Thursday, February 21, 2013

Baby III Week 42: AMA

Week 42

I considered just leaving my laptop in the bag or just putting out a vague, "we're fine, we'll let you know when baby is here," post... but I know if I knew me I would hate me for that. I'd want to know what happened... and according to the 52 notifications on my facebook and the inbox on my cell, some of you do to.

Eric called Natividad just before we were set to leave. The nurse was not happy that we missed our prior appointment and now wanted to come in without one. Eric said we didn't know it would be a problem because on Saturday we came in for an non stress test and they wanted to admit me for an induction. Eric mentioned I was 42 weeks and she asked how that was allowed to happen... which Eric didn't address. We had agreed  to take on a "do not engage" attitude about this and just let things be said, but hold our ground on what was done. She said come in and we called our OB, Dr. Chandler, on the way and left a message for him.

In the elevator a nurse whose look I really liked said "Oh, another one! I'm headed up there too," clarifying she was a labor and delivery nurse starting her shift. She asked if I was in labor and I said no, asked why I came in and I explained the 42 weeks thing and she said "Oh! You are the one that didn't want to come in!" When Eric called he got a couple other nurses who knew who I was too, apparently I'm building a reputation.

Labor and delivery was full and it seemed there was a lot going on. We understood why they weren't happy about us popping in. We waited about an hour for a room. While we waited Dr. Chandler called and said he had wanted to meet me here but we got there a little later than expected. The on call doctor is  Dr. Heiner and I should like him, he thinks they assigned me a nurse who is also a midwife. Dr. Chandler said he talked to Dr. Heiner and he should be familiar with why I am there. I thanked him and he said he'd be in in the morning.

Waiting next to all the kids they wont let in L&D because of flu season.  I literally watched one put his hands in his on the floor and then lick them

We were set up in our room. One thing that is nice about Natividad is that nurses, residents, and OBs tend to ask you if you have a birth plan and are interested in seeing it. We went over ours and while I don't think I got the nurse that was also a midwife, she was supportive of all our choices. She checked my cervix and I was surprised to hear I was now 3cm, not 4 or more which is of course what I was hoping for. I was hooked up to the monitors and I waited for the OB.

At least an hour went by and I had to pee. As I came out of the bathroom a resident came in and said she saw me go off her monitor so she came to check on me. Being checked on any way would be nice, but whatever. She said that my contractions do not look regular and are still only 7-8 minutes apart. Confused, I told her we knew. She said why don't I walk around to see how I progress and then maybe start Pitocin. I realized she didn't know that I was not in labor. I don't remember this, but Eric said I actually blurted out, "Wait, you think I'm in labor!?" I was kinda offended she thought I thought this was labor, but then how is she supposed to know what I know... either way someone should had told the doctor who is now in here wanting to help me make induction choices that I'm not in labor. I filled her in on the last few days and why we believed we were there.

She did a lot of mirroring questions back to me at this point, and I wondered if it was because she knew nothing. I asked her what my options were with my dilation, effacement, etc. and she'd say "Well what options are you comfortable with?" We talked in circles until she mentioned baby's -2 station. I stopped her and said I thought baby was at a 0. She said no. I told her I needed to see Dr. Heiner and I wanted to be checked by him. Obviously I'm not going to be asking for my membranes to be ruptured if for some reason baby has sucked back up two stations.

It was 10:30pm, almost four hours in that we saw an OB for the first time. At this point I was confused, frustrated, and exhausted. I liked him, he reminded me of Chandler in that he is obviously keeping abreast of research and brought up some various studies not in a "I know stuff, shut up patient" kinda way but in a "here's some information that might help us make a decision here" kinda way. He shared some of his history, he came from a hospital in El Paso with a cesarean rate of 12% and said he was one of the more pro-vaginal OBs. At this point I knew my options were probably slim since I was not as far along as I had thought. He said he wanted to try a low dose Pitocin regimen keep me at a 2 milliunit/minute throughout the night. He said there's some good information out there supporting this approach vs increasing the dosage until the desired pattern is achieved. He added that he has friends who swear by this approach. I shared my history and my concerns about Pitocin's affects on the baby, but deep down I just knew that the thought of being tethered to a bed with an IV in my arm was devastating and the science didn't matter. This was the first time where I realized I might really be losing this birth.

We were at a bit of a stand still, I realized I was standing on the opposite side of the bed with my arms crossed, and probably looked a little confrontational even though that wasn't my intention. He was offering an option and I had nothing to counter with. He suggested that he double check my cervix and I jumped on the bed, hoping the nurse was wrong. He said I was 3cm, maybe 4, 50% effaced (from 80% Monday) and -2 station. He said it wouldn't be the easiest rupture he'd done and I told him no, with those numbers I wouldn't ask him to try. Not wanting to cry in front him him, the grumpy resident, and the nurse I told him that Eric and I needed to talk for a minute.

And by talk, I mean I needed to sob for nearly an hour.

I don't even want to write everything I had to think about, or am still thinking about. I'm already crying again trying to put these sentences together. I don't want to expose myself or the baby to Pitocin. I know though we sing its evils all the time that it has a time and a place, I just don't want either to apply to me or my baby. I know the risks, I know how I responded in the past, and I don't want to take myself there again.

I also knew I had finally fallen into the pit I'd been teetering on the edge of for days. My body is failing me and the baby. I would tell a million women that their body is not a mistake, and I believe it, but between the polycystic ovary syndrome  gestational diabetes, and now this... mine is without a doubt flawed and I hate it. All I want is to be able to take part in this miracle set apart for us women and I can't, and there are so many other women who can and don't. I would give anything to work through one really hard contraction and the satisfaction of getting through it and in the rooms that line the hall just outside my crumbling universe there are women choosing detachment and numbness over that incredible experience. Somewhere between self pity and bitter jealousy I completely broke and mourned the birth I had been looking forward to for over 10 months.

When the nurse asked what we decided I said through pitiful sniffles that we needed to go home. The OB had pleaded, literally put his hands together in prayer, that I at least get an ultrasound and I had no problem with that. Unfortunately, it would be two more hours of sitting in my gown, in a cold chair staring at the wall just losing my mind before anyone could come get us for it.

The ultrasound table was hard and it took forever. I got nauseated and dizzy laying flat for so long. The tech told us nothing. The nurse took us to our room and gave us papers to sign since we were leaving AMA, against medical advice. I asked about the ultrasound results and she said the resident said it was fine for us to leave. I asked how the placenta looked, after all, one of the main reasons for the ultrasound was to check for calcification on the placenta. The nurse came back and said the resident didn't know, but it looked fine. It was almost 2am, I wanted to at least know what the ultrasound said. The resident came back, clearly annoyed by me and snapped, "I'm not an OB, I can't read an ultrasound, I don't know what this says." I asked how she knew it was ok for us to leave, didn't the tech put anything about the placenta? She said "Look, it's a 2-3 grade placenta, it has extensive calcification just like I told you it would because that's what happens when you are 42 weeks." I officially hate residents.

She left and now I'm standing there, dressed, bag in hand, ready to leave and the placenta has extensive calcification?" Am I even safe to go? I looked at the nurse totally confused, speechless. What is wrong with this place? I'm glad she could read my face, she said it's night, no one is here that can really read the ultrasound.

I had to just piece together for myself that the fluid was good, though lower than it was, baby was very active, I could at least go home and sleep.

On the way out I decided to avoid all this again and make, and promise to keep, another appointment to induce. I didn't know what to think about my placenta, but I did know my fluid had come down quite a bit. The next opening was 9pm Friday, and the on call OB was Dr. Aguliera, the OB that had encouraged me to have a homebirth and said if I came in that he hoped he could be there. Maybe this was a sign.

I didn't wake up once from when I got in bed til the phone woke me around 10am. Today and tomorrow I'm just going to rest. I'm wondering if everything I've tried to start labor over the last week has had the opposite affect. No excessive walking, herbs, bouncing, pumping, or eating anything weird today. I probably won't be online much, there won't be a 42 weeks + 1 day post... I just need to not think about birth for a little bit. I know I could still go into labor and I hope that happens, but if I have to make that death march up to labor and delivery at 9pm tomorrow night I have to go in ready to do whatever it takes. Don't worry, I haven't given up on myself or my baby and I know I have choices. I know if I need Pitocin I can have it turned off if we establish contractions, I know I can eat and do the best I can to move and take an active role. I haven't forgotten any of that... this is just one very heavy compromise that I never intended to face again.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Baby III Week 41 + 6 Days: Starting This Birth Story

41 Weeks + 6 Days

The cohosh didn't work, obviously.

Sorry this isn't a baby picture, there's a uterus in the way.

I even accidentally took too much. I thought it was 20 drops every hour instead of every other hour. Only took me 4 hours to figure it out. Gave me some good contractions but like every other night, they stopped when I went to sleep.

I had already made the decision that we would go to the hospital tonight so I spent this morning cleaning the house and getting ready. About two hours ago I had a severely painful cramp/contraction that was predominately on my left side. It was so strong it actually made me empty my bladder, not like I lost control out of distraction, it squeezed it out of me. There was a split second where I hoped it was my water breaking, but it wasn't. Disappointment on multiple levels. It radiated to the rest of my uterus... but is was mostly on my left. It freaked me out.

I called Eric, who is working in San Jose, to come home. He went to tell his boss. As he said "I'm going to have to leave" she told him to not to bother telling her, get the fuck outa here and have a baby! Can you tell he's in construction?

All the daycare kids were sleeping so I quickly jumped in the shower since I'd just peed everywhere. I was still getting contractions but mostly on my left.

I've called daycare parents and we are getting the kids ready. We likely wont leave for another couple hours unless something happens. I'm mostly concerned about the fact that these don't feel right, or familiar, and I've had a lot of contractions and different kinds. I'm feeling baby, but a little less than normal.

So this birth story is going to begin with me peeing all over myself. We're off to a great start.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Baby III Week 41 + 5 Days: If You See A Nurse, I Went That Way

41 Weeks + 5 Days

I had lots of contractions after my massage last night. I walked up and down Alisal trying to keep them going. I pumped, bounced on my ball, had sex, walked... by midnight they weren't going anywhere so I took a hot shower per midwife's orders and went to bed. 

Woke up to lots of mucus, no blood, still very pregnant. I called Natividad and moved my noon induction to 9pm. The nurse called my back and said it had to be 6pm, someone else had 9pm. It was 10am, I had time and agreed. 

I spent the day pumping for at least 20 minutes of every hour and trying to not sit too much, or sit on my ball.   My blood glucose readings were perfect, making the decision to go in or not really difficult. If they were bad, my decision would be made for me. By noon I was thinking I might never go into labor. When I hear women say "I just don't go into labor" it drives me insane, and now I'm sitting here thinking it. 

Eric called on his lunch break and I asked him what we should do, what if the baby dies? I know shocking coming from me but my few years of education can only do so much against the massive weight of our culture's mistrust in our bodies and while I struggle back and forth, sometimes I start to succumb to it. That's why surrounding yourself with supportive people is so important. 

Eric reminded me that if this baby is supposed to die it's going to die. We are doing everything right according to our faith and our knowledge in birth. He said some other stuff and I honestly don't remember what, but it was comforting. It's weird how I come in and out of functioning right now.

At 3:30pm Eric called again. I told him he could call and cancel because I just didn't want to have that conversation. I said he could say what he wanted, whether it was truthful or not. He said he'd just say I was in labor already and that we'd come in later. 

Apparently the nurses did not like that and said I was very post dates. Actually, I'm not at all post dates, which is after 42 weeks. I asked Eric if she was going to come get me. He said she wanted to. I'm glad I didn't call. Eric gently held his ground.

I had wanted to take blue and black cohosh last night but by the time I could send Eric out Whole Foods would be closing. Eric picked up some black cohosh on the way home today and I'm on my second dose. I'm taking it every hour and so far I'm getting some good contractions. I wish they had blue cohosh as well, but they didn't. Black gets contractions going/makes them stronger, blue regulates them. Between the two I'm glad they had black.

Baby had a long episode of hiccups earlier and is just as active as ever. Kick counts are pointless, baby hits his/her quota in minutes. It's comforting knowing that baby is still strong and happy.

I am really struggling with my leg. Every evening the nerve in my right hip socket which I thought was linked to my sciatic nerve, my chiro doesn't think so, begins pinching. It is unbearable sometimes. That's my only real physical discomfort.

I told my girlfriend Amy that she should make a Never Ending Story parody for my pregnancy .. really, our pregnancies because she's never delivered before 40 weeks and I think had her second 10 or 12 days "over." I demanded choreography too. She did it, that's a true friend.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Baby III Week 41 + 4 Days: Like If Your Lifeguard Drowned

41 Weeks + 4 Days

It's amazing what a day can change, or the number of times in can change in just a twelve hour period.

I woke up to high fasting numbers, 119 mg/dL... 40 points over my normal and 20 points over what is safe. We did spend part of the night in the ER with a sick baby (Ashley was struggling to breathe, croup) causing an adrenaline spike and stress, and I didn't get much sleep, all of which can cause high numbers, but this still concerned me. A high after meal is one thing, high fastings are another. I am not in a place in my pregnancy where I feel like it's safe to give it time so I started to seriously think about induction options.

I talked with my midwife and she agreed to come over and strip my membranes again and also do her famous induction massage that she has practiced and taught all over the world. She has an 80% success rate. In the meantime, I started to mentally lay out a plan if my numbers continue to be high today and tomorrow... what kind of medical intervention am I ok with?

I went for a walk. I know I don't want an induction, I don't feel comfortable with the risks involved, but I know there is another level to why it is such an upsetting option. Natural birth is my passion and I love the process of birth. I am not getting down on myself as a failure in anyway, actually, I think the fact that I can take such an active role in making these decisions is a testament to the importance of birth education... but there is a definite sadness in the thought of potentially losing out on part of the process I am so in love with. It's like if Jillian Michaels got fat for some unavoidable reason. Even if she knew to not blame herself, she loves fitness, it's what she is passionate about... but is being forced to struggle in. And I do think about the fact that I'm an educator, I already feel like I will need to defend my induction even though I do truly believe all these interventions exist to help some people, I don't want to be one of those people. One of my friends or a student can be, but I don't want it. Who wants a lifeguard who nearly drowned and needed to be saved? I know this is a me thing, that no one who knows me will think I took the easy way out or chose an unnecessary intervention, but it is in the back of my head when you've met 20 people, all needlessly induced, it's hard being that one person who is like, "no I really needed it." So many levels... I'm not even touching on the physical risks baby and I are facing.

I decided to leave all of that on the side walk and make some decisions despite how I or anyone else might feel. If my numbers are high tomorrow, I'll go in tomorrow evening for an induction. I know the OB on call during the day is one I don't know and one I haven't heard the best things about, maybe someone better will be there by evening. Women are more likely to respond favorably to inductions at night, and hopefully staff would be more likely to leave me alone. If baby is at 0 station (engaged in my pelvis), I'm going to ask them to break my water instead of starting pitocin. I don't even want an IV if possible.

If they break my water that would be the most like natural labor, after all, it would be possible for my water to break at the start of labor. If no one does cervical checks, I should not have to worry about infection. Contractions will have a more normal pattern than with Pitocin, and I wont be strapped to monitors. I have a history of postpartum hemorrhage so rupturing my membranes is more favorable to Pitocin there as well.

Breaking my water does come with risks. Baby has to be at 0 station or the umbilical cord could prolapse--come through my cervix and cut off oxygen to baby. That's instant cesarean. Even if that does not happen baby could get stuck in a less than favorable position or begin to distress, though that is also possible with Pitocin. Contractions will also be more intense. There is a small risk of placental abruption, slightly higher for me since I have gestational diabetes.

Kinda sounds like ignorance would be at least temporary bliss, huh? It's too late, I already know too much.

It was nice to have made a decision though.

My midwife got here to do my massage around 3pm. The massage incorporates I believe 40 acupressure points. Other midwives in the area send their overdue mamas to her and or call her to come during a stalled out homebirth. I'm sure you are all wondering why I didn't do this last week... I just really didn't think I needed to... and I wanted to go into labor totally spontaneously.

I've heard from a friend this massage hurts. While something like a "vigorous membrane sweep" won't bother me, a chiropractic adjustment or massage has me twitching in pain or irritation the whole time. This wasn't as bad as I thought, but some pressure points are definitely uncomfortable, like between rib bones. However I rather feel something than nothing! It was very weird feeling how one pressure point would affect another area of my body. Definitely made me feel like something was happening.

Afterwards I asked her to check my cervix, baby's station, and strip my membranes again is possible. She said my cervix was very posterior. The OB said it wasn't but I've always heard it was! Poor Eric was sent in to get a nearly unreachable cervix. She said I was 4cm, 80% effaced, and now baby had come down two stations from -2 to 0! Great news, that means if it comes to it, I'd be a candidate for breaking my water instead of Pitocin. She said that I had been thoroughly swept and couldn't detatch any more of the membrane. Ok... so maybe that OB did an ok job.

She said there was no reason why I shouldn't be going into labor. I got dressed and started to have some mild cramping. Now I'm having some mild contractions. Going for a walk and I may take some cohosh which strengthens contractions.

The day was definitely a roller coaster. Sometimes I was really discouraged or concerned, especially at that first glucose reading this morning. Sometimes I felt really motivated to make something happen and ready to take on whatever the next 48 hours was going to bring. Right now I feel like I've done all the thinking I've needed to do today and now it's time to just work with my body. It isn't even one day at a time right now, it's a half day, a morning, an afternoon, an evening at a time. If I wake up pregnant tomorrow morning, we will be able to take that on too, even if we have no idea what that will look like.

Ash helping. So cute. Milo was doing the same thing every so often.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Baby III Week 41 + 3 Days: Got My Badass Back

41 Weeks + 3 Days

My midwife called yesterday and said she talked to my OB and he was calling me. He made it clear I could choose to refuse all of this but he wanted me to come in for a non stress test, biophysical profile and cervical check. I told him I would need to think about it and talked it over with Eric. We decided to go. My OB said he'd call ahead and let the on call OB know what our wishes were so I wouldn't have to explain them again... basically, what not to say to us.

We arrived at the nurses station and immediately they were shocked that I was over 41 weeks. They were nice, but all chimed in with comments about me being over due and baby being overcooked, to which I responded with a smile and a totally not sarcastic laugh and "oh some babies just need a little more time" and the smiles quickly disappeared. Tough crowd.

The nurse took us into our room and said "I don't think you'll be leaving, we will probably induce you tonight." I heard a dungeon door in my head.

"Oh, we are leaving, and we are not being induced, Dr. Chandler just wanted some tests run."

*taking blood pressure* "Oh you are gestational diabetic, we like you delivered by 41 weeks and you are 41 weeks and 2 days." pause for the weight of those 2 days to sink in, as if I hadn't heard I was officially dangerously pregnant.

BP: 144/97.

my normal is closer to 115/70

A nurse we had seen before and liked came in and laughed at the conversation she had just overheard and said she would retake my BP since obviously the subject matter had something to do with it. She started the machine just in time for a resident to come in and start another induction speech. I admit, I did not expect anyone to want to induce me right then. I knew they'd want me to schedule one, which I did, "Oh sure yes put us on for 9am Tuesday." ... so I can call and cancel on Monday... but I couldn't believe we came in for a couple tests and they were ready to hook up the Pitocin.

Baby looked great on the monitor. Nurses exclaimed "oh you are contracting!" I told them I knew, I've been in prodromal labor for 11 days, in my best "let's all be proud of my body" voice. The resident checked my fluid and I had plenty. Basically, the consensus was that baby and I were perfectly healthy. I held up my end of the agreement, let me out!

In came another OB, the one we saw 3 weeks ago that I really liked, "We really want to induce you now."


"Baby and I are doing great, so no, we will wait." And why do they always say "We want to..." Just to let me know they have me outnumbered?

I was still laughing and joking with them but was very firm. He said there are risks to continuing passed 41 weeks and I countered that there were very real and serious risks to inducing and at this point the risks of continuing the pregnancy did not outweigh the risks of inducing.

He said that my risk of stillbirth doubled after 41 weeks, which I knew was true for gestational diabetics. That is still only about 3 per 1000 births (1/1000 from 40-42 weeks in normal pregnancies). I didn't feel confidant enough to argue statistics and I didn't feel it was necessary, but I believed that as someone who was diet controlled this did not even apply to me, but wasn't positive. When I got home I confirmed. He was  not even addressing the risks of induction and exaggerating risks of normal pregnancy, a tactic that infuriates me. As a diet controlled gestational diabetic my risk of stillbirth is the same as in a term normal pregnancy. The risk of stillbirth is increased by poorly controlled GD wearing on the placenta. My vigorous baby and abundant fluid points to a very healthy placenta. There was no medical reason for an induction yet the pressure was being turned up. I now had 2 OBs sitting at my bedside but I had enough information on my side that I never wavered.

I suggested we check my dilation and maybe we will strip my membranes depending on how dilated I am. It was a compromise he seemed happy with.

Just before going in he said "you know, we could just break your water."

"I'll kick you in the head if you try to break my water. I want my membranes intact."

"Well if you want to avoid pitocin..." the resident chimed in.

"I also don't want to risk infection, and contractions are more painful after membranes rupture."

"It's an option."

"I know, thank you."

He turned to Eric and asked him to come hold my hand. I laughed and asked why. He said he was going to do a very vigorous strip. I told him a regular strip would be fine and he said he wanted to make sure he was thorough. It was fine, he said I was tough. There was no blood like in the past. I think he thought a little much of his stripping skills.

I was 4 cm dilated, 70% effaced and -2 station. I should have asked if he wanted to break my water based on those numbers, just to test him. A mother's water should not be broken before baby is at 0 station, but some OBs will do it anyway.

I think I exhausted everyone involved, but I wasn't aggressive! I told the nurse I like that I'm not here to argue with anyone, I don't want to ruffle any feathers, but we know what we want. She seemed to be the only one who got it.

I never mentioned I was a childbirth educator. I have nothing to prove, and really... how stupid does it sound for me to flaunt my credentials to doctors. We know how much more I know about facilitating normal, healthy birth than most OBs do, but trying to tell them that will win no friends and I'd like to keep my relationship with them as positive as possible.

I did wake up at 4am terrified of going back for the birth. I didn't leave upset, or scared, we held our own but it was a fight for our choices in the end. I have given myself the option to head over to Dominican if I feel uncomfortable with Natividad when the time comes.

The whole experience did boost my confidence and it was nice to confirm what I already knew, baby and I are healthy.

This morning I woke up with belly still very big, but a little lower. I think it's bigger first thing in the morning and I thought I'd take a picture while it's still here.

I kept saying this pregnancy I am posting mucus plug pictures... because I think they are fascinating. Making good on my promise. Went to the bathroom and there was just a little blood and plug. Nothing like last time, but enough to get a little hopeful over. Few contractions all day. Hoping it's the calm before the storm.

And in case you are tempted to worry about my poor deteriorating placenta and my weak, fading baby... here's a video of baby boy or baby girl getting some wiggles out before bed last night. Yeah I really don't think we have anything to worry about.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Baby III Week 41 + 2 Days: Cervix:1 Eric:0

41 Weeks + 2 Days

I had a bit of a mental breakdown last night, just being frustrated that I don't feel fully confidant in my decision to trust my pregnancy because I don't feel like I have enough support. My midwife is supposed to be consulting with my OB sometime in the next few days, hopefully they both feel good about things. Isn't it crazy how we need an expert to feel better about our own informed choices when we get to a vulnerable state like this? I guess I'm no exception. That's my only complaint, I feel much better today. It's really helpful when friends share "I was 10 days over," I was 8 days over," "so and so delivered at 42 weeks."

I do kinda enjoy doing the silly old wives tale natural induction stuff though. Last night we went out for a spicy meal. I really just wanted to go out, but since we just went out for Valentines Day it was nice to have an excuse. We decided to meet my brother and his fiance at Bubba Gumps. I asked what their spiciest dishes were. I got the jambalaya even though it really didn't appeal to me.

It was definitely really spicy. Eating it was like work. I made it through more than half then pushed it towards Eric. Then we set out walking around Monterey. I had only a few contractions. I got home and checked my blood sugar and it was 152! Way high for me! The sauce must have had tons of sugar. Seventeen dollars for something that didn't taste good and made me feel sick. Boo.

I checked my butt for that purple line. I have a pink line. No one said anything about that. I'm going to say the test was inconclusive.

I came out of the bathroom frustrated because baby feels so low, my cervix hurts, and my contractions feel so strong... something must be happening.

I told Eric he's checking my cervix.

He asked if he could check my butt line instead and said no, get in the bedroom.

He asked why he had to and I said because I couldn't reach, GET IN THERE!

Before you think I'm the weirdest girl ever, understand I come from a world where I know quite a few women whose husbands are fine with checking. I follow a website where boyfriends/husbands help document their girl's cervical changes with pictures (not for fun, for science). I don't think this stuff is weird and I'm totally desensitized to any weirdness. And it's not like Eric and I are not familiar with each other's bodies, we aren't shy with each other, so I don't think my demands were unreasonable.

We probably should have looked at a website on how to do this because now I'm trying to describe how to find my cervix using his hand held in a cylinder shape and I just keep saying "how do you NOT know where my cervix is?"

He keeps saying "I'm not asking you to check my prostate!"

Not a fair comparison, but it doesn't matter.. "I would if you wanted me to! Pay attention!"

Eric makes his attempt, like 2 seconds, "I can't find it." Gives up.

"It's in there! Try again. Where are you looking?"

He uses his nose to poke my belly, and I laugh so hard I have to get up and pee.

Right now I'm sitting here watching Safety Not Guaranteed while Eric works on some pressure points on my feet. Going to go for a walk after.

I wish I could have ice cream right now.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Baby III Week 41 + 1 Day: Probably More Than You Need To Know

41 Weeks + 1 Day

If I have it in me maybe I'll do some daily posts til baby arrives. Why not right?

This post will probably (definitely) be filled with some stuff you might not want to know... but for my braver slash birth obsessed friends.... enjoy.

No luck on getting Eric anywhere near my cervix... but sitting here I just remembered about the purple line trick! Have I talked about it here? I think I have. Basically as a woman dilates she gets a purple line up her butt crack. There's a picture here. I'm in a public place right now but as soon as I'm home I'm checking... stay tuned.

I forgot to share my Operation Get This Baby Out regimen. I'm on day 2.

1. Sex
2. Squats (sometimes combined with #1)
3. Breastpump while bouncing on the ball
4. Acupressure
5. Walk or squats (usually picking up toys)
6. Pump and bounce and acupressure
6. Sex
7. Walk

Tonight I might add eat a whole pineapple... even though that didn't work for me before.

My midwife said to rub castor oil on my belly... which sounds... disgusting.

I also wanted to share my weird foot with you. So over the last weeks this joint in my foot by my big toe has started sticking out more and more. It looks horrible and sometimes it hurts. Anyone ever see anything like this?

... and if you know where I took this pic of my foot... I'll buy you something there.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Baby III Week 41: Where's My Bomb Shelter?

41 Weeks!

When I found out I was pregnant I thought I was due on Valentines Day. I was pretty bummed when I recounted the weeks and figured out I was off by a week. There was no way I'd go over a week, I didn't think we'd make it into February. Well we made it to Valentines Day, and unless something miraculous happens, we aren't having a Valentines baby. Oh well.

I saw my midwife on Monday and everything looked good still. I'm measuring 42 weeks, baby is definitely growing. Head was still a little floaty but baby has moved down. She would like me to go in for a non-stress test... if I'm still pregnant next week maybe I will.

I've read many birth stories where the woman goes "over due" and she has to go into hiding because of people hounding her over when she is going to have the baby or horrified that the woman is being "allowed" to go passed that magic date. I never totally got it. I thought those women must be weak. They are just words. Ignore them.

I get it.

I thought it would be the physical discomfort that would be taking me down at this point, but it's the emotional discomfort. What all those concerned friends and family miss is that it's not like WE as the ticking time bomb are unaware of what society sees as normal birth and that we are stepping outside our culture's comfort zone. Despite everything I know to be true about what really is normal birth, and about what is safe... I have moments at 4am where I'm scared. Where I second guess everything and I don't want to trust birth anymore because trust is hard. I want the easy way out that I KNOW is not the safest, but it's a known... and what if something happens while I'm waiting? Everyone will blame me. I wont blame me. I trust me... and that's just where I have to keep circling back to. This is like my birth transition (just before pushing, when most women panic, don't think they can go on) in my pregnancy... no matter how much I know... I'm doubting... and I don't need anyone doubting with me.

I have been in and out of what feels like labor all week. It's super confusing. Sometimes during contractions I actually feel pushy, baby feels that low right now! Today I feel like I'm walking around at 7cm... actually... funny story...

So I really want to know what's going on with my cervix. I know it means nothing, but I want to know... but I don't want anyone to check. But I want to... so for the third pregnancy in a row I've tried to check and I just can't reach. So.... I asked Eric to do it.

He won't.

He said anything in that area is only supposed to be sexy and he wont play doctor. I told him that someday he's going to need me to do something gross and I'm going to do it... and besides... he's seen me give birth.

Eric said he is still getting over that.


I'm going to keep working on him...

This should be the last post... right?

This looks about right.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Baby III Week 40: So what if we aren't ready?

40 Weeks

I really didn't think we would see 40 weeks again but here we are! I'm really happy, I have just wanted to have a normal pregnancy and while we've had lots of odd little complications, we aren't having to take invasive measures to end the pregnancy because of my health. So while many women become anxious as they near and maybe pass their due date, I'm just really grateful that we are able to allow baby and nature run the show. Healthy women, appreciate this luxury and don't get impatient!

I saw my midwife earlier in the week. She was pretty quiet while palpating my belly. She found him/her right where I thought she would, on my right side (not ideal, left is better) and then found the little head still floating. Baby hadn't dropped (still hasn't). She didn't say anything else so I finally asked about baby's size. It's of course a guess, just like with an ultrasound, but I still like to hear what she thinks. She thinks we have a good sized baby, over 8 pounds (which I expected), but baby is still floating around a lot, which is kinda weird for a big baby. Thinking baby is maybe chunky but not super long. Even though I knew it was realistic to expect to a biggish baby considering my track record, it does just send a down little chill of nervousness. I finally gave baby permission to go ahead and be born, lest we hit double digits again.

The next day contractions started.

All day Tuesday I had birthy feelings. Contractions here and there, a little mucus plug, but no blood. By the early evening if I was up and moving contractions were 5 minutes apart, spacing out to 15 and becoming more like back pressure than discernible contractions if I sat down and rested. Eric and I thought this might be it and were kinda nervous. You'd think we'd be anxious and ready to go but at every sign of baby coming we turn into deer on a freeway, "We are going to have another baby, I can't believe we did this, oh my gosh and it could be here any time!" We love our babies, we are excited to have another, but then I get a full night of sleep and I remember what it's like to change 20 little diapers a day and have milk leaking all over and... it all seems very crazy that that could be our lives again at any moment. It's really ridiculous that this is how we feel because it's not like we A. haven't done this and B. haven't had 9 months warning!

Anyhow, I took a hot shower, drank a bunch of water and sent myself to bed early. As I laid their baby decided it was going to take a tour of my entire uterus... it was excruciating! I had a hard time determining exactly where baby ended up but it felt like it went from Right Occiput Anterior (back on the right side of my belly, but facing in towards me spine still) to the center of my belly (got excited, I want baby to settle on my left) then pivoting weird and ended up Right Occiput Tranverse, so baby's back sticking on my right side. The pain took my breath away a few times, it was so uncomfortable. Baby must have settled because I finally went to sleep. I woke up every 2 hours uncomfortable, but no contractions.

(By the way, the ideal position for baby to birth in is Left Occipur Anterior. It's just easier fr baby to rotate out in the birth canal and they are less likely to turn posterior, aka sunny side up, which can make for a long hard labor. I wonder if baby's funky positioning had anything to do with the feeling that my body was trying to go into labor, but wasn't really getting there)

Wednesday was quiet, and today I have been sitting on the couch the last 2 hours timing contractions... when I remember to. Baby finally settled onto my left side... at least for now. I've had consistent, pretty real feeling contractions since 2pm, around 10 minutes apart. I guess we'll soon find out if we will have a due date baby!

I didn't think I had gained anything this week... I was quite surprised to see the scale up almost another 2 pounds! Somewhere around 42-43 pounds gained.

Not sure if I should say "thanks for following my pregnancy!" or anything like that because who knows... there might be a 41 week post. Well... til next time... either a 41 week post... or a birth story.

Happy due date to us!
Another just tummy pic!
The Bump says baby is a Jack fruit. If someone can find a Jack fruit then awesome... I went with an 8lb sack of potatoes... though that's a lot of wishful thinking on my part.