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Carrie's Pregnancy Journal

Week 23
~ Running On Empty and Feeling Down

The day after I emailed my 22-week-update to StorkNet's editor, my husband went to our medical records office to obtain my transcripts from the last doctor, as the new clinic requested. I had an appointment with a doctor the midwife suggested, in three days.

How I wish I had waited to mail my update to Maribeth! Those records were terribly "revealing." The doctor we saw several weeks ago had transcribed numerous untruths on our medical record. He even made sarcastic comments about our Christian faith (which had never once been mentioned).

We were disturbed, and upset. I posted about it on my "blog" under the title, "All Women Please Read This! -- It Concerns YOU". Never before had I imagined a physician could do this.

The number one thing I was anxious to read were the "Level-2 Ultrasound" report notes. However, the doctor (per his "report" of our office visit) recorded on our prenatal transcript: "She has had a baby with cleft lip and palate. She does not want any genetic testing done. She does not want a level II ultrasound for fetal anomalies. The patient says she wants just a regular ultrasound for dating here, but she does not want anything done for genetic reasons. She feels that it is not necessary and that God will take care of everything for her."

Huh?! -- Before we'd left his office, he told us to make an appointment at the Radiology/Lab window for a basic prenatal bloodwork screen and a Level II ultrasound, "to check up on Baby and make sure everything looks alright". It had not been our idea to have an ultrasound, but we were grateful for it. We wanted the information it would provide. Unfortunately, we learned nothing outside of how far along I was (which, of course, we already knew), her sex and what position she was in.

I dreaded the meeting with the new doctor. I didn't expect anything good.

We started out at 9am for our 11 am appointment (it's an hour and a half drive for us, and we were unsure exactly where we were going). We took my medical records (which I amended), the cellphone and the three smallest children, and left the 6, 11, 14 and 16 year olds at home. We were gone for five hours, round trip. It was a long, exhausting day.

The doctor was an older man, tall and intimidating. His voice boomed. But, he seemed very experienced. He told us that a VBAC was definitely a reasonable request, and that he would work with us to achieve that. He admitted, though, that the two other doctors that work with him do not agree with his stance on the subject. And, if he is not on call when I go into labor, I might end up with one of them, in the hospital.

I was told that a telemetry unit was also alright for recording fetal heart tones during labor (rather than needing to be strapped to the belts in bed; this type of continuous monitoring allows the mother to move around and is even waterproof), and that I could have a heplock (IV tubing situated in the arm, but capped off and not attached to any bag/pole). He even said I could use the jacuzzi to take advantage of the warm water for pain. These were all my concerns/desires.

However, the doctor was honest about the fact that we would have to press for these benefits if he were not on call. He told us to "be prepared to firmly refuse the cesarean, as this is what will be immediately pushed."

My heart is set on a homebirth. It's what I desperately want. It would solve so many issues for me, and I so miss the births I did have at home, which were so peaceful and easy to cope through. My own environment . . . my own methods of dealing with the pain of labor . . . relaxing in my own bed after the birth. But my husband absolutely refuses to allow me to have another. He remembers the last one (Violet's birth) -- and forgets we were alone, then, with no aid.

He also tells me he's seen me with the last labors (in the hospital) and how with the last three I requested an epidural. He thinks I will only request to be taken to the hospital for more pain relief with this one, increasing the cost of this birth . . . again forgetting that the reason for desiring pain relief was due to the pitocin-induced labor, which produced contractions that were ever so much more fierce than "normal" contractions! The pains were like transition before I was even a full centimeter dilated. Awful!

Whatever. To the hospital we shall go. But I will not get induced!

I want to be submissive to my husband's wishes, but it is very, very hard! I feel as though I have to do all the work of carrying this baby, and birthing her; I should have more "say" in how it all goes. However, I must remember that he has our "best" at heart. He really is concerned.

The baby continues moving around in her own unique manner. She's still very quiet . . . So very different from the other babies I have carried! Sometimes I almost forget she's there! She has about two times per day she's "active." The remainder of the time, I can feel her scoot around here and there. But no "wild" activity. Our last baby was full of colic for months! I'm wondering if this child's being so "quiet" means a "happy baby"?

I've been struggling under a cloak of depression the past week . . . I do not know what is wrong with me, or what's brought it on. My energy is extremely low, and I just want to sit and cry all the time. It is difficult to "motivate" and I'm just plain frustrated with myself.

I've also been dealing with restless legs, and sleeplessness. I can fall asleep easily, initially. But my husband is notorious for waking me up by switching on a light, starting a conversation or just being "silly" . . . and then I remain awake, no matter what I do, for another one to three hours. Sometimes I don't get back to sleep until after 4-5am and the little ones are ready to begin the day by 7am. Most of the time, I feel as though I'm "running on empty." Four to five hours of sleep per night just aren't enough. I wish I could just close myself up, alone, somewhere . . . But of course that is not possible.

We had an appointment with the perinatology/genetics doctor yesterday for a (true) Level-II ultrasound. But the weather was so terrible, we were forced to turn around. It took a full hour to get where it normally takes 15 minutes to drive to. There were so many accidents on the sides of the highway, I literally lost count. Every few yards, there was yet another overturned vehicle or a vehicle in the ditch. The wind and snow were intense. We called by cellphone and they made a new appointment for us . . . in almost three weeks. It was the earliest they could get us in.

Well, hopefully next week will be a more pleasant "read" for all of you. I know I didn't have a whole lot to "share" here on the positive side.

I'm praying for all of you who are expecting right now. May your babies grow perfectly within you, and may you be in good health! Lean on our Lord. God bless you and keep you all!

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