Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Consult with potential pediatrician

Today we had a consult appointment with a woman named Dr. Penny Soppas who might end up being Sophie's pediatrician. Dr. Soppas is part of Drexel Hill Family Pediatrics and she was highly recommended by several of our friends as well as mommy websites and forums in our area. Dr. Soppas was very sweet and extremely patient. We waited a bit to meet with her and there was another couple (expecting in January) who came in to do the consult with us. We got to take turns asking her questions and it was actually nice to hear the questions of the other couple. We asked about the following and here were her answers:

Vaccines: Dr. Soppas seemed to think overall it's good to vaccinate but that if parents chose not to then, that is ok with her. She explained that the connetion between autism and vaccines is not really accurate but people have blown it out of proportion and the rumor has spread. She said it really was only one type of vaccine (MMR) that might have even had any connection but even so none was ever proven. She explained that autism is extremely hard to diagnose since it is primarily diagnosed through observing language skills and most babies don't have more than 1-2 words when they are one year old. Autism is not easy to diagnose until at least 1 1/2 years old. And, the first does of MMR vaccine is given around 12-15 months so people have assumed it was that vaccine but that is not true. Autism is largely genetic.

Co-sleeping: Dr. Soppas recommended safe co-sleeping as the best way to be close to baby and for mom to get more sleep. The concerns about co-sleeping are due to beds with too much bedding or parents who go to sleep drunk or otherwise unable to watch out for their babies.

Omega3s: Dr. Soppas recommended additional Omega3s if we were not eating enough fish. She advised either supplements or flax seed oil.

Flu shots: Dr. Soppas recommended flu shots for the mother and anyone else in the family who would be in close contact with the baby. She explained that all of their vaccines at Drexel Hill Pediatrics are mercury free except the flu shots because they come in bulk packs. We can request an individual dose flu shot which would be mercury free and she can write a script for one which we could pick up at the pharmacy and then bring to the office to take. I'm a bit nervious about flu shoots since I've never had one but it seems like we both will need to do this in January to ensure that Sophie girl doesn't get the flu as it could be extremely dangerous for her.

The other mommy asked what her experience and background was and she replied that she's been in pediatrics for 25 years and trained at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia. You can't really do much better than that, in my book! Additionally, Dr. Soppas is a certified lactation consultant and is also affiliated with the Bryn Mawr Birth Center, so these are very big bonuses as well.

Overall, I was very impressed with Dr. Soppas. She was kind and answered all our questions very thoroughly and thoughfully and never seemed rushed. We spent about an hour with her, which I think is pretty impressive! She seemed very down to earth and kind and had a great attitude about things. I'm guessing that we will go with her when the time comes so apparently, all we have to do is give a call and schedule our two day old check-up for Sophie after she's born.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

First visible kicks

This week marks another big milestone as we saw the first kicks actually move my belly this week! Guess Sophie is getting stronger (and bigger)!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

24 week belly shot and a tarot reading

So, you can see that I still have my belly button (for now) but I'm definitely getting bigger. Sophie is too - in fact, in week 24 she is supposed to gain about 6 ounces. This is pretty amazing considering it took 24 weeks for her to get to be about 16 ounces...

Yesterday at my friend Stacey's lovely 35th birthday party in New York City, there was a tarot card reader who was giving readings. When I sat down with her, I originally wasn't going to ask about the baby or anything (I just didn't want to put that on Sophie or myself) but then I decided to ask after all. She had me pull 11 cards and then another 3 or 4 more about the labor specifically. I thought I'd share some "highlights" of what she told me.

First, she said that there was a lot of love for this baby (which of course, if you're family or close friends) you know is true. She said there is so much love that I'll need to set boundaries because we'll be tired and while everyone will want to help and be present, we will need to be able to set some boundaries so we can have our quiet time as a family and get our sleep and adjust. She said that the nursery is going to be wonderful and I don't have to worry about money (that should be interesting) and should "buy whatever crib and furniture I want." She saw "lavender" but trust me, it is most definitely not going to be a lavender nursery. She also said that the furniture will be used again for a second baby. :-)

Then, she said that my partner is a wonderful and amazing person (which of course if you are family or close friends, you also know is so true). She said this in such a way that was so heartfelt and genuine like she really saw what a great guy Jim is. She said the he is so excited about this baby coming and that it really means a lot to him that it is a girl. (At this point, I was definitely teary. She nailed this part!!) She said that he is ready and willing to help in any way but I have to tell him what I need because he's not a mind-reader.

As for the actual labor itself she said that it will be "easy" but also "wildly unexpected" "like when we're at a Broadway show" or something. Now... we're actually going to see Wicked on Broadway in mid-January and this is the first time I've ever seen a Broadway show so I got pretty nervous about this and asked her and she said "oh no, this baby is not pre-term but will just arrive when you are really not expecting it." She said "think like in a cab and you and the cabbie's photo will be in the paper." She also said that I am going to need about 3 weeks to get ready for the baby and that I should not work up till my due date. This was sort of interesting because I've fully planned to just work up until my due date.

Anyway, some other little points she mentioned were that she saw the labor happening on a full moon and at night. So of course, I checked the full moon for March and it's
March 3rd! Full moon for April is April 2nd. That appeals to me a bit more than March 3rd so if the labor is on a full moon, let's hope Sophie chose the later one.

Fun stuff, huh? We shall see whether she is right on any of the labor and delivery stuff but I'll tell you she nailed the part about their being a lot of love for the arrival of our little Sophie girl as well as the part about her Daddy being so amazing.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Happy Viability Day, Sophie!

Today marks 24 weeks! This means that Sophie is technically "viable" and if born now would have a good shot of surviving.* What a big milestone! And, only 16 more weeks till we get to meet her - woohoo!

*Note, by good shot, we mean statistically about a 50% chance of surviving. SO, please don't come out yet, Sophie...

Monday, December 3, 2007

Fourth Prenatal Appointment

Today was our fourth prenatal appointment at The Bryn Mawr Birth Center. It was a good visit with a new midwife, Maria, who was very sweet and kind. She said that this was a very exciting week because in four days, Sophie will be "viable" which means if she were to be born prematurely after that point, she would have a decent chance of surviving (with some major medical attention obviously). This is really so exciting to me. I remember the first time I flew alone once I knew I was pregnant and it actually hit me really hard that if god forbid, something were to happen to me, that would mean that the baby likely would not survive. It was really disturbing to me and made me very concerned and sad. Now, that she is almost "viable" I have some comfort knowing that she will likely be ok even if something unforeseen ever happened to me.

Anyway, on a happier note, Maria the mid-wife took my blood pressure, fundal height which was 24 cm (last visit (on November 5th) it was 20 cm), and listened to the baby's heartbeat (150 beats per minute). So, everything seemed good and right on track.

She also gave me a glucose drink which I will need to drink 45 minutes before my next prenatal appointment in January so that they can do a glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes. And, finally we registered for our 5 week Birth Center Birthing Classes which begin on Jim's birthday, January 29th. Exciting stuff!