Sunday, 27 September 2009

Thoughts on Home Birth

I had never actually considered having a home birth until relatively recently. But as I've been thinking about labor and our birth plan (thankfully we have a looooong time until any of this needs to be set in stone), I'm beginning to think that this might be the best option for us. I know it's not for everybody, I fully expect to come up against several pairs of arched eyebrows, but I think that being a parent is recognizing what works best for your family, even if others wouldn't necessarily go in the same direction.

So how have Gez and I come to this decision? Well, first of all, I use the term "decision" here pretty lightly, as there are so many variables that could come into play within the next 28-ish weeks. At any rate, I know me- the things I tend to stress over and fear are the things I am unfamiliar with or unable to control. I know that if I were to plan a hospital or birth center birth, once I actually did go into labor I would be so worried about the timing of everything- making sure I got to the hospital/birth center early enough, but not so early that I'd be sent home (something I know that would be really discouraging for me). I'd worry about the drive there, the traffic, the parking. I'd stress about the way things are done in the hospital, and whether or not they'd be sympathetic to our birth plan and wishes- I know we'd definitely be briefed on all of this, as well as given a thorough tour, but I also know I'd still worry about it despite that.

If I plan on giving birth in my own home I know I will cut out these stresses and worries. One of the best ways to naturally reduce pain during childbirth is to remain calm and relaxed, and I know I will feel much more calm and relaxed at home, although I know many women would feel much more relaxed in a hospital with lots of doctors close at hand. When making these decisions, I think it all comes down knowing yourself, and knowing what's going to freak you out (besides having to squeeze a watermelon through a coke can- we all have to face that little chestnut no matter where we decide to give birth). At this point (and this may change) I am less freaked out by the pain of having a baby than the actually logistics of going somewhere else to do it.

It's also quite important to me to have a med-free birth to the extent that it's possible. Obviously, the most important thing is the health of a baby, and if that requires an inducement, a cesarean, or an epidural then of course everything else goes out the window. I'm fully cognizant of the fact that about 1/3 of all planned home births result in a hospital transfer, and I'm going to be as realistic and flexible as possible. I also think that here in the UK home birth is far more accepted than in the US, and many midwives actually encourage it where the baby and mother are healthy and willing; and it's law that 2 midwives be present at each home birth, which means that you usually get more attention and targeted care than you would in a hospital.

So if everything goes as planned and we have no complications, little Baby Jones will be born at home in early April 2010!

12 weeks 2 days

How far along? 12 weeks 2 days
Total weight gain/loss: No idea :)
Sleep: Much better this week!
Best moment this week: Lovely dinner at Prezzo on Friday- also a wonderful day with Celyn on Tuesday!
Labor Signs: No, thank goodness
Belly Button in or out? In
Food cravings/aversions: Still generally craving salty-ish, tart, or sour things. I'm loving Greek Yogurt, and would really like a nice gyro with lots and lots of tzadziki sauce.
What I miss: A glass of red wine with dinner on Friday would've been really nice.
What I am looking forward to: My cousin, Clay, is coming to visit from America next Saturday- should be lots of fun! Also, I got a letter from the hospital this week saying that our big ultrasound (where we get to find out the sex of the baby) is schedules for November 19th- so mark your calendars!
Weekly Wisdom: I'm really so lucky and blessed to have parents that are so supportive in so many different ways!
Milestones: As we head into October we head into the last month in our flat- can't wait to move into our house in a month!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Through Rain, Through Sleet, Through Dark of Night...

This is most certainly not the motto of Her Majesty's Royal Mail Service. As it turns out, many British postal workers have decided to go on strike. Now for me, this basically only means that the delivery of my "Love Film" (British version of Netflix) DVDs are delayed, no big deal really. Except that my lovely mama sent me a package almost 2 weeks ago and I still haven't gotten it ::pouts::. Do you know what this package contains? Edible Gold: None other than boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, which I have been craving for weeks and which you cannot buy anywhere on this island. Just the thought of that neon-orange cheese powder sets my heart a-beating with longing. I bet if the postal workers new how I was suffering they'd forget their contract demands, rush off the picket line, and start sorting mail...

Ah well, aside from the trauma of waiting for my Mac & Cheese it's been a pretty uneventful week so far. A big highlight was Tuesday, when I spent the morning shopping with Celyn. Of course, as I was walking to meet her I managed to spill coffee all over my white shirt (I guarantee it wouldn't have happened if I was wearing black)- so the first order of business was a visit to H&M to buy a new shirt- my first officially item of maternity clothing (even though I don't really need mat clothes yet, it seemed practical to buy something that I'll actually be able to use in a few months). "Auntie" Celyn was very excited to buy some baby items, so went to the department store, Debenhams, where the selection of unisex clothing is admittedly sparse. We found a soft little blue and white striped sleeper though, and couldn't resist it. I suppose it is more boy-oriented, but it would totally work for a little girl too. Another Auntie Celyn purchase was a teeny-tiny little panda sweater from Topshop, which we both couldn't help going all squidgy and slushy over- I'll post pictures at some point!

Because I had been craving Japanese noodles for awhile, we opted for lunch at the delicious Wagamama. It was gooooo-oood! It was one of the best days I've had in awhile, and after lunch I walked Celyn back onto the university campus- we both went into the library, Celyn to work on dissertation research, me to use the bathroom (if that doesn't sum up the difference in our lives right now, I don't know what does!). I was surprised with the little tinge of sadness I felt when I realized that it was the last day my student card would admit me into the Arts & Humanities Library. I don't think it had anything to do with nostalgia about time spent hunched over piles of articles copied from the Austrian History Yearbook, but more about the ending of what was probably the most dynamic year of my life. The idea that everything is about to change.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Here's Baby Jones!!

Here's our sweet little relaxi-baby! We have 3 other pics, but they are all basically a variation on the same theme. Little Jones was very happy just hanging out on his/her back and kicking those little feet. If you look closely you can see one little leg in mid-kick, with the other (foreground) folded down by his/her bum! And you can see Baby's little arm up against its side as well. We did manage to get to see a little roll and a couple of little waves, but none were captured on film. All-in-all it was so amazing to see our child, and I could've watched him in there all day! What a cutie pie!! Also, Baby is measuring 4 days ahead, so it's still up in the air as to whether or not my due date will be changed, so for now I'm still going with the original date.
With that being said, here's this week's update:
How far along? 11 weeks 2 days (Baby is measuring 11 weeks 6 days)
Total weight gain/loss: still up about a pound so far.
Sleep: Meh, it's touch and go- I get really tired but seem to have trouble falling asleep lately. Plus I have to get up and pee sooo many times a night!
Best moment this week: Seeing little Bebe on the big screen of course! Also, Gez and I had a great weekend- nothing special, it was just fun and nice to have a weekend at home together.
Gender: We both got a a definite boy vibe from the ultrasound pics, but who knows.
Labor Signs: Definitely not, and it better stay that way for awhile!
Belly Button in or out? In
Food cravings/aversions: The thought of spinach still makes my skin crawl, but I seem to be less nauseated this week. I could still eat fruit all day long- particularly apples!
What I miss: American apple cider, but it has nothing to do with being pregnant, just because they don't have it over here!
What I am looking forward to: Seeing what this week will bring! Hopefully feeling movement within the next 4-6 weeks.
Weekly Wisdom: Not really baby related, but I've noticed that when I don't have extra money to spend and go into a shop I see a ton of things I want, but when I do have money to burn I find many fewer things that I want, what's up with that?
Milestones: Only 2 more weeks in the first trimester! Baby is now the size of a lime (I gave this statistic the side-eye though, going from a prune to a lime in a week seems rather dramatic... so let's take this one with a grain of salt, hmmm?)

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Ye Olde Pregnancy

My thoughts have a tendancy to veer off into strange directions, especially now that I'm pregnant. Last night, as I was drifting off to "sleep" (what I like to call the short nightime intervals between bathroom visits), I was thinking how sucky it would've been to be pregnant in the Olden Days. For example, yesterday I was cleaning the house and got tired about halfway through, thought "eff it", and sat down to watch Gilmore Girls reruns on E4. I don't think your average pregnant pioneer woman would stop in the middle of preparing salt pork and think "meh, we probably have enough to get through the sub-arctic Dakota winter. I think I'll just take a load off and have a look through Godey's Ladies Book." Call me skeptical, I just don't think it happened that way. Also, my husband has been a saint, preparing meals, picking up the slack on the housework, and just generally being supportive. I don't think Lady Piffington of Elizabethan times would have been quite as lucky. I can't imagine Lord Piffington stepping in with "No, milady, allow me! Let's swap historically appropriate gender roles, and I will finish embroidering that tapestry..."
Most importantly though, I can't imagine living in a time where it was generally taboo to refer to your pregnancy at all ("No, no, I'm not ill, I have my head over the chamber pot every morning just to check the new maid's thoroughness..."). I'm sure women did discuss things in private, but probably not with the same "TMI" thoroughness you get these days, and for which I'm sure many a pregnant woman is grateful (Ever wonder what to expect from your first post-partum shower? Well I did, and even though the answer made me recoil in horror a bit, I'm happy I know). Anyway, for all the moaning we pregnant ladies tend to do, I have to admit that we have it pretty good compared to our forbears.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

10 weeks 2 days

Well, today I am actually 10 weeks 5 days, but I sent this out to my family last Sunday, and so have decided to re post here, since this will be the forum for all babeh-related info:

How far along? 10 weeks 2 days
Total weight gain/loss: up about a pound so far.
Sleep: I just can't get enough! I think I've finally mastered sleeping on my side, this is a big deal for a confirmed stomach sleeper such as myself!
Best moment this week: Playing with Osian, our little nephew (Gez's sister's 8-month-old son)Movement: Just my tummy rumbling because I'm constantly hungry!
Gender: No idea- I fail so far at maternal instincts
Labor Signs: that would be no bueno
Belly Button in or out? In
Food cravings/aversions: Craving lots and lots of fruit this week, which is good considering last week when I ate my weight in potato salad (seriously, why is it soooo delicious?). Aversions continue, including anything green and leafy, fish, and weirdly enough, chicken (all things I love normally). This is new for me because I have never ever been a picky eater.
What I miss: A size eight buttoning under its own engineering..
What I am looking forward to: First ultrasound on Friday!!
Weekly Wisdom: Be grateful and appreciative of your family.
Milestones: As of last week we oficially reached fetus-hood!! Baby is now the size of a prune ( continuing the weird classifications of measurement that enjoy comparing your offspring to things that grow on trees). Baby's little arms and legs are waving away!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Strollers or "You Know What Really Grinds My Gears?"

I find it somewhat fitting that my very first blog post has to do with something that has been on my mind since before I was pregnant. Strollers. Prams. Pushchairs. I mean, I admire a Quinny or a Bugaboo as much as the next guy, but there has got to be some sort of mommy-etiquette training, or some sort of lesson on how to properly push one down the street without being a total d-bag.
Living in the city, I walk mostly everywhere- unfortunately, so do the bajillions of ladies taking advantage of the awesome maternity laws over here. There are just a few points I'd like to make regarding proper stroller/pushchair/pram policy:
1. Ok, so you chose the massive Silver Cross Chav-ster 3000. I'm not here to judge the fact that you apparently enjoy pushing your child around in something that resembles nothing less than a coffin on wheels. Morticia Addams would be proud. Seriously though, in our fair city there are a number of lovely parks that would be simply divine for wheeling around little Pugsley in the morbid-mobile. But I'm guessing this would take up your time which is more usefully spent buying neon orange things at Primark.
2. It's wonderful that you've made other mommy friends. I can imagine it being quite isolating sitting home alone with your new baby. I really get it. But do the 4 of you really need to walk abreast along the sidewalk as if you're rolling into Kabul or something? We all know you're going to Starbucks, the conversation about nipple flow can surely wait until then.
3. It is beyond gratifying to see that you wish to expand your child's mind, as well as support the local economy, by shopping at the local bookstore. But when your pram takes up roughly 82% of the 150-year-old shop, you might want to consider popping that kid in a Moby or something. Otherwise, I hear Borders has wide aisles, and an elevator, and a Starbucks....
I'm 95% sure this post is going to bite me in the ass in approximately 6 1/2 months, and at that point you all have permission to laugh in my face. Until then though, Get out the way!!