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Carrie's Pregnancy Journal

~ Meet Carrie

CarrieMy name is Carrie. My husband Steve and I are expecting our eighth living child in late June of 2007. Our other children are Katie (16); Rose (13); Gaelin (10); Scarlet (6); Oliver (4); Nadia (3) and Stephen (1 1/2).

My husband and I have experienced a variety of losses (3 early miscarriages, 2 second trimester losses and 1 newborn death), and know that nothing in pregnancy (or birth) is guaranteed. We treasure whatever time we're granted with each baby and approach pregnancy and childbirth with a certain amount of trepidation.

My first full term pregnancy ended in cesarean after I was diagnosed with "failure to progress" and severe pre-eclampsia. Two VBAC homebirths followed. Our next baby, Violet, died at 2 days old because of meconium aspiration. She was 3 days shy of a month overdue.

I seem to take after my mother, in that all of my full-term pregnancies tend to be at least two weeks "past due," with meconium staining (the baby's first bowel movement in the amniotic waters). So, after Violet's death, out of a desire to avoid the problem completely, we induced either the week I was due or a short time before.

Our last birth, a year and a half ago, was a difficult one that culminated in a second cesarean section. The pregnancy itself was challenging, when in the eighth month, I again developed symptoms of severe pre-eclampsia, and was put on one month of bedrest. That was hard for me - particularly emotionally! I was willing to do whatever the doctor told me to do . . . but not being able to be up and about taking care of my family was humbling. It goes against every fiber of my being to have to ask for others' aid. I am very independent. But, believe me, I had to accept a lot of help!

Once we went in to the hospital for our induction, the labor proved to be very long and drawn out. We lost the baby's heartbeat several times causing quite a commotion in the obstetric unit, and then my blood pressure "crashed" and they almost lost me, too. I labored for 23 hours before I reached the second stage and could push. But, still, the baby refused to "move down" and after two hours of pushing, and exhausting every natural option, I ended up with a cesarean section.

Our brand new pregnancy involves a need to switch physicians and hospitals which is upsetting and disconcerting. After so many years with the same doctor, leaving the familiarity and security behind is hard. I wonder over how my upcoming birth experience will be handled and how I will be received and treated. Believe it or not, there are many in the medical community (and society at large) who look down on a woman with many children (by today's standards). We're literally seen as "less intelligent" and even "less responsible" than others with only one or two children. We've experienced our share of sarcastic and hurtful comments.

My husband and I are conservative Christians, and attend Mennonite. We firmly believe in letting God control our family size and find every single one of our children to be a unique blessing to the family. We wouldn't trade any of them for anything! We all work together within our family unit to make it work. Everyone has a part. We depend on one another, and lift one another up when necessary! All of the children, even the smallest ones, help with tidying and they help to keep the household running as smoothly as possible.

I am an at-home, home schooling mother. I keep very busy caring for family and home. I try each day to enjoy at least some quiet time. This is usually when I am up at night, waiting for my husband to get home from work (he works second shift).

I like reading books, crocheting, doing a variety of needlework, baking and gardening.

I am really looking forward to sharing my journey toward birth with all of you in the "family" of StorkNet! This is an exciting opportunity and I hope that my experiences will somehow strengthen and encourage you in your own walk.

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