We had our home visit with our Midwife yesterday. We had been scheduled for the Friday before, but as is often the case with midwives, she suddenly had 3 births to attend and we were rescheduled. The home visit means many things, but most importantly it marks having been cleared-time wise-for a homebirth, generally past 37 weeks. In addition to getting oriented to each other in our home, we also had a number of other logistics to review, consenting and declining to the myriad things that are recommended for newborns by the medical system.
Before I get too far ahead of myself let me just be really clear, I really like our midwife. We found her on the recommendation of my cousin Laurel, who lived in the Montpelier area for many years before making the long journey to the west coast. And while Laurel did not traverse a birth and pregnancy with her, many of her friends have and I am as ever a big believer that connections and rapport are the heart of how everything gets done. I was eager to get out to Vermont and get into the care of a homebirth midwife, after spending the first 2 trimesters of this pregnancy in the care of the UW hospital midwives per the guidance of another midwife in Wisconsin who counseled me on what made the most sense with our timeline and, of course, insurance. (side note: I have learned many things since moving to the Green Mountain State and while the subsidies in Vermont compared to Wisconsin are total shit, my experience thus far is that the coverage is way more comprehensive and inclusive here.) I hated going to see the midwives in Madison. It didn’t feel much different to me than going in to see an OB, impersonal and brief, and as a result I spent very little time thinking about any of the details or logistics regarding my actual birth plan.
Our midwife here though is a great fit. She is just enough brass-tacks and conservative that she is a match for this older and wiser version of me. Not so cavalier and naive as the home-birther I once was. And yet, as ever, more than a little bit skeptical about the culture of fear and lack of trust in the wisdom of our bodies that continues to be a hallmark of western medicine. She is conservative in many ways, which I appreciate, and she is also well researched and has her reasons for her opinions but treads a careful line in not letting her preferences override mine.
So, we had some logistics to move through, at the top of the list being the results from the Ultrasound that I had 2 days before leaving Wisconsin in June… which we had only just tracked down this week. I had the scan ordered to follow up on my 20 week ultrasound in which one of baby’s kidneys was still just a bit dilated and we needed to follow up to make sure that it closed, and if it had not, schedule follow up with a pediatrician shortly after birth. We also needed to discuss dating- for which I have been a little fuzzy since the beginning. My dates have kind of been my best guess, but the little one has been measuring big since the very beginning. 4 days, then a week, then just under 2 weeks. So my due date kept adjusting per the ultrasounds, which I have had 3 of this pregnancy. HOWEVER, the whole reason for the initial scan is dating because after that there are too many genetic variables that have come into play and babies are not just one size. Like in most things, averages mean nothing, and Chris and I are not small people! Hello! This is a big baby, like I have been saying forever, and he will come when he comes. And yet, based on those ever adjusting dates, we are going to defer not to my somewhat blurry recollection of my cycle and instead to that initial dating scan. So let’s say, new date is 8/14, as opposed to 8/18, which is splitting the difference more or less between the 8th and the 18th. Which would mean as of today I am 38 weeks. Fine. So be it. Better than 39 if you ask me. That can wait a week. Gulp.
So, what is up with kid’d kidney? Still has a little 4mm dilation, darnit. And earns him his own ultrasound sometime in his first 2 weeks. He was still filling and emptying his bladder last time we looked, and it is most likely less than nothing to be concerned about, but diagnostics are so detailed and thorough that we can detect more than we can understand and well it must mean something even if we can’t really imagine what that might be… Sound clear to you? Exactly. Our midwife did mention that that might earn us some grief from some folks in regard to our decision not to circumcise if he does wind up having some kind of renal issues… ha! WTF. One of the more ridiculous things I’ve ever heard.
Additionally, I tested positive fro Group B-Strep for the third consecutive time. Having had a baby already who was born with GBS, odds were not in my favor, but I have to admit it bums me out. Like I said, our midwife is conservative, which means I will probably have a port for high-flow antibiotics to be administered once every 4 hours. While the younger me would have balked at this level of intervention and opted for the peri-cleanse that I used during Eider’s labor, older me is fine with it especially as it seriously lowers the odds of me needing a transfer related to GBS. But it still sucks. And primarily because it weakens placental membranes and increases the odds of the bag breaking before any real contractions begin- which was the case in both of my previous births and fucking hurts. Not to say that the whole thing doesn’t hurt, but there is a bit of a buffer before the waters break which just frankly isn’t there once they do.
The hippie in me is getting pro-active as shit around this hiccup and I am going to do what I can in the next days/weeks to decolonize my vagina of GBS in an attempt to keep my membranes as evenly strong as possible. A mix of live-ferments, pro-biotics, garlic, and herbal suppositories to the rescue. If you are curious at all as to what that looks like, there is some great information here, as well as the exact protocol that I am following toward the end of the article.
Ugh. There is so much in this post that you really could or could not care about. Thanks for sticking with me if you have made it this far…
Other than what is mentioned above, we are mostly just busy readying ourselves for the advent of labor. Gathering a whole pile of birth supplies. I am sharing that here and there over on my Instagram stories as they role in. The other big happenings this week are that Eider has been away at Lacrosse camp since Sunday, his first sleep away, and while I am sure he is having a ball, we have been missing him like crazy. I can’t even get started on that, but I anticipate that some deep processing will be had on both his and my end once he returns home….. Tomorrow! Thank goodness. The other big deal is that Maple is headed down to White River Junction for the state meet with her swim team this Saturday and Sunday. She is swimming in 5 events which is super exciting and will be fun for her to get a gander as to what swimming looks like throughout the state. We are all very excited and very proud of her accomplishment. My little fish.
Also, my body feels like it is totally expiring. And while I know that once he’s born I will be resting resting resting for awhile as a crucial part of my recovery, I am longing longing longing to get back on my mat in an even remotely familiar way- where my aim becomes something more than just trying to get my tailbone to move and my hamstrings and calves to lengthen. I miss the steady heart beat of my physical practice. The other night I watched a few old videos of myself practicing and it feels so distant and so impossible and I just cannot believe that my body is sometimes able to move in so many ways that are so out of the scope today. I can still feel it in my heart and in my bones, but I am really looking forward to feeling it in my tissues too.
As a little present to myself, I am signing up for Christina’s next session of asana junkies that begins the 28th of August. And even though I won’t be able to do any of it really for 6-8 weeks, I am so ready to be in the flow of that support. I wasn’t a part of the spring session this year, the first one that I have ever missed in the 6.5 years since she launched the programs. Not cool, fomo, etc… I’m looking forward to it being a source of inspiration, as it always has been, as I move back into my practice and teaching in the coming months. Plus, I miss group practice whenever it isn’t an active part of my life so maybe this will give me the kick in the pants that I’ll need to get something going in Morrisville or Stowe or Montpelier this fall. Odds are good.
That’s it for now. Thanks for sticking it out. Lots of Love.