Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ready? Or Not?

As I mentioned before, I have been super emotional over the last few days.

And by "super emotional," I mean extremely weepy and also a little snappy.

I scheduled a last-minute session with my grief therapist because I couldn't believe how sad I was feeling (she helpfully reminded me that a good part of it is hormones, and that it's also totally normal that I'd be thinking a lot about Eliza right now).

The hormones also help to explain why I cried at a commercial for an over-50 dating website.  (Because all the single baby boomers deserve love too!!!  Sob.)

Once the tears start, they quickly morph into a hormonal deluge of sadness and grief about how much I miss Eliza, and how I want her here, too.

And once I quit crying, I'm cranky.  Last night I asked David to refill the dogs' water dish, then told him NOT to use my cup to refill it because the whole dish needed to be rinsed and refilled in the sink.  When he asked why I didn't just do it myself if it had to be done a certain way, I yelled, "Because bending over makes me TIRED, DAMMIT!"

Yesterday I felt like I was either crying or actively trying not to cry all day long.  It's been a long time since I've felt like that.  I felt guilty for not being more happy and excited to meet the Deuce, and I still feel so sad that this pregnancy has been perfectly fine and Eliza's just... wasn't.

Beyond the existential crisis of having a baby after losing my first baby, I also have to admit something else.

The idea of being induced has really scared me.

I freaking hate needles, you guys.  HATE them.  It's not the stick.  That's no big deal.  It's not the pain (I would rather slice open my palm with a knife than stick a needle in my vein).  It's the IDEA of something going into my veins.  It is totally mental, I know, but the mere idea makes me feel light headed and completely gags me out.  That was the original reason why I actively researched having a med-free birth when I was pregnant with Eliza.

After doing tons of reading, I decided that I also wanted an intervention-free birth for Eliza because I really thought that was the most ideal scenario for her and for me (and yeah...  anything to avoid needles!).  Even though things are obviously different this time, a huge part of me wanted the same thing for the Deuce.  I don't think I realized how much I wanted that until the induction date got set and became a real thing.

I keep thinking, what if we're forcing something to happen that my body and the baby aren't ready for yet?

But what if my reluctance is just me being selfish and trying to avoid needles?

I'm second guessing everything.  David says I know too much and if I could just turn off my brain, I would be fine.

I did so much reading and research about natural, intervention-free childbirth, that the medical side of it scares me.

But my baby died.  And I don't trust my body to "naturally" take care of this baby.  And I've know so many stories of babies dying in utero that the idea of waiting (and not being induced) scares me even more.

A conversation with my doula upset me, not because she was saying anything wrong, but because she was asking questions and trying to help me think through our decision to induce and I didn't know all of answers (why my doctor would choose one induction drug over another, for example).  I just started crying.

Finally David and I talked some more and decided that after all we've been through, we trust my OB.  I've been seeing him as my OBGYN for years now--since I started grad school.  He was there when Eliza was born.  He's the one who discussed her autopsy results (and the lack of information) with us.  He has seen me through this pregnancy.  In fact, he has seen me every week for the past three months.  He has been a voice of reason and optimism since we first decided to try to get pregnant again, and I believe that every decision he makes is in the best interest of my baby and me.

What it comes down to is that no matter what my reservations are about being induced, I don't want to research my options.  I don't want to read about the different drugs that could be used.  I don't want to second guess my doctor's opinion.  I don't want to ask more questions.  I need some of this to be out of my hands.  I need to believe that a medical professional is in a better place to make a decision than a scared, hormonal, grief-stricken, traumatized pregnant girl (ie. me).  I need to trust someone who not only has a medical degree and decades of experience, but who also knows me, my medical history, and my personality.

I've talked to friends and read stories of births that I would have once considered "terrible" or at least "unfortunate"--pitocin contractions that cut off oxygen to the baby, epidurals that slowed down labor for hours, an epidural that either didn't cut the pain, numbed them only on one side, or left them completely without feeling below the waist, an episiotomy, a vacuum extraction, tearing and a zillion stitches, a c-section that seemed to be more for the doctor's convenience than any other reason, a scheduled c-section that had trouble healing, or a frightening emergency c-section with an epidural that made their teeth chatter so hard they could barely focus on what was going on and left them strapped to a table so they couldn't hold the baby right away.

And you know what?  Every last one of them had a better, happier, sweeter birth story than I had with Eliza.

Because their babies lived.

I went into labor naturally, I had contractions for three and a half hours, I didn't have an epidural or any pain medication, I didn't have pitocin, I pushed three times and she was born.  But NONE OF THAT MATTERED because her heart had already stopped beating.

So today, my eyes are on the prize.  I can't promise there won't be tears, or that a part of me won't wonder about the what-ifs.  But all I want to do is bring this baby home, safe and healthy.  And that's the only part of the birth story that ultimately matters.

Also:  I greatly appreciate your good wishes and I feel your impatience!  I promise the next time I post, I will (knock on wood, spit on the evil eye) be introducing the Deuce.


  1. Don't worry about crying at commercials; I once got weepy watching a college gymnastics meet on TV. And I wasn't pregnant so no hormonal excuse for me. :o)
    I am so glad that you have such a great support system surrounding you, David, the doula, your OBGYN, this blogging community. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way.

  2. Don't worry about crying at commercials; I once got weepy watching a college gymnastics meet on TV. And I wasn't pregnant so no hormonal excuse for me. :o)
    I am so glad that you have such a great support system surrounding you, David, the doula, your OBGYN, this blogging community. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way.

  3. Eyes on the prize, and he/she will be here before you know it! It's normal to hate needles they are invasive--that's the part that makes them suck. But on the day of Deuce's arrival you will be so full of adrenaline none of that will matter. Good luck we are all pulling for you.

  4. Eyes on the prize - exactly. Kind of like Josh's dr's advice to "take the money and run" .... It's after delivery that matters. Go get that lifetime of happiness with the Deuce that Eliza so desperately deserved. You're in good hands.

  5. Deep breaths. Like others have said - eye on the prize. You've endured so much...look at the needles, tell them to eff off, and look the other way. You can do this! I don't even know you, but every day I'm thinking of you and (impatiently) waiting to hear the Deuce announcement.

  6. I am wishing you all the best and thinking of you all the time (in a very nonstalkerish way, despite how that sounded).

    There are so many birth stories floating around-- you can find one to confirm every single worst fear if you look hard enough. I sort of OD'd on birth stories before Cooper was born, and I was so freaking nervous about his delivery that I think that's why he was a week late-- I was so tense and freaked out.

    Eyes on the prize is a great mantra!

  7. For all the terrible induction stories there are far more people who have induced labors that are just fine AND also end with healthy, live babies.
    You've come so far. You've been living with the worst grief possible for the past 18 months. You've survived a long stressful second pregnancy. And now, as you ache with love for both of your babies, you are down to counting hours before holding the Deuce in your arms! Induction, needles, icky veins, labor--you can handle it!

  8. I don't know you either, and I've only ever commented here once before, but I am also obsessively checking in here - have been for the last week. Good wishes are being sent your way from so many different directions and every one has their eyes on that prize with you. Nothing else matters. I wish you nothing but the best, and peace and joy and happiness as you meet the Deuce.


  9. You will do great. The moment will come, and you'll be as zen filled as ever. You are a strong mother already, and you would throw yourself under a bus if that meant having this baby out alive and healthy... So this mental game you are engaged in now focusing on fear and anxiety will melt away when it's go time. You got this!!

  10. Brooke,

    Oh my heart goes out to you. I find the day before the day, so much worse than the day I am anticipating. Christmas Eve this last year just about destroyed me, Christmas Day...manageable.

    There are many unpredictable factors. So many things to think about and allow your mind to run ragged. Being an educated Mama can almost make it worse, as you are constantly looking for things to go wrong. You are right to put your faith in a doctor whom has been there through everything with you, you are right to take things one moment at a time. We are all standing behind you, each of us cheering you on and sending constant support.

  11. Just breathe, lady. We are all behind you. Sending love.

  12. Thinking and praying for you and baby deuce. Let me tell you something about the drug alternatives and all this research we read about. Honestly, I think after so much of reading and thinking that I have known so much, I only realized I have learnt things that are totally fuzzy. The other day I was talking to my doctor about Baby aspirin and why all pregnant women are not aware of that. He said, because of a research paper that did not have good analysis of the experiments done on baby aspirin, causing regular OB/GYN to shun the medication. My husband is into immunology as a researcher and he says he has read and validated that quite many top impact factor papers are not entirely correct; some facts are not noticed just to make it to the top journals! That said, I think it makes sense not to totally believe these researches and base your decisions on them; rather believe in people you love and trust. It will make things very easy. After all every one is different. I know easier said than done, because, I live this dilemma quite a lot these days!
    I hope everything will turn out perfectly well and we get to see the little celebrity soon!

  13. I totally hear you about the "things being pumped into my veins" thing. I knew from the start I didn't want an epidural because the idea of "needle in my spine" squeeged me out way too much. I figured childbirth couldn't be nearly that bad. (And it wasn't. There was a period of about 30-45 minutes where I was thinking "I made the wrong decision, if I have to keep doing this for another 6-8 hours I don't know how I'll survive", but then the midwife arrived, did a check, and announced that I was 9.5cm. To which I replied "Thank God!")

    I'm glad that you trust your OB. In the end, that's what will matter: You'll do what needs to be done because you'll know it needs to be done because you'll be told this by people you trust. I was really lucky that when things went a bit pear-shaped and we ended up at the hospital, the staff there put me completely at ease, answered all my questions, stopped poking when I said "don't poke me there during a contradiction THAT HURTS", didn't do any interventions until they had my I didn't end up with the birth I expected, but it doesn't bother me and it never had because I was reassured at every step that this was what needed to be done. I hope the trust you have in your OB will allow you to be able to feel comfortable with however things end up going for you.

    FWIW, when we got to the hospital they hooked me up to pitocin, and it gave my pushing contractions the strength they needed, and didn't have without, in order to get the job done, the entire time Gwen's heartbeat was being monitored and she never gave any indication of being uncomfortable, and because the contractions were actually doing something I felt *so much better*. So while it wasn't exactly the same as getting pitocin as part of an induction, here's a happy story about getting it at some point during labor. I also had a vacuum extraction, an episiotomy and stitches. Without the vacuum to turn her just a smidge, she wouldn't have come out on her own, the episiotomy prevented me from tearing much worse when the vacuum was used, and while I was pretty uncomfortable for about a week afterwards, after that things got much much better and all the remains is an occasional slight "strange" feeling around the incision.

    Good luck! You can do it! And we can't wait to meet the Deuce.

  14. Having someone you trust is so crucial, I'm glad you have that. Hang in there - you're really almost there.

  15. I've never commented before although I have been reading for a long time and, like many who've posted comments, have been thinking of you a lot these past few weeks. I just wanted to say that I am sending you all love and strength and good thoughts at this time, and look forward very much to hearing about when you finally get to meet the Deuce.


  16. Maybe it's me feeling empathetic... but I've been weepy all day today. I read Renel's post and Caroline's post about their babies' birthdays and it's Thursday and I'm just having a long week and the doctors were a-holes to me and I'm just so emotional too.

    I miss Andrew and I'm just still really sad that he's not here and Eliza's not here and the world is not what it should be.

    And frankly, I'm angry about it.

    Wishing for Eliza's brother or sister to be here soon in the most noninvasive way possible with as few needles as possible.

  17. You are so ready! You are going to meet this baby So soon! I am SO EXCITED for you!

    But, I really relate to the whole not wanting to do any more research stuff. Like you, I researched and read and made birth plans and had everything figured out with Kayla, and then she died. This time I do have an ideal scenario in my head, but as long as it ends with a living baby, the rest is just details to me. I trust my doctor and will make decisions as they come.

    Can't wait to read your birth story, it will be perfect, whatever way it happens!

  18. That is my EXACT fear about needles too! I have articulated that to many a person and they just don't get it. But come on, metal does not belong in veins! Similarly, that little wisp of plastic used for the epidural does not belong in my spine...for hours. Creepy.

    Of course, given my fear of needles and that I cry most times I have blood drawn, I would have to be diagnosed with a clotting disorder (that likely caused our daughter's death) and inject myself with blood thinners every day of pregnancy. Somehow being in control of the needle and the fact that it goes into fat, not veins makes it bearable. Plus, I'll do anything to have these babies live.

    I'm only 12 weeks into my pregnancy and can only imagine being so close to induction. The anxiety now is intense and seems to magnify with each passing day. I really feel for you and am cheering you on from afar.

    I hope to hear good news from you soon!

  19. If it's any consolation I was crying at Nanny McPhee Returns this morning. And 50 year olds do deserve love!!

    Sending light and love and a magic delivery.

  20. Oh Brooke. I can't believe it was almost a year ago this time that you texted me about your BFP and now here we are waiting for Deuce to be born! (You better text me after he/she is born and you've notified the most important people like your parents, etc. I don't care if it's 4 am...that's Luke's witching hour anyway, I want that text! I am going to be anxiously glued to my phone! Also, I know you probably want to wait and see how you feel but I can't wait to come see you and that sweet little brother or sister to Miss Eliza, I have been contemplating baby gifts for you for a very long time now!)

    Anyway...the emotional stuff is normal. This is emotional. And scary. Freaking terrifying. In a way, I got lucky that my water broke unexpectedly because I suddenly had no time to stress or worry about it, we just knew we had to get to the hospital and it was a whirlwind and then he was here. I am thinking of you both. It will be fine.

  21. You will definitely make the very best choice for you and the deuce. With my second pregnancy, I also gave up the "natural" pregnancy/birth idea because more than a good experience, I wanted a living baby.

    The needles stung, the contractions hurt, and the emergency c-section recovery was brutal. But those discomforts were so absolutely meaningless and fleeting now that my daughter is here, I can barely remember them (JK-- I'm never gonna forget those contrax).

    I felt very similarly in that I didn't want to do anymore "research" or "educate myself" further on childbirth. I wanted to let my trusted OBs do their jobs and get my girl out safely and they did.

    Good luck!

  22. Eyes on the prize - that's exactly it. The last thing I ever wanted was two caesareans, but I got them and I have two live babies as a result. The lovely natural birth I wanted resulted in my stillborn child, and I know which experience I'd chose time and time again.
    Hoping for a straight forward,easy birth (because ultimately that is still the goal!) and a very happy and healthy baby Deuce, who we all get to say hello to in the next post!

  23. I'd take the needles for you if I could. I don't know that fear. I only know the fear in not being sure if this one is for keeps, but wishing with my whole heart that she is. I can not wait for you and David to experience the living, screaming, hollering person that will be the Deuce. I can't wait for your nipples to crack and hurt, and for you to be a crying, mess in the weeks that follow tonight and tomorrow.

    You are going to rock this induction, you are going to be one hell of a mother to Eliza's little brother or sister. :) You know I'm not religious, but I truly believe Eliza will be there with you every step of the way.

    Good luck to you guys and sending so much love.


  24. Your delivery experience with Eliza seems very like mine; despite a pithy explanation.

    WHATEVER it takes to get a healthy Deuce here, that's what you have to do...needles and all (and I'm sorry you're so afraid of them).

    I am thinking about you, too; I don't have a blog of my own but you are one of those blogs that I always prefer to read.

    All of us wait with baited breath. You will kick this inductions ass!


  25. Thinking of you Brooke! I can't wait to see The Deuce's introduction!

  26. Holy schnikies lady... You will have deuce TOMORROW! I can hardly believe it and yet I am so looking forward to beautiful news. I am sending love and hope and peace as you transition into this next phase of mamahood. GOOD LUCK!!!

  27. My baby Ms and I are watching out for you from above and right here on the ground.
    I don't know what else to say except that I want this baby for you, and David, and Eliza so very much.

  28. Can. Not. Wait!!!!!! Anxiously awaiting news of the Deuces safe arrival. Man, it's going to be so weird to call him/her something other than "the deuce"!! Lots of love to you Brookester!!


  29. I wish I had the focus right now to comment more because there is a lot to say... But It is 3am and I am sleep deprived for the best possible most wonderful reason in the world, and I wish with all my heart that you will be where I am in just a short time <3

  30. Good luck with everything today! Can't wait to hear of your sweet little Deuce's arrival. Lots of prayers to you guys!!!

  31. Anxiously awaiting news!! Sending my love!!

  32. wishing for an uneventful labor and birth. i can't wait to see pics of sweet little Deuce.

  33. Thinking of you. Can't wait to hear the news. <3

  34. I keep checking on your blog... Your stats will be through the roof. Thinking of you.

  35. Checking in - constantly! Hope you're doing well, along with anyone new that might be with you :) sending love!

  36. I've only commented a couple times but I've been following you throughout this pregnancy and I cannot wait to hear your news. You deserve all the love and joy that this baby's birth will bring, and I know your sweet Eliza will be right there with you.

    Good luck! I'm hoping that you've already had the baby by now but if not, I am sending you good labor vibes! So exciting!

  37. Brooke,

    Anxiously awaiting news. I hope everything is going well. Thinking of you, David, Eliza and Duece.

  38. You are almost there.. can't wait to meet the little one!!