Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Birth plan.

This week in our natural childbirth class we'll be covering birth plans. We were told to bring ours in so we can discuss what we've come up with so far. It's a work in progress, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I borrowed from books, friends, etc. etc. to build it. Anyways, I want to throw it out there in case anyone else is in the process of building a birth plan as well....and to seek any suggestions/additions from other mamas! Based on the suggestions of numerous people, I've managed to keep it to one page.

Our goal is to deliver our baby as safely and naturally as possible without unnecessary medications or procedures. While we are committed to this ideal and have taken great care to prepare ourselves physically and emotionally for a natural birth, we understand that birthing is a process that seldom goes precisely as planned. As such, we will work willingly with our care providers to adjust our plan and to make alternative decisions about labor, delivery, and postpartum care should the need arise. We understand that final decisions about our care will be discussed and agreed upon in the birthing room with Emily’s well-being and that of our baby being the most important considerations.

In addition, Emily wishes:

First-Stage Labor

- Please do not offer medications or suggestions for use of medications unless requested by Emily

- Intermittent (not continuous) monitoring

- Emily would like freedom to move/walk around and use tub/shower during labor

- Emily would like to stay hydrated through fluid consumption, not an iv

- No vaginal exams following rupture of membranes

- To avoid augmentation measures such as the artificial rupturing or stripping of membranes and/or pitocin unless a specific medical need arises.

- If our midwife determines that a Cesarean birth is indicated or if other complications arise, we request that all courses of action be explained thoroughly and performed only with our active consent.

- In the case of a Cesarean birth, Brett and Wilma (doula) will accompany Emily in the operating room

Second-Stage Labor

- A range of choices of positions for pushing

- To avoid episiotomy, to protect actively against tearing through the use of perineal massage/hot compresses/position changes- please don’t rush pushing

- Please place baby immediately on mother’s abdomen after delivery

- Allow Brett (dad) to announce the baby's sex

- Allow Brett to cut the cord, only after it has stopped pulsing

- Baby to breastfeed as soon as it is ready

After Birth

- No pitocin/pulling of cord to deliver placenta- to save the placenta (refrigerate immediately)

- Baby to room-in with mother at all times, or to be accompanied by Brett if need arises for baby to visit nursery

- Please allow Emily to give baby’s first bath

- Please delay all routine procedures for the baby for at least one hour after delivery

- No Hepatitis B vaccine or antibiotic eye ointment/Silver Nitrate to be given to baby

- Baby to be breastfed exclusively. Please, no bottles, pacifiers, formula, or water

Thank you again for your support and for your kind attention to our choices.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Extra bang for your Wednesday buck.

Today was actually a pretty cool day, and I'm inclined to write about it before I forget everything (I swear, since I've been pregnant, I have the memory of a goldfish).....

To start out...32-week midwife appointment. I was a little annoyed because I sat in the waiting room FOREVER- pushing back my appointment by 1/2 hour and resulting in me having to cancel my chiropractor appointment that I had scheduled immediately following my appointment with Carlene. Their offices are only few blocks apart, and I KNEW there was no way my grand scheme to drive downtown only once this week wasn't going to pan out.

Anyways...blood pressure was still great, baby's heart rate still supports my "boy" feeling (130s), measuring on schedule, and- get this- baby is head down! Must be all that meditation I've been doing lately. My mom claims all 7 of us were transverse until the bitter end, and we were all born sunny-side-up (posterior), which had me somewhat concerned, to say the least. Although there is time for the baby to turn AGAIN, space is becoming more limited by the day, and I'm confident that baby will cooperate and stay where he/she is.

I asked Carlene (mw) about the dosage on my red raspberry leaf tea, and she says to keep on, keepin' on. She said that nettle and alfalfa were great additions too, so after my appointment I headed straight to the herb place to procure some. I felt a little like Harry Potter in Potions class ordering the herbs by the ounce, but it's cool. I mixed some tea up according to the following proportions when I got home, added some honey, and I must say....yummy! If you don't know, red raspberry leaf tones and strengthens the uterus and helps it to work more effectively in labor (fewer contractions and shorter labor, anyone???), and nettle and alfalfa are rich in vitamins and iron. According to Ina May Gaskin, (as in the world-renowned midwife and my personal hero), she's seen great results when treating anemic women with alfalfa as opposed to traditional iron pills. Alfalfa doesn't have all the nasty side effects of iron pills, either. I also picked up some blackstrap molasses, also very rich in iron (20% of the RDA in 1 tablespoon!), which I plan to mix in with my greek yogurt and flax granola in the morning. If you want to know more about herbs, here's a good site. By the way, I picked up everything I needed today for $11 total, and it's enough for WEEKS of a three-times-day tea habit. Compare that with Traditional Medicinals Pregnancy Tea by the box ($8 for 15 bags or so), and so see what a good deal this is! Plus, you can customize! Without further ado, a recipe for pregnancy tea:

8 parts Red Raspberry Leaf
3 parts Alfalfa
3 parts Peppermint
2 parts Nettle

Combine (I used a ziploc bag and just shook it up- I recommend using a tablespoon for your "part"). Steep 2-3 teaspoons in freshly boiled water for 5-10 minutes. Add honey (my personal recommendation) and enjoy! You could also store in the refrigerator and enjoy over ice.

Finally, I'm going to give myself kudos for working on my "pregnancy fitness"- no, I don't mean running. I've been kegel-ing, tailor-sitting, squatting, meditating, side-laying, and "relaxing" my butt off- you fellow Bradley birthing mamas know what I'm talking about.

Wordless Wednesday.

Please ignore my ridiculous commentary....I was more than a little excited to see dolphins!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekend wrap-up.

What a busy weekend we had!

On Friday night, Brett and I joined a friend for dinner and a movie. We saw the new Harry Potter movie- and, unfortunately, I was totally disappointed. I won't divulge any spoilers here, but I will say that my main beef with the film was that major scenes were cut (supposedly to cut down the run time), yet additional scenes were added- ones that ARE NOT found in the book. Craziness.

Our first birth class was on Saturday morning. We are taking a natural childbirth course based on the Bradley method, and it consists of six classes, two hours each. Shout out to Gentle Beginning Warner Robins- home of my doula, Wilma- for offering the course. Anyway, the first class was a broad overview of the labor process, focusing on emotional and physical signposts. Signposts are indicators of the different stages of labor. That is, they are ways to identify labor progression. After that, we briefly discussed nutrition and healthy living- and, luckily, I think I have this one down. I've been really careful to stay hydrated, have been drinking my 2-3 cups of red raspberry leaf per day faithfully, and am still on the treadmill. I think I'm doing fine on the protein front, too. Belinda, who teaches the class, is also an herbalist, so I picked up some good hints for herbs to add to my pregnancy teas, as well as discovered a local source for them- so no more buying online! Yay!

I can't say that we learned a whole lot from the first class- but that's because we've been reading our way through Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, Birthing from Within, etc. we have the basics down. But it was still nice to ask specific questions and to just discuss our fears. My favorite part of the class came at the end- we watched a video about natural birth in Russia. A group of women there birth both at home in tubs and- get this- in the sea! It was soooo beautiful, reassuring, and empowering to see these women give birth naturally- without fear or inhibition. Many of the births were attended by siblings. One particular birth brought me to tears- the four-year-old daughter of the laboring mother was there- and she started touching the baby's head as soon as it began crowning. She was so loving towards her little sibling, and so anxious to hold him! It was amazing to see the sense of wonder on a child's face. I can't help but wish we all had the chance to experience these sorts of births as children. Perhaps then the fear of labor that we seem to harbor in our society would be far less pervasive. To see the trailer (which you should!!), go here.

Finally, we spent the rest of the weekend doing projects around the house. Our main job was putting up the chair rail in the nursery. Long story short, it ended up being a lot more work than we expected, but we are only two short pieces away from being completed. The angle where those pieces meet is really tricky, so we're going to borrow a skill saw to do that part, rather than our cheap little mitre box. Today I sanded down the filler and applied the paint. As soon as I can pull the tape I'll post pictures. I can't wait to see the finished project!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Weekend in Indianapolis.

Last weekend Brett and I headed up to Indianapolis for Ashley and Josh's wedding. The trip was about 11 hours each way, and definitely not the most comfortable thing for a someone in their third trimester! Brett was very good about reminding me to drink enough water and actually MADE me get out and walk when we stopped for gas, food, etc. My strategy was just to sleep the entire time (for some reason, one of my awesome pregnancy symptoms is car sickness when I'm in the passenger seat- I can drive myself just fine) and try to avoid throwing up, as the route we took wound through the mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee on the way up to Kentucky and finally Indiana. Brett did an amazing job and didn't complain at all about driving the whole way. One thing I love about our relationship is that no matter how long the car ride, I don't mind (and actually look forward to it), because it means spending time together :-).

We had so much fun spending time with everyone and making new friends in Indy! The city itself is beautiful, the wedding was amazing. I will definitely be posting more pictures once the professional ones are done, but here are a few to start with. I'm excited to see how the professional ones come out, because the photographers were soooo cool, and we took many of the pics in downtown Indy following the ceremony.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Okay, okay, I'll update this thing....

I know that it looks like I've only been updating on Wednesdays lately...but that's only because I've only been updating on Wednesdays lately :-) . Due to popular demand, here's a more thorough update than the extremelyyyyyy unflattering pictures Brett took of me at the beach over the weekend that I posted earlier.

- I had my 30-week appointment today. Pretty quick, as usual...but that's what comes when you're as hands-off as I and my midwife are. My blood pressure is still great (94/54 today), I passed my gestational diabetes test a few weeks back with flying colors, still no swelling, only a few Braxton Hicks, the heart rate is still in the 130s, and the baby is still refusing to turn head down for more than a few hours at a time- he/she prefers transverse. I'm not going to worry about that one quite yet- if he/she still hasn't turned for good in the next two weeks or so, my chiropractor is going to start some manipulations that should help. I am pledging to sit on my birthing ball more this week and visualize the baby turning as well. We also start our Bradley classes next weekend.

- On the heart rate note: mamas of boys, did you notice that your boys had lower (130s, 140s) heart rates in utero? My midwife says that although there are certainly exceptions, she has noticed that boys tend to have lower heart rates than boys (which confirms an Old Wives' Tale I've heard). I've been really thinking this little one is a boy lately, and the heart rate has been consistently low. I'd appreciate any input anyone has!

- As far as how I feel, I still feel really good. I'm still running, and still running sub-10-minute-miles. I've scheduled to run another 5k on 18 July, so we'll see how it goes. I'm amazed at how firm my belly is- it doesn't move around nearly as much as I'd expected it would at this point. The baby has been crazy active lately, and it's actually pretty uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong, I love knowing that baby is okay, but sometimes it really hurts to get pummeled from the inside!

- The inevitable weight gain question: as of today, I am up 5 lbs. total. Pre-pregnancy, I weighed about 140 lbs. Then I lost 15 to morning sickness, FINALLY gained that 15 back, and have added 5 more. It's sort of frustrating to me because people are always like, "wow, you look great!," and I want to say, "it's easy- just puke your guts out 3-4 times a day for 4 months, then find food forever unappealing!" I feel like it's an uphill battle every day. I am hardly ever hungry, and I have to force down food. I try to make sure what I do put in my body is very healthful, so I don't waste room in my stomach on junk. Still, I pretty much hate food right now, and I can't wait until I can stop stressing about how to up my caloric intake. It also gets irritating to have people (my husband included) harassing me to eat more.

- That's it for now. We're headed up to Indianapolis this weekend for a wedding, so I'll take some new pics then.

Wordless Wednesday.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Word-y Wednesday.

Okay, normally on a Wednesday I would just post a picture and call it a day. But since I am lacking a new and/or interesting picture for this week, I'm going to post a list of things that I've noticed/experienced lately.

1. It is impossible to sleep anymore. Between the crazy dreams I have every night (every night since we got pregnant, I swear), getting up to pee, and finding it difficult to get comfortable, I ] feel like I've haven't had a decent night's sleep in forever. Confession: the majority of the time, I end up sleeping on my back. I know, I know. Before I was pregnant I always slept on my stomach. Obviously that's out of the question now. I've tried sleeping on my left side like a good pregnant lady, but despite a pile of strategically-placed pillows, it doesn't work for me. To make myself feel better, I did some research on sleeping on your back and found out that: it's really only a big deal if you're overweight, if it was really hurting me I would wake up, and if we were meant to not sleep on our backs when we were pregnant we would grow a hump there too!

2. The drama over daycare continues. According to the lady at the CDC on base, cloth diapers are a no-go there. I am used to the Air Force telling me what to do, but really?? I cannot believe that they care enough to dictate this. I wouldn't have minded so much if the lady hadn't been so mean about it. I'm getting really sick of being treated like some crazy hippy person. Anyways, I don't see how putting a cloth diaper in a wet bag is any more work than dropping it in the trash can, but whatever. The owner of the off-base daycare near my house said, "We haven't had anyone ask about those in the 15 years we've been in business," but that as long as the Health Department doesn't have a problem with it, they're fine with it. Awesome. Crisis likely averted.

3. What is it with the pregnancy police this week? I've been called out for drinking coffee (a. it was decaf, b. i'm allowed one cup anyway), dying my hair (foils, therefore it never touched my scalp, I had the okay, and anyways- your hair has no blood flow! duh), still running, eating a hot dog....good gosh! I need to develop some kind of repellent to spray on every morning.