riot for life!

Here's the news: I want to give birth at home with a midwife. After months of not even feeling sure how I felt about medicated v. unmedicated child birth, I want to take the most granola/hippie/new age option that anyone in my family has ever taken. It's a new development. I just received a letter in the mail from my insurance company stating that my future care at Mt. Sinai Hospital is all approved and ready to go. Pushed, by Jennifer Block is the culprit. It's not a book about how to give birth and the author has never had a child. It's basically just an investigative report about how in the US, women's desires and preferences in birthing circumstances are routinely undermined for a series of complex bureaucratic, industrialized reasons. Very seriously, I'm convinced that the reproductive rights of women should be focused on childbirth options much more than abortion. Did you guys know that midwifery is prohibited in 10 states and unrecognized in many others? I didn't.

Here's just one lovely passage from the book:

"[Dr. De Angelis], a solo practitioner, to maintain his standard of living in suburban Jew Jersey...and pay out an annual $90,000 in malpractice insurance, [has] had to double his case load. Which means halving the time he spends with patients in an office visit. And he's irate about it. "You tell me what other profession has to pay $300 just to go to work every day! The bottom, line, the bottom line is the care for the patients. And as a consumer...[she] gets 5 minutes in the office. And when the consumer is in labor? It's a vicious cycle. I can't sit with that patient. I have to go back to the office... This is not a way to practice medicine...Why do women put up with this? I have no idea. You know, back in the 80's when I was in residency, there was a feminist movement. The women back then wouldn't have tolerated this."

Let's start a revolution guys. Let's take to the streets.

I've still got to find a midwife. Wish me luck.


natural woman.

In a dream three weeks ago, I was urgent to get from California from Utah. I didn't know why I had to go, but I did, and I had to get there fast. It was a big, life/death/family situation and I was panicked because I didn't have any money to buy a plane ticket, (I remember checking my account balance online and it literally said "$0") but driving was going to take too long and of course I don't own a car anyway. Luckily, my parents had just bought a crop-duster style biplane from a garage sale loaded with gasoline! (Problem solved, right?)

 There was only one seat in the plane, so all I could do was get advice about how to fly it from people who'd done it before. My mom kept saying "Laura, it comes more natural than you think. You'll know what to do." For a minute, I felt pretty excited. I was like,"Wow. I'm gonna see this whole western stretch of the country from a bird's eye view. That's gonna be amazing." And then those feelings would oscillate with other things like, "Wait. Up is down and down is up? Like on a video game? What about air traffic?"

 "Yeah hun. That's it. You've got it. And don't worry about traffic, it's not busy that low in the sky." "But how do I take off? How do I land? Couldn't I die?"

Yup. Childbirth has been freakin' me out lately. Every female in my family who's ever given birth told me independently and only when asked that they'd all done it medication-free (or at least made desperate attempts to). I knew the women in my family were really hearty and cool, but I felt just a tiny surprised that they were all independently united in this without banding together to put pressure on me to follow suit. So I've been talking and reading and watching birth videos online(!!!) and everyone, I AM SOLD. Seriously. If I can get away with it, I might wanna catch the kid myself. Although I have not yet run a marathon, one time I headed out on a Saturday and ran 20 miles just myself. I can give birth like any old farm cow, right? That's what I'm tellin' myself for now.

In other news, please read the book, "Black Swan Green" by my new favorite author, David Mitchell. Don't worry, the title is not representative of its genius. I miss it all of the time since I finished it last week because it's the best subway commuting companion I've ever had.


21 weeks.

My mother is the most fantastic belcher in the world. She can really rip one if she thinks she's alone. I used to think it was at best, unlady-like, and at the very least, authentic, but now I get it because I'm pregnant. Those who haven't and never will house a human parasite won't get it, but burping (especially in the first trimester) saves you from throwing up. It's just mandatory. You feel sick until you do it right. I used to walk around in the crowded streets during my lunch break, trying to burp with all my might, hoping all the honking successfully sheltered passers-by from possible disgust.

Seriously though, get this: MY MOM WAS PREGNANT FOR ALMOST SEVEN YEARS OF HER LIFE. How can you blame her for burping? How can you blame anyone for anything at all who, without medication successfully squeezed seven solid bodies out of her uterus and into the sterile hospital air? And that's only the birth part, which is probably the easiest. My appreciation has certainly expanded as I gauge the details and complications of her achievement, divided by seven (.1428571). I say all of our moms get a free pass because this is all way harder than they made it seem.

Truth is, it makes me feel a pregnancy wimp.

I now require:

8-10 hrs. of sleep every night and naps every Saturday/Sunday

Endless supplies of yogurt, milk, mandarin oranges, and cereal
(don't make me eat or cook anything else, please.)

11 minutes to run just one mile

Hundreds of yards of fabric for my nesting plans that ever so slowly come to actual fruition

Daily chocolate

At least one whining session per day

Thank my lucky stars for Wayne, who takes responsibility for his part in this by facilitating all of my pregnancy needs in the midst of his horrific qualifying exam prep (and for putting up with the unlady-like burping).