Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Stretch Marks

January 19, 2010
Today Husband so kindly pointed out that I have the start of stretch marks. I cannot see them since they are on the underside of my belly and I am not physically able to view that part of me at this point in time, but I could feel tiny indentations. I'm going to try to check it out in the mirror. I was so hoping I wouldn't get any!

On a more positive note, my Strep B results came back negative. This means that I do not need to be hooked up to antibiotics during labor. One less thing to worry about.

This weekend I will hit the 37 week mark. A baby is considered full term from 37-41 weeks. I think that I will be late, and husband thinks I will have the baby earlier. Any bets?

Childbirth Class #2

January 14, 2010
The second childbirth class was much better than the first. Husband and I had signed up to bring snack for everyone and we stopped at the grocery store before the class to grab something. We kept second guessing ourselves in what to bring, though. We didn't want to get chastised for bringing something unhealthy to a bunch of pregnant women. After much deliberation we decided on grapes. I believe it was a good choice.

We got to the class and grabbed a seat. Before getting started the doula demonstrated how to wear a Moby Wrap. It's one long strip of fabric that can be wrapped many different ways to carry the baby. I registered for one after looking at it and the benefits. I like that it goes over both shoulders so that the weight of the baby is evenly distributed, and that you can use it up to two years (I think).

The class was all about the stages and phases of labor. We broke into groups and each group was given a set of questions to answer about a stage of labor. We were then required to make a poster about it and present it to the rest of the class. I liked how we discussed what was going on medically, what the mother might be feeling both physically and emotionally, and things to do to help.

Then we watched a video. No, it wasn't one of those videos where you see the child from conception to birth. This video showed the labor and delivery. We watched the woman start her contractions, the things she did to relieve her pain, and what her husband and doula did to coach her through the birth of the baby. She had a natural, vaginal birth.

Husband felt a lot better after seeing the video. I'm not sure what he was expecting. Crying and screaming, perhaps? Not on this video. The woman had her breathing under control and did not verbally abuse her husband.

Overall, the class was much better than last week. Next week she is going to discuss medication options. We are almost there!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Week 35 Appointment

January 12, 2010
My week thirty-five appointment was today. I met Husband at the hospital and we went and registered at the counter. I got to go pee in the little urine cup again. This time was a little different, though. All of my previous appointments I had still been able to see what I was doing. Now my belly is so big that I had no idea where I was aiming. Needless to say, it was a little messy and I had to wash my hands with lots of soap afterwards. At least I eventually got it in the cup. I'm not looking forward to the urine sample at my next appointment.

Remember how we've always had to wait forever for the nurse to call me back? I came back from the bathroom and Husband told me they had already called my name twice. I was actually surprised that they were on time today. They called me again and I went back to step on the scale and get my blood pressure taken. Then I was led to the little room where I once again assured them I was safe and Husband was called back to join me.

The doctor wasn't too long in coming. She came and told me I was getting my Strep B test today. Strep B is a bacteria that everyone has in his or her gut (this is how the doctor explained it to me after I asked.). Some people also have the bacteria move down their digestive system and live there. If I have it, I could give an infection to my baby during childbirth. Thus, they take preventative measures and will hook me up to an IV of antibiotics if the test comes back positive. If it comes back negative, then I have nothing to worry about. To check me, I was swabbed in front and back. Lovely. I did not appreciate the back part. The front I am used to by now. The back, not so much.

Then she measured my stomach and I asked her what position the baby was in. She felt around and said the head felt like it was in the right spot, although she wasn't quite sure where the rest of it was since it was hard to feel. She said maybe the baby's back is against my spine. I hope she is correct that the baby is head down. Hopefully the baby will stay that way and come out comfortably during labor. Hopefully.

After that we scheduled my next appointment for February 4. Time is flying by!

Childbirth Class #1

January 7, 2010
Husband and I had our first childbirth preparation class tonight. I don't think I was overall thrilled with it. Personally, yoga seems to be working out a little better for me. Granted, we've only had once class so I might change my mind. I do think it is beneficial for Husband, though.

We checked in and had a seat in a teeny tiny room full of about twelve other couples. We had brought pillows and a towel because that's what they said to bring beforehand, but there was no room, so she said we would not be using them until perhaps the third or fourth week.

Everyone went around the room and introduced themselves and said their due dates. I must have waited a while to take the class because our baby is due first. Woohoo, I win. The teacher introduced herself. She is a certified doula. That means she assists women in labor through coaching and encouragement. She is not there to take the partner's place, only to assist and offer her knowledge of attending many many births. She also has two children of her own, so she has been through childbirth herself. I like that she is able to give us anecdotes of births she has attended.

The rest of the class is rather vague in my memory. I was turned off when she started listing out things that we should go out and buy and I felt like she was pushing specific brands and degrading others. Well too bad, we bought the affordable items and I am sure they will work for us.

I like how she talked to the partners and instructed them that their job was to coach us and encourage us along. (Us being the women in labor). She had them practice massaging our backs and hands and also gave them nice phrases to say. That was about the only part I thought was helpful.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I Might Like this After All

January 8, 2010
I think I'm starting to like being pregnant. Despite the chronic rib pain and constant bathroom runs, it's kind of fun! Five weeks to go and I think I might miss it when it is all said and done.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hospital Tour

January 2, 2010
Today Husband and I went for our hospital tour and newborn baby care class. There were about twelve couples there for the tour and class. Most were due in March, although two of us are due in February and two others later this month. Needless to say, I was one of the smaller women there, when looking at belly size. Some of the ladies due in March are huge. I can't imagine how much bigger they will get.

Before we went on a tour we started off in a conference room so a midwife could show us transparencies of baby positioning, explain the differences between false labor and real labor, as well as discuss the role of the coach in the process. She also showed us all the tools we might see or that might be used during the labor and delivery. We got to pass around a bunch of stuff, such as the catheter thingies, and another tubie thing they use to help induce, a fetal monitor, a fetal head monitor that actually goes into the baby's head, a vacuum to suck the baby out if it gets stuck, and maybe some other items that I don't really remember. She was really good at explaining what each item was and when and how it would be used. We also got a packet of information explaining more about the coach's job during labor, the different types of labor and what to do and expect, and information about breastfeeding.

Then we went on the tour. We got to see where to park, where to check in (always call before hand so they are prepared), and she showed us the labor and delivery rooms, as well as the postpartum rooms. I can expect to stay in the hospital for about twenty four hours. They have quite a few rooms, although some of the postpartum rooms are doubles. She said rarely do people ever end up sharing a room. I really hope I don't. I want baby/family bonding and me figuring out how to nurse to be a private experience.

Going through the tour and the initial class made me feel a lot better about delivery. From her perspective, it seems that they are very much inclined to follow the mother's wishes. I'm worried that they will try to tell me what to do and force drugs or baby monitoring devices on me. After listening to the midwife talk, it sounds like they really try to follow the birth plan, unless of course an emergency arises.

After the tour Husband and I were able to sample the cafeteria food for lunch. It was ok, but also a bit pricey. Not something to recommend. Then we went to the newborn baby care class.

We arrived and got to pick out our "baby" for the class. There were a bunch of dolls to choose from and so we chose a baby girl. The class was run in a jeopardy format. It made it a little more interesting, and the health education teacher was great. She was full of anecdotes and had tons of energy. She was very realistic and down to earth and tried to answer everyone's questions to the best of her ability.

The Jeopardy game had three categories: Hospital Stay, Newborn Care, and Safety. Then she had a couple pick the first category and point amount, we discussed it, then moved on to another couple to choose another category. A lot of it we already knew, such as no other items in the crib with the newborn, including blankets, babies should sleep on their backs, where the best place to take a baby's temperature (the rectum), etc. Some of the information was new, such as when baby's checkups would take place, and the immunizations. We also watched a video about caring for the newborn that showed how to properly give a bath and clean around the umbilical cord.
Facts that I remember:

Babies who are breastfed do not have smelly poop.
Babies who are breastfed have bright yellow poop.
Female babies can have vaginal disharge (like a mini period) when they come out. It is their body getting rid of the mother's hormones.
Male babies will have swollen testicles. Again, getting rid of mother's hormones.
Both male and female babies may have swollen nipples. Yet again, the mother's hormones.
Some babies might have blue hands and feet, which is perfectly normal. It is because they are still working on circulation and not relying on the mother for circulation anymore. It's called something, but I forget the term.
Wearing cloth diapers reduces diaper rash.
Babies should only have a sponge bath until two to three days after the umbilical cord stump falls off.
Newborns are very ugly, with swollen heads, coneheads, vernix all over them (it's like a white cream that protected their skin in the womb), and can get rashes and whiteheads very easily.
A baby's normal temperature ranges from 97 to 100 degrees Farhenheit.
Breastfed babies need to eat more often (like every three hours), because the milk is digested quickly, whereas babies on formula can sleep for longer periods of time because it is harder for their bodies to digest the formula.

That's about all I can think of off the top of my head. We were given a lot of information.

We went to Jamba Juice afterwards and a dad with three kids randomly asked when I was due. He told us that his kids were each a year apart. One was five, the other six, and the last one seven. His poor wife, I was thinking. The kids were really cute and sweet, though.

I like this stage in pregnancy where people hold doors open for me and ask me questions. I don't like the pain still in my ribs. When is this baby going to drop? I'm hoping that relieves some of the pressure. I don't think I will mind waddling too much, or having to go to the bathroom every twenty minutes. Seems like I do the bathroom trips all day long anyway. The midwife today talked about round ligaments (which connect the uterus to the rest of me. They start off about the size of a finger and stretch to accomodate the growing uterus.), and said some people might be feeling round ligament pain in the pelvis, like period cramps. Can I trade my rib pain for some of that, please? I don't believe I have had any round ligament pain. Just unexplained pain in my ribs. It hurts, unless I lie down. I spend a lot of time lying down at home. I can't really do that at work, though. Still trying to figure that one out.
Sonotrax -B, Ultrasound Fetal Doppler, LCD Display with Back Light

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hiccups

January 1, 2010
I can't believe I will have a baby next month. My due date is about six weeks away! I will have a little creature to love and hold and change and cuddle. (Husband will too. Can't forget about him.)

I am getting lots of experience with getting up in the middle of the night. My bathroom trips have majorly increased. I think last night I got up about five times. It's not like a little trip, either. Baby and I together are producing a lot of fluid that needs to be flushed. It probably doesn't help that I am drinking a lot of water throughout the night to counteract the taste from my indigestion and that I'm just thirsty in general. Milk is still my favorite drink. No, let me rephrase that. Chocolate milk is my favorite drink. I bought a gallon of milk this morning, and I think I have about one or two more glasses left to drink of it before it is gone. I have been trying to drink more water. Really. It's just not appealing at all. Husband helps by bringing me glasses of water all the time, so then I have to drink them.

Baby has also been getting the hiccups a lot. At least once a day, and sometimes two or three times. It is usually in the evenings. I like when she gets the hiccups when I am around people, because then I can grab their hand and make them feel her. It's my proof that she is real, I suppose. No, I am not wearing a fake belly, feel.

She does move around all the time, but it's unpredictable, or just a little at a time. When somebody wants to feel her kick, of course she doesn't do it on cue and the person is left feeling a little disappointed. It's so much easier to count on hiccups. I make Husband feel her every time she is hiccuping. That way he gets to experience her too.

Baby's Room

December 30, 2009
The baby's room is coming together. Husband set up the crib and dresser, and I washed and put the bedding, quilt, and bumper on the crib. It totally makes it look like a baby's room now. My sister came over and helped me put a border around the top of the room. Unfortunately, this mother to be never thought about measuring to see if she had enough border to go around the room. It's a small room. I thought the provided amount would work.

Now I have three walls with border, and one wall without. We called the store to see if they had more, and they set aside a roll for us. However, when we went to pick it up, it was the wrong one. I didn't think it would be correct, since we had originally bought the set on clearance. Have you seen the cost of a themed baby's room? It's ridiculous. Husband and I just kept out eyes on the clearance section and kept returning to the store until they had one discounted that we both agreed upon. No way were we going to pay full price.

The store told us it was discontinued, and they couldn't find any more border at any of their stores. Discontinued, eh? They don't know me and my unhealthy relationship with Google. My new border should arrive in 3-5 business days.

I also checked out bassinets at the baby store. Originally I had thought to do the playpen and bassinet in one, but after doing some research and talking to other new moms, I decided to go for an actual bassinet. People in the baby and wedding industry must be making a lot of money. Bassinets are also expensive items, especially when you consider the fact that baby will only be in one for a few months at the most. I found a nice used one for less that half the price that I picked up the other day. It comes with the traditional Moses Basket (that's the bassinet part that goes on top with a hood), a changing table, and cute little baskets to store things at the bottom. The best part is that it is on wheels. I can wheel little baby from room to room, and when I want to transition her to sleeping in her own room, I can start with her in the bassinet, then move her into the crib. That's my thinking anyway. We'll see how it goes.

I also started hanging up the baby clothes that people have given me so far. I bought five sets of ten baby hangers (that's fifty, for you non-math inclined people), and need to go out and get about five more sets! I am totally set on clothes, bibs, hats, and onesies sized zero to six months. Once you tell people you are having a baby, they are more than willing to give you the clothes their babies have outgrown. It also helps if you are at the age where practically everyone else you know has had or is having babies.

Notice Me

December 30, 2009
I am at the point where it is unmistakable that I am pregnant. I went through the checkout at the store and the cashier asked when my baby was due. Of course, I always get a reaction when I tell people Valentine's Day. They get so excited and ooh and ahh. What fun! Ask away, people.

Indigestion

December 26, 2009
Indigestion has hit full force. I thought burping all the time was annoying. Now I have my food mixed with bile coming back up my esophagus and burning my throat. This usually happens when I am laying down to go to sleep at night. I am even propping myself up on pillows to help prevent it and hope gravity works. Not really true, unfortunately. I keep a glass of water by the bedside to help wash out the taste when it happens. It's uncomfortable, but it doesn't come close to being as bad as the nausea I experienced during the first trimester. Bring it on, baby.