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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Things Pregnancy Taught Me

1.  That worry that parents do that annoyed you so much growing up BEGINS at Conception.  It's possible that the more insecure type of person you are the greater this worry is.  For me, I've noticed that I'm always worried that something might happen and all will be lost.  I'm trying to be, and I think I'm getting, better about not analyzing too much out of everything.  Not an easy task.

2.  Don't base how your pregnancies will be on your mom's pregnancies.  Even though they say things can be genetic, just as every child and human being are different, so are pregnancies different.  My mom had very difficult pregnancies.  I was old enough to remember my mom being pregnant with my youngest brother and remember thinking that was my fate.  So far, even though I did have about a month and a half of "morning sickness", it didn't start from the beginning and last forever (okay so I'm still only in the beginning of my second trimester, but I'm not hugging the toilet now am I). The point is you'll see when you get there and don't expect the same thing with every child.

3.  Drinking the designated amount of water everyday will require you to go to the bathroom approximately every 20 minutes.  I really didn't think this would start until a lot further along in the pregnancy, but HOLY COW!  Even without drinking that much water, I'm going to the bathroom a lot more than usual. 

4.  Your emotions will always get the better of you.  It happens mostly when I'm watching TV or a movie, but during sad scenes, I turn into a fountain of tears and can't stop.  Being one that doesn't normally cry easily, I knew this had to be a hormonal change that I wouldn't be able to control.  And you can't, so good luck trying. 

5.  Morning sickness sucks and really should be called by it's true name and acronym:  Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy (NVP).  Seriously, to say "morning sickness" is so frustrating when in reality it can last up to all day.  I will confess for the most part  the nausea would begin when I woke up in the morning (I believe as a result of an empty stomach) and when I would throw up I, again for the most part, felt better.  Not tackle-the-world-and-all-of-the-things-on-my-list better, but better.

6.  Headaches are not my friend.  Never have been, never will be.  Pregnancy did nothing to help this.  I've had to deal with chronic migraines for the greater part of my life so having frequent headaches (basically, I wake up with one every morning) I wasn't all that surprised.  The fact that all I can take is Tylenol doesn't help since I really don't want to take anything.  (See 1.)  So, I use Biofreeze (it's like Icy Hot, but better because it doesn't get hot) or just ice.  My husband commissioned me to get a massage and I have one scheduled now for tomorrow.  I love that he knows that I need this and knows that because he's not able to do as much for me as I need he understands I have to see someone who can.  (Luckily, I have a coupon from a daily deal site.  Hooray!)

7.  Ligament pains are not cool.  For some reason they are never talked about and force first time mommas to freak out thinking they are having early contractions and that all is definitely not well.  Luckily, I've been able to discuss this with other ladies who are or were in my situation and have felt more at ease about the whole thing.  Not that it doesn't still freak me out a bit, because it does, but I've come to realize and accept what they are.  First time Moms and soon-to-be or someday Moms, let me tell you they are normal and, for me, feel mostly like twinges or light cramps.  I think the fact that they can happen often is why they are so scary.  However, it's your body growing and stretching to make room your for your new baby (or babies).  If they are stronger than that, you might have cause to worry, but you might not.  Always talk to your caregiver to be on the safe side if you are really concerned.  Are there any mommas who didn't feel these?

8.  Due dates are just a number.  And they are usually wrong.  I've reluctantly given out my approximated date to a few family and friends, but for the most part I'm saying February.  The date is situated in the month nicely enough that I will most likely be giving birth in February.  Also, to go past the date and have people all over me wondering why I haven't had the kid yet when I'm already frustrated enough with the situation isn't something I want to experience.  People seem to be comfortable enough, for now, when I give them the month and not the date, though I'm sure the closer I get the more prodding I'll have to endure.  However, I don't plan on giving in.  :)

9.  If you don't have women you feel comfortable with in your life who have gone or are going through what you are right now, join a support group.  Though, I can't imagine with so many women being pregnant recently that you wouldn't be able to find someone, but it can happen.  The main thing is to find someone to talk to about concerns.  A girl Ty works with is just behind me in her pregnancy and we fall easily into conversation about what we are experiencing, even though we've only met on a few occasions.  You're going to want to talk to somebody and have someone to relate to how you are feeling and validate you.  We all want that regularly anyway, but when you are pregnant I think it's magnified.  Don't be afraid to open up and find that in someone as well.  You might make a new friend and learn something.

10.  EDUCATE YOURSELF.  There are so many parts of pregnancy that are unknown to most first timers and even some ladies who this ain't their first rodeo.  The internet is a marvelous place where so much information is stored.  Find out the technical terms for things and read up on procedures so that you can have an intelligent dialogue with your caregiver about your options.  I would also caution you to not just read something in one place and take it for face value.  Do your research.  Read a couple different opinions and/or resources so you can make up your own mind and not have a caregiver do it all for you.  This is YOUR baby and YOUR body so it is YOUR responsibility.  Your caregiver may know a lot, but he/she doesn't know what you think is best or what your opinion is  about any given procedure.  It's my belief that we should have an opinion about the stuff being done to our bodies and our babies bodies.  Don't y'all agree?

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    Midwife Appointment at 13 Weeks

     I went on a VERY short walk today and tried to take more pictures.  I've been very bad about that this year.  This is from someone's front yard.  Appropriate since I'm receiving care from Blue Heron Naturopathic Care.

        This was actually not my first meeting with my midwife.  I did a free consult with her where she explained what she does and how the process would be with her and we get to sort of know each other.  I had prepared a list of questions for her, but she did such a wonderful job going through everything she does and all of her info, she basically answered everything on my list.  That gave me a lot of confidence that we would be on the same page.  Then Ty and I both met with her at about 9 weeks so we could get the ball rolling and so Ty could meet her as well.  Also, I had such a bad cold and needed to find some kind of relief.  Being that she is a naturopath she was able to give me a herbal remedy for my clogged sinuses.  Hooray!  She gave me a packet full of information on pregnancy and the different things that come with it with a holistic view.  We went on a little tour (I haven't asked yet, but next time I'll see if I can get pictures) of the office and the room where she will do the exams and the bathroom and what I need to do for the dipping the stick for the urine samples each visits.  If something doesn't look right I tell her.

        Dr. Virginia "Ginger" Frazer, of Blue Heron Naturopathic Care, actually encourages the spouse to be present at as many appointments as possible so she can get to know them as well and understand our dynamic as a couple so when the time comes for the birth she knows her boundaries.  Luckily, Ty has a job that will provide us with the opportunity for him to accompany me and his presence is really reassuring and plus I just really like having around.  :)  This appointment started with her asking a couple of follow-up questions about my cold and future maternity and parenting choices.  I forgot to fill out the form she had given to me the last time we were there so that cut down on the questions.  I got up on the exam table and she did an exam of my upper body and then she moved on to checking my uterus.

        Then for the moment that I really had been waiting for.  The doppler reading of my baby's heartbeat.  A doppler is a small handheld device that detects the fetal heartbeat.  We won't be getting an ultrasound until about Week 20 when we find out what we are having.  I had been sort of freaking out because after my miscarriage I have a lot of trust issues with my own body and had been concerned that maybe we wouldn't be hearing anything and I would be leaving extremely disappointed.  However, that was not the case.  I was extremely relieved when I first heard the swift pitter-pattering of the major organ of the little person who is living inside of me.  Ty got up from his seat and stood next to me holding my hand.  What a wonderful experience to have together!  It took her a little while to find it, but she said that that was normal this early since they are still so small.  I had hoped to get a video or something, but I wasn't prepared.  Even still, remembering it makes me happy.

        After I got down from the table she told me that I did have mild anemia and that was probably causing a slight murmur, but it wasn't a concern and can happen during pregnancy.  I just have to make sure I'm getting my nutrients and not overdoing it too much.  Since neither party had any more questions or concerns that concluded the visit and I'm scheduled to go back in another month.  Nothing weird or strange or crazy.  :)  We'll see if it's any different at the next appointment when I'll have the questionnaire that I should have done this time.  My self-appointed homework is to drink more water, get more protein, and fill out that form.

        This week I've been able to keep from throwing up, still moments of nausea, especially in the morning when there's nothing in my stomach, but improvement is improvement and I need to take advantage of it.  I've been really bad about my choices of what to eat and have totally fallen off the wagon.  I'd really like to get back to making a meal plan and counting calories to make sure I'm getting enough of the good stuff not just junk.  Plus, I think it's good to set limitations and not just eat things with the excuse that I'm pregnant and have "cravings".  (I believe that cravings are really your body telling you that you are needing certain nutrients, but isn't getting them.)  I don't want to have the baby and be super overweight from overindulging.  Weight gain is inevitable and there's no reason to think that it won't, but I also want to be healthy.  So there you have it. 
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