Thursday, June 30, 2011

Heading Down the Midwife Path

Being a woman it's not like I had never considered labor or having a baby before I got pregnant. I had thought about it. With having friends that had babies, just being curious and in the past year or so of knowing we would want to get pregnant soon, it had been on my mind.

Fast forward to this:

and it was time to seriously start thinking about options. I made an appointment with a doctor that my friend and a few acquaintances had gone to.

I had watched part of the movie "The Business of Being Born" and while I realize that a lot of documentaries have a biased opinion, a lot of the points they made hit home with me. We went to our appointment with Dr. N excited to see our baby on an ultrasound and assuming that this would be our provider. I had for a while thinking if/when I delivered that I would want a natural birth and he did mention something about induction if we went a week past the due date but I figured these would be subjects we could discuss at a later date. We left the appointment happy with him, comfortable and with a couple more appointments scheduled.

A girl that I graduated high school with's mother has a birth center just a few blocks from the hospital where we had planned to deliver. The thought just wouldn't leave my mind. One day, my mom and I were out to lunch and I looked across the street and there was the birth center. I didn't know exactly where it was but then I did! My mom and I walked across the street just to take a peek inside and K, the girl I graduated with, was working and was happy to give us a quick tour, was so excited for me and very inviting. I set up a meeting with the senior midwife, her mom, for Hub and I to go in and ask some questions. He was a little apprehensive about the whole idea but said he was more than happy to go see what it was about if I was really curious. I felt that if we didn't check it out, it might always bother me and I might always wonder what could have been.

At our meeting, D, the midwife, answered so many of our questions, explained the differences in care between the midwives and doctors and made us feel so comfortable right away. We like the close to non-existent percentages of cesarean sections, the fact that they dodn't even administer epidurals, and a very low transfer rate to the hospital. The rooms are just like bedrooms in a home, are spacious and have huge bathtubs. I can eat during labor, walk around or do pretty much whatever we feel comfortable with. We left there with a great feeling and said we would take a couple of days to think about our options. Hub's response when we walked out of the birth center, "Okay, I am missing something here. Why doesn't everyone go there to have their babies instead of the hospital?" 
I smiled and replied, "Because we are supposed to have babies in a hospital."

We went home and watched a documentary together called "Pregnant in America." This documentary followed a couple who was pregnant on a journey to find out why the US handles pregnancy they way they do and even compared it to that of pregnancies in other countries where the majority of births are at home. Hub and I went back and forth. And back and forth. And back. And forth. Would we feel safe at the birth center? How would we create a birth plan for the hospital where we didn't feel like we had to battle hospital staff? If we went to the birth center, what if I got to a point where I felt I needed drugs? Were we weird for even considering a different option than a hospital?

We went around and around but a few days later I called and canceled my appointments with the OB/GYN and made an appointment with the midwife. We were 100% sure of our decision and were very excited about it. We came to the conclusions that as far as we can tell I have a normal pregnancy and am a healthy woman. Therefore, I don't need to be treated in a hospital. The midwife explained to us that if at anytime we see something differently, she has no hesitation in going to the hospital during labor or sending us there for prenatal care if she sees fit. We like the idea of an experienced pair {over 1200 natural births between the two midwives} providing our prenatal care and attending our birth. They will know so many tricks and trades of natural births that many OBs don't because they don't see as many natural births. By a long shot.

I want to clarify the fact that I am not some crazy person who thinks hospitals are el diablo. They are obviously very important places that provide very important care to many patients. Also, if you have had your baby in a hospital or will have your baby in a hospital, I have absolutely nothing against you. Many women, including my best friend, feel very safe and comfortable in a hospital. Also, many deliveries require being in a hospital and I understand that. Hub and I also probably would have considered the birth center for a lot longer or have decided against it altogether if it had been further away from a hospital. It is literally five minutes.

So, there we have it. Our decision process on how we decided not to deliver in a hospital. We have been very happy about our care up until now and are excited about what the future of care holds there for us.

If this is relevant to you, did you or will you deliver in a hospital? Have you ever thought of an alternate route? Do you think I'm crazy?! :) {you don't have to be honest on that last question...}

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

17 Weeks

How Far Along: 17 weeks
Size of baby: Around 5 ounces and 5 inches long
Total Weight Gain: around 2 pounds
Maternity Clothes: No maternity clothes yet but I am definitely favoring the stretchy parts of my wardrobe.
Gender: Don't know yet but we will find out!
Movement: No movement yet, still a little early for this first time momma!
Sleep: Sleep is hit and miss. I can have one really good night and then a few bad nights of tossing and turning and can't get comfortable. This past weekend when we were out of town I did not get good sleep at all and then being back home Monday, I got the best night of sleep I have had in a while and slept straight through to my alarm. It was glorious!
What I miss: Nothing right now. 
Cravings: Nothing in particular but if I think of something I have to have it. I am also really liking spicy food!
Symptoms: Still some dry heaving in the mornings. I get up pretty early so it is hard to shove food down my throat right away. My memory is basically shot. I usually have a pretty good memory bit these days it feels like I forget everything! Hub thinks it's pretty amusing because he is usually the forgetful type! :)
What I’m looking forward to:
Since Hub has a 4 day weekend this weekend, we are excited to actually make some headway on cleaning out our back bedrooms and starting on some projects for the baby's room. Some new paint, a new light fixture and we will see how much more we can accomplish!

I guess without further adieu, I will post my first "bump" pictures. Since I haven't posted them from the beginning I thought I would post one from early on and one from now. Please excuse the lack of make-up and somewhat wet hair. These are usually taken after my shower in the evening.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Is Your Brother an Ironman? Mine is!

My brother, Wes, has been training for the past 10 months for an Ironman Triathlon. Well, yesterday, he completed his goal with a 2 1/2 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run. My parents, husband and I left Saturday morning to head to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho to watch the event. It was a really neat event with such an upbeat, positive atmosphere.

Wes did not have such and easy road to get to the Ironman. Nothing serious or health issues but definitely some hiccups along the way. Back in September he competed in his first triathlon and had a little panic in the water and then had a flat tire. A few weeks ago, he did another triathlon where his wet suit choked him and another flat tire in really cold weather. He had a good race a couple of weeks ago so I think that was a confidence booster for him. He left for Coeur d'Alene last Tuesday and on Thursday his bike was stolen. He was checking in for the event, parked among all the other competitors and someone cut the lock and took his bike. Needless to say he was pretty devastated. The police got on the trail and they, thankfully, found the bike at a pawn shop on Friday afternoon. It was a little banged up but luckily the bike shop there was able to help him out with the repairs and he was able to ride his own bike in the race.

We met up with him Saturday afternoon when we got into town and walked around the park where the event was centered and then took him out for some spaghetti. He was definitely more solemn than usual and we could tell he was nervous and excited all at the same time. I don't think it had quite sunk in that the next day was the big day.

We arrived at the event Sunday morning and it was a beautiful but chilly morning at Lake Coeur d'Alene. Here is what we came to see:
Athletes making their way onto the beach

2,500 athletes!
The professional start was at 6:25 am and Wes' start was at 7:00 am. Off they went in the water.

When we talked to him after the race he said it took him about 20 minutes to gain composure and actually start breathing because it was so crazy jumping in with that many people.

We meandered around and headed over to see him at the bike transition. When we saw him, he told us he had lost his heart rate monitor/watch in the water so his girlfriend gave him hers. Luckily he had a time but never ended up registering his heart rate so after a year of training to his heart rate, he had no idea what he was at the whole race.

We got to see him a couple of times on his bike and it was so fun cheering for him and seeing him and you could really tell he loved seeing us too. That is the amazing thing about these races is that the athletes don't care who it is cheering for them so we just cheer for everyone. They love the encouragement, obviously.

While he was off on the bike in places we didn't see him, we headed out to lunch which was delicious. It was a place that had been featured on {shocking, I know} Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. It was called Capone's and is sort of a pub/bar with delicious food and about 41 beers on tap. Crazy.
This was by far the best pizza I have had in a really long time. Flavorful yet light crust. Yummy but not overpowering sauce and really fresh meat.

After we had replenished our stomachs, we headed back to the race and waited for him at the bike to run transition. He did not look quite has happy when he came in on his bike as he had when we saw him before on his bike. But off on the run he went.

We relaxed a little at this point and even took naps. Hub and I set off to find some ice cream and then saw a street where we thought it might be possible to see him on the run so we walked up there. The volunteer told us it was about mile 14 or 15 so we posted up to wait for him because we could see online that he hadn't checked in at mile 12 yet. We saw him and here is the point it got a little interesting. I ran out onto the street to give him a high five and he said, "It might be awhile, I think my left foot is broken." Well. Awesome. You still have a little less than half a marathon to run and your foot might be broken. We just cheered him on and he kept going.

We watched a lot of people finish and that was such and amazing part. I can't even imagine the feeling you have as an athlete when you cross that finish line. 

We finally got to see our guy and he looked like he could laugh or cry. 

He was definitely a little dazed. Said he didn't know what he was feeling. He had a couple pieces of pizza and stumbled around until we got him in the car. He still doesn't know about his foot. He told us the bike was hard and killed his legs for the run. But he did it and he finished. That's all that matters.

Wesley, I am so proud of you and it was an honor to watch you accomplish your goal yesterday. You are such a dedicated athlete and I can't wait to watch you for many more years. You have such a drive when it comes to athleticism that has always shined through in your personality as well as on the field, pavement, or in the water. I love you!

Friday, June 24, 2011

What's Growing on Around Here

The past couple of years I have been pretty into our yard and garden and such. This year, I don't know if it's the weather around here or the pregnancy or what, but I haven't been quite as crazy about the yard as before. We do have pots in our backyard that I wanted to fill and we did put some veggie seeds in. Around these parts though, Mr. Sunshine hasn't been quite as cooperative as he has probably been in other parts. However, here are my attempts for this year.
I think once these pots fill in bit more they will be really pretty.

Grow, beans, grow!

Squash, lettuce and tomatoes. The blank area is just where seeds decided not to come up. Awesome.

Carrots, green onions and cucumber. Again, with the not growing thing.

Hanging baskets out front. Again, I think once these start filling in a trailing over the edges, they will be pretty.

I also made some hummingbird food the other day {4 cups of water to 1 cup of sugar. This is what my grandma uses and she has so many hummingbirds that she goes through two feeders a day!} and saw my first hummingbird of the season the other night! They are such amazing birds I just love watching them. The only problem I have with the feeder is that it hangs outside of our dining room window and we aren't in there very often. I want to see about moving it maybe to our family room window so I can see it more. Or maybe just add another one in the back.

What are you growing these days? Feeding any birds around your yard? Any weather related issues with your garden?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

16 Weeks Along

Honestly where is the time going? In the first few weeks of finding out I was pregnant, it seemed to drag until the first doctor's appointment. Then I wasn't feeling so hot, so time wasn't going so quickly. Now I can't believe I am four months along! I am going to try to start posting these weekly so I can remember this stuff. I have really been wanting to write in a journal but just haven't done it so this will have to do for now.

How Far Along: 16 weeks
Size of baby: Baby Riemer is around 4 1/2 inches long and 3 1/2 oz.
Total Weight Gain: none so far
Maternity Clothes: No maternity clothes yet but I am definitely favoring the stretchy parts of my wardrobe.
Gender: Don't know yet but we will find out!
Movement: No movement yet, still a little early for this first time momma!
Sleep: Sleep is hit and miss. I can have one really good night and then a few bad nights of tossing and turning and can't get comfortable.
What I miss: Nothing right now. There have been a couple of warm days where I could have stood to have a nice cold beer. ;)
Cravings: Nothing in particular but if I think of something I have to have it. Also, if I taste a bite of onion, I feel like I could eat a whole bowl of onions!
Symptoms: Still some dry heaving in the mornings. I get up pretty early so it is hard to shove food down my throat right away. Other than that, my energy is coming back and I am feeling pretty good!
What I’m looking forward to:
We have our 16 week appointment with our midwife today. This will be Hub's first time hearing the heartbeat in person. He had to hear it over the phone last time. We are very excited about this!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Vacation Recap Part III: New York City

I am recounting our vacation from a week and a half ago and am onto Part III. To catch up, see Part I and Part II.

For the final leg of our trip we visited the Big Apple. We left early Friday morning from the house on the river in Pennsylvania and set out to New Jersey. There we were dropping off our car and getting picked up by a van to take us into our apartment in Midtown Manhattan.

I'll just begin with that none of us, maybe excluding my one brother-in-law and my mother-in-law, are really "big city folk." The minute the van crossed the bridge into the city you could see my father-in-law's grip on the seat tighten. It was quite the experience in the van with the driver weaving in and out of traffic and honking, pedestrians dashing across the street with no obvious fear toward cars racing toward them, construction everywhere, huge buildings, etc.

We made it to our apartment, dropped our bags off and headed out to brave the subway. The subway is awesome. It is so amazing to be able to get from point A to point B so quickly and efficiently. We made a stop at a pizza place that Hub and I had seen on TV. Yummy New York Pizza.
Brother-in-law waiting for the Subway

Me with one of my all-time favorite foods!
We jumped back on the subway and headed to Battery Park to see the Statue of Liberty.
The park and kids playing in the fountain

There she is

Wow, it fits right between his finger tips!
We then meandered through the financial district and saw the New York Stock Exchange.

We then headed to Ground Zero. I must say it was definitely strange being right in that area. Obviously it was almost 10 years ago {wow, that is even more strange to say} and I was a junior in high school when it happened but honestly I remember it like it was yesterday. The actual spot is a construction zone but there is a memorial on the wall of the fire station. Which we also saw a fire truck come out into action.

We stopped off at Grand Central Station on the way back to our apartment. It is absolutely beautiful and it is really interesting to see things in real life that we have only seen in movies or on TV. It is pretty amazing to stand on the stairs in the middle of the station and see everyone going their own which way. Almost like a movie in fast forward.

We headed back to the apartment for a little bit to wind down and then head out to dinner. We came across a restaurant called Ali Baba's Terrace which had a neon sign. To me, neon signs can be somewhat of a warning but everyone was convinced! And guess what we found? More Turkish food that we loved! After a nice dinner we walked to Times Square. All I have to say is, "Wow." 

Hub's company

On the walk back from Times Square we saw these attractions:

We love 30 Rock :)

St. Patrick's Cathedral
The next day we awoke and headed to The Empire State Building. It was pretty cloudy and a little misty so we didn't go to the top. The lobby is really beautiful though. 

We then headed to the New York Public Library. Hands down my favorite sight to see. It was absolutely beautiful. I can totally see why Carrie Bradshaw would want to get married there. Not only is the lobby beautiful but all of the book rooms are equally as gorgeous. The ceilings are so ornate and there are so many details. I feel smarter just for having visited.

After the library we went to St. Patrick's Cathedral to go inside. Another beautiful building. 

Here's where lunch time came in. And what an event it was. We went to Carnegie Deli. Yum and yum. I have never seen sandwiches or desserts like this before. I had a hot pastrami sandwich and it was delish. We all split the New York Cheesecake with strawberries for dessert. Best cheesecake I have ever had.

We continued onto the Guggenheim and into Central Park. It is crazy that in the midst of a busy city there is just a beautiful park. 

We made a quick stop into the Natural History Museum. It was under construction so the outside wasn't much to look at. 

We continued on and stopped at FAO Schwartz on the way back to the apartment. What a fun toy store!

We headed back to the hotel for a bit and then headed out to our final meal together. It was a really yummy Indian restaurant. Hub and I flew out in the morning.

Our trip to New York was a definite whirlwind but we got to see quite a bit of sights. It was really interesting staying in an actual apartment and feeling like we were immersed in the city for a couple of days. Hub and I both agreed that we didn't think we would be able to get past the crowded nature of the city and actually enjoy it but we both did very much. I am so thankful to my in-laws for bringing me along on this adventure. It was a very fun vacation and a good one to have before the baby comes!