Monthly Archives: June 2008

Things to Do Besides Wanting to Induce

Having been recently freaked out by the number of women who spend the last few weeks of their pregnancy wishing someone would induce them, I have decided to offer up a list of alternative things to think about and do. I have had a newborn in my life before. Perhaps for this reason, I am able to see and appreciate the things that those of you who have not, might be missing. Don’t worry, you’ll get to meet your baby soon enough if you are this far along. I’ll spare you the induction-is-bad-for-you-and-the-baby-and-more-painful-than-birth-should-be-

and-likely-to-end-in-a-c-section speech. You already know my views on that. And that sometimes the doctors won’t let us avoid it. But that’s different from wishing they’d do it to you.

1. Enjoy the use of both of your hands. Do things everyone else who’s not holding a baby can do. Rip paper towels off the roll with ease. Put your trash down the chute. Eat a meal. Even the use of your pesky un-dominant hand will be sorely missed once it is gone.

2. Take a long shower. If you shave, enjoy the opportunity to have enough time and energy to shave both of your legs without feeling guilty about the helpless creature who is not in the shower with you. Your baby’s right there under your ribs and not even crying!

3. Walk somewhere. By yourself. Without a stroller or sling or burp cloth.

4. Go in to a fancy store without worrying about any screaming erupting from anywhere near you, for which you might be stared at and psychically urged to leave. Linger in the fancy store. Look at the pretty things.

5. Go to a movie. Even if you are uncomfortable in the chair and you have to pee seven times. You’ll thank me later.

6. Enjoy your pain-free nipp1es. Right now they are just sitting there like lots of other parts of your body…a knee or an elbow. Enjoy not being aware of them every waking moment.

7. Sleep. I know you’re excited. I know you keep obsessing over what to pack for the hospital and which stroller to get and if you got enough nursing bras. Sleep, I tell you. Sleep like a drunken college student who just turned in her thesis upon which she worked for three days and nights straight, then went to a bar and drank too much. Sleep hard. Sleep long. Sleep. And not like a baby. Because guess what? Babies wake up every two hours and cry.

8. Enjoy your partner (if you have one.) Eat meals together… like in the same moment. Look into each other’s eyes. Have uninterrupted conversations. Talk about books and plays. Talk about anything but poop and milk. Give and get lots of attention from each other because you are both going to be pouring it all into a third party soon.

9. See your friends who don’t have babies. See them a lot. Try to talk about things other than the baby when you see them. A lot of people slip away from their friends after the baby comes, so enjoy them now and try to envision how you’ll fit into each other’s lives a few weeks from now when the baby poop hits the fan.

10. Enjoy the special pregnant-lady treatment you’ve been getting for so long that you probably take it for granted, or even let it bother you. Because guess what? Once that adorable little babe comes out of your body, you will be almost invisible to most folks. Especially the strangers, who will switch from holding doors for you and giving up seats for you, to telling you that you dressed the baby wrong, or you’re holding it wrong, or could you get out of here with all of that racket?

Ok? Enjoy.

Do it for me.

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Filed under Third Trimester!?!, Waiting and waiting and...

Because Everyone Else Is at Pride…

…and I’m sitting here at home feeling like my body’s battery is just about to run out, I present to you a memeish thing stolen from Calli. Feel free to play.

SCATTERGORIES – it’s harder than it looks! Play here or play on your blog. Saturday is game day!

Take the first letter of your favorite color and answer to the following:

1) What is your favorite color? Green

2) Something you would poke? Girl

3) Something you would reheat? Grits

4) Something you would carry in your purse? Gold card

5) Something you would recycle? Ginger ale can

6) Something you would scream if being attacked? Get away from me, beeyotch!

7) Something you are wearing right now? Grin

8 ) Something that would make you blush? G-spot tickle?

9) Something that would cure a bad day? Girlfriend

10) Something that you would photograph at the zoo? Giraffe gobbling greens

Gosh.  It was not as fun as going to the Dyke March, but it sure took a lot less effort.

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Filed under LGBT, nothing at all, NYC What is it about you?, Third Trimester!?!

Do Not Cut HERE

I was considering the title of this post as a temporary tattoo for my trip to the hospital. Maybe just at the bikini line, with some helpful arrows?

I watched The Business of Being Born last night. Ok, people. The scary parts to me were the c-sections. They just kind of re-broke my heart each time I saw one. Nelly was right about the twilight sleep births being horrifying. I was looking for a link to do the work for me, but I guess I need to explain it myself, since I can’t seem to find anything as comprehensive on the internet on twilight sleep as the movie described it.   Twilight sleep was marketed as a way to have “painless” births.  Women were given an injection of morphine and scopolamine.  Then they would be semi-conscious during the birth, feeling the pain, but would not remember any part of it.   She’d just wake up a few days later with a baby and no memory of the birth.  Sometimes women would scratch at people, bang their heads and scream, so the doctors would actually tie them up (with lambswool, so their husbands wouldn’t ask questions later) and cover their heads with some kind of cushioned pilllow-looking thing and leave them there in labor on their backs for days.  Interestingly, women’s activists took the access to twilight sleep up as a cause, opening up clinics in America, because  they felt strongly that women should have access to “painless” births. Any woman with as little as one women’s studies class under her belt is accustomed to discovering historical, as well as present, brutality against women. The present trend in some hospitals having as high as a 45% c-section rate is also brutal. But this brutality has a celebrity sheen to it, and one of those fake sparkles in the corner. Not only are c-sections escalating, but unnecessary inductions, as well.

There’s a British message board I visit about once a week, mostly for the week-to-week updates on fetal development. Unlike What to Expect, they don’t tell you all the horrible things that can go wrong, and they often have good illustrations. I occasionally scroll down to the comments to see what the other women in my week are feeling. Many of the comments make my skin crawl a little, like when they LOL at things that are not funny at all, or when they don’t bother to use any punctuation or capitalization– it makes me wonder why I bother trying to teach it to my second-graders. They often do have something happening in common with my pregnancy. I like that part.

Well last week, at week 37, I was startled by the huge number of women who were hoping for, or looking forward to their inductions. WHA? As Nelly pointed out to me, ultrasound machines give a person a plus or minus one week due date. So if you are a straight lady who does not know the exact day that she became pregnant, and you’re relying on an ultrasound due date, and you induce at 37 weeks, you could actually be forcing your baby to be pre-term. Why would you do that? Would you want to meet your baby so badly that you would put its health and well-being into danger on purpose? Could anyone possibly be that sick of being pregnant?

I loved watching the natural births in the movie. I could watch them again and again. I especially liked one in which the woman’s 1.5-year-old son, in his pjs, is tapping on her arm while she’s in the birthing tub having what appears to be a contraction. Then she reaches down and pulls out a baby. Weird and wonderful, I tell you.

During my poll about if I should watch the movie before or after my birth, I was surprised to hear from the lovely Co and Lo that my old childbirth educator a ‘la Cakie’s birth, had told them to wait to see it until after they gave birth. This was especially strange advice, since she actually made us all sit through at least eight extremely graphic, more so than the movie, birth videos. I think perhaps she didn’t want us to feel like failures if we did end up having to have c-sections or whatnot. Well half of us did, anyway. And nobody was happy about it.

I say all of this knowing full well that I am going to a hospital.  Since I’m going near the knife, I may very well be cut.  I don’t mind having a c-section.  I do mind having an unnecessary c-section.  I feel like I’ve done everything in my power, short of having a home birth, to avoid that.  But just in case…

Here’s another tattoo I’m considering:

NO PITOCIN PLEASE. (Unless I’m bleeding to death, then go for it.)

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Kegel Cram

Ever pull an all-nighter?

I’m kind of doing that now. See, I kind of fell off the wagon in my quest for the world’s strongest pelvic floor after I got that annoying cough that pretty-much lasted a whole trimester and made me wet my pants pretty much every time I moved or squeezed or coughed or laughed. Before that, I was doing squats and relaxing my PF (pelvic floor) when I breathed in, and contracted as I exhaled. I was doing at least 15 minutes of extra pf exercise when I put Cakie to bed and sat in the dark of his room while he dozed off. I would do them in the car and on the toilet. While I did a read-aloud at school. While I posted to my blog. I was a pelvic floor jock.

Now?  Not so much. And now is when I need it most because I have a feeling I am about to pull (or tear) some muscles.

my toenails and my belly

I have purple toe nails. And that blue lump is Trucker.  Can you spy my cat’s tail in the background?  He somehow manages to get into every picture I take, it seems.  He’s just that big a cat.

I got my purple nails yesterday. I was given two mani-pedi gift certificates at my shower. So while I was getting the toenails done, and the fingernails…you got it. For the whole hour and a half I was cramming for my kegel exam. In fact, I’m doing them right now! And when you go out and someday buy my book, and you read the TTC chapter, just think, this chapter was built on kegels.

It is strange to do kegels when someone’s head is lodged in your pelvis. I feel like I’m squeezing his head. Maybe that’s why he keeps getting the hiccups.

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Favorable Conditions

I saw my midwife again yesterday. This time my honey came, which is good because my honey remembers stuff and I don’t. I asked her about perenial massage. She said that they usually don’t suggest it. They prefer that I be very conscious, while doing kegels and pelvic floor stuff of how I release, not just contract. That way, when I need to release, I’ll be aware of what I’m doing. That’s all good, because perenial massage sounds like about the kind of massage I would least like to have, frankly.

She did an internal exam and said, “You are about 75% effaced (!) and your cervix is still closed…no, wait, my finger just slipped in!” So I’m a teeny weeny bit dilated. Less than a cm. Then she had some blood on her finger and said, “No, that’s not your bloody show. It is from my finger.” But when I got home, it sure looked like a bloody show to me. She’s the professional, so I’ll take her word for it. Then she smiled and said, “You look favorable. Everything looks good.” And I’ve hung on that word, favorable ever since.

I still feel calm and ready. I still want to see that damn movie. I think, as I have thought for some time, that he might actually come a little early.

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Mother-to-Be Knows Best

We canceled our mail-order DVD club membership recently when we realized we hadn’t been actually watching the movies and our beloved life-membership Tivo committed suicide, so we now need to pay a monthly fee for our new DVR.  There was just one movie I had wanted to see:  The Business of Being Born.

My super-hero home-birthing friend, Nelly had first recommended I watch it while she was still pregnant with baby P, her second child.  I thought maybe I’d better wait until after I give birth.  Then, I heard about it again at my pre-natal yoga class.  One of the pregnant women was saying how she had seen it and she felt really empowered.  She wouldn’t stop talking about it.  My yoga teacher who is also a birthing doula, who was standing there, responded when I asked if I should see it before or after my birth that there was one uncomfortable part, but for the most part, it was probably fine to see while you are still pregnant.  Probably very empowering.  Most of the lesbians in my pregnant lesbians (which is quickly turning into a new moms group, yippee!) had seen it and were still psyched about giving birth.

When my honey and I took the childbirth prep class while she was pregnant with Cakie, we had to watch at least 8 birth videos.  Yes, they were uncomfortable to watch.  But always ended with me sobbing, overcome with joy at seeing that blue goopy baby take its first breath.   (I have to admit that I just sobbed watching the trailer to TBofBB while linking it to this post.) Mind you,  I recently had to watch one of those birth videos again at the prep class for using the birthing center… it is a far different level of discomfort to watch one of those videos when you know a baby will probably be coming out of your own vagi.na in the next few weeks.  A whole new level.

Here’s how I’m feeling about labor and delivery at the moment.  I feel powerful.  I know it will hurt like hell.  I know it might make me say things I’ll regret to my honey.  I know it will probably last a long time.  I’ve enjoyed reading and re-reading ohchicken’s birth story.  Labor may very likely result in some injury to my lady parts.  I also know that active labor will last a day at the longest.  I know I may end up with a c-section.  I’ve read The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth, and I am aware that the hospital can make a lot more money off of me if they cut me.  I know that they have rules not based on logic or research but on medical tradition and fear of litigation that might make it more difficult for me to have the birth I would like.  That’s why I’ve hired my kick-ass midwives.  I’m hoping to use the birthing center.  That’s why I know karate. I’m ready.  I can cope with pain.  My mom did it.  Natural childbirth on pitocin, no less.  I have a kick-ass mom.  I look forward to the goopy blue crying thing landing on my chest.  I’m not scared.  I can do it.

I asked my friend lifebelowtheline if she could order it through her netflicks, and bring it over to watch.  She said she’d been wanting to see it.  Then she got cold feet.  Apparently she started asking around to all of my buddies if maybe me seeing it was not a great idea at this point in my pregnancy.  When she told me this, I had one question, “Did she ever give birth?”  No.  No, she asked all of my friends who had never given birth, been to a childbirthing class, or attended someone else’s birth.  One of the people she asked hadn’t even seen the movie.  Silly! I love my friends, but really.  I’m a big girl.  I can see an exploding vagin.a or five if I want to.

I convinced her to bring it over later in the week, provided my own vagi.na had not exploded prior.  I think the only thing it might do is make me more inclined to home birth, but it is too late in the game for that to happen (unless Trucker turns out to be a speed demon.)  So what do you think?  Have you seen it?  Would you avoid watching it while 37 weeks pregnant?  Are my friends silly?

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Term!

This is what my belly looks like at 37 weeks.  Big, eh?

I’ve had a change in heart regarding this little chap in my uterus.  I wanted him to come early.  Right away, if possible.  Now that I’ve had a few days off, I remember what a joy summering can be.  I am a professional summerer.  My first day off I slipped right into summer mode like a kid jumping on a bike.  I am happy and relaxed.  I could use a few more weeks of this.  Now, I don’t want Trucker to come late.  I want to birth in the birthing center at my hospital, which means he needs to come before 41 weeks.  So, I hope he does.  But as for me hoping he comes a little early… nah!  I’m having a blast with him close and wiggling and letting me sleep at night.  I have a book to write and movies to see and beaches on which to bury my belly in the sand and snooze on my belly like a normal person and books to read and nights to sleep through (besides having to wake up to lift my belly with my hands so I can roll over.) I like being pregnant and I know this is pretty much my last chance to be so.  So why rush?

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