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I do… of the baby kicking. Her feet go across the top of my belly, and you feel the full movements…. ‘bvlop bvlop’ over and back, hehe. This is the movement I miss when I am not pregnant. Mentioning it to other moms they miss it too. My mom remembers loving the feeling of the foot going back and forth in her tummy. I know I will miss it when I’m not pregnant… and a reason I craved to be pregnant when I was not.

Yes sometimes she kicks hard, or shoves her hands into my hips, a muscles or my bladder and I jump from the discomfort or want to pee my pants… but I still like to feel her move. 33 weeks now, so she’s still has a little bit of room, certainly not as much as she did before and mostly stays in the same spot. Most of the time she has her back on my left side and I feel movement and limbs on my right…. or the solid part of her bum or back when she stretches or pushes on the other side. My tummy can look like it’s having quite the party sometimes, particularly at night before bed or after a meal when my digestion is making a racket, she seems to be the most active. I still think she is less active than my son was… I can wake up at night for my trips to the bathroom and baby doesn’t always wake up, I remember my son always woke up.

I will cherish these movements until the babe is born.

Labour is going to go how labour is going to go… as one of my midwives tell me. I now understand how true this statement is. You can prepare for as much as you want, with your birth plan, but your labour will progress the way it does and it is largely out of your control. Some women are more fortunate than others.

It’s interesting the expectations I had going into labour the first time. I wanted this and not that, but had no real idea how it was going to go. Even though I had done lots of reading and research prior to my first birth, no one can really tell you. I was a little disappointed looking back, but overall very happy to be done with it and have had my baby naturally. I reviewed my first labour with my new backup midwife the other day, and also spoke to my Naturopath about it, both who have had children in the past couple years. It was comforting to know that they too did not get their birth wishes… meaning that circumstances took over and things needed to be done, at absolutely no fault of their own and it does not reflect on them poorly or mean they aren’t a strong people because of it.

Don’t let this scare you, but my first labour was long. It does not mean yours is going to be. Every labour and pregnancy are different. I was in pre-labour for about 24 hours or more. I was anxious and thought things would get going. My midwife suggested taking Gravol and trying to get some rest, I should have listened. By the following night she came over and I took some homeopathic remedies to try to jump start things, within a couple hours I was in early labour and contractions were noticeable stronger, closer together and more painful. The next morning I was in the same place, and my midwife stopped by my house again. She decided we should go to hospital to do a stress test on the baby, and she wanted to check my bag of waters as she thought I had a slow leak. I remember going in around 10am on Sunday morning and choosing to stay at the hospital, I was 100% effaced, and 3cms dilated by this point, or so I thought. Looking at my notes I was only a finger tip dilated, but 100% effaced, which I find embarrassing now that I stayed in the hospital. Contractions were coming every 5 minutes, plus or minus a couple minutes and felt quite strong. Reviewing my past labour with my backup midwife she said so after 10 + hours of labour you chose to stay in the hospital and you think you went and stayed in too early? Okay so, you really think after 10 hours of labour it was too soon to go and stay, 10 hours is quite a while Julia…. that made it sound differently to me.

By that evening I was about 3cms dilated, contractions were about the same distance apart (anywhere from 3-8 minutes) but feeling much stronger and painful and I was noticeably more tired having not slept since Friday night, and it was now approaching Sunday evening. Around 7 PM it was suggested I get an epidural to get some rest, after asking everyone in the room that they would not be disappointed in me if I got an epidural, we decided to get one. My caregivers were also thinking it might be necessary to augment my labour as things were taking a long time and more importantly they were concerned about my exhaustion having to deal with strong contractions that were not furthering my progress.

So ladies, when they say once you choose to get an epidural PLAN to be able to cope with labour for the next couple hours in case hospital staff are not available to give you one. Oh SO SO true. I was prepared for a couple hours, but not the 7 MORE hours that passed waiting for one AFTER I decided to have one! A nurse needs to be dedicated to you and in your room to monitor you if you have an epidural, although your midwife is more than capable, it’s “hospital policy” to have a nurse. Around midnight my midwife gave me a shot of Demerol, and checked my cervix before doing so, I was only 4cms. It took the edge off but I could feel the peak of each contraction, so I slept for a couple minute intervals between them. A couple hours later it was wearing off and finally at 2 AM the nurse was ready, and the Anesthesiologist came in (I thought we’d have to wait for him! But not so he was ready). I hate needles (I’ve fainted in the past with a needle) and hate the thought of an epidural, but I can honestly say it was no big deal. I was so exhausted and in pain I didn’t notice.

When you have an epidural you are on your back confined to a bed, I have not heard of any woman who had a walking epidural and was actually allowed to get out of bed. I was hooked up to all sorts of monitors by that point. They have a constant monitor on the baby, and it was turned up too loud, it rung in our ears for days after. My midwife would turn it down, and the nurse would crank it back up. I don’t know if they augmented me with Oxytocin right away or just at the beginning or end. I sort of remember the OB coming in to check on me that my midwife consulted (as things were going on a while and I think it’s in their ‘handbook’ that they need to consult an OB at that point) and asking why I was not get Oxytocin. I remember someone saying well she’s progressing now, but I guess he wanted things to go even faster?! I have no idea if that meant they did give me something after that or not. I’ll have to ask my midwife to look back in my records to see.

My son was having decelerations in his heartbeat after contractions. The nurse (which I did not like, I wish we were able to keep the nurse that relieved her for her break) was scaring me saying I might need a c-section, which was my ultimate fear. My midwife didn’t seem overly concerned as his heart rate was recovering well after each decel. I remember the nurse wanting to put a screw in the top of my sons head to better monitor his heart rate, I midwife kind of looked at her like… you’ve done that before, and politely skirted the issue, luckily it was not done. When he was born we found out the decelerations were because he had the cord wrapped around his shoulder.

Around 5:40 AM or so my midwife checked my dilation again. There was a small lip of the cervix left, she moved it out of the way with her finger as I pushed through it. I started pushing. I pushed for 45 minutes and my son was born at 6:30 AM on the dot.

Because of my exhaustion they were concerned that I would not have the stamina to push the baby out and my uterus would be too tired to do the work. I remember thinking to myself there is NO way I’ve gone through all this and am going to still have to have an operation! I was very determined to say the least and got second wind, I ordered a couple people around telling them how to hold my back or legs and pushed as hard as I could. The OB came in to check on my progress and was like, ‘oh she is definitely making up for a tired uterus no problem, she’ll get this baby out.’

I wrote notes a couple days after my first birth so I would remember as much as I can. It’s funny how my memory alters things. It was what it was. In the end I was delighted to have a healthy baby out of it born naturally. Yes it was long, but that is not abnormal. Labour start and stops, that’s not abnormal either. Contractions can go from 3 minutes apart back to 8 minutes, yup in the realm of normal too. First labours can be longer and yes that’s normal too.

Knowing what I know now I will TRY to listen to my midwife better this time, and REST when she suggests it. I still have wishes for this birth of course, but I am way more open to assessing things as they go along and doing what is necessary. As I found out from the first time, labour is going to go how labour is going to go. It doesn’t mean I am broken or abnormal etc… it just is and it’s all okay!

I’m having trouble coming to terms with weight gain this pregnancy.

This time around I am starting lighter than I did when I was pregnant the first time. Although I have already gained 6-7 lbs and I’m only 17 weeks pregnant! Last time I started where I am now, but by 16 weeks I was still at the same weight I am now. Nausea has been much more intense this time, and eating helps me feel better.

My first pregnancy I was more relaxed and had more time to myself to sleep and rest etc. With a toddler running around now I have little time to myself, not to mention to rest.

I am worried and a little anxious that I might gain too much weight this pregnancy. My midwife tells me it’s about quality of nutrition and not to worry about weight gain. In my first pregnancy I was quite unwell around 33 weeks with a nasty stomach flu (I’m still convinced it was food poisoning but that’s another story), and lost 5-6 lbs one week, I never regained it before I gave birth. I was already light when my son was born but actually gained weight postpartum because of depression etc. So in the long run I still had to work the weight off anyway. My son was smaller, born at 6 lbs 13 ounces about 5 days early. I would like this next baby to be a little heavier, as I contribute it to having troubles breast feeding with him. I wondered if his mouth was too small to get a proper latch.

It sounds silly, but it’s bugging me! I’m already into my pregnancy pants, the ones with the panel stretchy band attached fit, the other ones (low rider ones) still don’t fit.

When I was pregnant with my son, it took a really long time to look like I was pregnant, or “pop”. I would say I was almost 5 months pregnant before I showed with my son. With my son people would actually ask me if I thought the baby was okay because I was so small tummy wise.

This time I told work earlier than I did the first time, and someone at work one day said “it’s beginning to become obvious” and I was only 14.5 weeks pregnant at the time! I’ve told most people at work I am pregnant now and circumstances are different. People in my workplace know me now, when I started here I was already 14 weeks pregnant with my son. Perhaps people are more comfortable asking or saying something because they know me?

Some examples of what people have said are:

  • I said oh if you didn’t know I’m 4 months pregnant, and she smiled and said yeah I know with a smirk.
  • Another colleague said yea I figured.
  • My male massage therapist said I thought that might be the case, then I thought maybe she just ate too many donuts.

Sorry pregnant or not it’s not okay to talk about a woman’s weight. Like most women I already have a weight complex and am often worried I am too fat. I think it is all tummy based now, or I feel mostly looks it, but I am really shocked at how my body is changing so quickly this time and honestly a little upset and jealous of ladies with a proper waist line.

I continue to exercise regularly. I would say I am more active than I was in my first pregnancy; I go to practices regularly (I was going 3x a week, 1 hr each time, now down to twice weekly for 45-1hr) with a Master Swim Club, I wouldn’t say they are easy workouts. From a post I wrote when I was pregnant with my son I got some good feedback on where to get a pregnancy race swimsuit. My husband ordered it for me for Christmas. It is too large, so I just ordered another one a size smaller. Likely I will be able to wear the smaller one until 6 months, and will have to use the larger one when my belly gets bigger in the last trimester.

I don’t feel I am eating poorly. I think I ate more poorly before I got pregnant actually! I have definitely cut down on the sweets and added in more fruits, veggies and whole foods. I am guessing I don’t eat more than 1800-2000 calories a day, which I think is okay for my 5’3” frame?!

I am open to any suggestions on how to get over this? I would like to embrace this change and stop worrying about it.

Picture of me 17 weeks 1 day preggers below:

Since I posted this post yesterday I have since spoken to my Naturopathic doctor and she said I need to gain at least 17lbs this time. She said the 17lbs needed is all for the baby, the rest you need fat for breastfeeding and postpartum. She thinks a good goal is 25lbs – 35lbs. The more fat I have on my boobs a hips the easier it will be produce milk and breastfeed. She assured me it will come off. I’m just concerned if I gain all 30lbs and I’m not able to breastfeed exclusively then the weight won’t just “come off”, of course she told me to let her worry about that and we will make sure to figure it out. Makes me feel slightly better.

My ND also mentioned that it’s not good to assume you will gain a certain amount each trimester. Some women gain the bulk in their first trimester, little in their second and nothing in their third. There is no right amount in each trimester, every woman and every pregnancy is different. I found this site made me worry about gaining in the first trimester, I don’t recommend basing your weight gain off this one: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/prenatal/qa-gest-gros-qr-eng.php Your GP, OB, midwife or ND will have a much more realistic recommendation when it comes to weight gain specific to you and your pregnancy.

With my first pregnancy I only gained about 10-12lbs from start to finish. I did start heavier than this time, and I got stomach flu ill when I was 33 weeks pregnant and made up for what I loss while ill. I was “proud” of only gaining that amount my first pregnancy (a little sick head wise I think now). Now I see it wasn’t healthy. Baby and I would have been better off had I added another 5-10lbs at least.

Weight distribution:

  • 7 1/2pounds is about how much the baby will weigh by the end of pregnancy.
  • 1 1/2pounds is how much the placenta weighs.
  • 4 pounds is attributed to increased fluid volume.
  • 2 pounds is the weight of the uterus.
  • 2 pounds is the weight of breast tissue.
  • 4 pounds is because of increased blood volume.
  • 7 pounds is attributed to maternal stores of fat, protein and other nutrients.
  • 2 pounds for the amniotic fluid.
  • Total: 30 pounds

I am a little more than 38 weeks pregnant now, about 12 more days until my due date.  I think a woman gets to a stage in pregnancy where she is so uncomfortable and getting things done are so much harder, so she becomes less scared of labour and just want to be “done” with the pregnancy part. I would say that pretty accurately describes me now 😉

In March we got to meet our backup midwife, Susan. She was very pleasant and made me feel good about possibly giving birth with her as our caregiver. Our primary midwife, Colleen, is back from holidays today, and we saw her at today’s appointment.

Things continue to go along just “fine”. I have been experiencing more Braxton Hicks in the past couple weeks, and even more so in the past day or so. Our midwife did an internal exam today, my cervix has not started to dilate yet, but it is now soft. Next week I may consider getting my membranes swept depending on where I am at. Baby has moved further down into my pelvis, and I get occasional very sharp pains when a nerve gets hit, particularly in my hips or back.

My husband and I have heard a funny wet snapping noise occasionally. We cannot pinpoint if it is coming from me or my uterus. We’ve asked both our midwives and neither know what it is. Some speculations is it might be my joints relaxing and popping, or could even be my digestion (though I think it sounds different than my digestion), or possibly the baby’s joints. Always a little bothersome when they don’t know what something is, hopefully something to do with me and not baby. Of course they tell us that it is most likely nothing to worry about.

My tummy continues to grow. My fundal height measured 37cms at todays appointment.

Our bags are mostly packed and all ready to go to the hospital. I am just doing things that I want done around the house before baby arrives.

I am off work and glad I went off when I did. I went back for an all day conference last week and the day was just too long for me. Being at home I am free to get up, nap or rest when I need to. Sitting for 7 hours got a little uncomfortable.

My Mom, as excited Grandma-to-be, is throwing me a baby shower this weekend. We registered for a few items at Toys R Us (Canada) and the Mothering Touch (Victoria):

http://www.toysrus.ca/registry/index.jsp

http://www.motheringtouch.ca/

We did not register for items like: clothes, sleepers, undershirts/onsies, blankets, bibs, wash clothes, hats, socks/booties, crib sheets, or toys etc. – as we felt if people wanted to buy us these items it would be nicer if they were able to choose for themselves.

We are excited and looking forward to meeting our new family member soon.

We had our 34 week appointment yesterday. I am a little relieved to report that my fundal height has grown since my last appointment, and it is now 32 cms. My midwife says she can feel baby’s size and he is growing, good news 🙂

I had someone comment to my husband that it did not sound like I was doing very well in my blog, and perhaps I would benefit from going off work now. My husband made the comment that maybe I write about the negative things too often and not the positive. I always try tell it like it is, but also but a positive spin on it at the end. I think for some men it all sounds awful and hard to deal with. People ask how I am feeling, and I say you know little tired etc… but I AM pregnant after all. All the symptoms I have experienced are completely normal and I have had a healthy pregnancy so far. I am very fortunate and have not yet experienced any of the pregnancy complications that some woman do. I am still growing a person inside me, so it does take more energy and I am experiencing some pregnancy symptoms that cannot be called pleasant, but are all manageable. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and feel like I am falling apart, but in the grand scheme of things I am fine. I have enjoyed the journey through pregnancy thus far, and even though some things I did not imagine to be like they are (e.g. the books didn’t tell me about THAT!), it does not necessarily mean they have been bad, au contraire, just different.

My mind is constantly blown away by the miracle of pregnancy. I still cannot fathom that I am making a person inside me and carrying him around, despite his constant reminders when he stretches his little legs into my ribs 😉 Baby could come now in the next 3 – 8 weeks (which is between 37 and 42 weeks pregnant). My midwife said the statistic for first pregnancies is to go 8 days after your 40 week due date. I was born a couple days after my due date, and my husband was born a day after his. We both weighed in the 7 lbs range.

I often get my husband to put his hands on my belly to feel baby move. Baby is most active after dinner and when I am going to bed at night, particularly when my husband reads to us before bed. Often my husband will say “wowwooo!” to some of baby’s movements, because they are so large or so strong. Space is getting tighter as baby grows, so I feel less wind up kicks of punches, mostly legs stretching or hiccups. Hiccups are so funny, because baby will start hiccuping and I feel a very rhythmic knocking, then a couple minutes into it he starts to move (my guess is he is annoyed that he is still hiccuping so much and is moving around out of irritation), very cute. I feel bad for baby sometimes because they can be quite persistent for a while. Typically they happen after I’ve had something to eat or drink (which I’ve read is common).

I have baby and pregnancy on my brain. I am looking forward to having some time at home before the baby so I can focus on them and also get some more rest and perhaps even relax 😉