Tuesday, August 7

It's not you. It's me- really!

I am currently 30 weeks along in my pregnancy. I've sort of hit the point where I'm shocked to realize that this is actually going to end... soon. 10 more weeks of feeling like a beached whale when I try to get out of bed, or of feeling like I've got to pee worse than anything in the world, only to be rather disappointed with yet another unsatisfying experience.

I've put it off, really. I've been lying to myself for quite some time. But recently I met a really nice teacher at a week-long workshop who encouraged me to tell the truth. Plus there was this very interesting Mom-101 post not long ago that made me realize that the truth was actually long overdue.

I'm not very excited about my doctor. In fact, almost every time I've been to the office I feel like I'm being "processed", instead of "taken care of". For about two or three weeks I've been telling Josh that maybe I should change practitioners. Maybe I should switch to Vanderbilt's Midwife office. But I didn't.

I guess part of it is that I'm one of those girls who doesn't want to displease anyone. This is the point where I say that my doctor is really a nice person and it's not personal, it's just that I'm looking for a different kind of care. She's not my type.

Want to know what knocked it over the edge for me? No- she didn't tell me that her Cesarean rate was 45%. No- she didn't casually mention her love of strapping mothers to a birthing table, on their backs so she could sedate them better. No- she didn't even tell me that she thought natural childbirth was for crazies....

She told me I would have to have an IV or a Heparin Line.

Now, I could go into all the reasons that my very open-minded childbirth books have given why IV's are bad and why heparin lines are even completely unnecessary, or why extra procedures in childbirth are really more for the doctors than the mothers... but I'd be smoke screening my true feelings and I'm telling the truth for once. I hate needles of any kind.

I'm sure this comes as a shock to many of you. I gave blood once. It was after 9-11 and I felt sort of obligated, so I got my Family and Marraige Therapy teacher from Freed to go with me. He was very kind and talked me through the whole thing. It lasted about 20 minutes and they gave me cookies when I was done. I don't think there is anything you could bribe me with to get me to spend hours (because childbirth isn't short) with an IV or Heparin line stuck in my arm or (shudder!) hand.

It's not just needles. I don't really like taking medicine, or going to the doctor for any reason- so it should probably not come as a surprise to anyone that I am pretty scared of giving birth. I'm sure I'm not the only person who has ever been uncertain and a little frightened of the unknown and daunting task of actually birthing a child. There are so many possible complications and scary stories. Why does everyone insist on telling you their terrifying birth stories when they find out you're pregnant???

So to remedy my fear- or at least attempt to logically argue with the fear and assert some measure of control, I've been reading. Reading everything I can get my hands on and taking classes in natural childbirth with my husband who has (also no surprise) been overwhelmingly supportive. He even gave me a massage the other night.

But then there's this doctor thing. I don't want to feel like I'm stepping onto the conveyor belt at the maternity ward door. A factory approach isn't the answer to everything. I want to feel like I have someone who understands my need to control my own fear and my own body so I can do this without completely freaking out. So far I think I may have spent the grand total of 45 minutes with my doctor.

So I called an cancelled my next appointment with her. I've got an appointment scheduled to see a midwife in two weeks (actually before the next appointment I would have had with my OB anyway) and I've got to send a request, in writing to have my records sent to the midwife.

Who knew I'd be requested to break up with her in a letter?



Laura and John said...

hey, good for you!
remember not all those birth stories are bad. plenty of people have great births - and you can, too.

But don't worry, if you do end up needing an IV or leg amputation or whatever, you won't notice it that much.

rafred said...

Wow Chara! Way to go. I hope that you find success with the midwives. I loved my appointments with my midwife. Every appointment took some time, but they were so fun and I had more responsibility because everything was MY choice, not hers or the way the doctor or the hospital did it. I loved that.

I guess most people just want it over with and want to trust everything to the doctor. That is why I really think that there are so many horror stories, but who knows?

If Vanderbilt doesn't work for you there is also the farm, I think it's in Summertown. Is that near you? They could even refer you to other midwifes.

Oh Chara, I hop you have a better experience!

Anonymous said...

You go girl. It is your baby and
your experience and you need to feel comfortable up front. And in
your present condition, all around
for that matter. It is a natural
event and you will do fine. Plus
you have this great Coach and assistant, who loves you dearly.