Monday, February 22, 2010

My Story Monday... Getting Pregnant After A Preemie- Pondering #3

My little girl had just turned one. My son was about to turn two. I was in no way feeling "baby crazy" (and I was still taking an antidepressant- I was told not to go off of it during the winter months), but I was starting to think I might not be done having children.

By then, my body was fully healed. I had long since gotten into the routine of caring for two very small children and C. was thriving- she was no longer on oxygen, no longer on an apnea monitor, and no longer needed an NG-tube to eat. As you can see from her birthday shot- she had no trouble eating whipped cream!

I think a lot of people assumed I would be done having children for one of two reasons-- my last baby had been born so, so very early and, probably just as significant for many, I already had a boy and a girl... so wasn't my family complete? I wasn't so sure.

I was also very scared. The cause of my premature labor had never been determined. There wasn't anything specific to monitor or any preventative steps to take. I had carried one eight pound baby to 41 weeks and delivered a one pounder at barely 24. MY health had never faltered. I had absolutely no clue what a third pregnancy might bring.

One thing I DID know was that, should we decide to have another baby, I would have no choice but to have another c-section. The classic c-section I had needed to ensure C's safety meant that I could never, ever, ever attempt a vaginal delivery again. The risk of rupture is just too high. (Somewhat random side-note: One of the hardest things for me has been the number of women who try to tell me I could have done a VBAC- or scoff at the c-section I had in the first place. I appreciate what you're all trying to say- truly. Please trust me when I tell you that I had excellent doctors who knew what they were doing.) I wasn't scared of having another c-section. I would have SO preferred a vaginal birth, but I knew I could handle a c-section and the thought of a planned one versus a wild, middle-of-the-night Christmas Eve surgery sounded very do-able.

I started doing research, even though I knew I wasn't really quite ready to be pregnant again. I learned about perinatology and went on some prematurity boards to ask other women about their experiences with perinatologists. I even went so far as to get a recommendation for a good one from our beloved pediatrician. I filed all this information away and carried on with parenting my two-under-two.

If I'm honest, I'll admit to you that I didn't do the very best job taking care of myself during this point. I put on some weight... not enough to ever make me "overweight" by those charts or the doctor's standards, but enough that I felt out-of-shape. I wasn't exercising regularly. I was grabbing whatever I could to eat whenever I could with little thought to its nutritional value. I felt like I was so busy juggling my two babies that I didn't have time... in reality, I should have just planned better and made it a priority. Hind-sight is 20-20 and all that...

The point is-- it wasn't really a good time for me to be having another baby just yet. And I didn't But in my mind, the seed was planted...

It would be another year before I felt "ready".

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