Scars remind us where we've been. They don't have to dictate where we're going

Saturday, March 19, 2011

You don't need furniture to have a baby

The first time I met K & B, they came over to my house for what was supposed to be a preconception meet and greet.  Turns out I was 3w2d pregnant, having just gotten my BFP the day before.  

We had just moved into the home we are renting and we didn't have much furniture.  I was horribly embarrassed by this, so naturally, I called attention to it first thing when they walked in the door.  "You don't need furniture to have a baby," they told me.

Since I am now in the business of taking the simple and turning it into something profound, I've decided that what they were really telling me went far beyond furniture.  No, I didn't need a nice formal living set (which we now have and got before the birth, thankyouverymuch!) to birth a baby. So, what will I really need in order to birth a baby and before we are ready to welcome a new member into our family?  I'm ready to start compiling a list so that I have something concrete to focus on in the next year or two--this list will be subject to modification (addition or deletion), contain both the practical and the more abstract, and most importantly, be open to input! So, here's what I've got so far.

  • Support
    • I think I've got this one pretty well covered. K & B obviously know what they are doing and pretty well proved themselves during my second son's birth.  So, birth team--check
    • I bought Jason a copy of "The Birth Partner" to read.  I would like him to read it a couple times before the pregnancy and birth, but he seems to think he doesn't need to start it until I'm pregnant again.  We shall see who wins this one
    • I am going to need to figure out what to do with the boys when I birth.  Will I want them there with me? I have seriously considered seeing if I can hire a doula for them, who can be in charge of their emotional needs and maybe remove them if need be or stay with them in the event of a transport.  I sent my older son away for the last little bit of my pregnancy and I don't really want to do that again for a variety of reasons--it is really hard to guess when you will go into labor, so I sent him at 40 weeks and had about 10 days where I should have been walking and active, but I just sat on my butt (whoops!), plus while I appreciated the rest it gave me, it was also really hard to be separated from him
  • Minivan
    • This is one of those practical ones.  We have 2 cars, neither of which can fit three in carseats  across the back, so we will have to upgrade.  And yes, I am excited about the prospect of getting a minivan.  And, no, I don't know who I am anymore.  We should have one of the cars paid off this year, and we really would like to avoid having two car payments at the same time ever again.  The other car is set to be paid off fallish of 2013, but with the money freed up from the car we will pay off this year, I am hoping we can throw a lot more per month at it and get it paid off sooner.  I'm not kidding, y'all, Jason suggested that we just caravan everywhere for awhile.  The problem with this is that it requires another adult with me and Jason works full time. So, yeah....I've been trapped inside all day with my older son before. No, just no.
  • My uterus to heal
    • This is pretty obvious.  I need my scar to be at its strongest.  I've heard there is evidence that it can be fully healed by 6 months (and if we had an oops, I would be prepared to try that early...more on that later because, trust me, there won't be an oops....guaranteed), but I don't think I could handle the physical taxation of pregnancy and do all the mental preparation I need to that soon.  Plus, I think the longer the better, hence waiting at least 18 months.  I probably won't be as insane about protection as I am right now after about 12 months, but still I think it will be at least 18 months before we actively TTC.  And no, despite my earlier post about contradicting myself, you cannot point me to this post if we decide to try earlier.
  • Some serious fear release
    • While I can't recall exactly how labor feels in the same way I can tell you how a stubbed toe feels, I remember the intensity.  Specifically, I remember the rectal pressure.  Y'all, I'm telling you, that rectal pressure is no. freaking. joke.  I remember the midwives at the birthing center from my first son's birth casually mentioning rectal pressure at my first appointment when I was about 9 or so weeks and I just kind of dismissed it.  Never again.  Seriously. You don't know the definition of pressure.  Ok, let me stop talking about that because not only am I not releasing any fear, but I might be scaring some first time moms to be!!! I woke up from the surgery after my second son's birth and I couldn't even recall what it felt like, so I know that birth amnesia is so true, but I also know that I will feel it in the moment and I need to allow myself to be open to that so I can relax my bottom (which, by the way, was one of the hardest things to do) and let my baby come down
    • I will also have to let go of any fear (is that possible? maybe most of the fear?) of something going wrong. That is what I am having my midwives with me for, to spot any indicators of trouble and to transport me quickly in the event of an emergency.  I am going to need to really focus on my only job, which will be to be a laboring mother bringing my baby into the world.  I need to be able to leave the details to them.
    • I am also worried about my blood pressure risking me out.  Remember when I mentioned that it was my nemesis? Yeah, it really is.  Even though my midwives told me I won't even have to be considered borderline high risk next time since I proved that I can control it with proper diet and exercise, I still worry that it will risk me out. Why can't I let go of this??!  Well, first of all, I have had a few wonky readings since giving birth.  My pressures were great in the hospital and are great about 75% of the time at home when I am monitoring, but sometimes I just get a random high number and my heart sinks. What is up with that? I don't understand why or how they happen, but I really need to stay on top of it so that this doesn't have to be a struggle in my next pregnancy.  Another reason it really worries me is that my mother, who also has struggled with her blood pressure most of her adult life, was able to control her blood pressure through diet and exercise until her early 30s and then it just went all crazy and she has to be medicated even though she is in superb physical shape.  So, I guess in the back of my mind (ok, really more of the front), I am worried this will happen to me since it did to her.  Then again, my mother had 3 vaginal births and no cesareans, so there's no telling, I guess....
  • Savings for chiropractic care, acupuncture, etc
    • I think chiropractic care was invaluable to me during my last pregnancy.  I highly suggest regular adjustments to all pregnant women (and even if you're not!).  There are so many benefits, and especially for me, I think it played a key role in keeping my blood pressures down.  But those visits aren't cheap.  A 5 minute adjustment ran me $40 and I was seeing my chiropractor on the same schedule I saw my midwives.  So, every 4 weeks at the beginning, then 2, then I was supposed to go weekly but it became kind of a financial strain, so I didn't see them as often as I should have at the end.  
    • I also got acupuncture a couple times at the end and those visits ran me $60 something for the first and then I think it was slightly cheaper the next time, but still.  But I am going to be doing that again next pregnancy as well. Also great for the blood pressure
    • Mayan abdominal massage--this one is actually probably more of a prenatal expense. I want to go see someone in the next couple months so I can work on breaking up any adhesions that may be forming.  I felt what I now think were adhesions breaking up during my labor with my second son right before I had my huge panic, so I would like to address this issue before we conceive. Plus, the person who gives it to me will teach me how to do it myself, so it is really only a one time cost.  Looks like it could be anywhere from $80-$125ish
  • To get out of my head
    • I have no idea how long this will take.  I also kind of have no idea how to do it.  And I'm worried that if I start thinking about how to get out of my head, it will just take me further into it and, quite frankly, it all kind of confuses me.  I am hoping by writing out so much of what I'm thinking and feeling, I can get to where I need to be....since I've decided to be brutally honest and open, I'm hoping I can get some really constructive feedback in this area
    • Does making this list constitute being too in my head?!? Should I even be asking a question like this?

So, how about it.....what would you add?


  1. I'm going to add something that really helped me and has really helped me in healing in every aspect of my life.

    If you don't do it already, start meditating. Call it praying, call it centering, relaxing, focusing, deep breathing, whatever. Take time to just sit and be and feel whatever emotion is in you. This helps to talk to fears, feel hope, joy, happiness, positivity, tranquility, etc, and really gives us clarity.

  2. Great idea, Ruth! I have been trying to do this more lately, especially when I am facing my "tigers" which I am going to blog about later on. It is hard sometimes, but so, so worth it!