Monday, December 20, 2010

Ways to go from totally relaxed to stressed to the max in less than four hours

Hear the nurse practically wail “the doctor said please let this woman have an induction date” after viewing your NST report

My first thought is that my child is in distress when really the apparent goal was to see if scaring a 42 week pregnant woman would break her water. It was not my doctor who viewed the NST, the results were fine, and I’ve just become the ultimate anomaly in a highly medicated world. So no, I cannot be induced, but all is well.

Consider castor oil
While talking to my chiro/acupuncture doctor, he tried to enlighten me on the benefits of castor oil to induce labor. It worked for his wife twice. I have read up a ton on castor oil, and the only for sure thing I can really glean is this: It’s not if you get diarrhea, it’s when and if you survive it with your butthole in tact. Now, if I knew for sure this would work, I would drink that junk straight from a shot glass and call it a day. However, there are no 100% guarantees with anything. The idea of ending up with horrible diarrhea and still no baby, or in labor having diarrhea on my baby, or with a c-section having diarrhea when I can’t even feel who I’m pooing on because of the spinal has kept me from committing to this procedure. However, just thinking about all this poo has stressed me out.

Telling your husband he was right about something that is so wrong

This is a Christian blog and I am going to assume that most Christians value and understand the importance of sex within a healthy marriage. With that being said, don’t read this if you are easily grossed out.

My husband came home last week after talking to the guys at work and informed me that sex was not the only way to induce labor; his guy friends at work clued him in on another highly effective way to get things moving: drink semen. I stared at him, told him research would be done and if he and his friends had devised this plan to trick a majorly overdue pregnant woman, then he might not be alive for the birth of our son. All of my research came back negative, and we laughed the whole thing off. Then on the phone with my natural birthing teacher a few days after that, she started a sentence in an eerily, familiar way: “you know prostaglandins in semen are absorbed through the gut ten times more than through the vagina, right?” Great! She knows this stuff, has the research to back it up, and now my husband gets to be right about something that no man should be able to hold over your head when you’re big, fat, whale size pregnant and on the verge of drinking almost anything(see castor oil above) to get the baby out. My choices for inducing labor: drink castor oil or semen. Further proof that the Lord of the universe has a much better sense of humor than I could have ever imagined.

Having the sonographer ask you to answer questions about pregnancy, induction, and VBACs

I love my sonographer. We have been through the trenches of low fluid levels for what seems like eternity, and I value her dearly. However, I think when you are in the medical profession and you see an overdue woman these should not be the first words out of your mouth: “Oh my gosh, I was sure you’d be pulled off my schedule by now. How are you still pregnant? What’s wrong? Did the doctors tell you why he won’t come out? Why isn’t he out?” My first thought was to tell her I wasn’t drinking enough semen, but I refrained. She’s nice, and though she has a couple kids of her own, she’s not someone I can see appreciating semen jokes. She might have cried, and as frustrated as I was, I didn’t think making her cry would make me feel better. So I told her everything was fine(uh, she’s been doing the ultrasounds so she should know this) and we don’t know why he won’t come out. When she asked again why I can’t be induced, I explained I was VBACing. Then, though she was induced and I would think would know this, I had to re-explain the risks of medical inductions to a woman VBACing or a woman who’s not since there are significant risks to both. I also had to explain the risks to the baby. By the time I left, I felt I should have been rewarded a doctorate because when you pass 42 weeks, everyone expects you to have all the answers, even if they went to school for this stuff. Why am I not getting paid for this? And why don’t people in the medical field know these facts? Scary stuff.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

“The truth is I don’t really even like camels”

We went to the mall to let Wren run off some energy in the play area yesterday, and I had the most awkward conversation with a five year old. Here it is:

Little girl: What’s in your belly?

Me: A baby.

Little girl: People with big stomachs look funny.

Me: Uh, thanks?

Little girl: The truth is I don’t really even like camels.

Me: Okay.

Little girl: Can I take your daughter for a ride?

Me: No.

I’m not completely sure about how I reminded this child of a camel, but I have to admit it was odd to have a conversation that was weirder than the ones I already had last week or anticipate this week. All my conversations last week stemmed around three questions: You’re still pregnant? Well, is my abdomen still protruding beyond what’s normal for the average human being? Then the answer is yes. When is the baby coming? Hold on, let me get my crystal ball out and give you an exact date! Where is the baby? With this one, I just look at my stomach then back at the individual who asked and shrug. I mean, really?

People are concerned and get nervous when there’s no plan, and the last few days have been evidence of that. Parents have the option to get their kids into the world by a ton of means, and I guess that’s okay. It’s just with all the planned inductions, life becomes a little harder for us wait it out types. No one has a clue what to do when the due date passes and the baby is still not here. They all want my contingency plan. Currently, we don’t have one. I have never seen anyone stay pregnant forever, so I do believe Samuel will come out. That’s about it.

I do admit that I am human and have been very tempted to jump on the proactive planning train, especially lately. Words like “fluid dip”, “c-section”, and “zero dilation” are not wonderful to hear when we want no drugs, no surgery, and absolutely no medical intervention short of being provided a hospital bed to birth near. But I cannot focus on the what-ifs or try to lay out a concrete road for how this birth is going to go. It’s pointless, it stresses me out, and stress does not lead to labor. My doctor, as previously mentioned, is amazing! She trusts me, she trusts Sam, and she is all about a woman’s body and its ability to birth. IF, and I pray it does not come to this, I end up with a c-section it will be because Samuel needs it. Otherwise, she’s content to let me ride this out as long as he is. Being that we are cut from the same strong-willed cloth, we may be waiting a while.

So as I somewhat dread going back to work tomorrow, I’m trying to look for ways to make it entertaining for myself. I think when people ask if I’m still pregnant I’m going to say no and give them indignant looks. I might fake going into labor during my classes just to make my 8th graders squirm. Some of the things they do give me nausea, so I think it’s fair. I am fully planning on wearing a sign taped to my stomach that says, “Yes, I’m still here and still pregnant.” My hope is that if I make the answer that obvious I can avoid answering the same question all day. Not having to answer the questions will help to avoid throwing me into thinking about all the what-ifs and messing up my zen mama calm. And if all else fails, I’m just going to take a cue from the five year old and say, “the truth is I don’t really even like camels.” Everybody will think I’m nuts, but I’m pretty sure the question and answer portion of my day will come to an abrupt end.

In all honestly, I may try all the above mentioned strategies. However, I'm also going to work on being more grateful for people who stop and care enough to ask how I'm doing. I'm lucky to have them. They're better than camels.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A letter

Dear Contractions,

I am not trying to tell you how to live your life or do your job. However, your recent choice to just drop in and out of my life, cause me pain, and not offer anything(a baby!) in return has not gone unnoticed. I feel it’s come to a point where I have to say something.

Consistency is key in relationships. Deciding to conveniently appear Monday at my doctor’s appointment and cause me to have to stay on the NST machine for over an hour was not cool. I also did not appreciate you setting off the NST machine’s alarm. I’m still not exactly sure how you did that. It would have been fine if you had kept appearing regularly, but no, you just stopped. When you then waited until later that night to appear and interrupt my sleep, I tried to understand. It was very inconsiderate though.

Last night you made me try three yoga positions at 11 pm before I could get comfortable. You popped in twice at consistent intervals, then you just dropped off. I am grateful for the night of sleep you finally decided to offer me, but after standing on my head, flipping on both sides, and squeezing the crud out of my husband, I thought this was the real thing.

Know that I’ve waited for you for a long time and am grateful you’re here. I’m just a commitment girl; I need to know you’re going to hang around and our relationship is going to result in something beautiful(the delivery of my baby) as opposed to just hurt, sleepless nights, and never-ending doctor’s appointments. You don’t seem to consider any of this. You are so unaffected. Please consider my feelings before you play with my emotions and my uterus. That’s all I’m asking for.