Thursday, November 16, 2006

Centering Pregnancy & Other Notes

So first the latest gripes. All this time I've been hearing people moan about the terrible heartburn in pregnancy. Meanwhile I smugly thought to myself, "Heartburn? What heartburn? It must be all the fruits and vegetables I eat." Ahem, yes, well once again Note to Self: Just wait, all the stuff they warned you about - it's coming!

Last night we had a delicious dinner - big thick steak-like pork chops marinated in a brown sugar-soy sauce-garlic concoction, garlic mashed potatos and steamed broccoli. I was in heaven. Until 3 hours later when I tried to go to bed. There was this horrible burning more in my throat actually than my chest. Musta been the garlic. I tried taking Tums. What a joke! That gave me oh about 3 and a half minutes of blissful relief. Ultimately I ended up propping myself up in bed to sleep upright. About 1:30 AM I woke up feeling all better. At which point I made the foolish mistake of attempting to sleep lying down like a normal person. The heartburn came back immediately.

In addition to that I've had this same headache for going on 3 days straight now. Tylenol has proven no match for it. And I'm drinking water like a fish. I guess my body is just working through something. Oh well, I will try to be patient.

In other news, I had my first "Centering Pregnancy" meeting this week. These are - are you ready for this? - group visits with my midwife. It sounds a little crazy but I think it's going to be the good kind of crazy. The way it works is 5 pregnant ladies (including myself) who are all due in March meet at the midwife's office at the hospital every two weeks. Significant others are welcome to come too. (Arwen plans to go with me to all the remaining visits, but he couldn't make it to this one.)

When you arrive, you put on your nametag and grab your chart. Then you go take your own blood pressure, temperature and weight and write it down in your chart. Before Tuesday I had never even had a look in my chart at any doctor's office. It was neat to see all the results from lab work, all the notes my midwife had taken about my health history, the results of the ultrasound, everything that has to do with me and this pregnancy.

After you've recorded your vitals, you have a private moment with the midwife where she checks your belly and listens to the baby's heartbeat. Then you join the other ladies/couples in a circle of chairs. For the remainder of the 2 hour session, the midwife and possibly a doula (labor coach) and/or nurse lead you in a discussion of a relevant topic. This week's discussion was nutrition. At the next session we'll be discussing exercise.

This format seems like such a good one, because most pregnancies proceed normally, so from a medical perspective there's not much to talk about with your healthcare provider. But yet you're so hungry for information, especially when going through it for the first time, and doctors and even 1-on-1 midwives don't necessarily have the time to answer all your questions.

I really wasn't sure what to expect going into this, but I left this first meeting feeling incredibly empowered. Just getting to handle your own medical chart makes you feel like you're not a sick patient, but like you're in charge of this normal process you're going through. Sitting with these other women - several of them first-timers like me - and sharing ideas and fears and things we're excited about was also very empowering. It left me feeling that although I don't have all the answers, this journey is a normal, healthy part of life and by the time we get to the labor and delivery room I think we'll feel as ready as we can. At our last appointment, 20 weeks from now, we will all bring our babies to the group. I can't wait!

1 comment:

Ashley said...

hey girl, sorry I haven't responded to your email - we've all been sick and miserable around here. hope you had a good thanksgiving! that heartburn is killer...I used to carry around the family sized bottle of tums and people looked at me like I was totally crazy when I'd pull it out in class hah. I'm soooo excited to find out the sex! I really really hope we'll be there tomorrow...we're all really sick, so it's kind of up in the air. nobody told me that when the kid gets sick, which they do ALL THE TIME, so do you, and you're forced to take care of a sick child while being sick yourself. just a heads up to stock up on purell!!!