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The Bump Chronicles- week 39 part 2

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So here I am posting a second week 39 update as apparently I have a lot to say….

Both my husband and I have been getting e-mails and messages asking “baby yet?”

My response is that if there’s a baby you bet there would be a Facebook, Twitter and blog status up.  People usually respond that they figured that I would be “too busy to update facebook”, if I’m too busy to update Facebook then you can bet that I’m too busy to respond to individual e-mails asking about “baby yet?” so I know that many of you are more anxious than I am but please hold tight for the press release.  Only family should expect a phone call or text.

Effective immediately I am ignoring all e-mails and messages asking that question, 99.9% of them come through Facebook anyway, just go to my page.

Here is your evidence that there is no baby yet- week 39

As my life gets closer and closer to forever changing I reflect on my life so far and how the choices and turns I’ve taken have led me to where I am now.  I am amused to think that until fairly recently I had not envisioned myself as ever having kids and how wholeheartedly I have embraced that change.  I am glad that I waited until a later age before taking this step.  I took my time to live life and explore, I didn’t get to do all of the traveling I wanted to do but I have seen a fair share of the world, studied, interacted, embraced career success and willingly gave it all up for a change in priorities.   I admit that my husband is a major reason for me changing my mind about this and I can’t wait to see how freaking cute and adorable it will be to see him being a father.

On the shopping front I am so thrilled to have scored a deal on hubby’s Ergo baby carrier.  This carrier normally sells for $105 and the resale value is almost as high, I had been lucky to find an used one for $85 online.  I let the consignment stores in the area know that I was looking for one and they took my information down but let me know that they seldom if ever get any in and that they keep getting requests for it.  I wasn’t holding my breath but know that we would get the carrier somehow.

That’s why I was so excited when the consignment store got their first Ergo carrier in over a year, in excellent condition and manly colors and best of all for 50% off retail!!! I couldn’t do that good on Ebay or Craigslist!  Thanks to MIL and SIL for the last minute ride to the store while they held it for me I’m thrilled that Daddy Fox will be able to wear baby Fox, now I’m just waiting to receive the waist extension strap and infant insert and we’ll be set!

Daddy Fox and I visited the Manatee Observation Center and got some stuffed manatees for Baby Fox in honor of the manatee encounter/blessing incident at the beach a few weeks ago.  It was hard to not buy EVERY stuffed manatee they had.

I make a conscious effort to avoid giving unsolicited opinions/ lecture and advice when someone talks about not breastfeeding, circumcising, choice of interventions, vaccinations, etc.  It does involve me biting my proverbial tongue and sitting on my literal hands at times.

When it comes to online discussions I tend to just watch from the sidelines as there usually is no shortage of people giving their $0.02 and other assorted spare change.    I only say anything when a person has specifically asked for advice/help/opinions and I have verified that I’m not just going to repeat what somebody else has already said.

Lately I’ve been biting my tongue fairly often and keeping my fingers away from the keyboard to avoid going on unsolicited rants at other parent’s decisions in online groups, message boards and social media.  This doesn’t mean that I can’t vent a little in my own forum without naming names…

So today’s rant is about mothers that say:  “if it wasn’t safe my doctor wouldn’t prescribe/ recommend it”.  You have no idea how much this one gives me a nervous twitch  and how often I hear/read it.

For starters, medicine is a constantly evolving field, there are a lot of things that used to be routinely prescribed until they discovered serious risks and dangers 5, 10, sometimes 20 or more years down the line after having been used on thousands if not millions.  Even from those things that are still commonly used, most of them are not 100% safe, almost everything has a contraindication, side effect or risk, it’s a matter of weighing the statistics, oftentimes the benefits outweigh the risks, chemotherapy is a popular example of this.

But chemotherapy usually applies in a life or death scenario and big risks seem more worth taking when the alternative is certain death.  However when it comes to diagnosis and treatments where lives are not at stake we would normally be willing to take less risk (or at least I would).

Like I always say, it all boils down to personal decision, everybody is entitled to act as they see fit, my pet peeve is when people don’t make informed decisions and blindly go with what their provider recommends.

I’ll give you a very personal example about something that most of you didn’t know happened, in which I could have done what most ignorant people do but instead I did my research and although I did end up following the doctor’s recommendation it was not done blindly and in an ignorant state.

Last year I was diagnosed with a blighted ovum sometimes called a missed miscarriage.  It was not a viable pregnancy and my body hadn’t gotten the memo about it yet.  The OB told me what he wanted to do and I had to ask to be given all of the options available.  He gave me 3 options and told me which one he preferred.  I could induce a miscarriage with pills, I could have a D&C (surgery) or I could wait for my body to catch up and do its thing naturally.

In my situation he strongly recommended the pills so I went ahead and got the prescription but before I took them I hit Google and must have visited over 30 medical websites, message boards and forums looking at all aspects of safety, use, risks, other’s experiences, etc for people that had previously been in my shoes.

During that research I learned that these pills (Cytotec) were designed for treating ulcers and had never been approved by the FDA for use in pregnancy, miscarriage or anything remotely related to it.  These pills just happen to be highly abortive so many doctors prescribe them for situations like mine and some hospitals have even used them to induce labor in women! This is not what the drug was researched and approved for!

Tons of women had used them successfully and without issue, but a statistically significant group ended up with dangerous cases of uterine rupture, ended up needing surgery after all and some of them ended up infertile as a result, a small number had even died from the complications!  Even if all went well the side effects were less than pleasant.  That was a shocker, my doctor never mentioned or hinted at anything like that!

How can a doctor prescribe something so unsafe without warning me?  How many women have blindly followed their doctor’s recommendations without thinking twice about it?  How many lived to regret trusting so blindly?

Due to my situation at the time I had to weigh all of the pros and cons of the situation, my health insurance at the time was almost non existent and crappy at best so if I had the surgery (not without its own serious risks), I would have had to pay several thousand dollars I didn’t have out of pocket; I could also wait for my body to do its thing but I was realistic in knowing that I couldn’t emotionally handle that option as I needed closure as quickly as possible so that I could start healing and didn’t want to spend days or weeks waiting for the other shoe to drop.

So yes, I did end up taking the pills but not after careful consideration of what it entailed, the risk I was taking and how comfortable I was with that risk.    And things worked out well for me (thankfully) but I was willing to accept personal responsibility if they hadn’t.  If things hadn’t worked out and I wouldn’t have done my research in advance you can bet that I would be in the middle of a malpractice lawsuit right now but that wouldn’t have changed the guilt I would have felt from blindly following somebody’s recommendation and not making an informed decision.  It’s my health and life after all!

My doctor played absolutely no role in that decision aside from signing the script, as a matter of fact, I promptly fired him and never even contacted that office again, to this day he doesn’t know how my induced miscarriage went.  If he was so willing to leave me in the dark about something so important and close to home he doesn’t deserve my business.  But that is just me, I was spoiled by my previous doctor who always made the habit of giving me pros and cons without me having to ask.

So the moral of this story?  Don’t take everything the doctor says at face value, do your own homework and make informed decisions.  It’s your body, it’s your health and it’s your LIFE!  This counts double while pregnant because your child’s health is at stake as well!  Even if the odds are slim, still know the odds and make sure that you are 100% comfortable with them!  All I wish is for people to be informed.

On to the next rant….

I seem to recall mentioning a public nurse-in in Orlando a couple of weeks ago, related to this event a DJ from an Orlando, radio station interviewed a midwife about nursing in public. The DJ would prefer that women not nurse in public, and his questions to the midwife were very anti-breastfeeding in nature. At one point he said something to the effect of, “Well, if women are allowed to breastfeed anywhere, then smokers should be allowed to smoke anywhere they want.”

I hate it when people make idiotic comparisons as if smoking and nursing are both apples. One reason smoking in public is not analogous to nursing in public: exposure to secondhand smoke costs the United States about $10 billion annually (out of a total of $150 billion annually for all smoking related health costs); on the other hand if 90% of US families could comply with medical recommendations … to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months, the United States would save $13 billion per year.

This doesn’t even get into the myriad reasons smoking is different from breastfeeding and the way public smoking impinges on my right to physical health or the fact that oftentimes now, I’ll come across smokers breaking the law, smoking directly under No Smoking signs.

When I am met with someone that smokes I do not fake a cough or wave my hand in front of my face (but I may have a legitimate cough). I do not grimace at the smokers and point tellingly at my protruding belly, reminding them that there  are children present. I do not tell them that if they wanted to smoke, they should do so at home where it’s decent, or that they should have planned their trips so that they smoked just before they left and just after they got back. I do not heckle them and threaten to call security/ police on them.

In short, people who are against breastfeeding in public should do what I do around smoking in public: Deal with it on a personal level.

I still don’t agree that it’s a good idea to smoke, but I know smokers I admire and like, and I know  about the hold smoking’s addiction can have on people. I also take steps to curb my exposure to smoke. Before indoor smoking bans were passed, I avoided restaurants that were too smoky for my taste; I’ve asked to change hotel rooms when I’ve been granted a smoking room inadvertently; and I will avoid standing near someone who is smoking.

It’s up to me to make myself comfortable. It is not up to me to make smokers bow to my every wish.  My objections do not trump their rights.  So why in the world can people do the same about nursing mothers?  Nobody’s health is in danger from being in the presence of a nursing woman, who can say that about being in the presence of a smoker?

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White collar hippie, tree hugger and crunchy mama living in Florida with her husband and 2 sons. Virtual bookkeeper, breastfeeding counselor along with homeschooling her children.

2 thoughts on “The Bump Chronicles- week 39 part 2

  1. I’m sorry to hear what you had to go through regarding your previous pregnancy. I realized you’d lost the baby, but not under what circumstances. And the doctor! What a moron. I feel doubly blessed to have been directed towards an ob/gyn that was intelligent and compassionate, and obviously cared about his patients’ feelings.

    Keep us posted!

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