I watched Orgasmic Birth again last night; I ordered the DVD online last year or the year before and LOVED it. It's tough on the one hand because all these amazing birth stories are happening at home, in tubs and on porches and in livingrooms, and the few hospital births shown seem like caricatures of what birth can be in comparison. I have to remind myself that beautiful births happen in hospitals too. And the whole reason I watch these DVDs is to increase my confidence in my body's ability to do what it's designed to do, and I do get that out of watching them. It's hard to be a birth nutter and want a certain thing and not get it~especially as its preached by other nutters as the superior way to go. The nutters pay lip service to the "high risk women" being in hospitals but do they really believe it? And how about advocating for less interventive, more evidence based practice for those high risk women in hospital? I know myself from experience that as soon as one is labelled high risk, technology, machinery, and medicine are loaded upon a high risk pregnancy without pause. Suddenly, its cause for talking about dead babies, looking at them in utero repeatedly, inductions, cesareans, ad infinitum. I have an amazing team; midwife, OB, and perinatologist, not to mention my diabetic clinic nurse and dietician who believe in me, home birth, and natural birth. But they have some colleagues. Just brushing up against the colleagues once in awhile has been enough to make me shudder. Plus, knowing some other women who have grappled with the high risk label (friends and family) and knowing their stories is difficult too. Who's advocating for evidence based care for US? Only us, I guess. Of course it's that way with low risk natural birthers, too, there's just more of them!
Gestational diabetes should be labelled 'Medium Risk' anyways, since nobody's dying.
I saw the perinatologist again on Wednesday for an ultrasound. I love this perinatologist, as I've mentioned before! He's in his seventies, and very compassionate, calm, easy going. He's the one who said, "You're the boss!" when I told him I wanted fewer ultrasound scans. He measured the baby fairly quickly, in half the time the original doc did (the one I didn't like who talked induction at 39 weeks, and dead babies). He said the baby measured in the same percentile as before (95th), at 9 lbs 4 oz (give or take 1 lb 6 oz). I don't feel its that big, but I guess we'll see when its born. At first I felt fine. 9 lbs is not 11, and its not freaky big compared to my other babies.
The perinatologist said, "I think you have some genetics for big babies going on here, as well as some diabetes, because your baby follows the curve even though it is above it. Diabetic babies who are not well controlled often have spikes in their growth charts. Plus, you have good blood sugar control, and still your baby is big."
And later he said, "I don't want you to feel you've done anything wrong. You're doing a good job!" How did he know I was turning guilt over in my mouth, scanning my choices and evaluating them? I'm a quiet person. I didn't say anything. I didn't cry or even look sad. I think he's a bit intuitive that way. And how does a man in his seventies really *get* a pregnant woman in her thirties like that? Intuition. Lots of humanity. Lots of years of listening with an open mind.
He put on my report, "Large for gestational age. No further scans required unless medically indicated." He gets me! He gets birth! Awesome.
And he also told me I would have no problem getting this baby out, since my last baby was big and born vaginally. That's what a woman needs to hear in the final weeks of pregnancy: you can do it!
At the end of the ultrasound he took the probe and tucked it down low on my right side, just to show me the baby's face. He said, "That's a happy baby in there, breathing away! There is your baby's face!" So cool. I didn't even have to ask.
The scan was a hit to my emotional state, though. It took me a day or so to figure out why. It's because I worked so hard and controlled my diet so strictly and took high doses of insulin and followed 'the rules,' my emotions rode this roller coaster that followed the ups and downs of my blood sugar readings, I exercised so much it exhausted me and made my body HURT, and still my baby is nearly as big as my previous one.
It's not that I regret the treatment, I just feel like a failure for not having a smaller baby. Like somehow, somewhere, I did something wrong, or the treatment failed me and just didn't work, and I'm going to have this LGA or possibly macrosomic baby everyone will judge me for. And whose risk of type II diabetes will be higher, despite everything in my power to prevent that. The part I could have done differently was to go on insulin earlier, instead of fighting it for so long. Although the endocrinologist said this was possible; some women have big babies AND gestational diabetes, and average for gestational age just doesn't happen for them even with insulin. I do have lots of aunts who had big babies, on both sides of my family. Who knows, really?
Anyways. Baby dropped. Perinatologist awesome and sweet and kind. Midwife visit yesterday at 38 weeks 1 day;
Blood pressure 110/70
Fetal heart rate 140-144
Fundal height 39 cm
Baby's position LOP (optimal for giving birth) and engaged, head down
We discussed my birth plan and my post natal plan (for baby exams, blood sugar tests, etc). I'm bringing milk with me to the hospital, donated from a friend who is lactating. I'll add my colostrum to it when I get around to pumping some!! Jeepers, so many things to do, so little time...
My mom is here again. Blissful, help from mom....