Yesterday we went to our 3rd prenatal appointment. I've passed the halfway point, I think. Give or take a week. Which meant our first ultrasound!
So ultrasounds since Guthrie have really gotten quite a bit more intense at the University. Like 30 minutes intense. With Laithe up until the last month our dr did his own ultrasounds and he knew what he wanted to see, he knew which boxes he wanted checked. With an ultrasound tech they have to check all the boxes, all the time. Which all of that is to say that while I expected the cramping and soreness last night I was still a little grumpy about it.
But also it was 30 minutes we could spend looking at our baby. Assuming we knew what we were looking at - she was pretty good about pointing out things - kidneys! toes! aortic blah blah blah!
Everything looks perfect and "within the realm of normal" and I released, partially, the breath that I've been holding for the past few months.
There are a few things different about this baby. Well, not this baby, it's just a baby. I'm different this time around though. Stepping into middle age with all of our peers has really opened our eyes to all that can go wrong when you do that thing where you put your heart wholly into someone else and grow it from nothing into a person who will then go out into the world. All those people I wrote about a year and a half ago are still friends and loved ones and we've had the privilege to bear witness to their journeys. Though I would hesitate to say they're all doing well, I would suggest that they're all doing more than surviving many days. And that is a wonderful thing. A baby born on hospice 2 years later is thriving, a sweet chubby cheeked rainbow baby has celebrated his first birthday, a 'no evidence of disease' diagnosis came when just a matter of months ago that disease was everywhere. We are so thankful.
And I don't mean to be morbid or to suggest that there is no joy or excitement here. There is so much excitement and so many giggles as my children yell at my stomach as though I were harboring a really hard of hearing senior citizen. For whom English is not a first language. It's just that there's a depth that these past few years have caused us to cultivate. Maybe more of an understanding that this is the human experience. All of this. The good and the bad and the terrible and the beautiful.
So, yes, I let out part of the breath I had been holding. Knowing I had been holding it and being fine with that. I am no Buddhist when it comes to my kids!
We scheduled appointments up through my 32nd week and it seems so far away, but these past months have gone so quickly I know it will fly by.
We are choosing to have this baby at a hospital an hour away. It's complicated, but it seems to be the best choice for our family. Because of the conservative nature of the physician-ruled birth community here there are no options for a mom with 2 prior c-sections other than a repeat scheduled c-section. Even if said mom arrived at the hospital in labor. An hour away we have a couple limited options.
A home birth is not an option for us at this point. There needs to be physician management of my blood pressure medication. And we/I am not willing to change our lifestyle in order to pay for a home birth. Our two choices would be either I go back to work to pay for it or we go into debt for a few thousand dollars. We have phenomenal insurance. Like phenomenal enough that depending on when the baby is born we may not have to pay anything other than our insurance premiums. Which is one reason it is worth it to us to have to pay for gas for the drive. If I go back to work we change our homeschooling lifestyle and I would not have that for our two present children who benefit greatly from it. Even if they do whine and moan about school! haha! And I'm not willing to put our family into that much debt right now. So I am at peace with our decision.
The discussion with the dr. yesterday gave us some parameters that we both felt ok about. I also was able to set some parameters that the dr. was ok with. It was a discussion I left feeling as though I had not at all been bullied or talked down to. That my voice had been heard and my requests taken seriously. To say it was really great would be a total understatement.
We also commiserated, both being in our 3rd pregnancies, that this time around is so much harder. Like SO MUCH HARDER. I don't know what it is, but I struggle with feeling guilty that I'm not enjoying this as much as I did the other two.
So, here's to warmer weather, clearer sinuses (antibiotic 2 totally ineffective), a wiggly baby, less exhaustion, moments of peace and stillness, and a bit of enjoyment for my current season. I'm not greedy - it doesn't have to be the best thing ever, but it'd be nice to not dislike where I'm at!
And in case you didn't see it --- here is a picture of sweet, upside down baby #3. We cannot wait for you to get here!