Monday, August 31, 2009

Doctor's Appt

I went to the doctor yesterday for my 33 week check up. My blood pressure was a nice 100/62 and I have gained 31 lbs. I do have another infection, there was a lot of blood in my urine. So I will be back on antibiotics to keep the infection from causing pre-term labor. After the baby is born the doctor wants me to see a urologist. Other than that, everything is going well. Jareth's heartbeat was great and I am measuring perfectly. Last night he was very active. He is lying on his side, the left side of my stomach, and punching and kicking my right side. We could feel his little hands pressing against my lower side. 49 days to go!

Belly Gazing

We had our maternity photos done Friday night in Franklin, TN. The ever so talented and lovely Kate Crafton met us at the Aloft Hotel by the Cool Springs Galleria. The hotel's modern architecture and hip furnishings made for a very cool backdrop to the photos. After taking a ton of photos at the hotel we went to a field close by. Here are some of the photos from the shoot. Kate had them up on her blog just a few days later! This was our third experience with Kate Crafton. We met her at our friends wedding last year where she asked us to model for a workshop she was doing a few months later. The workshop was a blast and we got some amazing pictures out of it. We have grown to love Kate, not only for her fantastic photography but also for her fun personality and candidness. We definitely plan to keep using her in the future!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Choosing Jareth's name

When we tell people what we are naming our son the response is generally a raised brow followed by a pause waiting for us to further explain our choice. Older people especially seem to be turned off by the name. I don't know how many times I have been told that he will be called Jared or Jarett all of his life. One person even said that the name sounded like a lisp. Younger people warm up to it quickly and of course for most of our family members the name sounds natural now. There have only been a small handfull of people who when I say "Jareth" know exactly where we got the name from and get excited about it.
Some may laugh but I initially fell in love with the name Jareth when I watched the movie Labyrinth. David Bowie plays the part of Jareth, the "goblin king," in this 1986 dark, family film. In the film a 15-year-old girl (played by Jennifer Connelly) wishes her baby brother away to the Goblin King Jareth who will keep him forever if she does not complete his Labyrinth within 13 hours. It was directed by Jim Hensen and the majority of the film's characters are puppets. If you haven't seen Labyrinth, I highly recommend it. David Bowie is fabulous.
Okay, back to choosing Jareth as our son's name. Jonathan told me in highschool that he wanted to give his son the initials JGA. These initials are shared by Jon, his brother, and a few of his cousins. I thought of the name Jareth immediately and he thought it was cool. The middle name, Grae, was just pulled out of Jon's head. He chose the name and the spelling. We kept this name in the back of our minds for several years.
Another name we considered for our little boy was Thomas Jettie. My grandmother's name was Tommie Jean and Jon's grandfather's name was Jettie Clinton. I was very close to my grandmother and wanted to name my child for her and Jon wanted to do the same out of respect for his grandfather. When we told our family's that we were thinking of this name we got mixed reviews. Jon's grandmother said she never liked the name Jettie (which made us laugh) and my sister named her son Thomas after his father. So we were torn. One name was already being used and the other wasn't liked by the one person who we felt we were choosing this name for. So, we pulled Jareth Grae back out of the hat.
After we chose the name Jareth I was interested in what the name meant. I have only been able to find Jareth in two places. Both say it is an invented name (but aren't they all?). One said that it is a blend of Jarah and Gareth. Jarah meaning "God gives sweetness" and was a decendant of Jonathan, son of King Saul. Gareth means "gentleness" and was the name of one of the knights of King Arthur's round table who was noted for his bravery. Perfect!
I do still plan to name a child after my grandmother. Whether we have a boy or a girl we will use a part of her name for our next child. If it is a boy his name may be Thomas or maybe even Campbell and if it is a girl, her middle name will be Jean.

Friday, August 14, 2009

10 Weeks To Go!

I have been pregnant for 30 weeks and one day. That is 211 days or roughly 7 1/2 months of being pregnant so far. That is a long time. Just think, if I were a cat I would have had my baby months ago. They only have to be pregnant for about 9 weeks! Although I suppose I would be having a litter and I don't think I could handle more than two babies in me at a time. So, I guess I'm thankful I am human. I mean, at least I'm not an elephant. I would have 15 more months to go!
There is really a weight lifted off my shoulders now that I know the end is near. My anxiety over whether he will be healthy and thrive is long gone and now I look forward to being a mother. I have loved being pregnant and feel blessed to have had such an amazing experience, but I am ready to have little Jareth in my arms. I'm ready to see his face, touch his skin, and hear his voice.
I have been asked if I am worried about the delivery by several people. I have to say that I'm really not, at least not yet. I mean of course I would hate for anything to go wrong and the thought of a cesarean section or even a perinea tear isn't pleasant, but I don't have any sort of overwhelming anxiety about childbirth. Any worry I have about having a baby is financial. But even then, we have always made it and I know we always will. God has always blessed my marriage and I have faith that he will continue to do so.
So, what am I going to do to keep myself busy over the next 10 weeks? Well I have four small weekend trips scheduled to Rainsville, Cookeville, Nashville, and Athens to see family and have baby showers. After that I plan to rest and get things done around the house in preperation for Jareth's arrival. I'm hoping the next several weeks go by quickly!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Natural Childbirth?!" "Are You Crazy?!" Apparently So

Warning: The majority of this blog is educational and not as fun as some of the others I've posted

“Who is planning on getting an epidural?” asks the childbirth class instructor. Of about twelve, all but three couples raise their hands. Jon and I are included in these three.

I’ve been asked by my friends, family, and even complete strangers whether or not I will be using “drugs” during labor and delivery. At first my reply was a firm “No, I’ve decided to have a natural birth.” These are the responses I have gotten:
“Just wait, you will be screaming for that epidural!”
“Things may not go as planned and you may not have a choice.”
“Don’t have your heart set on it, you never know what’s going to happen!”
I have even gotten the “oh but honey, you are too small” speech
Needless to say, support has been minimal. Generally I smile and nod in agreement. I have found that changing my answer to “Hopefully, I will be able to have a natural birth” or “I would like to try a natural birth” gets a better response. I don’t go into all the reasons why I have chosen to have a natural birth. Most people don’t want to hear it. So, stop here if that’s you!
In my first trimester Jon and I were told to watch the documentary, “The Business of Being Born.” It compares and contrasts natural birth at home and medically assisted birth in a hospital. It offers a glimpse into a world of childbirth that I for one had never seen. And as you probably guessed, it favors natural childbirth and the at home childbirth experience. I suggest this documentary to anyone who plans to have children. Even if you don’t agree with their ideas it never hurts to educate yourself on alternative methods of childbirth. It changed mine and my husband’s feelings greatly.
It seems that there are numerous ways to give birth, all of them very different but none necessarily better than the other. It really depends on what you are most comfortable with. In the US the most popular way to give birth is in a hospital under the care of an obstetrician and nursing staff. The second is again in a hospital but under the care of a midwife. The third most popular is giving birth with the help of a midwife in a birthing center and the fourth is doing so, again with a midwife, in your own home.
Many people say that giving birth in a hospital is the safest way to go incase complications arise. Others choose to do so, so that they can receive an epidural or other drugs. In most cases, a birthing center is not equipped to administer most systemic or regional anesthetics and in the case of an emergency an ambulance must be called to take you to a hospital. The argument in favor of the birthing center and/or at home delivery is that the birthing experience is more pleasurable. Also it is viewed that an obstetrician, who is a surgeon, is not needed in normal labor and delivery. In a birthing center or at home, your experience is completely up to you whereas a hospital may have policies about things such as IVs, water births, who can attend the birth, who can “catch” the baby, what you can eat during labor, and etc. However, it is important to note that these policies are put into place to protect you and your baby.
Jon and I have chosen to have our baby under the care of my obstetrician/gynecologist in a hospital. I have never given birth before and feel that I will be more relaxed in a setting that is equipped to handle complications should they arise. That said I probably would have opted for a midwife if my doctor’s office had one on staff. I think using a midwife in a hospital is ideal because you have someone more geared toward natural delivery but if need be a doctor can step in at any time.
I have done a lot of research on the assistance of medications and anesthetics during childbirth as forms of pain management. After a lot of consideration we have chosen to make the experience as natural as we can within the walls of a hospital. In our minds the disadvantages outweigh the advantages of medicinal intervention and we would prefer to steer clear of the problems that can arise out of medications and anesthesia.
I have found that there are seven types of drugs that can be used when it comes to managing your pain during childbirth. They are under two categories; systemic medications and regional anesthesia. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
Systemic medications include narcotics, tranquilizers, and sedatives. They are given orally or intravenously and affect your whole body. They can also affect your baby and must be given at the appropriate time with an appropriate dose depending on the progression of labor. These medications include; Demerol, Nubain, Stadol, Phenergan, Vistaril, and Seconal. Advantages of these include; increase of pain tolerance, increase in ability to relax, decreased anxiety, alleviate nausea, and may be used to stop false labor. Disadvantages include; sedation, drowsiness, decrease or increase in speed of labor, respiratory and neurological problems in the baby, and they offer relatively no pain relief.
Regional anesthetics are administered to the lower part of the back or into the lower birth canal. They block nerve impulses that transmit pain. They include local anesthetics, pudendal block, epidural, and spinal epidural. Each is administered through injection or intravenous line. Pudendal block is administered by an injection into the vaginal wall and is used when forceps are needed or during an episiotomy. A spinal epidural is used when a cesarean is necessary. Advantages include; pain relief with no sedation, little effect to baby, and increase in ability to relax. Disadvantages include; not effective in some patients (15%), does not necessarily block discomfort of contractions, may decrease mother’s blood pressure, decreases ability to push, may prolong labor, confinement to bed, and rare nerve damage. Other side effects of epidurals include headache after delivery, loss of consciousness if needle is misplaced, and toxic reaction. However, epidural anesthesia is the most common use of medical pain management and is considered safe and excellent for those women who require considerable pain relief during labor.
The alternative to medical pain management is natural labor. Coping mechanisms for pain include relaxation techniques. Body awareness, distraction, slow and paced breathing, massage, meditations, guided imagery, and water/warmth remedy are combined to help manage pain. The advantage of natural labor is clear. You don’t risk the problems associated with medicinal intervention and you are in control of your own body. The mother can feel when to push, she is alert and mobile, at birth the baby is more alert and latches more easily to the breast, and there is no need to reverse or wait out the effects of anesthesia. If you have pain medication during labor, after it has worn off you will be just as sore as the woman who had a natural birth. There are of course disadvantages to natural labor. These include; exhaustion due to pain which can prolong labor, emergency anesthesia if a complication arises and there is need to perform a cesarean or use forceps, and possible dehydration if an IV isn’t administered.
With all of this knowledge and more we really want to have a natural childbirth experience. I like to think that our views are balanced. We understand and respect the arguments and issues of both sides of the spectrum. Each woman’s pregnancy is different just as each childbirth experience is and there is no right or wrong as long as the baby’s and the mother’s best interests are at heart. But here are the facts and our personal reasons for choosing the way we have. Maybe I should print this out and carry it with me. Each time I’m asked whether we are getting drugs or not I could just hand this out.
: o)

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Few Items

I thought I would share pics of a few of the items we have for Jareth. :o)

His take home outfit and blankets. Its hard to tell but the hat has matching argyle on it.

Two of my diaper bags

The door wreath for the hospital door, we plan to put Jareth's birthday stats on the lion

Jareth's bouncer

Can't wait to get him in his little bath!

We are UT fans. And this isn't all of it!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Something Sweet

Jareth has been very active the past couple of days and yesterday the sweetest thing happened. He rolled in my stomach putting his entire back out front and pushed so hard that I could feel him top to bottom. Using my fingers I traced up and down his back and gently rubbed him. He stayed there for about a minute and then rolled away. his back seemed to be about the size of my hand. :O)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Birth Plan

My OB encourages her patients to come up with birth plans which layout how they would like to see their labor and delivery go.

The Birth Plan of Heather Anderson
I understand that some or all of my wishes may not be met either due to hospital policy, complications with the labor and delivery, or complications with the baby. However, I hope to have a non-induced, vaginal delivery without the use of an epidural, narcotics, or an IV line. I wish to have skin-to-skin contact with my baby as soon as he is delivered and wish to breastfeed exclusively.

During Labor
If possible and there is no threat of a Cesarean Section, I would like to stay hydrated by being allowed to drink/eat ice chips during labor
I prefer not to have my labor augmented unless it is medically necessary
I would like for my baby's heart to be monitored intermittently so that I may be mobile
I only want pain medication if I request it and do not want it offered it to me
I do not wish to be administered pitocin
I am prepared to manage my pain using breathing techniques, massage, and hot and cold compresses.
During the first stage of labor I would like to use the Jacuzzi tub offered by the hospital.

During Delivery
I would like my spouse Jonathan, my mother Lisa Snell, and my aunt Dana Campbell to be in the room during the delivery with my spouse as my primary support person.
I prefer the use of perinea massage, warm compresses, and positioning instead of an episiotomy and only wish to have one performed as a last result. Use of local anesthetic is okay.
When pushing, I'd like to be semi-reclining, using people for leg support. Also, I would like to be directed by my doctor as to when I should push and for how long.
If a cesarean becomes necessary I would like to be conscious with my partner with me at all times. If possible I would like to watch the baby come out. When he is born I would like to be able to see him as soon as possible.

After the Delivery
I prefer to have the baby placed on my chest as soon as he is born, before eye antibiotic is applied and be suctioned and rubbed down while he is with me
My spouse would like to cut the umbilical cord after it has stopped pulsing
I wish to bond with my baby using skin to skin contact as soon and as much as possible
I would like someone other than my spouse to deliver the news that the baby has been born to awaiting guests so that he may remain with me and the baby
I would like my baby's medical exam to be performed in my presence after I have had the chance to hold him
I wish to breastfeed as soon as possible after he is born
I want my baby circumcised with the use of a local anesthetic and if possible in my spouse's presence
I would like family members to be permitted into my room upon my request and only a few at a time after delivery

I plan to exclusively breastfeed my baby and would appreciate the help of a lactation specialist
Please do not offer my baby any of the following unless it is medically necessary:
Bottle Formula Sugar water Pacifier
I'd like my baby to be in my room 24 hours unless I ask for him to be taken out so that I can rest

If my baby is not well, it is important to us that:
My spouse accompany the baby to the NICU or another facility and be allowed to visit him often
While he is in the NICU I wish to breastfeed or provide expressed breast milk
Thank you so much for your care and support!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sleepless Nights

Like most pregnant women, the farther along I get in pregnancy the harder it is for me to sleep at night. I can be exhausted at the end of the day but as soon as I kiss Jon and turn out the light I start a battle with my body that I cannot possibly win. This is what I go through most nights: First I struggle to find a comfortable position. I have found it increasingly hard to breathe when I lie down. It feels like a weight has been put on my chest and I get a tingly feeling in my head and arms. I try different positions, left side, right side, even my back (which I'm not supposed to do) and I prop my self up with pillows into a sitting position. But nothing seems to help. It doesn't seem to be bothering Jareth though because at this time he is doing his nightly workout. After about an hour or two of huffing and puffing I find a position somewhat suitable and close my eyes. As soon as I let my body relax my legs start to ache. My calf muscles tighten up and my legs start to jump. Much like restless legs syndrom, my legs make me feel that I need to get up and walk around. Although I stretch my legs before bed I have to get up from my finally comfortable spot and stretch them again. And since I'm up I take a bathroom break. By now I'm about three hours in. After stretching I lie back down, find a comfortable position, and start off to dream land. I sleep for a couple of hours and it hits me hard and fast. If I don't get up immediately I am going to pee all over the bed. All that preventative water drinking I do to keep my legs from cramping sneaks up on me at night. I use the bathroom about every hour and a half to two hours. I can't help but wonder if my body is preparing me for the multiple times I am going to have to get up at night once the baby is here.
You may ask "What is Jon doing during all this activity?" He is sleeping like a baby. He is clueless about what is going on until he gets up in the morning and notices that things aren't in the same place as they were before he went to bed. He is highly sympathetic and has gotten up several times to support me, but if it weren't for my shaking him awake he would sleep right through it. I have always been jealous of his ability to sleep so soundly. Even before the pregnancy I had a hard time falling asleep at night. But with Jon, as soon as the lights are out he is in dreamland. I have literally taken a sip of water, turned off the lamp, and rolled over to talk to him only to find him completely out. He must be a man with a pretty clear conscience because when he lays down his blonde head and closes his blue eyes his brain shuts down and keeps anything from entering it. I find it annoying and adorable at the same time. Although lately, it's more annoying than adorable.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Packing for Labor and Delivery

With all of these lovely Braxton Hicks (practice) contractions I've been having I've started to think about what I need to pack for the hospital. I've looked at several lists online and asked other mommies what they thought and compiled a list of my own. Here is what I have listed so far.

I plan to take two bags along with the computer bag, my medium size baby bag for all of Jareth's things and an over sized bag for mine and Jon's.

1. Computer for music and down time if labor is very long
2. Camera and Video Recorder
3. Snacks for Jon and hard candy for me
4. Bathing suit top in case I want to get in the tub
5. A robe for post delivery, extra socks, and flip flops
6. Toiletries such as toothbrush, paste, hair brush, makeup
7. Clothing for Jon including Swim trunks in case he needs to help me shower
8. Going home outfits for Jareth and myself
9. Extra pads
10. Nursing bra and nursing pads
11. Baby blanket so I don't have to take him home in a hospital blanket
12. Car Seat!!
13. A focal point such as a photo
14. The door hanger I made welcoming Jareth into the world
15. Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Suess to read to him shortly after he is born
16. Something celebratory to pass out to those in attendance
17. Chapstick or lip balm because all that huffing and puffing dries your lips
18. A copy of my birthplan, although that may go completely out the window : )