Monday, January 3, 2011

Fun with Staci

Just wanted to share b/c I think my kid is so cute :)

Looking back and planning ahead

Today marks 31 weeks pregnant, and my biggest area of focus right now is preparing for labor and delivery.  This is my second time around, and my goal is that it goes at least as well (and hopefully much better) than my first labor and delivery.  It is an amazing, almost out of body experience--at least it was for me.  Those of you that know me well (and probably even if you don't know me that well!) know that I am a huge supporter of natural labor.  In a normal, healthy pregnancy, it is my belief that it's best to allow things to progress as nature intended.  Luckily, I was successful in a natural labor and delivery with my first baby.  Almost every mom I talked to, excluding my own, basically told me I wouldn't be able to do it. But I did.  It wasn't easy, but it was something that was very important to me, and I was lucky that things progressed the way they did in order to allow it to happen. 

As I look back on Staci's birth, there are things I know I want to be different.  I don't want to have to sign 874 pieces of paper during hard labor.  In fact, it's actually illegal to ask a woman in labor to sign anything within a certain distance from a hospital.  And yet hospitals still do it.  I'm pretty sure I would have signed away my baby for all the reading I was able to do in that state.  I don't want a HEP-lock inserted into my wrist during a contraction while another nurse holds me down.  I don't want a nurse so unsupportive of natural labor she refuses to acknowledge simple requests, like keeping the lights off and being quiet during contractions.  I don't want to be 'checked' when I say no.  There is no reason to check until I am ready to push, and shoving your hand where the sun don't shine is still not ok even if I'm in labor.  I definitely don't want 15 people to waltz into the room as the baby is crowning to watch the freak show.  I literally was thinking to myself, 'perhaps I should apologize for not keeping my nether regions a bit more, well, kept?'  I really shouldn't have to worry about that as I prepare to push a baby out, should I?  And finally, I don't want a support staff so unfamiliar with the natural progression of labor that my doctor is literally MIA and barely makes it in time to catch the baby. 

As the hospital bills started to roll in, I felt angry.  We chose to have our birth in the hospital 'just in case' anything went wrong.  And I fully understand the reasoning behind that--but I can honestly say in MY situation--a healthy baby and a healthy mommy--the chances of anything going wrong are very, very slim.  Nonetheless, it was my first go and I don't regret my choice one bit.  But, it was angering to pay so much money when I felt I did not get the kind of care I SHOULD have received for that kind of price.  Seriously, if I am paying someone $800 (and that doesn't include what our insurance paid out) to waltz in and catch the baby at the last second, what have I really paid them for?  Literally, anyone could have caught her.  I could have reached down and grabbed her myself.  and saved $800! and that was only for the OB.  I think by the time all was said and done, we spent well over 2k, even with the help of our insurance.  I felt cheated.  I felt mistreated.  I was angry. 

After much research, and considering my and Olivia's healthy disposition, we have chosen to strive for a homebirth this time around.  (GASP, I know)  Before you go lecturing me on how unsafe it is, I encourage you to do your own research.  I have found surprising information confirming that for healthy babies and healthy pregnancies, it is equally as safe as a hospital birth.  If we do need to transfer to a hospital, I live just 10 minutes away.  The chances of something going wrong where we couldn't get to the hospital in time are very, very slim.  Especially since this is our second baby, and second babies generally come a bit easier than first babies.  Also, to put your mind at ease, if anything feels hinky I will not wait to transfer. 

A good overview of statistics found by a recent study in the US can be found here
Another overview of studies done on homebirth around the globe can be found here

All of that said, as long as I and Olivia stay healthy, a homebirth is ideal for us.  But in no way do I think everyone should have or want a homebirth, nor is it appropriate in many situations.  Please send healthy, happy, and easy birthing vibes our way!  64 days and counting...give or take ;)