Tuesday, February 12, 2013

35+ Weeks Pregnant

I have been meaning to do a pregnancy update, but just never seem to have the time.

I last saw the doctor at 34 weeks on February 1st.  I had gained 3 lbs in 2 weeks, for a total gain of 28.4 pounds (which is about average for me--yay!).  We listened to the baby's heartbeat, but I didn't catch the rate.  The baby was wiggling all over the place, so it was possibly hard to catch a rate (it has typically been in the 140s).  Or it could be that I was just talking so much that the doctor couldn't get a word in edgewise to tell me.  :)  My blood pressure was great at 100/62.  She didn't tell me what my tummy measured, but I assume it was within the range of normal or she would have said something.

This picture was taken a couple days later:



I'm feeling ok considering I'm 35 weeks pregnant.  I've been having some trouble with my SI joint this pregnancy.  I thought it was sciatica at first, but a friend who is a therapist suggested it could be my SI joint.  I did a little research and decided the description fit perfectly.  I found some great exercises/stretches to do.  I saw my chiropractor twice, who confirmed my suspicions and gave me a clean bill of health--telling me to keep up the exercises.

I've been taking an iron supplement, but I'm not sure it's got me back up to where I need to be.  I have taken both a pill form (that the doctor prescribed) and a liquid form that I bought on Amazon.  I don't like the liquid form at all--it has honey used to sweeten it, and I really can't stand honey.  Yuck!  I have also been drinking Earth Mama's Third Trimester Tea, which has some red raspberry leaf and other herbs in it.  I have never been a tea drinker in my life, but a spoonful of sugar goes a long way.  I find it soothing in the afternoons when I tend to feel cold for some reason.  This week I started steeping some straight red raspberry leaf with it also.  Apparently it's supposed to help "tone" the uterus.  It may not do anything at all.  But I figured that by baby #9 (and 36 29 years old) my uterus may need a little toning.

I'm having a lot of trouble sleeping, which leaves me feeling exhausted most of the day. I have lots of weird dreams.  When I wake up from one I immediately flush it from my memory by 1) purposefully avoiding recalling it and/or retelling it and 2) bringing to mind real events in my life.  Unfortunately sometimes I get my mind working on real life "problems" and then can't fall back to sleep easily.  Oops!  For some reason when I sleep on my right side my right arm falls asleep.  When I sleep on my left side (which is preferred for pg women anyway) I don't have any problems.  But I can't sleep on one side all night long because I get too stiff/sore.  Sometimes I wake up on my back--oops again! When I roll over at night, the baby invariably wakes up and pushes on my bladder...so I'm up 3-4 times a night now.  I always think of this time as prep for after the baby is born when I'll be getting up every couple hours to feed.

The baby is very active, especially in the evening when I am getting ready for bed and after I eat.  The past couple weeks she has insisted on ramming herself up under my ribs, particularly when I'm driving in the car/van.  She doesn't listen when I tell her there's not enough room!  I wish I could remember better from pregnancy to pregnancy.  I always think that whatever baby I'm carrying is the most active baby ever.  I think I just blissfully forget how forceful the movements are in the last weeks.  She responds when I push on my tummy (I love trying to guess what parts I'm feeling), to loud noises, and a change of environment (like getting in the warm shower).  I'm weirdly fascinated with the show "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" and at this point seriously doubt any of those women could possibly be telling the truth.  If they are they certainly did not experience a pregnancy with a mover like mine!

Yesterday I was pondering my to-do list and started to feel just a little panicky as I counted down days left on the calendar.  I don't have a bag packed, and I don't even have a list!  So I got out my baby journals from previous pregnancies and started working on a list of essential items to shove in the hospital bag when it comes time.  Here is what my to-do list still looks like:
  • Figure out where the baby will sleep during the day (I *think* it will be in the smaller bassinet if I bring it upstairs and instead set up a pack-n-play beside my bed.  There's not enough room to leave up a pack-n-play upstairs all the time.  This should work at least for a couple months until she gets bigger, then hopefully I can have her sleep downstairs during the day if I get a good baby monitor.)
  • Get down the infant carseat/carrier and clean it
  • Clean out the van and the car (I wish I could wait for warmer weather, but I probably shouldn't)
  • Finish knitting the baby blanket I am working on--it's my first time knitting one!  For someone who takes days just to knit a dishcloth, this is a monumental achievement.  (I would have finished it long ago if I had been crocheting, just for the record).
  • Back up the computer hard drives (my external hard drive kicked the bucket recently...I need a replacement to back up my computers...I know this doesn't seem related to the baby, but it IS important)
  • Work on Malachi's 1st year baby album (low on my priority list at this point, but I do have the pictures printed...in my dream world I'd also get Tirzah's and Obi's done!)
  • Finish my tax return (almost done!)
  • Finish diapers for the baby (I have a lot of hand me downs from Tirzah, but not quite enough...I have a few cute new diapers almost done--9 fitted newborns, 5 newborn covers, and 2 newborn all-in-twos).  Eventually I'd like to make her a complete stash (18-24+) of one-size pockets, but we'll see.
  • Pack for the hospital (Some things I can pack ahead of time)
 While I had my baby books out last night, I did a little reflecting.  (AKA I analyzed the heck out of them).  My official due date is March 15, but that is because I gave the doctor the wrong lmp...it should be March 16.  The ultrasound at 20 weeks had March 16 as an estimated due date too, which is a little weird because usually my babies measure ahead at least a little.  This whole pregnancy I have been thinking the baby would come on March 11, and I've had my sights set on that week (I'd be 39 weeks pregnant).  Here are my stats from previous pregnancies:
#1 delivered at 39 weeks 3 days, (went into labor, broke my water to get things moving a little faster) 4 days early
#2 delivered at 37.5 weeks, (water broke and was induced) 17 days early
#3 delivered at 37.5 weeks, (went into labor) 10 days early
#4 delivered at 37.5/38.5 weeks, (water broke and was induced) 18 days early (11 days early based on ultrasound)
#5 delivered at 37 weeks 6 days (38 weeks), (water broke and was induced) 15 days early
#6 delivered at 38 weeks, (went into labor) 10 days early
#7 delivered at 39 weeks, (water broke and induced) 7 days early
#8 delivered at 38 weeks 2 days, (water broke and was induced) 13 days early

Some other information:
#1 I had narcotics, baby was posterior and asynclitic
#2 I had narcotics and a pudendal block right before delivery
#3 I had an epidural, absolutely perfect delivery
#4 I had an epidural, baby was posterior and badly bruised
#5 I had an epidural, baby was posterior
#6 I went completely unmedicated, but hemorrhaged after the birth and was miserable on pitocin the rest of the day
#7 I had an epidural, baby was posterior, epidural didn't seem to work
#8 I had an epidural, baby was posterior and badly bruised

What will this delivery be like???
I've delivered an average of 11 days early, or at about 38 weeks 2 days, which would put me around the first week of March (a week earlier than I planned!).  I think I'll still plan on the second week of March but get myself ready earlier.

I am praying for a baby that is facing the right direction.  I hope that my water doesn't break before delivery starts because there seems to be a correlation between the position of the baby and water breaking (#1, #4, #5, #7, #8).  The chiropractor said that I need to keep moving during birth in order for my SI joint/sacrum to be happy.  With #3 and #6, who were positioned perfectly, I didn't arrive at the hospital until I was quite dilated and well into labor, so being up and moving (rather than laying in bed) definitely must be a correlation to baby's position.

I can't keep moving if I have an epidural.  I'm preparing for an unmedicated birth by brushing up on my Bradley method skills, but I'm going in with an open mind.    We'll see what happens, though, I had a lot of fears to overcome and just couldn't do it med-free the last two times. 

"Every birth is different," is the mantra of my doctor.  "Healthy mom, healthy baby is our goal."  She's right.  I could have 100 births and they all be different (she has attended nearly 1,000, she said).  But it's still fun to analyze and speculate and try to learn from the experience.

In doing all this I also remind myself that while it is a significant, miraculous event, it's also a very short-term thing.  I try not to let it consume my focus and attention and take away from the needs of those around me.  Preparing for the birth of a child is important, but so are daily lives of my spouse and my other children.  I can seriously wrap myself up in this so much that I become a selfish pregnant lady, grumpy anytime someone dares to break my train of thought.  This is sinful.  The baby will come on the day that God has ordained in the method He has already planned.  I can take a chill pill now.  :)

Also I have had several friends around me suffer devastating losses recently in their own pregnancies.  My doctor's "healthy mom, healthy baby" seems like such a cliche, but it is a chance to reflect on the true miracle of birth.  One friend said to me, "It's a miracle that any of us are here."  She is right.  Do we take that for granted?  My focus on the delivery of my child can be so myopic.  Every day is a gift.  Not just every day of pregnancy, but every day of our lives.  Each breath is a gift from God.  I'm thankful that He is real and present and active in my life.  I need to remember this each time I feel anxious or like I'm losing control. 

Speaking of losing control...I need to wrap this up before the day is completely lost!  :)  Stay tuned...

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