Today, we had our second prenatal midwife's appointment. I was reluctant to go. The snow coming down on top of our freshly shoveled driveway was enough to keep us home from music class this morning, so I was not looking forward to making the drive into Michigan in the afternoon.
I was already running late when I went to clear the snow off of the car. Luckily since it had all fallen this morning, it was super light and easy to push off. My mother in law had agreed to watch Jonah during his nap time, so all I had to do was give Jonah his lunch and have him ready to go down for his nap. Of course my mother in law was running late in getting home. You'd think that I'd learn to tell her a time that is fifteen minutes earlier than when I truly need her.
In the end, I was only four minutes late to the appointment, and the midwife didn't seem to care at all. This is one very nice thing about seeing a homebirthing midwife rather than an OBGYN at a doctor's office. Their schedules aren't as strict. They don't have a line of patients or clients waiting to be seen, nor do they have an agenda for how each appointment needs to be run. I really enjoy this flexibility. Not only am I more calm and relaxed, but I also get the answers that I need. With Jonah's pregnancy, my OB never left time for any questions. I would get to the office about fifteen minutes early, and almost always would be seen a half hour late, and by that time the office was so behind schedule that I practically felt pushed out the door after my blood pressure was taken. I am sure that there are some medical professionals out there who do not treat their patients like this, but that was my experience. Working with a midwife is quite a contrast to that environment!
Everything looked fine with me and Baby. Everything, that is, except of course my blood pressure. My blood pressure during pregnancy is a bit of a concern for me, because in the last trimester with Jonah it was pretty high when compared to my normal blood pressure. I started to swell up, to the point where I was wearing Daryl's flip flops to work because it was the only shoe that would fit my feet. I eventually had to go on bedrest for the end of the pregnancy, and pre-eclampsia was the reason listed for the administering of cervadil while I was in the hospital to have my blood pressure monitored. So here we are, halfway through this pregnancy and my midwife got a very concerned look on her face after taking my blood pressure. Oh great, was all I could think. It turned out to be the opposite. My blood pressure was low. I guess it is true that every pregnancy is different! My normal blood pressure is usually around 110/70. It's pretty consistent when I go for normal phsyicals, and even during the whole first part of Jonah's pregnancy. Today it was 90/52. This explains the dizzy spells and the passing out at work (which ultimately led to my quitting) as well as my insatiable cravings for salt. The midwife prescribed adding more fluids to my daily intake, and she gave me permission to have a little salt on my potatoes if it's what I'm craving.
The baby's heart rate was in the upper 150's, and everything is measuring fine as far as my uterus goes. Although I feel much bigger than I think I should be right now, everything is perfectly in place. Baby had hiccups while we were listening to the heartbeat, which I thought was incredibly adorable.
Finally, I got the paperwork to schedule my ultrasound. Again, this is a huge difference from my experience with Jonah. Although it is a little more work to schedule things like this on my own, it is also nice to be taking more of an active role in how my pregnancy is managed. I actually get to choose where to have my ultrasound. As long as my insurance pays for it. Well, I suppose that I could pay out of pocket too, if I really wanted to go someplace that wasn't covered by them. I could even choose not to have the ultrasound, and that would be okay, as long as there are no complications that would require us to peek in. Daryl and I did opt to have the anatomy scan, because it is important to me to visually see that everything is okay in there. I've had loss before, and even this far along things cook up in my head that make me flat out worry.
But the bottom line, we had a choice. When I was a preschool teacher, there was a huge emphasis on giving the children choices in order to make them feel more empowered in their lives. The idea was that it would give them confidence and self worth. It baffles me that when a woman needs the most confidence, empowerment, and feelings of self worth- when she is preparing to deliver a baby- all of her choices are narrowed down to the point that she really has no choice. I think that giving choice back to women in how their pregnancies are managed, would really change the perception that women have about childbirth.