July 26, 2010

About a Month from Today

About a month from today is my "due date" give or take a week. 

I've been thinking a lot about this birth and what it means to me and also what it means to everyone else.  I think it's important for me to write some of the things I've been thinking about so that when I go into labor and get to the hard parts where I think I won't be able to handle it anymore that I can recall the importance of the decisions I've made to have a VBAC and a natural birth.  Over the next four weeks I'll be making more frequent blog posts to publicize the importance of what I'm about to attempt.  So, here goes nothing ...

What does it mean to be a VBAC?  Well, the term literally stands for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean.  From the medical community, you're labeled as a trouble maker, a rebel, a difficult patient and a complication waiting to happen.  But, there's also a book written about VBAC with the acronym meaning Very Beautiful And Courageous.  I like this acronym much better.  I haven't read the book but the title pretty much sums up the book, I can imagine. 

From the perspective of other women who have had successful VBAC's, the connection you have with other VBAC's is instantaneous.  Only a VBAC can fully understand what another has been through.  I realized this over the weekend while at a family reunion for Jason's side of the family.  We had barely gotten in the door and, of course, I'm the only one in the room who is pregnant so I stuck out like a sore thumb.  A woman (whom I've never met before) comes running over to me before I could even sit down and grabs my hand.  She looks me in the eye and introduces herself quickly and starts talking to me about how brave I am and how she is CERTAIN I can have a successful VBAC because SHE was a successful VBAC and her sisters had successful VBAC's.  Before I know it, we're swapping stories about our C-sections and she's telling me how greatful she was to have been able to have a VBAC and how much it changed her life.  Her eyes started to well up with tears and I could empathize with her emotional moment and could have hugged her on the spot (although I refrained because I couldn't remember her name.) 

Even thoughI couldn't remember her name, the connection I felt was so strong and I am so grateful she felt the need to encourage me and talk to me because these last few weeks will probably be the most difficult for me emotionally.  I'm constantly double guessing myself as to if I've made the right decision or not and this moment/connection just re-affirms and justifies how RIGHT this will be.  

So, back to the meaning of this VBAC, having a successful VBAC is not only important to me, but it is important to all others who have had a successful VBAC.   I am attempting a VBAC for my own purposes as well as those who have had VBAC's before me and for those who may have to VBAC after me and to educate those around me how to avoid becoming a VBAC themselves. Because of this, I hope all of you can learn something from my experience.

Thanks for all your support and prayers.
~Mama Beal

July 20, 2010

Abby's 3 years old and now it's time for the baby to come out.

So, when we told Abby about the baby, we told her that around the time Abby has another birthday and turns 3 years old that the baby would come soon.  Well, Abby turned 3 years old on Sunday 7/18 and her next question after the birthday party and cake etc was, "now is it time for the baby to come out?"

Well, it's ALMOST time.  37 days (give or take a week.)  And I'm starting to get that "exhausted" feeling that you get in the last month of pregnancy.  Here's a few things that are going on with me for the past few weeks during the pregnancy.

1.  Heartburn ALL the time, especially when I'm laying down in bed at night.  For some reason I only get it when I lay on my right side.  "so lay on your left side" you say, well, when I lay on my left side the baby kicks like crazy and then I get no sleep.

2.  Insomnia just about every other day this week I've woken up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and cannot get back to sleep.  It always happens between the hours of 2 and 4. Yuck.

3.  Bathroom breaks have increased from 0 times per night to 2-3 times per night.  I kid you not, I am not just pee-ing a little bit, I'm pee-ing A LOT.  It frankly surprises me how much comes out every time.

4.  Rolling over in bed, I feel like a beached whale.

5.  I have been having a lot of braxton hicks contractions.

6.  I can only eat small meals again.  I can't even eat a whole sandwich without feeling like I'm giving myself heartburn.

7.  This one is a good one.  So far, NO additional stretch marks.  The first time around, they were TERRIBLE and Really Really itchy.  Not this time.  

Well, if anything, this pregnancy is completely different from the last one which hopefully means the birth will be completely different.  THERE'S HOPE!  Well, at least our Bradley instructor certainly seems to think so.  (My pregnant brain can't remember everything I've written about the Bradley classes so if I've already written this, my apologies in advance.)  We're the only couple in the class that has already had a child.  So whenever we're talking about specific parts of birth, the Bradley instructor will talk about for "first time births ... blah blah blah ..." and then she'll point to Jason and I and say, "but not for you guys, you won't have to do that since it's your second" or "your birth will be much shorter" or "this will be much easier for you because it's your second."  I REALLY hope she's right.  If you are interested in finding out about the Bradley Method, Sarah Beth is our instructor and you can find her bio here. Or you can go to www.bradleybirth.com to find someone near you that teaches the Bradley method.  I highly recommend it, I wish I would have done this for our first birth. 

On a different note, Jason wisked me away to Duluth for a 2 day weekend.  It was very nice to just relax, watch some cable TV and see the lake.  Living up there for 4 years at school, you forget how much you really appreciated the lake and all it's beauty.  Here's a few pictures from our trip. 

A few pictures at the rose garden.  I would have taken more pictures but it was really hot out.

July 5, 2010

Almost 33 weeks!

Well, I am 33 weeks now and I'm starting to feel like it physically.  My hips hurt, just about every morning when I wake up, I find myself huffing and puffing while adjusting patients during the day and naps are my best friend these days.  I don't mean to complain because besides all this, I'm healthy as a horse and so is everyone else in the Beal household.

So far, no one has looked at our house.  How annoying to clean it every night and morning before we leave and have no one to admire it.  Oh well, the news keeps saying the housing market has tanked once again because there are no longer any tax credits for purchasing houses.  Thank goodness we don't necessarily NEED to move right away.  We'll just keep cleaning and keep it on the market, maybe the right fish will come by and take a nip at it. :)

Below is a picture of my belly again.  I'm trying to get together a slide show that will show the progress of my belly.  People keep telling me how big I look these days but when I look back at my belly pictures I've taken, I don't see that drastic of a change.  I think by people telling me I look "big" what they're really saying is I look "good" for being so pregnant.

I am also trying to stay healthy and keep my uterus in good shape. Below is a picture of a type of tea that I'm using, it's a loose leaf tea called red-raspberry leaf tea.  It's helpful for all sorts of different feminine problems/conditions but it's mostly known for toning and conditioning the uterus.  Although it looks like drugs, I think it's doing it's work correctly.  I've been having lots of braxton hick's contractions so I know my uterus is strengthening itself to have this baby.  We get it at the Co-op and bag it up in a plastic baggy.  I feel a little weird leaving it out on the counter or visible in the cupboard so I hide my "stash" in a cereal box in the cabinet. :p  I don't want any potential home buyers to get the wrong impression.

One more thing that's been happening gradually is that my hair has been changing colors.  I didn't really notice it until I saw my hair in some pictures from our family trip to Hackensack MN.  It's progressively getting redder/oranger.  By the time I'd had Abby people had a hard time distinguishing my hair color from red or blond.  It seems this time around my body remembers what happened last time.  So, here's a picture for those of you who haven't seen me in a while.

Well, that's all for now.  Hope ya'll had a fantastic 4th.

~Mama Beal