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.

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Pineapple Induction

My due date, September 7, has come and gone.  We’re still waiting for Baby George’s arrival.  It’s normal for first time mums to be a week late.

I haven’t been going out very much to get lots of rest.  I take a nap everyday to make sure I’m well rested in case I go into labor.

My boobs started getting sore on September 9.  I guess my breasts are getting ready for breastfeeding.  Kat said my milk may be coming in.

I looked up natural ways to induce labor. This website lists 40 different ways.  Walking is one of them, so we always get in our nightly walk.  I do notice tightening when we walk and sometimes it feels like cramps.

Ivan bought a pineapple since eating pineapple is another natural induction method.  Fresh pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain that is supposed to work like a prostaglandin, ripening and softening the cervix.

In the middle of the night, usually around 3 am, I wake up to go to the bathroom. Some nights I’m so thirsty and I go downstairs.  I get a glass of sparkling water and eat something like an egg or banana bread.  I practice my breathing and then go to the toilet and go back to bed.

I saw my midwife Kat on September 10, 2014 for my prenatal visit.  She said George is starting to engage (drop).  She recommended taking Replenish which contains black and blue cohosh.  She said to take 3 capsules and then rest for 45 minutes to an hour.  Use the breast pump for 45 minutes for nipple stimulation (another natural induction  method).  Then, she suggests trying to take a walk and then have a meal.  She wants me to take the capsules 3 times a day.

If I still hadn’t gone into labor by our next visit which would be 2 days after being 41 weeks pregnant, she would strip my membranes which separates the uterus wall and the amniotic sac.  It’s best to soften the cervix with the Replenish pills before stripping membranes.

Ivan bought the Replenish pills for me at Herbally Grounded.

On September 11, 2014, I saw my doula Shannondoah for my weekly hypnomassage.  She did acupressure focusing on pressure points during the massage.  This is another natural way to induce labor.

We practiced breathing with breathing in for a 5 count and then breathing out like blowing bubbles for a 5 count.  She said this can be used when I go into early labor.  It’s similar to the Lamaze breathing technique I learned.

At the end of the massage, she showed Ivan how to do 3 pressure points on my foot and one on my shoulder.  She showed me how to do two on my wrist.  She said that once the acupressure is done and regularly done a few hours a day, labor usually starts 24-72 hours after if the baby is ready to come out.

I started taking the Replenish pills and they make me so very sleepy.  I started pumping with the breast pump for 45 minutes.  My breast pump is called Purely Yours by Ameda.

Ameda's Purely Yours breast pump

Kat said it’s a good breast pump.  I feel like a cow when I do it.  It’s loud and beeps every few seconds.  I wish there was volume control on it, but there’s not.  Kat said that I might get some colostrum coming out, but no milk has come out when I’ve pumped so far.  My nipples feel sore after pumping for so long.

I felt like I couldn’t breathe when I was pumping.

I have noticed that my stomach gets tighter more often now after two days of eating pineapple.

I’ve been doing exercises and bouncing on the exercise ball.  Bouncing on an exercise ball while spreading your legs is another natural way to induce labor.

I’ve been doing so many natural induction methods, but Baby George still doesn’t want to come out yet!

On Friday the 12th, well actually Saturday morning, I was lying in bed and felt a heaviness on my chest like something really heavy was on me.  Before bed, I felt the heaviness again, but it seemed to travel from one side of my chest to the other.  I think the Replenish pills are effecting me.  I will text my midwife Kat about it when I wake up.

I texted Kat and told her about my trouble breathing and the heaviness in my chest.  I let her know that I had taken two full day of pills.  She thinks that my body is sensitive to the Replenish pills and that I should stop taking them immediately.  She said I should drink plenty of fluids.  We would try another natural induction method.

Jen at 40.6 weeks pregnant

I’m now 40.6 weeks pregnant and I’m feeling great.  Most of my maternity clothes don’t fit.  I haven’t been bothered to buy anymore clothes since I’ll soon give birth.  I still wear the shirts that don’t cover my whole belly, only a little of the belly shows.  Hopefully, nobody notices my stretch marks on my belly.

Good Releasing

I’ve been getting heartburn after I eat a big meal.  Sometimes it’s painful, but it doesn’t last very long which is good.

I pee so much  more now during the day.  It’s funny how I know where the restrooms are in the usual places we visit like Wal-Mart or Smiths.

I sleep great during the night usually getting 9 or 10 hours of sleep a night.  I always try to get a nap in during the day since Kat said it was important to get plenty of rest.  Plus, we never know when the baby will come – it could be during the day or the night.

We watched The Greater Good documentary which talks about people getting sick or even dying from vaccinations in America.

On September 3, 2014, I saw my midwife Kat and her intern Felicia for my prenatal visit.  She said everything looked great.  I showed them the nursery and they liked it.  She said that Baby George is lower down, but he hasn’t dropped yet.  My uterus is still high up.  The baby likes to stick his butt up.  I told Kat that I feel a sharp pain every now and then when I need to pee.  She said that it’s dilation.  He’s was in the ROA position again.

I’m still waiting and I really wish I knew when he was coming.  It’s wonderful being pregnant and feeling his movements and kicks.  But, I would love for him to come out and meet us.

I feel so excited that he’s coming, but I’m trying to enjoy my sleep and this time of being pregnant because I know soon that my life will dramatically change.

I keep reading up on the signs of upcoming labor since I always seem to forget what I learned in the classes we took.

I saw my doula Shannondoah on September 4, 2014 for my hypnomassage.  She feels my stomach and George before the massage.  Baby George sticks his back up waiting for a massage.  He really likes massages.  She only touches my stomach and George for a few minutes and after he started kicking like saying Where’s my massage? That was just a teaser!

I told her that the top of my legs hurt.  She said that’s my abductors.  It’s from the pressure on the pelvis.  My left top leg hurts more and it usually hurts when I stand only on that leg.

Shannondoah did fear releasing, but in a different way this time.  She had me imagine myself talking to a future me.  I asked myself about my fears about the labor and birth.  I said the unknown and the pain.  I asked myself what I could do about my fears.  The future me said to relax.  Shannondoah said what else I could do for an easy birth.  She said that I should have a calm environment and listen to my body.

She had me repeat things about the pain of labor like the pain would be worth it to hold Baby George in my arms.  Anything is worth it for him.  She also had me imagine George as a kid who was 5 years old.  He was holding newborn George.  He told me that everything would be just fine and to let go of my fears.

We practiced bearing down together.  It’s where take a deep breath in and make a C with my back putting my head towards my breasts.  I would push when I had my head down.

I love hypnomassages since they’re so relaxing and you can do cool things like fear releasing.  I like going to the beach that Shannondoah takes me to during the hypnomassage and seeing the water, the cliff and the house.  I always imagine a beach house in Boracay, Philippines with lots of palm trees around.

I still feel Braxton Hicks contractions especially when I’m walking.  My friend Kori said she had painless contractions during early labor.  She also said her water broke 2 out of 3 of her pregnancies.  Some women go into labor without their water breaking – everybody is different.

Ivan and I have been going out with friends and keeping active.  We usually take a walk around the neighborhood, so I get some exercise.

Jen is now 40 weeks pregnant!

I’m now 40 weeks and I feel great.  I don’t think Baby George will be making an appearance just yet.  I think I’ll give birth sometime this week.  Ivan did ask George when he was coming when I was hypnotized the other night.  He said a week from September 4th.  So,according to George he’ll be coming on September 11.  I started a contest with my family and friends to see when they think Baby George will be born.  The dates are varied from September 5 to September 13.

I still hear the heartbeat in my right ear.  Sometimes, when I sleep on my left side,  my left hand will go numb.  Having a baby really takes a toll on your body.  My esthetician says babies suck the life out of you when you’re pregnant.

Ivan thinks I shouldn’t be going out anymore.  I should be taking it easy at home and getting lots of rest.

Water Class

 

On August 23, 2014, Ivan drove us out to Chiropractor for Life for our last HypnoBirthing class.  People from the class and Mandie brought food for the pot luck.  Ivan and I grabbed some fruit and banana bread.

We watched part of a documentary called “What Babies Want” with Noah Wyle.

She talked about breastfeeding and getting a good latch.  Mandie was still breastfeeding and she breastfeeds for over 2 years with each of her kids.  That’s just too long.  I’m planning on breastfeeding from 6 months to a year.

She recommended that breastfeeding mums drink 1 gallon of water still and get 2500 calories a day.

She also talked about umbilical cord care.  She suggested a warm washcloth to keep it clean.  Keep it dry and keep things away from it.  Don’t pull it.  If you see dry blood, wipe it away.  If you continue to see blood, go see your pediatrician.  There’s Cord Care cream in my Birth Kit, so I will use it for the cord.

The class seemed to fly by for some reason, maybe because we watched part of the documentary.  I’m not sure I would recommend the class.  If you really want to try HypnoBirthing and want to learn breathing and relaxation techniques, you should take it.  But, I think that if your doula knows HypnoBirthing she may be able to teach you some of what you learned in this class.  I think I will use the J Breathing during birth, but the other breathing techniques I wasn’t a big fan of.  I do find the book HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing was very positive.  I love the Birthing Affirmations which I do believe have helped me think positive about the upcoming labor and birth.  I have learned exercise techniques that I probably will use during labor.  I’m lucky that my doula and my husband know hypnosis and will be able to properly put me into hypnosis.  I know that the women who are giving birth with the HypnoBirthing techniques aren’t really hypnotized, but really deeply relaxed.  I liked the Lamaze class and will be using the breathing techniques and comfort measures I learned in class.

That night, we went to Noelle and Chris’ dinner party where she had a crazy scarf contest.  People were putting the scarves on different spots on their body like their legs.  I decided to put mine over my belly.

Jen and Ivan wearing scarves

Ivan and I recently finished the first disc of Laugh and Learn About Childbirth which is taught by Lamaze instructor Sheri Bayles, RN which we got through Netflix DVD.  Sheri is funny and very knowledgeable.  It’s great hearing her talk about childbirth and Lamaze.  I could listen to her talk about anything for hours.

We’ve been trying to finish up the nursery.  The crib is put together with the mattress and fitted sheet.  Ivan put up the wallpaper and jungle decals.

Monkey decals in the nursery

We’re still going to put up things on the wall for decoration and put in curtains.

I saw my  midwife Kat on August 27, 2014.  She said everything was good and I looked healthy.   She thought it was good that I’ve been staying active.  The baby was in the ROA position.

I told her that I get headaches sometimes when I get out of bed quickly.  She said it was fine and it was just circulation.

Some food smells have been bugging me, usually with microwaved food.  I’m not sure but I don’t like the smell and it seems really pungent.

Ivan and I went to a family BBQ at my parent’s house.  Everybody was excited for Baby George’s arrival.  My sister-in-law thinks he will be coming next week.

After, we went to Wal-Mart.  I went to the loo (bathroom) since I always have to go.  I put on the toilet seat cover and was getting ready to sit down when water came out of me onto the floor.  I texted Ivan that either I peed myself or my water broke.  I sent a text to Kat saying Water broke and she called me a few minutes later.

I told Kat what happened.  The fluid was clear and didn’t smell like anything.  She thought that if it was my water, I would feel contractions.  It might just be the forebag (never heard of this) and sometimes that heals itself up.  She told me that once I got home I should take a shower.  I was to get the iodine from the Birth Kit and put 1 oz of iodine into the peri bottle and then fill the rest up with warm water.  I would put this iodine mixture down there to wash myself.  She said nothing internal like sex or a bath.  She said I should wear a light pad.  She asked if I would tell her if I had any contractions or not.  She was so excited saying the baby might be coming soon.  I was a bit freaked out since I didn’t know what was going on.  She thought that I should rest.

Ivan drove us home and I took a shower and washed myself with the iodine mixture and put on a light pad.

I Googled forebag and found out there are actually two bags of water.  A lot of woman haven’t heard of the forebag or that there are two bags. I don’t know why we didn’t learn this in our childbirth classes.  Women on forums said that their forebag broke and some closed itself up.  Some women went to the hospital and they did a test to test if it was the amniotic fluid.  Most were sent home because it was the forebag breaking, while some stayed and the doctor broke their water.

We took a walk a few hours later.  I felt mild pain with tightening which I thought was Braxton Hicks.  I texted Kat and told her about it.  I didn’t think it was actual contractions since they were mild and didn’t keep coming.  She said it was important that I get some rest.  She said to do the iodine mixture and shower in the morning.  If I leaked more, it would mean my water did break.  I didn’t think it was actually my water breaking since I hadn’t leaked again.  She said it was real contractions, it will be coming closer together and be more painful.

I placed a towel under me when I went to bed, just in case I leaked during the night.

Ivan hypnotizes me every night before bed.  He asked me to talk to George in my mind when I was hypnotized.  He asked what kind of food George likes and he said chicken.  He said that he will be born on September 5th.  He said he would be 7.1 pounds.  He thought that the Enya music we were playing was weird.

On August 28, 2014, I woke up to a dream where I was eating chicken fingers and was being accused of not paying for it when somebody paid for it and had already left the restaurant.  I think I was in a restaurant in Texas.

I didn’t leak at all overnight.  Kat says I might have just peed myself or it was the forebag tearing and it’s healed itself up.  She said I will probably have more discharge soon.

Ivan and I ran errands early and we picked up the breast pump at THC of Nevada.  I showed my ID and insurance card and a few minutes later I received my breast pump.  Easy enough!

My doula Shannondoah came over for my hypnomassage that afternoon.  The massage was very relaxing and I drifted off to sleep again.  I really needed that massage since my back hurts so much.

Shannondoah wanted to see the Birth Kit, so we went upstairs.  She said we would need a table for the Birth Kit and we already had one upstairs.  I just needed to clear it for the labor.  I showed her the refrigerator, the pots and the washer and dryer.

She showed me things Ivan can do to help with back pain during labor.  She also showed me how to bear down.  She said I should practice my Kegels.

I sometimes have a sharp pain when I need to pee now.  George hangs out lower and my pelvis hurts sometimes.  I think he’s right on my bladder which makes me pee even more than usual.

Sometimes, I want the baby to come out as soon as possible – but that’s usually on days when I’m not feeling so well.  Most days I feel great and enjoy being pregnant.  It’s an amazing feeling to be so big and know that there’s a precious baby growing inside me.  It still cool to feel his kicks and hits.

I haven’t gained any more weight.  Currently, I have gained 31 pounds during my pregnancy.  I might gain a little more.  I read that I don’t gain any more weight, but the baby is still putting on weight.

I received my first Bluum box today.  It came with blue leg warmers with white stars for George, a book called Things to Do Now that You’re….a Mom, make-up remover wipes and a big bottle of bathroom cleaner.  Ivan didn’t know that the box also contains things for the Mum.  He thought it was just for the baby.  It’s $20 per month which seems pricey, but you do get full sized products unlike some of the box subscriptions where you only get samples or small sized products.  I’m looking forward to next month’s box which will probably have more things for George.

I got a humidifier which is also an infuser and Kat recommended peppermint, Digestzen, Lavender and Clove for me and the baby.  Clove is good for teething and she said teething can start as soon as 2-3 months.

38.6wks

I’m now 38.6 weeks.  I’ve been feeling great.  If I eat a big meal, sometimes I do get heartburn.  I do get Braxton Hicks pains every now and then, but nothing too painful.  The top of my legs hurt when I walk.  Ivan and I are anxiously awaiting George’s arrival.  I think it will be soon like a week or two, but you never know.

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.

Minty Shower

On July 26, 2014, Ivan and I went to our second Hypnobirthing class.  Again, it was really cold in the room.  Good thing I wore pants this time.  Mandie said she forgot to remind people to bring a blanket.  Ivan doesn’t know why she just doesn’t turn off the two fans in the room.

Every couple was given a big binder filled with information about Hypnobirthing, birth and labor.

We watched two Hypnobirthing Birth Videos.  The women in the video seemed so relaxed and calm.  No matter how many times you see women delivering… It still makes me think, Oh that’s a bit much to see in the morning!

We learned two new breathing techniques: Surge Breathing and Birth Breathing which is more known as J Breathing.  Relaxation Breathing we learned last week is used in between surges (contractions).  Surge Breathing is used when 0-9 cm dilated and J Breathing is when you’re 10 cm dilated.

Surge Breathing is where you take a long, slow breath in to the rapid count of 20 while you focus on the abdomen rising and lifting.  You fill the belly with air and visualize seeing your baby’s name or face on a balloon.  The balloon is being filled with your breath.  Breathe out slowing to the count of 20, visualizing the breath going down and out of the vagina and the balloon drifting off into space.

J Breathing is taking a deep breath in through the nose and work with the out breath to the count of 20.  You breath down, imagining that your breath is going down your body through the birth plan.  Visualize a J down and up.  Your teeth should be touching, but not clenched.  I’ve heard of this breathing technique since my doula Shannondoah told me to start practicing on my exercise ball recently.  Mandie recommended that we practice this on the toilet.  I guess it would help if you have constipation.

Mandie said we should place a picture of a baby (which is included in the binder) in the right birthing position so that we can envision it for our upcoming birth.  She said it would be a good idea to place it somewhere that you’d see it a lot throughout the day.

Baby about to come out!

I placed one on the fridge since I work on my computer a lot in the kitchen and also right by my sink upstairs.

For next week, we are to fill out a fear releasing worksheet since we’ll be doing a guided relaxation for fear releasing.  We state our fears and emotions about the birth and becoming a new parent.

I saw my midwife Kat for my prenatal visit on July 29, 2014.  Her intern Felicia and her assistant midwife Margo were also there.  Everything is going well for me.  The baby was in the ROA position which has the baby’s head slightly off center in the pelvis with his back of the head toward my right thigh.  Margo brought the thing that measures my hemoglobin.  My iron is still low at 11 gm/dL.  It was 12 gm/dL last time.  Kat said 12 is doable for a home birth, but she would prefer if it was higher.  Kat recommended that I take 3 tablespoons of chlorophyll twice a day (in the morning and night) to help raise my iron.

My friend Carrie recommended Dr. Christopher’s Birth Plan pills which are supposed to be taken the last 6 weeks of your pregnancy.  I asked Kat if she thought if was alright to take.  She thought I shouldn’t be taking Black Cohosh Root which is one of the ingredients in the pills before the birth.  She said that if they had to induce me, they would use Black Cohosh Root and it might not be effective if I took the pills.  I decided against taking it.  Kat did recommend eating dates – 6 to 8 dates a day until the birth.  It’s recommended to eat 6-8 dates a day 4 weeks prior to your due date.  The dates are supposed to help your first stage of labor to be shorter and with a reduced need for induction and augmen-tation of labor.

Kat said that I didn’t have to do the monitoring that Dr. Wilkes recommended unless I wanted to.  She said it’s the standard thing doctors say since I’m high risk.  She said why expose the baby to even more radiation from the ultrasounds.  We decided to go to one appointment and then not bother with every week after.  I think everything is fine with the baby.

My weight has remained the same since July 15th. I was worried about it, but my friend Carrie said she gained a lot at the beginning and then nothing towards the end in her last pregnancy,  so I must be the same.  So far, I’ve gained 29 pounds.  My belly still feels so heavy sometimes, especially after I’ve eaten a meal.

I started taking the chlorophyll.  It taste so much better in water than spirulina.  It tastes minty!  I add some ice to make it cold since I don’t like warm water.

I had my last chiropractor visit on July 16.  The lady Lauren who works the front of the office told me a few weeks prior to my last visit that I only had 3 more visits that were covered by my insurance.  They only approved 20 visits.  I wish I had known this sooner! I would have spaced them out for every two weeks toward the end of my pregnancy.  Each visit without insurance is $54 which is too expensive.  I told Kat about this and she said I could call the insurance and then get a letter of recommendation from Dr. Wilkes.  Kat recommended Dr. Lampe who’s $25 per adjustment.  I called and he’s actually $45 for the first visit and $35 for each visit after.

The next prenatal visit which I’ll be at 36 weeks is an important one.  I need to have all my needs list stuff and my birth kit ready.  Anybody who is going to be at the birth must attend this visit.  I also need to have my birth plan and our birth stories ready.

I saw my doula Shannondoah on July 30, 2014 for my hypno massage.  She really worked out my back since it was so sore.  The chiropractor adjustments do really help.  I’ve just been too lazy to go get them lately.  Shannondoah did the fear releasing again since I didn’t think it was as effective since I think I was too relaxed towards the end of my massage when she did it last time.

It’s really weird, but I sometimes hear my heartbeat in my right ear.  I don’t know why.  I find it very odd.

We had our third Hypnobirthing class on August 2, 2014.  This time we learned Light Touch Massage.  Ivan and I each practiced the massage on each other.  We also learned about positions during birthing.  She took an hour going through Birth Preferences (Birth Plan).  I think she could have gone through it in a lot shorter time than that.

Mandie did a Fear Releasing guided relaxation.  Again, Ivan said she was reading from a script.  I think that it would be more effective to actually teach the Hypnobirthing instructors proper hypnosis.  I’m so glad that Ivan and my doula know hypnosis.  We’re just learning  relaxation in this class.  The fear releasing wasn’t really good.  I prefer Shannondoah’s fear releasing.

We’ve been planning our joint baby shower pool party with our friend and neighbor Carrie for awhile.  The day of the baby shower finally arrived on August 3, 2014.  The party was to be hosted at our friend Michael’s house which is 4 floors with a pool and a basement.  The day started out rainy and we were so worried since it was a pool party.  But, we got lucky and the weather was good for a few hours for the party.

Welcome the WOMB of the house to enter

It was a crazy party where you had to walk through the womb of the house to enter.  We got the Balloon Master Rob to do crazy balloon creations like babies hanging from their umbilical cords.

Carrie & Jen's Baby Shower

We had a snow cone truck, naughty games for the adults, a kids area in the basement with a babysitter doing games and a bouncy castle, a graffiti t-shirt guy, a candy bar, a chef making burgers, a valet, a bartender and even a lifeguard.  My mum made Filipino food which was a big hit.  We had signature drinks called The Edward and The George.  The George was a Blueberry Mojito.  I’m so glad we had a Blueberry Mojito Mocktail, so it felt like I was drinking a real cocktail.

Crazy George Baby Shower Cake

Even the cakes were crazy and so funny.

It was fun taking pictures at the photo booth.  Here’s me and Carrie.

Pregnant Mums Carrie & Jen at the baby shower

It was so fun with the Balloon Master MC’ing the party and Ivan controlling the music to keep the party going.  He and Rob had a microphone to control the games and tell people about different things to do at the party.

One game had girls putting a balloon vagina over their bodies.  Each round was a smaller balloon vagina.

Noelle going through a balloon vagina

Only one of the four ladies popped a part of the balloon vagina.  I think Rob the Balloon Master was surprised that the ladies were so limber.

We gave out cool favors: poop brownies, whipped cream vodka, chocolates with a sticker saying George and Edwards names and saying Thank you for coming and Childbirth Simulator hot sauce.

I do believe we achieved our slogan: Not Your Grannie’s Baby Shower.  So many people told us it was the best baby shower they’ve ever been to.  We’re so glad since we put a lot of work into it.  I’m so glad everybody a fun time at our crazy, unique shower.  It was lots of fun.  My feet were so tired from walking around the house all day.

I’ve been feeling good at  35 weeks and 5 days.

Jen at 35 weeks and 5 days

The carpal tunnel is still annoying especially when it hurts to pick things up which happens rarely.  I’ve been a lot more tired lately.  We’ve been taking it easy and eating in more.

I do miss things since I am pregnant.  Here’s my top 3 things that I miss: 1) Dancing, 2) Alcohol and 3) Sushi.

Hypno Ultrasound

I am getting a lot bigger.  My stomach feels really heavy sometimes.  Sometimes my pelvis area hurts.  I walk (well, really waddle) a lot slower now.

I still find it amazing that Ivan and I created a baby. I know we’re both so excited to meet the baby.  It feels great to be pregnant and feel his kicks, movement and hits.

My carpal tunnel syndrome has been worse.  I still get the pins and needles feeling in my fingers.  It can be painful, too.  My fingers haven’t swelled up more, so that’s good.  But, my fingers can get very numb.  I do exercises like holding my wrists and going in circles in both directions.  I really hope that the numbness goes away after I give birth.

Ivan and I didn’t return to the BabyCare parenting classes.  It was a lot of good information, but boring.  I’m currently reading Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby’s First Year: From Doctors Who Are Parents, Too!

I have been feeling weak sometimes between meals.  I’ve been trying to eat more snacks between meals.  I have been getting fuller quicker than I used to.  Don’t think there’s as much room for food in my belly now.

I saw my midwife Kat and she asked if I was doing the squats.  I had stopped because of the leg cramps.  She thought I should start doing it every day.

We received the birth kit and I’ve been buying things off our needs list.  I’m really excited, but still getting scared about the birth.  I do believe the fear releasing helps that Shannondoah does when I’m having my hypnomassage.

When we saw Kat on July 15, 2014, the baby’s position was Left Occiput Anterior (LOA) which is the fetal position at the start of birth.  His back is forward, facing my belly.  Looks like he’s practicing for labor!

My ankles and feet have swelled up.  I finally bought new slip-on sneakers since I felt like I was going to bust out of my old ones.

On July 19, 2014, Ivan and I attended our first Hypnobirthing class at Well Rounded Mama.  The class starts at 9 am which is way too early for me.  I was hoping I didn’t fall asleep during the class.

Our instructor is Mandie Medford.  She showed us a video with the creator of Hypnobirthing Marie Mongan.  Her voice was very monotone and I think she was trying to put me into a trance.  No wonder she’s so good at hypnotizing!

Mandie is really nice, but she tends to waffle on and on.  I kept zoning out when she was talking.  I’m not sure if it’s because she just talks a lot or because I was really tired.  She talked about the History of Birthing, how fear affects birth and how the uterus works.  It’s interesting and crazy to hear about how in the 1950’s chloroform was administered to women when they gave birth.  They were passed out when their babies were born.  When they awoken, they were bruised since they were pulled out by forceps.

She showed us a breathing exercise where you inhale for 4 count and then exhale in for 8 count.  I didn’t think exhaling in made sense at all.  She said it was like when you hum.  She made a sound when she exhaled in.  Ivan agreed about the exhaling in not making sense since when you exhale the air goes out your mouth or your nose.  Exhaling in sounds like inhaling to me.

We watched two Hypnobirthing births where both women seemed very calm.  The classroom was so cold.  I’m definitely bringing a blanket next week.

At the end of the class, we were given the Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method book by Marie F. Mongan and the Rainbow Relaxation CD.  I don’t know why this isn’t available in MP3 format. We were to listen to the Rainbow Relaxation twice a day and listen to and recite the Birthing Affirmation once a day.  Mandie said she covered up to page 79 in the book.  I will definitely be reading the book to refresh my memory.   I found the Rainbow Relaxtion MP3 tracks online and put it on my iPhone.

Ivan and I went to Desert Perinatal Associates on July 21, 2014 for an ultrasound.  An older lady named Dianna was our sonographer.  She moved the transducer around to see different parts of his body.

Baby Boy Ultrasound at 33.1 weeks

The baby has hair!  Ivan thought it looked like he had a mohawk.  We also saw both his eyes at the same time and he blinked twice.  At one point, I think he gave us the thumbs up sign.  Maybe he’s telling us that everything is going well.

Baby's Face

She said that it’s getting crowded in my stomach now.  Dianna gave us 3 pictures and a CD with a few pictures of the baby.

Dr. Wilkes came in a few minutes later.  He told us that the baby looked good and he was of average size this time.  He told me to pay attention to his movement.  If he isn’t moving as much, he might be unhappy or something may be wrong.  He said I had a good amount of amniotic fluid.  He said I will come in once a week starting at 36 weeks, so he can monitor my amniotic fluid and the baby’s heart.

I started reading the Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method book and listening to the CD.  The book is good.  I like how positive the book and the Birthing Affirmations are.  I do my squats during the Birthing Affirmations to stay awake because Marie Mongan’s voice is so monotone that it makes me want to fall asleep.  The Rainbow Relaxtion track is an induction to put you into hypnosis.

I am now 33 weeks and 3 days.  My thighs and calves have gotten bigger.  My back hurts.  It’s been getting harder getting out of chairs and getting in high chairs.

Jen at 33 weeks 3 days

I can still bend at the waist to get things on the floor, but I need to hold on to something to get up.  I feel good, but I get tired and usually take a nap if I get the chance.

Fetal Classes

I finally called Ann Pomeroy about taking Lamaze classes.  The current 4 week session had already started.  I set up a make-up class and moved the Hypnobirthing classes to a later date since they’re both on Mondays.

Ivan and I went to the Lamaze class at Ann’s house on June 7, 2014.  We learned Relaxation Technique, Paced Breathing, symptoms preceding labor, what happens 2 weeks before and what happens 24-48 hours before.  Also, we got a sheet with light exercises to do which has stick figure illustrations of how to perform them.

Light exercises

The relaxation technique is where you isolate certain body parts and make them relax.  I’m not sure why I was having problems with it.  I think because I’m used to hypnosis and getting an induction and gradually relaxing my body.  I’m sure with practice I will get this technique down.

We went to our second Lamaze class on June 9, 2014.  There were two other couples and one of the couple’s doula.  In class, we learned Modified Paced Breathing and things to help with back pain during labor.

Modified Paced Breathing is where you smile and make a short He sound while nothing from the breast up moves.

One of the back pain relievers is Slow Dancing with Paced Breathing.  Ivan found it silly that Ann played music while the couples slow danced.

On June 10, 2014, Ivan and I went to Dr. Wilkes’ office for my fetal echocardiogram.

Erica was our sonographer again.  It’s always great to see the baby on the ultrasound.  He was moving around a lot since he’s stubborn.  She took some pictures of things.

Baby at 27 weeks

A few minutes later, the Italian pediatric cardiologist came in.  Erica moved the probe to get a good view of the heart for the fetal echo.  Dr. Acherman kept saying Good, good.  Ivan thought he was evaluating a pizza, not our baby.  The doctor said everything looked good.

We saw Dr. Wilkes a few minutes later.  He said that the baby was a week behind in size.  He said it wasn’t anything to worry about though.  He told us that the baby’s heart looked good.  He asked if the baby kicked a lot and I said yes.  He said it’s good that if he kicks a lot since it means he’s happy, if his movements decrease it could mean that something is wrong.  He said we would do another ultrasound in 6 weeks.

That night, Ivan and I went to our first BabyCare class.  Our teacher was a lady named Jane.  Half of the 2 hour class was filling out paperwork which wasn’t very exciting.  The class is free as part of the Parenting Project run by the Clark County Department of Family Services .

The last part of the class was getting handouts and Jane talking about the subject.  We received handouts on Jaundice, Colic and Shaken Baby Syndrome.  The class is pretty boring, but has lots of good information.  We will be going to next week’s class since Swaddling and Diapering will be covered.  But, I’m not sure we will continue going since it’s pretty painful sitting in the class the whole time.

I’ve been getting headaches at the top of my head and the back of my head.  I’m not sure if it’s related to my eyes since I have dry eye and eye allergy.  It could be the pregnancy or both.

I saw my midwife Kat on June 17, 2014.  I told her about the leg cramps I had before.  She checked out my Calcium Magnesium pill and thought I wasn’t getting enough of the magnesium from the pill.  She recommended a more natural pill to take.

We went through the list of things I need for the birth and the birth kit I need to buy.

Kat pricked my finger to get drops of my blood.  She tested my iron.  My iron is low, so she recommended taking spirulina powder everyday.

My fingers have been getting more numb and sometimes it hurts.  I’ve been wearing the wrist brace for the carpal tunnel syndrome.  I’ve been massaging doTERRA’s Deep Blue Rub on my fingers since Shannondoah gave me some.  It smells similar to Vicks and makes my fingers tingly.

I put the spirulina powder in a cup of water and it’s green and made me think of the swamp monster from Scooby Doo.  Ivan tasted it and said it just tastes like green vegetables.  I thought it had a gross aftertaste.  I tried to drink it while plugging my nose, but I still got the nasty aftertaste.  Ivan put it in a smoothie and at the end the smoothie was slimy.  It’s best to use cocoa powder or anything with a strong flavor to cover the strong taste of the spirulina.

I haven’t been feeling as good since more things have been bugging me.  It can be hard to stay positive especially when you’re hormonal and you cry so easily.  I am getting scared again about giving birth and from hearing about people’s experiences.

Ivan and I attended our last Lamaze class.  We learned a lot of breathing exercises.  We will have to practice and hope that we can remember it when I’m in labor.

I saw my doula Shannondoah on June 25, 2014 for my hypnomassage.  I told her about my fears and during my hypnomassage, she had me light a fire and put my fears into the fire.

The baby kicks and hits a lot more now.  His kicks are getting harder.  He seems to hit or kick when he’s hungry and right before I’m about to go to bed.

Today, I saw Kat for my prenatal visit.  Everything is good.  She recommended other iron rich things like yellow dock and blackstrap molasses.

Jen at 30 weeks and 2 days

I’m now 30 weeks and 2 days.  I’m getting really big and it feels like I’m smuggling a bowling ball under my shirt.

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.

Moving Anatomy

In the morning of April 29, 2014, we went to Desert Perinatal Associates to see Dr. Wilkes which is the doctor who works with my midwife Kathya

We were called in to see the genetic counselor Tracy first.  She talked about the amniocentesis.  I asked if there was a blood test instead since my friend Carrie told me about it.  She told us about two tests.  One is called the Panorama test which is a blood test that I take.  The other test (which I can’t remember the name) takes both parent’s blood.  Ivan doesn’t like getting his blood drawn, so he thought I should do the Panorama test.  I don’t mind getting my blood drawn at all.

Ivan and I went back to the waiting room.  I used the toilet while waiting to be called.

My name was called and we went to a room.  The lady asked if I needed to use the restroom.  I said I already went.  Conveniently, there was a restroom that connected to the room we were in. 

The lady was getting everything ready for the ultrasound.  I asked if there were going to do a transvaginal ultrasound.  She said the regular and a transvaginal one were being done today.  I asked Is the transvaginal necessary? and she said it was to measure my cervix.  She gave me a sheet and said to undress from the waist down.  She said the doctor would be along in a few minutes.

Jen waiting to do her anatomy ultrasound

Dr. Wilkes’ nurse came in.  She is a tall, pretty blonde.  She was young probably in her mid 20’s.  She did the ultrasound to check the baby’s anatomy.  She said the baby was stubborn because he kept moving around.  My family is quite stubborn, so that makes sense.

Baby's Nose and Lips

We saw his spine and his nose and mouth.  She kept pointing out things and we just had to nod since we weren’t really sure what we were looking at, while she was a trained professional.  She asked if we knew if it was a boy or girl.  Ivan said Yes, it’s a boy and she confirmed that she did indeed see a third leg.

Ultrasound for a baby boy

She asked about the due date.  I told her that I got another ultrasound and they said I was 9 days earlier.  They were still basing my original due date of Sept. 7th.  She said that the baby was 13 oz which was right on track.  His heartbeat was 161 bpm. 

She printed a picture of the baby with it’s arms up and put pictures of the ultrasound onto a CD for us to take home.

Next, she did the transvaginal ultrasound.  I read an article that a lady sued the doctor because she felt like was being raped when she got the transvaginal ultrasound.  It’s not anything to be scared about.  A probe which is covered in a condom and with gel on top is placed inside the vagina.  She checked my cervix.  The ultrasound only lasted a few minutes and it doesn’t hurt at all.  She told me that Dr. Wilkes would be in to talk to us soon.

Dr. Wilkes came in and sat down.  He had the brightest sneakers on that you could probably see from 2 miles away.  He was the happiest doctor I’ve ever met.  He was excited that we were having a baby.  Ivan thought the doctor was so happy that it was actually him having the baby. 

He told me that my cervix was long, so I didn’t have to do another transvaginal ultrasound.  He said everything looked fine.  He said I should come back in 6 weeks to do a interval growth ultrasound and a fetal echocardiogram.

Next, I went to have my blood drawn for the Panorama test.  It was three vials of blood.  It hurts a little when the needle goes in, but after that it’s fine.  It doesn’t make me feel faint.  The test results will come back in 7-10 days.

Ivan has been on a salad kick lately.  My favorite salad is definitely the watermelon feta salad that he made on May 1, 2014.

Watermelon Feta salad

It’s so refreshing and tasty.  It’s a great summer salad.  He got the idea to make it since the restaurant Forte has a Watermelon Feta salad on special.

Later that afternoon, I went to get a facial.  I was lying down with my eyes closed.  I felt bubbles, but harder than usual.  I put my hand on my stomach and felt the baby kick or hit my stomach.  I think he was saying Is anybody out there? like in the Pink Floyd song.  It was really cool to feel the baby moving. 

I felt even more movement later on.  It’s such a great feeling to know he’s moving and kicking inside.  We were going to see a comedy show.  The baby kicked me hard which made me jump a little.

The doctor’s office called on May 2, 2014 and said that the results of the alpha-fetoprotein test came back negative.  The test checks for spina bifida and anencephaly.  The baby has a 1 in 4,300 chance of getting spina bifida.  It was good news and the results came back really fast.

I took the quiz Are You Having a Boy or a Girl? that I saw online to see if it would accurately guess I’m having a boy.  It did guess that I was having a boy. 

I still wake up once or twice a night to go to the toilet.  It’s annoying, but even more so if I wake up Ivan which has happened once.  I do try to be as quiet as possible when I head to the bathroom and get back into bed.  I usually go right back to sleep.

I’ve been getting tired during the day and I usually take a nap.  I took a nap once for 2 hours and it didn’t effect me that night.

I went to see my chiropractor Dr. Simoncelli on May 5, 2014.  He said I was crooked, so he adjusted me and hopefully I’m back to normal.

Ivan and I have been wondering what the baby is up to.  We imagine he’s taking a bath with his rubber ducky when I’m showering.  He could be reading a book or just taking a nap.  I talk to the baby even more now since he’s been moving.  The baby books say that after 20 weeks the baby can hear you.  I’m sure he’s been listening our voices, to the music we play, Ivan’s piano playing and my singing. 

My fingers have been really numb when I wake up and sometimes it hurts slightly.  I told my doula Shannondoah this when I saw her for my hypnomassage on May 7, 2014.  She thinks that I have a pinched nerve caused by the way I sleep.  She showed me how to lie differently on the pillow.  I did switch to my old pillow since a few weeks ago we bought pillows that claim to “never go flat”.  I have noticed recently that my right ear lobe is tender to the touch.

The body pillow arrived in the mail, but it doesn’t have a pillowcase.  The pillow is almost as tall as me!  I have used it twice at night, but it’s hard keeping the covers on me and the pillow.  It gets cold and the nipple pain will return which wakes me up.  So, I have been thinking of wearing a tank top under my shirt which may help with the cold.

The doctor’s office called again about test results.  I called and the nurse said that everything was low risk.  I said that they already called me with results.  It was the second part of the test that tests for Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome, Patau syndrome, Turner syndrome, Triploidy, Vanishing twin and sex chromosome abnormalities.  It also confirmed that I was having a boy.  It’s a relief to know that everything is good with my baby. 

Last week, we got the nursery painted Sleepy Blue on two of the walls – the last wall will have wallpaper on it.  The last 3 days, Ivan and I (well, mostly Ivan) have been putting Ikea furniture together.  I hand him the screws and parts while he puts it together.  The nursery now has flooring that was put in today.

Jen at almost 22 weeks

I’m now almost 22 weeks and I’m feeling great.  My mid and lower back have been hurting me.  The chiropractic adjustments and the massages help it out.  I pee a lot more frequently now.  I guess the most annoying thing about pregnancy for me has been getting cold and my nipples getting hard and it’s painful.  Even just drinking a smoothie or cold water can do it.  It’s weird that I wear a jacket sometimes in the house, but it definitely helps when I start getting cold or to help warm me up.