Tag Archives: doctors

Baby Boy is Almost Here!

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So it looks as though our Rainbow will be finally making his appearance soon.  Originally we had intended to deliver him via VBAC however life doesn’t always go the way you plan.  At 37 weeks, my doctor ordered an additional ultrasound as I was measuring 2 weeks ahead of schedule and he wanted to ensure that the baby was in the correct position and determine his weight.  Well, boy oh boy, he is big!

At 37 weeks gestation, our Rainbow was estimated to weigh 9 lbs. already and was in the 90th percentile for babies of his gestational age.  My doctor has been very supportive in our decision to attempt a VBAC, but after the last 2 check ups, things have changed.  Turns out that our Rainbow is so big that he is unable to drop into my pelvis thus not engaging and triggering labour.  Our doctor said that if we truly wanted to do a VBAC, he would let us go to 41 weeks, but he warned me that it would likely be a long, hard and complicated birth that may end up in a C-Section anyways.  He also said that since our boy hadn’t dropped yet, it wasn’t exactly a good indication of things to come.  So after much deliberation, we have booked a C-Section for next week.

I was hopeful that we would get to have a natural birth, but I also do not want any complications causing undue harm to myself or our baby boy.  We have been through so much just to conceive him that putting myself and him in a situation that could cause complications, uterine rupture or him getting stuck and then having to make emergency decisions in the throe of things seems unnecessary and not in our best interests.  I’m not overly ecstatic about the idea of a C-Section, but with all things considering, it’s the very best option.  Thankfully Hubby will be taking 2 weeks off of work to stay home and help me with our Rainbow and Princess as well as letting me recover.   Also, by mere coincidence, Rainbow will be born on his due date.  Now how often does that happen?

False Labour – What are the Signs?

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Yesterday, I had thought that it was ‘time’.  I have been feeling pretty craptacular lately and while laying in bed I felt a gush and then contractions.  I called the hospital and they told me to come in.  Within an hour I was in the oh so flattering gown and hooked up to the monitors.  The doctor came in to inform me I was having mild contractions but that it was false labour.  I stayed home today to get some rest and my contractions were on and off but never increasing in intensity.  So I looked online and here are just a few signs that you are having false labour and not real labour.

  1. Contractions are unpredictable.  They vary in length, intensity and come at irregular intervals.
  2. Position of Pain.  With false labour, the pain is often located in your lower abdomen.
  3. Changes in Position.  With false labour, the contractions may subside by changing position or activity.
  4. Lack of Other Symptoms.  False labour lacks other symptoms such as bloody show or a broken water.
  5. Walking.  Unlike real labour, walking has no effect on false labour.

Weight Gain in Pregnancy

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“Eat up, you’re eating for two now.”  We’ve all heard it, you have to eat more when you’re pregnant and weight gain is in the forefront of every woman’s mind.  With the Princess, I gained a whopping 40 pounds, most of it to my face, feet and back side.  I exploded.   My friends giggled when we’d go out for dinner and I would shout at them “I can only waddle so fast,” while trying to beat the clock at the cross walk.  With our Rainbow, I’ve only gained 6 pounds.  Drastic difference from 40.  I’ve been to the doctor numerous times and constantly asked if something was wrong.  He assured me that our Baby Boy is big and strong and healthy and weight gain in pregnancy is all relative.

I’ve had lots of people ask me if I am eating enough, even eating at all and have had them constantly stuff food in front of me trying to get me to eat.  I eat.  I don’t stop myself from eating when I’m hungry, I eat what I’m supposed to.  I eat healthier though.  Instead of consuming bagels and cream cheese for breakfast, I eat a smoothie and a piece of multigrain toast with peanut butter.  And for cravings, I’ve been downing ice water like it’s no one’s business.  While with the Princess, I gave into every single craving I had, and there were many.

According to most doctors, the general rule is if you are underweight, you should gain somewhere between 28 to 40 lbs., 25-35 lbs. if you are average weight, and 15-20 lbs. if you are overweight.  My doctor also said that women who are severely overweight shouldn’t gain any weight at all.  So never mind all that stuff about eating twice as much when pregnant, instead eat twice as  healthy.

Birth Plans

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I am now 32 weeks pregnant now and the birth planning has begun.  From day one, I knew I wanted to attempt a VBAC.  I had an emergency C-section with the Princess and I would be lying if I said it was an enjoyable experience.  A botched epidural lead to an improper block which caused me to feel the doctors cut me open and ultimately being put under.  It took hours to come out of the anaesthesia and I wasn’t able to hold my baby until she was over 5 hours old.

When I became pregnant with the Princess, I perhaps foolishly assumed that I would deliver naturally, no drugs and tough it out like many of the women in my family.  My sister, who is a nurse, warned me not to become so rigid in my birth plans in case something were to happen and things didn’t turn out the way I planned.  Those prophetic words still hang with me today.  Needless to say, I was devastated by having a C-section.  That isn’t to say that I’m not grateful for the Princess being born safely.  It upset me that I had to stay in the hospital for 4 days, that I gave in and had an epidural, that I didn’t deliver my baby the way “nature intended.”  I felt like a failure.  And it’s not that anyone else made me feel that way, it was a pressure and expectation I put on myself.   Somehow I had convinced myself that I was in control, that I would labour and deliver my baby.

Now that we near our due date, I am finding myself having those expectations again.  And I am fully aware that my ability to deliver naturally is only 50/50.  Not really great odds.  Perhaps it is out of fear of another botched C-section (despite going to a different doctor and hospital) and the fact that this pregnancy has been a relative breeze compared to my pregnancy with the Princess that gives me the unrealistic hope that this time, this time I’ll do it.  With a  VBAC however, there is a chance of uterine rupture and often doctors will suggest an epidural in case a C-section is necessary.   Also, if I have to be induced, like I was with the Princess, a C-section will be the only option.  I can say with certainty I really really do not want a C-section.  I’ve already spoken with my doctor and I have made it quite clear that if I do have to, I want to be out.  He is aware of what happened last time and seems to be in agreement.  At the same time, I have to weigh the possibility of uterine rupture (which is rare) and the consequences of that.  My doctor seems confident that I am a good candidate for a VBAC and I may get my wish.  I am trying my best not to get my hopes up and just take things as they come, but things are easier said than done.

Boy oh Boy oh BOY!!!

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I received the best birthday gift today.  Not only is Hubby and Princess cooking me a delicious steak dinner and I’ve got movie plans with family, but today I found out the sex of our baby.   Being 21 weeks and 2 days along, I had the standard 5 month test.  It ran about an hour as my doctor wanted to measure all the organs and check for other things due to our past complications.  Of course the baby did not want to cooperate and kept flipping over and refused to have its picture taken.  I was put in every position possible and told to go for a walk and “talk” to the baby and get it to be cooperative.  After all the measurements were taken they asked if I wanted to know the sex.

“Yes, I want to know.”

“It’s a boy,” she informed me.

“Are you serious?!”

They looked perplexed.  “What? You don’t want a boy?”

“No, a boy is fine.  Everyone kept telling me I was having a boy.  I thought I was having a girl.”

They then brought in Hubby and asked him if he wanted to know.  They told him and he is so very happy.  For my birthday I found out what we are having and for Father’s Day, Hubby will receive a son!  Turns out all those Gender Myths were right, I’m having a boy.

How to Beat a Cold While Pregnant

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Hey everyone!  I have been posting pretty sparsely lately and it is because since Christmas, I have been battling a nasty chest and sinus cold and it seems to be lingering like an old boyfriend.  Apparently while visiting family and friends, Christmas joy wasn’t the only thing I caught.  I’ve been to the doctor and he basically confirmed what I already knew; I’m pregnant and there isn’t much in the way of medication that I can take to ease your symptoms.  So not only can I not take anything, but my immune system is on hiatus as well.  Pregnant women are more susceptible to colds and viruses as their immune system has taken a back seat as not to identify the baby as a foreign body.  I’ve been treating this cold naturally and here are a few things that you can do while pregnant to ease your symptoms.

  1. Ginger Root.  Not only will this help ease upset stomach (and morning sickness) but chewing on ginger root will release enzymes that will help suppress your cough.
  2. Halls.  My doctor told me these are ok as long as they are the menthol ones and do not contain medication.  Try to limit your intake, but the menthol will open nasal passages and help you breathe as well as soothe your sore throat.
  3. Hot Steam.  Boil water and pour it in a bowl.  Then place a towel over your head and breathe it in.  The heat will help break up any congestion you may have.
  4. Rest.  Nothing can help you feel better than catching some Zz’s.  Your body is already exhausted from growing a baby and battling a cold will only make you more tired.  So feel free to sleep when you can.
  5. See your doctor.  Seems pretty obvious but when pregnant and sick, it’s always best to see your doctor.  They’ll know what’s the next best move.

 

Image c/o clevelandleader.com

Image c/o clevelandleader.com

I’m not a doctor, so before following these tips, always check with your healthcare provider first!

2 Pregnancies, 2 Very Different Experiences.

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Today I went for some genetic testing to ensure that everything with my Rainbow is going well.  At first I was very nervous because the technician wouldn’t show me the screen.  She then told me that my “baby is not cooperating.”  Noooo that couldn’t possibly be a trait that my children have.  *Cue awkward silence*  Needless to say that whenever she tried to measure the nasal bone, the baby would either hide it’s face or roll over.  Once everything was measured, she let me look at the screen.  There I saw the flicker of the heartbeat, and this squirmy little joy using my womb as a romper room.

After I left the clinic, I began to compare the differences between this pregnancy and my pregnancy with the Princess.  They are entirely different in almost all aspects thus far.

 

PREGNANCY WITH THE PRINCESS

  • We don’t like to say “accident” but the Princess was an “unexpected surprise.”
  • Symptoms occurred almost instantly
  • Little nausea but vomited for 7 months
  • Heartburn and swollen feet were the only other symptoms
  • Gained a whopping 40 lbs
  • Felt like it was a boy, but a girl it was
  • Delivered the Princess via emergency c-section

 

PREGNANCY WITH THIS RAINBOW

  • Planned after 2 1/2 years of trying, 2 miscarriages and secondary infertility
  • Little vomiting but extreme nausea to the point where food repulses me
  • Tender chest, heartburn, blotchy dry skin, bleeding gums, bloody noses every morning, a round ligament tear, pregnancy insomnia and fatigue
  • I have lost 10 lbs thus far
  • People keep telling me it’s a boy, but I feel like it will be another girl
  • I will be attempting a VBAC
Baby Rainbow at 13 weeks

Baby Rainbow at 13 weeks

Princess us

Baby Princess at 20 weeks

Product Review – Homeocan Kids 0-9 Cough and Cold

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Homeocan 0 – 9 Cough & Cold

Anyone who has children knows better than most that like toys, children have an innate ability to pick up germs, viruses and other nasty bacteria.  The Princess is no exception.  While she was in daycare, she contracted everything, and I mean everything.  Three days after going into daycare, our Princess contracted Norwalk Virus, and had vicious diarrhea for 3 weeks.  She lost so much weight and her poor bum was so blistered that we had to put a steroid cream just to keep them from bleeding.   She was so miserable it was devastating.  The daycare fortunately refunded us 2 weeks of the cost, however, Hubby and I had to alternatively take days off work just to care for her.  I had literally just started a new job and was missing days out of the week.  I thought for sure I was going to be fired.  But I had no one else.  The daycare wouldn’t take her.  After she finally got over that, it was maybe a week before she got an ear infection that spread to her eyes, throat, sinus and lymph nodes and sent her into a fever that was so high I had to put her in bath of cold water.  She screamed bloody murder.  I put her on the couch naked to try to cool her down when she started to have a seizure.  Her eyes rolled back in her head, she started to shake uncontrollably and was gasping for breath.

Her immune system has strengthened greatly but she still gets the occasional cough and cold.  Now most medication is not suitable for children under the age of 6 for obvious reasons, but as a parent you feel helpless because there is very little you can do to ease their symptoms.  Rest, fluids and a lot of tender love and care are a given, but what can you do for those runny noses, phlegm and nasty coughs other than wait for it to run its course.  I was at the pharmacy and saw a homeopathic cough medicine for children ages 0 to 9 years.  First I thought to myself, really what is this going to do?  I had my doubts that there would be any significant improvement in the Princess’ symptoms, but boy oh boy did I eat my words.

Homeocan Kids 0 – 9  cough & cold is a homeopathic medicine that helps relieve cough, pain, fever, congestion and mucus build up.  It does not have any harmful side effects and is dye and sugar-free.  For children under 6, it’s a 1/2 teaspoon every 4 hours.  The best part though, is that it tastes good.  Now recalling my childhood memories, medicine either tasted like fake bananas or indescribable bitterness.  But the Princess will swallow this without so much as a wince.  Thumbs up for that all on its own.   There also is a night-time cough syrup that works wonders.  With a soothing sedative, this helps relieve symptoms while allowing a good nights sleep that ill children so desperately need.

I have no complaints with this medication.  It’s all natural, great tasting, homeopathic with no side effects.  It does what it claims and now when Princess gets ill when she’s past the age of 6, I will still be using this medication instead of the other brands.  5 out of 5 for this product!  For a full list of ingredients, please click here.

 

* I was not paid to do this review and I purchased the medication myself.*

Faces of Loss

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As many of you know, I lost my angel baby Emery on March 25th, 2011.  It has been 16 months since I lost her, but I still cry myself to sleep.  I was never prepared for what came after.  The doctors never gave me any pamphlets on bereavement and I didn’t have much of a support group.  Most people didn’t know what to say, or never mentioned it again.  For a long time, it seemed like everyone else had moved on, but I was stuck.  The doctors had sent me home to pass her despite my requests for a D&C and on the 25th, I held my lifeless little girl in the palm of my hand.  I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.  That was one of the most devastating moments of my life.  But it seemed that only I was really affected.  No one else was grieving like I was.  I didn’t know anyone who had suffered a miscarriage and I kept getting told “just get over it, move on.”

Now most people know that if you mix baking soda and vinegar in a bottle then put the cap on, eventually the pressure would cause the top to blow.  I was that bottle for quite some time.  Everyone kept giving me the “stop being negative, it was only a miscarriage, at least you have a child.”  And for a long time I kept how I was feeling to myself.  Everyone else was over it, maybe so should I.  But I had this nagging feeling that I wasn’t crazy, that maybe I was supposed to be this upset.  That was my daughter, I had carried her throughout her entire life.  From the moment of the positive pregnancy test, everything was about her.  My body was her safe vessel and I was the captain.  She breathed through me, was fed through me, lived in me.  Every thought I had, was in regards to her safety and well-being just as I did with my Princess.  And when she left us, I mourned her like I would anyone I loved.  But despite the short time we had together, I loved her whole-heartedly.  So every time someone would tell me how I was to feel, I would blow my top like my insides were baking soda and their comments were the vinegar and have a full on meltdown.  And then I was told I was the crazy one.  Had I lost a living child, would my grief been justified?  Was Emery a second-class citizen because she died before she left my womb?  And because of that, did she deserve a second-class mourning?  I grieved alone because no one else would mourn her.

It wasn’t until her angelversary that I knew I had to do something about this.  I was growing more and more angry with people.  Why didn’t they understand?  Who were they to tell me to let go of my daughter?  You let go of someone who love and tell me how it feels when someone says to get over it.  I knew I needed to find something or someone who understood.  I began searching the internet for groups and people telling their stories and I found Faces of Loss.  I was looking through its Groups page and I was able to find one in Toronto.   I messaged the group leader and last night I went to my very first meeting.  I have never felt more accepted.  These women understand my heartache and my grief and all those crazy thoughts that went through my mind.  They gave me ideas as to how to communicate with Hubby, how to grieve and ways that I could commemorate Emery’s life.  I am so grateful for this group and wanted to write about it so that if there are any other women out there looking for support, it IS out there.

Learning to “Grin and Bear it”

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Since learning that I am infertile, one of the hardest things I’ve had to come to terms with is learning to ‘grin and bear it’.  I will admit it is not one of my strongest personality traits as I am one of those people who whatever I am feeling is almost guaranteed to show on my face.  If it’s annoyance, anger, disbelief, happiness, or sadness, the expression is there on my face.  I don’t like to hide, I don’t like to lie, but at the same time, sometimes the time and place for such conversations are not appropriate.  My Princess is almost 4 years old now and many of our friends and family are having children.  And with that, the question Hubby and I dread is being asked at every turn.

“So,” they cheerfully ask, poking me in the abdomen.  “When is she getting a brother or a sister.”

Cue the awkward smile and shift in my stance.  Most of the time they corner Hubby and I alone so we are unable to lean on each other for support or help with the answer.  I know they don’t do it out of spite or malice, but I cringe when I am asked it.

“Oh, umm, you know, hmm, when it happens.  We’ll see how it goes.”  I divert my eyes anywhere but in theirs.  I don’t want to have to see their expression when I don’t give them a straight forward answer.  How do I say, “Well my prolactin levels are extremely high and have drained my estrogen levels so my body is incapable of maintaining any pregnancy and my ovaries are not releasing any eggs.  My body is essentially going into early menopause and I’m only 26. Oh and my ovaries are covered in cysts.”  That doesn’t really make for a great conversation.  It is one thing for me to be uncomfortable, but I really wouldn’t want to be the cause of someone else’s discomfort.  I’ve had strangers on the bus ask me, teachers at my daughter’s daycare, coworkers, friends, family and everyone else in between.  I haven’t yet found a suitable answer.

So many people I know are having babies.  My sister is pregnant and so is a close family member.  My cousin just had a baby and her sister is due any day.  My hubby’s brother had a beautiful blue-eyed baby girl 6 months ago and my friend is having a baby as well.  I am all very happy for them, I really am.  I rub their tummy’s, ask them how they are feeling, celebrate the life the life that is about to be brought into this world.  But as I smile there is a dull ache that lies inside.  It’s not cramps from bad food or from menstruation or ovulation, it’s a dull ache from a fear that I may never get to feel another kick, hear the whooshing of the ultrasound, crave pickles, have heartburn radiating through my body or be hunched over a toilet praying to the porcelain gods again.

I’ve received so many comments from people who I know mean well, but they come off so inconsiderate and back-handed.

“You just need to go back and enjoy sex again.  Then you’ll get pregnant.”

I really wish it were that simple.  Out of 28-35 days, depending on your cycle length, you only have about 25 – 30% chance of becoming pregnant.  You have to determine when you ovulate, how long your luteal phase is, how soft and where your cervix is.  I took Siberian Ginseng, Prenatal Vitamins, Evening Primrose Oil, Dong Quai and Green Tea for their ‘fertility’ aid. I was charting my entire cycle.  I charted my basal temperature, my cervical mucus, how tender my breasts were, lower back pain, how heavy my flow, how long it lasted, basically acting as an ovulatory detective searching for clues when my ovaries will release an egg and when to approach Hubby and give a very small timeline to when we have to “enjoy sex”.   Nothing says ‘sexy’ like “We have to have sex right now and tomorrow and I have to elevate my hips for 30 minutes.”

“Just chill out, you are way to stressed.”

Unfortunately stress and infertility often go hand in hand.  Stress can lead to infertility and infertility only increases stress.  It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t kind of situation.

“You should be grateful you have one child.  Some people don’t have any.”

I would have to say this is the most inconsiderate and cruel comment I’ve ever received.  I am very grateful for my beautiful brown-eyed, blonde curly-haired little Princess.  She is my entire world.  I look at her and thank every lucky star in the universe for giving her to me.  We almost lost her at 3 months, and the cord wrapped around her neck during labour and she was born via c-section.  I hug her and kiss her and tell her how much she means to me every single day.  Most of my happy moments are the ones where I am with her.  But I also dreamt of giving her siblings.  A house full of siblings.  I always wanted to be a mom to many children.  I took care of my sisters and babysat many children.  I love kids.  Their laughs, smiles, their attitudes, everything about them makes me smile.  They are so innocent and happy that it always boggles my brain when people say they annoy them.  The old adage “Barefoot and Pregnant” was my mantra growing up and I couldn’t think of a better dream for me.  I’m not talking about pulling a Dugger, but I wanted at least 4 kids, if not more.  Just a house full of children running around, me ragged and tired, but overjoyed.  The doctor says I’ll be lucky if I am able to have one more.

“There’s always adoption and surrogates.”

Generally it’s these people who know nothing about costs and legal matters.  These options are not always available to everyone.

I think what hurts the most is that I have to look at my little girl when she asks me where the ‘baby’ went and why she doesn’t have a sister and try to come up with some sort of child-friendly response and then look at my Husband, who wanted a house full of kids and try to articulate ‘I’m sorry’ that I let him down.  I am 26, at the supposed height of my fertile years and have to say “I’m infertile”.   I never thought that phrase would ever come from me.  I’m not embarrassed or ashamed.  I have come to know many people who are infertile and are suffering from what I am suffering from.  It’s just an overwhelming sadness, guilt and grief that is so very hard to explain, comprehend and come to terms with.

After 2 years of trying to get pregnant, I have found an online community that has truly helped me realize I’m not alone and one blogger in particular, Practical Katie and her post “When One Isn’t Enough” really did help me understand this.  And to my readers, your kind words have really helped pick me up when I have been feeling down.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart.