Today is our due date. Hooray!
I can still recall the second I found out I was pregnant - 6am on Friday, September 26, 2014. I came out of the bathroom, and simply said, "Tim?" And he woke immediately with "Really?!"
I'm incredibly grateful and blessed that we've reached 40 weeks without any real complications. Of course there are sick days and tired days and uncomfortable days and worry-filled days. But we've been able to enjoy these last 9 (really 10) months, eagerly anticipating that which we cannot anticipate.
That being said - I really thought this was going to happen last week. I'd been having intense Braxton Hicks contractions that kept me up from 2a-6a most mornings, and then subsided when I got up. This trend is still happening. At this point, I feel like it's no longer going to happen and that I will be pregnant forever - this is just how life will be!
So I will continue to eat pineapple, walk several miles a day, and drink my raspberry leaf tea until she decides to make her arrival.
Looking back on this journey - I have one sticking point that a) surprised/blindsided me and b) I became passionate about. It's a very personal topic, though, and therefore, controversial. So I want to start by saying that birth & labor is incredibly personal and unique - and every single woman has a different experience, and I respect that. But, I wish that I had been more educated about actual labor & birth options earlier on in my pregnancy, so I wanted to share my thoughts in the hopes that it will help someone else in the future.
We're taught that when you get pregnant, you get an OB. You give birth in a hospital. You have a 33%
chance that you'll have a c-section. It's just the way it is. Our culture around childbirth trends negative - think about movies, media, and if you're pregnant, you know that people will immediately tell you the absolute worst horror story they know about some birth of a friend of a cousin's niece (why?!)
In reality, there are so many more options - midwives, doulas, home births, family doctors, birth centers. Birth can be an incredible experience - a positive, life changing moment. I discovered these options at 34 weeks pregnant and had a change of perspective. We made some tough decisions and decided to go with my gut. We changed doctors and hired a doula with the goal of delivering naturally with an unmedicated birth.
I'll be the first to admit this isn't for everyone - it's amazing that we have incredible OBs that can deliver healthy babies in high risk pregnancies or when things go wrong. Modern medicine is amazing - but medical intervention in low risk, healthy pregnancies can have a negative effect, too.
I'm not against pain interventions or inducing - I'm against those medical interventions being done by hospitals and doctors for convenience when they've proven to have negative effects on the actual labor.
I've made my decision based on all the research that I've done (which is a lot). I think the unmedicated birth is the best course of action for the labor that I want. But again, it's an incredibly personal experience, and all I wish is that people know their options before going in - something I didn't discover until late in the game.
I feel lucky that my doula and doctor - and husband for that matter - are on board with my wishes. I'm also grateful that medical help is available to me if necessary. And yes, I'm open minded about being in the moment, and needing medical intervention if an emergency presents itself. But, again, the education up front and knowing my options is really what was important to me.
Some resources that helped me:
- Ina May's Guide to Natural Childbirth (Amazon link)
- The Business of Being Born Documentary (Amazon link)
- My doula - you can find one in your area here
And now, I'm stepping down from my soapbox :)
Here's the 40 week update!
Baby's size? a jackfruit or small pumpkin: 7.5 pounds and 20 inches!
Weight gain? 30 lbs
Belly button in or out? Neither - it's still flat!
Wedding rings on or off? Sometimes on and sometimes off - if it's a humid day, they are just uncomfortable.
Sleep? Not so great. Braxton Hicks contractions keep me up, and flipping from side to side is quite the event. The wonderful protective plastic sheet under my side of the bed also makes for a very hot sleep.
Best moment of the week? I've had several - and it all includes spending time with friends and family. My mum has come to hang out, my dad rode over on the bike for lunch, spent time with friends over pizza, had a pedicure with another friend, and then meeting several friends and their little ones for lunch and walks.
Miss anything? Looking forward to getting my body back to myself.
Looking forward to? Finally meeting her! And announcing her name.
Movement? Not as much as before, but still kicking me out my right side.
Food cravings? Nothing much - I've been eating 6 dates a day because of this study.
Anything making you sick or queasy? Nope!
Exercise? I've been going to yoga twice a week (it's getting harder each time) and walking a ton - yesterday I clocked over 16,000 steps and over 6 miles on my fitbit.
Symptoms? I have this huge belly that's holding a 7.5 pound tiny human.
Labor signs? Lots of Braxton Hicks - you can see them distort my belly! And achy, restless leg pain.
Hopefully next post will be about little Johnson's arrival. Thanks for all the well wishes!
And for a look back....here's a fun video I made with the app cinemama: 0 to 40 weeks in 30 seconds!