I have been wanting to write a new post for a while, but my motivation/energy level these days is pretty nil. I'm pretty much a full time pregnant zombie now. My nausea has let up a bit and now is much less intense and only sporadic (though a windy drive through the mountains today taught me that car sickness exponentially adds to morning sickness). The fatigue is still raging. I'm averaging 9-10 hours of sleep a night and it's not uncommon for me to take a nap during the day. But I'm seeing an endocrinologist soon since I'm hypothyroid and hopefully she will help me balance out my new preggo levels and some of the tiredness will let up. I'm also entering that lovely state of pre-bump pregnancy bloat, but luckily my wardrobe is predominantly made up of stretchy yoga pants anyway. Those and an investment in Forever 21's $4 sports bras (which are soooooo incredibly comfortable) have minimized my need for clothing adjustments so far.
Other than the typical first trimester transitions, our biggest news is that we selected a birth attendant. I have a whole post about why we wanted to go with a midwife here if you are interested. Luckily we had already made some contacts at the Improving Birth Rally we were a part of in September. Through some of the cards I had obtained, we were able to contact and meet with most of the CPMs (certified professional midwives) in the area. It was very important to us to find a good fit. We knew we wanted someone who's skill level and experience we trusted, but more importantly, we wanted someone who trusted me- trusted my body to birth the baby. I'm birthing my baby. The midwife is just there to lend a hand if and when needed. We also wanted someone I clicked with. Feeling at ease, relaxed, and trustful is so so so important during labor and birth, which is why I highly recommend getting a doula if you are going to be birthing anywhere where these things are difficult to come by or you will likely be surrounded by mostly strangers. The body is hyper responsive to stress and anxiety hormones during labor and it's amazing how quickly labor will slow or stop when things like adrenaline and cortisol are pumping. So with these things in mind, we interviewed four different midwives. One automatically didn't work out because she was going to be out of town around my "expected due date" (more on that later). Another was incredibly skilled and experienced, but I just didn't feel like I meshed with her. We liked her, and she was definitely an option we highly considered, but there was something missing in our connection that I really wanted to be there during my birth. The third woman was incredibly friendly and we got along well with her right off the bat. Everything seemed to click. But one thing made me decide she wasn't the right choice *for us* (everyone should choose a provider suited to their needs and no one else's). The thing was, she had never had an emergency transfer to a hospital. Now most of you probably think that's a great thing, and for many people it is and that is something you want to hear. Not for us though. You see, she had had several transfers. But none of them had been in an emergency situation. If I am going to give birth in a white, cold, sterile hospital, surrounded by noise and complete strangers...if I am going to have to fight for the kind of birth I want and the kind of care I want for my baby...it better damn well be an emergency. You see, we only live 5 minutes from the closest hospital. That is WAY less time than it takes to prep an operating room. In fact, you would have to live about 30 minutes away from a hospital for it to affect the amount of time that would pass between the problem arising and you being put on the operating table if a c-section was necessary. I know some people have probably had an "emergency" c-section and were rushed in fairly quickly...almost like the doctors had planned on the c-section in the first place...but of course it was an "emergency", so.... But anyway. That was a stumbling block for us that we weren't sure we felt comfortable with. I wanted a provider who trusted my body 100% and who wasn't going to jump the gun on calling it quits while the baby and I were still perfectly fine.
So we interviewed the fourth midwife. And she was perfect. Her own birth stories, her philosophy, her obvious trust in the process and in women in general. She had a lot of experience and was highly skilled (all of them were), but she also had a calm manner and perspective that was wonderful. I asked her all the hard questions about things that could go wrong and when she would "let" me continue to labor and when she would suggest a transfer, and the answer was always the same. As long as I was okay and the baby was okay, we would work through whatever came up. I even asked her about the due date laws here. In AZ, if you go past 42 weeks the law says a midwife cannot attend you, meaning I would have to transfer to obstetric care, even if the baby and I were perfectly fine. She told me though, that all we would have to do is get checked out by the OB at 42 weeks and have that person sign off, and as long as everything looked good, I could still birth at home. Fantastic. Nothing to worry about or stress me out in the event that my baby just took a little longer to cook than others (which is not that uncommon, here is one beautiful example). Her attitude was like this about everything. Whatever happened, we would work through it. We COULD work through. I am capable. She would help and support me. Those were the kind of words I needed and wanted to hear.
If you want to browse the 35 questions we went over with the midwives (not a single interview lasted less than 90 minutes), just message me and let me know. I'd be happy to send them to you and include an explanation about why we asked what we did and what the answers were. I'd also be happy to go over some basic questions for other providers, such as birth center CNMs and OBs if you want. This is literally the most important decision you will make during your pregnancy. It shouldn't be taken lightly and nothing should be assumed as "given". If you don't like the answers you get, keep looking. There is not just one way to do anything and there are as many perspectives and philosophies about birth as their are providers. Find the one that works for you.