Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Update on the To Do List

Move Nursing Chair
Put together Birthing Kit
Prepare freezer meals for 1st couple weeks postpartum
Put together baby first aid & medicine kit
Set up Diaper Station on main level
Put together Nursery Art
Wash the New Outfits for 0-3 months
Deep Clean House
Get Carpets Shampooed
Finish putting together guest room 1
Finish putting together loft
Finish organizing office
Finish legal paperwork for our estate planning
Work on Seana's adoption paperwork and requirements (i.e. get background check)

We haven't made much of a dent, it seems there is always something else that needs to be done... Hopefully this weekend will be a productive one, the days are slipping away! We are less than two weeks away from the due date which feels like its more of a guess than anything else.

Your mom ;)

How MJ has been.
So I read a ton of stuff early on in pregnancy that frankly scared the crap out of me. The books talked about how “crazy” pregnant women are. How they are snappy and demanding. How they have crazy cravings and do weird “nesting” things like obsessively clean grout and dusting baseboard. I have heard friend stories of women peeing themselves while sneezing, crying over nothing, wanting to eat random foods together.
So now that I have seen 38 weeks of pregnancy, I thought I would compare how MJ has been. Plus I thought the Queen Bean may enjoy reading about how her mom was while pregnant ( I know I like it when my mom talks about me).
1. Morning sickness – early on, Melissa needed to eat … often. She would feel sick if her stomach ever got empty so she ate often. Before pregnancy, she would say things like “I am getting hungry” and that meant I still had time to shower before we went to eat. Not in her first trimester – she would say “I am getting hungry” and I would be grabbing my coat to take her to eat. She never threw up. She just made sure she ate even when she did not want to.

2. Cravings – in the first trimester, MJ wanted hot wings and lots of them. I can’t remember how many times we had hot wings – but it was a lot. Randomly in the 2nd trimester, MJ wanted pickles. We had the same jar of pickles for like a year and it never was opened. Suddenly she wanted pickles. Then came the ice cream. First it was a small bowl – two scoops. Soon I was scooping a big heaping bowl every night. Then in the third trimester it has been buffalo chicken sandwiches. (I bet as MJ reads this she will want one) ;). There have only been two instances of food items she had to have. One was a meat sandwich that she actually blogged about and the other was a pie that we immediately went to the store for. Not bad if you ask me.

3. Attitude. Melissa has been great. There was only a two week stint where she was snappy. Since then, I think she has done very well. She gets frustrated sometimes because she can’t do everything she wants without getting tired. Or – right now- she is tired of eating every two hours or so. I can understand that. It is hard for a very hard worker to not be able to physically do everything on the “to do” list. I think all in all she has been great

4. Nesting – no obsessive behavior as of yet. She would like the blue chair put up in the nursery, but that is about it.

5. Peeing herself – happy to report that this has not been an issue.

So there you have it. We have come a long way since New Years Eve and a little pink line. I am excited about getting to hold my girl. Can’t wait!

Belly Shot: 38 Weeks 3 Days ... and an update

Well we have made it to 38 weeks, which is full term! Here are the belly shots for 38W3D for you all to enjoy.... yes I am even bigger.

True Belly Shot:
Belly Shot with shirt:


So last week during week 37, our midwives came over for my prenatal and home visit. We had a night of snacks if you will. I served Caprese Salad for an appetizer, a Romaine Salad for well a salad... and Pub Cheese Fondue for the main course... and for dessert I made a Blueberry topped sour cream coffee cake! YUM!

During our meal we discussed my health and went through the prenatal appt usual round of questions. One of our midwives explained her theory on why she thought I might be a week or so past my due date... one is I am a first timer and two I have a longer menstrual cycle than average and theoretically this equates a longer gestation. Last week I was okay with being a week late, I have worked hard to not get to ramped up on an expectation of when she may be joining us. They jokingly requested I not go into labor this week as they are at a midwife conference. I wanted to tell them not to tempt the universe by bringing it up!!

After dinner, we gave them a tour of the house, pointed out to them areas they would most likely be using during our home birth (i.e. the laundry room). After some discussion of where the big event was going to take place we or I guess I decided on the master bedroom. The midwives suggested I pick the place I am most relaxed and comfortable... and I actually really love our bedroom it is very calming and where I do feel most comfortable! During the master bedroom tour they also saw our bath tub in the master bath and informed us that it is the ideal size if we wanted to use that as our birthing tub instead of the inflatable one they brought. We are thinking it over.

Lastly, came my check up. I layed down on my bed we got to hear her little heart beat! They felt around for her position she is in the perfect position and they measured my belly... the result 40! Let me back peddle and explain just in case you are not familiar; the fundal measure is done from my pelvic bone up to the top of where the uterus sits. Typically you measure in centimeters what your gestation is. So if I were 16 weeks my tummy would measure 16 cm. Now since 16 weeks I have always measured 1 cm bigger so I was 17 cm. Which happens, but since my last measure which was at 34 weeks (the result 35 cm) our little girl has been growing by leaps and bounds apparantly. So at 37 weeks I am measuring 40 cm.... ummm that's 3 cm larger than I should be!

The midwives gave each other a glance and one of them casually said I guess we should get your birth supplies here sooner than later! And they less jokingly stated they would prefer it if I didn't go into labor this week.... I don't really have any control over this but I have been mentally requesting next week... next week...next week. Keep in mind they have a back up midwife on call should I go into labor... the downside of this happening is we haven't met her. Seana of course asked if that meant it would be sooner, they of course said what they always say. That is a question we can't answer, but this could be a sign it could be sooner but there is no way to know.

My attempt to not set an expectation has gone out the window, I am hoping for next week, one because it's not this week. Two our little girl has gotten quite strong and many of her jabs, kicks and rolls well HURT! And three I have hit the 3rd trimester wall! I am tired of my body being so weighed down, I am tired of not being able to move around easily, Im tired of tossing and turning all night....mostly Im tired of eggs and protien and eggs.... I hate food right now which is not like me... I hate eating which is also not like me. I guess I am just tired and ready to meet our little girl.




Friday, August 27, 2010

Ah ... an evening off.

It is completely true what they say, when you work for something, you appreciate it much more. My time had been packed these last few weeks. Started my new job, taking baby classes, taking quarter end exams in school, traveling for work, studying for my certification tests, meeting with Mid-wives and all while trying to eBay items so we have some extra cash for baby stuff.

I had no idea how long it had been since I had a night off until I realized two things. 1. I rented "Rear Window" 4 weeks ago and I finally got to watch it this week. It is the only TV show I have watched.
2. I had no idea the weeds on the side of the house were waist high because I hadn't been in my own yard for that long!!!

MJ has been holding down the fort. She has forgone some items off her house list to help me plow through mine. Without her, I would have at least quit school by now and I am pretty sure run away from a training class I had last week. So this weekend is a much earned reward where I actually get to participate in doing some last house items until the Queen Bean gets here.

I never thought I would be so about being able to wash a car so I could put a car seat in it ...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Busy At Work on my List

I put up my to do list along with my 36 Week belly shots.... Here is what I have accomplished (I've grayed out completed items):

Move Nursing Chair
Put together Birthing Kit
Prepare freezer meals for 1st couple weeks postpartum
Put together baby first aid & medicine kit
Set up Diaper Station on main level
Put together Nursery Art
Wash the New Outfits for 0-3 months
Deep Clean House
Get Carpets Shampooed
Finish putting together guest room 1
Finish putting together loft
Finish organizing office
Finish legal paperwork for our estate planning
Work on Seana's adoption paperwork and requirements (i.e. get background check)

I am now in my 37th week, which puts my due date just under 3 weeks away! I can't believe it is only weeks away... I have been used to it being month's away, some date in the distant future.... and now it's practically upon us!! I'm very excited to meet our little girl. I still can't believe Seana and I are going to be parents... what a crazy year!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Belly Shot Compare

I have been holding off doing a combo belly shot blog, but have decided that I've waited long enough. Here is my body's transition to the size I am now!

I only have 2 more belly shots to go (38 Weeks and 40 Weeks or the day I go into labor which ever is sooner).

13W2D:
16W3D:
20W2D:
24W2D:
26W2D:
28W2D:
32W2D:
34W3D:
36W5D:



36 Weeks 5 Days!

Here are my 36W5D belly shots!

True Belly Shot:

Shot with Shirt (which actually doesn't cover my entire belly anymore, I have to stretch it down to cover, and this is a maternity shirt!):


I remember at the beginning of the pregnancy thinking how far off this stage of pregnancy was... It has actually gone by very quickly!

This week I have been feeling a lot of emotions about how much time we have left before our little girl is here.... 4 weeks give or take a week or so! Which seems like NO time at all. That is going to fly by! I am feeling excited, anxious and scared.

I can not wait to hold her in my arms and see her for the first time. However, the reality of the upcoming pain to get to that point is setting in for me. Especially given that we have chosen a home birth... there is no epidural just set aside to be administered should I break down and want one! Im just going to have brave it, breathe and get through it. I know with Seana by my side this is possible, Im very blessed to have her, however, the fear sneaks in a bit here and there trying to psych me out with the what ifs. I just keep thinking about what I CANT WAIT for: Our little girl. That seems to help release the tension.

As for time, there really isn't much time... it's actually less than 4 weeks now. I have this list in my head of what I want done before she gets here.... Maybe it's the nesting instinct kicking into ultra high gear... The hard part is some of the stuff I want done, I can't actually do.... Like move my nursing chair upstairs. Seana would kill me if I didn't kill myself trying to do it alone (keep in mind Pre-Pregnancy MJ would have figured out a way to do it alone just for the challenge of it!)

Here is my list:

Move Nursing Chair
Put together Birthing Kit
Prepare freezer meals for 1st couple weeks postpartum
Put together baby first aid & medicine kit
Set up Diaper Station on main level
Put together Nursery Art
Wash the New Outfits for 0-3 months
Deep Clean House
Get Carpets Shampooed
Finish putting together guest room 1
Finish putting together loft
Finish organizing office
Finish legal paperwork for our estate planning
Work on Seana's adoption paperwork and requirements (i.e. get background check)

I guess wish me luck or rather US luck... I am still missing quite a few of my elves so we've got our work set out for us!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Home Birth Headaches

I dont know why I have insurance... We end up paying so much out of pocket it's like we are throwing money down the drain for insurance coverage. But then again, I haven't had an emergency room visit in a while, that is when it pays to have insurance.

If you are thinking of doing a home birth be prepared for your providers to not be covered by insurance. I just spent part of my day talking to our insurance company, by the way the reps are great and very easy to talk to, but their answers were disappointing to say the least.

First off, I am attempting to get In Network Exceptions made for my chiropractor and our midwives.

The chiropractor. The chiropractor happens to be out of network, but also happens to be 1 of 2 chiropractors with a Diplomat in Pediatric and Prenatal Chiropractic care in our state... This is a post graduate certification. None of the In Network Chiropractors have this certification, conveniently, the insurance company doesn't believe this differentiates this chiropractor from the 250 other chiropractors that are in network and within a 50 mile radius of me. One thing I do know is seeing this chiropractor has been night and day in comparison to the one I was seeing who was in network. I went from 3 visits a week to just 1 thorough visit a week. The attention she provides is amazing! Her technique so well magical. I don't want to ever see anyone else! It is 35.00 a week, and we are on a tight budget. So my attempt to get an in network exception for her was declined today, but the rep gave me the address if I want to write a letter of appeals regarding the decision. Guess what I will be doing later...

The midwives. The midwives we have chosen are Lay Midwives they are not Nurse Midwives as they offer different services and have different certification. Our insurance doesn't have any In Network Lay Midwives in our area (they do have a category for lay midwives in the "Search for a Provider" link on their website). So I called to see if an In Network exception could be made, the first rep I spoke to did some research on my request, contacted a local branch of our insurance provider who gave her a list... but I verified the list these are nurse midwives. I decided to fight the battle another day. But this first rep called me back because when I asked her if these were lay midwives she said yes, but then found out they weren't. So she called back to clarify which I appreciate! Unfortunately, she said lay midwives have no benefit. Of course, right after I hung up with her, my brain clicked on and questioned whether that meant that lay midwives wouldn't be considered out of network. So, I called and spoke with another rep, who did some research, she said that because of their certification and stature. Lay midwives would have no benefit, which means they would not be covered at all. This includes out of network coverage. She also said that birth center births are allowed, however, there is no mention of home births and if it is not listed in the benefit it is not covered.

And so the battle begins. I want to go ahead and appeal this decision as well, since they have a search function for lay midwives for In Network Providers on there website. I have seen a list of insurance companies that have paid for home birth's and our insurance is listed on it. Plus, insurance companies are known for saying no at first (how many NOs follow through with the appeal process easy cost savings) but if you appeal there decision enough they will usually end up paying for your claim as they should have.

So this was a bit of a boring post. So I will do Seana style take aways.

Take Aways:
1. Research your In Network Providers and insurance coverage before getting attached to a provider.

2. It pays to be polite and well natured when talking with phone representatives, It's not their personal policy they are communicating and angry words in their direction doesn't do anyone any good.

3. Document your calls with a call log, get a name, reference number and time and date of call.

4. Don't give up if you are told NO by your insurance company, that doesn't mean they should NOT be covering your care.

5. Always Appeal, the worst that could happen is you are out a little time, a stamp, and your told NO once more.

6. Keep copies of all documents sent to the insurance company as well as their responses.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

34 Week Prenatal Visit

We have now officially had 2 prenatal appointments with our Midwives. I have to say, I really like the extra attention. Each appointment with them has been well over an hour, and we discuss my pregnancy, my health, the baby's health and our plan. It's not a quick check in and then we are on our way. Every question they ask, is discussed, and they explain the why's which is really great.

They still evaluate me medically, most of their questions are medical, they take my weight, I have to pee in a cup. But they review the results right away. So at yesterday's appt we learned that I am starting to get a UTI (urinary track infection), which is very common during pregnancy. I don't have any symptoms yet really or they are being overshadowed by my pregnancy aches and pains. So they gave me a list of holistic methods to clear it up before it takes hold. UTI's can lead to pre-term labor so addressing it is important.

It's very interesting how Seana and I are in our appts, it's kind of like we trade places. Seana is on the defensive quite a bit as we discuss things. I think it is mostly because it is a holistic approach which is different than a conventional medical discussion which we are both used to. My mom has always been a fan of holistic methods so I don't think much of their suggestions, but Seana is quick to question it. She wants to protect me which I think is cute. I love that she is willing to question them for my safety.

Im looking forward to our next appt, it will be at 37 weeks, it is supposed to be a 36 week appt but schedule conflicts pushed it out. Anyway, our next appt will be our home visit. They actually will be coming over for dinner and a prenatal. By this appt we have to have all of our home birth supplies on hand, and they are bringing their supplies so that we are ready to go should I go into labor!

I think we will do cheese fondue for dinner, who doesn't love cheese??



34 Weeks 3 Days=Huge

So here they are my 34W3D belly shots... I have to say I feel huge and I still have 6-8 weeks to go and these last weeks are when she really puts on the pounds so if I am feeling huge now God knows how I will be feeling as these last weeks go by.

True Belly Shot:
Shot with shirt, but it actually doesn't cover my belly completely anymore... and it is a Maternity shirt! YIKES!