Friday, March 23, 2007

24 Weeks

We're approaching 24 weeks tomorrow and we had our first midwife appointment today. What can I say about the midwife experience?? Let's put it this way - the minute we walked out Mr. M looked at me and we both sighed and our shoulders dropped.

I knew something didn't feel right with the OB/Nurse Practitioner combo that we had been experiencing. I couldn't put my finger on what exactly it was that I was missing or not getting. I knew that I felt that my appointments were abrupt and that I didn't feel a connection, but I wasn't sure if my expectations were too high.

I can't say enough good things about our experience today. Our midwife talked to me like a PERSON, a person who's about to have one of the most important things in my life happen to me. She didn't just scoff when I told her about the anxiety and the needle phobia. Immediately she asked questions about it like, "What makes you nervous, is it the pain or the idea of it?" Not ONE Dr. or lab tech has ever asked me that question. Not ONE person has ever validated my feelings on that subject and I am so relieved to know that it does exist and that I have access to it.

She taught Mr. M how to feel for the top of my uterus - and showed him how she measures with the tape measure. She told me straight up all the stats of their midwifery group. She told me that if I didn't want an IV, wanted to eat/drink, wanted to move around, wanted dim lights or music - that it was all just fine with them. She encouraged me to think about what would be the most calming things to have happen while I'm in labor.

I'm just so thankful that this is available to me and that it's covered by my insurance. I feel like I can trust these people with the care of me and my baby - I feel like they won't compartmentalize me and they'll let me experience the birth as my body wants to. How great is that?!?

I've gained 16 lbs so far - which is right on track for where I'm at. My lower back just started to hurt today - which is uncomfortable but will hopefully subside. I have no stretch marks that I can see yet - cross your fingers! Mr. M still hasn't been able to really feel her but I'm hoping that will happen in the next few weeks. I have my Gestational Diabetes screen at my next appointment which I HOPE is negative because the fewer needles that come in contact with me the better.

The nursery still only has the crib in it and we need to prime and paint this weekend so the muralist can come in and do her thing. My shower is in May (long ways off) so I don't expect to be filling up any drawers or closets any time soon. I'm exited, scared, nervous, anxious, everything all at once. Lucky me though - we're going on vacation for an entire week in Ft. Lauderdale so I can pass the time relaxing on the beach with a good novel.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pregnancy Babble

The big 155 appeared on the scale this morning. I haven’t seen that number since last May when we went on our “weight loss challenge”. For those of you playing along at home that means I’ve put on 15 lbs and I’m 22w3d pregnant. Yea I know I’m on target and yea I know it’s part of the deal but it’s still a harsh reality.

You can convince yourself that it’s for the health of the baby and you’re doing everything right and that the number doesn’t matter lalalalala. Phooey. We’re women, we’re affected by such things – it’s our nature. Bottom line is – I’m going to be seeing numbers I’ve never seen before when I get on that scale and it’s going to take quite a bit of self affirmation to convince myself it’s a non-issue.

I’m slathering on anti-stretch mark lotion like it’s going out of style – even though realistically I know this does nothing to help/hurt my chances of stretch marks. I know people swear up and down by the creams, oils, lotions, and potions but do you have any way of proving that you WOULD have gotten them had you NOT slathered? Not likely. Either way I’ll continue slathering and hope that my mother’s good genes will pass on to me.

I’m rather ‘over’ this whole pregnancy thing at this point. Time is not going fast enough – but at the same time it’s flying by. I’m over the half way point but still feel like the mountain is high and I’ve merely made it over the first foothill. I did the pukey, miserable, 1st trimester thing and then I did the superwoman 2nd trimester thing. Now here I sit teetering at the 5 – 6 month range and feeling like I’d just like to GET THERE ALREADY.

I see my midwife for the first time next Friday which is actually 5 weeks from my last appointment. That could have something to do with my feeling that things are lagging. I find that when I’m about 3 weeks out from my last appointment I start getting restless. I want to hear that heartbeat again just for comfort. She’s kicking and moving – but Mr. M hasn’t really felt her and that bums me out. I want him to feel connected too.

We start our birthing classes towards the end of April. I’m just hoping I’m not feeling like it’s all redundant with all the research I’ve already done. It would really bum me out if we talked about the elementary stuff the whole time: “This is your vagina, this is how big it will get, the end”. I’m more interested in different birthing positions, counter-pressure massage to use during labor, and what do contractions REALLY feel like.

When we went on the hospital tour – yes we went already (2 months ago) – no I’m not ashamed of my over-achieving nature. I was appalled to hear one of the women (who looked to be about 8.5 months pregnant) ask what meconium was. WTF?! You haven’t read about that yet? Are you in denial? Did you know you’re pregnant?

I know I know – most women aren’t like me and prefer to avoid all that stuff. My best friend is a prime example. She feels if she doesn’t know about it – she can’t fear it – and then she’s all happy happy. That would literally drive me insane and I’d pass right out from sheer panic when I found myself in a situation that I wasn’t completely knowledgeable about what was going on. But to each her own.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Dear Lilly-Bug,

I can't wait to be your mommy.

Love, Mama

Friday, March 09, 2007

Doubting My Resolve

In my un-ending search for knowledge during this pregnancy I've done a complete 180 regarding my feelings about the actual birth and the kind of care that I want to receive. I mentioned that I've been reading "Creating Your Birth Plan" and in doing so have had several moments of clarity.

I realize I'm the girl who nearly died getting my wisdom teeth removed because I had a massive anxiety attack while they were putting me under. Causing my blood to not get enough oxygen and creating a lethal mix of anesthetic in my system. I know that I fear pain and needles. I realize that at the beginning of this pregnancy I vehemently stated that I would rather be knocked out completely than go through a live birth.

Drugs have always effected my body greatly. If I take 1/2 a vicoden for something I sleep for hours and am drugged beyond belief. Once I was given Trazadone which is supposedly a mild drug to help you sleep (with the added benefit of being an anti-depressant) and I slept for 12 hours straight and didn't move like I was in a coma. I'm aware of what my body does I'm also aware of my history with anxiety and pain.

I've had a change of heart. That's actually putting it mildly - I've had a change of mind, body, and soul.

I called my OB's office yesterday and cancelled all of my future appointments with her and her nurse practitioner. I then called the midwifery group at the hospital close to my home and made an appointment with a woman who has the most norwegian sounding name I've ever encountered in the US. I've officially decided that my pregnancy and birth would be best guided in the loving hands of a midwife.

I feel in my gut that it's the right thing for me. I also feel in my gut that I can do this birth thing. I can do it because I'm mentally in a place to be able to do it. I've read thousands of birth stories ranging from c-sections to natural home water births. The overall message I get from the natural births is that they didn't fight their bodies. They allowed nature to do what it does - make babies. Was it painful? Hell yes! Did they live? Hell yes! Is it worth it? Hell freakin yes!

I can't put into words the shift that my mind has taken on this issue. Its all encompassing and very overwhelming and hard for my family and friends to understand I'm sure. Last night we had dinner at my dad's house and my sister was there. They balked when I told them I was going to attempt a drug free labor. They also disapproved of my wanting to have no episiotomy, no instrumental extraction, and no induction. They went on and on with the usual retorts that I should trust the doctors as they have the knowledge and they known whats right.

I just can't subscribe to that anymore. I don't buy into the idea that just because somebody is in a white coat means they are doing whats best for me. Not me as in late 20's female, history of anxiety, first baby, healthy, etc. But me as in strong, extrovert, smart, capable, and mother. They don't know me so how can they possibly know what's right? On paper, any doctor would medicate the hell out of me at first glance. They would also create the best situation for c-section to occur at any moment. They would most likely compartmentalize me into the category of "problem child" and to be honest - I just don't think that gives me enough credit for the whole woman that I really am.

Mr. M jumped on the bandwagon a bit with my family when they started throwing their doubts at me. He said that he fears that I will look to him to fight battles with the Dr's while I'm in labor. Which is right, I will be doing that, he is my support person. He should be as involved and as on board with the birth plan that we have as I am. He should fight tooth and nail for me to not have an episiotomy. He should question their reasoning when they want to start Pitocin. He should throw a big red flag when they reach for those forceps.

I tried explaining to him that it's not that we are fighting with them - we are merely reminding them of our wishes. We are reminding them that we'd like them to exhaust all other options before doing the things that we don't agree with. I realize it's easier for a Dr. to take those scissors and snip than to massage the perineum with mineral oil. I get that. I understand that they'd like to get home to their families and starting Pitocin will allow them to possibly not miss Grey's Anatomy this week. But it's not what is right for me and it's not what is right for my baby.

I of course reserve the right to make an informed decision at any time. If they say to me - we can start Pitocin or you can keep going. Then I can weigh my options and if I decide to go against my birth plan than so be it. The difference is that it is MY informed decision - not a Dr. or nurse or anyone else pushing me to do what works best for them.

In my job I do things all the time that I'd rather not do. I renumber 30 page questionnaires and spend tedious hours reviewing tables and checking numbers. I do these things because they are whats best for the project and what's best for my client. I'm not thinking about my inconvenience - it's my job. I expect the same out of the medical staff.