This past week, we had our second trimester group visit at Baby+Company. I really enjoyed the group visit during the first trimester, so I asked my husband to join me for this group visit (which is encouraged). I’m so glad he was there to gain additional insight, provide a soon-to-be dad’s perspective, and to participate in the group discussion.
We started the appointment by taking and recording our own weight, taking one another’s blood pressure, and taking turns having our fundal height measured and listening to our babies’ heartbeats with the fetal doppler by Kate Layman, CNM.
After we had all had our vitals checked, we had a guided discussion regarding how we are all feeling, any questions or concerns that we may be having, and expectations for future visits. The group format provides the opportunity for us to learn from one another, bond with other soon-to-be moms and dads who are at a similar point in their pregnancy, and truly builds a sense of community. Topics that we covered included:
- Sleep deprivation – what to expect & how to prepare. Kate had some great ideas on “taking shifts” so each parent can get around 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep. This was a great idea that my husband and I hadn’t yet discussed and I made sure to take notes on her specific suggestions. Check here for some coping techniques.
- Relationship dynamic shift – We briefly discussed the changing dynamic that we will have with our husbands or partners as we welcome our babies into this world. For me, I feel that one of my biggest fears is the “unknown” and there is so much that is unknown about how profoundly a child will change our lives. It’s nice to know that we aren’t alone in this fear and that there are certain coping strategies for preparing for this shift.
- When to contact the birth center – As we are entering the 3rd trimester in just a few short weeks, we discussed when to contact the birth center. Specifically, when there is any loss of fluid, bleeding, or consistent contractions. Of course, if we have any other unusual symptoms or questions, we are always free to call Baby+Company.
- Kick Counts – Several of us were wondering what exactly is achieved by “kick counts” and to my delight, Kate encouraged us to follow our instincts. By now, most of our babies have a schedule they keep and we are keenly aware of their kicks. If for some reason, we feel less movement, then are we encouraged to keep track of fetal movement until it returns to normal or call the midwife if we are concerned.
- Glucose Screen – Our glucose screens are right around the corner, so we talked about the process and received instructions for where to find specific directions on Maternity Neighborhood. I’m greatly appreciative of the fact that Baby+Company provides a 100% grape juice option as an alternative to the standard glucose drink (which is also still available).
- Suggestions for non-material gifts for new parents – I found this part of our discussion very helpful as my husband and I both took away some great ideas for not only ourselves, but also for the several friends of ours that are also having a baby this year. Some of the ideas included:
- Meals – who doesn’t love to be fed? Kate also had a lovely idea to get together with another friend who is due around the same time and cook a plethora of freezer meals. One of my friends is due within the same week, so we plan on cooking freezer meals together in May once a week for 3-4 weeks to stock up!
- Prenatal Massage
- Dad’s – don’t forget the new dads! – Making sure dad gets out to spend time with a friend (or friends) to grab a beer, watch sports, hike, participate in Dad’s Night Out, etc.
- Upcoming Classes during the 3rd Trimester – During the 3rd trimester, we will take classes on birth, newborn care, and breastfeeding. I’m looking forward to learning more about all three topics in the coming weeks.
Fetal Echo Appointment with WakeMed Maternal Fetal Medicine
We had our fetal echo ultrasound appointment with WakeMed Maternal Fetal Medicine the same day as our group visit. This visit is a special requirement for IVF patients as there is a marginal increased risk of heart defects in babies who are born as a result of the IVF process. We haven’t seen our baby on ultrasound since the Anatomy Scan at 18 weeks, so we are very excited to see how much she’d grown! Everything looked wonderful at the ultrasound appointment and we even got to see a brief facial profile during the visit. Baby Fleck had both her feet, hands, and her umbilical cord around her face, so I guess she wants to keep us guessing who she resembles most until her arrival!
What I’m Reading Now
I’m doing my best to be selective in the number of books I read in preparation for birth (as I tend to research absolutely everything). So far, I’ve read Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth and I am currently reading Mindful Birthing. I am about halfway through but I’ve learned a great deal so far and I’m looking forward to learning more about the birth process and mindfulness techniques in our upcoming birth classes!