Disclaimer: Back when I was agonizing about whether to switch from OB care to the midwife model I explained how there are two sides to me. There is the hippie, granola girl who was raised by my liberal parents. And then there is the side of me who seeks rationality, research and, as B puts it, "proceduralism." Those two sides have clashed when it comes to my prenatal care. But, when I realized the OB care model encompassed 6-7 minutes of clinical care and the midwife model focuses on holistic, supportive care, the scales tipped. In this post, however, I am afraid to say that the skeptic in me wins out.
We had our most recent midwife appointment yesterday. We arrived a bit early, I peed on the stick to test my protein (at this clinic, you test your own protein...feels like a bit too much responsibility to me), and then we sat down to wait. A few minutes later, a Mommy and Me class finished up and a horde of women flooded into the clinic. B dubbed them the "backwards-backpack-baby-wearing-mafia." I tried to explain to him that they are called "baby carriers," but he was stuck on the "backwards-backpack-baby-wearing-mafia." To his credit, when a woman walked in wearing a Maya Wrap, he said "Oooh, those are cool, let's get one of those."
I instantly stereotyped the women and fit them into cliche categories in my mind. I think it was in reaction to the fact that I instantly felt so "out of the club." Not only did I not have a backwards-baby-backpack (or the baby to go in it), but I felt too uptight, not cool enough, and too out of touch with my "mommyhood."
Overheard conversations from the Mommy Mafia:
Mom 1: "What have you been up to lately?"
Mom 2: "Oh you know, just Being A Mom. I've had such good energy lately..."
Mom 3: How have you been feeling?
Mom 4 (pregnant and holding a two-year-old): Oh, so much better since I hit the 2nd trimester!
Mom 3: It's too bad, I was wanting to start your pilates class again...
Mom 4: Oh no, I'm totally still teaching the class. With my last baby, I taught right up until delivery!!"
Receptionist to Mom who was buying Acai-berry-granola clusters: "Oh my god aren't these SOOO addicting??"
Then the midwife wandered out of the mafia crowd. She is a midwife we haven't met before, newly licensed, and I tried not to extend my judgement to her based on her newness. From the start, I didn't click with her as well as the last midwife. She was just a bit more stilted. But still very calm and steady and nice. We discussed braxton hicks contractions (yes, I'm having those), signs of pre-term labor (nope, not having those), and maternity leave (ugh, that is an entirely different post). Oh, we also discussed movement. Is this stressful to anyone else? I sometimes don't feel him as much and then I get a bit nervous. I asked if this could be due to my anterior placenta. I feel like some days he hangs out back behind it and then I don't notice him as much and then other days he lays crosswise and he is unavoidable (for example, he loves to kick my right elbow when it rests on my stomach during therapy sessions. it's a fun little secret conversation that my clients don't know is happening). But this is where I felt like her "newly licensed status" maybe didn't serve me as well. Instead of saying "oh it's fine! that's totally normal!", I feel like I got a more textbook response about drinking sugary juice to get him moving, calling if concerned, etc, etc. Oh well.
THEN we covered my favorite topic - diet. If you remember from my last midwife appointment, the midwife got on my case a bit for how much pasta I've been eating. And I.....well, I got a bit defensive. Ha. Everytime you go in they ask you what you had to eat that day. Unfortunately, yesterday I failed miserably in eating healthy. I had a breve hot chocolate and a chocolate croissant for breakfast, canned Progresso soup for lunch, and snacked on grapes, tomatoes, popcorn and a peach. Not terrible, but not great. The midwife practically cringed in horror. So I immediately started trying to explain what I eat on a normal basis and even B jumped in to say, "Yes really, she normally eats much healthier..." But she just "Hmmmed" a lot at us and looked concerned. Then she came out with her profound recommendation to change my life - "You should start having a smoothie for breakfast every morning. When I was pregnant, I would combine some yogurt, fruit, protein powder, and almond or coconut milk to make a great smoothie. Oh, and you should definitely throw some Kale in. Kale is wonderful. It will really help you so much. "
Ok, guys, let me tell you how I feel about Kale. It's fine. It's a leafy green vegetable, halfway between spinach and broccoli that I am totally fine with eating. But, unlike most LA residents, I don't think Kale will cure all health problems and bring me inner peace. I swallowed my annoyance about the Kale and suggested that I'm not really a "breakfast person." (Funnily enough, Amanda at Poppies and Ice Cream asked me to write a post about breakfast. You can read more about how my relationship with breakfast is tentative at best.) She frowned at me and rambled on a bit more about how easy it is to make a smoothie and how Kale will rearrange my inner chakras or something and then I just couldn't help myself and so I asked, "But my typical breakfast is greek yogurt with fresh berries and granola mixed in. Is that really so different than a smoothie?" Apparently, it is.
Then, we got to my favorite part of the appointment. Where we play with my belly and listen to the heartbeat. But, even that was a bit disappointing. First of all, she didn't feel around as much and didn't tell me how he was laying in my uterus (pout). Then, she thought it would be cool to listen to the heartbeat with the fetal stethoscope instead of the doppler. Which means only one person can listen at a time. She listened, checked the heart rate, then B listened, then I listened. But I couldn't hear a thing! By the time it had gotten to me, it must not have been in the right spot, so I heard nothing. I said, "I hear nothing." She smiled patiently and did nothing. The stethoscope was really hurting my ears, so I just said, "Oh ok....there it is." Blatant lie. HA. Anyhow, the best part of the exam was that as she was measuring my uterus, he kicked her really hard in the hand. Cute baby :)
The take home story is the appointment was fine. I am healthy (except apparently low blood pressure?), baby is healthy, my uterus was measuring exactly 26 inches at 26 weeks (nature is crazy!), and all is good in pregnancy-land. I think that I just realized that the skeptic in me doesn't let me blindly gulp down the koolaid as some of the better kale-eating, baby-wearing converts out there. Sometimes I just have to call bullshit.