Vallette Family

Vallette Family

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dane's Birth Story

In order for this birth story to make any sense you need to know that Marvin and I took a 12 week Bradley Method Class to prepare for this natural childbirth.  Marvin knows very, very little about the technical details of labor and the main thing he got out of the class was "say no to everything".  I just wanted to be left alone and I didn't want anything done to me.  I didn't want cervical checks.  I didn't want pitocin.  I didn't want my water broken.  I didn't want any of the things doctors do to "speed" labor along. His role was to support me and speak up when I couldn't speak for myself.  He took his role VERY seriously.

This is a birth story.  Birth isn't a neat or clean thing.  There's blood involved.  A baby comes out of your body.  If you have a problem with the word "vagina" you should stop reading now.  I'm going to tell you the story exactly as it happened because I'm Diana and it's how I tell a story: unnecessary details added.  Dane was born on May 30th at 3:13 AM.  I "knew" I was in labor every single day beginning on May 20th when I had some slight spotting and started to lose pieces of my mucous plug (remember the disclaimer about birth not being neat?).  "Knowing" I was in labor and then waking up pregnant was a real blasty blast.  It made life drag by SO slowly.  I won't spare you the details of all of those days, but just know that waiting for labor is harrrrrrd!

So, on Wednesday May 29th I wake up pregnant....again.  I was so sure that he would be born before this point that it was making me slightly crazy.  I wake up around 5AM because of a contraction.  I've had random contractions all week.  I roll my eyes.  I shift and try to get comfortable.  I try to ignore it.  Blah.  It's not working.  Whatever.   I accept defeat and surf Facebook.  Marvin wakes up for work and asks me why I'm not sleeping.  "My stomach hurts," I say.  I don't even want to say the word 'contraction' at this point.  I figure that a stomach ache is as close to telling him why I'm awake as I can get without flat out lying.  We both are so tired of hypothesizing when labor will begin and trying to figure out if "this" is real that I decide to at least spare him.  Marvin goes to work.

I get up to pee and there's some bloody mucous on the toilet paper.  I've had blood.  I've had mucous.  I have NOT had bloody mucous.  Maybe that means something?  I continue having contractions but they are not lasting long and they are sporadic and not getting closer together.  I have a feeling this might really be it. Maybe?  Probably not, though.  I decide to alert the pregnant ladies in our secret Facebook group and tell no one else.  I mostly go to them so they can all tell me about the time that they had blood tinged mucous and it meant absolutely nothing.  I don't need to get my hopes up for the millionth time.  I decide to do my normal morning cleaning and ignore these contractions that way when they go away in an hour I will at least be happy that I have a clean house.  I refuse to look at the clock when they come.  I don't want to time them.

The house is clean and I'm still having contractions.  They still aren't getting closer together.  Sometimes I have to move through them, but mostly they are just slightly uncomfortable, sort of like a period cramp.  A normal person in maybe-labor would stay home and, ya know, labor.  I'm so done with being in fake labor that I decide to go run errands and ignore these stupid, pointless, annoying contractions.  This will probably fizzle out anyway, and I would rather not notice when they do.  

Elaina and I go to the bank and then we decide to walk around K-Mart and waste time.  We spend about two hours running errands, and by the time we come home it is Elaina's nap time.  My contractions haven't died down, but they haven't really picked up either.  They come randomly and with no pattern.  I never experienced false labor with Elaina and I'm so over this whole thing.  I decide to google "prodromal labor" to see how long this junk can last.  Bad idea.  The answer is: forfreakingever.  This fake labor is for the birds!  Elaina is napping and the house is clean, I may as well take a nap.  I lay on the couch and am unable to sleep.  Boo.  My sister-in-law, Dee, comes to stay with Elaina while I go to my doctor's appointment.  She arrives and I head out.  My doctor's appointment is at 2:45, but it always takes at least an hour until I'm seen.  Marvin doesn't get off of work until 3:30, but we're sure he'll make the appointment with time to spare.  At precisely 2:46 I get called back.  Wowzers.  They are actually on time?  This is THE FIRST time they aren't running behind.  Typical.  I text my mom to come hang with me at the appointment since it looks like Marvin won't make it and she works right next door.  

The nurse listens to Dane's heartbeat and I have a contraction while she does. It's a strong one and she looks at me like I'm crazy. "Maybe he'll tell you to go to the hospital," she says.  I think to myself: He may, but I'm not going.  I ask her how Dane's heartbeat responded to the contraction and she says it went up. Not a decel!  Good to hear!  The nurse leaves.  My mom and I spend our time waiting for Dr. Brown laughing and cracking jokes.  I think my water breaks while I'm sitting on the table because some..... stuff comes out.  I contemplate not mentioning it to Dr. Brown because if it did break he's going to make me head to the hospital, and start pitocin and I am not about laboring naturally on pitocin, plus I'm not crazy about what pitocin (and the unnaturally strong contractions it causes) could do to Dane's heartrate.  Pitocin = stronger than normal contractions = possible stress on baby = c-section.  That's how it works in my head.  One intervention leads to another and then another etc. etc.  

My mom thinks I'm crazy at this point.  I decide to mention it to Dr. Brown so she doesn't freak out.  I decide I'll just ignore him if he tells me I have to go to the hospital.  "So, my water either broke or I peed myself while I was sitting here 3 minutes ago, but if it did, I don't want to go to the hospital until labor has a chance to establish naturally," I say.  "If your water broke, it's not negotiable," he says.  He checks and it turns out my water didn't break.  He gives me a speech about how IF my water breaks I need to come to the hospital immediately.  I agree when he tells me that he will give me 12 hours from the time my water broke to let labor begin naturally before beginning pitocin. I can always fib the time my water broke, too. Ok, ok, I agree that if my water breaks, I'll come in!! I am 3 cm and 90% effaced.  Dr. Brown says the way I'm contracting he thinks it will be very, very soon.

I go home and Marvin is home at this point.  He, Dee and Elaina are in the play room visiting.  I tell them about my appointment and have a few contractions that are painful enough that I have to change positions.  Dee leaves and Marvin suggests going out to dinner.  Why not?  I'm still contracting, but I still haven't timed them.  I am in major denial at this point.  We drive to Mongolian Grill and when we get out of the car I have a contraction so strong that it makes me sweat and I have to REALLY focus through it.  I wonder if having dinner out was such a great idea afterall.  Throughout dinner I am contracting and they are coming rather frequently and they're getting more painful.  I'm having dinner at a restaurant and I'm in maybe-labor.  Am I dumb?   I'm trying to play it off for the onlookers, but the sweat, big pregnant belly and swaying may be giving me away? 

Marvin decides we should rent some movies and then we head home.  Marvin is in denial, too.  At this point no one is talking about the contracting-regularly elephant in the room.  Marvin and Elaina lay in bed and watch a cartoon movie and I go to take a bath.  My contractions are pretty intense at this point.  I need to move through them.  I can't lay down in the bathtub, it hurts too badly.  I sit in the tub sideways and rest my head forward against the side of the tub.  Marvin asks me to do something and I snap at him, "I'm in labor here, can you handle it?!?".  He looks confused: "Wait, you are?".  "Yes, duh!! What do you think is going on?".  "I don't know," he looks confused.  He gets a big smile on his face and comes and kisses me and tells me we are going to get through this labor with no problem and to let him know if I need something   I'm saying the words "I'm in labor" out loud, but I don't really, truly believe them.  I still keep waiting for things to fizzle out.  I'm so worried that everyone will have been alerted for nothing and I'll look stupid. 

After I get out of the bathtub, I decide it's a good idea to text my mom and let her know I'm in labor and, since she will be taking care of Elaina while we are at the hospital, that she should be on alert for our "it's time" phone call.  It's about 7:40 PM. 

                                                                                                                        I decide to start timing contractions.  They are coming every 4 minutes and are lasting about a minute.  That's the time frame that we are taught to go to the hospital in our class.  I decide that we're going to have to ignore that and go by the intensity of the contractions because it still feels too early to me.  I spend the next hour packing Elaina's bag.  It takes that long because I have to focus through the contractions.  I put Elaina to sleep and Marvin and I decide to watch a movie.  He keeps telling me to lay down, but the contractions are roughly 378 times harder to manage while laying down.  I watch the movie rocking on the birth ball and walking when I get the urge. I officially know that I am in labor now.  No ifs ands or buts about it.  This hurts too bad and too often to be a tease.  I've been having contractions since 5AM, and they haven't died down once.  This is labor.  Wow.  Ok, so, this is labor.   They are now strong enough that each one needs my concentration and I have to breathe through them and focus on relaxing.  

When the movie is over I tell Marvin that we should finish packing our bags.  We pack through my contractions.  When the bags are packed we put on music and work through labor together.  The contractions are really strong now.  Talking is not allowed during the contractions and in between contractions I am not my lively normal self.  I start to notice that I'm nauseated.  In my Bradley class we are taught that nausea can be a sign of transition.  I know this can't be transition because it's too soon, and it doesn't hurt like I imagine transition will, but the nausea coupled with the intensity of the contractions makes me think we should head to the hospital now.  I definitely don't want to be on the road when transition comes.  I tell Marvin to let my mom know it's time.  It's about 11:00 PM. 

At this point Marvin is the world's best husband.  He times the contractions, packs up the vehicle, helps me sway through them and keeps praising me.  So far, he is allowed to be awake (remember Elaina's labor?).  "You are doing so good!!  I know it's not easy, but you are making it look so easy."  I worry that when things REALLY get hard and I start acting like a crazy person I'll let him down.  "It's still early, though," I say.  "Don't judge me later when it's harder."

We head to the hospital.  My mom reminds me to wear my seatbelt.  Yeah, right.  No seatbelts will be worn tonight.  I cannot sit in the seat in the conventional way.  I lean the seat all the way back and face the back of the vehicle. Picture: my ass facing the windshield.  I have three contractions on the way to the hospital. I want to get into the room and not have to move again.  Traveling through labor is stupid and I hate it.

We arrive at the hospital and I have a contraction in the parking lot. We get to the ER entrance and Marvin goes to handle the paperwork.  He is still allowed to be awake and I still love him at this point.  A woman comes to me and asks me if she needs to send for someone from Labor & Delivery to come and get me.  "No, thanks, I'm good," I tell her.  She responds that she just wanted to make sure because she's never been in labor before.  A contraction comes and I lean over the desk and breath and sway.  I am not making any noise, just breathing through it.  The same woman comes back.  "Miss Diana, I need to put this bracelet on you," she says.  I'm having a contraction and it effing hurts so I do what any woman in labor would do: ignore her.  She doesn't get it.  "Miss Diana? MISS DIANA? MISS DIANA".  Yep, she definitely hasn't been in labor before.  Is she effing serious??  The contraction is over and I look up at her like she is the dumbest human being alive.  She doesn't notice. It's about 12:00AM. 

We go on our merry way upstairs and I have a contraction in the elevator and the elevator starts to beep because I'm not getting off.  I force myself to walk out of the elevator.  Someone meets us in our room.  It's the huge L&D room reserved for mothers laboring naturally.  There's a tub in there.  I have never seen something more beautiful in my life.  

A nurse comes in and tells me to change into the gown.  I tell her that I am going to be laboring in my own clothing.  She tells me that it will make checking me and delivery very difficult, and they really need something more loose on bottom.  They are already challenging the things in my birth plan.  I'm not being polite!  I'm going to get what I want.  I've been ready for this fight all along.  Try me, woman!  "Dr. Brown signed off on my birth plan.  It says I can labor in my own clothes."  A contraction comes and I close my eyes and sway.  The nurse says, "That's fine, but you..... Oh, are you having a contraction?  Ok, you can wait till it's done to answer me or tell me to shut up if you want."  Instantly I love her.  I trust her.  That's all it took.  This woman is my friend and she gets it.  I take off my bottoms and put on the oober sexy mesh panties she gives me.

It's hospital policy that they get a "strip" on you.  Meaning they have to monitor your contractions and the baby's heartbeat on the monitor for about 20 minutes.  I'm ok with this and was prepared for this part.  They hook me up and I sit on the birth ball.  They have some questions to ask me.  The nurse asks the questions in between contractions and she is completely silent during contractions.  On purpose.  Like, she takes her time asking these questions waiting for my contractions.  Wow.  Thank you, God, for this nurse.  Dane's heartrate goes up during contractions.  No decels.  All is good.  

Now it's time for my initial cervical check (the only one I plan on having, apart from when I'm ready to push).  Brittany, the nurse, waits for the contraction to be over to check my cervix.  (Have I mentioned that I love her?)  I am 6cm and Dane is at 0 station.  I'm done with all the intake stuff and it is tub time.  Brittany, also known as God's gift to laboring mothers, runs the water for me and I cannot wait to get in the tub.  It's about 12:45AM. 

The tub is a magical, magical place.  We have the music going.  Brittany dimmed the lights (I know, right?).  At this point, my contractions are bad enough that I have to really, really focus on them.  They feel like they last a really long time.  Our birth photographer, Annie, walks in during a contraction.  When the contraction is over I say hi to her and tell her it's nice to meet her.  "Y'all don't know each other?!," Marvin asks as if I'm crazy.  I don't even notice Annie is there after that.  She is so quiet and out of the way.  She is now on the "I love these people" list along with Brittany and Marvin.  For clarification purposes, the intake lady who has "never been in labor" is NOT on this list.  

The contractions get out of control.  Making noise feels good.  Up until this point I have been silent.  They are double peaking.  Meaning, they start off dull-ish and reach I'm-going-to-die levels and then become less intense and then reach I'm-going-to-die levels again before dying off.  They last about a minute and a half.  There is no comfortable position during the double peak contractions.  The contractions are coming close together now and while I do have a break in between it is short.  The noises coming out of my mouth are getting more Cristina Aguillera-ish and less cow-ish.  

I have a few more double peaking contractions and feel alot of "down below" pressure.  I know it's not time to push yet because I haven't reached the "I can't do it anymore, give me meds" irrationality that transition brings.  I say nothing.  I have two more contractions and I feel like I am going to poop in the tub.  I decide to mention it to Marvin.  Brittany comes in to listen to Dane's hearbeat on the doppler.  After the contraction is over I tell her that I feel like I need to poop.  "It's too early to push, though, right?"  She suggests I go through two more contractions and see how they feel. During the next two contractions Marvin suggests I "put a little pressure" behind the contraction to see how it feels.  He says this twice in a row and it pisses me off and I tell him to "shut the fuck up".  Oops.  I go through two more and I want to be checked NOW.  I think I need to push!  In my head it feels too soon, but my body isn't on board.  I tell Brittany I want to be checked.  Marvin interrupts, "No! You said you didn't want to be checked."  I tell him I feel alot of pressure and need to be checked.  He argues with me.  "No, you're ok.  You don't want to be checked."  I lose my patience: "MARVIN! Don't argue with me when I'm in labor! I didn't want to be checked because I didn't want to get disappointed by the number.  If I feel like I need to push I need to be checked.  I don't care what the number is.  I won't get disappointed."  Brittany checks me while I'm in the water.  (Pause and remind yourself how much I love this person.) "You're a 9.  You have a little lip left on the right side.  Lean on that side.  I'm going to call Dr. Brown.  If you start having an uncontrollable need to push, come get me.  I have no qualms with catching a baby if I need to.  When you can, it's time to get out of the tub."  

I lean on the side Brittany suggests and have one more contraction before hurrying along to the bed.  It really doesn't feel real.  It's time to push already?  But, I didn't go through transition yet!  I don't feel self doubt yet.  The Bradley class said I would feel self doubt.  

I get in the bed and get on all fours and stick my naked ass in the air for all to see.  You're welcome, guys.  Brittany comes back and tells me Dr. Brown is on his way and I have an irrational conversation with her about "is it really time to push?".  I can't get over it.  This is really it?  Are y'all sure?

Dr. Brown walks in.  "That was fast," I tell him.  Brittany says, "You don't want your water broken at all?". "NO!," Marvin answers.  Brittany says that she's just asking because pushing may be easier and faster if Dane doesn't have the water cushioning his head.  "NO!!!," Marvin answers again.  No one is talking to him, but he is on a mission.  "Well, should we break it now or wait?," I ask.  "NO!," Marvin says.  I take a break from birthing our second child to explain to Marvin that the reason I didn't want my bag of waters artificially broken is because laboring is easier with the water intact and I didn't want to be put on a timeframe to produce the baby because of the fear of infection, but now we're pushing and if it'll speed things along, I'm all for it.  He explains to me that I told him I didn't want my water broken.  He says I told him I wanted it to happen on it's own.  Note to self: next time you're in labor teach Marvin the WHY behind saying no.  A contraction comes and the water talk stops.  I push with all of my might.  It feels EXACTLY like your pooping.  Like, the same way you would "push out a poop" is EXACTLY how you push out a baby.  It literally feels like I'm going to poop on the table.  

The contraction is over. "Ok, is this going to be like 2 hours of pushing?  Because if so, I will die," I ask Dr. Brown.  "No, the baby is coming this contraction or the next."  A contraction comes and I close my eyes and push.  They tell me they see the head and he has hair and it's DARK.  Oh my.  I can't wait to see!!  I push and I feel a gush of fluid.  My water broke!  "What was that," Marvin asks.  "It was my water," I answer.  Marvin looks at Dr. Brown with a seriousness I rarely see.  "Did you break it," he asks Dr. Brown.  Dr. Brown nods and Marvin gives him a "look" and then looks at me.  Uh oh.  Marvin is angry. 

A contraction comes and so does a burning sensation known as "the ring of fire".  Brittany is a magical human being so she knows that I'm feeling the ring of fire without me saying anything and tells me to push through the burn and I'll meet my baby.  This woman is a goddess.  I push through the burn and it feels like I ripped my urethra open.  Dane's head is out.  

Soon after his body is born and I am in disbelief.  "He's here," I say.  I keep saying over and over how I can't believe he's really here.  That's it?  That was so much easier than I thought.  They tug him and move him in a weird way and I can feel them pulling the cord.  Weird.  They immediately put him on my chest and I am in awe.  I can't believe this is really happening. We stimulate him and suction him.  Dr. Brown says it's time to birth the placenta and to give a push.  I push and the placenta comes out.  I have never felt more relief in my life.  "That felt so good.  I can breathe," I say.  I put Dane on my chest to nurse him and he latches on right away and sucks like there's no tomorrow.

"You're bleeding more than we like to see.  Is it ok if we give you some pitocin," Brittany asks me.  "NO!," Marvin answers.  "Yes, if I need it to stop from hemorrhaging."  I say.  Marvin looks at me and reminds me that I don't want pitocin.  I kindly let him know if my choices are bleeding out and pitocin, I'll take the pitocin.  Dr. Brown suggests she massage my fundus more and wait and see.  She does, and we end up not needing the pitocin.  Marvin is no longer mad at Dr. Brown.  

Dane lays on my chest and nurses and I just keep talking about how I can't believe he's here and it's done.  We lay there and he nurses and eventually I get up and shower and bathe Dane.  Yep, that's right, I bathed him myself.  Brittany, my BFF for life, brings me Honey Nut Cheerios and they tell us what recovery room we are in.  I put Dane in his isolette and start to push him to our room.  Brittany finds me and starts busting out laughing and trying to hide me from the other nurses "you can't go by yourself, crazy!".  Oops.


I still cannot believe it went down like this.  Was it hard? yeah.  Was it doable? totally.  It was honestly easier than I thought it would be.  My first labor was a million times harder than I expected and my second was significantly easier than I expected.  It's all because of Charisse Campbell, our Bradley method instructor.  We were both SO prepared, and we knew relaxation was key.  I owe it all to her, Brittany and Marvin.  My husband was so sweet and supportive (even when I told him to shut the f up).  And, thanks to Annie Robert Hammons I have these great pictures.  Click below to see Annie's work (and Dane's birth story: the visual version). 

Dane's Birth

Sunday, May 19, 2013

So Ready

I'm now at the "I'm VERY ready" point of pregnancy.  Every morning when I wake up still pregnant it's like waking up and realizing Santa Claus hasn't passed.  It's a bummer.  

I haven't gotten many "anything yet?" text messages from friends.  (I guess they read the blog after all?  Either that or they don't care. Ha!)  The few I have received have come with the "I know this is annoying, but I gotta know" disclaimer, and for some reason, that actually makes it not annoying.  My mom texts me everyday with "How are you?".  I know this REALLY means "are you in labor?".  

I'm starting to get irrational.  I look back at pictures a few days before Elaina was born and I was really, really swollen.  So, I've been taking selfies and examining them to see if I'm swollen (because the naked eye lies to you-- self preservation).  I'm not swollen.  In my irrational brain this means I will be pregnant until July. 

Dane isn't low.  He's hanging out high and he seems content.  I'm 2cm dilated and about 70% effaced.  This means nothing (I know), but I like to pretend like it does so I don't go completely insane.  

I'm in that annoying just-waiting period where there's nothing left to prep or do.  Nothing left to buy.  Nothing left to wait for.  Except the baby.  It's driving me bananas.  I'm ready to meet this little boy.  I'm ready to see if he has his sister's where-did-this-come-from hair or if he'll come out with black hair.  I'm ready to see if he'll be petite like his 6lbs 1oz sister was.  I'm ready to tackle labor drug free.  I'm ready to go through the challenge!! I'm ready to bring him home and nurse him and love on him and introduce him to his sister.  I'm even ready for the hard parts.  I'm READY!  

I had a dream way back that he was born on the 23rd.  That would be a really nice early birthday present.  I'm ready, Dane. This week sometime, please.



Thursday, May 16, 2013

Unmarried and (gasp) Pregnant

Elaina was a surprise.  I think it's safe to say she is the best surprise Marvin or I ever received.  I won't go into the events that led up to the surprise pregnancy because that's a whole story in itself.  When I found out I was pregnant I was shocked!  I called Marvin at work.  I was flabbergasted.  He seemed cool as a cucumber.  I'm sure he wasn't, but it's how he seemed.  I really couldn't believe that I was pregnant.  I just kept staring at the test and repeating "I'm pregnant" over and over again.  I'm not sure that my reaction had anything to do with my marital status; I think any time a woman is pregnant (planned or surprise) for the very first time it takes some..... time to wrap her head around the idea of it all.  The idea that there is really a BABY in there is hard to adjust to.   

What surprised me most about being pregnant in the beginning?  The reactions.  I was pregnant and not married and apparently that's taboo?  Marvin and I were pretty ecstatic right away.  Other people (whose lives would not be affected whatsoever by this news): not so much.  I didn't get it.  I mean, I was 23 years old and had graduated from college, I had a full time job and was independent in every way (specifically financially).  Anyone who knew me would've definitely said I was responsible.  I was dating a 26 year old guy who was quite fabulous.  We lived together.  He had a full time job and was extremely responsible as well.  We had a very healthy and happy relationship.  And yet, people reacted like I was 15 years old, alone, irresponsible and pregnant.  It was weird. 

The people you'd expect to have a hard time adjusting to the news (parents) really kind of just rolled with the punches.  My parents were living in Florida at the time so I had to tell them over the phone. I can remember that phone conversation like the back of my hand.

I called my Mom's cell and she answered and I asked her if she was busy.  She said she wasn't and I asked her if she could go into a room because I needed to talk to her about something privately.  "Sure," she said. 

Me: I'm pregnant
Mom: You arrrrrrrrrrre?
Me: Yes
Mom: Are you freaking out?
Me: YES!
(at this point she begins to cry and hands the phone to my Dad)
Dad: Baby, you're PREGNANT?
Me: Yes!
Dad: That's so awesome! I'm going to be a grandpa? Wow, man!!  Your mom is so happy she's crying.  

Now, if anyone was going to be upset (and, really, why in the heck SHOULD anyone be upset??) you would imagine it would be my parents, right?  Well, in all fairness my parents are..... different.  I remember in High School I was the President of the Students United for Abstinence Club (pause and allow the irony to sink in) and I came home all proud and excited to tell my parents.  My mom was all "oh, cool" and my Dad launched into a speech about how "that's great if it's what you want to do", but sex is a natural, normal thing that we shouldn't be ashamed of.  It's not scary, he'd say.  It's not shameful.  Not your typical parents.  

So, my parents were ecstatic.  They moved back to Louisiana so they could be close to their grandchild.  I was ecstatic too.  I couldn't believe how lucky we were to be having a baby.  I started reading and learning and researching immediately.  I was already in love with my little bean!  I didn't feel like the pregnancy was anything secretive, so I didn't keep it a secret!  I let all of our friends know.  We told our families and Facebook.  It wasn't a secret by any means.  I was PREGNANT and I was HAPPY and I wanted to shout it from the rooftops!!  

I called a group of women who were close to me (individually), excited to share the news with them and their reactions surprised me and really hurt me. I considered these women role models my entire life and I was always aiming for their acceptance. I heard "what am I going to tell my kids?" (Umm, that I'm pregnant, duh!  What do you mean?), "Well I guess if you're happy then I am" (Gee try to reign in your enthusiasm) and "Are you going to get married?  You need to get married.  You have to put yourself aside and get married now because it's what's right for the baby. Raising a child out of wedlock isn't stable.  The baby needs stability." (whaaaaa?).  I got really mad.  How dare they make this extremely HAPPY time for me negative.  I got super defensive and that was that.  I kind of closed myself off from them.  I didn't have room for anyone's negativity.  A BABY was going to be born and Marvin and I were beyond-words happy.

After those negative conversations, I realized something: you set the tone for how people react to you.  Had I kept my pregnancy a secret, people would've slowly found out and whispered and gossiped about it.  Had I acted like it was something depressing or sad, people would've felt bad for me.  But, if I was open and happy (the way I truly felt inside) about it publicly people could either get on board or look dumb.  Do you know how dumb you look when someone is all "We're expecting, we're so excited!!" and then YOU (the person who this does not affect) are upset by the news?  You look dumb.  I decided I'd set the tone for this.  I wouldn't allow others to treat this as anything but HAPPY and AWESOME news, and if they did, they'd be alone in their sorrow; I wasn't going to entertain it.

My grandma (my mother's mom) was so happy.  This woman was the most Catholic person in my family.  She had such a pure heart.  She was extremely religious and yet, she was happy!  I've never been as close to my mom's family as I've been to my dad's (purely a proximity thing, my mom's family lives in Puerto Rico), but they all seemed to be so happy for me!  My aunt (my mom's sister) sent me care packages of baby books that she found helpful.  She sent a little note in the package that I kept in Elaina's baby book.  She called me and had excitement in her voice.  She was so happy for me, she said.  It's such a wonderful gift and she couldn't wait for me to experience it.  Call her if I want any advice  or have any questions.  It's awesome, she said.  (She has no idea what that conversation and note meant to me.  It came just when I needed it.) Wow.  The people who I personally called to tell (because they meant so much to me-- I thought they'd be SO happy) reacted terribly (and continued to be less than supportive throughout my entire pregnancy), and the people who got the news via my mom were my biggest supporters.  It was crazy to me.  

I had some pretty infuriating conversations during the pregnancy.  Certain people kept trying to get Marvin and I to get married before Elaina was born.  We were good, but thanks.  They said that it would cause problems logistically if Elaina and I had different last names.  (All those divorced moms out there seem to be handling it just fine.) They said I would regret this one day when Elaina started asking questions.  I would have a hard time explaining to Elaina that we weren't married before we had her, they said.  These people didn't get it.  Had they met me before?  I had (and to this day I still have) zero anxieties or worry about Elaina asking questions about this topic.  She was 4.5 months old when we got married.  She's in the wedding pictures.  It's not a secret.  It didn't feel wrong at the time and I wasn't about to "hurry" and get married in an effort to cover up the fact that we got pregnant before we got married.  I didn't even feel like this needed covering up.  It happened how it happened.  The order was of no concern to Marvin or I.

These same people who were outraged that I was pregnant with Elaina were ecstatic when they heard we were pregnant with Dane.  Hypocrites.  What's the difference?  A piece of paper?  It's no longer "a sin"?  Really, I don't get it.   

Anyway, I don't really know what the point of this blog post is.  I guess it's just to share my experience.  It really surprised me how insensitive and ignorant people are.  And, I guess my advice is if you're going through something that OTHER people may find taboo, but you're feeling wonderfully about it.... SCREW THEM!! Hold your head up high and be excited.  It's your life.  They can either follow your lead or look stupid.  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Pity Party Central

Pregnancy, in general, is pretty amazing.  I mean, it's amazing if you stop and think that women are walking around growing humans and stuff.  When you're going through it, it's hard to remember (during the nausea, weight gain, acne and general aches and pain) how cool it is.  The end of pregnancy is specifically mind boggling to me.  

When my friends have asked me how I feel lately, I've answered "I actually feel good!  Like, I'm not having trouble sleeping or moving around or anything."  Well, that ship has sailed.  Sleep is a rare delicacy now, and just standing up supporting my 160 lb (!!!!!) body is a high intensity workout.  

I find the end-of-pregnancy (and it's accompanying "shoot me now" mentality) both amazing and terrible.  Terrible because.... I'm TIRED and I can't sleep.  Amazing because I really believe it's God's way of preparing you for the sleepless nights you are in for with a newborn to take care of.  It's God's way of gearing you up for labor.  If pregnancy was all butterflies and rainbows you wouldn't look forward to hours upon hours of horrible pain and squeezing a baby out of your hooha.  I mean, it's annoying, but cool nonetheless. 

Towards the end you have this incredible nesting instinct also.  You want to prepare everything you can and have everything as clean as possible because your baby could come any minute.  I tend to be a 9 month nester.  I go through spurts (beginning early in the first trimester) of getting the house "baby ready".  A few hours before I went into labor with Elaina, I had an overwhelming urge to scrub the bathtub.  

I haven't had the nesting instinct lately with this pregnancy, and honestly I can't even imagine getting in the mood to clean right now.  I am SO TIRED.  Insomnia is such a weird thing.  You're exhausted and you can't sleep (or stay asleep).  Why?  It doesn't make sense.  Like, I'm tired!  Let me sleep, body!  The last few nights I've thought to myself "I really hope I don't go into labor tonight because I will be begging for the epidural immediately.  There's no way I can handle labor THIS tired."  

Some of the pregnant moms (in the secret Facebook group we have) recommended I try Epsom Salt Baths.  They say it helps you sleep when  pregnancy is getting in your way.  I was pumped to try it last night.  I thought MAYBE it would be magical and I'd get to sleep.  

Marvin texted me when he got off of work and asked if I needed him to pick up anything on his way home.  He said he was stopping at Lowe's to get something we needed for the house.  "This is really random, but if they have Epsom Salt can you get me some, please?".  Marvin came home without Epsom Salt.  He said they didn't have it a Lowe's.  Apparently he read into what I said too literally.  What I MEANT for the text to say was "Do not come home without Epsom Salt."  He should know how to mind read by now!

Apparently my sob story text messages to my mother have her feeling sorry for me because she asked for Elaina to spend the night at her house tonight.  I'm planning on soaking in an Epsom Salt bath for hours tonight and having my husband rub my feet until I get tired of it (read: never).  I'm falling apart.  I know Dane will be worth it, but right now I just feel so darn sorry for myself.  By the way, I have a post nasal drip that's causing a redonk sore throat.  Ok, I'll put my violin down.  

In happy news, things are starting to "happen" down below.  At my last appointment I was starting to dilate and efface.  This means absolutely nothing (just ask all the women who felt the need to rain on my parade and tell me about how they walked around at 6 cms for two months), but it made me feel like the end is near.

Marvin's money is on May 22nd.  Mine is on May 25th (but, I'm torn between that date and the 23rd since I had a dream about the 23rd early in pregnancy).  What does that all mean?? It means Dane will stay cooped up in here until June and I'll be trying to perform an at-home c-section.        

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Stay at Home Moms vs Working Moms

When Elaina was born, I remember wondering what I did with my life for the 23 years before.  Not in the "Oh my, my life is so beautifully complete now; those previous years were a waste" type of a way.  But, in the "Oh my gosh, this crap is HARD.  Why haven't I been enjoying the easy years before?!?" type of way.  I used to joke with Marvin that I wish I had been more irresponsible with my life before having children.  "Gah, why didn't I do drugs or something?"  I mean, of course, I was kidding, but I realized that this was a new phase of my life, and the time for shenanigans was mostly over.

When you're pregnant, people give you the MOST ANNOYING advice ever.  I guess they feel like you're about to join their club and they want to give you a heads up about what's coming next.  If you get through your entire pregnancy without hearing "Sleep now while you still can!" then you must be living under a rock.  I used to hate hearing that.  It sounds so..... negative.  It's almost like they're excited that you don't even know what you're about to get yourself into.  And, plus, you'll hear it a million times.  It gets old.  But, it's SO TRUE.  

For Elaina's first few weeks she ate every two hours.  That means from the beginning of one feeding to the beginning of another.  So, let's break it down:  let's say it's 1:00 and it's time for her to eat.  Ok, so I change her diaper and position her and myself in a chair for her to eat.  She eats from each side for about 7 minutes and then burps.  Then I get her to fall asleep.  By this time it is 1:25.  I try to take a nap because I'm exhausted.  I fall asleep at around 1:35 and am promptly awaken by a hungry baby at 3:00.  So, I slept for a solid hour and a half.  Now, this is assuming that I used the in-between time to sleep.  You can't (unfortunately) just lay in bed all day and sleep and nurse your kid.  You have a house to take care of.  You have yourself and your husband to feed.  You have to dress yourself and your baby and change (A LOT of) diapers.  You have doctor's appointments.  You have visitors that want to see the new baby.

The first time your child sleeps for a 4 hour or 5 hour stretch (it feels like forever) you want to cry you are so excited that you got uninterrupted sleep.

I remember a few times Marvin was getting ready to go to work and I was sitting up in bed feeding Elaina with tears streaming down my eyes.  I was crying because I was just. so. tired.  I was so jealous that he didn't have to wake up three million times in the middle of the night (I was breastfeeding, so he couldn't truly help) and he "got" to go to work.  It's irrational and crazy, but it's how I felt.  

I posted a Facebook status about how silly I was to think I was "exhausted" before having a baby.  People were offended.  How dare I say you can't be exhausted unless you have a baby?  They went to school and had a job.  They had crazy hours.  They barely slept.  I was amazed at how much controversy came from me venting about having a hard time in my mothering transition.  I spoke to other mothers to try to get some support about the fact that I was TIRED and this was HARD.  They said things like "at least you don't have to go to work".  They didn't even notice they were being dismissive.  They didn't even realize they were inadvertently saying "you think YOU have it tough? try being a mom AND having a job, now THAT'S tough".  I didn't understand.  It wasn't a pissing contest.  Both "jobs" have pros and cons.  Staying home (in my opinion) isn't the easier choice.  Working away from home (in my opinion) isn't the easier choice.  They are just..... different.  

The stay at home moms aren't laying around in their pjs watching TV and getting pedicures in their spare time. They aren't twiddling their thumbs.  They aren't going on fab shopping sprees and meeting friends for drinks.  The working moms aren't at work without a care in the world.  They aren't having fabulous convos with their co workers and not having to worry about their children.  They aren't coming home from work refreshed and full of outside stimulation.  Both jobs are hard.  They are hard in different ways.

The grass isn't necessarily greener on the other side.  Maybe you've tried out both jobs and you find one is easier FOR YOU.  Maybe you can't imagine doing one or the other.  You make decisions for your family.  You choose which job you think is right for your family.  That doesn't mean you have to belittle the other side.  It doesn't mean the other side has it easier. 

My friends tell me the transition from one child to two children is EASIER than the becoming-a-first-time-mom transition.  They say it's because you are already past the "my life will never be the same" shock.  You already live your life thinking about someone else first.  You already can't shower or pee alone.  You already aren't living carefree.  Life is already different.  You are already in charge of keeping another human being alive and healthy.  It just get a teeny bit more complicated with a second child in the mix.  I hope they're right because the first time it was HARD.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"Dreading" a Baby?

In motherhood there are things that you don't really feel like you can say out loud.  There are feelings and thoughts and doubts you have that you feel guilty for even thinking and you know that if you say it out loud you will be judged.  Heck, you even judge yourself for even thinking said thought.   

Dane was very much a wanted (and planned for) baby.  I started having intense baby fever and Marvin Vallette was (as always) along for the ride.  We decided to wait to "try" until the 3 million weddings we were serving in were done.  After the last wedding, we started "trying".  (Allow us a moment to talk about how weird it is when people say "trying", like, everyone knows that means HAVE SEX, but for some reason it's acceptable to ask people if they are "trying".  Like, you can say "are y'all trying" and not feel weird, but you can't be all "are y'all having sex often and around your fertile period" and not feel weird.  There's something wrong there.)  Moving on....

It took us three months to get pregnant.  Looking back on it, that's pretty quick.  But, at the time it was super emotional for me.  It felt like an eternity.  Issues kept coming up and it was stressing me out.  I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and I wasn't ovulating. We got pregnant with Elaina so quickly that it made my head spin.  Like, literally 2 weeks off of birth control and BAM!  That's what I was expecting this time, too.  Why wasn't this happening?  

I was so ready to get pregnant that EVERY symptom meant I was pregnant.  I had a headache: I was pregnant.  I smelled something gross: I was pregnant.  I probably took, like, 45 pregnancy tests in that 3 month window.  The second month I was 100% positive that I was pregnant.  I FELT pregnant.  I had absolutely no doubt.  I took tests and they were negative, and I was SO SURE that I told myself "it's just too early to show" and kept waiting for that second line to pop up.  It never did.  I wasn't pregnant.  That pretty much devastated me and I vowed to not ever take another pregnancy test again until I felt the baby kick (or something equally crazy).  When I finally did take a test it was because Marvin basically made me. I was a week late, but I was 100% positive that I wasn't pregnant. I cried and cried and cried when the test finally had two lines.  I was ecstatic! 

I don't know how the people who struggle for years to get pregnant do it.  I can understand why that can be such a strain on a marriage.  I almost went insane and it was only 3 months.

So, anyway, I got pregnant and I was ecstatic.  I couldn't wait.  I knew immediately it was a boy.  I just had a "feeling".  I had the boy name all picked out and I made a registry online (for my own organization) of all the things we would need for Dane.  

Then, I started showing and I felt like a hippo, and I remembered that pregnancy isn't all beauty and rainbows.  I felt fat again.  When I was 8 weeks along my mother-in-law said "you're going to be SO BIG, huh?".  It hurt my feelings because I'm already so touchy about my weight.  She truly thought she was giving me a compliment.  She says she "loves big pregnant bellies".  She has good intentions and a great, big heart so you can't be mad at her, but I'm ultra sensitive about my body image so it just added to my issues. 

So, now I'm feeling fat and ugly.  Then came the part that I was scared to tell most people: I was dreading having another baby.  That word sounds so strong: dread. I feel the judgment through the computer screen. How crazy am I?  I cried and freaked out when I "couldn't" get pregnant the exact second that I wanted to and now that we're expecting a baby I'm "dreading" it?

Let me explain:  all of a sudden, I remembered what having a newborn was like.  I remembered what goes into it.  I remembered how much of ME it was going to take.  Our life right now is so..... NEAT.  We have our schedule and our life runs like a well oiled machine.  Elaina is 2.5 and we are organized and in a groove.  If I need to go to Wal Mart to pick up bananas: we load up and drive to Wal Mart, we walk in, grab bananas, pay and come home.  Elaina is a little person who is highly portable.  She is basically like my little buddy.  She can speak clearly, express herself easily and is easily reasoned with. Newborns....not so much.

This baby is going to take our neat, organized, well-oiled machine and throw a monkey wrench into it. 

Knowing my daughter, we're going to deal with jealousy issues.  She's going to have to adjust to her mommy all of a sudden paying attention to this baby and not devoting 100% solely to her.  I was dreading that change.  I was dreading what this would mean for Elaina.  And then, I got excited again.  

I mean, I am still aware that this baby is going to shake things up.  My house probably won't be clean every day like it is now.  I probably won't get to pick up and run errands like I do now.  I won't get a date night with my husband for a while.  I won't get uninterrupted sleep for a few months (maybe longer?).  But, that's ok and we'll adjust.  We'll get into a two-kid groove (eventually).  It'll be hard at the beginning (just like it was with Elaina), but it won't be hard forever.  We'll develop a new sense of what "normal" is.  

Moms aren't allowed to say things like "I'm not really excited".  They're not allowed to express anything other than rainbows and unicorn love for their offspring.  So, I just wanted to take a little time to be honest about something I was struggling with.  I'm passed it and I'm just purely excited now, but maybe once he's here I'll have some other worry or stress or negative feeling.  

It doesn't mean we don't love our children; it just means we're human. 

 Me, ummmm, celebrating? This was the last wedding of the year for us!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Hippo Goes Shopping

I've gained 32 lbs thus far.  Dane weighs about 3 lbs right now.  Seems legit.  

That's how much weight I gained with Elaina the ENTIRE PREGNANCY.  I just can't get over that number.  I still have (technically) 9 weeks left.  I've stopped weighing myself.  I only see my weight climb up thanks to the stupid doctor's office.  Every time they weigh me Marvin comes up with an excuse for why I'm such a fat ass.  It's really sweet.  I can't tell if he really believes it or if he's trying to make me feel better.  He'll be all "yeah, but remember you had a big breakfast?" (at 4 in the afternoon) or "that's not really accurate since it's 10:45 AM and you're supposed to weigh yourself FIRST THING in the morning".

All I complain about is how I feel SO fat.  I talk about it non stop.  I know it drives Marvin crazy.  I feel so ugly and fat and pimply and disgusting.  I can't get over it.  Pregnancy reminds me of how incredibly vain I am.  I complain to my pregnant mommy friends in this secret Facebook group we have and they all compliment me and then I feel like I shouldn't have complained because I look like a douche seeking out compliments.  I know everyone is trying to make me feel better, but it feels weird.  You know how when YOU'RE self conscious about something it doesn't matter how OTHER people feel?  You just feel how you feel.

I've been going around town in sweat pants lately.  It's worked out quite well so far.  No one can see my hippopotamus legs and I don't have to shave.  But, now that the weather has cooled down I thought I might die of heat exhaustion if I didn't get some spring/summer clothes.  

I went to Old Navy to buy some clothes.  Their stuff is plain and cheap and I'm not looking to spend a fortune since I won't be this size forever (please, God!).  You know that table they have with the boring, soft, v-neck shirts?  They have them in a million colors?  Well, I decided to buy some of those and some new jeans.  The jeans that have been helping me along for the last 29 weeks now only reach half way up my butt crack.  I didn't want to buy maternity jeans because they just look.... maternity-ish and the clothes companies are cruel and like to kick a fat woman when she's down and charge an arm and a leg for the "cute" maternity jeans. 

Anyway, so I went and visited the table with those shirts and put like 5 of them (same style & size-- different colors) in my cart.  I grabbed two pairs of jeans and headed to the dressing room.  I take off my clothes and slip on the first t-shirt.  I immediately contemplate suicide.  The shirt looks like a second piece of skin.  It looks like I borrowed it from my 12 year old anorexic sister.  The shirt is a size small.  Duh, Diana.  You are freaking almost 8 months pregnant.  You can't wear smalls anymore.  Get yourself together. 

I pop my head out of the dressing room and ask the attendant if she can get me a shirt in that style (any color) in a medium for me to try on.  "A....medium?" she says.  "Yes, please!".  She comes back with the medium.  I try it on.  It covers about 40% of my belly only. I'm in denial, aparently. Awesome.  I need a large.  Just awesome!!  I stick my head out. "I guess I need a large.  Do you mind?"  She brings me the large.  It fits.  It's comfortable.  It's a teeny tiny bit too big, which means that when I'm 40 weeks it'll be too tight and I'll contemplate suicide again. 

I move on to the jeans.  Remember they aren't maternity jeans!  I pull them on and they fit wonderfully.  I can't button them, but I can zip them and they feel comfortable and they look cute.  Score!  Then, I check the size.  Why, God?  Why did I do that?  They are an 8.  

Calm down.  I know some of you are all "Omg, an 8 isn't even big."  Well, for me an 8 is a size I've never worn before.  I've never even come close.  And, Old Navy is known for their vanity sizing.  Which means that I probably really wear a 10.  That's a two digit number.  F word.

I guess I'm writing this for all the pregnant gals who feel like an elephant, too. The ones who feel fat.  (This is not for you if you feel so "beautiful" and "feminine" pregnant.  PS- WHO ARE YOU?!?)  Just keep in mind that this is a short time.  We'll be normal again one day!  It's for a good cause.  And, if you are having a hard time, email me!!  At least you'll be able to talk with someone who knows EXACTLY how feel.  


That's a picture of me (right) 3 months before finding out I was expecting this time.  

 That's a picture of me at 31 weeks. (Taken yesterday.)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Birth Plan: The Reaction

So, remember my appointment was on Thursday?  Well, Marvin and I got there and the receptionist was all "ummm, no you don't have an appointment today."  And I was all "yes huh!".  Anyway, it was a mistake on their part.  So, I go and deposit my urine sample and sit down in the waiting room.  I was so flipping nervous.  It was freeeeeezing in there, but I was sweating.  Anyway, the nurse calls me back and weighs me and then I realize I've already gained a whopping 32 lbs (the amount I gained the ENTIRE PREGNANCY with Elaina-- I still have 10ish weeks left. Awesome.).  She checks my blood pressure and shows me to my room.  

The nurse's aid comes in and checks the heartbeat.  She takes too long to find it and I have to point at where Dane is (the large lump, woman). Then she does that thing they do where they listen for 2 seconds and pretend like they know the rate.  His "rate" is always 150.  (Yeah, we know you fake it!)

Marvin and I sit there for about 30 minutes (like we always do waiting for Dr. Brown).  He comes in and accesses my records on his laptop.  

Dr. Brown: So, I see you did your glucose test with your jelly beans and your numbers were great.  Anything below 130 is good and you were in the 93 range.
Me: Yep.  They tried to give me attitude over the jelly beans.
Dr. Brown: And I'm confident you handled it.

(Marvin and Dr. Brown look at each other and laugh and laugh and laugh.)

Me: Ok, let's scale it back, guys.  That's a little too much laughter.  

We talked a little about my being slightly anemic.  And then, I dropped the bomb on him.

Me: Ok, so, I have something I want to talk to you about.
Dr. Brown: Go for it! You're the caboose today, so, take your time.
Me: Ok, so, with Elaina we were shooting for an un-medicated birth and we kind of winged it without preparing and it didn't work out.  So, we've been taking Bradley Method classes this time and I've been thinking about what I'd like to change, and...... I wrote a birth plan and wanted to see how you feel about it.
Dr. Brown: Ok, let's hear it!
Me: It's kind of long, but there are three parts that I know go against "normal" practice. Here we go: I'd like intermittent monitoring.  How do you feel about that?
Dr. Brown:  If your labor stalls and you need pitocin, I think it's important that you are under continous fetal monitoring.
Me: Completely agree, but I'm not getting pitocin.  I'm going to labor at home as long as possible and I don't want any augmentation of labor.
Dr. Brown: Ok, well, in that case, I think it's fine as long as we agree that if the baby shows signs of distress during the intermittent monitoring, we need you on continuous monitoring. 
Me: Agreed.  Ok, I would prefer a saline lock instead of an IV. How do you feel about that?
Dr. Brown: That's fine, but I want the saline lock at least.  Can I ask why you don't want the IV?
Me: It's just really hard to relax and move freely when there's a needle in your hand and you're attached to a pole and have to drag it everywhere. 
Dr. Brown: Ok, makes sense.  But, the saline lock at least, ok?
Me: Ok.  And, here's the one I'm the most worried about: I'd like to be able to use the birth tub.  I have absolutely no desire to have a water birth, but I'd like to be able to use it for pain management during labor. How do you feel about that?
Dr. Brown: Yeah. The hospital has a room with a tub in it.  We can arrange that.  We may need to let L&D know ahead of time so they have it ready for you, but it shouldn't be a problem.
Me: Ok, I really don't want to have the baby in there, but I'd like to have the option to use it during contractions.
Dr. Brown: Yeah, I had a patient talk me into using the birth tub once to deliver and it was the first and last time.  It was a train wreck.  I knew it would be a train wreck when she started pushing, but by then it was too late.  
Me: I have no desire, so don't worry about that. Ok, that's pretty much it.  Would you like to look it over?
Dr. Brown: Yes, please.
(I hand him the birth plan)
Me: It's kind of long.
Dr. Brown: I wouldn't expect anything else from you. (Looks at Marvin and they both start laughing).
Me: Ok.... y'all.  It's not THAT funny.
(Dr. Brown composes himself and reads over the plan. Long pause of silence as he reads through the plan.)
Dr. Brown: Oh, I already know I'm going to fail this one.  
Me: What?!? Which one? 
Dr. Brown: Don't offer pain medicine, epidural.
Me: Why??
Dr. Brown: Because I just hate seeing people in pain!
Me: Ok, well, if you have to say it just whisper it or something.
Marvin: You're a DOCTOR who hates seeing people in pain?
(At this point I shoot Marvin a death stare that means "Did you hear him say YES to the tub? Shut it.")
Dr. Brown: I'll try to make a note so I remember, though.
(More reading...) 
Dr. Brown: Ok, I think everything in here is ok.  Let me just finish reading through it and there's something I want to touch on.
(At this point I start to sweat again.)
Dr. Brown: Ok, this cord pulsating cr....thing. 
Me: DR. BROWN! What were you going to say??
Dr. Brown (ignoring the slip of the tongue): Physiologically the placenta and cord.........(Dr. Brown goes into a medical explanation of how the cord and placenta work and why it worries him to wait on the clamping of the cord.  I'm aware that his school of thought is old school, but I let it slide. Did I mention that he ok'd the birth tub?)
Me (giddy like a school girl from the "yes" to the tub): Ok, we can edit that part out.  It doesn't matter. 
Dr. Brown: And, the part about the baby not going to the nursery.  I would think about that.  Depending on when you deliver, you will be tired.  It's a huge difference between intrauterine environment and extrauterine environment.  In the nursery, the baby will be monitored.  It may be better for the baby to be monitored than if you are both passed out in a dark room with no one watching the baby.  I know at home it'll be the same thing, but....
Me: I don't sleep. 
Marvin: She really doesn't.  She will feed the baby every two hours and do breathing checks every 10 seconds.  
Dr. Brown: Ok. Hahaha. I actually don't doubt that. Just a suggestion! 

Then he gave me the whole thing about "What REALLY matters is that you and the baby are safe".  And I smiled and said, "yes, but there's nothing in my birth plan that deters from that." He smiled, "I agree". 

Me: So, tell me the truth.... you hate when people bring birth plans, right?
Dr. Brown: No.
Me: C'mon... it won't hurt my feelings. You hate it?
Dr. Brown: I really don't! 

He totally hates it. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dane's Birth Plan

I have an appointment with Dr. Brown on Thursday.  I'll be 30 weeks.  Time has FLOWN by this pregnancy.  All props for a fly-by pregnancy go to Elaina.  (It's hard to have time drag when you're trying to keep up with a 2.5 year old!!) 

Below is the birth plan I'm going to present to him on Thursday.  I'm so nervous!  I didn't do a birth plan with Elaina.  Birth plans are what crazy pregnant people do and I didn't want to be perceived as weird or crazy.  Time has passed and I've grown up a little and I don't care who thinks I'm crazy.  So far, he's let me do whatever I wish.  I mean, how many doctors let you eat jelly beans for your glucose test?  I'm hoping he receives the birth plan openly.  I will update on how it goes! 

Diana Vallette                                                          Patient of Dr. James Brown, Women & Children’s Hospital

We are confident that we are in excellent hands and appreciate efforts in helping us bring our baby into this world in a gentle, natural manner.  We fully understand that certain emergencies and/or other medical circumstances may not allow for our birth preferences listed below. 


·        - No outside visitors during labor and delivery.

·        - I wish to labor in my own clothing.

·         -I would like intermittent fetal monitoring.

·         -I would like a saline/heparin lock if necessary.

·         -I would like the opportunity to move around, utilize my birth ball and utilize the shower/tub between intermittent monitoring. I would like to be free to walk/change positions as desired.

·         -I would like for the lights to be dim and for the room to be as quiet as possible during labor & delivery. I would really appreciate necessary conversation take place in between contractions.

·        - I would like to keep the vaginal exams to a minimum.

·        - I do not want to be offered an epidural or any sedatives/narcotics.

·        - I do not wish to have the amniotic membrane ruptured artificially.


·        - I would like to deliver in the position that I feel comfortable (not limited to lithotomy position.)

·        - Even if I am fully dilated, and assuming the baby is in no distress, I would like to wait until I feel the urge to begin the pushing phase.

·         -Perineal massage and warm compresses are welcomed: no episiotomy please.

·         -I would appreciate guidance on when to push and when to stop pushing.

·         -I would like a local anesthetic if I require stitching.


·        - I would like to have the baby placed on my chest (skin-to-skin) immediately after delivery.

·        - I would like to have the baby on my chest during any assessments/treatments if at all possible.

·        - I would like to wait until the cord stops pulsing before having my husband cut it.

·        - I would like to hold my baby and breastfeed while the placenta is delivered. I would like to avoid postpartum pitocin unless medically necessary (hemorrhage).

·         -I would like to delay the administration of erythromycin until after breastfeeding is established (a few hours). My records clearly indicate that I do not have gonorrhea. 

·        - I would like for the baby to receive Vitamin K shot.

·        - I do not want the baby to receive the Hep B vaccination.

·        - I do not want the baby to have any bottles, pacifiers or water (unless medically necessary).

·        - I would like to have my baby circumcised by Dr. Brown the day after delivery.

·        - The baby will remain with me (or I with him) at all times from the moment he is born until we are discharged from the hospital.  I would like the opportunity to have the pediatrician assess the baby in our room so that I may have the chance to speak with him/her. This is extremely important to me; I realize this may go against normal practice and I would really appreciate any and all support in this matter.

·        - I am experienced at breastfeeding, but would like to meet with a lactation consultant at her earliest convenience.