Monday, November 12, 2012

What 40 Weeks Looks Like

Natural Labor Inducing Techniques attempted:
Walking (religiously)
Walking with one foot on the curb, one on the street
Spicy Food
Mexican Food
Multiple Pressure Points
Pregnancy Ball Exercises
Starting a Novel
Finishing a Novel
Cleaning the bathroom (including scrubbing the tub)

8 weeks

20 weeks
40 weeks
Natural Labor Inducing Methods not yet tried
Spicier food
Driving over railroad tracks
Jumping Jacks
Evening Primrose Oil
Caster Oil
Raspberry Tea

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Last Weeks of Pregnancy

We went out to Cherry Creek State Park with Patti Merrill a few weeks ago and she took some pretty amazing maternity photos for us.  She is a genius!  I am lucky to call her a friend and my Relief Society President.  I love the way these pictures turned out!  Fall is my favorite time of year and she managed to capture that and the bump and James and I in one beautiful session.
I thought these pictures where we look like we have it all together would be a good backdrop to discuss my last-minute thoughts, fears, and hopes about getting ready for this baby boy.   

My due date is November 12th, 8 days away!  I keep hoping this baby will come early (what expectant mother doesn't?), but not too early because my parents are in Seattle until November 10th. Then I have to remind myself that most first-time moms do not deliver early or on their due date, it's AFTER.  Then I remind myself that this boy will come when HE'S ready.  I read this thing on the other day (which is a really informative website, especially if you're considering a natural birth) that once the baby's lungs are fully mature, he releases a protein that tells the mother's body he's ready.  Isn't that cool? 

Some of the things I think about a lot as we get ready to have this baby are the fact that it's just been James and me for the past 4 years and we are really comfortable with that.  Sometimes I worry about what it will be like adjusting to having a baby.  It seems silly to worry about that after wanting a baby for so long, but nevertheless.  There will changes in sleep patterns, social patterns, how we spend our time and money.  I also think about the adjustment of being a stay-at-home mom instead of working and maybe feeling isolated a little bit. 

Then there are the silly worries and things I dream about like forgetting the baby's "going-home" outfit or forgetting to get help with breastfeeding at the hospital or not realizing I am in labor until it's too late to go to the hospital.  These I would categorize as unrealistic worries, and mostly things I think about in the delusional-middle-of-the-night hours.

We really are hoping for an induction/pitocin/epidural-free birth, and it has nothing to do with ego or thinking I am tough because I can do it without the drugs.  Ultimately, I don't want to end up with a
c-section, and I know not all women that are induced and/or get an epidural end up with a c-section, but the chances are greater.  I don't want pitocin because it replaces oxytocin and interferes with the release of oxytocin, which is the natural chemical that helps your body to give birth, and also helps the bonding process that happens with mom and baby immediately after birth.  Plus, pitocin can cause much stronger contractions which I don't think I could handle without pain relief.  And I don't want an epidural because I really want to be able to have the urge to push, and epidurals can slow down labor, so more pitocin is given, then more epidural, then more pitocin, etc. in a cycle until the baby is in distress from the more-intense pitocin contractions and an "emergency c-section" is performed.  I just want to avoid that potential cycle altogether.  I know this doesn't happen every time but the c-section rate in this country is nearly 30%, behind like 25 other countries. 
Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now. 

Mostly we are excited to start this next chapter of our lives.  I have complete confidence in James as a father.  He is excited and has always wanted to be a father.  I saw qualities in him when we were dating that I wanted in the father of my children.  He will be awesome.  He's also gonna be a great husband during labor.  We went to childbirth classes together and he was better at remembering our "homework" and practicing the things we were learning.  He will be a great supporter. 

I think the name we have decided on is James Miles.  James' father is James and a lot of the previous generations are James.  And I like the name James :).  He will go by Miles until he is old enough to decide if he wants to be called something else.  I have a great-great-grandpa who is James Miles and we both like the name Miles.  I was subbing the other day and there was a Miles in the class and it made me smile.

The things I am looking forward to about not being pregnant anymore are (hopefully) my feet going back to their normal size and being able to wear my shoes again.  I have increasingly swollen feet.  I am looking forward to increased mobility without a belly getting in my way.  I am SO looking forward to getting my hair cut.  I decided a while ago I would wait to cut my hair until the baby comes and people are holding me to that, dang it.  I can't wait for my short, a-line bob that is so much easier and faster to style.  I look forward to running again.  I hope to run another marathon next summer.  I look forward to putting the maternity clothes away and going back to more options.

I remember when the thought first occurred to me that I might be pregnant.  We were in Tri-Cities, Washington for my Grandpa Haines' funeral.  I woke up the morning of the funeral so sick!  I threw up twice that day.  It was hard for me to consider or hope that I might be pregnant because we had been trying for a long time with no success, and I wasn't late yet.  I remember feeling awful, but thinking, "If I'm pregnant, this will all be worth it."

I have tried to remind myself of that throughout this whole pregnancy, and have an attitude of gratitude, no matter how uncomfortable I have been at times.  We are acquainted with LOTS of people who have had trouble with fertility in one way or another, and our troubles have made me sensitive to the fact that what's happening inside of me is a MIRACLE, no doubt about it.  It is the answer to many, many prayers.  It is an unfulfilled hope for many people and we are grateful for this opportunity.  I wanted to find a name that meant "gratitude," because we are grateful and because it's right around Thanksgiving, but the options were "Adiv," "Shakir," and "Enlai."  Hmm.