The Complete Egg

The before, during and after of a molar pregnancy, with a side of chemo and a 12 month wait before ttc. And most recently: experience of a healthy pregnancy.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Written on 5/7/08

Holy cow I'm tired right now. Gaaaahh. Okay, so life right now is composed of a lot of nursing...a lot. I am really looking forward to week 6 when I can start pumping and Malcolm can give him a bottle. I like breastfeeding, however I think that Liam has been having a growing spurt because he seems to be feeding ALL the time. Still, I am having the time of my life with this cool little babe. He has so much personality even being this small. It's amazing. He's mostly pretty chilled out but he has an impatient side too which he shows when he's hungry. He gives a lovely piercing scream. You wouldn't think it from looking at this angelic picture of him.

The postpartum period has been fairly good. It is certainly a charged time. There is so much to integrate and I've been exhausted. I have felt enormous love, paranoia (didn't want to hurt the baby by accident), and joy and sometimes all in the same moment. It has blown me away how much I LOVE Liam. Not only do I love him but I really like him too. He seems very thoughtful when I look into his eyes. There's already so much intelligence there.

I've been trying to finish this post now for over a week now. Liam is 5 weeks today. Things are starting to feel more settled. We wake up about twice in the night now which is pretty good. Feedings and changes can take up to 40 minutes though so for me, it's like he's waking up every 2 or 2.5 hours. I know it won't go on forever. Tomorrow we will go and purchase a pump so that I can express some milk and Malc can give him a bottle.

Now, to get off talking about my baby, I've been thinking about some women who might be reading this during their molar pregnancy journey. I remember that during that time I read babyfruit's blog (a woman who had experienced 4 miscarriages and then had a baby) and it helped me to feel not alone. I hope that this blog reaches out to others and gives them comfort and hope. You may be like I was and worry about whether or not you will be able to have a child. The chances are extremely high that you will have a baby and you will treasure that baby so much. I think that the miscarriages, the molar, and the chemo, have led me to be a better mother. I am so happy to be with Liam and I haven't once yet taken him for granted. I want other women who have had a molar pregnancy to take heart. What you are going through is incredibly hard and painful. Honor your experience. Grieve. Cry. Look for joy in small pleasures and keep faith that you will realize motherhood.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Welcome to the World Baby Liam

This is Liam at 1 week old. He is so sweet beyond words. Every time I open my mouth to talk about him or write about him I gush, gush, gush. This is him after a particularly satisfying feeding. Yes, he is breast-feeding like a champ which is a relief. It took some help from the midwives and a lactation consultant but now we are doing so well with it. He's almost back up to his birth weight which was 7 lbs 15 ounces. He lost 10% of his weight before we left the hospital. This is not uncommon apparently. Isn't he beautiful? I can't get over what an amazing baby he is. His needs are easily met and we love him to bits. Malcolm is thrilled and is such an incredible dad. He did all the diaper changes at the hospital, along with feeding and watering me and soothing the baby. I love my husband (and now my boy) so much it is overwhelming.
The C-section birth went as well as I could have hoped for. No matter how Liam arrived, it was a momentous event to see him little face for the first time. I certainly would have loved to birth him vaginally if he had been head down. I would have liked that experience. The c-section team was amazing though. That made all the difference. They were calm and respectful and made sure I was comfortable. Also, it was the midwife of our choice that was present for the birth and she was incredible. I was happy that she was there with her good vibes. Malcolm was able to watch Liam being born from me and I saw Liam's head being delivered. It was awesome and amazing. I watched Malcolm's face as he watched Liam being birthed and it was wild. His eyes were wide with amazement and it was like the energy in the room was charged. As soon as I heard Liam cry, I started crying and I was so relieved. He is healthy and he is thriving. I can't get enough of him. I think the hormones from breast-feeding are making me all blissed out all of the time. Which is pretty necessary considering that I feel like I'm feeding Liam all the time. We had such a great night last night and I feel like I finally had a decent sleep.
Our post-partum midwifery care has been amazing and I love that they do home visits. I'm not going to pursue confronting the issues that I had with one of the midwife's care. Why bother? Everything is put into perspective right now.
I'm healing very well and feeling well. I have to watch that I eat enough because I start feeling really weird when my blood sugar is low. I've been eating tons. We're also trying to take small walks this week so that I start to feel like I can go out on my own. I was such a nervous Nelly when we went out yesterday but maybe that's because Malcolm was holding the baby in our sling and I don't know that I trust the sling. Weird, eh? We may need a different baby carrier. I also have a wrap called a cuddly wrap and it's pretty good. Maybe I'll use that today. We're going to give Liam his first bath today. Malcolm will sit in the tub and I will pass Liam to him. I want to be in the tub but not sure it would be the best idea with my healing wound.
I'm excited to share this news and I look forward to blogging about some of our up-coming adventures together.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

We went in for the midwives' appointment yesterday with L and actually it went really well. I feel okay about her being at the birth if it ends up being her (and I feel like it will be C in the end). So not sure how or why my feelings changed. Maybe I was feeling spooked or something. I don't know.

I feel as ready as I can be I guess. I've walked through the procedure in my imagination. The whole birth happens really quickly from what I understand. It will be quite a trip. Apparently, I can watch the baby being birthed and they will lay him or her on my stomach as they cut the cord. I know that things may not all go as planned but I sure hope everything is straight-forward. Try to stay present focussed. That will help with the anxiety. I'm kind of disgusted with how many lists I've had going and the amount of planning I've been doing. I need to chill out! I'm trying to nap a lot in between the cleaning and organizing. Ah, speaking of napping...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Something came to a head last night and I decided (and Malcolm agreed) that we did not want one of the midwives (L) that we have to be present at the birth. It was looking as if she was going to be the one attending. Oddly, my c-section was booked at a time that was at the very end of her on-call shift. We kind of hinted that maybe it would be better to have the "fresh" midwife (C) who would be at the beginning of her shift. It was left up in the air last week as to who would be attending. As I've gone over it in my mind, I have this really clear feeling that I don't want L at the birth. She doesn't put me at ease and she has not helped me to feel positive and reassured about the c-section. She seemed disappointed in my choice not to have the baby turned and questioned me at length about it. I felt like I was defending and justifying my choices. Instead of asking me if I wanted to talk out how I came to the decision, she questioned me and challenged me as if I was on trial. What the hell? Her bias was so obvious and it was no longer about me or Malcolm or our baby. It was about what she (and her colleague) thought was best. It would have been wonderful to have a supportive climate in which I could have become really clear about what was driving my decision not to turn the baby. Our doctor (OB) asked us today why we decided not to have the version. The best I could explain it was that we had been through so much that I just didn't want any interventions that carried some risk. We wanted this baby born safely. I know that a c-section carries risk so maybe I'm not making sense or being rational. I think that my decision was also made at the gut level - I had tried so many things to get this baby to turn and he/whe wasn't budging. To try and force the baby to turn seemed intuitively wrong.
So I called the receptionist at the midwives' office and explained how I was feeling and asked her what she recommended that I do. She told me that I needed to talk it out with them. So, in an effort to avoid that (because frankly, I don't want to invest the emotional energy) I asked if she could try and confirm who would be at the birth - L or C. She agreed that she would do that and get back to me. So I heard from her at the end of today and she said that it would be C unless there was another client in labour and then C would have to be with her and L would be with me. The receptionist thought that there was a good chance that it would be C because many of their clients had given birth recently. So, it's still a bit up in the air. I have an appointment tomorrow with L again (don't know how it ended up being L again) and I tried to change it but C was not in for clinic hours (not sure why). And now I'm left with the decision about whether to keep quiet or whether to confront L. I think we've decided that we're going to go with the flow. Malcolm and I both figure that she will be in the periphery of the experience and it will really be all about us and welcoming our new baby. That feels right in this moment at least. We'll see if that changes. I don't want any drama before the baby's birth and really, all of the midwives we've seen have cared a lot and that's pretty important. I think one of the pros of having an elective c-section is that there is time to plan, and one of the cons of an elective is that there is time to over-think things. I'm going to try and meditate and pray in the next few days so that I will feel centered and ready for this incredible life event.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Sleeping all the time these days it feels like. I am having a hard time getting comfortable at all. I do like swimming, it helps to alleviate the discomfort. I ought to go out for a walk today but I am enjoying being lazy. I did stay up late last night and I just wanted a pj day today. I'm getting more comfortable with the idea of a c-section. I shouldn't romanticize labour because I'm sure that it could be traumatizing too. It's funny though how I feel like I'm missing out on a universal experience but that's a stupid idea, it's not universal for all women. A bunch of women I know are not even having children for a variety of reasons. I guess I ought to be getting used to these surprise circumstances. There I go, going to that place of self-pity. I don't want to take things for granted. I have a lot to be thankful for and I want to focus on that. I am so glad that I don't have to work right up to my due date. I would be a mess. I think that I'll go back and read some of my posts since the beginning of this pregnancy. I have been reading over my journals and it's interesting to look back over the whole time. I've been incredibly happy and worried at times. For the most part, I've really enjoyed this pregnancy. I've enjoyed being pregnant. I am going to enjoy being a mom and caring for a little person. I am so in awe that I will get to meet him or her soon.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Baby is still breech. I'm now almost in my 37th week so the chances of baby turning is really slim. I haven't lost all hope but I am preparing for the c-section. Went through a few dark days about this. I really wanted to experience the labour part of birthing. I thought I would kick ass. But really, who's to know? Maybe I would have ended up with a cesarean in the end. I feel like I have done some grieving and am now focusing on welcoming baby, no matter how he or she enters the world.

I went to a breastfeeding course which was really good. The teacher was a 65-year old nurse who has been a lactation specialist for years. I learned so much and it made me feel more confident. She also assured me that I would be fine following the surgery and it won't inhibit me from breastfeeding my baby. It was reassuring to hear those words. My midwives have made me feel like I should have chosen to have the baby turned by external version. It was a long, hard process to decide on what Malcolm and I thought was best and in the end we opted against it. The doctor only gave it a 40% chance of success. He said it was pretty tight in there. Then, we had to consider whether to labour breech or have a cesarean. Considering that we couldn't even guarantee that this doctor (who is apparently competent and confident with breech vaginal births) would be available when I was labouring, and it would be a 50/50 chance that I would need a cesarean anyway, it seems like the choice was made for me. What are the odds?? Breech babies occur in 3-4% of pregnancies. Statistics feel meaningless at this point. After a miscarriage, a molar pregnancy with chemo, and now a breech baby...what are the chances of that? Is there any meaning to any of it? Healthy baby - that's my mantra. Healthy baby, healthy baby, healthy baby.

It did bug me that the midwives did not seem to fully support my decisions. Interestingly enough, I spoke with a woman at the breastfeeding course who has the same midwives as I do and when I was relating my impressions, she agreed that she had experienced the same thing with them. They come across as a somewhat coercive, like they have an agenda. I spent considerable amount of time with them justifying my decisions about not attempting to turn the baby or having a vaginal birth. Maybe if there were more doctors trained in vaginal breech births, and maybe if we hadn't had so many unusual pregnancy experiences already, and maybe if Malcolm's family didn't have a history of traumatic births of firstborns, then maybe we'd consider it. I'd have to be very committed to the idea and confident in myself and my body. Quite frankly, I've lost some confidence in the wisdom of my body. I know that it is imperfect and simply does the best that it can. That might not be enough to deliver a baby without birth injuries. Anyways, I felt better after talking to this woman and she told me how she felt the same way after talking to another woman who had had the same experience with these particular midwives. It's weird though, because I had such a good experience of them up until now and I still respect them but the relationship has shifted somewhat. One of them will be there for the c-section and they continue to provide 6 weeks of post-partum care. I have an appointment today so I'm hoping that we can move forward. If they want to get back into it or speak negatively about the c-section birth then I will have to speak up and have a conversation with them.

I'm doing some gardening these days and it feels great. Actually, I have had more energy lately which has been different than the last week. For the past couple of weeks, I've been tired and battling headaches. Thankfully, I've been headache free for 2 days. I ate more meat thinking that maybe I was low in iron or something. Not sure if that was it, but I do feel better.

I've got everything ready for when the baby comes home. I've also filled our freezer with homemade meals. My brother and I spent a day cooking together. It was so sweet of him. I can't believe that the baby will be here in less than 2 weeks. It makes me sad that the baby can't choose his/her own birthday but instead, it's all scheduled. Oh well. I'm trying to let it go. It's a practice in letting go of expectations.

So, join me in my mantra.....healthy baby, healthy mom, healthy baby, healthy mom....

Sunday, March 16, 2008


It' March 16th and where has so much time gone? I finished up work on Friday. What a relief (slow exhale). It has been the craziest term and I'm just so happy to have some time to myself.

My in-laws are visiting now and they're so excited for us. We've had a great time with them. It's only another 6 weeks before we will meet our baby. I'm curious to find out who this little person will be. He or She has been positioned breech for a while now. I've been trying all sorts of crazy things to get him/her to turn. Moxa, acupuncture, tilt board, swimming, handstands while swimming. I've got a chiropractic appointment lined up and a massage. So far no luck. I'm scheduled to see an OB this week. My midwives made the appointment. I think that they want me prepared in case I need a cesarean. I've had a few good cries about that but ultimately, I want this baby born healthy and I'm not willing to take the risks of a breech baby labour with doctors who don't have a lot of experience with breech births. I'm talking to baby, Malcolm's talking to baby. Baby seems to be very comfortable in the same position. I've heard a bit about an external version where the doctor tries to manually turn the baby. I will probably find out more about that at this Tuesday's appointment.

People have tried to reassure me that there's still time and there is still time so I am trying to relax a bit. I don't look forward to a surgery, however, I also know that with "natural" births that there can be problems and the woman can need a c-section. I will get through it if it comes to that.

Head over to the egg, the sperm and the mole to congratulate Anna. She delivered a beautiful baby girl! Also, babymakingblues and Second chances have had their babies too. Incredible. There were times for all of us that we thought it may never happen. Life is certainly mysterious.