Week 34 Observations

Observation 1:  It has come to my attention that I’m a little bit crunchy. What is most interesting about this is that being a cheapskate was my gateway to ultimate hippie momhood. Believe me, it’s not something I have been striving for. There are no prizes for this type of behavior, and it’s my husband, not me who is the smug recycler, composter, bike commuter. I buy used things because they’re cheap–and I guess they have the side benefit of preventing waste. I want to cloth diaper because it’s way less expensive than disposable…and I suppose it’s a lot more Earth-friendly. Breastfeeding, no circumcision, home-made cleaning products. They all have their pros and cons, sure. But their common thread is that they’re allllll cheaper  than the alternatives.

I suppose the exception for me is having a midwife. I always wanted a midwife, but the fact that I’m comfortable having a home birth midwife started because, you guessed it–it’s WAY cheaper. And they bring all the birth center stuff to your house, so it’s not a big difference to me. It’s true I like the idea for a million other reasons I realized later, but the fact that it was cheap was the initial thought that made me consider it.  My latest and most ookey consideration? Placental encapsulation. Because if I can find any research indicating that it might help me avoid going to a therapist while suffering from PPD, it just may be worth it.

I know, you’re grossed out. But if it helps, my cheapness is also what makes me a fairly easy-to-get-along with hippie mom. I just figure people who make different decisions have different priorities and/or better insurance. No judgment from me.

Observation 2: Perineal massage sucks. Who was the asshole (ha) who labeled the painful act of stretching your woman-junk in anticipation of birth a perineal “massage”?  Uncool. But two things keep me doing it: 1. I don’t want to tear, and 2. I don’t trust my ability to slow down pushing to prevent tearing. Hence, the “massage.” It’s a new type of horrible intimacy in our marriage on par in its embarrassing, horrible nature with not caring if your spouse sees you pick your nose or fart. “Hey hun, why don’t you stick your thumbs up in my business in an unsexy lateral fashion while I hang out being completely pissed off for 10 minutes. Cool. And no, we’re not having sex after.”

My husband is a trooper–he doesn’t want to do it any more than I want to have it done. Which is to say, we both want my vagina intact for future use, but we wish there was another magical way that didn’t involve removing the baby through my abdominal cavity. Ultimately, I recommend it for the pregnant ladies–if only once or twice so you, too can say “Holy shit. That’s uncomfortable” and thus get a taste of one of the wonderful sensations of birth. Here is a video (bonus British accent) which demonstrates perineal massage–and is mostly unhelpful unless your vagina is already gaping open. Enjoy.

Observation 3: There are way too many things to do. And that is why I must leave you, my precious readers.

Have you had any interesting observations about yourself lately?

5 thoughts on “Week 34 Observations

  1. Cloth diapers: been there, done that. While it’s true that they’re cheaper, don’t forget to factor in the increased costs of 1) electricity for the washer 2) possibly gas for the dryer 3) additional laundry soap. 4) additional water costs for soaking, rinsing, washing 4) your extra time to go through all the above processes. Costs might wind up being nearly the same.

    Perineal massage: yep, no fun there! But, thankfully, nature has a way of healing the aftermath of birth so amazingly nicely, even with tears and/or episiotomy. Word of advice: resist the temptation to have an “extra stitch or two” thrown in if you should need any. Overcompensating for the miracle of natural healing can lead to future regret/discomfort.

  2. I hope the ‘massage ‘ works for you, because tearing sucks. I didn’t get any chances to prepare myself with #1 being a preemie and tore badly. Number two came out with an arm above his head so that re-tore things. I didn’t stand a chance with #3 and tore along all the old scar tissue because it doesn’t stretch as well. On the plus side I have no idea what a birth without the wretched ripping open of my body is like (thank heavens for epidurals and intrathecals) so I guess there isn’t much that scars me off from having another.

  3. We both hated perineal massage and did it sporadically at best.

    So even without very vigilant perineal massage, I escaped with a very small 1st degree tear. Slow, controlled pushing is the key. I would push till the point of burning and then pant through the rest of the contraction. It sort of felt like ignoring an itch I REALLY wanted to scratch, but I’m glad I didn’t have more tearing than I did. Because I had more control over my body, I felt like things went smoothly with squeezing out a kiddo.

    But yes, I’ll be doing perineal massage with Baby Litchick 2, should we ever have a repeat performance.

  4. Hahaha, crunchiness is awesome. Though, I definitely don’t lean that way because it’d be cheaper. Having a home or birth center birth would be way more expensive for us, unfortunately.

    I wish more moms were of the non-judgmental hippie variety, but that seems like a very uncommon occurrence. In my experience, no matter what you do, if you do it differently than someone, your choice becomes a judgment call against their choice and then everyone’s on the defensive. It’s laaaame. I am sure I’m not the perfect non-judgmental mom, either, but I try to be fairly level-headed. I think my judgmental side rears its ugly head when I engage with a mom who is completely ignorant and doesn’t have any interest in being informed. It is a lot easier to accept someone else’s choices that are completely opposite from my own if I know they at least made an educated choice. Ya know what I mean? That is my observation about myself.

    As for perineal massage… oy. Good luck. I truly hope it works its magic. My Hypnobabies class sung its praises, but the research I did independently didn’t convince me that it would make a meaningful difference… and so I never did it. And after Vivian came out with a head circumference that was 4 cm larger than average, I am quite certain no amount of stretching out of my lady parts would have saved me from tearing. 🙂 Thankfully, I didn’t tear that badly and suffer no long-term effects. Though, I am worried about tearing again, since I now have scar tissue that won’t be as flexible. Ah, the things we go through for our babes….

    This was a really long comment. The end.

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