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.

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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.

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.

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.

Flowers and Cookies

Our house is filling up with flowers!  I got flowers from Big Dave’s cousin Dafydd from Wales on January 27, 2014 and then more flowers from Big Dave’s cousin Le Darv from Barcelona, Spain the next day.

Flowers from Le Darv from Spain

There must be lots of Dave the monkeys around the world!

I felt really nauseous on Monday, but still no puking so I do consider myself lucky.  Nobody likes puking especially me.. so I’m glad I haven’t been.

I met up with our midwife Kat for my first prenatal visit on January 28, 2014.  It’s great that she comes to your house for all your visits.  I had to pee in a cup to check my protein and sugar.  She made sure I was feeling alright.  I told her about my nausea and said that eating an egg helps right when I wake up and also eating small meals throughout the day should help.  She recommended the Dr. Brewer Pregnancy Diet.  She said I should print it out and laminate the pages.  Then, I can mark off what I’ve eaten each day.  I’m definitely not eating enough of the right foods.

Kat said my uterus is expanding, so that I might be feeling pressure which I have been feeling cramps.  She told me to lie down and we would see if we could hear the baby’s heartbeat.  Sometimes, you can this early.  She put a cold gel on me and put the doppler below my stomach and tried to find the heartbeat.  We couldn’t hear anything.  Maybe the baby is being cheeky and is hiding!

She gave me paperwork to get lab work down for Prenatal Panel (Complete blood count, ABO Group & RH Type, Antibody screen, Rubella Ab IgG, RPR, Hep B Surafe Ag) plus HIV I&II, UA and Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy.  We made an appointment to meet up next month.

I received a thank you card from the doula Briana Mager.  It thanked us for meeting with her and hoped that she could be a part of our journey and make our birth an enjoyable experience.  A very nice touch.

Today, we met up with a doula named Erica Delmore.  I saw her picture on DoulaMatch and it must have been a really old picture. She originally wanted to meet up at a cafe near our house.  But, we had a handyman coming by around the same time.  She came by the house early.  She was very nice.  She had a folder filled with information and pricing of her fees.  I think all midwives should have paperwork to give clients since it’s professional.  We asked her lots of questions.  We want to find a doula who knows hypnobirthing.  She didn’t know much about hypnobirthing except she knows the teachers who teach it in Las Vegas.  She’s only been to one of the hypnobirthing classes.  Meeting with Erica just made me think of Shannondoah the first doula we met with.  She’s super friendly and she knows hypnobirthing.

I was researching questions to ask doulas during consultations and it said you need to like the voice of your doula.  They will be talking to you a lot during your labor so it does make sense.

I asked my sister-in-law Kara to bake me her famous chocolate chip cookies.

Kara's famous chocolate chip cookies

She told me she would bake cookies for me anytime during my pregnancy.  She’s so sweet!  They are delicious!!

Ivan and I talked about it and decided to go with Shannondoah Dartsch.  I gave her a call and told her we were choosing her to be our doula and she was really excited.  We’re going to meet up to discuss packages further.  She will teach fear releasing as part of the package which will help me since I’m scared of the pain during labor.

I just received even more flowers this time from Doove from Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Flowers from Doove from Amsterdam

He wanted to send bananas, but he couldn’t find any online to send.. so he sent some beautiful flowers.  I think the flowers are getting better each time!