OB Woes

15 Oct

As my first pregnancy draws to a close, I’ve found that I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I TRULY need in a health care provider. 

I have had my current OB/GYN for over seven years and was always adamant about how much I loved her. In fact, I would choose my insurance based on whether or not she was in network and followed her from her original location 5 minutes from my house, down to Berkeley (which is NOT always an easy commute!)  She was the only doctor in the practice so I knew that I would always be seeing her.  She was always so reassuring when I came in for my annual appointments, knowing that I was prone to anxiety. The nurse who works at the front desk is so nice that she feels like an old friend.

When it came time to get pregnant, she knew that I was concerned about my ability to conceive. However, she was always extremely positive that we could get it done without a lot of medical intervention and trips to the Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE).  I was always doubtful, but she focused on starting out as low tech as possible and then moving on from there. In the end, when I did get pregnant (naturally no less), I was grateful for this course of action.

The beginning of my pregnancy was relatively uneventful. I had a bit of high blood pressure, however after she made me check it regularly through the week, it was determined to be “white coat syndrome”. (This was my first clue that this OB was data driven – i.e. getting more data in order to figure out what to do next.) After awhile, I got used to going to the doctor and my blood pressure began to check out normally. The OB was also ok with us not doing the first trimester screen, which was nice.

My first clue that something was different about this OB was the fact that once I hit 28 weeks and had to do the glucose screening, I was relegated to doing a 2 hour Glucose Tolerance Test where if you fail you fail. I had never heard of this since pretty much EVERYONE I knew would take the 1 hour test and then if there was a failure they would take the 3 hour test which it seemed like most everyone passed. The doctor said the 2 hour test was the “new standard”. (Looking back, I think that just means more stringent since it is recommended by the Diabetes Association.)

After taking the test and ultimately being diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes, I now saw where my data driven OB started going. There would be more doctor appointments and more tests. Now I am all for being careful, but with most of my glucose numbers totally under control, I thought that she would be a little more lax. I mean the restrictions I was under seemed even more stringent then for a pregnant diabetic!  Uh…no… No cheating allowed or there would be consequences of a large baby and lots of other complications I’m not even going to mention.

Then a few weeks later, my baby is measuring too small… Now we have to do a whole new set of tests and ultrasounds to prove that the placenta is working ok. Seriously??? I follow a diet to prevent a big baby, now my baby is too small. All of this information, data and worst case scenarios are not good for the pessimistic, anxiety driven pregnant women such as myself. 

Then last week when we started talking seriously about labor, she started talking about how I would need continuous fetal monitoring because of the diabetes.  This would mean I would either have to use the wireless fetal monitor (which doesn’t always work) or be connected to the monitor and have as much range of motion as the wires would allow. Not exactly what I was looking to hear. Although I’m not planning on having a completely unmedicated birth, I did have a goal of how far I would like to get before asking for meds. To do this, I anticipate wanting to move around and even get into the shower which I find so incredibly relaxing normally (can’t say how I’ll actually feel once labor starts though..). It feels like my options are just more limited all because of one diagnosis. 

I understand that she is just being super cautious. Even the perinatologist said they were being overly cautious. And I want to have a healthy baby, so I’m all for being cautious. However, I think that all of this could have been presented in a much less stressful manner.  

I never thought I would be one to say that I would like things to be “less medical”, but in this case I think that probably the stress of the 2nd half of my pregnancy was worse than the original diagnosis.

So I’ve been thinking that if I am lucky enough to experience a 2nd pregnancy, that I just may want to switch doctors and maybe even look into finding a midwife. Problem is I still want to deliver at a hospital and I’m not sure if a midwife will even take me as a patient because I’m likely going to be deemed high risk from the beginning because of my gestational diabetes diagnosis.  

Luckily I have some time before I have to make this decisions, but I’m grateful for all this experience has taught me. It will definitely come in handy, not only if I pick another OB/midwife, but when dealing with my primary care physician and pediatrician. 

Have any of you had a similar experience with any of your doctors? How have you dealt with it?

 

 

 

Week 37

12 Oct

Week 37 Highlights

  • We had our maternity pics scheduled this week and had a really great time taking them! The photographer was so nice and the location was beautiful. I can’t wait to see all of the pics in 4-6 weeks, but she was able to post a preview on her Facebook page!

Image Source: Facebook

  • I went a reunion with some people I went to Catholic grammar school with (K-6). It was such a fun time! I hadn’t seen or talked to most of these people in years, although I am friends with some of them on Facebook. The girl who hosted had pictures up from back in the day that were so fun to look and reminisce about. The Hubs came with me and thought it was so funny that we could all get together and recount events from over 20 years ago. I was able to reconnect with quite a few people who live really close to me, including one who has an 8 month old. I’m hoping that we can all stay in touch and get together more often!

  • I had my work baby shower this week and boy where my coworkers generous! They were able to collect enough money to get us the Bob stroller we wanted, as well as the infant car seat adpater, parent console and snack tray!  I’m so lucky to have such awesome coworkers!

Image Source: Amazon

  • I went to tour the day care that I liked based on the open house we attended, but this time with babies actually being watched. It was a great experience! The teachers were all so nice and the babies all seemed calm and happy. There was no crying and no chaos. It was just what I needed to see. I’m hoping to post a longer post on picking day care in the next week or so.
  • I continued to eat more normally in hopes of putting on a little more weight and help the belly grow. I had a couple of cheat days from my typical GD diet. My numbers are ALWAYS so good that I figured it wouldn’t matter. Wouldn’t you know though, the minute I stopped watching so carefully, the scale started creeping up. Not sure if it is me or the baby since the baby is supposed to start packing on the lbs, but whatever! 
  • Had another doctor appointment…the start of my weekly visits. My belly measured bigger than two weeks ago which was a good thing! I began asking her more questions about how labor would go and what sort of procedures she would order (based on what I learned in my childbirth class). The more we talked, the more I started to realize that although I’m not super concerned about having a natural birth or a birth plan and that I’m all about being cautious in monitoring the baby, this doctor might just be too “medical” for me. I’m also planning on posting more about this since I always thought that I LOVED this doctor. It really wasn’t until the 2nd half of my pregnancy, that I started having doubts… Right now, I’m just trying to focus on the end result of “healthy baby, healthy mom.”

Thankful Thursday

11 Oct

I’m thankful…

1.)  I was able to work from home 3 days this week, with only 1 day left of actually going into the office before the baby comes! Can’t believe it!

2.) The little one has been crazy active allowing me to not worry so much about him/her.

3.) I was able to already to check one thing off my pre-baby maternity leave list and prepare one meal to freeze – yummy Paleo Pumpkin Chili. I was this close to eating it for dinner, but thought better of it. It will definitely be a treat dinner for after baby!

4.) For the Hubs and all the extra stuff he has been doing to help out, including going out and buying a new exercise/birthing ball after The Pups popped the one I was borrowing from my mom.

5.) The Giants held it together and came back to tie up the series at two! I’m also lucky in that I work from home tomorrow so I can watch the game again! Wahoo!

Week 36

10 Oct

Week 36 Highlights

  • We had another childbirth class at the hospital where we will be delivering. I’m probably doing overkill on the childbirth prep, but since The Hubs isn’t reading any books, the class format really helped both of us! My favorite activity was practicing relaxation techniques while holding ice cubes. I know it is NOTHING compared to what labor will be, but it at least showed that relaxing and breathing deeply makes the time go by faster. It was also fun to see The Hubs try it out! I also figured out that I really like sitting on a birth ball and like to also have my lower back massaged. Hopefully these things will come in handy when the time comes!
  • I hung out with another friend who is preggo, but about 3 months behind me. We talked about all things baby, which was fun!
  • I had a Perinatolgist appointment which I was dreading, especially with all of the drama of last week. I also had to wait forever to see the doctor and when I finally got in the exam room had to listen to a women in the next room moan and cry for over 20 minutes. That really doesn’t help with the nerves. Once the doctor finally arrived, he measured my belly (still small), but was ok with it all based on the ultrasound information. He looked at my sugar numbers which looked good and again judged me that I hadn’t gained enough weight. All things said though, he informed me that I didn’t have to come back to see him unless something else high risk occurred. Hallelujah! I graduated! One less doctor to see!
  • I started working from home the two days a week I have doctor or NST appointments. This is SO helpful. I found that I get SO much more done at home then at work, especially when I eliminate the long commute! This week I was really successful at knocking quite a few more things off my work to do list! Wahoo!
  • The one “panic session” of the week occurred early one morning when I woke up thinking that I hadn’t felt the baby move in a few hours. My doctor has really got me stressed about Kick Counts, so I got up and was frantically trying everything to get the baby to move. I drank cold water, pushed and prodded my stomach, got up and walked around…nothing seemed to work. I ended up calling my mom at 12 am. She obviously thought I was in labor! Ha! Anyways, I decided to call the hospital down the street where I am having my regular NST’s to see what they recommended. The nurse who answered seemed like this wasn’t the first time she had gotten a call of this nature. She said to eat something light, like down in a dark room on my left side and count 10 kicks in an hour. If I didn’t get 10 in an hour, then I should go in to the hospital where I would be delivering to get checked out. I hung up, ate a few apples slices and laid down on my left side with my mom still on the phone. After a few minutes, the baby slowly started waking up and before I knew it I had reached 10 kicks. Everything was fine. Thank you! The one good thing about this late night “scare”…. got The Hubs to finally start packing his bag for when it really is go time! hehe 🙂

Week 35

9 Oct

Week 35 Highlights

  • Got back into blogging (and catching up on these update posts! Almost there – just 2 more to catch up ! Should be done this week!)
  • Went to a breastfeeding class. I’m really worried about being successful at breastfeeding… mostly in dealing with the pain and getting used to the intense suction these babies produce. I hear that I need to give it at least 2 weeks to get used to. I’ m trying to gather as much info as possible, as well as stocking up on ointments, creams, soothies, anything that may help with the pain and get me over the hump. Luckily I have lots of friends who have been successful, so you can be sure I will be calling them incessantly for advice! (You all have been warned!)
  • With 3 more weeks of work, I’ve been working extremely hard to tie up loose ends. My to-do list feels endless!
  • I had my first Biophysical Profile Ultrasound. This is where they look to make sure the u/s tech looks at the babies breathing, muscle tone, heart rate, movement, and amniotic fluid. The nurse assured me that it was routine (especially with mom’s with Gestational Diabetes), although I found out later it was likely because the baby didn’t respond to the NST fast enough. It all went fine though and the baby made a perfect score! (Obviously my baby! hehe :-))
  • This week I was also really starting to try to enjoy the remaining weeks of pregnancy. I was eating more regularly and not worrying so much about my sugar numbers. That was all until…
  • My doctor’s appointment. Typically, everything goes just fine and I’m usually looking forward to the appointment. This week, however, when the doctor measured my fundal height, it was measuring 31 weeks…the same as my last appointment 2 wks ago!  Being 35 weeks, this was of concern to the doctor. It basically could indicate that the baby wasn’t growing and that there could be something wrong with the placenta not providing enough nutrients to the baby. I was DISTRAUGHT, obviously. The doctor did a preliminary ultrasound in the office and to her it looked like the baby was measuring 1.5 wks behind. Not as bad, but her u/s machine is apparently not the most accurate. She recommended I go for a more high tech ultrasound to double check. I kept asking her what the worst case scenario was (not the best thing for me to ask being the worrier I am) and she said that if the baby wasn’t growing and the placenta wasn’t working, we’d have to “take the baby out”. I cried the whole way home. I could barely find even find my way home. I miss my acupuncture appointment. It was horrible!
  • The next morning I called to schedule the higher tech ultrasound as soon as possible. Luckily they could take me, since I didn’t want to spend the whole weekend worrying.  The Hubs went with me in the off chance that something was wrong… We got a REALLY nice u/s tech. As she was doing the u/s she kept reassuring us that the baby looked cozy and healthy. She took the necessary measurements and told us the baby looked to be about 5 lb 3 oz…a little small for 35 weeks gestation, but within the range of error. She did a doppler on the placenta where they look at the blood flow from it to the baby. It also looked like it was working fine. Then because of all of the stress she could tell we were going through, she spent a bunch of time and took lots of pictures of the little one’s face. They were the best pictures were had ever gotten! We think the little one has my nose and The Hubs’s cheeks  (he’s the baby in the last pic)! See for yourself!

  • I didn’t hear from the doctor all weekend (at least that is what I thought). I assumed “no news is good news”. The next day, I noticed a message on our home phone (why the heck can’t these drs call cell phones!). Sure enough, the message was from the doctor saying that the baby was moving 1.5 wks behind, but that they don’t start worrying until the baby is measuring 3 wks behind. Phew! Why she couldn’t have said that at my doctor’s appointment, I don’t know, but I was just thankful that everything looked ok. The plan was to have another ultrasound at 38 weeks to check progress again.

 

Weeks 33 and 34

8 Oct

Weeks 33 Highlights

  • I was debating on whether or not to do maternity pictures, but decided in the end that I might regret it if I didn’t do it.  I think part of my procrastination was in wanting to pick “the right” photographer, ala wedding photography. This basically made me spin in circles never really able to decide on someone. In the end, I went with a friend’s recommendation and my original gut feel choice – Lynda Kennedy Photography. I LOVE the bright colors and nature backdrops she uses in her photos.
  • I’ve been feeling the baby now more than ever! Sometimes it even makes me feel a bit sick, but it is a wonderful reassurance that everything is going ok in there!
  • My feet swelled for the first time. Not terribly, but enough to make my work shoes tight. I think wearing flip flops to work is in my near future!
  • We went to Carmel to celebrate our friend Roger’s 30th birthday. We got to hang out with all the little ones and The Hubs got in some practice.
  • I gave three engineering related talks at the local community college. As always, I had an awesome time doing it, but man… talking and being on my feet all day was SO exhausting! If I thought a work day was exhausting, this was even more so. The enjoyment of doing it though made up for it! 🙂

Week 34 Highlights

  • I went to a local Mother’s Club meeting to try to meet some local moms. I was a little bummed because most of the moms had older kids, but there were a few that were pregnant. The membership fee is relatively inexpensive, so I decided to join. I figured the experienced moms would have lots of great advice on local kid stuff. Plus, it seems like these moms like to have fun, which will come in handy when the little one arrive and I need a night out!
  • I looked at my first two day cares this week. Both were institutional day cares. The first was a quick drop in where the enrollment director gave me a quick tour. I was able to see the infants and caregivers together. I swear that I almost cried the whole time I was in there. I did my best to  ask all the right questions, but my emotions made me forget A LOT of stuff. I just couldn’t see how I was going to be able to leave my little one there! The second day care had an open house where both The Hubs and I were able to talk to the teachers. However, we weren’t able to see the caregivers and infants together in action. In any case, the atmosphere of the 2nd day care made me feel a bit more comfortable, which was good. It also comes highly recommended. I’m planning on going back in a couple of weeks to see the infant room in action.
  • I had my first two non-stress tests at the local hospital. Luckily the nurses are really nice and make me feel comfortable, but it is still a nerve racking experience. I’m hooked up to this machine from any where from 20 to 60 minutes depending on how active baby wants to be.

During one of my sessions, the baby wasn’t reacting as fast as they would have liked, so they gave me some water with ice chips. Can you say addicting? These ice chips are a pregnant ladies’ best friend! So fun to eat! hehe 🙂

  • Things are definitely getting a bit more difficult in the getting around department. It’s getting harder and harder to roll over in bed, get out of bed, and tie my shoes!
  • This week I was also really missing wine and fro yo. Almost there though! Can’t believe it!

Thing to Do During Pre-baby Maternity Leave

3 Oct

I wasn’t going to do it, but since it’s available through the state, I decided to take 2 weeks off before my due date as my pre-baby maternity leave. The doctor is fine with signing me off on the extra time (due to my high anxiety state of being) and would sign off for even the total of 4 weeks allowed. My work has been super supportive and is also on board with me leaving at the two week mark.   The only way I’d reevaluate is if at my 36/37 week appointment (which is tomorrow), there is any indication that the baby may come early. Then I might just go out a bit earlier.

Also, with less than 1.5 weeks of work to go (seriously?!? Can’t believe it!), I’m working really hard to tie up as many work loose ends as quickly as possible so that when it’s time to go, both me and my projects will be ready. I’m almost there, just a couple more things to finish up where I’m mostly waiting on others.

In any case, I’m REALLY hoping the little one stays in till fairly close to our due date so I get some time to do some stuff for just me before he or she arrives. I’ve already started compiling a list of things I want to do (some fun and some necessary)!

1.) All About Pumping – I just signed up for this class which happens to be scheduled in the middle of a Monday afternoon. Lucky for me it falls on the first Monday of my leave! Breastfeeding and pumping have me shakin’ in my boots (even though my besties tell me they’ll help me with all the logistics), so I want to be as prepared as possible.

2.) BAKE!! – I’m planning on baking cookies for the nurses at the nearby hospital who have been taking such good care of me when I go in for my bi-weekly non-stress tests. I really wish I could deliver at that hospital since it would be so nice to know quite a few of the nurses, but I know the nurses at the hospital we are delivering at will be just as nice.

I also want to bake and freeze some fall pumpkin treats that I can indulge in after the baby is born. This whole gestational diabetes thing really threw a wrench in what normally would be a fall filled with pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, etc. I found this great pin with TONS of pumpkin recipes to try!

 

3.) Cook and freeze a favorite fall meal – I was walking down the beer aisle the other day and saw the Pumpkin Ale and I just knew I had to buy some (for The Hubs of course). It also spurred me to start buying the ingredients for one of my favortie fall meals – Paleo Pumpkin Chili. I may or may not be able to eat this meal now (I mean it is Paleo friendly, but I still wonder about the sugars in the pre-made diced tomatoes and pumpkin puree), but I want to have it ready for when I KNOW I can eat it and for when a frozen meal already pre-made will be a real treat (think after a sleepless night with a baby).

I’ve also been wanting to try this other chili recipe too. Seems like it too might be a good freezable option. Hope The Hubs doesn’t get too sick of pumpkin dishes!!

 

4.) Schedule the house for a DEEP CLEAN. – I’d like to have our house cleaned sometime in the last couple of week preferably before the baby comes so that we can start out fresh. We “clean” the house when we see it needs to be done, but we aren’t good about being really and truly thorough about it. I think it would be well worth our money!

5.) READ, SLEEP, RELAX, REPEAT – I really just want to sleep-in in the morning, relax during the day, catch up on some good books (that are not baby related) and repeat. Preferably for 2 weeks! I’ve never had down time like this in my life, so I really want to take advantage of it. 

Is there anything I’m missing??

Please everyone keep some “Baby stay in till your due date” thoughts coming my way! I’d appreciate it!! 🙂