Sunday, July 6, 2014

The First Trimester Fears

I am now a little bit over the half way mark in my first trimester. The nausea has been off and on for about two or three weeks now. Yesterday was the first time I wasn't able to keep down my meal which wasn't fun at all. The heartburn has been pretty vicious but I have chronic acid reflux anyway so I can't tell if it's from the pregnancy or just my everyday life. I've been trying to not take Nexium as much since it blocks the absorption of iron and my prenatal labs came back borderline anemic. Other than the nausea, heartburn and mood swings, I can hardly tell I'm pregnant! LOL Oh and the random hits of extreme exhaustion. Those all seem like very easily remedied things. There are times when I seriously wonder if this is all real. If this is the baby I've been fighting for this past year. Not that I don't believe that I'm pregnant, it's just so hard to wrap my head around after such a long time of trying for this. There is no heartbeat to listen to (that can really be found yet), our insurance only covers ONE ultrasound and that's to check to make sure growth and size are appropriate around 20 weeks. I can't feel the baby yet, that won't happen for at least eight to ten week, if I'm lucky. I just feel like I'm in limbo until something shows me that everything is progressing the right way in there. It's quite scary after reading blogs, forums and groups of women going through the same thing and lots of them end up in miscarriage. The internet can be valuable to research but also, ignorance is bliss. Not knowing what could happen is so much nicer than knowing the odds of something going wrong.

I've been trying very hard to not live in a perpetual state of worry and stress. Most of the time I'm not, but sometimes that desire to know what's going on is just very overwhelming. I purchased a fetal doppler but of course I'm not far enough along to be able to hear the heartbeat on my own yet. I hear the earliest is about 9 weeks and I'm 6 weeks 5 days. According to the hospital, which goes by the LMP, I'm about week later at 7 weeks 4 days.  The conception date or ovulation date is more accurate but hospitals don't typically expect a woman to know when she ovulated so they don't even ask for that. I plan on informing them once I see an actually doctor or midwife instead of an in-take nurse.

In preparation for our HBA2C, Jay and I have been watching documentaries out the wahzoo! We've watched Business of Being Born, More Business of Being Born and Pregnant in America. They're all very informative and inspiring! I am probably as close to the hospital as I could be in this area so I have no concerns there. And as of right now, the hospital it self (represented by the few nurses I've spoke to in person and over the phone) seems very VBAC friendly but I'm just waiting on that good ol' "bait and switch"! I fully expect the doctor to be supportive but express concerns or restrictions on me to VBAC. Then as time progresses the doctor will slowly seem less and less supportive of my desire to labor naturally and eventually try to talk me into scheduling either a repeat c-section or an induction of labor. Both of which are wildly outside of what I feel comfortable with and what I have learned to be the correct route towards a natural birth. Inductions actually increase the risk of c-section by 67%! That's insane! One wrong decision and you're more than 50% likely to end in an surgery! So no inductions for me! JUST SAY NO TO DRUGS! Where did all of THAT education go?! I'm starting to go off on a tangent. My point is natural birth is what is supposed to happen! Yes, complications do arise and the medical interventions are wonderful to have in those RARE cases but these medical interventions are becoming heavily relied on to make the life easier, not on the mother, not on the baby or family but on the doctors! They get to have a nice and tidy 30 minute to an hour c-section and then they are on their merry way to their next patient or home for the night. Look at the statistics! Even my own mother is a statistic! Doctors induce labor during the week to avoid having to come into the hospital over the weekend, especially holiday or long weekends! My mother was induced to avoid labor and birth over Labor day. The doctors wanted their three or four day weekend to be uninterrupted, so what did they do? They induced my mother so she would have her baby earlier. Thankfully nothing went wrong but the risks were there. Were those risks fully explained to the patient before consent was given? Probably not, so many of the risks of induction and c-section are down played due to the doctor/surgeon feeling confident of their methods. But why are they so much more confident in artificial labor and surgical operations than natural labor?! What has happened in the past thirty years that have caused this spike in inductions and c-sections? Medical technology? Maybe, but I think it's more of the doctors relying on this technology rather than them trusting in nature. Pregnant in America really showed how backwards our medical system has become when it comes to births. I'm sure there are amazing interventions out there for things we had never dreamed of fighting but birth isn't an illness to be fought or cured.

I wish I had been this educated before I walked into Madigan Army Medical Center in labor with Jayson. I would have known to say no to the epidural, especially as early as 4-5 cm! I would have known it could stall my labor, which it did and I would have known that the pitocin used to start up my stalled labor could send the baby into distress, which it did. So yes my "emergency c-section" was probably necessary, but it was only necessary to save my baby and myself from the interventions that shouldn't have been used on me.

So here I am, almost 8 years later, pregnant with my third child and terrified of what might happen all over again. This time I am educated and supported. I am stronger and wiser. But at the end of the day, I can't predict how this will all go down, no matter how educated and prepared I am. I'm just hoping that my body does what it is supposed to do and I have a HBA2C that goes smoothly and without a hitch.  I have hired a midwife, who just in one meeting hit it off well with me and I can see us having a very special bond that I really just can't explain. I have a dear friend that has already stepped up and said she'll come out and be my labor support (aka doula). She isn't a doula but she is a wonderful friend who has given birth to 5 beautiful children, two of which were home births. As of right now, besides my midwife, her assistant and my husband, I plan on having my friend Crystal and my mother there with me. I am beyond terrified of my support system failing and breaking my spirit in a moment of weakness but this is a fear that I have due to past experiences. I can't let the past haunt the future. I have to have faith that everyone will hold strong for me and that I can draw that strength in my greatest time of need.

But for now, I just wonder if little one in there is doing alright and I can't wait to hear and see them!  I'm still torn on whether or not I want to know the sex but Jay wants to know so I feel bad if I withhold that from him. I found out on the last two and he was in Iraq so I feel almost obligated to give him this small part of the pregnancy.

Until next time,

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