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Archive for the ‘midwife’ Category

short story.

today was midwife appt day, and a biggie at that. today was ziggy: first contact day, ie first time hearing z’s heartbeat.

at 10.5 weeks, my uterus is measuring 11 cm. stellar blood pressure. pulse was normal. i’ve lost 5 lbs in the past month.

anyway, as i was saying, today was all about the heartbeat. uncle g even came along, and ended up being jude-wrangler. so. i gingerly lay on my back with the least pressure on my tailbone as possible. midwife michele listened with the doppler. nothing. more goop. nothing. a different doppler. still nothing. a third doppler. nothing. nothing but my own heartbeat and static that michele calls “the ocean”. everything’s fine, she said. maybe you’re not as far along as you think, she said. maybe you ovulated later. she was doing her best calm voice, the same one i remember her using right before she tore my perineum to get jude out.

she ran through other scenarios as she continued to press the doppler all over my belly and pubic area. my uterus hasn’t likely fallen forward yet. maybe the fall made it tip back a bit more. she could hear the placenta. perhaps ziggy was hiding behind. maybe we should order an hcg test. or maybe we could have an earlier ultrasound. are you worried? i asked, trying not to sound worried myself in front of jude, who was asking for “more” every time the doppler stopped making noise. i’m not worried, she said. then she told me to get on my hands and knees for a bit, to push my uterus, and ziggy, forward.

michele put the doppler underneath me and tried again, as i remained in that position, propped up on pillows, to no avail. she then asked me to roll over on my back quickly, so she could give it one last shot, with ziggy most likely out front. and then there it was. not the charging locomotive of jude’s heartbeat, but a quiet, shy, rapid swishswishswish of a beat. 156 bpm. ziggy. alive. we all cried. jude asked for more. more baby. more baby.

relief.

also of note: new midwife meg asked if i’d felt any movement yet. i’m not even 11 weeks, so i was hesitant to say i had. but i have felt bubbles, much like i remember with jude, light and airy and rhythmic. she smiled and said i really am likely feeling ziggy. and when she pushed down hard on the top of my uterus to get a measurement, she felt the jump of a wee fetus herself. so not only is ziggy alive, with a strong heartbeat, z is also quite the mover.

in other news, i found the bruise from my fall. it took awhile to discover, as it is located in a place i don’t usually think to observe. and here comes tmi: when h saw it, she said, “you have a black asshole!” and tomorrow, it will likely be green. my tailbone? i’m pretty confident it’s broken indeed.

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thrive.

first, thank you to everyone who left such kind comments on my last post. it makes all the difference. really. today is a better day all around, and i’m sitting here in my backyard sipping a glass of wine in celebration of small victories.

so, today was jude’s and my 6 week appointment with our midwife, appropriately occurring 8 weeks after jude’s birth. i confess that the delay is mostly due to my own procrastination. i simply wasn’t ready at 6 weeks postpartum to have a speculum all up in my suzy. two weeks later, it was more tolerable.

the good news for me is that my wounds are healing “beautifully”. there’s nothing quite like two women staring at your lady parts with huge grins on their faces, as you hold your legs apart on a bed.

the good news for jude is that holy shit she’s thriving. the moment we walked in the door, midwife michele began to laugh. jude is a chunk, there’s no mistaking it. but we weren’t quite sure just how chunky she is. and so michele laid her on the scale. and…wait for it…our little judelet weighs in at 14 lbs 2 oz!! for serious. she has gained 6 lbs in 8 weeks. michele swears that i feed jude milkshakes. more like recycled hot pockets and hamburgers.

it was so good to see michele and midwife kristen. they are a part of our fambly now, and we love them. jude knew their voices immediately, and was happy to be snuggled in their arms. we promised to stop by for lunch in the near future, and left michele’s house with lots of kisses and hugs.

it was a good day.

and now for photo goodness, complete with our gigantic baby:

kristen, jude, and michele:
i heart my midwives.

us with michele:
with midwife michele.

us with kristen:
with midwife kristen.

little j checking out all the cool things on m’s walls:
so much to look at.

m doing her midwifey thang:
michele listens to jude's perfect heartbeat.

oh, and baby (a bit red, but not too bad) bum:
nekkid baby with a red bum.

pee ess, a note on nappies: at home, we keep jude diapered in bum genius or prefolds with wool soakers. on the go, we put her in disposables. we heart 7th generation, but ironically, it’s the p.ampers swaddlers that help with diaper rashes. go figure. so yeah, that’s all.

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milestones.

it’s a sunny sunday evening here in the bedroom. my eyelids are heavy, but i’ve got a baby to feed in a bit, so i will stay awake by updating.

first of all, wow. we are floored by the amazing support of people around the world caring about the beginning of our little fambly. we have been flooded with wellwishes from wonderful strangers, and we feel so loved and supported. i know that i was carried by the kindness and hope and prayers of all of you. thank you thank you. the internet is such an amazing place sometimes…

our darling jude is emerging from the haze of being born, and every moment, a new wave of intense love crashes over my squishy little heart. i kiss her eyes and nose and baby lips, and i stare. how on earth did this person come through my body into the world? she is such a force of nature, and i cannot wrap my brain around the fact that a sperm and egg, meeting by way of a syringe, came together and created her. wonders never cease.

…i think that the world hasn’t collapsed into utter chaos for no other reason than the wonder overtaking new parents upon the birth of their babies every day.

so our judebug is blinking her blue eyes back at us with something like recognition now. and she snuggles close against my belly, skin to skin, every time i feed her.

my milk came in last night, and she fed constantly all.night.long. it was a rough night. poor h has to be awake with me as i feed the baby, because i still can’t sit on my ass, and have to nurse lying down. h handles the burping, the mid-feed shitsplosions, the fun of helping me flip over to switch breasts. along with the joy of nearly engorged breasts, the swelling around my many stitches disappeared last night, leaving me fully feeling the aftermath of jude’s fast birth for the first time. sitting down to pee was a nightmare that left me in cold sweats, and stupid ibuprofen sucked ass.

oh, but morning finally came, and jude was milk drunk and content. i caved and took half a hydrocodone, and order was restored with my ability to rest and heal.

midwife michele came over to check jude’s progress as a newborn, and the report was mostly great.
at 2 days old, jude had lost 6 oz, and at 4 days, she’s gained back 2 oz. considering my milk just came in last night, we are very pleased with this. her jaundice is not bad, and is already clearing up. she’s got great transitional poo, and clear urine. h has been sunning her twice a day out in the yard, which is helping things along greatly. also, i’m healing well, despite the pain last night. my stitches are dissolving, and my uterus is just where it should be. [now, if i could just poo…that’s another story.]

there are so many stories to tell, and my afterbirth story is one of them, but it’s time to give my girl the boob.

i leave you with this milestone: a few moments ago, i enjoyed my first postpartum whiskey. a half shot of bushmills over ice. after 10 months without my favorite libation, i nearly swooned at the perfect sting on my tongue. joy complete.

OH! and the feared postpartum sagging belly lying next to me in bed has not happened. i’ve clearly got no sixpack, but my muscles are strong, and my skin has begun to snap back already. my belly actually looks better (to me at least) than it did before i got pregnant. or maybe i have a faulty memory. in any case, i am grateful!

after reading this meandering post, i reward you with what you came here for:

dr evil hatches a plan.
doctor evil, much?

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birth story.

[note: m = midwife, v = backup midwife, and s = midwife apprentice.]

on june 18, i woke up with a craving for blueberry muffins. i’d been dreaming of them, freshly baked. and so i woke h up at about 7, and asked her to go for a morning walk with me. i envisioned us finding yummy muffin mix at the corner store. sadly, they had no muffins to speak of. fortunately, they had donut holes delivered by the krispy kremey people. so. nice consolation prize. and we got a 1.5 mile walk out of the deal.

incidentally, i had pretty regular contractions throughout our walk, and i could feel sparky’s head low against my cervix. i felt different that morning. the contractions felt similar to how they’d been all along, but i had a sense of this is all working up to something today. and so i called my midwife to update her with details of sparky’s whereabouts in my pelvis. upon hearing the news of sparky’s lowness, m said excitedly, “it looks like we’re having a baby today!”

h and i needed to make a trip to the grocery store later that morning, and since m’s house is in the neighborhood, she asked us to stop by for an exam. m immediately agreed that sparky was ready to come: she was -1 station, and i was 3 cm dilated and as effaced as i was going to get until i was completely dilated. she gave me an intense cervical massage to stir up the hormones, and recommended that i drink a castor oil smoothie when i got home, to push me over the edge from pre-labor to active labor.

h and i took our time at the store, and as we walked the aisles, my contractions were slowly becoming more regular, and more intense. finally, we came home, and i ate a lazy late lunch. i really was in no hurry to drink the castor oil. i didn’t want to do it at all. i knew that it would push me into active labor, but i also knew that i would probably have the worst shits of my life, and knowing my sensitive little system, i’d still be shit-happy by the time i was ready to deliver sparky. finally, at about 4 pm, h blended orange juice and castor oil, and i forced it down with much whininess and gagging.

castor oil is supposed to take effect within about 2 hours. 20 minutes after i drank it, i was on the toilet. the contractions quickly came closer together (about 3 mins apart after being 5 mins apart all day). m, v, and s arrived to our house at about 6 pm. m immediately checked my progress, and said i was now 4 cm dilated, and the baby’s bag of waters was right on my cervix. she offered to break my waters then, and get the party started right away, but i wasn’t ready. i was tired and was on the toilet every 10 minutes, and the thought of jumping into the big scary part of the experience so soon was too scary.

and so we drew a bath. heaven, heaven. hea.ven. i lay there on my side for a long, long time, as h poured water over my belly and my back and my legs. the contractions were coming in stronger, longer waves now. they weren’t crashing over me, so much as rolling by. i watched in awe as my belly turned into a rock every few minutes. i breathed deeply as my lower abdomen seized and my lower back ached with the worst mentrual cramps ever. the endorphins kicked in about that time, and i was able to find a peaceful place inside myself to just let these contractions happen and to bask in the relief of their passing. the midwives poked their heads in the bathroom every twenty minutes or so to check fetal heart tones, and sparky was a happy little girl. as i rested in the tub, with h so lovingly tending to me, i felt the presence of my dear aunt mh, who passed last summer. i felt her calmness, her stoicism, her fortitude. i smiled and told h.

finally, m told me it was time to get out of the bath for another internal check. it was a little after 8 pm, i think, as i could see the sun going down outside my bedroom window. i remarked that a walk sounded nice, now that it was cooling off outside. m checked me, and said that i was now 5 cm dilated, with a poochy bag of waters waiting for the perfect opportunity to break. she offered again to break the bag, or to leave things be and go to bed for the night. i was still afraid of getting to the point of no return so quickly, but i felt like it was fast approaching anyway, and so i agreed.

my waters broke with a pop and a gush. immediately i entered transition. the contractions took me over in a new, frighteningly intense way. they were no longer aches and cramps, but fire in my belly, wave after wave of fire. and those gifts of relief were much harder won. as i was coping with the adjustment to this new experience, m reminded me that i wanted to walk. i backpedaled with a “hellll no”. but she thought it would be good for me to try. and so i tried.

it took a few fits and starts to get me moving. i couldn’t integrate the contractions with movement at all and i was beginning to feel panicky. m looked me in the eye and said, “you’re experiencing fight or flight feelings now, and you can’t fight or flee this. remember, only your uterus hurts right now. let everything else go. let go of your arms, your jaw, your neck, your legs, your bottom. this is only happening in your uterus.” and so i focused on everything else i was holding tightly, and one part of my body at a time, i exhaled until the fire only remained in my belly.

somehow, we made it downstairs, and the midwives recommended i sit on the birthing stool for a bit. i did not like this at all, and politely told them exactly what i thought of their torturous stool. all i wanted at this point was to go outside, and suggested we go out into the backyard. i was wearing sexy mesh panties, along with a gigantic pad to absorb the leaking amniotic fluid. as soon we walked out the door, i remembered that we have four dogs, and they were all outside in the yard. naturally, they came flocking to me just as i had another huge contraction. i fell into a squat, with h supporting me, and another gush of fluid poured onto the patio. the midwives tried to push back the now very intrigued dogs, as i thought to myself, in any other situation, this would be equal parts nasty and hilarious. m decided to help me into a makeshift adult diaper, right there in the yard, as the pad was clearly useless against the fluid. and so it came to pass that i stripped and was put into a diaper made of chucks pads and tape. ingenious.

after the “let’s go for a walk” debacle, i was done taking suggestions for things to do. i wanted to be in my room, on my birthing ball, with h’s thumbs pressed firmly against my lower back. there was only the matter of getting back upstairs in order to make that happen. i have no idea where i found the strength to climb stairs while contracting, but i did it.

finally, i was in my room again. v dimmed the lights and lit candles. the midwives left h and i alone. this is the time when everything gets fuzzy for me. i sat on the ball for a long time, with my head leaning against the side of the bed. h stood behind me, applying constant counter pressure to my back. my labor mix played quietly in the background. so many of my musical friends were singing and praying me through the birth of my daughter. in my altered state, i was very aware of this fact.

i was in the most intense pain of my life during this time out of time. and yet, i was mostly silent. i moaned through each wave, and finally understood what is meant by trying to get on top of the waves and ride them through. i kept my eyes closed, and slipped deeply into myself. i’ve never been more mindful of remaining in the present tense. there was simply nothing else in the world other than me, the fire, h at my back, and my daughter descending. in fact, i forgot that h and i were separate people. she felt like the strong, standing part of me; my backbone.

i felt annoyed when the midwives had to come in and check sparky’s heart. i hated the interruptions, and mostly tried to remain silent and focus as they listened. m came in after what she said was 45 minutes and told me i had to try to pee. i was not happy about this change of scenery. i don’t remember if i was successful in my urination attempt.

another bath was drawn for me, but this time, it was not soothing. in fact, i fell into my most panicked state while in the tub. it felt angular and hard and i couldn’t escape and the contractions were coming so fast that i couldn’t change out of an uncomfortable position…i demanded to be freed at once.

and then suddenly all was quiet again. v recommended that i spend the rest of transition in bed, lying on my side with a pillow between my legs. she told me to try to sleep through the breaks, until it was time to push. everything around me went dark and silent, as h held me through the contractions, and i found my way back down inside myself during the breaks.

just as i was getting used to being in this place, m was in front of my face. “you smell like peanut butter,” i remember saying. she apologized, and asked if she could check me. it was just after 10:30. i was 9 cm dilated, with just a lip of a cervix remaining. h and v each held up a leg of mine, and m asked me to push. there went the lip. i was fully dilated now and ready to go.

i was right about the castor oil and its lasting effects. i’d told h as i bitched about drinking the smoothie, “i am going to shit all over m and not feel bad about it. she can wipe my ass and i won’t care.” and so it came to pass that the prophecy came true. “well, annie, isn’t that the sweetest poo you’ve ever laid,” m said as i pushed. i grunted and pushed some more.

once again, just as i got comfortable in this pushing position, m asked me to get up and try pushing on the birthing chair. the birthing chair is the assless chaps of chairs. it’s basically a chair without a seat. there’s room enough to hold your legs, but that’s it. your ass is left to gravity.

i pushed and pushed and pushed on this chair. things were going great; everyone was smiling. h supported me once again from behind. m told me to look down at my belly as i pushed, and wouldn’t you know it, my big belly was totally gone, except for just above my pubic bone. “reach up in your vagina and feel your baby,” m said. i thought i must be making fantastic progress, but i had to insert my finger a long way to find a baby head, and i briefly felt disheartened. i let the thought go and continued pushing.

and then the mood changed and the air was charged with urgency. sparky’s heart tones had dropped from 160 to about 90. she was stuck under the pubic bone and i was going to have to push double time to free her.

i was given oxygen, and taken back to bed. i held my legs behind my head, and pushed with my ass to the sky. there was a small part of me that felt panicked about the situation, but mostly i was back inside myself, concentrating on nothing but pushing. pushing, by the way, did feel comparatively awesome. it wasn’t pain anymore. it was just pressure. the contractions felt purposeful and helpful, and i worked together with them to bring my baby down. and i knew that i was a good pusher, too. i had no idea had such core strength, but i felt the sparky descent with every push.

meanwhile, m suddenly called for a shot of lidocaine, which snapped me back to the current situation. “are you going to cut me?” i asked as she numbed my perineum. i think she replied something vague like “we’re just helping you get your baby out”, and i knew she didn’t have time to properly answer me, and so i went back to following directions to push. i felt tugging and more pressure and her hands inside of me, helping me push sparky out. she asked me again to feel her head, and this time, a squishy fuzzy crown was poking out of me. i kept pushing.

there was no ring of fire for me. my perineum was numb, and the rest of me was well supported by hands and copious amounts of olive oil. i pushed as hard as i possibly could, and the oxygen mask kept slipping off my face, and then plop! her head was out. m yelled, “h, pull your baby out!” and with my next push, h had sparky’s whole body in her hands.

our daughter, judith marguerite, was here, after what turned out to be 34 minutes of pushing. she came out pink and screaming. and then she quieted down, and checked our her new digs. i’m not sure how long we all stayed that way, staring at each other, h crying and me staring in disbelief. but at some point, the cord stopped pulsing, and i watched h cut it. it was then that i delivered the placenta, which was mostly painless. it felt like i gave birth to a pancake.

jude got stuck because she refused to come out without her arm against her head. because of the distress, and having to push her out a lot faster than the ideal pace, i tore a lot. the pressure i felt after the lidocaine shot was m tearing my perineum to make room for my daughter’s head and hand. all that work with stretching and softening my perineum for months and it was torn on purpose!

i am so grateful for all the iron i’ve been taking. after delivering the placenta, i had an arcing hemorrhage, and required an immediate shot of pitocin in my leg. i bled a lot, “more than average” i’m told, and it could’ve been a lot worse…but i’ll save that story for next time. i’ve got a baby to feed now.

[next intallment: the afterbirth story.]

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so. just got home from midwife. sparky is -1 station, fully engaged, 3 cm dilated, and fully effaced i think. michele gave me a very very painful cervical massage/stretch. (think two fingers IN my cervix and making a peace sign. fuuuuuck.)

and now the contractions are big and bold when they come. i’ve been ordered to drink a castor oil smoothie (to the tune of SIX OUNCES OF CASTOR OIL) to push myself over the edge into active labor.

michele fully expects me to have a baby in the next 24 hours.

i’m going to enjoy a late lunch now, before taking on the smoothie. i’ll update later if i can.

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woke up this morning to a little bloody show. (i always get a mental image of a gameshow featuring lots of blood.) yay. good news.

so we walked. a little over a mile to the corner store, where h bought me kk donut holes. such sweet rewards. contractions were pretty intense while walking: 2-4 mins apart, lasting over a minute. we watched a chicken cross the road with her little chicks. an auspicious sign, yes?

so i called the midwife to let her know about just how low sparky is. (her bum, which used to rest just under my ribcage, is now situated at my belly button, which has finally popped all the way.) i gave her all the details of contractions and cramping, blahblahblah, and she sounded very excited and said, “sounds like you might have a baby today!”

so now i’m back to the pump and the herbs and will check back with her in a little while with an update, if there is an update…

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midwife appt today was all about having a second blood draw. last week, my hemoglobin levels came back at 10.9 after 2 weeks on all the iron craziness. so, we added chlorophyll and ferrous gluconate with blackstrap molasses. i’m still getting used to drinking a liter of green chlorophyll water every day, especially since it smells like ink and leaves my tongue green for hours. god, i hope my hemoglobin is up now. michele would like to see it at 11.7 or higher, so i can best handle blood loss during the birth.

oh yes, the birth. so, contractions continue, as does the crampiness. i received another lovely cervical massage today, which really ached after having so much poking and prodding up there this week. the plan is to keep doing what we’re doing with the walking and resting, etc through the weekend. if sparky still won’t budge, we begin boot camp on monday.

boot camp goes like this:

i spend two whole days hooked up to a breast pump, double pumping 20 minutes on the hour, every hour. i take a tincture of black and blue cohosh and caulophyllum, rotating every 20 minutes. basically, i’ll be watching a lot of movies.

if nothing happens after two days of this regimen, i will take two days off, and start it up all over again. the hope is that the herbs and pumping will inspire my body to get things going before i suddenly find myself 42 weeks pregnant, and stuck with pitocin. shudder.

at this point, i am completely relaxed about the whole thing. i am confident that sparky knows what she’s doing in there, and will choose her own birthday wisely. (but how kick ass would it be if she decides to come on friday the 13th???!) and i am hoping that the birth stories of the other three women from my birth class simply mean i will have an ideal, uneventful birth.

woman one: her story can be found here.

woman two: she did boot camp at 41 weeks, after nothing was happening. the next day, she had a beautiful labor at home, pushed for four hours, and then had to be transferred to the hospital for a c-section. her baby’s head wouldn’t fit under her pubic bone. she gave birth to a nearly 11 lb baby, who is healthy and humongous.

woman three: was due june 1. she’s still not budging, despite all the midwife tricks. the baby is fine, according to an ultrasound she had yesterday. but if she doesn’t deliver by monday, it’s pit and the hospital.

woman four: me. can i just have my baby at home please?

michele is amazed at 3 transfers in a row. “i haven’t had a transport in 2 years!” she told me this afternoon. “statistically, your birth is now looking awesome…” she encouraged.

and now to a nap.

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h and i were out and about running errands when the contractions started coming pretty regularly. (actually, they began in the middle of my therapy session!) i had to call midwife michele for lab results (my iron is 10.9…we’re trying to bump it to 11.7) so i mentioned this fact. they felt a little different today, in that i felt the contractions equally while sitting or standing. and they were coming 3-5 mins apart, lasting about a minute. lower back burn and wrapping around to just underneath my navel. ow.

so michele squealed a bit and asked me to check back with her in an hour. an hour passed; h and i enjoyed a lunch of falafel and gyro, respectively. contractions kept coming. i called michele back, and since were in the neighborhood, she asked us to come by for a quick exam. and guess what? i’ve made progress.

drumroll please: i am now 2 whole cm dilated, and 85% effaced, with a melty, buttery cervix. (such adjectives made me hungry for movie theater popcorn.) sparky has moved on down a bit (-1 station i think), which is why i am feeling pressure on my buttery cervix at all times anymore. well hooray.

michele massaged my cervix for awhile, which was quite uncomfortable, and when i asked about stripping membranes, she told me there was nothing to strip; my cervix and bag of waters are completely separated and ready to go.

and so she advised some mall-walking, which we did, hot sexy sexyness, which surely we will do, and an early night to bed. hopefully, things will pick up from there.

i had some good contractions at the mall, but they’re slowing down now that i’m relaxing without pants on. (you wanted to know this, yes?) however, i am quite crampy and sparky has massive hiccups way down in my pelvis.

i’m ready for you, little hiccuppy girl, if you are ready to slide on out.

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midwife appointment was frustrating yesterday. there were lovely moments, such as playing with michele’s tiny siamese-mix 6 week old kitten with the blue blue eyes. but overall, i was frustrated. my heartrate was up again, 100bpm or so. backup midwife wonders if it’s my thyroid and recommends i get it checked after i give birth. blargh.

my hemoglobin is still lowlowlow: 10.3. this is after 2 weeks on gentle iron twice a day, plus floradix (liquid iron supplement) twice a day. i’m taking it all with over 2000 mg of vitamin c every day. also, i’m eating a lot of red meat, cooked lovingly by my vegetarian h in an iron skillet. so i had a surprise blood draw, done by the new apprentice. hopefully i’ll have better results on monday. h is sure the midwife’s monitor is off.

meanwhile, the pressure is on to keep my iron levels up, should i go into labor this weekend. i have to start taking chlorophyll and a new kind of iron to help me absorb it all better. blargh.

not much has changed as far as labor progress goes. i’m still hanging out at a little over 1 cm dilated, and am 75-80% effaced. sparky is -2 station. during the internal exam, however, michele could feel sparky’s head tuck nicely when she pushed down on her bum. so she’s in a good position to come out the right way at least.

oh, and i lost 3 lbs since last week. total weight loss in 4 weeks: 6 lbs. blargh.

so you see why i was a little frustrated yesterday, despite getting to play with a fluffy kitten?

yesterday was also psychological mindfuck day as backup midwife told me, “you know you’ll probably deliver a week or two late right? even if i thought you were going to deliver early, i wouldn’t tell you.” and even michele reverted to the adage that first time moms deliver a week late. yeah yeah yeah, i know! it’s hard to swallow the dichotomy of “let’s see if we can get you to deliver early” with “you’ll probably go past your due date”.

so anyway. last night, i was totally exhausted after such a long day. h fell asleep at 9. i followed shortly after. and i couldn’t sleep. my heart was pounding again, and sparky’s foot was pushing against my diaphragm. i tossed and turned, sat up, stood up, paced, rolled around on the birth ball, stared at the stars awhile. nothing helped. i couldn’t get a good, deep breath. i was dizzy and the more i couldn’t breathe, the more panicky i felt. it was claustrophobia, climbing at the walls, stuck in my skin, etc. two benadryl finally knocked me out at 1 am. i woke up again at 5 with the same feeling. tried everything again. one more benadryl was the only thing that worked when i was still awake after sunrise.

now it’s 3 pm, and i feel like i was beat up last night. oy. i am so ready for this baby to come out. i feel my hard belly, and the very long baby balled up within it, and i beg her to please come out. none of this later-than-my-due-date bullshit. we need to get things going please. because i can’t take this trapped feeling of not being able to breathe for much longer. i don’t want to introduce my daughter to panic attacks.

this morning’s redemption, so i don’t sound too incredibly whiny: i woke up to gentle rain falling. we’ve been bone dry for weeks now, and every day is a temperature for the record books. today, a moment of relief. i needed it.

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as it turns out, i am still 1 cm dilated. (h even got the official tutorial on how to check my cervix in the comfort of our own home. it was a bit weird to have her all up in my biz in front of midwives.) i am also 50% effaced. the news about my constant menstrual-like crampiness was met with squeals and thoughts that sparky will likely not hang out until her due date.

if she is still a fetus next thursday, i have my first home visit, where the midwives make sure they can find our house, give me my exam at home, and likely stay for dinner. (h will make a curry.) how exciting!

my blood pressure is still fabulous at 105/56, i think. heart rate was elevated, at between 90 and 120. they took my pulse several times to make sure i don’t have a heart murmur. i don’t. oh, and my iron. ugh. i was pricked twice today. in order to be clear for homebirth, my iron levels have to be at least 10. the first test showed me at a 9.something. the second was 10.2. and so i’m now having to monumentally increase my iron intake. on top of the ultramins and easy iron, i’m now taking floradix, which tastes nasty! i’m also doubling my vitamin c. and eating steak cooked in an iron skillet. fun.

so there you have it. remind me to tell you the story of our post-appointment visit to ikea today. mayhem ensued. but that’s a story for tomorrow.

edit: OH! and i almost forgot: i now have to sit on a washcloth full o castor oil three times a week after baths. the things i do for my perineum.

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