Being Pregnant

Me hours before labour started

Me hours before labour started

A bit more about me.

I have pretty much always dreamed of being a mother and I was hugely excited when we fell pregnant and was then pretty miserable with all day sickness, until….. BLISS:

I loved being pregnant once the sickness was over and I think I was pretty much just glowing the last 5 months. I just felt so good and was so vibrant.

I started my pregnancy under the care of a woman whose eye make-up took my fancy… yes, not a very good criteria to choose your gynae. The relationship ended when she made some snarky comment about me not doing all the ultrasounds that are recommended by the Ministry of Health. I moved around looking for doctors on my HMO and finally gave up and went private. I wanted to enjoy my pregnancy and not spend it worrying about the next test and the next results. I felt good and I felt like my baby was doing just fine. No need to be doing a gazzilion tests. (Here in Israel there is a culture of doing every test available as it is in the public health basket of services. And people feel more in control I guess, or worry less, I don’t know. It doesn’t suit me)

The choice of where to give birth was the next challenge both DH and I had to overcome together. How to find a birthing environment we would both be comfortable in. I wanted a home birth with minimal intervention, DH wanted a hospital birth with doctors keeping a close check on all developments and all emergencies being covered for.

We interviewed home birth midwives, doctors and looked into hospital birth details. To be honest, I was terrified of giving birth in a hospital. I was pretty sure that the hospital staff were not there to ensure I had the birth that I wanted – their job was to make sure my birth experience fitted into the hospital ‘best practice’ idea of a ‘normal’ birth. Working in a large hospital, I knew how insignificant the patient  is when the doctor makes a decision. I did not want to be on the receiving end of that.

I guess the deciding factor for me was when DH and I were in the Ante Natal classes and I asked about needing to go to the loo and having a monitor on me (in the back of my mind I had plans to escape into the bathroom and give birth unassisted in the locked room if the hospital staff were not cooperating – yeah, not wildly realistic, but this was the only way I could envision giving birth in the hospital). I was told they would bring me a bed pan.  From this I understood that the monitor’s needs would be more important than mine and finally had the courage to tell DH that I would under no circumstances be giving birth in the hospital.

So, despite the enormous cost, we signed up with the birth cabin gynae…. and I subjected myself to far too many Ultra Sounds with this techno doctor ready each and every visit to measure my developing boy…. but I decided to let that slip – I was going to be giving birth in a cabin with a birthing pool and an amazing team of doula, hydrotherapist, gynae and my husband. No monitors, no change of shift, no medical students, no pressure for an episiotomy, no rush to fit onto any graph…. YAY

All through our journey of deciding where to give birth, I had 2 sets of in laws. One set who were very supportive of our choices, even though the choices were very unfamiliar to them. And one set (both MD’s – one a professor of medicine and the other with a Masters in Public Health) who were a bit apprehensive about not giving birth in a hospital setting – apprehensive enough to tell me that I am risking my child’s life –>giving birth is more than just my personal experience!!!!

Anyway, we had decided and we were happy with our choice. My parents live in South Africa, making them an 11 hour flight away. It is hard.

Other experiences being a pregnant woman. I had dreams of friends who were pregnant…. very cool. I also rediscovered knitting, and knitted a ton of baby things…. and kept myself educated on issues around being pregnant and giving birth. And I discovered the Mothering Magazine and discussion board. Both these discoveries revolutionised my life. I no longer felt like a freak in mainstream surroundings. Other people also aspired to live a wholesome life making informed decisions. PHEW


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