Welcome to your lodge!
Welcome to your lodge!
YAY!!!! Welcome to your lodge!! :D
welcome to your lodge!
Yay! My lodge! I can hardly believe it's this time already. Wow, this pregnancy flew by. I will work on an intro shortly. Thank you for the welcome! :D
welcome to your lodge!
I wanted to share a little about myself because though I know some of you, I haven't been as active on PO during this pregnancy, so there are also a lot of new faces.
I met my dh, Allen, online at an interracial dating website several years ago. I lived in downtown Atlanta and he lived in rural NC. I was finishing up grad school, fell in love, moved to NC and never looked back. I finished the last couple of semesters here in NC.
We were TTC for well over a year when I got pregnant in September of 2006. That baby ended up being ectopic and I took methotrexate and had a D&E. That's also when I found out that I have a hydrosalpinx (fluid filled tube) on the left side that's absolutely worthless.
Four months after my HCG levels returned to normal, I turned up pregnant again with Will. I was finishing my last semester of grad school during the first part of his pregnancy. I was very, very sick and not able to keep foods down. I was told that I was high risk due to half of my diaphragm being paralyzed, some kidney issues I'd had in the past and asthma. They didn't know what my diaphragm would do during labor.
Anyway, I graduated from grad school in May and then Will was born in October. My labor and delivery with him was very traumatic. I don't need to get into everything here. But, suffice it to say that my refusal to consent was ignored and several procedures were done against my will, they botched my epidural and my bp went through the roof (nearly did me in), I had back labor and a posterior baby, episiotomy with two cuts, vacuum delivery and my child was tortured in the hospital. Not fun and my husband and I both had PTSD after that birth that sent ripples through our family and it took a long time to recover. During the healing process, I started the Charlotte chapter of ICAN with with another friend of mine. I wanted other area women to have access to resources for childbirth preparation and healing that I hadn't had access to and I wanted to ensure that I had the support I needed in future births, too.
When Will wasn't yet a year old, I got pregnant again. By this time, I had gotten to know other key people in the birth community very well and Allen and I had decided on a homebirth midwife and made the decision to plan for a homebirth. That pregnancy seemed uneventful and all was seemingly well until I woke up to my water breaking the morning after Christmas 2008 at almost 19 weeks pregnant. We were out of town and I delivered my own baby in the hotel room and he was stillborn. I was able to call my natural childbirth friendly backup OB back in Charlotte and my homebirth midwife, who walked me through the process. I was beyond shaken at losing my son. I was beside myself with grief and I doubt that my husband will ever forget those cries of terror.
At the same time, the actual physical part of the birth and recovery were so much better than my hospital experience. We made the decision not to go to the hospital and so we had peace. My body did everything it was supposed to do just perfectly and I learned that my body knows what to do on its own, even under difficult circumstances. Nobody came to take our son's body from us so we got to grieve in peace and had time to name him (Lucas Robert) and to pray and just be together. We drove several hours back home and our midwife came to see us, where she made sure I was physically doing okay and then really spent time praying with us and tending to our emotional needs. We had a memorial service and went about picking up the pieces of our lives.
Following Lucas' birth, the birthing community here in Charlotte really surrounded us and put their arms around us. Friends were in and out of the house for the first month after Lucas died, bringing food, helping with household stuff, praying with us, entertaining Will and just being with us. As a result, we didn't have the horrible postpartum recovery period and emotional issues we had after Will was born...even considering the fact that we lost our son. Very interesting.
I am a firm believer that a grieving period of one year is about right after a major family member dies. We never prevented pregnancy and felt that we would leave it in God's hands as to when I got pregnant again (IF I ever did...I didn't know if I would) and how many children we'd have. But, I think God knew we needed time to grieve because I didn't get pregnant that first year after Lucas' death. I spent the time getting to know more people in the birthing community, getting myself healthy, leveling out my hormones, losing some weight and getting into shape.
In January of 2010 (just a year and a month after Lucas' death) we learned that my Mother had stage three (the most advanced stage) Multiple Myeloma. She was living by herself up in MN and one dramatic event led to another and she moved all the way to NC to live with us at the beginning of March so that we could care for her and she could receive treatment at Duke in a special clinical trial and hopefully get some more time to live. It was a very traumatic and difficult time for all of us, filled with hospital stays, 911 calls, family tension, cross-state treks to Duke, sleepless nights, praying, the yuckier side of caregiving (bodily fluid, dealing with seeing my Mom without her dignity, etc), and so forth.
In the midst of all of this, I got pregnant! :lol: We were extremely excited yet figured that The Lord must have a very good sense of humor. Ultimately, we felt through prayer that this pregnancy was intended to give my Mom hope, something to live for and to want to get well for. I think God knows what God is doing because in August, we learned that the clinical trial sent my Mom into complete remission! She is still in the clinical trial and they are maintaining her remission with a variety of lower dose chemo drugs now. When she first moved here, she'd lost everything and just didn't have all that much to look forward to, but this pregnancy has given her something to be excited about and to want to be around for. I thank God for that.
We decided to go with our dear homebirth midwife again this time and she was so excited that I was pregnant again. She provided care from the start and it's neat because two of my close friends are her apprentices. So, prenatal appointments are like a social occasion for me and I feel like I can totally be myself.
I've been sick this entire pregnancy with nausea, but other than that, I've had a picture perfect pregnancy. My weight, blood pressure, urine strips and everything else have always been perfect.
The pregnancy has just flown by, I think because we haven't really been focusing on it. With my Mom being sick and me chasing around Will and homeschooling (first year of preschool this year), as well as working (freelance writer, violin teacher, spiritual director, pastor...yes, I keep busy), I haven't had much time to sit around and think about it.
Though I haven't been able to really focus on my pregnancy all that much, I have been able to focus on taking care of myself. I've followed the Brewer diet the entire pregnancy (even with the nausea/vomiting) and continued to work out daily. I ran until well past the midway point when my midwife asked me to switch to walking. I do yoga daily, birth ball exercises, as well as a few floor exercises. I also see the chiropractor twice per week.
The other thing that is different this pregnancy is that I have been able to really keep GOD first in the pregnancy. When I was pregnant with Will, I put entirely too much faith in the medical system and when I look back on it now, that faith was misplaced and should have been directed more towards God. This time around, we have kept the Lord at the forefront and I am so grateful for a midwife who sees God as central to pregnancy and birth. She never ever lets that out of sight and that makes such a huge, huge difference for us. It really helps to keep things in perspective, to ease fears, and to create a sense of peace, joy and gratitude throughout pregnancy no matter what my personal circumstances may be.
Dinner is ready, so I will continue more later.... :)
I actually remember very clearly when you lost Lucas. I didn't know you at all but one of your posts about it got around and I stalked it a bit and was SO impressed with your faith and how you handled a heartbreaking situation.
Hooray for your mom being in remission!
Thanks, Jenn! :) ....we are so happy that Mom is doing so much better. She is just chomping at the bit to meet little Lillian.
So, childbirth preparation wise, I've been doing some things differently this time around. I'm well versed on all the basic academic statistical stuff and the run of the mill natural birthing books. My issue isn't normally lack of information, but a tendency to get stuck in my head. To counter that, I've been doing a little bit of hypnobabies mixed with my own spiritual type stuff. The main problem that I have with hypnobabies is that it is not fundamentally God-centered and I have some issues with the part where the lady on the CD's says that the only thing you're interested in is the sound of her voice. That doesn't work for me. I have to be interested in God's voice, nudging and action and kind of tune out the rest. So, I've used some things like the finger drop technique and basic relaxation things from hypnobabies, but I kind of have to check the rest at the door. For me, it is much more helpful to focus on scripture verses, religious music and surrender to God. It's been a very interesting process for me and I'm actually thinking about writing my own faith-based childbirth preparation curriculum that keeps God as central to the entire process. I feel like it's something that I looked for out there and couldn't find. Even more spiritually centered curriculums weren't quite there for me. They weren't specific enough about God being in charge of the process and about what it is like to encounter God and leave room for God to be in the driver's seat of the whole experience.
Along these same lines, my doula is a good friend of mine and she is also a woman of extremely strong faith who will keep God first throughout the birthing process. We actually hired her for Lucas' pregnancy, too, but it'll be awesome to see what she is like with a normal birth. I've been working with her and talking about how I will need prayer if I start to lose my focus, tense up or get on an emotional roller coaster of some kind. We'll use scripture verses and gospel music, massage and other relaxation methods. The key is to keep the birth worshipful and focused on faithfully trusting and surrendering to God. I am very excited to see how everything is going to work out and I am at peace knowing that no matter what happens, God is in charge of it all, so I can just relax.
I am also planning to make use of a birthing tub. My guess is that I might want to birth in there, but I probably won't know that for sure until I'm in the moment. :lol: ...we're going to set up the tub in the bedroom, put on soft music, use a softly lit fountain and some candles. I'll have my birth ball around and my midwife will bring in her birthing stool, just in case. I like to labor alone, but I never want Allen to leave my side. I'm funny that way. But, I do need lots of peace and quite, along with very low lights. I get really sensitive to things like that in labor.
My midwife came for my home visit yesterday and all is looking good. I need to get on getting the rest of my birth supplies put in the box and another woman has the birth pool right now, so I don't have it yet. But, I was told that Lillian has already dropped and is engaged in my pelvis in a good position. The midwife was surprised to see that at 35.6 weeks preggo, especially since it's not my first. So, she did give some gentle nudging to really get on top of putting the rest of the supplies in the box. That is our project for this weekend.
I've been feeling okay. I'm still nauseated (nothing new there) and I do have prodromal labor going on, but I've had that for a few weeks now. I know it doesn't tell me anything about when Lily is going to be born.
We've been working on building an addition onto our house for Lily. It has her room, a small family room and two small offices. Originally, we thought it would be done by the time she was born, but it won't be and that's okay. We're paying cash for it and it's going to run a few thousand over what we'd saved, so right now we're working on making money like crazy to finish it up. I'll keep working on that until Lilian decides it's time to be born.
We pretty much have everything we *need* for her. There's a pack-n-play that she can use until her room is ready, a stash of cloth diapers, some clothes, my boobs and a loving home. What else could a baby want? :lol: When ever she wants to come is just fine by me. I'm pretty relaxed about it and looking forward to seeing what the birth process is going to be like this time around. I have a feeling it will be easier with her being in prime position already and me being in better shape and trusting God from the start. :cool:
Time for bed, so more to come later on furbabies and maybe a few family pics, etc...oh, and maybe I can get Allen to take a belly pic. It's been ages. We'll see. :)
Welcome to your lodge, what an incredible story. I'm so sorry for your loss and all the troubles you've been through, but it sounds like life is really turning around for you and your family :D