Baby is here

Wyatt Linden John Bast arrived this morning at 2:47 am after a gruelling 22 hour labour. He’s 21 inches long and a whopping 9lbs.

I will write my full birth story once we are home.

So far, he’s super calm and a great feeder. And he looks like his Momma. ❤

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Trusting in the process

I’ve come to a big realization lately.

My thinking that our little man would arrive early was primarily driven out of fear. I wanted him to arrive early because the sooner he is earth side, the sooner he is in my arms and the sooner everything is safe.

This fear derived from years of failing to conceive, followed by a successful IVF conception which resulted in an ectopic pregnancy loss. Every time we thought we were almost there, it was taken away from us. Call it PTSD. Call it crazy. Call it whatever you want. The point is: the past few years have been emotionally traumatic.

In the infertility and pregnancy loss community, we support each other, but we also are too familiar with each other’s stories of grief and despair. It continues to fuel our own insecurities. I keep thinking back to a woman I met through a friend a year ago whose son was stillborn. She was due to be induced, but was sent home due to the labour and delivery unit being full. When she returned 48 hours later, their son had passed on.

As I made my way through the 3rd trimester, this story sat in the back of my mind. I convinced myself that my son HAD to arrive before 40 weeks. There was NO WAY he was coming late. There was NO WAY I would face what this other woman did.

In all honesty, I do believe that he will arrive safely. I can’t predict how or when – especially since I’ve turned my intuition down to protect myself during this pregnancy – but I know that he will be in my arms, crying, breathing, eating and being the little human being that we have created.

I feel very fortunate to have many friends in the medical and holistic wellness communities that I can turn to for support. Even though the old wives tales aren’t helping me to bring on my labour, I have been reassured by many friends that it’s completely normal for a first time Mom to go overdue. Since I have zero medical reason for an early induction, our local hospital would not even consider it a possibility until 10 days past my due date. That being said, I know that induction labours can be lengthy, have increased pain and also increase the risk of requiring a c-section. One of my nursing friends highly recommended I wait as long as I can before agreeing to induction.

Tomorrow afternoon, I have an OB appointment. I’ll be 41 weeks. I keep hoping my son will arrive naturally before this weekend, but I know tomorrow is an opportunity to discuss my options with my doctor. I guarantee he will do another membrane sweep and hopefully that does the trick.

My acupuncturist reminded me today that it’s ok to be happy. It’s ok to let go of the fears that have been deeply rooted in me due to past traumas and open myself up to joy and love as we bring our son into this world.

She’s right.

Sometimes when you’ve spent so long being pulled down, you almost expect something to go wrong. It’s hard to let yourself experience true happiness.

As I approach the birth of my son, I’m ready to accept it whichever way its meant to unfold. I will embrace it. I will own it. I will make it the best experience possible for my husband, my son and myself. Although there will always be fear during times of change, I will not let it steal my joy.

We’ve come so far. We’ve worked so hard to get here. We deserve it. It’s our time and I’m ready.

Motherhood awaits me.

40 week OB appointment

Today, I am 40 weeks, 1 day.

I just got back from an OB appointment. He did another membrane sweep. As I expected, it was more uncomfortable this time and it lasted a lot longer than the previous time. Following the sweep, I had some pinky-red discharge, but since then it’s turned to brown. I’m also a bit crampy, but not too bad.

He estimated me at 2cm dilated, 60% effaced and baby at a station of -1.

He booked me in for my next appointment at 41 weeks, but doesn’t think I will go that long. Ughhh I really hope so. 

Following the appointment, my husband and I went for a walk around a lake in a subdivision near our house. I’ve been walking a minimum of once a day. There’s a tobogganing hill in a park near our house that I’ve been doing side squats up and down as well. We ate some spicy Thai food again this week. I also have been going to Acupuncture 2x a week and Chiro 1x a week.  More than anything else, I’ve been using my birthing ball to bounce and do hip rotations. It actually feels nice to get on there and relieve some of the pressure.

I’ve noticed I’m a lot more tired each day. I still get up to pee every hour or two all night long. Since baby got even lower this week, it’s almost harder to pee though, seems like it takes forever to come out. And even though you think you have to go, there’s barely any in there compared to what my bladder used to be capable of holding.

As for back and pelvic pain, I’m actually moving a lot better than I was when I was working. I think being more active is helping. My SPD pain is still there on my right side, but I’m learning to manage. Night time is my most uncomfortable time though. I dread climbing into bed. It’s super hard to roll over and get out of bed these days.

I’ve been experiencing false labour every night for the past 3-4 nights too. I wake up about midnight when the cramping/contractions start. Typically, I’m only up for half an hour to an hour until I can sleep through them. They are always gone by morning though. My OB said this is a good thing as my body is getting ready.

It’s just a waiting game now. I hoped the baby would arrive today to celebrate his Daddy’s birthday with him, but it looks like we will be waiting a bit longer. My OB is on-call tomorrow. It would be ideal if the baby came then as we are both comfortable with our OB (and he isn’t on call again until late next week).

But as I said before… clearly this decision is up to our little man and not us.

Please send me positive birthing vibes! ❤

39 week bumpdate

How Far Along: 39 weeks and 4 days

Meds: All taken daily – prenatal vitamin, Omega 3 + DHA, Ranitidine (2x/day), Magnesium (750 – 1000mg at bedtime), Gaviscon for heartburn as required (which is OFTEN!). Iron – every other day.

Baby is the size of: a WATERMELON or a small pumpkin

Best Moments This Week:

  • Random cashier asking me if I was due soon and if I was sure it wasn’t twins. (I actually found her reaction to be funny). 
  • Random lady stopping her SUV on the side of the road to ask how I was doing. She said she has seen us walking every night and wished us good luck. I have no clue who she is except she lives somewhere in our neighbourhood.
  • Taking the chihuahuas for nightly walks with my husband
  • Watching the Jays in MLB playoffs

Total Weight Gain: 20 lbs (+3 lbs over 2.5 weeks)

Maternity Clothes: It feels like my maternity clothes are getting small. My shirts are a bit too short, so I tend to wear my belly band if I go out. The panel in my pants doesn’t quite cover my entire belly any more.

Symptoms:

  • My back/SI joint is feeling better, but my SPD pain is back again – especially on the left side. It’s still not as bad as it was when I was working though.
  • Tired. Oh, so tired.
  • Random Insomnia.
  • Lots and lots of Braxton Hicks
  • Baby is continuously lower = random cervical pain/pressure
  • Low iron = anaemic
  • Leaky boobs if I don’t wear a bra

Sleep: Still up every 1-1.5 hours to pee. Super uncomfortable. Difficult to get out of bed.

Food Cravings: Garlic dipping sauce from Pizza Pizza, chocolate, fruit punch, water

Anything making you queasy or sick: Still some random night pukes. The smell of Starbucks made me nauseous this morning. Eating too fast or too much. I really can only have very small meals.

Movement: He’s active on and off throughout the day. It’s easy to tell where his bum and his feet are now.

Stretch Marks: Yes, I’ve got tiger stripes. And this week, they are extra itchy!

Baby Bump: Growing and growing… hopefully deflating soon! haha

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Gender: BOY

Labour Signs: Lots of Braxton Hicks. Sometimes at night, I feel like I get real contractions, but they always are gone by the morning. Random cervical pressure. Baby has gotten EVEN lower. Straight up, depending how I’m sitting my belly will actually touch my thighs. It’s crazy! 

Belly Button In or Out?: Innie, but not much left.

Wedding Rings on or off?: Off.

Happy or Moody? On Saturday morning, I had a meltdown during my early morning insomnia. I was over tired, uncomfortable and just ready to be done. Going back to bed for a few hours fixed my mood. Overall, I’m in a decent mood. I don’t have much energy or drive to do much though. Who seriously nests this close to the end? NOT ME!

Purchases for baby:

  • Received a few more gifts
  • Bought a dinosaur stuffed animal… just because 

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Purchases for Momma: 

  • Nothing this week

Miss Anything?: Sleep, energy, enjoying a good meal, sitting comfortably, laying flat, walking at my normal pace, comfortably putting undies or pants on, bending over without a struggle,

Looking forward to: The actual arrival of our little man! I’m also really curious to see how labour goes especially what the first signs and symptoms will be for me.

I’m a believer… baby will join us when he is ready

Everyone who said baby will arrive when he’s ready, you’ve finally convinced me.

After my 38 week OB appointment, I was convinced our little man’s arrival was only a matter of days away. I looked to a variety of natural induction methods hoping to speed things along, including:

  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Orgasms
  • Nipple stimulation (I honestly don’t think I did it long enough)
  • Raspberry leaf tea (only had a few glasses this week)
  • Labour cookies
  • Spicy food
  • Walking 2x day
  • Bouncing on my birth ball
  • Squats

I’m 39 weeks, 3 days today. Besides him continuously dropping (I seriously don’t know how much lower he can get), I have zero labour signs. I’m uncomfortable. My belly is low and heavy. I’m exhausted. I’m sore.

But…

If my baby boy is safe and secure and not ready to join us, then I can wait.

Last night during one of my insomnia moments, I googled “reasons for full term pregnancy”. There are many benefits to waiting until full term to deliver including less complications post-delivery, better muscle control, and increased brain development. For more details, check out this article on 40 Reasons to Give Baby 40 Weeks of Pregnancy.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the old wives tales about natural induction will only work if your baby and your body are ready for labour.

I still hope he arrives within the next two weeks naturally. His Daddy’s birthday is this upcoming Friday, October 16th. That’s also the date of my next OB appointment. I’ll be 40 weeks, 1 day. It would be an amazing gift if our baby would arrive sometime between now and the end of next weekend.

But clearly, that decision is up to him, not me. 🙂

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38 week bumpdate

How Far Along: 38 weeks and 5 days

Meds: All taken daily – prenatal vitamin, Omega 3 + DHA, Ranitidine (2x/day), Magnesium (1000mg at bedtime), Gaviscon for heartburn as required (which is OFTEN!).

Note: I tried to switch from Ranitidine to the Licorice Root yesterday. I also ate some dairy last night which usually triggers my acid reflux. Anyway, the switch didn’t go over well. I was up most of the night, so I’m caved and refilled my Ranitidine. Looks like I’ll be on it til the end. 

Baby is the size of: a WATERMELON!

Best Moments This Week:

  • Attending our local Perinatal Loss Awareness Walk
  • Being OFF WORK!
  • My husband’s workplace starting a baby pool. Right now, the most popular guesses for his arrival are: October 9 and 13.
  • Having lunch with 2 of my local IVF friends today. It was so nice to catch up and sometimes I feel like it’s easier to talk about pregnancy and motherhood with people who have been through infertility.

Total Weight Gain: a total of 16.6 lbs – didn’t weigh myself this week.

Maternity Clothes: All day, every day!

Symptoms:

  • After the 2.5km walk on Saturday, my SI joint was out of line again. Overall, my back is sore at night, but daytime is much more manageable.
  • Tired. Oh, so tired. Fortunately, I squeezed in a 2 hour nap this afternoon.
  • Insomnia. Yup, I randomly wake up between 3-4am every morning. If I can’t go back to sleep, I just get up and do something until I’m ready to sleep again (usually around 5-6am).
  • Lots and lots of Braxton Hicks
  • Baby is continuously lower = random cervical pain/pressure
  • Low iron = anaemic
  • Leaky boobs if I don’t wear a bra
  • Smooth moving bowels which is SUCH A RELIEF after months of constipation

Sleep: Still up every 1-1.5 hours to pee. Super uncomfortable. Difficult to get out of bed.

Food Cravings: Blueberries, granny smith apples, water

Anything making you queasy or sick: And the puking has returned… I’ve puked a couple times in the mornings lately and woken myself up in the middle of the night coughing and choking. I run to the bathroom and puke my guts out. It’s lovely. As a result, I’ve really tried to eat a MUCH smaller supper (almost like a snack). I puked Chinese food on Sunday night and let’s just say I won’t be eating Ginger Beef for quite some time. :/

Movement: He’s active on and off throughout the day. On the weekend, he was down in my pelvis and up in my ribs. I also find when I get a Braxton Hick contraction it hurts where his bum is. It’s almost like my skin doesn’t have any more give there.

Stretch Marks: Yes, I’ve got tiger stripes.

Baby Bump: Growing and growing… Took these photos tonight before we went for a walk. I’m proud to say that black hoodie is a regular sized hoodie. It was always a bit big on me, but it’s the only one I have that I can still squeeze around my belly and zip up.

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Gender: BOY

Labour Signs: Lots of Braxton Hicks. Random cervical pressure. After the walk on Saturday, I had some thick yellow mucous discharge, but nothing since. I think he dropped lower again last night.

Belly Button In or Out?: Innie, but not much left.

Wedding Rings on or off?: Off.

Happy or Moody?: I’m in a neutral mood. Just sort of passing the time until he arrives. I do get grumpy if I’m tired, but overall, I’m decent.

Purchases for baby:

  • Received a few more gifts – a book, blankets, dish set, gift card to a local baby store, baby selfies kit, baby bath set.
  • Brica Baby In Sight Auto Mirror

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Purchases for Momma: 

  • Nothing this week

Miss Anything?: Sleep, energy, enjoying a good meal, sitting comfortably, laying flat,

Looking forward to: The actual arrival of our little man! I’m so ready for this. I actually don’t have anything planned for the rest of the week besides another acupuncture appointment. My plan is to relax, maybe catch up with a few friends and channel all of my energy into letting him know he is welcome to join us.

How do you honour a loss while celebrating a new addition?

October.

To my husband and I, this month represents:

  • The loss of our daughter due to ectopic pregnancy on October 7, 2014
  • The upcoming birth of our son – estimated due date October 15, 2015

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how we can grieve/remember/honour the upcoming anniversary of the loss of our first child while celebrating the birth of our second child.

Grief vs. Joy

These two emotions are such opposites. Yet for someone who has faced infertility and pregnancy loss and is transitioning into the state of parenting a baby earth-side, these emotions can be very much experienced at the same time.

How do you explain that to someone who will not acknowledge your loss in the first place? 

You don’t… or you do so without expectation.

Earlier tonight, I read a post by Sondra from A Calm Persistence about the importance of seeking support. In her post, the lesson that stood out the most for me was to seek support where it’s most likely to be given in a positive way. I know I spent too much of my own journey looking for support from the wrong people. Once you find the people who “get it”, the journey overall seems a bit easier.

When I speak about my ectopic pregnancy, it’s easy to hide the grief. It’s easy to put aside all of the emotions that are tied into loosing a child and simply focus on the medical procedure and consequential outcomes.

But when I speak of Emme, I can’t hide my grief. My voice cracks. My eyes tear up. My wounds within my heart are visible for all to see.

She existed. She is our daughter… even if she isn’t with us now.

Still, that concept remains hard for so many people to grasp. They prefer to ignore it rather than work through their own awkwardness into a place of compassion and understanding.

My grief is normal, healthy and common. The infertility and pregnancy loss community has shown me that.

I don’t have a plan for this upcoming Wednesday except that I don’t want to take myself back to the memories of the night we lost Emme. The fear. The sadness. The aloneness.

Instead, I want to honour the beauty Emme has brought into our lives, the reassurance I have knowing she is watching over us and the gift that she gave us through her passing – her little brother.

I won’t hide my grief.

I won’t hide my joy.

I’ve chosen to share them both.

Because I know there’s another woman out there experiencing the same feelings as I am.

And she deserves to know she’s not alone. ❤