Isa’s Birth Story – Part III

I’m sorry this ended up being so long but I wrote it for Isa and I want it to be complete. And without further ado, I present the culmination of this literary event.

The midwife left and we all hunkered down for what ended up being 2.5 hours of pushing. Every contraction I pushed and pushed, my body took over and helped me bring my baby down. It was slow going but everyone said I was doing beautifully. My daughter’s head was right there for the last 30 minutes. The nurse kept asking if I wanted to reach down and touch it, or see it with a mirror but I just wanted to get her out of there. If someone told me how much hair she had one more time I was going to go crazy. I kept hearing people whisper to each other, the next one will be it, it’s going to be it, and then it wasn’t.

After what felt like a lifetime of pushing I felt my daughter kick inside me. Sadly I realized that it would probably be the last time we’d share one of those special, private communication just between us that I’d so enjoyed throughout my pregnancy. It was a sobering moment. By then the midwife had returned and was trying to stretch my perineum, which was evidently very tight. She told me to push more slowly but once my body took over it was impossible to hold back.

After one push the nurse midwife was suddenly urging me to “Take her! Take her!” “Take who?” I asked myself. My daughter was dangling in front of me. At 4:42pm she’d been born and I hadn’t even felt it! I was simultaneously disappointed and relieved. I’d so wanted to feel her emerge from me but I was also terrified of the ring of fire. I didn’t end up feeling anything, but I did hear the midwife exclaim, “She’s so much bigger than I expected her to be!”

I placed my own daughter on my chest and looked at her for the first time. I still couldn’t believe it. I felt like she had materialized out of nowhere. Who was this person? I stared at her, dazed, for several moments before I just broke down and started sobbing. My partner was sobbing as well. Suddenly, I remembered all the anxiety and fear I’d felt during my pregnancy. The whole time I was so worried I would never arrive at this moment, this sublime moment where I was meeting my daughter for the first time. But I had made it. She was here. I couldn’t believe it was true.

I stared at my daughter for hours after she was born. She had an unpleased look on her face, a look I now know so well. She just kept blinking and looking around, nuzzling into my chest. When my sobs subsided I just stared at her, kissed my partner, showed my mother what I had done. I was so proud. I was so happy. I couldn’t believe she was here. After all that, she had made it. She was healthy and happy and whole.

In all the commotion we hadn’t even checked if she was a girl (there had been uncertainty throughout the ultrasounds). My partner did a check and confirmed that we did, in fact, have a daughter. All three of us stayed close, as my partner and I looked from each other to the creature we had created and back again. My mother hugged me and told me that my daughter was beautiful. She called me “mom”. I couldn’t believe that title pertained to me.

Our birth plan made clear we wanted a good hour with her before they cleaned her or did any tests or gave her any shots. That hour was spent taking in the reality of our new family. After about 30 minutes I brought Isa to my breast and she immediately knew what to do. I remember saying out loud, “Isn’t this supposed to be difficult?!” If only I knew then how hard it would be, but at that moment it was so natural.

As Isa lay on my chest the after birth was expelled. I hardly remember how it happened but it certainly didn’t hurt. My partner told me it was a sight to be seen – he couldn’t believe how big it was. Then the midwife informed me that, despite her best efforts, I had a third degree tear. Because it was so deep she, as a midwife, could not stitch it up; an OBGYN would be arriving shortly to do that. She seemed genuinely upset that she had been unable to prevent the tear, despite warm compresses, oils and massage. I told her I didn’t feel a thing and I didn’t blame her in the least. The stitches were uncomfortable but seemed so inconsequential after all those hours of painful labor. Finally, after about 45 minutes, everything “down there” had been taken care of and I could enjoy my new family in peace.

While Isa was being cleaned up my doula left the room so my father could see her. Evidently he’d been pacing the halls outside for the better part of four hours. He came in when Isa was holding up her head and immediately declared her the strongest baby alive. He also heard the midwife refer to her as “perfect” after her tests and then the grandfatherly boasting began in full force. It was so wonderful to see my parents so happy.

Then my parents left and my partner’s came in. They agreed that Isa was a miracle and a beautiful one at that. She was so big that she hardly looked like a newborn at all. Despite being born 11 days early my daughter weighed in at 8 pounds 15 ounces, 20.75 inches long; a big girl to be sure. And her hair! She had so much hair. Gorgeous dark hair framing her beautiful face. She looked so much like her father but upon closer inspection was a perfect mixture of him and me.

Eventually we were moved to the maternity ward. I was given ice pack pads and giant maxi pads to place in my mesh hospital panties. My hair was soaked through with sweat and all I wanted to do was take a shower. My daughter was taken away for more tests and I took one of the most amazing showers of my life. I had forgotten shampoo but used the California Baby stuff we’d brought for Isa. I emerged from the shower slowly, shuffling back to the bed and carefully positioning all the ice and absorbent pads in the proper place before gingerly lowering myself onto the sheets. I was very sore, but completely satisfied.

There were many times that night and the following day where I was sure it was all a dream. I don’t know if it’s because she came early or if it was just the enormity of her being born, but I was absolutely certain I would wake up from this reality. It wasn’t that it was too good to be true (thought it was) it was more like I could just not wrap my head around the fact that, in the short span of a day, my identity had completely changed. I asked my partner, my mother, even friends if it had really happened. They all assured me they were not just characters in my dreamscape, but I wasn’t easily convinced. It was the most unsettling feeling I’ve ever had and even now, months later, I still sometimes wonder if I’ll wake up from all of this, if it’s just a figment of my imagination.

Friends came and visited that evening and then we did our best to sleep through the night as my daughter expressed her unhappiness at her new surroundings. The next morning we asked to leave. After only 24 hours in the hospital we prepared to go home, to our new life with our new baby.

Isa’s Birth Story – Part Deux

So it turns out I can really say a lot about this most important day so I’ve decided to make it a three part installment. I don’t want to rush things and I do want to post today so I’m going to satiate you all with the second part of what has become a trilogy. Enjoy!

It was 8am when I finally decided that I would no longer wait to go to the hospital. Even though my doula said we might not be that far along and could still be turned away, I was adamant – I was DONE laboring at home. Unfortunately it was rush hour on a Monday and we had about 30 miles of the freeway standing between us and our destination. We decided we’d wait until 9am. We slowly started getting ready to go, moving all the bags and other accoutrements we felt we needed to the hall by the front door. My contractions kept flooring me and I was feeling very nervous about the car ride, but knowing I was going to the hospital to get relief brought a sense of calm. There was an end in sight.

At 8:50am I told my partner to get the car. He packed everything up and then my doula and I climbed in the back. I lay across the back seats and my poor doula had to perch on the edge by my head. I knew my partner was nervous about the drive to the hospital but I had really pushed for this one, farther away, because of it’s midwife program and I wanted to make the ordeal as painless as possible for him. I somehow managed to keep my moaning to a minimum during the trip. I think the contractions actually slowed and were less intense during the car ride; my body must have known I couldn’t handle any more than that. We definitely hit some traffic and every time I knew just where we were. “Oh, we’re slowing down, we must be by the airport,” or “we’re stopping, we must be near work,” or, “we’ve started up again, only a few exits until the hospital.”

Arriving at the drop off we all realized we’d never called announcing our arrival. “Oh well,” our doula said, “ there’s nothing we can do about it now.” Getting out of the car at the entrance my contractions hit again with full force – I couldn’t fathom how I was going to make it up to labor and delivery. Every few minutes I had to stop in my tracks and lean against a wall to get through the next contraction. I could not wait to get the epidural.

Even though they weren’t ready for us they had us in a room immediately; they could see I was in no state to wait. My doula was amazing and gave them all the information about how my labor had progressed thus far. They put us in a room and Ben arrived with our bags. My doula and I had talked about whether I’d get checked right away and I said I wanted to. She counseled me not to be discouraged no matter what the nurse found. About 20 minutes after my arrival I was told I was already at 7 or 8 centimeters dilated. My doula was elated but I was distraught. This totally messed up my plans of getting an epidural! While I was happy to know that the 16 hours of early labor and my 12 hours of active labor had been productive I was upset to find out I would not be getting relief.  I never even asked if they’d give me an epidural, as I wanted to feel the contractions while I pushed.

Laboring in the hospital was much the same as at home. I tried a shower but it was too intense to be confined in a small space, even with the chair they provided. I leaned over the bed, I curled up around some pillows, I tried walking around but could not weather a contraction without something to lean on. My partner helped me through many of the contractions, whispering in my ear or moaning low to remind me to do so. My doula massaged my back and applied heat. She reminded me that I could do this, even though I was sure I couldn’t. I was so exhausted and so wanted a break. The back labor still made the space between contractions almost as unbearable as the contractions themselves. The time between back labor and contractions was no almost non-existent and I was in constant pain. It was extremely challenging.

The nurse examined me again four hours into my visit. She said that I was only 9 centimeters but very soft and stretchy so I could push if I wanted to. I hadn’t felt the urge to push yet, but I wanted to try something else besides just letting contractions wash over me. Plus, I really needed to have a bowel movement and hadn’t been able to because it started contractions each time I tried. I was actually really excited to start pushing and have that bowel movement even if it was going to be all over the bed. I had zero reservations about the mess I was about to make in front of my partner and an audience of three.

I was told I would know when to push. At first I started and it felt strange and unproductive. I pushed and pushed and it just didn’t feel right. I waited until a contraction and then I pushed for as long as I could. On the third contraction my body started pushing with me. It was an amazing feeling. A contraction would start and I would push and my body would take over. I couldn’t have stopped if I wanted to. The nurse said the baby was low and called the midwife to come down. She prepared the birthing table and I was so excited to know the end was near. My partner went outside to get my mother, who I wanted to witness the actual birth. During the one contraction that happened while my partner was out of the room, my water broke all over the place. It was a huge gush. For a split second I though it was my bowel movement and I remember thinking, that doesn’t seem right. Then I knew what had happened and laughed at myself for my first assumption. My partner and mother came in to a room covered in amniotic fluid. I got off the bed and they changed all the sheets and blankets. The midwife came in and checked me again. Evidently what the nurse had been feeling was my bag of waters and my daughter was still quite high, nowhere near ready to be born. I had a lot more pushing ahead of me.

Isa’s Birth Story – Part 1

Many of my fellow blogging friends are writing their birth stories on their blogs. Somehow, in the past three months, I have yet to do this. So today I finally sat down and started writing Isa’s birth story. Of course it’s verbose (would you expect anything less of me) so I’m posting it in two installments.

Before I start I want to make clear that I was hoping for a natural birth but didn’t want to make unreasonable expectations for myself. I was determined to be accepting of whatever path I ended up taking. We did hire a doula to help us manage the pain naturally but I refused to feel like a failure if I had an epidural. We’d written a birth plan and hoped to stick to it, but understood that sometimes babies choose how they come into the world, and their parents don’t always get a say.

Here is part one of what actually happened.

Isadora Ann’s birth story started on Sunday morning, June 6th, at 5am. I woke up with cramps. They weren’t very bad but they kept me from falling back asleep. They came in waves with noticeable peaks, but they weren’t very troublesome at all. I felt I could work right through them and I did. I also had some bloody show and was sure my mucus plug was passing. I’d actually seen it first the night before but today it was happening more consistently and noticeably. What I was seeing when I went to the bathroom was sufficiently gross enough to deserve the incredibly disgusting name of “mucus plug”.

At 5am I woke up not only with cramps but also with a crazy amount of energy. I spent the morning doing copious loads of laundry, scouring the bathtub, changing the sheets and just generally cleaning up. All day the cramps continued and I wondered if I was in early labor or if they would eventually taper off and go away. I wanted to get excited if this was it, but I also knew of many women who had contractions for a day and then they just went away. I was determined to be prepared for both scenarios.

We had a meeting with our doula that day – the second prenatal meeting. It had been pushed back to right after 38 weeks because of a trip my doula was taking. I told her about the contractions and the intense energy I’d been experiencing. She said that I might be in labor, but agreed with me that it was too early to be sure. Still, as the meeting progressed and she saw me deal with my contractions she portended that she’d be returning that night or the next day for the real thing. I was so excited to hear that, but I still wasn’t convinced. I only had five days left of work and they were very easy days; I wanted to use them to get my room ready for my sub next year and to say goodbye to my students. After all the wanting for my daughter to come early, now that it looked like she was, I wasn’t quite ready.

I had plans to eat dinner with some friends and I didn’t break them. I told them that if I got quiet for a minute or two to just ignore me. We ate good Mexican food and talked about what my labor was like. They couldn’t believe I was eating with them during early labor and that my daughter might be born within a day or two.

My partner was at a meeting that night and we’d even considered going to a concert later on. When he called after dinner I told him that the contractions were too intense for me to stand up at a crowded concert that night. He agreed it wasn’t a good idea and decided to come home.

At some point during the day I’d written sub plans for the week but I’d still not called a sub. The contractions continued at an intensity that made me unsure of whether or not this was the real thing. At 10pm I tried to go to sleep but the contractions kept me awake. They were coming about 5 to 8 minutes apart but were very manageable. I only had to breath deeply and they would pass.

I got up and decided to watch the Hangover. I made a bed for myself on the couch and lay down. As the movie got started the contractions seemed to subside. “See,” I told myself, “I’m not going into labor after all. Now I can go to school tomorrow and finish out the year.” About half way through the movie I got up to use the bathroom. A huge contraction washed over me. I couldn’t walk, I could barely talk and I had to hunch over the couch to get through it. This felt like the real thing. Maybe I was wrong before. Maybe this was it.

Two hours later my contractions were still steadily 4 to 8 minutes apart but they were longer (45 to 60 seconds) and much more intense. We called our doula and told her it’d be happening at some point that night. I also called a woman who’d agreed to be my sub and told her I would be emailing her my sub plans. I apologized for the state of my room at school and for calling so late. It was midnight.

Out doula lived in Berkeley and didn’t have a car to get over to us. I knew it’d take her at least an hour to arrive at our house once I called. My contractions continued to grow in intensity and we finally called her at 1:30am. She was at the house by 2:30 and thank goodness – I was starting to feel like I couldn’t handle the contractions myself any more.

The contractions were very, very intense. They started out manageable but before they peaked another aspect seemed to enter the equation and I would just lose it. From that point, through the peak and all the way until the end I could barely stand the pain. My groans would reach a higher and higher pitch and I had a hard time not hyperventilating. As the contraction subsided an intense pain remained in my lower back and didn’t subside until right before the following contraction. I wasn’t getting a break!

My doula quickly assessed the situation as back labor. My daughter, though head down, was facing the wrong way. Instead of facing down, towards my back, she was facing up, towards my stomach leaving the back of her skull to push against my spine, causing the back pain. My doula had some techniques to try to turn her but they made the contractions more intense. Still, if there were any chance of alleviating this back pain I wanted to try it.

Throughout the night my doula used a shawl, the yoga ball and various positions in an attempt to turn my daughter around. None of them worked. The back labor continued hour after hour and I was quickly losing my composure. I started each contraction telling myself that I could do it, that I needed to accept my pain, that I’d never have to feel this contraction again and by the peak I was howling that I couldn’t do this anymore, that I was DONE! In between contractions I cried that it wasn’t fair, that I was supposed to get a break, but the back pain was almost as bad as a contractions and lingered until almost the next contraction. I was only getting about a minute in between.

We labored on the couch, on the end of my bed, in the hallway. I tried laboring in the shower but I only lasted about 15 minutes. I needed the yoga ball in there to sit down but I felt too cramped and the pain was too intense to handle by myself. I couldn’t get into the right position to use the pressure or temperature of the water effectively.

My doula tried pressing on my lower back, apply a hot water bottle and massage to help with the back pain. I’m sure it relieved some of the pressure but nothing really helped. I felt overwhelmed and exhausted. I did not think I could continue laboring this way. Each contractions made me feel as if I were being torn apart. In between contractions I argued with my doula and my partner. “I just cannot keep this up.” I assured them. “How about 30 more minutes and then we’ll see where we are.”

At the fifth “30 minutes” I decided I was not falling for that one any more. It was 8:00am. We’d gotten little to no sleep and were all exhausted. I wanted to go to the hospital to get an epidural. I used my safety word during contractions. I used my safety word during the back pain. Finally I used my safety word in the short lull right before a contraction, the only time I could think clearly. “Banana” I said without hesitation. “I cannot handle this anymore. I want to go to the hospital.”

Labor Anxieties

With 7 weeks to go until my EDD I’m starting to get a little nervous. We attended our first Birth Preparation Class at Kaiser and have been speaking a lot about our desired birth experience with the doulas we have been interviewing.

I’ve been noticing that when I speak about birth I get very tense and very nervous. I really shut down and turn inward, not even letting Mi.Vida comfort me. I’m not surprised that I’m worried about labor but I am taken aback by the intense physical symptoms I feel when I’m confronted with it. I’m really worried that my fear and anxiety around birth is going to negatively affect my experience, not just in how I feel during birth but in my anxiety actually have physically detrimental effects. I’ve read that women can actually stall or reverse their labor by feeling uncomfortable or afraid and I’m very worried that my fears will prolong my labor and make it more difficult than it need be.

I’m trying to come to terms with my fears, to read books that will empower me and practice relaxation techniques that I can use before and during the big event. I look forward to speaking to my doula about my fears because I’m sure she’ll be able to put them into perspective.

I know it’s normal to be scared of labor. It’s the most intense physical experience that happens naturally to any human being. It will require incredible strength and stamina. I know my body is strong and capable; I’ve run a marathon and ridden many 100+ bike rides and I’ve never lost faith in my body’s ability during any of these events. I also trained for each one of those big physical events – I trained a lot. I ran what amounted to over a hundred miles preparing for my marathon and rode many hundreds of miles for my centuries. Going into each of those events I knew how my body reacted during smaller, training runs. If I could run 18 miles by myself, two weeks in a row, surely I could run 26.2 miles with friends and others in an organized, supported event. If I could ride 75 miles with my parents, up and over mountains, I could ride 100 miles with dozens of other people.

Going into labor there is no training, there is nothing I can do to prepare myself or know how it will feel. In fact, not only can I not prepare myself for it, my body is in the worst shape it’s ever been. I’m 35 pounds heavier than I’m used to (and will probably be even bigger by the time I’m in labor), I’m weaker than I’ve ever been, I’m slow moving and can’t breathe deeply, my hips hurt, my back hurts, my feet and ankles are sore and swollen, I feel totally incapable of mild physical exertion, let alone something totally overwhelming that lasts for hours, maybe days.

I know that billions of women have made it through labor and that many of them had amazing, empowering experiences. I have faith that the female body, my body, can complete this most important of tasks. I do have faith that I can do this, but I’m still scared. I hope that the more I think about it the better I will feel. Then, I when I get closer, I’ll just push all of this aside and concentrate on ways to stay calm and relax. Hopefully by then I will feel more prepared to tackle this most momentous of experiences.

BUENAS NOTICIAS – We found a doula and are very excited to start working with her. I can’t believe our first visit will be about two hours long! That is probably more than all my OBGYN visits combined!

Submerged

I just visited an online thesaurus to find a synonym for “overwhelmed” because I think I’ve used it more than once as a title on this blog. I have to say, there were many appropriate synonyms but “Submerged” really pulled me. That is exactly how I feel right now, submerged.

I am embarking on another seriously busy week. This is the third week in a row where my schedule is so crammed full of stuff to do that I hardly feel like I can breathe. It’s only Tuesday and I’m already staving off sleep while driving to and from work.

Besides crazy amounts of tutoring this week, I also have therapy and am trying to go to yoga. Today I have my 32 week OBGYN appointment (which I have to leave work early for) and then I run home to interview three possible doulas in three hours. By the time that is all done I’ll have no energy for the grad school paper I need to write and the school papers I need to grade.

I’m excited to interview doulas though. I somehow allowed myself to wait too long to look into this and literally all but three of the doulas on the sfdoulagroup website are already booked. I so hope that one of these women is the right fit in terms of personality, experience and what she charges. If not, I have no idea what our next step will be.

On top of all this I have the final paper for my current grad school class due this Sunday. I have not even started yet. I’m not really letting it stress me out but it looms there in the back of my mind. I should get the research done this week so that I know I have everything I need to write it this weekend. It’s due at 8pm on Sunday evening.

On top of all that I have a significant amount of papers to grade. I know it won’t take too long if I just sit down and do it, but it’s always the first thing I push aside. I’m sure progress reports are just around the corning and I don’t want to get caught with only three or four days to grade and input everything.

Finally I have a huge stack of Thank You cards to write for my baby shower. It was a very nice party, the friend who put it on went above and beyond. About six people from college came up from LA and we all went over early to swim and hang out. Then we showered and got ready in time to welcome the rest of the guests. The food was amazing and everyone had plenty of wine and beer to drink. I did open presents but people could watch and participate when they wanted to, or not at all. We received so many wonderful presents and were overwhelmed by the generosity of our family and friends. Now I have many, many, many thank you notes to write. I actually ordered personalized thank you cards and I can’t wait to see them (though actually writing, addressing and sending them is another story!)

I have to say, with all these things submerging me, I have gotten some good news this week. First of all, having the opportunity to meet all the doulas quickly helps me to make a choice quickly and move on to step two, whatever that may be.

I also found out that my financial aid does work even when I’m only taking one class this coming semester. That means not only is my next class covered but the extra money will pay for my final class. That is very helpful to us financially and might mean I can get my new computer sooner rather than later.

The last piece of good news is that the woman who threw me the baby shower (who lives in an insanely nice house on an acre of manicured land with a pool and hot tub) will be out of town (dogs, kids and all) and offered us her place for Memorial Day weekend. I was just wishing that Mi.Vida and I could get away one last time before the baby came but realizing that a lack of funds would make that impossible. Now to know we can do this, it’s just amazing! I’m so excited about it. Mi.Vida does have some stuff going on that weekend up in the city but we should be able to make it work. Yay for a faux weekend away!

With that I really go and start researching for my grad school paper. It’s hard to motivate but if I don’t I’ll be sorry.

To all the ICLW commenters out there, I’m so sorry I haven’t been on many of your blogs. This week has been so crazy and if I had known I never would have signed up for this month’s ICLW. I feel quite guilty about it. I’ll just have to make up for it next month.

BUENAS NOTICIAS – My hips are in considerably less pain this week. I don’t know if it’s the tummy support I’ve been wearing or the stretching I’ve been doing or what, but they feel so, so, so, so much better. If this keeps up I might just make it to 40 weeks without going crazy.

April ICLW

Hello ICLWers! I’m sorry I’m just getting this post up today. I had no idea how busy I’d be during this week when I signed up for April ICLW a month ago.

I guess that is as good a place as any, my super busy life. Right now I’m 32 weeks pregnant with what I’ve been told is a baby girl. I’m a middle school Spanish teacher who does a lot of tutoring to make ends meet. I’m currently finishing up my 10th of 12 graduate school classes and hope to have only one left after the baby is born. Our nursery is finally finished and we’ve just started looking for a doula, though it seems as though we may have waited too long as not many are still available for June. I’m enjoying this pregnancy very much, despite my intense anxiety issues, which I’m treating with mindfulness and Zo.loft. My baby shower is this weekend and I’m very much looking forward to it.

I guess that is a short summary of my current situation. I know I should talk about my ectopic pregnancy and my efforts at TTC before this pregnancy, but I don’t really feel like doing that right now. I have to say, I’ve been really bummed by some bad news I’ve been reading about in the blog-o-sphere and recounting my story just seems kind of trite at this point. So many people deal with so much more heart break, disappointment and sadness than I have, and they continue to do so. I know I’ve had it pretty easy, as far as TTC, IF and pregnancy loss go.

Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting. I don’t get many readers or comments on my blog so it always means a lot. But I also know that I don’t need the support that others need and it’s hard for IFers to read a pregnancy blog (I couldn’t much when I was in the throws of pregnancy loss) so I totally understand. Still, it’s nice to know that people have stopped by.

I have to say, I’ve been a horrible commenter myself lately and I hope to rectify that very, very soon. Thanks for being patient with me.

BUENAS NOTICIAS – Tomorrow is Friday and Saturday is my baby shower. Many friends are coming to town and I’m excited to see them. It should be a very fun weekend.

Hearing the Heartbeat

Today I had my first appointment without the sonogram. Evidently Frijolita is big enough that they can use the doppler very easily, and that is what they did. It was my first time hearing the heartbeat and it was wonderful. Unfortunately Mi.Vida couldn’t be there but I did call him and he got to hear over phone. The heartbeat was 150, which is totally normal (anything between 120 and 160 is okay) and it was nice to finally know that it was fine. I have to say, after all these weeks of waiting, hearing Frijolita’s heart wasn’t the least bit anti-climactic. It was definitely love at first sound!

As for the rest of my appointment, I brought up three major concerns:

1. The Doula program at Kaiser SF. Turns out it’s not much of a program at all, which doesn’t upset me that much, as I assumed it wouldn’t be what I needed anyway. I’ve decided I want to hire a doula to accompany me during the birth, as I’m going to try to have a natural birth. I’d love one who’s worked at Kaiser before and knows what they allow and don’t allow. My OB was kind enough to look into the doula program and talk to other people at the hospital and got me a website to start searching for my own doula, which I appreciated. Now I have to see if I can even begin to afford all of this. I really hope I can, as it’s very important to me. I know that birthing your baby can be an amazing experience and it’s one I’ve wanted for a long time. I so wish I could give birth at a birthing center with tubs and all of that, but alas, my insurance is with Kaiser and so I have to work around that. At the same time, I hope there are options for me there and I want to explore all of them.

2. My weight gain. Well I stepped on the scale today and it’s official, I gained another 9 pounds this month. I’m not as worried about it as I was before, but I’m glad I’m seeing a nutritionist and trying to get more exercise. My ob recommends I keep a food journal for a week to get a better idea of what I’m eating. I think that is a good idea, though I’m kind of loathe actually doing it. After so many years of eating issues I don’t like to go back to this way of doing things. I haven’t thought one iota about what I’ve put in my mouth for the last four years and haven’t gained a pound. Of course now I am gaining lots of pounds, and thought I know it’s healthy for me and the baby, I want to make sure it’s for the right reasons. I’m hoping that I’m gaining the bulk of my weight in the second trimester and that it will taper off some in the coming months. If not, I’ll have to step up all my efforts on the weight maintenance front.

3. Second look at the baby’s sex. I don’t remember if I mentioned it on here, but when I asked my ob to take a second look at the baby she said she would, happily, at 35 weeks. I was not very excited about that and told her so. Anyway, today she told me that she said that because she is not really trained in the discrete science of determining the gender of a baby from an ultrasound, especially when the baby is still so small. She also said she would try again next time and then continue to try, but that she really didn’t know if she’d be able to give me any more of a definitive answer than I already got (“diagnosing girls is harder than diagnosing boys”). So that is both understandable and disappointing. I feel like once again we’ve come up against a problem that few others I know of has had. Of course it’s not really a problem, and I’m not trying to make it one, but I would love to know “for sure” what we’re having.

I guess that is all I have to report for now. I’m very excited to spend the evening at home with Mi.Vida, eating dinner and watching some TV. I hope all my blogging friends are having an equally restful Thursday night.

BUENAS NOTICIAS – Mi.Vida just tried out our new juicer. We went through a huge thing of carrots and oranges and it made a super yummy, super nutricious, juice! YAY! Just one more way to get through our CSA farm box veggies and fruits!