Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A new perspective on a big decision

You may or may not know it, but something has been weighing heavily on my mind for months. It's been there daily-this decision that needs to be made. Just when I had "convinced" myself that I had found the right choice for me and for my family, someone flipped the switch in my head and I've gained a whole new perspective.

So what is it? What is this big choice that's been eating at me a little bit day in and day out? Don't laugh, but I've been trying to decide whether to have a repeat C-Section, or attempt a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean).

Labor with my daughter was grueling! 23 and 1/2 hours of laboring, 2 and 1/2 hours of pushing, forecepts, and she got stuck! My temperature rose rapidly, and I had to be taken in for an emergency C-Section. I thought labor was rough, but the Cesarean was nothing short of a nightmare. I got a "high" spinal, and my lungs were paralyzed. I was in distress, nearly intibated, and my husband was taken in and out of the room-scared out of his mind. The end result, though, was a beautiful, healthy 7b 8 oz baby girl, and all was soon forgotten. Recovery itself wasn't all that bad. But the memory still sticks with me, and I swore I'd never put myself through a C-Section again if I didn't have to.

Fast forward 2 years and 3 months. My scar as all but faded, I'm 15 weeks pregnant, and facing the decision of how to have baby #2. I was all gung-ho on having a VBAC, and then I went in for my 9 week ultrasound. I love my OB-he is truly wonderful. He will support either decision I make wholeheartedly, but he gave me some startling facts. 1.5% of women hemorrhage, and a startling percentage of those, and/or their newborn babies, die. If a surgical procedure has more than a 1% chance of death, it is not allowed to even be performed. So, if my VBAC were a surgery, my doctor wouldn't even be allowed to do it-it would be too risky.

But the clincher for me was what I'd have to do in order to have the VBAC. I wouldn't mind laboring for another whole day. I wouldn't mind pushing for another 2 hours. But in order to have the VBAC, I would have to sit and write in my medical chart the following: "I, Angela Smith, understand that attempting a VBAC carries a significant risk of rupture, which could ultimately result in the death of my baby and/or me."

I tried to practice writing that today. I could not do it. Heck-I could barely even type it. My thoughts went immediately to my husband and 2-year old daughter. And now all I can think is how selfish of me that would be to rob them of a wife, mother, or sibling. I can't even remember why I cared so much about having the VBAC in the first place. Sure-I'd love to experience having a baby naturally! It would be wonderful. We're having this child because we want to expand our family-I don't want to risk taking any one piece of that away. Not after 19 months of trying, and three heartbreaking losses.

The first time around, I never thought I'd be one of the 3% of women who need an emergency Cesarean. And I don't want to even think about being the 1.5% of women who face something catastrophic from a VBAC. That chilling thought resonates within me.

I admire the women out there who try and succeed. I guess I just don't have your courage. Or maybe I just have courage of a different kind-courage to know my limits.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A much-needed weekend away!

I'm happy to say that I had a WONDERFUL weekend.

Dave and I decided this past week that the three of us were going to get a place on the beach for the weekend and kick back for a few days and relax.

The weekend started off pretty shaky. I had a procedure done on Thursday, and was feeling pretty awful Friday. Still in a lot of pain, and sick from the pain medication. I was kind of afraid I'd ruin the weekend. But we headed out of work early Friday afternoon nonetheless, and made our way down to the beach. I figured that if nothing else, it would do me some good to just sit around and relax for a few days without having to worry about anything.

The weather forecast wasn't very promising. Rain, all weekend. We didn't care though! We had a nice dinner at a Carribean Resturant on Friday night, and headed back to the condo to relax. We put Kaydie to bed, and sat out on the patio to listen to the waves and have a glass (or two) of wine.

We woke up Saturday, and it was still pretty foggy and rainy. We could see the caps of the waves, and hear them, but couldn't see much else. We sat out again, and had some coffee and just took it all in. I love the scent of the ocean!!!

Next, we headed to a seafood resturant for lunch, where I devoured more Alaskan King Crab legs than I have ever seen in my life, combined :-) Then, it was off to Fort Fisher, and the Aquarium. We thought Kaydie would like that!

To say she liked it was pretty much the understatement of the year. She had a BLAST. It was such a beautiful, cute aquarium. She just kept saying "whoa!" and "look, mommy-fishies!! Swim! Swim!" We also heard a lot of "Get IN!" (she wanted to get in the tanks, too).

We were there for hours. (How do you like the creepy picture of the fish staring at Kaydence?!?!)

She just about fell asleep the minute we got in the car.
Next, we drove to Downtown Wilmington and figured we'd just sightsee while Kaydence napped in her carseat. After an hour or so, she woke up, and we stopped at a cute little indoor-outdoor shopping area called the Cotton Exchange to get a cup of coffee and relax. After we left there, it was still raining, so I looked online and found a Monkey Joes. Dave didn't really want to go there, but once we got there, he was a bigger kid than ANYONE. He and I took turns taking Kaydie up and down the HUGE slides. She has no fear, its amazing. Here she is riding the dinosaur:

We got some dinner, and relaxed. I was secretly a little bummed that it had rained all day, and that we hadn't gotten to take Kaydie on the beach at all. We all snuggled up and watched the little mermaid together, and headed off to bed.

I woke up this morning to the scent of coffee (mmmm). Dave had gotten up with Kaydie and let me sleep. She finally came in and said "Mommy, get UP" and I had to laugh. I got up, and had some coffee and watched the thunderstorm that had rolled in over the ocean. Looked like there was going to be no beach walking for us this weekend. However, miraculously, just as we were cleaning and packing to leave, all of the storms broke, and it cleared up. We had a beautiful view from our patio!! And we were able to take Kaydie down to the beach, after all.

And even better, I already found out I have the day off tomorrow, as we are supposed to get several inches of snow. So my family weekend has just gotten longer!

Its amazing how good it feels to just have family weekends sometimes, with no time restraints, or plans...just time spent together.

:-) I'm one happy mama!

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Leave Earlier!"

This note goes out to the girl on I-40 today, who was driving like an absolute moron! It goes a little something like this...

I don't know who you are, or rather, who you THINK you are. You must really think you're something special. You must have a great sense of entitlement to drive the way you were driving today, and to think that was actually okay.

First, you were in such a hurry to get around the truck in front of you (who by the way was doing a hearty 75MPH in the lane), that you tried to share my little lane with me, forcing me to nearly hit the cement median. Then, you threw your hands up in despair (I suppose wondering why my car and I wouldn't dissapear into thin air so you could continue over), and you sweved three lanes over to the "on-ramp". I thought you were finally a thing of the past. I thought wrong. I guess the far RIGHT lane didn't work out for you either, because two minutes later, you were behind me again. I guess I should rephrase that. You were practically in my backseat!

Newsflash...if I can see and count the hair on your upper lip in my rearview mirror, you are TOO CLOSE! (Not to mention you could use a wax-job).

Finally, you found a hole and got by. I watched you about a quarter of a mile ahead, bobbing and weaving and near-missing about fifteen to twenty other cars. The sea of red brakelights in your wake was a testement to how awful you were truly driving.

Well, little miss, here's something to think about. Judging by your blatant disregard for human safety, you've never thought about it before.

I am somebody's mother. I have a daughter who depends on me, and loves me, and looks up to me, and NEEDS me. I am somebody's wife. I am somebody's sister, somebody's daughter, and somebody's friend. Someday soon, I will be a nurse, and then I will be somebody's chance for hope. And I am not alone. Everyday, you share that same highway with thousands of people. Thousands of people who are also somebody's everything.

What gives you the right to get in your car, and drive with reckless abandon, not to mention, in the blinding Westward sunlight of a four to five lane highway?

What gives you the right to endanger so many lives? I am infuriated at your audacity. I am scared that I, or someone I love, might have to share the road with you again some day soon.

There is no need to drive like that. Again, I don't know who you are, or who you THINK you are, but if you need to get somewhere so badly, LEAVE EARLIER and respect others while you're driving.

So many people have so much to lose as a result of your careless behavior....