Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Birth Plan

I've been hearing a lot about birth plans, mostly on a US preggo's forum I lurk around but also from some of people I've talked to in my personal life. Apparently lots of women opt to draft a detailed birth plan prior to the big event so that they, their support person, the medical staff and whoever else happens to wander by will all be on the same page on the day.

It's an interesting concept. I know a lot of people that like to feel prepared. They're super organised and it gives them a sense of control. Since pregnancy is a time of total loss of control, over body, emotions, memory, self, I can see how gaining some it back, especially during what would have to be the scariest aspect of pregnancy, sounds pretty appealing.

Having never actually heard of a birth plan before, I decided to look into it. I found a range of examples online from the thorough, the natural home birth, to the elective c-section birth plan. Seems like every body was doing a plan. I was surprised by the level of detail these women included. The fact that they new enough about induction to actually specify how it was to be done and which substance was to be used made me feel more than a little unprepared.

Everything I know about labour I've learnt from TV. So my expectation was that at some point a tidal wave of fluid would gush out of my nether regions. There would be a lot of screaming and rushing around. We'd get to the hospital where there would be more screaming and swearing and crying. Somebody would get a bucket of hot water. I'd start to resemble to woman from The Exorcist, my other half would pass out. Then the doctor would see the head. There'd be a collective sigh of relief and everything would be calm again.


I raised birth plans with my doctor at one of my many appointments. My Ob told me the more complex and detailed a birth plan is, the more likely you'll wind up having an emergency c-section with complications. She's about a hundred years old and has been doing the pregnancy doctoring since the dawn of time so I assume she knows what she's talking about. She also told me that realistically, none of the birthing process is actually up to me and that I should be flexible and just go with the flow.

My life MO is basically to wing it (or stumble around in the dark and wind up where I'm going by blind luck). Go with the flow. I can definitely do that. I dismissed the idea of a birth plan there and then and decided to stick with my original approach. I began joking about my birth plan, whenever I was asked, being that I would go to sleep one night and wake up with a healthy and happy baby sleeping beside me. No mess, no fuss. Chalk it up. It would be met with either a concerned "she's living in a dream world, I"m worried" glance by women who've been through child birth or laughter and a "Good luck with that" from people who hadn't.

To be honest, I think birth plans are a bit of bullshit. Unless you've been through the process you can't possibly know what to expect or how you might feel. When it comes to pain relief, I think there's a fine line between bravery and stupidity.

So, here's my birth plan:

1. Go into labour.

2. Go to hospital.

3. Get drugs.

4. Have baby.

5. Take a nap.

(not necessarily in that order)


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

100 Facts About Me

In random order, as I thought of them:

1. My parents bought a book on how to have a girl when they were trying for me.
2. I was painfully shy in primary school.
3. I had no friends until we moved when I was in grade 3
4. I developed a strong predilection for chocolate as a toddler.
5. I've lived at eight different addresses in four different city’s/towns.
6. I'm completely geographically challenged.
7. I'm easily amused by little things.
8. I've been shot. Twice.
9. I'm terrified of one day having to have a colostomy bag because of my Crohn's.
10. I gave up alcohol just over a year ago and have no desire to drink ever again.
11. I used to call myself a writer. Now I think of myself as someone who could've been a writer.
12. I collect Archie Comics. I read my first one at age 10 and have loved them ever since. I have over a thousand.
13. I learnt Ninjitsu for a year. I wanted to be a Ninja, but lacked the discipline needed.
14. I'm a cat person.
15. Every pet I've ever had was abandoned by someone else.
16. I'm almost always tired.
17. I broke my wrist jumping over a fence and didn't know until it was x-rayed almost a year later for an unrelated reason.
18. I almost always put things off, but I usually get them done in time.
19. I hate my legs and won't wear skirts for this reason.
20. I sometimes have night terrors.
21. I love singing at the top of my lungs while driving alone in my car.
22. I cannot stand Sacha Baron Cohen. If I met him in person, I'd like to punch him in the face.
23. As a kid, I once won a 5kg jar of m&m's by guessing the EXACT number it contained. I wouldn't share them.
24. I constantly forget to ring people back.
25. I learnt to play the Saxophone and taught myself to play 'Tequila' by ear.
26. Almost all of the clothes I wear to work are black, white or purple.
27. I'm an orphan.
28. I'm allergic to mushrooms.
29. My father was a qualified proofreader. I can't spell.
30. My mother was an exceptional dressmaker. I can't sew.
31. I have a library book that's 25 years overdue. It's ‘Little Women’. I've never read it.
32. I love reading about serial killers. I find them fascinating.
33. The first concert I went to was Kylie Minogue. I was 12. I didn't have a ticket but somehow managed to walk right in.
34. My first job was packing parachutes at a skydiving club. They never paid me.
35. I love potato in all its forms.
36. I got stuck in an elevator in Indonesia and panicked until my brother told me to shut up.
37. I chose my elective subjects at Uni based on whether they had exams or not.
38. I didn't start to develop self-confidence until my late 20's.
39. I want to be athletic, but it's a struggle.
40. I don't understand how people can get so worked up over matters that don't impact on them in any way (for eg. straight people protesting gay marriage)
41. I had a pet Turtle. It ran away.
42. I use the F-word more often than is necessary.
43. I'm not offended by the C-word and don't really understand why it's so offensive to so many.
44. I love swimming, but I hardly ever get to. I wish I had a pool.
45. The smell of freshly cut grass is one of my favourite smells.
46. I love tunnels but hate being underground.
47. I wish I could speak Italian fluently.
48. I was bitten on the foot by a snake while swimming in a river.
49. I was bitten on the wrist by a possum. I had to get a Tetanus injection. It hurt.
50. To overcome my fear of public speaking, I agreed to give a lecture at a University in front of 100 students. I've done it several times since.
51. I like cheesy chick flicks like 'You've Got Mail' and 'Sleepless in Seattle'
52. When asked my age I always answer 29. For some reason this really angers a friend of mine who flies into a rage correcting me. She has never gotten my actual age right.
53. Haigh's dark chocolate crèmes are my all time favourite chocolates.
54. I find it hard to make friends.
55. My brother and I had a bodyguard for a day when we attended an official function with my father.
56. I know CPR and have had to use it once.
57. I laugh when I'm nervous or uncomfortable. People mistake it for insincerity.
58. I buy cheep sunglasses because I'm forever losing them or breaking them.
59. I don't have a favourite/lucky number/colour/letter.
60. I really want to get a tattoo but I'm scared it'll hurt like hell and I'll chicken out halfway through.
61. I was misdiagnosed about 8 times before they realised I had Crohn's Disease.
62. One of those misdiagnoses was Anorexia. The doctor told me I needed 'to eat better'.
63. For my last meal, I would order roast lamb, roast potatoes & pumpkin with gravy, raspberry soft drink and black forest cake.
64. I was kicked out of Sunday school for asking the minister too many questions he couldn't answer.
65. My mother enrolled me in all kinds of after school classes to help me make friends. I did pottery, drawing, Brownies, cooking, hiking, swimming.
66. I think ADHD is very rare and it's much easier for practitioners to diagnose kids with it than to actually put the effort into resolving the problems. I don't believe Adult ADHD exists at all and I think doctors who prescribe dexamphetamine to adults for this should lose their license.
67. When work stresses me out I fantasise about having a basic job that is largely inconsequential, like packing shelves at Coles. The truth is, I wouldn't last one shift in such a job.
68. I was in love with Corey Haim as a tween. I covered my bedroom walls in posters of him, which I kept into adulthood (just not on the walls).
69. A boyfriend discovered these posters years later and threw them out because he was jealous. I lost respect for him then and there.
70. My teeth are completely fucked due to Crohn's.
71. Throughout my pregnancy I have craved chicken.
72. Every time I go into Myer I get the hiccups.
73. People who waffle irritate me. Likewise, I find that people who use excessive and unnecessary technical terms come across as a try-hard, rather than intelligent or well read.
74. I almost always have vivid and bizarre dreams.
75. I did a minor in Feminist Studies at Uni. My lecturer was a bra burning radical feminist named Yola. I liked her but I thought most of her views were warped.
76. My favourite swear word is fucktard. I use it often.
77. I hate shopping for everything except second hand books and DVD's. I find clothes shopping soul destroying.
78. I wrote a story in primary school that a publisher wanted to turn into a children's book. The teacher said no because it wouldn't be fair to the other kids in the class.
79. I still have that story today. It's in the coffee table drawer.
80. My experience with babies and children is non-existent. I'm 39 weeks pregnant.
81. In year 12 I did nude photography as part of Studio Art. The school made me sign a contract that ensured any models under 18 had parental consent (they didn't), that my work would not be displayed publicly (it was) and that I would be discreet about it (I wasn't).
82. A 17 year old boy from my class and I (also 17) went to the male art teachers home in the evening to take some of the nude photo's. It never occurred to me that this was inappropriate until years later when I was talking about it at work one day.
83. None of my friend’s parents liked me. I was described as 'too smart for my own good' or 'a bad influence' and once 'too worldly'.
84. My heritage is Jewish Italian.
85. Halfway through a job interview I decided I didn't want the job because it sounded boring as hell. I didn't have the heart to tell the employer who seemed so excited. When they offered me the job, I lied and said I'd been offered something else.
86. I found a videotape of home made porn that a previous tenant left behind in a cupboard. We watched it with a group of friends for a laugh. A week later my 15-year-old neighbour stole it.
87. I like skinny vanilla cappuccinos.
88. Two minutes after watching Wolf Creek alone, the power went out. I heard glass breaking outside and a scream. I panicked and drove over to my brother’s place until the power returned.
89. My grandmother's funeral was on my 10th birthday. She'd written me a card that my aunt gave me at the funeral. It took me ten years to bring myself to open it.
90. I don't iron anything. I bought a Tiffany iron for $15 from K-mart in 1996. It's still brand new.
91. My other half is English. I love his accent and never get sick of hearing it.
92. I do not manage feelings of frustration very well.
93. My childhood Asthma was cured by moving from the city to the country. The same thing happened to my Aunt when she was a child.
94. When I lived alone I slipped in the kitchen almost cracking my head open on the corner of the marble bench. I took out ambulance cover the next day.
95. I’m too uncoordinated to be any good at the Wii.
96. My skin is pale. I don’t tan at all I just burn and peel. As a result I use maximum SPF sunscreen most of the time.
97. I believe having Crohn’s disease has changed me for the better.
98. I often forget to eat. I either don’t get hungry or my brain doesn’t know how to interpret hunger cues.
99. I am ridiculously bad at painting my nails.
100. I am forgetful and disorganised.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pregnancy advice

I am getting some wonderful advice from all kinds of people on my pregnancy and how to manage it. It's really good, I don't need to do any of my own research. Too easy.

Don't drink tap water, only drink water that's been boiled twice. It kills all the germs and the added chemicals. I asked why twice? Surely any germs that weren't killed during the first boiling will have developed a boil survival plan. For all I know, boiling the water might just be like giving them spa, they might even get a bit frisky and start to procreate. With a completely straight face she replied "It just takes two goes".

Don't eat chicken. It's loaded with harmful growth hormones and steroids. What, not even if I boil it twice? The OB has said from the beginning that she thinks I'll go into labour early, plus the Crohn's could inhibit the baby's growth so really, if you think about it, eating chicken with growth hormones is probably just what this kid needs.

If you want a girl, eat cake in the first trimester, for a boy eat nuts. Silly me, I actually thought the sex of the baby was determined by the DNA contained within the sperm that fertilised the egg. Whoa. That's crazy voodoo speak. Of course it has everything to do with the food I eat after conception. What happens if I eat nut log?

Don't use the spa, you'll hard boil the baby. Now I must admit, I did get sucked in with this one. I avoided the spa completely in the first 6 months and then it occurred to me that although the spa gives the appearance of boiling water, the water is not actually boiling. Still, I double checked with my doctor who gave me a look that indicated she thought I might actually have brain damage and then slowly explained that no, a having a spa would not hard boil the baby.

Avoid all sugar because you can't go to the dentist and one of your teeth will turn black and fall out. Now if I avoid all sugar, having a tooth fall out will be the least of my worries, namely because I'll have gone stark raving mad from withdrawal and be bouncing off the walls of a padded cell. If my tooth is going to fall out anyway, why bother avoiding the sugar? and why can't I go to the dentist?

Eat peanuts or your baby wont build up a tolerance and will be allergic. This person went on to say that really anything I eat will build the baby's tolerance. Sounds reasonable. So what are some other common allergies that kids have? wheat, eggs, bees, dust mites, pollon. Hmmm so I guess I'm having an egg and bee sandwich with dust mite salad for dinner. Yum!

Drinking Coke will cause the baby to get diabetes. I'm amazed Coke is still on the market considering it's made with cocaine, is more addictive than heroin, can get you high if you add aspirin, will dissolve a tooth in 12 hours, can eat through metal, gets rid of corrosion and it's a better household cleaner than... well household cleaners. The question I have is, if it eats through metal, how the hell do they keep it in the can???