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Sunday, January 27, 2013

39 Weeks Pregnant - Membrane Sweep

So here we are at 39 weeks and 3 days, that is 4 days from my estimated due date of February 1, 2013. Here is an update from my last check up:

Measuring Small
Again I measured small per the midwife, and I thought perhaps this is an indication that baby will come later, but as I've read and asked around, small babies can come early too.

2 CM Dilated
I am currently 2cm dilated! Yeah as this is progress, but I could remain 2 cm dilated for weeks. It really depends on when baby is ready at which that time, I'm sure I'll jump from 2 to 4 in no time. (second births I hear are alot faster).  I was then offered a membrane sweep and I said yes, the light version if possible?

What is a Membrane Sweep?

"Membrane sweep", also known as membrane stripping, or "stretch and sweep" in Australia and the UK - during an internal examination, the midwife moves her finger around the cervix to stimulate and/or separate the membranes around the baby from the cervix. This causes a release of prostaglandins which can help to kick-start labor.

The "sweep" was done at 12pm, Jan 25th (48 hours ago).  It was uncomfortable and I had some spotting immediately afterwards.  At about 5pm that same day, it seemed that I lost part of or entire mucus plug, so I thought I was going into labor very soon.  We immediately packed the car and made sure we were ready to boot it to the hospital if anything happened.  Since then, nothing has happened and I'm back to waiting.  She will come when she is ready.

Meeting our Douala - Forming a Birth Plan

The very next morning I met the same Douala that helped us with Lucas's delivery. She asked me about whether I had formed a birth plan or how I would envision our second birth?  If I wrote a birth plan, it would be this and I'd slap it down on the admitting table before I give them my name:

She tried to introduce other methods of pain reduction, but honestly from what I remember last time, NOTHING worked for me except for the epidural. The gas mask sucked, because I could barely breath, I didn't want to be touched what so ever by anyone because I was in so much pain, so could not really enjoy or be alleviated by any massage techniques, and finally, my mind was so terrified of the next contraction, that I couldn't visualize jack or come up with any affirming thoughts. 
If I were to describe what labor pains feel like it would be this:
Imagine, someone slowly inserting a 12" knife into your stomach and as the pain increases to a point where you think you can't take it any more, the person wrenches the knife causing unspeakable pain and then slowly pulls the knife back out. I didn't know when the next one would be as I had taken the verbena oil conjunction to induce labor for Lucas's birth and it sure worked. Check out my previous blog for more details on this.  Anyhoo, I don't mean to scare any first time moms but that is my truth. The good news is did I live? Would I do it all over again?  YES YES YES!!! Having a baby is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I have the privilege to birth another gift!

Thanks for Reading!

Friday, January 18, 2013

38 Weeks Pregnant and WAITING!!!

 The count down begins and as I'm closer to the birth of my second child, I am experiencing all but familiar behaviours as I did with Lucas such as:

Insomnia - Mid Night Awakenings
As if my body is training for the round the clock feeds, I wake up in the middle of the night (such as now) and simply can't sleep.  A portion is probably due to maternal instinct and preparation and the other portion, simply anxiety. 

Just the other day I went to London Drugs to buy storage boxes. I wasn't quite sure what I was going to store in the 10 boxes I bought!!! LOL!!! As I checked out, the lady behind me said "Looks like Mama bear is Nesting!"  and like that it all of a sudden made sense - Yes I AM Nesting! I want to get my home clean and organized for our new arrival! 

Adding to the Labor Bag
I prepared for Lucas's (my first son) labor bag much more in advance.  I suppose with this one I know now what the hospital provides and what is NOT necessary - such as packing a YOGA BALL!  You should have seen what I had packed for Lucas's birth. It was insane.  This time round, I have just what I need and am still adding to it as things come up.

  • Clothes and blanky for our new born girl
  • Nightgown and slippers for me
  • Juice boxes for energy and thirst
  • Car seat
  • Outdoor suit for our little girl
  • NB diapers and baby wipes (hospital will provide as well)
  • Reminder to grab phone charger, purse, and toiletry

I've been measuring small every visit for example, my last doctors visit was at 37 weeks and I should be at 37cm from pelvic bone to top of the uterus; however, I'm at 35 weeks. I went in for an ultrasound and the technician had to measure 7 times around the baby's belly until she was confident that she's ok! So a part of me is wondering if she will be healthy! Did I not eat, sleep or rest enough?

Also I'm still waiting for maternity benefits after 1 month from applying to service canada. I certainly hope I don't have to go through maternity leave without pay again! But if I did it once, I can do it again. Just frustrating as I've been paying EI since I was 13 and have well contributed into our system.

Finally I'm anxious about the delivery. Will I be stuck in traffic? Will I have time to drop off Lucas first? As some of you know I've moved away further from Vancouver, so the distance from BC Women's Hospital worries me as I"m absolutely NOT the home birth type of gal. I NEED THE EPIDURAL!

Last but not least, I received our first gas bill from Fortis BC and its $540! We just moved in for 26 days! This is insane and if it is what it is I'm afraid we can't afford this.

Body Aches and Pains
Well my upper back is killing me along with annoying lower back pain and swollen feet. I went for a prenatal massage just the other day and it was GREAT! However, the relief didn't last long. The pelvis pains as I've read seem to be common as the baby drops lower into the pelvic bone. As for the RA flares, it hasn't been that bad (except for occasional shoulders and odd finger), so I've steered clear of taking my usual Enbrel shots this time.  Overall these bodily unconforts will end soon and I know I will be overwhelmed with Love for my new baby and family that I won't even notice it.

Well thanks for joining me with this rant! I'm sure I'm not the only 38 week preggo lady waiting .....