Friday, July 17, 2009

Baby Week, Part 2

Recounting the events of Monday 13 July 2009…
So. After my 32 week prenatal appointment, I had been very frustrated with my current situation and was strongly considering switching health care providers. I talked to the yoga moms who had had their babies with the midwives I was considering switching to. I talked to my doula. I made lists of pros and cons. I made a lot of phone calls. I found out that I could do it if I really wanted, and I even made an appointment with the other midwives, just in case. The only problem was that they couldn’t work me in until the end of July—when I would be 37 weeks pregnant. I was very uncomfortable with this, but I was also very uncomfortable with how things had gone at my last appointment and how I had felt that unnecessary and perhaps problematic interventions were going to be forced on me if I stayed in my current situation. I didn’t sleep very well during this whole process.

I knew I’d have to make the final decision on Monday, when I went back for my 34-week appointment and actually saw the OB in charge of the practice for the first time. I was really nervous about this, and I made Rob go with me to the appointment. It actually ended up going remarkably well. When I met Dr. T, I actually kind of liked her. She didn’t seem unreasonable, and she didn’t seem to be unsupportive of natural childbirth. I didn’t agree with everything she said, but we were definitely able to have a very informed conversation about these issues. And I liked the fact that she referenced her statements with research on the topic, instead of just assuring me I was supposed to believe her. She did seem to brush off my mention of the study that showed most first time mothers give birth closer to 41 weeks instead of 40 weeks, but what was more important to me was that she maintained that the decision would be mine about whether or not to induce, should it come to that. Unless she was bald-faced lying to me, I really didn’t feel that she would unnecessarily pressure me into an induction or that she would break my water without my consent (my doula had revealed that Dr. T had actually done this to one of her former clients, who was livid about it). So in the end, I decided to stay the course. In all likelihood, Dr. T won’t even be there when Fig is born, because unless there is some major problem, the midwife will catch the baby. And if there is some major problem, at that point, I probably won’t care who’s there and what they have to do to me. At any rate, I’m not 100% comfortable with the whole situation, but in the end I know that I am more comfortable with staying the course than I would be with switching health care providers at 37 weeks pregnant.

Oh. And get this. Despite the fact that I feel and look huge (and am regularly told how huge I am by… everybody), I had not gained any weight since my last appointment (I think I actually lost an ounce, but whatever), AND they measured my midsection for the first time and found that I am measuring right on track. Ha. So TAKE THAT, church lady who told me I’m huge. I am right where I am supposed to be.

Baby Week continued on Monday evening with a Breastfeeding class offered by one of the local hospitals. I think I would have found the class more favorable if Our Nausea hadn’t been attacking me full force. It didn’t help that the people sitting next to us had a cup of coffee (oh the horrors) and somebody across the room had brought in a Subway sandwich (oh the horrors), both of which made me have to cover my face with my hands just to try to breathe without inhaling the stench. The breastfeeding class itself I suppose was okay, but I really didn’t find it all that useful. For the first hour or so, they talked about the benefits of breastfeeding to mothers and babies, and they experienced various technical difficulties with audio-visual aids designed to help illustrate these points. Maybe it was the stench of coffee and Subway, but I was extremely agitated and just wanted to scream, “Really? REALLY?? Does anybody not know this stuff already and is it really necessary to spend an hour talking about it??” After the class as I was relaying my frustrations to Rob, he pointed out that perhaps I was better informed than most people on the subject, since half of my dissertation is about lactation. Oh. Good point. But still. What I really needed from the class was not so much why you should breastfeed, but rather, how to actually do it. It seems to be a big struggle for a lot of people, and it would have been a lot more helpful to me to hear more about what to do if you encounter problems, rather than the statement “Did you know that breastfeeding your baby can help you lose your pregnancy weight” like 10 times. But again. It was probably the smell of coffee and Subway that was rubbing on my nerves. And it was actually helpful during the few minutes when we got to practice different types of “holds” (ie., the “football hold” and the “cross cradle hold”) with a kind of freaky looking doll-baby named Samantha (it was embroidered on her outfit).

Stay tuned for the rest of Baby Week. (It will be riveting, I’m sure).

Thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

It is so interesting to me to read about how you are so in charge ( I know you don't feel that way sometimes), of how you are going to have this baby. THAT IS THE WAY IT SHOULD BE!!!!!!!!!!! Back in our day, we were at the mercy of our dr., and sorry to say, didn't know any better. I hope these next weeks go by quickly for you????


Ragfield said...

I didn't notice the coffee or the Subway. :)

gutzville said...

it seems like I have spent have my life in lectures that were clearly not meant for me.
Maybe there is an AP for advanced breastfeeding class. Or we could just have a round table discussion.

amypfan said...

Glad to hear you made the decision - I'll bet that's a load off your mind. And I told you that you weren't big! As for breastfeeding, I didn't find the class very helpful either, since it's not exactly something you can practice until the baby comes. But you will be able to see a lactation consultant as often as you want at the hospital, and breastfeeding support groups can be very helpful too.

Teach said...

I agree with Amypfan, the class wasn't all that great. The lactation consultants were tremendous...we were there almost every other day for the first couple weeks. Good luck with the coming weeks!

O'BoyMom said...

I am convinced that breastfeeding actually keeps me fat- between the boobs and the extra fat your body keeps on to support your lactation. But that is just me :)