I think I'm a day early Beverly, but I really wanted to be the one to start your lodge!! I can't wait to follow you through your journey
I am SO rooting for your VBAC
Hey Kristen, ya beat me to it
Welcome to your lodge Beverly!!! I'm looking forward to your VBAC
welcome to your lodge!
Tiff + Bobby 8/22/04
Is it that time already? Wow.
Welcome to your lodge!!!!!
Awww, thank you, Kristen! I hopped on here first thing this morning just to see if I had my lodge! I'm so happy you started it for me (and Connie, thank you for the thought, too). It simultaneously feels like 36 weeks has come in the blink of an eye and in an eternity. I can't wait to share my VBAC journey with all of you.
I'll come back here later today and do a proper intro. For now, just wanted to say hello and how excited I am to have a lodge!
OK, here I am with my intro! I'm very excited and scarcely know what to write.
My name is Beverly. I'm 28 (will turn 29 at the end of September), and I've been married to my DH, Johnny (29) for almost five years -- our anniversary is coming up on July 24. DH and I were college sweethearts. We started dating when we were both freshmen at Northwestern University, and I guess it stuck, because we've been together now for almost 10.5 years. We have one canine child, Atari (a five-year-old Shiba Inu), and a toddler, Jack, who will be two years old this July 12. I am a SAHM with Jack, although I also do up to 20 hours of PT work from home for a consulting firm (mainly, I write about health and retirement benefits for our clients).
Even before DH and I were engaged -- heck, when we were little more than kids ourselves! -- we knew we wanted a family together. Both of us love children. We each come from a two-child family and always pictured having one boy and one girl (DH has an older brother; I have a younger sister. I guess we wanted more of a gender balance, LOL). After we married in 2004, though, we had a couple of years of newlywed adventures before TTC. I'm really glad we had that time. We were living in New York City, and we had a blast. We worked really hard at our consulting jobs, but we also played really hard. We went out to eat a lot, partied with friends every weekend (often not getting started until 11 p.m. ... these days, you can't find me anywhere except in PJs, in my own bed, at 11 p.m.!), slept in whenever we could, etc. In early 2006, DH was accepted to two graduate business school programs: One at the University of Chicago, the other at UCLA. Although we love Chicago because it's where a lot of our college friends are (and it's where we got engaged), I grew up in SoCal, and we knew we wanted to be close to one set of grandparents when we had kids. DH's parents' house is in Florida, and we knew we weren't going to relocate there, so DH chose to attend the UCLA MBA program. As we prepared to move from NYC to LA, DH and I started talking seriously about TTC. We decided to start TTC on our second wedding anniversary, in July 2006. One month before that, in June 2006, I stopped taking the pill.
When we started TTC in July, I figured it would take a few months, just because. We were busy packing, driving cross country and thinking about other things. We arrived at our LA apartment the first week of August 2006. My period was due that Wednesday, and on the day it was due, I figured, "Why not?" and POAS. I was shocked when it came up positive. I ran into our bedroom and waved the stick in DH's face. I was so surprised that I don't even think I'd put the cover back on the stick part -- I'm sure that was so pleasant for DH to wake up to at 6 a.m.! DH, of course, congratulated himself on impregnating me on the first shot out the gate. We were elated, and told our immediate families right away.
We didn't have long to be happy, though, because 10 days later, on a Saturday night, I started bleeding. I had an m/c at 5.5 weeks. Although my OB gave me a clean bill of health and told me how often this kind of thing happened, I still doubted my ability to ever be pregnant and have a baby. I felt like a failure, and I just felt so empty. Now, of course, I have things much more in perspective, but at the time, it felt like the worst thing that had ever happened to me. We followed my OB's instructions and waited until I'd had one cycle to begin trying again. After the m/c in mid-August, my period came around my birthday at the end of September. As soon as it was over in October, DH and I TTC'd again.
On Halloween 2006, I POAS, and once again it came up positive. DH and I were more cautiously optimistic this time. I kept POAS every morning for the longest time (using internet cheapies, thank goodness), and I taped all the ICs on a piece of paper, vertically, so I could see the progress of the ever-darkening lines. It wasn't until we saw the heartbeat at my 8-week appointment that I stopped POAS. Yes, ladies, that was four weeks of POAS. Can you say crazy?! Even I thought I was insane, but I couldn't help myself. After I saw the heartbeat at 8 weeks, I stopped worrying. My due date was July 12, 2007. I knew from the moment I'd first POAS that it would be a boy, and it did turn out to be my darling Jack. DH and I felt extremely blessed that it had been easy to get pregnant again, only 10 weeks after the m/c.
My pregnancy was super smooth sailing. I had no nausea, only fatigue and acne (yuck) in the first trimester. I was full of energy up until I went on maternity leave at 38 weeks. The only thing that was "wrong" was that Jack was breech. I found out at my 35-week appointment. Those of you who have known me for a while know the extremes to which I went to try to get Jack to turn. I scheduled my c-section for five days after my due date, to give him maximum time. I went to a renowned chiropractor for Webster technique treatments, and I saw an acupuncturist and had DH burn moxa sticks by my pinky toes at home every night. I listened to hypnosis CDs. I put frozen vegetables at the top of my belly. I shone a flashlight at the bottom. I had DH use an empty toilet paper tube as a megaphone to "talk" to Jack from my crotch to entice him to turn. I did handstands in the pool, making DH hold me by the ankles so I'd stay down (I'm sure the neighbors who lived around the pool in our apartment complex loved that!). I did breech tilts. I laid upside-down on a propped-up ironing board. I walked on my hands and knees. I drank at least a gallon of water every day. Basically, I did everything you could do, and then some. The results were that I was short a lot more money (from paying the chiropractor), and I went to the bathroom every 30 seconds (from all that water guzzling). Jack didn't turn. I was so devastated -- I had wanted NCB and had even taken Bradley classes. I never thought I'd have a c-section (and I think that's where I went wrong -- I didn't even acknowledge that as a possibility), and I spent the last few weeks of my pregnancy stressing instead of enjoying my last moments as a "free woman."
Right on my due date, July 12, 2007, I went into labor. When I got to the hospital at 10 a.m. on July 12, they determined that I was 1 cm dilated and that Jack was still breech. My OB came in to do my "emergency" c-section at noon. I was scared because I'd never been in an OR, and it was cold, and not how I imagined welcoming Jack into the world. I was glad DH and my mom were in the OR with me, though. For all my nervousness, the c-section went extremely well. The OB started at noon, and Jack was born at 12:10 p.m. He cried after about three seconds and had Apgar scores of 8 and 9. I was able to hold and kiss him. I was in recovery by 12:35 p.m., where I had the opportunity to nurse Jack. By 2 p.m., Jack, DH and I were all settled in my private hospital room. The next day, I was sitting up, eating and walking. My recovery went extremely well, and I have no complaints there.
Even though my c-section and recovery with Jack was an uneventful one, and even though I was elated to have my little boy (after a couple of "what the heck have I brought upon myself?" feelings ), I still regretted having to have a c-section. People had told me, "Oh, after the baby arrives, you won't care how he got here." I guess that's true, in that I wouldn't begrudge Jack whatever method brought him safely into my arms, but I did still care, very much, that I didn't have a chance to give NCB a try. People asked me all the time why NCB was important to me -- I had gotten a lot of weird looks, even before I knew Jack was breech, when I said that I wanted to try a medication-free labor. "They do have drugs, you know" was a common response. I guess people were surprised I'd want NCB, because I'm not a "granola" girl at all. My reasons for wanting to avoid drugs and interventions during labor don't really have much to do with the science behind it, either -- I'm still not sure I really buy into the idea that babies are drowsier if their moms have epidurals during labor, or all the risks associated with pain meds during labor. For me, NCB was (and is) all about proving to myself that I can do it. When I'm not pregnant, I enjoy distance running -- I don't like the pain of running long distances, but I love the feeling of accomplishment, of how good it feels, when I'm done. I love seeing how powerful I can be. When I was pregnant with Jack, I viewed my pregnancy as a marathon of sorts, and NCB as crossing the finish line. I'm not sure if this makes any sense, and I'm sure it sounds selfish, but NCB wasn't really about bringing Jack into the world under the best circumstances possible (although that was certainly a part of it), but it was for me. It was something in this entirely non-me-centric experience that I could claim for myself. I find it amazing that our bodies can change and stretch and just ... transform ... to bring a whole new human being into this world, and I wanted to experience that as purely as possible. I wanted to be able to say -- even if it was only to myself -- that I was able to do it.
So, I always knew I wanted to try for a VBAC. However, DH and I weren't planning to expand our family until Jack turned two (that would be around now). After I had Jack, I didn't go back on the pill because I was bfing. Once I was done with that, we used condoms. We figured we'd just do that until we were ready to TTC again this summer. After all, they had served us well in college, right? Well, in late October 2008, I started feeling a little ... off. Not nauseated, just a little more fatigued than usual. October had been a busy month, though, and I kept dismissing the idea that I could be pregnant, because DH and I had DTD with much less frequency than usual that month. Plus, I didn't think any of those times had been near ovulation. Still, on Halloween, I kept thinking about how two years ago was when I had gotten my first BFP with Jack. The next day, November 1, I was out with a friend for lunch, and told her that I was tired and had to pee more often than usual. She kept urging me to POAS, and I told her she was silly, that I was probably just imagining things.
But, after lunch, when I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few things, I also got a box of pregnancy tests. The cashier (who knew me from my frequent trips in with Jack) said, "I can tell you're pregnant by the glow on your face." I responded, "Yes, that 'glow' is makeup. You usually see me in my sweats with my 15-month-old." It made me uneasy, though, and after greeting DH and Jack when I got home, I immediately went into the bathroom to POAS. Even though I'd just drank a ton of water and had really diluted urine (sorry if TMI!), the second line came up dark right away, before the pee had even soaked all the way through the stick. I started shaking and just sat on the bathroom floor, saying, "Oh, sh*t, oh, sh*t!" over and over. Of course DH came over and asked what was wrong, and I just showed him the stick, at which point he began laughing and saying, "Oh, my God!" I kept saying, "How did this happen?" and DH kept saying, "Well, we know how it happened ... that's what we get for waiting to put it on until the last minute!" (Of course, he then was very proud about how "manly" it was that I got knocked up even with protection. It is so strange; DH is the farthest from macho, but when it comes to impregnation, he's like a caveman. )
Although DH was happy right away, the truth is that it took me a few weeks to really come to terms with my pregnancy. Of course I wanted a second child, but I'm a big believer in planning, and Jack had been so very planned. He came at a "right" time for us, and I had already sketched out a plan in which #2 would come when Jack was almost three. Just when I had become truly happy about being pregnant, I found out that baby #2 was another boy. Since DH and I only want two children, my dreams for having a daughter were dashed, and I cried the rest of the day when we found out. I felt like a spoiled brat -- here I was, with one beautiful son and another healthy baby boy on the way, and I was lamenting the fact that he's not a girl! After I got my tears out, though, I started to turn around and really enjoy the pregnancy. I began seeing the advantages of having two boys -- besides the obvious economic advantages of reusing clothes and baby gear, I'm really looking forward to seeing Jack and his li'l bro develop a relationship, and I can't wait to get to know my second son.
This pregnancy has also been uneventful, which is great. My life outside the pregnancy has been hectic, with DH and I buying and renovating our first home. We just moved in a couple of weeks ago and got settled. Now, it's time to just focus on the baby's arrival. This time, I'm going to a midwife practice and using a hospital that's very pro-VBAC and NCB. Luckily, the baby is already in head-down position, and I'm really gearing up for a (hopefully) successful VBAC. I've been having a lot of BH contractions, and I wouldn't be surprised if, at my 36-week appt on Tuesday, they tell me I'm a little dilated. On the other hand, these sensations I've been having (the contractions, the upset stomach, the stalled weight gain, the feeling of pelvic pressure) could just be normal second-time pregnancy (or normal head-down baby) feelings, and not mean anything. We'll see! I am happy to welcome the baby anytime after 37 weeks (so he doesn't have to be in the NICU at all) -- although Jack's early birthday party is at 38 weeks, so ideally he'll hold out until then. I have learned from my various experiences that you can't plan labor and birth, so I will be patient this time and just wait for things to come. I'm excited to get to try my hand at labor.
I do feel a little bittersweet that this will (most likely) be the last time I'm pregnant. I enjoy being pregnant and carrying a life inside me. I'll miss these kicks and rolls from within, and the feeling of anticipation in the last few weeks when you wonder what your baby will look like, will feel like, will sound like. I think this time, postpartum, I'll enjoy the newborn period so much more than I did with Jack, because I'll truly know how fleeting it is!
Thank you for reading! I really look forward to sharing my VBAC experience with you. Wish me luck.
ETA: In a cool coincidence, this baby is due only one day before Jack's birthday (and Jack came on his due date). Whenever they do a u/s, they tell me that the due date according to the u/s is July 12, which would be Jack's birthday. So I like to say that baby #2 is due on the same day as his older brother, LOL.
Last edited by JJO_Mommy712; 06-13-2009 at 04:51 PM.
Beverly, I loved your intro! You are such an eloquent writer . I can't wait to hear more from you.