Wednesday, March 28, 2012

St Joseph's Hospital

This past week we toured St. Joseph's Hospital in Saint Paul, where we decided we will be delivering our little one (unless insurance changes their mind about covering a birthing center, which we would prefer... but I'm not holding my breath.)

I wished I had taken pictures! We'll get some when she decides to make her entrance for sure.

Things that I really liked: 
- Single, private rooms for labor, delivery and postpartum
- Tubs, showers and toilets in each room
- A refreshment room to store food with a refrigerator, and no restrictions on eating and drinking in labor
- Water birthing room with an enormous tub
- Birthing balls and stools on hand
- I can wear whatever I like
- No required IV
- No time limit in which I have to give birth
- Nurses that are very natural childbirth friendly and supportive
- I can labor and push in any position I find comfortable and effective (even hands and knees)
- An extremely low c-section rate of 12% (most hospitals are in closer or in the 30% range)
- Breastfeeding support and lactation consultants
- Rooming-in encouraged
- Allow for delayed umbilical cord clamping
- Online resources, including pre-registration, a packing list and a birth plan
- The maternity ward is all on one floor, separate from the rest of the hospital, and everything we could possible need it on that floor too (special care nursery, OR for emergencies)
- When the time comes we just get to pull up to the Emergency room entrance and go right on in
- Free parking for us and all visitors, waiting rooms for visitors
- St Joe's is also working towards a being a Baby Friendly Hospital  and is only one step away!
- Mom and Dad spa services if anyone is feeling generous =)

Things I disliked:
- It's definitely a hospital, not very cozy
- Confusing to find our way around, but at least we just get to go in the ER next time
- I get whichever midwife is on call as opposed to the one I see in clinic, so I have NO IDEA who she will be (this REALLY STRESSES ME OUT!)
- More restrictions on water birth than a birthing center ... i.e. I have to get out of the water birth tub shortly after birth and can't deliver the placenta there
- The single hospital bed. At the birthing centers they have queens so mom and dad can share a bed, but here they have uncomfortable chairs that fold out into cots for dad. Lame.
- Claustrophobic - no access to the outdoors or a garden, it is right downtown and everything is cement. I will just have to try  to labor at home as long as possible and enjoy the fresh air there.

Overall, even though I would rather not use a hospital I think that St. Joe's will be a great place to give birth. Clearly the things I liked are much more numerous than the things I disliked. They are very encouraging of natural childbirth and breastfeeding, have incredible stats, access to many types of birthing tools, and really seem to listen to the wishes of the parents as opposed to trying to satisfy a time limit or make more money for doctors/pharmaceuticals/insurance by pushing drugs and interventions.

I am also very happy to finally have one thing checked off the list of unknowns in our life! Still need to figure out so many things (where we are living, better jobs or at least more hours, health insurance for the little one after 30 days, etc.) but it is SUCH a relief to know where we will be going when labor starts, and that it will be a safe place for us where I don't have to be afraid of unnecessary interventions.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Maria's Cafe

Ross and I went to Maria's Cafe in Minneapolis on a recommendation from a friend - and I think it is my new favorite breakfast spot!

Inspired by Maria's Colombian upbringing, the menu offered a wonderful fusion of American and Latin American breakfast favorites.

It's been a long time since I've had a cup of this!!!! It was definitely decaf, but I couldn't imagine eating a Latin American breakfast without a cup of Colombian coffee. It was wonderful, and reminded me so much of my time in Costa Rica. 

For breakfast I had Pablo's omelet, 3 eggs stuffed with rice, refried beans, onions, tomatoes, cheese and served with salsa and a tortilla. 

On the side - the meal wouldn't be complete without plantanos fritos!!!!! It has been so long since I've sunk my teeth into one of these! 

And the Ross enjoyed a meal much more on the American side of things: bacon, eggs and toast. 

There were so many other things I wanted to try: they had many different types of pancakes, including the traditional Colombian corn cakes, arepas, plantain pancakes with cotija cheese... we will probably be back soon! 

The cafe was simply decorated, the Latin music created a wonderful ambiance, and it was extremely affordable! Everything was under $10, sometimes well under, yet it was delicious and the service was great. I am glad I took the recommendation and am now passing it along to you! 

!Fue increible!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Over Halfway There!

I can't believe I'm over halfway there! The past 5 months have really flown by. The second trimester has been much better than the first - I love having my appetite and energy back. It really is the trimester of relative comfort, and I can tell the growing belly will only get more in the way as time goes on. My only complaint is that my bellybutton is already starting to stick out, and the occasional hemorrhoid. Ugh. 

Oh, and insurance companies... who apparently don't care at all about what women want or are interested in patient health at all... but that's another story. Basically, still not sure where we are delivering or who our midwives are. We'll have that figured out by the end of March for sure. Stressful!!!! 

I've been having fun with my new wardrobe! It was mostly gifted, consignment-bought or came from Christmas presents and gift cards, so it hasn't been too expensive at all. I would say I've spent about $150 for all the things I've bought - including some maternity pants, shirts, and a dress. Thank you to all who helped me out in finding things to wear! 

Just in this past week I've been noticing people really looking at the belly - at church, while shopping, and especially the kiddos at work. They ask SO many questions, and are the only ones who have been touching without asking, which I really don't like...(I think some of these kids must get to affection at home for how touchy they are), but I haven't minded at all when my friends and family want to have a feel. =) 

16 weeks - the first week the belly started to look like something! 

17 weeks... future twins fan? It's only OK because they're in a different league than the Rockies. 

18 weeks. 

19 weeks - it's a girl! 

20 weeks - felt my first movements! . 

21 weeks

Favorite things people have said to me:

"That's brave." -Teenager in the row with us while flying. Not sure if she was talking about being pregnant, or being pregnant and flying.

"So how pregnant are you really? Like, is it just a sperm in there or what?" -3rd grader at the Y

"Are you in labor?" -Same 3rd grader at the Y at 5 months.

"You're so tiny!" -Co-worker at 5 months.