Monday, August 30, 2010

Childbirth Class #1

P and I went to our first childbirth class last night. Let's just say it's a little different than the way it's described on the hospital's website. Sentara has a list of all the pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, etc. classes on their site. In no way does anything indicate that the class at Sentara Williamsburg is contracted out through a private doula service.

Our class instructor is a certified doula and lamaze instructor. That would be the extent of her "medical" training. Her past career was an AT&T saleswoman and she made no bones about the fact that she's teaching these classes in addition to her regular doula services to provide extra income for her family. Her husband is days away from retiring as a Marine Corps Master Chief and hasn't found another job yet.

We started off watching a couple birth videos which she described as "normal births" as opposed to what you might see on TLC's "A Baby Story" and shows of that variety. The first thing Patrick and I notice is that the woman in the video is giving birth standing up in her living room. The room is dark, she's standing on her hardwood floors completely naked, and another woman (doula? midwife? it was unclear) is shining a flashlight at her hoo-hah. We see the baby's head emerge and fluid gush all over the floors. My thought is "Oh my, the clean up!" and P whispers to me "Where is the doctor? Why is that woman giving birth next to a box of copier paper?". Turns out we just watched a scene from "The Business of Being Born." Yup, I like my birthing advice from Ricki Lake just like I like my vaccine advice from Jenny McCarthy. Why show anti-doctor, anti-hospital propaganda during a class being held at a hospital??

The instructor proceeds to go on and on about how hospital births involve terrible things like IVs which require you to be strapped to the bed for the entire labor. Personally, I don't know a single person who has ever been strapped to a bed for any reason! She gives us a handout labeled "Normal Birth" which basically goes over how only births without medical intervention are normal, and there are some sources cited which I will be investigating for my own knowledge. On a side note, I was sure to let me my mom know that my sister and I were apparently born abnormally as C-section babies.

For the rest of the class, we talked about signs of pre-term labor and other things about late pregnancy. So far I haven't learned anything I didn't already know, aside from the whole being strapped to the bed part (ha!).

Perhaps my other favorite part of the evening was in the beginning of the class when we had to pair off with another couple who was due the same week as us to get to know them better. The wife looked at my belly and said something along the lines of "Wow, you're a lot bigger than me. I keep telling my doctor I'm concerned I'm too small. I thought you were supposed to be small with your first pregnancy." She asked a couple dumb questions during the class, so I've written her off as a moron.

I don't have a good vibe yet for the rest of the class. We have a couple "crunchy" couples who are very vocal about the whole natural birth thing. One woman is considering not having the Group B Strep test done because she doesn't want any IVs attached to her at all during labor (you know, because of the whole bed strapping thing). Right.....good luck with that should you be positive for it. (Link to CDC site regarding Group B Strep: http://www.cdc.gov/groupbstrep/general/gen_public_faq.htm. I don't like statements without facts to back them up, so I'm backing up my "good luck" statement.)

Perhaps I'll wear my birkenstocks next week to fit in a little better.

Monday, August 23, 2010

30 week appointment

30 week appointment went well. I only gained 1 lb from the 28 week appointment, so I'm proud of that. My blood pressure was slightly higher than normal (129/80 when it's usually 110/70), but I blame that on having to see the OB in the practice who I'm not fond of and who makes me nervous. I might check it at CVS or Target sometime this week. I had my thyroid tested again at 28 weeks and got the results from that today. TSH is down to 2.27 so I shouldn't need to increase my Synthroid dose. Since it's down below 3 again I can stop worrying about it being too high to affect milk supply after he's born.

We were supposed to start our childbirth classes last night based on the email confirmation I got from the instructor when I signed up for the classes in June. However, she called yesterday afternoon to confirm that the class actually starts this coming Sunday. Oh well. P's boss and his wife recently finished the classes, and we are a little worried she's going to be way too crunchy for us. P's boss's wife is considerably more of a hippie than we are, but if she was put off by the woman's attitude (the typical stuff - anti-epidural, go natural, etc.) then I can only imagine what we're going to think! Hopefully we will actually get something out of it, and since this is our only option for classes in Williamsburg there's not much we can do abut it.

How far along: 30 weeks 5 days

Next appointment: September 7 - 32 weeks

Any new aches/pains: Nope.

Maternity clothes: Except for one or two tops, it's all maternity clothes now.

Sleep: Last week was good, and now I'm back to waking up all night long.

Best moment this week: Having a weekend with nothing planned.

Movement: It's party party party all day long.

Food cravings: Homemade peach ice cream from Handel's (it's a local ice cream shop in W'burg). We went by last night, but they were out of peach! I'd been looking forward to it all weekend, but I settled for chocolate peanut butter brownie ice cream instead. If this is all I have to complain about, things are ok!

Belly button: It's still in!

What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach.

What I'm looking forward to this week: A week of weather in the low 80s during the day and mid to upper 60s at night.

Weekly wisdom: If at first you don't succeed in getting homemade peach ice cream, try again later. Which I will be doing sometime this week after I call ahead!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

30 weeks!

I don't know why I feel like 30 weeks is a milestone, but I do. Maybe because we'll have a baby sometime in the next 10 weeks which does not seem like a lot at all! My weekends are filling up quickly and before you know it I'll be confined to the 'Burg for October.

I'm starting to have baby clothes anxiety. At first I didn't think we had enough 0-3 size clothes. Now I think we have too many and not nearly enough size 3-6. Ack. I've made P promise to stop me when I start saying I want to wash baby clothes because if we end up with a weird size baby I don't want to have clothes in the closet that never get worn. Good thing most of them are from Carter's right down the road and I've kept all the receipts. My mom has been told her first baby duty is washing clothes when we get home from the hospital.

Apparently I'm looking huge because I've started to get size comments. A woman at work on Monday asked me if I'm having twins and then started to laugh at me. Whatever, I can still wear size small maternity clothes (and here comes the snark - the woman who said it is by no means a size small.....). I'm going to have to work on growing a thicker skin because these comments enrage me and if I'm having a bad day I end up in tears once I'm alone. Maybe I should work on my comebacks ahead of time and really lay the guilt on people. Oh well, I guess this is just one of those things that all pregnant women have to endure.

How far along: 30 weeks 0 days

Next appointment: This coming Monday

Any new aches/pains: No, I've actually been hip pain free all week!

Maternity clothes: Except for one or two tops, it's all maternity clothes now.

Sleep: Not bad at all recently. No heartburn, hip pain, and only 1 pee break. (knocks on wood)

Best moment this week: Shannon's baby shower and getting in the pool! Pool time has never felt so good.

Movement: All the time. I don't think he stopped moving at all yesterday, and I got my first kick to the ribs.

Food cravings: Last night I varied between wanting ice cream (which we didn't have) and white cheddar popcorn (also which we didn't have). I ate a couple Cheez-its instead.

Belly button: The belly button is a trooper. Still in, but we noticed last night that it looks like it's disappearing. Maybe if it does pop it won't stick out too much.

What I miss: Not having anxiety about leaving the house because I don't know what someone's going to say to me and if it's going to ruin my day.

What I'm looking forward to this week: Using our last 20% off Babies R Us coupon to buy a bunch of things we still need (changing pad, bottles, etc.). We should pretty much be done with the necessities after this!

Weekly wisdom: Fat women who make comments about your size are only doing it because they finally can. (Yes, this is super mean but I really don't care. Blame it on the hormones.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

28 week appointment

I had my 28 week appointment this morning and go every 2 weeks from now until week 36 when it switches to weekly. Wow, that's really going to make time fly!

I had to drink the glucose drink 30 minutes before the appointment, and it wasn't nearly as bad as I've heard. I had the fruit punch version and it tasted like Kool-Aid to me (or what I remember Kool-Aid to taste like, haven't had it in years).

The appointment was one of the more eventful ones I've had. They did an internal exam (don't listen to the horror stories, the cervix check did not hurt one bit) and measured my belly. The NP didn't seem to think I was too large, unlike the mean woman I encountered at TJMaxx who told me I was too big for how far along I was and then proceeded to look at my belly like I've done something wrong! The NP also suggested we buy a carseat soon. Interesting comment - definitely a suggestion rather than an indication she thought I'd go into pre-term labor. We'd been planning to buy it soon anyway, as soon as the Babies R Us gift card we cashed in credit card rewards points for arrives in the mail.

Cross your fingers I don't get a call later this week and have to go back for the 3 hour test!

How far along: 28 weeks 5 days

Next appointment: August 23 - 30 week appointment

Any new aches/pains: Nope. Some hip pain at night, but that's about it. It goes away as soon as I roll to the other side.

Maternity clothes: Except for one or two tops, it's all maternity clothes now.

Sleep: Some nights it's good, some nights I'm up with heartburn and hip pain. I'm still feeling generally rested though, so I can't complain too much.

Best moment this week: Shopping and brownie sundaes with Shannon and Heather. And no, we didn't share the sundaes.

Movement: All the time. Some days it's a full on dance party and then he seems to need to rest a bit the following day.

Food cravings: Nothing really at the moment.

Belly button: Still in! Woohoo!

What I miss: Being able to sleep on my stomach and go shopping for regular clothes.

What I'm looking forward to this week: Shannon's baby shower and getting in the pool afterwards.

Weekly wisdom: If your a/c breaks for the 2nd time in 6 weeks, just go to a hotel and don't think about the cost.