Monday, May 4, 2009

Prenatal #1

I went to my first prenatal exam with a midwife on Friday. The BEST part, of course, was hearing the heartbeat. There really isn't anything quite like it! Lemme back up though.

There are two midwives in the practice - Mary Anne and Daphne. I saw Mary Anne on Friday. Heather is in training, and she's the one who conducted the exam for the most part. Mary Anne tried not to jump in too much, lol. It was certainly VERY different from a prenatal exam with an OB. For one thing, we didn't do a pelvic exam! It wasn't necessary, it's not required, there wasn't any reason to, so we didn't! We were basically in a bedroom, and we just sat and talked for almost two hours.

Another big difference is that I didn't fill out any of my own paperwork. I was very proud of myself for arriving 20 minutes early so I could get all that paperwork out of the way (you know what it's like to go to the Dr's, right?) Well, we got started right away, and Heather filled out the paperwork as we went along. So much more personal! I always wonder if the doctor really reads through all those questions they make a new patient answer. I'm not always sure they do. But midwives do! That was the bulk of the time. They did want a urine sample, and my weight. But unlike at the OB's, I weighed myself. (I think I should have taken my boots off though.)

Then we listened to the heartbeat. At first all we could hear was my heartbeat, she moved the device around, and it was taking just long enough that I was starting to get worried, when there it was! Strong and beautiful. Mary Anne commented that it was really strong and sounded more developed than just 11 weeks. I told her that LB's heartbeat had always been strong too. I grow strong babies :)

Then they drew blood. Mary Anne had more trouble than anyone who's ever drawn blood from me. And my arm is still bruised. It was probably my worst experience in blood drawing, though it wasn't really THAT bad. I'm just glad we won't have to do it again.

Okay, going back to the first part of the appointment, I did tell them about my tummy trouble. They explained that it's probably just due to the hormones slowing down the digestive system (which I had read about). The pain and bloating was most likely caused my gas. However, some women do suffer from gallbladder and appendix problems during pregnancy. Based on my descriptions it's more likely to be gallbladder than appendix, but just to be sure to rule them both out, I'm to start keeping a food diary of what I've eaten before having an episode (is episode the right word?). So one of my tasks today is to dig up a notebook or something to start keeping track. They also recommended adding papaya or papaya pills and/or acidopholus (you were right Laurie!) to my diet.

We talked about water intake. I'm supposed to drink 64 ounces of water a day. I think most days I'm lucky to get 12. And gatorade doesn't count! Bummer. They said putting cucumber, lime, or lemon in the water helps (though not all at the same time!). Do I have water next to me as I'm blogging here? No. Bad girl!

And exercise. I'm supposed to do cardio exercise 3 times a week. And chasing LB and going up and down stairs and doing housework doesn't count. (Which seems silly to me. Seems like anything that gets my heartrate up should count.) So I did some Wii exercises this morning. I have to do it when LB's asleep or all he wants to do is stand on the balance board and I can't do anything, lol. I started with yoga and just holding the pose got my heart pounding. Yoga's not supposed to be a cardio exercise, is it? Maybe I DO need to be doing more exercise...

And we're scheduled for an ultrasound on Wednesday to determine an accurate due date. Even though I know when my LMP is, because I don't know the length of my cycle (28 days? 30? 26?), the calculated due date isn't necessarily right. I've never been good at keeping track of that sort of thing and the only reason I'm sure of my LMP is because I had downloaded an app onto my phone! Otherwise I'd be guessing at that too. (terrible, I know). So, Mary Anne would like a more accurate measurement, which is an early ultrasound. Also, having the clinical data (i.e., early ultrasound) to confirm my due date will also help the care provider I choose wherever we go next - he/she will feel much more comfortable taking me on as a new patient towards the end of her 2nd trimester if it's not just my word they're relying on (did that make sense?) I'm excited to get to have an early ultrasound. We didn't do one until 18 weeks with LB (there was no reason). It'll be too early to determine the gender, but that's okay.

Let's see, what else? They encouraged me to bring LB to the appointments. It will help him understand what's going on ("there's a baby in Mommy's belly!"), though I'm never sure how much gets through! He does understand more than we think he does though, that's for sure! I'm glad they want him to come. It'll also be easier on us: DH doesn't HAVE to be home when I have an appt. (if he can't come too), and if he IS at home and decides not to come, he'll be able to get things done. So that's good.

The bottom line is that midwives are much, much more personal than an OB. We talked through all of medical history. They devoted two hours to me! And I was NOT rushed out the door when we were done, even though another patient had arrived. It was just my first appt, but they're already sad I'll be leaving before the baby's born, and told me if I don't tell them when I deliver, they'll put a hex on me! (j/k, she didn't mean it. LOL, it was one of those times when someone says something because they're comfortable and then they immediately realize it could be misinterpreted or offensive, so she was overly apologetic. I suppose, in retrospect, I'm glad she said she didn't mean it, because it would be a little creepy if someone you've never met before says, "...or I'll put a hex on you" and then they don't say whether they were kidding or not. Anyway. Where was I? Oh yeah, more personal) And they explained how they'll help me research a care provider wherever we go, they'll help me interview them over the phone, and they'll give me hard copies and a CD copy of my records. (A CD copy allows me to email my records to prospective providers). I don't know for sure, but I don't think an OB would be quite that helpful.

Stay tuned for ultrasound pictures because you KNOW I'll be posting them :)

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Laurie said...

Oh, it sounds so wonderful to have a midwife. It IS more personal. They really get to know you, you're just not a number to them. Sounds really good!

Can't wait for the ultrasound pics!

ehart said...

I actually had OB's that were that caring but I'm from a small town. I know that mostly the ones in the cities just view you as a business.

I'm glad it all went so well. I don't think I would want to move after a prenatal like that. I would want them to deliver!

Jennifer said...

Dr. Link was also very caring, but he could only spend so much time with us on each visit, you know how dr. offices are - there are other patients waiting. Mary Anne and Heather devoted two whole hours just to me! AND Mary Anne came to my ultrasound! Find an OB who does THAT! (more on the ultrasound soon.)