Sunday, January 19, 2014

Prepping For Baby: Prenatal Care.

* I realize the choices that I have made regarding my prenatal care isn't right for everyone. I am in no way suggesting that my way is the best way. I simply believe it is the best for me and my baby. I also in no way dislike doctors. I am very thankful for them and they are absolutely necessary for many woman during their pregnancies.*

 For this pregnancy, my third and possibly last, I decided to do a couple of things different when it comes to preparing for and delivering my baby. One of those is the kind of prenatal care and delivery I am choosing. As I've said before my two previous pregnancies and deliveries were text book perfect. I have been very blessed to have never had the slightest complication. With both of the previous pregnancies, like most women in the US, I saw an Ob for my prenatal care. That is almost the only choice for expecting women in the area that I live. The care I received from my doctor wasn't in any way poor. She is a well respected and very highly regarded physician and I was quite lucky to be one of her patients. However, during and after both pregnancies I felt like it wasn't quite what I wanted. But I never knew what it was that was missing and I honestly didn't know what it was I wanted. I just knew I wasn't completely satisfied with my experience. Until one day during my sweet Karoline's nap time that I turned on Netflix and stumbled upon the documentary, "The Business of Being Born". I immediately knew what is was that I had been missing.

 There was never really a question about whether or not we would try to have a third child. I knew when it was time for my third pregnancy I would certainly be doing things differently. When I found out I was expecting I read everything I could get my hands on. The first choice I made was to see a Midwife instead of an Ob for my prenatal care. Like I said before, the area I live in has very limited choices when it comes to pregnancy care. I knew I wanted a Certified Nursing Midwife. That is a midwife who has a nursing degree and, in addition, has attended a school of Midwifery.  After a lot of research I discovered there are only 2 in my area. They both run a free standing birth center together. I immediately called and set up my first appointment.

 Obviously, I have yet to deliver my baby, but I can say that the prenatal care I am receiving is amazing! The biggest difference is just the way my pregnancy is viewed. With my Ob it was viewed as a medical condition. It was very clear that the decisions that were made about my care and definitely about my delivery would ultimately be made by my doctor. And if I wanted something that differed from what she suggested it would be quite the fight to get it. My midwife views it as a natural part of life. She shares the belief that my body knows what it's doing. My baby will come when he is ready and when he does my body will know what to do to get him out. Now with that being said she is not some crunchy hippie living in the middle of nowhere with zero medical equipment. I am still offered the same testing and labs as I was with my Ob and she has made it very clear that in the unlikely event that I develop complications that require medical attention my care will be transferred to a doctor.

 Another big difference I've noticed are my appointments. Since I will be going to approximately 12 appointments over the entire pregnancy it is important to me that my time be valued. I'll give an example of a typical appointment compared to one I received at my Ob.

Ob appointment:
-Arrive at my appointment on time to a very standard looking doctors office.
-Greeted by a receptionist who doesn't have a clue who I am because she has seen 100 other patients that day.
-Sit down in the full waiting room in an uncomfortable chair and wait 15 or 20 minutes past my appointment time.
- After finally being called back I would get weighed and have my blood pressure taken by the nurse. After she left I would wait another 10-15 minutes for the doctor.
- The doctor would arrive and ask me if I'm having any problems. She would then measure my belly, listen to the heartbeat and ask me if I had any questions. After no more than 5 minutes she would be done.
- I would then wait in line to make my next appointment. And spend a few minutes trying to find a time that would work for me.

So to recap I spent approximately 30-40 minutes waiting and 5 minutes with the doctor. And if I happened to have my other child with me the wait was even more difficult. It was strongly recommended that younger children not attend appointments.

Midwife appointment:
 -Arrive at my appointment on time to a very home like office.
- Greeted by name by one of the midwives or their apprentice.
- Sit down at a small desk and take and record my own weight and blood pressure. Now, I have to be honest this was a little weird to me the first time. She explained to me that by taking my own it helps keep me more aware of both. After the first couple of appointments I definitely agreed!
- I then sit down on a comfortable couch. I always have Karoline with me and she has her choice of many toys and books to keep her entertained.
-After no more than 5 minutes I get called back by my midwife,
- I sit down on another comfortable couch and she asks me how I'm feeling. She also asks about my morning and just spends time getting to know me. She also talks to Karoline and asks her questions while she is sitting  and playing.
- I get up on the exam table, with Karoline laying beside me, and she measures my belly. She also listens to the heartbeat and lets Karoline push the button to start the doppler :)
- I then get down and sit back on the couch. She tells me what I can be expecting over the next few weeks. She makes my next appointment for me and walks me out.

From the time I arrive to the time I leave I am there for 30 minutes which is comparable to how long I spent at my Ob's except for, at the very most, I only have to wait 5 minutes and I spent a whole 25 minutes with my midwife.

 I love that my time is valued. I love that time is taken to get to know me. I love that when it comes time to deliver my baby she will know more than just my medical history. She will know what makes me comfortable and even more importantly what I want my from birth experience. I feel just as safe about the care I am receiving as I did with my doctor. But unlike my doctor the desire for an unmedicated birth will not be dismissed, but rather encouraged. I love that I'm not viewed as having a medical condition, but a woman having a baby just like woman have since the beginning of time.

I could go on and on about how much I am loving this experience, but if it's something you would like to consider I would encourage you to do your own research to decide if it's right for you.  There is an abundance of information online and in your library. I would also encourage you to watch the documentary I mentioned above!

If you're in my area and are interested in seeing my midwife you can visit their website here.

I am beginning my childbirth classed this week. I will have post about my experience with it after I've completed it and of course another after I deliver.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

24 Week Bumpdate

It's already time for another monthly update! I'm now half way into my 6th month and only have around 110 days to go! 

I do have different plans when it comes to preparing and delivering this baby. I have a few posts coming up about what I'm doing different. I hope to have the first one up very soon!

Here's the update :)

How many weeks along? 24 weeks
How big is baby?  He weighs just over a pound and is about a foot long!
Total weight gain? At my last appointment I had gained a total of 8 pounds. Still a little low, but he's definitely growing!
Maternity clothes? Yes. I'm getting quite uncomfortable so I mostly opt for yoga pants and t-shirts :)
Stretch marks? Luckily, no!
Anything make you queasy or sick? Nope!
Labor signs? Nope. Lots of Braxton hicks though. 
Happy or moody? Mostly happy :)
Sleep? Non exsistent :(
Exercise? Walking and squats mostly :)
Miss anything? Bending over!
Movement? All the time <3
Cravings? Sweet pickles!!! I could eat a jar a day!
Anything make you queasy or sick? Nope!
Anything your looking forward to? We'll be starting childbirth classes soon!!

And here's a Christmas shot of the big belly :)