29 May, 2009

postive thoughts

no report yet form the lab, but it seems that the garlic cloves i have been inserting into my vag every night for the past three nights has cleared up whatever yeast was thriving in there. how exciting. i love that natural remedies actually do work. i took that script from the doc a month ago and the infection came back. MK explained that when you use a prescription, it will kill the yeast but also all of the other good bacteria, which in turn, leads to another infection. huh! that explains my years of recurring yeast infections.

it's really fascinating. when i pull the clove out in the morning, the yeast is there clinging to it. it's as if it was pulled towards it like a magnetic trap and then -- bam -- caught ya. i've also been inserting the acidophilus capsules during the day to replenish the good stuff. and today, only a couple of random urges to scratch, but beyond that, nothing. no yeast on the garlic this morning. nothing.

another piece of good news is that i realized i have four refills on my progesterone prescription, which means that this monday will in fact be the LAST OB appointment during this pregnancy! yay! no more waiting for an hour in a waiting room. no more waiting in a tiny cube for an MD to come in and listen to the heartbeat and ask me a few questions and then send me on my way.

nope. from here on out it will be just joshua, me, and MK on that cozy orange couch chatting away for an hour or so about how glorious it is to be pregnant. so exciting.

on monday i have to meet with the supposed "homebirth-friendly OB". i am to explain to her that i am only meeting with her because, in the case of a hospital transfer, it would be nice to have my records on file somewhere. it would be nice to be admitted as a person with a name, not as some straggler from the street. but that's it. that's all i need her for and i have to tell her that. supposedly she is familiar with the situation. she has ben recommended by midwives around the area for a while now. so we'll see how it goes. i will give the full report on monday.

my friend and his wife had their baby this morning. they found out last week that the baby was in a breech presentation. i sent some suggestions about some natural ways to help the little guy turn, but i don't think they tried any. i never heard back. but anyway, the C was scheduled for this morning at 9:30, but the baby decided he wasn't going to wait and was born at 3:15 AM.

i still get really jealous of people having babies. i am already supposed to have a one-year-old. we should be planning a birthday party, instead of walking on pins and needles right now. oh, how nice it would be to return to the naivety. however, i have said it before, the lessons i have learned from cooper are invaluable. his little brother's entrance into this world will be profound because of him.

so all in all, i feel good today. i feel safe than i have over the past weeks.

oh, and i am finally convinced that i feel baby boy flopping around in there. i have been feeling the flutters for weeks. since week thirteen. (and i may be repeating myself here...sorry if i am.) i had never been sure with cooper. not until the kicks weren't there anymore. but with this babe, it was last friday night that i thought i felt a few bumps. then once the next day. but then i freaked because i wasn't feeling anything for days. or i was but wasn't convinced. but then early thursday morning i woke up with fear running through my brain. and i placed one hand on my belly and one on my heart and asked that little soul to please let me know he is ok. and then i felt it. i little knock. and then another. and i actually smiled. one of those smiles that just happens as a reflex. and i was relieved and went back to sleep. and then sitting at my desk at school yesterday, i felt another. and i was sure. finally.

so i am feeling good today. one day closer to a safe and healthy full-term birth.

27 May, 2009

obsessing over the vagina

i can't stop worrying about this damn vagina of mine. i ran over to my midwife yesterday so i could give her a sample form my vagina so that she could check for candida. can-di-da. i am actually starting to like the sound of that word. weird. i will know by friday what the infection is -- is it yeast? BV? insanity?

she gave me the name of a good therapist in the area who deals with pregnancy and post-partum issues. i called today. i hope she calls back soon. i need to get an appointment. i am having nightmares about blood in my underwear. i am trying so hard to enjoy this pregnancy, but these last couple of weeks, and no doubt the next few, i have been on egg shells.

my acupuncturist says that i should be good when i hit 6 months. maybe then i will relax a little?????

it's just that i want so badly to hold this baby and have him look me in the eyes. i want to lock eyes with him and stare for hours. and for days. and weeks.

i am still so envious of those moms-to-be who are naive to the whole idea of loss. envy. it really does lead to hate. i want to make them feel bad. and i hate to admit it but i still wish bad things would happen to them. i try not to and i hope to go it doesn't affect my karma. it's just that their blindness drives me mad.

and when i am going to be sure these feeling sin my belly are this little boy kicking and swimming around? i have been feeling flutters since 13 weeks. i am 20 and 3 now and i think i have felt a few jabs, but i am still not convinced. when will it happen? or am i still so doubtful that this will turn out well that i am in total denial and i will not allow myself to believe it?

why? why do good, kind people like us have to sufferlike this. and other good and kind people can't even get pregnant in the first place. what is it that allows pwople like my ex-sister in law make babies with no problem? why can she be pregnanct three times and eat like shit and not take care of her physical or mental well-being and still pop out three kids? granted, they were all early, but they are all happy and healthy today. i just don't get it. this shit just pisses me off.

24 May, 2009

fear infection

i have a fear infection.

it sometimes resembles a yeast infection. but as i have read, a moist crotch is common during pregnancy. well, my moist crotch always appears in my head as a yeast infection. i freak out. i try some home remedies, which i probably don't need. which leads to more freaking out. which is all contributing to and increasing the fearful state of mind that i want to avoid.

yesterday i got the wet crotch thing. i started to itch. or did i? i used peroxide as a wash. but i was too lazy to dilute it with water as i am supposed to and burned my labia. inner and outer. it hurt like a bitch. so i walked around the rest of the day in a skirt with no underwear and whenever possible i spread my legs apart to air it out. i know, gross and TMI. even josh was grossed out. but hell, it fucking hurt!

before i went to bed i did a full rinse with plain ol' water and then patted dry with a cotton ball. wait! the cotton ball had a pink tinge to it. so now i really have to freak and stick my finger up my crotch to check for blood. none. phew.

can't even tell josh because he will freak out. so instead he just thinks i am miserable. he wants me to smile. i will. and i do. most of the time.

so lesson learned here -- stop freaking out. i am causing more trouble than necessary. my poor labia are so aggravated now that they are bleeding. that was the only time, thank god. no blood anywhere else. none on the tp. none in the undies. none up there when i check. so there is nothing to freak about.

except maybe now i caused irritation and if i did have an infection it will really take hold and run...

i love being pregnant. i just wish i could get a hold of my thoughts.

22 May, 2009

high-risk report

3:45 appointment. we were late, but for once i didn't worry since i knew we would wait. and i was ready for a fight if they gave me a hard time. we waited about half an hour. then we went in for the ultrasound. she was about to do the anatomy scan update, even though i called to say i did not want it. so i told her thanks but no thanks. so she checked the cervix. it's an internal scan, so i have to have that wand with a condom on it stuck up my crotch. i hate having anything up there. and then i wonder if the little bugger hates it, too. my acupuncturist insists that they hate it. so anyway, right away she says that there is good news -- no placenta on or near the cervix. it's low-lying now, but by delivery. it will be out of the way completely.

we then waited a while -- probably about another half hour -- for the doc. finally, the famous dr. librizzi. we heard so much about him at the grief support group. he certainly is dynamic. he called what happened to us a bitch. i loved that. and then he called out kid a brat. loved that, too. but anyway, he understands our desire to keep the experience as natural as possible with the reality that we are still high-risk. he will still encourage the cervical scans until we pass the week of reckoning, but either way, we are the bosses.

so to sum it up, nothing to worry about with the placenta. cervix is as long as the brooklyn bridge (his words). and the heart is still pumping strong. this little guy is here to stay, his mommy and daddy have learned so much from his big brother. he'll still have lots of work ahead of him, but we are in a good place for him. he'll be an october baby, for sure.

a typical appointment with the midwife

we get to her "office", which is comfortable situated on the second floor of a stylishly artsy row-home in south philly. we are greeted happily by MK's partner in midwifery. she tells us that we don't need to ring the doorbell -- we should walk right in and make ourselves comfortable. with this alone, why or how could anyone settle for the standard of care that we as americans have come to accept as quality?

about three minutes later, MK floats down the stairs with the clients with whom she had just been meeting. everyone is happy and smiling. hugs are shared as they leave and then as we are greeted. it's wonderful.

we go upstairs and i go potty and check my own urine for protein and glucose. then i weigh myself. it's so noninvasive -- i love it. and, by the way, i have never had to take my pants off for her. not until b-day, when it's not for her, but to make way for baby boy!

josh and i sit together on the cute little comfy orange couch, while MK sits on a comfy chair. we go over what's been happening in my body -- the hair falling out, the sleeping challenges, the hunger. she looks at the three-day diet record she asked me to bring (because i told her i am always hungry) and seems to be quite surprised and impressed, i must say. my diet is excellent. a complete balance of everything that baby boy needs -- and that i need. she says if i want i can eat more snacks, but otherwise, i am good.

she looks at the sonogram report that was sent by the ATU. it says i have complete previa, which isn't the case. nice to see that everything was checked thoroughly. based on that, i would be locked into a c-section if i were closer to delivery time and no one had checked the records. it's so nice to have access to my own prenatal records. you know how they are at the docs -- all secretive like it's their business and not yours. it's your body, though, right? weird.

each visit is an hour long. or maybe a bit more if we get to chatting. i just love talking with her and i hope that she will be there at the births of all of our babies.

we felt around my belly. josh felt where my uterus is. even though he is nervous about hurting me or the baby or about popping my water bag, maybe. he is so cute as a daddy. it sounded like the baby had hiccups when we listened to his heartbeat. it was cute. i mentioned that when i cough my belly button pops out like a turkey timer. she said i have some muscle separation in my abs, which i am fine with. however this baby wants to make his mark on my body is fine with me. i welcome the remnants. i welcome stretch marks, which i undoubtedly will have because some days i feel as if my belly will just pop out of my skin.

we talked about how active baby boy is in there when he gets ultrasounded and MK said that she believes that the babies don't like it. it may be too loud for them. it makes sense to me. i hope that we won't have to be doing many more of them.

we go today to wait at the MFM for my cervical scan. i will point out the discrepancy between what the doc told us and what the report says. and hopefully that placenta has slid itself up away from my cervix, just like the petals of a flower seek out the sunlight.

oh, and i bought a maternity swim suit yesterday, too. i am looking forward to showing off my big belly this memorial day weekend. i will try not to remember that the next couple of weeks will bring not only cooper's due date, but also i will pass the 22w 3d mark in this pregnancy with intact membranes.

16 May, 2009

the registry

i have been building my registry for almost a year now. in the time that i have taken to build this registry, i could have had a baby who can sit on his own. when we were TTC again after cooper, i was just so ready to be a mommy and to have all of that baby stuff being the focal point of my life, i just couldn't wait. i had started a registry for cooper but deleted it in the weeks after he died. so i guess it was early summer that i started to play with the idea again.

it's funny. this registry is so different from the other one. i mean, i never wanted any of that big bulky baby stuff that most people request. it's different in that i now know about baby-wearing and co-sleeping and lots of things i never knew about before.

i actually have always hated baby showers. i was never into the idea of sitting around ogling at the contraptions that people buy for little babies. even when i was pregnant i went to a shower and wasn't into it at all. but anyway, my registry for this little guy is so cool. i can't wait to open some of the things on there.

i went for the really expensive stroller, which is still way less expensive than the one i really really want. which is funny because i can't really imagine us using a stroller too often. our boy is going to be attached to us for most of his little life. and then we'll let him walk. and fall. and i'm not much of a mall person anyway, so who knows when i will really use it. but some of these damn things are just so freaking awesome. i mean, the dudes and dudettes who design these things are quite the engineers. especially the european ones. but anyone who really knows me knows that i always envy the europeans. i think they do everything better than we do. but that's a whole other story for a completely different blog.

so the registry is all set up and i am only at 18w 6d. but as i said, it's been a work in progress for months. i did most of it online. we went into the store -- buy buy baby (i hate babies r us. it's like a gigantic warehouse) -- and used the gun for about half an hour. there wasn't much there. most of the things i want are online. but they can order it for people from he store so no biggie. i am always difficult that way. and because of that, we also used myregistry.com. oh what an idea that was. why couldn't i have come up with it? you can register at any store in the world! hopefully i will get my storkenweige wrap. because god knows there probably isn't anywhere on land in the states that would sell that baby. (it's german and probably wouldn't be a big sell to american mommmies. you have to learn how to use it. it comes with an instructional dvd that instructs you to remain calm while learning the different ways to wear your baby.)

so that's that. our two registries. in my opinion the coolest ones that i have ever seen.

13 May, 2009

how are you feeling?

i get so annoyed when people ask how i am feeling. they aren't asking the way they ask normal moms-to-be. they are asking with the implication that my response will provide some sort of reassurance that everything will be alright this time. i just want to tell them that i felt fucking great last time. actually, i felt even better than i have for much of this pregnancy. but obviously, that is no indicator of a successful 40 weeks. josh feels just as aggravated about that question, too. i am just waiting for the day that he blows up on someone. i just hope he chooses a good one to lose it on.

in actuality, i do feel great. i just wish people knew that just because i feel great, we are not out of the woods just yet. i don't want people to forget about cooper and just feel thankful that they don't have to console me any longer. i want them to remember what i've been through.

carrying this baby has been such a wonderful experience, even through all of the fear. i love knowing that there is a baby human growing in there. his dad has been reading to him at night, which is just the cutest sweetest thing. i massage my belly with oil and send messages to my little one. i talk to him all the time. we are already bonding, even though he is in that world and i am in this one. i am conscious of every thought and feeling. when i get stressed or angry or feel hate towards someone else, i apologize to the little guy and i explain that everything is ok.

i imagine gazing into his eyes at the moment of his birth. i am so excited to be his mommy in this world.

12 May, 2009

fear and loathing in the second trimester

i really hate pregnant women who can just be pregnant and happy and enjoy every second of pregnancy. i am scared. scared all of the time. i hate to admit it, and i rarely will. in fact, this is probably the first time i have even admitted it to myself. it's just so damned unfair. josh and i have to worry about every little thing that to most parents-to-be see as normal occurrences of pregnancy. and i hate those parents. oh god, i fucking hate them all. i want to go up to every one of them and tell them how lucky they are and that i can't even believe how fucking stupid they are to not even realize it.

even the women in my prenatal yoga class. even the instructor. they are all so blind about what can happen. i hate them all.

i got up off of the couch last night around 9:00 and felt super dizzy. i walked to the bathroom, sat on the toilet, and wasn't quite sure which was sideways -- me or the wall. the dizziness stuck with me 'til i crawled into bed. and it was there all night. and this morning. not as bad, but bad enough to bring me to open the fucking "what to expect" book and i hate that fucking book. all it does is scare the shit out of me every time i look in it. but i looked. and of course, dizziness is normal, but for me, there is no normal. i don't fit into that category. i wish someone would write a "what to expect when you're expecting after your first baby died" book. maybe i should write one.

so it's normal. but of course, it could also mean a low-lying placenta (yup) or abruption. but that's only if there's bleeding. no bleeding here. but i still have to check every 20 minutes or so. and i'm still using this suppository for the BV, so all day long, clear gel is flushing out of my crotch and i feel it. so every gush causes fear and anxiety.

and my midwife is in california. but it says in my paperwork to call her day or night for a list of serious concerns -- dizziness being one of them. but at 7 AM here it's 4 AM there and i am not convinced i should call. so i'm waiting 'til a normal hour. and now we have state testing and i am trapped in my room with no relief so i am staring at the door waiting for it to arrive so i can make my phone call.

oh god, spirit, universe -- whoever is listening -- please, please help us make it through this pregnancy safely with a little healthy baby boy in our arms.

10 May, 2009

my second mother's day

last year on mother's day, i was a mother. yet no one noticed. or knew. or thought about it. or knew what to say. i was a mother to a baby who had died. i don't really remember the day. i do remember that it wasn't as bad as i thought it would have been.

most days were like that. the bad days always seemed to come out of nowhere. the days i dreaded and worried about always passed by uneventfully. but it was mother's day and my baby was not with me. he was supposed to be in my belly. but he was not. he was gone. his body was in a little cube on our bookshelf. his spirit was with me and always is. but that, of course, can never take the place of snuggles and kisses.

cooper is always on our hearts. he is here with us, guiding us to learn all of those lessons. he is in every choice i make and every decision that his dad and i make as a family. that love that we felt on his birthday is still here, so in essence, cooper is still here.

today is another mother's day. my second. i got a few cards and even a couple of gifts. it's really nice and exciting to know that we have a new little soul on the way. people are not afraid to wish me a happy one this year.

last year, it really would have meant so much more if anyone could have actually had the balls to say it, but i guess i have to forgive people for their fear. for not knowing. for not understanding. i know that i was in the dark before i lost cooper.

next year will be a whole different mother's day. i imagine us celebrating on a beautiful day in may. remembering cooper and celebrating our second son. there will always be some sadness for me, though, on mother's day. always. as our other children grow up, they will pick out presents and cards for me and make me terrible breakfasts in bed. i wonder if they will know how much it would mean to their mom if they would sign cooper's name on the cards for him.

09 May, 2009

the sky is falling

i took the name of today's post from a conversation i had with joshua after we got home form the high-risk doc visit yesterday. it's so hard to balance my history with what i want to be my present. i so want this pregnancy to be as natural and as noninvasive as possible. i was hoping that when i went yesterday they would say i didn't have to come back but once more. but alas, that was not the case. in true doctor fashion, we were told that the sky is falling. well, not quite, but with our past experience and bit of anything but great news is really bad news.

we got there at 3:10 for our 3:15 appointment. we were seen at 4:15. we had our anatomy scan, which i really didn't want to have but after the taste of seeing that little one's possible penis the last time, i just couldn't take the not knowing. he is a boy, for sure. beyond that, it is so fascinating to watch him in there playing in my womb. he was moving all over the place for the entire 45 minute scan.

i am thinking is he bored in there? does he want out? or does he really like it and he'll stay in there for another 22 weeks. that is perfectly ok with me. the longer this pregnancy goes, the happier i will be. is he bothered by the invasion? is he trying to get away from the waves of the ultrasound? why are we peeking in on him when we know he is just fine. can't we trust the process?

i want that to be my last scan of little baby boy. i will call them on monday and tell them so. i can imagine the resistance i will get. the tone implying that i have no idea what i am talking about. that i don't care for my baby. that i am not a good mother. i've heard it before.

he looks just fine, which we knew. he has all of his limbs, which we knew. but oh no, the doc couldn't see his eye cavities so we have to go back for another scan in two weeks. no, thank you. my son has eyes. if only i could start to think on the spot with that white coat in front of me and say what i need to say. i'm working on it. that will be my lesson throughout this and my next pregnancies. aside from that, he didn't see any signs of birth defects, which i knew. but since we (here is that tone again) turned down any of the screens, he can't tell us for sure. we didn't really need to know, that's why we turned down the screens, so you didn't even have to mention it.

let me say that this doc wasn't so bad. i know it sounds like i want them all dead. but i don't. we had met with him for a consult after cooper was born. i still trusted docs then. i believed they knew it all. he was kind of stiff, i guess, at that point, but not too bad. my best friend hates him so i wasn't happy that we had to see him yesterday, but after we waited for him in his little cubby of a consult room (which feels like a little room in some basement somewhere) for another 20 minutes or so, he was friendly and apologetic enough that i was able to see past his white coat for a few minutes of the few he spent with us.

but then, here it comes, there is a, "the only thing that concerns me", which in my head is a terrifying sound. please don't say that to a mom who has lost a baby. to a mom who has held her baby in her arms for his whole life and listened to him gasp for his final breaths. don't say that to a mom who has a little marble block full of her 1 lb. 6 oz. baby boy's ashes sitting in her living room with the words "and we loved you all your life" on it. please don't say that to a dad who has the tiny hand prints of his first son tattooed over his heart along with his name and birth and death date. don't prepare us like that. if you have bad news just fucking say it. there is no need to sugar-coat for two people who have been through the worst of losses.

"your placenta is covering part of the cervix". it's long and closed and hard, which i knew, but now we have a new issue to worry about that will help pay for dr. l's fancy house and fancy car and for his wife to stay home from work with their little ones. another $15 co-pay every other week for the next god-knows how many weeks and another god-knows how many claims to the insurance company. god, i seem like i hate them, don't i? i don't. i just hate the concept that we seem to have here in this country that carrying a child is always a risk and an emergency situation.

the placenta is partially covering the cervix. no intercourse he says. is he kidding? we have not had sex since prior to the retrieval of my eggs on january 19. no way in hell i am risking an infection. joshua is more than ok with that. other than that, there is nothing to worry about, nothing they can do but monitor. and we shouldn't worry. but i can feel the worry and the fear seeping from daddy's pores. which makes me then worry about him. i am not worried about this placenta thing. it may move he says. and i am sure it will.

and more appointments. back in two weeks to see if baby boy has eyes. and to measure the cervix and to check where the placenta is. then in two more weeks again for the cervix/placenta combo. then in another two weeks for a scan to see if baby boy is affected by where the placenta is. it can cause his growth to slow down. oh, and yes, also to check the cervix and placenta. jesus. i wanted to be done with this!

i call meredith as soon as i get to the car. she says just what i knew she would say. not to worry. as long as it is partial, it will move as the uterus grows and takes the placenta along for the ride. and if it doesn't, we can't do anything about it anyway. i may bleed toward the end. we can check toward the end. and worst case scenario i end up with a c. a legitimate c. not one that comes because mom is too tired to push anymore because of all the meds she has been pumped with. not one that comes b/c doc says the baby is too big and won't fit out of the birth canal. not one that comes at 4 or 10 pm (the most common times for a c) when the doc wants to end his shift or get some damn shut-eye. a real legitimate c. but this is only if it doesn't move. and it's nothing i have to worry about for now. for now, the pregnancy is going smoothly and baby boy is strong and active. and a partial placenta previa is not a danger to my pregnancy. baby boy is just fine in there.

i did some research last night. so did daddy. it really is nothing to worry about. and that is why i turned down all the screens. all of this testing and monitoring just brings about more worries. when there is something wrong, your body knows it. you know it. i knew it the last time, i just didn't know what. and the docs were too busy or too non specialized or just too damn desensitized to believe me. and i believed them. and look where it got me.

i will call on monday to alter their plans. no need to check for eyes. and no need to check for growth. you can check my cervix because i will feel better knowing that it's still looking the way it should. and i will be happy to see that the placenta has gone where it needs to go. and joshua will be able to relax. if we do three more every other week, that will be 19w 4d, 21 w 4d, and 23 w 4d. then i think i will relax and we can enjoy the second half of the pregnancy with just mommy, daddy, baby and midwife. the way we hoped. no machines. no invasions. no worries.

and yes, we do know his name. we have known his name for four weeks now. but that is one thing we are keeping to ourselves.

07 May, 2009

doing my best, little one

it's so scary being pregnant after pPROM. they call us PROM queens. a title i wish i could erase from my history. every little tinge of anything which most would consider normal alarms me and causes me to run through a chain of rationale in my head. for example, at about 9 weeks i felt something going on around my left ovary. most people would say it was the uterus stretching, but i was pretty concerned that it was a cyst or an enlarged ovary left over from the IVF cycle. it wasn't. it was normal. no cause for alarm. i am 17w, 3d today. i have had no spotting. everything about this pregnancy has been different. i am bigger than i was, i was bigger earlier, i have felt the ligaments stretching, i was nauseous, the gas was horrendous, no spotting in the second trimester, my hair is falling out, my gums have bled, and i am sure i could keep on going. but none of this has helped me to relax enough to let my loss go.

most moms worry and all babies are special, but there is nothing in the world like knowing that bad things -- i mean really bad things can happen. you tend to look at everything in a whole new light. with cooper, i was calm. and i was proud of that. i wasn't one of those spas-case moms who worried about everything. pregnancy was normal and women have been doing it successfully for millions of years. but i have managed to explore the darkness now and make it through. everything looks quite different on the other side.

i get aches and pains that are normal and i take myself back to my first pregnancy. i try to find as many differences as i can. i know all about positive thinking and the power of the mind over the body. i know that my negative thoughts can most certainly turn into reality. i try like hell to control them, but it's just so powerful. i want nothing more than to hold this baby in my arms and have him look up at me and his dad. cooper's eyes were still fused closed and i cried for his whole life. i want this baby to hear me laugh and to see me smile. in buddhism, we are taught to let go of attachments. that suffering is caused by desires. and that you can end that suffering if you stop wanting. but this is something that i cannot believe it is humanly possible not to want.

i was and am still fearful of the meds i was prescribed for my infections. i don't want any meds in my body with this baby. he had enough with the IVF cycle. so far, i have been able to avoid putting anything unnatural into my body (aside from the random dorito that i may steal from one of my students). but i did it. i took something that i know will make it to my baby. i hate that. i absolutely hate it. but in the end, the risk is too big to take. and today, after consulting with my midwife, i finally used the suppository. it is the same script i had used the night before my water broke. it's fucking terrifying. as i pushed on that little plunger, i was literally shaking and holding my breath with fear. but i know that realistically, there is no connection. cooper was born because there was something wrong in my body that forced him out too early.

maybe he was meant to come early. i have really come to believe that. and most people would cringe to hear me say that i am actually thankful that i was only able to be cooper's mommy here on earth for a short time. i have learned so much from him. this pregnancy, though often full of fear, has been so different. i see everything in a new light -- the good and the bad. this little soul who has chosen us like his brother did before him will have a completely different experience than we had planned for his brother. maybe that is part of cooper's purpose. this little one will be brought into the world in a way that josh and i could never have imagined and didn't even know existed. his life will begin in a place of comfort with only love and safety to greet him. that's just another lesson learned from little cooper. none of these experiences that i have written about would have occurred without cooper's guidance. i believe that in some way, he, or even we, planned all of this.

06 May, 2009

i just want to be normal

after the decision to use a midwife was made, we realized that we would of course need a back up plan in case of a hospital transfer. so i went to the midwife (CNM) at my NEW OBs office. i had transferred to them after cooper's delivery. she seemed ok with it. but when i asked that my pregnancy records be shared with my midwife, i was told in no uncertain terms that these docs would not work on a team with a direct entry midwife. they even tried to tell me that giving birth at home in nj is illegal, which it certainly is not. so i said, "well if i arrive at the hospital in labor, what happens then?" and she said, literally word for word, "don't ask for our doctors". un-fucking-believable.

so i left and asked for a transfer of my records to my midwife and high-tailed it out of there. i sent a few informational articles to the office about the safety of homebirth and the risks of hospital deliveries. i wonder if anyone actually read it.

that same week i decided to finally mail the letter to Dr. W. she is the one who was there when my baby died but then didn't remember. i told her how it made me feel and that i would hope that in the future she would read the charts before walking into a room. she actually called me and left a really really long message full of "ums" and apologies. i felt really good about that.

so then we switched docs. my midwife suggested a home-birth friendly OB in the area. i couldn't get an appointment with her until my 18th week, though, so i had to see someone else. yes, i am high-risk, as much as i hate to admit it. i do need a bit extra. maybe for my body, or maybe for my mind, but either way, i need it.

prior to the first appointment at the new OB, we went to our first appointment with the MFM. the high-risk docs. they did an U/S, which hopefully we won't have many more of. i'd like to avoid any risk of exposure to the waves as much as possible. anyway, while we were there we accidentally saw a little penis on the screen. we (well, i) had wanted to wait until the little one popped out until we knew if it was a boy or a girl. but the picture looked just like cooper's and we figured it out. even though we had wanted to wait, we were both elated at the surprise. this surprise just came a little bit early. at least this time it was a pleasant early arrival. the doc there also made us feel pretty low-risk. she did encourage the use of the progesterone shots (17p). we are also going back this friday for a check on my cervical length. if it is ok, which i am positive that it is, as my membranes ruptured. i did not have preterm labor and i have no problem with my cervix. so i think that after friday we should be done at the high-risk docs, which feels again pretty damn good.

so back to the new OB -- dr. a -- we will just call him that and if you want you wish to assume that the "a" stands for asshole, that would be more than appropriate. i had a friend go with me for the visit b/c hubby couldn't make it. this is the same friend who also lost her baby due to prematurity a few months before i lost cooper. she was amazing. she stayed with me for the whole thing.

anyway, we waited in the waiting room for over an hour. then we waited in the little cubby of an exam room for another half hour. when dr. a came in, he proceeded to talk to me as if i had no idea what happened. as if i haven't spent more hours researching my specific situation than even he has. he was a complete dick-head. i couldn't wait to get out of there. the only reason i was there was for my 17p script. i wanted so badly to tell him that, but i had to play the game.

so i got the script written and that led to a whole new adventure. hubby would describe it as a nightmare. i guess i would, too, depending on my mood. the insurance co. counts it as a specialty med so i had to get it in the mail. in the end, it was fine. it got to me in time because of the debacle that was caused by dr. a. now let me first explain that i have two friends who have used this same shot. their husbands both gave it to them. when i had my appointment with him, i asked if hubby could give it to me. his response was' "is your husband a doctor?" what the fuck? is that what you spent all of those years in school learning -- how to stick needles in someones ass cheek?

i asked my school nurse if she could give me the shot and she said no problem. i called to cancel all the appointments that i had scheduled to get the poke. they checked with the doc who was in the office that day and she said no problem. the next day, i got a call back. dr. a had discovered the plot and wanted to squash it. he and his power trip couldn't allow some lay person to be giving out progesterone shots in the real world. shots cannot happen anywhere but in the doctors office. needless to say, hubby had poked me day and night for days on end during our IVF process with no problem. but according to dr. a, this is a difficult shot to deliver. hmmm...

i went in yesterday for the shot and to have a swab taken of cells from my crotch to make sure there was no yeast or BV developing. hubby came with this time and we waited in the waiting room for one hour and 13 minutes. i was getting more and more pissed off as the seconds ticked by. i don't understand this about doctors. why do we have to wait for them while they make hundreds of dollars? is their time more valuable than ours. no. it is not.

so i finally got into the exam room. we waited there for another 25 minutes or so. by the time the doc came into the room, i felt as if i would not be able to control my anger. i was pretty mean for the first few minutes. but then i began to lighten up. he was an older indian man with a happy demeanor.

i had asked if i could take the swab myself so that i didn't have to undress and sit there with my legs in stirrups. but of course that was a big fat no. it's just a long q-tip like thing. my midwife says that if i had gone to her for the check, she would have me do it myself. but, she is woman centered and i am her client. to the doc, pregnancy is a medical emergency and i am a patient.

so he spent a good amount of time talking to me and the hubby about the birth of cooper. he really wanted to understand what happened. he wanted to know why we left that practice. he made suggestions that made sense and helped me to understand certain things. he was talking from a very yogic perspective about everything and i really liked it. he even pondered whether or not i am high-risk. he concluded yes, but i love that he thought about it.

he checked my cervix -- long, closed and very thick. but i knew that because i can check my own cervix. he took a swab. again, which i could have done, but whatever. i liked him so i let it go. he checked the heartbeat. strong as usual. he was moving all around as the doc had to chase him with the doppler. we heard him kick the mic. he's a feisty one. much more feisty than his big brother. dr. mama (i had to say his name; i think it's spelled differently, but how appropriate) actually checked where my uterus was with his fingers and showed hubby and me. he pointed out the sounds in my womb as only my midwife has done. it was such a fresh experience.

he checked the swab under the scope...yup, yeast and bacteria. not a ton, but with my history, enough to treat. he gave me two prescriptions. once is category C, not exactly sure about the other. C means that it's a risk/benefit situation. here, risk is too high if i don't take it. i am pretty much convinced that it is the yeast and bacteria that caused my rupture. so we treat it and then we are good to go.

i am still confident that we made the right decision in using a midwife. i haven't gotten into one of her visits yet, but once you see the comparison, you'll understand why.

04 May, 2009

the power of positive thinking

so the second journey begins. or third, i guess.

we decided after much back and forth to use a midwife this time. we had taken a birthworks class in the fall and we loved it. we learned so much about birth that we didn't even know. i walked in on the first day and we talked about waterbirth. that is something i had always wanted. but when we lost cooper i figured a hospital birth was the only way for me to go. what if something happened? i would never forgive myself. but the more i learned and the more another pregnancy became a reality, the more anger and fear i had towards the whole medical world.

take it back to the day cooper was born. remember i mentioned the many things that ended up my crotch after my water had broken? and then the infection. i think back to that day and picture it all going down with a midwife. i knew from the moment the peds told me that 22-weekers have very little chance of survival. and if they survive, they have the major risk of all kinds of problems. i wouldn't do that to my little boy. he wasn't that kind of kid. he was a gentle soul. i just knew that if we strapped him down in that isolette and stuck tubes and needles in him, we would end up with the ashes of our little boy sitting at home in the end anyway. so let's say he was born at home at 22-weeks. maybe he wouldn't have been born so early. maybe i wouldn't have gotten an infection because we were safe at home with our own germs and no hands going up the crotch but my own. and even is he was born it would have been peaceful, with only family and friends around in our own bed. this is one time in my life where i really wish i had a time machine.

i had forgotten how awful that was. the docs were basically asking me if i wanted to try to save my baby's life or if i wanted to just let him go. who ever thinks they will have to make that decision. and it was on the spot. there was really no time to think about it.

so anyway, the midwife was secured after our first consultation. she was wonderful. we chatted for over an hour and she really cared. her father is an OB so we are kind of getting the best of both worlds. she is so calming. her tone of voice, the way she speaks at a bit above a whisper. we made the right decision. there is no doubt in my mind. after all of the different negative experiences we have had with docs, this is the way i will feel comfortable.