I know, I know. I was absolutely terrible this week in not writing. Everyday, I would think of a topic that I wanted to sit down and write about and everyday, life would just get in the way. It was a very busy week, at both work and home. My work is absolutely insane this time of year (we have show, after show, after show) which keeps me slammed and working 60 hours weeks. Add to that, Ty's school started up this week after three weeks off for winter break and we were just running. I apologize and hope this next week is a little calmer.
Anyway, on Monday, Dan & I met with our new perinatologist who will be one of my doctors during any pregnancies I may have in the future. For those that are unaware, a perinatologist is an obstetrical subspecialist concerned with the care of the mother and fetus when there is a higher-than-normal risk for complications. Technically, because the likelyhood of what happened with Naya happening again is akin to winning the lotto, I am not considered high-risk in the medical sense. However, because of what Dan & I experienced and were exposed to (in a visual sense) down at CHLA, my OB thought that we would feel more comfortable if we were under a perinatologists care for any further pregnancies. Believe me, she is right. I would give anything to go back to the days where all I thought could go wrong in pregnancy was an early miscarriage, slight-prematurity or jaundice. God damn I wish I could be that niave again. I wish I could still believe that kind of thing happened to other people - not me. I wish I could have my innocense back.
It was a good meeting - we put together a plan that we were all comfortable with that includes quite a few additional ultrasounds, tests, etc. Let's just say, that when there is a baby in this belly, I will be spending a LOT of my time in doctor's offices.
Making these sorts of plans also got me thinking about how much my mentality has changed in the last year. Before, I was concerned about the things typical pregnant woman were concerned with: would I ever lose the baby weight, how was I going to handle the sleepless nights, was my birth plan going to be followed? Looking back, it all seems so trivial. I never once thought about whether my baby was going to be healthy or not. Sure, the idea floated in my head a few times but I never really considered it a possibility. What I should have been worried about, rather than if I should get an epidural or not, was how is this hospital equipped to handle a neonatal emergancy? I never once even considered the quality or even the proximity of the nearest NICU. I could kick myself for that.
I remember when I was pregnant with Naya, I watched that documentary that Ricki Lake shot called The Business of Being Born. Although I didn't want a homebirth for myself (who am I kidding - I wanted the drugs), I admired the guts of these women having their babies in their bathtubs, wishing I could have that much strength. Now, I look at it and can't help but think what if any of those babies born in this type of situation needed emergency help. Sure, homebirths are typically done in low-risk situations and midwives are trained in neonatal CPR but, sometimes, that is not enough. There are many, many, many occurances of women who give birth to a child with fatal birth defects who need IMMEDIATE and INTENSIVE medical care - and they had no idea that anything was going to be wrong until the moment of birth, despite the fact that they had prenatal care. Ultrasounds do NOT pick up everything. Shit, I was a low-risk pregnancy and none of Naya's problems could have been picked up on a ultrasound. I can tell you that after what I have seen and been through, there is no way in hell I would ever give birth to a child in a place without a quality NICU just around the corner. That would probably be my biggest piece of advice to all woman out there. I know we all envision our "ideal" birth process and want to experience it while bringing our children into the world. I would just recommend putting the health and safety of our babies ahead of our wants and needs because you really never know what can happen. I am living proof of that.