I'm 22 weeks!
First I have to mention I've been sitting here feeling baby (I need a nickname!) roll and kick for an hour. I've chugged four or five glasses of water because I kept getting contractions. I did way too much today for being pregnant and definitely felt it later on. Shame on me, I know! Promise I will try to not do it again!!!
My other four* pregnancies (*not including my two miscarriages since I wasn't far enough along to know the details) the placenta has been in the front so around 24-26 weeks is when I felt the really big rolling or jabs, rarely ever felt a swift and hard kick or movement that kept me awake at night like I hear other mommas talk about. I mostly just felt rolls and pushing, maybe the occasional jab at my side where there was no placenta.
This is my first pregnancy where the placenta is toward my spine (posterior). I'm just in awe of how much movement I have been feeling for the past month, consistently, and how STRONG the movements are. I am starting to notice a pattern of wakefulness in baby, I can see them moving, I feel actual kicks rather than just rolling/pushing and each of my daughters has now felt their newest sibling doing somersaults in there. I actually desired to have a pregnancy where I didn't have an anterior placenta - God is faithful to give us the desires of our hearts, even for what may seem so small at times! It was something I didn't even remember thinking and asking about until typing just now.
Okay so on Wednesday, just a few days ago, we met with a homebirth midwife. For their privacy I won't mention who they are. I love my birth center and I think birth centers are *fantastic* but I am excited about the possibility of going into labor, having a baby and then snuggling in my own bed. No guessing if I'm in labor or timing things or trying to predict the best time to head out the door, my team comes to me instead of the other way around, I stay in my comfort zone with familiar sights and smells and our own germs and honestly probably a much shorter labor because there's no transition from home to another place (read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, amazing!) which can affect dilation and progress for the majority of women.
We still haven't made a final decision about what we're going to do ("we" as in Daniel). Daniel believes in home birth, promotes it, knows a ton about it but now he has to consider it as a reality for his own wife and baby. As the protector of the family it makes him nervous to make this leap so I'm just giving him time. I'm hoping we can come to a consensus this weekend though. I'd like to let her know, especially as I'm over the halfway mark in terms of estimated dates.
Some things that stuck out to me at our interview:
-She's easy to talk to and be around! I'm not good at small talk and often leave places feeling like I tripped over everything I said. It's important to me to be able to relate to my support team.
-She knows her Scripture! She started preachin' it and it was good (and related to birth).
-She has three birth tubs to rent and is water birth certified. The birth center has a tub in each room but they're about the same size as the tub I have at home and I couldn't get up on my knees, lean over the side or even be completely submerged when laboring with Judah. I mentioned this to the midwife and she said you really need to be npple-deep so I'm super hopeful that I just might get my water birth if we do a home birth.
-Speaking of water birth she mentioned that most of her client's births are in the water. She said it naturally happens that momma is leaning over the tub in a squatting position with husband/partner by her face while she stays near the "business end" to keep an eye on things. She encourages momma to put her hand on baby's head as they emerge and helps momma bring her own baby up between her and her husband. I cannot tell you thrilled I was to hear this. Again it might not happen but I'd be ecstatic if I 'caught' my own baby! She said "You don't want to see my face and expression when you have that baby - you want to see his!"
-There's always 2 or 3 people who come for the birth, at least one being a midwife (others may be a student and/or nurse).
-She said something that made me laugh. She said "Only invite people to the birth that were there for the conception" and then she smiled. I can only imagine how difficult it can be for a doula and/or midwife to have people at the birth affecting a momma getting into her labor groove. That's not to say all who attend births are bad or disruptive whatsoever. I just imagine it can be difficult if strong personalities show up to the private affair. I've read enough midwife memoirs to hear the stories. We were already planning on it just being Daniel and myself and I do want someone to photograph because I cherish those photos so very deeply but want my husband to focus on me, not the camera. So we were totally on board with that with the addition of the photographer, who will most likely be my sister-in-law if she wants to do it. If our kids happen to be there I know the older two will be okay but someone has to take the younger two if it's not the middle of the night. I know some kids sleep through it all! We've got all sorts of plans figured out in our minds and honestly, it always works out.
-She said she confiscates phones, ha ha! She's like, "no Tweeting or texting or Facebooking! They can all wait. Now is your time with baby and you don't get that first hour back!" So after the placenta is delivered and everyone helps you out of the tub, if you happen to be in the tub, they tuck mommy, daddy and baby into bed for a strict 45 minutes for alone time. During that time the birth team cleans up, drains the tub, cooks food for the starry-eyed parents. Then they come and do the footprints and weigh baby and then she said we can have phones back (I think she was partly serious and partly jesting but honestly the last thing I'm thinking about in labor and after delivery is getting on the phone so I have no qualms about this whatsoever!).
-No rough rubbing of baby after birth nor bathing the vernix off of them (have you studied the amazing properties of vernix?! If you are having a baby you should and should encourage waiting a day or several days before baby's first bath!). No eye drops, no cord clamping until placenta is delivered and I don't even think she suctions unless baby obviously needs it (that last one is one question I forgot to ask, though the bulb syringe is in the birth kit it might just be in there for an "as-needed" item). Again all stuff we've researched and are highly comfortable with.
-She also said baby doesn't leave mom that first hour, that there's only a few seconds where Daddy holds baby while mom gets out of the tub and then baby goes back to momma's chest. She said baby needs to be at momma's chest for at least 72 hours (not just breastfeeding but being ON momma, like kangaroo-care). She really, really wanted to be clear that no one was going to interrupt those precious moments unless baby or mom needs medical attention.
-Speaking of medical attention she said it is rare for mommas to hemorrhage if they follow her pregnancy nutrition plan and take Alfalfa in the 3rd trimester (I also have been and will continue Red Raspberry Leaf supplements/tea as well) but in the rare chance they do she has other tricks. She does do a food diary which is daunting to me but I think we can do it. I just have to be honest and say, 'Ya know, sometimes all I have in the house is PB&J and cold cereal until one of us can get to the store' but have been and will continue to try my hardest to get enough protein and what baby and I both need to be healthy.
All of this was told to us without us asking. It wasn't us telling her "This is what we envision" and then her saying, "Oh we'll try that" or "We'll see.........." or any hesitation about anything. She simply told us how the majority of her births went and it *all* lined up with what we believe to be best. She spoke, we listened. We were interviewing her, not the other way around, though she is free to decline services to anyone she is also not comfortable with. Then we asked any questions (there were very few) on anything that wasn't clear. I'm ready to jump on board, just waiting for hubby to get over his cold feet.
If you read this the whole way through I commend you! This was quite long,!!!