Posts tagged Pregnancy

24 Hours Old

Baby Reid Cameron Hanson was born just over 24 hours ago. He weighed 7 pounds exactly (after a big poo) and was 21 inches long. He’s quite skinny! Most of the newborns in my life up to now have been at least 8 pounds–including Daniel. It’s surprising how much of a difference one pound makes.

Reid’s head was smaller than Daniel’s, too. I don’t remember the exact measurements, but I’ll ask Margo when she comes to check on me tomorrow.

The night before Reid was born, my waves started getting stronger and more regular when I listened to one of the Hypnobabies scripts. I had set up a pillow nest in such a way that I could lay face down–my belly in a pit. I think it was the combination of being relaxed from the hypnosis and that position that jump-started things. The waves were about 10-15 minutes apart and I timed them for about an hour. It was after midnight and I was pretty sure I could sleep.

Though I woke up a few times to a strong wave and to go to the bathroom, there was no indication that “this was it”. But when I woke up in the morning around 7:30, the waves were still strong and continued to be about 10 minutes apart. They fluctuated from 15 minutes to 7 minutes apart all day and continued to get stronger and occasionally longer. I still wasn’t sure I had officially entered my birthing time because they weren’t regulating themselves and I’d heard that second babies can produce several false starts.

Sue came over and picked up Daniel so I could relax, just in case. I ate lightly all day, as well, just to be on the safe side. I had several soft BMs which did give me some indication that this was really it. After lunch, I took a little walk to the Paseo and actually ducked into some of the shops–not something I ever get to do with Daniel in tow. By the time I got back, I lost my mucous plug and was by then pretty confident that I would meet baby that day.

By the time I did my second Hibiclens rinse around 3, I gave myself an internal exam and discovered the bag of water was bulging and I was dilated to 5 or 6. I wasn’t really sure, since I didn’t have a lot of experience with measuring cervices.

I sent text messages to all my support people updating them with the news and Dan and I decided to head over to his parents’ house before things got too intense. I really didn’t like the car ride when I was birthing Daniel and wanted to avoid that.

When we got there, I sat on the birthing ball and waited for people to start showing up. By then, things had slowed down and I was only having waves every 15 minutes or so, though they were very strong by then. When Margo arrived around 6, she checked me and I was already at 7–even though things had never regulated or gotten closer together. Micaela was here by then, too, and I got in the tub and just chatted with her between waves. Except that the waves were strong and mostly in my back (and yes, they did hurt), in general, I was very comfortable and relaxed.

Besides practicing deep relaxation, I didn’t really use my Hypnobabies until the end. I probably should have tried using it sooner if I wanted more pain management, but I was really enjoying my very social birthing time and didn’t want to disrupt something that was so enjoyable.

My support people all ended up making it to the birth before I hit transition (something we were all worried wouldn’t happen due to Memorial Day traffic–they were coming from San Diego). At one point, I turned around in the tub so my back was facing everyone to allow someone to press on my back through my waves since all the pain was localized there. I was able to relax the pain away in my abdomen, but it was just too intense in my back for me to melt it away.

I decided I probably needed to use the Hypnobabies now, since there was not much socialization I could do at that point. Less than 30 minutes after putting my headphones in, I got an enormous wave that lasted for what seemed like an eternity. I was very vocal through that wave, and by the end of it, I was unintentionally pushing. Everyone knew exactly what that loud moan had meant, and I could tell there was a flurry of activity behind me. I pushed one more time in the tub and Margo felt to see if baby’s head was coming, and found baby ready to come out! My water burst on her finger and she told me if I didn’t want to have baby in the water, I needed to get out now because baby was coming out.

I remember saying that I didn’t care, but the water was too cool for him to be born in the water and the faucet wasn’t heating up fast enough. So I hobbled to the bed, and within 5 minutes, Reid was born! I really felt the ring of fire this time, which was not so pleasant, but I also felt baby’s head coming out bit by bit with every push, so I was very motivated to push through it. I could really feel my skin blipping over each of Reid’s features, his forehead, nose, chin–it was surreal. And then I felt his body slip out and I was so relieved. It was so different from Daniel’s birth where the episiotomy caused him to just blast right out of me.

I only tore a little bit with Reid, and although I’m sore today, it can’t even compare to how uncomfortable I was after Daniel.

Reid is nursing well, pooing a lot, and is so far an agreeable little guy. He does cry more than Daniel, but he’s fairly easy to sooth. I’m about to go to bed now. I’m hopeful for more than 4 hours of sleep tonight.

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39 Weeks, 4 Days Pregnant

I’ve been having pressure waves all morning. They started last night, actually, but after timing them for a while (they were 10-15 minutes apart, but very long–about 90 seconds each) I finally was able to relax enough to sleep. I woke up a few times in the night with strong waves, but that’s been happening for the last several nights, so it didn’t surprise me.

This morning, though, they’ve been about 8-10 minutes apart and strong for the last several hours. They fluctuate in intensity, duration and frequency, though. I do think baby will come today (or tomorrow), but it doesn’t feel like I’m really in my birthing time yet.

If it weren’t for all the people who have to be on alert, I probably wouldn’t even be timing my waves right now. But both my mom and Enrique are in San Diego and will need at least 2-3 hours warning to get up here. Micaela is a school teacher and would need to find a sub. Everyone else is pretty flexible.

Dan just left for work, and Daniel went to grandma’s house. Being home alone is nice–being home alone with no expectations or anything to do is even nicer. I kind of hope things stay slow and steady most of the day so I can take advantage of this last bit of solo time. A long slow dilation would be most comfortable, anyway.

I haven’t tried using my hypnosis yet. I do have to focus and relax through the waves–they do hurt a bit already. I may start trying out the hypnosis soon–maybe when they get a little closer together.

I ate a light breakfast (just yogurt). And I’m having some nuts and an apple now with a cup of tea. I ate too much when I was birthing Daniel and I ended up feeling very nauseous at the end. I’m going to take it easy on the food today, even though I’m feeling pretty hungry. I already told Dan I’ll probably ask him to bring me some soup from Corner Bakery for lunch.

Dan is stressed out already. He’s not good at this. That’s why I need my women around me when things start to get intense. He won’t be much of a comfort to me at that point. Before I married Dan, I imagined I’d birth my children right into the eager and waiting hands of my husband. But I’ve had to readjust my expectations, and thankfully, it didn’t take much effort. The idea of birthing being a genuinely female experience is so beautiful to me. I love the idea of having my closest women close to me while I bring this child into the world–I even prefer it to my original idea of birth. I’m sure Dan is grateful for that.

Depending on how things progress, I may be able post an update before baby comes. If not, I’ll see you on the other side.

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39 Weeks Pregnant

So I did some more research on GBS, and found out that I was wrong about the European protocol of using an antibacterial wash in labor. Perhaps this is standard in some European countries, but not across the board, as I was led to believe by some other blogs. In any case, I’m still going with that protocol–wherever it is standard. I did find out that in the UK, women are not even tested for GBS and their infant infection rate is nearly identical to ours in the US, even though here AT LEAST 30% of women receive intravenous antibiotics during labor.

Today was the day I predicted I would start my birthing time. So far, I’m still pregnant! I have had a few minor indications that birthing will begin sooner rather than later, but nothing really significant.

Yesterday and the evening before, I experienced some intense pelvic pain. I’ve had some pelvic pain that’s varied from discomfort to outright pain for the last couple of months, but yesterday it was the worst it’s been. When it has flared up in the past, it is usually due to my doing a lot of walking, and I believe that was the case this time, too. However, when I felt for baby’s position–which I always do when I wake up–I discovered his head was kind of sitting right on top of my pubic bone. I believe that was putting extra strain on my pubis symphysis (the cartilage that holds the two front halves of the pelvis together). I spent a lot of time with my rear in the air–to get some relief from the pressure. I was so afraid that baby would stay in that position until birth. Thankfully, he had settled into my pelvis by the time I went to bed last night. Today I was MUCH more comfortable.

Margo discovered that baby’s head is flexed (chin to chest) and nicely sitting in my pelvis now. A flexed head is ideal for birthing as it means the smallest part of the head is the presenting part. The only thing that concerns me about this is that it took a few minutes of feeling around to come to that conclusion because it seemed like his head was simultaneously in my pelvis and not in my pelvis–meaning he may have a large/round forehead. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but I’m imagining all kinds of strange head-shapes now. I kind of feel like Margo would have recognized his head position more easily if his head were shaped more normally.

With Daniel, the ultrasound technition made a comment about how big his feet were, and I worried that maybe he had abnormally sized feet. It turns out they were just fine. I’m sure this baby will be just fine, too.

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38 Weeks Pregnant

My due date is on a Monday, but I see my midwife on Saturdays. So I’ve been motivated to write just a couple days before I actually get to the next week marker. But it’s close enough, yeah?

Last night I started having some pressure waves that were about a minute long and about 8 minutes apart. They continued that way for a couple hours before I went to bed. Some of them were fairly strong. I didn’t have the “this is it” feeling, but I contacted all my labor support people just to be on the safe side. I had a few more during the night, but nothing regular or consistent. By this morning, they were back to just two or three an hour. I’m still hoping baby waits another week or so.

Margo commented today that baby’s head felt small. Hallelujah if that is true! Daniel’s head was NOT small. It was extremely big, actually. And it tore me up. I was not then and am not now very dutiful in my kegel routine, which is supposed to help to keep one from tearing… but I’m still hoping this little one lets me stay intact.

I tested positive for GBS at my last appointment. Standard protocol in the US is to give intraveinous antibiotics in labor every four hours for mothers who are GBS positive. I’ve declined that treatment. Instead, I’ll use the European protocol which is to wash with an antibacterial wash during labor. I’m also trying to reduce my colonization by taking a megadose of probiotics daily to try to heal my gut (where the GBS bacteria grow), and megadoses of vitamin C and echinacea to boost my immune system and response. I’ve also been using the sliced garlic clove suppositories vaginally. Since these measures take one to two weeks to be effective, I’m really hoping baby stays where he is for the next week. Margo retested me today, but the results probably won’t come back until Wednesday. All I’m hoping for is at least some reduction in the amount of GBS found. If I make it to the next appointment, maybe then I’ll hope that I was able to wipe it out completely.

Daniel has been sleeping the whole night in his own bed the last few nights. Usually he comes to our bed sometime in the night or early morning–which we are glad to let him continue doing if he wants to. But when he stays in his own bed, he doesn’t get woken up by our alarms, and usually sleeps for 30 minutes to an hour longer than he would in our bed. That gives me a peaceful morning. I was actually able to take a shower this morning AND shave my legs! What bliss! And I was able to get dressed, blow dry my hair and make breakfast–all before Daniel woke up. The solo time almost makes me want to wake up even earlier… I get some solo time at night, but I don’t feel like doing anything by then. In the AM is when I have the most energy to tidy up, cook, bake, pay bills, whatever.

I don’t really know what I’m saying. With the addition of little Reid, these blissful mornings will have to wait another couple years to resurface. I guess I should really take advantage and enjoy them while I can!

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37 Weeks Pregnant

I’m two days shy of 37 weeks!

I had my midwifery appointment today. As soon as she saw me, she commented on how baby has dropped. He certainly has! The upside to that is that I can breathe more easily and eat more food. The downsides include pelvic pressure, having to pee constantly, and almost losing my pants as they ride so low.

I’m feeling fairly patient right now waiting for baby to come. I still feel like I have at least another week, if not two, to go before he decides to come. I have been having a lot of pressure waves and they have been getting stronger and more frequent. They are completely welcome as I know they are already dilating me and getting me ready for the big event.

I’ve gotten a lot of things accomplished, but not nearly enough. This week will be a major work week for me getting everything set up and ready for baby. We’ve got all the necessities ready to go–I’m just trying to get all the little stuff taken care of that I know I won’t be able to do very easily after he gets here–I need to catch up on the laundry, change all the sheets, vacuum (which includes getting all the junk off the floors), mop, and deep clean the shower.

I’m so unmotivated to do any of that when I’m tired… and lately I’ve been tired. I’ve been staying up way too late. My midwife slapped me on the wrist for that today. I’m not allowed to let myself get so tired anymore. She says I need to always feel rested since I could begin my birthing time any day now. She told me she doesn’t think I’ll make it to my due date. I’m hoping she’s right. For some reason I keep thinking the 16th will be the day. We’ll see.

Daniel has been a dream lately. He still has his moments where I have to remind myself to be calm and patient, but the tantrums have ceased and he’s becoming more and more independent. He’s also clinging to Dan a lot more lately–which makes me so pleased. I’ve actually been able to go out a few times and stay out as late as I want! Until just a couple months ago, Dan had a hard time getting Daniel to go to bed without me around. But it seems that he’s gotten over that.

I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks and months.

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35 Weeks Pregnant

The weeks seem to go faster and faster now. I have one more midwifery appointment with a two-week spread, and the remainder of my visits will be one week apart. I absolutely love meeting with my midwife, Margo. Dan does, too. She’s a delightful woman whose calm and wisdom give us the utmost respect and trust for her. I can’t say enough good things about her and am very excited to enter my birthing time with her by my side.

My Hypnobabies class is beginning to change my vocabulary a bit. I was resisting it at first–it feels awkward to say things like “birthing time” and “pressure waves” in place of the more common terms–but I guess the fact that these words and phrases are beginning to come more naturally to me suggests that the hypnosis sessions really are working. I am still really enjoying it, though I don’t find the time to listen to the scripts every day like I am supposed to be. I started out listening to them right before bed, but I would fall asleep to them because of the deep state of relaxation I was in. This is supposed to be just as good–as it is your subconscious mind the scripts are speaking to–but I want to consciously experience the hypnosis. It feels wonderful to emerge from hypnosis–something that doesn’t happen when you are sleeping.

I have been quite successful practicing the self-hypnosis on a daily-basis, though. Last week, I was practicing putting myself into a deep state of hypnosis that required me to be entirely limp and relaxed. This coming week, I’ll be learning how to keep myself in a state of hypnosis while being able to open my eyes and even get up and move around. I’m curious to see what that will be like and if I will actually feel like I am in a state of hypnosis or not. With the deeper hypnosis sessions, I definitely feel like I am experiencing something almost transcendental.

I learned a tiny bit recently about hypnosis and brain waves. Interestingly, the frequency of the brain waves of a person in hypnosis are the same as for someone in a deep state of meditation or prayer and the same, still, of an athlete in deep concentration, or “in the zone”. Having experienced this state of hypnosis as such a relaxing and pleasurable one, I hope to continue with this practice in the future–except I hope to be able to direct the experience toward communion with God in the form of meditation or deep prayer. Having learned these invaluable tools for calming my body and mind in such a way that I am not distracted by anything around me is just what I have been seeking on a spiritual level.

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30 Weeks Pregnant

Wow! Only 10 weeks to my due date–only 7 weeks until I’m considered “full term”. This pregnancy has gone by so much more quickly than my first. I am less anxious about things and have been able to relax a lot more this time around. Also, having a toddler to care for certainly keeps me distracted.

My low-sugar diet has been going well. This time around I’m not stressing over every bite I put into my mouth like I did with Daniel. My meals tend to be similar to what I was eating before–I just make sure not to indulge in the carbohydrates. I don’t really eat sweets, though. Before the high glucose reading, I was eating oreos, peanut butter sandwich cookies, chocolate, ice cream, brownies, whatever–and whenever, too. Now I only let myself eat desserts on occasion, and I make sure they include protein and are reasonably sized. I’ve been enjoying homemade peanut butter milk shakes every now and then. Mmmmm. We’ll see how my diet has affected my sugars this weekend when Margo gives me another glucose test.

Baby Reid has settled into the same position as Daniel was in at this time in the pregnancy. He’s head-down, facing my left side. Back when I was seeing a chiropractor, he told me my pelvis is tilted, or off center, or something like that which was probably the reason Daniel was positioned the way he was. I wondered if future babies would settle into the same pocket. And I guess the answer is yes. I just hope baby Reid figures out how to get himself turned around before labor starts so I don’t have so much back labor this time.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how our sleeping arrangements are going to work when baby comes. Currently, Daniel goes to bed in his own bed, but usually climbs into our bed sometime between 1-3 AM. He comes to my side of the bed to get in, and usually just rolls over and goes back to sleep. It is lovely to wake up with him next to me. We start our day with hugs and cuddles. But when baby comes, I’m worried that middle-of-the-night diaper changes and crying episodes will wake Daniel up… and then we’ll have two little boys not sleeping. Also, I’m afraid there will be times when I’ll have just fallen back to sleep after nursing or changing a diaper, and Daniel will choose that moment to climb into our bed–waking me up again. I’m thinking about making him climb in on Dan’s side starting now so he gets used to doing it that way before baby comes. I was hoping by now he’d be staying in his own bed all night. He used to do that occasionally, but he hasn’t for quite a while.

Today Daniel had his first melt-down in a couple weeks. I could tell he was exhausted while we were eating lunch, and could have predicted that nap time was going to be difficult. He complained a bit about having to take a nap, but the real drama came when it was time to take his shoes off. He insisted he was going to take them off himself, but he just put his hands on his shoes and looked at me with that “I’m testing you” look. I told him either he needed to take his shoes off by himself, or I was going to help him. I gave him several opportunities to take the shoes off–all with the same touching/testing pattern. So I ended up taking off his shoes. That set him off like none other. I miraculously stayed calm, hugged him, told him I knew he wanted to do it, but that I’d given him lots of chances to take off his shoes and he didn’t do it. I told him that next time he could take off his shoes by himself. I told him he needed to get into bed and stay there–which he resisted quite violently for a while. Finally I got him to get into bed. I told him he either needed to stop yelling at me, or I would leave the room until he could calm down a bit. I had to leave the room. Every time I went back, I stood in the doorway and asked him to stop yelling at me and to lay down and I would come back into his room. Finally, he just put his arms out to me through his sobs and said, “I just need to hug you!” So I went in, hugged him, layed him down and told him I was so sorry he felt so sad and that I loved him. I stayed with him for a couple minutes until he could relax, then I left the room again so he could nap. When he woke up, the first thing he said to me was, “I’m sorry I yelled at you.” How’s that for a sweet boy?!?!

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