Friday, April 29, 2011

Graham 성호 Cha!! 12:06pm, April 12, 2011, 4.16kg, 55cm.

Despite all our hard work and preparation, Graham was stubborn and refused to budge. He also measured quite large so the lovely midwives at Bless Birth had no option but to refer us elsewhere.

We decided at this point our only options were a repeat C-section or a very expensive attempt at a VBAC in Mediflower. My husband and I discussed our options and we chose the best choice for our family - the repeat VBAC.

Despite having had a not so great experience with our first unexpected C-section we did know that I healed exceptionally well with a very minimal scar. We decided that it was best to work with the same surgeon that we used the first time. We also knew how and what to prepare for the post-op care this time so we were confident that our experience would be better. In addition we had the support of our Morning Calm doula, Karen Zamperini.

I visited the doctor and explained our situation. He performed an ultrasound and was surprised to see that Graham was measuring at 4.73kg-a full kilogram larger than Thomas was when he was born! While the previous doctor we had spoken to regarding a VBAC was terrified that I was almost full term, our doctor was rather nonchalant and scheduled us for a C-section 4 days later. I was surprised but appreciative as I had hoped for Graham's health to at least have a chance at labour. If we started labour before the scheduled day, we would have an emergency C-section. But Graham was very stubborn and we had no signs of labour whatsoever.

The morning of April 12th we were very excited and eager to greet our second son. Karen joined us and took some great photos of me saying good-bye to the first Kimchi Kid, driving myself to the hospital and waiting to go in to see the doctor. It was great to have her there and she was determined to help me to breastfeed as soon as I was out of recovery.

At the hospital we were asked a few basic questions, but one question I found very odd. They asked what type of C-section I wanted. My husband explained to me that they could perform an operation that made it easy to conceive a 3rd or a type that wasn't as easy. My husband immediately replied that we were done with 2, but I was worried that he perhaps didn't fully understand what they were asking. Just in case I asked for the easy-to-conceive-#3 style, because I didn't know if they would tie my tubes or something otherwise!

We then went to the delivery and nursery floor and that was when things started to go slightly wrong. I'd hoped that my husband could stay with me and come in the operation room, but they told me he could not. I was then instructed to undress, put on my robe and lay on the bed. After 10minutes by myself they realized I needed some translation help and brought my husband in. I was glad to see him as I was feeling lonely and teary, not the feelings I wanted to have at this point. They then escorted me into the operating room and he left.

There was a male nurse who tried to explain to me what to do next, which was comical and confusing. He kept talking about "shrimp, make a shrimp back" which meant nothing to me. Turns out they wanted me to curl up like a shrimp on my side to receive the spinal anaesthetic. I laughed at this and did as they asked. It is quite hard to do this move when you are 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant with a huge belly! The male nurse tried to help hold me and the doctor of anaesthesiology told me what she would do. They would make 2 attempts and if it failed, they would have to use a general anesthetic. I replied that it was fine, when I'd had my son she had done it successfully on the first try and I was 15kg/30lbs heavier that time!

It didn't work. It was horrible. I've never had such an awful feeling in my whole life. Just typing this makes me feel physically ill. She tried twice and then they had to bring my husband in. I was hysterical. It was so, so awful. I cried and cried, I apologized to my husband for being weak and told them not to try a third time. I couldn't allow them to do that to me again. I was so upset because I could only have the general anesthetic now and that meant I would miss the birth of my son. I cried and held my husband's hand as they made me count backwards into oblivion.

When I started to wake in the recovery room, the nurses brought Graham in to me. I will never forget seeing my beautiful baby boy for the first time. He was wearing a little white cap and they latched him onto my left breast. He suckled away, staring at me with one little eye opened. I was so happy to see him! I thought he looked just like his big brother and I was so in love! After that brief moment he was whisked away from me and confined to the nursery for the next 24 hours.

I was so happy that they allowed me that brief moment, and that first latch. The rest of my time in hospital went very smoothly. Doumi stayed with me the first 3 days and nights. She was so amazing, it made my experience so much better. Knowing what to expect and being prepared made the whole post-partum recovery a lot easier. We had a brief bout of bad latch in breastfeeding but the lactation consultant on staff was awesome and helped immensely! We had Graham with us all day and he stayed in the nursery from his 9:30pm bath time until 5 or 6am. They had a strict cup feeding policy in their nursery and the extra rest I feel really helped me to recover. We were able to go home at noon on Saturday, so I was very happy that things went so smoothly in the post-partum recovery department.

Since then he has been feeding and sleeping so well. He is nowhere near as fussy as his big brother was and he has been so good! We're truly blessed that he is healthy and happy!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

VBAC Update!

Come out anytime Baby Graham!

Well Baby Graham didn't arrive in March despite the best guesses of everyone involved. This meant we had to go for a 39week check up with the midwife.

That was when we received bad news. Baby Graham's head is getting bigger and the midwife is now concerned that with such a large head there will be too much strain on my scar if we go past 40weeks. Previously she had said she would allow me to go until 41 weeks at her clinic, but now we're only allowed to 40weeks and 1day. If Graham doesn't come naturally on his own by then, we're going to have to change to a hospital.

Unfortunately, the odds of a hospital here in Korea allowing me to attempt to VBAC after 40weeks, especially with a baby who is measuring large, are slim to none. As one doula told me, I'd have to "show up pushing" and basically that is something my husband and I are not comfortable with. I can only go so far without his support as well, so I'm looking into options.

The other midwife we've spoken to on the phone regarding this has said she wouldn't take me unless I went to Mediflower and had Dr. Chung back her up. Due to the distance and the cost of the clinic(TRIPLE what we'd pay here) we had ruled it out as an option already. We had hoped she would be willing to handle us if we came to her clinic but she won't consider it.

There is another large women's hospital down the street from us. According to Korean mom's cafes it offers VBAC but again, the rules are strict. Since I've not had any examinations or care there, it may not be an option. We're going to check into it nonetheless as a possible back-up plan.

For now though we are working on all available natural options to get Graham moving out on his own.
In addition, we've focused all our energy on Monday, April 4th 2011 as the birthdate. 4/4/11 sounds good to me!
So please send us positive energy and vibes for a smooth, natural VBAC on Monday!

Thanks so much!
XOX Mommy Cha and Baby Graham