Monday, March 31, 2008

the latest

My one hour glucose test was bad. I have to go in for the three hour tomorrow. I am getting a glucometer and will finish out the rest of this pregnancy as a "Diabetic". I will be testing my blood sugar every 2 hours and following a new diet. I hope this results in a smaller baby that I am able to give birth to without surgery. I am not sad or happy, really just looking forward to being proactive in this turn of events.

Last week of bartending, also super cool. It is tremendously difficult to sit on a weird high stool or stand all night, let alone to serve the drinks. I have to get each beer, pop, juice, tonic, club soda, wine and water out of a fridge that is about as high as my knees, and with my pelvic bone condition, squatting is out of the question so I either have to get down on the actual grimey floor, or just bend bend bend way down while trying not to emit a horrible groan.

I can barely, barely walk out of there when my shift is done. I am supossed to "fast" tonight starting at 7:30 pm, but we'll see. If they are going to treat me as Diabetic anyhow, which they are, then I flat out will not get myself into a situation where I am vomiting up bile all morning, trying to drive to the hospital for this test after 5 hours of sleep. (remember when I shared with y'all that this fifth pregnancy has blessed me with the inability to puke without peeing everywhere? Yeah...I'm lovin it)

Big lights going off for me as I revisited the BOBB this weekend

Hey all!
For those of you who saw the Business of Being Born, and were of the mindset that Abby's birth "ruined the film", lets re-discuss, shall we?

Firstly, I will be completely honest and say that I was one of those very people, so I am no stranger to the idea. I too (temporarily, last fall) thought that "the lovely pretty homebirth film ended with a yucky depressing c section" and even joined on the bandwagon of snipey snipe comments like noticing that the baby at the 8 month follow up was drinking from a bottle! See! Bad Mommy! C Sections make you not breastfeed! Yeah! Yeah! (so, so pathetic)

Look, this woman had a 3 pound, preterm, breech baby, and neither her midwife nor her were of the mindset that this was something they would handle at home, and so they transferred. For every person who wanted to leave this out of the film, what the hell are you actually saying--that we just leave out real life? Just leave it out. Pretend it didn't exist. It made you feel yucky? It blew the little dream that all babies are born perfect if only we believe? Maybe she bought wrong fairy dust, perhaps? Didn;t buy the right Pier One cushions for her meditations? Didn't pick up a Birth Works t shirt? What exactly is going on here?

"Just Leave It Out". Well, its easy enough to do with film, but she is real. I am real. You know someone who is real. Whose birth didn't pulse with golden light. Whose baby was extremely small or extremely large or malpositioned, or a thousand other things didn't go right for the homebirth dreams. But guess what, folks, you cant just leave her out, because she is a mother just like you. There is no copy-paste-delete-rewind in life, (and this crap is what Dr Amy FEEDS on, by the way) You cant just leave her out because she isn't just a digital blip, she is a real life mother, a person, with a baby!

(As far as bottle feeding, for gods sake, we don't know what any of those other women did or didn't do as far as feeding their babies because only Abby had the 8 month check-in on film)

I saw the movie this weekend, first time since November, it is out on DVD, with my midwife, KneelingWoman, and I really felt differently about it. I felt and feel ashamed at the things I thought and said when I first saw it. I guess I got caught up in the "sisterhood" of HomeBirth ONLY--but how sad, that I, someone who has been through so much when it comes to birth, could get swept up in that stuff so easily! The power of group can be good and bad, for sure.

I hope Abby is doing well, no matter how that birth was "handled" on film, she is a woman like you and I, who got pregnant, had dreams, and it didn't go as planned. If you have lived this long and never had plans change, never had disappointment, never felt rejection and failure, then maybe only time will allow you the maturity and understanding needed to be a compassionate adult. I have been there. I have been ignored. I have been forgotten. I have experienced exactly what it is to have people avoid you, avoid calling you, avoid dropping in on you, kick you out of their club, their internet group, the Cool Clique, because your current pain kinda clashes with their happy plans that day. It SUCKS, and it takes a long, long time to heal from.

Don't turn away from your friends who have something like this going on. Don't wish Abby's birth wasn't in the film. Ricki left it in there not because she "had to", but because it showed reality, and it showed that yeah, sometimes you gotta transport. Cara her midwife, and Abby herself both knew they had to, and they did. It doesnt matter whether any of us think that the baby "could have made it" at home. It doesnt matter. A documentary was made, and it followed the journeys of several expectant women. The end.

Monday, March 24, 2008

OB visits, so lame but whatever.

Tomorrow morning I go to the OB to do my glucose tolerance screen thingy. The doc himself admitted it is a flawed and somewhat useless test, but since he and I and Kneelingwoman are all in curious pursuit of why my babies were SO large, I am ok with this.

I have to drink the crap at 8:45 exactly and they will draw my blood at 9:45 exactly. At 9:46 I plan to shove some kind of delicious thingy into my mouth that I will bring in my purse. I asked them how long I had to fast for and they said "no food after midnight"---I then asked what is the exact hour length and they said 8 hours---so I am most likely going to eat some pure protein at 12:45 am since unfortunately I will still be awake getting home from work. I am thinking a chunk of cheese and some almonds or something.

I think it is a regular prenatal visit, too, but these aren't very exciting. My prenatals with Kneelingwoman are, and those are helpful, informational, wonderful growing experiences for me and my husband and invaluable. At the OB, they don't even feel your belly. They take hearttones but the baby dear moves all the time so I know she is alive, sorry to be so blunt. (Plus I have a doppler and gel in my kitchen right now) they take my blood pressure which is always nice and low, but so does kneelingwoman. they weigh me which is lame, and they don't even test my pee(?!) They also don't measure my fundal height which Kneelingwoman does. She also talks to my baby a bit which is adorable and wondrous but I am glad Dr-Guy doesn't do that, haha it would be weird I think.

I will never forget my very first phone consultation, if you want to call it that, with Kneelingwoman 5 years ago. She told me her focus was Emotions and Nutrition. I just remember being so struck with that, Emotions and Nutrition. The very two things they never ever dealt with at the Ob, certainly not in the experiences of my first 2 pregnancies. Emotions and Nutrition?!, why that sounds positively intelligent and loving and whole and logical and sound. And I was sold on midwifery from that moment on.

So, wish me luck as I don't want to puke up my Orange syrup tomorrow, I think I will be fine. I feel that this test is bad for the baby, but she will be ok. Does anyone know if they are going to also not let me eat until after the results, or can I actually cram in my egg biscuit at 9:46?

and I SWEAR i will take and post some pics in a day or so...need to clear off my camera...

Perusing SOAM today...

I have talked a bit about this site before, but this one was wonderful, a very well written passionate piece. The site is The Shape of A Mother, I have a link to it on my sidebar, and it is chock full of photographs of real women in various stages of undress, and various stages in their reproductive lives. There is alot of nudity, so if you are offended by that, then stay away.

This would have been some life-saving stuff for me back when I was a new mom and all my friends were still totally what our society considers to be "hot", "sexy", "bathing suit-worthy" and I was home with my rolls and my marks and my mama body feeling like a freak, a true anomaly. Ha! I look fine and so do you, and even though it can be a daily struggle to connect up what we see in the mirror, what we see in the media, what we feel like in the dark, what we feel like we should think when we read all those great feminism books, maybe the pics on this website, when visited every so often, can be added to that jumble in our minds of what Mothers look like. anyways I like it. I can always find someone on there with something to say that resonates, and it is a worthwhile read.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Bringing Home Baby (the tv show)

There is a TV show called Bringing Home Baby on TLC. It follows the first 3 days of a newborn's life once he or she gets home from the hospital or wherever. (there might be home births on there but I havent seen one yet)

I watched it a few times a couple of years ago and I absolutely hated it. I was enraged by the laziness and ineptitude of the parents, i was broiling with jealousy at the Mother and Mother In Law and often grandma, grandpa and girlfriends that were all there to help with the new baby--which almost always was their first baby. What a stupid show, I thought, and didn't watch it ever again....until recently. Now I am re-curious about newborns and it helps me to not watch the birth shows ; )

Even though alot of the people still have relatives who visit and change diapers and wash dishes and laundry and bring nice hot meals and take away the older kids for sleepovers, it is a really really important show and I'll tell you why. Because no mater how beloved or pampered or "supported" these new mothers are, it really shows you what the newborn scene is, and I think that in these isolated times, these insidious times of secrecy and lies and shame and getcher body back in 3 weeks cruel times for women (and men!) that this stuff is getting out there, for everyone to witness, to fear, to marvel at, to remember, to acknowledge, to GET.

Here are some of the very important things that someone viewing this show will undoubtedly be exposed to--the things that I certainly didn't expect when I was expecting (har har)the first time around:
The Mom is still very very pregnant looking. Her Uterus is at about the 6 month mark and fills out a maternity shirt nicely.

The Mom has bad skin and looks progressively ruddier and more ragged each day. (The ones who wear makeup always go way overboard and it looks really awful and out of place with her stained shirt and greasy hair and swollen bare feet.

The Mom has swollen feet.

The Mom walks funny and seems really stiff and sore all over.

The vast majority of Moms sit in bed and the bed is covered in piles of stuff, everytime, rich or poor, breastfeeding or not, there are wipes and diapers and a boppy and it is always the bed and it always looks like a crash landing nest and I wonder what happened to their laughable nursery with the matching diaper stackers and changing station and I am glad.

The Dad doesn't help very much in the night even when they are using bottles. He might do one feeding but has to make a huge deal out of it and rustle and talk and wake up the Mom and then the next day he proclaims how rough it all is. The nicest nicest dads still are quite blown away that the neonate does not seem to wear a watch.

The baby is teeny and red and cries alot. Alot alot alot alot. It is a squally and scratchy and pathetic and hiccupy sound that alarms anyone who is human.

The baby pretty much nurses, poops, and sleeps 'round the clock, but they are almost always described as "having their days and nights mixed up". Like "we put him to bed around 8pm, but he got back up by 9" ?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! this is the funniest part to me.

The baby boys pee way up in the air and get pee all over their outfits and the parent's outfits and the parents are astonished.

The breastfed babies spray poo across the room and all over the parents when they lift their bums to wipe them and the parents are astonished.

Sometimes the baby "wont nurse" and falls asleep at the breast and the parents are really worried about it and I get very worried about them thinking they have no milk and all this nonsense and I get super pissed off at the lack of follow up care or lactation advice in our maternity system.

The moms who do some giant cover up tent for breastfeeding (in their own homes!!!) lose either the giant cover up tent or quit nursing within the first 3 days.

The moms who get up and actually go sit in some glider chair far far away for each feeding quit nursing by the 8 weeks follow up segment.

The moms who wash dishes and have hairdos and jeans on and who are not camped out in bed are seething with resentment at their mates and the baby. SEETHING. I have only seen 2 of these, but the hubby was trying to help and she was of the "never mind I'll just do it, you're doing it wrong" type. Fools!

The babies look HUGE and GORGEOUS by the 8 weeks follow up segment but not one of them ever weighs 12 pounds yet, which is what Charlie weighed when he was born and it blows my mind.

The parents are so confident and the dads are so much mellower and the babies are so much more alert and amazing by the 8 weeks follow up segment that I cannot believe how fast it all goes by.

The formula fed newborns, without fail, by the 8 week follow up segment are always reported as "super fussy", or "a high maintenance little guy" versus the breastfeeding ones who are described as "Mellow", "Peaceful", or "Happy".

The Moms always always always cry on day 3. I did too and so did you and so will every Mom.

So, if you can, check it out, see what you think, write me a comment! I probably haven't watched enough episodes to use these generalization-words like "always" , but so far this is what I have noticed. I think it is a valuable show for pregnant couples, much more than all that jabberwocky in any magazine or book.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Shaky ground, this bravery stuff. I am trying.

I get to the point where if I KNEW that I could be one of those strange creatures on television who sits there with their epidural and their straps and their monitors and catheters and plays cards until the nice lady tells me to push and then out pops the baby, hell, better than a section, right?
But I know better, been down that road too many times, trusted in the intervention-package too many times, and just have so many aversions to buying into the idea that I am so flawed, so broken, so useless, that I basically need to be "delivered" by The Machines. My last 2 babies were big. Too big. Maybe. SO now to digest that I am some weirdo chick, some pseudo diabetes which I do not have at all fat chick who shouldnta ate the sandwhich or something??? What happened to Ina May and well nourished? What happened to the Brewer Diet? I am trying so hard to get this. So many things to work out and settle up with all that MDC rhetoric about how my body wont make a baby I cant birth, and then realizing that maybe it will, I think it did, and then feeling like my own self is this 3rd party subject matter...I feel like I suck and am weird. Or that I am suppossed to think that I am sucky wierd and broken but I am not but I dont want the baby to die or be stuck of course but ACKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK
I just don't feel it in my heart, today, but I respect the risks. But I don't really think there is anything wrong with me, nor do I know what to do besides just --well frankly I do not know what. Be good. Be glad. Eat Kale. No pepsi. Get rest. Stay home for most of labor. Trust everyone. Accept what the old c sections have meant for my present. Be glad they are "letting" my baby come out of my vagina maybe. (I am, I am!) Its just so f'ing bizarre. Today. To me.
Its just, well, my homebirth was so straightforward, went into labor around 5am, baby was born at 2:50 pm. Pushed less than an hour, hanging out eating pizza by 4. Sometimes this is all too surreal for me to deal with, but I am trying to stay on top of it or deny it or something. Better than a c-section is all I can muster today. A csection with five children home.

But I will even go so far as to say (gasp gasp gasp) that if I was one of those rich chicks with the helpers or the family or whatever, I get it with the planned cesareans. At least you don't go through the fricken ORDEAL that I am picturing/fearing one of these hugely interventive and "panicky" hospital labors to end up being. Wires, tubes, pain, confusion, disappointment, miscommunication, some bullshit ending with them screaming at me, some fake thing about hurry! hurry! push push!!!12345678910! ripping out the baby, cutting the cord instantly, washing her all mean with some nasty soap, fighting about not vaccinating, eye creams, having to tell the stupid nurse "how long she nursed"....knowing that if I don't act sweet and complacent that the lunch will be late and all the little punishments they do to you when you act like you know about breastfeeding or you have opinions about no scissors in your you know what.....shit shit I wasn't going to think about this stuff. I HATE that this entire birth will be some huge battle, some passive victimized ORDEAL, me versus "the staff". I just wanna have my baby. Maybe I can do a come home super early thing. Unless I have a c section, then I think they kick you out too early. But my kids will be besides themselves if I am gone a week again, especially baby Charlie, @#$%$#@#$%$#@#$% I HATE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I worry. I do understand and yet I worry. I keep on top of things with the very real gratitude that the baby is healthy and that I have such a great midwife. I just feel so disturbed that I cant or maybe cant or blablabla just have a baby. The lump in my throat battles with the bravery most of the hours of my days. I hate being 32 years old and having to pretty much just "hope it doesnt suck". I feel like I dont know what I should do to prepare for anything, really, and that is so different from my last births. How can the mamas who love the hospital-birth stand this?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sorry to freak out, I am much much better

I am so happy to say that I am MUCH better than I was this weekend with the whole dislocated pelvis stuff. I really thought it over and remembered that we went to a park on Friday and I did just about everything that is the "wrong" types of movements for this condition. Then sat on a metal bench, hopped up and down many many times and be-bopped into the come home and say Uh-Oh, Owwwwwwww and sort of concluded that this was my new crippled life now and got extremely upset.

We did go to the field trip yesterday AND I went to work and I was ok. Slow, stiff, careful. Around 10 pm my dear dear friend took over for me and I could have left right then but it got SUPER busy and I stuck around for another 45 minutes or so. but I was really glad to get out of there and when I arrived home in my driveway I was really really sore, but woke up today fine! YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!

The kids know about "mommy's bones" and that I have to lay down here and there..but I was even sitting in a hard chair most of this morning with them, enjoying our stuff from the arts and scraps recycled craft place we went to yesterday. Listening to music, making stuff, it was so cool to feel normal and like a mom still, I was ecstatic.

My camera is being weird but lots of belly pics soon to come!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

P S D, my old nemesis

Please read this and then please read this if you want to know a bit more about what has suddenly come back to me, literally, overnight.

I had it with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th pregnancies, (quite rare with first pregnancies) and somehow since this pregnancy has been so relatively lovely, I thought maybe just maybe I would escape it, but no.

Now I am trying to be very calm and not feel sorry for myself or have panic attacks. (I got most of that out Friday night, crying for about 2 hours, getting really out of control and terrified about being immobile/hurt and in charge of 4 children...lots of old c-section recovery stuff came up for me, I was basically inconsolable, crying so hard, shaking, etc. Poor husband thought I was in that much pain which it wasnt about that at all, just the fears and the memories and the frustration)

But so, moving on. the spring we so awaited, the housecleaning and the shopping and the parks parks parks zoo and swimming all look lik they are not going to happen now, at least not like I envisioned and promised to the children all these cold months. So here is what I can do right now:

I can lay on my side on the couch with pillows behind my back, between my knees and a heating pad on my bones.
I can stand up for a while and walk slowly around.

Here is what I can't do right now:
Sit in a chair (really think about that one for a while)
Lift stuff
Step up and down steps
Step into pants/undies/out of tub
Bend over too far
Put weight on just one leg
Get out of bed
Stand or walk for more than 5 minutes, maybe 10.

i am sad and scared. We have a field trip tomorrow with our scout group (sitting in car, putting kids in carseats, putting stroller in car, getting all out, helping with 4 crafts, standing bending walking lifting, driving itself, getting myself in/out of car, coming home and preparing meals, changing diapers, saving tots from peril) then I am scheduled to work from 6 to midnight on one of the most special and anticipated events at my job, the Mixed Nationals-slash-St. Patty's day party. Ummmm again, how? Just driving there is gonna hurt, then what about the 6 hours of standing, sitting on high hard barstool, and the umpteen cans of pop and beer and water I have to lean down to the almost floor level fridge to get out--and then oh yeah --stock the bar...that includes carrying 32 packs of pop cans and water bottles and then loading the low low fridge. I literally do not know what to do.

I cannot bring myself to say "Pubic" to anyone outloud, let alone some old men at work. i might go with "tailbone" or "hips" or something. I think I can stick it out until about 8 or 9 pm but then I might really have to leave. Damn damn damn. Maybe the old "I hurt my back" will go over better. @#$%^&*

Tuesday is boy scouts, Wednesday is babysitting 2 extra kids and then work again that night, Thursday is Girl scouts and homeschool gym class....

I dont know. I dont know what to do or what to say, really. I just remember being razzed/pushed/teased/questioned during the summer and fall of my pregnancy with Charlie to the tune of "ARENCHA GLAD ITS NICE OUT?? AT LEAST ITS FINALLY NICE OUT! NOW YOU CAN PLAY OUTSIDE! NOW YOU CAN SWIM! NOW YOU CAN GO TO THE WATERPARK! WHY DONT YOU GO OUT IN THE BACKYARD AT LEAST? WHY ARENT YOU GUYS OUT ENJOYIN THIS BEAUTIFUL WEATHER? WILL YOU BE AT OUR BARBECUE?? "

Well, gee, lets see. Is there somewhere for me to lie on my side with 4 pillows between my legs at those events, or is there a hard metal chair or wooden bench that I cant get in or out of without paying the price for hours afterwards?

And I laid on the couch, and the kids played GameCube and we ran the air conditioner and we pined for Daddy all day all week.

So I am sad and bummed, but trying to think about moms with quintuplets or people who got in car crashes today or something. We were this close to buying a Zoo membership yesterday. good thing we didnt.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Special finds

When I started havin babies, in the grand ole days of 1997 (ha!) there were SO many less options than there are now. My eternal quests for tall maternity clothes, nursing bras above C-cup that werent freaky triangle grandma boob shaped, and wishing that super comfy shoes were in style or even available in size 11 (I was a 10 back then still) all went unfulfilled....

But now, my goodness, if you have the money or the internet access, those horrific trips to the nightmarish mall are over. Here are some of my latest finds.

Tall Maternity stuff. A very small website with just some basics, but lemme tell ya, when you have panel-pants on, noone wants to see that hangin out. I played that 4 times and now I have nice stylish black and white tshirts to save me from that whole scene. I no longer tug and pull at my bottom of my shirt all day like a freak with a twitch. I am an 18 and ordered the XL. It is form fitting which is much more flattering than some big tent. Very cool for wanting to look truly pregnant and not just big.

Smooth cup big supportive nursing bras.
Still More
Even more

The very shoes I scoffed at a bit ago, the Crocs, well, I found them in a little hipper style. Mary Jane, and "Troika". they came in 11 and I get it now, boy do I get it. Sometimes trendy is for a reason, bless all the kids for making some weird gardening shoe publicly acceptable! COMFY, even for standing up bartending for 6 hours while 6 months pregnant after 13 hours with the kids all day!

For those of you who are not rich and do not want to wear looney toons with an arrow or a clever phrase or ruffles or empire waist, Old Navy has maternity stuff and the jeans come in tall. Some of it is gross of course but some of it is really cute and they have $5 shipping and an extremely lenient return policy. Remembering the theme was "I dont wanna take the 4 kids to the store and I dont have a car anyhow most days and I work most nights", the online angle was huge for me.

Hope these links help someone who hates to look like a pointy dorky 1980's lunchlady just because she has a cool baby on the way or in her life.

Also, I just wanted to say that I HATE Motherwear. Well, I love them but I hate their clothes. Their nursing clothes are miniature and the shirts are cropped and if you order a bigger size they just get wider and wider and w--i--d--e--r.
If you are over five foot four forget it. Such a shame.

Please share any prego or nursing stuff you love or loved that was kind of hard to find!

Great one

I love Rixa. She wrote this today and it is so well put together as always. Thank you!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

preliminary postpartum plans

I have been rough drafting lists and emailing letters to myself and my husband this past week about how I plan to take care of myself and how to enlist others to help me be able to take care of myself when I have this baby. Being prepared and empowered rather than hopeful and disappointed has been a real and good theme as of late for me.

I came across this lovely piece today and I liked it. I like to think of myself and mothers as strong and wonderful and completely deserving of support and assistance and the ability and the right and the voice to state what it is that we need and want so that we can sustain and be sustained by the enormous amounts of energy and spirit and calories and rest and fluids and peace and safety and laughter and tears and yes sleep (maybe a tiny bit??) that this whole baby-having and baby-making thing is gonna take.

I am really enjoying planning because I want to minimize the despair and horror and actual danger and maximize the health and sanity and niceness of postpartum for me and the baby and very importantly, my whole family. So far I have planned money earmarked for healthy food, and let me explain this very well: Not some asinine pile of ingredients, some fridge full of vegetables noone is gonna chop, or wierd grains noone is gonna boil, or gross frozen stuff noone is gonna bake, but food from a PLACE, ok? Tabbouleh and Hummus and quarts of soup and bagels and subs and fruit salads and yep from a place. A restaurant, a store, already made. There is no other way and I am not loading up on pizza this time and getting into a lactose-colic baby again, so dairy-free high quality food food food. I have had 4 kids who had big time issues with me eating dairy when they were nursing. Gas, crying crying crying oh, the crying!

I have started a big pile of clothes that are of the giant T-shirt, nursing bra/pads and pajama pants theme. There nothing quite like walking around bleeding to death with maternity pants that fall off everytime you have the displeasure of standing up to wade through the toys to look into your empty fridge. The only thing worse is jamming into the pre-pregnancy clothes and looking and feeling like a squeezed horrible pig or, lets be honest, bleeding all over them, not to mention milk and baby barf and baby poo that inevitably encrusts you day and night for a little while there...(at least I am having a girl and they dont pee all over your face! I miss that! Less face-pee! )Now you have a huge laundry pile to lift and deal with and fold and seperate and....yeah right. Trust me Ive been there 4 times. One stupid nightgown and your only 2 bras, down rotting at the bottom of the hamper under all the towels and washcloths and bedding that the baby sprayed yellow poo on, plus the 6 other people's clothes. You'll see that nightgown and those 2 bras again next season, maybe. So I am adding right now: One Special Mommy Hamper. Awesome.

I have so far 6 big cool TALL tshirts and 4 pairs of "cozy pants" already in my pile. Gross undressed idiot is not happenin' this time. Not pining away for imaginary casserole-deliveries or fairies who will "babysit" the other children, either. And thats ok! Because being out of self-pity, out of denial, is being out of danger for me, and that makes me happier than five beloved MaryPoppins ever could.

I look forward to sharing with you my "list" as it grows. For now it is food and outfits. But it will grow and maybe it will be of some help to others who will identify more with my situation than the one that is so often portrayed in the books and the pamphlets and the TV. You know, the one where the mom has no other children, a husband who mysteriously has like a month off of work, and a mom, mother in law and three best friends who come to "give her a break" by protecting her rights to nice food, showers, and even naps. Being jealous and angry about this has gotten me nowhere fast and so I am preparing some good stuff for us that really makes me feel like I have my head on straight. Promise to keep y'all posted!!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Here is the scoop, week 25

Hello to everyone, especially those of you kind and patient enough to give me some REALLY great ideas without asking too many questions, in regards to my upcoming birth.

So here is the deal. Kneelingwoman is my midwife. She is a homebirth midwife who caught my homeborn baby, Casey, 4 years ago. She is my midwife again now, and I am now her apprentice. She comes to my house for prenatals and a few weeks ago we started discussing, in earnest, my situation. We both came to the conclusion that it was beyond our comfort levels to have this baby at home. There are many many people who will disagree, and there are probably many people who are thinking it is a good idea. she offered me time and time again to go see another midwife, no hard feelings and I have no interest, because I completely understand and agree with her, despite how much it "sucks". Here are the factors of my situation that determined us deciding to seek an out of home birth and then I will tell you about our own "Dr Wonderful" here in Michigan.

Casey was 11 pounds and was, if not a shoulder dystocia, a verrrrrry slow and sticky baby. He had one arm in front of him one arm behind him, and was wrapped up in cord, all around his entire body. I pushed and pushed and she had to do a corkscrew maneuver to help him out. Say whatever you want about hands off, etc, I have a 100% healthy non-brain damaged child and was glad for the assistance.

Charlie was a full pound bigger and completely failed to descend, as much as I hate those terminologies, they do apply to some babies. He never got past minus one station, and I pushed for almost 4 hours and ended up with a c section. Not a random stupid pointless c section like I had for baby #2, but a real honest to goodness the-giant-baby-is-seriously-not-coming-out one.

I have had 2 c sections.

For these reasons, Kneelingwoman felt really uncomfortable attending this birth at home. For these reasons, I was getting so nervous that I didn't want to think or talk or write about birth. I was really getting into a depression/funk and it took a long talk with her to get to the point where I came out with it. I tried to listen to Hypnobabies CDs and all I pictured was a dark purple head of my dead shoulder dystocia baby. I tried to begin studying some midwifery texts she gave me and felt only bitterness, fear, and a general disconnect with everything I read about birth. These weird and disturbing thoughts brought me to give her a teary phone call and that's when we started talking about this all. I must be honest, I was more expecting a "lets move past your fears" speech, and when she got really frank with me is when I got really frank with her and my whole "I don't think we want to do this anymore" met with her "I dont think I am comfortable attending you at home with this history" and the relief between the 2 of us was palpable, unexpected, enormous. There is no other midwife I want to see, Kneelingwoman is our treasured family gem. She cares about me, truly. She knows her stuff. She knows me. It was all good, despite how bad it all sounds.

On top of all of this, there have been these terrifying new witch-hunts , if you will, of midwives in our area, and, as Kneelingwoman said, it is not a matter of "IF", but a matter of "WHEN" the next person who transfers to a hospital with her midwife faces jail time, lawsuit, and worse. Neither one of us has any interest in any of that. We have families, responsibilities, livelihoods. As important as warriors and rebels and fighters and dissidents and revolutionaries are, I am not in a position to do that or be that or pursue that at this time, and feel really ok about it.

So, I asked her, what in the hell are we facing here, scheduled c-section???? (gulp) and she told me about one single solitary doctor that she knows who might give us a chance. A chance at some real protected space, a VBAC, in a hospital. I called for an appointment that day.

Although Kneelingwoman planned on coming with me to every appointment, she was stuck out of town in an ice storm when I had my first consultation with him, and it was very cool in retrospect to check him out on my own. He was SO different than any other OB I have ever had the (dis?) pleasure of dealing with, or for that matter any doctor. He had no ego, no patronizing, and really warmed up to my "us versus them" kind of speaking. He listened to my 4 birth stories, and wrote down alot of stuff. then he looked up and told me that there was no reason that we couldn't go for a VBAC and gave me a genuine warm smile. We discussed parameters, protocol and the limitations he has in his hospital. He seemed kind and impressed with the level of logic and common sense conclusions that we were both exchanging. He expressed a deep and genuine sorrow for my first c section and even did stuff like roll his eyes at all the right parts of the stories :) He was so so cool and I felt really good about it all. He isn't against homebirth at all, and has been the guy whom Kneelingwoman has transferred care to in the past and remembered her very favorably. All of this was done in his office, not in a paper gown on an examining table. I appreciated that greatly. We discussed gestational diabetes and he feels about the same way I do about it. I am going to do everything in my power to have a smaller baby as far as lowering my sugars and simple carbs, and I have no problem taking a glucose tolerance test. I want to do everything I can to have a VBAC. even though I have Kneelingwoman's word that she will not let me just rot alone postpartum this time, there is no way to describe how terrifying taking care of FIVE little kids will be if I get sliced again. Its a total nightmare, and not even anything about lamenting my perfect birth. The one thing that is so prominent in my mind about c section is how I couldn't lay on my side for many many weeks, and on my side is HOW I MOTHER A NEWBORN NURSLING BABY. All the pain and disappointment aside, all the disfigurement and scariness of it all, it is the lack of ability to mother my new baby, AGAIN, is what drives me on to try so hard for a VBAC.

Kneelingwoman is still my midwife, and in my opinion, my primary care provider for this pregnancy. She does my prenatals, spends time with me on all the psychological stuff of pregnancy and life and family...and in the hospital she will be my "doula", my partner, my advocate, and will never leave me. She has a wonderful rapport with the Doctor and like I said, he is completely cool and it isn't a trick. He admitted to being the only guy in our county who would "allow" or support such a thing, and as insane as that sounds, I know he is telling the truth and I am grateful for him and for Kneelingwoman for connecting me with him, I would never have found him, ever.

Yesterday I had my second appointment with Dr. T we will call him, and Kneelingwoman went with me, her teenage daughter even babysat my 4 kids so we could go alone! She is SUCH a cool girl, my kids were in awe of her. Dr T was happy to see her and we discussed what exactly we all should do. We came up with this: Stay home and labor with Kneelingwoman until about 5 cm. Call him at the start of labor with hearttones and stats and such, and then go in around then. Because of the protocol and the fear of Uterine Rupture or scar dehiscence, they will want me on the External Fetal Monitor the whole time, thus my last post. I got freaked out when I heard this. I had flashbacks to laboring in a little bed and felt like throwing in the towel right then and there. I cant do it, I can't bear it, its just not possible for me. I labor in my hands and knees ONLY, I can't do it.

but then all you awesome Mamas sent me in the ideas about the birth ball and telemetry and I ran them past Kneelingwoman and she agreed they were wonderful. We are going to ask about my hospital's telemetry unit next visit.

I am going to go back to the Hypnobabies in earnest now and feel good about things again. I feel like people that I trust are on board with me, and that is what I need right now. It might not sit right with many of you, and I understand. Maybe a few years back I wouldn't have understood, either, and thats ok with me.

Homebirthing is not a club that you get a membership card to, it is a belief and a calling, and I consider myself a homebirthing woman, advocate, supporter and future midwife. The experiences I have accrued will make me an even better support for women with all kinds of backgrounds and experiences, and most importantly, in about 3 1/2 months I will have five children to kiss and squish and love, and a real person to help me out after I have the baby this time. To me, that is my ideal birth, and for these things I am grateful and happy and proud.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

need solid advice or stories asap

Not all the way ready to start a big freak-out yet, but I need your help:

I am facing the possibility of a hospital birth with Continuous EFM. So the question is: How in the @#$% am I going to do this without an epidural?

My life has given me the opportunity to really know only 2 kinds of pain management: Moving and moving and backrubs and showers and crawling around on the floor biting dining room chairs...or spinal anesthesia.

I know epidurals can be really bad...I have already been there done that with my 2nd baby. And my 4th. But for Petes sake, does someone actually have any stories about sitting there in the bed and just going through that? Do I double up on the hypnobirthing? DAMNDAMNDAMNDAMN

I promise I will write more to explain what is going on soon....toddler beating the keyboard all day, bartending all night....dishes and laundry to the time to blog! Ack!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Postpartum Outfit dreams

Well, this post could definitely go on one of my other blogs, but since it is in reference to maternity and pregnancy...if you are a Mama who is all firm and toned and clean and hip and organized when you have a new baby, please just try to play along and imagine...

Ok, so you know the whole time when you just had a baby (day one through, oh those first few harrowing years LOL) and you don't know what to wear, cuz you have these huge insane boobs now and this blubby stomach now and this horrifying, weird out of shape butt now , you are tired and sore and yet each postpartum time, its always about the seeming security and comfort of jeans and pants and yet lets get real with just how gross they look......they do! I am here to tell you all, that this time, after I have the baby, I am saying NO to the torture and agony and hideousness of the whole pants thing and changing up the postpartum scene with SKIRTS.

Imagine, some cool or fun tshirt, soft and longish, please...and soft and flowy and comfortable skirt, and maybe some slip on shoes like birkenstocks, converse, or even those thingies that everyone wears, the little plastic clogs. Cute, fun, simple, and noone needs to know the horrors of your body from the ribs to the ankles except your dear partner---oh who am I kidding, pretty much the baby is all who gets up close and personal with this Mama for a while--and they just so happen to love fat larduous soft and fluffy Mommy, so its all Win-Win! Manage to put on some deodorant and brush yer teeth and youre waaaaaaay ahead of the game! Now go on with yer sassy self and run that errand! People will think you are awesome--and you are!--but this time you will look CUTE instead of PITIABLE.

I absolutely will not play the big weird jeans game with this newborn. It is ugly and depressing and painful and yucky. I will be lounging or sitting cross-legged 12+ times a day nursing this lil darling and it will NOT be in some hard stupid jeans. Or capris. Or "yoga" pants. Or sweats. hideous, unflattering, sad. My belly, booty, thighs, knees, and well lets face it, calves too are all gonna be my own special secret ; ) In a comfy and cute skirt, T shirt, and slip on shoes.
**my thanks and apologies to the pictures I stole off of Please don't sue me, I am a huge fan!**