March Mamas weekly thread: Jan 31 - Feb 6 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 01-31-2005, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our list: Let me know if there are any updates!

Rebecca (Ravenmoon) 3/1 Girl
Christine (Cholderby) 3/2 Boy
Kylie (luvmy3boyz) 3/2 Girl
LeShea 3/3 Girl
Barb (meant2beamom) 3/4 Surprise
Alicyn (mommy2b) 3/5
OaklandMama 3/5
bubbles 3/6
JoyfulMomma 3/6 Surprise
MsDoula 3/8 Boy
Shannon (MamaSpruce) 3/8 Surprise
Eva (Finnsma) 3/8 Girl
Aquarianmom 3/8
Emily (AnneCordelia) 3/8
Susan (srmina) 3/9 Boy
Fiercelove 3/9 Boy
Michelle (Mtm) 3/10 Boy
Dawn&Gianna 3/11
Cyndi (CyndiN) 3/11
mommyto2 3/11 Surprise
Citygirl 3/12
Kimberly (kimisaur) 3/12
Sarah (mamasarah) 3/12 Surprise
Ang (Crayon) 3/13 Surprise
Jo (Jocmtl) 3/13 Boy
Autumn (newmomma2005) 3/13 Boy
Serina (Somewhere to grow) 3/13 Girl
Annabelle's Wish 3/13
Melissa (Ladyelmo1) 3/16
Maya (muse) 3/16
Rachel (rad) 3/16
Shannon (RaisinGirl) 3/17
Wildcrafter 3/18 Surprise
Rebecca (MamaGaia) 3/20
Heidi (Weebitty2) 3/20
Rebecca (GeoGirl) 3/20 Girl
Shannon (sm3247) 3/20 Girl
Kash (Patchfire) 3/21 Surprise
puddinnpeanut 3/21
Trish (Ellis Herr) 3/21 Girl
Amanda (TXmidwife) 3/22 Boy
Shannon (Isfahan) 3/22
Jennie (Jenniebug) 3/23
Molly (mimim) 3/23 Surprise
Kim (EllieB) 3/23 Boy
Desirae (mamadaisy) 3/23
Simplehome 3/24 Boy
Dee (Morningtillmoonmama) 3/24 Boy
Jen (LoveChild421) 3/24 Boy
Lotta 3/24
Lise (TOmomma) 3/25 Surprise
Gina (stringbean) 3/26 Boy
Ryann (anazmommy) 3/26
Giggs 3/28
Sprinklepocket 3/28
Erica (Kindermama) 3/28 Girl

Sometime in March:
polihaupt Boy
Pam (EMZ) Girl
Jenrose
Carla (carlasher)
Mady (Mady5) late March Girl


Hello mamas! How's everyone this week? I'm doing much better after a little scare last week. I had some pretty heavy contractions for a few hours early, early Thursday morning and some cervical softening and barely peeping open. A few days of bed rest, some wild yam, lots of raspberry leaf tea, colloidal minerals and more calcium is what the midwife ordered. Seems to have chilled it right out and I'm feeling great.

Made us take note of Feb 16 (37 weeks), that's the first day baby can be born at home! Hopefully it will wait a few more days at least, as I have a blessingway planned for Feb 19. Really looking forward to that. I think I'll go order my homebirth kit now.

Hope you're all doing well too...
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#2 of 28 Old 01-31-2005, 10:10 PM
 
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I'm doing...ok. I really hate to complain as there's nothing really wrong w/ me but I have this cold/allergies that won't go away and I am starting to get so physically uncomfortable! It feels better to stand up than to sit or lay down. :LOL I don't remember feeling miserable this early w/ my other pregnancies. Then again, it was warm and sunny when I was 32 weeks and right now it's cold, rainy and dreary. Maybe when the weather gets better, I will...I hope.

Dee, mama to Robin , Wren , Finch and baby Lark born 12/27!
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#3 of 28 Old 01-31-2005, 11:36 PM
 
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Feeling okay- still have the pelvis pain and the baby dropped on Sat- is that early?? I think it can still drop a bit more- but it has been prying at my cervix and punching me so I feel like I have to pee all the time. I am getting big, but not as big as with DD. I have only wanted to eat mexican food- sigh... no one in my house likes mexican but me. I have been very tired- VERY.. But I keep thinking only a few more weeks. I love that I can feel this babies body parts- with DD I could not feel her very good- but this baby I know just were he/she is and the other night I felt the shoulder and the arm, and DH felt it too. That was nice. I am getting ready- I have been feeling good, but I am a big cry baby and I really dont want to do the pelvis pain anymore. The sooner "safe date" hits us the better. My MW told me I had to wait until 36 weeks...


[B][I]~Ang~ Mom to 2 sport-head crazy girls: Rainey and Breeze  and my little lost love- @18 weeks with gestational age of 7 weeks

RAINBOW BABY DUE MAY 4th!!!
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#4 of 28 Old 02-01-2005, 03:48 AM
 
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hi mamas, looks like some of us are getting pretty close, eh?

I'm only 34 weeks but yesterday I had some mild/medium contractions. I tried to ignore them since they mostly felt just crampy, but then I timed them and realised they were consistently 10 mins apart for about an hour. Yikes. Thankfully they subsided and haven't returned. Didn't have that with DS at all, so a bit freaky. I am really set on another homebirth so it's got to hang in there for at least another month. I don't know why my gut has been telling me all along it's coming early.

I'm absolutely HUGE all of a sudden. Bigger than with DS, and he was big. I feel physically sore in particular spots where s/he is always kicking me, and I've got those sharp poking-in-the-cervix pains too. Wow, another 6 weeks or so of this?!
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#5 of 28 Old 02-01-2005, 01:37 PM
 
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I've got 4.5 weeks to go! And I already feel like I am going to explode. My midwife says I have a lot of air in/around my uterus that is making me feel this way and look HUGE. You know it is bad when the maternity clothes start getting small...

This week I have been wishing I was an elephant so I had another few months to get everything done! I'm starting to realize that I will have to slow down a bit...not easy for me.

Healthwise, everything is fine here. I am happy that I have now made it to the point that baby's lungs are matured and it will be unlikely he will have to go to the NICU even if he was born tomorrow. I hate the NICU.

We still have no names, just the letters V and K...
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#6 of 28 Old 02-01-2005, 01:49 PM
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Had an u/s this morning as part of my possible pre-eclampsia work-up. Felt so good to see the little guy moving around so much on the screen. I'm still feeling like crap but seeing his face made me feel so much better.
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#7 of 28 Old 02-02-2005, 12:03 AM
 
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Wow I am so huge! Like I am hidden beneath some kind of costume. Feeling strong though and like crayon I feel various body parts. It's soo cool to actually be able to identify a foot. I have been having a hard time sleeping. I don't know if it is anxiety, position, or the need to pee. I am a little delerious these days. For the first time ever in my life I woke up and needed to eat something in the middle of the night. I've gained what I had hoped to be my max, 30# and seem to be hovering around that, give or take a couple of pounds. I am just really hungry though. Not just munchy. The house is getting cleaner and cleaner and less cluttered. Anyone tried Flylady? Slightly cheezy but it really works. I still need to do some of the essentials though. For instance we don't have the co-sleeper, the infant seat or cloth diapers eeek! We do have lots of clothes of all sizes, 3 different slings, the baby walkie talkie things, a few toys a bathtub thing and other stuff friends keep dropping off because they don't need them anymore. We're having some financial issues otherwise I'd run out and buy the stuff. I know that it will all work out in the end and I should just have faith but sometimes in the night when I am having BH cxts I'm like "I've had 7 months to get it together, what am I doing?!!" Deep breath.

In spite of the worries plaguing my brain, in my soul and body, I feel strangely at Peace in a very profound way.

I hope everyone is feeling some of that peace too!! Good luck as we get closer!
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#8 of 28 Old 02-02-2005, 12:50 AM
 
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aquarianmom, those are the exact three things I'm worried about that we don't have! I at least know where the money's coming from for the car seat, but not the other two... we shall see! :LOL

I'm feeling overwhelmed by everything I have left to do. Later tonight or tomorrow I've got to order the birth kit. Yesterday I did go out to the dollar store to pick up some of the supplies on the midwives' list that aren't in the birth kit - some towels and washcloths I don't mind getting dirty and/or bloody, two large plastic bowls (I wouldn't care about reusing the placenta bowl in the kitchen, but dh would, so for a $1...), and something else... oh, yeah, the multiple bottles of hydrogen peroxide! I forgot to get a mattress protector, even though I was staring right at them, so I'll have to go back for that. (Not the one for the mattress itself, but one for between the two sets of sheets... I figure, for that I will only spend $3!)

MIL tried to call me last night for a 'baby update' - luckily I was literally on the way out the door. She left a long message about how it 'doesn't seem real' that we're having another baby. I resisted the urge to email her this morning, offering for HER to do the bathroom trips for me. (I had to cut my errands short today just because of the bladder - eek.) As annoying as she is, though, it does make me sad that all of the relatives are pretty much 'ho-hum' about this baby - I realise that people don't generally have showers in the same way with subsequent babies and all of that, but it would be nice if people at least seemed to be excited. I don't know if it's because they're all pretty mainstream, and we're not finding out the gender, or what.

Have any of the rest of you noticed the *weird* questions you can get about homebirth? The consistent question I get is "What about the mess?" but my mom got asked "But do the midwives do APGARs?" which I thought was just odd. Also whether or not the baby would be weighed! My grandmother seems convinced that homebirth increases the likelihood of breech birth (isn't that bizarre?!?), whilst the major 'concern' of the in-laws is that I 'still' haven't had an ultrasound.

Meanwhile, on a LJ community I'm on, one girl is excitedly listing her 'prelabour symptoms' and she's not even 33 weeks. Yet the thought of going into labor now is just great to her. I can't even respond... I don't think any of us on here want our babies out just yet, even the ones due at the very beginning of the month! Cook, babies, cook.

Kash, homeschooling mommy to Gillian (8/5/00) and Jacob (3/23/05)
and Brigid Eleanor (11/20/08)
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#9 of 28 Old 02-02-2005, 01:29 AM
 
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Nope I dont want my baby out- even if I seem to be bitchy a lot about getting this done :LOL I really just want my pelvis to stop hurting and to not have to pee every second or to sleep without pain- but I guess 5 more weeks are okay- As long as the baby is "in the zone!" I guess us March mamas only have a month left to march, but babies can come anytime now. What is the safe zone? My MW told me 36 weeks, but I have heard 37 weeks too. I would like to go to my DD- but really have zero desire to keep baking after that :LOL I went nearly 2 weeks over with DD and that was not fun. I guess the baby will just come when it wants to come! I am not ready yet- still need to make dipes and dipe covers and get the damn house clean- I have zero energy and just want to sit on MDC What can a huge preggo mama do???

[B][I]~Ang~ Mom to 2 sport-head crazy girls: Rainey and Breeze  and my little lost love- @18 weeks with gestational age of 7 weeks

RAINBOW BABY DUE MAY 4th!!!
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#10 of 28 Old 02-02-2005, 02:23 AM
 
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I am actually feeling great now. : In the last week, my nausea finally went completely away. Now I am like I remember being when I was first nursing nb dd: ravenous, and can't drink enough water. I guess this is because the little one is putting on fat now and dd is enjoying the relative abundance of colostrum (I was dry for most of the pregnancy). I feel AWFUL if I don't get sleep or don't eat and drink, but otherwise, I am appreciating this so much more than the first time. I feel beautiful. I am also finally having warm thoughts about giving birth now. February is a good month to prepare.

Practically speaking, on the other hand... I have so much left to do! Still haven't sewn those diapers. (Won't kill me if I don't get around to it, since I have 3 dozen flats on hand, but I would really like to have these waterproof AIO things now that I spent $50 on materials!) Have NO urge to clean this time and can't seem to keep the apartment clean to save my life. I seem to spend a lot of time vacillating on "big" issues like... what kind of more nursing-friendly outerwear to get? or, how to leakproof the bed? IRL, I am probably going to end up wearing exactly what I am wearing now and covering the bed with a baby blanket, because I will never make up my mind!!! Meanwhile still need to decide on a pediatrician (for both dks) and finish getting birth stuff together, which I guess is a bit more urgent.

On a more bizarre note, I ran across a tub of something called Udderly SMOOth Udder Cream at the drug store today. With instructions for applying to the teats and udders before milking and while sensitive after calfing. Like Lansinoh for cows? Only in the beauty aisle?

Oye Yemaya oloto
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#11 of 28 Old 02-02-2005, 11:23 AM
 
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Kash, I hear you on the wierd homebirth questions. When I had DS in CA I learned not to talk to people about it unless I knew they were supportive; it felt almost taboo Here where I am in England though it's the total opposite. Everyone either seems to have had a homebirth, wanted one but couldn't for some reason, or at least knows people who have. The area I'm in has the one of the highest rates of homebirth and my midwives are turning out to be fabulous.
I saw them yesterday and talked about my wish to be left well alone till natural delivery of the placenta and they are totally fine with that. Last time the mw's cut the cord immediately which (likely) led to a whole load of dangerous complications...
It's wierd really; here healthcare is government funded but I feel I have way more rights to do things the way I want than I did when I was paying private insurance in the US. Also turns out I don't have to supply a thing for the birth; they bring it all , whereas in the US you have to pay for the birthkit on top of everything else....

Anyway, the baby seems to be a good healthy size, not overly big as it feels to me right now, and it hasn't dropped even though it feels it some days.

I must say I am VERY impressed with you mamas planning to sew diapers. I can barely finish sewing up my baby blanket. I have diapers from DS but I'm still planning the diaper service for the first month, since I figure there will be enough other craziness to be dealing with
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#12 of 28 Old 02-02-2005, 11:27 AM
 
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Hi,there,mamas
Thought I'd pop in an d say Hi. I'll probably be around a lot more now.I need my online support system wherever I can find it! LOL

I had a rough week last week and so far,it had been the only rough patch I've had the whole pregnancy And just like that,I'm fine again.Go figure.

I'm kind of freaking out too about everything I think needs to be done. I'm definitely in nesting mode and driving my whole family crazy

Hope everyone is doing well this morning!
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#13 of 28 Old 02-02-2005, 02:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muse
It's wierd really; here healthcare is government funded but I feel I have way more rights to do things the way I want than I did when I was paying private insurance in the US. Also turns out I don't have to supply a thing for the birth; they bring it all , whereas in the US you have to pay for the birthkit on top of everything else....
Well geez, no wonder you can afford a diaper service. :-P (Where is the "jealous -- since Bush's re-election -- of everyone living in a foreign country" smilie?)

Oye Yemaya oloto
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#14 of 28 Old 02-02-2005, 02:31 PM
 
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I am a REP, but, I hate our health care. I think our health care should be socialized. It drives me nuts the hoops you have to leap just to get on state insurance, and if you have private insurance it is just as bad. The whole medical thing in this country is so scary- When I had DD they charged me over 5k and I had a vaginal birth 1 hour after trasporting to the hospital with no interventions, besides PIT to stop my bleeding after she was born from them ripping out my placenta! but that is antoher story.

I am glad that we do at least have health care- I mean we could be in the middle of africa or something where they dont have any healthcare, but then again most of the areas that have health care are funded by the US- funny eh?

[B][I]~Ang~ Mom to 2 sport-head crazy girls: Rainey and Breeze  and my little lost love- @18 weeks with gestational age of 7 weeks

RAINBOW BABY DUE MAY 4th!!!
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#15 of 28 Old 02-02-2005, 03:39 PM
 
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Saw midwife Monday... Same as last visit. No changes at all except heartrate is slightly lower. All's well... Since I went from 33cm at 28 weeks to 41cm at 32 weeks... I was fine with 41 cm at 34 weeks! I gained 15 lbs total so far... Feeling pretty good... Sometimes. Super itchy!!!! So itchy I was in tears yesterday... Everywhere! Not good. Shower didn't even help.

I think I am ready for the baby, but hope he/she waits until at least March arrives to let me know boy/girl!!! I am so grateful we were able to homebirth last time & am so excited to do it again this time!! I can't imagine getting in the car & trying to get comfy on the ride there... or any of the other reasons we chose homebirth. I am so happy!! Almost consistently. I think I am losing my mind lately though. Can't keep a train of thought. Forget everything! I made a play date for dd, then called the mom two days before the playdate to ask if we could get together. Still have no memory of setting the playdate the first time.

We checked out mom's club the other day & one of the women asked me when I was due (but only after I made it clear it was ok). Apparently my answer made her ask me if I was having a homebirth... She was very supportive!! Yeah!!!

I think dh is counting the days more than I am... I am starting to feel bad for him. Not too bad, but a little.

My birthkit arrived & is sitting in the box in the bathroom, ready to go. We got a pool (finally) from the midwife, otherwise we would be out of luck (and time).

I am so excited!!!!!!!!!!

I am going to two showers (three if you count mine) in the next week. I think that will help make it real to me. I am not exactly believing the baby is on the way... And not prepared for the actual birthing part... Gotta prepare mentally for that.
How's that for rambling.
Sorry
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#16 of 28 Old 02-02-2005, 11:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patchfire
Meanwhile, on a LJ community I'm on, one girl is excitedly listing her 'prelabour symptoms' and she's not even 33 weeks. Yet the thought of going into labor now is just great to her. I can't even respond... I don't think any of us on here want our babies out just yet, even the ones due at the very beginning of the month! Cook, babies, cook.
No kidding!! Despite the discomfort, I keep telling the baby to make sure not to come out before his time is up!

34 weeks and counting! I'm doing well, but like many of you, I'm feeling a lot of pressure on my bladder and also my intestines. It feels like I constantly have to pee or have a bowel movement, esp. when I walk. This is a big drag, because walking is my main mode of exercise. I just want to be horizontal all the time. Also, I have a hemorrhoid (sorry if it's tmi!). It's external and not that bothersome. I'm just so annoyed. I'm not even constipated.

I'm told the baby weighs about 5 1/2 lbs right now. I wonder how much bigger he'll get. I can't believe that there's that big a being inside my womb. It's so surreal.

Hey, are many of you keeping track of the number of movements of your baby at this point? The nurse at my clinic said it would be a good idea, because I answered yes when she asked if the movements were different. But isn't that normal, that the movements be different at this stage? I mean, there's not much room left in there. Anyway, I just counted ten moves in about 7 minutes...
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#17 of 28 Old 02-03-2005, 02:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocmtl
Hey, are many of you keeping track of the number of movements of your baby at this point? The nurse at my clinic said it would be a good idea, because I answered yes when she asked if the movements were different. But isn't that normal, that the movements be different at this stage? I mean, there's not much room left in there. Anyway, I just counted ten moves in about 7 minutes...
According to everything I have read it is totally normal to feel fewer and different movements at this point. Exactly like you said, not much room like before. Hope the count you did eases your mind.

I have been feeling really good, but my bp was a bit high at my appt yesterday. It worries me as I had PIT w/ my first and was induced. Although my bp in that pregnancy wasn't terribly high it did appear to affect the placenta and cord. The placenta was in shreds and the cord was atrophied. If I had not been induced ds would not have had much nutrition for the duration of the pregnancy. So, this has loomed over me. Everything was great until yesterday. It is 120/70 up from a normal of 110/60. Not that that is worriesome, it is just that it could be a trend. Anyway, my midwife thinks it is more due to other issues in my life that may be stressing me out. Working on that and some homeopathy for anxiety to see if that helps. I don't have other symptoms such as swelling, protein in urine, diziness, etc., but I only had mild swelling and no other symptoms w/ my previous pregnancy. I so want a smooth birth and esp. a homebirth so I hope my next visit shows an improvement and not an upward trend. I am otherwise so healthy and in good shape that it really frustrates me.
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#18 of 28 Old 02-03-2005, 04:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eminer
Well geez, no wonder you can afford a diaper service. :-P (Where is the "jealous -- since Bush's re-election -- of everyone living in a foreign country" smilie?)
Yeah, we saw that one coming and got out while we could. Now I many appreciate things about the UK that I took for granted before.

I guess it depends where you live, but in CA we still did the diaper service because it was way cheaper than buying all the newborn diapers which we only used for a few months (course, for you sewing mamas that isn't relevant)and someone told us it's more environmentally friendly to use a big service than do all your own washing...???

Quote:
Originally Posted by crayon
When I had DD they charged me over 5k and I had a vaginal birth 1 hour after trasporting to the hospital with no interventions
Isn't that crazy? When I miscarried in CA they kept sending me home from the ER despite my heavy bleeding because I didn't have insurance. When I finally came close to a hemmorage they rushed me in for emergency D&C, the OB gave me a lot of crap for not coming sooner , and then they charged me a whopping $16,000!!! When I miscarried again here in England they were so lovely, supportive, etc, saw me immediately, and never once asked for an insurance card or a penny. I couldn't quite get over it!

On a different topic, sounds like a few of us have had past placenta "issues", which is interesting to me. That's what's been looming over my head this pregnancy, since last time I bled a lot and my mw's had to manually remove my placenta. Now I've done a lot more research and am shocked to realise my mw's cut the cord 3 mins after DS was born (all the complications came after that)...

Anyway, I highly recommend reading Michel Odent's views on the first hour after birth and the importance of leaving the mother well alone at that stage...I just never thouhgt about that stage before or realised how important it is. I'll see if I can find a link.
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#19 of 28 Old 02-03-2005, 12:08 PM
 
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[QUOTE=museOn a different topic, sounds like a few of us have had past placenta "issues", which is interesting to me. That's what's been looming over my head this pregnancy, since last time I bled a lot and my mw's had to manually remove my placenta. Now I've done a lot more research and am shocked to realise my mw's cut the cord 3 mins after DS was born (all the complications came after that)...

Anyway, I highly recommend reading Michel Odent's views on the first hour after birth and the importance of leaving the mother well alone at that stage...I just never thouhgt about that stage before or realised how important it is. I'll see if I can find a link.[/QUOTE]


I am going to check into Michal Odent. I had to have my placenta manually removed also. Honestly, I was pretty freaked out after the birth and don't know how long they waited to cut the cord and try to remove the placenta. Thanks for that suggestion.
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#20 of 28 Old 02-03-2005, 02:26 PM
 
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This article is in a "Members Only" section of the Association of Texas Midwives website, so I couldn't post a link. Instead, here is the entire article. Happy reading, March Mamas!

The First Hour Following Birth: Don't Wake the Mother!
by Michel Odent
© 2002 Midwifery Today, Inc. All rights reserved.

[Editor's note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today Issue 61, Spring 2002.]


The hour following birth is undoubtedly one of the most critical phases in the life of human beings. It is not by chance that all human groups have routinely disturbed the physiological processes in this short period of time, via beliefs and rituals. Our cultural milieus are to a great extent shaped at the very beginning of the mother-newborn interaction.


The first hour following birth may be looked at from a multitude of complementary perspectives. My objective is to catalogue 12 such perspectives to demonstrate the real dimension of this enormous subject.


Perspective 1: The sudden need to breathe
We do not need to develop this widely documented perspective. It is well understood that during the first hour following birth the baby must suddenly use its lungs. This implies, in particular, that the heart must urgently pump blood to the pulmonary circulation. The prerequisite is that the pulmonary and systemic circulations separate by closure of the connections between them (ductus arteriosus and foramen ovale).


Perspective 2: The behavioral effects of hormones
This perspective needs to be developed, so recent are the available data.
Today we are in a position to explain that all the different hormones released by mother and fetus during the first and second stages of labor are not yet eliminated during the hour following birth. All of them have a specific role to play in the mother-newborn interaction. Until recently the behavioral effects of these hormones had not even been suspected.


The key hormone involved in birth physiology is undoubtedly oxytocin. Its mechanical effects have been well known for a long time (effects on uterine contractions for the birth of the baby and the delivery of the placenta; effects on the contractions of the myo-epithelial cells of the breast for the milk ejection reflex). Prange and Pedersen demonstrated the behavioral effects of oxytocin for the first time in 1979 via experimentation with rats: An injection of oxytocin directly into the brain of virgin rats induced a maternal behavior. This experiment laid the foundation for a new generation of studies. The results of hundreds of such studies can be summarized in one or two sentences: Oxytocin is the typical altruistic hormone; it is involved whatever the facet of love one considers.


These data appear important when one knows that, according to Swedish studies, it is after the birth of the baby and before the delivery of the placenta that women have the capacity to reach the highest possible peak of oxytocin. As in any other circumstances (for example sexual intercourse or lactation) the release of oxytocin is highly dependent on environmental factors. It is easier if the place is very warm (so that the level of hormones of the adrenaline family is as low as possible). It is also easier if the mother has nothing else to do but look at the baby's eyes and feel contact with the baby's skin, without any distraction. The way oxytocin is released is a new avenue for research. To be effective, this release must be pulsatile: The higher the frequency of pulses, the more effective this hormone is.


Oxytocin is never released in isolation. It is always part of a complex hormonal balance. That is why love has so many facets. In the particular case of the hour following birth, in physiological conditions, the high peak of oxytocin is associated with a high level of prolactin, which is also known as the "motherhood hormone." This is the most typical situation for inducing love of babies. Oxytocin and prolactin complement each other. Furthermore, estrogens activate the oxytocin and prolactin receptors. We must always think in terms of hormonal balance.


It was also in 1979 that the maternal release of morphine-like hormones during labor and delivery was demonstrated. The release of these endorphins is now well documented. In the early 1980s we learned that the baby also releases its own endorphins in the birth process, and today there is no doubt that, for a certain time following birth, both mother and baby are impregnated with opiates. The property of opiates to induce states of dependency is well known, so it is easy to anticipate how the beginning of a "dependency"-or attachment-will likely develop.


Even hormones of the adrenaline family (often seen as hormones of aggression) have an obvious role to play in the interaction between mother and baby immediately after birth. During the very last contractions before birth the level of these hormones in the mother peaks. That is why, in physiological conditions, as soon as the "fetus ejection reflex" starts, women tend to be upright, full of energy, with a sudden need to grasp something or someone. They often need to drink a glass of water, just as a speaker may do in front of a large audience. One of the effects of such adrenaline release is that the mother is alert when the baby is born. Think of mammals in the wild, and we can more clearly understand how advantageous it is for the mother to have enough energy-and aggressiveness-to protect her newborn baby if need be. Aggressiveness is an aspect of maternal love. It is also well known that the baby has its own survival mechanisms during the last strong expulsive contractions and releases its own hormones of the adrenaline family. A rush of noradrenaline enables the fetus to adapt to the physiological oxygen deprivation specific to this stage of delivery. The visible effect of this hormonal release is that the baby is alert at birth, with eyes wide open and dilated pupils. Human mothers are fascinated and delighted by the gaze of their newborn babies. It is as if the baby was giving a signal, and it certainly seems that this human eye-to-eye contact is an important feature of the beginning of the mother and baby relationship among humans.


The highly complex role of hormones of the adrenaline-noradrenaline family in the interaction between mother and baby has not been studied for a long time. A small number of animal experiments open the way to further research. Mice that lack a gene responsible for the production of noradrenaline leave their pups scattered, unclean and unfed, unless they are injected with a noradrenaline-producing drug when giving birth.
From the hormonal perspective it appears clearly that sexuality comes full circle. In all the different episodes of our sexual life the same hormones are released and similar scenarios are reproduced. For example, during sexual intercourse, both partners-male and female-release oxytocin and endorphins. It is the beginning of an attachment that is following the same model as the mother-baby attachment during the hour following birth.
Our current knowledge of the behavioral effects of different hormones involved in the birth process helps us to interpret the concept of a sensitive period introduced by ethologists. It is clear that all the different hormones released by the mother and by the baby during labor and delivery are not eliminated immediately. It is also clear that all of them have a specific role to play in the later interactions between mother and baby.


Perspective 3: The perspective of ethologists
Ethologists observe the behaviors of animals and human beings. They often study one particular behavior in a number of unrelated species. They were the first scientists who claimed that, in terms of mother-newborn attachment among birds and mammals, there is a short yet crucial period immediately after birth that will never be repeated. Harlow studied in particular the process of attachment among primates.
The importance of the ethological approach is gradually emerging after the recent discovery of the behavioral effects of hormones involved in the birth process.


An ethological study of the first hour following birth among humans is difficult because the physiological processes are routinely disturbed. However, it is possible in unusual circumstances. Imagine a woman who gave birth in her own bathroom while her husband was shopping. She is in a very warm and quite dark place. She does not feel observed at all. However, from the crack of the door you can catch a glimpse of the scene now and then. By combining what you learned from different stories like that, you'll be in a position to describe a stereotyped behavior. First, the mother looks at her newborn baby between her legs. After a while she dares to touch her with her fingertips. Then she becomes more and more audacious and wants to hold her baby in her arms. At that time most women are as if fascinated by the baby's eyes.


Perspective 4: The first hour as the beginning of lactation
There was a time, not so long ago, when we wouldn't have considered the first hour following birth as the time when lactation is supposed to start. Imagine a baby born at home a century ago. The cord was cut right away. Then the baby was washed, dressed and shown to the mother before being put in a crib. An anecdote can help us realize how recent this perspective is. In 1977, in Rome, at the Congress of Psychosomatic, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, I presented a paper about the early expression of the rooting reflex. I was simply describing the ideal conditions that allow the baby to find the breast during the first hour following birth. None of the obstetricians and pediatricians present at that session could believe that a human baby would be able to find the breast during the hour following birth.


Today most midwives know that the human baby is naturally programmed to find the breast during the hour following birth. Moreover, one can understand that, in physiological conditions, when the newborn baby is ready to find the breast, the mother is still in a particular hormonal balance. She is still "on another planet." She is still very instinctive. She knows how to hold her baby. Among humans, breastfeeding is potentially instinctive-during the hour following birth. After that there is room for education, imitation and even technique.


Perspective 5: First hour and metabolic adaptation
As long as the baby is in the womb the nutrients, particularly the vital fuel glucose, are provided in a continuous mode via the cord. Immediately after birth the baby must adapt to a discontinuous supply. The remarkable ability of the neonate to respond to significantly low glucose value has been studied in depth by M. Cornblath in the United States, and by Jane Hawdon, Laura Derooy and Suzanne Colson (see Suzanne's article "Womb to World," Midwifery Today Issue 61, page 12) in the United Kingdom.


Perspective 6: The bacteriological point of view
At birth, a baby is germ-free. An hour later there are millions of germs covering her mucous membranes. To be born is to enter the world of microbes. The question is, which germs will be the first to colonize the baby's body? Bacteriologists know that the winners of the race will be the rulers of the territory. The germ environment of the mother is already familiar and friendly from the perspective of the newborn because mother and baby share the same antibodies (IgG). In other words, from a bacteriological point of view, the newborn human baby urgently needs to be in contact with only one person-her mother. If we add that early consumption of colostrum will help establish an ideal gut flora, there is no doubt that, from a bacteriological point of view, the hour following birth is a critical period with lifelong consequences. Our gut flora can be presented as an aspect of our personality that cannot be easily modified later on in life.


Perspective 7: Starting up the process of thermoregulation
While in the womb the baby never had any opportunity to experience differences in temperature (apart from possible episodes of maternal fever). Once more, the first minutes following birth appear as an interruption of continuity. As the mechanisms of thermoregulation are not yet mature at birth there are theoretical reasons to be worried about the cases of maternal hyperthermia during labor that are induced by an epidural anesthesia or a too hot bath. Such situations might challenge in a dangerous way the thermoregulation of the baby by exaggerating the differences of temperature between the intra- and the extra-uterine environments.


Perspective 8: Adaptation to gravity
During the first hour a new relationship to gravity is established. Suddenly the vestibular nerve, which serves equilibrium, is carrying to the brain an unprecedented flood of impulses from the semicircular canals, utricles and saccules.


Perspective 9: The ethnological approach
Ethnology has established itself as a science by publishing databases. Today its material on pregnancy, childbirth and the first days following birth is easily accessed.
Most cultures disturb the first contact between mother and baby during the hour following birth. The most universal and intriguing way is simply to promote a belief, such as the belief that colostrum is tainted or harmful to the baby, even a substance to be expressed and discarded. Such a belief necessitates that, immediately after birth, the baby must not be in her mother's arms. This implies rituals such as the ritual of cutting the cord immediately. The first contact between mother and baby can be disturbed through many other rituals: bathing, rubbing, tight swaddling, foot binding, "smoking" the baby, piercing the ears of the little girls, opening the doors in cold countries, etc.


It would take volumes to present a comprehensive study of the characteristics of a great number of cultures in relation to how they challenge the maternal protective instinct during the sensitive period following birth. However a simple conclusion can be drawn from a rapid overview of the data we have at our disposal: The greater the social need for aggression and an ability to destroy life, the more intrusive the rituals and beliefs are in the period surrounding birth.


If disturbing the first contact between mother and baby and promulgating such excuses as the belief that colostrum is bad are so universal, it means that these behaviors have carried evolutionary advantages.
After taking into account and combining all the perspectives that indicate the importance of the hour following birth, and after referring to perinatal rituals and beliefs, we are in a position to claim that the cultural milieus are to a great extent shaped during the hour following birth. Now we can consider the hour following birth in the context of our modern societies.


Perspective 10: The obstetrical approach
All these considerations were necessary before looking at the hour following birth in the context of our modern societies. In our societies the cultural control of childbirth is mostly a medical control.
From medical literature and textbooks it appears that, in obstetrical circles, the question is: "How do you manage the so-called third stage?" Medical journals periodically publish prospective randomized, controlled studies comparing different ways to "manage" the third stage. The only objective is to evaluate the risks of postpartum hemorrhage. These studies are conducted in the context of large obstetrical units. All research protocols use a negative definition of "expectant management" (e.g., no use of uterotonic drugs and no clamping of the cord). The factors that can positively facilitate the release of oxytocin are not included in the protocols. The results of such trials have led to the practice of routinely injecting oxytocic substances into all mothers at the very time of the birth of the baby. Such substances block the release of the natural hormone; furthermore they have no behavioral effects. The effects of these obstetrical routines must be considered in terms of civilization.


Perspective 11: The midwifery approach
Certain midwives can still practice authentic midwifery. This means they are not prisoners of strict guidelines and protocols. They can play their role of protectors of the physiological processes. Immediately after the birth of the baby the main preoccupation of such midwives is the release by the mother of a high peak of oxytocin because it is necessary for safe delivery of the placenta and is the hormone of love.


They first make sure the room is warm enough. During the third stage women never complain that it is too hot. If they are shivering, it means the place is not warm enough. In the case of a homebirth, the only important tool to prepare is a transportable heater that can be plugged in any place and at any time and can be used to warm blankets or towels. Their other goal is to make sure the mother is not distracted at all while looking at the baby's eyes and feeling contact with the baby's skin. There are countless avoidable ways of distracting mother and baby at that stage. The mother can be distracted because she feels observed or guided, because somebody is talking, because the birth attendant wants to cut the cord before the delivery of the placenta, because the telephone rings, or because a light is suddenly switched on, etc. At that stage, after a birth in physiological conditions, the mother is still in a particular state of consciousness, as if "on another planet." Her neocortex is still more or less at rest. The watchword should be, "Don't wake up the mother!"


Michel Odent, MD founded the Primal Health Research Centre in London and developed the maternity unit in Pithiviers, France, where birthing pools are used. He is the author of ten books published in twenty languages. Two of them-Birth Reborn and The Nature of Birth and Breastfeeding-were published originally in the United States. His most recent book is The Farmer and the Obstetrician.
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#21 of 28 Old 02-04-2005, 10:28 AM
 
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Thanks TXmidwife! I read the same article at Odent's website here.
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#22 of 28 Old 02-04-2005, 04:14 PM
 
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Hee-hee. That took up a lot less room. :
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#23 of 28 Old 02-04-2005, 09:00 PM
 
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Wow that was a great article! I learned so much. I'm looking forward to that first hour even more now!!!!
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#24 of 28 Old 02-05-2005, 12:28 PM
 
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Hey mamas!
I haven't been around here in awhile. I am 33 weeks, almost 34. I am feeling GREAT! We got one of those memory foam matresses and all i can say is ahhhhhhhhh relief! I am sleeping better than I ever have, i wake up refreshed and full of energy. What could be better?
I have been nesting like crazy, not cleaning nesting but decorating. I bought brand new bedroom furniture for my 3 boys and for dh & I. Its so nice to see our rooms actually looking like rooms for the first time ever! My DDs room was done a few weeks ago and now I have a crib and changing table/dresser combo to complete the nursery side of her room. Just hoping this new babe is a girl or he will have to deal with a lot of pink :LOL I am fairly sure it is a girl, just one of those hunches that goes along with the visions/dreams I have receieved from this wee one.

Whats really cool about the first vision I had is it showed my bedroom completed exactly how it is now, and this was before I had even started looking at what i as going to buy for my bedroom.

Lets see....I have no real complaints other than my clothes not fitting. My mat pants wont stay up and my shrts no longer cover the panels. Blah! makes me want to just sell off all of my maternity clothes and just wear sweats or yoga pants and my regular tops, which seem to fit me better than my maternity tops, go figure.

The midwife I do want here for my birth my not be able to make it. She is scheduled to fly to Argentina 3 days after my due date. I have no feelings on when I may go into labor. My boys were duedate babes but my dd was 9 days late, who knows what this one will decide! Altho I did have a dream that she was born at 36 weeks and was nearly 9lbs *ouch* that would definetly be my biggest babe as I have yet to birth over 7lbs 14oz.

I am nearly ready for this babe. I have a good bit of sleepers booties and hats, more than enough cloth diapers, longies, covers etc. I still want to make a few more wool jersey pants, dye some matching Ts and maybe make a few more organic fitteds but we shall see. I am still waffling on the carseat issue. I have one but I need to see if it wil linstall properly (have read it wont but that was a 96 carseat in this vehicle and the seat I have now is from 2003) If it doesnt then I am going to get the britax infant seat. Other than that I am ready now. Oh yeah and we still have no names for this lil one. I am sure once we see and hod our babe a name wil come to us.
so thats it from me
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#25 of 28 Old 02-05-2005, 11:25 PM
 
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Owowowow.

I was having trouble sleeping last night, and ended up spending the majority of the night on my right side as opposed to my left. So about 11 this morning I started noticing a pain in my lower back... and then I noticed that the movements felt different... ouch. Posterior, at least for today. Ouch ouch ouch. I'm going to be camping out on my left side tonight, this is *painful*

I have no doubts whatsoever about the babe being vertex, though. No butt could hurt this much!

Kash, homeschooling mommy to Gillian (8/5/00) and Jacob (3/23/05)
and Brigid Eleanor (11/20/08)
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#26 of 28 Old 02-05-2005, 11:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patchfire
I have no doubts whatsoever about the babe being vertex, though. No butt could hurt this much!

I hear you- that is how I feel- The joy of late pregnancy! I am in the middle of moving around 4 rooms in my house, so I have been having cramping tonight. Trying to take it easy- but there is no place for me to sit, so I am in the middle of it all- I am standing at my computer checking last min things before we take it down for a day or so

[B][I]~Ang~ Mom to 2 sport-head crazy girls: Rainey and Breeze  and my little lost love- @18 weeks with gestational age of 7 weeks

RAINBOW BABY DUE MAY 4th!!!
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#27 of 28 Old 02-06-2005, 01:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patchfire
Owowowow.

I was having trouble sleeping last night, and ended up spending the majority of the night on my right side as opposed to my left. So about 11 this morning I started noticing a pain in my lower back... and then I noticed that the movements felt different... ouch. Posterior, at least for today. Ouch ouch ouch. I'm going to be camping out on my left side tonight, this is *painful*

I have no doubts whatsoever about the babe being vertex, though. No butt could hurt this much!

I have been worried about that happening. I just can't sleep all night on my left side as I get sore. I flip around a lot. So far, it has not been a problem as the baby seems to stay in the ideal position (both as far as I can feel and whenever the midwife checks). Crossing my fingers that it will stay. If you don't feel like it moves back soon, check out some of the websites that give help on fetal positioning. Hopefully you won't have to!

I am so thankful to still be feeling really good at this point. I hope it continues and that my labor and birth go as smoothly as my pregnancy has lately.
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#28 of 28 Old 02-07-2005, 11:22 PM
 
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Hi! I am currently 35 wks expecting my second, a lil boy! Been having tons of contractions, which is weird because i never had them with my first, my water broke and i had her within just a few hrs, and i never felt the contractions. i can't wait to have this baby, and am hoping that he comes early, as long as he is fully ready, i know that sounds terrible, but i am so done with being pregnant, constantly in pain, and not able to fit into any of my maternity clothes amymore. good luck to all.

Kristin- Wife to J, Mommy to B (11), M-S (8), and little J (4) and J&J (7 months)
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