Folks who are NCB-inclined often object to the semantics of saying that a doctor or midwife “delivers” a birthing woman’s baby, insisting that it is the birthing woman who delivers her own baby. For example, Business of Being Born producer Ricki Lake said in an interview with Parenting magazine (c. 2010-2011):
My first birth was a success with a midwife in a hospital—I felt empowered, I did have my baby skin to skin right away, was able to breastfeed—all of those things that are so important. But there was this moment when my mother was able to see me right after the birth, and I said to her, “Mom, Mom, this is my midwife who delivered my baby!” And my midwife stopped me and said, “No, Ricki, you delivered your baby.” And at that point, I took ownership of what I was able to do.
This is one area where the NCB movement and I part ways. I don’t at all mind my doctor saying that he “delivered” my baby. I tried on the language of “I deliver my own baby” while I was pregnant with Constantine, but it just felt too awkward and wrong to me, and here’s why.
I went over my hospital bill. By far the largest charge on the bill is a $4,292 charge for “operating room services.” This confused me as I obviously did not have a c-section.
I asked my doctor about it at an appointment yesterday. He said that, when I got to pushing and my son was having decels into the 70s, and did not seem to be coming out (there had been one pop-off on the vacuum extractor), they had told the c-section team to get ready. Considering that my son was out 5-10 minutes later, pretty amazing that they charge so much for just a few minutes of c-section prep that was ultimately not needed.
It’s 5 PM on Sunday night and it is now a pretty safe bet that my doctor will be available to deliver my baby when I go into labor. My pastor should be available to visit me during labor and give me a blessing as well.
Now I’m just hoping and praying that this little troll baby gets this party started on his/her own before hot doctor starts bugging me to do an induction. I have a non-stress test scheduled at the hospital on Monday night at 6 PM, then I’m seeing hot doctor for a check-up on Thursday morning at 7:45 AM.
My employer (who has been so wonderful to me) seems a bit uncomfortable with me working past my due date, and though he’s too polite to say it, I think they were planning on striking my job from their budget no later than my due date. So I’ve agreed to tap out after Tuesday’s shift if I have not delivered by then.
More importantly though: I finally feel ready for this. My hospital bag is packed, my daughter’s bag is packed for staying with a friend for a few days, I’ve created several playlists worth of songs to labor to that I can play at the hospital, the bassinet is all ready for baby to sleep in, the infant car seat is installed into my car, and I’ve reached a sense of peace and excited anticipation for this birth. I’ve also prepared a set of excerpts from Margaret L. Hammer’s Giving Birth that I’d like to have read to me during delivery. I e-mailed a copy to my doula and printed another copy for my hospital bag. With DD, I don’t think I ever felt ready. I was afraid of labor beforehand, afraid while it was happening, and then I was afraid of being her mother after she arrived. With this baby, I’m like, “bring it!”
My marital problems? On the shelf but not forgotten.
Oh, and Mike’s Hard Limeade? Yeah, I really am packing that into my hospital bag:
So as they said in Cabin in the Woods, “Let’s get this party started!”
I am 39 weeks today, and now my doctor is out of town.
He says the earliest he could possibly be back in town to deliver my baby is on the evening of Sunday, September 22nd, when I would be 40 w + 2 d pregnant. My baby has moved down a little bit, but has not dropped entirely, and he said that while there are no guarantees and it is impossible to say for sure, he will not be surprised if I do make it to when he returns. He’s promised me that, if I do go in the next 8.5 days, whoever delivers my baby will have a copy of my birth plan and be advised of my birth preferences. He also promised me that the back-up doctor will call him and keep him posted on my status.
According to the statistics at this site, my odds of delivering before my doctor returns are about 36.9% – 41.6% (depending on whether we include day 40 w + 2 d in the tally). I’d really love for him to be there, so I’m really hoping baby stays put, but I also know that it’s time to turn my thoughts to how I will handle labor and delivery without him. I’ve prepared, I’ve visualized, I’ve hired good support, and I’ve prayed. Deep down I know that while I want my doctor there, I don’t need him there.
It may be a little on the cheesy side, but I remember that scene from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 2 finale, where Buffy is fighting Angelus and Angelus is getting the upper hand. He’s about to finish Buffy off by running her through the head with his sword, and he taunts her. “No weapons … no friends … no hope. Take all that away and what’s left?” As he tries to stab her, Buffy catches the sword between her bare hands with her eyes closed, then opens her eyes and replies, “Me.”
It’s a message of self-reliance that I’ve always loved. (Completely contradicted by the Season 4 finale wherein Buffy is only able to defeat the villain by mystically combining powers with Xander, Willow and Giles, but I digress.) It’s that self-reliance that I’m trying to focus on now.
I’d wish you a happy Independence Day, but the 4th of July is my least favorite holiday, so let’s move on.
Went in last Saturday for a round of testing. Had blood drawn for:
- Thyroid tests: TSH, free T4, free T3. The latter my doctor has never tested for before and snuck in the order for it after I’d left the office on Friday, even though I’d previously told him I didn’t want him sneaking in any tests without informing me first. WHY THAT LITTLE… No, I’m not really mad, it just made me roll my eyes. He didn’t want to test my free T3 when I suggested it in January, so I’m wondering what made him change his mind. Anyways, this all came back normal, and my TSH is now 2.029, the lowest its been since we began testing (and down from 12.573 in January!).
- 1-Hour Glucose Challenge Test: That drink was NASTY. It tasted like melted orange popsicles with an extra cup of sugar mixed in for bad measure. The good news is that I passed, so I’m in the clear on gestational diabetes and I don’t have to drink another one of those abominable concoctions.
- CBC: So, here’s the part where I was unpleasantly surprised to learn that my hematocrit, hemoglobin, red blood cell count, and mchc were all a little on the low side. According to Dr. Google, that means I’ve become mildly anemic, probably due to iron deficiency. I got one of the residents at the clinic on the phone (hot doctor is out of town again) and he concurred. Guess it might not just be normal 3rd trimester fatigue that I’ve been experiencing lately. I think I have found the culprit and how to fix it though, which I will talk about in my next post.
Went in on Tuesday for my RhoGAM screen and injection. Continue reading
Well, I hit the third trimester and now it just feels like things are dragging.
I badly want to nest, but instead have to prepare to move. Have been told that we “should” be getting in to the apartment that we applied for, but they haven’t had us sign a lease yet. Will feel much better about it when we have a lease and formal move-in date in hand. I am just dying to set up our baby’s “nursery corner” in our new master bedroom, but that’s over a month away from happening.
Acid reflux has been hitting me a lot more now. Yucky.
Saw my hot doctor today. He came in wearing scrubs and seemed in a hurry and distracted. Said he was basically expected to deliver a baby soon, so I guess that’s a good excuse, but still. I wanted to say, “Well, the schedule says your ass is mine for the next 30 minutes, so slow the hell down, will you?” He’s now officially on year 3 of his residency, so congratulations to him. We talked a little bit about my recent social stressors (i.e. my marriage), but not much. He asked me if I’ve ever turned to smoking or alcohol to cope with my stress, and I told him (truthfully) absolutely not.
Listening for baby’s heart tones, 4-8-2013. Photo by my doula.
What a busy day I had today! In the morning I was preaching at the retirement community where I volunteer with the chaplaincy ministry, then I went to my prenatal appointment, and immediately afterwards I went to set up for tomorrow’s election, where I am serving as an election judge. I find it satisfying to be staying so busy.
It was the 16-week prenatal today. My doula came to the appointment. I think her and my hot doctor will get along well. She seemed to agree with my assessment of his looks. Always good to have a second opinion when it comes to prenatal care, right? 😉 He mentioned that he has never worked with a doula before, and he’s done 48 deliveries now, so I hope this is a learning experience for him.
Sorry I have been AFKish. Being pregnant, writing a master’s thesis, going to classes, taking care of my family, and raiding tombs is hard work.
Had my “first” prenatal appointment with my hot doctor last Thursday, when I was 11+6. Though chronologically it was the second, the time slot was actually appropriate for a “first” appointment this time. I was surprised when I walked into the clinic and the desk staff greeted me by name and began asking me excited questions about my pregnancy. I’m guessing they don’t get tons of pregnant women through there. So different from the Utah OB clinic I went to for my first pregnancy, where the office staff was rude as all get and didn’t give a damn about your pregnancy.
The sign in the waiting room of my last OB clinic. *shudder*
Yup, I am 10 weeks pregnant today. If a pregnancy is 40 weeks long, then I am 25% done with it. I can do what I just did three more times, right? . . . Right?
Of course, in reality, pregnancy lasts ~38 weeks, so I’m not really 25% done until 11 weeks + 3.5 days (because that’s really 9 weeks + 3.5 days). But, whatever. If doctors are going to insist on counting those two weeks before I got pregnant, I can, too.
My symptoms so far:
- An occasional excess of stretchy, stringy, white (sometimes yellow-tinged) cervical mucus. It’s a bit like egg-white cervical mucus, but cloudier and not clear. It looks exactly like snot. That snot funny.
- Fatigue. It’s been better since my doctor put me on a low dosage of levothyroxine for my sub-clinical hypothyroidism, but it’s still there.
- Twinges, tugging sensations and (very rarely) even cramping in my abdomen or lower back.
- I had one morning of repeat vomiting, at 7+1. My stomach was empty and it was all water and phlegm, and then it was dry heaving. Since then I’ve tried to make sure I have at least a little bit of food in my stomach at all times (even if it’s just crackers or something), and that seems to be working. I haven’t thrown up since. (The only time I threw up during DD’s pregnancy was when my stomach was empty, so I think that’s a thing with me.)
- One morning of mild pink, barely-there spotting following very vigorous coitus.
- Nausea. Almost all the time. I know I won’t throw up, but I just don’t feel well and don’t feel like eating. I am hoping to God that the placenta will kick in soon and give me some relief.
- I have no visible bump yet (I’m 6’0″; I tend to hide pregnancy well), but I can feel pressure in my abdomen when I lay on my stomach.
Hot doctor called me up yesterday, but I missed his call. His message said that I was right about my blood being Rh-negative (duh) and he wanted to talk to me about what that means. I’m very curious to hear what it is he thinks he needs to tell me, because as I understand it, I won’t need a RhoGam shot until we do an amniocentesis (~16 weeks?) or 28 weeks if we decide not to do amnio. I’m hoping I’ll get lucky and the amnio will tell me that baby is Rh-negative so that I won’t need any more shots at 28 weeks or after delivery. Anyways, there’s no reason he couldn’t wait until our appointment the first week of March (when I’ll be 11+6) to talk to me about Rh-negative blood. So why he be dialing me up?
Maybe he misses me and he wanted an excuse to hear my sexy voice. I’m gonna go with that.
So I had my first prenatal today–sort of. Let me talk about the “sort of” part first. Basically, the office staff screwed up my scheduling and did not allot enough time for the doctor to do everything that should be done at a first prenatal, so my appointment lacked a pelvic exam and ultrasound. Those have been set up for my next appointment on March 7, when I’ll be nearly 12 weeks. I am admittedly irritated about this because my husband took off work today to be at this appointment, and I don’t know whether he’ll be able to do that again next month.
The amazing part was my conversation with my hot doctor. He was wonderful as he ever is. We were very much on the same wavelength and practically finishing each other’s sentences. I asked him at one point if he thought I was being a pretentious know-it-all and wanted me to shut up and let him do the talking, and he said, “Are you kidding? I think it’s awesome that you’re so informed.”