Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity. ~ Margaret D. Nadald
Our Father also gifted us with the nature to nurture, keen sensitivity to the Spirit, selflessness, discernment, and heroic faith. No wonder our Father placed us at the heart of the family and thus at the center of the plan of salvation. We are the Lord's secret weapon. ~ Sheri Dew
Why I Don't Do Tests Offered in Pregnancy, and Then A LIttle More
So, I'm weird right? Let's just start there....
This last week I had an appointment with my midwife and it was the first time that we had met her (the husband was able to come with me). Now, one of the most important questions that we ever ask, yes, it's very near and dear to both of us, is what the provider thinks about the glucose test. **If you're unfamiliar with this test, it's usually given sometime in the 2nd trimester (between 24-28 weeks) and involves drinking a sugar mixture, then you wait an hour, do a blood draw, and from that you can kind of get an idea how your body is handling sugar. However, if you fail this test or it's inconclusive then you get the joy of a 3 hour test... drink sugar, sit for 3 hours, then blood draw.**
Now, I learned with my first pregnancy that we would be denying any screening of our baby beyond a basic ultrasound. After discussing options with our OB then we realized that half or more of the tests the offered are likely to give false-positives or false-negatives, so we really didn't see the point. Additionally, the very thought of an amniocentesis (a big long needle being stuck in your belly to extract fluid) to confirm a diagnosis that may or may not be true and that may or may not cause a miscarriage, just wasn't for us. If you do these tests that's fine by me, it's your body, not mine, you do what's right for you. MIght I throw out that my current midwife has seen over 300 positive tests for downs syndrome and that only 2 of those babies actually had it when they were born and 1 other baby she delivered had it and the test was negative? She said it was pretty terrible because the positive results really affected the bonding between the parents and child beforehand and caused some rocky roads. Anyway! That was just what I picked up this week, thankfully we realized early on our own that the stress and pressure of dealing that kind of information would be just too much and that we'd rather just deal with things as the come!
K, so the one thing that I didn't have worked out before the first baby (besides don't let people bully/scare you into an epidural, even if they're closely related to you maternally *cough* Even though my oldest is 6 I can still feel where the epidural was, no thanks! Hello natural childbirth my old friend! I'll take some pain and immediate relief once they're out any day!), okay, I'm focusing now, the one thing that I didn't have worked out was the whole glucose test thing. They said I needed it, I was nervous since I know better than to just shoot up straight sugar without having something to balance it out, but we really need to know if I have gestational diabetes because that could affect mine and baby's health... yah, I now know that's just what silly people say :-).
Alright, don't get in an uproar, yes, diabetes is serious and can cause large babies etc., but let's talk a walk down common sense lane shall we?? Have you gained an abnormal amount of weight? Are you measuring larger than you should despite how old an ultrasound says baby is? Do you have diabetes in your family? Have you had diabetes in previous pregnancies??
For MOST people, the answer is no to all of these! Do you know the percentage of women that actually have gestational diabetes? It's somewhere between 3-10% depending on the demographics of the area you're looking at. The most correct average I've seen lays around 6%. So.... we test 100% of pregnant women with this horrendous test because 6% might have it?? This is a fairly new phenomenon, the whole testing everyone thing. Before you were only tested if you answered yes to those questions above there. There is no woman that I've ever talked to that had glowing reviews of this test. Personally, I almost puked (which means you get to start all over again!), and the very thought of having to do the 3 hour test made me a ball of tears.
So, since that time I've denied the glucose test, and have come in contact with some really nasty people :-). In Korea the lady was so upset I got a good lecture, through which I stayed calm and I'm pretty sure she hated that more than anything else I could have done. She then informed me that I had to sign a waiver, to which I smiled and said okay, and that was that. Subsequently I've met some interesting people that are more holistic but still think that it's important (Yah, sorry, unless there's some huge red flag waiving about me that you think I absolutely need to take this test... yes, I would do it then.... then the answer is no), and others who I just down right catch of guard.
Here's what I've learned: -For 25 years the medical community has known that you can use jelly beans for this lovely test. However, if you take all the information in the world to your provider they won't think anything of it. It's true though! The research is there! (this test was suggested by the more holistic midwife who surprised me with her adamants that I take the test in the first place... and then we moved and the midwife here gave me more stats as to why a blanket test for everyone was silly). -And secondly, I don't know what it's called but there's a blood test (no sugar added :-D), that you can have drawn which gives an accurate reading of your blood for the past 3 months then the glucose test every will. I'm really not going to speculate as to why we're being subjected to a less affective test than what's available, but as always I'm thinking money probably has something to do with it.
Anyway! Ladies, do your research! Be in control of your health whatever it may be. The treatment plans for gestational diabetes involve eating right and in right portions, exercise, and monitoring baby. Really? I need a test to tell me to do what I need to be doing anyway? Maybe you do! I don't know. The point of the matter is, that I think the whole business of having babies has become so complicated and medical that people don't know where to start! I seriously got a bag on my first visit to the office that had baby formula and 10 magazines. Things you should take to the hospital, what to do about xyz. It was incredible! My favorite part?? A lot of the information was conflicting :-).
Having babies is a natural thing, promise. I'm so grateful for people that have knowledge on how to intervene when things go awry (cause they sometimes do, that's why we have ours naturally but in a hospital), but for the most part, just relax! Eat as well as you can... sometimes I can't eat at all and sometimes I need more food then I think I should eat... try to stay active, drink water and enjoy life! And remember, this baby is YOURS. Call the shots and don't let anyone pressure you or scare you into making a choice, know your options and what you can handle and make sure your spouse is on board.
Want a for instance? I am a REALLY harsh critic of pitocin. I have several friends that don't go into labor without it (including a really cute mom of 10 I met when I was pregnant with our first), so don't judge me here, I do know it has it's place and if I absolutely had to have it for some medical emergency then we'd acquiesce. However! I think my second child and the experience I had delivering her saved my forth child's life.
We had just moved back from Korea, the husband was going to be school through the Air Force full time and our daughter was due about the 2nd week of school. I have a sister who literally planned all 6 of her kids thanks to pitocin, so we figured it wouldn't be a big deal to induce her on a Friday so that the husband could have a few days off with me before going back to school (we also had a 15 month old at the time). I still get nervy when I think of all the contractions that I felt with her and how hard they were hitting on top of each other, it just wasn't right! Something went wrong with the epidural, although they don't know what and now I'm pretty sure it was just Heavenly Father saying "remember this!", so I felt everything. They got things situated, I fell asleep for a little bit, then the next thing I know nurses are flying around me and putting an oxygen mask on me. It was pretty scary, I had no idea what was going on and I didn't care for having that thing on. Turns out our daughter's blood pressure had dropped pretty severely so now they were trying to do what they could to keep from having to do a c-section. What?? I didn't even know that was a possibility. Well! I do now, and a whole lot more.
So, baby #3 we just decide to go all natural, didn't take any classes and everything was great. It was all new territory so things were a little scary (I had NO idea what transition was going to be like or how long it would last, or what it was!), so when contractions hit on top of each other without letting me relax and I was just told that I was like a 5 or 6 I wasn't sure I could last, then wouldn't you know, they checked 5 minutes later and then rushed to get the Dr. because this baby was ready!
Baby #4 had a funny delivery. Labor started and stopped a few days before he was born, then I woke up one morning and my water had broke.... which was weird because that's never happened before right before baby is born.... I'd have really strong contractions, then nothing, and that lasted ALL DAY LONG whereas normally from 1st contraction to baby for me is pretty quick. We didn't understand. I was dilating slowly but surely, but things would just stop. I was asked from 12 hours from water breaking on if I wanted to start pitocin and was happy to turn them away for hours! I knew from our little girl that stuff wasn't any good! Then when he was actually born (I just decided that he was ready at one point and decided to push contraction or not), there was a true knot in his cord! It only happens in 1% of births, and I was just lucky I guess :-). Immediately the midwife explains that she's heard before about the body slowly and starting pregnancy because it knows that if things move too quickly that knot will pull tight and there goes baby's life support! BIG NOTE TO SELF, if they would have started pitocin it would have moved him too fast and could have potential caused an emergency situation. (*I"ll spare you a picture of an umbilical cord, but this is exactly what happens to it when there's a true knot).
So, get educated, learn from experience and enjoy the ride!