Still Waiting

The top of my left leg hurts a lot especially when I’m sitting or lying down in the same position for awhile. 

My stomach is so heavy at times.   I had thought I stopped gaining weight, but I’ve actually gained a few pounds.  I’m now at 168 pounds.  We’re not going out as much. 

I’m still doing the natural induction methods like nipple stimulation (once for 45 minutes a day), eating pineapple and bouncing on the exercise ball.

I saw my midwife Kat for a prenatal visit on Sept. 16, 2014.  She said the baby sounded good and he was in the LOA position.  She tried to strip my membranes, but she said my cervix is closed shut.  I was not dilated, the baby is at –3 station and I’m only 10% effaced.  If you have no clue about dilation, station and effacement, check out this website.  The teacher in our Lamaze class mentioned dilation and station, but dilation, station and effacement were all fully explained in the Laugh and Learn About Childbirth DVD we watched. 

Baby George is further down than last week.  Let’s hope he moves down even more soon.  Kat will try to strip  my membranes on our Thursday prenatal visit.  She recommended seeing an acupuncturist or a chiropractor to further induce labor.  She also thought castor oil would be good to take to hopefully bring on labor.  I did some research online to find about castor oil.  The castor oil acts as a stimulant to the bowels, which irritates the uterus and causes contractions.  It does have side effects of diarrhea, vomiting and contractions that may or may not be related to labor.  If it’s done too early, it may be a long, painful labor.

I do feel frustrated and anxious.  I really want the baby to come out soon.  I know he’s not ready and he will come once it’s time.

Ivan and I took our nightly walk on Sept. 17, 2014.  I felt more Braxton Hick contractions with pain during walking.  It wasn’t anything that lasted long (only a few seconds) and it didn’t have a regular pattern to it.

I couldn’t sleep when I tried to sleep that night.  I only ended up sleeping 5 1/2  hours.

On Sept. 18, 2014, I saw my midwife Kat.  She said the baby is moving a lot and sounds great.  I asked to try to strip the membranes again.  She did a pelvis exam and I wasn’t dilated again.  I’m now 50% effaced and the baby is lower at –2 station.  She said things are happening slowly.  She wasn’t able to strip the membranes. 

Kat says the baby likes to do the sausage dance which  means he rolls from side to side.  He reacted to Ivan’s piano playing.  Maybe he’s trying to dance! 

Kat recommended seeing Dr. Wilkes for an ultrasound and a biophysical profile of the baby.  She said they had to grade the placenta to see if it’s fine for me to stay pregnant or to induce me to give birth.  I was going to let my placenta know it should start studying now.

Later that day, I made an appointment for the ultrasound and monitoring for tomorrow morning.

That night, Ivan and I made eggplant parmesan.  My friend said her friend swore that eggplant parmesan helped put her into labor.  Ivan found the Eggplant Parmesan recipe that helps induce labor.  They call the ladies who went into labor from eating the eggplant parmesan Eggplant Babies.  It’s worth a try!  I love pasta, so I was all for it.

Eggplant Babies Eggplant Parmesan

The eggplant parmesan was tasty!

I went to Desert Perinatal Associates on September 19, 2014.  I was taken to a room for the ultrasound.  I had to give a sample of my urine. 

The sonographer looked at the baby.  Baby George was being stubborn and moving around like he usually does.  She asked if I was leaking water and I told her no.  She said my amniotic fluid was low.  Maybe I had leaked water and didn’t know it.  She showed us his feet, but I had no idea what I was looking at.  It just look like a big blob on the screen.

I was taken to the monitoring room once a room was free.  The nurse was trying to find the heartbeat.  She asked if I remember where the sonographer found the heartbeat during the ultrasound.  I couldn’t remember though.  I was strapped to the same machine from the last monitoring.  Baby George does NOT like the noise and he was trying to kick the straps off my body again.  She said I would be monitored for 20 minutes.

I was sitting there for 10 minutes and Dr. Roberts and an intern doctor entered.  Dr. Roberts said that my amniotic fluid was very low and the placenta was 3.1.  He said that I needed to give birth today or as soon as possible.  He asked for my midwife’s number.  He said he would call her and let her know.  He said that if by Monday I didn’t give birth, which he didn’t recommend, I would have to come in for an ultrasound and monitoring. 

I didn’t know what Kat would do to try to induce me.  I would call her after I got out of the appointment. 

We saw Dr. Roberts on our way out and he said the number I gave him didn’t work.  Ivan said it was right, but maybe you dialed it wrong.  He got a hold of her and told her that I needed to give birth today or as soon as possible. 

I called Kat and she said I should start taking castor oil.  She had some natural castor oil that she would bring me.  We set up to meet in 20 minutes at a coffee shop near our house. 

Ivan and I met up with Kat.  She gave me the castor oil.  She said to take 1/4 cup of castor oil in orange juice.  She said to blend it and then drink it.  I read the same thing and to plug your noise since the smell is very strong.  She said to take a bath after and drink water.  She said after 3 hours I should give her a call.  She said if the contractions got too uncomfortable, she would send over the birthing tub.

We drove back and Ivan made the orange juice-mango castor oil blend for me.  It’s best to drink the mixture right away since castor oil doesn’t really mix that well.  All I could taste was the mango which was good.

I drew a bath and relaxed in the water while I drank water.  It’s good to drink a lot of water when taking castor oil since it can dehydrate you.

An hour and 5 minutes later, I started going to the toilet and had diarrhea. 

I bounced and did exercises on the ball while Ivan and I watched a show on the tv.

I called Kat at 4 pm and told her that I was getting diarrhea and Braxton Hicks more often.  She told me to take more castor oil and call her in 3 hours.

Shannondoah arrived after 4 pm for my hypnomassage.  She was also going to do acupressure (pressure points) to help induce labor.

Ivan, Shannondoah and I went for a short walk.  Then, I had my hypnomassage which relaxed me and I fell asleep.  I had diarrhea again after I woke up.

Shannondoah listened to the heartbeat, placenta and cord.  She said he had a healthy heartbeat.

At 7 pm, he had moved down 2 inches.  We went on another walk around the neighborhood.  I was having feeling more uncomfortable with Braxton Hicks, some were with no pain.

I called Kat and she said I didn’t have to take any more castor oil for the night.  She said to bounce on my exercise ball and keep hydrated with coconut water, water and water with Emergen-C in it. 

I bounced more on the ball and later took a short nap.  We went on another short walk. 

Shannondoah left and she said she would be over tomorrow.  Kat will be coming by as well to see how my progress was.  We’re still waiting for me to go into labor. 

Jen at 41.4 weeks

I’m now 41.5 weeks pregnant.  I just wish I would give birth already!  I hate waiting.  I’m worried about the baby’s health.

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.