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Archive for the ‘Birthing Center’ Category

38 and a half weeks check up

Had my weekly appointment today. Asked the midwife for an “I am curious” check. Baby is not “engaged” yet, but my cervix is softening and is open just enough for her to be able to put a finger in and feel his head through the sack!

Stree has been a wiggly one for a good portion of today. Especially when I was driving around. Makes it rather distracting at times. When I told that to the midwife as she was listening to his heartbeat, she said, “He seems to be asleep now.” But then he moved and we both laughed.

My right shoulder blade keeps hurting on and off. The chiropractor said that it’s right where my curve is and there’s not much we can do right now. Ugh. Between that and the pelvic pain I really wish this baby would decide to come sooner rather than later. However, with the info from the midwife, we’ll probably be going past our due date (not that this surprises me…most women go past their due date).

First of May

Last year for Beltane, Darius and I jumped a fire and I kissed a May Pole. This year we’re 3 weeks away from my due date. :)

Belly at 37 weeks and 2 daysBelly at 37 weeks and 2 days Belly at 37 weeks and 2 days


Last week I did my first full load of baby laundry. Then I left it in the dryer for a few days by accident, came back and found out that it was still damp two days later. So back in the washer it all went. ~sigh~ Tonight is round two of baby stuff in the laundry, mostly sheets and blankets but also some clothing and things that Darius and I bought today when we went shopping for yet more baby things. Oh that’s right, we got more clothing for the baby, because apparently I didn’t read the list from the Birthing Center of what to bring closely enough and so we had to get some sleepers and some receiving blankets and some hats. We also picked up the baby tub that was really highly rated. And a cute pillow that Darius couldn’t resist.

Yesterday was our last Centering class at the Birthing Center. We talked about all the different ways that labor can start and some of the complications that can happen and what the midwives do about them. We also got to meet the first baby born to our group (last month, she came a little early, but still at full term) and plan for our reunion. We realized that next time we all see each other, we’ll all have little ones which is just crazy to realize.

Had a check-up on Thursday. Brought Darius with me because I thought I was going to have an ultrasound, but it turns out that it wasn’t written on my chart to have one and the midwife said that everything felt and seemed healthy so there was no reason to have one. Guess we’ll see what he looks like when we meet him.

Symptom wise I’m still having a lot of pubic pain. My chiro says it’s because my left hip is forward and slightly rotated. The support belt helps, but UGH and ouch. Also, I have to pee pretty much every time I stand up. I also feel HUGE.

One last week of teaching classes at work and then it’s all project work while mostly working from home for me until the baby shows up, which could be anytime from now until 4 weeks or so from now. And then I’ll be a mommy. I’m still in some disbelief about that.

Darius did something amazing work last night on conquering one of his major fears so that he wouldn’t pass it on to his son. I’m so proud of him. I’d say more, but that’s not my story to tell.

Had to happen sometime

This morning was the morning that I couldn’t get my rings on. I figured it would happen eventually and the moment seemed to be looming ever closer. I think that I made it pretty far before I hit that point, 35 weeks and 5 days. My fingers don’t even look that swollen, but I guess they are just puffy enough. The warmer, humid weather probably doesn’t help. Not being able to get my rings on was also the sign to take off my wedding ring (it had trouble coming off, but I got it) and put it on my necklace. So, for the first time since I was about 10 or so, I have no rings on my fingers. It’s weird. I even have ring tan lines.

In other news, I had a prenatal appointment at the Birthing Center yesterday. Blood pressure is good. Baby’s heart rate is good. Uterus was measuring at 32 weeks, which is strange since it was at 33 weeks when I was at 33 weeks. But the midwife felt for the baby and said that his head is down low, so that could account for it. She even said that if he’s really dropping, he could come a little early. I hope it’s not too early. Also, it seems like he’s turned around a bit as his butt and feet have switched places since the last appointment. Next week’s appointment (OMG, we’re at every week now!) will involve an ultrasound just to check on things. I’m really excited about it as it’ll be the first time that I’ve gotten to see him since 18.5 weeks. Darius wants to see if we can do one of those 3D ultrasounds, but truth be told they sort of freak me out.

Centering Shower

Belly at 31 weeks 2 days This weekend was our now twice monthly Centering appointment at the Birthing Center. Other than the “You almost but don’t have gestational diabetes” talk, the private appointment part went well. My blood pressure is good and my uterus is measuring at 31 weeks, which is exactly on target. But the best news of all is that the midwife was pretty sure that Stree is currently head down. This would make a lot of sense as I’ve been feeling more kicking in my ribs and middle abdomen and more gurgling/hiccuping lower down just above my pelvis. It would also help to explain why I’m having some sciatic nerve pressure lately that I can feel on the sides of my hips.

The class part was good. We talked, were shown, and practiced some different positions for labor and talked about what makes good “support people.” We were going to get into pain management techniques, but as often happens with this group we ran out of time.

Teddy Bear CakeAfter class was over, it was time for our Centering Shower. We went over to one of the couple’s houses that was close by the Birthing Center and had food and chatted for a while. Then we had the cake that I had made the night before and decorated that morning. After that it was time for the White Elephant Baby Gift Exchange. Mostly everyone was very polite and there was almost no stealing that happened. We got an owl rattle and an orange pig that makes noise when you shake him. Thinking back on it, pretty much everyone got a gift that suited them well. Then we had a small clothing exchange, where I got a nice top and two cute skirts. Everything that didn’t get taken will be given to a local womens shelter. We left soon after that, came home, and I fell asleep while we were watching Arthur on Netflix.

Passed, but just barely

Two weeks ago during the Centering Session, I had to take the one hour glucose test. It involved drinking a nasty tasting (but not syrupy or carbonated, thank Goddess) orange drink and then an hour later having my blood drawn to test for gestational diabetes. It was kind of awful but I didn’t feel all weird sugar-issues-y like I do when my hypoglycemia kicks in.

The next Wednesday I get a call from the midwife as I’m about to leave work. I failed the one hour test and have to go in for a three hour test. However, she reassures me that many people who fail the one hour pass the three hour and even if I do fail the three hour, I’ll just have to go to a doctor and adjust my diet but I can still deliver at the Birthing Center.

The Wednesday after that (last Wednesday) I went into the Birthing Center at 8:30am for my three hour glucose test. I had to fast since midnight the night before (insert Gremlins joke here). The nice nurse took my blood and then I had to drink another orange drink, this time with more sugar. If I drank too much of it at once it burned the back of my throat. I got it down in under 4 minutes (I had to drink it in under 5). Then I had to sit in that chair for a bit because my stomach didn’t like the drink at all and I had to wait until it settled.

I stretched out on the couch in the waiting room and tried to play on the internet (the Birthing Center has wi-fi!), but I started having the trouble focusing on writing problem that I get when my blood sugar takes a serious dip and I was very tired, having stayed up until 1:30 the night before finishing a book. I ended up taking a nap until it was time to take my blood again. At that point I was awake and the eyes focusing problem had gone away so I spent the next two hours playing around on the internet, writing blog posts, laughing like crazy at Pregnant Chicken’s Best of Baby Shower Cake Wrecks and going in twice more to have my blood drawn. After the last blood draw I finally got to eat the cheese stick I’d been craving since the second hour and then I met up with my friend Meg for lunch.

On Friday I got a call from the Birthing Center that my test results came in and I did not have gestational diabetes. And there was much rejoicing!

Yesterday I had another Centering session. During my private portion with the midwife, she told me that while I did pass the test, some of my numbers were just at the cut-off point or slightly above. So, while I don’t officially have gestational diabetes, I do need to watch what I eat and I should cut down on fruit, sugars, and white bread. I’m already working on snacking better and I’ll just have to get even better for my and the baby’s health.

Lopsided belly

Had my most recent Centering appointment over the weekend. During the appointment I did my 1-hour glucose test to screen for gestational diabetes. I didn’t have any of my normal ZOMG sugar issues problems when I did the test, so I was hopefully optimistic. I guess I shouldn’t have been because I got the call today that I failed it. So now I have to go and make an appointment to take the 3-hour glucose test. Ugh. If I fail that one too then I have to see a doctor about everything and go on a strict diet and all of that. At least I can still deliver at the Birthing Center, so I don’t have that worry.

Baby wise, everything looks to be progressing well. As I mentioned in my last post, Stree has started to become much more active; either that or he’s bigger and stronger so I feel him more. When we were at the Centering appointment, the midwife did some feeling around and told us that it’s pretty likely that Stree’s butt is (or was at the time) hanging out near my lower left side. If you look at my belly you can actually tell that it’s shifted a bit to my left, a little lopsided. Not sure if this is because he’s hanging out on my left side or because of the scoliosis.

Belly at 29 weeks 2 days Belly at 29 weeks 2 days Belly at 29 weeks 2 days

Talking about the scoliosis, the chiropractor has been an awesome idea. I have no idea why I didn’t go to one years and years ago. I just know that I’d be in such worse shape if it wasn’t for him.

In preparation news, we’ve really started working on some of the things that need to get done before Stree shows up. Darius and I have made some really good progress on the Random-Stuff-In-the-Study-Closetâ„¢ clean up and we’re almost ready to move the bookshelves into the study to make room in what will be the baby’s room for baby things.

We’ve also started buying some baby things. We got Stree his very own stuffed dragon that roars when you press his throat, a Halloween costume, the most adorable probably coming home outfit ever (in two sizes, just in case), a hat with ears, and a geeky onesie that we really wanted that keeps going out of stock. I’ll post pictures of some of this stuff soon in case the links ever stop working. I also noticed that now that that the invite to my baby shower has gone out, some of the items on our baby registries are being purchased. It’s kind of like Christmas with presents showing up all the time. I also got myself a maternity pillow because a regular pillow isn’t cutting it and the regular body pillow just isn’t comfortable; I woke up this morning with hip pain after using the body pillow all night.

Centering Session 1

Over the weekend Darius and I had our first Centering appointment at the Birthing Center. Centering is a program that they have where a group of us who are all due in the same month have our prenatal check-ups at the same time and then we get to sit together with our partners and discuss issues, questions, etc with the whole thing being overseen by a midwife or two. Due to starting at little later with the Birthing Center, we’d missed the first session. This was okay though as there were 2 other couples that were also new to the group, and apparently there were a few people who’d either dropped or couldn’t make it that weekend.

When we got to the Birthing Center, I had to deal with one of my worst fears: being forgotten. Somehow, even though I had it on my schedule, they had forgotten to put me in the Centering group, so my chart and stuff wasn’t at the location where the Centering was happening (the BC has two locations). Luckily everyone at the Center was supper nice and accommodating. They just looked me up on the computer (hurray for modern technology) and took notes during my individual appointment that the midwife said she’d just add to my file. They also made sure that I was definitely on the list for the next session.

I was glad to have some one-on-one time with the midwife (i know that’s how this Centering thing works, but it’s still nice), so I could ask some personal questions and get some reassurances. Also, Darius got to hear the baby’s heartbeat live for the first time; 150bpm, a nice strong heartbeat that the midwife had no trouble finding this time.

I was worried that since we’d missed the first session, I’d feel left out, but the group was really nice and welcoming. We mostly talked about changes that we’re going through, exercises we can do, holiday travel, and dealing with family and with people who are negative toward our choice of using a Birthing Center. It was a really great experience for both Darius and I and I’m looking forward to our next session.

The only thing that did make me feel a little left out/behind is finding out that there is an online group for the May Moms that I’m not a part of yet. Apparently they are having lively discussion there and planning events and parties on it. However, I left our email addresses with the administrative person before we left the BC so w should be getting invites to it soon. If I don’t hear anything by tomorrow, I’ll call to remind them.

Lastly, when we were there we scheduled our 20 week (well, 18.5 week due to holidays) ultrasound. If Stree cooperates, we’ll find out the sex during that appointment. So excited!

Thinking Change

Sometimes you read something, even just one line in a book and it can have a profound effect on you. I’m currently reading Birthing From Within on the recommendation of a few friends. I am in the middle of reading the section on home births and the author said that if one is planning on a home birth, it might be better to think of is as laboring at home and then, if everything goes well, the birth can be at home but if it does not, then the birth can happen in the hospital. It was like a light went off inside my brain. I’ve been talking to people about how I’m going with a birthing center but I understand that I may have to move to a hospital. Secretly though, I think I’ve been afraid of that move and how it would mean a failure on my part or some such. This simple statement has completely changed how I see things. Now I’m going to think of it as laboring at the Birthing Center and if all goes well I’ll give birth there, but if I then need to be moved to a hospital, it will be easy to accept the midwife’s or my own judgment about it.

In the hands of nature

Went in to the Birthing Center last Friday to get the 12-13 week Fetal Nuchal translucency test. This is the one where they look at the fetus to see if it possibly has Downs Syndrome and take a blood sample also. Little Stree, wouldn’t cooperate. So I went back yesterday. Guess who wasn’t cooperating again. Did get some really adorable u/s pictures (including a Kermit the Frog looking one). But because of that, they also didn’t take my blood (a blessing?).

These were the options they gave me: I could call the ultrasound place that the Birthing Center I’m going to works with and pray they can get me in sometime around my schedule in the next two days, I could schedule the screening blood test at 15-20 weeks (but it has a high rate of false positives), or we could just let nature run its course. When I got home, I talked about the different options with Darius and, we decided on the last option. We figured that this was the Universe’s and the baby’s way of telling us to chill out and not worry about it. I’m 31, so the risk is not that high and I’d rather not take a test that could cause lots of stress and turn out not to be true anyway.

And now, fetus Stree as Kermit the Frog:

It's not easy being Stree

It's not easy being Stree

Why yes, I’m embarrassing my offspring before it is even born :).

Alive and kicking

Told the bossman I was pregnant last Thursday. We were swapping photos over IM of our trips to Chicago while on the phone. I told him that I had one more picture to send him and then waited nervously while he opened it. But he’s really excited for me. He’s never had anyone under him take maternity leave before, so this will be an experience for both of us. At least my work is very good at handling this sort of thing. I believe there were something like 14 or 15 people out for maternity leave this year.

Told the rest of the team (one had already guessed) on Friday afternoon at our team meeting. We were discussing the training schedule for next year. One of my coworkers was teaching, so once he finally showed up and we caught him up on what was going on, I mentioned that I did have one concern about next year. Then I turned my laptop around so they could all see the picture of the ultrasound from the other week. They were surprised :). Bossman had to put the picture up on the screen so everyone could see it (my team is all over the US, so we use video conferencing).

Today was my first appointment at the Austin Area Birthing Center. Filled out miles of paperwork. Right now we’re on a pay for it all ourselves plan. We’re trying to get this GAP coverage thing going on so that insurance will cover some of it (the Dr is in network, the facility is out of network…it’s all very confusing to me). Had an apprentice midwife with the regular midwife for my visit. They asked me some basic questions and already had a good knowledge of my chart and my paperwork from my original OB was there already. When they went to go feel for the uterus, they had a little bit of trouble finding it because I have good abdominal muscles and a little bit of padding over them. Also, based on the exam they were figuring that I probably had a tipped uterus (which I now remember is something the ultrasound tech from week 7 said too). They then had trouble using the hand-held thing to hear the heartbeat. OMG, I was definitely a little scared when they couldn’t find the heartbeat at first. So we went over to the ultrasound room and the ultrasound tech found the baby and the heartbeat with no problem at all and confirmed that my uterus is tipped backwards. This is actually very common and usually fixes itself right up when the uterus raises. It also explains why I’m not showing at all yet (but the pants are getting tighter) and why I have to pee all the damn time. And and and… I got to see Stree again. It looks more like a human now. It has a head with a face and a body and legs. I could see the legs moving and the heart beating. Stree’s heartbeat is VERY strong, 160 BPM :). Probably another 2 months until we find out sex. I tried to scan the ultrasound at work, but the scan sucked, so I’ll do it from home tonight.

Update: Pic from ultrasound

Stree at 11 weeks

Stree at 11 weeks

How old is Damien?
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