Archive for the ‘Medical Terminology and Numerology’ Category

Christmas in Review, and more Signs and Symptoms!

So far, still pregnant, so Seedling can at least rest easy she will not have her birthday ON Christmas. Although, signs are looking good for sooner rather than later… (More on that later in the post)

We had a lovely Christmas yesterday. Yes, we are Orthodox and that means we sometimes celebrate Holidays on different days but we still celebrate Christmas on the 25th ūüôā there are some Orthodox that follow the “old calendar” and celebrate Christmas in January, but those are churches mostly in Eastern Europe. To learn a little more about that and the “12 Days of Christmas” check out this link: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Days_of_Christmas

But back to our lovely day. Although it didn’t start out so lovely. Hubster threw his back out and literally could not get out of bed. Since I’ve seen him push through some pretty intense pains, it breaks my heart to see him so down. Especially on a important, celebratory Holiday! We made the decision that he should just stay home and I would go to my dads for brunch. I knew my emotions were just a bit on overdrive, feeling bad for Hubster home alone, worried my family would be upset/angry that Hubster wasn’t there, very aware of the humbleness of the gifts I was about to give… My family has always made a big deal out if the holidays, but Christmas seems to bring out the extravagant generosity… And usually means quite a bit of money spent in beautiful, wonderful, thoughtful gifts. We just didn’t have the money to reciprocate in quite the same way and I didn’t want anyone to feel that the smallness of the gifts in any way reflected a minimal love or thought… Anyway, I should have known my family would totally understand that things are tight for us right now. And everyone was very sweet and understanding about Hubster. My stepmom was scatter brained about getting brunch together, but that was the biggest hiccup. It was so wonderful to see my brother and his wife and their kids. The son is 3 and their daughter is 13 months, and this was the first time I got to meet my niece! It was just so great to spend time together, catching up and watching my dad play with his grand kids, watch my brother be a wonderful and fun father, watch my brother and his wife get to spend time together. (With my brother in the military, SIL has to function like a single mom a lot of the time.). Everyone got along without unnecessary family drama, everyone gave a lot of love, and a lot of loving, thoughtful gifts. I wish we could be together more often for moments like that.

Dinner was to be done with my mom. When she heard Hubster was out of commission she offered to pack up the entire dinner and presents and being them to our place. But after talking with Hubster some more we decided we should just go to her place. Since Hubster hadn’t moved most of the day he felt somewhat up to the idea of going out, and with his back out and me so pregnant there would be no one to help my mom carry all that stuff up the three flights of stairs to our apartment!

So we got into the car and drove over, all of Hubster’s gifts from my dad and brother still in the car. We got to my moms and between her and me we brought in the gifts and helped Hubster to a comfy spot on her couch. We started with cookies and tea and present opening. Much like my dad and brother she totally outdid herself, we really appreciate all the thoughtfulness and generosity with things we greatly wanted and needed. Dinner was delicious and casual, aside from the gun debate my mom and Hubster had… It was very civilized but they both hold to very opposite opinions and all I could think about was someone taking it too far and it blowing up, but it didn’t. (Just a side note… perhaps someday I will write a post about my feelings on guns, but today is not that day. The issue of guns is an emotional one for both sides and I recognize that all any of use want is to feel we and our families are safe. Please don’t turn the comments section into a place to air your opinions at this time). We had pie and eggnog and watched one of the many movies we reviewed, “My Fe.llow Amer.icans” which is a great satire about politics and makes fun of both parties, and seemed particularly timely after the political discussion over dinner.

Came home and was able to consolidate the mountain of gifts for as few trips as possible. (While at my moms she shared what I can only guess was prescription strength ibuprofen with Hubster so he was feeling quite a bit more mobile and was able to help). We fed the pets and went to bed. Last night was another frequent-trip-to-the-bathroom-night. This time with a little light pink “bloody show”. This morning it was a mix of light pink and a little brown. I’ve been continuing to have sporadic Braxton Hicks “uterine aches” but nothing very concrete. So I called up Doula P just to check in. We had a very nice chat and she said not to worry that contractions weren’t really happening. It could still be a while yet but these are all good signs my body is getting ready for labor. (Plus the softer stools I’ve been having). I had planned to run several errands but with the symptoms and the fact that I’m still working to get over a cold she advised me to stay home and try to nap since my sleep is all messed up. I’m in a weird place of being fidgety and restless but also tired so I have yet to be able to nap. Hoping that by typing this all up my brain will stop buzzing and allow me to sleep!

I hope you all had really wonderful holidays with lots of love with people you hold dear!

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Can I Call in “Overwhelmed and Pregnant” to Work Tomorrow?

Today was quite the day…. but let me rewind a little bit.

I forgot to mention in my previous posts that I have been on the lookout for impending-labor-symptoms. ¬†Not the stupid-obvious ones that baby websites tell you about, but the subtle ones moms tell you about. ¬†Increased cervical mucus, changes in bowel movements, changes in hunger/thirst/energy. ¬†Things that probably lots of people miss just because they aren’t being aware of themselves. ¬†Sporadically in the last two weeks or so I have been seeing some cervical mucus on the toilet paper. ¬†This has turned into quite the obsession. ¬†It used to be when I got up to pee 50milliontimesanight, I would just go in, in the dark because I hated trying to adjust to¬†glaring¬†lights and then adjusting to pitch black as I stumble back to the bed. ¬†But not anymore. ¬†I turn that light and LOOK at the toilet paper. ¬†Any cervical mucus? ¬†How much? ¬†Consistency? ¬†Any tinges of a bloody show perhaps???

In the¬†beginning¬†of seeing it, I would only see it about once a day, very egg-white in¬†consistency¬† ¬†However Tuesday I found a little glop of it in my¬†underwear¬†(which in all my times of infertility and treatments and TTC I NEVER saw cervical mucus on my¬†underwear¬†-I just didn’t produce that much) and then again I saw some today! ¬†And today, it seems to be changing from egg-white-y to more sticky-“rubber-cement” in consistence, and more than in the last few days. ¬†So… maybe we aren’t *too* far away from progress?

Ok, but back to timeline-style. ¬†Last night I was speaking with my mom when it came up that she had¬†contacted¬†Doula P, both by email and by phone. ¬†Why? Why?! WHY?!?! ¬†To discuss if my mother and/or father could do some kind of “trade” for her services so that Hubster and I wouldn’t have to pull as much money out of savings. ¬†I was¬†literally¬†struck dumb. ¬†I was so caught off¬†guard¬† WHO DOES THAT?! ¬†Who contacts a person’s¬†business¬†relationships to discuss changing the contract??? ¬†And then she goes on about how she wants to contact Hubster’s mother to discuss Hubster’s trust. ¬†WTF?! ¬†I made it pretty dang clear that was NOT ok. ¬†But I was so upset at the time I really didn’t say much of anything. ¬†My mom has done SO MUCH for us, and helped us in a lot of ways, I don’t want her to think we don’t appreciate that. ¬†But I feel so violated and¬†belittled¬†that she would do that! ¬†I couldn’t sleep last night, couldn’t eat breakfast this morning I was so upset. ¬†I contacted my SIL (brother’s wife) to talk about it. ¬†She is really familiar with my mom, and I felt would be a good sounding board in case I was overreacting. ¬†But she encouraged me to write my mom an email (which I have done, just waiting for SIL to get back to me about her thoughts – to make sure I didn’t go overboard) and address this because it is just SO NOT OK.

Then I lost track of time and had to run out the door to make my lactation consultation.  Which went really well, the woman looked at my nipples, discussed some tools to help train my right nipple to be less flat, and showed me how to express my milk (which was totally cool, and also a little gross as the same time.) and said that could also help to train my nipple to be less flat, plus it never hurts to have a little extra Colostrum saved in the freezer!

So home I went, and did dishes, messed around on the laptop, picked up my knitting…. I’m starting to think that my knitting projects just will not be done in time for Christmas. ¬†Thankfully I have some other homemade gifts, but it feels so… inadequate to do just the small things. ¬†But I found a lot of relief in the idea that these could become Birthday presents for later in the year – not that it is an excuse to put it off, but I am just being realistic that Christmas is TUESDAY, and I work tomorrow, Sunday is church… I just really will not have any time to get them done before Christmas.

I also sent an email out to Doula P¬†apologizing¬†for the craziness that is my mother, and asked that if my mom said or did anything to offend her that I am SO VERY SORRY. ¬†I am just so beyond humiliated. ¬†I haven’t heard back from her yet…

(On a side note – I was so distracted and upset by my mom’s violation of trust that I¬†completely¬†forgot to feed the dogs and cats their breakfast until 3pm!)

Oh, and the girl a friend had “highly” recommended I contact about being our nanny? I had called and spoke with her yesterday… first impression on the phone I was not impressed… she called back today and left a message saying she isn’t interested/available/whatever. ¬†Which on one hand is fine. But I spent quite a bit of time researching day cares in my area that would be open extended hours to¬†accommodate¬†my job… 3 out of 4 had a lot of red flags, and the 4th has not returned my contact inquiry. ¬†Feeling a little lot anxious about having any kind of option of returning to work…

Then out again for the updated ultrasound. ¬†Looks like all of Dr.B’s concerns about a “big baby” were unfounded. ¬†She is measuring at 7lbs 4oz. ¬†Yay! ¬†The technician was like “I don’t know what he was talking about. ¬†No 12 pound babies in there! ¬†You’d have to be pregnant for a LOT longer to reach that.” ¬†Seemed like everything was perfectly normal. ¬†Unfortunately I didn’t get any new pictures – the baby is so big on the monitor that it would be like a close up of someone’s face – too difficult to really distinguish what anything was. ¬†And in the time it took for her to do her (very quick!) ultrasound, I felt myself getting hot and then my hearing got dimmed… So having all of Seedling’s 7+pounds on my vena cava was making me faint. ¬†Thank goodness the tech was so fast! ¬†I brought my knees up and rolled over and sipped some water and am now perfectly fine but that was NOT fun.

Got home and had a brief chat with SIL, because she had been talking with my mom a little while ago… turns out my mother CALLED THE HOSPITAL. ¬†I seriously could pull my hair out. ¬†What the hell?! ¬†I am not some 6 year old child who needs someone to hold me hand and double check that I’m doing all my research and homework. ¬†So I’m feeling impatient for SIL to get back to me about the email so I can send that out.

This crap is just not going to fly.

I am so ready for this day to be over.

Time Flies When You Get Through Your To Do List…

Holy cow, another week gone! ¬†To sum up…

Sunday: After all the tragedies on the news, it was so wonderful go to church; to refocus and spend my morning in prayer. ¬†I haven’t spoken on here about the tragedies, and to be honest, I haven’t read anyone’s blogs posts about it. ¬†I’ve taken a hiatus from facebook. ¬†It’s not that I don’t care, it’s all just too heartbreaking and I can’t handle it. ¬†But church was amazing. ¬†A deep breath of fresh air (Well, technically,¬†incensed¬†air, but you know what I mean.) unfortunately Hubster was feeling sick and could not make it. ¬†Then we went to my cousin Blithe’s Christmas party. ¬†It was a small family affair, Blithe and his husband, and Blithe’s brother and sister (all of them are my cousins) and the sister’s boyfriend. ¬†My mom, Hubster and myself. ¬†We don’t get to see my cousins as much as I would like, but we were really close growing up and it’s always good to get to see them and catch up. ¬†And here is the 38 week bump shot from Sunday (in pajamas, it was a last minute thought before bed):

38 weeks

Working is getting more and more interesting. ¬†Monday I had some SERIOUS baby brain. ¬†I give you these 4 examples: (I’m sure there are more, but I’ve forgotten them ūüėČ ¬†)
-Asking a question… only to ask the same question of the same¬†person¬†15 minutes later.
-Highlighting the wrong thing in a chart (Well,¬†technically I highlighted the important part… but I also highlighted everything else. ¬†Oops.)
-Almost forgetting to take my cats home. ¬†(I had taken them in for the day… and I had to remind myself several times since I would sometimes I forget I had pets in the building)
-I left my checkbook out after making a payment on my account – thankfully a vet assistant grabbed it and waved it at me!

Tuesday: ¬†Went and learned how to install the car seat in the morning! ¬†It’s a little crazy to see a car seat in the back of my car… ¬†then errands and KNITTING! ¬†LIKE A FIEND! ¬†HOLY COW HOW WILL I GET IT ALL DONE?!?! *deep cleansing breaths*
And then we went and toured our hospital in the evening.
First of all, here is a picture of our hospital (taken from their brochure)
Hospital Brochure FrontYa.  I know.  What was the architect thinking???

But it’s a great hospital, the only one in the area that has giant tubs for water births and several other “progressive” policies like that. ¬†Here are some thoughts from the tour:

Hubster said last night that he is thinks the set up at the hospital is better than the birth center, which I thought was funny – I would have assumed he would have preferred the lake view and homey ambiance of the birth center but he is just like a little kid, so excited by the lights of the big city! (At one point I had to gently pull him away from the window so we could keep up with the rest of the tour group!) So Hubster is totally sold on the change.
My first thought was that the building reminded me of an airport terminal and the rooms (with the oval windows) like being on an airplane… (And I’m not such a great flyer) and even though I work around medical equipment all day I was a little overwhelmed to see it all out and EVERYWHERE in the rooms. On the other hand, I felt like all the staff we met seemed very nice and focused on their work.
This morning I’ve decided to NOT think of the building as resembling anything to do with planes, but to think of it like giving birth in the St.ar Tr.ek universe because, well, that’s the only other thing the building reminds me of. And since Hubster and I are fans of St.ar Tr.ek that makes it all seem a lot more fun. (And I decided that if you REALLY use your imagination, our doctor Dr.B ¬†kind of looks like Sulu…) ¬†The tub room we went into that is meant for water birth was HUGE, someday when we own our own home, I WANT THAT TUB! Even with a whole tour group, part of me really wanted to climb in and take it for a test drive (but don’t worry, I maintained self control!) ūüėÄ ¬†While on the tour we actually passed Dr.B in the hall and Doula P introduced us, but it was just a quick “hello” and then we had to go our separate ways. ¬†I sent out an email last night to my parents explaining the visitor protocols so hopefully there wont be any surprises for them on the day of delivery!

Today I went in and “officially” met Dr.B. ¬†Here are my thoughts:

It went really well, the nurse was super nice and asked if I wanted an internal check, and I figured since I haven’t really had one to go ahead and see what’s going on down there. Cervix is most definitely still closed and baby is still somewhat high. Although I have been having increased cervical mucus… which I know that is pretty normal up to a month before delivery. (Hubster will be bummed by the cervix news, when we got home last night he was so jazzed about the hospital and excited to meet Seedline he was really hoping she would come sooner rather than later.)
Oh, and the Strep B test I had done with Midwife N came back positive but the nurse assured me that an IV wont stop me from being able to get into the tub (hoping and praying one of the two tub rooms is available of course!) so we will just have to keep that in mind as far as how long we can labor at home. ¬†(Once my water breaks I have to be getting an IV of antibiotics to protect the baby from the bacteria of Strep B that is living in my nether regions – it’s fairly harmless to me, and the majority of women have the bacteria, but can pose a serious health risk to Seedling) Hopefully my water takes a while to break so we can get some progress done at home, but we will just have to wait and see!
Dr. B was surprised I have not had any ultrasounds since my 20 week scan, they did a short one today to confirm Seedling is head down (Yay!) but he wants me to go in tomorrow for a more up to date scan, he made several comments about how big he thinks the baby is. Silly doctors, getting all stressed about the size of the baby – as long as we can get her head lined up correctly, that’s all that matters! (I’ve known several small/short women give birth to large 9 and 10lb babies) ¬†But I’m such a sucker to get to see Seedling, I’m excited for more ultrasound fun tomorrow! Next appointment with the doctor is Friday the 28th. ¬†(Ok, admittedly, a little worried about the “big baby” comments that it might change how willing he is to let me try to deliver vaginally… but also just trying to stay focused on not freaking out, staying calm etc etc.)

Ran some errands on my way home (including purchasing a nursing bra – apparently you can’t get a super accurate ¬†fitting for one until 2 weeks after the baby is born and the milk has come in, but I figured getting one would be important for those two weeks, I just tried to get one that wasn’t *too* expensive and felt comfortable.) sent some emails, ate some lunch, typed this monstrosity up and now, to get on with MORE KNITTING!!!!!!! ¬†I’m really worried I wont get it all done in time, Christmas is less than a week away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Birth Class

Trying to gather my thoughts… and I know that no matter what I write, it will not and can not encompass this last weekend.¬† Just a heads up: This WILL be a long post.¬† Sorry, no way to do this succinctly.

We signed up for this birth class at the recommendation of our midwife.¬† I went on the website, and to be honest, it’s not super specific on what to expect.¬† (But in hind sight, there is not way to!)¬† But I figured that if it was what my midwife has recommended, it’s what we should do.¬† To be honest, I was a little unsure if it would be too hippy-dippy-mother-earth-spiritualism for me.¬† But we did it.¬† From all the reviews I could find and read, about the class or the woman who taught it (who is something of a big deal in the doula community) everything was glowing and raving.

This is the doula (Doula P) I had contacted early on in my pregnancy when I was hoping to hire a doula, but Hubster looked at the cost and his fiscally responsible side won out, thinking we really didn’t need one.¬† And so I had dropped it (Disappointed, but it’s hard to argue with the cold hard truth of working in an already tight budget).

Saturday arrives, and we head to the address with water bottle, snacks, lunch, pillows, blankets, yoga mat, comfy clothes…¬† And arrive to this wonderfully cozy room.¬† We meet the other couples (total of 5 couples in our class), fill out a little survey, go around and introduce ourselves.¬† The initial survey, both Hubster and I completed separately and then compared answers.¬† It was encouraging to see how similar we were on our answers (there was not “right” or “wrong”, just our opinions on the birth process).¬† Doula P walked us through some of the basics of a baby’s descent, and how important head position is for determining ease or difficulty of labor.¬† This lead to various movements and exercises we could do to try and encourage the baby to turn or adjust, as well as pain relief options such as counter-pressure, aromatherapy, touch etc.¬† It was surprising to me that my tall, strong husband was usually too gentle!¬† I felt bad having to say “You can press harder there!” but I’m also sure he didn’t want to hurt me or the baby.¬† It was very sweet and tender.¬† Then Doula P had us working on intentional relaxation, where we laid down and focused on relaxing individual muscle groups.¬† This lead into time for the two of us to just lay with our arms around each other, looking into the other’s eyes.¬† (Keeping in mind that this ENTIRE time, she is weaving in stories from her own experience and her student’s experiences!)¬† Two stories that really stood out to me:

-When discussing the pain of childbirth, she made the statement that labor and birth is not the worst pain.¬† She asked for us to guess what was.¬† People would throw out things like “broken bones” etc, and finally she told the story of a previous apprentice who had waited until her husband and she had “all their ducks in a row” – the house, the car, the careers.¬† Only to find out she had very aggressive breast cancer.¬† She will never have children, and has very limited time left.¬† It was a particularly powerful story for me because of my past and because I know SO MANY women still struggling with infertility.¬† That would give anything, pay anything, do anything to be pregnant and experience labor.¬† No matter the physical pain, it doesn’t compare to the emotional and psychological pain of desiring children and not being able to have them.¬† I can’t express how poignant it was to me to have her acknowledge those who are child free NOT by their own choice.

-A couple who came to her to be their doula because the husband was in the military, and he would be deployed when the baby was due.¬† The day after they took the birth class with her, he shipped out.¬† A few days before the baby was due, the wife answered the door to his officers and chaplain.¬† He would never come home (oh man, I’m crying just trying to write this out) and again – to think that he would give anything to see his child, and she would have given anything for him to come home.¬† Their last weekend was spent focusing on the love they had for each other and for their unborn child.¬† Even though Hubster is no longer serving a fire department, the fact is there could be an accident; you never know when something could possibly happen to make your last goodbye you’re very last.

The common thread throughout the weekend was a very strong recognition of gratitude.  That we have to recognize the amazing blessings we have.  It meant so much to me, because I have all along felt so incredibly grateful for this pregnancy.  Not just the pregnancy, but how healthy it has been!  I just SO deeply resonated with Doula P.

We watched a little video that showed a woman in labor and delivery, along with computer graphics of what is happening inside the uterus, specifically with the cervical effacement and dilation.  It even showed her delivering the placenta.  Sure, it’s not very pretty, but it’s what happens!  (I feel I should mention we did this during lunch lol)

… Even as I write this, and I try to think of what order everything happened in and I can’t!  Everything has been colored by emotions, so that my logical, ordered side of my brain can’t keep track because emotional side of my brain has it organized differently  …

At some point I remember us all sitting around in a circle and Doula P handed out (at random) various birth scenarios (actually, they were previous student‚Äôs real birth stories) and basically told us ‚ÄúWhat if this was the birth card you were handed?‚ÄĚ – making us acknowledge that some things are outside of our control no matter how detailed a birth plan we put together.¬† Of course, the one we got?¬† Emergency cesarean section.¬† My worst fear.¬† But, ok, Hubster and I read through the description and had to figure out how we would handle that.¬† And you know what?¬† We actually came up with some game plan ideas.¬† Because we can‚Äôt predict that, we can‚Äôt say ‚ÄúFor sure and certain, we won‚Äôt go there.‚Ä̬† Just like with infertility, we have to find a way to live with whatever we get dealt by my body.¬† Everyone‚Äôs paper was different, so we went around and talked about the various possibilities and how each couple would handle it.¬† But the amazing thing for me was to realize that if we do end up in the OR, it¬†doesn’t¬†have to be the end of the world.¬† (Although I‚Äôm going to do everything in my power to get this baby out vaginally!)

Then came time for the ‚ÄúIce Journey‚Ä̂Ķ only it¬†wasn’t¬†us women who went through the labor simulation.¬† It was the men who donned blindfolds, and had to endure holding ice over and over, longer and longer, with various music/sounds/smells – some meant to bring comfort, some meant to simulate unhelpful staff‚Ķ It was so eye opening to be the one in the man‚Äôs shoes.¬† To watch him be in pain and know I can‚Äôt help.¬† Doula P would give us direction at times to come and offer comfort (hugging, back massage, breathing with him) and other times have to step back and leave him alone – but the fact is there will be times that there is just nothing Hubster will be able to do to help me (because let‚Äôs be honest, ice is just not the same as labor) Each ‚Äúcontraction‚ÄĚ Doula P would weave a story, a concept, a thought into it directing both the men and us to the different kind of thoughts and experiences one has in labor.¬† The easier contractions, the more difficult, the more psychological‚Ķ.

I think the hardest point was watching him as Doula P simulated the more ‚Äústereotypical‚ÄĚ woman in labor, screaming and crying and angry that her partner¬†isn’t¬†‚Äúfixing‚ÄĚ the pain.

I kinda lost it.  Oh the tears.  I just felt so guilty Рthat my husband would have to stand and feel helpless, that his heart would be breaking to see me in pain and not be able to fix it.  And I knew that when the time came РI didn’t want to be that angry, bitchy woman saying mean things to her husband.  Because I know that Hubster will do everything in his power to be there, to help and that he does love me.  And of course Рthat is the whole point.  We walked a mile in each other’s shoes.  And I KNOW it absolutely changed the way we are going to approach our labor.  Hubster has had a lot to say about his side of the that experience…  At the end we all guessed how long the ice journey had gone on for.  Most people were guessing just shy of an hour.  However it was 2 and a half hours. 

We went home that night just wrung out.  Hubster and I sat on the couch trying to unpack the day.  We went to bed and usually we will lay and talk for a bit before drifting off to sleep, but we really held each other and snuggled through the night.  Very tender and intimate.

Sunday dawned and we headed back for our second day.  I couldn’t imagine how we would top Saturday!  Sunday we started by reviewing movements/positions (and the reasons for each) for labor… and this is when Hubster admitted he was a little scared.  It’s a lot to remember!  And to think he will have to remember and teach Jewel during the labor?

He started pretty seriously rethinking having a doula‚Ķ because the other thing that had been coming to light (since Doula P has worked with basically EVERYONE in our area, including our midwife, other midwives, hospitals etc‚Ķ) was that our midwife would be pretty hands-off during my labor.¬† I know I‚Äôve written before about my concerns that we haven‚Äôt really ‚Äúclicked‚ÄĚ with Midwife N, and that I‚Äôve been frustrated with her brief visits, and that when I express concerns she tends to wave them off and tell me ‚Äúeverything will be just fine‚ÄĚ, and doesn‚Äôt really discuss details of her protocols or our birth plan‚Ķ¬† The more I started asking Doula P and the other students, the more Hubster and I realized that midwife N may not really be the best fit‚Ķ¬† But so we talked a little bit throughout Sunday about the idea of hiring a Doula.¬† We got through the exercises, and then Doula P had a friend who does massage speak a little more about using massage techniques to aid in pain relief.

We discussed various medical interventions, why they are performed, their pros and cons.  (there was a video here too, yay lunch time!)  It’s not to say that interventions don’t have a time and place Рthey certainly do!- but it’s pretty scary what some of the side effects, and even long term effects those interventions can have that doctors don’t really talk about.  Sometimes it’s worth it to have patience with ourselves and make sure we really NEED an intervention before we just casually sign up for something.  Even though I knew I wanted to avoid unnecessary interventions, I still learned quite a bit.

…. I feel like there is stuff I’m forgetting.  I know we spent quite a bit of time talking through questions people still had, touching on water birth, placenta encapsulation (we are the ONLY species that doesn’t consume the placenta, even herbivores eat the placenta, there are a long list of reasons that it is consumed, to help balance hormones, protein boost etc… So since it would be gross to just eat it like a wild animal, there are people out there that will steam/dehydrate/powder it and put it into capsules you can take like vitamins.)

Eventually we got to the women’s turn of the ice journey.  We donned our blindfolds and waited as Doula P spoke with the guys in the hall.  And waited.  And waited.  Because, you know, a big part of labor is waiting!  It was interesting… I have a history of panic attacks.  It usually starts with a little vertigo, then progresses to numb hands, and eventually I’m hyperventilating in the shower (because the shower is the only non-medication I have found to be helpful Рand a big part of why having a water birth is SO important to me.)  Anyway, so sitting with a blindfold on, I felt myself having a little bit of vertigo… and then I realized I was about to put my hands in ice which would probably make my hands feel numb… and I realized there was a good possibility I was about to have a panic attack.  And I realized I had two options.
Option one: take the blindfold off and tell them I couldn’t do the labor simulation.
Option two: take a deep breath, put my big girl panties on, and realize that if I have a panic attack while in labor I can‚Äôt just ‚Äútake the blindfold off‚ÄĚ and walk away.¬† I thought of all the people out there that would give anything to be in my shoes, pregnant, at a birth class, preparing for labor.¬† I thought of my little girl who will need me to be strong for her – not just to deliver her, but for the rest of her life.

I went with option two.¬† And you know what?¬† When the simulation started, and we were told to pick up the ice for the first ‚Äúcontraction‚ÄĚ and start doing things (sit, stand, walk with guidance/trust walk, do some of the labor movements like a lunge or hip roll) I totally lost the vertigo/panicky sensation.

There was one ‚Äúcontraction‚ÄĚ where she simulated the baby being in distress, slamming doors and barking orders of ‚Äúleft side‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúright side‚ÄĚ and throwing out dropping heart rates‚Ķ¬† And all I could think was ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt want to be the reason we lose this baby too‚ÄĚ which brought up a huge slop bucket of EMOTIONS.¬† (Cue¬† super-intense-snotty-nosed-sobbing)¬† But in processing it, I realized several things:
1-I had no idea how much the success or failure of this pregnancy was connected to my feelings about the previous pregnancy.  Hurray for self-awareness.
2-It is NOT fair to myself to put that kind of pressure on me.  It is NOT my fault that we miscarried.
3-Having a successful pregnancy and delivery of this child does NOT bring back my first baby.  It only gives me THIS baby.  So this pregnancy and this delivery is about Seedling.  It is not about my Bleeding Tulip.

Some people might have thought that was crossing a line, but I feel it was huge in recognizing a possible real life scenario, but being able to process it in a safe space so that if I find myself in that ACTUAL scenario, I am prepared.  I am prepared to listen to the staff and focus on Seedling.  And yes, probably still cry, but I don’t think it will be as hysterical.

…So many other experiences, Doula P talked about contraction interruptions,  all the women giving birth all over the world, and remote villages in Africa where women labor and give birth completely alone…

For the final ‚Äúcontraction‚ÄĚ Doula P had us think of a mantra, something to think and focus on.¬† Suggesting things like ‚ÄúI believe in my body‚ÄĚ, and while I can see how lots of women would click with something like that, the one that came to my mind was ‚ÄúI can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.‚ÄĚ – because God is so much bigger than just my faith in my body (as much as I do have a lot of faith in my body).¬† And plunged both hands into the ice.

As the night before, the whole Ice Journey was 2 and a half hours.  But it felt like time had gone so much faster than that.  Hubster was amazing, so supportive and helpful, loving, tender, encouraging.

The class ended with everyone debriefing (as much as we could!) and I am very excited that we are keeping in touch with a facebook group (huzzah for technology!) and am very much looking forward to our reunion after everyone has their babies.  These are people who I had never met before, but we went through this big, emotional, vulnerable adventure and came out connected.

And before we left the class we pulled Doula P aside to let her know we can‚Äôt imagine moving forward with our birth plan without her…¬† But that, and the following meeting where we went over our birth plan and contract etc etc will be for another post.¬† Because I am SO THRILLED to have her as our doula, and am so excited about all the decisions we have made about that.

So, ‚Äúto be continued‚Ķ‚ÄĚ

No Rest for the Weary

Alrighty, I’ve been meaning to update for several days, but I’ve just been so busy, by the time I actually have time to sit down and write, I just want to go to bed. ¬†I wish I could write something longer, with pictures, but that will have to be another day.

The Job: Is going well. ¬†Last Thursday I had a mini-breakdown before work, as I was trying on various scrubs and trying to determine if it “showed” the bump or not. ¬†I hated the idea that I was hiding my bump. ¬†I¬†love this little girl, and we have wanted her for so long. ¬†It made me feel like I was somehow¬†ashamed¬†of her, to hide the pregnancy? ¬†Hubster was very supportive, and basically said that I should tell them, and if they find some reason to fire me, well, I don’t want to work for someone who would do that anyway. ¬†But of course Thursday was insanely busy and I didn’t get a chance to tell the office manager. ¬†Then we had a 4 day weekend which was wonderful, so Tuesday I went in early and told the woman. ¬†She handled it fairly gracefully. ¬†I’m glad I got it over with, just ripping the band-aid off. ¬†I don’t like feeling like I’m being deceptive. ¬†However, the¬†training¬†this week had been on switch shifts, so I close one night, just to open the next day, and that means VERY little sleep. ¬†However, the woman I’ve been training with has only had positive feedback for me, so I’m feeling good.

The Baby: Also doing good. ¬†Feeling more movement and kicks. ¬†Every hour of work is spent playing a game of chicken with my bladder, trying to decide if I¬†really need to pee, or is she just using my bladder as her personal waterbed? ¬†Because I can’t just go to the bathroom every 20 minutes, we are WAY to busy for that, and most of the time I don’t actually have a significant quantity of urine. So it’s a hoot and a half! ¬†But I’m happy that she’s doing so well. ¬†This month’s midwife appointment was really good, at 23 weeks but my uterus measured 25, almost 26 cm. ¬†Midwife N said that’s because I’m so short (All of 5’2″!) so that it places the uterus more out and up, and then joked that she’s going to be in my lungs before long. ¬†Another future game to keep me entertained at work perhaps?

Projects: Got some sewing done on the baby bonnets with my mom’s help, but the patterns have me stumped without her around to help, so they are just partially completed. ¬†Hubster’s mom sent a package that arrived yesterday, and it was quite emotional. ¬†Included with 3 baby blankets that had been Hubster’s when he was a baby, made by family members, his grandma, great grandma and close family friend. ¬†Needless to say these are beautiful, heirloom,¬†irreplaceable¬†items. ¬†It’s actually kind of scary to think about our baby potentially destroying them, so we agreed we would probably use them for things like “tummy time” when we can keep an eye on baby and blanket to minimize damage to the blankets. ¬†She also bought a couple footed-onesies, and a stuffed horse that rattles and makes crinkly noises. ¬†AND she already bought baby¬†announcement¬†cards! ¬†SO CUTE! ¬†I’m hoping to take pictures of all this stuff soon – it really means a lot to Hubster and I to see his mom be so excited and involved in this pregnancy.

That’s all the time I have, gotta run to work!

Burnout, Beaches and Babies, Oh My!

Ok, first let me say that everything is okay. Exhaustion does crazy things to one’s brain chemistry (it’s true, you can ask any Psych Student) and so in the light of day, I can see how my acceptable-level-of-concerns skyrocketed to I’m-freaking-out-like-it’s-an-alien-attack. My apologies to all of you!

So, I finally fell asleep sometime about 4 in the morning or so… Alarm went off at 8am. Hubster and I got up and did the morning-routine thing, but of course I was sucking at sitting patiently at home so we left with more than enough time to get to the clinic that was performing the scan. And all that meant was that I had to sit patiently in the waiting room of the clinic… but that seemed much less stressful.

Got called back by a very professionally nice ultrasound tech. She would explain what we were looking at “This is the head. Now we’re looking at the heart, and now the heart flow…” No excessive chit chat, which was fine. We just held hands and stared intently at the screen. No video (POO!) but I’ve got some photos at the end for y’all. She asked if we wanted to find out the sex, and we said ONLY if she got a REALLY clear shot. Which I think she appreciated, as well as some of our tension-relieving comments. (For example, when she was measuring the head and said “Now I’m measuring different parts of the brain, I said “Yay, our baby has a brain!” *facepalm at my stupidity*) ***Gender revealing photo at the END of the post*** Then Doctor M came in. She was so bubbly and warm and genuinely excited for us and for our baby. She went through all the pictures, and I asked a few questions of what exactly a light or dark spot was (What I can I say, the mom in me was worried about there being some random abnormality.) she was VERY excited about us working with Midwife N, and it sounds like she knows her really well. The doctor said a few times how lucky we were to be working with her. I could have totally hugged the woman ūüôā and when we mentioned we tend to be paranoid because of our previous miscarriage she asked a few questions about that. I was just really amazed that she didn’t seem rushed or anything, we really had her undivided attention. Can’t say enough about how really great the experience was. Everything looked good; brain, heart, spine, no cleft palate, heart rate 135, in the 65 percentile of growth, looking to be on the “tall” side. CAN NOT PRAISE GOD ENOUGH FOR THIS AMAZING BLESSING!!!!

So Hubster drove from there to our monthly meeting with Midwife N. (I wanted him to drive, so he would start getting to know how to get there, so the drive seems routine when I’m in labor! – Plus it gave me the opportunity to call the close family and friends we wanted to give the health and gender news to directly.) The meeting went well, got the card of the woman whom she recommends we take the birth class with. I guess her classes fill up fast, so she said to make contact with her soon. She listened to the heartbeat a la doppler (134 bpm to her count) and measured my uterus (exactly 20 cm! Although I’m just 19 weeks 1 day.) She said I’ve gained 11 pounds in the pregnancy so far which is exactly normal. She said that I should only gain another 10 in the 2nd half, but many women gain 20 or more so we went over how my eating has been going, just to stay on track. Since I way myself almost every day, it’s easy for me to track “trends” (am I a little heavier one day just because I ate something salty last night, or is this going up a little every day and I need to be more aware of what I’m eating and my activity?) and she was really impressed with how well it’s all been going. And I asked her if there was anything I could do about the insomnia, and she said it was safe for me to take uni.som. I found some at the store that’s labeled as “natural uni.som” so that made me feel a little better. I don’t want to take it every night for the rest of the pregnany, but hopefully if I can take it a few nights this week that will just be enough to kick start my day/night cycles back into place.

Grabbed some lunch, the sleep aid and a few odds and ends at the grocery store on our way home. Vegged at home for a little while – we had thrown around a few girl names, but hadn’t had a serious descussion so Hubster was all gung-ho to do that. The name we had originally planned on usuing a long time ago… well, it’s a beautiful name, but the name has deep roots in pagan/wiccan mythology and lore, and we both felt we wanted to give our baby a name that was beautiful, unique AND really meant something to us. So we started by finding a website that lists all the Orthodox Saint names (by gender!) and slowly went down, making note of anything we liked. After some fine tuning we’ve ended up with 3, and then Hubster started to get overwhelmed and a little loopy and started throwing out ideas inspired by alcoholic beverages, so I closed the laptop and said it was time to get out of the house! There’s plenty of time to think about this, no need to rush into anything!

Then we took the dogs down to the beach. We were going to go to the one we usually go to, but the parking lot was SO crowded, we decided to try a different one. And low and behold it was practically barren (although this beach was significantly more rocky than the other one, so less comfortable to walk along and wade in the water, but I cooled off my feet while Glen and Emma waded, and Radar actually swam a little bit.) Then home, and Hubster heated up some homemade soup from the freezer (Hot soup on a hot day… delicious but perhaps not the wisest choice ever lol. However, all the meal options in the house were hot meals, so whatchya gonna do?)

And now I’m here, uploading photos from the day.

20120806-194937.jpgEmma on the top, Glen sniffing rocks on the bottom…

20120806-194958.jpgRadar after his swim…

20120806-195005.jpgEmma and Glen…. pretty sure they were trying to find dead, dried up baby crabs to eat…

20120806-195017.jpgGlen:¬†“This place is too much fun! ¬†Dried up seaweed, dead crabs, all sorts of icky and delicious things!”

20120806-195011.jpgThe view from the Cha.mbers Cre.ek Beach.  The faded light blue land in the distance is the Olym.pic Moun.tain Range.

And now: The long awaited ultrasound pictures!!!  19 weeks, 1 day!

Baby’s profile, waving a hand!

Another profile shot, I thought the Baby was sucking it’s thumb but the doctor said no, that it was more “blowing kisses” *heart melt*

Baby’s face from the front, top of head pointed to the right. ¬†Baby was head down today… let’s hope it stays that way for the birth!

Full side shot.  Head to the right, bum to the left, back is along the bottom of the picture.

“Get outta here, this is my womb!”

“Seriously, you people need my shoe size already?

Bum to the left, legs at top and bottom Рclearly SANS PENIS!  Why hello by lovely, beautiful, precious little baby girl!!!!!!!!  But this will not be some pink-girly-girl, this will be a camo-wearing, camping, hunting, horseback riding girl.  Hubster was SO certain it was a boy, it took about an hour for him to wrap his mind around the fact that it is a girl, but now he is all colors of excited, hyper and wiggling like a puppy.

Oh man, I’m going to have the be the disciplinarian, she already has him wrapped around her teeny tiny little finger.

And I wouldn’t have it any. other. way.

Totally and completely blissed out. ¬†I can’t even adequately describe it. ¬†I know exactly how amazing, lucky, and truly¬†blessed¬†we are, or how much I LOVE this little baby SO MUCH.

Thank you everyone for your kind comments on my previous post, and for all the posts over the years you have been a part of. ¬†I can’t imagine having done this journey so far without you guys.

Hellooooooo Second Trimester!!!

Today we are officially 12 weeks.  Depending on the website or school of though, we have officially transitioned into the second trimester.  And could not be more excited and grateful for this blessing!!!!

I should have done a “belly shot” at 4 or 5 weeks, back when I was 6 pounds lighter, and my uterus wasn’t filling my pelvis and pushing out my tummy… but can’t go back now.¬† So here I am, at 12 weeks.¬† The belly shot.¬† And I normally hide from photos, but I know we will want to document this.¬† So without further ado:

(Please be nice – stuff like this is really difficult for me, I know I’m pregnant but still have lots of self-conscious issues with my weight and body…)

Having weird aches around my “tailbone” area.¬† Who knew that would start being wonky already?