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It's like this, and like that....

I started this blog in an effort to track my experiences with pregnancy and beyond. Writing is therapeutic. Kind of like talking to myself without the people in WalMart thinking I'm crazy. If you find some entertainment in this along the way, then even better!

This is one woman's journey through unfathomable hunger, vivid sex dreams and a bulging belly...from conception to birth in 9 months or less...

Only on the hospital tour did I realize, I'm having a baby!

Sunday, January 10, 2010
Ok so it's been a week since I've been on here, and my last post was full of whiny nonsense. So I promise not to  do that again for at least another week...who wants to read my whining, really? I've had some ideas for posting over the last few days, but a series of incidents have left me unable to oblige. Some of these things are personal and also, not that interesting so I won't make you endure hearing about things I don't think deserve my time. Most of these things are work and socializing related. The work part makes me angry, how dare it get in my way. The social part? Well that's ok. I have some great friends and spending time with them is something I not only crave, but truly enjoy.

As usual, I am making no sense and have no point.

On to what I did want to talk about, and that's the hospital tour I went on yesterday. Now, I know this tour is hardly a baby delivering necessity, and I really hadn't planned on having one at all. However, my doula is a relatively new doula, and having not delivered at that hospital before, her mentor (also know as her backup doula) wanted to give her the doulas eye view of how it works. And since I wanted to meet the backup doula, and help my doula out, I decided to go and be her first client tour. Plus, this woman is about to get quite intimate with all my lady parts, and watch me do things I can't yet imagine so, any extra time with her is considered a benefit. So ya, I get that you can have a baby without touring the hospital, but I thought, what the heck?

Now, the first thing we did was enter through admissions, view the assessment rooms, meet some nurses blah blah blah. I think this would be interesting and informative for MOST people, however, just a short 16 months ago, my mother and I camped out in that very area of that very hospital for oh, somewhere around 27 hours. You see, my niece came early, but not TOO early. Early enough that my sister was "high risk" and they would not let us into the regular delivery rooms, but not early enough that they would stop her labour. Early enough that they wouldn't let her get up and walk around in case she encouraged labour, and early enough that after 38 hours they were unwilling to give her anything to help her along. So we sat, and we waited, in the assessment area, for 27+ hours. Until they moved her into the high risk delivery area, because they were finally convinced she was in labour. Apparently she doesn't do labour like most, so they weren't sure....we didn't realize there was a preferred protocol, but that's another story.

And you might wonder why my mother and I found it necessary to stay there for the entire time, but that's probably because you don't really know me. That's just how my family works, well my mom, sister and I anyway. No way was I letting my baby sister sit there alone, scared or bored for one moment, and neither was my mother. That is not how we operate. So we hung out, let her husband have some much needed time off (to go home and feed the dog, take care of his diabetes, have a mental break so when the real work came he'd be ready). We played cards, ate crappy $12 sandwiches and learned how to watch the monitors and unhook them so my sister could pee. We sat on the concrete floor (ok I let my mama have the labour ball, and I sat on the floor) and I'm pretty sure my ass still has a flat spot. But we stayed, as long as we could (with a 1 nights break to gorge on pizza and get 3 hours sleep) and we waited. Waited until it was actual go time, then opted out of that part. That's not something she wanted us there for, and I thank her. I think labour is one thing, but delivery is something else. And it should be personal, and private.

All in all, it was a 38 hour hospital stint, but only 2.5 hours of active labour and a happy, healthy 6 week early baby girl.

So ya, to say I am familiar with that hospital is probably an understatement, but this time it's different. This time it's ME coming through those doors, panic stricken with a human trying to spring forth from my body and a dizzy husband running in circles. And this time, when I leave, I will not have a flat ass but I WILL have a small helpless life form who relies on me. So I figured a refresher can't hurt.

What I DIDN'T see before, were the actual birthing suits in the "you're having a pretty average labour" department upstairs. And of the 5 people I've known to have babies recently, 3 were born there but none were classic text book style, so I'm not sure anyone get into those rooms. And if they did, the rest of their labour was so complex that I've yet to ask them about their surroundings at the time. Instead I've just been forever grateful that all their daughters left that place in excellent condition...even if my friends left a little beat up. But hey, no one said labour was easy.

Back to the suites, they are quite luxe. With HUGE deep bathtubs, the kind that, if I had one in my house I might consider using, and showers, CD players, beds for me AND the hubs. If it wasn't for the beige colours and all the tubes and medicinal looking things around, it would almost feel like a sweet hotel room. There is a bassinet for the babe, and even a skylight. I could see being comfortable there. I mean, it's really not what I expected. I expected 4 walls, a bed and a toilet, and there is much more. And with the midwife and the doula, we can actually make it even BETTER, by adding some chosen music and turning down the lights.

Now, I said, I can see being comfortable there, and that's true. It's true in the "I anticipate this won't be the worst place ever" type way. And not in the, I can actually SEE myself there kind of way. I realized yesterday, I cannot see myself doing this at all.

I mean, she's got to come out. And I'd much prefer to deliver her as nature intended, rather than to have a c-section - chosen or emergency. But to actually envision ME in that room, her making her way out, is just unfathomable at this point. I assume (pray, hope, beg) that this will change, and that as things near I will be able to visualize it happening, so I can prepare myself. But for right now, I can't do it. Like I said, I've had many a friend do it. quite a few of which have done it in the last year or so, and they've all survived. And while they've given me infinite details about it, none of them have indicated it was not manageable or that they were in a great panic. And if they can do it (not to mention a bazillion other women over the course of the world), I must be able to.

I am not even that SCARED per se. I mean that's a lie, the anticipation is killing me and if I let myself think too much about the process itself, it causes a certain level of anxiety. But I am not scared that I will fail or that it will be too much, it's just such an unknown. And standing in that room yesterday, looking at the bed and listening to the doula go over all the things in the room, and what we can use them for, I realized that soon, like within 3 months soon, I'm going to actual have to be in there for real. And I about pooped my pants.

No, not literally, but we can add that to the list of things I've heard that can happen in labour, that are already freaking me out.

I just, it's becoming more real to me now. I am so much closer to delivery than I am to conception, so much closer to holding my daughter in my arms than in my womb, and so much closer to having to go through the entire labour process, than just through the pregnancy.

And I LOVE being pregnant. I know, I am still only just shy of being 7 months along and the last 4-6 weeks are supposed to be the hardest, but so far, it's been great. I love feeling her and knowing she's in there (and HATE when she get's all like her dad and lazes out for a day, causing me to poke at her incessantly until she hits me back). And I am a little sad about this ending. More so I'm excited to meet her, but there is this entire labour thing that stands in the way. And I just cannot visualize myself doing it.

The plan (loose, very loose, very very loose) plan is to try to do this naturally as well. And for the one person I know out there, who is reading this and thinking "well aren't you special, you think you're so tough" you can stuff it. This is not me sitting on my high horse (sorry to the rest of you peeps for my digression but you know, blogging gets you in hot water sometimes, mostly for no reason), this is me thinking why not give it a go. If it doesn't work, if it's worse than I can imagine, if the pain is unbearable and I want to be medicated, you better believe I'll do it. But after looking at the epidural information out there and learning about that, I've developed an unhealthy fear of epidurals. And I don't need anything else to be afraid of right now. I don't like the idea of a giant needle in my spine, and I don't like the idea of being paralyzed from the waist down, catheter in my pee hole, strapped to my bed. Everything I've read leads me away from using one, but hey this is now, and 4 contractions in I could be singing a WHOLE other tune...probably a loud one, riddled with the word fuk and noises best reserved for wildlife, but we'll see.

And I guess I shouldn't say I want it to be natural, because I think that's misleading. I don't want to go the epidural route if I can avoid it, but I suspect I'll be sucking down the laughing gas like it's oxygen. I mean, sure I'll avoid that TOO if I can, but let's not get crazy here and give it all up right away.

I still have a lot of learning to do. I have child birth classes to attend, DVDs to watch and my doula and midwives to talk to. I have to go through the plan with the hubs and make sure he's on board. I have to wrap my head around the physical power this is going to take, and start to really believe my body can do it. Because if I can't do that, I might as well give up right now.

But in all this thinking about it, the scary part is I STILL can't see myself doing it. And maybe this is one of those things, because I have absolutely no frame of reference, I can't envision. Maybe I won't ever be able to, and I'll just have to live it and experience it. Which is probably the case. Too bad I'm so A-Type that this in and of itself stresses me out. I want to plan, I want to prep, I want to know what I'm headed for. I want to imagine myself in labour, so I know what to expect. I want all these things but, I think I'm just going to have to suck it up. Because in all honesty, it might not be possible.

And maybe, just maybe, that's for the better...?


6 comments to Only on the hospital tour did I realize, I'm having a baby!:

Emily said...

OK: So I have a bias here. I also wanted in my heart to have a natural no epidural- possibly no drugs birth.

I have Kaiser, which did not afford me the choice of chosing a hospital with labor tubs and all that stuff. But, they do have very nice labor rooms. We went on the hospital tour and were impressed.

But, I will say one thing. Not everything goes in "dear baby" fashion. I had promised myself to NOT PLAN for my son's birth as it would only make you upset when things didn't or couldn't go your way.

I, like you, did NOT visualize ever having my son. I kinda pretended that nothing was happening. I enjoyed new moments and all that but I wasn't into thinking about what lay ahead. It was too much for me.

And when, at my 32 week appointment, I was told my baby was breech and I'd have to plan a c-section or try an external version- I was sad. I mourned for the fact that I'd never again be in that labor room at the hospital! I signed up the the version- which- was a risk in itself. I wanted to give myself every chance of actualy having that baby the "real" way. But, no dice.

I ended up having to schedule a C-section, because my sons head was on my left and his feet to my right. He was laying down and chillin' out.

I will say, I did A LOT of crying over the whole c-section thing, but in the end, I trusted my doctor.

And by the way- c-section was totally fine. No epidural- they use a spinal which is much the same but is one shot and only lasts a little less then an hour.

While I am sad I will never have a "normal" birth, the reason so many women used to die in childbirth is because medical intervention wasn't available.

PS: One twin is head down and the other- BREECH! I will be back in the OR in no time!

I hope it all goes the way you want it to, but just don't stress. You have to go with the flow sometimes!

-Emmiebee

harpershappenings said...

i too planned on going natural, or at least trying for as long as i could. to this day, i know i could have done it, if not for the pitocin. i got to 8cm without anything but that pitocin? EVIL. and honestly, the epi was the best thing ever. yes, it took all the pain away and the best part was i 100% ENJOYED every second of pushing my baby into the world. the part of i was most scared of (ring of fire, feeling myself tear, a giant baby head coming out!) i couldn't feel, so i was able to focus completely on Harper. it was the best thing ever and i wouldn't change a single thing.

i'm not saying omg, everyone should get a needle in their back, i'm saying it was good for me. also? the needle in my back part, which is was terrified of, didn't phase me at all compared to those pitocin contractions. and i pooped. also, didn't fucking care.

you'll do great, no matter what happens! do what feels right when it goes down. and don't worry, by the time it's her time to come out, you'll be ready. i promise.

kristihawks said...

I remember the hospital tour so clearly. Except at my hospital you have a class beforehand with a big group of prego's and their partners and then tour the hospital. I felt like I was on a cattle call...OH< And my EX boyfriend and his wife were there at the same time, our sons were born a week apart. Awkwardddddd...

Ok, My story is pretty much the same as Emily's. Except my lil' nugget prefered the right side under the ribs to rest his head all the time.

My birth plan was non existent. I obviously wanted to have him the normal way, pushing him out. But it really genuinely scared me for some reason. Although, I never questioned the EPI. I knew in my head that I would get one no matter what, because I wanted to enjoy that day as much as I could and not be pain ridden and miserable. I never got that oppurtunity though. Im 100% OK now with how our birth happened. The C Section was very scary. I cried 20 minutes beforehand begging my husband to not make me do it. (like I had a choice) BUT now that I've done it , it was easy and it's the only way of birth I know personally and I have to say it was still a beautiful thing for me. Looking up and seeing my husbands face when he saw our son for the first time was an amazing thing. I am sad that I didn't get to experience labor but I'm at peace with how our birth played out. And now I'm 100% on board with the c-section for our next baby. AND now that I've experienced it, its over all an easy experience. The most un-easy part is the nurse shaving YOUR pubes for you before hand. That part was a bit much for me and thats what made me start crying. Sorry if thats TMI but its true!

So I guess what I'm saying is. I think it's an excellent idea to have a birth plan that you want. BUT, also, be aware of all the other options and really educate yourself on all possibilites that could go down that day so it's not an utter surprise and you have no clue what to expect. AND I promise that if it does go by way of the c-sec it will be ok. This is going to be the greatest day of yours and your hubs lives, no matter what way he gets here. AND a few days after he arrives and is in your arms his birth will seem like a distant memory....Like he's always been part of your lives.

Sorry for the straight up novel on your comment.

Kristi Maristi

kristimaristi.com

kristihawks said...

PS Sorry, I kept saying "he" in my comment. I totally know you are having a girl. I think I was just really thinking of my son. lol.

Babe_chilla said...

Emily - ya I think Dear Baby is the ultimate in all natural child birthing. I can only HOPE. I am 100% open to getting her here in any way possible, as long as we both come out the other side as healthy as can be. As much as I am fantasizing about this beautiful, natural experience, I know from the experiences of friends this is not always the way. This is why I intend to leave the birth plan "loose" so I can hopefully roll with the punches should things go off target. :S I in fact assume things will go off track since, there are about 50million things that can affect the experience. Only one of which is breech! I can imagine that being scary and upsetting.

Oh no, one of the twins is breech? Brats!!

Mandy (HH) - I've heard that about the pitocin. I think, once there is pitocin involved there is no avoiding the epidural. I've heard/read about the intensity of the contractions that follow and how overwhelming they can be. If they pull that out, I'll be asking for the epi in a hurry. Not doing pain management for that seems like cruel punishment :S

I'm sure I'll poop...because everyone seems to and I'm so afraid of it ha.

Kristi - no worries about saying he or writing a novel on my post! I love to hear everyones information and perspective :D

I am going to try my very best to go into this open to whatever might happen. I know if I try to over plan this, as I do with so many other aspects of my life, I am just going to get myself in trouble. So I am going to try to shelf my A-type and channel my inner hippy and try to learn to just let life happen.

If I end up with a C section, I know it won't be the end of the world. And obviously unnecessary pain or risk isn't something anyone is into. So I'll trust the midwives as best I can.

Good advice on educating myself about the other options. I didn't actually think about that. I should read about them all, so I'm not in total shock if it comes down to needing a C-section or some other form of intervention.

The whole thing is just SO strange to think about and try to imagine. I still can't see myself in labour!

Thanks ladies for all your insight! I appreciate it :D

Janine Lim said...

I had the luxe suite! And the epidural, but I'm a wimp. That said, could still feel EVERYTHING when the time came and am proud to say I didn't poop! There is some gas as well, my friend used that instead of the epidural and she endured a labour similar to your sister.
Don't stress, it will all happen and decisions will be made spur of the moment; baby babe chilla will arrive happy and healthy. Well, maybe healthy and not so happy. Heh.

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