minor freak out…

This weekend we will be at 30 weeks! I was thinking about this the other day and realized that my neice was just one week older than our baby when she was born premature…. yikes! She is a perfectly happy, healthy, almost-three year old now but it still freaked me out just a little to think just how close we could be to having this baby. (btw, everything is going fine, and we have no reason to think that our baby is coming early… just to reassure you:-)

Oh yeah, my other freak out: I am really, really, seriously considering changing doctors or hospitals. Especially after the (hospital sponsored) birth classes we have been attending this week… I am just not getting a good vibe about their support of natural birth. Is it too late to be thinking about switching? How do you even go about something like that?  I feel so stupid for not heeding my earlier uneasiness about them… When I first found out I was pregnant, I just wanted to get in to see someone asap because of my thyroid and such, and I took the first recommendation from a friend. I didn’t really know what questions to ask since we weren’t exactly read-up on pregnancy and birth… we didn’t actually think it would be an option for us, after all!  The first indication I had that this wasn’t going to be a good match was when I found out the practice has nine doctors, any one of whom could be on call when I deliver. NINE. I haven’t even met all of them yet. When I do meet one, it is always at a 15 min or less check up that seems very rushed. And I already blogged about the doctor who didn’t even think it was necessary to check my thyroid levels despite my history…. I should have run from the place then. The hospital itself requires an IV, continuous fetal monitoring, won’t even attempt a vaginal breech, mulitiple, or VBAC, only allows women to be in one position during pushing, won’t allow women to even drink clear fluids while in labor…. I could go on. Oh yeah, and they have a 28% c-section rate. TWENTY-EIGHT PERCENT!!!! I know I should have asked more questions sooner. Unfortunately, I am only now learning what questions need to be asked… and not getting very straight answers. Of course doctors are going to say they never  do a c-section unless it is absolutely necessary, but any logical human being can figure out that a c-section cannot possibly be necessary for nearly one out of every three women. I mean, out bodies are made  to do this, right? Why does birth have to be treated as some sort of medical emergency rather than a natural event?

I confess that I am not a very assertive person. Stephen is more than I am… but he’s going to be dealing with a lot of emotions and such too, and my biggest fear is that we end up at the hospital and nobody will listen to what we want. The thought of the pain doesn’t really bother me, it is this fear that we will have interventions/procedures forced on us that we don’t want or need that does. Especially the c-section thing because, well, one-in-three isn’t very good odds. I know that sometimes interventions are necessary, and am thankful for the technology that allows so many moms and babies a healthy start. But I do NOT want a c-section unless it is really, truly, absolutely necessary. I am thinking of trying to find a doula, if for no other reason than to put my mind at ease a little bit. Anyone have any experience with one? Are they worth the cost? Do they really help? We have also been working on putting together a birth plan, even though we have been told that the doctors and nurses here hate them… not because we think birth is predictable and can be planned out step by step, but because we think it is important that the hospital staff know what our priorities are. And since we don’t exactly get to spend much time talking with any of the doctors beforehand, and even if we did, we have know idea who will be present at the birth, a birth plan seems like it could be helpful.

Is there anyone out there in NW Arkansas who actually had a natural childbirth and felt that their caregivers supported them in this decision? I have been trying to find info on different doctors and hospitals in the area and have decided that this must be the worst part of the country to give birth it… because it’s not lookin good, folks.

Maybe I’ll take after my mom, and show up at the hospital 15 minutes before the baby is born like she did with me, or not even make it to the hospital, like she did with my sister… then I wouldn’t have to worry about any of this! 

Okay, enough about that. I’ll try to end on a more positive, less sleep-deprived, freaked out note: I have noticed a huge surge in Baby’s activity level the past few days which, although it is is often uncomfortable, is a wonderful, reassuring feeling. I have also been noticing quite a few braxton hicks contrations, so I am hoping my uterus will be nice and ready for Baby’s arrival 🙂 I have actually been feeling them since probaby about 22 weeks or so, several times a day. No worries though, I have never had more than four in an hour:-) Despite all of my anxiousness about the hospital experience, I am really starting to get excited about Baby’s arrival. I have started to keep a journal/sketchbook for Baby, and the time I spend each morning (well, almost each morning!) working in it is really special. I haven’t really had a chance to finish up any other baby projects this week since we have had the birth classes and everything, but I have been looking at designs for a baby quilt that I will probably start over Christmas break. Ahhh, it will be so nice to have 18 days off just to chill…


6 thoughts on “minor freak out…

  1. Sorry you’re dealing with so many questions so close to baby’s arrival! I wanted to let you know that my aunt is a doula and from those I know who have used doula’s, it has been a good experience. All that to say, if you’re wanting to talk with someone and ask a few questions that may help you decide if you want to go that route, let me know…I can give you her email address. She’s also an artist…I’m sure you’d like her! Drop me an email if you want to. (ourlittlespringroll @ gmail.com)

  2. It is never too late to change care providers. Though it might get harder to find one willing to take you on as you near your EDD. If this Dr./hospital is not your cup of tea try to find a Midwife “most” of them are natural birth friendly…I say most because there are a few I have fun across that would run you into a c-section faster than an OB could get there to perform the surgery.

    Hire a Doula for labor support.

    Read birth friendly books like “The thinking womans guide” by Henci Goer

    If you are interested in learning more about how you can reduce your risks of an unnecessary c-section check out http://www.ican-online.org (International cesarean awareness network) we have forums that you can join to ask questions and connect with women who have BTDT.

  3. Thanks guys! I found out that BirthNetwork National has a chapter in our area, and I was able to get some very helpful information on Doulas and mother-friendly doctors in the area from them. I also got some not-so-reassuring news about our hospital… I will definitely be calling around this week to switch!

  4. I wanted to join the it’s-never-too-late-to-change-care providers chorus. You have already gotten some wonderful advice/encouragement and it sounds like you have some proactive ideas to explore.

    1st – GET A DOULA! Having one pulls the burden of “coach” off your husband and allows him to just *be* in labor with you. She becomes your “walking birth plan” and “walking childbirth class” so neither of you have to memorize anything to help your labor along.

    2nd – Do NOT expect the doula to be your voice in labor. Only YOU can be your voice. A doula *can* remind you of your birth plan, but hopefully in a non-threatening (to the staff) way. The same way hospitals and docs hate birth plans, they hate doulas that think they are the midwives or protectors of their clients. Doulas are there for *support* – not control.

    3rd – I’ve seen a woman change care providers at 6 cm. I tell women that until they see the baby’s head, they can change providers. 😉

    4th – Call La Leche League and Bradley teachers and ask them who some natural birthing supportive docs (and midwives!) are. Call local midwives, too. They also will know who is the most positive and what hospitals they work out of.

    5th – Find a place of peace in your upcoming birth. Do what you can to set the stage (and youo are doing great moving forward!) and then allow the experience to unfold knowing you did the best you could do.

    6th – Read “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” and “Birthing From Within” – these are two wonderful books that can help your assertiveness in birth. Also read “Journey Into Motherhood” – a beautiful book of natural birth stories of all kind.

    Much good luck and I look forward to reading your birth story! Email if you have any other questions.

  5. I wish I could help…I hope that everyone elses comments helped! Good luck and keep going to the decision that works for you and your family!

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