Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hank changes a diaper, and a Baby CL update: Ides of March edition

Yesterday, while Mike taught his evening philosophy class, Hank and I headed to the hospital where I'll deliver for their "Sibling Class." When I had Hank I noted that the hospital offered this, and so this time, I thought it would be something cute for us to do together.

It's a quick one hour class, and they have the children become familiar with baby dolls and what they'll see when the baby is born (things like the clamp on their umbilical cord), how diapers work, how to ask Mommy before picking up the baby and how to be gentle, things like that. It also includes a peek into the newborn nursery.

So, things got going with lots of high-pitched chatter. Each child introduced themselves, indicated whether Mommy was having a boy or girl baby, and when the baby was due. There were about 7 other families there besides us. The nurse indicated surprise that about half of us did not know baby's gender; usually, people find out. The other half that did know were all having boys. One little girl named Claire, who was maybe 2, was dead set that she was getting a little sister, despite the predictions of the ultrasound technician:

"It's a GIRL," was repeated several times, each with very wide eyes. So cute.

We looked at some pictures of babies in their mommy's belly, and Hank even raised his hand and answered some questions. :0 He was one of the older children there. We were assigned a cute baby doll:

"Oh! I see your baby is a boy,"

said the nurse as she undressed ours. This was my first experience with anatomically correct dolls. :) We got to put a teeny tiny Pampers Swaddlers Newborn on our doll (love those things, great marketing), and then we headed up to the nursery.

This is where things got interesting. :) The good part was seeing the actual nursery. Only one baby was inside, the others must have been rooming in with their mothers. She was all swaddled up and had a "I'm a Breastfed Girl!" card attached to her bassinette. She was super cute and as we all gathered around the window she spit up on herself ever so casually multiple times. Ah, memories. :) She was pretty comfortably awake in there until the nurse began to unswaddle her so that she could hold her up to the window. The pissed expression on her face was pretty priceless. As well as the unmistakable image of a newborn crying objection face complete with curling tongue. It all made my uterus ache to hold my own baby in my arms.

So, that joy aside, being up on the labor & delivery/postpartum floor (cutely called the "Mother/Baby Unit" at my hospital) made me a tad nervous anew. It has nothing to do with this particular hospital, which is beautiful and newly redesigned with all private rooms for postpartum mothers. It's just the "hospital thing" you know? To deliver outside of a hospital, I would have to change my provider to a midwife that delivers at home or in a birthing center, and I chose not to do that. So, here I am, 30 weeks pregnant, and once again faced with a birth that will be a "medical event" despite the fact that every indication, including my previous full-term birth, points to an uncomplicated vaginal delivery.

I mean, the thing is, in the event of an emergency, the hospital is the place to be. And I'm so grateful for that opportunity. I just hate the sterilized feel of hospitals, and all of the imposed restrictions that come with it. An IV, lots of Pitocin-pushing, continuous external fetal monitoring, you have to do this, you can't do that, you can't eat, you can't walk around, you get the idea. It just set me on edge a bit being there.

Also, I don't care what the conventional wisdom is, but I do not "lose all modesty" in childbirth. I accept that my caregivers have to see more of my body than I normally reveal to people who are not my husband, but they're professionals and so I get over it. And I develop a comfort-level/rapport with them. But at a hospital, you may not see your regular caregiver outside of your initial arrival and when you deliver. I don't want some random resident doctor examining me. It's not that I don't trust them, it's just that they're a stranger to me. Ugh. The real test will come next Monday at my childbirth class. I'm sincerely hoping that that puts my mind at ease.

So anyway, this morning I had my 30 week checkup at my ob/gyn, and this was with the final doctor in the practice that I haven't seen yet this pregnancy. I saw her when I was pregnant with Hank, but only one time, and she was the one doctor when I delivered that I never saw while in the hospital. Her rotation didn't overlap.

It was nice to see her again and it confirmed my memory of liking her. :) She's real spunky and bubbly, and answered all my questions thoroughly. I was telling her about how my cardiologist no longer suggests antibiotics for my mitral valve prolapse in labor and delivery, and she noted it on my chart, commenting, "Oh, this is good. This way, you can stay at home longer, be relaxed, without having to head to the hospital as early and deal with all their nonsense."

I felt like telling her right then and there how much I liked her. :) She did remind me that I still have to undergo that swab for Group B Strep, which if positive, necessitates antibiotics in labor. *frown* I tested negative with Hank, and hopefully that will happen again. They test for that around 34-36 weeks.

But everything looked good, and no signs of preeclampsia or anything like that. Baby's heartbeat was real good. She's the only one so far that physically palpated my belly, which I like; it's old fashioned, but very effective and telling. Baby CL appears to be in the head down/vertex position (how cooperative of them!) and she feels that they're pretty esconced and should not move prior to delivery, although it's certainly not etched in stone and they'll make a final determination closer to 36 weeks. All good news. I go back in two weeks.

In the mean time, I'm hangin' in there! Less than 10 weeks to go. :)

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