We had a great midwife appointment last Thursday.  My weight gain is steady at 10 lbs as I enter week 26, BP still low, fetal heartrate rock steady.  I was prepared for the glucose test to be horrendous, as I have had the 3-hour test before and I assumed the one-hour test would be as bad.  But it was a breeze… I was told to eat a protein-rich breakfast, drink the sugary stuff and show up.  I figured there would be multiple blood draws and urine tests but it was just one blood draw and done.  While waiting for the blood draw and the hemoglobin check I had fun perusing the huge wall of baby pics, Christmas cards and announcements.  My husband and I are stuck for a name but these types of displays are no help, since we abhor 1) overused names and 2) newfangled names, and that is of course all we can see.  Instead of being inspired we find ourselves chortling or stiffening in horror at photos like one labeled "The X-Men," featuring three boys and their unrepentant parents, said boys labeled "Rex", "Jax" and "Dex." 

Who does that?

Anyway, I was feeling moderately nauseated that morning but the sugary stuff went down just fine.  I thought I'd feel horrible afterwards, hungry & shaky etc., but felt "normal" which for me was just, still, moderately  nauseated and tired, but not so much that we couldn't go to Baby Megastore and start our registry. 

I'm thinking, now, that maybe that's a bad sign if the glucose test didn't make me feel bad when it was over.  But I'm trying to stay positive and I'm visualizing my pancreas as a muscly little tough guy superhero, letting all that glucose just bounce off his tiny yet inflated chest.

Staying positive is a new thing and I like it.  For so long I tended to inoculate myself with the what-if, just in case I was taking a good result for granted.  HA.  I carry the "what-if" gene, for goshsakes.  I do not need more "what-if."  I'm trying to catch myself in those "what-if" thoughts and I'm noticing that they ring in my head in the stern voice of some parental figure.  "There may not be a baby, even after all this," says one.  "I just don't want you to get your hopes up."

Ugh.  Isn't that horrible?  Aren't there some things for which we should "get our hopes up?" 

I need a lot of help in this staying-positive area, and I am getting it from Hypnobabies.  Hypnobabies is the self-hypnosis home study course we're taking to help with our unmedicated birth.  The main point of Hypnobabies and other hypnosis strategies is that childbirth doesn't have to hurt. 

If that statement makes you giggle, watch this old Dateline story about some hypnosis births.  I'll wait.

(Edited to add): Check out another article about hypnosis in today's NY Times.

Obviously the first step in trying to learn self-hypnosis is a whole lot of brainwashing about the no-pain part, and the home study course has lots of CDs and techniques to help me do that.  One is a series of "pregnancy affirmations" like "my baby is healthy and strong inside me now," and "I am imagining everything going right" and boy do I need that.

Yes, it's brainwashing, and why not?  How many times have we been brainwashed the other way?  How many births have we seen on TV and in movies where there is yelling, agony, needles, doctors, and the woman is flat on her back looking helpless?

Sorry.  I was yelling.  Deep breath:

Self-hypnosis home study is great.  I'm instructed to get comfy, relax and listen to a half hour recording of someone who has a masters' degree in soothing, telling me how wonderful my birth is going to be.  If I fall asleep during these recordings, which I often do, that's fine: "my inner mind is always listening."

And, you know what?  It is.  I am really getting used to the idea of everything going right, which is why I'm scoffing at the idea of my glucose test coming back with anything but an A at the top.  It's probably helping me re-frame never-ending nausea as a gift from God, since it is helping me not to pig out.  And it is helping me with the fibroid.

The fibroid, yes.  It's one of my old friends, the monkey on my uterus' back.  It has been considerate enough not to grow through the wall of my uterus, but it's been there for years and some doctors think it caused problems in conceiving for me, and some doctors think it's just furniture.

When I had my one and only OB visit, because I haaaad to have an ultrasound before we got to TN and got in the granola groove with the midwives, the fibroid came up.  The doc said it could be a complication if it grew in such a way as to get in the way of the dilating cervix.  We'll have to watch it, he said.

So the seed was planted.  My husband and I had many conversations about how we could strive for the natural birth but we mustn't be disappointed if this fibroid thing derailed it.  It's out of our hands, we said.

Which it certainly is.  But…

After re-viewing "The Business of Being Born," I thought again about the OB perspective, which is surgical.  I certainly think a lot of other things that OBs and doctors suggest, to minimize risk, are unnecessary or alarmist. 

I remember when I showed my dermatologist a big lumpy cyst thing on my back, and he offered to "take care of it" surgically right there in his office.  I said "will it cause me any problems if I just leave it?"  I'm not exactly a back model or anything.  The doc said no, except that "it might rupture."  Hmmm, wouldn't that be what we wanted?  And isn't a "cyst" just a big old zit with an attitude, anyway?

So I asked Dr. Google about fibroids crowding cervixes (cervices?) and it seems to be exceedingly rare.  I thought more about the mighty engine that is a woman's body.  If the uterus is so tough that a kicking, wiggling 8-pound baby can't punch through it (despite his best efforts), if the cervix (which is part of that tough miracle of musculature) expands to many times its original diameter to help push the baby out, if my very bones soften and move to let the baby out, do I really think a 6 centimeter fibroid is going to be in the way?  Right now the baby is squeezing far more crucial things like bladder, stomach, and heaven knows what else, out of his way.  I think he is wearing my diaphragm like a cowboy hat.

I understand that things can go wrong but I also know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and I'm going to trust that.

I asked the midwife and she said, yes, it didn't sound likely.  I said "Maybe the cervix will just push it out of the way," and she said, "Yes.  I want you to visualize that happening."

And, of course, we will get some extra ultrasounds just to be sure. 

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