Tuesday, April 2, 2013
A history of my pregnancies as a Pre-review for The Business of Baby
I’m getting ready to write a review of Jennifer Margulis’ new book The Business of Baby, to be part of her book tour on April 18th. I thrilled to be part of her book blog tour and quite honestly even more thrilled to be able to review her incredible book. However, as I’ve been mulling over the review in my head for the last couple of weeks, I’ve felt like it’s one of those books that pulls out personal experience stories. You know, like when you are in a group of parents and everyone starts talking about their birth experiences and you have to hold your tongue until you find a space in the conversation so you can talk about yours? Well, it would never be my intention to start talking about me and my experiences when I actually want to be talking about this incredible book. I know I’ll keep mentioning how I wish I had had it ten years ago, but it seems unfair to start talking about why and for what in an actual review.
Therefore, this is the pre-review. This is my background story. This is my background to explain how in my next post I’ll be saying how Business of Baby is written proof of what my instincts were telling me all that time ago.
The Business of Baby is about pregnancy, birth and the first year. So, as my precursor to the review I simply want to relay to you my birth stories, which I haven’t often relayed in my work. But, like I said, while reviewing Jennifer’s book I don’t want to keep going on a tangent with a “like when I gave birth and the....” It could turn out to be a very long winded review indeed.
I got pregnant for the first time when I was 24. We were over the moon and although we hadn’t been a couple for very long that’s not to say it was by accident either. We’d sent out the invite and left it up to whoever wanted to snatch up first place. But, for financial reasons, we decided it was best we spent some time in the UK where we could pick up some work as musical therapists as my husband use to do there and we could become a little more secure. So, I did what I thought I “should” do, checked in with my GP, did my blood work, my urine tests, I was the ideal patient for the first couple of months before we left for the UK. However, what my GP didn’t know was that my husband had been studying natural health for years. Also, although I didn’t know it at the time, I was beginning to get a sense of trusting my instincts over a doctor’s. I really had no framework of knowledge to fall back on, only instincts, but still deep down I knew I didn’t want to be tested for everything and I wanted to trust in the process my body was going through. So, off we went to the UK, much to my doctor’s displeasure. Two things happened within the first couple of weeks. First, I developed severe nausea and began throwing up ALL THE TIME! And second, my doctor contacted my mom and told her that I was Rh negative so I would need to get the SHOT! I was in a panic. My husband was under the impression that he was o positive, but still we thought he should be tested, just to be sure. So I visited a midwife over in the UK, then a doctor. I had an ultrasound and found myself again in the system, but still no one was testing my husband. Finally, we met with someone who jotted it down when we suggested that the whole issue might be null and void if my husband was Rh negative too. Although he gave a look of disbelief, implying we were in denial, he booked my husband in for a blood test.
It is one of our favorite memories as a couple, the moment we got a phone call saying that my husband was indeed rh negative. It was like all our instincts were justified and we as a couple made sense again.
A few weeks later I read in a pamphlet I had kept in my purse but never read before, that morning sickness was the sign of a healthy pregnancy. None of the doctors or midwives had told me this when I had asked them. Rather, it was one of those things that made me have a guard up against the system.
Our daughter was born healthy and happy in the hospital. I had had a birth plan and it was respected. There were only two points when I was distracted from anything to do with giving birth and was overcome with distrust with the medical group looking after me. First, when they shouted “time to break the bed” and my husband and I looked at each other in confusion, not knowing that the bed did indeed break in order for delivery. Second, when the doctor came in with some sharp looking tools and I stopped to ask what he thought he was doing. They calmed me, they cajoled me, and they pandered me. They also broke my waters and administered Picotin for the afterbirth, reassuring me that it was what made sense and made it easier for me. I was not in my most lucid state so I said alright.
We had objected the vit K and the antibiotics for our daughter’s eyes, which they rolled their own eyes at but agreed. They insisted on the heel prick, which they did to our daughter in her cot. She’d been happy to lie in there before the shot, but didn’t leave my arms after.
It was my plan to breastfeed our daughter. But without much support, a mother buying me formula and bottles, a nurse coming and saying it wasn’t working, and a baby who was awake all night and I had no knowledge of co-sleeping only stories of “walking the floor” and references to trying to get a baby to sleep in their bed from the get go. I gave in and started giving her formula at 3 months. I regret it still, as my eldest is the only one who has intense earaches and sinus issues.
All this being said, my first daughter, my darling girl, survived and she taught me so much. It was because of her that I started to listen a little bit more to my instincts and I gained confidence in my own inner knowledge. In spite of everything, we had a blast throughout her babydom and still do 10 years later. I know that everything is perfect. She chose to come at the time she did. She knew I wouldn’t have any knowledge about certain things. She knew we would learn together. We still are as we face teen years and so many changes.
My other daughter teaches me so much as well. My darling girl, who’s beginning was so rocky and emotional I still have problems reiterating it... Look for it in another post coming soon!