we don't know, because we're currently on a c-section wait list, if you can believe that. This is probably a whole other post, so I'll save that for Monday; because Monday folks is my first official day of maternity leave. Which is another post of it's own.

But today, I revel in my non-success to boost my confidence, and remind me I did everything in my power to get back to the original birth plan. She was clearly not on board with it, and I refuse to believe she's upside down...I think she's just exercising her individuality already. I can be proud of her for that.

So here is the list of all the things I've done. And while I am not insane, I have been about 1 step from calling in a Voodoo witch doctor for the past 2 weeks. I figure if all these things don't work, maybe that will?

  • Acupuncture. I've sat through a total of 3 acupuncture appointments, and I have 2 others coming up. Total cost so far - $210. Total cost for all 5 - $350.
  • Chiropractor. I've been to a total of 3 chiropractic appointments, attempting the Webster Technique, and I've got 2 more coming up. Total cost so far - $145. Total cost for all 5 - $225. 
  • Moxibustion. If you don't know what this is, it's the act of taking a stick of mugwort root, lighting it like a cigar until you get a hot end, and then circling it over the acupuncture points for 15 mins 3 times per day. I told you, I'm 1 step away from calling the voodoo doctor. 
  • Pool Handstands. I've spent 4 evenings, floating around my girlfriends common pool area in my 2 piece swimsuit, doing at minimum 15 handstands per occasion. (I'll give you a moment to picture that, because honestly there isn't much about a 9 month preggo in her tiny pre-preggo bikini doing pool handstands that isn't hilarious). I've tried somersaults (and failed...all I accomplished was water up my nose. Apparently I am no longer 10), I've tried crawling in the pool, and I've tried to cat/cow in the shallow end. I swam laps, I did pelvic tilts, and I even hung upside down off the side of the pool for a few minutes until my bestie got nervous. 
  • Inversions and positions. Holy gawd have I done inversions. Whatever one I can find time for, for as long as I could do it. I've put my butt up on a pillow, I've leaned on my elbows on the floor, with my knees on the couch. I've done the cat-cow all over the house. I've crawled, I've done the knee to chest position. I have all hardwood and my knees and elbows are bruised to shit. I have inverted and positioned myself in every way imaginable. I have not slouched or sat comfortably in 2 weeks. My back aches from my stellar posture. I have exclusively used the yoga ball at work, and all but stopped sitting on the couch in exchange for a nice yoga pose on the floor. I have done every spinning babies move there is, and even made up some of my own for variety. 
  • Pulsatilla. I've tried 200ch pulsatilla for a few days in an attempt to flip this love of mine. This is a naturopathic remedy that was recommended to me somewhere along they way. 
  • Cold Hot Light Music. I've put the cold pack on the top of my fundus, with the heating pad on my pelvic bone. I've run the flashlight all over my lower belly, in hopes of coaxing her down there. Go towards the light bambino, go towards the light. I've played music near my hooha, and had the hubs talk low on my belly. I've done all of this about 15 times. 
  • Baths. I've tried to have baths. Someone told me this might work, so I gave it a shot. 
  • Visualization and connecting with the baby. I've tried to envision her flipping 200 times. I've rubbed my belly and tried to coax her over. I've told her it's ok to flip and get ready to come into the world, and worked on any internal feelings I have about trying to hold her close to my heart. I've laid in the calm quite, and tried to convince her this isn't about me, but her, and that flipping over is in her best interest. I've bribed her with My Little Pony's, I've appealed to her sense of reason, I've promised her the moon. 
  • Prenatal yoga and breathing. Bending, flexing and creating space for my baby to move.
  • ECV. The big guns. I went in, as you know from my previous post, and had my funny, buddah shaped doctor try to manually turn my baby. It hurt, and I feel bad for doing it to her. But I needed to be sure I tried it all. And this was my final hurrah. The medical attempt, the if all else fails move. 
And that's what I've done. I've sat and cried uncontrollably, I've had a relaxing facial, I had a glass of wine and I've talked this out with friends and family, all trying to let go of whatever is holding her back. 

Yet, here I sit, with a content, butt down baby who seems ready to stay content for quite some time, and deny us the opportunity to have a natural birth experience together. And I am trying to learn to let that go. 

She didn't flip over, so I'm flipping out...

Monday, March 8, 2010
So the version was horrible, painful and didn't work. They laid me out on a bed, after having me to the hospital 1.5 hours earlier than I needed. The nurse was fantastic, and I was really happy with my care. Too bad that didn't eliminate the pain of the procedure. I knew it wasn't going to be good, and to be honest, it was no worse than I thought. But at the end of the day, it was awful.

I laid on a bed in a small room, and after being monitored for an hour, the doctor (who is awesome) arrived and jumped right in. After a failed IV attempt, where it popped out of my hand vein, and a re-insertion into my arm, we were under way. She was reconfirmed breech for the 47th time, and the doctor talked his resident through the procedure. They flipped the bed, so I was once again upside down (which I have been ALL weekend in the pool, doing handstands in hopes I could help her flip). Then they made a fluid pocket by pressing with enough pressure to make a diamond, directly above my pelvic bone and he began.

At first, we went right, She's been getting herself transverse this entire weekend so I thought it might be a good option. They pushed, the midwife and the hubs rubbed my legs and feet to distract me, and I felt immense pain and pressure in my abdomen. I tried to breathe through it. Closed my eyes and envisioned being on a warm Hawaiian beach with my baby. They told me to relax, and I really thought I was but apparently I was tensing up all my muscles, including the leg ones. I tried to stop, but it wasn't me doing it, it was my body.

Right didn't work. We took a break, they put something in my IV to relax my muscles. I began to feel like a jello version of my former self, and we tried to go left. Left wasn't working. One more shot to the right, because 3rd time is always the charm. Except, it wasn't.

I tried to stay calm. I tried to stay quiet. I tried not to let the tears welling up in my eyes stream down my cheeks, but I failed on all accounts. The doctor simply said "I don't think this is going to work, and I don't think we should keep trying". Fair enough, he is the expert. He is the man who has been called "the breech guru", he is the person I'm putting all my faith and trust into right now. And to be honest, the feeling that my stomach cavity was going to snap off in my body, or that they were going to break my poor sweet child's neck was far too much to bare. I conceded. I gave in. I gave up.

Up I went, back into a flat position, so I could lay for an hour while they monitored contractions and fetal heart rate to make sure they didn't do anything to either of us. Luckily, we are both fine. Her more so than I am. We talked to the midwives, we talked to the nurses, I laid there and waited and then it was time to go. My lovely nurse came back in to let me go, and gave me a rose she'd been given for International Women's Day. She said I was strong and that any decision I made would be the right one. She told me to listen to the baby, and not to feel guilty.

Now I'm at home. Resting. Sitting here pouring over statistics about cord compression and baby brain damage in vaginal breech delivery, and feeling an insane amount of guilt about potentially choosing the c-section route. I am also insanely petrified of the c-section.

I could rationalize being told I didn't have the option for vaginal breech, I could feel ok saying I had a 'medically required C-section', but having to CHOOSE to go this route is killing me. 

I don't even know for sure what my hang up is entirely. I don't know WHY I am so adverse to the C/S but I can't feel good about choosing it. And it's making this all too hard. 

I feel like I'm not going to be able to bond with her if she comes up via an incision. I feel like I am not going to be able to take care of her or my family after it's over, because I am going to be recovering from 'major abdominal surgery' and that makes me so angry. I take care of everyone here - the husband, the dog, the house and to have to let HIM do everything for my new baby will just drive me insane. Even now, they told me to rest following the version, and as I sit here, him taking care of everything, I want to cry. It's not at all that he's incapable, or disinterested in helping. Quite the opposite. He is keen to take it on (though I'm not sure he gets how much work it'll be, since I don't). But that's my job. I take care of people, I take care of my family and I am certainly the one who should be taking care of my new baby. Me, that's my job. I am the mama and I am supposed to be strong and fix it all.....and if I've been cut open, I really can't. 

I'm afraid to be cut open. I am afraid to be awake, while they not only cut me open but remove a human from my body. I am afraid that my body will never be the same. I am a million times more afraid of a C-section than any form of vaginal birth. 

But at the same time, there are some parts of this I cannot deny. There are risks of cord prolapse, which could result in my child suffering short-term brain damage, or worse, something permanent like cerebral palsy. And yes, the risks are low, but you know what? So were the chances she'd be breech at this stage, let alone TURN breech at 36 weeks. Odds are not in our favour apparently, and when your child's mental ability and quality of life is at stake, screwing around with probability is not acceptable. 

I also need to think about my husband. He's willing and able to support me 100% in what I want to do. However, that's not to say he doesn't have a preference or fear. I know that for him, the pain and stress of watching me go through today was a lot. And that was a short couple of hours, and a relatively innocuous procedure. For him to participate in the birth of his child, when things are so uncertain and he's so nervous will eliminate any joy or gleeful anticipation. What was going to be a journey we took together to bring our daughter into the world, will now be fraught with fear, anxiety and probably terror. 

At the end of the day, the birth I wanted, the birth we wanted, is no longer on the table. Of course no matter what, we always faced the chance that our plan would go sideways and things wouldn't end up the way we hoped in terms of our delivery. The difference there is the blissful ignorance going into the labour, which would have allowed us to believe it was possible. We know now that it's not. We cannot labour in the comfort of our home, with the support of the doula, until we're ready to go to the hospital. We cannot use the birth pool to tame the discomfort of the contractions, and I can not opt for minimal internal checks and limited or no monitoring. No, a vaginal breech delivery means heading to the hospital much earlier, and turning the birth into the medical intervention I was so heart set on avoiding. And if I'm going to do that, then perhaps I should just go all the way over to the other side, and consider this a procedure. A means to an end. And then, just maybe I won't feel so traumatized over the thought of what I'm losing, and finally be able to focus on the important part, what I'm gaining - a daughter. 

I'm sitting on the fence, not knowing what to do, dying to simply fall off and have the decision made for me. But it's not going to happen. It's time I put on my big girl panties and did what is right, for me and for my family. At the end of the day, the only thing that's important here is the 3 of us. Everyone else's opinions and theory's about what we do to bring her into the world are irrelevant. We need to make a choice, we need to feel good about it, and we need to be prepared to face the consequences, good or bad. 

I think when I settle on a decision, I am going to be in a much better head space. I don't tend to do well with uncertainty, and this is not the time to be so confused. The right choice is coming, I just need a little more time to process this all. 

When right side up is upside down...

Thursday, March 4, 2010
36.6 weeks into this pregnancy, the hubs and I headed to our midwife appointment...blissfully unaware that things had changed with our baby girl. We sat, we talked, we covered the basics. How am I feeling, were we ready, and hey did you want to have a vaginal swab (GBS test)? Sure, what girl doesn't want a 6 inch swab up her vajay at 9:45am?!?!?!

All that was normal, and then the midwife did the heartbeat and position check, and my heart sort of sunk. Luckily her heart beat was clomping along like a little horsey at 130 bmp, so I knew she was ok. But the midwife was having a hard time verifying position. But hey, she's the student midwife so no problemo, let's get one of the pro's. Problem is, the pro couldn't tell baby girls head from her butt either. Egads!

Now we KNOW for a fact she's been head down for a long time. At 33.6 weeks, we confirmed she was head down. The midwife felt her "nestled perfectly in the pelvis. Head down ready to go". So I am not worried. No baby in their right mind would flip the wrong way this close to their birthday, that would be crazy, and stubborn and just plain difficult. Then again, this is my kid, who is already demonstrating just how much like me she is.

So I go for my "emergency ultrasound" at the most hilarious little clinic. It's in the heart of our Chinatown, on the 2nd floor of perhaps the most confused mall ever. Chinese food, herbs and cell phone providers all in one place... conveniently located next to the medical clinics of Wong and Wong. Whatever I'll take it, they had an appointment for me 2 short hours after the visit with the midwife. My darling friend G joined me, as the hubs was not able to, and waited patiently for me in the waiting room...

I was 100% sure the tiny little woman performing my scan would tell me that lump under my ribs was my kids bony butt and away we'd go. That was right up until she put the doppler on my lump and said "and that's her head".

"Excuse me, pardon, fuk the what, how stupid are you, did your degree come from a Fruit Loops box, you've gotta be wrong you insane women my kid would not flip like that" was sorta what went through my mind. There may have been a few more expletives involved.

As I lay there, choking back tears, sure this woman would not "get' why I was upset, I tried to wrap my head around this thought. My child is heads up, which is actually upside down in fetus world.

We left the appointment, I called the hubs and we stopped to get Chinese food, because really, when in Rome...

Back to the office me and my friend go, and I sit in my office the rest of the day, choking back the tears, whining incessantly on Twitter (but getting AMAZING support) and wondering what went wrong.

I also remembered back to the previous Thursday, when in retrospect is when the baby flipped. At 36 weeks 1 day, in the evening at my BFFs house, my baby flipped out. Literally. I had felt funny all afternoon. I'd been crampy, and feeling a tad on the nauseated side. I was starving by the time we put her daughter to bed and ate our dinner, and I knew something was going on. My belly had jetted out so far for a moment, on the opposite side that she'd ever been, that my bestie even commented. I felt crampy in my legs and even had a hard time walking back to my car when I left. It was certainly strange and I actually thought for a minute or 200 I might be going into labour. But it all went away and I thought nothing more of it. Now I know, that was her pulling a gymnastics move.

I spent the better part of Tuesday night crying uncontrollably. This is equal parts fear and confusion, and 9 month pregnant hormones. It is cruel and unusual punishment that your 10 months of sobriety has to end with a shit show of excess hormones. If a girl ever needed to slam back the better part of a bottle of wine, now is the time. I was just gearing up to get all excited about the arrival of my baby, and she threw me a curve ball. And I've never been a good catch.

I am ashamed to admit I felt a little anger towards her. Not really at her, but I just had this sense of "why NOW?" And I felt slightly less excited about her arrival. Not less excited to have her. I'm still just as excited to hold her in my arms, but I am now not looking forward to potentially going into labour. I am not looking forward to it because I don't want it to come unless she flips. Now there is a whole new sense of fear surrounding her arrival. Not the hopeful curious fear that comes with having no sweet clue what to expect, but a raw fear that exposed a nerve which is now perfectly poised to be struck repeatedly.

I've heard from everyone that no matter what, she will get here and I will love her. And I have no doubt about this. As long as she arrives happy and healthy, I will be ecstatic. I know it could be a lot worse, of course I am SO lucky that she's healthy in there, that she's made it to term and that my pregnancy has been complication free up until now. I know a c-section is not the end of the world, and that my life will not be ruined if I have to go that route. I know that bottom line, the most important thing is that soon, we will be a family of 3. But knowing all of this does not make me any less sad. My rational side is fully aware and happy, but my emotional side feels like I lost something.

There are 2 types of people - the ones who get how I feel and the ones who really don't. And I don't blame the ones who don't, because frankly, what is the big deal? And maybe somewhere the old me, the one that existed before my baby ate my rationality (thanks Mae for letting me know what happened!) agrees with them. It's not a big deal, who cares. I sometimes miss that girl. But let's face it, she was drunk a lot so probably shouldn't be trusted. This me, the one who has poured 9 months of heart and soul into researching birth stories, reading really motivating and empowering books about birth, and meeting with her midwives and doula with the excitement of a little girl getting her first dolly on Christmas, is crushed. I'm crushed because I'm not getting what I wanted, and maybe that is a lesson I should learn here. I think my times of living for me are over sooner than I thought. It's time to start living for my baby. This is not to say I appreciate her position right now, or am willing to concede to it. Just that there is probably a lesson in there somewhere.

All hope is not lost yet though, and this is how I stopped the tears. We've looking into all our options. I spent the better part of Tuesday and Wednesday evening inverted in some fashion or another. I've been trying to convince her that it will be better for HER if she flips. I know she's just a stubborn brat like me, and that is why she is going against the grain. So I need to appeal to her in the right way, in that this decision to flip has nothing to do with me and everything to do with making her life easier. And I've been trying to tell her that. But she's also a fetus, so I've promised her multiple pony's (and neglected to mention I mean of the "my little" kind). I've visited a chiropractor and started the Webster technique with her (2 more next week). This morning, I did an hour's worth of acupuncture and moxibustion. I will repeat this on Tuesday. Tonight I am going to go do handstands in my BFF's pool. I am going to try to keep calm and relaxed and hope that she chooses to flip back. And I'm about to go visit an OBGYN who specializes in both version techniques AND vaginal breech deliveries.If she doesn't flip back, then she wasn't meant to. And I will just have to accept that my kid is that darn special, even from -1 month old.

If it comes down to a C-section being the best and most safe way to bring her into this world, I will opt for it in a heart beat. But I will continue to seek out alternative this, and hope she flips naturally right up until the last milisecond before they cut me open.