Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Birth Update...

I know, these aren't as fun as pictures, so I will try to get some pics of Graeme today to post :)

Went to the dr. yesterday. She wanted to strip my membranes, but I declined b/c there's a risk of breaking your water if they do that, and there's no reason to be doing that at 38 weeks!

She approved everything on my birth plan!!! I was totally surprised, and then relieved. What a blessing.

She told me that they may want to put in an internal fetal monitor if they can't get a good read with the external. Well, I'm doing some research on that today and found that it's a strap they SCREW into the baby's head. What?! So I'm probably going to talk to her about that next week (if I don't have the baby before then) and express my concern regarding that. I'd probably have to sign a consent form or something if I really pressed declining that one, but I'm not wild about screwing something into my baby's head.

They also got a slight positive on my GBS screen (the most common bacterial infection in newborns - something like 40% of mothers carry it naturally - it doesn't hurt us as adults). But my midwife called this morning and told me that I can request to have it done again, and there are alternative treatments to antibiotics. If you test positive, they will give you antibiotics in the hospital every 4 hours to pass in to the baby's system. I'm also not wild about technically if I had a 12 hour labor, I'd get 3 doses of antibiotics! Yuck! It increases the baby's chances of thrush during the first few days of nursing, which would not be fun at all.

My midwife called this morning to tell me she received my post-operative report from Graeme's birth and she was extremely encouraging. She said they reported that I got to 8+cm dilated and 2+ station, which meant I was less than 1 inch from the baby's head coming out! So I've been through almost an entire labor, it was simply his positioning, full occiput posterior, that caused the c-section...and frankly, had I had a midwife who had some ideas about re-positioning, I probably could have avoided it. But, God had a reason for everything that happened, and I just continue to seek to learn from our experiences and apply that knowledge to this time around. Marilee said she thinks I will have a much easier, quicker labor this time, if this baby stays in a good position! Like she says, my body is completely capable of a wonderful birth, and we've done everything we can do this time to encourage optimal positioning.
As of right now, I can feel his bottom and back right in front of my belly, which is perfect :-)

At the visit yesterday, I'm 2cm dilated already - doesn't really mean much - like, it doesn't mean I'm going into labor tomorrow or anything...but good to know I've got a head start LOL!

Thanks so much to those of you that gave input on the birth plan. It helps a lot to hear from people who've birthed in a hospital - I didn't have to think through all that last time around, so I appreciate the input!

And can I say, my doula continues to be awesome! We've been e-mailing back and forth about all this stuff, and she isn't pushing anything, but offers lots of information and encouragement.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Birth Plan Rough Draft

I thought I'd share my rough-draft of our birth plan. Feel free to make suggestions. The parts under each section (During Labor, After Labor, etc) are bullet-ed in the document - I can't get that to happen in this post, so it's a little jumbled looking.

Birth Plan for: Amanda Marie Evans , due 11/10/08
My support people will be my husband, Lt. Mark D. Evans, and my doula, Sarah Winfrey, CD

I am pursuing a VBAC after an unplanned cesarean with my first child, now 19months old. I am aware of the risks associated with a VBAC, and have done all I can during this pregnancy to stay healthy, encourage optimal fetal positioning, and prepare for a natural birth. I will greatly appreciate the support and expertise of the staff to help me achieve a healthy, natural vaginal birth.

During Labor....
I prefer to have a heparin or saline lock.
I would like to use the wireless fetal monitor, if available.
I plan to not use medications, so please refrain from offering them. I am aware of my options and will ask for them if I change my mind.
I would like the atmosphere of the room to be as calm and quiet as possible. I would like dim lighting as much as possible, and would ask the staff to help keep the atmosphere relaxed.
Ultimately, I want to be able to walk around and move as I wish while in labor.
Please perform the minimal number of vaginal exams.

During Birth...
I would like as much freedom of positioning during birth as possible. I'd prefer pushing in a squatting or semi-upright position, including using a squat bar or being supported by my husband.
If possible, I'd appreciate warm compresses and/or perineal massage during birthing to avoid tearing, if the members of the staff are comfortable with doing that.
I would like to use spontaneous, self-directed pushing. Please refrain from counting or directing my breathing.
I prefer not to have a routine episiotomy, and would rather experience a natural tear if necessary.

After Birth...
I would like to bond with my baby immediately after delivery, unless medically indicated. Please delay eye drops and Vit. K shot until after the breastfeeding period.
My baby is to be exclusively breastfed – please don't offer him bottles, pacifiers or supplements.
We do not want our baby to be circumcised.
I would like continuous contact with my baby unless a medical situation arises that requires separation.
Please ask before administering any vaccinations.

In the event of an emergency cesarean...
Please allow my husband as much access to the baby as possible, since I will not be able to bond/breastfeed immediately afterwards.
As soon as it is medically possible, I'd like to have the opportunity to breastfeed and bond with the baby.
I'd prefer the minimal amount of sedative medication afterwards, in order to be able to breastfeed the baby.

Thank you for being a part of our birth. We respect and appreciate your assistance and experience.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Doula and covets...

I have a doula! Her name is Sarah and she was great to talk to on the phone. I felt a connection with her as we talked, and I think she is going to be just what I need. She's coming to the house to meet with us tomorrow morning and help me get a birth plan constructed. It's such a relief knowing I finally have someone who will be there with me and do all she can to help me achieve a natural birth. She just did a delivery at Dewitt (the hospital we'll be going to) and said they are very relaxed and flexible, which was GREAT to hear!

And now for some "covets"...mainly for my mother, who wanted to know what we need for the new baby. But also to share cool things that I'm currently drooling over LOL! It's fun to shop :-)

Diaper Bag! The ones we have for Graeme just barely fit all his paraphanlia - and it's funny that the older he gets, the more I find myself taking along somehow...books and shoes and cups and snack dishes and get the picture. I love the look and size of this one (and she has some other cute bags in her shop)

The Learning Tower (this is something I'd like for Graeme, and I just think it is so cool!)

There are two kits you can purchase - a playhouse and an easel - that make it a really cool contraption.
I asked Mark if he could build it, and he said no - between the unique design and finding the perfect wood. One of Graeme's favorite things right now is "helping" in the kitchen - so there have actually been times where we both sit on the floor and mix pancakes or muffins or pudding...yes, on the floor LOL! I just can't hold him up to the counter while mixing something. But invariably, he wants to be "in" on the action! And he loves mixing (and licking the bowl LOL!)

Gypsy Mama Bali Baby Breeze

I used a Moby wrap with Graeme, and liked it - but it stretched out a lot once he hit about 15-18 lbs. which made it uncomfortable for both of us. It's also a rather thick fabric, and when I tried wearing it in the winter, I got so warm! So I've done a lot of research and found a wrap that is a hybrid between stretchy wraps, like the Moby, and stiffer wraps. This particular wrap is light-weight and beautiful. And with a toddler desiring my attention, I will be wanting to wear the baby a good deal more than I did with Graeme.

I've actually been wearing Graeme in this Maya sling that I purchased used.

I love the ring sling! I can't believe I didn't try it sooner. It's perfect during pregnancy, because I can adjust the tension and height of where Graeme sits...I have used a pouch like this, but it's not adjustable, so it doesn't fall in the right place for us.

Okay, Graeme is waking up from his nap, so that's all I have time to share right now!

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's a....

...BOY!!! Woo-hoo! We're excited to be welcoming another "man-child" as Mark says into the family. If you have any great Welsh/Irish names, please do share :-)

Stats: the baby was only weighing (according to their estimate, which can be +/- 1lb) 5lb someone tell me what else is in there LOL! Baby looks good and placenta is in an ok place for a VBAC, so that's good news.

[P.S. Sorry to say that our printer doesn't work with our home-computer...I'll have to wait until Mark is home long enough this weekend to scan some of the sonogram pics in - they got some cute ones!]

Update: We've actually decided to pursue a natural birth at the hospital. There are several reasons for our decision, but the main ones are: 1) they will support a VBAC; 2) if we were to birth at home and have an emergency, the closest hospital is 15 min. away *without traffic*...but in the D.C. area, traffic can be completely unpredictable, and the trip could take as much as 45 min. potentially...and that could mean our baby's death - yes, the risk for uterine rupture during a VBAC is 1% (and studies show for a home-VBAC, 0.1%) - BUT, if it *were* to happen, both Mark and I agreed we'd never be able to justify it to ourselves; 3) the greatest risk during a rupture is to the baby, not as much to the mother (or at least, not as time-crucial)...which I did not realize until a few weeks ago.

So...we are praying that the Lord will provide a wonderful doula to help support me during the birth. I've been calling/e-mailing for the last week and a half and am somewhat frustrated because everyone that's been recommended to me is unavailable at such short notice - they can only take a certain # of clients within a time-frame - so I have to keep reminding myself that God can and will provide the right person. I will be writing a birth plan and making decisions about what I want to do/not to do at the hospital...and packing a hospital bag...and packing a bag for Graeme...all in the next week or so!

Update on Mark: he starts TBS (The Basic School - Marine advanced infantry training for officers) this Wednesday! ACK! For the first week and a half, he'll have a full, time-consuming schedule - mostly sitting around doing paper work and having meetings and such, but they will not be allowed to leave during the day - so he'll probably be there from 6am - 7/8pm. So it would probably be good for baby to hold off until after that period, when his schedule will normalize for the most part (minus the occasional all-night amphibious landing and stuff like that).

Whew! Hopefully that catches everyone up :-) Lots going on here, it's never dull!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

(P.S. - I am going to post what baby #2 is, I just have one more phone call to make b/c I want to tell my grandparents personally and don't want them to see it on my blog!)

I actually have all my dinners planned for this week, so I thought I'd share! :) Next up, I'd like to start a "Toddler Meal Tuesday" or something...Graeme eats much better when I plan his meals for the day.

I'll start with last night's dinner b/c that affects the rest of the meals.

Sunday: Ham, mashed potatoes, green beans,Apple pie with homemade pie crust
(check out these recipes - they made the best apple pie I've had in a long time - Mark said it was *really* good, and he doesn't typically get super-excited about food LOL! I used the following alterations for the pie filling: 2T. flour/1 T cornstarch instead of 3T flour, baked at 350 for 50 min. perfect!, added cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to the sauce, put 2/3 of the sauce over the apples first than the rest over the crust - and next time, I will bake the bottom crust for 10 min. first)

Monday: Portugese Sausage and Kale Soup (I've made this Rachel Ray recipe before, and I highly suggest it as a "staple". I just use regular italian sausage)

Tuesday: Chinese Sweet n Sour Chicken (one of my fav. techniques to make from "How to Cook without a Book"...I can almost cook it w/out the book LOL!)

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Mom's Bean Soup (great northern beans, leftover ham, carrots/celery/onion, molasses - easy recipe and great to freeze...will freeze 2 batches for when baby arrives) with cornbread and salad

Friday: Breakfast (prob. french toast from homemade wheat bread, omelet or frittata - another technique from How to Cook W/out a Book - and smoothies)

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Riding Daddy's motorcycle

Graeme loves sitting on Daddy's motorcycle with him. He's a little scared whenever Mark starts it up...but I think it's all a pretense and if he could, he'd put the key in and take off LOL! I don't know who is enjoying it more (Mark, probably - this is a dream come true!)

And Graeme loves his "cart" - better get out of his way when he's pushing this thing - he goes insanely fast!

Kiddie ice cream cone...