October 14, 2010
Ups and Downs
This is my preferred method of delivery. Just like in the 1940s.
Or what I perceive through watching Leave it to Beaver.
No sign of machines. No weird smells. No mauve rooms with ugly stiff furniture.
Yes. I visited the hospital where Jeremy wants Bradley born yesterday. I say it like that because after seeing the horrible decor, feeling the extreme heat in each room, and smelling the disgusting hospital smell, I have once again decided that Bradley is quite comfortable inside of me. And if he wants to come out, then he just as well do it in my home.
Now, before you freak and tell me all the awful things that can happen at a home birth, trust me, Jeremy will not allow me to follow through with it. He will no doubt drag me to the car, drag me into the horrible hospital room, and then yell at me to push all while I frantically cry and tell him equally horrible things back.
But let's not discuss that. Let's instead discuss my visit.
I'm not really sure what I thought the experience would be like. I'd been doing so good with my breathing exercises. I was starting to get really excited about meeting Bradley and holding him and honestly never letting go. But as I drove closer to the hospital two things happened. My breath became shorter and my driving speed decreased. And with both I knew it was going to be bad.
I warned Jeremy.
My first stop into the hospital was a public bathroom. It was disgusting. Toilet paper strung everywhere, a dirty seat, nasty smell. It was not a good start for someone like me.
Then, we started the tour. Now, picture our petite guide walking at normal pace. Then, Jeremy about 5 feet behind her. And me waddling a good 10 feet behind him. The minute we went through the security doors I was a bomb waiting to explode.
I couldn't breathe. I couldn't hear. I couldn't see.
I remember standing in the birthing room with its horrible mauve walls and cheap cabinetry and uncomfortable chairs and a mat they called a bed and thinking, "Where are the Care Bears?" "Where is the fluffiness?" "Where is the comfort??"
And then I noticed the machines. And the smell. And the baby bed that was more like a clear tupperware dish.
Jeremy knew I was fading. I wasn't talking. I was staring trying to think of why I ever decided to birth a child. I wanted the 1940s stork!
Then, instantly I realized how hot I was. Sweat covered my arm pits and back of my neck. I asked our guide if I would be able to control the air in our room. (I was given the impression I would be.) And she said no. Without thinking I desperately looked at Jeremy and said, "Well, that's going to be a problem. I can't give birth in this heat." The lady then informed me that the nurses would call down to the boiler room for me if I needed it. Oh.. you better bet they will, I thought.
Then, she started telling us that video cameras and regular cameras were allowed in the delivery room. "Well, we don't have to worry about that," I said. To which she kindly replied, "Some people really like to take a picture when the baby first comes out." To which I, without thinking, said, "That's gross."
And in that instance, our guide made up her mind. She didn't like me. She then began to only address Jeremy. And even took up a conversation with another nurse ignoring us all together. Jeremy tried to make up excuses for me. "We want to create as stress free of a zone for her." "She's really anxious about this whole process." And if he couldn't come up with anything, he'd give me that look. The look that says you better shut-up and go back to being quiet.
The worst was when I asked her if the nursing staff would keep my family up-to-date on the birth progress. She answered that my family will be able to call our room and my husband and I can speak to them directly. I smiled and said, "Not if they don't have the number." Jeremy quickly replied, "We have a big family" AND gave me the look.
And don't worry, Family, she did say that the nurses will keep you updated.
And then, she showed me the door.
So now I am going to be forced to give birth in a mauve, uncomfortable, smelly room with a staff that already dislikes me.
If only Jon Lewis were here to make it all better! Or we lived in the 1940s when most women had home births...