Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Family Matters

I went home for Christmas this year, which was cool because the hubby was able to make it down with me for the 2nd time since we’ve been together [8 years!], and I wanted to see some extended family members while I still could, due to age and medical issues. The trip, overnight driving with a dog & cat sharing the same crate after the cat ripped the mesh out of her carrier, was interesting, and I’m totally counting it as “bonding time”, including the 2 hour stretch where  I fell asleep as Billy drove.

Our family didn’t do a whole lot of gifting this year, because money was tight on everybody, but we did get some nice things. The hubby ended up with a lot of clothes, which he needed, because I got a gift card to a store that didn’t have any maternity items and was unsure what size I’ll be wearing after the pregnancy. I got some new purses and things like that, and some cash, as well as a lot of clothes and things for the baby. My mom got me an “organic parenting” book, which is really cool because she seemed sort of dismissive of most of my crunchy tendencies at first.

We also got into a discussion of the whole birth plan and things, and she’s a lot more supportive than she was – I think because she’s been doing some research on her own. At first, she was like “just schedule a c-section, so it’ll be painless & convenient for everybody”, but she seems to understand why I don’t want that more now. I found out she never had an epidural, so she can see why I don’t want one or feel that is always necessary – I was born c-section, and her labor with my sister was so short there was no time for her to have it [I guess she had IV pain meds or something though]. At least short labor runs in the family. She’s also cool on the waterbirth and having a doula now, so long as I will have an OB available and am having a hospital birth. I think my dad’s still skeptical, but he’s very much bought into the idea that the doctors know best and everyone should listen to them.

One thing that suprised me was that my mom asked about circumcision, and neither one of my parents made a fuss when we said we won’t be having the baby circumcised. Apparently, my youngest nephew isn’t circ’ed either, because the insurance deemed it an unnecessary elective procedure and would not cover it. When I mentioned we were refusing several interventions, mom was pretty supportive, especially about the vitamin K shot because it has been linked to leukemia, which I had, and my dad was in agreement about the eyedrops seeming pointless & painful, especially when I explained they were mainly to protect the baby in case the mama had syphilis or gonorrhea.

Dad was really adamant about vaccinations and tried telling me that he wouldn’t be able to go to school or anything if he didn’t get all the shots right on schedule, but backed off some when I explained one of the main was I was skipping was HepB at birth. He didn’t even know about it, but didn’t think a hepatitis shot was needed that young. He went on a big rant about how “dangerous” it was because there were so many people who wouldn’t vaccinate against anything, but didn’t have an answer when I asked him why it should matter to those who were vaccinated, but calmed down when I explained some of the risks to him and how many more shots were recommended now than even when I was a child. I told him that we will get the most important vaccinations, but will probably go with a delayed schedule to give his immune system more time to build up and that we will asking for single, preservative free shots because they are safer and easier to pinpoint adverse reactions. I think he is so adamant about this because he had polio as a child, but he was vaccinated, and may not realize that in the years he was a child the vax cause more cases than the “wild” disease did.

It felt kind of weird discussing some of this with my parents, because I wanted to be sure I wasn’t coming across like I was criticizing how they raised me, but I figured it was better to talk about it beforehand than to have them second guessing it at the hospital or when the baby is young, because I may be more vulnerable then. At least they do know I have researched the choices I’m making, and am not just doing things based on a whim or something I saw on television or read in one book [at first, they thought the waterbirth was a total Ricki Lake thing, until they realized I didn't know what they were talking about because I don't watch television or follow much celebrity news - then my mom had to send me a link to the movie so I could see it].
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