Sunday, September 05, 2010

Countdown

Welp, nearly four weeks down, two to go. September eighteenth, people! Though, I have to make it to thirty seven weeks, which would be September twenty fifth, in order to be allowed a water birth, so that's my REAL goal. Either way, though, two weeks, three- that's not a lotta time until this baby comes. Gulp. Or could be even sooner, realistically....

Because yes, I am yet another centimeter dilated (three now, if anyone's counting) and I was having contractions on the monitor during my non stress test on Thursday, so guess who won herself another trip to the hospital? Including yet another "clean" urine sample which must be obtained by catheterization, my least favorite medical process EVER. The last time I got one, back at thirty weeks, the lady literally made me cry. This nurse was much better, like, AN ANGEL OF MERCY in comparison, but it still sucks, as does the IV.

Fortunately they let me go by six PM that night, so I was only there about eight hours total, but of course the torture device of a bed, meant to be broken down for delivery, wrecked my back for the night so that I might as well have been sleeping in the hospital for all the actual rest I got. However, the nurse I had, besides being very skilled with the catheterization procedure, was also very funny to talk to. (Though it may partly have been the doubled dose of contraction meds, which made me very light headed for awhile.) She was telling me about how they used to deal with preterm labor before the discovery that drugs like Brethine and Procardia (which are actually for asthma and blood pressure, respectively) suppress contractions in many people.

Apparently, the old solution used to be getting the moms drunk. Seriously. She said they'd just run their IVs with a ten percent alcohol solution until their mussels were relaxed enough to stop the cramping, but that by that point, most of them were totally wasted, sometimes to the point of throwing up, cussing at people, groping their husbands, etc. Then before they could go back home, they'd have a wicked hangover to deal with. Ah, the good old days...

She also reminisced at length about all the old methods of natural delivery that were in vogue before epidural use became widespread. Lamaze, Bradley, Le Boyer, I got the rundown on all of them. THEN she sniffed and said, "And then that was that birth tub fad for a little while. Glad we stopped doing that!" (Clarification: the hospital I was in does not currently offer water birth, but it is still my preferred hospital in general, so until I'm far enough to be allowed a water birth, that's the one I've been chosing to go to.)

So I couldn't resist, of course, and mentioned that if I get to term, I actually plan on trying water birth myself at the competing hospital. She shrugged and said, "Well, I know a lot of people like it for pain relief. But honey- you should know that that water is not exactly sparkling clean once you have a baby in it. And how clean can they really get those tubs between each woman?!"

Well. I do get this point of view, and the idea of birth matter and amniotic fluid and, um, OTHER STUFF in the tub with me does freak me out a little, I have to admit. I'm still not sure I want to actually deliver the baby and the placenta in the water, even if everything works out that the option is available to me. So yes: undeniably, it's a messy concept. But the worry about how clean they get the tubs between births? Well I don't know, lady, it's a HOSPITAL, so I'd like to think they know how to sanitize things! They do have access to cleaning supplies and bleach and vinegar and disinfectants, yes? And it's not like women with STD outbreaks or HIV are allowed to use the tub anyway; that's one of their main rules about water birth. So I guess worrying about, like, catching something from another woman hadn't really occured to me. So far I'd just thought about the actual ickiness of being in water that, as she said, "isn't exactly sparkling clean." Is the germ thing something that would worry any of you guys?

11 comments:

Jess said...

It is so funny that she was making fun of all this old-fashioned stuff. Torsten and I JUST signed up for a Bradley birth class yesterday! And I am also hoping to do a water birth. I have heard people express the concern about germs in the tub but as you say, I have faith in my hospital that they can sanitize everything, not just the tub but also everything else that I will be using that other laboring women will have used too. I am really not concerned.

Scottish Twins said...

I have a feeling the tub is just as clean as the sheets, towels, and gowns they give you in the hospital that are also full of all sorts of bodily fluids before they throw them in the washer with some bleach.

Swistle said...

I learned with my first pregnancy/birth that a whole HECK TON of things I'd THINK would make me squeamish DIDN'T. Like, I'd NEVER think I could drop trou and pee in front of a nurse who would then measure the pee---and yet, hey, there I was doing it, no biggie!

The germ part doesn't really bother me. And I feel like I've seen...disposable liners for them? Did I dream that?

Anonymous said...

On our hospital tour they actually mentioned how clean are the tubs - they allow birthing mothers in the tub AFTER their waters break. If they will allow you in the tub AFTER your water breaks they are incredibly confident about their sanitizing process - remember once your water breaks there is no barrier to stop germs and baby from meeting. If they won't allow you in the tub after your water breaks then I'm not sure I'd get in their tub in the first place.

Sage said...

I am a major germaphob and have spent the last 15 years in healthcare. No way I would get in one of those tubs. There is not enough sanitizer in the world. But I don't touch doorknobs either, so take it for what it's worth. Just deliver a healthy baby - vaginally, c-section, in tub of water, in cab, all that really matters is delivering a healthy baby with mom and baby both doing well. The rest is just a bunch of details

d e v a n said...

Yeah, I feel pretty confident that most every hospital could sanitize a bath tub for goodness sake.
I would not worry about THAT for a second.

Michelle said...

Giving birth in any form kind of freaks me out and I've done it once and will do it again in a few months. I agree with the comment above. Just give birth to a healthy baby no matter how you want to do it.

Tracy said...

I wouldn't have minded being drunk when I delievered. I was cursing like a sailor anyway. :)

mLou said...

Having been from the "old natural" method of CB...I don't think I could do the tub thing! I'm like Sage..I try not to touch public door handles, especially bathroom doors!!

I just can't believe you are really about to have another baby! Seems just like yesterday we were reading about your struggles w/misscarriage.....so, so happy baby boy is going to be here soon!!!

Katy said...

No, not at all. I find that my friends who are in the medical field are BY FAR more worried about germs and disease than any normal person is. You are right, it is a hospital and I'm sure the tubs aren't made of cloth or some other absorbent material. I also feel like my medical-type friends are all about as much intervention as possible, whereas I take a more balanced approach.

annie said...

I labored in a hot tub with my youngest (delivered her in a regular old room) and let me tell you it was the easiest labor of the 3. Literally got in the water at 4:45am and got back to the room and delivered her by 6:10am. I don't know what it was about it but the water pressure was calming and seemed to counteract the contractions. Good luck!