Tuesday, February 19, 2008

too much to say

the past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. we've traveled, had house guests, re-organized two rooms of our house, moved furniture and put new stuff together, cleaned and cleaned. is this nesting? the doula teaching our birth classes says it's not really nesting until the last couple of weeks, but it sure FEELS like nesting. over the course of this week, i will be writing some catch up posts, but right now, i just have some things on my mind i want to get down before they slip away. you guys understand...

friday was something of a mental milestone to me--30 weeks. 10 weeks to go. the baby is suddenly bigger and heavier and a stronger presense in my mind (and my lower back). maybe it's the birthing and baby care classes we have started, but i am thinking more and more about the birth that's coming--trying to prepare. maybe it's just because he's growing so quickly right now that i can see a time when he will no longer fit in his snug little hobbit hole. he's going to have to get out, and i am trying to figure out how that's all going to work. i was always like this: birth plan? i don't need no stinkin' birth plan! but after learning more about it, i think maybe i do. not something set in stone, but some list of what i hope for. i hope to have him naturally. i hope i don't need an epidural. i hope i can do it without drugs. i hope it goes well and that he gets from the inside to the outside without much intervention. i hope when he is born, they will lay him on my chest instead of taking him away. i hope i can breastfeed. i have learned that all these things are actually possible--if all goes well. but i have seen birth--i have seen it from two different sides, and i know many mnay stories of many other births as well. i know--i KNOW--that some flexibility is required. i know i can't get wedded to these ideas of what i hope for. i know they are just that--hopes--and that everything can change on the turn of a dime. and in the end, i just want a healthy baby and a healthy me. no amount of preparation is going to make it not scary. thank god for the hippie. thank god for his support and his love through this.

the sweet junipers have had their baby, and he is beautiful. and jim's writing about it is so poignant and beautiful that i can't read it without crying. i went today and i read the whole story of juniper's birth, their beautiful little daughter, and it was just amazing. her birth was natural and not easy, but it was also awesome and overwhelming. i am so grateful to them both for writing it out in such detail and leaving so little out. it's comforting to me on a level i can't explain. it's worth reading and as educational as any book i have seen. i hope i am able to record our story in this kind of detail. i feel like i am mentally retreating a little bit--maybe gearing up in some way. i am trying not to do that. it's hard for me right now to think or write about much else. i am keeping a paper journal now for the first time in years. i am keeping it as much for the baby as for myself, something i wish my mother had done.

i hope i am a good mother. i hope we are good parents. i hope we are a good family. the fear is almost overwhelming. so is the anticipation. i can't wait to meet him.


Anonymous said...

You are going to be a great mom and the hippie will be a fab daddy and all is going to be fine. Don't worry, don't stress. Everything will be just dandy.

Love, Flaurella - who cannot even remember wher password to sign in...

Allegra said...

keep all your wishes and thoughts in tact. make them a mantra of sorts. remember to be flexible and really, no amount of preparing will prepare you for your experience. but do what you need to do to stay positive and strong.
i remember the few weeks before i had my babe looking forward to having my own "birthing story", and then bam! i had one. pretty exciting, and really, no matter how it goes, you get a little baby at the end of it all! amazing!

KaKi said...

You will be a great momma!! The best advice I received and can give is this. Enjoy these last weeks and days with him inside you. Just take time every day to talk to him and have time, just the two of you. It is the only time in his life where you won't have to share him!!!

Anne Lindenfeld said...

I will chime in and also say that you will be a great mom -- not just because you already cherish this baby and are darn smart, but because you have the good sense to be scared and worried. Being a mom is the best thing I have ever done (and continue to do), and it is also a constant learning curve. I wish I had made peace with that earlier on, like you seem to be doing already.

As for the birth plan, and I know I will probably get crap for saying this, don't bother. One of my best friends is a neonatal nurse practitioner and she says the nurses literally groan when a mom comes in talking about a birth plan. So much pressure is put on moms to have this perfect delivery, like this is some kind of standard to meet. The truth is that you can't control any of it. Fortunately, medical science has pretty much eliminated the risks associated with birth significantly. The goal is a healthy baby -- it doesn't really matter how that happens, does it?

Natural child birth, drugs or no drugs, even breastfeeding are really all just options. (And none of them have been proven to conclusively improve any outcomes in grown children). Holding the baby a lot, giving healthy stimulation, good nutrition, and maintaining a calm and stress free pregancy, however, have all been shown to directly improve the outcomes for babies.

Now that my son is 11 and my foster son is 26, I often look back and wish that the focus during pregancy in our society was on teaching moms and dads about early infant care and early childhood development. Thats' where I could have used some real info.

So, long winded as I am, this is just to say that you are already doing everything right. Put your feet up, get your camera ready, and relax. That's really all you have to do from here on out.

Best wishes to you and the hippie!

jackie said...

i really appreciate all these good thoughts. anne, i am not going to give you crap for talking about birth plans--i have long felt the same way as you do. even now, i am conflicted about the words, "birth plan". i would rather call it birth HOPES or something. mostly i want to write down what i hope will happen for ME, not for the medical staff. i know how totally unpredicatable the whole thing is, but i guess i have come to think of having a bulleted list of what i hope for as a way of psyching myself out. in a best case scenario, i would like a natural birth because the recovery will be easier and because the thought of a needle in my spine scares the crap out of me. and i want that baby on my skin as soon as possible after he's born for bonding purposes. that said--i understand full well that these things may or may not be possible. there are a thousand and one reasons that my hopes may not be the way this goes down. i know i have to be flexible. i do think it's important that they know what your best case scenario is, in case you CAN have it. and i definitely think it's important for the hippie to know, so that he can do his best to help make it happen. but in the end--my real birth plan is this: get the baby from the inside to the outside without damaging anyone. it'll happen how it happens. :)

Anonymous said...

i can't believe it's getting so close - however Kieran's delivery goes, it will be a wonderful story because it will be yours and jason's. mine were each completely different and in no way were either a norman rockwell moment; but i can't wait to tell our kids how wonderful it was when they were born. with caroline, we planned a natural (induced) birth and ended up with a c-section. scott had to fly up from nc to be with us and was back to work in 36 hours. so, i left the hospital with baby and no daddy. with the twins, they whisked them off to NICU and we barely got to hold them. and, we left the hospital with daddy and no babies. flexibility was really the key for us, and since we've had our little ones, our goal is to make sure they feel safe and secure each night - whether it was in the hospital nursery, the NICU or at home here with us. you and jason will be great parents and you will make kieran feel warm, loved and happy. you know, in thinking about it, they should prescribe the drugs AFTER you get home when you have no sleep, no food and you're losing your mind!!! :) can't wait to hear how the weekend was - kimmie

Kristin said...

I think your Birth Hopes will suffice as the (key music: da da da!) Birth Plan. I think they are ideas that will keep you focused. I DID NOT want the epidural....I am HORRIFIED by needles. Having that ingrained in my mind kept me focused on getting through. I also knew in my mind that I was flexible enough to change my mind if needed. The goal is to get everyone through the event in the healthiest way possible. With Bailey, I really didn't want the IV, but the hospital folks talked me into it saying it was better to have it in place "in case"....it was already done if it was needed. I caved. In the long run, it was best. I was able to do it naturally, but afterwards accepted some pain meds (breastfeeding friendly ones), fluids, and pitocin (yes, the pitocin is sometimes administered afterwards to help shrink the uterus...had it after both, but longer after Dylan as my uterus didn't quite want to cooperate). With Dylan I also had to have the IV due to the group B strep thing.

You are both going to be awesome parents! It's not always going to go perfectly...you will have moments where you do something or say something and think, "Oh, yeah, that's the one that will be hashed out on the therapist's couch." Life is not flawless....we all just do the best we can to make the best decisions....I personally second-guess myself constantly. I console myself by thinking, "That's what good parenting is...thinking and rethinking, reflecting and revamping." You two will parent with your hearts and your heads and do an incredible job! I won't say, "Don't worry!" because you will. Instead, "Sit back and lavish the ride....it's the best one I've ever been on." <3 U!