Sunday, November 22, 2009

Not Feeling Verbose.

We're going to Maine for Thanksgiving. Avram has a brother in school there.

We're better from our death colds that lasted two and a half weeks.

I'm not feeling morning sick anymore, although still rather short on energy, with unpredictable blood sugar levels. I'm only ten weeks along - so I don't understand (and yet am still very grateful for) why the early reprieve. Maybe I'm further along than I think I am.

Most days consist of eating every hour or two (thank goodness for cheerios), lying on the couch a lot, and slowly puttering around trying to clean. Plus babysitting half the time. Not much to talk about.

Lydia dictated a letter to Santa Clause. It started, "Give me candy, give me toys." She sure knew what she wanted. Lydia is also learning her numbers (years behind learning her letters). This is what she says of some of them: 5 is like an S. 6 has a babushka on its head. 7 also has a babushka on its head. 8 is two circles and looks like a B. 9 is like a P, and has a babushka on its bottom. I have a feeling this girl is not going to be a mathematician. We call Lydia when she puts scarves on her head (which she loves to do) a babushka. I have yet to determine exactly what this has to do with the numbers 6, 7, or 9.

Just to clear something up from the last post - I don't actually want or intend to do an unassisted (or just Avram assisted) home birth.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Mother's Rantings

Avram and I are trying to figure out where to go for Maternity care for our baby. I love having midwives, and that's what I used both with Lydia and Elisheva. Actually, I just love England's approach to childbirth. Everyone has midwives, unless you have a high risk pregnancy, and the whole country approaches childbirth as a natural experience, that is not a sickness. Of course, I do not mean natural here as in they don't let you have an epidural if you want it, since pain medication is totally up to you, but rather that it is not a disease to be treated. And they are very supportive of natural births, and are not pushy at all about many things.

Imagine yourself in America, in an American hospital, while I describe this. So, I needed to have an antibiotic administered to me every four hours while in labor with Elisheva, or after my water broke. So after my water broke at five am one Monday morning in England, we went to the hospital and got there at eight am. It was a busy day, and so I was lowest priority, so they never got around to giving me my first dose of antibiotic until noon. But meanwhile they did bring Avram and I lots of toast and jam, and offered us tea as well. After the first dose of antibiotic (intravenously, but I had a heperin lock, and also the needle used was a thin one, not the same iv mark I would need at all for getting a fluids IV, which are so standard in the States. ) No one mentioned induction to me. No one was worried in the slightest that my water had broken and I hadn't gone into labor yet. So after my dose, they assigned me a bed up in a room they kept for women who had pregnancy complications and so were in the hospital before birth (seemed like mostly for multiple births). Then Avram and I were free to walk wherever we wanted to in the hospital, I could eat whatever I wanted to, and we were as free as larks - except I did have to stay inside the hospital itself since I had the hep lock.

Then, after dinner at seven pm, no one had still mentioned induction. No one had given me a time limit on how long I could go with my water broken before having a mandatory c section. It was the very absence of a stressful situation. And I did go into labor around seven, and I did have Elisheva two hours later. And I had her while kneeling (on a yoga mat) on the floor. And my Midwife, who had an apprentice with her, thanked me for having a natural birth, and not giving birth lying in bed. She was grateful to me, so that she could show her apprentice a natual birth done well. During this time, they did intermittent monitering, but it was a hand held device that the midwife used - no being strapped to anything, including a bed moniter (which did happen with Lydia, and they forgot I was still strapped to it when I started pushing, and I couldn't move, and it was bad. Until Avram figured out what was happening.)

Now, in America. I would have shown up at the hospital, and they would have strapped a ton of gear on me, and probably done internal monitering too. Then they would have induced me. And given me a time limit on how long I could go with my water broken before I needed a c-section. And I would have given birth probably on my back, if I'd had a doctor (my midwife with Lydia did let me kneel, but told me afterwards that I should be grateful that I had a midwife, because a doctor never would have let me give birth in that position - note that it's me who's supposed to be grateful in the States, not the other way around).

I feel like America is stuck in the dark ages as far as it goes for Childbirth. I want to have all my children in England. Luckily I have short enough labors that they don't have much time to harass me, but that's another problem. Because the only midwife group at all that is covered by my insurance I do not like. They have an 18 % c-section rate, which is rediculous since Midwives only can take low risk patients. They are with a group of doctors, which is fine, but then since they cover three hospitals, only one of which I can go to because of my insurance, if the midwife on duty is at on of the other two hospitals, they'll call a doctor to come and deliver me. My labor with Elisheva on the official records - when the hospital decided I was in labor - only took an hour and fourteen minutes. There is no way unless a medical personnel is already there that I'll even be delivered by their docter. Which means some haphazard nurse will deliver my poor baby. And I'll probably still have to pay the stupid doctor anyway.

And I was talking to someone training to be a nurse this last week, and she was saying that in her experience with the labor floor, that the nurses really push for epidurals, because they don't want to have to deal with natural labors. Great. And my hospital, the OSU hospital, is a huge one, with lots of specialized care. Which also means they'll have lots of routines. Smaller hospitals are much more willing to work with individual wants. That's why when I had Lydia in Utah I didn't pick the main Provo hospital, but a smaller one in Orem that was very friendly to birthing. My nurse was even a hypno-birthing instructor, which I had not done, but she did help me with laboring a lot. (Plus she turned out to be my second cousin once removed, or something. Welcome to Utah).

It's enough to make me just want to have a homebirth with a midwife, but that's another $1500 extra than what it would be to have a baby on insurance. And my labors are short enough that I'm currently just planning to grit my teeth and bear it, to save the money (which we don't have to spend anyway).

I'm quite riled up with the Medical maternity situation in Ohio. I feel like Bones in the Star Trek movie where they go back in time to a hospital in the 1980s - where he keeps on making comments about the Dark Ages, and the Spanish Inquisition. That's what I'm stuck in, here. The Dark Ages.

I've half joked with Avram that if we dawdle when I go into labor we can just have the baby here, and he can deliver it. Both Avram and his brother were born at home because they came so quickly. But I don't really want to have that kind of birth, besides which I'd still have to go to the hospital afterwards, anyway.

It's not fair. If we are supposed to have such great Gender equality and all that jazz, and have such advanced Women's Stuff, how come we treat birth so awfully? It's demeaning to me to have to go through the American Medical System. I'm not against pain medication, nor doctors, nor large, specialized hospitals. England managed to have all of these, but also had managed to keep the humanity of childbearing. I wish it was because of their National Health System (ie, Socialized Health System), but that's too much to ask for. I'm sure if America had Socialized Health, it wouldn't solve this, just standardize it further.

I don't have anything profound to say at the end of this besides, "Grump. Grump. Grump."

Saturday, November 7, 2009

How to Tell if You've Been Sitting On the Couch For Far too long watching the Second Season of Star Trek

A couple of nights ago, I dreampt that I was in love with Spock. Yes, Spock, the one with no emotions. Data is my favorite Next Generation, so apparently I have a thing for guys who come across as robots (or are one). I was trying to find a way to get him to admit that it would be logical to love and marry me, but I had not been successful, although I knew that secretly Spock was full of all sorts of rampant feelings for me.

So I went to his mother Amanda, and convinced her that it would be logical for him to marry a human, so he could get in touch with his human side. And based on the Pon-far episode (which apparently I checked for complete logic while in my sleep), we do know that Vulcans can have arranged marriages. So she agreed with me, and arranged the marriage, and voila! I knew that Spock, the spouting computer, was all mine.

Then I kept watching some more episodes, in the days since this dream, and I've been wondering to myself why I would actually want to marry a man who cannot accept emotional reasons for actions. Could you imagine Spock taking care of a morning sick woman, because she simply doesn't feel well? Could you imagine Spock trying to reason with a three year old, and even worse an 18 month old?

Lesson learned: Spock and other TV men might be great to dream about, but I'm glad I'm married to Avram. Even if he doesn't have pointy ears.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I will Survive

I think I'm going to survive. This morning I washed a whole rack of dishes, and then I folded (almost) a load of laundry. And now I'm getting ready to take Lydia to playschool, and go grocery shopping. My stomach doesn't feel top notch, but it also doesn't have a death wish with my name on it. Maybe I will get through this whole pregnancy thing after all. Maybe we can someday have more than three kids (because lately Avram and I have decided that we're too wimpy to do any more, even though we've always maintained previously we wanted a large family). Also, maybe I'll eventually get over this cold - does anyone have any great natural cold remedies? Especially cold prevention remedies - I have been getting colds monthly for a long time now, and I don't know why I am so lame. I used to almost never get colds. And now I can't take my best friend, sudafed, so I really need something to combat them.

On a happier note, I've decided to finally post our Halloween pictures, which for us are two weeks old, because all we did for Halloween was go to our Ward's Trunk or Treat and party. I'm not against trick or treating at all - in fact, my friend posted this article, and I love it. Go and read it now. I have always thought that no one had ever been poisoned by trick or treating, and that we're just too paranoid today. I love being right. We just didn't get to it, because Avram was helping a family move, and there was no way, feeling sick, that I was going to take the girl's by myself.

Avram's mom sewed the girls princess dresses, and Avram was Prince Philip, while I was...a queen. Or maybe a wicked step mother.
I like Halloweens when we have homesewn costumes, and I didn't do anything for it. Let's be honest, I've never sewn a Halloween costume in my life - my family was always more of the scrounge around, and put together random stuff sort of people.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thanks for Listening

Remember when I said I foresaw a larger return to blogging now that Avram is back in school? That was before I got pregnant. Now I only foresee possibly, perhaps, surviving through to mid December (my 12 week mark). Normally I try not to be a downer on the Internet - I figure that the world has enough depressing news, and really doesn't need to know how messy my house is to just make everyone collapse in crying heaps of lost humanity.

But, you can go find yourself a heap of lost humanity and box of kleenex, because my house is really messy. So messy, I wouldn't even take a picture of my bedroom and let my own sisters see it. We're down to the wash a dish as you need it approach to living. Where's Avram in all this? Well, he's taking care of his wife and two daughters, all of whom came down with terrible colds on Friday. And he's doing all of the cooking for all three meals every day, because even the thought of food makes me feel yucky - at any time, day or night. And he's helping me babysit. And he's grading his midterms he administered for his class he's teaching. While at the same time taking two take-home midterms of his own.

When I was pregnant with Lydia, I was classically morning sick. I threw up every morning, once or twice, and I was nauseaus all morning long. Then by lunchtime, I could eat just fine, and the rest of the day I was quite stable. With Elisheva I was nauseaus during the daytime, until around three or so, but I never threw up except twice the whole pregnancy. With this baby, I'm not nauseaus as in I feel like I'm going to hurl. I just feel sick. All of the time, day and night. Food sound yucky to me. I'm so dehydrated that last night while watching a movie where they drank some water out of a dipper, I almost started crying I wanted it so bad. But then everytime I do drink water, I feel so sick and upset stomachy that I've unintentionally gone on strike. I tried crystal light. I tried juice (I can do apple juice, but we ran out of it). Milk I could do, but with this cold I can only handle it in cereal. Last night Avram got me a cup of water, and had me take one sip every couple of minutes. Over a half hour, I managed to get down a whole cup of water, and not feel yuckier than normal.

I am grateful I'm not throwing up all of the time. But I never realized how refreshing having time off every day where I don't feel sick was until now. Now I feel like myself and hence my family are in pure survival mode. "Seven and a half weeks" that's my mantra. Only five weeks left of this.

On the positive side, I finally weaned Elisheva. I had wanted to before I got pregnant, but planned to do it over Christmas break, when Avram had time to help her if she needed extra care and attention. Then, with not being able to keep even myself and fetus in enough liquid, I knew that I couldn't keep nursing Elisheva, even just the little bit that I still did. Two mornings ago, she nursed like normal. And then, via a miracle of God, she hasn't nursed since. I haven't offered, and she hasn't tried, and just like that she's weaned. Although I was ready to be done with nursing her before - not because I have anything against kids over a year old nursing. I nursed until I was two and a half, and supposedly they've done studies and children who are nursed until they're over two are smarter, or something. My mother was very La Leche League, and all that. Just with Elisheva I knew we were planning on having a kid soon, and wanted my own body back for a while, completely mine. That didn't happen. And I although I am very glad and relieved that she stopped cold turkey, I do find myself feeling sentimental and a little poignant. I love the nursing relationship, the closeness you feel to your baby. I love that it can not only nourish them physically, but also comfort them when sad or hurt, and calm them from nightmares in the middle of the night.

Now that Elisheva is weaned, she seems so old to me, such a big girl. She turned 18 months this last week.

I realize reading this whole post you might think that we don't want another baby. We do - this was not an accidental pregnancy (although we did go to the temple at the end of August and decided to stop waiting....and one month later I was pregnant. I expected several months would pass.) And I was the third child, so I know what charmers they can be. But I've babysat extra children since Lydia was a baby, and I also know how hard it is when you have three or four young children to take care of. Even after part-time babysitting James, who's now 10 months old, since he was six weeks old, I still shy away from going places with all three children. It's such a chore. Everyone always says that the third child is the hardest, because then you run out of hands. And I'm scared of that. Of feeling overwhelmed. I already feel overwhelmed in anticipation of feeling overwhelmed, as senseless as that is. Plus I look at our girls, and I ask myself, "How can anyone add to me and my girls? Won't I just have to divide my love up?" Although I know this is a logical fallacy. I couldn't imagine having more than just Lydia until Elisheva actually came. There were a couple of weeks of emotional and physical adjustmant to our home and hearts, but now I cannot imagine not having Elisheva in our lives. I find that when I think of times before she was born, I almost insert her into the memories because she is such a core member of our family, I truly cannot imagine how we were a family until she came along.

To sum up: we're ok. Really. I just like to complain - thanks for listening.