Sunday, January 25, 2009

Labor and Delivery: Ruminations

It's weird how some feelings seem to whack you upside the head out of nowhere. There I was, enjoying pregnancy, and reading an article written by a doula I know:
It's though-provoking, as my visions of the post pregnancy months have mostly involved my winging it in a big way. If you know me, you know that I'm all about preparing as best as I can and then winging whatever can't be prepped for in advance. I like the bit about creating tote bags with various supplies and then leaving them in strategic areas of the house. It's very me.

That article on the postpartum plan led to another article, this one about a day in the life of a birth doula. Reading it through made me feel kind of eh about the whole labor and delivery thing. Usually I try to psych myself up for it by reminding myself that it's nothing like the movies and that birth can be an enjoyable and incredible experience. The article, however, reminded me that birth is also an uncomfortable, icky, and potentially annoying experience.

You can't deny that birth rates pretty high on the grossness scale. There are gooey fluids, and many (if not most) women end up expelling a little pee or poo during labor. After the baby is born, you still have to birth a big ol' hunk of meat in the form of the placenta. Stuff practically gushes out in some cases. Ew!

The whole discomfort thing speaks for itself -- they don't call it labor for nothing. Giving birth is hard work, and even when it's not painful, it's usually not orgasmic unless you're into that whole orgasmic birthing thing.

As for the annoying bits of birth... well, unless you give birth at home without any help at all, at some point someone is going to want to have a look at your cervix or check on the baby's heart rate (with doppler or EFM). I don't know about you, but having my cervix examined isn't on my list of happyfuntime. Hell, having people telling me what to do when I'm immersed in some other activity (e.g., Get up so we can put a heart monitor on your middle) is big on my list of stuff that pisses me off.

Sometimes I feel like the world's worst pregnant lady. I can never remember how far along I am. I don't go gaga over baby schwag. And labor and delivery strikes me as an annoying process. How weird is that?


  1. I find that I have been successful at never forgetting things when I go out by having the diaper bag stocked with a water bottle, little plastic bags (jewelry sized from Michaels) with pre-measured amounts of formula in them for quick mixing, wipes, 5 diapers, the bottle, a pacifier (although Ev never takes it, I keep it just in case), baby lotion (sample size), a baby washcloth and an extra outfit. Sounds like a lot but it's really not. I never touch it other than to restock unless I'm going out. Otherwise I have the co-sleeper stocked with diapers, wipes, a small clickable flashlight, a water bottle and a formula container for late night diaper changes/feedings and then the same downstairs at my 'baby station' which is actually a little wet bar off to the side in the kitchen. Keep the diapers, any medicines he might be taking, wipes, bottle liners and formula in a cabinet above and a hand towel on the counter next to the sink for changing.

    Having all of these preps has kept us always with what we need when we need it. No running through the house for diapers or whatnot. When I get down to about 15-20 diapers I buy 86 more. I suspect you'll be getting them in bulk of the net or something knowing you, though.

    Actually, despite how packed it sounds I find that my diaper bag is never very full or heavy. I always have room to shove magazines or small shopping items in it when I'm out because everything else goes into the pockets. Since you have the same bag I wouldn't be surprised if you find yourself in the same situation. I find myself wondering why women buy those ginormous bulky and heavy looking diaper bags, but maybe their babies need more stuff. I don't even take my bag into stores with me anymore unless I'm going to be in them for long spans of time. I grab a made bottle and a spit rag and that's usually all I need at the grocery store or any shopping excursion that will be 30 minutes or less. I keep the bag in the car in case a diaper change en route is needed, but it generally isn't.

    blahblahblah. :D

  2. Ooh, thanks for the advice! You rock!


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