Friday, May 23, 2008

A Post in Which I Should Probably Have Just Written an Email

I bet you're wondering what we're doing about vaccines. Well, too bad that you're not, I'm going to tell there.

Things are very different with the kids now than they were with the first three. We were faithful about taking the kids to every single appointment every three months and anxious about their weight and everything. So far, Lily has gotten her 2-week and two-month appointments on time. She was one month late for her four-month and we never took her for her six-month and of course still haven't taken her even though she's due for her 9-month. We're just not worried. We are pretty well versed on knowing when to be worried about the kids' health and taking them to the doctor is an exercise in futility. We take them, they look at them for, I kid you not, 60 seconds, tell us we're doing a great job and then send us home. Then the kids get sick from whatever germs they caught at the doctor's office. So since we're already so far behind with Lily, we are not going to take her to another appointment until we have thoroughly canvassed and prayed over the vaccine issue and feel like we have a decision that is good for our family. I have purchased three books to help with this. Actually, one of them I bought just in case I have to have a home birth this time around but I still want to tell you about it anyway.

The first is A Midwife's Story by Penny Armstrong. I am really interested in this story. She used to work in a hospital, from what I understand, and basically the book is about the unnatural environment for women in labor in a hospital and how she saw it negatively affect so many women. Then she worked among the Amish as a midwife and it opened her eyes to a more natural way to have a baby; viewing it as a process and not a sickness. Even though I am mostly unashamed to admit that I am quite fond of an epidural, I want to read it because I hate it that I have to fight tooth and nail everywhere I go to not have another C-section. Since the OB group I'm with discusses every month whether they should stop doing VBACs, I feel I need to prepare myself for an unassisted home birth; midwives are not allowed to attend VBAC home births here and I flatly refuse to have another C-section, just because I had one before and "they" are scared of being sued. I can't remember where I heard about this book...I'm sure it was probably from One Thing or some other blog I read.

The second one is How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor by Robert S. Mendelsohn, MD. I got this one from One Thing, also. Speaking of her, did you see how she read The Way Home, too? That book has been a life changer for so many women I respect; it's amazing! Anyway...I was interested in it because of all the things I stated in the paragraph above, above. I hope that at this point we've figured a lot of things out and I am interested to see how often we take the kids to the doctor, pay our co-pay and it was totally needless. It's not that I don't think doctor's are useful and have their place, but...well, they have their place and I think in the past I've given too much credence to what they've said, when they actually had no idea what they were talking about.

The third is The Vaccine Book by Robert Sears. I looked at a lot of books and read tons of reviews and I felt that this book seemed the least biased in either direction. It's supposed to tell you what the vaccines are, how they're made and the pros and cons of getting them so you can make an informed decisions about them and gives a good timeline for delayed vaccines if that suits you. And did you see Kristen's comment about when she gets vaccines for her kids? How do you find a doctor that is inline with your view on vaccines? It's a lot to think about.

I would have just checked them out of the library but the library didn't have a single one of them...of course. But, I got free shipping from Amazon! Woohoo.

I am coming along to the "ooooo...I'm most definitely pregnant" phase of being knocked up. I have some nausea but oh, the fatigue!!! I am sooooo tired. I just want to sleep all afternoon. Right now my stupendous husband is off with the three older kids at the swimming pool. Lily is sleeping. When I'm done writing this I'm going to get some water and snooze my way through some golf. Maybe I should think about dinner instead. I bought some of these vitamins from Pilgrim's Pride. Miriam Heppner recommended them and hopefully they will help me with this horrible tiredness I get. We played hooky from school for two days so that I could randomly nod off. Admittedly today I spent much of the morning searching for houses in San Antonio because I am so positive this house thing isn't going to work here. It's been 7 weeks and counting. We lose our lock on the interest rate next week, next Saturday or Sunday I think.

Oh and I'm reading The Narrative of Sojourner Truth from I was reading two Jane Austen biographies but they're the kinds of books I need in my hand to read because I lose so much continuity, since it's an email per chapter.

I hope I didn't confuse you or bore you to death. Are you awake?? WAKE UP! It's rude to sleep when someone is talking to you. OK, you can go back to what you were doing now.


Lawanda said...

Joanna, you are crackin me up! LOL

I always get SO TIRED when I am prego, too!

I read A Midwife's Story, very good book. Interesting stuff. I would really love to have a baby at home, but not sure if I have what it takes. Besides the fact I don't know if my dh will ever let me have another baby to begin with! haha

I am very interested in the vaccine thing, and would love to see what you find out.

I am so over doctors.

I keep thinking... I wish there was some kind of group-like health-plan type of thing you could join that upholds your right to refuse to go to doctors.

Cuz I don't wanna take my kids back to one, and I hate going there myself. Raechel hasn't been to the regular dr since some time before she was 2.

I've had to take my kids to an urgent care place a couple of times to get some antibiotics in the past couple of years, but that's it.

I wish I could afford to take them to the herbalist/naturalist dr in town when I need a dr, but that is not covered in "health care"....

Johanna said...

I didn't nod off at all - remember? I am passed the whole first trimester super fatigue and not yet to the third trimester super fatigue! Second trimester is heavenly. I even look okay in real maternity clothes now. I bought two new shirts today to celebrate that!

Those sound like interesting books and you'll have to post reviews of them when you finish each one. I really have no interest in home birth - partly because Jerry won't even entertain the idea of using a midwife in a clinic, so I know he would never assist me in catching a baby at home! The idea of it actually makes me laugh out loud!!

We are so fortunate that our pediatrician is a family friend and he is so supportive of our ideas. He has also called me back in the evening on the weekend when Ethan was so sick and dehydrated while we were in AZ for my nephew's wedding!

Hope you don't mind if I start praying that your house in FL is a big bust and one in TX is readily available and CHEAP. :)

Wanna hear something totally cool? jerry just called to let me know he is coming home from work. (That's not the totally cool part.) I had told him that I wanted the adopted baby to have a Chinese middle name. Even though it is three years before we need a name, he looked up Chinese girl's names and their meanings today! He is really getting excited, and since he is the worrier in our family, that is so much fun to watch!

Joanna said...

I was never interested in a home birth either. In fact, Del has been adamant that we go to the hospital. But major surgeries that are unnecessary being forced on you will make you change your tune on some things. I am not sure I am brave enough to go home birth myself, but I'll do it to avoid a C/S. I've just never had a problem in a hospital. They say all this stuff about epidurals being bad for your labor and pitocin being bad for you but honestly, every baby is coming faster and faster. The big problem is that after my water breaks, labor stalls big time and they always give me pitocin to get it back up again, and my water breaks early. After they give me the pitocin I go from 2cm to complete and baby birthed in 90 minutes or less. One push is all it took to get both Rachel and Lily out. So, I'm nervous that if I stay home I'll be laboring over 24-36 hours after my water has broken and that's bad for the baby.

Anyway, extreme circumstances will stretch your limits and make you think about things that you never even considered before, and that's where we are with home birth. So you never know, one day Jerry may be convince that catching the baby at home is the only way, just like he's come around on homeschooling. Not that he needs to be convinced at this time I'm just I rambling? I feel like I'm rambling and saying the same thing over and over again.

I have a Chinese name. I could write it in Korean and Chinese and say it in Korean but I don't know what the transliteration is; Chinese is so different from Korean. We gave each other Korean and Chinese names at DLI. I think it's a good idea to give her a Chinese name. And it's fantastic that Jerry is getting so excited about it. I think you should name her Joanna. That's a fantastic name! You could name her Joanna Qin. LOL, wow, I'm so funny.

Grandma said...

Jo, if push comes to shove, maybe we could get Janet to deliver your baby. Don't know what the regs are but she could administer the pitocin and probably even an epidural. Who knows? Maybe you'll already be in TX close to her by next January!
Also, Johanna, Janet & Tim adopted a little girl from China 10 yrs. ago. Her middle name is Wei, which is Chinese for flower. Just a thought!

Lawanda said...

Oh I love it that you're going to give your adopted baby a Chinese middle name, Johanna!

It took me a while to convince my dh to let me try to homeschool. :)

Johanna said...

One of the names Jerry found yesterday is Hua which means blossom. I am wondering about using the name the orphanage has been using as a first name. It is kind of silly to even think about yet...being three years off still and all.

Jo, I'm not too sure what you are thinking about with Jerry coming around on homeschooling. As soon as I told him about the three people that approached me about it in a week and the things I had read in The Way Home, he was on board. He didn't totally get it until he saw Aaron really, truly learning, but he was on board. He is funny about things sometimes - getting his brain around it if it isn't something he has thought about for a long time already, but as soon as he decides, he starts to get excited.

Kristen & Dave said...

Ok, can I say first...HAVE A HOME BIRTH!!! Now that its out of my system, I will say that there is no conclusive evidence that 24 hrs of no water does damage to your baby. You'll continue to produce fluid for awhile. While I won't recommend this, I have a midwife friend whose baby was born 5 days after her water broke, all at home, baby just fine. Hospitals have to give you a small window after water breaking b/c of liability. And at home you'll also be free to move in any way that's comfortable without monitors and IVs, and so progress is usually quicker...gravity works! I can't believe that whoever thought up the bright idea of a "birthing table" ever took biology (hehe).

For the other issue, I've already told you my delayed vaccine dogma, but I also am not big on well visits. Healthy kids love to come home sick from one of those, plus even tiny viruses can be overreacted to by doctors, and then parents feel bullied into antibiotics...again. Doctors are for sick people! Geez, can't seem to stay off my soapbox for long. sorry!

Interested to read the midwife book! Thanks for the recommendation!

Kristen & Dave said...

OH! I also love the Mendelsohn book!

Joanna said...

Kristen - I will have a homebirth if you come here and be my doula! There is so much to learn about homebirthing and I get overwhelmed with even trying to find out everything I should know. Plus, I sort of find that midwives don't have much patience with me for some reason. I'm trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, but as I've had four hospital births, whenever I call one asking questions about a VBAC, I almost always get snotty answers or this one, "Sorry, we don't do VBACs, good luck." I guess it's the UNASSISTED part that scares me the most.

I wonder if it's possible to have more than three kids and keep up with the incredible doctor visit schedule. I wonder if the more kids you have the more experienced you become so the less you need a "professional" telling you what to do and maybe that's why people with large families are so...weird. Know what I mean?

Joanna said...

Oh and the birthing table thing is funny, you have to admit. My easiest labor by far so far was my first, because I had no idea that I was in labor and not dilating so the hospital wouldn't let me in, so I was able to walk around my house for hours while trying to figure out what in the heck was going on. Ella was born 90 minutes after we got to the hospital. The rest of the kids I've been in the hospital at least 6 or 7 hours.

Kristen & Dave said...

Are you in a state where midwives are not allowed to deliver VBACs, or are the midwives just squeamish? And have you had C-sections every time, or just once, and for which baby? I've already had 3 home births, and do not plan to have any more children, but if I did, I'm finally at the place where I could totally have an unassisted birth w/ just hubby and Mom. Now, my births are uneventful, w/ no complications, and fast, so I'm not saying this is what you or anyone else should do.

Joanna said...

Midwives must be backed by an OB at a hospital here in order to attend a VBAC. Based on my research from my last disasterous experience with an OB (long story) doctors are no longer allowed to back midwives in the county I live in. One group of midwives was backed by a doctor in Orlando but then "someone" found out and he had to quit doing that. I called ever doctor's office and midwifery possible and the instant you mention that you want to VBAC they say sorry can't help and practically hang up on you. There don't seem to be that many midwives in the area. It's weird.

Of four babies, one was C/S. First was vag, then C/S because she was breech, then two VBACs. I wish more and more that I had been more educated in general about things when I had Sarah but I was so scared and naive that I just did whatever they told me to do. Plus not only was she breech but I had low water with her and she was born three weeks early because her water got below 5cm.

Meagan said...

Well, I still have the card of the birth clinic here in Jacksonville who does vbacs. See, you should just live somewhere else... than Tampa. Other thing you might want to consider is finding a midwife from a surrounding county that does birth clinic/home birth stuff. If it really is just the county ordinances then you might just have to travel out of county for what you want.

Joanna said...

This is the big midwifery around here. There is one each in Polk, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, but they state specifically that they only do low-risk. I called the one in Lakeland because my grandma lives there and how convenient would that be but they wanted nothing to do with me because of my VBAC status. Will it ever leave me? GRRR...

Kristen & Dave said...

I have to say that this just makes me so sad that such a broken, ineffective system is forcing you to choose between inevitable major surgery that probably won't be needed, or delivering your baby without help. Actually it makes me angry!! But if I were in your shoes, I would keep trying, calling everyone until you get someone willing. I've never heard of midwives being that nervous about VBACs, so I'm wondering if FL is quick to revoke licenses, and that's what worries them. I'm so sorry and wish you had better options.

Joanna said...

I know that in the past people have been very quick to sue and that's contributed a lot to the state of things here. It totally sucks and was such a shock to me.

We lived in Maryland before we came here and my three older kids were all born at the National Naval Medical Center. When I had my third (Rachel, my first VBAC) they didn't even blink at that hospital. I now know it's because it's a teaching hospital and because of what it is (a military hospital) they ALWAYS have an anesthesiologist in house and lots of doctors. I didn't realize that it was such a big deal. There are a couple of hospitals here that won't even allow you to VBAC IN THE HOSPITAL!!! So, that's that.

I didn't realize what a big deal it was here until I was at my 37-week appt. with Lily and my OB said that his heart doctor told him he was too old and fragile to catch babies anymore and so he was sorry but I had to find a new OB. Talk about stressful; no one would take me as a VBAC and then the OB clinic I foundd that would do VBACs didn't want to take me because I was so far along and they didn't know me. Luckily I didn't get the phone call canceling the appointment I had made with them.

I think it's insane here. You know what else kills me? People fight for a "woman's right to choose whatever she wants to do with her body" so she can have an abortion, but she's absolutely forced into major surgery because no one wants to attend a VBAC? So, you're telling me I can't choose to VBAC, but I can choose to abort???? Talk about duplicitous.

Hmmm, did I just go off on a tangent?

I made an appt. with the OB's office; we'll see what they say.

Kristen & Dave said...

Your comment about duplicitous ethics is exactly what my husband said last night when I was explaining your plight. It shows that the hesitation for VBACs is not rooted in any concern for mother or baby, but only for liability and convenience, and yes, you're right, it SUCKS! This is why I'm determined to be involved more in birth advocacy when my children are a bit older. We are in VA where the laws are getting better, but in MD it is an anti-homebirth culture, and some OBs have publicly stated that homebirth is "the earliest form of child abuse". Nice, eh? Makes me miss TX so much. The culture there was so much better, plus my midwife was solid gold.

You know, if it were me, I would walk into the OB office and tell him/her that if I am not allowed to try for another VBAC, I will be birthing at home unassisted. That might shock them into taking you seriously and allow a dialogue. Good luck!

Joanna said...

Earliest form of child abuse? Oh please! My fingers are itching to go off on a tirade but suffice it to say that I think that is absolutely ridiculous.