Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hello, Miss Foot.

It's been a while since I've lost sight of my feet, and I won't be seeing them again for another 12 weeks. Being that I'm not all that fond of my feet, it's no big loss.

At 2.5 lbs. and 16 inches from head to toe, sweet baby boy is taking up more and more precious abdomen space every day.  He's quite active, and I get to watch him do his little dances from the outside now.  Also, he prefers to place the majority of his chubby little body in the right side of my belly, which makes things feel...well, lop-sided!  As my belly continues to grow, I've been wondering:
-How much bigger is that mole going to get?!?
-Where does my flattened, stretched belly button have to go from here?
-How am I going to be at all mobile or be able to breathe at the end?
-How on earth do people squat while they're giving birth?  I know it's the most natural position to give birth in, but for heaven's sake...there's a LOT of belly in the way!
-Do non-maternity elastic waistbands bother baby?
-Will I be able to get comfortable for the next 12 weeks?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

National Birth Center Study Outcomes

Outcomes of care in birth centers. The National Birth Center Study
JP Rooks, NL Weatherby, EK Ernst, S Stapleton, D Rosen, and A Rosenfield


We studied 11,814 women admitted for labor and delivery to 84 free-standing birth centers in the United States and followed their course and that of their infants through delivery or transfer to a hospital and for at least four weeks thereafter. The women were at lower-than-average risk of a poor outcome of pregnancy, according to many but not all of the recognized demographic and behavioral risk factors. Among the women, 70.7 percent had only minor complications or none; 7.9 percent had serious emergency complications during labor and delivery or soon thereafter, such as thick meconium or severe shoulder dystocia. One woman in six (15.8 percent) was transferred to a hospital; 2.4 percent had emergency transfers. Twenty-nine percent of nulliparous women and only 7 percent of parous women were transferred, but the frequency of emergency transfers was the same. The rate of cesarean section was 4.4 percent. There were no maternal deaths. The overall intrapartum and neonatal mortality rate was 1.3 per 1000 births. The rates of infant mortality and low Apgar scores were similar to those reported in large studies of low-risk hospital births. We conclude that birth centers offer a safe and acceptable alternative to hospital confinement for selected pregnant women, particularly those who have previously had children, and that such care leads to relatively few cesarean sections.

Source Information

Center for Population and Family Health, School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

25 weeks down, 15 to go!

I look forward to my prenatal appointments each month (soon to be every other week).  There are few things greater in this world than hearing your baby's heartbeat and being reassured that everything is going well.  Today, the midwife told us that he is head down and was snuggling down into my abdomen to get away from the heart monitor!  My belly is measuring 26cm, which is just right.  Last appointment, at our ultrasound at 21 weeks, the ultrasound technician told us that he weighed 15oz.  When we got home, all the books said he should only be 10oz. at 21 weeks!  So, needless to say, that got us thinking he might be getting too big too fast!  I asked the midwife about this issue today, and she said that 15oz. actually put him in the 43rd percentile for 21 weeks...which means he's actually under the average weight!  WHEW!

Before the appointment this morning, we took a tour of Covenant Birth Center, which is where we are considering switching to from our current midwives at Lexington Women's Care.  What a great experience!  Oliver and I left feeling like we might have just seen where our baby will enter the world!  Covenant Birth Center has one main midwife, Lisa Byrd, who is very experienced and is big on taking time with you, holding you accountable to being healthy, staying with you throughout your entire labor, delivery, and immediate post-natal care.  Each standard appointment with her takes an hour or more, and she uses some of that time to prepare and equip you for labor and delivery.  It seems as though Covenant is focused on empowering you, as a woman, to do what God made your body to do!  The Center is homey and cozy, with a living room area, kitchen, and two bedroom/bathroom combos for labor and delivery.  The bathrooms have big birthing tubs, which is what I'm very interested in using.  There is always Lisa and/or her support staff there to assist you, check on the baby, and attend to your needs throughout the entire process, and there is a big focus on creating a calm, soothing environment to enable you to relax, thereby helping the labor process to go more quickly and easily.

We have been struggling with our current prenatal care, and information we've received from them concerning what I am/am not allowed to do during labor and delivery has been very mixed.  Some say I can labor in the itty-bitty tub, others say I cannot.  For sure, I cannot deliver in the tub.  Some say I have to have an IV, others say I don't.  Some say I can make a birth plan and they will try to follow it, and others scoff at the whole birth plan idea.  Because there are 5-6 midwives that you see and any one of them could wind up delivering your baby (depending on who is on call), I just don't know what to expect.  I've heard lots of great stories from women who have delivered with them, and several bad stories.  The reality is, I feel mainly like patient #11394992 there.  Most of the time, the midwife doesn't even sit down after coming in to the check-up room, and I feel like I'm taking up her precious time with my nonsense questions.  From the time the midwife enters the room until the appointment is over is usually about 5 minutes.  There is very little, if any, instructional or preparatory advice given, and labor and delivery questions are largely left to giant question marks.  I keep wondering, "How pregnant do I need to be for these ladies to get serious with me about the impending birth," and "Why don't they care more about what is going on now?"  I know I am just a patient after all, but I was expecting more the OB/GYN treatment with midwives.

So, after all that rambling, here I am.  I like the safety and security of being able to deliver in a hospital...along with the option of having pain medication if I am losing it altogether...but that is about it when it comes to reasons to stay with our current midwives.  Covenant Birth Center offers everything I am truly looking for, and it is literally 3/4 of a mile down the street from Lexington Medical Center.  Lisa is very, very careful and is not afraid to recommend that you go to the hospital, if need be.  They don't let things reach emergency status, where an ambulance would need to come transport you.  They preemptively let you know so you and your family can drive over to the hospital.

As all these things run through our minds, it is good to know that I am low-risk and having a totally normal, healthy pregnancy.  Oliver feels that Covenant is the way to go, and I am just working through the pro's and con's of each option.  I think he is right, and I am just nervous about making such an important decision.  If you think to pray for us in this, we would really appreciate it.  We have a 2 hour appointment with Lisa at Covenant on the 17th of this month.  I think we'll know for sure after that.  Keep you posted!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The "Final Four" - Round 3

Alright, we are now down to the "final four" names! Three of these correspond to the top three names in the poll, and one is a lesser-voted-for name. Here are the round two votes for each name:

-Adoniram (Remmy) 1 vote (2%)
-Archer (Ari) 4 votes (10%)
-Augustine/August (Gus) 1 vote (2%)
-Ezra 4 votes (10%)
-Finley/Finian (Finn) 19 votes (50%)
-Gilead (Gil) 9 votes (23%)
-Graeme 2 votes (5%)
-Griffin (Griff) 13 votes (34%)
-Quincy (Quinn) 12 votes (31%)
-Sullivan (Sulli) 15 votes (39%)

And...drumroll please...the final four are (in non-ranked, alphabetical order):

-Archer (Ari)
-Finley (Finn)
-Griffin (Griff)
-Sullivan (Sulli)

Votes DO NOT carry over from previous rounds. You must VOTE AGAIN to get your vote counted for this round.

Suggestions are still welcome. If the suggestion "hits the spot" with both Oliver and I (easier said than done), we'll include it in this round. If you would like to comment, click on the blue word "COMMENTS" below this post.

13-24 Week Timeline

My Latest Meal Obsession

Oh my goodness, I cannot get enough of this meal!  I make it in bulk, and heat it up for days and days.  Those of you who have been pregnant understand these "kicks."  I'm sure that at some point, I will be heating some up and suddenly want to vomit just thinking about eating it.  This happened with spaghetti in my first trimester.

So, here is the procedure...No exact measurements with me (as usual).  Good thing I don't do much baking...I would be terrible.

Start some farfalle noodles boiling.  Use 2 bags of whatever frozen veggies you feel like.  I've done broccoli+corn, sugar snap peas+a stir fry mix of veggies, peas+green beans...Basically, whatever I have in the freezer.  Cook those according to their respective microwave, stove, or skillet directions.  Drain off the water.  While they are cooking, heat some extra virgin olive oil in a wok (or big skillet), along with a bunch of minced garlic (you'll need to add more oil as you go).   Dump the veggies into the wok.  Add a bunch of Italian seasoning and whatever else you feel like (I add some curry powder).  When the noodles are finished, drain and combine in the wok.  You'll probably need to add a bit more oil to cover the noodles.  Serve covered in parmesan :)  It's fantastic.

Bellies & Baby Showers

My friends, Shari and Anna, both got pregnant months before me, and it has been fun "growing" with them throughout the past 6 months.  Shari was due August 28th (my birthday!) and just had her baby September 3rd.  Anna is due September 30th, and I am due December 21st.

First came Shari's shower, at which point Shari was around 36 weeks, Anna was about 31 weeks, and I was 20 weeks:

Then came Anna's shower, at which point Shari was 2 days overdue, Anna was at 35 weeks, and I was at 24 weeks.  What a difference a month makes!!!