Struggle

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Today, I struggle.

Pregnancy is somewhat blissful for me. As an adolescent I had pretty severe depression. It was heavier in the Spring, which is unusual. I was medicated, somewhat heavily, through the end of middle school to help me but nothing ever worked they way one wants it to. The depression was never really gone. As a teenager my depression was triggered by nearly everything, but especially social interaction. Add to that low self-esteem and body image issues because I was a big girl surrounded by tiny girl friends, and you get a bit of a recipe for disaster, in my case at least. This isn't the time for all the hairy details, but it got bad. Really bad. I reached a turning point after a slight disaster and then a bit of a miracle - the opportunity to spend time with my newborn niece. Everything didn't magically get better overnight, but slowly the changes came. It was this time in my life that I started going the more natural route. I stopped taking the medications (that weren't working) and I was more aware of the over the counter pain killers and cold remedies that I chose. I'm not saying I always made good choices, but the awareness started then.

Alright so that is a little off topic, but the point is... emotionally things were rough for a really long time. Things were still rough, mainly in the spring, as I came into adulthood. There were still rough patches and times of depression in the year I became pregnant with my son.

After discovering we were pregnant the first time, I was terrified. I was worried I would be more susceptible to postpartum depression. I worried what life would be like having a low point with a new baby. I worried I would fail as a mother.

To my surprise, and the surprise of my now husband and likely my family as well, pregnancy was mostly happiness. Rainbows, unicorns, you get the picture. Of course there were stresses. Actually, there were extreme stresses (thus the preterm birth). But in spite of all the stress and the emotions and hormones from those stress there were no low times. None, nada, nilche. It was like... I was normal.Okay seriously, what is really normal. But for the sake of delivering this message we will just stick with that analogy. Even after the birth of my son, there came no low points. There was definite hardship, and struggle, and stress. I did have some self doubts, and blame, and many other not so pleasant emotions surrounding his birth, or really the fact that he was 5 weeks early. But even with all of that there was no depression. In fact, 2 years later and some change there still hasn't been any actual depression. At least, nothing that lasted longer than a day or so, or that wasn't cured by chocolate or ice cream or a day out with the girls. You know... normal things. Well... I assume they are normal I guess. Again, you get the picture. (I hope).

This pregnancy has also been happiness. Unicorns, and rainbows, and puffy clouds, and puddles to jump in, rain to dance in, etc. These are a few of my favorite things... you get it? In fact... there hasn't been any serious stress like during my last pregnancy. The only real stress that I feel is worry. I am worried about having another preterm birth. This is a normal worry. Through the worry, and through some modern medical technologies, I am trusting my body. I learning to trust that my body knows when and how to deliver this baby. That my body and the baby I am growing inside me will be able to decide when it is right to be born. My son did, he needed to be born and so together with my body that happened. It happened early, but I can see and accept, now, that there was a reason for that.

A test of this trust in my body is coming up. One that will either reassure me, or could potentially leave me doubting my body and its ability to properly house and grow and protect my baby. On Friday I have an ultrasound scheduled. One extra ultrasound. How can an ultrasound be such a test in this trust? The ultrasound isn't to check on Little Bean, to see her little toes or watch her precious heart beat. This ultrasound is to measure the length of my cervix. You see, in some women, preterm labor can be caused by an early shortening of the cervix. The closer you get to birth, the shorter the cervix becomes. With that is softening and dilating and all of that great stuff. But when that great stuff starts to happen too early, it can mean trouble. Can. Not always, not with everyone, but sometimes.


And so.... I'm nervous. I'm anxious. But I'm not struggling because of that.


Well then what was the show for, hmmm?! I'm getting there.

I'm struggling over the birth path we are on. This appointment seems to be contributing to it, obviously since I intended to come here and just complain about our birth arrangement and out came all of that.

Initially, I wanted my second birth to be at the Birth Center. With a midwife, and a doula, in a peaceful and serene environment. With water, and candles, and music, etc. You know, very zen, very empowering. Unfortunately, our finances have yet to align with the cosmos for our birth. They likely wont. We don't have insurance, and since we can't afford to pay for this out of pocket we applied for and received FAMIS coverage. It's like a step above medicaid. State provided (or is it federal? I'm pretty sure it is state) medical coverage - with a co-pay and a deductible. Sort of an in-between insurance set up. I am beyond grateful for this.  Unfortunately, this also meant the Birth Center birth was taken off the table. FAMIS doesn't cover birth centers, and we can't afford that out of pocket either.

I'm becoming increasingly frustrated this week with not being able to have the birth I feel is right for us and this baby, because of money. It troubles me to my core that the barrier between the wonderful zen birth I have imagined and the birth we are planning is a little bit of cash. Okay, it is quite a bit of cash. That doesn't mean we aren't still planning an awesome hospital birth, because we are. I'm still planning candles and music and hopefully water. While we are delivering at the same hospital as we did before, it is a new building. We haven't toured it yet but from what I hear it is very beautiful, with wonderful views and a peaceful setting in the delivery rooms. We will see. In fact... I'm going to schedule that tour today.... Anyhow, I am struggling and a little down in the dumps today because I suppose I am pouting. My husband doesn't want a doula, I can't have a midwife, and the facility I wanted to birth in and the care difference I hoped to receive this time is not available to us because of finances. 

It is time to just put my big girl panties on and deal. But for today, I'll pout.



Side note: I bought some maternity panties the other day. WHOAH the difference. Fluffy moms... I'm highly recommending this thing called the foldover brief. It is a panty with a waist that can be folded and tucked below belly (or under the hang as I say - some of you will get that) OR you can leave it up... and guess what happens when you leave it up??? It stays!!! I'm amazed. I found mine at Motherhood Maternity, but I'm sure they are available elsewhere too.

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