Saturday, June 26, 2010

moving to doozeedad

Moxie was born on May 7th. As Juli lifted her out of me and placed her, wet and bloody on my belly, I saw instantly that she had Down Syndrome. And it didn't matter at all.

All this time being so very worried. For nothing.

This baby is precious and perfect and exactly the baby for me. I love her, so very much.

This blog is going to go back over to now. I think it's time to mesh it all up again, just have one blog.

Don't you?

And won't you join me there? I'd love to still keep your company...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


My hands have been hurting to the point in which I really can't type much. Or do much with them at all. "Swollen" is an understatement - they (like my tootsies) are like inflated sausage-tinted marshmallows. Sexy, eh?

Juli (my wonderful midwife) says that it's because I'm low on salt. She said that it's different when you are pregnant - that us breeding folk need to have a goodly dose of salt else we'll bloat. I drank a glass of sea-salt water after that and have been adding a lot more salt to my food and lo! It's abated considerably. My fingers have some definition and feeling again!

It's so interesting having someone around who actually knows her shit.

Yesterday was a LONG day. I had to go first to Oakland Kaiser for a non-stress test. Non-stress tests (NST) are where they test your amniotic fluid and baby's heart rate to make sure your baby is still doing fine in there. Juli and Nikki (Nikki's our awesome doula and is Juli's daughter - I like to call them the Dynamic Duo) prepped me the night before about it all. What to expect. What questions to ask. What's "normal" what's not.

Because the thing is - while NST's are a good idea - they really are - they are often incorrectly performed and then the results used in ways that harmful. For example: they'd only test one pocket of fluid, base all results on that, and keep a woman in the hospital for an emergency-c (not the drink; the operation).

When I went in, there was big, black nurse (I think Kaiser likes to hire big, black nurses because they can stare anyone down into submission) who got me on the gurney (more with a look than anything) and checked my amniotic fluid with the ultrasound. But only one pocket! I asked her what it measured and she said 2.6. So then I said that since 5.0 is a "normal" low level (which I knew, thanks to Juli), wasn't she going to check other pockets to see what it added up to? She said no, she didn't need to, all she had to measure was one.

Um. Okay.

I didn't fight it since she seemed happy with that number and unlikely to strap me down, run me up to the 4th floor to slice me open.

Then she put the heart monitors on me and had me lay down next to the machine. I asked her what the point of that was since the baby was sleeping? I mean, shouldn't I try and wake the baby up? She said no... and that the baby was moving inside me, I just couldn't feel her.

Um. Right.

Anyway, after 20 minutes, she released me and said I had to come back on Friday for another one. I said sure.

In the 20 minutes that I was lying there, strapped up with the heart monitors, I was thinking how different this NST was than the one I'd had with Juli. Where she talked me through every*single step of what she was doing, explained everything and positively glowed because she was so happy for me that my baby is doing so well. I thought about how sad it makes me that us women here in the US need to be satisfied with sub-standard care because that's all most of us will ever get. We'll get strapped up to some monitor in a dark basement room, left alone and hey! Aren't they great here!

It's just wrong. Our 10, 20 minute appointments with OB's (trained to slice n' dice and not birth). Our blank-faced and rather hostile receptionists and nurses who collect our pee. Sitting in rooms, naked from the waist down, waiting for someone to come in so we can have their hands lubed up and shoved inside ourselves to "check" how well we are "going". At least cows get to stay in the barns where there isn't any fluorescent light.

Moving on, at noon I went to Jill, my delightful acupuncturist and got needled up. This was to reduce my stress level and also to help start labour. The latter hasn't happened, just the former. But it was nice being there. Kind of the antithesis of my morning with Kaiser. Beautiful light, comfortable environment, everything explained to me by a most-sympathetic healer. Leaving in far better spirits than when I arrived.

At 4:00, Nikki came over to come with me to the hospital for my OB appointment on account of the fact that I can turn chicken shit when dealing with doctors. I'm so glad she did. When Dr. Yu saw Nikki and I introduced her as my doula, her smile wattage increased by what, 2,000% and she became far, far more accommodating. I'm telling you... doulas work.

In our conversation, I told Dr. Yu that I didn't want to have the c-section on Friday like they want me to. I said I'd like to wait until the end of the 42nd week - or the very last possible time - to have one, if at all. She said that waiting that long or even pushing past Friday is 'risking fetal demise'. I didn't comment, just nodded. She said well then, she'd make a phone call and see what she could do in terms of rescheduling.

When she left, I turned to Nikki and was just like, why do I feel like crap right now? Nikki said it was because the doctor had played the 'dead baby card'. It made sense... right. Yes... that's what just happened. I said I wanted to do something that they didn't support and they say that it can kill my baby. This is WRONG. Yes, the risk of fetal demise does go up after 42 weeks, but it's a tiny percentage (about what the risk of a miscarriage through an amnio is, not that they were touting that when they wanted me to have one) and it's AFTER 42 weeks. What was I yesterday? I was 40 weeks.

Dr. Yu came back, said the only opening they have next week is for 5/11 at 9:30am. I said okay, we'll take it. Then she whips out all this paperwork for me to sign, consenting a c-section! I told her I wasn't going to sign anything and she said I needed to. I asked why? I can sign it at the hospital if I actually do have a c-section... She looked at Nikki then smiled brightly and said 'of course!'.

For crying out loud. This is just ridiculous.

And I *heart* Nikki.

And I want Moxie to come soon. Please baby, come soon.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

duly dated

I didn't realize that the whole point of the acupuncture that I engaged in on Tuesday was to reduce my anxiety and stress! Oh, that's funny!

When I went in yesterday, my acupuncturist asked if there were any changes... I said, no, not particularly, in a physical sense. But in a spiritual sense, I'm not worried at all about having Moxie anymore, not worried about Ds or the birth or anything. And she was all, 'oh! that's great and those were the points I worked on yesterday!'.


I wish I'd done it earlier... so if any of you newly-diagnosed Ds Mamas read this, you might want to check acupuncture out as a way of becoming more stress-free over it all...?

I'm so very full o' child now. A still-active child that is sitting incredibly low in my pelvic area. Pressure! Pressure! Pressure! I've got a fair amount of contractions through the night. It's all good and it's exciting now that my birth team is assembled and I like them so very much.

Thanks to Helena and her cleaning gift (which took the team from 8:30am - 4:30pm yesterday), my apartment sparkles like a big, fat, fair-traded and happily-harvested diamond. The towels are stacked. The candles are out. The vision board is done, as is the playlist.

It's just waiting time now. And walking. So I'm going to go for a walk now.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

dreams and things

Another friend of mine had a dream about Moxie's birth. This makes 4 (that have told me, that is), and of the 4, only one knows about her Ds dx. So 3 friends (that I'm really not close to) have had a dream about her birth. the dreams were reportedly very good.

This seems unusual to me. Maybe it's totally normal. But I'm not used to it. And it makes me think that this baby is indeed special, for whatever reason. How else to explain the dreams?

I'm struggling to center myself, be at one and be as issue-free as I can right now.

Even though we're working with our awesome midwife/doula team (more on that in the other blog, doozeedad), I need for her to be born before 41.5 weeks on account of kaiser's timeline. When I become nervous and scared about her, I can feel the big wall building up inside.. and honestly? I don't think someone can be born with a big wall blocking the way.

I'm on a steady diet of homeopathy, acupuncture and sleep. Relaxing, preparing, letting go. Loving.

It feels good.

Now I hope I dream about my baby girl tonight.

Monday, April 26, 2010

a rainbow baby

You who have been reading Juicy Fruit for a while know that I've called Moxie "Rainbow" from the get-go. So many reasons... but to me, it just seemed to fit. The songs that helped me through the miscarriage of Ziggy were all about rainbows, looking up. And then in the early days of Moxie-growing, it seemed like she was getting a big kick out of everything. Laughing. Like she was just really bright, full of colour. Energy.

Even in those incredibly bleak times. I was so very confused because I was hearing one thing from the doctors and feeling another thing entirely from her. It's like the like feeling I had from the very, very beginning - that it would be a difficult pregnancy but that everything would end up very well. I had no idea at all what that means - still don't - but there it is.

This morning on on my Mommy Group thread, there was talk about 'Rainbow Babies' - and then others asking what a Rainbow Baby is. I got chills... big time. A Rainbow Baby is is a child born after a loss - a miscarriage, a stillbirth. Like it's said:

It is understood that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of any storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean that the storm never happened or that we are not still dealing with its aftermath. It means that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover, but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope.


I can't believe it. And here I thought I was just giving her a nickname!

Monday, April 19, 2010

what's got to give?

This morning I went in for my 39-week check and I walked away fuming.

The thing is, it's everything. It's having a 10 minute (if that) appointment the week before I'm slated to give birth. Lying on my back with very little pre-interaction with my doctor (whom I barely know) and having her hands go all the way up my vagina. Harsh lights. The discomfort. Then being told that OOPS! She'll be out of town from next week on so I'll be seeing a new doctor, someone I've never met before.

I guess that's not such a big deal, given that I'll probably be delivering my baby with the help of someone I've never met before. A whole team, a flock of people that I've never met before. I mean, it's just wrong. Wrong.

My doctor started rubbing me the wrong way when she said that if I wasn't more dilated next week, the new doctor would schedule an induction on me. Then she said that actually, they couldn't do an induction given that I've had a c-section before, so the new doctor might just schedule me in for a c-section next week. I rolled up my figurative sleeves and shook my head at that, "that's not going to happen - I won't do that". My doctor then said that they'd wait an extra week, but it'd be a good idea to have that c-section scheduled and I repeated myself. She didn't want to get into a fight with me and knew it was brewing so she was just like, ' okay, you guys can talk about it then'.

I can't believe this. But I can. I am not even up to my due date and the hospital is already pushing me for their timeline.


Mikey said that this is just the system and if I want to participate in it, some things have to give. I agree with him, so long as the things that you have to give aren't the things that had you participate to begin with: to have good health, care, to avoid things that will harm you. I can take waiting to see a doctor - sure. I can't take, nor do I think anyone should take - having to defend your right to avoid an unnecessary major abdominal surgery.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

yes, the sun IS shining

The sun is shining gorgeously outside right now.

I know there is a full, fun day ahead of us with the Flea Market that we love on today.... it's full of immigrants (primarily Mexican), has the best food ever (toasted corn with chili, fresh handmade pupusas and tacos and everything else...) and it just really enjoyable.

So I'm going to try to enjoy it.

It's a bit of struggle I have to say, with my feet swelling out to THERE. I can't wear any shoes now except for my flip-flops. Moxie-girl moves so much that she kicks at the belly belt that gives me support and makes it hard to wear. My hands are in agony (hence the lack of blogging updates). I'm scared of how big my body and my face are getting - so bloated that I worry it'll join edges and form one massive meriah-ball and roll away. Or get squashed by a passing Jolly Green Giant. Or will be mistaken for a huge peach and I'll be sliced up and devoured by a pack of pie-hungry cats. YES! All of these scenarios make perfect sense in the context of my weird dreams that go on and on and on all night.

I'm not getting enough sleep either. That's a bit of a problem.

I'll get just enough so long as Micah naps too, for a good 2 hours.

I feel bad writing this too - after I lost Ziggy, I swore up and down that I'd never complain about anything related to being pregnant again if I was to be pregnant again and look. I'm not just complaining, I'm bitching!

Let me re-focus on the positives: the sun is shining. The Flea Market is on today. The doula stuff will come together (more on that later). The beautiful cleaning people will come and clean our place next week (more on that later). I got to meet Aya's boy, Luke yesterday and see her husband Sam after almost 10 years! (more on that later). My toes still look great (more on that later) and there are popsicles freezing in the freezer.

And did I mention the sun is shining?