Tuesday, I hit [35 weeks pregnant]. Seriously... where has the time gone?!? The third trimester has flown by, but of course, not without it's [s p e e d b u m p s]. Here's the quick rundown of my third trimester so far:
#1. I'm getting big. Like REAL big. To the point where I waddle now, struggle to put my shoes on, and also can't get comfortable.
Sitting, standing, laying down... you name it, it's not comfortable :(
#2. I feel pretty run down most days. I'm able to be productive until about noon... then I hit a massive brick wall, everything hurts, and I'm ready to go back to bed. I've been toughing it out and luckily I have awesome clients who are totally forgiving when I need to cut my day short.
#3. I'm FINALLY starting to feel the rollercoaster of emotions and hormones that everyone talks about. It's not great. Until recently, I've been able to hold it together pretty well. I think feeling like a giant whale certainly doesn't help.
#4. and MOST IMPORTANTLY... I'm learning to trust my instincts.
Let me expand on that one...
At our 32 week appointment we met with the Physician's Assistant because my regular OB was out of town. I'm pretty easy going and know that people can't be available 24/7 so I had no issue with this when I set up the appointment... especially since it was just going to be a quick check up after our ultrasound.
At this stage in my pregnancy, the PA told me that it was time for me to get two shots.
- a tDap shot which is meant to prevent whooping cough (yikes)
- a flu shot
I had no objection to the first shot... but when I told her I wasn't sure if I was comfortable with getting a flu shot and that I was going to take a little time to think about it, her reaction was something I couldn't have imagined.
"So when your baby ends up dead, and you're sick in the hospital... you're ok with that?"
Umm… I think it goes without saying that NO, I’m not ok with that. But I’m also not ok with being bullied, or having someone impose fear tactics as a way of pressuring me into doing something I’m not comfortable with.
NEVER EVER EVER is it ok for someone to speak to you like that. ESPECIALLY if you are an expecting mama who is already scared of screwing everything up.
So F that lady.
After Art and I left that appointment, we both were feeling uneasy about going forward and feared that we would encounter her again. Or worse yet, that my actual OB would share the same feelings as her.
Between that appointment and our next appointment at 34 weeks, we got the opportunity to meet and start working with our Doula & Birth Photographer.
Corryn Rogers [who is the owner of Oh La La Doula & a Bradley Method birth educator] was so comforting and reassured me that no matter how far along I was in my pregnancy, it was never to late to change providers if I don’t get a good vibe. She gave us some really great insight and questions to ask my provider to see what kind of gut feeling I got when he answered.
Katie Mathis [who is the owner of Katie Mathis Photography, specializing in birth, maternity, and new born photography] was equally amazing and made me feel so empowered to take charge of creating the birth and labor that I want.
At our 34 week appointment, we finally got to meet with our regular doctor and had the opportunity to discuss what happened at our previous appointment.
We explained the situation and initially he was sympathetic to the situation and apologized for her unprofessionalism.
...He should have stopped talking after he apologized...
Of course he didn't. He continued on saying
"I'm glad it didn't sway your decision to stay with the practice. This is my practice and she is an extension of me. I don't need her shooting me in the foot when I'm not available... that's money out of my pocket."
Can you say $$ dollar signs? $$
I get that it's a business... but don't make me feel like I'm just another number to you. At least PRETEND to give a shit about us and our feelings.
But wait... it gets better...
Before he raced out of the door, I quickly asked about when we'd get to discuss our birth plan (because time is a tickin' and maaaaaybe we should be on the same page about this whole thing, no?)
"I don't do birth plans, you can't plan for something like this. We will do what is best for you and the baby. I had a patient once give me a 5 page birth plan.. that's just ridiculous, you can't plan this stuff. But if it makes you feel better you can write one up and I'll take a look at it."
Am I in a twilight zone right now... WTF is happening? What do you mean you just DON'T do those. Wouldn't you think it's important to be on the same page as your patient going into something as monumental as this? Guess he doesn't think so...
That was the final straw.
Art and I were looking for reassurance from our doctor that our desires and needs would be respected and instead we left realizing that we were nothing but a dollar sign. If he couldn't take the time to address and respect my concerns in that moment, he certainly wasn't going to when we were in the hospital and on "his turf".
You are strong! You know what's best for you! You can do this! You can find a new provider! ...Oh god, you are almost 35 weeks pregnant!!
[Cue the panic]
haha ok, so maybe I put on a strong game face and pretended like I wasn't completely freaking out... but that was certainly the dialogue in my head. I knew I didn't want to go back there... but WHERE would I go? Would anyone accept me this far along? Would people think I was just overreacting? What if I don't even want to give birth in a hospital? Is that crazy? Is it safe?
So many questions with answers that only I could provide.
I initially asked everyone's thoughts... then I realized that this isn't everyone's story. This is a moment for just Art and I. To do what is best for us.
I silenced the opinions and thoughts of other's and I asked Art... "what do you think is best for us to do?"
In true Art fashion he said...
"whatever is going to make you feel the most comfortable during the process is going to be best for you and our baby. The more calm and relaxed you can be, the less stress the baby will be under."
ugh... I freaking LOVE this man
He was right. I needed to stop worrying about what other people thought I should do, and just listen to my gut. It had been telling me all along that a hospital wasn't the place for me.
Yesterday I got the opportunity to tour and meet with the midwives at Willow Birth Center and I've never felt more at ease in a medical center in my life.
Not only were these women warm and welcoming, but they were empathetic to my less than ideal experience with my other provider. It felt like I could take a deep breath for the first time in 35 weeks, knowing that I was finally in good hands.
When you know, you just know.
I'm excited to continue to share my journey with you guys as I navigate my way through my first pregnancy and even more excited to share with you the options and alternatives that are available to women.
Pregnancy, labor & birth don't have to be terrifying. The more we talk about it and shed some real light on it, the less scary it becomes. So question the norm, trust your gut, and do what you know is right for you individually.
And remember this...
Until next time,
check out these links:
& follow me