24 weeks – 60% complete

On October 19th I reach 24 weeks pregnant! It was crazy to think about how fair our little one has come in just 24 weeks. At this time, most babies are about eleven-and-a-half inches long and weigh in at one-and-a-third pounds, gaining steadily at a rate of about six ounces per week. Much of that weight comes from growing organs, bones, muscle and accumulating baby fat. I have yet to gain any weigh, I have lost a total of 18lb since my 5th week. By this time I had gotten use to baby kicking many times in the day and ever more times when I was trying to fall asleep.

I noticed some outside changes to my body as well. My belly seemed to be growing steadily and my feet slowly getting swollen if I didn’t remember to take a rest.

Most people call the second trimester the “honeymoon” trimester, I am sad to report that I don’t agree. Experts say that the span between 13 – 27 weeks typically, nausea subsides, energy returns, emotions even out and sex drive returns. For me personally, my nausea subsided at about 16 weeks, however, if I am tired I still get sick first thing in the morning or after I eat. When I come to having energy, I don’t know really what to base it on. I still am tried and can easily sleep 9-12 hours a night if my alarm would let me. Already, I get up in the middle or the night a couple times to pee depending on how baby decides to move.

24weeks

Here are some Old Wives Tales vs. Science questions I found interesting:

Heartburn during pregnancy, your baby is likely to be born with a full head of hair?
Answer: Science
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore found that when pregnant women reported moderate heartburn, they had hairy newborns 82 percent of the time; the majority of heartburn-free women gave birth to bald babies.

Eat your vegetables now, and your baby will like them later?
Answer: Science
The foods and drinks you ingest flavor the amniotic fluid that the fetus starts swallowing in the second trimester. Science has shown that babies who are exposed to vegetables in utero are more likely to develop a preference for them when they begin eating solids and as they grow into adults.

If you’ve previously had Cesareans, trying for a vaginal delivery next time is risky to you and the baby?
Answer: Wives Tale
Even if you’ve had two previous c-sections, you can go ahead and try to deliver the old-fashioned way. In 2010, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists revised its guidelines on vaginal birth after Cesarean (VBAC), determining that VBACs are a safe and appropriate option for most women. In the last few decades, doctors worried that because of their incision scar, women with previous C-sections were at a higher risk for uterine rupture, which is dangerous for both mother and baby.

Creating a Birth Plan

What is a birth plan? Are you on the fence about creating a birth plan? Or are you just stuck on where to start? Here is some information I found helpful while creating my natural delivery birth pan.

What is a Birth Plan?
A birth plan is a document that lets your medical team know your preferences for things like how to manage labor pain. There are always events during labor that you cant control and your birth plan may not be followed exactly but having a printed document with your wishes is a good way to keep everyone in line with your exceptions of care.

Why create a Birth Plan?
By creating a birth plan you get to have a written document that touches on your requests during normal labor and delivery, How are you hoping for your baby to be treated right after delivery and days after, medications you approve for both you and your baby and What do you want to happen in the case of unexpected events.

Where to start?
When it comes to creating a birth plan some hospitals and birth centers can provide a birth plan worksheet or brochure to explain their policies and philosophy of childbirth, and to let you know what your birth options might be. Most online birth plan worksheets are in line with most hospitals and midwives options of care.

I created a picture birth plan that is easy to follow for anyone (medical staff or non) to follow with questions. I created a natural birth plan to go with my midwifery care and the plan to give birth in a birthing centre instead of a hospital.

I found this website that gives you downloadable word documents for both natural and medically assisted births.
http://www.mamanatural.com/visual-birth-plan/

If the visual birth plan isn’t for you here are other websites that helped me get started.

http://www.birthingnaturally.net/birthplan/sample/

http://www.babycenter.com/calculators-birthplan

http://www.themothersprogram.ca/during-pregnancy/preparing-for-labour/birth-plans

20 Weeks Pregnant – Half Way!

img_2568On September 21st, 2016, I made it to the half way mark in my pregnancy. My pregnancy hasn’t been smooth so far. From 15 weeks of morning sickness to being extremely tired for most of the day, pregnancy really takes its toll. I have lost about 15lb so far due to my intense morning sickness; even now I have a hard time eating as much as I am “suppose” too.

Here are some of the current annoying symptoms and how I have tried to minimize them:

  • Heartburn and indigestion can make it extra uncomfortable to lie down in bed. What to do: Avoid foods that trigger your heartburn, give yourself two to three hours to digest a meal before going to bed, and try sleeping semi-upright in a comfy recliner or propped up with extra pillows under your upper body.
  • Leg cramps while you are trying to sleep. What to do: Ease the cramp by straightening your leg, heel first and gently flexing your toes back toward your shins or walk around for a few minutes. During the day try to get enough water and calcium to minimize the number of cramps you get.
  • Tossing and turning all night trying to find a comfortable sleeping position. What to do: Lie on your side with your knees bent and a pillow between your legs. For extra comfort and support, consider a pregnancy pillow for all around body support.
  • Getting up to pee during the night. What to do: This on this a hard one to avoid, especially once your baby takes up more room in your body. Try to drink all our liquid an hour before bed time and avoid those dehydrating drinks in the evening.

If you have any life hacks about our pregnancy symptoms we would love to hear them!

Hitting 12 weeks

Oh BABY! On July 27th I finally hit the 12-week mark! It seemed so long between the day we found out we were expecting and the day we finally reached 12weeks. Sadly, my morning sickness started at 5 weeks, which made most days feel longer. Many expecting mothers experience morning sickness starting around 6-7 weeks. High levels of pregnancy hormones flooding your body cause pregnancy nausea and vomiting. It’s very common. About eight out of 10 pregnant women experience nausea and/or vomiting.

It had been a long 7 weeks dealing with nausea, throwing up and the secret of why I feel so crappy. I was hoping that my morning (all day) sickness would subside soon. I had been given the morning sickness prescription medication that did little to help with my symptoms. I tried every natural suggestion to ease my sickness, however Google left me disappointment as well. My first trimester included throwing up about 4-6 a day, orange popsicles, Gatorade and hating the grocery store. I had two ultrasounds confirming there was only one baby and it was exciting to see how baby as changed and development. During the first trimester I really wanted to eat healthy, stay active and get all the rest that my body needed, well I think that baby had a different plan. When I come to food I am in survival mode. I was eating whatever looks okay at the moment. Fruit, popsicles and peanut butter has really been everything that I could look at without feeling sick. There are more aggressive options for medications but there are risks to the baby growth with all of them, I was just not interested in taking those even if my sickness lasts my whole pregnancy.

Here are a couple of the natural ideas that my work for you or a friend:

  • Relaxation helps reduce your stress levels, I found my sickness was worse when I was tired or worried
  • Eat a little bit at a time and often. I found foods that were cold and juicy to be better for my nausea. When I started to become hungry my sickness would be worse. Try eating protein with any fruits, vegetables or carbs. This will help the sugars release less quickly, which will save you from a sugar crash
  • Try to have foods rich in vitamin B6, (avocado, bananas and chicken). Taking a vitamin B supplement may also reduce your nausea if you can swallow the pills, but they probably won’t prevent you from vomiting. If you are trying to get pregnancy you might want to take vitamin B6 supplements to try and reduce our morning sickness severity.
  • Stay hydrated. Water is always the first choice but if you are having troubles getting it down you can also try drinks with electrolytes. Try to stay away from Gatorade due to the extra sugar (I went with the new G2 Gatorade which has half the sweeteners) other good sources of hydration include coconut water or the Emergen-c packets.

Why I Chose Midwifery

Here are some of the reasons I chose Midwife care:
midwife

One-on-one care: With a midwife, I feel I receive the best type of prenatal care, it feels complete in every aspects. Instead of merely providing medical care, my midwives are concerned about my emotional, mental and nutritional well-being and will have the time set aside to discuss these aspects of life during prenatal appointments. It is not uncommon for a prenatal appointment with a midwife to last an hour or more. Most of my appointments start with my midwife asking me what questions or concerns I would like to talk about. They give me natural ways to help me calm my concerns and answer all my questions even if they seem silly.

Community: My midwife group likes to help moms and dads connect with other couples. I attend a centering pregnancy session with other mother due in the same birth month as me. These classes are once every other week where all the mothers due in February meet with our midwifes for a couple hours. It gives me a chance to meet other mom going through the same stages and hopefully making mom friends for after baby is born.

Natural philosophy of birth: Instead of looking at birth as a medical event to be managed, a midwife looks at birth as a normal occurrence in the life of a woman. A midwife is not there to manage a birth, but instead she is there to provide guidance when necessary and to observe and step in when her help is needed. Midwives make sure that you are a good candidate for their services by reviewing labs and ultrasounds to make sure you don’t need more medical attention that you receive from an OB. Your medical history and family medical history is reviewed and taken into consideration when midwives are assessing where this care is right for you.

Non-interventive care: A midwife is often in the background, allowing the labouring woman an undisturbed environment that is calm and soothing. She will step in only when her help is necessary. This is a very important and beneficial aspect of midwifery care. A midwife will not “mess” with the natural process of birth. Any type of intervention can result in further problems or interventions.

Nurturing care. A midwife will protect the expectant parents from unnecessary worry. She is aware of the mind/body connection during pregnancy and birth and will guide parents in decision-making when it comes to tests, etc.