So I have been working since we became pregnant on finding an OB to support a VBAC. I love love love my OB and his staff- they are family. But he doesn’t feel comfortable with a VBAC. He used to do them but doesn’t anymore. I get it. It’s risky business. But I want the chance to try. When I was in labor with Eli, I had no idea. I felt great and showed up the hospital only because Barry insisted. I was 6-7cm dilated when I arrived. I could have totally had a baby right then.
But I had a c section because Eli was breech and I am ok with that. I know what to expect. It was not terrible for me and I know looking back it wasn’t ideal, but not a huge deal.

My fears at this point would be that each birth is different and who knows how I will feel after my surgery? (With Eli, I was walking around the next day and off all pain meds by day three.) I will have 3 small children to take care of and I can’t afford to be laid up in bed recovering.

I know, I know. A VBAC has risks. I could still be laid up recovering even if I did have a VBAC. Not to mention all the other risks: http://www.childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ck=10210

I am also concerned about the process. C section limits my time with Wyatt. I would not be able to hold him immediately, breastfeed or anything like that. All things I want- instead of just his head poked over the curtain for a quick look. :/

It’s been hard to find a doctor who would consider working with me. My only true viable options are: 1- to stick with my OB now (who will likely string me along until I am too far along to change doctors, then tell me: my baby is too big, my pelvis is too small, it’s too risky, he won’t stay for my whole labor…the list goes on and it equals no VBAC). 2- Home birth, which scares the poop out of me. If I hadn’t already had a c section, I wouldn’t think twice about it. I would have a home birth. But that’s just not the case and I want to make sure I am as safe as possible when it comes to birth.

But c section is not without risks too- especially repeat c section. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/c-sections/AN02070
We are so used to surgery that it’s become an every day thing. A c section is seen as no big deal. In my situation, both a c section and VBAC are concerns.

So what to do? I’m working with my doula on a plan we feel comfortable with. We are meeting with a midwife and I am talking with another OB. My doula is helping with more babay spinning techniques and we will just see where it goes.
When I was pregnant with Eli, I was so upset about my birth plan not going the way I wanted. Jealous even of other’s births.
Now, today, what I am worried about is having a healthy baby at the end. Yes I want a VBAC. But I don’t know how hard I am willing to fight for a VBAC.
It feels silly to even say that, but my baby and my health are most important. We will see…who knows? This baby my stay breech and then I won’t have a choice. -_- lol

36 Weeks

How far along? 36 weeks

How big is Eli? About the size of a watermelon, 19-22 inches and 6.5lbs <–all estimates.

Health of Eli? Still rolling and stretching and still breech. But he is doing very well and has been active!

Health of Momma? Very very tired. Symptoms: right pointer and middle finger *still* numb, hands hurt, wrists sore, lower back pain, swelling in legs, feet and hands, sore ribs, lack of sleep, clicking jaw, sore knees…same symptoms, different day.
PIH panel came back clean, so that is a huge relief. I just have bad swelling apparently.

Weight gain? 27lbs total- lost 2 lbs

Maternity clothes update? No updates here- Not buying anything else unless it’s a top that can be worn post pardum.

Stretch Marks? None…yet

Skin? Skin looks good- little break out on the chin but I won’t complain.

Sleep? I am averaging about 1-2 nights a week of good sleep. No combination of things allow me to repeat this- it’s just random.

Best moment this week? Finding my diaper bag and finishing up in my classroom.

Labor signs? Not a thing happening. Cervix is clamped down tight!

Belly button in or out? Belly button is definitely out!

What I miss? I alternate between missing my old body and missing sleep. I’m ready to at least be comfortable again. lol

What I am looking forward to? Again, my free time since my due date got moved up. More on that later…

Weekly wisdom? Knowledge is power. I’ve had to work hard to surround myself with like-minded and supportive people. Not only have had asked my doctor to walk me through everything step-by-step, but I’ve been leaning heavily on family and friends to walk me through this with confidence. I’m feeling stronger but not quite where I need to be yet…

Milestones? 17 days left until we get to meet our son!!!

Fears? Still terrified of the surgical birth process.
Here’s the scoop: I went in yesterday knowing that Eli is breech and that I would have to plan my “optional” surgical birth. Meaning, if he doesn’t flip, I have to have a back up plan.
Dr. M checked me anyway- Eli is still breech and my cervix is locked up tight. 😦
Next, I picked the other doctor on my team and then was put in with the scheduling nurse. Originally, Dr. M said that since my cervix is not showing any signs of labor, and Eli is still breech that we could do a c-section in 2 weeks. Meaning May 9.
Can anyone say hyperventilate? I freaked out a bit…

My sister is graduating from college 2 days after that date and the following day is a retirement party for a much beloved person on my team at work. I didn’t want to miss either of those, and I especially don’t want to make my sister’s day about Eli.
(Not that birthing can really be planned, but this kind of has to be considering…)
Dr. M was worried that if we go much further past that date that I would risk going into labor. So we had to look at the calendar again and know that any date that is picked could be subject to change.
Knowing that we selected May 14.
May 14!!!! That is 17 days away!!!!
Insert another mini-panic attack.

So I will continue to be checked weekly and as long as nothing changes, that is Eli’s birthday.
Can you believe it? I can’t! It’s a good thing I am taking my leave in just 5 days because I have a lot of work to do in the next few weeks.

I really can’t believe it!
MJ promised she would be at my bedside and Dr. C gave me a huge hug. I’m not completely content with the idea, but given that I have literally tried everythigng to move my stubborn little man, this is where we are at.
Maybe knowing that will help me relax more and he will flip? 😀

Today I meet with my long-term substitute to go over everything one last time. I have a few more things to get ironed out but we are rocking and rolling now.

2 friends of mine just had their babies yesterday. It was surreal to see pictures of their little ones. One in particular got me emotional- My friend Adrienne over at The Upside of Wes. Her son is absolutely precious and I can’t wait to experience the joy that I am sure she is bursting with!
It was another blessed reminder that my son is going to be just like every other baby. He is perfect, he is precious, he is beautiful.

Can’t wait to meet our little Eli!!

Lamaze Classes

We attended our first Lamaze class last night and I loved it! The teacher was very knowledgable and the techniques were right in line with our thinking. I’ve been reading this book: and the class just reinforced what it is saying. This book is amazing because it talks about all the medical interventions that are possible, how to avoid them or what alternatives might be. It also weighs the risks and benfits of certain procedures/interventions. I love the approach and the fact that it covers all medical options.
Our instructor spoke a lot about building our confidence to birth our babies and is working to empower the class to know what their options are. Me likey.
Yesterday was mainly an introduction and then a few basics: what is a doula? what are some simple pain management techniques? what does the pregnant anatomy look like?
The other couples were very quite and awkward. I think Barry and I spoke the entire time and answered all the questions. Maybe because we actually knew the answers? Or everyone is just that embarrassed about their bodies…who knows?
The teacher had us do a few deep breathing techniques and then had hubbies try on the pregnancy suit. 🙂 That was my favorite part. Isn’t he just handsome? Barry had a hard time moving around, bending over and even sitting. It also has a component on the inside that restricts breathing. It weighs a total of 35lbs and made me immensly happy.

Next we watched a live birth, similiar to one we had already seen on The Business of Being Born. It was really neat but a bit overwhelming. Not because anything the birthing mother did- simply my own anixety about birthing. The last time I saw anything like that we were trying to get pregnant. Now that I actually am, it was a different experience. To complicate it, the teacher next had us hold a handful of crushed ice for a full minute to simulate what a contraction would be like. If you have ever held ice in your hand for a long time it can be painful but not terrible. The thing that made it terrible was my own anxiety. I was tapping my foot and clenching my eyes closed tightly by the time the minute was up. Knowing that I could end the pain by releasing the ice made the anxiety high, but also thinking about what a contraction might feel like got me worked up. lol I know, I know…silly, huh? So fearful of the unknown.
I know my body was made for this and I know I can do it! {If Eli would flip, darnit!!} And I *want* do to this. So it was a nice exposure and practice.
We learned the difference between practice labor and real labor and then she gave Barry homework- a back massage.

It was a busy evening for sure, but so so worth it. I really enjoyed the techniques and the all natural approach. We have 3 more classes and then we will be graduated. 😉
Hope that means we are ready for our little man!!

Oh! One more picture- This is a picture from my baby shower at work on Friday. My awesome awesome team 🙂