Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pre-natal visits, 16 weeks

We have a pre-natal appointment at our midwife's house in a couple days. It will be our second one since we found out we were pregnant in October. I'm excited for our upcoming visit. I know our entire family will be welcomed warmly into her home, as everyone comes to visit with the midwife! Even the boys are curious and want to be there for the visits (or run downstairs and play with new toys). Last month we heard the babies heartbeat for the first time. It was exciting for my little 5 year old to witness this moment, as he got to feel the reality of what we've been telling him: "Yes, there is a little brother or sister in there, and there's it's little heartbeat to prove it!" 

Our midwife is caring and friendly. She is a skilled birth attendant who treats pregnancy and birth as a normal life process, not an illness that needs to be treated. She will sit down with us and ask me lots of questions about how I'm feeling physically and mentally, or any concerns I might have. She follows a holistic model of care for the mind, body, and soul of the mother and baby. 
She will also take my urine sample, checking for proteins or sugars in the urine, going over the results with us afterwards. She will measure the fundal height, the fetal position and check the fetal heart rate and placenta. She may take my blood pressure or measure my weight.
She discusses each decision thoughtfully with our family as she looks at the whole picture of my health and pregnancy. I've ever had problems with diabetes or high blood pressure so we opt out of the glucose test. I also opt out of any blood tests, as I'm not concerned with chromosome abnormalities at this point in my pregnancy.
Our visits are serene and peaceful, and I know that our midwife has our best interests in mind.

Our midwife doesn't recommend going in for an ultrasound, as far as everything seems normal and in-tune with the usual process of pregnancy.  Usually, If she or I find or feel there is something abnormal to be concerned with, an ultrasound will be considered. However, I will be going in to get one this time to find out the gender of our baby.
I didn't get an ultrasound with our last two pregnancies because there wasn't any reason to, and we weren't birthing in a hospital, so it wasn't routine protocol.
 Research suggests that the high-sound frequencies in an ultrasound can change the cell structure as well as heat the tissues in the uterus, which can affect the neural development of a growing fetus. Ultrasounds have been linked to autism, speech delays, dyslexia, schizophrenia, mental retardation, and basically under-development and cell death in the brain. 
After looking into the research again I am hesitant to say that my reason for going to get one isn't for medical purposes, but the find out the sex of the baby. I've had to weigh the risks and benefits of my desire for this upcoming appointment, as Micah and I haven't been 100% comfortable with it in the past. 
But this time around I feel different and confident in our choice. I feel that the small risk I am taking is worth taking care of the mental anguish I had the last time I was pregnant. I had so much angst about finding out the sex of the baby or thinking I was carrying twins the whole time, that I was constantly stressed, nor could I sleep well at night. It became a medical issue when my anxiety became too overwhelming for me to handle!
I know this doesn't make sense to a normal pregnant person, but for someone who has struggled intensely with anxiety and depression in pregnancy, finding out the sex of the baby is a big step towards feeling more peace in the process. I know it will give me something to relax on, to look forward to, and to prepare for. These are all things that help calm my anxiety and make me a happier, more sane, pregnant mama. 
So, we find out the sex in 3 weeks! (Stay tuned)

This will be our third homebirth and I have to say that pre-natal appointments are one of my favorite parts of the birth process. I always feel safe and loved in the personal and private care of our midwives. It's been very important for me (and Micah) to choose a midwife who is competent, experienced, and skilled, as well as humble, intuitive and spiritual. 
In labor and birth I not only rely on the medical aspect of her knowledge, but also on her ability to pray for us, feel inspired for us, and to make decisions based on the promptings of the Spirit. We've been very blessed to have 3 amazing midwives in our lives who have been exactly that. I am looking forward to this birth and know it will be a special experience as well.

Below: Our lovely friend and midwife, Amy, checking out baby Odin after his birth in 2008.

Our wonderful midwife Lily checking baby's heartbeat with the underwater doplar. Jonah's birth, 2010. (Me, deep in labor land)

1 comment:

arianne said...

Can't wait to find out. We found out with our last. Sometimes you just need to. Sometimes you don't.