Category: pregnancy

A few days ago, we watched “The Business of Being Born” — well, I fast-forwarded to the births in the movie. Jonas and Susannah are fast becoming experts in all this baby stuff. After we watched the scene where the lovely woman with curly hair squats in the middle of a quiet, dim living room and births her baby on the wood floor, Jonas and I had one of the best conversations ever.

“Mommy! Did you see that?”
“Yes, I love it.”
“That’s what YOU’RE GOING TO DO??!”
“Yeah, babe, that’s the plan.”
He sat in awed silence for a moment. Then he bounced his rump on the couch and exclaimed, “Wow. Daddy and me are going to the store, and we are going to GET YOU A PRESENT.”

His future wife is a lucky woman.

Share with a friend!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email


Jonas was a little shell-shocked by the news. He’s starting to adjust, though.




I think she’s pretty cute. Now we just have to figure out what to name her. (Jonas hasn’t suggested any superhero names for her so far. His one offering was ‘Victoria,’ which is at least a real girl name!)

Share with a friend!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

For this pregnancy, I’m getting parallel care. While we’re living here, I’m seeing the TriHealth Nurse Midwives (the same group of CNMs -certified nurse midwives- who cared for me during Susannah’s pregnancy) but I’ll be about 30 weeks pregnant when we move to Owensboro. So I found a midwife who will be my birth attendant, and we interviewed her on our house-hunting visit in February.

Her name is Michelle (easy to remember!) and she’s a CPM –certified professional midwife, otherwise sometimes known as a direct-entry midwife or DEM- who lives in Indiana. She normally serves southern IN and western KY. She didn’t want to wait until I was 30 weeks for our first prenatal visit, though; so today she came all the way to my house for an appointment!
It was such a great experience. A good part of this visit was for Michelle to go over my paperwork with my general medical history and birth histories. We had time to just “visit,” to get to know each other a little more. And then we talked about how I’m feeling, what I’ve been eating, all those questions. She gave me lots of little tips and ideas for natural ways to cope with some of those minor complaints that can pop up (hey, didja know papaya is a good remedy for heartburn?!).
I’m 15 weeks along and I’ve gained 10 lbs. My blood pressure was 118/66 (which is a little low in general but pretty normal for me, personally).
Oh, a neat thing about doing all this at home? Instead of peeing in a cup and having it disappear behind a mysterious little window, you pee in a cup in the privacy of your own bathroom and then you dip your own little stick (I should ask Chris what that’s called) and then your midwife teaches you how to read the results. So now I know my pH and specific gravity and that I have no ketones or sugars or whatever-the-other-three-squares-were-for. It’s random, and I’m sure most of you reading this think I’m a little nuts, but I think it reminds me of how empowered and informed I felt when I discovered fertility charting. It was like a whole new world had opened up when I realized that my body was telling me ALL THIS AMAZING STUFF, every single month, and all I had to do was pay attention. This kind of feels like that – something as simple as my urine can give me a clue about whether a whole range of my other systems are working the right way. That’s just awesome (in an admittedly nerdy way).
But after the dipstick came the best part of the visit. We went into my bedroom, and I lay on the bed with Jonas and Susannah sitting beside me, and Michelle palpated my uterus. Another remarkable difference between the CNMs and a midwife with her training? She was able to manually feel for the exact location of a 15-week baby. After she found him, she put the Doppler to that spot and there it was! A strong, galloping-hoofs, baby heartbeat somewhere between 146-152 bpm. Jonas had a great big smile on his face and said it was “pretty cool,” and Susannah told the midwife that the baby likes to growl. 🙂
We’re going to schedule another visit in about six weeks, when I’m 21-22 weeks pregnant. Then six weeks later (give or take) we’ll be moving in to the new house and we’ll start having prenatals every two weeks until 36w. At that point, we will switch to weekly prenatals until this baby decides to arrive.

Share with a friend!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

This, on eBay today:

Because earlier today, I realized I’m almost at the end of my first trimester. (The second officially starts on Wednesday.) And I haven’t taken a single belly picture for this little one’s baby book. Jonas has an 8-week shot in his… and oh, how trim and flat my tummy was. In Susannah’s book, I started taking them at 12 weeks, when I really had a bit of a baby bump and not just mommy flab.
I always measure a little bit “large for dates” because I have an anteverted (tipped forward) uterus. With both previous kids, I was about 4 weeks “larger” than my dates would indicate. This time around, I’m measuring 6 weeks ahead. So at my 12-week appointment, I measured 18 weeks. I’ll be 14 weeks on Wednesday, and I look nearly half baked. Time to document this! I can already hear the arguments between the three of them when they realize the injustice in their baby books.
And that’s when it hit me – Jonas and Susannah have matching baby books. Creative Memories “baby booties” white leather coversets, actually. An item which has been discontinued, then re-released in a new size, and then discontinued again. Thank the Internets, though; I found a set for sale that comes out a *steal* even with $10 shipping. So all three children will have matching albums, at least on the outside… let’s see if I can manage to (A) take pictures of this pregnancy/birth/baby and then (B) get them printed and then (C) get them mounted & “storied” in the book.
*********
Through a series of ridiculous and stressful events, I also ended up having an ultrasound at my 12-week appointment. All turned out to be well, as we saw a happy dancing baby on the screen with a vigorous 153 bpm heartbeat.
[insert scanned ultrasound picture here – as soon as I have time downstairs on the scanner :)]
In related baby news, Jonas is convinced that this baby will be a boy. He just can’t imagine having another sister. He’s very opinionated about name choices, too – his top picks are “Peter Parker” or “Jet Baby Jetpack.”
Susannah has been talking to the baby by laying her head on my belly. “Hi, little baby,” she coos, “I’m ya big sister! Susannah!” One day while she was doing this, my tummy rumbled and she sat straight up and looked at me with surprise. “The baby TALKED to me!”
“Oh,” I asked her, “What did it say?”
“Say, GROWWWWWWLLL!” She used to tell us that babies make a squeaking sound, but now she thinks they growl. I wonder if she imagines a new baby bear when I give birth?

Share with a friend!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

In the bathtub tonight, I started thinking about my scars.

I have a scar on my left elbow, about half an inch long. It’s thin and silvery now, a scar you wouldn’t even notice if I didn’t point it out. I got it a long time ago – my freshman or sophomore year in high school – when our church youth group went on a whitewater rafting trip. We each got these big innertube rafts to float down the river in. I dove into the water and swam up into the center of my raft; as I broke the surface of the water I pushed my arms upward to grab the top of the innertube. Lucky me – the metal prong for filling the tube with air was missing its cap, so it scratched my elbow and left me with an indelible reminder of an otherwise unremarkable day. Every time I see it, I can see the exact shade of blue-gray that was in the sky that day, I can still hear the carefree laughter of my group of friends.

My left knee bears another mark I’ll never forget. It’s even older – it dates back to our time in Fort Hood, Texas. I was probably 10 or 11. Jason was playing soccer, and we had carpooled to one of his games with our next-door neighbors. The soccer players (Jason and JC) barrelled out of the  minivan, heading toward their teammates. 5 year old Nathan pushed past me at the van door to follow his big brother, and I fell into the parking lot. Anyone else would have just gotten up, brushed it off, and never looked back. But I fell on the exact spot of the pavement where a tree root had pushed through, breaking the concrete into a jagged cliff. Now I have a two-inch long gash on my knee raised into a gnarled keloid. I’ll never forget the sights and sounds of that day, either.

Most of my scars are small. Insignificant. One perfect round circle left from the chickenpox when I was 12. Three tiny, hair-thin welts on my right thumb from our cat Linus’ kittenhood. They were small to begin with; they have faded over time.

I have a new scar. It feels big. Ugly. (I’m told that it’s actually “a beautiful incision site” and that it was sewn expertly and that it has healed perfectly according to expectation.) I’m torn… which is an interesting description for my feelings, considering the subject matter here. – I hate it. I hate to touch it; to feel the numb flesh just above the scar that reminds me of all the layers that had to be cut through. I hate the way my skin pulls toward it. I hate to imagine the way it will balloon out if I ever carry another child. On the other hand, I can’t deny it. It’s part of my story now; it’s the opening stanza of Susannah’s story. It brought her into my arms, for better or for worse.

Even though my surgical birth was not an “emergency c-section,” when I think about it – when I talk about it – the words that come to mind to describe what happen are harsh. “They cut me open,” I tell Chris, “and some stranger ripped my baby out of my body.” The surgeon was a nice woman. She was kind. But it was not supposed to be her job that day to pull my daughter out of my abdomen. It was supposed to be my job, my job to birth my Susannah into my own hands or the hands of her father. I was going to look into her eyes for the first time as she laid on my belly, warm and new and squishy. I was going to do things differently. Every time I see my scar, that’s what I think. It bears witness to all that went wrong that day.

And yet. Every scar starts with something going wrong. A rip, a tear, a gash – from a fall, a collision, a puncture, an incision. The scar, though, is proof that you survived it. You knit back together. You healed. I am going to run my fingers over the scars that have turned silvery and breathe deeply of the truth that this scar will fade in time. It will always bear witness to that day, but not solely to what went wrong – it will also stand as testament to my strength and resilience, as reminder of my capacity to heal.

Share with a friend!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

Meet the author

MICHELLE NEBEL

I write uplifting women’s fiction woven with threads of faith, grace, and Southern hospitality. My blog is where I share a glimpse of my life, and I hope you’ll find the thoughts here encouraging!

subscribe

Categories

Categories

Archives

Archives

Latest tweets