Performative Grit

I’m not sure I mentioned this earlier but I did decide to get an elective section with my baby. She was transverse, then breach, she never went head down and never went down. I did all the miles of walking, bouncing and standing on my head stunts and nothing. My ob-gyn presented my options of trying to turn her through an external cephalic version, presented the risks and mentioned that in my case the probability of turning her successfully were low and chances of them having to induce labor and/or going into an emergency section were high so her medical opinion was to get a scheduled c-section.

I mean- I had a low risk quotient on this pregnancy- so I went along. It was only then that I saw that the world around me seemed to have a stigma around elective sections. I heard all these women talk about all natural births without epidurals, hypno-birthing, birthing in the wild and delivering at home in their bath tub. I mean, sure if that’s what works for you- go for it. Don’t get me wrong here- I’m all for ‘live and let live‘ and two of my best friends had medication-free deliveries- one of them even did it twice- but there is something here about women wanting and needing to endure and do it all- that seems to be at the crux of it all. I heard the term ‘performative grit‘ today and yeah, it kind of made sense. Maybe some of us love pain and want to see how much we can push ourselves and our bodies, maybe we can do it all- more power to us. But maybe we should not judge each other anymore for the choices we all make or have to make and just support each other?

The goal is to safely bring these beautiful precious gifts into the world and each one of us is going to have a unique experience- after all we are all crating unique beings aren’t we? How we choose to do it seems to be a created first world problem that we all can easily deal with. The fact that we are given that choice is a gift and we should definitely learn to cherish that.

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Coming back- with gratitude and acceptance

It took me close to 3.5 years to come back to this blog but I am back. There is no post I could write that can capture these last few years in a nutshell so I won’t even try. I just want to capture the Chronicles of motherhood from the moment of the now and maybe if I find snippets that I find from the last couple of years to explain what it has been like, I’ll sneak them in here.

I asked her today, “what you want to be when you grow up?” She’d told me earlier- that she wanted to be a doctor for animals (she hadn’t learnt the word vet yet), she wants to go to Saturn (astronaut?), she wants to be a teacher and I was expecting some variation of that in this conversation. But she looked me in the eyes and said I want to be a mama. My initial reaction was shock- That’s not a job, I thought. I hope you can be one if you want to, but what do you want to do? I stopped. I noticed myself becoming my father- “an artist is a hobby”, he said “not a profession”. Well, I have many ways I want to react to my daughter’s answer- and not the gut reaction I had. So let me stop again and reevaluate my response.

First- “You be you, girl”. And don’t let anyone else, even me tell you what you should want to be. EVER! You be anyone or anything you want- you live life on your terms. Just remember ‘kindness, grace and gratitude’- that will take you far- be cognizant and respectful of others but on your terms.

Secondly- thank you, my darling. I notice my need for appreciation, my thirst for it and me sweeping it under the carpet whenever I do get it- saying “bah, it’s nothing.” No more. I shall stop. I shall say- Thank you for wanting my job- it was hard for me to get, hard for me to learn to do it right, it is a job whose parameters are constantly changing, it’s tough to keep up and feel fulfilled- but it is a precious job and I must be doing it well, because you want it. So, thank you!

And Lastly- I am sorry I can’t give you a sibling to practice on- I was sorry for my husband when I couldn’t make him a dad and for my parents and in-laws when I couldn’t give them a grandchild and for me- when I couldn’t be a mama. But now I have you. I eventually did it. I am grateful for you and for a couple of years again I tried getting you that sibling. But I’ve reached my limit with the IVF. I’ve maxed out the pushing. I’m sorry I can’t give you a sister. The reason I’m sorriest for this one, is that I don’t want to try anymore. I love you with my entire being and I want to fulfill your every desire, but for this one again, I’m sorry.

 

Winter Always Turns To Spring. -Nichiren Daishonen

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Transverse lie at 37 weeks

star is born

Transverse- what does it change?

My angelic bub and wonderful pregnancy just got a small blip. As the D-day approaches- the doc last week ordered an ultrasound as she could not feel the baby through the cervix. It is cause she is lying hammock style with her head on the right and enjoying it so much that she hasn’t moved an inch yet.

So, what do you do when your baby is in a less than ideal position for a vaginal birth

1- Make sure everything else is well– good weight, cord is fine, placenta is good, etc. That is the doctors job and you nod along. the strange thing is my belly looks completely normal like she is head down and not jutting out on the sides but that’s the way bub is!

2- Google vicariously– post doctor visit, which takes you to spinning babies, acupuncture, chiropractors, external cephalic versions and statistics. More on each option…

3- Spinning babies– what made sense to me and I’m trying- Walking a lot, if its cold out- head to the gym and get on an elliptical, watch my posture, bounce on birthing ball, try some inversions and positions to open up the pelvic cavity, sleep on left side, and a few other things. But because she’s my first,  and I’m of slight build I don’t think there is much room for the bub to move in there.

4- Acupuncture– I can’t budge DH on this, but going to try again next week. Chiropractors, I’m not too convinced myself so…

5- Statistics say that 80% of babies that are still transverse at 37 weeks, turn before you go into labor. Those are pretty promising numbers- though I wonder how many of those are first time moms, on the smaller side and have a retroverted uterus? I also have baby with a head size that’s on the normal high side- which means a little on the larger side, so that adds another dimension to this dynamic… I’m not sure how good my chances are but we will find out soon enough.

6- I have an external cephalic version scheduled with my obgyn in 10 days where she will try to turn the munchkin. The risks sound manageable, the pain bearable and the challenge will also be in keeping her in that position till labor commences. The good thing is by then DH will be on leave and mom will be here to support so we can focus on putting our best efforts forward.

7- Conditioning my mind that the worst case scenario will still get me what I want- My number 1 thing I want is a healthy baby. Whether that is via c-section or vaginal birth is irrelevant. A vaginal birth would be better, easier recovery and good to have, but that is not my end goal. So, I’m keeping my eye on the prize at this point and going with the flow. Which does not mean I wont try my best to get her to turn and stay that way but if that’s the way she wants to stay, then that’s what it is.

 

 

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34 weeks soon and this just got real!

We had a lovely 5 days in Puerto Rico- a work retreat for my husband and pure sun and fun for me. I met someone who delivered her healthy baby girl at 29 weeks a few months back. And I feel that my daughter just got even more real 🙂 I mean I’ve been feeling maternal since Day 1 – but cautious optimism be damned- now I’m seriously excited.

Last weekend’s agenda was planning baby’s nursery and checking out some furniture stores. We found (through a friend’s recommendation) an awesome store that supplies to all the major furniture stores and sells from its outlet at discounted pricing… So a small convertible crib (infant to toddler) and a dresser (with changing pad) is on the cards. As is a wall decal and carpet, maybe a small bookshelf?  The basic stuff is all white and grey with splashes of green and pink. I am still debating on the usefulness of a glider/ rocker for feeding (expensive and large item) but feeding mom-friends say it is a must have. I love aesthetic and building a home so this stuff falls in the ‘important-for-me’ category.

Nursery design

Nursery design

Of course, in typical DH style, we measure and re-measure everything 10 times and create floor plans to make sure it all fits and no surprises. The room is currently in a passage-way that has access to two other rooms and a long access to living space too. This will give all visiting family a comfortable queen bed to be in and have easy access to baby. Hopefully she will be a deep sleeper like mommy and not too bothered by sound. The washer/dryer and HVAC are close by and can provide her with all the white noise she needs 🙂

Looking forward to watch this room come to life? I am too!

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6 Things that infertility resolved for me

rainbow

“Walk on a rainbow trail; walk on a trail of song, and all about you will be beauty. There is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow trail.” Robert Motherwell

 As I sport my 31-week old belly and feel radiant and glowing- I waddle around speaking to other moms-to-be and love their discussions about things they want or don’t want- their preferences and things that plague them.

I hope not to sound critical of the things that matter to them and I’m sure I’d be in the same boat had I not struggled the way I did for 4 years. So, infertility makes me think and feel and care about different things. Here are my top 6 things I really don’t care about

1- Birth experience- I tried to fill out a Birth plan this week and realized that I didn’t really care about most things on that form. I want to educate myself on what can happen and prepare for everything I possibly can but I don’t have an ideal birth in my head- I just want a healthy, happy baby and the love of my husband in the room to support us. And I am willing to go through whatever is in store for me to bring this child into the world.

2- Gender- Yes, we found out in a test at 12 weeks but that was to just get it out of the way. I don’t think I could have been happier one way or another- maybe 4 years ago I had a girl bias- but at this point I just want my loving healthy baby in my arms.

3- Baby Shower- I feel special in that after my long struggle, I am finally being given this warm, loving, squealing, pooping bundle to call mine. Moms-to-be call the baby shower their special day- I have felt incredibly fortunate and special every day for the past 9 months. I haven’t expressed any crazy cravings or wanted presents because I’m getting what I most desperately want, anyway. Also, I know as I struggled how those showers made me feel- I could resent bumps but never babies and I don’t want to make anyone else feel that way- even accidentally.

4- Babymoon– I know some of the advice coming my way is to go for that last vacation together and it kind of worked out that we are taking a short trip but it was never planned as a babymoon. After 9 years of marriage, we both have had the holidays we want and don’t think we will stop traveling after baby comes- just the nature, focus and things we can get done on a vacation will definitely change. And I understand and fully accept that and am not really daunted by it. In fact our last few trips had friends’ kids in it- so I think the nature of the holidays has already started to change for us…

5- Losing sleep, life and everything else – small disclaimer here- this is how I feel now- after the first 3 months of sleep deprivation- don’t hold me to it. Everyone talks about endless sleepless nights and unable to do so many things and I feel I am past that- I am willing to lose sleep, change diapers, rock and walk and shush and pat till the cows come home- I hope not to spoil and parent lovingly and firmly and have ideals on the kind of parent I want to be- as do most people but I’m willing to flex them for the kind of child I have.

6- Breastfeed or Bottle feed– I am a bit obsessed currently with breastfeeding because I have read a lot about the benefits, financial and physical ease of doing so and I plan to drive myself crazy till it happens perfectly (as I know it’s probably too easy to quit) but bottle/ formula is an option if push comes to shove. My darling nephew was bottle fed and is a healthy 8/yo. My husband is a healthy, happy, attached adult and he had to be bottle fed- so though I have a strong preference- I will make do with what life hands me.

I am so excited to be so close and hope I can carry her till 40 weeks- so that I have a nice, healthy child and can prolong the joys of pregnancy till the very end.

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Gestational diabetes- Part 2

I took the follow-up Glucose Test after my abnormal screening test result last week. This involved 8-hour fasting, which just required me to go to the clinic on an empty tummy (nothing by mouth other than water)- give blood 4 times: one fasting and then, over 3-hour intervals. And yeah, stay hungry and not drink water the entire time. Phew. The Good news, all clear- the levels were on the lower side of the range. The Bad, well- it wasn’t easy. the drink was double concentrated from the last test and made me feel nauseous and dizzy. The lab tech told me that it would get the baby super excited and I would feel a lot of activity and I felt nothing for the first hour- which to my neurotic self was a bit scary.

On a better note, I asked if I could lie down after the first hour- and they were kind enough to accommodate me. So, that little hurdle- now overcome- is behind me.

And we can get back to happier and more fun things.

A growing belly- that is now too obvious to miss. Evening activity where I feel so much movement. Cuddles with the hubby- where he feels his daughter kick around. All very sweet and fun. Even more so, because there was a time I wasn’t sure I would ever feel it. And now that I am on the other side of viability- I feel more confident- about everything.

What am I doing right now besides making art? Eating right and exercising. Meeting friends, dining out and watching movies. And making future plans- Travel, nursery, classes for childbirth, doula options, and reading a lot about parenting and hanging out with new parents. Reading is more theoretical to equip my arsenal with strategies I may need to be a FTM and hanging out to see the practical realities of what it might be like. Holding a newborn is just incomparable to any feeling in the world- and I’m happy to be able to do it without any trace of negative emotion in me now… I hope to keep writing in my gratitude journal till I can, so even on tough days- I can remember what I’m grateful for.

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Gestational Diabetes

So- I took the test last Friday- drank that awful sweet glucose, and waited. The doctors appointment itself was uneventful. Lovely heartbeat on the doppler, good fundal measurements, flutters and those yummy flicks of movements.

But just got a call this morning that had me back on the computer and reading up. I tested at 140 at the gd screening test (while the norm that the doc likes is below 135) so I go back for a detailed test this Thursday. Fasting, glucose, three blood draws at an hour intervals each… Sigh!

I’m hoping that the levels were just slightly off as I don’t seem to have any other risk factors- not overweight, no history of diabetes, good workout regime, etc. So, fingers crossed that its another one of those minor things to manage and nothing to worry about.

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