Archive for March, 2011

Centering Shower

Belly at 31 weeks 2 days This weekend was our now twice monthly Centering appointment at the Birthing Center. Other than the “You almost but don’t have gestational diabetes” talk, the private appointment part went well. My blood pressure is good and my uterus is measuring at 31 weeks, which is exactly on target. But the best news of all is that the midwife was pretty sure that Stree is currently head down. This would make a lot of sense as I’ve been feeling more kicking in my ribs and middle abdomen and more gurgling/hiccuping lower down just above my pelvis. It would also help to explain why I’m having some sciatic nerve pressure lately that I can feel on the sides of my hips.

The class part was good. We talked, were shown, and practiced some different positions for labor and talked about what makes good “support people.” We were going to get into pain management techniques, but as often happens with this group we ran out of time.

Teddy Bear CakeAfter class was over, it was time for our Centering Shower. We went over to one of the couple’s houses that was close by the Birthing Center and had food and chatted for a while. Then we had the cake that I had made the night before and decorated that morning. After that it was time for the White Elephant Baby Gift Exchange. Mostly everyone was very polite and there was almost no stealing that happened. We got an owl rattle and an orange pig that makes noise when you shake him. Thinking back on it, pretty much everyone got a gift that suited them well. Then we had a small clothing exchange, where I got a nice top and two cute skirts. Everything that didn’t get taken will be given to a local womens shelter. We left soon after that, came home, and I fell asleep while we were watching Arthur on Netflix.

When Pregnancy Brain is not funny

So far I’ve found pregnancy brain (the forgetfulness that pregnant women get) to be mostly cute and funny. When I pause mid-sentence or if I can’t think of a word, but know all the words that describe it (the other day it was “toothpicks”), I can just laugh it off because it’s not a big deal.

When making a cake over the weekend, I picked up the wrong bowl of separated out icing amounts and made too much black icing, which is not something one can easily undo. Luckily, once I calmed down from my mistake, there was still enough icing to make the cake.

Today is another story. I forgot about someone coming by the house this morning to look into what might be termite trails in our garage. Yesterday I told Darius that it was cool if we carpooled to work as I didn’t have anything today. I got to work, turned on my computer and there’s the appointment. Of course by the time I realized my mistake, Darius was well on his way to his job and couldn’t turn around or risk being very late. ~sigh~. It’s not the end of the world. I’ll wait a bit and then call to reschedule. Still, it’s annoying and frustrating and not cute or funny at all.

Passed, but just barely

Two weeks ago during the Centering Session, I had to take the one hour glucose test. It involved drinking a nasty tasting (but not syrupy or carbonated, thank Goddess) orange drink and then an hour later having my blood drawn to test for gestational diabetes. It was kind of awful but I didn’t feel all weird sugar-issues-y like I do when my hypoglycemia kicks in.

The next Wednesday I get a call from the midwife as I’m about to leave work. I failed the one hour test and have to go in for a three hour test. However, she reassures me that many people who fail the one hour pass the three hour and even if I do fail the three hour, I’ll just have to go to a doctor and adjust my diet but I can still deliver at the Birthing Center.

The Wednesday after that (last Wednesday) I went into the Birthing Center at 8:30am for my three hour glucose test. I had to fast since midnight the night before (insert Gremlins joke here). The nice nurse took my blood and then I had to drink another orange drink, this time with more sugar. If I drank too much of it at once it burned the back of my throat. I got it down in under 4 minutes (I had to drink it in under 5). Then I had to sit in that chair for a bit because my stomach didn’t like the drink at all and I had to wait until it settled.

I stretched out on the couch in the waiting room and tried to play on the internet (the Birthing Center has wi-fi!), but I started having the trouble focusing on writing problem that I get when my blood sugar takes a serious dip and I was very tired, having stayed up until 1:30 the night before finishing a book. I ended up taking a nap until it was time to take my blood again. At that point I was awake and the eyes focusing problem had gone away so I spent the next two hours playing around on the internet, writing blog posts, laughing like crazy at Pregnant Chicken’s Best of Baby Shower Cake Wrecks and going in twice more to have my blood drawn. After the last blood draw I finally got to eat the cheese stick I’d been craving since the second hour and then I met up with my friend Meg for lunch.

On Friday I got a call from the Birthing Center that my test results came in and I did not have gestational diabetes. And there was much rejoicing!

Yesterday I had another Centering session. During my private portion with the midwife, she told me that while I did pass the test, some of my numbers were just at the cut-off point or slightly above. So, while I don’t officially have gestational diabetes, I do need to watch what I eat and I should cut down on fruit, sugars, and white bread. I’m already working on snacking better and I’ll just have to get even better for my and the baby’s health.

Not quite what expected

On Saturday Darius and I took the “Yoga for Birth and Delivery” class at Yoga Yoga. We were on the waitlist, so we were very excited to get the call on Saturday morning letting us know that we had gotten into the class.

The class was not was we expected. From the description we expected to be going over a lot of yoga positions and techniques for birth, relaxation, pain management, etc. While there was some of that and there was some breathing and guided meditation, there was a lot that just felt like stuff we’re getting in our Centering birthing classes as well. If I’d known it was more of a birthing class, I’m not sure we’d have gone. Also it seemed to be a little more focused on reassuring the partners and reminding them to be good birth coaches than on reassuring the mothers.

That being said, I did actually get some good things out of it.

We started off with a guided meditation about going into labor and giving birth. I discovered I was/am actually frightened about the start of labor. It was really hard for me to imagine it. Not sure if that is because I’ve never experienced it before or because it’s the start of this big scary out-of-my-hands thing. However, once the meditation moved into more of the active labor and birth I was okay because then I was at the Birthing Center with Darius and my doula and the midwives. Also interesting was that I wasn’t really interested in going into the tub, but was much more interested in a low birthing stool/the side of the bed. When the teacher got to the part about having our baby placed on our chest, I totally teared up (and I don’t think I was the only one).

It was also nice for the teacher to talk about how there are four different things that they measure in terms of your body and the baby’s position during labor: baby position, cervix softening, effacement, and dilation. She reminded us that even if we’re at 4cm for two hours, to ask the health practitioner if there have been any other changes, because those other changes are also signs of progress and so one should be encouraged by them even if one is not any more dilated than before.

She also talked about how child birth is a right of passage that has different gates. The hardest gate to get through is the Gate of Doubt and that is when the mother needs the most encouragement. She also let us know that sometimes you return to some of the gates several times throughout the labor.

We did do some movement stuff. When doing back to back breathing with Darius, I kept feeling like he was pushing me over too much, but really that was because he was sitting on more of the blanket that I wanted to be sitting on, so I kept trying to get my butt closer to his. We did some other trust stuff and she also had us do some good supportive positions for labor.

Lastly we did a pain management exercise. This involved squatting for a minute at a time and trying different coping techniques, with the breath being the main focus. I discovered that non-focused awareness and focusing and analyzing the pain are both techniques that can work well for me, although too much “extra” noise is annoying.

Am I glad I took the class? Yes. Do I wish it had been more about the yoga and breathing and positions? Yes. Would I recommend it to others? Yes, if you aren’t taking other birthing classes and reading a lot about birthing on your own.

And now, 30 week belly pics:

Belly at 30 weeks 2 days Belly at 30 weeks 2 days Belly at 30 weeks 2 days

Lopsided belly

Had my most recent Centering appointment over the weekend. During the appointment I did my 1-hour glucose test to screen for gestational diabetes. I didn’t have any of my normal ZOMG sugar issues problems when I did the test, so I was hopefully optimistic. I guess I shouldn’t have been because I got the call today that I failed it. So now I have to go and make an appointment to take the 3-hour glucose test. Ugh. If I fail that one too then I have to see a doctor about everything and go on a strict diet and all of that. At least I can still deliver at the Birthing Center, so I don’t have that worry.

Baby wise, everything looks to be progressing well. As I mentioned in my last post, Stree has started to become much more active; either that or he’s bigger and stronger so I feel him more. When we were at the Centering appointment, the midwife did some feeling around and told us that it’s pretty likely that Stree’s butt is (or was at the time) hanging out near my lower left side. If you look at my belly you can actually tell that it’s shifted a bit to my left, a little lopsided. Not sure if this is because he’s hanging out on my left side or because of the scoliosis.

Belly at 29 weeks 2 days Belly at 29 weeks 2 days Belly at 29 weeks 2 days

Talking about the scoliosis, the chiropractor has been an awesome idea. I have no idea why I didn’t go to one years and years ago. I just know that I’d be in such worse shape if it wasn’t for him.

In preparation news, we’ve really started working on some of the things that need to get done before Stree shows up. Darius and I have made some really good progress on the Random-Stuff-In-the-Study-Closetâ„¢ clean up and we’re almost ready to move the bookshelves into the study to make room in what will be the baby’s room for baby things.

We’ve also started buying some baby things. We got Stree his very own stuffed dragon that roars when you press his throat, a Halloween costume, the most adorable probably coming home outfit ever (in two sizes, just in case), a hat with ears, and a geeky onesie that we really wanted that keeps going out of stock. I’ll post pictures of some of this stuff soon in case the links ever stop working. I also noticed that now that that the invite to my baby shower has gone out, some of the items on our baby registries are being purchased. It’s kind of like Christmas with presents showing up all the time. I also got myself a maternity pillow because a regular pillow isn’t cutting it and the regular body pillow just isn’t comfortable; I woke up this morning with hip pain after using the body pillow all night.

Planning for the unknown

I’m afraid about planning for the future when I’m not sure if the people involved will still be around. You can ask Darius. I think it took me almost two years to stop qualifying all major plans that were more than a month or two away with “if we’re still together at that point.” I know it comes from having a number of relationships go awry before the time of the appointed plan.

It just hit me today that we’re making all these plans for a life that hasn’t even been born yet. So far everything seems to be fine. Stree was so active yesterday it was ridiculous. Darius even got a chance to really 100% no-question-about-it feel him move around last night when we were in bed (which, BTW, freaked him out a bit b/c OMG I have something alive and moving inside of me).

The other day I bought Stree his Halloween outfit on eBay. And we’re starting to get all of these baby clothing and paraphernalia that one needs when one has a baby. We got him a stuffed dragon. We found the cutest outfit at Target.com, which is most likely going to be his coming home outfit.

This morning it really hit me. We’re making all these plans and buying all these things, but what if he doesn’t make it. Or what if he does and then he dies soon after being born. Then, once again, I’m left with all of these plans and all of these things, reminders of what was supposed to be. And it scares me. Because I don’t want to qualify these plans with an “if he lives.” And while I know the probability of this happening is small, it’s still there.

This worry caused me to poke Darius on the shoulder this morning until he woke up and ask him what would happen if the baby died. Poor man, I don’t think that’s really the kind of question that is easily answered when half awake. He reminded me that it was very unlikely and not to worry about it, but if it does, we’ll wait until we’re recovered and then we’ll try again. Which made me feel both better and worse at the same time. I was thankful for the reassurance and glad that he is willing to go through all of this again with me, but on the other hand, it made me start fretting that if that was to be the case, would the new child just be a substitution for this one.

Welcome to parental worry?

How old is Damien?
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