Wednesday, November 15, 2006


When you're 29 weeks pregnant and up 23 pounds, most of it butt, there's nothing like an ego boost from a loved one. How's this, from Nutmeg, as I came in the door this morning:

"Hi, Old Sow!"

Excuse me? Turns out she got it from a picture book of "The Three Little Pigs" that we brought home from the library. That's what the mother pig is called in the book. Old Sow. My new nickname persisted for most of the day. Calling her little piggy in return, of course, had no effect except to make her squeal with pleasure.

And this is after I had selflessly gotten myself dressed and out the door by 8:15 in order to attend another preschool tour for my little piggy. This time it was Queen of Angels, a Catholic school. I skipped out without having to view the K-3 classrooms, since I didn't need to wait around for an application. I was able to cross this school off my list for two reasons: They talked about God too much, and they had the preschoolers using computers. Of course, I'm not saying that they SHOULDN'T talk about God in their classrooms. They're a private Catholic school, they can teach what they want, and the families they serve probably want the day to start off with a prayer and to include a talk about God's role in the Thanksgiving holiday. It's just not right for our family. I only toured the school because I had the impression that some preschools run by churches did not have much if any religious content. Maybe some are that way, but not this one.

In other news, my mom joined me for a midwife appointment yesterday, which was fun for me and interesting for her. I really liked the midwife I had this time, so of course at the end of the appointment she told me that she's leaving the practice. I had some questions about how the big day would go down, with a midwife instead of an OB, and with me bringing a doula.

My favorite response from the midwife: "It's like your wedding day. You get to have things the way you want."

On one hand, I was so happy to hear that. Of course, I want health care providers who will let me do what I want, instead of telling me, you have to wear this monitor, you have to get pitocin now, etc.

On the other hand, it cracked me up. Like my wedding day? I sure hope 250 people don't show up to watch. And no matter how virginal the bride, no matter how much fun is had, I hope nobody's wedding day ends with stitches and a talk about stool softeners, like my first birth did.

But seriously, giving birth with a midwife sounds pretty good. I may be the only patient from their practice giving birth that day or night, or the midwife on duty may split her time between me and another patient or two. Which sounds good to me, not because I feel like I will need a midwife cheering me on the whole time -- after all, I will have my husband and doula with me, and really all I want is quiet and privacy. However, I was a little nervous about getting a nurse in charge of me who is more comfortable with the way obstetricians do things, and who might disallow things that a midwife would allow. So it's good to hear that if the nurse says, No, your husband can't be on the bed with you, or Yes, we need you to keep that monitor on, an appeal to the midwife should be quick and easy.

Not to be hating on nurses! My mom's a labor and delivery LPN, a great one, and she's been a wonderful resource to me through all this learning. And the nurses on both shifts back at UCSF where Nutmeg was born were really nice and supportive of my using hypnosis. I found out later, when looking through my medical records, that everything a nurse told me that I didn't like at UCSF, there was a doctor's order to back up. Of course, it could be that the nurses ASKED the doctor for the order. But I think the things that I didn't like about the care I got last time were just mostly standard operating procedure in obstetrics. The staff there was actually a lot more flexible than many, from stories that I hear. But I think it will be better this time.

We also just had our third hypnosis class, which I'm enjoying. We're learning more techniques for managing discomfort, compared to the Hypnobabies home course I took last time. I'm happy about that, in fact it's one of the main reasons I signed up for the course. The Hypnobabies program is so dogged in its proposal that childbirth is not meant to be painful that it doesn't give you much in terms of comfort measures, because it says you won't need them. The course we're taking now, taught by Tanya Mchale, doesn't talk about pain. But it does prepare you for anything. Soon, Epu and I will be the Boy Scouts of Childbirth.

Finally, to my cousin who thinks she's tough because of her two homebirths (ok, I think she's tough), here's the real deal.

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