Resolving Timeline Issues

Archive for the ‘up the duff’ Category

We had a birth plan. It went out the window really quickly. My plan to labour with only the help of nitrous went to shit when the back labour started. The only part of the plan that held was “we both get out alive.”

Friday 15th – we went to lunch and to see Star Trek (which rawked). My right foot and hand/arm swelled up and I felt absolutely huge. I was rather restless that night and neither of us got any sleep. Darren came to bed at 5am. I got up, went to the bathroom with cramps and found blood. We went to the hospital.

Saturday 16th – early morning I am declared to be in early, early labour and am sent home. Darren goes back to bed. I putter around and do things; in the afternoon the cramps get worse and move to my back. By 9pm I am in full back labour. Darren starts applying counterpressure. We go back to the hospital, and I am 50% effaced and Not Dilated At All. I cry and they give me a shot of morphine so I can get some sleep. I meet the Excellent Doctor who will deliver my daughter the next day.

Saturday 17th – I wake up at 5:30 am in full-on back labour. Seriously would not wish this on anyone. Darren is sleeping on the sofa. I make my way to the bathtub and labour in there for a couple of hours then make my way back to bed. I know I’m supposed to be doing things like walking and moving around but don’t dare try to make it down the stairs by myself. Darren gets up, my mother phones at some point (twice, actually) and suggests a caesarean. I talk her down the second time. I labour on the ball and on the floor on my side (per internet instructions to get the baby to turn around) until noon when I finally demand to go back to the hospital and say that I am Not Leaving Again.

Noon: I am admitted at 5cm dilation. They give me another shot of morphine which doesn’t help and put me on an IV drip later which takes the edge off. They break my water at about 1:30. Darren is applying counterpressure on every contraction with about 75% of his strength and weight. We try nitrous, which doesn’t help. Darren explains to the doctor and nurses that it feels like when a muscle is electrocuted and my muscles aren’t relaxing between contractions (hence, no relief).

3pm: I am at 9.5cm. Excellent Doctor is surprised all afternoon at how fast I am progressing and keeps asking Darren if this is my first.

4pm or so: I am at 9.5cm. Counterpressure no longer works and I am spent, and so very disappointed. Excellent Doctor says he has an anaesthesiologist coming in for a ceasarean anyways and suggests putting in an epidural, he’ll go do the c-section and then I can start pushing when he gets back. I waffle. I really was trying to avoid an epidural. Darren lets me know that its okay and that I just need a break. I consent to the epidural and apologize all over the place to Darren.

The epidural is put in (about 20 minutes – Excellent Doctor says he’s never had an epidural arrive that quickly) and I have a nap for an hour or so.

5pm or so: Excellent Doctor is pleased that I had a nap and just taking a break let my body do what it needed to do.

Me: Well, I guess my dignity went out the window awhile ago. Let me know when we’re ready to go.

Darren: Dignity left with Self Esteem!

Doctor: :snickers: We’re ready to go now. Push with the contractions.

Me: oh, okay. [push as I’m having a contraction]

Doctor: [madly snapping on gloves]

And then there was two hours of pushing and then she was here. And the memory of the last day or so fades and leaves sheer unadulterated joy in its place. 

Also to the doctor who said to me at 34  (or so) weeks gestation that I’d have problems losing the pregnancy weight? Please to #suckit. As of today, I am 5lbs below the weight I was at when I started at the maternity clinic at 8 weeks gestation and I gave birth 10 days ago.

Also Excellent Doctor has agreed to become our family doctor.

I had been trying to avoid an epidural, but in this case, I expect that if I hadn’t had it in this case, I wouldn’t have had the energy or the focus to push. I never once felt pressured into any sort of interventions.

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This morning I woke up at 4:45 to bright red blood (it was a small amount). So we trucked off to the hospital where they proclaimed me and the baby healthy; by then the blood had switched to a brownish colour. It was determined to be my mucous plug leaving.

Added bonus: I was having mild contractions. Go baby!

I spent the morning eating two breakfasts and surfing the web. At about 1:30 I went to have a shower.

Around 2 the contractions started getting closer together and I was having a lot of back pain. By 7:30 the contractions were cascading together with not much (if any) break between them. So we trucked off to the hospital again.

I was checked and proclaimed not ready to give birth. NOT DILATED AT ALL AS A MATTER OF FACT.

Because those contractions? ALL in my back.

When they told me I was not dilated at all, I burst into tears because those contractions are fucking painful (and I was having one). Darren applied counterpressure, but had to use most of his strength. After the first one at the hospital, he noticed that my back muscles weren’t relaxing in between contractions – which would explain why it felt they were cascading into one another.

There were two thing that scared me about labour: epistomy (especially after reading about the Frankenvulva) and back labour.

I am 1 for 2. I thought I might be an excellent candidate to have the joyful experience that is back labour, because I don’t really get menstrual cramps. I get back pain. Go me.

They gave me a shot of morphine and gravol to take the edge off and gave me the option to stay at the hospital or go home. Since we’re only 5 or 7 minutes away from the hospital, we went home. I can still feel the contractions but really? I don’t care.

I am going to bed now.

I thought I should get this posted before I, oh I don’t know, go into labour.

anytime, kid, anytime.

One of the dilemmas I’ve been having is diapers. I’ve been reading quite a bit about cloth diapering here and here. And I like the idea of cloth diapering. I really like it. Its good for the environment. Its better for your baby. The diapers are cute beyond belief. But I am lazy and it just seemed so much easier to throw out a disposable diaper, than to spray down diapers, wash them put in any inserts and how to use the damn things. And I was overwhelmed anyways because of a various ISSUES that made me want to drink, but oh hey, pregnancy and CAN’T.

Ice cream is a good substitute, however. Until your intestines disagree with this.

Oh and the scariness of Braxton-Hicks contractions didn’t help.

But I digress. Sort of.

I went out and bought some diapers because hello, baby on the way and I had coupons.

And then I had a shower and got a diaper cake, lovingly prepared by Sunshine. Which leads me to the current stash of disposable diapers:

diapers-003

diapers-005

diapers-009

 

 

 

 

 

And I thought, that’s not too bad – should last awhile. And then I realized that newborns go through up to 10-12 diapers per DAY. And my inner green person started feeling guilty. Because all that plastic and shit (Ha! get it?!) equals billions of years of biodegrading. Or something like that to my pregnant brain.

And there’s an extra half pack of diapers in the hospital bag along with some loose samples I received from various companies.

And so cloth diapering reared its head again. But again I am lazy and cheap. And when you’ve got more than one kid who will be using diapers, I’m positive cloth diapering is cheaper when you buy your own diapers. One kid? Not so much.

I was at the doctor’s office. There’s this counter I go past on the way to the bathroom – and there was a pamphlet for a diaper service and a sample of the diaper they supply. So I took a flyer, fondled the diaper (soft, cute, yellow) and showed the flyer to Darren, who as usual was exceedingly helpful when it came to making a decision on diapering: “So how do you feel about cloth diapering?” “You’re the one who’s going to be home. Its up to you.”

Thanks, hon.

So I crunched some numbers: disposable diapers = about $20/week. Diaper service = about $25/week. Oh and they pick up and deliver clean diapers once a week. THEY CLEAN THE DIAPERS FOR YOU.

I think it goes without saying that it appealed to my inner green lazy person.

So I ordered the diapers. They have this pre-birth delivery that consists of this:

Reusable Diapers 001

Diaper pail with charcoal filtre.

And inside is a wetbag with diapers. You line the pail with the bag, put the diapers in your changetable and done.

 

Reusable Diapers 005And they’re yellow and adorable.

Now I just need some diaper covers.

 

 

This shipment arrived the day I was writing my last post about how adequate and accessible pre- and post-natal care for expectant mothers and their babies make for healthier communities.

In the industrialized world, we’re very much aware of the environmental impact of our actions. Its just unfortunate that the costs of making better environmental choices, community choices (and if you want to get all political-sciencey, choices in the interest of the public good) are a damn sight more expensive than the disposable choices. If you’re having to pay for medical insurance, or god forbid, medical care because you have no insurance, you’re not able to make those choices.

That $5/week difference may mean the difference between:

  • cloth diapers and food on the table
  • cloth diapers and medical insurance
  • cloth diapers and medical care.

This may be a bit of a weak link, but I can tell you now that if I had to pay for medical insurance vs. cloth diapers? I’d choose the medical insurance.

Because I don’t have to worry about medical insurance, I’m in a position where I can make the choice that is better for my community – I can afford that extra fee and make it easy on myself to make that choice.

There are many direct and indirect benefits of providing accessible medical care. And this might just be one of them.

Since I’ve been on maternity leave, I’ve fallen into a habit in the mornings. Darren wakes me up when he needs a ride to the train, I drive him there, come back and flake out on the sofa for awhile. From 10-11am the Space channel shows one of my favourite shows of all time: the original Star Trek series.

Yes, I know how much of a geek that makes me. And I really, really want to see the new movie that opens tomorrow, but I refuse to go to a movie on opening weekend. This means I should see it sometime around Christmas.

Today’s episode is called “Friday’s Child” and involves a very pregnant, alien (although human-appearing) woman, whose culture allows no man other than her nearest male relative to touch her. Of course the good Doctor McCoy ends up delivering the baby, yadda, yadda (click the last link for a full, painfully detailed synopsis). My point is: she gets medical care.

Over the last 6.whatever months I’ve seen the doctor more times than I ever have in my life. Because my pregnancy has been astoundingly normal, I’m on the usual schedule of once a month for the first two trimesters or so, then once every two weeks from 28 to 35 weeks and once a week from 36 weeks onwards. I expect if I go longer than 40 weeks, it’ll be once every couple of days until showtime.

Add in there a trip to the clinic when I spiked a fever, and a diagnostic ultrasound at 20 weeks and I imagine this is a fairly costly process.

Yes, I said I imagine. Because really, I have no idea how much each visit costs. I know the ultrasound, had it been performed in California, would have been in the $2000 (US) range. All of those visits have cost me not one red cent. And I could have gotten genetic testing as well.

What I paid for out of pocket: 3 months of prenatal vitamins (because my extended medical didn’t cover it) at about $35/month (or slightly more than $1/day – because I’m in a high enough income bracket that I don’t get government assistance and my extended medical doesn’t cover vitamins) and a 3D ultrasound at $185 after taxes (because it was for “entertainment purposes” and therefore not covered by either basic or extended insurance).

When I give birth, its at a hospital with the latest medical equipment. If I go into a ward, there’s no cost for the room – its billed back to the province. If I want a private room its $180/night (including meals of course!) – which I can claim back from the two sets of extended medical insurance we have.

I shouldn’t say that this hasn’t cost me one red cent. It has because I pay it through my taxes. Because I’m in a high enough income bracket, I also pay a premium to the province for my medical care – its around $60/month; when we become a family of 3, it goes up to about $130/month. This is for basic care. My employer pays 75% of that – even though I’m not working for the next year.

Yes, I have a really good contract.

My employer also pays for my extended medical premiums; Darren’s employer pays for his and between the two we have nearly 100% coverage on everything. I think my extended medical premiums for the two of us are somewhere around $15-$20/month. Those premiums are low because provincial medical care offsets the true costs of medical care.

My point: we don’t have to pick and choose what kind of medical care we want. We don’t have to worry about being bankrupted by medical costs by doing something that is absolutely natural for human beings: having a baby. Every time I go into the hospital or doctor’s office, there’s no copay.

This is because it is my right, embodied in Canadian law, to receive medical care. Put another way, I cannot be denied medical care because of an inability to pay.

Why does this matter? Well, because there are women just south of the 49th who are denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions – or what their insurance companies have deemed to be pre-existing conditions. Like pregnancy.

And all over the world:

Every minute a woman dies in pregnancy and childbirth. Each year more than 536,000 women die due to complications developed during pregnancy and childbirth1 and 10 million more suffer debilitating illnesses and lifelong disabilities. Seventy-five percent of maternal deaths occur during childbirth and the postpartum period. The vast majority of maternal deaths are avoidable when women have access to vital health care before, during and after childbirth.

The old saying: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is worth listening to. With proper prenatal and postnatal care, you not only get healthy mothers and babies, but healthy communities.

The MOMocrats are asking for assistance:

MOMocrats support Mother's Day Every Day

High quality and accessible medical care for expectant mothers, mothers and their children make for less economic and social strife. Its pretty simple; Maslow said as much in his Hierarchy of Needs.

Except my story doesn’t stop there. The next post* will be about what extra benefit I’m able to provide because of the low cost of my extremely generous health care and my good luck in being Canadian.

*No promises as to when it’ll actually be up.

Can we talk? Seriously. This will be kind of random, but I have some categories.

1. Swine Flu

So swine flu, which apparently has nothing to do with flying pigs (oh come on, laugh a little).

My parents winter in Mexico. Every year on December 31 they pack up their minivan and go to bed early. Bright and early on January 1, they start driving. And they drive for awhile through the continental United States and about a week later they arrive in Mexico. A couple of days after that they arrive in the Manzanillo/Melaque area (Puerto Vallarta is the nearest major city there and is still a ways away). And then my mom bakes in the Mexican sun for a couple of months.

This year, there was an absolutely horrible virus going around and all the gringos tourists caught it. The doctors didn’t know what to do and even the doctors were getting sick. Both of my parents got it – it took my mom 2 weeks to fully recover and dad 10 days or so. Mom said it took a week for the fever to go away. A couple of people were hospitalized for a few days. And who knows where it came from. Signs and symptoms are the same as for what is being reported for swine flu.

Easter is the first major-ish sort of holiday in Mexico. And about that time, all the people from the major inland cities go on vacation. Much like people in Vancouver go to the Okanagan or Whistler or Vancouver Island for a long weekend, people from, oh say Mexico City, go to the coastal areas. Like Manzanillo. And then they go home.

In other words, this virus has been around since at least February. It only started getting press when it got transported to a city of 20 million people (more than half the population of Canada – think about the population density) and started moving from person to person.

The rules are the same: wash your hands often with hot water and soap, don’t touch your face, stay home if you don’t feel good.

2. The Barbeque (here’s where you get to give advice!)

I went out on the patio today to clean the barbeque so we can, oh I don’t know, GRILL THIS YEAR so I don’t have to heat up the house when I make dinner, and learned a very important lesson: every fall when you shut down your bbq, make sure you clean it properly or it will attract wasps the next year when you want to use it again.

Just sayin’. There were  a couple of wasps having lunch in there. I slammed the lid shut again, and went and got a can of wasp and hornet killer (because really, I hate wasps with the fire of 10 000 suns). And then I thought: I am 37 and a half weeks pregnant. I shouldn’t be using this stuff.

So I left the bbq and am now at a bit of a loss of what to do with it. Its a good grill and we like it and its only about a year old (natural gas). So far my plan of attack is:

  • Convince Darren to do it. Use sexual favours if necessary (because really, an 8.5 month pregnant woman is the height of sexy)

If anyone else has a better idea, please leave a comment.

3. Baby

The Poptart now has a gestational age of 8.5 months. And I am so ready to be done with this.

I had an appointment yesterday:

Blood Pressure: 116/60 (or something, I was tired and not really listening)
Baby heart rate: 154
Fundal height: 39 (or about a half a week ahead)
Strep B (and you do not want to know how they test for this!): negative
Hemoglobin: 119 (apparently this is good and I am not anemic)

Generally, I am healthy as a horse. Or a pig without swine flu, presumably.

Update: I was trying to explain how likely you are to get swine flu, but Mrs. Flinger does a much better job of it – and explains why you’re more likely to find a snake in your toilet than get swine flu. Snakes in a toilet? Freaky. I would run far and fast because I hate snakes more than I hate wasps.

Normally, I’d be going batshit all over the place about the upcoming BC election and referendum and why its so important to vote in favour of the BC-STV (not a disease, but go over here to see a good summary and link to the main pro and con arguments, etc. etc.). In fact, normally I would be ranting about the electoral system but I had a doctor appointment today. And I have OTHER THINGS to go batshit about. Thank you, pregnancy hormones.

No, there’s nothing wrong. I think. This was the 36 week appointment, with the dreaded strep B swab, a blood draw, full urinalysis, blood pressure, baby heartbeat and fundal height measurement.

The baby kicked the student doctor. That was kind of funny.

Throughout this pregnancy, I have consistently measured 10 days to 2 weeks ahead. A couple of weeks ago, it caught up so I thought It Was All Good.

Today I am about 36 and a half weeks pregnant; fundal height was 38.

WAITAMINUTE, said my brain as I was at the lab seeing the vampires. Full term is 40 weeks! That’s like 2 weeks!

HOLY CRAP! said my soul. We need to pack! But we don’t have any baby clothes!

One sec, said my brain. Your shower is on Saturday. Wait to see what you’re getting.

NONONONO, whined my soul, we need to go get clothes now!

So I went shopping and got the necessities the hospital seems to think she’ll need: a couple of sleepers (pink with stripes and flowers), 3 onesies (yellow with fuzzy ducklings), and a hat and booties. All in 0-3 month wear (not newborn) because the good doctor is estimating she will be on the largeish side of 8-9 lbs. Eep.)

Just so she doesn’t have to go naked in a diaper for the first bit. Because I have some diapers.

The last couple of times I went to the doctor, my blood pressure was somewhere around 124/70.

Today it was 104/60.

The difference? Maternity leave started.

While work is stressful, in other news of the blatantly obvious, the sky is blue.


May 2019
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