Friday, February 4, 2011

One More Week or Less...

We are no more than one week away from meeting Baby G!  At my 38 week prenatal visit the midwife confirmed what I have known (but been in denial about) for some time...this little one is breech.  Since then, we have tried almost everything to get this baby to turn - I have been to the chiropractor, tried various inversion positions, ice on my fundus (the top of the uterus), music and a flashlight near my pelvis, pressure on the acupressure point for the uterus, and an external cephalic version (the MDs tried to flip baby by pressing on him/her through my belly).  Today I am 40 weeks and 1 day and Baby G is still breech.  Therefore, we have had to schedule a c-section for one week from today (Feb. 11th).

The past two weeks have been tough...processing the likelihood of a birth that is entirely different from the one we had planned for and envisioned.  We had our last prenatal visit with one of our midwives today (she also happens to be the director of the midwifery program I just finished at Vandy).  She discussed ways that we can make this birth special and reinforced that this is still a birth even if it is a surgical one.  I came away from this last visit feeling hopeful and more positive than I have felt for the past two weeks.  I am grateful that this pregnancy has been otherwise healthy and normal and I know that this experience will make me a better midwife.

If you are interested, I have included information about breech presentation from Up to Date Clinical Reference:

How common is breech presentation?
The incidence of breech presentation decreases with increasing gestational age. It is a common occurrence in early pregnancy when the fetus is highly mobile within a relatively large volume of amniotic fluid. While 20 to 25 percent of fetuses under 28 weeks are breech, only 7 to 16 percent are breech at 32 weeks, and only 3 to 4 percent are breech at term.

Why does the baby adopt a breech presentation?
It is hypothesized that a normally proportioned active fetus in a normal volume of amniotic fluid adopts the cephalic (head down) presentation near term because this position is the best fit in the intrauterine space. If any of these variables are disrupted by underlying maternal, fetal, or placental conditions, then breech presentation becomes more likely. In most pregnancies, however, breech presentation appears to be a chance occurrence. Abnormalities of the uterus and/or fetus account for less than 15 percent of breech presentations. 

Birth of the breech fetus - vaginal birth or C-section?
In the United States, cesarean delivery for breech presentation rose from 12 percent in 1970 to 87 percent in 2001. This change in clinical practice was largely due to evidence from randomized trials, particularly the Term Breech Trial,  that showed a policy of planned cesarean delivery for term breech presentation was associated with a large decrease in perinatal/neonatal mortality and neonatal morbidity, with only a modest increase in short-term maternal morbidity, compared with a policy of planned vaginal delivery. There are limited data that the worldwide change in clinical practice has also led to a reduction in the morbidity and mortality of breech presentation. There may be clinical situations in which the risks of cesarean to the mother, or the mother's desire to avoid cesarean delivery, may outweigh the risks of vaginal birth to the baby. Vaginal delivery, if elected, should be performed by an experienced provider and meet specific criteria.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Baby Shower, Anniversary, Graduation, Certification!

This post is a little late in coming, but we have had a lot going on this past month! 

I graduated on Friday, December 10th with my master's degree in nursing!  A few hours after the pinning ceremony I boarded a plane to Austin.  On Saturday, Maria and Katie hosted a beautiful baby shower at Barton Creek (where Gabe and I were married!).  It was lovely!  The food was awesome and Katie found someone to make the sweetest nursery rhyme themed cupcakes.  Maria had the great idea to ask everyone to bring their favorite children's book so we now have the start of Baby G's library!   

The weekend after the baby shower, Gabe and I drove to Asheville, North Carolina to celebrate our one-year anniversary!  We arrived on Friday afternoon and ate lunch at Tupelo Honey Cafe.  It was delish!  We then made our way to Cumberland Falls B&B to get settled into our room.  Upon arriving, we were surprised with a gift certificate from Brian & Elena to The Market Place restaurant.  We had already made dinner reservations for that evening, so it was perfect!  We spent 2.5 hours enjoying our dinner.  It was so nice to be able to relax and enjoy each other's company without any distractions.  On Saturday, we went to The Biltmore Estate.  We toured the winery, a garden, and did some shopping.  That evening, we went to dinner at another excellent restaurant before going back to The Biltmore for the candelight tour of the main house.  It was beautifully decorated for Christmas.  On Sunday, Gabe and I went to the Swannanoa Solstice - an annual holiday concert.  There was music (guitar, mandolin, fiddle, harp, and bagpipes), a storyteller, and stepdancing.  Needless to say, we really enjoyed the weekend and couldn't believe that it has already been one year of marriage! 

The weekend after our anniversary was Christmas.  We actually had a white Christmas this year!  We spent the day cozied up at home with a fire and movies.  Although we missed our family tremendously, it was nice to spend a quiet Christmas just the two of us. 

After the holidays I had to get serious with studying for my certification exam.  It was a challenge to hit the books again after graduation, but I truly love midwifery so going over the material again isn't really torture.  On Thursday, Jan. 13th I passed the certification exam, officially making me a Certified Nurse-Midwife!  It was a tough exam and I was incredibly nervous waiting for the results (a whole 10 minutes after I finished the test!). 

This past weekend Gabe and I drove to Columbia, SC to celebrate Elizabeth and Scott's wedding (Elizabeth is a college friend of Gabe's).  It was a lot of fun to see all the Wofford people again and to have one last weekend away before the baby arrives. 

So, here we are...ready and waiting for the arrival of Baby G...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

32 Weeks and Graduating!!!

Tomorrow I will be 32 weeks along in the pregnancy (5-10 more weeks to go!).  A number of my classmates have asked me what "common discomforts" I have encountered during my pregnancy.  Honestly, I really can't complain!  I don't have back pain or swelling.  I really don't have heartburn (only a tiny bit once in a while).  I haven't experienced leg cramps, varicose veins, or constipation either.  I suppose it's possible for me to experience some of these nuisances since I still have a few week lefts in the pregnancy, but I sure hope I don't!

On the school front...I passed my comprehensive exam!  This exam is supposed to be similar to the certfication exam I will be taking in a few weeks and we must pass it in order to graduate.  I have one more class (tomorrow morning at 9am), two faculty meetings (exit interviews), and then I get pinned on Friday!  The pinning ceremony is to commemorate the completion of the master's degree program.  I will have the opportunity to walk in the graduation ceremony in May 2011 (it is only held once per year).  I still don't think it has sunk in that I am actually done with school at the end of this week.  It will... 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Third Trimester - Preparing for Baby

I am now in the beginning of the last trimester of my pregnancy (I'm 28.3 in the picture)!  I know I am going to miss feeling my little friend moving around in my belly.  This morning Gabe and I watched my belly protrude as the baby pushed out his or her back and bum.  It's amazing that we are only separated by a few layers of skin and muscle. 

I'm curious about what people think about baby accessories.  Gabe and I are pretty simple people, so what are the items that you think are essential for caring for a newborn baby?  In other words, if you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you take with you for the baby? 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Private Parts

OK, this post is totally inspired by a recent conversation with a co-worker and I thought it might be funny to get a little feedback. I guess we will find out how many (or few) people read this and/or care.

We were talking about kids naming body parts and I couldn't help but think of so many of the funny things you tell kids to help them along the way. For example, I remember the answer to where does the pee-pee go when you flush the toilet is "pee-pee go to China". Nice one Santa! Surely most of us remember the spin on the Oscar Mayer bologna song "my bologna has a first name its O-S-C-A-R..." I guess there are lots of foods that resemble the male anatomy because I have heard it referred to as macaroni, Lil smokies, polish sausage, pickles, and many more. I have only mentioned the male nicknames because, well, I was unaware of what to nickname a girls part until I was a teenager and the things we called it are absolutely inappropriate.

I know kids make up their own words for things too! Especially when they are the 'private parts'. Emilie and I have this great vision that we are going to be open with our child and not sugar coat anything. A penis will be a penis and a vagina will be a vagina. But really, how many two-year- olds can say vagina and wouldn't that be a little creepy. I feel like if they were to say that type of word that young, it would sound like those creepy e-trade commercials where the baby calls Lyndsay Lohan a 'milk-aholic'.

Anyhow, what I really want from you are examples of things you or your kids may have named body parts that are not 'appropriate' for kids to say. Please leave comments about the funny nicknames you have and make sure and tell the story of how they were created. Hey if they are funny or cute enough, we might just change our minds and let our baby nickname their parts too. Tell your friends to do it too. I want to get as many as possible.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Guys Eye

Well I know it has been some time since I have been on here. I am going to make an honest effort to post more regularly. I want to express things from my viewpoint so I really will try. Warning, some of the things I write may be offensive, inconsiderate, disagreeable, or dumb. Remember these are my opinions and you are entitled to yours as well. If Alvin Greene can run for South Carolina Senate, I can talk about baby issues.

First, I want you all to know that Emilie is an absolute champ. If it wasn't for the visual evidence in her belly, I wouldn't know she was pregnant. I have heard stories of how she would get cranky, and crave weird things at 2 a.m., and eat icing straight from the jar. Nope! She has carried on like normal and even takes care of me more because I am short on free time. She is amazing! I know we have 3 months left, but given her track record thus far it should be no problem (it is difficult to type while crossing your fingers that you didn't speak too soon).

One of the things Emilie has done is given me one of her school textbooks so I can read up on care of the baby immediately following birth. I like it because it sites references and is evidence based. The first chapter is on breast-feeding. Not that we are trying to decide-we are definitely breast-feeding. But I wanted to see what the benefits were and actually know why, rather than just do things because Emilie says they are right. Essentially, what I get is that if you breast-feed you protect your baby against illness, increase bonding between mother and infant, enhance cognitive development, and it is freaking FREE! Why would anyone in their right mind not breastfeed. I say in their right mind because it seems like the only dangers of breastfeeding occur when you are on crack (illicit drugs), or you have HIV, TB, etc. I guess some babies could have allergies and some mothers could potentially be physically unable to do it. But otherwise, you should totally do it. What I am shocked about is that the baby would eat 8-12 times a day during the first few weeks. I wonder how many times a day Jacob eats.

By nature i am curious and I have tons of questions. Like any other guy, I have ideas that my baby is going to be a "golden child". I want the best for the baby and I wonder how to achieve that through the mother's diet while breast-feeding. For example, if Emilie eats a diet only of super foods, will our baby also love highly nutritious fruits and vegetables? How about if she eats an abundance of cakes and Twinkies? Will that doom our baby to becoming Chunk ("Hey you guys!")? Well, we wont take our chances of that. Should I put her on a diet for a performance athlete or Paleo diet hoping we will soon have the youngest CrossFit champion?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Looking pregnant - 24.6 weeks

I think I'm finally starting to look pregnant and passing the stage of questioning whether or not the bulge of my belly is a baby or too much Mexican food. Three people today asked me if I was pregnant and I'm hoping they are the type who wouldn't ask unless they were pretty confident that I would say yes. My fundus (the top of my uterus) is just above my belly button. Speaking of my belly has completely popped out! The baby is moving every day, especially after I eat. I have Braxton-Hicks contractions almost every day too. I can't believe that we could meet this little person in as little as 12 weeks! I'm expecting it'll be longer than that, though.

As for an update on other things going on in our lives...I only have four more weeks in my final clinical practicum. I have attended four births this semester, so I will be spending more time on labor & delivery to try to catch more babies! I have caught a total of 35 babies since June, but I want as much experience as possible at the end of my program since I won't begin working as a midwife for a while after the baby is born. Gabe is busy as usual with work and coaching soccer. He will be taking a trip over Halloween weekend to visit his college friends. I know he is looking forward to seeing everyone and catching up!