Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The Sterilization Issue

I thought I should follow up on my last post about meeting with the consultant.  The specialist who is overseeing my maternity care offered to sterilize me while I'm already cut open for the Cesarean.

I was not expecting him to discuss this and my immediate response was to say no.

After thinking about it further and discussing it with my husband, we definitely decided against it.  Even though I think this will be our last kid, neither of us felt right about me being sterilized (for multiple reasons).

At my next appointment with my midwife, I mentioned it.  She said that the doctor had offered to sterilize some of her other patients as well.  In the midwife's opinion, this was a really bad idea for several reasons.  First of all, it's not fair to ask a pregnant woman to make that decision.  Secondly, the failure rate for sterilizations performed during c-sections is pretty high.  In other words, there's a higher than normal chance that it won't even work.  Thirdly, it makes recovery even more complicated and delays the time until the mother is able to hold/breastfeed/bond with/care for their newborn baby.

Logically, I can understand why it was offered to me.  I don't have a great birth track record as I've had 2 c-sections already (one an emergency and one a no-alternative elective) and an ectopic pregnancy.  Emotionally and morally, though, I feel that it was wrong to suddenly push that decision upon me.  It particularly bothers me that there was no preparation for that discussion and no further information given about it.  Normally for a medical procedure you'll be given information to study beforehand and be able to make an informed decision.  This was a surprise. 

Women who have c-sections often struggle with mixed feelings as it is.  Pregnancy and giving birth is supposed to be such a natural process.  It is, after all, what our bodies are meant to do.  When you have to have a c-section, it can leave you feeling inadequate or like a failure.  It can completely change your birth experience and the way that you begin motherhood (not to mention that the recovery influences your first weeks with your baby).  I'm grateful that they are able to do c-sections as I couldn't have had my kids otherwise.  However, it's taken me awhile to feel completely at peace with having sections.  I really don't need the added emotional baggage of being sterilized at the same time, and I imagine most women would find it difficult as well (even if they want the birth control).

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Talking to the Specialist

We recently met with the specialist who is overseeing my pregnancy care.  I also have a midwife that I regularly see, and have met with different doctors in the specialist's team.  He's the one ultimately in charge of my care, though, and who will be responsible for the birth. 

This was our last meeting with the specialist before the birth, and we got to schedule the C-section.  Most of the appointment was pretty standard and exactly what I expected (I had the same specialist with Angel and with the ectopic pregnancy, so I'm used to him, plus this will be my 3rd C-section).  One thing he said was completely unexpected though.  He offered, while I was already open on the operating table for the section, to go ahead and sterilize me.

I think that was his not-so-subtle way of saying I shouldn't have any more kids.

Even though we're pretty sure that this will be our last baby, neither my husband nor I really feel comfortable with this option.  I also feel like it was kind of sprung on us without a lot of discussion or information or time to think it over.  We said no thanks.

Have any of you been given this option?  What did you do?

Friday, 11 March 2011

32 Weeks Pregnant & Having Heartburn

Things that give me heartburn:
*bending or leaning over (if standing or sitting)
*changing positions/rolling over (if lying down)
*not eating for too long
*eating peanut butter, oats, mint, or anything acidic (vinegar, citrus fruits, tomatoes, etc.)

OK, that's probably not a complete list, but you get the idea.  I seem to have heartburn most of the time these days, and it gets so ridiculous that it wakes me up at night.  Tums and other antacids seem to be my constant companion.  The problem is that--being pregnant--I'm only allowed to take a limited number of them a day.  So I try to ration them out for when it gets really bad.

If all the old wives' tales (and my first two pregnancies) are to be trusted, this baby is going to be born with a head full of hair.

Friday, 4 March 2011

31 Weeks

Ever wonder what a pregnant woman looks like when she lies down during the last trimester?  This is not, in fact, a beached whale or small mountain range.  This is me at 31 weeks.