We went with my mom, sis-in-law, and nephews to our local Children's Museum this morning. They played in a water exhibit and got soaked...and so Ri didnt quite slide down the slide very well afterwards. Good thing I had an extra set of clothes in her bag!
If future me could go back in time and talk to myself while pregnant with Ri, this is what I would say:
1. Read more than just "What to Expect When You're Expecting". There's some helpful information there, but it doesn't go in depth about the process of birth, pros and cons of tests and procedures, etc. I recommend watching "The Business of Being Born". It's a documentary with a lot of helpful information. I would also recommend "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth"
2. Hire a doula!!
"The presence of a doula can be beneficial no matter what type of birth you are planning."
"Numerous studies have revealed the benefits of having a doula present during labor. A recent Cochrane Review, Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth, revealed a very high number of positive birth outcomes when a doula was present. When a doula was present, women were less likely to have pain relief medications administered, less likely to have a cesarean birth, and reported having a more positive childbirth experience.
Other studies have shown that having a doula as part of the birth team decreases the overall cesarean rate by 50%, the length of labor by 25%, the use of oxytocin by 40% and the request for an epidural by 60%." - source
3. Don't assume everything your OB tells you is true...even proven statistically. I was told at 30-something weeks that Ri was a bit over 7 pounds based on an ultrasound. What I wasn't told was that late ultrasounds can be off by a pound or more in either direction. (source) The truth is, there's no way to know how big your baby is until he/she is born. I was also told that induction would be my best option to avoid a c-section. What I wasn't told was that statistically, the "use of labor induction (whether elective or not) increased the odds of having a C-section by more than 2.6 times." (source)
4. Don't wait to become educated after your first baby due to fear of the unknown.
I remember saying, "I'm very interested in natural child birth, but it's just too much to learn about right now" and "I'm just too scared to try it with my first".
Sure, everything might go just as you dreamed it would...contractions hit, arrive at the hospital, labor progresses, perhaps get an epidural, baby comes out fairly quickly, minimal to no tearing, everyone is happy and healthy.
But what if it doesn't go that way. It didn't for me. (If you haven't heard about how everything went, you can read about it here.) I suppose if everything had gone differently, I'd be all for using an epidural again in a hospital setting.
5. Check with your OB to see their induction rates (and reasons), cesarean rates (and reasons), as well as the hospital you plan where you plan to deliver.
I had NO idea I was seeing an OB practice that has one of the highest cesarean rates in the area. Part of this is due to the fact that they see a lot of high-risk patients. But I wasn't high-risk. So why put myself under care that's almost "over kill"?
6. There's truly no way to know for sure how any medical intervention affects a baby in utero.
A drug was used for over 30 years (from 1938-1971) called diethylstilbestrol (or DES) because it was thought to help prevent miscarriages for pregnant women. Turns out, it didn't help prevent miscarriages at all. And even worse, it negatively affected the reproductive system of the growing baby - causing abnormal cells later in life for the child. (source)
It's just a little scary to me that this drug was used for SO long and it took more than 30 years for them to realize the negative effects. It just makes me wonder what other interventions are being used today that may later be shown to have negative effects as well.
So, I've learned that I view birth differently now. After researching, I feel it's not to be treated as a medical condition. It's to be treated as a natural process (that granted, sometimes needs medical intervention - yet the majority of the time, that's not the case).
I've learned that because I wasn't educated with my first baby, I'm now limited to my birth options with my subsequent babies. Yes, I'm planning a vbac. But it's not been easy.
Please let me say again, I do NOT feel women who choose a route other than natural child birth are harming themselves or their babies or are uneducated. I'm saying I was uneducated and because of that, my options now for subsequent births are more limited - not what I had planned and not what I wanted.
So if you're pregnant for the first time or thinking about becoming pregnant, let me encourage you - don't wait! No matter what birth experience you're looking for, educate yourself as much as you possibly can!
So it's not bad, but Ri does have a black eye - her first. It's her left eye. If you look closely, you can see the bruising on her eye lid.
It happened Monday evening. We were reading our story before bed and I saw a mosquito. I got up to squish it and Ri walked right in front of me, tripped over my foot, and hit her head on her humidifier (she was going over to turn it on because we let her push the buttons to turn it on before bed). At first, I looked her over and saw no bumps or bleeding. But a minute later, I noticed a small cut near the corner of her left eye - which was bleeding a tad - and a bump started to appear. Thankfully, she was really good at allowing me to hold some ice on it to help with the swelling.
The next morning when I went to get her out of bed, I was expecting her entire eye to be black. But it actually looked fairly good. Praise God for His protection! If she had fallen a few inches differently, she could have injured her actual eye on the corner of the humidifier.
As small of an injury this turned out to be, I still felt awful for her. I know there will be more. Just goes to show I am not ultimately in control of her safety - God is. How humbling to realize no matter how much I try to keep her from getting hurt, I cannot prevent it; only help her through it when it does happen - and to thank God...because it could always be much worse.
These are my days: a living room (and dining room...and bedroom) full of toys, squeals of delight, small whispers of unitelligable toddler babble, the pitter-patter of bare feet constantly moving on the hardwoods, little hands tugging at my shirt, sweet smiles and hugs, and many other "every day" memories I wish I could bottle up for later.
Sometimes it's hard to be a stay-at-home mom. I hardly get to leave "work". But when my heart grows weary of the same ol stuff, I try to remember she will soon be grown. And what a treasure and blessing it is to have her in my life! I am so very thankful for the gift she is...and the gift it is for me to spend each day with her!
I've been married for 8 years to Septtroplex Sene. We have a dog named Suka. who used to be my baby until my girls came along. I try my best to love God by obeying his Word. I love being outside and staying busy.
After trying to extend our family for almost 2 years, experiencing the loss of one precious baby all while dealing with PCOS, God blessed us with a sweet baby girl on September 25, 2009 - all without medication this time!! On July 21, 2011 we welcomed another sweet baby girl to our family. And on August 10, 2013 we had our third princess! I'd love to share more...shoot me an email or leave me a comment.