Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Irksome and Infuriating

I've been reading a fabulous new document today--Evidence-Based Maternity Care: What It Is and What It Can Achieve--available through Childbirth Connection. I wish every female would read this info-packed document, especially those who are pregnant or ever plan to be in the future. Women need to know the real facts about the slew of medical interventions they could potentially encounter in childbirth. But that's not what irks me.

As I was reading along in the document, I got to the section about epidurals and found a statistic that felt like salt in an already festering wound. The estimated increase in cost from epidural use for low-risk experienced mothers is 36%. Why should that bother me? I'm not getting an epidural anyway, right? Ha! That's where the already festering wound comes in.

Back when I was investigating my birth options a few months ago, I contacted the hospital where my midwives deliver to find out how much they charge for normal vaginal deliveries without epidurals. The woman on the line gave me a number. Then I clarified, just to be sure, that it was the cost without drugs or epidurals. She said it's the same amount whether you have an epidural or not. Umm... what? Yeah, you heard that right. I have to pay for an epidural whether I want one or not. And I tell you what... it infuriates me.

I really thought we were going to save ourselves some big bucks with my natural birth choices. But now they tell me I have to pay for a bunch of crap I don't even want? If the 36% increase stat is correct, that's a huge increase in cost for someone who will be paying out-of-pocket. &$^%#%^@^! I also asked the lady on the phone if we'd save money leaving the hospital early... say if we didn't stay overnight. Nope. You pay for a two-day stay regardless of when you check out (unless, of course, you stay longer... then they'll of course take some more of your money). Awesome. This hospital and I have gotten off to a really great start.

Have I told you I really, really hate stupid, ridiculous, retarded hospital policies? I am thinking I may try to fight this one. It makes me want to vomit.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Birth "in place"

I wanted to make mention of a great blogpost and resource I just read. While most women plan ahead of time where they will give birth, sometimes birth happens too quickly to make it to the planned location or before a birth attendant can be present. There are also natural disasters or other emergency situations where women may be unable to reach or find space in a hospital. Though these situations are rare, they are still possibilities, and the best course is to be prepared. The American College of Nurse Midwives has a great resource-"ACNM Giving Birth in Place"--explaining how to give birth under emergency circumstances or wherever you may be--"in place."

My first labor went fairly quickly (less than 6 hours from start to finish). My second was a curve ball because my baby was posterior (27.5 hours start to finish with periodic stalls in labor). So I'm feeling fairly anxious about this next birth because I have absolutely no idea what to expect. It could be extremely fast. My sister's third child was born an hour and a half after the first contraction! Or maybe this one will also be posterior and take its time? I have no idea once the first contraction hits whether I need to rush or relax. It's nerve-wracking now... I can't even imagine how nervous I'll be in late March/early April.

But I plan to study up on "giving birth in place" and take whatever precautionary steps I can to prepare for the possibility that we have to give birth unattended. Maybe I'll even get us an "emergency birth kit" like this one--it'd probably be good to have around anyway for emergency preparedness in general. I hope these precautions will bring me at least a little peace of mind. I think they will.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Prego Pic #2

Here we are at 15 weeks. I swear my stomach suddenly popped out in the last few hours. Even my belly button is poking out now. I love getting beyond the "I look pudgy" phase to the "I definitely look pregnant" phase. We heard the heartbeat at our appointment a couple of weeks ago. I can't wait to start feeling movements. I really love being pregnant, and I feel sort of sad when I think that I'm already over a third of the way through. It's flying by too fast!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Let's get movin'

I just read some great news. Though it only confirmed what I already knew. Check it out!

"Moderate physical activity during pregnancy does not contribute to low birth weight, premature birth or miscarriage and may actually reduce the risk of complications, according to a Michigan State University professor who contributed to the U.S. government's first-ever guidelines on physical activity" ("Guidelines urge physical activity during pregnancy,"

I should say that, although I was dead set on exercising through this pregnancy, I've been woefully inactive for the past month or two (or has it been three?). But this little news flash may be just the boost I need to get back out there and run again. Maybe I'll even go tomorrow?