Posted in Pre-Natal Appointments, Pregnancy, Treble

33 Weeks!

We just had our 33 week prenatal appointment. Before that, we also had the last ultrasound of this pregnancy. We wouldn’t have gotten another ultrasound, but at out 20 week they could not see all of the baby’s heart and suggested we have the ultrasound redone just to be on the safe side, even though everything else looked great and very normal. We got to see all the parts of little Treble and get a couple of pictures.

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Bottom half of face

Treble is head down and slightly engaged, but I can tell from his movements that he engages and disengages all the time. This is a relief as he was stuck in the oblique position for a while and it made me a little worried he might have the umbilical cord around his neck like Note. He seems to be favoring the ROA position, that is that his spine is on my right side but he is mostly facing towards my back. Note was posterior and that caused back pain, which hurt tremendously while in labor. I’ve done a little work to help get Treble into an optimal position. While I do know there is still plenty of time for him to turn whichever way he pleases, this has been the position he is most in so I am hoping it is the position he will be in for labor and delivery.

img_4004
Sex check!

Treble measured right on track for everything, even down to the day on most things. The only thing that he measured differently on was his head. It’s measuring almost a week and a half bigger! He’s estimated to weigh 5 lbs right now, so a little bigger than Note at this stage. We could see his hair in the ultrasound. It was much longer than Note’s at this stage. We could see it waving in the water. It looked like little spikes coming off of his head. I can’t believe how much hair he has already. I really want to see what pattern it naturally falls in. Note had amazing baby hair as hers stood up at the back naturally and made for a very cute little face. We did also get another shot of Treble’s junk. I actually didn’t ask for it this time! But I am glad to be able to see it as I still sometimes get paranoid we will have a surprise in the delivery room.

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Note helped find the heartbeat at our appointment.

Right after the ultrasound, we went to the midwife for our prenatal appointment. It was pretty short, as the last ones have been, and there was really nothing new to report this time. We did meet the newest midwife fellow named Carly. She was a delight and it really was a pleasure meeting her. I do hope that she is one of the ones at my birth as she definitely made me feel comfortable. I do hate that Heather isn’t around anymore, but I hope that she is having a great time with her new husband in a new city!

Overall, a pretty good day. I moved back in with my grandma a couple of weeks ago and I just came over here to spend some time with Frank but I’ll be going back now that I had my appointment. I probably won’t come back again until I have my next appointment, but I will probably see Frank on his days off. I’m not too sure how it will all play out with how the vehicle he’s using now. It isn’t the most reliable, so we shall see if it can make the drive!

I need to make sure to post more updates as I do want to document my pregnancy with Treble better than I did my pregnancy with Note. It is challenging with a toddler around, but I’ll at least need to post pictures!

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Posted in Pre-Natal Appointments, Pregnancy

What We Actually Needed In Our Birthing Bags

I read through my old post and saw that I listed everything we packed in our bags for the birth center and said I would post an update about what we actually did use. I’m not going to go into Note’s complete birth story, but it was crazy and lasted only five hours, in which we never saw the midwife until she caught the baby. Anyway, we were never even able to bring our bags down from the car because we were rushed into one of the birthing houses, even thought we were told we could pick which one, and were waiting until we could go to the house we wanted to bring down the bags. So we really just used the bare minimum. I’ll strike out anything we didn’t use.

Carry Out: These are things daddy’s going to have to get and put in the vehicle if they’re not already in there.

  • Towel and Trashbag – apparently a lot of people throw up during the car ride. I want to protect my truck! (I did throw up during labor… A LOT. Only on the car ride over to the birthing center however.)
  • Mommy’s Bag
  • Daddy’s Bag
  • Baby’s Bag
  • Car Seat – our base is already installed, but we don’t keep the carseat in the car.
  • Nursing Pillow – I’m taking a mombo.
  • Cooler with Drinks and Meals – Since I still have morning sickness, Frank has a pre-approved list of foods that he can pack and eat that won’t make me throw up.

Mommy’s Bag: These are the things that are specifically packed in my bag.

  • Nursing Bra (This goes with the going home outfit.)
  • Sports Bra – for walking around during labor in case I feel too hot for other clothes.
  • Breast Pads
  • Night Gown/Robe (I was going to labor in this, but I labored naked because I kept going in and out of the shower.)
  • Slippers
  • Socks – some fuzzy ones in case my feet get cold!
  • Going Home Outfit – black pants, because there can be a lot of bleeding after delivery.
  • Toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, brush, gel
  • Maxi Pads – for the bleeding. I’m making “soothing” ones following these instructions. (I was given a diaper and it was so much better at containing mess.)
  • Hair Band – I’ll want my hair out of my face!
  • Contacts – I have really bad eyesight. If my glasses start to fog up, I will want to have an option that will still allow me to see.
  • Old Underwear – because I hear all the underwear in the beginning will probably get stained. (This goes with the going home outfit)
  • Birth Plan – there is one in my patient chart, but it always helps to have extra copies!

Baby’s Bag: We are using cloth diapers, so decided to take those with us so we can start right away with cloth. I don’t think the birth center provides as much as the hospital, so maybe I am overpacking if it actually does provide items for baby.

  • 2 Newborn Outfits – I think we only need one, but in case we stay overnight or have an accident in one. Hopefully Note can come home in the outfit that we picked for them to come home in! We are expecting an average-sized baby, so newborn size will be perfect. (Only one needed. Note didn’t get diapered and dress until we were about to leave.)
  • Mittens
  • 2 Swaddle Blankets
  • 1 Swaddle Wrap – in case we can’t get the swaddling down quickly enough.
  • 3 Newborn Diapers – we are using gDiapers. We will probably only experience one diaper while at the birth center, but I am taking more just in case. (Only one needed.)
  • 3 Small Diapers – just in case these fit better than the newborn diapers. They are also gDiapers.
  • 3 Extra Snap Liners – these are for the gDiapers specifically to make changes easier. They are only for the small diapers.
  • Disposable Inserts – we are using these until the meconium stage passes.
  • Baby Book – to record the birth details and get the tiny foot prints like they do on the birth certificate.
  • Hat
  • Socks
  • Nasal Aspirator
  • Comb/Brush – for that little hair.
  • Body Wash – we are still undecided if we will wait on the first bath and leave the vernix and all that stuff on until we take their first bath when the umbilical cord comes off. (We waited on the first bath.)
  • Nail Clippers – newborn nails are usually a little long and they can scratch their face.
  • Wipes – we are taking sample packs since I doubt we need much.
  • Wash Clothes
  • Towel
  • Burp Clothes
  • Wet Bag – These are to put dirty cloth diapers in. We wouldn’t need it if we were using disposables.

Daddy’s Bag: These are the things we packed in Frank’s bag. He is an extreme minimalist, so his list is extremely short.

  • Change of Clothes
  • Pajamas – he only wants these because he gets extremely cold at night.
  • Toiletries
  • Snacks – he gets to carry any snacks we want that don’t go in the cooler in his bag.
  • Massage Oil – This is for me, but I’m putting it in his bag.
  • Props – he has a special scene he wants to set up for a right after birth picture.
  • Kindle + Charger – he can be pretty restless when he is just sitting down, so he needs something to distract himself.
  • Phone Chargers – These are really important! We have one back up in the car already in case we forget. This is probably an item we might forget to pack since we use them every day.

So, as you can see, I was completely overpacked. We stayed for about five hours of labor and then another two to three hours after the birth before we were discharged. I felt strangely dirty and just wanted to go home as quickly as possible! I hope this will help other parents see what they really need, especially when using cloth diapers and giving birth at a birth center.

Posted in Note, Parenting, Pregnancy

Note’s Birth Story

And here it is, for the first time in print ANYWHERE, a year and a half later, Note’s birth story. Eventually I’ll repeat this to Note every year on their birthday. It’s a tradition I picked up from my mother in law (she even made up a fake birth story to tell me on my birthday) that I absolutely love.


I went to bed on April 20th, 2014 filled with relief that I had reached full term and finally letting go some of the anxiety about having a baby before my due date (which isn’t actually bad, but I’m quite neurotic after all). I remember my last thought before I drifted off to sleep was “You can come any time you want now, baby.”

I woke up the next morning feeling strange. It is a feeling I can’t quite describe and I’ve never felt before, but I just felt inexplicably different. I knew, without knowing how I knew, that I would be holding a baby in my arms instead of my belly by the end of the day. I got up, went to the bathroom, and lost my mucus plug. That must have been some time around nine am. I was getting belly aches, which I suppose were contractions, but they didn’t actually hurt. They were a strange sensation that made me uncomfortable and not want to be sitting, but they weren’t actually painful. Frank still had days off at the time (how I long for those once more now!) so we had a pre-natal appointment scheduled for two pm. We called the midwife and told her what was going on. She asked how far apart my contractions were, and when I said three minutes, she didn’t believe me and told me I must be counting wrong (bitch please, I’m an engineer) and said to just wait for my appointment.

Frank loaded everything up into the car that I had listed for our bags, which we were going to find out was a really unnecessary amount of stuff. It felt like an eternity to have to wait for our appointment, but we somehow managed. Frank tried to force me to eat, but I really didn’t want to put anything in my mouth at the time. We left around noon to go to Wesleco and get to the birth center. I threw up along the way, and I was so glad I had decided to keep trash bags and towels in the truck in fear of this.

Our appointment went well. Wight, blood pressure, listening to Note’s heart, etc. They did a cervical check and I had just barely entered active labor at four centimeters dilated. By this time, the contractions had started to pick up (and they finally believed that they were coming three to four minutes apart) and actually started to cause pain. Heather, the midwife and the only one on duty, told me it would be a while before I had a baby, so I could go home and wait or stay there and wait. Luckily, I’m extremely stubborn and I decided not to leave. This decision was probably the best one I made throughout the whole ordeal. We were ushered into a random birth house and told to wait there and take a nap and rest up. I somehow managed to sleep a bit between contractions, but most of the time I was crying and screaming that I wouldn’t be able to do this and I wanted an epidural. I went into the shower every time there was hot water and took a nap in the tub for a while too. We called and asked for Heather a few times, asking her to bring some Tylenol for pain relief, but she never showed up. We just kept being told she was really busy.

At some point a little after 5:30 I really felt like I had to poop. I went to the toilet and started trying to have a bowel movement, but couldn’t force it out. I went to cry (literally cry) to Frank about how I just really wanted to poop and he told me to try again, so I went back to the bathroom. I couldn’t force anything out yet again, and something just clicked in me to reach into my vagina and check for the baby. I almost fainted when I could feel the bag of waters around Note’s head. I yelled for Frank and told him to call Heather now because I was having that baby if she was there to catch it or not.

First latch.
First latch.

Heather (finally) arrived about ten minutes later. Her nurse started getting the tub ready for a water birth. At first, before later, I had been quite against a water birth just for fear, but once I was in labor I found that water was the only thing that soothed my misery. She was leading me to the tub when she decided to check my cervix instead, so we went back to the bed. I was fully dilated and effaced and she could easily feel Note’s head.

I could barely walk to the tub and climb in, but somehow I made it, whining all the while about how I wanted some pain relief and asking if I had other options than having a baby, as well as, very awkwardly, asking “why is this happening?” Luckily, everyone was smart enough to leave that question alone. The water barely covered anything at all, and my greatest fear was realized: I pooped in the water. I didn’t care at the time, and I don’t really care now. But before labor I was really worried about it.

It took two pushes, one for the head and one for the body, and then Note was born at 5:55 pm.My water never broke, and Note was born en caul, a quite rare and special experience. Note’s umbilical cord was also wrapped around their neck twice, which was scary, and I tried to unwrap it myself but they were slick with birth stuff. Heather was great at this point, freeing Note without pushing my fumbling hands away. While waiting to deliver the placenta, I took Note in my arms and tried to latch them for the first time. They did it and nursed like a champ. It was such a magical moment, and all the fears and reservations I had about being a mother simply melted away in that moment. That was when I knew that Note would be my child forever.

IMG_6619At some point, I wanted relief from the awkward position we were sitting in, so we migrated everything to the bed. The placenta still wasn’t ready to be delivered, but the cord had stopped pulsating so we were ready to cut it. We had discussed with Heather before that Frank would be cutting the umbilical cord with his chef knife, and he did. He still uses that knife as his primary knife to this day. He does want to retire it until he begins working somewhere else, but he hasn’t found a knife he likes enough to replace it with yet.

Once the umbilical cord was cut, Note was taken to be weighed and measured (7 lbs 7 oz and 19 3/4 in long) with Frank watching while I delivered the placenta. That wasn’t a painful experience at all, except for Heather’s hand pressing on my mid-section. After it was delivered, she showed it to me and explained how healthy it looked and what made it so. That was a really interesting lesson as I love learning all sorts of new things, and I had never read any of that in the pregnancy and childbirth books.

First diaper change.
First diaper change.

Note footprints and handprints were taken for the baby book, and after that we were left to be a family. Maribel arrived late, so she completely missed the birth, but it was nice to have her there for support once Note was born. She took a couple of pictures and helped us out with packing things up once more. We barely got any of the thousand items I thought we would need down, and didn’t use almost any of them at all. Really, all that was needed was some clothes for me, a diaper, and an outfit for Note. And don’t forget the always-important carseat.

We left as soon as we were discharged. We thought about staying the night because Frank was on house arrest at the time and this was our chance to be out and also be alone as a family. We ultimately decided against it and just went straight home. Note didn’t mind the carseat or car ride, and I sat in the back with them.

Once we got home, Frank’s mom was waiting for us. She didn’t impose, just wanted to see the baby, know how it went, etc. She has become like a surrogate mother to me, so I was more than happy to have her there. I couldn’t imagine having to stay in the hospital for three days with my newborn. The next day, Frank and I were out and about showing Note off and running errands. I can’t imagine being bed-ridden due to a c-section either. Overall, a vaginal delivery was amazing. I loved giving birth and would do it a hundred thousand times if my body would let me. More than anything, I loved becoming a mother, and I absolutely cannot wait to do it again.

Frank holding Note for the first time.
Frank holding Note for the first time.
Posted in Pregnancy

Birth Plan

I’m going to talk a little about our birth plan. It is fairly straightforward in my opinion, and the midwife said most of the things we want are done at the birth center anyway, such as delayed cord clamping. I’m going to put the birth plan that I made using this tool.

 

My delivery is planned as: Vaginal
I’d like…:

My partner Frank and my best friend Maribel

 

…present before AND/OR during labor.
During labor, I’d like:

  • Music played (I will provide)
  • The lights dimmed
  • The room as quiet as possible
  • As few interruptions as possible
  • As few vaginal exams as possible
  • To wear my own clothes
  • To wear my contact lens the entire time
  • My partner to film AND/OR take pictures
  • My partner to be present the entire time
  • To stay hydrated with clear liquids and ice chips
  • To eat and drink as approved by my doctor

I’d like to spend the first stage of labor:

  • Standing up
  • Walking around

I’m not interested in: 

  • An enema
  • Shaving of my pubic area

I’d like fetal monitoring to be:

  • Performed only by Doppler
  • Performed only if the baby is in distress

I’d like labor augmentation:

  • Performed only if baby is in distress
  • First attempted by natural methods such as nipple stimulation

For pain relief, I’d like to use:

  • Acupressure
  • Breathing techniques
  • Cold therapy
  • Distraction
  • Hot therapy
  • Massage
  • Meditation

During delivery, I would like to:

  • Squat
  • Lean on my partner

 

As the baby is delivered, I would like to:

  • Push spontaneously
  • Avoid forceps usage
  • Avoid vacuum extraction
  • Let my partner catch the baby
  • Let our voices be the first baby hears

Immediately after delivery, I would like:

  • My partner to cut the umbilical cord
  • The umbilical cord to be cut only after it stops pulsating
  • To deliver the placenta spontaneously and without assistance
  • To keep the placenta
  • Not to be given Pitocin/oxytocin

I would like to hold baby:

  • Immediately after delivery
  • Before eye drops/ointment are given

I would like to breastfeed: As soon as possible after delivery

I’d like baby’s medical exam and procedures:

  • Given in my presence
  • Given only after we’ve bonded
  • Given in my partner’s presence
  • To include a heel stick for screening tests beyond the PKU
  • To include a hearing screening test

Please don’t give baby:

  • Sugar water
  • Formula
  • A pacifier

I’d like baby’s first bath given: By me and my partner

I’d like to feed baby:

  • Only with breastmilk
  • On demand

If we have a boy, circumcision should: Not be performed

As needed post-delivery, please give me:

  • Extra-strength acetaminophen
  • Stool softener

If baby is not well, I’d like:

  • My partner and I to accompany it to the NICU or another facility
  • To breastfeed or provide pumped breastmilk
  • To hold him or her whenever possible

 

Basically, we want to be as natural as possible. We want very little medical interventions done, unless we absolutely need them. We do recognize the need for some procedures to ensure that baby and I are safe, but mostly we would like to be left on our own to birth and labor as we need and see fit. Frank and I are strong believers that the body of the person in labor will naturally know what to do. We were designed for this. There are times when things go wrong, but most of the time if a birthing person is left alone, the outcome will be wonderful.

So, this is more or less our birth plan. We have filled one out and put it in our chart. Only 25 days left!

Posted in Note, Pregnancy

Packing Our Bags

Here’s a list of what we decided to pack in our bags and take along for the birth. Since we are going to be delivering at the birth center, we’ll usually be released about six hours after delivery. If I deliver at night, they will let me stay overnight. For that reason, I’m just packing basic overnight necessities. I do have two bags on stand-by (one for me and one for Frank) in case we end up transferring to the hospital or staying longer. They’re mostly filled with clothes. That way, someone can just drop by the house and pick them up instead of having to rummage through our clothes and things to bring us what we need.

Carry Out: These are things daddy’s going to have to get and put in the vehicle if they’re not already in there.

  • Towel and Trashbag – apparently a lot of people throw up during the car ride. I want to protect my truck!
  • Mommy’s Bag
  • Daddy’s Bag
  • Baby’s Bag
  • Car Seat – our base is already installed, but we don’t keep the carseat in the car.
  • Nursing Pillow – I’m taking a mombo.
  • Cooler with Drinks and Meals – Since I still have morning sickness, Frank has a pre-approved list of foods that he can pack and eat that won’t make me throw up.

Mommy’s Bag: These are the things that are specifically packed in my bag.

  • Nursing Bra
  • Sports Bra – for walking around during labor in case I feel too hot for other clothes.
  • Breast Pads
  • Night Gown/Robe
  • Slippers
  • Socks – some fuzzy ones in case my feet get cold!
  • Going Home Outfit – black pants, because there can be a lot of bleeding after delivery.
  • Toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, brush, gel
  • Maxi Pads – for the bleeding. I’m making “soothing” ones following these instructions.
  • Hair Band – I’ll want my hair out of my face!
  • Contacts – I have really bad eyesight. If my glasses start to fog up, I will want to have an option that will still allow me to see.
  • Old Underwear – because I hear all the underwear in the beginning will probably get stained.
  • Birth Plan – there is one in my patient chart, but it always helps to have extra copies!

Baby’s Bag: We are using cloth diapers, so decided to take those with us so we can start right away with cloth. I don’t think the birth center provides as much as the hospital, so maybe I am overpacking if it actually does provide items for baby.

  • 2 Newborn Outfits – I think we only need one, but in case we stay overnight or have an accident in one. Hopefully Note can come home in the outfit that we picked for them to come home in! We are expecting an average-sized baby, so newborn size will be perfect.
  • Mittens
  • 2 Swaddle Blankets
  • 1 Swaddle Wrap – in case we can’t get the swaddling down quickly enough.
  • 3 Newborn Diapers – we are using gDiapers. We will probably only experience one diaper while at the birth center, but I am taking more just in case.
  • 3 Small Diapers – just in case these fit better than the newborn diapers. They are also gDiapers.
  • 3 Extra Snap Liners – these are for the gDiapers specifically to make changes easier. They are only for the small diapers.
  • Disposable Inserts – we are using these until the meconium stage passes.
  • Baby Book – to record the birth details and get the tiny foot prints like they do on the birth certificate.
  • Hat
  • Socks
  • Nasal Aspirator
  • Comb/Brush – for that little hair.
  • Body Wash – we are still undecided if we will wait on the first bath and leave the vernix and all that stuff on until we take their first bath when the umbilical cord comes off.
  • Nail Clippers – newborn nails are usually a little long and they can scratch their face.
  • Wipes – we are taking sample packs since I doubt we need much.
  • Wash Clothes
  • Towel
  • Burp Clothes
  • Wet Bag – These are to put dirty cloth diapers in. We wouldn’t need it if we were using disposables.

Daddy’s Bag: These are the things we packed in Frank’s bag. He is an extreme minimalist, so his list is extremely short.

  • Change of Clothes
  • Pajamas – he only wants these because he gets extremely cold at night.
  • Toiletries
  • Snacks – he gets to carry any snacks we want that don’t go in the cooler in his bag.
  • Massage Oil – This is for me, but I’m putting it in his bag.
  • Props – he has a special scene he wants to set up for a right after birth picture.
  • Kindle + Charger – he can be pretty restless when he is just sitting down, so he needs something to distract himself.
  • Phone Chargers – These are really important! We have one back up in the car already in case we forget. This is probably an item we might forget to pack since we use them every day.

So, that’s all we are going to pack. I will make a post after the birth to keep track of whatever we did use. I do hope I didn’t over or under pack. But I would honestly rather overpack. Better to have everything I need when I need it.

This is Note's coming home outfit!
This is Note’s coming home outfit!
Posted in Health, Note, Pre-Natal Appointments, Pregnancy

Salty Cravings…

I absolutely cannot get enough of these Lay’s potato chips I am eating even though I am currently suffering from reflux due to having pizza for breakfast in the morning with Frank. I have been craving salty things for about the last week or so. Another craving I have been having recently? Dirt. I want to eat dirt so badly, but I wouldn’t because it’s so… well, dirty! There’s just too much risk for parasites and infection. I used to eat it as a child, but I was too young and uninformed to think about this stuff!

Yesterday we went to the midwife and they went ahead and drew some blood for some tests. A nursing student went ahead and did it, and he had such a hard time sticking me and caused me to bleed all over the place. Then she accidently pulled the needle out while drawing blood and there was just blood leaking out of me. She tried my other arm, and had some trouble again but she was able to draw the blood needed. Frank was incredibly mad and about to punch her in the face or something, but I really didn’t mind too much. It didn’t actually hurt (although it is a little sore today) and I understand they need to do this to learn. The poor girl was so shaky!

We did receive the bad news that we were not approved for the home birth because this is my first child. Labors are generally longer for first time moms, so they basically didn’t want to invest in it. So, I will have to give birth at the birth center. I can’t even begin to express my disappointment, but it was always our second choice if we couldn’t do the home birth, so I guess I should have expected this. Now that we know we won’t be doing a home birth, I’ll be making a post about our birth plan soon.

Today they called us with the results from the labs. It turns out I am anemic and I may also be having some thyroid trouble. Luckily, my liver stuff came back normal. I’ve got an iron supplement I can pick up tomorrow and need to take two to three times a day. I don’t think that it will be that bad. I remember having to take iron pills as a kid. They were hard to swallow but otherwise not too bad.

We also went to the obgyn today. I don’t have the ultrasounds on me, so I will just post the ones from the last appointment. That appointment went over well. The baby looks great and nothing is wrong. Note is head down and basically in position for birth. They estimated that Note now weighs 5 pounds 4 ounces. That’s only four ounces away from breaking the low birth weight barrier! Babies with low birth weight usually have problems, so it will be nice once Note gets over that and also goes to term.

Anyway, here are the ultrasounds from four weeks ago! (I can’t find the ones from two weeks on my computer.)