Posted by: DD | February 9, 2007

no. 381 – Opinions Are Like Assholes

I think I’ve made that abundantly clear in the past that I was supposed to get pregnant on my first (or second because I wasn’t going to be that greedy with my luck) IUI cycle and the if I continued to write, I was going to share with you all the opinions I had on pregnancy, birthing, and baby-raising.

I remember what I did with X back in 2001, and with that experience I consider myself very lucky indeed. It definitely colored my opinions on many of the hot buttons out there like breast-feeding, co-sleeping, birth plans, diapers, etc.

Since I’ll probably never get to share that information again in real time, I’ve decided to condense it into this post so you’ll know where I stand with the pretense I was suppose to be pregnant.

  1. Prenatal Testing – when I was pregnant with X, they had the triple-screen, which is now known as the quad screen. I went through the testing because I didn’t know better. I won’t do it again because when it came back funky, I was a mental case thinking my baby had Downs. We did the advanced scan, which went well, but still we were pushed to an amnio, which we also did (and passed with flying colors). Today, I would not choose the screen, but would let the detailed scan determine if an amnio would be warranted. I have nothing against the amnio per se, but the optional screening and its high percentage of false positives should just be eliminated.
  2. Baby’s Sex – I don’t want to know. Yes, you have heard a million times the saying "there are so few surprises in life", but there really are too few, and since in my case I would probably know the exact day of conception, and the exact day of delivery (prior c-section case), I need at least this one surprise.
  3. Birth Plan – My birth plan with X was to have a healthy baby and finally learn to change a diaper. Simple. I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone lets themselves obsess about c-sections, episiotomies, midwives, doulas, etc. For me, there were some obvious limitations in how X was born. There’s one midwife in this town and she’s a royal bitch. Doula??? Say what? Water birth? Hahahahaha! Here’s my thought: I pay a hefty health insurance premium that includes obstetric and newborn hospital care. I’ll be damned if I’m going to have a baby in the "comfort" of my  home and then have that mess to clean up afterward as I doubt I will find no assistance from the doula, midwife, Mr. DD or X. However, this point is moot at this time since I would not seek out a VBAC. I also consider elective c-sections no differently than someone electing a vaginal birth.
  4. Pain Management – oh, hell yeah! If I could get them to hook me up as soon as I was wheeled through the doors, I would (again, I’ve been paying for the drugs for years, they better get me the best they have). I have a friend who says she will refuse to have an epidural because of her fear of needles. OK, fine. But she’s even adamant she will not have an IV, either. I just nod my head but inside I’m screaming because an IV isn’t necessarily for her, it’s for her baby, and sometimes people really need to let go of their phobias when it comes to giving birth.
  5. Breastfeeding – Been there, done that, didn’t love it and it didn’t cause me angst once I realized it wasn’t going to work out. I think if I had been blogging then, I’m sure I would have let it traumatize me because there are a lot of people who get a little worked up about this and I’m sure I would have been told I wasn’t trying hard enough. I’d have to agree. I enjoy sleep, and nursing every 90 minutes for 45 minutes was not going to do either of us any good in the long run. Plus, again, c-section babies don’t get popped onto the boob the moment they’re extracted. Mommy disappears for a good hour or so in recovery to puke from the anesthesia and to stop hallucinating that one of OR staff was wearing the umbilical cord like a lei.
  6. Co-Sleeping – See again the part above where I like my sleep. Having a baby in the bed (or even in a "side car") wasn’t something I saw as necessary. Babies make a lot of noise that in the dead of night sound as if they are tunneling through their bassinets: grunting, sighing, squirming, heaving, mewing, and in our case, a very odd (and hysterical) moment of actual humming. After a couple of months, we moved him to his crib in his room. Of course we had monitors, but we eventually covered the speaker with tape to muffle X’s noises as he was now trying to tunnel his way out of his crib. Here’s a tip: babies are not polite or patient in their requests for food, changing or comfort. They’ll let you know whether you’re in the next room or on the deck chatting it up with your neighbor that they want something and they want it NOW.
  7. Diapers – I considered cloth diapers for about 5 minutes: disposable diapers – bad for land fills vs. cloth diapers – bad for water treatment plants. We went with disposables. X had nuclear (and frighteningly frequent) poops. Again, I applaud those who decide to go all cloth, but I guess one should follow that theme and use cloth sanitary pads as well. If it’s good enough for Super Pooper, it’s good enough for Mamma ‘Flo.
  8. Pacifiers (pacies, binkies, dummies, whatever) – One of the best advice we received was from our caregiver who told us that we should start weaning X from his pacifier at 6 months. We heeded her advice and and soon he only had it at night. By 9 months, he was done with "dummies". If a child is old enough to not only ask for his/her pacifier, but can spell p-a-c-i-f-i-e-r, it’s time to wean mommy and/or daddy from it and reconsider what a dummy really is.
  9. Cereal (first solids) – I really struggled with this, strangely enough. Everyone on both sides of our families really pushed for us to start X on cereal before he was even two months old. I think if they hadn’t been so damn superior acting about it, I probably would have caved, but I held off until X was 4 months, which is the recommendation. I can’t say if it would have made any difference, but when I hear about babies getting their diet supplemented with cereal by 2 months, I can bet that the person who is pushing New Mommy to start with the cereal that early is someone who was born before 1960.
  10. Headbands – I’m really sorry to say this because I know several of you love these, but I cannot stand headbands on baby girls. I guess I should qualify this and state for the record, they are a poor choice for baby boys as well. And really, what harm is there in someone mistaking your 6 week old infant girl for a boy? Politely correct them and take this opportunity to share your baby’s name with a well-meaning stranger.

There, I said it. As I made my opinions made, feel free to do the same. Please, remember my delicate state of mind and that I am still highly traumatized by last night’s Grey’s Anatomy where I cried every time any of the children were mentioned or shown.

Other than that, I’m sure I can take any criticism. Plus you don’t even need to qualify why you think a certain way. It’s not like my arguments would make it past the third or fourth beer, you know.

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Responses

  1. Birthplans!!! HA! Dr K asked me what my “plan” was…. I told her,
    “A. There WILL be drugs. For anyone who wants them.
    B. You will NOT put a bloody baby on belly. I want a nice, clean, freshly swaddled babe placed in my arms.
    C. Do not tell me not to yell. I am pushing a bowling ball through a straw here…..it kinda hurts a bit.
    After that, I don’t really have any plans….just get this kid out of me.”

    She was totally cool with that.

  2. I knew I was having a C section because Baby A was breech so I didn’t have a birth plan besides for all of us to come out of it alive.

    I don’t like baby handbands either.

    I wish I could have breastfed longer then my couple of days, but I had a million other things going against me then.

  3. Birth plan: (I will not likely ever have to worry about this one.) I would plan to give birth, however, whatever, it takes. Period. If I could elect a C-section I think I might opt not to push that bowling ball through a straw (love that one!).
    Drugs? Yes please.
    Breast feeding is good. If it helps me lose weight it’s really really good (yes I know it’s for the baby’s health). But I really don’t get why so many women are so militant about other women’s breasts! It’s no one’s business! And I think it’s really wrong and really mean to make a woman who wants to, tries to, and fails to breastfeed, feel bad about it. I’m sure she feels bad enough.

    There, did I piss anyone off?? But what do I know? I’ve never been there.

  4. I find watching Grey’s Anatomy so difficult – but I can’t *not* watch it. I love the characters, and maybe that’s why I keep watching even though they keep “killing” babies. Abandoned, lost, dying children from 6 weeks in pregnancy all the way to teenagers.

    In our house, when I scream “Grey’s did it again”, everyone knows a child is dying. Again. I’m weeping with you about last night’s, DD.

  5. I love that you were so frank!!

    Co-sleeping – no thank you. How do you ever get the kid back into his/her own bed???? On this point MFH and I agreed wholeheartedly, and together we giggle about our friends who have their almost 5 year old daughter in their bed every night.

    Pacifier? Big pet peeve. I love to hear children talk who learned to do so with a plug in their mouths. Can you say speech therapist?????

    I too considered cloth diapers, enough so to have bought some. They would make wonderful dust cloths if I cleaned my own house.

    I’ll skip the rest since I have no experience with those topics. Except baby cereal. My 10 month old newborn had never had anything in his mouth but formula. Imagine his glee when he tasted food!!!!

  6. “… and to stop hallucinating that one of OR staff was wearing the umbilical cord like a lei.”– Best. Line. EVER!!

    I agreed w/ pretty much everything you said. I will add that headbands should not be worn by babies OR their mothers unless said mothers are a) French b) very thin.

    RE: birthplan. My only demand was that I get mass quantities of drugs, early and often, so I guess I got what I wanted and then some.

  7. I don’t recall a child dying in Grey’s last night. Did I totally miss something?? Did that pregnant lady with the squashed face lose her baby?

    I never made up my mind about much of that stuff. I’ve known too many people who arrived at the hospital too late to get their pain management and had to have natural birth. I’ve always found breast feeding to be lovely when I witnessed it being done by a discreet woman and disgusting when my stupid SIL heaved her big ugly boob all over the place.

    Opinions are like assholes — I love the simile.

  8. As a nurse and a mom, lemme tell ya (something you probably already know):

    FORGET.PLANNING.ANYTHING.

    YOU.ARE.NOT.IN.CHARGE.

    Yeah, the truth is you gotta embrace the unexpected.

    Oh, and “opinions like assholes”: one of my granddaddy’s favorite sayings. Along with “colder than a witches titty.” Classy, huh?

  9. I loved this post. I don’t think there are many that get me to laugh out loud multiple times.

    Loved your opinions as well. Hell to the yeah.

  10. Laugh out loud funny you are! I am totally with you on not finding out the sex – once I was told I had to have a c-section I was SO glad that I didn’t know. I would have liked to try a vaginal birth with no drugs… but whatever. I kinda think the headbands are cute – what I really don’t think is cute is babies with their ears pierced. We put Ant to bed in his crib from day one because I’d heard of so many people with issues with co-sleeping of one form or another. And I would definitely do that again.

  11. Well, here’s my run-down:

    Prenatal Testing – We skipped the triple screen as my GP didn’t seem to think it mattered and that it was a pretty inconsistent test to begin with. We let the nuchal translucency determine whether we would do amnio (amnio also not being pushed by my GP), and it was so small that there was absolutely no way we were considering amnio.

    Baby’s Gender – I have to know. I couldn’t stand not knowing if there was a way to easily and non-invasively find out. I don’t care about planning nursery colours, I just need to know.

    Birth Plan – I had hoped for a vaginal delivery and had planned to take meds if I needed them and not if I didn’t. I sure wasn’t arrogant enough to write it down an present it to the doctors though. 18 hours of labour wore me out and the morphine that they gave me spaced me out without giving any pain relief. Baby was determined not to come out so in the end they went in to get him. I pleaded with the docs that I wanted to labour more (must’ve been the morphine), but was told no. End result: healthy baby; sore but alive mother. Can we really ask for more?

    Pain Management – see above. No morphine for me next time though; it’s straight to the epidural!

    Breastfeeding – I did okay with it and continued until 8.5 months when the fertility clinic told me I had to stop if I wanted to do another cycle with them. Little R was weaned very abruptly.

    Co-Sleeping – I wanted to do this, hubby didn’t. From day one Little R was in a crib in his own room. I did, however have the monitor on my nightstand turned up so loud that it sounded like an obscene caller on speakerphone. This meant that there was no way to sleep through the hungry pleadings (picture being instantly bolt upright in bed) of an infant at 3 in the morning when all you want to do is have one night of uninterrupted sleep.

    Diapers – Never any doubt: disposable.

    Pacifiers – We weaned our son off on almost exactly on the timeline you did DD. It was brilliant, and he had no issues. I can’t stand to see 3-year-olds running around with pacifiers stuck in their mouths.

    Cereal – First tastes at 4 months, just to keep things interesting for him and for me. He was primarily on breastmilk until at least 6 months. My MIL tried to push me into feeding him cereal when he was barely over a month old!

    Headbands – Whatever. Ear piercings on infants bother me significantly more. I think the kid should be old enough to have a say in a decorative body modification.

    I’m not sure if this comment accomplishes anything other than wasting your space DD, but thanks for letting me put it out there.

  12. Headbands are a fashion mistake on people of most ages, unless it’s an eighties retro party…and babies don’t wear acid wash, so why should they wear headbands?

  13. I agree with everything except #2. I have to know the sex of my own baby as well as every other incubating baby I know about. I am not sure about the co-sleeping. I plan to breastfeed if I am able to and it just seems like having the baby close would be easier. I am definitely against co-sleeping that lasts into toddlerhood.

  14. I’m with you on the headbands although I have to say Piper looks damn cute with one one. Sending photographic evidence imminently.

  15. Oh we’re so different! LOL Other than #1 and #5, I have the opposite answers 🙂

    I had no drugs, knew the sex both times, co-slept with one, co-roomed with the other, use cloth diapers, put headbands on them both all them time, cereal wasn’t until 6 months with one, 8 months with the other, and I had a birth plan (albeit a simple “I plan to push out a baby naturally”) though both my kids were born in a hospital with an obstetrician. My oldest took a pacifier past 3 months (otherwise what’s the point?) but she was a sleep time only user, never while awake and I sure as hell wouldn’t have let her talk with it in her mouth, that bugs me to no end. In the end we got rid of it around age 3. The youngest refused every single one we ever bought so it was a non-issue.

    Interesting read, thanks for sharing your views 🙂

  16. 1. Prenatal Testing – We did the nuchal fold. Our doctor recommended one or the other (quad panel). She said doing both results in a lot of false positives and that after all we had been through, we didn’t need more anxiety. I love my doctor so much.

    2. Baby’s Sex – Uh, yeah, you know we know. Yeah, there are so few surprises in life, but I consider my surprises on Christmas mornings. I’m too much of a planner for the big things in life.

    3. Birth Plan – Our birth plan is just making sure Fetus gets here healthy. Obviously, we’re having a c-section, so I don’t have to worry about the unexpected twists and turns that a vaginal delivery throws at you.

    4. Pain Management – Yes please. The more the better. One of the suckier things about being pregnant, is that I can’t take any of my “candies”. I have a love affair with valium for sleeping and flying. I love it so much that if it were socially acceptable, I’d pull a Judy Garland 24-7. Complete with a tumbler full of malt scotch. Haha.
    5. Breastfeeding – I’ve chosen not to breastfeed and I’m ok with that. I have my own personal reasons, and so far, everyone has respected that. I think we all need to do what’s best for our respective families and not get so concerned about what everyone else is doing with theirs.
    6. Co-Sleeping – We don’t have a co-sleeper, bassinet, or pack n’ play (yet on the pack n’ play, we’re going to need one when we move and travel through your state that last for fucking MILES, jesus, yeah, anyway). Our current house is tiny. Typical 3br CA ranch. It’s like, 1250sf. I could probably come close to the kid if I reached out far enough, that’s how close our rooms are. You’re right, babies make a lot of noise and as new parents, you’re already on high alert and checking their breathing.

    7. Diapers – Cloth diapers never even entered my mind. You’re right, it’s kind of six of one, half a dozen type of deal. Landfills or water waste. And for us, well, we already bought the diaper pail.

    8. Pacifiers – I have about 80 of them already. So, I intend on using them. I haven’t thought about the weaning part yet. I just want to survive the first two weeks.

    9. Cereal – I think I’m going to have to go with the flow on this one. I have no idea what to expect here.

    10. Headbands – I just think they look uncomfortable. I don’t even like headbands on my own head.

  17. Wow…not only do we share a birthdate, but we agree on all of these things as well? Are you sure we’re not twins separated at birth? Or doppelgangers living a state apart?
    Oh, and I missed Grey’s…what on earth happened? I wish I had Tivo right now.

  18. I totally agree with you on a lot of your opinions but the one I agree with the most is the headbands. They look rediculous. There’s no hair there folks! I also don’t like it when babies get their ears pierced when they are like, a month old. C’mon, they are to young. Please.

  19. I think I agree with almost everything you’ve said. Been there, done that and lived to realize that things will go however they damn well please.

    I just don’t understand why anyone gives a flying ‘f’ the decisions other people make on raising their children. Why should I care if someone chooses to bottle feed even though I breastfeed? Or why should I care if someone co-sleeps and we don’t? Why is it anybody else’s business on how I choose to diaper my baby? WTF? I just don’t get why everybody’s got to be up in each others business, on their soapbox preaching about what’s right and what’s wrong in regards to babyhood. To those who have these agendas, get a life.

  20. LOL

    I agree with some, disagree with others and you know what? That’s okay! (I agree with more than disagree for the record.)

    Headbands…yick

  21. Right on, momma.

    And I hate those headbands.

  22. Aaaah, I am still thrown off by that Grey’s episode and I googled for spoilers to decide whether or not to watch next week’s episode. Josh calls it the child-endangerment show.

    Unless you’re saying things like, “I’m going to swing the baby around over my head as part of the birth plan,” I don’t really have an opinion on other people’s decisions 🙂 I mean, everyone will choose a path and your path sounds pretty good.

  23. I feel the same way about the Quad Screen, but that m*therf*#ker was right on loss #2. We’re going straight to CVS next time (do not pass Go…), if we’re blessed with another chance.

    As for headbands, don’t get me started sweet Jesus.

  24. Mmm…beer. Almost as good as epidurals.

  25. Even though I disagree with you on everything except 1, 2, 9 (the recommendation’s actually 6 months), and 10 (urgh, headbands), I love you anyway. And you know why? Because the way you choose to face birth and caring for your child doesn’t change or invalidate the way I choose to do so. If I ever manage to get pregnant again, I’ll plan to have a home waterbirth with a midwife and doula in attendance, breastfeed for as long as the baby wants, cloth diaper, etc. Does that affect what you would do? Not a bit. But then again, I don’t have an agenda to preach to anyone except those who are paying for me to teach the Bradley method to them.

  26. What I love about this post and all the resulting comments is that we are all individuals who are thankfully free (at least unbound by social convention, barring any pregnancy risks that require a certain type of birth) to make the choices that are right for us.

    I’m so glad I’m having a baby now as opposed to 35 years ago when things were so different.

  27. I say whatever floats your boat, baby. I’ll do it my way, you do it yours.

    Headbands are creepy, especially if the baby is bald.

    As for the cleaning up from a homebirth, our midwife does it all, changes the sheets, washes all the laundry used for the birth (towels and such), and feeds us before she leaves! AND insurance pays for it. You think I’m gonna be doing any of that postpartum? Hellllll’s no. ;o)

    Keep on keepin’ on, my friend.

  28. I say whatever floats your boat, baby. I’ll do it my way, you do it yours.

    Headbands are creepy, especially if the baby is bald.

    As for the cleaning up from a homebirth, our midwife does it all, changes the sheets, washes all the laundry used for the birth (towels and such), and feeds us before she leaves! AND insurance pays for it. You think I’m gonna be doing any of that postpartum? Hellllll’s no. ;o)

    Keep on keepin’ on, my friend.

  29. I say whatever floats your boat, baby. I’ll do it my way, you do it yours.

    Headbands are creepy, especially if the baby is bald.

    As for the cleaning up from a homebirth, our midwife does it all, changes the sheets, washes all the laundry used for the birth (towels and such), and feeds us before she leaves! AND insurance pays for it. You think I’m gonna be doing any of that postpartum? Hellllll’s no. ;o)

    Keep on keepin’ on, my friend.

  30. I say whatever floats your boat, baby. I’ll do it my way, you do it yours.

    Headbands are creepy, especially if the baby is bald.

    As for the cleaning up from a homebirth, our midwife does it all, changes the sheets, washes all the laundry used for the birth (towels and such), and feeds us before she leaves! AND insurance pays for it. You think I’m gonna be doing any of that postpartum? Hellllll’s no. ;o)

    Keep on keepin’ on, my friend.


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