Monday, December 19, 2011

28 week appointment

Had a great visit with my wonderful midwife Sherri today!

So I'm almost 28 weeks along and again I'm measuring +3, so a little bigger. I'm not worried about having a big baby though since I was a 10 lb baby. :) Baby was lying transverse (sideways) but there's plenty of time to for her to get her head pointed down. It explains the kicks/movements I feel on both sides of my stomach all the time!

I have this weird sore spot on my left side and higher than my belly button... she said it could be sore from baby kicking/being in one spot but I don't feel like she's sitting in this spot all the time. Another option is it could be a hernia - the muscle and tissue stretching in that spot... I don't really know much about them but sounds like if that's it there's nothing I can do and we'll just see if it goes away after baby is born. Anyone have any experience with this? It just really hurts... I carried Robby inside today from the car (which I NEVER do anymore) and it made it so much worse. Later tonight I tried to lift him up to show him something and I almost fell over it hurt so bad! So, not very fun but it doesn't hurt that bad all the time. Maybe just no heavy lifting??

All my other vitals and stuff were good - perfect blood pressure, no protein in the urine, even perfect pH levels she said! Woo hoo!

I have officially gained 30 lbs so far. Seeing numbers on the scale I've never seen. Ahh... it's probably not going to get much better with Christmas coming up! We have delicious goodies dropped off at our door almost every day! Nice neighbors, huh? :) I need to keep up with stretching and walking - got a bad cold last week and that's made me slack off really bad but I want my body to be as ready as possible for labor!

My appointments will now be every 2 weeks! Makes it feel like it's getting closer!! :) So fun!

Friday, December 16, 2011

27 weeks

 Me and Robby's attempt at some belly pics...

Not great but it's something. :)

This little baby has just gotten huge it feels like! Before kicks and punches were normal but now I'm feeling body rolls and big hard spots, a bum maybe? I don't know how people can tell what body parts are what but it just feels so crazy to feel huge kicks in two places at once - maybe she's jumping?? It's so fun. I love to just sit with my hands on my tummy... feels like she never stops moving!!!

It's hard to imagine my tummy getting bigger - 3 months worth bigger, you know? I know I don't look huge it's just this big tight belly that it's so crazy it can stretch and stretch to fit my growing baby...

I'm trying to keep up with my long everyday to do list of things that would make for the perfect pregnancy but it's so hard! I'm trying to eat as healthy as I can but when there are Christmas treats being dropped off at my door each day it's so hard to resist!! Also, there are days like today that NECESSITATE a diet coke to get through... (started with Robby accidentally slamming my finger in his door.... didn't get better...) It's hard to get enough rest, drink enough water, take all my herbs, drink my midwife's tea, do my kegels, pelvic rocks, yoga, hypnobabies practice, etc.... but I'm trying.

I really do feel pretty dang good though. It's nice having the holidays to make the time fly by. After Christmas I basically just have 2 months until I want to be ready - just be ready for her to come any time in March! I have bought a couple of things but I need to go through my clothes I have for Robby and figure out what I can use for her and am lucky to have a sister in law who said she'd pass down her little girls' clothes so I'm also waiting to see those too! But boy is it hard to not shop when girls clothes are so dang cute!!!! :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

The good and the not so good...

I've had lots of things I've wanted to blog about but never seem to make the time or when I try to start I don't feel like writing all these words that are in my head! But it's a good way to unload and I want to share! Also, really sorry there's not many pictures - I don't know what pictures I'd add to these topics... maybe I'll try to get creative and add something! (so if there are random pics that's why)

First, just in general everything is so great! I feel good, baby seems to be doing great... she is like a little kangaroo jumping around all the time! There is nothing more amazing then feeling your baby kick inside of you. This morning when Robby climbed in bed to snuggle and wake up he put his hands on my tummy and felt a couple of good strong kicks! "I feeled it!" he said. It's neat for him to be able to feel his little sister in there! Last night I went to a movie (Breaking Dawn - woo hoo! it was so fun!!) and baby was more active than ever! It felt like she was doing a can-can line for like 45 minutes!! So crazy!

I'm 23 weeks now and have another midwife apt on Monday. I love my midwife and feel so lucky that I found her! I said this on facebook but at my last appointment after I asked questions and we chatted for about 45 minutes she said, "ok, I'm just going to have someone come in to do some body work and massage on you!" So for 15 minutes she had her massage therapist daughter rub my feet and my back... I was speechless and soooo happy. :)  I just feel like the level of care and attention I get from her is far better than anything I've seen before - at least in my experience with the three doctors I had during my pregnancy with Robby. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Dr. Savage too but she doesn't have an hour to sit and just chat with me as most doctors do not. Also, midwives focus a lot on nutrition and the overall mental health and well being of the mom and spend a lot of time just building a relationship of trust so when my birthing time comes we'll be ready. I just am so happy with her - it's great. :) I want other people to know that this kind of care exists! If you are pregnant - consider a midwife!!! There's still a range among midwives too and I think home birth midwives probably spend the most amount of time with their clients but still it's better than the 5 minutes per apt one of the OBs I saw was giving his pregnant moms.

So some of the wonderful things about pregnancy right now are:
feeling the baby kick!
having a cute round tummy & not just a squishy one :)
appointments with my midwife
thinking/planning/day-dreaming about my birth
looking at adorable baby girl clothes!
talking about baby names (even if we can't totally agree on anything!)
imagining what this little person inside of me will be like, look like (blue eyes like her dad, maybe?)
being pregnant with my best friend so we can talk all we want about it and not get bored
when Robby asks things like, "when the baby is 3 can she watch Kung Fu Panda? So I can watch it with her?" and "when the baby comes can she sleep with me?"

Hopefully that list illustrates I'm ecstatic about being pregnant and life is good!

Pregnancy comes with a few downsides and I just wanted to elaborate on some of these and share some things that I've learned or have been thinking about. Not trying to complain just wanted to get this out there!

Weight gain - yes, it's inevitable, you're having a baby you're going to gain some weight! It's just been frustrating that I'm gaining so much MORE weight than I did with Robby! I know people say sometimes with their second kid they gain more faster... it's been especially hard since I had just done a bunch of work losing weight at the beginning of the year and was probably my skinniest ever just before I got pregnant. Which my awesome sister in law points out that could be part of why I've gained so much! I'm just trying to focus on eating as much healthy food as I can and limit the treats as much as I can. I know I shouldn't stress about my weight gain and if I'm eating good foods then I'll gain whatever the baby needs me to and hopefully I'll be able to lose it not too long after I have the baby! I remember how awesome breastfeeding was for losing all that pregnancy weight! Hopefully that works again! I'm just saying, the numbers on the scale just make me a little nervous right now!

Craving sugar - this goes with the weight gain and I said I am trying to not eat a bunch of junk and at first that wasn't too bad but the past few weeks I've just been craving sugar like crazy!!! This is so not helpful. I am usually a chocolate girl and can have one or two pieces a day of dark chocolate and be totally satisfied. Lately, I'm gobbling up any chewy sugar sweet candy I can find! Well, not everything but way more than I should especially if I'm trying to slow down my weight gain! Becca mentioned sometimes if women aren't getting enough protein they can crave sweets - I've looked at my protein intake and it definitely could be improved so I'm working on that to see if that helps! Also lots of protein is super important during pregnancy! I have a whole nother (how do you spell "whole nother" sounds normal when I say it but writing it??) post I'm formulating in my head about diet! :) 

Hemorrhoids- I can't believe I'm writing about this in a public space but if anyone's made it this far down into this post they are probably safe to share this with. :) I didn't have this problem when I was pregnant with Robby but did a little bit in my recovery. I know lots of people get them and it's normal but nobody talks about it! So! Just wanted to share the advice my midwife gave me for this and it has seemed to help a lot! I've used witch hazel pads and put a drop of two of Lavender oil (from the sample kit she gave me!) - the lavender oil acts like an anti-inflammatory. Also, something my midwife & her assistant called BF&C which means Bone Flesh & Cartiliage - they said to ask for it at Good Earth and I did and came home with a small jar of it in an ointment form. Also, my midwife recommended taking baths & putting epsom salt in there which also helps with my skin being a little itchy and my muscles being a little achy. Win win. So I wouldn't bring this up except for when I mentioned what I'd learned to someone else she said, "I wish I'd had known that!" and I knew I couldn't keep the info to myself.

I'll try to take some better pictures of my tummy and post those soon! I took a belly pic every week with Robby - this time I seem to never take them!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A healthy baby....


I am still in shock. Can't believe it! While we would have been thrilled with either a boy or girl we really thought it'd be awesome to have one of each - then whatever happens happens but there'd just be less stress...

Before we picked up Rob we got some Jamba Juice - give baby a nice sugary kick hoping to make sure he/she would be wide awake in there! I'm glad we had Robby come to this ultrasound - he was so excited!

I can't remember all the details right now.... the ultrasound tech checked everything else first it seemed and baby looked great in every area! We have referred to the baby as a boy the whole time pretty much and even during the ultrasound I was saying, "look Robby, there's his foot!" Then I didn't even realize she was checking the baby's bottom when she announced, "Well there's lady parts!" I basically sat up and shouted, "WHAT?!?!?" I was so caught off guard and didn't realize she was just perfectly sure we were looking at a girl... she even said, "Um... is that ok?" (like oh no this woman doesn't want a girl) and I told her I didn't even dare get my hopes up for a girl so was she SURE it was a girl?? She was very confident. The picture we got isn't great but that's ok. I mean, with Robby it was so clear instantly that it was a boy that this is just harder to believe. Like she said, "there isn't as much to show with girl parts..." but she did a few other things and then checked between her legs one more time and said she was so sure it was a girl she'd "take our stuff back for us" if it wasn't.

Here's our "girl" proof picture - you can see the three white lines that mean girl...

 HER foot... not "his" like I'd said earlier... sorry little girl!

Cute little profile...
 Her "halloween" mask as the tech put it! Kind of scary angle but still just neat cause it's my baby...

While I will definitely be double checking between baby's legs the second she is born to confirm this information I'm going to go ahead and be excited about this!

As much as of course I've always wanted a baby girl I think a big part of it for me is wanting Rob to have a daughter - he is so cute with all our little girl nieces and I just think that'll be really special for him.

Luckily Robby was instantly excited about this and doesn't seem disappointed he's not getting a brother. His face was so cute when she said it was a girl... we are all going to have to get used to saying SHE now. Which is great. :)

Robby my awesome photographer.... Rob had to go to a work meeting tonight and I forget to take a picture earlier with him!

Me at our Cornbelly's outing yesterday...

We are just SO VERY HAPPY! It already was such a miracle to get pregnant.... now to be having a girl.... I just can't even believe it. I feel so lucky!!!!! We are so grateful.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ultrasound is coming up!

Ahhhh I'm so excited! We have our "20 week" ultrasound this Wednesday! I'll be one day shy of 19 weeks but oh well. They let me schedule it then so I'm doing it! And I can't even stand it hardly one more minute! Need to make it through a whole day and a half... tomorrow is packed and Wednesday is pretty busy too so that's good.

People have been asking if I have a guess - I have felt like it was a boy since before we got pregnant. I kept thinking this pregnancy has been a lot like Robby's - I haven't had morning sickness and feel pretty good most of the time! - but then I realized there are a few things that are different. The headaches, awful sleeping problems - both of which are much better and less frequent - this is random but my hair is still coming out at a normal rate where with Robby I stopped losing ANY hair basically... I'm STARVING all of the time and much more exhausted - I do have a 4 year old but last time I was working full time so... last time I got lots of leg cramps and none so far. Anyways - it is a little different.

Obviously we would be thrilled to have a girl so we can have one of each. Just to know we have a girl would make me feel like I could more easily relax and say, "now whatever happens happens!" But if it's a boy I might feel like I want to try harder for another baby hoping we get at least one girl. Robby would be SO HAPPY to have a brother though so that makes me excited for a boy too. Either way it's a WIN WIN for sure!

Feeling the baby move has to be one of my favorite things! I hope it gets strong enough to feel on the outside soon because I know Robby will love that.

I have nothing to wear - I bought a few very on sale maternity tops and just ordered some pants on sale from Gap and Old Navy so I hope they fit right when they get here!! I'm resorting to leggings and need to find some longer tops to wear with them so I don't look so silly!

I've been asked for some belly pics but you guys, I feel like I'm rarely "dressed for the day" and am always looking frumpy and in pajamas. At least after about 3 pm.... :) And Rob isn't the most eager photographer... I'll try to get Robby to take some pics of me!

Well, I'll be sure to update again after our ultrasound on Wednesday! Hope to see a healthy baby and hope we find out for sure what this baby is!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Prenatal apt & monthly forum

I had my second checkup with my wonderful midwife, Sherri, last Thursday. We had another good hour long visit and talked about all kinds of things.

One of the things we talked about were using essential oils to solve some of my pregnancy symptoms right now. She actually sells DoTerra and gave me a little 3 pack of essential oils for free which was great and I've already used them a bunch. Peppermint, Lavender, and Lemon.
Peppermint - great for headaches (which Tara ps my midwife says is fine to use while pregnant)
Lavender - to help me sleep and STAY asleep better
Lemon - Rob's used on his cold sore; good for upset tummies/digestion
A few drops of all 3 in a capsule is supposed to be good for allergies which Rob has bad right now so I made him take it 2 times and we're not sure the effectiveness yet but we're willing to try!
Anyways it sounds like there are a million uses for even just these 3 she gave me alone! I know people who use these instead of medicines and I love the idea of having something safe and natural to use for me and my family. I'm definitely interested in learning more about them.
Here's a little chart of different uses of some of the essential oils:

One of the best things was hearing the baby's heartbeat and having Robby listen to it with me - he was so excited! "The baby's heartbeat's COOL mom!"

My blood pressure was normal this time which is good...

Weight - can we talk about the fact I've gained 13 lbs (+maybe a few more if you count vacation lbs that I'm choosing to not count) and I'm only 16 weeks. I was freaking out thinking I'd gained 5 lbs in a WEEK and calmed down a little when I realized it was over a month but still - with Robby I'd gained 0 by this point. I'm not sorry and I'll gain whatever lbs I need to and I feel like I'm eating when I'm hungry and not gorging on treats or anything so it is what it is. But I don't love it. Speaking of gaining weight and nutrition...

Sherri's Monthly Forum

Once a month Sherri gets all of her clients together and does a forum on a subject that's important to cover and then has couples who have just had their babies come and share their birth stories with the group. I know my nutrition isn't perfect but holy cow guys, it can get overwhelming thinking about all the stuff you should/could do.

We learned about the HOPE diet:

H- High Fiber - should be getting 30 grams a day, most people get like 8

O - Omega oils - can be found in flax, hemp, or chia seeds (were some we talked about); I'm taking high quality  fish oil pills Dr. Dummar gave me

P - Probiotics - plain yogurt, we didn't understand too much about them :)

E - Enzymes - help us digest our food, in raw fruits and veggies, can take supplements

There's a ton I could say but I'll just say the thing we are working on now is having a good, healthy green smoothie every morning with flax seed in it to help with fiber and omega... trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, raw foods...

Also, Sherri said by your 4th or 5th month of pregnancy you really should be OFF sugar! Did you hear that? OFF SUGAR! Wahh! Ok, I do see that the more fruits and veggies we eat the less we crave sweets - I haven't even wanted chocolate for days which is good - but I'm definitely not OFF sugar! And there are different levels of OFF sugar - like no treats, or not using any products with High Fructose Corn syrup or sugar in them which is pretty much everything besides raw foods. :) (like when I did the HCG diet) At least that diet helped me be much more aware of what has sugar in it and look for/make my own no sugar or low sugar options. So I'll be trying to cut sugar out of my diet more and more but I'm sure I won't be perfectly OFF sugar.

So I haven't been able to convince Rob to do an early ultrasound and now ours is only 16 days away so I guess I can wait... waiting is no fun! But that's ok. Gives me something to look forward to!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

15 weeks

 I'm 15 weeks tomorrow!

I can't believe it! It's great. :) Today during my acupuncture treatment while laying there relaxing I think I felt a little baby flip inside of me! I felt Robby at around 17 weeks and I've heard sometimes with your second you feel it earlier - either way hopefully soon I'll be feeling lots of little kicks. I know Robby is going to LOVE being able to feel the baby moving and I can't wait for that.

So I'm still having headaches - not as often but still every now and then. They are so annoying. Thanks everyone for your advice and thoughts though - I appreciate all your input! I love when women can share advice with each other. :) It makes me feel better that this seems pretty common and normal! And that hopefully they'll go away soon!

Weird sleep - ugh, so annoying! Last night I could NOT fall asleep - no really, I didn't fall asleep so at 4 am I finally got out of bed and got a yogurt and got on the computer for a few minutes... after going to the bathroom tons of times I was finally falling asleep and then Robby woke up at 6:30 with a bad dream.... and yeah... I didn't sleep. Oh well. Today I laid down at 1 to try to take a nap because I was so dang tired but my body was just totally resisting sleep. Awesome. Now it's 9 pm and Rob is giving me a hard time because I am READY for bed. :)

So with Robby we paid the $50 extra for a 16 week gender check but I had said, no, we don't have to do that this time, we can wait and I made an apt for 19 weeks actually for Oct 19.... but I just realized I'll be 16 weeks next week - we could find out NEXT week what this baby is (assuming it cooperates) and now I CAN'T get the idea out of my head!!!! Rob is saying no way we are can wait but we'll see...

I'm not the best at taking pictures of myself! Oh well! There is a tummy!

Monday, September 12, 2011


Alright so the first trimester is almost over and I have had very little to complain about - this has been great! Not throwing up, more tired but not completely exhausted... but for like the last week and a half I've had 2 problems... Headaches & I can't sleep.

Headaches - from the base of my neck... off and on and it just kills. I went to Dr Dummar on Tuesday and he did a chiropractic adjustment which made it feel better then but then they came back quickly. Saturday I had a massage which again felt great but didn't solve the problem. I don't like taking tylenol because I feel like I'd rather not take meds during the pregnancy and I feel like it doesn't do anything anyway so what's the point - the two times I have taken it it's barely made a difference. The most frustrating thing is when I WAKE UP with a headache! Cause you think getting sleep would make it better! Grr! Oh well, it's just getting really old! And I wish there was more I could do!

Can't sleep - I fall asleep... then I wake up in the middle of the night and can't go BACK to sleep. It is SOOOO annoying. Sunday I woke up at 3:30 am and didn't go back to sleep at all. I just get up and go to the bathroom 18 times... roll around... sometimes I'll get up and eat something. Becca said maybe my body is hungry and I am going to try just getting up and eating something right when I wake up next time and see if that helps me go back to sleep. Also, I usually take all my pills (prenatal vitamins, fish oil pills, cofactor pill, and herbs that I finally capsulated because I couldn't drink them anymore!) so I'm drinking a lot of water at bed time which = lots of trips to the bathroom. I'm trying to take those a few hours before bedtime and just deal with the fact they make me nauseous so cut back on the middle of the night bathroom trips.

I'm still able to sleep on my tummy although it is getting a little uncomfortable. I just lay half on a pillow to distribute my weight and that seems to help!

I have another appointment with Sheri in two weeks but I might just call her and see if she has any suggestions for these problems!

Do you guys have any ideas??

If you got up in the middle of the night and were getting a snack what would you get? I need some ideas...

And yeah, let's just pause for a second - I'm almost out of the first trimester! Thursday I'll be 14 weeks! Ahhh! Still feel like this baby is such a miracle. Robby's prayer tonight was short and included, "Please bless the little baby... I'm thankful for the baby and please bless it will stay in there..." We are just so glad to be pregnant.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First prenatal

I meant to blog about this right after and I kept forgetting!

So you know how I had decided on a midwife and so when she called me back on Monday and asked when I wanted to come in I said RIGHT AWAY! I was able to see her the next day, so last Tuesday, for our first appointment!

I pulled up to her house and she and her 5 year old son were just getting out of the car - hurray! Someone for Robby to play with! You guys, this is so great, Robby just ran around and played with her son for the whole hour we were meeting. And we scheduled my next appointment to be when her son would be home again so they can play. It's such a relief knowing he's welcome at these appointments and now he even will have FUN!

It was kind of funny because she and her son had just been at McDonald's at the playplace - it was his first day of school. She said, "oh no, Esther! Today we're going to talk about nutrition and now you're not going to listen to a word I say when you see me with my Dr. Pepper and cheeseburger!" Ha! I told her no, now I won't worry about her judging me if I tell her I ate something like that. :)

We did talk a lot about nutrition and I asked her what I ask every doctor, "How bad is it if I have an occasional diet coke?" I am basically asking for it when I ask this question but I need someone to convince me not to drink soda!! She told me a pretty convincing story - when she was pregnant with her 9th baby, at age 40, she decided she'd just drink Dr. Pepper if she felt like it! And all through her pregnancy she kept having bladder infections... and she said, "I know what it was from and I didn't care!" And then when she was in labor her midwife broke her water and all her contractions stopped - she said in a serious voice, "And Esther... I had to have a hospital birth." She went to the hospital and she had a cervical infection. So they gave her antibiotics and an epidural and then the baby came without any other problems but it was not the kind of birth she wanted and she felt like the infections were linked to drinking soda and just not taking as good of care of herself as she should've. She pointed out that it has to go through your kidneys which are right next to where the baby is!

If my goal is to have a healthy baby and to be able to give birth at home then I need to take the best care of my body that I can!! So I am going to do my best to eat healthy foods and exercise and not drink soda.

My favorite part - we heard the heartbeat! I was almost 12 weeks at my apt and my uterus is tipped back so I knew it would be hard to hear the heartbeat but since I'd been having some cramping that weekend I was desperate to hear it!! She was very patient in searching for it and we found it a few times although it was very quiet - her monitor picked it up and it was definitely a baby's heartbeat! It was such a relief! I'm excited for my next appointment where it should be much clearer and easier to hear right away!!

She also took my blood pressure which was a little high which was random for me. She said it could be a fluke and she's not too worried about it but if it's high next time too then we'll start talking about ways to lower that - like eating more garlic apparently. I've read exercising can help as well - trying to get back into that these days!

And just fyi she does urine tests each week like at a regular doctor too. Other labs and ultrasounds are elective and we'll do an ultrasound around 20 weeks to try to find out if it's a boy or a girl and see if everything looks good! So that's just like a month and a half away! Ah! So exciting!

Basically I still feel really good about my choice and my midwife is great and I'm happy. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ideas for natural childbirth

This is for you, Tiffany! And it's just one of my favorite subjects so I figured I'd do a post instead of a comment in answer to your question!

So, you're thinking about not having an epidural? Want to know what your options are? Well, I'm no expert but I've got a few ideas and am happy to share!!

When wanting to avoid an epidural these are some things I think are super important:

1. Educate yourself! Read read read read!!! Lots of awesome positive childbirth books! 
One of the keys to success in achieving a non-medicated birth is retraining your brain to NOT BE AFRAID of labor! Reading and learning about the process is a huge step in this. Learn what your body is capable of how awesome it is and let yourself feel empowered and not scared. Fear is what makes labor painful! When you can relax and let your body do it's job labor is less painful and goes much quicker!

This is my new favorite! The one I mentioned last time, The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth 

Watch this movie: The Business of Being Born
In fact, if anyone is in Utah and is interested we can make it a movie night! I just bought this DVD and would love to have anyone over to watch it and chat about birth!! Just let me know! And I could probably get my expert sister in law Becca to join us and answer any questions you have!

2. Take a childbirth class that focuses or covers natural childbirth and other coping measures

 Like this class taught by Becca - I think she has a few openings left for her class in October!!!

With Robby I took this Hypnobabies class and felt like it really worked!! Looks like that instructor isn't teaching right now but I'd look into that method for sure.

3. Choose a care provider who will be supportive and limit interventions
 OB, Family Practice, Midwife... You have options! Find someone with a low c-section rate (midwives and family practice that's easy because it will be 0 but you can ask about their transfer rate). You want to find a care provider who will be patient and allow labor to progress as normally as possible. Studies show OBs typically want labor to adhere to a schedule (dilating about 1 cm = hour) and when that doesn't happen they are more likely to introduce pitocin or other interventions which are not medically necessary and will make continuing in labor without medication more difficult!

I've had some people ask me what the difference between an OB and a midwife is - A Midwife sees you all throughout your pregnancy just like an OB. I'll be seeing her once a month till the end, then it goes to every 2 weeks, then once a week. My apts with her are 30 min - 1 hr, as opposed to the 5 minutes some OBs schedule for you. She is concerned with your nutrition and any questions you might have and it's important to create a relationship of trust through the pregnancy.

I know this will sound very foreign to most of you and you might not know anyone who has done this so let me be an example for you! The easiest way to avoid unnecessary interventions is to stay out of a hospital. Hospitals continue to stick to policies that have shown to have no benefits to women or babies and if anything are detrimental (the "nothing by mouth" rule which restricts you from eating or drinking in labor; continuous electronic fetal monitoring which has shown to have no benefit over intermittent listening and has been linked to higher c-section rates and use of forceps). Ok, sorry guys, this is probably more info than you're interested in but I've just learned so much and feel like I'm bursting to share!!!
So it's just something to consider - some women don't even know these options exist and I want them to be aware of what's out there!

4. Hire a doula to support and guide you through your labor

Even if you have the most doting, loving, supportive husband I think having a doula is probably the BIGGEST key to having a non medicated birth! Having a trained labor support person with you through every moment who comes with a bag of tricks and knows comfort measures and position changes and can make suggestions is priceless. Or, if you are worried about the price, a doula costs a couple of hundred dollars (I think we paid $350 for ours) but if you consider the price of an epidural which is what? $500? So if you pay for a doula in place of an epidural that's pretty good!

You can go here to look for a doula in Utah. I chose a few to interview and then picked from there!

Like I said, I'm not an expert, this is just my opinion!

My story 
I knew I didn't want an epidural because there was no way someone was sticking a huge needle in my back. End of story. So I needed another option to manage the pain. I began looking around at childbirth classes in my area and settled on Hypnobabies. 

I went with the first doctor my friend's recommended and while he was a great doctor to THEM it was clear he wasn't what I wanted when I walked in and saw a sign on the wall in the waiting room that said something like, "If you are planning on using a doula or Hypnobirthing or Bradley Method please let us know so we can transfer your records." Oooookay. At least they were upfront about it so I knew right away I needed to change. I went with the 2nd recommendation and that doctor while he seemed "ok" with the idea of me wanting natural childbirth the first appointment but at the second when I started asking more detailed questions he was impatient and I could tell when it cam down to it he didn't really care. Third doctor - I set up an apt to interview Dr. Shelly Savage before I switched my records over and she seemed very open to helping a woman have her birth be whatever she wants. I went with her and was very happy! But it was hard and awkward to switch doctors! Here's a tip - if you find a NEW doctor you can ask THEM to request your records from the old doctor and you don't even have to tell them. Figured that out by doctor 3.

Throughout my pregnancy I read and learned and my opinions on birth developed... I had stronger reasons for not wanting an epidural and was excited about natural childbirth! 

I had a great experience with Robby with Dr. Savage, my doula Angie, and at Timpanogos Hospital. But I know I can have an awesome experience at home with my midwife Sherri, my sister Becca as my doula, and hopefully in the water! While it's totally possible to have a great experience in a hospital you are definitely going against the grain of their usual procedures and it can feel like a fight at times. I'm excited to be in my own home and have only my supportive team around me... 

Whew, sorry for being so wordy! Can't give a short answer! All she asked for was "A BOOK" recommendation and this is what you get. :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I found one!

So after my three interviews I've settled on a midwife - Sherri Price! She is great! I knew even just from our 2 phone conversations (first to make an apt for an interview, second to change the date of that apt) that I probably would end up liking her the best! She was very interested in how I was doing even though I wasn't her patient yet.

We met with Sherri first on Thursday afternoon at 5. We had a nice hour long visit with lots of chatting and Rob and I were both really comfortable with her. She told us about her and her 20 years of midwifery experience and most importantly we just clicked!

Rob was ready to have me cancel the other 2 apts since I liked her so much but I just felt like if I went ahead and did the other interviews the worst that could happen is I'd be more convinced that she was the one for me.

Thursday at 8:30 pm we went to the Better Birth birth center and met with Suzanne. She gave us a tour of the birth center which is a beautiful facility and I was curious to see it even though I knew I wanted to go the homebirth route. It was a different kind of interview - more... official? We reviewed my medical history and she said she saw no reason why if this is what I wanted I shouldn't be able to do this. We asked her our questions... she was very nice and I think the midwives there are all very experienced and any of them would do a good job but one of the benefits I'm looking for in a midwife is that I will be building a relationship with this person throughout my whole pregnancy and then they will be the one to be there to support me in my labor and birth. Going with a practice where you rotate through a group of midwives isn't my first choice for this pregnancy.
They have a beautiful bed, awesome jetted tub, and kitchen stocked with drinks and frozen food and snacks for mom and other people there while she's laboring...

Friday at 5:30 we met with Heather Shelley at the birth center she runs in Pleasant Grove. Again, we toured the facility even though we let her know we were planning on birthing at home. It was a nice place - a much older home compared to the brand new Better Birth facility but still looked like a great option for someone who is looking for a birth center. Heather was very nice and we asked her our questions and chatted a little and once again I just knew we weren't clicking as well as I had with Sherri.

After that I just felt excited that it was over - that I did it! I looked around, did some interviews, and get to have this amazing person as my care provider!!! I left her a message yesterday (Saturday) and I'm hoping I'll be able to go in for an appointment this week or very soon and hopefully we can hear the heart beat on a doppler or something! I've had some cramping this weekend which I know is totally normal but it just reminds me of my miscarriage and makes me worry!!

So yes, we are planning on a home birth. I'm sure there will be lots of you who think I'm crazy and I will say 10 years ago I wouldn't have believed I would do this and now I can't imagine it ANY OTHER WAY. The education and exposure I've had has led me to choose this and I know that this is a great option for us and I hope I can share with you guys some of the things I've learned over the next few months! If you think I'm nuts I'd ask that you have an open mind as I share some of what I've learned and if you don't think you can be supportive feel free to stop reading my blog now because I'll probably be bringing this up from time to time!

Right now I feel like I can't get ENOUGH of birth books - I'm kind of obsessively thinking about giving birth right now! I can't wait! I feel so lucky that I have the chance to have another baby and know it's going to be another awesome experience like it was with Robby! The books I've read recently that were very informative:
Gentle Birth Choices
The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth

I really recommend the second one (Thinking Woman) - I wish I could quote the entire intro to explain to you guys why I think a homebirth is such a good option for me but that would take a long time (and maybe be illegal?) but it is great.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Search for a midwife

I am 10 weeks now and feeling really good! Besides having a dumb cold all week that is. I'm not really nauseous and I want to take a nap most days but it's not like I can't get out of bed.  I was really relieved after seeing the ultrasound and then felt grateful about not having bad pregnancy symptoms but the longer time goes on and I don't feel that "pregnant" it makes me wonder a little and wish I had a doppler so I could just check for baby's heartbeat again!

While I haven't decided on my care provider yet I have three appointments set up this week with midwives and I'm really excited about them! And maybe one of them will let me use their doppler for a minute to put my mind at ease. I know my uterus is tipped so the baby is farther away from the surface though and it still might be a little early to hear anything but we'll see.

The midwives I'm meeting with are:

Sherri Price
Heather Shelley
Better Birth midwives

I'll update you all after my interviews!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

ONE Baby!

We were thrilled to have our ultrasound on Monday show there is ONE baby with a good strong heartbeat growing in my tummy! We would've been really excited for twins but mostly we were just relieved to see a heartbeat!!!

We survived our trip back east and traveling home and then it was just 2 days left before the ultrasound! It was nice to be so well distracted before hand. I didn't realize how NERVOUS I was until we were sitting in the waiting room for a longer than usual wait and I started feeling pretty sick to my stomach.

For those who don't know I had a miscarriage and so my last ultrasound experience ended in looking for a heartbeat and baby and finding a barely there 6 week old fetal pole that had stopped developing. This made me feel pretty nervous and anxious...

We sat for 15 minutes in the waiting room... then probably another 5 with that sheet thing draped over me waiting for the doctor to come in.... I joked to Rob I was going to take the ultrasound probe and just do it myself!

As soon as Dr Foulk began the ultrasound I saw the baby instantly... and a few seconds later he held it still and I could see little baby's heartbeat fluttering!!!! RELIEF!!! I just was so happy I forgot that we were looking to see if there might be more than one baby! He measured the little guy and we got to listen to his heartbeat - so amazing! Then I asked, "so we only see one baby in there, right??" He said yup and scanned side to side to make sure there wasn't anything else in there.

They gave us three printed off ultrasound pics and a little card signed by all the workers at the Fertility center, it was very nice. Dr. Foulk said I "graduated" to my OB or care provider and when I settle on who my midwife will be he wants to send them a letter with some background on what happened.
 Listening to the heartbeat... 177.33....
 It was so amazing to see baby's legs and arms kick and move around!!
 It says he's measuring 8w6d which is 2 days bigger than based on my due date which doesn't change anything in my opinion it's just great to see he's a good size!! Looks perfect to me!

We had to race straight from the ultrasound apt to Heber for my acupuncture apt - on the way, before we lost service in the canyon, we called a few people and sent a bunch of texts to spread the word. We called Robby first - my sister in law, Becca, was watching him at her house so we called and asked for him and I told him, "Mommy has ONE baby in her tummy!" I was worried he'd be disappointed since he kept saying he was hoping it was TRIPLETS (which would've been quite the unusual thing since we only put in 2 eggs!) but he seemed happy right away. When we came back from our apts to pick him up we walked in the door and from across the room he shouted happily, "MOM! You have ONE BABY in your tummy!!!" So I was glad he was happy!

When we got home we found Taba, my sister, had left us a fun surprise to celebrate in the fridge - some Martinelli's! So we cracked it open and took some pictures to mark the occasion!

I was sad I didn't get a chance to blog about it the last 2 nights since after Robby's gone to bed I've done nothing but work until I'm about to pass out! 

Speaking of passing out, I have definitely been more tired but not completely exhausted. I've been more nauseous but not throwing up. At first I was wishing I was more sick so I would feel more reassured but after seeing baby's sweet little heartbeat I can just be grateful I haven't been more sick!

The one thing I've got is a (what feels to me!) a giant tummy already. I was thinking twins would've made a lot of sense but that's ok! I stuck out right away with Robby too (and feel the same way symptom wise as I did with him too - does that mean it's a boy? we shall see!) so I'm trying to not worry about it but I'm already finding I look awkward in all my clothes and don't know what to wear! It doesn't help that when I was reading on some pregnancy site that at 8 weeks "you probably have a bulge but it's just water retention." Boo. It's just not as fun since I worked so hard to lose all that weight earlier this year but it's DEFINITELY worth it!!!!!!

Oh well! It doesn't help that not only am I not sick or throwing up but I feel like I'm starving all of the time!!! At every meal I feel like I'm eating at least double and am hungry every 2 hours... I decided if I'm going to be eating so much food to just try not to eat so many treats! Because I think you should listen to your body but that doesn't give me an excuse to fill it with junk... so wish me luck! Since today Doritos were sounding amazing... and Panda Express...

All in all we are just SO GRATEFUL and SO EXCITED!!!!

And now it feels like I can just breathe a little easier and I'm starting to get deeper into my search for a midwife! And can plan on taking a childbirth class - this time I get to take one from my wonderful sister in law, Becca, who is a doula, and I've been lucky enough to be at 2 of her homebirths and this woman knows how to give birth!!! She's teaching a round of childbirth classes this October at her home in North Orem if anyone else is interested let me know!!!

Once again thanks for all of you guys' support you are awesome!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Growing strong...

My day 20 HCG test came back with good results!!! (20 days after the transfer)

Since I'm out of town I had to just go to this LabCorp office to get my blood test. It was actually kind of convenient because I was able to make an apt online and it took only like 20 minutes total. Much better than if I'd had to go do it at a hospital or something! They told me they'd call my dr's office with the results and I would get a call that same day. My apt was at 10 am eastern time so they'd get the results nice and early!

So again I knew it'd probably be a phone call around either lunch time or 4 pm west coast time. I also noticed just a definite change in my mood from the minute I did the blood test - I just was anxious. I don't really even feel that pregnant at all yet so I was nervous for a low HCG count.

Anne Marie from the Fertility center called me around 5 pm my time - so I had the whole day to be nervous - and she immediately told me, "Ok we had a good high HCG count today! Your level was over 4,000!" I was so relieved I didn't ask her the exact HCG count but that's ok. As long as she thinks it's good! She told me to keep taking my progesterone and we talked about scheduling my ultrasound. I will be 7 weeks next Thursday so if I was in Utah I could go in that day (July 28th) for my ultrasound but I asked if I should do it out here in MD and she said let's just wait till I get back to UT because she wants me to do it with Dr. Foulk. So I have it scheduled for Mon Aug 8th! Then we'll know! Twins or a singleton!!!!!

Again this was great news and such a relief! Very encouraging! Like I said especially since I don't feel like I have a lot of "symptoms" yet but I know it's still really early. I would just feel better if I was throwing up. :) I know you're probably saying be careful what you wish for but I'm serious. I am tired and my tummy feels a little off after eating but that's all really. Wish I could get an HCG count every day to just make sure it's growing and growing!

If you're thinking I'm sounding neurotic just remember I did have a miscarriage so I feel like my fears are valid. I know there's nothing I can do besides I'm just trying to take it easy, think positively, and say lots of prayers! I always say I was happy that I enjoyed every minute of my last pregnancy even if it ended in a miscarriage and so I do feel like I want to do that again and I'm trying! I'm so grateful to be pregnant and I do have a good feeling about this!!!

So I'll make sure to keep you guys posted - can't wait for that ultrasound!!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

2 lines

Oh yeah! And not just because of some HCG shot either! These pics are from Sunday. It was so awesome to see those lines pop up right away and that pregnancy line super dark!!!!

I did another test today and it was a lot the same so that's good! I am going to Maryland tomorrow for 3 weeks so I have to do my day 20 blood test on Monday in MD. I was able to make an apt online at a LabCorp location and hopefully that works out well. Then we'll do the ultrasound either just before I leave MD or right when I get back - I'm so excited for that!

On Wednesday I had another acupuncture apt (I've been going every week but will miss a few weeks while I'm in MD) and he said that when you are pregnant your pulse changes and it becomes more "slippery" and that's what's happened to mine. Also, he said that Chinese medicine says that one side (right or left wrist) will have a stronger pulse depending on the sex of the baby and so based on that he thinks I'm having a boy. It'll be interesting to see if that's the case or not! As Taba said, you mean a boy AND a girl! :) I wish.

It's been a great week - a load has been lifted off of my shoulders with this good news and I'm feeling really good and hopeful about things. I've been getting pretty tired and after I eat my stomach usually feels upset - but anything that feels like "pregnant" I just get giddy about!

Well, wish me luck flying to MD tomorrow just me and Robby! Rob flies out later next week! Robby is such a good helper and such a big boy I know we'll do great but I always get a little nervous of flying without Rob. Oh, and I'm trying to take my medications in my carry-on with my needles too so I'm hoping they don't give me any issues with that. We'll see! I'll let you know!

Thanks for all your support everyone!

Friday, July 8, 2011

I'm pregnant!

It worked! It worked!!! We're actually pregnant!

 Pictures Tab took to remember this wonderful day!!!!

So to answer the main question we've gotten - we'll find out if it's twins or a "singleton" in about 3 weeks when they do a 7 week ultrasound. So that means I'm like 4 weeks pregnant. I'll be due around middle of March. And apparently HCG levels do not indicate whether it's twins or not because HCG levels for twins are the same normal range for singleton babies. Interesting, huh?

I want to remember as much as possible about this day so here goes - it's going to be super long!

Rob and Robby came with me to my appointment for my blood draw at 9:30 which was great because the one on Wednesday kind of started me on a downward nervous spiral. Robby got to watch and he got a good show as it took her 4 pokes to get me. He wanted to see how they got blood from my arm - he's so interested in this whole process.

I was able to ask Anne-Marie, a nurse, a few questions before we left - like what if it doesn't work? How do we do a frozen cycle? We are going to be in MD for most of July so next month wouldn't work - she said we didn't need to do any birth control or anything beforehand just we could do it after getting my period next time. And what if I am pregnant and only 1 egg took would I still get a period or have some bleeding? Apparently no, she said the other egg would dissolve and if there were bleeding or spotting it would be for other reasons. I felt a little better with some more info. I said so you'll call at either lunch time or like 4, right and she said, "we'll call you as soon as we can!"

We got home around 10 and I waited for my sister Taba to get here - we gathered up for the pool. I was feeling kind of sick to my stomach... the nerves I think. It was overcast and even a tiny bit drizzly but we headed over to the pool anyway. Rob was going to work from home for the morning - I told him to come over to the pool as SOON AS POSSIBLE - I wanted him by my side for when they called! Which I thought would not be till 1 or 4.

At about 12 I went to let Becca & the kids in to the pool then I checked my phone - WHAT? Missed call at 11:52? They called! THEY CALLED! I started freaking out! Taba and Becca screamed - what should I do? What should I do? Should I go home? Get Rob? YES. Ok. I hugged the girls, we were all in nervous tears, and ran home. My hands were shaking so hard trying to unlock the door, why did he lock the deadbolt? Ahhh!!! I kind of slammed the door and he popped out of the office into the hallway - he looked like he was seeing a ghost, he said I looked nervous. I said, "we need to call them back! Now!" Andrew was working in the office with him... we went in our room and shut the door.

I could barely contain myself trying to scroll down in my contacts to "Utah Fertility" all the way to the U's... "Utah Fertility Center, this is Kim, how can I help you?" I told her Tonya had just called me and I was calling her back... she said she was finishing up another call and to wait so she put us on hold for the LONGEST 3 MINUTES OF MY LIFE as I tried to breathe squeezing Rob's hand as we sat on our bed...

Finally Tonya gets on the phone, "Hi Esther this is Tonya," in her soft quiet voice I was thinking OH NO is this bad? Then in a kind of teasing voice, "I hear you're dying for some news!" Okaaaay get to the point lady! "I'm happy to tell you that you are pregnant." And I lost it.

I nodded my head to Rob and tried to smile. I ugly cried and tried to say, "thank you," I don't know if she heard or understood me. She let me just cry for a minute. It's a little hazy how/what she said after that but she said we'll want to check my HCG levels again in 10 days so I'll have to do it when I'm in MD (need to figure out the best place to that - hospital?) and she said to take it easy...

She said "your HCG levels are beautiful. It was 27 on Wednesday and we want to see them double and they did, today was 75 so that's perfect." That gave me some comfort that so far it was growing strong!

I was apparently sounding pretty upset from what Andrew could hear with only crying no cheering - you guys my heart was soaring but the emotions were just so overpowering crying was all I could do! - so Andrew walked outside over towards the pool where Becca and Taba were just waiting as anxious as could be. They saw Andrew walking towards them with his head down, not meeting their eyes, and he kind of shook his head... they said their hearts just broke because they thought it was bad news! He said she would probably be crying if it was good too just he didn't hear anything helpful - luckily we could see him walking past our balcony so when we got off the phone with Tonya I opened my balcony door - we could see the girls at the pool standing at the gate and Andrew on the other side of it and they all looked upset. They saw me crying and Taba said she thought I was going to shake my head no but then I shouted out, "IT WORKED!!" and they all screamed and then were crying tears of relief and joy. It was very intense.

I wanted to see Robby, he was at the pool with him - they called him to come to the gate and Taba lifted him up and I yelled again, "It worked!!! Mommy's pregnant!" I wish I could've told him to his face more directly but I didn't want to wait. I came down to the pool a minute later and he looked up at me and said, "You have a baby!" I pulled him close to me and hugged and kissed him. I explained, "This means the eggs turned into babies or a baby and we'll find out soon if it was 1 baby or 2 babies. Sometimes babies can stop growing in their mommies so now we just need to pray that the baby will grow healthy and strong so it can grow all the way into a brother or sister for you! But this is really exciting and great that mommy is pregnant!"

Tonight before he went to bed he said to me, "I hope the baby doesn't escape." I said, "The baby's not going to try to escape! Just sometimes they aren't strong enough to grow all the way..." He said, "well, if I pray for it and you and daddy and everyone in our family like Papa and Grandpa Parsons and Andrew and Becca and everyone-" and I said, "Yes, lots and lots of people will be praying for the baby to grow! But Heavenly Father knows what's best and he'll take good care of us."

He knows this is a happy wonderful thing - I just want him to be prepared and not crushed if I were to have another miscarriage. And you know what, I feel like he gets it. Today he said he thinks it's going to be 1 baby and that it will be a baby brother. We shall see.

So after finding out the news so early we were all able to breathe a little bit! Rob and Andrew finished up some work in the house and I made some phone calls and texts to spread the news! Finding out so early let us really enjoy and celebrate the rest of the day! It started to get more and more drizzly and we had the great idea to go and leave all the kids at Taba's house and go to the Cheesecake Factory! Having big cousins around to babysit is awesome! :) Rob had to be back by 7 to leave for Girl's Camp (he had to go up and be like a security guard overnight tonight) so we raced up there and had a yummy dinner! We walked around the mall for a few minutes after where I will admit I bought a few really on sale items at Baby Gap to celebrate. :)


We came home and Rob had to leave but that was ok - I snuggled Robby and we read lots of stories. He's going to be the best big brother! Then sometimes it's nice to have a quiet evening to yourself - especially when you have a NOVEL of a blog post to write such as this! I watched Runaway Bride and hopefully will be able to fall asleep soon cause I know I'm exhausted!

I wish I had more pictures - I have lots in my mind! And I know there will be tons to come!

We are so happy and so relieved! We know our journey isn't over but this is a huge step in the right direction! We feel so blessed and so lucky to have so many people praying for us and supporting us through this. I am floored by the amount of people that respond to my posts and updates and it strengthens us knowing we have so many people rooting for us! So thank you for all of your support!