Wednesday, January 30, 2008

6th and 7th prenatal appts and Childbirth Classes

I've just realized that I skipped a post about the 6th prenatal appointment which was on Jan. 15th. This appt. was with Holly who was nice and also pregnant. Everything checked out fine. This past Tuesday we had our 7th prenatal appointment and this time it was with Peggy. So now we have seen all the midwives except for Denise. Denise has a bit of cult following from what we hear. Everyone loves her and she is very maternal with the other midwives and is one of the most senior midwives there. Denise delivered Max and Amy said she was wonderful. The appointments are sort of fast and furious now that we have them every two weeks and are doing the childbirth classes, too.

It was a fairly routine check-up. Weight, urine stick (check for protein and glucose), blood pressure check, quick questions if I have any swelling, any contractions, or any other symptoms and then it's up on the table for hearing the baby's heartbeat (down to 130 now) and taking the fundal height measurement (30 inches!!) When I asked Peggy about the drop in the baby's heartbeat she said this was perfectly normal and actually quite common that babies' heartbeats slowed toward the end of pregnancy. Peggy assured us that it meant the heart was getting stronger and so didn't have to beat as fast. She palpated my belly and thought that Sophie's head was still down but this time she thought the head was to the left (not the right). Next appointment is in two more weeks.

Tuesday was a big day because we also started our childbirth education classes. These are a required set of classes that the Birth Center wants you to take for four weeks. Our classes are being led by one of the nurses from the Birth Center, Sarah, who seems very nice. Oddly enough, our first class was held at the Radnor Township Building in the police call room because the Birth Center basement is being fixed from a flood. So, in the midst of discussions about creating serene environments for labor and watching a movie about the stages of labor, we heard the police calls on the radio and the security doors locking and unlocking. It was a bit surreal but supposedly we're back at the Birth Center for next week's class. But, we talked about the stages of labor, reasons you have to go to the hospital (induction, usually due to being post your due dates significantly, Pregnancy Induced Hypertension, and Premature Rupture of Membranes), and we also started to talk a little about pain management. Sarah even led us in a brief relaxation excercise which was quite nice - though quite challenging to really fully relax given the police calls going off in the background.

Another update is that we were considering doing another 3D/4D ultrasound. We just are so anxious to meet Sophie and to see her again and I thought if we have an opportunity to see her in utero (and get more photos and even a video this time) let's do it! We even had an appointment for this Saturday scheduled but then I heard somewhere that these non-medical ultrasounds are really not recommended for safety reasons so we looked into it further. The FDA has not regulated them at all and in fact there are some studies indicating potential damages to the baby. Under medical circumstances, the benefits outweight the possible risks but really, we just decided it's not worth it to put her at risk because we're being greedy and want to see her again or have a "memento" of her in the womb. Sure, it'd be fun. Sure, we would have a great keepsake but if there were any possibility of causing her neurological damage, it simply isn't worth it. We will all get to see her soon enough!

Finally, Jim and I had a "babymoon" where we took ourselves up to New York for the weekend two weekends ago. Jim had given me a gift certificate to see a Broadway show for my birthday in 2006 and it had to be used this year so we saw Wicked on broadway and treated ourselves to stay the weekend so we wouldn't have to drive back. (We were up in NY in Dec. and had to drive up and back in the same day and night and it was really not fun for either of us). We got to see an amazing broadway show which we both loved, we spent some good quality time hanging out with our friends Dan, Cathy, and their son Will and we got some nice time to just relax and enjoy what may be one of our last weekends away alone for a long time.
The stage of Wicked.

Jim and I after the show!

We also got Sophia some really cute clothes at this store called Lucky Wang recomended by Dan and Cathy. Here is an outfit we got her. Isn't it cute?

Friday, January 18, 2008

30 Weeks!!!

Holy monkeys!! It's 30 weeks today!! I can't believe it!!! Only 10 weeks to go. This is quite a milestone to me and I'm very happy to be 30 weeks along because I'm closer to getting to meet our Sophie girl but it's also just blowing my mind how quickly it's all going.

Here are some 30 week belly shots from today.

Also, a quick update on our last prenatal appointment which was also this week. The appointment went well and was very quick. A couple of questions from the midwife who examined us (Holly, who we hadn't met yet) and a check of the baby's hearbeat (still 150-ish) and a quick fundal measurement (28 inches) and that was it. Holly tried to detect the "lie" of the baby but she couln't tell from feeling. We start our childbirth education classes on 1/29 - Sophie's Daddy's birthday! Happy 30 weeks, Sophia! We can't wait to meet you!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Welcome to the World, Baby Max!!

This post is several weeks overdue now but I wanted to share the most adorable little addition to the Powell family - Maximilian Robert Powell. He was born at the Bryn Mawr Birth Center on Dec. 30th to our good friends Dan and Amelia (Amy was one of the three pregos if you recall...)

Here is a photo of Amelia in early December as one of the three preggo's (along with me and Maeve).

And, here is baby Max, mommy Amelia, and daddy Dan after he was born on New Years Eve. Isn't he gorgeous???

Finally, here is Max in Aunt Dina's arms!! Happy Birthday Max!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Good News

We heard some good news tonight that the results of my three hour glucose tolerance test yesterday came back negative so I DO NOT have gestational diabetes! This is very good indeed.

On my way home from the test yesterday, I stopped at Babies R Us and bought Sophia the cutest bikini and matching flip flops. Check out the adorable cuteness - I can just imagine Sophie pool-side this summer in it...

And for more adorable cuteness, check out her daddy with a little pair of shoes that he couldn't resist buying for her.

And, look at some of these other sweet things that the Stumpo/Minchin/Coll side of the family gave Sophia for Christmas.

Sophie is going to be one well-dressed little sweetie-pie!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

28 Week Belly Shots

We missed a week (26) due to the holidays but here are some recent shots of my 28 week belly. I can't believe it's 28 weeks, officially third tri-mester and less than 12 weeks until Sophie is here now! Unbelieveably exciting!!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Fifth Prenatal Appointment and MacDougall Baby Shower

On Wednesday I had my fifth prenatal appointment at the Bryn Mawr Birth Center. For this 28 week appointment, I had to drink about 5 ounces of a special glucose drink and then have my blood drawn to check my glucose tolerance and whether I might have gestational diabestes. Our appointment was with a new midwife, Kathy, who was very kind and she actually had been the mid-wife on-call who called my back in Arizona to help answer my questions about whether I could take Airborne to try and ward off a cold or not. We got to listen to the heartbeat and she measured my fundus (I think I heard her say 26 inches but I could be off) and for the first time she felt my belly for the position of the baby. According to Kathy's best guess after palpating my belly, she guessed that Sophie's head was down and toward the lower right of my belly and her feet or her bum were up in the top left of my belly. This would explain how Jim and I were able to sit on the couch the other night and see my stomach moving like an alien in the top left corner (feet, her bum?) while simultanesously feeling her move in the lower right. Anyway, then Kathy drew my blood and said it was fairly unlikely that it would come back positive but if it did, they'd call me. If negative, they wouldn't call and would see me in two weeks. Yep, that's right! I've moved from appointments every four weeks to appointments every two weeks now!! WOW!

Well, last night when Jim and I got home from work, there was a message from Kathy that the test came back positive. This was very disappointing. Now, I have to go in for a full blown three hour glucose tolerance test to see if in fact I do have gestational diabetes. The test involves me fasting the night before and then going in to have my blood drawn four times. Once when I arrive and then every hour for three hours upon drinking a glucose solution. If that test comes back positive, it means I have gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is actually one of the most common pregnancy complications affecting 2-4 percent of all pregnant women. If I have it, it will be treated with a no-sugar, no-carb diet and excercise unless it's very bad in which case, might need to give myself insulin (either by shot or pill). Gestational diabetes, if left untreated, can cause large ("fat") babies which result in other possible complications to the baby. In most cases, gestational diabetes goes away after delivery yet women who have gestational diabetes are 50% more likely to develop Type II Diabetes or adult onset diabetes later.

We're of course really hoping that I do not have it but we won't know until after I get the glucose tolerance test done. Jim thinks the glucose screen might have come back high because of what I ate that day (two clementines and four multi-grain blueberry waffles with butter and syrup). I was home sick that day and so don't normally eat waffles in the middle of the week but I guess the carbs and the sugar from the fruit (which I was doubling up on because I felt so lousy) and the syrup - not to mention the glucose drink - may have been the cause. Let's hope!!

On a more positive note, I've been late in posting about Sophie's first trip to see the MacDougall side of the family in Arizona this Christmas. Jim, Sophie and I flew out to Arizona for the holidays to visit with my Grandmom and Grandpop MacDougall and my Dad, step-mom Kathy, and step-sister Lacey and my aunt Joyce and her family. We had a lovely visit with one big set-back in that my Grandpop went into the hospital on my birthday, two days into our visit. He did not get out again until the night before we left but thankfully, he is ok now. Sophie also was thrown her very first baby shower by my aunt and step-mom and Grandmom and it was so much fun and such a neat surprise. We played a game (guess the baby food) and each person was asked to give their advise for the new parents. It just was so wonderful! And, Sophie got so many cute things already. Here are some photos of the family playing the guess the baby food game (believe it or not peaches smelled the worst - like rotten meat!) and all the adorable and thoughtful presents she was given.