You may be asking yourself: "What is this crazy lady talking about?" Fair enough. As you know, at last Tuesday's appointment with the midwife, we found out my placenta issue had resolved and I was (unofficially) in the clear to have Autumn at the birth center. Wednesday was a good, stress-free day! And then Thursday, a bunch of legal drama started to hit the fan. The issue had actually started back in September, but it wasn't until last week that things started to get serious. Charleston Birth Place was being told they may not be compliant with state regulations. On Saturday, they received a citation from SC DHEC that stated a failure to comply and that they would have to deliver a plan to fix the issue or be shut down. The big issue was that the "non-compliance" was a matter of the reinterpretation of a 22 year old regulation, and that the proposed solution would actually put moms and babies at a higher risk of danger.
Thankfully, the owner of CBP, Lesley Rathbun, had no plans to just roll over and allow her birth center to be closed. She and other birth center advocates acted quickly to raise awareness of the situation and to generate support. A petition was created, a website was developed (www.savecbp.org), a rally was held on Monday, and a lawsuit was prepared. Supporters wrote letters to every state legislator (even I did!) and all of the local TV news networks and newspapers picked up the story to give it more exposure. In the meantime, the DHEC letter still stood and CBP would have to close on December 6th. Ten days before I will be full term and expected to go into labor.
So, I've been freaking out. I spent the first 19 weeks of pregnancy worried about the health and well-being of my baby until the ultrasound revealed that she was okay. I've been getting weekly injections since 16 weeks to prevent preterm labor, but still have been anxious about them being effective (again). From 19 to 33 weeks, I dealt with the anxiety of having a low-lying placenta and being unsure if it would move enough out of the way for me to have a natural birth. And then there were those two really great days last week of having little to worry about. Ha. Even considering the month I spent in the hospital in preterm labor with Lily Mae, this has been the MOST stressful pregnancy I've had so far.
Just about an hour ago, Lesley posted this on her Facebook wall:
November 27, 2013 – SC DHEC and the South Carolina affiliates of the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) have agreed to work collaboratively toward resolving the recent dispute regarding physician availability. All currently licensed birth centers will remain open.
“We look forward to working with the department to resolve the issue. We sought a collaborative resolution from the start and are pleased that DHEC has agreed. We do not plan on filing suit today because of this agreement, ” says Laura Evans, the attorney for the centers.
The confirmation that SC birth centers will remain open reassures the thousands of supportive women who signed a petition to protect their right to natural childbirth now and for the future. “Assurances that the birth center will remain open afford us the time to work toward new legislation and the adoption of the national accreditation standards in our state,” says Lesley Rathbun, President of the AABC. Evans agrees stating, “it is rare to have clients who embrace the idea of adopting more stringent regulations, but these women are committed to the highest and best standards for their centers.”
My friend Rita texted me as soon as she saw the news. I'm not gonna lie…I read it and cried. You may be one of the majority who doesn't see the big deal about how and where a woman gives birth, as long as the baby is healthy. Well I can tell you that for me, while having a healthy baby is the highest priority, it is not the only thing that matters. I am downright passionate about natural, out-of-hospital birth, though being a non-confrontational-type person I try not to push my opinions about it to others. But, people…..the state government was going to take away my birth experience. I was a mess. I only have two more shots left, which means that I'll likely go into labor in less than three weeks. I felt as if the rug was being pulled out from under me at the very end! I've been mopey, my heart has been racing, I've been distracted, and I haven't been able to sleep. Labor is sometimes unpredictable anyway, but being so close to the end and suddenly not knowing where I'd go for the birth or what my options would be at that time was really a lot to handle. This new development in the story is such a relief and definitely makes it onto the list of things I'm most thankful for right now.
So, whew!!! That was close! I reached 34 weeks on Monday and I'm feeling good! The baby's super low as she's always been…can't imagine what it's going to be like when she drops in a couple of weeks. My back is doing well and now with my more regular visits, I'm pretty sold on the chiropractor thing. I have been a little sick, though, actually. Throat stuff, mainly, with a little coughing. Things got gross today, though, and I even had to make a run to the doctor's clinic to get a strep swap. Thankfully that came back clean, but they still said I have an infection in there. Yuck. I have a prescription for antibiotics but the dude wasn't able to tell me if it was viral or bacterial. I'm holding off on the meds to see what happens. The nurse at the clinic made a few comments about how tiny my belly was!! She couldn't believe how far along I was. She was off her rocker, of course, but it was fun to hear something different for once. I should have recorded her so that I could just replay it every time someone mentions how big my belly looks.
Speaking of that, here's the newest preggo belly mug shot:
Oh! And I made a lot of progress on her room over the past week! Got her name bunting, door sign, and 5 out of 8 curtains finished up (there are 4 for each window). We might take a little break from the room tomorrow to decorate for Christmas, but then we'll be right back at it and hopefully finished sometime next week. Can't wait to show you! I think it's our best baby room to date.
All things considered, this has been a good day. :)