Thursday, July 26, 2012

On Birth

I'm gonna hop on my birth soapbox for a moment.  Feel free to disagree with me, I take no offense to others having a different opinion than me.

As you all may have guessed since I'm having a homebirth...I believe strongly in a woman's ability to birth her baby without medical intervention.

The way the US views and treats birth as something that needs to be fixed and handled and "taken care of", as though it's a disease or affliction, bothers me...a lot.

This is NOT to say that I believe everyone should have their babies at home.  For some women this would be hell and I would never recommend anyone have a homebirth who wasn't fully committed to the whole concept of homebirth.  A woman needs to feel safe and secure to birth her baby, if this ISN'T her home than she should not be at home!

This is NOT to say that I don't believe in pain management in labor.  Again I don't think every woman is comfortable with the idea of childbirth without drug pain management and that's totally fine, I'm not against pain management if that's what the woman WANTS.

This is also NOT to say I don't believe in C-sections.  The fact that we CAN perform C-sections to save mamas and babies is amazing, I would never ever say that C-sections should be stopped completely.

What I am saying is this:

The C-section rate in the US is absolutely appalling.  It's somewhere around 30% and the WHO recommends it never go above 10%.  Some hospitals hover near 50% and higher.  If somehow these crazy C-section rates were saving mamas and babies I might be singing a different tune but considering maternal death rates in the US are somewhere around 50th in the world and infant mortality rates are somewhere around 30th it looks as though our C-sections are NOT saving mamas and babies.  This is astounding and needs to change.

I believe every woman should birth her baby in the environment that is most comfortable FOR HER.  If this is her home I believe all insurance should cover homebirths and I am appalled that there are still states that make homebirth illegal.  By the way my insurance does NOT cover my homebirth, this pisses me off but I refuse to let my insurance dictate where and how I will have my baby.

If a woman is more comfortable in a hospital I believe she should have the right to labor at the hospital WITHOUT PRESSURE to have the baby in a certain amount of time.  And WITHOUT PRESSURE to take pain medications if she doesn't want them.  And WITHOUT PRESSURE to have a  C-section if her labor isn't progressing as swiftly as Dr.'s would like.  AS LONG AS MAMA AND BABY ARE NOT IN DANGER.  I also wish all hospitals would let their mamas move around and eat and drink during labor, statistically, just allowing these small changes would lower the C-section rate DRAMATICALLY.  As my yoga instructor put it refusing to let laboring women eat or drink just in case they need surgery is like saying you should never eat or drink 8 hours before you're going to get in a car just in case you get into an accident and need surgery.  I'm pretty sure in a true emergency, which is when C-sections SHOULD be done, it really doesn't matter if you have food in your stomach.

I don't believe any woman should ever be induced unless it is an emergency or if the woman is past 42 weeks.  A normal healthy pregnancy is 37-42 weeks, not 36-40.

A baby that is "too big" does not count as a reason to be induced.  I know way too many women who were induced for their "too big" baby only to pop out a little 6 or 7 lber.  I also know women who've popped out 9 lbers without a tear, so who's to say that baby is too big?  An ultrasound to determine size is really unreliable that late in pregnancy.  And you know what?  Babies are rarely too big to fit out of the mamas that made them.  Evolutionarily speaking it's ridiculous to think there are all these women who make huge babies and can't fit them out of their bodies.  The female body doesn't work like does a damn good job of making a baby that will fit, even if it takes some maneuvering and work from both mama and baby.

Complications from gestational diabetes or preeclampsia or issues with amniotic fluid, either too low or too high do count as emergencies if they are causing distress in mama or baby and valid reasons to induce before 42 weeks.  I'm not saying I don't believe in inductions for real reasons.

I don't believe any Dr. EVER should suggest a C-section for any reason other than a true emergency.  The first rule of medicine is DO NO HARM and yet we have OB's all over the country promoting major surgery over a normal bodily process.  A C-section is way more harmful to both baby and mama than a vaginal birth.

Hemorrhaging, baby heart decelerations, mama's blood pressure, baby in distress are all valid reasons to C-section to save both mama and baby...but failure to dilate 24 hours after an induction IS NOT A REASON TO C-SECTION!!!!

Baby getting "stuck"?  Oh for goodness sake, unhook that woman and let her labor on her hands and knees and see if she can't UNSTICK baby before you C-section her!!!  A "stuck" baby should not automatically mean surgery.  There ARE situations in which a baby is stuck and baby is in distress and baby needs to come out NOW, but's actually quite rare and that would be a TRUE emergency.  A "stuck" baby with no signs of fetal distress should not be sectioned, mama should just be allowed to change positions.

Elective C-sections.  Big Sigh.  This is America, I guess if you let people have plastic surgery to within an inch of their life you gotta let them elect to have major surgery to get a baby out as well.  But I disagree with elective C-sections.


That means you need to be birthing your baby in an appropriate environment for your particular pregnancy and birth.

There is a reason that midwives won't accept clients that are high-risk.  High-risk pregnancies are outside the norm and become a MEDICAL issue.  The appropriate place for them is with a Dr. and at a hospital.  That's what OB's are trained for, problems in pregnancy.  They are NOT well trained in low-risk normal healthy pregnancy, labor and deliveries.  We're coming to a point in this country in which many OB's have literally NEVER seen a natural birth.

A normal low-risk pregnancy is not a medical issue and does not need to be "treated".  In this day and age it's awesome that we are all monitored so that we can avoid or treat preventable problems, such as gestational hypertension but regardless of whether the medical community is involved women, with the help of midwives, will continue to get pregnant and have babies all on their own, the process doesn't NEED medical help.  And the help it does need should be all about SAVING MORE mamas and babies not about saving Dr.'s from being sued.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bumpdate - 37 Weeks


Let's have a baby!

I kid.  Baby is nowhere near ready to come out as far as I know.  And I'm fully prepared to keep baby in for another month.  We are firmly in Leo territory now and we need to get all the way to Virgo!

So, before the bumpdate let me update.

I do NOT have gestational hypertension.  I was apparently just uber stressed last week and it elevated my blood pressure. I've had my blood pressure taken 3 different times this week by 3 different professionals and it is back down to a reasonable range somewhere between 119-127/80-83 .   And in case anyone is curious your blood pressure is considered high if the top number is 140+ OR if the bottom number is 90+.  For reference my blood pressure was all the way up to 138/88 last week, just on the brink, measured several times by several different people, Eek!

But we're back to normal now...let's hope it stays that way!

And since I brought up the whole subject and a few of you had questions I will address the issue of my high blood pressure and what that would mean for my homebirth.

In response to those who inquired about an induction and a homebirth, the answer is that NO you cannot be induced and have a homebirth.  And the reasoning is simply that once you make birth a medicated event whether it be through contraction inducing or drug pain management, birth is no longer the "normal" event that homebirth midwives are trained in.  If you are being induced or have an epidural you WANT to be surrounded by Dr.'s or hospital midwives who see medicated births everyday and who are trained in handling medicated birth complications and know what is "normal" under those circumstances and what is not.  A homebirth midwife does not know what an induced birth looks like in the way that she knows what a "normal" unmedicated birth looks like and she is not the one you would want overseeing the event.

Gestational Hypertension is a condition in which things can go wrong very quickly, it can easily turn to preeclampsia with little or no notice and cause problems for both mama and baby.  If my blood pressure had not gone down or gone up or goes up again I will take the advice of my midwives and if at any point that includes "we need to get the baby out" I would not hesitate to throw my homebirth plans out the window and go to the hospital for an induction and the subsequent epidural.  I would NEVER try to have an induced birth without an epidural by the way.

Yes, I would cry and be very upset about not getting my homebirth but I would never try to do it in unsafe conditions, and gestational hypertension or preeclampsia are both considered unsafe conditions for a homebirth.

Appropriate birthing people, appropriate birthing.

I am writing a whole post about homebirth and appropriate birthing I promise but I just wanted to address this one question.

So, on to the bumpdate:

How far along: 37 weeks, we have one fully cooked baby.

Weight Gain:  I think I'm up a pound, which is up 23 lbs, which is 145 lbs.  At my appt yesterday she weighed me in at 148 but that was the afternoon and we all know how hospital scales are WRONG!  But whatever even if it's right that's up 26 lbs. total. By the way excessive weight gain at the end of pregnancy, ie. like 5 lbs in a week, is another sign of high blood pressure and yet another sign that I DON'T have gestational hypertension as I haven't struggled with my weight at all through this pregnancy.

What's Up with My Body:  Argh.  End of pregnancy sucks.  I'm about to spend a fortune in the next few weeks on acupuncture and a chiropractor to try to maintain a certain level of comfort.  My rib still hurts even after a chiropractic adjustment so we're going back, probably several times...I don't want to be worrying about my rib while in labor, it seems to make ideal laboring positions painful ie. sitting on the toilet is supposed to be a great laboring position but this position kills my back right now!  And while my blood pressure seemed to have evened out before I made it to the acupuncturist, I forgot how much I like acupuncture and will be going back a few times over the next few weeks, apparently if we get to the point of needing to get baby out sometime after 41 weeks acupuncture works great to induce only if you've been getting acupuncture regularly beforehand.  This makes no logical sense but I like acupuncture and I obviously need help relaxing!

And CONSTIPATION AND HEMORRHOIDS continue to be the bain of my existence.  I thank you all for your hemorrhoid treatment suggestions...I'm giving them all a whirl, so far NOTHING is helping but I will keep you updated.

Pregnancy Revelations: I think everyone has ideas about how they will handle pregnancy, whether they will enjoy it or not and what part of their body they're most worried about through pregnancy.  My preconceived notions of pregnancy were SO WRONG.  I thought I would HATE pregnancy as it seems all the women in my family hate being pregnant.  Turns out I don't mind it at all, even enjoyed it through the 2nd trimester and well into the 3rd when the bump was at it's cutest.  I also thought I would be uber sick at the beginning, didn't happen.  And I thought I would get much fatter.  I thought I would just eat and eat and eat and not care  and gain a bunch of weight and then worry about it after the pregnancy.  I'm not a weight yo-yoer so I was pretty confident I would be able to lose the weight but I definitely thought I would pile on weight during pregnancy.  I never in a million years would have imagined that my worst and most frustrating symptoms would all have to do with MY ASS.  Constipation and hemorrhoids literally never occurred to me.  Just goes to show you that you really just have no idea how your body will handle pregnancy.

Signs of Labor:  At my hospital midwife appt yesterday I had planned to not take my pants off and thus would have no idea if I was dilated or not.  I don't think it matters at this point and really doesn't tell you anything and I feared the stripping of the membranes without permission that I always hear about.  But I had to get a pap because there was a test they did not do earlier in my pregnancy and they wanted in my records just in case I end up delivering at the hospital. So while she was doing the pap she asked if I wanted her to check my dilation...I said sure...why not, SINCE YOU'RE ALREADY DOWN THERE.  I'm dilated to...ZERO.  I'm not dilated at all, baby is staying in for a bit, though the BH contractions have started to pick up.  By the way I hate them much less now and don't even pay any attention to them anymore as there's really no point, so what if I have 4 in an hour or more I'M FULL TERM NOW!  I'm also constantly on the lookout for my mucus plug, no longer in fear of seeing it too early, instead it's like "OMG could that be my mucus plug???"  So excited!

Things I Still Need to Do Before Baby:  Nursery is not quite done...though very very close.  We started freezer meals...there is exactly one in the freezer right now.  Ha!  But one is better than none!  AND REALLY THAT'S IT!  My birth tub comes today, my birth kit is all ready, the house is being cleaned as we speak, I have enough diapers, onesies and receiving blankets to keep baby warm and happy until we buy it girl or boy clothes ;-)  We have a pediatrician picked out,  in-home newborn visit requires only a phone call after baby is born, I have things ready for postpartum care on my poor perineum and hemorrhoids, fridge and cupboards are stocked (for now, obviously this one is continuous and needs to continue to STAY stocked).  I have even bought a belly bandit and nursing bras for myself!  I think I'm all set!  Or am I?  Am I missing something vital?

Baby: Baby looks great, still roughly 6 lbs or so but apparently I'm measuring on the smaller side now.  I THINK WE ALL KNEW THIS.  Everything is still "normal" and I'm growing fine which is actually what they're measuring, growth from one week to the next...I just have a little belly.  The hospital midwife actually measured me WAY small at only 31cm which was crazy small, but the homebirth midwives have me at 35cm, so WE'RE ALL GOOD.


Oh look, a well fitting maternity dress, one of the THREE that I have.

I told you I like the belly better bare...but no underwear shots, instead I give you post yoga shots.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Gestational Hypertension = Bullet Points

I have an appt tomorrow to recheck and discuss my high blood pressure.

Actually I have two appts.  One with my homebirth midwives in the morning, if my blood pressure is still high we discuss everything that is going to go down for my afternoon appt with the hospital midwives...and then shit gets real.  If I don't have high blood pressure anymore THAN I AM WORRYING FOR NOTHING.

I'm nervous.  I'm sure this is helping with the high blood pressure.

So, instead of discussing all the possibilities of what could happen tomorrow, including an induction if my blood pressure keeps rising, I'll sit back and wait until after my appts tomorrow to give you guys an update.

Today we'll do bullet points:

  • We're at 37 weeks on Wednesday, technically baby is fully cooked and could come at any time...but I'd like my last month with the baby in the belly if at all possible.
  • I've started looking at all the different ways I can try to induce myself if this high blood pressure doesn't resolve itself...unfortunately all is dependent on whether baby is ready to come out or not but come Wednesday we will start to try them ALL (except Castor Oil...not going there) rather than be induced at a hospital.  Oh right, WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT THAT UNTIL AFTER TOMORROW.
  • My BIRTH TUB arrives on Wednesday...holy shit guys!  Birth tub!  For birth!  In my bedroom! I'm totally going to be taking baths in my bedroom for the next month.
  • My nursery still isn't done.  Back when I wrote about my nursery here I told you guys not to expect it to be done for another 10 weeks and I was totally joking...but here we are 7 weeks later and...not done.  Maybe I was spot on with that 10 week thing!
  • Nursing bras.  Let's discuss.  I've never even pondered buying a nursing bra until yesterday when EVERYTHING hurt, including my boobs and I decided maybe it was time to look into nursing bras.  So, anyone buy them yet?  What brand do you like best?  Do I have to go try them on or can I buy that shit online?
  • I have an appt to get my rib put back in place tomorrow and HOPEFULLY this will help these last few weeks of pregnancy be less miserable.  The back ache is making EVERYTHING impossible...including sleeping which up until now has NOT been a problem and I really do not want to spend the next 4 weeks sleeping this poorly.
  • Perineal massage...ew.  I had 3 different midwives and one new mama recommend perineal we gave it a go and...I'm not a fan.  There is no evidence that says it helps prevent tearing but many midwives say it helps you get used to the sensation of stretching and be more able to relax into it when you hit that "ring of fire" of crowning during the pushing stage.  Fine, I see the logic, we did it a few times, and I understand what the burning stretching feeling will feel like.  It sucks, it feels awful.  But I think we're done with this now, it feels too much like an exam at a Dr.'s office and I hate that my husband is the one in the position of making me uncomfortable.  Anyone else try perineal massage and have a different view on it?
  • Hemorrhoids.  Hemorrhoids suck.  I hate them more than constipation.  Anyone have a really good birth story with hemorrhoids in which ALL TURNED OUT OK and their intestines did not explode out of their ass and the aftereffects were not more painful than the vaginal lacerations and tearing already involved in pushing a human out of your nether regions?
And that's all I've got for today.  Everyone wish me luck that the acupuncture appt I will hopefully be able to get today will help with my hypertension and I will have nothing to discuss with you tomorrow!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bumpdate - 36 Weeks

We've been babymooning this week, so this is 2 days late.

And I'm about to complain my face off.

And this is going to be long.

You've been warned.

Did you know that there comes a point in pregnancy in which no matter how small you are you are going to look and feel fat?  And that you're more than likely going to grow out of not only your regular clothes but some of your maternity clothes?  Thus making those feelings of "fat" exponentially worse because THEY ARE MATERNITY CLOTHES and you're like how the fuck have I grown out of MATERNITY CLOTHES?!

Well, we're there folks.  We're there.

DRESSES, my beloved dresses do not look cute anymore...I look whaleish.  Even the tight ones that emphasize the bump are no good anymore because the bump is just too damn big to be cute.

36 weeks and we've hit the end of "cute pregnant lady", now we're just fat and pregnant and uncomfortable.

And even though we're actually 2 days past 36 weeks, so technically some of the shit I'm about to write should go in the 37 week, I'm going to put all that's gone down in the last day on 36 weeks because I feel awful and want to complain.

How far along: 36 Weeks + 2 days

Weight Gain: I may feel fatter but apparently I'm not as I'm still up 22 lbs. nothing gained this week.

What's Up with My Body:  I Just.  Feel. Fat.  And walking sucks, my hips ache when I walk.  And I basically can't eat any carbs without getting constipated.  But I think I finally found a magic elixir for the constipation.  GINGER TEA.  Ginger tea cures constipation, I SWEAR.  I discovered it by accident.  I hadn't pooped in 2 days when my sister offered me some ginger tea I said SURE, 2 hours later I was like OMG I HAVE TO POOP!  And this was bizarre because it was evening, I don't know about you guys but if I don't poop in the's not happening that day, I have to wait for the next morning.  But here we were 8pm and I was pooping!  Amazing!  A few days later I had ginger tea at baby class and sure enough 2 hours later when we got home, again in the evening, POOP TIME!  So, ginger, I'm a little bummed I didn't discover this like 4...maybe 5 months ago, but here at the end when we are also now dealing with HEMORRHOIDS, I guess I'll just be happy that I discovered the magic constipation elixir at all and not whine about how I discovered it quite late in the game.

And the hemorrhoids, I'm scared to death of pushing a baby out with hemorrhoids...I'm envisioning intestines bursting out of my bum at the same time that a baby is bursting out of my cooch and it's not a pretty picture.  We could just file this under THINGS I NEVER DREAMED I WOULD BE THINKING/WORRYING ABOUT but sure enough I'm desperately trying to rid myself of hemorrhoids before I have to push a baby out for fear of doing permanent damage to my intestinal tract.  Does that happen?

And my back hurts, but in such a weird spot.  Just below my right shoulder blade ACHES.  On our babymoon we went to a spa and got massages and they did a wonderful job of making my back feel better...for exactly one day.  I'm obviously sleeping, or walking, or just carrying this baby in a way that is hurting that part of my back because no amount of massaging is helping it stay away.  And it's making sleeping difficult as it hurts to lay on the right side, so when I get uncomfortable on the left and turn to the right I'm like SHIT, THAT HURTS TOO.  And now a little update as I just returned from a midwife appt...I probably have a rib out of place...yes, that would be why that hurts.  SHIT.

And last night I had the worst heartburn of my life.  No amount of Tums would soothe it and it basically made me feel like I was gonna throw up acid.  Milk usually helps me with heartburn but I as also having these really uncomfortable gas pains.  And you know what causes gas?  DAIRY!  So I was torn between the milk making the heartburn go away and the gas worse, I couldn't decide which was the lesser of 2 evils.  Finally at 2am my husband got me a glass of milk and I could finally sleep.  I feel like crap today, I'm tired, my back hurts, I have gas and hemorrhoids...but at least the heartburn is gone.

And THE ICING ON THE CRAP CAKE OF 36 WEEKS...I have high blood pressure.  My blood pressure has slowly been creeping up throughout the pregnancy but always staying well within the normal range...until yesterday when all of a was high.  FUCK.  And again today for the re-check to see if last night was a fluke...still high.  Luckily I already have a hospital midwife appt set up for next week as they like to see you at 36 weeks if you're having a homebirth, just to make sure you're still healthy and low risk for said homebirth, so whatever tests I may need will be taken care of but REALLY?  I have no swelling, no weird vision disturbances, no signs of hypertension or preeclampsia other than high blood pressure.  DAMN...I was handling pregnancy so well.

The end of pregnancy is awesome.

Is it time to have this baby yet?

Baby:  Even though I'm miserable baby is still doing well and in the right position, head down with back to my belly, measuring 6 lbs now and apparently has some LONG legs!  Midwives were exclaiming how lanky baby is...I suppose this makes sense, my husband is 6'1" and while I may only be 5'5" my family is full of tall people...I'm the shorty.

Food:  I still am not hungry and I still want sweets.



 Don't be tricked by the gathering of the dress around the bump, I'M TRYING TO FOOL YOU!  Nobody walks around with their hand under their belly making their dress look cute...I actually look like this picture below in dresses now.

My room is a mess, I KNOW, I'm too pregnant to care, but do you SEE how not cute dresses are now?  They look like tents, BUMP. TOO. BIG.  I think I will just wear cute tank tops for the rest of the pregnancy...or in my underwear...the bump is still prettiest in my underwear.  MAYBE YOU'LL ONLY GET BUMP PICTURES IN MY UNDERWEAR FROM NOW ON.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Homebirth Childbirth Class

As we wind down and get ready to HAVE A BABY I thought I would chat a bit about homebirth, what it entails, what I've done to prepare, etc etc as I've had several people ask me for more info.

If you're not interested in homebirth than you probably won't be interested in my next few posts.

Just warning you.

Today, let's talk childbirth class.

Because today is my last class of a 6 week homebirth childbirth class.

I'll start this off by saying again that SF is kind of an amazing place to be having a homebirth.  There is no lack of resources and support if you've made the decision to have your baby at home.  Yes, your close friends and family might still think you're crazy and ask you weird questions like "What if you want an epidural?" the answer of course being...I don't, that's one of the reasons I've chosen a homebirth.  But if you're looking for other like-minded individuals it's not hard to find them here.

My homebirth class has 18 couples, all of us due in the next few months...and my instructor does one of these every 6-8 weeks and they are consistently full.

That's a lot of homebirthing hippies all nestled together in a fairly small area.

I've heard a lot of you say that your childbirth class was fairly useless and you feel like you could have skipped it because you didn't learn anything new.

If you're having a homebirth I highly recommend a childbirth class but one that is tailored SPECIFICALLY for homebirthers.

The main reason?


I know and have known for a long time most of what we've gone over in this class, but if your husband is anything like mine he was fine with homebirthing conceptually and the more he learned about it the more he was all for it but he didn't know what HE was supposed to do and as the weeks passed he started to get a little anxious about what he was meant to be doing come the big day.

Enter homebirthing class.

The class goes over everything from the anatomy of pregnancy, WHY we have to pee all the time, WHY we aren't hungry when baby gets huge, WHY we get constipated etc. (my husband felt enlightened and I could see the little light bulb went off in his head when he saw a picture of the inside of a pregnant person and was like OH, I GET IT) to all the stages of birth to complications and what would constitute a transfer to the hospital.  We watch birth videos, we get down on the ground into birthing positions, and we sit around chatting and eating for half an hour in the middle of class.

The class lays out what's NORMAL about childbirth, how moving, breathing, making noises such as moaning, and warm water can actually help both with pain management and with moving the baby out of your body.

We also learned what positions are most helpful in labor and how to use gravity to help get baby out.  

And then the icing on the cake, THE CLASS GIVES YOUR HUSBAND SOMETHING TO DO.

Our instructor has literally given all the husbands tasks for when their wives go into labor such as:

1. Make sure she stays hydrated
2. Make sure she pees at least once an hour
3. Make sure she stays nourished, especially when dealing with a marathon labor.

I can't tell you how much better MY HUSBAND feels about the homebirth now that he has "jobs". 

The husbands are also asked to be active participants and they learned different massage techniques both to try out before the labor and during to see what mama likes and doesn't like.  They are also asked to be mama's "support", not just emotionally, that goes without saying, but we learned lots of pushing techniques that involve the husbands literally as support.  Husband supported squatting, husband supported rocking, husbands need to be strong for birth too!

The last class dealt with complications and what would push your birth out of the realm of "normal" and thus out of the hands of midwives and into the hands of Dr.s and hospitals for both your and baby's safety.  This class was of course the scariest and most uncomfortable, but it's necessary to know what can go wrong and why it would require a trip to the hospital.  I can tell you I did NOT enjoy hearing about a retained placenta having to be removed manually and I would happily take a ride to the hospital to have this done under anesthesia!  

And of course these aren't decisions that YOU ever have to make by yourself, your midwife would be making them WITH YOU during a homebirth, but the class lays out things that CAN happen so in the heat of the moment you know what she's talking about when your midwife says hey we need to go to the hospital for a piece of retained placenta.

I'm so glad I took this class and I know my husband is this point I'm honestly more excited than anxious for labor to start.  I feel more prepared, my husband feels more prepared, we both feel like we KNOW what we're supposed to do and how we can make this homebirth successful.

Anyone else take a class during pregnancy that they felt was really necessary and really left them feeling empowered and ready to give birth to their babies?  I can't recommend Jane Austin's homebirthing childbirth class enough if you're in the bay area having a homebirth!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What's the Opposite of Nesting?

Cause that's what I've been doing, the opposite of nesting.

It's probably just called procrastinating.

I'm like an expert procrastinator, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that I'm doing it now.

But I feel like with just 5 weeks left some of this "nesting" that I hear so much about should really be kicking in.

Instead I'm just sort of going through the motions. 

 I KNOW I need to do certain things like rent my birth tub and I DID finally do it, but was not easy to motivate myself to JUST DO IT.  

Same with photographers, same with my birth kit, same with freezer meals, same with nursery.  I just can't seem to finish up the last little bit of "things" that need to get done before I pop this kid out.

I'm not even feeling overwhelmed or like I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO, I just can't seem to find the motivation to do the last few things.

Part of it is that I'm feeling absolutely exhausted these last few days.  I've gone back to getting up 4-5 times a night to pee (yet another indication that baby may have dropped, stomach less squished and bladder more squished) and when you're up every 2 hours I think you miss out on your REM sleep because a full sleep cycle is something like 3 hours?

I see some of you other preggos at this stage of pregnancy making lists and finishing everything up and really getting "ready" and I'm like BLAH, do I have to?  Do I REALLY need those freezer meals?  Do I REALLY need to finish the nursery?  Can't I just sleep until the baby comes at which point apparently I'm never going to sleep again?

This 5 week window of "full term" is kind of ridiculous.  Baby can come anywhere from 2 weeks to 7 weeks from now and all would be "normal".  But that's a pretty big window.

And if you're like me you like to put things off until the last minute.  OH YES I'm one of THOSE people.  Procrastinator to the end.  But when's the last minute?  It could be NOW, these could be our last 2 weeks...or it could be in 5 weeks, which means I have PLENTY of time...or it could be 7 weeks which means WHY AM I EVEN THINKING ABOUT THIS STUFF NOW.

So, what's this little preggo to do?  I can't find the motivation without the deadline, but the deadline is SO ambiguous that it's almost NOT a deadline...the REAL deadline is August 29, which is when baby HAS TO HAVE MADE IT'S EXIT.

Big fat sigh.

Guess we'll just keep blogging instead of nesting.

Anyone else having trouble finishing up before baby?  Or are you all crazy Type A's with lists galore and you're all busy ticking boxes while I contemplate and blog about freezer meals instead of making freezer meals?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bumpdate - 35 Weeks


What the hell have I been jabbering on about for 300 posts?

Second, today is 35 weeks, which means 35 days left of pregnancy!

And at one day shy of 35 weeks, that would be yesterday, it happened... I finally feel tired, fat and just too damn pregnant to do anything.

My husband is gone and I'm stressed, I'm very very stressed.

And I'm tired.  I'm so so tired.

It's 6:30pm and I want to go to bed. (I wrote this part yesterday and for the record I stayed up until 9:30pm...but that was entirely the sun's fault, if this was winter and the sun went down at 4:30pm I definitely would have been in bed at 6:30pm!)

How far along: 35 Weeks

Weight Gain: +2 lbs this morning, this brings me to a total of 22 lbs.

What's Up with My Body: I still don't have these aches, pains and swelling that everyone keep talking about, I would go so far as to say I feel good EXCEPT when I have to walk somewhere...walking sucks.  My midwife told me much earlier on that walking would become uncomfortable later in pregnancy and I didn't believe her...I believe her now.  I can't even describe why it's uncomfortable, it just is.  My legs and feet feel like they're carrying around a much heavier load (duh! they are!) and my pelvis starts to feel heavy.  I don't think baby has dropped yet, but my pelvis definitely feels the weight of carrying baby around these I waddle.  I can walk normally for about 20 minutes and after's waddle time!  And these goddamn hills in San Francisco?  Forget it, there's no normal walking it's waddle, waddle, waddle all the way home.

My belly started itching for the first time last night.  Not a fan of the itchy belly!  I'm so sorry for any of you that had this start way back in the 20's weeks!  Yuck!

Oh my new favorite pregnancy symptom that I just noticed and thus have no idea how long it's been going on.  THE HAIR!  My hair does not fall out so it feels lush and thick.  I literally have NO hair in the drain after I take a shower and if I brush it NO hair comes out, it's DAMN COOL.  I wish my hair was always like this!  I do not want it to fall out in clumps post baby!

And did I mention I'm tired?

And that I'm stressed?  We put things like "Install Car Seat" and "Begin Freezer Meals" on the calendar weeks ago and they seemed WAY far away...well, WAY far away is suddenly here!  Car seat?  Supposed to go in NOW.  Freezer Meals?  Supposed to start those NOW.  Birth Kit?  Ugh, supposed to have that ready in a week!  And if I wasn't stressed enough one of the girls in my group prenatal class who was just 2 weeks ahead of me gave birth on Sunday!  A bit early at 36w something, but Eek!  Almost baby time!

Emotions: Oh dear.  I've fallen off my rocker again, some days are fine, others ARE NOT.  If I'm tired I get irritable REALLY QUICKLY and I'm back to crying at the drop of a hat.  This construction is killing me, they are somehow really draining on me emotionally, it's like they're IN MY BIRTH SANCTUARY...I want these people GONE!

Food: I'm still not hungry.  If I'm by myself I'm finding it really difficult to eat, just because I don't FEEL hungry and thus don't hunt out food like I should BUT if I sit down to eat I find I can consume large amounts of food and that obviously my tummy isn't squished TOO much because I can really eat a lot these days if someone presents me with food.  Maybe baby did drop and I just didn't notice?

Baby: Baby seems to be measuring on the larger side while I and my uterus seem to be measuring on the smaller side, wait, what?!  Yep.  At my midwife appt last week they palpated my uterus for the first time!  Do OB's do this?  They basically measure baby's size with their hands rather than with a machine.  This is one of those things that is becoming a "lost art" in the world of obstetrics and I'm so happy that midwives are keeping it alive.  IT'S VERY COOL.  But back to the palpating.  Baby was measuring roughly 5.5 lbs at 34 weeks which is at the very high end of normal BUT my uterus was only measuring at 32 weeks which is at the low end of normal.  No one is concerned about any of this as it's all within the realm of NORMAL, it's just interesting to know that YOU REALLY CAN'T TELL HOW BIG BABY IS BY THE SIZE OF YOUR BUMP.  But big growing baby explains why I'm so tired, why I suddenly feel heavy and...waddly and why I actually gained 2 lbs in one week.  I can only hope baby doesn't continue along the path of growing a 1/2 pound a week because we're looking at an 8.5-9 lb baby if that's the case!

Labor Signs:  I had way more Braxton Hicks contractions back in the 20's weeks than I do now.  I still get them daily but only a few.  I'm still pretty damn sure that baby is going to stay in for awhile.

Gender:  You guys my poll is split 50/50, exactly half of you think boy and half of you think girl, THAT'S HILARIOUS.  I had another baby boy dream this boy dreams are definitely outnumbering baby girl dreams at this point.  And at my baby shower I got a resounding GIRL vote with only a few guessing boy.  Truly this is going to be quite a surprise!


I might grow out of this tank top before we're through here, it barely covers the maternity panel on my jeans!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Newborn Photographer

I have ummed and awwed about every different photographer there is for a pregnant lady and decided on nothing.

I'm very picky when it comes to photography.

I've been pondering maternity photos...after much research decided on NO because as much as I like pretty belly photos I think those pictures of the husband with his hands around the woman cuddling her belly are cheesy.  SORRY IF YOU LOVE THOSE.  It's just not our thing.  And am I really going to blow up and frame a picture of my belly?  I'm thinking probably not.  So I had decided no right up until last week when my midwife made it clear that she thought I had a pretty belly and should REALLY get it I'm back to undecided because how many bellies does a midwife see?  Seems like if your midwife tells you that your belly is pretty you HAVE to have it photographed.  Still undecided and rapidly running out of time for this one.

I've pondered birth photography since I was 22.  Sometimes I see AMAZING stuff and I'm like OMG I WANT THAT but every time I go hunting for a birth photographer in the area I'm met with...meh.  Nobody's work is really jumping out at me and making me want to spend the money on them AND have them in the room with me while I'm in labor and pushing a baby out of my hoohah.

And then there's newborn photographers.  I knew I was going to do this it just hasn't been at the forefront of my mind lately and I kept forgetting about it.  Especially because I was still looking for BIRTH photographers and you know birth comes before a newborn so I figured I should make a decision on that one first.  But all of a sudden it's like SHIT we need to get this figured out NOW!  So, last week I went on a mission to find myself a newborn photographer.  I was searching and searching, getting more and more discouraged when VOILA!

I found her.

I found my photographer.

Look at these babes:

I die.

And just like that DECISION MADE.

I've hired my photographer.

Anyone else hiring a newborn photographer?  Or maternity?  Or birth photographer?

* NONE OF THESE PICTURES ARE MINE, they are all Sarka Trager Photography

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Bumpdate - 34 Weeks

OMG, it's July, We're Having A Baby NEXT MONTH!!!

And we're just 3 weeks away from a fully cooked baby...that's insane!

I'm kind of in shock.

So at 34 weeks I have 2 words for you:

Constipation + Hemorrhoids

My new version of hell.

Pizza is my new enemy.

Never. Eating. Pizza. Again.

Ok, I'm being overly dramatic.

But only slightly.

I will in fact never eat pizza again during this pregnancy, we're done with that.


Constipation + Hemorrhoids really is a terrible terrible combination and I am once again thankful that these are pregnancy specific problems for me and not something I deal with on a regular basis.


Both problems are resolved at present.

But there were definitely some uncomfortable moments this week.

Enough about hemorrhoids, on to the bumpdate.

How far along: 34 Weeks

Weight Gain: Up another pound, 20 lbs total.

What's Up With My Body:  Didn't we already talk about this?  Constipation and Hemorrhoids!  Other than that I have only minor complaints.  I get the sciatica in my left butt cheek into the tailbone every once in awhile, my back between my shoulder blades hurts every once in awhile, I have heartburn every once in awhile and I get shooting pains down my crotch every once in awhile, which my midwives call "fire crotch"...awesome, but it's nothing compared to the CONSTIPATION AND HEMORRHOIDS COMBO. I'm still pretty comfortable, no swelling, I'm not feeling huge, no stretch marks other than the boob one, no itchy belly.  My feet do hurt if I'm on them too long and I find myself waddling if I've been walking too much, but no hip or pelvic pain yet.

Sleep: Sleep has been exactly the same since Day 1 of this pregnancy.  I get up 3-4 times a night to pee, every single night.  I don't remember what it's like to sleep through the night BUT I have yet to experience "pregnancy insomnia" as I am always able to fall back to sleep. Generally I'm not in pain at night and rolling over is still easy enough that I don't feel the need to complain about it.

AMUSING STORY ABOUT SLEEP - Both my cats started puking at 3:30am last night.  I became convinced that there was a carbon monoxide leak because I've heard stories about there being a leak and the doggies getting up, throwing up and then going back to bed with their owners and then the owners AND the doggies die from carbon monoxide poisoning.  We were all up until 5:30am, all the lights in the house were on, windows were opened, us on the computers, us checking our co2 leak detector, us thinking we were nauseous, etc etc.  Finally we decided we were being ridiculous as I am pregnant and get nauseous sometimes and he had had a whooping cough vaccine that day which side effect can be...nausea...and the cats?  Well, the cats are inside/outside cats, maybe they ate something?  Ultimately as you can tell, we are alive and the cats are alive and I don't think there's a co2 leak in the house BUT we just stocked up on MORE co2 leak detectors...just in case.  This morning it felt like this was a prelude to parenthood...up. all. night. with pukey babies, worried sick....awesome.


Apparently I was feeling patriotic today as I got up and put on a red and white dress and wore a blue jean jacket with it.  I didn't even notice my 4th of July outfit until one of the neighbors commented on it.  This is my one and only Old Navy Maternity dress and I actually had to tie the empire waist tie differently than it's intended to make it fit me properly.  So. Much. Extra. Fabric in such weird places on Old Navy Maternity I honestly don't know who they're intended for...but it's not me.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

It's Poll Taking Time Folks

The time has arrived.

Before baby drops (which according to can happen anytime now) I need to know the numbers.

Who thinks Baby B is a boy?

And who thinks Baby B is a girl?

I'll give you some Old Wives Tales to help you along, although these always end up being about 50/50 don't they?

Poll is over on the right hand side of the page and will remain up until Baby makes his/her appearance.

Here we go...

The bump shape:  Low and out front, "basketball" shaped is boy.  High and more "all over" is girl.  Originally I was carrying very high and my bump was definitely not ball we've entered later pregnancy we're still carrying high but it's definitely all out in front and looks more basketball-like every day.  Today I'm gonna give this one to BOY

Baby's heartrate:  This one is SUPPOSED TO BE higher heart rate is girl and lower heart rate is boy.  MY SISTER FLIP FLOPS THESE and she is way more REALLY accurate.  So, baby has consistently measured in the 130's throughout this pregnancy = GIRL

Morning Sickness:  Nausea and vomiting is girl.  No sicky is boy.  I escaped morning sickness = BOY

Mama's skin:  If you have acne during pregnancy it's a girl.  Clear skin it's a boy.  My skin has been fine = BOY

Husband's Weight Gain:  If your husband gains weight right along side of you it's a girl.  If not, boy.  Dom is training for a marathon and LOSING weight = BOY

Pregnant Face: If you look pregnant in the face, it gets rounder and fuller, it's a girl.  No pregnant face for me...yet = BOY

Cravings:  If you crave sweets you're having a girl, if you crave salt you're having a boy.  My one and only craving has been sweets = GIRL

Chinese Gender Prediction = BOY

Alright, those are actually shockingly in favor of BOY...did I miss any good ones?

Here's the bump again for reference since that's honestly the one that I personally like to use:

What does everyone think?  Boy or girl???

Monday, July 2, 2012

Husband Turns 40

My husband officially became an old man today.

He turned the BIG 4-0.

We had every intention of making him a father before he reached this milestone.

We'll be about 6 weeks close!

We celebrated yesterday with friends, beer, BBQ and good ol' San Francisco summer weather...yes, fog.

Happy Birthday Husband!