Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The "Birth Buffet"

With pregnancy comes a complicated mess of decisions that must be made. When faced with all the options and choices involved in every possible decision related to her baby, a woman often feels as though she is standing at the end of an endless buffet, filled with yummy, delectable things she wants to eat BUT she is limited to a single plate. This is not an "all you can eat" buffet, but rather, a "pay per pound" sort of thing. She has one shot to fill up her one plate with all the things she needs to begin life with her new baby. If she forgets something, or mistakes iceberg lettuce for romaine, then that's just too bad.

Among the plethora of decisions to be made concerns methods of birth. Will she have a natural birth, or will she have drugs? Will she be on her back with her feet up in the air, or will she be walking around and using all the nifty gadgets like birth balls and the birthing stool? Will she be attended by a doctor, a midwife, a doula, none of the above, all of the above? Will she give birth in the hospital, at a birthing center, or at home? How soon after giving birth will she try to breastfeed? WILL she try to breastfeed? Will the baby room with her, or will he/she be taken to the nursery at nighttime?

While I understand that advancements in medical technology have saved many a mother's and baby's life, I often think that our techno-society tends to just complicate things!! Back in the day, there were no choices such as the ones I mentioned above. The woman knew she was going into labor, and she had the baby. That's it. Easy. Simple. However, should I experience some medical problem during my birth/delivery, you bet I'll want all of those "techno-complications" !!

I guess the question is, where does one draw the line? At what point do we utilize the technology because we truly need it, as opposed to using it simply because it's there? This is something I have been grappling with. I have friends on either side of the debate, all of whom insist that their way is the best way. Well, I'm not them, and my baby isn't their baby. So what's a girl to do? No one else can make these decisions for her, because no one else is experiencing what she is experiencing. No one else knows her body the way she does.

(Then of course, there's the issue of medical insurance and its intrusions, I mean influences, on decision-making...but I shall save THAT discussion for another post!)

It can just all be overwhelming. Then, there are decisions about how to decorate the nursery, what brand of car seat to purchase, whether or not to buy the "travel system" or separate stroller and infant carrier, does the baby need long sleeved or short sleeved onesies, and how many in what sizes? Will the baby like all the things that have been purchased for him/her, or will he/she even be aware of them? Will the crib bedding that I so carefully selected and agonized over even matter to this little person? Just thinking about all these decisions makes my head spin.

Yet it is exciting, when one embarks upon this mission of decisions. Because with every choice I make, I influence the development of my little child in some way. Some are big ways, others are more subtle. It is a totally new experience, knowing that my decisions will profoundly affect another person's life for years to come.

Welcome to the Birth Buffet.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A rose by any other name...

We have decided to keep the name of our baby a secret until he is born. This has disturbed many people. Our reasons are multiple:

1. Ever since I became pregnant, people seem to think they have a right to all sorts of personal information, such as: the status of my bladder at all times; gee, I'm so big, don't I think I'm having twins ? (NO I'm not-- 'are you SURE???') ARGHHH! ; whether or not I have vomited today; how sore my feet must be because they're so swollen etc. etc. etc. ; THEREFORE I am choosing to keep this little interesting tidbit private just to get back at them. Ha.

2. Someone is bound to have a story about a horrible person with the name that we chose, which will cause me not to like the name anymore, and then it's back to the beginning starting all over again, vainly searching for a name that hasn't been "tainted" by any human being on the face of the earth. Ever.

3. I'm just obnoxious that way!

So, because of this, some friends of ours have decided to have a "name of the week" for the baby until he arrives. Here are the names so far:

Ivan Douglas
Zeke Douglas
Sebastian Douglas

(One of the group members is named "Douglas," and he said that it would make a nice middle name, so the consensus of the group was that the middle name would always be Douglas. lol!)

This poor child. When he is born, all of his aunts and uncles who gave him these names are probably still going to call him by the name they chose- Auntie Y will call him "Ivan," Auntie J will call him "Sebastian" and Auntie C will call him "Zeke." I have no idea what Doug will call him.
***as I type this, the maintenance team at our apartment complex are testing the fire alarm system...they have go to each apartment and open the front door to make sure every individual fire alarm can be heard....which means that there are something like 20 apartments in this building, and they have to test it in each one, which means I still get to hear it...I thought I was done when they came and checked mine! But no. Here they go again...I think I'm going deaf...I think Sebastian Douglas might be going deaf, too. Actually, no. He kicks me each time the blasted thing goes off. Clearly he doesn't like it. Can I pull the "pregnancy card" to get them to stop????******

Anyway. Rest assured that Bob and I chosen a lovely, meaningful name for our son. And when he is born, I will be happy to tell you what his name is!

Monday, August 28, 2006

6 months down, 3 to go...

Hi there! Welcome! My name is Guinevere Meadow. Well, not really, but it's quite a nice nom de plume, don't you think? :) I am nearly 6 months pregnant. Friends and family have been after me to keep a journal of my adventures in pregnancy, and I have not heeded their advice...until now. My good friend Damselfly has been keeping her own pregnancy blog which I have followed religiously, so once again I have decided to copy her. (She and I are great friends. Such great friends that I have to do everything she does. She got pregnant, so I got pregnant. She had her foot injured and ended up in the hospital, so I fell down and scraped up my knee. I didn't make it to the hospital though. She writes a pregnancy blog, so now I'm writing one, too. A few months ago, she got a nice new red car, and I'm hoping to trade in my car for a nice red one, too, although I wanted a red car long before I ever met her! lol!)

So here I am, in my final trimester of pregnancy. What an experience it has been! The one thing I've learned about listening to the advice of other people is....don't listen to it! My pregnancy has not matched a single pregnancy story I have heard, and I have heard a lot of them.

So we're having a little boy! We're very excited. My hubby (we'll call him Bob) likes to brag that he "got a son on the first try!" Yes, this is our first. I'm thrilled, and Bob is just excited to have someone to build legos with. lol!

So what's the worst thing about pregnancy? For me, it's the constant peeing. I think I was up 7 times last night. Each time it felt like I was about to burst, so I get out of bed, cautiously make my way across the bedroom to the bathroom, feel around for the light switch, trip over the dirty clothes on the floor before finally making it to the toilet, sitting down, and then it's like, a trickle. Come on, now. I woke up for that??!! For what it felt like, I was expecting the floodgates to burst! So then of course the next time I feel this incredible urge, I try to ignore it. But does it work? No. I start dreaming that I'm peeing. Argh. So it's a vicious cycle, not to be ended until I finally wake up in the morning, dying of thirst, and hoping against hope that tonight my little bundle of joy will refrain from using my bladder as a recliner.

And the best thing about pregnancy? Knowing that in a matter of months, there will be a brand-new person in the world, entrusted by God into the care of Bob and me. When I think about that, I don't mind the 84,000 trips to the bathroom. (Although I think my water bill has gone up, and my usage of toilet paper has increased dramatically....sigh.)