So, when I found out I was pregnant I kept waiting for my body to take over and drag me involuntarily to the nearest McDonald's or Dairy Queen to satisfy a new and unprecedented hunger for Chicken Fingers dipped in Butterfinger McFlurry. No such occurrences as of yet. I have eaten bagels and salmon cream cheese every morning for the last week, but that's a combo I've always loved and I don't think I would go into convulsions if I didn't get my fix.
No baby movement, no stretch marks or noticeable weight gain, no mood swings, and no change in energy reserves. I'm still tired as all get out and that's really about it. My belly is growing, despite peoples' insistence that I am 'still not showing'. Could there be a worse insult to a woman who has outgrown the waist of all her pants and has ceased to wear most of her pre-pregnancy shirts in consideration of the two or three inch flash of skin that protrudes from the bottom of all the hemlines? Yeah, I guess I did have this beer belly all along! Sheesh. My boss actually had the gall to ask me if I owned any concealer I could use to hide the dark circles around my eyes -- she's lucky I am not a dramatic or emotional women, because quite frankly, I would've been inclined to rebuttal.
We had a midwife appointment on Monday and I guess I am becoming less and less thrilled with the care I am receiving. I hate to 'complain' because as far as birthing in a hospital goes, we probably have the best set-up imaginable. The hospital is prided on being extremely mother friendly and it seems that the L&D nurses know exactly what most patients of my midwife want from their birth. They know we won't want an IV or to be strapped to a fetal monitor, that we'll want to walk around and labor without medicine. I am allowed to labor and birth in any position I want and the hospital even provides things like birthing balls, a birthing chair and hand bars all around the delivery suite for mothers to hold onto if they want to birth standing up or squatting. It's ideal really, but it just isn't setting right with me.
I can't get the desire for homebirth out of my head, and even have longings for a different midwife. Susan is kind and not at all pushy, but she doesn't seem to take that extra bit of interest, doesn't have that tenderness that I had always associated with midwife care. If I didn't write down every question I could think of to ask her, I think our appointments would last about 5 minutes from start to finish. I had wanted someone motherly, nurturing, someone to be a support throughout this pregnancy and I am just not getting that. I feel like she laughs at some of my questions and sees me as somehow less capable because I am a young mother ('You're just a baby!' as she puts it).
I know I could ignore this and just be thankful that I will have the kind of birth I want and rely on others for the support I need, but do I really want to forfeit all of that for my only first pregnancy? Colin thinks I am being too picky, says I should be glad for what I have. At first I felt bad for being dissatisfied, and then I got a little angry. He won't be the one who is experiencing something physically daunting and completely new in the presence of someone he doesn't entirely trust. I think if he was going to have to labor for hours and have a baby come shooting out of his body he would want to be able to completely trust every person involved in that process. I want more than anything to have the kind of birth experience leaves a mother feeling respected, accomplished and loved. An experience to cherish. I don't want to feel violated or dismissed at any point. I want someone who genuinely cares not only for the well being of my body, but for my heart and soul and mind as well.
I know Colin wants to deliver at the hospital, that he is afraid of that small chance that something could go wrong, and I am too, but I also think that the most important factor in giving birth is being in the environment where you are most comfortable and confident. I sent Colin some info on a midwife near our home who practices at a birth center, at homebirth, and specializes in water birth (what I had originally hoped for but is against hospital policy). I told him that even I hadn't decided 100 percent what I wanted, but that I was going to pray about it, and asked if he would at least do the same. I know that if we are suppose to change midwifes, then we will be in agreement on it, so I will leave it in God's hands to lead us in the right direction.
As much as I had been counting on the 3 month maternity leave that my company provides, I have, in a great leap of faith, turned in my 2 weeks notice today. I work for a commercial mortgage lending company and things have been less than ideal for months now. I was promoted 3 month ago with the promise of a salary increase and then told that I would have to wait until next year before the raise would go into effect. I've survived for months under the supervision of a borderline abusive boss, and I feel that this is the last place I need to be, especially during a pregnancy. I had contemplated quitting before, but felt the cost was simply too great. Over time Colin and I have prayed, and talked about it with our marriage counselor, and we know that even though it doesn't seem to make sense for me to quit at this time, it is still the best thing for me, and what he and I feel God wants us to do. I have no idea how we will pay the bills if I don't find another job, or what will happen when I need maternity leave, but there is a freedom in knowing that God will handle it all. In the last year I have definitely come to see that I am not the one in control!