Friday, July 30, 2010

Long time no see...

Haven't felt like writing in a while.  Has it really been since February? 

Those who know me in real life know that I have a baby due in 8 or 9 weeks.  I figured this was as good a time as any to start updating here as the countdown to baby begins.

Baby boy number 2, who is still nameless, is residing in a breech position causing much discomfort at this time (think 'kicks aimed at the crotch area', ouch). I would also really like him to turn over now to give my last weeks of this pregnancy some peace of mind.  I know it is too dangerous to deliver a breech baby.  But I sure don't want to have a C-section.  I'll do what I have to do to have a safe birth, but be sure that I will be doing all the contortions I can find on the internet that claim to encourage breech babies to turn over. 

Jackson is very excited about having a baby brother.  He asks me almost daily when the baby will be here and he talks about the things he wants to show the baby and teach him.  It is pretty sweet.  I know there will be some jealousy when the reality of a needy, crying baby is living in the house where he has reigned as King for five years.  But I really think he is going to love being a big brother.

I can't believe he is starting Kindergarten in a month.  I am so nervous about it.  It is such a helpless feeling - not knowing what to expect, sending him off to a big elementary school for the first time.  Can he negotiate the cafeteria and keep track of a lunch account card on his own?  What if he gets picked on for being small?  Will he be smaller than everyone else?  He has grown a lot this summer, but in May at his pre-school graduation he was the smallest child in either class.  And he will be young, at 5 years and a month.  I know he will be fine, I know. 

But I am nervous and I am a person that likes to be in control.  And I can't control this as I would like and I don't want to be one of those terribly annoying helicopter parents that teachers hate.  And of course, being as pregnant as I will be when he starts in August, I simply won't be able to hover.  I'll be busy being hugely pregnant in August in Texas.  I assume that will make me a bloated, flip-flop wearing, uncomfortable, physically self-absorbed, crazy lady. 

And I will most likely be focused on an attempt to control my labor and delivery experience.  I had Jackson with midwives at a birthing center and I was so comfortable with my level of power to labor how I felt best with their help.  They don't dictate like hospitals do.  It is just such a calming experience to know that they are on the very same page with me and will help me deliver safely the way I want to.  I was able to deliver Jackson without any pain medications or epidurals.  I don't have a problem with pain, I have issues with the loss of control that comes with narcotics and epidurals.  And like running a marathon, it left me with such a sense of personal accomplishment and satisfaction.  Jackson's birth remains one of the most positive experiences of my life.

But after my miscarriage last summer and my experience with cancer, chemo and being helplessly sick, I have lost some of the trust that things will go exactly as they naturally should.  And without that trust, I felt that delivering in a hospital was a safer choice. It has been painfully proven to me that my body is human and that bad things can and do happen to me.  Some of my chemo drugs cause heart damage, and my right lung has enough diminished capacity that my breathing is noticeably affected by the extra blood volume, weight and stress of pregnancy.  I can't be certain that something unexpected won't happen during labor that will require medical intervention.  What if I can't breath?  You can't push if you can't breath.  So a hospital birth it is.

But I do remain apprehensive about a hospital delivery.  So many rules and cover-your-ass regulations that effectively remove much of the autonomy of a laboring mom.  Sigh.  It is a trade-off, I guess.  I have a good doctor who promises to stay out of my way as much as he can.  And I have my mom and husband who know to be my voice in staving off any interventions that are not medically necessary.  Of course all of this is academic if this baby boy won't turn over.  So turn over already baby, I have a natural labor and delivery process planned, here, don't ruin it!