Since it was one week ago today that I stopped being pregnant, I thought it would be good to take a look back at this pregnancy and see what lessons I learned.
1. The doctor does matter. I am a pretty hands-off pregnant person and birther--I just want to be left alone, and I don't need or want a lot of hand-holding. So I didn't think it really mattered much when at my first appointment, the doctor made a big deal about my risk of hemorrhage, and how their office had all that birth control stuff everywhere, and they kept talking about permanent measures of birth control, etc. I never really felt like they were on the same page as me, and I really wasn't that confident in them, that they had MY best interests in mind, but I didn't think it mattered too much. I would just do my thing, and that would be that. After all, I have given birth several times in military hospitals with perfect strangers delivering, and that was just fine. Looking back, however, now I wonder if she could have done something different . . . if the baby got stuck because she didn't turn it right or something. I don't even know. And the whole induction thing. I agreed to it because I thought the baby would be smaller and I was ready to not be pregnant anymore, LOL, but that wasn't her reason at all. She didn't really HAVE a good reason, and so I just didn't have any confidence in her. I think it DID make a difference in the whole experience.
But what else could I have done about the doctor? I have thought about what if I chose Bethesda instead. I know they would not have induced me unless I was having actual problems or was 2 weeks late. But you know--driving over 45 minutes one way to appointments would have just not worked, with Anna still being so young. Who could I have obligated to watch all my other kids for such long periods of time, especially when one of them was still a baby herself and needed a lot of attention?! And there were no other doctors in this area that took Tricare Standard and were accepting new patients, so I really don't think I had any other option. I will have to chalk this up to being God's plan that I don't understand.
2. Constipation is bad. This pregnancy, I was Miss Super-Fiber. I ate bran muffins made with extra fiber All-Bran. I exercised pretty much every day. Towards the end I took Colase. I can honestly say I have never felt better during a pregnancy! But the last 2 weeks or so I STILL struggled with contipation, no matter how many prunes, muffins, or Colase I ate. I think this was one reason why the baby did not descend very quickly--there wasn't as much room as needed! As I was starting to push, I told the doctor and nurse that next time I would ask for an enema. "What! We don't do those anymore!" they quickly exclaimed. But I think it would have helped.
With Anna, I took castor oil the weekend before I had her (on a Tuesday as well). It did work, although Anna passed meconium before birth. Before I took the castor oil, I did a lot of research and was convinced that it did not pass over the placenta and so could not make the baby's bowels move. But after Anna's did, I was not so sure, and although Anna had no problems with the meconium, I didn't want to try that this time. Now I'm thinking maybe I should have taken that chance. I don't know what I would do if I got pregnant again and it came time for my due date and I was constipated. Hmmmm.
3. The whole weird labor and delivery was a fitting end to this pregnancy, which was not what I would call "smooth" from the beginning. Getting pregnant while nursing a 4-month old exclusively, finding out about the pregnancy when all of a sudden your milk starts drying up and being rejected by your baby, having the waiver for off-base OB care be denied this time, having such a hard time finding a doctor, having a weird first ultrasound with secretive techs who made us think something was wrong when it wasn't, failing the 1 hour glucose test--everything was different about this pregnancy, so I suppose it is fitting that the labor and delivery was as well.
Who knows, this might be my last pregnancy--but I sort of hope it isn't, since it didn't leave me with good, happy pregnancy feelings. I would love to have another pregnancy with a supportive, competent midwife that feels the same way I do about kids and such. And while we're at it, I'd like to move into our dream home on 5 acres or so in Ohio between my parents and Amy, LOL. So I will stop wishing and just be grateful for a healthy, happy baby. Truly Grace is a gift from God, in His perfect timing and plan.