As many of you might know, I gave birth to my second child at home. And yes, I meant to do that. I had a planned home birth and a midwife (or two actually). Life was complicated at the time that I had Donut as she came along only 8 days after I discovered that my mom had 7 brain tumors and was sure to die in the near future. Let me tell you... there is nothing worse than extreme grief during labor/childbirth/post partum. I would not wish such an experience on my worst enemy. Often, I have felt that I was being punished for something but I know that's not how the world works. It's just one of those "rites of passages" I had to go through for some unknown reason. One day, in the afterlife, maybe I will understand it. Since the diagnosis, I had felt as if my daughter was clearly some type of consolation prize for having to lose my mom. We certainly were not trying to have a baby and by no means did we want a girl. But here she came anyway, at the weirdest time possible. The years following her arrival were not easy. I say years because I feel that I've just gotten myself back on track within the past couple of months. I was on the verge of a full-blown psychosis last fall and without going into details, my family was at the brink of disaster. With the support and prayers of a few folks who stood behind me, I managed to overcome my situation and find help for myself. The help came in the form of a supplement called 5-HTP. I'm not a fan of pharmaceuticals and so I stepped out on faith and started taking the all natural anti-depressant. It's not for everyone and I'm not suggesting that YOU take it. I'm just saying that it's what I took. And it worked really well for me. And I'm so glad because I believe that it's the reason I am still married and possibly still alive.
It's hard to know if my situation was caused only by grief over losing my mom to death and my father to estrangement or if it was largely a result of severe anemia during and after my home birth and the terrible recovery period from 40 hours of labor that I experienced. Most likely, it was a combination of all of the above. What's NOT hard to know is that I refuse to go through that again. Any of it. My biggest concern is that I've had to stop taking the 5-HTP because there is not enough research about taking it while pregnant.
So, I'm taking precautions. Friday, the Captain and I met with a midwife at Vanderbilt. Tearfully I told her about losing my mom, the hell of the past two years of my life, how I'd just started to regain my foothold and suddenly, bam, I'm pregnant again. She was kind. She listened. She isn't going to pressure me to take drugs. I really felt at ease in her presence and after we left, when my wonderful husband said that he, too, really really liked her, I was relieved. Because I've been in prayer about what to do about baby #3 (as if I knew it would be sooner than later despite our efforts to delay its arrival) since baby #2 got here. And every time I've prayed, my answer was so obvious always: Vanderbilt Birthing Center. But when we got to the office, I felt uneasy and it almost seemed a little ghetto. So, when I ended up loving the midwife assigned to me, I suddenly felt such a burden taken off my shoulders. She's going to set me up with a specialist and I'm highly encouraged to do talk therapy throughout this pregnancy. I think that's a good idea. It certainly cannot hurt.
As for the baby... I've felt a little off about this pregnancy. When I was pregnant with number one, I knew it was a boy. When I was pregnant with number two, I knew we were having a girl. With this one, I get no reading. I'm hoping it's because of stress and unresolved issues. But just in case, we go in for an ultrasound on Wednesday. Please say prayers that baby number 3 (or babies numbers 3 and 4) are healthy and sound inside of me. And pray for me. Pray for peace, comfort and mental health.