June 30, 2011

Birth Story: Adoption and Jett, The Third

I think the most difficult phone call I've ever made was the first time I talked to Jett's birth mother. It was awkward for me. And uncomfortable. How was I supposed to begin this conversation? "Hi, I'm Bridget, I heard you are planning an adoption for your baby. Perhaps, you'd consider my husband and I?" And seriously. Who says that? I must have because we planned a meeting a few days after that.

Over the next two months we got together with her several times. She has dark curly hair and I was holding out for my little girl. We went to Seattle's Sea Fair parade, the Pioneer celebration at our church, our city festival and doctor's appointments and an ultrasound. However, after the ultrasound, we found out that we're having a boy. So my dreams of a dark haired daughter were not going to happen with this adoption. We had dinner together at our house, she met my parents and my aunt and uncle and cousins. We visited a lawyer to work out the legal aspects of the adoption. It was fun to get to know her and understand a bit about her situation and the point she was at in her life. Bottom line, she was not prepared to be a parent and her baby deserves a family.

On Friday, August 25, 2006 I was working late at my office. Jett was due a week earlier. I had forgotten my phone in my car and so it wasn't until I was on my way home that I heard the message from Jett's birth mother. She'd gone in for an appointment that morning and the doctor induced her. Jett was born later that evening. I went home, packed some things and headed to the hospital. I arrived the same time as her brother...about 10:30pm.

She greeted me and invited me to hold my son. I stayed with them and was up for the middle of the night bottle feedings. Tymon and the boys came the next day. So did Nana and Bapa. 

They were excited to have a new brother. Or maybe a little confused with how he was coming into our family.

The whole experience was a little surreal. In two months our lives changed forever. I wasn't sure everything would work out. What if she changed her mind? Or people from her past came to haunt us? What if the birth father wanted custody? Or what if the social worker from hell decided not to recommend us? We got a taste of the uncertainty of adoption in those months. I say a "taste" because of what I've watched my friends go through for their adopted children. The roller coaster goes on for years and often involves infertility. Our adoption was so quick and relatively easy. It was less than 6 months from that first phone call, to Jett being born, to having it finalized. I was relieved when the judge signed the papers just before Christmas. Relieved to get off the roller coaster of emotions, challenges, set backs, and successes. Because in less than six months, our lives would change again. Evan was on his way.

I must say, though, Jett's infancy was my favorite. I wasn't physically exhausted. Tymon could feed him or even take him for the day if I needed to work. I loved the shared responsibility. Adoption has some distinct advantages for mothers. Yes!
The religious finalization of Jett's adoption took place in the Seattle Temple.

June 29, 2011

Birth Story: Adoption

I believe my first thoughts about adoption came from my fourth grade teacher who also attended my church. She and her husband adopted four children (over a space of time) from Korea. At the time, I remember thinking, "wow, now that's the way to do it!" Building a family without childbirth pain has some distinct advantages. Little did I understand the many challenges that lead most families to choose the adoption route. I would guess that very few choose it to get out of giving birth.

In my late teens, my attitude toward adoption deepened. I knew that someday I would adopt. My sister Kristal, who is14 months older than me, felt the same way. Fast forward several years. Kristal and her husband have been married a few years. They want to start a family. Infertility enters the picture. Tests are run. Options are explored. Adoption is the right choice for them. As Kristal's family, for a few years, we spread the word in our various social circles that she wanted to adopt. Meanwhile, Kristal and her husband started adoption agency paperwork and getting their papers together and profiles made.

After heaps of paperwork, background and medical checks, social worker visits, and lots of waiting, Kristal and her husband were chosen by a birth mother in June to adopt her baby due in August 2006. Not more than a week or two later a friend of my parents contacted my dad to let him know that she knew of a birth mother looking for a family to raise her unborn child. She was also due in August. Wow. Two babies at once. That would be like having twins, which Kristal and her husband were open to...the only setback being that the agency they were working with didn't allow multiple adoptions at once unless they were coming from the same family. Huh? Okay. We didn't expect that. And they had already committed to adopting the first baby. 

Babies rarely just fall into a family's hands. In fact, in the last 10+ years that we've spread the word and kept our ear to the ground to help my sister, it only happened that one time. My father, in his wisdom, understood the challenges that adoption present to most families. Bottom line, Kristal couldn't adopt this baby, yet a home was still needed. He asked me if Tymon and I would consider adopting.
Elliott, Tymon and Graeden
In June of 2006, Tymon and I had Graeden and Elliott (aged 2 ½ and 1 ¼). We prayed to know what we should do. We planned on having two boys and two girls. I have had dreams about having a dark curly haired girl. It clicked with me that my boys were blonde, this baby could be a girl, and perhaps this was how our dark haired daughter would come into our family. At the same time, I also had some close friends who were looking to adopt. Tymon and I decided that, yes, we could do this. 

But first, we would talk with our friends. I knew a few who weren't able to expand their families without adoption. Perhaps, we were meant to be the messenger about this opportunity. I called one of my friends who I have known nearly my entire life. The timing wasn't right. They were doing a foster to adopt program. I called another friend (I set her up with my second cousin and they got married) but that didn't work out either. There was one more friend who had two children, and very difficult pregnancies and deliveries, who previously had expressed in a casual conversation that she and her husband had talked about adoption. I called her up. We talked. Their marriage was going through a rough patch. Adding a child into a family with an uncertain future isn't ideal.

Tymon and I, however, were ideal. We were looking to build our family. We had previously giving thought to adoption. Timing would put this child at the same age difference/intervals as our boys. We owned our own home and had a stable income. But most importantly, there was a baby who needed us.

June 26, 2011

Birth Story: Elliott, The Second - Birth Center Birth

We had a family reunion in July 2004 in Eastern Washington. Driving for a few hours and over windy mountain roads doesn't always sit well with me and I got car sick. Usually the feeling passes once we arrive and I've been walking around an hour or two. This time, the feeling didn't pass. When we got home a couple of days later, I peed on a stick. It was positive. I never menstruated between Graeden and Elliott's births.

As odd as it may sound, quality of care was not my first priority when finding a provider for this next pregnancy. I went online to find out what non-hospital options I had for birthing. And when I called for more information, my first question was, "how do you bill?" I was looking for a place that would only send one or two bills. I did not want to get bills for services I thought were included in the previous 3 bills for the same procedure. It still is so crazy to me that a hospital sends out a bill for their nurse and service, a doctor sends a bill for his service and anyone else who reads a lab test with the same service also sends a bill. 

Health care in the United States could take some lessons from private business on how to operate more efficiently. For example, at our driving school, when you sign up for a lesson, we charge you a flat rate. It's not separated out into an school administrative fee, instructor fee, and car/gas fee. As I digress, perhaps you can more easily relate to my perspective. Bottom line, I found a local birth center that sends one or two bills. That's it. And that's what sold me.

And to add to my delight was the friendliness of the midwives and staff that worked there. The facilities and birthing suites remind me of a nice hotel. I worked with two midwives and would have one of them at the birth. I was nervous not birthing in a hospital and Tymon was even more skeptical, especially since I needed repair surgery after Graeden. 

Elliott has always been a comfort seeker. He stayed in his nice warm amniotic sac an extra week after his due date. I was getting worried that if he came too late then I'd have to go back to the hospital to deliver since midwives can only deliver between 37 and 42 weeks. Even now, Elliott loves to snuggle and hug and crawls into our bed a couple of times a week.

About midnight, I felt a big contraction. It was not like the little Braxton-Hicks ones that I'd had working up to this point. I was just getting into bed and Tymon was finishing up something on the computer. I called into him that my labor may have started, but I'd time the next couple of contractions and try to get some rest in the mean time. I didn't want to call my midwife Heike just yet. I wanted her to sleep a little longer. About 3:30 am, my longer, stronger, closer together contractions were progressing and it was time to call. We planned to meet at the birth center at 5 am.

Heike was already there when we arrived. I walked in the door, she took one look at me and said, come on back to the room. You're definitely going to have this baby soon. I sat on a chair while she and her assistant filled the tub with warm water. Relieved and amazed that they could tell I was in active labor just by looking at me. Trusting me and what my body was telling me.

I was in the tub a short amount of time before the urge to push came.  I love tubs. And water. They are truly God's gift to laboring women. I was fairly quiet with Graeden's birth. I'm not sure why because I certainly liked being vocal with Elliott's. After several pushes, and Heike working with me to get my pushing voice down to a bass rather than soprano, she checked my dilation for the first and only time. It turns out checking how dilated a woman is doesn't matter until she's about to deliver. A woman can dilate (and efface) from 0-10 in the matter of a few minutes or few weeks. Wow! Not only did my midwife trust that I was in labor, she also respected me as a person and didn't do unnecessary pelvic exams just for the sake of having something to do. I delivered Elliott after being at the Birth Center for less than 90 minutes.

In the photo above, Elliott is still attached to me. When his umbilical cord stopped pulsating, Tymon cut it and I delivered the placenta. As you can see below, Heike has already bonded with Elliott. She took the time to get to know him during the prenatal visits by feeling the belly and figuring out where the head, back, and legs are. All the while talking to him. None of the OBs I've ever worked with as well as a couple of the current midwives at UWMC do this prenatal bonding. I didn't realize how important that is for building a relationship of trust until another midwife at UWMC got to know Kira a little bit. It only takes a minute or two but endeared her to me. I hope she's on call when I go into labor.

This past Thursday, I also met with Heike's midwifery instructor Helen at the UWMC for the second time. I see Heike's personal manner reflected in Helen. Or vice versa. They both express confidence and trust in my intuition as a mother. They empower me with choices. They both get to know babies in utero. They both place emphasis on me as a real person with intelligence and validate my concerns and feelings rather than viewing me as someone who will sue them if something goes wrong with my baby. They are truly kindred spirits.

At about noon the day Elliott was born, Tymon and I decided we'd like to go home. And we did. No hassles and no waiting. It took about 15 minutes to gather our things, strap Elliott into his seat and drive off.

Graeden was very interested in his new brother from the beginning. They are 17 months apart and don't remember life without the other.

June 24, 2011

Birth Story: Graeden, The First - A Hospital Birth

Experience is the most valuable tool for learning. When I think back to just over 8 years ago when I became pregnant for the first time, I realize how naive I was. I didn't know me, my body, or anything about birthing options. The only thing I knew was that I wanted a female provider. So I asked a friend where she went, made sure they had a female obstetrician  and then went there. It was a relatively simple decision. And I complied with everything they told me in my appointments...except I didn't do some of the tests (like for Down's Syndrome) since abortion wasn't an option.

The Birth: On my due date, I had an appointment and the doctor stripped my membranes. I didn't know what that was what he was doing. He checked to see how dilated I was and I think I was 2cm. He asked me if I wanted him to see if he could stretch it to 3cm. Not understanding that he was trying to start my labor for me and that I'd be in terrible cramping pain all day, I said, "okay".

I had intended on going to work, but with these new menstrual-type cramps I was feeling I just went home. And watched How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days. Twice. I couldn't get off the couch.

I called my mom. I was hungry and didn't feel like getting up to get anything. Or make anything. She left work early to make me dinner and arrived with it about the time Tymon came home from work. We ate. The cramps turned into contractions. We timed them. I lost my dinner, which was a major disappointment. I was achy, tired, hungry and now couldn't eat. Contractions got a bit closer and a couple of hours later we went to the hospital about 9:30 pm.

Walking in through the emergency room entrance we ran into a guy I went to junior high and high school with. He's an EMT/Firefighter and had just taken someone in. We hadn't seen each other in nearly 10 years. We talked for a couple of minutes and I introduced him to Tymon. Then, as I was leaning against the wall, I said something like, "well, my contractions are less than 30 seconds apart, I gotta go."

When we got to the birthing center, the Nazi nurse who apparently knew more about my labor than I did (ha ha), said, "well let's see if you're really in labor" as she put us in a room and checks to see how dilated I was. I didn't have another contraction for an hour. Wow. What a let down. I thought I'd be giving birth within the hour. I had no idea what the psychological effect that a few callous and insensitive words would have on me.

When contractions started up again, I began to vomit. Like a lot. And since the food was long gone out of my system, I was hurling bile. Bright yellow. Then fluorescent green. I wanted a natural childbirth. One of the nurses kept trying to push an anti-nausea drug on me. After about 3 or 4 times, I asked what the side effects of the drug were. She didn't know. I explained that I could handle throwing up. I did not know if I could handle whatever side effect came from the other drug. A very frustrated Tymon told her not to ask again. She didn't.

The nurses checked to see how dilated I was several times over the next few hours. And in every painful pelvic exam I had a bulging sac and they couldn't tell for sure how many centimeters I was. I think they are used to women having epidurals so they don't have to be gentle.

About midnight, I had some strong urges to push. They said I wasn't ready. I believed them and held back any pushing. I still wasn't "ready" about 4am. But by that time my attitude had shifted. To hell with compliance and not pushing. My body wanted to push? Then I will push.

I was laboring on a birthing ball and heard a soft sound like a water balloon popping. Then amniotic fluid flowed everywhere. Sweet. This was really happening. I didn't care that the doctor was at home sleeping. In fact, I didn't care if he came at all. Yes he. My female provider wasn't on-call that night. I was finally pushing and an end to labor seemed in sight.

I used a birthing bar to raise myself up off the bed with each contraction. And I pushed. I felt the RING OF FIRE. A pale comparison to the real feeling, which is more like someone taking a blow torch to your crotch. It lasted several pushes. I didn't know if I could push through it. I have never known such an intense pain. The doctor arrived maybe 15 or 20 minutes before Graeden was born at 5 am. I watched as the doctor held his head and then his body as it appeared. My first impression? Wow. He's gray. And long. Is he mine? Yes. That's one question I know the answer to. In fact, he's still attached. To me. My baby. All 6lbs. 15oz and 20" of him.

I was invincible. High. I did it! I birthed Graeden without any drugs. I can do anything. The urge to run up to the rooftop, pound my chest and shout, "I am WOMAN! Hear me ROAR!" may or may not have been suppressed. Wow! My mind was on fire. A physical euphoria lasted all day. And its memory lifts me even now. Seriously, stand back. One part smugness mixed with ten parts empowerment equal an unconquerable spirit. I will do nothing in my entire life harder than giving birth for the first time.

Graeden tore me 4 inches up the inside of the birth canal. Not that I cared. I didn't feel it. This is the power of a natural child-birthing high. I got a saddle block, went into surgery and the OB stitched me up.

There were some fantastic parts to the entire experience and some not so good parts. The most frustrating part was the billing. Long after the pain of the birth faded, the bills continually came. And that (as well as hospital nurse/doctor impressions) led me to search for another provider with my second pregnancy. It wasn't until then that I began to understand my birthing options and most importantly, I learned how to read my own body responses.

June 19, 2011

Just Found

I'm thinking that Kira is waiting to come until I get her siblings' birth posts up. It's actually been a goal of mine for a few months, inspired by a friend who wanted to know more about Jett's adoption story. I was thinking that doing a series on all of the kids would be fun. Like one story per week for a month. Ha ha. That's not happening. But the good news is that tonight I got started on the actual posts. I pulled out the baby books and started scanning photos. In searching for digital photos on Tymon's external hard drive, I found this one of Evan from a family dinner we had. Graeden had the camera out and was taking a lot of photos. Most were terrible. There were some gems, though. I love love love finding pictures of Evan that I've never seen before. They are seriously such a treat.

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Maybe Later

I've been awake since 2:30 am. Dreaming of labor. Again. Except this time they weren't really dreams. More like making plans. Because of the contractions (non-labor ones) I'm having. And serious heart burn. Over an hour later and it still persists. I'm planning who to ask to teach my lesson in church this afternoon. Because these contractions may turn serious. Or not. But I like having babies on Sunday. It's so much easier to coordinate kids, friends, no work, etc. I'd better eat a bowl of granola and firm up my lesson plans...because there's a pretty good chance I will be teaching today. And too tired to do it later at a decent hour.

And on a side note: because I want to have this record later. My pollen allergies have been fine this season. My left eye has itched a little the past few days and my nose a bit runny the past couple of weeks. But nothing compared to last year when I wanted to just gouge my eyes out. I haven't had an LDA shot since last October. But will definitely start back up again after Kira is born. Because really, if a partial effect of the treatment is this good so many months after the last shot, then I want the full effect for next season.

June 12, 2011

That Day and Hour Knoweth No Man

I'd like to have a baby today. Mostly because the last time Tymon graduated that's what happened. And it would be so convenient to have Kira today. I'm fairly certain that the walk from the graduation ceremony to the UW Medical Center would be closer than the walk from the ceremony to the parking lot. As an added bonus, I wouldn't have to accept the midwife's changes to my birth plan before giving birth.

Changes that include continuous fetal monitoring. And a pediatric team in the delivery room. Looking at my crotch. Patiently waiting for Kira to arrive. Because if I don't agree to that then I cannot deliver with the midwives. I'm already on the line for whether or not they will accept me as a client. Eek.

I understand business and why providers don't want to accept everyone. Especially difficult people like me. But transferring would mean going to an OB. Did it have to come down to this? I don't want an OB. And an OB would likely say the same thing. The midwife (same one as last week) encouraged me to talk to Heike. Maybe she's hoping that Heike can talk some sense into me. It wouldn't be the first time.

My friend's sister (B) has the same perinatalogist that the midwife suggested I talk to. She specializes in high risk pregnancies. I visited B after my appointment on Friday. B has a serious congenital heart condition. As in she's had open-heart surgery. Several doctors told her she needs to have an abortion. That her body couldn't handle a pregnancy. This is B's first pregnancy. And she wants her baby. Now she's 33 weeks along. She likes her doctor because while others have encouraged having a c-section now, the doctor is wanting to wait...until B's heart shows signs of distress. She still needs to plan for a c-section, BUT that can wait. It's better to have a full term baby if B's body continues to respond well. Oddly enough, just knowing that piece of information about the doctor calmed me. She's not over-reactive.

And I got a tour of the birthing rooms from the charge nurse. I like her. Maybe she'll be on duty when Kira comes. I've figured out a place where the pediatric team can be in the room (in a little entryway) and be close to Kira and equipment when she comes and not have a direct view of me. Because I'm not like some women who throw modesty out the window when having a baby. Nope. That's not me. And I may have a solution to the monitoring. We'll see how things are going in the moment. Because it's not like they can transfer me as I'm pushing a baby out.

As I pulled out the infant car seat from the garage last night and started to clean it, I began to think about what other preparations I needed to do before Kira comes. Not a whole lot. Just pack my hospital bag. So I did. And I thought about what I was thinking about at 37 weeks with Jocelyn's pregnancy. It's a little bit different this time around. Maybe because of the rapture guy a few weeks ago, I've got this scripture on my mind:
 Matthew 24:36¶But of that aday and bhour knoweth no man, no, not thecangels of heaven, but my Father only.
So, if I really want to have this baby today then I need to make the preparations needed to ensure that I will be ready. Wish me luck. We leave for the graduation in ten minutes.

Lots of excitement on graduation day, but alas, no baby.

June 11, 2011

Ten Hours Later and Still Laughing

This afternoon several of Tymon's classmates and their families came over for a graduation barbecue (ceremony is tomorrow). We talked with one guy for a little while before many of the guests arrived. He's Chinese, but born in the Philippines and lived in Canada and has Canadian citizenship. He's here as an international student. So we were talking about various cultures and the subject came up that we have hosted exchange students.

The conversation went something like this:

J: So where did she sleep?
Me: She slept in Jocelyn's room. Jocelyn slept with us at night.
J: (not realizing that  Jocelyn is our 2 year old and that "she" is Danica, our last exchange student) She slept in your bed?
Me: Yeah.
J: And you're okay with this?  
Me: (oblivious to the miscommunication) Yeah.
J: Wow.
Me: (trying to explain to a single guy why kids crawl into bed with their parents) She's two. Sometimes all the kids get into bed with us.
J: Oh! I thought you were saying your exchange student got in bed with you.
Me: Ha ha ha ha ha ha! That would be some program! You'd want to sign up right away!
J: (laughs heartily)

Can you imagine? An exchange student who sneaked into her host parents bed in the middle of the night. Ha ha ha. Just the thought of this misunderstanding puts a smile on my face and chuckle in my heart. Tymon thinks this scenario has the makings of a great movie scene. I tend to agree.

April 2011 - We took Danica to dinner and bowling.

June 10, 2011

Evan's 4th Birthday

Today was good.
And emotionally together.
It was fun getting food for the party.
Because I was all by myself.
Thanks Nana and Bapa!
The bakery at Costco was so quick 
to put Evan's name on his cake.
Within 3 minutes of my asking.
Love that service.
Somehow seeing his name written
started the tears.
I'd so much rather be celebrating
his birthday with him here.

This fantastic red velvet was a success.
I should have bought two.
But I didn't.
Because no one ever eats cake.
And I didn't want left overs.
Poor Bapa didn't get a piece.

We sang to Evan and released his balloons.
There are still a few in the trees. 
Ha ha.
I think Evan wanted us
to have a visual reminder of him
for a few more days or weeks.

Once the boys let a balloon go
at my aunt and uncle's house.
It was in a tree for months.
That'd be cool if these stayed
in our trees for a while.

June 6, 2011

Pre-Labor Dramatics

I didn't want to to feel nervous or unreasonable about Baby Kira's upcoming birth experience. But that's exactly what has happened this week. I didn't think I liked drama, either. But apparently I do because I'm creating lots of it.

The UW Medical Center has five midwives that usually rotate in attending births. They have a few more that help with prenatal care appointments. Last week, I met one of Heike's (midwife who delivered Elliott and Jocelyn) teachers from way back when. That was fun for me. I also like the first midwife I met in the practice.

I'm just not so sure about the midwife I saw a few days ago. I feel my anxiety level rising. A lot. I recently came across a blog entitled, The Unneccesarean.com. And I really appreciate the education this site gives into the birthing process and c-sections. Birthing Kira in a hospital, especially one that handles high-risk pregnancies and has a 50% c-section rate, scares me. I don't want to feel pressured into making a huge medical decision that may not be in my best interest.

In my first birth experience (at a hospital), I decided that I would opt for natural childbirth. I'm not sure why I made this choice. It felt right for me. But it wasn't until later that I began to comprehend how medical interventions complicate normal childbirth and lead to adverse side affects to both the mother and newborn. From my previous four birth experiences and child rearing I have gained knowledge and experience regarding medical professionals, hospitals, and the rules they follow. Some are patient centered. But all too many seem to be in place to prevent lawsuits.

I like midwives because they are more concerned about my medical well-being rather than whether or not I'm going to sue them. And that gives me and my babies the best medical care possible. I won't cover up my true feelings, though. I would love it if Heike had hospital-delivery privileges. But she doesn't. And that makes me sad. But I think I trust her so much precisely because she does NOT think like someone who works in a hospital.

I go in now for weekly fetal monitoring. They strap a monitor to my belly and track Kira's heartbeat for about half an hour. They're looking to see what it does during a restful state and what happens when she moves or there's a contraction. I asked the midwife I just met if they intended to do continuous fetal monitoring during my labor. She affirmed they would. I told her I didn't want that. I have no problem using a handheld device to check every so often, but that I did not want to be continuously monitored.

The reason I don't want to be continuously monitored is because in so doing, the chance of c-section multiplies yet there is no change to infant mortality rates. The test is flawed and results are easily mis-read. If the medical professional thinks that the baby may be in distress, then they want to do a c-section. Exactly, what I don't want to happen.

What's unbelievable for me is that this midwife actually said to me, "most women choose a c-section over a dead baby." Uh, what? Did she just play the dead baby card? Yes. Yes, she did. Talk about applying pressure.

I let her know that I am fully aware of what it's like to lose a child. I do not intend to lose this one. However, the risk of a c-section has to be weighed against the risk to Kira and I.

She said she'd talk to a perinatologist and see what she recommends. Huh? Consulting a doctor I've never met before? How would this doctor know better than Kira's cardiologist and I what would be best for Kira?

The midwife went on to tell me that in high-risk pregnancies blah blah blah. I corrected her. This is not a high risk pregnancy. There is nothing high-risk about me. Kira may have a heart defect once she is born. But there's actually nothing wrong with is as long as she's inside of me and using my blood supply. So, really, nothing about this labor/delivery is high-risk. She conceded my point and went on to talk about Kira's heart defect.

It's true, Kira appears to have a couple of heart issues. But we don't know right now what exactly that means. We need to wait and see how her heart and lungs work together after she's born and has left my blood supply.

Instead of talking about fetal monitoring and c-sections, we should be discussing that the first sign of Kira's small pulmonary branch arteries being too small is that she'll have respiratory distress. And if her right sided aortic arch is problematic then she'll have respiratory distress. And a common side effect of c-sections is that the babies have respiratory distress. Hmmm. That doesn't seem like a good combo. Unless I labor and deliver naturally (like I want) without interventions, we won't be giving Kira her best shot at life. So no more pressure about seemingly innocent continuous fetal monitoring. I'm not going to do it.

Bottom line, I left there feeling like I was being difficult. For standing up for what is best for me and my daughter. I was trying so hard to be reasonable but don't think that's how I was received. I want to have a positive birthing experience. To have medical professionals support my decisions. But right now I just feel the contention ... and the time to work through that is now. Before I'm in labor.

I'll bring in a birth plan for my appointment this week. Laying out everything I want out of this experience and discussing my options. I'm also praying Heike will be available and not at another birth when I go into labor. I want her to come to Kira's birth as my doula and advocate.
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