I transferred to a better Ob-gyn, someone far more suitable to my personality and one that both I and my husband feel more at ease with. My last doctor was a bit too strict on brands and prescriptions, and didn't really seem to understand that I was hoping for a bit of flexibility, especially when it came to my pre-natal vitamins. It had gotten to the point where my husband said he was scared that we would strangle each other every time we talked, and I theorized that she was, perhaps, vastly supported by BioFemme, the brand she kept touting. It was also a brand that I kept consistently throwing up, but she refused to entertain the notion that hey, maybe she could try recommending other brands and they'd be easier to keep down. (I ended up buying multivitamins from Healthy Options and they're still what I'm taking now.)
In any case, my new doctor is far more sympathetic to the reality of being pregnant, and was even able to find a stronger Iron supplement that I could actually keep down. (I was previously taking Solgar Gentle Iron which was wonderful and had no ill effects, but I think wasn't enough for my prenatal needs). I'm currently taking Iberet-Folic, which I can keep down because it's slow release. (My previous doctor was recommending that I take-- you guessed it-- more BioFemme. Ugh.)
I've also started drinking red raspberry leaf tea, which is admittedly a bit more on the hippie organic spectrum than I usually go for, but I figure even the placebo effect might help me during delivery. As with many organic things, there are no substantial formal studies that support this, but many midwives and mothers claim that red raspberry leaves helps strengthen the uterine lining and that in effect, it helps you give birth easier. I always take things like this with a grain of salt, (given my experience with organic vitamin swindlers during my late mother's bout with cancer) but in this case, I had nothing to lose if I tried it.
I bought three boxes of Earth Mama Angel Baby's Third Trimester Tea, and the taste (when sweetened with orange spice honey) is pretty good. I couldn't find any brand of red raspberry leaf tea locally, so I had to buy it from Amazon. It wasn't expensive, (around $6 per box of 20 bags) though as usual the shipping costs were annoying (especially when Amazon chose to pack three regular sized boxes of tea in a huge box filled with plastic bags filled with air. What!?)
My son at 22 weeks. 3D Ultrasound taken by InMyWomb
I suspect I won't actually know if it has worked until after I've given birth, but even then it could be a variety of factors that lead up to a quick natural birth. Ah, the nature of organics! I think the one formal study conducted about red raspberry leaf tea showed promising results (I think they tracked about 100 women), but there really needs to be more research done into this. Until then, women will have to content themselves based on testimonies and little else, which is really just a depressing thought altogether.
In other news, my husband and I are starting our Bradley method birthing class next week, and I'm pretty excited about it. As first time parents, we want to make sure we're as prepared as possible for what's coming, and while we know that nothing beats actual hands-on experience, the mental fallback of having done our best to prepare for this is a comfort. I finished typing up a tentative birth plan a couple of weeks back (it comes in to just over one page), and I'm eager to see if any of my choices/requests are actually suitable for me. I've done as much research as time allows, but nothing beats being able to ask an actual expert. After that, I plan on double-checking everything with my actual Ob-gyn, and then making 'final' decisions based on that information. If push comes to shove, I'm certain that I'll defer to my Ob's call, but as long as my birth progresses well, I'm hoping to stick to an unmedicated birth. Only time will tell if I'm up for the challenge, but here's hoping!