27 Weeks and You Tube is my Homegirl

It’s nearly midnight and I’m WIDE awake. Not because I’m horribly uncomfortable or just woke to pee, but because I took a glorious nap from 9 PM to 11 PM. The nap was amazing. I fell asleep semi reclined on the couch–which is basically the closest thing to sleeping on my back in over a month. I’m usually a back and side sleeper. Side sleeping works because I have at once the softest and most supportive mattress ever. But sometimes you just want to sleep on your back, you know? Ahhhh. . .

Anyway. I’m not dying, but the last two weeks have been noticeably less comfortable. Sometimes the baby gets in weird positions which prohibit me from assuming my preferred slouching positions. Or he’ll dance on my left hip for days and my chiropractor has to fix me. My neck seems to constantly be out of alignment, and my lower back gets tired. The 2nd trimester honeymoon is over. But I’m generally alright. 

Moodiness and anxiety have been amping up. Budgeting for the next 6 months and figuring out what to do about health insurance after January 1, 2013 are daily worries. I’m in the awkward too-wealthy-to-qualify-for-public-health-insurance and too-poor-to-purchase-private zone. Health insurance for the kid isn’t much of a problem. Its me. And heaven forbid that he is born after the new year. I want every one of you to gather your collective wills and prayers and rain dances and hippie labor-starting ideas and make this baby come on time. Oh please let him be on time. Just to be clear, I don’t want advice on induction. It’s not really an option unless I’m waaaay late, like the January 8th range. By which time, it’s a moot point. 

Anyway, I’m still waiting for this to be real to me. I can hardly believe there’s an arguably viable baby in there. I feel him and see him, and I require elastic waistbands, and I look pregnant. But it might be a really temperamental tumor or something. I’ve recently taken to watching you-tube videos of premature babies in the NICU born at 27 weeks just so I can get an idea of what he looks like right now–a fully formed, if a bit skinny, little human baby. The videos are a mixed bag of tragedy and triumph, depending on the health of the little one, but they’re fascinating. 

I’ve also taken to watching a lot of natural birth videos. I’ve heard so many people wail “WHY WOULD ANYONE PUT THAT ONLINE?” and to them I say, because they’re AMAZING, and incredibly helpful for those who are about to attempt it for the first time. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m a lawyer with clients I’d prefer to never see me in a weakened state, I’d consider posting my own.

I watch them like I’m reading a menu, and I mentally select the births that I would like mine to most resemble, as if I could order an entree. I’m sure labor will be a very in-the-moment thing, and my perceived preferences now may go completely out the window. But not necessarily. From watching these videos I can tell now that:

–I desire that no one tells (or worse–yells at) me to push unless I request their guidance in the matter.

–My husband will be, at all times, clothed (unlike the scrawny, COMPLETELY nude father I saw in one very earthy homebirth video).

–I want every person present to act (for my sake) so damned impressed with me that they explode with supportive but appropriately subdued “You’re doing a great job!” and “You’re safe” and “You can do it”-s.

–And I’m fairly confident that active labor will be spent in any position other than flat on my back–gravity and anatomy working directly against me. No thanks. 

But mostly I just hope it goes well. I hope he’s on time. I hope breastfeeding is a breeze and I’m so filled with happy hormones that PPD stays far away. I hope I find good insurance and hope my husband finds a good green building career after graduation. I hope for more good clients and less heartburn. I hope for more friends close by.

And yikes it’s late. I hope I’ll get to sleep tonight.  I guess I will leave you with this gem of a photo essay: Barbie’s home birth. As my friend LitChick said, it’s “Proof that even anatomically implausible women deserve options and empowerment in birth.” 

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4 thoughts on “27 Weeks and You Tube is my Homegirl

  1. Ugh. Health insurance. I just got dropped from my parents’ and the only semi-affordable option for us is an absurdly high deductible HSA deal, which amounts to not much more than disaster coverage. I’m sorry to hear about how it’s stressing you out.

    I know kids are expensive. Take heart. At least in the beginning, they don’t care what they’re wearing as long as they’re warm and comfortable. Between presents (ask for larger sizes, as we practically had more 3-6 month outfits than days he could wear them) and buying most of his clothes secondhand, we clothed Eli for around $40 for this first year of life. If you cloth diaper (which I would have considered but Nate was utterly grossed out by the idea), the initial investment stings but it save bundles in the long term.

    I’ll send you all the full-term but not past deadline mojo I can muster. I know (believe me, I know) that it’s easy to list out all the things that could go wrong. With control freak personalities like you and I have, the unpredictability of pregnancy and childbirth is completely and utterly maddening. At ginormously pregnant and miserable, I fantasized about being induced just so it could be over. I’m glad I stuck it out. We had such a beautiful experience with E’s birth. Not that all births aren’t beautiful or that I’m qualitatively judging the experience that other women have, because I’m not and I wouldn’t. But it was such an unrushed and important experience for our little family that I’m glad I didn’t miss out on it.

    Anyway, I’ve written a lot. I’m sorry that you’re having a rotten time sleeping. I watched many, many births on YouTube while I couldn’t sleep. It’s pretty great. It was good for me to get a sense that birth experiences are as varied as the women and families who have them, and that there’s a big wide range of normal behavior. It’s totally kosher to moo or swear or be serenely quiet. You do what works for you, and it’s hard to know what that will be until you’re actually in the heat of the moment.

    OK, I’m still writing. Basically I’m rooting for you and am here to help in any way I can.

  2. I can help! I hereby swear and promise, cross-my-heart that I will move back to Eugene and be your friend. I will do it soon, too, in approximately 2 months, before baby boy arrives (hopefully). This means that I will cook food for you, run errands, and come keep you company and help you out while Logan is at school.

    The second thing that we can try to help with is getting your man a career. I am really hoping that all of Rcky’s new connections can be super useful to your hubby.

    You can do it my friend.

  3. Oops I didn’t realize you had posted when I was bugging you about not posting anything for while. I’ve been watching birth videos too. I agree with you, not wanting people to be yelling at me to push. I have found I like the idea of hypnobirthing. I need to do more reseach about it. I do hope that baby boy arrives in this year. I want to see my nephew. I’ve heard that eating FRESH pineapple will help induce you. Oh darn! mmmm pineapple.

  4. I will cross fingers and pray for an on time baby- or maybe continue the strange trend of myself and 4 of my friends and have a perfectly healthy 38.5-39 week baby- that way no time to get really anxious about making it before the new year?
    Naked dads are creepy.
    I spent most of active labor on hands and knees, the only vivid pain memories that haven’t been wiped away are from when I laid down to rest a few times. I did end up pushing in a semi-reclined, assisted, curled-nearly-into-a-ball position, which I didn’t expect, but after a long labor that began at the end of a long day I didn’t have the energy for the squatting I’d practiced for months. (That story is not meant as a labor horror story or a “suuure, make a ‘birth plan'” story, but rather as a “You can do it! No matter what happens!” encouraging cheer, with me as Britney (not Quinn, she’d probably be facetiously cheering).)

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