Getting pinnard ready
Monday, February 25, 2013
We recently had our twenty week antenatal appointment. Antenatal appointments are rather lovely experiences for homebirthing families. In our case they are lazy Sunday afternoons and stretch on for hours. They are filled with great conversation, laughter, some massage, a few checks if I wish, birth planning, playing with children and eating.
This meet I gave them each a hard copy of my birth plan and we read through it and discussed important points. Doula gave me an awesome back massage and the midwife and I took turns searching for a foetal heartbeat.
We think we heard it once or twice, very briefly and very faintly (I have opted not to use doppler to hear the heartbeat so we were working with my fetoscope and my Midwife's stethoscope and pinnard).
I requested a blood pressure check because I'm curious about that and had been feeling a bit off that week. As suspected, it was due to the Aussie Summer heat that I'd been feeling off and my BP was a boringly normal 120/80.
I wanted to learn more about palpation and sensing foetal position. Because I elect not to have ultrasounds, the best way to determine my baby's position is to palpate my fundus. Palpation is a hands on abdominal examination. At twenty weeks there is little the "palp" could tell us because the baby is about the size of a mango and there's quite a bit of skin, muscle and fat between the midwife's hands and baby. But as he/she grows we will be able to tell if baby is head down, whether his/her head is engaged, and (a specific interest of mine after two posterior labours) we will be able to tell if this baby is facing front or back.
After an unassisted pregnancy, I am enjoying sharing this pregnancy with my midwife and doula. Their excitement about this baby's birth further fuels my own. It's rather wonderful to feel treasured and important to others while pregnant, as well. Pregnancy takes so much from you, a little nurturing can go a long way to replenishing your energy.
I'm also delighted by the growing relationship between my birth team and my children. My girls feel included in the whole process thanks to the birth worker's willingness to talk and to play with them. And the kids know that if they need attention during the birth, these women are there for them. Though, the 5 year old is quite annoyed that I don't pop the baby out when my "birth friends" come to visit. She hears talk of a midwife visiting and excitedly asks "are you having the baby today?!"
This week I was sad to learn that one of my midwives can't attend me as planned and I'm disappointed because I clicked with her well and wanted her at one of my births since the day we met. I still have a fantastic midwife and my very dear friend for a doula and of course my partner. I'm not unsupported, but losing a support person I was attached to having at this birth has brought up a lot of "stuff" from my previous births and especially my own birth. Thankfully I still have half a pregnancy to work through the issues and will be stronger and more prepared for this birth than I otherwise would have been.
I leave you with the latest belly pics my partner took on Thursday night in our backyard:
What are Obstetric Ultrasounds? : " The power emitted by a doppler device is greater than that used in a conventional 2-D scan. Its use in early pregnancy is therefore cautioned"
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