Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Meltdown

In yesterdays post, Are we there yet?, I talked about my stupid insurance company, with their stupid deductible and all the stupid people who think it's just as simple as making the baby come before the end of the month. A few hours after posting, I thought I might have been leaking amnio fluid. I tried not to get excited about it and for 45 minutes, tried to figure out whether I was just peeing my pants, a drop at a time or if it was in fact my water. Finally, I decided to just go to my doctor's office and have them do the test. I knew if I didn't Micha and I would just be freaking out all night. Turns out, I was just peeing myself. Awesome. This baby is not coming until October and I get to be wet the entire rest of time. And that was it, I completely lost it. I started bawling, sobbing loudly, in the car, driving down I35 all the way home. I scared Micha when I finally pulled in the drive, still sobbing. Was I really that upset about peeing myself? No, I've been peeing myself for weeks now the only difference is I can't really feel it anymore. Was I upset that I wasn't going into labor and thought I soon would be? No, I'm actually torn between being excited to be so close to holding Charlie and being sad that I won't be pregnant anymore. I was just tired of thinking about it. I was tired of hearing all day long things like "Clocks ticking" and "Wouldn't that be better than paying an extra $1000?" (when referring to the affects of Castor Oil and/or Pitocin). For starters, I am not going to issue an ultimatum to my baby, "Either come out on your own before midnight Sept 30th or I will make you come out!" I'm not evicting Charlie from my uterus. Secondly, unless you've actually had Pitocin, then shut the hell up! It's not like getting an IV of antibiotics. It's miserably painful- more so than natural, unmedicated labor. And yes, I could have an epidural, and like last time the headache that accompanied it for the week following delivery. An unrelenting headache and a newborn baby, between the two of which, a new Mom will never sleep. Sounds like a real party. Induction isn't even on the table anyway. My doctor won't do it and I think it's great that he feels strongly enough about letting babies arrive in their own time, not to allow patients who might be tired or uncomfortable to just decide they don't want to be pregnant anymore and force the baby out.

My doctor did offer up a couple suggestions but most of the options are about as appealing as the ass end of a skunk. There's the old wives tale about sex, which actually has some scientific basis and is the only attractive option. Micha really likes this suggestion, although maybe not in conjunction with some of the other methods. The most effective, in the doc's opinion, is Castor Oil. Castor Oil is not only not very palatable, it also works by causing diarrhea. Lovely. The other is what is called 'sweeping the membranes'. Now, let me preface the explanation of what this is with a little statement about my doc. When he does my exams, he is extremely 'kind'. I'm 31 years old and this is my second pregnancy so I can guesstimate that I've had approximately 20 or so vaginal exams in my lifetime and he, by far, is the best. Very quick and virtually no discomfort. This is important, particularly during pregnancy, because when you already have something essentially the weight of a bowling ball sitting on top of your cervix, the last thing you want is some guy with gorilla hands feeling around up there. 'Sweeping the membranes' is when the practitioner goes in with his fingers and pulls the membrane away from the uterus around the opening of the cervix. In order to accomplish this, he would have to push his fingers through the cervix. Sound painful? By all accounts, it is. Plus, there's not much evidence that sweeping the membranes works and there's the small risk of accidentally rupturing the membrane, at which point the clock really does start ticking due to the increased risk of infection.  Fenugreek and Evening Primrose Oil have also been used to get labor started but little is known about their efficacy and Fenugreek can cause diarrhea and Primrose Oil is thought to lengthen labor time.

So I can have a painful, invasive vaginal procedure while having the shits with a suppository stuck up my woo hoo ditty, and that might start my labor but it will be longer than if I had just waited. (Notice I didn't mention having sex because, let's face it, with all that going on there's no way sex is happening.) The best part is, the baby may still not be ready before midnight on September 30th, making my last few weeks of pregnancy miserable for no good reason. Where do I sign up?! I wish the money wasn't a consideration for us, but that just isn't our lot. There are somethings that are just not worth the worry though and somethings that are totally worth the wait.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Week 38- Are we there yet?

I am a planner. It's my nature. From the moment I open my eyes in the morning, I start planning my steps, even on my days off. Don't get me wrong I plan for stuff like fun and naps, but it's typically after the work has been done. And I don't get bent competely out of shape when things don't go exactly according to my plan because I plan for them not to. Naturally, when I found out I was pregnant, I started planning. What kind of birth did I want? Who will be there? Who will take care of Mumbles? How will we pay for it? And my personal favorite, when do we decorate the nursery?! Knowing that the final month of pregnancy can be chaotic, emotional and physically very draining, I really wanted to have everything ready/done by the time September rolled around. I wanted to spend as much time with Mumbles and Micha as I could and I wanted to relax and focus on taking care of myself. The house is clean, the nursery is done (mostly), the freezer is stocked and Mumbles will be taken care of by my new, but very dear friend. The financial arrangements were made and fullfilled months ago. So far, so good right? Then, less than 4 weeks to my EDD, my boss sends out an email stating that as of October 1st, our insurance policy will change and our new deductible will be $1,000 more than what we were already paying so if we've met our deductible and we still have any needs, we should take care of them before Sept 30th. Wonderful. An extra $1,000 when I only have 2 weeks of paid leave (I'll be on leave for between 5 and 9 weeks, depending on when Charlie decides to arrive), Christmas is right around the corner and even when I do return to work, it will only be part-time until after the New Year. Even more upsetting is everyone's purposed solution to my dilemma- "Just go get induced." Seriously?! WTF?! Even the stupid woman from the agency that is supposed to be trying to get us the best rates for insurance suggested that maybe my doctor would induce me. No, for the record, he won't because it's unethical to induce labor if it isn't medically neccessary. Not to mention that trying to make a baby come before he and Mom are ready is essentially like trying to shove a person through a small window...that is closed. It doesn't work. It puts undue stress on baby and Mom and will more than likely end up in c-section. So basically instead of relaxing and taking care of myself, I find myself obsessing about when the baby will come and hoping it's before midnight on Sept 30th.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Week 36- Just a little emotional vomit...

I've had a stressful week. My Dad was in ICU overnight, my insurance company has essentially asked me to bend over and grab my ankles, I peed myself, I still hate my job and Micha has started traveling, the first week of which is always so hard for me. I decided to allow myself last night to mope and feel sorry for myself and cry and just be very small version of a train wreck, maybe with model trains instead of life-sized ones. I couldn't sleep because of the storm, which was odd because a storm is usually like a shot of tranquilizer in the ass. I would love to sleep. A deep sleep that is uninterrupted by the immediate need to pee no less than five times every night.

Anyway, while I was lying awake, I thought about the conversation I had with my Dad. He'd been in ICU overnight but was going to be ok and they were moving him to a regular room. He got all emotional and started saying that he'd gotten cheated out of raising me and I'd gotten cheated out of having him as a Dad and that if we hadn't been we might be different people. I hate when he says stuff like that. No one cheated him more than he did, but even still I don't feel cheated and I don't want to be different. Is it so hard to believe that despite everything that I am happy? I have Mumbles, who is amazing. Sometime between watching music videos and texting her friends she has time to think about the beginning of existence. She's beautiful and sensitive. I have Micha, who is perfect for me. He makes me laugh, he supports me and he has no problem with me being stubborn and hard-headed at times. He's smart and, as my Grandma has said, he's hot. I have a beautiful home, plenty of food, I get to enjoy shopping and friends and most of my close relatives are around for me to spend time with. Sure, I hate my job, but I have one and even that it something these days. So would I trade one minute of pain or sadness in my entire life if it meant that I wouldn't be exactly where I am right now? Absolutely not! All of the things that really matter are all of the things that make me happiest, the rest is just filler. No, I was not cheated nor do I want to be different. When I look back at what could've been, I know it couldn't be any better than this.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Week 35- How about a cup of shut the hell up?

Ok so let's say, just hypothetically, that someone you know, could be anyone, is going into the hospital for surgery. Let's say it's the first time this person is ever going through such an experience. Would you A) Reassure them and tell them positive and uplifting stories or B) Tell them every horror story you can possibly think of in which something has gone horribly wrong and resulted in death, near death, mutilation or, at the very least, an unsatisfactory ending? Most of us who are sane, rational people, considerate of the feelings of those around us would choose A. The same thing applies to preggos!

Don't get me wrong, I know that there are women out there who have harrowing stories about traumatic births. Births that did not go the way they had envisioned and that years later they still mourn. Imagine if for nine months you planned and dreamed of your perfect wedding and then on the big day a team of jack asses waltzed in, told you that you weren't doing it right and started running the show. Sure at the end of the day you might still be married to your soul mate but you were made to feel miserable and inadequate or drugged so what should've been a profound experience winds up a hazy memory, confusing and painful. I completely understand the need for women who experience this kind of pain to share their stories. I even appreciate them doing so because it teaches other women that, no matter what kind of birth experience they want to have, they have to find their voice and make their wishes known. It helps those women who felt alone feel less so and it gives them hope that their future birth experiences can and will be different.

That being said, please refrain from telling your story of vaginally birthing a 12 lb baby and nearly dying due to hemorrhaging to a pregnant woman, especially if it's her first pregnancy. Please don't share how your sister-in-law wound up on the surgery table after 37 hours of labor or how your grandmother died in childbirth. There is an appropriate time and place and there are many women who would love to hear these birth stories, but at 35 weeks, I am not one of them. Right now, all I want to hear are positive, awesome birth stories and things like "I was only in active labor for a couple hours" and "It didn't hurt that bad." I'm not turning a blind eye to women who have different stories. I know they are out there. I know they mourned and, for some, still mourn and I want to hear their stories too but not until after. And whatever you do, don't tell those stories to our partners. They often times freak out even more so than we do.