Monthly Archives: May 2008

25 weeks

I’m getting a little sick of the same kind of belly shots. I need some creative inspiration. If you run across any or think of some ideas let me know.

These next couple of shots are not a matter of creativity, but rather something kind of freaky I discovered when I was drying off after a shower the other day.

This is what it normally looks like from my perspective as I look down at my belly:

And if I arch backwards a bit I can see exactly where she is at:

Today’s activities include a Mad Hatter/Alice in Wonderland Tea Party Birthday for a two-year-old that I have never met before. She is in love with white bunnies. My friend Megan really wanted her to have a bunny party so we came up a theme for her mom. I even knit her a white bunny a few months back.

My friend Megan is one of the most glamorous people I know. So in honor of her and Mrs. Morgan Priss I decided to pull out these from the back of my closet:

Hopefully I don’t get shin splints!

Leave a comment

Filed under Pregnancy and Birth

24 weeks

The bumb is definitely a bump at this point. I’m past the awkward, “Is she just fat or is she pregnant?” stage.

She’s been moving a lot the last couple days. I was feeling it mostly down low and then today it was up by my bottom right rib.

Oh and I don’t know what the heck is going on with the top of my dress in this picture you can totally see my bra strap and the overlay fabric is pointing off in some weird direction. It wasn’t doing that at any other time. This was like take 5 though and I’m sick of trying to get a better picture!

Off to see my friend Alyse get married today! I’m so excited for her. 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Pregnancy and Birth

24 weeks and 6 days pregnant only 106 days to go!

Even though I just posted briefly yesterday and a 24 week picture before that I feel like I haven’t really updated this thing with my latest pregnancy goings on in awhile So I’m making a list because then I can list each topic and go back and write about it so I don’t forget…

1. Midwife
I know some of you have been dying to know how the meeting with the midwife went, what we decided etc. I’ve been sort of putting off writing about this because we really haven’t made a final decision yet. I decided to write about it today while I can still recall details of the meeting and how we felt immediately afterwards. I think we probably won’t make our final decision for another week or so. I want to have it decided before my next OB appointment which is the second week of June. That way I can be ready, if need be, to tell him.

Pardon me for being a long story teller, but I thought I should start where all this started which was before the actual midwife meeting…

Even though I was all worked up about this idea and kept saying to Stephen that I had research and stuff to back me up, I knew that he was not on board at all. In some ways right after I made the appointment with the midwife I figured that the meeting would just be a waste of her time. I knew it would take a lot to convince him that this was safe and not weird. At work he is surrounded by doctors and nurses all day so he’s a little biased to their way of doing things.

Well then Ruth & Eric came up for the weekend and Ruth brought The Business of Being Born with her. I had ordered this movie on Amazon, but I figured trying to get Stephen to watch it would be a huge task. However, I have found that Ruth has significant influential powers over her little brother and so I was pretty excited when she told me she brought the movie up because if she wanted to see it then he would at least be willing to.

After the movie we had a little discussion with them about it and then we talked a little more by ourselves before going to sleep that night. Stephen said he had a more open mind about meeting with the midwife. The movie was impactful and a perfect way to get a condensed version of the information into his head without requiring him to read a book (he is definitely not a big reader). The next day he told me that the movie got him thinking of some good questions to ask the midwife and that he was glad we were exploring other options.

So the day of the meeting rolled around. It started off a little awkward because about 2 minutes before she got there I had a little catastrophe in the kitchen so I was bleeding and Stephen was trying to get everything cleaned up. She basically walked into chaos.

She stayed and talked with us for about 2 hours. Which is the longest I’ve ever gotten to sit down and talk with anyone about my pregnancy, birth plans etc. I think the most I’ve gotten from my doctor is about 5 minutes and nurses even less. She wanted to hear all about my HG and the thyroid stuff. I had talked about it a little on the phone with her before the appointment and since our phone conversation she had done research on both problems and was able to tell me what she had found. She told us about her experience, why she became a midwife, where she went to school and tons of other stuff she had witnessed as a midwife. She answered questions before we could even ask them and gave us information we didn’t even think to ask for.

She was also familiar with my OB and had attended a birth with him. I guess he employed some techniques that he said he had learned from midwives. I found that to be an interesting tidbit.

The whole experience was really great. We both really liked her and felt so comfortable with her. After the meeting I pretty much had my mind made up that this is what I wanted to do, that it would be completely safe and she was the right person to be with me through the whole process. This is one of the first times that I really felt cared for this pregnancy by someone outside of my friends/family. After the meeting Stephen said that having a homebirth definitely deserved serious consideration and that if I already had my mind made up either way (hospital or home) that he would support me with what I wanted to do. Which was a huge change in his position.

We both decided to wait off on actually making a decision just yet and take what we saw as the next steps into exploring whether this would actually be an option for me. First was that Stephen was going to talk to some upper management people in his company to find out how we would go about getting the insurance to pay for it and authorize it. That way we wouldn’t have to get awkward with my OB and ask him to submit an authorization which he probably would have refused to do. The other step was that the midwife wanted to see copies of my last few labs so she could determine whether I was healthy enough for a home birth and because she wanted to know what my thyroid levels were at so she could know whether there were any issues that might come up from that.

Well yesterday Stephen talked to a nurse at his company that basically told him we would probably have to jump through a lot of hoops to get the birth authorized and that there is no way an OB from our medical group would submit an authorization for a home birth. This nurse also had some concerns because she said there are a few things that can go wrong in otherwise healthy pregnancies which require immediate attention and could mean life or death for me. She suggested that I would get the “best of both worlds” if I just had my baby in the hospital and hired the the midwife to be our doula (which she also does as long as you are committed to a natural birth because she’d rather be at home with her kids than watching a pregnant woman sleep after an epidural). So now of course Stephen is all, “We have to decide whether putting your life at stake is a risk we are willing to take.”

I don’t know, in some ways I’m pretty resentful of this nurse for employing the same scare tactics that bully women into getting c-sections, epidurals, Pitocin, etc. At the same time I’m like well what if I do start to bleed a whole bunch after the birth or what if I am puking so much that I get dehydrated and require an IV? So that’s when my mind being made up started to shift.

As a result I haven’t had the confidence yet to call my OB’s office and request copies of my labs. I feel like it would be something I would have no problem doing if I knew for sure that this was the route I wanted to go, but dealing with the nurses that answer the phones at my medical group is really difficult and I know I have to have confidence and conviction before I’d be able to confidently call up and go through what is sure to be a huge process with them to get copies of my labs.

So that whole thing probably could have been a single blog post in and of itself, but lucky you I am not done yet…

2. Protein
My Bradley book says I should be getting 100g of protein a day. Ruth had told me something similar before. And I really do try to get in protein, but I am still feeling pretty yucky and that means that high protein options usually sound pretty gross to me. All I want to eat is carbs. I have been trying to drink more milk though which has some protein and eat better breakfasts that have protein in them. It just seems so impossible to get in 100g of protein a day.

3. Reading
I finished Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth which was really, really good. I felt so empowered after reading it. I feel really informed about what is going to happen and I don’t really feel scared of childbirth at all.

Now I’m reading one of the two Bradley books I purchased. I was told not to waste my time with the other Bradley book because it is mostly about Dr. Bradley and not about the techniques.

4. Weight
I’ve managed to gain back 14.5 of the 22 pounds I lost in the first tri. At this rate sometimes I’m a little afraid I might wind up gaining too much weight and then have a hard time getting it back off. But then I have days like yesterday and I realize that gaining weight is a good thing at this point. Oh and seriously I don’t understand how anyone would willingly force themself to throw up in the name of weight loss. Throwing up is awful even if it is a part of my normal life now.

5. Kicks/Position
I still feel a lot of movement down low, but I can tell there is less power behind those movements than what I feel up by my belly button. This morning as I was waking up and just sort of still laying in bed I was getting kicked really hard by my left rib. I started to feel around my belly gently and I’m pretty sure I distinctly felt her head down low, almost wedged into the center of my pelvis. I was kind of poking it and trying to make sure that was what I was really feeling when she twisted around (spun like a top, not like a summersault). It felt sooo weird.

6. Childbirth classes
Thanks to the midwife we were able to find out about a natural childbirth instructor. Her June classes are already full and the next one doesn’t start till August which might be cutting it kind of close. She teaches right out of the book I’m reading though so I’m hoping that Stephen and I can just get started on our own. I’m also trying to still find out if there is someone else because the classes are on Tuesday nights and Stephen was planning on having a summer school class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Then we also have church on Wednesdays. So that doesn’t really leave a whole lot of room for options. He says if I can’t find anyone else then he’ll cancel his class though.

So that’s what’s going on pregnancy wise in 6 points.

Leave a comment

Filed under Pregnancy and Birth

You know puking has become a part of normal life when…

…you are halfway thru eating lunch and feel it coming on. You walk briskly to the bathroom and it comes out into the toilet in full force. Then you start to pee yourself. You never cease to be amazed by the amount and force of output coming from your body.

After it is finished you calmly get up and flush the toilet. Then you go change the bottom half of your outfit. Rinse out your mouth with mouthwash and wipe away the tears that you didn’t notice were streaming down your face.

Then with a couple of big sighs you walk calmly back to the livingroom and finish lunch.

People keep asking me if I’m better or if I’m over the morning sickness yet. Yep, I still have “morning” sickness.

Leave a comment

Filed under Pregnancy and Birth


A few months ago I was looking at pictures from the birth of a couple I know. I had always thought of these two people kind of as “hippies”. Lovable hippies, but still hippies. It was pretty clear that these were pictures of a home birth. After I saw these pictures I blurted out to Stephen, “Man those two really ARE hippies!”

At this point in my pregnancy, medical intervention seemed an inevitability. I was already on a ton of medications, I was getting IVs and I was going to the OB about once a week.

For the most part I try to be as “natural” as possible in my life. I try to buy organic food and I try to buy organic other stuff too. I have been a vegetarian off and on since junior high. I even pay the yearly Bakersfield fee to recycle curbside. But this is also a process in me. I still eat out far too often, use paper towels, drive around more than I should and otherwise consume more than my fair share of our planet’s natural resources.

There have been limits to my “crunchiness.” There were many things that I saw other people do and was just like, “OK that’s taking it too far.”

I knew when I saw my friends’ birth pictures that I didn’t want an epidural, but having a birth at home, now that was just CRAZY and backwoodsy (and probably a lot of other negative thoughts came to mind).

I hadn’t really done a whole lot of research into the subject of epidurals though. It was mainly out of fear that I had made this decision. At the time I knew that if it got painful enough and came right down to it I might be convinced to chicken out and get one.

Well once I was mostly feeling better and my anal reporter/researcher side came back in full force, I started reading and researching births. I not only found evidence to reinforce some of the vague opinions I had, I also found my stance sort of shifting in new direction. A direction not completely foreign to me, yet one that I never thought I would be headed towards.

Now I’m at the point where I can no longer watch TLC’s “A Baby Story” without screaming (literally) at the television when some poor woman is bullied into what she thinks is a necessary c-section or other intervention because she isn’t progressing fast enough or whatever other lame excuse the on-call physician comes up with. And with that statement I’m thinking, “Oh God, I’ve become a crazy hippie version of my father,” except that he screams at Democrats on political news shows or cheers when President Bush says something he really likes in a major speech and has even punched a wall or two when his favorite football team loses.

And now I’m also at the point where today I called my insurance company to find out what, if anything, they cover in the case of a home birth and was pleasantly surprised to learn that they cover a home birth attended by a midwife completely just like they would a hospital birth (which makes sense considering a hospital birth is in the $30,000-$40,000 range and most midwives only charge $3,000-$4,000… and don’t most insurance companies LIKE to save money?) . I even called and left a message for one of the midwives recommended to me so I could start asking questions and actually give this “crazy” idea serious consideration. You know, because reading 20 books wasn’t serious enough consideration…

Next thing you know I’ll be joining a commune and sustaining myself on soy beans. Hahaha!

Leave a comment

Filed under Pregnancy and Birth

Conversation about food

Me: I’m hungry
Stephen: Are you going to have a snack?
Me: No! It’s almost midnight and we’re getting ready for bed.
Stephen: But your pregnant. You should eat something. I don’t want you to wake up and feel sick because you didn’t get enough to eat.
Me: Just because I’m hungry doesn’t mean I need something to eat at midnight.
Stephen: You should eat something

I then proceeded to make a grocery list as I searched the refridgerator and cabinets for something palatable before settling on a Nutri Grain bar.

Leave a comment

Filed under Pregnancy and Birth

23 weeks 2 days

I’ve been waiting awhile for that magic second trimester nesting phenomenon to start up. At my last doctor’s appointment my doctor even said, “You are going to have so much energy these next few weeks your husband isn’t even going to know what to do with you.”

So I’m waiting… and waiting…

I even started to get a little worried about why it hadn’t shown up yet. So I asked on the hyperemesis message board if women with HG ever really get the nesting thing. Pretty much the answer I got was no or that you have a huge list of things you want accomplished, but no energy to do it.

But I started feeling better earlier than most of those women so I’ve been figuring that I’d be different.

I’m still waiting for that energy to show up.

At this point I think that is the most frustrating thing to deal with. Yes I’m still throwing up occassionally, but it’s just something I kind of do and then move on.

My house isn’t as clean as I would like it to be, I have about a million projects I would like to complete before the baby gets here, laundry is piling up, I haven’t cooked a decent meal in who knows how long and all I want to do is take a nap, read a book or knit a little.

So yeah… any day now that energy could just show up and I would be very happy.

Leave a comment

Filed under Pregnancy and Birth

23 weeks

This is all you get of me today. We’re working in the garden and I’m all messy.

Leave a comment

Filed under Pregnancy and Birth

Some more thoughts on hospitals and birthing

I just want to say that I’m not trying to start an argument here, but I do have some more thoughts to process on this whole giving birth thing and this is my blog afterall…

There is a small part of me that thinks having birth like millions of other women do in a hospital is the way to go. I have after all heard of friends that have had extreme situations where they or the baby might have died had they not been at a hospital.

But I also know that birth is a natural process. Animals do it everyday without our help. So why can’t we cope with it? God designed our bodies to do this why don’t we trust Him and the bodies He has equipped us with?

And I know that having a baby at home sounds a little back-woodsy or primitive when you have all this sexy technology staring you in the face. This was made apparent to me at my last book club meeting when my friend admitted to our group that she had been born at her grandma’s house. The reactions on the faces of the rest of the girls were priceless.

Being comfortable and as relaxed as possible is an essential part of having a good birth experience. I know that I just don’t feel comfortable in hospitals and even in doctor’s offices. I wasn’t just nervous yesterday because I was handing my OB my birth plan. I was nervous because I was there in that cold steril room with crinkling paper underneath me and nothing to do but stare at all those freaky looking instruments.

This past weekend Stephen and I went to urgent care because he was experiencing some pain on the right side of his abdomen. We were there for about 2 hours while they ran labs and tried to figure out if he was having an appendicitus or kidney stones (everything was normal by the way). I got so nauseaus while we were there and kept having flashbacks of the HG trips to the ER. Just being there made me incredibly nervous and sick feeling. As soon as we walked out I felt totally fine.

Unfortunately, it just so happens that this is the same hospital that I have to give birth in. I know I’ll be in a different part of the hospital, but it’s still a hospital where I don’t feel comfortable and I’ll be nervous which could have a significant impact on the progress of my labor.

Plus there will be nurses and doctors coming in and out of my room which I know will make me uncomfortable too. When I was really sick and people would come over to visit I rarely threw up while they were here. Some internal nervous mechanism would keep me from the embarassment of puking in front of a friend, yet the moment they left I often found myself wretching uncontrollably.

While the IV thing shouldn’t be a big deal to me — and really after the amount of IVs I’ve had in the past few months, the actual IV itself doesn’t really bother me — I know that having one started significantly increases my chances of being administered Pitocin or other drugs when and if my labor doesn’t fit into the hospital’s timetable. My doctor can also calm my fears and agree with everything on my list, but I know just walking into a hospital significantly increases my chances of having medical intervention for my birth. Plus there is the chance that he won’t be the one attending my birth and he probably won’t be there all that much even if he does attend my birth. Really I will be the patient of a bunch of nurses that don’t know me and I have never met before.

Since writing my original post I’ve received a couple dozen or so birth stories from people in response to that post. It seemed like the overall theme of most of those stories was, “Oh yeah, I was like you, but then had to have this intervention and it really wasn’t that bad. Your focus should be on the birth of a healthy baby and not worrying about all this stuff.” Stories of epidurals, c-sections, and induced labor that I think are supposed to make me feel better and not worry so much about the interventions. The thing is though that they don’t make me feel better. I don’t care what someone says about how this intervention wasn’t that bad, it was still in my mind probably an unecessary one that probably wouldn’t have happened if the person had a home birth where that wasn’t really an option to begin with (except in the case of a true emergency which is like 1-2% of births).

And in case I’m starting to sound freaked out to you, rest assured I’m not freaked out. I’m just trying to process all of this stuff in my mind.

I don’t know, just despite everything a huge part of me knows I would feel a thousand times more comfortable in my big huge bathtub and in my own bedroom than I ever would in a hospital.

Leave a comment

Filed under Pregnancy and Birth

So really Stephen was right… no need to freak out…

Today I had another OB appointment to followup with my ultrasound last week.

I was a little nervous going into this appointment because I was going to open the birth plan can of worms discussion.

I don’t know why I was nervous. My OB has been totally great through this whole pregancy and through all the infertility stuff.

Well I handed him the beginnings of my birth plan and pretty much the only thing he said was non-negotiable was that I have to have an IV line started when I’m admitted to the hospital. He said if my labs look alright then they’ll just hep-lock it off and keep it there for an emergency, but that it can be useful to make sure I’m hydrated which apparently helps with the labor pain somewhat. So I guess I can be OK with that. I mean I’ve already had a ton of IVs this pregnancy anyway, one more isn’t going to kill me.

So that’s not that big of a deal. And he doesn’t routinely do episiotomies or a bunch of stuff I was really worried about. He said he’s had the priviledge of seeing many women through a completely natural childbirth too.

Basically all my fears were put to rest.

The only thing I was really bummed about is that the hospital isn’t set up for cord blood donation. After the series of stories on Sofia, I vowed to myself that if I ever had a baby I would donate the cord blood because a cord blood donation was what put her in remission the first time in her battle with leukemia. Well apparently there is only one hospital in California that is set up for cord blood donations and that hospital is located all the way in San Francisco. My doctor said that there is some talk of making a national program for it in the next 5-10 years, but basically until they are forced to do it most hospitals are not going to do anything about it. What is weird though is that I do have the option of banking the cord blood for my own selfish family purposes, they just won’t let me donate it. It just really frustrates me.

Leave a comment

Filed under Pregnancy and Birth