Thursday, January 31, 2008

Breaking Up

After 28 years I've noticed that positive actions get you nothing but ignored. It's when you act a fool that people notice you're in the room and rush to see what's wrong. Take this full size bed dilema.

Pregnant wife says for months we need a new bed. Husband nods yes. Months go by, same old mattress. 7 month pregnant wife moves to the futon in the cold living room while husband sleeps, politely declining to return to warm bedroom. A week later, queen mattress is in the house, with queen bedframe ordered and arriving Tuesday.

I guess act a fool in this instance is an overexaggeration. And what I did was positive overall- I made my point non-violently and without accusation, and shit got done. Now my husband gets to sleep with me, and I get to sleep with him, minus the touching! Plus, this mattress is AWESOME! It's soft enough for me and firm enough for him. My back pain is gone, and so is the hip pain. It wasn't inexpensive, but we spent $100 almost ten years ago on our full size mattress, and it served us well. We owe ourselves new, grown-up furniture.

We went to the Valley Birthplace Monday for the consultation/tour. We spent an hour talking with Melecia, which is longer than all my doctor's appointments combined. It's a small birth center with two rooms and a Jacuzzi in the bathroom used for labor. It's a 24 minute drive from our house with a long-standing relationship with Chestnut Hill Hospital. CHH is not close enough in the case of an emergency, however. Fear not, for Holy Redeemer Hospital is 3 minutes away!
All bases covered, including the fact that VBP accepts our insurance.

So on Tuesday I went for my regularly scheduled appointment at Einstein for the icky glucose test. The drink was fine, it was the not eating two hours before the test that was unpleasant. And I couldn't eat carbs, thus eliminating everything I eat for breakfast (no fruit, no oatmeal, no cereal, not even yogurt because of the sugar). When you take this test remember when you finished the drink because the tech must take your blood exactly an hour after you drink it.

I broke the news that we'd found another place to give birth where I'd feel more comfortable, and NP Rosenberg said that because they are not affiliated with any other facilities I will have to transfer my records. I did feel badly for switching, but it really is the right thing for me. Having a tub with the option for water birth in a place that is not under construction and screaming women laboring in hallways makes me feel better. The VBP appointments are a half hour long, not 5-10 minutes, and there are two midwives on staff. I'll see both of them for what's left of the pregnancy and one of these two will be at the birth, not one of 24 OBs (the deal at Einstein).

I should also say that VBP will let me recover there for 4 hours, and if all is well, discharge me home. I like the thought of going home to my bed to rest as soon as possible, if I'm not sick and the baby's not sick. Should that be the case it's a call to 911 and an ambulance ride to Holy Redeemer. It bears repeating for all of you who are about to tell me what a fool I am not wanting to recouperate in the hospital with nurses "caring" for me, IVs hooked to my arm and needles jammed into my back. I always have the option of changing my mind and going to Chestnut Hill for all the aforementioned perks.

Rosenberg understood, said she was sorry to see me go, but that it was a pleasure to have seen me and to keep them posted. I thanked her for everything and said it's a good thing they're expanding, and I view my transfer of care as making room at Einstein for a woman who really needs to be seen. I'll send the office a postcard after the birth, since they have helped me through almost 2/3 of this pregnancy.

By the way, I'm 28 weeks, 4 days along, or far gone, whatever :-)
Now it's time for me to review and revise the birth plan, enroll in a childbirth class, infant and child CPR class, do my Kegels, start my prenatal pilates, keep going to the pool, keep drinking water, oh and start my kick tests. I am to monitor the baby's movements twice a day. If there aren't ten movements in two hours I have to call the emergency room. So far I don't have to wait the two hours for those ten movements.

Rosenberg said I also may start to experience Braxton-Hicks contractions, the practice contractions. I've actually been feeling these for a while, but I thought it was the baby stretching. It's a hardening of the uterus that lasts 30 seconds to 2 minutes. They should not be painful or last longer than two minutes. So far they are not painful and they don't last longer than the two minutes.


Daddy-to-be/husband said...

I could try to defend myself here about the bed purchase, but lets just say that we got the bed when money for it became available.

What I really wanted to do was to second the positivity of the switch to Valley Birthplace from Einstein! Their approach to childbirth is so much better on pretty much all accounts, though I do give credit to Einstein for continuing to provide maternity services in Philly when so many hospitals are closing their facilities because they don't make money on it.

But back to VBP, the caring, personal, natural, thorough approach they have is a lot more comforting than the clinical, quick feeling I got from the appointments I went to at Einstein, though the people were nice. Melecia said that part of the reason the appoinments were a half hour was to help prepare for birth, both in terms of what to physically expect and to get into a good mental and emotional place about the process. I like the fact that they make the mother feel like she is doing something, rather than it being done to her, and therefore give lots of freedom and options for how the birth will happen. I'm sure my wife will add later on how our relationship progresses with them - though I notice she left out that they told her to stop watching "Baby Story" on TLC (her morning ritual), because they usually show the clinical, stressed side of birthing - and I may add more later too, but for now lets just say I'm a lot more comfortable now that we've switched.

Yes I Am said...

I was going to mention the not watching the baby story later cuz I felt like the post was getting too long.

Old habits are slow to break, so I watched only one yesterday, and the first half today. My goal is to be off the show by tomorrow morning :-D

Liz Harlan-Ferlo said...

Congrats on the switch, you guys! I am proud of you for doing what you think is right.

Thanks for being so tell-all, ADG(H). I am taking notes for someday.

you both are awesome.