Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday Maternity Measuring Moment

Eileen's waist size is holding steady at 38 inches. She did loose some circumference last week, which is not uncommon -- but is now growing again.

The Name Game

We have decided that we will wait until until the baby is born to find out whether we will have a boy or girl. This means that we need to come up with two names (or one unisex name). So we thought that we would give everyone the opportunity to give us name suggestions.

Martha gave us the first a few posts back with Ikea (fourth comment).

Micah is currently voting for Albert Herbert, with a nickname of Bert-Bert (Hat-Tip to Jonathan and Beth).

Now for the disclaimer: We have already chosen names, but they will remain top secret until the baby comes! However, we reserve the right to change the secret names at anytime, without notice, should Micah convince Eileen that Bert-Bert (or any other suggestion) is a worthy name.

Have Fun.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

What is The Birth Center?


"More than 5,000 babies have bee
n eased into life by the nurse-midwives who work here. Located in a cozy house across from Bryn Mawr Hospital, this freestanding center provides warm, nurturing, and totally professional care from early pregnancy through post-partum."
(From Philadelphia Magazine's 2003 Top Hospitals: Where to Get the Best Care).

Over the years we have talked to many friends who have had both hospital and midwife maternity care. While some have told good accounts of hospital births, those who have experienced midwife care can not say enough of their experiences. Now facing the choice ourselves, we wanted the midwife model for ourselves.

Last Thursday, we returned to The Birth Center for an informational seminar explaining their child birthing philosophy. After an extensive Q & A time, a tasteful video of a Birth Center delivery, touring the birth rooms, and having already attended our first appointment the previous day, we are even more excited to be under care of this excellent facility.

Here are some impressive stats from The Birth Center:
  • C-Section -- 14 % (Hospitals average 29.1 %)
  • Episiotomy -- 4 % (14 % including hospital transfers) (Hospitals average over 39 %)
Should complications arise, Bryn Mawr Hospital is located conveniently located right across the street.

Instead of cold, sterile hospital rooms, The Birth Center offers bedroom- style birthing suites. This atmosphere promotes a more relaxed environment to focus on the job at hand and pain coping strategies. Eileen is encouraged to move freely or relax in the jacuzzi -- whatever is most comfortable for her as she is coached by a midwife.

There is also a kitchen, dining room and living room that is shared by the three birthing suites. Because no drugs are used during delivery, the mother-to-be is encouraged to eat during labor, keeping up her strength . This means that after giving birth the new mom is much stronger and Mom, Dad, and Baby can return home sooner.

For the next couple of days a midwife will call and check-in on Mom and Baby. After 2-4 days a midwife will make a home visit.

We are looking forward to our continued care and the birth of our child at The Birth Center.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Eileen IS Pregnant!

It has been confirmed -- what we expected all along -- Eileen is pregnant. This was the final conclusion after our appointment that lasted 1.75 hours.

We filled out a lot of paperwork, insurance forms, questionnaires, etc. and had a brief exam. The people at The Birth Center were very nice and willing to answer the many questions of this first-time expectant couple.

We will return tomorrow for an official orientation and birthing seminar (we will enroll in a 5 week birthing class at a later date). Our next appointment is in four weeks. At that time we should be able to hear the baby's heartbeat.

The most exciting thing, according to Micah, is that our baby might be a Leap Year baby. According to calculations, the due date is February 24. Our midwife told us that first babies are usually late -- perhaps even early March. Nana Holm is hoping to receive a grandchild as a present on her own birthday, the 26th. But Micah is hoping for a Leap Year baby -- that would just be cool.


In other exciting news, Eileen fulfilled her life-long dream of visiting Ikea. It was everything she ever imagined. She is reported to have gasped, "It is like Magic Land." The trip to the thrilling store was capped off with lunch in their Swedish Cafe -- complete with lingonberry punch, Swedish meatballs, and a life-sized Dala horse. Eileen told Micah, "This was the best date ever!" In the end we left empty-handed, but inspired, and proceeded to our relatively boring appointment.

First Appointment

Today is our first prenatal appointment. We are going to a place called The Birth Center. We will write more later.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Blogging Bickfords First Post

This being our first post and seeing that we are already almost 9 weeks along, we thought we would bring you up to speed on a few things.

The 9 week mark is an important time because it marks the transition from embryo to fetus. Scientific words aside, this means that all the organs necessary to sustain life are present in our baby.

So far Eileen has had it pretty easy. Just very tired and an internal thermostat gone haywire. She describe eating her favorite foods as simultaneous delight and revulsion. Red sauce is the most appealing. So we are eating a lot of pasta!

Last Sunday she had her first morning sickness which translated into her crackling cracker wrappers in the middle of church so as not revisit her experience just prior to leaving the house. After the service, we apologized to the family that sat in front of us for the noise. They didn't mind -- they thought it was one of their own kids! Already the Bickford Baby is casting blame on other innocents.

Eileen is spending lots of time reading and researching the pros and cons of all the different baby accessories. Her big obsession right now is strollers. Who knew that this could be so complicated!

Today Eileen's belly measures 38 inches. So the little guy (or gal) is growing fast.