Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I've said it before

But I'll say it again. :-) And again, I'm sure.

Vitamin d rocks.

I just finished reading another site's report of the vitamin d deficiency and cesarean link I mentioned a few posts back. Here's an excerpt:
"The study found that a deficiency of vitamin D is linked to hypertension (high blood pressure) and muscle weakness, two conditions that may be associated with a higher risk of requiring a C-section. In other studies, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to pre-eclampsia, a condition which occurs in later pregnancy, causing high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Pre-eclampsia is a serious illness which can threaten both mother and baby" (Jennifer Bunn, RN, "Want to Avoid a C-Section? Make Sure You Get Enough Vitamin D").
Science relieves my conscience again... guess that sunblock can stay in the back of the cupboard with the folic acid. ;-)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

Glucose I can tolerate!

At my last midwife appointment, Mary said she'd have me do the "glucose tolerance test" after the holidays. The thought of it just made me ill. Those orange glucose drinks are HORRID. Hate them.

So I had an appointment today. Have I mentioned I LOVE my midwives?? :-) Everything's looking good. Though I did gain TEN pounds over the holidays. I knew I'd packed on a few! So then they mentioned the dreaded glucose test. Except I wanted to dance a jig when Nedra said, "Which do you want... Milky Way, jelly beans, or the orange drink?" What?! Are you kidding me? I have a choice? I don't have to guzzle nastiness for my glucose test?! Woo hoo! So, the morning of my next appointment I get to eat 18 jelly beans between 9:00 and 9:15. That I can handle!

Hallelujah for evading the orange drink! This reason alone is enough to recommend midwives to every pregnant woman!

Friday, January 9, 2009

I'll take me one of those

You've heard of the film Orgasmic Birth, right? I guess I missed the special 20/20 segment where the film was featured along with other "extreme" childbirth methods. I've definitely never experienced the orgasmic birth phenomenon, but I'm sure happy to welcome it... as hard to imagine as it may be! There's a great piece in the Huffington Post about the film--"Orgasmic Birth: The Natural Reality Behind The Hype," by Lee Stanahan. I especially liked this quote from Laura Shanley:
"There's a reason that animals seek seclusion in birth. Everyone understands that being in a brightly lit room with a group of people watching you wouldn't make a comfortable environment for someone going to the bathroom or having sex. But for an equally intimate, personal activity like birth, people don't make the connection. Women don't need to choose between drugs, epidurals, and Cesarean sections on one hand and fear of a natural but painful childbirth on the other. There really is a third way and it's more natural" (Source).
Shanley is the author of Unassisted Childbirth. That's a whole can of worms I think I'm not going to open. A midwife-assisted home birth is already more "out there" than I ever imagined I'd go. I'll never say never, but I find it highly unlikely I'd ever willingly go unassisted. The truth is, I've done very little research on the topic, so I'm in no position to form any real opinion. But I know that parents who choose unassisted do so because they feel strongly it's the best path for them. It's not for me right now. But I'll definitely take that orgasmic birth (is this TMI?). How do I order one of those?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Prego Pic #5

Here I am... 27 weeks... approximately 6 months along. I don't know if it was all the holiday goodies or what, but I feel exceptionally more round than I did a month ago! I'm expecting the scale to show quite a significant weight gain when I go to my appointment on Monday. Here's another angle to give you an alternate view of the rotundity...I keep telling my husband, "I'm getting fat." And he responds, as any intelligent husband would, "It's okay! You're pregnant!" Don't get me wrong... I'm not complaining really... just making a statement of fact. In fact, I'd love to stay this way for far longer than three more months. I nearly want to hyperventilate when I look at my little baby countdown widget and see that I'm now in the double digits rather than triple. And then I want to hyperventilate even more when I remember that I probably have about a week less than it actually says since my babies come early. I just love being pregnant, especially now that my little inhabitant is moving so much. I just don't want to let go of this special time when we're so thoroughly connected to one another.

We're all quite attached to this little baby inside of me. My husband likes to stick his ear up against my belly and listen to our little guy's heartbeat. It's something special he can do (that I can't), and it's reassuring to both of us to hear (first and second-hand) that rapid little ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum. And I love when my two daughters talk to their fetal sibling, ask about him, and talk about "when he comes out."

I made a baby blanket yesterday. White fleece on one side and blue with black polka dots on the other. The truth is we probably didn't really need another baby blanket, but I wanted to make at least one just for this baby... and clearly masculine in nature. (The rest of our blankets are either girly or gender neutral). It's super soft, and we're all already imagining him lying on and being wrapped-up in it.

We're pretty sure we've settled on a name. But, for anonymity's sake, I'm not going to tell you what it is. Sorry! :-)

Oh, and I keep having nightmares about the birth... variations on the baby coming prematurely and the midwives not answering their phones, or before the midwives arrive and I'm all alone and end up tearing, etc. I remember dreaming that my husband died during my first pregnancy... I think it's pretty normal to have intense dreams/nightmares while pregnant. Such a vulnerable time as a woman. I guess it's understandable.

I guess that's enough rambling for now. Stay tuned in four weeks for the next prego update!

Vitamin D scores again

Good grief. Does the good news about vitamin D ever end?

Here's the latest headline: "UV exposure in pregnancy boosts fetal bone density."

There's some great information in the article about how sunlight exposure during pregnancy improves fetal bone growth with long term effects as well--10-year-old children whose mothers had sufficient sunlight during pregnancy had higher bone mineral content!

I can't get enough of vitamin D research. Love it. And it's motivating me to get outside more, which is always a good thing. We've taken brisk 2-mile-ish walks the last couple of afternoons, and we had a gorgeous morning at the park today... I took off my jacket (didn't need it anyway) and soaked up the sun. It makes me happy, especially knowing that it's doing so much good for me and my baby! Yay.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Honey for perineal healing

I just read this great little tidbit in the Midwifery Today E-News and had to share!
"Raw honey is a great remedy for first-degree [perineal] tears. Honey's thick consistency forms a barrier defending the wound from outside infections. The moistness allows skin cells to grow without creating a scar, even if a scab has already formed. Meanwhile, the sugars extract dirt and moisture from the wound, which helps prevent bacteria from growing, while the acidity of honey also slows or prevents the growth of many bacteria. An enzyme that bees add to honey reacts with the wound's fluids and breaks down into hydrogen peroxide, a disinfectant. Honey also acts as an anti-inflammatory and pain killer and prevents bandages from sticking to wounds. Laboratory studies have shown that honey has significant antibacterial qualities. Significant clinical observations have demonstrated the effectiveness of honey as a wound healing agent. Glucose converted into hyaluronic acid at the wound surface forms an extracellular matrix that encourages wound healing. Honey is also considered antimicrobial."
—Demetria Clark
Excerpted from "Herbs for Postpartum Perineum Care: Part I," The Birthkit, Issue 46
Order the back issue

It's my hope that I'll never need to try it out ('cause I'm NOT going to tear ever again), but I thought it might be helpful to someone out there. I sure could have used this information after my previous births!

Monday, January 5, 2009

An apple a day-ish...

And fish once a week. That's what pregnant moms should be eating if they want to protect their babies from asthma and eczema, according to a study recently conducted by Dutch researchers. Dr. Jennifer Appleyard (fitting name, eh?), chief of allergy and immunology at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit, urges pregnant women to "pick your foods wisely, because what you're eating today may not only nourish your body, but may have an impact on your baby's future health." Read the details from U.S. News and World Report at "Prenatal Nutrition, Postnatal Allergy Protection."