Saturday, July 4, 2009

Can't we all just get along?

I know it's been forever since I posted but I've been waiting around to share a big surprise with you. Unfortunately, I'm at the mercy of another person and the process is going longer than I anticipated. So, I promise there is still a surprise coming but I have a feeling it's going to be let's all just cool our heels.
In the meantime there is MUCH bigger news anyway. Have you checked the baby ticker at the bottom of the page lately? My baby girl will be arriving very soon! Our due date (the 10th) is creeping closer. At this moment she seems to be having a good ole time rolling around in my belly though, so we'll see if she's on time or not.
Typical of any first time mother, labor and delivery remains a mystery to me. I have in mind what I would like to happen but I'm flexible and will be satisfied with whatever it takes to come out on the other side of it with a healthy baby and minimal damage to myself. I like it when gals tell me tips such as "there's this bar they can put over your bed that you can pull against as you you more leverage," and "if you're tired tell the nurses." Tips like this are helpful and things I wouldn't know. I thought once pushing began you just pushed until the baby was out; I didn't know taking a break was an option.
On the other hand, folks saying things like "it's going to hurt like hell," really aren't helping anyone...I think any fool knows that childbirth is not comfortable. When asking for "advice," I'm not sure that describing levels of pain qualifies as advice. To me advice might include the statements I mentioned above, or something along the lines of "screw the ice chips, bring in frozy pops" or "don't wear your own nightgown because you'll bleed all over it" or maybe even "the best way to bribe the nurses into giving you more sexy mesh underwear is..." See what I mean? Those are good handy tips that a first timer wouldn't know. Everyone on the planet knows childbirth involves some level of pain or discomfort.
I do plan to breastfeed and I'm pretty excited about it. I know some women love it, some hate it, some physically can't do it and some just choose not to do it. I'm cool with all of that. See, it's not my business to judge other women for their choices. I think women get a little bit opinionated and judgemental sometimes. Each female has her own set of circumstances that we (you and me) may not be aware of. Same goes for epidural vs. no meds. For example, I'll tell you straight up, I have a diagnosis of GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) which will probably prevent me from having an unmedicated birth. That's my business. Not every woman with GAD will feel the same as me, but I know myself best and I would prefer not to have a panic attack in the middle of labor. Do I wish I could do it with no meds? Sure because I'm very granola in other areas of my life. Do I want you trying to talk me into what you think is best? No. I appreciate your opinions and choices but I don't mind agreeing to disagree. As women we need to support each other, not judge and lay guilt trips.
My baby girl will be raised to respect the opinions and perspectives of others while maintaining her own solid beliefs. I can't wait to meet her, she will be amazing!


Amanda said...

Enjoy the experience as best you can and know that the pay off will be a gazillion times over worth the effort. Good luck and looking forward to seeing some photos of your little daughter soon.

Just Me said...

Hmmm... I think I need to clarify something.

When I said, "If you're tired, say so," I meant that more for your visitors rather than the nursing staff. I felt a little guilty when company came (particularly when they drove a distance). It was then that I tended to overdo things because I didn't want to chase anyone away. Well, shoot, your baby needs you rested and feeling good. It took me three kids to learn that little lesson.

On breastfeeding, one thing nobody told me was that the baby has to learn what to do as well. My oldest had the bad habit of not dropping her tongue and sucking on her palate instead. Frustrating!

It can also take 6-8 weeks before you and the baby establish a rhythm, so don't lose patience with yourself.

DO invest in a pair of Ameda's gel pads. I think they're by Ameda anyway; I'm suddenly not sure. Talk to the nurses. They're likely available in the hospital gift shop. Aaaanyway, they're wonderful relief for sore/cracked nipples, much better than lanolin and such. Hopefully you won't need them, but you'll have them on hand if you do.

And, finally, the lactation consultant (I dubbed her "Earth Mother") at my hospital was so annoying I nearly banned her from my room. I found the nursing staff much more practical and helpful. Seven years later, however, Earth Mother mellowed considerably and was extremely helpful. If your hospital has one, I hope she's sensible!

Sarah aka "Elliemae" said...

Great advice about "too tired for visitors"...I tend to be a people pleaser and would probably try to knock myself out to look lively for guests. I bet that's why so many women decide "they can't do breastfeeding" maybe they give up out of frustration? Hopefully we'll get the hang of it quickly but I'll hang in there if we don't.
So funny you would mention the gel pads! I was just looking at them in the store and wondering what in the heck they're for! I'm going to get some for sure now!
We do have a lactation consultant, and I get the impression that she's reasonable. *crossing my fingers* Wonderful tips, thanks again!

Country Girl said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your kind comments.
I had no idea you were expecting! And for the first time, too! Your post takes me back 26 years ago to when my firstborn came along. I too was wondering what it would be like. And yes, there were always those who told me horror stories and had me scared to death!
I won't tell you any horror stories. I will tell you that yes there's pain but it's pain that you will forget. For some reason, I think it's built into our brains to block it out. I will also give you advice and here it is. Tell the nurses how you're feeling. If it hurts too bad, ask for drugs!

Best of luck to you. It will be wonderful.

Kathie Truitt said...

It's different for different people. I actually know of several women who have said they had discomfort but no pain during delivery.

Cowgirl to cowgirl? We're tough baby, and we can take anything. Seriously. This will be a piece of cake for you and you will be incredibly proud of yourself when you see that little girl.