Birth Plan

Now that I am getting a little further in my pregnancy I decided I wanted to write down some things that I would like to have as part of my birth plan. I know that birth cannot be “planned” but I also know from experience that not having a plan doesn’t always work out either.
These are in no particular order:
  • Leave my husband sleeping or undisturbed for as long as I can help it (this is because I think that once you have attention on you, you are more likely to “perform”)
  • Call my midwife and doula once I start having active contractions but advise them not to hurry unless I feel I need them sooner. (this is because once my midwife arrived last time I felt pressure and less at ease)
  • Call my sister early so she has plenty of time to prepare for childcare
  • Refuse having my water broken unless medically necessary
  • Avoid exams unless medically necessary (obviously for lower risk of infection in the case of my water being broken, but also so I do not focus on how far I have come or have to go)
  • Stay active as long as possible throughout early labor unless at night
  • Take regular outside moment (as this allows your mind to remember that life still goes one as normal for the rest of the world. I do this when I watch tense movies like “I AM Legend”, as well. LOL)
  • Take moment to focus on my unborn baby as this process is not just happening to me but to him as well.
  • When the pain gets to much to handle, turn all my focus on Jesus and what he endured for me on the cross.
  • I do NOT consent to erythromycin or other medication in baby’s eyes
  • I will decide after birth whether to administer vitamin K
  • The umbilical cord should remain unclamped and uncut until pulsing stops or is medically necessary.

I might add more as time goes by.

Remembering Why I Am Doing This

So I love watching “A Baby Story” and “Baby’s First Day” and sometimes I see the woman who choose to get pain management drugs and they are so calm and enjoying every second like it was just any other day and I think to myself, “Why am I doing this again?”. Then I remember the complications of drugs and putting me and my baby int he hands of a doctor who is most likely taught there is no connection between problems in labor and drugs. I see over and over again on these shows when inductions go wrong, when a “routine” epidural causes decelerating, when Cytotec is used without care of the horrific risks to the mother and baby. I also see the occasional “all natural” birth. There is usually a point when the mom to be just feels like she can’t do it. I just love the moment when that baby comes out and she forgets everything and is just in ecstasy over what she has been given and what she has accomplished. I know that will probably not be very helpful in the heat of labor but I do know that when that baby is put on my chest, I will know that it was worth all the pain. I just can’t wait!

Gestational Diabetes Scare

So this last week I went to my midwife for a normal appointment which happen to include my third trimester glucose tolerance test. In case so of you don’t know what this is, it is when your blood is tested fasting and one to three times after you either drink a glucose solution or eat a sugary breakfast. Both this midwife and my first did not require the glucose solution as most doctors do but instead opted for the breakfast.
I went in to have my finger pricked and tested with a hand held glucose monitor. My number came back at 90 which is within range (70-100). I went out to breakfast then came back for my appointment and blood draw. The midwife drew my blood and also tested with the instant hand held tester. My number came back on the monitor at 156. The number should be under 140. My midwife was concerned so she sent me home with the monitor and instructions to track my diet and test periodically until my next appointment.

Now it is important to mention that I was shocked. My diet is 90% gluten free, low sugar, no sodas, lots of water, plenty of variety including meat, fruits, veggies, carbs, etc. I am well within my normal weight range for my height and have not gained but 15lbs so far this pregnancy.

I came home and started charting and testing. My numbers were high when I expected them to be low and low when I expected them to be high. My husband suggested taking multiple readings at one time so I did. I took 3 reads with numbers of 136, 59, & 91. I called my midwife and she said to come in on Monday to do another blood draw as the monitor must be loopy. She did and while my lab results have not come back she did look at the first results (from after I ate breakfast when my instant read was 156) and the real number from the lab was 126. Within the normal range. The first finger prick I did when fasting was done on a different instant monitor than the one used for my second reading and sent home with me. I expect my labs to come back normal.

All this lead to a stressful week thinking that I had GD,  and my baby was in danger (plus an arm and fingers full of marks), all the while it was a bad monitor/test strips.

So glad that is over with and both me and my baby are healthy and can continue to eat as normal.

Hey… we all need a good simple read sometimes.

I just thought I would through out this random book that I am reading for the 3rd time (twice during my first pregnancy). Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife by Peggy Vincent is a great book to read during pregnancy or whenever. It is super well written, informative, and encouraging without being a “how to” book which I currently fill my time with. It is nice to put down some of my more directive or instructional books and end the night of reading with this one because it is no fuss. You can enjoy the book almost from a fictional standpoint and just enjoy Peggy’s great story telling ability. From her earlier years to the end of her career this book has kept me coming back for more.

Got myself a Doula

Today I met with a wonderful young woman named Emily Johnson who is a part-time doula. While she hasn’t been working as a doula for a long time I feel that her desire to serve woman and obvious ability to reach outside herself will make her a wonder addition to any one’s special day. I am super excited about her after our visit and I know she will add great value to my labor and delivery. She is Christian with similar beliefs (which I feel is important) and seems super cool, too. We are planning to meet again as I draw closer to Aaron’s birthday and I am just excited knowing that by building a supportive team to be with me during this time I am that much closer to a easy, drama free birth.

http://doulaemily.blogspot.com/

2 New Book Recommendations

I can’t seem to get enough of this stuff. I am reading two different books right now.

The first, which has quite a bit of midwife technique in it is The Labor Progress Handbook: Early Interventions to Prevent and Treat Dystocia. It details different stages of labor and what can possible be the cause of slow progress in that stage. This is really more for that mother that is looking for more than the normal natural birth books offer. It is not for a mother who wants a casual read with lots of stories. This doesn’t have any stories in it.

The second book is Artemis Speaks: V.B.A.C. Stories & Natural Childbirth Information. This book was recommended by my midwife’s partner and while it is a little out of day (written in 1983) it is full of super information about natural birth, VBACs, and tons of VBAC stories (both in the hospital and at home). She is a real feminist so there is a couple of chapters that make me uncomfortable and some wording used that I would not use but overall it is a good read.

Amniotomy – Why it should be avoided.

So I know many of us have seen in the movies that the first sign of a woman in labor is her “water” will break. In reality, it happens less than 15% of the time. So that means that you are more likely to have your water break sometime during early or active labor. Now the question begs, “Should the “water” be artificially broken by your provide?”
My opinion is no, if there is not medical reason for it (i.e. if the baby is already in fetal distress). The risk of an amniotomy far out weight any benefits, according to studies. The main reason practitioners perform this procedure is to “speed things up” but in reality this is not guaranteed and if it does, not significantly.

On the other hand the risk include:

  • Increased chance of cord prolapse. When the cord drops down below the baby and is squeezed between babies head and cervix.
  • Increased chance of cord compression. When the cord is squeezed by the babies body with the uterus.
  • Increase chance of infection.
  • Increased risk of Cesarean section.
  • Increased risk of fetal distressed. Caused by the cushion around the baby being gone therefore the baby takes a much harder hit during contractions.
  • If the baby is not already in the “right” position, lack of fluid prohibits proper placement.
Obviously these risk can happen whether or not the rupture of the membrane is artificial or spontaneous but more likely when you have a spontaneous rupture it is happening at the appropriate time for your body and baby, not when your practitioner says is a good time.

Speeding up labor should not be seen as a necessity (unless for medical reasons) and you should trust that your body will work things out in the right time. Letting nature take its course is usually the best option.