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15 June 2013

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Rebekka

I am already there and I'm only on number 2! I haven't opened my pregnancy bible at all yet, have barely glanced at the pregnancy spam from Baby Center (which tells you what size fruit you're lugging around). Though I stopped taking those seriously already with my girl, because they are extremely fearful in that neurotic American way that I, despite being an American, now despise after living in Scandinavia for more than a decade. The breaking point was when they classified riding a bicycle as a risky behavior that should be discussed with one's obstetrician. Firstly, how else was I supposed to get to work? Secondly, Danes bike more or less until they're fully dilated and ready to push. (Minor exaggeration.) Thirdly, uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries never meet an OB. I prefer more localized threats now, like if you eat more than 100g of black licorice it can reduce baby's IQ. (Oops.)

Anyway, I'm 15 weeks now, already wearing maternity pants because I couldn't bear anything around my waist, suspect that my referral got lost because I haven't heard from the midwives yet - but can't be bothered to do anything about it either. Meh. At least I'm taking vitamins, right?

I guess this does not bode well for future pregnancies.

Congratulations on your new title!

Amber

I half-heartedly thumbed through the pregnancy books with #3, and didn't even bother with #4. In fact, I think I've given most, if not all, of them away at this point. I may have kept Ina May's Guide to Childbirth for nostalgia's sake, but I have no idea where it is.

And I eat turkey sandwiches. And roast beef. Yum! I pass on the soft cheeses, but then again, I don't eat those when not pregnant.

I do take an expensive pre-natal and ClorOxygen per my midwife's directives, and I think they are both really worthwhile. I'm actually much better about vitamins in these last two pregnancies than I was in my first three.

Still haven't broken out the maternity clothes though... for some stupid reason I bought several shirts last summer that were just too big & didn't bother to return them, but they fit quite well now. I have several elastic waist skirts which are still quite comfy. I'm dreading the maternity clothes, actually!

And looking up hospital stuff is a very good idea. I should definitely do that, just in case. I haven't looked into that since we had our first in a hospital... 11 years ago. I've tried to ignore that possibility ever since!

Barbara C.

By the time I got to #4 the only two books I read were Ina May and Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent. Ina May always puts me in the right place mentally for childbirth, and I just like the birth stories in the other book.

The only change in the hospital that I've noticed since my first was born 10 years ago, is that now they give you the option to administer your own pills after childbirth. They give you the pain pill of your choice and your stool softeners, and then you just make a note of what time you take them. (So much better than waiting for a harried to nurse to get them from the pharmacy each time.)

I love my midwives, although they were a little unsure of the new labor tubs last August when my #5 was born. I just found out that they'll now allow water births...I am so harassing my midwife next time I see her since she kicked me out of the tub. LOL

Melanie B

I don't think I bothered with the pregnancy books at all after the first time. I do love your idea of updates for moms who have been there before.

I so know what you mean about it feeling routine. After five babies in seven years I've begun to feel like it's just the way things are. Every two years or so we have a new baby. I feel like five is a good number and I wouldn't be sad if we stopped here. But it's hard to even think about not having another baby either. Right after Lucy was born, I still found myself making a bunch of little mental notes about things I want to remember "next time."

I also have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of babies being something that one decides to try for or not. In my world they are not tried for. It's more like "ready or not here I come."

I wasn't sure what number baby qualifies you as "grand multipara." So I didn't know I was one. Huh. Do I feel special now.

Amy F

I was looking at the info for the new birth center next to Abbott and noticed that they don't allow grand multi-paras. That annoyed me. I think I'd go the hospital route again with a potential #4 because I liked my CNM so much but if her practice stopped being an option, I'd look at the local birth centers. If say, I was able to have a 4th birth with my preferred CNM but in 4 or 5 years when I had a 5th, she wasn't around, apparently that birth center isn't a possibility anymore.

I love the idea of a website explaining all the new info in the past X years. There should be a page for each of the past 20 years.

BettyDuffy

I was on vacation during your announcement. Wonderful news!

bearing

Melanie: "I also have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of babies being something that one decides to try for or not. In my world they are not tried for. It's more like "ready or not here I come."

There are a lot of different worlds in conception. Some worlds are nothing but "if only we could have a baby." Which is a perspective that I think always we need to keep in mind.

The world of my marriage is one with a pair of temperaments-plus-reproductive-systems that are extremely well-suited to NFP. We've never had a surprise, and after much discussion have concluded that it would be basically impossible for us to do the "neither trying nor not-trying" thing because we know too much. This time around it took us a little bit longer to conceive -- I am starting to see in my cycles features of pre-menopause -- but not *that* long.

bearing

Incidentally, if any pregnancy/breastfeeding/postpartum health/infant care books have come out in the last 4-8 years or so that are super great improvements over what was available prior to that, or any worthwhile updates to the classics, I'll take recommendations. Even if this *does* turn out to be the last child in our family, I do like to keep my lending library up to date.

MrsDarwin

I check Babycenter every so often to see how big the baby is. I've got a pea pod now at thirteen weeks.

Now with my sixth, I've felt actively disinterested in reading about my pregnancy. Yeah, babies are a miracle, but morning sickness and fatigue and breast tenderness are old hat now, and the books don't tell you the stuff you need to know after several pregnancies, like how to really deal with the terrible veins. I just went to the midwife at 11 weeks, and I really wouldn't have cared if I hadn't seen anyone until 20 weeks. Baby's gonna grow whether or not someone measures my stomach.

Rebekka and Amber, I love running into you in various comboxes and hearing your pregnancy updates! Amber, did I tell you congratulations?

Bearing

My MW told me not to bother coming in until 16 weeks, unless I want to. It's kind of nice not to have to fuss with adding anything to my calendar. And it isn't as if I don't know how to take care of myself by now.

Melanie B

Honestly, the last two babies I haven't got around to making an appointment until around 16-20 weeks. The pain of having to find a new doctor combined with just feeling miserable and not wanting to deal with the kind of routing appointments where they just measure me all combined to a lot of foot dragging round here. Which really miffed the doctors and I think caused them to treat me as more of a high risk patient than they might have otherwise.

Amy F

How about "Wonder Weeks"? That's a pretty interesting book that I only heard about with baby #3. That's one that my SIL, her Babywise friend, and I all agree on. There are only about 3 parenting things that the three of us all recommend.

Jenny

During this last pregnancy (#4), I was almost completely uninterested in the pregnancy books. The only things I actively looked for was information on insomnia because that was a new and exciting twist this time and how long the morning sickness would last. Now I knew how long the morning sickness would last, but I was desperately searching for some hint I was misremembering and the misery was going to end soon.

The doctor visits do get old and if you have no complications they don't really have a point most of the time. My mother was completely overinvested in my appointments to the point I had to remind her that the pregnancy wasn't being sustained by belly measurements.

I don't know if this baby will be our last or not. At my age and with my history of long fertility suppression by breastfeeding, I suspect that biologically we probably have only two children left in me. The question is will we try for them? We also know too much to have them just happen. (I think :))

At the end of previous pregnancies I have always assumed that I would be pregnant again someday, but this time I wonder if maybe this is it. I feel wistful about it, but the truth is I hate being pregnant. It is nine months of different forms of misery and torture for me, medically healthy and normal misery but misery nonetheless.

I feel happy at the thought of no more pregnancies, but no more babies...

Kyra

I will always go to the OB or midwife as soon as I know I'm pregnant, because a) I need drugs to keep the morning sickness down enough that I don't dehydrate and starve, and b) because last time I had a nine week ultrasound, and the tech said, "Oh. I have a surprise for you!". So no matter what happens next time I need to know if it's twins or, good heavens, triplets.

Bearing

For me, pregnancy has its ups and downs; there are parts of it I truly enjoy, which helps balance out some of the not-so-fun parts.

But the not-so-fun parts often leave me wondering, "why did this seem like such a good idea a few months ago?" And of course I know for many women it is a much greater hardship than it has been for me.

I sometimes try to imagine how much I would "have" to suffer during pregnancy for that anticipation alone to be a serious enough reason not to seek another pregnancy. After a few rough ones, I would think the prospect of another could easily become daunting enough to scare me off.

It's really quite a sacrifice, even in a healthy pregnancy where things go well. By the end I am always amazed that I managed to struggle through.

Kyra

Yes, I am (we are) at the point where we wonder if another pregnancy is wise. I don't have, say, Jen Fulwiler's levels of medical difficulty in pregnancy, but I do have a lot of complications, and they seem to be escalating- I always need morning sickness medication all the way through, always have dangerous blood pressure problems, and end up on bedrest and then with an emergency c-section. So right now I'm hoping not to get pregnant again, at least until some of my children are old enough that they are fairly independent and helpful. Our oldest is five, and we have four. We're still in the "I'm drowning in toddlers!" stage of parenting.

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