Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Decision time, go time.

So today I saw the midwife. I already knew I wanted to be checked and for her to sweep my membranes. Aye yay yay! The membrane sweeping was painful, but thankfully in reality only lasted about 30 seconds. I didn't think you could reach that far up!!!! She also placed some Evening Primrose Oil directly on my cervix. I've been taking it orally daily and once weekly vaginally for a few weeks now. Along with oral red raspberry leaf.

We had a little discussion. Saturday at midnight I'll pass 42 weeks. Because midwives only care for low risk patients, I'd have to be turned over to her doctor at that point. I really don't want that. She told me the risks of going past 42 weeks, so I could make an informed decision. I also do have the option of continuing past 42 weeks as long as I'm consenting to the risks.

She said we'd talk after the BPP. I scored 10 of 10. They estimate her weight to be 8 pounds 3 ounces. The only mildly concerning thing is that my amniotic fluid index  was 7.25. This is not horrible but not great. It's also normal for it to decline the further along you are. It's just that usually as it gets very low the baby is born! But Sophie is stubborn. Midwife said so :)

We discussed wanting to deliver before we have to switch to a doctor. Her suggestion was to place a 25mcg dose of Cytotec on my cervix. She has had great success for it starting labor. She has had no adverse reactions.
I already knew I didn't want this. There's a lot of controversy about it's use. I confronted her about how it's black label for pregnant women. She stated that unfortunately no one wants to spend the money for a double blind clinical trial on it's use in pregnant women. That even Tylenol is technically black label for pregnant women. I can see her point there. There is a serious lack of testing for prescription drugs for pregnant women. But she basically sang the praises of Cytotec.
I asked about an alternative, Cervidil, which she said she would do if I wanted but she has had no success in her practice using it.

I asked about acupuncture or castor oil. She said I was welcome to try both but the results in her experience are iffy at best. And I could only try castor oil once because of the risk of it causing the baby to emit meconium (poop in the womb). And that she herself tried it with no results and horrible side effects. It's kinda 50/50.
I am waiting to talk to our doula about acupuncture. She has the name of someone who specializes in it for labor induction.

We decided to sleep on it and will let her know tomorrow if we are going to do Cytotec. I have John doing his own independent research so we both are aware of the risks vs. benefits. I won't post a link here on it because I want you to form your own opinion too.

Also- Pitocin is a last resort for her. She also said that I'm not progressed enough that it would be effective. My Bishop score is too low and it would likely be ineffective. Not to mention that I still want to avoid narcotics or epidural and Pit makes that a lot harder, because the contractions are more intense. It can also give the baby fetal distress. I didn't ask her what my Bishop score was, BTW.

In the end, we just have to consider and pray about it. We'll make sure to go in fully informed. There is no elimination of risk entirely unfortunately, and in the end we have to be comfortable with our decision.

In the meantime, we'll be trying some other natural methods to see if we can't convince her to come on her own.

Oh, and I lost another pound this week. Just because. No reason. They are ok with that and I'm actually quite happy about it! :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Baby White Week 41

So I'm still here, and still prego.
Tomorrow will be an official week past my due date. But today I start my 41st week. Pregnancy dating is weird. Anyway.

I worked Monday and Wednesday for about 5 hours each. It wasn't too bad. Just kinda makes me useless for the rest of the day. I was supposed to work today if I felt up to it. I didn't.

Tuesday we had a good appointment with the midwife. She felt her position and did confirm that she has moved lower. I told her I was concerned about her getting bigger the longer she stays in. She felt around and is pretty certain she's nowhere near a 10 pounder or anything like that. Normal size, so probably around 6-8 pounds. Apparently her butt still feels like a head, because she did a quick ultrasound to confirm she's still head down. She said "I've had a rash of breeches lately and I don't trust anyone right now." Lol. She is still head down.

I also had about 15 minutes of heart rate monitoring. The rhythm strip looked great and very reactive. (This means her heart rate had a lot of "variability" or changes, like speeding up when she moves).

The midwife still didn't think I need to try and do anything to naturally induce myself at this point. Next Tuesday I'll have an exam with her and then a biophysical profile ultrasound just to confirm that she's still happy and healthy. They will measure her breathing, movement, tone, heart rate and amniotic fluid. Then will go from there with the test results.

As I was scheduling for next week she did say "maybe this weekend", so I'm hoping not to need that ultrasound. But we'll see.

Last night through today my whole belly has been sore. I don't know if it just from the lack of space and her continued movement or what. I secretly hope maybe I'm having mild contractions and just can't feel them and so my uterus is sore. I've tried putting a hand to my belly to see if I can feel a contraction, but I can't say that I do. I continue to feel pain from her moving, but that's nothing new. I wake up about 3-4 times a night now. So I can nap at anytime during the day :)

I'm just kinda achy and lazy all over. My back and feet hurt some. My pelvic region hurts some. My belly hurts some. And mostly just sitting or laying around is most comfortable :)

And can I just say- I am so tired of getting advice from "they". They say this, they say that. They say babies stop moving before they're born, they say you'll get a burst of energy right before the baby comes, they say you'll get diarrhea before the baby comes, they say you'll lose your mucus plug before the baby comes, they say you'll have Braxton-Hicks before the baby comes, They say your bump will drop before the baby comes. All of these can be true. All of these can also not be true and the baby can still come.

I was also told at work this week "Oh no pain meds, that'll last about 2 contractions" and "You're over 40 weeks, that's a reason to be induced." Folks are so supportive. I'm still amazed at the things people will say to you when you're pregnant.

So today's big accomplishment will be going to the U-cut tree farm to pick our tree. I even showered and ran two loads of laundry. Go me.

Also this week, I decided to end the hair growing experiment. I've been waiting and waiting to cut it. But I figured there's no way it could grow much more in he next week or two, and honestly I was tired of it. I don't have the patience for long hair anymore. It tangles too easily, makes me hot and gets pinned under my own shoulders or John's arm when I lean back. So I made the cut. I also go my highlights re-done to help blend my roots. I don't want my roots just as blonder as my ends, but I also had a bit too much of a root line for my liking. So she used 14 foils to blend the roots. I doubt anyone but me can tell, but I feel better :)

And still only 2 people noticed! Or at least said anything.
Please let this be the last week!

Happy Thanksgiving! (Taken the 22nd)
For Thanksgiving we had early lunch at my grandma's and then late lunch at our friends the Seymores. I ate a lot and was about to pop! Can't do that anymore!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Baby White Week 40

So here I am, the day before "D" day. Trying not to obsess. It's hard when you have to answer questions about your due date about 10 times a day (work days).

I've not had any real signs that labor will start. Other than back and foot pain :) At my appointment this week my midwife reminded me statistically first babies are 41 weeks and one day. So she is guessing the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Starting next week I'll only work in 4 hour shifts, 2-3 days a week. Or none at all depending on how I'm feeling. I'm not on the schedule after tomorrow. But work is available if I want it.

My midwife says everything looks good and as long as the baby is happy, she is happy. No matter how momma feels :) I lamented quite a bit this week. The day before my appointment wasn't a great one. She was like "now remember, feeling big and tired is no reason to be induced." I assured her I was nowhere near wanting an induction. But if there was a natural way to do it, I would! She said unfortunately none of the natural methods are 100% effective all of the time. I asked about putting Evening Primrose Oil on the cervix. A lot people recommend doing this nightly. She told me she would only want me to do it once a week, because we want to keep the risk of infection low. If I never said, my Group B Strep was negative. This is good because I won't have to worry about getting antibiotics during labor or worry about increased risk of infection if I have prolonged rupture of membranes.

I asked a little bit about what the plan would be after my due date. I almost had her check me to see if there was any progress. She and John didn't think that was necessary. The reasoning is sound, and she's shared it with me before. She could check me, I could be dilated and effaced some, but still not have the baby for another 2 weeks if I'm not in actual labor. Or she could check me and find no change and then I'd be even more discouraged and it would make it even harder to wait. Like she says, you can be 4cm for two weeks or you can be closed and thick one day and have a baby the next. Most everyone at work thinks it's pretty radical not to be checked :)

So if I'm still pregnant at my next appointment, I'll likely get 15-20 minutes of monitoring just to confirm that all is still well with Sophie. And if I'm still pregnant at the appointment after that, she'll check my cervix. That's when we'll probably start discussing ways to encourage labor to start. I don't relish the thought of waiting that long. But I want to do what is best for Sophia and me.

I only gained a pound the last week. With all the eating we did during camp, I was very pleasantly surprised. My vital signs and urine dipstick were all fine. I am swelling a tad but that is normal. I'm trying to be really good with my fluid intake.

Sleep periods are down to about 4 hours max. And if I do go that long I'm in a fair amount of pain on my waddle to the bathroom. I've been having a lot of nightmares, and that was making sleep even worse. But I've been praying about that too and thankfully they are going away. Between nightmares, potty trips and taking a while to go back to sleep after each wakeup, sleep was getting fairly poor. But it's improving again thank Jesus (literally!).

I'd avoided new stretchmarks until recently, but this last month I've gotten some around my belly button. Oh well, nothing to be done. I'm just thankful I don't have a husband who focuses on things like that. Everything that makes me feel fat, tired or ugly he just says "No you're not ______, you're pregnant." So sweet. He also still thinks I'm just as pretty and lets me know it :)

When we went to our appointment this week we sat across from a grandma and grandson who were waiting on momma. I noticed that the baby's legs looked funny. Later John told me he learned the baby was born with only one bone in each shin/lower leg. Unfortunately to be able to walk he'll have to undergo bilateral below the knee amputations and wear prosthesis. So sad :( But the grandma said it will be done when he's still very young so it'll be all he ever knows. To think just one of two bones missing makes all the difference.

Today is my mother-in-law's birthday. She was hoping she and Sophia could share. I wish I could make that happen! My mom would also like to come home for Thanksgiving, but can only take off for the birth. So many days she could come that would make everyone else happy. Unfortunately she doesn't know that :) Her control of our lives has already started! Haha.

So here I am this week. Hopefully I won't have to take another photo. We shall see.

Oh and I can't wait to get to the salon for a cut and color!! Hurry up Sophie! :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

One More Day...

Of work. Of 8 hour shifts anyway.

I have prayed several times this week to make it through my last three full days of work. And the Lord has answered. I've done just fine, which is more than I expected.
But I am looking forward to completing my last full day tomorrow.
My midwife has said 4 hour shifts would be reasonable from now on. I'm usually most needed Wednesday through Friday, and with next Thursday being Thanksgiving, I'm only needed two days. And of course there's the possibility that I'll have the baby by then anyway. But my midwife says I should prepare to wait :)

My evenings after work are filled with sitting on the couch :) I've been watching a lot of Netflix. Mostly bridal shows and Extreme Couponing. After watching several episodes of the clippers- I've come to the conclusion that Yakisoba noodles must always be on sale. I would say at least 2/3rds of the hauls I've seen included those high-sodium high-fat low-nutrition noodle trays. I am still impressed at their savings. But there's no way to be balanced in your nutrition without getting "overages" to buy fresh foods to fill in the gaps. Yes, you paid nothing for 93 bags of croutons and a bazillion boxes of pasta. But what the heck kind of menu does that make? I most admire those who coupon and then combine it with growing their own veggies and hunting their own meat. Otherwise your family is going to be eating a lot of processed crap, candy and condiments.

If you recall, a while back I took a couponing class and tried my hand at it myself. But honestly I found it too stressful. In fact, watching the hours and hours the extremists put into it stresses me a bit. Math is not my favorite subject and you need to be quite good at it to be extreme. Coming up with all the combinations for their transactions and watching the register like a hawk is enough to give me an ulcer. It really is a gift for those who can do it, and actually enjoy it!

A show that John and I watch together now is Shark Tank. We actually watch it on YouTube- so you can watch it too, for free. It's a show where inventors pitch their product to investors. But the investors are semi-famous, and there's a lot of good banter between them. We have seen some really neat products and some really stupid ones. And the same for the inventors :) It's nice to have a show to watch again, since most stuff on TV is too objectionable for us.

So now that I'm done with my pause on Extreme Couponing, I'll leave you to it and get back to my show :)
(One can only watch so much TV before your mind goes numb)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Baby White Week 39

Hi peeps.

We've been out in the boon docks since Wednesday and just got back this evening.
Our church owns a rural campground area about 90 minutes from our house, and one time a year (in November) we hold camp. It's very rustic, and lodging options are bunk beds (males and females separate), or bringing your own tent, camper, pop-up or RV.

Last year we stayed in a tent. This year, I don't think that would've been an option :) Thankfully the son of one of our members graciously let us borrow his camper. Otherwise I don't think we would have gone.

There's no big agenda at camp. Breakfast at 9am with a short devotion time after. Lunch is serve yourself leftovers from the kitchen. Dinner at 6 and service at 7. So most of the day is yours to yourself. Read, nap, walk a trail, play a game, sit and talk. The kitchen staff are at it pretty much all day long, and lots of others do small things to help them out. We all just pitch in.

The food is so amazing. We have a couple in our church that is over the cooking every year. He cooks and she handles all the baking. It will definitely show when I get on the scale on Tuesday.

I didn't take any photos except one shot for the weekly prego photo. I should've taken some pics of the grounds and the peaceful spot by the creek. Oh well.

How I've been feeling. I tire pretty easily. Just getting my normal chores done is about all I have in me these days. John is pitching in. I continue to feel really big. I've given into the waddle. A little flap of my belly button is out. The top half. I've had a little swelling. I've been taking my rings off to sleep and during the day some. In fact, we went on a trail walk that ended up being about an hour, and by the time we got back my fingers were so puffy they looked like Vienna sausages. The skin between my knuckles was so taught it blanched a little. But an afternoon of lots of water and putting my feet up took care of that. I still have a little swelling in my hands, which I think is here to stay at this point.

I've been having some backaches and continue with foot aches if I'm on my feet more than 30 minutes to an hour. Space in there is getting very tight and my belly is very firm. But Sophie continues to move around like it's the penthouse suite. Lol. Makes momma a little uncomfortable. I'm feeling stretching/achiness a little lower, so I'm hoping she's dropping a little. I had someone tell me I looked lower.

A girl I know who was due the day before me had her baby Monday. Two weeks early! Jealous. We have the same midwife and she said she did great and her labor was less than 18 hours. Lucky her.

I'm ready for Sophie to come anytime. Really. I'm in some ways enjoying being pregnant, because I keep reminding myself I'll probably miss this. But I'm also really ready to have a "normal" body back. If she came before my last three scheduled work days, which start Wednesday, that would be great!!!!! I'm dreading spending 6 hours a day on my feet. I'm scheduled to float all three days, and that means more feet time than usual, and not having a dedicated spot to land. We'll see after the first day if I can handle it. I may have to ask to work half days.

I'm still taking my herbals- red raspberry leaf capsules and evening primrose oil capsules. I've been upping the dose on the latter. Hope it'll help me not be too overdue.

For the record- John thinks she'll come three days before Thanksgiving. That would put me two days past my estimated due date. We shall see.

Blurry cell phone pic in the camper before church service

Friday, November 2, 2012

Baby White Week 38

Hey ya'll.

I feel like I updated everything yesterday. With my vomit like spewing of complaints. Lol.

Today at work was better. Probably because I slept well last night. No disturbing dreams and only one ptty break, that I was able to promptly fall back asleep after.
I was feeling pretty good at work until about 3, when I had to be up and on my feet consistently for about an hour. Then my feet started to hurt a good bit. No one at work was in desperate need of my help today, so they let me go on home. Then John rubbed my feet :)

I think being this cumbersome is the closest one could come to know what it feels like to be morbidly obese. It's annoying not being able to easily reach the things I need. Both on the floor and even parts of my own body. I don't like that feeling so much.

But, today is a happy day, because I have the next two days off and next week I only work 2 days. Then after that I work the three days before my due date. And I'm not scheduled for anymore after that. We shall see. Anyway, completing another work week helps to remind me I'm in the home stretch!

Today I took a photo before heading off to work. My hair is up a lot these days because I've been feeling hot lately. All that blood and hormones I guess. My body is having to work overtime.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fat, sick and nearly due

That's about how I feel these days. Especially work days. After work I have the energy of a slug.
Thankfully I only have 6 work days between now and my due date. Of course if I go past due (I'm told that's likely) I'll try and put in a few extra hours so I don't eat up my maternity leave. Maybe a few half days or something.

I'm ready for this baby to come. I feel so large, slow and awkward. And tired. Not like I need to take a nap tired, but like, I just want to sit down and not move tired. I have dirty floors right now and the bathrooms will need cleaning again before my due date. I wonder who's going to do it? Lol. I think if I just do one small task and then rest, I should be able to get it done. Especially on my two days off before Monday.

Yesterday I got off work early and so I took advantage of the time to grocery shop. Sam's, then WalMart, then a solid hour in the kitchen making dinner and repackaging meat for freezing. I was totally slap worn out after. I hope to not go grocery shopping again before she comes. We loaded up on meat at Sam's, so that we would have provisions til she comes and for a week or two after.

The big mistake is that I bought things to fill in our menu. The mistake with a menu is that it involves cooking. Which involves effort and motivation (and being on your feet of course), all of which I lack.
John is pitching in (or he'd starve!) by cooking. Tonight he even cleaned too. I offered to help with dinner cleanup but he refused.

I've taken to wearing tennis shoes to work. At least on the days I wear pants. My feet are either a little swollen or have just plain gotten bigger. My tennies were pressing on my big toes. And there's a lot less lace to tie than before. But just looking at my feet they don't look puffy. And I can't make indents in them with my thumb. But my hands and feet do just feel bigger and more awkward. It's uncomfortable putting on shoes, but only for a few seconds. I considered asking John for help this morning, but I was too worried it would be an ordeal to shove my shoes on and then my socks might bunch up wrong or something.

My belly button is still holding in. Not out. Lol. For a little while a small part of it was out, but I guess it was just the way she was laying.

I'm glad we got the maternity photos done- because the "miserable" stage has started. Although honestly I'm not miserable, just uncomfortable. I'm ready to have a normally functioning body back. I feel almost handicapped.

Anytime now Sophie, anytime!