Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Questions, questions ...

Before I got pregnant this time I made a lot of decisions. There were some absolutes that I went into this pregnancy knowing:
  • I wanted a c-section
  • I would not let forceps near me
  • I was going to do everything I could to prevent post-partum depression (ppd), and have people around me aware of the signs to look out for
  • I was not going to breastfeed
For the past 9 months those have been absolutes for me. I discussed these things with my husband and my family doctor and she referred me to an ob, at the hospital of my choosing, who would likely do a c-section.

The breastfeeding thing ties into the ppd thing. I had a hard time with it, I struggled, and I didn't get enough sleep because I was up constantly. Again, I had the support of my doctor on this. I've also been going to therapy and a social worker to monitor my mood (I'm doing well). One of the thing that came up was the issue of breastfeeding. They are recommending against it because I have a tendency to demand perfection of myself, and because of the sleep issue. Phat Daddy is fully on board with skipping nursing in favour of formula. And, though I certainly won't say we are wealthy, the cost of formula is not nearly as crippling for us as it would have been with Doodle.

Having said all that, with less than 24 days to go in this pregnancy everything in my mind is changing and I'm flip-flopping on all of my decisions.

First of all the c-section issue. At this point the baby is average size. If I were to go into labour at 37 weeks she'd be 6.5 lbs. So, not quite as bad as Doodle (8lb 9 oz and born at 37 weeks). My ob is suggesting that if I go into labour before the scheduled section that I see how the birth progesses before going straight to a section (still an option). The thing is, as much as this idea terrified me several months, even weeks, ago at this point I'm kind of wishing I would just go into labour early so we can see. I'm totally questioning my choice.

And then there is the breastfeeding issue. I know myself. I know that if I start I will be determined to win the breastfeeding battle. I hate giving up. I'm unbelieveably stubborn sometimes. My psychiatrist said that in her mind this is setting myself up for failure. And, if I go straight for formula I will be setting myself up for success. I totally get this. And, I totally see where she is coming from. But ... I also feel like I'm potentially depriving my child of something because I'm being lazy. It's a horrible feeling. But, then, if the struggle with breastfeeding pushes me into a depression then I will be depriving my child of love and affection.

What I know for sure is that I really really want to bond with my child. With Doodle I did not bond for quite a long time. I'm not sure why. I didn't try nursing for more than a day. It was a very strange beginning.

I think I'm driving people crazy with my constant debating. My bff is a midwife, and I keep asking her questions. Convenient, but it's not like she has anymore answers than anyone else. So much of it is up to me, and it's so hard to make these decisions. I want someone to tell me what to do.

Both my doctor and psychiatrist have told me that there is no crystal ball where they can tell me absolutes. Like, there's no guarantee that a natural birth won't be as difficult as last time. But, then there's no guarantee that I won't have a more difficult recovery from a c-section than I did from forceps, no matter how confident my doctor is.

Is there a solution? No. Probably not. But, if anyone has suggestions, please feel free to pass them on.


Haley-O said...

Oh, LD. We should have a conversation.

There's so much going on here.

There are too many questions, I'm thinking.

There's a lot of worry and anxiety.

It sounds like what you WANT is to try vaginal delivery. Like you WANT to breastfeed. But, you're AFRAID of this and AFRAID of that.

There were risks with me breastfeeding, too -- mentally. My mother STILL pressures me to pump and give myself a break. But, I WANT to do it. And, the bond you get is really special.

You feared getting pregnant, but you WANTED it. So, you went for it and look at you! Time to get excited, not afraid. Put the fears aside and take some risks. If you DO get PPD, you and family and friends will be prepared. It's not the end of the world. And, it passes.The main thing is that you have the support -- both personally and clinically.

There's no crystal ball. Focus on what you want and not what you're afraid of. Don't let the fear stop you from doing things you want. You just give it power that way.

Does that make sense?

(And, if you can't breastfeed? No biggie -- at least you know you tried because you wanted to.... Perfection and motherhood do NOT jive!) :)

You know I say ALL this from a space of experience and therapy!! You know I understand the fear. I'm here for you if you want to talk about this.

Haley-O said...

there are some relaxed ways of learning to breastfeed, by the way. The nurses in the hospital can be BRUTAL and the pressure they put on you can be discouraging and counterproductive.

And, no pressure on yourself. Breastfeeding is NOT for everyone. And, hey, my mom didn't breastfeed me and look how great I turned out! ;)

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

Gosh, I wish I had some amazing advice to share, but I don't. You just have to do what feels right for you and stick to it and not look back, so as to not have any regrets. It really sounds like you have put a lot of effort into getting to know yourself so much more this time around--follow your gut!

Ginny said...

Haley is so right, perfection and motherhood DO NOT jive. However as you are aware, failure and motherhood do. BUT it's not that we fail, it's our perception of how we are suppose to be and what we are suppose to do that make us feel like we are failing. We are not failure's and we are not perfect yet we feel like we are one because we feel like we are not the other! It's so crazy and we know it but we don't change it! so you are left constantly guessing yourself and the decisions you thought you already made.

Here is what I see. I see a lot of negativity with you and breastfeeding. You call it 'THE BREASTFEEDING BATTLE', that you may be 'POTENTIALLY DEPRIVING' your child because you are being 'LAZY' by not breastfeeding. These are all negative statements. Why not change these statements into more positive things such as 'I am providing for my child to the best of my abilities whether it's formula or breast'? I know it all sounds so cliche but it's like I said it's the perception of what you think you are suppose to do that is going to lead to the feeling of failure.

You know I also have experience with all these feelings. I totally get not bonding and how important it is to you this time around. How you are not sure about what kind of birth you want the second time around as long as it isn't what you had the first time. But what I can tell you is that you are going in much more experienced this time around. Although you may not know exactly what is going to happen you are going to feel so much more comfortable with so many things. You might just surprise yourself!

The truth is LD, you can have it all. You just have to understand that you are not failing by whatever it is you choose. You can choose to provide for your child to the best of your abilities. And in the end it is your acceptance of your choices that will allow you to have it all.

OK,I have no idea if this has helped at all! :)

Steph said...

LD, your baby is one lucky little princess to have a mommy who is so concerned about her well-being before she even gets here! I agree with Haley completely but do what is best for you. Trying gives you the best of both worlds- doing it because you want to and then trying something else (formula etc) but it's just a better alternative at the time. The happier and more relaxed you are with your choices and decisions the better off your baby will be- not being one way is better than the other but because you're content with who you are and the decisions you make for yourself. Hugs!

kate said...

Focus on positive things for now. What would they be?
Focus on winding down at work where you have just launched a wonderful product for them.
Enjoy the lunches out.
Enjoy the well wishers.
Enjoy the fact that you have done so well with your pregnancy this time.
Enjoy the fact that you have taken care of yourelf so well which of course means the baby will do well.
When the negative thoughts come, let them go. Breathe them out of your head.
Take fish oil remember -- good for you and Miss Baby at this moment.
Do the things you can do - eating well, sleeping when you can, dressing Doodle the night before. Whatever works.
That last month is a doozy as you have to wait for Miss Baby to decide when it is time. Use it as a time to cuddle Doodle more because you have the time. Have chats with Phat Daddy because you have time. Come for coffee becaue you have time.
All of this will have a calming effect, so you'll be able to make good choices when you need to. You don't have to make any decisions now. You'll feel it in your gut when Miss Baby comes.

Badness Jones said...

There's no one right way...and it's a girl's perogative to change her mind. I'd say just go with what feels right in the moment. I had a MUCH easier birth the second time, and Bad weighed more than 1 1/2 pounds more than the Princess. See how you feel after the birth...if you want to nurse, do. If, after a day or two, or a week, or a month, you don't want to nurse any more, give your baby formula and try not to feel guilty (easier said than done, I know). I remember when the Princess was tiny I called a friend in tears, motherhood was so stressful and I was so afraid of making a mistake. She just said to me, "You ARE going to make mistakes. She WILL hate you...and then she'll grow up and realize how much you love her and all you've done. All you can do is your best in the moment." It was the best advice ever.

Good luck honey, I'll be thinking of you!

LoriD said...

Everything will be fine, no matter what you decide. You've done this before, so you know what will be best. If you want to try breastfeeding, go for it. If it's not for you, that's okay too.

I think it's perfectly normal to second-guess all your decisions. It just means that you care enough to keep weighing all the options.

By the way, I needed forceps for my first and didn't have any problems at all.

Jenn said...

If you are nervous about PPD, you may want to look into getting a post-partum doula. If you're comfortable with that.

citygirl said...

I feel bad that I have no great advice to give as I've not experienced any of these things :(

I can tell you that 2 friends tried breastfeeding and almost went insane. They decided enough was enough and switched to formula and never looked back.

Don Mills Diva said...

I truly don't have any advice except to say that questions are normal and truly WHATEVER you decide is going to be just fine - trust.