Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm Glad I Hired a Doula

I had a doula for my last birth and she was really great about helping find resources throughout my pregnancy, and she was great to have during my surgery since Ian was breech. Since this baby was breech for so long, I put off hiring a doula because I've been through surgery and don't need the support for another scheduled c-section, if that is what I would need to do.

After the baby was turned, however, I started thinking,"I might actually be normal. I might actually have this baby!"

I have no clue what it will be like. I never had any contractions with Ian. I have had some Braxton-Hicks with this baby, but they are just tightening, they are barely noticeable. So at the last minute, I contacted two of the big doula groups in Pittsburgh and the one that got back to me fastest, I went with. I met my doula, Kelly, at Borders in Pittsburgh after my appointment last week. She seems to have a calm presence and I felt comfortable with her. Ideally, you should interview multiple people, but I just want to have someone in place. Ian was going a bit crazy so we are going to meet again on Monday before my appointment, this time over lunch to keep Ian occupied.

I wish I could use my Erie doula again, but Pittsburgh is too far to ask her to go, especially if I am in labor for a long time. The Pittsburgh doulas will be more familiar with the area as well.

I finished knitting the purple dress. Need to get pictures up. I've made some cute Mary Jane booties but they turned out too small. Maybe they can be used for a doll or a premie or someone not destined to have big boats for feet as this baby is. I increased the needle size on the second pair, but they still look too small. We'll see.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ian Says...

Ian is really hilarious. It is so funny to hear what he picks up. He has started paying attention to commercials lately. He likes to say:

"Bite you back!" Burger King

"Ditch the itch." Scalpicin

He sings,"1-800-SAFE-AUTO. Pick up da phone, da call is free."

The funniest/saddest one is below:

The other day he told my mom,"I feel sick."

She said,"What hurts?"

He said,"Depression hurts."


Ian,"Cymbalta can help. I need Cymbalta."

Tonight at dinner he asked us,"How do you feel? Are you happy? Do you feel happy?"

I said,"Yes, I am happy. How do you feel?"

Ian said," I feel confident."

Any guesses? Poligrip denture creme? Depends adult diapers? Or I am being too cynical, could this be a result of something going on at Montessori?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pregnancy Preparation Update

Earlier in my pregnancy, I wrote about my preparations. I did really well with Hypnobabies and exercise in the second trimester. The third trimester has been so cold that exercise has fallen by the wayside a bit. I have also been focusing on trying to turn the baby. Now that the baby has finally turned (by external version), I really need to get working on labor preparation. Kegels. I have definitely slacked on the Kegels. I haven't done many squats to avoid the baby settling into the pelvis in the wrong position, but now I need to squat a lot. There really is so much to do. I still haven't decided on perennial massage. Seems there are conflicting opinions on its usefulness and it doesn't feel good. I've heard it compared to roughing up your nipples for nursing and that makes sense to me, though many people swear by it.

My friend Heather is making me some mix cds for labor and I am going to try to get some yoga cds from my former yoga teacher here in town so I have variety. I didn't bring any music with me except an Erykah Badu cd that I threw in my bag at the last minute. I don't have much on my computer because I hadn't gotten around to loading it.

The birth beads came from the Due Date Club so I need to make that necklace. Only 9 people ended up participating. I think the bad weather put a damper on things.

I need to pack my hospital bag as well. I didn't make an elaborate bag last time because it was a scheduled cesarean and you don't need as much. I think I'll gather everything and then try to figure out which bag to use.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

External Cephalic Version

Yesterday, I had an External Cephalic Version at Magee Women's hospital in Pittsburgh. After months of trying everything else to get the baby to turn and having had a c-section due to breech with my first, I decided to try it. I was discouraged from trying it last time because the doctors weren't very confident and everyone in town who had it done said it was horribly painful and didn't work.

This time, I decided to look in Pittsburgh to find doctors who were more experienced and confident. At Magee, I definitely found such a doctor.

The whole process took about 4 hours from check in to check out. Most of that time was spent on monitors before and after the procedure. They took vitals, put in an IV with fluids (partly because they wanted me to be NPO after midnight and partly in case of emergency) and put me on a fetal monitor for an hour. Then, the resident explained the risks, had me sign forms, and said the docor would be in shortly. The doctor came in and he and the resident found the baby's position on the ultrasound. The nurse gave me a shot in the arm of a muscle relaxer to relax my uterus to try to prevent contractions and make it easier to move. Then, the doctor did an internal exam to see if any baby parts were hanging low. Finally, he guided and assisted the resident through moving the baby. I used myHypnobabies "Peace" and "Relax" cues to stay relaxed. I was sweaty and faint from laying on my back and there was some discomfort in the moving, but it was very quick. They held the head in place for a minute or two and then I was able to sit up. They put me back on the monitor for two more hours to monitor for fetal distress or labor. The doctor came in about half way through to check to see if the baby was still down and she was.

It definitely feels a lot heavier than when she was the other way. Butts kind of feel like heads, too, so that is a bit weird. But I definitely feel baby lower and the butt is squishier than the head.

The most striking thing about the whole experience is how routine it was for them. In Erie, it is such an ordeal. When I think of all the worrying I have done and how simple it was for them, I really wish I had tried it with Ian. Now, a willing and confident doctor does not guarantee success, but it sure improves your chances. Before consenting to a c-section for breech/transverse, please try it. Yes, babies can turn in labor, but if they don't, you may be out of options because the baby may be too low to turn by version and you might not have a willing doctor. Very few places in the US will allow breech birth. Even fewer allow breech VBACs so I think it was definitely the right decision for me.

Of course, there is always a chance that she could turn back, but most babies who turn back do so right after the procedure so I am very hopeful. I am also ready to go into nesting mode. I will be 37 weeks next week, so she could come anytime.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Let the Pink Begin!

They saw labia at today's sonogram, so I am going with girl and hitting the stores this weekend for some girl things. If this baby is a boy, he will have some unfortunate drag baby pictures so I hope they are right!

They said the placenta looked fine so that is a relief. The next step is to schedule the external version to rotate the baby to vertex to get ready for birth. They said there was no obvious reason for the breech.

I called my friend Kim to see if she wanted to meet for lunch after my appointment, but since I had Ian with me, I asked if she could come with me to the appointment to help. She is actually staying in Sharon right now, but needed to go to Pittsburgh to get some things from her apartment, so I picked her up in Grove City and we headed to her apartment first. The weather was awesome with blue sky, dry roads, sun and temperatures in the 30s. I felt alive again. Kim's nephew was going to be stopping in Grove City to eat on the way to a college tournament and wanted his mom to meet him there to give him a phone he ordered and had sent home. Instead, Kim took it and left it in her parked car which has a code on it. He was able to use the code to open the car and get his phone.

All of this was planned at the last minute and just worked out. It is refreshingly unexpected when that happens.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Welcome Oliver Miles!

I started following JJ's blog accidentally, but have been with her through her difficult journey to get pregnant through a very difficult pregnancy due to complete placenta previa, among other complications. Well, she is finally a mother as her baby boy was born early (but in good health) by cesarean section yesterday.

Read proud papa Mook's report here.

Her original due date was very close to mine so it is weird to see her baby on the outside and feel mine on the inside.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandpa

Belly: 35 Weeks

I have an ultrasound scheduled for Friday in Pittsburgh and as long as everything checks out, we will schedule a version (to flip the baby) for the following week.