Trying to Conceive & Pregnancy
I always knew I wanted 2 children and I wanted them to be more than 2 years apart. I wanted to be able to spend quality time with my first child, learning about them and giving them my 100% attention. I wanted to feel like the newborn experience with my second child was new and exciting rather than having only just experienced it with my first, especially knowing I would likely only have 2 babies. I didn’t want it over and done too quickly.
Lucas was born in December 2016; I was 27 at the time. I had in my head that we would try for a second after my 30th Birthday which would be in May 2019. I wasn’t on contraception since having Lucas so was tracking my cycle, usually avoiding doing the deed around my fertile window. But in October 2018 we had a drunken slip up which fell right in my fertile window, oops! It wasn’t in our plan at that moment to fall pregnant, but we also weren’t too worried if it resulted in a pregnancy knowing we could comfortably provide for a second child and it would be loved and cared for. The pregnancy test was negative, that came as a big relief but also a little bit of disappointment mostly on my part. Then around comes November and oops, we did it again! Right in my fertile window! It was at this point I realised my body may be trying to tell me something. I discussed with Peter the possibility that maybe we were ready for a second and if the test was negative, we should actively start trying to conceive. This time around we got another negative test and found ourselves more disappointed than relieved, so the decision was made, it was time to try for our second.
I started tracking using ovulation prediction kits (OPK's) and come January I got that first faint second line on an early response pregnancy test a couple of days before my period was due. The line didn’t get much darker over the next couple of days and then my period arrived! It was heavier and lasted longer than usual, I was so confused. I had started to wonder if I may have experienced a ‘chemical pregnancy’ (a very early pregnancy loss). I went to my doctor who confirmed I was not pregnant via blood test and those lines on the tests had now faded to nothing. I was pretty upset but wanted to keep trying. My following cycle was all over the place and according to the OPK’s I had ovulation peaks at 2 times during my cycle so I was certain we wouldn’t fall pregnant that month. We were going to take a short TTC break after this cycle as to avoid another December baby since it was already such a busy time of year with our sons birthday and Christmas. February 18th came around and we got the ever so faint second line again, I didn’t want to get my hopes up this time in case it ended before it started but that line got darker and darker and Aunt Flo never arrived. We were pregnant and due in late October 2019.
Pregnancy & why I chose Home birth
I had briefly considered home birth during my first pregnancy, but it was such a taboo subject and seemed like a dream that wasn’t within reach. Peter was not too keen on the idea and being my first we agreed that having a hospital birth would be best. My hospital birth with Lucas went mostly ok, I arrived at the hospital at 8cm dilated after labouring at home but once I arrived things started to stall, they decided to break my waters for me after about 4hrs in hospital to speed things up. I wasn’t allowed to eat, spent most of the time on my back and Peter was so uncomfortable sitting on a waiting room style chair. It took a total of 8hrs from arriving at hospital before we met Lucas which included 2.5hrs of pushing due to exhaustion and an instrumental birth which involved an episiotomy and ventouse assistance. I had an unmedicated labour which was always my preference and I was grateful to have achieved at least one of my birth preferences. Lucas arrived safely and was perfect in every way. We were so smitten.
It wasn’t until much later in my post-partum journey that I reflected on how my labour went and how I has wished it had have gone differently. I did research, followed Facebook groups and pages which supported women to achieve a natural and intervention free birth and my eyes were opened. I knew I wanted things to be different with my second labour and birth.
When I attended my first prenatal appointment with a midwife at the same clinic that I went to with Lucas I told her how I felt that being in hospital resulted in unnecessary interventions and that I wanted a different experience this time, she asked me if I had considered a home birth. It wasn’t my first thought but her prompting made me realise that this could be a real possibility this time around. I went home and discussed it with Peter, he was apprehensive at first but after reminding him how uncomfortable the hospital was for him, he was willing to consider it. I applied to the Community Midwifery Program and was accepted much to my excitement. I continued researching the benefits of home birth and sharing my findings with Peter who was still somewhat apprehensive but had now started to realise what a positive experience this could be.
For pregnancy Number 2 I experienced nausea much worse than I did with my first until about 16 weeks but was lucky enough that I was still able to manage with occasional medication. My bump showed quite early in the first trimester and my thyroid levels were ever so slightly off so I decided to take a low dose of thyroxine which has been great at maintaining excellent thyroid function. My 3rd Trimester came along and I was feeling great, I even travelled overseas to Singapore at 30 weeks with Peter and Lucas. I couldn’t believe my luck when I didn’t get a single cold or virus, I had so many when I was pregnant with Lucas. By 36 weeks I was still feeling great, I had some minor hip pain on waking and felt pretty tired by the end of the day but nothing out of the ordinary considering at this point in my pregnancy with Lucas I was experiencing severe Sacroiliac Joint pain as well as sciatica that had left me in tears and unable to get out of bed. My blood pressure was spot on, every urine test was clear, Gestational Diabetes was negative, I had minimal to no swelling – I really did hit the pregnancy jackpot this time around.
38 weeks came around and I had a midwife appointment at the clinic, I had been feeling a bit off and had some random bouts of painful cramping that had made me nauseous and had me on the toilet frequently, my midwife decided to send me to the maternity ward for some monitoring as my Blood Pressure was slightly elevated. I spent half the day at the hospital being monitored, although my physical picture looked good, baby was quiet and they needed him to wake up a little before they were happy for me to go, once they were happy with his heart trace off I went.
I felt like I was going to go into labour soon so was somewhat disappointed once 39 weeks came around and I had not had my baby. Although I was so eager to meet my newest little human I was still feeling good at this point and continued to remind myself that he will come when he is ready.