Today, Brent took all three of our little ones to the PNE. BY HIMSELF. The man is a superhero. I hate crowds, and I don't 'do' the PNE, so, graciously, my superhero has given me the entire day off. I had breakfast with a friend, a leisurely midwife appointment, and have TIME to BLOG! And I bought a book, which I will delve into later.
Which reminds me. I read this book while I was camping:
It was so amazing that when I got to the end, I immediately turned back to the beginning and read it again. Seriously. It was THAT GOOD! It's about a German foster child during 1939-45, who develops a love for books and words and reading, and, eventually, writing. It is entrancing. The narrator of the book is Death: which sounds morbid, but is actually amazingly powerful. Death is this weary, war sick character with the most amazing imagery and insights...it's very, very good. And there is a lot of joy in the book, despite its setting. A miracle of a book. Important. You MUST read it!
Anyways, the point of this post is not the above book, but rather the fact that for the first time today, I feel 100% pregnant. That only took nearly 14 weeks. Ha ha. I think that this is mostly due to the fact that my life is so full and busy that I have hardly a thought to spare for being pregnant again, except to note things like, "I feel like I just ate a bag of poo," or "I can't sleep at night," or "If I puke and hold it in, I wonder if it would come out my nose?" Or, simply to worry about going crazy again or upsetting the balance in our household. Hard earned balance, with sweat and tears and fish oil supplements. But today, I had time to myself. I went to see my midwife ('s locum), and got to pee in a cup and test it, talk about tweaking my supplements to get rid of the last vestiges of nausea, commiserate about people calling me fat and huge and asking if I have twins in there (ALREADY!), talk about how I feel and my plans for work and for post partum support, and generally midwifey things that make me feel nurtured, and really, truly pregnant. I'm excited to be really, truly pregnant. I feel empowered by my visit to the midwife, like I can DO THIS! And like four kids is something women do every day of the week, and I can take it in stride. It is amazing, and magical, that 45 minutes with a woman whose whole job is to nurture pregnant, birthing, and post partum women, can realign my heart, body, and soul, and make me feel so positive and so strong.
This was the visit where a heartbeat could be heard with the doppler, but I have opted to wait until it can be heard with the fetoscope--sometime around 18 weeks or so. I also declined the genetic screening and a routine ultrasound. We have never opted for the genetic screening, as we felt it would not change how we approach pregnancy or birth and that the knowledge it might bring would only increase stress without offering treatment options we are comfortable with. And routine ultrasound is similar for us this time: minimal helpful information and the possibility of risks for the baby via exposure to ultrasonography. The risks are small, but they exist, and for that reason we will just trust nature this time around that all is well unless indicated otherwise by signs or symptoms (or intuition) in myself or the baby. The risks are minimal, especially a third time around.
Choosing which tests and procedures to accept and which to decline is a positive, interactive process for me. I firmly believe that individuals need to take an active, dynamic role in their own health care, research their conditions and proposed treatments, weigh the risks and benefits, and make the best decisions for their lives, bodies, families, and beliefs. Sure, we might make mistakes. But so do doctors. We all do the best we can. And who knows our bodies, lives, families, and beliefs better than us? In this age of impersonal, assembly line style medicine that is informed by an (incestuous) system of pharmaceutical companies and overworked medical professionals, taking charge of our own health decisions can be the ONLY way to go.
[this is all in a Canadian context: I can't speak to the American system]
It is the same with prenatal care. I'm not sick, I'm not in an emergency situation, and I can think for myself. So I think, research, read, discuss, consult my care provider, and decide for myself. Will I be wrong sometimes? Yes. Will I have to tweak things and ask for re-explanations and re read articles with lots of medical lingo? Yes. Will I make the same decisions for each pregnancy? No. I believe I'm healthier because of all of this.
I work in health care, so I know we are fallible beings and that even medical professionals make mistakes. Especially in emergencies. It just goes by so quickly and there are so many variables to consider and minor exceptions to remember, that mistakes are inevitable. Being involved in my own care makes me feel like I have more say in the process. And the outcome.
Anyways. I'm finally catching up with the fact that my uterus is occupied by a very small, completely formed little person, and that soon--SOON! S/he will be here, occupying my arms and my ergo and my bed and all of our hearts. EXCITING!!!!! I know, the rest of you have been excited for months. Allow me to catch up with you!
Here's what I'm praying:
-healthy momma, healthy baby
-undisturbed home birth
-minimal tearing/perineal trauma
-7 lb baby
and, maybepossiblyjustasmalllittlebit, a few requests for a girl have gone out into the vast universe.....