Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pregnancy Update: 36 weeks!

Someone could make a living right now if they made personalized maternity t-shirts with all the important information! I found this cartoon to be so funny and true. I love that my friends and family are interested in my pregnancy, but when random strangers start asking questions it gets a little annoying. Mostly I find that strangers lack a certain amount of tact when asking questions. Last weekend, my mom and I were out shopping for some fabric for a quilt she is making for the baby, when the lady behind the counter starting asking way too many questions. When she asked what name we had decided on and I had told her, her first reaction was to ask me if people made comments that they didn't like the name or if they thought it was horrible? Maybe its the pregnancy hormones, but I took that as it being her way of saying that is how she felt about the name, which quite frankly as a stranger wasn't any of her business to begin with. I just responded "No, but I don't really care what anyone thinks anyways- it's not their kid." People should really be more careful about messing with very pregnant (and hormonal) women.

Anyways, on to the update:

Last Saturday marked the thirty six week mark for us! This is an exciting milestone, because most babies born at thirty-six weeks do very well and don't need a stay in the NICU! I feel like I can breathe and not worry about an early delivery so much. Not that I am expecting one, or even at risk... but you never know! With less than four weeks to go, I feel great! Sure there are all the discomforts of pregnancy, like not being able to sleep through the night because I need to get up and pee every 2 hours and being exhausted half the day. But overall for being so far along I think my body is handling it well. I've managed to maintain my weight loss through the pregnancy, down about ten pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight! They say at delivery I will probably lose another twelve or so, and then breastfeeding should help even more! I've been really careful throughout the pregnancy to take good care of myself and this baby, and I'm really happy my hard work seems to have paid off. For one I was blessed with healthy cravings, most of the foods that appeal to me right now are fruits and veggies! Secondly I took the mentality that I am not eating for two! A lot of pregnant women gain way more weight than they need to because they take pregnancy as an excuse to double up on their portion sizes. While that is okay for those who don't have a weight problem, most of them lose it quickly after pregnancy, I knew it wouldn't work for me as I have a really hard time losing weight and I couldn't really afford to gain any- except what was healthy for the baby. I also think that the pregnancy gave me a little boost in metabolism as my body was burning the calories more quickly from the task of growing the little one! I believe that keeping a good handle on my weight throughout the pregnancy has helped me to avoid some of the complications that overweight women are more prone to, such as high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. I am happy to report that my blood pressure has been in the low/normal range throughout the entire pregnancy and I the doctor said my blood sugar was just "perfect" and "right where it should be".

I am now seeing the doctor on a weekly basis until delivery! At my thirty-six week check-up I got the results back from my Strep B test.. and that was good news with a negative reading! That means I won't have to have antibiotics pumped through me during labor! The nurse practitioner checked the position of the baby... he's still head down and dropped... just waiting to make his way into this world! And his little heart beat was strong, I love getting to hear it each week at my appointments. Overall everything has been going well. I am just praying for a complication free delivery.

I'm very torn between wanting to do this naturally, and knowing that I am the biggest wimp ever when it comes to pain. Initially I was all about the epidural and planning to have one the minute we got to the hospital! But, after talking with a new friend who is also pregnant and due just two days after me, she was explaining that she was definitely not going to be having one and that her decision was based on information she was given at a childbirth preparation class. Well, being the Google addict that I am, I decided to start researching the effects and well that had me sold on not having one and just trying to "tough it out". I even watched the documentary: "The Business of Being Born", which should have even more convinced me that I don't want one. But in all reality, it had just the opposite effect. You see, they showed women in actual labor! I watched in horror as I saw what I would be enduring if I did not have an epidural, and honestly I just couldn't handle it. So now I'm a bit torn, and scared and not quite sure how they are going to get this kid out! I'm considering some alternative pain management like Stadol, and trying to labor at home as much as possible before heading to the hospital, so that they don't try to put me on Pitocin right away which will cause stronger contractions and more of a need for the epidural. But I guess I won't know how it will all go down until we are actually there! I am just hoping and praying that it won't be a traumatic experience. And aside from all the fears, I'm really ready to go through it all so I can meet this baby boy!


Kimbrah said...

Hey Sarah!

I can tell you that I have given birth three times with nothing but natural pain management techniques and I am still alive. :) And I plan on doing it a 4th time in November if all goes well.

Since Karlos is the only baby I have had in the hospital, I have very limited experience with that, so can only offer a little advice. I was determined before I went in that I was not going to have an epidural or any pain medication, no matter what. When I was actually in labor, I just kept telling myself "a c-section would be so much easier" and for some reason, just saying that in my head made me feel better. I also made the nurses crazy because I would not stay in bed hooked up to all the monitors. My trick was to keep moving, keep changing positions. Eventually I was stubborn enough that they got over it and just had me lay down to monitor the baby every 30 minutes. It worked out for both of us. :)

It also helped me to remember that this pain is not going to last for ever With all three of my boys, by the time it was the most painful, I was pushing within 20-45 minutes. You can do anything for that long, can't you? Knowing there was going to be an end soon really helped me to get through it.

For the most part, I think you should do whatever works best for you. If you need the epidural, take it. If you can do without it, don't take it. I know what worked for me, and you will know what works for you when the time comes.

I am so excited for you guys! Good luck! If you want, you can read my birth stories on my blog. They are a little more thorough than I was here. Congrats on the weight control, too. I am doing pretty good this time around too. :)

Jillian said...

I will offer my thoughts even though I may have already told you ;) I had Stadol with Carter and it was the time I decided I may need the epideral it was too late, so they asked if I wanted stadol...although it definitely doesn't take the pain away it takes the "edge" off and lets you rest between contractions. The deep slow breaths and concentration also really worked for me. As Kimbrah said by the time it feels the worse you are ready to push and honestly pushing is almost a relief to you and your body and it's over before you know it. I know with the twins it was just weird and not much pain, but that does show that some women don't really feel much, others need meds, and others just breathe and relax through it. Just do what feels right to you, you know your own body...Not much longer! You will do great I know it!