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?