10 October 2011

Our Birth Story: A Completely Natural Hospital Birth.

Our story starts at around 7 PM on Wednesday, 14 September 2011. I had started feeling more and more contractions, and for the first time ever, they were causing my low back to ache and my abdomen to feel crampy. My husband and I decided that we weren’t going to “freak out” about it, and went out to dinner at Red Lobster, joking that it might be our last dinner as a “single couple.” :)

When we got home, we did our typical thing: got comfy in our recliners and switched on “Dexter” (we just started season 2- haha). After a couple episodes, Kevin said he was tired and we both went to bed together. I slept maybe a total of an hour and then woke up to more cramping and the bad back aches, but I was used to not sleeping by this point due to acid reflux and pregnancy insomnia! So I just got up and walked around the living room. By 2 AM (15 September 2011), I was definitely having to breathe through each contraction, but I was still sort of in denial (I was 41 weeks and 2 days pregnant at that point and thought it’d never happen!). At 3 AM, I was certain this had to be something, and I went to go lie back down to try and rest. That ended up waking up my husband, because I was breathing pretty deeply by that point.

Until 6 AM, my husband and I laboured together in bed. I squeezed his hand and the headboard of the bed, and made sure to make the low groans and moans and deep breaths that I had read help to “open up” everything inside you. We didn’t want to call my doula too early, because we were both still a little reluctant to believe that this was “it.” So we had waited until a “decent” hour, then texted her. At that point, I was getting a little frantic and had started tearing up, so I got in the shower, letting the warm water run over me while I hung off the top of the shower railing during contractions and sort of swayed my hips around.

When Marivette (our doula) showed up about 15 minutes later, things started getting real. I was having a lot of back pain, so she suggested I put my leg up on a chair (like the Captain Morgan’s pose) and swaying through several contractions to have the baby rotate off my back. We turned on KLOVE radio in both the living room and the bedroom, because coincidentally, the landscapers we had hired to fix the backyard had started making all kinds of noise (jackhammers, yelling, hammering, etc). Marivette encouraged me to eat little snacks since I was starting to get shaky, but I just wasn’t hungry- I was too nervous and excited and well… in pain… to be thinking about food. I’d eat, but it just felt like lead in my stomach.

We just kept going and going, the pain kept ramping up, and I was getting less and less able to focus through the pain. I wanted to lie down on the bed because the shaking was getting uncontrollable, and Marivette stacked pillows around me, under me, behind me, etc. Kevin went about packing things up, taking a shower, getting himself and our things ready, while Marivette massaged my legs and feet and hands through each contraction, encouraging my now louder moans and deep breaths. It was so difficult to relax my body when all I wanted to do was kick and cry and tense my back and belly up!

At around 11 AM, Marivette suggested that Kevin check my cervix, which is something my obstetrician had given him sterile gloves for and showed him how to do. Marivette got out her dilation cards that can help determine how “wide” the cervix is throughout labour. Kevin checked me between a contraction, and said that it felt like I was at about a tight 6 cm dilated. He called our obstetrician’s office to let them know, and they suggested we head out in an hour or two, and that they’d be calling the hospital to let them know we’d be coming. After some reluctance and nervousness on my part, I agreed with Kevin and Marivette that we should leave around noon or 12:30 to get to the hospital.

When that time finally came, we piled all our bags and pillows (I brought my body pillow and two of my head pillows from home- SUCH a good idea!) into the car, along with snacks and water and all that fun stuff. I was really nervous about the car ride, since my mom said that was just horrible when she was driving to the hospital to give birth to me. Turns out, it wasn’t so bad. We switched on KLOVE again, which was so soothing, and I grabbed onto the door handle every time a contraction hit. Kevin thinks it’s funny that I made labour into a “religious experience” (his words)- every contraction, I would moan: “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Lord God” and sometimes try to sing with the radio.

(Side note: If it sounds like labour was “easy” or “fun” so far- it wasn’t. At that point, it wasn’t the “worst” of it, but it was HARD.)

When we got to the hospital, my husband called out to the valet to get a wheelchair. A hospital “transporter” took me into the ER, where a nurse asked “Why are you here, Hun?” I looked at her skeptically: “I’m in LABOUR.” So she called up to labour and delivery, then pushed me over to the side, where about a dozen people were waiting in the ER, all of the staring right at me as I moaned through contractions. :| Marivette said: “Jeez, just put you on display!” and helped me turn myself away from the gawkers.

When we got up to the maternity ward, we found out that there were no rooms available. The nurses were absolutely ice-cold in personality, and kept asking questions, even as I was moaning through contractions. We got set up on a gurney in the hallway, along with 2 or 3 other women, where anyone who was walking by could see (and definitely hear!) me. At that point, they asked me to put on a hospital gown. I told them I’d wear my own (the Pretty Pushers gown!), and Kevin and Marivette helped me put in on, right there in the open. Speaking of “out in the open,” the nurse strapped me up to a portable contraction/fetal heart tone monitor and then brutally (like seriously, the worst ever) checked my cervix for dilation and effacement. I was bummed to hear that I was still at a “5-6 cm” with about 80% effacement.

At that point, we were getting pretty aggressive with the nurses, and Kevin pulled out our birth plan- yes, we were planning on going all-natural. This is where things were starting to get fuzzy. Kevin did a lot of the talking with the nurses (he was such a great advocate for me!) and Marivette helped me through each contraction. You could tell they didn’t see or hear too many naturally labouring mothers in the active stages, because Kevin helped me to the restroom down the hall (used by the whole maternity ward and general public!), and after peeing, I had a hard contraction and started moaning and leaning on Kevin… this alarmed the nurses, who started knocking frantically and asking: “Are you okay in there!?” My husband said: “Yes, she’s just in labour!”

(Turns out one of the nurses was actually a friend of mine from when I was working in medical records, too! :P She pulled some strings, and within 15 minutes, they had a room for me, praise the Lord! Also, my mother-in-law is the chief clinical dietitian there at the hospital and had quietly/secretly come up to pull rank to get me a room, too. I didn’t know she was there until AFTER I had the baby, though.)

They took some blood “just in case” I needed a transfusion- thankfully, that didn’t hurt. However, when I got to my room, the “brutal cervical exam” nurse came in to place a heplock/saline lock (basically, a line into my vein, just in case they had to start an IV, but without the fluids), and she TOTALLY popped a vein! :( Can you believe that was the only time I had burst into tears by that point!? So after she casually said: “Oops, it didn’t take- we’ll have to try again,” I immediately said NO, and agreed that I was refusing to have any needles (whether IV or heplock) in my arm! To me, that was so awesome. :) As for monitoring, they called my obstetrician, who said that they could do intermittent monitoring- he wanted my contractions and fetal heart tones to be monitored for 20 minutes, every hour. It wasn’t so awesome, since I kept wanting to shower, or pee, or even just walk around/get comfortable in the bed, but it was better than being in a blood pressure cuff, with two tight straps around my belly the entire time in labour!

After several more hours, my “peaceful” demeanour had disappeared. I was yelling, kicking, tensing up through every painful contraction. I will be totally honest when I say that I REALLY wanted that epidural- or to just die. But Marivette would not let me back down, and just kept swabbing my body down with cold washcloths. (Oh, did I mention that the Pretty Pushers gown came off after the first shower I took at the hospital, and I ended up just being naked for the rest of my time at the hospital? :P) I kept gripping the handles of the bed, and foccused on the whiteboard behind Kevin’s head (he was now standing in front of me, and Marivette was behind me massaging my low back really hard and encouraging every “good birthing moan” I was doing).

I started crying when I agreed to a cervical exam, and found out that I was still at a 6-7 cm. I thought it would never end! I was shaking violently, and just wanted out of my body! I was exhausted too, since I hadn’t slept and hadn’t eaten since 1130 AM (when I had some pea soup). But the contractions just kept coming, the pain just kept coming, and Marivette’s firm reassurance that I could do it just kept coming. I was glad the nurses stayed out of the room unless they were coming in to hook me up for my 20 minutes of monitoring. I think they might have been scared! :P

After a few more hours, I felt like I had to poop- really, really badly. I had Kevin help me to the toilet, and suddenly, I needed to grunt and I felt like I was going to go “number two”… We worked through that for a little bit, then I got in the shower again, where I squatted through that pooping feeling (not to mention, yelled about how I “have to poop so bad!” every 30 seconds or so!). Back to the toilet, then back in the shower, then back on the toilet, then back on the bed, naked and wet.

At that point, Marivette was concerned, and didn’t want me pushing unless my cervix was ready (dilated/effaced enough). She had them check me, and I was at a 9.5! I still didn’t believe that was far enough along after so many hours, but at least Marivette wasn’t as concerned, and encouraged me to make little short grunts instead of allowing me to bear down fully. I still thought I just had to go poop! :P And oh, then my membranes (water) finally broke- and despite being totally wrapped up in the pain of labour, I was thrilled to hear my husband announce that it was clear- “no meconium!”

I was so exahusted by that point. I was in pain, terrified, and felt like I wanted to die. I kept asking them to just cut the baby out, and that I didn’t want the baby after all. The little grunts had become full-time hard pushes. Kevin said it was incredible to see me grimace through each contraction, because I looked like I was smiling! Haha, yeah right! I thought my butt was going to fall off, and I kept announcing that to everyone in the room. The next time I got checked, I was fully-dilated and my obstetrician was paged.

When he got there, everyone helped me scoot down to the bottom of the bed, where there were stirrups. I had thought that I would want to squat or get on all-fours, but in that moment, I was so exhausted that I didn’t fight pushing on my back. The pushing was excruciatingly painful and felt like it took forever! I guess he kept popping out, then back in, despite me pushing with my body- makes sense and is only natural, but in the moment, it was horribly painful and frustrating (especially since everyone kept saying “You’re doing great! Just one more push!”… except that “one more push” was actually, like, 50 more pushes). My obstetrician had to really stretch me, and Kevin got in there and massaged me with mineral oil, while Marivette pushed a warm washcloth on my perineum. I guess the baby needed to be rotated to the side, too, since his head bones were pushing against my pelvic bones.

Again, I thought I was going to die, and at the end, I was full-out screaming at some points. After around 1.5 hours of pushing, however, my husband pulled our beautiful baby boy out and onto my chest! The doctor almost clamped the cord immediately, but after Kevin mentioned waiting, he immediately stopped. Because I didn’t have Pitocin pumped into my body afterwards (to stop the bleeding), they had to massage my uterus really hard and the obstetrician ended up needing to go up inside my uterus and pull out a few blood clots to keep me from going septic later. It was excruciating! He also had to suture up several internal tears, but I didn’t have any external tearing. But it was so awesome, because Lucas immediately latched on! It was amazing! Of course, Kevin burst out into tears of joy after pulling him out, and all I could say was: “Oh, my beautiful boy!”

Lucas Dean was born at exactly 9 PM on 15 September 2011, weighing 7 pounds, 7.58 ounces, measuring 20.5 inches. He has blonde hair and blue/grey eyes, long fingers and toes, and perfectly chubby cheeks. <3

More photos here: Welcome to the World, Baby Lucas!

13 September 2011

Week 39 and 40.

These last two weeks, I was really starting to get hopeful. Dr Hoang had said I would give birth sometime during 39 weeks, if not right on my due date. Of course... that didn't happen, did it? I was pretty much depressed and lonely all of week 39, waiting waiting waiting. On my due date (exactly 40 weeks), we went to the OB. I was 1 cm dialated, but no other “progress.” Thankfully, no talk of induction since Baby was doing great! :D Heart beat was a steady 140 BPM. Supposedly, I was having a contraction during the exam, too, and I had no clue… Hmmm. After the exam, we went to Red Lobster for dinner. Yum. I started having a bunch of what I thought were contractions, so we walked around the neighbourhood three times when we got home. Nothing "productive" happened- just got really tired.

The biggest symptoms I'm having are the groin cramps, shooting pains up my hooha, non-painful contractions, back aches, hungry all the time, severe insomnia (I've been sleeping on the couch and wandering around the house in the wee hours of the morning), and major emotional disturbances. I swear, I feel like I'm going crazy! I have run/walked on the treadmill, bounced on my birthing ball (so generously loaned to me by a friend), drank red raspberry leaf tea (to tone the uterus), cleaned the house and did loads of laundry (after we finally got our washer fixed!), gone for a really long drive all around town with Kevin, etc. It really doesn't help that I get a messages on Facebook or texts or calls nearly everyday asking if the baby is here yet. Ahhh! And of course, there are the folks that feel like they need to put in their "two cents" about induction and natural birth. UGH. I know, I know... the advice will only get worse once the baby is here, but seriously?! RAAAARRR! But hey, something super cool? I won a giveaway for a lovely Pretty Pushers labour and delivery gown! (That's the black "dress" I'm wearing in the second photo there...)

12 September 2011

Weeks 37 and 38.

Alright, again, this has taken me awhile to summarise and get up here on my blog. It's hard to believe that, as of when I am writing this post, 37 weeks is a month ago! At any rate, at 37 weeks +2 days, I had an OB appointment... and our first cervical check. That was certainly interesting (not too painful, but not very comfortable). Dr Hoang said my cervix was still closed, maybe dilated to 1/2 centimetre, but he didn’t think I’d make it to 40 weeks! (Sidenote: Too bad that estimate was off!) They finally did an ultrasound to estimate his weight, he was at 5.5 pounds, so Dr Hoang thought he’ll be around 6 pounds, 12 ounces to 7 pounds, 2 ounces by the time he’s born! :) Speaking of weight, I had only gained 1 pounds in 3.5 weeks, so that was a relief- I totally had thought I gained 5 pounds, but I guess he really had just dropped and that was the “weight” I was feeling! ;) And the best part was that the doctor was totally down with our birth plan when we shared it with him! :D He didn't just glance at it, either. He spent time going over it, and expressed his concern over a couple points (like taking photos/videos of the birth, which the hospital does not allow, period :|). So that was reassuring, for sure.

The next night (Friday), I woke up choking and hacking on my own vomit. After aspirating barf into my lungs, I had to induce full-blown vomiting into the toilet to even get any sort of relief. I got very little sleep, though gladly, Kevin can sleep through nearly anything (so long as I reassure him I’m fine). :P

At 9 AM (Saturday), we went to “part deux” of the hospital childbirth education class, which actually wasn’t so bad that time around. I was very glad that the nurse was very adamant on explaining how breastfeeding is the only way to go (“unless you’re shooting up heroine or doing cocaine, of course”) and that breastmilk should be the norm. (I always have thought it’s weird that people say it’s “best” and put it up on a pedestal- no, breastmilk is just what we should be automatically feeding our children, and formula should be considered the last-ditch artifical option, like it is.) Of course, we practised some relaxed breathing, though I couldn’t really get into the relaxation because Kevin kept teasing/interrupting me and saying: “Don’t fall asleep!” (Grrr, seriously?) I love him though. :) At any rate, after the breathing exercises, we were supposed to get down on our backs and “practise” coached pushing. Uhm, no. Don’t get me wrong- if that’s how I want to give birth, I will, but I definitely don’t want someone counting to ten and it just makes sense that upright positions are the best for pushing and giving birth (not lying on your back like a disabled turtle, closing off your pelvis and making it difficult for Baby to squeeze through)! So, I just rested for a few minutes while they all practised putting their chins to their chests and counted to ten three times. Haha.

After receiving our certificate of graduation from the class (and an evaluation form that I readily filled out!), we went to lunch (of course, it was around 2-230 at that point, and both of us were starving)! I got this “feeling” that Kevin’s parents might be at the same place that we were going, and sure enough, there they were! So we chatted with them for awhile.

Later that night, we had to go to a bridal shower for one of Kevin’s many cousins- we got her fiance and her a 3-piece cookie sheet set and a 6-piece Pyrex storage set, and boy, did I have fun trying to find something to wrap it with. :P We can’t come to the actual wedding (which is on 17 September), so despite being literally exhausted, we both decided it would be the good thing to suck it up and go to the shower. Happily, it was a BBQ co-ed luau (much like our baby shower), and it was a lot of fun. Of course, I got a lot of people ooo-ing and ahhh-ing over my belly, and a few relatives were taking "birthday bets." My in-laws hoped he would come on 26 August (my father-in-law’s birthday), and a couple cousins said the 2, 16, and 19 September. (Sidenote: Looks like the folks who guessed I would go early, including my doctor, were totally off, eh?) I told the cousins that I sure hoped I wouldn’t go to the 19th since that would be 2 weeks “overdue”! :P At any rate, we headed home around 945 PM, totally depleted.

By 38 weeks, the exhaustion had really started to get to me. Every single night, I would wake up with acid reflux, itching all over, and HOT. I'd walk around the house, have a drink, eat a graham cracker (settles the acid?), and then try to lie down again. And this is AFTER I take 25 mg of diphenhydramine (the stuff that makes you sleepy in Benedryl)...

Saw the doctor again. He did a cervical check, which was a tad more painful than the previous time- my OB seemed a little more nervous than usual, but I suspected it was because he had a surgery to go to in less than an hour. I had gained another pound in a week (UGH!), which depending on my pre-pregnancy weight (I’m not really sure where I started) brought me up to a total weight gain of 22-32 pounds. SAD! After his check, he told us he could feel the baby’s head, that I was still about 1/2 cm dilated, about 65-70% effaced. He predicted that the baby could come during week 39. (Sidenote: Sadly, this prediction was off, once again.)

Afterwards, we had dinner. When we got up from the table, I suddenly got these horrific sharp, shooting pains (kind of like charlie horse cramps) in the tendons between my upper-inner thighs and pubic area (like the bikini line area). I could barely make it to the car, and was breathing so hard to calm the pain that my husband was sort of in shock. He thought I was having contractions. No, Hunny, I’m just a wuss, I suppose. :P

Because I thought we would be having the baby the following week, I got working on packing a hospital bag:

-A little outfit packed for Lucas (both NB and 0-3 sizes, socks, hat, and blanket).
-5 pairs of Depends underwear (yeah, I said it).
-My mini-toiletries bag.
-Camera (charged).
-3 copies of our birth plan.
-1 copy of hospital pre-registration paperwork.

I don't really remember much more about this week, because I was in THE worst funk ever. Even my doula started pissing me off, and she's one of the nicest and most sympathetic women. All I wanted was my husband with me, day and night, so I started feeling so lonely while he was at work. (I wonder if this is some sort of animal instinct?) This is the week that the pain became commonplace, exhaustion was typical, and I began feeling like I was pushing everyone away. Oh, and I started wanting to devour the kitchen. Not really hungry, but like OMG I JUST WANT TO EAT. Sigh...

I'll be updating with weeks 39 and 40 soon, hopefully.

29 August 2011

Weeks 35 and 36.

I am so bad about putting my thoughts/progress into one lump sum of a blog post. Anyway, week 35 brought a lot of the same symptoms that I had mentioned before, especially insomnia due to reflux (it gets so bad that sometimes I'll throw up involuntarily!). Also, We had our second prenatal "class" at our home with our doula. The topic was breastfeeding. Quite interesting to practise baby holds with a creepy smiling doll. Haha. We finally received our car seat, and Kevin installed it in my car. I swear, everytime I get in my car, I have a mental freak-out. ("What the heck is that in my backseat?") On that Saturday, I decided to participate in the Team in Training 5K with my dear friend Katie T. She was so awesome for walking with me the whole 3.1 miles (and most of it was surprisingly a trail route- something I'm not very apt at, so to speak) in 80-85 degree heat. We finished in 53 minutes, which is definitely nowhere close to a PR (but shockingly, I finished ahead of 20 other participants- 78 out of 98). The biggest weight off my shoulders during week 35 was finishing my birth plan...

By week 36, Baby Boy dropped. Like a bomb. I didn't realise it at first, but as the week went on, my shirts started fitting wonky (belly hanging out), and I began feeling shooting/sharp pains in the hoo-ha area (almost like a UTI?). I was pretty sure I lost my mucus plug, but I couldn't really be absolutely sure. By the end of the week, I was feeling awful. I started getting these horrible groin cramps (like a "charlie horse" in the tendons between my upper-inner thigh and pubic area), stopping me dead in my tracks and unable to continue walking. To top it all off, our washing machine started leaking everywhere. UGH! Okay, but anyway... Awesome things that happened this week? My mom got me the BOB 2011 Fitness Strides jogging stroller, the nursery dresser was delivered (all 190 pounds of it, which my handsome hubby so deftly transported from the garage into the baby's room with only a mini-cart to help him), and we received a Moby Wrap in the mail from Kevin's boss. :)

End note: I will write up a summary blog for weeks 37 and 38 soon. I swear, all I do is sleep these days!

01 August 2011

Our Maternity Photos!

Here are the rest of the photos taken on 28 July, at 34 weeks, 2 days pregnant, by our friend Amy: Lily's Maternity Shoot! Can you believe that she is not a professional photographer?

28 July 2011

Weeks 32, 33, and 34.

Wow, so... Week 32, I had an ultrasound at my OBGYN's office. My weight gain is starting to "mellow out," so to speak, which is not a bad thing since I am up 20-25 pounds (not sure how much since I didn't really weigh myself pre-pregnancy). We discussed some of my birth preferences, and it seemed like he was pretty much on board with a natural birth (even if it will be in the hospital)... As for symptoms, I'm still dealing with major reflux, insomnia, and as of week 32, we noticed "leaky teats" as Kevin so cutely calls it. Haha.

Week 33 was a total whirlwind. First of all, after many cancellations and mishaps, I finally got to have a childbirth education class with my doula! It was great because she came to our house, where we could talk and laugh and relax in the privacy of our own home. Also, our baby shower was planned for 33 weeks, 4 days, and boy, was the planning sheer insanity. My mom was so awesome and had several people cleaning and fixing up her house for the party, and even put up water misters since the weather station had predicted triple-digit heat! My baby shower hostess (Stephanie) did so much too: buying decorations, getting favours, ordering chairs/tables, and of course, all the food. A couple days before, I started getting worried, because I found out that we were going to have to pay a large chunk (350$ + 100$ from invitations)- and after a lot of self-analysing, I realised that it wasn't even about the money, after all. But even that worked out, because my mom was so generous that she paid for all the catering. (o_o) Can I just say AMAZING?!

At any rate, I could go on forever about the details, but in the end... the baby shower was utterly amazing. Yes, there was lots of drama and no, it didn’t go perfectly (100-degree heat was pretty bad). But it was such a blessing to be in the company of such amazing friends and family, and we were literally “showered” with gifts. Seriously- it was shocking! :) Thank God for all the love. Now I must take on the daunting task of figuring out where everything is going to go, as well as purchase a lot of our essentials (car seat, dresser, organisers, etc) for Lucas’ room. I was walking around in my heels so much that I honestly felt like a cripple for the next couple days. Haha.

Anyway...Can I just say: I love that Lucas has the hiccups so often. Poor little guy. But Momma thinks it’s so cute. By the way, my belly measurements are up by 1.5 inches from just a few weeks ago- we found out after playing the "guess Momma's belly measurements" game. He is definitely getting bigger! But evidently, my friend who had only seen me in photos thinks that I “look bigger on Facebook than in person”! Haha, that’s not something you hear everyday!

Also, here are some of the amazing photos that one of our lovely friends took at the shower: Kevin and Lily's Shower. Her photography throughout the day was like a gift of its own, since we hadn’t met her until then (she is my husband’s former coworker’s wife)! She got some really cute unplanned “maternity” photos for Kevin and me. :) Here are some of my (less impressive) photos that I got: Our Baby Shower.

After walking around in kitten heels for 5-6 hours while heavily pregnant and mingling with guests (I kept forgetting to sit down, relax, drink water, eat, everything- haha), my sciatic nerve was so shot that I slept maybe a grand total of 2 hours for the next few days after the shower because I was so uncomfortable. I could hardly walk! My right foot went into a “charlie horse” cramp, and my second toe curled up all funky. It was quite odd… and quite uncomfortable!!! It’s amazing how much the body (and mind) changes while pregnant.

Speaking of “the mind” changing, that reminds me of something cute and funny that happened at the shower. Kevin’s cousin Misty has a ~9-month-old little girl who is sooo precious and (in my opinion) looks like one of those adorable troll dolls from the 90’s (a compliment, I promise you). Well, I guess Misty was telling me something, but I was totalllllly zoned-out on her daughter (tickling her little arm, waving bye-bye, talking to her) and hadn’t even heard what Misty said. When the baby girl reached out to me so I could hold her, it was heart-melting, because Misty said she never lets “new people” hold her. Kevin and Misty just laughed and said: “Yep, the ‘Mom Bomb’ has gone off!”

Now that I am in my 34th week, labour is becoming more and more real- I really need to put together a “birth plan” soon, if I am going to. Had my last ultrasound to check if there was enough amniotic fluid to last until birth, and the doctor said everything was good! Baby Boy is still measuring small (33 weeks, 3 days instead of 34+), so the doc doesn’t think he’ll be more than 7.5 pounds at max! But… ya never know.

I have only gained 2 pounds in the last 5 weeks, thankfully; it seemed like my first and second trimester I was just gaining and gaining non-stop. I know he is bigger, though, because my waist measurement went from 37 inches to 38.5 inches in the last month or so! I only know that, though, because I measured myself randomly out of curiosity at around 30 weeks, and then we played the “how big is the momma’s belly?” game at our baby shower. Haha.

We discussed my preferences for birth, and I’ll be honest… I am rather apprehensive. I do like my doctor, and I think he is more open than some providers. However, he seemed pretty set on doing an episiotomy at any slight sign that I may tear. And I still haven’t even talked to him about my other wishes (delayed cord clamping, delayed weighing/measuring/vaccination, continuous monitoring, etc). I guess this is where I am glad that I have a doula, as well as a husband who is on my side when it comes to my preferences. I know I cannot plan out Lucas' birth perfectly, but I want to make it the least traumatic as I can. For those moms who have given birth naturally in the hospital (no pain medication, induction, or augmentation), what are some good ways to positively express my wishes to my doctor? To the hospital staff?

Welp, tonight I am probably doing maternity photos with my hubby. My sister's lovely friend offered to take them for me, as she is down in Bakersfield to visit. Hopefully I'll be able to edit this blog post to post a few of her photos later! :) I will end this blog with an amazing quote I read by childbirth "expert" Ina May Gaskin:
"Remember this, for it is as true as true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth as well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body."

11 July 2011

Weeks 30 and 31.

These last couple weeks have been busy, busy, busy. During week 30, I spent my 4th of July weekend with my in-laws and a couple of their friends. We headed to Lake Nacimiento in the RV, toting the boat behind us. I was eager to get a little sun and try out my new maternity swimsuit. Despite not being able to do any waterskiing or wakeboarding (I don't really like doing either, typically, anyway), I did enjoy going out on the boat. I think Lucas didn't know WHAT to think, as we bounced over the water. However, it was great to get out and swim around a bunch- "they" say water is good for a pregnant woman, and I think they're right. ;) I thought it was really special when my sister-in-law got to feel Baby Boy having the hiccups. By the end of the weekend, ultimately, I was exhausted, though. My back was really acting up on the trip home, and I was glad to be back in the air-conditioning (even if it was 107 degrees outside at home)!

Oh, and did I mention that we went for a 3D ultrasound? It was a bummer that we didn't really get a clear picture of his face, since he had his hands and arms in front of it! However, we did get to see him blink, yawn, and munch on his hand, not to mention him showing off his little boy parts! And now, the horrible reflux I've been having makes a little more sense- the ultrasound technician immediately noted lots of hair on his head. No wonder I've been downing Tums like it's going out of style! :P Here's the video my husband caught using his iPhone:

The weekend of week 31, I spent time at the coast with my mom's side of the family (my grandma, aunt, sister, male cousin, uncle, and my female cousin + her two precious kids). My cousin Lindsey and her kids Bailey (age almost 3) and Oliver (age 1) live in Australia, where her husband is from, so I rarely get to see them (the last time was August 2009). In fact, this was the first time I got to meet little Oliver! It's always pretty hectic when it comes to my family (no, seriously, NO ONE ever ends up agreeing on what we're doing), so by the time Sunday rolled around, I was emotionally and physically exhausted. My family and I spent a lot of time walking around at farmers markets in Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo... and every night, I totally conked out back at the hotel with my hubby. I think I experienced my first noticeable Braxton Hicks contraction after a particularly crazy day of bouncing a baby (Oliver) and trying to help my cousin manage a sassy 3-year-old (Bailey). ;) Also, I noticed lots of belly cramping and my sciatic nerve was just going crazy. :( I'm almost "beached whale" status with this belly! Haha.

Yep, so... that's all I can think of for now! I know, I know, not very detailed, but I'm too tired to think clearly today. Bye for now!

Yes, that is our baby boy's hand during the ultrasound at 30 weeks, 2 days!