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. :)