Posts tagged midwife

10 Days Old

The poop has calmed down a bit. I have been calling Reid my little pooper and it is still fitting–but thankfully he’s not unloading every other second at night anymore. The EC is going well, too. I don’t know if he’s making any actual associations , but he poops quite often in the toilet or sink and pees fairly consistently there, too. He should start to associate our cue sound with the act of going in the next couple of weeks. I’m really looking forward to that stage.

Tomorrow is Daniel’s 3rd birthday! Dan and I are taking him out for breakfast tomorrow (he loves to go out for breakfast just like his mommy!). Then Dan’s parents are taking him to an indoor playground, then we’re going to The Bahooka for dinner. I’m not sure how I feel about two restaurants in one day with baby Reid in tow, but we’ll see how it goes. We got Daniel a glide bike for his birthday and I am so excited to give it to him. He has a little ride-on car that he rides just like a glide bike–getting a running start, then lifting his feet to glide as far as the momentum will take him. I hope he’ll be able to get the hang of the bike without too much frustration.

We’re throwing him a birthday party in a few weeks. Dan and Sue will be out of town for about a week, then they wanted time to recouperate before the party since they’re throwing it. I just finished designing the invitations this morning and they’ll probably go out in the mail in the next couple days. I’m really looking forward to the party. I just love birthday parties.

When I had Daniel, I remember feeling so overwhelmed with motherhood. I loved it, but I was so exhausted and unmotivated to do anything but sit on the couch and hold/nurse him. My recovery was long, which had something to do with it, but I don’t think I was prepared for how all-encompasing parenthood would be. Now that I’ve been parenting for 3 years, the addition of Reid has been completely different. I adore caring for him–even in my exhaustion in the middle of the night. Whereas I knew I wanted to have more children after Daniel was born, at the time it was just theoretical. Now I wish I could have 5 children, and I mean it concretely. Maybe it’s knowing that Reid might be my last child that makes me cherish him all the more and allows me to fantasize more unrealistically about the future.

On the flip side, thinking about the possibility that Reid is our last child, I’ve allowed myself to imagine a specific family when I think about our lives moving forward. I can put a time-table on my time as the mother of babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers. I can think about what I might do with my time once/if one or both of our children are in school. I can think about projects and games and activites specific to our family size. But even while I am slowly allowing myself to consider a two-child household as a real possibility, it still remains a mystery.

Dan really feels like we should be finished having children. He would have been happy remaining childless. After Daniel, he was happy with just Daniel. And now with Reid, he’s happy with the just the two of them. Of course, he’d be happy to have another child once the child arrived, but the idea of having yet another is really scary to him. Still, it just doesn’t feel right to me to limit our family when it feels like we’ve only just begun. The real conversation about another child can’t really take place yet anyway. Whatever happens, we’re certainly in agreement that a 3-year gap between children is ideal. I probably won’t bring up the possibility of another child with Dan for at least two more years. Who knows what will be going on in our lives at that time. Maybe I won’t want another child then (don’t count on it). And maybe Dan will (ha!).

I have been recovering from Reid’s birth quite rapidly. I’ve felt good enough to do some housework, cook a bit, and go for a walk. However, today I started bleeding again. I must have overdone it this weekend. Today I spent most of the day sitting on the sofa holding and nursing Reid while Daniel played with Sue. My bleeding has slowed down, but it’s still going. I also have passed some bits of tissue. I’m not sure whether or not to be concerned about it. All the resources say to watch for excess bleeding and golf-ball-sized clots–neither of which are happening. But the idea that there are still bits of afterbirth inside me is a bit disconcerting. I’ve left a message with my midwife to call me if I need to worry about it. So far she hasn’t called, and I’m taking that as a good sign given that I have no signs of infection or anything.

Sleeping has been going better. Last night, except for one rough patch, we all slept relatively well. Everyone woke up around 10 AM and all in good moods! Tomorrow, because we’re taking Daniel out for breakfast, we’ll probably need to get up a little sooner than that, so I need to head off to bed. Reid is already sleeping, but I’m sure I can rouse him for some milk with a diaper change.

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24 Hours Old

Baby Reid Cameron Hanson was born just over 24 hours ago. He weighed 7 pounds exactly (after a big poo) and was 21 inches long. He’s quite skinny! Most of the newborns in my life up to now have been at least 8 pounds–including Daniel. It’s surprising how much of a difference one pound makes.

Reid’s head was smaller than Daniel’s, too. I don’t remember the exact measurements, but I’ll ask Margo when she comes to check on me tomorrow.

The night before Reid was born, my waves started getting stronger and more regular when I listened to one of the Hypnobabies scripts. I had set up a pillow nest in such a way that I could lay face down–my belly in a pit. I think it was the combination of being relaxed from the hypnosis and that position that jump-started things. The waves were about 10-15 minutes apart and I timed them for about an hour. It was after midnight and I was pretty sure I could sleep.

Though I woke up a few times to a strong wave and to go to the bathroom, there was no indication that “this was it”. But when I woke up in the morning around 7:30, the waves were still strong and continued to be about 10 minutes apart. They fluctuated from 15 minutes to 7 minutes apart all day and continued to get stronger and occasionally longer. I still wasn’t sure I had officially entered my birthing time because they weren’t regulating themselves and I’d heard that second babies can produce several false starts.

Sue came over and picked up Daniel so I could relax, just in case. I ate lightly all day, as well, just to be on the safe side. I had several soft BMs which did give me some indication that this was really it. After lunch, I took a little walk to the Paseo and actually ducked into some of the shops–not something I ever get to do with Daniel in tow. By the time I got back, I lost my mucous plug and was by then pretty confident that I would meet baby that day.

By the time I did my second Hibiclens rinse around 3, I gave myself an internal exam and discovered the bag of water was bulging and I was dilated to 5 or 6. I wasn’t really sure, since I didn’t have a lot of experience with measuring cervices.

I sent text messages to all my support people updating them with the news and Dan and I decided to head over to his parents’ house before things got too intense. I really didn’t like the car ride when I was birthing Daniel and wanted to avoid that.

When we got there, I sat on the birthing ball and waited for people to start showing up. By then, things had slowed down and I was only having waves every 15 minutes or so, though they were very strong by then. When Margo arrived around 6, she checked me and I was already at 7–even though things had never regulated or gotten closer together. Micaela was here by then, too, and I got in the tub and just chatted with her between waves. Except that the waves were strong and mostly in my back (and yes, they did hurt), in general, I was very comfortable and relaxed.

Besides practicing deep relaxation, I didn’t really use my Hypnobabies until the end. I probably should have tried using it sooner if I wanted more pain management, but I was really enjoying my very social birthing time and didn’t want to disrupt something that was so enjoyable.

My support people all ended up making it to the birth before I hit transition (something we were all worried wouldn’t happen due to Memorial Day traffic–they were coming from San Diego). At one point, I turned around in the tub so my back was facing everyone to allow someone to press on my back through my waves since all the pain was localized there. I was able to relax the pain away in my abdomen, but it was just too intense in my back for me to melt it away.

I decided I probably needed to use the Hypnobabies now, since there was not much socialization I could do at that point. Less than 30 minutes after putting my headphones in, I got an enormous wave that lasted for what seemed like an eternity. I was very vocal through that wave, and by the end of it, I was unintentionally pushing. Everyone knew exactly what that loud moan had meant, and I could tell there was a flurry of activity behind me. I pushed one more time in the tub and Margo felt to see if baby’s head was coming, and found baby ready to come out! My water burst on her finger and she told me if I didn’t want to have baby in the water, I needed to get out now because baby was coming out.

I remember saying that I didn’t care, but the water was too cool for him to be born in the water and the faucet wasn’t heating up fast enough. So I hobbled to the bed, and within 5 minutes, Reid was born! I really felt the ring of fire this time, which was not so pleasant, but I also felt baby’s head coming out bit by bit with every push, so I was very motivated to push through it. I could really feel my skin blipping over each of Reid’s features, his forehead, nose, chin–it was surreal. And then I felt his body slip out and I was so relieved. It was so different from Daniel’s birth where the episiotomy caused him to just blast right out of me.

I only tore a little bit with Reid, and although I’m sore today, it can’t even compare to how uncomfortable I was after Daniel.

Reid is nursing well, pooing a lot, and is so far an agreeable little guy. He does cry more than Daniel, but he’s fairly easy to sooth. I’m about to go to bed now. I’m hopeful for more than 4 hours of sleep tonight.

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39 Weeks Pregnant

So I did some more research on GBS, and found out that I was wrong about the European protocol of using an antibacterial wash in labor. Perhaps this is standard in some European countries, but not across the board, as I was led to believe by some other blogs. In any case, I’m still going with that protocol–wherever it is standard. I did find out that in the UK, women are not even tested for GBS and their infant infection rate is nearly identical to ours in the US, even though here AT LEAST 30% of women receive intravenous antibiotics during labor.

Today was the day I predicted I would start my birthing time. So far, I’m still pregnant! I have had a few minor indications that birthing will begin sooner rather than later, but nothing really significant.

Yesterday and the evening before, I experienced some intense pelvic pain. I’ve had some pelvic pain that’s varied from discomfort to outright pain for the last couple of months, but yesterday it was the worst it’s been. When it has flared up in the past, it is usually due to my doing a lot of walking, and I believe that was the case this time, too. However, when I felt for baby’s position–which I always do when I wake up–I discovered his head was kind of sitting right on top of my pubic bone. I believe that was putting extra strain on my pubis symphysis (the cartilage that holds the two front halves of the pelvis together). I spent a lot of time with my rear in the air–to get some relief from the pressure. I was so afraid that baby would stay in that position until birth. Thankfully, he had settled into my pelvis by the time I went to bed last night. Today I was MUCH more comfortable.

Margo discovered that baby’s head is flexed (chin to chest) and nicely sitting in my pelvis now. A flexed head is ideal for birthing as it means the smallest part of the head is the presenting part. The only thing that concerns me about this is that it took a few minutes of feeling around to come to that conclusion because it seemed like his head was simultaneously in my pelvis and not in my pelvis–meaning he may have a large/round forehead. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but I’m imagining all kinds of strange head-shapes now. I kind of feel like Margo would have recognized his head position more easily if his head were shaped more normally.

With Daniel, the ultrasound technition made a comment about how big his feet were, and I worried that maybe he had abnormally sized feet. It turns out they were just fine. I’m sure this baby will be just fine, too.

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38 Weeks Pregnant

My due date is on a Monday, but I see my midwife on Saturdays. So I’ve been motivated to write just a couple days before I actually get to the next week marker. But it’s close enough, yeah?

Last night I started having some pressure waves that were about a minute long and about 8 minutes apart. They continued that way for a couple hours before I went to bed. Some of them were fairly strong. I didn’t have the “this is it” feeling, but I contacted all my labor support people just to be on the safe side. I had a few more during the night, but nothing regular or consistent. By this morning, they were back to just two or three an hour. I’m still hoping baby waits another week or so.

Margo commented today that baby’s head felt small. Hallelujah if that is true! Daniel’s head was NOT small. It was extremely big, actually. And it tore me up. I was not then and am not now very dutiful in my kegel routine, which is supposed to help to keep one from tearing… but I’m still hoping this little one lets me stay intact.

I tested positive for GBS at my last appointment. Standard protocol in the US is to give intraveinous antibiotics in labor every four hours for mothers who are GBS positive. I’ve declined that treatment. Instead, I’ll use the European protocol which is to wash with an antibacterial wash during labor. I’m also trying to reduce my colonization by taking a megadose of probiotics daily to try to heal my gut (where the GBS bacteria grow), and megadoses of vitamin C and echinacea to boost my immune system and response. I’ve also been using the sliced garlic clove suppositories vaginally. Since these measures take one to two weeks to be effective, I’m really hoping baby stays where he is for the next week. Margo retested me today, but the results probably won’t come back until Wednesday. All I’m hoping for is at least some reduction in the amount of GBS found. If I make it to the next appointment, maybe then I’ll hope that I was able to wipe it out completely.

Daniel has been sleeping the whole night in his own bed the last few nights. Usually he comes to our bed sometime in the night or early morning–which we are glad to let him continue doing if he wants to. But when he stays in his own bed, he doesn’t get woken up by our alarms, and usually sleeps for 30 minutes to an hour longer than he would in our bed. That gives me a peaceful morning. I was actually able to take a shower this morning AND shave my legs! What bliss! And I was able to get dressed, blow dry my hair and make breakfast–all before Daniel woke up. The solo time almost makes me want to wake up even earlier… I get some solo time at night, but I don’t feel like doing anything by then. In the AM is when I have the most energy to tidy up, cook, bake, pay bills, whatever.

I don’t really know what I’m saying. With the addition of little Reid, these blissful mornings will have to wait another couple years to resurface. I guess I should really take advantage and enjoy them while I can!

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37 Weeks Pregnant

I’m two days shy of 37 weeks!

I had my midwifery appointment today. As soon as she saw me, she commented on how baby has dropped. He certainly has! The upside to that is that I can breathe more easily and eat more food. The downsides include pelvic pressure, having to pee constantly, and almost losing my pants as they ride so low.

I’m feeling fairly patient right now waiting for baby to come. I still feel like I have at least another week, if not two, to go before he decides to come. I have been having a lot of pressure waves and they have been getting stronger and more frequent. They are completely welcome as I know they are already dilating me and getting me ready for the big event.

I’ve gotten a lot of things accomplished, but not nearly enough. This week will be a major work week for me getting everything set up and ready for baby. We’ve got all the necessities ready to go–I’m just trying to get all the little stuff taken care of that I know I won’t be able to do very easily after he gets here–I need to catch up on the laundry, change all the sheets, vacuum (which includes getting all the junk off the floors), mop, and deep clean the shower.

I’m so unmotivated to do any of that when I’m tired… and lately I’ve been tired. I’ve been staying up way too late. My midwife slapped me on the wrist for that today. I’m not allowed to let myself get so tired anymore. She says I need to always feel rested since I could begin my birthing time any day now. She told me she doesn’t think I’ll make it to my due date. I’m hoping she’s right. For some reason I keep thinking the 16th will be the day. We’ll see.

Daniel has been a dream lately. He still has his moments where I have to remind myself to be calm and patient, but the tantrums have ceased and he’s becoming more and more independent. He’s also clinging to Dan a lot more lately–which makes me so pleased. I’ve actually been able to go out a few times and stay out as late as I want! Until just a couple months ago, Dan had a hard time getting Daniel to go to bed without me around. But it seems that he’s gotten over that.

I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks and months.

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35 Weeks Pregnant

The weeks seem to go faster and faster now. I have one more midwifery appointment with a two-week spread, and the remainder of my visits will be one week apart. I absolutely love meeting with my midwife, Margo. Dan does, too. She’s a delightful woman whose calm and wisdom give us the utmost respect and trust for her. I can’t say enough good things about her and am very excited to enter my birthing time with her by my side.

My Hypnobabies class is beginning to change my vocabulary a bit. I was resisting it at first–it feels awkward to say things like “birthing time” and “pressure waves” in place of the more common terms–but I guess the fact that these words and phrases are beginning to come more naturally to me suggests that the hypnosis sessions really are working. I am still really enjoying it, though I don’t find the time to listen to the scripts every day like I am supposed to be. I started out listening to them right before bed, but I would fall asleep to them because of the deep state of relaxation I was in. This is supposed to be just as good–as it is your subconscious mind the scripts are speaking to–but I want to consciously experience the hypnosis. It feels wonderful to emerge from hypnosis–something that doesn’t happen when you are sleeping.

I have been quite successful practicing the self-hypnosis on a daily-basis, though. Last week, I was practicing putting myself into a deep state of hypnosis that required me to be entirely limp and relaxed. This coming week, I’ll be learning how to keep myself in a state of hypnosis while being able to open my eyes and even get up and move around. I’m curious to see what that will be like and if I will actually feel like I am in a state of hypnosis or not. With the deeper hypnosis sessions, I definitely feel like I am experiencing something almost transcendental.

I learned a tiny bit recently about hypnosis and brain waves. Interestingly, the frequency of the brain waves of a person in hypnosis are the same as for someone in a deep state of meditation or prayer and the same, still, of an athlete in deep concentration, or “in the zone”. Having experienced this state of hypnosis as such a relaxing and pleasurable one, I hope to continue with this practice in the future–except I hope to be able to direct the experience toward communion with God in the form of meditation or deep prayer. Having learned these invaluable tools for calming my body and mind in such a way that I am not distracted by anything around me is just what I have been seeking on a spiritual level.

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