Now, I was ALL ABOUT natural births. I even started nursing to become a midwife. I read all about the Farm and Ina May. When B and I first started talking about having kids, I was all over a home birth. Or a water birth. Or at the VERY LEAST a birthing center birth.
It didn't happen that way.
So 5 pregnancies and 3 beautiful babies later, I have many a story to tell.
Many of them regarding super duper crazy techno interventions.
Here's one of our faves:
Our first pregnancy ended in miscarriage at 12 weeks. It was probably the most devastating single event of my life. We got through it, and 6 months later, I was pregnant again.
Now, let me just say, that during the 2 pregnancies that ended in miscarriage, I was never able to see a baby at the end. I'm not sure how to explain it, but even though I had the nausea, and peeing, and tender boobies, I couldn't see a baby. From the beginning of my 3 successful pregnancies, there was the same nausea and peeing and tender boobies, but also a baby in my mind's eye. Even before ultrasounds to confirm viability. Somehow I just knew when we were gonna end up with a perfect baby and when we were not. And I was right every time.
So, when I was pregnant with Jack, our midwife Georgia wanted to do everything possible to support a successful pregnancy. I think we held a special place in her heart from the beginning, and she just wanted to be the one to put a newborn in my arms.
At 18 weeks I had an ultrasound. It's a boy. The tech also thought she saw a "web" in my uterus. Web? There's no web. I'd had several ultrasounds with the miscarriage, and one at 9 weeks with Jack, and this was the first anyone was seeing a web. there's no web. Well, a "web" can significantly increase the chance of miscarriage, preterm contractions, and prematurity. there's no web. Georgia scheduled me for a 3D ultrasound, and home contraction monitoring. What? Are you fucking kidding me? So I have this modem thing hooked up to our phone, and every morning and every night I have to strap on a big fetal/uterine monitoring contraption and lie in bed on my left side for half an hour. And not move. Because the stupid contraption cannot differentiate between mama moving and mama having a contraction. So I have to do this to monitor for contractions I know I'm not gonna have due to the web that I know is not in my uterus.
I hated this thing. But I did it. Twice a day for 30 minutes. Every morning I'd send the info through the modem and within minutes a nurse would read the strip and call. And every few days they'd get in a tizzy because the stupid contraption was registering contractions.
Michelle, how are you feeling?
Are you having any cramping or spotting?
Are you drinking enough water?
Because it looks like you had several contractions.
Are you fucking kidding me??? I am NOT having contractions. I am fine. This baby is fine. My uterus is fine. There is no web.
Which, of course, is what the fancy 3D ultrasound showed at 21 weeks. No web. Perfect pregnancy. Perfect boy baby named Jack Wyatt
Whew... thank god no web, no more stupid contraption. Except that Georgia really wants me to continue the home monitoring because even though there's no web in my uterus, I've apparently been having contractions. I'm not having contractions. I now qualify as a high risk pregnancy. are you kidding me? She also would prefer if I stopped working and remained on bed rest.
No. fucking. way.
The whole thing made B really nervous. Even though he completely trusted me, he also was scared at the thought of something going wrong.
So, to make Georgia and B happy, I agree to continue the stupid contraption, but refuse to stop working. 24, 30, 34 weeks. I think I annoyed the hell out of those nurses who read the damn strips and kept insisting I was having contractions. Well, they annoyed the hell out of me, too. I'm not having contractions.
Georgia had promised that at 36 weeks, I could stop. I think she really believed I was gonna have a premature delivery. I remember July 4th weekend marked 36 weeks. I had an appointment a few days later, but I was DONE DONE DONE with the monitoring, the questions, and the nurses treating me like I was a naughty child because dammit they knew I was having contractions. Cause that's what the stupid machine was saying.
Well, I must have been in some crazy pregnant hormonal blitz that weekend, because I was just besides myself at the thought of strapping that monitor on one more time. B said chica, just don't do it. But those damn nurses will yell at me, and reprimand me, and think I'm a bad mommy.
Now, if there was ever something in B's power to make me happy, or alleviate my discomfort, or get me to stop crying, he would do it. Like taking me to McDonald's for french fries. So that July 4th, as I'm crying over my french fries he says
I'll wear it
Chica, I'll wear it, OK? Then you'll have a strip to send in, and they won't yell at you. OK?
So. After his super sized double quarter pounder with cheese meal, we lengthened the stupid contraption belt and strapped it on B. He even laid down on his left side for the required 30 minutes. Just so I would feel better.
The next morning, I sent in the strip. After talking with the nurses, I went to check on B.
B? How are you feeling?
Are you having any cramping or spotting?
Chica, what are you talking about?
You had 4 really strong contractions last night.
That was the last time I used the stupid home monitoring contraption.
And we never did tell Georgia.