Meeting with the Midwife: Appointments 7 + 8

Appointment 7

This appointment was my very favorite of the entire series… because it was the home visit! How dreamy would it be if caregivers still made house calls the way doctors used to once upon a time? I briefly considered a midwife who does home visits for all of the prenatals, but personality and philosophy trumped convenience in this case. Sarah does the home visit at 36 weeks (I believe at least one home visit around this time is typical for most home birth midwives) so she has an idea where I live, how to get here, where to park, if gate codes are necessary, etc. It’s a good thing she did it too because she got a bit turned around and I had to walk her through how to get here! Not the kind of thing we want to be taking care of when I’m in labor.

I showed her the apartment, where the birth tub would be set up, some of the supplies I’ve purchased, and we walked through how and where she likes things to be set up. Then we had a prenatal appointment while sitting on my bed! Baby’s heart rate sounded great and I measured about a week behind once again, which Sarah assured me was nothing to worry about, and actually made me a bit happy as measuring a bit behind is better than measuring ahead in my opinion. We talked about who is going to be present, if I’m having a photographer, and if we are going to have a video camera present. I was pleased to hear that Sarah is willing to take part in starting/stopping/moving the video camera we will have set up on a tripod, as I wasn’t sure how that was going to happen since I didn’t want to overwhelm That Husband with jobs since I consider coaching and supporting me to be his most important role.

The appointment ended with Sarah walking me through some paperwork I’m going to have on hand for the birth, including informed consent forms for blood work, antibioitic eye ointment for baby, and the vitamin K injection. I’m waiving having my own blood drawn during/after labor since the test is checking for syphilis, HIV, and Heb B, diseases my lifestyle choices prevent me from worrying about. We will be consenting to the testing of a small amount of cord blood to learn the baby’s blood type and double check that That 1 is Rh negative, as we are expecting him/her to be. We are also waiving the eye ointment and vitamin K, the eye appointment because it’s administered to treat STDs (again, not necessary), and the vitamin K shot because we won’t be circumcising and I’d rather focus on keeping my vitamin K intake high and giving it to baby through my breastmilk.

Appointment 8

Appointment 8, which happened yesterday, found me back at the birth center again. Probably a good thing since I didn’t step on the scale at my home visit and it’s important to have that reminder that baby is growing bigger by the day, and I don’t need a nasty diet to be contributing to my discomfort level due to some extra chub on the little one. Since the beginning of my pregnancy I’ve gained 55 lbs, an average of 1.5 lbs per week, and I must say that the part I look forward to most about not being pregnant is seeing the scale dip back below 200 again. Sarah checked my legs and feet, as my tootsies are still looking more like overcooked campfire marshmallows than anything else, but my blood pressure is still rocking at 101/68, news that couldn’t possibly make me happier. Baby deserves a pat on the back as well, head down with a heart rate of 140 bmp. I’d say we are both ready to get this party started!

We had considered waiving the Group B strep test altogether, but decided to get tested at this, my 37 week appointment. I took the little test tube kit into the bathroom and gave my va-jay-jay a good swab (Sarah doesn’t do the anal swab, thank goodness!) and I should have results back by the beginning of next week. If I do test positive I still won’t be doing an IV (I’ll be pushing even harder for a water birth due to the possibility that the water birthing environment helps prevent newborns from inhaling harmful bacteria at the time of delivery) unless I transfer to the hospital (they will force me to have one there), but knowing if I’m positive will give us the info we need to watch closely to see if baby is showing any warning signs that an infection has set in.

I couldn’t think of any other questions or concerns this week, as I’ve hit the “Yeah, I’m pregnant, whatever”, stage, and all I want is for Sarah to have some kind of magical crystal ball that will tell me when the big day will arrive. Sadly she possesses no such thing, so my next appointment will be at 38 weeks, swollen feet and all.

17 thoughts on “Meeting with the Midwife: Appointments 7 + 8

  1. Definitely getting close!!! This is the point where it could happen at any time now, right? Good luck with your next couple of weeks. We’re all rooting for you that everything goes according to plan. Best wishes to you and TH as you anxiously await T1.

  2. We actually have doctors in our area who only do home visits. I think it probably isn’t common, but they do still exist. Although, I’m sure it depends upon the area and laws/insurance practices in the area you live.

  3. In the Netherlands and France (and probably other western European countries) home visits by doctors
    are normal. Even here in Canada we have doctors
    who will visit. Glad that you got to have the home appointment!

    Also, just pointing out that a “lifestyle choice” isn’t the only way a person can be infected with HIV. There are various ways.

  4. Does the vitamin K shot have anything to do with circumcision or am I just mis-reading the sentence? I’m curious to know!

    Melissa W Reply:

    A vitamin K shot is given to help increase blood clotting. If a circumcision is going to be performed before the 8th day of life (when clotting factors are at “normal” levels), a vitamin K injection is more important to help prevent bleeding. Vitamin K is one of those mostly unnecessary standard procedures that we do at birth (eye ointment for a c-section is another unnecessary procedure). The only other time (in addition to a circ) that *I* (as a neonatal nurse) personally advocate for vitamin K injection is if the delivery has been difficult and there is a lot of bruising.

    Jenna Reply:

    Only in the sense that the Vitamin K shot helps with clotting, so if you are going to do something like circumcise it’s very important to have the shot.

  5. I think you are right… the 36 week appt is the one when most midwives go to their clients home if a home birth is planned. I’ll be honest, I don’t even mind that I have to go in for my appts because I love them so much! =) I actually get kinda excited for them… even with a 21 month old in tow… because they are so different (in all good ways) from my prenatal experience during my last pregnancy.

  6. How exciting! I’m a few years off from starting the journey that you’re on, but I enjoy reading about it 🙂

  7. Sounds like everything is going great! I love to read about your appointments- brings back good memories and the longing to do it all over again sometime in the (hopefully near) future!
    I always had really good blood pressure too, even though I gained somewhere between 60 and 70 lbs. Some of us women gain a lot of weight, and while that’s not great, it doesn’t really effect anything else as far as diabetes, preeclampsia, etc. It’s just the way it is.
    Can’t wait for this (or That, lol) baby to be born!

  8. Oh dipping below 200 will be great, when I made it below that again I knew I could get back down to pre-pregnancy, and it has took me about 12 months, but I am in my pre-preggo jeans and only 10lbs away! So you’ll get there!

    Also just a note to help be positive, my sister was B step positive but had no time for the IV or anything and little Abigail had not one symptom after being delivered vaginally… so chances are even if you are positive your little one will be just perfect! 🙂

  9. I love reading these updates! If and when I ever have children I’ll be going the midwife route and so it’s nice to see how it all works on the personal level. Also, that black dress in the next post is adorable.

  10. Did you know that an uncircumcised penis is the highest risk factor for penile squamous cell carcinoma. That is a risk factor that is entirely preventable by you, the parent.

    Jenna Reply:

    “In the past, circumcision has been suggested as a way to prevent penile cancer. This was based on studies that reported much lower penile cancer rates among circumcised men than among uncircumcised men. But most researchers now believe those studies were flawed because they failed to consider other risk factors, such as smoking, personal hygiene, and the number of sexual partners.”

    Via the American Cancer Society:

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