Thursday, September 15, 2016

Week 40

This is the end... beautiful friends, the end...

Ok, well, Doors references aside, it may or may not be the end. My due date is today, but of course, that doesn't mean that much when it comes to what Speck wants to do. It's also a full moon, so who knows. Perhaps Speck will feel the pull and things will start up.

My friend who is due the same day I am and I are texting each other back and forth with symptoms we think might be the onset of labor. Sadly, many of these symptoms are also just the symptoms of pregnancy, so it's really just an excuse to text each other.

Either way I figure I should get this post written now just so that no one will get their hopes up about Speck arriving simply because I was late posting to the blog this week. This is the post. If I produce a new human anytime soon I'll post about it here sometime next week. If I don't produce a new human I'll post normal week 41 post discussing just how common it is for first time pregnant ladies to go a week or two past their due dates. (And seriously, it's really common, so don't be too surprised if I get through weeks 41 and 42 before you see a new human on here.)

For now though, this week was largely an experience in doing a ton of last minute preparation for having a baby, being tired, walking a lot, and experiencing lots of practice labor.

Also, Speck rolled back over to LOA for my last midwife appointment (on Tuesday) and seems to be there at the moment, but I am fairly certain that Speck has been ROA at least once since Tuesday and is shifting back and forth at her/his leisure. I'm spending a lot of time sitting on my exercise ball and lying on my left side in order increase the odds of Speck being LOA when it comes time for this whole process to start, but the ease with which Speck changes things up has me a little bit disconcerted. (And since I started writing this post Speck now appears to be ROA again. What gives little one? Why you rotate so much?)

In the meantime, Speck is otherwise doing quite well. Heart rate was totally normal at our last appointment and Speck seems to be "a good size" according to the latest midwife assessment. My blood pressure is in my normal range and I'm feeling pretty good, so I guess we're ready for this kiddo to show up any time.

I repacked my hospital (read: birth center) bag today, and yesterday I repacked Speck's diaper bag, because the first time I packed them was pretty half hearted. This time I did it a bit more carefully, though to be fair, knowing that we'll get sent home from the birth center 4-6 hours post Speck arrival makes me not worry about it too much. My needs are pretty minimal, but we do need to do a snack related grocery run.

And, in other news, we finally got a dresser (which we will be using as a changing table also) for Speck. This is fabulous because I was finally able to put away all the wonderful hand me down clothes we've been sent, as well as the cloth diapering supplies. YAY! So our basement feels a little more like a place to hang out with a newborn a little less like the random place we shoved all of our crap.

So we're starting to feel ready as we tick off the long list of things that need to be done and we're pretty excited to meet this new human out in the open. So fingers crossed that when the time comes all goes smoothly.

Speaking of which, today I acquired a (rental) TENS machine which, for those who have never heard of one, or only know of them for PhysioTherapy purposes, are devices that send an electric impulse through the skin of your lower back during labor in order to raise endorphin levels in order to combat pain. Some women swear by them, some women say they don't work at all. Apparently results vary. But renting one was pretty cheap, so I figured it can't hurt to try it. Or, rather, it might be nice to know I have one on hand in case my meditative practice doesn't seem to be cutting it. To be honest, I don't like the idea of relying on something external for pain relief, so I'm rather hoping I don't need to use it, but I do like the idea of having a back up plan that doesn't require drugs... So I have it, and now I hope I won't need it.

On that note, I'd just like to point out, because I'm not sure when the last time I said it here was, that I don't think there's anything wrong with women using all the joys of modern medicine to get themselves through labor if they choose to/need to, etc. You do whatever you have to do in order to have a safe, healthy, delivery and it's not up to me to decide what safe or healthy is, that's between you and your healthcare provider. Seriously, no judgement.

What I do feel judgmental about is how as a society we've made it seem like going for the least medical birth possible is somehow irresponsible, or crazy, when it's what women have been doing for as long as there have been humans. We have quite literally evolved with this purpose in mind, and the species would not have succeeded as well as it has were we not pretty good at it, overall. Of course, modern medicine has made a lot of births that would normally have resulted in the death of the mother or child or both, quite a bit safer and more survivable, and that's a wonderful thing. Yet that doesn't mean that the majority of women and their babies can't get through labor and birth without any medical intervention. Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that there will be a hospital within a five minute ambulance ride of where I will be giving birth, but I also love that unless it becomes medically necessary I won't have to set foot in a hospital in order to deliver this kiddo.

It's funny, one of the things that bothered me most about my care before I was able to get a midwife was the (completely understandable) feeling that my doctors were shooing me out the door because I was perfectly healthy, I was just pregnant. It bothered me not because it's wrong, pregnant women are indeed perfectly healthy and I appreciate that attitude, but because it left me with unanswered questions about the process my body was undertaking. It makes total sense for people whose job it is to cure the sick, to tell the healthy pregnant woman that she's fine and send her on her way. But the feeling is mutual, and hospitals are for people who aren't well, not perfectly healthy ones, and as a "perfectly healthy" pregnant lady I see no reason for me to be in the hospital unless shit turns south. (Which is a real possibility, so I'm extremely grateful, again, that there will be a hospital within easy reach.)

Anyway, those are just my feelings on the matter, and I maintain that women should be able to labor wherever they are most comfortable. If being in the hospital gives a woman a sense of comfort because she knows the medical staff is right there, then she should do that. If she prefers a birth center where the medical staff is only a stone's throw away, she should do that. If she wants to labor at home where she is the most relaxed and comfortable, she should do that. Do whatever you need to do, my fellow pregnant ladies! My point is, we should all have a choice, be informed, and be given the chance to have whatever kind of birth we want, but I don't feel like north american society does that particularly well.

I, certainly, had never heard any useful information about giving birth anywhere but in a hospital right up until I got pregnant. Until then I had heard some random comments, offhand remarks, and useless stereotypes, but that's about it. I had to do some serious digging to get any objective information (until I wound up in midwifery care, where they handed me lots of information about all three birth location options) and the only reason I considered digging up extra info on birthing outside of a hospital at all was because of references in the hypnobirthing books, and also in one of the pregnancy groups I'm a member of. And, the only reason I even looked into hypnobirthing was because of my general curiosity as a human. I heard the name and thought, that sounds stupid, but what is it actually? So I did a bit of research and then thought, well the name is terrible but that sounds completely sensible. So, yeah. Points for curiosity, but why doesn't anyone tell young women about this stuff? Why aren't we provided with more information about our options and why does the media portray non-hospital births as wacky?

Ok. Rant over.

Anyway, it is now past midnight, so officially my due date, and I'm going to go lie on my left side for a while to try to get Speck into LOA just in case Speck decides to join us tomorrow. In the meantime here is a bumpie from today. Not very glamorous, and I seem to have given myself an extra chin thanks to body angling, but hey that's the truth of the third trimester I'm afraid.

Will it be the last bump picture???? We shall see... Come on, SUPERMOON!


  1. Super bump! Go Speck! We have all fingers and toes (yes, I can do that) crossed that Speck arrives forthwith.