Thursday, April 24, 2014

Week 32 Update

Well technically as I am writing this I am starting my 33rd week which means I’m entering my ninth month which was cause for a little panic attack this morning. I feel like we are on the right track in terms of accomplishing things but I feel like there is still so much I want to get done before the baby arrives. I’m working on a separate baby shower post but that has come and gone and was great. The reason I haven’t been writing much was because I think it’s really important to write out thank you cards as soon as you can and I focused on those during work downtime the past two weeks, they are all written and sent out! I am also working on a nursery post and might even detail one of the DIY projects in my other blog site, which I have been seriously neglecting. I have one science article that is almost ready and luckily a non-science article that is ready to post to use when I have been particularly dormant just so I’m still active on there. At this point there is some science content that I would have liked to have researched and wrote about on this blog pertaining to both the developmental biology of the baby and the science behind pregnancy that I just don’t have time for but that’s ok. The most important stuff is baby prep at this point, everything else is gravy. We took our prenatal class and have an infant CPR class scheduled, we ran out of time in terms of taking an infant care class but hopefully we can look up and read up on what we need to. We are scheduled for our whooping cough vaccines and I met with the pediatrician we are planning on going with, so I feel like the major stuff is taken care of. The paperwork for the baby has been sent off to the hospital and I have spoke with my HR contact person regarding my maternity leave so everything is underway. Next up on my to-do list is to write out my birth plan and figure out what I need to pack in our hospital bags. I also plan to continue to look over the all the information we got from our birthing class.
We’ve been very busy in the condo the past two weeks, working on the art project in the nursery and doing our last (big) home improvement- pulling up the carpet in our living room and hallway and putting down pergo floors. It came out really nice and I’m so glad we got to it before the baby’s arrival. It was the last major home reno on our original list (there are still more things on the list, of course, but this was the last big undertaking) so I’m so happy to have it done. The baby’s room is still a mess- all the shower gifts are in various places, tucked away pre-floor project (yes there are some in the second bathroom tub!) but before we did the floors I was able to wash almost everything we got from the shower with the baby-appropriate detergent and put them away in the baby’s dresser. The floors need a little more work and then we'll be free to focus solely on getting the nursery organized. 
                Knock on wood, I’m still feeling really good, decent amount of energy heading into the final stretch, still able to do about an hour of cardio Monday-Friday.  I definitely need to rest more, but sometimes it’s just a matter of lying down for 15 minutes, not even sleeping but just elevating my legs and chilling for 15-20 minutes after I’ve been out somewhere or worked out. I'm still doing my regular cooking, cleaning, and errand running so that is nice. I don’t feel totally out of control eating-wise and I haven’t had any crazy cravings yet. I thought at this point I would wake up starving in the middle of the night but that has only happened a few times. And emotionally I feel pretty good, thought I’d be all over the place mirroring how I felt in the first trimester but so far not too many emotional outbursts! I feel excited and anxious most of the time which I think might be trumping the fatigue.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Week 29- Major points from Prenatal Class

We were told on Monday at the OBGYN that this baby is BIG, quickly replaced by the word ‘healthy’ but the doc put it out there and now that’s all I can think about! Really there is nothing wrong with a big baby and maybe it means the little one, if I can even describe him/her that way anymore, will be ready to come out a little early on the timeline. Chris & I have just been planning all along that we have until the end of May, since I am due June 10th, in terms of planning/scheduling things.  We figure treating the last few weeks as extra is a good way to go, so if we are surprised early we will have all the preparation done.

This was taken around 27 weeks.

I haven’t been writing much and I haven’t researched any more topics I want to look into yet and I feel like the list of what I want to look into is growing. I’ve been busy with other things mostly baby & work-related. Although I certainly wasn’t asked to help do some things for my upcoming baby shower, I like to help (which is a nice way of saying I’m a control freak) so I’ve been working on a few little things for that. I also had the idea to get the RSVP list from my mom as it comes in so I can at least give myself a head start on writing out the thank you cards by addressing the envelopes for people who have confirmed they are coming. I’ve been working on a few nursery things, finishing up the second blanket- which is getting increasingly more difficult to lay it out on the floor and straight pin, needed Chris to help me the other day. Also I’ve been working on a TBA art project for the nursery. The nursery is looking good, Chris has blown through a Honey Do list which is great. I’ll dedicate a full post to the nursery when we have decorated it.

Even though I haven’t had time to do any pregnancy-related research this week that might be a good thing since it may have been information overload since we took an all-day prenatal class on Saturday of last weekend. (We opted for the all day as opposed to the multiple class format). It was largely focused on labor & delivery and since we took it at the hospital we will be delivering at we got a tour of the ward and some information of what to expect while we are there which is great. I think the two major things I learned from the class are that I don’t need to panic and rush right to the hospital the second I start having contractions. Now that I better understand there are three stages to the first part of labor- early, active, and transition- as long as I am tracking my contractions and speaking to the doctors to let them know where I am at I am good to stay home for a while during early labor. I think this is great because it means even if Chris is at work (45 minutes away) he’ll have time to get home to me to go with me to the hospital.  I opted to not research anything about labor and delivery before taking this class because I honestly feel like there is no point stressing yourself out about it until its closer in time to actually occurring. Even though I didn’t have a lot of knowledge on the subject, I want to go into my labor & delivery with an open mind as far as pain medication is concerned. Before the class I didn’t feel strongly either way, I know there are a lot of women who feel strongly that a natural birth is the way to go, while others are 100% for the epidural before they even start their contractions. But I felt I wasn’t leaning either way, I think establishing a birth plan is nice but who knows if what you plan on and what actually happens are going to even remotely look like each other at the end of the day. I guess my overall status on the birth plan was flexible, as things happen we’ll make decisions.

After taking the class I was surprised to find out that in theory, and in theory is the key word here because I have absolutely no idea how I am going to handle being in labor and dealing with the pain, I’m leaning towards the ‘as little pain medicine as possible’ side of the argument. Although I understand the common stance of not wanting the baby to come out drugged I feel like sometimes it is unavoidable. Many, many women have had epidurals and many, many babies have turned out just fine. Also we learned in the class that the other major pain relief given to a women during pregnancy has a two hour timeframe, so for most women the medicine will come into their system and leave their system before they deliver and thus the baby comes out au natural. If in the rare case that the doctors and nurses miscalculate how much longer the women will be in labor and the baby is delivered while still under the influence of the medicine, there is an injection they will give to the baby to rid the baby’s body of the narcotic’s effects.  So that isn't my major reason is coming to my stance.  The major reason why I learned a natural birth is great if you can handle it is because you are then able to play a much more active role in your delivery. If you are on pain medicine you are confined to your bed and if you have the epidural you won’t even be able to feel when you need to push.  If you go natural, you can walk around, take a bath, stretch out, try different positions to see where you are most comfortable. This was really interesting to me because my preconceived idea was you are in that hospital bed and that is your only option. Now I, at least, see the no-drug side of the argument in more detail.
But in the end I really do plan on going in with an open mind because I have no idea how I’m going to do in the situation. Also some things are out of the women’s control/not even an option. On the video we watched in the class, we saw real women giving birth in a variety of situations- 100% natural birth, slightly medicated, epidural, planned caesarian, and unplanned- a few women were in labor for so long and their bodies were not progressing that the doctors insisted on the epidural and in some cases on a caesarian.  It was good to see all the possibilities.  Another thing I learned from the class, although I had heard previously that on additional labor with second/third children, the overall timeframe gets condensed I didn’t know the time frame for a typical first pregnancy. In our class we were taught that early labor can last from 4 to 8 hours, active labor another 4 to 8 hours and the pushing stage can go for about 2 hours giving an overall time for a first labor & delivery between 8 and 16 hours. With that in mind I think it’s really impressive women are able to do natural births, seems like it’s a more achievable goal with a second or third pregnancy since the timeframe typically shortens.  But we will see how it all goes.