Friday, April 20, 2012

She's having a baby!

11/29/2011-Positive pregnancy test
Yes it is true! We are expecting our second baby boy around August 6th, 2012. The night we came home from our honeymoon things didn't feel quite right. I was having some odd cravings for cabbage and lemon juice on one of the last days of our honeymoon, some heartburn, and more than usual queasiness on our flight home. Granted I was only a little over 2 weeks pregnant by that point  but I was convinced that while my symptoms said something off there was no way I could get a positive test at night over a week before I was due for my monthly visit. Well obviously I was wrong, the test went positive right away. I got teary-eyed and came into the living room screaming at Andrew that I was pregnant!! We were overjoyed at how quickly we did get pregnant since this was the first month of trying for us, but we had also been natural family planning for over a year so I was also surprised I never got pregnant before then.

Baby at 8 weeks
We went in a few weeks later for a confirmation of the pregnancy and were able to see baby and a strong heartbeat. There was no denying now that indeed our family was on a journey to welcome a new baby. I have to admit though that this 2nd pregnancy has made me face a lot of my fears with birth and baby and I just may be more nervous to become a mom and second time around than I was the first time.

I keep this "due date" of August 6th very tentative in my mind because I do not want to feel that August 6th is do or die. Andrew and I decided before this pregnancy ever happened that things would be very different from the birth of our son Jack. For those of you who do not know Jack's birth story here's a quick breakdown:

Daddy with Jack just minutes old
First, I was a patient at Mayo Clinic in Rochester (something I would never recommend to anyone looking for a natural birth and humane treatment) and considered "high risk" due to my previous open heart surgeries--okay fine. I was put on blood pressure medication at 15 weeks as a "precaution" for my normally higher blood pressure. I was then sedentary my whole pregnancy and gained close to 60lbs. By the time of Jack's birth I was exhausted and totally not in control. I was admitted for contractions and high blood pressure at 39 weeks and basically induced. I got the epidural, oxygen...blah, blah, blah and assumed everything would turn out fine. After 24 hours of labor, with NO support from the on call OB to NOT use forceps at my birth, and little communication of our situation when I finally hit 10 cm I had an emergency c-section. I pushed once and Jack's heart-rate dropped to 50, I was flipped over onto all fours and wheeled into the OR. Andrew was not allowed in, I was put under general anesthesia, and my baby was out in 10 minutes. I had a very rough and painful recovery not just physically but emotionally. I struggled with breastfeeding, bonding, and ended up with A LOT of post traumatic stress and postpartum depression.

22 weeks with #2, right before heading to Zumba
While I have never actually sat down and written out Jack's birth story detail for detail, I reflect on it a lot and use it as inspiration to maintain our new path to the birth of our 2nd baby. From the very get go things have been different. I first and foremost decided to VBAC (attempt a vaginal birth after c-section) after weighing all the risks between a natural birth or repeat section. I found an OB in Hudson, WI (45 minutes away from our home) with a 92% success rate with VBAC moms and a very supportive hospital staff. I have continued my workout regime of Zumba and yoga and have only put on 18lbs. this pregnancy at 24 weeks. I have also kept my diet appropriately portioned and focus a lot on nutrition and not just eating.

Another aspect of our birth has been the decision to go completely natural and God willing have our baby in the water--no drugs, but a peaceful waterbirth. While many people have a similar approach, I am truly preparing for it. My OB allows waterbirth for VBAC moms, I hired a doula (more on that decision later), and Andrew and I will be attending a Natural Birthing Intensive class in June for more insight into the journey we are taking. But most importantly, the prep for my natural approach has been maintaining a positive attitude and staying active in a VBAC support group. There is a lot of fear often instilled in mom's who want a VBAC and technically I should be considered even more high risk this time around with my scar and heart surgeries. It is a constant battle to maintain self-reassurance that I am capable to birth my baby and that we have a back-up plan if things are truly going "wrong".
Our sweet baby boy's face at 20 weeks

We don't know exactly what God has in store for us when it comes to the birth of Baby #2 but I can tell you  God has helped me heal in many ways throughout the journey of my second pregnancy. This topic will come up more and more in the coming months but for now it's just one day at a time.

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