Thursday, October 04, 2012

Pregnancy Update

Pregnancy is still happening. "Samus" is our in utero name for the baby, and s/he is kicking and all those fun sorts of things. My body is doing things I don't want it to. I'm having some sciatica nerve issues, but have started going to a chiro for that, so I'm hoping that helps. I don't have too much hope, though: my joints are so loose I don't think an adjustment lasts me the bike ride home. Also, my body has decided that, "Sorry, I don't care if you're biking an average of more than 5 miles a day with 65 pounds of children behind you, I'm going to add another 35 pounds of weight for funsies!" So I'm gaining more than I wanted to, but I'm not sure why. Sugar levels are good, exercise is regular, food is plant-based.

Placenta is whooshing and Samus' heartbeat is going strong. Emotionally, I usually have a good week and then a bad week and then a good week and then a bad week.

I think I'm done interviewing midwives. I had interviewed 3 and they each were progressively a better fit, and yet not at all what I wanted at my birth. The first midwife was a little nervous about going over 10 days postdates, and both my kids have done that. I can't have a midwife who can't handle a 42 week pregnancy. By the third midwife interview, I was finding more "ok with babies going over" attitudes, but still... Personalities weren't fitting well. I needed support for my pregnancy, not to feel drained after talking to the person that might be at my birth. After hearing my previous birth stories, they'd all end up asking, "So why do you want a midwife?..." And I was beginning to ask myself that too.

So yesterday morning I made up my mind that I had given it a good try, but couldn't find a fit and unassisted was the route. Like one of the midwives said, "You could interview midwives every other day from now until the end of your pregnancy and still not have seen all the midwives in the Bay Area." I had one last interview scheduled for the afternoon and figured I'd just get through the interview and then email everyone that we didn't need any help. And the day was intense: I had a 6.6 mile bike ride with kids and groceries for the last mile and a half. Kids wouldn't take naps despite being over tired and the midwives arrived 20 minutes early.

But interestingly, we hit it off really well. It was the first midwife pair that I actually felt like we meshed well. The older midwife has 30 years under her belt and over a thousand births, so lots of experience, but also was very reassuring and said the right things to make me feel better. Despite the long tiring morning, when they left, I felt re-energized. I hadn't felt like that with the other midwives. Maybe having given up in my search, I set the bar low?

Now I have to decide if the price tag is worth it. They'd be pretty hands-off, knowing I've had unassisted births. They are fine with going "over" and have just one opening during my due time, so I'd have to book them fast. Is it worth $4-6k for someone to just sit there most of the time? McKay doesn't care either way and with our PPO, we'd get some of the money reimbursed (yay!). Also, I wouldn't need to rent a tub or anything like that since we have a pool from Isaac's birth. Additionally, people would probably look at me less disapprovingly if we had a midwife. Two successful unassisted births is still not enough to get people off your back about the "What if..." questions. Or secretly shaking their heads in dismay at your plans.

So things are a little up in the air. I do want a blessingway/mother's blessing this time. It wouldn't be for some time yet, but I've been sending out my feelers for finding out who would be interested in coming to such a thing. I want to hire a henna artist for the party. It'll be fun.

So lots of thoughts. I'm big and pregnant and most people think I'm "due" sooner than I am (even the chiro guessed wrong this morning). Here's a belly shot to appease you all, from a few weeks ago. I'm much bigger now.


11 comments:

  1. Maybe it's twins! ;)

    And I'd come to your henna party!

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    1. Ha! It's doubtful since my fundus has been measuring a week or two behind. Twins tend to be consistently ahead. I guess I'm just going to have my work cut out for me when it comes to getting back into shape postpartum. :) But yes- I'll put you on my list of people to invite! In November (December?), Berkeley has street fairs for artists to sell their wares in time for the holidays and I'm going to seek out a henna artist then. I'll probably get my belly done a couple of times to make up for the fact that I haven't had it done ever.

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  2. wow... that's... wow. interviewing midwives! Just don't go with Awakenings - they are the ones that almost killed me by leaving 3cm placenta in me.

    I can't get over - TWO UNASSISTED? Really - noone was there? Incredible.

    About the weight gain - I totally hear you. I think our bodies are on some sort of set course for a certain poundage. I was soooooooooooo careful for the most part of this pregnancy and I've still gained 30# - my goal was 15, since I started out overweight.

    sigh.

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    1. Yeah- it's not Awakenings, so don't worry about my placenta. At least not yet. My placentas have been good about coming out all in one piece and within 30 minutes, so far.

      And yeah- this weight gain is so crazy! 35 pounds already! And I have months to go! BAH. I'm guessing my metabolism quits out on me when pregnancy hormones happen. My butt has been gaining a noticeable amount (according to McKay). But that's also where he noticed my postpartum weight loss the most, too. I store future breastmilk in my butt. :)

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  3. I wish finances didn't have to factor into decision making about birth attendants! Bleh. I felt really drawn towards unassisted birth the first time around but not the last two. Now that I have a super skilled CNM (way more clinical skills than most home birth midwives, but also someone willing to go the distance for her clients), I really really want a midwife not for normal help or support at a birth, but for those questionable circumstances where having her would allow me to stay home safely when I otherwise would have to go to a hospital. For me, that's so worth it. I also know she's good at staying out of my way so I don't have any worries about her somehow interfering.

    But yea, it stinks to have to pay so much up front. My CNM used to accept insurance but doesn't any more. So we have to pay $5K up front and get reimbursed after the fact. In theory I should still be able to get the majority back after copays and deductibles, but who knows...

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    1. I felt extremely strong about UC with Margaret- and at almost 43 weeks and with 44 hours of labor, I really think I prevented an induction and possible "failure to progress" C-section. I'm really glad we went unassisted with her- and with how "late" she was, even the homebirth midwives would have dropped care with me or pushed induction.

      With Isaac, I didn't feel so strongly, but went with it since we moved 30 weeks into that pregnancy and had issues with getting insurance. We kept our out-of-state insurance and just figured if something bad happened, we'd have to pay out of area. Isaac's birth took me 5.5 hours and was pretty standard. I think it would have been fine any way. And with both Margaret and Isaac, we were in walking distance to hospitals.

      This time, we're not quite in walking distance (biking, though- 2-3 miles) on a very busy street that has lots of traffic, but I can get there in 10 minutes with a car. And really, we do have money for the midwife (after all- imagine how much we saved with the first 2!) I just have a hard time letting go of that much money all at once. That's 3-4 times our rent.

      This midwife I clicked with actually lives within walking distance of us, so that's a great plus for me, too- I don't have to stress about calling her hoping she can drive to us through Bay Area traffic. I can call her and she can be here before I have another contraction! Save the earth! Have a homebirth!

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    2. Editing: WE'RE not on the busy street, the hospital is. And it's got some bad construction at the moment, so it's even worse! I'm pretty sure Berkeley makes the city difficult to drive through on purpose- force people to bike! It'll be winter (the rainy season) so maybe the construction will be gone for the baby. Maybe not.

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  4. Given that I had one of those "what if" situations happen during this last birth (shoulder dyscotia), I don't think I'd be comfortable going unassisted. I had considered considering it (if that makes sense) before then though.

    Not that any of this mattes for you though. I think you need to do what you want to do. Don't get a midwife just to get people to stop bugging you. If you want a midwife this time because you feel worried, I'd say go with your gut because your body can know things you don't. If you're doing it just to get people off your back, don't change your birth plans for someone else.

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    1. Oh I know- and people aren't as on me as they were with my first, but I'm also kind of tired of it. It's wearing me down. What I really need is an antepartum doula. :)

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  5. I think you are doing great, listening to your body. If you want a midwife this time, just do it. Maybe she'll be really useful in cleaning up after, so you can rest. Maybe she can support you while McKay takes care of Isaac and Margaret during labor (I remember you saying that Margaret was kind of annoying during Isaac's labor). Maybe she can rub your back a lot. You never know what kind of wonderful things she could do to help.

    The first time, McKay could completely focus on you. Now his attention will be split among you and the kiddos. The midwife could certainly help then! Do you have plans for after birth, for someone to take care of the kids while you take care of the baby?

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    1. We do have childcare lined up (neighbor has offered) for the kids, but if I go into labor at 2am like I did with Isaac, I'm probably not going to bother them. He was born at 7:30am, so there never was a real chance to get Margaret to someone who could watch her. And having extra hands can be a good thing.

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