Natural Birth is like a Unicorn in an Intervention World

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Doctors and midwives have an uncanny power to turn your day upside down with a few remarks. My first appointment in CA was with the Midwife instead of my OB that I used with both of my previous pregnancies. One would think that a Nurse Midwife would be the preferential option between the two when you agree with the Bradley Method because you associate a more natural approach with a Midwife, or at least I did. After waiting in the exam room with my two young children for over an hour the Midwife came in and proceeded to use that opportunity to update my chart by asking me all of the information that I had previously had faxed over weeks ago. Then within the span of a few breaths she threw out several interventions, said I shouldn’t gain anymore weight for the rest of the pregnancy, and kept referencing to my previous births as though going sans epidural was an accident. I left the appointment dumbfounded and seething.

A quick blurb on my weight first. I have PCOS which wasn’t diagnosed until I was 26. From the age of puberty until diagnosis I had a serious battle with weight. I would work like crazy at the gym, hike trails, everything and still the mirror would refuse to reflect my efforts. After diagnosis and medication I was able to loose the baby weight from my first pregnancy plus get 10 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight before becoming pregnant with my second child. To me, that was a HUGE accomplishment. Then after baby number two and a move across the country I was able to once again tackle the monster and loose baby weight plus get 15 pounds below my second baby pre-pregnancy weight. That weight loss journey brought my total loss to over 40 pounds. Now, here I am in my third trimester having made it through two rounds of bed rest plus one round of modified bed rest with only having gained 15 pounds from transfer to 28 weeks pregnant. I was patting myself of the back for great numbers until the midwife said that. It felt like all of that hard work over the past three years had just been kicked in the teeth and the wind had disappeared from my sails.

After some therapeutic venting to my dear friends I was able to charge on with my daily routine and pull up my big girl pants with the attitude that I wasn’t going to let this person push me around or dictate my mood. It took a day or so, hormones really like to blow things out of proportion, but I did it. I pushed back on one of the interventions already and am prepared to stand for my birthing rights if any others come to head. Thankfully I did have a great experience previously with my OB so I am just going to ensure my remaining appointments are with him or the nurse practitioner that I remember loving as well, no more madame midwife.

Speaking of remaining appointments, I am now on every other week prenatal check ups (already?!) and have to go for a growth ultrasound because Surro Baby is measuring ahead by three weeks (maybe snooty pants should have taken that into account too? sorry, sorry, I’ll stop).

Third Trimester?!

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The third trimester has arrived, or rather I have made it to the third trimester. Either way it is a little surreal! Braxton hicks contractions (practice contractions) are a regular part of my daily life. I am working on telling myself when to plop my buns down but that is a little easier said than done for a stay at home mom of two young ones. Adjusting to the new time zone has me a little extra tired these days but I’m crossing all digits that we will see an improvement in the very near future.

We made it!

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Design and Embroidery by The Freckled Clover (Target maternity t-shirt)

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Minimally packing for a family of four to be gone for nearly four months was quite the challenge. In hindsight I could have gone lighter on the kids activities and simply purchased them upon our arrival. That would have kept their backpacks quite a bit more manageable for their little bodies to carry through the airport instead of adding on to mama and daddy’s already pack mule loads. As it was when we did have them wear their backpacks to board the plane it made them waddle, swerve, and stumble like miniature drunken sailors. I also think we were at the tail end of my physical ability to fly comfortably. It was a huge blessing to have a direct flight because that cut down the amount of time in a tiny airplane seat with no leg room. Even with minimal swelling at this point in my pregnancy I had to keep moving my legs around to help with blood flow. The tray couldn’t come all the way down either with my belly in the way so I rested it on my bump (picture below) to have my drinks more accessible.

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There were a few obstacles along the way which made me all the more thankful to have the travels behind us. We made an immediate pit stop at a favorite Asian bakery in Irvine called 85 C Bakery. I may have mentioned it in my post about the embryo transfer trip. They have so many delicious creations from sweet to savory and wonderful drinks too. My husband teased me about the number of baked goods I piled on to our tray but I was just too excited! He did receive a pregnant mama don’t you dare touch my food look though. 🙂

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I am thankful that we are in California, almost to the third trimester, and starting to achieve milestones in this journey that have seemed so far off on the horizon for the past year. Next big item on my list is to set up a meeting to discuss plans and preferences for the delivery and postpartum. The questions to be covered in that meeting have been on my mind from the very beginning but I have understood that the IP’s may have been nervous to count the chickens before they had hatched so to speak.

24 -25 Weeks: We have reached fetal viability

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We have reached the stage of fetal viability. Not that I want this surro boy to come anytime soon there is a sense of comfort knowing that such a big milestone has been reached. Surro boy is, as his parents say “naughty” and keeps me awake with lots of acrobatic skills. If I lay against my husband he can feel some of the craziness and is always surprised with the intensity of some of the kicks and punches.

The past two weeks have been a flurry of activity preparing the house, logistics, researching minimal packing for a long trip, additional legal paperwork, and sending our preschooler back to school for a few weeks. Phew! Can you feel the tired? As a result several people have seen my brain sputtering along and petering out mid-sentence. It would be like having a conversation with C-3PO only to have his system shut off before the climax of his statement. Thankfully though we should have a little relaxing squeezed into the three day Labor Day weekend to attempt to fill the energy tanks a little before the final surge of tasks leading up to our flight departure.

Our girls are very excited about the airplane and ask regularly if we get to go today or they try to sneak their rolling luggage out of my office to go wheel it around the house. Hopefully the excitement will help for a smooth travel for the entire family. 😉

Surro baby boy is very active. The more fun things he does the more often I send messages to his parents to fill them in on the excitement. I’ve come to find out that he responds to music almost every time. Especially if there is a strong rhythm. The IP’s loved hearing this saying that listening to music can edify and relaxes the body and promotes health. Music has always been a very big part of my life, from classical to metal, and I couldn’t agree more. 🙂

I have to waddle run off to the next task but expect to be making a mobile post late next week. Thank you for following my journey so far and continuing to stick around for the crazy ride.