Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Quite a few months ago I posted about a group of moms that I got together with regularly for play dates with our kids. I loved seeing those friends and getting together so frequently. It made our weeks pass by more quickly and I looked forward to our time spent together. Time flies when you're having fun, right?
About a month and a half ago one of the mommies from our group moved away. Like, 16 hours far away. We were super sad to see her go with her adorable and fun little girls, but that was the plan for their family when they moved to this area two years prior. We all still have a group text going, but the play dates have been much less frequent. In fact, the other mamas and I haven't all gotten together since.
I've tried quite a few times to suggest times or ask if people were free to all get together, but have been unsuccessful. Here's the thing about friendships for me; I don't like to be the one doing all the work. I think a friendship should be mutual with each person keeping up their end. I know there are times when this isn't possible and close friendships allow for that, but this doesn't feel like one of those times. Generally, when I feel like the one doing more work (or all of the work in a friendship), I'm quick to retreat or give up.
My best childhood friend and I finally fell out of contact after years of me feeling like I was holding up the friendship alone. We are still Facebook friends and try to see each other at least once a year, but it makes me sad to think of how things once were.
Maybe I'm too quick to give up and should try harder, but I don't know. My husband is one of the worst people about keeping in contact and maintaining friendships. When we first got together I was definitely the one doing most of the work. Luckily that balance has shifted and things are much more equal now. As for friendships outside of our marriage, nothing there has changed much for him.
Most of my friends in high school or college were guys. I've always gotten along with them better and found friendships to be simpler. At this point in my life, as a stay at home mom, I'm not likely to be making many guy friends, nor do I really want to.
So I guess what I'm saying is I'm ready to give up on these play dates, and perhaps even one of these friendships. One of the friends and I are still getting together and I think we'll continue to stay in touch. As for the other, I guess only time will tell. I know I'm getting tired of feeling like the one that's trying harder.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
When I found out I was pregnant with baby #3 one of the first things I thought about was the possibility of having three children in diapers at the same time. We are a cloth diapering family, so the cost of three in diapers isn't a huge issue, it's more the laundry and time consumed washing diapers.
So, about a month ago I took a trip to Babies R Us and got potties. I bought the Baby Bjorn ones that have a high back as I read they were easy to get on and off of and good for potty training girls.
The first day I brought them home they were obsessed. I had them sitting on them and then Clara stood up and started to pee. Luckily my mom was nearby and grabbed her and put her on the potty to finish the job. We rewarded her with a treat for her success. She was quite pleased with herself. That night she also peed on the potty before her bath.
We started by just getting the girls to sit on them. I was pleased with any amount of time they would sit on them. Lucy will sit for about 3 seconds and get up. Whether she spends a lot of time sitting or not we praise her. Really, my plan was just to get them used to them and hopefully sitting on them, but I wasn't really intending to potty train them. They're only 20 months old.
I hadn't really been pushing the potties and only had them sitting on them before their bath at night (we only have one set of potties that was residing in the upstairs bathroom). Well, the past five nights Clara has successfully peed on the potty before her bath. As she was more and more consistent, I decided to try her during the day. Well, in the past two days Clara has peed almost every time I put her on the potty. She's kept a mainly dry diaper during the day. She even pooped on the potty over the weekend.
She's not telling me she needs to go or showing any signs of knowing. She just pees pretty much every time I put her on the potty. She's been getting rewarded with peanut butter M & M's and she thinks it's pretty great. I'm seriously so proud of my girl!
Lucy is still just sitting for short spurts and occasionally requesting a treat after she does. I might take her a little longer to get it, but either way I'm thrilled she'll willingly sit on it. I'm so proud of the progress my girls are making, especially my peeing superstar Clara!!
Sunday, May 17, 2015
Well, it wasn't the fastest week ever, that's for sure. My days ended up being about 11 hours and I'd be fast asleep on the couch early every night. The first few nights the girls were okay, but by the end of the week they were miserable and super bratty during my time with them. A few nights I questioned why I didn't get a hotel to myself rather than come home to whiney cranky kids.
The reason though was because I missed them like crazy!! Even if they weren't super pleasant to be around, there was no way I was leaving them that long.
I took my test on Friday afternoon. The multiple choice portion was pretty straightforward and easy, but the movie portion with the latch evaluation was trickier. I really hope I do pass it all.
I was so grateful to come home on Friday afternoon to my family and know I didn't have to leave again the next morning. The girls were so happy to have both of their parents home all day.
As wonderful as it is to have free childcare with grandparents, it's crazy how much they can change their behavior in one short week. Hopefully we'll fall back into our old routines and behaviors quickly. Everyone having a cold certainly didn't help.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
This week I'm taking a course to become a CLC or Certified Lactation Counselor. I knew I wanted to pursue becoming a lactation consultant but then was also faced with needing 30 hours of continuing eduction for my speech pathologist state license. In the best interest of time and money I signed up for this course. I lined up childcare with the grandparents, and have been commuting an hour and 15 minutes each way.
The course is Monday-Friday from 8:15-4:30. To say I'm not used to being in a classroom for 8 hrs a day is an understatement. It's also an understatement to say I miss my girls!
Hopefully the week will fly by and the girls will have a great time with their grandparents.
As someone who loves learning , I have to say I'm really enjoying it so far. Crazy to remember all of the obstacles we overcame in order to establish and succeed at breastfeeding. I only hope I can help other moms in the future.
Sunday, May 10, 2015
I can't believe how close to two the girls are getting. They are super busy and it's an understatement to say I'm exhausted at the end of every night.
Lucy- Your vocabulary has really exploded. We made a list of the words you use spontaneously and found there were about 45 words on the list. You've combined a few simple words to create phrases, but you're not yet doing it consistently. You love playing on the playground, exploring the back yard, sliding down the slide, and swinging in your swings. You are great at following directions and consistently do two-step directions without much prompting. You love pulling your toys that have a string and will pull all four around at the same time. You also love carrying and moving your little red plastic chair. Your favorite foods are cheese and orange slices because you can "juice" them. You still love your Elmo and request it as soon as you get in the car every single time. You are still a mama's girl and tend to be more clingly to me. W says you're great when I'm not around. I guess it's just my special treatment. You've really started testing by being defiant at times and will run in the other direction when we tell you it's time to get dressed. You love swim lessons and have started to sing some of the songs from our music class. You're so little yet so coordinated and opinionated. When asked you say you're my "baby" and want to be rocked before bed. It's sweet but you really have a surprise coming this fall.
Clara- You're trying to keep up with the talking and have about 30 words you use spontaneously. You are getting faster and faster at walking and love your animals something fierce. You love on our big dog Togie and chase Pepper around because he doesn't let you love on him as much. The cat also gets lots of hugs and attention from you. You shreech every time you see him. You love to copy your sister and insist on doing everything she does. You are also very loving towards people and will just lean in and hug us often. It's so sweet! You want to be a "big girl" and tell us often. You actually peed on your potty once, but I think it was just good timing. When we put you on it to sit you try so hard to go, pushing your belly in and out. You love fruit (grapes especially) and are a picky eater at times. You love your snack cup and carrying it around everywhere you go. You still like toys that are more of a "project". You spent quite a bit of time transferring items from one container to another the other day. You giggle and enjoy life to the fullest. If I ask you if you're having a good time you exclaim with the cutest giggle or squeal of excitement. You love music class and listening to the songs. You especially enjoy when the instruments come out and cleaning up all of the items. You're really starting to form strong opinions, but I guess that's what being a toddler is all about!
Saturday, May 9, 2015
On Thursday W and I met with another VBAC friendly OB in the Syracuse area. I was given his name through the ICAN group and was looking forward to meeting with someone else and getting another opinion. I was also excited that this practice offered appointments later in the day so that W could come with me.
We unfortunately arrived a bit late due to me not being ready when W got home and encountering a bunch of traffic. The nurse was super friendly and nice and told me to stop apologizing for being late.
She took a urine sample, my weight and blood pressure, and then brought us to a room and told me to undress completely and put a gown on. Being that I was super late for my appointment I didn't argue with her. I knew I was only there to talk with the Dr, so I changed and waited for him.
When he came in my first impressions were fine. We joked about me wearing the gown and he offered to let me change, but I said whatever. In hindsight I really wish I had changed back into my own clothes.
The Dr. spent quite a bit of time with us. He asked about my history and why I wanted to talk with him. In the end, I think he got the complete wrong impression of me and my reasons to want to attempt a VBAC. He said I needed to get over the emotional aspects and that lawsuits were so prevalent in NY state that he wouldn't tell me anything different from my current provider. He said, "The only person who really knows whether your VBAC is successful is your lawyer, two years later." He talked negatively about ICAN and told me I need to "stop talking to groups of women and watching movies." He acted like my blood clotting issues were a huge deal and like they'd be a complication in whether I'd be successful or not. I'm pretty sure he thought the reasons I want a VBAC is so that I can say I had a natural birth. That's not the reason. It has nothing to do with my ego. He basically told me to "get over" the negative experience I had last time.
We left the appointment both feeling disappointed. I think he made a few valid points and got me thinking some, but I would never transfer my care to him. I'm quite sure he didn't want me as his patient either. I guess the feelings were mutual.
To reiterate, I'm not opposed to a c section if I have to have one for my or my babies safety. I'm just opposed to the idea of an unnecessary c section because I reach an arbitrary date.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
I really like my ob's office. They've been great about working with Dr. Braverman, continuing to prescribe necessary medications, referring me out when needed, and getting me in for appointments. I originally picked them with my twin pregnancy in mind. I knew I wanted to deliver at Crouse Hospital where they have a level 3 NICU. I asked multiple people (including my primary doctor) for recommendations. The overwhelming response was this practice.
The practice has 5 drs in it, 2 of them being men. The youngest and newest Dr in the practice was the one to deliver my girls. Even though she wasn't my favorite, she did a great job and would even track me down in the NICU to check up on me the days after delivery.
All in all, when I look back I know I want this delivery to be nothing like my last one. Getting into a car accident and being on Lovenox all meant I needed a emergency c section under general anesthesia. I think having the most conservative doctor on call that day also dictated the way things went.
I'm not going to lie, recovery was rough. I'm sure part of it was that I was in a car accident and was super sore from that, but it was so much worse than I expected. I remember thinking that first night (and beyond to be honest) that I was so grateful someone else was taking care of my babies.
I'd say it took me two weeks before I felt like I could move in bed without abdominal pain or ride in the car without wincing in pain every time we went over a bump. I also stayed 5 nights in the hospital.
Recently I found out about a group called ICAN. This stands for the International Cesarean Awareness Network and one of their goals it to prevent unnecessary cesareans. As crazy as it is, this international group was started here in Syracuse, NY.
I've been in contact with one of the leaders as she teaches both pre-natal and mama baby yoga classes that I have attended many times. She attempted a home VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) this past fall. She ended up being transferred to the hospital for delivery, but didn't have a c section. She also didn't go into labor until she was 42+ weeks. When I found out I was pregnant I contacted her and we got together with our kiddos for lunch.
She gave me the name of providers that were known to be VBAC friendly. At the time, I was still really early in my pregnancy and under the care of Dr. Braverman. I wasn't ready to make any changes to my care due to my level of comfort with my current provider.
A few weeks ago I attended my first ICAN meeting. They showed a documentary called Trial of Labor which really resonated with me. The biggest take home message I got from the movie is that the provider is the biggest factor in VBAC success.
With each of my appointments I've mentioned it. I've tried to talk to all of the different providers in my office to get their opinion. Basically, what I've been told is that if I make it to 41 weeks they will want to schedule a c section. Induction options are limited due to the risk of a uterine rupture, and to be honest, I don't want any unnecessary interventions.
I don't think I realized how traumatic the birth of my girls really was to me until I watched that documentary. They didn't allow my husband in the room so neither of us heard them cry for the first time or saw them enter the world. The anesthesiologist held his hands on my throat as I went under to "keep my airway open", and I woke up disoriented and in a lot of pain. I wasn't able to see my girls for hours after they were born and wasn't able to even hold Lucy until the following day. I'm not sure I'd remember those first encounters if it weren't for the pictures.
I know this time around, if I can control it at all, I don't want my birth experience to be like that.
So, I started calling talking to more people and calling other providers last week. I found another practice that was highly recommended that delivers at Crouse Hospital but is also extremely VBAC friendly. They have an 80% VBAC success rate. I've even heard they try to avoid using the word cesarean. So, I sucked it up and called on Friday. I was so bummed and discouraged when they told me they weren't accepting any patients delivering between May and October.
When I heard that I started thinking. I remembered that one of the Drs in that practice is also a member of our local Multiple Mom's Mingle Group. So, on a whim I wrote her a private message on Facebook. She said she likely wouldn't be able to help to get me in, but we discussed my impressions of my practice and then some alternatives. A few days later I got a new message from her stating that she spoke with her nurse manager. She gave me her name and told me to call her on Tuesday. I haven't made that call yet but I hopeful I may actually be able to get in there.
So, yesterday I had another appointment with my OB to get a B6 injection. I was very upfront with the Dr I saw and told him I was debating switching practices. I asked him what would happen if I reached 41 weeks and so no to a scheduled c section. He then told me they couldn't make me do anything I didn't want. He said they would likely have to monitor me more closely with non-stress tests and inform me of the risks and document that in my chart. In those 5 minutes he used the words "stillborn" and "expired". They couldn't refuse to treat me even if I refused their recommendations.
I'm not sure how I feel about it all. I joked to W that I'm going to feel really dumb for making such a big deal out of all of this if I go into labor on my own before that 41 week mark. But, ultimately, I know what I want for myself and this baby and I know I don't want surgery if I don't have to have it. The thought of taking care of an infant, establishing breastfeeding, and also caring for my toddler twins while recovery from surgery is daunting to say the least. Don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to a cesarean section is it's necessary. I just don't want to sign up one.
I know another step I need to take is finding a doula. I've gotten a few names and plan to research that soon as well.
In addition, I have an appointment scheduled with another VBAC friendly provider in Syracuse (according to ICAN) for this Thursday. I hope to speak with a few different doctors and pick the one I feel I am most comfortable with and that will best support my personal decisions. Why is this so difficult?