Here are some maternity pics that Ty took before church last Sunday. I am 38 weeks pregnant here.
As far as pregnancy developments... let me share a story. Last week my Obgyn and I went over my birth plan. I desire to have a drug-free vaginal birth and my doctor has been totally on board with that the whole pregnancy. (She delivered Levi that way too). As with both of our boys, I also submitted a letter to refuse the erythromycin eye ointment that is given within 2 hours of birth, since I don't have the diseases the ointment protect's against. My OB informed me that since Levi was born, the hospital has started to enforce the law that says the erythromycin is mandatory. She said if we refused to give this antibiotic to Tatum, the hospital would call Child Protective Services (CPS) on us! I went home and did some research on the law and found others online who had CPS called on them in this situation. It's a sad day when we are forced to receive medication/vaccinations/treatment/etc without our consent, especially if we are making an INFORMED decision!
Anyway, this week, I received a call from a nurse at the hospital, Seton SW. She said my birth plan and letter of refusal came across her desk. She proceeded to tell me that she was required by law to call CPS on us if we refused the eye ointment. We had a long chat. She said I was wrong - that the ointment doesn't protect the baby against STDs the mother may have. I asked her why the Department of Health website says regarding the medication that it DOES protect against STDs, and since I don't have any, I don't feel it's necessary for the baby to have the medication. She stammered for a while and said, "Well, it does protect against STDs, but also against other bacteria." It made me feel like she was just giving me a line.
So, Ty and I talked about the choice in front of us. It ticked us both off that our ability to make a choice for our child's wellbeing was unavailable to us. Now, the Austin Area Birthing Center just opened a south location last month. Ty had mentioned a few weeks ago that he thought we should birth there because it is more in line with our childbirth goals and desires than a hospital would be. However, I was 8 months pregnant and didn't want to change care providers at such a late date. Plus, our last hospital experience had been great (due to the nurse who helped deliver Levi acting very much like a doula for us). However, after this incident, we decided to check out the Birthing Center. 8 days before my due date, we toured the facility and talked with a midwife, and decided this was in the best interest for our family. My medical records were faxed over and I had my first appointment that same day! It was a whirlwind of a day for us, but we are super excited about giving birth at the Birthing Center.
If all goes according to plan, we will have had one hospital birth resulting in unnecessary C-section, one hospital VBAC drug-free birth, and one birthing center birth.
We sure do love our little munchkins and try to make the best decisions we can for them! It's been interesting to be a parent. I feel like I've learned SO much about nutrition, vaccinations, general health, education, discipline, spirituality/faith development, etc - just because I want to give my kids the best possible future (within my control as their mom). At times it can be information overload! But I know God gives me Wisdom when I ask and a Spirit of Discernment to help me along on this journey of parenting that He has tasked Ty and myself to. Thank you for blessing us with kids and providing us a way to navigate the journey, Lord!