As I write this, I am crunching on an apple and waiting for lab results.
For the past couple of months, I have been downing bottles of Floradix and being careful not to eat dairy with high-iron meals (because calcium blocks iron absorption). I've been trying new approaches to raise my iron levels (like taking an extra folic acid supplement to help my body absorb iron better.) I know words like "hematocrit" (proportion of total blood volume made up of red blood cells).
I am (was?) anemic.
If that doesn't change, I don't get to give birth at my birthing center. I don't get the home-y feel, the kitchen, the day bed for my "team" to relax on.
But. If that doesn't change, I will still be giving birth in a way that is healthy for both Baby Boy and his mama. I will still have the support of people I love and the midwives I've come to love. I will still have all kinds of lessons and tools I've learned through prenatal yoga classes, birthing classes, and birthing center appointments.
But. I think I've always had an iron issue. The OB I was with prior to switching to the birth center was great, but my low iron levels were never mentioned. (Maybe because although low, they are presumably nothing the hospital can't handle.) My midwives, on the other hand, go above and beyond. Not only are they trying to help me raise my iron levels to necessary levels, but they also had my blood tested to find out why my iron levels are so low and how my body processes iron. Nobody, including myself, has ever even mentioned doing that before.
So. The nurses and midwives at my beloved birthing center + Tim and I are doing what we can to ensure a healthy baby, mama, labor, and delivery. And that's enough.
(Of course, I will be overjoyed if I find out everything lines up to make my coveted birthing center experience happen.)
Everything else points to the healthy baby, mama, and pregnancy I am after.
- Baby Boy's heartbeat and movements are strong.
- My blood pressure is good. (It's actually low, but that's normal for me, so it's considered fine.)
- My body is not having any problems processing sugar or protein.
- My weight is healthy.
- I'm not having any problems with excess swelling.
- Baby Boy is measuring pretty much right on target.
- I think he's head-down (which means it's his feet that are kicking me in the boobs at night!)
A few more happy thoughts to focus on while I wait for results:
- We have a crib! And a car seat. And an amazingly comfortable chair for the nursery. Baby Boy's room is coming together!
- It's fall! That means lots of pumpkin and apple everything. (I am obsessed. This is not a pregnancy thing, just something that happens every year and lasts...for quite a while.) and Thanksgiving. And Katie comes for a visit. And all the things I mentioned in my previous post.
- I get to meet Baby Boy SOON...at least it feels soon. Some days I'd like to meet him today and some days I'm good at soaking up the moments I have before everything really changes. Either way, there is excitement in the air.
Thank you to all of you who are on this becoming-a-mother journey with me. It's so much fun to share it with you each week.
Edited to add: I received a phone call shortly after writing this post. My iron levels are still too low, but they have risen. My instructions are to keep doing what I'm doing until we can discuss my options at my next appointment. Admittedly, some disappointment and tears came with such news, but my amazing husband reminded me of much of what I've written here (without reading it) and that really, the most important part in labor and delivery is a healthy baby and healthy mom. So...motherhood requires some flexibility, huh? Does someone want to volunteer to remind me of that for the next 20 years?