Friday, October 8, 2010

Screw Pumpkins... We're Toting Cantaloups Over Here (20 weeks)

That's right folks! It's the week of the Cantaloupe here!!?!?! And from the ultrasound on Friday we know that Lily is weighing in right on schedule at 10 oz.

Not only is she getting freaking huge (and so am I, pics to come this weekend)!! But we've attained another major milestone. Just like my all time favorite ice cream, little Lily is...


That's right! We're Half Baked BABBBBYYYY!!! Well... approximately that is. On average a first time mom, if not induced, will go into labor at approximately 41weeks 3days and since I'm very much hoping to avoid an induction, I'm getting myself set up to go at least a week over. My midwife will let me go up to 42 weeks before inducing, assuming there are no indications of problems with Lily, my placenta, or fluid level.
So what is Ms. Lily up to in there?
"This week your baby's skin will become covered with a waxy-like substance called vernix which will protect her skin from becoming scratched or chapped.  Your baby is also starting to produce meconium, the result of digestion which will accumulate in her bowels and eventually pass during delivery or in her first diaper."
How's Mama doing? Pretty well. The ultrasound and knowing the sex of the baby really caused everything to hit home. That's been great and overwhelming at the same time. My iron came in low at my appointment. Not by much (10.5 and they like it to be at least 11), but still enough. I'm making a point to eat more iron rich foods and they will retest at my next appointment. I was proud of myself for not screaming or kicking when they said I would have to do a quick finger prick. I'm fine with getting blood drawn, with shots, and good lord... even tattoos, but the thought of a finger stick made me want to run and hide. I had to concentrate very hard to keep my butt in that chair! I think it's just that I haven't had one since I was a small child. I don't know what kind of industrial strength needles they use at the pediatricians office, but they were much worse than the little one the nurse used at the midwife's office. Thank goodness! It was no big deal which puts my mind at ease as far as the gestational diabetes test I'll have to take in a few weeks. I can cross that fear off my list of things to worry about! So, now I'm left with pre-eclampsia, a failure-to-progress induced c-section, pooping on the delivery table and about a thousand other things. But at least we are a thousand minus one! Woohoo!
I'm up about 6 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight which isn't bad at all. And I actually lost 2 lbs a week before I found out I was pregnant so I'm not even back up to my heaviest yet. I know it's vein and all but it's hard to watch that scale creeping back up again. I was so proud of myself for losing weight and have been so unhappy with my weight gain for so long that it's hard to see these added pounds and what will be the heaviest I've ever weighed as a good thing. It's also sad that we live in a society that puts so much importance on a woman's looks that she can't even enjoy watching her body grow to accommodate a new life!! Trust me, this topic comes up on my online pregnancy boards ALL.THE.TIME! It really is a sad commentary on our society.

Wednesday night, Jay and I started our HypnoBabies natural childbirth classes! It was awesome!! Well, minus the fact that it is scheduled for Wednesdays nights from 7 to TEN. Um... my bed time has become 8:30pm since I've been pregnant. I wasn't even sure my brain could fully function at 10pm. Surprisingly it did. Now Thursday at work was another story, hence why this post is being finished up today. The concept of the program is simple.
  1. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. And everyone can learn to do it.
  2. The brain controls everything in the body.
  3. Self-fulfilling prophecy is a very real thing.
  4. Our expectations often dictate how we experience a situation.
  5. Our body instinctively knows how to have a baby (baring any major unexpected complications) and for the most part I just need to learn to relax and stay out of its way.
  6. Fear leads to tension which leads to an experience of pain.
Well, those are my boiled down bullet points at least. One of the things I like the most about this program is it's emphasis on eliminating fear from the birthing experience. As someone who has dealt with anxiety and depression all my life this is such a foreign concept to me. I remember one time late at night when I was about 7 years old getting so worried about the fact that in just 5 short years I would be 12 years old and would have to have my 12 year old shots at the doctor's office that I worked myself into a panic attack. I had to get up and find my parents who looked at me with the most helpless expressions on their faces, completely at a loss for how to help me or how to even understand what I was experiencing.

One of the things I'm most worried about is that I will not be able to stay present in the moment. I will be so worried about the next contraction and the next and the next and the potential hours of labor I have ahead of me that I will lose my ability to stay in control. I know from the extensive reading I've done on the subject that taking things one contraction (or pressure wave as we call them in hypnobirthing) at a time and learning to ride them like waves is one of the major keys to having a pain-med-free birth. This concept does not come naturally to me to say the LEAST! That is why we are starting now, 20 weeks before our estimated due date. I'm hoping that if I really take the program seriously, and practice every day which I'm supposed to, then I can learn to overcome my natural tendencies and just might be able to have the med-free birth I hope for.

So far my practice has resulted in nothing other than increasing my ability to fall asleep. I thinking I shouldn't be waiting until bedtime to listen to the tapes. But then again, it's creating some of the best sleep I've ever had which tells me that it's helping me eliminate at least some of the normal every day anxiety I usually deal with. Plus, there is alot in the program about behavioral conditioning and cognitive therapy, which as a psych major I can totally get on board with. So when I pare the deep relaxation to the point of sleep with the music and the voice on the CD for months on end, when I'm in labor my body will associate the sounds with relaxation plus I'm teaching myself how to relax which is something that someone like me actually needs to be taught how to do. Tonight Jay will be reading the scripts which I think it awesome! We were given a CD with the relaxing music and he will be reading instead of the lady on the CD. This way his voice will also be pared with the deep relaxation, plus it helps him feel involved in the process.

I initially read the HypnoBirthing book to try and get an idea of the philosophies. I liked the ideas but thought it was a bit magic-y with concepts like the Law of Attraction where they teach that if you say and think only positive things about childbirth then you will attract a positive childbirth experience. My scientific minds calls bull sh*t on that one. It's just too metaphysical and un-scientific for me. The HypnoBabies method is a new version and makes more sense to me. For instance they don't teach about the Law of Attraction, but they talk about what is basically expectations and self-fulfilling prophecies. If you expect childbirth to be painful then your brain will interpret the sensations you feel as painful. If you expect the sensations of childbirth to be described as things like intense pressure, stretching, powerful, even discomfort yet safe and helpful then your mind will interpret the signals it gets like that. You are training your mind not relying on some sort of magical Law of the Universe. And as a psychology major THIS makes sense to me!

So when the HypnoBabies program uses it's own vocabulary like pressure waves instead of contractions, birthing time instead of labor, transformation instead of transition, birth breathing instead of pushing, pre-labor warm up instead of Braxton Hicks contractions, and practice labor instead of false labor it's not in an effort to be different for the sake of being different, or to imply that by speaking those things I'll draw a positive experience to me or by saying the others I'll draw a negative experience to me, it's to break the mind of the associates it has with the conventional words. This helps reprogram the brain to experience the birth differently and it helps eliminate the fear that is so tied up with these words due to the numerous horror stories I've been told over the years through well meaning women, online birth stories, TV, and movies. And fear leads to tension which leads to an experience of pain.

We'll see how it goes but even after just a few days of listening to the tapes (and still not feeling like I'm doing it "right") I can tell a huge difference. I just feel more settled, less anxious. I have an appointment with my psychiatrist this evening so it'll be interesting to speak with him about it. I hope it's just not a bi-polar upswing. 

Hopefully, this weekend will be pretty low key. I'm in desperate need of some extra sleep and really want to start cleaning out Lily's room. We bought a baby swing on Craigslist the other day and I'm anxious to get it set up instead of laying against one of the chairs in our living room. Eventually it'll live downstairs were our IKEA chair is now (when the IKEA chair goes to live in Lily's room), but for now I just want it up stairs. I have a couple of crafting projects to either finish up or start on too. And I'm looking forward to doing some cooking/baking this weekend. I'll also be taking my weekly bump pic this weekend. I've discovered that the sun is just going down too quickly now. It's impossible for me to get home while there is still enough light on our back deck to take the pic. So, I'm going to start taking them on the weekend so I can take advantage of the natural light. eventually I want to put these pics in a book or video or something so I want them to look as similar as possible.

Well, Happy Friday everyone! Have a wonderful weekend!

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