Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Early Induction, Elective C-sections & Baby Loss


This has been on my mind for a while:


"...induced births even one day before 39 weeks will now require patients to present their case to a designated arbiter at the hospital and prove that there is a medical reason why the early birth should take place." (Portland Tribune - August 5th, 2011).

This is a very good thing for mamas and babies.  I support it and hope to see more hospitals in Oregon and other states implement plans like this.

However, I can't stop thinking about how this will affect those who have lost babies.

When the end of a subsequent pregnancy nears you are so ready to be on the other side, to know if the baby will live and thrive.  Is that different from reaching 38 weeks and asking for an induction because you're uncomfortable?  Do hospitals and doctors have a plan, an idea of how to help women through the last few difficult weeks or will they simply point at the new rule and ignore the emotional trauma that comes with a loss?

I want to make it past 38 weeks because that's when Charlotte died.  I want Bennett to make it to 39 or 40 weeks so his lungs can develop, so he will grow more because Charlotte was tiny and there was maybe, possibly, we'll never really know, but it seems likely, something wrong with her lungs and development.  

But I'm not going to scold any of the women I know who have had babies after loss for receiving an elective c-section or inducing at a certain point. Whether you feel like baby is safer in or out (and if you've had a stillbirth you are going to want that baby OUT as soon as possible) doesn't matter. Unless you're here in the trenches it's impossible to know or understand how emotionally difficult this is. 

I - vocal member of the let baby come when he/she wants club - am tempted to grab the nearest OB, any one will do, and say I'm 37 weeks and 5 days, dilated to 5 cm.  Let's do this!

If a person is not coping well emotionally, if there is post traumatic stress involved, if the mama is too scared to move forward with the pregnancy and is 37 or 38 weeks would an induction or c-section be considered medically necessary? 

If the answer to that is no, what's the plan?  How are caregivers going to support women?  Extra testing?  Free counseling?  Support groups?  Perhaps there is a separate protocol in place for women who have lost babies, but in all the articles I've read it hasn't been mentioned. 

I am barely making it through these last few weeks.  This space helps, the midwives and apprentices from the birth center are incredible, J, my family and friends, Dr. B (naturopath) Dr. K (maternal fetal medicine doctor) - they all hold pieces of me together, but what if I didn't have that support?  Or what if it wasn't enough?   

I don't have the answers, but I want to know what you think, how you feel about it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

37 week appointment


Before the 37 week appointment update let me tell you about what happened yesterday.  I went to the bathroom mid-morning, like I do approximately 1,000 times a day, and when I wiped it was a little pink.  Too much information?  Sorry.  I'm the one staring at toilet paper half the day wondering what the world is going on.  You're lucky I haven't shared these details with you before now.

I called my midwife - my trusty, always there, answers promptly, checks in everyday midwife what would I do without her? - and she said, "Sounds like you're dilating more.  I'm coming, I'll check you again."

Maybe I should start tallying cervical checks on the wall and when I reach some mysterious impossible to know number I'll go into labor.  It'll be like counting down the days until you get out of jail only I don't know my release date.  Or to be more precise, Bennett's release date.

One of the other midwives was at the birth center with a mama in labor so J and I headed over there.  It takes us twenty minutes to get there and my midwife is at least forty-five minutes away.  I wanted to spare her a two hour journey for a five minute check.

And guess what the results were?  Still 5 cm and 80% effaced.  No more spotting, still haven't felt a contraction throughout this entire ordeal, and so it's back to waiting, wondering and examining toilet paper.

On the way home we stopped at Burger King so I could have a cheeseburger to help me through the rest of my day.  I also got some kind of chocolate pie - I'm a little scared to know what exactly was in that thing, but my goodness it was yummy - ate it all plus a few fries, fell into a food coma and slept for an hour.

Then I prepped dinner for the first time in days because being on my feet for a while obviously doesn't affect my cervix as I've been up and around a bit more the past couple days.  After dinner I curled up on the couch with the latest Jennifer Weiner, read until I simply couldn't focus on the story anymore, and then began looking up things online like cute animal pictures which really shows just how well I'm coping -----> not at all in case you needed help with that one.

As my midwife pointed out I have a whole lot of baggage (only she said it in a nicer, more scientific way that included hormone talk) and that may very well be messing with this whole situation.

My normal response to all of this would be to stop showering, wallow and cry. I'm doing well on the wallow and cry front, but thinking I may go into labor at any moment has forced me to keep up with showering and hair brushing. (Although the other day I saw a cockroach (!) in the shower and by the time I fetched J the thing had disappeared.  So perhaps that's a sign that I should go into labor unclean.)  Won't it be fun and interesting when Bennett is born on the 12th or some other date close to his estimated due date?

SO - the 37 week appointment.  My belly is growing, I'm growing (I've gained 27.5 lbs total) Bennett is doing well and it looks like he may hang out for a while longer.  It seems like everyone is feeling a little more relaxed now that we've made it an entire week with no labor symptoms.

My pulse is a little high so I need to focus on relaxing and staying calm.  Next goal is to make it to 38 weeks on Thursday, which is also when I see Dr. K again.  From 38 weeks on Bennett can come when he likes, although I would really like to make it to 39 or 39.5.  Whether we reach 38 or 39 weeks gestation this boy is coming soon!  I can't believe I've nearly made it to the end of this pregnancy.  It's been a long, long road.

When we were at the birth center yesterday the Charlotte rose had two buds. Today one of the buds had bloomed.

Miss you sweet girl 

 


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Still pregnant, still waiting

Tomorrow will mark a week of knowing I'm hanging out around 5 cm dilated. Turns out I'm pretty good at this whole dilating but not going into labor thing. I'm emotional, nervous, and snappy, but I haven't gone into labor yet!

One of my fears - of which there are too many to name - with this pregnancy has always been that I won't know I'm in labor.  That fear is now front and center, magnified by a thousand.  I'm hoping my membranes will rupture as I'm still in the contraction free zone.  I'm not even having Braxton Hicks.  There is plenty of pressure and some pain when I move around, but no contractions.

Tomorrow I see my midwife, Thursday Dr. K.  I am going to have to refrain from grabbing either one by the shoulders, shaking them back and forth and begging for a membrane sweep or something else that will trigger labor.  The thing is, I don't really want to go into labor.  I would still like to make it past 38 weeks since that time frame is chock full of emotional landmines for me.  But this anxiety, it's wearing.

I'm even tempted to ask to move into the hospital, but I don't like hospitals and that's a very expensive option with bad food and uncomfortable beds.  I would be close to the doctor, but far away from my midwife and J. I know there's no solution.  I just have to ride this out, unpleasant as it is.

I didn't know it was possible to have a nervous stomach for this long.  And anytime I feel something strange, or slightly off, the nervousness ratchets up until I think I may be sick.  I knew this would be the hardest stretch, but it's ten times worse than I imagined.  And poor Bennett is just bathing in mama's stress hormones, which I know isn't good for him.  Sorry my dear, if I could relax I would.

And then there's the stress and anxiety about bringing Bennett home.  It still feels elusive, like it's not for us.  I think the other side of this, the after - whatever it brings - will be a struggle.

I'm distracting myself as best I can with books (reading one a day right now) but that plan doesn't always work as I can read and think at the same time and still tell you the basic plot of the book.  Reading doesn't shut down my mind like it used to, but at least it makes the time pass.

At least I am full term now, that in and of itself is a blessing.  Eighteen days until the estimated due date is upon us.  I'm going to need more books.  And maybe Valium.

Friday, August 26, 2011

New Look

Thank you Franchesca of Small Bird Studios for my fabulous new look.  And thank you J for a wonderful birthday gift.

I woke up around 3:30 am to thunder, lightning and rain.  I woke J who ran out to the backyard to cover some of his tools. He then closed all the windows so we wouldn't have water on the floors, carpet, bookshelves.  What I didn't know was that he opened the blinds on the picture window at the front of the house so he could watch the lightning for a while.

I got out of bed around 7:30 and wandered into the living room sans glasses, contacts AND pants.  I was blinking and squinting in my too small t-shirt and unders trying to figure out why the living room was so bright.  Thankfully I can't see much of anything without prescription help so I have no idea if anyone was walking by or about the neighborhood at the time.  Must remember to don more clothes before wandering around the house in the future.

And while we're on the topic of weather: stay safe East Coast dwellers.  It looks like this may be a bad one.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

On my cervix and its ways

I can't settle down and focus on anything.  My brain is constantly working through, or trying to work through, what is happening, what happened earlier this week, what is going to happen.  And my cervix is friable.  Or at least that's what my midwife said when I saw her this morning.

I am still dilated to 5 cm and around 80% effaced.  Won't it be funny or ironic or annoying if I end up at 40 weeks after all this?  I never thought so many people would be interested in my cervix and what it is or isn't doing.  I'm a bit scared of it myself. Who dilates to 5 cm without feeling a thing?  How abnormal am I?

I want to stay pregnant as long as possible because I feel like Bennett is safest where he is at.  Most people would be thrilled about the prospect of an early delivery, but I'm white knuckling it, hoping to make it at least as far as 38 weeks even though he could be born now and be fine.  Or so the professionals tell me.

When my midwife checked me she said, "Oh, hello Bennett.  I can feel the soft spot on his head."  Dear me, am I going to wake up one morning to his head crowning with nary a pain in sight?  Or is 5-10 cm going to hurt like crazy because the first 5 were so easy?  It's strange to think I'm halfway through the process and haven't done any walking or moaning or sweating or screaming or membrane rupturing.  

As my midwife pointed out I like plans and order and this thing is so out of control we now have plans A-F (or maybe we're all the way out to H now) just in case the original plan is not an option.  And one of those plans involves delivering at the local hospital, which I absolutely did not want to do, but if it's that or the side of 1-5, I choose the hospital.

Back in late December/early January I wondered if every sign or symptom was pregnancy related or if I was nearing the end of another failed cycle.  At the end of this pregnancy I am once again over analyzing every sign and symptom and wondering if this is it.  Being the only one who can explain what I'm feeling is a lot of responsibility to carry.

Can someone else take my cervix for a while?  Just let me know if you feel any changes and/or pains, thanks.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Resting & Reflecting

I've been emotional since our unexpected trip to the hospital.  Even though Charlotte was born out of hospital, and nowhere near where Bennett will be born, just thinking I was in labor has put me in a more emotional place.

I think I've been so weepy because that's not the birth experience I wanted for Bennett: me in a total panic, confusion about what exactly was happening, the tears and worry ... I didn't think I would feel nothing but terror and fear when I thought I was going into labor, I thought there would be joy and hope too.

It is so strange that I was in the hospital when I fell sick, but maybe I needed to be there for my sake and Bennett's.  I do believe God was with us from the moment I decided to call my midwife through the hospital visit.  He was with us before and He is with us now, but as J said on the drive down sometimes it's hard to see or feel that he is nearby and that He loves us and our babies.  

It is so obvious now that Bennett wasn't ready to be born since he moved from -1 to -2 once the IV fluids were in and the illness had calmed down a bit.  He was absolutely fine throughout the ordeal, I don't think it affected him much at all, but had I been at home I may have become dehydrated quickly.  As Dr. K pointed out, I would have ended up in the ER had I not already been in the hospital, so strange as it was it's a good thing I was in the hospital.

The experience also gave me more confidence in Dr. K.  Not that I've ever doubted him as a doctor, but I think in some cases other doctors may have augmented the labor.  Dr. K was willing to step aside and let my body and Bennett decide what to do.  He said that babies act their age, not their size, and while a 36 week baby has just as high of a survival rate as a 38 week baby the 36 weeker will struggle more with jaundice, feeding and sleeping so it's better to leave them be.

And at one point when it was still believed that labor may continue that night Dr. K sat next to the bed, took my hand, and said, "This might be scary.  It will bring up a lot of emotions and fears and you need to tell us if you don't like something or if it's hard for you."  Having time to sit and talk and cry helped me feel a little better about delivering in the hospital.  Hopefully Dr. K will be the one on call when the time comes.  He is out of town Sunday through Wednesday so I told Bennett boy he must stay put until the 1st of September - at a minimum!

This time of rest ain't no joke.  If I move I don't have any contractions, but I dilated to 5 cm without feeling a thing so it feels safest and wisest to stay down as much as possible.  My mom did housework and laundry for me today and after she left I called a friend to ask for prayer and explain the situation.  And then I had an hour and a half or so before J came home and I thought I would lose my mind.  It's not that different from any other day, I spend lots of time on my own, but it feels different because I don't want to go anywhere and no one will let me go anywhere, aside from doctor appointments.

I think this level of rest may be a little extreme, but if it means making it to 38 or 39 weeks I'm all for it.  And it hurts to stand and move around, there's just so much pelvic pain and pressure.  I'm still a little queasy, but very, very hungry.  I think it's time to eat more than soup, crackers and toast.  I haven't had a full meal since dinner Monday night and when J came home I asked for a turkey sandwich.  What really sounds good is a bacon cheeseburger (only while pregnant could I be one day off the flu and craving a cheeseburger) but I'm afraid it's too soon for that.  

We're 37 weeks tomorrow.  Each day feels like a milestone now and we are praising God for every single one.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Labor and Delivery Visit 1: False start and an evil viral infection

I'm not even sure where to start this post.  How about here:



I'm in labor and delivery waiting on visit number two from the doctor, which will hopefully include release papers and 'until next times.'  Bennett is fine, still nestled in tight, which is many kinds of wonderful as I was not ready to meet him last night or this morning.

This whole mess started at my prenatal appointment yesterday when I found out I was dilated to nearly 5 cm and 80% effaced.  I was not expecting to receive that news since I'm not yet 37 weeks, but apparently my cervix is all about going rogue and dilating without permission this time.

I handled this news gracefully and calmly.  I stared at my midwife, asked if she was serious, stared at her some more.  She left the room and came back with another midwife - also present at Charlotte's birth - who offered to pray with me.  My midwife placed her hands on Bennett, the other midwife prayed, and I cried.  We were in the room Charlotte was born in, I was laying right where I was when I found out Charlotte had died, and the midwife who had prayed for me that day was once again praying for me and it was all very overwhelming.  And somewhere in there my midwife said, "It may not happen, but you need to prepare to go into labor tonight or tomorrow."  Um, say what?

I went home a little shell shocked, delivered the news to J, who proceeded to wander around looking quite lost himself, and made dinner.  Around 8:30 or so I started to feel restless and as if I was having cramps.  I called my midwife who was nearby having just finished another birth and she came over to check things out.

I had dilated another centimeter so we packed our things, called Dr. K and headed south.  I was having on and off pains for most of the drive down, which had me convinced the time was upon us even though I was far from ready.  We got inside, checked in, into the room, and ... nothing.  No contractions on the monitor, no tightening, nothing.  My heart rate was at an impressive 120 and I cried a lot while being monitored, but the monitoring showed no signs of labor.

Since he measured me at 5 cm (I was so adamant about having NO cervical exams and I've now had four in 24 hours) Dr. K decided to admit me, let me sleep and see if labor happened sometime during the night or in the morning. The hospital bed was uncomfortable so I slept with J on his bed, which was actually quite large, but also uncomfortable.  Dr. K offered Ambien, but I was able to sleep okay without it.  I cried for a while before falling asleep and J and I decided that if this wasn't true labor we were packing a better box of tissues for the real thing as the hospital ones are less than kind to delicate faces.

I woke up feeling fine this morning and assumed we would be discharged when Dr. K came around.  And then I got sick - repeatedly - oh my goodness it was unpleasant, don't worry I'll spare you the details, and I kind of lost it for a bit there.  My midwife was on her way over, I was trying to figure out if I was in the beginnings of labor, or headed towards death, and my heart rate shot to 140.  At one point there was some confusion because my heart rate was matching Bennett's, which is not a good thing and causes lots of concern.  I was asked what could be done, if I wanted something for the anxiety, but I said, "No, no I just need my midwife.  She stayed in town last night, she's on her way."  She walked in, picked up my hand, and my heart rate dropped to 105. Seriously, it was like magic.

Once the sickness began I was hooked up to an IV and blood was taken. Shortly after that Dr. K came in and informed me that I have a viral infection and the stress of that on my body most likely triggered labor.  I told my midwife to go ahead and leave since I can go if the doctor checks in at noon and I haven't thrown up again or had any other issues (so far so good, fingers crossed that this trend continues).

I am so glad I'm not in labor as I think letting Bennett grow is best and I am thrilled to avoid laboring while dealing with a viral infection.

However I am dilated somewhere in the 5 or 6 cm range which my midwife told me will make walking around difficult.  I feel a bit like a ticking time bomb, but I could still go to 40 weeks.

So this morning I am being pumped full of fluids (feeling a bit sloshy), happy I'm not in labor, more aware of just how difficult labor is going to be, and very grateful for the people taking care of me.  I liked the nurses, my favorite one told me she was sorry for my loss while I was throwing up in one of those little blue bags which was not ideal timing, but at least she mentioned it.

My midwife and her apprentice are just amazing and Dr. K was incredible last night.  He talked me through every scenario, held my hand, encouraged, comforted, presented all the options, genuinely listened. If this go round is any indication I am going to be emotionally high strung while in labor and having kind caregivers will help get me through.

We were taking pictures while waiting for Dr. K and I think this is a fairly accurate depiction of me throughout the ordeal - sorry the second one is a little blurry:

I'm fine, look at my big smile 


I need a moment, I'm not feeling so good



******

I am home now.  Receiving IV fluids reduced the stress on my uterus quite a bit and I'm back down to 4 cm and 70% effaced.  I am on general rest and have been told not to venture too far from home.  J is taking this to mean I should not move from the couch or bed.  I am wiped out and absolutely fine with that idea.

Prayers and good thoughts appreciated as we want our little man to grow a bit more before joining our family.

Monday, August 22, 2011

36 week appointment: belly painting!

I went in for my 36 week appointment at the birth center today.  My midwife painted my belly, which I had done with Charlotte too.  Today has been an emotional one so I'm just going to post pictures and save words for a more coherent time.





Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bennett's room

is finished!  I've been saying it for a while, but it's definitely, absolutely done now.


J and I have rug issues when it comes to nurseries.  By that I mean I wanted to buy an expensive rug when I was pregnant with Charlotte, but he insisted on buying a carpet remnant, picking out fabric and edging it himself.  While impressive - there is no way I would ever do this - I didn't love the end result.  It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but it's what we had so I planned to use it.

We've debated many a rug throughout this pregnancy, but I put the one we had in Charlotte's room down because I didn't think we would come to an agreement. And then J bought a coupon from a local radio station.  Normally the coupons are 1/2 price but this one was pay $10 receive a gift certificate for $99 at a nearby carpet place for a remnant.  I thought we were back to the same place, but we went in yesterday and I found the perfect piece - good color, no edging required:


I put the other rug in our room so it wouldn't go to waste.  I like it, but Isabel is less than pleased as she likes access to as much hardwood floor as possible when it's warm.

So now the nursery is perfect.  It actually feels like the cleanest room in the house, which is why I'm typing this in the incredibly comfortable rocker:

It's much different from Miss Charlotte's room, though the furniture is the same.




There's nothing on the walls in his room and the bookcase is stacked with things instead of carefully organized, but it's prepared enough considering he won't be using it much in the beginning.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Where's my assistant?

I've let one important detail slip through my fingers this pregnancy.  Well ... it's more like I've avoided it until the last possible moment.

The pediatrician - what do I do?  My original plan was to wait until Bennett came home, call the office we were going to use with Charlotte and schedule an appointment.  Wait, let me be entirely honest: I was going to wait until we had Bennett, claim fatigue and then make J deal with it, but that hardly seems fair.

The other night I couldn't sleep and so was staring at the wall and thinking about what we would do if the practice was no longer taking new patients.  Will it be stressful to try to find a new doctor when we have a three day old?  What if we don't like the doctors at the new clinic we find?  The hospital we're delivering at will want to send information to Bennett's doctor so will probably ask for the information before we leave.  Are you allowed to leave the hospital with your baby if you don't have a pediatrician?  America is an odd country, I would not be surprised if such a law exists.

Do I call?  How awkward will that be?  "Hi, we were set up with your office, we even met with one of your doctors, but then our daughter died shortly after birth so we didn't require your services and I never called to explain so I'm sure you just assumed we chose a different doctor.  I'm 36 weeks pregnant, will you be our pediatrician?"  What always happens in these situations is that the poor person who answers the phone only hears "baby, dead" which means I have to repeat myself until the situation is understood.

There have been many times when I have wanted an assistant since Charlotte died.  Someone to do the things I can't manage/find too awkward.  However, if I had an assistant I would still be avoiding the grocery store, the post office, the gas station, the phone ... well, even more than I already do.

If I had an assistant I could say, "This pediatrician thing is awkward and sad and I can't cope so if you could call that would be great, thanks.  And if they're not accepting new patients find us somewhere else to go."

I have to figure this out next week as I am days away from being FULL TERM, which is causing all sorts of problems in and of itself.  Yesterday I sent J a message about how we absolutely had to go to Costco once he was off work because I needed essentials like paper towels and laundry soap and if we left it until September 1st and his next paycheck, which was the original plan, we may be leaving it too late.  One can't go into labor without bulk paper towels and laundry soap stacked to the rafters in the basement, right?

Oh my brain - if I could only delegate it to that missing assistant of mine for a while.

On an entirely different topic ...  I love TheMidnightOrange and I want this:

Sending Mommy Her Rainbow 



Or maybe this:
We Were Three 


IF J read my blog he would know what I want for Christmas ...

Friday, August 19, 2011

August 19th - Day of Hope


We have been blessed with friends and family who love and remember Charlotte with us.  I know it is not the same for everyone.  In the words of Carly Marie, "August 19th is about honouring and remembering the lives of babies and children that could not stay with us.  By doing this we are speaking out about the death of babies whether it is through pregnancy, infant, or even child loss." Holding your babies close today, friends.  Share a memory, a name, anything you like, this is our day to talk about the babies we miss.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

5:30 am

Between 5:30 and 5:40 am I wake, even if I've been up at 4 to use the bathroom.  I sit up, wait a moment, go to the bathroom again, and then burrow under the covers to say good morning to Bennett.  Even though it's August it's cold. This summer has been off balance, unexpected in so many ways.

Bennett is active, kicking, wiggling, waking up.  His sister used to wake between 4 and 6 am every morning, but he is more precise.  Some mornings I can go back to sleep, other mornings he is too active and I am too hungry so I ask J to bring us food when the alarm goes at 6:15, or I pull myself out of bed to fetch something.

This morning he quieted down, or went back to sleep, allowing me to sleep past 8. What bliss. I haven't managed that for a while.

In between the 5:30 wake up and the 8 am true wake up I checked in on a friend and saw that she had delivered her rainbow last night.  That makes three new rainbows in the past few days and I am thrilled for everyone, but a little terrified because it means I'm moving up in the queue.  (Last night I gripped J's arm and said, "If he comes at 38 weeks that's two weeks from tomorrow.  What do we do?!?" J has decided to read a baby book because he is utterly unprepared - the man has never even changed a diaper - but that doesn't help me at all).

But in the morning the fear abates, lost in the fog of sleep, of tiredness -I sleep fairly well all things considered, but it's still fractured sleep - as I wrap myself in the covers and place my hand on my dancing boy.

I think about how big my belly is (yesterday I was out watering the front garden for a good five minutes before I realized my belly was hanging out of my shirt), how grateful I am to Bennett for coming to us when we needed him most, for staying as long as he has, for growing, for waking his mama every morning because he knows I need his reassuring kicks.

As he moves a hand or foot will present itself and I'll push on it, or rub his back thinking about how close we are to meeting him.  And as the dawn breaks I take a moment to remember his sister and my early mornings with her.

Adding her picture on the main page of this space, as well as his, was not easy for me, but I am so glad I did.  I cannot believe these two lovely babes are mine.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

8.16.11

All of us who have lost and then conceived again have to revisit our deepest fears and nightmares at some point in the subsequent pregnancy.  We all have milestones, places, times, and dates to work through.  For mamas with stillborn babies there's the gestational age when the baby died to work through.  And if the baby died late in the third trimester there is often a deep desire to have the baby out as soon as is safely possible, because out seems safer than in.  For mamas who have lost babies during labor there is sometimes the need to avoid labor altogether the second time around.  

I'm terrified of the transition - that moment when baby leaves mama and encounters the world.  I had a few stomach pains on Sunday morning and nearly lost my mind.  I sank down on the side of the bed and thought, Oh no, oh no, oh no, we can't do this again.  Last time we did this a baby died."  I was hungry and hadn't had enough water that morning.  As soon as I had a snack and drank a full glass of water the pains disappeared and I felt fine, but that moment of collapse and lack of confidence in my ability, as well as Bennett's, has me worried.

Later that night I told J I may not make it through labor, I may just beg for a c-section.  And of course he had something wise to say about how Charlotte was fine until she was born, and only stopped responding to resuscitation when the cord was cut.  "Even if you have a c-section there will still be that moment when he is born, they cut the cord, and we wait to see what happens," he said.  "You might not be able to see the logic of that in labor, but try to hold onto it now."

All births are out of our hands, but with Charlotte's I felt like I had quite a bit of say so and control.  All pretenses of control in this situation are rapidly disappearing as the weeks narrow and the EDD looms.  I'm giving in to the small things - like weekly cervical checks - while trying to preserve what's important to me.

I felt the anxiety rising at my appointment with Dr. K and his midwife yesterday, not just mine, but everyone else's.  There is a general consensus that baby boy needs to arrive safely, however that may occur, and I absolutely agree with that, but I'm still standing in an isolated corner trying to build a perfect birth with inadequate materials.  A common phrase around the pregnancy after loss world is as follows: I don't care how the baby comes out, I just want him/her alive."  I agree with that, I want Bennett breathing with a beating heart, but I want it on my terms, which seems crazy, immature, stupid even.

A lot of the women I am pregnant with right now are scheduling early births, inductions, c-sections, and I wonder if I am following the right course.  Honestly, I feel a little left behind even though I'm not ready for him to be born.  People due after me are scheduling births that will most likely occur before Bennett arrives.  Is my tight grip on what I think is best for me and Bennett too firm to see what is truly best?  Should I be doing more?  Is feeling reluctant about inducing at 40 weeks irresponsible of me?

I've been thinking over my appointment with the clinic yesterday (It honestly didn't occur to me to say something to Dr. K about how stressful it was. I'm unfailingly polite, I want people to like me so I smile and neglect to complain.) and how if labor is anything like that I'm in trouble.

I've amassed a little arsenal of coping skills over the past fifteen months, but nothing is working now so how will it fare when I'm in labor?  Hypnobabies makes me cranky and angry, tapping has always seemed odd to me (learned this one from Dr. B), visualization has ceased working, deep breathing is no longer possible.

For now I seem to have reverted to my favorite coping method - food - which may explain the four pound in two weeks' time weight gain.  Also not helping: all I want to eat is pepperoni, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese (must be cubed!) carrots and ice cream.

30 days until the due date is upon us.  Just keep breathing, right?

Monday, August 15, 2011

35 week appointments

Yes that's right, appointments.  I'm tired.  Will someone bring me a big bowl of ice cream, please?

Even though I am aware of how different my appointments with my midwife are from the ones with the maternal fetal medicine doctor I was surprised by how hard it was to go from one on to the next in a day.  While the clinic has its place I would much rather spend time at the birth center.

My prenatal with my midwife this morning was gentle and quiet, there was even a dove cooing outside the window - which we thought was an owl until my midwife looked outside and realized it was a dove.  Bennett received lots of midwife love and I had plenty of time to ask questions and voice concerns.

My growth scan, however, was one of my least favorites experiences with that clinic.  I had a tech I don't know and before she came in she had a medical student scan me for a while.  The medical student was not very good, in fact it's the worst scan I've had.  I know students have to learn somehow, but right now is not a good time for me to have someone inexperienced trying to scan me.

The tech came in to go over/complete the scan and while she was in process the midwife came in.  She thought she had to fit me in to her schedule, but I explained that I needed to talk to Dr. K about a few things and did not need to see her as I had seen my midwife in the morning.

The student was talking to the tech, both of them were talking to me, the midwife was asking me questions - all of which Dr. K and I had gone over previously (she brought up a birth plan and when I told her it was in my folder and Dr. K and I had talked about it last week she pulled it out, but kept asking questions) and then they told me I would need to be tilted backward so they could record a few measurements.

No surprise there, I have to be tilted back every. single. time. so I put my hands on the side of the bed and prepared myself.  Mid-way there was a loud crack and the bed dropped.  I gripped the sides while the tech and student looked to see what happened.  Somehow the bed had caught on the ultrasound machine on the way down which caused the side of the machine to pop off.  While all of this was happening the midwife was flapping my birth plan around and asking more inane, repetitive questions.

I wanted the dove and my midwife's soothing hands back.

After the dust had settled the tech recorded all of her measurements, the midwife finished up, and I was told to move to a consult room.  Then I was told to stay put, Dr. K would come to me.  A few minutes later the door popped open and the medical student told me there was a change of plans and Dr. K would meet us in the consult room.  I was so confused and tired and trying to remember to leave a urine sample (even though I had already had a sample at the birth center) on my way out.

I don't feel like I had a good ultrasound, but Dr. K assured me that Bennett looks perfect.  Baby boy is doing lots of practice breathing and according to the ultrasound he weighs 5lbs8oz.  My midwife guessed his weight as 4lbs12oz so I'm thinking he's somewhere between the two.  Either way it's reassuring to have him pass his sister, or be close to doing so (she was 5lbs7oz at birth) even though her weight may or may not have factored into why she died.

I gained 4 lbs in 2 weeks, which is a bit more than usual for me, and am measuring at 35 weeks.  When I see my midwife next week I'll have my cervix checked for the first time (not thrilled about this, but it will keep Dr. K happy), meandering past 40 weeks has been thoroughly discouraged by the midwife and Dr. K (not thrilled about this either, but hoping I won't have to deal with it), the pain I am feeling in my pelvis is normal, even though it feels like something must be wrong, and while my blood pressure is low it's not very concerning and not much can be done about it.

Whew, what a day, and what an update.  Oh!  I had my group B strep test today as well.  Please pray that comes back negative as I do not want to take the antibiotics.

Here's our baby boy:




 And goodnight.  It's not yet 8, but this mama is exhausted.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fifteen Months

Charlotte,

How is it that we passed one year without you and now the fourteenth of every month creeps up from behind and kicks us in the back of the knees?  Every month without fail we are surprised by the general lethargy and melancholy that permeates the house around the 14th, until we notice the date.  Your daddy is sad, your mama anxious, stressed and sad, we're both apprehensive about your brother's upcoming birth. Fifteen months after you died we're weeks away from meeting your brother.  Is he there with you now, waiting for the right time to come to us, or was your time with him short, just long enough to imprint yourself on his memory?

When he is born I will look for you in his eyes.

Love you, sweet baby.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Help, etc.

First, some housekeeping.  I set up a new comment system on my blog.  I like it because I can respond directly to comments.  It means a lot when readers take the time to comment and it's nice to have a conversation of sorts.  Hope you like it too.  I've made a few other changes, you can now receive posts via e-mail if you would like, and soon I will have a whole new look thanks to a generous birthday gift from J and the fabulous work of Franchesca at Small Bird Studios (A lot of the improvements to this space have come from Franchesca's DIY blog tips).

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I went to The Help this morning with friends.  It's the perfect weather for a movie, cold, a little misty, very gray.  I've been looking forward to this movie for a long time.  I read an advance copy of the book six months before it was published and fell in love with the characters and story.  I don't have words to express how much I liked the movie.  There is one part that may be difficult for those who have lost babies, but it isn't a very long scene.  You will most likely cry so make sure you bring tissues, but you'll laugh a lot too.

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I've been feeling off the past few days (when I said this to J last night he went rather pale as the next two weeks are key for him at work and missing them would be a bit of a nightmare).  My appetite has decreased and I feel odd. Bennett is active and passing his kick counts, I'm not worried about him, but I'm not feeling so good.  After the movie this morning J and I went to the library and when we arrived home I felt so faint I asked him to take my blood pressure.

It was 90/45 - while I've been low this entire pregnancy that's lower than usual. I've been told to eat salt when it dips too low, but am wondering how much salt I can consume today as I had popcorn with butter and salt at the movie and don't typically cook with it (my naturopath said I can eat a pinch of salt if I'm feeling really dizzy, but that just sounds gross).  I suppose another issue could be my iron levels, but I am supplementing with Floradix already and eating lots of iron rich foods.

I'm not too concerned about my blood pressure since I see my midwife Monday morning (bumped from Friday) and the maternal fetal medicine doctor Monday afternoon, but am wondering if anyone has ideas/thoughts on low blood pressure.  I am grateful I don't struggle with high blood pressure since that can be a symptom of preeclampsia, which is so dangerous for mama and baby.

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My goodness this post is disjointed.  I'm blaming the low blood pressure.  If you've read this far I applaud you and suggest you head out to see The Help, since you're not doing anything else this evening.  Right?  I thought it was worth the price of a movie ticket and I don't feel that way about many movies.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Indecisiveness & the Hospital Bag

My brain is fried.  I can't even pack a hospital bag without having a meltdown. Original plan: pack three bags: one for labor, one for after, one to stay in the car unless I feel like I need it.  That seemed excessive, so I'm down to two suitcases now, one for labor and after, one to stay in the car.  These suitcases sat in the hallway for over a week. They will probably sit in the living room until I go into labor.


This is what my day has been like:

- Wake up, realize I'm 35 weeks along.
- Think about how I should buy the last few items needed for the hospital bag since I promised myself I would do so Monday.
- One trip to Fred Meyer later, commence packing.
- Fill my arms with the piles I've set aside in the nursery and carry them to the living room where I've laid out the suitcases.
- Stare at the suitcases, drop the piles, eat lunch.
- Finish lunch, stare at suitcases.
- Wonder if the three bag plan should be reinstated, but with bag three as a diaper bag.
- Wonder if we need to bring a diaper bag to the hospital.  Bennett's few things should fit in with ours and the hospital provides all things infant - I think.
- Wonder if I will even have a diaper bag before I go into labor.  I found the perfect diaper bag on one of those flash sale sites, but their ship times are terrible.
- Put two swaddling blankets in.  Take them out.
- Should I bring swaddling blankets since I don't like the hospital ones?  Maybe for pictures?
- Swaddling blankets go back in.
- Look over the list of items to bring, which I wrote out two weeks ago.
- Should I pack a robe?  I don't really like robes, but it seems like the thing to do.
- Search for a robe in the closet.
- Find a thin blue robe, that might work, but I can't find the tie for it.  Wonder when I last wore it as a robe instead of a sweater (only around the house, promise).
- Oatmeal pullover or grey sweater?  I held Charlotte for the first and last time while wearing that grey sweater.  It's my number one comfort item, but will wearing it make me sad?
- Do I really need six pairs of socks?  I like socks, hate cold feet, but maybe four is a better number?
- Think about how long we will be at the hospital.
- Pack five pairs for me, three for Bennett.  I really don't like my feet being cold.
- Ponder my nursing tank tops and solitary nursing bra.
- Pack the tank tops, leave the bra.
- Look over list.
- Realize I forgot to include underwear.
- Put hair dryer and flat iron on the 'pack when in labor' list with a question mark.
- Wonder why hospitals don't provide hair dryers and flat irons.
- Wonder if I will want to flat iron my hair.
- Imagine letting my hair do its own thing.
- Shudder.
- Cross off question mark.
- Realize I over think everything
- Realize I'm packing too much.
- Give up for the day.
- Roughly 10% of the bag is packed.

A few years ago I went to Europe through the Juniors Abroad program at my university.  I was in an absolute state about what to pack.  My good friend who was going on the same program with me (three weeks in England, Ireland, Wales) lived in the apartment below.  One night she came up to my apartment and tossed half of what I had packed out of my suitcase and onto my bed.  It was immensely helpful, I could certainly use her now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Better Day

Thank you for the comments on my last post, they lifted my spirits.  Today was much better than the previous few.  Must remember: it always gets better, always.

I spent the day in Oregon City with my mom.  We had lunch by the river, then boarded a trolley for downtown and the farmer's market.  I grew up just outside Oregon City, in a little town called Gladstone, but it's been years since I've done any of the historical tours.  We were mainly taking the trolley to avoid paying for parking/worrying about being in a two hour spot, but it was interesting to learn a bit about the city too.

Although I have to say, I wouldn't necessarily recommend a trolley ride for those in the latter half of the third trimester.  The ride was far from smooth and when I found out we could take the municipal elevator (which is just crazy, it starts on the street and ends on the bluff above) and then walk back to the car I decided that was better than hopping back on the trolley.

I came home to so much goodness it felt like a second birthday or Christmas come early.  There was a big box on the porch stuffed full of baby gifts. Completely unexpected, much appreciated.



The box included our third load of Burt's Bees goodies.  I love receiving clothes, but shampoos, lotions and diaper creams are appreciated too.



J called right as I arrived home and asked if I wanted pizza from my favorite local place for dinner.  Um, yes, of course.  Pizza is always one of my main cravings when pregnant.

The new Vanity Fair was in the mailbox, which in and of itself can make my day.  I must confess, I often blaze through Vanity Fair in two or three days.  If it's a thin issue sometimes I'll read it in one day.  Every month I'm determined to make it last most of the month, but I have no self-control.



Bennett makes quite a good shelf these days, doesn't he?

As if all that wasn't enough, I picked these lovelies up while in Oregon City:



I wasn't going to indulge, but life is short and I have a weakness for cupcakes. Seriously, no self-control.  I also picked up some artichoke hummus and homemade chips for J at the market.  And there was gelato in there somewhere too.

Food and gifts, that's all I need to turn a bad week around.

And more good things are on the horizon: Friday I have an appointment with my midwife, Saturday is The Help with the girls (I am very excited for this movie, loved the book) and Monday is a trip to the MFM clinic to see how baby boy is growing.

(I just read over this to check for spelling mistakes and now feel like I need to eat a salad.)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Meltdown at 34.5 weeks

According to Merriam-Webster a meltdown is defined as:

1. the accidental melting of the core of a nuclear reactor
2. a rapid or disastrous decline or collapse
3. a breakdown of self-control (as from fatigue or overstimulation)

I was somewhere between two and three last night.  According to J, I went from grumpy to fine to sad to mad to grumpy to sad in a space of about five minutes. Then I just stayed sad.  I think.  It may have been a frustrated cry as well as a sad one.  Either way it went on for a good long while.  I cried before dinner, while preparing dinner and all the way through dinner.

I am so tired of being pregnant, of the stress, and worry.  Honestly, I don't want to go through all of this if Bennett is going to go the way of his sister.  I don't want to have committed 38 or more weeks of my life to another human's well being if it once again results in two coming home instead of three.  I'm supposed to enjoy every moment, be grateful I can conceive and carry a child, be thankful for every week, feel blessed, right?

But I'm tired.  I'm in pain.  I've been leaking colostrum since June and it's sporadic enough that it always surprises me, and it's never a good surprise.  It's so hard to find joy or gratefulness when I can't roll out of bed and stand upright because it hurts too much, and putting on pants requires enough effort that I've wished for a personal dresser.

Yesterday morning Bennett wasn't moving very much and I wanted to scream with frustration.  Then I did his kick counts and he passed quickly, like he always does, and I realized he's bigger now so he's stretching more, kicking and rolling less.

J insists on believing it will all turn out okay, but I can't seem to find the positive. I've watched others go through these emotions and now they're on the other side with healthy rainbow babies.  Even though I'm 34 weeks pregnant I don't feel like I'll ever reach the other side.  That ending, while not perfect, is still better than the emptiness that came before, but it doesn't feel attainable.

I just want to be done with all of this.  I don't want to listen to Hypnobabies, or pack the hospital bag, or wait to go into labor, or worry about going past 40 weeks.  I think I understand now why the prospect of induction is so tempting.  I don't want to request an elective c-section, but if someone told me they could magically extract this baby with a snap of their fingers I would agree in a second.

It feels wrong somehow to admit all of this, but I've always agreed with the idea that there's no correct way to grieve, and I don't think there's a correct way to handle pregnancy after a loss either.

37 days left if he is born at 40 weeks.

Monday, August 8, 2011

No man is an island ...

... entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as a manor of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. 

Oh, John Donne, how I love you.  This has been one of my favorite poems for a long time, the words so eerie and sad.

I spent the weekend alone.  I did not like it, even though I thought I would be fine, couldn't understand why those around me were fretting about J leaving me for a night (yes, that's right, just one night).  He went kayaking with his brother and best friend, down the river Saturday, pitched up on an island somewhere for the night, and then paddled to the rendezvous spot on Sunday.  

Thanks to the best friend's truck being in the shop I had to do the pick up and drop off and I was so grumpy on both occasions I imagine the boys thought walking home with the kayaks may have been a better idea.  We had three kayaks in and on our Subaru, plus four of us inside, it was absolutely insane, not what the car was designed for at all.

J burned half his legs to a crisp, silly boy.  He thought he would slap on his sunscreen once he was in the water (I am so confused by this) but they were in the rapids right away so he didn't put it on for two hours.  He looks like this now, the picture really doesn't show just how red they are:



Of course I've been calling him lobster legs and refusing to sympathize with his agony, although I did show him where the aloe is kept.  He also managed to scratch his glasses and bend the frame.  I should have made sure he wasn't wearing them, but I was in such a mood I left them at the drop off site with barely a wave goodbye. Apparently I strike fear in the heart of my husband.  J said he was absolutely frantic when he dropped them in the water because he knew if he came home without them I would yell and be angry.  Poor dear, living with a pregnant woman is hard. 

After the drop off I came home to a wide open back door which only made me grumpier.  J was in and out all morning packing up his gear and didn't think to close the door.  Someone would have to walk up our driveway and go through the gate at the side of the house, or scale the back fence, and encounter Isabel before coming in the house, which is unlikely on a Saturday morning with so many neighbors around, but I wasn't feeling too rational when I saw the back door standing open.  A few months ago J told me about a man who broke into a house and hid in the attic for days until he was sure the wife was alone and then he attacked her (now that I'm typing it out it sounds like an urban legend) so I spent the first few hours at home hoping no one was in the attic.  I almost asked the neighbor across the street who was out doing yard work to come in and do a sweep of the house, but that seemed a little excessive/crazy. 

In the past I've enjoyed having a night or two to myself without J, but I spent this weekend in bed watching shows on Netflix, reading, and thinking that every twinge was the beginning of labor.  J was in cell phone range the entire time too, it's not like he was way off in the wilderness.  Before he left he said at least three times, "I'm on a river right next to a road and towns.  I can get to you if I need to.  I have a cell phone signal, I can call you, you can call me."  And he did call to check on me Saturday night, but I was so grumpy he jumped right off the phone. (How odd is it that we live in a world where a person can call another from an island in the middle of a river?)

Some time ago I joked about following my midwife or J around beginning at 35 weeks or so.  It's not funny anymore.  I really would rather not be left alone right now.  I could spend my days in J's office, talking to his patients, reading, eating, I'm sure I wouldn't bother anyone.  I'm nervous all the time, my stomach aches from the worry.  Even though I knew this would be the most difficult stretch it's not making it any easier. 

J took me to the latest X-Men movie at the $3 theater last night.  While we were waiting for it to start I told him going into labor will actually be a relief.  We'll be at the end and close to knowing if our baby boy will live or die.  "But will you ever stop worrying?" he asked.  No, probably not.  The worry will shift, take on new shapes, but it will always be there.  Parents worry, it's part of being a parent, but once you've lost a child the worry and fear is magnified and it becomes a matter of learning to adapt to it, integrate it, even hide it so that the children who come after, who live, aren't scared to do so. 


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Can I kiss your baby good night?

My friend's oldest child, B, will be 3 in September.  She likes to ask me about the baby in my belly, say hello to him, ask what his name is, and tell me about the baby in her mama's belly.  Last night we were at their house for dinner and B did not want to go to bed (smart girl, we broke out the ice cream and pie as soon as she and her brother did).  B likes when I come over, but she LOVES having J around.  He plays and plays and plays with her and she thinks he's the greatest.

Her parents managed to get her into her room eventually and J and I sat in the living room waiting for them to finish tucking her in.  A few minutes later B came out to say good-night.  She kissed and hugged both of us, put her hand on my belly to say good-night to Bennett, then went back to her room.  A couple minutes after that she came out to say good-night again.  That girl has her stalling techniques down.  When her mom was initially trying to get her into bed B asked J to read her a book.  When he said no because it was her bed time she said, "Okay, Angela read it then."

When she came out the second time I pulled her onto my lap, hugged her, kissed her and told her to have a good sleep.  I put her on the ground and she leaned forward with her hand out.  I thought she was going to pat my belly again so I shifted to make it easier for her.  With her hand outstretched she looked up at me and said, "Can I kiss your baby good night?"  Tears came to my eyes as I told her yes, of course.  She kissed my belly, waved good night and scampered off down the hall.

I looked at J.  "I miss Charlotte."  He came to hug me, but I waved him off, said it would make me start crying.

This morning I had a fairly long drive to make and as I was coming home I thought about that simple sentence and how a slightly different version of it is my prayer right now.

God, the universe, the world,

Can I please, please, please kiss my baby good night instead of goodbye?

This is what I was listening to while I was writing this:



Oh my heart - I hope Bennett arrives in this world safely. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

28/34/42

Let's talk numbers, shall we?

This is me today: 


Much of last year I thought I was 28, but I've been told that's not true.

I'm this many weeks pregnant:


34 feels big to me, much bigger than 33.  IF I deliver at 38 weeks I have 4 weeks left!!!!  Stay a little longer, please, Bennett boy. 

This is the number of days left until Bennett's estimated due date:


That number makes me feel sweaty and nauseated. 

This birthday is better than the last (and it's not even 9 am) but it still hurts to mark another special day without her.  Two years ago I thew away my birth control packet and dreamed of having a baby in my arms.  My arms are still empty, but I am blessed to have my Charlotte babe in my heart and Bennett pushing against my sides (I've told him many times that is not the exit).  

I think I'll have chocolate and a big glass of chilled third trimester tea for breakfast.  It is my birthday after all. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fighting Crime With Pie & Conversation

Last night was National Night Out, which I honestly do not understand.  How does having a potluck in the street, or in someone's front yard in our case, waving at the police who drive by, and letting the little ones explore the fire truck parked one block over help fight crime?  (This is one of those things that seems distinctly American to me.)  I wasn't the only attendee confused about the purpose of the event, but it was good to get to know who lives on our block since we've been here nearly three years (Two people said to me, "Oh! You're the people in the blue house.  We've been wondering who lives there."  We should have stayed inside with the blinds down, retained our air of mystery).

I was reluctant to go, of course.  I wasn't the most socially put together before Charlotte died and now chatting with people I only know in a 'wave as you drive by because they are in the garden' way, or worse, don't know at all, requires much bravery.  The evening ended up being rather pleasant, we really do have nice neighbors, and there was so much kindness directed our way when we talked about Charlotte I believe the Lord provided the people we met last night with the compassion to say just the right thing.

One odd thing: of the people who came (from a roughly two block radius) THREE know my midwife.  I met two doulas who trained at the birth center where Charlotte was born and one woman who recently had her second baby - a successful VBAC - there.  Both doulas remembered a baby dying shortly after birth back in May 2010, but didn't know it was me so there was much, "Oh, that was you, how terrible, I'm so sorry."  And then the four of us chatted birth and babies for a while, which is one of my favorite things to do.

I'm going to veer off topic for a second here to say this: I love living in a state which supports midwives enough that four women at a block party have a connection to a birth center and the midwives who practice there.  It also makes me smile to hear others talk about my midwife.  She is loved, respected and admired in her field and hearing the way others speak of her only solidifies my feelings about her: she is one fabulous midwife and though her work is hard she is meant for it and is dedicated to women and babies.

I also learned that one of my neighbors has read snippets of this space, which is always so humbling for me.  Writing here has provided much healing and growth since Charlotte died and it always floors me when someone says, "I found your blog..."  I recently began tracking my stats through a secondary service and I am quickly learning that those who read far exceed the number I had in mind.  I can be honest here in a way I just can't master out in the real world and I am often surprised by those who read and therefore know the stripped down, no holds barred bits about me and my life.  Like I said, it's humbling.

Overall it was a good evening and now I can put names to faces when I see my neighbors in their gardens.  Although I may not match the correct name with the correct face as everyone is jumbled together in my mind right now.  And next year maybe we'll be the super cool block party like the one the next street over and the fire truck will come directly to us.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Babywearing: What do you love?

I have the Sleepy Wrap, which is just like the Moby Wrap, one long piece of fabric, but the more I examine it the more intimidated I become.  How does it work?  You wrap what, tie what, put the baby where?  I've thought about buying a second wrap, more of a sling to ease me into the process, but couldn't figure out how to slip a $65.00 or more purchase past J.  It's odd, he notices these things.

The other day my mom mentioned that they buy something for each grand-baby and she wants to do the same for Bennett.  I told her she could consider the crib they helped us buy for Charlotte a roll over purchase since it was never used, but she scoffed at that.  I woke up this morning at 5 am to an assault on my rib cage (I don't know if Bennett will ever forgive me for the trip to the chiropractor yesterday.  I feel fabulous, but baby boy did not enjoy having the percussion massage tool used right next to his head) and thought A SLING, WE NEED A SLING!

I am leaning towards the Maya Wrap or Second Womb Slings.  Are these easier to put on or am I just fooling myself?  Will I get my hands on one of these and never use the Sleepy Wrap?

Once Bennett is a little bigger we will buy an Ergo, but I want a sling or wrap for when he's younger.  And I don't want anything that separates his legs like the BabyBjorn because that's not so good for pelvic and hip development.

What have you used?  What do you like?

I'll probably spend all of this time sorting out what I want only to have Bennett despise every baby carrying device that comes near him.  Also: saying I want to wear my baby makes me feel like I am comparing Bennett to a cozy sweater.

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