Archive for January, 2010

34 Weeks

I had my 34 week check up today.  All good news! My blood pressure was 120/80 and I’ve gained 29lbs total.  The baby’s heartbeat was strong and normal, and he’s in the right position: head down.  He’s got his bottom on my left side, which is what I’ve been feeling pushing out.  His legs are on my right side, right near my ribs, which is where I’ve been feeling his kicks.  The doctor estimated that the baby weighs 4-41/2 lbs now, and predicted a birth weight of 7lbs 15oz.  That sounds like a good weight to me!

I spoke to the doctor about my recent falls: down a few stairs on my backside, resulting in a big bruise on my back, and on some ice in the parking lot at work, again on my backside.  I knew the baby was fine, since I landed on my rear and since the baby was kicking.  The doctor said there’s nothing to worry about, that babies are rarely hurt in falls, but to be careful because my center of gravity is changed and he wants to make sure I don’t get hurt.  He then told me of a patient that broke her leg at 40 weeks and had to have a C-section because it hindered her labor.  That was enough to scare me into being really careful!

After the appointment, I scheduled my next four appointemnts, all the way up until March 2.  I’m happy that I’ll be able to see my midwife at one of these appointments, as I haven’t seen her since they started rotating me through doctors and she’s been who I’ve seen for about eight years.  I wish she still delivered babies, but I’m happy with all of the doctors there, too.

Preparations for our little one’s arrival continue.  We painted his room green and Ed just finished painting the baseboard tonight.  The farm animal mural will be the perfect addition, and we’re just waiting on furniture and we can set it all up.

As for a name, he still doesn’t have one.  We’re thinking we’ll keep it to ourselves when we do figure one out, though.  Or who knows, we may be so excited that we finally picked a name that we won’t be able to keep it a secret.

January 27, 2010 at 12:55 am 4 comments

Birth Class

Ed and I went to an all-day birth class held at the Yale women’s wellness center.  We both loved the class! It was fun, well organized, and educational.  The instructor was great, and actually lives a few minutes from our house.  There were about 12 other couples there, and although we’re not young for first-time parents (28 and 30), we were one of the youngest couples there.

We both felt like we learned a lot: Ed learned that we don’t have to rush to the hospital immediately when labor starts, and I didn’t even know he thought that was the case.  I learned that if my doctor prescribes a breast pump, then my insurance has to cover it.  That made me really happy that nobody bought the one I registered for!

The class began by going through the signs and stages of labor.  There were little challenges and group discussions, which made it fun.  We talked about and practiced paced and counted breathing, and then we practiced dozens of different positions for labor.  I particularly liked sitting on the birthing ball and also when Ed gave me a labor massage.  Who knows what will work when I’m actually in labor, but we feel like we now have a great variety of things to do.  We also went over the pros and cons of medical interventions, and I felt that a balanced viewpoint was presented.  Afterwards, Ed said he was really uncomfortable with the possible side effects of the medications and epidurals, and he then understood better why I want to avoid them.

We ate lunch and chatted with the other couples, as well as with each other about what we had learned so far.  We then went for a tour of the hospital, which was my favorite part of the class because it made me so much more comfortable. 

First, there’s a free valet service, so we’ll be able to drive right up to the entrance of the maternity ward.  When we went in, they had us fill out all the admission paperwork that, while not long, would have been annoying to do while in labor.  We then went up to visit the labor and deliver rooms, where I couldn’t have been happier.  First, three support people are allowed into the room, which Ed and I already decided would be him and our two moms.  While our moms probably won’t be there for the actual birth, we want them to be able to come into the room and visit while I’m in labor.  A nurse will also be in the room with us for the entire time.  When we first arrive, both my contractions and the baby’s heart rate will be monitored for 20 minutes.  IV’s are not standard, so unless I’ve tested positive for Beta-Strep I won’t have one.  After that point, the monitors will be removed and I’ll be free to move around the room or in the hallways.  Different positions for labor are encouraged, including walking, squatting, rocking, kneeling, sitting on a birthing ball, or taking a hot shower in the private bathroom.  They encourage laboring moms not to lie down in the bed, so gravity can help the labor progress.  The instructor reminded us to bring popsicles or Italian ice for snacks between contractions, and to pack snacks for dad, too.  The nurses will try to get the laboring mom to try a bunch of different positions and techniques before administering any medication or calling for an epidural.

When it comes time to deliver, moms are encouraged to deliver in different positions, including the traditional C-position, lying on her side, squatting or on hands and knees.  Episiotomies are not standard procedures, and they have an episiotomy rate of only 5%.  After delivery, the baby is put right on the mom’s chest, and skin-to-skin contact is encouraged, as is nursing.  The family stays in the delivery room for about an hour after birth to allow time for bonding.  If a medical emergency arises, I’m happy that Yale has wonderful doctors and the best technology, though I’m hoping that won’t be the case!

After the baby’s born, the family moves to the postpartum room, where they’ll stay for the next two days.  While the mom is settled in, dad accompanies the baby to the nursery where they’ll weigh the baby and clean him.  Then dad and baby join the mom again in their room.  Yale encourages families to keep the baby in their room, and when we walked by the nursery there was only one baby there.  Nurses will take babies to the nursery, but only if the parents request it. 

The next two days will be full of visitors and time to learn how to take care of the baby and bond as a family.  Dad is encouraged to stay in the hospital, and there’s room service.  There are breastfeeding classes and lactation consultants, as well as nurses that are happy to help mom learn to take care of her newborn.  The pediatrician and ob/gyn will come in to check on both mom and baby.

Overall, Ed and I felt so much more comfortable after our class and visit to the hospital.  I’m so pleased that Yale’s policies and staff are supportive of and encourage natural birth, the way that we’re planning to have our baby.  We’re so happy we have chosen Yale as our hospital, and we’re looking forward to the big day that our baby boy makes his appearance!

January 25, 2010 at 2:06 am 5 comments

32 Weeks

Today we went for our 32 week check up and got good news, all is progressing well.  I’ve gained a total of 25 lbs, my blood pressure was 118/72, my belly is the right size, and everything looks good.

The baby is head down and the doctor showed me how to feel the back of his head.  I really couldn’t tell what was what, but I was glad he tried to show me.  The baby’s feet are right up under my ribcage, which I already knew because he’s been kicking me for the last few weeks.  His heart rate was 140 beats per minute.

We talked more about my wishes for a natural delivery, and about intermittent monitoring so I could get up and walk around during labor without being hooked up to machines.  The doctors seem to be more than willing to respect my decisions, and he encouraged me to try different positions in labor, walking, and hot showers.  He again verified that as long as I test negative for Group B Strep, I won’t need to have an IV.  That test will take place at 36 weeks, so I’m hopeful that it’ll be negative but realize there’s nothing I can really do about it.  My next appointment is in two weeks.

I’m feeling bigger and bigger, but happy to report that I’m sleeping better and haven’t had heartburn more than a few times.  I look foward to feeling the baby’s kicks in the morning at night, and a few times throughout the day.  I’m feeling really great and am loving being pregnant.

January 13, 2010 at 12:02 am 7 comments

Baby Shower

The cake

Me and the grandmas-to-be

Great-grandmas to be

Diaper cake

Me and mom

Ed looking at the presents after everyone left

We had a wonderful shower today! Everyone was so generous, and we’re very thankful.  I must say that I feel so much more prepared now, knowing that we’ve got all of these things we needed, and some luxuries, too!  I can’t wait to organize and set up the baby’s room.  Now we just need to wait for the furniture to arrive and we’ll be all set!!!

January 10, 2010 at 2:55 am 1 comment

What’s in a Name?

We’re still working on finding a name for our little boy.  It seems like “Do you know if it’s a boy or a girl?” is always followed by “Did you pick a name yet?”  NO, no we have not. 

We know what kind of name we’re looking for: a traditional name.  We’re Abigail and Edwin, and we’d like something to go along with our names.  Ed doesn’t want a junior, so that’s out.  But the real problem comes in when we start to think about names we like.  Our families are so big that every name we like is already taken.  For example, here is just a sampling of the male family members we see on a regular basis and therefore don’t want to use their names:

  • Alfred, Richard (our dads)
  • Jonathan, Nathaniel, Christopher (our brothers)
  • David (grandfather, uncle and cousin)
  • Andrew (grandfather, uncle and cousin)
  • Paul, Robert, Daniel, Thomas (uncles)
  • Matthew, Mark, Michael, Aaron, Alden, John, George, Stephen, Tyler, Christian, Ryan, William, Jacob, Cody (cousins)

So… traditional names that aren’t already taken are tough to come by.  But we are working on it!

January 8, 2010 at 1:01 am 2 comments