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Anyone doing minimal prenatal visits, no ultrasound? - Page 3

post #41 of 123

everyone is talking about "measuring" a certain such and such. i have never been measured, in any capacity, ever. i've never even been told anything about weight gain, or weeks along, other than having to schedule a visit every month. what does "measuring" mean? sorry for my ignorance, this is my first time, and i feel like my doctor sucks. can i do this at home?

 

we are going to have to find a different doctor though, since they are all pro-circ and pro-vaccine, (i am neither) and the hospital that they go out of is 2 hours away from where we live. there is no way i want to be in labor in a car for that long.

post #42 of 123

sweetestday!  you're amazing! i also haven't seen my midwife since about then, but want to see her in November.  also was just talking to a mom who's had a lot of bleeding around the 9 week point... and thought of you.  

 

at this point, i'm having a bit of anxiety about whether or not my baby is all there!  i'm just not able to feel the head/back/feet yet and it's a little nervy.  usually i don't think about deformities/health issues until later in pregnancy (i tend to get really down in week 32, and prepare to have a baby with major issues, defects, and possibly face my death or my baby's, but this is a bit early) but since i'm not getting the more frequent visits w/ my midwife, i'm struggling a bit more.  i guess i would love to know that everything seems OKAY.

 

meanwhile, i have consistent movement, am eating well and keep up w/ all the key foods, and resting well.  i think i'm just tired and stressed and will feel better once baby is head down and i can feel all the little parts!  so hoping for a Nov visit w/ my midwife, and then probably not another until the last month.  which is kinda exciting now that we're down that close!

post #43 of 123
Thread Starter 
You can measure yourself at home with a soft tape measure. Do a google search on fundal height measurement and you can read about how to do it.

Larger or smaller measurements can mean different things, but some folks don't even put much stock into it and figure that measuring small can mean baby is lying transverse, or just a smaller babe, or can mean lower amniotic fluid, or that you're fewer weeks along than you thought.
So a larger measurement could be bigger babe, or you're farther along than you think, or more fluid, or twins.

I'm measuring small, but pretty positive about ovulation date, and trying not to worry about it. Baby is moving around so I'm thinking I just need to up my water intake if it's a low fluid issue for me.
post #44 of 123

Yes, pretty much you find the top of your pubic bone and measure from there to the top of where you feel your uterus. The number of centimeters should be near the week in pregnancy that you are at... so 19cm at 19weeks. I've always measured between right on and a week ahead. And I usually give birth between 4- days ahead of my due date... so I figure with all the early movement and big body parts rolling around right now, I must have had a couple of fake periods. It was probably a blessing, knowing I may have panicked a bit getting pregnant with a 5mo baby. As it is, now that I know I'm pregnant, I couldn't care less when the baby is due. :) I sure would like to know when to prepare for it, though.

post #45 of 123

That sounded weird... I didn't get pregnant with a 5mo baby. I had a 5mo baby at the time I got pregnant. ;)

post #46 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by kellybeth View Post

everyone is talking about "measuring" a certain such and such. i have never been measured, in any capacity, ever. i've never even been told anything about weight gain, or weeks along, other than having to schedule a visit every month. what does "measuring" mean? sorry for my ignorance, this is my first time, and i feel like my doctor sucks. can i do this at home?

 

we are going to have to find a different doctor though, since they are all pro-circ and pro-vaccine, (i am neither) and the hospital that they go out of is 2 hours away from where we live. there is no way i want to be in labor in a car for that long.

It's possible they might not get out a measuring tape until after 20 weeks, since before that the number of centimeters doesn't correspond very directly with weeks.  My MD goes more by relative position of the top of the uterus to belly button pre-20 weeks.  Are they feeling your abdomen at least?  At any rate, I would definitely look for a doctor closer to home if possible.  At least don't go out of your way for a doctor you  aren't crazy about.  It's really important to be able to labor at home for as long as possible - you're much more likely to progress smoothly, and it's fairly common for early labor to pause for hours or even days after you're pretty sure you're really doing it.  If you're in the hospital at that point you may be pressured to induce.  Friends of mine who chose a hospital an hour away decided to actually check into a hotel close to the hospital when she went into labor.  That way she was able to labor comfortably in private for a long time without worrying about not making to the hospital in time.   A hotel is not as nice as home, but may be better than the hospital.

post #47 of 123

I don't think I really belong in this thread... but I'm taking a more relaxed approach to this pregnancy. Didn't have my first official appointment with my midwife til 18 weeks, but will be seeing her monthly and am planning to have the 20 wk scan (on Wednesday).

 

Checking into a hotel near that hospital is a great suggestion! I went into transition in the car during my last labor and it basically sucked.

post #48 of 123

one of the doctors at the practice did feel around my abdomen a couple months ago, when i had a routine pap, but that was all. that was the appointment that i had my ultrasound-12 weeks, and i am 20 weeks tomorrow.

i have my 20 week appointment and gender scan on thursday, which i'll be approaching the subject of not wanting to see them as much, when scheduling my next visit.

finding another doctor is going to be so hard, and the local hospital here is absolutely horrible and i refuse to go there. i'm so emotional and confused.

you all seem so well-educated and informed about all of this and it's just making it so much harder for me when i feel so stupid. it's embarrassing. thank you all for being so non-judgmental of me.

stillheart.gif

post #49 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by kellybeth View Post

one of the doctors at the practice did feel around my abdomen a couple months ago, when i had a routine pap, but that was all. that was the appointment that i had my ultrasound-12 weeks, and i am 20 weeks tomorrow.

i have my 20 week appointment and gender scan on thursday, which i'll be approaching the subject of not wanting to see them as much, when scheduling my next visit.

finding another doctor is going to be so hard, and the local hospital here is absolutely horrible and i refuse to go there. i'm so emotional and confused.

you all seem so well-educated and informed about all of this and it's just making it so much harder for me when i feel so stupid. it's embarrassing. thank you all for being so non-judgmental of me.

stillheart.gif

 

Aw you sounds like you are taking all this into your own hands and making good decisions. I have no idea what I'm doing! Just getting loads of advice for all kinds of often conflicting sources and trying to wade through it all. It's overwhelming. I think I'll feel much more sure about it all when I do this all again on baby #2. ;) 

post #50 of 123
Thread Starter 
Hope you can find a great care provider, kellybeth.
You know we all started out completely uneducated at some point! smile.gif There are no stupid questions and you gotta have somewhere to ask them.

Welcome to the thread, loveandgarbage. No set of requirements to jump in here wink1.gif I'm secretly wanting a scan but will resist and let this be our only surprise gender baby.
post #51 of 123

I thought it was interesting to see what people's Drs/Midwives are actually doing in appointments as I have no idea if mine are doing "normal" stuff and if there's anything they might need to do that they aren't. 

 

My GP did a blood test for general stuff at 5 weeks to check iron levels etc. It was all clear of anything worrying so no one has done a follow-up test.

My OBGYN apt at 12 weeks measured my weight, blood pressure, measured fundal height and felt around I guess to see where the baby was sitting. 

My Midwife at 17 weeks measured my blood pressure, fundal height, felt for where the baby was and listened to the baby's heartbeat with the feto scope. 

 

I see my OBGYN at 24 weeks where he's doing the one scan I finally consented to. Not sure what else he'll be doing? I guess all the blood pressure, weight stuff again?

After that I see my Midwife around 26-30 weeks again. I think this is when we might start to talk more about the birth plan and labour but not sure.

 

My questions to the experienced mommas, should I ask for any other urine or blood tests? I don't seem to have any specific things that are worrying my two practitioners but I want to make sure I'm at least on top of the basic stuff. When do you start talking to your midwife about labour prep? When do you do a birth plan?

post #52 of 123

Typebug - I was wondering the same thing re: discussing of birth plans, etc. I am AMA and high risk and my appointments were actually not that much different from yours - initial visit (July 2) at 8 weeks confirmed pregnancy via U/S, did basic lab work. Had first trimester scan and nuchal measurement (Aug 2) at 12 weeks & special Harmony prenatal labs drawn twice weeks 12-14. (Again, being AMA I had like a 1 in 82 chance of carrying downs baby). Had really quick check with OB at 17 weeks (Sept 5) with BP, urine dip, quick exam. Had Anatomy Scan (9/17) at 19 weeks. Now I have another F/U appointment with OB ~Oct 8th. I know that a test for Gestational Diabetes is done at 24-28 weeks. I know "typical" schedule is visits every 4 weeks through week 28, than every other week through week 36, then every week until baby is born.

 

Like you, I am wondering when to begin talking about a birth plan and/or if there are other things I should be discussing or doing. Would love some input from more experienced mamas heartbeat.gif

post #53 of 123

They have me give a urine sample every time I go in (visits every month until month 8, than every two weeks).  I'm not sure what all they check for in the urine - I can't believe I've never asked.  I'm pretty sure they check for bacteria (UTI) and protein, and from what I've read I assume they're also checking sugar?  Nurse takes BP & weight.  My MD asks me how I'm feeling, asks about baby's movement, measures fundal height, and listens for heart tones.  

post #54 of 123

My midwife is pretty hands off and doesn't require any tests but offers them if the mother chooses. I actually had a blood panel done when I was first pregnant because I've had some vitamin deficiency issues and wanted to know where I stood (especially with anemia). At appointments we'll just talk about the pregnancy, she offers to use the doppler to hear the heartbeat but it's my choice, and there is no measuring of my stomach or weighing me unless I ask for it. I will be declining the GD test unless I start to show symptoms or something.

 

kellybeth please don't feel stupid!! If it makes you feel better, when I was pregnant with my first I thought homebirths only happened at communes, that I would try to breastfeed for a few months and had no idea that women did it for longer, among other things I can't remember now. I didn't start learning about natural parenting/birth until I came across mothering magazine at a bookstore one day on a break from work! We all start somewhere! It sounds like you're doing great with learning about pregnancy/birth stuff.

 

odinsmama, I almost opted-out of the 20 wk scan this time, but curiosity has gotten the better of me!

 

With my first I never put together an official birth plan, thinking that if I knew what I wanted things would just "work out". Well, that was a mistake. I was much more "on it" when planning my VBAC with DS2 and made sure that DH, my doula and my team of OBs knew what I wanted and didn't want. I think a good starting point is thinking about pain medication. With my first, I was open to it if things got hairy, but with my second I was 100% against it. If you're birthing in a hospital they might try to put an IV in your right away, but you can usually ask for a heplock instead. Also after the birth make sure they know whether or not you want skin-to-skin contact right away, and if you want the hep b vaccine, vitamin k drops, etc. There are probably better lists online you can look to for a guide.

post #55 of 123
Thread Starter 

If you go check out the "I'm Pregnant" forum and do a search for birth plan, there are lots of great threads.  Don't know if this link will work, but I'll try it.

 

And if you're doing a homebirth, I loved having a list of stuff for DH since I don't really like to talk while in labor.  It was all kinds of stuff like where towels, extra sheets etc. are, things he should offer me (hot tea, cold electrolyte drink, something to eat), a list of phone numbers of midwife or whoever you need to watch kids or help out, any kind of reminders he might need (set up camera, start some music for me - I had a couple of stations on pandora radio that I had picked ahead of time.).

 

Also a list for after the birth for partner or whoever is helping... start a load of laundry, put new sheets on the bed (I actually had a mattress on the floor where I gave birth and then slept for a few days afterward.  I had a clean sheet, a disposable waterproof pad and another sheet on top.  Just pull off the soiled one, toss the pad and lay down on the clean one.), get me some food and drink, take photos... whatever your needs are.

 

I'm a big fan of planning ahead because I know if I don't get it down on paper my mind will continue to think of something I want on the list or don't want to forget this time, most likely while I'm trying to sleep.  If I get it onto a list I can forget about it and feel like we're more ready.  And if you're working with a care provider who you suspect will not love your birth plan, better to get it done now so you can switch providers if need be.

post #56 of 123

wave.gif

 

I'm due March 1, so I've been lurking here, too. 

 

I actually feel like my prenatal care is pretty comprehensive (CNM homebirth MWs), which is fine by me.  Among other things-- just to give an example-- I do plan on being screened for GD (they wouldn't have a problem with my declining testing), as I have a family history, and I plan on being screened for GBS, and etc., etc.  So definitely waaaaay minimalist compared to the mainstream, but not totally hands-off, either. 

 

On the other side of the equation, I am not being weighed at all (d/t eating disorder trigger issues), and my MWs have zero problem with that. I also decided to decline doppler, for a couple of reasons.  First, because at the first appointment (~11 weeks) they might not be able to hear a HB anyway (even if all is fine).  After a recent loss (my first pregnancy), I just didn't need the possibly needless worry, and feel that there's nothing/little I could do if baby had passed... which would be somewhat unlikely with zero warning.   Second, because though I am only very, very minimally concerned about the (mostly theoretical) "risk" of u/s radiation, I figured it would be no big deal for me to skip hearing the heartbeat at 2 whole appointments (pretty sure they'll be able to hear with a fetoscope at my next-- 21+ weeks).

 

I really agonized over getting "routine"/"elective" u/s-- in fact, it was the one big question mark for me.  Originally, I figured I would at least get the 20-week anatomy scan (never did care to know the sex, though).  But long story as short as possible, considered my specific risks for things I could/would "do something about" (termination, in-utero surgery, change place or method of birth, etc.) and weighed those against the risk of m/c with amnio (which I would get with markers-- even if I ONLY got it with markers) and the risk presented by unnecessary intervention d/t possible misdiagnoses and I came out pretty even.  Then I considered the high rate of false positives with the u/s (looks like 10%+ of people show "markers" for various issues, though maybe 0.5% have those issues), significant potential for needless worry about possible previa that almost always moves (esp in first time moms), the fact that some issues are very likely to be diagnosed or suspected by my MWs (and I have NO problem getting a diagnostic u/s if necessary), and the fact that I live 1/3 of a mile from a hospital with a Level 3B NICU. 

 

The number of studies and articles I read... you wouldn't believe.  Okay, YOU would, LOL, but most people...

 

In the end, I decided to decline the 20-week u/s, though it's a question I will revisit with future children, as I get older, etc.  I don't feel 100% confident in that decision, but I feel much better about declining it than getting it done, so there's that. 

 

Dr. Mom (my mom is an MD) is very supportive of all my plans to homebirth, etc., and she doesn't think declining u/s is CRAZY, but I know it wouldn't be her preference (she'd do one routine u/s-- just one, though).  If and when it comes up with other friends and family... and it kinda will, because people want to see u/s pics, etc... I think that older people and people without kids probably won't think it odd-- or at least not any more odd than having a homebirth.  But I get the feeling that people who have kids <10-15 years old will be aghast (secretly or not-so).  Because it feels so "mandatory" nowadays. 

 

What can you do?  I think my rationale is sound, and I'm not about to claim it's like an overwhelmingly Good Thing (the way I feel about homebirth for low-risk women who want it, or any number of other choices).  I feel like it's a pretty even choice (for me, personally) in terms of morbidity/mortality, and thus it comes down to personal preference and desire to avoid needless worry vs. the social difficulty of bucking the "mainstream."  In the end, I'm okay erring on the former side.  shrug.gif

post #57 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by odinsmama View Post

I'm a big fan of planning ahead because I know if I don't get it down on paper my mind will continue to think of something I want on the list or don't want to forget this time, most likely while I'm trying to sleep.  If I get it onto a list I can forget about it and feel like we're more ready.  And if you're working with a care provider who you suspect will not love your birth plan, better to get it done now so you can switch providers if need be.

 

i guess i don't have a birth plan, because i don't know what to expect. but i do know that i want to wait until about 15 minutes to clip the cord, and that my fiance will be keeping a hawkeye on everyone who comes in contact with our baby, in case it is a boy (find out in 2 days!) so they don't try to circ without our permission. there are some horror stories out there.

 

but i am working on finding another doctor, and of course a pediatrician. i'll be asking questions over the phone before i even waste my time and energy driving to see someone just to find out they are pushier or more western-medicine driven than my current doctor that i am looking to replace.

 

i finally found a birthing class (expensive!) that i want to be a part of and contacted, so i am excited about that. i need to meet some like-minded mamas in my area.

 

i am with you ladies though, i don't think these visits are very necessary. i can't even get my blood work done at the office, since i am a "hard stick" and they destroy my arms & hands every time and i have to get my blood work done at a diagnostics center. but i still have to drive the 2 hours there just to pee in a cup, have my blood pressure taken, and get the blood work paper work. it's obnoxious. i wish i had made up my mind about that sooner.

post #58 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by kellybeth View Post

i have my 20 week appointment and gender scan on thursday, which i'll be approaching the subject of not wanting to see them as much, when scheduling my next visit.

finding another doctor is going to be so hard, and the local hospital here is absolutely horrible and i refuse to go there. i'm so emotional and confused.

you all seem so well-educated and informed about all of this and it's just making it so much harder for me when i feel so stupid. it's embarrassing. thank you all for being so non-judgmental of me.

stillheart.gif

you're doing amazing.  with my first i just waited... we were mid-move, and had no health insurance in New Mexico, and i had had a miscarriage, so just waiting to see if it was real was all i could do.  i was 21 weeks before i saw anyone.  and then i jumped between providers for months and ended up settling at the end of my 7th month at a birth center.  it was no fun.  and i had no mother support as i was in grad school!  so, you're ahead of the curve.

 

at the birth center, we were supposed to work on birth plans around months 7-8.  just so you know.  they didn't really address them before.  they had the water birth, circing, food, labor planning discussions all kind of in a row and handed out paperwork as well.  i know it wasn't before then.  

 

i don't think the birth plan did me an ounce of good on baby number 1.  my sister jokingly/ironically says that moms with detailed and overly thought out birth plans are kinda prone to sections (she's been delivering babies since 2006)- but i thought it was a good way to get care providers on the same page.  that said, i haven't done a birth plan since baby 2, since my midwife's visits and chats w/ husband and me and kids ARE the birth plan.  the entire prenatal visiting period is about learning to know and trust each other and then when birth starts, we just get down to business.  i'm very hands off though.  and i don't mind just feeling like i'm doing a lot of hard work while everyone sits around.  until transition.  but that's when they actually start to move too, so it's usually pretty seamless.  i think the key is having a birth provider who agrees with everything you think is a priority LONG BEFORE labor.  then when labor starts, you can forget birth plan and just do what you need to do, and they can do what they need to do, which to me is monitor the mother and baby during labor and help out IF necessary.

 

i hadn't done ANY TESTS for the last two pregnancies.  i did have a blood panel done this time just for my medical file.  and also listened w/ the doppler at 13 weeks since we weren't going to have another visit for a long time.  i don't weigh myself a lot, and since it's my 5th pregnancy, i feel like if my blood pressure rises, or blood sugar goes off, or anything like that, I will be more aware (i'm also a holistic health counselor, so it's kinda my job to monitor health through diet and daily life and to treat it naturally).  i won't be doing GD or GBstrep since my previous pregnancies/labors have not been high risk for either, though if my midwife wants me to for some reason, i'm very much willing at this point.  i do the urine strips with her at the visits, but she doesn't seem to think i need them between visits.  yet...

 

also totally second everything Odinsmama said!  

post #59 of 123

I guess I will join in here too.  We didn't have any of the tests done and are not doing the 20 week US, but did get a gender peak at 16 weeks.  I am having all the normal midwife appts. though, but they are super low key and I am wondering if we can just push them back a bit.  I had GBS with both girls, so I think I am going to decline the test this time, since I am pretty sure it will be positive and just treat with the garlic treatment that my MW recommends.  

post #60 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by buko View Post

 

What can you do?  I think my rationale is sound, and I'm not about to claim it's like an overwhelmingly Good Thing (the way I feel about homebirth for low-risk women who want it, or any number of other choices).  I feel like it's a pretty even choice (for me, personally) in terms of morbidity/mortality, and thus it comes down to personal preference and desire to avoid needless worry vs. the social difficulty of bucking the "mainstream."  In the end, I'm okay erring on the former side.  shrug.gif

 

Sounds really well thought out to me! ;) I'm looking forward to having the freedom with our next birth to be able to go zero scans. It will involve a move to the other side of the world again but... ;) Also I'm right with you on not doing the doppler thing. Ina May Gaskin's latest book cited some reports I went and read and decided to not let anyone use one on me. :) It's a personal thing I tend to not talk about to other moms but nice to know other people are feeling the same way about it.  

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