|as you can see...belly is preeeeeeeettttyyy straight out from the front. haha. (also...pay no mind to the mugshot expression. it had been a long morning) ;)|
|my sweet baby a (32+5) with the cord covering her face a bit. baby b was camera shy.|
the first 20 weeks were hell. i was literally walking (on a good day) dead. to the ER for the day once and a five day stay in the hospital a week later. gross. weeks 20-24ish were slightly better. i was finally off my anti-nausea medications, but still pretty out of it. then i felt good for about one month, which was awesome, but short lived. from about 28/29 weeks until now (and i'm sure as we continue) has been rough again in its own way. low energy, uncomfortable, anxious, nauseous at night...yadda, yadda. when i was pregnant with nolan, i was walking a minimum of three miles daily up until the day i went into labor. i can barely walk the 500 yards down the street to the park without contracting. it is a whole different ball game. and not necessarily a fun game at that.
anyway...this pregnancy has been a HUGE lesson in a) figuring out what i need, b) letting go, c) asking for help and most recently, d) using my voice to express my feelings/opinions/desires/wants when it comes to this pregnancy.
seems like a, b, and c are probably pretty self explanatory and to save time and energy, i will just hope to remember them when i re-read this someday and will focus on d: using my voice. namely in regards to the fact that this is my body and these are my babies, thus...i should be a key player in the decisions being made. thank you. the end. ok...not really...i'm much to chatty for that the be the end of the post, just the end of that particular summed up point. now comes the most recent story/ies.
if you know me much at all, you should be able to easily assume that there is no way on the planet that i was going to have a c-section simply because these bubs are two and not one. thus begins my journey of figuring out how to best assist my body and the girls to move into the most ideal positions. a little more than a month ago, i had an ultrasound that showed they had both turned breech (heads up, feet down)...while there are docs that will deliver breech babies, mine isn't one of them (and insurance is king, isn't it? boo). if they stayed breech (in spite of ALL my to-be efforts that range in level of crazy from totally normal to a pretty nuts), i would have pretty much zero option other than a c-section. don't get me wrong, i am very thankful that c-sections exist for situations in which they are 100% indicated. i just don't believe that is or has been the case with me at any points in the past 33 weeks.
lucky for me...and thanks to a lot of talking to the girls, positive thoughts, praying, listenting to hypnobabies affirmations, essentially standing on my head (a la: spinningbabies.com) and help from the most amazing chiropractor ever with the biggest heart i've ever seen (maura, i'm eternally indebted to you for all your hard work and love) they have turned and stayed turned for the last four-ish weeks (if they decide to flip again, i assure you, i'll get much, much wackier than the above to try to turn them)! crisis averted (at least for a time). however, during the time between the breech ultrasound and the head down ultrasound, you best believe in addition to my spinning efforts, i was researching the sh-- out of breech births and trying to figure out what my game plan was gonna be if they didn't turn. i pretty much didn't sleep for three days.
once they turned, i thought..."yes! as long as they stay, i'm home free!". well, possibly not so much. i guess technically i won't know a whole lot more until my next ob appointment next week, but my most recent appointment with him ended with a bit of a confusion looming over it. babes looked great. position still great, but as we wrapped up, i said i had many questions regarding delivering the girls vaginally. he said, "let's talk about that a little later when it is more certain...because i have a lot of opinions".
uh...ok. i was a little baffled and wasn't sure what to say. it took me a minute to arrange my thoughts and let that sink in and try to figure out what it meant and by that time, he was walking out the door. so as he went i said, "well, i hope they align with my opinions..." and that was that.
commence freakout. what are his opinions? is there something that he isn't "going to let me do" that i want to? am i not going to get the natural, gentle, vaginal birth i want even though the girls are in the right places? i called my go-to girl (thanks, kari), talked to anthony, called my doula, posted the situation on a facebook group that i'm a part of made up of moms of multiples (or expecting mamas of multiples) who have had/want natural births, messaged a lovely midwife friend and researched like a mad woman.
some of the advice i received was the same, some differed a bit, but it was all incredibly useful. one piece of advice that was hard for me to swallow at first because it didn't give me the hard and fast answer that i wanted was this, "maybe this IS how its supposed to go, you know? so that you can really find your voice in this and hear the truth that is moving through you. you are the one who will be giving birth to these ladies and they have chosen you as their mother. you will find your way and they will help you". wowsa. this wise, wise mama could not have been more right.
i was also given advice that helped me get out of my head, into my heart and onto paper. what ended up happening is that through my research and soul searching, i realized that the "questions" that i had for my ob were not questions at all. they are in fact my hard and fast desires for how this delivery will go and now, backed up with research (because that's just how i am), i feel confident that there is no reason that i shouldn't have it MY WAY (obviously unless there are emergency circumstances as things progress...which clearly there will not be). instead of writing out those "questions," i wrote out my birth plan. and i wrote it out with strength, confidence and oodles of conviction. i no longer have to stew over everything for the time between my appointments, i feel so free! i have found my voice, y'all.
and i got to use that voice again today. practice makes perfect, you know. ;) i visited my perinatologist and again, babies look great. they are still in the same "favorable" positions and perfect size. baby a is 4#10 oz and baby b is 4#9 oz, measuring exactly right for their gestational age. i should note, that also means that i have 9oz more baby in me now at just shy of 33 weeks as i did when i delivered nolan at 40 weeks, 1 day (8#10oz)...woah! my belly doesn't feel all squishy at all. i passed my glucose test (weeks ago) with flying colors and i've only gained 21# from my pre-pregnancy weight (after gaining back the 15# i lost in the beginning). but...my amniotic fluid levels were apparently a little higher than ideal, so she recommended that i re-take the glucose test.
now...if you have never been a pregnant mama, you may not know how much of a pain that stupid test is. first, you have to drink this nasty, nasty sugar drink all chuck full of disgusting things that i don't normally want in my body in the first place. then you have to have your blood drawn and then you get to feel like crap all day because of said nasty sugar drink. i was not super pleased about her recommendation, but my first response was, "gee, that sucks. ok. i'll go next door to the ob's office when i leave to get the nasty drink so i can be re-tested at my appointment next week". and i did just that. then i got home, talked to anthony and re-thought all the points that i mentioned above that point to pretty much zero possibility of me having gestational diabetes and decided to call my doc. he called me back a few hours later informing me that he felt that re-taking the test was unnecessary. phew. had i not spoke up, i would have gone through all that yuck for nothing.
i'm feeling my voice getting stronger and stronger. what's next, docs? bring it on...but let me think about things for a minute before i have to make any decisions because i may have to remind myself again to listen to my body, my babies and my heart.