Sunday, August 31, 2008

Can it be?

I really do feel great for someone who is 38 weeks pregnant. With the exception of incident described in an earlier post, I mostly move without pain/real restriction. Rolling over in bed is the exception, but even that is still tolerable. I can walk miles, am still wearing my rings, have no significant heartburn. I really can't complain.

I am now more pregnant than I ever have been. The Hippo was born at exactly 38 weeks and I'm officially 38 weeks and 3 days...

I am, however, ready to be done. I've moved past the "oh it's so wonderful to be pregnant" and on to the "I want the baby already!" phase. I've been looking at pics of the Hippo as a newborn and I can't wait for this babe. I was such a mess for at least his first month. I don't recall really leaving my bedroom for days and days. In retrospect, I probably had some form of mild PPD at the very least.

Trying to figure out sleeping arrangements for our family bed. Right now we have a king and the Hippo sleeps between us. He still nurses occasionally at night and seems to like being able to roll between us. I'm thinking to put up a toddler rail and have new baby sleep between it and me with me facing new baby and my back to the Hippo unless he desperately needs a boob in the night.

The other option is moving the Hippo to the other side of DH and putting new baby in the middle. Or switching sides of the bed and putting the Hippo between me and the railing and new baby between me and DH.

We own a pack n play with the bassinet feature that I plan to set up next to the bed for naptime and such so I suppose having the baby sleep there is an option as well...

My midwife got deliriously excited when I mentioned I was totally jonesing for a bagel with cream cheese. I said that if I wanted a good one, I'd have to make them myself because the only kosher bagels available in our city come in a plastic bag on the grocery store shelf. "You should make them to have right after you have the baby!!!" She almost fell off the couch. Bagels and cream cheese all around, I guess. I had been wondering what to make to feed the birth crowd (ok, not crowd: midwife, doula, DH, me, and possibly MIL and the Hippo if they are here). And, if the baby's a boy...I can just make a triple batch and freeze them for the bris! I'm so not one of THOSE people (who make and freeze stuff months in advance of the event), but this sounds fairly clever even to me.

True confessions: right now it feels like I'll be pregnant forever. My brain is refusing to process that at some point within the next 4 weeks (for some reason I doubt I'll go over 42 weeks), I'll have a baby. Last night I dreamt that DH and I were, um, trying to be intimate eight days postpartum. In the dream I reasoned out that I had a c-section, so I wouldn't be sore... Hello, after the Hippo we waited 3 friggin' months. What was my brain thinking - 8 days...! Silly brain. In any case, I hope I'm good and sore in the right place 8 days after giving birth and that the pain is not a result of an incision (epis. or abdo.).

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Forgot to mention...

that I'm feeling better. I'm more tired than usual, but this is not surprising. I can still walk and do most everything (excluding bending over) most of the time. It seems to depend on where baby is sitting - in or out of my pelvis. In any case, we're back to business as usual and I'm trying to wrap my mind around the fact that this baby really could come at any time. Craziness.

Slightly up?

Saw the midwife today. My bp was 130/84. This is fine, but the trend seems to be upward. The last four visits have been 120/84, 125/76, 130/80, and now today's number.

I'm doin' it all - walking, eating vegetables and protein, keeping my blood sugar down, seeing an acupuncturist...

Oh well. If all else fails, I'll insist on labetalol but by then we're already in the hospital. I'll have to bring my ass-kicking boots.

Feeling great. Heading out for a long walk in an hour when the Hippo wakes up. 38 weeks tomorrow.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

0 to miserable in 24 hours...

Ok, maybe that's a slight exaggeration. I saw the midwife Wednesday. Fine. BP 130/80. Weight gain: 15 lbs so far. Baby's heartrate: not sure - baby was hiccuping every 3-4 beats and we were laughing at that so I forgot to ask. Sounded about the same as last week, though (130-140).

I'm starting to swell just a bit. Can't get my rings off right now but I have been able to for the past few days (since the swelling started).

I saw my chiro on Friday. She adjusted my pubic bone (in addition to my pelvis and back) and then I went for a big (think 6 km) walk. Mistake? I think so. I felt great during most of the walk but I was pretty scared that baby was going to fall out near the end. Now, that would be TOTALLY fine with me. I was picturing myself trying to get my underwear off under my long jean skirt without really alerting other walkers as to what I was doing...

I was an emotional wreck Friday night. Still managed to snap at DH even though he was a saint and took the Hippo out for a few hours so I could reset my sanity by tidying the kitchen and cooking. After the Hippo went to bed, I sobbed to DH about what a horrible person I am and why can't I just be nice. Turns out he still loves me (even though he didn't appreciate being snapped at ) and I am very thankful for that.

I've gone from "I don't feel pregnant as long as I'm moving around" to "The baby is sitting on my bladder and on my rectum so I pretty much always feel like I have to pee and poo". My lower back has started to ache. DH is learning the virtues of counterpressure. Not only did he give me a backrub yesterday afternoon, he let me nap for two hours while he played with the Hippo in the living room. I love my husband.

I'm having more and more BH contrax. I can feel them down low and they make my scar area feel sore. I'm not sure why this is. The Hippo was never this low. Am I sore because of the scar or would I have been this sore if the Hippo had ever unwedged his feel from my ribs? I was pretty tender when the chiro was adjusting me on Friday.

My feet don't look too swollen - they look like I've been standing all day on a hot day. I think I'm going to climb into the bathtub and see if I can soak some of the swelling away. I have NOT worked this hard and come this far only to swell up like a balloon at 37.5 weeks. With the Hippo I was swollen much, much earlier (30ish weeks, I think?) and it was REAL swelling.

A final thought: in 5 days I will be more pregnant than I have ever been. Hippo was extracted at 38 weeks exactly.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Short Active Labour? 36 wks 5 days

I finally questioned my mother in-depth about her births. I knew the basics (I was induced via AROM, my brother came when she was sick with the flu), but I didn't know how each labour progressed. Turns out she had a 2 hour active phase with me and about 15 minutes of active labour with my brother.

With me, the doctor ruptured her membranes around 10 am. She finally had regular contractions at 12ish. Things got serious at 6 and I was born at 8pm (33 years ago today!!).

With my brother, she went to the hospital late at night and he was born the next morning. When the doctor finally showed up, he checked her and she was less than 5 cm so he said he was going to get some breakfast. Before he hit the elevator she was in transition and my brother was born 5 contractions later.

Not sure if I have inherited these birthing genes, but I'm hopeful.

I decided to take the GBS test just for my own info. We discussed what would happen if we had to transfer and they found out I had refused antibiotics. My midwife assured me that they would only want to monitor baby and perhaps run blood test after 12 hours or so. I'm taking echinacea, burdock root, and astragulus tinctures to help build my immune system.

All is well on the blood sugar front. I haven't been as vigilant about testing the past 4 days because I haven't eaten anything that sets me off. I need to go buy more strips tomorrow, though. My fasting numbers have dropped back down considerably. Not sure if this is in response to stress reduction or having been off wheat for long enough that it's out of my system. I wasn't really any more stressed out before than I am now. My bp at the last visit was 120/84. The 84 has me a touch worried that I'm on an upward trend, but my midwife wasn't at all alarmed. I see the acupuncturist Wed and will ask her specifically to focus on bp. I also had a cup of coffee before the reading at the midwife so I suspect that could have done it (caffeine has been known to raise my blood pressure before).

I have no swelling to speak of so far. At this point last time I was swollen up like a balloon. I can still get my rings on and off. On the warmer days I do get a touch swollen, but this would happen even if I weren't pregnant.

I pulled out the birth pool today and read the instructions. We went shopping for a hose-faucet attachment and a tarp for the floor, but we got frustrated at not being able to find anything at Canadian Tire so we left. A local store offers a basket full of the homebirth supplies required by our midwife, so I'll buy that instead of dragging the Hippo in and out of a bunch of stores. It's a little more expensive, but the extra $20 is likely worth the aggravation and fuel.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hangin' In There

All is well here, thank G-d. I've been seeing the chiro and babe is quite low (I've had almost no heartburn!!!!). When I stand, baby's bum is only a few inches above my belly button. I felt pressure on my cervix for the first time ever a few days ago while riding in the car.

Sugar control has been pretty easy. I cut out all wheat and wheat products. Obviously I'm off sugar, too. It's totally doable at this point. I can still eat fruit in combo with protein and some on its own (melons). Quinoa, spelt, rye, and kamut are grains my body tolerates well so far (haven't tried any others). At first I felt hungry all the time until I realized there were grains out there that worked for me.

I'm hemming and hawing about the Group B strep test. I was barely positive last time ("scant growth"). This time my midwife gave me a protocol to follow that helps keep down the GBS, but it sounds like a huge hassle considering all the rest of the things I'm dealing with. That said, I don't think I'd go to the hospital for the prophylactic antibiotics unless I was totally rife with the bacteria. I just would like to know so that I can keep an eye on babe if I am GBS+.

I'm feeling more and more like this birth will happen at home. I'm starting to ask the necessary questions and make the necessary preparations. I've decided to set up the birth pool we bought just in case. Not sure I'll want to be in it, but my doula thought it would be a nice option. I have a feeling that gravity will play an important role for me in birthing since baby drops noticeably the more I walk during the day then floats back up at night when I'm lying down.

I had a dream the other night where I was telling someone I'd had a dream that I had a repeat c/s. In the same night, I dreamt that I had baby at home and she came out fast and without any pain... In the dream I called my mom and told her that giving birth didn't hurt at all...

I'm currently 35.5 weeks. At this point in my first pregnancy, the Hippo was 2.5 weeks away from being born (though I didn't know it at the time). It's a little crazy to think of it that way, especially since I'm planning to be pregnant for at least 5.5 more weeks.

All in all, I feel fantastic. The only time I really feel pregnant is when I'm bending over or I'm rolling over in bed. If I'm out walking, I feel awesome and have had very few low-energy days.

The Hippo and I belong to a group of 5 moms and toddlers. Until Friday, all the moms were pregnant for the second time. The first mama had her baby at home in the water on Friday. I'm next by due date and the third mama is due about 2.5 weeks after I am. The other two aren't due until March. All of them had vaginal births the first time (yippee!!) - even though one babe was an undiagnosed frank breech. Let's see if we can make it 5/5 vaginal births this time! I also have two friends due in December - one with her third (first two were vag) and one with her first.

Off to bed!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Gestational Diabetes

So, wherever you fall in the "does gestational diabetes really exist?" debate, I'm here to tell you that there is at least some truth to some mamas getting abnormal sugar readings in late pregnancy. I'm now one of them. About 10 days ago, I discovered that I'm no longer tolerant of any wheat - I'd sworn off white flour ages ago, but I'm a baking fanatic and plain whole wheat artisan bread is pretty much a staple of our diet. Not anymore - not for me, at least. I made the mistake of having a peanut butter sandwich a few days ago - whoa. I've never felt my blood sugar spike before, but I could surely feel this. It almost felt the same as when I know my blood sugar is low (shaky, unable to think clearly). It was scary.

Kamut seems to sit nicely, as does quinoa (in limited quantities). I've made some kamut bread and will try some this morning to see what it does to the blood sugar. I'm hoping to be able to tolerate at least a slice.

The hardest part right now is feeling full - I pretty much never feel full. I'm hoping the kamut bread will help with this (is it just psychological or do I really need some form of grain to feel satiated?). I've been mostly combining protein sources and vegetables with some fruit thrown in (fruit doesn't seem to cause a spike in me for now), but I'm starving again 2 hours later.

Oy. This too shall pass and my baby and I will be healthier for it.