Saturday, July 24, 2010

Time moves so fast....

Today I am writing out of a place of frustration. It has been hard to not become frustrated at the feelings that arise out of the lack of control I have been feeling.

It's easy to control the date the shower will be on. It's easy to control what I put on my registry, in my mouth or on my body. I can control whether my house is clean, the laundry is done and whether or not I answer the phone when you call.

What I cannot control at the moment is how this baby is going to come into this world. Yeah, yeah...I know I won't be able to control it much when the time comes, either. But, I do have ideas on how I want it to be done. My husband is on, we have to get everyone else on the wagon too.

I'm reading several books right now. And they're all along the lines of the type of birth that I want to have. I have, for nearly a decade, been a natural birth advocate. Even when I wasn't anywhere near being married and pregnant, I have had an idea of how I want my delivery(ies) to go. I have observed a trend in childbirth that leans more toward monetary gain than natural process. The natural way has been set aside to make room for scheduled deliveries, induced births and a 25% increase in Cesarean deliveries since 1970. All of this is scary to me. Childbirth is now handled like a disease that needs to be treated rather than the wonderful miracle it truly is.

There are numerous studies on the benefits of differing child birthing methods - and yet, our obstetricians rely on the same methods that were developed at the turn of the 20th century. While things have changed some for the better since 1890, there are things that haven't. I'm glad that my arms won't be strapped down to a bed, that I won't be given an enema before delivery, and I'm surly glad that I won't be unconscious. Other than those details, delivery hasn't changed much. Mothers are still confined to a bed, told that labor is a process that they will "suffer" through, encouraged to get long needles shoved into their spinal cords and generally made to fear the process and trust no one but the doctor.

I disagree. While female mortality rates have declined since the advent of modern medicine, most of the deaths were prevented in modern times because of the discovery that bacterial infections killed people. Before the discovery of those tiny little critters and the medicine to treat them, women had a large chance of dying after birth from sepsis. Women are surviving child birth because of the scientific understanding of bacteria and the advocation of hand-washing and antibiotics, not because obstetrics has changed in leaps and bounds. Give credit where credit is due. Thank you, Alexander Fleming.

So, my frustration arises when I find myself fighting at all angles to defend my choice. I'm fighting now to find a doctor that "gets it." I still don't know if he will. After this coming Tuesday, I may be making more phone calls and asking for more referrals to see someone else. We'll see. I'm fighting some of my family members so that they can get an understanding, and even without acceptance, support. In this area of the world, Professional Labor Assistants are few and far between. After nearly a half a day of research, I have found 3. Two of which may not serve me in my "area." So, I'm fighting to find professional labor support. I'm swimming upstream in a current of "no, you cant," "you're nuts," "whys," and general looks of disgust. Like I'm doing something that will harm me or my child by not allowing people to poke, prod and monitor me to death.

Nearly everyone that I have voiced my choices to have the same response. And that is "Why?" All I have to say, is "Why not?"

Luckily, Mike is 100% on board with me. And, not because I gave him no choice. He has always been a supportive, loving and caring partner through my entire pregnancy (and before.) I know if I told him to put on his swim suit, hop in a birthing tub with me, he'd do it - no questions asked. So, I'm putting this here, for everyone to see:
Thank you, Mike, for 'getting it' and allowing me to have my passions, understand them and accept them. For understanding that we go through this together, and that I need your support. Thank you for never doubting me, my ability to delivery this baby any way I set my mind to, and keeping me - and us - open to all other possibilities. I couldn't do it without you. I wouldn't even want to.

So, the journey continues. And, I know compromises may have to be made along the way. Just remember that because someone chooses to do something that you think is different - or just plain crazy- doesn't give you the right to judge, denounce or disregard it. I have made up my mind, and need support. I need help. I need advice. You're not going to scare me or change my mind. If anything, I've only been made more determined by your doubt. Wish us well and send us love and in the words of everyone's wise old ______________ "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Brain freeze...

Since my last post, I have been thinking. Alot.

I laid awake just last night for nearly 2 hours thinking of all the things pregnant people think about. Birthing classes, my OB, birthing plans, crib mattresses, diapers, pacifiers, safety, car seats, seasons, and maternity leave.

It really is amazing the length of an expectant couple's "To-do List." It's like that annoying song from our childhood, "The Song that Never Ends" from the Sheri and Lambchop show. "This is the song that never ends, it just goes on and on, my friend. Some people started singin it, not knowin what it was; and they'll keep on singin it forever, just because....this is the ......." You get my drift. It just keeps going and going and going.

Once you think you've made some progress on the list, you have to add another 30 items.

With all the normal stress an expectant couple has, I have just one little added stress. I say little, because I think it will be an easy fix, but it's a large item on my "things that are important" list.

Tomorrow, I am calling my insurance company to make sure that changing my OB will not effect my current efforts toward paying off my share of the "delivery" bill.

Yes, I said it: I am changing doctors. If you read my last post about the profound disappointment I experienced with my ultrasound, then you can understand at least the foundation for my decision. Though my mind is made up, my decision to change did not come lightly. I'm over halfway into my pregnancy. I have been receiving prenatal care from a competent Nurse Practitioner, whom I happen to like. The thing is, is that I don't like the woman who will ultimately deliver my baby.

There are several things that immediately don't sit well with me. First of all, my initial visit to her was supposed to be for my annual pap-smear and check up. That's the only reason I chose her. As luck wuold have it, 3 days before that check up, I read a positive pregnancy test, so she just turned from my GYN to my OB. On that day, I waited a good hour to be called to the back, and when I was, she came in the room with another woman. There were no introductions. In fact, she barely spoke to me. She had a conversation with her nurse about traffic and how badly people drive in Louisiana. She went through the motions carelessly and callously. She didn't even give me a heads up before she put the speculum in. I would later learn, that she wouldn't give me a heads up before she put anything anywhere.

I saw her again a couple of weeks later, for my first ultrasound. She was a bit friendlier then, but that was the whole "jock itch" visit, and my discomfort plus the excitement of seeing our little alien outweighed her "shining personality."

That would be the last time I would see her for 14 weeks. So, nearly 3 months went by where I solely saw her Nurse Practitioner. I was ushered in and out, in and out and time goes by and I start to realize that the woman who is supposed to deliver my baby will be a stranger to me.

Then, there are the financial matters. My doc's office has a "bookkeeper" who handles payments and insurance. On my first visit, she told me that by my second visit, she would have the breakdown of what I would owe toward the delivery charge. (Insurance companies only cover so much.) Again, she barely looked at me, and acted rather annoyed when I had a very basic question. She answered me curtly, furiously writing the entire time. I never got that financial breakdown. It's been 4 months.

Then, there's the whole experience of the last ultrasound. And by last, I mean last. Any ultrasound from here on out will have to be paid for by me, and so far...this baby is going to cost me over $2000 out of pocket. It's very sad.

On a brighter note, I have a recommendation for another doctor that sounds like a dream compared to my current one. From all the happy faces I see when I mention his name, he seems to truly enjoy his job. He has a passion for delivering babies. And, he enjoys troubleshooting and answering questions. He doesn't have a nurse practitioner and does all visits himself. That may mean that I may wait a little longer to see him sometimes, but...for peace of mind, it's worth it.

I know that the way I see things happening in my head may or may not turn out to come true on the day of. I know that my fear of epidurals may just disappear after the first pang of labor. I know that my doctor may be out of town on the date of delivery and some strange person will walk trough the doors to do the honors. But, before that happens, I want a doctor that I can trust, that will trust me, and not treat me like a child, or like someone who doesn't understand what is happening. I am an adult. A bit of a paranoid adult, so I'm reading and asking and inquiring and finding out so many things. I'm not leaving much up to chance. I like it that way.

It's funny, how when you grow up, you begin turning in to your parents. And, I don't mean that I'm turning in to my mother (which I am, by the way) but, I'm making decisions diffferently. Decisions that as a child and young adult seem like far away things. Taking many things into consideration before I make up my mind.

One of those things is my decision to cloth diaper. I was a cloth diapered baby. Things have come a long way since the days of diaper pins and plastic pants. I made my decision based on two things: cost and waste. Those two things work hand-in-hand. Mike and I figured it out, and just the fact that we would be saving so much money was a motivator, and we would be cutting our waste. AND, THEY ARE JUST TOO CUTE!!!

The other thing I have decided, which may seem like a no-brainer to some is to breast feed. I truly believe it is the best food source for the baby. And, I don't care what it's gonna do to my boobs after all is said and done. All the naysayers and their selfish proclamations about saggy tits can sit on a fat one. Hahaha...sorry Mema. Anyway, I'm gonna be "that mom" at the mall. hahahahhahahhahaha!!!

The last couple of days I've been working on my registry(ies) and it's been a tiresome but fun project. It's amazing how much, and how little you can put on those things.

Sigh. So, I think I will try to get some work done now and ignore the pull of my Target registry.