Vallette Family

Vallette Family

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.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hippie Mom

I've joked before that "if you're not at least 50% more of a hippie after becoming a mom, you're doing it wrong."  I was joking (kind of?) cause who am I to say that YOU are mothering wrongly?  I mean, me and my husband  critically analyze everyone's parenting style like the parenting professionals we are not.  We've probably talked about your parenting style behind your back.  It's a testament to how cool and fun our lives are "did you see how x handled that situation?".  We're definitely judgey parents, but we're judgey in secret (only with one another).  So, that makes us not annoying, right?

Marvin and I are more hippie than we were before children.  I guess?  We weren't real hippie (at all) to begin with, so it was an "improvement".  For all the non-parents wondering what in the heck I mean by "more hippie", I guess I just mean going against the norm.  Actually taking the time to research things like vaccines or cloth diapers or breastfeeding or the chemicals in every-flipping-thing.  Being a conscious parent (aka not just doing what "they" --the professionals-- tell you to do). Striving to give your child a natural, healthy start.  As an example, I mean those people who grew up being all "spare the rod, spoil the child" and, after having children themselves, are all "spanking is unnecessary" and they research gentler methods of discipline.  (Please don't think this is an attack on spanking;  I just used spanking as an example.  I'm not looking to debate discipline styles.  Do what works for you!)  Basically the test is: if your family doesn't think you're at least a LITTLE weird as a mother then you're probably not hippie-ish. If your family hasn't felt the need to have an intervention about how you're teaching your 2 month old to cry by picking them up or holding them all the time, then you're probably not weird like me.  And, that's ok!  I mean, Marvin and I will talk about you behind your back, but our lives are boring and that's all we've got.

In the spirit of weirdness, Marvin and I are taking a birthing class.  Which is weird  because we've already been through birthing once.  But, I want to do it naturally this time.  I want to trust my body to produce a baby.  The first go round I was SO nervous about all the what ifs that I mostly just listened to what my (wonderful) OB said.  I grew up with a Dad who would anonymously talk about his cases.  Knowing what an ectopic pregnancy is at age 10 is not normal practice, I don't think?  Anyway, couple that with parents who had a child born with a neural tube defect and you end up with an over-educated and scared little momma-to-be.

So, we're taking a Bradley Method class.  We're hoping it'll give us some tools to use during labor.  We're on class 3 (of 12) now and it's already been really beneficial.  Who knows, maybe Marvin won't be forced to fake sleep through this labor. Ha!  

Anyway, it's weird how labor and delivery is handled, right?  I don't know if it's just in Louisiana or what, but it's really started to annoy me.  I'm not judgey about birth (not even in private to my husband), handle your birth however in the heck you want!  But, I don't get why the natural approach is received with so much hesitation (if received at all).  I mean, I KIND OF get it.  I saw the malpractice stresses on my Dad and how they affected his life.  The fear of being sued pushes doctors to try to manipulate the experience.  I guess they think if they just cut you open and take the baby out, they can control how things go and reduce the likelihood of getting sued?  Doctors kind of have to handle care from a fear standpoint.  My Dad used to say his job was the best job in the world, he got to help bring life into the world.  But then, you have people suing you left and right and you are now fearful of your patients.  You basically handle their care covering your butt the whole time.  I mean, I get it!  Doctors have families and this is their job.  Who wants to go to work every day scared that someone will sue them?  It's not fun, I imagine. 

My doctor thinks I'm weird.  I mean, he has never told me that he thinks I'm crazy, but I know he does.  Some of the questions I ask him throw him for a loop, and that has to say a lot when he does this everyday and has, like, a billion patients.  I'm not scared to ask this man anything.  I mean, I took my glucose tolerance test with jelly beans (instead of the drink most people take).  He probably has a golden star on my chart that means "difficult patient".  I imagine most of his patients let him call the shots, and that's just not my style.  I am a questioner.  He doesn't have some super human quality because he is a medical professional.  To me, he is a man that is helping me along.  He isn't all knowing and he isn't always right.  I value his opinion, of course, or I wouldn't be seeing him.  My arrogance (I realize that it's arrogant; I just don't care) doesn't extend to every profession.  If I bring my car into a shop and they tell me the transmission is ruined, I'll just blindly believe them.  I don't know anything about cars.  If I go to see a lawyer and they tell me that I don't have a case, I'll just blindly believe them.  I don't know anything about law.  But, I know my stuff when it comes to medicine.  I'm not saying I'm all knowing about medicine.  That would be silly.  I have a degree in Journalism.  But, you know what?  I have a good amount of faith in myself when it comes to medical issues.  And I don't have a problem going against protocol or asking questions that rock the boat.  I mean, this is mine and my family's health we are talking about here.  I need to take responsibility in it.

Anyway, at my next appointment I'm going to throw all my labor wishes (which go against protocol) on my OB.  I'm hoping he'll receive them openly. I'll give details of my weird labor wishes and how he received them on my next post. He's taken everything else I've thrown at him in stride.  I know that most of his patients are "ok with planning things" (his words).  And, so, I know that I'm his pain in the butt patient.  I'm ok with that.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Trimester Breakdown

I've entered the third trimester.  Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters.  All the different sources don't agree EXACTLY on when each trimester stops and the next begins, but I consider the first trimester up until 12 weeks, the second from 13-27 and the third everything after that!  It doesn't really matter when "they" say each one stops and starts, you'll know even if you're not keeping track. How will you know?

This is a break down of how the trimesters go:

The First Trimester: You find out you're pregnant.  Oh my God, I cannot believe I'm really pregnant.  Wait, am I really pregnant?  Let me take 27 pregnancy tests just to make sure and then confirm with a blood test just to make DOUBLE sure.  You walk around wondering if people are looking at you because they just "know" some secret way.  Your boobs are so sensitive you don't even know what to do with yourself.  (This begins the process of the looooong "hands off my boobs" stage with your husband.)  Anything (and I mean ANYTHING) makes you nauseated.  You live your life nauseated with achy boobs.  You're bloated and EX-HAUS-TED.  You spend every waking moment wondering if the baby is ok in there.  You wish you had a way to know for sure.  Every time you go to the bathroom to pee you examine the toilet paper just to make absolute sure there is no trace of blood on it.  You complain constantly about feeling crummy and then if you have any moments that you do NOT feel crummy, you wonder if it means something is wrong with the baby.

The Second Trimester: Your risk of miscarriage has gone significantly down and you're not AS crazy.  You probably aren't nauseated anymore (some people still are-- bless their hearts).  Your boobs don't hurt and the bloat is starting to get better.  You have energy!! You are feeling good!  People that you don't know at Wal Mart can tell you're pregnant.  Pregnancy isn't so bad.  You find out if the baby is a boy or girl and have your "The DUN DUN DUN Anatomy Scan".  You are loving pregnancy and cannot wait to meet your bundle of joy.  Life is good.  What do all those people complain about?  

The Third Trimester:  You hate life.  Pregnancy sucks.  You are HUGE.  You literally pee about 35 times a day.  Your bladder is never empty.  Your acne is OUT-OF-CONTROL at this point.  Your back hurts and your feet and hands are swollen.  You are tired again, but it's impossible to get comfortable.  You need approximately 14 pillows to get comfortable.  You don't have 14 pillows.  Your husband is all "LOL, get over yourself dramatic!". Your boobs are hurting again, and they are HUGE.  Not cute huge.  It's not "awesome" (no matter what your stupid husband says) it's disgusting. They hang on your belly.  You feel like you are in a fat suit.  You have to do the pregnancy waddle now.  You itch for absolutely no reason.  You google it.  "Pregnancy and itching" and all kind of crazy stuff comes up and all of a sudden you think you have a disease, but, nope you're just itching for NO REASON.  They don't talk about THAT in the pregnancy book. Stupid damn book.  People at Wal Mart (that you've never met before in your freaking liiiiiife) ask you questions.  They guess the sex of your baby.  They comment on how big or small you are or what you look like or whatever comes to their mind at the time.  They have no filter.  They are RUDE.  You hate everyone.  (Side note: if people are constantly guessing that you're having a boy, you're golden!! You're cute! You don't FEEL cute, but you are!  Now, if people are constantly guessing girl, punch them in their throat cause they're calling you fat.  Stupid old wives tales.)  Absolutely nothing fits.  Even the stuff that was really big that you thought you'd be able to wear the entire time.  You tell your husband and he's all "Well you only have about 2 months left do you really need to buy clothes? I mean isn't that kind of pointless?". Good times.  When you reach about 35 weeks everyone and their mom will text you and be all "anything yet?" and you will hate them.  You feel like the baby will never come out.  You are SO DONE.

Then you have the baby and it's the most gorgeous thing you've ever seen and you decide to do it all over again one day.  Why?  Because you only remember the second trimester.  God was looking out for human kind!  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


"They" say marriage is hard.  I don't think it's MARRIAGE that's hard (if you're married to the right person).  Like, not the union itself.  I think the hard part is handling LIFE together.  Life is all the stuff that happens while you're married.  It's tough.  Life is full of money struggles, finding a house, getting pregnant, pregnancy, raising your children, dealing with your families, losing and changing jobs, death and all kind of crazy curveballs that you didn't even see coming.  Getting through THAT is the hard part, I think?  People handle things differently and when you have a life partner you have to trudge through all that hard stuff together. 

I mean, I don't claim to be an expert on marriage!  I've only been married for two years.  So, if I have a PhD in pregnancy, then I am still in the preschool of marriage.  But.....after I became an adult and saw what most people call "marriage" it scared me!!  

I honestly think it was luck (or God--whatever you want to call it) that brought me to marry Marvin.  It wasn't a conscious decision.  Sometimes I think back about the guys who came before him and shudder at the thought of being stuck with any of those guys for FOREVER.  I didn't know my self worth and I put myself through some pretty crazy relationships. (My mom still talks about how hard it was for her to watch me go through that.)

When I first met Marvin, it's not like the stars aligned and Jesus spoke to me and was all "here unto ye I've brought this dude to marry".  It wasn't anything like that actually. We went on our first date, and it was fun.  It was the best first date either of us had, but it wasn't magical or romantic.  It was full of sarcasm and laughing.  It was  We dated for about 8 months before Marvin even realized we were dating.  Ha.  That boy put the "play" in the word "player".  It took him a while to catch his head.  I think the real switch happened when he fell in love with me.  (I know that sounds ridiculously cheesy, but it's true.)  That's when things changed and he put his "wild oats" in his past.  

I'm not writing this blog post to talk about how wonderful Marvin is (even though he REALLY is darn awesome).  I just want to put a little PSA out there to all the women who aren't yet married.  I don't want you to settle.  I want you to wait for your "Marvin".

I met, dated and got married to Marvin by accident.  No, really.  It just happened.  It wasn't like I was like "Oh my....this one is a KEEPER!! Let me make sure I hold on to him."  We just progressed through life events naturally and here we are happily married with a two and a half year-old and we're 3 months away from welcoming our second little.  

So, if I just "accidentally" married Marvin..... think about how SCARY it would've been if I just accidentally married some other guy.  I think that's what happens with some people.  They just progress through life and marry someone and then BAM you're married and you probably shouldn't be? Do you know what I mean?

So, I guess I'm trying to help you NOT accidentally marry someone?  Or, at least, not accidentally marry someone sucky.  

How do you not marry someone sucky?  Don't date the sucky people.  Don't waste your time.  At the very least, it'll mess up who you are and then you'll carry all kind of baggage into your healthy relationship and just cause problems where there aren't any.  

Relationships shouldn't be full of anxiety.  This is one of the things I remember the most from my past "relationships".  I dated this one guy who was crazy controlling.  Now, at the time I didn't realize he was controlling!  But, I would get anxiety if I didn't have my phone with me or couldn't answer because it would undoubtedly cause a fight about how I didn't answer and what was I doing and blah blah blah.  I would get a sinking pit-in-my-stomach feeling if I looked at my phone and saw a missed call from him.  Then, when I met Marvin, all it took was him saying "Hey! Tried calling you!" and I was thrown back into that anxiety and I'd go insane on him.  It brought me back to that anxious place.  That was me bring my baggage into the relationship.  

You should be 100% yourself.  I mean the REAL you.  I mean, you shouldn't have to hold anything back.  You shouldn't have to watch what you say.  You should be able to be your real, authentic, mole-y self with this person.  If you feel like you have to put on a show or hide certain aspects of yourself, that's not good.  I should've known Marvin was the *right* guy when I was finally able to use the bathroom while he was in the house.  I'm kidding.....kind of, but you get the point.

Your family and friends shouldn't hate him.  If your parents and friends don't like him (or your relationship together) something is probably wrong.  I mean, sometimes you just have a crappy judge-y family, but if you have a good family and they don't like your guy or how he treats you, this is probably a good sign that he isn't necessarily right for you.  If you find yourself holding back on telling them the "rough" patches of your relationship because they're going to roll their eyes and be all "agaaaaain?" then something is probably wrong. 

There are some things that should make you run immediately: a guy who punches holes in your wall, a guy who has ever called you an ugly name in anger, a guy who constantly accuses you of being unfaithful (if you're trustworthy).  

Do you know how short life is?  Life is WAY too short to fight with someone 24/7.  It's too short to spend EVERY SINGLE DAY with someone you don't like.  Life is hard enough without marrying someone crappy!  Please, don't do this to yourself.

Remember how I said I accidentally married Marvin?  Well, it's true.  But you know what?  I never once wondered if I was making the right decision.  I never once wondered if he was right for me.  I never once wondered if I was going to regret my decision.  Most importantly: I never once wondered if there was better out there.  Never. 

I say this all the freaking time and I know that some people roll their eyes at it, but it's really 100% true:  You know how you imagine what your life will be like, what that guy will be like, what your life together will be like?  My imagination didn't even come CLOSE to Marvin.  I imagined the knight in shining armor on the white horse.  I imagined the stuff the love stories are made of.  I imagined all the stuff that you probably imagine, and you know what?  Marvin BLEW THAT GUY OUT OF THE WATER.  That guy doesn't even come close to Marvin.  I didn't even know how good it could be.  Marvin isn't perfect.  (No matter what his mom says!!)  He is a human being and he has flaws, but you know what?  He is perfect for me.

Don't settle.  If you trust in yourself and your self worth, you could end up with a guy who exceeds your expectations.  You could end up with the guy that you didn't even know existed.

Pictures I love:

                   Marvin and my grandmother dancing at our wedding.  

                  Exchanging vows as I adjust Marvin's tie.  Typical.

                                   Us at a friend's wedding.

                                                     And, another friend's wedding.

                            He dances SO much better than I do. 

Me (calm and collected) making a speech at our rehearsal dinner.  Marvin (standing there silent) and about to pass out he is so nervous.

        Happy Anniversary to the best father I've ever met.  I love you always.