Friday, July 21, 2006

12 weeks, 4 days

Somewhere around the middle of last week, I realized that I was going to need to figure out who was going to take care of when the RE booted me. Because the day is coming soon, and just like weaning of the PIO and estrace tablets, it will happen whether I like it or not. The fact is that Dr. BusyBusyBusy has kept me under his care a little longer than most patients, and I prefer to think it's because they like us over The Clinic. Even if that's not true, I'm going to keep thinking it. In fact, this past summer semester, we had class with one of the women who works in the office, and she told me that we could return any time we liked for an ultrasound, even after Dr. BBB wishes us a fare-thee-well. This seems to jive with my theory of being liked, so we're keeping that one up. And as much as I like Dr. BusyBusyBusy, he's not an ob/gyn anymore, he's an RE. So where would I go?

I like our ob/gyn, Dr. Dyke; she's "family" as one might say, and referred us to Dr. BBB. There's absolutely nothing wrong with her. But then I read the Ina May book, and really what I wanted to do was go the farm, but c'mon, that ain't gonna happen. I started questioning whether I wanted to go back to the ob/gyn and the questioning got more insistent. I'm not saying that there aren't holistic docs out there. I know good and well that there are, and perhaps Dr. Dyke is one of them. But I started thinking about how I had envisioned a pregnancy before all the IVF shite, and it involved very natural and simple things. For example, trust in my own body.

Any woman who does any type of fertility treatment will tell you, it's easy to lose that trust in her body. I think back to those innocent days when we started this. I initially thought how easy Partner would get pregnant, and gradually it began to dawn upon us it wasn't going to be that straightforward. When the hsg knocked her out of the running, that was the first body betrayal of many. Then I thought I'd get pregnant with no problems. None at all! I was so excited to start injecting drugs into my body that I never once stopped to think about what would happen if it didn't work. When it didn't work, a load of bricks came down. We both questioned ourselves. It's probably my fault, we both thought to ourselves and then admitted to each other out loud, thankful that there could never be any evidence at all about who's "fault" it was. That's a slippery slope to start down.

And that very word, "fault" lies at the root of what happens to us during IVF. I think every women starts to think on some line like that, whether we want to or not. We certainly ran the gamut here: "It's my fault my ovaries don't respond to the drugs" Partner would say. "It's my fault my uterus couldn't hang on" I would say. "It's my fault I'm too old," Partner would say. "It's my fault because endometriosis" I would counter. All those blood vials that get drawn, all those ultrasounds, all the serious neurotic energy we spend counting millimeters of follicles and uterine linings, it's almost impossible to not start questioning our bodies.

So when I sat down and started thinking about what I wanted, it was to stop questioning my body. On Tuesday, I will officially be out of the first trimester, and so far I've managed to hang on. I want to start believing I can do this, naturally without intervention. I want to start thinking about my woman's body-- about the nourishment I can provide to Cricket that does not involve getting a shot or dose of some pill.

So what did I do? I made an appointment with a midwife clinic in town. The upside of this clinic is that there are only three midwives there, which means I'll get to know each of them as the pregnancy goes on (goes on?!). We went in armed with questions, ready for the midwife to get one of the wrong. (Ha! Wrong answer! We won't be seeing you!) But that never happened. She talked about what we could do naturally to ripen my cervix when the time got close and involved things like herbal remedies. I asked about pain relief techniques and what she would recommend, knowing that I wanted a drug free birth. She gave good answers. She volunteered that birth could take place in many different positions, not just on the back. She noted that after the baby was born, she'd place it right on my chest and let the cord stop pulsing before WE cut it. No one would announce the baby's sex, we could find that out ourselves. She'd even let do a hands-on-hands thing with Partner so Partner could guide the baby's head out with her. Good Lord-- can you say big fat cry in the new midwife office? I can. And did. There was more general goodness, and we've decided, we're going to her.

Of course, all this goodness of natural birth came with the caveat: providing everything is going well. Providing that. I asked, if I have the GD, could she still take care of me? Yes, providing it was manageable. And then she gave me the dreaded glucose. That was Monday and I still haven't managed to take myself over to do the test. Also on that order sheet was the first blood draw for the quad screen, something else that terrifies me slightly.

Next week is doctor-o-rama: Blood tests and gestational diabetes test Monday morning (no more procrastinating!). Perinatologist Monday afternoon. Midwife appointment one: Tuesday morning. Dr. BusyBusyBusy Thursday afternoon. Sheesh, for wanting to feel like I was going back to low-key natural pregnancy, that sure is a lot of doctor appointments... Sooner or later, I will have the natural pregnancy I have dreamed of.

Sooner or later.


Anonymous Jenn said...

I knew a "natural" pregnancy was never in the cards for me, and I'd take an epidural now if they'd let me, but I hope you get the pregnancy and birth experience just the way you want it. I'm so happy to see you're almost out of the first trimester :)

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Erin said...

It helped me to take back some of the control, and gain back some trust in my body, to have a natural childbirth. May I recommend The Bradley Method, if you haven't thought of it yet? I know that I wouldn't have been able to have the natural childbirth that I so desperately wanted (finally, proof that my body can do something right) without those classes. It's a big committment, with 12 weekly 2-hour classes, but it was so worth it...and I'm not even just saying that as a Bradley Method teacher! I know I may never have another pregnancy, but I got to have the childbirth I wanted. And that makes a huge difference to me. (If you have any questions about TBM, you can e-mail me through my blog.)

The midwives you've chosen sound absolutely wonderful. I hope that everything goes well with the GTT. By the way, you know you can turn down the quad screen if you want to? We were only offered the AFP, but we turned it down because we don't have any risk factors for birth defects and we were turned off by the number of both false positives AND false negatives. Just a little assvice there, sorry!

(Side note: even my verification word knows that it's me--it starts with PCOS!)

8:31 PM  
Blogger art-sweet said...

What's with the peri? Are you considered at risk for some reason? I hope you have the smoothest remaining two trimesters imaginable!

11:19 AM  
Blogger Thalia said...

Glad to hear that you're reclaiming some of this to be in the way that you wanted it. You didn't mention that for some of us, our body failing in this endeavour is coming on top of years of not having the body we want. It's hard to love your body at that point.

Hoping all keeps going well from here.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Pamplemousse said...

I know it is hard but you have to keep reminding yourself that you ARE having a normal pregnancy. 2nd trimester, here you come!!!

7:49 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Your low-key natural pregnancy is on it's way.....I'm sure that your second trimester will be less eventful than the first. Have fun at your appointments this week!

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Sassy said...

That is just fantastic news. I'm so glad the midwife answered all your questions correctly for you. And congratulations for 12 weeks, 4 days! That's just awesome.

Re: Glucose tolerance test, I really hope you have no problems. My GTT is on the 8th of August and I'm bloody scared since we already know I have some insulin resistence. I feel so stupid.

1:18 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Congrats on moving on to the midwife! That's a big & scary step. I remember being scared to leave my RE and go off the prometrium. Yikes! Hang in there and you'll do great! Before you know it you'll be changing diapers! :)j

9:23 AM  
Blogger Michko said...

If you do have the dreaded GD, all of us D Mommies are here for you.

12:44 PM  
Anonymous pixi said...

I do hope that you get to do some part of this in a way that matches your vision. Maybe you can't get to the farm, but it sounds like those those midwives are very much in tune with your way of thinking.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that everything stays low key from here on.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Brooke said...

Wow, out of the second trimester already! It probably seems longer to you than to me, huh?

Congrats and good luck!

Sounds like you're going with the homebirth midwives? We took our childbirth prep class at the same place they are. I'm sure you remember how that turned out. Which is not to say that the midwives are a bad choice, but I would think about taking a childbirth prep class elsewhere. If you do go there, I would recommend taking the class from the headhoncho, not the mis-informed, lesbian-clueless other teacher. That's my assvice.

7:53 PM  

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