Tuesday, June 26, 2007

ready or not

I'm "tentatively" scheduled for a c-section tomorrow afternoon.

It's completely surreal.

When the hospital called this morning to tell me my pre-op instructions, I told them that I was mulling over canceling the whole thing and waiting until I go in to labor on my own.

They gave me the instructions and said "We'll just pretend that you're coming in tomorrow. Of course you can always cancel if you change your mind."

All these choices are driving me insane.

Doesn't anyone realize I can't even decide what I want on my damn pizza?!

People I know are telling me that I'm nuts and I need to just have the c-section.

My doctor said that it hurts his back to look at me and he is worried that this baby is going to be BIG.

My mother said that the swelling I have "isn't normal" and she ought to know ... since she's got seven kids of her own, 20 grandchildren, and worked as a delivery room nurse for years.

Charlie said that he wants to hurry up and hold our new baby - but this is entirely my decision and he'll support me either way.

Last night, I was up until way past midnight researching VBAC's. I went back and read, twenty times over, all the thoughtful comments from my post, 19 days ago. And then I freaked out wondering how it is possible that it's already been three weeks since I wrote that?!

The reoccuring theme I've seen and heard, by and large, is that women who have done a VBAC wish that they had instead done a repeat c-section. Unless I'm blind, I have yet to see or hear from someone who has had a positive VBAC experience.

I've had friends, neighbors and relatives who have done a VBAC either call or come by and every last one of them has told me I need to do the repeat c-section.

So, why am I being so stubborn?

I think it's because with our triplets, I didn't have the option. Not only because there was a litter of babies to be delivered, but because they were nine weeks premature and I was so sick. When our babies were born, I remember wishing more than the world that they were back inside. They were not suppose to come out, yet.

Now, granted, I've carried this here baby a whole two months longer than I carried the triplets and I know in my mind that when he is born, he will be perfectly capable (God willing) of regulating his own body temperature and eating and breathing, on his own.

But in my heart, I feel like delivering this baby by c-section is taking him out before he is completely ready and I don't want for that to happen again.

Yes, I am ready to sleep peacefully again.

Yes, I am ready to possess the ability to put on my own socks and wear something that doesn't resemble a king sized bedsheet.

Yes, I am ready to go for walks and frolic with our children, without worrying about where the closest restroom is.

But I'm not ready to give up being pregnant and I don't want to bring this little one out before "it's time." Plus, I've always thought it would be super fun to jolt Charlie awake at 3 AM and tell him "Oh my God ... my water broke!!!"

I only mention that because recently Charlie told me that my job with the delivery of this baby, is to make sure that he stays calm.

As if that would happen.

The thought of delivering a baby scares the bejeepers out of me. I've read enough books, seen enough movies and heard enough stories to have a glimpse of what labor and delivery would be like. But when you are actually carrying a baby in your body that very soon needs to come out - it's a bit nerve wracking.

To say the least.

In other news...

Nesting is just about complete. Although the $#^$*&#$ refrigerator is STILL broken and won't be repaired until Monday, the floors are completely finished.

Charlie is wrapping up painting in our bathroom and kitchen. We bought a new carseat and bassinet. We washed all of the baby clothes, towels and blankets in Dreft and neatly stored them away.

The children then pulled every last item out and dragged them through the entire house.

They know something big is about to happen.

William will come over and extend his hand every time I try to stand up from the couch and will sweetly say "Mommy, Willem hep you."

On the rare occasions I do put my legs up, Carolyn will come over and rub them, while repeatedly saying "Oh no, boo-boo Mommy, boo-boo."

The other day, while eating out, Elizabeth grabbed my shirt - and before I could stop her - pulled it all the way up to my bra and yelled at my bulging stomach "BABY! WAKE UP!" As if on cue, the baby started to flex and when she saw the movement, she gave me a panicked look and pulled my shirt back down and yelled "BYE BYE BABY! BYE BYE!!"

So things are definitely coming along.

It struck me that we will soon have FOUR children when I was placing pictures on our wall and made space for a frame containing an ultrasound of numero quatro. I then had panick attack and had to breathe in a paper bag.

Later today, I plan to give Charlie a tutorial on how to update the blog such that in the off chance I don't have my laptop with me in the delivery room, he can post details and pictures of our newest addition.

It's completely surreal. Not just that I'm at that point of having another baby - but that I'm getting ready to hand the blog reins over to my husband.

What if he deletes the whole thing?!

Where's that paper bag?!


  1. Good luck with whatever you choose. I wish all of you well. Crossing fingers that everything goes smoothly. Can't wait to see the pictures.

  2. Praying for you!!! My friends who have had repeat C-sections loved it. They felt so rested and less stressed, knowing what was about to happen. And by the way, did you see what Julia Roberts named her baby? It's a sign! haha

    Just think, in a few days hopefully this will all be over with, and you can cuddle with your new little one, surrounded by all those who love you. Try to focus on that.

  3. So glad you are going in tomorrow. Listen to your mother. Your mother is right. After swelling up to the size of a turkey right before Thanksgiving, I DID NOT swell at all with my singleton. Not one bit and I couldn't even WEAR SHOES with the triplets. I actually cut the bottom of some plastic flip flops off and duct taped them to some socks just to go to the doctor's office. I was a glamour girl! The fact you are swelling this much with one baby is very SUSPICIOUS.

    I fully expect Charlie to let us all know what is really going on over there the next four days!

    Good luck and congratulations ahead of time!

  4. I totally understand your indecision with the c-sec etc. I had 3 preemie births and oh how I longed to be large and in charge just once.

    Good luck and we will be praying for you!

  5. Good luck with the decision! Can't wait to see that new baby!

  6. I know you want to keep the baby inside, but ... yay! I can't wait to (virtually) meet your little boy! Lots of love and positive energy to you and your whole family.

  7. Not that it matters since it sounds as though you have probably made up your mind, but I LOVED my VBAC. I wouldn't change a thing. I've had horrible swelling before from PIH and had a hospital birth w/ an epidural. Then I had a c-section. Then I had a homebirth VBAC with my twins. It was amazing, awesome, empowering and the recovery was just 1000 times easier than with a c-section. I'm wondering where all these moms are that hated their VBACs because everyone I've met has said that their VBACs were so much easier than the c-sections. And there is something neat about waking up your husband in the middle of the night to say your water broke. ;) (Trust me, that's how my twins' birth started!) I wish you the best either way, but I am really hoping you get to experience a VBAC too.

  8. Jen- I'm back. I didn't get to read your whole post and just wanted to add that if Nemo could talk, he'd be saying, "Mommy, I feel like a turtle on my back. Let me out!"

    He's ready.

    Now what I really want to know once Charlie is in charge of the blog is what he was really thinking when you choked him in the middle of the night. His post would have went like this.

    "I woke to my crazy pregnant wife choking me. Then as if that wasn't bad enough she kept talking and talking and talking. If I could just get her to go have this baby, maybe I'd get a good night's rest. At least she didn't make me run out and buy her ice cream, so that was cool."

  9. Okay, I'm delurking to say that I LOVED my VBAC too!! :D Just had to come out and say it! I'd do it again in a heart beat!

    Good luck with everything! Looking forward to seeing new pictures of the baby.

    Also wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog! It sure brings a smile to my face.

  10. Good luck! Will be thinking of you tomorrow! hugs

  11. Looking forward to more adventures! Good luck with the special delivery!

  12. Wow! It's time, huh??
    I am so excited for you! Wishing you best of luck w/ whatever you decide to do. Cannot wait to read udpates from Charlie!

    Cloe (Carolyn's boards)

  13. Well its already Wednesday afternoon in Australia!
    Wishing you a lot of good luck today- whatever you decide.

  14. 27June is a great day to be born. I would know as it's my birthday. Much peace as you make this decision.

  15. I say listen to your heart to wait until the baby is ready. It will happen and you won't be pregnant forever. And I know at least three women personally who have had incredibly positive, empowering and safe VBACs. You can do it! Trust your body and your baby. And eat some watermelon for that swelling, lots of water, and salt to taste in your diet. Hang in there!

  16. Wishing you all the best in whatever desion you make!
    And remember that this little one has to come out some way and in the end as long at it comes out! Well hugz to you and your family!!!
    Oh btw cant beat chesse on pizza!!

  17. Emma in Amsterdam6/27/07, 1:53 AM

    I'm sure you'll be fine, whatever you choose! Good luck today! Can't wait to see the "ping" in my Bloglines account telling us about wonder baby number 4!

  18. Jen,

    ((hugs)) I SOOOOO totally know what you mean, wanting this pregnancy to have more choice, more 'spontaneity" ...to somehow be like a "real" pregnancy instead of a closely-monitored, hold-your-breath, high risk one. I had to think LONG and hard about the fact that 'wanting a normal pregnancy experience' was NOT a good enough reason to try and get pg again.

    I hear you, sister.

    As for the VBAC/No VBAC debate, my two cents is that it doesn't really matter HOW that baby gets here, but that Mum and Bub are happy and healthy. This child won't get married, have kids, and eventually pass thinking, "Gee, if only my Mom had had me via VBAC my life would be different."

    Looking forward to Charlie's next post.


  19. Thinking of you today!!!!

  20. Oh, I must leave you a comment before the BIG day!! I'm wishing you well and can't wait to see and hear all about little Nemo.

    BTW I'll throw my 2 cents in, my sister-in-law had a very successful VBAC. With her first, she was in labor for at least 15 hours and the baby wasn't budging resulting in a c-section. Five years later she did some research, as you did, and was highly encouraged by her doctor to attempt a VBAC. She was definitely a success story. THEN her 3rd child was also delivered vaginally. She wouldn't have done it ANY differently. I will say though, she was absolutely miserable with her c-section and the dr. on call totally botched her stomach up. I think if things had gone differently with her first, she wouldn't have been SO opposed to having a repeat c-section.

    My 2 cents is that vaginal delivery is overrated! (I delivered Brittney this way.) Sure you have to recover from major surgery with a c-section, but the baby's risks are reduced so much more. I was HIGHLY encouraged to vaginally deliver the boys. They gave me a pitocin (sp?)drip for 8 hours. I got to 9 centimeters and the babies heartbeats were so crazy and we kept sounding off all the alarms on the floor. After the 4th or 5th time of EVERYone rushing into my room, my doctor suggested we do a c-section to make sure nothing happened to the babies.

    So, sorry I'm rambling and really haven't given you anything to go off of, but I wanted to write to you before you delivered.

    I say "GO C-SECTION". I'll be praying for you and the babies' health!!!

  21. Oh Jen-
    I can't believe baby #4 will be here TODAY!
    I am beyond thrilled for you.
    Sending blessings and love from Chicago to your new son....
    Linda (Chicago)

  22. All of my friends who have had c-sections have regretted it. All of my friends who have had VBACs have been so thrilled and proud of themselves. One has had 3 VBACs, including an 11 lb. 10 oz. baby at home, no drugs, in a birthing pool! I know so many moms who joined ICAN because they were profoundly depressed after their c-section. I don't know any who have willing gone back for a repeat.

    At least if you wait until going into labor, you know the baby is fully "cooked" and ready to be born.

    I think you're having doubts about it, despite all the horrors you're hearing, because your maternal instincts are saying "this is not right." Listen to them. It's your body, your baby, your birth. No one else is carrying this baby. No one else has to recover from a c-section and have three toddlers jumping all over them.

    I'm probably too late. You're probably already in the hospital but, if not, hang in there. Your son will come in his own time.

  23. Well if you decided on the c-section, you are probably already at the hospital. Good luck to you, things will go perfect. I have grown to love your blog, and you have such adorable babies! Can't wait to see the new addition. Yay, almost there with #4!

  24. These pictures of your "babies" are so precious and poignant.

    All the very best for today and the week to follow!

  25. I was really surprised to hear you say that you can't find any positive VBAC stories because that seems to be all that I hear! My boss's wife had 2 VBACs after her first daughter's c-section and went totally natural both times and loved it.

    I really think it's just different for everyone (pregnancy and birth) and that you've got to do what feels right for you.

    That's so sweet about the trips sensing what's up. And good that the baby will be prepared to get screamed at occasionally! Hee hee.

  26. I have google alert me whenever someone mentions a VBAC because I own a VBAC blog: VBACAdventure.com.

    I am curious to see if you went along with your c-section today or if you decided to wait it out. I just want you to know that there are plenty of moms that have had successful VBACs. If that is what you choose, you have nothing to be ashamed of. VBAC is safe. It is also completely normal to want to experience what your body was designed to do: birth vaginally.

  27. I completely understand what you mean about not wanting to take the baby out before he's ready.
    I felt that way strongly with my first and same with this one now.
    As I've mentioned before I don't have the VBAC choice, but I do wish my doc would let me go into labor before starting the C-section.
    As it is the best I can hope for is that she'll let me go to 39 weeks...
    Crossing my fingers that all goes well and that you are at peace with your final decision!

  28. I bet the only decision as to whether you deliver or not today is if you caved and ate. Did you eat yet? Someday you can tell Nemo that the hardest decision you had to make was not open the freezer! Good luck!!!

  29. This is all so very exciting! I've been following your blog for about 5 months now, so it's even exciting for me, someone you've never even met!, for this baby's birth! You are going to have your hands full, of course, but that's something you're used to, right!? You just have to do what you feel is best for you. You'll know when the time comes... just relax and imagine holding that precious baby of yours! Good luck! Can't wait to hear that you've had the baby (as long as your husband doesn't delete the whole blog, of course)!

    Jane, Pinks & Blues Girls

  30. delurking to say I am also very surprised you've only heard negative VBAC stories. Wishing you the best with whatever you decide, but you'll never regret it if you make the decision to have a VBAC.

    I'm really excited for you!

  31. Wishing you the best of luck, Jen. I hope the delivery goes nice and smooth. Update when you're well rested. Take your time. No rush. (We will be waiting very patiently for the news. ;)

  32. And to the burning question:

    "Is there really only one in there?!"

  33. Hi Cuz!
    I've been reading your blog for a few weeks.(Kathy H. told me about it).

    You are a scream!! I am often howling out loud with your stories & expressions. Where in the world do you find the time to keep this blog going? You're one AMAZING mom!

    The children are beautiful....I see such strong family resemblances, especially the girls. Wouldn't it be nice to deliver your son on 07/07/07 ...Noni would love it! Albiet a long time to live with that edema.

    Best of luck in the next few days. I'm thinking of you and praying that all goes well...and most especially looking forward to your L&D story!! I know it will be a good one.

    Give my Godmother a hug!

    Tons of mush...