Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pregnancy Week 23

This week went by so fast! It's no wonder why it is Tuesday and I'm finally getting around to writing last weeks blog. Sunday we went to Scott's sister's house for lunch. They live about an hour and a half away. We took a nice scenic route back (which tacked on an additional 30 mins). Oh well, it was nice. Anyways, I ordered a few things this week. That sweater from Target that I blogged about last week, two pairs of pants from Motherhood maternity. And my new prenatal vitamins from amazon. Today I received my pants, and I'm thrilled to say they are fabulous!

Plus Size Secret Fit Belly(r) Twill Maternity Pantsand Plus Size Secret Fit Belly(r) Boot Cut Maternity Jeans

Here are the vitamins I ordered. I cant wait for them to get here!

 Anyways, On to this week's blog. :)

How far along? 23 weeks

Weight gain: +2 for the week, +5 for the pregnancy

Stretch marks: yes! They are definitely getting longer.

Maternity clothes: yes! new items on the way and beginning to fit into some that I already have.

Sleep: definitely have to get up a time or two more the pee throughout the night, and I am finally finding it harder to sleep on my back. I was concerned about this since I try to sleep on my side, but always end up on my back. My doula said not to worry too much about it. I will get uncomfortable when necessary. Other than that, sleep has been pretty good. My dreams are tapering off again, but I'm sure that will change soon.

Best moment: Realizing that Liam moves around like crazy when he hears his daddy talking. :) So cute!

Miss anything? Coffee!

Cravings: Food in general...haha, cucumbers too.

Anything make you queasy or sick? Not really

Gender: Boy

Movements: All the time, definitely in a pattern throughout the day, and especially when his daddy is around

Symptoms: tired, out of breath, sore lower back, peeing a lot, fetal movements :)

Mood: Fantastic!

Looking forward to: bringing my parents to see my midwife next week. Spring!!!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Pregnancy Week 22

This week I have finally begun to feel preggers. I mean, I've definitely gotten used to my growing belly, and my incessant need to pee, but the last 5 days or so I have been tired randomly, and I feel like a whale...which I know both will only get worse. LOL, also I think my uterus is definitely getting bigger and smooshing my stomach a bit. So I'll eat only a little, but full, and then in an hour be hungry again. oh well, more snacks it is...

How far along: 22 weeks

Total weight gain: +3lbs, I'll get weighed in again in a week.

Stretch marks: no new ones

Maternity clothes: oh yeah! I've been toying with the idea of buying this sweater at Target.com I love it!

Liz Lange® for Target® Maternity Ruched Cardigan - Heather Gray

Sleep: I have been sleeping deeply once again! I usually wake around 6 to pee and then fall back asleep to have some crazy crazy dreams until I have to get up for work. But at least my sleep is more restful!

Best moment this week: feeling Liam move more and more! I love it!

Miss anything: alcohol and coffee

Cravings: fruity things

Anything make you queasy or sick: not really

Gender: Boy

Movements: Yes yes yes!!! :) even as I type this.

Symptoms: strange dreams, tons of fetal movement in predictable times throughout the day, peeing a lot, hungry more often, out of breath, tired often!

Mood: wonderful!

Looking forward to: planning my baby shower. I know it's a ways off yet (may 5th) but I'm excited for all the registry stuff and the fun things we get to put on it! Also a week from Monday is my 24 week appt. I'm just so happy to be 6months!! I can't believe it!

Until next week...N.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Pregnancy Week 21

Wahoo I'm finally doing this on time!! Today is Saturday, and my weeks turn over on Sundays! w00t!! 

Today I had a blast with my bestie Billie! We went to Hobby Lobby and the local bookstore to check out some wedding stuffs for her upcoming wedding!! (I get to be her matron of honor too! yay!) We also stopped for some groceries before heading to her house for lunch and gettin girlie with wedding magazines and shellac nails! I chose a bright florescent pink with a coral shimmer topcoat. Super cute! Anyways, Billie got to feel Liam move around and that was awesome!! :) It's so fun to be able to share in the joy of him flip floppin! 

How far: 21 Weeks

Total weight gain: +3 pounds

Stretch marks: nothing new since last week

Maternity clothes: yes! Usually when I get home I immediately switch to my comfy pj pants.

Sleep: Changing once again. The last few nights I've noticed I have been sleeping deeper--which is so unbelievably wonderful! But I also wake up around 5:30 every morning to pee, of course. I am able to sleep lightly from then until I need to get up for work. Also this morning was the first bad dream I had so far. It was really silly actually, but I was terrified and woke up (@5:30) screaming for Scott.

Best moment this week: We had a crappy snowstorm on Thursday, which is when we have our childbirth class. Well Rachel (the instructor) is also our doula, and she had to cancel the class, not so much because of the snow, but apparently the snowstorm was making some of her mommies go into labor! So anyways, Thursdays is the only evening Scott has off, so we made dinner and settled down to watch a movie and had a nice evening just hang out! Also, I visited my old boss on Monday. She's due with her first baby in just a few weeks. It was so nice to catch up with her! On the way home, I visited with my Mom and Stepdad and they both got to feel Liam moving around :)

Miss anything: coffee!

Cravings: blueberry anything

Anything make you queasy or sick: not really

Gender: Boy

Movements: more and more! bigger and bigger too!

Symptoms: backache, stuffy nose, acid burps (yuck!), out of breath, tired

Mood: Great!!

Looking forward to: my next childbirth class, my parents coming to my next appointment in 2 weeks, getting more organized for baby, spring, and St. Patty's day!

I ordered the cutest monster sleeper from The Children's Place, along with some clearance items. I saw this sleeper on a mommy vlogger on YouTube. Her name is Plus1Please. Check her out! Her son is adorable!!

Until next week...N.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Our Childbirth Classes

We decided to take our childbirth classes with our doula, Rachel. I cannot explain how wonderful these classes are!! I will add a bit to this post every week to mention a few things about what we learned. They way I can always come back for reference and you can see what an "out of hospital" birth class is like.

I am not claiming that these techniques are that of my own, or that I am certified in anything on this topic. I am just passing along knowledge and ideas for you to research on your own and with your care provider you can decided if this is what is right for you.

Week 1: Nutrition

We learned about the Dr. Brewer's Pregnancy Diet and why we should use it. There were so many aspects to this, but the things that stood out the most to me was salt intake. On the website it explains it in depth, but here is a paragraph from their page on salt intake.

As pregnancy progresses, the placenta needs a great deal more blood flowing through it in order to work efficiently. In normal pregnancy, the mother's blood volume must expand by more than 40 percent to meet this metabolic need. Salt is a chief element in maintaining this dramatically expanded blood volume. One of the properties of salt is that it causes the body to retain fluid which, under normal conditions, is retained in the bloodstream for use in placental perfusion. Salt restriction during pregnancy limits the normal expansion of the blood volume. A blood volume below the level needed to service the growing placenta produces disastrous consequences. (Including toxemia, perinatal deaths, c-sections, abruptio placenta)

Nutritional Deficiency in Pregnancy

Control Group (750)
Nutrition Group (750)
(5 lb. or less)
Infant Mortality
--Adapted from Winslow Tompkins. Journal of International College of Surgeons 4:417, 1941.
(*Smallest baby weighed 6 lb. 4 1/2 oz.)

Above is a table I snagged from the same page that is on salt intake. This clearly shows how important great nutrition is in pregnancy! If that's not enough proof, I don't know what is!

One other thing that stood out in my mind from week 1's class was if you are nauseous or have acid during your pregnancy (I am lucky enough not to be...yet), do not take tums or rolaids for relief. If taken in large quantities, they can calcify your placenta! When you placenta has calcification spots it functions at a decreased rate (which doesn't help the baby at all). It will try to overcome this by growing larger. While this may not be a life or death issue, it may cause your baby to not get the nutrients he/she needs. My doula suggests taking papaya enzyme tablets instead of tums or rolaids. Papaya enzyme tablets are found at many drugstores, and natural food stores. They are cheap and tasty too! Papaya has been eaten for hundreds of years as a fruit and to help aid in digestion. Even if you are not feeling sick, but you've eaten a large meal you can take papaya enzyme to help digestion. You cannot take too much papaya.
You can usually find it in either a papaya flavor or a mint flavor. I've had both, and enjoy them both. 

Week 2: Labor Stage 1

This class was so amazing!! We watched a video that was computer generated to show us what is actually happening inside our bodies during labor. For me, I always do tons of research and can read about something until I'm blue in the face. But, it always solidifies my knowledge when I can see it as well. For me, when I fully understand something frightening, I no longer have fear of it. (kinda like when you know how a haunted house is run, it no longer scares you) Of course there are many unknowns that can me scary, but for the general overview of what is happening and why, I have definitely left much of the fear behind with this class. 
This video was not the one we watched in class, our's was much more indepth, but this is kinda an overview to give you an idea of what we saw.

We also started talking about relaxation techniques that our partner can do to help us get through stage 1 of labor. We talked about stroking. This is where your partner starts at a high point in your body, say your shoulders, and gently strokes downward toward your fingertips. Rachel mentioned that you always should start at the top and work you way down. It seemed similar to reiki and engerywork where you are sorta directing the flow of energy downward to relax the body. Your partner could also start at your back (if you are laying down) and make their way to your feet. Always top to bottom.

Week 3: Dad's Role

This class Scott took notes the entire time! It was so cute to see him scribbling everything down! Rachel's husband joined our class to give his perspective on some things, which I think helped the Dads in the class. The class basically went through what a dad or other birth partner needs to do while mommy is in labor. Keeping her hydrated and using the bathroom regularly, making sure she is eating, helping her relax, being her mental, emotional, and physical support. 

We also played a great game where we had double sided cards with different labor/birth choices on them. We first set them out to our ideal birth plan, and then had to change 4 of them. So which 4 were we willing to give up? And is this birth still acceptable? And then we did 4 more, and eventually 2 more. So of course we picked ones like "birth out of hospital" "no pain meds" "freedom of movement" "no episiotomy" "vaginal birth" etc. And you end up with your close to least acceptable birth. This just really helps you think about the things you want, and the things you would be willing to sacrifice for the health of your baby and yourself. She also told us about a great free birth plan from the Earth Mama Angel Baby website. Birth Plan. She recommended printing 2 birth plans. The first being your ideal plan, and the second being your "Plan B". If you had to transfer to hospital, what would your wishes be. The great thing about this site for your birth plan is that when you go to print it, it only prints the options you chose on the first screen. So there is nothing else any care providers see or get confused by. 

 Week 4: Stage 2 and 3 of Labor

Basically stage 2 is the pushing and delivery of the baby, and stage 3 is delivery of placenta. 

We learned about some different positions to push in: standing, side-lying, sitting upright in bed, sitting on the toilet, semi sitting, hands and knees, squatting, lap squatting, supported squat, and dangle. 
Here are a couple of videos I found on Youtube that I found interesting. For both home and hospital births. 

We also discussed some things to do after the birth occurs. Sitz baths and ice pack pad for perineum comfort. Rest, rest, rest! Keep drinking fluids, eat something that wont bind up your digestive tract (no pasta, bread, cheese, etc) You want to be able to have a bowel movement easily. Enjoy your new family member!

 I am going to combine weeks 5 and 6 since they sort of go together. 

Week 5: Variations of Normal & Week 6: Induction and C-sections

(I am going off of my husband's notes--which can be difficult to read from time to time, so hopefully I get it correct--as always do your own research.)

Risks to baby and mother
Options if condition is present

Pre-term labor
insufficient lung development of fetus, baby may have to stay in NICU
hydrate! get a snack, rest!, take a epsom salt bath (3+cups of epsom salts in bath water) Soak 1 hour.

Post term labor (after 42 weeks)
Post maturity of fetus, respiratory distress.
wait, induction by pharmacutical and non-pharm methods--castor oil, sex, nipple stim, etc

PROM (Premature rupture of membranes)
Likelyhood of infection increases--especially with the more vaginal exams you recieve, Labor clock begins.
Avoid vaginal exams

OP, Posterior, Face up, Sunny side up
Longer labor, more painful back labor
Optimal fetal technique, movements, avoid artificial rupture of membranes.

Breech Birth
Cord prolaps, providers are not trained in vaginal breech birth techniques
chiropractic maxiobustion, (and a bunch of stuff i cant read lol)

Transverse, Laying sideways
This is a true emergency if in active labor

Arrested Labor --labor that stops
None if bag of waters is intact, frustration and maternal exhaustion
Unwavering encouragement, position change, wait, nap if able. augmentation.

Failure to progress
None of bay of waters is intact, furstration, and meternal exhaustion
change positions, augmentation.

may indicate fetal distress, meconium aspiration
Deliver in water, suction, intubation with suction

CPD (baby too big)
Very rare today inspite of high rate of diagnosis.
patience, change positions, tire from pushing, c-section

Shoulder dystocia
pelvic muscles can trap blood in babys head
gaskin manuver, mcroberts postion

Cord prolaps
baby deprived of oxygen
lay head on floor and lift bottom to reverse gravity--taking pressure off the cord. Lift cervic to hold cord away. Instant C-section.

retained placenta
pitocin, cydotech, extraction, hysterectomy

***Like I've mentioned above, these are the notes we took from our classes, please research conditions on your own.                                                                                 

 Class 6 notes: 

Analgesics--demeral, stadol, fentanyl, etc 
Delivered: via IV 
Effects: Alleviates prectption of pain.
Risks: mother--loopy, spacy, out of control, sleepy after birth Baby--sleepy, poor suck reflex, respiratory depression, seperation from mother, no bonding immediately after birth.
Labor: constant monitoring, limits mobility, may lead to augmentation

Anesthesia--epidural or general
Delivered: via IV
Effects: loss of sensation or conscious 
Risks: Mother-- lowers blood pressure, fever, itchy, 10% will not work, urinary catheter, reaction to drugs up to 6 weeks postpartum, clots, needle can break off in your spinal column, spinal headache, dizziness, seizures, life support, respiratory and cardiac failure, paralysis, death. Baby--drugs reach baby in minutes, fever, labor more painful for baby, breastfeeding difficulties, fetal distress, increase birth interventions.
Labor: can slow down or stop labor, requires augmentation, limits mobility, constant monitoring, relaxes uterus, fetal positioning, greater chance of episiotomy, ineffective pushing,greater chance of intervention and c-section.

Types: planned (no labor), Planned (in-labor), Emergency in Labor
"good" Reasons: Hemorrage, placenta previa, abruptia placenta, cord prolapse or compression
 questionable Reasons: Electronic fetal monitors "shows" distress, times up, fetal presentation, failed induction, previous c-section, elective.
Effects from ansethesia: groggy, sleepy, nausea, itchy (see above anesthesia risks to mom and baby)

Class 7: Labor rehearsal! yay!

This class was so much fun! Rachel set up stations in her house and we traveled through our "labor" and tried out different positions and techniques to help us cope with labor. She had dimmed the lights, and played soft music. Here are some of the positions we went over.

 The Supported Squat Positon:

 Here, Dad is sitting at the edge of a couch/chair and Mom is nestled between his knees. His arms are under her armpits, and she is in a full squat. This position helps open up your pelvic bones and brings baby down further.

Supported Stand Position:

Here, Rachel suggested that Dad leans against a wall for added support. Dad's feet should be spread widely apart and one foot more forward than the other to give a wide supported stance. Same arm position are going on here, and Mom is just dangling with knees apart. This position also helps baby to move down.

Hands and Knees Position:

As seen above, this is pretty self explanatory. You can however, do this position in bed, on the floor, on the floor with pillows under knees and arms, or with a birth ball for added support. This position helps take the weight of baby off your spine.

Resting on Birth Ball:

Many women enjoy bouncing slightly in early labor, this position helps with posture and balance. You can do figure 8's and hip circles with the birth ball to help position baby.

Sidelying Position:

This position can ease hip pain. Also Dad can give gentle massage or stroking during this time. Very relaxing!

I hope these help! Just remember to keep moving, swaying, rocking, and squatting!