Sunday, July 22, 2012

Pregnancy: Week 27

The number one question I get these days is if we have a name picked out. Well—YES, we do! We've actually had this name picked out for quite a long time. I knew that I didn't want to have the time-sensitive stress of picking out a name if or once we got pregnant, so I instigated that conversation long ago. I'm glad I did, because it took us awhile to agree, and once we did, I had lots of time to sit on it and make sure it felt right. I have to confess though...we're not telling! Since we've decided to share most of the details of this exciting time through this blog, we thought would be fun to keep some mystique alive. I can tell you that we call her by her name at home and are smitten with it.

It's funny that we can already tell her name fits her perfectly. I'm not sure why that is, but it just is. If LB ended up being a boy though, we weren't as sure. We had two names we were going between, but just couldn't settle on one. We talked about maybe needing to actually meet "him" before we could decide. No, I won't reveal those names. The mystique continues!

I've recently started to come into some new pregnancy revelations. The term "hot mama" has a whole new meaning to it these days. Gone are the days of sleeping with my down comforter and wearing jackets outside. I am hot all the time. I suppose it's due to my new supply of blood, but either way, I just can't seem to stay cool. Just walking from my car into work in the morning leaves me stripping everything I possibly can the second I get to my desk. And the other night I had to throw the covers off the bed, open our bedroom window to its max and spend five minutes in front of the kitchen window fan turned on high. I have a feeling this is a little taste of what menopause might be like.

I am also beginning to pee more frequently. I was feeling lucky that I haven't had to pee like crazy for the most part. I usually take one trip to the bathroom during the night and a handful during the day. But these days I'm averaging two pee trips a night and countless during the day. They never seem to fully empty my bladder either and take forever...just keeping it real here. I think it's hilarious that I always get a kick mid pee. I think she's appreciates the extra room.

This week was a Centering week, and our last month going monthly. We have our next class in four weeks and then we start going every other week. Time is flying. And much to my surprise, we start our 7-week Great Starts birth class series this week. The confirmation email went to my spam, and for some reason I thought it started mid-August. I'm glad I had the notion to give them a call to confirm because I am over-the-moon giddy to start these classes and would be so upset to miss one.


Centering this month was definitely the most practical yet. There was lots of great discussion around labor and birth. Fra Na was our midwife for this class, which I always enjoy because of her obvious expertise. She's much older than the rest of the midwives and always has a sharp answer to any of my questions. I also learned that I'm up 15.5 pounds, which means I've gained about 7 in the last month! That must be why my feet feel awful by the end of the day. This is definitely not the recommended "pound a week" they suggest, but I had a few months where I hadn't gained anything, so my body must be catching up. I am right on track to gain the recommended 25–35 with 13-ish weeks to go.

While class was enjoyable and it was fun to see everyone growing rounder, it also left me in a bit of a panic. During our one-on-one time with the midwife, Arthur reminded me to mention the rib pain I've been having. I explained to her that I've had generic rib pain all over, but also in one very pin pointed area in my upper abdomen, slightly on the left side—not on the rib, actually, but in a squishy area. She prodded and felt around and told me she wanted to add checking my liver enzymes to my upcoming lab work. She is concerned about the possibility of preeclampsia. Luckily I'm not showing any other signs like high blood pressure, but her saying that was enough to throw me for a loop. My lab workup is going to happen sometime this week—along with my 2-hour glucose screening—and I am definitely feeling anxious...more than anxious.

Aside from this, here are some highlights from this week's Centering class:
  • We discussed perineal massage and how there is no evidence that during labor this makes a difference (I asked if the midwives use this technique). She did say that she suggests doing it regularly leading up to labor if I'm interested. She pointed me to a handout in our Centering binder that explains how. I think I will post what the handout suggests sometime soon. 
  • Our midwives are pro letting us push when we feel the urge and not rushing it. She said if the mother begins to feel a burning sensation —like the feeling of an indian rug burn—she always encourages her to slow down the pushing, so as not to tear or worsen a tear. Fra Na says that she sometimes uses a warm washcloth as an aid in not tearing. 
  • We are allowed to drink and eat as we please during labor. Although she said we probably won't want to eat. I can imagine if labor goes long wanting a boost of energy, so I'm happy this will be supported. We talked about how marathon runners don't run without boosts of nutrition, and we shouldn't expect to during labor either.
  • We are allowed to labor and deliver in [almost] any position. The rooms have birthing balls, squatting bars and other helpful things for laboring in different positions. 
  • We have control over the lighting in the room and can bring in battery operated candles if we want. We will go over this next class when we do a tour of the birthing center. I am totally picturing a room full of tea lights.
  • One of my yoga instructors had told me that squatting opens our pelvises 30% more. I asked the midwife and she disagreed that it was that much, but said that it does open it a bit and more importantly changes it's shape.
  • The baby's head is made of 3 or 4 (?) plates that get smooshed through the birth canal. The head will look incredibly deformed for a few seconds and then "pop" right into place. So strange! Some of the other pregnant girls who are nurses said that they've seen this when they had to watch a birth in nursing school.
  • The average 1st labor is about 18 hours.
  • I need to call the midwives when my contractions are 4 minutes apart—beginning to beginning—for at least an hour. This is when I need to call, not necessarily come in. The contractions should "take my breath away" if they are really doing something. 
  • I asked if there is a spoken or unspoken "time limit" on labor. Her response was that there is a difference between slow progress labor and no progress labor. I thought this made sense. 
  • There is a hospital mandated time limit on pushing. The midwife is obligated to consult the on-call physician if I have been pushing for 2 hours unmedicated, or 3 hours medicated. This doesn't mean action has to be taken, but the consult does have to occur. 
  • If an emergency c-section is needed, the midwife assists the on-call physician since it takes two people to perform the procedure.
  • There will be no counting during pushing.
  • We discussed delayed cord clamping and that there is no evidence that in full-term babies it is beneficial. There is evidence that it is beneficial in premies. If we decide to delay, we will need to specify this in our birth plan, otherwise they will do it when they get around to it. Or in other words, it won't be the first thing that immediately happens, but they might not wait until it stops pulsing. I will write more about what we decide later. 
On to the extra fun stuff... This weekend was basically a constant party. With one wedding and two baby showers, I was going non-stop and way sugared-out by Sunday night. I had a blast dancing the night away with my little lady and some of our closest friends Friday night. Congrats Freys!

Saturday was spent prepping for my sister-in-law's shower I was hosting the next day and also attending a baby shower for my sweet friend, Sarah. She is due just a couple weeks after us and traveled up from California to go to the wedding the night before and to have a shower with her Seattle buddies. It was such a joy to see her since I'm not sure we will get another chance anytime soon.

Ohana girls: Teresa, Liv, Elise, Sarah and Me

Later Saturday evening, Arthur and I headed over to Aunt Patti's house where the shower was to be hosted the next day to get a few things set up and make a game plan. She offered to cook us dinner, which we would never pass up. But we were extra grateful for this relaxing evening on her gorgeous deck overlooking the I-90 bridge over Lake Washington. We sat and chatted over pasta puttanesca, a fresh summer salad and margaritas (sparkling water for me)—candle lit in the summer breeze with no need for any sort of sweater. Absolute perfection.

Sunday morning was game time. I got up early and finished my Lemon Buttermilk Cream Cheese cake pops. Cake pops are my favorite, but they take so much dang time to make. It always makes it worth it though when people can't stop asking how I made them and gawking and how delicious they are. I finally got out the door and finished setting up at Patti's house while she made two amazing salads for the party.

We celebrated in Patti's gorgeous garden with a table full of flavorful food, tissue poms hanging from the trees, a rug spread out on the grass with pillows, and onesie decorating that was a total hit (full tutorial coming soon). Not to mention my adorable sis-in-law and TONS of amazing gifts. It was an afternoon to remember.

Yes, that's definitely the same dress I wore on Friday night and in my belly shot for this week. Beggars can't be choosers these days.

This weekend was fun, but I'm glad to have the shower behind me and a hopefully low-key week of birth class, crafting, husband time, fresh dinners and as many yoga classes and I can make it to. I can't believe our showers start in just a couple weeks! AND I welcome the third trimester in one week, woah!

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