Posts filed under ‘birth’
For the last few days I’ve noticed some hormonal changes, and I’m
hoping wondering if this is my body getting close to labor and birth. I’m starting to have night sweats again, I’m breaking out on my face, and I’m getting more crazy with each passing day. I kind of feel like I’m back in my first tri, except with 40 extra lbs. I originally went to the doctor because of the night sweats, thinking I was having some kind of endocrine issue. Nope! Just pregnancy!
I’m so excited to find out if Tax Deduction is a girl or a boy. I’ve gone back and forth so many times in this pregnancy, first thinking it was a boy, then girl for a looooooooooong time, now boy again. I just don’t know. This pregnancy has been a weird mixture of more and less intense than my others. It’s more intense because of my weight loss; I can feel a lot more than I could with all the others, and I’m more knowledgeable about the process. It’s less intense because — duh! — I’m a lot more busy with the older kids. A clerk at Tar*get will say something to me about how it’s getting close and I’m thinking, “Close to what, exactly? Oh, yeah. I’m having a baby.” I feel like not knowing the sex inhibits the bonding I’ve felt with the other kids. With the others, I would think, “Hey, The Informant, how did you like this Thanksgiving meal? Pretty good huh?” but now I think, “Hey baby who might be XX or XY and we’re still not 100% certain on a name, what do you think of…” and by the time the sentence is out I’m totally distracted by something else anyway.
Last night I was having some intense back pain, thinking, “This is it… maybe…?” but nope. I took a bath and went to bed. It was probably from doing “too much” on Thanksgiving. All that cooking, plus I moved a Graco Nautilus car seat from my garage into the house, so that The Happy Mathlete could borrow it.
Next Friday is My Chemical Romance’s birthday and it might be sort of cool if the baby shared his birthday.
1. Organic Milk. 2%.
This isn’t that weird — except for the fact that I’m craving non-raw milk right now. Maybe it’s the consistency of raw that is turning me off. The first few cups of raw milk are practically cream; the last few cups are like drinking skim ::vomit:: Sometimes the place I buy my raw milk runs out, which is how we’ll end up with a gallon or two of organic, and I’m totally hoarding it.
I just finished Orange is the New Black and it was the best book I’ve read in a long time. Which is really saying something when you consider that I probably read two books per week. Another recent nonfiction winner? Women, Food, and God by Geneen Roth. I’m on a wait list for the Oprah bio; I can’t wait for that one either. Along with The Imperfectionists, which is supposedly creative non-fiction.
I love to cook, that’s not a secret. Baking has never been my thing because it’s so scientific; you really can’t play around with it. You can see or taste if you put in too much flour or not enough baking soda *Not that I would ever do that. Perhaps baking is appealing to my current control-freak tendencies, leading us to #4…
Yes, that evil witch with her stupid fairy wings and lace-up shoes — and her ridiculously clean house. I’m trying to form a long-lasting relationship with my “swish-and-swipe” routine. FlyLady is probably improving my marriage: she has taught me that expecting My Chemical Romance to do all the dishes is futile; six people plus a Dog Without a Downside use more plates and bowls than one person can keep up with. Even when using that modern convenience called a dishwasher — and we always use a dishwasher. I am morally opposed to washing dishes by hand. It is perhaps the one way in which I’m totally not-crunchy.
5. My Sixth Sense for Pregnancy
Recently I’ve noted that two women were pregnant long before they even announced it. One, I realized it on the very day she peed on a stick. Another was from a Face*book status. I thought it was abundantly clear to everyone who read it, but so far I’m the only one who has even guessed. Clearly I’ve got some ESP going on with my fellow breeders.
Oh, whine. If I pick up one more book that involves a “birth gone wrong” scenario, I’m going to live webcam my homebirth so that people can see that birth is normal. Seriously, even that bestseller that I waited on a library lists for months for, The Postmistress, somehow brought in a HORRIBLE TRAGIC BAD BIRTH STORY. The most frustrating thing is trying to find a book that (1) is well-written (2) doesn’t involve HORRIBLE TRAGIC BAD BIRTH STORIES (3) is well-written. Seems like you get either well-written or you get normal birth/no birth.
2. My therapist
Actually, I love her. Possibly too much; I want to know how much longer therapy is going to continue. I started seeing her because I needed a note from a psychologist clearing me for weight-loss surgery; two years later I’m skinny and still problem-plagued. At least in my mind. But having a therapist is a bit of a crutch for me: I use her to gauge where I am, and I need to trust myself to gauge where I am. She says I’ve made progress. Eh, I probably have, but who’s to say I wouldn’t have progressed on my own without her and her $10 copay?
3. Pregnancy brain
What was I just typing about? Where am I? What time is it? I got on this computer to do something, and now I find myself doing something completely different with absolutely no recollection of what I am supposed to be doing, and a vague sense that I’m forgetting something important when I go out in public, like my purse. Or a bra.
4. The Library’s New Hours
Or lack thereof. Due to city budget cuts, my local library is currently open four days per week, two of those days only until 5pm. All I want to do is read (nonfiction; or well-written fiction about non-breeders) and I get agitated when I realize it’s going to be three days before I can even browse paperbacks again. The next closest library is 20 minutes away.
5. The Heat.
GO. AWAY. Seriously.
I’m grateful for the following:
Several friends — who all have babies born in December! So when their babies turn one, Tax Deduction will arrive! — have loaned me maternity clothes. Thank you. Thank you! Thank you! They are cool maternity clothes. They are — dare I say it — stylish?
My last pregnancies, I wore things like this
And now? I wear things like this
Thank you, Das Goofenheimer and Friend Without a Nickname *for now. (There are several possibilities but I haven’t narrowed anything down yet.) They are also regular members of the Friday Night Girls Card Game, which takes place here when My Chemical Romance is at Nerd Night.
2. CAR SEAT HELP
Have I mentioned I’m a Child Passenger Safety Technician?
For a while, when I was overwhelmed with too many things to do, I wasn’t so into car seats. Now I’m back. First, The Informant outgrew her Bri*tax Marathon by height, so she needed a new seat. I got her a Gra*co Nautilus. I loooooooooove the seat. Love. What a great install, what a great design, what a great seat! It’s a forward facing-only seat, that goes to 65lbs with a harness (although will be outgrown by height before 65lbs) and then converts to a high-back booster and also a backless booster. Fantastic seat, and the price is good, around $150.
Then I found out about Tax Deduction and one of my first concerns was where the hell everyone would fit in my car. Seriously. I have five seats in the back of my minivan. I will soon have five children filling those seats. When car seats are wider than about 10 inches across — and this includes cup holders and arm rests — it’s hard to fit them. I’ve been stressing and dreaming of winning the lottery so I can buy a 2008 Dodge Sprinter Passenger van which seats a bunch of kids — with LATCH and tethers!
I’ve been toying around with “puzzles” — car seat lingo for different configurations of car seats that work together in one row — and practically crying. My car and my seats — and my kids! — don’t puzzle well. Finally, after poring over http://www.car-seat.org and talking to my friend J who is a very experienced, highly OCD-about-car-seats tech, I came up with a solution: get an extra third-row and put it where my second row is (currently two captain’s chairs), and then use the following puzzle configuration in the second row: Animal, My Masterpiece, Tax Deduction. Third row: Mineral, The Informant.
It works. Somehow. And we don’t need a new car that we can’t afford. (Just a new seat: the supremely narrow Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL for My Masterpiece, which will puzzle nicely between Animal’s booster and Tax Deduction’s infant seat.)
Yeah, still a bit freaked out about the pregnancy. Four kids is overwhelming at times. Sometimes, it’s so overwhelming that the mere idea of five makes me want to crawl into bed with a good book (I have been reading like a total maniac for the last few weeks. I merely finish a book, take a breath and begin a new one. I start to panic when I have less than three books on my nightstand.) Anyway, I’ve gotten a lot of support.
My Chemical Romance looks at me like I’m crazy when I mention my trepidation about five kids ages seven and under. He just accepts things at face value; I’m pregnant with Tax Deduction so therefore we will have five kids ages seven and under so therefore it will be fine. Oh, to be that… sane.
My friends have been very understanding. Wii tolerates my incessant crankiness — combined with whining about a pregnancy-cold that is driving me absolutely freaking out of my damn mind — with great aplomb. My nose! Won’t stop running! I can’t breathe! And it never gets better!
My Face*book “friends” who have scheduled inductions-that-turn-into-c-sections (or, more frequently, just scheduled c-sections for suspected macrosomia or being GBS positive or just plain old “my doctor told me it was time for me not to be pregnant anymore”) remind me why I’m happy to have a homebirth. Someone I know is being induced in late June because she’s due on July 4 and if she goes into labor then, “there won’t be enough staff on at the hospital because it’s a holiday.” Really???? Better tell all the rednecks not to play with fireworks, in that case!
I used to be an apprentice midwife. I thought I wanted to pursue midwifery as a career. It seemed fitting: I’ve always been interested in birth; I’m a birth doula; I’m a childbirth educator; and I had a homebirth which I loved. Pursuing midwifery seemed like the next logical step.
I think most doulas aspire to become midwives. As a doula attending hospital births, your responsibilities are so limited. You see women treated so badly and you can’t really help. I have smiled and nodded when a doctor cut an episiotomy, when inside I was horrified. I’ve kept from rolling my eyes when a doctor suggests “just a whiff” of pitocin. I’ve even heard a doctor say out loud that he always cut the umbilical cord as soon as the baby was out because if the cord was left intact, all the blood could flow out of the baby back into the placenta.
Attending an out-of-hospital birth, on the other hand, it’s like reaching the holy grail. You see a provider who is “with women;” she is kind and gentle (in my experiences) and helpful. She practices evidence-based midwifery. Usually the mom has spent months with her midwife, and they have a relationship that surpasses patient/provider.
So, with that in mind, I pursued midwifery when the opportunity arose.
By the way, I think that was another issue: the opportunity to pursue midwifery doesn’t arise often. Apprenticeships are hard to come by; there’s a local midwife I know who has a line two miles long of women who want to apprentice with her. When the chance to apprentice basically fell into my lap, I jumped at it, thinking another opportunity might not come along for years. Or maybe ever.
So: I talked My Chemical Romance into a plan where I’d spend one day per week at prenatal appointments — and pay a sitter that day — and attend births with my preceptor. Simultaneously, I entered a midwifery school that required full tuition up front (although I paid via a monthly payment plan). It is a very popular school; the students absolutely worship the director and her controversial point of view regarding birth — and I knew someone who had just graduated.
It was not as easy as I made it out to be. I think My Chemical Romance had some concerns, but I assured him it would be okay. And it was — somewhat. With so much extra responsibility, I stepped up my game in other areas. To prove that I could do everything — and be everyone — I kept the house really clean and started cooking all the time. I took as many doula clients as I could to make some extra money (since apprentices don’t get paid). When my kids were in school, I made sure everything was always packed and ready and I didn’t have to rush to the office because I forgot to send a signed permission slip. I tried to make it look easy.
It wasn’t killing me or my marriage or my relationship with my kids, but I was starting to resent pregnant women after a while. Which is not conducive to practicing midwifery.
Telling my preceptor that I no longer wanted to apprentice with her was easier than I thought. She understood. In my heart, I knew she’d understand, but I was still worried about letting her down — or that she might be disappointed in me. Maybe she was — probably more disappointed to lose my company once a week — but she totally understood and our relationship has morphed into a friendship. I love her.
Despite the fact that I am the snarkiest bitch you’ll ever meet, I’m not into confrontation. I’ve read about it. I know how it works. I try to confront fairly and justly, like the books say, and use “I” phrases and stick to the subject at hand. I can do it. I don’t like the idea of someone being mad at me or disliking me. I’d rather assume they’re mad at me or hate me than to confront them and actually find out. I spent a while trying to decide whether I’d rather continue resenting pregnant women than tell my preceptor that I didn’t want to continue apprenticing and face her (possible, but doubtful) anger and/or disappointment.
Meanwhile, when I decided to stop apprenticing, I thought I’d still continue with my school. You can study midwifery without apprenticing; it’s the opposite that proves tricky. But it’s been three months since I stopped and I have no desire to go back. I haven’t cracked a book, I haven’t done anything midwifery-related — and I’ve liked it. I realized: I don’t want to become a midwife. I believe in midwifery care, I support midwifery care, I’d never have anyone other than a midwife provide me with prenatal care — but that’s not enough passion to pursue midwifery as a career.
My Chemical Romance was supportive of my decision — as he is of nearly every decision I make, truly — but I know he doesn’t get it. He is one of those people who discovered as a teenager his interest (chemistry), went on to get a full academic scholarship to college (to study chemistry), and has always worked in his field (as a chemist). I admire that tenacity — or maybe I just haven’t found the one thing I love and want to pursue forever.
If it weren’t for the fact that I’m still paying tuition, I would have just cut my losses and moved on, but I am still paying. And that was grating at me. I’d signed a contract, and I’d sent postdated checks. Even though I had decided I didn’t want to become a midwife, even though I’d returned the curriculum, I still had to pay the tuition. It didn’t seem fair, but I didn’t know what to do.
Finally I decided that as much as I haaaaaaaaaaaaaate confrontation and finding out people are mad at me, I had to do something. I asked my former midwifery school to return my checks, or destroy them. They said no, I had to keep paying. So I filed a claim with the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General’s office (department of consumer protection). I said I should not have to continue paying tuition for school in which I’m no longer enrolled, and no longer have the curriculum. I said that a resolution would be for the school to return my checks to me, or to destroy them.
I also contacted my bank and let them know that I was disputing checks, and gave them the BBB claim number.
My midwifery school is pissed. I got a somewhat nasty email saying the director is surprised and disappointed — and I’ve removed myself from group emails, but I’m certain there are emails flying about this. Not about me specifically (I hope), but about how someone is not honoring her agreement with the school and taking money away from them. Whine whine whine.
It felt good to confront the school, and stand up for myself. It was scary, but I’m really glad I did this. I believe in what I’m doing. The school administrators seem mad — but that’s okay. I confronted them. They’re mad. The world is still spinning.