Category Archives: Midwifery

Holy Baby Preparation Batman!

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I’m not sure how it was for you when you were pregnant for the second (or third, fourth, fifth, etc) time, but this pregnancy is so completely different from Sydney’s.  Both started out much the same, with epic morning sickness that was diagnosed as hyperemesis.  I lost 13 pounds with Sydney, and 9 pounds with this baby.  At 16 weeks, I was finally able to start eating, and suddenly, I started to show!  It was a miracle.  I’m carrying so much differently too, with Sydney, I gained weight everywhere, but with this baby, I’ve lost body fat that has all redistributed as a beautiful bowling bowl sort of thing out in front.  I have less hair growth, much more mole growth, and my hair has not gotten as thick as it did with Sydney.  This baby is also very active, so much more so than Sydney ever was!!!  I wish I could have gotten accurate video of what was happening last night, because it looked as if the baby was going to leap out of my skin.  Oh, and Braxton Hicks contractions!!!! Whoa, I started having those last week, and today, I took a walk with Sydney as she rode her bike in the beautiful Alaska weather, and was ever so happy to get home to sit down!  And the nesting.  Wow!  I never nested with Sydney, and when I say never, I do mean NEVER.  My house was a wreck all the time, but tonight, after having Sydney clean her room, I was greatly inspired, I guess.  I came back downstairs, and started doing the dishes, started the dishwasher, cleaned the litter box (with gloves on), swept the floors, and did some laundry earlier today.  A week and a half ago, I was doing baby laundry, to include diapers.  I even got the baby’s room organized, even though he/she will not be sleeping in that room, and put everything away.  Strangely enough, I never got around to putting the diapers away, so they sit in the middle of the floor, waiting to be folded and put away.  That might be my next task, after finishing this blog post up.

I’m sure you noticed above that I said he/she.  We are not finding out the sex, which some people find absolutely shocking, as if we have 3 legs a piece.  We didn’t find out what sex Sydney was when she was in the womb, and were not stressed or crazy in the least in preparation for her.  I do, however, believe that we prepared very poorly for her.  I say this, because we thought we needed EVERY baby item/gadget that existed, and ended up spending possibly thousands more than was necessary.  We ended up giving a lot of stuff away.  For me, this time, this pregnancy has been a breeze for preparation.  We decided from the beginning that we would be co-sleeping, so that eliminates the need for many things:  painted nursery, crib, crib bedding, nursery decoration, etc. Figuring out what to do with our precious almost 5 year old daughter, though, will be the challenge.  She is co-sleeping currently between my husband and me, which we both love.  We shall see, and I’m sure I’ll be blogging about this after the baby comes.

We will also be breastfeeding (and when I say we, I don’t mean my husband and me, because he’s not in the market for making milk), which means that we can save money there, because we will reuse our breast pump from Sydney, and we have been given some bottles, which is awesome, and my friend is sending me a bunch of stuff.  All that I’ve really done to prepare for breastfeeding is getting some awesome reusable breast pads that feel like luxury on the boob, SO SOFT.

Oh, and something I’m so excited about, speaking of luxury.  We are using cloth diapers!  We are starting with prefolds with Snappis and covers for the newborn stage, and have a small number of other types of diapers, All In Ones, Pockets, Fitteds, etc for other stages.  Some of the diapers we have are so soft that I’m almost jealous the baby gets to wear them, and not me!  I did make a joke, one day, to my friend Malia, who owns a totally awesome diaper store in Fayetteville, NC, that I was going to make my kids cloth diaper me when I am old and can no longer make it to the bathroom on my own.  I don’t know if they’ll go for it.  Baby butts are so cute, and old lady butts, well… they just aren’t.  I digress, cloth diapers are awesome.  I think I’m more excited about using cloth diapers than almost anything, well, except for the actual birth and breastfeeding.  Ok, I lie, I’m excited about it all!

So you’re curious now, perhaps, about the birth we are planning and preparing for.  Being in Alaska, we are so blessed to be confronted with how normal birth is.  There are birth centers, midwives, doulas, and home births everywhere.  When we were in NC, we were planning and preparing for a home birth with Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), Donna Galati of Monarch Midwifery.  I loved Donna.  She was a hard ass at times, which I know I needed, but I know that she truly cared about me and my baby.  She was a huge stickler for nutrition, which is so important.  Donna is amazing!  Love her.  So you can imagine that our move to Alaska caused some anxiety in me, as I faced finding where and with whom to give birth.  I did my research before moving to Alaska, though, and found a birth center in Anchorage with 5 midwives.  I’m thrilled to have found them, and I really am excited about my upcoming birth with them.  I plan on birthing with very little interference, unless absolutely necessary.  I am excited to embark on this journey with my husband, daughter and mother in law at my side, supporting me through labor and birth.  I look forward to laboring in as many positions as possible, using a rebozo to hang, dangle, sway, etc, and possibly giving birth in water.  I am not completely set on this, because I never know how I’ll feel when it comes time to give birth, I may want to give birth on land.  I am just excited to give birth in a manner that is different than when I gave birth to Sydney.

I am sure that as I get closer to giving birth, the nesting will continue.  I am sometimes surprised by how quickly nesting mode sets in.  There are times when nothing else will do, but what is in my head to do at that time.

I would love to hear your stories of nesting, or how you prepared for your births.  Comments welcome!  Have a lovely day!

International Cesarean Awareness Month

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I was floating around Facebook, and saw this posted!  Avoiding the First C-Section :  An article on Birth Sense about what kinds of questions to ask your provider in order to avoid unnecessary interventions that have a high risk of leading to cesarean sections.  In HypnoBirthing, we teach awareness of how to avoid interventions, and how to advocate for a natural start of labor.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the C-section rate in the United States has risen 53% since 1996.  Scary! Cesarean birth is being overused, and VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) is being grossly underused, at about 8%, because many hospitals are outlawing VBACs.  Because of bans on VBACs, women have been denied access in over 40% of hospitals in the United States .  The National Institutes of Health has found that VBACs are reasonably safe for women who had a previous cesarean birth and are low risk for uterine rupture.

Many hospitals and providers fail to disclose all of the risks associated with cesarean birth.  Some of the risks of cesarean birth include:

  • Life-threatening risks to mother
  • Long-term risk to reproductive health and future pregnancies
  • Longer recovery time following birth
  • More pain following birth
  • Baby is often whisked away to the nursery or NICU
  • Often no skin-to-skin bonding immediately
  • Trouble with breastfeeding
  • Bonding may be difficult for mother and baby (because of drugs, and separation time)
  • Low Birth Weight in babies
  • Respiratory problems in babies
  • Infection in mother
  • Risk of excessive bleeding in mother

So with all of these risks, what can YOU do to avoid having your first c-section?

  • Take a birthing class that encourages you to speak up for yourself.
  • Know your options about avoiding interventions and how to achieve a natural onset of labor.
  • Know your provider, ask questions until you are blue in the face.
  • Learn about the risks to all interventions you may be faced with.
  • Speak up when you feel like something goes against what you want (don’t wait till next time).
  • Ask for patience at all times from your providers while you are in labor (many c-sections and interventions happen because providers and/or hospitals expect birth to happen at their rate, not at the rate of the mother and baby).
  • If interventions and/or c-section are not medically necessary, ask for more time.
  • If membranes have released, ask for antibiotics after 24 hours, or whenever is standard practice at the hospital.

That’s all fine and dandy, but what about if you’ve already had a c-section and are faced with the possibility of another one?  The International Cesarean Awareness Network has provided a document for women whose providers or hospitals have banned VBACs.

The bottom line, with all of this is, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!  Research what you want to know, and stand behind your wishes for you and your baby.  It is your birth, and you have every right to have a beautiful and gentle one.

~Teva

Comments welcome.