On and on and on and on…

A very long rambly post…

A while back, I interviewed with a pediatrician. He was part of a practice that exists a mere 10 minute walk away from our home, so I figured that as long as he was “ok” with delaying vaccination (I wasn’t about to argue not vaxing at all, since we were likely to move before that became an issue) and seemed to have a great deal of experience, I would just choose him. He was fine with the vaccination thing, but gave me the stupid speech about responsibility to society and whatnot, but with my pressing lack of time, I decided he’d probably be our pediatrician simply for the sake of convenience.

Then I started looking into all this homebirth stuff and though to myself, well if I’m doing it this way, why not go all the way? And suddenly I had people recommending to me an MD who practiced homeopathic medicine, supported homebirths, did a home visit and did not vaccinate. Hmmm. How nice would it be to actually see a pediatrician who is on the same page as us, who won’t prescribe antibiotics for a simple ear infection, who can actually supplement and support my research on vaccinations, etc. The only warning I got from someone is that she doesn’t have the greatest bedside manner.

I called the office today and the receptionist gave me a 15 minute “meet the doctor” slot with her tomorrow morning at 9:15. I accepted it even though getting out of bed, being dressed and driving 5 miles is going to be tough before 9:15. A few hours later though, the doctor herself called me back. Sure enough, she was very prompt and quick to the point.

“I see my receptionist has scheduled you to see me tomorrow at 9:15. I am very busy tomorrow and my appointments are full, so can you come in at thursday instead?”

“Well, I’ve got an appointment at 1:00 so as long as…”

“And where is that appointment?”

“Cambridge.”

“And where in cambridge?”

“Near inman square.”

“Then you can come in at 12 and I’ll have you out by 12:30 and you can make it to your next appointment.”

“Oookay…”

“I see you have a 508 area code. That means you have a long drive. I wouldn’t want to risk you coming in late.”

“No, I live really close by. This is my cell phone.”

“Ok, well anyway, I’ll see you on thursday at 12:00 then. Goodbye!”

After relaying this conversation to Todd, he said that it sounded like we were going to be the best of friends. All prompt and official and not about wasting time. I actually really liked the way she dealt with the situation. One, she personally called me and two, she doesn’t want her patients to wait and actually cares about scheduling conflicts. I’ve read good things about this doctor. Yay!

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The Mother Debacle

My sister is in NYC visiting with my older sister, and my mother is in Worcester visiting with my grandmother, so Todd and I are alone until Sunday probably. I gently coaxed my mother in spending the week in Worcester, mostly because my grandmother just got out of rehab today and can’t be expected to be alone in the house after open heart surgery, and because she’s not going to want to leave me (ugh) when I’m so close to my due date next week, so she might as well provide the support now while she can. Of course, even with a good distance of 50 miles between us, she still manages to raise my blood pressure. My mother, aside from being severely hurt from her marital relationship and being so good at playing the victim, is sometimes impossible to contend with because she is just so DAMN hurt. All the time. For example, she will take with her to her grave the fact that I asked her why she had to turn on the kitchen light (which is adjacent to our bedroom) at 6 am in the morning. She totally freaked out. BECAUSE SHE HAD TO MAKE COFFEE OF COURSE. I wasn’t upset when I asked her, I just needed her to know that with our door slightly ajar, the light streamed in and woke us up. And nowadays my priority is to get as much sleep as I can get. I’m just greedy about it. The simple solution was for her to close the door when slightly ajar before she turned on the light, but to her my statement meant that I didn’t want her in the house, and why did I tell her to come visit anyway (I didn’t tell you to come for three months, mother) and how she did EVERYTHING to make our stay comfortable in Lebanon and I have taken the joy out of her being a grandmother, she’s just not HAPPY anymore, THERE’S NO HAPPINESS, in fact, she’s just going to start screaming and crying and explaining that as soon as the baby is born and IS GOD WILLING HEALTHY (because she refuses to believe anything but negative stuff about this GBS hype) that she is GETTING ON A PLANE IMMEDIATELY AND LEAVING ME ALONE BECAUSE THAT IS OBVIOUSLY WHAT I WANT AND DID YOU KNOW THAT EVERYONE KEEPS SAYING THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW IF YOU WILL EVEN LET THEM HOLD YOUR BABY, WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE WITH YOUR HUSBAND SO BADLY, THIS ALONE STUFF ISN’T RIGHT. (Maybe because my husband loves me and doesn’t beat me up? I know, this positive relationship thing is foreign to you, I’m sorry. Hmmm…)

So in a nutshell, that is just a slight example of what I have been having to deal with. The worst part of it is all these fights lead them to think that I am a total stressball and more than once she has mentioned that “the pregnancy hormones are making you this way.” And yet she asks ME to count before ten before I talk. Wow. Dear readers, was I a stress ball before she entered my physical environment? I think not.

Either way I have been handling it better and realizing that I need to simply be MORE QUIET and less DEFENSIVE. Even Todd is sick of her bringing up certain things repeatedly (”So I’m confused, tell me AGAIN who might get sick, you or the baby?” “The baby.” “So…”) Todd told me she wasn’t allowed to bring it up again with me, but with the incredible technology called Telephone she is able to continue with her monologues.

“So I talked to aunt and other aunt and other aunt and aunt talked to the head of the OB department in her hospital and they all said blah blah blah.”

“Mother we’ve discussed this many times before, I have done my research, and I Know all about their mainstream ideas. They aren’t researching the effects of their treatment, they aren’t considering that their interventions are creating the risk of infection, they are simply practicing what they are taught.”

“But the head of the OB…”

“I don’t care. I said I don’t want to talk about it anymore. I’ve told you everything I can.”

But she brings it up again today.

“So I was talking to aunt and she told me again that the head of the OB department said that the antibiotics DON’T cross the placenta so it won’t get to the baby. He said that it just fights the infection in the vagina while in labor.”

“Mom, regardless of whether or not that is true, and I don’t think it is, that’s not the ONLY reason I am refusing antibiotics.”

“Oh I’m not telling you anything about your decision I’m just saying you seemed so sure that it crosses the placenta and aunt said that he said it didn’t!”

“OK, I don’t want to talk about this anymore. I need positive thoughts before going into labor, and I can’t change that everyone you have talked to about this without my permission isn’t going to be worried, because they don’t know what I KNOW and I will respect that, but please don’t talk to me about this anymore.”

“Oh I agree that you need positive thoughts before going into labor, but I just wanted to let you know that the OB said…”

I didn’t argue with her because I needed the conversation to end as soon as possible. Soon after though, wondering if I’d simply lost my mind, I consulted Dr. Google to double check. Now obviously either 1) something got lost in translation, 2) my aunt simply flat our lied or 3) the OB is the biggest fucking idiot alive. What the hell would the point of IV antibiotics during labor BE if it DIDN’T cross the placenta? Ughhhh.

I know I told her we’re not allowed to talk about it anymore but I have this urge to forward about ten billion different studies and articles to my aunt, either that or an email with the following sentence in bold, font size 10 billion: THE OB YOU SPOKE TO IS A FUCKING IDIOT.

But let’s give him the benefit of doubt and assume that something got lost in translation. Even though we’re all speaking English here…

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I should talk about my actual pregnancy, huh? Everyone expects me to say that I’m feeling terrible, cranky, uncomfortable, etc when they ask how I am. My response is “I feel great!” Well, I do, physically, feel rather good. It makes me wonder if I will ever go into labor. Or if I will even recognize it. I’m sure I will. I just wonder how this prevalent concept that pregnancy is uncomfortable, especially in the last weeks, came into being. I’m not swollen, I have no heartburn, I poop regularly, I have a decent amount of energy (ie I can cook, clean, go on errands, deal with stupid people and perhaps walk around the block twice if I am so inclined. OK, so I’m a little lacking on the exercise front.) I continue to hold my breath and wait for the ball to drop. Something tells me though that I am going to continue to sail smoothly into labor.

I had my last appointment at the birth center. I talked to a different midwife and we commiserated together on how ridiculous certain protocols were and how the medical industry is very much money driven. She was completely sympathetic about my situation. Baby is fine and healthy, as usual, and the heartbeat continue to thump loudly. She is head down, but I have gotten conflicting reports as to whether she is anterior or posterior. I have sworn off my comfy recliner chair, both because it is no longer very comfy (my body trying to tell me something?) and because it is unfavorable for turning a posterior presentation. That said, I’m fairly certainly little E is sort of in between, because she ONLY kicks on the very extreme right side. But she also has her nightly rave concerts in which she goes totally batshit crazy, so much that I’m starting to doubt it’s the baby making all that racket and that maybe I am having “false labor” contractions after all. Who knows. That’s the only time I ever feel uncomfortable though, at bedtime, when the child becomes demonic and starts stretching my uterus in 10 different directions all at once. It’s never painful, just extremely powerful.

My homebirth midwife offered the rental of a birthing pool, but I think I am going to decline for a few reasons. A few silly reasons. I’m not sure if I will be able to figure out when my water breaks (if it hasn’t already) when I’m in the pool. I’d rather know, because of the group B strep. Also, I’ve read that the water is just SO relaxing, and I don’t want to take it slow and easy and relax. I want to do exactly what my body wants, and go as fast as it needs to, without intervening. I also want to use gravity as much as possible, and I’m not sure being in the water is condusive to that. I’ve read conflicting reports on the increased risk of infection in water, so I don’t really have an opinion on that. The point is, as much as I’m not concerned about being group B strep colonized, I am concerned to the extent that I will be smart about it. I won’t do anything to stall labor or prolong the chance of infection. Baby will make her descent, hopefully not too slowly, and I should have nothing to worry about. But what I can control, I will. So my vagina is a one way street and nothing is welcome going upwards. I am glad my midwife agrees with this and respects that I want ZERO internal examinations. We will go over that a few times just to make sure she understands.

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Aside from needing to establish more getting-to-know-you time with my midwife, I am essentially ready for childbirth and a baby. The diapers are all washed and clean, we have loads of sheets and towels and whatnot, we have washed baby clothes, we have food in the freezer and fridge, we have copious recipes making their way through my mind as I debate, hmmm, what should I whip up while in early labor (if I have that)? Will it be delicious corn muffins, or a decadent healthy chocolate cake, or will I simply be mashing about 10 ripe avocados to feast on after birth? Yes, I do think about silly things. For example, I get so excited that my midwife is vegan, but surely she’ll appreciate my vegan chocolate cake to celebrate the birth of baby E, right? I mean, how many vegan clients could she possibly have? And when she returns the next day, won’t be be delighted to know that the traditional mughle that we are offering her is a vegan dessert as well?

I also think not-so-positive thoughts and silly concerns, like, oh my god, I don’t have ENOUGH baby clothes! (I probably don’t, we’ve only filled about three small drawers with clothes, but I tend to think that stuffing a closet full of clothes before a baby is born is equally ridiculous). Or, how will I tell each and every person who walks in here to wash their hands before touching the baby without seeming totally anal? Or, if I’m unable to wash dishes, will people do it the RIGHT way? The silly thoughts are good, really, and much better than our late night morbid conversations about the WORST thing that could possibly happen, but we don’t need to go into that.

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Before I begin catching up with everyone’s blogs, I leave you all with my favorite chocolate cake recipe ever, adapted from The Candle Cafe cookbook to be a healthier, fat-free and equally delicious cake. And it’s so easy to make too!

Sift these dry ingredients:

2 cups spelt flour (or 1 cup spelt, 1 whole wheat pastry flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup unsweetened cococa powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Mix together these wet ingredients:

1 cup soymilk
1 cup maple syrup OR agave nectar
3/4 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix very well with a fork. Pour in a non-stick bundt pan and bake for uh… 35-60 minutes. Yeah it’s a wide range but I never time it. I just watch it through the oven door and test it after a while.

Hmmm, who knows. Maybe I’ll make cake AND corn muffins.