Tuesday, September 24, 2013

38 Weeks: Hello in There?

Still no baby! He's a stubborn boy, this one.

I've been finding out how annoying people can be in these last weeks. I know that most of them mean the best, but you'd be surprised.

Every day I go into work, I am asked about a dozen times, "You're still here?" Yes.  Yes, I am still here. I'm right in front of you, actually! And I am as tired and uncomfortable as I look to you as well. But, I like going to work, because it gives me something else to concentrate on, and also, they've been very accommodating toward me, and the most of my worries on any given day is getting hall duty done. So, while I could go out early, I have no reason to right now, unless my midwife encourages it.

There is also the group of people who insist and sincerely hope I go later than sooner. It's like they really, really want me to be overdue just to prove a point. This is also annoying. I've had a great pregnancy. It's been easy. But, as anyone who has been through the final month of pregnancy, you realize just how cumbersome it is. It gets old not being able to get around comfortably, or to do every day things without running out of breath and feeling like you are going to collapse and die. So, I find it to be really rude when people point out, "You know, you might not go until 42 weeks." Yes, I do know this. I'm not stupid. I know quite a lot about pregnancy.

Aside from these small annoyances, all is well. I thought, on Saturday night, I was really in labor. I woke up at 12:30 with contractions that were strong enough to get me up out of bed. I wanted to walk around, because BH tend to go away when you switch positions, so it was a good sign when I got up and walked to the bathroom and back that the contractions were still there. They came every 5-10 minutes, mostly sticking closer to every five minutes. This went on until around 2:30 in the morning. I remembered my doula telling me that even if I get contractions at night to try and sleep or rest through them, because I'm going to need my energy for later.

With that on my mind, I curled up in bed, did some tossing and turning, and eventually fell asleep. When I woke up in the morning, the contractions were gone, and I was sort of bummed. Hopefully, those contractions combined with the ones I had all of Friday have been enough to progress my cervix some, even if I know that doesn't mean jack shit at the end of the day.

I also wanted to share a funny story from last night. The baby has been rather quiet lately, since he's preparing to exit the building. His hiccups have come back full force, though. I was sitting on the couch yesterday and told my husband that I was afraid he is going to turn breech the last moment, and that maybe he already did. I was poking at lumps in my tummy, trying to figure out if a lump was his back or butt or head. An hour later, the baby got the hiccups, and I laughed and turned to B and said, "He's definitely still head down." He asked how I knew, and I kept laughing and replied, "Because, I can feel his hiccups in my butt. My BUTT is hiccuping right now."

Butt hiccups.

Something new every day. :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

37 Week Appointment

Had my appointment this morning. I was having trouble breathing since I woke up, and it didn't get any better during the hour that I spent in the office waiting to be seen. By the time the nurse called me back, she took one look at me and said I looked "pink and pale" and was concerned. I told her I was having trouble breathing and didn't feel well.

The doppler showed that baby was doing well, or at least his heart rate was on target. When the midwife came in, she asked me what was wrong, and I told her about the breathing, and how the baby hasn't been active lately. She measured my tummy, which was still on track, then checked the sonogram report for the baby from last Friday. He is measuring 6 lbs 5 oz (-/+ a pound) and everything looks good according to the report. She also did a cervical check. From the 0 cm I was at the last time I was checked (two weeks ago), I am now at 1.5 cm. Midwife was happy with this. She wasn't happy with my sugar levels, which were high again. She blamed the Coco Puffs and told me not to eat cereal before my next appointment. :P

She was also not happy with my breathing concerns and that the baby has been quieter. She told me that it is nervous for his activity to be lower now, but she thinks that my worrying about it is causing anxiety that may be causing the breathing issues. So, she sent me to the hospital to have a NST done and have my oxygenation checked.

The hospital visit wasn't so bad. Baby and I were hooked up to the monitors to watch his heart rate and if I was having any contractions. I told the nurse I haven't felt any in a few days. She told me that they'd watch the monitor for a little bit and then the doctor would come in to talk to me. About fifteen minutes later, she came back and told me that they are going to give me some juice to wake the baby up, then looked at my read-out and asked if I was feeling the contractions I was getting. I had no idea I was getting them, but lo-and-behold, they were showing up on the monitor every five minutes or so. Here's a picture of the monitor:

The top line is the baby's heartbeat. The bottom one is the contraction monitor. As you can see, I had a couple within about five minutes. That continued the whole time I was there, but I didn't feel any of it.

The OB resident came in with the ultrasound machine and said she'd do the ultrasound next, just to double check his fluid levels and activity. I was excited about this, since my sonogram on Friday was crap. Baby was more awake now that I drank down some apple juice, but he still wasn't moving as much as he usually does. At least, I didn't think he was. But, when she started the ultrasound, he was wiggling all over the place. I got to see his little hands opening and closing, and his butt wiggling around. He's very squished up in there, but he's still active. The fluid levels looked good too, so they decided to send me home. I went home, ate lunch, and took a nap.

Another eventful appointment. Hopefully, next week, it's not as eventful. I feel bad when I have to call out of work, even if I know they understand. Truth is, it is getting harder as the days go on, since I feel so uncomfortable most of the time. I've been trying to take more walks before or after work to help ease the discomfort, but some days I wake up and know it's not going to be a good day.

Tomorrow is the Harvest Moon. Maybe my son will decide to be a full moon baby. :) One can only hope!

Me with a pulse-ox on my toe

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

37w2d: Full Term

Full Term. This means that if I were to go into labor from this point on, no doctor would try to stop it, and my baby would be born, thriving.

Full Term.

This also means that literally 37 weeks ago, I was wondering if I would finally have the opportunity to be a mom. I wondered if my body would finally get pregnant, and if after that, it would actually be able to grow a baby.

And now, I am simply waiting to meet my son.

I can't describe the feelings that have been building up inside of me. Am I afraid? Yes. Am I nervous? Yes. Am I excited? Yes. Am I happy? Yes. Am I sad? Yes. And why would I be sad? I'm both sad that this beautiful experience of pregnancy will soon be over, and I am sad that when it is over, my whole life won't ever be the same again. Don't get me wrong, I am also elated that my whole life won't ever be the same again...but it is natural for a first time mom to stand on this precipice and realize that there won't ever be a time when I can just drop everything I am doing and go out with my friends again. Soon, very soon, my whole life will revolve around this little man. This beautiful little man.

I can't wait to meet him. I convinced my midwife to let me have one more ultrasound last week. My appointment was on Friday morning, and it wasn't very exciting. It was on a really crappy machine, and I didn't even have a monitor I could watch, I had to share the monitor the tech was using, so I only got some skewed perspectives of what my son was up to in there.

I am pretty sure he was sleeping, since he was being very quiet. Actually, this is his MO lately, to be very quiet and freak me out. Anyway, I believe everything is okay in there, since the radiologist and my midwife didn't give me any frantic phone calls on Friday or  yesterday. It was hard to see his face, since he's dropped so far down in my pelvis. The tech really struggled to get a good shot to measure his head, but she was able to get him to turn his face at one point, and I got to see his squishy little nose and cheeks. He was sucking on his hand -- his whole hand -- and the tech said she was pretty sure he was sleeping because of how rhythmically he was sucking and practice breathing.

She printed out some pretty shitty pictures, but I'll share the best one anyway. It's a really bad side profile (since he is so low). So, you can see his nose, then a big lump where his mouth should be. This is because he has his whole hand in his mouth, and he didn't care one bit that we were trying to get a good picture of him. That's my son for you...

I have been feeling pretty slow and groggy lately. Yesterday, I was very uncomfortable. There was just so much pressure that it made walking or standing nearly impossible. I had cramping-type contractions in the morning, and then they went away all together. I have been pushing on pressure points that are supposed to induce labor/start contractions, but I only get a little bit of cramping that doesn't last, so I guess my body isn't quite ready yet. I am certainly ready for this pregnancy to be over, though. Trust everyone when they say that the last month is the most frustrating and uncomfortable...because it is. I have told myself this whole pregnancy that I would take all of the negatives gracefully and gratefully...but I'm running out of patience now. Haha. It's hard to be graceful and grateful when you are wondering if you peed yourself or not. Yeah. I went there.

Thursday is the full moon, though. My doula warned me about the full moon, since last night, three or four of her mothers went into labor on the full moon, and it was a doula catastrophe! So, maybe the tides will change (literally), and my little man will finally come out to meet us. Hopefully. :)

My next appointment is tomorrow. Will update with more when I know more. Hopefully, I'm dilated, if only just a little bit, but I sort of doubt it, since I've not been having any real contractions to move anything along. We'll see!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

35 Weeks: Why I want to attempt a natural birth...

Firstly, it isn't to prove anything to anyone. I don't really care how someone else might have done it, I don't care if someone else used drugs or not...it's a personal choice for everyone. But, women who have gone through medicated cycles tend to look down on women who want to attempt a natural birth and wait for the moment that the mother admits to breaking down and asking for an epidural, just so they can feel smug about it. I don't understand why women do this to other women, but it happens all the time.

When people ask me if I am planning to go natural or not (which is a rather strange question to be asked in the first place), it is as if they are waiting for me to say that I am, just so they can tell me things like, "Medicine is there for a reason! Why wouldn't you use it?" or "Are you crazy? Just get the epidural, then you won't feel anything!" And variations of those remarks, not all of which are so nicely phrased.

So, I wanted to make a post explaining my reasons, and maybe people will read it and be more reluctant to ask such personal questions of mothers.

#1: As I already stated: It's not to prove anything to you. I don't have anything to prove to you, nor do I really care. I feel like I have to emphasize the word "TRY" when referring to my want to have a natural birth, but at the same time, I shouldn't have to. I shouldn't have to be prepared to say, "I had an epidural" and for people to respond with, "HAHA! TOLD YOU!" If you are going to be one of these people, be prepared for my bitchiness to come shining through night and bright.

#2: Why wouldn't I use the medicine that is there? Well, let me tell you...if anyone has taken more advantage of medicine in this process, it's me. I used all sorts of medicine to get my son, and I am grateful for all of it. With that said, the process of making my baby was a very UNNATURAL thing to have to go through. It was not romantic. It was not easy. Babies aren't supposed to be made in petry dishes. This is not something I can just forget. Sometimes, it stings just a little bit that I couldn't experience the beauty of getting pregnant the natural way.

Because of this, I want to try and have the most natural experience I can when birthing my baby into this world. Try. I am not putting myself above meds, but I am saying that I rather go at it naturally. It's the least I can do for my son and for myself. I want to feel the pain. I want to know that this is all real. That my fight was real, that this journey was real, and that my end prize is real too.

#3: I want to feel the rush. The natural high. I want to know that my body is doing what it is supposed to be doing, after 27 months of hating it for not doing what it was supposed to be doing.

#4: I am confident. I have no reason to go into that labor and delivery room and think that I can't do it. I am also humble, though, and if I can't handle it, I won't hesitate to ask for help. I am trying to avoid an epidural for other reasons (such as migraines), but there are plenty of other options for me to take advantage of, and if I need them, I will pursue them.

I guess, my reason for writing this entry is simple: Don't be quick to say "I told you so." I will be just as quick to tell you to go F yourself. This isn't about you. It's about me and my baby, and if I want to go into it with the expectation that I'm going to have a natural birth, then you should be nothing but supportive of it.  And that goes for all expectant mothers, especially first timers. It doesn't matter how your birth went; my birth will be my own, and it will go the way it goes for me. Let it be my own. Let it be mine.

That the end of my semi-rant for today. :)