So last week I got sick. I have managed to not get sick my entire pregnancy and I was really thrilled this happened at one of the most uncomfortable points of gestation. Because I managed to not get a cold or anything easy, but I apparently had a virus or food poisoning of some sort. And whatever this was that I had seemed hellbent on exiting through my ass alone. After enduring 24 hours of nausea and digestive assault, I called the doctor’s office and they instructed me to take Imodium and to stay hydrated. I HATE Imodium. While it stops the diarrhea, I still have the nausea (took Zofran for that), abdominal cramping and the sensation of needing to go. But my behind needed a break so I took the drug. It provided some relief but things started right back over the weekend. I was miserable. I was pretty sure I was on my way to being dehydrated because I kept having contractions, some of which were coming pretty strong, long and at regular intervals. Baby seemed fine and active as ever, so I wasn’t too concerned.
We went to the doctor yesterday morning. I had not had a great day on Tuesday because I was still feeling really sick. I was also very aggravated because I not only emailed the office, but I had called them as well to let them know I was still sick. No one got in touch with me at all on Tuesday. And this is not the first time that’s happened. Don’t get me wrong–the people at the office itself are great but the messaging system is where the problems start. Every time I get pissed off about them not returning my calls and complain to them about it, they seem to share in my frustration. The midwife yesterday told us they are pushing for a dedicated line so things like this will stop happening. Yet again, this backs up my belief that I should be allowed to just go off into the woods and have my baby alone when the time comes. Anyway, she said my stomach is probably just all messed up from having a virus, not to mention that it is fairly common for some women to experience diarrhea as they near their due date.
As for the rest of the visit, I had lost between 4 and 5 pounds since last week, likely due to my poop party. My blood pressure was 118/70 and the baby’s heartbeat was 125 bpm. She felt on my belly, which must be stretched to its limit at this point because she asked if I was having a contraction at that moment because it was so tight. I was not.
After my visit, I went to the chiropractor to get adjusted and felt great afterward. I was feeling so good, in fact, I got cocky and tempted the stomach gods by going to IHOP with my mother-in-law for an early lunch (breakfast for lunch, actually). Last night, I pushed a little too far and had dinner at Superior. By 10 p.m., my stomach was not pleased with me and I’m pretty much back to Diarrhea Town, USA, population 1. Looks like bananas and yogurt for me for a while.
It’s really hard to believe I’ll be 37 weeks on Saturday! It’s so exciting to know the baby will be full-term at that point.
At my visit yesterday, the baby’s heartbeat was 140 bpm and my blood pressure was 125/80, so things are looking good. Baby’s head is still down. As I did last week, I declined a cervical dilation check. This midwife (also the same one I saw last week) told me they have to ask but that she really doesn’t like poking around in people’s vaginas unless she has a good reason, which I think is a solid attitude for anyone to have really, whether they are in the medical profession or not.
We discussed the positive GBS test and she is on the same page as me with the way I feel about it. She did tell me that I’m the patient and the mom, so it’s ultimately my decision. Even if they retested me in a couple of weeks and I tested negative, they would still recommend the antibiotics because it is just their policy if someone tests positive in the last month or so. After hearing everything she had to say, I’ve decided to just go ahead and have them because she indicated I would catch a lot of shit for not having them after testing positive, and it’s possible it could delay us taking home the baby because the pediatrician, etc., would be extra cautious and want to probably do unnecessary blood tests on the baby and whatnot. I’ve kind of learned a lot of having a baby is picking your battles and this one just isn’t important enough to me. Even though I know the chances are super slim that the GBS could affect the baby, what if it did? Well, I would never forgive myself!
So now I wait for the baby to decide to come out. I am so uncomfortable and so ready.
I tested positive for GBS, which I was expecting since it is pretty common. I really don’t want to have antibiotics during labor. I think I am going to ask them to retest me in a couple of weeks or see if it’s possible for them to do a rapid strep test at the time of labor.
I can’t believe I will be 36 weeks tomorrow! It’s crazy. I am so ready to just get all this over with and meet our baby. Still lots to do, though. We moved into the new house last weekend and things are still all over the place. Mainly I have a lot of organizing (my least favorite thing) to do. And David is going to put the second coat of paint on the nursery this weekend. We will definitely be cutting things close but that’s okay. We have lots of help and I have no doubt everything will get done.
I feel really good today. I had a deep-tissue massage/acupuncture session earlier and that always makes me feel rejuvenated and happy. I’m looking forward to my third, and final, baby shower tomorrow. It’s a coed shower with a bunch of old friends so it should be a great time. Tomorrow is also one of our last “classroom” days. We have a baby basics class given by our doula group. I am guessing they teach you how to basically not f up the baby, which is always helpful information to have. Next week we’ll be going to our last class, which is infant CPR. We’re taking that at the General. As you can see, David and I are committed to keeping the baby alive and well once it is in our possession.
That’s about it for now. My next appointment is Wednesday so I should have an update then.
I’m sure I can just go ahead and expect the opposite of every single thing I “plan” for…
|Mother-to-be: Emily Goodin||Partner: David Castille|
|Support Person(s): Our doula/s: Rene’ Johnson and/or other Birth Help doulas||Due Date: March 12|
|Practitioner: Preferably Dana Brewer but understand if another Ochsner midwife has to attend the birth due to call schedule||Place of Birth:
Ochsner Family Birthing Center
This birth plan is intended to express the preference and desires we have for the natural, drug-free birth of our baby. It is not intended to be a script. We fully realize that situations may arise that will not allow this birth plan to be followed; however, we hope that barring any extenuating circumstances, you will respect this plan and be able to keep us informed and aware of our options. Thank you.
First Stage (Labor):
- No induction of labor or rupturing or stripping of membranes.
- No unnecessary or excessive vaginal exams.
- Dim lights.
- Maintain mobility (walking, rocking, up to bathroom, etc.).
- Fluids (water, Gatorade, etc.) and light snacking (honey sticks, gummi bears, etc.) allowed if desired.
- Heparin lock (if absolutely required).
- Intermittent monitoring (ACOG Standards) with an external monitor.
- Please do not offer me pain medications; I will ask for them if I want them.
- Relaxation techniques (breathing, focusing, etc.).
- Positioning as desired.
- Water (shower or tub).
- Heat or cold packs.
- Please avoid referencing the time I have been in labor or speculating on how much longer it will be. I will get more discouraged if I concentrate on how long the process is taking.
Second Stage (Birth):
- Do not want to be told when it is time to push; would rather push when my body feels it is ready.
- Would like to attempt birthing in tub in position of my choosing but if this changes, please abide by the following:
- Please do not ask me if I want to see what’s happening in a mirror. I will not want to see!
- Please do not ask my husband if he wants to see the baby crowning, etc. I prefer him to be focused on my top half and not looking at my bottom.
- Choice of position and access to birth/squat bar, birthing stool, etc.
- I would like to avoid an episiotomy, but please use compresses, massage and positioning to avoid tears (both of my bottom and the crying kind).
- Local anesthesia, if necessary for any required post-birth repair. Again, am hoping for minimal destruction of my bottom.
- Would like baby placed on chest immediately after birth.
- Please do not separate my baby from me until I indicate I am ready.
- Please collect cord blood for public banking.
- It is fine for staff to bathe baby.
- Breastfeeding only; no formula or pacifiers.
- My husband will cut the umbilical cord if this doesn’t present any problems.
Circumcision (if applicable):
- We would prefer our son be circumcised in the hospital.
- Father present (if possible)
- Use anesthesia
Cesarean Birth (if medically necessary):
- Spinal/epidural anesthesia
- Partner present
- Free one hand to touch the baby
- Breastfeeding in recovery room
Sick Baby (if applicable):
- Breastfeeding as soon as possible
- Unlimited visitation for parents
- Handling the baby (kangaroo care, holding, care of, etc.)
- If the baby is transported to another facility, move us as soon as possible
So I thought the hemorrhoids were bad, but they really weren’t. In fact, I haven’t really had any problems with them after that one time I posted about them. I’ve had hemorrhoids more times non-pregnant than I have pregnant, actually! So other than getting fatter, growing more chins to support my greasy face, experiencing bad bouts of heartburn and the uncomfortable nights of sleeplessness, things have been going okay. As far as aesthetic “extras,” hell, my belly button hasn’t even popped out (yet? I’ve read it can happen late, when you least expect it) and I didn’t get the linea nigra (yet? again, read that can happen at the very, very end). And so far, I’ve had zero swelling. So I was feeling okay about things, at least the best I could.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had my vanity meltdowns here and there (like hemorrhoids, though, I had such meltdowns pre-pregnancy). I am going to have a ton of weight to lose because I had gotten very fat during the year leading up to my pregnancy, so that’s daunting. I’ve tried to make myself feel better about that by sort of planning my postpartum regimen of diet, exercise, etc. I also try to quiet my inner critic by looking at local plastic surgeons’ handiwork online so I know my options. Despite trying to remain positive and telling myself it will all be worth it, I have definitely shed some tears lately over looking like some National Geographic pictorial. Poor David soldiers on, telling me I’m beautiful, etc., but I don’t believe him because he has to say those things.
I felt a bit better yesterday until I saw something in the mirror that made my heart stop: little stretch marks on the underside of my belly. Oh, I had been so smug all these months–no stretch marks, la la la. WRONG. Here they were, creeping up on me in my 35th week. They are faint, but they are there. They kind of look like a kindly badger put his paws on me for a bit too long. So at least they aren’t full-on Freddy Krueger-esque marks of shame. But still, I’m having a hard time accepting these physical changes (don’t even get me started on how terrified I am about what birth is going to do to my bottom) and basically want to cover every mirror in the house and sit shiva for my beauty and youth.
Last night, as my sweet husband rubbed lotion on my hideous new stretch marks, I cried and told him he better not ever leave me because clearly I would never be able to get a date, considering the aesthetic disrepair I am facing. And then David–mean, mean David–decided to play dirty. After days of listening to me bitch and moan about my looks, he knew there was only one way to really shut me down. He hugged me and calmly told me he knew all this physical change was hard but most everything could be fixed after I have the baby. He said, “Imagine how I felt–my looks changed in one day and I could never change them back.” Jackass. He rarely plays the brain tumor card but he knows he will always win with it.
For my last two appointments, I saw two different midwives I had never met and I loved both of them. Also found out that one I didn’t care for no longer works there and another one I had grown disenchanted with was going back to just being a regular nurse. So chances are good one of the midwives I really like will end up delivering the baby. I am meeting another new one next week so I hope this trend of being really impressed with them keeps up.
For my 33 weeks appointment, I had printed out my birth plan to bring for them to sign off on and put in my file. I typed it up the day before and e-mailed it to David for him to print and he actually added a couple of things to it, which I thought was really sweet. He wanted to make sure he got to cut the cord and also that no one reminded me of time/milestones during labor (such as centimeters dilated, amount of time I’ve been pushing, etc.) because he knows I find being aware of stuff like that very stressful, and it is more likely to stall my labor than motivate me in any way. Anyway, the midwife discussed my plan with me and then proceeded to check on the baby’s position. Head down! Yay, baby!
After that appointment, we headed over to the birthing center for a tour. It was very nice! The girl who was showing us everything apologized because they were having a very busy morning, but I saw no evidence of stress and/or chaos, which I liked. Everyone seemed very calm, quiet and friendly. The labor rooms are huge and there are televisions mounted on the walls above the huge birthing tubs. Hopefully I will go into labor during a good show! All in all, I was very impressed and happy with what I saw.
This morning was my ninth doctor’s appointment. As of today, since my very first PL appointment back in July, I have gained 26 pounds. The midwife seemed very pleased with this progress although it makes me want to throw things. My blood pressure was 110/60 and the baby’s heartbeat was 154. Baby is still super active. And still head-down! I had my Group B strep test done today. I have been furiously ingesting extra vitamin C and probiotics (ones specifically for my downtown areas) so I will hopefully not have GBS and can avoid having antibiotics during labor. But most people test positive for it, so I’m not holding my breath. Even if someone has it and isn’t treated with antibiotics, the chances of it affecting the baby are very slim. But I’m not going to get started on that. Anyway, I’ll find out the results next week.
The midwife thinks the baby probably weighs around 6 to 6.5 pounds right now. Crazy, huh? She thinks he/she will probably be around 7.5 to 8 pounds by the time I deliver. We’ll see how right she is soon! She said there was definitely no more room in my short torso. Hopefully the baby gets the memo and will not become enormous.
So that’s that. I am so ready for this baby to be here! I’ve been having lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions and horrible heartburn, not to mention I’ve been peeing like crazy–five more weeks of this is going to be torture. I have to go to the doctor every week from now until I deliver. I made four more doctor’s appointments today and I’m really hoping I don’t end up having to go to all of them!