Insomia-Driven Blogging

The perils of blogging when you can’t sleep are great.  They are orders of magnitude greater when you can’t sleep because something is bothering you.

One friend mentioned that she didn’t really understand what I was getting at in my earlier post.  And while I look back at it, and know what I’m getting at, you have to get inside my head a little to understand it.  Coherence is in low supply at 1am.

The root of the problem, I suppose, is I don’t like my childbirth instructor.  The Husband and I are taking a Bradley Method class, taught by a very well qualified certified nurse midwife, and literally, the only one we could find in our area.  There’s not a lot of interest in or support for drug-free childbirth.  But really, all she does is scare me and stress me out.  Not of the pain implicit in childbirth, but of the nurses, the doctors, the experience of giving birth in a hospital.

I’ve been in academics long enough to know that everyone has an axe to grind, and this is obviously hers.  Rationally, I can grasp that between The Husband and myself, the nurses are not likely to shoot painkillers into my IV while I’m in the middle of a contraction because I’m scaring the rest of the patients, or have The Husband escorted out by security because he stands up for my preferences with which they happen to disagree.  I trust my OB will support me in what I’m doing, and he knows that in return I won’t fight him on something he believes is really medically necessary.

But I’m still pregnant, which doesn’t always translate into rational.  And so I’m scared.  And I try to understand myself better, to understand why I’m being ‘difficult’ about this.  It comes down, ultimately, to the fact that I do not like the feeling of being out of control.  I drink (when unpregnant, please no hate mail!), but I’m rarely worse than tipsy.  My emotions are continually frustrating because they occasionally get the better of me.  But the moments in my life where I feel I willingly relinquished control, when I hurt that badly, stand out vividly in my memory.  And I don’t want to experience that again.

Medically necessary is one thing.  Just because someone else thinks I should is something else altogether.

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4 Responses to Insomia-Driven Blogging

  1. Gail says:

    There is some newer information on childbirth on the market now that builds confidence in the birthing woman. When you are confident, you are in control. You sound like a woman who enjoys being in the drivers seat. I understand your frustration. There is always a way to negotiate, say yes or no to common interventions, in cooperation with health professionals. I don’t think you will have a problem getting what you want, if you know what to ask for and what to avoid. This makes you more confident in helping to create close the the kind of birth you desire.

    You can have a drug-free birth at a hospital and you can plan to have a safe and gentle birth where ever you are the most comfortable to give birth, hospital, birth center, or at home.

    Take a look at my book, “Pregnancy & Childbirth Secrets”, or any childbirth book. Another good book is “Birthing from Within” a new one just out called “Painless Childbirth”. This is researching birth from a woman’s perspective. We do have great secrets to pass on to each other.

    Take a look at the quick videos on our site when you have a moment at http://web.mac.com/pregnancysecrets.
    Congratulations and best wishes, Gail J. Dahl

  2. babychaos says:

    People did stuff like that to me and I hear you, it sucks!

    For what it’s worth, I’d recommend you do what feels right and just keep an open mind.

    I wanted a water birth, at home but as the time came closer and the complications piled up, I realised that actually all I really wanted was to have a healthy baby and if that meant drugging me up to the eyeballs, so be it.

    In the end, I had the birth I needed to have to achieve that goal. It wasn’t what I imagined, it wasn’t how I would have liked it to have been but it was no less valid and still an amazing experience. All that really matters is the people who are with you and looking after you and the baby you get at the end of it.

    Don’t let other people mess with your mojo! Do what feels right for you and your little one and if that means fighting your corner, changing your mind or just having to be flexible, do what it takes. When the time comes if that does mean a little gas and air it’s not the end of the world, believe me!

    Cheers

    BC

  3. babychaos says:

    “In the end, I had the birth I needed to have to achieve that goal.”

    The goal in question being a healthy baby, obviously, not getting myself drugged up to the eyeballs! Just noticed that reads a bit funny!

    Cheers

    BC

  4. Tom says:

    (A lurker steps from the shadows, a friend via the six degrees of Othar Trygvassen)

    I agree with BC. What you want is a healthy, happy baby. Everything else is gas. In our own childbirth class, our instructor handed out 10 cards to each couple, with things we wanted out of labor/delivery on them, such as “pain free birth” or “natural childbirth” or “home birth” etc… and one of them was “healthy, normal baby”. She asked each couple to sort them from most important to least important. Guess which one was the most important to every single couple there? It helped us realize that, though we had many hopes and expectations for delivery, there really was only one thing that was truly important out of the whole deal. Given your history as told on this site, I’m sure you know that far better than most. Go with what you feel is right… but be prepared to compromise on the small stuff.

    My wife also wanted a natural, no-drug childbirth and we were fortunate enough to have a hospital and nursing staff that supported that goal. Things didn’t exactly go to plan… the little one decided to head out two weeks early just as the worst snowstorm of the year was starting, for example. But we came fairly close. It was a long labor and we ended up allowing some morphine to try to let my wife sleep, and they also gave her some ptossen (sp?) to help her dilate faster. But aside from that, it was pretty much the way nature intended. Which is not to say it was easy. But my wife was great, the staff was great, and if I ever hear anyone refer to women as the weaker sex after this I will punch their lights out. 😛

    But what really leads me to post is some advice I’d have, not so much for you (you’ll have more important things to do) but for your husband. I don’t know if it will be useful advice for him, (every labor is different) but I sure wish someone had told it to me before ours. So please forgive me for being forward and offering it without asking, and please delete it if you find it to be TMI or not wanted.

    For the first part of the “real” labor I was a lousy coach. Not from lack of trying, but from lack of experience. It was only after one of the floor nurses stepped in for a few minutes and (by example) showed me what good coaching was that I understood what was necessary. From that experience, I kind of distilled down three suggestions;

    Tom’s three suggestions for husbands:

    #1 You may not know what you’re doing and you wife may not know what she is doing but don’t worry about it because your wife’s body *does* know what it is doing. The hospital staff is only there in case (for whatever reason) her body can’t do what it needs to do. So relax a bit and take each stage as it comes. Like the night before Christmas, you can’t make things happen any faster by waiting up for them. Which leads directly to #2…

    #2 It’s called “labor” for a reason. Since this is your first time going through it you will likely be very excited and won’t want to sleep. You must learn to be like a good soldier and *sleep as much as you can* and make sure she sleeps as much as she can too. You both have to pace yourselves and save as much energy as you can for the sprint at the end… because there IS a sprint at the end. Trust me.

    #3 The lovely, intelligent person you married, have lived with and have gone to all the childbirth classes with is *not* the person you will be going through labor with. The person you will be going through labor with is a lot more like Dory from “Finding Nemo”. She will have no short-term memory. I’m serious. Once true labor starts a lot of things will be happening to her. She will be very distracted. Her body will be throwing chemicals that probably don’t even have names at her brain and that’s not even counting the gymnastics the baby will be doing. So once that starts you have to be like the energizer bunny. She will *not* remember that you told her you loved her five minutes ago, she will *not* remember that you told her she could have ice any time “just ask”, she will *not* think to ask to have you wipe her face. You have to be 100% proactive. Just because she didn’t want something 5 minutes ago doesn’t mean she won’t want it now. So remember the energizer bunny image. Check her comfort about every thirty seconds. wipe her face, get her ice, find out if she wants warmth or cold, she may or may not want to be touched, she will want reassurance, make sure the music (hopefully you have some) is right, make sure she knows you love her. If there’s something going on that she can’t see (and she can’t see most of this) be sure and describe it to her. Or fetch a mirror, so she can see, though sometimes she might not want to see, in case forget the mirror…

    Ok that was about 1-5 minutes. Now repeat the whole thing all over again because, as I’ve said, she likely won’t remember that you did it the first time. Hopefully you have followed step #2 and have the energy for this.

    In our delivery, my wife’s water broke almost 24 hours before the “real” labor started and we hadn’t slept in almost all that time. Just about the time that I had to be the energizer bunny I was literally shaking with exhaustion. But there is an upside to the extreme focus the woman goes through; my wife really doesn’t remember a lot of the labor, just the moment of joy when our newborn son was put in her arms. Good luck to both of you, it’s the most wonderful thing in the world. 🙂

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