As much as I’ve read horror stories about constipation and pregnancy, I have to admit, I kind of rolled my eyes whenever I read a poo horror story. My brain convo would go something like: “Yeah…I’m sure it can’t be that bad…what a sissy…she should just eat more prunes, drink more water, take a Coalace, learn to eat fiber…etc, etc, etc” Friends, I am here to tell you that pregnancy and constipation is NO JOKE. Would I trade ass-rippery for not being pregnant right now? Hell no. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand the pain. My poos the last two weeks have fallen somewhere in the category of: “Ass hemorrhoid being split open like an angry picnic chef might do to a watermelon in summer” to “muffling my screams in a towel like a 16 year old giving birth in a prom bathroom stall so as not to wake my husband.” When I feel the urge to poo, I have found myself repeating the phrase, “Please God, please God, please…” which is my frantic mantra to attempt to deal with the trauma that awaits me. If I wait too many days to poo, it gets unbearable, so I have been resorting to drinking about an inch worth of caffienated coffee on Day 3 of no poo which immediately moves the shards of glass down my colon enough to shit out.
If this sounds disgusting…it is. My bathroom sounds are not pretty.
I did a caffienated “force poo” this morning in order to avoid a terrifying poo tomorrow morning, as it is my first day at my new job tomorrow, and I’m more nervous than the day I started 7th grade. The last thing I need to start the day is a bleeding asshole, or worse yet, a prom poo in the new work bathroom.
I got a lot done this week off, but not nearly enough…I had thought I would be in the clear with fatigue but extreme tiredness hit me the last few days the likes I have never experienced in this pregnancy. I would wake up with a dull headache and feel hung over, although I’d already been in bed for 12 hours. Yesterday I had a surge of productive energy, but it’s been hit or miss.
The one big thing I was able to do this vacation was interview 5 doulas. In my hopes of going au natural as far as possible, Hubs and I have agreed that a doula may be the best way to help us through this. To be completely candid, Hubs and I did not initially agree on this approach, and he felt like it was a waste of money to hire someone to do a job that the hospital nurses and my Ob could handle. I completely disagreed, and an extended unresolved tiff emerged over the last couple of weeks about it. I know this sounds horrible, but I simply do not trust the L&D nurses at the hospital to handle my labor in my best interest. Our Ob would only be there for about 10 minutes of pushing, and depending on the time of day, may stop in a few times to check on me, but he would in no way be a coach. I have heard too many horror stories about women who feel rushed to speed up their labor because they’re taking up bed space, and the worst was a nursing message board I went on where a bunch of L&D nurses were bitching about patients who refused pitocin and “sat around” taking up valuable bed space with slow labor. One of the nurses even used the phrase, “Treat ’em and street ’em.” as the mantra that is used at their hospital. The last thing I want to worry about is fighting for my basic human right to birth on my clock while I’m in the middle of labor, and neither Hubs or I have the experience or knowledge of medical terminology to advocate effectively. SO, long story short, we have resolved our disagreement, and have agreed to hire a doula to help me last as long as I can at home before heading to the hospital where she can deal with the medical jargon/birth plans while Hubs and I focus on Bagel.
Interviewing doulas was a really great experience–I would highly recommend doing multiple interviews. It’s amazing what you can glean from people even over the phone. There were a couple who just didn’t “get” me or my sense of humor. The conversation felt stilted, and I ended the call with the feeling that I would have a more interesting birthing experience if a sloth helped coach me through. I guess for me, I don’t respond well to slow and gentle. I tended to gravitate towards more of the high energy, talkative doulas. I’m a generally quiet person by nature, so I sometimes need high energy to kick me into gear.
The bad news? I live in LA–the land where doulas and doula work are aplenty. This jacks up the price of a doula to WELL over what I hear other states rates are. None (I repeat, NONE) of the doulas I interviewed charged less than $1500, regardless of experience level. This includes 2-3 home visits before birth, attending the labor basically whenever I need her to come to our house, and then driving to the hospital for the birth, staying with us at the hospital for about 3 hours after the birth to help with breastfeeding, and then a home visit a week after the birth. It’s a lot of time spent, and I guess it’s worth it, but I’ve heard that other state rates are around $500-$800. The good news? I discovered that doula services are almost always negotiable. NEVER take a doula price at face value, whatever state you live in. I was able to talk every one of them down to $1,000, which seemed a bit more manageable for us.
My favorite doula had only been practicing about 3 years, but had a really great energy that I responded to. She is completing a 3 year program to become a midwife, and has attended over 100 births, so I feel confident that she would be a good fit. She also said that none of her births in the last 2 years have had the mom at the hospital earlier than 6-7cm dilated which is exactly where I want to aim (you can technically be checked into labor and delivery at 4cm, but it’s good to hold out longer if you’re aiming for a natural birth.) Next step would be to meet her and one other top pick (the other one had 20 years experience, but I didn’t respond to her energy as well…)
Other than that, Bagel is still cute as can be! We are still awaiting official result from our 12 week scan, but the doc seemed confident that Bagel was looking great. His/her nuchal fold measured between 1.1-1.5mm at different angles which I’ve heard is a good number. I uploaded a couple more pics to Bagel’s page.