Thursday, February 03, 2005


For some reason I can't bring myself to settle down and go to bed yet. It's late, and I know we have to get up at 7 tomorrow as part of our newly begun program to get the kids to sleep by a decent hour, but I feel sort of edgy and wakeful. I keep reading blogs or looking at baby carriers online and getting up every half hour to prowl the house a little.

Tomorrow I'm seeing my midwife again. Last time she was here, I had a few of the symptoms of preeclampsia. I'm really hoping they've resolved. High blood pressure in particular is something I've never dealt with before in my life, so it's a little worrisome.

I also discovered that I have an abcessed tooth yesterday. Yippee. It doesn't really hurt, which is why I only noticed by accident. I have an appointment Tuesday to get it checked out and maybe fixed, depending on the time they have available. I have to get a mouth xray, which I know is a pretty minimal danger compared to the risk of allowing the infection to continue and possibly spread, but I still don't like the idea of radiation coming anywhere near me and this baby. Another reason to hope that my blood pressure is down is the long period of time I will be supine in the dentist's chair- which will mean the main artery carrying blood to my lower body will be partially compromised by the baby's weight pressing on it, causing my BP to rise to compensate...really makes you wonder why so many women are still forced to labor and deliver on their backs. I've never had a root canal before, so I'm kind of dreading it, especially because my choice of post-procedural pain relief is rather limited (let's see....tylenol....or, hmm, tylenol? decisions, decisions).

At the same time, I'm excited to have my midwife visit us again, especially since Jeff wasn't able to be here last time. And I'm hoping that this time the baby is better positioned for me to hear hir (that's my intentional attempt at a gender-neutral misspelling there) heartbeat. Last time, I only got to listen to the placenta, which was still pretty neat. Kind of a whoosh-whoosh wavelike sound (it reminded me of putting a seashell to my ear). My friend Reb in TX (the angel responsible for backing the Vecinos booksale/fundraiser) has me half-convinced to waterbirth this time. I know from experience that I probably won't really strictly need it, but I also know that a warm shower has immensely helped me during labor past times, so it might be nice. I just have to decide if it's worth the hassle of setting up a tub or pool and filling it. This is my last chance to try it, so I'm certainly tempted. The drawback would be it would have to be set up in the living room- which could be distracting for me if anyone is messing around in the connected kitchen.

It feels really odd to be talking about this birth in terms of living room and shower. With the exception of the aforementioned Reb, who is having her second homebirth a month or so after I am due, I know of no one else who is not opting to go to the hospital. It doesn't make me angry or sad or anything- I don't think it's a right-or-wrong issue, or that hospital birth is a terrible thing- but my position is sort of alienating. What makes me sad is, I'm sort of locked out of the normal cultural trappings of birth. I haven't had an ultrasound, or a triple screen, or a glucose tolerance test. I get to listen to my baby on a regular old stethoscope, not an amplified Doppler. I don't go to the doctor, my midwife comes to visit me. No one has been less than supportive- that's not what I'm getting at. It's that I wish like crazy I was more able to blend in; be part of the group. I wish I didn't always seem to be isolated by my choices.

I'm sure part of it is just being a 4w5- I think that's kind of a double whammy in terms of living with a certain amount of isolation and social awkwardness (I'm the Bohemian, for those looking to connect the numbers with a title). But sometimes it seems like I'm just programmed to find ways of increasing the awkwardness and isolation. I complain to Jeff sometimes that I just can't do anything in a normal fashion. I'm factory pre-set on "eccentric". And I know that part of me deeply values that- my refusal to pretend I'm like everyone else is a source of great self-worth...and that probably sounds arrogant until you realize that my other choice is to hate myself for something I have no control over- not that liking myself for it is rational, but it is more comfortable. But it's crazy-making too. Try as I might, I suck at chit-chat and other social niceties.

It's not that I want desperately to be like everyone else. I just want to be enough like everyone else that people can tell that I genuinely like them and enjoy their company. Maybe I just need to go to finishing school.

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