Monitoring Plan

On August 9, 2014, Hypnobirthing class was cancelled since our teacher Mandie was sick with a bad sore throat.  We will be doing the make-up class on August 23, 2014.

Ivan recently started hypnotizing me before we go to bed while we listen to Enya or some other relaxing music.  He does fear releasing and gives me positive suggestions about the upcoming labor and birth.  Ivan asked how scared I was about the labor and I said 6, he said he would work with me to bring that number down.  It only lasts a few minutes, but I think it helps me sleep better during the night.

I still go to the toilet two or three times a night.  I’ve read in forums that some women go to the toilet 6 or 7 times a night.  I’m glad I’m not like that!

I asked my friends and family on Facebook for labor and birth playlist suggestions.  Some were good while others weren’t.  We got many recommendations like  AC/DC, Enya, Bob Marley and classical music.  I’ve been listening to different types of music and remembering music I grew up to.  I’ve created a big list and keep adding to it.  I’ve put the songs in categories with Slow, Fast, Time to Push and Baby’s Here music.  I like a variety of music with songs from Cocteau Twins, Pink Floyd, Wilson Phillips, Blur and Moby.  I will show you my playlist once it’s done which should be soon.

On August 11, 2014, Ivan and I went to Desert Perinatal Associates.  I thought we should see the baby on the ultrasound for the last time.  I didn’t think we needed the monitoring every week. 

Ivan and I went to a room way in the back of the doctor’s office.  I didn’t even know the office was that big.  The room was extremely cold.  The nurse told me to sit down on a brown recliner chair.  I lifted my shirt.  She strapped two round things onto my stomach and tied it on.  The round things were connected to a machine that was monitoring the baby’s fetal movement. 

Jen sitting while getting fetal monitoring

I look like I’m strapped to the recliner and ready for take off.  Baby George did NOT like the noise that the round things made.  He kept kicking really hard trying to push it off.  I sat there for awhile which seemed like ages, but I think it was only like 25 minutes. 

Fetal Monitoring reading

The nurse came back and she looked at the paper which almost reached the floor and said everything looks good.  She told us that we would be taken to another room for the ultrasound once a room opened up.  I don’t like waiting, but sometimes it’s unavoidable.  I’m glad that I brought my Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding book and my phone to keep me occupied.

A few minutes later, we were moved to another room.  The sonographer came in and put the transducer on my stomach to check out my amniotic fluid.  The baby looked weird since there’s not much room in my belly.  We did get to see that the baby has a lot of hair. 

Baby's hair on ultrasound

I’m glad the sonographer captured a picture of his hair since last time we only saw it for a second. 

The office wanted me to come back this week since the monitoring was for twice a week and not once a week.  I thought that was a bit excessive.  I decided not to go back for more monitoring and ultrasounds.  I know it’s not good to expose the baby to too much radiation unless absolutely necessary.  George will be happy that he doesn’t have to hear that loud noise during the monitoring.  I know that George is doing good and he will come out when he’s all good and ready.

I worked on my Hospital and Home Birth Plans since I would be seeing Kat.  I used the Hypnobirthing Birth Preference worksheet and the bump’s Birth Plan to create my Hospital Birth Preference.  I used the Hypnobirthing Home Birth plan to write my Birth Plan for the Home Birth.  It’s good to have the Hospital Birth Preference in case I am transported if there’s any problems.

On August 11, 2014, I saw my doula Shannondoah for my hypnomassage.  Shannondoah is very chatty and friendly.  I told her that I was listening to my Hypnobirthing birth affirmations daily.  She said I should write 5 birthing affirmations and read them before going to bed.  She said I could Google birthing affirmations for ideas.  I let her know that Ivan was doing hypnosis with me before bed.  I said he was doing fear releasing and she asked what he did.  I just told him he was sending me positive thoughts.    She did fear releasing, but I was so tired that I fell asleep.  She said she was sure that subconsciously I heard the information.  I needed that massage since it really worked out my sore back since I haven’t been going to the chiropractor.  I’ve been too lazy to go to a new chiropractor.

I saw my  midwife Kat on August 12, 2014 for my big 36 week prenatal visit.  Everybody that we wanted at the birth was supposed to be at this visit.  I asked my mum, but she said she didn’t want to hear me scream.  She insisted my dad be there since she’s not too keen on the home birth and my dad has delivered lots of babies.  He’s a retired doctor now.  I asked my dad if he wanted to be there and he said no.  I didn’t want anybody else there since I think it’s a pretty intimate thing.

Kat brought a box filled with DoTerra essential oils for me to smell to see what I liked and didn’t like for the labor and birth.  I liked most of them, but thought a few were weird, three were a maybe and three were a definite no.

Our doula Shannondoah said she would come to the labor whenever I wanted.  I would call both Kat and Shannondoah when my water broke.  I asked Kat when she would come to the house.  She would come when my surges (contractions) were 8 minutes apart.  Of course, she would come at any time before that if I REALLY wanted to see her.  Shannondoah has worked with Kat before, so she will keep in touch with what’s going on during the early stages of labor.  Also, it’s good to know that Margo, her assistant midwife, will probably be at the labor and she’s only 5 minutes away from our house. 

If I still hadn’t given birth at 41 weeks, I would be told my options of induction.  She recommended a camping sleeping pad or a Tempur-pedic pillow for underneath the tub which would be for my benefit for more padding under my pelvis.  I have a yoga mat, so I think that would suffice.  She said she would bring a Kaya birth stool which could go in the water tub.  She said I should look it up on the internet.

Kat and I went through my Birth Plan for the Home Birth.  She told me she would use the doppler since it can be used in water and the fetoscope can’t. 

Kat gave Ivan a to-do list for the labor:

1) Bleach or use a cleaning product on the toilets, tub and shower. 

2) Make sure that I use the toilet every hour or hour and a half, even if I’m asleep. 

3) If I have the urge to push, bring out the purple paper called When Baby Arrives Before the Midwife, call Kat and she will go over the steps listed on the paper.  Let’s hope that I won’t be delivering this baby on my own!!

4) Have me get in a comfortable position like on my left side with my leg up.  Don’t cut the cord and put the baby on my uterus.

I asked her about what tests are performed at the birth.  She told me to research the Vitamin K shot which can be done up to 72 hours after the birth and also the eye drops.  She doesn’t think the baby needed the eye drops since I didn’t have any diseases to worry about.  Hepatitis B can be done with our pediatrician.  Kat will do the PKU testing at the birth and 2 weeks after.  She does the Apgar testing.  She doesn’t do the hearing test which will be done at the pediatrician’s office.  Kat said she does 2 week after care.

The baby’s position was LOA which is the optimal position for labor.  I told Kat I forgot to ask the sonographer the weight of the baby.  She said it’s not always accurate.  She felt the baby and thought he was 5 1/2 to 6 pounds. 

It’s great talking to Kat since she’s filled with lots of stories about births and positive things and advice.

Ivan saw in one of our pregnancy magazines that you can get a free breast pump through your insurance.  It listed the company Lucina Care.  You can sign up one a month prior to your due date.  Ivan signed up online, but we got denied.  The e-mail said we should contact our insurance company.  Ivan called our insurance company Sierra Health and we are to go to Total Home Care.  Ivan called Total Home Care and he was informed that all I needed was my insurance card and I could pick a breast pump.

I’ve been having more Braxton Hicks surges.  I usually notice that I’m having one when I take a walk.

I have had two vivid dreams about Baby George.  The first one was that I saw George’s foot go up really high (too high to be real) in my stomach.  I grabbed onto his foot and yelled for Ivan, so I could show him.  The other dream was me sitting on our red couch.  I felt the baby’s foot and then the baby slid out and I noticed water everywhere.  How very weird!  I’m not sure what my fascination is with George’s feet is.  I guess I really want to see him put his foot up in my stomach, so we can capture it on camera.  I’m sure my labor won’t be that fast or that easy.

Ivan and I woke up early for our fourth Hypnobirthing class on August 16, 2014.  I made sure to bring my yoga mat since Mandie wrote us an e-mail that we would need one for the exercise techniques she was going to show us.

We watched two Hypnobirthing videos.  Luckily, these births weren’t that graphic compared to other videos we’ve seen.

The class were shown different exercise techniques like Pelvic Rock, Modified Cat Cow, Counter Pressure, Hip Squeeze, Butterfly up and Butterfly Down and Squats.  Mandie showed us squats really low.  I do squats as low as I can go.  I have bad ankles and have had leg cramps during the pregnancy, so it’s painful to go really low and stay there.  She also told us about Kegels which she recommended doing 100 a day, 10 at a time where you tighten to the count of 10.

She talked about how to do a perineal massage.  Use olive oil or unscented KY on your fingers.  Put two fingers in the vagina up the to knuckle with little pressure and go up and around in a U shape.  You can do this for 5 minutes.  The massage is good to increase elasticity and blood flow.

Mandie talked about things to help natural induction like drinking one quart a day of Red Raspberry Leaf tea during the 3rd trimester and taking Dr. Christopher’s Birth Prep which is taken 6 weeks prior to your due date.  She went over postpartum care.  She recommended frozen chamomile pads and healing/comfort salve.  She said pat your perineum down and then put organic raw honey and water in a bottle and splash it on the perineum.  Then, put  comfort salve on the perineum.

She went over problems that may occur like the water breaking and the fluid being green, yellow or having black particles.  You should definitely call your midwife or doctor and go to the hospital since something could be wrong.

On August 19, 2014, I saw my midwife Kat since now my prenatal visits are weekly.  She said everything looked good.  I had lots of amniotic fluid.  She said George was low in my pelvis and in the ROA position.  She thinks he’s so cute and can’t wait to meet him.  We feel the same way.  We can’t wait to hold him, cuddle him, kiss him and smell his new baby smell. 

She asked if I had a diffuser and I forgot to order one.  I ordered one later in the day on Amazon.  Gotta love Amazon Prime!  She asked if I had a lactation consultant in mind.  I told her I think my friend Carrie could recommend one.  If she didn’t, Kat said she could suggest a good one.  She said that I should call my insurance company and see if they have lactation consultants they refer mums to and if they did, she could tell me the good ones.  She said lactation consultants are covered by insurance companies usually up to 12 visits.  She said usually only one is needed.

She asked if I picked a pediatrician.  I told her that one of our best friends Noelle is a pediatrician.  She took down her information. 

I am now 37.3 weeks pregnant.  I have been feeling good, but I do get more tired now. 

Jen at 37.3 weeks in the nursery

Every now and then I will take a nap.  It’s not good to take a really long nap late in the afternoon because then it takes awhile to go to sleep at night.  If I know we’re going to do something late at night, I will make sure to take a nap.  I’ve so very excited to meet Baby George.  I think he will be born in September.  The due date is now 2 1/2 weeks left.

Vivid Numbness

Every now and then I feel bloated and I get gassy more often now.

Being pregnant, brings vivid dreams.  I usually don’t remember them a few minutes after waking up though.

On May 20, 2014, I saw my midwife Kathya for my prenatal visit.  Everything was good.  I told her about my middle back pain.  She thought that I needed a better bra for support.  I also told her about the numbness in my hands which has been numb during the day sometimes.  She recommended going swimming.

Chef Ivan listening to the heartbeat of our baby

Ivan took a break from cooking to hear the baby’s heartbeat.

I started getting pelvis pain a few days later.  I started doing squats again which helps ease the pain.

On May 24, 2014, the numbness, tingling and sometimes aching in my hands has been happening all day.  I was looking in my pregnancy book for numbness and found carpal tunnel syndrome which is quite common in pregnancy.  I did research on the internet and it described the first three fingers being numb and half numbness in the fourth finger.  That’s how my fingers felt.

I saw my doula Shannondoah for my hypnomassage on May 27, 2014.  I told her that I had carpal tunnel syndrome.  She thought I had a pinched nerve which may have contributed to it.  She really worked out my shoulders and neck which were really knotted up.  She suggested a warm rag on my shoulders 15 minutes a day and sticking my hands in ice cold water.

I put my hands in the ice cold water a couple times later that day which was really cold and somewhat painful.  It seemed to make my pain even more intense.  I may try this one again.

In the middle of the night, I woke up since my hands hurt and I was crying since I wanted it to go away and I wanted to sleep which woke Ivan up.

My fingers feel really swollen (even though they’re not) and big.  Sometimes, I feel pins and needles like when a body part is falling asleep.  It’s harder to do simple tasks like hooking my bra or cutting food.  It can be painful pressing on things like a soap dispenser or a garlic press.  I hope my fingers don’t swell up so big that I look like I have sausages for fingers.

I went online and found hand exercises that might help with the carpal tunnel syndrome.  I’ve been doing these exercises.  This video claims to work, but I haven’t tried it yet.  I found an article on natural remedies.  If the pain gets worse, I may try wearing a wrist brace.

Ivan makes sure I still eat healthy.  Here’s one of our lunches of a tasty Garlic Shrimp.

Garlic Shrimp

I’m so lucky that Ivan cooks and he makes me stay healthy.  Every now and then I will treat myself to a burger or a sandwich with bacon.

I saw Dr. Simoncelli for my chiropractic adjustment on May 30, 2014.  I told him I had carpal tunnel syndrome which he said was common during pregnancy.  He adjusted my shoulders, neck and back, but nothing for the carpal tunnel.

On the morning of May 31st, I woke up with a very sharp pain in my right calf.  I was moaning in pain which woke Ivan up.  I was massaging it, but it was tightening up and hurting me so it was hard to properly massage it.  I had Ivan massage it.  Calf pain and Leg cramps are also common during pregnancy.  I massaged it with oil a few times that day.  I was limping.

It’s become harder to get comfortable while sleeping.  I tried the body pillow again, but I’m not sure where to put my hands and it seems too big.  So, I’ve just been using the pillow between my legs and my legs bent.  If I lay on my right side, sometimes I get a pain in my ear.  I switch to the left side, but my shoulder feels uncomfortable.

My legs felt numb during the night and when I woke up on June 3, 2014, I got calf pain on the left side.  I had Ivan massage it since it kept tightening up.  It was painful, but not as intense as the other morning.

I still feel the baby hitting or kicking me which always makes me smile, but sometimes it surprises me.  I think he hits me more when he’s hungry.  LIke he’s checking his watch and says Come on, it’s time to eat!

On June 4, 2014, I went to see my chiropractor Dr. Simoncelli.  I told him about my leg cramps.  He said the baby takes away minerals from me.  He recommended drinking Himalayan salt with water.  Take 1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan salt and put it in a 1/2 cup of water and stir.  Drink the salt water and then follow with a cup of water.  I’m definitely going to do this every day and hope the leg cramps don’t come back.

I’m going to revert back to my original due date.  So, I am now 26 weeks and 4 days.

Jen at 26 weeks and 4 days

As you can tell, I’m getting really big.  It seems what annoys me about pregnancy now are carpal tunnel syndrome and calf pain.

Hypno Cheese

I have been more emotional like I mentioned in my last post.  I was watching The Beatles tribute on tv.  I cried a bit while watching Katy Perry’s version of Yesterday.  I think she was thinking about her failed marriage with Russell Brand while she was singing  I also cried when Hey Jude was performed. 

My feet have swollen a bit.  My socks are smaller and my shoes are tighter.  I need to buy some slip on shoes like a pair of Vans.  I figured I would wear sandals since they’re easy to expand and soon it will be a lot warmer.

My belly and boobs do feel much smoother since I’ve been using the Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter (Say that 3 times fast!).

I feel bigger, but my weight has remained the same.  I read that I might gain 1 pound a week during the second trimester.  People don’t know I’m pregnant, unless they know since they’re my friend.  So, only a few friends have touched my belly.  I don’t mind if people touch my belly.  It’s cute. 

I still have pregnancy brain.  I seem to forget things.  Not a big deal though. 

I love the pregnancy pants.  They’re really comfortable.  Here’s a picture to show you what it looks like.

Jen showing off her pregnancy pants

I’ve been getting pimples.  My cheeks turns red after I wear make-up and I wash my face.  I don’t know if it’s the make-up, so I don’t wear it as much now.  I have red marks on my chest which I have no idea how they got there.  Your skin acts weird when you’re pregnant.

I feel great.  My back does hurt more now though. 

I saw my doula Shannondoah on February 19, 2014.  I had an hour hypno massage with her.  I’ve had a hypno massage with her before so I knew it would make my aching back feel better. 

The massage had me lying down with my back raised to a 45 degree angle.  I am very easy to hypnotize.  Ivan has hypnotized me a lot and I go very deep. 

Shannondoah took me to a beach.  She had me float in the water with Ivan holding me for support.  I love floating in the water by myself on the ocean or sea since it feels like I’m floating on a cloud. 

She took me to a house which we would return to in future hypno massages.  I pictured a red brick house which was behind the beach.  She said there was a porch that was in the front of the house.  The house has a wood fence in front of it. 

I went to a cliff and there was a table and chair there.  I could pick up a remote control there that controls any aches or pains that I might feel.  I could also go there and hold my baby at any time since the baby had a bassinet there.  I didn’t see the baby though.  Maybe in other sessions I will get to see what he or she looks like.

I returned to the beach and was floating in the water.  It became cloudy and became a big movie screen in the sky.  I was to picture my perfect birth on the screen.  Yes, every contraction and what ever else happens.  The birth movie went on for awhile ending with me and Ivan holding the baby in our bed.

I told Shannondoah that I wanted to work on fear releasing.  I have feared the uncomfortable things that go with labor.  Shannondoah prefers using uncomfortable than using the word pain.  I also have a fear of complications.  I know I would be transported to the nearby hospital which is only a 2 minute drive from our house.

She had me imagine a box and I put all my fears inside the box.  I locked the box and then threw it into the ocean.  I think it has helped since I don’t really fear the labor as much.  I know that I can do this birth naturally without medications.  Of course, I will feel uncomfortable and it may take awhile for the baby to come out.  But, I will do it.  Once I set my mind on something, I will do it. 

I felt a lot better after the massage.  We set up another massage in 2 weeks.

I forgot to mention that Shannondoah suggested that I write a birth plan.  It’s something you fill out that states your preferences for the birth like if you want medication or what music you want.  I’m glad that there are sample birth plans out on the internet.  I have heard of birth plans, but wasn’t sure what I would want at my baby’s birth. I found a home birth plan here.  There’s also a birth plan for a hospital birth that I found on Baby Center.

I feel really excited to hear the baby’s heartbeat – hopefully, next week we’ll get to hear it with my visit with our midwife Kat.  I’m not sure when I will get my ultrasound.  Ivan and I are looking forward to finding out the sex of the baby.

It’s funny how everybody thinks they’re an expert on pregnancy.  I will post something on Facebook and somebody will comment and say Have you asked your doctor about that? or offer their advice.  I just laugh.  Each pregnancy can be different.  I know they’re just worried for my health.

I am now 11 weeks and 5 days.

Jen at 11 weeks and 5 days

I haven’t had any strange cravings yet.  I’ve been craving cheese lately.  Mmm, I love cheese.  I’ve bought string cheese and the tasty, but expensive, Babybel Light.

I got my new Post-it notes that have my blog website.  I’ve been doing the Post-its Project on my new post-its. 

Best day quote for the Post-its Project #BucketandDoit

This one I stuck in a daily planner at Wal-Mart.   I hope they’ve been bringing smiles and happiness to people!