“You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.”
Back when I was teaching, one of my coworkers used to say that to her kids all the time, whenever even the threat of whining about their circumstances came up.
Since then, I’ve tried to keep that in mind whenever I think my own circumstances are unfair or, at the very least, not the ideal I had imagined. Sometimes successfully, many times not.
I knew from very early on in our relationship that Hubby and I would need to undergo fertility treatments in order to have biological children. At first, I was very optimistic that all we would need to do was shoot a few hormones into Hubby’s ass, wait a few months, and POOF! get enough sperm for IUI or even just good ol’ fashioned sex to work.
That’s not what happened.
We waited month after month for his sperm count to rise, and even then, it was still extremely low, too low even for IUI, though we still gave it a shot. When I finally accepted that IVF was our only real option, I was sure it would work on the first try. We had our embryos genetically tested and put back one perfect one plus another one we hoped would stick, even though the fact that we got no information from the genetic screening probably meant it wasn’t going to. We waited, imagining twins, planning for a fall delivery.
And it didn’t work.
As I’m sure you all recall, I was devastated. We had no more embryos and no money to try again. All hope was lost.
I wallowed for weeks until we came up with a plan B. Hubby’s family could help us financially so that we could try one more time. We tweaked the drug protocol, tried a day-3 transfer, and there it was: that second pink line.
I spent the early weeks of my pregnancy anxious and worried, especially because I was not exhibiting the clear-cut symptoms I thought I should have–like nausea–to remind me day-to-day that I was still, in fact, pregnant.
After the 9-week ultrasound, when everything still looked good, I was finally able to embrace and enjoy the reality of this pregnancy. I slowly started to share our news and to feel like a “normal” pregnant woman.
Then Hubby got the job offer, and everything was turned on its head. We were suddenly faced with the possibility of having this baby in a foreign country, of navigating an entirely new healthcare system, of just not knowing how things would go until we got there.
Which took for-freakin-ever.
Meanwhile, I swooned over adorable cloth diapers online, afraid to purchase or ask for any because I didn’t know what the laundry situation would be in our new digs.
As it stands now, I have a diaper genie in the living room and environmentally friendlier disposable diapers on the way. Maybe, once we’re more settled, I’ll feel like I can tackle the whole cloth diapering thing, but for now, I’m disappointed to be facing the alternative instead.
That just leaves one more hurdle in my pregnancy journey. One that is important to me, although I know, in many ways, it’s completely out of my hands.
If we had stayed put, I would have had the option of a “natural” birthing suite inside a hospital–the best of both worlds. I would have had access to a big tub, limited monitoring, unencumbered mobility, and the understanding that I would prefer to birth my baby without pain medication or unnecessary intervention.
Leaving that option behind, I had no idea what would be awaiting me here in Montréal. As it turns out, I was pleasantly surprised when I read the pamphlet the hospital gave me when I registered. All the things I assumed I’d have to fight for (or against, depending on how you look at it), may not be a fight after all. The philosophy of this particular hospital is pro-breastfeeding, pro-skin-to-skin, and pro-rooming-in. They have tubs and showers readily available, as well as birthing balls and bars, and they encourage mobility and position changes.
Seriously, you guys, I almost started crying while I was waiting for my labs last week when I read:
Helping you bring life into the world is an honor. The Maternal Child Care Team agrees that with this honor comes the responsibility to provide high quality care. We see our role as supportive of women and their families, understanding that ultimately the experience of pregnancy and birth belongs to them and that this experience is unique for each family.
Immediately after delivery, your baby will be placed on your abdomen, skin-to-skin. This will help your baby to stay warm as well as facilitate the bonding process and the initiation of breastfeeding.
Okay, so I’m an emotional mess lately, anyway, but imagining giving birth in such a place made me very happy–and the whole notion of giving birth in the first place that much more real. Obviously, I can’t predict how my actual labor and delivery will go, but knowing that getting the quality of care I want will likely require no fit-throwing is a comfort and a relief. I’m not ready for this little one to arrive just yet, but when the time comes, at least I know we’ll be in the best possible hands.