Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Well, two nights ago I was sitting on our sofa reading, and after about 15 minutes realized that I'd had quite a few Braxton Hicks contractions, so I started timing them. From start to start they were about 3 to 5 minutes apart lasting 45 to 60 seconds each. The doc had said to come in if I got more than 6 an hour for two hours, so when Noel got home (one hour later - and appx 25 contractions later) we went out for dinner, where I told him (after we ordered) that I was having contractions and we decided to just go to the hospital after we ate. (I knew if I was going into pre-term labor that I'd better get something on my stomach since I knew they wouldn't feed me at the hospital) So anyway, we got there and they hooked my up to the external fetal moniter and Noel and I watched my contractions. We noticed that they subsided considerably once we got to the hospital. I hope that's not a prelude of things to come! I mean, I hear so much about women that go into labor and get to the hospital and their contractions just peter out and then they go home and they start back up again. Anyway, they did give me a shot of terbutaline to stop the contractions I was still having (they did do an internal and found I wasn't dilated at all) which caused the shakes to come on. Wow, not something I'd like to have again. Anyway, we were there for 2 hours and then they let us go, so luckily no cause for concern. Well, that's the latest...

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Well, Noel brought a flashlight to bed last night... trying to see the baby. When I asked if he could see anything, he said "no, just some big veins" It was interesting, anyway!

I chatted with my doctor about my birth plan... like no episiotomy. He basically told me if he thought I needed one, he'd give me one. I'm hoping to avoid it. I'd rather tear... from everything I've gotten my hands on, the healing time is quicker. And there ARE ways to avoid an episiotomy, although if you listened to my doctor you wouldn't think so. Hmph, well anyway. Other stuff on my birth plan I think will go okay. I don't want a C-section, but I've read up on them to get prepared, just in case. I'm hoping to go with no pain meds, and when I mentioned my birth plan to the nurse, she said it will probably end up (most if not all of it) going out the window when the time comes... her attitude was a little discouraging. Maybe I'll use a nurse midwife at a birthing center for the next baby. It's a little late now to switch, probably. That's it for now.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

It seems I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions and didn't know it! I just thought it was the baby pushing her butt up hard into me, but I've recently discovered that that's just not it. It's a tightening all over my belly and my whole uterus gets really hard. I've been marking down the times each one comes and as of last count, (since 7am this morning - it's 2:40 right now) I've had 20 of them. They come sometimes as much as an hour apart and as close as 10 minutes together. It seems like a lot, but I think I read somewhere that you shouldn't be concerned unless you have more than 4 an hour. So far I've had 4 an hour at some points, but no more than that. They don't hurt at all, just make me feel a little uncomfortable. And they are all really irregular in length and time between contractions.

Anyway, on another note, I'm doing some physical therapy for my back/hip pains and have exercises to do. Noel helps with some of them. I've got another appointment PT next Monday and another baby appointment Tuesday. I think they'll do the Group B Strep test then, but I'm not sure... I know we've got another ultrasound appointment coming up, too. I've been thinking that I'm going to want as natural a birth as possible... it seems like if your water breaks and you don't start labor in 12 hours, then the docs want to induce because of risk of infection. So you get put on pitocin, which causes HARD, PAINFUL, FREQUENT contractions that most women can't handle, so then you get put on an epidural which tends to slow down labor, and then if you haven't delivered in 24 hours, it's C-section time. Ugh, I'm going to try like heck to go w/out any inductions. (At least not Pitocin - I've also heard it causes a delay with your milk coming in) I'll take prostoglandins if I qualify! I've written up a birth plan that I'm going to give to the nurses and doctor. It's all worded very nicely.
Okay, that's it for now...

Monday, August 09, 2004

Well, we had our childbirth education class this past Saturday. We did an all-day class, so it was long, but we brought snacks, blankets and pillows and got a bit of a lunch break.
The class was given in a birthing center, not a hospital, and we took a quick tour. The place was small, but decorated like a home. It had 5 birthing rooms that were done up like fancy hotel rooms, with one having a LARGE old-fashioned claw foot tub for hydrotherapy and giving birth in water. All the others also had large tubs with jets and plenty of room for visiting friends and family. They were nice, but the rooms over at the hospital where I'll give birth were nice, too. They were larger and were similar to a large hotel room with pictures on the wall, and nice cabinets and comfy chairs and one room had a cot for someone to sleep or nap on. Most of the rooms have jacuzzi tubs, but some just have showers... we have to remember to request a room with a jacuzzi tub upon admittance. I guess it's not first come first serve, but first "ask". hehe

So, back to the class... there were videos... one of 3 different birth scenarios. One with no pain med's, one with a narcotic given, and one with an epidural. They also had differing coaching methods. One couple had a doula, for instance. Which for those who don't know is like a trained birthing partner that helps you through the whole process. We saw a video on breastfeeding that was pretty good since I will go that route, if all works well. There was some lecture time and we practiced wrapping a baby snugly in a blanket as well as saw how to diaper a baby. We were taught a couple of different labor positions, which is why we brought our blankies and pillows, and were taught some breathing techniques... the guys got to learn how to count with us through a contraction when we get to the pushing phase and how to bring us out of a possible panic scenario if our contractions suddenly start to double. Noel did really well... we both did, I think, and we've got some exercises to practice, so I think we'll be a good team for when the time comes.

We also went through some massages and different ways for the coaches to hold us to relieve some tension. It was pretty informative all in all... I just wish there was a little more spent on the breathing technicques... we didn't go over panting or Lamaze or the Bradley method, just taking deep breathes to get through contractions, and using some visual imagery as a focal point during the active phase of labor.
I've decided I'm going to try to go natural the whole way. I understand that the pushing phase can be longer with an epidural, plus you have to be catheterized (yuck, don't want to go there) although that's probably going to be a minor deal when compared with the relief I'd get. If I do an epidural, I'd probably try to time it so that it would wear off right as I'm about the start pushing so I could feel everything and have a shorter pushing time. But who knows what will happen when the time comes...

I've drawn up a birth plan for what my ideal labor and delivery scenario would entail. Noel and I are flexible, and we understand that not everything will happen as we want, but I've been informed that it's a nice way to let everyone know beforehand some of the things that are important to you. For instance, I don't want an episiotomoy unless there's a chance of extensive tearing... I want to delay the use of an IV for as long as possible. I want Noel to be able to cut the cord... I want to be able to hold the baby after birth unless there's complications, and I want to go natural and not have pain med's pushed on me unless I ask for them or I'm just getting totally exhausted. That's the bare bones of it. Oh, and since I want to breastfeed, I don't want bottles or pacifiers give to the baby.

I worded it in a really nice way so it wouldn't come off sounding like a list of demands, because of course I don't want any disgruntled nurses thinking I'm telling them how to do their job. They are they for my safety and health and if for some reason most of my requests can't be met, then that's fine as long as everyone comes out safe and sound.

Well, time to adios. Gotta get to work.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Seems I'm writing less and less as time goes by, but recently there hasn't been too much new going on. I'm getting bigger... I've gained 12 pounds and the doc seems to think that's right on. I'm two months away from my delivery date and I'm 31 weeks now. It seems as though my belly has gotten a bit more translucent. There's a darkish circle that I can see around my belly button, too. I've also got the start of that line that travels vertically through the belly button.

Recently (as of 3 days ago) I started having extreme pain in my left lower back and hip area... I would step down on my left foot and that would trigger the pain. It was so bad Noel had to carry me to the car as we were coming out of a movie. I had to use a wheelchair when we wanted to go through Home Depot and afterwards I decided to rent a pair of crutches, because what happens if he's not around and I'm stranded in the middle of a parking lot because this nerve seizes up? Anyway, I mentioned it to the doc and they advised physical therapy. The nurse thinks it's the Sciatic nerve. I've heard about that nerve, too... but usually in the context of actually labor, where the baby is pressing on it and it's so painful that it distracts from the need to push. Usually, right away in the morning I'm fine, but after I've been walking a bit, it will get irritated and start hurting. So, I've got my crutches and I'm looking at 10 weeks of physical therpy - less if the therapy takes care of it.

So, the new house is still a mess... we're still unpacking and we got a new bed, so the old mattress and box springs are in the babies room... preventing me from doing anything further decorating wise. I'll be glad when that stuff it out of there. We've got a stove and dishwasher to sell, since we've upgraded, so I need to put that stuff in the newspaper classifieds.

Well, that's it for now. I'll try to post a bit more frequently... we've got a childbirth education class coming up this Saturday, so I'll try to remember to post and let everyone know how it went.