thinking: conceiving

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Unless you have other serious medical issues and need to or would prefer to stay with your current practitioner, you can choose who you want to guide you through your pregnancy.

Think about who you want to help you through the pregnancy and deliver your baby.  Midwife? Doctor?  Not sure?  Talk to your friends about their experiences, keeping in mind that most people want to think back on their birth as positively as they can, and you don’t want to take that from them.  Read between the words, if you can, to really understand what they mean.

Birth is an amazing experience.  The filmThe Business of Being Born offers a view of birth in this country, with a special lens on New York City.  It reminds us that many people research buying a new car or other piece of electronic equipment more than we do birth practitioners.  It makes the point American women are being shown birth in the media as pain to be managed, rather than the challenging and rewarding marathon experience it can be.  I urge you to watch this film. 

My experience was with midwives for both children.  Usually a midwife is looking at birth as a complete experience, not a situation to be managed by medication.   If you are not a candidate for midwifery care, they will send you right to an OB.  I enjoyed my second midwife much more than my first, so even if you know what kind of practitioner you want, try to interview at least two before you choose.

Once you do a home pregnancy test and it’s positive, you should call your practitioner and make an appointment.  While some won’t see you right away, usually they will make an appointment and have a phone consultation.

The Two Week Wait
The time between having sex to conceive and finding out if you have been successful is called the “two week wait” (internet shorthand, TWW).  The stress of the “two week wait” can be intense.  Once you’ve had sex around ovulation time, all you can do for next two weeks which is called the luteal phase (12-16 days for most women) is wait. Every new feeling or twinge can seem like a sign. 

Another reason to chart, maybe give up caffeine, etc. is to limit the amount of months you spend trying to conceive.

Many people don’t talk about miscarriages.  I’ve never had one, though many of my friends have.  I think we also avoid reading about them, probably so we don’t jinx ourselves.  While I don’t know exactly what to suggest, I have found that when people are having them they can be frightening and scary, and because people haven’t read about them, and don’t talk about them, it can be worse because there is no point of reference.

Miscarriages can be physically painless or painful.  You can have contractions, or just bleed. They can be slow or come on suddenly.  For most people they are all devastating, at least at first.

You are not pregnant any longer.  Some of my friends experienced this as a loss of a child they had envisioned, some just focused on knowing they would have to get pregnant again.  All were very nervous when they conceived again until the week in which they miscarried passed.  A good friend of mine read this section and mentioned there is also the stress of why?  Why did it happen?  Was it something I did?  Is there something else I can do to prevent one?

Some people like to talk about them, some don’t.  Facebook has seen people announce pregnancies only to unannounced them days or weeks later.  You can ask people if they want to talk about it, let them know you aren’t sure what to say, but would be more than happy to listen.  Peggy Orenstein writes beautifully about one of her miscarriages—living in Japan she found a culture that honors the miscarried child (or aborted fetus) and allows for a ritual mourning. more


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