Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Drug week

"Have you decided on what medication you'll use, if any?" said the student midwife who saw me at the office today. "Are you going all-natural, doing IV medications, something else...?"

"I didn't know I had to decide already," I said, a bit taken aback by her seriousness.

She said, "Mmm," and continued to look intently at me, so I went on. "I'm taking a childbirth class and the next session is on medications, so I figure I'll wait until I get more details then to decide."

"All right," she said and went on to something else, what contraception I planned to use, I think. It struck me as a bit odd that in any other situation, the medical practitioner would be the one telling me what was best, but here I'm expected not only to choose myself, based on no prior experience (but then, they have no prior experience with me either), but to do my own research--they haven't given me any information on medications other than a bit on the side effects of epidurals.

Besides, I rather suspect she was going off a checklist in her head of "What to Ask a Patient at Seven Months."

Otherwise, the visit was very boring; I've only gained half a pound since I was there last ("Have you been eating better?" asked the nurse, looking at me suspiciously as I got off the scale; I said, "No, but I took a vacation and we walked everywhere," and she was satisfied) and L.E.O. is very squirmy but very healthy. "She's head-down right now," reported the student midwife, "though she may not stay that way. It's early yet."

I asked her when L.E.O. might be expected to settle into her final position and stay there and she gave me a vague answer that suggested she didn't know. I also asked her whether my mother delivering early meant I might deliver early, and she said that was a myth, but that the length of the labor might be correlated. I wasn't totally confident in her information (especially since she followed it up with anecdotes about her mother and sister) but when the real midwife came by to check on her and asked me if I had any questions, I decided not to embarrass the student midwife by asking them again. I'll ask again next visit, or in class on Thursday.

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