Thursday, May 24, 2012

Almost 37 Weeks!

This is not one of my official updates, but not much has changed so I thought I would just write a general update and talk some about my birth plan. It's so hard to believe that 9 months have gone by already and it's only 3 weeks until my guess date! 37 weeks is technically full term, so baby Andrew could come almost any time from here on out and be a very healthy little baby boy. I'm so excited to meet him!!

This afternoon we will have our final ultrasound. It's a growth ultrasound that my doctors recommend to all women with gestational diabetes. Basically, they just want to check the estimated size and weight of the baby to prepare them for any potential complications during delivery. I have my reservations about going and have almost canceled the appointment a hundred times, but in the end, we have decided that the more information we have, the better decisions we can make for our son. I think what bothers me is that from the moment I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (way back in week 17 I believe), people have been telling me that I'll be having a huge baby. I'm so sick of hearing it.

Lately, I've been hearing talk from one of my 3 doctors about early induction due to a possibly 'big baby', which upsets me. I can't remember how much I've really talked about this here on the blog, but my hope is to have a natural, unmedicated birth using Hypnobabies self-hypnosis techniques. I realize that induction can be great in certain situations (as can c-sections when they are medically necessary), but I also know that once you get on the intervention train, it's hard to get off. I would rather not start my birthing time with an intervention like early induction.

You may be wondering, what the heck is Hypnobabies?? It's amazing! It's exactly what I was looking for when I got pregnant and started looking into birthing classes and techniques. I have always known that I wanted to have an unmedicated childbirth. For some reason, that simple statement tends to bring out the worst in people. I can't tell you how many of my friends have said things like, "Don't tell me you're going to be one of those stupid people who doesn't get an epidural?" People also have laughed at me and told me that once I start to feel the pain, I'll be begging for meds, etc. Wow. I never expected so much judgment about my decision to do this without medication. After all, women have been doing that for thousands of years and coming out just fine. Still, for some reason, there is a belief in our culture that childbirth has to be this almost traumatic, extremely painful event. I don't believe that at all, which is why I went searching for an alternate attitude.

Hypnobabies is all about the belief that childbirth is a beautiful, natural, and safe process that a woman's body was designed for. George and I signed up for a local six week class that we started back in January, and I feel it is one of the best things I have done for both me and my unborn son. I don't want my birthing time to be a medical procedure full of fear and anxiety. I want it to be a joyful day filled with love and happiness. Through the classes, I learned how to use self-hypnosis techniques to help my body relax and produce a powerful, natural anesthesia that will help me have a painless childbirth. I believe in the techniques 100% after using them now for several months, and I'm actually really excited about my birthing time.

Unfortunately, some people hear me talk about my hopes for a 'painless' childbirth and they immediately become worried about me. They insist on telling me that I'm setting myself up for disappointment and then proceed to tell me all kinds of horror stories about the pain and trauma of childbirth. I honestly don't understand why people can't just be happy for me and trust me to make my own decisions and have my own experience, but such is the way it goes with pregnancy I guess. I simply choose to continue down my own path and let those horror stories fade into the background.

It's my belief that the mind is a very powerful thing. What we believe with all our hearts is more likely to come to pass. If we believe that childbirth is going to be painful and horrible, then it probably will be. If we believe that it will be beautiful and that we can make it through without medication, then that's how it is most likely to go. Of course, nothing is 100% predictable, but I'd rather set myself up for success than for failure or pain.

Our birth plan is to stay at home as long as possible during my early birthing time. We have a doula so hopefully she will be helpful in deciding when it's time to go, especially since we've moved to UNC now, which is a 30 minute drive! When we get to the hospital, we are putting up strings of dim white christmas lights to set a calm mood for my self-hypnosis. I have hypnosis tracks downloaded on my iPod to listen to, and I also just bought a few new CD's on iTunes with ocean sounds and relaxing rain storms and such with calming music just in case I don't want to listen to the hypnosis tracks. Every time I envision my birthing time, I smile because I know it's going to be a joyful and powerful time in my life. I can't believe it's really so close now!!

I have high hopes that the ultrasound today will show that Andrew is measuring normal and healthy. My fear is that if they say he's measuring large, they will try to push an induction instead of letting me try the natural childbirth I've been dreaming of. At first, I was pretty upset about the ultrasound in general, but I am trying to change my attitude and just see it as one last time to see our baby on the screen before we meet him.

Sorry for the long post, but I just wanted to talk about Hypnobabies and to just put it out there that even if you have a different view of childbirth, it's never the right thing to judge someone else for their choices - especially when it comes to something so incredibly personal. The best thing to do is just be supportive and loving. Thank you so much to the people in my life like my mom who have been 100% supportive of my choices and my hopes for an unmedicated birth since the beginning. :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

35 Weeks!! Only 5 to go!

This was not the best week of my life. It's been tough, to be honest. And I hate that. I remember the pain of not being able to get pregnant and yearning for this with all of my heart. I wish I could say that all that yearning means pregnancy now contains nothing but glowing joyful moments. Every time I complain, I feel guilty - as if I am somehow saying I'm not grateful. But after the discomforts of this week, I realize that I'm only human. No one can be joyful and grateful at all times when they are dealing with pain. It doesn't mean that I'm not happy and so thankful to have a sweet baby boy coming into our lives in just a few short weeks.

That being said, it was a rough week. I pampered myself by getting my hair done (bangs!) and even though I love how my hair turned out, I came home from the appointment feeling awful. The next day, I had an elevated temperature of 99.8. My whole body was aching and I felt nauseated for a couple of days. Then, just when my temperature went back to normal, my entire body broke out in hives. I'm talking head to toe. And it ITCHED like crazy. Turns out I had some sort of allergic reaction to the shampoo I bought at the salon. I barely slept for three days. Today, I woke up with very much improved on the hives front, but now my hands are super swollen. I can't even close my fists, it hurts so badly. In fact, all of my joints ache. I hope this is just temporary, but all of these things coming back to back has been bringing me down.

So now it's time for an attitude adjustment. I have spent way too much time over the past six or seven days focusing on the aches and pains and discomforts. That's not the way I want to remember the last few precious weeks of my pregnancy. This is possibly the only time I will ever experience this, and I don't want to focus on the negative. I want to focus on all the happy, beautiful things that are happening in our lives. I want to spend my time thinking about the positive things in my life. I mean, how many pregnant women get to set their own schedule and take all the time they need to try and feel better? I'm extremely blessed, and that's what I want to remember.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, here's my 35 week update (hopefully with a positive spin!):

How Far Along: 35 weeks, 2 Days

My Baby This Week:

Weight Gain: 20 lbs.

Baby Bump: George took this pic on mother's day. A friend of mine saw it and said she thinks it looks like Andrew has dropped! I thought I had noticed that my shape changed a little bit. It's exciting to know he's getting into a good position for birth!

Sleep: It's rough. I can't sleep more than about an hour at a time before I get uncomfortable or have to go to the bathroom. I figure it's just good practice for when Andrew gets here and wakes me up all through the night.

Best Moment of the Week: Hiring painters finally to come paint the interior of the house, including the nursery! It will be so awesome to have that final piece of the home renovations done. It's going to look amazing!

Movement: Andrew moves around so much, and I love it. I am constantly feeling what I am pretty sure is the heel of his tiny little foot jutting out. So cute!

Symptoms: Pretty much everything I listed above. I honestly only thought pregnancy got super uncomfortable in the last two weeks or so, but apparently it can start much earlier, yikes!

Food Cravings: Water. I can't get enough. And sugar of course, but I try to ignore that craving.

What I Miss: Being able to walk without pain.

What I'm Looking Forward To: A positive birthing experience and meeting Andrew for the first time!

Weekly Wisdom: Don't put anything off until the last month of pregnancy. Not shopping or renovations or decorating or anything. I always thought I would get this nesting instinct people talk about and just be full of energy, but the truth is that walking around the mall or even making a thirty minute trip to Target is very uncomfortable at this point. I wish I had finished these things sooner so that I could just rest!

Emotions: All over the place. I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself this past week with all the discomforts, but I'm working every day to pick myself up and stay positive. My focus for the next four or five weeks is going to be on all the blessings in my life.

Monday, May 7, 2012

34 Weeks

Time is definitely flying by! Baby time is really just around the corner. Today I am 34 weeks, 2 days pregnant, but today is almost done, which means I really only have 5 1/2 weeks remaining until my guess date. That's so hard to believe! I can tell George is feeling the closeness now too. When we laid down for bed last night, he stared over at the co-sleeper and said, "Can you believe Andrew will really be in there sleeping in just a few short weeks?" There was definite awe in his voice.

Right now, I'm definitely feeling anxious about the fact that due dates really are just 'guess dates'. I read somewhere that only 5% of babies are actually born on their due dates. Sometimes they can come as early as a month before or as late as two weeks after. With gestational diabetes, I know my doctors are NOT going to want me to go past my due date, so I'm really hoping Andrew comes a few days early so we don't have to deal with arguments about not wanting pitocin and such. I talk to him every day, encouraging him to come just a teeny bit early. June 10th'ish would be perfect! Haha.

How Far Along: 34 weeks and counting!

My Baby This Week:  Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. His fat layers — which will help regulate his body temperature once he's born — are filling him out, making him rounder. His skin is also smoother than ever. His central nervous system is maturing and his lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you've been nervous about preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies. (From

Weight Gain: So far, I am right at 20 lbs gained. Not too bad!

Baby Bump:

Sleep: I'm just trying to sleep whenever I can these days! I am up about every hour to hour and a half during the night to use the bathroom or toss and turn. I take lots of naps, haha.

Best Moment of the Week: Before I can get to the best moment, I need to mention the scariest moment. At my doctor's appointment on Thursday, she thought she heard a very slow heartbeat. They hooked me up to an older monitor and even though Andrew's baseline looked okay, he kept dipping below normal. Basically, she freaked me out and set up an appointment for me to have a modified BPP (biophysical profile) done Friday. I was honestly scared to death something was going to be wrong with my baby.

I barely slept at all on Thursday night. Friday, we had to sit in the waiting room at the hospital for about 2 hours just waiting for them to create an open slot. Finally, we got in and I was hooked up to a heart rate monitor and a contraction monitor for about 20 minutes. (This is called an NST or nonstress test, which I'll be getting very familiar with over the next 5-6 weeks.) Luckily, what the test showed was that Andrew's heartbeat is normal. Yes, it does dip down to about 105 every now and again, but the tech said it was nothing to worry about since it pops right back up. She said all he has to do is bump against the umbilical cord and his heartbeat will drop for an instant. Well, during our 3D ultrasound the little guy actually had the cord in his hand. For all we know, he's in there squeezing it! Hehe.

Hands down the best moment of the week was finding out he was okay. They also measured my amniotic fluid and all is normal there. I will have to go back now for weekly monitoring in addition to my normal appointments, but I think everything is going to be fine and we will have a healthy little boy. A trouble-maker maybe. But a healthy one. :)

Movement: He's moving around a lot. I think I'll miss that the most after he's born. I love feeling him in there. I'll never be this close to my baby boy again.

Symptoms: Aches, especially in my pelvic region! I guess everything is stretching out, which is a good sign! It's just getting hard to move around and get comfortable these days! Also, the heartburn never ends.

Food Cravings: I do have one major craving!! Honest Kids juice packs. It's insane! These are low sugar juice drinks for kids, kind of like Capri Sun, only organic with a lot less sugar. They don't spike my bloodsugar since they are only like 6 ounces each, and I've been downing them! Tonight, George actually bought me like 7 cases, haha. It's an addiction. I'm half afraid I'm going to OD on vitamin C!

What I Miss: Having a brain that works at full capacity :P.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Enjoying these last few weeks with Andrew tucked safely inside. I hope I can stay focused on the happy things instead of the aches and pains!

Weekly Wisdom: Try not to freak out and get worried about something until you know for certain it's a problem. Positive thinking is so much healthier in the long run.

Milestones: Completed our hospital tour and got all of the baby clothes washed!

Emotions: I'm so happy Andrew is healthy. I'm anxious to meet him, but determined to find happiness and joy in these last weeks of being pregnant.