Thursday, September 23, 2010

So, as most of you know by now, I am pregnant with my second child and I am roughly about 3ish months pregnant. My energy level at present suggests that I am no longer in my first trimester. (Hurray) The first three months are such a time of uncertainty and ridden with exhaustion.

When did I have suspicions that I was pregnant? Well.......Nathaniel and I were on the island for my brother's wedding and I initially thought that I was exhausted because Amelia was not sleeping well(as is often the case when we are in an unfamiliar place). I remember feeling like I was dragging my carcass around and THEN all of a sudden I started experiencing a hypersensitivity to various smells. For example: Amelia had thrown up in her car seat, (which unfortunately happens a fair bit)... and while it always smells unpleasant for a couple of days, this time I could barely tolerate it. I also found that I was crying about everything (I am not overly emotional) and I remember one particular incident where I was at my aunts and I couldn't get Amelia to take a nap. I slumped down against the wall and just sobbed my little heart out. I felt like I was falling apart and STARVING! Nathaniel came in to see how things were going, took one look at me and said "are you okay". I said " I think I am pregnant and I hope so, otherwise I think I am loosing my mind". A week after we got home I went to the red cross clinic in our community and took a pregnancy test. It was in the late afternoon and I had been drinking a lot of water but apparently those factors didn't effect the result. I was DEFINITELY pregnant!

I am no longer napping everyday, which I was initially doing out of sheer survival. I am now running 8-10 km two times a week and doing weigh lifting a couple nights a week. My body feels strong and I feel like my creativity and "normal self" are returning. Unfortunately, I already feel like I have to pee every hour, but part of that is probably due to the vast quantity of water I consume every day. I am trying to be careful about what I am eating, as I would prefer a weight gain in the range of 25 -30 rather than the 60 pounds I packed on with Amelia. Honestly though, even if I do gain a lot, I am confident that I will lose it as easily as I did the first time.

When I was pregnant with Amelia almost ALL of my questions revolved around birth. I had very few questions about being pregnant, as I knew I was healthy and didn't have much control over the little one growing inside of me. More than anything I wanted to be mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared to bring my child into the world. Labour was something that I would be actively participating in and I wanted to be as educated about the process as possible. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to give birth to my child in water, although I can't remember where on earth I first learned about water birth. As my due date drew near I was filled with expectation, excitement and hopefulness. I didn't have a rigid birth plan, and I didn't feel that I needed one since my team (my Douala and three midwives) were very familiar with my values and goals. Fortunately Amelia's birth turned out to be an empowering, incredible experience that I will cherish forever. When I think back about my birth experience, I don't remember the pain - I remember swaying through contractions in my Doula and husband's arms, walking around the house talking to my family and drinking tea, feeling incredibly strong and calm, feeling BIG as a house compared to my tiny Douala, the warmth of the tub, reassuring my sister that I was "okay", feeling intense pressure, listening with rapt interest as my midwife coached me through the pushing stage and complete elation when my slippery daughter was placed on my chest.

I do, however, remember the pain I experienced after Amelia was born. I remember being sewn up in my bedroom, gripping Nathaniel's hands and crying because it hurt SO much (the freezing didn't work). I remember how much my nipples hurt when I was learning how to breastfeed, stamping my feet on the floor and gritting my teeth in anguish. I remember sitting on my invalid ring because it hurt too much to sit on anything else. I remember my perri bottle (just be thankful if you don't know that this is). I remember disposable underwear and thick pads and moving V.E.R.Y slowly. I remember hoping that I was not utterly destroyed "down there". I am not painting a a very nice picture am I?

All of this leads to my thoughts concerning the birth of my second child. Having a home birth, a midwife or a doula are not options for me this time (due to the fact that I live in the sticks). While this grieved my initially I have resolved to make the best of the situation. I am comforted by the fact that I have been through birth before and I have a fairly good idea of what to expect. I know my rights and my husband will be (our) biggest advocate. I will not be bullied into accepting things that will hinder me or our baby in any way. There are so many things that hospitals do that are utterly unnecessary and stressful for both mother and child.

I have male doctor from South Africa. He seems like a nice enough man, but he is far cry from my midwives Lydia, Sylvia and Denise. I am an hour and 15 minutes from the nearest hospital and I still have no idea who is going to take care of Amelia while I am giving birth. We plan to drive to Williams lake and check into a hotel once I start feeling contractions and then stay there as long as possible. I want to be able to eat, shower, walk, and breath through contractions with Nathaniel until I am at least 8 centimeters dilated.

Honestly though, I need to be prepared for things to go very differently than I am expecting. The drive to Williams Lake could be very stressful, as well as being apart from my daughter. I strongly dislike hospitals and I am a little worried that I stop progressing once I arrive. Truthful though, things could go wrong and I could end up with an emergency C-section. The reality is that true "emergency" C- sections are incredibly rare. There are some situations that require it for the survival of the child and/ or mother, but they are not the norm. Most C- sections these days are the result of unnecessary interventions on the doctors part that cause the birthing mother excessive pain and stress. The most common reason are fetal heart monitors which are known to give incorrect readings of babies heartbeats. More sadly, they are often requested by doctors because C- sections are faster then waiting for a labouring mother to give birth in her own time. Also, more and more women are opting for C- sections for convince and ease. I am tot tally okay with the last reason (as I think women should be able to make choices about their bodies, but the other reasons infuriate me.

Okay, enough of a rant. *Breath* There is one aspect of being in a hospital that I am looking forward to. GASP :0) If I tear, (I don't even want to think about that possibility, there is a better chance that the freezing will work). Honestly, that is about the only positive thing I can think of. I hope that nursing will easier this time around. I console myself with the knowledge that I have been doing it for the past 18 months and I think I have it figured out. I hope. I think the ongoing trend is that I am not afraid of birth I am afraid of the "after" and its implications.

So, this is where I conclude this incredibly long post with some pages from my favorite scrapbook of Amelia's birth.


Caroline said...

Love hearing about your thoughts in this post my, you're little scrap book of Amelia is amazing! Inspires me to work on J&A's! I still want to make one of their first year...

Heidi and Steinar said...

How long is the drive to williams lake?

I live 30 minutes away from the hospital I gave birth in. They told me to be there when my contractions were 10 minutes apart with the second child, because it can go really fast.

I have four friends here who gave birth 2 hours after arriving at the hospital.

Who's taking Amelia for you when this is all going down? I missed Annabelle terribly when I was apart from her.

You're so brave Jocelyn! I am NEVER giving birth ever again, after experiencing this last birth. I could start crying now if I think about it too much.

fionafae said...

Aww, you are so cute! I have to say, the beginning of your post made me laugh a little bit. ;) I am still uber jealous of your scrapbooking stash and paper craft abilities. It was about this time last year we were sitting down with Jana and I was making Julia's 2nd birthday invitations!
And hospitals aren't so bad, btw. Esp for hardcore chicks like you and I ;)

Heidi said...

Jocelyn, I found your blog again through Heidi! I love to read your posts, so thoughtful. I am a c-section girlie. Which I probably will be sad about until the day I die. But alas it happened, twice, and I am thankful for two sweet babies that arrived healthy. I pray that you do have a labor that you desire, some nurses can be pretty strong in their opinions!!