Monday, December 21, 2009

What Am I Doing?

We received news today that the big case I've been working on might settle. Negotiations are in the works. Last I heard, the parties were "close." For what that's worth.

The possibility of settlement brings mixed emotions. On one hand, I think if the case went to trial, we would kick the other side's lying, evil butts, which would give me great personal satisfaction. On the other hand, being able to stop the insanity, stop having to respond to their ridiculous motions, start working reasonable hours and put those jerks behind us - is a really welcome thought.

My boss already invited everyone out for drinks tomorrow night. I think it's a bit premature, but, whatever.

In the mean time, Alex P asked me some questions in her comment the other day. She asked what I am doing to get ready for delivery, whether I am taking Lamaze classes and what my plans are for having the baby, meaning whether I plan to get an epidural or go natural.

So I guess the big question is: What am I doing?

I'm embarrassed to admit that I have not yet enrolled in any childbirth classes, although I plan to. I have not done much research about my childbirth options. I know, I could I not have done these things? I have not yet talked to HR at work about my maternity leave, nor have I discussed it in any detail with my bosses. I'm not even sure what I want to ask for. And no, we have not yet interviewed any daycare providers.

I'm a mess. The past few months have somehow evaporated.

I do know a few things though:

(1) My first choice would be to give birth naturally, without an epidural. But since I have no idea what that pain is going to be like, I am absolutely open to shouting the word "Anesthesia!" and getting an epidural when it's offered. I'm no martyr.

(2) I'm also open to the possibility that I may need a C-section. Breach position, stalled labor, other emergency - whatever - I'm no hero. My first and foremost concern will be the health and safety of my baby. This birth is not about my experience - it's about getting the baby here safely.

(3) I need to take some classes. I know how to care for the baby once it's here, but labor and delivery are not my expertise.

(4) I do not want a midwife or doula. Just not my thing. When I'm in pain, I need quiet and I need to focus. Somebody touching me, stroking me or talking to me is likely to get cursed at and punched in the nose. All I want in the room are a doctor and a nurse telling me what to do periodically, and my DH, standing quietly nearby. I don't focus well when there are a lot of distractions.

(5) I'd love to be able to take 6 full months of maternity leave. I'm not sure what my bosses will think of that. I'm not sure my DH and I can afford that. But in a perfect world, it would be great. Alternatively, maybe I can take 4 months and then work from home part time.

(6) As for daycare, my Mom is supposedly going to move here and take care of the baby once I go back to work. But, we need to be prepared in case that doesn't work out. And my preference is a commercial daycare organization rather than a private home. I just feel like a commercial business will have strict rules and more people around so that the chances of someone shaking my baby (my worst nightmare) are less than in a private home. Just my own preference.

(7) My DH's plan is to get the baby's room emptied (it's currently a home office), cleaned and painted during the holiday break so that it will be ready for baby furniture and decorating. We'll see. My DH is a fabulous procrastinator. And I'm not moving furniture.

Oh boy. There is a lot to do. So, it will be helpful if the legal case settles so that I'll have time to turn my attention to some of these things. Otherwise, one day my water will break and then I'll really wonder: What am I doing?!


Serendipity said...

you sound pretty organised to me! I haven't taken any classes either. I considered it (despite having a c-section) but time is marching forwards so much faster than usual!

Have you got a date planned for starting your Mat leave? How close to your due date is it?

Anonymous said...

We took the classes, even though we ended up having a c-section. Actually it was pretty lame, but I suppose I might have been more impressed if I'd actually done an unassisted birth! I would sign up soon though, just because as you get closer it is harder for you to move around and the classes usually last 6-8 weeks. Many places may have a more compressed schedule (which I think would be better if they offer it) like 2 Saturdays or something.

I think the longest maternity leave possible is great - and if you can at least start by working from home that would be ideal, if you have the space. Good luck with everything, and remember - the big thing is that you have this child and these are all details!

Lorraine said...

I've been feeling like I'm falling behind on everything, so I'll be of no help to you other than to offer my absolute understanding (as always).

I did take classes (long time ago) in the Bradley method, which is designed for an unassisted birth in a hospital setting. It was the best choice for me because I have a tiny heart defect, not really a problem except if it caused problems in labor I would be devastated if "something happened". In any case, I did have an unassisted birth, not too excruciating and the hard part was over quickly. But I really attribute that more to luck and lots of prenatal yoga than any of the childbirth classes.

I also opted for a childcare center, for the same reasons that you're thinking about. There were enough people on staff that if one of them were out it didn't mean we had to change our plans, and because they gave each other scheduled breaks they weren't always on their last nerves by the end of the day. I knew they had health insurance and paid vacations, too - which just made me feel better. Maybe I'm naive, but I think that people who value their jobs feel like they are valued, which makes it easier to expect more of them. In any case, it worked out well and it was a great choice for us.

As for an unmedicated birth, you'll never know until you're there. My dearest friend is a really, really die-hard all-natural gal, and was screaming for the anaesthesiologist after swearing she would never ask for an epidural. Even though I never really got to that point, I won't rule it out in the future...

Good luck with making all the arrangements, and esp. with the mom factor!

IVF 40+ said...

Pity you didn't get to kick ass, especially evil lying ass. however, this is a cool time of year and you are kinda preggers so being able to enjoy the whole thing would be cool too.

Thanks for you support. It means the world.

Anonymous said...


I think it's deeply sexist, hurtful, and dismissive to say that the birth experience is ONLY about getting the baby safely here. Those kind of statements, quite honestly, shit on those of us who have had very traumatic birth experiences and live with that and struggle with it. Am I happy to have a healthy baby? Yes of course. But what does that mean for the devastating feelings I have about his birth? Am I just supposed to suck it up and deal? Ignore them? Considering them invalid?

I'm not even going to go there about the martyr comments. But really.........equally offensive.

I struggle with this issue because of what I know to be true about birth. I struggle to bite my tongue and just believe that women are generally good and we all just want to be good parents and we are all generally smart and well intentioned and doing our best. But seriously............don't crap on the experience of so many others just because you don't get it.

Sheridan said...

If you want to have a natural birth, Hypnobabies is a great childbirth class. They even have a home study program which is great.
I used it for my last birth. You can see my birth video at
Enjoy your birth

just me, dawn said...

numbers 1-4 sound exactly like me :)
I do recommend that you sign up for those classes soon....because of DHs schedule we couldn't do the 6 weeks of wed. evening....and they only have one session of 1 day courses or 1 option for the 2 day saturday we are doing the one day course on 1/ 36 weeks....bebe girl better stay put. of course, i have read enough that I am not freaked, but wish the timing was better.

Christina said...

The birth is not only about the baby getting here safely; mom is a huge part if it too! Having a natural birth is nothing about being a martyr. There are many unnecessary procedures done to a laboring woman under the illusion that it's what's best for the baby. Many times it's what's best for the hospital, doctors and nurses. Too many things are done out of convenience and for financial reasons. I'm only on my soapbox to tell you to research your options and don't feel pressured to do something just because the hospital thinks you've been there too long or because the doctor is late for supper. There is no substitute for a good obstetrician in an emergency; they are surgeons and that's what they are good at. BUT, they are not trained in the average run-of-the-mill birth. If you get a chance, watch "The Business of Being Born".

I've had both of my births in hospitals and they couldn't have been more different. The first was completely unmedicated and quite wonderful--relaxed and easy. The second was pitocin induced and I requested a narcotic because the drug made the contractions so strong. This unnecessary series of events caused my baby to have respiratory distress and spent 16 days in the NICU with a bill of nearly $100,000. Despite my short 5 hour labor, my doctor was unwilling to wait for my body to adjust to the crowning baby and, like a drill sergeant, yelled the baby out, and I have the scars to prove it. Know your rights and your options.

Alex P said...

I love your openness to all the different options and possibilities. My sister in law was so upset when she ended up having a c section with epidural when she was midwife/no drugs birthplan girl... Not having a set plan of exactness is also a little out of character for you, so IM sure it's hard for you to be 'ok' with the idea that you don't have control... Way to go!

I took your discussion about the childbirth to mean something completely different than C Lo. I didnt think you were dismissing people who had been through difficult childbirth. You have been through two traumatic miscarriages, which although completely different than difficult childbirth, Im sure was still impactful on your perspective of your coming delivery. I thought you just meant your primary focus is on making sure the baby and you are good, so you are not looking to revel in the feeling of each contraction or whatnot... You are a pretty down to earth girl, so you're just not romanticizing your birthplan and the experience to the point that you'll be heartbroken if the plan changes completely for the safety of you and your baby...? That doesnt mean youre dismissing others their right to have a set birthplan, because for a lot of people that works out super fine! Or maybe I got that wrong. IM sure youre gonna be shaken and upset if you have a difficult birth, and that will be something you will deal with in your own time...but you havent had that yet- so you don't know what those repercussions will be- so you are just focusing on a safe and happy baby and mom..?

K said...

Amen to everything you said....martyrdom, midwives, and such. You must rest easy have reached that magical period of viability - 28 weeks! Congrats!

Oh, and do ya think you could put some good happy lawyer energy out there into the universe and blow it up north?? I would LOVE for our case to settle too. And soon. Rumor has it the defense wants to mediate again....

Have a very Merry Christmas.

Gwynn said...

It's so good that you are wide open to all birthing options (although you might want to sign up for a few classes pretty soon). You never know what's going to happen. Trust me!! (Mine definitely threw me a few curve balls.) And you might want to consider choosing the hospital nearest you with the best NICU as a safety precaution.

We have nanny, because it works best with our lifestyle. It seems like a you have really thought out the daycare situation which is fantastic. We have a wonderful place near us, which was definitely the backup plan.

You are so right for trying to take as much time off as possible. The first 3 months are HARD and then it's like a little switch goes off in their heads and they start sleeping better and becoming more and more interactive. It's amazing. I only took off 3 months and it was so hard to go back. My son had just suddenly become an absolute delight and now the nanny was going to getting to enjoy all that yumminess while I had to slave away at work. So unfair! Eventually I worked out a deal where I work from home on Tuesdays and Fridays so I can intermittently play and interact with him. It's the best! (Or at least the best I can make it for now.)

Btw... YAY!!! on the case. But so anti-climatic, right?!

p.s. One of your last comments on my blog made a small tear well up in the corner of my eye. You really are just too sweet! Thanks for the smile. I needed it that day.

cpughster said...

Wow. I hate that you were attacked for having your own beliefs. Birth is personal for everyone, so if the most important thing for you is to get the baby here safely and not worry about your experience, then that is great! Because it is about YOU and YOUR baby. I can't believe how some of these individuals responded.

For childcare - we did a corporate environment as well and I couldn't be happier. I have webcam access, they have an open door policy and I am able to go up there and nurse. It just feels safer for me. But everyone has their preference.

Alex P said...

here here cpughster!

just me, dawn said...

Alex P said it well, and I am sorry people attacked you on your own blog....perhaps I completely understood because I come from the same place as you....with my previous losses, my goal is to bring bebe girl here safely (of course that is every mothers goal) but I have no "must do" things on my plan....many many "would like to dos" May our babies arrives in a peaceful and healthy way for us.

embieadoptmom said...

GIRL!!! This is your blog and you can say or feel however you want. I'm supporting you all the way ;)