First Midwife Appt.

We had our first appointment with the midwife on Monday and it was great. On the way to the hospital Andino asked me if I had any intuition as to which midwife we would be assigned. I told him I felt like it would be the Nigerian lady (who I will call Chinue here, which is very similar to her name but not her actual name) because I felt a connection to her during the orientation we had at the hospital last week. Of course my gypsy intuition was right and I gave Andino a big smile when we entered the midwife office and saw Chinue was waiting for us.

The meeting was an hour long and Chinue was thorough without being rushed. She started by asking questions not only related to my medical background but also to understand my emotional health. That was new for me although I wasn’t surprised because I went into this assuming that midwives provide more holistic care. She had me fill out a questionnaire to assess my state of mind so she could have a baseline to refer to when keeping an eye out for post-partum depression. She asked me what my support system is like and if I feel happy. She also asked about my nutrition, how much water I’m drinking (apparently not enough) and went through the warning signs or pre-term labour, high blood pressure and what is typical in pregnancy. She said for example, mild headaches and mild back pain is fine but if I experience severe discomfort I should call her. I loved that she made me feel like I could call any time to ask questions.

One thing I noticed about Chinue’s approach, was that every test we discussed was presented as an option. She explained the reasons and benefits to everything from the glucose tolerance test to manual exams and then asked me if I wanted to proceed or not. I never felt bullied by my Doctor into anything, but I just noticed a difference in the way Chinue presented things and I prefer her approach. I felt like I was really playing an active role in my care.

According to Baby Centre Canada:

“Informed choice” is the principle that guides Canadian midwives. It means that you have the right to make decisions about your care and that you should be involved in your own care. For example, with a midwife, prenatal tests and scans will be presented to you as options. Your midwife will talk to you about what the tests mean, what they entail, and what your options are. She will then support you in your decision to either have the tests or not have the tests. However, when your safety or that of your baby is a concern, she will make recommendations and help you understand what is happening.” 

Our next appointment is in a month. It seems like time has been flying by for me since I’ve been pregnant. I’m already 23 weeks! I am flying home to Nova Scotia on Monday to spend a couple weeks with my family. (Chinue said there’s no harm in flying at this stage.) By the time I get back I’ll be 26 weeks, I wonder how much my bump will grow by then. I definitely had a growth spurt after 20 weeks. Once I get back, I only have 12 weeks of work left. It’s weird to be counting down the time like this. It feels like just yesterday I was telling Andino the news that I was finally pregnant, and now I’m more than halfway done!

Embracing my Inner Granola: Midwives

We’ve decided to switch from an OBGYN to a Midwife. Luckily, my pregnancy has been very routine and smooth so I am a good candidate for midwifery care. My OBGYN is a sweet lady and I have no complaints about her at all. One of the main reasons I decided to switch to a midwife is because my OBGYN most likely wouldn’t have been the one to deliver the baby. She is not on call for her patients because she does rotation at the hospital with 11 other Doctors. Chances are she would not have been there on the day I go into labour. Now that I’ve decided to switch to a midwife, I feel good knowing who will be there when the time comes and it helps me to feel less anxious about the delivery in general.

The other reason I was drawn to midwifery is because my appointments with the OBGYN usually last around 10 minutes and the appointments with the midwives will last about 45 minutes. With the OBGYN, she checks my most recent bloodwork or ultrasound, tells me everything looks good, listens to baby’s heartbeat with the doppler, asks me if I have any questions (I usually don’t) and that’s it. Someone with a busy schedule and no complications with their pregnancy would probably love to be able to use their coffee break to squeeze in their prenatal appointments. For me, I feel excited to have longer appointments with the midwives. I am only going to be pregnant for such a short period of time in my life and I want to fully embrace the process. Somehow I think having a midwife will help me do that.

I emailed the midwives three Sundays ago and their receptionist called me back the following morning to take my basic information. We had an orientation at the hospital last Wednesday with 4 other couples to learn about midwifery as it is offered in our city. There are 5 midwives who work out of the hospital and they were all there to introduce themselves.  Most of them were nurses or midwives in their home countries and took a bridging program to become licensed in Canada. All of their services are covered by provincial healthcare. They talked about the rules & regulations surrounding who is eligible for care (typical, low-risk pregnancies) and the situations in which they are required to consult with Doctors or transfer care. They also talked about our options to deliver the baby at home or in the hospital. Some of the more populous cities in Canada have birth centres but there aren’t any here.

We will be assigned a primary midwife who we will see for most of our prenatal appointments and there will also be second midwife who we are familiar with in case our primary midwife is at another delivery or resting after a delivery when I go into labour. They also get 5 days off a month, so if our midwife is off when I go into labour, we will see the other midwife. Because midwives are able to offer home births, we have the option to labour at home with the midwife as long as we feel comfortable, go to the hospital just to deliver the baby and (if all is well) be discharged 3 or 4 hour after delivery. I love the idea of not having to stay in the hospital for up to 2 days after delivery and be able to go home and rest in my own environment.

We have our first appointment tomorrow and I am excited to see which midwife we will be assigned. They all seemed great at the orientation, so I’m sure we will be happy with whoever it is. All of my files from the OBGYN have already been transferred to the midwives, but I’m sure they will still have a lot of questions. I will write again very soon about how the first day went!

p.s. I updated my bump page – really starting to get thick!

Baby Names

Now that we know we are having a girl, we need to decide on a name! We want to have a few names picked out and then decide once we see the baby. Our requirements for the name are:

1) Sound good in English & Spanish

2) Not appear on the recent top 100 lists

3) Not be a name that usually goes by a nickname

And of course we have to agree on the name. As of right now, we don’t have a single girl name! We had a few boy names that fulfilled our requirements, but all the girl names we like appear on the top 100! (well our names are slight variations of names in the top 100)

Top 100 baby names of 2012

Top 100 baby names of 2013

I suppose everyone is trying to choose a unique name and go with names that were not common in our day, but have become common now. Like Aaliyah. So many people my age loved the singer and I know 3 baby Aaliyahs. (#89 in 2012)

Some people have had their baby names picked out for years and are just waiting to use them. Other people are like me and trying to decide a few months before baby. How about you? Do you have names picked out for your future little ones? Did you decide last minute like me? What kind of requirements do you have for baby names?


The Big Reveal!

I took a little break from blogging over the holidays. Hubby was travelling so I had the house to myself (and the dogs). There were a few days where I really missed him, but mostly I was just so happy for him that he was spending time with his family and enjoying the summer weather. The fact that he’d be spoiling me with gifts when he got home also helped me to be happy! 😉 He got home late Thursday night and since he wasn’t able to wrap my Christmas presents, he took his luggage into the computer room (future baby room!) and brought them out one by one while I closed my eyes. It was fun! In addition to my mountain of gifts, he also picked up some ADORABLE baby clothes. We haven’t really purchased anything for the baby yet, so seeing all the tiny sweaters, shoes and bibs that hubby brought back really made it sink in that we will have a baby soon. I kept repeating “Can you believe we will actually have a baby to wear this in 4.5 months?” It was a great night…

The next day, we had our 20 week ultrasound. It is really hard to believe that I am half way through my pregnancy already! I wasn’t worried going into the ultrasound but it was still such a relief to know that the baby is healthy and developing on target. I was totally on the fence as to weather or not I wanted to know the sex of the baby before delivery, but Andino really wanted to know so we decided to find out. I have had a feeling all along that the baby is a girl, but recently a lot of my colleagues at work have been guessing a boy so I was not sure either way. After showing us the brain, heart, bladder and other body parts, the moment came to announce the sex. The ultrasound tech showed us that between the legs there were three lines. She said “You know what that means?” and I said “It’s a girl!!” Andino and I had huge smiles on our faces when we left the clinic. Hubby admitted in the car that he had been secretly hoping for a girl all along which made my heart so full. I know she is going to be a Daddy’s girl…

I was starving after the ultrasound and we were planning to go straight for lunch after leaving the clinic, but once I knew we are having a girl I said “we have to go buy a dress!” Hubby agreed and we went straight to Winners. Clothes for baby girls are so sweet and of course I haven’t bought anything yet so it was fun to buy the most feminine beautiful dress for our baby girl.


Baby Girl’s feet


Baby Girl’s first dress

Although I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know the sex before delivery, now I’m glad I know. It’s fun to plan a girlie nursery and daydream about our daughter. Plus I think it has helped me feel more connected to her just knowing she’s a girl. Now to think of a name for her!