I am 28 weeks pregnant and getting so frustrated and beaten down. I feel like I have no control over this pregnancy and upcoming birth, and I'm afraid I won't be able to have any more control over how I raise me child either.
First off, there are no midwives available where I live, so although I would love to have a homebirth, there is nobody to attend. So I'm stuck giving birth in the hospital which I'm not looking forward to because I don't have any say over which doctor(s) will be at the birth, and I don't know whether to trust what they have to say about things like interventions - I have no reference other than what the doctors tell me.
Not to mention that I haven't gotten anywhere near the level of prenatal care from my family doctor that I have heard about from my friends who were lucky enough to get midwives.
I would love to be able to stay home after the baby is born, but I can't afford to take more than 6 months off so I feel cheated by this stupid economy out of something as simple as breastfeeding my own child until they wean naturally. It makes me so mad. It's not like I'm trying to maintain a high standard of living - my partner and I rent a cheap basement apartment and he works full time while taking evening courses, but his job is minimum wage and he's got student loans to pay off, so I don't have any choice or we'll have no place to live. We're both educated and we work hard, we don't have any expensive hobbies or vices (or extras like phones, internet, cable TV, or even a car). All I want to do is live my life and be a good mother and I'm not even allowed to do that.
Then there's school. I know I'm thinking way too far ahead but I don't believe in the public school system, at least not for young kids. I just don't think it's the best way to educate them and get them excited about learning and expanding their creativity. Of course private schools are out of the questions because of the cost, but what if I can't even afford to stay home and homeschool? I'm just stuck.
I feel like on every issue my hands are tied. I just want to have some control over how my child is raised but I feel like the whole thing has just been hijacked. Ever read Brave New World, where the babies are grown in a lab and conditioned to become a certain type of person? I feel just like that, like there's so much external control over how things are done that I have less influence over this child's future than does the government, and I want to get out but I can't find a way.
I know this sounds pretty closed-minded and immature but I'm just so depressed recently I can't seem to see through all this stuff. I don't know where to look for a solution.
Bless your heart! Calm down, it'll be okay!
You wrote a lot of worries, it's a lot to address! I have found that worries are almost always wasted time. Don't waste any of your time worrying now about school yet...a LOT of things are going to change between now and then, I promise!
Same with going back to work 6 months postpartum. You will cross that bridge when it comes, if it indeed does. 6 months at home with baby is a blessing, and you should enjoy those days as much as possible, not fill them with worry. When I was pregnant 3 years ago, I KNEW for CERTAIN that I was going to have to go back to work even sooner than that, when baby was 3 or 4 months old. But I didn't have to, and I am home with him still. But if I had had to, I would have, AND it would have been okay. Know that there ARE ways you can make money from home (but also know there are TONS of scams about this online, so think sensibly and independently about this, don't buy some program or pay to join a website)! I think going out and getting a paycheck from someone else is much easier than trying to make money from home, and pays better, too, usually, though.
As for the hospital, I can give some advice. Homebirth is illegal here, too, and I have to have my babies in the hospital. I have had 2 hospital births, and they were as different as night and day. The first time, I had never dealt with doctors or hospitals before, and I just assumed that they always know what is best, and so I just let them have control and....suffice it to say that birth and hospital stay was a mismanaged nightmare! HOWEVER, by the time I gave birth again, I had learned to inform myself and I knew A LOT more. I went into the hospital with a (short, concise, 1 page) birth plan. I actually had several copies and I made sure the doctor, the nurse, the hospital all had copies. Knowing what was best for my baby and myself and demanding in writing that I get these important things made a HUGE difference. While a hospital birth is always going to be a hospital birth, and there are concessions we will have to make, a lot of important things can be spelled out by you and followed by them.
At first, it seemed that this little piece of paper was not going to have much weight, but it actually did. I think the hospital (and doctor) were not used to being presented with such, so they each in their (nice) way sort of tried to say No, you can't do most of these things. But then during and after Iabor I could clearly see that actually everyone was aware of this plan and they did follow it and grant my requests.
So, instead of worries and feeling out of control about the birth, channel that energy into writing a birth plan instead. Mine started out long and was edited slowly over weeks down to a simple, clear, 1 page document. It will definitely give you at least some control!
I have got to stop, and so I didn't read back over your worries, but just in general maybe when you feel "out of control," you can find some small way to take control and not waste time with worries! I hope you have a beautiful birth experience and great love with your child and a wonderful life! When worries try to overtake you, you can use the mantra that helps me, which is Bob Marley singing in my ear "Don't worry about a thing, cuz every little thing is gonna be alright!" Believe it, and then smile and dance a little, in your head at least, if you can, and don't worry!
Mama to 3 boys
I had hospital births with both of my babies (first one because I didn't know any midwives, and it ended up in a c-section after a failed induction) the second because midwives here won't deliver a VBAC baby at home, and I wasn't comfortable UC'ing my first VBAC.
The difference in the two births? same hospital, same doctor/midwife practice, but I hired a private doula. If you can afford it -and many will work with you on the price - it's a godsend. She can advocate for you, work with the hospital staff, help you keep calm and focused. Even before the birth, just going over, and over, the birth plan and what interventions I was willing to give on - after my first baby that was an intervention spiral - and what I wasn't - was a tremendous help to get my head in the right place.
As for going back to work. I went back to work by 8 weeks PP with both kids, and continued to breastfeed. My son I breastfed until he was 15 months (would be longer, but milk dried up due to pregnancy) and I am currently nursing my daughter. If your work is accomodating for pumping -and they *should* be depending on where you are - there is no reason you have to lose the bf'ing relationship because you go back to work.
and school . . .I plan to homeschool. How I don't know yet, since I work FT, but I have time yet to figure that out. I truly detest the public schools here. it's all about test taking. not about real learning, IMHO.
relax a bit and enjoy what you can. so much about birth and children is just uncontrollable. Even in the most ideal circumstances.
Katrina - Mama to Gabriel 11/20/2009 and Norah 10/11/2011- married to Wayne -  and now new baby Theodore born 3/11/13
As for working and BFing, there's no reason going back to work at 6mo should interfere with your desire for extended BFing. I went back to work when #1 was 8mo and #2 was 5mo, and they both BFd for 2 years. Pumping sucks, it's true, but it's not the end of the world, especially if you're cosleeping.
Now: your birth options. I see three strategies. First, post over in your state's "tribe" area, in the forum called "Finding Your Tribe." There may well be other MWs in your area that you haven't found out about. Even if homebirth is "illegal" in your state (which means that attendants are not licensed to attend them, not that you're not allowed to have one), there are likely many midwives who attend births anyway. I had dd in North Carolina, where CPMs are not licensed, and had an amazing homebirth attended by an incredible CPM with decades of experience. So: don't give up yet!
Second, definitely hire a doula!
Third, it sounds as though you need to educate yourself ASAP, so that you and your partner are in a better position to evaluate interventions, tests, and things that are likely to come up during labor. Read anything by Ina May Gaskin, Henci g
Goer, Penny Simkin or Pam England. Read voraciously here on MDC in the Birth and Beyond forums. Watch birth videos. Talk to people who have had natural births. Your doctors are not going to educate you, and this isn't something you can just trust them on, unfortunately. Having a doula can also help you navigate the maze of medical interventions and hospital "policies" and help advocate for you in labor.
Hang in there! Hope this helped.
Sarah ~ ds X 12/05 ~ dd E 3/08 ~ 7/12
I can't address the hospital birth thing, and it seems others already have....there's always the unassisted option too, if you think that might be for you.
I wanted to add though that there are lots of creative ways of making money. I'm not sure if you have a set career to return to, but some ideas to keep you and babe together:
- home daycare
- work in a daycare centre where your babe can come to work with you
- craft/make something/otherwise work from home
- find some occasional work where babe can come with you....for someone at a home office, or otherwise flexible.
- try to set up work oposite your partner so someone's home with babe...if you can bring in more than him have him care for babe.
I went back to school when DS was 9 months. For nursing, he ended up reverse cycling. He was sent to daycare with goats milk (my pumped milk had high lipase levels so it quickly turned "off") but rarely drank any, instead we co-slept and he nursed through the night getting all he needed then. He weaned at 5.5 years.
I'm stuck with the public school thing too....DS is currently in grade one (didn't go to JK....I was working part time and DS would go to grandma's) and if I could afford it I'd send him to montessori or homeschool, but that's just not in the cards right now.
We're not done though; DH is now in school and we're moving forward and have plans to make our grand plan come together. We make the best of what we have and keep aiming for the ideal in a realistic kind of way following our laid-out plan....maybe DS got the short end of the stick being born to us so early....(which really wasn't that early, we had him at 23) but we've come along way since then andI'm still hoping we'll get to a comfortable spot financially where we will both be able to have good careers and be able to afford to make the schooling and parenting choices we prefer.
Laurie, wife to DH (Aug/04), mom toDS1 (Nov/05) and DS2 (June/12).
I've been thinking about you, OP, and wondering how you are today? Looking back over your post, I just want to add that you do sound depressed, and I want to encourage you to get help for it ASAP. Talk to your care providers and insist on a referral to someone who can help, whether with therapy, medication, or both. You need to watch out for postpartum depression as well. I don't know what activities you get to do, but yoga and meditation help me a ton during pregnancy. If you live somewhere without much sun (as I do), take your cod liver oil and get some of those sunlight bulbs. Get outside if you can. But above all, get help! Reaching out here on MDC is a great first step.
Sarah ~ ds X 12/05 ~ dd E 3/08 ~ 7/12
We did a combination of some of the things others have mentioned. Husband and I worked opposite schedules to cut down on day-care. I pumped when I went back to work and continued to breastfeed until like a previous poster we weaned around 15 months while I was pregnant. My cousin and her husband homeschool their daughter while both working full time, I don't know if I could do it but it works for them. I did end up losing my job and am now at home with our son, somehow we're making it work. We watched a friend's child for extra income until I became pregnant again. I dispatched for a local taxi company from home for a while as an overnight thing. It isn't easy, but it can work. It can feel hopeless sometimes for sure. Make sure you have some sort of post-partum support system worked out. If your depression is making the future seem impossible now, be sure you've got a network in place for after. It can be hard to recognize PPD when you're in the throes of it. Kudos on getting the words out about your feelings now!
We used hypnosis for birth as our 'birth method' and had a natural hospital birth with only minor intervention. One thing to remember is that being too attached to the 'perfect scenario' can cause you to have hard feelings about an event that can be beautiful for you even if it doesn't go as hoped. It's fine to want the birth of your dreams, but don't close your mind to enjoying your birth even if there are unforeseen circumstances. Strange things can happen to any of us, even if we're financially set, with a crackerjack midwife and a birth friendly environment.
I feel your pain. I didn't know what I would do when I had my first. As it turns out, I didn't need to go back to work. I was determined to stay with my baby come hell or high water. I was fiercely adamant that I remain home with my baby and I figured out how to make it happen.
Are you comfortable with welfare? I'm not sure where you live, but if it's in the US, you can apply for food stamps after baby is born. As long as your partner is working, they will not require you to work since you are taking care of a child. We are a family of three and get $525 per month in food stamps. We also get WIC which is free food for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and children up to age 5. It has been a huge help. I also started working from home. I don't make much at all, just a little here and there, but it has more than paid for baby and child stuff. I make toys that I sell online and I also became a writer. I write online articles for a pittance, but it's more than nothing and I also self-published two books which has helped tremendously. I run a little graphic design business as well. It's tiny, but it makes around $200-300 per month.