Thursday, October 18, 2007

2nd prenatal visit with midwife

This morning I met another midwife at Dr. Norrell's practice and we listened to the baby's heart beat with a doppler. It was about 150 beats per minute, she said. It was fun for me to hear the heart beating! I waved my hand in the air towards the doppler speaker, as if to say "hi" to the baby. "Hi, baby. We are so excited that you are here!"

The midwife looked at the results of all the bloodwork that we had tested at our last visit, and she said everything was normal. Then she said that I'm slightly just borderline anemic. She recommended that I take an iron supplement, but then said that if it causes any side effects for me, stop taking it and try to increase my intake of iron-rich foods instead. Like red meat (ha!) and green leafy vegetables. She said since I am only borderline anemic that she's not worried about it and also that it is very common in pregnancy. After the appointment I got some iron supplements at the pharmacy and I bought a hot breakfast with BACON! Mmmm, bacon tastes good. It is a dark meat, right? I also got some chewable vitamin C tablets and I took one with the iron pill. Vitamin C helps the absorption of iron. Calcium, on the other hand, competes with iron for absorption, so I have to space out my calcium intake by a few hours.

The midwife said my weight and blood pressure are normal. Today I weighed 137 lbs. Pre-pregnancy I weighed 131. So gaining 6 pounds in the first trimester is great! I heard that some women actually lose weight because of the morning sickness, so I'm grateful that I've been able to keep eating and to keep my meals down. Thanks to Bob who does the cooking!

Bob felt torn about whether or not to go with me to the appointment, because he can only take so much time off from work. So he didn't go with me this time, but it was a very brief visit, and the highlight was hearing the heart beat. I've been lucky that my job has been flexible about me taking a couple hours for a doctor's appointment. I asked about what the schedule of visits will be, and which are important ones for Bob to attend. She said my next visit will be in 4 weeks. Two weeks after that visit, we will have our 20 week ultrasound (when they will probably be able to determine the baby's gender!), and that will be about the first week of December. 4 weeks after that (when I'm 24 weeks pregnant) I'll return for a check-up and a round of bloodwork to see how everything is going. Then the visits will continue every 2 weeks until I'm 36 weeks pregnant, and then I go in weekly until the baby pops out. The important ones for Bob to come to will be the 20-week ultrasound (and gender check), and then as many visits towards the end as possible, because that is when we will be talking about how to prepare for the birth.

In general, my nausea has decreased, but the mornings are the worst, and this morning was a particularly nauseous one. I thought at one point that I might get sick, but deep yoga breaths seemed to help my stomach settle down. Bob and I joined a gym in our neighborhood, and we both worked out on treadmills last night (I walk, he runs). Tonight I plan to go for a swim at the gym. I had a nice swim there on Friday. It was fun and I felt so good afterwards.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Here's a picture of me in a new maternity outfit (Photo by Jim). I woke up this morning feeling happy and full of energy. It could be because I went to the gym last night and walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes. Or maybe since I'm getting closer to the second trimester, some of the "blah" feelings are fading? I hope so!

Yesterday I wore a pair of pre-pregnancy pants for the last time. It was my biggest pair of pants, and I used to need a belt to keep them up, but when I put the pants on yesterday they fit snug enough to stay up without the belt. I tried to put the belt on anyway out of habit, but it didn't fit! My belts are now too small for me and baby. Wow, it amazes me what a few pounds in a concentrated area can do to my waistline.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

12 weeks

We're getting closer to the end of the first trimester, and we're still hoping to say goodbye to the nausea within the next few weeks. The morning sickness has continued, although perhaps not as severe or continuous as it was in the beginning. I've been sleeping a lot lately, too, with an average of 11 hours/day. I noticed that over the weekend when I am able to sleep in and stay home all day, eating and resting at will, I don't suffer from nausea. So then I think, maybe it is gone away now!... but then I ride a bus or train to work during the week and it hits me hard. So I've been using the mantras: "I'm so happy and grateful to be pregnant!" and "Being pregnant is fun!". I've had pretty good results from using positive affirmations in the past, and I'd like to change my sore attitude about my symptoms. It is true that we are very grateful and we feel so lucky and blessed to have this new life with us.

I found a great podcast called Pregtastic. It is like a radio talk show with a panel of pregnant women, and sometimes they have experts on the show to talk about different topics like breastfeeding, doulas, or natural childbirth. It has been wonderful to listen to the podcasts, I even caught Bob listening to one of them. It is great to hear other families going through similar transitions that we are and will be going through.

I'm reading a book called HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing. I first heard about hypnobirthing by researching about doulas in San Francisco. I found that a lot of the doulas (birth coaches) are trained in hypnobirthing. I was pretty skeptical at first. The name sounded weird to me. But then I read some birth stories by women who had great results from hypnobirthing, and I heard a podcast by a woman who said it helped her have a happier/calmer pregnancy and delivery. I've learned some breathing and relaxation techniques from the book, and I used one of them this morning on the train when a strong wave of nausea hit me. It helped! I'd like to take a class in hypnobirthing, too, so that both Bob and I can better learn and use the tools that hypnobirthing offers.

Several friends and family members have pointed out that we call our baby a "she". We are guessing that we have a girl, although we truthfully do not know. Hopefully we will be able to have an ultrasound in December that will tell us what the true gender is. And until we learn differently, we will continue to say she. : )

I joined a gym a couple weeks ago on a day when I felt a lot of energy, and I enjoyed a walk on the treadmill with a view of tree tops, marin hills and the golden gate bridge. However, I haven't been back yet because I've been either working or eating or sleeping. I hope to have some more energy and less sickness in the second trimester, and that will be a good time to start swimming at the gym. It has a pool, which is the main reason I joined. I've heard that swimming feels great, especially later in pregnancy, because it takes the weight of the baby off of the back. I will also use the treadmill for walking on days when it is too cold or rainy to walk outside. It is important to exercise throughout pregnancy. I went to a prenatal yoga class a few weeks ago, and I also have a prenatal yoga DVD that I've been using at home about once a week. Again, I'd like to increase my yoga practice and exercise more when I'm feeling better.