Tag Archives: epidurals

Full Term- What Goes Up Doesn’t Always Come Down

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We’ve probably all heard the expression “What goes up, must come down,” right? I’m frustrated to say in my case, this hasn’t been true.

I left my 36 week appointment floating on cloud nine. I was feeling good, well, except being almost 9 months pregnant, because I had another perfect visit. Not only was my blood pressure and baby’s heart rate right on track, I was also 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. Yes! I was heading in the right direction for our plans to have this kiddo at 39 weeks.

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This euphoria lasted one week. My next visit rolled around (37 weeks, full term, hello 9 months) and my blood pressure was high. Very high.

No! How, why? I’d been doing everything… resting, lots of water, taking it easy, low sodium diet. 

My doctor believes firmly in getting babies to at least 39 weeks when they have the best chance for being perfectly healthy (as is the recommendation of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine). She also believes in keeping her patients (me!!!) as healthy as possible. So, we needed a plan. I was only 37 weeks!

My doctor took me off work and put me onto bedrest from that appointment until after delivery. She also ordered some blood work and a 24 hour urine collection test. Oh fun. Ever had one of those? No? How lucky! Basically, you have to pee in a cup from the time you get up and every time after that for a full 24 hours. It goes in a collection jug that has to either stay in the fridge or a cooler with ice. I always knew I peed a LOT, but I was a little shocked to see exactly how much I go. I’m a big water drinker, though, so that’s to be expected. By the end of my 24 hours, I had collected 4 LITERS of urine.. that’s almost 17 cups… more than 1 gallon. WOW! When I turned in the collection this morning my lab technician was shocked. She laughed and said, “You weren’t joking, you DO go a lot!” She said the average is about 1-2 liters from most people. I guess I’m just an overachiever. 😀

My lovely urine jug (prior to starting test). Try not to be too jealous.

My lovely urine jug (prior to starting test). Try not to be too jealous.

After turning that in and getting blood taken, it was time for the dreaded blood pressure test. I tried to keep my breathing calm and relaxed. Hard to do. My numbers were a little lower but still elevated. Next I was shown to a room and waited for the doctor to come do my exam.

The doctor came in and we chatted while she examined me. The baby had an excellent heart rate and was measuring perfectly. I’m 2 cm dilated, 60% effaced and baby has moved lower into pelvis. These things are really important because studies show that the risk of an induction resulting in a c-section is greatly reduced if certain criteria is met (at least 2 cm dilated, 50% effaced and at a -2 station). I definitely want to avoid a CS if at all possible, so this progress was very reassuring.

Now what? Well, we wait. Boo! I go back to the doctor in three days (July 16) for another check and the results from the urine collection test will be back. My doctor and I discussed what would need to happen based on the results:

  1. If results from test are severe- we will schedule an induction for Friday or Saturday (17th-18th)
  2. If results from test are moderate- we will schedule an induction for Monday (20th)
  3. If results from test are average- we will schedule an induction for Wednesday (23rd)

Regardless, Wednesday July 23rd is the latest we will go before an induction so that this blood pressure nightmare can come to and end once and for all. I will be 39 weeks at that time. The doctor hopes to get me as close as possible to 39 weeks, but we also want to keep me and my belly buddy as safe and healthy as possible, so we will induce prior to that if needed. Basically it’s a risk vs. risk situation.

My IPs had already booked arrangements for arriving late on Monday, July 20th, so depending on the outcome this Thursday, they will reschedule their trip to arrive sooner. Them being here for the birth of their son is extremely important to all of us. This is the moment we’ve been working towards since that first meeting last September. 🙂

That’s what has been going on in my world. It’s crazy to realize that within the next 4-9 days this baby will be here and my role will be finished (except pumping in the hospital for him). I’m completely okay and at peace with that. I’m ready for the dads to be able to take over and their job as parents to begin. I AM anxious for delivery. It’s been almost nine years since my daughter was born, so this really feels like a first time delivery. LOL. I’m still hoping to go it as unmedicated as possible to help my body naturally progress. Given that it will be an induction, which I’ve heard can be a lot more painful, we will just see how my plan goes. I don’t feel any need to be a super warrior woman and birth this baby without an epi if I decide I need one. As long as baby and I are safe and healthy, how he comes into the world doesn’t matter.

I’ll update Thursday and let you lovelies know when Mr. Surro Dude’s planned debut will be!!!

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35 Week Bumpdate and Hospital Plans

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I’m thirty five weeks. I’m thirty five weeks. In five weeks or less this belly buddy will no longer be in my belly. Just let that set in for a minute.

Three weeks have come and gone since my last post and I’m happy to report that my blood pressure has improved significantly!!! Woo hoo! All of the extra rest and other things I’ve been doing have worked some magic. The hardest change has been trying to cut back and relax more. I’m a classic type a personality/control freak (ha!), so it’s really hard for me to delegate and let others help me. It’s something I struggle with, but having a healthy pregnancy and baby for my IFs was most important.

I had my hospital tour last week and met with the labor planning people. It was completely awesome! My hospital rocks. Really, it does. Even though it has the latest and greatest medical technologies and a highly respected neonatal unit, it also respects the rights of a woman to choose how to birth (as long as she and the baby aren’t at risk). They have lots of resources available to laboring women such as birthing balls, the newer peanut balls I’ve just been reading about, birthing stools, squat bars, etc. This all surprised me because they’re at the forefront of medical technologies for labor and delivery, so I didn’t expect to find these things available. They seemed more in line with a home birth or one of those freestanding birth centers.

Now, let me be clear. I am in no way one of those (awesome) “crunchy” women who dreams of a water birth, no drug interventions, and catching the baby herself. Hats off to those ladies. It’s just not for me. I think epidurals are wonderful things and I’ll more than likely want one. However, a lot has changed since I had my own kiddo. I know a lot more about laboring and how to handle pain and stress. While I’m not certain when or if I’ll for sure get an epi, I am hoping to hold off on it for a while to allow my body to labor better with other techniques such as using a birthing ball. I’ve really come to love using mine daily to relieve discomfort in my back and hips. I’ve done a lot of reading and the benefits of being mobile and not strapped to a bed with an epi just sound ideal for a faster and safer labor and delivery for me and the little guy.

I also was glad to be able to convey the wishes of the dads as we created my delivery plan. I’m really excited that they want to do skin to skin and cut the cord. I think that will be an incredible bonding experience for all of them. Our plan is for them to have their own room with the baby after delivery. The hospital was on board with that as long as a room is available. I’m looking forward to uninterrupted sleep and they can enjoy those first precious days together as a family. I’m still planning to pump colostrum for them, per their wishes. I’m nervous about this because I’ve heard it can be painful and difficult, but I’m willing to give it a try. Mostly, I’m just thrilled to know in a few weeks this belly buddy I’ve carried around for almost nine months will FINALLY be where he belongs… in his daddies’ waiting arms.

I had my 35 week appointment today. My blood pressure, weight, urine, etc, were all perfectly healthy. I wanted to jump up and down and celebrate, but I thought better of it. Baby is measuring right on track at 35 weeks and is in the head down position (fingers crossed he stays that way). They checked my cervix and it’s still fully closed and thick, so no signs of labor yet. I will have my 36 week appt. next Thursday, July 2. They will recheck my cervix and also do a growth ultrasound to check his size and position. My IFs will use that information to help them decide on their travel plans. I know it will be hard for them to be here and away from their own home and country for that many weeks. I’m willing to bet they think it’s worth it, though.

I’m working on finishing up my hospital bag. Look for a post on that soon!

Bumpdate:

How far along? 35 weeks

How big is baby: Your IPs’ baby doesn’t have much room to maneuver now that he’s over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (about the size of a honeydew melon). Because it’s so snug in your womb, he isn’t likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he’ll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

Boobies? Bigger and fuller.  Bras are awful. I miss the support of a good underwire bra, but they just hurt too much. 

Stretch marks? No new ones. Yay! I’m using the amazing all-natural products my IFs sent me from France.

Belly button In/Out? In, I have a deep one, but its closer to the surface of tummy now.

Wedding ring Off/On? Off, hello swollen hands

Symptoms? Insomnia. Frequent pee trips. Carpal tunnel in my hands at night. Crazy dreams. Sporadic appetite. More easily tired. Back sore more often. Some sporadic swelling in feet and hands. Thirsty. Always hot (Alabama heat doesn’t help). Weird numbness at the top of my belly. Quick little pains in my cervix which we’ve decided is the baby punching it!

Sleep? Sporadic- the wrist/hand issues at night make it hard as well as vivid dreams and peeing often. It’s getting more difficult to sleep. I’m averaging about 6 hours a night, but it’s very spaced out.

Miss anything? Sushi and sleep without numbness in my hands. Bras that are comfortable. Clothes that fit. Wine. Sleep. Sleep. lol

Movement? Yes! He’s a very strong and frequent mover. He’s head down now and does a lot of cervix punching!

Food cravings? Anything lemon, icy drinks,taco, grapes, sushi (which I can’t have), popsicles.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nope 

Labor signs Nope. Cervix is still fully shut and no effacement yet.

Happy or Moody most of the time? Happy! A little more emotional sometimes.

Best moment this week: The Supreme Court ruling that marriage equality must be legally allowed and recognized in all 50 states. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Here’s my 35 week bump picture. You can see weeks 33 and 34 over on my bump picture page here.

35 weeks, wow! Yes, this is the same dress as 34 weeks... but it's just so cool and comfy!

35 weeks, wow! Yes, this is the same dress as 34 weeks… but it’s just so cool and comfy!