Woohoo! Another major hurdle crossed. On Monday Aaron and I made a monster trip down to Portland, down on the 7:30 train, back on the 4:30 train. 7 hours of travel is A LOT in one day, but during our 4 1/2 hours there we accomplished a lot, and if you're going to have to travel 7 hours in one day, the train is TOTALLY the way to go.
The shock-and-awe-commando-raid-zip-i-and-out-before-they-even-know-what-hit-'em trip had two main objections, meet with a midwife at Oregon Health Science University hospital to decide if we wanted to go the midwifery route, and SIGN THE CONTRACT (big dramatic music). Once the contract was signed we were free to keep moving and proceed with the baby-making business.
We began with the trip to OHSU. And, can I just say, Portland has amazing public transportation. From the train station we took lightrail to a stop, hopped on their other streetcar/light rail system, walked about 1/4 mile to a tram, and took the tram to OHSU, all for free! Seattle could learn A LOT from that.
Both Lisa and Liam were able to be at the appointment which was really nice. It was the first time we got to meet them without kiddos in tow, and since we had to wait quite a bit, it was a really great time for us to talk more and get to know each other better. I had scheduled this meeting because I was really nervous about using a nurse-midwife. Maybe its because I work in Pediatric OT and I see a lot of results of "births gone wrong." I admit, sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and knowing everything that can go wrong with a birth, or with a baby tends to lead one in the direction of using all the latest medical gizmos and gadgets to try and ensure 100% that nothing can go wrong. And the idea behind midwifery is to let the woman's body do what it knows best. Lisa has used a midwife for both of her children's births. And she has delivered without medication. She and Liam both very much believe in natural childbirth. OHSU has a level IV NICU and pediatric neonatologists, obs, etc in the building 24/7. Using a nurse midwife at the hospital seemed to be a good compromise, if Aaron and I ended up feeling comfortable with it.
During this meeting, I also realized something significant. The vast majority of births go very well, and require no intervention. The midwife said, "I'm a specialist, I specialize in normal pregnancy and birth. The second I feel something isn't quite right, either in a prenatal appt or during the birth, I call for MD assistance." And it occurred to me that, medically speaking, over the last 3 years, very little in my life has gone "right" or "normal". I mean, let's face it, they still can't figure out what is wrong with me! And in this whole baby-making business very little has gone right or natural there either. We've got YFCF21C and all of its parties, a surrogate, a lawyer and so many other people involved. There is nothing up to this point that has been normal or natural. And I had a "Tipiphiney" (a Tiffany-ephiphany) during this meeting. I'm expecting something to go wrong with the IVF. I'm expecting this pregnancy to go wrong or have complications. And truth be told, why shouldn't I? As I said, nothing has gone "right" or been normal. But we're entering a new paradigm here. Lisa has had 2 perfect pregnancies and births. She's had no complications. And although IVF is complicated, there's nothing to indicate that ours will be particularly difficult or wrong.
Awhile ago Aaron was facing some challenges at work. Nuclear medicine was drying up and he was getting very few hours at work. He thought about completely switching careers to something else in healthcare. But after prayer and discussion we remembered something. God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of hope. We don't want to make decisions out of fear, but out of trust and love. I thought of a verse while we were talking to the midwife, John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." This is not a decision or process I want to be afraid of. I don't want to spend the next 10-12 months in total fear. That's not what God calls us to do.
So at that moment, as I recognized my fear, I named it, and released it. I talked about it with the midwife, and with all 4 of us ;> who are going to be pregnant, Aaron and I, Lisa and Liam. Lisa said that hearing me say that made her understand a lot more where I was coming from, and understand me. Naming and sharing my concern brought us all closer. And it let us all decide that we want to go with a nurse-midwife.
Of course, Tipiphanies take time, and with all of our conversation and processing we realized we were late for our appointment to sign the contract. Our lawyer is great, so kind and accommodating, and she had agreed to meet us at the train station so that we could sign the contract there and then hop on the train. Now, these contracts are no little thing. 39 pages of legalese defining everything from what happens if Aaron and I die while Lisa is pregnant to how the payments get distributed to how our communication should be during the pregnancy. pagesandpagesandpagesandpagesandpagesandpages. Fortunately, Aaron and I had spent one entire evening going over the contract with a fine tooth comb and sending our corrections to our attorney. So by the time we met with her it was merely a formality of signing the contract. All 39 pages. Initialled. Individually. Half an hour later, writer's cramp setting in, the legal process was completed. We are now good to go!