I guess it’s time to more explicitly share the details of my prenatal care as it gets closer to go-time.
Let me first say that prior to getting pregnant I had seen The Business of Being Born (twice!) and I was 100% on the home birthing bandwagon. The importance and benefits of an all natural birth absolutely resonated. But then I got pregnant and completely overwhelmed by everything involved. The real experience was no longer isolated to just the idea of labor and delivery. The hormones, morning sickness, and roller coaster emotions from ”yay!” to “oh eff, what are we doing?” all played into me being too exhausted to really care about the location where I plan to push this baby out.
Here in Oklahoma you can basically pay thousands out-of-pocket for a home birth or you can go to a hospital. We don’t have birthing centers, which is unfortunate. So I’m going to a local hospital (where my totally non-woo-woo sister delivered both of her babies – all natural and without drugs) that has a midwife group. My insurance is covering 100% of the costs (minus a one-time $25 co-pay). That means my prenatal care, labor, and delivery will be in the care of midwives in a hospital setting. What’s the difference between midwives and OB/GYNs? Obstetricians are trained as surgeons, first and foremost. Now, not all OBs are C-section scalpel happy but the way I understand it, a midwife is more about getting the baby out of your vagina with less monitoring and fewer interventions. They support natural births without drugs. That would be my preference. However, I think it’s great that modern medicine has pain management options available to me should I want or need them. And I might. Who knows.
So I’ve been going to the midwives once a month. Now that I’m in my third trimester I’ll be going in for a checkup once every 2 weeks. At these appointments they listen to the heartbeat, measure my belly, and ask me if I have any questions. Sometimes I have to pee in a cup and sometimes I have blood drawn. It’s all very routine and not very touchy-feely. I have to admit … I was craving more of a connection with these busy ladies who are simply just trying to do their job, which is to deliver healthy babies. They’re nice and professional and I’m super confident that I’m in really great care. But that said, I was craving a bit more of a connection. So that’s why I hired a doula. I needed more support. A coach, of sorts. Someone to reassure me that I’m not dying and that it’s totally okay if I poop while pushing.
Other Field Notes & Observations:
• I’m officially in my third trimester! I’m anxious to meet this little baby but at the same time I’m totally savoring this time where he’s super easy to take care of inside my body vs. outside. I’m sleeping in, watching movies – all the things you exhausted parents are telling me I should be doing and enjoying now.
• I took my glucose screening test for gestational diabetes yesterday. Apparently lots of paleo-eating women get false positives on this one and I almost opted out. I’ll get my results today.
• I also got my first flu shot ever.
• My belly is measuring at 28 weeks even though I’m only 26 and some change along.
• But my weight gain has chilled out (and my attitude around it has chilled out too). I think having a legit baby belly helps. Also, I realized our original math was off and that as of 27 weeks I’ve really only gained 14-18 lbs. total, which is motivating. That said, I can’t zip up my favorite boots anymore. Sad day.
• I had a my first (and hopefully last) middle-of-the-night trip to urgent care. It’s really silly but I was having really severe shoulder pain all night on Friday. At 3AM I got up to Google it and the internet told me that my liver was failing and that my baby had a 60% chance of surviving after the necessary c-section. It even said “DO NOT GO TO BED – this could be serious. Go to the hospital right now.” If this seems extreme know that this is what it’s like for pregnant women to interact with Google. So I played it safe and Jeremy and I made a quick jaunt to the hospital where I’ll be delivering. They ran a series of tests and everything checked out fine. I was sent home with over-the-counter Tylenol for the mysterious shoulder pain – which may be due to the hormone relaxin in my joints. I was told to come back when I was in labor. Ha.
• Jeremy and I went to a cloth diapering class and got registered for loads of cloth diapers at Green Bambino. The staff there has been super helpful and I’m glad to have a local resource like Green Bambino for all things baby. We’ll also be registering at Target this weekend – which I’m looking forward to.
• I still love feeling the baby move around. I asked my midwife specifically how the baby is positioned in my belly – apparently his head is down towards my cervix and his back and booty curve around on the left side of my belly. That means his arms are down towards the bottom of my uterus and his legs kick out to the right side of my belly. It’s cool being able to more specifically identify his movements.
Anatomy of an Outfit:
Jacket – Ben Sherman
Tank – Urban Outfitters
Bralette – Target
Leggings – American Apparel
Boots – Fiorentini + Baker
You can find all the previous maternity series posts here – click through each image for the specific post.