Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Open Letter

Dear Cardiologist,

I came in here today to have you run an EKG and order an echocardiogram. I did NOT come in to ask you your opinion of my home birth...particularly when your offering it has nothing to do with the condition I am seeing you for.

And yes, my heartbeat is slightly elevated. That often happens when people piss me off. So take a hint.


The Patient You'll Never See After I Get My Echo Results

PS - Please consider a bar of soap and a Tic Tac in your daily routine. Just returning the favor of unsolicited advice.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Picture Time

As promised, photos of the baby shower:


...and if you want more to look at, photos from a graduation party we recently attended:


Currently Listening to: Samson by Regina Spektor
Current Mood: Cranky. I have no a/c. And I got a wicked charlie horse this morning.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Yesterday we interviewed a midwife for home birth, and then toured a birthing center and spoke with one of the midwives there.

We had discovered before arriving that the coverage for the birth center was great (read: pretty much free) where the coverage for the midwife, while existent, was not near what the birth center offered. So going into the interviews, I was assuming that we would end up with the birth center.

We spoke with the home birth midwife first. I was really impressed with her experience and demeanor, and she made me feel really comfortable with the idea of birthing at home. We learned that we wouldn't be cleaning up afterwards (she handles that), she brings staff with her (generally a nurse and sometimes a student midwife as well), and she handles your labor how you want. Don't want her around until its absolutely necessary? She'll step out and give you space. Want her there every second to offer support? She'll do that too.

I loved that she didn't feel the slightest bit pushy, as I have seen some strong personalities in the birthing community and could imagine some being a little too strong for me.

After the interview, we headed over to the birth center, about a 10-15 minutes drive from our house. We arrived a bit early to the birthing facility, so we headed to their office (they have two buildings - one for exams, the other for birthing) to see if maybe we could start early. We found out that the midwife was catching up on some sleep but would be over there at 5 as scheduled.

When we returned to the center at 5, I was a little surprised to see others there, as I assumed it was a personal tour with an opportunity to speak one on one with the midwife after. (My fault for assuming) After waiting a few minutes for two more couples that never showed, we were given a tour of the facility. It was homey - birthing rooms looked like bedrooms, with their own attached bathroom in most cases. The two rooms equipped for water births had a kiddie pool (that's really what they were, nothing fancy) in either the bedroom or the attached bathroom.

It was all nice enough. But for some reason I just wasn't feeling it. I kept thinking about being at home in my own comfy bed during early labor, being in my own bathroom for the water birth (we have a big tub). The familiar smells of home, my own fridge with fruit and drinks I would want. Not having to pack anything while I am in the midst of labor. Not having to MOVE at all in the middle of labor.

The birth center had oxygen and other items available should the patient need it, but so did the home birth midwife. All of the things they had, the midwife would be bringing to me.

The birth center midwife spoke with all of us as a group after, and I got kind of bored. She was talking about things I had already researched, things I had already learned. She was new, so the questions I had (e.g. "what are your transfer rates?) she didn't have the answers to on hand. And then, we found out that if they do transfer you, it would be to a hospital that I would not want to go to if there was an emergency.

When we left, I felt guilty. I knew that the birth center wasn't a bad option. And it was definitely the less expensive option. But I just kept thinking about how nice the birth would be in the comfort of my own home. How nice it would be to have Jonas and simply rest with him in my own bed, instead of packing him and everything else up to go home.

I asked J when we got in the car what he thought. He hesitated, saying he didn't want to color my decision with his opinion, as he felt that ultimately, I should be the one to decide. I insisted he go first and was relieved to hear him say that he felt better about the home birth.

So today, I faxed authorization for the release of my medical records to the midwife and am now planning for my home (possibly water) birth.


In a good way.

Listening to: Annie Waits by Ben Folds
Current Mood: Relieved. I also feel good after I've made a decision and started the process of moving forward with that decision.

Monday, June 1, 2009


So I haven't updated in a while. Welcome to one of many things that I will excuse with "I'm pregnant."

I only have 8 weeks left to use that excuse. May as well get the most out of it.

Everything has continued to go swimmingly with my pregnancy. As of today's OB visit, I have gained a total of 23 pounds (woo), am maintaining my low blood pressure, have good iron levels, good fasting sugars (I think I want to have a band with that name), and am measuring just fine. Jonas (yes, its official, he has a name) continues to rumble around plenty throughout the day, but refrains from jabbing me violently. Good boy.

The biggest change (aside from the size of my belly, my incessant need to pee, and becoming winded if I talk too much) is our recent decision to switch from a hospital birth to a home birth (ed. we are also considering a birthing center).

We had been discussing this possibility for the past few weeks, but we had decided that today's OB appointment would be the deciding factor.

Now, we are not exactly "granola" types here, but I do believe that in most cases, the birthing process should be a very natural thing. I think some of the pain and aggravation that can occur can be avoided if you are in a comfortable, less stressful environment.

While the birthing suites are lovely at the hospital we were going to be delivering at, there were certain things we found out today about practice policies that were dealbreakers for us.

1) The practice WILL break your water for you if it hasn't broken naturally at 7 cm. Not they will give you the option, they will just do it. They require it.

2) If you get to 41 weeks they will induce. Period. Not, the baby is fine, we can wait one more week. This decision was made by the head doctor (the same one from earlier horror stories) because of a traumatic experience where a close friend of his was fine at 41 weeks and lost the baby at 42. Aside from not being keen on being induced, I am realllly not a fan of a doctor that makes a medical decision for all of his patients based on emotional trauma from 23 years ago. His practice, his prerogative, but not something I want.

3) Clear fluids only during labor. This isn't that unusual of a practice, but if I feel like my blood sugar is low and could use a little energy, I don't see a problem with a bit of watermelon.

4) Antibiotics every 4 hours due to my Mitral Valve Prolapse. My MVP has not caused and complications during my pregnancy. The ADA, who used to have a similar antibiotic requirement during any dental procedure no longer requires it...and I have not found any reason that it should be medically necessary for me during labor. But again, I would not have a choice in the matter.

5) While the midwife was clearly not a fan of unecessary C-Sections, it wasn't so clear what her definition of "necessary" was. She also informed us that the hospital has an extremely high Pitocin rate (we don't want pitocin) and when I mentioned again that I don't want an epidural, she SAID it was fine, but her face seemed to say, "well, we'll see how you feel then." Granted, I realize that I have no idea what kind of pain I may be in for, but if I am going to make the choice to be in that pain, I really would rather have someone supporting me in my decision, rather than doubting me.

We've begun the process of seeking out a midwife who does home birth and have an interview set up with one this Thursday. While some time ago I had a little apprehension about birthing at home, I am feeling really good about the decision. Hopefully, I'll still feel that way after our interview.

And now, I await your "seriously? are you crazy?" comments.

Also - pictures of the shower are forthcoming. There was much loot and delicious cupcakes. :)

Listening to: Don't Stop Believing by Journey
Current Mood: Hungry! and optimistic...