neither for packing nor playing

dear god.

so, karl and i haven't really gotten a lot of baby GADGETS and STUFF THAT MUST BE ASSEMBLED. we are really trying to KEEP IT SIMPLE with this whole baby business. i would say the two things we have gotten are these: the PnP (as the babyworld abbreviates - standing for Pack N Play which i shall discuss momentarily) and our carseat (clearly a necessity).

of these two things with multiple plastic bags, directional bibles, and a crap ton of plastic parts, both were incorrect. WHAT ARE THE ODDS? the PnP had a wheel part missing. (trust me. it's missing.) the carseat comes with these 4 plastic 'poles' to make you a little sun shade - we got three of one kind; one of the other when we need two of each. glorious. both parts are 'on the way.' i mean, really, do you think i want to call baby manufacturers all day long!? um, NO! and they, clearly, want to talk to me even less.

and, as a BONUS, i have discovered i am even MORE inept at putting things together than i previously suspected. that doesn't bode well for our future child's christmas presents. i mean, really, how is my child going to survive!?

regardless, the PnP is adorable. giraffes for brooke. it fits NO WHERE in our bedroom. or our house for that matter. (is it wrong that i was trying to keep the baby stuff to a minimum? our house is so tiny; i don't want baby gear to overwhelm it (or me!)). additionally, i don't really understand where you PACK it to go. it would take like four hours to pack. it has like 800 parts. and it's heavy! AND it doesn't even fit through half our doorways, so it's not like i can wheel it around all easy like throughout the house. (would one even do that?!) i have to take off eight parts just to get it from the bedroom to the living room. this distresses me. ah, well, i still love it. a lot. i mean, it has an MP3 player plug in. it vibrates. the baby NEEDS to listen to music, right?

ok, on to the BIRTH PLAN since it has garnered much interest and a few questions. (this is going to be a long blog. kudos if you have made it this far! you will get a cookie at the end if you make it. mmmmm cookies.)

i am going to say this once and once only. please don't be offended by anything as this is the way
WE (as in karl and kat) are planning on 'doing birth' and neither of us would ever care what any other person on this whole planet chose to do with their own birth. (serously, if you want an elective c-section, you go for it! it's your health, decision, and child.) (disclaimer over.)

and please god if you don't have kids, don't let the following scare you; it's not that big a deal. it's simply (to me) a matter of doing research. you research a new house and new cars, right? pretty much any new product you buy, you research. so you probably should your medical care to a certain extent as well, right? i barely go to the doctor and they seem to mess things up. I am responsible for my health care, not the Western medical model. (i will be an informed consumer and choose doctors who support that thank you very much.)

so, anyway, a birth plan, basically is a written document that you go over with your care providers before you go into labor and delivery. basically, it is a list of your wants and desires for labor. the phrase 'birth plan' does not mean 'natural birth.' it can include wanting an epidural, not wanting one, wanting a specific/different drugs than the 'norm', wanting NO drugs, wanting to labor in bathtubs or showers (some hospitals do not let you do this), wanting people in the room with you, wanting to be monitored internally or externally, wanting a vacuum vs. forceps, wanting your baby immediately cleaned or immediately put to the breast if possible, wanting a hep lock vs. a full IV, and the list can go on and on. again, i will reiterate it is a
plan. and plans change. (i think most birth plans probably change especially as every labor is going to be different, right? some are an hour. some are twenty hours.)

so here is my deal with the birth plan. it's really more for me and my own confidence than any doctor anyway. do you know what pitocen is? do you know what cytotec is? do you know what demoral is? do you know what stadol is? do you know what antibiotics the hospital requires you to be on if you test positive for Group B Strep. do you know what Group B strep is (the CDC requires preggo ladies to be tested for it)? do you know what the differences b/w forceps and vacuum extraction are (do you know which your doctor prefers)? do you know what an epidural is? do you know how an epidural is inserted? do you know what pre-eclampsia and magnesium are? do you know how long your doctor will let you go without inducing? do you know what meconium is? do you know the side effects of any of these choices? do you know the effects of drugs as they cross the placenta (cause they will. don't take anything stronger than tylenol during pregnancy but have some heavy narcotics at the end! oh, sorry, veering off the path). do you know how long you want to wait before going to the hospital if your water breaks at home? do you know what a VBAC is? does your husband or partner know what any of these things and would he or she be able to help you make a decision about them?

pretty much i knew nothing about any of this.

so i did my research. and i feel much better now.

so, briefly, let's talk about interventions. most research shows one intervention leads to another. for example, maybe you just want an epidural but maybe your epidural isn't going to be the only drug you take or the hospital suggests you take. maybe you want additional drugs before your epidural. (and these drugs might confine you to a bed when you want to be up and walking around.) and i think, before i take a drug, i want to know what it is and what it does. and i am not going to take the doctors or nurses word for it without questions. so, in a nutshell, that is why i have a plan. (plus, well, you all know i am a leeetle, um, plan-ey. a nice way of saying a control freak!? ha! in this case, honestly, i just feel like i am being logical and realistic.) so, even if we wind up having a slew of drugs, i will be informed and know what they are and what they do.

as part of our birth plan (and, no, i am not sharing my whole plan on the blog; i will say it is a short and simple page or so and we intend to remain drug and intervention free. and we remain flexible and open minded about it changing. if you want to see it, send me an email, i will share.) i have hired a doula. she knows what all those drugs and interventions are WAY better than i do (even after all my research), and she will be there to help me and to help me and karl make informed decisions. for some reason i am not seeing myself being so clear headed when a baby is pushing its way through my body. and, trust me, she is not one to push one way or the other. she will help us to decide as a team.

most importantly, that includes making decisions WITH our doctor. is it so wrong to want to be a part of your care and not just let the doctor tell you what to do? it is okay to decline things at the hospital. (i swear people don't know this!)

so, all this being said, i just want to feel comfortable with my decisions regarding childbirth. i will let you know how it goes. (obviously). i have been fortunate enough to have a very healthy, happy pregnancy with no issues. some women are not so lucky, and i realize this, and am thankful for my own health. no matter what happens, i am not going to be upset as long as WE decided to do it for US and our baby. so call me crazy, overly prepared, nuts, a control freak...heck, go on and tell me i can't do it if you want to (and oh so many have! that is why i don't talk about it). i don't mind. at this point, no one can bother me!

just DON'T tell me i look like i am wearing A FAT SUIT like a dude did at work today.

okay, that is all. (whew, it took me all day to write that!) light hearted blogging to return tomorrow with a new 37 week (FULL TERM!) fruit. you can't wait, right?

36 weeks, 6 days


melissa said...

I now feel like an ass having asked the question "how many different ways can you have a baby". You have my utmost respect in having done so much research and choosing to take your health care into your own hands! As I said before I am totally ignorant on the subject. If anyone can understand being a control freak it is me!

Anonymous said...

some thoughts...

women all over the world are having healthy babies drug and doctor free, and they are surviving the birthing process with the same smile on their face that you will have. i think in the society we are living in today, people would like to think that we are so far removed from things like that that women today (in our world of white walls and sterile needles) truly couldn't handle such a task. 'no drugs!, no way!'

you're a woman, just like any woman in a mauri tribe for example, and if you want to do it 'natural', don't forget that 'natural births' are far more common and acceptable than using any drugs when looking at the entire world and all the women that are having babies on it.
('natural birth' is truly a funny idea...is their anything more natural, really??)

you should, absolutely, carefully research every medication they could possibly give you (what they give you, they give her)...it would be stupid not to. i want to be surprised that people are giving you shit about these ideas and decisions, but this is central AR and it's the only place that exists and truly matters, right?

hats off Kat, i think other pregnant people could learn something from you

Maria said...

First, can I come to visit you so I can kick that man in the balls? I mean, who in the world tells a pregnant woman she looks like she's wearing a fat suit? Jeez people!

Second, I commend you on your well thought out post. I do know what each and every one of those interventions that you listed is and what they do, and because I know, I am even more proud of you for your birth plan, even if it doesn't go as planned. You are amazing though, and I have all of the faith in the world that you will do very well and succeed! Other than the control freak, I don't think you are any of the things listed. (from one control freak planner to another) :)

Anonymous said...

just make sure there is mention in your birth plan that NO santana can be playing. :)

you. are. wonder. woman.

heather kathleen

Jennifer said...

ahh kat...we have discussed all of this before but it was great to read it on your blog. I am so proud of you. Thanks for being you because you rock!!!! You are a wonderful pregnant woman and I think what karl and you are doing is awesome. It has taught me a lot so thanks!!! Love you guys!

kristen said...

i haven't finished reading yet but...a vacuum!!! holy geez! ok i will finish reading now

Susan said...

You go with your bad self! AMEN, sistah! Preach it! I didn't want petocin and wish I'd have stayed stronger about that, but "they" persuaded me, and it sucked! I thought I researched, but I merely took the Cliff's Notes version compared to you! I still didn't know half that stuff you mentioned and I have had a baby, emergency C-section style!

care said...

mmmm cookies!

good for you!

and I admire your goal of not trying to get kid stuff all over the house. it is truly ambitious! :)

Stacia said...

Your plan sounds great! Christmas assembling will get much more complicated, i know riight. Yes baby needs music =)

Sarah said...

that pack-n-play is fabulous; i just love the orange. hopefully you all will get used to using it as a portable crib, especially since you all travel so much. i'm with you on the baby stuff, actually i was glad to read that someone else felt similar. i especially want to keep the large bulky plastics to a minimum...i do not need that stuff running my house.

i'm proud of you and your birth plan!!! i'm also very impressed with all of your research--wowzers!
i hope it all works out wonderfully.

Lauryl Lane said...

kat, did some one really say that to you? are there really people in the world that RUDE? geez. well, kudos on your birth plan. honestly, it sounds perfect. if i hadn't watched 7 births (5 totally "natural" (ie no drugs), 5 of them hospital births, 2 home births, 4 doctor-assisted, 3 midwife-assisted, 1 induced, 2 with epidurals, etc., etc., etc.), i think i would choose a very similar plan. because i like to think of myself as a very strong woman, not exactly an "earth mother" but you know, cool like that.... but i know myself. i have no pain tolerance and one bad labor (god i hope bad labors don't run in my family... my mom's were usually 12-24 hours of HARD labor) will make me cut all my reproductive organs out, never to be used again. and i really want 2 or 3 little munchkins, so i can't do that to myself. ;) i do applaud you for it. the less drugs involved, the better it is for the baby and there really is no disputing that fact with all the research available. this is a super long comment but wow, you are going to be an awesome mom. really awesome. and don't forget, you can still get a quick intrathical shot at the last minute if it's unbearable. ;)

Lauryl Lane said...

ps. i was just reading the other comments, someone mentioned that things might not go according to your plan... which of course is true, BUT... as far as researching your drugs (and i haven't stayed up on my labor drug knowledge so i really have no idea what i'm talking about)... i just remember (with one of my little brothers) my mom deciding that there were certain drugs that she didn't want to take NO MATTER WHAT, because of some of their effects (I think one of them might have knocked her out completely and that was the last thing she wanted)... anyway, during the labor my step dad actually FOUGHT (an actual YELLING match) with the doctor because the doctor wanted to give mom one of these drugs anyway and she didn't want it and it was this huge big deal. medical professionals can be big bullies (my family is full of medical professionals and most of them are bullies, too), so sometimes they try to bully you into something you don't want when you are weak and vulnerable. that's when you'll be so grateful that you and karl have made these decisions together and he'll be able to stand your ground FOR you even if you aren't able to. that's just really cool. wow. sorry, i've got babies and labor on the mind lately. just found out that my little sister is expecting so that's all the family is talking about these days.... ;)

Lauryl Lane said...

damn. i'm shutting up now.

Anonymous said...

I read the whole thing. When do I get my cookie???


Waynette Traub said...

yeah – you had it your way! Love it! Love it! Love it!

Sarah said...

i just came and re-read your birth plan post. i'm obsessing about having a birth sans drugs. i'm talking to my doctor about everything this wednesday. thank God I will have my hubby for support when the time comes :)

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