Wednesday, June 1, 2011

33-36 weeks and Our Birth Suggestion

For some reason there is something scary about being 36 weeks. I don't know why. Technically, I'm still a month out but 36 weeks just sounds so final. SO CLOSE.

The most commonly asked question nowadays? "Are you ready for that baby?"

My answer? No.

Believe me, I can't wait to meet our little one - to find out whether it's a boy or girl, name him/her, enjoy being a little family. But, at the same time, I'm terrified. I'm not scared in the slightest of my ability to take care of a baby. I'm not even terrified of labor and delivery (Scared? Yes. Terrified? No.). What scares me most is the unknown changes that are waiting for me. I often find myself driving down the highway with Rob or sitting on the couch watching TV and thinking, "It's never going to be the same." I love this time in my life. I love being pregnant. I know I will love having our baby finally join us. And yet, I'm embracing every second of this life we have right now. I'm excited beyond words to be going on this adventure of parenthood but I'm not letting this time go by without enjoying it!

Let's talk about baby!! I had an ultrasound last Wednesday which revealed nothing more than an adorable little squishy that is healthy as can be. Baby is now the size of a honeydew!!

Still not much in terms of development aside from lungs and growing adorable baby fat. I'm glad to know that he is safe inside still perfecting his talents at living in the outside world. 

As for me, I'm still hanging in there. I'm really not uncomfortable in any way except for my ribs. My poor, poor, ribs. There is pretty much a constant pain in my right side that this little one enjoys worsening by shoving his cute little butt where it really doesn't belong. Sigh... one day I'll miss it. 

One slightly worrisome thing that presented itself during our ultrasound was the fact that baby is posterior. And, believe me when I say that he's been that way for WEEKS. I'm serious, this kid hasn't moved (except to stretch into my ribs) for probably 8-10 weeks. He's been head down (woo-hoo!), butt up, and posterior for a VERY long time. This is worrisome because of our plans for labor and delivery.

And... here goes...

I find myself shying away from discussing this with anyone since it is a controversial topic that EVERYONE has an opinion on. I'm being completely honest when I say that everyone is entitled to their opinions and how you choose to have your baby is up to you. So please don't look at me like I've grown a third eye when I say we want a natural birth.

There. I said it. We want a "natural birth." I actually like to refer to it as med-free. My reasons? Goodness, where to begin? Before trying to get pregnant I was certainly on the side of the fence that involved drugs. Good drugs. Then we started trying. And trying. And, well, trying some more. When you spend a year trying to get pregnant, that leaves a LOT of time to research. And, being the information hog that I am, I researched a lot of things (I can get lost on the internet for hours). 

Ultimately, I concluded a few things about childbirth:

1. It is not a medical procedure. I am not sick and do not want to be treated as such. (In fact, we almost considered a home birth - gasp! - until I met my UNBELIEVABLE obstetrician. She's amazing. Seriously amazing.) Cliche as it sounds, women have been birthing babies since Adam and Eve. We were made for this. Our bodies are miraculous creations and know exactly what to do in order to make this beautiful event happen. Who am I to stand in the way of that perfection? 

2. The intervention rate in childbirth in this country is outrageous. In fact, when I discuss this with many of my friends who have had/are having babies, the majority of them were induced or have planned inductions/c-sections. Many of which ended up in C-Sections. I am by no means a medical expert, and I do truly believe that there are situations where this is warranted (pre-eclampsia, growth issues, etc.), but this cascade of interventions terrifies me more than anything else. I guess what I'm trying to say is that this baby will make his appearance when he is ready. Again, who am I to stand in the way? If a problem presents itself, the health and safety of my child will always take precedence.

3. Our bodies are doing miraculous things even after labor and delivery are over and often times the interventions that hospitals are so quick to make stand in the way of this. The hormones that ultimately result in childbirth also work with baby and mom to encourage breastfeeding and bonding, among other things. I don't like the idea of medications affecting my baby during delivery and possibly afterward. I want that connection to be as pure as possible. How it was intended to be. 

That being said, we've created what I like to call a "birth suggestion." It's not a plan, per se, since I know things can change and things happen. But, this is my way of saying, if everything goes "perfectly" this is what I'd like to see. It mainly boils down to a few things. 

1. We will be having our baby in a hospital. We feel like this is the safest place and we have worked hard to make sure we are going to be surrounded by those who are supportive of our decisions.

2. I am excited that my Dr. is completely on board with maintaining my abilities to move throughout labor (walk, tub, etc.), drink fluids and eat as I see fit, and to ultimately deliver how I feel comfortable. I won't be continuously monitored and will basically be free to do as I feel my body is telling me to do. 

3. I do not wish to have any medications including an epidural or IV fluids. 

4. I want to be able to enjoy a time of bonding time with just Rob and I and the baby after he/she arrives. This means that there won't be any visitors until I (and Rob) am ready. We want the best chance at establishing a breastfeeding relationship as well as some quiet time to bask in the glory of our new little miracle. 

That's pretty much it. We've put a lot of thought into what we want and we know that things don't always go according to "plan." But, we truly feel this is the right way for us. If anyone has questions or would like me to elaborate, I'd be happy to. I just didn't want to get all preachy. Like I said, I support those around me in the decisions they make regarding their labors and deliveries (as long as I don't feel it's reckless and endangering the baby) and only ask the same in return. 

And finally, I promise I will be including a picture with my next post! I have a shower on Saturday and will surely get one then!