I don't know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels

13 months, 1 day

FrostedBaby has decided that he wants to stand. But the only thing he feels secure enough to use as a prop is me or Husband, and then he has no idea what to do with himself once he’s standing. Sometimes he bounces, sometimes he whines and wants to get back down, sometimes he wants to come closer so we can share a hug (that’s my favourite!). Occasionally I can get him to take some steps but overall he doesn’t seem to get it yet. I guess I should be glad that he’s not pulling himself up on everything and falling all over the place. He’s definitely not a kid that I would describe as having no fear. He’s getting better at controlling and slowing down his falling, but he’s not great at it yet. I stand him up and put him so he’s holding on the couch and standing there and he often turns to me and lets go of the couch and launches himself at me. Silly boy.

I may end up taking this back later, but I’m kind of looking forward to him actually walking. Right now, all he wants to do is crawl around. That really limits what we can do because I can only spend so much time doing things that don’t let him crawl around before he gets antsy and impatient. As long as we keep moving, he’s okay doing other stuff, but what can we do that involves moving all the time? I can’t go shopping (not that I really want to, but I do need some new fall clothes) or do a lot of things of that nature. We go for walks most afternoons if the weather is nice but that’s not really productive in a getting-things-done way. I figure that once he starts walking, we can go places and he can walk and he’ll be happier doing that wherever we are. We could go to the mall and walk and meet up with people. Just with him only being able to crawl, and an army crawl at that (so his whole front is rubbing on the ground), I don’t exactly love the idea of him doing that in a public place on a really dirty floor. I’ve let him do it a few times but I’m not thrilled with it and not at a busy place like a mall. I’m happy to see him moving in that direction since getting out and seeing people is already difficult enough due to his unusual nap times  (he sleeps from 11-1 and most other babies go down for their naps starting at 1:30-2) and taking forever to eat, now I can only partake in things that let him crawl around or that keep us moving constantly.

He’s started mimicking movements a lot the past week or so. He’s also realized he can make us do stuff if we’re copying him and it’s fun to watch his brain work as he tries to think of things to do. This morning Husband was feeding him breakfast and I was also at the table eating mine and he kept looking at me so I put my hand up to shield my face and then he put his hand up the same way. Adorable!

I’ve been trying to come up with things to do regularly on my own to get out of the house and leave Husband home with FrostedBaby by themselves, which is good for all of us. I had trouble coming up with stuff, but I did sign up for a pottery class with a friend that will be on Tuesday evenings starting in October. Not really my first choice and I’m not sure I’d do it alone, but she suggested it and it sounds interesting and not at all like anything I’ve done so I’m looking forward to it. I’ll probably suck at it, but who knows. What I would really love to find is a social group that meets once a week (preferably Saturday mornings) where I could go and socialize or whatever in a way that is completely unrelated to babies or being a mom. The one thing I can think of that I would want to do and be excited about (because I want it to be something I really enjoy doing) would be going kayaking once a week but it’s the wrong time of year for that plus I don’t have a kayak though that could be rectified fairly easily, I guess. No idea how expensively, but regular renting of one would get expensive pretty quickly. So it’s a work in progress. There’s a Mom’s Night coming up with the group, which will be really nice since I have a lot of trouble making them with Husband’s travel schedule and I haven’t seen a bunch of the moms for a while since a lot of them went back to work.

I went to an event on Thursday night which was a screening of a new “movie” (more like an hour-long documentary) about giving birth and giving women the choice of what type of birth they want (home or hospital) as well as being under the care of an OB not being the only choice. I think that’s a badly worded sentence. Basically, it was stressing that pregnancy and labour is not a medical condition and a lot of women are not getting the births they want in hospitals under the care of OBs because of the medical training to want to use interventions and not wanting to be sued and all that stuff, but a lot of women are not aware of the choices available to them (midwives and doulas) and in some countries midwives are put in jail for assisting at home births, even if nothing goes wrong. Here in Canada we are very fortunate to have more advanced ideas about that type of care, but a lot of people aren’t aware of them (and don’t realize that any treatments are optional) and we have a huge midwife shortage so even if you are aware and want one, you can’t always get one.

Apparently I was really lucky to give birth at the hospital that I did, because if I had gotten into another midwife practice (I talked about it here, but in case it’s been forgotten long story short I was lucky to get into any office because I waited a while and most were full already, but the one I went with had a cancellation) I would have delivered at another hospital (we’re halfway between two hospitals, so distance wouldn’t have been a factor) and that hospital has a really bad reputation for really old-school OBs and very traumatic birth experiences where all the power is taken away from the mom. One person there shared a story of being threatened with CPS being called if she didn’t consent to whatever it was they wanted to do to her while in labour (this is not uncommon, but I would have thought it was a US thing moreso than a Canadian thing, but in any case it’s illegal, but what are you supposed to do if you’re in labour? Ask to speak to their boss?). Another person is a nurse at this hospital and specifically went to a different one to deliver her first child but ended up with an unwanted c-section (she didn’t provide details) that now mean difficulty finding someone who will allow her to do a VBAC and she might have to deliver at this hospital and she said the thought terrifies her. Yikes! The hospital I delivered at I’ve heard mostly good things about, whether under the care of midwives or OBs.

I know that I was so glad that my birth experience was as positive as it was and that was because of being with a midwife. The only parts that I would change if I could were because of the OB they called in. And I’m not talking about the vacuum delivery, that was needed and that’s fine (and I trust that it was needed because it was the call of the MW), but after she came in she took over and did things that I had no say over and I felt less in control of what was happening to me. And I wasn’t exactly in a position to say anything for it – I was in labour! And then after, I was in such shock (not medical shock, but emotionally) that I had no idea what was going on. My husband told me about a power struggle between the OB and the MW after FrostedBaby was born over the eye drops and a few other things, which luckily the MW won since I wanted them delayed and they knew that. I already didn’t get to hold him the second he was born, he came out and they showed him to me and then as I was reaching for him, they whisked him away to check on him and clean him up, which I guess needed to be done but I was really upset by that. Anyway, if I hadn’t had a midwife, I’m 100% sure I would have had a csection because I don’t think the OB would have let me push so long even though everything was okay until the end (when his heartrate was dropping during contractions). I also wonder how much an epidural would have been pushed on me, especially if they were thinking csection in the end. I wonder if I would have gone along with it, because while I didn’t want a csection, if I had to have one I would prefer one with an epidural in because I didn’t want to be knocked out totally and miss his first however long after being born.

I do wonder what would have happened if I had stayed at home to have him, which we were thinking about because I was progressing so rapidly. Would we have had to rush to the hospital at the end? Or maybe I would have been in the big birthing tub (I really wanted that tub, but they didn’t offer to set it up in the hospital room and while they have a jacuzzi there, it’s low and I hated the idea of laying on my back in there and I was afraid I was going to get stuck) and more relaxed and it would have gone faster. Or maybe I would have just done it eventually – I made a lot of progress moving him down right before the OB did her thing with the vacuum. I was fine to keep going, it was just that he was going into distress and they were worried about him.

Anyway… it was an interesting movie and I would love to get involved in spreading the word and making women’s (and men’s) birth experiences better. It’s such an intense and scary and emotional experience and I can see how it can easily go from something you go through and feel empowered from to a terrifying horrible experience very very easily. I know for sure that it would have been a lot scarier if I had been delivering with an OB just for the very fact that they don’t stay in the room with you and you spend so much of the labour by yourself. Maybe the second time around it wouldn’t be as scary because I have some idea of what the whole thing is like, but I was so grateful they were always there. To be able to help other women find a positive experience out of it would be awesome.

(And I’m not saying all OB births are horrible and maybe not all women want that experience of a midwife, but as long as it’s an informed choice that a woman is making, that’s cool. I just think a lot of people go with that because they don’t know any different or that there are alternatives. Just like they don’t always understand the consequences of epidurals slowing down labour and often resulting in a csection – some people want that, but I know a lot of people who wanted the epidural not realizing or being informed of the effects of it).

So many people I know are pregnant right now. Or are having “oh, we’re going to start trying again” conversations and I feel so… unable to take part in them. There’s no point in saying we’re trying because of our history. And I realize a lot of them could have trouble this time around, but the flippancy that people talk about it with bugs me. Or leaves me feeling alone in our uncertainty. It’s not as bad as before when I’d been trying for years and they would probably all end up with babies before me, but it’s an echo of what I was feeling then. I wonder, once we’re done and don’t want any more, if I’ll be able to hear people say stuff like that without feeling any twinges or if it’s something that’s with you forever just because. I know I felt a lot less of those feelings when I was newly pregnant and shortly after he was born and I hadn’t yet started thinking of the next time yet because I was so satisfied with where I was. Not that I’m not satisfied now, but I hope that makes sense.

Anyway, it’s now late and this post got really serious and introspective for some reason. I’m not sure that’s where I was heading originally.

 

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