Sunday, January 08, 2006

Regular Checkup -- she's a big 'un

Last Tuesday we had another regular check-up appointment at the clinic. I got a vicious cold right after New Year's Eve, and was still suffering from it at the appointment (and am still suffering now, sadly). I got the good news that pregnant people can take almost no cold medicine -- at least not stuff that works :( Other than the cold, I got a clean bill of health. The doctor was measuring my growth and decided that I was almost 3 weeks ahead in big'ness -- as he wittily put it "you've got a chubby one in there!". Excellent. Just what an expectant mother wants to hear -- so I'm apparently blessed w/ some kind of giant baby and oh, yeah, I'm looking forward to that labor. I've been joking that I'll take up smoking to keep that birth rate down (never mind that I'm hideously allergic to cigarette smoke), but seriously if I'm growing some 12-lb giant giantess I may need to take some drastic actions. Darn the Jackson side of the family -- you and your 7' tall genes :)

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Ok chick, you brought up the classic birth joke, so I gotta respond, whether you're ready to hear this or not: be NOT afraid. Birth is a sacred and awesome thing, and birthing women are goddesses, plain and simple. I feel so strange being the one to tell you this, since you were always the one guiding me in your pagan-thinking ways.

I know pain, and I know that you are certainly familiar with it too. For me, physical pain is joints popping in and out and recovering from surgery. Not cool, and it hurts. Emotional pain goes along with it, and makes it hurt even worse.

Birth is NOT pain, not if it goes along without fear or too much interference. The jokes are prevelant, and the beliefs that go along with it ... the oh my god I'm squeezing a bowling ball out of a thimble jokes. I've participated in these jokes before too, so feel free to keep on laughing, but remember to come back for my later installments when you're ready ... your muscles and body and your baby all make it possible to swim, yes, SWIM out of your body. It won't be the most fun, perhaps, and it will be intense and a LOT of work, but it need not be painful.

Sorry to be on a soapbox, but it makes me mad that medical people take so much power and ownership away.

Just believe - I'll leave this note with one snippet. I was telling my cousin about hypnobirthing and what I believed and would try while we were both pregnant, and over the phone she practically yelled at me, "Oh my god, Margaret, you can't possibly believe it won't hurt!"

Well .... her baby got stuck, and had to be vacuumed out. Mine, as Byron so lovingly and poetically puts it, went shooting across the room.

I guess I don't feel like my docs are taking any power or ownership away -- in fact they're leaving the birthing plan completely up to us. I do much better if I've thought out all the scenarios ahead of time -- and pain is definitely a part of that. I plan to look into all the relaxation techniques, etc, and hope they work, but I still know it'll hurt. And I plan to use pain killers if I need them. I really hope I don't have to have a Caesarean because the recovery time is so much longer - but obviously if she or I am in risk I will :) I'm definitely going to take a look at the Hypnobirthing book you gave us - I'm really interested in that!
Just to clarify: wasn't talking about docs, really ... what I meant by "medical people" are mostly nurses ... they tend to be either pleasant or un-pleasant surprises to parents in a hospital birth. You get to know your OBs and their practice, but not necessarily the nurses who, I think, would be there for most of your labor (depending on how long your labor is and how soon you get to the hospital). Hope that's not the case with your practice (OB just showing up for the "grand finale" and largely not there beforehand), but something to watch out for ...

As for the taking power away comment, well ... we can talk about this offline *if* you want to, but ironically it's because some nurses and docs are so very well-meaning and caring and want so much to help and participate that *sometimes* more harm than good is done, and one intervention snowballs into many ....

I'm sorry you are certain your labor and delivery will be painful :-(, but I also know about false hope, and I was incredibly wary too when I read about hyno-b-ing claims. I understand the need to be emotionally prepared for anything and not wrapped up in a perfect ideal that may not happen. I too hope you don't have or need a c-section :-), but you will rock no matter what. Isn't it crazy, how some women think they've "wimped out" if they had a c-section or think that it's EASIER to give birth like that? (Did you hear the Brittany Spears rumor in that regard?)

Love love,
The comment clutterer ;-)
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