Dream you’re mine

The journey from miscarriage to whatever comes next

And we now return to regular programming…. April 26, 2009

Last night, we threw a couple’s wedding shower at our house. It was a group effort, but between invites, RSVP follow up, cleaning, decor, buying drinks and food, and developing weather contingency plans, it has been a pretty consuming effort! It wasn’t that I was doing shower-related things all the time, but the sense that I had an extra to do list was weighing on me. All the prep was worth it–everyone had a great time and it was fun to celebrate with the couple.

So now I can get back to focusing on ME! LOL. It will be nice to get back to exercising, having a messy house, and obsessing about all things baby related. So hot baby related topics in my mind right now are getting the crib, researching diapers, working on the nursery-to-be, and looking into birthing options.

The crib
So we want to get the IKEA Gulliver crib because it gets good reviews, it is simple and it is very cost effective. We’ll get the birch for $139. Since this will be the only child we have…maybe we will adopt an older child someday, but they will be out of a crib….it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of money. We are running out there today, since earlier this week it was not available online and had no known delivery date for our local store. Today they have 4 in stock.

We really want to use cloth diapers. Both disposable and cloth have pros and cons. It is mixed on which is more environmentally friendly. So I’m not going to preach about why this is better or anything like that. I guess I just don’t like the thought of diapers not decomposing in a landfill for so long, all the materials and manufacturing it takes to create something disposable, and the thought of putting disposables next to babe’s skin all the time. I picked up some used kissaluvs for less than half price. We’ll start off with that and a trial of some sort. But I like to plan ahead, so I’m also thinking about what we’ll want to use as the little one gets bigger. Right now I’m leaning towards pocket diapers. We won’t know for quite some time which day care we’ll have–if we get our first choice, they provide the cloth diapers there. If it ends up being somewhere else, they want all in ones or pockets. It seems like the pockets are more flexible, since you can change the absorbency through inserts and they dry faster by separating the pieces. I love the idea of one size diapers that are adjustable for various sizes too. I have a lot to learn still!

Oh my…this room needs a lot of work! I need to take some before photos! Right now it is full of litter boxes, cat furniture, random boxes, a dresser and a huge file cabinet. The file cabinet has been sorted and emptied so we can get something smaller for our office area in the basement. I’d like to go through the boxes and empty the dresser in April, plus start patching any holes in the wall. Then the goal for May is to get it painted. What to do with the cat stuff??? That is going to be tricky. Right now we have a baby gate up because one of the cats HATES the dog, so he feels safe in there. Plus the dog is fond of cat poop. So I need to do a lot of research on dog proof litter box options and how to integrate the cat into the rest of the house, without having him act out. I love them all. We just have to find a solution.

Birthing options
I’d prefer a drug free birth experience, just because I react really strongly to drugs. We meet with our doula in early May and she will be able to lead us through our options, so I’m not spending a huge amount of time researching this. I did pick up a book on Lamaze for a few bucks, which has also been making me think of other reasons for a drug free birth. Our bodies were designed to do this and once interventions start, it creates somewhat of a domino effect. Of course the book is v slanted to one point of view. It is just getting me thinking about the strength within my own body. I’ve done a small bit of investigation on classes or just the philosophy about Bradley method, Birthing from Within and hypnobabies. I know there may be reasons I cannot do a med free birth, but I’d like to be prepared for that.

Other than that, things are going just fine. The second tri is pretty nice. My only real difficulties are heartburn and constipation. The heartburn was bad from probably 12-16 weeks and then has just showed up again in the last couple of days. The constipation is constant. But the slow down of the digestive system is so the baby can get the nutrients, so I try to remind myself of that when I’m not desperately choking down prune juice. I’ve been feeling movements since week 16, but wasn’t really sure then. It has been a daily occurrence since 17 weeks though. It was initially only when I was sitting or laying down, but yesterday I felt him move while standing for the first time. That was cool! I’m really looking forward to my hubby being able to feel him kick. Hopefully soon.


Sequential screen results and daycare April 16, 2009

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Good news all around! We opted to do a sequential screen, rather than just the one-time NT scan. It meant I had to go back during week 16 (there is a range, but that is what worked for me) and have an additional blood test. We got the fab results yesterday! Risk of Down’s is 1:1700, risk of trisomy 18 is 1:10000 and risk of spina bifida is 1:6000. Woo hoo!!! This is so reassuring since I’m 39 and one of my losses was confirmed as a chromosome issue (Turner’s syndrome.)

I’m starting to feel a bit more confident in this pregnancy.

Then we checked out daycare #2 yesterday. I don’t remember if I ever mentioned daycare #1. The positive things were that everyone seemed very caring–the type of folks you’d want to care for your child. But the negative was a little overwhelming. They just opened in the last year and it seems they have grown too fast, too soon. It was all in a one room facility with cube-type partitions separating the age groups. This made for an extremely noisy, overwhelming space. There is definitely a lot more to say about the facility regarding the positives, but I just don’t know that I can get past the noise and what that experience would feel like for a baby.

So yesterday we checked out #2. We love it and soooo want to take the baby there. Not only does it seem stimulating, organized, clean, peaceful, loving, etc, but they have lots of unique features that would reinforce the parents we’d like to be. They cloth diaper, which means less laundry for us 5 days a week. They make all the food from scratch, including the baby food which is steamed and pureed veggies. They use green cleaners, recycled materials in the playground, etc. It just feels right. Of course, we don’t know if we’ll be able to get in. One set of friends take their daughter there and love it. Another tried to get their son in there, but never got called back on the waiting list. So we won’t know for quite some time if we’ll get in or not.

What are our options in the meantime? Do we keep looking and find a place we can get into for sure? Do we use a mixture of the daycare at work and mother-in-law until we can get in? Probably the latter. Luckily work always has openings. It may sound like a great permanent option, but it is located out in the ‘burbs (where I work) and would mean that my husband wouldn’t be directly involved with the teachers, the friends would be in the ‘burbs and there wouldn’t be the diversity of Minneapolis. A suburb of Minneapolis is pretty damn homogenous. So it’d be ok for the short term, but not long term.


Movement April 12, 2009

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This is more for my tracking purposes than anything else…

Starting about a week and a half ago, I thought maybe I was feeling something in there. It would only be when I’m lying on my side, really still and concentrating on feeling something. So I was suspicious of whether I was feeling something or not. But this past week, it has become more obvious. It seems there are two times when I can feel him moving around. One is when I sit on the chaise lounge with my feet straight out. Initially, that felt like a slow bubble rising vertically and slowly bursting. It is really low–maybe 2-3 inches below my belly button. Now I’m starting to feel it when I sit in other positions as well, but it isn’t necessarily the bubble thing. The other is when I’m lying down, usually when I’m going to bed or wake up in the morning (or naps!) At first, it kinda felt like when you first sit down on a water bed and you just have that wavy feeling. I don’t know how to describe what I’m feeling now. Maybe those flutters everyone talks about? Yesterday afternoon I took a nap and he was super active…I just want to stay in whatever position I’m in so I can feel him longer!

I’m looking forward to being able to feel him when I’m upright and be able to say “hey, that was a kick!” Or to say “he must really like when I eat/do xyz, because he’s really moving!” That will be cool. The u/s tech did say that based on the position of my placenta, once I can feel him, I’ll be able to feel him a lot. Way to implant, big guy!


Update from u/s April 9, 2009

The cervix looks good and all restrictions regarding exercise and lovin’ up the husband have been removed. They don’t know what caused the bleeding, so hopefully it does not happen again or indicate an unforeseen problem.

So the u/s tech is a sweetie, but made it pretty clear that the request was for the cervix check and she really doesn’t go beyond the orders. I used my sweet-talkin’ ways to convince her otherwise! (I think she just had time to kill before the next appt.)

She’s showed me the babe moving around, checked the h/b (149) and pointed out a few things. It is amazing how easy it is getting to pick out various body parts at this point! So I said, “if you can tell what it is, you can tell me” and she says “I think I already saw.” HUGE CLUE. So I’m like “you must have seen a penis then!!!” She was just scanning around and certainly never focused on that area, so it just had to be a boy. She then showed me and yep, it’s a little boy in there.

Then we get a call that my husband is there. So we decide to pretend like I don’t know, so he thinks we found out together. That was kinda fun. He was hoping for a girl (he feels boys are hard on things, but has no idea what teenage girls are like!), but seemed pretty proud that he has a son on the way.

It makes everything seem so much more real. I know we have a long way to go still, but I almost feel like I’m really going to have my little guy in my arms some day!


update from spotting April 8, 2009

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So I had more spotting on Sunday, which was still a small amount, but heavier than Fri night. I called the on-call doc, as the previous one had told me to call back if it happened again. This doc was horrible and pushed all of my buttons. She told me to relax, that the chances of having a miscarriage in the second tri are very small and, if I’m going to, there is nothing they can do anyway. Complete lack of sensitivity! You never, ever tell someone who is in the “less than 1% of the population” category that the chances are small that something could go wrong. I sobbed and was crabby for days.

Would you believe this woman has been an OB for 27 years???

After that, I just wanted to see my doc and waited for my 16 week appt today. That didn’t go exactly as planned, as my doc is unexpectedly out of the office for a couple of weeks. Luckily my appt was rescheduled with the first on-call doc I spoke to and she was v understanding and action oriented. After the horrible convo on Sunday, I had to turn to my good friend Dr Google for second tri spotting. I realized that I have several risk factors for an incompetent cervix (having a d&c, cone biopsy and LEEP all in the last few years.) I explained my symptoms and that concern in particular. She peeked and poked, thinking all seems fine. And she also scheduled an ultrasound tomorrow to check the length of my cervix. If it is not ideal, I’ll be coming in every 1-2 weeks for another ultrasound until about week 22. I definitely feel much better, simply by being listened to and taken seriously. Hopefully I’ll get to see a bit of the baby tomorrow too!


Scare at 15w6d April 5, 2009

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On Friday night, I did 20 mins on the elliptical and then a weight lifting class. I’ve been doing both 1-2 times a week and felt great. After having dinner with the hubby, the most dreaded thing happened. I saw blood when I went to the bathroom. It wasn’t a lot, but absolutely terrified me. I kept thinking I should use the doppler or call the doc, but I was too scared to do either. Finally, I calmed down enough to use the doppler and the baby’s heart was beating away. So I decided to wait on calling the doc to see if it happened again. It didn’t. But I did call the next day to talk to the doc. I’m supposed to avoid exercise and sex until after my appt on Wed and call back if it happens again. I’ll miss exercise!

I’m secretly hoping they give me a surprise ultrasound on Wed to make sure all is ok. That would be cool.


Doula interview

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So we have gradually come to the decision that we are going to have a doula for this pregnancy. A friend had one years ago and had expressed how helpful it was, particularly in providing her and her husband with the ability to communicate better during labor and delivery. It was an interesting convo, but I wasn’t convinced. Then I asked my doc how to best start preparing for a med-free birth (more on reasons why later) and the word doula jumped out of her mouth instantly! I was expecting to hear various birth methods and classes or books, so that was a surprise. She gave me the card of a doula who works extensively with their clinic and hospital. She also shared some facts regarding fewer pre-term births and c-sections for those who work with doulas–none that I actually retained though. We met with her the first time the other night and I thought it’d be helpful to share the questions we asked.

First of all, there are a couple of key reasons why this feels right to us.
1. I’d prefer a med-free birth, knowing absolutely anything could happen and the most important decision is what will keep us safe. I’m not trying to be a hero or get some street cred. I just react really strongly to medication and it adds a level on unpleasantness that I’d prefer not to have when giving birth. The most severe reaction was when I had knee surgery and they started administering anti-nausea meds with the anesthesia. I woke up puking. They gave me more anti-nausea meds. I continued to puke. They gave me the max meds they could. I still spent several hours in recovery puking my guts out and continued to dry heave all the way home, with a bed pan for any additional puking. That was on an empty stomach too. So when I had the d&c in Sept, we told them about my reactions, so they only gave me 1/4 the normal dose of meds. Did I puke? Yes, yes I did. I instantly pass out when given anything that may cause drowsiness, I’ve had medical professionals tell me they have never seen anyone react so quickly to meds, etc. So a med-free birth will be incredibly tough, but I’d do just about anything to avoid all the side effects.
2. My hubby is nervous. He says he’s queasy around blood, although he hunts and guts animals. (This is especially gross considering I’m a vegetarian!) So I want someone there who can support him and, if he passes out or something, can be my support system. The doc and nurses will be doing important stuff, but will have other things to focus on, so I want someone who can be 100% dedicated to meeting our non-medical needs. I also get crabby when I’m tired and that is when hubby and I start bickering. It will be fab to have someone there to distract us and say “hey, why don’t you try this?”

Anyway, after talking to the doula, it definitely seems like the right decision for us. First, I explained our background, since there aren’t a lot of folks out there who have lost 5 babies and we tend to be a little more anxious. Here were our questions:
1. Why do you do this?
2. What is your training and what was required to complete that? How many births have you done?
3. Tell us about some of your experiences. What have been the most difficult/challenging situations and how were they handled?
4. What is your philosophy in supporting the couple? How do you involve the husband?
5. How do you prefer to interact with the doctors/medical staff?
6. What is the timing of mtgs and fees. What refund policies do you have? How many other clients will you have around our time?
7. What do you do in situations where you are unavailable and the woman goes into labor?
8. If we have questions/concerns between meetings, how is that handled? What sorts of things should we refer to you rather than doc?
9. What labor coping techniques do you feel are most effective? What experience do you have working with water during labor and delivery?
10. What do you suggest doing to prep now?

The woman we met with has done around 800 births and has worked with our clinic and hospital for ten years. It was apparent she has dealt with all sorts of situations, has a similar philosophy about how it is ultimately about selecting the safest option for mom and baby, and we love that she has an established relationship with all of our medical folks and vice versa. We’ll meet with her twice before birth for two hours each. At the first one, we are going to talk about the various methods for med-free births and figure out what will work best for us. Other things too, but that is one area I really feel the need for guidance. So we’ll probably meet in late April/early May. Then she is there for the labor and delivery and we’ll have one visit after the baby is here to discuss any issues with breastfeeding, etc.