Tuesday, January 5, 2016

the final countdown!

This week, I am 35 weeks pregnant with baby M, and I am feeling like I'm in the home stretch for sure. I'm definitely feeling more and more like two people, and feeling drawbacks of short girl pregnancy--BABY LODGING FEET AND BUTT INTO RIBS. After New Year's, it was strange to sit down and think, "I'm having a baby next month... or maybe THIS month!" Since this is my first baby, I really feel like I'm going in blind. Sort of.

Background: I have a little sister that is 16 years younger than me. My other sister and I helped my mom out A LOT with her, so I do know the ins and outs of diaper changing, feeding, help with sleep training, and general baby care. I even have been solely responsible for her by watching her when Mom was out, driving her around with me, etc. I think what is surreal to me is that this baby is MY OWN, and I'm not just following directions from my momma on taking care of her.

And the whole part where she is one way or another coming out of MY body. Whether that's the old-fashioned way, via cesarean section, or Alien style which is what it feels like when she gets to moving a lot in there these days. On this topic, I have recently changed my mind a little on my approach to labor and birth for this one. I have been a long-time believer in getting an epidural. I work in anesthesia, so why would I not use one of the best regional pain control methods out there if I had it available to me? I'm not afraid of pain or discomfort, but I have had the thoughts of "If I have this benefit available to make myself more comfortable, why not?" So I'm sure my nut job hormones have had a hand in this, but the more I read about birth, the more I have changed my mind regarding this and would like to opt to try labor without an epidural. I do have reasons that are not as crunchy as one might think.

  1. For me, being able to move around, change positions, WALK around, and generally not be stuck sitting in bed for hours is a huge benefit to skipping the epidural for me. This was probably my number one reason for starting to think about whether or not I really wanted to go for the pain meds right off the bat. As a nurse, I know that risks of skin breakdown and blood clots in the legs only go up, up, up if you are stuck in bed not able to move around for several hours. I also am prone to boredom and didn't want to be stuck sitting in one spot.
  2. Another benefit I've read about with "natural" birth is that you can get your baby in the optimal position for delivery by changing your own position. Her back is her heaviest part and she will rest face up if you're laying on your back, which is not her best position to be born in. When your baby is face up coming out, it is harder on her and you to get her out. They want a baby to be in the "occiput anterior" position for birth which means the back of her head is facing the front of your body. They way her spine/head and your pelvis are configured, that is the easiest way for her to pass through the birth canal. This can make labor easier and prevent major, if any, tearing. If a baby is lying in the wrong position, you can usually make them flip over if you are able to change positions yourself. 
  3. I want to be able to get up and around AFTER birth. Without having to wait for medicine to wear off. For all the reasons listed on number 1.
  4. There is a lot of research done on how the medicines used in epidural and labor pain control crosses the placenta and what kinds of effects it has on the baby. Many say it can make the baby lethargic after birth and cause issues with feeding, latching on, and mom-baby bonding. 
All of that said, though, I do want to get her out of me the safest way possible for both of us, no matter what that is. At the hospital, I have seen situations change in the blink of an eye, and I believe it's important to remain flexible in your approach to your care to do the best thing for yourself. 

Anyway, at 35 weeks, I am starting to really feel ready to get this baby out of me. I rely on heartburn medication to live. Next week, I start getting to see the doctor every week (yay?) until I deliver. 

35 weeks! Feeling huge!!!


Anyone have big thoughts on birth, pregnancy, or anything of the like? Let us know in the comments what you think!

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