12 weeks

Ahh, 12 weeks. You are here already. In fact, you were here yesterday. The midwife group wants to go by my original due date of February 9, which is no big deal to me because they’ll let me go two weeks past my due date and possibly more, although they’ll start checking me much more frequently then to make sure all is well for baby to continue incubating.

So what’s a few days difference? Well, I’ll tell you…in my silly mind it makes me feel so much farther along! Monday I called it 11 weeks. And then suddenly on Wednesday I had “magically” skipped forward to 12! Tada! It makes me feel like I am that much closer to getting a bump, like our baby has grown that much more, and like this is really happening. I know, I know…I’m silly.

Here’s my 12-week picture:

12 week pregnancy photo

My bump is not as pronounced as it looks in this picture. I think next time I need to make sure hubby and I are standing perpendicular to each other so as not to influence the camera. 🙂 But something is happening…things are shifting, my belly isn’t quite as flat, and I can’t suck in part of it anymore. I can’t wait to have a bump!

And baby, sweet lil Midz, it was so cool to see you moving your arms and legs around on camera this week. You are now as big as a lime:

12 weeks, the size of a lime

It’s hard to believe that just two short months ago you were the size of a poppy seed and we first learned of your existence. My, how you’ve grown! And I’m starting to feel really good too. Not that I didn’t feel good before. I have definitely been happy to not have experienced morning sickness. I’ve just been so incredibly tired the last couple weeks. One day last week I even had to take a half day at work so I could go home and rest. But this week my energy is returning! And so is my appetite! I am craving the things I used to crave…veggies, healthy, lean meats (okay, meats still not as much…) and everything else that you need to help you grow strong.

Keep growing!


stress becomes wonder

Our 11 week appointment at our midwife group’s office was a wonderful experience! Yes, the wait was long, and yes, it took all morning for the appointment — but we received very personal, friendly, warm attention. I feel like we’re building a relationship with the midwives, not just being rushed in and out of an office, or that we’re a number.

We did have a bit of a worrisome moment. Our midwife tried to find the heartbeat for quite a few minutes with a Doppler, and couldn’t. One of my best friends who just had her first son recently did tell me not to worry if they couldn’t find it this early — that they couldn’t find the heartbeat at her 12-week appointment, and that it’s not always a given that “early”…but still…of course I worried!

The midwife could tell my nerves were getting to me. “You’re getting nervous. Your heart rate is increasing,” she said. And we could hear it too, through the Doppler. Only heartbeat we could hear! Then she told us something that was music to our ears.

“We have an old ultrasound machine here. If you want, I can wheel it in and we can take a look.”

So we did.

And the baby is gloriously beautiful. He or she was kicking and punching and squirming around. The tiny heart was beating. He or she was so much more interesting than the little bean we saw at seven weeks. We also saw the umbilical cord!

Here’s the video we took:

10 years, 11 weeks

Last night I went to my 10-year high school reunion. I must say that I think Facebook has taken some of the fun out of reunions. Everyone already knows what everyone else is doing…who’s married who, who has three kids already, who has been doing something really amazing and changing the world. Last night was also not a very good cross section of our student population. It was primarily the jocks, cheerleaders, and student government folk…of which I was not a member…so….saw some old friends, said hey to some other old acquaintances, and had a decent time…but I’m hoping perhaps the 20 year will be more interesting and diverse.

In other news, tomorrow we are 11 weeks pregnant with our little Midz! We have our next appointment with the midwife group and I am wondering if we’ll be able to hear the heartbeat. I’ll have my iPhone all ready to go so I can make a sound and/or video recording, and if we’re able to do that I’ll definitely try to post it on here. I have heard the heartbeat sounds like galloping horses. So, so far we have the heartbeat that LOOKS like a twinkling star and SOUNDS like galloping horses…could the imagery get much more beautiful than that?

why we switched to a midwife group

I mentioned last week that hubby and I have made the very exciting decision (for us) to switch to a local midwife group for our little Valentine baby, and I want to share with you the experience that solidified our decision and convinced us to make the switch. I’d like to say, as I always try to, that I believe everyone’s experience is different and everyone’s needs and desires are different…so what works for my husband and me may not necessarily work for you. And you could have a completely different experience with your OB than we did. So take this for what it’s worth…our experience…and then make your own discoveries, analyses, and conclusions.

My husband is completely ignored and no one introduces themselves to him, aside from our actual OB who does include him…somewhat
MIDWIFE: Makes him feel comfortable, welcomed, and asks him for his questions too…she also got him a chair to sit in during our consultation as there were initially only two in the room

One of eight doctors in the practice, none of whom we can meet except for my OB
MIDWIFE: One of two midwives (possibly three if they hire a third on that they’ve been trying to get in the group) and we will rotate between the two for each visit

About 35%, what we are told is the standard, and what is about the standard for Northside Hospital, which many woman love delivering out of in the metro Atlanta area (many women will call us crazy for leaving this hospital…but I felt crazy staying!)
MIDWIFE: About 8% of their births have to be transfered to the on-call OB for a c-section

“Well, of course you can deliver without an epidural…but we really don’t see that anymore.”
MIDWIFE: “About 90% of our patients don’t elect to have an epidural, but the option is there if you want it.”

Any, but I would have to be prone on my back at the “end”, because the doctor says that’s the “best position for [me] to be in if they encounter a problem”
MIDWIFE: Any position I want to, and they are the only hospital in Atlanta to offer water births and/or tubs to labor in

“Yes. It’s essential. Some old midwifery practices say this isn’t important, but that’s incorrect.” (By now we’re beginning to feel that anything outside the medical “norm” is ridiculed by the OBs here.)
MIDWIFE: Intermittent monitoring is all that’s required in most cases — which to me provides a very important thing — MOBILITY!

7 days. Which is funny, because my due date was pushed back 6 days in the blink of an eye after I measured behind at my first ultrasound. If six days are that easy to add on or take off my estimated delivery date, does it really make sense to only allow my baby to incubate in my belly 7 days past my due date?
MIDWIFE: Up to about 2 weeks…after 1 week after they start doing tests to ensure that everything is okay and we can let the baby keep progressing naturally

We didn’t get to ask this question. We didn’t get to ask the OB a lot of questions. We were very rushed at our appointment with them.
MIDWIFE: I can eat and drink during labor if and when I want

Didn’t get to ask
MIDWIFE: Yes (and he is actually considering it…COOL!)

Didn’t get to ask, but I am guessing yes, since I know this is pretty common

Didn’t get to ask

Didn’t get to ask
MIDWIFE: Yes and yes

Didn’t get to ask
MIDWIFE: I can’t remember the exact amount of time she said but it was NOWHERE near immediate and made me feel comfortable

Didn’t get to ask
MIDWIFE: Yes, as long as I don’t mind if it gets dirty

They do allow this, but I have heard stories about nurses and hospital staff pushing you to let them take the baby to the nursery so you can rest, etc
MIDWIFE: Yes, as long as there aren’t complications that require otherwise, which of course I understand

This is not something we asked, but I have a friend who just delivered out of Northside, and I know they pull the bottom of the bed off, you have your feet in stirrups, and they shine a pin light on your vagina
MIDWIFE: We did ask about this, and while the rooms aren’t as plush and hotel-esque as those at Northside, they do have dim lighting and absolutely do not put you in a bed with stirrups and a pin light — HURRAY!

I know this cross section of conversation between us and our former OB and us and our current midwife runs the risk of becoming a narrow view of the two types of practices, and I don’t intend it to be. This was our experience, and was one in which we walked away deciding that the midwife group would give us our best chance for having the natural, empowering, and peaceful birth that we are desiring. If you take anything away from this post, I hope it’s that you have the power to ask questions, research, and make your own informed decisions. Don’t be afraid to question your practitioner or look around if you aren’t satisfied.

I do recommend the documentary The Business of Being Born to any expectant mother. It is definitely pro midwifery/natural labor but was absolutely eye-opening to me in terms of the history and science it explained to me, and I think there’s value you can take away regardless of your beliefs on childbirth. My husband and I found it supported our inclination to switch to a low intervention practice and made us feel more empowered and informed. If you are interested in exploring a home birth, this is also an excellent resource to begin learning about that. While we did consider a home birth as well in the end we decided it was not for us for several reasons.

So we’ve made the switch. We couldn’t be happier. And we have our next appointment next Monday at 11 weeks. Can’t get here soon enough!

10 weeks

Hey baby!

I missed a couple of your weekly updates…your dad and I were on vacation and work has been more stressful than usual. But tomorrow we are in the double digits as far as weeks go. And hey, guess what? This week you are as big as a kumquat:

I’ve also read that another good food comparison for you is a prune. You are going to grow so much in the next few weeks — it’s incredible! I still don’t look pregnant, although I definitely feel tired and my breasts continue to be sore. I may have just missed out on the morning sickness though…I really haven’t had any of that to speak of. I have had some food aversions, and have wanted meat and even vegetables less than normal — and I normally loooove vegetables…but thankfully I seem to be rounding a corner as far as that goes.

Your dad likes to talk to you with his mouth up to my belly. He also turns his ear to my stomach and pretends you talk back to him and relays the conversation to me. It’s very sweet. We’ve also officially given you a nickname: MIDZ! Your dad is pretty tall — about 6’1″…and I am pretty short – about 5’3″…so your dad and I started calling each other mega and mini a while back…which morphed into Megz and Minz…well, not that you’ll be halfway between our sizes or anything, but put the tall person and short person together and we decided you are our Midz!

So we love you, Midz! As your dad always likes to say — “Keep growin’!!!”

back from curacao

I wanted to write you yesterday, my dear blog friends, but yesterday was…exhausting. Hubby and I just got back from our vacation to Curacao and I felt like I was plunged into pure insanity at the office. Although I didn’t know it until I walked in the office doors on Monday, we made three big-time new hires the week I was gone, and Monday was their first day. Being in marketing, we have a lot to do to get them up and going…so it was and has continued to be even busier than normal. Unfortunately, that meant I instantly felt like I needed a vacation again.

But we did have a great week, despite the sad fact that we actually found the locals to be very unfriendly and the service to be subpar of the laid-back service I understand is often par for the course in the Caribbean. Aside from that…the trip was great. We were truly relaxed, had a great time together, and enjoyed the island. We fed ostriches, saw an aloe plantation, saw the biggest waves I have ever seen, ate great food, snorkeled, and enjoyed each other’s company. Hubby even swam with dolphins, and I did a waist-deep encounter (unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to swim with them because I’m pregnant — must be a liability issue in case those strong tails turn your way). Here are a few photos from our trip:

Beautiful Dutch architecture (the island is part of the Netherlands Antilles)

My excellent choice for a beach read: ocean's inhabitants launch attack on mankind

Our legs...loving each other and the view from pool to beach

In other VERY exciting news…we switched from my OBGYN to a midwife practice! We’re so incredibly excited about the decision, which we made yesterday after a consultation. In another post soon I’ll share with you the questions we asked and the difference in answers we received from the midwives versus my OBGYN, which I felt were very telling and, for us, made the decision very easy for us. More on that soon…

still here

Hey guys…wanted to let you know that, yes, I am still here. I am doing well but have had a very busy week with little access to a computer when not at work.

Tomorrow morning hubby and I are going on a tropical vacation through Saturday night. I will tell you more about it when we are back and will also catch you up on other things…like the two consultations we have with midwife groups next week!

Take care, have a great week, happy fourth of July to my American readers, and talk to you soon. I am so ready for this vacation.