Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In Case You Were Wondering

If you are 37 weeks pregnant, give or take, and you are not accustomed to moving faster than a slow walk, do not be alarmed when you take off running and feel a warm trickle. It's not your water breaking. It's, ah, something else.

Just in case you wanted to know.

Today The Babe decided to "help" me with the birth kit and baby clothes and the three dozen prefolds in my dresser. He took everything out and unfolded it, and then put it all back in this big bin that holds my birth stuff, and then he dumped it out and started over again.
Hopefully the floor is cleanish, because I don't feel like washing all that stuff again. (In fact, I know the floor is cleanish, because the carpet was just put in three weeks ago. So it's probably the cleanest it will ever be.)

I found out today I need to buy a new, sterile bulb syringe. I have two, but they get used frequently and I guess I didn't even think about the fact that they are difficult, if not impossible, to sterilize.

No signs of baby yet. Today I feel like it could be another month.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

An Interesting Development

I think the baby is in the process of dropping. This is completely new to me, because none of my babies ever did this.

It's not constant, but it feels like a coconut right behind my pubic bone. When I sit, it feels like that coconut is going to come out of a very small place. (However, when I touch with my hand, I don't feel anything there. It all feels normal.) When I get a contraction, this coconut hurts really bad.

It feels like my hip bones are squeezing in toward my pubic bone, and it feels like a sharp, stabbing pain behind the pubic bone. I clearly remember this feeling from my past babies - but I always felt it when I was dilated to 7 or more centimeters and laboring actively.

When I lay down or stand a certain way, the coconut floats back up, no longer between my hip bones.

Yesterday I called the midwife about this, because I was also having regular, strong braxton hicks contractions. I could tell I wasn't in labor but I wanted her to be on alert just in case. She said this is all wonderful and will help my labor go more easily. She said that the bottom of the uterus is funnel shaped, but as labor comes near, it becomes more bowl shaped, so I'm feeling the baby slip down into that bowl.

I don't feel like I'm ready to have the baby though. I don't want this journey to be over. I know I will never be pregnant again so I am trying very hard to enjoy it. I am trying to enjoy the anticipation and even all the aches and pains.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bet you anything...

.... that the baby will be a boy.

Why? Because all my baby boy clothes are in a box, buried somewhere in my storage room, and I can't find them anywhere.

So I got all the girl stuff clean and folded, and all the gender neutral stuff too, but nothing blue. Nothing even remotely blue. The only thing that could possibly be more boy than girl is a black onesie with a kitty face on it that says "Baby's First Halloween," but even that looks kinda femme-y, because the kitty has long curly eyelashes.

The Hub says this pretty much guarantees a boy child. Guess we'll have to wait and see. It feels like the baby is very low, and I tried to do a cervical self-check, but couldn't tell anything. Last week my cervix was very soft but not open at all. Today, I'm pretty sure I don't even have a cervix. I couldn't feel a thing.

The birth kit is complete, the clothes are washed and ready, and there are tiny little newborn diapers stacked on the changing table. Looks like all systems are go - now watch the kid be three weeks late.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Don't look at this. It's gigantic.

You've been duly warned.

36 weeks, 3 days. (or a little more. But you know.)

I've never had a belly shaped like this. It's almost pointy. I wonder what that pointy bit is? The bum? The back? Hooves? Am I going to give birth to a centaur?

On another note - are you loving my saggy grampa pants or what? You will be even more delighted to know that yesterday I bought some gray slippers that look like deck shoes. Now I just need a yellow knitted afghan to put on my lap.

Monday, September 21, 2009

36 weeks already!

Can you believe it! Now, if you go by my first due date, I'm 38 weeks. But I'd rather go with the later one - that way, if the first one turns out to be right, I'll be excited to have a baby sooner than later. And if the later one is right, then I won't feel like I'm overdue for two or three weeks.

I met with the midwife today. I nearly fired her last week because she missed an appointment and didn't call me. The thing is, it isn't the first time, and she also forgot to tell me when the birth class was, and has kind of been dropping the ball lately. However, I decided it would probably be best to just stick with her, since I'm this far along.

I have gained a lot of weight. I am not proud of it. I've got another month to go and I've already gained 40 pounds. That's not a typo. I don't care about my looks; I care that I'm healthy and that I grow a healthy baby. With my last pregnancy I gained only 13 pounds and The Babe weighed 8lb 11oz. Yolanda says its doesn't matter how much I gain, so long as it's all gained on healthy foods. I'm doing my best, but I can't seem to resist peanut butter cups. I also adore sausage biscuits from McDonald's but since I don't live anywhere near a McDonald's, it's easier to avoid that one.

Otherwise though everything is good, baby is nice and high which was no surprise since my babies never drop until birth is imminent. In the past I'd be dilated at 8 or 9cm before my babies would move down and engage. The baby is measuring spot on for the last month of pregnancy and hopefully won't be too big.

I'm guessing the baby will be born on October 20th and will weigh 9lb 5oz. I don't know if it will be a boy or a girl. Some days I get girl vibes and other days I get boy vibes. I guess only time will tell...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

When Will Baby Come?

Depending on which date you use, I am anywhere from 35 to 37 weeks pregnant, which means that theoretically, the baby could come any day now.

I don't tend to have early babies. My first baby was 12 days late, but was of a very average size and had none of the signs of postmaturity. They say most first babies are late and that it would be more accurate to move most primips due dates a week later, so it doesn't seem like such a long wait. I think it's a great idea.

My second baby was induced on her due date, but I think she would have come that day or the next on her own. The day before I was induced, I was 2cm dilated, and less than 12 hours later when I went in for induction I was nearly 5cm. I don't know why I was induced. Back then, I didn't ask a lot of questions about anything and felt the doctor had my best interest in mind. (I now feel that the great majority have their own pocketbooks in mind, not the health of their patients.)

My third baby was also induced on her due date. I don't think she would have come that day though. I think she probably would have waited another 5 days or even a week. I was induced because I started measuring big, and then a few weeks later, the day before her birthday, an ultrasound estimated her weight at 10lb 5oz. The doctor didn't think I could deliver a baby that big so they decided to induce. The ultrasound was wrong - she weighed 9lb 10oz, and I delivered her over an intact perineum despite pushing flat on my back with an epidural.

My fourth baby was born early! A whole four days, which was kind of a big deal to me because as you can see, my babies never come early. My labor with him started spontaneously, 48 hours before he was actually born. What a trying labor that was - not necessarily painful, just extremely tiring.

I didn't experience any Braxton Hicks contractions with my first baby. I had a few here and there with my second, same with my third. With my fourth baby, wow. If I had not had a baby before, I would have probably thought I was in labor. These BH episodes happened for several months before actual labor began, and because of them, I was worried I wouldn't recognize true labor when it began.

This time I haven't had many BH's, until the last two or three days. I have been having very strong, regular contractions that will last for a couple hours, and then they peter out for a couple hours and start up again. I learned a few babies ago that drinking a lot of water helps prelabor contractions immensely, but these ones don't respond to water. They don't feel like labor at all though.

I am also starting to get contractions when The Babe nurses. Did you know that it's safe to nurse during pregnancy? It is.let me give you a super brief rundown of how it works - when you nurse, your body releases oxytocin, the "love hormone" that helps release the milk, but also makes your uterus contract. They make this artificially and call it Pitocin, and that's what they give you when you aren't doing things on their timetable.

The thing is, it's safe to nurse while you're pregnant because the uterus isn't receptive to oxytocin until close to term. That's why when a woman is induced a couple weeks form her due date, she is usually given some sort of chemical to ripen the cervix. Just straight up pitocin won't do the trick.

So the point of this biology lesson is this: Within the last few days, when I nurse The Babe, I get contractions. They aren't painful but they last a long time, 45 to 60 seconds, like a real contraction. This means my uterus is now receptive to oxytocin.

Of course, none of these symptoms could mean a thing. Most likely, the baby will be born sometime in the last half of October. I'm guessing October 20th. So long as he or she gets here by Halloween, because I bought the cutest little pumpkin pajamas...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Some People Will Never Get It.

I was in the store last night and overheard a conversation between a man and a woman. They were in their mid-fifties, and were discussing their daughter and her baby-wearing practices.

"Did you see [daughter] and that baby wrap thing she had?" the woman said, bitterly.

"Yeah," the man said.

"That thing was so terrible! She had to wrap it around and around and then up and over [demonstrating] and across and around and then she stuck the baby in it!"

"Yup," he said.

"You know," she continued. "If she didn't want to just hold her baby with her arms, maybe she shouldn't have kids! I would have gladly held that baby but she insisted on putting him in that damn wrap thing. What a waste of time!"

This conversation shocked me. Everyone I know is extremely supportive of baby wearing, even if they don't practice it themselves. Even the most mainstream momma will tell you how much happier her baby is when she holds him, and some will even wish they "knew how to use one of those things." People of all generations know that babies do best when they're with their mothers, in their mothers' arms.

I am so glad that woman is not my mother. Imagine if she considered other parenting decisions, like leaving baby boys intact or breastfeeding. It would probably make her throw up. No, probably she would have a stroke from her high blood pressure. I have never heard of someone being angry at another person for holding their baby... wow.