Getting in to the Right Headspace/Fears - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 06-28-2010, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our second child is due around Christmas, and we live in a province with no legal midwives. There are apparently no underground midwives here either. There is a "birth attendant" who lives an hour+ away. I haven't met her, but what I hear about her sort of gives me the heebie jeebies. I don't think I'll be seeking her out! Our local hospital is a bit of a nightmare.
We planned a homebirth with our first, and one of my midwifery school classmates attended. We ended up at the hospital after a super long second stage, and I still have mixed feelings about it even though everything was FINE, and aside from the location (hospital in a different city than our current home), it really was a pretty ideal birth. I had NO problems with the idea of birthing at home alone. My classmate was sort of a bonus, but we were perfectly comfortable and prepared to go it alone. I really didn't fear the process at all.
Fast forward to now. I'm still completely comfortable with the idea of a UC, for ME, but I've got a revolving door of fear for my child going on in my head. I have another old classmate who has offered to send me some oxytocin to have on hand in case of hemorrhage, as well as anything else I might want. Another has offered to send a doppler (I have a fetoscope, but somehow the idea of using it on myself in labour seems a little daunting). A local doula friend has offered to be there if I want, and has offered up her birth pool. Overall, I feel much more supported in a UC (or, an almost UC) this time around. But, I'm afraid for the babe.
There is really no reason to be afraid. I'm getting pre-natal care, I'm healthy, I'm educated, the baby seems fine so far, etc, etc. But, I know none of those things keep an abruption or other random accident from occuring. I think part of this might be coming from the fact that there have been a few 2nd tri losses in my ddc. Also, I had been sporadically following another mdc mama's blog, and she recently lost a baby during a homebirth. Maybe this is mostly coming from external sources?
Whatever the reason, the fear is there. I don't think it's very responsible to dismiss these fears without looking at them a little more closely, but I don't know how to go about that?! How do I determine what is a fear coming from intuition, and what is just coming from the oversensitive heart of a mama hearing about horrible situations? How did/do you work through this stuff, if it's been an issue?

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#2 of 19 Old 06-28-2010, 04:29 PM
 
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Talking it out can help. So can EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)

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#3 of 19 Old 06-28-2010, 07:40 PM
 
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To weed out intuitive feelings from others I think of times when I know I had an intuitive feeling and compare that to other times when I thought my intuition was nudging me. It seems like you think that your feelings are coming from outside sources...maybe if possible try to stay away from the internet for awhile? p.s. I think we're in the same ddc!

                   
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#4 of 19 Old 07-01-2010, 03:45 PM
 
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Selkat,

I just read your post and have some responses to your questions. But I wanted to check with you first to see if it would help you to hear from me or not. My second child died at the hospital after a planned UC. I certainly do not respond to anything you write in fear, and I do have some experience in the fears you talk about in this circumstance as well as experience in intuition. But I'd like to know that you're okay listening to me before I respond, as I certainly don't want to add to your confusion.

Thinking of you,

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#5 of 19 Old 07-01-2010, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Jaya - I would really like to hear what you have to say! And I can't even begin to express how sorry I am that your son died. Truly.

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#6 of 19 Old 07-03-2010, 02:56 PM
 
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I listened to the Hypnobabies affirmations CD a lot and it helped. I was more anxious than fearful, but still, I thought it was great to listen to.

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#7 of 19 Old 07-08-2010, 12:30 AM
 
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Sorry for the delay in response, Selkat. I have been out of town and flat out with a 9 year old inner city house guest visiting the country for two weeks

Gosh, I think that there is no real good answer for what you speak of. I don't know how you know until you *know*. Does that even make sense? I don't even know that the real issue is fear versus intuition. Fear can be REAL for a good reason and can get you to where you need to be, right? And intuition in that situation then doesn't matter one iota. And intuition can be just a feeling. Or a thought of something happening. But it may never happen, or it may and if it does then you know your intuition was right, but if it doesn't well.. than it was just "fear" all along. But what about the intuition (or fear thought) that some believe can manifest into reality... that maybe wouldn't have otherwise happened if you or I hadn't given the thought or fear attention in the first place. Power of attraction type of thinking... not sure I subscribe to this, but there it is anyway.

None of the above is supposed to make sense. I am just throwing all of that around to show that I don't think we ever actually know until *WE KNOW*.

When I was pregnant, I began by every day praying about what I should do. I stayed open to getting a mw, or also going UC, or even to the hospital (although I really did not want to do that). Each day unfolded and each day I went solo with just my baby and myself. In the end I never hired a mw, although I had one lined up in case and I didn't receive prenatal care per se, but I did do all my own prenatals. I had a few strange things happen during the pregnancy that I wonder about in hindsight- a dream I actually wrote down in my diary about having a surgical birth and where the baby died. It was vivid and awful. In addition to that I constantly had the feeling that I was not pregnant while I was sleeping. I would feel like I was going to wake up to find myself without a child, like the disappointment that happens when you awake from a wonderful dream to find it vaporized and untrue. But then I would rub my belly and savor the fact that it was real. I never shook that feeling the whole 10 months. The day before I went into labor (at 44 weeks) dh had a feeling of complete fear come to him in the garden. he felt the fear, he listened to what was being told to him, and he was downright scared for the baby. He wrote a poem in those moments that after Trace's death was haunting in hindsight.

In the end I was asking every moment of everyday for guidance on what to do. I was open to whatever I was told to do, and I was repeatedly told that I would know when I needed to do something. That when something changed or became apparent then I could act. But that for now, I was to just stay present and open, expectant.

And you know, in labor.. early labor... I was filling the tub. And from out of nowhere I heard a very clear instruction to try the doppler. I at this point had ZERO fear, no brain activity to make me worried or concerned. But I was obedient and placed the doppler on my belly only to find a serious decel. In that moment I was pissed that the technology sucked and the battery likely did not work, but I used it again and found the same thing. And I was STRUCK with fear, but I did not know if it was just fear and the fear was causing the stress. I asked Spirit, or whatever higher consciousness is out there what to do. I asked if I needed to call the ambulance and the answer was no, not now. It was not an emergency.

We did transfer immediately and we had 2 hours of monitoring in the hospital before my son died. But, being in the hospital was smart for *me* and listening at home to the decels in that moment I was led to was critical. If I had not, I likely would have keeled over on the floor infront of 4 year old dd and bled to death (I had a catastrophic rupture and abruption).

I am not going to go into the story more here, as I do not want to hijack the original intention of the post. Suffice it to say, I offer my experience to show that for me, paying attention was critical. I was not in fear, I was in open faith . I listened and acted each step. And you know, it did not save my baby. Maybe nothing was going to save my baby, maybe he did not come to live or be saved, what do I know? But I did trust and I did stay open to what step I needed to take next and when. I do not know that I could have possibly have known anything at any earlier date- not when I had a dream, not when dh had his fear in the garden. I only knew when I knew. It would have been very nice had I known something earlier, seen some obvious writing on the wall that indicated that a early c/s would save his life. But what would that have been that I would have believed and not second guessed for the rest of my life... how would I ever have known if I had had a c/s for fear at 36 weeks that I really needed that surgical birth and he otherwise would have died? You can't until that ultimate change and thing happens that lets you know you need to change your plans.

To me, the best you can do is make a plan. And then make an alternate plan based on what if "....." (fill in the blank) and yet another plan based on "what if ......" Because birth, like life, is constantly evolving. It is not static and you can't know how all the factors and all the stars are going to line up and shift and line up again. You just keep paying attention, keep tuning into your body, your baby, asking your baby how he or she is, praying in your own version of whatever that looks like. And honestly, you will know. You just will.

I remember a story of a woman who had had all homebirths with umpteen children and for some reason on baby #7 or 8 she was just led to plan a hospital birth. She knew to. And she bled severely enough after the birth that she then knew why she had been in the hospital. Something just told her to.

I don't know where any of this leaves you. Maybe nothing here even strikes a chord with you.

I just don't think you can ever figure out in your head what is a intuition and what is just fear or worry from stories you have heard. There needs to be something deeper- some other voice or knowing of what to do. Keep listening, it will come, and if it comes one day, one moment at a time, so be it. Make a million contingency plans and sure enough, you will be able to have one that fits whatever situation you may find yourself in.

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#8 of 19 Old 07-14-2010, 05:52 PM
 
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During my last pregnancy I had practically no prenatal care, one of the doctors I saw made me feel very guilty. When I moved I got back in touch with the Kundalini Yoga commuinty I am involved with and the center director had the book "Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful" by Gurmukh that book cleared my fears and paranoia. I also read her other book. I did the mantra "happy, healthy, holy baby" during my meditations, yoga practice, prayers, walks, showers, practically anytime I thought about it... I did intuitive development, a lot of prenatal kundalini yoga and connected with the baby... after a while I absolutely believed and felt that I knew the baby would be healthy... I felt a real connection to the physical baby, emotional/mental baby, spiritual baby, in detail. I tracked/journeled/journeyed my dreams as well. All this really transformed my life as a healer, and I was really only doing it for myself and my baby. Before she was born I felt I already knew her, what she would be like, what she would look like and some information about what the first weeks would be like with her and I was right.

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#9 of 19 Old 07-16-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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I feel your thoughts so very clear. Iam exspecting in September and have done all my prenantle care and seen my back up doc a few times who is also a good friend of mine. Before trying to make baby my partner and I knew that uc was for us. Iam a homebirth midwife with no other midwife in the area besides me. My fears are what I fear for every birth I attend, sd, bleeding,breathing problems. Though I have had my babies at home with a midwife,she passed away three years ago, some fears are creeping in. Will I be able to midwife myself and still be the one having the baby? Can I tell if something isnt right? Can we handle any complications if they arise? I have knowledge and skills is that enough?

I tell myself positive things I have three children born just fine, I have caught many babies and have seen mostly good births, a few hairy ones with good outcomes. To be open even in the face of a unfaverable out come. No one can birth this baby but me, I have to take compleate responsibilty for that and with that comes good and bad out comes. We take risks everyday but I tell myself if chilbirth was so dangerous the human race would not exist.
Be open ,have faith and surround yourself with love and you cant go wrong. I think these feeling keep us on our toes and prepare us for what is to come
Wishing you calmness of mind and heart for a fullfilling birth.

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#10 of 19 Old 07-17-2010, 05:47 AM
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Jaya:

What you share is powerful. I am sorry for your loss, and thank you for sharing your insights with us.
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#11 of 19 Old 07-17-2010, 06:30 AM
 
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#12 of 19 Old 07-19-2010, 12:18 PM
 
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#13 of 19 Old 07-19-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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haven't had a chance to thoroughly read every response (the way they deserve) but my heart goes out to those who have lost babies. and i appreciate the kind of space it took to share these stories.

one thing i wanted to (briefly) mention is that i think it's important to make a distinction, if it's a confidant UC you're after, between fearing those things in pregnancy/birth that none of us have any control over, and deciding what in a UC rationally scares you so that you might take the necessary steps to move forward in your preperatory work. my rational thinking is that babies die, even despite our best efforts and sometimes regardless of anything we do or don't do--for me it's a matter of letting go of those things outside of my control. perhaps it would help to look at exactly what it is that's specific to a UC that you fear. would more continous monitoring help? have your dh listen more often. is it placental abruption that worries you? decide whether the distance you are from a hospital is comfortable enough, and determine if you feel confidant in yourself to recognize the signs early on. are you worried something is inherently/physically wrong w/ babe? i was concerned about this too, particularly since i *do* UC, so weighed the pros and cons and chose to do an u/s scan.

what i'm hearing is that your fears are more about the general "what-ifs" in pregnancy/birth--those fears we all have that not one of us has a bit of control over, and not necessarily so specific to persuing a UC (or any specific "style" of birth). for me, personally, making the distinction between what fears i can extinguish through things i can control (or by taking a rational look at statistic/risks/chances and using that to weigh pros and cons), and then letting go of those that i can't so that i'm not unecessarily weighed down is a tremendously liberating leap in the forward moving direction.

blessings as you journey thru your pregnancy work.
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#14 of 19 Old 07-21-2010, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Jaya - Thanks so much for sharing that. I really appreciated that you guys left space for a change in plans and, it seems, felt that you were able to listen to your intuition enough to know that something was not right.

I think *I'm* specifically concerned about an abruption. Most other things do give you a bit of time to sort yourself out, or at least to stabilize things enough to either boot it to the hospital or wait for EMS. I think I need to just bite the bullet and read up a bit more on signs and symptoms, so that we can act accordingly.

Perhaps, also, having birthed once before, I know that I am NOT in a position to dictate things when I'm labouring. I'm off in my own little world. I need someone to tell me to do things. Like, although it did occur to me that a snack would be a good thing at about hour 12, I didn't get past the thought. I went right back in to labour-land and if there hadn't been someone there to say, "Hey, I think you should have something to eat. Would you like some toast and peanut butter and some tea?" and then bring it to me, I wouldn't have eaten anything. I'm a little afraid that I'll be so wrapped up in contractions that I won't have the external point of view/action that would lead to prompt, appropriate action. Really, I want a midwife (one who will just sit in the corner unless she's needed, but a midwife nonetheless). But, that's not an option.
Granted, I had a cervical lip last time, and wound up pushing for almost five hours. *I* knew it was too early to push, and said so, and I think had I been alone, I would have held off a bit longer. I was never concerned though, and dd was fine (heart tones, etc) throughout. I just knew it was all going to be fine. But, that's hardly a massive complication. Bah!

Overall, I feel a little less panicked about the whole thing currently. We'll see how things progress as crunch time approaches, I guess. The current plan is to prepare for a UC (well, an almost UC - we'll have a doula friend and probably my mom there), and to allow space to transfer. The hospital is a good 8 minutes away though, if you're speeding and hit the lights right. Can be 15-20 at the wrong time of day. So, not really a viable "help" option if something is truly emergent. Bah. Again.

Thanks for all the input, mamas. I'll check out the recommended book, and keep trying to sort myself out.

For greater things are yet to come...

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#15 of 19 Old 07-25-2010, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I pulled out my fetoscope for the first time last night. I found the babe , and I also found the placenta. It sounds like a complete previa. I'm trying to just stay calm, and am hoping I'm wrong. Looks like I'll be getting that "let's just make sure the placenta is in a good spot" u/s my ob wanted me to have. Anyway, I thought of this thread because my primary (only?!) fear has been of placental abruption. A complete previa is in a similar class really. I guess my only consolation if I'm right about placental placement will be that I somehow "knew" something was potentially off with the placenta from quite early on.
Breathe. Breathe. Trying not to freak out. (aaaaaah!

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#16 of 19 Old 07-25-2010, 09:44 AM
 
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Hi Selkat,

I check back here quite regularly, as I am thinking of you and curious what is going on. I am relieved to hear that you are taking steps to ensure safety of mom and babe, but mostly that you are tuning into your gut.

In pregnancy I had fears of abruption. I couldn't explain it. I go back now and reread emails from friends trying to help my fears, abate them. It is just spooky.

I hear the calm in your voice and perhaps too the satisfaction or feeling proud of yourself that you are listening. Please do update us. Holding you close, and hoping for clarity and ease for you and this babe.

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#17 of 19 Old 08-01-2010, 09:44 PM
 
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Are you by any chance in PEI? I'm near Charlottetown and running into much the same - no midwives on the Island, and the nearest attendant is, I believe, on the west side of the Island.

Kay
Mama to a wonderful, happy, and delightfully odd little boy who will shortly have a baby sister.
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#18 of 19 Old 08-02-2010, 06:37 AM
 
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I have to reply because I had a similar experience to ariahsmom during my last pregnancy and birth.
I had recurring dreams of the birth where I UCed and caught my baby and in three of them he came out limp and pale and I resuscitated him aand he came around. Because of these dreams I did an instructive speech in my public speeking class on neonatal resuscitation, after researching and practicing it for days.
When my son was born the labor was fast 3 hours and 45 minutes and I didn't detect anything wrong. When my son came out into my waiting hands it was exactly like the dream. He was entirely limp, white and unconcious. I proceeded to clear his airways with my mouth, give him a few breaths and brought him around very quickly. He opened his eyes after a few moments and gradually breathed, and pinked up. It felt exactly like the dream.
I also had a dream during my first pregnancy where the dream ended up preparing me for the birth.

I am very curious to hear if you do have placenta previa or not. I will be sending you good vibes and praying for you that all is well.
I am not currently pregnant but I also recently read a blog where the mother lost her baby to a placental abruption at home(perhaps the same one). It scared me too, as I plan to UC again in the future and I had to process that. In the end you have to realize that these risks do exist and you must decide which risks you are willing to take. The risks of hospital birth or home birth. Their is about a 1 percent chance of placental abruption and a .4 percent chance of cord prolapse(two emergencies where time is of the essence). While Being in the hospital can save a baby from these situations, babies still die from abruptions in the hospital. I believe the death rate is 20-40 %
If you dont have a previa and decide to UC, I would say, have a doppler handy in case you need it, have other emergency supplies for hemorrhage, know how to resuscitate the baby, maybe designate someone to check for FHT's.
My thoughts on your ability to care for yourself though are this . . I have a theory about a womans needs in labor: You will need what you plan to need. If you plan to have a doula, midwife, husband assisting, you will truly need them and depend on them. If you plan to be self-sufficient,pick your labor positions, eat and drink as needed, you will be able to do that. I truly believe that your mind-set dictates these things. If you feel it is right for you and you prepare and decide to do it a certain way, you will be able to do it. With my first birth I was coping fine until I was shot-down and convinced to have an epidural, the time from when I decided to accept it until I got relief was the hardest part of labor and I thought I couldn't do it one more second. With my second birth I decided to wake my husband when things got intense. I labored happily alone and coped well until things got really going. When I made the decision to wake him my mindsset changed from, I am taking care of myself to he is taking care of me and I need him to.
Niether way is better or more right. I just wanted to illustrate how we are able to take the amount of responsibilty for and care of ourselves that we expect to be able to handle in advance.
Sorry for the long post. I hope some of it is helpful.
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#19 of 19 Old 08-10-2010, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had my u/s today. Thankfully, when I declined the anatomy scan, my ob referred me to the awesome high risk guy here. I thought this was a bit ridiculous, honestly, but in retrospect, it was a really good thing. He asked me a few questions and was actually fine with just waiting things out a bit more. I had worked myself to a point where I wanted the darn u/s though, so he did a 2 second sweep. Literally. We saw nothing, he just swept the wand across a six inch section of my lower abdomen. 2 seconds. Then he played everything back and the placenta is anterior and low, and a bit large, but there is plenty of clearance. Oddly, I had the same sort of placenta with dd. Cord has the appropriate number of veins and arteries, heart has the right number of chambers and we even saw the aortic arch. Basically, everything looks completely fine. Baby even pursed his lips at us - all intact, so no cleft (I take meds that increase the chances slightly).
I had been feeling a little calmer before the ultrasound, but I didn't find it overly reassuring, really. I mean, there's no previa, and that's great. The abruption thing isn't really something you'd find on a 20week ultrasound though! But, anyway, I am happily wrong about the previa and am feeling better about just sitting tight and trying to enjoy things without worry for the next little bit. One step at a time, hey?

For greater things are yet to come...

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