Sunday, April 27, 2014

Because of her.

Two years.  Two years have passed since we found out our Wren had died.  She was our "rainbow baby" after our first 11 week loss.  She was the baby that was going to prove the first horrible loss was a fluke.  Sure I was scared when I was pregnant with her - but when we got past the 11 week mark and we had several great appointments and ultrasounds, I started to believe she was ok. She would be the daughter that completed our family.  She wasn't.   Two years ago I found out at a routine 16 week appointment that she had passed away and my life really did change.   The first loss was awful - the second loss was almost debilitating.  I felt so connected with her during those weeks I carried her.  And when I found out that she had died, my entire soul was ripped open raw and exposed.  I hated myself, I hated my body.  This was no fluke.  My body was broken, evil even.
And I missed her.  God  I missed her so much. I still do.  Two years later I miss her. I have a beautiful, awesome, healthy baby that my body did grow, nurture, and birth safely.  This is my first loss anniversary since giving birth to sweet Willow.  But I realize it doesn't mean I don't miss my Wren any less.  She has been a part of me for 2.5 years now and 2 of those years I have been missing her.
So today I remember Wren. Though life has continued,  she was and always will be a important part of my life.   Because of her I went through a high risk OB workup and identified some issues that were treated during my next pregnancy.  Because of her I did not take one day for granted while pregnant with Willow.    Because of her I notice wrens everywhere and I love it every single time.   Because of her I am confident we are finished having children, I feel like we tempted fate to have Willow and I can't do it again.  Because of her my heart is sad today.   

Saturday, April 12, 2014

100% Family History of Cesarean

The maternal side of my family has quite the history of cesarean births.  Eleven to be exact.    My grandmother had three, my mother had three, my aunt had two, my older sister had two, and I have had one.  That is every single birth that we have had on the maternal side of my family for the past 80 years.  100%.  We blow the often discussed 1 in 3 babies are born by surgical birth out of the water.    And many of them started naturally - without induction.     The reasons for the cesareans in my family are varied  but several of them involved premature rupture of membranes, pitocin because of that, and then a ceserean due to failure to progress.   I realized this when I was pregnant with my son 5 years ago and I hoped maybe I could break the family tradition of births by cesarean.  I was really hoping to have a natural birth and knew that avoiding an induction I would decrease my chances of a cesarean birth.   Given my family history - I guess I shouldn't be too surprised how things turned out.  Premature rupture of membranes early in labor, pitocin, and then eventual c-section.   However, upon the c-section it was realized my son was brow presentation which is why I wasn't able to deliver him vaginally.

Thankfully I didn't dwell on the family history.  I actually didn't even think about it again until after the recent birth of my daughter.  While pregnant with her I worked my butt off to have a VBAC and just focused on doing what I could do to make that happen.  I found good providers, an excellent doula, I saw a chiropractor to encourage a good presentation during labor, I ate well, I trained for her birth using Hypnobabies, I didn't sit in a recliner because I was afraid I would mess up her presentation, and on and on.  And you know what?  I did it.  I had an amazing, empowering, all natural VBAC.   The first visitors to the hospital were two of my aunts and they reminded me of the fact that I was literally the first person in our family to have a vaginal birth.  The first!  That is crazy when you really think about it!  But at least now our family percentage of cesarean births went from 100% to 92%.  :)

So ladies -if you have a long (or complete, 100%) history of cesarean births in your family and you hope to have a different type of birth -  please have some hope.  Though we may be similar genetically or physically to our family members - how they birth does not mean that is how we will.  Though it might seem genetics or family history would suggest otherwise - my body knew exactly what to do.   It absolutely roared to life bringing my daughter into the world and my body did it. The entire thing - no premature rupture of membranes, no pitocin needed to "speed things along", and no failure to progress.  Ina May was right of course - my body really is not a lemon.  And you know what?  Neither is yours.