Sunday, March 25, 2012

New Form of torture

Sorry for the lack of posts. I have one more week of work, and I promise to write more. 

I do want to update you on our all-day intensive childbirth class yesterday. Yes, this was the new form of torture I was referring to. 

There were 18 couples in the class, run by the local hospital where we'll be delivering our baby (!). There were two women running the course, one was a nurse/midwife/doula, who I'll call DD (for Dour Doula) covered the  "coping" with pain part (in the morning) and the other a labor/delivery nurse, Candy, who covered when to go to the hospital, what to bring, what to expect, interventions.

DD had each couple introduce ourselves, have the moms say something about our pregnancy, and have the partners say something they fear or want addressed. Of the 18 couples, we were clearly the oldest, and the only Infertiles. I was very proud of Mr. Jem because he spoke first and told the whole room how excited he was because of all the fertility treatments we've been through and how hard we have worked to get here.

The torture? The class was torture in that Mr. Jem was tired and nearly fell asleep at multiple times (which pissed me off). It was difficult at an emotional level for me. I cried at least 4 times during the day. 

Once during my introduction (pitiful, as I'm a trainer and regularly speak in front of groups), another time watching the video that showed childbirth, another time during the "coping" section, with Mr. Jem and I doing the breathing exercises. Another time when DD kept saying, "your bodies were made for this" (yeah, right, bitch! Tell that to all the IFers out there!!!) and "you can endure anything for 60 seconds (the length of a contraction). Doesn't she realize that childbirth isn't just the culmination of 40 weeks of gestation? For some of us, it's WAAAAY more that that. It's years of heartbreak, injections, hope, dashed hope, hyperstimulated ovaries and emotions. It's tears, violent thoughts, lack of empathy, lost work, lost illusions. It's almost losing your marriage, your sanity, your sense of self. And you expect me to "just breath through the pain?" Are you fucking kidding me?

The conclusion. I think I really need a doula to help out with childbirth. I don't care if it will cost over $1,200. I need the emotional support. I need someone else to be telling Mr. Jem what to do, someone else to advocate for me. I'm open to having an epidural.

So, I have one more week of work, and then I plan on catching up on my sleep and exercise (walking and yoga). I will find a doula, start researching childcare in earnest. And I'll put my poor, swollen, aching feet up. Dammit.

I hope you all have a great week. I'll write more when this week is over.

~Jem

13 comments:

Mo and Will said...

hearing "your body was made for this" would have sent me over the edge too. i'm sorry it was such a tough day. i think the idea of getting a doula is a great one - should we ever get that far, i definitely plan on having one. Will was completely on board once i explained that it meant that he could take a break to eat something or catch some zzzzs. no doula and he's on the whole time. he said yes for the doula immediately : )

mo

Mrs. Misfits said...

You are brave and strong to just get through that ordeal. Doula sounds like a fabulous plan. You need someone cogent on your side. Whatever it costs you will emerge a more sane Jem.

I hoped that you would have had one kindred spirit in that group, too. Feet up in one week. Not long at all!

Mrs. Gamgee said...

Only one more week... you can do it.

I didn't have a doula, but I did have my mom... and I was extremely explicit with her before Ginny was born about what I wanted (including that I did NOT want the baby to have a pacifier). It was invaluable having someone else there who was all about speaking for me. My Beloved was great, but distracted in the extreme.

Try not to overdo this week!

Lulu said...

Our childbirth class is broken up into four evening sessions, each 3 hours long. I will drop out and not come back if it turns out to be like this!

Christa said...

I don't suppose you want childcare in San Mateo/Foster City? I love my daycare. Happy to pass on the info if you are interested.

Jem said...

Christa: I love in Walnut Creek and work downtown SF, but thank you! Back in the day I lived in San Mateo on the FC border. Like being so close to the airport.

Any tips of finding good child care would be appreciated, tho!

Jem said...

Ooops. I meant to write, "I live in Walnut Creek" - Freudian slip!!

Melissa G said...

I think it's a really good idea to have another person there to support you and the Mr.

We had my bff who's had three babies, and it was awesome to have the extra set of hands. Plus she was great about taking pictures in the early moments after the baby came.

Poppet said...

You will be fine. If a Doula will make you feel better, get one, but I'd save my pennies and just get through the birth. Have your Aunt there as your advocate and be done with it. So much of the actual birth is up to fate - you may like or not like the main nurse, and that relationship is more important than your OB or midwife because as in many "procedures" nurses do lots of the "heavy lifting" (which in this case includes YOUR LEGS!). You may love the doula when you meet her in an office, but when you are in the nitty-gritty you may find you don't like her style.

Also - the comment "your body was made for this" was probably talking about the fact that just as your hips have made room for the baby, so will your cervix. Every woman in the room was (unless perhaps they've done this several times before - and temporary amnesia has taken over) just as nervous as you are. If they've done it before, maybe even more so because maybe their first experience wasn't perfect.

You're moving into a new realm. Once your child will be in childcare your story will be one of many different kinds of stories of how we are caring for a child: "regular - mom married to dad, did it, got knocked up..." IF, adoption, fostering, grandparents raising kids, "his kids, her kids, our kid", single parents by choice, gay parents using surrogates or other arrangements, etc. etc. etc.

Finally - don't worry about childcare just yet. The trick with childcare is figuring out 1) budget vs. reality 2) the places you like may have space now, but not when you need them in 6 months. My best advice for you on childcare is VERY SIMPLE and has been my philosophy since C was a baby:

If you feel like you could hang there all day long, your kid will be OK there. If you would "love to hang there" all day long, bonus! If you can't see yourself hanging there for more than a little while, then it isn't a good placement for your child. If you get the weebie-geebies after a 5 minute look-through.... run! :-)

Yes, of course you can ask around, but in the end it is YOUR gut that will guide you best. I will give one piece of advice: when you are looking for preschools, go to the playground closest to your elementary school and ask the parents there for an opinion... remember you may not agree with them and your gut will guide you then.

Rebecca said...

I could definitely see how that would be torture! And, to do it all at once!

I think the doula sounds like a great support system to have around.

And, YAY for only a week left of work!!

Kayla said...

I would've probably had to bite my tongue until it bled if I heard her constantly repeating "your body was made for this"

Hell nooo. Clearly she hasn't been through hell trying to get a baby in her womb, stay there for 40 weeks and then deliver without chaos!

a miracle 4 us said...

'made for it'....hmmmmm she obviously doesn't know or realize the struggles people go through to get into her class!
Do whatever you have to do to help you through birth...it's definitely not easy!!

Kristen {www.buckupbuttercup.net} said...

I can totally understand you being pissed off about what that woman was saying. And I think it's great you are hiring a doula...sounds like it will take a lot of the potential stress away, which is wonderful.
Congrats on being done with work!!!! :)