Wednesday, May 26, 2010

36 Weeks

NINE months today!!! That means only 4 weeks or 28 days to go, maybe even less if I go early... holy smokes! Hmmm, maybe I should consider packing a hospital bag in the near future. So much to do, so little time.

I had an OB appt at 35w1d. I had my first internal check and the cervix is showing no signs of dilation. I asked if the baby was head down or breech. She guessed head down, but wasn't 100% sure, so she got out the portable u/s. It had been so long since I've seen my little guy. I didn't get any photos as this is a low tech machine and is very grainy, but it was good to see him nonetheless. He is head down and was sucking on his fingers. She asked if I was nervous about delivery and I said no, bring it on, I've been waiting for this for years. I gave her a summary of what it took to get here (this was not my regular OB, but her partner) and she said she could relate somewhat. She had gone through 4 failed adoptions and spent $45k to get her little guy. She made a comment that she hates it when women dealing with infertility say "oh, I'll just adopt" like it's just a simple solution. I told her I could relate with how many times people have said to me "why don't you just adopt?". People think it's such an easy alternate road, but from my experience, infertility rarely takes you down easy street no matter which path you take.

We interviewed a doula and hired her. After hearing our concerns and stating what type of birth we would like to strive for, she shared some eye opening advice with us. Basically in a nutshell, it would not be easy to get the birth experience we want at our current hospital. Don't get me wrong, the hospital is wonderful and would take great care of us, it's just that their philosophy on birth is day and night different from ours. They are more geared towards the patient that wants to go with the flow, wants an epidural and doesn't mind interventions. There's just too many policies that we disagree with that we would be required to follow and fighting them is just not something I want to have to deal with in the middle of labor.

So our doula asked if we would consider switching to a midwife group as they treat labor/delivery as a natural process instead of a medical procedure and they are all about giving you the birth plan you desire, unless medically indicated otherwise. This sounded really nice after my OB showed no interest when I asked about giving her my birth plan. She instead handed me her practice's birth plan that says "Your birth plan is simple, you are under the care of your OB." and then it lists all their policies. Not once was I ever asked what type of birth I would like, just told to look over her birth plan and if I had any major issues with it, to talk to her and we could maybe negotiate. Again, don't get me wrong, my OB is wonderful, I've been with her for 10+ years and she has bent over backwards for me during my struggle with infertility. But the bottom line is that our philosophies on birth are way different and we need to do what's best for us, so it's nothing personal against her.

Kerry and I have made the decision to move to the midwife group. This is actually something we've been wanting to do for awhile but I guess we needed a little extra push. That push came easily after hearing some scary testimonies from our doula, like one of the OBs pushing the patient for an unnecessary c-section so she could get home, and in the end, the patient delivered vaginally successfully, just needed a little more time.

Yes I know, birth plans rarely play out exactly as we would like them to, but that isn't going to stop us from doing everything we can to increase our odds of getting the birth we desire. I wouldn't even be pg if it wasn't for this kind of determination. If I haven't mentioned it, our plan is to go completely natural. I've had enough intervention getting pg and staying pg, I just want to have something in this journey be natural. I'm not naive to think that this is an easy route, it will require an incredible amount of support, which is why I hired a doula and midwife and have been reading up. The cool thing about the midwife group we are switching to is that it's in a very high tech hospital, so if anything should go wrong or we change our minds on going completely natural, we're right there to make the switch.

I made the dreaded call to my OB to let them know that I was switching. It was a very difficult call. I was peppered with lots of questions and they really wanted me to come in so they could talk to me about it all. I even cried at the end of the call because I didn't want them to take it personal especially after all we've been through together. It's done, I have my records in hand. I still feel horrible about switching on them. I'll get over it.

Our first midwife appt is on June 1. Nothing like spicing things up at the last minute!

Here's a funny on Kerry at our doula interview. I told him in advance that he was not allowed to make me laugh during this interview because I would start coughing uncontrollably. Well wishful thinking on that! We were talking about episiotomy vs tearing and the doula highly recommended to get going on doing perineum massage every night. If you don't know what this is, it's where your husband massages/stretches the perineum at the vaginal opening to prepare the area for birth. Studies show this significantly reduces your risk of tearing or needing an episiotomy. The doula described the process to us, inserting 2 thumbs, pulling out and down until it stings and then doing a U-shaped massage to stretch the area. While Kerry is overly accommodating in helping me out here, I'm not so sure I'm quite as enthused. The doula told Kerry he could use olive or grapeseed oil. Kerry proceeds to motion 2 fingers in a U-shape at sonic speed and says, grapeseed has a higher smoke point! I about lost it and then couldn't stop coughing for the life of me. If you don't know what a smoke point is, it's how hot oil can get before it begins to break down.

We attended a breastfeeding class. Very informative and highly recommended. We interviewed a pediatrician and hired him on the spot as we share the same philosophy on vaccinations and that is to only give ones that are truly necessary and to space them out as to not overload the small infant's body. So we are making progress.

We had a lovely 3rd baby shower hosted by the best MIL ever. We didn't manage to get very many photos, but here's a few:

#7 cupcakes:

A #7 cross-stitch made by my SIL and niece:

A giraffe boppy:

A giraffe lamp:

A giraffe paci:

A stuffed giraffe noise soother:

Cute car graffiti courtesy of my step-son:

This week's belly:

Everything is going pretty well except for some swelling.  I start the morning off with normal size legs and feet:

And by the end of the day I have elephant stumps, doubled in size from hip to toe and even have fat rolls around my ankles, or what used to be ankles:

It's kinda funny, I can press a finger into my foot and this huge indent will stay there for several minutes.  My mom says I have memory foam skin, lol!  The fluid retention is ridiculous and it's showing on the scale.  I'm up FIVE pounds in one week!!!

Nursery update... we have finished the stripes!!!!  Well we have a little touch-up painting to do, but that's minor.  It looks better in real life than these pics.  Next up is chair rail moulding and painting trim.  Oh I can't wait to actually put the nursery together!

Lastly, I'll leave you with the tip of the week...  NEVER send a starving pregnant woman grocery shopping!!!

And no, this is not why I put on 5 lbs in 1 week, these are still sitting in the freezer.  ;-)


  1. I'm so happy to hear about your Doula,Jill, it is great that you are striving for the birth that you want.
    It took me four practice runs to realise what I really wanted! Charlie's birth was the best because I stayed away from pain relief and my body did a wonderful job providing me with the endorphins I needed.That's not to say it was painless, but it really was lovely to be so alert and relaxed and I love that Charlie didn't have to deal with drug after effects.

    But, if you do have to go another way, don't be too hard on yourself, just so long as you and Seven come home safe and well.

    I'm so excited for you.Can't wait to meet your little one!

  2. won't be long now until we see that birth story on here!

    Glad things are going smoothly and that you have some "plans" in place!

    Woah on those feet/legs...I can relate....mine still do that in hot weather after I've been on my feet all day even though I'm NOT pregnant.

    How's the sleep going? I remember having horrible insomnia (worse than my normal) my last few weeks of pregancy!

  3. I am so glad you were able to switch. I think you will have a much more relaxed birth experience now. Yipee on the stripes!!! :0) I can't wait to see it all put together! I love the grocery shopping. That is what it looks like every time I send TJ to the store alone. LOL! And he doesn't have a pregnancy excuse. ;0P It won't be long and we'll be kissing tiny cheeks and tickling tiny toes!!! :0D

  4. Lovely cankles, dear!

    Glad you switched and I so hope you get exactly the birth you have desired.

    And um yeah, adoption ain't easy--glad the doctor had an appreciation of the struggles of infertility!

  5. I've still got fluid retention two months later. Must start wearing my compression stockings or putting my feet up more.
    Looks like a gréat shower. Any glad you switched from you ob - now you've fot a fighting chance at the birth you want.

  6. Jill - Congrats on finding the doula and following your instincts to do things your way. You've made lots of difficult decisions already and I'm sure this won't be your last. Seven is so lucky to have such caring parents!

    Great job on the stripes. The nursery looks terrific!

    Enjoy these last few weeks!

  7. the leg shots are hilarious! i thought that was very creative for you to document. i can't believe he will be here soon!

  8. Hoping everything goes excellent, and that you get the nice birth you so well deserve. Love the giraffe- and seven stuffs, and nearly choked when reading the grape seed story :)

  9. Ummmm, I think those are called cankles:):) I had them too and by the end of the pregnancy they were there permanently:)

    Love your weekly posts and I am getting SOOOO excited for you!

  10. It is just amazing to think that you will have this little guy in your arms in a few short weeks! Everyone is right-- it goes sooooo fast!!!

    Congrats on finding the right doula to help you through this process. I'm glad to know that you have such wonderful support-- yet still have a fall back plan, just in case you or lil' guy needs help. Praying that all will go perfectly and smoothly for you!!

    So, now the showers are over, your nursery is almost complete and you can start putting away all of the items you've received! How exciting! I LOVE the giraffe boppy... gonna have to get me one of those for sure. :0)

    Kerry... that man has quite the sense of humor. I am lol as I think about his comments. What a hoot!! I sure hope he's able to keep his composure during the birth, or you may laugh that kid out of you!!

    Belly looks great, but your poor feet!!! Yes, my dear, those are cankles... :0( At least you don't have to go through the ENTIRE summer with that!!! But hey, I'm not complaining. *wink*

    I splurged at the grocery store this week, too-- got some cinnamon toasters strudels... Mmmmmm..... wish I had one right now....

    So excited for you girlie!!! You're almost there!

    Love ya,
    The Other Jill

  11. You will be the same way with food when you are breastfeeding (I am worse! I am hungry ALL THE TIME). Anyway, you look GREAT. I am so glad you are going with a midwife group and that the group is inside of a good hospital. That would make me feel safe. I definitely don't regret my birth experience but I picked the hospital that is really into water births and letting you go natural...but I will say that after everything we went through (I tried so hard to go natural and wait for her to come on her own), go with your heart. I started panicking after 41 weeks and I am so glad that I let them induce me. It was long and hard but there really already was meconium in the amniotic fluid, which scared me to death. So, go with your heart and do what is best for both of you!

    I am really so glad you left that practice. I was telling my DH about what you learned about your hospital and he was even shocked!

  12. So happy you are getting everything geared up! You look fabulous!

  13. OMG - the cankles! That is some serious swell you got working! All for a good cause though.

    Mmmmm, that Chubby Hubby looks might good right now. Might have to get me some of that. :)

  14. Just wanted you to know that I'm still stalking you! I can't believe how far along you are! It won't be long now!!

    Big hugs,

  15. Had such a great tme with you guys last weekend. Glad you were able to make all the doc and hospital changes and I know it feels better to have all these in place now. And yes, a hospital bag is always a good thing to have ready at this time, one for you and one for Kerry:) Won't be long now, still betting on Father's Day.

    Love ya


  16. I'm so proud of you for sticking up for yourselves and choosing the option that best fits your needs and wants. I can't believe your OB's response to your birth plan!!! I think you definitely have the best of both worlds in that you can have a natural delivery but the high tech stuff is right there if you need it. I think that perineum massage is a great idea b/c my little ones at 4lbs 7oz and 4lbs 14oz wouldn't come out vaginally without help (vacuum) and I firmly believe that I had to get an episiotomy because it wouldn't stretch and get big enough to allow their heads through. Kerry is very funny though - higher smoke point indeed!! You two and your senses of humour are going to make awesome parents!

  17. Great post! I think you totally made the right decision about the midwives, though I'm sure it's hard to switch at this time. But I think, as hard as it was for you to tell them, that it's a message your OBs and their hospital need to hear! I mean, they think it's ok to hand you a sheet that says, "this is your birth plan"? No. I'm also glad to hear that your midwives deliver at a hospital. That's our situation, too, and I just love the combination of natural childbirth with serious emergency backup right there.

    The grapeseed oil smoke point comment cracked me up! I read it out loud to Randy, who also cooks and knows about smoke points. He cracked up, too. We need to get going on the perineum massage as well!

    Jill N

  18. Sounds like you are getting all your ducks in a row for the big event! Wish I had known about perineum massage before I had Nolan!! We cannot believe you are so close to ending this chapter and beginning the next! We cannot tell you how excited we are to share it all with you!
    Love, Mom2 & Dad

  19. I can *not* believe you are so close! WoW!

    (I think the nursery looks great so far. I've been working on ours every free minute I have for the last few weeks and progress is going sooooo slow!)


Thank you for your comment! Hugs, Kerry and Jill