Greg and I have used "The Birth Book" by William and Martha Sears to prepare for the unpredictable even of a child's birth. It has a lot of useful information. I feel prepared as much as I can be for such an event. We are hoping to keep the birth as natural as possible but keep in mind that medical interventions are there for a purpose and we will use them and are wanting to participate in all the decisions that we will make while at the hospital. The hospital we are going to is very baby friendly, they encourage many of the things that we made a priority in our birth plan. We have been going to "Northern Colorado Women's Clinic." It is a huge clinic with like 20 doctors, several PAs, and 7 midwives. We see the midwives and have really enjoyed their care. Three of them deliver at the hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies, which is where we want to have her. I have gotten to know all three and really like all three of them. We thought long and hard about our choice of provider.
We started out with a terrific OB that was fairly new to the practice. I couldn't see her one day because she was out on an emergency. I decided to just meet with the midwife available. It was my 20 week appointment, when we found out for sure that we were having a girl. I loved Tina, I really clicked with her the same way I wanted to with the individual who would be there with us on the day of Tess' birth. The likelihood of us getting our doctor was very slim, they rotate being on call and we could have one of many doctors. I probably would meet the doctor who would deliver Tess on the day he or she delivered her. This kind of bothered me, I cared more about feeling comfortable with my provider because my goal is to have her naturally.
During my appointment with Tina, she asked me if I was thinking about switching to the "darkside." I admitted that it had crossed my mind but I was very unsure if it was the best thing for us. At American Fork Hospital, the midwives are extremely popular and I had heard nothing but great things about their care. This practice was very similar. All the midwives deliver only at the two hopsitals, and they practice under the care and blessing of the doctors. I asked Tina many questions concerning the difference in care on the day of delivery if I chose to go with a midwife, if any risks were involved if we didn't deliver the doctor, etc. I spoke with the OB nurses that instructed in my program, I spoke with Greg, did my research, and decided going with a midwife would be just what would be perfect for us.
As described to me many times by my instructors, who had delivered or caught many babies due to doctors getting held up, gave me a great idea of how labor and delivery works with doctors. They often times don't spend much time with the patient and are there mostly to make decisions about emergent situations and catch the baby. The doctors need to depend a lot on the labor and delivery nurse for updates, they do examinations, etc in order to provide the care needed on delivery day. This is of course great, a very safe and good way to enjoy the expertise of the doctor. I just really wanted a little more support on my first time. In NCWC's practice with midwifes, they see only patients who are progressing normally, and are projected to have a normal vaginal birth. They spend much of the time the woman is in labor with the woman helping her through the early and active stages of labor. Then, if there are no red flags or problems, she catches the baby. If there is a red flag, I have a highly skilled, well trained, nurse practitioner who can not only alert the doctor but already practices with the doctor and will be his first assistant. In addition to being there prior to the birth, they also do post partum care and help with the first feeding and so forth. It's working out really well, the other midwives, Susan and Martine are equally wonderful and I feel very comfortable with each of them. I am confident we are doing the right thing, I believe that although we are not having a doctor deliver our baby we have the best of both worlds. We have a skilled nurse practitioner who is trained in both natural and medically managed births and we have the back up of doctors in case things start to look less then ideal. I am hoping if something does look bad, the midwives will catch it more quickly and have the relationship with the doctor needed so we will get the attention we need, fast. Safety was my biggest concern in considering this option, I feel that even if I liked the more personal attention of a midwife, I didn't want to risk...even in the slightest way...the safety of our little girl. That was paramount. After interviews and research, we are excited about decision and also feel that anything that helps us be better prepared and more comfortable, will help her too.
(I wanted to write a little bit about some decisions we have been making. I hope someday when she reads this, and cares, that she knows how deliberate and careful we were in every decision. Hoping to do the best thing because we already love her and we want the best for her.)
Here are my feet (above), feeling MUCH better after wearing fitted socks and tennis shoes. They almost feel normal. You can almost see my veins! The ankles of course are the same, but I love the liberty at which I can move my toes when the swelling goes down after a good walk!
Where I like to walk, Greg came with me. I love this pond in the morning and at night. It's so beautiful and serene.
A couple selfies! I have been a slacker, so I am making up time by taking a bunch this week.
37 Weeks exactly:
Are you talking to me?
Sure, I'll try to smile....
Here is the left side.
Now the right.
And a little dance!
37 weeks....FULL TERM. Come any day now Tess!
Below, I am 37.5 weeks.