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Archive for August, 2012

I thought that if I had another baby, it would be a planned pregnancy. There is so much shock and worry involved in an unplanned pregnancy that I didn’t want to go through it again. Life had other plans. I’m pregnant again, and while I’m very happy to have another baby, I can’t help but wish it was something that came about deliberately rather than accidentally.

Someone I know once told me that no matter how much you love kids, there’s a certain amount of depression that comes with an unplanned pregnancy. This is true. In fact, I felt so ambivalent about this pregnancy at first that I started to feel terribly guilty – until I remembered that you have to make distinctions between the baby and the pregnancy. That’s where my ambivalence was coming from – I wanted the baby, but dreaded going through pregnancy again. My first pregnancy was horrible. I was unprepared for the overwhelming physical changes, the fear, the panic surrounding my life and lifestyle, the huge financial and emotional changes, the impact on my fledgling relationship… I was about as unprepared as you could get.

This time, while many things are different, some things are the same. I had a list of goals to achieve before a second pregnancy. Be fitter and stronger and healthier (which I was working on, but wasn’t where I wanted to be). Have moved to a bigger house (which we were planning to do soon anyway, but moving while pregnant sucks). Have been employed long enough to get paid parental leave (I think I’ll just qualify, but I’m not sure). Have saved some money (um… no). Go on a holiday (we’re still planning a holiday, but it probably won’t be the tropical escape I was dreaming of).

On the brighter side, I feel like I know what is coming this time, so I can be a better advocate for myself. So much of my first pregnancy was filled with uncertainty and illness and physical disability and fear. I had crippling pelvic pain that made it very difficult to walk. Sebastian was an ENORMOUS baby (a condition called Macrosomia), eventually weighing 10lbs 2oz when he was born, and that was a week early – so the final few months of pregnancy I was a swollen blimp in constant pain from him bumping my cervix and putting pressure on my weak and painful pelvis. I had doctors telling me contradictory and frightening things – that there was too much amniotic fluid, which could cause neural tube defects, that surely I MUST have gestational diabetes (even though I tested negative over and over again), that macrosomic babies were invariably premature.

Throughout all of this, nobody would tell us what should be done. I kept having late term ultrasounds that made the ultrasound technicians very worried, because the baby was so big, and yet nothing would happen. Ironically, there’s a procedure in place if a baby is so large because of gestational diabetes – they induce before the baby gets too big. But because Sebastian was big for no reason, they just waited. Which I believe resulted in his potentially life-threatening shoulder dystocia when he was born.
I know all these things in advance now. I can already feel my pelvis starting to twinge, but I’ve been seeing a chiropractor for pelvic adjustments. If that doesn’t work, I’ll keep seeing other practitioners. I refuse to be crippled again. I know this baby will be big, but I also know I’m entitled to a scheduled C-section – which I’ll gladly have, thankyouverymuch, if it will save me and the baby from the shoulder dystocia (him) and tearing and losing  a litre of blood (me).

I’m going to take care of myself this time. When morning sickness kicked in, I went and got the medication straight away, rather than faffing around trying to grin and bear it like I did last time. I know how to manage the hunger and headaches and cravings better. I’m more relaxed, even though this week we had a potentially high-risk result from our ultrasound screening for genetic abnormalities. I mean, that was frightening, but I knew which questions to ask, I knew how to speak up for myself, to deal with the information. And everything is fine, further testing showed I’m actually very low risk, and I felt like Alex and I dealt with the situation pretty well, all things considered.

We’re having a little boy, a brother for Sebastian, and looking at the 3D images on the ultrasound I wanted to cry, because as much as I hate pregnancy, and I wish it were planned, we’re having another beautiful baby, and that’s pretty amazing. It’s a tiny person, who at the moment looks a lot like an alien, but will slowly grow and develop into someone we will hold and love and teach and play with. Isn’t it fantastic, that we can grow a person inside of us and take photos before he is born?

Cute or weird? 13 week ultrasound.

That’s the main thing that is different about this pregnancy, I suppose. Before Sebastian was born, I didn’t know how spectacular and joyful and terrifying and wonderful being a parent really is. This time, I already know how I’ll fall in love with my child and love him more and more each day. And I can’t wait.

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