The Final Countdown

Sick & Tired of Pregnancy....But Not Yet Ready for the Next Stage

I apologize for the lack of updates, but I have put myself on a semi self-imposed bedrest. I have a little less than 2 weeks til my due date and my body has gone crazy on me! Apparently a positive sign, the baby has descended which at times makes walking excruciating or at least very uncomfortable. I feel as if a bowling ball is sitting in my pelvis giving me the “pregnant woman waddle,” as well as peanut sized bladder.

In addition, my back has decided that the additional strain of carrying more weight will result in shooting pain in my lower back with any movement. So I have been lying here watching my share of Oz, Law & Order and A Baby Story. Everyone tells me I need to be enjoying my last moments of freedom, but quite honestly I’m finding it difficult. Along with the aches and pains movement has been giving me I also have been a bit of an emotional mess.

I celebrated my 25th birthday last week, which started with me chipping a tooth and was interspersed with bouts of tears throughout the day. Nothing particularly bad happened, in fact, the weather was nice and I received well wishes from many friends and family, but regardless I was just blue. I am tired of pregnancy, yet still nervous and apprehensive about becoming a mother. It is a strange feeling for someone like myself who thrives on being able to control a situation. While I understand life’s uncertainties and unpredictability (this was an unplanned pregnancy after all), I feel as I am embarking on a period (labor) that I have absolutely no control over. For all I know I could go into labor tomorrow! I could end up having an emergency c-section, I could have a 40 hour labor, I could be in more pain than I am able to deal with…and the list goes on. I try to calm myself knowing there is no way to plan or better prepare myself. I’ve read the books, blogs and testimonials, I’ve taken the classes and now it is just a waiting game.

Posted in Pregnancy, Stress, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Chocolate City No More?

 

Chocolate City No More?

 

 

If you live in the District you are more than likely aware of the hoopla surrounding the latest census stats. If you don’t live here chances are you might have heard through some pundit or through the media outlets of the shift in demographic in DC.

Opinions and viewpoints are quite varied; from Marion Barry’s diatribe about forcing government workers to be DC residents to the voices of the alleged gentrifiers who refute and wrongdoing. While I typically wouldn’t blog about this issue nor cite “Da Mayor” (see Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing” if you missed that reference), I do feel that many people are viewing the rapid shift in demographics of DC out of context.

When you go to areas such as Columbia Heights and see the million dollar condos rising up as quickly as they can push out the poor it is not so much an issue of poor Black DC residents leaving the city. Similar to many urban (and suburban) areas what DC is experiencing is the flight of the middle class, which in DC has been historically comprised of mostly Blacks. In areas that have not been hit by developers and are deemed untenable to both upperclass whites and Blacks (i.e. East of the Anacostia River) DC looks 95% Black. Riding the bus from Southeast there is a clear line of demarcation where the city begins to diversify (namely Eastern Market).

The issue, therefore, is less about race and more about class. DC has become an unaffordable housing market to the middle class and rather than going broke to live in neighborhoods with good schools, grocery stores and other amenities that are considered luxuries East of the river, they have decided to seek more affordable housing in Prince George’s County. Upperclass DC residents and newcomers have therefore easily taken over the housing market leaving DCs middle class fleeing and slowly, but surely pushing the remaining underclass into the underdeveloped part of the city.

As unfair and unfortunate as this may seem DC is not the only place where the middle class has felt the squeeze. For the past 4 years the dialogue on the plight of the middle class could be witnessed on liberal and conservative media outlets alike. When you look at urban areas that have traditionally been meccas of Black culture such as Brooklyn, Harlem, Atlanta, cities in the Bay Area, etc. I am sure you will find similar economic trends, which are also displayed through racial trends and housing trends.

As a DC renter (and hopeful home owner one day) I can attest to the wide disparity in renting prices. While in my neighborhood, a 1 bedroom apartment can be found for under $1000 if you look at any of the more desirable neighborhoods 1 bedrooms can range from $1000-$1500+. Yes, in some of these more desirable neighborhoods there is section 8 housing, however DC similar to many cities has long ago closed off the list for section 8. This housing crisis has thus begun shifting DC into a city of socioeconomic extremes where only the very affluent and very poor can afford to live. I am constantly looking for apartments to move as I despise my current apartment for a variety of reasons, but even when I am employed I will most likely end up in a similar apartment complex in Southeast. However, as an educator and someone who will do everything to see my child in a good school I will most likely be forced into PG County like many other Blacks who have the income for mobility.

Posted in Housing, Poverty, Washington DC | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Last Name Debate

While B and I don’t typically argue, one argument that we have had these past 8½ months is on the subject of the last name of our child. This is not typically a problem for married couples as most husbands and wives share a last name, although not always. B and I do not share a last name, nor are we married. He staunchly believes and will adamantly argue that in our particular case a daughter should take her mother’s last name and a son should take his father’s. Since we are having a boy he believes that our son should have his last name. No ifs, ands or buts. I never have heard this logic before and although his cousin “confirmed” the idea for me I am still unsure.

My friend who has is unmarried and has a daughter with her longtime boyfriend decided to give her a hyphenated last name rationalizing to me, “there isn’t a ring on my finger.” I am more inclined to agree with her theory. While I have no doubt that B will be a good father and present in his son’s life regardless of our relationship status, I am unsure about ceding full last name to him. I have tried to compromise by saying that we could do a hyphenated last name or use both last names, but have our son formally use his last name for school, etc. B refuses to budge on his position. Whenever I bring up the topic he shuts it down and gets incensed like I’m insulting him and his “manhood.” I feel like since there is no guarantee for our relationship (not that marriages necessarily have any guarantees) my last name should probably be included as well.

To be honest I care much less about the issue than he does, but I do think it is an interesting debate. Is this more of an issue for men than women? Somehow it feels as though he is territorial about his son having his last name to pass on. Ironically, although B puts up the argument of sons carrying on their father’s last name, he has his mother’s last name. I haven’t decided what to do yet, but time is flying by and I have about a month to make a final decision on the last name of baby.

Posted in Family & Friends, Pregnancy, Unmarried | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Hospital Tour

 

Eek...Hospitals...Definitely Not One Of My Favorite Places

 

 

I know there have been a lack of posts this week and presumably since I’m unemployed I should have lots of time to post. True and untrue. This week, however, has been particularly busy because I was blessed to have my mom visit for a few days this week. This week in general has also been pretty jam packed. With the motivation of my mother here I felt compelled to complete a number of things on my “to do” list.

One major chore I got accomplished this week was the tour of my new delivery hospital, Providence Hospital. It was definitely good for me to have the experience and be able to feel a little more comfortable with my “choice” to change hospitals (some of you will recall it was less of a choice and more of an insurance issue). Nonetheless, I felt like it was important to familiarize myself with the hospital and it’s practices, as the previous 6 months I have been preparing myself for a different hospital. Visiting Providence I had a few pros and cons that I compiled, but overall I do feel that I can have a positive experience there.

Pros

  • While I was assured at both hospitals that I would not be left in the hallway to give birth, Providence Hospital  has more delivery rooms than Georgetown University Hospital.
  • Providence Hospital is not a teaching hospital, which could be listed under a pro or con really, but I’ll just say that means I will be treated by MDs and not residents. I will take this as a positive because I am sure that the less people are in the room the more comfortable I will personally feel.
  • Similar to GUH, and I’d like to assume most labor and delivery wards, Providence Hospital has a locked section where they require people to be buzzed into the ward. Although I haven’t had many fears about my baby being snatched it is comforting to know that this precaution has been taken.
  • Providence Hospital uses midwives in addition to their doctors. This is definitely a positive as I hope I will have someone around (aside from my mother) who will act in a more holistic way in my birthing experience and not just be trying to jam unnecessary medicines into me or perform unnecessary procedures.

Cons

  • While the facilities were not what I would call dirty by any means they definitely were not as pristine as GUH. I am assuming this has to do with GUH having a much newer facility and being a much larger hospital because of it’s association with the University.
  • Not such a big deal, but I saw them carting out a finished meal from a recovery room and it did NOT look appetizing. When I took the tour of GUH Labor & Delivery with my birthing class one of the options they touted was their catered meals. Definitely not a big issue as I’m sure eating will be near the bottom of my concerns, but the food didn’t look good. Maybe I can get B to bring me something different.
  • Providence Hospital is a Catholic hospital. Although this does not particularly affect me, they do not perform tubal litigations or offer birth control to mothers after delivery. I plan to get my birth control from Mary’s Center anyway, however I do have a problem with the religious associations of a hospital having any say in my care. Most women who want tubal litigation performed are likely to have it done while at the hospital recovering from a birth, so the fact that they refuse to do this operation is problematic to me from a moral standpoint.
  • GUH does not have a nursery. Providence Hospital does. My tour guide (obviously not her correct title, but I wasn’t sure of her position) reassured me and my mother that the nursery was not used as it had been used in the “olden days,” where the baby would be housed there for the majority of the time, but was simply the space where the doctor saw them and gave them their standard post-birth check-up. At GUH all this is performed within my room because they advocate maximum time for mom and baby to have skin-to-skin contact. I was told that the check ups last for only a few hours and B and my mother would be allowed to go over and stay with baby, but I think I personally preferred the check ups be done in my room.

GUH has a much better website, but I’ve provided links to both below:

http://www.georgetownuniversityhospital.org/body_dept.cfm?id=556455

http://www.provhosp.org/maternity.htm

I think were it not for my insurance dilemma, I would have been quite comfortable remaining at GUH for my delivery. However, seeing as that is not the case I am not at all unhappy with the facilities and services I saw at Providence Hospital. I think everything will be up to par and I will receive adequate care. Perhaps for my next child (if I can get through pregnancy/labor/etc. of baby #1) I will look into out of hospital options, as long as I remain as healthy as I am now, but for now I am satisfied.

Posted in Hospital, Insurance, Pregnancy | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Guest Spot

Guest Post!

Recently I wrote a guest post on medtopicwriter.com a blog written by Ms. Samantha Gluck that talks about pediatric healthcare, OB/GYN healthcare, business and more. My post addresses sex education and my experiences both in my personal life and as an outsider looking in on teenage sex through my teaching experience. Check it out! medtopicwriter.com/2011/03/15/sex-education-one-young-womans-perspective/

Posted in Sex, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Insurance Woes Cont…

Hope

After an entire day wasted trying to contact my insurance and get my plan changed I was informed that it would be very unlikely that they would allow me to change my insurance. So 8+ months into my pregnancy I am switching doctors AND the hospital which I will deliver.

Definitely not the worst that could have happened, but a slightly unnecessary stress nonetheless. Those people who do not believe there is a need for healthcare reform obviously have better insurance than most. I still am dealing with claims from my two previous insurance companies and what a hassle.

I was searching wordpress and found a place that looked ideal on Radical Doula; supportive of natural births, pregnancy support circles, available doulas, accepts my insurance, etc….but I am too far along in my pregnancy. Womp, Womp. Next time? Ha… Let me just focus on getting this little tadpole out!

Luckily I was able to appeal to the sympathies of the midwife I had been seeing in October to accept me back to Mary’s Center. Phew. What a relief!! My whole birth plan has been uprooted, but I genuinely like her bedside manner and their new clinic is easily accessible from my house, so no more 3-4 hour bus rides for doctor’s appointments. I guess I should have never left. Live and learn.

However, now I need to figure out the new hospital I will be delivering at (Providence Hospital) and their rules/procedures. I will try and make an appointment next week to go and have a tour of the Labor & Delivery wing and hopefully allay any fears about the switch. On the bright side I found out my little tadpole is positioned with his head down. Of course this could change in the next 5-6 weeks, but I will take that as a positive sign. Perhaps I should take these occurrences, which I have perceived as roadblocks,  as an alignment of the stars or something and everything will turn out fine.

Posted in Blessings, Insurance, Pregnancy, Social Services, Stress, Washington DC | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Praises!

Love Always Wins...

While I noticed that there may be a trend in seemingly down topics on this blog so far I would like to make a post in a different vein. I haven’t spoken on my blog very much about my family or friends aside from B (who counts as both), but that is one thing that I am blessed with (maybe not with an abundance of but very high quality of both.) This is not a blog that I have chosen to share with my loved ones yet if at all, however I do want to acknowledge the immense effect they have on me.

While it was hard for my family to accept my pregnancy at first due to my age, marital status and unemployment they have definitely been very supportive of me. My mother, who had her first child at a young age while unmarried, was the first to try and push marriage on us, however after numerous attempts she has (for the moment) dropped the subject. She has been my rock for all of my life and I am blessed to have her and be able to have an open dialogue with her without fear of judgement.

I know that while I do not have the financial stability or material things many people want or think necessary to raise a child I do have a strong support network. My mother and sisters may not agree with my every decision and probably never will, but they respect my choices and have always demonstrated what a good mother, sister, friend and woman should be. I know that is not something everybody can say.

This weekend my sister threw me a baby shower and 15 of my chosen family (friends) showed me such love and kindness that I was truly humbled. While I have felt ambivalent about the world my son is about to enter and the struggles he will face, I was reassured that while there will certainly be things he wants, there will never be anything he needs that he won’t have.

I am fortunate and could not be more grateful for the people in my life. I know some people who have read my posts might consider me to be seeking sympathy or droning on in a “woe is me” type of way. That is not the case. Life is hard, yes. But life has many joys and is filled with plenty of simple, ordinary treasures from the family you were given, the family you have chosen and the smallest fortunes you stumble across in your daily existence that you may take for granted.

I am extremely fortunate in many ways and I don’t think that any depiction of me is complete without revealing the strength that I am given through my loved ones.

Posted in Blessings | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments