Sunday, May 30, 2010

Defending homebirth

I am working on a project for my company that requires me to work in various locations and I meet new people all the time. It's one aspect of the job I love. I met Heather, Ellen, and Sara. Lovely ladies who were very nice to me and I enjoyed talking to them and getting to know them. In the course of our conversation, they discovered I have a 2 & 1/2 year old. This follows with the typical, "So when are you going to have another one?" I felt comfortable talking to them and I am not really hiding the fact that I am preparing for baby #2 already, so I told them DH and I will be ttc sometime late 2010.
This got the ball rolling and of coarse birth was brought up in the conversation. They asked me what doctor I go to. I had to explain that the OB that delivered my son passed away and I need a new doctor or midwife. This is followed by the next dreaded question, "What hospital are you planning to deliver?" I said, "I haven't made up my mind yet, but as of today I am leaning toward a home birth." Ellen doesn't hesitate. "Wow. That's risky." I managed to stay calm and just point blank asked her if she had ever researched it. She tells me she hasn't, but that "it's irresponsible to gamble with your child's life like that! If something goes wrong, you're both as good as dead."

I look back and am amazed at the fact that I still remained calm while I told her that every statistic shows that a hospital birth is actually more risky, that home births have little to no unnecessary interventions, and are healthier for mother and baby. I didn't expect her to believe me, but I at least didn't shy away from the chance to inform someone the truth.

I was asked how I came to feel this way and I told them about the birth of my son. I was induced because my baby was so big. (I know better now) I had an epidural, and a 3rd degree episiotomy that didn't heal for 3 months after my son was born. I explained that I don't look at the day my son was born as a bad experience at all. In fact it was one of the best days in my life, but I was lucky. I was damn lucky. I left that hospital relatively unscathed by the effects of the interventions that could have gone so terribly wrong. Yes the episiotomy was unpleasant, but that was the worst of it.

I started learning a lot more about birth after my son was born. Even then, I didn't feel like I had a bad birth experience at all. I became interested in learning more about birth when my SIL started learning more about birth and kept asking how I felt about certain things. I realized I didn't even know how I felt. Once I researched pitocin and the avalanche of interventions that usually follow I knew I could never feel ok about having it again. I began to feel the same way about various other interventions.

I am just shocked at the overwhelmingly negative feelings toward home birth. The second I mentioned it, it was scoffed at and deemed "dangerous." Do people not realize there is a definite RISK in giving birth in a hospital?! Perfect example: The day after Lou was born, I was still in the hospital and DH's twin came to visit with his wife and their 6 month old daughter. DH's grandparent's were there as well. Grandpa was really concerned with my 6 month old niece being in the hospital. He kept talking about how much sickness was in the hospital and all the germs and such. He didn't like her being there and was concerned for her well being. Later I reflected on this experience and realized that a healthy mother and baby has no business being in a hospital full of sickness either. My baby was born very healthy. Why wouldn't someone be as concerned about a 1 day old baby in a hospital where he could acquire any number of dangerous bacteria? Why didn't I realize this before?!

I am grateful that my birth went well. I am grateful that my highly medicalized birth didn't result in any serious problems. I know better now though. I couldn't put myself or my child at risk again. I am starting to discover better birthing options, and while I haven't completely decided what I will do for my next birth, I have definitely ruled out several things.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Decisions Decisions

I am starting to feel the hunger. I really want to be pregnant! I wanted to wait a few more months before we start TTC, but I can't keep baby off the brain. I think this will be my LAST pre-TTC cycle. I don't feel quite ready per se, but I am anxious. I think I am going to work really hard this month on improving the goals I set on my baby bucket list. If I give it a solid month of A+ effort, then I will feel good about TTC.

Then again, I am the ultimate flip-flopper when it comes major to decisions like this. Don't be surprised if I change my mind once I wake up in the morning :) Although, I did start taking prenatals today. I am excited about that.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Choosing a Healthcare Provider

Since I am going to be giving birth in a hospital I not only need to find the right doctor/midwife, I need to choose the right hospital. I am anticipating this will be a long and involved process. I am committed to doing whatever is necessary to have a successful natural birth, so I am going to do my homework now, before I am even pregnant, in order to avoid making hasty decisions that I may regret later.

I have a co-worker who gave birth to 3 children and was still able to birth naturally despite some very serious complications. I don’t remember all the details, but I do know that almost any doctor or midwife handling her case would have forced a cesarean. Her doctor knew how strongly she felt about experiencing childbirth and helped her deliver her children without any major medical interventions. That sounds pretty promising and since we both work for the same company, I am sure her doctor will be covered on my insurance. I plan on interviewing this doctor to see if she would be a good fit for me.

I have had several recommendations for doctors and once I look into them and ask about their stats on cesareans and induction/augmentations I find myself disappointed. I have looked into Certified Nurse Midwives and it’s usually not much different from OB’s. I think it’s going to require a lot of work to find the right fit for what I want out of my birth experience.

In order to narrow down the hospital choice, I am going to start with the list of hospitals my insurance company covers. I am going to acquire the legal forms usually given upon admittance, and read the fine print. This may have quite an impact on which hospital I end up choosing. I won’t be going to a hospital that requires me to sign away my right to choose what interventions I receive. I also want to be able to hold and breastfeed my baby right away and hospitals that don’t allow that aren’t for me.

I know I am expecting the impossible, but I am determined to try as hard as I can to get what I want. I will certainly have better luck getting it, if I decide what I want and how to get it now. I don’t want to wait until I am pregnant and have a limited time to research and make a decision. I realize I am expecting a completely unmedicalized birth from a medical facility. I know I am crazy for expecting this to work out, but I am not nervous at all. I know I will get the birth I want.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bad Habits

Spending too much time on the computer.
I am losing sleep over it. I end up browsing blogs or other pointless things and before I know it, it's 2:00 a.m. I relish having time to myself. It's nice spending some time on the computer after Hubs and Lou have gone to bed, but this is getting out of hand. So instead of shutting the computer off and going to bed once I realize it's 2 in the morning, I blog about it. That will get me far.

Texting while I drive.
This is actually illegal in the state I live in, but I find myself doing it all the time anyway. Most of the time I don't even realize I am doing it. If I feel like texting someone, I pull out my phone and send a message before it even occurs to me that I should wait until I am not driving.

Flossing in the mornings.
My dentist has told me that while it's great that I floss, I should switch to flossing at night. Problem is, I never remember at night. So any food stuck between my teeth that my toothbrush didn't get, is left there til morning. Gross.

Inconsistent fitness routine.
This is on my bucket list, so I know for sure this bad habit needs to die SOON. I end up working out a few times a week, but I'd like to get that up to everyday. If I start now, I should be able to continue moderate exercise during my pregnancy.

I am sure this is only the tip of the iceberg, but I don't want to dwell too much on negative things about myself. Just a few things that I know I can change. What are your bad habits?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Baby Bucket List

I stole this idea from Future Mama but I thought it was a great idea so here is my baby bucket list. (Things I would like to accomplish before baby #2)

1. Get ALL my closets organized. Anyone that knows me well, knows that this will be a tough one. I am kind of a pack rat and I have plenty I need to get rid off before adding another person to the chaos and limited space.

2. Lose some weight and get into a regular fitness routine. I wanna be in prime physical condition before my next baby.

3. Take a vacation with my little family of 3. Lou (my son) has never been to Disneyland.

4. Pay off some debt. I want to get the credit cards paid off completely before jumping into hospital bills. I know I am horrible for having credit card debt, but it happens and we are working hard to fix it. That's what happens when you don't have a rainy day fund. You have to use the card. Won't be making that mistake again.

5. Write a birth plan and chose a health care provider before getting pregnant. This needs a whole separate post. I'll get on that.

6. Get Hubs through school! He is graduating in 1 year and we hope to have a baby sometime soon after graduation. (Which means we will be ttc sometime after September. I don't have much time to accomplish all this. Yikes!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Going Green

There are many things I am passionate about. Mother Earth is one of them. I am also lazy and enjoy many modern conveniences that add to the waste and pollution caused by excessive consumerism. So, with that in mind, I am trying to implement some earth friendly practices in my home, but to a reasonably convenient extent. I need to go at this slowly in order to stick with it and to convince hubs to do it with me. I haven't purchased paper towels in a while. I feel that is one small step toward my goal of reducing waste and being more aware of my carbon footprint. Hubs so far has purchased paper towels on his own on 2 different occasions, but that's been over a span of a whole year. I have him pretty well trained to use to use cloth.

This weeks goal: RECYCLE. I live in an apartment complex and am constantly amazed at how much waste is produced by the residents. The city I live in has a curb-side recycling program and I am not sure if apartments are able to participate, but I am going to look into it. I am hoping to get our apartment managers involved in some sort of recycling program. Maybe they already have one and I just don't know about it yet. At any rate, I have designated a recycling bin that is currently sitting next to my garbage can and I will recycle even if my neighbors don't.

I am also entered into a flowerbed contest for my apartment complex. I am hoping to xeriscape the flower bed to conserve water. I am on a tight budget, so I hope it's affordable to buy the plants that will be best suited for xeriscaping.