Saturday, January 12, 2013

BPP #3 plus a Birth Plan!

On Thursday I kept my usual date with the HealthPartners midwives and went in for our third Biophysical Profile and Non-Stress Test. Baby G2 set a record, scoring an 8/8 on his BPP in 5 minutes and whipping through the Non-Stress Test with no problems. I have learned to ask for iced apple juice before even starting the NST, and this seems to get him moving more than quickly, resulting in a great NST reading immediately; I recorded thirty movements in 30 minutes and Baby G2 gave us an ample amount of heart rate accelerations--the thing they look for on an NST. I don't remember Lydia ever being as active as this baby in utero. What does this mean for his personality once in the outside world?!?! Lydia keeps us on the go as it is!

The other substantial part of this appointment involved talking with the midwife about my hopes for birthing. I was very nervous about this conversation, as I'd gotten the impression that the Single Umbilical Artery would be cause for continuous monitoring throughout labor and would require us to go in to the hospital earlier than I would like. I'd done lots of research and had only found one article indicating that SUA automatically warrants these things, so I was prepared to ask lots of questions and request some compomise. To my pleasant surprise, I had misunderstood their prescriptions for my labor. It seems as though I'll be monitored somewhat more frequently than a patient without any diagnosed anomalies, but they are not automatically planning on having me be continuously monitored. I also was mistaken in their suggestions for when to come to the hospital; they're asking me to arrive at the same time anyone else would. (We did discuss my history of fast labor and delivery, so keeping that in mind, we will probably err on the side of caution within their suggestions.) I had originally hoped for a water birth this go-round, but that has been ruled out due to the SUA. The rules, restrictions, and qualifications for hospital water births are quite strict, I've learned. I was comforted in this conversation, though, learning that I should have access to the shower should everything progress normally; I had been worried that even the shower would be off-limits for more than teeny stints of time, and my worries were thankfully unfounded. All of these things are very important to me in my hopes to birth this baby with minimal medical interventions or medication as I did Lydia. (She was born roughly an hour after arriving at the hospital, and I had no interventions or pain medication. It was the single most empowering experience of my life, and you can read about it here.) All-in-all, I'm feeling as if my midwives (whom I trust greatly) are treating my labor as if it will go normally and smoothly--exactly the reason I chose midwives in the first place. I left feeling confident and calm.

I did talk to the midwife about actually writing down a birth plan and have decided to do so. I had nothing really written with Lydia, though I had conversations with both our doula and my OB in Austin. Because I was at the hospital for so little time before delivering Lydia, any communication about this birth plan didn't happen. Fortunately, most of what I would have asked for happened, but this time, we'll likely be at the hospital before I'm 10 cm dilated--hopefully. In writing, I am borrowing heavily from the birth plan of a high school friend as well as the book Natural Hospital Birth by Cynthia Gabriel. (I highly recommend it to anyone hoping for a drug-free birth in a hospital.) Nothing too detailed--just basic information and wishes and probably 2/3 of a page at most.

Three down, six-ish to go. All in all, a good visit!

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