It’s Only A Matter of Time Before I’m Wearing Puka Shells

Probably the most significant difference that first hit me this week as we had our first appointment with the midwives group was how nice the woman at the front desk was when we walked in.

Don’t ever accuse me of shooting for the moon, people.

Seriously, she was so kind and welcoming. Even in my rushed state to locate the bathroom. My entire life now is defined solely by how long I’ll be away from a bathroom. I allow myself any experience at this point as long as it includes a toilet. This means that if you’re more than 40 minutes away from me, I’ll see you in the spring. I now understand what those handles above the door in the car are made for – so pregnant women can lessen the impact of any literal bump in the road. I know it’s only a matter of time, I do, before any remaining dignity I have finds itself on the floor of our brand-new car.

Anyway, we love the midwives. Funny enough, the very source of my OB-GYN’s “Dead Baby” comment – the Group B Strep possibility – was brought up and, amazingly enough, our midwife educated us about what it was and how the test is done and what we’ll do if I happen to test positive for it. Even more shocking? She even suggested some natural methods to put in place now that studies have shown to help reduce the incidence of Group B Strep in a woman’s body.

Ladies, if you’ll give me a moment: Never fear asking for what you want. Never settle for anyone treating you like shit and then demanding payment for the treatment. It’s hard for me now not to see how the patterns of my life – never questioning an authority figure, always being so desperate to please – may have very well sent me down a path that would have only served to sadden me. I might need intervention when our daughter is ready to arrive, but at least that intervention will be done by people who respect me and my choices.

So it was a wonderful, fantastic improvement. Sadly, I’ll be scurrying, and their practice is in the suburbs, and I’ll be working hard to try and fit in everything with the group since I’m coming in to their practice at such a late date. But I could not feel more grateful for their kindness in bringing me in and not making me feel awful about it.

Our girl is healthy and doing well. She spends most of her time, presumably, shaking her ass. Much like her father, who is known far and wide for his ass-shaking abilities. Seriously, the midwife helped us map where she’s at – she’s head down, butt up – and the majority of the movement I feel during the day is the baby moving her tush around. We heard her heartbeat – Scott recorded it on his iPad – and had all of our questions answered and, oh, there was talk of labor tubs, birthing balls, being on the same page philosophically about birth, how awesome my doula is and all of the basics that a woman who embraces choice longs to hear.

I will tell you: medicine the way it’s practiced at Northwestern Hospital is going to turn Scott and I into a couple of damn hippies. We took an infant CPR class there this week and the first thing we were shown were three newspaper articles, all of which were outdated and anecdotal in nature, and all of which were presented with the words “Your Baby” “Death” “Dying” “DANGER!” CPR is nothing to giggle about, but when a soon-to-be-Dad asked for clarification on the pressure by which he should apply to the “choking” dummy, the instructor’s reply was “With the same force we used back in the old days when we all spanked our kids.” And she wasn’t joking. People nervously giggled. What do you say after that? After a while, the ridiculousness of the situation was eclipsed with my general irritation that people like this woman are why we are a culture who turns its nose down at alternatives of any sort.

For instance, she explained to us how they’d “smack [our baby] when [it’s] born to get [it] to cry,” a practice that has no bearing in scientific fact and shouldn’t even be done anymore since most practitioners know it has the potential to do more harm than good. But here this woman stood up in front of a group of people telling them that doctors have to smack seconds-old human beings so they’ll cry, never mind that there are plenty of healthy, whole babies who are born sans screaming and crying. And because she’s doing so at the fancy hospital in downtown Chicago somehow we take it as gospel.

We walked out after it was done, glad that we know infant CPR and glad that we switched hospitals and care providers.

Sleep is still relatively elusive, and the Tempur-Pedic we ordered weeks ago has yet to arrive. The good news is that our stroller/car seat is here – we got the Orbit G2 Travel System, thanks to the collective generosity of some family members and some savings – the crib is in but the dresser is still waiting to make its appearance and we’re not picking up one without the other. I found a glider I really like, but I’m not paying $400 for the damn thing, not when I’ve been told it’s possible to get at least 40% off. I’ve ordered the rug, the paper lanterns (in all of the colors shown) and the wall decal. I need to find a storage table I like – this one seems to work – and then we’ve got a set of comic book covers, featuring our favorite heroines, to frame and hang. Our friends are generously letting us borrow their co-sleeper, and my shower is in two weeks so I imagine everything else we’ll need we’ll get then or after.

We’re drawing up a will, and buying more life insurance. This week I’m organizing all of our financial and insurance information for Scott since the last thing I want for my family is for something to happen to me (one) and then have no one know where anything is at and how to access a lick of it (two). I’ve used my Target gift certificate from Christmas to stock up on yoga pants and hoodies to wear after the baby gets here, and I’ve organized closets and shelves and the kitchen pantry. Scott is cleaning the basement, putting together an emergency kit for the house (basically getting me a better flashlight) and deciding whether to get a DVR or just a regular cable box since we’re moving the TV to the lounge upstairs off the baby’s room.

And on the advice of many, next week I pack our bag for the hospital.Viva la nesting! I love it!

I’m sort of in a push to get this stuff done before the month’s out as I plan to spend all of February that doesn’t include a real live baby crying, pooping and sleeping under our roof with my feet up, complaining and sleeping as much as possible. I am bound and determined not to be running around like a chicken with its head cut off in the final weeks of this pregnancy, so anything that doesn’t get done will just have to wait.

Honestly, I will be far too gargantuan and unwieldy to do anything other than bitch about how gargantuan and unwieldy I am anyway.