August 14, 2013
Would You Rather…Expecting Mama Edition
So this is turning into a really ridiculous and funny game of “would you rather?” You know, that game where one person asks the other a simple question just for fun like “Would you rather go on vacation to Paris or London?” Then, you take turns asking each other these silly questions. It usually ends up, after about 10 rounds, somewhere around the vicinity of “would you rather eat a chocolate chip cookie where the chocolate chips are actually mouse turds or eat a cockroach?” It’s inevitable. It always ends somewhere around there…just like when two little boys start to sing, they always end up singing about poop.
Where am I going with all of this? Well, Jeremy and I recently went to tour the hospital where we will probably deliver baby #3. The first question that got us this far was “would you rather give birth in Beijing or Shenyang?” If that question was just for fun, my answer would be Beijing. However, for reasons related to the inconvenience of hauling a family to Beijing three weeks before the due date to wait on baby’s arrival and the availability of decent medical care here and a hospital that caters to foreigners and has an English speaking doctor who is a fan of Western ways, our answer has become Shenyang.
While the English speaking doctor was showing us around the hospital, I made sure to ask lots of questions about epidurals. I had one in America with Kanyon and it was awesome (so awesome I sang a song about it in the delivery room). For some reason, I decided I wanted to try and be a hero with Corbin and refused an epidural until I got to an 8 and decided I was indeed not a hero and wanted more than anything else in the world to have a needle shoved up my spine once again. Even though that epidural experience was a little different because it was Chinese style (it takes the edge off but you aren't totally numb like an American epidural), it was wonderful. After Corbin was born, I wrote myself a letter that says
“Dear Future M’Lynn,
Don’t be a hero. Get an epidural at 4.
So, the only big problem I see with the Shenyang epidural situation is that they won’t give it to me after I’m at a 7 or 8. Surely I can make it to the hospital in time. Corbin came fast but I was a 4 when I got there. There is a problem with the delivery situation, though. Once you’re ready to push, they make you wear pants…like giant split pants! They say “it’s to create a sterile field…blah, blah, blah,” but I just can’t get past the whole deal. Really? Wear pants while having a baby? I saw the delivery table as well and asked about different positions that have worked for me in the past. It seems, though, that the midwives are pretty strict in their delivery table positioning. So the possibility of no epidural plus guarantee of giving birth in pants leads me to consider other never before considered options. Enter water birth.
Would you rather give birth wearing giant split pants or in an inflatable kiddie pool?
Yes, I’m being a little harsh. They aren't giant split plants. It’s a medical drape. It’s not a kiddie pool, it’s a birthing pool. Whatever. I still have to answer this question. And it’s for real!
I continued my round of questioning with the doctor when she brought up water birth.
“Do I have to wear the pants in the water?” I asked.
I would not have to wear pants in the water, I would just have to take a shower before getting in the pool (standard pool rules in China by the way). I did not ask if I would have to wear a swim cap (also standard pool rules in China). Also, she said the midwives have less control over my position if I’m in the water. Freedom from strict midwives and their strange lying down to give birth position…another plus! But, if I choose water birth, I’m ignoring advice from Past M’Lynn about getting an epidural. But, Past M’Lynn did not know about the split pants.
Photo by Geraldshields11 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons