Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pregnancy Update: 22+ Weeks

22 weeks

I haven't posted a pregnancy update in about a month, so I figured now would be a good time.

I've been consulting with the midwives on the phone, but haven't had an official prenatal visit since about 14 weeks. I'm OK with this. I'm actually more than OK with it. I've been able to check my vitals and heart tones when I want to, which hasn't been too often, but the big thing for me is that I'm feeling my baby move - a LOT! I'm loving that, and it gives me assurance that all is well. My two midwives are just a phone call away if I need any help, and that's comforting as well. I can call them anytime with anything I might need, which isn't much.

At 22 weeks I'm still very tired, but otherwise doing really well. I find myself looking at my children with such intense love and wondering what I ever did to deserve them. I'm so grateful for my life and hopeful and excited for the future. Emotionally I've been feeling much more myself compared to the grumpy bear I was for several weeks.

I had an ultrasound around 19 1/2 weeks and found out we're having a BOY! This is boy number 5 for us, and we have one girl so far. We love our children so much, and we're very excited for another boy.

The ultrasound technician said that everything looked good, and the only item of potential concern was that my placenta was anterior and low. This means the area of the placenta that attaches to the uterus (which takes up about half the placenta at this stage) was attached in the front of my uterus and low, close to the cervix. The placenta wasn't covering the cervix (placenta previa), just close to it. The tech said that most of the time the placenta moves up and out of the way by the time the baby is ready to be born, but she recommended a follow-up ultrasound closer to the due date (around 34 weeks) to double-check the location.

My main midwife, Sherri, wasn't overly concerned about the placenta. She asked me how I felt, and I told her I wasn't worried, and she recommended getting plenty of rest, lying down as much as possible, and staying positive about the placenta moving further away from the cervix.

The second midwife was more concerned. She strongly recommended that I do the follow-up ultrasound so we have a clear idea of what what we're dealing with before labor starts.

I don't have a strong inclination one way or another. I feel a peace and I'm not worried about the placenta. I haven't decided yet if I'll do the follow-up ultrasound.

In my 23rd week I noticed was more tired than my usual fatigue, and I wondered if my iron levels might be low. It's been a known pregnancy issue for me in the past, so I got my iron checked right away, and it turned out to be a healthy level. I realized that my fatigue got worse, along with my hip, low back, and general join pain, and wonderful mood swings, after I had run out of cod liver oil and stopped taking it. I never realized how much that was helping me until it was gone! I'm ordering more cod liver oil and using other coping techniques in the mean time.

In general I feel good and happy, and I'm not worried about any problems with the pregnancy. I'm really looking forward to another wonderful home birth, and I feel nothing but peace about my plans.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Demonstration of Delayed Cord Clamping Benefits

Penny Simkin provides a demonstration and explanation of the importance of delayed cord clamping.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

You Are a Tree

Love yourself, for you are a beautiful tree.

In my religion we are taught that our body is a temple and we should love, honor, and respect it

Monday, September 5, 2011

Favorite Pregnancy/Birth Quotes

I often share quotes on my Mamas and Babies facebook page, and I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites here on the blog.

Some of these are obviously related to pregnancy and birth, and some can fit a wide range of applications but also can be related to pregnancy and birth. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

"Childbirth... is chaos that the body can resolve itself." ~ Jennifer Block

"If a woman doesn't look like a goddess in birth, someone isn't treating her right." ~ Ina May Gaskin

"The whole point of woman-centered birth is the knowledge that a woman is the birth power source. She may need, and deserve, help, but in essence, she always had, currently has, and will have the power." ~ Heather McCue

"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever." ~ Lance Armstrong

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."
~ Mark Twain

"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is." ~ Winston Churchill

"You can’t be said to make a choice when you only have one option." ~ Henci Goer

"There is no other organ quite like the uterus. If men had such an organ they would brag about it. So should we" — Ina May Gaskin

"If you want a humanized birth, the best thing to do is to get the hell out of the hospital" ~ The Business of Being Born

"A mother does not become pregnant in order to provide employment to medical people. Giving birth is an ecstatic jubilant adventure not available to males. It is a woman's crowning creative experience of a lifetime." ~ Dr. John Stevenson

"Most of us have had moments when we touched the divine presence. We did not think it extraordinary because it wasn't; it was just a beautiful moment filled with love. In those simple moments our hearts were alive, and we saw the poignant beauty of life vividly with wonder and appreciation." ~ David McArthur

"It's major surgery, and yet we now present cesarean section as if we're gonna cut your fingernails" ~ The Business of Being Born

"Having a highly trained obstetrical surgeon attend a normal birth is analogous to having a pediatric surgeon babysit a healthy 2-year-old." ~ Marsden Grigg Wagner

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty." ~ Maya Angelou

“Birth is the sudden opening of a window, through which you look out upon a stupendous prospect. For what has happened? A miracle. You have exchanged nothing for the possibility of everything.” ~ William MacNeile Dixon

"Fear can be overcome only by Faith." ~ Dr. Grantly Dick-Read

"The vertical birth is on its own time and the baby will slide down on its own." ~ The Business of Being Born

"We should constantly be asking ourselves 'Is this an improvement, or are we making things worse'?" ~ The Business of Being Born

"The ultimate measure of man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy" ~ Martn Luther King, Jr.

"Attending births is like growing roses. You have to marvel at the ones that just open up and bloom at the first kiss of the sun but you wouldn't dream of pulling open the petals of the tightly closed buds and forcing them to blossom to your time line." ~ Gloria Lemay

"Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself." ~ Harvey Fierstein

"If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it." ~ John H. Kennell

"One of the deep secrets of lfe is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others." ~ Lewis Carol

"What happens in birth is very important to the future development of that child" ~ The Business of Being Born

"A woman doesn't need to be rescued.  It's not the place for the knight in shining armor.  It's the place for her to face her darkest moment so that she can lay claim to her victory, so that she can lay claim to her victory after she's done it, I think." ~ Cara Mulhann on The Business of Being Born

"Birth is a miracle to me, and it will never cease being so." ~ Sherri Price

"'If I could do that, I could do anything.'  That's the power of birthing, and that's what we're taking away from women!" ~ The Business of Being Born

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Malakai's Hospital Water Birth Video

This is a beautiful video of a hospital water birth. This mom had 3 home births prior to this birth. I love how the midwife and attendant waited outside the room while she labored, and that mom caught her own baby. Things were done while she held him in the tub. This was the first water birth in this particular hospital. They had just updated their policies to allow water birth, and they accommodated the family by moving the bed out of the room to make room for the tub which the family provided themselves.