Friday, June 27, 2008

Week 37 checkup

Had its share of not-great news and weirdness.

For one thing, last week, I appeared to have gained two pounds in the previous two weeks. Hooray! Insane pregnancy weight gain finally tapering off. However, this week, I gained ... five pounds in a week? Hmmm.
I just don't care any more. It makes no sense whatsoever.

A couple bits of unfortunate (not horrible, just less than optimal) news: I'm beta strep positive. An IV for me during labor. Not entirely sure what that's going to mean, but it sounds like decreased mobility. Making yet less sense for me to go to a birth center located an hour's drive from my house, as opposed to the local hospital.

Worse, the baby appears to be in a posterior position. (not the same as breech: Head's down, but facing up instead of down; more pressure from baby's skull on my pelvic bone as it moves down.) Now I'm re-running a conversation I had with my sister in law about her very long, painful back labor with (I believe) niece No. 2. She said my brother had to apply counter pressure to her back with every contraction, leaving him looking almost more exhausted and sweaty by the end than she was. Well, at least Matt will have something constructive to do this time, I suppose.

While I'm being grumpy, I might as well vent about one other aspect of this birth center business. Now that I'm certainly in the home stretch, I'm thinking about all those last-minute things -- install the baby car seat; pack the overnight bag; etc. And with a load of baby wash tonight, that will all be done. But there's one expectation by the midwife and the birth assistant that I'm really not sure how to effectively meet, and it's making me a bit resentful: I'm expected to show up to the birth center with enough food for two meals and snacks for those ladies, and of course the hubby and me. (as if I'll want to eat. I don't remember eating last time. Then again, the active part of the labor was fairly short.)

I do appreciate that these ladies have a really random, uncontrolled work schedule, and it might be a bit hard for them (not to mention potentially dangerous) to take even a few minutes to grab food en route to a birth. But doesn't that same standard apply to me? Yes, I can put some trail mix in the trunk. But other suggestions of things that would be greatly appreciated for their health and grabbability in the midst of a potentially long labor are:

Fresh fruit
Bottled water
Quiche (I've heard this suggested more than once; 'also great for breakfast!')
Pasta dishes

Let's envision the scenarios, shall we? The simplest, and most probable, one is this:

I spend lots of money and time running around getting frozen casseroles, mini-quiches, trail mixes, fresh fruit, and drinks that I stash at my house. (and that perishable fresh fruit stash will be rather tricky to maintain.) I go into labor at my house. I grab all these goodies, stuff them in the trunk and zoom off to the birth center. All is taken care of.

Alternate scenario: I go into labor nowhere near my home (at work, en route to or from, at church, what have you). I then choose, depending on apparent progression of labor, among a) heading straight to birth center; better safe than sorry! b) heading home; gotta get those goodies to make sure these ladies and I can keep our strength up! or c) risking stopping somewhere to re-purchase said goodies, while in labor, on my way to birth center.

There is a Whole Foods within a few blocks of the birth center, but it's only open during the day, and who's gonna make that run over for refreshments? The father to be? Who, it looks like, might have his work cut out for him during this labor anyway? Heh. I can call him while he's standing in the produce section and tell him if it's a girl or a boy. Grrrrrr.

Am I overreacting here? Does this seem a mite ridiculous?

I'll do my best. That's all I can do. I never realized that birthing at a center involved catering as well as pushing out a kid.


  1. My suggestion: One (1) case of those canned vienna sausages in your trunk. They'll be so sorry they asked.


  2. FRESH FRUIT?? Seriously?

  3. Have they no assistant who can run to whole foods and stock the fridge once a week?

    I vote for a Costco-sized bin of red licorice, one of my college staples.

    I can't believe how close the big day is. What is beta strep?

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  5. That is RIDICULOUS. I mean, they are probably working more regularly at the birthing center than you are giving birth there! I have never heard of an OB asking a patient to bring lunch for him/her, and they're presumably under just as much pressure. Shouldn't the focus be even more upon you and your needs with a birthing center? I'm horrified on your behalf.

  6. Just stop at McDonalds or some other 24 HR place on the way there. You're expected to go into labor, and provide refreshments? Why can't they order a pizza? BTW, my first came out posterior. Painful--but doable. And no C-Section needed. I've heard rocking back and forth on all fours and/or mopping the floor on your hands & knees helps. Also, b/c this isn't your first, it's possible to turn the baby to the correct position. Good luck!!! (PS--I was due on the 21st and am 9 days overdue now).

  7. Absolutely ridiculous! Surely they can bring their own meals like all normal working folk. I would be resentful. As if they're doing you a favour by being there, not that they're getting paid or anything. Bring Chef Boyardee and raisins. But the IV isn't a big deal--they just hook you up to a wheelie thing, and you can still walk around. Rock on all fours or the birthing ball--baby can still easily turn--you've got three weeks. Macy was posterior at 37 weeks, but she turned herself round and came out a charm. Are you drinking your raspberry leaf tea and taking your evening primrose oil? :)

  8. Hey Kate...can you send me your new address??? Please!

    dawn dot luecke at gmail dot com


    and just a thought...but everyone always wants to help out, maybe you can assign someone to snacks/meal. when you go to the center just give your friend a call and let them know it is time for dinner!

  9. Maybe you could also give the midwife a foot massage during labor, as with her random, uncontrolled work schedule I'm sure she lacks the time necessary to properly care for her feet. It's not a prima donna request at all, since you've got all those minutes in between contractions that you're just going be lying there breathing.