Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Prenatal Care

So far my prenatal care has been getting all the basics I think might be important.

The day after I ovulated, I gave blood. When they take your blood they always check your blood pressure and iron levels and such. I've never been turned away, so at least on some level, my iron levels are "good/acceptable". Every time they take my blood pressure, I ask what it is; it doesn't hurt to know. This last time, my BP was nice and low like normal and I'm using that level as my baseline for my blood pressure for the pregnancy.

I got my starting weight from somewhere... don't remember. We don't have a scale, but if I'm visiting your house and you have a scale in the bathroom, I'll use it. This means monitoring my weight gain is sporadic, but I don't put a lot of stock in weight gain meaning much as far as whether or not you're healthy in or out of pregnancy. Of course, if I think I'm gaining too much for a reason like gestational diabetes, I'll check on that. I started this pregnancy at the same pre-pregnancy weight as I started with Margaret and I've currently gained... 2 pounds. With Margaret, I had gained 7 pounds by now. It probably has something to do with me breastfeeding. My caloric intake has to spread itself out thinner this time around. This means I get to eat more.

I found my fundus a few weeks ago! That was exciting. I'd been feeling around for it off and on, but I couldn't really pinpoint it: "I know my uterus is there.... and it's not up here... so somewhere between those points it ends, but I can't figure out where exactly!" But then one night I found it. Very distinct. It's still rather low, so I think I can rule out twins. Also strange: for a while, I could find my fundus on the left side of my abdomen, but not the right. Maybe my uterus is off-centered? Or maybe that's the side the egg implanted in so it's growing slightly faster? I'll get to find out where the placenta is when I start looking for the heartbeat. It's still too early to hear that with a fetoscope.

Unassisted pregnancy is an interesting concept. On one level, it's easy and laid back. I just keep on keepin' on. Eating food, drinking water, exercising. There are no appointments to break up my weeks. I just need to make sure I'm eating good foods and getting lots of nutrients. I'm focusing my diet on DHA and other omega-3s, protein, and vitamins C and D. I'm focusing on those because that's what I feel I need right now.

On another level, it's a little lonely. I didn't get to hear the baby's heartbeat at 8 weeks and by the time I do get to hear it, people are past that, "Isn't it cool to hear the heartbeat?" stage and are in the "Are you finding out the sex?" stage.

This time around, not being in school or working, I thought I'd be able to have more "bonding" time with the baby. So far I haven't, and it's not because of Margaret; Margaret takes 3 hour naps every afternoon- I have plenty of time to just sit and think about the baby. To be honest, I don't think the spirit was in there until around 12 weeks. I don't know when the spirit enters the body; I think it's probably different for each person. I think some are there very early and some are later. And I think this person is a later person. Of course, I don't blame her/him. Who wants to come down early just to be surrounded by the noises of my digestion? That can't be fun.

So that's it so far. As we get closer to the summer I may start testing my urine for protein and glucose and such, but that this point, I don't think it's necessary. I'll just keep on keepin' on.


  1. Very good insight into UP! I am going to be having very minimal care by a midwife, to ease my husband's mind, but I am very interested to keep up with your unassisted pregnancy!

  2. Interesting ideas about when the spirit enters the body. I had a pregnancy that lasted for 13 weeks before I miscarried, and although I was incredibly attached to the pregnancy, after I miscarried, I realized that I don't think there was ever a spirit "assigned" to that pregnancy. On the other hand, my first pregnancy I miscarried at 10 weeks, and knew for sure that it was a girl. That spirit came again the next time around and became my daughter Abby. Interesting to hear that others have had an experience similar to mine.

  3. I have a doppler should you ever want to hear the heartbeat. I used it sometimes when i was worried or just wanted to hear. So call if you ever want to use it :)

  4. Not meaning to be the doubting Thomas or anything, but I am curious - how would you go about diagnosing and treating yourself for something like gestational diabetes?

  5. Well, if there was excess glucose in my urine and a change in diet doesn't fix it, along with extra weight gain, I'd probably go see someone to test for it and then get care for it.

  6. I never got over of the "cool to hear heartbeat" state :D It was always the best part of nurse's appointment, which I really waited. Feeling the movements helped me a lot, but hearing that heartbeat made the baby concrete too. Even though we asked, finding out the sex wasn't a big deal for me. Either would have been good, and we got a "may be, or may not be" answer anyways.

  7. I'm not sure that I 'felt' either of my kid's spirits during pregnancy, per se. I found the very idea that I was carrying a whole other person to be very surreal. I mean, I understood it on a an intellectual level, but on an emotional or spiritual one it seemed sort of far-fetched, if that makes sense.

    And it's interesting to hear about your UP. Thank you so much for sharing the details.

  8. I'd never thought about when the spirit enters the body either... cool :)

    I treated myself to crunchy nut cornflakes when I was pregnant last time and they caused a huge glucose +++++ in my urine!! I gave them up immediately... decided they must be having an awful effect on my body!

    GD is treated by diet anyway, so it shouldn't be a huge deal if you are eating properly (which I cpmpletely understand is a relative thing...)

    Lovely to hear how you're getting on!

  9. I'm not sure about a fetoscope, but with a regular stethoscope, my midwife was able to hear the heartbeat at 11.5 weeks, I think. 11 weeks was the number I had stuck in my mind. I checked my records, and I had an appointment at 11.5 weeks and one at 15.5 weeks. So it's possible it was 15.5 weeks, but I was thinking it was 11 weeks.

  10. I think it's neat how well you know your body and how prepared you are to give birth the way you want to. I think hearing your story helped me to be more in charge of my own birth and realize that a woman should give birth how she is most comfortable. And seriously, going to so many prenatal appointments, I always felt like they were kind of a waste of time, like I could have known myself if something was wrong or not. Anyway, I'm very excited for you and I'm sure you'll have a fabulous birth!

  11. I went into my pregnancy believing in prenatal care with a professional (even though I'd be okay with an unassisted birth). I wanted to make sure the baby and I were healthy. But really, do they do anything different than what you are doing, as long as everything looks okay? I think not. If I started an unassisted pregnancy, I would have caught the protein in my urine by doing a urine test, and would have gone in. So it seems like what you are doing is responsible.

  12. UP for me was almost as affirming as UC. Sounds like you are doing just right by yourself and your growing family.

    I remember learning recently (in midwifery school) that the uterus can be asymmetrical to palpation in early pregnancy depending on the site of implantation, so excellent guess/intuition there!

    Once again, best of luck with everything and thanks for a great blog.

  13. You're doing great! I will be excited for you when you first hear the heartbeat!

    I never bonded with my fetus. Not at all. And then the baby was born and she was a girl and I was instantly in love with her. I love her more and more each day and everything is great, so I wouldn't worry too much about not bonding before birth.

  14. Unassisted birth. I wasn't expecting this one. Having been to so many homebirths that the woman needed "assistance"--I can't even fathom this choice. Wow.
    Not to offend, seriously. But the risk is so unnecesary. Be careful sister.


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