Thursday, June 17, 2010

35 weeks together Alli, AJ and Baby Bowman

Since last Thursday when we first discovered my spiked blood pressure and they were afraid I had preeclampsia, things have improved! I turned in my 24 hour urine collection and the results came back with protein but not enough to officially be preeclampsia. The protein level for preeclampsia is 300+ and mine was 150. Last Friday my blood pressure was still high at 138/86- remember my usual is 95/60. After full bedrest on Friday of last week, I rested most of the weekend with just a few outings. The Dr. said that depending on my urine findings, I would either be not going back to work or working just half days and since the findings were low, I've been working half days all week. I go in about 7:30 head home at 11:30 and get in bed and sleep pretty much the rest of the day and have no trouble sleeping through the night. We had our next Dr. appointment on Tuesday and my blood pressure had significantly dropped down to 112/72!! I still have protein in my urine but not an alarming rate. This all means the extra rest is making a big difference. The swelling I've had is waaaaaay down!! Those chubbywubby Elephant feet are passé- SOOOOOO two weeks ago!(see week 33 blog post for photo). I'm so relieved because preeclampsia would be TERRIBLE to have, its bad news for mom and baby. Whew!
I still feel like my pelvis is splitting in half, sometimes the pain feels unbearable. But frankly after last week, since this doesn't pose a threat to our son it's taken a back burner. I guess I'm getting used to the pain. My optimism tells me my extra loose pelvic joints will be a big help on delivery day :)

You may have noticed I'm no longer posting bare-belly photos. It's just gotten too big to share, like TMI! I do find some consolation that despite how much weight I've gained and despite how ginormous my tummy is, I still don't have stretch marks! It's just big and shiny :) Most of what I've read says that genetics is the main factor in whether you get them or not so thanks Momma & Daddy!!
When I'm out and about I feel an uncanny resemblance to Humpty Dumpty, like a giant egg wobbling around on stick legs. Poor guy everybody made fun of him- I feel his pain, being abnormally rotund is not an easy way to live. Now if only I actually had stick legs...

My biggest nemesis is staying hydrated! Drinking enough water is a major challenge for me with potential to hurt me the most if I dont get enough, or help me the most if I rise to the challenge. My birth class instructor who's a longtime Doula and birthing specialist, emphasized the extra-importance of being well hydrated now that we're getting kinda close. She said if you go into labor and you're behind on your hydration, its nearly impossible to catch up and it can really mess up the effectiveness of uterine surges. Eeeeeeek! AND you'll most likely have to have an IV at the hospital for fluids which makes movement more limited. Double-Eeeeeeeek!!! Much trouble and complication can be avoided if the mother is well hydrated. So, my new tactic is to drink 1 liter of water each morning, immediately right when I wake up in the morning. So far I'm 2 for 2. Do you know how much 1 liter is? it's a lot. It's so much that I have to lay back down for 10 minutes to let it settle in. As if my belly isn't "full" enough as it is! This way I start the day off right, after all 1 liter is half way to the 2 liters, aka "eight glasses of water a day" rule that all of us humans should imbibe on a daily basis. For us rounder-baby-on-board pregnant folks 2 liters is a minimum!

Also Coconut Water is amazing- pregnant or not. I've been drinking it fairly regularly since we lived in Laguna Beach. NOT to be confused with coconut milk, there is a BIG big difference (basically the difference between water and milk!). Coconut water is a naturally occurring isotonic liquid that comes from green unripe coconuts. Its a clearish liquid found in the center of the coconut- I buy mine in a can of course :) It is SOOOOO good for you, there are claims it helps with all sorts of ailments and health problems. A 12 oz serving of coconut water is loaded with the five key electrolytes: potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium and calcium. One serving has more potassium than a banana which is about 15 times more than Gatorade! It's great to help keep your body's electrolytes and hydration levels balanced and replenished. I think of it as helping the water I drink to be more effective. Here's a little schpeel on coconut water for pregnant women... but frankly I think everyone should drink it. You can find it at any natural foods store. In addition to the extra rest, I have a real feeling my increased coconut water intake since the blood pressure spike last week has played a positive role as well.

My new favorite thing to eat are these small watermelons from the grocerystore. The sign calls them "mini personal watermelon" i just cut'em in half and eat it with a spoon. yummmmmm! I recommend you try as soon as possible, and "personal size" means you only have to share if you want to, so have your watermelon and eat it too!!

We've had our 3rd and 4th HypnoBirthing classes (or "HippieBirthing" as AJ teases me) since I've last written about them. Next week is our 5th and final class. The scare of last week facing the possibility of preeclampsia which brings with it a high likelihood of C-section delivery (since I absolutely under any circumstances will not expose baby to Pitocin or any inducer/augmenter) only made me more thankful for the classes we've been taking. While I've spent so much time and energy learning and preparing to deliver Bowman naturally, I've maintained the understanding that things don't always go as planned, and if my labor and delivery go off my planned course AJ and I will be able to use what we've learned to avoid panic, trauma and fear. No matter what happens we will know that we did everything possible, everything within our power to have our son naturally and however he is born is how it's meant to be :)
For our 4th class we had to write out our Birth Plan/Birthing Preference list. We will bring this to the hospital and give it to them upon admittance, and make sure all of our attendees have a copy which we will review with them. These are all choices we have researched and both agree on and since it's something that is very important to both of us I figured I'd go ahead and share...
All of our preferences are based around our desire for Bowman to have the easiest, least stressful transition from being nice and cozy in my womb to his new life in the world- which means right off the bat bright lights, excited voices, rubbing, poking, and excess handling are out.

During my labor, I don't want to know how dilated I am, I don't wanna be discouraged if it's not happening very fast, my body will do what it's designed to do and I don't need to know hear how close or far away I am. This also means I don't want the nurses to check me unless its absolutely necessary; there are plenty of non-internal signs they know to look for to tell them how I'm progressing. I don't wanted to be told or prompted to push, again, my body will tell me when it's time to do this. I do not want to be offered pain relief, I know it's available if I so decide. Under any circumstance whatsoever I will not have induction or augmenting drugs administered to "speed things up". Pitocin and the like are very hard on the baby, causing stronger and longer contractions than would happen naturally. Stronger and longer contractions mean increased oxygen deprivation for the baby and increased pain for the mother often leading to an epidural, which can actually slow down labor progression and lead to a C-section. So if there's a problem, Pitocin wont be the solution, I'm either having this guy Au Naturel or C-section if there's an emergency need for it :)

Once he is born, we don't any excited voices unless it's us, we don't want them to poke that suction device down his throat or up his nose. As soon as he's delivered we want immediate skin-to-skin contact which means he'll be placed directly on my abdomen or chest, if he's delivered via C he'll go right to Daddy's chest. We do not want the umbilical cord to be cut until the placenta is delivered. The umbilical cord continues to pulsate for up to 15 minutes after the baby is born. Delaying clamping and cutting of the cord allows for baby get the all of the oxygen and nutrient-rich blood my body has made for him, this also makes it easier for baby to transition to breathing on his own, with his oxygen supply still being supplied through the cord. We want to delay his first bath for at least 2 hours, rather than being immediately washed off, the vernix caseosia has anti-infection, anti-microbial and moisturizing properties and is beneficial to leave it until the baby has breastfed for the first time, for the most part it can be rubbed into his skin like lotion. I also don't want them to put the Erythromycin ointment in his eyes. This protects the baby's eyes from STD's and since AJ and I don't have any, the ointment does not serve a purpose, but it will prevent him from being able to make initial eye contact with his parents. Once we've had our initial bonding after an hour or two, the staff can then weigh and measure him.
So, those are our personal choices and views. I'm grateful that we are aware and able to make them :)

We are so excited for our baby Son-shine to come!!!

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