& the freak-down: the experience

The Freak-Down

27 Days

Karli wants me to read some of the books she’s been using to get prepared. There’s a good number of them. And, in general, they’re not too bad—pretty informative, helpful, and easy to understand.

The Happiest Baby on the Block will hopefully be a pretty helpful tool, and we’ll find out once Squatch gets here and we can try it out. It does not, however, work on cats. Cats do not like to be swaddled; they DEFINITELY don’t like being shushed.

A good book, unless you don’t have control over any of this stuff.

Books like The Birth Book, on the other hand, while helpful, got a little bit aggravating. Not because of the content exactly, but because of the circumstance we find ourselves in. See, books like this have chapters on helping you select your doctor to create the best “birth experience” possible.

I don’t know that I can speak for Karli, but I’ll try. I think she’d like to have a good “birth experience.” If it’s not a nightmare, I’m sure she’d appreciate that. We read these books and we like this idea of a good “birth experience.” The trouble is that a good “birth experience” seems to rely on your ability to have a choice of doctors. That, we do not have.

As a matter of fact, in the city of McAlester, the closest option to us for getting the baby out, there are exactly two options. At the beginning of this whole process, we asked around a little bit about them. What we learned is that one doctor has a penchant for C-sections, which Karli would very much like to avoid, so we went with the other doctor. And thus ended our search.

We didn’t get to find out about any of the other things that The Birth Book presents as options before choosing. What we’ve come to gain through stories of other people and through talking to the hospital staff is that options aren’t really on the table here.

It appears they do things one way here—drugged up, on your back, feet in the stirrups. Give that a few minutes, then it’s C-section time. And if you’re cool with that, then this place is for you. If that’s not how you want things to go down—if that’s not the “birth experience” you were hoping for—then you might be S.O.L., pal. And it appears we’re definitely in for some of that S.

More than facilitating this “birth experience,” the doctor we have here seems to be ruining it. Karli has little-to-no trust in him at this point in time, less than four weeks from doomsday the due date. At our appointment this morning, Karli learned that he forgot to tell her that she tested positive for a UTI back in December at her first appointment and that he forgot to give her the prescription she needed. Oops. Put that on top of his habit for saying things like “there’s traces of protein in your urine” without telling her what that means, if it’s good or bad, if she should be worried, and this guy is turning out to be more hinderance than help.

**UPDATE: Karli informed me that I forgot the most important part—that she found out about the UTI because she was supposed to get her Group B Strep test today. When the doctor was about to get all up in there, he said, “We don’t need to do the GSB test because she’s already tested positive for that.” It made Karli sit straight up with her dead-eye look on—the one I know means I did something stupid and I’m going to get yelled at—and she said, “I tested positive for what now?” That’s when the discussion came in about the UTI that she had apparently gotten a prescription for in December. During which Karli informed him that she’d remember having a UTI and having to take pills for it. After which he gave her the prescription. Seven. Months. Later.**

Luckily, Karli’s sister is a doctor, so she can call her to get a second opinion and explanations the doctor doesn’t provide after every appointment. His other patients probably aren’t so fortunate.

When we first started this little journey, I wondered why the waiting room always seemed to be filled with Medicare patients and teen moms and people too illiterate to read the condom directions, and we seemed to be the only people in there with “real” jobs. I wondered if the only people around here who got pregnant worked at the Taco Bell after school. I’ve now come to realize, through talking to people and observing, that the other people—the ones you see in What to Expect When You’re Expecting—drive the two hours to go to the doctor in Tulsa.

Oh well—you live, you learn. Guess we’ll have to focus less on the “experience” and more on the nice parting gift.


2 thoughts on “& the freak-down: the experience

  1. At least you are prepared with reading and the help of Karli’s sister. It’s always a bit scary–be it the first baby or the 5th. Hang in there.

    • True. That is a plus. To play devil’s advocate, though, we also are made aware of our lack of choices through all that reading. Ignorance is bliss sometimes.


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