Friday, November 14, 2008

Freedom has thrown me off the map.

In the last few days I have slowly gotten to re-enter the world. I have had numerous walks around my neighborhood to enjoy the crisp air and the smell of fallen leaves (and car exhaust.) I've been to the grocery, cooked meals and cleaned a bit. I've also been forced to nap - something I managed to avoid throughout my tenure on bedrest. Anyhow, with all of these distraction, I have been unable to focus much on writing, despite having a lot on my mind.

Last week we had some friends over who have a 5 month old. The baby was conceived two weeks after our last lost pregnancy. It is still hard to see them. But even worse is that because they have given birth they seem to think they wrote the book on it. I have had some great conversations with women about their birth experiences. And generally, hearing these stories are helpful to me - preparing me for what can happen and how I may respond in certain circumstances. But there is always that couple, those people, who underlying their story, are clearly advising - or even promoting an agenda. It feels like less of a conversation, more like instruction. And frankly, it really pissed me off.

What people like this can not possibly understand is that when you have been through losses, surgeries, hospitalization, bedrest, and being heavily medicated in an attempt to stay pregnant, that you can only realistically have limited expectations about what birth may look like for you. I don't have the luxury to dream about a fancy, unmedicated, birthing center delivery with only a midwife and a hot tub. My body is a wreck at this and since I am not a total idiot, I realize that there is some likelyhood that I will need the support of a more sophisticated environment - namely, one with ability to cut me open and steal my baby from my belly it things get dicey. I can not trust my body to do what I have been told over and over and over is its "natural" inclination. Because it has failed to follow that path at every turn. I need to know that our baby will be safe. I don't care if in the process I become a statistic on unnecessary c-sections. I am far from being resigned to having a section - but I won't deny it either. For us, birth is basic: baby is here, baby is healthy. End of story.

With that said, the same friends were kind enough to hand us the number of an organization of doulas who provides free services to folks like us: kinda poor. Although we often fall into that grey economic area, not poor enough to qualify for assistance but make too little to afford such services, this organization doesn't do formal economic checks. Anyhow, we have yet to find out if there is a doula who would kindly give her time to us. Having a doula for me does not mean I will push too hard for an unmedicated birth, but rather that there will be another set of eyes and ears in the room to help us through the process, helping to make informed decisions about our care and giving recommendations. I hope it works out.


loribeth said...

Ugh, I so know what you mean. I mean, to each their own, but I hate it when people try to push their own agenda on you, when you know that it's just not a possibility for you, even if you wanted it for yourself. I'll take a living, breathing child over a natural birth "experience" any day.

Good luck with the doula. I have heard of a few in my own area who actually specialize in helping couples with high-risk pregnancies. My understanding is they're supposed to be advocates for the parents -- not necessarily for an unmedicated birth.

May said...

Ugh. My post bedrest delivery was actually my easy one. If I'd tried to deliver "naturally" after my fairly normal pregnancy with my second, we would not be here right now. Modern medicine can be darned helpful!!!

Good luck for an uneventful delivery!

heather moore said...

I was wondering where in the world you'd been?! I got off today too. Doc said it's better for me to have less stress than be on bedrest. Also, I got more answers about the "C" today. I'll email you after my growth scan.
Girl - you have the right attitude! safe mom + safe baby = happiness! That's all that matters. Glad you're enjoying your freedom!

Anonymous said...

Yes. Yes. Yes. I had people trying to convince me that a vaginal breech birth was the best path with my UU and IVF baby.

CTagsGirl said...

How did you refrain from punching this friend in the face?!? Healthy baby is the goal…you’re totally right on that! And frankly, it's really no one else's business how you choose to labor and deliver, in my opinion.

What a great resource! I hope that you find a doula who's willing/ready to work with you. I know my SIL used one for her first child and couldn’t stop singing her praises. She said the doula is what got her through a natural birth with a 10 + oz. baby. Youch!

Susanna said...

That would be so great if you could have a doula. I've heard they are handy for especially the reasons you cited-- consistent, available, knowledgeable care, from beginning to end.

you are right, the how-to birth couple does not get it.

i'm so glad you're free.
love, s.

jenn said...

I'm so happy that you get to explore your broader world again!

And have you ever heard the expression 'opinions are like assholes'? It's fine to share your experience & what worked or didn't for you- but why does that automatically mean that it's just 'the' way it has to be for everyone else? The beauty of the human condition is our individuality- why do we always want to take that away & make everyone & all their experiences just like ours? You are so right that healhty/happy baby=healthy/happy mom!

Good luck with the doula, I don't even think we could consider one at this point anyway, but if you have the info I'd appreciate it. You never know when things might turn around...

Jenae Freed said...

I hear ya there! Believe me though, it doesn't stop once the baby arrives. The instructions continue from these types of sources. I have found that it is all in how your respond to them. ;)
Funny how the idea of becoming pregnant and delivering another human into the world always had this sort of whimsical romance about it. And yet for so many of us, it is more of a science experiment and/or roller coaster ride with hints of horror thrown in just to make sure it is something we REALLY want. It is frustrating to encounter those who have had a more simple birthing experience and have no apathy for our difficulties.
Maybe you have a friend that is close who you would be comfortable to have as your doula. Then you wouldn't have a whole cost issue. It is very helpful for natural childbirth.

abadmommyblog said...

i really hope it works out too!

and i know what you mean about those parents who think they know it all. but it does, kinda, come from a good place. they've learnt hard lessons, and just want to pass on the wisdom. just keep reminding yourself that!