Hi Molly! I think you're just over 36 weeks now aren't you? Welcome to your lodge!
Welcome to your lodge Molly!!!
welcome!!!!!!!! i look forward to getting to know you!
Congrats on your lodge. Eager to read your story.
Yay, you've made it to lodge time! Look forward to another lodge to stalk
Looking forward to reading about you and your birth.
Congrats on your lodge!
Congrats! Looking forward to reading your story!
Congratulations! Look forward to reading your story.
Welcome and congratulations!!!!!
Hi everyone! Thanks for the big welcome to my lodge! This is very exciting.
My DH, Brad, and I are in Scotland for what has been my reproductive sabbatical from a life of tireless work for nature conservation that was making me very burned out by about July 2005. We'd been together by that time for about six years, married for two, and quite settled in a suburb of Boston in a cute little house with two cats. B had started grad school the previous year, and it had rather shattered my expectations of married life. His school was 75 miles away, so he was either there or on the road there, and suddenly our income was cut in half and debt escalating. Meanwhile, I was getting loaded up with more responsibilities at work (yay!) but not with the accompanying compensation (boo!), so my outlook was getting darker and darker.
And yet, here I was, approaching the age of 32, and I had heard from a reputable source that 32 was really a good age - a time to take charge! So I decided to let someone else take over for me at work and B and I decided to travel to Edinburgh, where he could finish his third and final year, and I could learn how to grow plants so I could some day live the dream of being a self-sufficient on my family's land in New Hampshire. It took a year of planning and preparation: selling the house, getting the cats ready to travel, extricating myself from my work, and convincing myself that this was going to be alright.
The novelty of place and the year out was also a good for my optimism. I thought, maybe this is the perfect time to start a family. We half-tried the summer before leaving Massachusetts, but with all the stress of moving, selling, quitting, it didn't happen. It wasn't until we got to Scotland that conception was to be. My tester stick says it happened on October 4th.
It's been interesting comparing Scotland's National Health Service to what I'd be getting the the States. I know government-administered health care has its opponents, but it's worked out well for us so far. The care is pretty barebones, but I've come to accept my midwives' nonchalance for a brand of confidence in the normalcy of childbirth. Also, here all healthy women are offered home or hospital birth, which is revolutionary. I don't know if I'd been in the States that I would be brave enough to plan a homebirth, but I'd certainly have to deal with my mother about it, which I don't have to do here. Maybe that's another reason I wanted to have a baby in Scotland...
That's me and my situation! I look forward to sharing the journey into motherhood with you all. I'm glad this board is so supportive and made up of such thoughtful and educated women. I've relied on the support enormously over the last 8 months.
Wow, what an adventure you're on. I envy you for making those choices. I'd love to be travelling and learning what you are learning. It will be interesting to hear more about how childbirth and prenatal care differs in Scotland.
That is great. I hope life in Scotland for you and family turns out to be everything you wanted. Besides, it will be cool for the baby to have dual citizenship.
Congratulations on your lodge! The last few years seem like they have been full of change for you, but you sound so happy where you are!
I look forward to enjoying the last few weeks of your pregnancy journey with you!
Congratulations on your lodge. It sounds like you have a very adventurous life. How exciting!
Congrats on your lodge! Another June Mama!! What an exciting time in your life...travelling and birthing!! I, too, will be interested to hear about your experiences with the healthcare in Scotland as we here in the US approach another presidential election chock full of promises for healthcre reform that is more equitable!! So are your cats travelling with you?? BTW---I'm so happy to find so many fellow cat lovers having June babies;-)
Congrats on your lodge and look forward for following your beautiful Scotland homebirth adventure!
Welcome! Sounds like you've going through a bunch lately and have come out on top! Great!
I would love to hear what you did for conservation (I'm a biologist) and would love to know how it influenced your life and decision to have children.
I also look foreward to hearing your stories!
How interesting to be having a baby abroad. It will interesting to follow your journey and compare it to what most of us, in the USA and Canada, experience.
Welcome to your lodge Molly! I think it's fantastic that you and your husband moved to Scotland to take a reprieve and enjoy life. Work is just that - work! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, I look forward to following!
I visited the clinic where I see the team of community midwives this morning for my scheduled check, and lo and behold, the baby is not breech, as I'd been told at my last check. What a huge relief! I can't begin to report how stressful it's been for the last four weeks worrying about the consequences of a baby who was breech and not moving. I kept feeling hiccups around my cervix/colon, so I was doubting the position, but also felt something round and seemingly bouncy near the fundus, too. It also seemed quite entrenched in its position, so if it wasn't head down I was starting to resign myself to the two evil options - forceps and huge episiotomy and/or c/s. And I was thinking I must have something wrong with my body that caused the breech presentation. Ugh - such wasted time.
The other interesting thing about the appointment was that my usual midwives were off on a training day, so it was a midwife from a different community team. She apologized profusely for being 15 minutes behind schedule (sweet! they aren't usually ever apologetic, not even when the doppler ran out of batteries and I didn't get more than a 10 second listen to the heartbeat at 22 weeks). She was thoughtful about the breech presentation and, while saying she understood why the other midwife made the mistake, made sure I was convinced it was head down. Then, when she took my blood pressure, and it was high, she offered to come to my flat tomorrow to recheck it, because she wants to be sure that it's not just the white coat effect. My regular midwives have never offered anything like that. Though it's not great that my blood pressure is rising, I was really pleased that she treated me as an individual. (No swelling or protein in my urine, so I'm hoping I'll stay a candidate for homebirth....)
While the National Health Service's midwifery care has been very professional, I have often felt that it is at times incredibly brusque, and the 15 minute appointments are just not long enough to feel like I'm more than a set of vital signs. I guess in that respect it's no better than having an HMO. But then there are the good practitioners, like today's midwife, who aren't burned out or otherwise so detatched that they become robotic. The bad thing is that if you and your midwives don't get along, independent midwives have lost their insurance, so they are getting harder to find.
As for my body (now that I like it again), I've been Braxton-Hicksing a lot, and at night I now get menstrual cramp-like sensations, so I just try to imagine my cervix getting nice and ripe.
Yes, kitties are here with us. Harrowing, awful. Don't ever travel with your furbabies unless you have nerves of steel.
As for my job in conservation, I worked for the Massachusetts Audubon Society doing ecological management for a sanctuary just outside of Boston (among many other things - education, volunteer coordination, publications).
I'm so happy for you that your baby isn't breech, that really changes so much! I hope your BP stays low!
It's been a while - the wifi we've been mooching has been a bit slow.
Mary O'Brien, supermidwife, came to check my BP at home last Wednesday and was sufficiently concerned to draw blood to have my kidney and liver functions tested. The good news is that the results came back normal, so I am still a candidate for homebirth. The gas and air has been ordered, and they should drop off the homebirth kit soon. I got my TENS machine in the mail this morning. Is anyone else using one of these? I can't remember if it's more a UK thing.
I am a bit concerned because my horoscope said I'd have my plans changed by other people this week, and that by week's end I'd be happy and ok with the changes - I certainly hope this doesn't mean my BP's up again at my appointment tomorrow and I have to give up my homebirth plans.
However, my neighbor told me this week that she had preeclampsia with her son and had an emergency c/s. This, to me, is good news. My rule is that if I know someone who has had one of these statistically unlikely issues, then I am safe. :roll:
Molly--glad your blood tests came back OK and you are moving along with home birth, how exciting.
If it helps, I don't believe in horoscopes so I don't think anything is going to happen to you.
Glad to hear your tests came back okay. I believe in horoscopes but for me they tend to never be as straightforward as they seem. So the plans that could change could have nothing to do with your birthing and baby. Just stay positive. I'll send positive vibes your way too.
This is sound pregnancy logic if I ever heard it!!
I spent the afternoon in the hospital yesterday, hooked up to a BP and fetal montior because my diastolic BP was up to 90 at my visit to the midwife, and after measuring my belly and seeing it was still at 35cm (same as last week), she needed to rule out total placental failure and eclamsia.
The constant monitoring showed my BP to hover in the 80's and then go to 90 periodically, but the fetal trace was excellent - lots of movements and corresponding increases in heartrate, then a nice 20 minute snooze.
I've always measured small, I'm supposing because I'm 5'10" and have a long waist, and thought it was a bit premature to suggest that baby's growth was static. I overheard them talking to a quite short, large woman that her baby measured in at term size, so really she could have it at any time. It was a little frustrating, because I don't think these estimates of fetal size are really all that accurate.
Really, all this fuss is getting me down. I had been happy to stay pregnant because it had been such a breeze up to now. But now I must admit I'm feeling like the sooner the better. Not really productive when I could have almost 4 more weeks' wait.
I have little spells of feeling like this all shall pass, and I must not let it make me anxious. I think I'm going to go meditate now that I've got myself wound up.
Hey Molly, glad to hear things are going well and baby is head down. I agree that those fundal measurements don't really mean much. My midwife always assures me that all they are really looking for is steady growth, it's not really the numbers that matter.
Molly, I think you're the one thinking straight there.
My baby has been measuring "small" all along also--I'm 5'9" and very slender, and I've actually been -losing- about a pound a week the last three weeks (I'm not getting much sleep and not eating too well, either--but the weight is coming off of ME, not the baby--he's growing like a weed).
The fundus measurements haven't changed much for the past two weeks (I think last week it went backwards by one week) but the midwife didn't seem at all concerned. Xander is definitely bigger--he can't turn around as well, the midwife can see and feel the difference in him, and he's still moving just like before (well, sort of, he can't somersault anymore so he just does powerful stretches). His heartbeat has been fine, etc.
I actually think the fundus measurements have been off since the beginning--up until lately, they've grown by one week each week, but they indicate that my due date is June 28. It -could- be possible, but my midwife agrees with me that all indications are that my dates based on LMP are pretty close and I'm ready to go into labor at any time now.
But if my fundus measurements are a week or two off, the ultrasounds have been WAAAAY off--the two ultrasounds I had both pointed to July 18 as the due date!!!! If my due date is July 18th, I was feeling the first baby flutters at 9 weeks, which is patently impossible no matter how skinny I am! So I'm confident that I just have a small baby (my daughter was only 6 pounds something), and I'm very very happy that my midwife has been willing to trust my feelings on this (and her own observations) and not worry.
I hope things get less stressful for you--sounds like a very long afternoon yesterday.
Molly, hugs everything will be OK!
I see how that could get you worked up but it really doesn't mean anything. I'm tall and slender (well pre-preggo that is) and my fundal measurements have been 1 or 2 weeks behind the average. I also had a week recently when fundal height didn't increase. Try to put that out of your mind--- I know, easier said than done. But it really doesn't mean anything--go treat yourself to something you love (a good book, a nice bath, a scoop of ice cream)!
I hope that you are well! I am sure that fundal measurements vary and I wouldn't be too concerned. A couple weeks ago my MW was telling me my baby is going to be huge, and yesterday everything was fine. I am petite and I ALWAYS seem to measure big, so the height corellation (sp?) makes sense to me.
Shoot, just lost my post.
Thank you, ladies, for the comforting comments. I constantly hear about people measuring big, and I suppose that's more something you'd crow about than the 'neat bump' they call it here. I guess I'm thinking of my obsessively competitive brother here, who's wife is carrying a baby in the "91st percentile" for size. Brag all you want, and then have fun pushing that out, lady.
However concerned the midwives may be about baby's size and my BP, I did get a call this morning to let me know my nitrous would be delivered today, so homebirth preparation is still under way. It being the first conversation of the morning, and the fact that I (still) can't understand some Scots accents, it went a little something like this: "Oh, hiya, Marrrrllllllgrrrlllllet?" [Margaret is my proper name] "Thizzuz Jimmy frrrlllm thadalivrrrllly surrrlllvuce. Ah've got yerrrrllll gazandairrrrllll ta dalivrrrrllll todeeee btween twailve an one." Huh? Oh, gas and air. Ok, Jimmy. Grrrrrlllleat! It's like being in an Irvine Welsh novel.
I also did some reading on preeclampsia. If you happen to be reading this and have similar worries, here's a good article citing the latest research and how there might be a real treatment in the next few years. Amazing that it's taken so long to scratch the surface of a disorder that can be quite unpleasant for everyone. http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/07/24/060724fa_fact
I have to admit, I love the Scottish accent!!
Glad things are coming soon and you are getting ready!
I've got my next appointment to check BP and urine tomorrow.
I don't think it's going to be good news. The urate in my blood went up over the previous week, so I'm borderline right now. If they take blood again, I think they're going to find it's increased again.
So frustrating, because my homebirth kit arrived and is staring at me so hopefully. At least I'll have time for yoga tomorrow before my appointment, so I'll at least be mentally in a good place if not vascularly.
Wish me luck!
Here's wishing you good luck Molly! Is it taboo to wish you luck of the Irish?
Hope your appt goes good today!
It was a great appointment!
I had been to yoga in the morning, so I was pretty relaxed and happy. The appointment was at the midwives' base, rather than at the university clinic, where we've met until then. So I felt like I was in their inner lair. No protein in my urine sample, BP a little lower than last week, hurray! They did worry about the height of my fundus, which, by their measurements, had shrunken by a centimeter. So they once again referred me to the hospital, this time for an ultrasound to check baby's size. But I got to see three of them, and they seemed really excited to see me and know I was so close to having this wee one.
I went this morning to the hospital, still not concerned because I secretly think that they just want to be extra sure they aren't going to have any unpleasant surprises at the homebirth. I hadn't seen the LO since 14 weeks, so I was hoping everything was in the right places, and though I'm kind of skeptical of u/s, if it's what the midwives need to feel confident about the hb, then fine. The tech didn't get too close and personal in the genital area, which was good, so it's still a surprise. But we saw the beating heart and the full bladder and the round head all tucked into my pelvis. The measurements were exactly in the 50th percentile. Can't argue with that! The hospital midwife was really sweet, comparing shoe sizes with me, telling me I was right to suspect the others of just wanting to make sure all was perfect before they got into the homebirth.
It's like all the midwives here are suddenly interested and excited for me, after 8.5 months of being rather distant and dismissive. It's a really nice feeling. I guess I had hoped it would be all warm and fuzzy from the start. Is it more that way in the States and Canada? I wonder if it's because healthcare is bureaucratized here?
Oh, the weirdest thing happened in the waiting room at the hospital. My parents live near a woman in NH who they know from various circles, whose daughter also lives in Edinburgh. I hadn't met the daughter, only because she's kind of out of the city and we don't cross paths, but I had tried to call her a few weeks back with no response. Who should I see in the waiting area, but the mother, who I'd met in NH last summer, and the daughter, who is 10 days past her due date and really uncomfortable. I felt sorry for her, as big as she was, and here's me skipping around with my tiny bump still happily anticipating a lovely labor. DH reminded me to count my blessings.
Oh Molly, so glad your apt went well and things are on track...you sound at peace, that is a great position to be in. How ironic that you saw the mom and daugther from NH.
So glad the news has been good---sounds like you're all set for a homebirth! I'm excited to hear about your labor and delivery;-) That is quite odd to bump into someone you know from NH like that...strange things do happen!
So happy to read about your good appt and u/s! I am looking forward to hearing about your homebirth.
THings are still quiet on the homefront. I must admit, there are times when I'm tired, have done too much, and get a little bit scared of the birth and the rigors it will put on me. But overall I've been taking it easy these days, so mostly I'm just listening to my body and checking things off the list in a calm and orderly way.
Today we made a cast of my belly. DH got freaked out about the messiness of the plaster and had to abandon the project before it was properly finished, angry at me for making suggestions. Leaving me, mostly naked, partially covered in semi-set plaster to deal with the clean up. I don't know what his deal was. I spent the afternoon smoldering about it. If a little plaster makes him crazy, how is he going to handle the tidal wave of bodily fluids coming at him during the homebirth and on diaper patrol? But, in my pregnancy-induced state of non-combativeness, I will probably just let it pass. I'm just glad I have a doula.
He should be singing my praises. Not since TTC has he gotten so much action. I'm hoping it's working??? The menstrual cramping sensation comes only at night, though. Last night the cramps were stronger, so they must be doing something, even if it's just waking up my cervix to the idea of becoming ripe. Baby is most active now, it seems, at night, wiggling and squirming more than stretching. I feel most movements to the front of my belly, though, so should I be getting mentally prepared for back labor? Yikes!
Hi Molly, Sorry I'm late to chime in but i have finally caught up on your lodge and I am so excited for you. i have spent time in England and Ireland and would love to see Scotland some day. Wish I could pop over and help you out post partum. I don;t know that early labor or the days before are any indicator of back labor. I had back labor with the twins and didn't have much of a difference early on. When I was really feeling it - I KNEW in my heart the first baby (Miriam) was at a bad angle. (and she was) but it does all work itself out and your doula will be there to help and suggest things. Labor and birthing is an amazing thing. At the moment of truth -no matter what - you will find a way (or ways). The quote in my siggy got me through a lot of tough spots. I'm looking forward to hearing more.
I can totally relate to your feeling a bit unsure/scared of how you'll get through the labor--I feel that, too at times. I then try to keep reminding myself that this is what my body was made to do and if I just "let go" and let it happen it'll be easier in the end. It is scary, though, wondering how we'll get through. I've found it so helpful to have all these other mamas come before me and do it...it's really inspirational! In fact, I may go re-read some of Ina May's birth stories just to keep them fresh!
Sorry DH was being grumpy...good for you for staying cool...unfortunately for my DH, I'm not in the "stay cool" mode at all;-) I hope the belly cast still turned out okay...I'd love to see pics!
What is it with dhs in those last days?
Your belly cast sounds exciting.
I have a bet that when you go into labor, it will be at the same time of night that you've been getting those cramps.
Hang in there! Very soon for you!
Hey Molly. Good for you keeping your cool about the belly cast. I'm sure it was just that that was bothering your DH, there were probably some underlying fears or perhaps just the reality that you really were having a baby hit him.
Well, today is officially 40 weeks since my LMP. I feel like some sort of celebration is necessary, it's been such a long anticipation. I'm tempting fate by wearing my white trousers and eating pineapple.
I keep checking myself for nesting - I'm still pretty ok with the state of the flat as long as the litter box is clean and the cat hair tumbleweeds are smaller than my fist, so I guess that's a negative. My mentally and physically special needs cat Wallace caught a bird this morning. It must have just flown right into his mouth in the middle of a yawn because he was just sitting on the window ledge, which is no wider or longer than his body. Having never so much as stalked a bird before, this was a banner day for him. I heard a TWEET! and then he jumped down with two little legs sticking out of his mouth. I don't condone this behavior at all, having worked for the Audubon Society for a long time, but this bird surely wasn't meant to live long if it gets caught by Wallace.
TMI alert...So last night in the tub I detected what might be a part of a plug of the mucusy kind. It was crystal clear and had a texture sort of like aloe vera gel. DH and I looked at it for a while and shrugged. Neither of us had ever seen anything like it.
Then after going to bed I awoke with some strong cramps, at least I think I did, but then fell right back to sleep. Then woke up again hoping they would come back, but no. Other than getting myself excited, I have no problems sleeping like a champ. This morning I wondered if I'd just imagined it.
Can I just rant for a minute about the arbitrariness of due dates? I feel very lucky that at my 14 week scan they decided my due date was July 4th, simply based on the size of the fetus then, a week beyond 40 weeks from my LMP. So now I get a free week before they will pressure me to induce, whereas so many women have it the other way, and are induced before 42 weeks from their LMP. If the size of the fetus doesn't dictate the day it'll be born, why insist that we must be induced at 42 weeks, based on the size of the fetus at 14 weeks? I can see if the placenta is failing or there's not much amniotic fluid left or other more solid indicators are present. Oh, well. This is my opinion at 40 weeks - we'll see how chipper I am on July 18th if I'm still pregnant!
I am with you on the due date crap! It is all so arbitrary, isn't it? That little one will come when it's good and ready. You'd think that it would at least have a bit of consideration for how we feel though!
Good luck on your "free" week. Maybe something will happen when you least expect it? Good call on the white pants though, that may be tempting fate just enough!
Ha ha ha... the white pants made me laugh out loud. If anything will do it, that is it!
Glad to hear you're hanging in there well!!
I started to worry a couple of weeks ago when the midwife pointed out that the baby was facing around the wrong way and seemed concerned about it. So I spent a week sitting backwards in chairs, going for walks (hoping the walking motion would smoothly ease him into position), trying to do lots of hands-and-knees work, etc.
What I learned from paying lots more attention to where his kicks and pokes were is that while he might spend a lot of time with his hands and feet out in front, he also spends a fair amount of time with them to either side... so he's still rolling around a lot. I decided to (try to) stop worrying about which direction he's facing at any given moment; I've heard more than once that on 2nd or 3rd (or later) babies, they often don't even start to get into position until labor has actually begun, so I guess it's pointless to try hard to get him to stick to one spot!
I certainly am with you about the fears of back labor, though... I hadn't even thought about it, really, until the midwife's look of concern worried me. And then I read up a little bit and found out that back labor is associated with higher c-section rate (although I have the impression it's because the mom gets tired and the doctor suggests a c-section, maybe not that it's really necessary). And I talked to my mom, who said that out of her 13 times giving birth, the one that was back labor was by far the most awful. (Thanks, mom!)
She had one other that was turned backwards, but apparently three nurses actually -picked her up- on the delivery table and flipped her over quick between contractions... and it worked! The baby stayed facing up and she ended up facing down, so when she rolled over, he was in the right position. Sounds kind of scary to me, but maybe less scary than facing a long, possibly slow/non-progressing back labor...
Anyway, here's some good vibes that neither of us will actually have to deal with the reality of back labor!!! Hope your baby turns for you soon and settles in the right way, so you can be spared some back-of-the-mind worries!
I think you're right about the unsettledness of the wee ones. Each day it's a little bit different where I feel the kicks, and for some reason, it's harder now to feel a definite bottom, whereas before it dropped the bottom was obvious. When baby had hiccups the other night, I put my hand on my belly and could feel the pops on the left but not on the right, so that was good.
It would be nice if they just parked it in the right place and didn't worry us! But optimism and meditation work wonders at settling the mind. I can't imagine getting flipped on the delivery table. But I'll tuck that little gem away for an emergency.