Sunday, February 15, 2009

I'm a preggo

Here's an update on my pregnancy with Mr. Baby #2. I feel really good most of the time, and have been feeling the baby move since I was 10 weeks along. I am glad to be more than halfway done, with about 18 weeks left. I just wish I could know when our baby will be ready to be born -- I'd love to have my sweet husband with me if possible. My daughter was born a day after her due date, but what will this little one do? One mom I know just had her second child ten days early, and another's second child came ten days late!

This was me at 16.5 weeks along (in pajamas):

18 weeks:

19 weeks (in exercise clothes):

21 weeks:

Like last time, we are referring to him or her as "Mr. Baby," but we chose not to find out the gender. (When we found out that Shboogoo was a girl we switched to saying "Mrs. Baby.") Based on the ultrasound measurements they said the due date of June 21st is right.

A few days ago I had a second ultrasound so the sonographer could get better pictures of the heart. Also, I had a VBAC consultation with an OB there who said I am "not a very good candidate" for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). To say that I felt bummed by her saying this would be a huge understatement. Once we were out of there I cried and D hugged me and talked with me. I had expected to hear that I had a really good chance of "succeeding" at VBAC: my doula and my team of midwives told me they think I can do it, they have a 92% VBAC success rate over the last two years, I'm healthy, and this is a different baby.

The main reason this OB thinks I would need another c-section is that when I was in labor before and was 5 cm dilated, Shboogoo's head had not descended as low as it should have to fit the typical pattern. I was angry because of some of the things the OB said (and probably also because I am reading The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth.) I'm going to find out as much as I can about this "pattern" and other mothers' VBAC experiences. It seems to me that given enough time and freedom of movement, the baby's head will come down. The woman, not the doctor, is the one having the baby, so she should be allowed to get off her back and use gravity even if it's less convenient for the doctor! I'd much rather have a long labor than an unnecessary surgery. I like the natural techniques I've read about, and would love to have a homebirth like Traci. . . but I can't. I know I'm doing the right thing by using a doula again and by having midwives instead of an OB.

Please comment if you have strong feelings about your birth experience(s), hospitals, or anything else I wrote about.


  1. I'm proud of you for not finding out and I'm even prouder of you for taking control of your birthing experience. You are right that it is your birth, not the doctors. Keep that mindset and keep educating yourself. I think most women don't take the time to do so and end up not really knowing what is going on during their births. Keep your chin up Manda, it will all work out :)

  2. I'm going to send my sister to your blog because she has strong feels about this subject too. I know she could give you some great advice! (If that's ok)

  3. Hi Manda- I used to work for the head neonatologist at St Marks. She made me promise I would have my babies in a hospital, and not at home or at a birthing center. She has seen too many of those births go wrong, and all too often the babies have been lost when their deaths could've been prevented by being at the hospital near the life-saving equipment they may need. No birth can be predictable. I would check out some different OB's, though, I'm sure you can find one that would let you try a VBAC if you are a good candidate, and I know you can get a "walking epidural" if you want to move freely about the hospital while you're in labor, or you can skip the epidural and do the same thing. I would explore your options, but I would put the baby's safety first. I really respect the woman I worked for, and value her opinion, which is why I personally would not choose to have my babies outside of a hospital.

  4. Anne - Thank you!
    Kristin - Yes, that's okay.
    Cam - Thanks for the comment and I'm sorry if my writing was confusing. I am going to have the baby in a hospital; it has a NICU and everything. Because I had a c-section before, I need to give birth in a hospital. What I meant was that I wish I could have an out-of-hospital birth to avoid having interventions that are often done routinely even though they don't have any proven benefits. I don't want an epidural. I will keep an open mind as things progress. A long time ago I checked out a birthing center, which I think would be a great option for a lot of people, and is about 10 minutes away from St. Mark's (but they don't take VBAC patients). The OB is not my care provider; I have certified nurse-midwives who take turns with the appointments so their patients can know each one of them. The OB didn't forbid me from trying a VBAC, she just thinks it isn't likely to work out.

  5. Hey there! I'm Kristin's sister and she's right--I do have strong feelings on this subject. I had a VBAC 9 years ago and it was the most amazing experience! If your team is 100% behind you, you have so much better chance of succeeding. I'd love to share some more knowledge with you--sounds like you're off to a great start reading The Thinking Woman's Guide. Henci Goer is a wonderful statician and author. If you haven't already, check out ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) and join (it's free). Their website is I think. You can also email me. You have the right attitude and desire. You can do this! :o)

  6. First of all, cute pictures...and for my comments on your a NICU nurse I am obviously SO for having a hospital birth, I've just seen way to many things happen that were unexpected. However, I do agree that if you don't like the opinion of 1 OB, you surely shouldn't hesitate to get a second opinion. As far as the birth plans you are talking about, great, stick with what you want to do, if you want freedom to move around more, you may request that and the hospital should honor your request. I do suggest though that although you want to move around a lot, you should let them start an IV and let them give you IV fluids...for your own sake! It seems like whenever someone chooses no IV, it's when they bleed bad and need extra fluids the most.
    With your plans, be flexible!!! I think my biggest complaint as a nurse that attends high risk deliveries is that when something doesn't go as expected or the baby isn't doing well, birth plans are harder to honor and as much as nurses will do everything to honor your birth plan, our natural instinct is to do whatever is best for your baby no matter what! Know that things often don't go how you plan or want them to. And don't hesitate to change your plans as your labor progresses, if you decide that you want an epidural at the last minute, do flexible and let your desires change if that's what you are feeling.
    Kudos for you for wanting to do a natural birth and for researching things you want to do etc. My last and number 1 advice is that you should go with what you and your husband feel is best. There is so much to say for listening to the Holy Ghost and when you do so things turn out the way Heavenly Father wants them to and that's what is most important!
    Thanks for letting me blab on about my opinions on all that!

  7. Hi Manda- hope you didn't think I was being too critical or anything- and seriously, I hope things go exactly the way you want them to!


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